Charging Epstein & Road to "La Casa Blanca" (with Julin Castro)
From cafe welcome to stay tuned. I'm pre- Harare. There's something larger play here which is a dislike. Every leader wants to take the glory of success. You have to be willing to admit when you've made a mistake and we're living through over this time period and especially with this president where the whole game is don't ever admit that you're wrong. Don't ever seem fallible part of being a strong leader and of getting stronger and growing as leader is being able to recognize when you've made a mistake and to take appropriate appropriate action that's on Castro. He was the mayor of San Antonio Texas before going on to serve as the youngest member of President Obama's cabinet. You may recognize his voice from the Democratic primary debate stage Castro made waves in the first debate night. When the topic turned to immigration specifically a once obscured statute entitled eight of the United States code section thirteen twenty five we get into all of that plus why he's still taking Spanish lessons but first? Let's get to your questions. That's coming up. Stay tuned you can tell a lot about somebody by the company they keep and also by the company they don't keep that's why I put this right in my twitter bio banned by Putin fired by I trump and now we've put it on T. Shirt to get yours head to shop dot cafe dot com for your very own band by Putin fired bites from t-shirt and even more stay tuned merchandise. That's shop DOT CAFE DOT COM. The question comes from twitter user Rix Wiediman apologies. If that's not how you pronounce your last name he writes a federal judge in New York rule that it was a violation of the First Amendment for president trump to block twitter followers. Can he still mute them Hashtag Aspirin. That's really clever question a good one so my understanding of the opinion is that because president trump who is the leader of the country and a public official makes many official pronouncements not just through the ordinary course of press releases from the White White House and other official means he uses his twitter account in fact just recently as we as we've talked about Donald Trump uses twitter account to say that he was insisting on citizenship question being added to the census so a lot of important pronouncements that citizens may WanNa hear about occur through the president's twitter account and when he blocked someone that means that citizens of the country are not able to see those official pronouncements and that's a violation with respect to the question of whether he can mute them I presume he can because that's communication that goes in the other direction. I don't know any basis for forcing the president to listen to any particular communication made by a citizen. Even though citizens should not be blocked from hearing communications by the president by the way while we're on the subject the blocking and meeting you're familiar with my love hate relationship with twitter. I have accelerated my blocking a meeting recently. You may have noticed I'm in a bit of a better mood. This very specific narrow question comes from twitter users Stephanie Straight Eight who asks Hey at Premera. I'd never heard of Hashtag Jeffrey Epstein before this week. Please explain all of the things I guess breed as you may have heard in the sample we made available from the Kathy insider podcast with milligram the entire conversation that goes about thirty minutes between me and an which is available cafe dot com slash insider we did kind of explain all the things that had occurred to us but it has been brought to my attention that there's a call about the Epstein case from a listener and maybe we didn't explain all the things hi this is Victoria calling Seattle and <hes> I have a question about the Epstein case something that I don't understand it in his deal how he can strike a plea just pleading guilty to prostitution Russian or solicitation for prostitute but then you also in that same deal are paying restitution to your victim so I mean it seems so contradictory and I don't understand how the law makes room for those things to live. Concurrently I guess I wish you could explain that to me a little bit <hes> thank you so much. Love your show left when he came to Seattle and <hes> we'll keep listening by so thanks for your great question Victoria and by the way I enjoy my visit to Seattle also really enthusiastic crowd so so this is one thing that I did not talk about and you raise a good point. There are so many things that are inexplicable and seemingly contradictory with respect to the non-prosecution agreement that was reached back in two thousand seven in Florida and I think you're right it does not make sense in connection with logic the complete guilty for solicitation of prostitution and then also pay restitution to victims. It seems like a lot of people are saying that in the other direction that the characterization of underage girls as prostitutes is offensive as well so in either direction the idea that they were actual victims who then are characterized as prostitutes or there's the characterization of the crime is prostitution and yet payment to victims restitution doesn't make a lot of sense in in goes further. I think to the point that we should get more the answers from both the current Labor Secretary Alex Kosta and others about the process and the thinking and the procedure. I know it's being looked at internally at the Justice Department but there are a lot of things that are still unexplained. It hopefully will get to the bottom of by the way there's one more thing that Annan I didn't get to because it occurred after we taped this week and that is the question of whether Attorney General Bill Bar should have any kind of involvement in the Epstein case reporting has been that with respect to the ongoing litigation down south about whether or not the non-prosecution agreement can be undone with respect back to that litigation. Bill Bar has recused himself. My understanding is in the theory that he was at the law firm where one of his partners represented Jeffrey Epstein in the past is also been reported that Bill Bar has chosen not to recuse himself from the current preceding the current charges now pending in the southern district of New York to curious things about that one is I don't understand the distinction they've been trying to figure out how it can be so that you recuse in the one case and not recuse in the current case because it remains true that a former partner of his crooked analysis once upon a time represented Jeffrey Epstein so I don't understand the distinction maybe he should not have recused himself from the first matter but once you do. I don't understand how it's consistent with not recusing herself from the second matter and then the second point the reporting is obscene. It is that Bill Bar consulted dealt with ethics officials and is not recusing himself from the S._D._N.. Y matter that doesn't answer the question of what the ethics officials at the Department of Justice actually told them you'll recall perhaps from his confirmation hearing that he unequivocally said he would not necessarily early follow the advice and counsel and direction of ethics officials at the Justice Department that it was his prerogative to decide whether to recuse or not recusing any particular matter and he was not going to abdicate in his words that responsibility even though his predecessor Jeff sessions did commit to following the advice not just consulting and listening to the advice but following the advice of ethics officials on recusals and then obviously famously recused from the Russia investigation so I don't know what the ethics officials advice has been because I haven't seen that report it and haven't seen bill bar say anything about it but I think there's one more important point to make here <hes> which I can say from my prior position that the southern district and that is whether or not the attorney general rick uses or doesn't recused from the S._D._N.. Y Matter I don't see any reason why in a case like this he should have any involvement at all at a minimum he shouldn't and have any involvement in the day to day operations of the investigation or the case or charging decisions yes Jeffrey Epstein is now notoriously well known person who purports to be a billionaire. I guess although nobody seems to be aware of how you made any of his money but we handle cases in