Trump’s Next Move (with Maggie Haberman)
Trump is expected to formally announce his run for president any day now. His reputation was tarnished after the predicted red wave in the midterms didn’t surface, but as New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman reminds guest host Gloria Riviera in this episode, Trump has survived political vulnerability many times before. Maggie talks about who is taking a step back from Trump after the midterms, who’s still supporting him, and those who are walking a very fine line. Plus, she shares an anecdote that she left out of her new book.
Keep up with Gloria Riviera on Twitter @griviera.
Follow Maggie Haberman on Twitter @maggieNYT.
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Check out these resources from today’s episode:
- Read Maggie’s work in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/by/maggie-haberman
- Order Maggie’s book, “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America”: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/668293/confidence-man-by-maggie-haberman/
- Find vaccines, masks, testing, treatments, and other resources in your community: https://www.covid.gov/
- Order Andy’s book, “Preventable: The Inside Story of How Leadership Failures, Politics, and Selfishness Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response”: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250770165
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For additional resources, information, and a transcript of the episode, visit lemonadamedia.com/show/inthebubble.
Gloria Riviera, Andy Slavitt, Maggie Haberman
Andy Slavitt 00:18
Hi, it’s Andy Slavitt. But I’ve had the privilege since April 2020, of coming to you, and in the bubble, along with my friends at Lemonada Media, my amazing production team, and a great engineering squad. And a lot has happened since then. And we knew we were going to run into a pandemic of epic proportions. We didn’t know how big; we didn’t know how long we didn’t know how many people would die. We didn’t know how long this would go on; the uncertainty was hard. We didn’t know what effect our kids or parents would get to see. And when we get to see them, and to much extent, we had to basically what you do in these situations, prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and help each other the best we could. That’s why I think two of the inspirations for the show and the beginning. Were Winston Churchill. Remember, he’s the guy that said, when you’re going through hell, keep going. Seems like pretty good advice. And Fred Rogers, who said, when I was a boy, and I would see something scary in the news, my mother would say to me, look for the helpers, he will always find helpers. And I think that’s what we tried to make our show about, help us understand that we would get through this, we will get through things, there will be hard things, there are people to help. Now a lot of happened. And a lot went better than it could have been a lot went worse than we feared, in many respects, having a vaccine within a year on all of those important positive things. But there’s also been a lot of social cohesion cost in the process. So it’s been a tough experience for a lot of us. So I want to tell you that I am hopeful that those words in this show have been helpful to getting people through some of those moments. And that the show is going to continue to get people through those moments and whatever new moments come next, and I will be a part of it. But what I have decided to do is take a brief hiatus over the next few weeks. So I can return to the show with fresh legs, and fresh energy for whatever comes ahead. And I’m lucky because I’ve assembled a really cool kind of a SWAT team, if you will, of people behind me who are going to take different turns hosting the show. I don’t know if you remember the old 60 minutes shows where they would have, you know Ed Bradley and Morley Safer and Diane Sawyer, Leslie Stahl. Some of the best journalists out there. Well, I’m blessed to have four people who when I think of what they do, Gloria Riviera, who will be keeping up with the news. And following those shows. Dr. Bob Wachter, who some of you may remember, is going to be talking about the current little tripledemic, RSV, flu, Covid making sure you’re up to speed on that. Julian Castro, former secretary in the Obama administration on politics and Stephanie whittles wax, everybody’s secret favorite to be talking about cultural items. So the four of them are going to each take turns, posting different shows with different episodes. While I’m taking my brief hiatus. And we’re going to start out with an actually really great one from Gloria just fresh in the can hot off of the midterm elections. And our great coverage last week. We have none other than Maggie Haberman, who knows? President Trump probably in the deepest closest ways. But the big question on everybody’s mind. So what does he do now? So in just a few moments, Gloria Riviera and Maggie Haberman.
