tv Inside Politics CNN August 11, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT
welcome to "inside politics." i'm dana dash. john king is off. a consequential morning in washington. locked and loaded. president trump rattles off another illiterative altercation threat on twitter saying, military solutions against north korea are "fully in place." plus, the president is publicly rating his own team. with the attorney general, jeff sessions, they're fine. his national security team, outstanding. tremendous. fantastic. his new fbi director, trump says he'll be fantastic, too. but the president's point man in the senate, he's on notice. >> if he doesn't get repeal and replace done, and if he doesn't get taxes done, meaning cuts and reform, and if he doesn't get a very easy one to get done, infrastructure, he doesn't get them done, then you can ask me that question. >> people close to the president
had told reporters he was considering firing special counsel robert mueller. ask the president now, he has no idea what you're talking about. >> mr. president, you've thought about or considered leaning to the dismissal of the special counsel. anything that he would do to moving in that direction? >> i've been reading you say, i'm going to dismiss him. no. i'm not dismissing anybody. i want them to get on with the tank and the senate and house to come out with their findings. >> here to share their reporting and insights, npr's steve insky, olivia times and margaret talev of bloomberg. the president speaks. you wonder what exactly does he mean? sometimes you don't get an answer. other times you do. like when everyone wondered what the president meant when he said he could be tougher on north korea than warning of fire and
fury. >> if anything, that statement may not be tough enough. >> what would be tougher than fire and fury? >> well, you'll see. you'll see. >> well, this morning at 7:29 a.m. eastern, the president fired off this tweet. military solutions are now fulling in place. locked and loaded should north korea act unwisely. hopefully kim jong-un will find another path. well, whatever the president's end game, this is something he'll likely hear when he meets with his secretary of state, his national security adviser and his u.n. ambassador later today. u.s. defense officials doubt e- eliminate this. and leaving the fate of allies in the region into untested missile defenses to stop the killing the thousands. friends and foes alike, alarmed by this verbal one-upsmanship and some are taking action.
japan says it's deploying missile intercept systems just in case. south korea alerted all its military personnel to maintain full readiness, while china and russia claim that they are collaborating on a plan to prevent a full-scale war, and covering all of this is cnn's will ripley in beijing, and he has been to north korea, we should say, more than any other western journalist. also joining us, our white house correspondent sara murray in new jersey with the president. will, i want to go to you first. north korea. this statement. this threat this morning. how do you read it? >> i read it as a return to business as usual for north korea. we did not see them dial up rhetoric further with perhaps greater details of their plans. they announced early irthier wh would have been their most provocative, putting missiles down less than 20 miles from guam. that doesn't mean north korea isn't going to do that. putting together a plan kim
jong-un would sign off on and the united states would watch and listen for rhetoric from the united states. all eyes remain on the peninsula. as of now, no imminent signs of a launch and this statement out this morning from north korea doesn't seem to up the ante like the statement that was insulting president trump yesterday. i'll read you a portion of it. it says, trump is driving the situation on the korean peninsula to the bring of a nuclear war. the statement we've heard north korea say many times before about the united states and also making such yeoh cries at the u.s. will not rule out a war against the dprk. very strong words but we've heard those words from north korea repeatedly. different earlier in the week a detailed technical plan announced so far is just words on paper. still a war of words, as jim sciutto put it yesterday, a rhetorical not military, and this is happening in the world this part of the month as always in august and april. u.s. and south korea practicing war games, something north korea
always gets agitated by. why you had the russian foreign minister sergey lavrov saying russia and china would like the u.s. to freeze the drills and maybe north korea would stop launching missiles. both parties involved have not given any indication they'd be willing to do that. >> will ripley, thank you for that report. and sara, german chancellor angela merkel sees no military solution to the north korean conflict adds escalating rhetoric is the wrong response. what's the white house saying this morning? >> well, dana, obviously president trump isn't toning down his rhetoric whatsoever. you saw the tweet, the u.s. is locked and loaded prepared for anything north korea might do. look at the meetings the president is holding. meeting with ambassador to the united nations, nikki haley, national security adviser h.r. mcmaster. haley and tillerson, key playei
north korea. p pivotal securing the votes to get man nounanimous sanctions a north korea. and expected it all to be behind closed doors. the president rejiggered plans yesterday, though, and decided to talk to reporters. it's always possible that could happen again this afternoon. all of this is playing out while president trump is on week one of what is essentially a two-week working vacation here in new jersey. also learning he is expected to jet back to washington, d.c. on monday for a brief period of time. unclear exactly what he'll head there for. meetings related to the situation in north korea and this ongoing national security threat or something else entirely, dana. >> sara murray, thank you so much. appreciate it. now take it around the table and steve, i want to start with you and talk just about the region and how they're reacting.
