22 Burst results for "Michael Beschloss"
Donald Trump's disregard for our transition rituals threatens democracy
"Have you noticed. This is not normal. The president openly trying to say only the votes for him should count talking about sailing election. No legal path to succeed. We've been reporting on how those michigan republicans were welcomed at the white house after being shamed in their own home state for what they were doing. And donald trump is also taking petty moves that basically delay or mess with aspects of the transition. They won't mess with the transfer of power. All of this. We want to show tonight with. The evidence is a radical break from a longstanding. Bipartisan approach to the peaceful transfer of power in america that look forward to talking to the president so honored that he was attended with hospitality to me. And my wife. Yesterday didn't need to do this. And i am most grateful that He would do so good morning last night. I had a warm conversation with president. Elect barack obama. I congratulated him and senator biden on their impressive. Victory told the president-elect he can count on complete cooperation for my administration as he makes the transition to the white house. My number one priority. In the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures dental is successful. We turned presidential historian. Michael beschloss what contrast you see from there to now well once again are a donald trump tonight as a category of his own. Go all the way back to john adams who lost to the guy who was at that time as you know his political enemy. Thomas jefferson. Adams was angry about being defeated by jefferson. And he didn't hang around for the inauguration that tradition adopted established yet so adams got an a stage coach and went back to massachusetts before jefferson was born in but it began this tradition. That even when you have an incumbent president who is angry at the guy who beat him for reelection. Herbert hoover in one thousand nine hundred ninety three and franklin roosevelt over to the white house to talk about how they should transfer power even when they rolled up to the capital roosevelt and hoover sat in the back of an open car. They shared a lap robe. If you could believe it didn't talk much. But that's a tradition. And as you say the tradition is running alongside both the rules constitutional requirements and the norms that much abuse a framework or term in the last four years That provide a buffer a provide a context all this. We just showed the outgoing president's michael stays with us. We want to show michael. And our viewers the other cases where we have seen the candidates as mentioned who lost just conceding with some eye on their place in history john mccain making what for him was a painful concession to barack obama in two thousand and eight hillary clinton in that loss that shocked so many including many in the republican party. She got up the next morning and gave that speech pledging cooperation to president-elect trump and sixteen we've seen presidents who lost reelection like trump did face the music the people of the united states that made the choice and of course. I accept that decision. But i have to admit not with the same enthusiasm that i accepted the decision for years ago. People have spoken. And we respect the majesty of the democratic system. I just called governor clinton over in little rock and offered my congratulations. he did run a strong campaign. I wish him well in the white house. You know michael you deal with facts and evidence you have a rigorous process between where you start and publishing one of your history books. How do you measure class. Because what i see there is something. That's hard to prove. But i feel it inside which is across ideology in parties. We've just seen many different presidents showing a type of class or even grace that is absent right now at the white house. We're going to ari. I've got two sons who are now in their twenties but they used to play a little league and every time they played a game even if they lost they would shake hands with the winning team and say good game. That was assumed this. That's that's american. What is not. American is to claim when you didn't win to be a poor loser you try to be out of keeping with the tradition of all those guys you just showed even richard nixon who is not thought of in history as a particularly gracious winner. Nineteen sixty gets beaten by john kennedy. He was very angry about it and it was very sad about it but he goes out and tells us supporters in los angeles in america. Once a decision is made we unite behind the candidate who was elected that was even before the final results were. Yeah that's great a great example. You're given off as we say off the top of the dome michael We have one more for you. And that is al gore. Who did have this tight legal challenge. Everyone remembers frustrating. For both sides in the run up to it and then of course frustrating for the person losing so narrowly having won more votes overall total across america. Al gore take a look now the. Us supreme court has spoken. Let there be no doubt while. I strongly disagree with the court's decision. I accept it. I accept the finality of this outcome. Which will be ratified next monday. In the electoral college and tonight for the sake of our unity as a people and strength of our democracy. I offer my concession. If i may be a little optimistic here at the end of the week michael ask you to guide us. What would you as someone who cares deeply about america. What would you tell citizens both parties neither party whatever. What is incumbent upon the rest of us to do if we never get that concession from this president. What do we do from here together. We just say the. Donald trump is a gross aberration. Get him out out the door. The door doesn't hit him on the way out on the twentieth of january and say we demand our leaders that they do. What all those other candidates that you show tonight did show some graciousness and understand that democracy is more important. Listen to what al gore said. He didn't say. I agree with the supreme court decision in bush v gore. He says for the sake of our democracy. I offer my concession. Most canada's most presidents love democracy want to unite the country. Donald trump is a gross aberration and exception to that tradition. Soon he'll be gone. Michael beschloss gets the word on that. Thank you sir.
"michael beschloss" Discussed on KOA 850 AM
"Candidates are ratcheting up the rhetoric and filling up their schedules. President Trump added two new stops this weekend to his schedule after a cancellation in North Carolina last night due to high winds from Hurricane Zeta. Saturday, the president will be making stops in Reading and Butler, Pennsylvania. Joe Biden had so much fun being in Tampa at roughly the same time as President Trump yesterday that he added a stop in Minnesota to his Already busy schedule today. Trump will also be in Minnesota today. Both candidates will also be in Wisconsin today and around out there trio of states to visit Trump will be in Michigan and Biden will be in Iowa. I'm Mike Power. The number of voters making their voices heard now tops 82 million. Presidential historian Michael Beschloss talks about the staggering numbers of early voters. One reason is the pandemic. Another big reason is that many people I think, have the idea that this could be the most important election in American history. They want to make sure that their vote is cast. And that their vote is counted. The number of early ballots cast makes up 35% of all registered voters here in Colorado, That percentage is even higher. More than 2.1 million ballots have been returned, which adds up to more than half of the state's registered voters. Hawaii now the first in the country to surpass its 2016 voter turnout numbers, with four days to go before an election. The state is one of 42 votes strictly by mail. The elections project reports more than 457,000 ballots have been cast there so far, which is almost done. It'll all early voters from 2016 by officials on these troublesome fire, they do not expect any more growth for the time being after the recent snow incident, commander No, Livingston says That doesn't mean the battle is over. This fire will not be completely contained. Until Mother Nature puts it out. New mapping was done on the fire and the first infrared overflights since the snow storm. He's troublesome. It has burned nearly in 194,000 acres. Damage assessment work is also being done, and that is a slow process progress being made making through a lot of the big subdivisions. Other working that Troll Creek Estates area today pretty hard, um, hoping by Friday, maybe a little bit of his Grand County sheriff. British, wrote one in El Paso County. Public Health officials are warning of possible exposure to covert 19 on the mountain metro bus system. A bus driver and two employees that work for a mountain metro contractor have tested positive for covert 19. The driver worked on six different routes over five days. Anybody who rode the system's fixed route bus service between October 19th and the 26th is being asked to monitor for symptoms of the virus. People in our state and across most of America getting set.
