CBS News' Face The Nation, 4/16

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Sunday, April 16th

Face The Nation for April 16: CBS News Foreign Correspondent Ben Tracy reports the latest out of North Korea -- where a failed missile test took place. On this Easter Sunday, religious experts weigh in on what role religion plays in politics. Plus -- how does the White House Chief of Staff define the presidency? Find out on this week's "Face the Nation."


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Keep up with the latest headlines from Austin and beyond on the all new talk thirteen seventy dot com stay informed with the latest news weather contests and more it's all just a click away had talked thirteen seventy dot com just one more way to stay connected with top thirteen seventy. Today on face the nation on this holiday Sunday tensions escalate between US and North Korea. Other countries headed for a face off. Following a bold display of weaponry North Korean leader Kim Jung a little launches a missile test that business. As the world waits to see if president trump will follow through on his threat to solve the North Korean nuclear problem one way or the other. We'll have a report from inside Pyongyang North Korea as the vice president celebrates Easter with US troops in South Korea. Our resolve has never been strong. Our commitment to this historic. Alliance with the courageous. People of South Korea has never been stronger. As for president trump he has softened his position towards China and shows new signs of embracing those international alliances he once dismissed. I said it was obsolete. It's no longer around soon we'll take a look at the emerging trump foreign policy doctrine. Including last week's Syrian missile strike. Further deterioration of our relations with Russia and the US decision to drop the mother of all bombs on an ice a stronghold in Afghanistan. This was another very very successful mission. Then we'll talk to Pulitzer Prize winning author David McCullough about what history can teach us about living in uncertain times. And on this Sunday in celebration of both Easter and passover. We'll also look at the role of faith in the face of crisis. It's all ahead on face the nation. Good morning and welcome to face the nation I'm John Dickerson we begin this morning with new developments overnight in North Korea. CBS news foreign correspondent Ben Tracy filed this report earlier from Pyongyang. They have failed missile launch took place on North Korea's East Coast near this city of Chicago Sunday morning. It's unclear what type of missile at once but the US military says he was not an Intercontinental ballistic missile. It would be capable of hitting United States. This failure came just hours after North Korea probably displayed its arsenal in Pyongyang. During an elaborate military parades. Hundreds of thousands of people filled the main square Saturday. Soldiers march with precision. Tanks rolled down the street. And North Korea showed off its dangerous new possessions. A variety of ballistic missiles can threaten its neighbors in nearby US bases. Watching over all of it was the country's leader. Kim Jung who. At number eighty herein yeah top ranking North Korean official gave a speech and he said at the United States is creating and dangerous situation at at the US wants war with North Korea will answer with the war and this is clearly designed to remind the world. They're capable. The white. House is taking a more aggressive stance toward North Korea trying to pressure to end a series of escalating missile launches and nuclear tests. President Trump's estate naval strike force the Korean Peninsula and his cold North Korea a menace that is looking for trouble. North Korea calls these provocative acts. We grew up on some real and is the country's vice minister of foreign affairs you didn't on the east he said the trump administration's policy towards North Korea. Is the most hostile ever police and do you feel like you're missile launches your nuclear tests are making this situation. Force. Do you mean. The US says North Korea's nuclear buildup is the root cause of the escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula on touched in the room but we've got to face reality wolf the US is the wanting compelled North Korea to go into where he. It is responsible for this vicious cycle. Korea says it will not provoke a war. But if they detect and attack from the US they will launch a preemptive strike with every weapon they have. So you're saying if you feel that North Korea's going to be. Attacked you'll use nuclear weapons he responded gross and of course. China North Korea's won may now why he's Rory this war of words. Actual or on their doorstep and any news conference Friday China's foreign minister said why it would be no winners in a war until whoever starts the war on the Korean Peninsula he said. Has to bear the historical responsibility. And the consequences and they drug administration would like China to put more pressure on North Korea to end its nuclear program. But it's unclear if that would work North Korea's vice minister of foreign affairs told me there is nothing that will stop them from conducting a six nuclear test. And they will do it whenever they see it. CBS news foreign correspondent and Tracy reporting from Pyongyang. Now for some analysis on what's going on in the world we're joined by a Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. The wanna welcome David nacco Moreau who White House reporter for the Washington Post to the broadcast. And Robin Wright is enjoying fellow at the US institute for peace in the Wilson Center and a contributor to The New Yorker. He now Louie is a CBS news political analyst and slates chief political correspondent. Stating nations and wanna start with you what kind of a test is. North Korea for Donald Trump well Donald Trump I think decided that. Right from the the beginning of that is administration