china. china's obviously a crucial, crucial player here. one that the administration was hoping that, like other administrations in the past, they could use to help put pressure on north korea. here's what they said through chinese state-run media this morning. china should make clear if north korea launches mim missiles tha threaten u.s. territories, china will stay neutral. >> china will stay neutral. hard to say exactly what that means for china precisely, but it's a reminder that for all of the different players in this conflict, as they say, all politics is local. apparently that includes all nuclear politics. it is presumed by north korean analysts north korea using such extreme rhetoric for its own domestic political purposes. we can guess that president trump is perhaps using that literate rhetoric for domestic political purposes. sound tough, strong. maybe go on to more, like power and prepared. gripped and ready.
many things can happen there. >> in the word business? >> there we go. but there's a domestic kpoecompt to sounding tough and find out through the associated press, there are quiet talks going on in the two countries and china will consider its own domestic interests and it has a very difficult game to play with very few options because north korea is right there. >> and, margaret, the president, sara talked about, has his u.n. ambassador up there today in new jersey. his secretary of state and so forth. steve mentioned china. seems like 100 years ago now, but it was just a few days ago overed weekend nikki haley was successful in bringing china onboard diplomatically with some tougher sanctions against north korea. so china is saying, stay neutral in a war but we're hopefully far from that. the question is, can they discuss ways to bring china into the fold diplomatically in the short term? >> sure. so locked and loaded, until
ripped and ready, the best, actually. locked and loaded is what everyone is talking about now. but the second half of the tweet is important from a policy persecutive. saying, the president's saying, if the north korean regime acts first. not the u.s. is thinking about acting first. >> that's key. not pre-emptive. >> that the optics of having not just nikki haley, we knew from the public schedule would be there, but the addition of tillerson and h.r. mcmaster, up there earlier this week. it certainly signals both to north korea but also to china, to japan, to south korea, to russia, to allies, that this is a meeting to discuss diplomatic pressure. that could mean positive diplomatic pressure, could mean the threat of more sanctions, banking sanctions, unilateral sanctions, secondary sanctions, more u.n. sanctions all options on the table. >> and made it clear, they wants talks. they do want to talk with north korea. although it's not clear they can agree on the basis for this. >> which happen happened in a
couple of administrations. in a big way. and you mentioned diplomatic solution in that that is the only solution right now. i want to read what jeffrey lewis wrote in "foreign policy" magazine. on good day, maybe we get most of the missiles. we save most of the cities, like seoul and new york, but lose a few like tokyo. two out of three ain't bad. right? i kid, but not really. welcome to our new world. i mean that is the reality, when talking about the sabre rattling. right? >> dangerous and debonair military backing up our dramatic diplomacy. the point of the rhetoric with the exception of the president's first remarks, back to that in a second, has been we are looking for a diplomatically led solution, secretary of defense mattis is saying. possibilities. first thing the president made, on the eve of the anniversary of
