TIME: 13:00 – 14:00, 14th March 2017
VENUE: Committee Room 8, House of Commons
Palace of Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA
Senior Advisor, Donald J. Trump for President Campaign
Nigel Evans: Welcome to the House of Commons, and welcome to the Henry Jackson Society lunch time talk. We are absolutely delighted to have with us today Karen Giorno, who has over 27 years experience in American politics. She’s worked on four presidential election campaigns, she advised candidates and elected officials, ran the grassroots operations for congressional and senate races, and served on key positions for three White Houses. But also on a day where the Prime Minister is making her statement about the European Council and I was in for the beginning and making it known, what the next steps are now we’re about to leave the European Union. Have you come with a trade deal?
NE: Don’t fight, we are really keen and eager to do. And as you may well know, I’m on the International Trade deal committee and we’ll be going to Washington either late May or early June, in order to discuss next steps with that. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Karen.
KG: Thank you so very much, this is really an honour and privilege for me. I actually came from Cambridge University, I spoke at the Peter House Political Society or I should say the Politics society and it was really interesting to be grilled by the students. It was a lively discussion and I think it was supposed to be a couple of hours but Christina and I probably could have gone a little bit further into the evening but they were closing everything down. But that’s a great sign that the students were engaged and there were heated questions at times but you need to have passion, and you need to at least be interested in the topics in current affairs since they normally affect you and your family and your businesses.
First, I would like to thank Nigel and Dr Mendoza for the invitation. This is, again, an honour and a privilege. I also want to introduce my colleague, Christina Minna. Interestingly and for full disclosure, Christina and I are partners in life and we also own Kingston Public Affairs together. Christina and I have been together for 12 years, we’ve served multiple presidents and ran many campaigns together. But the interesting thing and the reason I always bring Christina is with me, is because she’s actually an artist, does not come from politics or that background and when we met she was just enjoying life in general and had no major interest and her perspectives were quite important because as a student of government, as a student of politics and history I like to hear all sides. I’m not like these individuals who come from one area and stick to that, I don’t consider myself an ideologue.
I’m saying this only because I started out very young in politics. My first job out of college was working for George Herbert W. Bush at the White House, I was a presidential and congressional intern before that but I never thought I would actually make it quite to the White House at 22. So I was kind of sucked in the presidential side of politics really early and my career took that path and so I served not only in that White House but also in Presidential transition team and actually served President Clinton and his family for a certain amount of time and then resigned my position and went into local politics more or less in central New Jersey, running races and getting into the grassroots of things.
When George W. Bush ran and won, I served Laura Bush for 6 years as a senior advance representative and went all over the world with her. But over the course of time, presidential campaigning was important to me as part of my civic duty but also by interest. It led me to understand not only the inner workings of a campaign but also but also how to integrate that into a winning campaign which then produces a president. So, you know, wining campaigns is not like losing campaigns but it also helps to reassess what worked and what did not work.
One of the reasons why I’m here, I think is, beyond being inspired, but also, you know, an opportunity to kind of share that we actually choose our paths and sometimes it’s not necessarily the one we thought we would take. And after Barack Obama won his second term, I was quite happy being a political consultant. I went to the state of Florida and I was working with a Sea forage organisation in when I got the call saying ‘Are you interested in going on a presidential campaign and working for Donald Trump?’ and I said no. I was perfectly happy with what I was doing, my client resided in the State of Florida so that was our home base. So to ask me to then come and run the north east regions of the United States for swing states, and for Donald Trump, that was not that attractive to me at the time. However, Donald Trump was attractive in the sense that, I was paying attention. I was paying attention in June when he announced, I was paying attention because of my longstanding relationship with the Bush family and Jed was running. I also saw a very strong bench of republican candidates emerging since we didn’t have a leader of our party, which always gives the opportunity for new faces to emerge and essentially put their hat in the ring for the nominations. So we had 17 candidates who were interested in being the nominee, after Donald Trump decided to get involved. Everyone knows about the summer of Trump, so we saw a rise of Donald Trump from June through August.