southern district all the time of greater consequence without any interference from or micromanagement from the attorney general certainly there were cases that had national significance that affected many many many people like the Toyota settlement in the G._M.. Settlement that evolved billions of dollars in penalties and on those matters consulted all the way up to the attorney general the United States so this is the case it's perfectly capable of being handled internally by Jeff Berman current United States attorney in the southern district. There's no statutory requirement or that. I can tell regulation AH guideline of the Department of Justice that requires permission or approval for anything going on in this case from the Attorney General the United States and I would also think that given all the surrounding controversy <hes> with respect to the Epstein case and whether there was political favoritism I'm going on and whether there was gamesmanship going on that a wise attorney general for his own purposes and his own protection and his own reputation would want to steer clear of the case and let the capable people saw the district of New York handle it and so the question of whether he's recused himself or not is a little bit beside the point. I think you should stay out of it. This question comes from twitter user tongue of would interesting handle. The question is this what is the professional ethics requirement for D._O._J.. Attorneys in the census question in Case Given U._S. District Court Judge Jesse firms refusal to allow them to step aside Hashtag. Ask Pre glad you asked that question because in a bit of a bombshell ruling on Tuesday night July ninth my former colleague at the U._S. Attorney's office now a judge Jesse Furman ruled the request for the Lawyers Census Case The D._J.. Lures census case to withdraw there has been a lot of speculation. I think reasonable good speculation that having taken the position over and over and over again that there could be no citizenship question added to the census dances unless the fate of that question was resolved by June thirtieth of this year to now take the position that we can still add citizenship question in light of Donald Trump's tweets saying that there should be one the belief is that these lawyers decided they couldn't in good faith in good conscience change their position completely so it'd probably justice sought to switch them all out essentially and replace them with new ordinarily people may think that you can just sort of withdraw from a case at will and even though it's a pro forma matter under for judges to approve withdrawals counseling substitution of counsel that actually has to be done by order of the court and so judge Furman in this late breaking opinion last evening wrote that he is denying the motion to substitute council consistent with the local rules in particular rule one point four of the U._S. District of the southern Eastern District of New York governing the withdrawal of council. He says look it can only be done by order of a court and as he quotes the rule such an order may be granted only upon a showing by affidavit or otherwise of satisfactory reasons for withdrawal or displacement and the posture of the case and judge Furman put forward in his opinion measured against these standards defendant's motion is patently deficient in fact he goes on to write defendants provide. No reasons let alone satisfactory reasons for the substitution of counsel. My guess is the reason they didn't want to put forward reasons is it's not a pleasant thing to put forward to the court in public that a number of attorneys because of crisis of integrity and conscience don't feel they can. Make arguments that they just as recently as last week disavowed so your question about what the ethics requirements for the D._O._J.. Attorneys is an interesting one as part of the order judge. Furman does not say that in no way shape or form can these attorneys withdraw way to say is I'm denying the motion today without prejudice meaning you can renew the motion for withdrawal which I will consider only if I get sworn written affidavits from each lawyer explaining why he or she wants to withdraw and the reasons have to be satisfactory factory and they also have to be convinced that it's not going to affect the timing of litigation which by the way in no small measure has been litigated on the premise that time is of the essence as I described a moment ago so with respect to this motion and with respect to this opinion the ethics requirements of the D._O._J.. Attorneys is to make an affidavit if they remain insistent on withdrawing that comports with the truth. I think it's interesting thing what's going to happen in how they're going to phrase their reluctance to continue on a matter even though these lawyers have all the experience have all the expertise understand the record below understand the law have argued the matter in multiple courts and in this case all the way up to the Supreme Court. What are those affidavits going Jose? I wait them just like you and let let's be clear on this. I don't know for a fact if these lawyers all said as a matter of conscience that they are withdrawing or if higher ups in the department fire them because I didn't think they were going to do the job or it could be an amalgam at the two I can imagine a scenario. This is all speculation back imagine a scenario in which the existing lawyers on the matter huddled and tried to figure out how we're going to proceed after they thought the case was essentially over in light of the president's tweeting that he was going to be insistent on adding citizen is it a question and they huddled and maybe said we can make these arguments that we can't make these other arguments and there are limits to the kinds of things we can say given the positions we previously taken etcetera and in that scrum when there seemed to be some reluctance to proceed in a particular way that they were relieved served duty so I don't know if it's true withdrawal pure removal by superiors or some combination of the two but given judge Firmin's order I guess we'll find out soon and by the way folks let me just say that when my favorite parts of doing the show is reading an answering your questions every week but I can't get to all of them luckily you can read up on all these issues at greater length in our free weekly newsletter cafe brief. That's available at cafe dot com slash brief again. You can sign up a cafe dot com slash brief my guest. This week is Leon Castro. He's the only Latino candidate in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination Castro's slightly younger twin brother representative Joaquin Castro is is another Texas Democrat who recently led the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on a trip to inspect the conditions of detention center at the border who is the only Castro and one of the few Democratic candidates with executive branch experience. He was President Obama's secretary of Housing and Urban Urban Development just a couple of weeks ago. Castro was a breakout star of democratic debate night. One we discussed the merits of executive versus legislative experience how real leaders own up to their mistakes and why affirmative action could be in part the reason why he's where he is today. That's coming up. Stay tuned. 