tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC July 30, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT
"this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. >> inside the war at the white house. >> if reince wants to explain that he's not a leaker, let him do that. >> the president's major shakeup, replacing his chief of staff. >> john kelly will do a fantastic job. >> and seemingly embracing his bombastic new communications director. >> putting anthony scaramucci in that job was like throwing a grenade into an ongoing civil war in the white house. >> will there be more changes? and is the west wing drama damaging trump's ability to govern? we'll get the very latest reporting from the reaction from trump country radio host bill cunningham.
and reaction from john podesta. and the gop health care fight breaks down. >> we worked really hard. >> let obamacare implode. >> but what does that mean for your bottom line? we'll put that question and more to secretary tom price. plus our powerhouse "roundtable." from the white house to your house, we take on the moments that matter this week. good morning. two major headlines developing this week. here at home, the health care bill defeated in the senate after that dramatic overnight showdown. a thumb's down from senator john mccain ending it all. and across the globe, north korea firing another intercontinental ballistic missile. the threat from that reclusive country intensifying. if the president is intensely focused on these two critical issues, it's hard to tell. sure, he's tweeted about north korea and health care.
but also this week, he refocused the spot light on russia, by repeatedly deriding his own attorney general. those attacks drawing criticism from fellow republicans. then he issued a surprise announcement, on twitter. this one banning transgender americans from serving in the military. a decision that blind-sided his own military leaders. the president also raised eyebrows with comments seeming to encourage police brutality. and as the war in the west wing spilled out into the public, he failed to condemn a scathing expletive-laced attack delivered from one member of his senior staff to another. big issues at home and abroad. the president and his white house seemingly overwhelmed and distracted by gridlock, disarray, infighting. now, as a new week begins with general kelly taking the reins as chief of staff tomorrow, can discipline finally be brought to a white house and a president who has been anything but disciplined? let's bring in chief white house
correspondent jon karl to talk about all of this. good morning, jon. >> good morning, martha. >> another extraordinary week in washington. can general kelly calm things down? >> he comes in as a much more powerful chief of staff than reince priebus ever was. if you remember, martha, when priebus became chief of staff, he was announced along with steve bannon as the chief strategist. with jared kushner as a senior adviser. now the power of all three positions, theoretically, at least, will reside with general kelly. he'll have authority that reince priebus never had. as you know, the issue throughout these first six months is that the real chief of staff in that white house has been donald trump. the question is whether or not he'll truly cede that authority to general kelly and if he'll listen to him. >> you know, one of the things you reported this week, jon, is that attorney general jeff sessions might be moved to replace general kelly at dhs. does that mean the person
replacing a.g. sessions would have to say he wouldn't recuse himself from the russia investigation? >> well, the president did say that is perhaps the most disappointing decision of anybody in his cabinet or on his staff. he was furious about it. he seethed for months. he's still mad about it. but the president's senior advisers know if it came to confirmation hearings for another attorney general that that -- that congress, the senate would demand that the next attorney general make a promise not to fire robert mueller. it's not going to end the russia investigation. i also have to say this is under consideration. there are other serious candidates for the job of homeland security secretary. congressman michael mccall, tom bossert. who is now homeland securitied a vidser. and the president likes generals. i wouldn't rule out somebody even like general david petraeus. >> and let's talk about anthony scaramucci. that rant this week. this expletive-laden rant.
the one person we haven't talked about much is steve bannon. he really went after steve bannon. we can't repeat what he said. what will the relationship be like between those two men? >> well, bannon has got thick skin. and bannon is no stranger to insults you can't say on television. he's directed many of those at fellow republicans like paul ryan. i think that relationship will end up being fine, believe it or not. bannon's position within the west wing is certainly diminished. not what it was in the early months of the administration. i would expect in the coming days you would see scaramucci or it will happen behind closed doors, but we will know. scaramucci and bannon will sit down. work out their issues. that won't be a problem. no question, bannon is not the power player he once was in that white house. >> and quickly. will the leaks stop in the future?
