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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  August 9, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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you only pay for data and can easily switch between pay per gig and unlimited. no one else lets you do that. see how much you can save when you choose by the gig or unlimited. call or go to xfinitymobile.com. xfinity mobile. it's a new kind of network, designed to save you money. hi there, i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn. thank you so much for being with me. breaking news at this hour here, the rapid escalation of threats between the united states and north korea and the u.s. secretary of defense has just issued what is perhaps the fiercest warning yet. we have just heard now from general james mattis. let me read part of what he has written here. "north korea should cease any consideration of actions that will lead to the end of the
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regime and the destruction of its people." it's a tone and tenor echoed initially by president trump who vowed to bring fire and fury if north korea continues to threaten the u.s. and if president trump stoked fears of imminent war yesterday, he did little to ease them this morning. he took to twitter to boast the u.s. nuclear arsenal, writing this, "my first order as president was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. it is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before." he goes on. "hopefully, we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world." now, the state department is holding a briefing any moment. there's a live look inside there. we're ready to take it and we will as soon as it begins. it's expected to respond to north korean threats that are new, attacking the small u.s. territory of guam where the u.s.
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has an air force base. secretary of state rex tillerson trying to reassure americans during an unscheduled visit there. but let's begin with our correspondent jim sciutto, cnn chief national security correspondent and jim, we're getting some new information on when the president said fire and fury with regard to north korea, it was what? off the cuff or planned? >> reporter: well, what the white house is saying now, sarah huckabee sanders, is that the tone was discussed prior. they wanted a tough tone, but the words were, in her words, the president's own. of course, words coming from the president's mouth have meaning, and those words were forward leaning, i think, in the most conservative terms, saying very explicitly, if the -- if north korea threatens the u.s. again, it will be met -- those were the words -- with fire and fury. today, from secretary tillerson, from secretary mattis, we've heard something of a reinterpretation of the president's remarks to make it
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more in line with what u.s. policy is, which is if there is an attack on the u.s. or u.s. interests, that would be met with really devastating response from the u.s., in the words of general mattis, lead to the end of the regime and the destruction of the north korean people. that's, of course, different from what the president said, because the president said if there is a threat, the threat will be met with fire and fury. of course, even in the last 24 hours, since the president made that statement, north korea has made more threats and makes a threat every other day or so to the u.s., but i think you're hearing from tillerson and mattis today something that's more in line with what has been the u.s. policy, very strong words, very clear expression of u.s. military dominance, that a u.s. response would be overwhelming and deadly for the regime, but not quite what the president himself said in his own words now as the white house is confirming yesterday. >> let me follow up on that. when you say it's his own words, it could be his own words that he thought about because he knew he'd get a north korea question, given the fact that that was the story and has been the story.
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was it something he had planned to say, how he wanted to respond? or was this the president off the cuff? >> reporter: well, they're saying the words were off the cuff, that the tone was planned. that's what sarah huckabee sanders says, whatever that means, that the tone was planned, a tough tone, but the words, as you heard them yesterday, brooke baldwin, were very fiery, literally fiery, fire and fury, like the world has never seen before. that phraseology is unique. i don't know if it's unprecedented but it's certainly unique coming from the mouth of a president and you're seeing, i think, in the comments from tillerson and mattis, bringing those tough words back in line with what is the u.s. position here, which is a north korean attack or an imminent threat would be met with an overwhelming u.s. response. >> okay, thank you so much in washington. we continue on to the pacific region, watching the escalation, escalating situation very closely, especially with china, warning against worsening tensions. let's go to will ripley, who has
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been inside north korea more than a dozen times. he is live for us in the middle of the night there in beijing. so far, how has china responded? >> reporter: china has responded as they often respond when tensions are escalating, trying to urge everybody to just calm down. you know, china's standing right in the middle here. they have north korea, their ally, their trading partner and the united states, a much larger trading p, n trading partner, not an ally and they think both sides share the blame. they think the united states through its military exercises and rhetoric, that only further enrages north korea and its leader, kim jong un, and encourages them to test more missiles and potentially conduct nuclear tests and continue with their threats. so, we did have a statement to cnn after questioning them about both of those countries' threats and the foreign ministry here in beijing told us, quote, the current situation on the korean
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peninsula is complex and sensitive. china calls on the relevant sides to follow the broad direction of resolving the nuclear issue through political means, avoid remarks and actions that could aggravate conflicts and escalate tensions. if the u.s. and north korea could freeze what they're doing, then maybe they could sit down at the bargaining table and work out a deal. but both sides have said, brooke, they're not willing to do that. there's a lot of nervousness in japan, by the way. they've been conducting missile drills as a result of this, but interestingly, probably the two countries where people are the least nervous, north korea and south korea. and south korea, they were talking more about the weather today than they were about this, when you're talking about social media in south korea, because they've lived under the threat of war for decades. they're used to hearing this so it doesn't really faze people and i've had a similar experience in the north as well.
