New Yorker editor David Remnick appeared on CBS This Morning, Friday, to brag about his scoop on Barack Obama’s reaction to the election of Donald Trump. Asked by Charlie Rose what “worries” Obama about the President-elect, Remnick marveled, “Where to on begin? Certainly appointments like Sessions or Flynn, whom he fired, or Steve Bannon. That is for starters, what worries him. He worries that someone who had a national campaign that was marked by misogyny and racism and all the rest is now president of the United States.”
Remnick bragged about his inside information on what Obama really thinks about Trump. Regarding the Oval Office meeting between the two, the journalist noted, “ He smiled and he said, ‘I'll tell you all about it over beer off the record.’ Meaning for the moment now, certainly for the next couple of months, he is playing it close to the vest.”
The New Yorker editor hinted, “What I do know about that meeting is let's just say that Donald Trump did not show himself to be any more sophisticated about policy than he seemed to be in the debates or in the campaign.”
Remnick then complained about the problem of fake news outlets:
DAVID REMNICK: You can't penetrate it. If you create a media universe for yourself with where you're inhaling fake news, you're not going anywhere near the New Yorker or the New York Times or CBS Morning News [sic].
A transcript of the CBS This Morning segment, which aired at 8:04AM, is below:
<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>
CBS This Morning
CHARLIE ROSE: As Mr. Trump prepares to take office, we are getting an inside look at president Obama's thinking. David Remnick is editor of The New Yorker magazine and a long time chronicle for the President. For his latest profile "It happened here" Remnick interviewed the president in the last election of the campaign. Then again after Mr. Obama's first meeting with the President-elect. Remnick writes, “Although Obama and his aides had long been alarmed by Trump’s disturbing rhetoric and loose grasp of policy, decided that the best path forward was to assume the mask of decorum to avoid any trace of the contempt that once had been so pronounced.” David Remnick is with us now. David, good morning.
DAVID REMNICK: Good morning, Charlie.
ROSE: You said he basically said this is not apocalyptic?
REMNICK: Yeah. He said the end of the world is only here only when the end of the world is here. This is rhetoric of trying to buck up not only his staff but the American people and tens of millions of people who obviously voted against Donald Trump because he doesn't want people to despair if, in fact, they are feeling that way.
ROSE: Then What worries him them as the President of the United States who is sitting in the on the Oval Office?
REMNICK: Where to on begin? Certainly appointments like Sessions or Flynn, whom he fired, or Steve Bannon. That is for starters, what worries him. He worries that someone who had a national campaign that was marked by misogyny and racism and all the rest is now president of the United States. He is worried about a range of things.
ROSE: And his legacy included?
REMNICK: And his legacy, from health care to Iran to so much else.
GAYLE KING: Yet, he says in the article or you say in the article that the President told you he does not see this as a personal repudiation of his legacy On the campaign trail, he made it very clear, “Listen, if Hillary Clinton is not elected, all the progress we’ve made in the last eight years is thrown out the window.” He’s changed on that?
REMNICK: I think only in rhetoric. There’s a worst case and best case scenario. The best case scenario is pretty limited indeed and some of the appointments make that clear. The best case scenario is that he governs like a normal conservative. That he is not rash. That he is not impetuous. That he does not endanger so much about our world arrangements that is good and decent. The worst case scenario is that this is a administration that is chaotic, that makes good on its record of misogyny on racism, that makes good on its kind of most radical speech that took place during this campaign. I mean, remember these debates.
REMNICK: Remember what we learned about Donald Trump and if — if— if he makes good on that. If he is, in fact, who he presented himself to be, then the president is deeply worried.
NORAH O’DONNELL: Your article is so rich with reporting we have not seen anywhere else in detail.
REMNICK: Thank you.
First. That 90-minute meeting between President Obama and Donald Trump. I think you're the closest to a fly on the wall we can get. What did you learn from that about what happened inside the Oval Office?
REMNICK: I want to be very clear that the President — in fact I asked the president about that naturally, as any of you would. And he said, well — He smiled and he said, “I'll tell you all about it over beer off the record.” Meaning for the moment now, certainly for the next couple of months, he is playing it close to the vest. What I do know about that meeting is let's just say that Donald Trump did not show himself to be any more sophisticated about policy than he seemed to be in the debates or in the campaign.
O’DONNELL: You write that Trump —
REMNICK: He was solicitous and that he was kind of in shock and awe, to coin a phrase, about the responsibilities of actually being President and Obama said to him, “Look, One thing I know” and one thing that Obama has revealed, “that governing is not the same as campaigning. The circus is over.
KING: You also said that Donald Trump understands the difference how facts and truth don't matter. I thought that was an interesting point.
REMNICK: Well, I think we have seen from this campaign that we have a whole new media universe.
ROSE: He speaks to the media question.
REMNICK: There’s a great example of it. Obama when I was with him on the campaign he and his political director were obsessed about an article that came out in Buzzfeed about a town in Macedonia, a former part of Yugoslavia, in one town where they were producing, just a small group of guys, producing over a hundred pro-Trump websites that were filled with fake stories. Completely fake. Like, you know, “Pope Francis is endorsing Donald Trump, or “Hillary Clinton encouraged Trump to run because he couldn't be bought.” Just complete nonsense.
ROSE: So, he concerned about a media you can't tell fact from fiction?
REMNICK: You can't penetrate it. If you create a media universe for yourself with where you're inhaling fake news, you're not going anywhere near the New Yorker or the New York Times or CBS Morning News [sic].
ROSE: Why does the president think that Hillary Clinton lost?
REMNICK: I think it's a variety of reasons. First of all, the President thinks that Hillary Clinton would have been an excellent president. But I think, you know, he thinks she lost for the reasons that are pretty obvious, that she probably should have campaigned much more heavily in Michigan, Wisconsin, and, you know — but there were also external aspects here. WikiLeaks, James Comey. There’s no one singular reason.
O’DONNELL: Hindsight is 20/20 looking back. Always looking back. It fascinated me during the election speaking to the President's advisers and also Hillary Clinton advisers that they wanted to use the President to just reach millennials. And yet, in hindsight the President going to Minnesota, to Michigan, to some of these states to reach some of those white rural voters that actually voted for him in two elections might have been a better use of his time.
REMNICK: But they realized it's Hillary Clinton that is on the ballot, not Barack Obama. And they also used him to get out the vote in African-American communities. That is where I was in North Carolina where I was in Fayetteville and Charlotte. Of course, Hillary Clinton won that vote in a dominant way but not in the same numbers.