CBS News' Face The Nation, 5/14

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Sunday, May 14th

It's been nearly a week since President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey -- leaving many questions unanswered. We hear opinions on the firing from both sides of the aisle and from Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. All that and more on this week's Face the Nation.

Guests: Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense; Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), ranking member of House Intelligence Committee; Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska), author of “The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis – and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance” and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Take a talk with you anywhere we'd be on the news talk thirteen seventy at this year. Keep up with the latest breaking news and our search for top thirteen seven. Today on face the nation the president fires the FBI director of the White House struggles to get its story straight. For a president who made his reputation firing people on television you're fired it was a messy week of pink slips he started with new questions about why president trump waited eighteen days. Before firing national security advisor Michael Flynn. From lying about his contacts with the Russians. Then came Tuesday night firing of a man leading the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the election. FBI director James called me. Which happens so fast that it caught even White House staffers off guard why the quick action. The first explanation was based on a letter from the deputy attorney general. We said colonies mishandling of the investigation and state Hillary Clinton's email server he made him unfit to stay in the job. President trump made the right decision the right time. To to accept the recommendation. Of the deputy attorney general. Meanwhile the Russians seemed amused by the whole thing. In Washington foreign minister Lavrov joked with reporters about it. And then posed for pictures with the president and Russian ambassador in the Oval Office. A warm reception and not extended to American reporters those pictures are from the Russian government. A day later the president had a different reasons for firing Tony one that contradicted his original reason he is vice president. And his staff. But regardless of recommendation I was going to fire golf when I decided to just do what I said to myself I should you know. This rusher thing with France and Russia is a made up story it's an excuse. By the Democrats haven't lost an election that they should've won. And yet another reason for firing the FBI director whose initial vote he's a glimpse into the FBI has been. In turmoil the new acting head of the FBI Andrew McCain told congress that was not true that director whom he enjoyed broad support. Within the FBI. And still does to this day Komi stayed out of the spotlight but his associates told the press about a White House dinner or during which mr. trump. Ask the former director for a pledge of loyalty. President denied it and threatened call me in a tweak. James Kobe better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press where things stand now. We'll hear from the lean Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee Adam Xia. Republican cans sass who sits on one of the Senate Committees investigating the Russian connection. And we'll hear from former CIA director and secretary of defense. Robert Gates when he saw the firing of games coming this direction FBI had and that's strictly based. Not terribly well. Plus we'll have planning and analysis from our political panel and a word about mothers. It's all coming up on fix things. Good morning and welcome to face the nation I'm John Dickerson. Once again there's a lot to covered today and we begin with the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee California congressman Adam Schiff. Congressman I wanna start when there's a lot happened this week so for you what's the most important. Well most important thing to me is that the president fired the FBI director all because of the Russian investigation that first justification given. Again the White House misleading the country about a major action administration was taking. But the fact that they had a private conversation in which show the present by his own admission. I was discussing the future of director Komi in that job and the president brings up. Whether he's under investigation. Highly unethical at a minimum on ethical. If he was in trying to. Impede the investigation anyway may be beyond unethical. But deeply disturbing again a threat to our system of checks. Bounces. So use it and say this is is all about Russia but there is another player in here of course the deputy attorney general in the department of justice and his argument was that that director Khamese handling of the email investigation was terrible when you were highly critical of that as well I mean you said you were deeply disturbed by it. That it had damaged the FBI was an error in judgment so. Wasn't there merits of the case that the ad deputy attorney general had made insanely Komi couldn't do his job because of his handling of the emails. It was certainly merit to the criticism that the deputy attorney general had about how combing handled the Clinton investigation and and I don't think director Komi ever adequately explain why he treated the Clinton investigation one way and the trump investigation another. But of course that was a pretext that wasn't why komen was fired. And what disturbs me most frankly about them Rosen Steve memo and I raise this and a conversation I had with a month earlier in the week. Is a fact it was addressed the attorney general. The attorney general supposed to have recused himself from anything involving Russia. I am hearing is recommending the firing of the top cop doing the Russian investigation. In clear violation of what he had can keep the attorney general and committed to do it. And now we have attorney general participating in the