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they live in a constant state of war and they just go on with their lives and they think, if it happens, it happens. >> stunning. that's reality check for how a lot of americans have been feeling in the last 24 hours. will ripley, thank you as always. excellent reporting from china. let's discuss further, shall we. phillip coyle is with us, a board member on the center for arms control and nonproliferation. john park is with us, and jamie metzl, a former staff member on the national security council and a senior fellow on the atlantic council. the news reported by jim sciutto, the fire and fury words, the tone was planned, according to the white house spokesperson, but the words were improvised. >> yeah. that may be true, but what a frightening state of affairs for our country and for the world that the president of the united states is essentially threatening nuclear war from a golf club without any coordination. what does that say about the job
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that this white house is doing, projecting american power and american interests? and it may be that he just was speaking off the cuff, but that's really frightening. >> so, one way to look at it, john park, isn't another way to look at it, we know this is how north korea speaks. recently, their tone is imagery talking about fire and fury similar to their words, catapult and sea of fire. this is how they talk normally. i mean, maybe this sort of language, might this be the way to address pyongyang? >> well, that actually -- that symmetry may not be a good thing, brooke. consistently, republican and democratic administrations in the past have been very careful, very coordinated internally and with allies about messaging so right now, this rapid news cycle and the messaging that's been happening from the very top is something that's different. and with that, and given all the change in the terrain in the sense of a nuclear capability, an icbm capabilities coming on, this is a very volatile and
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uncertain situation right now. >> what about the messages coming out of the administration, phillip, to you, you know, for weeks, we know secretary of state rex tillerson has been building what he's calling a peaceful pressure for the campaign, to garner international support, to bring north korea to the table. obviously, that's not the same message the world received from president trump. so in a sense, you have a good cop/bad cop scenario. then you throw in, as we just discussed off the top, the secretary of defense issuing this statement, echoing a more forceful message. how do you read all of that? >> well, the president's comments yesterday weren't helpful, and what you see now is the defense department and the state department trying to dial down what the president said. >> do you think the defense department dialed down with that statement? or is it more in line with the president? >> it was intended to be supportive of what the president had said, but it was also more careful than what the president
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had said. >> jamie, you were just in beijing. we talked recently about that. there is one consensus that things will perhaps the president used that sort of language because he was also talking to china. >> it may be. there are some people who have been saying that this is some kind of great strategic plan and the president is some great strategist. i haven't seen a shred of evidence that either the president or the administration has a coherent plan, and the administration themselves -- >> he's got a lot of smart people working for him. >> yeah, but the question is, what is that adding up to? they're saying that he was speaking off the cuff, making these outlandish threats, and yes, there's a big threat from north korea and it's very, very real, but if there is, as john park was saying, if there is a symmetry between the behavior of the north korean leader and the american president, i don't see how that helps us at all. and the big question is, are we stronger today than we were yesterday before president trump made these remarks? and these remarks have only harmed our interests.
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they've only inflamed the situation on the ground, and now we're trying to get back to the actual u.s. policy, which has a lot of consistency from obama to today. so, i really don't see any kind of strategic effort. >> i'm going to get to this interview that he did with wolf blitzer in a second. to push back on you, conservatives would say, listen, the world was waiting for this day, and nothing has been done. i mean, yes, there are sanctions but look how far that's gotten us. so, is this kind of rhetoric -- i know you disagree with what he said, but what else are you supposed to do? >> well, so, i mean, there's two questions. one, is this rhetoric helpful? is this rhetoric part of a strategy? i, again, i don't see that. maybe there's some secret plan. but we would have a strategy, and that strategy that can actually work over time is raising the cost to china of supporting the status quo. but by undermining our allies, by knethese kinds of outlandish statements, by stepping away from the trans-pacific partnership and taking all these
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steps the president and the administration have taken, we are less able to pressure china than we were during the obama administration. >> okay. to this interview. this is fascinating to watch. this is 1999. you will see a slightly younger wolf blitzer here. he is interviewing private citizen donald trump specifically on north korea and urging for action before it's too late. here was donald trump. >> look at north korea. north korea is developing missiles like nobody has ever seen, and we better do something rather quickly with them, hopefully through negotiation, but we better do something rather quickly with them. >> what if the north koreans don't play ball, develop a nuclear capability, go forward with their missile development. does the united states act unilaterally. >> excuse me. if spoken to correctly, correctly, they will play ball. >> but is there something the united states should be thinking about doing as far as north korea's potential nuclear development? >> absolutely.
