tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg February 10, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
♪ announcer: from our studios in announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." kathy i am filling in for : charlie rose. "america first" has been the guiding ethos into the forays of president trump's early days as president. national security above all else. the phrase was first coined in the 1940s by an organization that championed appeasement in the wake of hitler's rise. trump's revival of the slogan now raises questions about his nationalist ideology and what it
might mean for the rest of the world if america turns it back. -- turns its back. joining me for a conversation about foreign policy in the weiss, area is michael and a contributing writer on foreign affairs for "the wall street journal", a professor at nyu law school and an american expert on chinese law and government. i am pleased to have them all at this table. welcome. let me start with you, michael weiss and this concept of "america first." a slogan donald trump used repeatedly during the campaign and during his inauguration as well. i know from speaking to friends and colleagues of mine in europe, it sends a slight shiver in europe. you cover the middle east. how are arab nations viewing that phrase? what do they make of it? michael: it is important to from arabegimes
populations. th belie it has been arica first up until now. no change in policy for them. what you're seeing is this strategic realignment in the region particularly among , israel, saudi arabia, jordan, kuwait, sunni majority countries. which have apprehended there is one in consensus the -- inconsistency to donald trump's foreign policy and that is he is very hawkish on iran. that is something they all want to capitalize on. and indeed today, i just saw that benjamin netanyahu and donald trump are talking about possibly dividing the issue on the arab parameters set forth by saudi arabia. that i read as, how can i help you help all of us mess with iran. that is one area where there is some positive like being seen to this foreign policy. this: let me ask you
question. --n you hear this praise phrase in beijing, america first, what do they make of it? ask who, they represents the trump administration. how seriously do you take his tweets versus his phone calls as his white house handlers managed to muscle him and confine him. it is a common question. the chinese are a little bewildered. they are waiting and worry about the economic impact. they see certain advantages. trump already made sure he would kill the tpp which was an attempt to integrate east asia and pacific countries into our orbit and we handed it over to the chinese. for how long, it is not clear. but they are worried about other
aspects of the economy. he could make a lot of trouble for them and they are worried , about the political military aspects. so china is waiting. , they are trying to be patient and not respond to provocations that might occur and hopefully -- hoping to gradually build a good relationship, but they do -- they don't know with whom. with a secretary of state? with the secretary of defense? who speaks for trump? host: let me ask you this, because it was the europeans who first when they heard that phrase "america first" feared that it would mean america would not get involved in the second world war. what do european countries make of this notion again of a president not just using the phrase but determinedly , suggesting it is going to be american interests american , needs, america's economic needs that come before all else. guest: i think there are two
things to be considered. the number-one feeling in europe and in france in particular, there is a feeling of abandonment. europeans feel abandoned by america. america has been a very strong and safe partner over the years and now that donald trump is saying he is not going to pay for european security and he is asking european states and other states to make a stronger effort financially to pay for nato, we feel -- europeans feel abandoned by america. the second feeling they have is -- there is in europe, it has something to do with european integration. it is the first time an american president is not in favor of the construction of europe.
and so, that triggered a lot of concern, especially after what happened in the u.k.. this is the first time european people fear an american president will be in favor of the end of the european union. there is concern. if you ask a different people about donald trump, of course the answer is going to be different. if you ask marine le pen's supporters, then you have a very different answer. the answer is the one i just gave you. marine le pen is very much aligned on donald trump's ideology. marine le pen is very supportive of -- maybe not very supportive, but she has nothing to say against the regime of vladimir putin. she considered that crimea was not invaded -- it was the people
of crimea who wanted to be russian. because they feel rushing, that is what she said recently on an interview on cnn. marine le pen sees the notion of "america first" as basically the awakening of the people, the awakening of the nation against the elite, against international institutions. marine le pen represents right now, 20% of the french voters. host: clearly the same is true with other populist movements. there are plenty of people in britain who supported brexit for example, who also see this populist wave -- actually, they would like to claim the credit for starting the populist wave, not donald trump -- but divided opinions throughout europe. elite, if you want to call it that in thiso feel
new era of american foreign-policy it is the europeans who are perhaps on the losing end. with that mean, do you think if , this is a zero sum game, if europeans are losing, then russia is the winner? guest: i think that europeans are most concerned that the russians have an attitude towards them of wanting to split up the eu and split up nato and in effect split up the whole , western block. it is clear that is what putin has been up to. with regard to what trump means first,"says "america does he know what it means? if you know what benefits america most when he is dealing with foreign-policy? today there was an exchange that became public of him asking what the start treaty was. when he was having his conversation with putin. host: these are reports of an exchange.
