Axios (2018) s04e08 Episode Script

Season 4, Episode 8

North Wilkesboro, NC Do you feel comfortable with You've been vaccinated, so - I've been vaccinated too, so.
- Good.
Booster shot / a conversation with the Rev.
Franklin Graham 45% of white evangelicals say they will not get the coronavirus vaccine.
The Reverend Franklin Graham, one of the most influential evangelical leaders in the country, is encouraging evangelicals to get vaccinated despite their hesitancy.
Franklin Graham, you're president of Samaritan's Purse and of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association started by your dad.
Why should Christians get the COVID vaccine? I think everybody oughta get it regardless of your faith, or your background, or your skin color.
I remember when I took the polio vaccine.
And polio was such a horrible, horrible disease virus that just destroyed people's lives.
COVID can under certain circumstances can destroy your life.
Do you consider getting the vaccine to be a pro-life decision? Of course.
And I'm pro-life.
I believe saving the life of the unborn as much as those that are born.
And medicine is pro-life.
So why are so many Christians and evangelical Christians in particular reluctant to get the jab? Well, see, I'm not sure that it's more evangelical Christians that are reluctant than You see what they're saying.
There's tremendous resistance, reluctance.
Well, I would say it's about even.
And under But at this point, why would it be even? Why would it be a 50/50 issue with your people? It's difficult to explain.
Some people are just scared of needles.
And I was scared of needles as a younger person.
And I would encourage people to pray about it, to investigate it.
Your father, the Reverend Billy Graham, the most famous Protestant on the planet for 60, 70 years, had an incredible hold on Christians around the world.
What do you think he would say about this skepticism about the vaccines and the difficult time you're having getting your people to listen? My father was a firm believer in medicine.
He believed in it.
So he woulda been a supporter, no question.
And so what's happened on vaccines that there's so much misinformation, so many lies, so much confusion about the power of the COVID vaccine? I don't listen to these people on the internet.
I was sitting at a meal with Ben Carson.
I said, "Are you gonna take it when it comes out?" "Absolutely I'm gonna take it.
" I talked to other doctors who work with me and some scientists that from UCLA and different ones.
"Absolutely, we're gonna take the vaccine.
" And so I'm not a doctor.
I'm not a scientist.
And when you hear those that are and they have the comfort level in it, these are people I knew.
To me, there was no question it was safe.
And yet there remains, there persists tremendous doubt, confusion, skepticism, resistance.
There's misinformation coming from Washington, too.
If you take Fauci, "We won't have to wear masks after a certain date," and then he just came out a couple of days ago.
"We're gonna have to wear masks maybe for the rest of our lives.
" Well no, he didn't say that.
He said that perhaps seasonally, perhaps for the next couple years, that you might want to protect yourself in certain circumstances.
For me, I think make sense, okay? At first, Fauci said that masks didn't do anything and that they didn't provide any protection.
And he said that That was at the very beginning when there was a shortage of masks.
And the experience and the science evolved and the advice evolved.
Well, and I was talkin' to the president about that.
- President Trump? - Yes.
You say you believe the science.
And yet when President Trump was in office, one of his strategies was to tell his followers not to believe anyone but him, not to believe the media, not to believe other things they were reading or seeing.
Is some of that now coming home to roost? Well I don't know.
But the whole world now has adopted this lockdown policy.
Almost every country in the world is practicing that.
And I think it's gonna produce great harm eventually.
And do you think it's the skepticism or opposition to the lockdown policy, the crazy politicization of masks? You think that that's influencing how they feel about the vaccine? There's some people just don't like bein' told what to do, all right? That informed the shutdown and the masks for sure.
But the vaccine is a personal decision because this is goin' to affect your life whether you like it or not.
If you don't take it, you could get COVID, and really be sick, and could really regret not having that vaccine.
If there's someone's voice beside yours that you think would make a difference with Christians on getting the vaccine, who would it be? I would encourage all pastors to inform their congregations as to where they could get a vaccine.
We are leaders in a community, and we have a responsibility to inform them of the truth.
Has the Biden administration reached out to you about reaching Christians? No.
And would you be willing to work with them, help them if they asked you? Absolutely.
Of course.
I would work with the Biden administration.
I would work with the CDC.
I would work with all of 'em to try to help save life.
You were one of the biggest, most vocal supporters of President Trump.
In December, you said on Facebook that he was gonna be one of the great presidents.
You still think that? Sure.
I think he did some great things in his presidency.
I think the vaccine that we're talking about right now, I'm not sure we would have that if we'd had another president in there.
Now, he made plenty of mistakes.
We all do.
You know that he left office, and hadn't mentioned the vaccine, and turned out he'd gotten it.
Should he have said so or even done I think I certainly would have.
Former President Trump has not made a PSA telling people to get vaccinated.