A brief history of presidents visiting troops in combat
"The only civil war battle that took place in Washington the battle of Fort Stevens President Abraham Lincoln gotten his carriage one evening and made an extra ordinary request he wanted to go see the fighting nobody of course not this was a very good idea but Lincoln did and off he went Lincoln wanted to support the Union troops he wanted to see the situation with his own eyes and he very nearly got himself killed as Brown's zipped over his top hat young officers shouted get down you fool. Lincoln Secretary of war Edwin Stanton was so worried about his boss that he ordered silence to evacuate winking was not happy he said I thought I was commander in chief Lincoln was not the first president to step foot on an American battlefield president James Madison was at the battle of Bladensburg during the war eighteen twelve but Lincoln's visit is often cited by historians in recounting the importance of presidents visiting troops in or near war zones to better grasp conditions to reverse public doubts into signal to both US and enemy forces the country took war efforts seriously veterans have split on the value of such visits with some suggesting that these so-called dog and pony show IOS obscure the realities of war and drain military resources to keep the president safe true or not these visits provide lasting symbolic images of presidents as commanders in war military as well as all the requirements team allied commander in Europe during World War Two Eisenhower made a bold campaign promise days before he won the nineteen fifty two presidential election I shall go to Korea our said the conflict there was spinning out of Control and Eisenhower promised to review reflieffactor military political and psychological to be mobilized in speeding a just peace eisenhower made good on his promise the next month as president elect he visited commanders and surveyed Chinese North Korean positions from spotter aircraft dressed in a thick parka. Eisenhower squatted on an ammunition crate and ate lunch shoulder to shoulder with soldiers photos of Eisenhower there were symbolically important showing him as a hands on leader but the visit had important policy implications to confirming Eisenhower's belief that the war had become a stalemate Eisenhower brokered an armistice later that July and set after that we could not stand forever on a static front and continued to accept casualties without any visible results according to historian Michael Beschloss and his new book presidents of war speedy and reliable air travel after the nine I'm too blunt negative public opinion Johnson stood in a jeep at Cameron Bay choked up Johnson told his troops I could not begin to thank every man in Vietnam for what is doing
Peter Fonda, "Easy Rider" star, dies at 79
"Peter fonda as we remember him. The son of hollywood royalty the brother and father or of hollywood royalty and easy rider for an entire woodstock generation gone today at the age of seventy nine so our friend michael beschloss remains remains with us michael talk about the anniversary and today's loss well at our sympathies to peter fonda family obviously but it's almost else's of the stars came together to give us a message because on this weekend you have the sad death of peter fonda as you said the beginning of the fiftieth anniversary anniversary of the woodstock fair upstate new york and also this is a month after the premiere of easy rider with peter fonda and dennis hopper and jack nicholson that that great counterculture film all of which suggests to me the question was nineteen sixty eight sixty nine was that a time when america was more divided than it is in two thousand nineteen and i would say yes that was a time of an ugly war in vietnam a division between the generations that ran through absolutely every american household and anyone who despairs about a time when america is divided. I think has to go back to a moment like august of nineteen sixty nine fifty years ago to see how quickly we were able able to overcome it and how much d._n._a. Of the united states draws us together in the end. I would never bet against the united states in our ability to bring our our people together
Trump, who likes people who weren't captured, honors former POWs anyway
"Said somebody should run against John McCain who has been in my opinion, not so hot. And I supported him. I supported him for president. I raised a million dollars from a lot of money. I supported him. He lost. He let us down. But you know, he lost. So I'd never liked him as much after that. Because I don't like to lose. But but Frank Franklin we'll get to he hit me. He's a war hero. He's award. He's a war hero presumes captured. I like people that weren't captured. Okay. I hate to. That was a moment July of twenty fifteen and many people who saw that thought in the moment that it might end his month-old presidential campaign, right then. And there as we laid a learned it did not the president has since doubled down on his dislike for the now. Dead American hero. John mccain. It sounds as though POW's have not been his thing. Nontheless as president. He did what others have done on this date by declaring April ninth as national former prisoner of war recognition day still with us our measures, Michael Beschloss, and Jon Meacham. Michael, no, mention no reverence. He was blocks away from the Hanoi Hilton. Where so many Americans were tortured in Vietnam. No visit it's not his thing. It is gross and disrespectful to the memory of John McCain and self knowledge that I may not Donald Trump. You sort of wonder if it occurred to him when he was approving the idea of a national POW day that this was not exactly in sync with the terrible comments. He made about John McCain for years ago when he was beginning to run for president and those he's made even after John McCain passed, I just don't get it. This doesn't help them in any way that I can see Jon Meacham last night on this broadcast. We aired part of speech delivered Sunday by mayor Pete Fort, Wayne, Indiana, Pete Buddha, judge it was about his life in large part as a gay man in this country the last item on a long resume. He as I said last night. He's a lot of things. He's a Harvard grad.
"michael beschloss" Discussed on Stay Tuned with Preet
"First of all this was a vacancy the Donald Trump created by most accounts on his own. Least hastened by using his relationship with Anthony Kennedy son by what we're hearing who was his banker which is already a relationship that's a little bit closer. I think than comfort would require to talk to Kennedy, and perhaps encourage him to leave the court earlier with a promise. And again, we're relying on reports. And maybe the reports are wrong. But if the reports are right on the promise that, you know, he would appoint a successor that after the Kennedy might be happy with even one of his former clerks. So Brad Kavanagh was appointed. And the way that happened makes me even more worried because at the time that cavenaugh got into his troubles, as you know, he spent a lot of time at the White House lot of time with Trump's political advisors, if not Trump himself who essentially I assume said, this is the way this is done tell us your most potentially damaging secrets so that we can protect you in the hearings. I hope it didn't happen. This way. But the point is that because of what happened in that confirmation? I think he is closer to the president who appointed him then most justices in history that I can think of although there's an example that you've written about with respect to president Johnson Lyndon Johnson more than one and eight fordis-. Absolutely. A negative example Abe Portas was Johnson's crony Johnson put him on the court. I believe as almost a spy for Johnson on the court spent a lot of time with Ford 'as. And I'm sure he asked him what's going on on the court. You know, if I do a Bill such and such a way as it less likely to be declared unconstitutional, he even used Justice Ford is to write his speeches and to help them choose bombing targets and Vietnam. Totally inappropriate. Can we just can we just pause on that sure? Because that's a stonning. I don't even have a comment about it. Because because I've read I've read that and the idea that a sitting supreme court Justice was helping to choose military targets in Vietnam is something that came to light win came to light years later. There is evidence of it in the Johnson library, you see photographs for instance, of LBJ dealing with the Detroit riots in nineteen sixty seven and guess who's in the Oval Office leaning across his desk, advising him Justice fordis- shouldn't have happened. So it doesn't that a little bit suggest to defend Trump again, which is not my usual practice. I'm really enjoying watching this free. This is this is a new experience. And just want to put things in perspective. Look, I'm horrified by everything going on. Of course. Here's the problem as I see it. There were various presidents who made mistakes, whether it's overly close relationship with the supreme court Justice or exaggerating and incident to take us into war or not having a good enough, you of the constitution or putting people in internment camps and Trump defenders can point to each of those things, and I get it and to say, well, what is happening here. This particular thing is not as bad as other thing that happened seventy five years ago. I think the problem is that this president as far as I can see without the benefit of the passage of time is that he's deficient in all of the areas at the same time. And so it may be true. Lincoln was not perfect FDR was not perfect. Truman was not Obama was not no one is. But the pure aggregation of issues, lack of empathy lack of understanding of history lack of character. All those three things that you said are equal. Oil and essential are all lacking dramatically here. And maybe that's the difference. I think that's true. And in terms of the supreme court specifically, and I think also more generally, you know, if you were I we're talking two or three years ago before Donald Trump came to office. And let's say we were talking about a fordis-. I think you were I would have said two or three years ago. Those are terrible negative role models for justices in American history. People realize that now, and we're not likely to see that ever again, or at least in our lifetime. He shattering one democratic standard after another and on the court what I'm terrified by is this there's a very serious chance that Trump cases will come up to this court, and those cases and how they're resolved could determine I think it is not too much to say if.