>> this, you know, i don't see that happening. clearly, kelly comes in as a much more powerful chief of staff. stopping the leaks will be one of his top priorities. you still have warring factions within that white house. and, we have had a communications operation that hasn't been very effective. people have gone directly to reporters. i don't think that will stop happening. >> thank you very much, jon karl. and i'm joined now by radio host bill cunningham from news radio 700 wlw in cincinnati. good morning, bill. >> good morning. >> your radio show broadcasts across kentucky, indiana, and ohio. solid trump country. president trump was out in youngstown, at rally just this week. when you were last on our show in april, you said you could go weeks and weeks and never get a telephone call from anyone criticizing donald trump. is that still the case? >> martha, we're now at the end of july. look at it this way. a few years ago, a friend of
mine wrote a book, said all things -- the book said things that matter. what are the things that matter in ohio, kentucky, indiana? let me tell you what. i paid $1.99 for gas last week $1.99 a gallon. which is unbelievable. unemployment is at 4%. the 4% wouldn't work if you put a gun to their head. inflation is nonexistent. i can get a 30-year mortgage for under 4%. and you have fox con spending $10 billion in wisconsin and illinois. unbelievable stuff. there's a new metallurgical factory opening up in ashland, kentucky. the stock market is at an all-time high. when i see on great shows like yours, all these parlor games, what's up? who's down in washington? i paid $1.99 for gas. those are the things that matter. >> he does seem to have solid base support. i've been around the country. ohio, pennsylvania, a lot.
the independents who voted for donald trump do seem to be a little squishier of late. and how about that poll? our latest abc news/"washington post" poll shows his approval rating at 36%. the lowest for any president at the six-month mark in 70 years. what does he do about people outside of his base? the rest of america? what advice would you give him? >> when he went to youngstown, thousands and thousands showed up. if he would come here to cincinnati, the same thing would happen. i don't think any president after six or seven months could travel the way the trumpster has traveled. with the outpouring of love and affection. despite the fact that a few days ago, the back stabber, o.j.-style, who is senator john mccain, who began his public life as a hero and is ending up giving a thumbs down and a middle finger to the middle class by not repealing obamacare. what happened a couple of days ago is terrible. i think trump has lost a little
support in the periphery. but the heart and soul of america that beats this great country is ohio, kentucky, indiana, illinois, michigan, wisconsin, iowa. this is where real americans, normal americans live. these are the lands of j.d. vance and hillbilly elegy. this is where normal people wake up every day. everywhere i look. things are good. everything that should be up is up. things that should be down are down. america is pretty good. school starts in two weeks. i see an america bursting at the seams to get loose. most of my listeners are proud that the trumpster is still in the white house and is still extremely popular among the base who put him there. if the election were held today, there was a poll a few days ago, that the trumpster would beat hillary again, and again, and again. basically in the land of j.d. vance and hillbilly elegy, things are pretty good. what i see on television and read in newspapers from the east
coast is a disconnect to normal americans like me. >> okay. thanks for that view from trump country. bill cunningham. president trump's
health and human services secretary tom price joins me now. mr. secretary, this week, president trump said you were responsible for the passage of a health care bill. here's what he said about you. >> hopefully, he's going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as obamacare that's really hurting us. he better get 'em. oh, otherwise, i'll say, tom, you're fired. i'll get somebody. >> safe to say you still have your job. i know you say it was a joke. but there was a message to you there. what could you have done differently? do you feel you let the president down? >> i think what that statement was, one, i think it was -- a humorous comment that the president made. i think what it highlighted is
the seriousness with which he takes this issue. he understands that the american people are hurting because of obamacare. we have over 30% of the counties across the nation have one insurer offering coverages. premiums and deductibles are up. we have insurance companies fleeing the market. the president understands that this -- obamacare right now is not working for the patients across this land. that's what he wants to fix. that's what his passion is. >> the president also talked repeatedly this week about letting obamacare implode. as recently as friday he was calling for that. this is what he said last february. >> from a purely political standpoint, the single best thing we can do is nothing. let it implode completely. but it's not the right thing to do for the american people. it's not the right thing to do. >> so -- what is it going to be? is he going to let it implode or as he says, do the right thing for the american people? >> no, i think what the
president said is it's not the right thing to do because it hurts people. again, the president's passion about this is that he understands that this system may be working for washington. it may be working for insurance companies. but it's not working for patients. and that's where his passion is. that's why he keeps coming back to this and saying, look, senate, do your job. congress, do your job. you have said for seven years you're going to repeal and replace obamacare. now get to work and get it done. >> this week, he said he was going to let it implode. is that what he's going to do? >> no, i think again, that that punctuates the concern he has about getting this moved in the right direction. there are people -- we were in the white house this past week with the president and four families. one little fella, monty, a 3-year-old with spina bifida. their insurance company -- this is a challenge for anybody, but what it means is that you've got to have a single physician