this was the first big challenge there are two things that's that's strictly. The first is that that the administration led by the president has decided. Now is the time to deal with North Korea is rapidly advancing. Military threat now before they have a nuclear tipped missile that can point at the United States. The second and that obviously includes more discussion and military options than we're used to second this to work closely with China and to make. The concessions necessary to draw Chinese and his partners and striking. In the presence of the first few months it's almost. You know head spinning top how much he's changed his line on China a country those draping the United States during the campaign now. White House talks of China's our key partner. In dealing with North Korea present tweets praise for China's diplomatic efforts. But I think the the basic message the president said publicly as we said privately if China cannot help us do this in private. You know states is prepared to take action to deal with North Korea before it has the full nuclear capability. Ronnie is escalation of the rhetoric from the president of the tweets of pressure on North Korea. The military flexing the muscle is that and creating the likelihood of a confrontation I mean who does that keeping things on the loyalists that. As I can work or are their considerable downside it's. I think there are downsides but I think fundamentally. The United States and China have a different way of looking at what the solution to the North Korean challenges the United States wants to use its muscle to kind of say we're here and we're not gonna tolerate this and then Merck rely on China. To actually do them the squeezing of Pyongyang to comply. The problem is the Chinese. Don't. Really want to see. A unified Korea they don't wanna see a pro western. Oriented government they actually don't mind the current government. Remaining just they wanna take away the nuclear component. They actually would like to see diplomacy work that's the irony that the Chinese wanna see you grand bargain in which the United States actually negotiate with north Koreans. On the question of both its nuclear program and as long range missiles. And that's something I'm not sure the the trump administration is really grapple with how do you do that how do you engage this is a fourth American president has tried to negotiate with. Or is tried did it did deal with the North Korean challenge and every one of them so far has recognized the diplomacy is the only way out. And that's something we haven't seen from this administration. That's right and you know we've seen two Robin's point not. I'm not putting more on this on the emphasis on diplomacy really about the ratcheting up from the president who has talked about the Red Line that Barack Obama drew with respect to Syria being great failure. A president Obama's they hear the president seems himself to be drawing any kind of red lines saying. The US will go it alone there administration officials excitement taking action in North Korea sill of the month from now on the no action has been taken. The president will have seen have been making boasts the median follow up. Britain and drug that is what. I mean for me today I come acted to trump the person terms personality. And present trumpet summons prior career who's negotiating style is very much of I've making demands of making threats. Promises it to take some sort of punitive action. And here's situation room for doing that race starting a war restarting near a major international incident to I'm not entirely sure looking at. Accountant past behavior and not present circumstances how this is all going to play out. I do know in in and if we were aware right that the administration. Isn't just that an interest in diplomacy it is not even. Put forth the resources. To the State Department to the diplomatic core to be able it to come to some for diplomatic solution. In North Korea so. It's it's you know that the pieces here everything here. It. There's like Arby's opposite course always a range of outcomes for the week seems to be in the range of outcomes and I'm actually optimal. For the United States or China ordered. It's South Korea. Indeed what do you mean make of sort of the president trumps interaction with his foreign policy team in in the presidency so far he's been constrained by the courts. By congress this is an area on foreign policy where he can act without those kinds of constraints how do you how do you read what's it. Staying going back even a week to the strikes and Syria is that you're seeing on some folks who do we didn't know would have a great deal of influence. With this president given that rhetoric in the campaign. I sensed that we would withdraw from some of the global leadership I come to the floor that's includes. HR McMaster the national security advisor. Certainly in Madison the Pentagon. And even Rex Tillerson who to some degree as snow said they have and they're not talking about it if I'm not withdrawing money from the State Department downplaying the role leasing and take a lead to some degree. In formulating some of the policies and what they really emphasize that was done tomorrow Lotto. When they when these strikes happen in Syria was the inner action between the agencies and sort of they try to sort of suggests trump wasn't acting impulsively. He was doing this is sort of standard presidents do wouldn't and taking end. Input from all the different agencies looking at different options and then choosing one. That's not an approach we always saw him do with North Korea I think you're seeing some of the same things a presence put a lot of emphasis. On his military letting them take the lead and you know sending a strike force into the Korean Peninsula certainly is sending a message that. It's not business as usual. With North Korea at the same time there's been no plan. Behind the scenes in ministries in talks about