the nagasaki atom bomb drop. fire and fury the world has never seen before in response to threats. not in response to actions. you've seen since then in every statement from secretary of state tillerson or jim mattis, put out a statement that sounded harsh, every clause had that condition if they start something. we'll all relearn the language of the pre-iraq war. preemptive strike, maybe? on the launch pad. will point the out, not a case. preventive. military action trying to knock out the program. absent an imminent threat. i don't see them doing that. >> what's striking to me is that this really should and has opened up a debate on just what the powers of the president are in this situation. that he can order this and his military advisers either have to follow through, follow his commands, or resign. and it is -- the single greatest
power a president has, i would argue. and you know, i think in will be a debate as to whether there should be perhaps controls on this. and the statements the president's making with all of this illiterative threats and then all of his advisers having sort of the -- the good cop/bad cop routine, i think people would feel a lot more comfortable if they thought this was strategic rather than the president is just doing his thing and they're trying to make up for it. it doesn't feel strategic to me at all. >> the president was asked about what people have seen as mixed messages when he spoke to reporters. listen to how he responded to that. >> there are no mixed messages. there are no mixed messages. i heard -- to be honest, general mattis may have taken it a step beyond what i said. there are no mixed messages, and rex was just -- you know, stating the view -- look, here's the view. i said it yesterday. i don't have to say it again.
and i'll tell you this. it may be tougher than i said it, not less. it may very well be tougher than i said. >> conservative rich lowry wrote, when theory, trump and tillerson are deliberately playing dill roafs but a good cop/bod cop and then the keystone cop, to your point, jackie. some unpredictability at the top can be welcome so long as calculated unpredictable not random popping off catches the president's own foreign policy team offgourd. >> >>. >> in reality, dialled it back. said if north korea doesn't fire first everything will be okay. are they playing different roles deliberately? hard to say from the outside. but secretary of state tillerson has spoken differently for months at a time. he's spoken about direct talks with north korea. he wants a condition for those talks that the north koreans are nowhere near being interested in.
elimination of their nuclear program but attempting a diplomatic role and collaborating we know with mattis and others on the cabinet on that. >> can i say at the risk of conflating a subject with the subject you want to get to later -- i find it astounding we're talking about for days about being on the precipice of nuclear war at a time when the president has a two-front war going on. inexplicable. why at a time like this on such a serious subject at hand would you be fighting with the leader of your republican party in congress? i mean, at a time -- you would think he would do everything possible to have unity in the country, in his party let alone the country. it's just astounding. >> that these two things are happening. >> it really is. i guess as he would argue, he can walk and chew gum at the same time. not sure that that walk and that flavor of gum are the right to pick. stand by, everybody. up next, why in the world would president trump say, thank you,
when you have moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, the unpredictability of a flare may weigh on your mind. thinking about what to avoid, where to go, and how to work around your uc. that's how i thought it had to be. but then i talked to my doctor about humira, and learned humira can help get and keep uc under control... when certain medications haven't worked well enough.
humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. raise your expectations and ask your gastroenterologist if humira may be right for you. with humira, control is possible.
