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tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  September 3, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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when heartburn hits fight back fast with tums chewy bites. fast relief in every bite. crunchy outside. chewy inside. tum tum tum tum tums chewy bites. we have breaking news today at the white house. a critical national security gathering. the president considering his options in the wake of north korea's most powerful nuclear test ever. hello, everyone, i'm alex whitt here at msnbc headquarters in new york. nbc news has confirmed from u.s. officials that north korea has in fact tested an advanced nuclear device. sources telling nbc news what they've seen so far is consistent with north korea's claims. north said it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb which can be mounted on to one of those intercontinental ballistic missiles the country's withbeen testing. president trump calling north
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korea a rogue state, highlighting china's unsuccessful efforts to rein in the north and criticizing south korea for what he described as talk of appeasement, saying north only understands one thing. a south korea official reacting saying south korea has experienced the tragic war and will not give up the denuclearization of the peninsula and will continue to pursue peace. here's what the president said a short time ago. >> mr. president, will you attack north korea? >> we'll see. >> "we'll see." nbc's gehrig haig is at the white house for us. we're hearing from the president. let's talk about in total what we're hearing, what he is saying. >> well, after that cryptic message from the president a short time ago, two new tweets floim, outlining a little more about how the white house may respond to this nuclear test. the first, rather, from the president a short time ago, saying, i will be meeting with general kelly, general mattis
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and other military leaders at the white house to discuss north korea. thank you. note that the president doesn't mention his secretary of state or u.n. ambassador. although it's possible either of those people could be attending as well. then secondly the president says, the united states is considering in addition to other options stopping all trade with any country doing business with north korea. this, a potentially ratcheting up economic pressure on north korea. the treasury secretary steven ma nuchen outlined this in a little more detail on fox news this morning. >> i did speak with the president and it's clear this behavior is completely unacceptable. we've already started with sanctions against north korea. but i'm going to draft a sanctions package to send to the president for his strong consideration, that anybody that wants to do trade or business with them would be prevented from doing trade or business with us. >> alex, you know who does a lot of trade or business with north korea? that's china. so the president has long tried
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to tie china and north korea together to put pressure on cajole the chinese into cdoing more to contain north korea. we hope to find out a little bit more about this plan and what else the white house is considering after that meeting breaks up. unfortunately, no detail also yet from the white house when it is expected to start or conclude. >> all right, gehrig, thank you for keeping an eye on that for us. let's go now to china where we have the very latest from beijing. janice, with a good evening to you, what are the chinese saying about this con firmged nuclear test, if anything? >> well, china has officially sided with the international community in condemning this latest test by north korea. south korea, their president going so far as to say that he is, quote, utterly disappointed and infuriated. south korea has reason to be. seen as perhaps the most vulnerable to these provocations by the north and their president moon jae-in has been quite
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conciliatory, in wanting to urge north korea to return to the negotiating table. but there is the sense in the region that perhaps this test was aimed less at president trump than at china's president xi jinping. seen as a possible kingmaker in negotiations if they are to happen. because china has the leverage with washington that pyongyang does not. there is a sense of urgency, though, the progress that north korea has realized over the last year or so has come under sanctions. so there is the sense that sanctions have been ineffective. and of course will effect what can happen next. president trump tweeted that reference to trade and suggesting the u.s. will not do trade with any country doing business with north korea. that is seen as a swipe at china. continuing to put the pressure on beijing to try to rein in the
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north. the problem of course as ever with north korea, there is very little room to maneuver. cyberattacks being seen as one possibility. but energy sanctions could apply more pressure. the problem of course is the suppliers of energy to north korea are china and russia and to this point, neither side has been enthuft yaftic or willing to put so much pressure on the regime that it would force its collapse, alex. >> okay, but janice, in perspective here, how much leverage do the chinese have in pressuring kim jong-un? >> that's been the golden question for the last several months. as the pressure has increased from president trump. there are not strong diplomatic relations between beijing and pyongyang. the two sides have never met. xi jinping has never met with kim jong-un. there seems to be a deterioration in the level of interaction between the two
