tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC August 13, 2017 8:00am-8:59am PDT
"this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. >> deadly violence in charlottesville. >> oh, my gosh! >> a white nationalist rally spirals out of control when a driver plows into protesters. one dead. zedo now, a state of emergency. >> we condemn in the strongest display of hatred, bigotry, and violence. on many sides. on many sides. >> what did he mean by many sides? the president's refusal to single out the white supremacists who sparked the blood shed is drawing fire from democrats and republicans. the fallout this morning. and nuclear bluster. >> they will be met with fire and fury. >> tension with north korea escalates as kim jong-un vows to respond with absolute force.
is the war of words spinning onofou our martha raddatz is live at the dmz. >> while the rhetoric ramps up, in washington and pyongyang, here on the border, there is no sign of imminent conflict. and the latest from the white house with national security adviser h.r. mcmaster. plus, he debuted with the bang. >> here's what i would tell you, f e >>whhe president. ite house. this week, he joins us with the first interview since the firing. we'll baek down the politics, smoke out the spin. the facts that matter. "this week." august is never as quiet as we expect it to be. this week sure proved that rule. dangerous nuclear threats overseas. an act of domestic terror here at home. this was the scene in charlottesville, virginia, a gray dodge charger with
blacked-out windows plows into marchers protesting a planned rally by white supremacists, neonazis, and members of the kkk. after ramming into one group, the driver accelerated in reverse, running over several mo. one woman is dead. 19 more injured. the driver? james alex fields jr. a 20-year-old from ohio. he's been charged with murder. and the fbi and department of justice have opened a civil rights investigation. later, two virginia state police officers also died when their helicopter crashed as they responded to the violence. a bloody e 24 hours the. white supremacists carried flags vowing to take america back. they clashed with counterprotesters. some with black lives matter protesters who came to support charlottesville's decision to take down the statue of robert e. lee. the governor declared a state of emergency. cancelled the the rally. after the car attack, the
president made this statement from bedminster. >> we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many.esid it's been going on for a long time in our country. not donald trump. ckba it's been going on for a long, long time. it has no place in america. >> and with that, let me bring in our senior white house correspondent, cecilia vega. our justice correspondent, pierre thomas. cecilia, let me begin with you. the president's comments being met with fury, even by his own party. top senators. you have senator orrin hatch saying we should call evil by its name. my brother didn't give his life fighting hitler for nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. marco rubio. very important for the nation to hear potus describe events in charlottesville for what they are. cory gardner, mr. president, we must call evil by its name.
these are excite supremacists and this is domestic terrorism. the president on twitter this morning, not taking back that "many sides" comment. >> he's yet to offer a full rebuke. we're not just talking about republicans in his own party. we're talking about some of his own supporters. the white house is now trying to clarify what president meant when he use that "many sides" hecomments. they say he was condemning hatred, bigotry. violence on all sides. but they say that there was violence between protesters and counterprotesters. i have to tell you, ivanka trump tweeted stronger words this morning than her own society. she used the word, there's no play in society for white supremacist, neo nazis. the president didn't use the word white supremacists. it took him hours to condemn this publicly. the first lady was the first person in the white house to come out and offer an official white house condemnation. we saw the president there on camera at bedminster.
he was asked point blank if he wants the support of these white supremacists, he ignored the question. i think we're looking here at a potential historymaking moment for this presidency and how he handles this question before him. will he outright denounce these groups, many of which have come to his support? >> it certainly does feel like a watershed moment. pierre, we have seen stronger aks, at least immediately, from the justice department. >> the justice department recognizing that a car was used as a murder weapon. quickly launched an investigation into whether this was a hate crime. they're looking into the 20-year-old suspect's background. who are his friends and associates? expect agents to conduct searches of his home, work place, and to explore his computers and phones. they want to know if he has tie. while anyone who engages in violence is wrong, the protesters and counterprotesters, the catalysts for the violence were the klansmen, the neonazis
and the white supremacists who have a documented history of hate and violence.ne to know if this movement is reemerging and gathering steam. >> please stand by. i want to bring in our panel for more on this as well. matthew dowd, the president did not seem prepared for the magnitude of this moment. >> not at all. first, the man and the movement need to be held totally strictly accountable. the guy that did this and the movement that he represented needs to be held accountable on this. but to step back and reflect a moment on this. everybody at this table'lyd vis their ancestors, have in some way been harmed by white supremacists over the years. whether it's latinos, people of jewish ancestry. women. irish catholics. greeks. they've all been. more so. i went to the new american history museum in philly on friday. on the american revolution. a beautiful place. they have washington's tent. that he lived in, basically, operated out of for five years.
