tv MSNBC Live MSNBC March 17, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
germany again and again on things that were just not true. and that didn't -- that didn't really reflect the facts. so, there are a lot of germans that are extremely disturbed right now by the approach the president has taken. and we have to -- we have to regain grounds here. i think for that, this meeting is the best start we can imagine right now. and for angela merkel, it's tough because we have heard before, she has her election year, she has to walk an extremely thin line between keeping diplomatic terms alive and the other hand not to disappoint the germans who would also like to hear a critical word here and there. if too much bashing comes from the other side of the atlantic. for her, it's one of her toughest visits she's had in the last 12 years. and she has to overcome a fatigue as well amongst the german. it's not only the refugee crisis. it's been 12 years in office, which is a long time. therefore, she doesn't have to reinvent herself but she has to show that she actually is the leader, that she's being perceived from the rest of the
world. >> 2:00 now on the east coast. again, this is a live look inside the east room of the white house. we are expecting president donald trump and german chancellor angela merkel any moment now for this joint news conference. they'll make an opening statement and take a question questions. nbc white house correspondent hallie jackson is inside the room. hall lishgs this was supposed to start more than 30 minutes ago. why are they running so late? >> reporter: craig, why do you ask questions i don't know the answer to? presumably it's because that's how these things work. the president has been meeting with angela americale and her delegation throughout the morning. she arrived at the white house around 11:30. they greeted each other, went into the oval office. they discussed, for example, some of the apprenticeship programs overseas, among other topics. so, that's the nature of how things run, i think, here. we do expect any minute now, we got the ten-milt warning about 15 minutes ago, so presumably
the two of them will be walking in here with a lot of questions on their plate. i want to reiterate some of our reporting. we know in some private conversations that administration official is telling us that donald trump pressed chancellor merkel fairly hard when it came to nato dues. this has been a topic throughout the campaign trail. as we talked b governments aren't paying their fair share. our question was how would angela merkel respond? i wouldn't be surprised if she was asked by a reporter here about that topic. in addition, as we're discussing the immigration and refugee policy in germany that donald trump has called catastrophic, saying it caused huge problems overseas, very topical in light of the travel ban that was just blocked by a federal judge, what, two days ago now. you know, it's one of these instances, craig, where the new of the day is going to be coming after the news of the day haens. so, we're eager, obviously, to get this thing started so we can hear what both of these leaders have to say about their conversations today.
>> even, perhaps, more interested in the questions that they will be asked after their statements and whether they actually answer those questions. hallie jackson inside the east room. katy tur, resident trump expert to a certain extent, spent a fair amount of time with the candidate on the trail. this is, one would assume, going to be one of those situations where there is, perhaps, a moment of awkwardness in the beginning considering some of the things that our president said on the trail about the chancellor of germany. >> i think we already saw that awkwardness when you saw them sitting next to each other in the oval office for the photo spray, as we call it here in the news. angela merkel and donald trump not shaking hands. he wasn't even looking at her during that meeting. it was tense. it was more tense than i even expected it to be, given what donald trump said about her on the campaign trail. the expectation would be that angela merkel, who's known as a pragmati
pragmatist, would come and try to smooth tensions, put all that aside and work to forge a relationship with the united states and with president trump. you can see that she was leaning towards him. if we're going to read body language. trying to smooth tensions and he was having none of it. but as you referenced, he was quite a critic on the campaign trail. we heard him trash her, frankly, quite a bit while we were out there following him. he didn't call her angela, he called her angela, which is notable because angela is her name. angela is not her name. he was upset "time" magazine put her the cover over him in 2015. she was chosen as person of the year and on the cover of "time." he tweeted, "time" magazine would never pick me person of the year despite being a big favorite. they picked the person ruining germany. that's what he harped on, her decision to allow a million refugees into germany ruined that country. he would cite a friend of his
who says germany doesn't feel like germany any longer because of all the refugees that have been able to go into their borders. he also said, you watch what happens to angela merkel, who i always thought she was a very good leader until she did this. i don't know what happened to her. angela, what went wrong? you can see right now on the screen a number of officials walking into the east room where donald trump -- >> this is the u.s. delegation. part of the business delegation, we're told. we just saw the ibm ceo walk in a few moments ago. we know they were in that roundtable meeting a short time ago. waiting to see, and this is something, katy, we've seen in a number of -- we saw it with shinzo abe, we saw it with theresa may, waiting to see whether the trump family also joins him as well. he did acknowledge his daughter, ivanka, in that business
roundtablroun roundtable. jared kushner someone else we've seen. we expect vice president mike pence and chief of staff reince priebus as well. do i still have you, evo? katy just pointed out something. compare and contrast, if you will, the differences between these . >> western leader who's been in power longer than anyone else. she's going for her fourth term. she's been a leader for 12 years. she is as seasoned as they get. this is her third president. she's dealt with george w. bush, she's dealt with barack obama. she's now trying to find a way to deal with donald trump.
