Getting to the Point with the authors of "The Hill to Die On"



good evening everyone and welcome thank you for joining us on this lovely spring day did anybody bring the Sun with you and you know that would be great to see that reappear but thank you for joining us and for taking the time to be here for tonight's conversation with the authors of the hill Judy on I'm Mary grant I'm president of the Institute and I'm delighted to welcome all of you here so again my thanks to you this is this is one of our getting to the point conversations and tonight we're very excited because we have the authors of the hill to die on a new book that chronicles president Trump's first two years in office as experienced firsthand on Capitol Hill the Institute is delighted to convene a discussion that brings to light no shortage of intrigue yes but also some real insights as to what's going I mean it's a really fascinating read about the dynamics and behind the scenes at a critically important time in our country diving into how policy decisions are being made how we think about them and the legislative process that drives them so it's um it's a wonderful read and we're going to have a chance to hear a little bit more about it tonight and I'm joining us this evening of the authors of the book Jake Sherman who's been at political for over a decade now where he's a senior writer for the news outlet in co-author of the highly consumed play book newsletter his acumen and tenacity and reporting have brought light to the way Congress is working now prior to his current role Jake was in the Washington DC Offices of several renowned news publications including the Wall Street Journal Newsweek magazine and the Minneapolis star-tribune joining Jake this evening is Ana Paula the co-author of the book she's a senior Washington correspondent for Politico where she has been since 2011 and a fellow co-author of the widely distributed highly consumed play book email dispatch she covers all aspects of Congress and politics as large as well as the players on Capitol Hill that make it function also of known in is editorial director for women rule a political platform dedicated to expanding leadership opportunities for women no matter what stage they are their careers in their political development and it's wonderful to have in and with us this evening before the work she's doing presently she covered house leadership in lobbying at roll call and legal times thank you both for being with us this evening and sharing the stories and the insights through your incredible book so we're delighted to have you with us as the last last year in our political survey that we do looking at civic engagement one of the things that we found was that when it comes to the Senate in particular that's what we looked at that more than 70% of 72 percent to be exact of American voters expressed dissatisfaction with the legislative body another takeaway was that a plurality of voters 48 percent believe that senators should engage in compromise on a regular basis a Senator Edward Kennedy the co-founder of this Institute put it so eloquently what divides us pales in comparison to what unites us with that mindset legislators is this is what we learn from the survey legislators should be able to leave party labels behind leave them at the door and genuinely work together towards compromise to work in the common interest to make a difference and to move an agenda forward but we know that that that's not always the case that it's complicated and it's sometimes it doesn't work out that way and while a real set of drama and policy plays out on Capitol Hill every day in the Institute we're working with the next generation of leaders who come into this space try on the role of a United States Senator and a policymaker and learn the ways of government learn ways of engaging and having discourse that will bring us together so it's very exciting what happens at the Institute I encourage all of you to continue to be a part of it and I thank you for joining us this evening and the habits of legislative activity in Washington DC have changed a bit since senator Kennedy was in office serving the people of Massachusetts but we are so delighted that this evening we are joined by Steve Scully who's going to moderate the conversation Steve worked in the Senators media affairs offices from 1979 to 1982 and he's here to moderate this discussion with us this evening currently Steve is the political editor for c-span having joined the network almost 30 years ago among his responsibilities Steve coordinates campaign programming for c-span c-span org c-span radio in addition to that he also serves as the regular Sunday host of their Washington journal public affairs program previously Steve had distinguished opportunity to be the White House correspondent Association president from 2006 to 2007 and it's a true pleasure to welcome Steve to the Institute this evening I know that we have a few other alumni in the house I'd like to just give a shout out to JD lorac and Joe O'Brien who are here with us this evening and if there are any other alumni beside my good friend Tara Rendon in the back I thank you for your service and for what you did every day to make the life's of all of us in Massachusetts richer in better so I am delighted to invite up our distinguished panel our fabulous moderator so please welcome Jake and Anna and Steve to the front of the room to begin tonight's conversation [Applause] dr. grant thank you very very much it is it's amazing to be here this is just phenomenal and this is one hell of a book I have to tell you so Jake and Anna we're gonna have some fun let me get right into it quote on Congress it is one of the pettiest collections of adults the planet has ever seen filled with 535 personalities who closely resemble high school class presidents leaders dole out C's to their political allies the less fortunate rabble rousers gets stuck with garbage assignments so tell me what you really think and we'll start with you well first thanks so much for having us we're really excited to be here we've gotten asked a lot about that that quote and just kind of our depiction of Congress and I think what we really wanted to do was portray a realistic view of what happens from our perspective to reporters who have been covering Capitol Hill you know living breathing kind of on the in the basements grabbing members as they come in and out of meetings about what it's really like not just the caricature that so many people see on on cable news and other things yeah and I want to echo I want to thank the Institute for having us and it's so weird because we spend so much time looking at this actual room and I feel like you can never be in the we could never be at the floor but usually we're right outside of that door so it's up in a gallery or up to the gallery right behind leaning over that thing where it says don't lean on this at least it says that in the Capitol yes so we were talking about this a little bit before the program us3 but this is this book is really kind of an ode to Congress with all of its warts and and blemishes and you know I heard a really good maxim for my father when I was a kid and I was first starting to show interest in politics and understanding politics and he told me and this is a cynics view and I'm a cynic so it fits me well that people go to Washington and look to get power keep power and increase power and how they exercise that power obviously is different in depending on the person but I think what we were trying to illustrate with that is that people exercise their power in funny ways and ebike doling out committee assignments to allies and friends giving gifts things of that nature there are so many different layers in this book but let's talk about Speaker Ryan first of all was he a misfit for Speaker of the House because it's clearly a job he never really wanted he's a policy guy he's a committee chair he's the budget guy he didn't want to be Speaker of the House he's Wisconsin guy here's a lot of hats uh I will speak briefly with this but I'll really let Jake kind of take this one because he covered Paul Ryan and really Republican House Republicans for a long time but I think what this book shows about Paul Ryan is it's a little disingenuous right for him to say I'm this guy I didn't really want to be Speaker like you're the number three person in power in the u.s. that of course you wanted to be it but he would only do it it kind of has his martyrdom complex where he would only do it if every single person voted for him so I'm not quite sure if he was a misfit for it because he clearly took the job and then did it but I don't think he didn't have the enjoyment in exercising the power that I think you see a Speaker Nancy Pelosi have or certainly a Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell yeah I think a few things number one I think Paul Ryan got on the vice presidential ticket in 2012 and never was able to completely leave that experience behind him and always had designs that there was something else there for him and not that he was gonna run for president but he