tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN September 4, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
them. the boys will turn two this saturday and we're told they will be just fine. jayden is is the more significant dominant twin. apparently his development is right on track. anias, who struggled a little more, is apparently taking long strides. they are both heading into their lives separated but together. we wish them all the best. "the lead" starts now. thanks, brooke. the trump administration says kim jongi in-un is begging for . "the lead" starts now. north korea possibly getting ready to launch another missile after daring the trump administration with a new thermonuclear test. what is president trump's next move. now expecting to wipe out protections president obama had put into place for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the u.s. as children.
what could it mean for kids who call america home? where will irma strike on the east coast? people watching and cringing as another monster storm zeros in on the u.s. welcome to "the lead" on this labor day. i'm pamela brown in for jake tapper. north korea rattling the world once again with one of its most alarming provocations in recent years. over the weekend the kim jong-un regime conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date. now they may be getting ready for another intercontinental ballistic missile test and it is again threatening the u.s. territory of guam. today an emergency meeting of the security council, u.n. ambassador nikki haley, urged the world to act before it's too late. >> enough is enough. we've taken an incremental approach, and despite the best of intentions, it has not worked. >> and hours after president trump vented about south korea on twitter, he spoke to south
korean president moon this morning. we'll get to the white house in just a moment, but let's begin with cnn pentagon korncorrespon barbara starr. barbara, general mattis warned there could be a massive military response. what exact sdoes that mean? >> what general mattis is doing is warning kim jong-un that a massive military action would not be a pinprick. this life fire exercise by south korean forces a direct military response to the north's largest nuclear test. army and air forces simulating an attack on north korea's nuclear test site. even as north korean state media issued new threats to the u.s., including guam, one editorial saying, every time the u.s. goes crazy talking about sanctions and war, our will of vengeance
about become hundred and thousand times stronger. u.n. ambassador nikki haley very much in the hard line mode back at kim. >> his abusive use of missiles and nuclear threats show he is begging for war. war is never something the united states wants. we don't want it now. >> reporter: rising tensions pushing defense secretary james mattis to exactly where he never wants to be: center stage at the white house. >> any threat to the united states or its territories including guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming. >> reporter: but are there credible military options without thousands of casualties? >> what i think secretary mattis was doing was simply trying to convince the north that we have this option and they cannot be certain we would never use it under certain circumstances. >> reporter: it may be the most
critical decision ever for donald trump. >> how much of a price we are willing to pay, how much we are willing to bleed to accomplish our objectives. this is a decision not for military members, this is a decision for elected political leaders to make. and they always have to weigh the cost versus the benefit. >> reporter: short of u.s. attack, the pentagon could send an aircraft carrier offshore. the ronald reagan is nearby. more bombers could be sent. south korea and japan both upping their missile defenses in cooperation with the u.s. but there is no indication kim jong-un is listening. >> translator: we predict that north korea could fire an intercontinental ballistic missile to show they have obtained the means of delivering a nuclear bomb to the united states. >> reporter: so if you do send in more u.s. ships, missiles, aircraft, would any of this
change kim jong-un's mind about proceeding with his weapons program? the betting money is it would not. pamela? >> barbara starr, thank you so much for the latest there. meantime, president trump spoke with south korea's president today after tweeting an "i told you so" of sorts after sunday's nuclear test. cnn white house correspondent athina jones joins me now. athina, the president appears to be ramping up pressure on u.s. allies to step in here. >> reporter: that's right, pamela. the president's aides say they've grown tired of what they see as china's soft stance on north korea. the two leaders agreed to maximize pressure on north korea using all means at their disposal and to strengthen joint military capabilities. the president also approved the purchase by south korea of, quote, many billions of dollars worth of military weapons and equipment from the u.s., and he approved the country's proposal to lift restrictions on the
