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Face the Nation transcript September 11, 2016: Brennan, Nunes

JOHN DICKERSON, CBS HOST: Today on FACE THE NATION: Fifteen years after the attacks on 9/11, how safe are we, and what challenges face the next president?

It’s a day for sober reflection about the most horrifying day in modern American history. What happened to the spirit that united the country after 9/11?

We will talk to the head of the CIA, John Brennan, plus the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, about where we are in the fight against terrorism.

Then we will unveil new CBS News Battleground Tracker results about what voters say they’re looking for in a commander in chief.

On the campaign trail, another week of negativity was capped by this comment:


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables, right?


CLINTON: The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it. And, unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.


DICKERSON: Just how bad was that moment for Hillary Clinton? We will ask our political panel.

Our Battleground Tracker update will show whether the presidential race is tightening in the key states.

Plus, a preview of the new African American History Museum opening in Washington. It’s all ahead on FACE THE NATION.

Good morning. Welcome to FACE THE NATION. I’m John Dickerson. Today, the nation honors those killed when terrorists hijacked planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Moments of violence were observed at the three sites and around the world. The names of those killed in New York after the planes hit the Twin Towers were read at Ground Zero, where both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton paid their respects.

Here in Washington, the president attended a memorial ceremony at the Pentagon.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We remember and we will never forget the nearly 3,000 beautiful lives taken from us so cruelly.


DICKERSON: And we begin our coverage on this anniversary with the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan.

Director Brennan, what have we learned in 15 years?

JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: Well, good morning, John.

What we have learned is that these groups, whether it was al Qaeda or ISIS, can cause much death and destruction as they pursue their mindless agenda. And so what we have learned over the last 15 years is to make sure that we do everything possible as a nation to protect this great homeland and our people around the world as well from the scourge of terrorism.

We have done a lot in terms of making sure that different parts of government are able to work better together, be able to share information, increasing our information technology systems, so that we can get the threat information to where it needs to go to, so that we can prevent those attacks.

We have learned a lot. We have done a lot. And that’s why, today, I believe that it’s much more difficult for these groups to carry out the type of attack that they did 15 years ago.

DICKERSON: At the CIA now, there’s a new commemoration of the 9/11 attacks there. What do you want employees at the CIA to think about when they see and remember 9/11 in terms of when they ?

BRENNAN: Well, on first floor of CIA, we have a flag that was taken from the rubble of the World Trade Center towers, as well as a steel girder.

And it is in full view of our employees as they go about their daily activities. I want to make sure that they understand that we have a solemn obligation to make sure that we do everything in our power with our full authorities and capabilities around the world to prevent these terrorist groups from carrying out these types of heinous acts of violence and murder.

So, the agency takes very seriously is what our responsibilities and obligations are. And I do believe that CIA has been, I would say, probably the most instrumental agency since 9/11 in degrading, dismantling al Qaeda and making sure that that organization and now ISIS are unable to carry out attacks here in the homeland.

DICKERSON: One of -- a military officer that I talked to about the 9/11 history said one of the things that he thought was that restraint was not talked about as much.

There’s a lot of talk about actions that are taken here to stop this threat or that threat, but sometimes that the actions taken have their own consequences. How much is restraint a part of what we have learned about the response to terrorism?

BRENNAN: Well, I think we’re very mindful that the actions that we take overseas really need to take into account what the consequences are going to be.

We’re trying to be as careful as a surgeon’s scalpel in terms of taking out the cancer of these terrorist organizations. We have to make sure, though, that we’re not going to damage the surrounding tissue. And whether or not we’re operating in the Middle East or South Asia or other areas in parts of the world, we have to work, first of all, very closely with the governments, the ones that we’re able to work with, but to ensure that it’s being done in a careful manner, that we’re able to arrest and detain individuals as we can, that we’re able to take advantage of whatever material we’re able to seize.

And this has to be done, I think, in a very deliberate way.

DICKERSON: Do drones help or hurt in that effort to be surgical, because some people say that the drones are a recruitment tool for terrorists?

BRENNAN: Well, the drone platform, the Predator platforms that have been in the U.S. military arsenal for quite some time are tremendously capable platforms that can carry out intelligence and surveillance and reconnaissance, the ISR responsibility that we have, in terms of collecting intelligence, but also being able to be exceptionally precise as far as putting ordnance on targets when that is called for.

So, they are piloted. It just happens to be remotely piloted.

DICKERSON: But in terms of that collateral issue and creating more terrorist, do you believe -- what role do you believe it plays as a recruitment tool for new terrorists?

BRENNAN: Oh, I think, frequently, our adversaries will point to it as a recruitment tool, but the facts are that that is an exceptionally powerful and capable means of taking kinetic action against terrorists when that is called for. So, I think there’s a lot of misrepresentation and mischaracterization that a lot of the propaganda skews in terms of how those drones are used.

DICKERSON: What’s the state of the fight against ISIS right now, as you see it?

BRENNAN: There has been significant reversal of their battlefield successes over the last six to nine months.

We have seen that they have been pushed out of a number of areas inside of Iraq, as well as in Syria. A number of their leaders have been removed from the battlefield. They do not have the same type of patrol over territory that they had this time last year.