leaked from the white house, its self, interestingly. >> people are thinking, ok, america first, fine. but does trump know what that means. -- that is something that should be a new kind of alignment for the benefits of america. but does trump know what that means? therefore it becomes an erratic thing that they cannot predict. no one can put their money in a particular direction because they don't know what he means by "america first," and they don't think he knows what he means by america first. the russians seem to know exactly what they want. and then what happens when you get all these countries who say "france first" or "russia first" or "america first," if they are all saying their own country first, then who wins out of them? it is not be grounds for an orchestrated deal. broader which is
point, pertinent and that is what is the role of america? is it somehow america's duty in the post-cold war world to be the proponents of a foreign-policy that is not built on individual interest but on something more broad than that? has sufferede u.s. from philosophical hubris. liberal mockers he would sweep liberal democracy would sweep the globe. he'd recently wrote that it seems liberal democracy is being rolled back everywhere you look. the 20th century ideological categories were defined. you knew what left wings was and you knew what right-wing was. i see donald trump as something
-- even though he has been described as authoritarian -- far more liquid. i'm seeing this throughout the world. vladimir putin does not have an ideology. the only bottom line for him is money. that is why he can appeal to stalinists on monday and fascism on tuesday. people who support the annexation of crimea include far -left outcroppings and far left parties. when we talk about donald trump's view our philosophy, we're not talking about his worldview, we are talking about steve bannon's worldview. guy, it read up on this is rather forbidding. a guy who admires darth vader, satan, and dick cheney. a rather forbidding combination, you i admit. and also edmund burke, the godfather of classical european conservatism. which is what i see this administration trying to roll out. he once described himself as a leninist. this is someone pulling from every extremist orientation and
tradition that has been in the ether for the past 100 years. i find this dangerous because it is so improvisational. it is too unpredictable. this is something where donald trump will lead the way and set this benchmark for the rest of the world. even marine le pen and the politics you are seeing in poland a strange combination of , old anti-communist solidarity style dissent mixed with a neo-socialist. trade protectionism has never been part of the republican party platform. now it all of a sudden is as part of this isolationist and populist wave. what is he going to do next, we don't know because there is no coherent tradition or philosophy. ♪
♪ host: there seems to be a difference of opinion between people in the trump administration who have come to the conclusion that in the balance between russia and china, russia can help more and china is the looming threat. people in europe who seem to think that china is less of a threat and russia is more of a threat. is that too simplistic a characterization? think at this point, you are meant to say no. alike i can say about
that is that yes, in europe there is a very strong concern leading with russia and the idea of the sanctions that were already supported by the americans up until now. now, america is no longer supporting the european institutions. so what do we do? does that mean that russia is going to go its way on the resolution of different conflicts or situations in eastern europe or syria? those kind of questions are extremely open right now. actually, everybody is kind of wait and see in europe. also they don't have a lot of , contact in the state department because people need
to be appointed. so right now, people are waiting to see and very concerned about what they will see in the next month. host: jerome? jerome this is a kind of : reversal of what we saw in the 1970's60's and early where there were many people in washington and beijing who wanted to get together against the soviet union. now there are many people in moscow and certainly many in trump's group who think they can get together against china. it's this triangular relationship. our policy toward china in the since1970's and sense -- has been based on more than anti-soviet and anti-russian policies. i don't think there is going to be that kind of glue for a u.s.
russian team against china. host: so you don't think trump can do what nixon did? jerome i don't think so. michael i want to focus , on something olivia was saying there, europeans being confused. i asked jerome to put himself in the head of xi jinping. do the same with us with vladimir putin and answer olivia's question. or rather, europe's question? what does putin want? let's play this out. trump and the bromance continues. sanctions get lifted. there is a rehabilitation from the white house. where does it lead? he keeps crimea and missing in -- messing around in ukraine what is the next step? ,michael: putin does not have a stable ideology or a stable set of goals. even if you give him everything he wants, it is not clear that -- what everything he wants is and is not clear he is when to cash going to stop there.
