Return to Transcripts main page

Fareed Zakaria GPS

Week of Mass Murder and Attempted Bombings in the United States; Discussion of Shootings at Pittsburgh Synagogue; Examining U.S.-Saudi Relations. Aired 10:15-11a ET

Aired October 28, 2018 - 10:15   ET


[10:14:29] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria coming to you live from New York.

Today on the show, horror in Pittsburgh. Eleven people are dead after an anti-Semite shooting rampage at the city's Tree of Life synagogue. I'll discuss the massacre with a panel.

Then this week's other news on foreign policy with Samantha Power, Michael Hayden and Steven Hadley.

But first, here's my take.

[10:15:01] This is a sad week for America, one of the saddest that I have ever witnessed. First a series of bombs directed at a former president and other public figures. Then an act of horrific terror in a house of worship.

We seem to have crossed lines and broken barriers of decency. The attack on the Tree of Life synagogue strikes me as particularly tragic. One of the most extraordinary features of modern American life has been the integration of its Jewish community. For over 2,500 years Jews have been vilified and persecuted everywhere. And then came America and Israel. Two places where Jews could breathe easily and live safely.

In turn, in this country Jews have been deeply patriotic and productive Americans, scaling the heights of achievement but also becoming civic leaders, philanthropists and good citizens. And yet we have seen an unmistakable rise of anti-Semitism in recent years. Now this.

What does this say about America?

The two events of this week are quite different and most importantly let's be clear, the responsible parties for the violent acts are the people who perpetrated them. But they have taken place against a backdrop. First, there's been decades of increasingly heated and nasty political rhetoric. People are moved to action by what they believe by the words, thoughts, ideas they're surrounded by.

John Maynard Kaine once said that mad men in authority who hear voices in the air are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. And Donald Trump has spoken harshly about his opponents, but he has not had a monopoly on this kind of talk. Democrats have done their share of demonizing.

Now I think this particular story does have a beginning at least in the modern era. It's well told most recently in "The Atlantic" by McKay Coppins. In 1978 Newt Gingrich, a fiery young congressional candidate from Georgia, explained to a group of college Republicans what he called "one of the great problems we have in the Republican Party. We don't encourage you to be nasty."

Coppins writes that Gingrich set out to remedy this defect and when he made a push for a Republican majority in the House a decade later he sent cassette tapes and memos to party members across the country instructing them on how to speak like Newt. He suggested labeling the Democrats with words like sick, pathetic, lie, anti-flag, traitors, radical, corrupt. Since then we have watched as politics has become more personal, nasty and destructive on both side.

The second feature of our time has been the toleration and encouragement of white nationalism. This is more recent, but it is indisputable. For example, when politicians from all parties and businessmen of all stripes condemned President Trump for calling some of the white nationalists in Charlottesville, "very fine people," quote-unquote, they feared that he was tolerating precisely the kind of nationalism, hatred and anti-Semitism that has burst forth this week.

Finally, guns. When will we come to the blindingly obvious conclusion that too many people in this country have access to too many kinds of military-style weapons, which makes us unique in the advanced world? Do we really have to live in a country where school, churches, mosques and synagogues become armed zones?

Fear, hatred and division. Historians sometimes remind us that we've seen ugly times before as a nation, and it's true. The Alien and Sedition Acts, the first red scare, the Japanese internment, McCarthyism, all saw deeply divisive politics and incendiary rhetoric. But in all these cases, we look back on the period with shame, as we surely will this one.

And let's get started.

We will not give the killer the dignity of uttering his name today but I will name the terrific panel I've gathered to talk about this. Jonathan Greenblatt is the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, Tom Friedman is a "New York Times" op-ed columnist, and David Frum is a senior editor of "The Atlantic."

Tom Friedman, let me start with you. What is the -- what is the big takeaway from these two events, particularly the last one, as I said, the synagogue, which just strikes me as a terrible, terrible sign, some kind of a canary in a coal mine?

TOM FRIEDMAN, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, Fareed, thanks for having me. The framework I look at all this is for me goes back a column I wrote a week before the election.

[10:20:07] I quoted one of my teachers Doug (INAUDIBLE) who said, you know, we're living in an age of moral arousal. Everyone today is morally aroused. And that moral arousal is a good thing when people are aroused against racism and anti-Semitism and abuse by men to women in the workplace. But when there's no govern around this moral arousal, it can easily lapse into moral outrage, and then you find yourself in a huge storm. And that's where we really are today.