"michael beschloss" Discussed on Stay Tuned with Preet
"Well, some things I think are pretty clear in real time, for instance, and Saturday night massacre, Nixon should not have done. And if the point that of Whittaker does result in stopping the Muller investigation and what Rudy Jolie Giuliani predicted that Trump would try to use executive privilege to conceal the molar report. There are some things that you don't need for decades. And I think that's one of them. And also, I think pre if people like you were me if we feel strongly about this. And we don't talk about these things in real time doesn't help very much four decades later when I think the survival of our democracy is in real question. Do you think that I do and what's the greatest threat to it? I think the greatest threat is you know, what Muller was hired to investigate which is at least the possibility that the sitting president of the United States has a possible covert relationship with Russia has or had a hostile power. That is something that goes so far beyond Nixon. I can't begin to tell you now putting on your historian hat again. Are there things that you were concerned about that are happening at the moment with respect to transparency where the keeping of records that you think will make it difficult for people like you and others to make an assessment about what was going on. A certainly I am I'm particularly worried with Donald Trump. Because of the reports that we've gotten that things are destroyed which would be illegal if that happens there are laws to preserve presidential papers. It's a more general problem that even goes back beyond him because for instance, in this book when I write about Franklin Roosevelt. Let's say. A lot of people around Roosevelt kept diaries. His wife wrote these great letters Eleanor. For instance, there's one line in one of her letters. She says more and more. I think that Franklin is a great, man. But he treats me like a stranger, you know, people wrote letters in those days that told you so much nowadays, we've got emails we've got some memoranda conversations. But it's not the same thing. I mean, I learned more than anything else about LBJ from these almost seven hundred hours of the secret tapes, they tell you what he was saying and private and the emotion in his voice problem is that nowadays a new president, whether it's Donald Trump or anyone else. They're told to things on the first day in office, if not before usually by the White House counsel number one keep as few records as possible because they might be leaked to a media organization, or there might be a special prosecutor, you don't want those things to exist. So the result is that modern presidents, even not just Donald Trump. They don't keep these records. And it's going to lead to the ultimate cover up because people like me three or four decades later will not have the ability to get into a presence head and figure out what was really going on. You'll have to rely on Omarosa Omarosa or other who who are writing press releases. And it's it's it's not a very happy prospect you've written about the importance of branches being independent from each other. We've talked about congress versus the presidency. But there's also that third branch that that Matt Whitaker at some point called the inferior branch. I don't think that's how it's described the constitution. No. But there should be independence of the court as well, which I am deeply worried about and in particular would the confirmation Brad Kavanagh, how deep is your worry there, very deep for a couple of reasons..
"michael beschloss" Discussed on Stay Tuned with Preet
"But in some ways, Trump has taken the opposite approach of what you've described in history. So rather than take a small incident and blow it up into a big one to cause a war his taking in some measure real threats and dismissing them and just proclaiming that. There are no more missiles coming. And there's peace and that he solved the problem. Have you seen that before? Well, given the choice between the two I sure would rather see that. But what I'm worried about is that he will do all sorts of things for politics that we haven't seen with other presidents that magnitude of the lies the exploitation of our armed forces. When I'm worried about is he might remember, for instance, that in the wake of the Persian Gulf war, George H W Bush's poll ratings went up to ninety percent. And if you know, again, we're totally speculating, but if you're Donald Trump, and you're feeling unloved and your political situation is getting out from under you one one way of hauling it back. I hope he does not think in these terms might be to use military force. I hope it never happens. What are the odds in the lead up to the twenty twenty election? Donald Trump bombs Canada. And maybe given his misuse of history bombs Canada. Because as he said earlier he thinks that Canada was our chief enemy in the war of eighteen twelve. So he's retaliating except for it's only about two centuries late. There could be a caravan in Ottawa. You don't write a caravan from Ottawa that's threating- threatening northern Michigan which voted for him the electoral college and two thousand sixteen so he feels personally threatened. Let's talk about a couple of other things that you have given strong opinions about in recent times. So last week we saw what you want to call it a firing or resignation. It's too forced resignation of Jeff Sessions. I think you said that what happened with Jeff Sessions was ten times worse than Watergate. I said it was ten times worse than Nixon. If this is going the way at looks. And what I meant by that is putting someone in like Whittaker as an acting attorney general who is declared himself as being opposed. To the Muller investigation. If you were worried about a president obstructing Justice. And I think that's what it would be by shutting down this investigation. That's why this attorney general was appointed or this acting attorney general that's something we never saw Nixon do twenty about all of this. And I go back to the theme of your analysis about how we make mistakes in day-to-day judgment that born out by history. Is it depends on how the bad decisions turned out. So I don't know what the press was saying. But I imagine in nineteen sixty one there were some people who are not pleased that the president of the United States. John Kennedy appointed his actual brother at age thirty five to be the attorney general many people were displeased, including the democratic speaker of the house Sam Rayburn who and they should've told you f k not to do it. And also, as you know, a law was passed by congress later that decade. Yes. Called the body Kennedy laws so would never happen again. But if you walk around. You know, a history class history has not looked that unkindly on that act. Even though it was probably a bad idea should never have happened can never happen again. And that law was passed. So how do we know for certainty that some of these decisions with respect to Jeff Sessions and Whitaker and others are as terrible as they look in the moment..