let's say he wants to return russia to its -- do have a soviets fear of influence, that amount of land and influence. it is not to say he will stop there. it is not clear it is going to be ideological. it might be entirely a personal and what happens when his personal power collapses? when he himself goes off the stage? we are in a conundrum which we have been since the soviet union collapsed, which is, we don't really know how to resist it because if we resist it too much the system there, which is not a , system, might fall apart. so we have to be careful exactly , how much pressure we apply to it. in being careful, we have let him grow and grow as a monster and we still don't know where it is going to end or what he wants. that is a kind of advantage that he has, actually. host: michael, we have these
areas of the world: china, europe, russia as well where things are in flux. ideologies are being flushed out spheres of influence are being , reshaped and we can put the middle east into that box with the iran-saudi power struggle going on. is this a difficult time for america to say, we are actually going to withdraw from global affairs? or are those global affairs so in flux that if america gets on focuses on its own house, its on , economy and individual deals, so be it? >> >> i would argue that the american process of withdrawal from the world took place over the past eight years. pax americana is no more. at least in -- >> it is different than a -- in a continuing engagement with multinational organizations that came after the second world war. >> also lip service paid to the , classic american
foreign-policy outlook on human -- orientation on human rights. didn't pursue a regime change in syria, much to the chagrin of many syrians. the idea that bashar al-assad had to step aside. now we don't even have a pantomime. trump says we should be working with russia to do this kind of thing. who cares about human rights and democracy. we don't know who these people are. we have to get our own house in order. we have to build virtual and physical walls. trump can rip the veil from american foreign-policy and say , yeah we are withdrawing. ,host: maybe that's useful. maybe that would mean that the world that is in flux would have to sort itself out. >> it would be useful. as barack obama laid out. when america pulls back, you force regional powers into a state of equilibrium.
i would argue, no, what happens is the war in yemen, a foretaste of the things to come. you create a vacuum and that that team is exploited by america's enemies. the primary being russia and iran. the future policy i am hearing from the trump administration is we are trying to pull putin away from iran. nice work if you can get it. there is no strategic depth to syria without proxies on the ground. host: that is the problem with bilateral arrangements. you quickly get into the complex cities of other people's relationships with other people where the enemy of your friend is your enemy. whatever it is, i am mangling the phrase. >> as a final note. look at all of america's allies who feel betrayed or abandoned or don't know what to make of america's role in the world or certainly now with this court -- american leadership in the last eight years or certainly now with this court jester, improvisational man in the white house. we should not be in the state we are in. russia, china, and iran have a strategic relationship.
in the chinese case, i will agree that it is more transactional than power projection. we have got the second largest army in nato, the northern country in syria, mismanaging it, i would say. what are we doing to exacerbate the contradictions and tensions? are enabling a proxy -- the turkish government sees as a primary national security rent. -- threat. mainly the pyb or the syrian affiliate of the turkish workers party. you are sitting here with a turkish national who could articulate this better than i. this is strategic mismanagement. it is all tactics. i think vladimir putin gets classified as a tactician and i think he does look into the future. he knows where america's shortcomings are and he exploits the hell out of it. host: in this confusing world, what would you have america do?