donald trump is one of the more unconventional presidents. he came outside of the party structure, outside the political structure, ran as an outsider and governing as an outsider when she is, in fact, definitely the person on the inside. it's a relationship that starts off uncomfortable because of the campaign and what katy talked about, but where angela merkel will try to bring donald trump along, president trump, on the major issues that matter, on ask support for the european union, on continued strong commitment to nato, on an open policy towards russia. she knows russia better than anyone else. she was born and raised in east germany. knows what it meant to be under occupation. and will try to, as jamie ruben said earlier on, become a putin whisperer for president trump. and i think as we also heard,
president trump will not shy away from the points that he will want to make, particularly on the issue of germany doing more for defense. as it should. and onis concerns about growing immigration and refugee flow into germany and what it does, perhaps, to the security of germany. it will be an interesting press conference to watch. two very different people with very different objectives, policy and political. going forward. >> nbc's chief international. i won't even bother trying to introduce him. it appears as if we're set to get started. there's the vice president, the chief of staff, steve bannon, of course. also taking a seat there on the front row, the president's advisers making their way into the room. so, presumably, the president not far behind. there is jared kushner and ivanka trump, the president's daughter and the president's son-in-law. of course, jared kushner, his
official title inside the white house, senior adviser to the president. taking their seats there. they were also in the room a short time ago, as kellyanne conway, senior adviser and stephen miller as well, all of them taking their seats inside the east room. so, again, presumably, if the advisers are in place and getting seated, the president can't be too far behind. president donald trump wrapping up -- i should not say wrapping up. in the middle of, if you will, his third visit with a head of state, angela merkel. shinzo abe, japanese prime minister was here a few weeks ago, and, of course, theresa may as well. you still have looks like chief of staff reince priebus and steve bannon enjoying some laughter. hallie jackson inside the room. this is what we were talking about at the t of last hour, whher -- never mind.
>> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states and the chancellor of the federal republic of germany. >> thank you very much. chancellor merkel, it is a great honor to welcome you to the people's house, the white house. our two nations share much in common, including our desire for security, prosperity and peace. we just concluded a productive meeting with the german and american companies to discuss workforce development and vocational training. very important words. germany has done an incredible job training the employees and
future employees and employing its manufacturing and industrial workforce. it's crucial that we provide our american workers with a really great employment outlook, and that includes making sure that we harness the full potential of women in our economy. my administration is in the process of rebuilding the american industrial base, a stronger america is in the interest, believe me, of the world as a whole. i reiterated to chancellor merkel my strong support for nato as well as our need for our nato allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense. many nations owe vast sums of money from past years.
and it is very unfair to the united states. these nations must pay what they owe. during our meeting i thanked chancellor merkel for the german government's commitment to increase defense spending and work toward contributing at least 2% of gdp. i want to thank the chancellor for her leadership in supporting nato and its efforts in afghanistan. this has come at significant cost, including the lives of over 50 german soldiers whose sacrifice we greatly honor. i also appreciate chancellor merkel's leadership, along with the french president to resolve the conflict in ukraine. where we ideally seek a peaceful
solution. most importantly, our two countries must work together to protect our people from radical islamic terrorism and to defeat isi isis. i applaud chancellor merkel's contribution, civilian and mail tear, as a counter-isis coalition member. we also recognize that immigration security is national security. we must protect our citizens from those who sk to spread terrorism, extremism and violence inside our borders. immigration is a privilege, not a right. and the safety of our citizens must always come first, without question. over lunch the chancellor and i will talk about our economic partnership. we must work together towards fair and reciprocal trade policies that benefit both of
our peoples. millions of hard-working u.s. citizens have been left behind by international commerce. and together we can shape a future where all of our citizens have a path to financial security. the united states will respect historic institutions and we will also recognize the right of free people to manage their own destiny. the close friendship between america and germany is built on our shared values. we cherish individual rights, we uphold the rule of law and we seek peace among nations. our alliance is a symbol of strengthnd cooperation of the world. it is the foundation of a very, very hopeful fure. thank you.