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they should be thinking about it and frankly. >> like what? give me an example. >> i'll say this. you go in and start negotiating and if you don't stop them, you will have to take rather drastic actions because if you don't take them now, you're going to be in awfully big trouble in five years from now when they have more missiles than we do. we're a bunch of saps. there's no question that north korea is.comi developing missil. we give them tremendous aid because we thought we could prescri bribe them. they're developing, so much so that south korea is now developing missile systems and i'm really not sure i can blame them. but north korea is totally out of control and would you rather have a very, very serious chat with them now and if necessary, you might have to do something fairly drastic or would you rather have to go after them in five years when they have more nuclear warheads and missiles than we do. >> when you say something fairly drastic, that sounds like you're suggesting a potential israeli-like unilateral strike
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against the reactor in iraq in the '8 0s. >> you can never rule it out. what israel did was fantastic and you can never rule it out and if you ruled it out, you couldn't talk to them. the only thing they're afraid of is exactly what you just said. that's what they're afraid of. that's what they're concerned with. most likely with that attitude you'll be able to make a deal. but if you can't, you have to react. and let me tell you something, don't react in five years because if you react in five years, nothing's going to be left. you don't have to worry about your social security system anymore. >> john park, first of all, little did he know that we'd be talking about him as president and dealing with this very issue in 2017, but i digress. was he right? >> well, i think at that time, north korea's program was still at the early stages, and i think those statements had some merit in terms of those discussions that occurred in different circles. but one of the things that's different now is north korea's ability being able to range the
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continental united states and being so far advanced. earlier efforts to do pressure tactics or incentives, they were tried but now we're at a stage where north korea as, frankly, jumped in many people's eyes, a few steps and we're at a crisis situation. so i think there are some, you know, apples to apples comparisons when you look at the statements, but the underlying phase of the development right now, north korea's very far advanced. >> all right. let me ask everyone to stand by. we're watching and waiting for that state department briefing to begin. should happen any moment. you're watching cnn. back in a flash. you were made to move. to progress. to not just accept what you see, but imagine something new. at invisalign®, we use the most advanced teeth straightening technology to help you find the next amazing version of yourself. it's time to unleash your secret weapon. it's there, right under your nose. get to your best smile up to 50% faster. visit invisalign.com to get started today.
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seized financial and tax records, including documents that manafort had already given to congress. according to "the washington post," the items seized are notes that manafort took while attending that june 27 -- excuse me, june 2016 meeting that don junior had and also jared kushner and others, russian lawyer were all in the room. a manafort spokesperson told cnn, "fbi agents executed a search warrant at one of mr. manafort's residences. mr. manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries, and did so on this occasion as well." say it again? quick break. we're back in a moment. get your ancestrydna kit.here. learn about you and the people and places that led to you and see yourself in a new light. ancestrydna. save 30% through august 15th at ancestrydna.com.