caring for you throughout the extent of that treatment. their insurance has changed three times in three years because of obamacare. this is a system that is not working for patients. that's what the president understands. that's what he appreciates. that's why he's so passionate about making certain he does all that he can to get this repealed and replaced with a system that works for patients. >> but he said let obamacare implode, then deal. what does that mean? >> again, i think what that does is it punctuates the seriousness that he understands the american people dealing with the current situation. >> how is he going to deal with it? >> people paying premiums of $1,000 a month. and deductibles of $1,000. if you're making 40,000, 50,000, 60,000 bucks, you have an insurance card, but you can't afford the care. this system is not working for patients. that's where the president's passion is. and that's why he believes so
strongly we need to do whatever we can to repeal and replace it. >> okay. let's talk about what you're going to do. hhs has the ability to further destabilize the marketplace by stopping cost-sharing payments to insurers. not enforcing the individual mandate. working internally to undermine it. you have said nobody is interested in sabotaging the system. are you going to help it implode or try to fix it? >> the responsibility of the department is to improve the health and the safety and well being of the american people. we take that mission extremely seriously. which is why we're so passionate about making certain that we have a health care system, again, that works for patients. right now, you have a system that is not working for patients. you have folks who give us calls every day and let us know the concern they have about their inability to get care for their family. we have calls from physicians across this land who let us know
that they're no longer able to take care of the patients they're charged with caring for because of the rules and regulations out of washington. the aca. the obamacare stated 1442 times. 1,442 times. the secretary shall or the secretary may. what the previous administration did was make it so it was harder to care for patients and drove up the cost of coverage and drove up the cost of care. we're going to look at every one of those rules and regulations, all 1442 of them and determine, does it drive up costs or down costs? does it help patients or hurt patients? and when it drives up costs and hurts patients, we're going to move in the other direction. >> secretary price, i want to go back to the president saying imploding. is what the president is proposing, letting the existing system fail, putting the needs of patients first? i understand your views on obamacare. >> martha, the current system is imploding. president has stated it. i understand it. the american people understand it.
again, you've got insurance companies. you have 83 insurance companies before this administration came into office that fled the market. that said, we can't do this anymore. you're going to have 40% of the counties in the country next year that only have one insurance company providing coverage. that's not a choice. you'll have dozens of counties in this country that have no insurance company providing coverage. this system has failed. that's what the president is saying. he's demanding congress act. if we could fix it by regulation, we would do so. it takes an act of congress. to take care of it. that's what the president is demanding. >> let's talk about specifics. as for insurance subsidies, the president tweeted if a new health care bill is not in place quickly. bailouts for insurance companies and bailouts for members of congress will end very soon. how soon could hhs stop paying cost-sharing payments to insurers? next month? has the president made a decision? >> no decision is made. i'm not able to comment anymore
because it's a court case. and as you know, the deft in that case is price. it's house v. price. what i will tell you is that the court has said the house position was that the -- and previous administration, the administration didn't have the authority to make the payment. the court has, at this point, agreed with the house position. it's working its way through the court. but i'm not able to weigh in any further because of being the defendant in the case. >> okay. what about the individual mandate? is the president considering directing his agencies not to enforce it? have you ruled that out? >> the individual mandate is one of those things driving up the cost for the american people in terms of coverage. what we're trying to do is make it so obamacare is no longer harming the patients of this land. no longer driving up costs. no longer making it so they've got coverage but no care. and the individual mandate is one of those things. the senate recognized it. the house recognized it. and put in place in their
legislation that they put in the house and proposed in the senate a repeal of the penalty for the individual mandate. that's one of the things that is driving the costs up. making it so people don't have coverage. >> president trump did sign an executive order allowing hhs to waive the individual mandate. so that's still an option, right? >> well, all things are on the table to try to help patients. what we're trying to do is make it so we have a health care system that responds to the needs of the american people. when the federal government gets in the way of responding to those needs, allowing the american people to provide coverage and care for themselves across this land, it's incumbent on us as policymakers and as individuals charged with the responsibility of leading to put in place a system that actually works for the american people. that's what the president's passion is. that's what our passion is. >> thank you very much for joining us this morning, secretary price. >>
thank you, martha. and i'm joined now by one of president trump's toughest critics. former clinton campaign chair john podesta.