if you could sit down with donald trump tomorrow and he would listen to you. >> it would be nice to give him a sense of ideology so he would have a base of values from which to operate consistently. then people could be allies and predict that america is going to do xyz next. that is clearly not going to happen. which is the nature of this populist demagogue, in which and fire up instant issues keep issues boiling over while they continue to grab more power. if you were to listen to me, i would say you are not going to be able to separate iran from russia. this is a total primera of a policy. you are not going to do anything. will do isthing he ally with russia to crush isis, but he will not crush isis to
o quickly because it is too useful. >> he has one foreign-policy goal. smash radical islamic terrorism. but now he is manufacturing , terrorist attacks. it is only a matter of time before one kicks off and he uses that to maximum advantage to create fortress america. as he envisions it. as aes the terrorism bulwark, or ever present bogeyman. host: certainly a campaign of fear helped him get elected. >> it is clear the united states under trump does not seem likely to withdraw from east asia. north and southeast asia. we face three major problems almost immediately. we are already deeply mired in the south china sea and we have heard contradictory statements from the trump people on this. frightening statements in some cases. taiwan is reemerging with trump's help as a destabilizing factor in modern relations with
asia and china in particular and the most immediate urgent problem is what to do about north korea's claim to be developing icbms that can reach los angeles and other american centers. there is a rising tide in washington -- the read it every day now -- of people saying what trump has said on occasion we can't allow the north koreans to test an icbm that could reach america. nobody knows what he means when he says it will not happen. on the other hand, i am trying to urge people to take up remarks trump has made on other occasions. he is willing to talk to kim jong un. he's willing to negotiate a great deal with the north koreans. nobody in washington believes it is possible except a few of us. i think and i have been involved with north korea since 1972 when i first went there, i think it is worth doing because of the alternative is terribly
dangerous. if we try to knock out an icbm, being tested by the north koreans that could lead to , retaliation against seoul and that could lead to further retaliation by our side and it could start a dangerous war. host: you talk to trump supporters and even people in the white house and it is a view , that has sympathy in this country and they will say to , you, listen, america's relationship with china has not done us any favors over the last decade or so. whether it comes to the issue of trade or currency, or even north korea. the chinese have not done enough to enforce the sanctions against north korea. enough goes through the river, the chinese are still getting supplies over that bridge. some why not try and play tough and see where that gets us? if we haven't got a good deal of -- i am saying what i heard on
the campaign trail repeatedly. we have not had a good deal. they like the idea that donald trump is tough particularly on china. they liked the idea that donald trump is talking tough. jerome: i think if we talk too tough it is going to unleash a , propagation against us and a retaliation. host: and the fault line is north korea? jerome north korea is the most : immediate challenge. people don't realize we fought in 1950 to 1953 against china because china would not tolerate the collapse of north korea on its border. things have not changed. the chinese don't like the north koreans either as a people or as a government and it is reciprocated. north koreans don't really like china at all and you can see , there are a lot of meetings between the leaders of south korea and china. you don't see many meetings between the leaders of china and north korea.
north korea is a very, very sticky, difficult government to deal with, but we have got to be careful because they are also and can be very fanatical about retaliating against what they see as aggression against of -- against them. host: while i'm in the curious position of representing american voters and trump voters, in particular, the other thing i hear out on the campaign trail and when ice the two -- i speak to trump supporters they feel they have been taken , for a ride in europe. we have paid too much, europe has this habit of dialing 911-washington and hoping we six -- fix everything. we are not interested anymore in saving european bacon. what is it europe's response to that? we don't pay our fair share of
defense spending to nato and they have a point, don't they? europe has to stand up for itself. >> i went to a lot of trump rallies and heard the same thing. i see your point. the response of europe to that is people are a little bit i think the general idea is really that, as you know, president trump wants -- does not believe, he likes bilateral deals. he is a dealmaker. he is going to make a deal with one country to one country. he does not like international institutions. i was talking to a european diplomat recently who explained to me that, of course, i mean, there is a reason we created the european union. we created the european union because each country is small, like france versus america.
francis small. in donald trump wants to make a deal with france, france is going to be a loser because france has 60 million people at a much smaller economy. of course, it would be under the terms of the biggest country, which is america. there is a reason why france, germany, italy, and also britain created europe just to create a continent that is a world superpower. so the idea that we have -- europe has basically been stealing from america. i mean, no, it is not something -- people don't understand that at all. >> i think the brits also feel they are going to get -- theresa
may is hopeful she is going to get a good trade deal with united states as she pulls out a brexit. i hear from people, wishful thinking. the idea that britain could negotiate this deal with the negotiations and that would be to britain's advantage. we keep hearing that the white house feels that he has had a bad deal. a bad deal from china. a bad deal from the europeans. but the one place he has not had a bad deal apart from today and in these reports about the treaty is russia. what is this. -- what is this? explain this mystifying relationship he has with president putin? >> i wrote a column recently where i tracked the dirty tricks that i saw in an election that i covered for "newsweek" in 2012 in georgia. which was then police e, georgia. tblisi, georgia.
