morning, everyone. welcome back to your new day. happy labor day. chris is off this morning. john berman joins me. great to spend the holiday with you. we are following breaking news at this hour. we're waiting for president obama to hold a press conference. this is following the g20 sum in china. we'll bring you there live in just moments.
already president obama met with vladimir putin this morning for 90 minutes about trying to end the violence in syria. we're told they cannot come to an agreement. >> a 90-minute meeting is a long meeting between these two liters. some say the lack of agreement could be seen as a failure. one u.s. official described that 90-minute meeting as constructive. the summit ending as north korea tested three ballistic missiles. want to get the latest from cnn's white house correspondent michelle kosinski. >> reporter: well, there's been a lot going on, on this trip, to say the least. this is president obama's last trip to ai sharks the last chance he's going to get to sit down with some of these leaders. for four hours with the chinese president on this trip. but what everybody is talking about is the meeting that just ended between president obama and russia's president, vladimir putin. that doesn't happen very often. this is just a pull aside meeting, but it lasted for an hour and a half. among the touchy subjects on the list, ukraine, syria, and
russia's suspected hacking of the democratic national committee and the clinton campaign. russia suspected of hacking the e-mails. a lot asked about that and the relationship between the two. i think he'll also be asked about turkey. that relationship has been difficult as well. also president obama's legacy in asia. has it been working? you know, both u.s. presidential candidates oppose the tpp, the trans-pacific partnership, that big trade deal that is supposed to be the crowning achievement of president obama's rebalance to asia. back to you guys. >> all right, michelle kosinski for us in china. i want to bring in our panel. cnn political commentator and anchor of time warner cable
news, errol louis. jackie kucinich. and ron brownstein, senior editor of "the atlantic." michelle was just talking about tpp, what was supposed to be the signature trade deal of president obama. opposed by the democratic nominee, opposed by the republican nominee. president obama is overseas right now pushing something that no one else seems to want. >> yeah, it's personal. it's a striking development. every u.s. president since world war ii has supported expanded trade. now you have both presidential nominees actively opposing this deal, which is more than an economic deal in the minds of president obama and its supporters. it is a counterweight to chinese influence in the region and is seen as the center piece of his repositions, his rebalancing toward asia. at a panel i did in
philadelphia, an economic adviser to hillary clinton said tpp is, quote, in the rearview mirror for her, that she would not be looking to even renegotiate it if she was president. it's going to be very hard to walk back those statements if she does win. the striking thing about this, though, john, is that there is a constituency for trade. it is now more in the democratic party. virtually every big city mayor in the country, there's kind of an urban professional pro-trade constituency that right now is not being heard in either party. >> so jackie, let's talk about what we're expecting out of this news conference with president obama from china. he'll be asked about everything, obviously, from the press. what do you think he'll address? >> that is definitely an open question because there's certainly things we want to hear about. everything from the presidential election to what happened in that 90-minute meeting with vladimir putin. two, how hard he's you could go to keep pressing tpp. i mean, it is sort of a zombie bill right now, but he's said
he's still going to try to go for it. since this is his last asia trip of his presidency, there are certainly many, many questions that could be brought forth. you're right, it does depend what he's actually going to address in this press conference. , errol, 90 minutes in a room with vladimir putin. we know this is a contentious relationship. we also know the president says when he meets with putin, they get along fine. they just have clear distinct n distinctions on where they stand. they're like, okay. >> well, sure. look, this is also a matter of putin has, in some ways, the upper hand. he knows this president is going to be leaving in a matter of months and he can outwait him. i'd be surprised if crimea didn't come up f the ukraine didn't come up. for the part that they're supposed to be cooperating on in syria, i'm personally hoping that they spent most of their 90 minutes trying to figure out what they can actually do something together on because issues like e-mail hacking, issues like crimea, you know,