interview of new directors of the FBI. And underscoring I think yet again how imperative it is we have an independent counsel. You say misleading from the president so do you think that. Deputy attorney general Rosen sign and the attorney general sessions are in on the misleading. Well the certainly the I think attorney general should play no role so that the violation there is having a hand in how they rent investigation is going to be run. In terms of the deputy AG I don't know was behind the creation of that memo. Certainly this suspect I think as many people did. It was asked to justify a decision that was being made on other grounds now whether. The deputy attorney general knew his memo was going to be used that way to mr. wrecked the country. I don't know but certainly. As the president made all too clear that was all pretext this was all about combing and Russia. You say it's unethical for the president of had dinner. The president when he talked about his reasoning for this he mentioned that. That they investigation into the Russian meddling was on his mind so is this do you go all the way to thinking this is obstruction. Well he had the difficulty and I will look at this also is a former prosecutor can you prove obstruction based on the president's own words. When we don't know whether we can believe this president. We already know that there are those close to combing who have had their very different take. Also troubling take on that dinner conversation. So I'm not sure you could not prove the case based on this. But if there are tapes of course that would be the best evidence of what took place if they exist congress needs to get them if they're not provide willingly congress should subpoena them. And if they're not in existence if this was yet another fabrication by the president. He needs to come clean about it. And we should remind people that the president can fire an FBI director for that reason he wants come on those tapes coo woo could uses. Would you join with the chairman of the committee to subpoena those tapes absolutely if if the tapes exist. And they're not willfully willingly provided absolutely entranced him. There is a new FBI director being there's a series of interviews going on what free use the threshold question for then the next FBI under. Have slowed to a integrity and independence and for this recent I would strongly urged administration picks someone who's completely a political. Doesn't come out of the political process someone who is a retired judge Sharon acting judge willing to step down from their judgeship. A some ideally who has prosecutorial experience. But someone who could come in and give credibility. Two. The Russian investigation that right now is severely in jeopardy. One of the I think hype responsibilities were gonna have in my House Intelligence Committee. Is making sure that whoever comes send this investigation by the bureau goes on unimpeded. Because the FBI has a reached that neither our committee nor the senate committee pass they've got agents all over the globe. They have the resources to really do things that we in congress don't two and so we need to make sure. Nothing impairs that work you mentioned nobody with politics and Mike Rogers who's been recommended by the FBI agents association. Former colleague of yours in the house so you wouldn't you wouldn't want him to be and that's us well nothing against Mike Rogers or either of the other house or senate candidates have been mentioned. But I think the public would have the most confidence if someone who had no partisan background was completely apolitical. Was brought in to run the bureau. Attorney general sessions has recused himself from the investigation and Russia but he is a part of the FBI director choice does that. Body at all it does bother me and I think. It also underscores in a book why we need a special prosecutor. But also if he plays any role in the interview the director he needs of Santa himself from any discussion of the Russian investigation. And it's hard to imagine how do you interview someone for new director. Without talking about how they would handle on how they would restore confidence. Public confidence in that investigation all right congressman Schiff thank you so much for the England thanks John. And joining us now is Nebraska senator Ben SaaS senator sense is the author of the vanishing American adults are coming of age crisis. And how to rebuild a culture of self reliance he joins us from New York. Senator why do you think James Komi was fired. I'm not sure how this president makes lots of decisions so I have I honestly don't know but I do know that we are in the midst of civilization war bring crisis of public trust. And we need to talk honestly about our institutions. That need to be restored and need to have the ability for people in five and eight in ten years. To atrocities institutions so. There are lots of reasonable arguments people can make. About the way director Komi made decisions in the midst of the unprecedented complexities of the 2016 to sit election cycle. And lots of people can think that the director called me who is a fundamentally honorable man but people can think that he X acute is job and all sorts of clunky and imperfect ways. That's a different question then whether or not he should have been fired the way he was last week and I've been critical of that decision I think it. Exacerbates the erosion of trust in our institutions so why I'm disappointed in the timing of the firing but I wanna preserve room. But there's lots of reasonable reasons that people across the political spectrum can argue about the way the FBI leadership conducted its business in the 2016 cycle help. We understand a little bit more about your point about the institutions in the way in which this was handled recognizing your point that this is really separate from the Merritt says. Come mis handling of the email investigation but his firing. Explain how that challenges institutions in your view. Here's one of the things that DC is just constantly. On the head in the sand about which is. That we've got a bunch of different institutions