>> translator: [ speaking german ] >> in the situation we talked about also apprenticeship programs, when we met with ceos and apprentices at a roundtable as regards to the shared interests that we have. now, let me look back into the past. we the germans owe a lot to the united states of america, particularly as regards the economic rise of germany.
this was primarily due to the help through the marshal plan. we were also able to regain german unity after decades of the united states standing up for this together with other allies, and standing by our sides after the cold war. we are very gratified to know that today we can move in peace and freedom as a unified country due to that. so, i was gratified to know the president underlined how important he thinksato is. nato is of prime importae for us. it was not without very good reason we said during our summit meeting in wales that germany needs to increase expenditure. we committed to this 2% goal until 2024. last year we increased our defense stepending by 8%. we're going to work again and again on this. we said that, obviously, defense and security has a lot of
different assets and facets to it. on the one hand, it's supporting missions in africa, for example. it's also promoting development assistance, but it's also helping missions in africa, for example, in trying to stand up for their own safety and security. we continue to be in consideration. but what was important for us today is we were able to talk about afghanistan and talk ab t about, as the president quite rightly said, the continuing mission in afghanistan. i'm glad the united states are continuing to the african mission as well. together we fight against islamist terrorism. germany is going to step up its work and is going to continue its work in afghanistan and also in syria. we're going to monitor the situation there very closely. we're going to work on political resolutions in syria, but also in libya, is what we talked about.
i'm very gratified to know the united states and the president -- we need to come to a solution of this problem. there has to be a safe and secure solution for ukraine. but the relationship with russia has to be improved as well. once the situation there on the ground is clarified, minsk is a good basis but weaven't made the headway we want to but we'll work together with our experts in the next few months to come together on this issue. i'm also here as g-20 president. you know that we will be hosting g-20. [ speaking german ]
>> translator: we had an exchange with ceos and also with apprentices, what sort of potential we can tap, what sort of potential our economists have. it's very moving to see particularly in meeting with these young people what sort of work toward the future is being done by our companies there. so, particularly in this period where we're transiting from traditional manufacturing to industry at capacity building, skills are so important. incidentally, not only for young people, but also for those who maybe have lost their jobs and need to be reskilled in order to find a job again. that is initially, i know, very important for you here in the united states, but it's also important for us in germany. so, i can say there is a number of issues where we will continue to cooperate very closely on the level of experts but also on our level. we had a very good first exchange of views so i'm very much looking forward to the talks we will have over lunch. thank you. >> thank you very much. we'll do a couple of questions. mark halperin.
>> thank you. i wonder -- you were saying no one was denied health insurance. >> the gentleman needs to use a microphone. >> are those the details. madame chancellor, president trump has a different style than some past presidents. i'm wondering what you think of that style f you think it's good for the world. thank you both. >> thank you, mark. we just have a really wonderful group of people meeting later. we met with 12 pretty much knows in congress. you saw that a little while ago. they went from all nos to all yeses. we have a lot of yeses coming in. it's all coming together. we're going to have great health
care. it's going to be passed, i believe, substantially pretty quickly. it's coming together beautifully. you have the conservative groups, you have other groups, everybody wants certain things. in the end, we're going to have a great health care plan. now, have i to tell you that obamacare is a disaster. it's failing. i was in tennessee. we had a tremendous crowd the other night. half of the state is uncovered. the insurance companies have left. and the other half has one insurance company. that will probably be bailing out pretty soon also. many states where they have one. a lot of places where they'll have none. obamacare will fail. it will fold. it will close up. very, very soon if something isn't done. i've often said politically the best thing i can do is absolutely nothing. wait one year and then even the democrats will come say, please, please, you've got to help us. but it's not the right thing to do for the people.