if you think about moments in ouhistory, we haven't always honored the sacrifice done by people. we have interred japanese. it took us a hundred years to ban slavery. it took us another 100 years before we dealt with civil rights. women didn't get the right to vote for 150 years. and even more so, i think when you think about this, who shares responsibility in this? it's not the only man, the movement. anybody that points their fingers at mexicans and muslims shares responsibility. >> the president has to share responsibility. the fact is through that campaign, he blew all kinds of whistles that those of us who grew up in the jim crow south, like i did, recognized immediately. it was calling out the white supremacists who felt empowered by it. and the president now not calling them out. he should listen to nikki haley, his now u.n. ambassador. she's the person that started bringing down confederate monuments. she did it so graciously, in exactly the right tone, after
the killings at mother emmanuel church. >> to the point of those emboldened. david duke friday night. we're determined to take our country back. we're going to fulfill the promises of donald trump. that's what we believed in. that's why we voted for him. the president can't seem to find words to denounce this. >> there are times the president seems to trip over his own ego, that doesn't do the right thing and the politically popular thing just because the media and his adversaries expect him to do it. i hope what he was talking about here, about the -- others have been involved in this, was something larger. and i hope it's that -- in urle in this country, we have lost the idea of american culture. we've lost the idea of citizenship. the idea that there are big things and shared values that unite us. in that sense, yes, i think we're all responsible for a country that looks at what divides us, pits us against each other as opposed to the big things that bring us together. i hope that's where trump was going.
>> but it starts with the condemnation of those committing the violence. ben rhodes, you worked with president obama. we saw a tweet from him yesterday. nelson mandela. >> yes. george, look. all of us who have worked in the white house know these are critical moments. i think of president obama going to charleston. president clinton to oklahoma city. president bush after 9-11. this is a living office. we saw yesterday, the president of the office of the president of the united states. there are huge costs to that for the nation. people look to the president to put these events in context. >> cecilia, let me bring you back in. i talked to h.r. mcmaster. we'll have most of his interview he did call out the act of the driver an act of domestic terrorism. it doesn't appear yet that the president is prepared to clarify in a way that his critics would hear. >> no, and the clarification that the white house offered
doesn't offer clarification, if you will. you mentioned at the top of the show, that tweet that the president had very early this morning, in the middle of the night. i mean, frankly, bizarre. he sent his best regards to all those injured and condolences to the family of the young woman killed today. let's just go back a few months to when president trump was harshly and roundly criticized for delaying his rebuke of david duke. and he was asked point blank, do you denounce david duke? it took him a long time to come around and finally offer that. you know, i think people want to hear a president in this case emboldened and say these words. he hasn't yet. you heard joe biden tweet directly. there is one side of this. not many sides. we may have a press conference tomorrow. and you can bet if that happens, george, this will be front and center in those questions that
get asked the president. >> pierre thomas, we have seen a rise of hate crimes being documented by the justice department over this last year. >> while the country has made great progress in terms of race, racism remains a disease that plagues this country. it's like cancer. even when it's in remission, it's still a threat. since 2000, we have seen a 52% increase in the number of hate groups. there are now 917 according to the southern poverty law center. this is a really significant issue that is always lurking in the back ground ready to explode. >> can the president learn from his mistakes? >> we haven't seen that the past. the question is whether he can do it in the future. this is a watershed moment for the justice department. because it's not just the categorizing of the hate crimes. jeff sessions has gone backwards on a lot of things having to do with race. taking a look at the obama federal investigations of how police treat people of color. he's saying, let's not do that anymore.
