A good deal of the “The Presidents’ Gatekeepers,” a documentary-style look at the stiflingly high-pressure world White House chiefs of staff inhabit while serving as POTUS’ right-hand guy, is dedicated to the somber reflections and gut-wrenching decisions administration aides had to help make during America’s darkest hours.
(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)
Luckily, spirits were much higher (open bars always help) at Tuesday’s preview party.
The two-part series, airing at 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday on the Discovery Channel, features candid discussions with the 20 living ex-presidential confidants, as well as commentary from Presidents George Bush and Jimmy Carter.
The screener focused on some of the most harrowing moments in recent history, taking the participants back in time to expound on their roles during trying times such as the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, the atrocities of 9/11 and the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.
In the film, Andrew Card says he was as stunned as everyone else by the back-to-back assaults on the World Trade Center towers. But the aide to President George W. Bush insists he deliberately opted against causing a scene during the fateful morning “Dubya” was shown reading to schoolchildren in a Florida classroom.
According to Card, he leaned in, whispered, “America is under attack” to the visibly rattled Bush and then withdrew so 43 couldn’t engage him further.
“It wasn’t the place to have a conversation,” Card said. Full story