Return to Transcripts main page
The Worst And Best Day Of Roger Stone's Life; Mueller Indicts Trump Ally Roger Stone; Stone Charged With Lying About Wikileaks, Hacked E-Mails; Stone Dismisses Mueller Charges As "Process Crime"; Stone: "When You Don't Have Evidence, You Use Theatrics"; What Voters Want; What Swing State Voters Really Care About; Your Country Needs You; The Future Of Public Service; Can Marie Kondo Save Us From Clutter?. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired January 26, 2019 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
to think we're, you know, big, macho guys, but when it comes to a 3- year-old child, you know, that's somebody's baby.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY WEEKEND: Yes, it is. So glad he's back. "SMERCONISH" is next.
Michael SMERCONISH, CNN HOST, SMERCONISH: I'm Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia. We welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. The government is back in business -- well, for three weeks at least.
Meanwhile, get me Roger Stone, said Robert Mueller, and the unpaid FBI workers obliged. Stone, indicted for obstruction, false statements and witness tampering, remains defiant. Has Mueller met his match in the Dapper Dirty Trickster?
And like many Americans, one businessman was confounded by the outcome of the 2016 election, but unlike most, this millionaire is spending money to find out what voters really want. Will Richard Vague himself end up running for president?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN F. KENNEDY, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: JFK's inaugural address encouraged Americans to sign up for public service. Can that spirit be revived today when we just saw public servants not get paid for a month?
And has a nation with too much stuff finally met its savior? A new series featuring the Japanese declutter expert Marie Kondo is trying to make us let go.
But first, I went to an orgy there once. That was Roger Stone's reply to me one night at dinner after I told him of my hotel choice in New York City. By the way, I got the impression that mine was not the only hotel about which he'd have said that.
I've known Roger Stone for decades. He's often been a guest of mine on Sirius XM Radio and here on CNN. Of course, he now finds himself on the receiving end of a seven count indictment from Robert Mueller for instruction, false statements and witness tampering.
Notably, Stone was not indicted for collusion or, more accurately, conspiracy. Of course, the Feds can charge in succession and so more charges may be forthcoming. And the 24-page indictment I note does not put him in direct contact with WikiLeaks or Russians. He's already signaled that he will vigorously defend himself.
I suspect that yesterday was the worst and best day of Roger Stone's life. He is where he has always wanted to be, in the thick of political controversy. That's who he is. He was a disciple of legendary dirty trickster Donald Segretti in the 1972 Nixon campaign. Roger Stone wears as a badge of honor that he was called before the Watergate grand jury at age 19.
No wonder, then, that on his back, he has a large tattoo of Richard Nixon or that he flashed a Nixonian V for victory yesterday when leaving court. Stone has always been open as to his stock and trade as a practitioner of the dark arts of politics. His legend is also the stuff of celluloid fame. There's a critically acclaimed documentary about him. He's been at it a half century and for much of that time, he has been a friend of the now president. How close? The men attended one another's weddings.
Stone hasn't shied away from microphones while knowing that his conduct was under scrutiny. The indictment is hardly a surprise. He's openly taunted Robert Mueller and arguably exposed himself to legal jeopardy while answering questions from journalists like me. Last November 3rd, I asked Roger Stone if he expected to be indicted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER STONE, AMERICAN POLITICAL CONSULTANT: What I have done here is perfectly legal. I took a solid tip and entirely public information that could be gleaned from the WikiLeaks Twitter feed and by setting a Google news alert on Julian Assange and reading every interview to hype and punk and promote and posture and bluff the Democrats. That's politics, but it's not collusion
SMERCONISH: OK. I'm happy to hear -- happy to hear the full explanation. What's the answer to my question? Do you think you're about to get indicted?
STONE: If the decision is made on the basis of evidence and facts and truth, the answer would be no. If this is a political vendetta, anything is probable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Of course, it's one thing to engage in hyping and punking and posturing and promoting and bluffing in speaking to the media, but quite another to do it while under oath and that's the essence of these charges, that Stone lied when saying he did not have particular e-mails, documents or texts, that he testified falsely regarding intermediaries to WikiLeaks and that he engaged in witness tampering.