let's keep voting rights suppressed. he's doing a lot of things that send signals to these white supremacists. >> i have learned a lot in life and in politics. that usually the first responssy what they mean. right? the president's response is what he really means. they're going to clean this up. attempt to clean this up. we already know where the s. you cannot celebrate and reap the profits of "the hunger games" and then step back and say, how did that happen? and that's just what's happening right now. >> we'll have you back lat.er i want to hear more on this now from anthony scaramucci. if all had gone as planned, he would have been advising the president yesterday. instead, he was out after just 11 dayays .on t ji lo.ve the president. we're going to stop the leaks. if we don't stop the leaks, i'm going to stop you. it's that simple. i'm wall street guy. i'm more of a front-stabbing person. i would rather tell people
directly how i feel about them. reince wants to explain that he's not a leaker let him do that. reince is a [ bleep ] paranoid schizophrenic. paranoiac. >> putting anthony scaramucci in that job was like throwing a grenade into an ongoing civil war in the white house. >> tonight, standing in the pouring rain, president trump announced reince priebus, his chief of staff, is out. >> this is an abc news special report. >> abc news has learned that anthony scaramucci, the white house communications director who just started ten days ago is now leaving. and anthony scaramucci is right here, right now. thank you for coming on "this week." first interview since you left the white house. i have to start with the president's statement yesterday. if you were white house communications director yesterday, would you have advised that statement? >> ied that statement. i think he needed to be much harsher relating to the white supremacists. the nature of that. sm.pplaud general mcerstma's to whether it's domestic or
international, with the moral authority of the presidency, you have to call that stuff out. >> the question is, why didn't the president do that? you know him well. >> i think alex mentioned one of the reasons he doesn't like doing that, he likes doing the opposite of what the media thinks he's going to do. i think he's of the impression there is hatred on all sides. i disagree with it. here's the thing. whether i was the white house communications director or not, i don't think you're going to change the esident. the president is going to do what he wants to do, how he wants to do it. it's important for the people around him, george, to give him direct advice. to be blunt with him. i think he respects bluntness and candor. and i certainly would have never suggested him doing that. >> is there anne house right now who just said, boy, you just made a real mistake there? >> i think people are probably reluctant to tell him the truth. maybe ivanka would do that. you saw her tweet this morning. maybe jared. bannon-bart influence in there which i think is a snag on the president. if the president really wants to execute the legislative agenda
that i think is so promising for the american people. the lower middle class people, he has to move away from the bannon-bart -- >> you mean bannon and breitbart? >> yes. he has to be where the moderates and independents are that love the president. if he does that, he'll have a successful legislative agenda that he'll be able to execute. if he doesn't do that, you'll see inertia. resistance from more of the establishment senators that he needs to curry favor with. >> you have been tough on steve bannon, does he have to go? >> i think the president knows what he's going to do. >> which is what? >> let's leave it up to the president. it's his decision. i think at the end of the day, the president has a very good idea who the leakers are inside the white house. he has a very good idea of the people undermining his agenda that are serving their own interests. >> do they include steve bannon? >> look, i mean, we're not on a phone call, and a taped phone call.
we're on live television, i would prefer to let the president make the decisions the president needs to make. >> you mentioned the taped phone call. that may have been what got you fired from the white house. let's show everybody what you said. >> i'm not steve bannon. i'm not trying to [ bleep ]. i'm not trying to build my own brand off the [ bleep ] of the president. and reince is [ bleep ] paranoid schizophrenic. paranoiac. whgoing to do. maybe bill shine's coming in, s atlet me leak e'[ bleep ] and sf i can [ bleep ] these the way i agh owedp a ekamucci. e ok, ay ththis is going to get cleaned very shortly. okay. cause i nailed these guys. i got digital finger prints. >> what such things? >> oh, well, the felony. they're going to get prosecuted, probably on that. >> okay. >> yeah. the lie detector -- >> that was your conversation with ryan lizza of "the new yorker". >> which, for the record, i thought was off the record.