"michael beschloss" Discussed on Stay Tuned with Preet
"You're criticizing the soldiers what the constitution with the founders wanted was they always wanted as you know, as much criticism as possible because that keeps presidents from becoming dictators, and it also leads to the best leadership, and the problem, we've got now if I might take one step further, you know, you might have Donald Trump or someone else saying I want to get us involved in a major war to raise my poll ratings or to divert attention from Muller type report, or for some other reason. Donald Trump in two thousand eleven number of times tweeted predicting that Barack Obama would get the United States into a war in order to get elected. That's a bad idea to be in a mind of the president. But the point is that is something that is possible presidents in wartime can declare martial law that can do a lot of other things. So if you were worrying about a president with authority and tendencies who made violate various democratic standards that you and I love the time to worry about that most of all from my point of view is wartime. We've got to be absolutely certain that presidents do not get us into major wars. Unnecessarily, and especially after fake incidents like what I was talking about with poke and Mexico or the main Havana harbor or the Gulf of talking to that that's a good segue to bring this into modern times, and maybe put on a little bit more of a journalistic hat. Let's talk about the current President Trump. Sure in his view of war. Do you think he's someone who favors war because he favors strength or he's a bellicose guy? Or is it more along the lines of what you're suggesting that for Donald Trump electorally? It might be a helpful thing to play that way. In other words, it's not clear to me given all the other ways in which he's bombastic and threatens people. Whether he really is interested in having the fight, and I don't just mean war with actual tanks and weapons right easy. Actually interested in winning. Or is he interested in the distraction? And is he a big bluff her? I think if I had to speculate I would agree with you that what he's interested in. If necessary is is is using armed forces as a way to help himself, politically in a much more miniature sense we'd seen that done right before this election. Can you think of many incidents in history where a president has more blatantly exploited our armed forces for political reasons than this little side show down at the border, just before the midterm election. Well, we had there was a caravan coming Michael. Yes. The caravan is coming, and I guess because those forces are there it the MO that the election was over it. They stopped them in their tracks twelve hundred miles south, you know, there'll be people who thank God for Donald Trump for having. Brought that about has he been talking about the caravan since the election happened. No, I haven't cartilage. No, it was not so great a threat you, and I do not have the luxury of just hoping that he will not do something like what we've. Just discussed. We've gotta be hawk like, we've got to be vigilant we have to sleep with one eye open, always and watch carefully to make sure that there is not the danger that he will do things for political reasons that might lead to a major war that he doesn't even expect. I mean, he he also seems to do a little bit of the opposite. So he has these meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong on and even though the threat seems to remain as recently as this morning. The New York Times reports that there is continued activity in North Korea even more than before even more than before. And I don't know what the reaction has been maybe there'll be a reaction between now and the time that this podcast drops..
"michael beschloss" Discussed on Stay Tuned with Preet
"But the fact is historically that Congress's role in approving war in a forthright clear way is very limited. And hasn't happened. Very often last time congress declared war was nineteen forty two. It's always congress relevant to this at all. Absolutely. I mean, I think it's illegal. The fact that presidents have gotten us into major wars since then without the declaration of war of the constitution. Requires now, why has that happened? Well, there was a moment in one thousand nine hundred fifty historically the North Koreans invaded the south and Truman sent MacArthur and American forces to Korea to defend the south great so far. And then Truman's aides say when are you going to be going to congress for the war declaration as the constitution requires and I love Truman? But I hate him for what he did next. He said, I don't have to go to congress. I'm just going to tell them to go to hell, and they said, well, why why won't you go to congress news? If I go to congress, and by the way, that that's a direct quote, the go to hell part sounds like Truman and Truman says if I go to congress. This is the summer of nineteen fifty I will get involved in acrimonious debate. They'll criticize me and the administration and about five months from now I've got deal with mid terms. I will weaken my position. So I'm not going to ask for award that Croatian and let them try to stop me, congress that point was not gonna stop Truman with American forces in harm's way. And what Truman did in my view was he established an absolutely horrible precedent because fourteen years later LBJ is asked when are you going to do the war declaration for Vietnam? Johnson said Truman didn't do it. I don't have to do it either. And so he gets this terrible Gulf of Tonkin resolution, and that becomes a model for all later presidents. If you don't like Preet, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan that was licensed by a lot of members in congress, including a lot of Democrats who were perfectly happy oftentimes for craven reasons to vote. Vote for a resolution to use force which is absolutely meaningless really in terms of the constitution. But allowed them to say once a warp erupted, and once that war became unpopular a lot of the people who voted for that resolution said a while. I never knew that this was going to relieve to war. I was only voting to approve use of force. So my point is as strong constitutionalists. I won't I won't speak for you. I feel that we should get back to the habit that the founders require that you have to go for war declaration. And if that means that we get into fewer wars that are questionable that may not be supported by congress or the American people. That's the way it's supposed to happen in my view going forward. If the president wanted to take some action and could do it in the way that modern presidents have without getting a blessing from congress in what circumstances in real life. Can you imagine? President. Going back to congress like happened in the forties. And before in other words, in what way could it president do that in the future and not look week? Well, you might have if you had a strong congress, and you know, a big part of this and you were looting to it. Pre is that leaders of congress have oftentimes been lapdogs, especially in wartime. I mean LBJ I found he dealt with a majority leader, Mike Mansfield hated the war in Vietnam, criticized all the time. Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, William Fullbright same thing, I found this was not actually known until my book came out at the beginning of sixty eight Fulbright and his colleagues were talking about impeaching LBJ because of his lies and the way he was running the Vietnam war compare that to leaders of congress during Iraq and Afghanistan, they've gotten intimidated they've gotten people to say you criticize the president..
"michael beschloss" Discussed on Stay Tuned with Preet
"But for instance, I am very tough on LBJ in Vietnam, especially because you know, I studied these tapes that he made of his private conversations almost seven hundred hours and the worst one was in nineteen sixty five he's talking to his Defense Secretary Robert McNamara who I see is one of the great villains in American history. Mcnamara had said LBJ you must get into the war in Vietnam. President Kennedy would have done it. You'll be letting down your country if you don't do it and later on as your member pre of McNamara in the nineteen ninety is wrote a book, basically saying it wasn't me. I was always skeptical the Vietnam war from the beginning. I say it's. Great thing that LBJ made these secret tapes at his conversations because those were released a little bit later and show that McNamara had been lying in his book without the tapes. We would know that. But there's a horrible moment in nineteen sixty five. February the first month Johnson was sending American forces off to the Domin big numbers saying we're going to win in private is talking to McNamara. He says Johnson does I can't think of anything worse than losing the war in Vietnam. And I can't see any way that we can win. And if you were an I are talking about just about the worst thing president can do we can think of a few things, but I can't think of much worse than sending young idealistic Americans off to wage a war give their lives for a cause that in private even at the very beginning. Secretly, the president thinks there's no hope of winning can ask you. This do presidents who have military background handle the question of war. Better and with more restraint than those without military background or is there. No trend. I would feel comforted by president with a military background for two reasons. Number one president. You know, let's say Dwight Eisenhower. Dwight Eisenhower kept us out of war set on a half years that wasn't by accident in the mid nineteen fifties, the French withdrew from Vietnam. There was huge pressure on Eisenhower to get us involved in Vietnam. He said, no because of his life experience, he knew that getting into a land war in Asia would be very difficult. Plus, he had empathy with his soldiers. He had been the one who sat huge numbers of allied soldiers on d day off to die, which he knew in advance. And there's a photograph of Eisenhower nineteen fifty two eight years later where he's talking about d day any begins to cry and Eisenhower is not thought of as an emotional person. He covers his face. With a handkerchief because he so embarrassed to be weeping and public you find that kind of empathy in a presidents had that kind of experience. But the other thing you want is a president who knows the limitations of the generals Yuna. Sometimes you hear president say cluding someone we know just leave it to the generals. So worst idea leave it at the generals mean one of the stories I have in this book is something we didn't really know the full extent of before which is early nineteen sixty eight Johnsons general in Vietnam LBJ's, William Westmoreland comes to him and says we're stalemated in Vietnam, we might suffer a defeat. I think we should move nuclear weapons into South Vietnam and use them if necessary and Johnson, basically is irate, and he says absolutely not. If this war goes nuclear of the Russians and the Chinese will come in. We could kill tens of millions of people there could be a nuclear war, and he ordered all the dock. Coments locked up, and Matt and Westmoreland resigned. Few a few months later. This may have been the reason I want a president who understands that generals are great and strategy, but they have their limitations, and they're supposed to I want you as someone who's written books on the presidency and on war and this book about both those issues to explain something both to me into the audience that I don't think is so easily understandable. And that is who declares war in why every time there's the possibility of armed conflict somewhere members of the house and Senate get up and say, you have to go through congress, and there were various statutes, including the War Powers Act. There's a constitution that you mentioned that some people read more than others, right?.