let's move away from health care and start with the latest white house shakeup. reince priebus is out. john kelly is in as chief of staff. you have worked for two administrations. counsellor to president obama, bill clinton's chief of staff. what does a change at the top like this mean for the white house as a whole? >> well, martha, look, it's an important move, i think, for the white house. i think -- general kelly will have his hands full tomorrow morning when he starts work at the white house. he's got to really do three things. i think. one, is, to provide -- to end the chaos. to get some discipline in this white house. that will be exceedingly difficult to do, as jonathan karl mentioned, because he's got to get the president to be disciplined. and he's shown no inclination to do that. he's got to restore strategic priority. with leadership in congress.
not just the republican leadership. he needs to talk to democrats as well. and third, and maybe the most difficult thing he needs to do, is -- and you might be surprised to hear me say this. i think he has to protect the justice department and bob mueller and the investigation that's going on there from the continued assault by the president and by the white house. it's going to be his job to provide a bulwark against interference by the white house. which, at the end of the day, is going to get them in more trouble rather than less. >> you know president trump has surrounded himself with generals. but most of those generals -- mcmaster, mattis, they're involved in national security. john kelly doesn't have a whole lot of experience with this domestic stuff. how does he carry out that agenda? how successful do you think he'll be in what you're talking about? >> you know, he's had a tremendous career. and offered great service to this country. but i think you're pointing out the -- a problem for him, which
is that he's now in a political environment. it's not like generals aren't used to dealing in the politics of national security. he's in a very political environment. this has ban white house that can't get its act together internally. it's at war internally with each other. what they have to show for it is one of the most unproductive starts to a presidency culminating in -- in the vote on health care this week. but if you look at the overall what's gone on in the first six months, they've really achieved nothing on the hill other than a few special interest giveaways, by rolling back a couple of obama-era regulations. and, the only legislation of substance that's passed has been something the white house opposed, the russia sanctions bill. i'm glad that congress passed it. i'm glad they passed it
overwhelmingly. i'm glad that the president is in a corner and has to sign it. that is not much of a production level. he has to kick that up. he comes in as a novice in that regard. >> so let's get back to that. you have criticized the trump administration for not having anyone around him who will say, no, mr. president. do you think john kelly will say, no, mr. president? >> i do actually. i think that he will -- he has -- i have no doubt that the president has told him that he has full authority. the real question is will he allow him to exercise it. that means will he accept the discipline that general kelly will try to impose on the anthony scaramuccis and the steve bannons and the jared kushners and the rest. will he try -- will the president back him up? or keep his door open to having
all these characters kind of coming in and coming out? and then the toughest problem, i think, is will -- can he discipline the president? it wasn't an auspicious start yesterday when the president went on a twitter rant against senate republicans for failing to pass a health care bill that was going to throw millions and millions of people off of health care. >> so just quickly, mr. podesta, why do you think the president chose john kelly? >> i think he likes tough people. i think he's developed a rapport with him. i think kelly has done what the president asked him to do at dhs. it's not always been things i've agreed with. but he's at least executed and shown himself to be a disciplined leader. but i think that's a very different matter than someone who has to navigate all the cross-currents of domestic
politics, capitol hill, and dealing with a president who just can't throw his phone away and stop tweeting. this morning, he -- he -- his response to the launch in north korea was to kind of blame the chinese for not fixing things over twitter. i don't think a bunch of mean tweets are going to solve a problem. >> i'm going to stop you right there on those tweets. >> he's got to get a team in place that can do that. >> thank you very much, mr. podesta. we'll get to those tweets later in the show about china. when we come back, our reporter and analysts join the powerhouse "roundtable" taking on the west wing shakeup and what happens next in health care. and after the latest of the north korean missile test, what is the real threat to the u.s.? our experts break it down. we'll be right back. hey. pass please. i'm here to fix the elevator. nothing's wrong with the elevator.