that have 9% and 12% and 15% public trust and public approval. America can't work that way. Because we need a shared narrative about who we are as a people. What government can and can't do and what what the beating heart of the First Amendment and free press and freedom of assembly and speech and religion means to us we need to have a shared civic understanding of America before we get to partisan and policy differences they're important fights to be had and policy. But we first made a civic sense of what America is and here's what comes next in things like. Russian interference in America and and other countries in the age of cyber war over the next decade. I'm obviously concerned about 2016 but I'm far more concerned about 2018 and 22 wanting because here's what's come what comes next. John Dickerson decides to run for office and 28 team and all of a sudden your credit card records get dumped in some sort of a cyber hack leak. And 97% of those records are gonna be real and there's gonna be texture to it and you were in city acts on this day and you weren't citywide on this other day. But 3% of the records are gonna be fabricated and they're gonna be in a woven. And John you've been spending a lot of money at a women's clothing store in Chattanooga but your wife is an end Chattanooga so that's weird. And then there's public doubt about Il and then five days later your phone records are dumped in their 99%. Accurate but 1% your call on a brothel in Chattanooga on Tuesday nights when your wife's a bridge club. That's what's coming next in the era of cyber war. And we're gonna need to have some institutions that we can rely on and believer in political. When the public has more and more doubt and right now Washington is and it all focused on the long term challenge of rebuilding a shared narrative about America limit and institutional trust and our service. Let me ask you in specific terms where this case another institution that's kind of been drawn into the conversation this week has been the Department of Justice there's the deputy attorney general. Who put his reputation and and and the way to deserves the Department of Justice on a set of theories that now seem not to be in the entire reason for James Cummings firing I wonder if you see that. As a potential threat to the independence and the reputation of that institution. Well I mean there's been a lot of politicization going on at the Department of Justice over the last five to 89 years as well and so we should want the Department of Justice to be very very insulated from. Partisan politics we have three branches the government. Not one not seventeen. Right and see you need to have. Investigative and prosecutorial functions be in the article to branch of government they need to be in the executive branch but there should be lots of insulation. From the that they're career civil servants and the leadership of the Justice Department. From political decision making at the White House and so I don't I don't think I've and the chairman of the oversight subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee in the senate so there are a number of things I don't wanna say yet before we have deputy attorney general Rosen Stein before us. But there's a lot that we need to understand better about how this happened. Before we leave let me ask you about your book the vanishing American adult you see a very serious problem. Here and for America explain what you mean it's a non political problem. Yes that this book is a 100% not about politics and it's 99% not about policy. It's about this new category of perpetual adolescents and first let's just say that over the last two millennia are so the emergence of a category called adolescents. Is a pretty special gift we believe that when our kids become a biological adults when they hit puberty fit enough to be fully formed. Morally emotionally economically educationally in terms household structure they don't have to go out and be fully adult immediately they don't have to go off to war they don't have to become economically self sufficient that's glorious stuff that protected space between childhood and adulthood. But it's only glorious if you understand that it's an transitional state it's a means to an end. Peter Pan neverland is a hell it's that this dopey and we don't wanna be have our kids caught at a place where not learning how to be adults and right now we're not tending to and how that formation aspects of a republic all right senators has thank you so much for being with us. And will be back in one minute when our political panel. And breaking news exclusive contests and more delivered right here Rick and I I like knowing things doing the right choice club that's talk thirteen seventy dot com and you'll be in the just go to top thirteen seventy dot com and click on the right choice club from top thirteen seventy the right choice. And we're back with our panel Peggy Noonan is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Jeffrey Goldberg is the editor of the Atlantic. David Ignatius is a columnist for the Washington Post and then Domenici is the publisher of the Federalist Pena wanna start with you. The FBI director has been fired what does this mean the end of this week. It means. A hugely. Unnecessary. Mess involving chaos and drama and a certain amount of brutality I think. Happened that didn't have to happen think princess was right these things do firings like this. That the when they are badly done do sort of harm institutions and harm public confidence and trust. I think the president first of all we O'Malley has every right to hire or fire. Daryn those he wants. Who work for him. But the way in which he did did did it swamped. The substance. Of his reason. From the original brutality towards combing Komi in the way and to find out through the strange tweets about boy he'd better hope. I didn't tape our conversations. This is all. This is all the chaos like the bands of chaos that Donald Trump carries with him every day and everywhere. That is self destructive for him in self sabotaging I think. Dana a lot of different stories this week and exactly what