American politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and public speaker. She served as First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001, as a United States senator from New York from 2001 to 2009, and as the 67th United States secretary of state from 2009 until 2013. Clinton became the first woman to be nominated for president of the United States by a major political party when she won the Democratic Party nomination in 2016. She was the first woman to win the popular vote in an American presidential election, which she lost to Donald Trump.View the profile
Sorkin is an award-winning journalist and author. He is a financial columnist for The New York Times and a co-anchor of "Squawk Box," CNBC's signature morning program. Sorkin is also the editor-at-large of DealBook, a news site he founded in 2001 that is published by The Times.Sorkin is the author of the best selling book, Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves, which chronicled the events of the 2008 financial crisis. The book was adapted as a movie by HBO Films in 2011. Sorkin was a co-producer of the film, which was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards.Sorkin began writing for The New York Times in 1995 under unusual circumstances: he hadn’t yet graduated from high school.View the profile
About the talk
Hillary Rodham Clinton talked to Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times DealBook Conference on November 6, 2019.
Are finale this evening is to talk about this political moment that we are in and I want to introduce the person that you just been watching the headlines about for so very long Hillary Rodham Clinton is going to be with us Hillary. Hey Andrew, thank you so very much. Thank you for helping us close today out and we've been having discussions throughout the day and want to get your thoughts on so much of it and so much of it being the intersection of business and policy and where we
are politically and where this is all going and I have 100 questions for you. And I know this audience has the phones out, but they have a hundred questions to we might we might But I'll tell you one of the conversations we've been having throughout this day has been about paid political advertising online and Atkins 2016 election. You called the spread of fake content in a weaponized information war and to go deep on to figure out cuz you're also a problem solver
in all of this is how do you think about the decision by Facebook to allow paid advertising without deleting it and how do you think about Twitter on the other end, which is basically stopped it completely because they say they can't answer for the short-term because policing it would be incredibly difficult. It would require the kind of oversight and changing a valve. That would be quite burdensome. So I actually think Twitter got it, right. I think Twitter made the right decision to say look, we don't want to get into the judging game. We're not going to tell you this candidate that you
made a falsehood about the other candidate whose close to the line is okay. Let's get out of it. I think that should be the decision that Facebook makes as well because we know that Facebook has unfortunately a history of allowing all kinds of disinformation on its platform. And when you think I hate to say this at a New York Times event more than 50% of the people in this country use Facebook as their only source of news. If somebody sends them put their account
a story from the New York Times, but otherwise they are just taking whatever anybody shares with them and they are receiving targeted information designed to affect how they think so that is already going on and you add on top of that are blatantly false political advertising. I think it's a real threat to our democracy because it's very difficult for the average person to make sense of it. So I would and I've urged publicly hope that Facebook with an political advertising because you know during the 2016 campaign they were
taking ads from a number of sources and you know later revealing that actually adds paid 4 rubles were part of what they were putting up. So let's just call a halt to that. They don't they don't need to do it right now and let them try to figure out a better way to do it or Refrain from doing so there is a better way to do it. And that's that's a question cuz the other piece of this is and this is the argument that Facebook makes that you are just helping the incumbent that that if you are a politician in the air without it without a brand name, right? It becomes very challenging. In fact,
I could make an argument to play Devil's Advocate on this issue that it would actually Force out issues to be even more extreme simply to get attention. Well, look, I don't know how much more extreme they can get at the moment. We're pretty much pushing the envelope. Here's what I think you have to look at the 1996 Telecom act basically said that platforms like Facebook. We're not Publishers and therefore could not be and should not be held any standards that they were literally like utilities, but without any regulation in all the
information goes in information goes out to billions of users. That gives them both a an opportunity but also I would argue now having lived with the consequences of this for all these years. I real responsibility for them making the decisions on their own as Twitter did but if in the absence of that I think we have to have a real conversation and I don't know the right answer. I don't pretend to but you're going to have to take a hard look because information is the bloodstream of a democracy and if we are
living in a world increasingly where the the Press traditional press is under constant attack, the internet is filled with all kinds of unreliable and and often blatantly false information. How do we even begin to judge that and editorial supervision used to exist so that people would say no we're not going to do that this very odd that is running on Facebook. Which has really ignited the controversy CNN said they wouldn't run it and they wouldn't because it was provably false. It wasn't even close call and
if this is about police in the ass or not, or not a way to get to a point where you are in this country multiple different types of you think of you as a problem solver. You always trying to figure out how do you write how you get there if there was a way you think that ultimately you can with the tech companies help because think about what is driving this put your hat on as a Facebook executive and you're saying you look it's not her job. We are for free speech which is a faulty arguments.