maximum pressure and engagement that the engagement we just don't have any idea what that means. Robin this morning the president was that took to Twitter a variety of statements from him but line on this topic. The president said why would I call China a currency manipulator when they're working with us on the North Korean problem we'll see what happens he says an exclamation point. What could China wants. From the United States that might help them get through those complexities you outlined earlier. On taxi take care of this problem for the president instead of having military action. Welcome the basic problem is that the United States is relying on China and China thinks the United States really is the one that Heston did did you feel the legwork and then heavy lifting on this. But it's this in many ways this test is it a challenge or test of the relationship between president trump and president she. President trump had tweeted earlier that he had great confidence on China in dealing with the North Korean question. And you know. China then turns around and announces that that its trade with North Korea's increased 40% and then go first quarter of this year. And it's taken some little steps turning back a fleet of on coal. Ship cold ships that word delivering to to China so trying to look like he he's taking some action but the fact is is pretty mammal. And so that this is something that's gonna I think it. It's a little bit like Russia you know you you have that moment of of yes we're gonna do this is gonna be different relationship and then you find that the realities of the world. Forced them back into the old kind of tensions and the old but what it was under the previous administration even before that. It given the president a team the realities of the world this week setting conversation with a part of the Chinese president he learned that the relationship between China and North Korea was more complicated than he thought. Com. How incest the president is learning curve that enemy is is the second any somebody else there's added that about health. Here the steep learning curve started with actually go back to the first meeting with President Obama. Was President Obama in this private meeting that from posting you know in there after his election lasted just was less fifteen minutes or less than an hour and a half trumps and I think it was supposed to last longer but. What trump learned there was a North Korea with such a problem President Obama stressed and emphasized this to and I think it woke him up. I and that you're seeing him now to discredit. Elevating this problem and you know President Obama is to some degree of the focused on Iran. Was criticized what are you gonna do about North Korea it's a different set of challenges. So now you're seeing the president have just learning curve he's me he's met first with the premise throbbing in Japan down tomorrow log and then with seizing paying. Obvious talked about having this great piece of chocolate cake and I talked him about our policies but. I think deeper down it is a learning curve it's it's very difficult the situation in in North Korea and its perplexed administration after administration I think one thing to keep in mind as this missile test was a failure today but. Experts say that the north Koreans learn each time honest and their mind is not a failure. David give us a sense more broadly the president I serve and then for let's throw in the president's change of mind on NATO on Syria is the president being guided into what is a kind of foreign policy consensus about the way you handle these difficult problem. I think we're learning that he has key advisors. On foreign policy who are of the Republican mainstream and they have had more influence I think secretary Madison defensive sectors socialist state. Really trying to bomb there and told they try to work through a common position before each key meeting. HR McMaster is a very orderly process. Oriented national security advisor and Dina Powell in the White House kind of classic. Manager of if people and your oxy so is this team has had some success over the last. Two weeks they feel with Syria was a success they feel that she meeting was a success. I think they've really bonded with a each other so I think there that that the president feels enhanced by. His team going forward just briefly to other points that could go to what we've been discussing. The first is I think that this administration is exploring ways. That you could address China's concern about the future North Korea. And unified North Korea might threaten them to say it's not really what were we cannot second thing this has to be speculation but. As David said. Weekend's big event was going to be this missile launch and it was if it was a flop if it blew up as soon as it took off. The New York Times reported recently that 88%. Of North Korea's most Saddam inner intermediate range missile tests. As in in the last couple years 88% have been failures something's going on a is this stocks that for missiles we don't know there was a very weird elliptical statement by by by a sector of the defense matters but but I think those two things are worth for him. Yeah we're sending some software and there missile system is Gmail talking about a little that are about the politics. If David's right in the presence in a foreign policy Republican foreign policy consensus that wasn't what a lot of the charm voters reject. He trump campaign this explicitly against the Republican Angel and foreign policy arguing. That the Iraq forms and state are in effect his opponent on the stage in the Republican primary too eager to use. The military. To this this is an interest seeing. Shifted gears I think it reflects the extent to which he doesn't have very much knowledge or experience and he's a bit of an empty vessel a lot of places and so depending on the quality of his advisors. Depending on the people around him. He takes particular