CNN LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER
Biden, Hagel Discuss Bush's Policy Towards Russia; Is the Levy- Condit Case Leading Anywhere?; The Legacy of `Post' Publisher Graham
Aired July 22, 2001 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: It's noon in Washington, 9:00 a.m. in Los Angeles, 6:00 p.m. in Genoa, Italy, and 8:00 p.m. in Moscow. Wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks for joining us for this two-hour LATE EDITION.
We'll get to the latest developments in the Chandra Levy investigation later in our program, but first, the hour's top story.
President Bush met today with Russia's president Vladimir Putin. It was their second meeting in five weeks. They met at the conclusion of the G-8 summit of major industrialized nations in Genoa.
The two presidents agreed to a potentially major change in the way they consider a missile defense system and their existing nuclear stockpiles. They agreed to consider linking the two issues, and at a joint news conference, they sought to emphasize the positive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We did have a very constructive dialogue. Certainly made my impressions of Slovenia -- confirmed my impressions of Slovenia that this was a man with whom I could have an honest dialogue, that we can discuss our opportunities and have frank discussion of our differences, which we did.
I appreciate so very much President Putin's willingness to think differently about how to make the world more peaceful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): Now, as far as the ABM Treaty and the issues of offensive arms, I've already said we've come to the conclusion the two of these issues have to be discussed as a set, as one set. This is no doubt whatsoever, one and the other are very closely tied. Neither one nor the other side should feel somehow threatened or constrained. I feel and continue to feel that -- felt and continue to feel that these most important kinds of issues, we have to maintain a balance, thanks to which mankind could live in an environment of stability and relative peace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: This year's G-8 summit may also be remembered more for what happened on the streets of Genoa, rather than behind the sessions' ornate closed doors. One protester was shot and killed on Friday.
A short while ago, I spoke with CNN's senior White House correspondent John King, who's travelling with President Bush.
BLITZER: And joining me now to talk about the summit and role played by President Bush are two leading members of the United States Senate. In Wilmington, Delaware, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden. And in Omaha, Nebraska, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel. He also serves on Foreign Relations Committee.
Senators, it's good to have both of you back on LATE EDITION. Welcome.
I want to begin with you, Senator Biden, your reaction to this latest development, the agreement by Presidents Bush and Putin to link the issues of a national missile defense system, which the Bush administration wants, and a reduction in existing nuclear stockpiles. Is that a good idea?
SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), DELAWARE: I think it is a good idea, Wolf. I know you have covered this because we talked about it. At the end of the last administration, the Clinton administration, that's exactly what those talks were about. And the Russians insisted on linking then. So in that sense, there's nothing new.
But what is new here is that President Bush, by agreeing to this, has implicitly, I assume, signed on to not abandon any ABM Treaty.
If you heard all the testimony -- and we're going to have a hearing on Tuesday on the ABM Treaty with the administration -- there is a mixed message coming out. You heard the secretary of defense saying, well, the new tests will bump up against the ABM Treaty within a couple months, and Wolfowitz, the number-two guy at the Defense Department saying we may break out of ABM Treaty.
So, this is very good news, to me at least, as I read the very brief press reports here, is that you heard Putin say, you tie ABM and offensive weapons together. And this implies, at least to me, that the agreement is that they will not -- this administration will not break out of the ABM Treaty in the meantime. And I think that's very good news.
BLITZER: What about that, Senator Hagel, is that your take on this latest development in these high-stakes talks between the U.S. and Russia?
SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R), NEBRASKA: This is very good news, as Senator Biden has stated. I think, Wolf, it's important we put some perspective into this issue, as always is important when we talk about security issues, really security for the world. We are living in a post-ABM world. This is a world that's 30 years past the time when President Nixon and Chairman Brezhnev came together with a paradigm, a policy of what was referred to then as mutually assured destruction. And hence we then signed a very important document called the ABM -- Anti-Ballistic Missile -- Treaty, signed in 1972.
We are now 30 years past that. The world has changed dramatically. There is no longer a Soviet Union. New threats, new opportunities, new hopes. Therefore, it is only natural that we must move forward with new paradigms, policies, dynamics, relationships that focus on the challenges of today. So what we're seeing is a very real addressing of those new challenges.
So overall, we are off, I think, to a very good start. It's one that the president has talked about. He talked about it during the campaign last year as to why he thought dealing with this ABM issue up front, honestly, directly was important. And I think we continue to make progress, as obviously evidenced by what has happened in Italy over the last few hours.
BIDEN: Wolf, if I could make one...
BLITZER: I want to just press Senator Hagel on one point, Senator Biden, then I'll bring you right back in.
BLITZER: On what Senator Biden said, that he now concludes based on these initial reports, based on the joint news conference that Presidents Bush and Putin had, that the Bush administration is no longer threatening to unilaterally break or abrogate the 1972 ABM Treaty.
Senator Hagel, is that your reading of this agreement today?
HAGEL: Well, all I know is what I've heard so far in the last couple of hours, but my general take on it is that it is consistent with what Secretary of State Powell said this week, when he said the way to do this is to get a written agreement with the Russians on how we would go forward in dealing with this issue as to what is in the best security interest for both the Russians, the United States, our allies and overall in the world. So I think it's very consistent with what we have seen and heard from this administration.
BLITZER: Senator Biden, as you well know -- and I want you to answer this and then, of course, comment on what Senator Hagel said.
But as you know, the Bush administration is saying they're only months away from taking steps that some would regard as a violation of the ABM Treaty. Samuel Berger, President Clinton's former national security adviser, testified only this past week saying this -- and I'll put it up on the screen. He said, "How can we expect to negotiate modifications of the ABM Treaty or a change in decades of strategic policy with the Russians in a matter of months?" He said that in "The Washington Post" on Friday.
Given this new agreement today, there's only a few months. Can they link existing stockpiles reducing nuclear warheads over the next few months to an agreement on a missile defense shield within the time frame that the Defense Department wants?
BIDEN: Well, theoretically they could. But you make the point that I tried to make earlier, and that is that the president has no new system he keeps talking about, and the technology is not there now to eliminate this doctrine of mutually assured destruction nor is any one envisioned in the near term.
So the point I want to make, Wolf, is this: You don't walk away from a treaty without a new system being in place. You don't walk away. And the president today, in his agreement with Putin, seems to be saying, OK, if he's agreeing he's going to sit down and talk with him about how to move beyond the treaty, implicit in that is "I'm not going to walk away in the meantime." And as you know, as I said earlier, Rumsfeld is saying within two months we may have to walk away from the treaty.
So as usual on this issue, there is not a clear message coming forward. I hope it is the Powell message. I hope the administration position is Powell, not Rumsfeld. But we're going to try to find out beginning on Tuesday because I'm going to hold extensive hearings on the ABM Treaty with administration witnesses and others.
BLITZER: And also on Tuesday, Senator Hagel, the president's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, will be heading to Moscow, not coming directly back to Washington, to begin those new negotiations with the Russians.
You know, there are some Republicans, Senator Hagel, including Jesse Helms, the ranking Republican, the former chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, who says that including President Putin in these kinds of international meetings like the G-8 summit is a big mistake to begin with.
BLITZER: Look what Senator Helms wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. He said, "Granting Mr. Putin this special privilege sadly undercuts those in Russia who are truly struggling to promote freedom, liberty and the rule of law. Shouldn't they be the ones invited to Genoa instead of Mr. Putin?"
What do you say about Senator Helms's criticism of this willingness by the Bush administration to embrace President Putin?
HAGEL: I will respond to that, but let me just make an additional point on what Senator Biden said on the national missile defense issue.
We seem to forget that two years ago the United States went on record, the United States Senate went on record, with a vote of 97 to 3, to continue to move forward with a missile defense system that was within the bounds, of course, of our obligations and treaty requirements, and that national missile defense system should be up and operative as soon as technologically feasible.
Now, President Clinton signed that. Ninety-seven of us out of 100 voted for it. So this is not some arbitrary Bush calculation that President Bush has invented. We are solidly on record, the United States Senate, to go forward with the testing and the parallel tracks that work our way to a system that in fact is all about security for our nation, security for our allies and indeed security for the world.
Now, to your question on the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's comments. I don't agree with Senator Helms. He certainly has every right and every opportunity to express himself on this issue. I think the real issue here is, how can you adjust any security dynamics, whether it be foreign policy, intelligence, national security, trade, energy, without including Russia and nations like Russia?
This is an interconnected world. This is a world, yes, full of tremendous hope, opportunity, historic in its proportions but, at the same time, still very uncertain and very dangerous. I would much prefer to have a relationship with Russia and to have the president of Russia included in many of these calculations and discussions versus not having him included. So I disagree with the former chairman.