these are not going to change. the weakening of nato that putin clearly is trying to exacerbate, i don't think that's something the president can do very much about at this point. hopefully they made some progress on what they're going to do in syria. beyond that, i don't know how much they had to talk about. >> the only thing dribbling out is that no agreement was reach. i don't know what that means. the u.s. certainly wants to stop the bloodshed there and the refugee and humanitarian crisis. so what were they trying to hammer out? >> international gatherings like this always seem to me to be designed to prove -- a kennedy adviser was famous for saying the color of truth is gray, meaning the world is not black and white. all the of the various conflicts that we have with russia and yet there is a need for the u.s. president inexorably to find the
ability to work with them on the rare areas where our interests can overlap. that certainly, you know, eroding the capacity of isis is one of those. we just talked about how tpp is designed to constrain the influence of china in asia. there's been lots of conflict with china on this trip. yet, the president was also able to sign an historic agreement with china on moving forward jointly on climate change, moving forward the paris agreement from 2015. it's kind of an interesting counterpoint of a presidential campaign that's almost always in the u.s. drawn in very kind of bright primary colors when, in fact, the relations with these great powers around the world are always kind of modulated and executed in shades of gray. >> it is interesting, jackie, because whenever the press gets a chance to talk about to the president over the last couple months, they try to get him to weigh in on the presidential election. historically a president overseas might be a bit loathe to get too political
domestically, but you never know. the president has weighed in on donald trump overseas. colin kaepernick, which is something you could imagine the president being asked about and having an opinion on. i'd be curious to see what he says about that. >> you're absolutely right. he has addressed issues of race in the past at press conferences. maybe not abroad. but particularly because of the role of russia in this race. donald trump, one of his pla applause lines is, shouldn't we have a better relationship with russia? shouldn't they be our friends? so i do wonder if that will be addressed just because donald trump has made it such a forefront of his presidential campaign. hillary clinton being asked about the russian -- i'm sorry, tim kaine being asked about the russian reset just yesterday. so there are these other issues that are very -- have have to do with russia. you have to imagine people are going to want to know more from the president, who's there right
now in that role. >> absolutely. oh, to be a flay on the wall inside that 90-minute meeting. errol, to your point, wouldn't the president have said, since he had the chance in this face-t face-to-face meeting, stop trying to hack into the dnc. >> it would be a nice request to be made. i'm sure pew tutin, a dictator, would give him some kind of assurance, which would not be worth anything. this is where dictators have an advantage over democracies. putin is not going anywhere. we, by operation of law, will have the president step down. he's going to do whatever he's going to do, secure in the knowledge that he's going to have a new president to deal with in fairly short order. we're batting it around as a political dispute during this campaign, but there's a real question about whether or not it is in putin's and russia's
interest to have one candidate versus another sitting in the oval office. >> can't we answer that? isn't it in putin's interest to have donald trump, who's praised putin as being a strong lead er? >> that's one reading of it. there's a narrative that doesn't get a lot of attention about the adversaries of the united states seeing a trump candidacy and a possible trump victory as part of something that will really help them,ing a story of american decline, withdrawing from nato or tampering with the alliances that have kept the peace for so long. this is an important kind of diplomatic discussion that hopefully will come up in the pth shl debates and beyond. >> president obama due to walk up to that lectern any minute and deliver a news conference, talk about a number of issues.
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you're looking at that the lectern in china. my minute now, president obama will walk up there, he will hold a press conference talking about the g20 summit that's been taking place there. issues about syria, which have been negotiated to no avail over the last two days there. also a 90-minute meeting that the president just had with vladimir putin of russia, where they discussed a range of issues. he will talk about that no doubt as well and perhaps also u.s. politics. want to bring back our panel, jackie kucinich, ron brownstein. let's talk right now about where president obama is in his tenure and his popularity. historically speaking, his popularity is quite high. >> yeah, and it's also quite significant for the 2016 election. you go back and you look, the popularity of the job approval, particularly in the outgoing president, is extremely significant. it's one of the assets for hillary clinton that president obama is ending his presidency by and large on a high note.
