tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN April 18, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
this joint press conference with japanese prime minister. having more to do with russia. whether there would be sanctions against russia and we're told by senior administration officials that the trump administration did inform the russian embassy there would not be another round of sanctions tied to russia support of bashar al assad in the chemical weapons attack earlier this month. those sanctions are off for now. it's partly because of the confusion create bid the u.n. ambassador nikki haley when she spoke on "face the nation" on sunday and said the sanctions would be coming down on monday. apparently because of some that confusion the call was made by the trump administration to the russian em bbassy on sunday to y to clear that up. there's very pressing news on the subject of north korea.
the president saying earlier today that, yes, his cia director and potentially his new secretary of state mike wompomp did make the trip to try to broker some kind of arrangement to set up this meeting. as we have been hearing over the last couple of days u.s. officials have been looking at five separate sites for this potential summit. we should mention the same time the president had dpoin bagone forth. we'll go back to having a tough posture when it comes to north korea. there's been other subjects for the leaders to talk about. they have been talking about trade. the president surprising much of the world in the last several day. the administration had been saying the president may will
being to take a second look at the transpacific trade deal that came out of obama administration. the president got rid of that as soon as he came into office. that has been a subject for conversation as well. it's cause of irritation between the u.s. and japan. at this press conference all bets are off in terms of predictions in terms of what the president might be asked. he could be asked about his ongoing complaint and new book put up by the former fbi director james comey who was fired by the president. the president said he did not fire jim comey because of the russia investigation. that's contradicted by the president himself who told nbc news last year he did fire the n -- fbi director because of the russia investigation. high stakes, high level talks.
you can imagine as you watch the president on display here, he seems to really want to make that meeting happen. >> we see the first row still empty. there's reserved for top delegation. once that row is filled up then we'll get the japanese prime minister and president of the united states who will be introduced. the russia story has developed in rather awkward way for this add mrgts. one of the stars of this administration, the u.n. ambassador undermined by the white house. >> if the president ask a
question about this and perhaps he can answer the question what is the u.s. policy toward russia. there appears to be division on many key steps within his own administration. sa sanctions, additional weapon or not. the reporting is he was upset to hear that and yet the administration carried it out. do they feel they have been tough enough. are they keeping an open door to better relations. really not clear and no clarity in the last 48, 72 hours. >> this issue so sensitive for the president. the special counsel's investigation involves alleged cooperation, if you will, between the trump campaign and the russians.
>> james comey said the president doesn't krcriticize putin in private, much less in public. you have to ask does this administration have one voice on this and one policy as jim is saying or did they have one voice and one policy until the president decided to change it and nikki haley who was out on the sunday show talking about it was she not informed as the u.n. ambassador. i think you can understand maybe this was the treasury secretary announcement to make. that might be protocol. for her not to be involved in the loop and for someone in the administration to say maybe she was confused which was unsult g i -- insulting, at the very least. leads you to believe that this is an administration that is
confused about what it's own policy is because the only person making the policy is the president of the united states who seems to be changing his mind. >> she said i'm not confused. i don't get confused. she was very blunt in that area. also what's going on in new york state. >> absolutely. >> i think the competing messages from nikki haley and the white house reenforces the split between the president and his national security team and also underscores this president has been reluctant to take any punitive action against russia. we have seen this as a recurring theme time and again where last month it was after more than a month and a half delay he implemented the sanctions against russia that were passed by congress last year.
now he's seething over the expulsion of 60 russian officials and comparing the number here in the u.s. with other countries. i think this adds to what is his russian policy and is he serious about taking the threat of russians med ling into the elections. >>tweeted denying the firing of james comey had anything to do with russia. he was not fired by the russia investigation and there was no collusion except by the dems. listen to what he told lester holt last year. >> regardless of recommendation i was going to fire comey knowing there was no good time to do it.
in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story. it's an basic kus by the democratics having lost an election they should have won. >> he admitted it in that interview. >> yeah. he tipped the beans on himself but he also did in his may 9th letter that he sent to jim comey firing. he appreciate you telling me more than three times -- three times that i wasn't under investigation but i'm going to let you go any way. it's hard to read that any other way. >> the other big issue that will come up, north korea. we learned that the out going cia director mike pompeo flew to pyongyang. met with kim jong-un. the president said it was great
meeting and they got along well. >> apparently he was well received and the talks went well and it gave the u.s. a lot of confidence, the trump administration that the north n koreans are serious about these talks. the one issue was denuclearization. the north koreans got a signal to the south. they wanted to hear it from the horse's mouth. he said he would be willing to discuss the issue giving up his nuclear weapon's program. would he will willing to make a deal on that, we don't know. it did give the u.s. confidence that they are serious. now they are just hung up on the
venue. the north koreans don't want kim jong-un to travel far. he doesn't leave the country. the dmz is also there. we'll have to see if this is the one issue. >> we see senior members of the trump administration and the japanese delegation are beginning to walk into the ballro ballroom. this is the grand ballroom. they'll be coming in and once they are all seated the president of the united states will be introduced.