Beginning of September, I got a call from the campaign manager saying ‘I would like to meet with you’ and I did. And essentially it was about if Trump is interested in running in Florida, which is the largest swing state in the nation by the way, and how goes Florida really does go not only the elections in general, but you have to win it in order to capture the nomination. So it is essentially quite a large state, but the demographics of the state is important because if you’re not familiar with it, it is really kind of a microcosm of south, in those types of voters represent Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and the heartland of the south. If you go down to Miami area or what we call this the south east which has three main and very important counties which is from Miami to West Palm Beach, then you have of mixture of the north easterners that kind of transplant themselves there, along with very strong and high Hispanic and Cuban population. And then if you go across to the other side of the state of Florida, you have a lot of transplant from the Mid-West, so you have mid-western values and different views of politics and their civic responsibilities. And then you go through the corridor which is what we would consider the most important piece of wining an election since it has a large concentration of voters, and it is eclectic. Florida is usually a snap shot of how the country would probably go, so if you saw that Barack Obama in 2012 won his re-election campaign only by 73,000 votes, it’s not that many. The idea of campaigning in Florida is a very serious matter, you have to essentially dedicate resources and lots of money in order to be competitive. And when you think about it, you had Jeb Bush who was the popular, former two times governor, who knows how to win an election, and then you have a sitting senator in Marco Rubio who also knows how to win an election and has constituencies and has resources already in place and knows how to play there very well. And then you have governor Huckabee who claims that he lives in Florida, so we have a lot of people who claim Florida. And then you have Donald Trump, who does have Mare-a-Lago, which is his second home and he has multiple golf courses that are world renowned, and businesses and people that he associates with. We had a lot of things that that pretty much took a flag, put in the ground and said ‘Florida is home to me and no one can argue with that’. When he decided he was going to claim Florida, the interesting thing is I had to sign an NDA.
So I’ll do my best in sharing what I can with you without breaking it. What was unusual, is that when I was asked to be director of campaign, we put together a zero based budget every month, which I don’t know if any of you have really done campaigns that way but I haven’t. You usually get a big chunk of money and then you decide how you’re going to spend it in the course of the primaries. This was how I was going to spend it monthly, and what the cost of each of line items was and, boy, you better get it right because he will challenge you and ask you whether or not you’ve gone under or over budget. So that being said, I had a very interesting challenge ahead of me, which was to try to essentially neutralise two favourites’ sons in particular. Ted Cruz really did not play very strongly in Florida, however he did have a presence with the Tea party movement, who identify with him. Then Ben Carson had a rise and fall, just because he was the favourite of the voter block before they came up with Donald Trump. The strategic initiative to knock out not only Cruz Tea party people and bring them over to us, and even those who essentially underperformed in the 2012 elections. Trying to knock out two favourite sons, was the reason why I said yes, that’s an extraordinary accomplishment. So not only did I take on that war as this CEO of Florida, when I met Mr Trump, in Trump tower, who was larger than life he was extremely affable, extremely curious and asked some very good questions being a first time candidate, and I liked him immediately. So when I took on the role, I told him that not only I would win Florida but I would win it decisively and we won 66 out 67 counties. I think it safe to say that, when Jeb Bush dropped down in February, our primary was in March, March 15th actually. That paved the way for him to actually become the Republican nominee. Now, was that an easy road? Absolutely not, as those of you in this room who paid attention to this race know. Ted Cruz, the establishment and John Cassia of Ohio decided that were not going to get out of the race and that they were going in.
So normally what happens then is, when you pretty much clear the field around the verge of becoming the nominee, others just kind of cooperate with you. The idea that Ted Cruz, the establishment, really the RNC – I’m not going to try to sugar coat it- they obviously did not want Donald Trump to be the President of the United States and they did not want him to be the nominee to represent the party. Therefore, there were talks of a contested convention in Cleveland. And the only way you could that, is to steal delegates, so I was then promoted to the south east region of political director in charge of 11 south east states in order to manage delegates operations and securities of delegates for Donald Trump. In Florida, the way that this works is that there is 99 delegates, who are all bound through three rounds for whoever wins the state. In Alabama, which is now Senator attorney general obsession, it’s for life. Alabama and Florida were pretty much secured. But then there were other states that after the first round, you’re unbound, so therefore it could potentially be possible for the second round to have another vote, and a vote for someone other than Donald Trump. So this was actually a real challenge. And while we were securing these delegates, we still had contest to win. When you have a south funder, and you’re asking him to open up the check book because we’re not quite done with the contest we just finished up with, you have to create the right arguments, the right strategy, put together the right resources, in order to ensure that, not only do we go back and take care of delegate issue but we’re also wining the future contest ahead of us. And it was very challenging. I’m not going to lie it was fighting the establishment every turn, it was understanding which conventions, because each states had their conventions on determining who would be the delegates and it was not until, and we thought we would go probably until June, until the last contest, which would have been California and New Jersey and we were ready to go all out for all the stops. The idea that Donald Trump who’d have to go back and secure his delegates, had never been done before. While we continued down that road and showed that we could win Indiana, it was just interesting as I look back and I’m thinking about, it’s just interesting to see how long it took for people to get their head around the fact that Donald Trump was going to be the nominee. He was going to be the nominee of the Republican Party. Now, many people did not even believe he was republican.