Unlike Paul Manafort, there's no allegation here that Stone lined his pockets or avoided paying taxes, no allegation of any direct contact with Russian hackers or Julian Assange, nor any claim in the indictment of direct contact with the president as it relates to these charges. Although, there is an intriguing reference to a senior Trump campaign official having been directed to contact Stone.
[09:05:04] I'm not dismissing the significance of a federal indictment, but these are process crimes and don't go to the underlying question of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians. And Stone could arguably have avoided some of his current legal peril when asked specific questions by saying he didn't recall. Instead, for example, Stone gave an emphatic no when asked whether he'd texted an intermediary to WikiLeaks. The Special Counsel claims, there were actually frequent written communications.
Maybe Stone lied. Maybe he forgot. Or maybe he wanted this fight. The only thing worse for Roger Stone than being indicted is not being indicted. That's who he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STONE: I'm an agent provocateur.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Political strategist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Controversial as you can get.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An incredible capacity for treachery. Win at all cost mentality.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When people think of Washington corruption, they think of Roger Stone.
STONE: Those who say I have no soul, those who say I have no principles are losers. Those are bitter losers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: That was some of the terrific documentary, "Get Me Roger Stone," co-directed by my next guest, Dylan Bank. Here's Roger describing one of Dylan's colleagues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STONE: This gentleman is doing a documentary. He's one of those dangerous, liberal, pinko left-wing ...
Oh, my God. I hate people like him.
STONE ... homosexual, "New York Times" commies, but he's not a bad guy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Dylan, you spent five and a half years on this documentary. What did you learn about Roger Stone that would surprise people who are watching us now?
DYLAN BANK, CO-DIRECTOR, "GET ME ROGER STONE": I think a lot of people would be surprised to learn how much Roger considers it to be professional wrestling, that one of the ways that he is able to let himself be so vicious and so outlandish is because he's emotionally detached from it a little bit. And so when you're hanging out with him or when you are with his family, he's a up many more normal personable person than you might expect from his online and public persona.
SMERCONISH: Well, there's a lot of reference being made today to Credico's dog and what Roger was saying or not saying about the dog or the Frank Pentangeli line from "The Godfather" that sort of meets the MO that you're describing.
BANK: Yes. And it's very ironic because that's one of the things that Roger Stone constantly, publicly accused Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton of doing, killing another person's pet. And then there we find in the indictment, he has supposedly done the very same thing.
SMERCONISH: You saw that clip that I ran from my November 3rd interview where essentially Roger says, look, I'm a BS-er. That's what I do. And I can understand him mounting that as a defense for the things that he was saying publicly, but what it begs for me as a lawyer is the question of why go under oath and when called before a congressional committee or the grand jury for Mueller, why say something that's clearly at odds with the paper trail? What insight do you have on that?
BANK: That's what's so surprising to me about this whole thing is that Roger was so uncareful about his threats and his alleged lies. Even in the Nixon days, everybody knew you had to meet in a dark alley and make sure you weren't recorded. If these allegations are true, Roger wrote some things that would obviously backfire on him and hit send. For someone so savvy, this is the part that's most shocking to me.
SMERCONISH: OK. Are you going as far as to say, as I insinuated in my commentary, that maybe Roger has been angling for exactly this kind of a showdown with Mueller?
BANK: I haven't found quite that kind of level of Machiavellian premeditation in Roger. Roger often bumbles into things and then later claims it was his master plan. He always has seven plans going, six of them bomb and people make fun of him for and one of them somehow turns into the president of the united states. He claims that it was his plan all along. Well, perhaps for Trump in this case it actually was.
SMERCONISH: I have heard a number of comparisons made to Michael Cohen's predicament. I think that there are a number of significant differences between the two, but here's one that I want to hear you react to. Do you believe that Roger Stone knows where the Trump bodies are buried or, unlike Michael Cohen, do you think he's someone who was a professional and friendly acquaintance of the president, but always at arm's length?