st north korea stoiry is significant development. all of a sudden mike pompeo is the pyongyang, north korea. >> no question. this is both party, democrats and republicans express some cautious optimism here. certainly a relief not to be on the drink of war. they have this warning. if these talks fail, if they don't go anywhere, what happens next. he said then you go off a cliff.
>> i think japan wants to make sure they're not left out of this in the cold. what they want to do is curtail nuclear and ballistic weapons. they want the return of japanese citizens abducted by north korea in the 70s and 80s. these are discussions that abe will have with the president saying you should not be doing this and acting independently of us. >> the president and prime minister seem to be getting along well. they pents spaspent part of the at the golf course. they clearly like hanging out together in florida. they have a good working relationship. there's real concern in tokyo about being sidelined as the
president and the u.s. engage in these serious talks with north korea as well as on the issue of trade. the yen has seen a decline with the other group of members of that pact. the president will try to unz score his irritation. >> the president has trade a little bit reversed. we had the chance to strengthen our ties and put tstrategic
pressure. now he's trying to start from scratch with abe. >> the first lady is walking in. she's walking in and making her seat. there she is. the president has been having meetings with his top security leaders while in palm beach florida there. he's about to be introduced. this is a moment we'll be watching to see what the questions will be. he calls on the reporters and that can ask whatever they want. >> you have to expect discussions of north korea because that goes right to japan. they're a key player on that issue. with the news today on russia he's going to be asked about his russia policy and will have come
uncomfortable questions to answer if he chooses to answer them and to why he hung his u.n. ambassador out to dry on that issue. >> that's a serious issue. very embarrassing and clearly a lot of people thought the response from larry, the head of the national economic counsel was inappropriate towards her. >> sexist. >> that's what the accusation. what do you think? >> i think he was man-splaining her and saying she was a little confused and she shot back and said i wasn't. i think this is clear evidence of miscommunication inside the administration. >> she made it public. >> here they come. the president of the united states and the prime minister of japan. >> i want to begin today by
expressing my deep condolences to the entire bush family on the passing of former first lady barbara bush. a wonderful, wonderful person. for decades barbara was a titan in american life. her presence and character were engraved into america's identity. her strength and toughness really embodied the spirit of our country and her warmth and devotion earned the admiration of an entire nation and indeed the entire world. she was a tireless champion for literacy. she was a fierce advocate for the american family and she was a woman of proud patriotism and profound faith. our hearts are saddened by her passing but our spirits are lifted by the memories of her goodness and her grace. she was a good person.
melania and i send our prayers to barbara's husband of 73 years. i'll never beat that record. president george h.w. bush. to the surviving children, jeb and neil and marvin, dorothy, and former president george w. bush and to their many wonderful grand children and great grand children, this evening i also want to send a message to all of the brave service members from the united states, france and the united kingdom who were involved in the very successful strikes on targets associated with the syrian chemical weapons program last week. once again, the unmatched skill of the united states military and our great partners and al allies was demonstrated to the
entire world. missiles were shot. they tried to knock them down. they weren't in the least successful. they hit none. the purpose of our strike was to establish a strong deterrent against banned chemical weapons. i think our allies were world class, wonderful. we thank them for their support. i'm thrilled to be joined by my good friend prime minister abe of japan. highly respected gentleman. prime minister, melanie and i are honored to host you and mrs. abe again at mar-a-lago.