BLITZER: And on that point, Senator Biden, I assume you agree with Senator Hagel, that President Bush is doing the right thing by embracing President Putin, even if he is being criticized, as you know, for the effusive praise, at least that he delivered in Slovenia a few weeks ago.
BIDEN: I think he is.
And I'd like to also point out, that thing we voted on, 97 to 0, had two other conditions. It said we wouldn't deploy a missile system until the run was feasible and, secondly, that we would consider the overall circumstances when we deployed it. That is, will we start a new arms race, by -- if we deploy a system, will it make us safer or weaker? Will it make us more vulnerable less vulnerable?
So, we don't have a big disagreement. The bottom line here is, I'm glad the president is going to be talking with Putin about how to come to this sort of -- he keeps referring to a new system to replace ABM. I don't want ABM jettisoned unless there's something specifically to replace it. Apparently, that's what they're going to talk about.
BLITZER: All right. Senator Biden, let's move on to talk about the tragedy on Friday in Genoa, the death of one of those protesters, the anti-globalization protesters. Thousands, tens of thousands, more than 100,000 perhaps, gathered on the streets to complain about the gap between the richest nations in the world and the poorest nations in the world. They're blaming the international trade agreements, in part, for that gap.
Do they have a point, that these kinds of meetings, these G-8 summits, the world trade organization meetings, all these demonstrations that we've seen at these international gatherings over these past of couple years, do they have a point that the industrialized, the richest nations are not doing enough to help the poorer nations?
BIDEN: Well, the irony is, one of the reasons we all get together is to figure out how to spend more money on the poorer nations, which we do at every one of these meetings.
The further irony is -- and I think President Bush is right -- only by expanding trade are we going to have those poor nations have any opportunity of participating in the wealth of the world.
So, the irony here, Wolf, is, the symbol of all these major nations meeting flies in the face of the reality. Absent their meeting, we would not be in a position for us to -- for example, this administration, as a consequence of the last meeting, agreed to come up with another $200 million for AIDS in Africa. I don't think that's enough. But the point is, it's additional money.
BIDEN: So the question is not whether or not we are doing enough. We can do more, the G-8 nations -- seven nations should do more. But the bottom line is, if they're not together in meeting, we're not going to do much of anything. So the irony is, it's actually counterproductive, in my view. I think world trade enhances the prospects for Third World nations, and I think G-7 and G-8, depending if Russia is involved, increases the prospects of additional aid to underdeveloped nations.
BLITZER: All right, Senator Hagel, we're going to take a quick break. But I want your quick reaction to that same point. You heard John King, our White House correspondent, earlier say that some of the leaders, including Jean Chretien, the prime minister of Canada, want to rethink these entire meetings because of these demonstrations.
Is it time that these kinds of formal summits go away because of the problems that they have generated?
HAGEL: Well, first, Senator Biden is exactly right. I agree with everything he said on this for all the reasons and the points that he made.
Second, I think it is very, very important that legitimate, elected, Democratic leaders, all over the world, not be intimidated by a bunch of thugs, a bunch of anarchists who, in fact, do not have the best interests of the developing countries and the people at the bottom at heart. That is not their interest.
As a matter of fact, if you look at that agenda that the leaders of the G-8 dealt with over the last few days, much of that agenda was about how we focus on helping those nations at the bottom. Certainly trade, as Senator Biden said, but HIV-AIDS, debt reduction, so many areas that they focused tremendous amounts of energy, resources, time on was about that. We cannot allow our elected leaders be intimidated by these thugs, and we must not ever give in to that.
BLITZER: All right, Senators, stand by. We have to take a quick break. Still to come on LATE EDITION, the latest developments in the Chandra Levy investigation. But when we come back, more of our conversation with Senators Biden and Hagel. And they'll also be taking your phone calls. LATE EDITION will be right back.
BLITZER: Welcome back to LATE EDITION.
We're continuing our conversation with Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck Hagel and Delaware Democratic Senator Joe Biden.
Senator Hagel, one of the areas that the U.S., the Bush administration, and the European allies and Japan could not reach agreement on involves the whole issue of global warming and the Bush administration's decision to back away from the Kyoto agreement, the Kyoto protocol, which the administration says is fatally flawed.
Earlier in the week, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York criticized this action by the Bush administration. Listen to what Senator Clinton had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: Well, if you don't approve of the treaty as a whole and you think there should be more requirements placed on the developing world, then don't repudiate it, but go in and try, based on the fact that you are a new administration, to renegotiate or change some of the provisions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: What do you think about that criticism? Why not do what Mrs. Clinton recommends?
HAGEL: Well, again, let's put a little perspective on this issue, Wolf.
No. 1, in 1997 the Senate voted 95 to zero on a resolution based on what the Senate would ratify and what it would not regarding a climate change treaty. It was authored by Senator Bob Byrd and myself. It was very clear, very simple, very direct. It said two things: the United States Senate would not ratify a climate change treaty if, number one, it did economic harm to our country and, number two, did not include all nations of the world. Kyoto doesn't match either one of those.
As a matter of fact, Senator Byrd, other Democrats, many Republicans counseled Vice President Gore and President Clinton not to sign that treaty, saying it would never be ratified. It was signed anyway.
Now, what I find ironic about all of this is the fact that President Clinton signed that protocol in December of 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. I was there, I remember it very well. And yet, he never ever brought it to the Senate for a debate. Now, you would think if a president is going to commit a nation to a protocol as serious as this, he would have some sense that it should be debated and brought forward. That was never done. Why wasn't that done? He knew full well we would defeat it. I don't think that is an honest way to deal with these things.
We've got a president now who said, first of all, all during the campaign last year, he didn't support it. There is a better way; we must find a better way. So that should be no surprise. And he's brought some honesty to the debate.
BLITZER: Senator Biden, as you know, China does not have to comply with those global warming reductions in the Kyoto agreement. India does not have to comply. Most of your colleagues in the Senate seem to think that that treaty is fatally flawed.
BIDEN: No, I think, with all due respect to my friend Chuck, I think Senator Clinton was correct. This is not about whether or not we were for that treaty, that protocol.
The reason the president signed the protocol was he wanted to avoid what President Bush is engaging in -- that is, isolating us from rest of the world, No. 1. No. 2, he knew darn well that wasn't going to pass. It had to be renegotiated in terms of the protocol so that China did do more, India did do more, et cetera.
But what I find puzzling is, this is the second trip to Europe that the president has recently had. The last time President Bush went he said he was going to come back with an alternative, he was going to come back with another approach.
What makes President Bush look so bad and us look so bad, Wolf, is that here we are saying we don't want any parts. We won't talk about renegotiating that treaty. We won't talk about correcting the very things you said, and we have no alternative to offer. That sends a message to the rest of the world that, "Hang on, folks, we consume most of the resources. We're going to continue to pollute. We don't care what you do on your own. Do whatever you're going to do. We're on our own." And that's...
BLITZER: But, Senator Biden, in fairness to President Bush, he does say, and his administration colleagues say, they will have an alternative approach, something other than Kyoto, but they haven't come up with it yet. Why not give them more time to come up with an alternative proposal?
Biden: Well, let me put it this way, why would you just arbitrarily shut down what it took years and years to get within the same ballpark, at least, unless he says there is nothing at all about Kyoto -- nothing about it at all that could possibly be amended? If he's saying that, then he's talking about some radically different approach than anyone else has heard about.
And so the question is, do you do it within the framework of the rest of the world, and go back in and say, "Look, we don't like this, this, this and this about protocol. We want China to have to do A." But he's walked away. And when you are going to do something like that, Wolf, you ought to be prepared to at least give some people some notion -- a notional idea what you are going to propose.
Do you have any idea, Senator Hagel, when the president is going to come with his alternative proposal?
HAGEL: Well, let me address that, but let me remind Senator Biden that not one of our European friends who are squealing most loudly about this have yet ratified the treaty themselves. As a matter of fact, there was a major EU meeting last week.
BIDEN: But they're all saying we should still talk.
HAGEL: Pardon me?
BIDEN: But they're all saying, Chuck, we should be talking and negotiating now.
HAGEL: Well, we are talking and negotiating.
BIDEN: Within the context of the treaty.
HAGEL: But I find it ironic that they are lecturing us on not ratifying when they haven't ratified.
As a matter of fact, there was a major European Union meeting last week, and it was about getting the European Union, the 15 nations, to agree to the caps to start implementing Kyoto. And in fact, it blew up because they could not get agreement with some of the their own people.
Now, that says to me that we've got a bad treaty, and I think the president is exactly right here.
BIDEN: Chuck, they're not angry at us for not ratifying. They're angry at us for saying we're not even going to talk about it. That's what they are angry about, not that we're not going to ratify.
BLITZER: Senators, we only have a couple minutes left. I want to quickly get into some of the criticism that Senator Daschle, the Senate majority leader, leveled on President Bush on eve of his talks in Europe.