>> but you didn't ask for it to be off the record. >> i understand that. this is why the media gets a bad shake from the american people. that was a very deceitful thing that he did. he knows based on my prior relationship. >> lot of reporters tape phone calls. >> george, i didn't say i didn't do the wrong thing. i paid the consequences of having that sort of conversation with him. you know and i know, there are personal relationships. howie mentioned it on media buzz last week. nd to do that to me. he knows he didn't need to do that to me. >> he said he didn't have a personal relationship with you before meeting you in the green room earlier this year. >> that's a little bit of a stretch. we did have several conversations. his family knew my family for 50 year it's a little bit of a stretch. we don't need to debate that anymore. that's past news. i made a mistake. i paid the consequences of that mistake. i was honorably dismissed. i took it. >> a lot of reports said the president's initial reaction to the phone call wasn't all that harsh. was amused by it and liked a lot
of it. >> i have to let the president . there were probably one or two people that wanted me in that job. the president being one of them. and probably 200 people that you know washington as well as i know washington. the odds were stacked against me and so, there were leaks and a repetitive process to try to dislodge me. i made an unforced error. that made it easy to dismiss me. and so like i said, i accept it. what i did was wrong. we have to move on. the agenda the american people want is middle class and lower income tax relief. i think they want the opportunity to see their wages grow. i think the president stands for that. we have to put all of ourselves, below that agenda, that agenda supersedes everybody else. >> you were pretty loyal to the president. did he even call you to let yo ? owkn >> i talked to the president this week. we had a very candid conversation. listen, this is probably mutual disappointment on both sides.
i have to be accountable for what i did. and i am. >> do you think you deserve to be fired? >> i wish i would have been given a bar of soap to wash my mouth out in the bathroom and move on. i don't necessarily think it was going to be very hard for me to stay in the job given the thafa that general kelly took over. i respect general kelly. my feeling about the whole thing is that -- what happened was sort of meant to happen. >> a couple of things in that phone call i want to follow up on. the digital fingerprints from the fbi and doj. >> that was totally misconstrued. >> d up?ou yidit me ak >> no, all i was trying to say is that in the process, and i think attorney general sessions said this. he displayed it in his press briefing is that over time, if the leaking continued, particularly the leaking against the national -- >> you didn't have digital fingerprints? >> no, no, no. i was implying at some point, the department of justice would be able to figure out who the
leakers are inside the national security system that are actually doing things that are against the law. >> you have not received y om the person that gave it to you. >> no, no, no. i didn't receive anything. i thought that was an off-the-record conversation with somebody. it turned out it wasn't. i own it. let's move on. >> you talked about vice president pence. and you were asked about him bringing in this political ds operation.hu ay erk rs, to n you told ryan nick is there to protect the vp because the vp can't believe what the "f" is going on. >> okay, so let's talk about that. that's also been misconstrued. you have to remember what ryan lizza did with the article. he wrote the article like i was unhinged, overly emotional, bombastic. sflit was your words, though. >> when you hear the tape, it's a very normal conversation. the words were mischaracterized in the original article. he's mischaracterizing again. >> he's not misquoting you? >> no.
