Matthew Dowd: Trump calling book untruthful 'like Al Capone saying a jaywalker is a criminal'

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3:00 | 01/07/18

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Transcript for Matthew Dowd: Trump calling book untruthful 'like Al Capone saying a jaywalker is a criminal'
"Roundtable" here to take it on. Joined by chief political analyst Matthew dowd. Democratic strategist Stephanie cutter. Chair of the American conservative union, Matt schlapp. Roland martin from TV one. And Sara Fagen, political director for president bush and now with CNBC. Every president hit by a book like this. Usually by Bob Woodward. What is your take? Speaking as a genius -- um -- I have three that -- there's so many. I have three. First, I'm not a huge fan of Michael Wolff and the stale of journalism that that entals. Think that the problem with that style of jump slichl, it's -- it's evidenced by celebrity. Talks about the tawdry stories. I don't think it adds to tis course or helps us move forward. That being said, he paints a broad picture. Take the little stories out of it. With insiders who have not denied they have said all the things they have been quoted as saying as something Republicans on the record, and most Republicans off the record have said. That there's a question about the president's temperament. Serious questions about his mental acuity. Can he handle the office? All of the stresses of the office? It's things that have been talked about for a year. The third thing, fund mentally, the president only made matters worse in what he's done. All the tweets and everything have basically confirmed everything Michael Wolff has said. You hear him put out the tweet, stable genius. It's like Richard Nixon, I'm not a crook. He handled it in the worst possible way by adding to it. He should have discredited the author. Who discredited himself by being sloppy and let it go. Donald Trump can not do that. There's a great lesson for anyone wants to run for president. Be careful who you surround yourself with. Donald Trump, one of his biggest mistakes was surrounding himself with people who didn't have his interests many mind. Steve Bannon clearly looks out for Steve Bannon. That is the worst possible chief strategist to put in the white house. Matt schlapp, let me take this to you. You had Steve Bannon at the conference in 2017 when he was rides quite high. Is he done now? No. I think he's marginalized his voice. Most Republicans want a big, long break from him and his brand of politics. I think the issues still dominate. I want to guy with Sara on this. They staffed up the white house. You could see it. In the most incomprehensible way with people that did not have the president's best interests at heart. Quite frankly, they were not experienced. Talked way too much. Didn't have a strategy behind it. I think the person who realized it the quickest was the president. I think you have to give again Kelly credit. The white house seems to have changed operations under general Kelly. Let me take that point to Stephanie cutter. Staff by the people not with the president's best interests at heart. One of the things you see in this book, the the president's daughter and son-in-law had outsized influence. Absolutely. We knew that before the book came out. We know what kind of problems that presents in a white house. We have in some way, shape, or form, been inside the white house. Because we have all been influence bid those relatives. It is an extremely disruptive to a well-functioning white house. Think the other takeaway, yes, the -- that white house lacked a team ready to go that was loyal to the president. But, they had a very hard time finding people who would go in the white house to work for this president. Think that created an unvirt WOUs circle. I don't think that is true. The book makes it worse. The central insight in the book is they didn't think they were going to win from the president on down, all through the campaign, and heading into the early days of the white house, they acted like it. All true. Bottom line is, this book changes nothing. I read 250 of the 350 pages last night. Bottom line. Eg he laid out, we already knew. You don't have principles. You don't have morales. You don't have ethics. What you have is a Republican party with different pieces. They get exactly what they want from Donald Trump. You have white conservative evangelicals. They don't care about how he's treated women. Ey'll want is federal judges who will get rid of same-sex marriage and abortion. Folks on the business side, you get the tax reform. Folks who are all about the social issues Thark get -- everybody gets what they want. This comes down to power. The Republican party, they want all those folks, they want power. Donald Trump provides that. And so as long as he's there, and they can get what they want, it doesn't matter. This book will not change a thing and I'll give the last point is this here. You look at the fact that Democrats forced out senator Al Franken and congressman John Conyers. Have Republicans forced out Blake fairhold? No. It raises questions about the president's fitness. A lot of the anecdotanecdotes. Let's say 50% are true. I think that is probably the right number. Maybe 90. I think it raises serious questions about his mental capacity, his ability to process information, his impulse control. It does. It doesn't matter. It's not going the mat per until and unless something catastrophic happens as a result of a tweet or a provocation to another national -- international lead eer. Until that happens, I don't think most of America is paying much attention to this conversation. Let me respond to the conversation about the finance to office. I enjoy it. We'll pray for you. As person as you want to make it, you embold nl him. My interaks, he doesn't repeat these stories. He totally gets the policies. Unlike a lot of politicians. What people don't get about Donald Trump is he asks you 20 times more questions than most politicians. Most politicians talk at you. Yammer on. Donald Trump is the opposite. He wants to bring you in. He wants to get the information you have. I find that this coverage. He did a whole chapter in the book, Michael Wolff on c-pac. Never called anyone. He never called me. He said Wilbur Ross was the secretary of labor. John Kelly was the director of homeland security. Another man has that job. He was the secretary of homeland security. When it came to c-pac he got fact after fact after fact wrong. He didn't boert to call. There might be fact in here. He doesn't believe in calling anyone to verify sources. Donald Trump. And the trump supporters like Matt. Even if I gave him truth serum. I know what he would say. About the level of integrity he holds the office to. The idea that Donald Trump and them would castigate this author for not being truthle is like Al Capone saying a Jay walker is a criminal. They're made for each other. One is the king of it. The other is a pauper. I would say this book is not about palace intrigue. I don't agree with this type of journalism. I don't like it. Fund mentally, the core kernel of the store I have questioning Donald Trump's fitness to hold the office. It's been done by people on the left, people in the media people that don't like him. It's done almost universally by nearly every Republican official when you talk to them off the record. When you get what you want, it doesn't matter. And that's part of the issue here. You look at the different people within the party. As long as they get what they want, Donald Trump serves a very unique purpose. He has no anotherology. No convictions. No morals. No principles. The other part of the story here. We can debate Michael Wolff's book. There are lots of factual inaccuracy. It paints a picture that we have seen for a long time. And it's been painted by main stream media, and Republicans. So, it's not hard to believe the reason we're talking about it so much is it's not hard to believe. But the bigger issue here is, if we do have a president who -- has some fitness issues, even though he says he's, like, really smart. There are problems happen. Can we have a functioning government with somebody like that in the white house? Up until now, you could argue yes. You're starting to see craters in that.

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

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