BANK: Well, I don't know of anyone who quite had the dirt on somebody more than their personal lawyer and their fixer, but Roger has a -- to quote Roger's ex-wife in our film, "Get Me Roger Stone," Roger and Trump have gotten married and divorced more times than she could count. Roger and Donald Trump have fueded many times in public and what Roger typically does when he fueds on somebody is opposition research.
[09:10:04] And he knew people like Roy Cohn, who was Donald Trump's lawyer at the time, and he has lots of other insider information. So it's certainly possible Roger has some very, very incriminating opposition research on Donald Trump, but that's only something we can speculate through Roger's general MO.
SMERCONISH: A friend of mine said that Roger Stone yesterday said he would never flip on Donald Trump and this friend was saying to me, doesn't that imply he's got something on which he could be flipping? And I pointed out that what Roger actually said was he would not bear false witness against Donald Trump. I think there's a distinction there. But address, if you would, the issue of will he ever turn the table on Donald Trump? He says emphatically never.
BANK: It seems highly unlikely based off of how he's been acting for the last few years. Even when he got fired/quit from the Trump campaign in 2015 right after the first Republican debate, he still endlessly shilled for Donald Trump. He became his bulldog in the alley screaming, "Lock her up. Lock her up," which, as we all saw, was ironically turned on him the other day with chants of, "Lock him up. Lock him up." Roger couldn't help but laugh at the irony.
SMERCONISH: Hey, Dylan, one other subject, if I may, and this maybe is me paying too close attention to his book, "Stone's Rules." You know that there's debate about the fact that the way in which he was taken into custody and the fact that CNN had footage of it, I think because of some pretty smart investigative journalists. I found it ironic that some of the critics of CNN would say, "Aha, Mueller must have given them a tip."
I don't know about you, but knowing Roger the way I think I do, my first reaction was that the person who wanted that footage shot was Roger because he's now got the image -- and I'm sure we're about to hear description of, quote/unquote, "jack-booted thugs" coming with arms drawn to make an apprehension of someone who didn't even have a passport. Did that thought occur to you?
BANK: This is going to be a tough one for Roger to spin in his favor, but that doesn't mean he's not going to try. He's had plenty of time to prepare for this and he's been publicly saying, "I'm going to get arrested any day." So it actually wasn't such a great scoop for CNN to rush out there. They didn't need to have some massive tip. As you just said, they just needed to have good reporting, such as reading what Roger was saying was going to happen to him.
But because Roger has had such time to plan for it, he's crisis manager himself, I'm sure he has planned for the worst case scenario, how can I spin that into a great segment on Infowars?
SMERCONISH: This is going to be a very interesting showdown, Mueller and Stone. Dylan, thank you. I really appreciate it.
BANK: My pleasure.
SMERCONISH: Let's see what you've got in terms of a social media reaction via my Twitter and Facebook pages. "Stone loves being the ringmaster in the largest circus on earth." Rick, that's my point. I mean, that's why I said yesterday was probably the worst day the guy's ever had and kind of the best.
What else do we have? "Overkill with Roger Stone arrest. Could have just had himself surrender like Manafort." You know, radio listeners said that to me, Steve, yesterday and I get -- you know, you look at at that footage and you say, at worst, he's a white collar criminal, what threat did he pose?He didn't have a passport, yada, yada, yada.
They were there to execute a search warrant as well and so I certainly understand the law enforcement perspective, which is one of, you're going into a man's castle and you don't know what the hell you're going to find nor how he or someone else who might be under that roof is going to react. I think that's the response.
One more if we've got time for it. Do we have a tweet? "Smerconish, after the indictment of Roger Stone, what did the president know and when did he know it?" Yes, there is that intriguing paragraph about Stone having been directed -- or someone having been directed to go to Roger Stone, but you got to say this. In 24 pages -- I've got the indictment right here -- there's not a direct link to Donald Trump, much as I know many would like there to be one.