Now where does all this moral arousal come from, Fareed? First it comes technologically. We live in an age of social networks where anyone who is morally aroused on any issue can now have a megaphone and express that to the world and in the incidents this week we saw that the people who perpetrated both these terrible instances were using these platforms.

What these platforms also do, though, is they give comfort to racists and homophobes and anti-Semites and bigoted people. Bigoted people, Fareed, have never had more comfortable in America. Because of these social networks they can find fellow bigoted people to feel really welcomed.

Secondly, this moral arousal comes from the fact that these -- people dividing us has actually become a business. We have a network in this country that's in the business of dividing us. OK? We know that. We have politicians who are in the business of dividing us. We have commentators who are getting rich by dividing us.

At the same time we're at an age where political identities are really up for grabs. Who's an American? What bathrooms can I use? Who's going to have a job, me or the robot? That also adds to this arousal. And lastly we have a president whose business model, whose political business model is to divide and create fear. OK. So Trump's actual job description to by a healer conflicts with his business model, all right, which is to be a divider.

Now when you have all of this moral arousal, OK, and moral outrage, as (INAUDIBLE) knows, and it doesn't end up in moral conversation but just ends up in moral outrage and arousal, you get this giant storm. Think about what happened this week with Megyn Kelly, I'll stop here, on NBC. She lost her job for making stupid and insensitive statements about black face.

Immediately it's off with your head. What if we had spent the week telling Megyn Kelly you need to spend the week on your show in a moral conversation about this issue. Unfortunately we go from moral arousal to outrage to off with your head, and we have no president, Fareed, who can galvanize the country in a moral conversation about these issues and to engage people because his business model to create division and fear conflicts with his job description to be a uniter and healer.

ZAKARIA: Jonathan Greenblatt, you and I have talked over the years, and you've been pointing out to me for a while, years now, that there has been this extraordinary rise of anti-Semitism in a country as I said we thought we had solved this problem.

JONATHAN GREENBLATT, CEO, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: Right. Well, look, Jews certainly live with tremendous privilege in this country. The likes of which we haven't had in thousands of years of Diaspora, but the anti-Semitism that we're seeing explode today has been with us for some time has been with us for some time. What's different is that it is now out in the open in a way that defies, you know, morality.

So the ADL, we tracked anti-Semitic incidents. And in 2016 after more than a decade of decline, we saw a 34 percent increase of acts of harassment, vandalism and violence. Last year a 57 percent spike. The single largest surge we have ever seen in covering this for 40 years. And in fact just last week I was with the head of the NYPD hate crimes task force who told me that to date in 2018 the number of anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York City is at almost the exact same level as it was a year ago.

So it is troubling, what is terrifying is this seems to be the new normal as we saw punctuated in such a tragic way yesterday in Pittsburgh.

ZAKARIA: David Frum, is it fair to talk about the surround, you know, and the political rhetoric? Or is that too far? I'm thinking, for example, about the fact that this idea that the Tree of Life or the Jewish groups have been helping people find refuge, or perhaps even, you know, being involved in this caravan. The claim -- this claim, I mean all you have to do is listen to FOX News and you would hear it often repeated.

There's a Campbell's Soup vice president for government affairs who tweeted about how George Soros was funding this. There was a pro- Trump campaign ad, the last pro-Trump campaign ad that had three very prominent American Jews, Janet Yellin, George Soros and Lloyd Blankfein, you know, photographs talking about globalism, a conspiracy to deny ordinary Americans their rights.

[10:25:04] Are these anti-Semitic tropes or are we stretching too far?

DAVID FRUM, WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Well, George Soros was of course also a target of the bomber who sent packages through the mail so George Soros I think is very much owed an apology by FOX News, by many Republicans, who have created a highly personal level of incitement against him.

And I think that example underscores something you said in your very eloquent opening statement. The bombings and the shooting are quite different, and I would direct attention to it to two special ways they're quite different. The first is the targets of the bombing were people who have been individually attacked and denounced by President Trump. And the bomber seems to be somebody who was quite apolitical until Donald Trump came on the scene.

So I think that attempted crime, those crimes, are very attributable to the president. His incitement has quite a direct connection to the attempts on these dozen bomb attempts. Unlike the shooter who seems to have been reacting to a much more generalized level of anti- Semitism that we've been discussing already. And as I said, you know, while the Trump administration and others have dog whistled about Jews, they have not been as directly inciting as they were against the targets of the bombers. But here's the second and even more important difference from the two.