That's the one you're making but the bottom line is, you know, we make a lot of money from these apps and we're not going to give up that Revenue stream because it's not our responsibility what are users figure it out not about Revenue, but if you were to say to your expert Engineers really created a monster our algorithms really favor the explosive the inflammatory the blatantly false and we love to hook people into them and then they seek more of it and then they get absolutely mirage by all of this information. We need to tweak
the algorithms. I don't have any way of knowing how to do that. But as a hopeful Problem Solver, I think if you were to say to the companies, we can't continue like this because you don't Facebook has a Particular a hold on people's imagination and information-gathering and so more than probably any other platform at this point in our history. They've got to take more responsibility and their number ways that that could be pursued in the Democratic party was born too close
to Silicon Valley and actually helped create where you know, the idea of the internet was throwing and still is and should be forever the way that we bring people together create communities etcetera. But we are a learning organism or at least we used to be and as a nation we ought to take stock off of that and a number of challenges challenges to our democracy challenges to our Unity challenges from everything from climate change to Dunn's which you've been writing about
but on this particular issue, I think it's time to take a hard look now. It used to be even in the Vino long ago years. When I was in the United States Senate for 8 years where you would actually have a process where you would study of problem and people would you know have experts come in and they would testify and you would learn about what should be done. I think we we are overdue for that kind of evaluation. I want to talk to you a little bit about health care cuz I know it's an issue that you care so much about enough thought a lot about it because we seem to be in a very
divided world not just among two different parties, but he even within the Democratic Party for all vs public option you look at what it was with Warren presented last week and you think what? Here's what I think I think that the debate within the Democratic party is a very healthy debate to try to figure out how to achieve the goal of covering everybody with quality affordable healthcare, okay. My view on this having been working on it for many years. Now.
Is that the Affordable Care Act took us to 90% of coverage the highest we'd ever gotten in our country after many many efforts including the one I was involved in you no more than 25 years ago. We have a 10% Gap to fill and we have a lot of learning to do about the best way not only to fill the Gap but then to drive down costs as much as it's possible to do so without undermining quality advancements. Okay. So, I believe the smarter approach is to build what we have a public option is something I've been in favor of
for a very long time. I don't believe we should be in the midst of a big disruption while we are trying to get to 100% coverage and deal with cost and and face some tough issues about competitiveness and other kinds of innovation in healthcare. And if you look at our major competitors, a lot of them have mixed systems and produce very good outcomes like Switzerland Germany etcetera. So I think that if you look at the 2018 election you even look at the games that were made by democrats last night
the people who are saying, you know, what I am determined we're going to get to Universal coverage. We're going to get it to a point where people can afford it. Their premiums are not going to be skyrocketing. The deductibles are not going to be overwhelming Etc. And here's the best way to do it. That is I think the the best position politically and I also think it makes the most Terms of solving the problem. Do you think so that the last week you could get behind that was the point I was making before if you had a president who
pushed it presented, I would be very much in favor of whatever the debate was and the you don't think that's the goal is the right goal. I mean the goal is absolutely no compare where we are as a Democratic party engaged in a debate about the best way to achieve this goal with a Republican party that tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act with nothing ever introduced to replace it. And now that is in court right now to strike the entire law down so it could be unless you know, the judges who are hearing this case decide, you know
to hold off. A year, it could be that in the midst of this election. You will get a decision soft by the Republican Party led by Republican attorneys generals from a number of state to completely declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional and if that happens then it will be the absolute most star comparison between the Republican party that never produced a Bill in Congress to replace what they were trying to repeal and has stood behind an effort to eliminate it altogether and