not vastly high, but his approval rating is right at 50% or above, which is a thumb on the scale in her direction. again, he's particularly popular among what have been the key elements of this modern democratic coalition, what i've called the coalition of millennials, college educated white, especially women. that's the core group that elected him twice and that is certainly the core group that hillary clinton is relying on. it is why states like when john king was doing the piece a while ago, why you see virginia and colorado moving away from battleground status to clearly leaning toward the democrats. it's a corner stone of why she's ahead in all the states of what i called blue wall. so obama's strength among his core coalition is part of the problem donald trump faces in breaking into that coalition as it mobilizes for hillary clinton. >> yet, jackie, does not sound as though hillary clinton has
the black vote locked up or even particularly the young millennial black vote tied up. there's this new reporting in "the new york times" this morning showing that when you ask a lot of black millennials, they don't trust hillary clinton, and it's not about e-mail scandals. it's about the establishment and how the establishment has dealt with criminal justice issues. >> i mean, it was the crime bill. it was her comment all those years ago about predators. she's apologized for that over and over again, but that hasn't been enough. the more she goes into these areas and talks to black millennials and explains exactly, you know, what she meant and why she doesn't mean it now and what she's going to do to make their lives better, that's what we she needs to do in order to make inroads, by reaching out directly to graphic. otherwise, she's going to be talking past them instead of to them. >> which isn't to say there's
any evidence donald trump is making inroads in the african-american communities. there are almost impossibly low numbers for donald trump in some swing states. >> hillary clinton's difficulty is with african-american millennials and has to be understood more horizontally. that's the piece of the obama coalition where she is most notably underperforming with -- and it is not because they are especially attuned to donald trump. he's facing overwhelming negatives. 75% roughly of millennials say they have an unfavorable view of him. over 70% said he appeals to bigotry. going back to the primaries when bernie sanders beat her among millennials by a bigger margin than president obama did in 2008. she has struggled to generate, in most polls, the numbers she needs with them.
that's where you're seeing, as we've said, the biggest bleed off toward gary johnson and jill stein. one reason the polls are relatively closer is because she's not getting the numbers she needs among younger voters in general. >> jackie, we talk about how donald trump hasn't resonated with black voters yet. this weekend he tried to turn that around. he went to detroit and was there at that african-american church and spoke for -- at first it was a question about whether or not he'd be able to address the crowd. he ended up doing so. at least people in the room felt it. they felt that they was present. they felt he spoke to them when reporters talked to them afterwards. it resonated with them. >> this was a good move for donald trump to do this. it's unclear why it took him so long to do it. we're in the last months of the campaign. he could have done this at any time. there was kind of a funny moment after this speech where they went on a walk to ben carson's
house where he grew up. turns out the person inside was supporting hillary clinton. that said -- >> awkward. >> a little awkward. but this was definitely a good move for donald trump because if you don't ask the question, these people -- the black voters aren't going to vote for him. he needs to just show up. i will say something about millennials. let's not forget, a lot of the millennials that voted for president obama in the last election are in their 30s now. some of these folks haven't even voted before. they're not part of the obama coalition because they weren't old enough to vote. that's another kind of segment of this population that's coming up and needs to be spoken to. >> ron, do we know how millennials consume political advertising? one of the things the clinton campaign has tried to do the last month is run these millions of dollars worth of relentlessly negative ads on donald trump in these key swing states, trying to make him unacceptable to college educated whites and minorities. if millennials aren't watching
tv, they're not going to see these ads. >> certainly in 2012, the obama campaign concluded the most effective way to reach millennials was through peer-to-peer communication. basically people transmitting -- retransmitting the campaign's messages to their own social net yo networks. that's an area where the democrats have invested a lot of money. this is an important test. millennials for the first time ever will equal baby boomers as a share of eligible voters. by 2020, they will be the largest voting generation in the electorate, passing the baby boomers who have been the largest voting group since the early 1980s. the long-term stakes here are significant. jeff flake yesterday make the important point about whatever happens in this election, republicans have to face the challenge of what donald trump's messaging may mean for their position with both millennials and minority voters. both of them are growing as a share of the vote. donald trump may be able to squeeze out a victory by maximizing his support among blue collar, nonurban, and older
whites. if you do that in a way that alienates the groups that are growing in the electorate, that's a long-term challenge for the party, win or lose in november. >> we want top a add a couple voices to our panel here. former trump campaign manager, corey lewandowski. and executive director of the new york democratic party. happy labor day. let's talk about what happened over the weekend with donald trump going to that african-american church and attempting to do some outreach to black voters. as we were saying with jack kirk the people who were interviewed in the church really appreciated it and felt his presence there. he sang. he talked to them. how do you think it went over? >> it went down exactly the way i thought it would. he would have a very scripted speech, remarks to a congregation that was largely respectful that a candidate came and talked to them. the reality is this happening just over two months away from election day. this could have happened a year