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but that's not gonna get it done. with the exception of the late great abraham lincoln, i can be more presidential than any president that's ever held this office. that i can tell you. >> that was president trump in ohio this week. and here to take that on and all of this wild week in washington is our powerhouse "roundtable." matthew dowd. republican strategist and abc news contributor alex castellanos. associated press washington bureau chief julie pace. and abc news congressional correspondent, mary bruce. welcome, everyone. we say this all the time. what a week, what a week. i want to start with you, julie. reince priebus. one of the shortest serving chiefs of staff in history. we now have john kelly, former
secretary of dhs, or maybe he lasts until monday. retired four-star marine general. kind of guy you think can bring order to that white house. but what does this tell you about this white house and the direction they're taking? >> well, i think what it tells us first is that the president recognizes he needs a new direction. i think that is an important step. he is someone who rarely admits he's made a mistake or that things are not going as smoothly as he would like to portray. the challenges for kelly are many. getting a white house that thrives on infighting. the people who are in there are there, to some degree, because they want to promote their own interests. and those interests diverge often. the second challenge is to get trump to be more disciplined. when the white house comes up with plans, when they come up with a messaging strategy for the week, it can be washed away with one 6:00 a.m. tweet. if kelly is not able to change that, we'll be in a similar situation in the fall.
>> does choosing john kelly tell you that they realry -- the president really does want to change things up? or does he want somebody in there that says, yes, sir, mr. president? >> i think it does send a message. he wants someone from the military, who understands the chain of command. who is running a pretty tight ship at dhs right now. the problem for kelly is not going to be his own strategy. it will be can he get the staff and the president to go along with it? >> and matt, let's remind everyone. since the beginning of the administration, i really had to write this one down. there are so many. the following key personnel have all been fired or have resigned. national security advisor mike flynn. fbi director james comey. white house communications director mike dubke. white house press secretary sean spicer. and now white house chief of staff reince priebus. that's in just six months. a little over six months. what do you think needs to happen to stabilize this
administration? >> fundamentally, the captain of the ship needs to change. the idea that they keep replacing someone on an oar, an oar of a ship, and they're going to somehow change the direction of the ship when the person at the wheel is steering it in all kinds of bizarre manner, i don't think it changes anything. there's been three generals in the administration and the administration has operated the way it has since day one. three different generals in three different big power positions. actually there were four. one is gone, as you say. and nothing has changed. so, i don't think this is going to change anything. it's another one of the pawns moved on the board. donald trump is going to keep being donald trump. >> alex, you look like you're itching to get in on this. >> well, when you can't -- can't fire the coach, you trade the players. and, i think matthew in that sense, is right about that. but look at general kelly. donald trump brought him in, i think, because he brings that sense of discipline. but it all depends on if general
kelly is able to get donald trump into boot camp at paris island. if he's able to discipline the president of the united states. now, you would think that if trump brings someone in to do that job, he would let him do that job. but how trump embraces that discipline from kelly is what is going to set the example for everyone else in the white house. the first few weeks are going to be critical. >> it's an amazing statement that you want to bring the president into boot camp to give him training. >> to matthew's point, these other generals. some of them have been marginalized to a degree. there's been friction with the other generals. with h.r. mcmaster in particular. so -- so -- same question. do you think he brought john kelly in because john kelly has been overtly supportive? a real champion for donald trump since he came on. >> i think he brought kelly in for the reason he brings in successful businessmen and brings in other generals.