oddly, they were exactly the same tricks that were used by trump in winning power. in both those elections, a pro-putin, pro-kremlin, pro russian candidate won and beat the favorite candidate. and the list of things that were so similar were just uncanny. it was an oligarch coming out of nowhere leading the opposition to victory with dodgy finances that did not get revealed except with some weird connections to russia. the first plank was their country first, in that case, georgia first. if you put georgia first, presumably, you are doing it to be anti-russia since russia had invaded georgia four years before the election. and yet you had a candidate who openly said, i will not criticize putin. and other odd similarities. for example, costing down the elections, something unheard of. i first saw it in 2012.
i tell you, the similarities are uncanny. the only thing i can think of is what is going to sound insanely paranoid, i suppose, but it seems to me they are playing the kremlin's game plan here. that is their blueprint. >> he has not taken a single position -- as far as i can tell , and correct me if i am wrong -- that counters the kremlin position on anything. ok, if you look at the time i, -- at the timeline it is true, , donald trump was anti-nato before vladimir putin was president of russia. there was a time around 2004 where putin wanted to join nato, or pretended to want to join nato. donald trump in 1999 published a book or had a book written in his name in which he played out this case. nato is a mug steel. -- nato is a mug's deal. we are paying all this money and
our allies are not paying anything. i want to emphasize this point because it is relevant to the last round of conversation. the europeans are freeloaders, they are not doing their fair share. article five was invoked once in history on september 12, 2001. brits, french, estonians, australians have fought for america and died for america and afghanistan. if they are not making a 2% spending on gdp going for defense, which is not a rule, but more of a guideline for nato, who is donald trump to say, well, sorry, estonia, lithuania, if you get invaded by little green men, we may not coming to your defense? this is absurd. gotten tol have not the root of this relationship. >> we should not ignore the putin has relationships with china and europe and america, etc. the biggest problem from the point of chinese government is jinping'sng -- xi
power. he is about to be reelected by the 19th party congress. there is a widespread belief that this man is not going to stop at the end at the second term, as he should, according to custom. and that he will find a way to perpetuate his power. i compare him some ways to stalin following lenin. this man is following in a general, tactical way. he wants to perpetuate his power. asian dictators have found ways in the past, we had marcos in the philippines and parking south korea. putin has found a way to perpetuate his power despite their organization politically, etc. putin is admired by ping. -- putin is admired by xi jinping. how people cope with this, i don't know.
but there is a continuing warm relationship. we should not assume putin is only looking west. he is also looking east. and we have to be aware of that. >> them what do you think then jinping makes of donald trump's proximity to putin? >> he doesn't know. he may think -- it is words. it has got no substantive basis, but he would be worried about it. and i think what we are doing on east and west sides is to make putin a bigger player than he ought to be. he is enjoying every moment of it. >> can i ask --earlier you said you did not think that trump would be able to create a division between russia and china. but you deny give us the reasons why he will be like nixon this time. why won't it happened it would -- why won't it happened this way? >> putin is aware of this problem. although they have always had tensions between china, the soviet union, and now russia, there are a lot of --
that she thinks the russians have something on donald trump, and she suggested it might be financial, personal, or political. what you think about that story? >> i read something about that recently there it is -- i read something about that recently. the thing about christopher steele, the british -- >> who has now gone undercover. somebody else's having to feed his cats, i think. >> when was the last time you heard of a british national in britain having to go under -- it did not used to happen in the cold war. even then in the cold war, nobody disappeared while living in england. that is the oddest thing. clearly, things are very vulnerable in england. they cannot protect their own spies within her own country. as they have to go to ground. and my suspicion is, that there is something about the dossier
that is substantial enough that the british intelligence organization that felt they had to protect their own man, not just against the russians, but against -- >> he is being protected as far as we know? by mi six? mi6? >> the story is that it is the other ones that actually came and advised him and got him -- and have them go underground. >> as a journalist, i can tell you it is not just the cia and not conspiracy theorists or the democratic party operatives who think that there is some they're there to that dossier. everybody is chasing leads. >> all the journalists in washington are talking about it, but no one has been able to substantiate it. and it's been out there for months. does that suggest that is we cannot make the extra steps? or is it just -- >> this is how intelligence
works. you will not be able to mail something down completely. that is the nature of that kind of information, no? my suspicion is that dossier -- it was percolating around it i suspect that the russians got a lot of benefit from it percolating around. it is a threat to trump that if he does not tell the line, the stuff may, out. oliver, you may have the dossier that you may have a copy of the dossier in your pocket at the moment? [laughter] you cannot talk about it and hang onto your life. >> exactly. i want to say about this so-called dossier because it is very interesting. i know nothing. i mean i hate to kill a good , story. would like this dossier to be true and to exist to make headlines about it. but i want to say that i find very interesting that populist
s all around the world love putin, or don't have a problem with putin. as i mentioned earlier, if you ask marine le pen about putin, she has nothing against him. if someone tells her -- basically, as you mentioned putin is like presidents and prime minister, again is president for life, basically, which is not so democratic, what she says about it, what she has to say about it is in france and in america before trump, it is already the same kind of traditions. >> is that true of other populist movements? i'm asking you because i don't know. ukip ortrue of deutschland -- that they have an affinity for them? >> i don't know about that. but i know about marine le pen.