payload weight of their ballistic missiles, increasing their potential power, all of this coming, of course frks , a north's latest tests are ramping up tensions across the region. president trump refusing to rule out taking military action against north korea. but the fact remains that there are no easy answers for how to rein in the rogue regime's nuclear ambitions. this weekend's tests are just the latest demonstration that years of diplomacy and sanctions have failed to halt the country's progress. trump's own rhetoric on the issue has veered wildly, even in the past few weeks. he leveled this threat last month at his bedminster golf club. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never
seen. >> reporter: only to express optimism about the prospects for dealing with the country two weeks later. >> kim jong-un, i respect the fact that i believe he is starting to respect us. i respect that fact very much. and maybe -- probably not, but maybe something positive can come about. >> reporter: it's just the latest example of trump's shifting strategies when it comes to confronting the dilemma posed by north korea. from optimistic talk on the campaign trail. >> i'll speak to anybody. there is a 10% or a 20% chance that i can talk him out of those damn nukes, because who the hell wants him to have nukes. and there's a chance. i'm only going to make a good deal for us. >> reporter: and as recently as may of the potential benefits of opening up a dialogue with the north's unpredictable leader kim
jong-un. >> if it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, i would be honored to do it. >> reporter: to tough talk like in early january when he tweeted, north korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the u.s. it won't happen. democratic critics say the president's approach has so far failed to deliver. >> one thing is clear, the president's tough talk has not appeared to change the calculation of north korea. >> reporter: and after repeatedly pressing china, the north's main ally and trading partner, to do more to rein in the country, a frustrated president lashed out at south korea, a key u.s. ally in the region. tweeting sunday, south korea is finding, as i have told them, that their talk of appeasement with north korea will not work. they only understand one thing. now, the president is also considering cutting off all trade with countries doing business with north korea to try to put more pressure on that
regime, but that would mean cutting off trade with china, one of the u.s.'s biggest trading partners. it would have huge political and financial implications and critics are calling it a threat. >> athina jones, thank you very much. i also want to bring in senior correspondent will ripley. he recently returned from his 14th trip to north korea. will, help us understand why the regime would prepare another icbm test just hours after its biggest nuclear test? >> reporter: this is all about messaging for the north koreans, pamela. remember, they launched that intercontinental ballistic missile over japan last week. and then they said we need to recognize north korea as a nuclear power. then they showed kim jong-un launching a hydrogen bomb, their biggest test ever, and now the potential is launching a bomb over the atlantic ocean,
potentially near guam. they want to show that they have the missile, and they're willing to launch it, trying to get the united states to change its strategic position. but clearly the rhetoric from the u.n. ambassador, that's not happening any time soon. >> strong words from nikki haley. ripley, thank you very much for that. i do appreciate it. the trump administration says enough with the talk on north korea. but really, that's all we've heard. does the regime's claim of an h-bomb test force the u.s. to act? that is the question, and one man who has weighed these types of decisions inside the white house will join me next. day 13. if only this were as easy as saving $600 when you switch to progressive. winds stirring. too treacherous for a selfie. [ camera shutter clicks ] sure, i've taken discounts to new heights with safe driver and paperless billing. but the prize at the top is worth every last breath. here we go. [ grunts ]
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the most common side effect is bone and muscle ache. so why go back there? if you'd rather be home, ask your doctor about neulasta onpro. - i love you. - love you too, dad. ♪ i will love you ♪ in the morning ♪ when the dew is ♪ on the ground ♪ will love you... man: hey, good luck! dad, dad, your tie! ♪ when the sun is ♪ rising welcome back to "the lead." sticking with our top story in the world lead, the crisis with north korea reaching a critical stage. joining me now is former adviser to president obama and arms control and weapons of mass
destruction. mr. seymour, thank you for coming on. >> my pleasure, pam. thank you. >> so north korea is claiming this was a hydrogen bomb test that could be mounted on an icbm. how does this raise the stakes, in your view? >> well, most importantly, a hydrogen bomb is much more powerful than anatomic bomb a td can cause much more damage to lives and property if it hits a city. >> it was one month ago, i'm sure you'll recall, the president threatened fire and fury after they launched a test and threatened guam. this is not forcing kim jong-un to back down. do you think it's only making matters worse? >> i doubt it's making matters worse. i think the trump administration is trying a number of ways to dissuade kim jong-un from continuing testing. they've offered diplomacy, they're threatening greater sanctions, they're threatening military force. none of that is working.