he likes people who have accomplished things. who have been successful in other realms. political guys are not those people. the people who fail in trump world are political people. the people who succeed are military and successful businessmen. that should be the direction this administration goes. >> and mary, you have been on the hill all week. i think you did that all-nighter. i suspect. before his firing, reince priebus, house speaker paul ryan came out to defend him. republicans on the hill also have come forward to defend jeff sessions. give us a sense of what it's like on the hill for republicans to look at all this drama in the white house. >> there's a real sense they are getting fed up. i think you saw that this week especially after all of the fighting and the back and forth between the president and jeff sessions. what is different this week is a lot of top republicans seem to be putting their foot down now. you heard lindsey graham. never one to mince words and to shy away from criticizing the president.
he said look, if president trump makes moves to fire jeff sessions or to move him possibly over to the department of homeland security, he said there would be holy hell to pay. i think it goes beyond just words. >> would that be a turning point? >> i think it would. you're seeing republicans like chairman grassley saying if the president thinks he's going to get a new attorney general appointed this year, forget about it. they don't have the bandwidth. it won't happen. >> we saw the jaw-dropping interview with scaramucci and "the new yorker's" ryan lizza. what effect does that have in the white house? i think everybody was watching and thinking, who is going to go? is it reince? scaramucci? because he said all these things. we asked jon karl. the relationship between bannon, scaramucci. how do you see that settle out? and what does john kelly do about that? >> the effect of anthony scaramucci's arrival in the white house has been pretty
amazing. he came in there. he's ostensibly the communications director. in his one week on the job, he was acting like chief of staff. he was talking about firing people, not just in the communication shop but going after senior advisers as well. i think the dynamic in the white house is this right now. you have a new chief of staff who will come in to bring order. you have a communications staff that is reeling, even with a new person at the helm there. and then you have these other power centers. steve bannon, who remains someone who can remind trump of the base that elected him, but is lacking in broader power. and then you have the family. the family is really where the power resides. that dynamic between john kelly trying to right the ship and the trump family i think is going to be the real dynamic to watch here. >> mary, i want to go back to you on health care. what that was like for you. what it was like for john mccain, for you to watch that stunning moment. and what do they do next? what happens? >> they really don't know what comes next.
and i think republicans that i have talked with insist that this fight is not over. and politically for them, it can't be over. this is their signature promise to the american people. they have to find some way to get something done here. so you sort of see two camps. i've talked with some republicans who insist they still have some legislative options left. that's hard to see how given that this skinniest of skinny repeals can't get through the senate. on the other side, you're hearing some republicans saying, it's time to go back to the beginning of this. let's have regular order. let's work with democrats. the one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that they don't know the path forward. i talked to tom mcarthur friday, the republican who helped push this through the house. i asked him what comes next. he said, i am not a prophet, i don't know what comes next. >> i now want to turn to another event this week that's getting a lot of attention. president trump spoke to law enforcement and had these words for them. >> like, when you guys put somebody in the car and you're protecting their head. you know?
the way you put the hand over -- like, don't hit their head and they've just killed someone. don't hit their head. i said, you can take the hand away. okay? >> and the comments are pouring in from police departments all over the country. the new york police department to suggest that police officers apply any standard in the use of force other than what is reasonable is irresponsible, unprofessional, sends the wrong message. boston police department, as a police department, we're committed to helping people not harming them. the statements go on and on. seattle, philadelphia, houston, new orleans. matt dowd? >> it's hard to believe that i can continually be shocked by the president's behavior. but i am continually shocked by the president's behavior. first, there are so many people around the country that intersect with law enforcement that already have this fear, the fear of being mistreated. how the police would act toward them. the idea that he would celebrate that mistreatment is amazing to me. his statements there. his statements at the boy scouts.