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sides. there's still communication on the military side. but diplomatically, china does not hold as much sway as it perhaps used to. economics will be the main tool here. but, again, china does not want to put so much pressure on the regime that there could be utter collapse in north korea. china of course worrying about refugees flooding across the border. but also about how it would change the geopolitical balance within the region. alex. >> all right, thank you, janice for that. let's turn now to the aftermath of hurricane harvey and a warning from the fema administrator on the funding needed to rebuild. >> it is a wake-up call for this country for local and state elected officials to give their governors and their emergency management directors the full budgets that they need to be fully staffed to design rainy day funds, to have your own
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stand-alone individual assistance and public assistance programs. this is a wake-up call. people cannot depend solely on the federal emergency management agency to be responsible for a majority. states do a lot of work. but i think we all have to collectively sit there and after this event figure out how to collectively improve. >> and meanwhile houston mayor sylvester turner on his concerns about the contamination left behind. >> most of those super fund sites are immediately outside of the city of houston. certainly we would hope the epa would be on the ground now to take a look at those super fund sites to make sure contamination is contained and limited. the drinking water was never a question. our plants continue to function. so the water -- no one had to boil any water in the city of houston. the water system is safe. >> let's bring in howard dean, former governor of vermont, former dnc chair and an msnbc contributo contributor. and susan del persio.
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i want to talk north korea first before we get to hurricane harvey. howard, when you first saw the president's tweets today, what was your reaction? >> well, you know, again he's a bit inept. you're not going to cut off trade with china. the american economy would suffer terribly. if you did that. so he's got to -- he's not going to do this because he's 70 whatever he is years old and he's not going to change but he really should think before he tweets. the problem with this is it's an empty threat that he can't carry out. you cannot cut off american trade with china short of a war between the two which is incredibly unlikely, although with trump, who knows what will happen. >> what about you, susan, how do you interpret the president's tweets today? >> well, the president's tweets were the president's tweets. we see that. was more concerning was his comment when he was asked i think you showed at the top of the hour, the question was are we head to war with north korea and the answer was "we'll see."
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"the new york times" reported today the trump administration is considering severing its trading pack with south korea. that's last thing we need to do is create more enemies in that peninsula. it's just that he creates problems -- there's always a big enough problem, he doesn't need to add to it. >> earlier this week, the president tweeted that talking is not the answer with regard to north korea. then his secretary of defense mattis almost immediately contradicted that, saying we're never out of diplomatic solutions. susan, at a moment of extreme international tension like this what does that kind of public division look like to our allies and also to our enemies? >> well, it's something that the international community, those who are with us and against us, take advantage of. because it looks like we don't have our act together as a country. that we're in disarray. and we're all not on the same page. that's something i think frankly north korea's taking advantage of and china's taking advantage
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of. of our own administration not having everything line ed up. >> the same thoughts to you, howard, how do you describe all this division? >> first of all, susan is right, this business about cutting off trade with south korea, undoing the trade agreement, is just unhinged. that doesn't make any sense at all. he couldn't have possibly talked to anybody in the white house that has any brains before he did that. i mean, it's just unbelievable. second of all, i think susan is also right about the relationship with our allies and our not so allies. here's the big problem. he keeps tweeting this stuff. he is going to -- trump is so famous for blaming others for things that are actually his own fault. what he's doing is undermining the power of the united states. because if you keep tweeting that you're going to do something about something and hint you're going to do something militarily and you don't, you're in the same position barack obama was when he said there was a red line about chemical weapons and then didn't do anything about it when they crossinged the red lines. trump is doing exactly the same thing with these ridiculous
