Dan Abrams discusses new book and legacy of Theodore Roosevelt

The ABC News correspondent is out with a new book, "Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense: The Courtroom Battle to Save His Legacy."
3:06 | 05/21/19

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Transcript for Dan Abrams discusses new book and legacy of Theodore Roosevelt
Amazing taste a Back now with Dan Abrams, also "The New York Times" best-selling author, has a new book out today. That's right. It's called "Theodore Roosevelt for the defense." Welcome back. This is fascinating. Teddy Roosevelt, one of our most iconic presidents, this is about a trial that happened to him after he left the white house. It was called the trial of the century. At the time, yeah, it was covered everywhere. This is the former president of the United States testifying for eight days in his own defense and we have the full transcript of the trial and Franklin Roosevelt testified for him in the case. So it's this fascinating trial where Roosevelt is really defending his legacy and he's being cross-examined by a lawyer who, a, doesn't like him personally, and, B, disagrees with him politically and makes for fascinating reading. So, basically he had accused a political boss of being corrupt. He had said this guy is corrupt and he's in cahoots with the Democrats and the Republicans working together, et cetera. And the guy sues him. He says you called me corrupt. That's libellous and the case goes to trial. And as you can imagine, not just the former president of the United States but someone as you pointed out as iconic as teddy Roosevelt and as outspoken every newspaper in America was there covering the case and somehow it became a footnote to history so David fisher and I, my co-author try to bring it back to life using the actual transcript, Roosevelt's own words to tell the story. You're saying it's relevant to today. Oh, sure. When you talk about all the fights that are ongoing today. You talk about people accusing people of political corruption, money in politics, these are all the same issues that were coming up then and, again, the idea, you know, Donald Trump right now is being sued by a number of people. Who knows what's going to happen with those cases but you can imagine the former president of the United States on the stand for eight days being cross-examined by someone who doesn't like him and it makes for fascinating, fascinating read. You have uncovered this hidden history so famous then. Somehow even though it was front page news everywhere at the time. People were sort of battling to get seats inside the courtroom. Every moment of the case, "The New York Times" literally had 6 to 12 pages of coverage every day for weeks and this is also in the lead-up to World War I, really interesting how that intersects with the book, the elite up to World War I. I love the dedication. Your son, 6 years old. To my soft Everett, yep and I just recently -- that's Everett and I at Roosevelt's home. I took him there to teach him history. When we got there, he wasn't that excited but by the time we left, he was quoting things that happened there. He was very interested in what happened to the Roosevelt kids, and so -- Read the book one day? I hope so.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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