we have a great plan. we have a plan getting more and more popular with the republican base, with the conservative base and with people generally. the press has covered it very n inaccurately. people are covered well. i think it's something to be a model to be looked upon. [ inaudible ] >> i'll tell you after we're finished. >> translator: thank you very much. well, i'm here as chancellor of the federal republic of germany. i represent german interests. i speak with the president of the united states, who, well, stands up for, as his right, american interests. that is a task respectively. i must say i was very gratitude to know the warm and gracious hospitality with which i've been received here. we tried to hold a conversation while trying to address also those areas we disagree but trying to bring people together,
tried to show what is our vantage point, what is the american vantage point and then tried to find a compromise which is good for both sides because we need to be fair with each other. each and every one is xming from their leader that something good comes out of it for their own people. for germany i can say, people are different. people have different abilities, different traits of character, different other begins, have found their way into politics along different pathways. that's diversity, which is good. sometimes it's difficult to find compromises, but that's what we've been elected for. if everything went like that without problem, we wouldn't need politicians to do these jobs. . >> translator: madame chancellor, given the experience of the gdr, you are always saying you are confident walls can fall also. how dangerous do you think the
isolationist policy is of the president of the united states with the import tariffs he has planned and the fact he doesn't deal with the eu in a very respectful way? mr. president, don't you think this is going to weaken the european union? why are you so scared of diversity in the news, in the media that you speak so often of fake news and things cannot be proven, for example, the fact you you've been wiretapped by mr. obama? >> nice, friendly reporter. first of all, i don't believe in an isolationist policy. but i also believe a policy of trade should be a fair policy. and the united states has been treated very, very unfairly by many countries over the years. and that's going to stop. but i'm not an isolationist. i'm a free trader but i'm also a fair trader. free trade has led to a lot of
bad things happening. you look at the deficits we have and you look at all of the accumulation of debt. we're a very powerful company -- country. we're a very strong, very strong country. we'll soon be at a level that we, perhaps, have never been before. our military is going to be strengthened. it's been depleted. but i am a trader, i am a fair trader, i am a trader that wants to see good for everybody worldwide, but i a not an isolationist by any stretch of the imagination, so i don't know what newspaper you're reading, but i guess that would be another example, as you say, fake news. >> translator: well, allow me if i may to put it in the following terms. we haven't yet had time to talk at a great length about economic issues. but i would say that the success of germany in the economic area
but also on security and peace, that the success of germans have always been one where the german success is one side of the coin and the other side of the coin has been european unity and european integration. that's something of which i'm deeply convinced. i'm not only saying this back home, i'm saying it here, i'm saying it in the united states and also here in washington in my talks with the president. secondly, i believe that globalization or to be shaped in an open-minded way but also in a very fair way. freedom of movement within european union, for example, is a very important element of our economic progress, of peace. has been for many, many decades. the european decades for many, many centuries waged wars against each other. we have to protect our external borders. there we have to work on the basis of mutual interests with our neighbors. migration, immigration,
integration has to be worked on, obviously, traffickers have to be stopped, but this has to be done by looking at the refugees as well. giving them opportunities to shape their own lives where they are, help countries who right now are in an ability to do so. sometimes because they have civil war. i think that'she right way of going about it. d this is obviously what we have an exchange of views about. my position is one i've just set out for you. >>. >> i might add that we have many plants and factories coming back into the united states, many jobs are coming back to michigan, to ohio, to pennsylvania, to a lot of places where they were losing jobs. and we will have a different policy, but it's going to be a great policy for not only the united states, but a great policy worldwide. and i look very much forward to.