there goes health care for millions of Americans and it is striking to me that yeah, we're having a debate on our side of the political Ledger, but it's a debate about the right issue. How do we get to HealthCare coverage for everybody that we can afford? Who are they? that what I think that we have to we have to measure the risk to the country and and I'll book it won't surprise you to hear me say I think that another term of our current Administration would be deeply damaging to our economy to our society to our standing in the world. Whatever metric you want to
choose and therefore we have to retire the incumbent about What I want to understand understand especially given your own experience that idea firing up the bass vs electability in in a broader at a broader election 2008. So when I started running in 2008, there were about 10 candidates 9 or 10 it got down to Barack Obama and me. There's no reason anybody here would remember but one of our biggest points of difference was whether or not Healthcare reform to be successful would require an individual mandate. We had a knock-down-drag-out fight in debates. He would send
mailers saying that I was for an individual mandate. He said he could get to a system of coverage without it. We just we we were at loggerheads so, you know, he wins he becomes president introduce a bill. It has an individual mandate have to look at the larger question. Bells will be litigated out in the campaign maybe even in court, but certainly in the Congress is somebody is successful and elected and I think it's important to say what are the overall goals and how realistic is it that we can achieve the overall goals
if we go down path a compared to past B and I think you know the Affordable Care Act approach is the more likely path to be successful the Buffett tax rule when you were running understand the mechanism that would be required. I would prefer to go the approach that I put forth when I ran, you know, that was you know, I'm not I'm not against you know raising rates on. Against you know getting rid of things like carried interest which I think have gone way past their sell date and there's a lot of
other things that I would be very willing to support. I just don't understand how that could work and I don't see other examples anywhere in the world where it has actually worked over a long. Of time. We used to have a wealth tax. It was called the estate tax. I would be all in favor of reinstating the estate tax because that is much more measurable. It is not as disruptive, you know, if you were going to do a wealth tax And it was on assets which is I understand it is what they're looking to do some system of
valuation people would literally have to sell assets to pay the tax on the assets that they owed before the well checks was loving and that would be incredibly disruptive. So I think there are other ways to raise the revenues and ways that do get those who are well off to pay more cuz I got to have that as part of our effort to combat in a quality in tube in a really I think it would do more to jump-start people's initiative and get back to a feeling we're all in this together. So I just think there better ways of doing it
philosophical question for you, maybe personal when you think about the role that you were Trying to get before President Trump got the job. And now you think it's a different job as a really interesting question Andrew. I hope not. Because what I see is governance by impulse buy Personal grievance a sense of Vengeance Vindication a disregard for the rule of law and undermining of our institutions. So I hope not because if that becomes a model now, it is the model unfortunately for other leaders right now.
I mean, you have all kinds of wannabes around the world who are cracking down on the Press who are trying to subvert or at the very least avoid institutions the rule of law Etc. You've got that happening right now. And so I died would like us to return to a presidency where we don't have to wake up everyday worried about what the president's going to Tweet. What's going to happen next to get back to the kind of boring normal time. So people go off live their lives. Do
you know start businesses difference in their communities? And I don't know clearly we've got someone who is banking on the fact that they don't but I think a lot of people and the numbers in terms of disapproval again what we saw last night, I think a lot of people are tired of it at almost regardless of partisan identification it we have a lot of big problems in this country, you know, we're not we're not investing for the future. We are still the best position country in the world to own the future
are better than anybody anywhere else and we are Squandering it. So I think people are at least ready to kind of get back to what we called in the Senate regular order and try to see what we could actually get done together for a change order but in the global context at Secretary of State Farm policy, when you look at the Democratic field right now in about foreign policy will help more than any other restore whatever place you think our country is supposed to wherever we're supposed to stand. You know, what I think that foreign policy is rarely a subject in presidential elections.