Up ahead, I'll ask the member of a congressional commission on the topic, should public service be required of young Americans? I want to know what you think. Will you please go to my website at Smerconish.com? What do you think? Should public service be a requirement of young Americans? I'll give you the results at the end of the program.
And as the field of Democrats running for president gets more and more crowded, the potential 2020 contender you've never heard of -- Richard Vague says he personally knows what voters want. I'll ask him why. We'll do that next.
And later in the hour, the decluttering craze taking America by storm. Can the minimalist methods of Marie Kondo get a nation of hoarders to dump their junk?
[09:15:04] I want to see your clutter crisis photos, like this one. People have been tweeting at me all morning. What's going on under your roof? Send them to me @Smerconish. We'll put some on the air.
SMERCONISH: In the crowded 2020 democratic field that includes the CEO of Starbucks and the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, there could be another wildcard waiting to be dealt, a millionaire who claims he personally knows what the middle class wants.
Meet Richard Vague, a 62-year-old Philadelphia businessman who made millions in natural gas and banking has donated thousands to candidates in both parties and now manages a venture capital company. He spent the past year personally conducting 22 focus groups with middle class voters in six battleground states trying to get past partisan politics. Richard, what did you find in your focus groups?
RICHARD VAGUE, BUSINESSMAN AND PHILANTHROPIST: What we found -- and, thanks, Michael, for having me. But what we found was the single most important thing to voters, to middle class voters, was their existing health care insurance plan where they see their deductibles and their premiums and their co-pays going up seemingly every year.
[09:20:00] And this was true whether they were Republicans or Democrats or Independents. It was a standout issue, much more than important than ACA, by the way, which touches really a small minority of these folks.
Another thing we learned is that folks have jobs. In some cases, they have two or three jobs, but they're not jobs where they see real opportunity for advancement over time. They're kind of where they are economically. So if you have rising health care costs, if you have kind of a job that's not going anywhere financially, you're in a vice and that was the experience of most of the folks that we saw.
You know, and another thing that came out prominently was the opioid crisis. It seemed to touch almost everyone in every one of these groups, whether it was somebody in their family or a co-worker. It's the biggest addiction crisis in U.S. history.
SMERCONISH: So you were sitting there on election night, watching the returns come in, 2016, dumbfounded by the outcome. Many were caught unaware of how that thing was going to turn out, but in your case, you decide, hey, I'm out of touch and I need to go out there and I'm willing to spend money and figure out what really drove that result. To what end? What are you seeking to do in a bigger picture?
VAGUE: Well, just as you said, I knew what the media was telling me voters wanted, but I wanted a first-hand knowledge of that. And as I have gone through this process, it's increasingly clear that we need to be focused in a laser-like way on the middle class and it's really the kitchen table issues of the middle class that matter most. Job training to get better jobs, you know, a health care plan that makes health care more affordable, real relief from the opioid crisis, things that touch them in their daily lives.
And as I went through that, I saw that the field isn't really that focused on that, and if I don't see a candidate emerging that is going to do that, that's something that I will consider myself.
SMERCONISH: In other words, you're willing to write a check and get involved as a candidate, run for president, if you don't believe someone else is willing to, quote/unquote, "apply a laser focus to the middle class?" VAGUE: The middle class needs our attention and our support and our help. America is the kind of place where we do big things. We can step out. We can be bold on the health care side. We can be bold on the job training side. I think we need to be training a million people a year. There's that kind of need out there in the United States. I think we need to do bold things on the addiction side.
If someone is out there that's willing to step out in that manner, that'd be great. If not, it's something I really will consider seriously because it's needed. It's where our priority ought to be.
SMERCONISH: Final question. So, 22 focus groups that you've paid for in six different states, are there regional differences? Are there demographic differences? I'm really asking, is there good news? Are there common denominators out there that don't get enough of a spotlight?
VAGUE: You know, it's a great question. I expected differences and found very little. You know, the folks that I met with -- Republicans, Independents, Democrats -- were terrific folks. Folks you'd want to hang out with and they have pretty much the same issues. The health care insurance issues was just as prominent on the Republican side.