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this is lloyd. to prove to you that the better choice for him is aleve. he's agreed to give it up. ok, but i have 30 acres to cover by sundown. we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. yeah, i was ok, but after lunch my knee started hurting again so... more pills. yep... another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? for my pain... i want my aleve. get all day minor arthritis pain relief with an easy open cap. welcome back. we're going to statake the stat department briefing which will begin any moment now of course on all things north korea. we know that the secretary of state has talked a lot about north korea, especially in the recent weeks, before this news in the last 24 hours in the miniaturization of the nuclear warhead, which is, you know, obviously frightening in and of itself, depending on who you're
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talking to and capability-wise. john park, let me bring you back in here. we know secretary tillerson has had a different message than that of the president, more of a let's get north korea to the table, let's give diplomacy a try, is that what you -- that same sort of message what you anticipate will come out of the briefing momentarily? >> well, the trump administration formally has a name for its north korea policy. it's called maximum pressure and engagement, so with certain statements coming out of the president and out of the defense department, i think under the maximum pressure component. for state, i think what we've seen with secretary tillerson is more efts forts of engagement, e kind of negotiation but those have conditions and the latest one that secretary tillerson mentioned was that north koreans had to commit to denuclearization before negotiations. that is a nonstarter for the north koreans to many and we're unlikely to see the north koreans to come to the negotiating table under those conditions. >> just jogging everyone's memory to just the last couple
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days ago, the you know, unanimous 15 to 0 u.n. vote on slapping these sanctions on north korea. it was a rare time where you had the u.s., russia, and china on the same page. this would come down to about a third of the north korean exports, which translates to roughly $1 billion. the question, and correct me, john, but it's really on whether or not china actually enforces this. >> that is a crucial element, brooke, but the other piece of it is, what is the goal for these kind of measures? if it's the idea of, to stem the flow of funds into north korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, i would argue the train has already left the station. in the second half of the 2000s, the north koreans made a lot of money from the coal trade and from that, i think you see the funds that they're using to finance this kind of procurement. >> i think someone may still be in my ear. john, i apologize for that. john park, thank you so much. we're waiting for the state department briefing, and we're
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going to take it momentarily. let's go back to the story we were just talking about, this fbi raid of paul manafort's home. asha is with us. yes number one being, the how, this early morning pre-dawn raid. explain the significance of that timing. >> okay. so, just so you understand the significance of the search warrant itself, this is a important development in this case because it's the first time that we've seen that the government has had to go before a federal judge and show probable cause that evidence of a crime exists in this house, that a crime has been committed and that this search will produce -- is likely to produce evidence of that crime. and that's a higher burden for the government to meet. it does involve a federal judge deciding that they've met that burden. now, when they go in, in the
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early morning, that's -- >> when they say no-knock, asha, no-knock, pre-dawn. >> right. no-knock is that the fbi does not have to identify themselves before they enter the home. that's different than a knock and announce warrant where they have to knock, fbi, and then they have to wait for some reasonable period of time for the person to answer the door before they go in. again, here, they need to -- the idea is that they need to go in immediately because there may be a chance that evidence might be concealed or destroyed if the target has some advance warning that the -- that the fbi is coming in. and typically, these are done early in the morning because the target is likely to be home then, and also for agent safety, and it's less likely that, at that hour of the morning, there will be any kind of confrontation that could result
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in any harm to the agents or to the target. >> isn't it -- >> really, here, this would be -- go ahead. >> just wondering, listening to you, is it possible they, you know, convinced the judge that manafort couldn't be trusted and had to do this. >> well, this is, you know, the fact that manafort was, prior to this, ostensibly, cooperating with the fbi and with congressional investigations, tells us something about this warrant. because normally, when a target is cooperating, the fbi or the prosecutor in this case, mueller, would be able to subpoena the information that he wants and get that as a result of a subpoena. so, here they must have believed that that kind -- that that effort was not going to result in the information that they needed, that somehow manafort might not be forthcoming or may not be producing everything that he has, and that's the reason
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that they would go to a search warrant. and again, this is a higher burden for them. it's easier for them to use a subpoena. so this would require more work, require them to put together the evidence to convince a judge that this kind of intrusion into a person's home, which is, you know, the highest level of privacy that the constitution affords, was justified. >> and again, pre-dawn raid. this is the day after he sat in front of that senate intel committee. asha, thank you so much. again, just a reminder, we're waiting for the state department briefing to begin on all things north korea. we're going to take that live. also, the president tweeting moments ago, calling out the republican leader of the senate. we'll discuss that ahead.