So I look at the discussion points at Peter House in Cambridge, was ‘how the heck did you do this, how did you win the nomination, how did you win the elections’ and I think in order to answer that, and I really do want to take some questions because I think it’s important to kind of further discussion and dialogue to hear from you, but in order to really answer that question, you really have to look back at how did we get there. And you have to look back probably about two decades. There’s an interesting development in the 90’s, where there was still media outlets and newspapers and radio stations and this kind of independent journalism of reporting the news and investigating the facts and investigative reporters wanting to really make a difference out there because you’re hungry for the facts and you’re hungry to report what’s happening in the world. In the 90’s, a lot of our news organisations were bought out, or allowed to buy special interests and do national conversions, and some foreign interests kind of snugging in there, as well as large, big, companies and ratings were always an issue but it really came down to the shareholder and whether or not they were making money. Not necessarily whether or not there was straight news reporting and on the facts. And so you started to see this kind of shifting from independent journalism to kind of, even what we would call opinion news, versus straight hard news kind of blending together, with adjectives in the headlines of- you know- kind of leading the reader into understanding that, that particular article has an agenda. That is important to understand, because this is where we go into fake news and all of the things that kind of happened in this particular campaign that influenced the voters. And the voters –believe or not, the American voters kind of caught wind of this, they may not have able to put their fingers on what exactly was happening but they knew something was wrong, it wasn’t the same. So that’s one side, the other side is we are a very diverse nation, I mean I love that about the United States of America, we are a melting pot. But there is a very distinct culture about America. Over our very young period, we were known for having freedom, rights and liberties and being able to say we have a democratic republic and that we elect our officials in order to represent us. But there was this interesting dialogue going on, where I would talk to constituents from different regions and they would say ‘I really feel like the government – that I work for the government – the more taxes, and less services, and I just feel like everything is a fee, or a problem or they’re not listening to me. So do I work for the government or does the government work for me? How does – this is not really working okay’. And then Obamacare comes into play, this is where I think it was the tipping point, because when you pass a bill that is one third of our economy, by one party, with not one vote from another party, well the American public said ‘there’s something wrong’. When no one read the bill before they actually voted on it, and then the speaker that has says you have to pass the bill before you know what’s in the bill? I mean American public may not be that interested in everyday politics, and are into soccer and making sure that their kids are – you know, reading, writing, and doing what they need to do- but at the same time they also understand that’s not how our democracy works. So as a result, there was this kind of smashing of heads, but not knowing where to go with this frustration. The other thing is, my dad is 82, I’m third generation of Italian-American, and I’m the first person in my family to graduate from college. I grew up in an environment where my father worked three jobs: he was a police officer, shot in the line of duty when I was very young, thank god he survived it, but he got up every morning and he went and he served the public and I know we have a demonization of police officers in our country, that they’re profiling African-American individuals and trying to discriminate purposely. So across my Sunday meals, with a lot of pasta, a lot of good food, listening to my great uncle talk about war – he was a para-trooper in World War II, going behind the lines in order to, you know, secure victory in Europe. So there are a group of Americans, who have grown up loving America, loving the values of America, loving to say the pledge of allegiance of the United States, they like saying merry Christmas – okay-, or like waving the flag and they’ve been called xenophobes for doing so. They’ve been told that they don’t like immigrants, they’ve been called names I don’t want to say, let’s keep it PG. So that all group of voters they were still there in America, and in one generation off, okay, but that doesn’t necessarily means that they will pass that on to their children and their children will pass it on to their grandchildren. And so there’s a group of Americans who love America, they love the values of America, it’s not a perfect country but what country is? So, what had come out of this election was that we should have opened borders, that we should discard our immigration laws, that we’re Republicans, that we are the Party of ‘we don’t like anything’, we don’t like homosexuals, grandmas, we don’t like clean air, clean water, we don’t like, we don’t like, we don’t like,… Okay