planned to be Ways and Means chairman and then leave and God had a different plan I guess Ryan hasn't as a a habit of not taking responsibility for things in his own life meaning he said he just couldn't run for re-election when he had to retire before the election because he just couldn't run for reelection with that guilty conscience of knowing he wasn't going to come back he just had to become speaker and you know he didn't he had trouble disassociating free choice and and he just had a difficult time with that I don't know if he was a misfit I actually thought when he took the speakership he would be speaker for a long time and be a very successful speaker I think he got dealt a bad hand he shaped the Republican Party in his image over about a ten year period and then Donald Trump took that image put it in a trash can and lit it on fire and threw it in a river you know and sunk it so so I think that I think he got a bad hand and many believe he played it badly another quote from the book Paul Ryan thought Donald Trump was disgusting Trump thought Ryan was useless I mean they don't mince words let me tell you you know we sat down with the president in the Oval Office afternoon Paul Ryan many times and I think one of the things that was very clear when speaking with the president we really weren't talking about what was happening that day or that week but kind of his relationship with all of the different members of leadership and I think they really didn't have a lot in common I think Donald Trump is a lot more in common with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to politicians he's known for a long time compared to you know from you know New York and California and we have the same kind of fundraisers versus a Mitch McConnell out of Kentucky and Paul Ryan out of Wisconsin but I also think that the way that Donald Trump's politics as Jake kind of just said they couldn't be more opposed to the process and the way that to get things done and how to go about it you know I think a lot of people forget that Paul Ryan almost pulled his endorsement of the president right before the election right after the Hollywood Access Hollywood tape came out and we asked him about that you know because no mr. president you know what do you really think about you know remember he wasn't really with you all the time and he said oh yeah that's why I call him foxhole Paul you know he's never in the foxhole with you yeah one does one more interesting thing Steve and I will let you ask but he we said to him so why'd you forgive him he said to the president why did you forgive Paul Ryan and he said you know that's just something like that's just how it is we needed each other which is a fascinating admission that basically the president knew that he was a vessel to get things done and was able to shift kind of this hatred they didn't like each other – okay well maybe this guy could be helpful to me but that first moment after the election where president lectric meets with Donald Trump and Paul Ryan and Trump says oh you're a boy scout tell that story yes so right after election Donnell ection night and I'm sorry if my back is turned to you I'm trying to look around as much as I can on election night the air in Wisconsin yeah I was in Janesville Wisconsin with the speaker I wasn't writing this book yet we weren't writing this book yet we had no idea what we that we were gonna be writing this book and Paul Ryan had a press conference scheduled for election night and cancelled it and his staff said to us we would rather just let him sleep the night and wake up in the morning and start a new hood and so he spoke to the per a spoke to Trump and they had a fine conversation they spoke again in the morning and Ryan called Mike Pence who was his friend from the house and they said we need to get our two staffs together so Ryan almost immediately flew back to DC and had Ryan and Ed Trump at the Capitol with Melania gave him a big tour of the of the Capitol and the speaker's balcony which I know this is an Institute for the Senate but has beautiful views of the of the house of the National Mall and they go over to the Capitol Hill Club which is a private Republican Club across the street and Trump said to him something like you know I know what got you it was that Access Hollywood tape and Trump and Ryan said yeah you know I'm pretty religious you know that and people just don't talk like that where I'm from so yeah it rattled me a little bit and Melania says well oh you're religious like Pence's religious and Ryan was like yeah I guess and then Trump said I get it you're a boy scout and that is how from then on he view Trump he view Ryan as he's the boy scout he can't handle a little rough talk about women so called him from then on for the entire two year period a boy scout there is no label for Speaker Pelosi no nickname by this president why I think he has a lot of respect and almost reverence for her which i think is surprising but when we sat down with him we asked him about Pelosi and I think yeah he can't quite understand her and her power and her ability to get her troops to stay in line you know said there's a line where he says Democrats they're their life they lousy ideas or lousy politicians but they stick together and in his two and a half years they Republicans have not stuck together they on almost anything and so I think in a lot of ways whether it's you know a lot of the funding debates or you know the the border wall she has scared him down and he is blinked twice and I think he has a lot of respect for that we are at an institute where you studied the US Senate won Ted Kennedy story about five years before he died I happened to see him c-span is right near the Russell Senate office building he had the dog splash so I used to see him out he was so excited about this facility he'd be so proud of what Mary and everyone is doing here but let's talk about the Senate Mitch McConnell and Merrick garland again from the book a man who inspires loyalty I'm talking about Mitch McConnell by Republican colleagues who never ever want to cross him in a hatred by his Democratic foes who say that he is power-hungry yeah Mitch McConnell is probably the biggest object of fascination from everybody who's not in Washington and is interested in politics and I see a lot of heads nodding so I I guess it's the same here McConnell with Merrick garland decided very early he heard Scalia died and he made a an immediate calculation he was he was on a plane that was touching down in the Virgin Islands and he decided immediately he could not give Merrick garland a hearing and the next president would have to decide that day it was a Saturday on his own he wrote I mean think about this room there was not a staff meeting or somebody drafting a statement he himself wrote the statement from vacation and he said this amazing thing to us when we interviewed him about this he said I had a hunch that Democrats would do the same if they were in that position and later I found evidence to back up my hunch which was Joe Biden had said at one point basically that that if it was in the middle of an election year a president shouldn't replace a Supreme Court justice he called it the Biden rule right yeah Joe bide didn't like that money but but kind of walk us through the the politics that he was facing in the US Senate Democrats were furious I can hear Ted Kennedy today he would have been on the floor yelling at Mitch McConnell I mean I think they were fears but it also shows the amount of power that a the Senate in leader in the majority has to whether to put it bring anything to the floor to bring anything to a committee or to order to hold that process and he I think in a lot of ways were sending this backstage but I think a lot of the times Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi their politics are very obviously not similar but their approach and their kind of ability to pick an endpoint and just ride the criticism no matter what they don't get a lot of style points for it but they're often successful on that because they either break people down or they wear them out but let's drill down all but further because Mary Carlin was in many ways a consensus choice he wasn't a polarizing figure Senate leaders like Orrin Hatch said if you nominate him he would be confirmed yet there was not even a confirmation hearing that that's how firm Mitch McConnell was yeah absolutely it was a major gamble and it was almost unprecedented and it was the politics of it were huge risks mr. Tolin yeah it also appeared at that time that it was going to be a present Hillary Clinton who would probably have picked a more liberal Justice to route to for the replacement yeah and for the institution of the Senate which is honor bound tradition-bound and remember there are Republicans like Susan Collins who has voted for every Supreme Court justice regardless of party for her 20-something year career in the Senate so to say to a president no this is this we're not even gonna give this guy hearing is absolutely unprecedented and what was even more amazing to us as reporters when we were watching