ago, and it did not. my sense is that this is an attempt to soften his edges with his core voters but not real engagement of african-american voters. look, i don't begrudge anyone going to communities and saying what they're going to do as a leader, as an executive to support their lives and their families. to me, this sort of rang hollow. >> corey, does donald trump still question whether president obama was born in the united states? >> i don't think he does. i think he said he doesn't want to talk about it. >> he says he doesn't want to talk about it. he hasn't said that president obama was born in hawaii. >> i don't think he does question it, but what i do think is he went to detroit and the detroit free press raved about him going there. he said it was the right thing to do and he was very well received and he was humble in that setting. he asked for african-american support. i think that's what you do as a presidential candidate. you go there and try and listen. there's been a lot of criticism of donald trump making speeches not inside an african-american community, talking to african-americans but not doing
it in the environment where many of the mainstream media said would be fair. that's not the case in detroit. what he did specifically is he went there and listened and he talked and he said, i want your vote and i can do things for you that the democratic party has taken advantage of for the last 30 years. >> i think it's not about what the mainstream media is saying what he should do. it's about what the community thinks he should do. you can't ask for the vote of the community on their terms. you have to go to them and talk to them. granted, he did go, but it's taken him so long to do that. his luxury condominiums are less than three miles from harlem. he's not been to harlem. there's a question as to why. with respect to the birther comment, what african-americans read that as is you believe the first african-american president of the united states is not qualified to govern. that's a stinging statement and sentiment coming from a nominee of a major u.s. party. >> let's unpack that a little
bit. why didn't mr. trump go sooner into a black community and talk directly to them? >> the unofficial start of the election is today. there's nine weeks and one day until election day. >> but we have been enduring it for a year. >> what no one is reporting on is last october when he had his first meeting with the african-american community in trump tower. he met with the african-american leaders down there. no one is talking about this. it's been a systemic and consistent issue with donald trump, which is talking to the african-american community -- >> well, hold on. i don't know it's been systemic. >> he's done. how many times. >> because he did it once last fall and did it this weekend -- >> i mean, she does it consistently. she's been -- i've been with her to african-american churches. >> when? >> she just spoke to the minority journalist conference two weeks ago. before that, didn't she speak to -- >> urban league, naacp. where has donald trump been in
those big events? he does it on his terms. >> he's talked to the african-american community in smaller settings where he's listening to these individuals because he wants to be able to have a give and take. there's no give and take at the n naacp. >> she took questions at the association of black journalists. there is give and take. you can have smaller rooms and smaller conversations, but it seems to me what's systemic is he wants to dictate the engagement on his terms, and that is something that i think is obvious to everyone. >> here's the problem. 26% of the african-american community lives in poverty. that's not my statistic. that's a fact. there are 4 million more african-americans today on food stamps than when president obama took office. that's a fact. these are the facts of the country. >> actually, they're -- >> the question is, it was 7.3 million. now it's 11 million. we have more people killed in the city of chicago in the last five years than soldiers in afghanistan. >> those are incorrect facts. why not talk about the fact that
the african-americans have doubled over the last 40 years. you don't talk about those stats. you also don't talk about the fact that no one, certainly not donald trump, is taking his republican colleagues to task for the ways in which they have restricted the gains that african-americans have made. restrictions on unionization, which has been typically the way that african-americans move into the middle class. he hasn't talked about that. he hasn't talked about restrictions on voting rights so that african-americans can be -- >> but the difference is, in the last eight years, the african-american community is not better off today than they were eight years ago. the question is -- >> unemployment has dropped in half for the youngest african-american -- >> is it okay to say that 26% of the african-american community lives in poverty? absolutely not. >> what's the percentage of white americans that live in poverty? that's an important stat. >> 4 million more people on
assistance than when barack obama took office. so when donald trump is saying is, look, you can continue down the same path if you want to. that's your prerogative. or you can try and make a change. what he's doing is asking for the opportunity to try and do something better for everybody. that's what you do as a candidate. you ask to lay out a vision and say, do you want to join me? >> has donald trump changed in his perception of race, again, talking about what he was talking about with the president's birth, the housing issues in new york in the 1970s, talking about the central park five. has he reflected at all on any of the stances he took in those circumstances? >> what happened when, you know, the reverend jesse jackson needed a place? donald trump offered him that opportunity. what happened when druonald tru said i'm going to open my club to african-americans and jews in the early '90s. no one wants to talk about those things. donald trump continues to employ tens of thousands of people that are african-americans and
hispanics. how many private sector employees has hillary clinton employed? very, very few. >> renting an office space is not real engagement of the african-american community. i would offer this. he needs to -- it's about substance. it's about what you're going to do as the leader of the free world, how you're going to maneuver the labors of political power and the bureaucracy to support the african-american community. that's what we have not heard. >> gentlemen, we have to leave it there. we have breaking news. we want to get to the president at his news conference. thank you very much. to our viewers in the united states and around the world, president obama is holding a press conference after the g20 summit in china. let's check in and see if the president is yet at the podium. we're moments away from the president taking that podium there in china. as we've discussed, the travels press corps is with him. we don't foe what will come up. we can bet a lot of things that have been in the news certainly the 90-minute sideline meeting that he had with vladimir putin.
