tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 6, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
new york and 10:00 p.m. in hamburg, germany, where president donald trump arrived for the g20 summit. president trump and the other leaders assembled for the meeting were greeted by massive protests that turned violent as they often do at the gatherings. nbc's keir simmons was in the middle it and we'll get to him. for a time the protests overshadowed the other dramatic news. we saw two versions of donald trump today. in a scripted address in warsaw, he sought to talk about the commitment to nato partners and offered his toughest language to date about russia. >> to those who would criticize our tough stance, i would point out that the united states has demonstrated not merely with words, but with its actions that we stand firmly behind article 5, the mutual defense commitment. we urge russia to cease its destabilizing activities in
ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes including syria and iran. and to instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and a defense of civilization itself. there is nothing like our community of nations. the world has never known anything like our community of nations. >> it seemed during the delivery of the speech that donald trump was largely on message. however, hours later unscripted donald trump hedged once again on russia's role in hacking our election. seeking to spread blame to other nations and he railed against the american media. >> i think what cnn did was unfortunate for them. as you now know they have some serious problems. they have been fake news for a long time. they have been covering me in a
very -- a very dishonest way. do you have that also, by the way, mr. president? cnn and others. nbc is equally as bad despite the fact i made them a fortune with "the apprentice." >> will you definitively say that russia interfered in the 2016 election? >> well, i think it was russia and i think it could have been other countries, could have been a lot of other people interfered. i said it very simply. it could have been russian but it could have been other countries and i won't be specific. but i think a lot of people interfere. i think it's been happening for a long time. it's been happening for many, many years. >> for more on this, we go to nbc's kelly o'donnell traveling with the president in hamburg and philip bruker. we have been at summits, we have been inside the perimeter, the protests largely occur outside the perimeter. talk about sort of the mood i
assume you're inside the perimeter. but talk about what you were greeted with today with the president and the other leaders sort of all descending on this summit. >> well, because this is a planned event, security has the great advantage of knowing what is likely to come. you don't have the surprise element. these are protesters who have permits and it is something where those who have planned the security create grids and lanes where dignitaries are able to move, journalists are able november and then there are designated areas where the protests are able to thrive if they -- if they do that. and of course it can be rather tense as we have seen with all of the images through the afternoon. but it is very contained. at the same time, all of this has been unfolding we have seen the business of the g20 begin through into the evening there are still leaders from the 19 nations and the european union that are arriving.
president trump was among the early arrivals today. he has already met with the host, angela merkel of germany, and they talked behind closed doors and had a meeting much as you would expect talking about ukraine, talking about trade, talking about north korea. their common interests and their common areas of concern in both directions. so very normal in that sense. the president moving through the city in his motorcade without incident as others have as well. other top leaders and dignitaries. in addition, the president met with and had dinner with the president of south korea and the prime minister of japan talking about north korea. and of course, tomorrow all of the build-up for the 30 minute meeting he is scheduled to have with vladimir putin with a very tiny number of advisers. nicolle, you know how this goes. sometimes there can be two rather large delegations in the room and the photo-op can extend to 20 or 30 people if you've got
long tables on either side where all of the different interests are present. not so for the putin meeting. it will be the two principals, the two presidents. it will be their top diplomats in secretary tillerson and sergey lavrov the foreign minister of russia and the interpreters. that's a close and small room and this will be an opportunity to talk about the issues and maybe the elephant in the room and whatever the appropriate russian sort of idiom would be for the same idea. and we have really a g20 that is unfolding in many ways as it has been expected but that doesn't mean it's not filled with a volatile moments. news making encounters and important work to be done. it's just on a scale and remember these -- this is the german engineering behind this event. they have planned for how this will unfold. again, unpredictable moments
happen but nothing that has spilled into -- based on what we understand now and especially with our teams that have been in the middle of it amid the tear gas and the protesters and the unknown moments of encounters between law enforcement and protesters. it is unfolding fairly smoothly and hamburg has this unique place perhaps among g20s. it's situated so far north that they have 17 hours of daylight today so that is posing a challenge with security. that lends itself to more protesting and we haven't seen what hamburg after dark is going to look like when it comes to these protesters. president trump is already in for the night. he and the first lady is at the residence that they're staying which is an official senate residence, and tomorrow the headlining experience that we have been waiting for. the face-to-face with vladimir putin. many other events tomorrow, but we'll spend an awful lot of time talking about the trump/putin