So, this is all part of the strategic effort that has been under way to try to get the intelligence that is necessary in order to give the coalition the opportunity to take strikes from the air, and also make sure that the Iraqi forces and others and the -- those elements that are fighting on the ground against ISIS are empowered and able to do that.

DICKERSON: The arguments has been made by the administration that, as they lose that territory, the foreign fighters disperse, and that’s an even greater threat. Is that right?

BRENNAN: Well, they have been dispersed for a while.

And one of the thing that ISIS has done is to develop these franchises around the world. A lot of these terrorist organizations that have raised the ISIS flag in different parts of Africa and the Middle East and South Asia, they were already existing terrorist groups, and they tried to jump onto the bandwagon of ISIS.

But even those organizations have suffered serious setbacks. When I look at Nigeria, in terms of the Islamic State of West Africa, also the heads of these organizations, whether it be in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Afghanistan, they have been taken off the battlefield.

So, progress is being made not just in Iraq and Syria, but also beyond.

DICKERSON: “The Washington Post” has a report about the attraction to ISIS is also diminishing, the number of foreign fighters going, wanting to join the cause.

Is that the way you see it? And, if so, why is that? Why is recruitment down?

BRENNAN: Well, I think, initially, when I was able to roll across a number of these ungoverned spaces in both Iraq and Syria, that momentum generated quite a bit of attraction.

And that’s why the foreign fighters were flowing there, because they thought this was a winning organization. It’s now a failing organization. And their narrative has been refuted. Their claims of great victory have been debunked. And that’s why I think fewer and fewer people now are looking to ISIS as being a -- an organization they want to belong to.

DICKERSON: I would like to switch to ask you about Russia now hacking into different parts of the American electoral system.

What role is Russia playing in terms of hacking U.S. institutions?

BRENNAN: Well, Russia has exceptionally capable and sophisticated cyber-capabilities, in terms of collection, as well as whatever else it might want to do in that cyber-sphere.

So we have known this for quite a while. Their intelligence services are quite active around the world. And this is something that we have to make sure that we’re on guard for, not just for our national security purposes, but also for making sure that our system of government here is going to be preserved.

DICKERSON: They have the potential, but what’s the reality? How much are they active?

BRENNAN: Well, they’re very active worldwide. And, as you know...


BRENNAN: And in the U.S., the FBI is looking into the hacking of the DNC network, the release of these e-mails.

This is criminal activity. And I would defer to the FBI as it continues to look at all of the different forensics, as well as intelligence that we might be able to provide the bureau as well, in terms of attribution.

DICKERSON: When you think of national security threats, where does Russia fit in that picture?

BRENNAN: Well, I think that Russia is a world power, clearly. And they are involved in many different parts of the world, military capability. They’re involved in the Middle East right now, obviously in Ukraine, Central Asia.

So, Russia is a formidable adversary in a number of areas. Also, there are areas that we need to be able to work with Russia, specifically in Syria.

As you know, John Kerry and Prime Minister Lavrov announced an agreement to try to move forward once again with trying to bring some semblance of peace to Syria. We will have to see whether or not this time the Russians are going to follow through on their commitments in terms of putting pressure on the Syrian regime.

DICKERSON: And Vladimir Putin, a former intelligence agent, how do you read him?

BRENNAN: Well, he’s somebody who is very aggressive, very assertive.

I think his intelligence background gives him a certain perspective. A lot of the senior Russian officials are also former KGB. And so he’s somebody that we need to, I think, be very wary of in terms of his ability to manipulate environments for Russia’s advantage.

DICKERSON: Is he manipulating the election? Is that an environment you think he’s trying to manipulate?

BRENNAN: I think that we have to be very, very wary of what the Russians might be trying to do in terms of collecting, as well as -- collecting information in that cyber-realm, as well as what they might want to do with it.

DICKERSON: Is he an adversary? Should we think of Russia as an adversary?

BRENNAN: I think, in certain areas, they are adversaries, yes.

But I think, also, in areas, we need to find ways to cooperate with them, because they do also have a vested interest in trying to bring stability and trying to dismantle these terrorist organizations.

DICKERSON: Jumping around the globe, North Korea has -- appears to have tested another nuclear weapon. What’s the danger there? Is it that they put it on a missile or that there is a black market for nuclear material? How should people think about that?

BRENNAN: Well, I think North Korea under Kim Jong-un is clearly a concern, and needs to be an international concern, because they continue to develop their nuclear capabilities with the test that was just done last week.

But their continued development of missile capability, marrying up those nuclear devices or warheads with ballistic missiles that can reach great distances, is a cause of concern not just for the East Asia region, but also for the United States.

DICKERSON: Saudi Arabia. There’s a bill that has been through the House and Senate about allowing suing of Saudi Arabia with respect to 9/11.

How does that affect the work you do with Saudi Arabia and intelligence?

BRENNAN: Saudi Arabia is one of our closest partners on counterterrorism.

I have worked very closely, especially Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, over the last 15 years. And they are truly a good example of how foreign intelligence services can work against these terrorist organizations.

And Saudi Arabia faces a very serious threat from terrorism.