"michael beschloss" Discussed on Stay Tuned with Preet
"We need a major war against Mexico all the way down to Mexico City, which he waged it was an illegal war. And there was a young congressman who rose on the floor of the house eighteen forty seven to say, this is an illegal war this incident, never happened. And the name of that congressman was ABRAHAM LINCOLN very important for him due of seen this close up with presence can do and then the eighteen ninety s William McKinley. There was the sinking as you. Well know of an American ship called the main. Yes in Havana harbor, so I remember those do well you remember studying. Many case and people the generation were furious about the sinking of the main because McKinley and others said it was sunk by Spain we need a major war against the Spanish. So we got into this major war. We took the Philippines. We changed the government Cuba. We took Puerto Rico wom other places, and we knew probably at the time. We sure know. Now what sank the main was not Spain. But was a boiler accident. But I guess you couldn't go to war against boilers. So we went to war against Spain. Again, a war that was not the way the founders wanted, and then the file one that is closer to our time is the Gulf of Tonkin incident in nineteen sixty four LBJ here is that there is some ambiguous evidence that the North Vietnamese of done this attack against an American ship. Johnson goes on TD and says there has been an unprovoked attack which he knew that. If there wasn't attack. It wasn't on. Vote because we were doing some things there gets congress almost unanimously to allow them to use armed forces in southeast Asia. He quickly finds out privately. There was never any attack. But in terms of legality of all this which you're particularly concerned with for almost ten years Johnson and Nixon wage this war in south east. Asia kills almost sixty thousand Americans maybe a million the the maze based on a tack that never happened. And they never disclosed this where then in the spectrum, do you place the war in Iraq, which was based on non-existent weapons of mass destruction in that country. That's an example as I was saying earlier, I can't really talk about yet is history. But I'll tell you the questions will be asked the question that will be ask is did George W Bush know that there was a very serious chance that there were not weapons of mass destruction. That's. Something we will know thirty five years right now. It's am big is. And the other thing is that can a case be made that this was the right thing to do. We will know that in decades because we will know what the Middle East looks like we will look no what what used to be called the war against terrorism looks like, and I guess as a historian. I have to be a little bit careful there because you know, I cannot tell you exactly, you know, what the outcome will be right. Well, fair enough, you know, not to complicate it further because we've been just talking about presidents, but you know, some people think that the Bush presidency was actually a co presidency, and you raise the question of what Bush knew about the quality of the evidence in the intelligence in Iraq. And there was another person who some people referred to as President Cheney. How do you how does history assess the excellence or lack of excellence of the president in terms of how he is served by those around him? I mean, there's the other famous book since we're talking about famous books about going to war the best and the brightest in. There was a disservice done to a president in connection with those times as well. So how how? How do you judge? It all goes on the president because he doesn't have to listen to his advisors. Even if the advisor is a very powerful vice president like Dick Cheney who may well have been perhaps was the most powerful vice president history..
"michael beschloss" Discussed on Stay Tuned with Preet
"What is Roosevelt reading? He's reading a biography of ABRAHAM LINCOLN by Carl Sandburg, and it gave him a lot of the lessons that Lincoln used to help prevail in the civil war and one of them was you know, I think maybe the cardinal lesson for any president of war. And that is you have to be immoral leader. You can't just wage war for cheap political reasons. And for instance, in Lincoln's cases, I write about he got into the civil war as we know any tried to talk about this as he was just fulfilling his oath to defend the constitution constitution says that states cannot succeed the south seceded. So he was tried to reverse that. It didn't make him a very effective leader really wasn't saying what was in his heart and finally about a year at of the civil war. It's almost like the moment. You know, you've seen the wizard of Oz. When it turns from black and white to color. Yeah. You know, it was almost like that Laken starts, you know, he basically stops talking about, you know, his oath on the constitution. He starts talking about this as a crusade to get rid of the evil of slavery, the second that happens this becomes a moral crusade, and he becomes a more effective leader. And the soldiers know what they're fighting for. And it actually was the right thing to do in terms of winning the war that was a lesson. That was in FDR is mine early nineteen forty one he's talking to congress, and he talks about the four freedoms the things that America supports in the world freedom from want freedom of religion and so on and so from the very beginning of our involvement in December of nineteen forty one after Pearl Harbor. This is not just you know. You know, something to restore the balance of power in Europe and Asia, this is a moral crusade to preserve freedom in the world, which it was and it made Roosevelt a much more effective leader. And the other thing is he had been Wilson's assistant secretary of the navy. He knew how bad it was for Wilson to be in this kingly isolation for the first year of World War One. He didn't make that the steak gave those fireside chat saying we they have some defeats for a while. But I wanna level with you Americans and let you know, what we're doing these stories of serendipitous books that presidents have read or have read serendipitous Lii is interesting to me. And I wonder how you'd respond to the following question in part because it assumes a fact not an evidence. And that is if it were the case that Donald Trump read books, what book do you think at this point given how we're facing issues with Russia and North Korea and a whole host of other international problems. What book? Should he be reading? If he'd read books. It's not a book. I would love to have him read the constitution. And maybe you could be his tutor. Any president who understands the constitution could not have done many of the things that he has been doing. And that is true of other presidents, by the way, Nina, more minor way. I think I write about James Polk, for instance, as, you know, one of the things the founders and Philadelphia were really concerned about was that the people who would decide whether we get into a major war or not would not be presidents, but members of congress, and they basically say you want wanna war declared, congress does that not a president and one theme we've seen in history. And I am extremely worried that Donald Trump will be tempted to do this is we've seen a number of president stage fake incidents or exploit fake incidents to get us involved in a major war, James Polk. Eighteen forty's. He wanted privately a big war with Mexico because he wanted to take from Mexico almost a million square miles of Mexican territory. And bring it to the United States. What he did was I write about it. He staged a fake incident of the border. Does that sound current to pred- it brings a bell? Unfortunately. But in pokes case, he provoked the Mexicans to attack some of that retailers soldiers, and then poke went to congress and said, there's been this horrible attack on us by the Mexicans..
