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  • welcome ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl.

  • For the last few weeks, we've regularly seen him in the front row of the White House briefing room asking President Trump the key questions as country wrestles with this growing pandemic.

  • And he's been covering Donald Trump for decades, going back to 1994 when John first interviewed him at Trump Tower as a young reporter for The New York Post.

  • Now John is out with a new book, Front Row at the Trump Show, chronicling those years of coverage from New York to the 2016 campaign trail to the White House.

  • And Jonathan Karl joins us now, John, thanks so much for joining us.

  • And congratulations on the book.

  • Thank you very much.

  • So many rich stories in the book.

  • But I want to start out by asking you about this current crisis and the president's response.

  • How does this compare to how he's handled previous crises in his career and in the White House and in your mind?

  • Do you think that he's changed it all as far as how he's dealing with us?

  • Or do you see the same Donald Trump that you've been seeing for decades.

  • Well, first of all is the one thing that's amazing about this is this is really the first external crisis, really grave external crisis that Donald Trump has faced.

  • There have been many crises over the course of his 1st 33 years, many of them in some sense, spurred by his own behaviour.

  • You know, the Muller report, the wth e impeachment investigation, the controversy over the travel ban, the situation with separating of Children at the border.

  • But But this is the first crisis that is purely external that he's had to face.

  • And I think one thing that is amazing about watching this is how similar he is to the guy that I met in 1994 at Trump Tower.

  • He wants to be in the middle of this.

  • It's incredible to see him holding this press conference is remember, he hadn't stepped foot in the briefing room for a press briefing before this happened.

  • This is all new, and now he is there every day, and he is seeing it the way he sees the way saw his campaign in his campaign.

  • He was talking about the polls constantly.

  • He was talking about his ratings constantly.

  • He was talking about the numbers of people that were coming to his rallies.

  • It was all about the metrics about how great he was doing.

  • And with this it's a serious crisis.

  • I'm not saying he's not taking it seriously, but you see him talking about it in the same way he talks about the ratings.

  • He was marveling at the ratings for his briefing, citing a New York Times report that said that he gets more people watching his briefings that watch the season finale of the Bachelor or Monday Night Football marvels at that.

  • He's talking about numbers in terms of the numbers of people infected, the numbers of people who are going to die.

  • Very grim statistics.

  • Obviously, Andi was, as you remember, very famously, came out on February 27th and said that there were 15 cases of Corona virus in the United States, which was true at the time On Dhe said that very soon it will be going down to zero.

  • He was setting up his metrics, his numbers, and now the numbers are way out of whack.

  • So we saw him come out yesterday because Anthony Fauci had convinced him that there was a very real chance that 100,000 Americans could die as a result of this.

  • So he grabbed a hold of that number.

  • He changed course, keeping restrictions in place.

  • But he used it up against a different metric, which were reports that if nothing was done, more than two million people could die.

  • So now again, it's all it's all the numbers, as if its ratings, if it's reviews.

  • And, of course, the way he's dealt with the press on this has been entirely consistent with how he has behaved since the early days of his campaign.

  • And, of course, the president has been criticized for spreading misinformation in his daily briefings and and playing down the health threat early on as you mentioned.

  • So how do you handle that balance of when to directly challenge him on misleading information or just not telling the truth?

  • It's a really it's an interesting challenge is unlike any with any major political figure I've ever covered.

  • I've had a chance to be in the White House covering four different president.

  • This one is entirely different on the thing is, when you go in to an interview with him or into a press conference with him.

  • You've got to be prepared to fact check him in real time because you don't know what he's going to come up with.

  • You need to have your back up and you and you know our job is not to be.

  • The resistance were not the opposition party.

  • That's what Donald Trump wants to portray the press as so you don't.

  • But you have to correct misstatements.

  • You have to correct factual errors.

  • I had a fascinating experience that I described in the book during the 2018 midterms when I interviewed Donald Trump backstage at a rally and I hit him as aggressively as I could with all of his the cumulative force of all the mis statements he has made his president, and he said to me something that was fascinating, he said.

  • He said that he tries to tell the truth that he tells the truth when he can.

  • It struck me is a amazing admission.

  • It reminded me of something at a college friend who once told me I would never lie to you unless I had to.

  • Andi here was the president of the United States, saying he tells the truth when he can.

  • But the interesting thing about this experience is I interview again.

  • It was backstage at a rally.

  • There were some 10,000 people this arena in Fort Myers, Florida, and when the interview was over, it was It was a fairly contentious interview.

  • But it was.

  • It was a good interview, and he seemed happy with it.

  • Relatively.

  • He brought me out from the little room where we were holding did the interview to introduce me to the people he was with.