Gloria Riviera 04:40
Welcome to IN THE BUBBLE. I am Gloria Riviera. You might recognize my voice from hosting. No One is Coming To Save Us, another Lemonada Media podcast. Let me tell you, when they asked me if I could sit in for Andy. My immediate reaction was yes, yes, of course. It is a huge honor to be here, and then the higher ups drumroll just sort of casually mentioned that I will be interviewing Maggie Haberman, like no big deal. But here’s the thing. I read everything she writes pretty religiously. I listen closely anytime she is on the daily The New York Times podcast. She’s the White House correspondent for The Times. And if you have paid any attention to what this country has been through since Donald Trump won the GOP nomination for president, I’m pretty sure you have come across Maggie’s reporting. The good people over the Pulitzer Prize Committee. Yeah, they know her in 2018. They gave her a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on Donald Trump and his ties to Russia. Listen, I could go on and on about her accolades. But we’ll just finish up by telling you that when I asked one of her colleagues who covers Washington to describe her, this is what I was told. Maggie Haberman is the best source reporter covering Trump hands down period, mic drop the end. So how Maggie also managed to write a book about Trump. It is called competence man, that is beyond me. But thankfully, it was not beyond her. So go get it. Read it. It is a fascinating read by one New Yorker about another New Yorker who happened to be president and could run again, you’ll hear Maggie talk about which politicians are taking a step back from Trump after the midterms when there was no red wave. But you’ll also hear her talk about who is still supporting him, and why that support matters. You’ll also hear her describe those who are walking a very fine line. And she will share an anecdote about a scene that did not make it into the book she wishes it had. Okay, let’s hear from Maggie.
Gloria Riviera 06:55
Maggie Haberman, welcome to in the bubble. Let’s get to it.
Maggie Haberman 06:59
Let’s do it. Thanks for having me.
Gloria Riviera 07:01
It is our pleasure. We are recording this on a Friday at the end of what I’m just going to go out on a limb and say it’s maybe been a long week for you. I don’t know, best-selling book, midterms. You know, there’s a lot of stuff going on.
Maggie Haberman 07:14
It’s been a little busy. Time, but it has been for everybody. So feel like we’re all in this together.
Gloria Riviera 07:20
Yes. Well, you have been covering the Republican Party’s reaction to the midterm election results are challenging because they are still coming in. It’s still possible Republicans could take control of the House and the Senate, but the gist seems to be that Republicans feel they could have done better. And there is some finger pointing going on. Who specifically? Are they pointing their finger at? Is it President Trump? Is it anyone else?
Maggie Haberman 07:46
So it’s a great question. You know, the person who is getting the loudest criticism is Donald Trump. And there are reasons for that he is, you know, among other things, he’s the leader of the party until there’s another Republican nominee. He is a, you know, somebody who made a point of getting involved in these primaries and picking who the candidates would be, especially in Senate races. I mean, that’s really where he had a lot of impact. And the Senate is obviously where they had a bunch of disappointments, you know, and there are still some outstanding races, but we’ll see what ends up happening. He’s not the only person who deserves some blame Rick Scott, who’s an ally of his national Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman, made some spending decisions that, you know, others in the party disagreed with. There has been some attacks on Mitch McConnell for how he went about certain races. And then you know, there’s the expectation setting and candidate recruitment in the house. So whenever you have a situation like this, where there are these massive predictions going into Election Day, as some kind of a sweep, and they come up so short, there are going to be a lot of recriminations. The other thing that’s making this hard is it’s kind of a muddled picture, right? I mean, the Democrats had a vastly better night than they were on top two, it still could end up the Republicans take the Senate by a very narrow margin. And at the moment, they’re still favored to win the house. So we just don’t know.
Gloria Riviera 09:12
We just don’t know, which is not a place a person like Donald Trump likes to be right. When there is uncertainty. One would think it’s not his favorite space to be in. One of your recent Twitter threads said that Trump is vulnerable. But he’s survived that many times. But you also say a few of his remaining major donors might be done and looking to stop him. You say he’s willing to burn it all down. If he doesn’t get what he wants, first of all, burn it all down. What does that mean? And what does he want?
