ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
92°
Sct Thunderstorms
H 92° L 76°
  • cloudy-day
    92°
    Current Conditions
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 92° L 76°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    82°
    Evening
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 92° L 76°
  • clear-day
    77°
    Morning
    Mostly Sunny. H 91° L 77°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Watergate reporter Bernstein: 'Follow the money' with Trump

Carl Bernstein, the former Washington Post reporter who shared a Pulitzer Prize with Bob Woodward for their reporting on Watergate in the 1970s, still has plenty of presidential probing going on in his notebook.

 >> Read more trending stories

Bernstein, speaking Thursday in South Florida, talked about a number of newsworthy topics and didn’t hold back on his notion that both the public and the press have a joint responsibility for holding presidents accountable.

Bernstein was one of four reporters whose byline appeared on a CNN story this week that reported President Barack Obama and Donald Trump were presented with classified documents last week that contained allegations Russian operatives had compromising personal and financial information about the president-elect. Some memos were in circulation this summer.

"We need to find out what is happening and what has happened," he told a room full of people in La Posada, a senior living community in Palm Beach Gardens.

Trump quickly pushed back against CNN’s reporting on Twitter. He initially responded with a tweet that accused CNN of reporting "Fake News" and held a news conference Wednesday vehemently denying the allegations.

Intelligence officials said a two-page synopsis outlining the allegations for Trump and Obama was to demonstrate Russia possessed potentially damaging information about both parties but only released that which was harming to Democrats, CNN reported.

Bernstein drew a comparison between former President Richard Nixon’s intent to sabotage the Democrats, disrupting the 1972 election, and "what the Russians seem to have done in this election cycle."

"I think this is maybe the darkest, most dangerous moment in our history in a long time," he said.

He said both journalists and consumers need to seek the public good — which has been relegated to an "almost quaint notion" — and the best attainable version of the truth. Reporters need to do so without getting thrown off by ephemera, "fancy" items on stage or threats to go to a lawyer's office, he said.

Any presidential administration needs to be held accountable for its commitment, or lack thereof, to the public good, Bernstein said.

"Unfortunately, we’re coming to this task way too late in this election cycle, long after the field of candidates was winnowed," he said.

Bernstein scoffed at Trump's notion that handing control of his business interests to his adult sons and daughter would completely isolate him.

He used the famous catch phrase "follow the money" that was attributed to Deep Throat, the informant who played a huge role in pointing Woodward and Bernstein toward uncovering the truth in the Watergate scandal.

"We need to find out what’s in the envelopes. We need to follow the money," he said of the numerous files that Trump pointed to at his Wednesday news conference. Trump said the files are evidence that he is officially turning over control to his children.

The amount of free airtime accorded to Trump when there was still a wide field of Republican candidates in the primary, "the choice of covering the circus," was an abdication of responsibility by the media, Bernstein said.

Bernstein said he hopes Trump will abandon his demagoguery but credited him for recognizing the stagnant wages and struggles of working class people that seemed forgotten by Democrats.

"Democrats appeared brain dead, except for Bernie Sanders, whose campaign seemed one-dimensional, or two-dimensional," he said of the 2016 election cycle.

As for the public, Bernstein said people are disinterested in anything resembling the best version of the truth.

"People are looking for information to reinforce what they already believe," he said. "We saw it in both sides of this election."