DICKERSON: Final question.

Donald Trump has been briefed now, intelligence briefings. He said that he read through his briefers’ body language that they conveyed disapproval of Barack Obama’s policies. What do you make of that?

BRENNAN: I know the briefers that have been briefing the candidates. They are the quintessential professional intelligence officers. They do their work very well. And they know, as professionals, that they are to deliver substance.

We don’t comment on policy. We don’t give policy recommendations. So I am fully confident that they comported themselves with the utmost professionalism and demonstrated their real breadth and depth of intelligence capabilities.

DICKERSON: All right, Director John Brennan, thanks so much for being with us.

BRENNAN: Thank you, John.

DICKERSON: One positive to come out of the terrorist attack that September day 15 years ago was the coming together of all Americans to grieve, to honor those lost, and to unify as one nation.

What happened to that spirit of unity?

We went to the voters in the 13 states that are part of our Battleground Tracker and found that more than half, 52 percent, said that spirit has vanished; 32 percent say the post-9/11 spirit is still a little bit there, and only 9 percent say that spirit is very much there.

As to the war on terror that began 15 years ago, Americans are not optimistic. Only 15 percent feel America is winning, with close to 75 percent saying America is either losing or in a stalemate.

CBS News director of elections Anthony Salvanto joins us now.

Anthony, I want to talk about the voters in these 13 background states and how they see the candidates, but, before we do that, how do voters see this question of terrorism differently?

ANTHONY SALVANTO, CBS NEWS ELECTIONS DIRECTOR: Well, 15 years on, everybody agrees it’s still a threat. The differences are, how do you approach fighting it?

And where you see big splits are, is it all just a military approach? And it’s not, although most Americans say that’s at least part of it. But others are saying it has got to be a combination of things like promoting human rights, promoting tolerance.

What you don’t see much of is any appetite for what you might read as nation-building, that is, promoting democracy, promoting economic systems around the world. And I think that’s part of the lingering effect of, you know, a little bit of wariness after two long wars that the public has definitely said, but also a resignation that the fight has to continue, and big differences between Trump voters, who definitely favor that more military approach, as well as stronger restrictions on immigration here at home, and Clinton voters, who say that should be a part, but just a part, but much more emphasis on those promoting global tolerance, promoting human rights around the world.

DICKERSON: And diplomacy, let’s look now at the two specific candidates.

How do voters see them on this question of commander in chief?

SALVANTO: Well, you know, up until now, Donald Trump has been lagging Hillary Clinton on this idea of being prepared to be commander in chief.

And, in fact, that’s what we have seen over the weeks has sort of weighed down many of his poll numbers. But we wanted to know, what goes into being prepared and asked voters about that. So, one of those things you have seen over and over is knowledge. Right? Is it -- do you need to know a lot to be prepared?

And what we find is, it is not always that voters think that a candidate has to have a lot of knowledge, because what some voters, in particular Trump voters, are saying is, they want a president who goes for the big picture, the big ideas, sets a large course and values, and then the details, they say, will take care of themselves.

So, it’s not always just judging on total volume of details and knowledge. Clinton voters, by contrast, are looking for a president who starts with specifics, who starts with fine details, they say, and then they think the big picture will take care of itself.

DICKERSON: So, as we head to these debates and see the two candidates side to side, the voters are going to be looking for different things.

What about -- on the Donald Trump thing, if he doesn’t have all the details that Hillary Clinton has, what do they think about his ability to kind of learn on the job, have advisers tell him what to do?

SALVANTO: You fill in the gaps with advisers. That’s how they see it.

Now, both are seen as potentially going to listen to advisers and experts. Trump voters think that he will, although there is a core of them, a smaller core, about a quarter, who say that they want a president who listens to his own instincts, because experts are often wrong.

And you see some of that cynicism out there still about what experts really actually know.

DICKERSON: Bottom-line question, who do voters feel more safe with, and who do they think can handle a crisis?

SALVANTO: Right now, a majority, neither.

Neither candidate is -- has convinced the majority of voters that they can handle a crisis well and that they can make those voters feel safe. And I think what this tells is that, although the candidates have been going back and forth on qualifications or trying to disqualify the other and their own attributes, neither one of them has yet connected back home for voters to what it matters to them, to the voters.

Yes, there may be knowledge. Yes, there may be big ideas, but how does that make you, the voter, feel safe? That connection not there yet.

DICKERSON: Still battling that out.

Finally, Anthony, quickly, where does the actual race stand in terms of the state and the polls?

SALVANTO: A little bit of tightening, tightening in Florida, so now Clinton is only up by two points. That’s down from five.

Ohio stays about where it was, and just a little bit of tightening across all the battleground states. I do not expect all the polls to move that quickly here. We should just take a look at the big picture, which is a fairly tight race in which Clinton still has an Electoral College edge.

DICKERSON: OK, Hillary Clinton up by seven in Ohio.

We will be back in one minute with the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes. Stay with us.


DICKERSON: We’re back.

And we welcome the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes.

Mr. Chairman, in June of 2015, when you and I talked, you said you thought we were at the highest threat level we had ever faced. Is that -- what’s your feeling about that now in terms of...