In an interview that appeared Thursday in USA Today, Senator Daschle said, "I think we are isolating ourselves, and in so isolating ourselves, I think we are minimizing ourselves. I don't think we are taken as seriously today as we were a few years ago."
Later, Senator Daschle admitted that the timing of his comments were probably inappropriate, although he stood by his substance. And today he was pressed on the matter further on Meet the Press. Listen to what Senator Daschle had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MEET THE PRESS")
SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: I was asked a question. When I'm asked a question, as I am this morning, I'm going to give most candid, most direct and honest answer. That's my answer, and I stand by it.
TIM RUSSERT, HOST, "MEET THE PRESS": No apology?
DASCHLE: No apology.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Very briefly, Senator Biden, is Senator Daschle right?
BIDEN: Yes, there's no need to apologize. He didn't put out a press release. He didn't go after the president. He was asked in a roaming press conference his opinion, and substantively I think he's probably right.
But, look, we should not be criticizing presidents when they're abroad. You've never heard me do that. Unfortunately, you've heard a lot of people do it before, from Newt Gingrich to Mr. Armey to every one else. But we shouldn't be doing it.
In this case it wasn't a premeditated thing, Wolf. It was an hour or an hour-and-a-half press conference. And as you could tell by the syntax of the sentences, it was not something that Daschle had thought through in terms of trying to promote.
BLITZER: OK. Unfortunately, Senators...
BIDEN: It's a shame.
BLITZER: Senators -- Senator Biden, Senator Hagel, unfortunately, we are all out of time. We have to leave it right there. It was kind of both of you to join us on LATE EDITION. Thank you both.
BIDEN: Thanks for having me.
BLITZER: Thank you.
HAGEL: Good being with you, Chuck.
BLITZER: And up next, we'll shift gears and talk about the Chandra Levy case. As the search for missing intern continues, we'll talk about the investigation with three legal heavyweights: former Clinton special counsel Lanny Davis, former Bush Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova.
LATE EDITION will continue right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES RAMSEY, D.C. POLICE CHIEF: We still don't know whether or not she met with foul play or whether or not she's missing on her own accord. But I think that, as time goes on, of course we become more and more concerned that perhaps a point may come when we just don't find her at all. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey talking about the continuing search for Chandra Levy, who disappeared on May 1.
Welcome back to LATE EDITION.
CNN's Patty Davis is covering the latest developments in this mystery that has gripped much of the United States, and she joins us now live.
BLITZER: And joining us now with some legal insight into this case are three guests: Lanny Davis was special counsel to former President Bill Clinton, Dick Thornburgh was attorney general under the first President George Bush, and Joe DiGenova is a former U.S. Attorney here in Washington.
Gentlemen, welcome back to LATE EDITION.
Joe, I want to begin with you. Where is this case heading at day 83? The police chief told me this week they don't have any really strong, hard leads.
JOSEPH DIGENOVA, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, it's probably heading toward that continuing, because the police don't really have any choice now, since they took a little while to get started and, I think, were overly solicitous of the congressman at the beginning of the investigation. But it probably now heads into a very serious obstruction-of-justice investigation of the congressman at the federal level involving the U.S. Attorney's office for D.C.
BLITZER: On the basis of what, though?
DIGENOVA: On the basis of, No. 1, his failure to cooperate fully with the police, in fact his lying to them at the early stages of the investigation, which clearly hindered it; his attempt to apparently influence the testimony of the flight attendant about whether or not he had had a relationship with her; his bizarre act of attempting to dispose of a gift box involving a watch in a park in Virginia, which, while it may seem at first glance it doesn't have anything to do with this case but in fact has everything to do with this case, because it, again, it involves conduct certainly unbecoming a member of Congress, but conduct which shows consciousness of guilt, as we call it in the law, and perhaps is part of a pattern of obstructive behavior.
We don't know, for example, if he lied to his staff and those staff members then spoke with police, he could he influencing their testimony. So there are lots of things going on here that need to be looked at involving his obstructive behavior.
BLITZER: Is that a basis for an obstruction of justice investigation against the congressman, do you think?
RICHARD THORNBURGH, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, it's certainly the basis for an investigation. Whether or not there's any offense that's been committed, of course, is going to depend on how the underlying investigation proceeds.
I think we've got to be realistic about this. As each day goes by, it becomes more and more likely that Chandra Levy was a victim of foul play. And it eventually will take on that coloration, and that will change the character of the inquiry that goes forward.
BLITZER: Well, at what point -- you're a former not only attorney general, but you're a former U.S. Attorney. At what point do they change the status of this investigation from that of a missing person investigation into the status of a homicide?
THORNBURGH: Well, I think, as Joe points out, the U.S. Attorney's office will become involved increasingly; the Department of Justice may become involved. Although, you know, there are well over 800,000 missing-person cases reported to the FBI every year, and an equal number cleared up every year, including a backlog, and only a handful of those result in a finding that there's been a homicide or the person is never found.
I remember, back in 1975, over 25 years when I was the head of the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice, our major focus and the nation's focus was on the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. Here we are, 25 years later, and that case is still open, it's never been solved. So there is such a thing as a case that just never comes to a satisfactory resolution.
BLITZER: Lanny, are these two former U.S. Attorneys jumping the gun in suggesting that there could be a really serious U.S. Attorneys investigation against Congressman Condit on the issue of obstruction of justice?
LANNY DAVIS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SPECIAL COUNSEL: Not at all. But what's interesting to me is that we're talking about obstruction, and that is the issue that some people have just never learned a lesson about. The telling the truth early yourself, and making sure that you get the facts out rather than having them dribble out. We all know, as a lesson, both from President Clinton's experience, as well as going all the way back...
BLITZER: So, well, your point is that Gary Condit should have come clean right away and said, yes, I may have had some sordid dirty linen in my background affairs with women. But, you know, this is a young woman who's missing, I'll do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of this.
DAVIS: Yes. And let me make it clear, I presume he's completely innocent of any involvement with Chandra Levy. And if it turns out to be the case, he will claim vindication. I will claim exactly the opposite. You did injury to yourself and to the investigation by not telling the truth upfront.
If his initial instinct, Joe, was well, I didn't want my wife to know about what had happened, that is long since -- the horse is out of the barn. Why wouldn't Abbe Lowell insist that his client take the microphone and say, "I'm innocent of any involvement in this disappearance. I want to tell the truth about my relationship. I don't need to go into details," and at least do that much? I'm mystified and have been now for several weeks.
THORNBURGH: I think, Wolf, that one of the things, as Lanny just alluded to, it has always been asked, now why did he not come clean with the police in the first interview? And it's always been positive that it was because he would be embarrassed if these revelations were known to his wife and his political supporters and his constituents.
My theory is different. I think he held it back because he knew as soon as he admitted it, he would be a suspect in her disappearance. That was the key motivating factor in him not telling them. And, in fact, he knew about the other relationships. He lied about those. He even tried to prevent one of his mistresses from talking to the FBI by getting her to sign a false affidavit, which he and she alone knew was false. Nobody else knew that that affidavit was false except he and the flight attendant.
So this motivation of hiding out of embarrassment -- and I agree, it could be one -- the real motivation for him was, "If I tell them that I was a lover, I'm a suspect."
BLITZER: That's a fact.
THORNBURGH: It turns out he is suspect. And now he is a suspect, but for different reasons, interestingly.
DIGENOVA: He's done everything wrong. And I think you've got to take a look at what he concealed to realize the gravity of the situation. If he had come forward at the outset, based on his intimate relationship with this young woman, and described in detail what her lifestyle was, what her thought processes were, what her moods were, what she was likely to have done, think of the head start the police would have gotten on the investigation.
As it was, it wasn't until two months later that he began to share some of that with the police, and we don't know how much. But clearly, it's not a question of whether he's involved in the disappearance. The question of whether he's honored the obligation of every citizen to comes forward with this kind of evidence.
BLITZER: All right. So, Lanny, how do you explain what Joe calls the bizarre behavior of Congressman Condit in driving across the Potomac River to Alexandria, Virginia, not far away, and dropping in a trash bin this watch case that he had apparently received from another woman in California -- and he was spotted doing so by somebody who'd recognized him on television -- only hours before that midnight search of his apartment here in the District of Columbia?
DAVIS: It's as consistent as his bizarre behavior from day one. In fact, it's consistent with covering up everything -- not only covering up matters that might be pertinent to an investigation, which leads to the possibility of obstruction, but covering up, perhaps, from his own lawyer. Did Abbe Lowell know that he was taking that watch and throwing it into a garbage can? BLITZER: Just the case, not the watch.
DAVIS: Absolutely not. I'm sure that Abbe would not represent a client that would lie to him or do something in the middle of a representation that would be so harmful. So he has apparently lied to his lawyers; he certainly has lied to the police. He may be lying to himself by saying, as his spokesman said, "Well, we're not going to talk now until the media frenzy dies down." That is exactly the opposite...
