tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC November 2, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT
after suffering repeated defeats on health care, can the president lead his party to a much needed victory on tax reform? probe intensifies. two indicted former trump officials due back in federal court just an hour from now as the investigation into russian meddling escalates on capitol hill. all of it as the president's usda nominee withdraws from consideration. and more and more accusers surface with stories of sexual harassment against powerful men, forcing apologies treatment and the severing of business ties. but we start with the flurry of activities today as trump and republicans try to put their stam on taxes and the american economy and maybe, just maybe, save their electoral prospects in the process. we're expecting to see the president and house republicans on the tax writing committee at the white house. now, earlier today, republicans released their roughly 400-page tax plan, just one day late.
of course, we say "plan," it's more of a draft really. the tax cuts and jobs act is expected to go through a series of changes as republicans furiously try to find votes but the legislative clock tick-tick-ticking away. this is one economic event of many. the president earlier had an event to promote jobs. later today, he's scheduled to introduce his nominee for federal reserve chair. but it may be passage of this tax reform package that determines whether republicans hold congress in 2018. for more on the politics and what's inside the package, we have chief white house correspondent hallie jackson, kacie hunt of course as usual chasing republican members of congress all day on capitol hill. ha hallie, let's start over there, we're about to see the president with republicans at the white house. the last time this happened for a big ticketed agenda item was the ill-fated victory lap over health care. what's the president's role going to be pushing this agenda? >> you're talking about the rose
guard, sort of mission accomplished moment, right, chris, and who knows if that is going to happen this time. i will tell you what the president's message is, get it done, get it done quick. here's what he had to say just a couple of moments ago. >> i really believe we'll have it done before christmas. i consider that to be one of the great christmas presents. >> quick sound bite there, chris, yeah, i guess it sounds it all. >> mini-sound bite. >> the president wants this as a christmas present. here's the deal though. you are hearing concerns from some on capitol hill about the fact this only gives the house a couple of weeks, given this time line, to unpack this massive tax cut plan, something that affects basically every american. by the way, you have to kick it over to the senate. you know what else he also wants to get done? he's still talking a little bit about health case but you've got daca administration, the iran
administration he wants to look at as well, all as he gets ready to leave to go to asia. leaving behind for part of it gary cohen and steve mnuchin to work on this tax cut plan. i imagine we're going to hear more in a couple of hours when the president rolls out to the rose garden to announce his new fed chair pick too. we will be there yelling questions at him if he doesn't answer them on his own. >> plenty busy as he gets ready to head out on air force one. give us the broad overview of what's inside this bill. as or more importantly, what's still left unresolved? >> well, chris, this broadly is -- you want to divide it into two pieces. look at the individual tax rates and changes so that's going to affect families, working people across the country. this bill's literally going to touch everybody in america. on the other side, you have the corporate tax rate. essentially what you're going to see play out now. and what will determine when this becomes law and who's
winning and who's losing is the interplay between the corporate tax cut and the cuts in rates for middle class families. and essentially they're trying to preserve that 20% rate because they need -- for a variety of reasons. the president has drawn a line in the sand. you have conservative members who are saying we won't vote for this package if it doesn't lower rates for companies to least 20%. proponents say that is something that helps with economic growth. but the challenge is if you're going to cut rates for companies, are middle class families going to pay for it? and you've seen a marked shift in favor of this idea that this bill should help middle class family and not just companies. it's very clear there's a lot of political imperatives around that. the president of course you saw has involved himself in this debate at certain moments including around 401ks. they were going to use that as a way to show this bill wouldn't spend as much money up front. but the president said hey, no way. now that is not something that's going to be impacted here. instead, the questions are
around things like state and local tax deductions. now, why is that important? it's because really there are some areas in the country where living a middle class lifestyle is more expensive than in other areas of country. those tend to be high tax states like new york and new jersey where people are paying a lot of local and state property and income taxes. right now the deal is if you live anywhere in the country but this really only impacts people with high property taxes, you can deduct up to $10,000 of those taxes just on your property and you can't deduct state and local income taxes. this is a problem for some members from some of those states. the republican of new york come out and say he can't vote for this package in its current form. the question is are there enough of those people that ultimately it's going to force the leadership to have to rejigger things a little bit here so that they can get this bill passed. they need 218 votes on the the floor. they have to do it without
spending morgue than $1.5 trillion over the first ten years of this bill. you're stlarting to see some republican resistance around that. jeff flake, the senator from arizona, republican, just on the senate floor a few minutes ago, saying look this just kicks the can down the road and will add to the deficit and that's a real problem. i think you're going to see this bill evolve and change over the course of the next hours even but definitely days. they're supposed to mark this up next week and vote it on before thanksgiving. that is an incredibly, incredibly tight time line for something that is going to have such a broad impact across the country, chris. >> yeah, and that presumably you want to give people actually more than a day or two to actually read through before they decide whether or not they're going to vote for or against. hallie jackson, kacie hunt, thanks to both of you. here's how republicans pitched their plan earlier today. >> this is it. this is a very important and special moment for our country, for all americans. with this bill, there's relief for real american families.
