tv MSNBC Live MSNBC November 12, 2017 4:00am-4:30am PST
good morning i'm dara brown in new york at msnbc world headquarters. it's 7:00 in the east, 4:00 out west. here's what's happening. the final leg of president trump arriving in the philippines for the last part of his asia trip. will the bloody crackdown on the drug trade come up in conversation with the country's controversial leader? >> i believe that president putin really feels, and he feels strongly, that he did not meddle in our election. what he believes is what he believes. >> the president clarifying his remarks about vladimir putin and the election hacking and where he stands on what the u.s. intelligence agencies say. plus, a new twitter feud between the president and jim congrejon and why north korea hasn't fired a miss until nearly two months. at any moment now president trump will be arriving at a summit of the southeast nations in the philippines where he'll
be met by the controversial philippine president rodrigo duterte. the summit is kicking off with festivities including a traditional photo-op and then a gala dinner. it is the final leg of the president's trip to asia and comes amid new details about that conversation between president trump and vladimir putin. president trump clarifying his position on u.s. intel agency assessments that russia meddled in the election news at a conference last night. nbc's hallie jackson joins me now from hanoi, vietnam, with the latest, and hallie, can you tell us, what did president trump say? >> a lot of news coming out of that news conference specifically as it relates to russian president vladimir putin. you know the two of them, over in da nang had that interaction where russian interference in the election apparently came up. the president as you rightly note clarified some of the remarks that he made on air force one to reporters regarding whether he believes putin
believes that he denied it essentially. it gets a little bit convoluted. i want you to listen to what the president had to say when he was asked about this about eight hours or so ago. listen. >> i'm surprised that there's any conflict on this. what i said there is that i believe he believes that and that's very important for somebody to believe. i believe that he feels that he and russia did not meddle in the election. as to whether i believe it or not, i'm with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their leadership. i believe until our intel agencies. >> so that was interesting from the president there. did you catch that at the end, him saying as currently constituted when it comes to the leadership. meaning his people in place in the leadership positions in the intelligence community. remember, dara, this is important. president trump had the same assessment under his intelligence agencies that russia did interfere in the election, the president's top officials are all sort of in consent, they're in consensus about that at this point.
so the president is seeming to throw a little bit of shade on the predecessors to who who were in office but at the same time accepting their assessment here. that's not the only bit of news coming out of this, too. remember that the summit in the philippines, the president just is about to be entering is related specifically to trade and the economy when it comes to for example that trans-pacific partnership, tpp eleven as it's now called. president trump pulled out of the original trans-pacific partnership, that big trade agreement, dara, and that was frankly a blow to for example leaders here in vietnam and other southeast asian nations. watch for that topic of conversation to come up over the next 48 hours. and that meeting with rodrigo duterte. controversial drug war happening in the philippines. >> hallie i just want to interrupt you. i'm going to interrupt you for a second. we're seeing president trump now. he's meeting with the leaders as duterte here. and if you would, can you tell
us the significance of president trump coming to the philippines? he extended his trip for one day to go to the asean summit meeting. so what is the significance of him coming to the philippines? >> forgive me because i don't have a monitor here. so i'm not looking at the video of president trump arriving here as you are. please interrupt me if you see anything notable. you talk about the president extending his trip. it's to attend the east asian summit. he'd come under fire for not attending that. he was going to asean but not this other one. he ended up extending the trip in order to do that. he said himself and his officials had said that he had come under a little bit of pressure or at least had been cajoled into it by other leaders who are going to be ascending this summit of importance obviously to folks here in the region. that is why his trip has been extended. as for what he's going to be talking about with duterte the human rights question is a big one. you've god advocates who want to see the president say something forceful on the world stage and publicly about human rights
abuses in the phil peens. all along in his administration, though, and particularly the lead-up to this trip what we've been hearing from officials in the administration has been that they believe it's more productive to have those conversations privately behind closed doors rather than publicly. critics of that school of thought say hey this is an opportunity to really send a message. when you are at this summit. when you're standing alongside these other leaders and talking with duterte but it remains to be seen whether that will shake out. >> hallie, any chance that we might hear these questions? do you think the president is actually going to discuss these human rights issues publicly? or do you think he will keep it private? >> i would be surprised if it didn't come up privately at least. although i don't imagine there will be a big emphasis placed on it. that is based on my reporting from other foreign trips to nations with other questionable human rights records that is not something that we typically see the president come out and be very public about. >> and hallie, stay with us. i'm going to bring in gordon chang. i want to ask you, as we're watching all these arrival thes athis summit, and president