north korea isn't the only foreign power on president trump's mind. on thursday he gave a stunning response to vladimir putin's decision to expel hundreds of u.s. diplomats from russia. >> i want to thank him, because we're trying to cut down on payroll, and as far as i'm concerned i'm very thankful that he let go of a large number of people, because now we have a smaller payroll. there's no real reason for them to go back. so i greatly efficient the fa lt they've saved the u.s. a lot of money. >> those at home keeping what is now a very long lichte of thist we don't expect to hear from a president, add that one. the first time we actually heard from him. first time he weighed in on russia's decision to kick 775
u.s. diplomats and american staff our russia. now, putin's move was meant as a retaliation last month after the president reluctantly signed a sanctions bill against russia. olivier -- >> hmm. well, he was sarcastically dismissing this entirely and dismissing putin. >> right. >> those diplomats don't actually leave the payroll. a foreign service officer, you come back to washington and are still on the payroll, unless the president was firing them, which would add a layer of bizarre to this exchange. dismiss it, playing it down. a horrible reaction at the state department, peoples, just jaws dropped everywhere all over our foggy bottom. people feeling he can't say a bad word about putin and can't say a good word about the state department and they are very upset. >> the people that serve in places like moscow are harassed on a routine basis. a story not long ago about a fella over there and their young
son. there was, something came through the window and right by the bed of the 6-year-old son, and it's, things like that and on the street, and it's just something you live with, and to just be so dismissive of people that serve this country. >> come home and find furniture moved in their houses. a steady pressure from -- >> by the way, one could argue, if there's any country the u.s. has diplomatic relations where the u.s. wants to keep all of these personnel there, it would be russia. >> yeah. >> can i mention. olivia is right. clearly an attempt to dismiss the sanctions. almost the thing you would say in a real estate association that's gone bad. i really don't care. fine, thank you. bring it on. bring some more. but there's a damage you describe, and a way that it could be sad, others said the same thing that might have been as effective. point out factually correctly a lot of the people dismissed are actually russian nationals working for the united states. so it's russians who are going to lose their jobs, if anyone lose as job, and a lot of the
things they were doing involved russians applying for thousands and thousands of visas to visits united states and presumably that work will be curtailed. there are ways the president of the united states could have said putin is only hurting himself. that's not the way he phrased it. >> talk about a related topic. what the president said when asked about paul manafort, having a morning raid end of last month by the fbi. listen to how he responded. >> i thought it was a very, v y very -- strong signal or whatever. i know mr. manafort -- haven't spoke ton him a long time but i know him. he was with the campaign as you know for a very relatively short period of time but i've always known him to be a good man. i thought it was a very, you know -- they do that very seldom. so i was surprised to see it.
>> i will let you unpack that, margaret, since you cover the white house on a daily base. a very strong signal. strong signal of what? >> i'm going to say a different strategic kind of impulse driving that response than driving the response to the putin and diplomacy expulsion question, but they both shared the same threat. which is that the president is sick of talking about russia. is sick of having all of this hung around his neck. and at the same time is understanding increasingly that this is real and not going away. we've seen him retreat a little on mueller in terms of position. >> yes, did that yesterday. >> this is not -- forget about it. that's not happening. and look, two people to keep your eye on. michael flynn, the other paul manafort, people of interest where it appears that bop mueller's team is looking, and it's definitely in president trump's interesting to be signaling to both of them, i'm not throwing you under the bus,
and i think you're good people and i'm going to tell everybody that i think you're good people. >> i got your back. please have mine. >> he didn't say that, but -- >> i'm trying to analyze you analyzing him. very meta. what do you think? >> i'm surprised that the president or also today the president's lawyer, one of the president's lawyers, would speak up on this subject at all. the president of the united states, whoever he is, would have a grave need, a constitutional need to be above all of this, and if other people have to fall or be prosecuted, whatever happens, he needs to be beyond that in his own self-interests, in his party's self-interest. possibly the country's self-interest. remarkable he would involve himself here. >> not following the president's playbook of just, don't say anything. >> should have been settled. a while ago? >> it sailed -- i don't think ever in the harbor, anyway. before we go to break, politicians, they say the darndest things.
we have a flashback this friday turning back the clock to another president talking about a geopolitical foe on this day in history august 11, 1984, president ronald reagan caught on tape joking about bombing russia. >> my fellow americans i'm pleased to tell you today that i've signed legislation that would outlaw russia forever. we begin bombing in five minutes. >> that happened during a sound check while president reagan was preparing for his weekly radio address. the audio leaked and let's just say not everybody found it funny. especially during a campaign year for president reagan, obviously recovered from that gaffe and went on to win election by a landslide. we'll be right back. navy. i do outrank my husband, not just being in the military, but at home. she thinks she's the boss. she only had me by one grade. we bought our first home together in 2010. his family had used another insurance product but i was like well i've had usaa for a while, why don't we call and check the rates?