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He's written on topics ranging from the intelligence failures before the Iraq war to the Economics John Maynard Keynes on stay tuned. We've brought New Yorker writers like Ronan Farrow Jane Mayer to discuss their thoughtful and thorough reporting now get twelve weeks of the New Yorker for just six dollars. You'll also get their iconic tote bag weekly home delivery of the print edition and unlimited access to New Yorker Dot Com with ten to fifteen exclusive site only stories every day. Just go to New Yorker dot com slash preet and enter the code pre for access to APPs online archive crossword puzzle and more that's New Yorker Dot com <hes> slash preet and enter the code preet to save fifty percent on a twelve weeks subscription and get that New Yorker Tote Secretary Castro. Thanks so much for being on the show. Thanks a lot for having me good to be with you. I know you're very busy. <hes> like your colleagues who are all trying to become the next commander in chief so I really do appreciate your taking the time to talk with me. Can I ask you. How do I know that this is Leeann Castro and not your identical twin brother Joaquin Castro to pull off because I should tell listeners you're remote? You're in San Antonio and I'm in New York. So there's a good question. If we were here he would say that. I'm a minute uglier than he is but you can't see us. We actually sound pretty similar in U._p.. Newest with well you could probably tell us apart and have you used him to amplify your ability to be in different places not yet although I am using him in the campaign he's the campaign chairman identify himself as Joaquin or Oh of course yeah. I wonder if there's an F. in violation you know this is the edge of F._C._C. law here that probably would be. I think bill bar would say it's fine yeah. I'm proud of <hes> of the work. Joaquin is doing you may have seen the other day for instance that he led a congressional delegation to the Clint detention engine facility I did yes he caught that video of you know showing what's happening in there and so but I try and take his time and attention as much as I can <hes> to help out with the campaign is he your closest advisor for sure and throughout my life he's been my closest friend and <hes> and in politics it's rare that you have a sibling and somebody who is your best friend who is doing the same thing that you do and so it's wonderful to have somebody that understands politics and you know can commiserate with me when see a poll that we may not like or you think about the road ahead. That's been how it's been throughout my life and my brother and I grew up sleeping on bunk beds and we went to college together went to law school together own the lawn to the same law firm. Actually I went home to the same offer some other identical twins that I have known over my lifetime. They make it a point to go elsewhere to go to different schools. You decide to be in the same place as that was up in. How couldn't get rid of him? That's yeah well. What game of chance did you play determine? Which of the two of you would run for president well? I am one minute older pre so I I see you my choice. I know you know we I went into politics right. When I got back from law school and started working at a law firm and then he went in about a year year and a half later but his career he has focused on being a legislator he was in the Texas House of Representatives for ten years and now he's been in Congress? Three terms is his fourth term. The whereas I went into the San Antonio City Council and then I was mayor and then I was a cabinet secretary and so my background my experience is more an executive experience in his more legislative experience in you think people with legislative experience would make less good president well. I think that executive experience counts for something for sure. <hes> that's one of the points that I make when I get out there in front of these crowds Kennedy question that you've been asked before and give you another chance to answer it. What is your favorite comfort food? Ah I got so much flak for this I said ice t was my favorite cover. I should have just said ice. T was your favorite comfort for that's right because I'm taking it literally. I looked for my ice tea the way that somebody looks for their coffee. You know you understand that iced tea is not food whether stretching the definition of food here I should have just said something like cheese enchiladas or something you know right this tex-mex food that we have in San Antonio which is also out. You could say a you know that you misunderstood the question. You thought you were being asked. Who is your favorite rapper eighties? That could've worked that good work. I think you need better crisis management people no I will say it's always these lightning round little questions agents like that that I I don't mind the policy questions and other little it's basically they perform in two seconds like give us a perfect answer in two seconds. I'd rather not okay so speaking of performance two seconds you you mentioned at the outset your debate I I watched every minute of both evenings of debate and I thought you did extremely well tweeted about it and other people noticed as well before we get to why you did or did not do well. Is that a silly exercise having ten people on stage stage onto different night I mean it's I see it as something to build on. That's definitely not the primary way that a voter should get his or her information because it's so artificial you got one minute for answers. You Got Forty five seconds for closing statement as many issues as there are out there that are important to the lives of people you only get to like six or seven of them during the course of two hours so it's it's something to build upon and go and get more information from if you like a candidate. It's definitely not something that you should make your determination on in terms of we are going to support just based on that. How did you prepare for it? Did you have prepared points and you obviously obviously came in there. Knowing you're going to talk about immigration seemed like you went in there knowing that you would respond very directly to the other Texan in the race congressman Beto O'Rourke how much of that is prepared and how much of that spontaneous and how much should be spontaneous. Well I mean we you did prepare and mostly. I was prepared because you know there's certain issues that are gonNA come off. You know immigration's can't come up. You know healthcare is GonNa come up so we could prepare for that. The other thing that you have to prepare for is there nine. In other people on the stage and you only have two hours that means that you have to be willing to fight for your time and I was concerned going in that the moderators might not hold people to their one minute and the this sounds very low level and just small but the worst nightmare for a candidate is that you get twenty two minutes into that debate and you still haven't really spoken right and you go through the whole debate and people really didn't hear from you. I mean look what happened. Andrew Yang in the second night may think he sent out a tweet need or something almost apologizing to supporters for not having more time let Andrew Speak Yeah and so but that happens in part because of the number of questions that are directed from moderators it also happens because you need to be ready to jump in when you have an issue that you WanNa talk about and they've asked a question but not necessarily to you yeah so we practiced all of that. You were prepared with respect to some of those issues you mentioned because you knew they were gonNA come up. Do you think Vice President Biden was unprepared to answer some of the questions and issues put to him by Kamala Hamil Harris about the statements he made about United States senators who may be did not have good views on race well. I mean I think at least if I read correctly think he has said that he probably wasn't as prepared as he could have been for that critique on the stage that night. I'm sure that he will be next time but yeah. We're thinking through that for the second debate. I mean you don't know when you have nine other people on the stage. What's GonNa come from what issue you have to be ready not only to tell people what you're about vowed but also defend your own record and sometimes when you have a genuine disagreement with somebody make the contrast clear and that's what I did the other day you know Congressman O'Rourke and I have a genuine policy disagreement about whether we should repeal this law that essentially allows the trump administration to incarcerate these parents and separate them from their little children? Are you in bed. Oh Rook friends <hes> I think the word friend is overused in politics <hes> we're not super clause. Is You know everybody in Congress is my friend is and my friend The Washington for not I wouldn't say we're super close but yeah we're friendly. You know my brother and I supported him went on a road trip with him down in the Valley of Texas when he ran against Ted Cruz <hes>. I think that he's a great guy. The disagreement that we have is not based on personality. It's just based on a difference of opinion on that policy. You're the only Latino candidate on the democratic side correct. That's right. Do you find that odd given that there are about forty thousand people running and you're the find that to find a dispiriting or do you find that is that good. Is that an advantage for