he's mischaracterizing. there's a lot of difference between the cup of substance and style. the way we're talking right now is how i was talking to him. i thought it was off the record. >> what did you mean about the vice president can't believe what the "f" is going on? >> what i meant is that he needed -- in my opinion, he needed to fortify himself with somebody as talented as nick ayers. the vice president is an extremely loyal guy. i'm a huge fan of the vice president. i wasn't recommending there was a breach or any daylight between the president and the vice president. i'm a huge supporter of vice president pence and nick ayers. nick ayers is a very strong political player. he'll be in there to protect the vice president. what do i mean by that? the vice president wants to stay loyal to the agenda and the president's family. nick is a very smart, sophisticated strategist, that will help him do that. nothing more than that. >> sounds like you think this white house is something of a
hornet's nest. you talk about leakers. people in the white house to protect the country from president trump. who did you have in mind there? >> i think, listen. you could agree with me or disagree with me. i think the president could disagree with me. i think what happens in washington, this is my general observation is that the president is not a representative of the political establishment class. for whatever reason, people have made a decision they want to eject him. it's like he's opened up the door for america's ceos and billionaires to enter the washington political system. mee th mbit's not just an opening for president trump. it could be for mark zuckerberg or a bob iger. i think that there are elements inside of washington, also inclusive of the white house, that are not betting the president's interests or agenda. >> name names. >> well, i named some names. there have been some strategic changes. and my guess is there will be more strategic changes. i think the president is
getting his arms around the fact that if he's going to prosecute his agenda, he has to bring in loyalists to him. he has to bring in a different strategy i think than the one they're deploying. you have seven months, he's done a tremendous amount. i think he's done way better as president in terms of progress than has been prominently displayed. one of my heartbreaks is that i was not able to communicate that to the american people. >> reince priebus is out. sean spicer is out. you think steve bannon will be out as well. you're out. people have characterized you as a suicide bomber. >> i saw it more as mr. wolf from "pulp fiction." i really did get a directive from the president. i had a mutual understanding with him. i was probably running too hard and acting more like a corporate ceo than i was say a political operative. that is my mistake. i have to own that. listen. i have embraced the agenda. i grew up in a middle class family. a working class neighborhood. i see the economic desperation
and struggle of those people. the president has appropriately identified that. the reason he won the presidency is that he wants his agenda to include and lift up those people. d for me, i went in there with my heart and soul. i'm a straight-talking person. did i make mistakes? absolutely. but i enjoy being a straight-up guy today and in the future. >> one of the things you advised president trump against was firing robert mueller. robert mooul mueerll investigation now a real threat to the white house. he's reaching into the white house for interviews with current and former white house staffers. >> i predict he won't find anything related to president trump or his family relating to the russia situation. >> was it a hard sell to convince the president not the fire robert moouler? >> no, not at all. i don't think he has any rt mueller the. >> when you were talking to him about it, he was musing about
that? he said, boy -- you said you advised him against it. >> i don't think so. i think he's just -- one of the things the american people like about president trump, he's an open book. i think the twitter experience has exposed that. he has an open-book, heart on his sleeve nature. i don't think he wants to fire robert mueller. he's confident robert mueller is not going to find anything related to him or his family or his inner circle. >> he said it wasn't the russians. the russians didn't get into the interference because if they did, we wouldn't have known about it. i think people saw the president this week refuse to criticize vladimir putin. they saw how tough he was -- he was tougher on mitch mcconnell than vladimir putin. they saw him not call out the white supremacists yesterday. why does he refuse to call out vladimir putin? >> again this is my observation. over 18 months working pretty closely in the campaign and then
the few days i had in the administration. i think the president's attitude is he wants to have a good relationship with vladimir putin. a real reset to him would be to make the relationship friendlier, less hostile, find common interests. some members of the media don't want him to do that. i think those are his instincts. it will go in a positive way. >> it sounds like he's making excuses for vladimir putin. >> i don't see it that way. i see it as a strong ceo now the american president making counterintuitive decisions that may not be liked by the members of the media but may be in the best interests of the people of the united states. and so i don't have an issue with that. i think with senator mcconnell, it's a different story there. se's trying to say to the we have to row the boat directionally in the same way. we want to get huge legislative victories. the health care reform. the tax relief. tax reform is another example. and we have to row the boat directionally in the same way. it's like a football coach talking to one of the players on
the team. the president can be a tough coach at times. the republicans should be happy he's on their team because this guy's a winner. >> anthony scaramucci, thank you for your time. >> pleasure to be here. thank you. >> and mr. scaramucci wake your questions tliilve.l head to the facebook faj for more on that. when we come back, the escalating tensions from north korea. martha raddatz reports live from are the border.