steps. It's unclear how this will appeal to his voters I think this come out come ultimately to the question of what to his voters specifically want. There's a chance rate that this this new approach dealing needs them but there's also a chance of because. The administration is moving forward on its immigration plans. Continuing tended to support and continuing to. And harass that immigrant communities that go with shake out you know evenly on it we're gonna have to end there thanks to. All of you and we'll be back in one moment with some historical perspective from author David McCullough. Hi this is Gordon Deal join me weekdays 4 this morning America's first news to hear the stories you'll be talking about and searching for all day as we go beyond the headlines and above the chatter weekdays at five on talk thirteen seventy. And we're back now with. Author and historian David McCullough his new work the American spirit is out Tuesday. Welcome we're very glad to have you here David it these are your speeches over time is the Arab. Through line and they speeches is there a message that it's kind of you see in a lot of them together. Yes I think we need to remember who we are and how we go out to be where we are. And how much we go to those who went before us. And there's much to be learned. From them much to be learned from history. We are not doing very well they're not doing as growth we should. In raising our oncoming generations. With an appreciation. Of the story of their country. I don't think there's any aspect of education. That matters more. To effective leadership. The knowledge. Of what went before us. Most effective presidents we've had reasonable. Evolved and Evans is readers students of history. In terms of history let's start with Jim let's start with the leaders first Aziz give them a sense of it is the craziness of the moment will pass so I'll stick to my. Stick to what I'm doing because in the past other leaders were criticized in their moment and I'll be okay how did they use and in practical terms that history. Well for one thing that they understand our system works except our government how that all that truck three part system so. But history is about people histories human. Adam Jefferson said when the course of human events the operative word there is human. And so if you want to understand people and how people behaving. And how people can be responsible. How people can be courageous and so. Read history history. Is is not about. People who lived in the past. Nobody ever lived in the past they lived and present but was there present not hours. And end. They didn't walk around in their eighteenth century clothes saying are we picturesque and what do you think people make of us because we address this when it. If you read into the life of someone like George Bush and it from Martin Luther King there. Margaret Chase Smith in the in the congress you drug not just. Guidance from that but inspiration. That. And that the one. Quality to his prevalent in so many of our best and most importantly here's our most. Inspiring examples. Is they do not quit. Perseverance. A lot of people who are detractors of the current president or even those who who are supporters of the current president. Think that things are are unique in a kind of command crazy state and a chaotic series now that the president's supporters like that. Is this moment an aberrant moment or is this pretty much we've had moments of chaos in American history and we get through them. Well I think we're living in ways and it is clearly a dangerous time. Not just because of international. Tensions and panda cloud hanging over but. Because we're who can sort of groping. With how to repair. An engine that we don't know how you and take apart. You have to understand. The patient that your tending to. And you just know something about medicine and yes we've had times where we wanted to change things but we've also had times. There'd been more unsettling. More worrisome more painful. More costly than what we're going through now and we think this is just so. Belief in him on promising. Because we really don't know what we've been through before and how we came through it. I like to root tell people about the influenza epidemic. 191819. 500000. Americans died. In that epidemic if that were happening today. With proportion to our population. Be a million and a half people would die in less than a year but they got through it just and we got through it. Civil war which of most catastrophic. The experience of art and story. We got throughs does depression two world wars. I mean. Churchill said it one at a lot of wonderful piece that we haven't journeyed this far. Because we're made of sugar candy the final question. Is there an American character and if so what is at best. Odyssey. Courage. Strength of character. And faith in our way of life. Believe. That what those predecessors of hours those pilgrims those pioneers. Hurt so hard to retain. Is something that we are obligated. To know about Ted also about just to sustain. But to improve make yourself useful. Don't boast about yourself. Don't get too full of yourself be kind to be modest. In the White House. In the metal piece. In the state dining room. There is so there's quotation carved into the marble. Promote letter written by John Adams. To Abigail his first night as president in the White House he wrote the letter which he said. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof is still there. That Kennedy had carved into the marble. Roosevelt carved it in first in would end and Truman preservative when he was president and they were redoing the way but I think what. What's best about that line. Is that he puts honesty first may none but honest and wise men and ruin news group. And I think that's one thing we Americans really want. His honesty but Justin the president and everybody who we live with work with and have a good time. Tim and McConnell thank you so much and if you. We're going to switch gears now and an honor Easter and passover we wanna talk about faith. With those who celebrate those holidays and write think and participate in the religious life of America. Ride chair is a writer for the American conservative and his new book is titled the Benedict option. Russell Moore is the president of the southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. And Abigail cobra bran is also a writer her latest book is my Jewish year eighteen holidays one wondering you. And father James Martin joins us from New York father Martin is a jesuit priest and editor at large at America magazine father. I wanna start we view the jazz it's believed that god can be found. In all things what does that mean in the practical life of a Catholic. Well it means that god is not just confined to the experience of god is not just confined to the walls of the church are reading the Bible. I've got can be experienced in all moments of our lives and relationships. And work in our family and friends in nature. So it's an invitation to really meet god in all things in all people and in all events. And the EU wrote that you said you were Jewish in the way that the olive garden. Was Italian. Hum eight that you had a a hunger that that led you to write your book tell me about that hunger. Come you know I I was one vote they just tell us call us cafeteria style Jews I kicked in June and shows. On and part of it was because I didn't have a real basis in Jewish education. And I was missing it I was missing on the infrastructure of the architecture of the Jewish year and that's why I took a deep dive. I'm spending an entire year observing every Jewish holiday in calendar and I'm as you may have had a sense of it for quite quite a few. Russell you are in the middle of the political conversation in Washington constantly being pulled into the political but how weird it does speak for you. Sit outside of the political when you think of your face well most of it is is outside of the political and time on the kind of person some people come to faith. After years of substance abuse and and and all sorts of of problems I had the opposite situation. I was a good kid growing up in the Bible Belt shrinking the somehow I can't achieve something for god in a way that would make god. Except me and receive me and the gospel. They came to me in my teenage years to me you don't have to perform. But but your faith in Jesus Christ and the good news is that god receive you back grace just received that and trust that that's what's up into my life. And run year you've written a lot about this not just your current book but your faith you've written about in your other boats where does it sit for you here. A faith is everything it is my life I think that in America we tend to have a terrible tendency to separate church from life to compartmentalize it to keep it on Sunday morning and may be holy days. But as an orthodox Christian I've been used unorthodox for eleven years now. I've come to see the christianity is a total way of life not it's a way of life with an institution attached to it. For me in my family life is the liturgy and life is the holy days like this prayer life is fast and and like his choice I have been so. Filled with joy from it in just worshiping as an orthodox Christian I think that is the secret to the orthodox life is the joy of Christ. Father you have written about that joy in your book about comedy and laughter in that in the religious life but let me ask you about Easter. For some people Easter is about eggs and and getting the care as much candy as you can get what is Easter really about now. Well mr. Dreier is right it's about joy the message of Easter the basic message is that Christ is risen which changes everything. Underlying that is the message that life is stronger than death that hope is stronger than despair and that love is stronger than hate so. Easter is the the center the Christian message and it is a joyful message it is the good news after all so it's a lot more than about eggs and marshmallow peeps. At do you you write about paso of course message of passover a BC being the Jews. No longer being enslaved but I was interested in that idea as a curry carries to the current moment but. Also the other holidays you write about. What's the role those play in the Jewish here in the Jewish faith. I would say you know taking this immersive died. Which really has changed my life and my perspective frankly on on every day. I interviewed over 62 rabbis and if anything came through from their message for every holiday and passover in particular. It's that you look at it and our history. And what the message of memory is over and over again it is to look at the stranger to say we have been a stranger. We have been the oppressed and that means we cannot become the oppressor we need to look at the person who is struggling. Not ask not just next door on that the person we don't know or have never met and that comes to actually impasse over it's a universal message of redemption. Being taken out from bondage into freedom but also who are around us is in bondage right now. And for some people that is on going global level for some it's a very internal funded some people feel very personally that they are stuck or enslave. To beat the exodus story is that a very powerful one and it also embodies the Christians. Christian search. To be released from the bondage of sin and be brought to the promised land of life in Christ and I think that's one thing that gets. Lost and a lot of American christianity tends to be very very comfortable let's is very therapeutic. In fact if we're to the resurrection we have the first guy to ourself and I can mean things that are very comfortable to us why can't you say welcoming the stranger. Some people feared death and a way in which they want to identify themselves with their careers some people feared death and say they experience that is despair in