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tv   MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle  MSNBC  May 22, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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stephanie ruhle. >> no ali. we'll be without him the next couple of weeks. he is doing some volunteer work in asia. you're stuck with me. thank you, my friend. good morning, everyone. i am stephanie ruhle. ali is off. it's may 22nd. let's get started. >> there's a growing belief on both sides of the aisle that the president and his administration are being outmaneuvered by china regarding the trade dispute. "the new york times" says nearly any time china resists a trade demand, the u.s. backs down. >> the president is in a position of weakness. >> the white house is preparing to gather intelligence officials we for a meeting on a secret fbi inform fant. >> it's troubling for those who hold the fbi in such high regard that there are even allegations that people were assigned to surveil or even spy on our campaign. >> the arrangement follows a
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closed door session at the white house. the president hosting fbi director christopher rae and rod rosenstein. one day after president trump tweeted his hereby demand that the department of justice investigate whether their campaign was infiltrated for political purposes. >> he can make whatever demands he wants. the most thing is to see how the justice department responds. i think both rosenstein and ray responded the right way. >> the president's behavior is the kind of grossly autocratic behavior we'd expect in a baa ma in a republic. >> can the summit with kim jong-un be saved? today the president is sitting down with the president of south korea. >> i don't think president trump is thinking about public relations. he's thinking about peace. it would be a great mistake for kim jong-un to think he could play donald trump. the president not thinking about public relations.
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wow. the man tasked with leading our high stakes trade negotiations with china, steve mnuchin is testifying on capitol hill at this moment. and i know in most people hear about tariffs and sanctions and trade in china, they have a tendency to glaze over and don't pay attention, but please, stick with me. this is super important. the trade war could affect how much you pay for everything you buy. but he was also pressed on the president's decision to pull out of the iran nuclear deal wen auz asked if u.s. allies would be hit with sanctions for doing business with iran. listen to what he said. >> as it relates to the sanctions as you're aware, the president because he did not sign the certification, the iran sanctions will go back in place both the primary sanctions and the secondary sanctions, and yes, we've already communicated with our european partners both through secretary pompeo and myself that we will be enforcing
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the secondary sanctions. >> all right. talking sanctions falling off the iran deal. first i want to talk trade negotiations with china. there are so many issues hanging on that one specific topic. let's go through a quick time line of where things stand and how we got here. one of president trump's talking points during his campaign was for president was for china and trade. and guess what. he didn't pull any punches. continuously calling him a manipulat manipulator. >> we can't continue to allow china to rape our country. that's what they're doing. it's the greatest theft in the history of the world. >> with talk like that, we can expect the president got something good in the latest trade negotiations from the chinese, but look at what the administration is giving up. the planned tariffs on up to 150 billion chinese goods, they're suspended despite the president insisting on them saying a trade war was easy. it was good. he could do it.
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just a couple of months ago. last week the president tweeting about chinese zte, the president said too many jobs lost in china. directing his commerce team to work on rescuing the company, the company that we hit with over 1 billion worth of fines. you have to remember why they're in this bad shape. zte was banned from buying u.s. components when the administration learned the trump administration learned that zte failed to punish company officials -- to iran and north korea. a clear violation of u.s. sanctions. and that is not taking into account the risk the company is accused of posing to u.s. cyber security. on friday the president's top economic adviser announced china had agreed to a $200 billion deal in return. and that, of course, would chop the u.s. trade deficit with china in half. before the weekend was over,
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that number evaporated with the foreign ministry saying that number was not agreed to and the administration is not walking back expectations. >> what you're getting here is the negotiations are proceeding very well. we're on the same page. too early for exact precise details. maybe i got ahead of the curve. >> so let's just make something clear. he said we're on the same page on china. on friday he said $200 billion. on sunday he said maybe i got ahead of myself. so if you triang late that, we're absolutely not on the same page. let's take a look at what could be driving the administration to leap into a deal, any deal, first, president trump's trade team is fighting steve mnuchin and trade adviser peter navarro with one another. the pair reportedly got into a shouting match and looming over the talks, the north korean summit is just three weeks away.
