tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN April 10, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
good evening. welcome to a special 360. we're calling it the president test. in the hour ahead what this new president faces when he confronts what other presidents do. president trump's first global challenges are coming nearly all at once. joining us tonight, clarissa ward, matthew chance, will ripley. he is the only american
journalist in pyongyang. also joining us a panel of professionals. we begin with a look at how the administration is dealing with it. jim sciutto has details. >> i order a targeted military strike on the air field in syria from where the chemical attack was launched. >> reporter: to what extent does a single strike against a single target define president trump's approach to what u.s. intelligence agencies call the most diverse array of national security threats to the u.s. in decades, from syria to, russia, to north korea, china and isis? >> the world is a mess. i inherited a mess. whether it's the middle east, whether it's north korea, whether it's so many other things. >> reporter: what is the trump doctrine? >> we do what we can to make
sure that our interests economically and national security are at the forefront. we're not just going to become the world's policeman running around the world. >> reporter: military action against one side of a war the u.s. has studiously avoided would seem to represent a shift from an america first strategy. despite trump's many assurances to the contrary. >> i'm not and i don't want to be the president of the world. i'm the president of the united states. and from now on, it's going to be america first. >> reporter: however, in the case of syria, his administration is offering contradictory messages on whether the syrian leader bashar al assad must go. >> regime change is something that's going to happen because all of the parties are going to see that assad is not the leader that needs to be taking place for syria. >> our priority in syria hasn't changed. the president has been quite clear. first and foremost, we must defeat isis. >> reporter: the next steps are equally unclear. in the battle against isis,
there hasn't been much visible difference between president trump and president obama, aside from some tough talk. the fact is the u.s. battle plan remains much the same, a u.s. led air campaign backed up by very limited u.s. forces on the ground. largely in support of iraqi military and syrian rebel forces. again, despite trump's frequent rhetoric to the contrary. >> i would bomb the shit out of them. >> reporter: in asia, the trump administration is making another show of force this week. diverting a u.s. carrier group to the korean peninsula following recent north korean missile launches. however, trump's meeting with the foreign leader most able to restrain pyongyang, chinese president xi failed to produce a plan to deescalate tensions with the north korean dictator. trump himself has often said that the difficulty in discerning his intentions is actually part of his plan. >> i don't want people to figure me out. i don't want people to know what
my plan is. i have plans. i have plans. but i don't want them to know what i'm thinking. does that make sense? >> whether or not the president likes people guess, allies and adversaries are trying to figure him out, trying to determine how the new administration will react when pushed. here to talk about it, people who have been a part of the process. admiral, let's start with you. is it clear what the trump administration policy is towards syria? is it regime change? >> it's not clear to me at all. they went from political reality is assad to regime change in almost a nano second. i get the reality of the chemical attack and what that did to their decision making process on a tactical level. but i have yet to hear anything that defines a clear, set, long-term policy. >> do you think that's by design?
some people said, the president said he doesn't like people to know his plans. maybe he wants to be viewed as unpredictable. or is it worse case scenario, which is they don't have a plan? >> i don't think -- i think it's evolving. i don't think though actually have sat down and thought through a very cohesive policy for syria, which is the most complicated place in the middle east right now. so rex tillerson will have a long day thursday when he sits across the table from lavarov. the russians do everything with a plan. they want to have some sense of certainty about what the american government is going to do about syria. i think hopefully they will go into that meeting with some big ideas. this is tillerson's chance to lay out where they want to go. he has a little leverage now in the wake of the air strikes. >> whether it was sean spice are misspeaking or not, three time times he talked about the use of