Maggie Haberman 09:45
You know what he wants is control and he wants power and he wants to be president again, and he wants to be the nominee and he doesn’t want anyone challenging him. If people do challenge him. He wants a bunch of different candidates in the primary. But he wants you know, to be the unadulterated authority on what the party should look like and who should be running for 2024. And he has been, I don’t think it’s really a huge shock to hear that he’s willing to burn it all down and look at what he’s doing to, you know, rising star is in the party over the course of the last 24 hours, he’s attacking Ron DeSantis. And he’s been doing that actually, for a few days, he started attacking Glenn Youngkin, the governor of Virginia, trying to claim ownership for Youngkin’s victory, when in fact young can, you know, ran not with Trump behind him in any meaningful way. And Younkin was heralded for providing a model for how you could run and not be, you know, indebted to Trump. So, you know, he, he is in slash and burn mode. And he has always shown that he is willing to take, you know, the limits of transgressive behavior very far in terms of how he will treat other people. And so that’s what I mean by that, you know, there are a number of donors, most of his major donors, had been quietly parking money with Ron DeSantis, over the course of the last year, under the guise of Ron DeSantis, his reelection effort, and that, you know, is not surprising and makes a lot of sense. There are a number of other major donors in the party who are talking about, you know, what they could do to stop him? What could be done. On that one, we’ve seen this movie before, you know, that there was there were efforts to that election 2016. And it didn’t work. There is not some apparatus that tells the party base voters what to do.
Gloria Riviera 11:34
Right. You know, we know that he’s been in vulnerable states before and he’s come back, how much does Ron DeSantis does that win for him in Florida? How much does Trump really feel that as a threat, if donors had been parking money with him, also?
Maggie Haberman 11:51
The money thing is a big thing and really should not be discounted. Look, he sees Ron DeSantis his rise as a threat. I mean, DeSantis is somebody who, you know, is often described, as you know, the future, he is somebody who a number of conservatives have put their faith in, I should, I should make the point here, you know, Gloria, that we, we don’t really know, this, and his candidacy would look like if he runs, there’s a lot of question marks, but Trump is clearly concerned with it. DeSantis is top of mind, and Trump did not want him to get a momentum out of the gate coming out of what was clearly going to be a big win on Tuesday night. You know, so I think that that’s why you’re seeing what you’re seeing. You know, the other piece of it is most of the Rupert Murdoch empire, News Corp, Fox News, Wall Street Journal, you know, whose support didn’t make Trump president, but certainly was very key to his power over the course of his presidency. You know, he notes correctly that they oppose him for a lot of 2016. You know, they are really making a very hard pivot away from him. And to, you know, to Ron DeSantis. And so I think that’s part of it, too.
Gloria Riviera 13:07
When you talk about basically the branding of the Republican Party and, you know, talk of blood in the water, how much blood is in the water? And we mentioned Ron DeSantis. I can’t help but think you know, okay, we also have JD Vance in Ohio in the Senate seat. Now, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin is Governor. What are your sources telling you about how far they have distanced themselves from Trump? You know, I know JD Vance had a one list of people to think Trump was not on that list.
Maggie Haberman 13:33
You know, he did, but I will tell you the JD Vance was one of the people who when my colleague Michael Bender, and I were writing a story the other day about where things are in the party. You know, Vance was one of the people who immediately gave us a statement about, you know, how he anticipated that Trump would be the nominee. You know, so I don’t think he’s, and that was speaking to Trump’s strength, I think and he did not endorse him, you know, and others did. And so that’s of note, but I do think that, you know, Vance is going to try to walk a line. I don’t think there’s going to be a huge amount of distance, but he’s not going to operate as a Trump puppet, because things are too fluid within the party right now.
Gloria Riviera 14:13
Right. Well, also in that article that you did right with your colleague over at the New York Times. Michael Bender, this is about Georgia, and it struck me as a significant sentence. Mr. Trump has sought to assure people that his presence in Georgia would not hurt Mr. Walker when talking about Herschel Walker, others are less sanguine. Now, Georgia being one of six states that a lot of Trump money went to where he did not hold a MAGA rally. Why not? And are we going to see Trump in Georgia?
Maggie Haberman 14:47
I think that we may see in Trump in Georgia. I think the bloggers team knows that it needs help from Donald Trump that needs in Walker needs Trump voters. I think you might see Trump being helpful in lower key ways I certainly think they’re going to want to see DeSantis in them. I think that’s going to create a complication.
Gloria Riviera 15:06
Georgia is going to want to see DeSantis come in.
Maggie Haberman 15:09
Walker is going to want to see DeSantis come into Georgia. Yeah.
Gloria Riviera 15:12
Interesting. Can I just ask you like, how did Herschel Walker come to be on the ticket.