the black community. As the original Christian when god has answered that on Easter Sunday with the raising Jesus from the dead. Which for me is not a mere metaphor we really believe that this previously dead body has come back to life which is good news from a significant factor in the universe. Other Murton I wanna ask you about politics and religion here you are now consult her. To the Vatican secretary for communications when the things I hear from American Catholics is. And they love poke Francis is message and then. Some of them say no but I wish she wouldn't talk about politics which for them means what he said about global warming. How should people understand what the pope's role is in political life should he stay out it. The ball busily talking politics felonies like about global warming is talking about. Caring for the environment cares for God's creation and so has a cyclical it's really a kind of compendium of Catholic teaching on the environment and on economic matters as well. As well when he talks about welcoming the stranger which was Edwards who earlier welcoming the migrant and refugee. He's simply preach in the gospels so if what he says and if the proclamation of the gospel has political overtones Sylvia but. He's not setting out to be an overtly political person. Russell you president Donald Trump has been elected in 81% support an evangelical Christians is that a good or bad thing for religion in public life well I think I think we'll see what the next few years will mean for our religion and American life but I think most of Intel calls right now wherever they stood on the election. Have the understanding that the Bible commands us to pray for our leaders to wish the best for our leaders to wish the best for our country. And so I think most evangelical Christians are are willing to pray for president trump for his administration. And also to seek to be good citizens. Run in the years and I've covered politics there are a lot of people who have invested very heavily people of faith who invested heavily in the political process and it ends up to disappointing. Because in the natural compromises that are a part of a politics and then a sometimes the natural switch backs against belief. Whereas belief is all about maintaining a set of principles. And them come what may. How do you see that and and the connection between religion and politics and American. Well I think father Martin's correct that you know of the gospel does have certain political implications a pool of by political you mean. Have to do with the lights that we live together the common good. But I think that there are people like me conservative Christians have made an enormous mistake over the past thirty years in placing too many eggs in the political basket. We've tended to think that if we just elect cobra right Republican and get the right Republicans in congress everything is gonna take care of itself. But that didn't happen and in the meantime. We lost the culture so what I call for the Benedict option is Christians to step back from politics not get away from it entirely. But just re prioritize things in start placing more of your emphasis on the local on building up your local community because that's politics to. Andy. A question of Israel and protecting Israel is and is but as a very important issue for Jewish Americans it's become a central part of our politics and how do you see that issue because in the conversations I've had with American Jews that. Question Israel can get so hot so fast it's. It's very true I I would say that if there's saying the Jewish community that we haven't quite figured out is how to talk to each other. About our our disagreements about Israel what. I was there we have in common is that it is it is not just a place that is precious but a place that we all believe and on and it's led some people say I love America but I don't necessarily love. The government's decisions on every every decision or policy that the government decides. I think similarly that we all of Israel we don't always agree without how Israel is necessarily conducting itself in any given moment. But generally we are you know we are tiny people and we kind of I don't think can't afford to be as divided. About a something that we all care so dearly about. Com because it's something that if you I can ask every June they would say on is the fundamental to our identity. Timer you see out and not a threat to religious life coming from politics in often politicians can force religiously as a religious people to take sides politically but the church really needs to transcend that. Because of we align ourselves too much with one party we are disappointed and also we need to keep our independence self. There can be a threat in terms of trying to some of box religious people and and I think a religious people need to be. Free of other kind of over identification with one party or another or one politician or another. Is spent Russell do you see that where. And various even joke as I've talked to and said you know the idea that basically if you're not a Republican. You're not you can be evangelical is that unfair that criticism Ortiz. Do you well I think is even broader than that they we living in American society where we've become politically defined as our first identity across the board no matter what religion we are or we have or no religion. I think that's a part of the problem and I think sometimes when. Secular Americans look at Evan Joseph who Christians they see as simply a political terms. So I think evangelicals are like cicadas we go under ground until the Iowa Caucuses every every four years and that's when people pay attention whatever Joseph Christians are good. What are reality most of our lives. It has it has nothing to do with with politics most of our lives is about. Building up through the teaching of the gospel the kind of communities that are then going to be able to live out their lives in