happened. Well we're we're still sifting through the initial White House account the firing. Was shattered by the president himself. Argument that the deputy attorney general rob rose assignment take note upon himself to make the case against combing and that was then backed by the attorney general trunk. Cubs on television and says well thought out app and I want him gone. Talking this week to several prominent Republicans who people who have not been sharp critics. Don't. I heard the same thing witches. This guy scares me. And I think the reason that people were skier this week is that they saw it impulsive behaviors they saw kind of vengeful and wounding. About that past slights they saw and I don't willingness to be. A via your hopes up that is basically that the so why is that the country not to tell the truth. And and I think 11 person so to me there are no guard rails on this presidency. Another person said. This is Richard Nixon on steroids. Into the recesses this is a kind of hyperactive so I think that's where we are at the end of the week a lot of people. Are are scared of and I wonder how we get out of this. I'm genuinely surprised that that was their reaction given that the president has shown himself to be so reserved and organized all the way up to this point but this is a different order is it is it is a different order but I think I think in this case what we see. Is you know that the the president frankly from my perspective. It is had a situation where. He wanted to fire Komi from day one but I don't think that he felt politically solidified enough. In the early going in order to do so as the weeks and months went on and he sought Comas repeated appearances. He did the same thing that I think a lot of people do when they see someone who's irritating them on television which is get irritated that the men and want to do something about it in this case he did. When it came to Mike Pence this comment about doing the right thing at the right time. The right time frankly was they wanted that the president believe that James Coyne was not qualified for this position should have gotten rid of them they want. He didn't for political reasons and that's led us to this point of disorganization chaos. Pannemon Jeff. It's I don't wanna focus on this self inflicted nature of these crises remember in the short presence in our truck nothing. Nothing terrible has happened yet externally. And and and so let it what I mean by that and god forbid any in this thing should happen but. We've had no Ferguson's the sadness in her and he knows Orlando's Paris attacks and North Korean missile has a thought on to South Korea Israel Hezbollah war we haven't seen any of these things and so what we're dealing with now is a is a is a White House look even the best most organized presidency. Best White House sometimes succumb to crises right. But we have a White House that creates chaos to borrow from Peggy. Chaos forward for itself. It can he can create chaos on its own schedule and and and still messes it up and so we have a we have a serious problem here. All right we're gonna talk about this some more later but will have not. In a minute more of our conversation with former secretary of defense Robert Gates. Statement. This is a guided meditation on parenting. Texas home to the close your eyes. Right now you're completely in control. Unlike the time you and your son played basketball. And you attempted to slam dunk. Well when you tried removing those raccoons from the basement. Concentrate on the soothing sounds of my voice. Release the memory of when you wrestled with that behind you sons tree house. Let's go to time you saw that skunk was a captain's. Or when you pulled into the garage with your son's fight on top of the car. Deep breaths. He wreaths. You don't have. To be perfect perfect parent. There are thousands of teens in Foster care who don't need perfection they need you. More information on how you can adopt visit adopt US kids stunt or a public service announcement from the US Department of Health and Human Services adopt Jewish kids in the ad council. Hi Lavar Burton and I'm proud to be the book person. Every child. Deserves to have access to books because children who grow up with books is invariably do better in life and children who do not. How do I choose the book is that the cover. There are some I guess you know it's sometimes the cover sometimes it's the title I guess some pretty visual so it's a combination of those two the first book I remember lives captains agreement would I finished that book I had become so involved with these character appears that the people books. Really really impressed me and the writing is a really really good I will peek and see what the last paragraph. This because it is a few days of books it's really really well done that indicated that last thought should Iraq. I am of course and a beautiful person to read to a child has sparked a lifetime advantage join me bookkeeping united dot org because I read this. A public service announcement brought to you by reading is fundamental Library of Congress and the counts. Pay parents of children with asthma is another hit from the real beauties. Well it's. So maybe conflict childhood asthma is not preventing asthma attacks conducive to a screening of the mold mildew and for more breathing easy tips to help stop asthma attacks go to north touched on we're pushing thirty EPA and yet. Friday we traveled to women marry in Williamsburg Virginia to speak with former secretary of defense Robert Gates. We began by asking him about FBI director con mis firing. How did that strike you based on your experience. Not terribly well done. You know I fired. A lot of senior people myself. And I think the key when you feel compelled to. Remove a senior official. Is essentially to have all your ducks in a row. At the beginning have everybody understand what the rationale was. If possible. To be in a position to announce who is going to step them. As the interim immediately. And if possible to announce who you're going to nominate. To replace that person for that to be somebody of impeccable. Integrity and reputation. This