trump we just saw him come in, what's the balancing act here between president trump and these other leaders? what should we expect? >> the issue is going to be trade. the united states doesn't like these multinational agreements, and as she pointed out, we withdrew from the trans-pacific partnership, which was the centerpiece of president obama's pivot to asia. president trump says he's going to want to do bilateral deals. the issue that will come up with asean as it came up at the apec meeting in da nang is essentially local support, local subsidies, treader to trade practices that keep these economies closed to american goods, as a practical matter. you know, president trump got apec to put that into the final communique. that's really unusual to talk about subsidies and predatory trade practices. because, these communiques are usually pretty general talking about the benefits of globalization, open trade, and all the rest of it. so that is some progress for the
president. and we're going to probably see the same thing here, as well, as he raises this issue of trade. >> hallie, i want to ask you, how do you think president trump has been received during this trip to asia? he's been to several countries. how has he been perceived? >> depends on who you ask. and it depends on which country you're talking about, too. i think that when you look at, for example, tokyo, you saw -- or japan you saw in tokyo prime minister shinzo abe really give a warm welcome. the two of them talking a lot about their personal relationship. playing that round of golf as you saw, i think it was last weekend now the days are running into each other a little bit in china but remember also the president's popularity in certain countries among the people who live there is not as high as it has been. for example that's what we saw when he was in japan. he went to south korea, and then china was sort of an interesting study in all of this. because you had president xi really roll out the red carpet in what they called a state visit plus. right, more explaf gant, more
lavish, more opulent than with other leaders. that personal tour of the foregiden city for example with president xi and his wife. it was all about trying to sort of lavish praise and pageantry on president trump. calculated by president xi to try to get what he wants out of that relationship. even as president trump was trying to do the exact same thing and get china to put more pressure on north korea. ultimately, as you know, it's still a question of what concrete actions came out of that, because you don't have china putting new sanctions on north korea. you don't have china taking some of these actions that, that president and the administration had been talking about wanting, at some point. you have this trade deal, these business deals, $250 billion worth of business deals between companies from the two countries. those are really years to get final as ied yet. and even secretary of state rex tillerson acknowledged it's fairly small in scale. i do think that sort of depending where you go the president gets a different response. i will note that in the philippines, i don't know if you've been playing some of those pictures, there's some big
protests outside when the president was just arriving and just landing. we're going to be keeping an eye on that to see if that develops further as the president is in manila. >> gordon, have the countries been playing up to trump? have they really been sort of rolling out the red carpet and going over the top? and if so, why? >> well, it's not only china going over the top. it was also japan and south korea. and that is because i guess people believe that if you play to the vanity of the president, you'll be able to get what you want. everyone wants to be flattered. the real issue here is there's structural matters that the united states has and differences with some of these countries, especially china, and ultimately i don't think that they really affect policy in the sense that this flattery is effective in changing u.s. position. we saw u.s. officials talk about what happened in places like beijing, in issues of taiwan,
repatriation of chinese fugitives the united states is standing firm on policies we've seen in previous administrations. of course the flattery is something that's very interesting, but nonetheless, i don't think that it changes long-held american positions. >> if that flattery continues do you think that's going to affect the summit and the comments from about trade and moving forward with the asean summit? >> i don't think that rodrigo duterte is going to really flatter president trump that much. or at least more than he would other leaders. and the reason is that duterte, for his entire adult life, has been extremely anti-american. he doesn't like us. so therefore by extension he's not going to like president trump. and certainly from the comments of president duterte on president obama, we know that there is this deep antagonism. duterte may say a few nice things about trump but they're not going to be special in the context of what he's saying about other leaders.