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R), CALIFORNIA: I think we’re even worse today.

I think the threat level is even higher, because the radical Islamic problem, whether it’s ISIS or al Qaeda, they continue to add followers. So, even though ISIS is having problems controlling some territory within Syria and Iraq, they have spread globally now.

They have moved fighters into Europe, where our allies are having considerable problems. If you notice, on -- just over the weekend, both the German government and the French government came out publicly and said that they are concerned about the numbers of fighters there in the country.

So, the al Qaeda -- what al Qaeda started on September 11, 2001, continues to metastasize. And I’m concerned that we’re not paying close enough attention to the growth of radical jihadism globally.

DICKERSON: And is that concern a geographical concern, or do you feel -- in America, obviously, we have seen homegrown, the kind of allure of joining up with ISIS, even if you’re just a lone wolf. Is that what worries you?

NUNES: Well, I think, when you look at that -- the lone wolf question, a lot of times, they will get younger people, people that have issues, and they’re more susceptible to the radicalization over the Internet.

But I think there’s another problem, and that is that al Qaeda is very, very good at seeding people in and waiting. They’re very patient. So, if you notice, when ISIS kind of broke off of al Qaeda, merged with some of the old Saddam Baathist loyalists to put this -- what they call their caliphate together, al Qaeda is much more patient.

So, you know, Zawahri is still out there. He’s bin Laden’s number two. They’re spreading -- they’re spreading globally very, very slowly. Zawahri came out also just in the last few days and issued a statement, a public statement.

And I think he’s going to continue to this that. So we just don’t know where these guys are hiding. And it’s hard to track them because of encryption now and the Internet. It’s not as easy as it once was a decade ago.

DICKERSON: If -- moving on the Russia, do you think they’re trying to influence U.S. elections?

NUNES: Well, I think Russia is very good at influencing elections. And they do it all over the world.

And it wouldn’t surprise me that they try to do it here. It wouldn’t surprise me that they try to break into the DNC and the RNC. And I think we just shouldn’t panic that the Russians would try to do this, because they always try to do it. They try to do it all over the globe. They tried to do it in Ukraine.

Would they try to do it here? Absolutely. If you leave your computers vulnerable, they’re going to try to get in and get information off of there, and not just the Russians, Chinese and others.

DICKERSON: But I guess what I’m trying to figure out is, is there kind of a broad sense they might do it, or is there any specific sense in your mind that they’re actively trying to do it, separate and apart from your general mischief-making?

NUNES: Well, I think -- yes. Well, I think this is where -- think this is where we don’t know. And I think we have to be very careful, because we don’t want to panic the American people.

Like, as you said, generally speaking, the Russians are probably the number one service around the globe that tries to influence elections. But other nation states try to do it, too. So, that -- so, they’re always trying to do it.

Now, is that anything different this time? Is there -- do they have more information that they have had in previous elections? It’s possible.

But, at the same time, I have confidence in our system. And I think that the elections will be free and fair, and as long as there is a paper trail, if there is any issue, we will get to the bottom of it.

DICKERSON: Donald Trump said that he thought Vladimir Putin was a better leader than Barack Obama. Do you have a view on that?

NUNES: Well, it’s -- the refreshing thing about Donald Trump is that he’s a first-time candidate.

And first-time candidates, when they do interviews with folks like yourself, they can easily get tripped up. But when you look at -- let’s take what Putin -- what Putin has done, right? Barack Obama said he wanted to work with Putin. Secretary Kerry is working with Putin right now. Hillary Clinton had -- set the reset button. George W. Bush said he saw into Putin’s soul.

So, we want to be friends with the Russians. The problem is, is that Putin just doesn’t seem to be a guy that we can trust.

DICKERSON: All right.

Mr. Chairman, we’re going to have to leave it there. We’re out of time. Thanks so much for being with us.

NUNES: My pleasure.

DICKERSON: Stay with us. We will be right back.


DICKERSON: Stay with us.

In our next half-hour, Gayle King, will be here to preview tomorrow’s “CBS This Morning” live from the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture here in Washington. It’s been in the works for 13 years and opens next week.


DICKERSON: Some of our CBS stations are leaving us now, but, for most of you, we will be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION, including analysis on both the campaign and the war on terror 15 years after 9/11.

Stay with us.


DICKERSON: Welcome back the FACE THE NATION. I’m John Dickerson.

For more on where national security stands 15 years after the attacks of 9/11, we’re joined by CBS News senior national security analyst and former Homeland Security adviser to President George W. Bush, Fran Townsend, Steven Brill contributes to “The Atlantic” and is the author of this month’s cover story, “Are We Any Safer,” and Jeffrey Goldberg writes for “The Atlantic” and he’s also a visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Steve, I want the start with you. You worked for a year on this article, “Are We Any Safer,” and so I apologize, but I’ll ask you if you can boil it down into an answer?

STEVEN BRILL, “THE ATLANTIC”: In only 20 words.

DICKERSON: Yes, right.

BRILL: We’ll (INAUDIBLE). Well, we -- we’re along stronger because of the work of the people like Fran did and tens of thousands of others and the trillion dollars we spent. We strengthened our defense. But the nature of the threat has changed and evolved in a way that arguably in many ways makes us less safe.