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the president has acknowledged china with help with the meeting. it could give china more leverage with the u.s. on trade. the president might want to take some advice from a book written in the 80s, the heyday of cooperate deals. the worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. that makes the other guy smell blood and then you're dead. we're sure mr. trump can find himself a copy without giving him the title. it was written by the same guy who said this. >> they can't believe how stupid our leaders are. i don't hold that against china. i think they're great. >> we can turn this country around and make great deals instead of stupid deals. these are people that make deals that are either taken care of by their donors or they're stupid. it's simple. the world looks at us like we're stupid people. but we're in the going to be stupid people much longer,
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folks. >> the world looks at us like stupid people. the person who wrote that book, of course, the art of the deal, was president trump. and let's make this clear. president trump has been put in a corner whether it's lindsey graham saying the president deserves a nobel peace prize for the negotiations with north korea, or the president of south korea floated this nobel peace prize award, and the president himself said at a speaking event everyone says i should get the nobel peace prize. we need china's help in order to advance the talks. has the president and his administration backed themselves into a corner in order to get anything to happen which they very much want to do and get a big win in north korea? are they going to put the trade talks in the middle and make a deal that doesn't help the american people? joining me now, john harwood and garrett haake on capitol hill. garrett, i want to go to you first. did steve mnuchin just leave the
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room? >> he did. he just left the hearing and did not answer my question about zte, the chaompany the focus of lot of questions here. subjects in both parties want a tougher line. rubio said this morning he'd be in favor of passing something veto proof to force the administration to take a tougher line. in the room today earlier mnuchin punted on the question of whether the u.s. would roll back the sanctions on zte. saying it would be made in cooperation with the intelligence committee and he wasn't involved but said don't worry, we're taking the national security implications into account. i tried to follow up, but the secretary not interested in discussing the issue any further. >> okay. i need to bring john harwood in here. something like this matters to every american person out there. these trade talks, we keep
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blaming -- the president keeps blaming china for the trade deficit, but the u.s. consumer and our command has as much to do with the deficit as the chinese government. >> of course. china is telling a lot of people we want to buy and improves the standard of living of ordinary americans. they can get inexpensive goods. it does and can harm individual american workers, but in the main, it's been beneficial to the united states. you know, larry kudlow in the clip from face the nation over the weekend said, while i may have gotten ahead of the curve, i think it's increasingly clear that there is no curve. what you have is a chaotic administration that's internally divided. that isn't very skilled at governing, and so they create a crisis through rhetoric, then they back down from the crisis when they see that bumping up against other goals either economic or diplomatic as in the case of north korea, and the same thing is happening on north
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korea. >> but john. >> it's increasingly clear that the president is intent on having this summit and was lured into it by the south korean president who wanted to calm down his bluster on that issue. >> but john, this is a case of the united states administration simply not doing their homework. the fact that we watched administration officials yesterday run a victory lap saying trade war talks, but put these aside, and for the treasury secretary, last i knew, we never had one ever opine on the markets and he said he's bullish on stocks. it's this president, and this administration that started the trade war talks and now they want credit for them being off. that's like a doctor who made you sick taking credit for curing you. >> you're right. i don't disagree with anything you said. the situation is that the administration because the president during his campaign
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committed on being super tough on china, made a bunch of promises that he has then walked away from. he also said when he became president he was going to declare china a currency manipulat manipulator. he did not that. >> he didn't because it's factually incorrect. let's talk about all the things they want to do or they're engaging them. none of them address splek chul property. and people -- our agencies think they were using their devices to spy on us. >> these things are hard to do. right? so serious change in a diplomatic sense is very difficult, but the president is not into the hard long-lasting spade work needed to achieve the changes. he also is not -- has not done a
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successful job of rallying the allies to help us do that. he's driven our allies away. that means the things that he ar tickulates as stupendous goals pump up against reality and people say what happened? >> is he falling into a trap that china knows how to play chess, and we come into the game with other expertise. we haven't found anything better than nafta, and while we see china might lower some taxes or tariffs on letting certain autos or auto parts in or while they're committing to saying we're going to bring more agriculture in, these are crumbs, and they were already planning to do it. but what they do is give the president a daily news cycle mini win when we know that china got their 2025 plan laid out and 2050 plan and we have people cursing each other out in china.