they were supposed to be discussing how to resolve the crisis in syria, but we're banking other issues came up. that will obviously be questioned. >> josh earnest, the white house press secretary, just sitting down. the president probably just seconds away. alisyn saying a 90-minute meeting with russian leader vladimir putin. we know no deal reached on syria yet. john kerry and sergei lavrov, his counterpart, the russian foreign minister, meeting all weekend. not striking a deal. the president also speaking to vladimir putin about ukraine. we expect they talked about the alleged hack into the dnc here by russian hackers. let's listen to president obama. >> can you hear me, everybody? let me begin by thanking president xi and the people of china for the hospitality in hosting this g20 summit on the shores of beautiful west lake. thank you so much. this visit offered the eighth opportunity for president xi and
me to meet. we agreed to advance our cooperation across a range of issues, including climate change, global health and development, peace keeping, counternarcotics, and nuclear security. we also addressed our differences on issues like religious freedom, maritime security, and a level economic playing field. but we did so in a clear, candid, direct, and i think constructive way. that's helped us to manage problems, and it's consistently helped us to improve relations between the united states and china. this has also been my tenth and final g20 meeting. it goes by fast. so before i take your questions, let me put into context what we've done over the course of all these g20 meetings. i think back to april 2009 when hundreds of thousands of americans were losing their jobs
and their homes and their savings each month and unemployment was on its way to 10%. around the world for the first time in a generation, the global economy was contracting, trade was shrinking, and the international financial system was nearly frozen. by several key measures, the global economy was on a worse trajectory than it was at the outset of the great depression. but the size and the scope of the crisis was not what made that london g20 historic. what made it historic was the speed and magnitude of our collective response. one nation couldn't soft the problem alone, so together developed and developing nations alike took a comprehensive and unprecedented set of actions to prevent another depression and set the stage for recovery. most important was to create jobs and growth by stimulating demand across our economies. america led way. by then, in just my first ten or so weeks as president, we had
already passed the recovery act, set in motion plans to rescue our auto industry, stabilized our banks, jump start loans to small businesses, and launch programs to help homeowners refinance and stay in their homes. and our g20 partners would follow with similar actions. to stabilize the global economy, we rejected the protectionism that could deepen the crisis. we cooperated to keep markets open and trade finance flowing and bolster the international financial system's lending capacity to respond to countries that were hurting the most. and to prevent future crises, we took steps to reform our financial regulatory system, including the historic wall street reforms we passed more than six years ago. these were the actions we took in 2009. they were actions that prevented another depression and created conditions for the global economy to grow by more than 25% over the past seven years.