I'll tell you something else. These are good folks and they're concerned, frankly, about the way the parties are treating each other. So one other thing we need to bring is a graciousness of spirit, a humanity. We need to stop criticizing each other and start getting things done.
SMERCONISH: That's actually what I'm going to discuss in the next segment. So thank you, Richard Vague. I appreciate it.
VAGUE: Thank you for having me.
SMERCONISH: Still to come, when JFK said ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country, he motivated a generation. In an America where public servants can go unpaid for a month, is it even possible to revive that spirit? Go to my website at Smerconish.com. Answer today's survey question. Should public service be required of young Americans?
SMERCONISH: Congress got an interim report this week about how to get more Americans to perform public service. Maybe not the best timing considering that 800,000 public servants were working without pay, but the idea is a worthy one, encourage the nation's youth to make public service part of their adult lives, and it raises the touchy question of whether that should be mandatory or optional.
The report from the National Commission on Military National and Public Service defines service as, quote, "A personal commitment of time, energy and talent to a mission that contributes to the public good by protecting the nation and its citizens, strengthening communities or promoting the general social welfare."
Can JFK's inaugural address, ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country -- what you can do for your country. Well, you know what I'm trying to say. Can that be revived 60 years later
Joining me now is one of the authors of the report, a member of the National Commission on Military National and Public Service, Janine Davidson. She's also a former undersecretary of the Navy. Dr. Davidson, I think when we speak of service to one's country, many of us immediately think of military service and there was something in your report that I found absolutely stunning that I'm going to put up on the screen and it's this. Under current standard, 71 percent of Americans ages 17 to 24 do not meet the qualifications for military service.
Why not? What do you most usually find?
JANINE DAVIDSON, NATIONAL COMMISSION ON MILITARY, NATIONAL AND PUBLIC SERVICE: Well, that's right. And thank you Michael for having me.
That is a pretty stark finding. One of the main reasons is physical fitness standards but also there are other things that we are looking at that maybe could be changed a little bit.
In recent years, they've changed the standards for tattoos, for instance. And so we do need to look at that but it is -- it is a stark finding that we really need to -- we really need to uncover. It says something else, too, though, that -- go ahead.
SMERCONISH: But -- when you speak of service, you know, there are a number of ways we can do it. Your report uses the verbiage, universe am access, hey, let's give everybody an opportunity. Universal expectation or universal obligation.
Is there a consensus from all the research you folks have been doing as to which of those three Americans would like to see?
DAVIDSON: Well, we haven't gotten a scientific consensus yet, which is one of the reasons we have the interim report out to raise awareness and -- but I would say on our tour around the country and it's been pretty substantial. When you ask people about a mandatory obligation, especially young people, they're usually like, I don't think so. But when you talk about having an expectation and an opportunity and whether or not lots more people should be serving at various levels across the country, people are really excited about that.
They understand how important it is for our civil society and our democracy and there is a lot of enthusiasm about that.
SMERCONISH: Of course, it begs the question of, how can we make it affordable for someone who gets out of high school and wants to spend a year in service to their country. DAVIDSON: Well, that's right. And one of the findings, you know, these really fabulous programs like , AmeriCorps and City Year where you get young people out into places they've never been before working with people they've never met before. And the stipends for those and the funding for those have really, really don't support people. So it becomes sort of a luxury. And we really would love to change that.
We'll have to do the research on the budget but it's really an important thing to give those people those opportunities and how important it is for the country as well.
SMERCONISH: I know from reading the interim report that there is also a feeling that there needs to be more of a return to, I guess I should say civics education. Somehow we've lost that since I'll say the era in which I went to school.
DAVIDSON: Well, that's really true. We have noticed the decline in civics education around the country. There are pockets where there are some interesting things being done.
But, you know, it is one of the things we are really, really zeroing in on. Because we know by research that students that have those opportunities or students that learn more about civics education, they're much more likely to vote, much more likely not to drop out of school and four times more likely to stay engaged in their communities as adults. So it's super duper important.