which is not much of a surprise. the u.s. has very limited means to stop north korea from its testing program. the best we can do is capitalize on these actions by increasing the price to kim jong-un. i think this latest nuclear test, and if there is another icbm test, gives us a good opportunity to work with china to strengthen economic sanctions at the u.n., and i expect we'll see another u.n. resolution with stronger sanctions in the near future. >> you and ambassador nikki haley said the strongest sanctions possible would be really the only thing that could stop north korea. what might that look like, the strongest sanctions? >> well, there are a range of sanctions that haven't been imposed yet. obviously the most potent would be a complete embargo on trade and investment in north korea. that's unlikely, i think, but one could still sanction certain sectors such as oil imports from north korea, textile exports. there are still limits on
foreign worker that could be imposed. i don't know which of those. the chinese will, of course, resist the maximum pressure because of their fear about stability and conflict in the peninsula. but i think in the end the chinese will go along with further economic sanctions. >> speaking of the chinese, the president tweeted -- here's what he said. the united states is considering additional other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with north korea. so what do you think? is it realistic to lean on china to stop all trade with north korea? >> well, that's not a very credible threat, that we would stop all trade with china. but i do think the chinese are responsive to u.s. pressure and anger, both threats of going to war but also threats of economic sanctions against chinese companies. so the trump administration has been successful in getting a stronger u.n. security council
resolution last month, largely in response to kim jong-un's refusal to stop testing, and i think again kim jong-un is giving us an opportunity to work with china for stronger economic sanctions. whether that works at the end in terms of giving us bargaining leverage, i think, is very unclear, so in the meantime it's important that we continue to strengthen our defenses in the region. i noticed both south korea and japan are talking about strengthening missile defenses and i think it's a very wise precaution because it's unlikely that diplomacy is going to solve this problem for us. >> what should the red line be for the use of military force? >> if we're attacked by north korea or if our allies are attacked, then obviously we would respond. but the option of the u.s. attacking first to destroy north korea's nuclear and missile capabilities is really not very practical. we don't have a good fix on where these facilities are all located, so it would be very
hard to destroy them. and, of course, the risk of north korea retaliating by attacking korea and japan is very high. so one of the big frustrations the u.s. has always faced when dealing with north korea is that our military options are quite limited or very unappealing because of the risk that north korea can retaliate against our allies. >> gary seymouseymour, thank yo your insight. 800,000 possible deportation for dreamers. is there any other possible solution? hurricane irma looking more than likely to hit the u.s. we're going to look closer at the track, straight ahead. [vo] quickbooks introduces jeanette
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welcome back to "the lead." turning now to politics. tomorrow the nominal announcement will come from the white house. president trump is expected to end daca. it's an obama-era program that protected immigrants who came here as kids. the future is currently unknown for the program. the president would reportedly delay ending daca for six months to give congress a chance to find a solution. i want to bring in sara murray now. what can we expect tomorrow from this announcement, sara? >> reporter: part of the reason the president has taken so long to deal with this is he was on every side as a candidate. he threatened to end it, and on the other hand he said he loved the dreamers, would protect the dreamers, but it is said he does want to end daca but he wants to do it with a six-month delay. he's hoping in that six months congress will come up with some kind of legislative fix.