Maggie Haberman 15:18
You know? Walker played for the New Jersey General’s, which was the team that Trump owned in the 1980s, when he was trying to crash the NFL. They became friendly. You know, Trump did, you know, to his credit, recognize the Walker was the franchise. And they maintain this relationship. And so you know, Trump helped recruit Walker, he was not the only person involved. There were a lot of concerns from, you know, others within the Republican Party, particularly people close to McConnell about Walker’s history of, you know, accusations of impropriety, namely domestic violence, and it didn’t matter. Walker was clearly on track to do well, in the primary. The McConnell people threw in the towel and got behind him. And that’s how Walker ended up on the ticket. I will say, It is stunning. If you think about it, that all of the stories that have been written about Walker over the course of the last two minutes, you know, one story after another about him, you know, insisting on an abortion from a woman he was with and paying for one that he ran basically the same as the incumbent Raphael Warnock. So stories that would have knocked out another candidate. Walker survived. And I think that speaks to the fact that he is a unique kind of celebrity. He’s a he’s a sports celebrity. And he’s somebody who is generally well liked in the state or well liked enough or this was not an issue that people considered important their vote and that everything else is happening nationally. So you know, I don’t think we know what is going to happen there. But it’s, you know, if he wins, Trump is going to, even if he doesn’t do much in the runoff going to claim a lot of credit.
Gloria Riviera 17:00
Right. And the sentence that you just said, this is not an issue that’s important to voters, it makes me think you’re talking about it in reference to Walker, but GOP voters, they’re going to make the ultimate decision on Trump, right? He is to run in the general and that sentence, all of the issues that everyone wrote about regarding Trump didn’t matter in that election. Of course, it makes me think of this big announcement that Trump has been jousting with, will he or won’t he? What are you hearing on that?
Maggie Haberman 17:29
So his advisor Jason Miller made very clear today in an interview, I think on Steve Bannon, this podcast that that he and show that Trump is running that that this is going to be an announcement that we knew this but this is the first time this has been said out loud. I think it technically makes Trump a candidate as of today. Trump is holding a primetime rally, it’s a rally at Mar a Lago. And, you know, expect that Sean Hannity who’s a friend of Trump’s and whose show airs at that time, we’ll run it live, I’m not sure anyone else would have. And I think that’s a big factor for Trump. You know, Trump will be a candidateas of Tuesday, in his own words, the thing to watch for is going to be what he says in this speech, is it, you know, an hour of 2020 grievance? Or does he do anything about the future? You know, how does he handle the midterms? How does he describe what happened? Because you’re right that Trump survived a lot of personal scandal in 2016. And it’s because in part, you know, a Hillary Clinton was a very unpopular nominee in her own right. And B, Trump was a pretty well established figure in the minds of a lot of voters. But he was president for four years, he was a you know, he’s been in public life for the last two and people are, are, are exhausted by the constant drama around him. And that could matter for him to.
Gloria Riviera 18:58
which key Republican figures still support Trump and why that is coming up right after the break. This casting of Trump as so many people who caucus for him and you talk about this when you’re talking about your book, confidence, man, and I just have to note, such a brilliant title because traditionally, that is the phraseology we use for a con man. So kudos to you on that title. But somebody told you that they had seen him, you’ve talked about this run his business. And can you just explain that to us that they were actually talking about the apprentice? And my question when I heard that was, are they saying they’ve seen him run? Being on the apprentice, that was his business, or they were referred and seeing this persona he presented on The Apprentice as a successful businessman?
Maggie Haberman 20:06
Yeah. So I read about this in the book that when I was you know, I hadn’t really understood just how defined the Trump brand was publicly from the art of the deal. And then the apprentice, the art of the deal being his 1987 book, The Apprentice, obviously the reality show he started on, and just how synonymous with wealth and success he had made himself despite his own business failures, until I was in Iowa, Dubuque, Iowa in January 2016, and an airport hangar rally, and I was asking people very leading questions, which was basically, are you here because the spectacle is about to end, you know, because all of our assumptions were, this candidate is going to be over soon. And it shouldn’t have been, it was he had survived one thing after another, and the field had stayed very crowded, you know, it was very clear that the facts were in front of all of our eyes. And we all looked away. But I was asking people this question and, and for me, frankly, I raised that point about the looking away for a reason, and I’ll get back to it. But I was asking people these questions and one after another, they said they were caucusing for him, including one man who looked at me like I hit eight heads. And when I asked him why he was caucusing for Trump, he said I watched him run his business. And I realized that what he was referencing was watching this show The Apprentice. And so he believed the vision of Trump in that show, as this successful, you know, jetsetting businessman, which is just not who he was. And like, even as he was on this show, he was going through one of his casino bankruptcies. And yet, you know, he’s vastly richer than the majority of most Americans. Right? So explaining this to them. He’s not as rich as he says he is, well, most people don’t really care about that, because he presents a life a way of life that’s different than they have it. I think the reason the reason that it matters, you know, that it should have been clear to all of us that he was going to succeed. You know, even by the caucuses when his numbers weren’t really going down that much. He’s in trouble right now. He’s politically vulnerable right now, more than he has been the only other time like, this really was January 6. And that’s because he was on his way out of office then too. But I don’t know what a national election will look like a general election 2024. You know, we believe that Joe Biden is running, we’re just not we’re not positive, Biden has left it open. I would not discount Trump’s enduring ability to grind others down, and to just stand still in the process. And so I don’t, you know, I don’t think that we know what this means for him yet other than that, a lot of people are going to be fighting with each other. And he sometimes emerges from that kind of muck as well.