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>> exactly. and the concessions they're making are not concessions. they're saying we're going to buy more soy beans. they're not saying they're going to change their approach to intellectual properties. >> they already wanted more soy beans. >> exactly. they're not saying they're going to change the system of subsidies to push china forward on important new industries like artificial intelligence and other things. the u.s. is not achieving its goals here. what they're doing is providing some face-saving cover for the president to get out of commitments that he overcommitted to in the first place. >> we'll continue to follow this and watch it. we know the markets like this news. it's a positive for them. thank you both. zblrvett president trump making a demand of the justice department over the weekend, and it could pay off for him.
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the department of justice apparently giving in and allowing congressional leaders to review some of the most highly classified information about the russia investigation. why that development is important. are they caving to the president or are they walking the line? i'll tell you what the president's successful at. adding more stories, confusing it. we're not going to forget the root of this, and bob mueller isn't either. a new report says grammatical errors in the president's tweets may be made in purpose. people intentionally make mistakes like capitalizing random words to mimic the president's style. that's funny when we know somebody else wrote them, we always call it out. staffers say it sends a message to his base that he's just like them. you' . i can keep up!
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new information this morning about the safety and security of the u.s. elections system. homeland security secretary says it is something the administration takes seriously. i'd love to know how. speaking after a closed door meeting. >> i think the president has been very clear that he agrees with the intel community that the russians did attempt to hack or otherwise through cyber means influence our election. and he remains committed. that's why we're here today. >> it's -- if it is something
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the president takes so seriously, i'd like to see where he issued a decree on twitter on sunday calling for an investigation into the investigation of russian influence in his campaign. late monday the president met with the man responsible for overseeing that new investigation, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein along with chris ray. the president did not ask for us to further investigate what russia was doing to potentially try to influence the last presidential election to see what russia or other countries could be doing to try to influence the next election. what the president asked for was an investigation into the investigators looking into this. i want to bring in intelligence and national security reporter, ken delaney. and harry sandeck. ken, i don't know how to ask this. the secretary says the president
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does believe russia tried tillerson fluns the -- tried to influence the election. do we have any evidence that the president believes that, and what people is he putting in place and what budget is he approving to look into that. i heard him say it could be russia, it could be china, it could be a 400 pound fat person on their bed. >> absolutely. not only is there no evidence that he believes that. there's a lot of evidence on the public report to the contrary. >> what is he talking about? >>st it's unclear. christopher ray testified under oath to congress that he was never asked by president trump to do anything specific about russian election interference. the head of the national security agency, our digital spying agency said essentially the same thing, and we see no government effort, no agency wide effort to tackle this issue of russian election interference. dhs is working with the states and trying to shore up the basic cyber security, but there is no
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effort on russian social media interference and manipulation. the national security counsel eliminated the cyber security coordinator. tom bossert is not being replaced. it's unclear. we know the president is very concerned about this investigation into russian election interfeerngs, but there's no evidence he's doing anything about actual russian election interference. >> i hope i'm wrong, and secretary nielsen, i invite you to come on television with me or any person working with her on this. i would love to know where we're taking action. for me, it's been 327 days since the white house has agreed to sit down for any of the interviews i requested, and if i'm wrong on this and we're taking action, i invite you to sit here and explain it to us. congressional republicans have asked for classified information. it looks like they're going to get it. what do you think about that? >> i don't think it's a good
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idea. congressional oversight is important, and when congressional oversight is conducted, it's usually in a retrospective way so congress can look at an investigation when it's over and ask the questions. and then make recommendations. >> and nunez is deeply involved. he has a dog in this hunt. >> it seems that way, and he's inserting himself into the middle of the investigation. we had a situation here where at first it seemed like the president's own lawyers were asking for information about the informant and the source of information. now it seems like in kind of a compromise measure, there's going to be some sharing of information but maybe less than what was requested, and with congress rather than let's say with the president's own lawyers. >> okay. but we can see all day long this doesn't sound good. rudy giuliani went so far as to say congressional leadership deserves this information. but he also said yes, it would help the president defend