there are mixed reactions to that, and part of what we're hearing from administration officials is, look, this is a president that often changes his mind. thfls t this was the plan as of yesterday, but there's not going to be an announcement until tomorrow and that gives a little bit of wiggle room. >> so what is the reaction, sara? >> republicans welcome this news. they like the idea of congress being able to take this up, even though congress has not come up with a fix to this at this point. but democrats are outraged about it. they see it as heartless that you would punish someone for a decision their parents made on their behalf. we even heard from the department of commerce chamber earlier someone on the diversity council who basically threatened to leave that council if the president goes through with this and said it would basically m n prove the president is a liar and that he didn't mean anything he said. now i want to bring in
aflcio president whose organization represents some 12.5 million workers on this labor day. thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. >> happy labor day, pam. >> one of the questions looming out there from this announcement by the president is how much will ending daca affect the work force, in your view? >> it will make the workplace less fair. it will make it more difficult to come together and raise wages for everybody. there are 8 million people making contributions every single day. taking away their rights, making them exposed to being fired at will is not only cruel, it's very, very wrong for the economy. it's the wrong thing to do. so i think we would probably respond in two ways. the first thing we'll do is work with those daca workers to make sure that their rights are protected, their job is protected. and then we'll fight to get legislation so that the contributions that they make are celebrated rather than
assaulted. >> toii want to play you some sd from secretary steve mnuchin, treasury secretary, of course. this is what he said about the impact on the economy and jobs. >> i'm less concerned about the economic impact. we'll make sure that we have plenty of workers in this economy. we want to put more people back to work. >> so is this not about protecting jobs for u.s. citizens? >> no, it isn't. it's really -- this is a political move, is what it is. it's the president trying to satisfy a promise that he made during the campaign. look, these people have been here. the daca workers have been here since birth. they've been contributing to this economy. they pay taxes at twice the rate of the rich around the country. twice the rate. not just once but twice the rate. so taking them out of the work force, taking their rights away will leave every workplace out there less safe and less fair. it will hurt us in our efforts
to try to raise wages for every worker out there. >> why couldn't it also be a case where you're giving more jobs to u.s. citizens? why do you say that's not what this is about? >> it isn't. i mean, we're creating jobs each month. not as many as we would like to create. the unemployment rate is at 4.4%, which in many instances, that used to be defined as full employment. now, there are some areas of the country where the unemployment rate is a little higher, but that's not where the daca workers are. the daca workers are where the employment rate is really low. people who want work can find work. this isn't about that. if you want to raise wages, you have to fix the immigration problem if you want to raise wages for every worker out there. >> there is a six-month delay in ending this program, according to what we've learned from administration officials. what would you like to see congress do in this time? >> i'd like to see them come up
with legislation that will give these workers a pathway to citizenship. that will have their rights protected in the meantime so they can continue to figure out safe conditions, so they can continue to work together with their fellow worker to increase wages for every worker out there. their contributions have been significant to this economy. ripping that out of the economy would severely hurt not only the daca workers but every worker out there. >> as we wrap up, i want to ask you about president trump. he has been out there saying he is a dhachampion of the working class. how do you think he's done? >> he had a good rap and a lot of workers bought onto that rap. but he really hasn't done a good job after he got in as president. he's assaulted just about every health and safety regulation that's out there, whether it was protecting us from borillium or
silica. he hasn't really done a lot for workers -- >> but he would push back and say, look at the unemployment rate. it's gone down with me as president. look at the stock market. >> it hasn't really gone down. the first six months in office he produced less jobs than obama did in the last six months he was in office. so he can't claim credit that he took the unemployment rate down. the creation rates this month was 156,000. that's below what's necessary for population growth. so while we inherited a pretty good economy that was on the mend, wages are still flat, wages still need to be adjusted because workers have gotten behind in this recovery, and the stock market going through the roof doesn't mean anything to a worker whose paycheck is flat and has been flat for the last 10 years. >> you left the manufacturing council along with other leaders in the wake of the president's handling in charlottesville. what would it take to get you
back to the table with the white house? >> we talk to the white house regularly. we talk to them every day. we talk to members of his cabinet every day. it's not about a matter of talking, it was the symbolism of being on the council after he had that spirited defense of neo-fascist and white supremacist. that was above and beyond. that was just a point that really went to divide the country. and no president since woodrow wilson, i don't think, has divided the country. what we want to do is make a statement that we want a president that will bring us together. we hope that he becomes that president, that he unites the country rather than polarizes the country, because that would be good for america. >> richard trumka, thank you very much. >> happy labor day. >> yes, happy labor day. the president will be back tomorrow on an ambitious agenda. what can it mean for harvey