Do you think it would help if he did? With Twitter and Facebook locking him out, I don't know if a I think that if he did a PSA about vaccines I could be wrong.
I just think it might get a little attention.
- It might.
I don't know.
- Oh, come on.
It would get saturation coverage, as you know.
Would it help if he did it? I don't know.
I think that that's a good question.
Have you suggested it to him? No.
But now that you've mentioned it, I might.
Over the last four years as you supported President Trump, you saw everything being more politicized, polarized.
Do you feel like some of this is on your doorstep? No.
I appreciate what the president did for our country.
Because a lot of his followers, a lot of Christians, a lot of evangelical Christians do not believe science, the truth, the press.
Many accept vaccines.
Many don't.
And it's not an evangelical thing.
This is a real world issue.
But again and again, rally after rally, President Trump would say, "Don't believe them," pointing to the cameras.
"Don't believe the press.
Don't believe anyone but me.
" And I would've never had said that.
And I think this hurt him.
I think it built a wall.
I think it created animosity when it shouldn't have.
Just because somebody disagrees with you doesn't mean they're your enemy.
You think it was a mistake for President Trump to demonize the press? - No question about it.
I think - Have you told him that? No.
He knows it.
Can you tell him hard truths? Can I tell a hard truth? Yeah.
- Do you? - Yes, I do.
How does he take it? Sometimes I walk out of his office and I think he'll never invite me back.
So that must have been a very hard truth.
Is Joe Biden the rightful president, the legitimate president? Yes, he's been sworn in.
Will President Trump run in 2024? I have no clue.
- If he did, would he win? - I don't know.
It would be very tough.
- Why would it be tough? - Well, he's older.
And I just think it would be a very tough thing to do.
Reverend Graham, nothing's more important to you than saving souls.
I want people to know that God loves them.
He will forgive you.
And God will accept you into His presence.
I want people to know that COVID-19 can kill you.
But we have a vaccine out there that could possibly save your life.
And if you wait, it could be too late.
Reverend Franklin Graham, thanks for sitting down with Axios on HBO.
Thank you so much.
In memorandum / a story from Trump's final days Jonathan, I thought we were done with all the crazy revelations about what happened between Election Day and Inauguration Day.
Well, in the last month, I've learned some things about what was happening between former President Trump and the top levels of the U.
military that are pretty crazy.
And I've been working with my colleague Zach Basu.
And we've pieced together some of the behind-the-scenes machinations with respect to Afghanistan and Trump's desire to extract America from the Middle East and Africa.
What actually happened? President Trump shortly after the election sent over to the Pentagon one of the most extraordinary pieces of paper that has been sent over to the military in recent memory.
It was a single page typed up ordering them to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by January 15th.
And he also said total withdrawal from Somalia by December 31st.
This piece of paper was a mystery as to how it got written.
Usually something as weighty as a presidential memorandum ordering the withdrawal of the United States from its longest war would be vetted thoroughly.
It would go through the National Security Council, the Counsel's Office.
It would go through the Defense Department council, DNI.
The State Department would be aware of it.
None of those people had seen this piece of paper.
President Trump loses the election and then puts in motion a one-page memo to yank all the remaining troops out of Afghanistan.
Who wrote the paper, Trump himself? The origin for this piece of paper was a retired Army colonel, Douglas Macgregor, and John McEntee, who was President Trump's body man and then was brought back to run presidential personnel.
Macgregor gets a phone call from John McEntee, a nd he says, "Can you come in and see me?" And so he goes in.
McEntee locks the door.
And they sit across the table.
And he says, "You know, the president wants you to come in as the senior advisor to the acting secretary.
" He hands Macgregor a piece of paper and he says, "Here's what the president wants.
" By the way, just to be clear, this is a list of things that Trump wants before he's out of office, right? Quickly.
In the two months before he's out of office.
Number one, get out of Afghanistan.
Number two, get out of Iraq and Syria.
Number three, get out of Germany.
And number four, get out of Africa.
Even Macgregor looks at this and says, "We probably can't do all this in two months.
We might be able to do two of them though.
" Afghanistan and Iraq are one thing.
Trump's been talking about that for years.
America's been talking about it for decades.
But the second half of that list is extraordinary.
The American presence in Germany is a commitment to Europe.
It's one of the sort of linchpins of the post-World War II order.
To extract America from Germany would have completely changed America's place in the world.
So Macgregor cooked up this order with John McEntee.
One of John McEntee's subordinates inside the Presidential Personnel Office wrote this memo.
And then McEntee got Trump to sign it.
He signed it, they sent it over to the Pentagon, and all hell broke loose.
And where's the defense secretary at this point? He's just been appointed.
Christopher Miller, the acting secretary of defense, on November the 11th when this order arrives at the Pentagon, he's on his like third day on the job.