this is he got almost no public or private pressure from Senate Republicans who were just in lockstep behind him because you have to wonder if in 2020 or 2024 the situation is different the Republicans have the Senate would they follow the McConnell rule well I heard a laugh somewhere macaca doesn't know McConnell was asked that I believe and was not and I think I think many Senate Republicans were asked that and we're not as firm as McConnell was for sure let's stay in the Senate and talk about the vote you can almost see John McCain coming over here and putting the thumbs down you tell the story in the book and I what happened and how ticked off was President Trump I'm being polite yes I mean well you have to remember I we have to kind of set the context right now everybody knows that health care imploded but that was really the you know Paul Ryan had convinced President Trump that he should do health care first which was very controversial not to do infrastructure not to do tax reform they were gonna do health care and it bumbled along the way and you know in some ways it was really interesting going back and actually watching a lot of c-span tapes of this but people were very surprised that he voted the way he did with it you know kind of the thumbs down the dramatic moment but we write in the book and I think it's important is that he kind of forecasted that he was not okay with the way that this process was done because they were not following precedent they weren't following procedure they you know he really wanted the rules of the Senate to be upheld and I think it's one of the reasons why tax reform was much more successful is because the Senate Majority Leader's staff said no process sells and and one interesting thing about that as McCain was in the subway on the way from his office to the Senate floor that night and ran into Chris Murphy from Connecticut and Murphy and McCain had grown close because they both have an interest in foreign policy and McCain at a habit of taking young people regardless of party under his wing and bringing them two trips abroad and things of that nature and McCain said to him on the train about to do something that will make my party angry at me forever so he was very cognizant even I mean he was sick at that point and some people in though in the administration and in the Senate blamed his illness for that vote but he was very cognizant about what he was of what he was going to do and it was that last kind of what a lot of people call it the Maverick streak it really gives you a sense of the the politics of health care because Senator Kennedy going back to the Nixon administration battled with Republicans to try to get some sort of a compromise so this has been 40 plus years of trying to reach some sort of agreement and and and we're nowhere closer if anything I think we're probably further apart at this point for anything in health care to get done yet I think also I mean we we've watched health care get the the battle over health care for the last ten years on Capitol Hill and we watched the process by which Republicans or but by which Democrats passed it in 2009 and 2010 and then the process by which Republicans tried to undo it in the house and and but we we were particularly interested in when Donald Trump said no one new health care could be this hard which a lot of people forget about and actually in fact everyone knew health care would be that hard back to the book Donald Trump and by the way that the chapter about election night 2016 is fascinating thank you Trump's election broke up friendships frayed or ended marriages and tested the resilience of America's democracy yeah I mean I think everybody here probably felt it right I mean there were he is nothing if not a polarizing figure and people either love Trump or they hate him and I think one of the more interesting things that we saw you and I think when you're out on the coasts people often you know New York do you see California they they can of can't understand Trump they can understand people who maybe support him but when you look at the makeup of a lot of Senate Republicans that are from the south or the middle of the country and particularly House Republicans they go back home and their constituents say why aren't you defending the president more you know and so there's just this real push-pull I think where there the you know they they feel so strongly about it well tell the cracker barest Cracker Barrel story on election on Inauguration Day yes so we focus in the book a bunch on the party committees the d-triple-c Democratic Congressional Congressional Campaign Committee say that five times fast and the NRCC which is the Republican equivalent and Dan Cena who was the executive director of the d-triple-c in 28 2016 to 2018 didn't want to be in his office on election on Inauguration Day 2017 he was a Democrat he had nothing to celebrate so he he drove north to Pennsylvania to go to Cracker Barrel and strangely enough he's a Cracker Barrel day vote a he has the game what's not to love well yeah I mean it's fine but I'll not go crazy over the so he goes up there with his family packs him in his Pathfinder and says and he gets there and they're wheeling TVs in to watch the inauguration and and he describes it like the Superbowl like people were saying you know we need to make sure we're taping this at home and mom says to a daughter like don't worry honey we're taping it at home you're gonna be able to see it right and and he was shocked by this reaction which I don't think he had fully internalized as we say in the book just how fervently people were supporting the president basically all over the country in ways that they had Nick dad thought before so that kind of guided his thinking for much of the early part of the the next two years which gets to one of the points that you make in the book is how he was totally underestimated you talk about how he brought to Washington a cast of misfits his prescription was all stick and no carrot and his victory was not predicted by anyone nobody he did not get a single newspaper endorsement anywhere in the country and yet he wins yeah I mean I think if we were saying this before I've said it a lot it you know I think Jake and I got out of the prediction business after the 2016 cycle exactly it's a dangerous place to be I mean I think there was one it's not even the polling was broken necessarily because it was really we were just they were pulling the wrong places right and nobody looked at Wisconsin nobody looked at Pennsylvania in a lot of ways that they thought he could win yeah I think despite what people say now there very few even that the NRCC had polling that did the RNC thought they were gonna lose and Reince Priebus calls Paul Ryan on election day and says to him you really better get your mind right around president Hillary Clinton and you could even lose the house and and Ryan responds to Priebus the chair of the RNC and they're good friends but it's good for ya yeah they worked in McDonald's together something like that in Wisconsin when in their teens really helped build the Republican Party in Wisconsin and and Ryan says I don't think we're gonna lose the house but I'll defer to you on the presidency I mean and and had no idea that and it was amazing hearing you know afterwards reconstruct and constructing Ryan's thinking as he's watching results at the Holiday Inn in Janesville Wisconsin as he's seen county-by-county across Wisconsin counties that hadn't gone for Republicans and years go for Donald Trump and he's like oh my god he's gonna win you remember he was trying to see Ron Johnson the senator who everybody thought the Republican who everybody thought was gonna lose Sean Spicer told me that after the election he had had assumed that Donald Trump would conform to the presidency as past occupants of the Oval Office had he was wrong I think a lot of people thought that I mean I really think a lot of people thought he was just going to you know this was his kind of shtick for the campaign and then when he came to Washington Washington would kind of Bend you know him into submission in a lot of ways but I think the interesting thing about the president is if you really look back at what he cared about on the campaign trail for the most part was truly the border wall and that is the one thing where he had a real ideology and he stuck to that and on the a lot of the other things oftentimes his first instant can be to agree with Democrats before he's kind of pulled back whether it's on health care whether it's sometimes on immigration on taxes he doesn't have those 20 years of public policy and writing you know bills and things like that to fall back on I would also say Sean Spicer we did an event with him an interview like this that c-span broadcast actually and we asked him is anything gonna some version of this question I don't want to mischaracterize it but I remember it being some version of is anything gonna change in the way the president handles the press specifically that question and he said that again paraphrasing that was a campaign thing now we're in government so