meeting. nicolle? >> thank you so much. philip rucker, let me the you about the two -- ask you about the two versions of president trump that we saw this morning. for 35 minutes he delivered a speech that i think our nato allies were very eager to hear him deliver, affirming our commitment to nato and to defending our allies. he had some of the toughest language ever on russia. but two hours earlier in a press conference, he was out there beating up on his favorite target, the mainstream media. our network here and cnn across town. calling them fake news and asking the leader of poland if he agreed with him. then really offering some real wishy-washy mucked up language about russia saying other people in other countries were also involved. what level of exasperation do you think the aides feel who worked on the scripted speech and got him to deliver it this time and saw it undercut or
challenged by the freewheeling donald trump at the press avail? >> yeah, well, you're exactly right about the difference between the two trumps today on display in poland and the white house officials that i have been talking to today were really pleased by that speech in poland. they felt like that was the exact message that they wanted the president to deliver, that they felt he needed to deliver. the white house is feeling a lot of fear and anxiety right now regarding the north korea situation. and the escalation of tension there in the korean peninsula. there's a real desire to use this trip to europe to try to fortify the u.s. alliances in the west and in western europe and so the things that the president was saying about nato and article 5 and talking about the west and preserving the west and having the west -- sort of western culture and democracy thrive is really important. but the earlier performance at the press conference was a really kind of spontaneous, raw president trump. and he was talking about his favorite subject -- fake news media. casting doubt about the russian
interference and, you know, just left it out there. it made me wonder why he didn't decide to do some sort of a press conference back in the united states before going overseas, kind of getting all of this out of his system. this morning it was the first time we have seen him take questions from reporters in quite some time now. and you wonder if he had done that press conference back at the white house before he left maybe the questions might have been a little more focused on the message that he wanted to be driving in europe. >> well, that brings me to my question. i mean, do you think -- so my sense was that for 35 minutes ae security advisers override his circuitry. he's going to deliver this to muddy the waters about russia's role. there's a no mud in the water. we had democrats and republicans in and out of the intelligence agencies affirm that russia meddled in our election. there he was today on the world
stage saying it could have been other countries. we don't really know. this is less than 24 hours before he heads into the face-to-face with putin. >> yeah. it's like his favorite word about russia is if. if they interfered. well, it's a definitive conclusion by his own intelligence agencies and hallie jackson did a great job of pointing that out. is he going to confront putin on russian's interference and the signals are that he will not. he's under a lot of pressure to do so. i know the senators back here in washington want to see him be forceful and aggressive in first meeting with putin. but the signals we're getting from the white house sources are that it's really up to the president what he wants to say and do in that meeting. he's not going to go into the meeting with putin reading from a script. he has been briefed ahead of time and knows some of the issues that his staff want him to raise, but it's really up to him. >> it's going to be something we all sit and wait and watch together. i hope that you'll come back --
>> be a big day. >> we are now joined by keir simmons who has been in the middle of all of the protests in hamburg today. keir, first of all, what are those protests look like now? we have been watching you all day and any plans for them to wane as the day comes to an end there? keir? >> well, i heard the news that the german police say the protests are over. hey, can you hear me? >> yes. >> can you hear me? >> yes, keir, go ahead. >> great. i have heard the news that the german -- okay great. german police say that the protests are over. they aren't over as far as we can -- you know, establish. right here the line of riot police behind them they're guarding a water cannon that's clearly still in position to maneuver should it be needed. let's just walk our way through these flanks of riot police.
then nicolle, i'll show you what i mean when i say this protest is not over. because just come into -- >> it sounds like we have lost keir. he's been in the middle of this story all day. covering this story all day long. as soon as we re-establish contact we're going to bring him back. right now i want to bring in the panel. nbc congressional correspondent kasie hunt, bret stephens, op-ed columnist with "the new york times." and also from "new york times" op-ed columnist. let me ask you guys about this morning because i was so struck by the fact that the bar is so low that the fact that donald trump read from the teleprompter for 35 minutes was held up as a sign of progress and that he was
able to do not on his first trip to europe, but on the second trip to europe simply affirm a long standing treaty with europe and affirm -- i mean, i can't believe we're having a debate about our commitments to nato. did you think the 35 minutes represented progress and the sort of internal victory for folks like mattis and mcmaster? >> i do. but i think the bar has been low for a long time. when you said that i thought back to his address to the joint session of congress when the same thing happened. he basically didn't go off the rails. you know, read coherently and smoothly from a teleprompter. wasn't as provocative as he tends to be and all of a sudden, even people on the left were saying, wow, a president is born. of course days later he was back to being the same spastic -- >> two days later he attacked president obama. >> and he wandered off the script, and there's in discipline here. it can exist for 35 minutes, 40 minutes, 20 minutes but over the