"michael beschloss" Discussed on Stay Tuned with Preet
"Only famous in the subtitle was. From Nebuchadnezzar to Sarah Bernhardt, so you can see predate covered wide swath of human history, that's a broad range broad range. And I don't think he he often thought about Nebuchadnezzar or Sarah Bernhardt, but he used to say when I was trying to think about what to do with the atom bomb or what to do in Korea. I would think about what had read particularly in that book about ABRAHAM LINCOLN or Andrew Jackson. It was never an exact parallel. But there were some areas of what they had to deal with that gave me some comfort and some insight. So that I could go ahead. Fact, can I mention one other JFK and the Cuban missile crisis nineteen sixty two fortunately for all of us, just before then he read a book that I'm sure you've read read Barbara Tuchman 's guns of August, it's assigned reading in most colleges if you were a political science major I'm glad to hear it. And I was a political science major was assigned to us to Williams College. The lesson of that as you. Well know is basically World War One happened because there were a lot of miss communications between the sides that were about to go to war. So Kennedy had just read that before he's going to the Cuban missile crisis. And what better lesson would you want his head than exactly that because during the missile crisis? You know, he he keeps on saying. I want to make sure that some lower level person. The defense department doesn't put out some statement that's going to convince the Soviets Khrushchev that we're about to do a first strike attack mistakenly, and we get into a nuclear war accidentally that could kill hundred million people incinerate much of the northern hemisphere. That's the way history really can guide the president at an absolutely paramount time this maybe not a Willer ticketed question. Anything's may not be distinguishable and the overlap, but if you had to pick which of the following qualities as most important to a president to do the job. Properly at one is a good grasp of history. Another is good judgment. And the third is is good character. Which is the most important because they are a little bit different yet. They are different. But I think I would say that's a three way tie. I have never seen a great president. That does not have those things. And also, I would add to that. This is a part of character empathy Lincoln in the middle of the civil war. There were so many soldiers being killed because of the decisions that he was he was making his people said we need a new national cemetery. Where do you want it and Lincoln said build at next to my summer house because it's going to be intensely painful to me, but I want to see the union graves being dug I want to see the grieving widows. I want to see the crying. I want to always be reminded of the real life results and death results of the decisions I'm making. That's what empathy is that's what you. Really want to see in a president you need balance. Right because you can be paralyzed, by empathy because you don't want to cause harm in the short term. Even though it might cause longer term good and peace and Lincoln. Obviously, you know, even if you haven't read a lot of history, if you've watched any movies, you know, that he spoke very movingly not only in public. But also in the letters that he wrote to the families of fallen soldiers, which is a great distinction between him and the current president who today has not even visited any troops. Not been dec- troops not been to a base not been to Iraq or Afghanistan and also has sent troops to the border in a reality show that doesn't have too much connection to read it real life reality. I mean, it is something that we have rarely if ever seen in presidential history, which presidents, do you think in recent times have had the best grasp of history. I think Kennedy did Kennedy wrote history Truman as I've mentioned. Roosevelt tried. I mean, he was not as much of a history reader, but member I was saying about Kennedy. It's a good thing. He read guns of August. Right. Well, FDR as it happens. Sometimes God looks over the United States in one thousand nine hundred forty the year before we got into World War Two..
"michael beschloss" Discussed on Stay Tuned with Preet
"So I'm not one of those who says that this memo was complete trash, although I think that has a lot of weaknesses, but if you're going to make a decision that has grave consequences, and in this case that includes who leads the Justice department, not just for purposes of overseeing the mother investigation, but for purposes of of making sure that the rule of law is upheld. And equal Justice before the law is something true for everyone in every jurisdiction in every state in the country. Then you should be on very very solid footing legally constitutionally ethically. Optically I think, you know, the the others context in which I make this point that not everyone loves is with respect to the question of whether or not. Bob Muller might indict a sitting president. And that's the other time that the oil c- office has come into play. And we've talked about it. So there's an LLC opinion that's still operative. That says a sitting president cannot be prosecuted there are arguments to be made that that's not right and their arguments that smart people have put forward to say constitution, actually says for this reason. And this other reason, and this third reason that the president should be subject to prosecution if he's committed crimes, and there's evidence of it. My point only is when you have something with such high stakes where the whole country is watching and the consequences of taking some action really can cause tremendous upheaval and caused tremendous undermining people's confidence and institutions you don't undertake that lightly, and you don't do it based on a minority view or week reasoning. And that's why I think Muller won't indict a sitting president and probably should not. And in this. Completely different context. I think the same is true in the other direction. The arguments in favor of appointing Whitaker legally and constitutionally are weak, and it shouldn't be done. So you know, if you're having a hard time following the arguments about the vacancies reform act and the appointments clause. And this other statute that talks about DOJ succession, I wouldn't worry about it that much that'll be resolved potentially with respect to this lawsuit that the state of Maryland has with the Justice department that you may have read about lawyers will argue all sides of this some of the lawyers on all sides will sound reasonable, and they will have some precedents to put forward, and they will have some people on their side on certain certain op-ed pages. But putting all that aside. Your commonsense. As a citizen tells you that the appointment of Whitaker stinks to high heaven now back to that footnote about the John UPS. He says very interestingly in a piece in the Atlantic that in some ways the appointment of Whitaker, even if he tries to interfere with the Muller an investigation has done by mother a favor. How can that be well if rod Rosenstein had attempted to stymie the investigation or turn down a request for resources or put the kabosh on bringing the diamond against somebody that would have been well within rod Rosenstein authority authority that Bob Muller acquiesced in and respected. And that everyone else did also very clear that rod Rosenstein was properly exercising supervisory authority over by mother and his investigation. Now, the question comes what if Matt Whitaker tries to interfere or stymie the investigation or starved of resources tells by motor stand down on on one thing or the other. Well, John you suggests and it's interesting. Bob Muller may have now a base. This to say it's an unauthorized order because you are not properly installed as my supervisor as the acting attorney general, and I can defy it. And we can argue about it in court. Interesting point well worth watching. My guest this week is Michael Beschloss. He's a commentator and historian with deep knowledge of the American presidency. He's the author of nine books, including most recently presidents of war the ethics story from eighteen o seven to modern times. I talked to him about why? And how presidents Star Wars how to assess the Trump presidency, and why history should matter to our elected leaders. And we talk about his wonderful shady Twitter.