>> we should find out. >> another component of the french situation is that a russian bank has led the national front several million euros -- it's sort of out of the open that this is the sort of dark horse of the kremlin. >> they are saying they think it will be a factor in the election. >> they are to have marine le pen elected president of france and they are also trying to topple angela merkel with the use of disinformation and propaganda. with respect to this dossier though, the media screwed it up. the most salacious aspect of it is the least interesting. if the tape were to come out tomorrow, donald trump involved in some rather alternative sex st. petersburg, donald trump would go, what do you think? yeah, i'm donald trump. and his poll numbers would go up. that is not going to sink camp. what is going to sink him is if there is a financial tie between
his organization in the russian government, which was done as a quid pro quo on the russian diaspora. it does have a lot of that. >> the dossier of said that he refused sweetheart construction deals? >> it did not say that he refused them. it said they did not come to not comehe -- they did to fruition. that is the difference. he has always wanted to invest in russia. >> and russia investing in him. the are floating him at a time that they would not give him loans. that stuff became obliterated by of lurid miss -- luridness the dossier. but the question you're asking about populace, it is productive to look at. for example, or the one, the turkish populist -- for example, erdogan, the turkish populist. turn the country away from the west to some degree, very subtly, and then resigned. what are the common factors between these populists? it seems to me there's a whole wave now of populists. look at the turkish one.
erdogan has no common interest with putin strategically. he's on the sunni side. he is in competition with them and so on in syria and yet, all of a sudden, he has begun to be pals with putin. there can only be a personal explanation -- >> how can they be on opposite sides on the issue of syria? diametrically opposite. >> and the russian press and the turkish press, they are nearly at war with each other. after the downing of the turkish jet. and yet the reason for this is putin's intervention in and expansion of russian power -- the kurdish issue is the leverage he has with erdogan. russia does not want a kurdish state to emerge in syria. dogan is moreer
concerned with that than isis or al qaeda. the real issue is what does russia want out of the middle east? everyone wants to do business here -- diplomatic, military, armed deals, commercial. you don't go to washington anymore. you go to moscow. the proof is in the peace process has been relocated to geneva to where? kazakhstan. the american invitation was an afterthought. belated afterthought. >> that is the one sort of motif of russian involvement in the region is now we are back in charge. >> what putin is doing is he is guaranteeing power to populists. he's guaranteeing ergdogan that he will back his regime in turkey. that is a kind of organization now that i think putin is setting up against nato, against the u.s. he is actually saying each of these populists, your homes with -- your home is with the kremlin. >> europeans may not like you . they are raising an eyebrow at what you are doing. it is a human rights issue. >> here nato ally is backing a proxy that you have been in work
-- you have been at war with for 40 years. >> here's a question for you -- in the shakeup of the grand gop political shakeup have been playing for the last 40 minutes, the suspicion in circles surrounding donald trump is the great threat strategically might be china. it will be china that steps into the void. if america pulls back, politics like nature abhors a vacuum. there has to be somebody who steps in. and what you hear in washington i foreign-policy circles that it am is likely to be china. what we are hearing from michael and michael is that it is russia stepping in? >> it depends on which area of the world you focus on. if you focus on east asia, the key question is whether the united states and china can read -- can reach some accommodation to the rising china. and the rising china, although
not as powerful as the world perceives it to be, although quite nationalistic and quite influential that there is a big , danger in the south china sea that we may not find the basis for adjusting our interest. america is not going to withdraw from the south china sea. china is not going to give up the islets it has turned into military bases. can we find some modus vivendi i -- >> donald trump has suggested that america will not be more robust? >> mr. secretary tillerson suggested we would interfere with chinese occupation of these island outposts they created. well, now he has begun to withdraw from that because that could lead to war. but we have not found an adequate basis, and from the perspective of china, what they