course of 24 hours or a week, there's never a coherent, consistent, you know, message at all. >> and the important point here is what do american adversaries think of the character of the president himself? famously the predicate here is jack kennedy's meeting with nikita khrushchev at the very beginning of his presidency taxpayer that khrushchev took the measure of kennedy and thought he was weak and what followed was the building of the wall and the cuban missile crisis. so when vladimir putin is looking at the speeches -- >> he's looking at the -- >> he's looking at the tweets. the impulses. he is asking himself does he believe this article 5 talk? i think if i were putin, i would draw the conclusion that he doesn't. that it's always hedged. >> well, so, you and i have been political staffers. we both worked on national
security messages if you will. i never had the experience of having to override the circuitry of a president. we had to smooth over plenty of george w. bush's rough edges. he famously said i'm going to get bin laden dead or alive. he said things that were not politically correct. he said things that were off message. but there was never this exercise of having to literally override all of his impulses as bret just said and sort of coerce my own principle into affirming alliances. i guess the reason we celebrate it is because most people are sort of rooting for the adults in the room. where do you land on this? >> well, i think people are looking at it and putin even looks at it, the adults in the room. at least got him to stick to the script for 35 minutes but they know that the real man not the actor doesn't necessarily subscribe to that. i would argue about the speech. that it was particularly dark. it has that kind of samuel huntington class of civilization preservation of the west, but a west that's very traditional, not a west that's diverse. i think that also represents
something a little bit unfortunate. i'm glad he mentioned ukraine. he should have mentioned crimea. he should have been tougher on russia about ukraine other than saying destabilization. it is basically an invasion. i think it's a mixed bag and in so far as the grown-ups can have control of him people on the outside will be more relaxed. >> you said something important about tougher on russia. everybody is saying he finally got tough on russia. this was one paragraph. this was something of -- >> and he said literally 90 minutes earlier about russian hacking it could have been other countries, other people. where are we that we celebrate the last nine minutes of a 35 minute speech that was dark. >> it was reminiscent of his inaugural address. it was one of the darker ones that we ever heard. but one term that a high level republican used with me, i would say a few months after they realized that president trump was not really going to change. and when he became president.
was to say, look, we feel an intense responsibility to be the ballast in the ship of state. that's what the nsc staffers people like mattis and others, republicans like john mccain will say i trust. those people are attempting to keep that ship on a course that america has been on for decades. the problem is as you note, their president. >> as we have been talking we have re-established contact with keir simmons. things as you were saying before we lost you do not appear to be coming any less perilous for the folks out there protesting. >> yeah. that's right. well, look, if the german police are saying that this protest is over, then this protest is not over. we are standing admittedly it looks like surrounded by a mix of people out drinking in the center of hamburg and protesters along the street there as miguel pans further down, a group of protesters in that way. panning back again, you can see there are still riot police
stationed through here, moving out. there's a group of them being dispatched in this direction. and the protest is -- has been moving this way. so there are still thousands of people on the streets protesting the g20 with a whole collection of messages and i have to say, you know, as night goes on and people drink a little too much, you know, it begins to get a little more difficult and, you know, as you can see there a are -- there was a little altercation. sorry, we were just getting a little trouble from one guy holding a beer there. so that's the kind of atmosphere as the night folds here. >> i think don rumsfeld called it old beer that beer mixes with g20 protests. it looked serious earlier in the day. you had your helmet on earlier. you were in the middle of what looked like bricks being thrown by the protesters. i wonder if the police that were
protecting you and the summit are safe. i wonder if there were any arrests. if you could go on a little bit about the kind of messages you saw from the protesters for us. >> yeah, sure. okay. so we did see a number of arrests. we did see a number of people injured. thankfully, none of them appeared to be unconscious. as far as we could see, all i can tell you is our own eyewitness view as far as we can see none of the injuries appeared to be serious. we'll see as the night goes on. in terms of what happened, a protest that was gathered and we think from police estimates around 12,000 people, a protest that was gathered in a square one group then came wearing black covering their faces and moved along the streets towards a line of riot police. they were as organizers of the police if you like. there was a standoff for a period and then what appeared to me to happen next was that the german police fired tear gas
into that crowd. right at us and we were in -- right in the middle of the tear gas. then they began firing water cannon and then riot police moved on that crowd to try to disperse it. then running battles between the police and protesters with tear gas and water cannon continuing to be used over a sustained period. it looked like chaos for some time. and we spoke to a number of protesters who said that they were there to protest peacefully and that they were not expecting to be caught in the middle of this. some of them very young. others were clearly there to try to cause -- to try to cause trouble. but, you know, in the end -- i'm sorry i'm getting -- we're having a little trouble here ourselves as we try to do this live shot. we may need to go back to you. >> keir, we're going to stay with you the whole hour. please jump back in and back on as events require. we're going to keep these pictures up and watch with you.