you. Do you think about that at all. I mean I think it's disappointing because it's taken a long time for that kind of representation Tation to happen on the democratic side Bill Richardson did run in two thousand eight and of course on the Republican side you had Senator Rubio and Senator Cruz that ran so I'm not the first Latino to run by any means but they're still been to few view given the the number of Latinos and Latinas in the United States. Do you think is good or or odd that a number of your colleagues on the stage spoke sometimes at length to the audience and Spanish. You know I think on balance it's it's good unbalanced. It's good because as I've said to different folks in my mother's generation my grandmother's generation I mean people were punished for speaking Spanish in school. You know little kids were were punished for doing that and basically they're trying to beat the Spanish out of you and today we live in a country where kids like my daughter go to bilingual program Spanish English and so many other people kids kids different backgrounds study a second language in school and that's celebrated as something that is good to be able to speak a second language so on balance I actually see that as a progress and it's something that that we can be proud of <hes> now. I know that some people say well look. Is that pandering. You know I think on balance it's a good thing right I mean I don't know that it's anymore pandering than anything else and being inclusive in suggesting the folks that it's okay to speak another language especially my two cents <unk> says the interviewer yeah when you have administration that's making a lot of people feel like they're not welcome. Speaking Spanish maybe welcoming thing for sure and I think in the years to come that you're gonNA have candidates up there that are going to be able to speak to constituencies. He's in of course in English but also in different languages and that's that's part of the beautiful progress of this country you know we continue to write a story of his country of being more expansive when it comes to people of different backgrounds and offering more opportunity to everybody so I see that as a marker of progress and I said that in my closing statement you know I started out with a line in Spanish but said the fact that I can say that is a mark of the progress we've made. You're not fluent in Spanish. Has Your Spanish coming along. Uh So oh so you know I understand it pretty. Well just yeah. I'm not fluent in speaking of back although as you can imagine these days I'm getting a lot more practice so it's getting better and better <hes> it's just taking on some of these policy conversations in Spanish. It's still tough and so that's what I got to kind focus on yeah. It's interesting contrast. I'm an immigrant families. <hes> tell me of immigrants from India and we grew up in New Jersey a my parents encouraged us. They're probably gonNA listen to this either. Be Happier disappointed. They kept trying to get my brother and me to learn how to speak Punjabi. Jabu Hindi <hes> now the two main language they spoke and we growing up as among the only Asian Americans Indian Americans in the seventies kind of rebelled against that in so although we would not have been punished like you might have been for speaking Spanish in Texas we I think chose does poorly and didn't embrace we want to be the ones who spoke English English English. Only you know and I think that there probably are a lot more kids out. There of you know our kids generation that that are choosing whether it's <hes> Hindi or or Spanish or other languages they're choosing to hold onto that and to study it and and I think that's a great thing that they're able to do that and that it celebrated so you you went to a lot of great schools you did well in high school and then you and your twin brother went to Stanford by this is all stuff. You've you said publicly and I find it kind of extraordinary in more candid than most people are how'd you do in Your S._A._T.'s. Yes so I said I think I got something like twelve. Ten is when it was scaled sixteen hundred. I don't know what I think. It may be scaled that way again. <hes> New York Times magazine writer asked me about that and asked me about affirmative action and I was very straightforward because I think that if you're going to have a program like that in place that you need to be able to defend it in the rationale for it and so I said you know when I got in I think my grades we're as good as anybody else is out there that was blind and my extracurricular activities but my S._A._T.. Score was lower than the median matriculating student and the point that I made though which he didn't write about which I wish he had was that by the time I he graduated from Stanford that my l sat score was actually higher than the median Stanford student who is taking the L. set so the point that a larger point that I had made back then was it look walking I had grown up the schools that were segregated some of the poorest schools and in all of Texas and then through that affirmative action program I don't know for sure but we may have been given an opportunity as part of it but then when I was able to swim in those waters at Stanford with everybody else just like everybody else four years later when it was time to take that L. Sad I was actually able to do a lot better <hes> even than than folks that had come from different backgrounds and that's the way that it should work that that program was meant to give folks an opportunity to create diversity in ways that had not been before that sounds all right to me and yet people in your position people like you who actually have a platform form and a microphone seldom talk about it that way they talk about the benefits of affirmative action for other people and like to say for themselves that maybe have anything to do with it and they run away with a little bit. I think you're right. I think it undermines people's confidence in affirmative action in the first place I'm not everyone is putting their money where their mouth is so my question is given your own experience and how it's worked out for you and your brother. How does that translate into policy going forward in your mind especially if you become president well? I think that there's still an opportunity gap that exists exist out there for a lot of people including because of the color of their skin. I don't think that's true for everybody. I do think that there of course some families of color that are doing very well and have certain advantages. I think my son and my daughter are growing up with a lot more advantages than a lot of folks and certainly more advantages than I had growing up but there is still a place to consider the struggles at one had to overcome including struggles related to somebody's is ethnic or racial background there also other struggles that should be considered you know if somebody has overcome disability or other life experiences so there's a place to round out these classes whether universities or other places says considering people's life experience and background. I don't think that we should just jettison that I wanNA spend a few minutes talking about your qualifications your personality you have been. I think your self described and if I'm wrong about this I apologize but your self described as boring is that you set your own description self-described. Maybe not maybe it was probably Joaquin. Joaquin called you that that that sounds right. That sounds measured. I think you've called yourself measured. Yeah you know people often described walking in me is when it comes to politics especially as like overly cautious and they base that sometimes on you know that I didn't run for Governor of Texas or Senator of Texas and you're like I'll show you you president disagreed with that notion you know I- i- staked my whole mayoral tenure on a ballot initiative to raise taxes to expand high-quality full day pre K in our city put that in front of the voters that had never been done before and if I had lost that vote basically I think that would have been the end of my tenure as mayor <hes> I jumped into politics when I was twenty six years old and I often tell the story on the campaign <hes> <hes> stomp then was working for a law firm and that law firm got a client that wanted us to approve a land deal that I was against but I had this issue that under the professional rules of conduct for lawyers in