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all right. so, in the thick of all this north korea news and again we're waiting for that state department briefing to begin, the president has tweeted. the president has tweeted, and he is slamming the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell in this new tweet. throw it up on the screen as we bring in david chalian so we can see what the president has tweeted. "senator mitch mcconnell and i had excessive expectations but i don't think so. after seven years of hearing repeal and replace, why not done." david chalian, what's going on? >> well, that's a good question, brooke. it will surprise no one watching that donald trump and an establishment republican like the majority leader mitch mcconnell do not see eye to eye on everything. that will surprise no one. and we saw what just happened in the senate with health care when mitch mcconnell and donald trump, as a team, were unable to get through the health care repeal and replace bill, so
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obviously, the finger pointing you all saw began right after that bill went down. what we're seeing here is in response to mitch mcconnell's comments yesterday when he was back home in kentucky and he talked about how the president is sort of new to this business, doesn't fully understand the legislative process, perhaps had unrealistic expectations of how fast things can get done. this morning, the social media director for president trump was out there tweeting back at mcconnell, pushing back, saying, hey, what, you need another four years after you had seven years to repeal and replace and it seems now his boss, the president of the united states, has joined in this pushback against the senate majority leader. this begs the question for the president to answer. how does he think this kind of tactic is going to help him get his agenda through in the fall when congress comes back, repeal and replace, tax reform, infrastructure, whatever it is he wants to push through, how does needling the majority leader of the united states
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senate, who has to corral these votes for you, help you achieve that goal. >> excellent question. and as i'm listening to you talk about it, i was just sitting down with about seven different trump supporters and they called them useless republicans, fake republicans, for basically thwarting what they thought -- what the preponderasident wantet through. it was fascinating how you see it and you can add the senate majority leader in the column of people who the president has left flapping in the breeze, so to speak, along with the a.g., to a degree, h.r. mcmaster, and others, and how is that helpful also. >> yeah. no, and it's a good point what you're saying about those voters you were talking about. we hear that time and again, and i think what you've been seeing from the president -- if you look back over this whole health care battle and in the aftermath of it, to his tweets, his public comments, he refers to they, the republicans on capitol hill, we,
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t -- not we, the party. he wants that to be how congress is branded, not him, the change-maker, the guy that's coming in here to disrupt so he's always seeking that separation. this is another way of doing that and i think a lot of his supporters are seeing that way, the way that trump is framing it. what is so interesting, brooke, is that this all comes a day after donald trump injected himself into this senate race in alabama to replace jeff sessions' seat, and he got in to endorse in the republican primary, which is happening next week, mitch mcconnell's favorite candidate, and it was largely seen as a move to sort of, like, here, mitch, i'll help you out. >> totally. david, let's continue in just a second. forgive me. we got to go to the state department. briefing has just begun. >> and -- >> you turn around and say that to the folks from togo. they think it's important. our folks are there. >> i'm saying it is important. i'm not taking away from the importance of togo. i would like to ask about something else. >> go right ahead. >> i'll let you guess what it
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is. north korea. can you explain to the american public and perhaps the rest of the world exactly who they should be listening to in the u.s. government when it comes to north korea and what the united states policy and posture is? >> well, i think the united states and some of you may disagree with this, but the united states is on the same page. whether it's the white house, the state department, the department of defense, we are speaking with one voice. and the world is, in fact, speaking with one voice, and we saw that as it came out of the u.n. security council with the resolution that passed less than a week ago. the united states, along with other nations, condemned north korea for their destabilizing activities. they've continued to take part in that. two icbm launches in less than a month's period of time. the world remains very concerned about that. >> okay. but you don't think that the president's comments are at odds with those of the secretaries and other officials or is this
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kind of a good cop/bad cop routine that we're seeing here, trying to coax the maximum you can get out of the north korean government. >> well, i think we've talked about our pressure campaign. the united states pressure campaign that's backed by many other nations, and we so that pressure campaign, which is a long-term campaign, but that campaign is working. it is ratcheting up the pressure on north korea. the president spoke about this yesterday. secretary tillerson spoke about this earlier today and the secretary spoke about the president's words. i think that is what you're referring to and he said this. look, the president is sending a strong message to north korea in the kind of language that north korea understands. the secretary has talked in the past about how the president is a very effective spokesman. people listen to him, and those were the president's words, sending a message loud and clear to north korea. >> does that mean -- and this is my last one. does that mean that you have come to the determination that the only way to get through to
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kim jong un is with the same kind of bombastic rhetoric? >> there are lots of ways, we believe, to get through to kim jong un and his regime. and our issue is not with the people of the dprk. it is with the regime itself. and that message has been strongly sent throughout this administration. when the president and secretary mattis and secretary tillerson agree that the top security issue for the united states would, in fact, be safety and security of americans first, of course, but would in fact be dp are -- dprk and destabilizing activities that continue to take place. i assume you have more questions about this. >> so, in the president's remarks, and in the secretary's comments about the president's remarks, saying that it was the kind of language that north korea would understand and almost in a way diplomatic speak, is that something -- is that an approach that the state department was involved in that the president took yesterday?