THORNBURGH: And by the way, Wolf, for all the criticism of the media, look how important it was that a citizen had watched these stories on television, knew what an unknown congressman like Gary Condit looked like, and when that citizen saw him in a park apparently disposing of something, the citizen knew who he was and knew to call the police. And it was all because the media has focused on this story.
BLITZER: All right, we're going to take a quick break.
But very, very briefly, Dick Thornburgh, if the police now suspect that he was out driving around, throwing that watch case away only hours before the search of his apartment, do they automatically suspect that, what else did he throw away?
THORNBURGH: Absolutely. That's what makes this sinister.
They discovered a watch case two months later. Lord knows what else he might have removed in the interim or other steps that he may have taken.
DIGENOVA: And by the way, the person who took his polygraph, Mr. Colvert, knew nothing of his obstructive behavior with that. And if the police -- he will never take a polygraph now, I assure you. If he does it will be a miracle.
BLITZER: Barry Colvert, the former FBI polygrapher.
DIGENOVA: And a good polygrapher, by the way. He just didn't know enough about the case to give a real polygraph.
BLITZER: We're going to get into the whole discussion of the polygraph.
We've got a lot more to talk about, but we're going to take a quick break. When we return, we'll also be taking your phone calls for Lanny Davis, Dick Thornburgh and Joe DiGenova. LATE EDITION will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN LEVY, CHANDRA LEVY'S MOTHER: It has destructively been very hard on all of us as a family.
DR. ROBERT LEVY, CHANDRA LEVY'S FATHER: We miss our daughter.
S. LEVY: We miss our daughter terribly. We want her back home alive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: The parents of the missing intern Chandra Levy speaking earlier in the week with reporters.
Welcome back to LATE EDITION.
We're continuing our discussion about this case with former Clinton special counsel Lanny Davis, former Bush Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, and former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova.
And let's get back to this issue of a polygraph. We have a caller who has a question on this from California.
Go ahead, please, with your question.
CALLER: Yes, thank you, I'm calling from Marina Del Rey, California. My name is Courtney Norman (ph).
I can't understand why the FBI has not been able to intervene and absolutely give this man the polygraph that we need to see.
BLITZER: All right. Joe DiGenova, tell us, why hasn't the FBI just ordered him to take the polygraph?
DIGENOVA: Well, the reason is, no one can be forced to take a polygraph. This has all been voluntary up until now, as has the search of the congressman's apartment, although very belatedly. No one can be forced to take a polygraph, even if they're under arrest and even if they've been indicted. So, this all has to be done with the consent of the congressman, and whether or not he takes an FBI polygraph will no doubt be determined by his lawyer.
BLITZER: You know, on that point of a polygraph, his -- the polygraph that has his lawyer organized was considered useless by the FBI. To end this whole discussion of Gary Condit once and for all, why not simply take a polygraph test and say, you know, let the chips fall where they may? Because, if the FBI and the Washington, D.C., police force say, "You know, you passed polygraph," isn't he free and clear then?
THORNBURGH: It's kind of hard to figure. As Joe says, nobody can be forced to take a polygraph, but Mr. Condit apparently wants to take his own polygraph and no other polygraph. And that kind of vest- pocket proceeding produced the kind of results that the FBI called "useless."
And it seems to me, the time's long since past, if he's willing to take a polygraph, he ought to take the right kind of polygraph, one that can produce some usable results for the investigation. Because the discovery of this young woman is what this is all about.
BLITZER: If he passes that polygraph, Lanny, the one that the FBI gives him, if he passes it, he's free and clear, right?
DAVIS: He's free and clear in at least the public's mind, or at least most of the public. But let me just try and handle...
BLITZER: What's the downside of taking it?
DAVIS: There is no downside unless a criminal defense lawyer is saying to him, you may be entrapped in answering a question innocently that may be viewed as not truthful, and you might be indicted.
So every criminal defense lawyer wants a zero risk to doing anything. And I'm suggesting, in this kind of a case, that that kind of thinking will get you into worse trouble.
He's got to take the risk that he may be entrapped or he may be falsely accused. If he's innocent, he's got to hold a press conference until every question is answered. He's got to take a polygraph test and take the risk. Anything else is just making matters worse.
BLITZER: Joe, you know, the timeline that he provided to the police initially that was made public and that we've now been able to fill in some of the blanks, some questions still remain involving Gary Condit.
For example, we now know that Chandra Levy of course was on her computer searching the web between 9:30 in the morning on that May 1 Tuesday morning until around 1:00 in the afternoon. We also now know, thanks to Vice President Dick Cheney, that at around 12:30 the vice president had a meeting with Gary Condit in the House of Representatives in the vice president's office up on Capitol Hill. It went for about 20 minutes or so, until around 12:50.
The next we know is that at around 3:30 that afternoon Congressman Condit comes back to his office on Capitol Hill. But there seems to be a lapse of where he was during that period of time.
I assume, when the D.C. Police say they want a fourth interview with him, they want him to fill in the blank on that couple of hours that, at least as of now, we don't know where he was.
DIGENOVA: Well, I'm sure that's one of the things they want to do, because the original chronology that was put out by his office is inaccurate in several respects, whether or not he was with the ABC News correspondent when he said she was...
BLITZER: Originally he said he was with her...
BLITZER: ... during that 1:00 hour...
DIGENOVA: And she says...
BLITZER: ... at lunch, and she says, no, that was the next day, May 2... DIGENOVA: That's right.
BLITZER: ... they had coffee late in the afternoon the next day.
DIGENOVA: Right. But I think also what are they going want to do now is they're going to ask him about that watch case.
Because, by the way, in the polygraph that Mr. Colvert gave, the one question that was not in the control questions that were made public was, what else about this investigation do you know or have you not told us? That is the -- by the way, in every polygraph that's ever given, that question is always asked. It was not asked in this polygraph test. And the reason is, there were other things that they feared that would make him show deception. And the fact that he disposed of that watch box in Virginia showed that, if they had asked him that question, he would have failed the polygraph test.
BLITZER: But couldn't there be just a simple answer on the watch box, he just didn't want to let this other woman...
DIGENOVA: Not any longer.
BLITZER: ... be exposed and...
DIGENOVA: No, not any longer, Wolf. We have long since passed the innocent explanation for Gary Condit's conduct now. He has obstructed this investigation from day one. There is no innocent explanation for these obstructive behaviors.
If there is an explanation, he has to give it, as Lanny has asked him to do as a good public servant. He won't do it, he hasn't done it, and he isn't going to do it.
BLITZER: All right. We're going to take a quick break. We have a lot more to talk about.
For our international viewers, "WORLD NEWS" is next.
For our North American audience, stay tuned for the second hour of LATE EDITION. We'll check the hour's top stories and take more of your phone calls about the Chandra Levy case for Lanny Davis, Dick Thornburgh and Joe DiGenova.
Then, a conversation about Katharine Graham with "The Washington Post"'s Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee.
Plus our LATE EDITION roundtable and Bruce Morton's "Last Word." It's all ahead in the next hour of LATE EDITION.
BLITZER: This is the second hour of LATE EDITION, the last word in Sunday talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) D.C. POLICE CHIEF CHARLES RAMSEY: We still don't have a hard lead. We still don't have anything that causes us now to focus our investigation...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: She has been missing for 83 days. Where does the investigation for Chandra Levy go from here? We'll ask former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, former White House special counsel Lanny Davis and former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATHARINE GRAHAM, FORMER PUBLISHER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I was having lunch with Woodward. "Tell me who Deep Throat is." And he looked so stricken, and I said, "It's all right. You don't have to."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: She was an icon in American journalism. A look back at the leadership and life of Katharine Graham with two people who knew her well: former executive editor of "The Washington Post," Ben Bradlee, and writer Sally Quinn.
Plus our LATE EDITION roundtable: Jake Tapper, Tamala Edwards and David Brooks. And Bruce Morton has the "Last Word" on leading a superpower.
Welcome back to LATE EDITION. We'll continue our discussion about the Chandra Levy case in just a moment. But first, let's go to CNN's Donna Kelley in Atlanta for a check of the hour's top stories.
BLITZER: Thank you very much, Donna.
Now back to our conversation with former White House special council Lanny Davis, former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova.
Let's take a caller from Florida. Please go ahead with your question.
CALLER: Yes, sir. I would like to know what the panel thinks about the congressman being on the Intelligence Committee and his history of these extramarital affairs?
BLITZER: That's a good question, Dick. The fact is that, as a member of the House Intelligence Committee, he is privy to the nation's top secrets, the most important secrets. We interviewed James Woolsey on my program this week, and he says almost everything is shared with these two committees, these two select committees. Yet, he has to undergo absolutely no background checks by the FBI or anyone else to be a member of that committee.