various ways. It's a one of them primary message is we have is that politics is an important discussion. But it's not an ultimate discussion. And so anyone no matter where they are on the spectrum from right to left who puts ultimate hope there is going to be ultimately displace. Ron let me ask you about the secular protections in various faiths are just those working again storm part of the genius of the American system. I think it was Adams who said that. Our constitution is made for moral and religious people but it's insufficient recovered and the other. Back then we had a more general civil religion based and the Judeo Christian tradition. I think it was easier for us to solve our our problems because we have a common base of authority there and caught a common framework for discussion. That's gone that's what I mean about post Christian John not that there are no Christians but that we've that we've lost that basis. So I think that what if we as we see in the greater centralization of America. We are also seeing. The state coming down harder and harder on religious liberty especially around LG BT issues. That is where the next fight is for religious liberty around the rite of Christian institutions and other religious institutions to govern themselves according to their faith. I think that a lot of people voted for trump with a heavy heart a lot of Christians speaking that I at least trump would not be as aggressive going after. Religious institutions as the Democrats work. And I think maybe will be happy with that I hope so but trump is not gonna be the ultimate savior of christianity in America. What's your view of that the secular protections that from a lot of people allow feel allows them to worship in America. Are seen by other Americans as the thing that's encroaching upon. Religion and American. I think it's a very dangerous. Sort of conversation that we're having right now. Where there's there's a push to marginalize religious institutions to the point that they can't be religious anymore. I think that's dangerous and I think that's that's not just dangerous for religious people that's dangerous for secular non religious people. We need to be the kind of society that protects conscience that protects the the right of people to live out the deepest convictions that they have. As so that the idea that if we don't like speech we shut it down and if we don't like religions we shut them out. Is not one that we should pursue an American. I think he just it it we're sitting here at this table basically all agree and we share actually many of the same principles and tax. And re in in some sense we should get back. To what our traditions actually tell us about how to live our lives there there are blueprints that are thousands of years old he is that in a sense we have. Abandoned for the public for the political round. And I it's not a pollyannish utopian view of world I don't agree but I do think we've gone too far away from what our techs are actually teaching us. Anthrax attached to the father's point where the the Pope was not talking politically if we read it. Much more about what what are our traditions demanding of us maybe we would have less divisions and and actually be more unified. Final words you father on that this question have. The secular protections in America and there are tension with the religious life. Well I would say certainly you know religious people need to be protected but I would also say that. We need to make sure that the people who has been marginalized in the past LG BT people minorities. And even atheists and diagnostics. Feel included in our vision you know Jesus Christ's. Vision was one of inclusion he was always drawing people in from the outside isn't so I think as long as we don't exclude or marginalized people even further in this Kyra station. I think will be doing okay. All right I want to thank our panel. All of you for being here and we'll be back him. We know Austin traffic can via. Challenged. These continued with time saver drastic. Mornings and afternoons on top thirteen seven lead the right choice. There was so much news at the end of last week we were unable to bring you our discussion with former White House chiefs of staff Denis McDonough who worked for President Obama. And Ken Duberstein. From the Reagan White House. They along with fifteen others are the subject of a new book by Chris Whipple called the gate keepers how the White House chiefs of staff to find every presidency. We begin by asking author Whipple why the job was so important. Where you know it's it's critically important one of the things I learned from talking to all living White House chiefs. Is that president's find out who often the hard way. That you cannot govern effectively. Without empowering the White House chief of staff as first among equals in the White House. Two number one to execute your agenda. Number two. Tell you things that you don't wanna hear. Modern history shows. And through the wreckage of presidencies in the did not understand that looks can watch what does the person of president picks to be their chief of staff say about a president. You say an awful lot about our president because. Is the person who spends the most time with whom and his wife. He's the person who are trusted. To tell you things you know morning here is Chris. Near the reality therapist. Everybody walks into the Oval Office. It gets stronger give gifts from god. They tell the president what they think the president wants to hear not what he needs to know the chief of staff has to tell him what needs to know. Ten when you're chief of staff do you kind of always have the president inside your head is that a part of that job or knowing the president's instincts. Do you do you have to kind of into it where the person is going who is the president. Absolutely. You get to know who the man you get to know where he's going what musicals floor. What's acceptable. Norm Reagan's case he always