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Renters who lived in two homes that were swallowed by a sinkhole in Pasco County, Florida this month may be able to recover property that fell into the ground - by sifting through the mess left behind. County official Kevin Guthrie said Tuesday that debris from the sinkhole will be taken to a special section of a landfill where the renters can go through the contents at their own risk. Some of the items may have been exposed to bio-contamination.   County officials are still deciding what to eventually do with the sinkhole in the Tampa suburb, Land O'Lakes. The possibilities range from doing nothing to connecting it to a nearby lake.  Besides the two swallowed homes, residents in three other nearby homes were displaced because of the risk. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS contributed to this report
  • A 39-year-old Utah woman was killed by her husband aboard a Princess Cruise ship Tuesday night because, he told authorities, she wouldn’t stop laughing at him, according to the FBI. >> Read more trending news An FBI spokeswoman said Thursday that authorities arrested a man in the case after the ship was diverted to Juneau, Alaska. He was identified by The Associated Press as Kenneth Manzanares. Authorities said the woman, who was identified only as K.M., was killed during a loud domestic dispute on the Emerald Princess around 9 p.m. Tuesday, while the ship was traveling the waters off Alaska, The Associated Press reported. “Court documents say a man entered the cabin and saw the woman on the floor covered in blood,” according to the news wire. “Records say Manzanares grabbed his wife’s body and dragged her to the balcony before the witness stopped him.” A passenger on the ship told KTVA that he heard “two or three ladies or girls, definitely women, screaming” on the night of the incident.  He told the news station that his wife looked over their room balcony and saw a man “bruised, cut and covered in blood.” The ship left on Sunday from Seattle, carrying 3,400 passengers on a week-long trip.  The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.
  • The nation’s highest ranking military officer said in a letter Thursday to top military officials that there will not be changes to the military’s transgender policy until after President Donald Trump sends direction to the Pentagon. >> Read more trending news 'I know there are questions about yesterday's announcement on the transgender policy by the president,' Marine Gen. Joe Dunford wrote in the message, addressed to the chiefs of the services and senior enlisted leaders, according to Politico. 'There will be no modifications to the current policy until the president's direction has been received by the secretary of defense and the secretary has issued implementation guidance.” A photo of the letter was shared on Twitter Thursday by CNN reporter Barbara Starr.
  • Officials in California shut down Fire Ball rides at a trio of state fairs and attractions after a similar ride in Ohio malfunctioned Wednesday, killing one man and injuring several others. >> Read more trending news The swinging, spinning Fire Ball amusement park ride malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus on Wednesday, the opening day of the fair. Dramatic video captured by a bystander shows the ride swinging back and forth like a pendulum and spinning in the air when it crashes into something and part of the ride flies off, throwing riders to the ground. The cause of the malfunction is under investigation. The accident prompted officials to close similar rides at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the California State Fair in Sacramento and the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa, KSBW reported. A spokesperson for the popular Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk told KRON that its Fire Ball ride was closed Wednesday in light of the accident. It was expected to reopen Thursday, after officials are able to thoroughly inspect the ride, KSBW reported. “We inspect the rides daily,” Boardwalk community affairs director Kris Reyes told KSBW. “The Fire Ball was inspected Wednesday morning and passed.” Barry Schailble, an inspector with the company hired by the California State Fair, told KCRA that officials “shut down the ride immediately, unloaded it and it’s closed right now.” On its website, Amusements of America said that since its debut in 2002, the Fire Ball, which was manufactured by KMG, had become 'one of the most popular thrill rides on the AOA Midway.' The company's description of the ride said it swings riders 40 feet above the midway, while spinning them at 13 revolutions per minute. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Alexander Sperber thought a brazen bank robbery attempt would land him a career as a comedian. Instead, he’s in the custody of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. After robbing a Regions Bank branch in Fort Lauderdale, Sperber reportedly ran down a nearby street completely naked while throwing cash at people.  Sperber told the FBI he did it all in the hopes of beginning his career as a comedian, according to the Sun-Sentinel.  The accused robber threatened one of the tellers by pointing his finger in the shape of a gun; Sperber also claimed he had a gun, the paper reported.  Sperber left the bank with $4,700 and a red dye pack that exploded during his escape. After that, he stripped down naked, leaving cash all over the ground, according to WSVN-TV.  The man was promptly arrested, wrapped in a yellow tarp, and taken “downtown.” (News 96.5 WDBO App users can click here to view the tweet and pictures.) (App users can click here for video.)