Texas they do have professional rules. Is You know I couldn't go against the interests of that client so one day I just quit my job at the law firm so that I could go and vote against that deal on the city council <hes> that they wanted so I have taken a lot of risk. Risk <hes> in politics but I think just because of our temperament because of the way that sometimes you know walking and I come off as even-tempered people assume that we're not risk-takers but be measured is not the opposite of charisma. I mean obviously you wouldn't have been asked to give the twenty twelve DNC keynote speech if the president and others didn't think you had the ability to connect and be charismatic. Do you like that word is at another silly word that we use in our politics. I mean I'm I'm fine with that word. I think that's right. I mean that's why you saw the other night you know at the debate right right after I got off the stage and we went to the spin room as they call it. People are like Oh. Where's that person been? I tell folks when I'm out there. You know debating being nine other people of course it's not going to be the same as when you're talking to one person you know and it just person to person or even as we're talking now when I need to be I will connect with the American people in in a powerful way and I can easily do that and meet the meet the standard for whatever people want to call it charismatic or captivating or whatever but look you know and I'm just out here talking to folks I don't. I don't need to be the biggest go in the room. I don't need to be the loudest person in the room right. I'M GONNA try and be genuine and just be myself and that doesn't mean like performing all the time when it's time to do that people can see that I absolutely will. I think there's a little bit of disconnect and what people want in some ways. At least I'm speaking for myself. People want the candidate who is forward facing when you're in front of the public or giving a big speech or debating to Joe a lot of passion show a lot of enthusiasm to be charismatic to maybe even heroic be great order. <hes> you know a fighter be able go to fight back. Do all those things maybe dramatic maybe even on occasion when appropriate depending on the story you're telling me emotional and all that is great but then they want at least I want to know that when the leader is behind closed doors having a meeting trying to figure out how to fix the economy well how to deal with a foreign policy crisis or something else you you don't want that person to be on a roller coaster ride overly emotional or overly passionate you want them to be even Keel and not quick to anger and have a measured temperament intimate that word measured again. How'd you describe how you make decisions because that's mostly what matters not just what happens in the public? Are you quick to anger. Do you get worked up about policy issues behind closed doors. I think just first of all a lot the folks that I've worked with have worked with me and more than one role whether it was from the mayor's office to Hudd Hudd onto this campaign and so I think that says a lot <hes> in terms of people liking the way that I work with a team my the approaches respect for everybody. Also you have to be smart enough to know that you're not necessarily the smartest person in the room especially if you're dealing with policy subjects that there are people around you that have worked on them been studied them a lot longer. You don't feel like no more than all the generals no I definitely don't so you'd have to be willing to take people's talents and the information and resources that they offer and to put that together but then what I do agree with is look people elect a leader and that leader needs to make the final decision based on his or her own judgement and let me connect this to another part of the conversation right now and the campaign which is to say that I I think it's fair for people to consider the numeric age of somebody you know whether they're forty five or seventy five and I also think it's fair definitely for people to consider the experience that somebody has or lack of experience but what I think the best way to assess a candidate in a potential leader is is somebody's judgment doesn't matter whether you're forty five or seventy five and you can have a forty five year old with excellent judgment and a seventy five year old with terrible judgment or vice versa you could have somebody that's very experienced but their judgements not very good or in important moments their judgements not good somebody that doesn't have that much experience but they've demonstrated in little experience that they do have fantastic judgment so I think that that bats what folks should pay attention to and I believe that I've sat a good track record for judgment <hes> that doesn't mean that I haven't made some mistakes but right. I think I've demonstrated good judgment. So which of your experiences do you think best as prepared you to become present. Probably if I had to pick one I would say probably serving as mayor of a city because everybody is looking to you and you get a sense of <hes> a community in San Antonio is about a million and a half people so it's not a small city obviously been compared to the population of the United States but you get a sense of what it means to be in a role where people are looking to you for leadership ship to not only set the tone but to pursue policies that are going to improve people's lives and also to work with other policymakers in the community to create a better community. That's fundamentally mentally what you do was the president in now year. You're there to lead <hes> you set the tone for our country you address issues that are GonNa make sure that people's lives improve whether it's improving health care for education or strengthening social security and Medicare and so forth so I'd say yeah being mayor of the city of San Antonio <hes> and then right after that of course was HUD secretary right it can ask about the mayor job again. They're different cities. He's have different forms of city government in their week Meryl Systems and they're strong male systems and I may have this wrong but my understanding has been that San Antonio has a sort of a weak executive a week mayor system was being mayor San Antonio during the time that you had that job was that considered a fulltime job. Oh absolutely yeah the charter had not been changed since nineteen fifty one and so the job paid something like fifty dollars a week the year after I left I left in in two thousand fourteen in two thousand fifteen. The voters actually voted in <hes> they change the charter so that they pay like sixty five thousand dollars a year the system that I was going through though didn't reflect the reality of the job. which is your deathly fulltime mayor? I mean it's a city of a million and a half people <hes> that charter was from how are the responsibilities divided between the elected mayor and the city manager for example yes so it was a hybrid model. The mayor had a vote on the city council set the agenda and also was was in charge of <hes> hiring some of the departments like the city clerk for instance and had a role in the city attorney's hiring and then the city manager hired a number of department heads most of the department heads but what what that man for the mayor. I think this is this is very relevant to Washington DC today. What it meant is that if you were going to be effective you need to be excellent in that political ecosystem oh system? I mean think about how many times Mitch McConnell has frustrated what we wanted to get done. As Democrats what it meant for me was that I had to sharpen my skills of leading and setting the tone and pursuing policy but also getting people to go along with what I wanted wanted to do as the mayor and so I sent turn that office into the equivalent of a strong mayor system and people have written that <hes> and got big things done like riquet for essay and <hes> moving irving our local public utility away from coal fired plants and toward renewable energy pursuing economic development in the city. It was a good training ground for the political ecosystem that I saw in Washington DC later. I WanNa talk about some of the issues. We can't all of them because we don't have seven hours so immigration is something that you spent much of your time during the debate talking about you have <hes> obviously strong