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tweets. can't he just hold off for five minutes so we can talk to general maltess and general kelly before he gets off on these rants? it is damaging our country and it's damaging our safety because it emboldened our enemies. >> we have to think both those gentlemen you mentioned, we're hoping they might wait until they have that meeting, scheduled for some time today, we'll keep an eye on that and what comes of it. all right, switching gear what did you make of the president's second trip to texas yesterday? >> i think somebody probably got a hold of him and said this is what presidents actually are supposed to do and i thought people on the ground were pleased that it came. although there's a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes that's pretty awful. one is that the governor of texas has a big rainy day fund which he won't -- said he won't spend on helping recover from this. he refuses to call a special session of the legislature but he was fine with calling a special session of the legislature to put in the
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bathroom bill. this is a guy whose priorities are upside down and i'm maized he gets away with this in texas. >> presidents overall, do they get do-offers or was this president just going back to try to fix something that he did, and you think this will be the more impressionable interpretation of his approach to texas, the second trip? >> the second trip will be what people basically remember in the short term. but here's what's different, alex, when we look at natural disasters in the past, whether it be bush and katrina or obama and sandy, is that this president is going to be running for re-election three years later and going to be judged on what he has done over that time. so he was out there this week saying we're going to build back stronger and better and faster. what happens when there are people out there three years from now and still don't have their home built? because as we know from sandy and katrina, the rebuilding takes a long time. and he will be up for re-election in three years.
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so it's interesting timing. >> the fact is he won that state by ten points and the reality is they're projecting years it will take. >> right. >> so do you think this will affect people when they go to the ballot box ultimately howard in texas? >> i do. texas is 48% latino. it's also a latino population that votes more republican than most of the rest of the latino population, especially if he overturned the dream act. although i have to confess i've been saying that for eight years and it hasn't materialized yet. >> can i ask you both to give a grade to the president and his hurricane response thus far? howard, you first. >> i would say the cumulative grade is a b-minus because he got a "d" for the first time and a a-minus for the second. >> okay, susan. >> a b-plus because government is delivering right now and that's the most important thing. they're taking the most immediate responses. >> okay, you two, always good to see you, thank you. if north korea was really
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test ago ing a hydrogen bomb, hg of a difference is that?
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back with this breaking news, nbc confirmed a short time ago north korea has tested an advanced nuclear device. this would make it the sixth nuclear test. the north says it was a hydrogen bomb which can be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile. with a welcome to you, from what we know so far, how powerful was this test bomb? >> we don't know exactly but what we do know is that the seismic event that accompanied that blast was larger than in previous iterations. last nuclear test was in the mid5 range.
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this was in the mid-6 range. that's an order of magnitude greater, based on how the richter scale measures it. we don't know for certain about what the carat riftics of this weapon were. but we do know they have significantly boosted the yield of their nuclear explosives. >> the u.s. geological survey says it was 6.3 so you're right on the money with the numbers there. the picture of what you called a peanut-shaped device. the north is claiming it's a small nuclear weapon and this could be mounted on an icbm. first of all, tell us what we're looking at here. what you see in the picture. is there any sign it's a fake? >> there's no sign that i know of from the picture that it's a fake. what they're clearly trying to convey with this accentuated waist and two bullbous ends is this is a two-stage weapon. it's not a rudement airy
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one-stage device. what they're looking to convince us of is that there's a first nuclear weapon that then detonates a fusion weapon. a thermo nuclear weapon in the second stage. that's a greater yield. it's what sophisticated u.s. nuclear weapons use. so really they're trying to convey to us that there's this advanced technology that they've mastered. we can't confirm they did it. it could be full of cotton balls. but, you know, the larger yield suggests they've gained that capability. we know they were seeking fusion fuel. and we know, you know, we know they've krolcrossed these lines successively throughout the spring. >> so this fusion you're describing, is that what makes the difference between an atomic bomb and a hydrogen bomb with the hydrogen bomb being the more powerful? >> yes, that's right. in this kind of weapon, a fission, a nuclear fission, first stage, explodes and then