but all of this is unfolding as president trump will finally have the chance to meet face-to-face with the man he says he greatly respects. russian president vladimir putin tomorrow. joining me panel now, ambassador michael mcfaul, now an msnbc russian affairs contributor and evelyn bar cus, national security analyst and a former deputy of defense for russia. ambassador, you wrote a piece with some advice. i think you wrote it in the spirit of the kind of thing you'd write for a principal getting ready to meet with vladimir putin. what was the most important piece of advice and based on who will be in the bilat, just the president and his secretary of state and vladimir putin and his foreign minister what do you think is going to come of that meeting and what do you think will happen in that room? >> well, i did write the memo like i used to write memos for president obama. i spent three years at the white house writing these kind of memos when he was meeting with
prime minister putin and president medvedev. the main message i wanted to communicate is that we have to focus -- the president has to focus on national security objectives for the united states of america. that needs to be his goal and not the outcome of a good meeting with putin. that is not serving any purpose if it doesn't serve our actual national interests. >> evelyn, i worked for president bush at a time when he met with vladimir putin and vladimir putin wanted to talk to him about the media and about some of the tough coverage he got from the media. and he asked questions about why he didn't fire certain members of the media. i mean, this is not a democracy and is it troubling to be able to watch the u.s./russia relationship that donald trump seems to look longingly upon some of the auspices of the vladimir putin's ruling sort of
fist with the way he governs in russia? >> yes, nicolle. it is important to remember that vladimir putin and his cronies in the kremlin, they would very much like the united states to resemble russia because it would mean that we would not be a counter to them. we would not be interested in trying to dissuade russia from invading the neighbors, from interfering in our elections because we wouldn't have democratic elections anyway. we would be corrupt like them. so putin would love it if trump tried to remake america in russia's image, but that's not something that the people of the united states nor the congress nor our courts would stand for. >> all right, frank, i have to read from your piece today. it's about the love affair, the love affair between vlad and donnie. it's sleepless in seattle you write, except they're both blonds, sort of. their feelings bloomed long before they meet. they communicate across time
zones in words rather than care caresses. the answer will come friday when they gaze into each other's eyes for the first time. talk about it. >> i looked back at donald trump's comments and tweets through the years and it's a decade now that he has been professing admiration for vladimir putin. what's also interesting when you look back it's a very lopsided affair. it doesn't come back at him. he doesn't get as good as he gives. he has in a disturbing way shown enormous admiration for putin. you were saying -- i'll remind you on this network on "morning joe" well, putin orders journalists killed, but trump said we do killing in our country too. he shrugs off the thuggish behavior. >> and the bromance is sort of amusing, but to the more serious point you make, you describe eight sort of outreaches on the
part of donald trump where he's flattered vladimir putin and all he got from putin in response well, he's colorful. >> he said at least eight times -- i think it's more like a dozen. putin has called me a genius. he's called me brilliant. trump judges people by how much adulation they show him. it's a matter of translation. many people believe he said he's colorful he could have been describing his hair or his permatan. >> yeah. they're both ill liberals. they believe in the consent of the west but has nothing to do with the structures of liberal democracy or the institutions of liberal democracy. i was thinking of the speech in poland and you're right. it was a very dark speech. it was a speech that uniquely played into putin's own message which is that the west was what really he means is the white world needs to ban together
against the common enemy of islam and the muslim world. but the real enemies of the west are the enemies of freedom and that includes vladimir putin. he is on the other side of that divide not the same one. vladimir putin has been trying to unite these two sides with marine le pen in france and with other liberals and trump is unwittingly maybe not unwittingly playing into the putin narrative. >> i think it's unfortunate -- a very good point, bret. the true enemy of the west as trump was constructing it was vladimir putin. >> right. >> i interviewed putin in 2007. >> remind people the context. >> i made him person of the year in 2007. >> don't hate -- >> a little bit of regret. but putin, we spent a lot of time with him. everyone -- he's an incredibly frosty guy. that's one reason it's one sided. but he has his own obsesses and grievances about the west. he looks at the west as undermining russia at every
opportunity. he said you think of us as primitive and monkeys here. you have been trying to do everything you can to destabilize our society. he's a paranoid view of the west. in terms of the way he looks at nato as encompassing russia that's the western world. he -- putin wants to unravel that as much as possible. >> go ahead. >> it's about institutions. think of the meddling in the election. what was it fundamentally about? it was about undermining trust in our democratic institutions. no matter which side of the party you were on and that is what -- that is also the construction of the west that has been kind of crumbling around the edges and that putin wants to want to accelerate. >> ambassador mcfaul, can you weigh in on the speech in warsaw, particularly the lines that i would imagine were hard fought or hard negotiated on the part of the folks that want to affirm this alliance and wanted to make clear that we stand up
and stand clear with ukraine. i wonder if vladimir putin saw that as a political defeat headed into the meeting tomorrow or if he's confident he can regain that ground once he's face-to-face with the american president? >> again, it's all because of the low bar that we have for president trump that we judge him differently. i mean, compare this speech to any speech, democrats or republicans, who have given in that part of the world where they talk about liberalism, democracy, human rights and most certainly in those speeches, including the last one that obama gave in estonia in 2014, russia is the enemy of democracy. not somebody on the same side. and to whoever said -- i think i heard hamburg in the back so i can't quite -- >> sorry about that. >> who said it, but his speech was not about liberal democracy. but about a clash of civilizations. it's a -- it's not a speech about the liberal democracies need to get together.