barrel bombs by the assad regime as something that could prompt the trump administration to have another military strike. if that is -- it was walked back later. that would be a major shift. >> i hope that's not where they're going. you start getting into the nomenclature of conventional weapons or modified -- >> 13,000 barrel bombs were used in 2016. >> don't get me wrong, we should not be supportive of any of that. they were using those barrel bombs on civilian targets. they didn't care about casualties. that's not a good path to walk down. i think they did a good thing. they went in. they were decisive about the use of chemical weapons in a way that brought support of the world and republicans and democrats came together and said, good on you. this gives them a window, i think, to get that strategy together. i don't think they're there yet. i don't think they thought this through. but i will say -- old saying in the army. when the map doesn't match the terrain, it's best to go with
the terrain. whatever plan he had going into syria changed. it fundamentally changed. so they have a window to get it right. but they're going to have to use all of their resources and all of their allies to put a plan together for a long-term strategy. >> some of his supporters who voted for him for his america first policy, not getting involved in the middle east, tweets about don't get involved in syria, president obama is wrong for thinking about that it would be understandable why they might feel, this is not what we voted for. >> sure. i think mike has it right. there's a clear limiting principal in upholding a principal. you don't use chemical weapons. that's a principal the entire world adopted after world war i. it was right for the president to take the strike. and it also i think confines what he would do going forward where you really get into trouble is when you start to broaden your goals. the risks go up, especially if the goals can't be achieved. if they keep it focused on
chemical and biological weapons and then use this to leverage the russians to get them more engaged in actually working -- >> so are chemical weapons being used by syria against their own people -- i'm not defending it. it's horrific in violation of many treaties. is that a national security threat to the united states? >> it is. anything you do that allows that basic principal that you don't use chemical or biological weapons anywhere, if you are undermining that, that's going to be a danger around the world. upholding it goes -- it goes beyond syria. this use of chemical and biological weapons goes beyond syria. >> it's not a new idea. we have long said to stop the proliferation and use of these kinds of weapons. president obama -- >> including nuclear as well. >> this is not a new idea. >> for many times, people have said, genocide can never happen again. we have learned the lessons of the past. yet, we have seen a lack of
action in the early days of the r r genocides. is this a slippery slope of greater u.s. involvement for a president who said i don't want to get involved in nation building? >> in the near term, this is a positive step. it upholds a norm against the brutal use and horrific use of chemical weapons against assad's own people. and the incredible suffering we saw from those pictures that emerged last week. in the longer term, it is unclear at best what the larger goal is, what the larger strategy is. and i think we need to see that to understand, are there limiting principals on this? as i think mike said earlier, if in fact the statements today are accurate, that in fact this type of military action would be taken in response to barrel
bombs, as horrific as the barrel bombing has been, it does occur on a daily basis, and that would signal a dramatic escalation. >> in terms of affecting change, a poll said 57% of people supported the missile strike but 18% support ground troops to syria. how concerned are you about this? >> well, listen, my concern is if somebody over there at the white house starts believing that this strike is a policy of moving forward to deal with syria. you can't get that confused. >> this is not a policy? >> this is not a polpolicy. one strike is not a policy. it's a message about keeping the norms of using chemical weapons. it had a benefit when you do have problems in north korea, when you have russians rattling their saber, when you have the chinese in the south china sea, it did say when i tell you i'm going to do something or i see something that is -- rises to the level of military action, i will make that decision. this is a window of opportunity
for them to go out, to be dispatched. if they had people at the state department, this would be a good time to go out and dispatch them to try to use this leverage that they have. >> how big of a problem is that, the lack of personnel? >> i think this is a huge problem. >> they don't have enough people in key positions? >> they have 20 different assistant secretaries at the state department, not even filled. which means it creates confusion even to places overseas where you will have world leaders or the designee asking, who do i call? that's a problem. the military aside, candidly, is a well oiled machine. they will act. you saw that the problem showed up at the front door of the national security council. they got a decision. here is the problem. shooting part is the easy part. the hard part is making sure you don't get mission creep is to make sure your policies that you are going to negotiate with russia, with china, with north korea, that's the hardest part. that's where you needy mro dipl.