kevin. >> reporter: yes, mr. president -- [ inaudible ] >> well, kevin, i think we have a very unified republican party. after all, we have the presidency, we have the house, we have the senate. and we're getting along very well. i will tell you. if you were at the meeting that i just attended, where we took 12 nos or semi-nos, no yeses, and within a short period of time everybody was very much on
board. and a commitment to vote yes. i think we have a very unified party. i think actually even more unified than the election. you see when they talk about me, i seem to be very popular, at least this week, within the party because we have our highest numbers. the highest numbers i've ever had in the party. so i think there's a great unification. haeshg is a vehealth care is a , very difficult subject, a complex subject and a subject that, you know, goes both ways. you do something for one side and the other side doesn't like it. but it's really something that's come together very well and i think it's going to be very, very popular. extremely popular. on trade, with germany, i think we're going to do fantastically well. right now i would say that the negotiators for germany have done a far better job than the negotiators for the united states. but hopefully we can even it out. we don't want victory. we want fairness. all i want is fairness. germany's done very well in its
trade deals with the united states. and i give them credit for it. but -- i can speak to many other countries. when you look at china, you look at virtually any country that we do business with, it's not exactly what you call good for our workers. you look at the horrible nafta transaction. nafta has been a disaster for the united states. it's been a disaster for companies and, in particular, it's been a disaster for the workers. a lot of the companies just moved. but the workers are -- it's probably the reason i'm standing here. number one that and maybe the military, building up our military, which we will do and we will be stronger than ever before and hopefully not have to use it. but we will be stronger and, perhaps, far stronger than ever before, but it's probably the reason i'm here, is when you talk about trade. so, i think that we are going to be a very different country. i think we're going to have
great values, but in terms of our military, it's going to be much stronger and our trade deals are going to be good, solid deals. not deals that lead to closing plants and tremendous unemployment. thank you. >> translator: when we speak about trade agreements and the european union is negotiating those agreements for all of the member states of the european union but there's also input by the member states. they bring to the table what's important to them. we have underlined as german industry, german business community and have made the experience that any kind of agreement we have concluded, for example, at the very latest and with south korea, brought us more jobs, actually. people were very much concerned about losing jobs, for example, in the automotive industry but in the end it turned out, particularly as regards south korea, in the end both sides
benefitted. i think that's only fair. that's the power of concluding agreements that both sides win and that is the sort of spirit, i think, in which we ought to be guided in negotiating any agreement between the united states of america and the eu. i hope that we can resume the agreement that we started. we have just now concluded agreement with canada. and i hope that we will come back to the table and talk about the agreement between eu and the u.s. again. >> thank you. madame chancellor, a question addressed to you. today talking about a trade, the president in the past always said that he doesn't like multilateral trade agreements but prefers bilateral trade agreements. do you think from the eu's perspective, a bilateral agreement with washington on one side, the eu on the other side?
is the problem that america -- the president of the united states and the europeans have basically a different understanding of what the eu is all about? that's my question addressed to you. mr. president, my question addressed to you, if i may. we object white house claims wiretapping on you, on the trump tower, on trump organization or on members of your campaign was -- that british intelligence was either responsible for it or involved in it. and after these claims are rejected, what is your take on that? are there other suspects or do you think it was a mistake to blame british intelligence for this? and, by the way, my second question, are there from time to time tweets that you regret -- >> very seldom. >> so you never would have -- >> very seldom. >> wished to have -- >> probably wouldn't be here
right now, so very seldom. we have a tremendous group of people that can listen and i can get around the media when the media doesn't tell the truth, so i like that. as far as wiretapping, i guess by, you know, this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps. and just to finish your question, we said nothing. all we did was quote a certain, very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television. i didn't make an opinion on it. that was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on fox. and so you shouldn't be talking to me. you should be talking to fox. okay? >> thank you. >> translator: well, i believe that the president has clearly
set out his philosophy as to what trade agreements have to bring about for the american side as well. i personally don't think that germany needs to negotiate and not the european union. we devolved our competents to the european union and negotiates on behalf of the member states. so, that's not going to prevent us from conclude agreements. for me this would then qualify as a bilateral agreement between the eu and united states if we had it. the question is, will it be of benefit to both countries or not? let me be very honest, very candid. a free trade agreement with the united states of america has not always been all that popular in germany either. there have been less demonstrations against this free trade agreement in the united states than in europe. and also in germany. so i'm very glad to note that apparently the sort of
perspective on that has changed a little bit at least in germany, too. >> thank you very much. great honor. thank you. >> donald trump and chancellor angela merkel of germany having what would be described as a very tense bilateral meeting right there in the east wing of the white house. donald trump came out and read from a statement, a very pointed opening statement that emphasized his belief that nato nations need to pay their fair share in order to stay in nato. also emphasized a fair and reciprocal, use that word -- or really hit that word on trade policies. while donald trump read his statement, chancellor merkel spoke more extemporaneously, trying to put a friendly face on what i said was very clearly a
tense meeting. also seeing the german people are quite different. a bit of news being made at the end right there. two gr man reporters, both donald trump about his wiretap claims. the second reporter looked over at angela merkel and said, i guess we both have something in common, referring to angela merkel's cell phone being tapped. we have a team of correspondents and analysts standing by with recollection. but i want to first go to former german ambassador to the u.s., claus shalliot. what did you make of that? >> i think it was a very interesting press conference. if i think about what the chancellor said, two things struck me. first, tha she tried to explain to the president how important it is to think in win-win terms.