And I like to think that my party has done a very good job at dissuading people that, this is not all accurate. So there was a need for someone, if you want say why Donald Trump won this election and why did he win the republican nomination, because we have real problems in this country and in the world and the American people wanted someone to say ‘ We have real problems in this country, and in the world, and name them’ and if it’s Islamic extremism please say that – okay- and let’s not make up new words or new phrases and hide the truth because it’s not politically correct to do so. And they wanted someone to name it, to acknowledge it and there are solutions out there and I’m going to provide them, I’m going to provide the leadership. So this was, in my opinion, it was an election about leadership, it was not an election about ideology: it wasn’t about ‘are you conservative enough? Are you liberal enough? Are you progressive enough? Are you affiliated and anchored to the party? Or the people?’ That’s what this election was about, and it was a perfect storm for Donald Trump. Never in History of the United States of America have we elected a President of the United States that’s a complete outsider and a businessman. Now we’ve elected military leaders like President Grant and Eisenhower, they didn’t have constituencies but they were able to but they were able to build them based on reputation. Now, I will say this: Donald Trump is the first candidate that I have ever worked for that had a 100 percent name recognition. Expect for the one girl that was in Cambridge Peter House who said she did not know who he was… So I assume she mustn’t read a lot. But the idea that, usually, you have to go in there very early and introduce your candidate to the American people. Somehow know who this person is, but don’t really know who they are. The other thing is, Donald Trump went into this election with no political record, which every other candidate has to defend, they have to justify it –okay- they have to own it, good or bad, they own it. Donald Trump went into this election with no political record, which every other candidate has to defend their own, they have to justify it, and they have to own it, good or bad. Donald Trump doesn’t have a political record, he’s had an opinion, for 40 years and Dr Simms actually wrote a book about it – I didn’t read it yet, but I’m really looking forward to it-. So, we had an opportunity here to skip over the ‘Let me introduce you who Donald Trump is’ and have an individual, who was able to speak directly to the American people, that’s unique. And I don’t think we will ever see that again, not at that level. Cristina ran social media for the State of Florida, again, the largest swing state in the nation, it’s not an easy task, and what she always says is, that, you know, my job is to take the information like it was a football information throw it to the hands of the media and let the people digest it. Let them believe or not believe the information. And most of it was completely unfiltered, in fact, we never edited anything. With the speeches of Donald Trump, there’s no filter, there’s no editing. So if you really want to know what it is he said, just pull it up on YouTube, instead of the snip it that you get from BBC news, Fox news, CNN, MSMBC, and then the commentator who decides what exactly Donald Trump meant by that one statement.
So again, that goes to the idea of the donkey being the symbol of the democrats, and of course the elephant being the symbol of the republican. And so this is what really shook up the establishment, which is : my gosh, do we have a third party on the way? And Donald Trump did not want a third party, you know all they do is split the votes and then you get a Bill Clinton, that’s what happened for Bill Clinton’s first term thanks to the 19 percent. So, I think I might leave it there but I’m happy to answer any of your questions, and I’m letting Nigel decide on how to do this.
NE: Okay, well thank you very much. Brilliant insight. So, in the evening of November the 8th, I was flying from Portugal to Cape Verde. Before I got in the plane, I texted a good friend of mine, Chris Reddy, CEO of Newsmax.com, and I said ‘How are things looking Chris?’ Anyway, he did not respond immediately, so when I landed in Cape Verde about four hours later, up came the response ‘Not looking so good Nigel, and I think we’ve lost Florida’. By the time I walked from the, when we got off the plane to the lounge, the TV was on, CNN was on and you could see the results coming in. It was a mixed delegation, some of my colleagues were in shock, and Europe is still in shock that Donald Trump is President of the United States of America. Get over it. When you indicate to speak, just say who you are and ask Karen whatever you like, but my privilege here: When did you first realised Donald Trump was going to be President of the United States of America?