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compresses and ignites the second stage which is full of fusion fuel. essentially that helps the fis cy le material burn up at a faster rate so when the weapon explodes it doesn't stop the chain reaction. so when they burn up faster, it can greatly increase the yield. essentially what this will mean is they will be able to build more nuclear weapons with less plutonium and uranium, with less fissile material, and have a greater yield while they do it. it also helps them to make it smaller. >> let's talk about what we know with regard to the tremors. so last year, the test that they did, 5.1, 5.3. this year what we're seeing is 6.3 by the measurement we mentioned earlier. that mean there's been an escalaties lation in this past year. is that surprising to you, the
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pace with which they seem to have increased their ability? >> as i mentioned earlier, they keep crossing these likes and they keep doing it sooner than we in the open source community expected. they've tested a range of highly sophisticated missiles throughout the spring. they're switching from liquid fueled missiles to solid fueled missiles. this means they're more survivable. so they've crossed these technical thresholds and we think they're doing it now with the nuclear warheads. >> if they're doing it more quickly than experts like you expect, is that because they're getting help somewhere? are they doing it on their own, you think? >> there's still no indication north korea's receiving large amounts of help from foreign countries. we think, for example, they may have procured the transporter erector larger, the trucks they use to launch their missiles, from china, but that's not doing to help them develop these kinds of sophisticated warheads.
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they're getting very good at some very difficult technical tasks. they've made enormous strides in their missiles -- production the missile bodies, in miniaturizing the warheads. even if they were getting plans from elsewhere, which we can't be certain of, they're still becoming extremely capable. we can't know for certain that -- we can just isolate the country, cut it off from foreign sources and stop the program. that's not a realistic option at this point. >> the chilling prospect of north korea being able to take offensive action against japan or the u.s., how far away do you think we are from that? >> well, there's no indication that we're in an acute crisis right now. i don't think war's right around the corner. but we do need to mount a specific and visible response like we haven't all spring. the trump administration is still apparently going for broke on eliminating north korea's nuclear capability. that's creating instability in the region. you saw president trump today
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belittle an american ally on twitter. that's the last thing we want to be doing right now. now's the time to close ranks with u.s. allies, demonstrate a firm response, and think seriously about how we're going to deter, contain and maintain stability in the region over the long haul. we shouldn't be a force for instability. >> all right, adam mann, senior fellow for the center for progress. thank you for your expertise. still ahead, one of the most critical spots is away from floodwaters. rethink what's possible. rethink your allergy pills. flonase sensimist allergy relief helps block 6 key inflammatory substances with a gentle mist. most allergy pills only block one. and 6 is greater than one. flonase sensimist. ♪ i'm gonna get ya', get ya', get ya', get ya'♪ ♪one day maybe next week,
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let's go to houston where relief efforts and housing have become a critical part of the recovery. nbc's maya rodriguez is at the food bank. i know it's busy. how are they handling things? >> they've had several hundred
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volunteers just coming in early this morning. this is what they get. these are donations that people have basically dropped off at these donation sites. you can see cans in here. all kinds of dried goods. and then they come over here and they're trying to put them and organize them. they've been organized into boxes. some have been donated by companies. this is a huge warehouse that we're in right now. they've gotten about 2.4 million pounds worth of items donated since last wednesday. of course the need here is great. what volunteers have been doing basically is sorting these and putting them together for people in need. take a listen to what they've been doing. >> today, we're making what's called sure bags. they're kind of like emergency bags for people that have never been in a shelter. here we have this table set up. we're doing diapers and wipes. as we can. we've got hygiene one with soap, shampoos. toothpaste, razors, that kind of stuff.
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we have two tables going on with cleaning supplies. so a little bit of everything here. then we fill them up here. we make the bags. and then they go on. >> so we still have so much more need here, alex. what they really do need, though, is money. they can go so much more -- get so much more, rather, with money, if it's donated as opposed to people just drop things off. though anything at this point is welcome. taylor swift we're told gave a, quote, sizable donation to the houston food bank in honor of her mother who graduated from the university of houston. they're celebrating that here. again, a lot of work still to be done. this is going to be measured in not months but years. alex. >> i remember from your interviews earlier, you said there were 1,000 volunteers on hand there today. bless all those folks doing such a good job. maya rodriguez, thank you. president trump is meeting with military leaders to talk about north korea. if he were to decide on a military operation what would that entail?