"michael beschloss" Discussed on Stay Tuned with Preet
"Observation about the memo is a it's long. Length doesn't necessarily say anything about the quality of the arguments made, but on what should be a fairly simple question of whether or not the appointment was lawful, sometimes length suggests weakness in reading the document, and I haven't seen with other people have said about it yet. It reads rather weak and defensive it relies on president that's fairly outdated. There are a lot of examples that are given most of which almost all of which happened before eighteen seventy which doesn't make them meaningless. But it does make them weaker. Now, the office of legal counsel is supposed to be in the business of being sort of the last word on what is the law in the correct interpretation of the constitution for the executive branch. And in many instances, it does that this however has that feel like some ole see memo's historically have of trying to explain something after the stuff is at the fan. So at the risk of boring you all a little bit on the legal issues at hand. In the Whitaker appointment. They're essentially three legal authorities that get discussed and addressed and debated one is the vacancies reform act which gives some guidance as to who can replace someone when there is a vacancy the second is more particular statute that describes succession within the Justice department. It's a statute section five eight and the third is something that you probably have heard of it's called constitution in which there's something called the appointments clause. And so in a fairly tortured way based on my quick reading the memo suggests that the vacancies reform act allows a president to appoint someone to a vacancy even that the head of agency in an acting capacity so long as that person has merely been in the department for ninety days in the past year, which is true of most of the breathing people at the department of Justice, there is I think better authority that the constitution makes clear that if you're going to have somebody be what's called a principal officer and not an inferior officer that person. Could only be pointed after some period of advice and consent by the Senate, which is why the memo itself acknowledges throughout history since the beginning of the Republic, they could find only I think one instance, where an attorney general was replaced on an interim or acting basis by someone who is not Senate confirmed already, and I believe that occurred in eighteen sixty six so it's a week precedential argument. What is also interesting is separate and apart from the particular arguments made the kinds of people who have flatly stated that the appointment of Whitaker is illegal and unconstitutional. One of those people, by the way, is John you who you may remember from some years ago who used to be at the office of legal counsel himself who's responsible for a period of our history and legal analysis for justifying certain kinds of torture. So when you've lost John you on a constitutional principle. I think you've lost a very serious conservative voice. Who in the past has gone out of his way to say, the executive has incredibly broad powers to do what he or she wants another note on John news analysis in a minute. But the central point here for those of you who are not lawyers, and it's a point of made in other circumstances and contexts, and it's this they're very smart lawyers on all sides of every question, and I have made arguments that I know were weaker than the stronger arguments, but you have a client to serve. And so you make the argument just because an argument can be made that is not complete nonsense. Doesn't mean it's the argument that should prevail now private parties. Do this all the time you sue someone and you make an argument, and sometimes the judge might buy your terrible argument. And so that's why you often make it you also, you know, have an ethical obligation as an attorney at the bar to make those arguments. My view of the Justice department is higher that if you're at the office of legal counsel, or you're in the US attorney's. Office. You should not just be defending actions that are taken that are able to be criticized and justifiably denigrated but decide what the best interpretation of the law is and give that guidance..
"michael beschloss" Discussed on Stay Tuned with Preet
"Let's get to your questions. This one comes from an Email from Anna Benassi who asks one thing I'd like to hear discussed what could have motivated Jeff Sessions to comply with Trump's demand for his resignation. Do you have any Intel? And or theories about why sessions should kowtow to the president's last official act of abuse against him. So, you know, it's all speculation. And until Jeff Sessions has his big interview on sixty minutes or on the today show and decides to talk about it, we won't know, I found it interesting through the last number of months, the Jeff Sessions continued to stay in the job, even though he had been humiliated and taunted by his boss, the president of the United States on Twitter in public fashion, as you all know, if you listen to the show when I was asked for my resignation, I refuse to give it and insisted on being fired. So there would be a clear record. And if there was anything the fairies about it that there would be accountability. I'm not alleging that there was. But I think it's sometimes good to have a clear record of who wanted you gone. And why I think it's possible that in some fashion Jeff Sessions tried to have it a little bit of both ways. So he gets asked for his resignation he submits it. But then makes it very clear in the letter that the resignation was requested by the president. And so it could be that Jeff Sessions. In his own unique peculiar way thought that he was maintaining some amount of dignity by tendering letter of resignation while making it clear that it was requested of him. I don't share that view. I would not have done it that way. But to each his own the other thing is it's worth noting that the question of whether or not he was fired or resigned, you know, can't have some bearing on the question of whether or not President Trump could replace him with Matt Whitaker in an acting capacity because there's a statute that speaks to that. Which, you know, people have opined on I don't know that it matters that much, but, but there is some legal debate on the effect of someone being fired thereby causing a vacancy that's the result of conduct by the president as opposed to some happenstance emergency vacancy caused by someone leaving office to be with their family or through death or incapacitation or something else. I don't know that Jeff Sessions had that in mind. I tend to doubt it that. He was trying to smooth the path for a successor. Because among other things the reporting. Has been that if sessions has felt betrayed by first having met Whitaker imposed upon him as his chief of staff by the White House, which is what the reporting says seems to make sense to me and also underestimated the degree to which Matt Whitaker was kind of additioning for the job while Jeff Sessions was still in office. So it was my personal opinion. And that's all it is the Jeff Sessions thought this was ultimately at the end of the day the classy way for him to go. This next question comes in a tweet and lots of folks have been asking questions related to this issue. This one is from rob Meyerson who asks how does Whitaker's appointment to head DOJ work has it differ from nomination confirmation process and succession plan, which goes to deputy, AG Rosenstein. So obviously, this is a question that has been occupying the minds and thinking of lots of legal scholars, but also is important to everyone in the country because it matters who has the Justice department, whether it's someone in a permanent position or in an acting capacity like Matt Whitaker and the question is was the appointment of Matt Whitaker whereby the president bypassed all sorts of Senate confirmed people in the department who were seasoned who have a sense of continuity who have expertise like the deputy attorney general like this elicited general like the assistant attorneys general who had various enormous significant departments within the DOJ all of them were bypassed format Whitaker. And so. To my mind. Even before you get to the legal question of was it lawful was it constitutional..
"michael beschloss" Discussed on The 11th Hour with Brian Williams
"Because you know if you have like, let's say, one of the normal presidents walk in, we've had a lot of normals. And some great ones. You'd have what three hundred people show up. President Trump tonight in Ohio State that has given us eight US presidents reminding the crowd at his rally that he is, shall we say different from other presidents Trump also spent a fair amount of time offering up his take on a story about ABRAHAM LINCOLN and Ulysses s grant of Ohio here is just a part of that. And one day it was looking really bad and linkages said, you hardly knew his name and they said, don't take him. He's got a drinking problem. And Lincoln said, I don't care what probably as you guys are women. And his name was grant general grid. He started to win grant really did he had a serious problems, serious drinking problem. But man, was he a good general? And he's finally being recognized as a great general, but Lincoln had almost developed a phobia because he was having a hard time with a true great fighter at a great general Robert leave, but grant figured it out grants. Finally, being recognized as a good general. We are so lucky to have the perfect person to get to the bottom of this story with us tonight. NBC news presidential historian, Michael Beschloss, and we have the very best news for patriots and lovers of American history alike. And that is that Michael's new book is out the result of years of work on his part. It is called presidents of war. It is now available wherever you buy books, Michael. I know he didn't get that. Story out of one of your books because I've read them all, what do you make of who's talking to him and what did you make of what we just heard. I think the pre I'm glad at least he's talking about a historical figure. It's not quite the way it happened. And I think maybe grant was recognized a little bit in the past, not just these days. Yes. I had heard his name before once or twice. I think we've even discussed. I'm on page five, twenty six, which is this much book and thank you for this book. I'm enjoying it thoroughly. Let's talk about presidential power and the the right to start or escalate if not the right, the ability to start or escalate a conflict and what I know to be your concern right now in twenty eighteen. Well, the idea of the founders was that it should be done by congress and award declaration. Haven't been any of those since one thousand nine hundred forty two presidents can in a way, get involved into wars in in wars, almost single-handedly and almost overnight. And my worry is with a modern President, Donald Trump is president that he made Tim be tempted at some point to lurch toward war because he knows that that can help a president who is has an election ahead of them in two thousand eleven two thousand twelve President Trump before he was president would tweet predicting that Barack Obama would start a war in order to get elected in two thousand twelve, very bad idea for a president to be thinking that way as luck would have it. This last page I read last night five twenty six has a vignette. A scene Johnson's meeting with Eisenhower. Interestingly, JFK always referred to Ike as Jinro. Because as supreme allied commander, JFK a young navy man served under Dwight David Eisenhower more war to Johnson's talking to Ike about the problem he's having in Vietnam. I says, by the way, be willing to use whatever weapons you have hit them from the air including, but not limited to tactical nuclear weapons. And I'm thinking, what is it that that leaves these presidents hardened by war? What do they have in common? What's the after effect? Anything shared by all of them? Well, you know, you've got exact gone exactly to the essences usual Brian, as you know, this book is about nine presidents who were involved in major wars all the way back to eighteen seven, and there are a lot of things that they do have in common. A lot of them have emotional breakdowns..