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great show. here you go. now he's added a new routine. making depositing a check seem so effortless. easy to use chase technology, isaac, are you ready? yeah. chase. so you can. the latest on the north koreleuc nhr tar all week long, pet trump has racheted up the icoret. from fire and fury. to locked and loaded. kim jong-un has responded in kind. martha raddatz is on the front lines of a possible war reporting from seoul, south korea. good morning, martha. >> reporter: good morning, george. in the past week, there has been a doubling or tripling down on the threatening rhicanoretthe . verbally fired back with thets
that, if acted on, could begin a horrific cycle of violence. this morning, a 35-mile trip to the border, to the demilitarized zone. where some 14,000 north korean artillery pieces point toward south korea's capital. a direct threat to the 26 million people who live in seoul. whenever there are visitors to the dmz, soldiers stand guard. soldiers from the u.s. and south korea. we're on the south korean side. where the gravel ends and the sand begins, that's north korea. daniel mcshea has been here for four year. he says they are always ready. >> the rhetoric heat is probably more than i've seen personally. >> reporter: it's more than etuas hesday. >> 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. >> reporter: friday. >> if anything happens to guam, there's going to be big, big trouble in north korea. >> reporter: it was wednesday that kim's regime threatened to send four missiles to the waters off guam and called president trump's threats nonsense. this bellicose tit for tat is fraying nerves in the region. with kim onjong ung believed to ha minveiaturized a weapon now, many are urging restraint. >> president trump came up with the wording of fire and fury. which is why we are souc mh concerned. >> which is not what president moon wanted. >> of course he doesn't want and korean people want either. it's a chicken game. i see why it's needed right now is mutual restraint. >> reporter: this man is a top
adviser to the new president of south korea. >> we are very much confused.efr th american government had -- has moved from strategic patience of the obama edadministration to strategic confusion. >> reporter: what seems clear is that while the u.s. military continues to flex its muscle and touts its readiness to fight tonight, there are no new ships being sent to the region. no mobilization to back up the president's fiery warnings. after years of punting the north korea nuclear problem, the danger that country now poses is undeniable. it will now be up to president trump to decide how the handle it once and for all. george. >> martha raddatz.
thanks. we bring in general h.r. mcmaster, the president's security adviser. general, thank you for joining us this morning. i want to get to north korea in a se.thndcoe's beenfi sbuo much fallout to the president's comments yesterday in about
charlottesville. including this from richard haas, the chairman of the council on foreign relations who says the u.s. ability to persuade other governments to t fi potus fails to call it out, an attack at home. the example we set matters. how do you respond to that criticism? >> the president has been very clear. we cannot tolerate this kind of bigotry and hatred. he called on all americans to take a firm stand against it. this is a great opportunity to ask ourselves, what are we teaching our children? tolerance has to overcome this kind of hatred. this kind of hatred that is grounded really in ignorance. ignorance of our values and what makes us unique. our commitment to each other. to freedom. liberty. tolerance. and rights for all of us. >> well said, sir. he didn't call out the white supremacists responsible for the violence. when it comes to radical islamic terrorism, the president says
you can't solve the problem if you don't e thy me.stmenaic ter? >> the president called out anyone. anyone responsible for fomenting this kind of bigotry and hatred, ray racism and violence. i think the president was very >>t. that seems to be -- >> i'm sorry. >> that seemed to be suggesting moral equivalence. >> maybe to you, george, but not to me. i think the president was very clear. and so was the attorney general in his statement. >> let's move on to north korea. are we closer to war than we were a week ago? >> no, i don't think so. i think we're not closer to war than a week ago. but we're closer to war than we were a decade ago. and, as dr. kissinger made clear in a great oed this weekend, this has been a problem that we have procrastinated on for a long period of time. now it's coming to a head. where the threat from north korea not only to the united states but to the world is very, tes. car.edta it