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when the president ordered last week's strike on syria, did he more than just launch 59 cruise missiles at an air base, he may have changed what was a struggle for years, the war on isis. clarissa ward reports on that for us. how has the u.s. strike affected the state of play on the ground, if it has, in syria? >> reporter: well, i think in terms of the assad regime, there has been little shift. we have seen air strikes today. we have seen barrel bombs which are a new topic of discussion with the trump administration raining down. but if the u.s. military did successfully take out 20% of the syrian regime's fixed wing
aircraft, that is significant. however, i would say where you are really seeing a shift here, anderson, in syria is less taking place on the ground on the battlefield and more in terms of what's happening behind the scenes, behind closed doors and the balance of power of all the various proxy countries that have a stake in the syrian conflict. and it may just be that this has given the u.s. a little bit more leverage whether it comes to dealing with russia, and it may just be that perhaps this element of unpredictability, which at the one -- on the one hand makes the trump administration a little concerning and gives some analysts cause for anxiety, could also be something of an asset when it cops comes to si down in moscow on wednesday of this week. because that element of surprise, that element of unpredictability is something we haven't seen in u.s. policy for a long time, anderson. >> obviously, rex tillerson said sunday the priority is the fight
against isis on the ground in syria, which is obviously separate from whatever this administration wants to have happen with bashar al assad. where does that stand? >> reporter: well, it's incredible, anderson. the day after the u.s. strikes on the are a beam of bashar al assad, isis launched a major attack on a u.s. base in southern syria. the u.s. was able to repel that attack. it gives you a sense that the u.s. is still actively engaged in a very tough fight against isis in syria and iraq and potentially this shift in policy, if it is a shift in policy with regard to bashar al assad, could complicate that fight. because the russians are, of course, assad's biggest backers. but they are also essential for the u.s. to go about this fight against isis. and that is because they have an enormous amount of highly sophisticated anti-aircraft weaponry. they could potentially shoot american planes out of the sky
if they wanted to. you have some 1250 u.s. military personnel on the ground inside syria. if the assad regime and russia turn against them, you are talking about a potentially very complicating factor, not to mention the so-called deconfliction. that will make the fight much tougher. >> thanks very much. be careful. back now with our panel. tony, during the campaign, donald trump talked a lot about trying to forth a relationship with russia, because he believed russia was a valuable asset in the fight against isissyria. are they simply propping up bashar al assad? >> propping up assad. that's been their focus. the challenge now is that we do want to keep our eyes on the
prize. that's the fight against isil. that fight is going well. we're on the verge in iraq in support of iraqi forces in taking back mosul. in syria, we have a chance -- >> the main headquarters. >> in iraq and syria are in jeopardy. that means the caliphate they have declared, the state they said they were building is going to be gone. foreign fighters wouldn't have a place to go to, they won't have resources to exploit. their narrative is destroyed. that's going to be a very powerful thing. we have to keep our eyes on that. the trick is to be tough with russia, to hold them to account for what assad is doing with chemical and biological weapons but not to overplay the hand to the point russia starts to interfere with, not help, the fight against isis. >> the idea of destroying the caliphate is important. one thing a lot of people don't understand is al qaeda was calling -- wanted a caliphate. isis said, the caliphate is now. it's actually here now. it's a real thing. according to the fbi people we
talk to, that was a big motivator for jihadists and extremists around the world who would sign on because this was something here and now that they do fight for. >> that's right. isis has done tremendous work exploiting social media. the great engine of freedom of expression in this country and basically the united states gave to the world. it's ironic, they have exploited that to recruit individuals, many of them western passport holders, some from here, many from europe, from north africa, to go to iraq and syria on the promise people would be joining this caliphate, this physical construction. as tony said, the fact that we are now on the verge of dislodging them from mosul with the work of the iraqi security forces, from raqqah, their self-declared capital in syria, is tremendously important, to take that recruiting tool away from them. >> the reality -- jim sciutto is at the magic map for this.