that was very different. that's music to putin's ears but the real music to putin's ears was the press conference. russia's already commented on its. his press spokesman has already commented on it. they love it when trump says he's not sure about who might have done this and invoke other countries. that's a perfect set-up for the meeting. from putin's point of view tomorrow. >> i want to give you the last word. did the press conference this morning undermine the message in the scripted speech in warsaw? >> unfortunately, to some extent it did. i don't i this it did on article 5 and sticking with our allies. i think that -- i think that that message was delivered. however, when it comes to intervening in the united states oddly enough that's where he was weak because he didn't actually say what he needed to tell hallie jackson which is yes, russia interfered in our elections and they should cut it out, and if they don't there will be consequences.
that's what he needs to say tomorrow. another thing in the paragraph he not only diminishes what happened in the ukraine as destabilizing, but he's highlighting terrorism which is what bret said earlier. >> all right, kasie hunt and ambassador mcfaul, thank you for spending some time with us today. up next the other major issue looming over the president's trip. the threat from north korea. is president trump ready to play hardball with china? you doyou'll see whatet but in you're really made of. after five hours of spinning and one unfortunate ride on the gravitron, your grandkids spot a 6 foot banana that you need to win. in that moment, you'll be happy you partnered with a humana care manager and got your health back on track. because that banana isn't coming home with you until that bell sings. great things are ahead of you when your health is ready for them. at humana, we can help you with a personalized plan for your health for years to come.
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our services more reliable than ever. like technology that can update itself. an advanced fiber-network infrustructure. new, more reliable equipment for your home. and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. this is the scene at this hour on the streets of hamburg at the g20 summit after a day of protests. we're going to keep an eye on that and bring you any developments there. meantime, urgency over containing north korea's nuclear threats still growing at this hour. china, the main ally, was noticeably absent at the northeast security dinner today between president trump and japanese counterparts.
when asked where he stands with china here's what the president said. >> never give up. >> nbc's kristen welker joins me now from the white house. i checked in with some white house advisers traveling with the president. i asked them about the speech. they said they were pleased that he had stuck to the script for that teleprompter address, but they were returning back into conference call with the folks in the building where you're standing to deal with the north korea threat. how dire is the mood about this threat? >> reporter: oh, there's an incredible urgency, nicolle, no doubt about and there has been for the past several days since the day that north korea fired that intercontinental ballistic missile. there's not only a series of meetings, but conversations behind the scenes about how to deal with this. and the president continues to look to china. you heard him there saying never
give up. at the same time, he's losing patience. the international community is losing patience. nikki haley expressed that yesterday when she had the emergency meeting with the u.n. security council when she called on the international community to stop trading with north korea. president trump lashed out at china on twitter before taking off for this international trip for increasing its trade with north korea. so i think that once he does have that meeting with president xi jinping on the sidelines of the g20 summit which we are anticipating will happen, he's going to be very tough. he's going to ultimately say, look, we are at our final straw here. you heard nikki haley say that military action is a possibility although a last resort. it is certainly something they have on the table. nicolle, i think these are the toughest conversations that the president had has with xi jinping. initially he was trying to foster a strong relationship, inviting me to mar-a-lago and
there was a sense of optimism he could be persuaded to intervene in north korea and now i think the president is close to losing faith that china can actually get something done here where it has failed in the past. the reality is that president trump doesn't have a whole lot of other options. sanctions one of them, moving more military assets into the region. but these are things that have been tried before and have failed in the past. there's an immense amount of urgency to figure out how to deal with this situation. >> kristen, thank you. joining the panel is daniel deutsche and evelyn vargas is still with us. i want to play something that the president said about red lines. i think we have that. >> i don't like to talk about what i have planned. but i have some pretty severe things that we're thinking about. that doesn't mean we're going to do them. i don't draw red lines. >> he doesn't draw red lines. does that mean we don't have one or does that mean he doesn't want to be seen as losing face
on the world stage and is it a good strategy? >> i mean, i think it's a good strategy not to draw a red line if you're not ready to enforce it, to do something. i think he's signaling that we might consider some other options, although i can't imagine what options we would consider short of clamping down further economically which might be things that china would consider tantamount to war with them if they're directed at china, but there are no military moves we can make that won't come with huge blow back consequences for the united states and allies. >> look the negotiation that the united states needs to conduct eventually is a serious negotiation with china because china thinks that north korea is the wedge they're going to use to push the united states out of east asia. we have to persuade the chinese that quite the opposite is going to happen. that beijing's interests are going to be harmed if they continue to sponsor the kim
regime. not north korea, but the kim regime. so in the south china sea, china has an interest in expanding its sphere. they don't want to see south korea or japan look at nuclear options. they don't want to see massive u.s. rearmament for taiwan. they don't want to see the united states start to sanction directly chinese companies that are giving north korea access -- >> why we haven't done that yet? >> people talk about how north korea is the most sanctioned regime in the world. that's not true. >> iran was. >> even today iran is more sanctioned than russia and russia is more sanctioned. so the idea that the sanctions card is played out is wrong. i think democrats especially should draw the lesson that the obama administration was very successful in using the sanctions against iran in ways that surprised even those who were pushing the sanctions as our best resort. >> we have a couple of former obama administration officials.