DICKERSON: And, Fran, are we adapting to that environment that Steve describes?

FRAN TOWNSEND, FMR. HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR TO GEORGE W. BUSH: You’ll appreciate, John, what happens is, we never adapt fast enough. And that’s always a concern. And so as you heard from the chairman of the intelligence committee, that the threat has metastasized and spread. We have more bad guys in more different places now. And that’s a significant threat. And you add to that the Internet and the radicalization that happens over the Internet, we’ve been very late to that game as a government across two administrations, frankly, and that’s a problem. We don’t treat the Internet as a battle space as we do land, air and sea.

DICKERSON: Jeffrey --

BRILL: Well, but there --

DICKERSON: Go ahead, Steve.

BRILL: Well, let me just say that there are some old kinds of threats that we could deal with, because the threat has evolved to lone wolves, people acting independently. The one thing that one of the political parties doesn’t seem the want to do when it comes to homeland security is do what most other countries do, which is keep assault weapons, military weapons, away from terrorists. I man that is one easy way to adapt that doesn’t cost us money and that is logical and that works.

DICKERSON: Jeffrey, let me ask you on this broader question. Barack Obama came into office with a certain set of challenges. In terms of the “are we any safer” question, how dos -- what does Barack Obama leave for his successor on that question?

JEFFREY GOLDBERG, “THE ATLANTIC”: Right. So Barack Obama came in with what he would refer to as a very messy barn. He was handed a global economic crisis, 180,000 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, bin Laden alive. And he’s been preoccupied, and his administration’s has been preoccupied, with handing off to his successor a, quote, “clean barn.”

The barn is not that clean, unfortunately. You have vast ungoverned spaces, even though ISIS is being rolled back in Iraq and Syria to some degree. You have ISIS, an organization that didn’t even exist when he became president, and new forms of terrorism. On the other hand, you have to say this, and you say this about George W. Bush, too, after 9/11, it’s somewhat miraculous, but we have not had a 9/11-sized terror attack in the United States. And I do think that’s somewhat miraculous given how far behind we were. So he is not handing off a perfect situation to his successor, but it is a manageable situation still I think.

BRILL: Well, it is miraculous, but -- but the miracle didn’t just happen. It’s because of -- of the work that lots and lots of people did to make it happen. I think we ought to acknowledge that today.

DICKERSON: Steve, let me ask you, you -- you write in your piece, “our imagination is limited to the day’s headlines. Policy-makers fight the war that made those headlines, not the war that might come next.” You mentioned assault weapons. That is something that’s been in the headlines.

BRILL: Right.

DICKERSON: That is something that people have talked about and debated.

BRILL: Right.

DICKERSON: But what’s not in the headlines that -- that people should be thinking about?

BRILL: Well, let’s take something that was very much in the headlines right after 9/11, the bioterror threat. The anthrax attacks. That is if anything more of a threat today than it was 15 years ago, but we’ve done nothing to develop the technology that could really detect that kind of attack because it just happened to fall out of the headlines.

DICKERSON: Fran, what do you think of that? What’s --

TOWNSEND: Well, I -- I think in fairness, on the -- across the WMD spectrum, where you’re talking about radiological, nuclear or chemical, we have taken different pieces of that and addressed it. We haven’t done it in a comprehensive way that Steve’s talking about. Part of that is the -- what I call the tyranny of the inbox. You know, no president plans on Katrina. No president plans on 9/11. And so the distraction of the everyday crisis takes away from the more strategic plan that needs to be done.

I do think -- I come back to this. If you -- we can’t kill our way out of this problem, no matter how much progress we’ve made in killing bin Laden and other leaders. The fact is, you’ve got to address the ideology. And I don’t think we’ve done an adequate job, nor have we spent the adequate resources against that problem.

DICKERSON: Jeffrey, getting to that question of ideology, you talked about ungoverned spaces.


DICKERSON: During the immediate aftermath of 9/11, there was a lot of talk about, we have to get them over there or they’ll come over here.


DICKERSON: What’s the state of that argument? Is that still useful? Is it -- is it still the worry?

GOLDBERG: It -- I mean it’s -- it’s a useful framework to talk about this, but to add to what Steve was saying, if you have a lone wolf problem and if you have an Internet problem, you have a self- radicalization through the Internet, then the people we’re -- we’re fighting are often people in the United States who don’t even know at this moment that they’re -- they haven’t been radicalized yet. And so going to what Fran is talking about, this is -- this is the -- the danger. We are safer in a sort of broad bureaucratic way, that -- that our defenses have been strengthened. We spent a trillion dollar strengthening those defenses, but we have no answer yet for the ideologies that radicalize people right here at home. And that is the danger. We are both safer and -- and more unsafe at the same time. It’s not a satisfying answer, but I think it’s the correct answer.

BRILL: I’m glad you didn’t write my headline.

DICKERSON: Sorry, let me just -- we had a little bit of news here. I’m going to interrupt. That Hillary Clinton left the events at Ground Zero unexpectedly today. The campaign says she felt overheated and went to her daughter’s apartment and is feeling much better. But a person briefed on the matter tells CBS News that it appears she fainted when she got into her vehicle. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.

