CBS Hounds Conway on Trump's Foreign Policy; Touts Kaine on Race

CBS This Morning's hosts badgered Trump surrogate Kellyanne Conway on Friday over the billionaire's recent praise for Vladmir Putin, the Iraq War, his appearance on Larry King's show on Russia's state-run RT network, and North Korea's nuclear program. [video below] By contrast, the anchors went much easier on Democratic V.P. nominee Tim Kaine. They spent seven minutes out of eleven playing up his past apologies for slavery, and asking him about race relations and the new African American Museum, instead of the presidential campaign. They did ask questions from his left flank on slavery reparations and mass incarceration.

Charlie Rose first pressed Conway on Trump's past positions on the Iraq War: "He constantly says, I was always against the war. Here [on The Howard Stern Show], he says, I guess I would support it. That's a contradiction!" The Trump campaign manager replied, "Not really...and here's why: he's on a radio show. Hillary Clinton went into the well of the United States Senate representing this state of New York and cast a vote in favor of the Iraq War."

Rose shot back, "But this is not about Hillary Clinton. It's about Donald Trump and what he said — because she has acknowledged that vote, and acknowledged it was a mistake! He has not, and he wants to have it both ways!" Conway retorted that Trump "agrees with her that it was a mistake," but the longtime PBS host interrupted her mid-answer: "No, but he has not acknowledged that, at one point, he said he was for the war! Why can't he simply say that? At one point, I was; and then, I changed my mind."

Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King then asked four questions on the billionaire's largely positive take on Putin. The guest repeatedly emphasized that several people, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, were "misreading the quote." O'Donnell shifted over to Trump's appearance on RT:

NORAH O'DONNELL: ...[W]hy would Donald Trump do an interview with Russian TV that is sponsored by the Kremlin!?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: He actually did an interview with Larry King, a personal friend of his — a friend of, I'm sure, everyone around the table. And he said....he was doing it for his podcast — didn't know it would be on Russian TV. But what he said there was—

O'DONNELL: How does something like that happen — that the campaign doesn't know that his words are going to be played on Kremlin state TV? Larry King was doing the interview for Kremlin state TV.

It should be pointed out that disgraced former CBS anchor Dan Rather appeared on King's RT program back in January 2014. The former CNN host himself claimed that "I don't work for RT. My podcasts, Larry King Now and Politicking, are licensed for a fee to RT America by New York-based Ora TV." One wonders if O'Donnell would direct the same criticism at Rather.

The anchors ended the interview by badgering Conway on North Korea's recent nuclear test. He first asked, "I mean, you keep referring to her — and we will talk about her record when her running mate is here later in this program. Just one last question: North Korea — what would Donald Trump do if North Korea has ballistic missiles that can carry a nuclear weapon to the continental United States?" The campaign manager replied with an attack on President Obama, but the anchor was having none of it: "You always refer to what the Democrats are doing. What would he do? He wants to be president. What would he do if North Korea had the capacity to deliver a nuclear weapon to the United States!?"

Gayle King underlined in the final question that Trump "says he will fight ISIS, and he will take care of ISIS; but he said I don't want the enemy to know what I'm going to do. How can voters make an informed decision if they don't know how's he going to do this?"

Just under an hour later, the three CBS hosts interview Kaine. When they finally brought up the presidential race, they tossed softballs at the Virginia Democrat:

O'DONNELL: ...Mike Pence said yesterday that he thinks it's inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country.

CHARLIE ROSE: Do you think that the Russians are trying to hack into — not only the DNC — in order to influence the election? Do they want to see Donald Trump elected because they think they'll get a better deal with him?

SEN. TIM KAINE, (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well — well, first, Charlie, it's very clear that the Russians were behind the DNC attack—

ROSE: And their motive?

O'DONNELL: You got your first intelligence briefing yesterday. The news today: North Korea has launched a possible fifth nuclear test. What would President Clinton do to prevent North Korea from sending a ballistic warhead to the United States?

GAYLE KING: Yesterday, Senator Kaine, Mike Pence said that he has a stand-in for you getting ready for the debates. Who's your stand-in, and how are you getting ready?

As "promised," Rose did bring up Mrs. Clinton's record, but only to point out to Kaine that "your running mate has a very different idea about mass incarceration than her husband did when he was president."

The transcripts of Charlie Rose, Norah O'Donnell, and Gayle King's questions during their interviews of Kellyanne Conway and Tim Kaine on the September 9, 2016 edition of CBS This Morning — including some of each guest's answers for context:

Tell the Truth 2016

09/09/2016
07:09 am EDT
CBS This Morning

CHARLIE ROSE: So was Donald Trump for the Iraq War or against it?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: He was a private citizen who was against the Iraq War. You heard him with Howard Stern say, yeah, I guess so. If — he had been in the United States Senate, he would have casted a vote against the Iraq War. He said—

ROSE: How do we know that?

CONWAY: Because he said so — the same thing that Senator Obama said he would have done in 2008 and everybody just took him at his word—

ROSE: But the point is, as you know, he constantly says, I was always against the war. Here, he says, I guess I would support it. That's a contradiction!

CONWAY: Not really, Charlie — and here's why: he's giving — he's on a radio show. Hillary Clinton went into the well of the United States Senate representing this state of New York and cast a vote in favor of the Iraq War. That's why—

ROSE: But this is not about Hillary Clinton. It's about Donald Trump—

CONWAY: No. It's about a choice—

ROSE: And what he said — because she has acknowledged that vote, and acknowledged it was a mistake! He has not, and he wants to have it both ways!