THORNBURGH: Well, it's a further reason for concern. Some people have suggested that because of his extramarital relationships, and because of the focus on him in the Chandra Levy case, that he might be subject to blackmail, and that people might be intent upon prying loose official secrets from him. I don't necessarily accredit that, but it indicates the kind of sensitive position he is in. And that underscores the need to come forward and make a clean...
DIGENOVA: I think by his very conduct, where he has attempted to cover up these relationships, he has demonstrated that he is blackmailable. And in fact, if he didn't care about anybody knowing about the relationships, that would be one thing. On the other hand, the fact that he does care very deeply that it be kept a secret, does make him vulnerable.
That doesn't mean he has been blackmailed. It doesn't mean that he would ever compromise national security. But it does raise an issue for the House of Representatives to deal with internally, which is whether or not he should continue on that committee given what has occurred in this case.
BLITZER: And just to point out, Joe DiGenova, you've prosecuted, you've been involved in espionage cases as a U.S. Attorney. Are you suggesting that he should at least recuse himself from that committee right now as this investigation goes forward?
DIGENOVA: Well, I think one of the things the FBI ought to do as part of their part of this investigation is look into all of his relationships and determine whether or not there were some people that he new, perhaps women, who may have had relationships with foreign intelligence services.
Certainly, they will do that, not just because I just said it, but one of the things they always look at when someone has access to classified information is, how could they have been compromised? And I think the House of Representatives needs to do that on their own to determine whether or not his continuing service on the committee at this time, in light of these circumstances, is in the interest of the House.
BLITZER: That would be a decision for Dick Gephardt, the Democratic leader in the House, to make, whether or not he should remain on that committee.
DAVIS: Yes. And I'd like to address the role of the Democratic members of Congress. My good friend Joe Lieberman has been on another network this morning saying that he's not going to comment about the case because we ought to be focusing on Chandra Levy, and I've heard other members of Congress, including Senator Daschle, say that.
I just respectfully disagree that that means we should say nothing as Democrats. I think that we shouldn't be talking about recusal because of private relationships. It just distracts. There are a lot of members of Congress that might have to recuse themselves on that basis.
But I do think members of Congress, and especially Congressman Gephardt, ought to be calling on Gary Condit to tell the truth and stop impeding the investigation. That focuses attention on Chandra Levy, not on the relationships, not on Gary Condit. And I don't know why there's such a wall of silence about at least calling on him as their colleagues in Congress to tell the truth and do it now.
THORNBURGH: Yes, I think that raises a very good point. I haven't heard one public figure, Republican or Democrat, stand up for Congressman Condit in terms, not of whether he's guilty of anything or not, but whether he's doing the right thing in stonewalling this whole matter and not coming forward and making an explanation as to what his relationships were with this young woman so that the police can use that information to try to help solve her disappearance.
BLITZER: Joe, what does it mean that, this week we learned that a special unit of the FBI that specializes in cases that are hard to crack is taking over responsibility, looking at this investigation from the FBI's standpoint, although the D.C. police force remains the lead investigator?
DIGENOVA: Well, I think what they're doing is they have assigned some particular agents who have proven themselves in the past to be very good at solving crimes. And I think the bureau has decided that they need to add some resources to it. I don't think it's because of any lack of confidence in the D.C. Police, although the chief himself has said he inherited a police department with a culture of mediocrity.
But I think the bureau has to act on its own. It has been called in. It's being asked to do certain things. As you know, they're doing all the crime lab work because, as you know, the D.C. Police Department does not have a crime lab, has never had one. They've always used the FBI. So the bureau always plays a vital role in these cases in D.C.
But they have now assigned new people who have a special expertise in cases like this that are hard to solve. And that is an important move, by the way, in my opinion.
BLITZER: Given the criticism of the FBI, the mistakes that have been made over these past few years, the highly publicized mistakes, a lot of Americans, apparently, have lost their confidence in the FBI. And if the FBI were to take a more assertive role in this investigation, is that something the American public should have confidence in?
THORNBURGH: Oh, I think so. For all the criticism that's been directed at the FBI, I've worked with them on one form or another for over 30 years and I still think they're the premier law enforcement agency in the world. The FBI lab, for its scrutiny that's come about in the last couple of years, is still the best scientific capability that law enforcement has.
I think the FBI will do exactly what is expected of them here. They'll provide support to another local law enforcement agency. They will assume investigative jurisdiction if the United States Attorney's Office so directs and finds that there's a potential criminal offense. I think the American people can have a lot of confidence in the FBI, as they have in the past.
BLITZER: And, Lanny, very briefly, you noticed this week the House Ethics Committee rejected a request from Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia to go ahead and take a look at Gary Condit's behavior. Did they do the right thing there?
DAVIS: I think it's probably a little premature, because it gets to politicize the issue. Having Bob Barr come forward is the best thing that Gary Condit has going for him. But I think we have to be careful about politicizing the issue and having Democrats call for public disclosure and get the facts out, and that I would call upon my fellow Democrats to do more openly.
BLITZER: We only have a few seconds left, Dick, but I know you were struck by a letter to the editor in "The Washington Post" today.
THORNBURGH: Yes, I do read the papers, and I read "The Washington Post" this morning and I came across a very poignant letter, which has to do with a role of the media in this investigation.
It's a letter from a man who's daughter has been missing since June of 1997. Imagine the anguish in that family.
And this is what particularly struck me. He said, "The greatest challenge in solving these disappearances is to keep the story alive." And he noted, "Without media interest, the search and investigative efforts wither."
So for all the criticism we want to heap on those of you in the media for the attention that's been focused on this case, that's really the best way to keep this case alive and in the public sense of people who may know something coming forward, people who may, let's hope, recognize this young woman, wherever she may be. And I think it's time for sticking up for the beleaguered media.
BLITZER: Unfortunately, we have to leave it right there on a positive note on the media, God knows.
BLITZER: We don't get enough positive notes on the media. I want to thank very much Dick Thornburgh, Joe DiGenova, Lanny Davis for joining us once again.
And just ahead, remembering a legend. We'll talk about the life and times of "Washington Post" publisher Katharine Graham, who died this past week, with two people who knew her well, journalists Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee. LATE EDITION will continue right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA WALTERS, ANCHOR, "60 MINUTES": She was a very courageous gutsy woman. She never really lost her femininity and she was an inspiration, especially, especially to women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE WALLACE, ANCHOR, "60 MINUTES": She was a dear friend. She was an earthier woman in her language than some people understood about her. But she was she was a loyal, good friend.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Mike Wallace and Barbara Walters remembering "Washington Post" Publisher Katharine Graham who died this past week after a fall.
Welcome back to LATE EDITION.
The family and legions of friends and admirers will bid a final farewell to Katharine Graham tomorrow at a funeral service here in Washington.
Joining us now to talk about Mrs. Graham and her impact are two people with whom she was very close. Sally Quinn is an author and journalist with "The Washington Post," and her husband Benjamin Bradlee -- he served as the executive editor of the "Post" is now the paper's vice president at-large.
Welcome to LATE EDITION. Thanks to both of you for joining us.
And, Ben, I said earlier this week that she was probably the most powerful woman in American journalism ever. And I got a lot of e-mail from viewers saying, why did you have to say "woman"? Maybe she was the most powerful person in American journalism ever.
BEN BRADLEE, FORMER MANAGING EDITOR, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, I think -- let's go over the list. It isn't that big. I would think she was. Powerful women in 20th century, she would have to be right up there with Mrs. Roosevelt perhaps. But she was the premier American publisher. She got tested more than most of them, and she stood up with such bravery.
BLITZER: Tell us about this woman. Many of our viewers in the United States and around world, they probably don't know who Katharine Graham really was.
SALLY QUINN, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, you know, it was interesting, we were talking in the green room, and Jake Tapper said, you know, it's amazing that someone as powerful as she is -- as she was -- had no enemies. Why is that? And I said, well, you know, I think part of it is that Kay did not hold grudges. She would get mad about something or something, and then would move on.
And people would write these really vicious things about her, and I would get really upset and she would be upset. And for two years, I wouldn't speak to the person. You know, they'd walk in the room and I'd turn away. And then I'd show up at her house and there they'd be. And I would go over, and I'd say, I thought we weren't supposed to speak? Oh, what did they do?
QUINN: Why? I forgot.
BLITZER: And, Ben, she came to this position of enormous influence and power by accident. She was not gearing her whole life to become the publisher of "The Washington Post."
BRADLEE: She was raising children and running a household for a guy -- a marvelously attractive, eclectic, charming man, and she was his support system. That was what she was brought up to do. And when he died, and there was no -- you know, she had nothing to fall back on except a set of genes that you don't see once in a lifetime.