>> the statement he politicized a boy scout event. the head of boy scouts had to apologize. >> and how he acted many the midst of that around a bunch of 17 and 18-year-olds. anthony scaramucci, his behavior, being empowered in that behavior. donald trump has a bizarre view of what it means to be a strong person. a bizarre view of what it means to be a strong person in this society. especially a strong man. to me, donald trump in his actions are a weak person's idea of what a strong person is. the way you commit violence, how you act towards others. all of that. his idea of a strong person is bullying people. his idea of a strong police officer is mistreating people that they -- apprehend. so, to me, it's a much broader sense. he's somehow been launched himself back in the 13th century about what he views as a strong person. >> alex, you can quickly comment but i want to also talk about his transgender tweet. saying transgender people cannot
seven in the military. >> the only thing i'll say is one thing we have learned about president trump is his supporters hear what he says differently sometimes than we here in washington. >> or two-thirds of the country. >> no, actually, a lot of the country things, heard their president say, you know, these criminals. we have coddled them. we've been too soft on them. we've put their interests ahead of keeping you safe. i'm on your side. that's what i think trump was actually trying to say. he wasn't really saying let's bang people on the head. >> in the military, they call that command climate. >> in our overly sanitized culture, donald trump speaks like people. he doesn't speak like the elite in washington. a lot of america says, he's right. >> a lot of america? >> a good chunk of america. but, potentially a shrinking pool of america. >> okay, thanks all of you. i'm sure we'll have another wild week at some point, unless general kelly. >> no more surprises, please. >> it will settle down now. up next, our experts on the
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celebrate. joining me now to discuss the latest launch and what it means is abc news con reti retired colonel steve ganyard and joe cirincione. the author of "nuclear nightmares" securing the world before it's too late. north korea has now tested the two icbms. but this seemed a real breakthrough, traveling farther than any one has traveled before. >> it's a breakthrough in a couple of ways. the first is the range. they shot it almost straight up. this time, the rocket burned longer. it reached a higher altitude. if you were to tilt that over on to a max range trajectory. we think they could reach most of the lower 48. the other point here, reliability. two successful tests in a row. reliability equals credibility. so we have to take this seriously. >> you agree with the capabilities.
>> yes. >> what they have to do, want to do, their intent is to put a nuclear warhead on top of the missile. "the washington post" reported about a d.i.a. conclusion that that could happen by next year? >> yes. there are other hurdles to overcome, as steve has said. they have to perfect the miniaturization of the warhead. they have to see if their reentry vehicle works. we don't know what the payload of the test was. depending on the weight, it could go further, could go less. this is here. this is here. people have been warning about the north korean icbm for 20 years. they've been barking wolf about this while the wolf is at the door. this is a very real threat to the united states. >> i want to talk about two possibilities. there was a t.h.a.d. test. for a medium-range missile. what are the possibilities of stopping a missile like that? >> the t.h.a.d. is designed for shorter range. that's why it's in south korea. but we do have a ground-based interceptive system that is designed to put a protective zone over the united states.
the last test of the ground-based intercepter was successful. but that puts it at barely over 50% reliability. so there's still a way to go before the u.s. can have a protective missile defense dome. >> we have heard the president tweeting again saying i'm very disappointed in china. our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions a year in trade yet they do nothing for us with north korea. just talk. we will no longer allow this to continue. what is your read on that, joe? >> he's trying to outsource the problem to china. this is what he hoped the fix would be. and why? there are not many good options. sanctions don't work. they've been increasing the test. military? yes. we could rain death and destruction on pyongyang. but guess what? they could do the same for seoul. >> any military action we could take could start a conflict we haven't seen since world war ii. the only two options. get china to do it.