what we also did, though, was to elevate the g20 to become the world's premier form for international economic cooperation. that decision allowed us to take further actions to strengthen the global economy and that's what we came here to do. we've had long debates over the years about the best ways to promote and sustain growth, but america's voice has always been one of bold action. that stance has been backed up by our economic performance. since job growth turned positive in early 2010, america's businesses have created more than 15 million new jobs. we've cut the unemployment rate in half, and so far this year, wages have risen by almost 3%, which is much faster than the pace of inflation. but one of the things that we learned through the g20 process is that more than ever, our economies are interconnected. we've got more work to do together to keep the global economy growing. we have to do more to grow wages
faster, to shrink inequality faster, to give everybody a shot at opportunity and security in a changing economy. and that should be the way forward for the g20, to make sure that the benefits of trends like globalization and technological process are shared broadly by more workers and families who still feel like the global economy is not working for them. that's what we did here at this g20 summit. we committed to using all of our policy tools to promote robust, inclusive growth that creates opportunity for young people and the middle class that they're working to join. we focused on making sure that businesses can compete fairly and all working families can take advantage of the new prospects the digital economy creates. and we reaffirmed our commitment to support emerging economies through an array of development initiatives. we also discussed ways to unlock the mutual benefits that trade
provides while keeping it fair for our workers and the playing field level for our businesses. that includes high-standard trade agreements that actually benefit the middle class, like the tpp. that includes working together to abstain from unfair currency practices and address corruption in global tax evasion. and it includes our agreement to establish a new form to address some of the market distorting policies in the global steel sector that have hurt workers and businesses. we also added momentum to the fight to protect our planet for future generations. on saturday, the u.s. and china formally entered the paris agreement. and today the g20 welcomed efforts to enter the paris agreement in a force by the end of this year. so if there's anything that the past eight years have taught us, it's that the complicated challenges of the 21st century cannot be met without coordinated and collective action. agreement is not always easy, and results do not always come
quickly. respecting different points of view, forging consensus instead of dictating terms, that can sometimes be frustrating, but it is how progress has been won and how it will be won in the future. it's how we've come as far as we have in the eight years since the crisis affected us all, and it's how the g20 can make progress for all people in the years to come. so with that, let me take some questions. and i will start with roberta rampton of reuters. >> thank you, mr. president. i want to ask you about tomorrow, the next leg of your trip, a little bit. tomorrow you're going to be meeting for the first time with president duterte. he's a leader whose war on drugs has led to the death of about 2400 people in just the last two months since he took office. today he said in a very colorful way that you better not bring
this up and i'm wondering are you committed to raising this with president duterte, and are you concerned that meeting him legitimizes his approach on this issue? >> well, i just came out of a long day of meetings, so i just heard about some of this, but i have seen some of those colorful statements in the past. so clearly he's a colorful guy. what i've instructed my team to do is to talk to their philippine counterparts to find out is this, in fact, a time where we can have some constructive, productive conversations. obviously the filipino people are some of our closest friends and allies. the philippines is a treaty ally of ours.
but i always want to make sure if i'm having a meeting that it's actually productive and we're getting something done. we recognize the significant burden that the drug trade play is not just in the philippines but around the world and fighting narco trafficking is tough. but we will always assert the need to have due process and to engage in that fight against drugs in a way that's consistent with basic international norms. so undoubtedly, if and when we have a meeting, this is something that's going to be brought up. and my expectation, my hope is that it could be dealt with constructively. but i'll have my team discuss this. i've got a whole burch of folks that i'm going to be meeting
with over the course of the next several days. as i said, historically our relationship with philippines is one of our most important, and my relationship with the filipino people has been extraordinarily warm and productive. so i expect that will continue. but i want to make sure that the setting is right and the timing is right for us to have the best conversation possible. >> so you may not -- [ inaudible ]. >> i'm going to make an assessment. i just got out of these meetings. what is certainly true is that, you know, the issues of how we approach fighting crime and drug trafficking is a serious one for all of us. we've got to do it the right way. michelle kosinski.