and I that projection was yeah yeah it's online at c-span yeah so we've reached 250 thousand hours that quick story the very first video that we archived was Senator Kennedy speech on the Bork nomination and that began 1989 and we have archived everything since then so let me go back though to your conversation with senator Mitch McConnell in the office because it it really is fascinating how this guy operates can you tell the story yeah we we were trying to find the right moment to interview the the Senate Majority Leader our book and I know this is this is bad to say in the Senate chamber but was mostly about the house for most of our reporting and included flashes in the Senate when the story because House Republicans were more likely to lose the chamber than Senate Republicans and we walked in and we said we want to talk about judges to McConnell and he just said okay do you mind if I talk for a little bit and we said sure and he spoke for like 32 or 33 minutes straight and how remarkable is that Chuck he's a quiet he's a man of few words he picks his words very carefully yeah and he went back from his history and we chronicled us in the book of being an intern for being a young staffer working at the Department of Justice all through his Senate career about how he viewed the judiciary and how he tried to get the president the new president to understand the importance and the unique ability with Republicans controlling the center than the White of getting reshaping the judiciary for decades to come I mean the what I would say the thing that's so interesting is he was so single-mindedly focused on it and we came in to speak with him after the Brett Cavanaugh confirmation which was clearly kind of tearing the country apart there was protests on Capitol Hill and we had never in my reporting time had ever seen where people were almost you know coming up and you know trying to touch and attack senators and they were you know it was almost like a police state and you wondered and I think our editor really wanted to say like you know wasn't there did he grapple with it was there the ethics of it all and at the end of this chapter it you know we say so what like what did you think about what was your mind frame mindset at the end of the you know after Kavanagh had passed and he said you know I was on cable news every speech I gave was being broadcast on all cable networks all the talk radio you know host who usually tell me you know call me ask wish are saying I'm leading the charge my poll numbers are up I know it won't last but for the moment I'm a rock star two other key players and we were talking with dr. grant about Mark Meadows formerly from University of North Carolina in Nashville before she came here to Boston and he played a key role before Election Day trying to force a challenge on Paul Ryan in 2016 yeah he didn't like Paul Ryan he didn't like John Boehner either he so is nothing personal but he in 2015 yeah 2015 went to the House floor and fought and was on the brink of filing a motion to or did file a motion to force the ejection of John Boehner John Boehner later resigned and he had designs if Hillary Clinton would win that he was going to send Jim Jordan or they great to send Jim Jordan to New York another conservative member of the House to announce a challenge to Paul Ryan to Paul Ryan on Fox News and and it was in the amazing scene marked Meadows is in his apartment on Capitol on in downtown Washington and with the members of the house freedom caucus the small conservative are growing at the time conservative group that he led got a message on his cellphone that's it from Paul Ryan said if you're gonna kneecap me at least let me know with a bunch of shamrock emojis which is really funny and I've reminded Paul Ryan in this after years later and he was laughing about it so he had really big plans to change the leadership atop the party Donald Trump one they decided to stick together with Paul Ryan behind Paul Ryan something I'd never asked them but something they probably regretted at different points during those next two years the end of the book you talk about the midterm elections of 2018 calling it seismic historic unprecedented why well it was an unprecedented loss I mean I think Republicans knew the writing it was going to be hard for them to keep the chamber in the house because typically two years in the president's party always uses but they lost by epic numbers I think you also saw a cultural shift right there's a chapter in the book that really deals with the me to kind of movement and how the Senate and the house had to grapple with that and you some more women for the first time running you also had you know the return of Speaker Nancy Pelosi something that I don't think a lot of people expect it to happen and she kind of fought her way tooth and nail and and now is you know probably the most powerful person in Washington he and also it's just an Mitch McConnell always says this the American people preferred divided government because I don't have the statistic at hand I think it's in the book but for much of the last X amount of years pick your number of years there has been divided government in Washington so it was historic also in the sense that this rare period of time where one party controlled all the levers of power where they were exiting and that was also particularly unique again what makes this book so fascinating is the stories and the one story and you can't make this up Republican leaders go to Camp David they watch of all movies the greatest show man the story PT Barnum when I first heard that I thought how appropriate and the PowerPoint presentation by Kevin McCarthy so set the stage and how this all came about leading up to the 2018 midterm elections and trying to nudge the president to do a few things to protect the house yeah I mean Kevin McCarthy knew I mean all the statistics and he was trying to train the President on the issue of we know what they could do to try to save the house and he had designs on you know we need to get the president out of the you know the West Wing out of Washington and he actually I think he went to Ivanka Trump right and he you know to try to get her to say hey look let's let's go to Camp David let's go somewhere and so they you know that she kind of did that you know we made the case for him and so they retreat to Camp David and he had a whole presentation and was basically really trying to train the president's mind on infrastructure things that needed to happen some winds that they could get so that they could try to sell the American public and keep their majority yeah he had this Kevin McCarthy like statistics and he has very strange statistics that describe whatever situation you're really trying to describe he says no party ever wins the majority without a professional athlete in their ranks so whenever he sees a professional athlete running he assumes that part that party's gonna take the majority I'm not sure that's statistically significant but he he believes in this stuff and and he's usually right and he had this this presentation that for the president that had you are Bill Clinton in 1998 you have a good economy you're under siege and there was one more and I think he was he was talking about how Democrats shut down the government Chuck Schumer had a disagreement with the president a short shutdown at the beginning of the year and his whole goal was to get the president to lean in in the small things that could move the needle with the small segments of the population that he believed he needed to win the majority and of course after the presentation Trump liked it and told people afterwards he liked it but after after the presentation he said something like I don't believe these polls anyway you know so it's tough to disk to people get the President to rally around data that he doesn't believe and he didn't I mean they they didn't he didn't change course he didn't all of a sudden try to think more about how to keep House Republican majority and even afterward didn't take any responsibility for the loss whereas both George W Bush and Obama who they they had massive losses in the house after their first two years took you know I think was they called it a thumping you know they had they both took responsibility for and he's he actually told us he thought that Republicans losing might actually help him and they could get more done because Republicans were too you know ideological ideologically restrained and with Democrats I could just bring them a bill and he could decide whether or not he was gonna sign it let me see how that's worked out for him with them where's Jerry Nadler right how do you get the president to focus because you've been around him you've interviewed him we've all seen how he can just go off on a tangent and not follow any script whatsoever well we had a different situation with him in which we we were there to not talk about him really that much we we wanted his reflections on other people a lot more because we decided by that point when we had had a long interview with him we were practically done with the book not totally we