views about things so there's multiple aspects to this one is how you stem illegal immigration at the border and keep the country safe the other is Joan talk with first how you deal with what you already have in the country and so I don't know what the latest numbers but eleven or twelve million undocumented folks in the country at one end of the extreme you know there there are people I believe the president himself has suggested this although to do the seems not thought possible deport them all in on the other end. There's some version of path to citizenship. What do you say as president you want to have happen over the coming years and what conditions with respect to for those you know ten eleven twelve million undocumented folks in the country with with respect to undocumented immigrants who are living here as long as they haven't committed a serious crime if you committed serious crime than than I don't believe that you should be put on a pathway to citizenship but folks who have not committed a serious crime should be put on a pathway to citizenship how long pathway well I mean? I think what they were considering right in that legislation from a few years ago probably as I recall would have taken thirteen years I I would hope that it can be sooner than that. We would work towards something sooner than that. That brings up another point. which is we need to fix our legal immigration system? It shouldn't take people years and years to be able to become citizens supposed to who should come though is there any merit to the argument that we should admit people to the country who are most skilled and are most educated to contribute the most of the economy. Would you say to people who say that well. I I would say I agree that we should incre- increased for instance H One b visas that we should harness talent from around the world at the same time I disagree that that's the only lands that we should look at potential immigrants from <hes> you know all all of us have stories you know for people from different backgrounds but my grandmother came here when she was seven years old as an orphan from Mexico a little girl with almost nothing there plenty of families who they have the same story wherever they came from and yet two generations later one of her grandsons. This is the congressman for the community that she came to San Antonio and the other one is a candidate for president of the United States so people have potential families have potential in value beyond whether they have a p._H._d.. or they're highly skilled in one area. The other thing I would challenge is what we consider skilled labor. I've said very clearly I mean if somebody wants to go. Try and worked twelve hours in a field in California and see how long you can do that or go work twelve hours in one hundred and two degrees on a roof in Texas and then call that non skilled labor it very much is skilled labor because if it wasn't. Rent they would be able to find people there would be jumping to go do it and so I- challenge some of the underpinnings of what we consider skilled labor. You're not one of the people who says the phrase we should abolish ice correct. I haven't used determine what do you think of that term. I think that the term has <hes> for better or worse been co opted by the right wing and used to scare people. I've said that we should break apart nice and in my vision for immigration in the future we would do enforcement differently has how so is you recall about a year year and a half ago there were nine thousand employees of ice that wrote a letter stating that it is is not working the way that it should and in fact the way that it's set up is inhibiting the ability of the Homeland Security Investigations Unit to be able to do its job effectively. I would break up ice and separate operate H._S._I.. From the enforcement arm put most of that enforcement into the Department of Justice and also ensure that we have a culture change when it comes to enforcement what what what is improved by by putting that function which remains relatively similar under a different agency like D._O._J.. Well I believe first of all. That's GonNa Reset how we do things it gives you an opportunity to select new leadership to retrain and change the culture of the agency. I would also like to drill down and look at how enforcement is being done at a mechanical level <hes> I've called for different approach to enforcement for instance in inland areas in the country. Is You know they can go <hes> terms of enforcement up to a hundred miles from a border yeah and I said that we should reduce that down to twenty five miles so there are some ways that I think we can change enforcement in this country for the better so you spent some time at the debate talking about this issue of what happens to folks who come to the border present themselves and you referred to a statute and it's always music to my ears with when a candidate talks about an actual statute section thirteen thousand five followed by thirteen twenty six both of which are are known to people who have practiced law in this area criminal and civil in a nutshell remind people what it is that you want to do and why that's a good idea well section thirteen twenty-five that I addressed <hes> on the debate stage section thirteen twenty five of the Immigration Nationality Act was passed he and the nineteen twenty s and it essentially criminalizes crossing the border without papers but this is an important part from the late nineteen nineteen twenties until about the early two thousands in the vast majority of cases border-crossing was not treated as a criminal violent we never did it's still illegal. It's still illegal. They're still it's still a civil violation and people are still subject to the court system and ultimately perhaps being deported. It's just it's not treated as a as a crime. What I've said is that because this administration has used section thirteen twenty-five weaponized it two separate separate incarcerate migrant parents and separate them from their children and I wanNA guarantee that that kind of family separation doesn't happen in the future that I would go back to the way we used to treat these things which is as a civil violation oughta criminal but you don't need a repeal of section thirteen twenty-five for that so for example I was used during in the southern district of New York as my listeners know and we did it? You know a certain amount of immigration prosecutions I I don't remember ever prosecuting a single human being under thirteen twenty five the next statute of thirteen twenty six which makes it a crime not to simply enter but to reenter and a subsection that's actually makes it a particular crime to reenter after having been convicted of aggravated felony in the United States and those were the only cases that we prosecuted so you're in the country country. Illegally you committed a crime you were deported and you came back anyway and that was on a function of you know. Having some statutes on the books are not on the books. That was a function of good sound. I think public policy and exercise of discretion here that but here's the thing thinks like so let me be very clear. I don't think that's enough. I don't think that we should rely on the prosecutorial discretion of some attorneys U._S.. Attorneys in the Southern District of New York or any other district. I want to do everything that I can to make sure that nobody weaponize that again. So there's a difference there yeah I mean I take your argument about prosecutorial discretion. I'm seeing very clearly that that is not enough. I don't want to rely on that in fairness. This statute is important but also culture indiscretion is important because some people are now yeah but that's a different that intentions. If you take the statute away bad people will still find a way to separate book but I guess I would ask you and obviously you're very knowledgeable on this. What is it that that statute gives you you that you don't have if it's taken away if for eighty years I have no problem with thirteen? Twenty five was hardly ever used yeah well no so that's the point but that's the thing we cannot on this. Moral issue say that we're going to leave it up to the discretion discretion of U._S.. Attorneys as you know U._S.. Attorneys are by and large political appointees that we've seen in this trump administration a lot of them marching to the beat of the drummer of the president right so that's why