Gloria Riviera 22:47
That line his enduring ability to grind others down. That can be described in many ways. But in this context, possibly a political skill when it relates to Donald Trump.
Maggie Haberman 23:00
It’s an edge. I mean, it has been his edge in business and in politics for a really long time. And I think that people who don’t accept that by now are choosing not to see reality.
Gloria Riviera 23:11
Right. I mean, there are some Republicans saying publicly that the midterm show the party needs to move on. But when I look at them, you know, many are Republicans who are retiring, they’re, you know, Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan, or Congressman Adam Kinzinger. But you’ve been reporting that Trump is suddenly getting some support from some key Republican figures. What can you tell us about that?
Maggie Haberman 23:33
Sure. I mean, it’s it. Look, there are a number of people in the party who don’t support him right now. But you know, among the people who are openly supporting him, you know, there are people who, whose support is not particularly meaningful. Rick Scott’s support is not hugely meaningful, but Donald Trump, Rick Scott is you know, being blamed by the vast majority of his colleagues in the Senate for what just happened. You know, and most of them are far more loyal to Mitch McConnell. But he, you know, he has the support of, say, Jim banks, the congressman who’s running to be the majority whip. Thanks is also the head of the Republican Study Group; he does reflect a segment of the party in a real way and his support does matter. I think Vance even will not openly endorsing him, describing him as the nominee, if he wants it is important. Vance, as you know, is as special as senator who just had a ton of money spent on his race, you know, by people who have been critical of Trump. It’s important. So you know, there is not a widespread condemnation of him. There is a surprising condemnation of him, but it is not party wide.
Gloria Riviera 24:43
What about a guy like Kevin McCarthy? can he afford right now? I mean, I know he’s, you know, he’s in the thick of it right now trying to figure out what he’s going to do. But can he afford to put any daylight between himself and Donald Trump right now? I mean, he said Trump bears responsibility for the insurrection. On January 6th, but voted against impeachment? To what extent has he backed himself into a corner? And how much agility? Does he have to get out of it?
Maggie Haberman 25:09
It’s a great question. You know, McCarthy expected that he was going to have, first of all, Republicans haven’t won the house yet. If they do, McCarthy expected that he was going to have a decent sized majority with which to work. You know, that is obviously not happening if he does, if he does, and if the Republicans do take the house. Jason Miller, again, the Trump advisor also said on Brandon’s podcasts that if McCarthy wants to be speaker, he’d be a little nicer to Trump. That’s a veiled threat. And, you know, it’s a squeeze that we have seen, used by others on other Republicans over the course of the last two years, when Trump is feeling embattled, particularly after January 6. So I think McCarthy is in a very tough spot. And, and what this looks like, is a real open question.
Gloria Riviera 26:02
If he is able to hang on with a tiny majority, you know, what’s it going to look like if there is a Republican House? And I know, nothing’s settled yet, but we saw how hard it was for John Boehner and Paul Ryan, to keep the conference together, what might it look like for McCarthy with a tiny majority,
Maggie Haberman 26:19
it’s going to look like a mess. I mean, frankly, I think even with a little bit of a bigger majority, it’s going to look like a mess for a couple of reasons. It’s going to be a very closely divided Senate, whichever way it goes, with a tiny majority, he is going to have the House Freedom Caucus agitating against him over and over and over and he is going to really be very beholden to Trump, you know, to likely get help get him over the finish line, House Freedom Caucus is very devoted to Trump. You know, he is a Trump is going to extract demands from McCarthy, that are going to involve a lot of you know, what he wants to see in investigations, and that’s very significant.