but with our allies and all responsible nations. this is what you have seen the president do is bring together, all nations. all nations to bear on this problem. and, i think notably, you had the u.n. security council resolution, 15-0 this past week. great work by our secretary of state, rex tillerson and our ambassador to the u.n., nikki haley. our interests are aligned with all responsible nations. and it's time for all nations including china, russia. as well as our close allies, japan and south korea to work together toward a common goal. of denuclearizing the korean peninsula. >> what do you say to the cricss rhetoric was just too hot this week? he went too far? >> well, the president made clear, he made clear hat the united states will not taterol threatened by this rogue regime. there's a much greater danger if
there were to be ambiguity. in connection with the kind of response thaton i jim cung- he the united states or our allies. >> there did seem to be am big guyty in the president's statement. he said they would be met by fire and fury if there were n threats. there are new threats every day. they have already crossed the line. >> our response is we're prepared militarily to deal with this if necessary. we're taking all possible actions. short of military action, to resolve this very grave threat to the united states and the world. that includes a very determined, diplomatic effort led by our secretary of state. it includes increasing sanctions. increasing pressure on t north to convince kim jong-un that this is not in his interest to continue this
provocation and escalatory actions. >> threats alone won't evoke a response, right? >> it depends on the nature of the threat. what kim jong-un is doing is very, very dangerous. any response we have we do in close cooperation with our allies in the region. as you know, we have been prepared -- we have been prepared for any escalation on the korean peninsula since the armistice in 1953. the difference between then and now is the danger is much greater. with ever missile test. with the six possible nuclear tests. what we can no longer do is afford to procrastinate. president trump has made it clear, he cannot tolerate, will not tolerate a threat to the united states from north korea involving nuclear weapons. >> your predecessor susan rice wrote this week that the u.s. could tolerate nuclear weapons in north korea the same way we
did with nuclear weapons in the sovi union in the cold war. is she right? >> i think she's not right. how does that apply to a regime like that in north korea? a regime that engages in unspeakable brutality against its own people. a regime that poses a continuous threat to neighbors in the region and may now pose a direct threat to the united states with weapons of mass destruction. a regime that imprisons and rs anyone who seems to oppose that regime, including members of his own family, using saran nerve gas in an airport. >> we are locked and loaded? >> the united states military is locked and loaded every day. especially those on the front lines of freedom, such as those stationed in south korea. and those soldiers, sailors,
airmen, and marines in southeast asia or who rotate there. we have a tremendous amount of capabilities.d d unloe thaded s.it the purpose of capable, ready forces, is to preserve peace. and prevent war. george washington said it. the most effective way of preserving peace is to be prepared for war. >> let me talk about venezuela. the president raised eyebrows. >> by the way, i'm not going to rule out a military option. we have many options for venezuela. a military operation, a military option is certainly something that we could pursue. >> but just last week, you said this. i want to play that at well. >> do you see a military intervention from any outside source? >> i don't think so. i think what is really required is for everyone to have one voice about the need to protect the rights and the safety of the venezuelan people.
>> what changed? what would be the purpose of military intervention? >> the president's main focus is the safety of the venn zwa lar people. what's moved the president in the last week is the escalation of the violence, the regime's violence. these thugs who operate in the name of maduro against the legitimate opposition to his new dictatorship. he's choking out democracy in venezuela. he's visiting violence on his own people. he's arresting mayors. opposition mayors in cities. sentencing them to a year to 15 months in jail. you have seen what he did with his attorney general. extremely courageous woman. you have seen what these thugs have been doing. they've been sniping at, killing, murdering protesters in the streets -- >> all that is horrific. i agree.
is u.s. military intervention really on the table? what vital u.s. interest is at stake? >> what is critical is to do everything we can, with our partners in the region. i'll tell you, george. i think we're better aligned with our partners in latin america than we have been in a long, long time. >> are we considering military intervention? >> the president has asked us to look at what could happen next. what could happen in venezuela? we want to be able to cope with the current situation but understand better how this crisis might evolve. you look at what if, what if the e plining of the peo secr by orders of magnitude. what can we do to protect the venezuelan people? and to prevent a greater humanitarian catastrophe? the president never takes options off the table in any of these situations. and what we owe him are options. what are we doing now?e gion .