had about two or two months left of reporting then the government shutdown happened and that screwed up our plans but we had we weren't going to him for confirmation of things we were going to him for reflections about incidents that he was a part of or about people that he dealt with and he did go off on tangents but at some times the tangents were like actually quite interesting and and it this is not an insult so I don't mean it as it it so but it's like free association he's when he goes off on a tangent something he's triggered something in his mind that thinks that led him to the next point and that's always interesting to see what that is excuse me is he really out of the prediction yeah 2016 I could tell you what no I was gonna say one of the people running is gonna be president but I guess that's not even true it's it's a new person seems to be running every day so so from the book I have to ask you about the title you say that Congress screws things up shuts down the government raises taxes spend money on endless war all while members collect fat paychecks so the hill to die on is the title how did you come up with that actually but we the title when we made we wrote the proposal but I think when you're up on the hill that it can be a phrase it relates to so many different members and also different issues right so many members whether it's health care that's gonna be there Hill to die on whether it's immigration for some of the Conservatives that's gonna be there hell to die on or is it going to be opposing the president that you know and so it was a title where we felt like it was accessible because the phrase people know but it also was really reflective of kind of the ethos of the place yeah and also and we've said and we didn't know what the president's Hill to die on would be but I mean he listened to Paul Ryan and I mean the the one of the main arcs of the book is he listened to Paul Ryan for so many months and and delayed his fight on the border wall which was a central campaign promise no surprise to anybody that he wanted a border wall built Paul Ryan convinced him to delay it delay it delay it got to the end of Republican Washington and the president entered into the longest shutdown in American history over that issue so that was his hill to diana we're gonna get to your questions then we're gonna start on those VIP seats up there so if you have a microphone that's what we sit so that's the those are the spots you write about the club eNOS of Congress and the club eNOS of the Senate Anna yeah I mean I think that one of the things we wanted to do was really peel back a layer of Washington and that is you know how do these interpersonal relationships work there's a lot of drinking there's a lot of long hours there's a lot of that kind of sense if I'm part of one of the 100 in the Senate and that you're special and and in some ways you are special right you get a very large salary for a lot of these people that are coming from states that they otherwise would not get paid to do that they're treated like rock star they've got staff doing their every whim you know so in in a lot of ways I think we wanted to make sure that people understood that it's not it's it's not a characterization of good or bad it's just what it actually is you know there's this amazing thing that didn't make the book but Kevin McCarthy on the campaign trail I'm not even sure you know this but he used to say he used to have this line in stump speeches where he would say it would get to the end and he would say you know when I become speaker or when I win reelection you're gonna all come with me to the Capitol and I'm gonna show you this amazing portrait I have I think eight linked in it not the point of the story but people even when they're outside of Washington make you think that they're part of this like mythical Club that is just Congress and it's so interesting and they're whisked away on jets government jets to world capitals in the Senate I would say it's more acute than anywhere else because when you're a senator like Ted Kennedy or now Mitt Romney even you are treated like a prime minister when you go to a another country and like a head of state and and that's kind of crazy I mean it's really interesting and when you when they leave they often have a real culture shock right let's you know I remember when Trent Lott left the Senate and he'd been in leadership for a very long time he didn't own a winter coat because he was so used to the motorcade picking him up and dropping him off or every way that's how people people talk about that a DC all the time that Tim Geithner never wore a winter coat former Treasury secretary would get out of the car and the you know right for the building and get get back in afterwards I interviewed him and senator bro when they left and went down to lobby and they also didn't know how to call out they didn't realize really like dial nine because I mean what they probably didn't hadn't dialed a phone in 25 years you're always part of the club that's the crazy thing I mean we we still see Trent Lott walking around the Capitol all the time he still parks his Mini Cooper with the Mississippi plates right outside the Capitol like things never changed he's part of a secret society called chowder and marching Steve you probably know about that but it meets every Wednesday in the at all and we've long wanted to do a story about this but I think our time has passed on that and you know once you're in the club you're always part of the club it's amazing Joe Scarborough who hosts Morning Joe was once a member of the house could go on and so he reminds us every revival evermore he he he often times says he often times I don't maybe not recently but during the Obama years and I think the first Trump stated the Union he just walked onto the House floor because you have lifetime privileges so it's like once you get elected and it's crazy right because you are there's only six hundred thousand people who vote for who are in a district for a house race sometimes a hundred fifty thousand vote or something like that even less and you are a lifetime member of Congress too quick final points first every author says boy there's something I wish I could have put in the book but didn't make it was there one thing that you wanted in the book one quote one anecdote one moment yes and no I mean I wanted everything in the book things we had to I think for the most part a lot of it got in I do think there were some things that you know weird nerds and we're Congress nerds and so it was I think helpful for us to have an editor who was not of Washington not just doing these kinds of books and so it was really kind of put the pressure on us to make sure that you know well hopefully you really enjoy the book but my mom in North Dakota could also there was some accessibility there we also got really great access and we say this in the book and I'm gonna get to my point about what we left out but we got access to meetings to fundraisers to phone calls conference calls blah blah blah blah blah and I try we both traveled for the book to bring the story to life and there were I mean I went to New Orleans for a fundraiser Steve Scalise fundraiser with Mike Pence where I had a lot of great material and great color that just didn't fit anywhere in the book and that was disappointing but the book is already 400 pages and my editor felt pretty our editor felt pretty clear that it needed to stay at that yeah we also spent a lot of time with Joe Crowley and I don't think we anticipated he would be a much bigger character in the final question then we'll get to your questions you're both very humble in your biography basically if you read the biography that at the end of the book you never thought you'd be doing this so just very quickly talk about your roots in North Dakota and coming to Washington and thinking that I'm not gonna get a job yeah I mean so I think I write in the in my innate knowledge mints so I mean I literally I cannot come from I'm a grew up in a farm a town of 600 people in North Dakota and I wanted to be a journalist I was in second grade and you know you kind of I don't have any ties in Washington and as much as this is a club it's a total Club in Washington connections and people knowing everybody and so I really you know I did a bunch of internships and won't you know decided I would didn't have a job after college and I had my waitress shoes and my resumes and I just kind of was able to lock into you know I work really hard and kind of you fake it til you make it but it's it's it's been a wild ride yeah I kind of always knew I wanted to be a reporter and and was a nerd and worked on my college paper and but we've had moments during this book where we've turned to each other been like whoa what happened here like how did we get a year like we I mean a couple years ago we were just writing daily stories for Politico which we write playbook as as as you as dr. grant noticed the mentioned at the top but we were just writing stories and in the end we were on called The Colbert show and we looked at each other like where did this come