Gloria Riviera 26:56
Okay, let’s take a break and come back to discuss the investigations into Trump and how a Republican House could affect them. You bring up investigations, and I know our time is limited. So can you just walk us through? You’ve talked about the threats in the courts facing Trump now in buckets, can you just talk us through how you see it and what he might be most concerned with in Trump’s context and in the way that he thinks about the possible repercussions for alleged actions?
Maggie Haberman 27:45
Sure. So there are three investigations that that really loom large, and that’s on top of the ongoing trial and Hatton that’s going on right now into fraud charges related to his company. So put that aside, there’s the Georgia investigation into his conduct in the state after the lead up to January 6. And his efforts to stay in power. There’s a Justice Department investigation along similar tracks, not just about Georgia, but about all of the fake elector issues about the riot of the capital and efforts that Trump, you know, made to use the Justice Department to stay in power and so forth. And then there’s the investigation into the documents that were, you know, at Mar a Lago that, you know, still unclear why he had them there, that he refused over and over again to return. And that one poses the biggest risk, because it’s the cleanest cut case. Now, no one knows right now, other than prosecutors, where that stands, there are people who definitely want to prosecute and think that he should be prosecuted, but they’re not going to go after the former president united states unless they feel like they have an airtight case, for a variety of reasons. You know, it’s not clear, you know, at all whether Merrick Garland would discuss this with the White House, I assume he would not because I think that Joe Biden has made not having, you know, interference with DOJ a priority, you know, despite what Republicans say. But I don’t think that matters that reality, because I think Republicans would still insist that Biden was marinating this somehow. And, you know, Trump, as we know, has, you know, from a variety of accounts now, tried to use the Justice Department, not just to, you know, keep him in power, but to go after his enemies. So he therefore suggests almost everyone else would do the same thing. And so I think that poses a real problem. You know, if you have a sitting president, that the just the politics of a sitting president, their administration investigating a rival is going to raise questions. Now that said, the flip side is, you know, the analogy and Trump insists he did nothing wrong. For those who say that he did do something wrong. The analogy is, you know, a little akin to the 2008 fiscal crisis and bankers you know, who we’re to blame, not going to jail while other people lose their money. And you know, the analogy is, if you were I, you know, allegedly did what Donald Trump allegedly did, we would probably be facing more significant investigations. So I think all of these are going to be a factor over the next couple of months. Right?
Gloria Riviera 30:21
I don’t want to discount. I mean, we love hearing what you have to say about Donald Trump. But you also have incredible sources on the other side of the aisle. And I’m just wondering, I want to get this question. And President Biden thinks of himself as a dealmaker, we hear it again and again, but realistically, you’re on the ground. Do you see a lot of deals to be made between him and House Republicans? And are there any big issues right now, when we still have several crucial seats to be decided? Are there any big issues where they have common ground?
Maggie Haberman 30:52
You know, not really. Yeah, I mean, no, but I think that said, you know, I think that I’ll give you a for instance, you know, Kevin McCarthy has talked about trying to slim down Ukraine aid, which he’s saying, because he had been saying as he was heading into this leadership fight, you know, because he’s trying to placate members of the conference that don’t want to continue funding Ukraine. It’s not a unanimous view among Republicans. There are people who are much more open to the White House, his pitch, but it is going to require mollifying so many members of the House, that that that gets complicated. You know, the question is going to be how aggressively the House Republicans start looking into Hunter Biden or started looking into things related to Biden personally, it’s really hard to see a lot getting done against that backdrop, but it’s just too soon to say.
Gloria Riviera 31:56
Maggie, I want to take the rest of our time to talk about your book, because there’s some stories that I think our listeners would really benefit from hearing. One question I want to ask you is when you finished, and you’ve been asked this before, but I’m asking you again. Were there any stories that you wish you had put in that you did not?