The bombers sent a dozen packages aimed at -- or so to a dozen people and no one was hurt. Because making an effective bomb is quite a technically challenging task, and getting it through and transporting it through the mail there are many legal obstacles including the obligation to deliver any package of any size yourself at the post office. And so thank God nobody was hurt in those attacks.

On the other hand, once you decide to use a firearm as your weapon of murder, then it could not be easier. And we have seen not only in this terrible attack in Pittsburgh but in Las Vegas, in Newport, in so many crimes in schools that really anybody who can easily get hands on these insanely murderous weapons and kill not one person at a time but dozens of people at a time.

ZAKARIA: Tom Friedman, do you think that when we confront this kind of problem, is the answer to speak out to denounce it? Is it to go and look for more people? You know, I think at some level I look at this now and I'm at a loss as to say well, what is the -- how do you tone down -- how do you make less of this happen?

FRIEDMAN: Well, you know, Fareed, it starts with leadership. Actually, in my career I've covered the secretary of state and I've covered the president of the United States as a reporter. One thing you notice when you cover the president is the exponential expansion of the megaphone. There's just nothing like the president of the United States. And, you know, when you had a policeman confront a black professor in Boston, the Obama presidency, what did Obama do? He invited him for a beer at the White House.

There is no single magic cure for this, Fareed. But one thing, I can't tell you what's sufficient but I know what is necessary, and that is for the president of to show empathy and be someone who demonstrates moral compassion, moral conversation, moral engagement by what he does and what he says, not to say let's just get this bomb stuff out of the way, so I can actually go back and keep the country focused on the fact that there's a caravan of refugees from Honduras heading our way and there are Middle Eastern types among them.

That was a flat-out cold, flat-out lie, absent any evidence to the contrary. And what Trump is doing is exactly the opposite. And we cannot run away from that. Of course he didn't order these shootings. Of course he isn't directly responsible. But he's responsible for failing to creating the kind of counter context to this, and he's responsible for inspiring people who have these views to feel comfortable sharing them.

ZAKARIA: Let me add on that Middle East caravan thing, even if there are Middle Easterners, which as you said there's no evidence, it's worth pointing out 99.99 percent of Middle Easterners are not involved in terrorism, and it's kind of an ugly slur.

Jonathan Greenblatt, you've been tracking this particularly with regard to technology. You had a report out this last Friday that talks about how social media actually has, just as Tom Friedman said, encouraged more of this. So what is the solution? GREENBLATT: Well, you know, at the ADL if you're fighting the front

line on hate now today you have to be confronting Facebook and Twitter and Google and YouTube and all the big brands and platforms. We've literally opened up a center in Silicon Valley last year. And I think there's two pieces to this puzzle. So number one, we need to be engaging with industry and thinking about not just better policies for the platforms but better products for the users. And how do we use technology and re-imagine the algorithms to take hate speech and get it off of those platforms, or at least if you can't remove it entirely you can turn down the volume to make it far harder to hear and to find.


So we need to engage the companies to use the innovation to engineer better progress. And then secondly, we need policymakers to get involved. I mean, the law needs to consider new phenomena like swatting and doxing and cyber-stalking and cyber hate and to identify these as issues that require policy solutions as well.

So we need both our policymakers and our product designers to get engaged in fighting the problem.

ZAKARIA: David Frum, what about this issue particularly with the Tree of Life Synagogue, which revealed, once again, this guy had 21 or 22 guns. You know, one of them was this -- was an AK-47. This is a military-style assault weapon -- I'm sorry -- an A.R.-15, a military- style assault weapon. Is there anything you think that could change the political dynamic in this country?

We have actually made it easier in the last five years to get guns of this kind.

FRUM: Well, I have written about this the -- how, since Sandy Hook, the legislative -- at the state level, the legislation in favor of guns has become more permissive, and you can now bring guns into bars, of all places.

But I am optimistic about this question. I think we are going to see, with weapons, something very like what happened with drunk driving in the 1970s and '80s, which is a cultural revolution is coming. And it is going to be driven, I think, very much by women, by mothers, who are going to, at some point, break through the relatively small number of strategically placed people who make it impossible to have anything like the kind of regulations that other countries have.

I spend much of my time in Canada. In Canada, if you want a hunting rifle, you go down to the Canadian Tire and you get a hunting rifle. But what you cannot get is an AR-15. What you cannot get is a glock. Because why on earth do you need an AR-15 or a glock when what you want to do is hunt duck or -- duck or deer?