>> and hallie, we are now seeing the president lined up with other leaders for the photo opportunity here. but i do want to ask you, while he's in the philippines, what do you think is the best thing that can come out of his meeting here in the philippines? talk to administration officials, one of the discussions has been surrounding trade and the economy. the other big topic has been north korea, as well. i think on the first half of the president's trip a big focus on kim jong-un. the president's speech this morning saying he would never call him short and fat. the leader of north korea, of course. but i think that when you shift into the second part of this trip as we have done here in vietnam and in the fill pence the focus is going to be more on trade, more on the imbalances that the countries the president is visiting and talking to and the united states. again, gordon talked about the trans-pacific partnership and what that has done to some other relationships in the region. that is going to be critical as you look ahead. i think if you ask people outside the administration, if you ask analysts and he perts,
especially human rights advocates they are looking to see how human rights comes up. there's always, listen, rodrigo duterte can be kind of a wild card. and so i think that you're going to have a lot of people watching to see if there's any unpredictable moments here where duterte might himself go off script. >> i want to ask you, you mentioned north korea. behind the scenes, do you think the administration thinks that they've actually made progress with north korea, with president trump's visit >> i think when you look at the excuses that the president has been having with japan, with south korea, and with china in particular, i think that the administration feels like they're at least keeping the issue at the forefront here. you have, for example, china according to our reporting, essentially telling president trump, listen, these sanctions are going to take some time, give us a little bit of time. you have discussions with south korea and japan about keeping up pressure on pyongyang and trying to do more to confront the
threat from north korea. again, this was the big head line coming in. you had the president standing in front of the national assembly in seoul, very directly delivering a message to kim jong-un himself. delivering a message to the people of north korea. and this is actually a message that the president has reiterated at almost every photo opportunity and every news conference that i've been at here on this trip where he said he's referenced that speech, he's redelivered lines from that speech essentially. he wants to keep it at the forefront. he wants people to be talking about it. because i think this is a real policy push for the administration on this trip. >> gordon, do you think that message got through? >> certainly has gotten through south japan and korea where there have been receptive audience. the issue going forward is how much pressure the united states is going to put on china and russia. so this is more an american issue than issue in moscow and beijing. the ish a will get through if president trump exercises political will and uses all the
elements of american power short of the use of force. so this is a trump issue more than a xi jinping receptivity issue. >> gordon, you mentioned earlier that the president, he took a stance by extending his stay here in the philippines for that extra day. do you think staying afor that extra day is going to make a difference in this trip and actual trade negotiations with the philippines? >> it won't make difference with trade negotiations with the philippines. but it certainly will make a difference in people's perceptions of american staying power in the region. the fact that the president did extend the stay, i think, is significant. because, that's symbolism. in this particular case, symbolism is substance. you know the asean meeting, the east asian summit meeting, rarely things come out of that. but it really is the issue of is america going to stay in the region? because china says no. and so trump is basically saying by showing up, yeah, we're staying. >> we are watching the leaders now. they're going in to dinner for the evening.
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[ bloop ] huh? hey? i paused it. bam, family time. so how is everyone? find your awesome with xfinity xfi and change the way you wifi. now to the widening russia probe. in an interview airing tonight on msnbc senator mark warner the vice chair of the senate intel committee says he has more questions for key figures linked to the trump campaign. here's a preview. what is the next stage for your investigation? are americans going to see public hearings with people that they recognize? >> there are still a number of individuals, michael cohen, mr. trump's lawyer, we want to bring him back, we want to bring donald trump jr. in.