CONWAY: He has acknowledged that her — her vote in the Iraq War was a mistake. He agrees with her that it was a mistake, and she's been—

ROSE: No, but he has not acknowledged that, at one point, he said he was for the war! Why can't he simply say that? At one point, I was; and then, I changed my mind.

(...)

NORAH O'DONNELL: Kellyanne, let me ask you: why does Donald Trump and Mike Pence keep praising Vladimir Putin?

GAYLE KING: No. He said that he's a stronger leader than Barack Obama — seems to be praising Vladimir Putin, for a lot of people.

O'DONNELL: Maybe this is a better way to ask it: what do you mean he's been a stronger leader? What does that mean — that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader than Barack Obama?

O'DONNELL: I mean, as you know — I mean, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said that Putin is an aggressor that does not share our interest. Senator Lindsey Graham said Trump is — quote, 'making the mistake of the ages by thinking like and agreeing with Vladimir Putin.'

CONWAY: They're misreading the quote, then. It's not that he's—

O'DONNELL: Okay. And then — then why Donald — why would Donald Trump do an interview with Russian TV that is sponsored by the Kremlin!?

CONWAY: He actually did an interview with Larry King, a personal friend of his — a friend of, I'm sure, everyone around the table. And he said he did — he was doing it for his podcast — didn't know it would be on Russian TV. But what he said there was—

O'DONNELL: How does something like that happen — that the campaign doesn't know that his words are going to be played on Kremlin state TV? Larry King was doing the interview for — for Kremlin state TV.

(...)

ROSE: I mean, you keep referring to her — and we will talk about her record when her running mate is here later in this program. Just one last question: North Korea — what would Donald Trump do if North Korea has ballistic missiles that can carry a nuclear weapon to the continental United States?

CONWAY: Well, he wouldn't do what's being done now — with the President over in Asia talking about Donald Trump, instead of really talking about North Korea—

ROSE: But who (sic) would he do? You — you always refer to what the Democrats are doing—

CONWAY: It's a choice election—

ROSE: What would he do? He wants to be president. What would he do if North Korea had the capacity to deliver a nuclear weapon to the United States!?

ROSE: What would he do about North Korea if they had the capacity—

O'DONNELL: Would it be diplomatic or military response?

KING: But Kellyanne, he doesn't want to reveal his plans. How can voters make a decision if they don't know what his — he says he will fight ISIS, and he will take care of ISIS; but he said I don't want the enemy to know what I'm going to do. How can voters make an informed decision if they don't know how's he going to do this?


08:02 am EDT

CHARLIE ROSE: A new poll shows Donald Trump is closing the gap in key battleground states. Trump now leads Hillary Clinton by one point in Ohio. Clinton led by four points last month.

GAYLE KING: Clinton is five points ahead in Pennsylvania, but she led by ten points back in August. Her support there from women and Democrats fell by five points last month. The same poll finds Hillary Clinton up by four points in North Carolina. But another poll shows Donald Trump ahead by three.

NORAH O'DONNELL: We're looking forward to a special day on Monday. CBS This Morning will come to you from the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. We'll talk with many special guests about the museum's own history, and the important events that it commemorates.

KING: And only on CBS This Morning, here to discuss his experience as a former mayor of Richmond, Virginia, once the capitol of the Confederacy, is Senator Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential candidate. When he was mayor, Kaine offered the first apology for Richmond's role in the slave trade. He was Virginia's governor in 2007 when it became the first state to apologize for slavery. Kaine was a civil rights lawyer who joined Richmond's city council in 1994, and he earned a reputation as a bridge builder at a time when the city's racial divisions were still quite stark. Senator Tim Kaine, we welcome you to the table at CBS This Morning.

KING: So an apology twice — why did you think that was necessary? Very unusual for many people.

ROSE: Should the President?

KING: And in many ways, you have to acknowledge the past and embrace the past before you can move to the future.

O'DONNELL: Should there be a legislative remedy? In other words, should there be reparations for descendants of slaves?

O'DONNELL: So, not reparations?

ROSE: There — there are many who look at slavery and its legacy, and say it's a direct line to that and the conflict between communities — especially the black community — and law enforcement.

SEN. TIM KAINE, (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: ...We had to make law enforcement changes, and build bonds and build ties — and many communities do that, but some don't.

ROSE: But that's a question, then: how do you deal with those who don't?

ROSE: Your running mate has a very different idea about mass incarceration than her husband did when he was president.

ROSE: But recognizing mistakes that happened in the '90s.

KING: Before we move on to news of the day in the campaign, I'd love to know your thoughts about this museum opening up — because I know you've seen it. We can't wait to go live and be — actually be inside it — and what it represents and what it means.

O'DONNELL: Could we get to some of the news of the day? Your contemporary — or your — the man you're running against, Mike Pence, said yesterday that he thinks it's inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country.

ROSE: Do you think that the Russians are trying to hack into — not only the DNC — in order to influence the election? Do they want to see Donald Trump elected because they think they'll get a better deal with him?

KAINE: Well — well, first, Charlie, it's very clear that the Russians were behind the DNC attack—

ROSE: And their motive?

O'DONNELL: You got your first intelligence briefing yesterday. The news today: North Korea has launched a possible fifth nuclear test. What would President Clinton do to prevent North Korea from sending a ballistic warhead to the United States?

KING: Yesterday, Senator Kaine, Mike Pence said that he has a stand-in for you getting ready for the debates. Who's your stand-in, and how are you getting ready?

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaign Watch Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Foreign Policy Asia North Korea Russia Labeling Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CBS CBS This Morning Video Gayle King Tim Kaine Norah O'Donnell Charlie Rose Larry King Kellyanne Conway Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Vladimir Putin
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