Steve, I want to go back to you on this question of the tyranny of the inbox. You’ve studied a lot of complicated systems --

BRILL: Right.

DICKERSON: Whether it’s in Homeland Security here or the New York School Systems or -- BRILL: (INAUDIBLE). Yes.

DICKERSON: Let’s find some -- is there optimism? In other words, in a -- in a system where there’s tyranny of the inbox, you talked to Jeh Johnson and he said, you know, we’ve got to prioritize and -- risks. Is there a way to break out of that tyranny of the inbox?

BRILL: Well, you have to have the capacity to take a step back at the same time that you’re worried about what’s in your inbox. And I think that increasingly from 9/11 on, the Bush administration made all kinds of management improvements as they learned. The Obama administration, I think, has done a much better job. Jeh Johnson seems to be the one secretary who is finally getting his arms around the management of this agency.

But it is really hard because when you’re dealing with a situation where at any moment you can have an emergency that you have to pay attention to, you know, to have someone writing an article in “The Atlantic” saying, hey, you should worry about, you know, dirty bombs because they’re really a potential threat, and what you’re looking at is, you know, that morning’s intel briefing that tells you exactly what that threat is that day, that’s a hard thing to balance.

DICKERSON: Fran, finally to you. On the social media piece, you said not enough is being done. Is there -- if I were coming in and I were president, what’s your recommendation that I do right away?

TOWNSEND: Look at what we spend on our military and on the physical battle space to -- to go after the ungoverned and fully governed spaces and then look at what you’re spending to -- to combat it on the Internet. The answer is, it’s so disproportionate. You’ve got to really make the commitment that this is a battle space that you’re going to fight to control and fight to win in terms of the ideology. And if you’re not going to spend it there, you’re not going to win there.

BRILL: But what would you spend it on?

TOWNSEND: Oh, it’s across a spectrum of things. You have both defensive operations and offensive operations. Some of it is covert. Some of it is overt. You need to have the full spectrum.

DICKERSON: All right, we’re going to have to end it there. Thanks to all of you.

And we’ll be right back with our political panel.


DICKERSON: We turn now to politics. Joining us is “Wall Street Journal” column and CBS News contributor Peggy Noonan, Jamelle Bouie is chief political correspondent for “Slate” magazine and a CBS News political analyst, and Amy Walter is the national editor of “The Cook Political Report.”

I want to read this statement from the Clinton campaign. “Secretary Clinton attended the September 11th commemoration ceremony for just an hour and 30 minutes this morning to pay her respects and greet some of the families of the fallen. During the ceremony, she felt overheated, so departed to go to her daughter’s apartment and is feeling much better.”

Now, Peggy Noonan, I want to start on something Hillary Clinton said recently, some remarks that -- that have gotten her into trouble. She -- we played them at the top of the show in which she said she wanted to be grossly generalistic, but that some Trump supporters call into what she called the basket of deplorables, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and islamaphobic. She then put out a statement saying that she was wrong to have characterize that as half of Donald Trump’s supporters. Where are we now on this?

PEGGY NOONAN, CBS NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It is -- she used memorable language, basket of deplorables. An original and -- and perhaps startling phrase, but it was memorable, therefore it will be memorable as a gaffe. It was a mistake. You don’t write off immoral and ethical terms half of the supporters of -- of the person you’re running against, meaning one quarter of the voters in the United States, as such nefarious and rather wicked people.

She did walk it back. She said she shouldn’t have said half. But I think, at the end of the day, it was the kind of divisive and embittering language that will be -- that will harken back to two other gaffe, one is Mitt Romney’s 47 percent, the other is Barack Obama’s bitter clingers.

DICKERSON: So, Jamelle, I -- the question here is, Hillary Clinton, on the one hand, talks about better, stronger, together.


DICKERSON: So her unity has been her message. It’s on her plane for goodness sake.

BOUIE: Right.

DICKERSON: On the other hand, she gave a speech, not a gaffe, but a full speech about the connection of Donald Trump to the alt right.

BOUIE: Right.

DICKERSON: The -- so this is both a gaffe from which she must retreat and also strategy.



BOUIE: I’m inclined -- so I’m inclined to see it as strategy and not so much as a gaffe because when I heard the remark, my first question was, well, is this true, right? Regardless of how it sounds or what it looks like, is it actually -- what is the case about Donald Trump’s supporters? And if you break down the numbers and you look at the Real Clear Politics average and that gives Trump about 43 percent of the registered voters. It was about 30, 31 million people. Compare that to polls that show 65 to 70 percent of all Republicans who say that Barack Obama either wasn’t born in the United States or is a Muslim. You look at pilot data from the American National Election Study and it shows upward of 40 percent of Republicans saying things like, blacks are more violent, blacks are lazier, Muslims are more violent, Muslims are lazier. Among Trump supporters in particular, 60, 50, 70 percent of them agree with statements that political scientists categorize as being explicitly racist. So I’m -- I’m looking at Clinton’s statement and half, which is about 31 million people again, doesn’t really seem that out of bounds. Forty to 50 percent of Republicans I would say, looking at the full spectrum of data, agree with beliefs that we would categorize as explicitly prejudice. So regardless of whether or not Clinton needs the walk it back or not, I think she’s being correct and accurate.