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welcome back. i'm alex witt at msnbc headquarters in new york. the breaking news following north korea's nuclear weapons test. the president is set to meet with his generals at the white house to discuss the north's action. nbc news con firming the north has tested an advanced nuclear device. sources tell nbc news what they have seen so far is consistent with north korea's claims. the north said it was a hydrogen bomb which can be mounted on to an intercontinental ballistic missile. president trump tweeting today among the options being considered stopping all trade with any country doing business with north korea. we'll get latest now on the white house response. we go to hans nichols standing by at the pentagon for us. i know he meets today with military leaders. what is the expectations? >> i expect them to go over latist intelligence and figure out what sort of test this was. was it a full-fledged hydrogen
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bomb? as you mentioned, they're saying what they're seeing on the initial report what u.s. officials are, is consistent with what the north is claiming. that's significant. i also think we should note that president trump in that tweet is referring to secretary mattis and his chief of staff as his generals. really trying to give a marshall flavor to this national security meeting he's having. of course they are now in civilian clothes. they're no longer his generals. that to me is an indication that president trump wants to at least hold out the possibility that a military option is very real. >> indeed, he'll be drawingexpe generals. what do you expect the defense secretary mattis will recommend? >> mattis sees his role as providing military options. he's been very clear about that. that's what he thinks his role is. he also thinks it's a little bit broader. to give the overall strategy and strategic picture to the president. we saw this very clearly in the afghanistan, the south asian review, where mattis wasn't
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satisfied just with tactical authority, tactical responses. he wants to make sure the broader strategy's right and throughout the pentagon, i have to tell you, we consistently hear the need for diplomacy, different kinds of diplomacy, that there are many more diplomatic options before you turn to the military. >> do you think the president really believes there is a viable military solution to this crisis? >> so solution is a different word than options. i think what you hear at the pentagon is there are already options to present. it's just a question of how much risk and how many civilian casualties you are willing to tolerate. the same token, they're very clear here that there are risks associated with just the status quo, with allowing north korea to continue down this path. they've accelerated their tech knoll skri s technologies fast than what the u.s. has been expecting. the recent assessment is north korea will have the ability to tip something, to put a nuclear device on hit of a missile and have it hit parts of the united
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states by 2018. we see how their assessment changes after this most recent underground nuclear test. alex. >> all right, from the pentagon, nbc news hans nichols. let's bring in the director of the defense studies at the center for national interest. with a welcome to you. do you believe that kim jong-un actually wants to a tack the u.s.? or is all of this, the building up of his arsenal, make his country a nuclear power, does this ensure his own continued existence? >> to be very clear, i do not think for a second kim jong-un is thinking about some sort of nuclear or even conventional attack on the united states. keep in mind, if he actually decided to launch a nuclear strike on, you know, south korea, japan, any of our bases in the united states, he'd be signing his own death warrant. i think why he wants nuclear weapons is clear and he's actually told us this in press reports and statements. he wants to guarantee his own survival. he's at the head of one of the most horrific regimes really
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since nazi germany. they have people in prison c camps. and he wants to garriuarantee h survival. >> the president tweeted talking with north korea was not the answer. later, you had the defense secretary mattis saying the u.s. is never out of diplomatic options. is the trump administration's strategy on north korea clear to you? do you think it's clear to kim jong-un? >> i think it's pretty clear. to be quite honest with you, i really would not look for foreign policy guidance in trump's tweets. you can't formulate foreign policy in 148 characters. i think what we're going to do is essentially containment on steroids. we're going to cut north korea off diplomatically, financially, economically. basically what the administration's laid out this morning. essentially if you trade with the north koreans, if you help them evade the sanction, you're no friend of the united states
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and you're not somebody we're going to want to do business with. >> china keeps doing business with them and we certainly do business with china. all of these things you're suggesting be done have been done. as you well know, harry. what's different this time? what's going to make it differe different? >> the thing is this, you pointed out very clearly, 90% of north korea's trade goes through china. the chinese have to enforce the sanctions now. keep in mind, they've signed on to eight u.n. security council resolutions on sanctions. if the chinese don't enforce these sanction, it is united states is going to have to make difficult choices. bon of those choices is to sanction chinese banks. essentially helping them launder money. i think that's the next step. i think trump should warn the chinese first. heck, maybe even do it on twitter. if they don't follow through, it's time for sanctions. >> do you envision any military scenario on either side that could be imminent or in the near