BLITZER: How did she do that, Sally? How did she emerge from effectively being a housewife to becoming the publisher of "The Washington Post" and taking that newspaper from what it was -- a second-tier, if that, local newspaper, to a top-tier, one of the most important newspapers in the world?
QUINN: Well, it was sort of thrust on her in the beginning, but she obviously didn't have to assume that responsibility.
I think Kay was extremely smart. She was a really smart woman. And she also had the most extraordinary sense of responsibility. She worked harder than anybody I knew. She took things really seriously. She was what we used to call in the old days a "blue stocking." I mean, she really studied hard. Whenever she had to make a speech, she'd write it and rewrite it and go over it. He book, she took five or six years with that. She wanted to make sure it was perfect.
She really cared so much about doing the right thing. She had enormous integrity. She wanted the paper to be excellent. She had this sense of, well, I said, responsibility that she got from her family, of making this into one of the top newspapers in the country. And I think it was that drive, not personal ambition at all, that made her what she was.
BLITZER: During the height of the Vietnam War in 1971, Ben, she made a decision, together with the editors of "The New York Times" and the publisher of "The New York Times," to go ahead and effectively defy the U.S. government, the national security apparatus, and threaten to publish the Pentagon Papers outlining the origins of the war, even though they were telling "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times" this would cause irreparable damage to U.S. national security.
BRADLEE: Well, that was baloney. It was baloney, and it's hard to say that it's baloney before the Supreme Court has agreed with you and before even the prosecutor in this case said there were no secrets involved and it did not damage. But it really was baloney, and the idea that President Nixon's crowd, you know, the attorney general who himself later went to jail -- it's...
BLITZER: But the intimidation -- it's so -- how does a publisher who has to worry about the health of the newspaper stand up to that kind of pressure?
BRADLEE: Because she's surrounded by people she trusts, and she has this instinct of what is right and what is wrong, finely developed.
QUINN: And as you always say, the guts of a burglar.
BRADLEE: Yes, she did.
BLITZER: Well, when you say -- explain what you mean by that.
QUINN: Well, she had enormous courage. I mean, nothing intimidated her. Finally, when she seemed to be this person who was shy and retiring and slightly insecure, but when it came to the bottom line, she was really out there.
And I called her this week in the paper a wallenda (ph), she was on the high wire, and she really sort of enjoyed the high wire act. But, she never flinched. Even when it looked like the reporters' notebooks would be subpoenaed, Kay asked for everyone to give her their notebooks so that if anybody had to go to jail, she would be the one subpoenaed.
BLITZER: It's amazing. Just to button up that whole Pentagon Papers issue, the Supreme Court eventually, I think in 1972, by a six to three opinion -- '71, whatever -- they agreed that she was right, "The New York Times" was right and that national security would not be irreparably damaged.
BRADLEE: But, you've got to remember also that that six to three decision wasn't the whopping victory that it sounds like, because of the six there were several who said, go get them, go after them criminally after the fact. And two or three of them, two particularly, said sue them. Sue them, indict them.
BLITZER: All right. We're going to continue this conversation. We're going to go to the next major event in her life and the life of all of us, Watergate. But we're going to take a quick break.
We'll continue our conversation with Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee when LATE EDITION returns.
BLITZER: Welcome back. We're talking with Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee of "The Washington Post" about Katherine Graham, the publisher who passed away this past week.
Ben, in Watergate, in the early '70s, you had these two young kids, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, inexperienced reporters on the Metro section of the newspaper, and they were coming to you, with huge, huge stories, allegations, and you and Kay Graham stood by these two young reporters.
BRADLEE: Well, they were right, in two words, three words. Their stories checked out. They were really carrying the coal for us on this story, and all sorts of people would say to us, "You've got to give it to the experienced ones," but how could you take it away from them when they were right?
BLITZER: They weren't your White House correspondents.
BRADLEE: Oh, they were two kids, very ambitious kids. And they saw a good story and stuck with it.
BLITZER: And Katharine Graham, at that time, she must have been coming under enormous pressure from officials in the government, at the White House, who were raising questions about these two young reporters who are coming up with these new leads almost every single day, and she decided to withstand that kind of pressure.
QUINN: She did forever. I mean, Ben can tell you that she protected the reporters and editors always. And as you know, she had all these incredible powerful and famous friends and people who would put enormous pressure on her, particularly if they had done something wrong and the "Post" was relentless about reporting it. And she never came at the reporters, never tried to get anybody to change his story. She would always protect people and stick by the reporters, no matter what. And certainly Ben can tell you more about that than I.
BLITZER: Was there ever a moment that she began to worry about the financial health of this newspaper, given the pressures that she was under?
BRADLEE: Well, sure, she was human. The price of the stock fell almost in half.
BLITZER: During Watergate?
BRADLEE: During Watergate, at the beginning of Watergate, and during the end of the Pentagon Papers. But that was never on the table in the decision-making process. And I didn't -- you know, I'm not -- I'm interested in it, but I wasn't that interested in it. And we were told specifically, that is not on the table. That and the television stations and all of that that the Nixon administration was trying to take away from us.
BLITZER: Do you think publishers are that supportive of their reporters and editors today as she was then in a story of that kind of magnitude?
BRADLEE: They should be so lucky.
QUINN: Well, certainly, I mean, Don Graham is, but...
BLITZER: The current publisher of "The Washington Post," the son of...
QUINN: The Salzburgers (ph) are, but I think most publishers probably are not.
BLITZER: Most publishers would be a little nervous in standing up to the White House.
And all the time, she ever asked you who Deep Throat was, did she?
BRADLEE: No, and you're not going to either.
BLITZER: I would ask you, but I'm sure you're not going to tell me. But were you surprised -- would you have told her if she would have asked you?
BLITZER: But your two reporters trusted you?
BRADLEE: I had given my word that I would tell no one.
BLITZER: Including the publisher of the newspaper?
BRADLEE: Including the publisher and including other people at this table.
QUINN: I've never asked.
BLITZER: I would ask, but I know he's not going to give me...
QUINN: I'm too proud.
BLITZER: Her legacy, Sally Quinn, Kay Graham, her legacy to our business of journalism?
QUINN: Well, she's, you earlier said, "the greatest woman journalist." She is, I think, the greatest journalist of our time. She's a brilliant person, and we forgot to mention earlier what fun she was.
Somebody asked me the other day, what's the one word that comes to mind. I said "fun." She was so much fun. She had a great sense of humor. She had more integrity than anyone I've ever known, values and a sense of decency, a sense of right and wrong that was extraordinary.
BLITZER: And wouldn't it be fair -- and I know I was influenced in going into my decision-making in the early '70s, becoming a journalist, because of what you, Katharine Graham, and your colleagues at "The Washington Post" were doing.
But isn't it fair to say that the kind of journalism we have today, the investigative journalism, is a direct result of what Katharine Graham set in motion? BRADLEE: I think that's true, but I think, you know, all journalism becomes investigative as soon as you ask the second question. But she showed that you can investigate -- there's no one too high, there's no corner too dark that doesn't benefit by a light on it and energy behind it.
And, as Sally said, she had a lot of fun in it, and made it such fun for other people.
QUINN: And, Wolf, people always have thought that the White House was the center of Washington, but it really was Kay's house. And it seems really unthinkable that she's not there anymore, that that big house on the hill will be empty.
BLITZER: In Georgetown.
QUINN: She was the center of the city.
BLITZER: You're going to go home now and polish up your eulogy for tomorrow's service?
BRADLEE: You've got me right, that's true.
BLITZER: Well, we'll be watching.
BLITZER: Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn, thanks for joining us.
And this programming note, CNN will bring you live coverage tomorrow of Katharine Graham's funeral service at the National Cathedral here in Washington. Our coverage, which will be anchored by Judy Woodruff, begins at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.
And just ahead, what kind of impression did President Bush on his second European trip? We'll go 'round the table on that and much more with Jake Tapper, Tamala Edwards and David Brooks. LATE EDITION will be right back.
BLITZER: Welcome back.
Time now for our LATE EDITION roundtable. Joining me this week, Tamala Edwards, staff writer for "TIME" magazine, filling in for Susan page; Jake Tapper, Washington correspondent for Salon.com and co-host of CNN's "TAKE FIVE," he's filling in for Steve Roberts; and, David Brooks, senior editor for the Weekly Standard, he's not filling in for anyone.
BLITZER: Thanks to all of you for joining us.
All right, Jake, this investigation of Chandra Levy, we left it off, the discussion with our three attorneys earlier, with Dick Thornburgh saying that the media's played a positive role in this. But is it moving anywhere? Do you see any light at end of the tunnel?
JAKE TAPPER, CNN COMMENTATOR: I don't. Although, every time it looks like the tide might be shifting towards Condit, that maybe there really isn't anything there because he didn't have anything to do with it, he does something like go to a dumpster and put a box into it and pretend that -- try to evade this all even more. It's just very, very bizarre behavior. And you keep coming back to all more speculation about his role.