arms. A lot of the worst criticism. That it's some kind of a power play it's a professional approach. To replacing a senior official which is always going to get a lot of attention. To always going to be contentious. But. That having a single story in line in terms of how it happened and why it happened. That everybody is on the same page. And then what the next steps are I think helps to diminish. The blow back that she's in the reporting about the FBI director there is a report that the president asked him for his. Loyalty. Help people understand the line between duty. Loyalty and personal conscience I think in the context of senior government positions. I think an anecdote of what I told president elect Obama when we had our first me. And I said you don't know me can you trust me why you think you can trust me and so on. That the end ice then you can count on me to be loyalties. I will not leak. I will keep my disagreements with you private. And I wrote in a fight cannot be loyal. I'll leave loyalty means doing what you think is in the best interest of that person as well as the country. And often that loyalty means telling them things they don't wanna hear it's not being sick a phonetic it's not telling them how wonderful they are everyday. It's being willing to count the days they're not wonderful. And when you think they're making a mistake. We'll have more of our conversation with Secretary Gates in a moment including what encourages him in the count administration. Get the latest business news from CNBC. Weekday mornings at 630 in May thirtieth weekday afternoons at 12343530. We make you smarter. Hopefully colossal make you some money and stay connected we talk thirteen seventy the right choice. Welcome back to face the nation we continue our conversation with former secretary of defense Robert Gates. What's your sense overall of president trump as an unpredictable. Leader broadly philosophically. I'm an agreement with. His disruptive approach. So in government I'm a strong believer in the need for reform of government agencies and departments. Days they have gotten fat and sloppy. And they're not user friendly. They are inefficient. They cost too much I also think on the foreign policy side. That. There is a need for disruption you know we've had three unit administration's. Follow look pretty consistent policy toward North Korea. And it really hasn't gotten us anywhere. So the notion of disrupting and sort of putting the Cheney is on notice that it's no longer business as usual for the United States I think is a good thing. Now the question is. Obviously in the in the implementation. Of disruption. On the foreign policy side. There's the risk of being too spontaneous. And too disruptive. Where you end up doing more harm and damage and figuring out that. That balance is where having strong people around him matters what advice would you give the president before his first big foreign trip that is about tank. That's a good question I think that the key. Will be to limit spontaneity. To areas that. Are fun or. That. Sort of say something about you as a real person. I think when it comes to the issue die issues I'd I'd advise him to stick to the script. But I mean he is gonna have some very tough conversations and he's going to be time that's a very tough. And complicated issues him all of the places that he visits. And then I think I think. Any time president those things that are humanizing. I think it's it's good shouldn't use of Twitter stop at the water's edge well not necessarily admitted I I would. Be careful. Let me ask you about former national security advisor Michael Flynn. He's the head of the CIA. If you got information that they've national security advisor. Had not told the truth about contact with the Russian ambassador how serious of an issue would that be if it were. If it were brought Tia. Well I would certainly make sure that the president knew that. That we had to earn us if we got that information in an intelligence report. Then then then I would probably have sought a private meeting with the president. To share that with him. The concern was that they are rushing to be able to blackmail the former national security advisor because what saying they knew he had said something untrue and that caused the vice president to say something untrue. Is that plausible. Possible outcome and something to be quiet about it you know in all honesty I think it's kind of a stretch. You know it's one thing if somebody working for the US government has sold secrets. To the other side. It's another if they have something in their personal life that they're hiding. For which they could be blackmailed. Having evidence that they didn't tell the truth that to somebody. In the same building where they work. Maybe it's just the old Intel guy is it is it's a problem. And it's a problem like I just said that I would tell the president about. But it's not the same dance and end. It's hard for many I don't know. Gerald Flynn well but it's hard for me to believe anybody. Would allow themselves to be blackmailed by the Russians because they didn't tell the full story can tell the truth to the vice president United States. Who works fifty feet down the hall. You may be could have been blackmailed it's theoretically possible I and I just think it's a different. It's a different kind of situation than we would have thought of in the intelligence does. The president met with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in the Oval Office there were. Pictures them smiling in the Oval Office what did you make of that meeting for a long time. Soviet foreign ministers would come in to see the president all the time. Routinely Jimmy Carter stop that after the invasion of Afghanistan Ronald Reagan resumed it. In 1994. I think. And and so. The fact of them meeting like that I think is not that big DV. Term White House. Kept American photographers and press out of the room. That have photographs released by the Russians what do you make of that I thought that was all pretty odd but Padilla but if it. Not worth repeating that there's important business on the table with Russia