It doesn't come up very much when you're doing Town Halls across the country. You're rarely asked by the Press who interviews you I have you know, I've seen that over a number of years, but of course What the next president will inherit requires a level of sophistication and appreciation for the importance of rebuilding American leadership leverage and credibility. So for me, it's hard to tell who could play that role, you know, one of the reasons that President Obama asked me to be secretary of
state was because clearly we had the financial collapse and we had a lot of questions about American leadership that had to be addressed and when America is not out there leading it's not just a vacuum is created. You really have to leave the field to all kinds of parties and not just nation-states, you know, there are all sorts of competitors for influence and Power in the world today. So I'm hoping that we have a president who can manage the global Channel. Does that that will be inherited China
right now given the trade War? I know August you were great supporter of TPP, which is now not on the table. By the way, Bill Gates talk about Huawei sound at least to me. Like he would not be trying to use that in this trade discussion trying to shut it down is a particularly difficult issue because put that to one side for a minute and on the more General issue of China what we tried to do internally. What I tried to do was to work to create a situation in which the Chinese would be encouraged incentivized to be a responsible
member of the eye of the national order because they're going to rise regardless of what we do. They're going to have enormous influence and to get them more integrated into the global economy and global social norms. I thought it was in our best interest, but I know for example when when I left a secretary of state we had created a system. That was at least trying to remove doubt. And misunderstandings between us so that we would at least avoid the kind of
accident or impulsive reaction. That is not healthy. Now. I think we are in a kind of tit-for-tat diplomatic Arena. Where I don't think we have a strategy in our strategy seems to be lacking. What we have are a bunch of tactics tied to tariffs. We're not doing anything about the continuing influence growing of China across Asia and Africa into Europe. We're not even competing and that to me is a really big lost opportunity. But on Huawei in particular China
is building a very sophisticated surveillance state. And that surveillance state is literally recording. hundreds of millions of facial recognition photos able to track people they've set up a kind of reward system which I guess is meant to mask the impact of being watched 24/7. So their reward system is like you're crossing the street and a blind person's coming towards you and you take the person's arm. They'll say boy that Andrews a really good person. We're going to give him a little
credit. They're putting in a couple million uyghurs in a concentration camp that are creating the surveillance State there is no doubt that despite their enormous economic achievements, which should be recognized and applauded they are still largely a command economy and they are still very much involved in the development of their version of Technology theft of others technology and the purchase of what they can't steal or invent. You don't we are not investing
for the future. We are not creating the kind of environment that we need to become a part of it. Who knows what we could have gotten done if we hadn't immediately had this, you know this trade War which is we have a bigger trade deficit when Trump started right. We now have a bigger trade deficit his whole motivation or at least his articulated motivation was to shrink the trade deficit will that clearly is not working and I think that any reasonable person would say,
okay what he's tried is not working. There's got to be a better approach and I think it builds more on what we were trying to do then what he is trying to do but on the way things I have I have real doubts and I have you know had doubts about other Chinese technology when I was in the face. I've real doubts about the the Safety and Security of signing on to any Chinese technology. That is so sophisticated and so connected with the surveillance State and with the control of the Communist Party inside China and
they are going to start exporting that to other countries and you got the people who want to be the the strong man in the model of you no tweeting on and and doing press conferences assaulting your enemies verbally, etcetera, but the Chinese are much more sophisticated they play a longer game. We're not competing the way we should be outraged one word, which is impeachment. And you know a lot about impeachment. Oh, yes I do with Ukraine and help Ed and the president. Would you say unequivocally that you can picture today? Based on what I know. Yes
and and his wife and as you alluded I was on the staff as a very young lawyer that investigated President Nixon. Okay, so I spent 18-hour days for 7 months. Collecting evidence analyzing it doing the legal analysis, obviously the Constitutional analysis. Why did our Founders put that in there? We have elections so you don't like somebody or you think they're not performing. Well, you know, you vote him out, but they worry so much about somebody being in power particularly the presidency in between