KG: October 2015. October 2015, he was going to be the President of the United States. He announced it in June but I realized the state director in Florida and had the distinct honour of holding two rallies for him back to back. The first rally was in Miami, it’s a smaller venue but we had packed as of 5,000, that’s because we couldn’t fit any more people and there were thousands of people very disappointed waiting outside and then flew to Jacksonville Florida to a place called the Landing, and that was an outside venue and there were over 25,000 people in attendance, with over 5 or 6 thousands more outside who could not get in and we had to have an overflow area, outside with big screens. Now, I’ve worked for a lot of candidates, one of them was Sarah Palin in 2008, okay, she commanded about 6 or 7 thousands person audience which was really kind of big politically speaking, unless you’re sitting president. I always said, Donald Trump is Sarah Palin on steroids. There’s no way… This is a phenomenon, and I wanted to see whether or not it was kind of a fashion trend is it something that’s just something people will get bored of. And then he went to Alabama and it was 40,000 people in a stadium with an overflow. And this just continued throughout the country
Cristina Menna: You had thousands of people who could not get in and the press would not cover it. We had people lining up ten blocks outside the venue, people would sleep outside the night before just so they could get in, but the press would not cover it. Because I was like, what the heck, I never even been to a concert. But really inside, it was such a wonderful feeling, I wish you all had been there.
NE: And then Europe is still trying to get over it, hashtag #Trump2020. I love it.
Guest: All of the background that Trump says he will clear now, he swept, and he has all the issues. Every issue and I feel like he would have done even much, much better if didn’t make what I think is feeding the enemy, his opponents and their only issue was anti-trump. So the question is, how was recently accusing Obama of cyber-attacking him after a tremendously successful speeches he gave before the Joint session of Parliament. What prevents him from riding focusing on this issues because he has had issues?
KG: It’s a great question. And the only one that I can answer is, and this is truly unfair to recur. Donald Trump is very authentic, I don’t think there is anything… he’s 70 years old, you’re not going to change who he is. One of the things, you know, is, you let Trump be Trump. Either we succeed, because it’s Donald Trump or you fail because it’s Donald Trump, but let Trump be Trump. And I think it comes mostly from the fact that he is not a career politician. Career politicians cane their answers, they already know what they’re going to say about every issue, there’s no authenticity there. And they’ve prepped to make sure that they are not going to say anything that’s going to get them in so called trouble. Well, he’s refreshing American population and he’s a nightmare to others. Because it’s not a canned answer. So, Donald Trump, I think, is changing the way, he is, absolutely changing the all political dynamic of Washington, of politics in our current time, of what our expectations are and quite frankly, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. And you know what? The President is going to have to defend himself, he is a big boy, okay? If he does something wrong, he’s going to have to own up to it, and if he does something right, he’s going to take the credit for sure. So, does that satisfy your answer?
Guest: Do you think [inaudible] ?
KG: He talked about the senate majority from the first time I actually met him and had a strategic meeting with him. He tapped into a portable society that felt voiceless, that felt discarded and I did use this word, disenfranchised, they felt disenfranchised. There were people whom we’ve met in the campaign trail, who had not voted in 30 years, okay? The last time they voted was for Ronald Reagan. So they were not registered anymore, and when they realised it was a post primary in Florida, they actually went and registered so that they could vote for him and then they stayed engaged. That’s the other thing that is really interesting here, not just from these rallies. Many people say, okay, well, he was just a phenomenon, he’s interesting, we never knew what is was going to say, he was entertaining, we’re going to go just to say we went to a Trump rally, okay? Well I can tell through the data, and I do like data, I’m strategist, that if you went to one Trump rally, we have the information that you went to a Trump rally. Let’s say it was in Tampa, and then you attend a Trump rally in Miami, and I know that you’ve gone to both and then we had a Trump rally in Naples and you went to that one too. You’re exponentially growing our support base because you’re not going by yourself, you’re bringing your dad, your mum, your neighbour, whoever, with you because you’re saying ‘I… He’s resonating with me. I like this guy, I like what he’s saying, you have to hear him for yourself’ and then they would come, and then would say would say you’re right and then they would go to the next rally and they would bring ten people. And this grew and so this silent majority felt like they had a voice in Donald Trump, and they felt connected for the first time in 30 years to our political system and believed someone actually fought for them. So yeah.