  • He was with Rhonda Santis.

  • He was running for governor of Florida.

  • Hey was with the current governor of Florida, who back then he was running for Senate and and their wives.

  • He brought me back in and he said, I want you to meet the great Jonathan Karl, this is the great Jonathan Karl of ABC News, you know, puffing me up, making me and and he said to me three separate times back there.

  • Are you going to watch my speech?

  • Are you gonna come out and watch?

  • I've got a great speech.

  • Are you gonna come out and watch a course?

  • I was there as a reporter.

  • I was gonna watch his speech, so I went out and I swear to you, Lindsay, within three minutes he had the 10,000 people in that arena looking in my direction in the direction of the other.

  • Reporters paint in that paint on the floor of the arena, taunting and jeering at us and talking because he was talking about how horrible your the horrible people we were dividing the country.

  • We were doing such terrible things.

  • And all of these people suddenly were looking at me taunting, jeering and saying these, you know, chanting the their favorite Tran to CNN socks, which ends up being kind of am, ah, generic way of taunting all of the press, not just CNN.

  • And I just I couldn't get my mind around the fact that this is the same guy who just minutes earlier was introducing me to all his friends and talking about what a great guy waas And you know, anecdotally, I wanted to kind of touch on that.

  • You tell several stories in your book about moments when you saw him outright lie a moment that you're sitting at the desk and he's talking about a phone call.

  • So how delicate is that of a dance of remaining the objective reporter?

  • But calling him out?

  • As you say in real time, it's a real challenge because you have to remember that when he came into the White House, is then Chief Static strategist Steve Bannon said that the famous interview in The New York Times, of all places Hey said, The media is the is the opposition party.

  • It's not the Democrats, it's the media.

  • That's our real opposition.

  • And then Donald Trump himself took that on and started calling the media the opposition party.

  • So if if I act in a way that looks like I am just another opponent of the president, I played right into that strategy.

  • We know what that strategy is.

  • He explained it to Leslie Stall during the 2016 campaign, when he said Lesley Stahl challenged him.

  • So why do you say all this stuff about the media?

  • You don't believe this?

  • And Trump told Leslie Stall, I do it so that when you report something negative on me, they won't believe it on.

  • That's exactly right.

  • If we are seen as just another, you know, like a like a spokesperson for the Democratic Party.

  • We failed, but you have to correct the mistake statements.

  • So it's It's not an easy it's It's a delicate balance, and it won't have to do every day covering the White House.

  • You extensively covered Trump's rise through the 2016 campaign.

  • In your book, how much do you think that this current crisis is going to change?

  • How he runs in 2020?

  • Do you think he's going to rely on the same play book, or is he gonna have to change his approach?

  • You know, I wrote this book because I had experienced I truly believed history in a way that maybe no other White House reporter hat is.

  • We've never had a president like this, and especially one that I had had such a long relationship with that I had first met 25 years ago and and I threw the crush of of the breaking news.

  • And this has been such an exhausting news cycle.

  • Think about her for five years, since he first started running almost five years ago, that I never said I didn't have a chance to look back and re examine those moments.

  • Tell people about those moments and then doom or reporting on them.

  • But I think that he has been, in some ways remarkably consistent.

  • And Lindsey, I get a feeling as erratic and unpredictable has.

  • He is, because he is, You know, he governs by Gatti.

  • He does everything, changes radically, swings radically and sometimes in the same day, different positions.

  • But in some ways I find him incredibly predictable.

  • I find myself feeling that I know exactly where he is going to go.

  • You can't reflect that in your reporting next, because it's a hunch.

  • But I'm telling you, it's almost always right where he's gonna go.

  • You know what?

  • It's a wild swing to wear it from where he is now.

  • So he's predictably unpredictable.

  • I guess, is the saying there, Jonathan Karl, Thank you so much.

  • I really enjoyed.

  • I've got about halfway through.

  • I would have finished the book over the weekend, but I have a six year old at home.

  • But I enjoyed the book very much again.

  • His new book is out front row at the Trump Show.

  • Jonathan Karl.

  • Thank you so much for your time and for the book.

  • Thank you.

  • Hi, everyone.

  • George Stephanopoulos here.

  • Thanks for checking on ABC News YouTube channel.

  • If you'd like to get more video show highlights and watch live event coverage, click on the right over here to subscribe to our channel.

  • And don't forget to download the ABC News after breaking news alerts.

  • Thanks for watching.

welcome ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl.

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ABCのジョン・カールがトランプ大統領を取材した新刊について語っています。 (ABC’s Jon Karl discusses his new book covering President Trump)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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