there's relief for american workers and tax relief for hard-working job creators of all sizes. >> cnbc's john harwood, politico's jake shurman, who was in the room where the republicans unveiled their bill. john, let me start with you, because you just heard them saying, look, this is relief. we heard the president saying this is a big beautiful christmas present. if you're the average middle income american, is it? >> no. there will be some tax cuts for middle income workers. there will also be some whose taxes go up. we haven't gotten the score. we haven't gotten distributional charts. but the way they've moved the brackets around for tax rates, the way they have altered some of the deductions including the state and local deduction is going to create winners and losers. now, they'll be more winners than losers. but the focus of the bill, as was indicated earlier by hall ie
and kacie is on those republican rate reductions. argue that the average benefit people will result in wage increases. but that's where the bulk of the tax dollar cuts is going to go. and so far as we've seen from our nbc/"wall street journal" polling, that's not attracted widespread support. only 25% of the american people told us in our poll this week this is a good idea. only 14% of americans expect that they're going to get a tax cut. so there's a lot of problems with public opinion as well as the particular members that kacie referred to. >> so you have the public, you have obviously members of congress who have serious concerns about different things floated out there. you also have this overall sense of frustration we hear from more than a couple republicans and all democrats that this has been a secretive process, that it's been in the hands of a few, and then of course we had a situation where even though they've been talking about it
for such a long time, you have this furious rewriting last night, right, trying to come to some kind of conclusion that would actually get enough support that they could bring it on to the floor. how is all of this playing into where we are right now? >> well, listen, you're going to get more rewriting in the next 24 to 48 to 72 hours when they release something called the chairman's mark, which is another kind of small rewrite of portions of the bill to, you know, address the concerns of several members of congress who have issues with the bill. i think the big issue, as indicated before, is the state and local tax deduction which affects people in high tax states. yet there's a ton of frustration that the bill was written behind closed doors. listen, it's inevitable, big bills like this need to be kept to a small number of people according to republicans because the process just gets out of control. there will be an open process in the ways and means committee hearing. this bill is going new yorked up. people could have their say and then people could go to the
house floor and vote for it or against it. but i understand the frustration. i hear the frustration of many republicans up here who wanted a bigger part of it but in a lot of ways republicans tell us it's not practical. >> jake, let's just look at the numbers here. the house has 21 work days scheduled left. the senate has 25. the president is leaving for a 12-day trip to asia. when we say the clock is tick, tick, tick ticking and then of course, you know, there's been these predictions where we'll actually work through thanksgiving. i don't know. are we going to see a lot of people in their offices on capitol hill ordering in a little turkey and gravy on thanksgiving day? how is this all going to work? >> i hope not. because i have thanksgiving plans. >> well, you know, put them on hold. >> yeah, tell my wife that. listen, i think at the end of the day, it's always been kind of a strange benchmark to say that this needs to be done by the end of the year. i don't understand it.