>> thank you. same subject, i guess, of colorful guys. what can you tell us about this hour and a half long meeting you had with president putin? the tone of it, any progress that was made, and do you agree with him that the relationship between our two countries is now frozen? and on the cyber front, senator reed recently cited intelligence briefings when he was expressing his suspicions that russia is trying to meddle in the election and may have direct ties to one of the campaigns. what can you tell us? do you think russia is trying to influence the u.s. election through hacking? >> well, president putin's less colorful, but typically the tone of our meetings are candid, blu blunt, businesslike. this one was no different. we had a range of issues we had
to discuss, but the two most important were, as has been reported, discussions that have been taking place between secretary kerry and russia's foreign minister sergei lavrov about ways in which we can institute a meaningful, serious, verifiable cessation of hostilities in syria. our capacity to provide some humanitarian relief to families, children, women who are suffering enormously under the burdens of that war. as you'll recall, we had initiated a cessation of hostilities a while back. initially it did lessen some of the violence and then slowly it unwound. we're back into a situation in which assad's regime is bombing
with impunity. that in turn, we think, is actually strengthening the capacity of nusra to recruit people who might not have initially been sympathetic to terrorism but now view anyone who's fighting against assad as legitimized. that is a very dangerous dynamic. and so we have had some productive conversations about what a real cessation of hostilities would look like, that would allow us both, united states and russia, to focus our attention on common enemies like isil and nusra. but kbichb the gaps of trust that exist, that's a tough negotiation. and we haven't yet closed the gaps in a way where we think it would actually work, but my
instructions to secretary kerry and mr. putin's instructions to mr. lavrov was to keep, whoi wo at it over the next several days because the faster we can provide some relief to folks on the ground, the better off we're going to be. and that then is a predicate for us to be able to transition into a serious conversation about a political solution to this problem that would involve all the parties that have either directly or indirectly involved themselves in the syrian conflict. we also spent time talking about ukraine. there is a minsk agreement that arose out of the normandy negotiations between russia, ukraine, france, and germany. but it hasn't been implemented, and i made very clear that until it is implemented, the united
states is not going to pull down sanctions, that it is important for both sides to try to seize this opportunity in the coming weeks to finalize an agreement and to figure out a sequence in which that document is put into effect. and there was agreement not just between myself and mr. putin but also with chancellor merkel and president hollande that, that effort should increase in urgency over the next several weeks. so that was constructive but not conclusive. we'll have to see whether we can actually get this done or whether, in fact, president putin, despite talking about wanting a negotiation, a solution, is, in fact,
comfortable with this constant, low-grade conflict along the russia/ukraine border. and finally, we did talk about cybersecurity generally. i'm not going to comment on specific investigations that are still live and active. but i will tell you that we've had problems with cyber intrusions from russia in the past, from other countries in the past, and look, we're moving into a new era here where a number of countries have significant capacitiecapacities. frankly, we have more capacities than anybody, both offensively and defensively. but our goal is not to suddenly in the cyber arena duplicate a cycle of escalation that we saw when it comes to, you know, other arms races in the past but rather to start instituting some
norms so that everybody's acting responsibly. we're going to have enough problems in the cyberspace with nonstate actors who are engaging in theft and using the internet for all kinds of illicit practices and protecting our critical infrastructure and making sure that our financial systems are sound. what we cannot do is have a situation in which suddenly this becomes the wild, wild west where countries that have significant cyber capacity start engaging in competition, unhealthy competition or conflict through these means when, you know, i think wisely we've put in place some norms when it comes to using other weapons. so that's been a topic of
conversation with president putin, as it has been with other countries. we've started to get some willingness on the part of a lot of countries around the world, including through our g20 process to adopt these norms, but we got to make sure that we're observing them. all right. william. >> thank you, mr. president. heading into laos, what are the main things you can offer its leaders, and what do you plan to push for in return? on offering side, for example, i'm wondering how you view u.s. responsibility for unexploded ordinance. on the asking side, what are you pushing for most? is it better human rights, closer u.s. ties in the face of china, improving their problems with governance and corruption? what's the priority? >> well, look, symbolically,
this is important. i'll be the first u.s. president to visit laos. you know, when you think about the history of the united states and laos, i think it's useful to see what's happened in the evolution of our relationship with vietnam, a country that i just visited recently. at the outset, as we're trying to build trust, a lot of work can be done around war legacy issues. for the lao, that involves dealing with unexploded ordnance, which is still plaguing big chunks of the countryside. since laos is still a relatively poor country that's developing, you know, their capacity alone to clean that up is hampered by
a lack of resources. we should help. my expectation is that in our meetings over the course of several days, that we'll be able to provide ensures that innocent kids that are running through a field or a farmer that's trying to clear a field or a business that's trying to get set up that they're not endangered by the possibility of an explosion. likewise, we have deep commitments to accounting for those who are lost during that war and as was true with vietnam, to the extent that we're able to find out more about our missing in action and our pows, that not only provides