Guest: Two more questions. First is, you said you ran four campaigns for presidents, three of which republican I understand…
KG: Three White Houses, I’ve served three White Houses
Guest: So, you’re… you served your party, you’re ought to have a successful career, not necessarily on political basis. That’s the first question. And the second is, at the end of the day, Trump won because he talked to the United States, and won swing states which he achieved and got votes from the democrats.
KG: Interesting question. So, I essentially wanted to delegate operation in eleven states in the south east, I was then promoted to national team. And I became a senior advisor to the candidate and to enter the national campaign. I wasn’t until September that actually went out to Trump Tower, so I relocated from Florida in terms of, the Florida operation colleagues, then oversaw that is why from the national level, and it concentrated on swing states in vulgar engagements. So even the coalitions dropped her and he was doing quite well at the time and Comb was running for Congress actually and Kansas. My goal was really to focus on one our largest voting bloc, with over 50 percent of our voting population. So to basically say that there was a coalition is kind of ridiculous, there was no coalition. There was a voting block based on slicing and dicing different demographics but to your point, when I went to Trump tower, one thing that I really wanted to do, is take a look at this swing states: Do we play in Michigan? Do we engage in Pennsylvania? You’re right, do we engage in Wisconsin? This is the first presidential election, in my time anyway, where a republican candidate did really fight to win. You need Florida and Ohio as a republican to win presidency. And then your other red states. When we took Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. So, yes, we were able to target some of the blue collar states, because he was resonating with blue collar white males. Pennsylvania was a very key swing state for us, it wasn’t necessarily for the democrats, and they believed that because Philadelphia is a major population center, and they usually does carry the day for the democrats, but there was low turnout, okay, and when Donald Trump basically said to all African-American population ‘What the hell do you have to lose?’ it actually worked. We had record numbers of predominantly African-Americans registered democrats voting for Donald Trump, especially in Pennsylvania. So, that did actually swing the pendulum on the day of the elections
Guest: Did he actually go South with the same sort of speech?
KG: Oh, he gave a speech in Philadelphia, which was audacious, they couldn’t believe it. And then I had the honour of working with his wife, who’s now assistant to the president and working in the west wing. Lynn Palm, who was an extraordinary example of an African-American woman who rose up in the Trump organisation because she preferred. To diamond and silk, I don’t know if you know that, but particularly Katrina Pearson and Katrina Perkins, and we took the women’s tour to Pennsylvania, to Nevada, to North Carolina, to Florida, to Ohio, and we didn’t win Nevada but we won the three other states we touched, and it was this outreach to women, to show African-Americans or Hispanic women, gay women, we are capable of relating to Donald Trump and wanting him to lead us into the future because he does represents what’s best for America. Our GDP is not growing fast enough, we need a business man who understands international finance, trade. We need someone is going to, not care, and truly he doesn’t, whether you like or you don’t like him, but he is interested in the results, he wants good results.
Guest: Thank you Nigel and thank you Karen, I’m actually [inaudible].
NE: Did you know, before going on a plane, that he was going to win?