isis has lost a lot of ground in the last year and a half, particularly in iraq. they have had success with attacks around the world by telling people, don't come here. stay where you are, attack in place, use a car, use a knife, use whatever you can. >> that's exactly right. let's not diminish the progress on the battlefield. it has been significant. look at the map. i folks around the table i know are familiar with. you have to look closely to see this. there is the occupied. this is 2015 at the start of the u.s.-led air campaign. the red are areas under isis control. the yellow, isis support. focus on those red areas, particularly around mosul, one of the strongholds and ramadi, extremely close to the capital of baghdad. toggle ahead to march 2017. what do you see disappear? i will toggle back and forth to make it more visible for you. around mosul, this big area of isis control here, that disappears during the two-year period. you know that now part of mosul
is out of isis control. that's progress. a lot of the cities along the way to mosul no longer under isis control. let's look down here. we're going back a couple of years. you had isis pockets here close to the capital and up the corridor towards syria. they're no longer in ramadi. you diminished that. let's look into syria. go back a couple of years. here is raqqah, that's the capital of the pro claimed caliphate. they still control raqqah. you have rebel-led forced getting closer. they are supported by u.s. forced as they prepare to assault the city of raqqah. you have a long way to go. but they have made progress. you made a point about what happens with their global attacks as they have been losing ground on the battlefield in iraq and syria. in red are countries around the world where attacks, even conducted by isis or having some level of coordination by isis have taken place. look at europe, north africa, into the middle east, russia certainly experienced it, down
into asia. in yellow are the ones that are inspired by isis. these are significant attacks as well. that's part of isis' capability. they don't necessarily have to be on the phone with these groups. they can inspire someone via the internet. those are extremely powerful. north america, we here in the u.s. have had the experience of this. san bernardino being one of the attacks, canada as well. that shows something that has long been a concern of counter terror folks like the ones around the table. you squeeze them here in their home base. they're going to try to project power across the globe. they have done that with success. >> jim sciutto, thanks. when you look at the map in terms of fighting isis, there's been success in iraq. has there been success in syria? obviously, the u.s. put a lot of money into trying to build sort of so-called moderate forces as a counter to isis. spent a lot of money. didn't get a lot of personnel out of it. >> there has been success. has it been as direct and as
dramatic as iraq? no. iraq, we will security forces and mailitia forces that you could rely on. we had a direct role in training, advising and assisting iraqi security forces. there was a partnbetter partner ground. it's difficult to get that cohesive partners on the ground this syria. there has been progress. president obama's decision to insert a small number of special operations forces on the ground in syria, to do advising and assisting, i think has given that some momentum. >> what about donald trump? as president, has he -- he talked about kind of tasking his na military planners to look at this. has he laid out a clear agenda on how he wants to battle isis? >> at least not publically. i think internally, they're going through some mass nations about what that plan looks like, from everything i can tell. they have done some interesting things, those of us who were wanting the obama administration to free up the rules of
engagement for our special forces. this was a debate we had for years inside. should we or should we not? what does that mean? i see a little bit of that happening. they have changed some of the rules engagement. complicated to a viewer, but what it means is it's not just advise and assist. it's advice and assist and then maybe take -- help them leverage on their target success. those are important small things. they're not major changes in the battle structure as you -- the battle plan as we saw coming out of the obama administration. they're more like a screw driver to a carburetor than massive changes. some would argue that they have seen success from those kinds of changes. now with the bombing, i do think that they are going to have to sit around the table and get the whole of government approach. this can't be a military only solution. they have to -- if they're not comfortable with state department, then they better put somebody on this task. you have to do both. >> tony, this is also -- there's
got to be a political solution in iraq so that the last prime minister who frittered away the success the u.s. had in bringing sunnis on board who ahad previously supported al qaeda, even if their success on the battlefield, the resentment, the hate will remain. >> you are right. if we're not able and the iraqis are not able to affect the conditions that led to the rise of isil, once it's defeated, it won't stay defeated. you will have isil 2.0. that comes to politics, economics, finding some kind of accommodation that makes sunnis believe they have a future within iraq. that's important. that's where diplomacy comes in. even when we succeed on the battlefield, diplomats have to help move the iraqis in the right place. you talked about the balloon affect. that puts a premium -- these attacks taking place out side of iraq on diplomacy, on information sharing, on
policing. we can't bomb those people away. we need to be working closely with other countries, bringing them together, sharing information. that's how we're going to get at those folks. >> that's right. good governance is the key here. that's the same -- that's the in addition syria. that's why syria is more difficult. the prime minister is str struggling. you don't have good political underpinning. that's why a diplomatic solution is the only way forward. >> you don't have that in iraq. if we don't get sunnis believing they're going to have control of their fate, iraq is going to go -- >> the sue sunni shia divide is not addressed. more of the russian challenge. a live report from moscow ahead. to eat healthy. yet up 90% fall short in getting key nutrients from food alone. let's do more. add one a day women's complete with key nutrients we may need. plus it supports bone health with calcium and vitamin d.