enormous comfort and meaning for families and is consistent with our traditions but it also ends up being a show of good faith on the part of the country and a way for us to move into a next phase of a relationship. so a lot of the conversation i think will start there, but it doesn't end there. we've had an initiative for example helping all the countries along the make on delta to find ways to harness development and deal with environmental issues and that's something that we've been doing over the course of several years now. for us to be able to expand some of that work i think would be important. establishing people-to-people exchanges is another area that historically has been important. i do think laos seeing the
enormous economic progress that china and others have made are going to be interested in finding ways in which they can advance into the global economy and help themselves grow and i think that we can be a useful partner there. so i think there will be a broad-based agenda, but if you think about the visit i made and driving through those streets and the enormous well spring of goodwill you saw, that started with some of the same kind of steps we're going to be taking with laos bultt i think we can hopefully do it faster and make more progress than we did over
the course of ten, 15 years because we've learned some things and think laos is eager to engage with us and we're looking forward to engaging with them so i'm looking forward to visiting what i hear is a beautiful country. >> thank you, mr. president. on the transpacific partnership, how do you plan to sell this to these asian leaders who still have work do in their own countries and some political -- the politics aren't easy and maybe they don't want to do that so much if it seemed like the future is rocky in the u.s. the u.s. usually ratifies its trade deals. do you plan to convoy a sense of inef tablt? if i may, i wonder what you think about the silent protest of colin kaepernick and i also
wonder what you think about the public response to it, which is really divided. some police don't want to secure 49ers' games and many fans feel he's giving voice to something they feel strongly so i just wonder how you look at that. >> well, with respect to tpp, i don't have to sell it to asian leaders here who were part of the negotiations because they see this as the right thing to do for their own countries and when you look at the architecture, the structure of tpp, what it does is open up new markets for us that are general closed. our markets are more open than theirs for the most part so we benefit from a reduction in
tariffs and taxes already in place, but for many of them when they benefit from it is this trade deal is the spur, the incentive for them to engage in a whole bunch of structural reforms that they know over the long term will reinvigorate their economy. so for example the prime minister of japan, he's having to make difficult decisions about opening up markets that had previously been closed but he's also looking at decades of stagnation and anemic growth. he said this provides us a road map of how we can become more competitive on the world stage. vietnam, that for the first time is debating in a very serious way how they can provide protections to their workers and
allow them to participate and have voice and bargain for wages and, yeah, that's tough politically for vietnam. on the other hand they recognize if they want to move up the value chain in the global market that they've got to start abiding by basic norms. so the good news is they're ready to go and what i'll be telling them is that the united states has never had a smooth uncontroversial path to ratifying trade deals, but they eventually get done and it's my intention to get this one done because on the merits it is smart for america to do it and i have yet to hear a persuasive argument from the left or the right as to why we wouldn't want to create a trade framework that
raises labor standards, raises environmental standards, properties intellectual property, levels the playing field for u.s. businesses and brings down tariffs. it's indisputable that it would be bring a better deal for us than the status quo. nobody has been able to describe to me with all the general criticism of trade that you hear coming out of some quarters, nobody has been able to describe to me how this would not be a significant improvement for u.s. workers and u.s. businesses going forward compared to the status quo. and so i intend to be making that argument. i will have to be less persuasive here because most people already understand that.
back home, we'll have to cut through the noise once election season's over. it's always a little noisy there. in terms of mr. kaepernick, i got to confess i haven't been thinking about football while i've been over here and i haven't been following this closely, but my understanding at least is that he's exercising his constitutional right to make a statement. i think there's a long history of sports figures doing so. i think there are a lot of ways you can do it as a general matter when it comes to the flag and the national anthem and the meaning that that holds for our men and women in uniform and those who fought for us. that is a tough thing for them
to get past to then hear what his deeper concerns are, but i don't doubt his sincerity based on what i've heard. i think he cares about some real legitimate issues that have to be talked about and if nothing else what he's done is he's generated more conversation around some topics that need to be talked about. so again i haven't been paying close attention to it, but you've heard me talk about in the past the need for us to have an active citizenry. sometimes that's messy and controversial and it gets people angry and frustrated, but i'd rather have young people who are
engaged in the argument and trying to think through how they can be part of our democratic process than people who are just sitting on the sidelines and not paying attention at all. my suspicion is that over time he's going to refine how he's thinking about it and maybe some of his critics will start seeing that he has a point around certain concerns about justice and equality and that's how we move forward. sometimes it's messy, but it's the way democracy works. all right. last one. angela of bloomberg. >> thank you, mr.