SMERCONISH: Dr. Davidson, there is a corresponding issue that you have been looking at. We haven't had a draft since 1973, before 2013, there were no women in combat. Women now are serving in a whole variety of roles in the military, and it begs the question of whether like men, they should be registering for selective service. Explain that issue to us.
DAVIDSON: Well, that's right. That's actually one of the original impetus is for standing up the commission was all of -- as of 2015- 2016, no restrictions anymore on women serving in the military. Which, you know, we know women have been serving admirably across -- in all kinds of combat zones already. So it's really not an issue of whether they're capable.
But it became a legal issue, they haven't been -- they're not -- not only not required to register for the selective service, they're not even allowed to register for the selective service. And so that's one of the areas that we are looking at and talking to people about. Whether or not we should even have the selective service in the draft and, if so, whether women should be required or allowed to register.
SMERCONISH: My survey final question -- final question for you. My survey question of the day today, I do one every Saturday on the time I'm on air. I'm asking, "Should it be required? Should young Americans be required to be public servants?"
I'm thinking for a year time period post-high school. Speak to that issue before you leave me. DAVIDSON: Sure, we are looking at some of those issues about, you know, when you ask -- when you ask high school kids about that, they say mandatory, ah, and then we say, well, you know, you go to college -- you go to high school until grade 12, what if it was something like the last semester of your grade 12 or grade 13 and you got paid? And then they start to change their opinions a little bit.
So we're in the interim report -- came out this week. We have another year of research to do. So I really thank you for putting that survey out. I really would like to see what other Americans think about that issue.
SMERCONISH: We're going to find out in about a half hour's time. Thank you, Dr. Davidson, I appreciate it.
DAVIDSON: Fantastic. My pleasure.
SMERCONISH: Can I try and rehabilitate my reputation here by saying the Kennedy quote accurately I'll close my eyes so I'm not reading from prompter? Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
Did I get it, Adam? Did it get that right this time? Boy will I be -- I will be so damn embarrassed from the tape of my intro of this segment.
As I mentioned, go answer the survey question at Smerconish.com. "Should public service be required of young Americans?" I'll give you the result at the end of this hour.
What's going on in social media? What do we have?
"Isn't compulsory service just involuntary servitude by another name?"
Well, I think we should be paying for that service. Would that change your analysis? Look, I don't know that we ever get to a point in a non-war scenario where, like Israel, we say, this is something you must do.
But one of the options that this commission is looking at is creating the aura of an expectation. You know, this is really what you are expected to do to be a good citizen. Not necessarily military service.
Service can take a variety of forms. And I personally would like us to get to that point. We want you and expect you to be a giver.
One more if I've got time for it.
"Wealthy will buy their kids" -- no, no, no. Charlotte, let's say this and I'm so glad you called that out.
There can be no buyout. It's all or nothing, it's like all of us are in. And, again, we're not saying we're sending your son or daughter to Afghanistan. Military service is not for everybody, but there is something here at home.
Maybe it's infrastructure. Maybe it's your community. Maybe it's volunteerism through your church. There is something here to suit everybody. That's the point.
All right, I am really looking forward to this. How Marie Kondo mania is creating decluttering disciples all over America. And don't forget, we want to see your clutter crisis, tweet me more pictures @smerconish right now.
See, they're coming in. These are all things that have come in during the course of the hour.
That doesn't look so bad. That doesn't look so bad. If you are one of the many people fighting a losing battle with clutter. Help is on the way. We'll do that next.
SMERCONISH: If you are one of the many people fighting a losing battle with clutter help is on the way. I'm not talking really about hoarders, I'm meaning the many more of us with just too much stuff. Here's some of the pictures already sent in by some of you this hour.
What's going on in your house? It piles up in garages, fills our closets, but often we are unwilling or scared to let go of those keep sakes. Enter the self proclaimed guru of spiritual decluttering, and bestselling author Marie Kondo who host "Tidying Up With Marie Kondo" on Netflix. Her KonMari ethos is simple, if an item sparks joy, it's a keeper, if not, give it away or throw it away.