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we're back with our politics lead. congress is coming back from recess and my panel is here to discuss the week ahead. i have a feeling it's going to be a very busy week and lots to accomplish here. we have a big announcement, kaitlyn, coming from the white house tomorrow when it comes to daca. the president has changed his thinking on daca several times. how much did the states' lawsuits against daca play in this decision, do you think? >> i think they had a lot to do with it. i think they forced his hand of setting a deadline of september 5. we saw the president had kind of backed off his campaign promise saying he would immediately terminate the program when he got into office, and he didn't do that. then we saw him back out as soon as he won the presidency. in december he said we'll work something out for the dreamers. then he said dreamers can rest easy, and just last week he said he loved the dreamers. they're really forcing his hand
because this is not something the white house wants to deal with as they're dealing with the aftermath of hurricane harvey as well. but the president is kind of backed into a corner with this deadline. >> it does make you wonder about the timing with everything on the table. emily, the white house is essentially leaving it up to congress for the next six months. congress has been dealing with, struggling with this issue for more than a decade. what are the chances this divided congress will be able to pass legislation replacing daca? >> it's not like this congress is racking up so many wins. it's not like they've produced so much out of this congress at all. however, i am a little optimistic that this is something that can pass. we spent a couple weeks this last summer having the republican party distance themselves from the white house base that the president is playing into. i do think this is an opportunity for many republicans in congress, even paul ryan's comments last week, to say, look, it's the process we oppose, not the content. this is incredibly unfair. we told these people we would
take care of them. now it is time to step up. i think we're seeing a lot of encouraging steps from republican leaders to take responsibility. >> congressman, do you agree? >> i certainly don't agree that president trump's base is white nationalist. just because you disagree with the philosophy doesn't make everybody a nationalist or a racist. most people are discussing that don't even know, but you had to be here before june 15, 2007. as an example, what about june 16? what about july? why then? this is a narrow bracket of people. >> 800,000. around 800,000. >> it's still a narrow bracket and it did not cause any problems. case in point, 2012, there were about 15 what's called an unoccupied alien children, 15,000. about two years later that number went to 60,000. none of those were covered by daca so the idea of doing this executive order and not looking at the whole comprehensive
picture, i think, is ridiculous. i believe it is unconstitutional. that's why nine attorneys generals are filing this lawsuit. and i think that it is better left up to congress who can consider these things and have hearings and so forth. by the way, president obama also said it was unconstitutional at one point, yet he went ahead and did it. >> so you're saying leave it up to congress. congress has a lot of other items on its plate. of course, as we mentioned, it is going back tomorrow. it has tax reform to deal with, harvey funding, the debt ceiling, preventing a government shutdown. what do you think, congressman? does the white house need to do more in dealing with congress to get things done? >> no. congress has its own self to blame. i was in congress for 22 years. when you are in the majority, you need to work five days a week. you need to work late into the night. you can't do a three-day-a-week schedule and sit on things. for example, there are 12 different appropriation bills. they're going to pass eight this
week. it should have been done in july. but at least the house is going to act on it. the senate hasn't passed any of them. >> what do you think, emily? should the white house carry more of the onus? >> i certainly agree congress should be working more. what we're seeing out of this administration is a totally different thing from every spokesperson. we're seeing just out of last week that the white house office was leaking different things to policy in congress that the president was then saying publicly. communication is a huge problem on every front in this administration. you don't know the final word until it comes out of the president's mouth. i think it makes it incredibly difficult for him to be working with congress when they have no idea what he's going to veto. >> tomorrow is also a big day for the president because he's going to be meeting with the big six, a team of allies in the cabinet as well as congress. they're going to be discussing tax reform. how likely is it, kaitlyn, that they're going to be able to get something done on that front? >> it's definitely going to be challenging for them. that was number one on their list and it's kind of fallen and shifted down with everything that's happened. and certainly aid for texas and
louisiana in the aftermath of hurricane harvey is going to be their number one priority. but the president is going to north dakota tomorrow so sell his tax reform plan a little bit more, so we will see some progress there, potentially. but what's also going to be really interesting about this meeting is that it's his first time meeting with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell since they've been in this very public battle. we know they had a profanity-laced phone call while the president was on his working vacation in new jersey, so there are a lot of outcomes that could happen with this meeting. >> tax reform, repairing and repealing obamacare, that's the main things they need to fix. it is time to get this thing done, and i don't think the legislative branch needs to look to the executive branch on these issues. >> toii want to talk to you bece we're mentioning harvey funding.