hi that night at the debate. I was so animated about this like we're not going to leave it up to people's discretion. I do think that there that there is opportunity for discretion in other contexts obviously in the Obama Administration there was prosecutorial. To`real discretion was exercised but like you know I think a lot of people have had enough of when it comes to little children in their parents taking the chance that you're going to have a nice guy or nice woman in that office office. I'm not GONNA do that. I think that's bullshit. I'm not GONNA do it. Let's talk about education for a minute. You and I have both and our brothers have benefited immensely from education higher education. My family's mantra always was that's how you make something of yourself. That's how you survive survive in the world and that's how you accomplish things and that's also how you give back. Should we have a plan to forgive college debt in this country. Oh absolutely all of it. My plan does not say that know how much of it my plan is built on. Basically people who have gotten an education patients who have paid for it who are struggling to pay back though student loan so the way my plan would work would be eve. You're making less than two hundred and fifty percent of federal poverty level your repayment would be zero. If you make <unk> over that it would scale up the most where you could pay back you would be required to pay back would be ten percent of the income that you're making it any one time and there would be a cap on the amount of interest that could accrue if you're not paying anything back if you go twenty years which is the usual <hes> for a lot of these loans ten years or twenty years the the usual life of alone and whatever hasn't been paid back that would be relieved. How much is it GONNA cost well? I mean our whole education plan. I think was just under a trillion dollars. That's a lot of Zeros hit is where does that come from. During the course of the campaign we are going to release our plan and for how we would pay for what posed on Education on housing on a number of other things I give Senator Warren Credit and I talked to her the other day after the debate and I told her look you put out your wealth tax and I think she had a new corporate tax. I like some of the ideas that she's put out there and she has put out which we will do to before anybody votes because I think the American people deserve this okay well. If you want to do x Y and Z. How are you going to pay for it? In general general though I would say that the outlines of that are obviously we're going to repeal these trump tax cuts replace them with with something that works for people that have to work with the middle class and the working poor instead of very wealthy individuals and wealthy corporations rations so we would redo our tax code we would raise the top marginal tax rate close loopholes and favorable treatment toward big corporations we would raise the corporate tax rate again with Mitch McConnell running the Senate. You're going to do that well. I mean we're GONNA make a big push rush to do it yeah yeah. I think the point I if Mitch McConnell is they're all of this but we can make that argument against anything that a Democratic president wants to do right yeah the other thing that I think we can do which may be the most feasible and that will include clued in my tax plan their ways that we can be creative to get revenue for programs that we want that are not about increasing the tax rate on corporations or even wealthy individuals for instance. I've suggested busted increasing what we give to. The National Housing Trust Fund to build more housing this affordable the way that the National Housing Trust Fund is funded is through a transaction fee on the government sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so so every time they do a transaction. There's a little bit of money that goes into this National Housing Trust Fund we can enlarge that transaction fee. You know obviously it has to be reasonable but we can look for other ways like that to create revenue to fund. Some of these initiatives lives for what I believe needs to be twenty-first-century safety net. Here's an issue that is not quite a policy issue. It's more of acculturation. You've talked about culture owning up to mistakes that you make and this will sound quaint to some folks listening given the current climate but in two thousand sixteen when you were the secretary and hut you didn't interview with Katie couric on Yahoo News and the Hudson was behind you while you're doing the interview and at one point you said now taking off my head hat for the second obviously the seal remain behind you and he said just speaking individually making clear that you're about to say something on your capacity is Hud Secretary. Although you're never not speaking capacities HUD secretary as ethics rules suggest you said it is very clear the Hillary Clinton is the most experienced thoughtful and prepared candidate et Cetera et Cetera and for that a lot of people would say fairly mild statement with the caveat at the beginning you were called out by the special counsel's office not the Muller Office but Special Counsel's Office that enforces the Hatch Act which a lot of people heard about for the first time because among other people Kellyanne Conway Counselor to the president has been accused of violating the Hatch Act again and again and again and again and again. Would you do in response to that allegation by special counsel's Office yeah well and you've describe it. Well you know in two thousand sixteen in that interview I thought at the time that making that disclaimer about using my other hat and so forth at that was enough essentially to protect me against a hatchback violation. It turned out that that was not and when our Council at Hud pointed that out right away I said okay well. You know I'm GonNa admit my mistake admit my error and <hes> I did that and we made sure that I I never made that mistake again. That's what you said. I think it's worth hearing and I'm impressed by this. You said thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. When an error is made even inadvertent won the error should be acknowledged? Although it was not my intent I made one here the point to me is not that a narrow was made or not made okay but it was acknowledged in contrast to something I talked a lot about on the show you have Kellyanne Conway and other people who work in the White House who when told about a violation by the hatch enforcers thumb their nose don't respond attack them and then then say the law is very stupid without trying to work out some accommodation. What are you going to do to make sure that people care about the rules and they care about ethics in the White House again now then that's a great question and I would say also that you know there's something larger at play here? which is that is a leader? You have to be willing to just like every leader wants to take you know the glory of success you have to be willing to admit when you've made a mistake and we're living through this time period and especially with this president where the whole game name is don't ever admit that you're wrong. Don't ever seem fallible. You know don't ever met that you've made a mistake part of being a strong leader and of getting stronger and growing as leader is being able to recognize when you've made a mistake and take appropriate action which is what we did there you also think back throughout history I mean look at <hes> Watergate. Nixon could never go backward could never admit a now of course people can imagine why but could never admit a mistake or the Iraq war there there were different points where different decisions could have been made even after that first mistake of going in but that didn't happen and then you draw a straight line to this president the mistakes that this administration has made whether it's these he's impromptu unprepared summits with Kim Jong Hoon or the attitude of Kellyanne Conway which is instead of just admitting okay look. I made this mistake. I'm not GonNa do it again. She flagrantly goes out and intentionally continues to violate violated which is why the office of special counsel had to come and say she should be removed from federal employment which was unprecedented so just as a caveat there. I mean you gotta be big enough to admit when you're wrong. Just like you like taking credit when you're