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>> the state department and the president, the secretary and the president, have ongoing conversations. they spoke earlier today. this pressure campaign with north korea is something that we are all in agreement on. folks in the u.s. government are all in agreement on. so, nothing has changed in that regard. >> sorry, can you just extrapolate. the president and the secretary spoke today. >> they did. >> this is when he was in guam or on the plane? >> i'm not sure where exactly. in transit, though, as he is on his way back to the united states is my understanding. exact at what point or time, i'm not sure. >> can you clarify in which time zone. >> it happened -- let me get back to you on the time of that. >> thank you. but it happened while he was en route back -- it wasn't like last week. >> no, no, it was within the last 24 hours. >> any idea how long it was. >> they spoke for about an hour. >> to that means two calls since monday, correct? >> i'd have to check with you on the first call you're referring
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to. i'm not certain of that. >> white house announced a call of an hour with general kelly and the president and the secretary on monday morning. monday morning, east coast time. >> right. but i mean -- okay. so we have two calls now. >> okay. andrea, hi. >> hi. could i follow up. the secretary's call was, though, well after the fire and fury language. senator mccain and others, republicans and democrats, have complained that it was, quote, bombastic, in senator feinstein's view, not helpful, said senator mccain that, no other president that he knew of would have used such language. and the implication from all of the critics is that the president's language implied the use of nuclear force. is that the way the secretary read it? and did the secretary have any early warning from his earlier phone call that this was going to happen? or did he only speak to the president in the aftermath.
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>> he spoke to the president after the fact, after the president made his announcement. you know, as people look at this and some consider comments to have been alarming, i would have to go back to this. let's consider what is alarming. what is alarming to, two icbm tests in less than a month, two nuclear tests that took place last year, as a matter of fact, when there's an earthquake in china, i get many e-mails and calls from all of you asking was it another nuclear test. that is how big of a deal this is, what is going on. let me finish. it is a big deal what is going on. it is a concern to the world, not just the united states. those are alarming actions. they are provocative actions on the part of north korea. >> my question is, given those provocations from north korea, which has been belligerent in the extreme, granted, stipulated, is it helpful or unhelpful for the president to use the kind of language that we
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have seen previously coming from kim jong un, not from presidents of the united states. is he exacerbating the problem. >> the president spoke to him, to kim jong un, in a language that secretary tillerson has said and said this morning, in the kind of language that kim jong un will understand. we would like to see results. the pressure campaign, reswe se that working. the international community is in agreement with the united states and many of our partners and allies on putting additional pressure on north korea. the secretary happens to be coming back from the asean conference where they had tremendous success. it was a good week for diplomacy. i know you all want to obsess over statements and all of that and want to make a lot of noise out of that, but what is important to keep in mind is that this diplomatic pressure at asean, at the meeting of the ten asian nations along with the united states came to a joint agreement and a joint statement and put out a very strong condemnation of north korea. we are all singing from the same
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hymn book. >> a lot of us have reported on the success of that effort at the u.n. and ensuing days. that doesn't take away from that question, the lack of a national security interagency process in this instance with the presidential statement that has perhaps undercut the previous success. >> i don't know that i would agree with you on that. next question. >> all options on the table, which is, you know, has been really the traditional kind of response in the past. is that a new kind of policy? it used to be that the united states would say, we have, you know, the privilege or the right to use whatever options available to us, including, presumably, you know, aggressive military action. >> we've had a few statements that have come out today. secretary mattis addressed this very issue in a pretty strong statement that he issued earlier today. i'll just read a little bit of it to you in case you missed it. the united states and our allies have demonstrated capabilities
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an unquestionable commitment to defend ourselves from an attack. kim jong un should take heed of the u.n. security council's unified voice and statements who agree that dprk poses a threat to the global security and stability. the dprk must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons and it goes on. i think the united states is all talking with one voice. >> can i take issue with your voice of the word obsess. we're not obsessing about this. this is the president of the united states threatening a nuclear armed country, whether you want to accept it or not, a country that is armed with nuclear weapons with fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen. i don't think that it's obsessing to want to know what the, you know, to have a further clarification of exactly what that means and whether or not it means that you're preparing to send fire and fury raining down
