tv MSNBC Live MSNBC January 27, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PST
foreign policy. he's got to one would hope get that all together before he talks to vladimir putin and angela merkel tomorrow but particularly to vladimir putin. >> andrea mitchell thank you so much. indeed as i said the last hour, diplomacy on a good day can be as safe as transporting unstable chemicals. we're about to see how it works in the twitter era. for the next hour of our coverage, to another veteran correspondent, indicakaty tur w take us the rest of the way. >> veteran correspondent i'll take it. >> you covered a lot. >> i have inteed. this hour on "msnbc live," mr. trump's diplomatic debut. the 45th president had his first white house meeting with a foreign leader. prime minister of the uk, theresa may. the two appeared in a joint press conference minutes ago. >> farce the uk is concerned on sanctions forsia in relation to theirctivities in the
ukraine we have been very clear that we want to see the minsk agreement fully implemented. we believe the sanctions should continue until we see that minsk agreement fully implemented. >> putin and russia, i don't say good, bad or indifferent. i don't know the gentleman. i hope we have a fantastic relationship. that's possible, and it's also possible that we won't. we have a great general who has just been appointed secretary of defense, general james mattis, and he has stated publicly that he does not necessarily believe in torture or waterboarding or however you want to define it, enhanced interrogation i guess would be a word that a lot of words, a lot of people would like to use. i don't necessarily agree, but i would tell you that he will override because i'm giving him that power. >> mr. trump also spoke about his border wall battle with
mexico, now escalating into a possible trade war. the white house threatening to slap mexico with a 20% tax on imports. new details are emerging about a phone call between mr. trump and president pena nieto this morning. our correspondents are covering all the angles as always. kristen welker at the white house, keir simmons of our london bureau here in new york. kristen, let's start with you. donald trump has been accused of being erratic, being unpredictable. did he do anything to calm those fears on the world stage today? >> reporter: well, that's the big question, katy. you heard him pressed on that by one of the correspondents who was here from britain who said there are a lot of people in britain who are concerned about some of these controversial policies that you have put forth, which sort of falls into that broader category of unpredictability, katy. let me give you some of the headlines from today. one of them having to do with russia. the president saying that he's going to have a phone call with
russian president vladimir putin on saturday, but that it is too early to say whether he's seriously considering scaling back and reversing those sanctions that were put in place under president obama, and then th other big headline, that rift with mexico, the fact that he has opened up thrift with one of the united states' closest allies, most important trading partners, is n his very first would ek in office. we an hour-long conversation with the president of mexico today. take a listen to what he had to say about it. >> mexico with the united states has outnegotiated us and beat us to a pulp through our past leaders. they've made us look foolish. we have a trade deficit of $60 billion with mexico. on top of that the border is soft and weak, drugs are pouring in and i'm not going to let that happen. >> reporter: prime minister may declined to comment on that rift between the u.s. and mexico. one more headline which you touched on having to do with torture.
he was pressed on that in some of his recent comments and he said look, he thinks that enhanced interrogation tactics like waterboarding work, but he also says he defers to his soon-to-be defense secretary general james mattis, who is going to be sworn in a little bit later on today who is opposed to waterboarding and those type of tactics. now the mere fact that he's talking about it undoubtedly makes a lot of people on the world stage very nervous, katy. that can't be understated so this is something he's going to continue to get pressed on and just one more look ahead as he prepares to go to the pentagon today he's going to be signing three executive orders i'm told, one will likely deal with the issue of vetting, not getting any specifics, the other one will deal with military readiness and a third will deal with the national security counsel and beefing up the things that they have at their disposal to help them better do their jobs. that is what we are looking ahead toward this afternoon. it was a short news conference, katy, worth noting that as well, 18 minutes.
typically these types of things run about 45 to an hour long. >> short news conference, no shortage of news. let's go to keir simmons. >> reporter: nope. >> here with me on about what i like for these two leaders to meet in person for the first time. and under this -- the i don't want to say cloud, that's not the right word, but under this new era of populist movements, obviously theresa may has her job as prime minister because of brexit and because of james cameron stepping down. donald trump won on a populist movement wave here in america. but there's differences. and specifically when it comes to nato, donald trump was just vicious about nato on the campaign trail. nato is extraordinarily important in europe. talk to me about whether donald trump's commitments was enough for the uk. >> yeah, you're right. nato was one of the two key things that the prime minister wanted to get from this visit. the other one of course negotiations over brexit, trade
negotiations with the u.s. that she could take back and put pressure on europe. optics are everything in this, both sides, i think. you can see wanting to get this right. i mean, after all if the prime minister of britain and the president of the united states can't look as if they like each other and get along, then there's a real diplomatic problem. and they managed to do that. what was fascinating was that in this world where it feels like everything's been turned upsidedown by brexit, by the election of president trump, there you had really quite an old fashioned press conference. it was short, but at the same time you saw them not answer the questions they didn't want to answer. and even use humor. the question from the british journalist, laura, the first was pointed, it was scathing, it was saying to president trump there are lots of lots of things, mr. president, that the world doesn't agree with you on. and he turns to the prime minister and said, did you ask her to ask this question? and laughed.
>> he does that very intentionally because it breaks tension in the room and it makes him more likable even if he is saying something that you might not agree with. >> right. >> i would point out that donald trump answered two of her questions, that british reporter, did not answer her third when it came to abortion which was something that happened on our own air with chris mathews. donald trump talking about how women who have abortions should be punished. he walked that back.