That's coming. I am confident of that. And it will begin as a moral revolution, a cultural change, and the legislative part will probably be last. ZAKARIA: Tom Friedman, what does it say about the situation in America today that, you know, I can't remember the last Middle Eastern or let alone, I mean, foreigner actor who has perpetrated an act of terrorism in the United States. It's been years now. What we are now talking about -- who would have thought, right, 17 years after 9/11 -- what we are talking about is not Islamic terrorism but domestic terrorism being perpetrated in the United States on the basis of politics and religion and, you know...

FRIEDMAN: Fareed, there's a -- there's a sickness in the country. I grew up in Minnesota in a Jewish community exactly like Squirrel Hill, and my wife grew up in the same kind in Iowa. And it's what has always made me a political optimist and a moderate. Because I grew up in a time and place where I saw Jews be fully integrated into American life. And, yes, there was anti-Semitism and there were struggles, but nevertheless I saw politics work.

And what is so troubling to me today is we've reached a point where it's not working in the country, where we are the problem, not foreigners. And the problem is very clear, Fareed, and we cannot run away from it. We have a president without shame. He is backed by a party without spine. And they are amplified by a network without integrity. And when you face that kind of triumvirate, there is only one thing to do, and that is to get a lever of power to change it, OK?

So there is only one thing to do in this mid-term election and that is vote for a Democrat. I don't have any other solution in the short term.

ZAKARIA: Jonathan?

GREENBLATT: Yeah, a few quick thoughts. I mean, number one, we've looked, at the ADL, at extremist murders in the U.S. In the last 25 years the vast majority, almost 80 percent, have been committed by white supremacists, extreme right-wing fanatics. And I'm not afraid to speak truth to power, to candidate Trump or President Trump, but I also just want to underscore this problem is bigger than one person. Whether you're the president of the United States or a university president or the president of the PTA, we expect people in positions of authority or public figures to speak out consistently and clearly when anti-Semitism shows or other forms of intolerance. And we all, in the public, and people in the media, need to hold them accountable with they don't do that.

ZAKARIA: David Frum, any last thoughts? We've got about two minutes left.

FRUM: I do note, Jonathan talked about making -- dialing down the volume of the worst noises on social media. President Trump just last week complained that his Twitter was being underserved by the platform, suggesting that, whenever he hears people talk in the way that Jonathan just did, he thinks they're talking about him. President Trump is not only not going to improve; he is a model of exactly the kind of behavior that is so reprehensible and so upsetting, both to Tom and to Jonathan. He's never going to be different; he's never going to be better. I

think, when we ask questions on TV, what should the president do, we need to start with who and what the president is. He will not improve. He is what he is.

ZAKARIA: All right. Let me thank you all and let me just, in closing, remind you -- it's a terrific quote by that German Lutheran minister whose name I can't remember, but as I recall, it went something like this, and it seems like a week to remind us. First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. And then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out.

When we come back, foreign policy.



ZAKARIA (voice over): It was a busy week in the world, and there's much to discuss with today's terrific panel. We recorded this group not on our set but on a stage in New Albany, Ohio, in front of a group of an audience of citizens who wanted to learn and inform themselves.

I was invited there to moderate a discussion on Thursday night amongst a stellar group of foreign policy doers and thinkers. Samantha Power was U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under President Obama. Today she is a Harvard professor at the Kennedy School and the Law School. Michael Hayden was director of the CIA and the NSA. Today he is a principal at the Chertoff Group and a CNN national security analyst. And Stephen Hadley was national security advisor under President George W. Bush. He is a principal at the International Strategic Consulting Firm RiceHadleyGates.

(on camera): I thought what we'd do is, kind of, play a little bit of a simulation and to take you into the National Security Council. And what I'm going to arbitrarily say, roughly speaking, Steve, I'm going to take your old job and I'm going to be the national security advisor.


You're going to -- don't worry, there's no prospect of this actually happening.


You're going to be secretary of defense. You're going to be the head of intelligence. And you're going to be the secretary of state, Sam.

So I don't want you really to think too much about the position, in the sense I don't want you to jealously guard your bureaucratic turf. I want you to just...


... give the president who is sitting there somewhere in the back your best advice.

Mike, you have the Saudi situation. The Turkish government has now made absolutely clear that they have, from their point of view, incontrovertible evidence that the Saudis did what they did. The Saudis deny it. Then the Saudis finally acknowledge that Khashoggi was in fact killed. Now, the most recent twist is they acknowledge that it was premeditated.

National Security Council meeting: What is the intelligence community's value here? Are you going to -- are you going to positively confirm the Turkish version of events? And what do you need to tell the president?