and all over to the world. But there's also this the intelligence community has a consensus that the Russians did meddle in the last election. So people look at smiling photographs in the Oval Office and they look at this effort to meddle in the election they say is there a disconnect there should should there be sterner faces and and harsher. Approach to Russia as well I think in the policies that have been followed. Since the president came and office. They're really hasn't been any slack cut for the Russians. And I think one of the things that has surprised people. Has been. That the relationship between the United States and Russia has in fact deteriorated. Since the election the administration the contrast between the way they have treated the Russians and the way they have reacted to the Chinese is pretty. It is pretty stark so. You know. Having smiles in the Oval Office. I don't know maybe it again just in tool but I don't think that's that big a deal. It's it's in their policies and in their actions. That bit and that really matters and in those in those Arenas I think they've been pretty tough minded. Some analysts look at Russia and say what the what Vladimir Putin really wanted by. Being involved in the US election was just to throw the west into a kind of chaotic state. To undermine US institutions do you think that couldn't is getting when he wants well I think that he is certainly getting a lot of publicity. For what the Russians are doing. And I'm not sure that's on welcomed him look I think this is a guy who saw the US. Basically come out against him in his reelection campaign in 2012. He saw the US being behind all of the color revolutions in Eastern Europe and then. Georgia and Ukraine and so on so his view is the west has been interfering in. He and his politics. For years. And I think that he has. Decided. You know very strategic way to turn the tables. And do everything in his power. Two as we describe Russian elections as a legitimate. To try and communicate to the rest of the world that western elections are illegitimate. And it's not just us we know that now. It's Germany it's France. It's a number of other countries and it's a very broad. And not very well disguised effort. Two to create questions about the legitimacy. Of these western elections and I and I think you mean this is fairy KGB. In North Korea the president is relying very heavily on China. Is he relying too much on China so that it makes it hard for him to push back on China when it comes to the South China Sea or. Human rights or intellectual property rights I think that. That the disruptive nature of those that tough talk on North Korea. The military deployments. Sending the missile defense system to the South Korea. I think these are all good things to them done and I think he's got from China's attention to a degree that his predecessors have not. That this is a very serious matter. Enough war the United States my last visit China secretary January 2011 I told president who just like this. President and states want me to tell you that we now consider North Korean direct threat to the United States. And it had no effect whatsoever. I think president trump has their attention. And and my one concern is that he may overestimate. How much power. China hands in kill it. They have they do have influence and they do have companies and they do have economic relationships. That could make life much more difficult in the north. Their balancing act is how how much worse can we make it in the north. Without creating that which scares us more than anything which is a collapse. In the north. And then what happens to all those nuclear weapons are there they're gonna work very hard to avoid that. It's clear the relationship between China and North Korea has hardly ever been worse Kim Jong-un has never been to Beijing. In his leadership. President she has never been to North Korea that's a first in that relationship. The Chinese press are saying some amazingly nasty things about the north and about Kim Jong them. So the so they are weighing in and they are bringing greater pressure whether it will be enough. I think remains to be seen a lot of people look at this president think he is out of the bounds of the normal presidency and your descriptions and assessment of the administration. Seems like you see him wheezing in. The bounds of a normal presidency is that fair I mean again I have tried to focus most of what I've talked about on the foreign policy side that's the part I know I didn't think this whole business with a director combing was handled well. So there are. So I sort of dated today. Aspects of that operation. That I think are really troubles. End. And I know that there are a lot of people in the country you have lots of issues with decisions that he's making on the domestic side the thing that. Reassures me some on the foreign policy side is that he and his team seemed to have worked out a relationship of trust. And a lot of the extraneous or extemporaneous. Things that we're going on early on. Have largely settled now. Mr. secretary thank you so much thinking. We'll be right back with more of our panel. If every talk radio program for the same. What would be the point the Michael very shows a little bit different. We're gonna talk about politics but we'll also talk about how great it is to live in Texas we days five to seven on talk thirteen seven Michael variation. And we're back with more from our political panel Peggy Noonan is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and her best selling book the time of our lives is out in paperback. Hey he was also recently awarded Pulitzer prize in once and for last year's campaign commentary and we congratulate her for that. Jeffrey Goldberg is the editor of the Atlantic. David Ignatius is a columnist for the Washington Post and been dominant. Is the publisher of the Federalist and I wanna start with you coming out of what Secretary Gates said he feels reassured by that its foreign policy team that the president. Has around him what do you make of death. Bob gates as we deliver as the steady voice of continuity has been around