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himself against robert mueller. and we might say that doesn't sound right, but it's still happening. there's a report out that elliot brody promised himself -- promoted himself as a back channel to the white house to secure a billion dollars worth of business from saudi arabia and qatar. when i read the headlines, i'm like it's unethical, the swamp. when do the issues actually matter? >> well, one would think based on the fact that it's been reported that george nader has been meeting with the mueller investigators that at some point there will be a reckoning and the mueller team has proceded in a secret way. they make their statements through indictments and court appearances. when would fairly expect that if nader is cooperating, if bro di has become a focus of interest because of his role in the michael cohen piece of the investigation, that maybe under the investigation the southern district of new york, one would
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think his time is coming. >> okay. if we're saying his time is coming and we know there have been indictments, we know you've got people pleading guilty and flipping, i think just a week ago paul manafort's son-in-law, should we be less concerned that rod rosenstein is pleasing the president and saying yes, we'll look into this? could he be walking a difficult line because he's trying to buy more time for robert mueller and doesn't want to put the president in a rage where he's going to pull a saturday night massacre? >> i think that's what's happening. it's easy from the perspective of people on the outside and i don't think they're wrong who said why did he do this? he should have said no, president, we're not doing this at all. >> but he has more information. >> he has more information than we do, and he picked, i think an interesting middle ground. he said let's refer this to the office of the inspector general. it looks at allegations of wrong doing by department of justice
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personn personnel. it's a perfect place to put it. let them investigate. in the public reporting is right, they'll say there's nothing here. that will be months from now. and the president will have perhaps moved onto other issues. in the meantime, the investigation continues. i think he's walking a very fine line trying to avoid interference with the investigation. but also trying to avoid being fired. >> there you have it. ken, i apologize to you. when my guest says you're right, i try to end on that high note. thank you both so much. i got to talk about this for a moment. new video shows a dramatic gun battle inside of one of president trump's golf resorts. >> shots fires. [ gunfire ] a gunman exchanged fire with police and yelled about the president. what he said in court might get him in even more trouble. we're going to get into that in
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welcome back. here are the top stories we're watching right now. steven mnuchin just wrapped up testimony on several issues facing the trump administration. he revealed secondary sanctions will apply to u.s. allies if they continue to do business with iran. he also announced the trump administration will not lift new tariffs on steel and aluminum from china as part of the trade deal being worked out. and a power plant in hawaii is shut down with molten lava spilling on to the site. crews rushed to fill the wells. the volcano exploded last night sending a huge plume of ash into the sky. the red cross is expanding the efforts to fight the ebola outbroke.
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the risk is real. at least 28 cases have been confirmed since may 8th. 27 people have died. mark zuckerberg about to testify in front of the european parliament in brufls over his company's handling of private data. he's expected to apologize for allowing fake news on the site and for cambridge analytica's misuse of the data of users. zuckerberg testified in front of u.s. lawmakers last month. the suspect in the shootout at president trump's miami area golf resort admitted to at least one charge against him. even as his lawyer tried to stop him. the former porn actor jonathan oddi faces more than a dozen charges. >> i didn't see necessarily the alarm pushing, but i might have -- >> i did push alarm. >> okay. >> it's not specifically mentioned here, although --
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>> okay. >> you know, sir, everything is become recorded, just so you know. if you want to speak, it's fine. i'm happy to listen. your attorney turned the microphone off, though. probably a wise move. >> that comes as police released body camera footage of the incident showing the dramatic moments when they engaged with the gunman. [ gunfire ] >> shots fired. shots fired. [ gunfire ]
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>> he's going downstairs. >> which way? which way? >> wearing all black. >> where's down stairs? >> downstairs? >> yes. he said down -- which way? do we have him covered? >> no. >> second floor. second floor. >> we have to make sure we don't have more subjects. >> i'm always struck by the bravery of police officers when you see these videos and they are just running into the face of danger. with me now retired lieutenant and criminal justice professor
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darren porcher. what's your assessment on how these officers performed and the challenges? i mean, you have local police departments all over the country where trump properties are. do they have the proper training given the additional risk they're facing? >> well, the miami and dade county police departments train together. this is a high priority target. it's the contrast of a place like the israeli embassy or the united nations in new york. the trump property is similar. although trump owns a lot of properties, he franchises his name out. this is a specific property that's owned by the trump organization. therefore, they need to pay the appropriate attention to it moving forward. when you look at how the officers moved in, one thing you saw in the video was a lot of officers with the high caliber weapons, long guns, things to that effect. immediately it appears as if you had the special operations component that moved in.