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future? >> no, i really don't, to be honest with you. the north koreans aren't going to attack us conventionally or nuclear scenario because they'd be afraid. the trump administration is not going to launch attack on north korea. if the goal was to take out north korea's nuclear program, you'd have to take out all of it. the administration does not know where every nuclear is. if we miss one nuclear weapon, kim jong-un is going to use it on seoul or maybe los angeles. that's the risk we cannot take. >> strikes a kind of terror in my heart. as my parents are there and son and all that. thank you so much for your time. tough talk is the president's response, appropriate rhetoric or crossing the line? in the next00 chuck todd has the latest on how houston is doing after harvey. this is the story of john smith.
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i think the president is right that kim jong-un and other
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bullies only understand and respect strength. that weakness, appeasement, encourages this action. the president speakings in ways that i wouldn't speak but that is his prerogative. i do think it helps for north korea and for china to understand that we have a president who is strong. that is beneficial. >> senator ted cruz, standing up for the president today. as the president declares that appeasement will not work with north korea. let's bring in bill press, syndicated radio talk show host and author. sophia nelson, author of epluri bu s one. and erin mcpike, innocent journal review. big welcome to you. sophia, you first here. can you gauge for me the president's responses to north korea and this whole situation? honestly, at one point in this past week, the president said, talk's not going to work, but then general matt es said diplomacy's always an option. does that division damage u.s.
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credibility? >> president trump is the commander in chief so he'll decide what course we'll take. of course with the advice of his generals and of the national security team, et cetera. look, i'm not a fan of him tweeting. i never have been. i don't think the president should do presidency by twitter. clearly that's what he's going to do. i'm one of those people that believes the president of the united states would do better to just do what he's going to do after consultation and consultation with the gang of eight on the hill of course, those are the people that are in the intel, the speaker of the house and those are the committee chairmen. and then do what he's going to do. i don't think he should talk about it on twitter. that's always been my opinion. >> bill what do you think? does tough talk help or hurt in this situation? because nothing seems to be working. but in all fairness, neither has it worked for past administrations either. >> no, i was just going to make that point, alex, thanks. this is a very serious situation. it's kind of trump's first major foreign policy crisis. but you're right, i mean,
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president clint, president bush, president obama, all had the same goal, all had the same -- well, attempted to really rein in north korea's building of nuclear arsenal. they failed. donald trump so far with the tough rhetoric hasn't succeeded in turning around either. think what we need is really some of the things your previous guests have talked about. which is a very steady hand. getting very, very cool deliberate but very strong response. choking north korea off financially. and then getting them back to the table. they're never going to reverse -- they are a nuclear nation. think we have to accept that. they're not going to reverse it. the goal would be i think to limit them and to bring them in the company of nuclear nations with admitted restraint and limits. in the meantime, it does not help to call diplomacy appeasement. i mean, tell that to richard nixon or ronald reagan or george w. bush. doesn't help. >> right, right. i want to just repeat what the
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president tweeted this morning with you, erin. that talk of appeasement with north korea will not work. they only understand one thing. can you tell me what that one thing? >> no, i think that's a big question. the other thing i would say is that a lot of these tweets are masking the fact that the administration actually doesn't have a plan with respect to north korea. that's what that means, to say that all options are on the table. they don't know which option to take. and we continue to hear more and more about sanctions. but sanctions are coming in a little bit at a time. you'll see that the treasury department will announce a -- several sanctions at once on china, on some other countries and businesses, but they're not doing very deep big sanctions that are going to have much of an impact yet. i think the administration is realizing this is going a lot faster than they anticipated it would when trump took office in january. and they don't have a plan yet. i think that's really important for us to continue to say.