Kondo's books have been popular for years but since her series debuted on new year's day, she seems to have tapped into the clean living zeitgeist maybe too well. There are reports that thrift stores are being overwhelmed by a deluge of donations. By the way I have been an early disciple of KonMari. Haven't fully pulled it off but been doing it before it went mainstream.
Joining me, organizing and lifestyle consultant Patty Morrissey, one of the KonMari experts certified outside of Japan. She's been called a Jedi level KonMari practitioner, and Jenny Eclair is also with us. She's a comedian and author from the U.K. you wrote this piece in the "Independent," "A Marie Kondo session led me to a glorious teenage hoard of beer mats, false beards and locks of hair."
Patty, give me the cliff notes version. What does it mean to go KonMari?
PATTY MORRISSEY, CERTIFIED KONMARI CONSULTANT: KonMari is a comprehensive tidying method where you go through your entire home starting with clothes, then books, then paper, then kimono, which is miscellaneous, and then you end with sentimental objects. And by doing so you not only clear your home but you also clear your life. SMERCONISH: And categories matter, not location, right? It's not like, oh, I'll go to the bedroom, then I'll do the garage, then I'll do the attic?
MORRISSEY: That's right. Things are scattered all over our home. And so when we gather them altogether, we get to see exactly how much we have. And it becomes that much easier to make decisions.
SMERCONISH: I happen to have the book with me. So I'll use it as my prop, I would if this were one of the many books in my home, I'd say, hmm, Marie Kondo's book, does this give me joy and then I would decide whether I'm keeping or discarding?
MORRISSEY: That's right. You handling the object is very important, holding it up to your heart, and taking that moment of silence. We receive so many messages from advertisers and social media about what's important and that this is a process of introspection, of taking that moment and asking yourself, what do I care about? What matters to me?
SMERCONISH: Jenny the books are going to be among many problems for you in going full KonMari, I know from reading your piece in the independent.
JENNY ECLAIR, COMEDIAN AND AUTHOR: Yes. Yes. Well, the thing is Marie has said 30 books which I think is a bit of a tight limit. And for a woman who wants us to cut down on the number of books we keep, she is writing a number of her own, I mean, I'm not sure how many Kondo books we should keep.
I've written myself four novels and I'm not throwing any of those away. I'm very opened to the process. I have gone semi Kondo as I call it in my house. I've managed one drawer which now closes. But I think with the many of us who have gone a bit Kondo, you get distracted by what you find on the way.
But let me -- for a serious point first, I think that one of the reasons why this has swept around the world, I mean, this is a global phenomenon now. You've got it. We got it.
We're all catching it off each other. It's an epidemic. And I think it's because we are all living in chaos.
Particular in Britain we've got this awful Brexit dilemma going on, nobody knows where we stand, everyone is very anxious, and I think that by taking charge of what's in your -- what we call a knicker (ph) drawer, it can help you have some sense of order in the rest of your life.
So I am -- I do approve some of the Kondo things but my daughter was kondo'ing. And she did a big picture of her heap of clothes. And she had, you know, all the stuff she was discarding on the photograph. I thought, well, I bought you that. What do you mean you are throwing that away? I bought you that last birthday. So the danger of that -- there's a danger of (INAUDIBLE) but I think not many of us can go full Kondo. I have huge admiration for those who -- but I'm a little bit sentimental. And when I was going through my Kondo moments, I did find this box that I had hidden from myself since I was 15. And it really showed a dangerous side of not having some Kondo in your life because I had done this awful hoarding of my, the year I was 15, down to a lock of my own hair. Some false beards that I had worn in a school production.
I mean, if everybody lived by the kinds of things that I had stored in that box, we would all be the subject of one of the most distressing documentaries about hoarders.
MORRISSEY: Jenny, I have faith in you.
SMERCONISH: It sounds like a great -- it sounds like a great -- it sounds like a great time capsule and, Patty Morrissey, by the way, Adam, run some of the images that have come in while I've been on air so that people see the need for KonMari techniques from my tweeter -- oh, boy, look at that closet, holy smokes.