WALTER: And I -- and I think this gets to the bigger challenge, though, for Hillary Clinton, which is, she has predicated her strategy and the race so much on who she’s not, and we haven’t really heard a lot about who she is. And so I know there “stronger together” is on the plane. I don’t know what that means. What comes after stronger together?


WALTER: What does that mean for me as an average American in terms of what my schools are going to look like, what my life is going to be, what is -- the future is going to be? And so we’ve spent a whole lot of time in this campaign hearing a lot about how terrible the other person, how I’m an alternative to that, but it’s flipping the page to, and what comes next? And this is why you saw the poll today, “The Washington Post” poll that came out today, Hillary Clinton up in the national poll, but the enthusiasm gap between Trump supporters and her supporters is pretty significant. I think part of that is this sense, even from folks who are Democrats who want to support her who say, I don’t know where the “there” is. Where’s the “there”?

DICKERSON: Right. And the campaign strategically had been telegraphing that she was going to offer some solution speeches.

WALTER: Exactly.

DICKERSON: And so instead of talking about solutions, she’s now talking about a message she wants to get across, but not with this kind of blaring volume.

BOUIE: I do -- I do think this is -- this may be part of the “stronger together” message though, because offering yourself as a unity figure doesn’t actually preclude yourself from identifying a portion of the electorate that does hold these views.

DICKERSON: Peggy, does Donald Trump have something to run with here or -- because there are Republicans who are nervous about these elements within the Donald Trump’s forces. So --

NOONAN: Sure. Look, there is an alt right. We’ve all talked about it. But what I think is really going on in the race is that a lot of people, even after 25 years as a leader in the United States, a lot of people don’t like or trust or feel approving of Hillary Clinton. At the same time, there are plenty of people, as Anthony said, who are not confident that Donald Trump has the stuff to be a president.

I think one of the interesting things going on with the Trump campaign is that they must know they’ve got to start getting a higher proportion of Republicans following them. They’ve got about 80, 85 percent Republican support. If you’re going to compete in a place like Pennsylvania, you need those suburbs that will go for a Republican they feel they can trust. But if they kind of think he’s a ruffian now, they are the people he’s got to go for.

DICKERSON: And it’s those suburbanites who the Clinton campaign is targeting with this talk of the alt right and all of that.

NOONAN: Yes, of course, because -- yes.

DICKERSON: Amy, let me switch to the question of commander-in- chief. That was a part of the conversation this week. It seems pretty clear, Hillary Clinton is the -- has the kind of experience and the knowledge about the various different countries. Donald Trump has a more improvisational approach. How do you think that sorts out with voters?

WALTER: But I do think, at the end of the day, this is where voters, their hesitancy translates into difficulty voting for Donald Trump. I -- you see poll after poll that says two things. One, she has a lead on who do you think will be stronger as commander-in-chief. And, two, who do you ultimately think is going to be president of the United States? Who do you ultimately think is going to win? And poll after poll shows over 50 percent of voters saying that Hillary Clinton, they believe their -- that she’s going to win. That has been a more predictive question than, who are you voting for today.



WALTER: In that “Washington Post” poll out today, 58 percent believe that she’s ultimately going to win. And I think it comes down to that core question, which is, if you don’t believe that this person, whoever fill in the blank, in this case it’s Donald Trump, is qualified to be commander-in-chief, is qualified for that position, can you actually vote for them? That is a very difficult bridge to cross.

DICKERSON: Right. The question is whether -- what his -- how he -- if he can cross that by just doing a little --

WALTER: Just doing more of what he keeps doing.

DICKERSON: Yes. Or, Jamelle, there are people that I talk to, and we see it in the survey data as well, which is people think, you know, you can have advisers --

BOUIE: Right.

DICKERSON: And you can learn in the job. And he’s been successful in private business, so, sure, he can be successful in this. Is that enough to clear that threshold question for him?

BOUIE: I’m -- I’m not sure that it is because those characteristics have always been a part of Donald Trump going back to last year. And so it appears not to be enough for voters, even if the Trump campaign continues to double down on it saying we have good advisers and so on and so forth to clear that bridge.

I think there’s a real danger here because as we saw last week in the NBC forum, Trump does have a hard time talking about national security and foreign policy issues in detail. He can kind of translate feeling and -- and sort of conviction, but when it comes to details and being able to -- to put forth plans, he struggles.


NOONAN: And Mrs. Clinton’s weakness here is that she is perceived to have this detailed sense of who the president or the undersecretary of defense in Pakistan is. She knows that. She knows his name. She’s had dealings with him. But she has no perceived strategic vision. People can’t really tell you what she’d do in the world. They feel they can tell you, well, Trump will be tough. They have an overall sense of him. They don’t have an overall sense of what she would mean in the world of a strategic Hillary Clinton, this is what I stand for.

DICKERSON: Mike Pence compares Donald Trump to Reagan in this regard. You know from Reagan -


DICKERSON: You know from Reagan --

WALTER: Yes, you knew you were going to get that question.