since. Reagan presidency and and he has that depth. And clarity and he's in he's right trump chose Nash security team that's. The first straight. A lot of them are people with gates recommended that Rex source wasn't gates of the proposal. It's the State Department James Madison general. Widely admired. Six sector Kelly at Homeland Security was. Out its military advisor way back when HR McMaster. Certainly came up in that you know it's broad. A school with gates helped. Preside over. I thought I heard Secretary Gates said that on domestic policy he he is troubled he is he looks at that the combing firing. He finds almost we're him so that the obvious point is that. The president try and that the senate need to respond to this. Weeks that we've had by choosing someone to run the FBI who is in that category. Of of strong. Steady reliable land security leaders that we just talked about the Bob gates in the cents represents. If they can make the nomination like that. You know this got some former judges were true effect. Mike Rogers who was recommended by former FBI agents who ran a bipartisan committee and made it work but. You know if they can choose somebody that the country will trust who's on that list that I think they begin to get out of this. He did the Secretary Gates and the president needs to limit spontaneity overseas. And on. What's your what are your expectations for this big foreign policy trip from all of that was a deft way I think for mr. gates to say please don't freak us out while you were overseas. Mock I take it very simple. A letter view of this big foreign foreign policy trip from the president I think he's saying essentially. I am trump and I am real I may real president I am doing what real presidents do I'm meeting with Pope some meaning with shakes. I sort of think. You know Wayne most foreign policy trips involved a certain symbolic acting out of who you are so like I think. Did trick essentially is meant to say I'm here and I'm normal I hope this gates says he doesn't get too colorful. Or anything like that I know there are serious foreign policy components to the discussions. And believe it to you guys but to me this is symbolic and I hope it is peaceful would be very nice if we got a little. No trouble that is on needed confidence and. And you're welcome. I know but he changed the and that is an issue coming in front of the Pope and with the million that that causes an admission six after that there because of the total forgive him for us. CNN business make no I don't the I don't think it's gonna be the trips there are very scripted in. It's after the trip it's when you have a crisis I hate to keep going back to this point about crises but these trips are scripted to avoid crises and it's he's not gonna try to instigate a new Israeli Palestinian peace process I think at this moment. But what I worry about is when. It's that you know what it is it's the 3 AM phone call. We haven't had a 3 AM phone call yet and it's not clear to me that even that iron triangle of Tillerson McMaster Mattis. Can can stop. In impulsive reaction on the part of the president that might not. Be easily pulled back when we took the issue here too just to come back take away for a moment is that the president has a way of taking something that ought to be done and making it more chaotic. And it deserves to be it's my opinion the James combing deserve to be fired it was clear that he deserved to be fired the his incompetence in the investigation of Hillary Clinton alone deserved that even without the various points and made. Afterwards and he had lost and burn through a lot of bipartisan goodwill on both sides of the aisle. But that's not why the president made the decision that he did John Podesta the morning that James Cawley was fired. Treated out there in reference to his testimony the previous day that the American public is getting mildly nauseous listening to James combing. That's fine that may be true but that isn't the reason the president ought to have made the decision that he made and that led to. All of the chaos this week for something that ought to have been much more organized much more laid out in as. Bob gates said something that's planned where everybody says this is why we did the thing we did. Hate me ask you about that chaos because. Idiosyncratic president win with some M destruction going on Secretary Gates suggested that in some places that destruction was doing some good things getting NATO to pay out. Yeah getting the north Koreans to realize America was serious but you know this case the president. Said he made it to his decision for reason accident in the vice president went out and say yes it was because of Hillary Clinton email server yes so the vice president is now on the hook for our offer an explanation that the president and undermined so isn't at a cost of chaos to his vice. Oh sure I hit the truth always puts his people on mojo and you know I mean he. He doesn't just harm himself he harms his whole operation wanna Maximus and Dick matter. But let me tell you. Quickly something I'm thinking of. As we all speak here about this whole combing drama. What have sizes Austin Washington as we well know was not necessarily one of excesses America. Well we talk about Obama's panelists not in our view is not necessarily reflected out there was so struck yesterday. With everybody I know in conversations it was all about Komi the FBI who's the next guy. And I put on the TV and I see the president wowing them at Liberty University. When they got their magaw hats on. I am struck by the distance between our conversation and the national conversation. I'm struck by the distance between Democrats and Republicans as they approve or disapprove. Of the Komi thing it's an 8020. Democrats are 80% I hate to call me fine Republicans are 80% I loved the come firing this. On the NS are the most popular president that. Is that there's unless Liberty University might be a little bit outside the norm he's got his face is what I'm really at a base or score 40% of the country thinks he's right. I heard from a Republican this week. The best argument against having a special