they're willing to put more pressure on only if it leads to talks. that is the ultimate solution. you have to talk to them. >> do you agree? i know you're just back from asia and you travel there a lot. >> the president's tweet was interesting because it tied u.s.-china trade to the north korean solution. the other thing to think about here is saxs. sanctions. we haven't tried sanctions. the only thing that has every gotten north korea's attention is when we sanctioned the illicit parts of their economy. put together a comprehensive international part of their sanctions. i think the north koreans will come to the table more reasonably. >> very quickly. we talk about the missiles. nuclear missiles. it sounds so frightening. do we really think that they would aim a nuclear missile at us? what is his real intent? >> max fisher has an excellent article in "the new york times" they're not just going to do a bolt out of the blue to destroy us. why do they threaten us? because we're threatening them. this is classic deterrence. they want to have the capability
to be able to hit us in order to guarantee their security. see if you can find a nonnuclear way to guarantee their security. convince them that they're better off talking than threatening. >> so people shouldn't be scared right now. >> no time for duck and cover. we need to know that north korea now becomes a global threat to instability and insecurity of the world. >> thank you very much to both of you. it's a fascinating conversation. i'm sure we'll be talking to you again. when we come back, new sanctions on russia are on president trump's desk waiting for his signature. will russia hit back? the view from the kremlin when we come back. mlin when we come back.
the yeas are 98. the nays are 2. the bill is passed. >> there's the moment thursday. when the senate overwhelmingly passed new sanctions on russia in response to its interference in the 2016 election. that bill is now on the president's desk. faced with veto-proof majorities in both houses of congress. the white house said late friday, president trump will sign it. russia's vladimir putin had warned before the vote that new sanctions would prompt, quote, retaliations. i spoke with the deputy foreign minister on his country's response. you were the one who notified the americans that the russians would be expelling american diplomats and technicians, closing down some facilities. is this what president putin was talking about in terms of retaliation? >> yes, it is. and i think this retaliation is
long, long overdue. after the senate, the day before yesterday, voted or rather on the 27th of july, voted so overwhelmingly on a completely weird and unacceptable piece of legislation, it was the last drop. if the u.s. side decides to move further towards further deterioration, we will answer. we will respond in kind. we will mirror this. we will retaliate. but my goal and my whole point is, don't do this. it's to the detriment of the interests of the u.s. >> what are you talking about in terms of retaliation? are you talking about possible sanctions? economic sanctions? punishing u.s. businesses? banning consumer goods? >> we have -- a very rich tool box at our disposal. it would be ridiculous on my part to start speculating on what may or may not happen.
we're not gamblers. we're people who consider things very seriously and very responsibly. i can assure you that different options are on the table. and consideration is being given to all sorts of things, both symmetrical or asymmetrical to use a very popular word in the world of diplomacy. >> you said last november just after the election that there were contacts with the trump team and that you knew most of the people from his entourage. what kind of contacts? who were you talking about? >> you have to go through all the hearings and all the material which is available by now for the congress and for the general public. you have all the names. >> i would like to hear it there you, sir. >> if ambassador kislyak was not contacting some people on the other side, so to say, he wouldn't perform his functions as he should.
he was not spying. and he was not recruiting. if he did so, i would be now a prima ballerina of the bolshoi ballet. if you foe what it means. >> recently, it came out that donald trump's son and top members of the campaign met with a lawyer with ties to russia. was russia providing damaging information on hillary clinton to the trump campaign? >> all the information we provide to anyone can easily be found in open sources. we're not doing anything to the detriment of the domestic developments or internal affairs of any country, the u.s. included. the very fact that someone saw some russian or russian somewhere is now close to a criminal act, i think it's ridiculous. it's degrading for such a great country as the united states. >> and what would it take to reset the relationship? >> i think the political will is what is needed most in this
situation. and -- i believe there are several areas where u.s. and russia can and should work together cooperatively. nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. countering terrorism. illicit immigration. trafficking in people. climate change. you name it. we're ready. we're stretching our hand forward. we're hopeful that someone on the other side, president trump included, but also others, may see here a chance for a somewhat different way. >> thank you so much for joining us, mr. deputy minister. we'll be right back after we'll be right back after this from our abc stations. for years, men have enjoyed their man caves without guilt. now, it's mama's turn. welcome to my she shed. i've got my favorite outfit on. my literature. my armando! and these are my treats!
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