there are some reasons in the capitol that people want to get this done. but we have a lot of other things we have to deal with here, including the government shuts down at the beginning of december. the debt ceiling needs to be lifted at the beginning of december. there is a child's health care program that expired. republicans and democrats both want to raise spending limits to undue some fiscal deals in the past. there are a whole host of issues. there's the immigration issue, the daca issue. there's the csr, the health care payment issue. i've been up here for almost eight years and i don't understand how they're going to get all those things done in the period of time that they've set out -- this is not a statutory deadline at the end of december, this is something that the president of the united states wants to get done by the end of the year. and up here if you talk to republicans privately, they don't really much care if it gets done by the end of the year, they just want it done period. >> worth going again, on, over some of the things that will get repealed in the proposal. itemized deduction for example for medical expense, the
deduction for student loan interest. the other thing that could be facing a change, and i want you to go into a deeper dive on this, is that owning a home has been a key part of the american dream, right, and that could face a big change under this plan. >> well, it will face a change. first of all, the mortgage interest deduction is going to be limited at $500,000. it's limited at $1 million now. home builders are already out complaining about that because of the impact. the impact obviously because of those dollar amounts is going to be limited to more affluent people. they think it's going to affect the home prices for more people -- people with more modest incomes because of the increase in the standard deduction. fewer people will have a motivation to take the mortgage interest deduction. again, realtors and home builders are concerned that's going to affect those values. you mention some of the losers in that bill. there's another -- people with high medical expenses would lose that deduction. you've also got a new excise tax
going on the endowments of private universities. that's something that's going to create static. all of the industry groups that have come out, the national federation of independent business has come out and said this bill doesn't do enough to help small business. all of these points of static are going to add as well as the competing priorities that jake outlined to make it very difficult for them to get this done by the end of the year. >> i just want to close this out by saying we all know president trump has said repeatedly that his goal with tax reform was to help the working guy, help the american middle class. i just want to remind folks and play some of that. we don't have it. well, multiple time, we've all heard the president say about how he is going to save for the working class, but the question that's still out there, jake is what would it mean for his family's business, right? >> well, think the question is what would it mean for any
business. >> well, but i mean, people are going to be taking this under a microscope and saying any changes here what would it mean for trump, right, what would it mean for his businesses now being run by his sons. >> yeah, i think people will ask that question. i'm sure people will ask that question. obviously, we've heard that before. we haven't seen his tax returns. as is well known. that being said, i think at this point a lot of this is a mystery about what it's going to do to anybody's taxes. but of course people are going to ask what it does to members of congress' taxes and the president's taxes. remember, members of congress don't release their tax return so we have no idea. that's been a hobby horse of mine for a long time. >> chris, chris, two big points -- >> real quick, we're out of time, but go ahead. >> yes, he would benefit by the abolition of the alternative minimum tax which he's got an inmultimillion-dollar benefit from and we know for sure his family would benefit from the repeal of the estate tax, which
is going to be phased in and only applies to people with the estates over $10 million right now. >> john harwood, political's jake sure man, thank you. less than an hour from now, indicted trump officials are expected back in court. how much a distraction is the russia probe for the president? and trump calls for the death penalty for the suspected terrorist in the new york city truck attack but could his rhetoric actually make the prosecutor's job harder? check this out, bro. what's that, broheim? i switched to geico and got more. more savings on car insurance? yeah bro-fessor, and more. like renters insurance. more ways to save. nice, bro-tato chip. that's not all, bro-tein shake. geico has motorcycle and rv insurance, too. oh, that's a lot more. oh yeah, i'm all about more, teddy brosevelt. geico. expect great savings and a whole lot more.
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new developments in the russia investigation today.ccor the former attorney back in august that his client was going to be indicted. manafort and his associate rick gates are due in federal court less than an hour from now. also today, former trump aide carter page appears before the house intelligence committee. the nomination of sam clovis will not be the department of agriculture's chief scientist after withdrawing his name in a letter to the president this morning. questions had also been raised about his qualifications. i want to bring in the washington correspondent for "the new york times" and an msnbc contributor. mccabe koppens is a staff writer at the atlanta. you've written about george papadopoulos who pleaded guilty in the russia probe.