from but the really cool thing about the book was we someone said to me and we were freaking out about how was being received or how it would be received commercially and a friend of mine says you know people either love Trump or they hate Trump I'm not sure they're ready for a middle-of-the-road assessment of Congress in the era of Trump and the good thing is I think people have come to the judgment and the Republicans and Democrats that have read it agreed that this is kind of just a what drives the book is not an ideology it's the stories in the book and the behind the scenes stuff we were able to get and it were more most proud that we've not had one substantive complaint about anything in the book which has been which is really difficult when you write a hundred forty thousand words and I had dreams trust me about this book blowing up and I screwed it up somehow but even at the White House and meet people at the White House said that I talked to said they loved it and they thought it was a really interesting view of Congress and I think you're gonna love it it's a great read let's get to your questions and we're a start up in the balcony the VIP section who has a question up there anyone if not I'm gonna run up and ask you a question yes go ahead right there we're gonna quiz you yeah right over there stand up if you would yes you have a mic coming is it mic to your left thank you for starting us off I wonder if you have any insights about the relationship between Lindsey Graham and Donald Trump today in the Morning News there were the commentary of Joe Manchin and Anna Navarro both very passionate about what happened to the Lindsey Graham we knew so wondered if you had any thoughts yes a question we get a lot too I would say I think a couple things I think and I think this book actually illustrates it a lot is that oftentimes people's politics are for the moment that they're in at that time and they can be pretty fungible and I think what you see now is the Lindsey Graham who needs to win reelection and I think he has actually talked about it really I think he did with local TV report and he said you know I don't agree with the president everything but I was elected by the people of South Carolina to do a job and to represent the state and so when I can work with them and they and they elected me to work with this president and so I think that it's and he knew that was in the context of when the president was criticizing Senator John McCain and he forcefully said he didn't like that the president was doing that but he still needed to do his job and also one question that we get a lot is and Anna alluded to this before but one question we one comment we got a lot from Republican leaders on Capitol Hill I don't remember which one said this but all of them said some variation of this if you look at what Donald Trump if you ignore and I know it's hard for some people to ignore the tweets and and some of the comments that people on the Left might not like but the policies that Donald Trump has enacted the judge that he selected the people in his administration by and large are the same people policies and and outlines that any Republican president including Jeb Bush and all the people that the president clashed with would have done I mean this tax bill that the President signed is a tax bill that Republicans have been dreaming up in some way shape or form for many years that's neither a criticism nor a praise that's just a fact so and I think Lindsey Graham's relationship with the president reflects that that he believes he'll take some lumps he doesn't like the McCain stuff but at the end of the day he has a relationship with the president which allows him to be productive which I think he finds useful and he's a golfing buddy he's and he's a very good golfer Graham and the president from what I understand I've not played with either of them but if they're watching I'm a bad golfer so I'm happy to play with them we'll stay up on the balcony if there's another question otherwise we'll come down here is there one up there anyone yeah yes yes hello thank you all right hello I come on down we're asked from there either way yes this is good the you portray the president is just some guy in a very neutral way but he's not he is like no president that I've ever observed in my lifetime are read about and it seems misleading for us all to sit here and talk about what's going on in Capitol Hill without somehow acknowledging what that that other side that you see people want to just push it aside to me it makes it it makes it okay he treats people so badly he seems to be driven by self-interest seems to not accept expertise or expert advice from people around him I'm very concerned about that part of him but it doesn't seem to be at all about what you're talking about here I think what we tried to do was show a book about Congress in the era sure I think when we tried to write there was a book about Congress in the era of Trump Trump is like I would say kind of like the wallpaper he is a character but he's not a main character of this book I do think to your point that yes this president has busted a lot of norms and I think one of the things that we've talked a lot about in this book in this kind of book tour is what the tale of that is how long will that will this change different things forever whether it's the news cycle whether it's how presidents treat the press which I find how he does very disconcerning but I do think I think if I don't even read the book I don't think the book is necessarily a positive about the president I think we try to take a very realistic view of him whether that's him not paying attention in meetings or how the his administration approached kind of naively and you know it's a lot of naivete Oh Congress and how sometimes sometimes his approach worked and a lot of times how Congress stopped him let me just read one quote and I paraphrase it but president Trump's confidence were a Washington cast of misfits he did not care for official Washington he was the embodiment of voter frustration Trump's prescription was all stick and no carrot yeah this is neither a positive nor negative depiction of him it's a depiction through the eyes of members of Congress who were elected by their constituents many of whom elected the president also and people are free to to vote – for whoever they want but one thing that we've observed through the last two years is people and I'm not saying you I'm just saying our reflection from being reporters from 2016 until now is that people look to the media to undo what happened in 2016 because they don't like the President or they don't like what's happened in the last two years that's not our job we didn't write a book that was supposed to be either we didn't write a lecture to the president we wrote a book about characters on Capitol Hill and how they dealt with the president legislating both Republicans and Democrats and wrote extensively about both parties thank you for the question down here who has a question yes go ahead what gives Jim Mike yeah you need the hi John McCain and Chris Murphy and how John McCain would take people under their wing and almost alluding to a generational thing what we have now is and I'm going to bring her up Alexandria kasnia Cortes but she has kind of linked up with Senator ed markey who of course spent years in the house and now it's in the Senate but he is in many ways even though a relatively new senator he's also old guard for that and the other story that I actually heard and in my mind it makes sense and I'm wondering if you're going to confirm this the one of the early things when representative Ocasio Cortes showed up on there and there was the environmental protest in Nancy Pelosi's office and at the same time I heard later that she gave a seminar on how to use Twitter so I'm wondering about those those generational things in this particular case you know we're talking about than the Democrats but sure the McCain it was across party line yes so one thing that I found interesting which is and I'll answer your directly your question afterwards is that Edie Markey has been talking about many of the issues that AOC I'm just abbreviating for times sake has been talked about for like 20 he's been talking about it for 20 years and then she busts onto the scene and everyone's like oh my god great ideas and he's been talking I mean I've watched him go to press conferences that no one shows up to and that's not a criticism of him it's just that people weren't as interested until she got to office yeah there's definitely a generational shift in the house Democratic caucus at the moment and you had a caucus that was depleted in a lot of senses you could there's a lot of reasons for it people believe Nancy Pelosi and the leadership structure hung around for too long people weren't able to rise so they looked elsewhere ed Marquis one of them although I don't not sure I put him in that category but Chris Van Hollen from Maryland Rahm Emanuel who went to be mayor of Chicago Xavier Becerra who's now the Attorney General of California people look to move up in the house