we're grateful for the hospitality you showed us to your country last fall. it was a true impressive lenl to be welcomed to the magnificent land of japan or as i've heard all my life, the land of the rising sun. it's true. so great. during our visit to asia in november we had tremendous success in listing support for our campaign of maximum pressure on the north korean regime. as you know i will be meeting with kim jong-un in the coming weeks to discuss the denuclearization of the korean peninsula. hopefully that meeting will be great success and we're looking forward to it. it will be a tremendous thing for north korea and a dtremendos thing for the world. we will be doing everything
possible to make it a worldwide success. not just for the united states but for the entire world. we hope to see the day when the whole korean peninsula can live together in safety, prosperity and peace. this is the destiny of the korean people who deserve and have gone through so much over the years. we hope it all works out. we'll be trying very hard. i want to thank the prime minister for his inside support over the past year as we have pursued the peaceful nuclear free korea. shinzo, you have worked very hard along with us and our people and we thank very much. we're with you and you're a lot closer than we but we're working many this together. thank you very much. your support has been critical
to getting us to this important moment in time. it's a historic moment and possibly beyond that if it works out properly. our discussions today reaffirm the close cooperation between the united states and japan on the issue of north korea and our common defense. we will not repeat the mistakes of previous administrations. our campaign of maximum pressure will continue until north korea denuclearizes. we have great respect for many aspects of what they're doing. we have to get it together. we have to end nuclear weapons in all parts of world. that will be the goal to hope
for and cherish. there's a bright path available to north korea. it will be a great day for them. it will be great day for the world. during my visit to japan last fall, i met with japanese families who endured the terrible heartbreak of having their loved ones abducted by the north korean regime. we want to see these families reyunited as soon as possible. i know for a fact that it's one of the truly most important things on shinzo's mind. we talk about it often. so important to you. we're going to do everything possible to have them brought back and bring them back to japan. the united states supports japan
efforts to improve defense capabilities and we're exploring ways to expedite the sale of military equipment through the foreign military program. we stepped up our effort not only with respect to japan but other allies that when they order military equipment from us, we will get it taken care of and they will get their equipment rapidly. it would be years before orders would take place with department of defense, state department. we a short circuiting that. it's now going to be a matter of days. if they're our allies we're going to help them get this important, great military equipment. nobody, nobody makes it like the united states. it's the best in the world by far.
the united states is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade. we're pursuing a bilateral trade agreement that benefits both of our countries. we have agreed to intensity our trade and investment consultations. these past two days have been extremely productive. the friendship between japan and the united states has never been closer. i truly believe it's never been closer than it is today. the bond s between our people have never opinion strobeen str. in the months ahead we'll rely on this great friendship as we face an array of old challenges and new opportunities and we
will face them together. we will work closely on trade. we will do something having to do with the imambulanbalance th should have been done for years and years. mr. prime minister, i want to thank you again for traveling to mar-a-lago for these important discussions and meetings opinion it's been a true honor to welcome you here and to work with you toward greater security, prosperity and peace for our two truly great and wonderful nations. thank you for being here. thank you. thank you very much. sgl . >> mrs. barbara bush, the former first lady has passed away representing the japanese people
i would like to express my condolences to former president bush and the family members. we express our heartfelt condolences. we freshing and asserting sea it was a great pleasure to be invited once again to this beautiful mar-a-lago and spend significant length of time to president trump to engage in discussion in trade. about a year ago at this place at the very moment i was at dinner with president trump. north korea dared to launch ballistic missiles. it is absolutely intolerable. immediately after i said so, president trump stepped forward in front of the camera though it was not planned and made one comment. the u.s. is with our ally japan
100%. the president sent out a message of powerful commitment to the world. donald, your words on that occasion is still deeply etched in my mind together with my wonderful memory of my stay here in mar-a-lago. with one single comment you demonstrated that a superbly strong japan-u.s. alliance which has a history of longer than half a century and i want to express my deepest respect for your remarkable leadership. a year has passed the situation surrounding north korea due to the decisive by president trump is at a historical turning point. the past mistakes should never be repeated.
from this point president trump and i were in full agreement. on the occasion of the 1994 agreement or the 2005 party talk agreements north korea committed to abandon nuclear weapons development but promises were broken. based off of lesson learned the u.s. and japan together with community we'll do it. for all weapons of mass destruction of ballistic missiles complete, verifiable and irreversible dismants lment of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles in north korea.
by envisioning multiple scenarios we carefully thought out policies ansz directiod dir. just because north korea is responding to dialogue, there should be no reward. maximum pressure should be maintained and actual implementation toward denucle denuclearization will be demanded. it will be completely shared. on this occasion we also agree to continue our effort towards early resolution of the top priority matter of abduction. just now president trump has mentioned the return of the abductees maximum effort will be made with a clear promise.
you listen sbenintently to each every family member and kindly say you would like to help. your image is in etched in the eyes and minds of many of the japanese people going forward. we wish to work closely with united states and towards the immediate return of abductees we are determined to strengthen our approa approach. north korea has diligent work force and resources. if north korea advances in the right direction they can make populations richer. if north korea takes the right
path under the japan-north korea pyongyang declaration there dould be path to settle the unfortunate path and normalize diplomatic relationship. it will be the fundamental condition through the upcoming historic u.s. north korea summit. we strongly hope for a breakthrough in the situation. >> the japan u.s. alliance is not just limited to the security but also contributes that the peace and prosperity of the world as well as the region. on the economic front japan and the u.s. will take a lead and develop free and fair market in the indo-pacific region. i spent some time with president trump to discuss ways to make that happen in a candid manner.