or a little internet machine? [ phone ringing ] hi mom. it makes you wonder... shouldn't we get our phones and internet from the same company? that's why xfinity mobile comes with your internet. you get up to 5 lines of talk and text at no extra cost. [ laughing ] so all you pay for is data. see how much you can save. choose by the gig or unlimited. call or go to xfinitymobile.com introducing xfinity mobile. a new kind of network designed to save you money.
president trump is not letting up on publicly berating senate majority leader mitch mcconnell telling his fellow frob "get back to work on health care." here's the president going off on mcconnell at yesterday's press conference. >> i'm very disappointed in mitch, but if he gets these bills passed i'll be very happy with him and be the first to admit it, but honestly, repeal and replace of obamacare should have taken place. and it should have been on my desk virtually the first week i was there or the first day i was there. i've been hearing about it for seven years. >> the president was asked if he thought mcconnell should step aside as senate leader. here's what he said. >> if he doesn't get repeal and replace done, and if he doesn't get taxes done, meaning cuts and reform, and if he doesn't get a very easy one to get done,
infrastructure, if he doesn't get them done, then can you ask me that question. >> and just in case that wasn't clear enough, the president retweeted something earlier today. a fox & friends report that says, trump fires n s warning s at mitch mcconnell on whether he should step down. we've seen fights between congress and the executive branch in our time. anything like this? >> never, anything even close to this. it's just extraordinary. you know, every time there's something like this that happens in the trump administration i look for a way to be devil's advocate or find out what is the, what possible explanation could there be for this? and i cannot find one. i mean, mitch mcconnell is someone who even through the campaign, through even the "access hollywood" video release did not publicly criticize donald trump. even when paul ryan would feel compelled to come forward and say something.
mitch mcconnell was silent. donald trump is not repaying mitch mcconnell in kind. and in truth, mitch mcconnell has shown an ability to get much more done in congress than paul ryan has ever shown. donald trump needs mitch mcconnell. the good thing for donald trump is that mitch mcconnell has an interest in accomplishing things. i don't see him trying to hurt trump's agenda in any way because they have a mutual interest in getting something done. >> absolutely. >> but mitch mcconnell will find ways. >> right. look, this health care failure, it was a failure, is the exception. a glaring exception, but it was. >> mcconnell has colleagues coming to his defense. leadership, john cornyn tweeted something in support. also people who are not as kind of onboard, rah, rah leadership. jeff flake, republican senator from arizona, senate majority leader does a tough job well, has my support. dean heller, one of the most
vulnerable republicans. i look forward to senate majority leader's leadership as we reduce american taxes. >> and a giant war chest a giant one, can use to help embattled republicans. of course, coming out. a dynamic from the trump white house over the last weeks and months. increasingly saying, the republicans, "they" need to do. laugh at fact he went from senator mcconnell to mitch mcconnell to just mitchs with week in tweets, but it's been a long process. keeps saying, "they" need to step up, do their job. my colleague suggests maybe we'll seeing solid evidence we have the first independent president we've had in a really long time. >> that's -- that's interesting. and yet he's got the republican base. >> he does. >> by his side, and cheering him on. laura ingram, a well known conservative radio host and then some, hey, kentucky, time to tell senate majority leader
mcconnell to stop rolling over for the dems. advance the trump agenda or step aside. conservatives are already, sort of have historically been itching at the leader. primarily because they itch at all leadership that's kind of what the base has been doing over the past around a decade or so. >> interesting to see whether democrats come to mitch mcconnell's defense. right? >> like they defended jeff session for like a minute. >> exactly. you see a couple interesting things. one is, the idea of president trump raising the specter tax reform now may not pass and he needs someone to blame and it's going to be mitch mcconnell. if some tax thing doesn't pass before the end of the year, a lot of people inside the republican party think it's a real problem for them. in the midterms and potentially after repercussions that would affect them. >> and then you have -- go ahead, steve. >> i was going to say.