now you have sam clovis withdrawing. although he says he's going to keep his job right, in the government. help us put this development with clovi into context. >> you may recall when special counsel mueller put out the charges against manafort and his partner and also revealed that george papadopoulos had pled guilty to lying to him about his conversations with russians as a trump foreign policy adviser, in the information filed with -- in court about papadopoulos there were all these references to senior campaign officials, campaign supervisors, to whom he was returning and saying, hey, i've been talking to this professor who seems to have ties to russia. we've been talking about setting up a meeting between putin and trump if we can make that happen. they seem to have e-mails about hillary clinton and dirt on her. and he was being encouraged to keep going and to keep pursuing
this dialogue. we think that sam clovis was one of those senior campaign officials who was overseeing papadopoulos and was encouraging him to keep going. and so the fact that he's now apparently testified before a grand jury and talking to mueller would suggest that mueller's pursuing a line of inquiry of, well, how far up did the knowledge that the russians had these e-mails and were offering to cooperate with the campaign go, and had he gone before the senate for an otherwise seemingly unrelated confirmation hearing about whether or not he was qualified to be a top scientist at the usda despite not being a scientist, you could be sure that democrats would have ruthlessly pursued that line of questioning as well. and so by withdrawing at least he stays out of the public light as the attention is now focusing on him. >> mcday, the court filings against manafort and gates really indicate this is a new
phase of this probe. there's a story in "times" magazine that read, worst of all for the president, the filings paint a broad and damning pit under of where the probe may be heading, a process over which trump has no control. now we've seen the iceberg, says a republican operative. the question is what's below the water line. so from what we know at this point where's mueller going? what's he looking for next? >> yeah, well, that's the million dollar question everyone wants to know. you're right, the filing does suggest this is only the beginning of what could be a very lengthy probe. we also know that, you know, there's been reporting over the last several months about the various people that he's brought in for questioning, the various avenues mueller's been purpursu. it suggests it could be a lot of different directions. the thing about a special counsel is once the investigation begins, the tentacles can really reach into all kinds of unexpected areas.
while russia is obviously the central focus, if the special counsel learns about crimes that were committed in related matters, he can pursue that too. i've been talking to people in the president's orbit for months about this. they will tell you one of the things that kind of makes the president so worried about this is he has a vast orbit of aides and advisers and lieutenants both in the political sphere and the business sphere who have always kind of operated on an eat what you kill basis, which means that a lot of them have been operating possibly on a freelance basis and doing things that may or may not have crossed legal or ethical lines. and the president is worried about what could be unearthed in this investigation and how it will reflect on him. >> but he is denying all of that. charlie, the president's not happy about the leaks out of the white house that paint him as anywhere from angry to losing it and yesterday he phoned add
reporter at your newspaper to, watt i your paper puts it, to project an air of calm. some of the quote, i'm not under investigation, as you know. i'm actually not angry at anybody. i'm in the office early and leave late. it's very smooth. honestly, i'm really enjoying it. and so on one hand he's saying he's not distracted, but let me play what his chief of staff said. >> we're in great hopes that it wraps up. it is very distracting to the president as it would be to any citizen to be investigated for something, while at the same time, trying to carry the weight of what being president of the united states means on his shoulders. >> so is it very distracting or is he not distracted? i guess that's the real question, right? >> well, he certainly wants to proswrekt the atmosphere, project the atmosphere of the president who's above it all and is calm and unperturbed. you see that in any president going through a difficult
situation back through time. but obviously it's a huge distraction. obviously it's a major headache for the white house at the very least and they don't know where it's going and they don't know who's talking to whom and that's not a great way to run a white house. but at this point, it's out of their control. so far. >> your publication paints mckay is he's playing the role of a victim in chief. scarcely a week goes by without trump whining that he has been mistreated. from your reporting, is the mueller probe just a distraction? is it just, i don't know, something that is, you know, putting him a little bit off course? or is this a really serious problem now? is this something that has seriously exacerbated the situation? >> there's no question it's exacerbated his sense of victimhood and grievance. people i talk to who know trump
and talk to trump about this stuff will tell you that the russia story from the very beginning has driven him crazy. he feels like it undermines this huge historic presidential victory that he had. he feels like it's something designed to take credit away from him and obviously as it's expanded, become a more concrete thing with the investigation, the indictments, it only -- it only further exacerbates his feeling that he's being unfairly treated, unfairly maligned. we have to look at the timing here. we are at the beginning of what could be a major -- what should be a major legislative push by the republicans to try to get something done by the end of the year, the end of trump's first year in office, and, you know, we've already seen that the president has a hard time kind of focusing on policy and legislation. he never seems to learn the details of the legislative initiatives that republicans are pushing on the hill. to now have this -- these