i have heard this from republicans and democrats that the sanctions tool hasn't been used against china. why not? and is now the time to use it? >> let's first talk about sanctions against north korea. >> well, against the china. no one disagrees with you, ricky. he starves his own people, it's not a tool to use with the brutal heinous murderous homicidal dictator, but what's the excuse for china? >> 70% of our economy is consumer driven. china is the largest exchange partner that we have with exports. i mean, if we start sanctioning china the blow back against us is very dangerous. it would make the president even more unpopular with people and in fact that isn't how the chinese do business. the chinese find it amazing that trump is losing patience with them after what seems like 15 minutes. they measure everything out in terms of decade and they're losing patience after one meeting. they think it's absurd. >> donnie, it seems like a
daunting dynamic for a man not known for his patience. what do you make of the body of diplomacy between president trump and the chinese leader? >> well, the reality is when he talks about a red line or not a red line, pretty much he's punted all of this over to his generals and i don't think he has a clue, frankly, about what the issues are here. there's no nuance here. i don't i this he's -- i don't i this he's calling the shots one way or the other. and rick, what you said the chinese look in terms of decades we're out of decades. every white house has dealt with this and now we're 12 to 18 months way -- away from the potential of nuclear weapons pointed at california and there is a chance for military action. there's not going to be a military action, 10 million people in seoul 30 miles away. other than somehow choking china which you said chokes ourselves so we keep going in the circle. >> i think you're drawing too broad of a brush. the chinese don't want to wreck their trading relationship with
the united states. they understand that north korea is a discreet issue. they understand the chinese front companies make it possible for the north korean regime to survive. we can be clear that's what we're targeting and we can say to the chinese look, we understand that you have equities in the existence of a north korean state as a buffer against the south but you shouldn't have equities in a kim regime threatening to destabilize it. >> but the least good option which is our favorite option is the reunification of korea. that's something that every administration has wanted since the 190 50s. >> and the trump administration ought to say we'll make peace with them so long as the kim regime is not there. we'll accept a state, removing the kim family in the equation. that's something that the
chinese have the power over the north to do. >> i'm going to break this up. i'm going to launch a podcast with these two. let me get in evelyn on this president's body of diplomacy with the chinese leader has he helped or hurt, evelyn? >> i mean, i think, nicolle, we need to go back a little bit and use some of our old playbooks. i was working in the senate under the bush administration and in 2008 i went to north korea because the bush administration used sanctions successfully. if you remember the sanctions, that was a chinese bank, it forced the north koreans to the negotiating table. after we gave them the goodies they did a missile test and that was the end of that. but there's still something we can learn from that which is we can force them to the table using sanctions which hurt the chinese banks and the chinese economy because the chinese get them to the table. the other thing is the agreed framework which we forged in the '90s under bill clinton. with emade the north korea -- we
made the north koreans freeze the plutonium program. yes, they broke out in the beginning of the bush administration and they were confronted, we had the first breakdown with them. i think we can learn from those examples and if we cobble together an approach that's really strong on sanctions and then has a negotiating strategy where you freeze but you not only freeze but you address the regime, i like where bret was going with that. because ultimately the problem we have, even though you know i was executive director of a commission on proliferation, we don't want the north korean regime -- we could probably tolerate nuclear weapons if we had to, but we don't want them in the hands of kim jong un and the like. >> i'm going to put you in charge of solving this. frank, let me get you in on the issue of patience. this is complicated stuff. this is a president who plays whack-a-mole. what granularity that president
trump has been read into on the north korean crisis? >> i think very limit. i think this is outsourced. i don't think he's in command of great detail. >> is that good or worse? >> if he's outsourcing those things he doesn't know about to the right people, i think we should feel reassured by that. that's what ceos do and we praise them for it. we spend a lot of time whacking president trump. we have to have a hefty measure of sympathy for him, because it's bedevilled many, many administrations. if you read headlines, if you listen to people at this table, you heard the phrases, few options, no good option. he doesn't have an easy route here. >> there's one nemesis and that's the homicidal leader of north korea. >> who is not a stable, sane person in many ways so how do you deal with someone who is not behaving predictably all the time? >> and three american presidents have been disappointed by china's role. all right. when we come back, president trump takes his war on the media to the global stage and savannah