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inaugurated. what is the deal with the president and russia? it has been asked for months. it's part of an investigation as we know. it's a question only further complicated by the united states' strike in syria. matthew chance joins us from moscow. how is russia responding to the strikes? >> reporter: i think pretty indignant. state media turned against. >> daymeon: donald trump. they're calling him an aggressor. putin calling the u.s. missile strikes an act of aggression in violation of international law. in terms of what action they have taken, they have suspended the military to military contact on the ground in syria, making it more risky for further strikes. they promised to bolster's syria's air defenses to shoot down the missiles in the future if there are more air strikes. reading between the lines, you get the impression, they are prepared to take this on chin. they could have shot them the tomahawk
tomahawks. they chose not to. they could have canceled the visit of rex tillerson tomorrow. they didn't. you get the impression the russians are still hoping that this isn't the start of a new u.s. intervention in the middle east and that u.s. -- the u.s. policy towards syria is not going to radically change. they're monitoring what will happen next from the u.s. side. >> the visit tomorrow by tillerson, he is not meeting with vladimir putin, is that correct? >> reporter: that's not clear. initially, there was a message put out by the embassy here, the u.s. embassy here in moscow, there was planned to be a tentative photo shoot with tillerson meeting putin. that has been taken off the agenda. we don't know what is going to happen. we know he is meeting his russiancounterpart. those meetings will be dominated by syria. this was always going to be controversial. he is someone who is notoriously
close to the russian leadership when he was the ceo of exxon. he was awarded the order of friendship by vladimir putin. that was something that was always very controversial. now he comes to russia transformed as the secretary of state of the united states. >> matthew chance, thanks very much. back with the panel. tony, outhis notion that donald trump had during the campaign of, it would be great if we got along and we could fight terrorism, that seems pretty much done. >> for now. there are two problems. the president painted himself into a corner, even if he wanted to improve relations with russia, for whatever reason, there's so much suspicion about the relationship. now on top of that with the chemical weapons attack in syria and the fact that russia brokered the agreement to get the chemical weapons out in 2013. it hasn't made good on that. he is in a tough place. here is the challenge. secretary tillerson's mission is
very important. there's an opportunity to leverage what we did. at the end of the day if russia, it's one man, one vote. putin is the one man. his is the one vote. it will take president trump engaging with him to move this forward. >> do you agree with that? if that's the case, given the fbi investigation and all the drama surrounding allegations of connections between the people in trump's orbit and russians, that's a meeting that might take a while to happen. >> i still think this is in putin's best interest, even the having till aerson come to mosc empowers putin as much as before. the next series of steps could change that. but he is dealing with a very frayed problem in syria. iran has lost members there. that has not sold well back in iraq. hezbollah has lost thousands of fighters. that is not selling well back in lebanon. >> fighting on the side -- >> on the side with russia.
really, they're trying to expand their hold of the assad government. that's their mission. he has a problem, too. i think it's easy othe yiier -- him 18 feet tall. he has a military problem. he has an ally problem. this certainly didn't help it. but i think he is playing it fairly smart. he canceled the meeting. maybe he hasn't. maybe he doesn't. tillerson is in moscow to meet with them to talk on the way forward. that's good for putin. i think there's still hope that we can regain them in a political solution. by the way, we have to have russia as a part of the solution given where they are on the battlefield. >> how do the meetings -- when you are in -- behind closed doors, how does it work? how frank are they? can tillerson actually -- can they be frank with each other? is it dancing around and not really saying what's true? >> behind closed doors, they can be quite frank with each other. it goes back to this question
of, is he the person to deliver the message to? arguably, no. he is an in box. he is a mailbox. the real person to get that direct message to really have the pressure be put on is to putin. that's where the rubber will meet the road. >> the other argument -- the flip side is tillerson the person to have this conversation or -- does he really have the ear of president trump to the extent that we have seen others, jared kushner? is it going to boil down to putin and trump together? >> it remains to be seen. which is why we immediate to watch very care it wifully what happens on this trip from tillerson. this is an opportunity. if he is armed for instance, do we think and will the u.s. government make clear that russia was complicit in this chemical weapons attack that president trump retaliated for? if there is information indicating that russia either knew or was complicit in this
attack, that should be part of a very, very strong message to putin. >> that's potentially devastating. the russians really do need at the end of the day some way out of the syrian problem. the more they are seen as complicit in murdering sunni muslims, that's bad for them in the sunni muslim world, the arab countries surrounding syria. it's bad in central asia and the caucuses. it's bad for them at home where their population is 15% muslim, mostly sunni. the attack on the subway in st. petersburg, you have thousands now chechen fighters who will want to go home to russia and wreak vengeance. >> we have seen chechen attacks. >> the g7 has come together in a way we haven't seen in the trump presidency, including the united states. there was a frayed relationship going into should nato stay, the comments back and forth across