just last week, in panama, 16 countries met -- i'm sorry, peru. 16 countries met in peru. they signed a very strong statmaduro a hist enemt agnsai extinguishing of democrat -- crmodeac we'll continue a series of actions against the regime that aim to strengthen the opposition and to reach out to those who are members of this oppressive o actinsidreer you ons and support for this dictator. >> finally, sir, do you consider the car attack in charlottesville yesterday an act of domestic terrorism? >> i certainly think anytime that you commit an attack against people to incite fear, it is terrorism. it meets the definition of terrorism. wwht,buis ahatht criminal. who is committing a criminal act against fellow americans. a criminal act that may have been motivated, we'll see what the -- what is turned up in the investigation, by the hatred and
bigotry, which i mentioned, we have to extinguish in our nation. we have to do that by asking ourselves, what are we teaching our children around the dinner table? what are we teaching our children in school? we ought to be teaching about what makes america exceptional. our commitment to the rights of every individual, liberty, freedom, respect, for each other. regardless of race, religi. and so forth. so -- so this is -- i think, what we ought to ask ourselves. asndthsee vi colur oence, we ought to ask ourselves, what more can all of us do. >> we certainly should. genel
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resolution imposing new sanctions. we should not be manufacturing a crisis, which is what president trump diords.d wthis h and look, what's clear to me is those words were not coordinated with our allies. japan and south korea. >> no strategy there. >> not only is there no strategy, it's dangerous. a war with north korea would likely take hundreds of thousands of lives. including tens of thousands of americans serving and living this south korea. the fact is by making those threats, what happens if the north koreans misread u.s. military movement in the reen region and respond? oat happens if there's a northr ur skis because of president trump's rhetoric? and we're escalating? this is a big situation. >> the person he concedes he probably can't manage is the president himself. you wonder what general kelly is thinking when the president brings up fire and fury without apparently running it by his national security advisers, even though he used the words in the
past. when he brings up the possibility of military intervention of venezuela. >> it's a friday afternoon. we got nothing else. ten minutes, let's declare a war on venezuela. this was a coordinated message. from the white house. immediately thereafter, sarah huckabee sanders had to explain, no, thisths issboe the boss gets the credit for everything in this white house. in a strange way, this is donald trump. we can't take him literally but take him seriously. this is donald trump, an embrace and a threat at the same time. the truth is somewhere in the middle. it's never in the extreme. in many ways, i think the situation is ready to deescalate at this point because trump -- because -- because -- kim jong-un has gotten what he wanted. he's got america validating the threat that keeps kim jong-un in power. maybe now -- >> which would be, then what do
you do? how do you get them out of there, all of that? really, going back and listening. i have listened to all the tapes around the cuban missile crisis. jack kennedy, this young president that nobody trusted, is saying to his military and congressional advisers, we're not going to do that. we're not going to declare war and going into cuba. and they're saying, you're being chicken. you need to do this. even bill fulbright, who ended up being the big dove in viet m vietnam, said, we gotta get in there. it's usually the president with the big picture and calms everybody down. whether it's truman firing mcarthur and saying we're not going to have a land war in asia. or -- eisenhower saying we're not going to send troops to vietnam. it's the president who does that. the president does -- >> he has a history of being a noninterventionist. >> kennedy learned from the bay of pigs. his own mistakes in the bay of bigs. he conducted the cuban missile
crisis differently. i think we have to dispense with the fiction. the fiction that we're going to stop north korea from getting a nuclear weapon. we ought to just dispense with fdeatth wonittiich them the same way we deal with pakistan. we were going to stop pakistan. now we have a foreign policy that is surrounded by deterrence and containment. let's remember, we helped create this problem. it was 1945 when we arbitrarily drew a line between north korea and south korea. just like we did that in the afatrmte whorld war i and faced 100 years of problems in the middle east. instead of us imposing, we have to figure out a way they lead on this. >> can we deescalate? >> i think we can. i think insisting they give up the nuclear weapons is not a policy that will work in the near term. we need to reach an agreement where we're imposing a freeze on the nuclear program in response for some degree of sanctions. >> that requires china. >> that requires china. that's why the words of the president of the united states
matter. when he threatened war with venezuela, the next day, the same latin american leaders that h.r. mcmaster are saying could help with the problemea-th -ed . >> it's a loading hand of cards. >> he's destabilizing. >> you're betting billions of lives on the stability of kim jong-un? >> or the stability of donald trump? >> both. >> we'll be right back.