and be a fresh face fresh base and leadership and we're not able to because Pelosi has been in power for long time there definitely is and yes AOC did give a Twitter lesson of sorts to members of the Democratic Hawk as many of whom don't tweet themselves anyway but whatever and yeah I think there is there is a there's a learning curve for somebody like AOC and that's again not a criticism but the house is a very tough place to break into it's not like the Senate it's very difficult to do think that something as one member of the house and so I think she's beginning to try to figure out what her given the huge celebrity that she is where she fits in kind of the tape is the tapestry of Congress is that fair you think I think it's really fair the other thing I would just say is I think one of the challenges with this new very large freshman class for House Democrats and House Democratic leadership in particular is that most of them haven't spent their entire career wanting to be a member of Congress they haven't grown up in party politics and so they are much like the Republican classic 2010 right they are much more willing to freelance and go and make their own decisions and I think they're way more comfortable talking off the cuff and being on Twitter and I think I can't who told us this but I mean it was so true as you know before the only people who go on cable news would be the speaker leadership and chairman and now you have freshman going on cable news all the time talking about whatever issue that they really care about not that they shouldn't it's just you really see this I think tension slash just real shift in terms of how the party is going to operate it really is reflective of where the two parties are right now in the challenges for Speaker Boehner and now speaker Pelosi another question down here who has it yes right over you sir in the back yep thank you there's a microphone right there any talk in Washington about the the there's always some talk about it in Syria I haven't seen it gained any steam but there always is depending on the election results in that presidential year discussion of it yeah but again not sir not very serious yes go ahead we got a kitchen like and then somebody over there next does Trump's complete absence of foreign policy experience scare the hell out of you well I would say this I think first of all the Senate has a huge role in foreign policy whatever you think of the president and you've seen the Senate recently pushed back on Trump on several elements of foreign policy and you've seen Lindsey Graham privately try to shape the president's views again this is the president was elected on an unambiguous platform on foreign policy there was no question what he wanted to do he said the war in Iraq was stupid he wanted to get troops out of Afghanistan and he has tried with some success because Congress still has a role to do that and and I could tell you this a lot behind the scenes a lot of Republicans find his views on North Korea refreshing and his views on foreign policy refreshing meaning that he is not trying to this is what they tell me I'm not espousing this myself they believe he's not trying to achieve the unachievable he's accepting things and this has not been American foreign policy in the past accepting the shortcomings of some countries human rights and other things and saying you know what we're not gonna change him on that but maybe we can change them around the margins on other things that's been some view in republican and democratic politics for a long time Trump is just by far the most prominent and loudest voice on that topic it's not in the book but it's in the news how concerned should we be about Iran I would be concerned I mean I think anytime you're dealing with you know rogue nations yeah rogue nations and a president who has been untested in some of these kinds of yes refreshing maybe to some I think you know it's I think it's disconcerting and also the Secretary of Defense does not confer not confirmed yet a new and has not a not a military leader ran Boeing which is a certain set of experiences but not the traditional set of experiences that some but other secretaries of defense of Adam we had a question over yes go ahead over there thank you I don't know where you are in your book tour I'm just wondering how this book plays in other parts of the country and what kinds of feedback you've had you know you're a very liberal area right here yes and but there may be different comments and people may not be so happy about hearing that their congressmen aren't always the shining stars that they think they might be but you've been the best audience yeah yes I think we're mostly in big cities yeah I mean the books were like this is a lot of cable news and you know other kind of doing a lot of radio and things like that and then you go to big cities like this but I actually think you know we've been I think pretty pleasantly surprised that Republicans in and conservatives have been very supportive of this book and so have liberals and I think that's what we really tried to you know we wanted to be a reported book about the first two years of you know Congress in Washington in the era of this president we knew it was going to be a wild ride you had a change candidate and a change election coming to Washington pledging to change the way that a city and government that has stayed in you know rules and traditions that it was going to be an interesting story to tell but I actually feel really positive about the how it's been received because if conservatives and liberals can both come out to come to us and have said privately and publicly on a lot of television stations that you know this was a really great book and you really captured the essence the essence of it I mean I'll take that yeah Fox News hosts have said it's great to us privately and publicly Hugh Hewitt who's a conservative radio host loves it and then we've gotten great praise from the most liberal people also so that's that's cool and the White House and ever pretty much everybody has said it's fair I've spoken to them if they don't like it it's fair I've spoken to all the main characters who might have had gripes around the edges but but liked it you know it was we were not experts on Trump our first we've only interacted with him a handful of times but we do figure that after plus years in the capital dealing with people of both parties every single day that we have a good grip on them and we were there when they don't want us to be there and when they do want us to be there so they're pretty comfortable with us and I will say like the one thing I always say about this topic is there's not if you're a reporter and your job is to break news which that's our job we're not a partisan news outlet we there's no business in us being outwardly partisan I mean if Republicans and Democrats won't talk to you then you're not going to keep a job in our business for too long unless you're on cable news or at a partisan outlet so we tried to play it down the middle with everybody and and just tell the stories that they told us and that's what we feel our job is now the question let's take one more from up there and then one or two down here depending on the time if there's somebody up there that has a question don't be shy we want to hear from you yes yeah right over there and then if somebody down here wants to get ready we'll get a microphone in place great questions by the way thank you yes very great you mentioned earlier that the American people preferred divided governments I just wanted to ask if you could elaborate on that why and sort of how can people look beyond the spectacle if they're voting yeah I mean I think basically numbers bear it out yeah the number that history bears it out but it's also because I think oftentimes when you have one party in power they produce bills and laws that kind of swing the pendulum and oftentimes what the American public is more comfortable with is the messiness of compromise that it's difficult to get there but that's really where you know what they're looking for you think I would just think about the last since Obama was elected right had all Democratic Washington from 2008 to 2010 and Republicans took over the house became the largest majority since Herbert Hoover the country still elected Barack Obama put Republicans in charge of the Senate elected all Republican in Washington and then this house flipped in a major way to Democrats so it's just you know that the the it just happens over and over again which is really bizarre we have a very bizarre country that that was fact I think which is why we need to study the Senate yes question over here yes sir thank you yeah earlier you said that most a lot of newspapers endorse President Trump but one know very few not yeah yeah that's right most of them and endorsed senator Clinton but there was one that endorsed President Trump and that was the Las Vegas Review owned by Sheldon Edelman l's Ellison and I felt that President Obama dropped the ball because he didn't go to the Scalia funeral and he should have and if he wanted to get garland