he's not testified yet. >> in a public way? >> i think some of these individuals who is not part of the government, we ought to get a chance to have folks hear his side of the story. i still believe we need to have mr. kushner back before the whole committee. >> tune in to kasie d.c. here at 7:00 p.m. for the rest of that interview. joining me now is former federal prosecutor john lauro. currently a white collar criminal defense attorney. senator warner names a few people who were previously interviewed, michael cohen, jared kushner. do you think they would agree to be interviewed again? >> that's a question they're going to have to deal with. because there's a parallel criminal investigation going on right now that mr. mueller is conducting. so whatever they say before congress will go directly to mr. mueller's investigation, as well. they're not getting immunity to testify before congress, so the question that they have to confront is do they voluntarily disclose and discuss things in a congressional setting. >> warner also talked about
bringing donald trump jr. before the committee and implied that he'd want it to be in a public setting. what do you think would factor in donald trump jr.'s response to a request for that? >> typically a criminal defense lawyer will advise a client not to testify and not to make any public statements. but he's in an awkward position because he also is sort of a political figure as well. and typically political figures want to testify want to explain and want to go public. and my sense is he'll do that. >> the house intel committee is moving forward with their own investigation, and they interviewed former trump bodyguard keith schiller last week. nbc confirmed that schiller spoke about a 2013 trip to moscow and said someone there offered to send five women to mr. trump's hotel room during that visit. schiller said he declined and laughed it off. where could that information lead the investigation next? >> well you know, that came up during the campaign whether or not there was any inappropriate activity on mr. trump's trip to
moscow. and what his bodyguard has said is, nothing happened. so, i think that's really a dead end as far as the mueller investigation. >> john lauro thank you so much for joining us, great to have you here on a sunday. >> thank you. >> in a moment. why the president keeps talking about having a good relationship with russia. come on dad! higher! higher! parents aren't perfect, but then they make us kraft mac & cheese and everything's good again. more!
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i believe that president putin really feels, and he feels strongly, that he did not meddle in our election. what he believes is what he believes. >> that was president trump last night walking back previous comments about a conversation he had with vladimir putin. on russia meddling in the u.s. election. the president also telling reporters that he believes in u.s. intel community assessment. let's bring in julia man chester and daniel lippman, political reporter and co-author of the playbook newsletter. daniel, what do you think prompted this clarification.
>> i think trump monitors media coverage very closely. he saw the headlines after his initial comments where he seemed to take putin at his word and thought to himself, you know, maybe i should clarify matters, i should stand up for my own intelligence agencies. i meet with them every day. i get classified briefings from them. and it's not good for morale for those cia agents and the thousands of americans who work for these agencies to hear their commander in chief basically undercut them and say i'm throwing my lot in with putin. i think he had to clean some of that up and you saw that last night. >> julia, president trump also taking to twitter saying when will all the haters out there realize having a good relationship with russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. he also aired grievances against hillary clinton as it relates to the u.s. relationship with russia. he seems to be staying on script during his trip.
do you think something hit a nerve or is it merely the persistent cloud of suspicion regarding the russia investigation? >> yeah. very possibly something could have hit a nerve. to daniel's point he does monitor media coverage very closely. there's no doubt in my mind he's been seeing the recent developments surroundi ining mueller's probe into meddling as well as the congressional probe. i think it's definitely a mixture of that. but i think also he met with putin on the sidelines of the summit a few days ago. that's definitely playing into his response to this. >> real quick daniel could you weigh in on the roy moore scandal going on in alabama? do you think he's going to step down? moore is a guy that loves a good fight and he's in the biggest fight of his life. i don't think he sees himself as guilty, this happened decades ago and i think he wants to plunge ahead and see what the voters say.
>> daniel lippman. sorry, julia manchester. thank you so much for staying with us this sunday morning. great to have you. >> thanks. >> that will do it for me. i'm dara brown. thanks for watching. at the top of the hour reverend al sharpton talks to the widow of sergeant la david johnson. "your business" up next.
good morning. coming up on msnbc's "your business," two companies with a new take on the old school retail model are shaking things up in an industry that's struggling. how one woman is spearheading a business revolution in beloit, wisconsin and bringing thousands of jobs and new blood to the local main street economy. and the first of our elevator pitchers vying to get their product on the shelves of sam's club. will the buyers give them a thumbs up, or a thumbs down. let's grow fast and work smart. that's all coming up next on "your business." "your business" is