indictments beginning and this whole new episode, this new chpter of the investigation beginning at a time when republicans really need the president's focus is not going to help them achieve their policy goals. >> gentlemen, appreciate it very much, thank you for being with us. >> thank you. national security adviser h.r. mcmaster we're told is going to join press secretary sarah sanders at today's white house briefing. he's going to be talking more about the president's upcoming asia trip. and disturbing new details about how much preparation the terror suspect put into planning the deadly truck attack in new york city. latest developments in that investigation next. us. it's what this country is made of. but right now,
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you want to have a president who can try to put himself into the shoes, the feelings of somebody else. >> right. >> and he has not been able to do that. he just doesn't have any empathy. >> hillary clinton on "the daily show" last night criticizing president trump's response to tuesday's deadly terror attack in new york city. today, the president is walking back his suggestion that he should send the terror suspect to guantanamo bay, tweeting in part, would love to sen the new
york city terrorist to guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the federal system. should move fast. death penalty, exclamation point. we're learning new details about that suspect accused of killing eight people on a new york city bike path on halloween. the 29-year-old made his first court appearance yesterday and according to a criminal complaint, he told investigators he felt good about the attack and picked halloween so there would be more people on streets. nbc's justice correspondent pete williams join us with the very latest. >> the big question now is were other people involved. it doesn't like somebody who does this sort of thing needs help. this would not have been an expensive or difficult technical thing to carry out. so the question is, was anybody aware of it and did it raise their hand and try to stop it? was anybody egging him on? was he in touch with terrorists overseas or terror groups?
and that's all to be determined. you may recall that last night there was a bit of a frenzy, started around 5:00. the fbi said they wanted to try to find another man from uzbekistan who was in touch with saipov in the days leading up to this, but they did find him last night. they questioned him. he's been released and isn't charged. but the search goes on to see if anybody else was, for want of a better term, involved. >> pete williams, thank you. to be continued there. but let me bring in jameel jafir who is the director of the national security law and policy program at george mason university. if i can pick up on exactly what pete was just saying. what are they doing right now? where's the investigative unit? who's involved in this? to find out are other people potentially involved in this. >> chris, that's a great question. the joint terrorism task force in new york is probably bringing together all the various agen agencies in the area, the prosecutors, looking at his phone, his devices, the foreign intelligence records to see if
there's any surveillance of him. as pete says, talking to foreign terrorists overseas. congress has to reauthorize the foreign intelligence surveillance act collection progress that expired at the end of the year and there's some bad proposals in the house that would limit the ability of law enforcement to share information so we should really be concerned here and the president think, you know, is talking about the immigration part, but he should also be talking about surveillance and the importance of how you protect the homeland with surveillance measures. >> one of the things he obviously wants to do is give this guy the death penalty. when he weighed in on immigration, for example, the courts didn't take kindly on that. i wonder if you're a prosecutor, do you want the president telling you how to do your job? >> one of the challenges is the question of the jury pool. will be dealt with when he's prosecuted. at the end of the day, we've got the guy sort of, you know, pretty much on camera doing what
he did. there's no question. sounds like he's already admitted to the act. so i think we've got that also zblog look, everything in the united states is allowed due process. he did come in here legally. and whether or not the evidence seems to be overwhelming to all of us who are watching, there is a system in place that is, you know -- you would think the president of the united states would be looking at. but trump commented and i know it has a lot of people upset that the criminal justice system is a laughingstock and a joke, and this morning, the new york city police commissioner had something to say about that. let me play that. >> get to work with our justice system every day. in new york city, it's definitely not a joke. homicides are down. shootingings are down. overall crime is down. that doesn't happen by accident. >> the big picture, when you look at the justice system and