through even if he didn't like he disagreed with Scalia he should at least put on a good face and I played the role as president at that funeral and I've also been checking out like I'm a Republican and I've been checking out like state Republicans and they're just so bitter that they hate ok Oh see they hate the Muslim lady from Minnesota and they just like everything is just so hateful like it's the the state parties Wisconsin Utah they're older mostly young people are going and dependent and those state parties have tooken on the personality of President Trump Wisconsin well let me take your quote is it the party of is the Republican Party the party of Donald Trump what you're saying is really interesting in the sense that that's the that's another question we get all the time is this the part is let me add a variation to what you're saying which is will the Republican Party so Republicans forgot from when they took over the majority said we're not going to spend a lot of money we're going to be sober leaders that are very calm and measured and that's how we're gonna lead the country obviously it's changed Republicans are spending a lot more money and Trump is obviously a quite a bombastic guy and will the party ever go back to not what Donald Trump was and we we don't know the answer to that I mean it's tough to say and to just on your earlier question about Scalia there were a lot of reasons and actually a friend of ours Karl hulls of the New York Times is writing a book right now on judicial nominations which will deal a lot with Merrick garland and the Scalia episode and everything like that but there are a lot of reasons that didn't get through Mitch McConnell was a huge reason I'd say in that in that but yeah I mean there's no question that the the tenor and tone of politics has gotten rough and it's not only Donald Trump's fault it got was rough before Donald Trump it's probably gotten a little bit rougher under Trump right yeah but it's not only Republican no it's Democrats – yeah that's – I think there's what it really bears out whether it's Bernie Sanders you know and a lot of the people on the you know further on the left side I think there's just a frustration when you go around the country and you travel with politicians I think that to me on both sides is the frustration and that and then the people who that they feel like it are I think a lot of conservatives feel like Donald Trump voices their frustration this very smart person over here gets the final question thank you will we ever hear Robert Muller testify we have a cease man yes I hope so yes I think I mean I think we'll we hopes a ratings Bonanza take out a crystal ball okay I know again we don't really make predictions I think it's gonna depend what happens with with whether they can figure out a way to find some compromise between this White House and Democratic leaders yeah it doesn't seem likely right now that does seem like many of these questions maybe not that included but many of these questions about the Trump administration is non-cooperation with oversight are going to be decided by court perhaps in short order so you know I will say this is this cooperation is not started this lack of cooperation is not new the every administration tries to not give a lot to Congress this level of it is definitely new we've never seen anything like this before and it's gonna have to be decided by a court because clearly from House Democrats at the Trump White House are not gonna come to a compromise and by the way remember Trump said this is what he wanted he didn't care Democrats took back the house he thought it would be easier for him to deal with the House Democrats and House Republicans which is why if we ever needed Edward Moore Kennedy in the Senate right now and by the way he was the best boss ever final question for both of you how and why did the book come about it wasn't something we were looking to do we met with an agent and they really wanted us to write a book about about Congress in the air Trump because is it writing a book and what Trump is really difficult because he changes his mind all the time nobody we certainly are not Trump whispers by any stretch and we said no like we're not we're not interested and so but we went back and I think you know a couple weeks later we said you know we have so many stories we all these anecdotes all the kind of Club eNOS of Washington and how it works and so we just kind of started a riff that turned it into 10,000 words and then I let Jake finish yeah we had great support from our significant others Ana's is here mine is at home probably putting our son to sleep but we did this this proposal because we felt like the stars were really aligned for us in a weird way mostly because we had great relationships with Paul Ryan Nancy Pelosi Kevin McCarthy Steve Scalise all these people who were in power who would we'd been they're not our friends but we've been dealing with them all for such a long time so we kind of went to all of them after we signed the book deal and said we'd like to interview you and your aides we've been we knew all these people we weren't new to this and said we're gonna interview you but we're not gonna release any of this until 2019 when the book comes out now people said well what if you've discovered yes if I discovered that like Nancy Pelosi or Paul Ryan murdered somebody I would have we would have had a dilemma on our hands but anything short of that we we didn't we honor that commitment and I think we were talking with us before but I really do feel like there are members of Congress and they look at any president and they say I was here before him I'm gonna be here after him but there's so much focus in the press on the White House and we really benefited from the fact that everybody's kind of chasing the next story and certainly this president gives you a zillion stories a day to chase and so we have these relationships with members and theirs and their staff but that their story often doesn't get told and that we were willing to really spend a lot of time and hours reconstructing how health care fails how tax reform you know was able to be successful and kind of the fighting and the ground of how they were gonna can you know recruit candidates and do the campaign and you really had some really rich characters but I do think because they often feel like they get short shrift they were willing to be pretty open with us in a way that oftentimes when you're on a daily deadline you just don't get that kind of access and one more point on this and I'm sure we'll have to wrap up yeah we were really benefited by we really benefited by the access we have in the Capitol the literal access not just us reporters Rome absolutely free all over the Capitol except for the floors and there are areas that are demarcate for press and members nobody else so you really can't escape the press no matter if you want to if you want to or not and I mean we stand right out there in the Senate and over there and in the house there's a lobby that runs behind the length of the House floor where you could just talk to members of Congress so it's really a great place there's no fake news none of that stuff and I've never heard that in the Capitol once in all the time I've been up there so we were lucky and we're lucky for c-span because he's been archives everything and we we used it a lot to recreate speeches and things public appearances that we missed or didn't write down couldn't have quotes from dare I ask is there another book in you I'm a nurse – housekeeping nose first of all there will be a book signing afterwards so the conversation will continue second of all you have been a marvelous thank you so much a beautiful spring evening here in Boston let me think Jake Sherman and a foamer thank you very much for being with us [Applause] and Jake for lifting up a curtain on a very fascinating topic and leaving us to judge whether we like what we see behind the curtain and what goes on so thank you for that Steve for great questions and moving the conversation and being such a fabulous representative of the Kennedy staff who have gone on to do spectacular work thank all of you for coming we appreciate you being here and I want to go back to a statement was made about we you know liking divided government we and that may be the outcome I think what we want is we don't like a divided country and I think that's the work for all of us as we think about the work of the Institute the work that we do and ever our everyday lives to try to pull people together to create community to understand and bridge differences that's on us to do as part of a functioning and active and vigorous democracy so thank you for contributing it and for a wonderful evening we're gonna be holding a series on as candidates running for president so please state pay attention to that we have one coming next week governor bill weld will be with us to talk about why he's running for for president so thank you all for coming thank you to the team and the staff here thank you driveway panel [Applause]

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