first of all, we must further strengthen the economic ties between the two countries. under president trump, exports from the u.s. including energy, aircraft amongst others have already been increasing significantly. further, following the tax reform by president trump, japanese companies investments in the u.s. have been gaining momentum which is creating large number of jobs in the u.s. and contributing to the expansion of the exports from the u.s. in order to benefit both japan and the u.s., we're further expand trade and investment between the two countries. building upon the foundation we'll aim to realize economic development in the free and open indo-pacific region based on fair rules. to make that happen, at this
time we agree to start talks for free, fair and reciprocal trade deals. minister and trade representative i hope will have a very fruitful discussions. over the last two days, president trump and i have spent more than seven hours together over meals and playi inin ining while at the same time we were able to hold extremely fulfilling talks in a relaxing atmosphere. the last few days were the time when i was able to further deepen my friendship and relationship of trust with president trump. lastly i'd like to express my sincere appreciation to donald and first lady melania for their
wonderful hospitality and their work on the people of the united states. thank you. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. questions. mark landler. >> thank you very much, mr. president. mr. prime minister, nice to see you again. mr. president, you sent your cia director to pyongyang a couple of weeks ago and he returned without three americans who were being detained there. also without any other visible signs of concessions the north koreans had made to the united states in advance of your meeting with mr. kim. my question is, do you intend or are you willing to sit down with kim jong-un if americans are still being held in north korea and will you insist on other tangible concessions from the
north koreans in return for gestures like sending a potential future secretary of state to north korea? from the prime minister, you a moment ago alluded to new trade talks between your minister, are we to suggest you're open to negotiating a bilateral trade deal between the united states and japan. a second question. japan is the only major american ally not exempted from the steel tariffs. did you ask the president to exempt japan and how did he reply? >> thank you very much. the fact is they do have three prison nors. we have been talking about them. we're dpoeshting now. we're doing our very best. they have been there a long time. it's harsh treatment. we fought very hard to get otto warmbier back. when he came back he was in
very, very bad condition. it was very sad event. we're fighting very diligently to get the three american citizens back. there's a chance of having good dialogue. we'll keep you informed. we are in there and we're working very hard on that. we have come a long way with north korea. we were as you know, and when i say we, we have been talking north korea and nothing has happened. we put unbelievably powerful sanctions on and many other things. i want to thank publicly president xi of china who has done for more us than any other administration or any other leader of china has done for my president or administration. he's clogged up the border, as you know. he's done it very, very
powerfully. he never he would gol to this extent and i appreciate that very much but it's put a lot of pressure. 93% of the goods coming into north korea come in from china. president xi understands that this is a very important set of months that are lying ahead. he doesn't want to see a korea, north korea or any korea that has nuclear weapons either. he's also fighting for china when it comes this. he's been terrific. can he be better? i say yes. he can be better. i say president can you be great. you can be better. we've never been in a position like this with that regime
whether it's father, grandfather or son. i hope to have a very can feel meeting. if we don't think it's going to be successful, mark, we won't have it. if i think it's not a meet that will be fruitful, we're not going to go. if the meeting is not fruitful when i'm there, i will leave the meeting. i like always remaining flexible and will remain flexible here. i've gotten it to this point. president moon said if it wasn't for donald trump, the olympics would be total failure. it was my involvement and our country made the olympics a very successful olympics. if you look at ticket sales
prior to what took place with respect to north korea, it was going to be a big problem and turned tout be a very successful olympics. we've gotten us here. i think we'll be successful. if we're not, we understand. >> between president trump and myself, for benefitting both japan and the u.s. we are expanded the investment and trade. open and fair economic development in the indo-pacific region we have agreed to start talks for free, fair and reciprocal trade deals. as for section 232, japanese
steel and aluminum would not exert any negative influence rather its opposition that the quality of japanese product s high. many of those products are difficult to be replaced with and they are greatly contributing to the u.s. industries for employment. we like to continue to respond to this matter. >> i will add the 232 having to do with aluminum and steel tariffs, 30% in one case. 25% and 10% that it's got us to the bargaining table with many nations and in other indications they're paying. it's billions of dollars coming into the united states. they've been actually very important. if you look at what we did with solar panels, where we put 30% tariffs on, we had 32 companies
open with pretty new plants because it's a relatively new industry of the 32 plants. 30 were closed and two were not doing well. since putting the tariffs on, the two are doing very well. 7 or 8 are going to be opening and a lot more will open. same thing with washing machines opinion we were having washing machines dumped all over the country. we put tariffs on. we're now opening up and expanding companies that create and make, which is a big business, washing machines and dryers. the workers of our country know what's happening. we have companies moving up from mexico, automobile companies and they're building new plants in michigan and ohio and pennsylvania and kentucky an expanding their plants. lot of things are happening. our country is doing well. it's going to continue. it's going to continue. lot of great momentum.