that there are solutions to international problems, which are good for both sides. which allow both sides to win. and i think she made that point quite eloquently. this is true in trade, this is true in security, this is true in all major problems which we face. so, i think she made that point quite eloquently. the second thing, i think which struck me, was how she explained that, of course, we, germany, made a commitment in 2014 to increase our defense spending by 2024. that means in seven years to 2%. we have increased in the last few years our defense spending by 8% last year and it will be something like that this year. she said also, and that is very important, that it's not only defense spending.
international security depends just as much on diplomacy, so you have to front not only the pentagon and the ministry of defense, you have to fund the state department and the german foreign ministry, and you have to do something for crisis prevention. and you also have to do to help improve our countries on economic development aid and then the question of refugees. have you to help those who can't stay in their countries anymore because there's a sifl war. and we he are all under obligation of the geneva conventions to take in refugees. for instance, germany spent $22 billion last yea on trying to integrate those refugees. so, i think she made the point that defense spending is important but it's not the only thing to comprise international security. you also just as well need efforts for diplomacy, for crisis prevention, for economic aid, and for helping refugees.
>> hallie jackson, who is at the white house. hallie, was it as tense for you inside that room as it was for us watching here on television? >> reporter: hey, katy, forgive me as we're juggling a couple things. i don't know how you would characterize the mood in here. i think it was similar to what we've seen -- i would have to think about that question, to be honest with you. we just got plugged in here. press secretary sean spicer was walking through this below me essentially is a group of media waiting to leave the east room. the press secretary came through sxfs asked about those comments. you know he read that report yesterday that included a statement about british intelligence-gathering agency. there have been obviously, as we've been talking about on this network, some fallout with that agency. press secretary spicer is just telling reporters, i don't think we regret anything regarding those comments. the president was asked about that here at the podium by, i believe, a german reporter
towards the end of the press conference and the president didn't respond directly to that particular allegation but to wiretapping, a question of notable quotes saying he and chancellor merkel, perhaps we have something in common, in perhaps, which was striking. saying that person should be talking to is fox. nging on news report, the president througho his administration hitting fake news for being inaccurate, he has said. as far as mood in the room, let me ponder that and get back to you there. clearly, it was different, at least on the podium between chancellor merkel and president trump than we have seen, for example, i think back to japanese prime minister shinzo abe. that was kind of a different vibe, i guess you could say, on stage. >> hallie jackson, thank you. smiles when he was meeting benjamin netanyahu. want as many here in this room, from my vantage point.
we have chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell, who's in seoul, south korea. she's been following secretary of state rex tillerson. you know this landscape better than anybody. donald trump ran on -- against everything that angela merkel stood for. he was anti-globalism, anti-eu, anti-refugee, and he was, you know, pro-russia, at least in comparison to chancellor merkel. from your vantage point and you watching, what did you make of the first meeting between these two leaders? and would you say it was successful? >> reporter: well, i think whether it's successful we can do read out and do more reporting, but certainly on the face of it, it's awkward. this is not cozy and friendly. this is not angela and don. this is a really tense relationship between angela merkel, the linchpin in new york right now, the economic
powerhouseholding together the european union, the economy there. also having been raised on the east germany side of the berlin wall. the fact that she's a strong western stalwart against russia and, clearly, not happy about the things that trump has said as a candidate. you were there the whole way with the personal references. she said today they're glad they're talking to each other, not about each other, that in reference to things he said about her during the campaign. she made reference to in germany they're not happy about these trade agreements, don't think they're so fair to them. a reference to the president saying the trade agreements have been so unfair. he made in his opening remarks comments about immigration. that's been a sore point between the two of them. his pointed remark trying to pivot away from his own vulnerability on the false accusation to all evidence, false accusation of wiretapping at trump tower, saying that