BLITZER: Is there any explanation for this bizarre behavior?
DAVID BROOKS, CNN COMMENTATOR: Sure, he wants to minimize damage in other ways. There seems to be coming out today a reasonably good alibi he has for May 1 -- meetings with Cheney, meetings on the Hill, phone calls. So that's the one new development.
I do think there is a media problem brewing, though. I think we have been a positive role in this. But as the story, as the information tracks down, and as our voices track up, I think some of the dirt will begin to splash on us. And I think that is something we need worry about.
BLITZER: How worried should we be, Tamala?
TAMALA EDWARDS, CNN COMMENTATOR: Well, not that worried. I think when we get to that point editors and producers will move on.
You know, what's curious, you say that the time line had changed. It's taken two months for him to start changing this time line, and that is why we keep focusing on him and why, I think, the public keeps paying attention.
BLITZER: He could survive, I think, relatively quickly and easily, politically, we're talking about, if he were to take this FBI or D.C. Police polygraph and pass it. Wouldn't it be over for him?
TAPPER: I don't know. I mean, the D.C. Police have certainly done themselves no favors in this investigation. We were talking about the time line a second ago. You know, originally his office put out the time line on May 1 that he was meeting with his producer from ABC news. She later said, no, that was May 2. And then the D.C. Police have yet to talk to her, which is, I just think, the most bizarre thing of all time. Condit might survive; he might not. But the D.C. Police need to get act together.
BLITZER: Is the D.C. Police on top of this investigation?
BROOKS: I don't know. You know, I think, you know, they have been horrible on the shows because they come on, they say nothing. And we really don't know what they're doing.
You know, there are no leads. So, I mean, its a very difficult case. And this happens all the time. I was a police reporter, and my impression was when they really focus attention and want to solve a crime, they do get it, because they are smart people in police departments. But it just takes a while. EDWARDS: But at this point when you've got the police chief saying that this feels so much like a cold case and they don't know what else to do, I think that does not bode well in terms of Condit. I do think it's over one way or the other. He's not going to be the congressman after this election. And, I mean, at best, hopefully the worst thing that happens to him is he is no longer the congressman. The worse would be there is some sort of case to be made there.
BLITZER: We were quick, though, many of us, early on when Bill Clinton found himself in a mess with an intern in Washington, did a lot of speculation that he was toast and he survived.
EDWARDS: He was Bill Clinton, though.
BLITZER: So, you are saying that Gary Condit is no Bill Clinton?
EDWARDS: He's no Bill Clinton.
TAPPER: And he doesn't have Bill Clinton's army behind him, which is what Bill Clinton had.
BLITZER: But he's got Abbe Lowell, I guess, but that's not necessarily the complete army.
Let's talk about President Bush's performance on the world stage this week.
Did he have a problem, David, when Tom Daschle, on the eve of his talks over there in London and then later in Genoa, he criticized the way bush has been conducting foreign policy? You know, the criticism is supposed to stop at the water's edge.
BROOKS: Yes, that has been eroding. Daschle made these comments as a little bit of fire storm. I really consider that a non-story. Republicans have been egregious sometimes about that. But people who are meeting presidents expect them to have critics, especially from the opposing party. I think that was a non-issue.
Bush has continued to benefit from the fact that the people in Europe consider him a moron. They are learning now, and I found in conversations with Europeans, they are learning now he is not a moron; that he's willing to assert U.S. policy on Kyoto and things like missile defense. And there's a growing respect for him.
BLITZER: You know, when Daschle was criticized this week for making those statements -- and Daschle himself said they were untimely and maybe timing was not good but the substance was good -- they did point out that when Bill Clinton used to travel abroad, Republicans did not stop in criticizing him.
For example, they cited this. Tom DeLay in 1998 when Clinton was abroad, saying this about then-President Clinton: "I'm suggesting that the president of the United States cannot be believed, and I think it's reflected in his foreign policy."
And then in 1998, Newt Gingrich saying this about Bill Clinton while he was abroad: "These are two weak presidents trying to hold each other up," referring to President Clinton and then-Russian- President Yeltsin at the time. So it's not extraordinary what Tom Daschle did this week.
TAPPER: Well, forget Gingrich and DeLay, I mean, in George W. Bush's first foreign policy speech as a candidate for president, he referred to the Clinton administration's foreign policy as being scattered, as being like a cork floating down the stream. And President Clinton, at the time, was in Europe. I mean, this is the silliest non-story that we have going this week, I think.
EDWARDS: And we have to look at the other reason it's a non- story. What will be remembered out of Genoa is the young man that got killed. I think more so than whatever Tom Daschle had to say will be that.
BLITZER: Is going to be a martyr for these anti-globalization protesters now whenever these international meetings convene?
BROOKS: He could be, but, you know, these protesters are now on automatic pilot. They are people who are against capitalism, or they're against something, they're not for anything. So they are just on automatic pilot. They like protesting.
It should be said about the criticism of Bush that the strongest criticism you here, so far, sotto voce, is -- I like to get Italian references, since we're talking about Genoa...
BLITZER: Can you translate that for those who don't speak Italian?
BROOKS: Under the voice, whisperings -- is coming from the right and it's about the defense budget and Bush's emasculating of the defense budget. And so far, it hasn't erupted, but a lot of senators are talking about it amongst themselves and especially on the right.
So if we're talking about Bush, the strongest critics are about to come from the right and sometimes within the own administration.
BLITZER: And there have been some critics of President Bush from the right, like Jesse Helms on embracing effusively as he has, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
TAPPER: Yes, and some of the strongest criticism, of course, coming from The Weekly Standard from Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol, who have had very, very forceful things to say.
I think that one of the weirdest things about Bush's trip, when it comes to Kyoto, I think in a lot of ways, Bush has gotten bad rap on Kyoto. The Senate voted against Kyoto, in the sense of the Senate resolution a few years ago; the European nations, most of them haven't ratified it.
But there's this question about what alternative is Bush going to bring to the G-8 powers. And three different prime ministers during this trip -- three different prime ministers were under the impression that Bush was going to bring an alternative to the table in October in Marrakech. And the White House press secretary, Leonard Ari Fleischer, said that that was not true, that Bush made no such promise.
So, in terms of how much he's charming them, I think he's confusing them, at least to a degree.
EDWARDS: I think Jake makes an excellent point. I mean, Bush is going down on record so much for what he's against. He's against the ABM Treaty, he's against Kyoto. But he's not showing up and saying, "This is what we're putting in its place." And everything he's saying is so vague, it makes people wonder, well, what's really in there that he wants to put down as a marker?
BLITZER: Leonard Ari Fleischer?
TAPPER: That's his name.
BROOKS: Is Jake your original name?
TAPPER: It's Jacob.
BLITZER: All right. We just wanted to clarify that.
We're going to continue and pick up this conversation. We have to take a quick break. More of our roundtable when LATE EDITION continues.
BLITZER: Welcome back to our roundtable.
David, let's button up this summit, the meeting today between Presidents Bush and Putin, the agreement that they had, they're going to start negotiating now in tandem the missile defense shield that the Bush administration wants and reducing the nuclear stockpiles that the Russians want. Is this good?
BROOKS: Oh yes, it's good, and it's pretty important.
Listen, six months ago, no one was more against missile defense than Vladimir Putin. Now he's signing on to an agreement that somehow supports it.
So the lesson is twofold. First of all, you -- when the U.S. president acts like the U.S. president, even on missile defense, which was hostilely objected to, he can get his way. And then the second thing is the strategic intelligence of the Bush administration giving Putin a face-saving gesture, which is something he badly wants, which is the reduction of the warheads.
So they have two tracks. They put them together, they're complementary. And Bush comes out a big winner. BLITZER: And the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, will be going to Moscow on Tuesday to begin these negotiations. We'll of course be watching.
It's now six months, 180 days, since President Bush was inaugurated. The CNN/"TIME" magazine poll has these opinions of President Bush. Let's put them up on the screen.
Seventy percent of the American people says he's likable; 63 percent say he's smart enough; 59 percent say he's honest; 58 percent say he's compassionate; 51 percent say he's a strong leader.
Those seem like, Jake, pretty good numbers for the president.
TAPPER: Yes, pretty good, and I think that he's had a pretty good run. I think the Democrats have been scrambling and weak, and they're just now starting to get a message together against him. I think people are very reluctant to -- Democrats are very reluctant to criticize President Bush so early in his term. And I think that those numbers will probably increase and then decrease, just like all poll numbers.
BLITZER: And his favorability numbers have increased, a little bit of improvement over the past week.
EDWARDS: I think he's tracking very much so with what we saw in the campaign, that the things that people liked most about him was his personality. When you say, is somebody a strong enough leader, I think that gets into the question of competence, which they've always had questions about. But then, if you compare him to President Clinton at this time, who really was in disarray, I think those numbers look pretty good for him.