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and i commend them for employing firearms control. the assailant was taken into custody and still alive. >> let's talk about the assailant. clearly the judge was surprised by his apparent admission that he pulled the alarm. why is that a big deal? >> it's a big deal because we refer to that as reckless endangerment. when he did that, he put the citizens in that establishment in a possibility of becoming injured. >> why? because they would run out? >> exactly. one thing we take into consideration in law enforcement. when we have an active shooter, we have two options. either to evacuate or shelter in place. but here we have a situation where by the assailant pulling the fire alarm, he removed that option for police and they the only avail was the evacuation procedures. it makes it difficult for law enforcement trying to respond. often time outbodies -- have bodies trying to impede with the shooter, so to speak. >> a reminder that they have
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really tough jobs and we appreciate the work they do. >> darren, so much. when we come back, we talk about primaries. it's a primary runoff sayday in four states. and women are playing a starring role. how this is going to impact this fall's crucial mid midterms. the new york stock exchange is about to get the first woman leader. she's making her way in. the exchange announced this morning, stacey cunningham will become president on friday. she began as a summer intern in 1994. and she spoke in the last hour on cnbc. >> i think it's important to me that we maintain the goal of helping great companies raise capital. helping investors find opportunities so they can plan for the future. that's our goal. that i could climb that hill and get over it.
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the outcome could serve as a guide post for democratic strategists across the country in arkansas president trump threw his weight behind republican governor asa hutchinson fighting off a challenger from his own party. our own steve kornacki at the big board. walk us through what we need to know. >> you mentioned georgia and arkansas. let's look at texas. this is a state democrats talking about can they get the net gain of 23 to win back the house. they have a couple of targets they're eyeing in texas. there's one to focus on. houston, the 7th district. there's a democratic run off today. here's the backdrop. the winner of this democratic run off today is going to face a republican in exactly the kind of district nationally that democrats find the most enticing. this was a traditionally republican district. you go back half a century,
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george h.w. bush once represented this area. hillary clinton carries this district by a point in 2016. it's traditionally republican, suburban, college educated type district that's moved against donald trump. can democrats pick this thing off? they're choosing between these two candidates today. the reason this race got extra attention besides with us talking act about is laura mozer back in the preliminary national democrats went after her. she had comments a few years ago that seemed to disparage parts of texas. she was living in washington at the time. national democrats are nervous at the time. this could hurt her and them if she's nominated. it seems to have died down as an issue in this runoff. we'll see what happens here tonight in that runoff. the other one to keep an eye on tonight is in kentucky. it is around lexington. the university of kentucky. if there's a district in
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kentucky that democrats think they got a shot at, it's barr. why are democrats looking at this? there is a democratic sort of lineage in this area. also lexington as we say, university of kentucky. the big blue nation. highest concentration of college degrees of any congressional district in kentucky is right here. again, that type of voter that democrats think they can win over. very interesting race here. national democrats recruited this guy, jim gray, the mayor of lexington. then there was a grass roots uprising online behind amy mcgrath. she's raised a ton of money. interesting to watch. national democrats thought this was their best bet. maybe the democratic voters think otherwise. >> when we talk about the primaries, how much plays into this idea if you're a candidate who would win in the primary, you could never win in the general. while you have one stacey saying want to go for that white swing
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voter disenfranchised by president trump, she may have a better shot in the general because that's where you're going to go for the republicans. here we are in the primary, and the other stacey is saying i want to go for minorities who don't yet vote or decided they don't want to or young people. isn't this going to give us really a good picture of the direction the democratic party needs to go? >> today we'll find out in georgia, the race between the two staceys, we'll find out what direction the democratic party itself wants to go. the indication has been abrams is the favorite. there's polling she's leading it by a solid margin. the question is the case her campaign will make is hey, we've been running democrats. they'll say we've been running democrats like evans before who have that model of trying to reach out and win over republicans and win over voters who used to vote more conservative. they say it hasn't been working
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in georgia. time to try something new. there are big picture demographic changes in georgia that the abrams campaign is talking about tapping into. the test is we'll see the mood of the democratic party tonight and maybe nationally as well. the test will be this november. if this ends up being a wavier year for democrats. . if abrams is the nominee, is there evidence it pays off for democrats or do we get up with evidence that it backfired? we have to wait for that. >> the question is what does the democratic party stand for? what's the platform? we know the democrat want to win. what they don't know is what horses to bet in. steve kornacki, no, this face, that big board, we're going to be paying attention to this guy a lot from now to november. and we are just moments away from a crucial meeting for president trump where the stakes could not be higher. south korea's president due to arrive at the white house just minutes from now. they'll meet in the hopes of saving next month's summit
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between the president and kim jong-un.