the pond. this was a unifying event. that's not good for russia. that's not good for putin. there's a lot of things i think he has to consider as he decides how tough he wants to be on this missile strike. he thoos has do it publically. if we walk in and throw the file down on the desk that says, it was and air base of which you had russian advisors, by the way the base isn't that big, you knew where the chemical weapons were, you were complicit in loading those weapons just by watching it, do you want the world to go there on that? that's a very powerful message. i hope that's what they do. >> is there an advantage in having donald trump as president not -- it's not that he's not a rational actor. but not stating what his policy is, as being an unknown quantity on the world stage? can that be an advantage. >> suncertainty and the use of the military tool, there's an
advantage. the military tool should be subservient to diplomacy. a larger part of a well crafted cohesive well articulated policy about here is what we believe about syria and how to get to a final conclusion there that's peaceful and good for the syrian people. that's what they haven't done yet. i have been disappointed to not see the president, like his secretary of state and like his u.n. ambassador, actually call russia out with respect to this recent attack and the fact that they at least had knowledge of it. he has yet to say anything about president putin and russia's actions in syria. i think that's a real problem. >> more with the panel ahead on this special edition of 360, the president test. most of the panel think this is the biggest threat and challenge to the united states with american ships on their way there tonight, we are talking about north korea. we'll be right back. what makes this simple salad the best simple salad ever? heart healthy california walnuts.
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♪ we are not here to sit idly by. we are here...to leave a mark. experience a shift in the natural order. experience amazing. we're taking a closer look at the international situations that president trump is faced with. u.s. war ships are nearing the korean peninsula, a response to recent provocations by north
korea. they claim it's pursuing nuclear weapons to defend itself from what it deems is u.s.ripley is tonight. >> reporter: anderson, a few minutes ago north korean officials walked in the room and handed me this. this is a statement from a spokesperson from the ministry of foreign affairs. calls the dispatch of the aircraft carrier strike group a reckless act of aggression. it says that north korea is willing and ready to respond to whatever methods the u.s. wants to take. we were with officials over the weekend when word came in that the carl vinson had been rerouted. it was here a few weeks ago for joint military exercises between south korea and the u.s. they said they weren't surprised by it. though view this as the latest in a series of provocative acts by the trump administration. they have watched the missile
strike on syria. they thought it was perhaps a veiled threat to north korea, the u.s. is willing to take military action if they feel a line is crossed. the north koreans say the difference between syria and this country is they will respond. it's a complicated situation. they have conventional weapons and artillery that can kill a lot of people in the seoul area with tens of millions of people about 30 miles from the demilitarized zone. there could be a nuclear test at any point. this country tells its citizens they have to develop the weapons using a vast amount of their scant resources because they say that they are under the threat of invasion from the u.s. what the trump administration is doing playing into the narrative. people in pyongyang know about what's happening in syria because the state media is telling them, even though they keep so much else hidden. >> will ripley, thanks for being there. around this table, how many of you believe north korea is the greatest threat to the united states currently? >> yes.
>> everyone. why? >> you have an irrational actor. within last couple of months he smeared the nerve oagent on someone who he believed might try to take over his position as leader. >> a family member. >> a family member no less. we have stories there, but we won't -- >> all right. >> if you think about what he has done to amass troops, artillery and weapons that -- by the best modelling, huge casualty counts for seoul if he decides -- >> if he was to strike seoul in terms of potential death -- >> well, a lot of that is classified. but i think what we can say with some certainty probably around this table, it's a very large number. so in a very short period of time. one of the largest armies in the world. he is an irrational actor. he keeps backing himself into a corner where he says this is a provocation we have never seen and i will respond in kind.
it's not unusual for a carrier group to be around the korean peninsula. he just keeps ratcheting it up. he has this problem if he is going to stay in control, he has to please this small ring of military advisors who are just as eager by all accounts to engage in something war-like. you have all of these combinations and no way to ramp him down for a really bad decision and a miscalculation. that to me spells disaster. even the conventional front, massive casualties, you add into that any nuclear explosion, we have a huge problem. >> the problem for us is that successived aminu ed amiadminis tried to reign in their nuclear program without success. he has accelerated to get a missile that can reach the united states. put that in the hands of someone who acts certainly impulsively
and maybe irrationally, that's not something we can accept. what do we do? there's not a good military president trump as a candidate and president really put the focus on china saying china's got to do more to rein them in. china, though, has an inherent interest. "a," they don't want to completely destabilize north korea on their border, they also don't want a unified korea on their border that's aligned with the west, correct? >> right, with american troop t of course, no, that's exactly right. look, president obama also said that a path here to success in pyongyang has got to go through beijing. they really do -- they're the only nation state that has any degree of influence over pyongyang. it's limited at best. i think they're frustrated by that. president xi was none too happy about their recent missile test which was done, timed, people believe, timed for his visit to the united states to embarrass him. so it's got to go through beijing.