the justice department, you worked at justice, right? >> i did. >> what's your reaction? >> think we have a terrific criminal justice system in this country, the prosecutors in new york are rock stars, the fbi, i've worked with those guys and they know what they're doing, they're serious people. but, you know, there is a debate in this country about how to deal with terrorism. and whether it's a law enforcement matter or intelligence matter. the truth is it's a little bit of both. we have to be able to use all the tools to do that. i think the real concern i have going forward is how do we protect ourselves from these things going forward and i worry in congress and in considering these new surveillance measures and reauthorizing them is going to take tools off the table and prevent us from connecting the dots and that's something we should all be worried about as we look at what congress is going to do over the next two months. >> surveillance is one thing. the president has been focused a lot on immigration. he's been calling for a tougher vetting process. he responded to this very, very quickly. blaming the diversity lottery visa program. according to the state department, diversity v. lottery
applicants do have to meet education standards, work standards. the vetting can sometimes take years. would ending this program, though, make the country safer? >> i think there's a debate about immigration and whether it should be merits based or family base order diversity based. at the end of the day, we have to make sure that whatever visa program we have, whatever refugee program we have, it's an important part of our culture, allowing people to come here when they're escaping persecution overseas. but whatever we have, we have to make sure it's consistent with national security and we're doing good vetting and there's debate over how much vetting is enough and whether it's extreme or really, really extreme. we are a nation of immigrants. we are a nation that's always opened doors to refugees. the question is just in what quaintities what type of measurs and what vetting. >> since we were talking about terrorism, the cia just released a trove of documents, audio
clips and videos found at the p pakistan compound where osama bin laden was killed in the 2011 raid by the navy s.e.a.l.s. it was interesting to look at his viewing list. "cars," "chicken little," "ants," "where in the world is osama bin laden." a number of videos that had to do without. even the youtube video "charlie bit my finger." he did have kids, but should we be surprised give than he was kind of in the lockdown mode for a long while? >> osama bin laden, obviously a very odd person, really a threat to our nation. but, you know, his viewing lis, i mean, you know, there was also apparently a lot of pornography on it. this is a man sitting in a hideout. very troubled, obviously deeply troubled individual.
you have to be to be a terrorist leader but, you know, weird list for sure. >> jamal, thank you, much appreciated. in the meantime, white house press secretary sarah sanders and h.r. mcmaster expected to deliver the daily briefing any minute now. plus an nbc exclusive. apple ceo tim cook weighing in on social media companies being used by the russians to influence the election as executives from twitter, google, facebook, all face tough questions from congress. california congresswoman jackie spear whose committee held some of those hearings. the classes, the friends, the independence. and since we planned for it, that student debt is the one experience, i'm glad she'll miss when you have the right financial advisor, life can be brilliant.
ameriprise accused of obstructing justice to theat the fbinuclear war, and of violating the constitution by taking money from foreign governments and threatening to shut down news organizations that report the truth. if that isn't a case for impeaching and removing a dangerous president, the white house briefing about to get under way. >> -- for those of you on the trip, i look forward to seeing you. for those of you who aren't, we're going to certainly miss all of you and your questions.
it's a busy day here at the white house. like most days here. as you all saw, the president was excited to announce the broadcom limited is coming back to the united states, moving their company back here from singapore. their ceo credited the president's economic agenda for once again making the united states the best place in the world to grow a business. he also noted that the tax reform plan, which was rolled out this morning, will make it easier for them and other companies to do exactly what the president has promised. bring back our jobs, bring back our wealth and bring back our great american dreams. this morning, the president applauded the house ways and means committee for introducing the tax cuts and jobs act, which is another important step toward providing massive tax relief for the american people. our entire administration is working tirelessly to make good on our promise to the working people who built our nation to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms. the rocket fuel our economy needs to soar higher than ever before. now as you all know, the
president is preparing to leave the country tomorrow for a five-country ten-day trip to hawaii and asia. we have with us the president's national security adviser general mcmaster who will preview the trip and take some of your questions. please keep your questions on topic. if you have other questions, the press team will be around this afternoon and throughout the next ten days while rest of us are on the road. thanks so much. general mcmaster. >> thank you. good afternoon, everyone. >> good afternoon. >> good to see everybody. tomorrow, president trump embarks on his longest foreign trip to date. and the longest trip to asia by an american president in more than a quarter century. this trip is a great opportunity to demonstrate america's and the trump administration's commitment to the eindo-pacific and our efforts to strengthen long-standing american alliances