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the pentagon is obviously working through it. we're seeing a number of agencies trying to work through it. but there is no plan yet. they continue to be asked what that plan looks like and when they'll have something. >> let's shift to harvey and the president's visit there yesterday. i know we talked about this whole event. we discussed the president lacking an empathy chip. after yesterday, is there any less of that talk? i'll ask you that question, sophia, first. >> well, if you remember, yesterday, i said he had to go to houston and he had to show some empathy and compassion and do what all of our presidents have done, hug people, touch people, serve people. i think he was great on the optics. i'm a little concerned about the flippant language. again, i don't know that he means harm. but saying things like we're doing great or, you know, enjoy yourself with this or some of that talk. he has to rein himself in and understand that people are still in the water. people have lost everything. people have lost their lives. they've lost loved ones.
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so nothing about what's going on in houston right now or the surrounding areas in louisiana, et cetera is, good. yes, we've seen heroes. we've seen bravery. we all feel good about that as americans. again, i think he scored a lot of points on the optics yesterday. but i think needs to watch what he says. >> erin, every presidential trip like this is somewhat orchestrated. do you think this administration was more conscious of the need for this kind of behavior to be expressed than other white houses? >> well, look, i think it's clear that the administration is taking this incredibly seriously. having the president go to texas twice in one week shows that they know this is really important for him to get on the ground and talk to people. obviously, he didn't go into the really afflicted areas when he went earlier in the week. but, look, i think the president obviously is -- has a big learning curve when it comes to the empathy. i think on this particular
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issue, this administration is new. he's going to continue learning on the job. and has he made so many mistakes on this front? absolutely. but they're clearly putting every resource they can into it. you have to give him some credit. >> bill, i know you want to rea react. >> first, i have to say, the response on the part of i think federal, starting with fema, state agency, local agency, has been terrific. response on part of the texans has been incredible. i don't fault the president. yes, he missed a beat the first trip. i think he made up for it yesterday. here's where i fault him. he is willing to say this is the biggest hurricane we've ever seen hit this country. yes, mr. president? why? because of climate change. he will not connect the dots. the real response to houston will be to say i made a mistake getting out of the paris accords, we're going back in, don't hold your breath. >> i want to ask all of you about something that mostly got lost in the events of yesterday and overnight. and that is the report that
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robert mueller has a draft letter from president trump explaining why he was firing james comey. bill, this would be red meat for you. is it significant? >> well, i think it may be for robert mueller. you know, i don't really count in this equation. damn right it's significant. from what we've read, we haven't seen letter, these are the president's real thoughts, his rambling thoughts, where he went after comey, went after this whole russia investigation, and laid it all out there. so red hot that his own white house counsel said you can't send this out. showed it to the attorney general. and rob rosenstein, the deputy. and they said, mr. president, you cannot say this or this is going to get you and your administration in serious trouble. the fact that muler is on it i think shows he really is on the trail of possible obstruction of justice. >> do you think the white house fears this, erin? >> you know, they should, and i think, if anything, what this
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particular letter does is negates anything that trump said when he tried to say that rosenstein was it is one who made the recommendation. we know he changed his story a number of timings when this came out in may. this makes clear makes clear what trump's motivations were for firing him in the first place. >> i'm curious. do you think this is more drip, drip, drip in this russia/comey investigation? >> of course. first things i want to point out. first, the president has the right to fire the fbi director. the second part of that is if he did it in some way that was vindictive or to obstruction an investigation or as we like to call it put a chilling effect, that's a problem. i think it depends on what is said. it's been a drip, drip, drip. it's going to continue to be as long as mueller is
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investigating. we all as far as the rest of us don't know what's going on yet. yeah, that's a problem for them. >> bill, erin, sophia, good to see all of you. coming up, an athlete who donates all of her salary to help a cause and the person whose life she saved because of it. whoooo. i enjoy the fresher things in life. fresh towels. fresh soaps. and of course, tripadvisor's freshest, lowest... ...prices. so if you're anything like me... ...you'll want to check tripadvisor.