elections who would do irreparable damage to the country and the high crimes and misdemeanors is was away borrowed from ancient Anglo-Saxon law to express their concern and to put a mechanism into the Constitution. So I think Nancy Pelosi resisted in all the calls that a lot of people had after whatever happened to Molly immense this obstruction of justice that you know, I wouldn't necessarily exclude them now, From articles of impeachment but the reason why Ukraine broke through is that it was abundantly clear even to people who were
indifferent toward all the other challenges or questions about Trump that there's got to be something really wrong with a president using the power of the office to intimidate extort bribe the president of another country to do his bidding by manufacturing scandalous material about apparently the opponents that he was most worried about and it the more we learn about it. I know some of these diplomats who have been testifying I've I've I served with them they were career people who performed admirably And they were totally nonpartisan. I mean the thing
about the Foreign Service Corps in the state department is they serve Republican presidents democratic presidents, but they do take a nose like most people who serve in the government to protect and defend the Constitution and their job. They thought was to speak truth to power and they found themselves being not only isolated marginalized but defamed and removed. So I think the behavior around Ukraine is so deeply troubling that I certainly think it fits the definition that was behind the founders decision
to expand if there was genuine corruption or speculation about corruption with them related to our own politics. The appropriate mechanism right? I have dealt with it Ukrainian corruption was not new secretary of state and if there was a candidate on the other end that was somehow related to it. What would you get? What's it? What's imagine the phone conversation? Okay, cuz that's what ticked this all off but corruption in Ukraine and the potential impact of that corruption on our
elections. You certainly could have a conversation. It might go something like this, you know President selenski. We know that you're new to the job you just got there but you need to know that the United States wants to support you wants to help defend you against continuing Russian aggression, but we are worried because unless you tackle the corruption in your own country anything we give to you will not be put to the best use and won't produce the best results. So we're going to send a team over to sit with you and you're entirely new cabinet because again, these are people never
been in politics before we're going to walk through with you some of the best practices for dealing with corruption. And we're going to ask you to provide any information that would suggest that America could do more to help you not if you don't do what I want you to do and what I want you to has nothing to do with America's interest everything do with my interest. We're not going to help defend you against the Russian. We used to talk to leaders about corruption all the time because it is one of the killers of democracy. It is such a
soul crushing burden on people so we would talk about it across the world. So there's lots of ways to talk about it, but that wasn't he could care less about corruption in Ukraine. What he wants is dirt on Joe Biden whether it's real or not. In fact from everything. We know it's not so give me something I did James Corden show last night and he asked me what happened to Rudy Giuliani. Strongly suggest that you know, he's been taken over by some evil spirit. Anna Gordon jump needs an
exorcism I said, that would be terrific so rude he's over there. Just trying to get you know these guys partisan Energy company. Ridiculous that then they would be trying to number one. Not only put something on Joe Biden which from everything we know is absolutely untrue, but try to prove that it wasn't Russia interfere to the 2016 election little Ukraine. I do live rent-free in Donald Trump's head. I'm aware of that but even For 4 that it's hard to imagine how they can be sitting around at you know, the golf club or
whatever. We got to prove that you interfered with me and my last secret phone call with them guess Ukraine responsible for that. We are living you have read on earlier. We are living in a great Netflix special and the series 2 end and we're all okay with it does that's what I'm looking for. We're going to go overtime cuz I have a handful of more questions. But let me just ask you this case for optimism you wrote a book the book of gutsy women like to give us give us the case for optimism today. And it's
I think that your people are beginning to wake up and say hey come on. This is this doesn't make sense to get back to our usual political arguments. Not what's happening now until my daughter and I wrote a book called The Book of Desi women because we wanted to highlight women whose courage resilience really inspired us and women from the past obviously women of our current time and some of them faced extraordinary burdens and challenges and tragedies of all sorts.