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on the north korean regime. >> and i'll let the president's statement stand for itself. >> okay, but it's not obsessing to want to know more. >> you know what? i see a packed room of journalists here, and normally there aren't half as many as there are here today. so, that shows a greater indication of your -- >> they're all here for you. >> they're here for you. >> one more. >> sir? cbs news. >> just a quick change in topic. can you tell us about the incidents that have been going on in havana affecting u.s. government workers there. >>y yes. so, we are certainly aware of what has happened there. give me one second here. and that's why we got a little bit of a late start getting some recent updates for you on this. so, some u.s. government personnel who were working at our embassy in havana, cuba, on official duties, so they were there working on behalf of the u.s. embassy there. they've reported some incidents
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which have caused a variety of physical symptoms. i'm not going to be able to give you a ton of information about this, but i'll tell you what we do have that we can provide so far. we don't have any definitive answers about the source or the cause of what we consider to be incidents. we can tell you that on may 23, the state department took further action. we asked two officials who were credited at the embassy of cuba in the united states to depart the united states. those two individuals have departed the united states. we take this situation very seriously. one of the things we talk about here often is that the safety and security of american citizens at home and abroad is our top priority. we're taking that situation seriously, and it's under investigation right now. >> if the u.s. doesn't have a definitive answer on the cause or source of the incidents, why did it ask those two cuban embassy officials to depart the u.s. >> look, some of our people have had the option of leaving cuba
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as a result for medical reasons. >> how many. >> i can't tell you the exact number of that, but i can -- >> was it in the tens, dozens. >> i'm not going to characterize it. i do not believe it was that large. certainly not that large. but we had to bring some americans home or some americans chose to come home as a result of that, and as a result of that, we've asked two cubans to leave the united states and they have. >> in other words, this is a reciprocity thing. >> i'm not going to call it as such, but we asked two people to go home. >> and how long has this been going on for. >> we first heard about these incidents back -- >> we heard some of those questions on north korea. john park still with me and now someone who once held that post, former state department spokesman admiral john kirby. so admiral, just first up to you. i was jotting down notes. sounds like the tick tock of this was, the president talked about the fire and the fury yesterday right at that opioids meeting, made the news, then hopped on the phone with the secretary of state. it sounds to me that she was
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talking about the pressure campaign, because obviously, all the questions are about, well, is that appropriate to use that sort of language, sort of emulating the kind of language we would normally hear out of pyongyang, and she says the state and potus are on the same page and that it's effective. how do you see it. >> this was -- this is definitely strategy after the fact, in my view. i think these comments took everybody by surprise and then they all had to scramble for how they were going to sort of wiggle their way through this, how they were going to make sense of it. and obviously, what they -- first thing they wanted to do was put secretary of state tillerson out there, lead with the state department, which is smart, and that's why you saw him talk to reporters on the plane. remember, brooke, he doesn't like to talk to reporters period, so this was something he was pretty much i'm sure, told to do and to use language that sorted of calmed things down, maybe take a little bit of the air out of the tire and that
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phrase that you heard heather repeat, trump spoke to kim jong un in language that the dictator would understand, i have no doubt that was a planned line. that was something they rehearsed that he was going to have to square the circle on the president's rhetoric. then you see secretary mattis's statement, which was very strong, and yet also contextual, trying to put the president's fiery rhetoric, no pun intended, into some sort of context. that came after tillerson. again, i think that was totally deliberate. also, i think totally deliberate that it was a written statement, that you didn't see mattis on camera, that it was put out in writing so that it would be unambiguous and wouldn't force him to have to take any questions about it coming afterwards. so, i think this was all strategy after the fact, to be honest with you. >> that's fascinating, to sort of lift the veil and understand how things happen, right, once -- as we've learned from the white house, that the president's own phrase was improvised, that we know that the tone was planned, according to sarah huckabee sanders, but
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the words, fire and fury, totally off the cuff. how do you see it? >> at this point, when he says that, i mean, your feet now are well out over the diving board. you're on your way into the pool. and i think they just realized that before they hit the surface of the water, they had to, you know, they had to get themselves into better form. i hate to use that analogy but that's what they were doing. >> john, what do you think? >> brooke, we're looking at a cycle over almost 24 hours after the statement came out. in a few days' time, the u.s. and south koreans will be doing a regularly scheduled military exercise. we don't have 24 hours to dial back statements in those kind of situations. so i'm concerned, and my leagues are concerned about miscommunication and misunderstandings. when any given party feels that the statement is clear from the get-go, there's always room for misunderstanding. all the reason why you need these messages very carefully crafted and signalled in a coordinated fashion from the get-do. >> to both of my johns, thank you so much. let's stay on this.