due to your first accident. liberty mutual insurance. well, what cnn did was unfortunate for them. as you know now they have some pretty serious problems. they have been fake news for a long time. they have been covering me in a very -- a very dishonest way. with cnn and others, nbc is equally as bad despite fact that i made them a fortune with "the apprentice" but they forgot that. what we want to see in the united states is honest, beautiful, free, but honest press. we want to see fair press. i think it's a very important thing. >> president trump's war with the media going global today. he stood next to his polish counterpart. joining the table is savannah guthrie who i stole from the hallway. you're getting ready to anchor
"nightly news.." >> i'm here to hang out with you. that's it. >> we're happy that you're here. listen, we were talking this morning about -- well, about all of this. about north korea and the intractable choices and the meeting with putin. as someone who covered a white house what you think when you see our colleague hallie jackson standing up against the president that just said that, attacked the media and doing her job. and asking these questions under conditions you wouldn't expect an american journalist to endure. >> it's awkward and uncomfortable. we are on the business end of asking a president or a leader who does not care for the tone or the substance of your question. but on the other hand, i mean, this is what a healthy democracy is. he's doing his job by pushing back. she's doing her job. i'm fine with that. i mean, honestly when the president and the press enjoyed totally warm relations? never. but when you call it fake news and you act like a critical story isn't really a story, that's where i think it just pushes it too far. i do understand why people say,
you know, politics should end at the water's edge. i think criticizing democratic institutions overseas, i think, you know, do it at home. don't i mean, i try not to hyperventilate too much about this kind of thing. but i do think that this whole notion of fake news is just -- all that really means, if you want to just have -- if there were a definition in the urban dictionary, it would be news that i don't like. anybody who's using that term, that's what it means. sloks y as long as you know that, it means news that is not flattering to me, it doesn't mean false news. >> would you ever describe a previous president as unpatriotic? if you really think about what he did on foreign soil today, he took a dump on the intelligence community, a dump on basically our free speech in the media. and we have -- >> we're still enjoying yours. >> we'll see.
that's a -- >> he cleaned that up. >> but can you imagine if your boss had done that, or obama had done that. the sad part it is, it's getting normalized. when you break it down, it's unamerican. i hate that word unamerican, but it's unpatriotic. >> i want to point out a phrase the president used which i think was quite cunning, which was fair press, right? we don't have -- we have a free press in this country. there's no guarantee of fairness. it reminds me of a trade debate when people say we want free trade, but people said, no, we want fair trade. this idea of a fair press, something conservatives have resisted for a very long time. we want a free wheeling press, press that is allowed to make mistakes, we want a press that has a large ambit for error. this is another thing that bothers me, the sneaky terms he
uses. the whole concept of fake flus is a specific term of art. it's news that's intended to deceive. it doesn't mean that the free press and the good press can still make mistakes. he's conflating this idea of -- >> to keep with your context, he wants a fawning press. he's going well beyond the pushback. every president doesn't like his media. your former boss complained about it. obama complained about it, despite many people on the right think he was treated wonderfully all the time. president trump is going a step further than that, he's trying to delegitimize the media. so he's inoculated from all criticism going forward. it's a much bigger campaign than -- >> there was a little nugget in there about the "apprentice." i made money for them. therefore, they owe me to cover me in the way that i want --
>> a total misunderstanding of what journalism is. the sbram arm of nbc has nothing to do with nbc news. this isn't a terribly difficult concept. but obviously he doesn't quite -- >> there's no sort of higher moreality for donald trump. everything is a trade and a transaction. >> i find what's so frustrating, to your point, this notion of a fair press. the president says it, but i'm sure we all see it and hear it in terms of viewers and readers. you know, i take that really seriously. i want to be fair. i really do. the point is, when i look at the media criticism that comes, it's not that people are saying, you know, i wish you were so neutral. what they're saying is, i wish your biased matched up with mine. this isn't the pointer institute, it's some larger notion of fair and neutral
journalism. what he's saying is i would like a press that's pro trump. that goes all the way around. each side, people tend to want press that's favorable to them. >> we've all lived through that. this is a level of insanity from that point that we've never seen before. literally, unless it is fawning and adulation, it is false. >> he's saying it in poland, where the ruling party is also having its crackdown on a free press. this is part of a broader movement than just donald trump's brain. >> let me put you on the spot, frank. and so we had a media organization that made a mistake, and held people accountable, fired people. do you think that was a good move in protecting what savannah's talking about, the integrity of the media at large, or do you think in donald trump's eyes that was blinking in the face of someone who fights asymmetrically? >> brett wrote a great column about this. you're talking about what happened at cnn. i worry about what we saw there