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welcome back. in minutes president trump will welcome south korean president moon jae-in to the white house. the big topic topic is expected president trump's planned summit with north korean leader kim jong-un. the trump-kim summit is scheduled for three weeks from today in singapore. north korea threatened to cancel it last week. two dozen western and chinese journalists arrived to witness the planned dismantling of nuclear site. >> i don't think president trump is thinking about public relations. he's thinking about peace.
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he's thinking about how we achieve what's alluded successful american administration. the clinton administration, even the bush administration got played in the past. it would be great mistake for kim jong-un to think he could play donald trump. >> joining me now, foreign affairs analyst, bobby gosh. i think it hurts every other point that vice president mike pence is is making when he said the president isn't focused on pr. the president absolutely is focused on pr and he's brilliant at it. to you think kim jong-un is trying to play trump? trump's try to play him. that's how these things work. >> that's how these things work. the summit between the two leaders is the ultimate pr exercise or it should be. that's how these things are meant to work.
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when the two presidents meet by that process, all the dots, all the is should be dotted. it should be carried out before the two men meet. if these two people are playing each other, their playen badly. >> are we making a mistake? if we know the summit the planned for three weeks. by keeping the military exercises on schedule, if we didn't do them, is that too much of a give. are we giving too much power to kim jong-un? he never liked us doing closely, this is what the south koreans are playing.
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they're the people whose security we should care about most in the instance. they're the people at the greatest risk from north korea. the south koreans say and apparently they did that we should tone down these exercises. the south and the north separately from what the united states is trying to get from north korea, the two koreas are making a deal between themselves. thoo that's a very important deal. talking about ending a formal state of war, creating economic opportunities. preserving that deal alone would do enormous good for everybody including us. if making war like noises endangers that deal, here it is. >> president trump is unpredictable. john bolton is not. he's made it clear how he feels. he said he's the one that should go this way of libya. why do we continue or why do we
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hear people blaming john bolton? president trump knew who he was when he gave him the job. >> it's interesting in the previous statement they name checked john bolton. they know who he is. they know who he's stands for. they've already signalled they are not interested in john bolton. they had a conversation with the secretary of state. they are looking forward to a conversation with the president of the united states. their view on john bolton is we don't want to hear from him. >> we'd like know what the review is on the commemorative coin. it depicts air force one flying over the whouts aite house and other side shows president trump and kim's heading peace talk.
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we hope those talks happen. otherwise, i don't know what they'll do. sell those on ebay. thank you so much. i appreciate it. it's my favorite part of the show. monumental americans. people who may be deserving of more recognition, maybe a statue of their own. today it's rachel carson. often called the mother of the environmental movement. born back in 1907, she was a marine biologist, a writer and a nature lover. she was the sektd woman hired by the u.s. bureau of fisheri serks and promoted to editor in chief of all publication pps in 1962 her ground breaking vote book was released. her work helped lead to the creation of the environmental protection agency, the epa. carson passed away at the age of
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sure. mom,what's up son?alk? i can't be your it guy anymore. what? you guys have xfinity. you can do this. what's a good wifi password, mom? you still have to visit us. i will. no. make that the password: "you_stillóhave_toóvisit_us." that's a good one. [ chuckles ] download the xfinity my account app and set a password you can easily remember. one more way comcast is working to fit into your life, not the other way around. rjs thank you for watching this hour of vels"velshi & ruhle." i'll see you again at 9:00 a.m. eastern. right now nour you're in for a . andrea mitchell.
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thaupg nk you so much. president trump about to welcome south korea's president moon. the president chipping away at the independence of the justice department as he tries to investigate his own investigators. the newlyweds. the duke and duchess of sussex making their first appearance at a royal engagement. good day. we start at the white house where the president is about the meet with south korea's president moon. kristen welker is joining me there. phil rutger is here with us today. this is a very important meeting. we can probably expect judge frg what the south korean ambassador to the u.s. has written today that they are going to


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