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congresswoman representing guam, madeline is with me. congresswoman, william. >> thank you very much, brooke, for having me. >> so the governor of guam said in a video aimed at reassuring those back on the island that there is no change in threat level following the news out of north korea. what is your reaction to this threat back home? >> well, i'm very concerned about this whole issue, and first of all, a threat is a threat. and i don't think north korea's going to give us a week in advance notice or anything. so, it's dangerous. and as i said, a threat is a threat. the people of guam are very concerned. north korea's remarks are very dangerous, and it further heightens the tension in the region, in our region. i've lived in guam almost all my life. i was there right after world war ii. and i continue to work with the department of defense partners on guam to ensure that guam and
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its people are safe. and we had similar threats. in 2013, and that was the time when i met with senator pinetta and -- or secretary pinetta and secretary hagel, and they immediately, after that discussion, deployed the thaad to guam, which is a missile defense operation with 300 army personnel. and i recently have discussed, very recently, maybe a couple weeks to three weeks ago, during a hearing, with secretary mattis and admiral harris about the situation. are we safe. we're always hearing threats and so forth. and they said that they have continually promised me that they would take good care of our people and of guam. so, i have that in the back of my mind, and -- >> okay. >> i know that we've worked many years, the department. we have two large military bases
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on guam, anderson air force base t navy base and we have close to 2,000 army national guard, and we have about 6,000 military personnel, 168,000 population, all u.s. citizens. >> sure. let me just jump in, congresswoman. of course all the americans on the island and being 2100 or so miles away from the peninsula, just last -- when you heard the president's choice of words to an unhinged leader close to where you live, what did you -- what was your reaction, your first reaction? >> well, definitely i didn't like his words, and i knew they were going to bring -- >> you didn't. >> of course they were going to bring up opposition to kim jong un. he's also one that is very excitable and does these things constantly. threatening the u.s. so i knew there was going to be tension. >> does this time feel different? you referenced the 2013 incident. does this feel different to you or a threat is a threat is a
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threat. >> yes, because in 2013, we were just part of the threat. they were threatening south korea. they were threatening japan, and guam. now it's singularly guam. and that worries me a great deal. and i think that if the president would just try to work diplomatically with the president of north korea and maybe some of our leaders in this region, that we could work out something. i'm strictly, you know, working diplomatically with leaders. >> sure, no, it sounds like that is precisely what the state department just echo and had what we've heard from secretary tillerson. congresswoman, i appreciate your time today. thank you so much. >> thank you, brooke. we are also now learning that president trump's warning to north korea was improvised and not part of some sort of scripted statement. this is according to three people with knowledge of the remarks. here again is the president's message to the north korean leader, kim jong un.
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>> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. >> the likes which the world has never seen. this is a phrase we've heard the president repeat multiple times at campaign rallies, at his inauguration, an exaggeration so common that the president actually used it to describe the nation's opioid crisis strategy just moments before his comments on north korea. >> we're being very, very strong on our southern border. and i would say the likes of which this country certainly has never seen that kind of strength. grassroots movement the likes of which the world has never seen before. you came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before. we're all part of this very historic movement, a movement
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the likes of which, actually, the world has never seen before. i see it now even more than i saw it in this great campaign, which turned out to be a movement, a movement like the world has never seen before, actually. unemployment is the lowest it's been in 17 years, business enthusiasm is about as high as they've ever seen it. we're unleashing a new era of american prosperity, perhaps like we've never seen before. >> let's start there. i have with me cnn political commentator ben ferguson and republican strategist rick wilson. gentlemen, welcome. and ben, just turning to you, the point being the president speaks -- he uses hyperbolic language. there have been all the discussions. do you take the president literally, do you take the president seriously. what he said 24 hours ago is a threat, it's very serious. should the world and more importantly should kim jong un take that literally?
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>> i think what his point was is not necessarily litter lerally , you know, we're going to come after you. it was a defense. he was saying, america is not going to be screwed with. for the last eight years, we've had a policy of let's go ahead and go to the world. let's go to china and let them take the lead. let's go to the united nations. it has gotten us to the point where they have at least 60 nuclear weapons, miniaturized weapons and including a miss system that can reach probably half the united states of america. so i think the president's point is, this whole idea of being pc is kumbaya and let's be always calm and collected has gotten them closer to them being able to bully everyone in the world. they've already threatened guam before. they've threatened america before. >> but the implication -- >> i'm not screwing around with you for altogethnother four yea. >> but the implication is what the president said, you know, it implies that use force with force, right? >> well, i think his point is that we're not just going to
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have diplomacy on the table and you're not going to keep going forward. >> so you believe that. >> i believe the president is making it very clear that the use of force is an option that i'm not going to run away from. if you think you can continue nuclear tests, continue a nuclear program, continuing threaten the world and directly saying you're coming after the united states of america, you need to know this is a new day. the last eight years of a policy that allowed you to get those weapons and to be this bully, we're not going to let you have another four years of that. >> okay, rick wilson, i want to make sure i get you in responding to the same question and responding to ben. what do you think? >> first off, ben's answer to you betrays a level of naivete about nuclear weapons and about the korean peninsula in specific, that is utterly staggering. >> why. >> weapons grade stupidity right there. the fact of the matter is, you can't -- you don't threaten people -- the deterrence model is this. you say to another country, if you hit m