he -- that there has been eavesdropping and that that's something, at least they can agree on, they have in common, since she was according to edward snowden's releases, that she was the subject of u.s. eavesdropping, something the obama white house had to apologize for. this is not a relationship that's going to be very close. it is an important one for donald trump. and i have to say, katy, we sort of sometimes blame the trump white house on a curve when it comes to foreign policy, he says this, means that, defended his use of twitter. told the german reporter he would keep using it to get around media. but they're looking at every word he says. europeans are confused. and they're now looking to angela merkel because they don't know how much they can rely on the u.s. i'm sure she was happy about one thing he said repeatedly, that he reaffirmed support for nato. that's not sometng he said
duri the campaign. hank yo hans nichols is our pentagon correspondent. he also has lived quite a few years of his life in berlin, germany. he wrote an article with the title "leader of the free world meets with donald trump." usually the american president is the one that's referred to as the leader of the free world. in this case they were referring to chancellor merkel. having lived in that country, knowing this leader, knowing the german people, what was your take on this? >> well, we saw classic angela merkel there. that is someone that's cautious, someone that's careful and someone that doesn't commit to much. one thing about angela merkel through all the crises she's had to manage, she's somewhat of a procrastinator. she never makes a decision until the very end. you saw german chancellor absorbing punches, trying figure out her next move. she's a great counter-puncher and she's very deliberative. she always takes her time, never makes a decision on anything
until she absolutely has to. that's what i saw there. she was absorbing hits from trump. trump was quite harsh on how much nato needs to spend and you saw from angela merkel, yes, a reminder of what the german contribution is in afghanistan, but not a direct response to that. one other thing about merkel, she grew up behd the iron curtains, hates walls. as a young person she look add cross walls and thought maybe zek low vak yeah is as far as i could go. she won a scholarship to go to moscow. merkel is an interlocker. she understands putin. that could be a crucial role for her to play, to explain these two leaders to each other. >> hans, thank you. former deputy assistant secretary of state joel ruben is with us. we got two wiretapping questions from the german press. that is clearly something people
around the world are paying attention to. we have a little bit of sound from one of the exchanges. let's play it and then we can talk about it in a couple seconds. >> how dangerous do you think this isolationist policy of the u.s. president is with the import tariffs that he plans and also with the fact that he doesn't think the eu -- doesn't deal with the eu in a very respectful way? mr. president, don't you think this is going to weaken also the european union? why are you so scared of diversity in the news and in the media that you speak so often of fake news and things in the end cannot be proven, the fact that you have been wiretapped by president obama? >> nice, friendly reporter. first of all, i don't believe -- >> from time to time tweets you regret? and inside -- >> very seldom. >> very seldom. >> so you wish --
>> probably wouldn't be here right now. veryseldom. we have a tremendous group of people that calisten and i can gret aroundhe media when the media doesn't tell the truth, so i like that. as far as wiretapping, i guess by, you know, this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps. [ laughter [ wrk . >> on the one hand he's calling it fake news when a reporter asked a question he did not like. on the other hand, wiretapping, which still hasn't been substantiated, joel, we have all four bipartisan leaders of both intelligence committees in our congress saying they've seen no evidence to support that. we got the former dni james clapper saying there's no evidence to that. donald trump claims he has the evidence. we haven't seen it. what do you make of him brushing it off and then saying, i guess
we have something in common? >> well, katy, it looks like another doubling down. that was a very snarky remark, to be honest, about the wiretapping relating to angela merkel. and he doesn't want to own up to the fact that he just accused our closest ally of britain of spying on him as well as the previous president. and these are very destabilizing comments for a democratic process. and i think it gets to the bigger picture of what's going on here which is we're really at a key pivot point in the near democracy and where it's going to head. germany has major elections in september. a lot of people who care deeply about america's role in the world and productive one where we're working with the rest of the world productively and cooperatively are looking at merkel in many ways as the savior. i was watching this and thinking it reminded me of the press conference president-elect had
with president obama. merkel seemed to be channelling obama, very patient, very calm, describing the bigger picture, what's at stake. and really trying to keep things calm. but also lecturing points. she did point out very interestingly how the marshal plan, the greatest american foreign aid program ever designed, the greatest one likely in human history, that rebuilt germany. this comes a day after the president called for a third cut in foreign aid programs and pointing out to him delicately, there's a lot more at stake here and we need to work in a productive way. i think it was very poignant. >> thank you. everybody, stay with us. we'll talk about this important bilat with significant ally germany on the other side. but first, let's take a look right now -- never mind about that. we'll take a break. we'll be right back. i can stay. i'm good.