Maggie Haberman 32:11
There’s a bunch of stuff that came up. After the book had gone to bed that I’ll I’m going to put out, you know, at a later date, oh, good, good. But there was one. But in one case, this one I’ve talked about before. You, George HW Bush used to tell people a story about sitting in an airport in the early 90s at JFK in the early 90s. And he was getting ready to go on an overseas trip, give a speech post presidency. And someone comes up to him and says, you know, excuse me, Mr. President, Donald Trump is here, and he’s wondering if you’d like to meet him. And George, his response was no, and then goes back to his paper. Now, you know, they had interacted before at a fundraiser in New York City was they had they have literally met before, but just that the cell is do you want? Do you want to see this person? You know, and he was just fundamentally not interested. And, you know, the Bush family relationship with Donald Trump is obviously pretty legendary.
Gloria Riviera 33:06
Yeah, I just, that’s like, no, thanks. I’m good. I don’t need to do that. The other question I had is about what your experience was asking people to speak to you for a book versus a deadline, that’s going to be you know, front page tomorrow morning?
Maggie Haberman 33:19
Yeah, it’s a great question. And it’s obviously come up a lot. I mean, so there, what I discovered is there were a lot of people who would not tell me things in real time, who did tell me things later. And when I would ask them why they had various reasons, but one was, the books, you know, they don’t have immediacy, they’re not in that moment, they felt as if they could get fuller context out. You know, news articles are shorter. You know, that when I made that point, in a different interview, a democratic source of mine actually texted me and said, I saw that point you made I feel the exact same way. It’s why I prefer the books or I prefer a podcast is, you know, I’m not going to be worried about my quotes getting chopped up, or, and so I think people just have a different perspective. I think there’s some misunderstanding in seeing books. You know, there’s a segment of the, of the Twitter verse that sees although godliness with the Twitter versus the right now, but prior to Elon Musk’s ownership, there was a segment of the Twitterverse that, you know, talked about books as if they were somehow oppositional to journalism and books are journalism. They’re a part of history. Yeah. And so I think that people felt like they were adding to the historical record in a specific way.
Gloria Riviera 34:32
Maggie, I think it’s so interesting that your own background as a New Yorker, would you describe yourself as a New Yorker? Like yeah, okay, good. I didn’t want to make any assumptions. Now. You’re, you know, your own background as a New Yorker gave you a unique perspective as did your time working for the New York Post. You knew the world that Donald Trump came of age in. How do you think that gave you as a reporter an edge and my other question is, you are Porter, you are looking for the facts. That is something that Trump is not apt to offer voluntarily when it doesn’t serve him, I think arguably could be said, how do you keep up your stamina? And how do you handle a topic like that a person like that?
Maggie Haberman 35:17
Look, I mean, he’s a very challenging subject to cover. He’s not the first politician who has ever not told me the truth. Right. I mean, like, I think it’s really, I think it’s really important just to bear in mind that, you know, there’s a desire to treat Trump he is souI generous in many ways, but not every way. And I have never dealt with a politician who either liked their press coverage overall, or, or who told the truth all the time. But Donald Trump says things that are not true on matters big and small, with a volume that we’ve just never seen in politics before. And so that’s just fundamentally different. And I think one of the challenges, frankly, was explaining to voters and readers who think well, all politicians lie, how he’s different. And so and so that is a challenge. But getting a baseline of truth with him, is extremely difficult. You know, it’s not just him, but frankly, people around him who want to self-aggrandizing, or make themselves sound bigger, or what have you. You know, they tend to know that they can say things that are not true about him, because they’ll have more credibility than he does. And that’s a very slippery slope. So, you know, it’s, I think we have all around him reporting on him done our best to try to make sure that, you know, we have the most accurate draft of history that we can produce.
Gloria Riviera 36:40
Yeah. Well, Maggie Haberman, I think that you navigate that slippery slope very well for readers. It’s an incredibly important job. The book is confidence, man. Thank you, Maggie, so much for joining us on in the bubble. Wow, okay, so for me, that was like watching the Chicago Bulls in a final and Michael Jordan had his very best game ever. She is a rockstar. She is so smart. And it was an honor to sit down and speak with her. Coming up this week. And next on in the bubble. We have an excellent roster of guest hosts and thinkers. Dr. Bob Wachter will be on this week to discuss the tripledemic we’re all hearing about. We’ll have more midterm reactions for you with former US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, comedian Taylor Tomlinson will be on. There is a lot to look forward to. I just want to say thanks. Thanks to everybody for letting me fill in for Andy. Have a great day.
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