But they didn't quit they kept going and part of that was their gutsiness but it was imbued with an optimism, you know last night. We were in LA on our book tour doing out an event there. And one of the people in the audience is one of the people we write about Diana nyad who after failing over and over and over again before she was 30 then deciding when she was sixty again that she had to try one more time to swim between Cuba and Florida. Nobody's ever done it from Havana to Key West and power related to do
it is because the currents are terrible the sharks are deadly and even worse. There's this little box jellyfish that when it wraps his tentacles around you poisons you and can be fatal. So Diana tried again when she was sixty she try it again later and finally succeeded when she was 64. I mean what kind of optimism does that take? Right and So all of these women from all walks of life are great argument for optimism in the face of all kinds of setbacks and problems. So I have a couple more questions and be sensitive to try them and we're going to see how
far we get here and you're going to feel unencumbered to answer these questions. You were on Good Morning America with Chelsea and without comments. I wanted to ask you what was your gutsiest moment's right? Right, right. Yeah. It was it was really hard. It was not by any means an easy or for ordained decision, but at the end of it after A lot of soul-searching and prayer and counseling and talking to my my closest friends thinking about my family thinking about
you know, how much we loved each other and all we've been through I decided it was the right thing for me but I have always said it's not necessarily the right thing for everybody people have to make their own decision in such a personal moment. I have one other question has to do with me too in this in this world today and we're talkin with Gwyneth Paltrow earlier, really really bring me two for The Hobbit and I was thinking of this week of the CEO is a business issue with
steel McDonald's fired from the company because he was involved with an employee of central by the way, but because of the policy inflation and that's the way we were changed Society in that way what you think of that and the reason I ask is because I resigned at that time in large part because I think the argument was it was consensual when she was a little close to me. Have times changed what do you think of the way business is shifted. Should that apply to politics
look I think that your interview and I thought she was incredibly articulate about you. No talking about her own experiences. I think that if there are rules in a business and those rules have obviously evolved over the last number of years, then everybody has to be held to the same rules in the situation you're describing. I don't know anything about it if there was an explicit rule then it's not a judgment call then look in O, if we don't hold the CEO accountable we can't hold you know, anybody else accountable.
So I think that's the trend in and certainly it seems to be an important part of the Reckoning that is going on. So, I think they probably did what they had to do. Oh and businesses in politics are part of what we do as we change went when I was a young woman. There were colleges. I couldn't women there were jobs. I could apply for I mean if I was a little girl, I want to be an astronaut and they told me no, we're not taking girls and thank goodness years later. Sally Ride was up in space we evolve and what is exciting is this continuing movement toward
people being respected and having autonomy and the men given the chance to live their own lives and particularly true for women now, but I don't think you can take today and say oh, well, we should have been more enlightened 25 years ago or 50 years ago. I think it's all a process that hopefully is moving us toward a situation where we treat people and expect people to be treated with you. No dignity. And support in their lives and I think that's good. That's how we evolved is society.
I'm sorry to run a run. You know, I have always been a very very slow Runner and you know, I I I am embarrassingly slow. I I've tried to run races and I am so far behind that I start to walk acting like that was what the plan was all the time. So, I don't know that I'm going to take up competitive running right now, but I think you're asking me something else, aren't you? Maybe you're sitting in the in the Gulf to the wings here waiting for some moment. I
think I would have been a really good. I think I could have been a very Effective leader. I think I could have been a look. We have real divides in the country out over all kinds of things. But I certainly you know, in my years in the Secretary of State of worked really hard as you say to actually solve problems not exacerbate them or ignore them and I would have done everything I could to try to get us position for the future. I mean that's what a leader is supposed to do
elections are supposed to be about the future and Leadership should be about the future. So yeah, I think I could have done a really good job. I think the last election was deeply flawed and that there were so many unprecedented problems in that election that it's almost hard to make sense of but you know, I'm out here travel around with my daughter and and she's still nursing her newest baby. So we've got our and I've got my grandson with me and you know, Is pretty good?
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