BLITZER: That White House six months into the Clinton administration was a mess.
BLITZER: I personally remember covering it.
BROOKS: Yes. But here's the downside for Bush. You know, he's popular, but, if you look at what happens to his measures programmatically when they go up to Capitol Hill, they get shrunk. The faith-based initiative, education, they just get shrunk. And on the Hill the Republicans are on defense, even holding a majority in one house.
So that is an issue problem. It's not a personality problem for Bush, as those polls indicate, but they still have an issue problem.
EDWARDS: Faith-based in particular says there is truly a strategic problem in the White House. This should not be the mess that it is. That House bill looks ridiculous.
BLITZER: And another major decision the president's going to have to make soon, we assume, is funding for the stem cell research. The CNN/"TIME" magazine poll asks, should the government fund this kind of stem cell research from human embryos? Yes, 43 percent. No, 27 percent. 27 percent also saying they're unsure.
But this past week, Jake, the Republican senator from Tennessee, Bill Frist, announced that he favors such funding for embryonic stem cell research. And he's of course, as everyone knows, very anti- abortion rights.
TAPPER: You know, I don't get this. This is the most morally relativistic issue that I see on Capitol Hill today. If you believe that life begins at conception, that means that life begins at conception, that means you can't be tinkering with embryonic stem cells. And I don't understand why the pro-life senators are supporting this. It just seems to me to be rank hypocrisy.
BLITZER: Well, Frist is not alone, Orrin Hatch and several others.
TAPPER: No. And I do not understand why this is even a decision for President Bush, or why -- I guess the idea that Karl Rove is the one making the decisions shows you how political this is. But the fact is, if you believe that life begins at conception, you have to oppose this.
EDWARDS: Yes, but if you have someone at home who has Alzheimer's or Parkinson's or many of these other diseases, which many of these people do, this is why you see this happening. And I think it's fascinating, because I think on the issue of abortion, it's very easy for people to push it away, to say theoretically, if it was my daughter, this is what she should do. But everyone has someone in their family -- or they look forward to the future for themselves and say, what if I'm the one with Alzheimer's, what if I'm the one with Parkinson's? And that's why you get into this relativistic argument.
TAPPER: But you don't get to say those decisions if you believe that life begins at conception. You don't get to make those distinctions.
EDWARDS: What do you know? It's messy.
TAPPER: What, life begins at conception, unless of course it could benefit me or my family?
BLITZER: But, David, the argument that Orrin Hatch makes and Bill Frist makes is that these embryonic stem cells that are going to be used for the research were going to be discarded anyway, so why not use them potentially to help cure some of these debilitating diseases?
BROOKS: Right, so they're not necessarily viable. Though if you do believe life is fertilization, they are fertilized embryos.
And I think Bush is actually genuinely struggling with this, and which is the reason the Pope's visit and the meeting with the Pope this week is so important, because the Pope will surely raise the issue. I think Bush has been right to hold off until talking to the Pope. Here's the one guy on earth who you could -- you, as president of the United States, can feel humble in front of. And he's right to ask him. And the Pope is a straight-laced guy who will give the Catholic Church position, which is this is wrong. And I sort of admire Bush for hanging out for a week.
BLITZER: What do you think Bush is going to do in the end?
BROOKS: Oh, I think he's going to be with Frist, that he's going to support the research.
TAPPER: How? How?
EDWARDS: Well, the pope of the Republican Party, Ronald Reagan, one could say, is the pope of the Republican Party, sitting there with Alzheimer's, and his wife is making it clear through advisers that she thinks that he supports stem-cell research.
BROOKS: She was always pro-choice.
BLITZER: All right. We have to leave it right there. You're going to be confused.
TAPPER: I don't get it.
BLITZER: You're going to be asking these questions for a while. We'll answer them next week on LATE EDITION.
TAPPER: All right.
BLITZER: Thanks for joining us.
TAPPER: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Jake filling in. Tamala filling in.
EDWARDS: Thank you.
BLITZER: David not filling in. Thanks for joining us.
BROOKS: I've got nothing to do.
BLITZER: And up next, Bruce Morton's "Last Word."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mr. Bush will have to learn, as Mr. Clinton did, that, yes, the U.S. is the world's only superpower, may own lots of nuclear weapons, but that doesn't mean you always get your way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Why being a leader is not always enough to solve the world's problems.
BLITZER: Time now for Bruce Morton's "Last Word" on the limits of being a superpower.
MORTON (voice-over): President Bush is in Europe, his second trip as president. Some Democrats are attacking him for straying from Bill Clinton's international policies, while some pundits note that Bush's policies look more like Clinton's than they once did.
The two men differ, of course, on missile defense, but they are alike on a number of things. The United States may as well talk to North Korea. Why not? The United States might as well trade with China. Bringing China into the world community may not improve its human rights record, but keeping it out, trying to deny the Beijing the Olympics, probably wouldn't help on human rights either.
And Mr. Bush will have to learn, as Mr. Clinton did, that, yes, the U.S. is the world's only superpower, may own lots of nuclear weapons, but that doesn't mean you always get your way.
Clinton as president spent much time trying to broker peace in the Middle East. No luck.
Bush as president hasn't yet been as personally involved, but he did send his CIA director and then his secretary of state to the region. No luck for them either.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: And as we head into the 21st century, we must think about new ways to keep the peace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORTON: Even a superpower can't compel peace. The old formula is land for peace. The Israelis give the Palestinians land; the Palestinians practice peace. But some Arabs -- you can argue about how much control Yasser Arafat has -- but some groups -- Hamas, Islamic Jihad, whomever -- don't want peace. They want all of land, and they want to get it by driving the Jews into the sea. And those groups have enough guerrillas, enough suicide-bombing volunteers to keep peace from happening.
Then, some Israelis don't want to give up parts of the land, don't want to share control of Jerusalem, for instance. Prime Minister Sharon the other day called for more Israeli settlements in the Golan Heights. But giving the heights back to Syria would have to be a part of any peace with that country.
Peace only works when both sides want it. If enough people don't want it so that terror and violence can be sustained, it won't happen. The Middle East is the most obvious example, but then there's Northern Ireland, there are the various ethnic disputes in what used to be Yugoslavia. There's the generations-old struggle between Muslims and Hindus in Kashmir. There's -- well, you get the idea.
It's fine to be president of a superpower, but there are things you still can't do, some fights you probably can't resolve.
I'm Bruce Morton.
BLITZER: Thanks, Bruce.
Now it's time for you to have the "Last Word." Many of you continue to weigh in on the case of missing intern Chandra Levy.
T.C. writes this: "I'm sick and tired of the Levy case. It would be nice if all of the missing people would get the coverage that this case has."
Gillian from Ohio: "Gary Condit is a disgrace to his office and a proven liar, and he does not deserve the privilege of representing the fine people of California in the House of Representatives."
About the comments of one of our guests last week, Republican Congressman Chris Shays, Merville from North Dakota writes this: "By Mr. Shays' own comments, we are to believe that our Congress is full of men who cheat on their wives. Mr. Shays, therefore, will not criticize Gary Condit for his infidelity because it appears to be such a commonplace activity. Instead, he berates the man for having lied about it. Perhaps Shays and quite a few other notables who are slow to condemn their colleague's cheating ways should be reminded that infidelity itself is a lie."
And finally, Mary from Michigan says, "My heart goes out to the Levy family, and I hope and pray that somewhere, somehow this young woman is still alive. As to Condit, I feel not one iota of sympathy for his predicament and embarrassment over revealed affairs and lifestyle. He should be ashamed. Power is a frightening thing. I sincerely hope that every old, powerful man having an affair with a naive young woman -- often as young as his children -- is reevaluating his behavior because of this incident."
As always, I invite your comments. You can e-mail me at LATEEDITION@CNN.com. And don't forget to sign up for my weekly e-mail at CNN.com/email.
When we return, we'll reveal what is the cover of this week's major news magazines. Stay with us.
BLITZER: And now a look at what is on the cover of the week's major news magazines.
"TIME" magazine calls this "The Summer of the Shark: How they hunt, where they roam and how they get their way," on the cover.
"Newsweek" remembers "The Washington Post" publisher Katharine Graham, with the legendary woman on the cover.
And on the cover of "U.S. News & World Report": "Boys -- are they the weaker sex? Why girls do better in the real world."
And that's your LATE EDITION for Sunday, July 22. Please join us again next Sunday and every Sunday at noon Eastern for the last word in Sunday talk.
And if you missed any of today's program, you can tune in tonight, 7:00 p.m. Eastern, for a one-hour replay of LATE EDITION.
I'll see you tomorrow night on Wolf Blitzer Reports at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Until then, thanks very much for watching. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.
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