SMERCONISH: Patty the hardest category is the memento category. What am I supposed to do? We have four kids. They've all done art projects. All the art projects are in our attic.
Am I supposed to throw those out?
MORRISSEY: It's -- you have to build up to it. So the fact that Jenny stumbled upon her box of mementos in the first day we don't deal with that until the very end. And gratitude is really the key in letting things go. So by the time you get up there, you really know what you want to keep and what you don't.
I just went with my daughter and looked through her homework with her. And we immediately throw things away and we just thank the piece of paper for helping her practice her math problems. We thank the strokes on the paper for helping her practicing her technique.
And we chose a few pieces that are worth keeping. And then we just let -- we let the rest go with a lot of gratitude.
SMERCONISH: Jenny, you have a sugar cube -- you have a sugar cube from the cafe where you used to go and meet boys.
SMERCONISH: Now I guess you're going to have to KonMari that sugar cube and thank it.
ECLAIR: Never, never ever -- that sugar cube will go to my grave.
MORRISSEY: Jenny, what I recommend you do you is that you store it somewhere that has a place of honor. These things that are important to you put them in a place that's not locked up and hidden away.
I was just working with a client and she saved something from her mother who had passed away and she said to me, "I guess that's kind of embarrassing. Maybe I should just tuck it away in the back of the closet." And I said, "No, let's honor it."
And we put it on a tray and we gave it a prominent place in her home. And I told her to go get a picture of her mother.
ECLAIR: I'm going to make a shrine --
MORRISSEY: Yes, make a shrine.
ECLAIR: -- make a shrine to my 15 year old narcissism.
But there are things like as you know -- you mentioned somebody whose mother had died, in this book, my teenage stuff, is a detention slip that was signed by my father. You know, I got in trouble at school for not wearing a hat. I decided his signature, I couldn't throw that away I don't think. I'm not there yet.
SMERCONISH: I agree. Totally --
SMERCONISH: That bring -- that brings you joy. But that brings you joy.
You would pick up that detention slip and you would say, this brings me joy. This is a keeper.
Ladies, thank you. I love this conversation.
MORRISSEY: Thank you.
SMERCONISH: Thank you.
Still to come, your best and worst tweets and Facebook comments and it's your last chance to vote on today's survey question. "Should public service be required of young Americans? Go vote.
SMERCONISH: Time to see how you responded to the survey question of the day at Smerconish.com.
"Should public service be required of young Americans?" Survey say 7,561 votes -- 71 percent say yes to requirement, 71 percent say go the way of Israel by way of example and say this is what is expected of you, what is what's required of you one year out of high school. Very interesting. I'll leave the question up the rest of the day.
What else came in during the course of the program via social media?
"Smerconish, is it really public service if it is required?"
Well, Ray Is Old, love your handle. The alternatives are to say here are options. We want to make sure that there is ample opportunity.
A second option is to say we're going to create an expectation. Neither of those would be subject to your criticism. It is the third that says it is going to be required.
My favorite is option two. Hit me with something else.
"Watching her show was too stressful."
Lin is referring to Marie Kondo's show -- laugh out loud -- on Netflix. Yes. But you know what it is more than just getting rid of your personal (INAUDIBLE) and I hope we brought this out in the conversation about the KonMari method. It is really an organization system for life, not just what's in your clothing closet.
Another one if we have time. "Does Roger Stone" --
SMERCONISH: "Does Roger Stone spark joy?"
SMERCONISH: Yes. If you're -- if you're President Trump, I suspect he is a keeper. For Trump critics, I suspect he goes in the goodwill basket if there is such a thing. I tell you this, he sparks joy in the media because this is going to be a donnybrook. I fully expect that stone will do what he has said which is to fully engage, not back down, not flip, keep doing media interviews.
He was with Chris Cuomo last night here on CNN, and it will be a battle for the ages, and he won't stop talking. When all is said and done, however, you've got those statements that he gave under oath that seem at odds with the record that Mueller has assembled.
I'll see you next week.