and expand new partnerships. the president has actively engaged leaders this year to address a range of strategic issues including most notably, the north korea nuclear threat. since taking office, president trump has placed 43 calls to indo-pacific leaders and conducted bilateral meetings with japan, south korea, india, australia, malaysia, vietnam, indonesia, singapore and thailand. this historic trip will build on that ongoing diplomacy. the president's trip will focus on three goals. first, strengthening international resolve to denuclearize north korea. second, promoting a free and open indo-pacific region. third, advance american prosperity through fair and reciprocal trade and economic practices. the united states remains committed to the complete
verifiable and permanent denuclearization of the peninsula. president trump will reiterate the plain fact that north korea threatens not just our ally south korea and japan and the united states, north korea is a threat to the entire world. so all nations of the world must do more to counter that threat. that is happening. but the president recognizes that we're running out of time and will ask all nations to do more. in particular, the president will continue to call on all responsible nations, especially those with the most influence over north korea. to isolate the north korean regime politically. to convince its leaders pursuit of nuclear weapons is a dead end and it is past time to denuclearize. he will remind friend and foe
alike that the united states stands ready to defend itself and our allies using the full range of our capabilities. the president will also use his trip to promote his vision for a free and open indo-pacific region. the president will make the case that respect for freedom of navigation, overflight, the rule of law, sovereignty, freedom from coercion and private enterprise in open markets is the best model to increase prosperity throughout the region. and to secure the freedom and independence of all nations. and of course increasing prosperity of the american people is always one of president trump's top priorities. throughout the trip, the president will stress his commitment for free, fair and reciprocal trade. he looks forward to working with partners across the indo-pacific
region toen sure that governments do not unfairly discriminate against foreign business or restrict foreign investment. this will help increase trade, reduce unsustainable deficits and promote prosperity for the american people and the people of the indo-pacific region. a final point and a point that's often overlooked, this trip, like all the president's engagements with foreign leaders builds on previous accomplishments and our previous diplomatic efforts. in riyadh in may, president trump delivered an historic speech to the leaders of mo aus majority nations. the president will interact with many of those same leaders at apec or asean, both of those conferences. he will reiterate the pillars he
unveiled in that speech. first, deny terrorists safe bases. second, cut off their funding. and third, discredit their wicked ideology. i think it's time for us to recognize there's been significant congress on all three fronts. raqqah and mosul have been liberated and will soon no longer control territory and populations as the united states have worked very hard with allies and partners to deny the safe haven, in this case, isis. second, we should recognize there's been considerable process on terrorist financing. as you saw secretary mnuchin's visit to the region last week during which he opened the terrorist financing targeting center. and that also you heard a lot of leaders across the world and the president foremost among them discrediting this ideology.
this islamic or salafi jihadist ideology. i think it's worth reading saudi crown prince -- the saudi crown prince's speech during which he called for a return to moderate islam. at the asean 50th birthday party in man nip la, the president will discussion how to strengthen partnerships across the indo-pacific to further effort against terrorist organizations. this trip is an opportunity to build momentum towards shared prosperity and security. and i'm happy to take your questions. thank you. yes. towards the back here. >> general, as you said the tools in your tool kit for confronting north korea, how much are you putting that country back on the list of terrorism? >> that is an option. that is under consideration. the president's cabinet is looking at this as part of the
overall strategy on north korea. but a regime who murders someone in a public airport using nerve agent and a despottic leader who murders his brother in that manner, that's clearly an act of terrorism that fits in with a range of other actions, so this is something that's under consideration. you'll hear more about that soon. yes, front and center. >> -- using the rhetoric in his speech about north korea when he's that close to the boarder? will he be meeting with putin on the sidelines? will he be bringing up human rights? >> okay, so the president will use whatever language he wants to use obviously. what the president has done is clarified in all of his discussions, the statements on north korea, our determination to ensure that north korea's not able to threaten our allies and partners and certainly the
united states. he's done that with a great deal of clarity in the past. i'm sure he'll do that during the trip as well. that's been a great reassurance to our allies, partners and others in the region well, i don't think the president really modulates his language. he has brn very clear about it. let me just talk about this quickly. i have been aware of the discussions of is this inflammatory? no. what is inflammatory and what they are doing to threaten the world. i think there would be a grave danger if that regime didn't understand or resolve to counter north korean aggression. the president has made it very clear. [ inaudible question ]
> >> so you have seen a concerted effort. it has been combined that asked all countries to do more. there is tremendous momentum behind that now. we have seen countries across the region but globally doing more to expel these really north korean slave labors to shut down a lot of elicit trafficking that it was aimed to circumvent and shut down money making intersurpriinte enterprise. you have seen elements, a restriction on this kind of activity. the president welcomes that and