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welcome back. we're still breaking down that significant first meeting between president donald trump and german chancellor angela merkel. our panel is back to talk about this a little more. first, i want to go to msnbc contributor and world news editor for "daily beast," chris dickey. i want to know how significant this meeting is given the fact that we're talking about russia
hacking into the election, russia an exing ukraine, a couple years ago, the threat of north korea that is only ratcheting up, and then on top of, that there's brexit and questions about what's going to happen to the eu. what does it mean to have these two leaders stand side by side and how important is it for them to forge a positive working relationship? >> well, it's very important that they do that, but it doesn't really look as if they will. i mean, i think if you look at what was said at the press conference and you look at the background of both leaders, you see that trump believes very strongly in bilateral relationships and in the united states going it alone when it needs to. merkel believes very strongly in multilateral organizations, particularly the european union, also nato. and in a broader sense, in global multilateral diplomacy. this is something that trump either doesn't like or doesn't understand.
so it's very hard to see how they'll work together. i know other people have said, she's sort of giving him lessons and he'll come away subdued and think about all this. well, we saw in his conference with president obama and we've seen with others, he comes away like that initially, and then he starts tweeting extraordinary things that cause all kinds of problems. i think it will be very hard to make these two people work together effectively. >> chris, thank you. let's go to kasie hunt who's on capitol hill. kasie, you have been chasing down lawmakers left and right for the past few months now, especially in the past few days, talking about intelligence committees and whether or not they're finding any evidence to back up donald trump's claim that he was wiretapped by president obama. the white house is clearly trying to back that -- backtrack that in some way, saying he meant surveillance in general. they brought up all these news reports trying to back up the president's claims, even one that suggested president obama made a call to the foreign -- to the uk, trying get them to help
surveil donald trump. you just saw him say to angela merkel, maybe we have something in common. how is that going to affect folks on capitol hill who are trying to get their agenda done, who will now be forced to answer more and more questions about donald trump's unproven claim? >> reporter: everyone on capitol hill in the republican party, i think, would prefer to stop talking about this issue. and i think the longer the president continues to talk about it, the more frustrated republicans in his party are getting, because, frankly, they've waited a lg time to get chance to govern, to have a republican president who can sign legislation that they pass. now, whether they can actually pass anything, that's an entirely -- >> oh, unfortunately -- i think we have you, kasie. keep talking. >> reporter: yes. i think we're back. one thing i do want to report that's new since right during this press conference we learned that the department of justice has, in fact, formally responded to the house intelligence
committee's letter requesting any evidence of any wiretapping. now, it seemed, if you follow threads of reporting, we have to be careful how we lay it out here, there was clearly a difference in what gang of eight members, that's the very top four leaders and foreign intelligence member and ranking members who get special briefings from the intelligence committee. comey came up and met with that group late last week. between what we had heard publicly from them, before that meeting and after that meeting, that is when you saw that clear shift. suddenly nunes coming out, there was no wiretap, paul ryan saying the same thing, then a joint statement from senate intelligence committee. so clearly they absorbed some new information that allowed them to say this. they have been broad. necessity have been said, there was no surveillance. they haven't limited it to wiretaps. at this point we do know they
provided more information to those committees. at this point we're still waiting on the contents. if it lines up with what the gang of eight members have said so far, there addition. >> is there a dance the doj will have different evidence that fbi director comey may have had, different evidence that could change the opinions of gang of eight? >> reporter: it's essentially the same entity. the fbi is part of the department of justice, so when that request goes in, any -- you know, anything that comey would have been able to tell them would be included in this. it's basically asking them to say, hey, were there any warrants legally obtained to surveil either under fisa, the national security authority, or under a standard criminal prosecution, which would be a usual warrant. the fbi would have to go to a judge and ask for a warrant to such or in this case surveil trump tower. that's exactly what we're saying did not happen. the one question mark that's still out there, and i asked
devin nunes about this in their press conference where he said he was wrong about the wiretapping, there have been -- it's been reported there are americans who were potentially swept up in these fisa warrants and whose names may have been unmasked. potentially paul manafort, something along the lines. the question still is, were there communications out of trump tower that's part of a separate warrant? that still means the president is wrong in saying trump tower was wiretapped. >> kasie hunt tryi to sort things out for us on capitol hill. appreciate it. our big panel of correspondents and analysts for sticking around with us and trying to break down that bilateral meeting we just saw. that wraps things up for me this hour. i'm katy tur. you can follow me on facebook and twitter. kate snow picks things up. >> our top stories right now starting with a tense visit. president trump wel