the president in all fairness raises a couple of legitimate questions. although i'm not sure that he would like the factual answers. why is it that republicans have spent months and months on health care when it's clear they do not agree after all of these years on what they actually want to do? why is it that the president is continuing to push them to spend more time on health care when it's clear they don't agree on what to do? why is it that congress has not moved to what the president said was a relatively easy one, infrastructure when in could have been a very bipartisan way for the president to begin an otherwise divisive administration? i'm not sure the white house would be found entirely innocent in answers to those questions. >> very true. yet you have the political reality that everybody knows about. next year is an election year for congress, who -- in which they rely on the base to be excited, and the president is basically effectively depressing the base with his attacks on congress. the "wall street journal" editorial page this morning, a
place to look for the more i guess establishment conservative way of thought these days, here's what they said. he -- talking about the president -- still needs a gop majority to pass his agenda as much as republicans need him to sign it. they need each other in particular this autumn to raise the debt ceiling, press deregulation and pass a budget and tax reform. failure on that agenda after the health care fiasco opens the door to a democratic house meaning nonstop anti-trump investigations and perhaps impeachment. the best defense against mutual assured political destruction is legislative success in the fall. a point you were making. >> exactly. this is, before we even talk about the things the president's talking about, like tax reform and infrastructure, finishing health care. they need to get through the fall. they have not passed any of the appropriation bills, the fiscal year begins october 1st and raise the debt ceiling or default on our obligations. these are must-pass. if congress does nothing else,
congress and the president do nothing else and have to do this. if they don't it is going to be the utter ultimate proof of the failure to govern. >> and quickly. i have to get a break in. the idea if you push too hard it can, could em bodden tbolden th democrats. and potentially numbers to take over the house. that what means when democrats have control of a house for a president potentially in trouble. saw it with bill clinton. >> tell me where we've seen that argument work thus nar 2017? a version of the argument in the health care fight. didn't pay off. very skeptical if that's, especially coming from the "wall street journal" page. >> skeptic the democrats can take over the house? >> no. a risk you don't achieve x, y, z. particularly i don't think a ton of the trump base is reading the "wall street journal" for starter. haven't seen it work yet and the calendar's an important point. all kinds of pressure on this president. ways that you are confining this
president. calendar's a big one. >> and next 17 days hanging out at a golf resort sounds relaxing, but so far no all fun answer games for the president. we have some proof, ahead. duncan just protected his family with a $500,000 life insurance policy. how much do you think it cost him? $100 a month? $75? $50? actually, duncan got his $500,000 for under $28 a month.