prosecutor. Which Adam Schiff and others have called for witches. You need to keep regular workers need to say that the 40% who will reform. We're not creating a special. Committee prosecutor and to get your guy. We're not apt to get you and what you voted for and keep it keep it regular ask. The politicians who were elected to run it. To run the investigations asked them to reject a bad FBI nominee if he sends up a crony a bad person do to Republicans have to vote against him. And that that's that's when we'll know that we're getting we're getting better here. When if you if the Republicans rejected that nominee. And then what's your sense of where Republicans are in response to this because of course what Peggy says is right and the president. Knows how to use an in and that disconnect between but there are some things still in in this day and age in which people in question are supposed to be concerned about a few things even if the country isn't to mean in some cases that's kind of what they're. Careful what I hear mostly from the Republicans that I talked to his is they're concerned that. That this level of chaos will prevent them from furthering agenda and agenda that they need to run on in the year and a half that they believe is very important I think they would be very disappointed. If anyone who was not a qualified individual was was put forward. Four the FBI director position. I think though the the real concern they have is we need to pass a health care law we need to pass the tax reform law and order for us to be able to go back to our constituents and get reelected and here and there. And that's something they worry will be negatively affected if. Let's make one quick point about stability and truth telling and chaos theory. At some point in the future Donald Trump is gonna have to organize international coalition of some sort in order to combat a serious problem let's assume it's North Korea for right now. Bob gates worked for president George W. Bush who organized one of the greatest coalitions in history would change maker against Saddam Hussein in 1991. They did that because they had credibility because people understood them to be steady and stable and telling them the truth and this president is our president our current president. The spending now that capital what little capital we have Matt. Very very quickly and so we're heading into a possibility. Of situation in which he has no credibility on the international stage when he's gonna need it. He let me ask you just back on the domestic for a moment though as Ken says there are a lot of things that aren't getting discussed yeah yeah now this sense of unpredictability. From a Republican where YE. Had a way to handle the fact that you've got a president who is cut gonna be doing some exciting things you you might have to answer for. Exciting things and nice way to put it. What David says. A big decision will be made now about the FBI is say. Serious sober load drama Integra dispersant has put forward everybody will be relieved actually in they'll go forward. If some sleaze ball let's put forward forgive the forgive my language or some toady or whenever. Republicans will stand up and say this won't do I really think that will happen but I also think it's what what can happen. All right I'm have to stop there we hadn't talked about mom and I think nothing a coming up a tribute to moms. Hi this is Gordon Deal join me weekdays 4 this morning America's first news to hear the stories you'll be talking about and searching for all day as we go beyond the headlines and above the chatter weekdays at five on talk thirteen seventy. Mother's Day is a welcome event in partisan times nearly everyone agrees that we should show mothers gratitude. For those of us who have lost our mothers there is a little melancholy in the day though. But that melancholy can be put to good use a lesson I learned from my mother and that I recommend. When she died mom left me her letters and journals. Windows and things I would have been too young to understand when she was alive or too busy or too much of a no at all. What these papers show is her grit she was a journalist. Who for a decade or so was told that because she was a woman she couldn't be on television with some men. She got there eventually but she also later got fired. In her journals she is scared. There were times the bills couldn't be paid. At one point she typed a letter tour children on carbon paper from the office it was to be ready in case she died. He was on the road all the time working in worried something might happen to our. Nothing happens but that letter and all our letters are a lesson a gift and a guide. It makes sense now that I'm old enough to understand them and see myself in her blemishes too. The pride and selfishness that trips up all of us from time to time. So as a tribute to my mom I write letters to my kids on Mother's Day. Letters like the one she left me to be open when I'm gone and they're older in the contents make more sense. If I'm around when they're my age maybe will open these letters and read them together. If I'm brave enough. And all thanks mom. Economic. We know Austin traffic can via a challenge. These continue with time saver drastic. Mornings and afternoons on top thirteen seven lead the right choice. Today's gas were congressman Adam Schiff senator Ben incensed and former secretary of defense Robert K. Executive producer of face the nation is Mary hate senior producers Phil Jackson. He struck us was directed by Brian Nelson. Face the nation originates from CBS news Washington for more face the nation where online at face the nation dot com. And you can follow face the nation John Dickerson and CBS radio news on Twitter FaceBook and instant amp. He's a patient is also rebroadcast on our digital network CBS am at two and 6 PM eastern. Side. Keep up with the latest breaking news in Austin and around the world. Hello it to make sure you're following us on Twitter at top thirteen 7811 tweeting began. Just one more way to stay connected with top thirteen cent indeed the right choice.
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