are talking about all of this complexity in the middle east and eastern europe, etc., is a secondary game. the real game will be played out in the pacific and we should not overlook the role of japan and the danger of rising on the -- rising armament on the korean-japanese, australian side. >> when prime minister abe meets president trump in mar-a-lago on friday and has a round of golf with him, what will his message be? >> his message is trying to follow up what secretary mattis sought to demonstrate. that we will continue the traditional american policy of supporting japan and south korea, including protection of kakusink a coup -- sen islands that are such a heated
subject in the east china sea. we don't take a position on the merits of who owns those islands, but we do say we will defend japan if the dispute gets out of hand. the real game is being played out in east asia. and these other offense, i think of the chinese and the american government feel they are under restraints and not capable of doing successfully with what russia is doing, and they are not really prepared to follow a european lead, if there is such a european lead given the internal problems. >> i am not sure that a european lead exists. we have a few minutes left. i would like to ask each of you for the optimistic scenario of how this pans out. malik looked at me like i asked for it to be christmas tomorrow. let me start with olivier. what is the optimistic scenario with trump policy? [laughter]
>> ok, moving swiftly along -- >> i don't think -- from another point of view and diplomatic circles, it is not optimistic. about japan, we all remember the 1987 ad that he published in the new york times where he was saying that japan should pay for its security. that means that he has been saying this for 30 years, for many, many years. people think that he is going to be keeping -- doing that in his own way. people are not very concerned. -- people are very concerned. i do not think -- so far, i don't think -- it is a pink -- there is his ability either. there is a pink scenario right now. >> jerome? >> i think an optimistic scenario would be to continue the major outlines of our policy toward east asia, but show much more flexibility in dealing with north korea. we cannot deal with every crisis
at once. this is the most immediate one. and i think we should take advantage of mr. trump's proclivity for doing radically different things and say, here is a radically different thing. negotiate with the north koreans and everyone else has been too afraid to. >> as i said earlier, if there's a possibility of an american realignment and countering iranian influence, great. but do not be misled. i don't think we can establish withentente cordial vladimir putin to get it. in some cases, you don't need the russians. you don't need them for yemen, east in syria or they don't have much of a present. in iraq when they are pumping all of these anti-american conspiracy theorists, we really do have to worry about the integrity of the iraqi state and what is become the revolutionary creeping takeover of their
security establishment. >> how damaging has the visa ban then in terms of reputation on foreign policy? >> reputational he, quite damaging. >> in terms of iraq? have terms of iraq, you translators who have worked with allies for 10 plus years for people who cannot get back into the country. you have syrian rebels fighting on behalf of the pentagon saying it is hard enough to defend america given the situation in syria. now we are being told, we can die for you, but we cannot land at jfk? were not welcome here? i have been a severe critic on this policy for moral, but also friendly, national security grounds. >> i give you some time? can't conceive of a positive outcome. i think the best possible outcome for trump's foreign the remotet be chance that he never meant any
of this pro-russian stuff, it was all bluster. and he comes up against the brick wall of reality and finds out that he must go back and re-empower the e.u. and nato. and that is the easiest thing for him to do. and presents some coherence and some resistance traditionally against the anti-western powers in the world. that is the best case scenario, but i think it is a very remote one. alas. >> thank you all so much for joining me. fascinating discussion. we will continue this discussion of the next four years, i'm sure. it has been a pleasure for me sitting in for charlie rose at this table. i am catty k from the bbc. kay from the bbc. mr. rose, come back to your table soon. ♪
>> you are watching "bloomberg technology." let's start with a check of your first word news. president trump welcomed japanese prime minister shinzo abe to the white house as the allies look to shore up an alliance and repair economic ties. they held talks in the oval office followed by a joint news conference. abe will spend the weekend with the president at his mar-a-lago palm beach resort. a senate vote on the nomination of steven mnuchin as treasury secretary is scheduled for monday. senate leaders have agreed to quickly take up and vote on the nomination of david shulkin, a holdover from the obama administration to serve as secretary of veterans affairs. representative tom price of georgia has been sworn in as