less than $1 a day! his secret? selectquote. in just minutes a selectquote agent will comparison shop nearly a dozen highly rated life insurance companies, and give you a choice of your five best rates. duncan's wife cassie got a $750,000 policy for under $21 per month. give your family the security it needs, at a price you can afford. since 1985, selectquote has saved over a million families millions of dollars on life insurance. chances are, the last time yoyou got robbed.an, i know-- i got a loan 20 years ago, and i got robbed. that's why i started lendingtree-- the only place you can compare up to 5 real offers side by side, for free. it's like shopping for hotels online,
it's the vacation that president trump insistence is not a vacation, and to prove it, he took 31 questions from reporters at his new jersey golf club trying to clean up some lingering issues that have been nagging his administration for weeks. >> how did you categorize your relationship current withly jeff sessions? have you spoken about your differences in the past? >> it's fine. it is what it is. it's fine. he's working hard. general mcmaster, he's my friend and i like him, a very talented man and i respect him. >> the opioid crisis is an
emergency and officially right now it is an emergency. >> 17 years, our longest wars. it's going to be a decision that's going to be made very soon. >> and we learned that president trump will now return to washington on monday for a quick trip before heading to manhattan. listen, all of us particularly you cover the white house every day. a big job with the white house press corps. i think you already do. >> two of us -- >> wow. perfect. so we can have you guys both leading the washington press corps. look at this. okay. by the numbers. the number of questions, as i said before, that the president took yesterday, 31. the last time the president took that many questions, february 16th, which is about six months ago. and he took more questions yesterday than he has in the last few months combined. i think this is a part where we say, awesome! thank you. keep it coming. right? >> i think it's safe to say that this is, i think, working vacation was actually the perfect way to describe what he's doing and more working than
vacation lately. but, look, there haven't, you said, been a unilateral non-leader full news conference in months. pushing for once. good for the president as well as press corp. people have a lot of questions. his chance to address all of these. the last couple of days have been pretty close to that. it's been an ability for reporters covering the white house day in, day out, at least those up there in the pool, to try to address some of these questions for the president to answer them. >> back to that february 16th press conference he had in the white house, because some of the topics may sound familiar. >> i inherited a mess. it's a mess. at home, and abroad. i see stories of chaos. chaos. yet it is the exact opposite. this administration is running like a fine tuned machine. nuclear holocaust would be like
no other. how many times do i have to answer this question? russia is a ruse. just telling you. i'm not ranting and raving. i'm having a good time. i love this. >> facing the most serious confrontation of nor 200 three or four day presidency, has a way of focusing yon your attention. that press conference was a mess. every topic covered. all kinds of questions. excuse me. yesterday, last couple of days, great. allowed reporters to ask the president about north korea. a major story. about the war in afghanistan. major story. latest developments in the mueller probe. great. good to have that kind of clears house. working vacation, you can't help but laugh a little. you covered them in crawford, texas. as did i. they are working vacations. it's the other team's guy, he's a slacker, always golfing. your guy, getting much-needed r
& r. they're never all the clock, guys. >> i know. they aren't. to be fair, nobody is. you mentioned during the break september will be an interesting time. let's look at some of the things that the trump -- >> and going into -- >> again, we ar family show. the president promised decisions and actions. troop levels in afghanistan. press conference on isis. to figure what he's going to do on obama the daca program. response to china's trade practices. plans for tax reform and infrastructure. oh, yeah map to nominate a homeland security secretary. >> and a lot of other -- like we see seoul, south korea doesn't have an ambassador at this time of a nuclear crisis. there is the -- you can't underestimate how far behind they are on the fiscal duties they have to do in september, and it is just going to be, and to go into it with the hard feelings left from the senate's failure to pass a health care
bill, and the subsequent stoking of that in president trump's attacks on mitch mcconnell, it's not setting them up for a very productive september. >> steve, quick, quick button a. reminder they're not going to go back to health care in september, as the president demanded. too much else to do. >> good point. up next, we spotlight one bad-ass woman in washington whose long memory helped her and her husband make it to the halls of power. you do all this research
on a perfect car, then smash it into a tree. your insurance company raises your rates. maybe you should've done more research on them. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. switch and you could save $782 on home and auto insurance. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
his name is in the headlines this week. even more than usual, but not in a good way. like, the "new york times." deepening rift. trump won't say if mitch mcconnell should step down. as the senate majority leader contends with the gop base boiling mad over the senate failing to keep its promise to repeal obamacare and a gop president stirring the pot, mcconnell is luck toy have one
bad-ass woman by his side, though now in the unenviable position being caught between her husband and her boss. elaine chow is president trump's cabinet. i had a chance to talk with her well before the president started attacking her husband. >> you are one-half of the ultimate power couple in washington. >> there are so many powers couple nowadays. >> there are. >> i have to sas this party, really important. leave this in. i call him my low-maintenance husband. he does his own laundry and he cooks. >> really does his own laundry. >> mine, too, sometimes. he's really good. life with him is very easy that way and very encourage. >> is he a good cook? >> he's actually a very good cook. >> you could use one of how bad-ass characteristics, incredible memory she's used over the years to help her
husband's political yeah. keep track of his donors and supporters. >> there was an article that said i took notes on people. i didn't take notes. it was all up here. [ laughter ] i have an incredible memory. it's just one of, you know, life's blessings. if i met you 24 years ago i can remember the place, the time, the circumstances. >> that's a great asset in politics. >> well, it's proven to be pretty helpful. >> when you have a long memory, and your husband is a senate majority leader and your boss is the president who is attacking your husband, how do you use that long memory? >> my guess is, you do nothing. tleec at least for now. never asked mitch mcconnell this specific question, but having watched him i sense he's of the school that politics is never personal. you let that all go away and focus on what it is you want to do. i presume his approach and his spouse's approach. both have a long memory.