would take 80% of what he wanted to. Triple amused to say I don't like Budweiser would Reagan was Reagan gets 80% of what he wants. And regular turn to Jim Baker can be you know there's concern all that you 80% every time I come back the next year for an additional money. That's what governing is all about Reagan understood. That the far right. And the far left. Is he used to remind us or professional pitchers. They don't wanna be satisfied. That's how they get their money that's how they get their members. Through get what you can get that 80%. Figure out how to build a coalition to get you that that can move but don't worry about the far left or the far right. Tennis you did something with President Obama called the ramp so walk at the end of the day what was that about and what we're those conversations like we've seen just said now. Oval and just go over what happened during the day in and what was teed up for the next. Think it was one night kind of nice springtime like. This in DC. He said let's lock. And so you know sometimes a Y could be one lap. Sometimes a B. Many more than one sometimes he'd be joined matters. Tom but they point was to just have one moment to try to stop in Canada Canada rigmarole this day. And take a look ahead. Had. What more we needed to when Moammar we had. Hot paying over for the next. Crist chief is that there's so powerful. That it does it ever come to be the case that they become a little too powerful for the president's own liking him certainly that's been a president trump has to people who talked about Stephen in a nasty and it's not the chief of staff but. There's been reporting about some tension between the presidency Steve bands as the man behind the throne does this is this say a problem or potential well it's just. It's certainly been a problem with some White House chiefs and the far greater problem in my mind is when you no one seems to be in charge. Which may sound familiar at the moment. When you have eight or nine senior advisors or even four or five would equal access to the oval no one is a gatekeeper. No one is in charge of the information flow no one is in charge of executing policy. Then you have what Jerry Ford used to call the spokes of the wheel where. Nobody's in charge of that it took Jerry Ford about a month to figure out the that was. Of disaster can be in the current administration you have a chief of staff. You have C band and an advisor to the president is quite powerful. And you have the president's daughter who also has an important role and then you know the president's son in law that's at least four people with. I don't know anyone caller walk into the Oval Office privileges or seems to be on the same kind of power level how do you evaluate that power structure in terms of the job that. The chief of staff has to get done. Mode to going back to Chris is comment. The president needs to empower one person to do the White House chief of staff. And the follow rather than spokes of the wheel the person in this Ryan's previous lesson because admitted as first among equals he is the person. May reduce the partner we may be a partnership for the White House but lots of people but he's senior partner. Your Dick Cheney wants children and he can't he you can't have eight or nine guys sitting or else with a with a with a very tough. Issued you have to take the president as saying that Bill Clinton from them saying hey it's your turn to tell you know about it's your turn it no no it's your turn to tell. You get somebody's got to be the guy who goes in with a piece of bad news to have all of the discussion war. But in the door closes in the Oval Office and you and the president. Nor the one north and deliver that message it ain't gonna fly what's the worst message yet to deliver lots of them. Dennis haven't you let me any that you I felt like there was a goal I was used garrison. There is these things all the time the worst was market knowledge on the health care I go to board. And it was particularly bad because he spent. The entire previous year. And monthly then biweekly and weekly meetings including them by saying. Now Iran understands that this only works if that house if that much support for no reason yeah absolutely it's. So. And it was preceded by Goldman. There for you but you do that every day and yeah there's always something skill set pressed there is we so we've talked about legally insane now the ability to set up an assistant. What else is and she just tightening you know. And of yours would agree but I think temperament is it is a huge part of it I think when you look at. I'd are present company but especially and James Baker or Leon Panetta and these are grounded. Sensible people who were comfortable on their own skin. We're not afraid. To talk to the president and tell him what he needs to know. I think that's it and I think that's a re. Maybe an underrated thing you know they said about Leon Panetta that he was Saturday and iron fist inside of velvet glove. You can do it nicely as long as you enforce. What your confidence. That's it for us today thanks for watching we'll see you next week when won't be sitting down with the Ohio governor John casing. Vaccination I'm John Dickerson. Today's guest is David McCullough. Executive producer of face the nation is Mary Mapes to senior producers tell tax. And struck us was directed by Brian Nelson. Face the nation originates from CBS news Washington for more face the nation where online at face the nation dot com. And you can follow face the nation John Dickerson and CBS radio news on Twitter FaceBook. And Amsterdam. He's a patient is also be broadcast on our digital network CBS and act two and 6 PM east ever so. If every talk radio program were the same. What would be the point the Michael very shows a little bit different. We're gonna talk about politics we'll also talk about how great it is to live in Texas weekdays from five to seven on talk thirteen seven Michael variation.