right. If you're a leader I agree for me. Throughout my career I have tried to improve the ethics and the kind of conduct of whatever body I've been a part of when I was a city councilman I was the one onto introduced <hes> campaign finance reform to San Antonio for the first time and we implemented it when I was mayor one of the first things that we did was we strengthen our ethics code so that lobbyists can have less influence at City Hall and if I'm President I look forward erred in the campaign. WE'RE GONNA release policy on this too. I look forward to strengthening disclosure requirements implementing the kind of practices that the Obama Administration did the that. You can't serve in the administration and turn right around and it be a lobbyist look I I would I would offer respectfully that you also lead by example that rules are one thing but oh of course you have a leader who says I'm not going to engage in this conduct or this behavior that matters a lot to absolutely. I think President Obama showed that you know I think he showed that I think so many others yourself included and other serving other posts have shown that <hes> and the next president needs to show that as well because this president certainly has dropped the ball there. I'm GonNa talk about policing for a minute. There's a lot of tension between communities and police departments around the country lots folks who've been observing the race have said that you have put forward. Perhaps the most comprehensive detailed plan for reforming policing in the country and a lot of the things I think in the plan sound great others might have some disagreement with an and by the way they've gotten a lot of <hes> praised from you know reform minded groups and from liberal entities and that's all well and good for any of those things to be effective and to work based on my experience with law enforcement there has to be buying at some level from from the police departments from law enforcement from the cops. How do you propose to get buy in for some of your more controversial or more dramatic proposals from the people who you hope to reform I would start by approaching law law enforcement in the spirit of tremendous respect and understanding that they do a job that <hes> helps keep our country safer that all of us oh them debt of gratitude for and they understand their job better than we understand their job working with police chiefs and others in law enforcement that have shown that they're innovators and have done some of these things in their own police departments because there are examples of that trying to harness a coalition of those folks folks to help do outreach because I do think that at least having been a mayor in my experience folks in law enforcement respect the opinion and perspective of others who have done the same job who've put their lives on the line? Fortunately there are folks out there who agree that we need to increase transparency and accountability and I would seek to utilize their help in doing this as much as possible working with mayors and governors because there are a a lot of mayors in some governors that agree on policy that needs to be changed and ultimately it really is especially at the local level. It's those mayors in the city council members as well as county supervisors and county commissioners that make a difference on on top of that we would also use a curate and stick approach which is to say to tie federal funding to whether a department adopts unacceptable use of four standard and then incentivize them with with Department of Justice funding whether it's the cops grants or other grants that we do and it actually proposed to change federal statute with respect to the standard of deference Oh to law enforcement officials when they engage in <hes> force that's right <hes> so that lethal force would only be used for all other reasonable alternatives have been exhausted and as you may know you probably know in California they just passed legislation that is similar and you hoping that the government over there will sign that legislation can ask you some lightning round questions because I know you love them so much money running okay <hes>. Do you believe that the U._S. should consider making reparations to do the African American community. I absolutely do and and I support Sheila Jackson lease legislation in Congress to appoint a commission that would make a recommendation to the president on that Mister Secretary. Are you woke. I think so yeah whether somebody's he's woke is something that other people got a judge but I think so. What does that mean? You know. I always see that is look. Do you recognize the struggles of other folks you know. Do you think beyond yourself and recognize what everybody needs to be able to get on in this country. Do you believe that the Supreme Court should have term limits imposed on justices. I'm open to that yeah. I don't agree with packing the court but I'm open determinants yeah do you pledge not to pardon Donald Trump either in advance of a potential charged that that might be brought against him more after they prosecution and conviction I would not pardon him and I know there's disagreement over Gerald Ford's pardon of Nixon arguments on both sides of that but I I would not do that because it would send a message to future president that they can do whatever they want and just get a pardon in the end. Would you consider like Donald Trump did putting forward you know a non-exhaustive list of potential Supreme Court nominees. I think the operative word there is non exhaustive sure yeah I mean I don't. I don't see a problem with a lot of people thought that's how Donald Trump helped get elected people have qualms about him in his own party and he put out a federal society vetted in blessed list and maybe on the other side people are not quite as focused on that but I I've often wondered why is that that's so effective on the Republican side and not so much on the democratic side. I think you hit the nail on the head in terms of that we do need to pay more attention to that and I do think that with Roe v Wade under threat because of the composition of today's court that did more Democrats more certainly more progressives are focused on the fate of the court and what we're GONNA do in terms of justices in the future so yeah but in terms of a list. I don't see any problem with that. What I do see a problem with breath is only listening to one group or Xing out the ability of the American Bar Association for instance to make a recommendation or that these candidates I think I would return the American Bar Association's role in the process? What is patriotism into you? Love of country also the ability to recognize both the beauty and the shortcomings of the country and to do something about it. I think true patriotism is actually whether it's just voting or other other ways like doing something to move the country forward another very broad easy question. What's your definition of Justice Hank <hes> fairness a balance of how somebody is treated tweeted out there? Do you believe that a sitting president should be able to be indicted I do. I do now what the outlines of that are for which crimes exactly but yes I do I do will you undertake any action as the president resident to revise a review the office of Legal Counsel opinion that says that a sitting president cannot be indicted. I absolutely would because that's the basis that <hes> folks are using right now not to indict a president obviously as we saw the mullahs report. I think I'm out at lightning round questions Mr Secretary thank you for being with us. Congratulations on your success I look forward to watching the upcoming debates and depending how things are going. Maybe we'll have you back. Okay Good Luck. Thanks a lot thank you so much. Sir figure the conversation continues for members of the cafe insider community join me in this special bonus or Julio told me about his Iowa strategy the Mitch McConnell effect and his favourite godfather he chose the right one to get that and the exclusive weekly cafe insider podcast sign up today at cafe dot com slash insider had both Robert De Niro and Al Pacino Yeah but they were all they were young back then well. That's it for this episode of stay tuned. Thanks again to my guest. Houlihan Castro. Stay tuned is presented by cafe executive. Producer is Tamara Supper. The senior producer is Aaron Dolphin and the cafe team is Carla Pirini Julia Doyle.