who know what's you do with that several years from now. >> and look, she's somebody 450 has helped her husband along the way. when in trouble, last re-election campaign, she went down to kentucky. she was out there for him. helping with women. running against a female candidate. >> yeah. i think she's you know -- i hate to say it this way, but sort of softens his image when they're together. i agree with steve. that she's -- just been someone -- i mean, they're a couple when they go -- she's having an awkward, very awkward time with her boss the president right now, but yet they've been going to washington social functions for a long time, in which they run into people that mitch mcconnell has made an enemy of in one way or another, and so i think they're probably pretty used to awkwardness. >> right after the election when donald trump met with congressional leaders laid out things he wanted to do, including infrastructure. the people who said no on infrastructure, mitch mcconnell.
if donald trump -- >> and as transportation secretary, she's in charge. >> right. if donald trump were to lay out a conventional infrastructure plan she would have to play a big role. testify, defend it, argue for it. and her husband is the one who said, it's not a priority right after the election. >> right. >> these are two people who play the long game, and i think in an era of twitter and era of a very tactical president, we are all thinking in terms of the short game. every day. 100 times every day. but there are some major players in d.c. who still play the long game. that's the two of them. >> a great point. and two people very, very savvy. very savvy. you can learn more about secretary of state chow and other bad-ass women in washington i had the pleasure talking with'sour special airs tomorrow at 2:30 eastern 11:30 p.m. on "inside politics." thanks for joining us. john king is back at 8:00 a.m. eastern and wolf blitzer is up right after a break.
♪ there's nothing more important than your health. so if you're on medicare or will be soon, you may want more than parts a and b here's why. medicare only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. you might want to consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like any medicare supplement insurance plan, these help pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay.
and, these plans let you choose any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients. you could stay with the doctor or specialist you trust... or go with someone new. you're not stuck in a network... because there aren't any. so don't wait. call now to request your free decision guide and find the aarp medicare supplement plan that works for you. there's a range to choose from, depending on your needs and your budget. rates are competitive. and they're the only plans of their kind endorsed by aarp. like any of these types of plans, they let you apply whenever you want. there's no enrollment window... no waiting to apply. so call now. remember, medicare supplement plans
help cover some of what medicare doesn't pay. you'll be able to choose any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients. whether you're on medicare now or turning 65 soon, it's a good time to get your ducks in a row. duck: quack! call to request your free decision guide now. because the time to think about tomorrow is today.
hello i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. in washington, 8:00 p.m. in moscow. 1:30 a.m. saturday in pyongyang, north korea. wherever you're watching from around the world thanks very much for joining us. first it was fire and fury. now it's lock and loaded. those are the latest towards from president trump in the verbal confrontation with north korea. earlier today president trump tweeted this -- "military solutions are now fully in place. locked and loaded should north korea act unwisely. hopefully king jong-un will find another path." on the front page of the "pacific daily news" in guam, ominous headline, 14 minutes. how long officials say it would take for missiles from north korea to reach that island of guam. first i want to get to all of that, but there are new