you're right. the kind of things we've done in the past haven't worked. so ratcheting up the pressure on him, whether it's economics, with sanctions, which feels good, or deploying a carrier strike off the coast, which also feels good, is actually not a bo bad move. may not be successful in the end. it's time we think about radical difference approaches such as, perhaps, negotiations, tries to find a we ay to sit down and ta. >> the chin naese can do more. it's quite clear they can do more. provide an outlet for trade for north korea, provide some subs nance to north korea. they have taken some steps banning import of coal to china, et cetera, but they can do more and they should be doing more to isolate them. >> that's the vinson comes in. what the president should be saying and hopefully said to xi jinping, look, we need your help
in squeezing these guys, if you don't to it, we're going to take steps to protect ourselves. more of a presence in the rege including with the vinson and ultimately sanctions. sanctions including on chinese entities, chinese companies doing business with north korea. you're going to put us in that position, we have to take those steps. that's the way to get the chinese to ratchet up the pressure a little bit more and maybe, maybe small chance you can get kim jong-un to come back to the table. >> including mmt e ining elemena which we've never done. they've moved according to reports today, 150,000 troops along the border. the chinese moved it on northern -- the north korean border. that's huge if that, in fact, proves to be true. and their stated purpose, apparently, was they're doing this for any humanitarian crisis that may occur. so, that's a significant change in chinese policy. i do think it was because the u.s. has taken a little bit of a different tactic militarily. that puts pressure on -- in a
way that north korea hasn't seen in a very long time. that could be a very positive outcome to getting him to the table to having a conversation. south korea went to north kpror said we're going to do our own sanction, that's a positive step. if we can get china to shut down the black market on the northern border, which they can, i hope the 150,000 troops are engaged in that effort, really put the hurt on the leadership of north korea. they're the ones benefiting by the black market. >> a lot of money from that. up next, how some past presidents framed their foreign policy doctrines, ahead. to those who know
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and keep watching all year long. in his inaugural speech, president trump said the priority in his administration will be america and american workers first. he made no mention of america's traditional role as a global leader but as we've been talking about this hour the trump foreign policy seems to be a work in progress. with that in mind, here's how his predecessors outlined their visions of america's role in the world. >> we must use our skill and knowledge and at times our substance to help others rise from misery, however far from a scene of suffering may be from our shores. we recognize and accept our own deep involvement in the destiny of men everywhere. >> let every nation know,
whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty. >> our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will. when action is required to preserve our national security, we will act. we will maintain sufficient strength to prevail if need be. knowing that if we do so, we have the best chance of never having to use that strength. >> ultimately, the best strategy to ensure our security and to build a durable peace is to support the advance of democracy elsewhere. democracies don't attack each other. they make better trading partners and partners in diplomacy. >> we are led by events and
common sense to one conclusion. the survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. the best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. >> to those who cling to power through corruption and deceit, and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist. >> the words of presidents past. again, as we mentioned, president trump was lengtlecteda promise of putting america first, some took as a move away from the rest of the world and its troubles. f in the span of less than a week
that turned upsidedown. until we hear it from president trump, we simply don't know. closing in on this administration's first 100 days in dealing with the multiple challenges we just outlined, it is becoming that much more important to find out. thanks for watching this special edition of "360." time to hand it over to don lemon. "cnn tonight" starts right now. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. we're going to begin with this outrageous story, a story you have to see to believe and i still can't believe it. united airlines under fire tonight, americans stunned over the sight of a passenger being violently dra lly dragged off a airplane. it happened yesterday at chicago's o'hare airport on a flight to louisville. i want you to keep in mind that this is is a paying customer being forcibly removed after refusing to give up his seat for airline crew members. i have to warn you, that the video is tough to watch. here's some of what passengers recorded with their cell phones. >> hey! hey!