the president had his second trip to texas over the weekend. his first trip he was criticized about not meeting with the victims, talking with the victims. we see here in this video he is interacting with the victims. do you gi him credit? >> i do give him credit and actually spending time with victims. his tone in the second trip when he was attacking the media is incredibly toned down. it's incredibly hurtful to people who have just lost their home, lost their family members, including tens of thousands of daca people that are currently going around and arresting people. he said, look, this isn't meant to help you all. i'm still planning on cutting millions of dollars to fema and other places that support disaster relief. i'm also still planning to cutting revenue and i'm planning on pulling your work permits. yes, i'm thrilled he spent some time with children and i'm thrilled his tone got a little more sensitive, but it really
comes down to the brass tacks of what is he doing as president? >> number one, he could not go see victims on the first trip because that would have been counterproductive. they were in 100% search and rescue mode at the time. he's already been there twice. do you know it took barack obama two weeks to get down to the gulf after the bp oil spill? two weeks. but we never here criticism about barack obama and his insensitivity on it. the president is handling this largest disaster potentially in american history great. and the trains are running on time. the people who are complaining about it aren't in houston, texas or louisiana. they are here in washington, d.c. and most of it is just the usual partisan sniping. >> we need to wrap it up here. congressman, thank you very much, kaitlyn, emily, i appreciate it. happy labor day. >> thank you. and the national lead with the wounds of harvey still fresh, another hurricane is on its way to the u.s. and gaining
strength. the path of danger, up next. it senses your every move and automatically adjusts on both sides to keep you effortlessly comfortable. and snoring.... does your bed do that? the new 360 smart bed is part of our biggest sale of the year where all beds are on sale. and right now save 50% on the labor day limited edition bed, plus 36 month financing. ends monday!
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irma is upgraded to a category 4 hurricane. authorities are sounding the alarm, warning florida residents to stock up and get their emergency plans in order right now. i'm going straight to meteorologist tom sater. the continental hurricane, florida in its path. when might it hit? >> when we first introduced irma, we said we would need four or five days and it's starting
to unfold. but when we showed you a model last thursday, the european model and the u.s. model were 1200 miles apart. the u.s. model up by the northeastern u.s. and the european down by florida. well, now they're pretty close and i'll show you. this system right now is just as strong as harvey was when it made landfall in devastated rockport, texas. the winds are the same, 130. it's moving over the northern islands of lesser antilles. then it's the u.s. british virgin islands and that will go to a warning as well as puerto rico. six to nine-foot storm surges, heavy rain. most of the heavy rain will stay over water, but here's a time plan for tropical storm winds. tuesday, wednesday, thursday, dominican republic, haiti and possibly extending into florida. but let's run the hurricane track and you'll get an idea. it hasn't really moved much,
it's been trending south, and if you look at this, you think, my goodness, this is heading right into the gulf of mexico. we can't rule it out, but i don't think that's the best case scenario right now. we have a window open that we could see the system turn to the north and stay out in the atlantic off the coast, but that window is shutting quickly. most likely when we get to friday, we're looking at a turn to the right. we don't know when that will happen so we can't give you exact location of a landfall or the timing just yet. but let me show you the european now with the u.s. model. and as we put these in comparison now, first of all, they're on top of each other. so we start out at the same location. you want to see agreement. they're not moving from each other. as we get closer out or farther out, i should say, there is some variation. this is sunday afternoon. now, last thursday, it was saturday night we had it here so it hasn't been moving much. let's take it now to 9-11.