HAYDEN: Yeah, so what you need to do is to give the president your best view of what constitutes objective reality, what exactly did happen. Now, Steve and I know, you can have -- you can be wrong about your objective view. We've got life experience there, all right? But it's got to be your best shot at what constitutes objective reality.

ZAKARIA: Is the -- is the unpleasant fact in this case that this killing was probably directed from the highest echelons of the Saudi government?

HAYDEN: You know, from the outside looking in, based on some experience, looking at what is publicly available, a couple of observations.

Number one, the Turks are competitors with the Saudis within the Sunni world, and so we would stamp everything coming out of Ankara with -- and Istanbul -- literally would stamp it with "this is designed to influence as well as inform." And so you need to -- you need to be a bit skeptical about Turkish information.

But my sense is the body of data, what the Turks have apparently presented, what it is we have very likely known, and we would have launched the star fleet here, scouts out, in terms of all sourcing with regard to the internal workings of the Saudi government.

My judgment is this does not happen without the knowledge and permission and direction of the crown prince. And so this is on him. And so what it is you owe the president is to not allow him to pretend that there is doubt or that it is not on the crown prince. He can decide what he wants, because it's a really ugly decision, but you cannot -- you cannot pretend that he doesn't have that really difficult decision.

And at some point, you're going to say, "Mr. President, they did it; it was premeditated; we know he approved it; and if asked, we are going to have to say so to other parts of the American government."

ZAKARIA: And yet, Steve Hadley, Saudi Arabia is a force for stability in oil markets and has been an important ally militarily of the United States for decades, right? HADLEY: And one of the things, then, someone has to do in the NSC

meeting is at some point say, and it may be the president, "You know, it's not quite this simple."

So to take Mike's point, Turkey actually has more journalists in prison today than any other country in the world. And this is the president of Turkey championing the death of a journalist as being an abridgment of press freedom and grievous act, which it is.

He's also in competition with Saudi Arabia in general and MBS, Mohammad bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia in particular. So he has an ax to grind on this.

Secondly, how does the rest of the world see this? Well, if you look at what's coming out of the region, the region, our traditional allies in the region, have all rallied behind the Saudis in general and Mohammad bin Salman in particular. There are people who say that this should raise a question about the secession. That's a conversation you have with the president.

Should we be trying to influence that succession? Is that something that the United States should be doing as a matter of principle? Is there a plan B for Mohammad bin Salman, if he steps down, that will provide a stable Saudi Arabia?

Because Saudi Arabia is our historic ally in the region. It's a country we depend on to manage the issue of Iran. It is a country that we are going to depend on to make up a shortfall in oil production when, on November 4th, we try to take a million barrels of Iranian oil off the oil markets.

So, again, this dilemma, if he's implicated in this terrible crime, what do you do about it, when also he seems to be a vehicle for reform in Saudi Arabia that is actually supported by a lot of youthful Saudis?

I say this not for the answer but to show the exquisitely difficulty of the choice.

ZAKARIA: And Samantha Power is now going to give us the answer.


POWER: Hardly. But I do...


I do, in the spirit of everybody problematizing everything else -- and, by the way, this is exactly what happens in the Situation Room. So it's true that Mohammad bin Salman has probably the shiniest and most graphically appealing PowerPoint on the future of Saudi Arabia that you can imagine.


But at the same time, he is boasting about and seems intent on pursuing a set of reforms aimed at modernization and indeed, I have to admit, is quite popular with young people for that reason, is convincing people that that's his agenda, he has orchestrated one of the most intense crackdowns on dissent, on what passed for independent media, and even on women who seek to exercise these rights in ways that depart modestly from the script that he is putting in place.

You also have to judge his performance and his capability of implementing a modernization agenda against the operations that he has managed up to this point, which include the most devastating war in Yemen, again, that doesn't any coverage. Why? Well, partly because it's a dangerous place to be, but mainly because Saudi Arabia doesn't allow journalists into Yemen. And so the coverage that you would otherwise see is something that Saudi Arabia and Mohammad bin Salman forbid.

So I think, to the degree -- and I think that the question, Fareed, I think, as you posed it about, or Steve posted it, about whether the United States can get in the business of picking princes, that's a very dangerous -- I would stay out of that business.

So I think starting with Yemen, I think a suspension in general of the arms sales at this point, but where we seek to get the British and the French and the other big arms dealers on board, is critically important -- and a cold shoulder that really extends well beyond an investment conference to the individual who I think we are finding or will find officially is responsible for this operation.

What Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, did, not going to the investment conference and then doing photo ops with the individual behind the operation, is precisely the wrong signal to send.


ZAKARIA: Stay with us for more of this fascinating panel discussion.


ZAKARIA: More now of my panel discussion with Samantha Power, Michael Hayden and Stephen Hadley. I sat down with them on stage on Thursday night in New Albany, Ohio.


ZAKARIA: Let's talk, Mike Hayden, about something we have focused for a while about, but we haven't talked about yet on this panel: Russia. What do we need to understand about Vladimir Putin's Russia? Is he trying to destabilize the world for sport? Is there a strategy behind it? What's the problem and what should the U.S. do?

HADLEY: So I think it's fair to say we took our eye off the ball a little bit in the first decade or so of this century. I'll be the first to admit it. I was director of CIA for two and a half, three years, went to more than 50 countries. Not one of them was named Russia. All right? Counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation sucked all of the oxygen out of the room. So we're coming late to this. All right? The second is we need to scope this very carefully. You know, I'm glad we put some distance between talking about China and talking about Russia. Because one is a resurgent power; the other one is not. All right? Russia is a (inaudible) power, not resurgent.

There are three American states, California, New York and Texas, that individually have economies larger than the Russian Federation. So let's keep that in mind. So Putin has a fairly weak hand. Now, I think he's playing with a pair of 7s, all right, in his hand.


But until someone calls the pot, 7s win. The grand strategy is to pull us, the large plural us, down to his level. And that's why the information warfare attempts at European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Brexit vote and the American political process. He needs to pull us down to his level, to a point where his power, which he cannot really substantially increase, matters again.

ZAKARIA: Samantha, to me the most extraordinary thing about our tribal politics is that we have now taken on policy preferences and dislikes that mirror whatever it is our leaders say. So when you see polling now, Republicans say they, kind of, like Russia, and they're reasonably comfortable with Vladimir Putin. The Democrats, who used to be the doves in these terms, now hate Russia and believe that there needs to be a very tough anti-Russia policy.

Is -- is our international outlook now just part of our tribal approach to domestic politics?

POWER: Well, that's partyism again, right, where you adopt the whole, sort of, roster of issues if it's associated with your party, now that party identification is transcending that of other commonalities. I think what's really noteworthy about Russia's approach is that it goes back to the old Soviet tactics. Our adversaries, I mean, through history, and this would be true of other leading powers in prior ages -- they understand that our division is good for them.

And so what has Russia done, apart from interfere in our election? It's not just that, right? They look at the Kavanaugh hearing and they see the way that our country gets polarized. And what do you see Russian bots and trolls, that same network that was used back in 2016? You see them playing up the pro-Kavanaugh social media and you see them playing up the anti-. On Charlottesville, you see them, again, Antifa and the, sort of, neo-Nazi, you know, far-alt-right, whatever.

I mean, this -- they actually see it as a national security advantage to take our fissures, our social fissures -- so not just our political divisions, again, along traditional party lines, but these sort of cultural issues that are really firing people up these days, and that is in their interests.

ZAKARIA: Steve, is it fair to say that, when you look at the United States, powerful economy, technology doing superbly, a military that's still the envy of the world, the great vulnerability it has is this deep, domestic divide, that if you think of what Putin did, the most important thing Putin was able to do in the interference in the election was he played into this deep divide, where neither side trusts the other; neither side believes the other; and each side is willing to think the worst of the other.

HADLEY: I think the United States, if you're worried about the United States, we have a lot of tools to run a successful foreign policy that is in our interests and can provide prosperity and security for our people. But our brand is not doing well internationally. There's a reason why people are taking seriously China's claim to have a new model. It's because ours doesn't look very good.

Our economy still is not producing sustained inclusive growth. Our politics are fractious. We can't work across the aisle. There are a long list of social problems, budgets, entitlement payments, that we know -- migration reform -- we know, for 15 years, we have to address them, and we haven't done so.

So if you want to fix our foreign policy, we've got to fix our domestic situation, our politics, our economics. We've got to now solve some of these questions that have been lingering.

I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful in part because I've spent some time with young people. I think the next generation is coming. I think it's terrific the number of women and veterans that are running in this election. And I would say, you know, if you want to fix our foreign policy, fix our domestic policy, get organized, get active in our politics, support right-thinking candidates. And for goodness sakes, come out and vote. That's how we fix this.


ZAKARIA: All right. On that front, thank you all. Thank you all.


ZAKARIA: Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.