KG: First thing I would do, is just challenge you on this, if you don’t mind, because the expectation is that Donald Trump will act in a certain way. Okay. The unfortunate thing is that, the Elizabeth Warren of the world, and others, are not willing to work with Donald Trump, they do not want to see him successful, so therefore, how do you bridge a divided nation? You have to give the man a chance, if you’re not going to give him a chance, there will be probably a lot of conflict moving forward, because there’s no hard feelings and quite frankly people on the other side of the oval, are trying to delegitimise 63 million votes. And so Donald Trump had a great speech, a woman over here suggested that, well he did give some concessions did he not? He did open up the floor to the ability to talk to others who have different opinions and views, and they shut the door on him. So until there’s the opportunity for civility from both sides to be able to understand that elections, they are determined by the American people and therefore we should respect the American people. The interesting thing is Americans are very, they’re funny, they don’t necessarily like one pound rule, which often times results in a President who has, inherits, both the House and the Senate, usually, usually in mid-term elections, loses one of their houses, okay, it’s not unusual. It happened to Clinton, it happened to Bush. So I would say, let’s give him is first 100 days, he hasn’t been there, you know, a 100 days yet. He doesn’t have all of his cabinet appointments, which is the slowest transition in history of the presidency, and when you don’t have your own cabinet members, you definitely don’t have your undersecretaries, you don’t have your deputy secretaries, and you don’t have your leadership teams in any of your agencies. So let’s get them appointed, okay, so that you can actually either have an opinion and be critical of something that he has done or not done, but he’s been in office 50 days, he’s trying to get things done, and they’re slowing that process down for him. The other thing is, let’s wait to see, what happens with the mid-term election that could change everything. So we’re all hopeful. Listen, Cristina usually says, you know, if you’re on a flight, do you really want the pilot to go down? Root for the pilot! We all want to be able to enjoy prosperity, we all want to be safe, and we all want our kids to be able to learn. It doesn’t matter where you are in the country and what nationality you originated from, we all have the same basic needs. I’ve dedicated my life to government service for a majority of my adult life, and I happen to believe that less government is better, that less taxes allow people to spend and stimulate the economy, and put it towards the things that matter to them. And that is not a one-size fits all policies of redistributing wealth, but people will use it the same way. My point is that, you’re basically saying that, because I believe these things, and the President of the United States believes these things and 63 million people believe these things, that we’re duping or somehow, you know, trying to pull the wool over you, all over the world. These are very strong principles that are rooted in our Constitution, in our Bill of Rights and the fact is then, that most Americans who do pay attention to what it is they are entitled to as Americans, and for citizens of the country want to exercise and that there are groups, and individuals, and even elected officials who believe that the government can do it better. And that there is a bigger issue at stake, which is that individuals with freedom and liberties are no longer the most important thing. It’s globalisation versus naturalism. So until you decide that we all have different opinions, we get to express them and that we have election that allow people to say if they want that represented in the government. There’s no duping anyone. We won an election, we won an election with a mandate, to replace Obamacare, to secure our borders, to build a wall, I can go on and on. To reduce our taxes, this is not opaque, this is transparent. Everything he is saying, he is doing.
NE: He would be the first politician to be shunned for keeping his promises. This will have to be the last question I’m afraid.
Guest: What role did Brexit play in Trump’s victory?
KG: I don’t think that they played any role in his victory. I think it’s interesting that it, coincidentally, may be not so coincidentally, that there’s this idea that your individual rights and liberties are being curtailed by bureaucrats. Okay, the fact is that, we’re waking up to the fact that we are allowing government and bureaucrats to determine major issues that affect the new digitals. It’s a lot of solutions to a lot of problems, and I think that we have to look at is as if it’s a movement and there may be multiple solutions to that problem.
NE: I think the Brexit question is really interesting. The fact is that if anybody thought that 2016 was exciting, well welcome to 2017. And for the people who can’t get over Brexit, still grieving, some of them are the same people who can’t get over Trump, they had a very bad year, and they’re about to get another very bad year. Politics is changing and has changed and Theresa May got when she talked about the people, the people who barely make it, make a living, and this is the same people who voted for Donald Trump in the United States of America. For those of you who saw one of Sky’s programmes on Donald Trump on Sunday, they had a journalist in Washington interviewing the attorney general, but it was just amusing to see, and the questions from her were all about tweets, you know, she just doesn’t get it. He looked at her and said, he’s not tweeting to you. And that’s what people forget, he’s not tweeting to the journalists, he’s tweeting because of the journalists and he’s actually hitting the core people that he wants to talk to and actually go over their heads which is what you were talking about, in getting it absolutely right in getting his message to the people that he needs. One of my friend, she’s an author is New York and I went to America a couple of weeks ago, we talked about Donald Trump, and she said: of course he speaks in picture book way. I said what do you mean, she said, people have these images, build a wall, people have an image and so the people who were being switched off from politics for decades because of people in suits like me, all of the sudden understand that there is somebody there who speaks their languages and sometimes in the way that they say it too. And so, as I say politics is changing, and we have the Dutch elections tomorrow, we’ve got elections in France, in Italy coming up and in Germany. And of course we have got the tedious negotiations coming through and the impact that it’s going to have on the rest of the European Union, is going to be a joy to watch.
Thank you very much for coming to speak to us this afternoon, for answering all of our questions and giving us a rare insight into the phenomenon that is Donald Trump. Thank you very much.