with donald trump having successfully gotten under a network's skin. when we do things as wrong as pointed out to us, there's no disagreement about what happened, we immediately own up to it. we apologize. cnn did the same. the thing is, i would say the media in this regard, and i think you made this point in your column, behaves much more admirably than donald trump and his administration. we own up to our mistakes. >> it's important that we not be set up to a standard where any mistake is evidence that we are are corrupt, or dishonest. one of the reasons i took exception with cnn's decision to fire those three journalists is it puts us up to an impossible standard. the suggestion is, you make a mistake, and what happens is you don't get a correction. you get a dismissal. if we do that, we're playing -- >> the flip side, i want to defend zucker here. he was in a no-win situation. he needed to make a stretch. he needed to overreact to somehow nullify what this
football that trump now has. i agree with you, you set an impossible standard, but i would have done that as a businessman running that organization. >> if you're overreacting, you're overreacting. >> wrong choice of words. >> you're saying he has to placate the president. 9 formulation you just used, donald trump won. >> and i agree this is sort of -- i think this is what bedevils the republicans, he fights an asymmetrical war. we all try to be fair. we're held to account by our organizations. >> i do think we look inward. this is something i think about a lot. media at large, you can't talk about the media anymore, it's monolithic. but we need to play the long game, we don't need to play small ball. i've seen a lot of reporters who have snarky twitter feeds. when we're trying to say we are fair, we're neutral, we do care
about the truth and care about the facts, i don't want to give people who disagree with that any ammunition whatsoever. i think for all of us, my view is, let's just be the best possible reporters we can be, for those of us who aren't writing for the editorial pages. every mountain, excuse me, every molehill is not a mountain. i saw reporters breathlessly talking about the disorganization of the white house easter egg roll. that's not the same thing as giving away intelligence secrets to the russians in the oval office. you need to have proportionality in terms of coverage. >> bill maher said i wish i hadn't been so hysterical about george w. bush, because now i'm really freaked out. he said it with bad words and humor, but that's the point. have we hyper ventilated about so much for so long, we cry wolf. >> it becomes white noise. everything trump does, we jump on. and part of it is a lot of these
things that if they were being done by another president, it would be -- >> i'm sorry. george bush couldn't think of a mistake. it was a story that went on for 11 months when dickerson asked him a question. >> this would be 30 seconds. >> right. right. >> look, trump has the advantage of being shameless. and this is where the basic asymmetry was. if he points out an error by cnn or another news organization, the other organization says, oh, my goodness, we committed an error. trump will lie and lee chronicling every lie he told. what he does, this is what he did against his opponents is to say, i'm going to hold you to your standards, by the way, you can hold me to mine. because i don't have any. >> you used a great word shameless. i often think it's not the meek
who inherit the earth but the shameless who inherit the earth. >> i'm going to say he's not going to be inheriting the earth. you're all saying it as a journalist, i'm a fake one, we do with this presidency more than any other, we have to emotionally edit ourselves, in the sense that when we do have to stand up and scream, it's got to be heard. and we do have to also kind of say, even with his tweets, oh, great, next. and wait for the ones that really put us in national harm's way, if you will. that's the thing i think we're all kind of grappling with here. >> we'll continue to keep an eye on the protests in hamburg. tomorrow we're getting ready, every one of us, to cover this face-to-face meeting between the american president and vladimir putin. thank you to my panel. thank you for coming over. have a great newscast. >> thank you. >> that does it for this hour.
i'm nicole wallace. "mtp daily" starts right now with katy in for chuck todd. >> hi, nicole. if it is thursday, protesters in germany say welcome to hell. tonight president trump is overseas as g20 protests turn violent. >> as you can see, there are now clashes between the protesters and police here in hamburg, germany. >> just hours before his first face-to-face meeting with putin, president trump again downplays russia's interference in the u.s. election. >> well, i think it was russia, and i think it could have been other people, and other countries. nobody really knows. nobody really knows for sure. >> while at home, republicans and democrats are rebelling against the president's push to investigate a different kind of election meddling. that does not exist. this is "mtp daily," and it starts right now.