"michael beschloss" Discussed on MSNBC Rachel Maddow (audio)
"Approved to over and secret forever within two days. He takes action to make sure nobody even has any idea that this was even ever considered because he did not want the American people to know that this was even a potential option even as adult and paranoid nuts as Johnson was because of the at Phnom at this point in his presidency, he's still had the wherewithal and the savvy to shut that plan down when that bubbled up from his generals. Who would you rather have been in charge in that situation? The generals or this somewhat crazy president. Who would you trust to do the right thing now, if that kind of situation arose now. Great. Michael Beschloss joins us next with us. Whenever any big news drops out of this current presidency. One of the first people I always want to turn to to ask, has this happened before? Is this unprecedented? How freaked out? Should we be? One of the first people we always turn to is NBC news historian Michael Beschloss in addition to being an invaluable unending font of information about the American presidency. I have to tell you he's also a great friend of this show and a huge resource for us as we try to do little bits of history every now. And again, just to keep us all on on even keel. We've got no better friend on this show than Michael for keeping us honest on that stuff. He's now written a new book and it's one he has worked on for ten years. It's called presidents of war in the course of researching this book. Mr. Beschloss went through and transcribed among other things, six hundred seventy hours of tape from the LBJ Whitehouse transcribed at himself. But LBJ is one of just eight presidents who Michael Beschloss puts through the ringer. In this new book, which again is called presidents of war, and it's just out officially as of today and be presidential historian, Michael, Beschloss my friend. Congratulations. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so well. Okay. I have a whole bunch of things to ask you. First of all, you wrote to gigantic books about LBJ tapes, and then you found more. I mean, because your books before in the LBJ tapes didn't include a bunch of the stuff that's in here. Does it make you wanna kill yourself? I mean. Sometimes when I listen to him and sometimes because LBJ just as you were saying about operation, fractured jaw, conceivably, save the world because the generals in Vietnam were thinking about using nuclear weapons in this little civil war that could have gone nuclear could've brought in Russia and China Johnson was a hero for stopping all that at the same time. Just as you were saying, right, Rachel, you just want to throttle him because he was going a little bit crazy and even more serious than that, he was beginning to take on certain authoritarian tendencies. He was abusing the FBI. If you were a columnist who wrote against LBJ in the Vietnam war, he would get the FBI to investigate you and he'd get your FBI file out and you would be in danger of him using that against you. And that is something I've found with all these presence of war, at least most of them that I've studied, which is that you know, they get into a war, that's fine. Oftentimes for the most admirable. Reasons, but oftentimes they use war to sort of bring on repression that converge on a thorn terrorism. For instance, Woodrow Wilson, this great champion of civil liberties waging World War One came up with something that you've talked about is, you know, called the espionage act that was in the late teens. Here we are all these years later. Donald Trump has been using the espionage at to go after journalists and presumably try to root out leakers, but in fact, to intimidate journalists from writing what they should..
Rep. Duncan Hunter, wife indicted for misusing campaign funds
"Will say that the luckiest man in the news today is congressman Duncan Hunter, congressman Duncan Hunter, Republican congressman from San Diego really was indicted today by federal prosecutors along with his wife. We thought it was a joke when it first crossed the newswires today. Like one more thing can happen today, but Duncan Hunter sitting congressmen was indicted today along with his wife for felony campaign finance violations wire fraud, falsifying records in conspiracy that makes him oddly the luckiest man in the news today, because if you ever gonna get dated. How about today? Right? A sitting member of congress who is running for reelection this year, getting indicted along with his wife and charged with multiple felonies that is usually a big showstopper of a story today that I mean, it's as story. I will submit for your affiliation. The fact that these were the two first sitting members of congress to endorse Donald J Trump for president in two thousand sixteen. These two were the first on the left congressman. Chris Collins was indicted on federal felony charges less than two weeks ago. He was the first sitting member of congress to endorse Donald Trump for president and then on the right side of your screen, that's congressman Duncan, Hunter. He was the second sitting member of congress to endorse Donald Trump for president. And now today he too has been indicted on multiple federal felony
"michael beschloss" Discussed on MSNBC Rachel Maddow (audio)
"Qualitatively different i mean even when you had for instance you know presence like fdr dealing with someone like joseph stalin with whom he didn't exactly all the time disagree he wasn't always in lockstep saying that stalin was wonderful all the time donald trump never criticizes putin and we always have to ask why is this happening you know some people are saying maybe putin has something and the russians have something on trump i think it may be something else you know this is a month when to other leaders became leaders for life one is flat mirror putin and that so called election and the other was president she in china and one of the ideas that donald trump talks about as america first with this idea that maybe the chinese will have a sphere of influence the russians will have their sphere we'll have ours he joked about being president for life donald trump did said it was a joke i think we always have to be suspicious that maybe in his mind this is not such a joke that is dark and probably necessary to hear michael beschloss nbc news presidential historian thank you for that very scary big picture discussion my friend thanks more pleasure be we'll we'll be right back stay with us i never have more than one person on at a time on the show as a general rule one of the time single file it's one of the things that we do here that is a little weird for the cable news business but that's our general rule.
"michael beschloss" Discussed on MSNBC Rachel Maddow (audio)
"Nbc news presidential historian michael beschloss always learn something talk new thank you thank you are ahead we have a big news story from inside trumpworld this is from a team of reporters from three different news outlets working on this story for weeks one of them is here tonight that's ahead so last spring when president ted cruz was still a plausible idea back when he was winning in places like wisconsin north dakota another of donald trump's old business deals was back in the headlines a project called trump's soho which is not in soho but is a forty six story tower the trump organization was struggling to fill in april 2016 and new york times reported that there was a settlement of a lawsuit over trump's soho from buyers who alleged they'd been tricked into purchasing those units with exaggerated claims about the sales times also reported that trump soho been the focus of a criminal investigation on fraud and that was before buyers who sued then settled out of court withdrawing their allegations now that story you might not have heard about it because he didn't do much politically during those busy primaries well donald trump is well into his first year as president dogged by the russia investigation it turns out the story of what happened next in that case actually has a lot to tell us about how he responds to criminal investigations the headline today how ivanka trump and donald trump jr avoided a criminal indictment first the trump organization sent in their top criminal lawyers but when that didn't end this.