appreciates it. we would be asking others to do even more there. it is both diplomacy and sanctions working together. china is definitely doing more. obviously it's not enough until all of us achieve denuclearization. i think what's really essential to remember about china's approach to this is china recognizes this isn't the united states or anyone else asking china to do us a favor. china recognizes it is in their favor to denuclearize the peninsula. that is because a direct threat like this but also because of the speck to of the break down of nonproliferation regime. what if others could conclude they have to arm with nuclear weapons? that's not good with anybody. i think china will act in its interest but i think it's an area where it is really clearly
aligned. >> reporter: you mention that had the world is running out of time. if you could expand on that. earlier this week before the senate general mattis was asked about the process by which the president might use nuclear weapons. he said if we were to detect a potential launch from north korea that is the scenario under which the president might act. do you agree with that assessment? has that been discussed? were options presented to the president? >> so on the first, we are out of time because they have not in the past have not delivered on halting and then reversing the nuclear missile programs. the approach has been that we'll be happy with what some people call suspension for suspension. that's the beginning then of a
long drawn out negotiation process or talks during which the regime continued to develop its weapons. then upon delivery of a weak nonenforceable agreement the agreed framework in '94, what that does, what that agreement does is it locks in the status quo as the new normal. so it's time for all of us in terms of scenarios, the president is always very clear. he doesn't draw red lines. he doesn't say directly what he is going to do but he will take whatever it takes to protect the american people and allies.
>> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> and so what is clear is that the united states will respond with all cape abilities available. they are appropriate -- >> gentlemen in the center in the back. >> reporter: thank you, general. there have been sorries cotorie out of north korea and certainly that part of the world that the north korean have targeted the president in different ways. are you confident about his security and have you heard any rumors of the targeting of him? >> when the president travels our president will secure the president. we have extraordinarily capable forces in the region. so that's routine for us is to take all of that into consideration. >> reporter:
[ inaudible question ] >> i think what the president will do is build on what we lard had in meetings since then at the g-20 and in multiple phone calls between them. i would highlight three elements of that foundation for the u.s., chinese, really the multi-national approach to north korea. the first of these is a recognition that north korea is not just a threat to the united states. remember in the old days you would hear this is really a problem between north korea and the united states. everyone knocks china especially, that this is a problem between north korea and the world. the second thing that's really critical is the universal
knowledgement, the denuclearization is the only acceptable outcome. no more freeze for freeze suspension for suspension. the third is china's knowledgement. but that china has a great deal of economic power. it flows in through china. so the implementation and enforcement of the u.n. resolution holds promise but there's more that can be done beyond that. i think it's time for nations to do more beyond what has been called for in u.s. security council resolutions. >> two questions, one to follow up on the previous question, have you determined whether there will be a bilateral meeting with putin during this trip? >> it has not been determined yet. >> reporter: i wanted to talk about the president weighing in on the man charged with mowing
down pedestrians in new york city. you called for the death penalty. have there been any conversations about how it could complicate prosecutor's efforts? >> what the president wants is to secure the american people from mass murders like this, murders like this. and so what he has asked is options to take a look to assess if our tremendous law enforcement teams and our judicial system has all of the tools they need to combat this threat to the american people. we owe them options to see if this is -- if this is the time to reassess, change our capabilities in this area, an area of law enforcement in particular. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ]
is he comfortable as long as they help us accomplish larger goals as far as fk north korea and any other subject? >> you'll hear him talking about the sovereign nations protecting the rights of their citizens. you heard in just a preview and you'll hear much more about the importance of add hearing to rule of law, to promoting freedom, individual rights. it is extremely important. we ought to look at the president's record. so in syria you have a regime
that is a big human rights offender in a number of areas. the number, the torture, displacement of 6 million people internally, 5 million refugees. who stood up against assad to prevent further murder of chemical weapons? the president did. if you look at the policy towards venezuela that it is consolidated and denying nar citizens, their rights, the president is taking a strong stance on venezuela. i want to say look at the actions. look at the cuba policy. look at the shift from the old cuba policy that enabled a regime and a new cuba policy which incentivizes human rights and development of free