DICKERSON: You knew from Reagan.

NOONAN: Well, I have written on this. I -- I do not see the explicit similarities that many of Trump’s supporters see, although Reagan was, in some respects, an outsider in -- in -- in politics. I really can’t take that, that -- that far. I think -- I hate the play the Reagan card, if you know what I mean, and say, hey, buddy, I knew Ronald Reagan, but I do not see a depth of similarity in their background or temperament.

DICKERSON: OK. We’re going to have to leave it there. I’m afraid we’re already out of time.

NOONAN: Thank you, John, so much.


We’ll be right back.


DICKERSON: The new Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture opens next week. CBS “This Morning” will be there for their entire broadcast tomorrow. And CBS “This Morning” co-host Gayle King is with us for a preview.

Gayle, thanks for coming in on your day off.

GAYLE KING, CO-HOST, CBS “THIS MORNING”: Thanks for having me, John.

DICKERSON: I want to get your impressions about the museum, since you’ve been there, but I first want the play a little bit of an interview that Charlie Rose did for your broadcast tomorrow with Senators Tim Scott and Cory Booker. They talk about what it means -- what the museum, I should say, means to them.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: This is a building that -- that I wish my grandparents could have seen opened. I know it would have given them a sense of legitimacy, a sense that they belong, that America is embracing the African-American community in a really -- not a symbolic way, but in a deeply substantive way. And I’ve thought about it. I kind of joked as I was coming in, but to cross the threshold of the building, that moment of walking into this building, I just almost felt as if my ancestors were rejoicing in that moment.

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I hope that one of the beauties of this museum being here will be an understanding and an appreciation of the depth of the pain, agony and tragedy of slavery. I hope that the weight of the past will slow your gate and bow your head. And as you walk out of here, I hope that the sense of freedom, and a sense of expectation, will overwhelm you and that you will feel individually responsible for making America the most amazing country for every single citizen in our land.


DICKERSON: That’s amazing, Gayle.

KING: Wow.

DICKERSON: Really powerful.

KING: Wow. I was going to say, John Dickerson, I just got goosebumps listening to both of them speak. Shows you how Democrats and Republicans can come together and -- and unite for a common cause. That was very powerful what Tim Scott just said.

DICKERSON: Yes. Yes. Now you’ve been in there, right, in the museum?

KING: I’ve been there. You know, when I was there, it was a construction zone, so -- but I saw it when it was just a drawing on a desk and when there was a replica. So to see it coming out of the ground, I think Norah O’Donnell (ph) had the best description. She said, it looks like a crown there on the Washington Mall.


KING: And when you look at it, it doesn’t look like the other kids in the class. It doesn’t look like it’s -- it has its own look that’s very unique, starting with the color of it, starting with the shape of it. But what that building represents is massive.

DICKERSON: And what does it represent? Give me the full spectrum?

KING: Well, when I look at the full spectrum, I think, you know, we’re starting with slavery. And slavery is something that’s very unpleasant. Nobody really wants to acknowledge it. But until you acknowledge it, it’s very hard to move forward. So in that museum, John, you have the shackles that were put on children. You have people’s slave papers. You have an actual slave ship that Lonnie Bunch , we’ll talk to him tomorrow, you know, has a great story on how they got that. An actual slave ship. The casket of Emmett Till, which was a very pivot turning point in the civil rights moment. All the way up to the election and the inauguration of Barack Obama, in one building. Wow.


KING: Just think about all that that represents.

DICKERSON: And also Harriet Tubman’s prayer shawl there.

KING: Harriet -- is there.


KING: But it -- but it’s bigger than -- than just black history. I think it’s really all of our history. There was a Ku Klux Klan robe there. There was Nat Turner’s Bible that was donated by a white family. So, you know, people -- you know, when Lonnie -- when the museum first started, Lonnie Bunch, who’s a yeoman’s -- did yeoman’s work, they had no exhibits. And now they have over 35,000.

DICKERSON: Tell us who else is going to be on the show tomorrow?

KING: Tomorrow, Colin Powell. You know him very well. He was on the board. He will be there. Lonnie Bunch. Loretta Lynch, our attorney general, will be there. And John Lewis, who they call the godfather of the museum, because he was very instrumental in it becoming what it is today.

DICKERSON: And what’s it going to be like for you to broadcast from there tomorrow. I mean you’re in history. It’s opening this amazing thing.

KING: Well, as you know, you know, when -- when CBS “This Morning” takes a show on the road, it must be a very big deal.


KING: So the fact that we are going there live and pulling out of the stops means -- means a lot to me personally. But I think it means a lot to all of us who will be -- you know, it will open your heats and open your mind. I think Lonnie Bunch said, you know, we want it to be a place of celebration. We want it to be a place of remembrance. But it’s going to be a living museum that’s always changing. Smiles and tears.

DICKERSON: we’ll celebrate and remember with you tomorrow. Thanks so much, Gayle.

KING: All right, thank you, John. Thank you for having me.

DICKERSON: Thanks for being here.

Thanks, all of you, for being here. And we’ll be right back.


DICKERSON: That’s it for us today. Thanks for watching. Until n next week, for FACE THE NATION, I’m John Dickerson.


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