it could get to the coastal carolinas. everybody needs to sit down and have a plan. this next weekend, maybe a major hurricane. category 3, 4, could be 5. >> of course all of this on the heels of hurricane harvey. thank you very much. tv personality turned president who often took a dramatic approach to politics, no, i'm not talking about donald trump but the man who may have set the stage for him. that's up next. stay with us. not everything. at midas we're always a touch better. book an appointment at midas.com so we know how to cover almost almoanything.hing even a swing set standoff.
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never-before-seen video clips and behind-the-scene moments. here's president reagan preparing for his 1986 new year's message to the soviet union. >> let's look forward to a future of nitba for all mankind. thank you, paceba. >> you say it better than i do, but it sounded like you said nitba with a t in it. >> i want to bring in presidential historian douglas brinkley. so, douglas, why are we talking about reagan now? >> because ronald reagan is the original denominator of make america great again slogan and donald trump hijacked it. also reagan cast a very large shadow over the united states. our national airport is named after him, his presidential library in the simi valley is the most visited. conservatives think of him as the gold standard. there has been a re-evaluation
of reagan that he is ranked quite highly by presidents these days, but nevertheless, many on the left still see him as the boogie man. >> and some say for the former actor being the president of the united states was really his biggest gig. here's a clip. >> i've got an idea for another picture. just one more. i've got the chain saw. no, and you're blocking me off. >> so president reagan really knew how to use videos and photos to carefully shape his image and really push his agenda. >> absolutely. i mean, during world war ii, he had made over 260 propaganda films for army air corps, and then of course famously he worked for general electric and did tv shows like "death valley days." that schtick you just saw, that's something straight off the red skelton show or lucille
ball. his humor was a generation ilk, jackie gleason and the like, but he brought those gifts into the humor in his speeches. i once had a book of notes where ronald reagan would give a speech no matter what the topic. we've seen this in this first-rate cnn documentary. >> vice president mike pence said trump reminds him of ronald reagan and that trump is the new ronald reagan. do you agree? >> completely disagree. he also said donald trump is theodore roosevelt. reagan was big-hearted, sensitive toward the gop, toward immigration. they're very different. reagan used oxygen as a generation, and as you can see donald trump covets enemies
daily. >> how do you think president reagan would judge president trump? >> nancy reagan gave me all his diaries but never put words in what he would have done and how he would have judged things because reagan was a conservative pragmatic. his pragmatism was pure william james. he always thought you had to keep your box office over 50%, meaning you had to be 50% popular on any issue. you see donald trump working in the 35, 40% zone. for ronald reagan, that would be political failure. >> very quickly, what would be the big takeaway with this show tonight? >> reminding us of how funny ronald reagan could be, how ende endearing. even when he's making mistakes or flubbing things, there was something very likeable about him. >> and you said he always had a joke when he made a speech no matter what the topic was.
douglas brinkley, thank you so much. the reagan show airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. that's it for "the lead." i'm pamela brown. i turn it over to jim acosta in the situation room. president's trump threats of fire and fury, north korea detonates the most powerful hydrogen bomb. south korea conducts live fire exercises in response to north korea's latest nuclear test. general mattis accusing kim jong-un of begging for war. some top republicans oppose