And he's like, "What the fuck is this?" And very quickly, they realize that this is an off-the-books operation.
Somehow within five, six days Trump's top team convinces him to keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan until the end of his presidency.
When I went to former President Trump for his comment on this reporting, one image he brought up was Vietnam.
He didn't want it to be like Saigon when there were iconic photographs of people on the rooftops of buildings.
And his team had actually planted that image in his mind in some of these crucial meetings.
Trump gets together with his national security advisor Robert O'Brien; with General Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs with Christopher Miller.
And one of the word pictures that they conveyed to him was the specter of the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, falling into absolute chaos in his final days in office Like Saigon.
"This is your legacy: buildings being ransacked, civilians being killed, the Taliban taking over, scenes of chaos and fire and destruction.
" But what they were saying was, "If you do it on the timeline that you want to, this is going to be your legacy, and you'll be the president while this is happening.
People won't forget it.
" All those factors combined to persuade him to keep that 2,500 force in place.
So Donald Trump runs for office saying he's gonna get us out of endless wars in Afghanistan, takes office with that posture, and manages to get through four years without completely accomplishing his goals, then tries to set all of this in motion in the final two months.
But ultimately doesn't succeed.
Ultimately, the Pentagon prevails.
And it's not like he came into office with a nuanced view about American engagements in the Middle East.
So he came in with a black-and-white view that these wars were completely antithetical to American interests and he wanted to get out.
The fatal mistake he made was appointing people who fundamentally disagreed with him.
The military over the last 20 years has grown expert at slow-rolling, and persuading, and manipulating American presidents.
And the manipulation always goes in one direction, which is, "We need to stay.
We need to stay in these conflicts, in Afghanistan and Iraq.
" And yet as an inexperienced president, having never served in government, never served in the military, he comes in and the people he appoints in these positions, these are people who fundamentally believed in these operations.
That's how you get to the situation where you're in November 2020, he's lost the election, and he's like, "Shit.
We're still there.
How do we get out?" Trump's presidency ends.
President Biden is inaugurated.
And, lo and behold, within his first hundred days he makes the announcement that he will withdraw all the troops.
Why is Biden able to take the decisive step that Trump wasn't? The generals tried the same arguments with Biden.
Biden listened to those arguments.
They had plenty of conversations.
And he ultimately rejected them.
And he made a very bold move to say, "We're getting out entirely.
We're pulling out American troops.
" And what Biden understood; Donald Trump didn't understand as a novice politician in 2017 is that if you don't act quickly and decisively on these matters, the Pentagon can slow-roll you and You're saying experience matters.
Not only does experience matter; it was the decisive factor here.
Donald Trump came in first year as an inexperienced president wanting to get out of Afghanistan, and the military talked him out of it.
Biden came in as someone who had been around this merry-go-round many, many times and was not gonna allow that to happen to him.
Claim to fame / Cameo CEO Steven Galanis HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Axios headquarters ARLINGTON, VA - Hey, how are you? - I'm good.
How are you? So I never knew what Cameo was until my 50th birthday, which I just had.
And someone had this done.
Hey Jimmy.
How ya doin'? It's LeRoy Butler, inventor of the Leap.
I know you're very upset and heartbroken about the Packers' loss.
So am I.
So, thank you again, Jimmy.
Cheer up, my brother.
And guess what? Fifty years young.
I'm proud of you.
- So what the hell is Cameo? - Go, Pack, go.
They are like a marketplace between famous people - could be an athlete, it could be a TV star and regular people.
They go on Cameo's website, they can pick the celebrity, they could buy you a custom video.
So the celebrity loves it because it cuts out the middleman.
I love it 'cause I get a video from LeRoy Butler.
Like, how big is this? And, like, why is everybody talking about it? It's pretty big.
They were recently valued at about a billion dollars.
So that's sizable.
And everyone's talking about it because during the pandemic it was a really fun way to connect with people when you couldn't see them.
But it was also great for the celebrities.
They couldn't get out and do stuff.
They couldn't be filming films.
So it was great money for them and a good way for people to stay in touch.
Steven Galanis is the co-founder of Cameo, a 4-year-old company that allows fans to order personalized videos from celebrities and influencers for fees ranging from $1 to $5,000.
- How you doin'? - I'm good.
How are you? - Good.
- I think we can take these off now.
- The great unmasking.
- The great unmasking.
So you raised, I think, $100 million in your last round.
And that valued you at over a billion dollars making you what they call in the tech universe a "unicorn.
" Do you did you ever think you would get there? It's kind of like a college football player that gets drafted into the NFL.
Your goal when you get to that point is, "How do I become a Hall of Famer?" And, for us, the next step is, IPO-ing this company and then trying to build a global enduring brand.
I see some other platforms, Instagram's a great example that really invest in their celebrity community.