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we want to share an inspiring story we first brought to you a few months ago. yu might remember tina charles of the wnba new york's liberty. she starts hopy's heart foundation which donates heart defibrillators to organizations. now she knows her work has made a life's difference. this is a story of quite an admirable woman. >> i love this one. this is a perfect sunday story. tina charles as you mentioned is a star basketball player with new york liberty and since 2013 she's been donating portions of her wnba salary to this.
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it worked. one man dan carlson was outside of his work last summer in texas when he had a sudden cardiac arrest. luckily the facility just installed one of tina's aeds. on friday he showed up to her practice, surprised her, and thanked her for saving his life. >> how did that feel on the court? >> it was amazing. i kept saying to myself, i want to meet him, i wonder what he looks like, if he's a father, a husband. >> you're still smiling from ear to ear. >> i'm still very surprised. >> that hug on the basketball court, i don't think there was a dry eye in the entire gymnasium. what was going through your mind when you met tina? >> you know, i was just so thankful. i could tell your compassion is sincere, and i'm glad to be part of this and thankful for everything you and your mom and your organization has done. >> but why you?
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what made you say, we need more aeds? >> because i thought, you know that could have been me when my heart suddenly stops. i want to encourage others whatever's on your heart to do it, have the willing necessary to take that step. all i did was make that choice. >> if there was anything you could say to tina now, what would it be, dan? >> just thank you from the bottom of my heart. i've got my first grandchild coming, and i'm going to be able to see him because of you. so thank you. >> thank you. thank you, thank you. >> you can see there was not a dry eye in the building. >> heart attacks are the number one cause of death in the u.s. tina's wish is hoping that more people like dan get a chance to live out the life they deserve.
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>> not a dry eye on this set. >> i warned you, alex. >> i know. thanks for bringing the story to us. coming up next, the mayor of houston is telling chuck todd how houston is recovering from hurricane harvey. have a good one. is the stuff that matters? the stakes are so high, your finances, your future. how do you solve this? you don't. you partner with a firm that advises governments and the fortune 500, and, can deliver insight person to person, on what matters to you. morgan stanley. tap one little bumper and up go your rates. what good is having insurance if you get punished for using it? for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. liberty mutual insurance.
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super-cool notebooks, done. that's mom taking care of business. and with the "25 cent event", office depot officemax takes care of mom! now, all this just 25 cents each! ♪ taking care of business 40 million americans are waking up to a gillette shave. and at our factory in boston, 1,200 workers are starting their day building on over a hundred years of heritage, craftsmanship and innovation. today we're bringing you america's number one shave
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at lower prices every day. putting money back in the pockets of millions of americans. as one of those workers, i'm proud to bring you gillette quality for less, because nobody can beat the men and women of gillette. gillette - the best a man can get. this sunday, nuclear tension. north korea claims it has detonated a hydrogen bomb that could be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile. what does this mean and how will the u.s. react? we'll have the latest. plus, after harvey. >> i was just in such denial. i didn't put anything up. i didn't grab anything. >> the greatest rainfall event ever in the continental united states. >> the rainfall amounts really are staggering. >> tens of thousands still in shelter. >> well, i am just very thankful that we are here safe. >> and the dramatic rescue. >> we were, like, so happy. god had answered our prayer. >> what's next?

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