Why couldn't Instagram just build and copy what you're doing? Right now, all the talent on Instagram are making content for free and Instagram's making all of the money.
Our business model gives talent 75%.
How much revenue did you bring in last year? How much do you expect to bring in this year? Last year, we did nearly $100 million in topline bookings.
So, you know, we paid out over $75 million to talent.
What about the pricing structure here? Do you set the price? - How does that work? - The talent set their own price.
We've had that format since the very beginning.
We have data and analytics where we can help them price themselves because we are a business that makes money when the talent make money.
I know Cameo.
I've bought Cameos for friends.
But when we think about the universe of people who could one day be on Cameo, I think you have like 40,000 celebrities right now.
How big is that universe? How big's that potential? We think there's over 5 million people on Earth today that could be on Cameo.
And I think it could even be bigger.
If you look at the larger creator economy, there's 50 million people on Earth today who consider themselves content creators online.
So the pipeline is growing.
And when you look at American teens, the number 1 job people want to have is to be a TikTok star or an influencer.
I think it could be debated whether or not one of those 50 million creators is actually famous.
- Yeah.
- So how do you define fame? My co-founder Devon was actually one of the original Vine stars.
He ended up having a billion loops on Vine.
Vine died.
He now has about 20,000, 25,000 residual superfans of his that follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.
For those 25,000 people, Devon is just as big as Justin Bieber, right? So this residual fame enabled there to be more famous people than ever before.
You'd categorize yourself as just an agnostic marketplace that's facilitating these interactions between the fans and the creators.
But sometimes there can be abuse that happens in a marketplace.
So what are you doing to make sure that your videos aren't used to mislead the creators or mislead the fans? We've done over 2.
5 million videos.
I could count on two hands the amount of videos that we'd have to pull.
That said, I would love that number to be zero.
We've taken great steps to do that through policy, through manpower, and also through the paywall, which is a really big thing.
Unlike Twitter, unlike Instagram, unlike other platforms, you have to pay to even send a request to the talent.
The talent can read it.
They can say yes or no.
So another instance in which you sometimes will see abuse is politicians are on the platform.
And they'll be asked to record a video.
I think there was a great example of Chris Christie being asked to record a video and he is unintentionally endorsing a Democrat.
What do you make of your platform being used for politics in this way? I think Cameo is a place for laughs.
It's a place for fun.
So in this case, there was somebody, again, that took an innocuous request and then the context that they made it for, you know, that was saying, like, "Hey, you know, wish Bob good luck at his debate tonight," right? And it turned out that that Bob was a Democratic candidate for governor.
You sound to me a lot like how my conversations went with TikTok.
You know, "Oh, we're all about fun.
We don't want politics on the platform.
" But then if you look at this past election cycle, they were rolling out election guides.
They did safety and security measures.
How can you say, "Oh, this is just for fun," now when you plan to scale to 10 million creators in a few years? We're in the middle of a big growth spurt.
So all the things that are happening today, like, we have to create our own policies that work uniquely for Cameo because the rules of our platform are different than they are for YouTube, Instagram, and for Twitter.
And it took those platforms a hell of a long time to figure it out, too.
Have you had any conversations with regulators around how you're going to do political fundraising with the candidates that are on the platform? We did last year for the first time enable political fundraisers so surrogates could come and raise money for political candidates.
How are you going to scale to address every sort of political use case around the world? Is that part of your plan? It took us two and a half years to get the compliance set up to actually do this the right way.
And I don't think that it's gonna be a priority for us to do political fundraising abroad.
So given where you stand today, if Donald Trump called you and said, "I want to come on the platform," would you let him on? - Yes.
- Interesting.
Why? Trump has done nothing on our platform to violate our terms of service.
It's interesting you say that.
I was covering the Capital insurrection, and Snapchat ultimately kicked Trump off for what he said outside of the platform.
You don't think that's something you would eventually move into? Well, in this particular case, Donald Trump has never been on Cameo.
But I will say that Cameo has to make sure that it's created policies which, are unique for its own platform, just like Instagram and Twitter.
I see the Mooch on the platform, Anthony Scaramucci.
I see Chris Christie.
Why are there so many, like, former Trump and Republican figures but not as many Democrats right now on the platform? Last year, if politics was entertainment, those were the main players on the show.
And now as a different cast has come on for a new four-year season, I'm sure we'll see a totally different cast of characters on the platform.
Hey Jimmy.
Hey Mona.
This is former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
This is Gilbert Gottfried.
Just finished busting some ghosts.
I just want to say hi.
First of all, you stayed with him way too long.
Happy 28th birthday from your mom and Rob.
Secondly, good on you for dumping him.
What up though? It's your boy big Snoop D-O-G-G.
50 is the new 50.
Take the day "Hoff.
" Fifty years young.
I'm proud of you.

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