if you look at any chart the enthusiasm for business in our country is at an all time high. unemployment for african-american workers, for his p h hispanic workers, unemployment is at the lowest point. if you look at unemployment for women, it's an 18-year low. we're very proud of aurour achievements. the tax cuts are kicking in and it's a beautiful thing to see. people are spending money where they didn't have the money to spend previously. shinzo, please. >> i'm from nhk.
i would like to ask questions about how to handle north korean issues. prime minister abe, the coordination for holding summits between south korea and north korea and as well as between the u.s. is under way. there's a concern in japan that japan may be behind. how will we proceed with dialogue with north korea. president trump, you talked about the issue. are you going to consider the nuclear weapons disarmament the si same level as abduction issue in. >> abduction is a very important issue for me because t very important to your prime minister. i will tell you we're having dinner last night and he started talking about abduction and our horrible it was and his level of enthusiasm was unbelievable. i said to him right then and there at the table, i said we will work very hard on that
issue. we will try to bring those folks back home, very, very hard. >> japan will be left behind, that's not at all the case. in the last two days together with president trump, we have spoken about the north korea. it will be the talks and u.s.-north korea summit is planned. we have gone into in-depth discussion about policy and direction. we have reached agreement. regarding the upcoming u.s.-north korea summit, we hope that it will lead to the resolution of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear missile and more than anything else we hope it will be historic summit that will lead to the resolution of
abduction and for that purpose i was discussed with president trump and we have fully agreed about our direction going forward regarding abduction as donald has explained. we have thoroughly discussed about this matter the last year the president met with victims of the abduction as well as the family. the family's families have been strongly felt and understood by the president. he has dpgiven very encourage comment he would appeal toward the resolution. i appreciate this encouraging comment. this gives us huge courage. very encouraging comment and for the families of the abductees this is massively, powerfully
encouraging comment and going toward between japan and u.s. or between the trilateral of japa,- u.s. and south korea, we'll do our utmost to resolve the issues including abduction. >> we'll be very loyal to japan. thank you. jennifer jacobs. >> thank you, mr. president. on the mueller probe, have you concludesed it's not worth the political fall out to remover either special counsel mueller or deputy attorney general rosenstein and prime minister abe, did the president ask you to provide more funding for u.s. troops in japan and what agreement did you reach here in florida on buying more military equipment from the u.s.? >> there was no collusion and that's been so found as you know by the house intelligence
committee. there's no collusion. there was no collusion with russia other than by the democrats or the obstructionists because they truly are obstructionists. we are giving tremendous amounts of paper. this was a really hoax created largely by the democrats as way of softening the blow of a loss which is a loss that frankly they shouldn't have had from the stand point that it's very easy for them. they have a tremendous advantage in the electoral college in is what it is and this is where it came from. you look at the kind of money that was paid probably some winter russia. you look at the fact they're server was never gotten by the fbi. why did the fbi take it. the fbi takes what they want. this is a hoax.
as far as the investigation nobody has ever been more transparent than i have instructed our lawyers to be totally transparent. i believe we have given them 1.4 million pages of documents if you can believe this. haven't used, that i know of or for the most part presidential powers or privilege. we are hopefully coming to the end. it's a bad thing for our country. very, very bad thing for our country. there's been no collusion. they won't find any collusion. it doesn't exist. as far as the two gentlemen you told me about, they've been saying i'm going to get rid of them for the last three months, four months, five moonths and they are still here. we want to get the investigation over with, done with. put it behind us. we have to get back to business with negotiating with this
gentlemen and plenty of others. this gentlemen is a very tough negotiator and we have to focus on that. thank you very much. >> regarding the u.s. forces expenses, the u.s. forces in japan at the safety and security of japan and peace and stability of the far east is being maintained and for the forward stwag of the united states in the asia pacific in terms of presence in japan is meaningful and significant. across the world in terms of paying for the expenses japan accounts for the largest percentage of stationing compared to the country and the president. >> i have a question for
president trump. this is the follow up question. you don't have any intention to exempt japan and president trump and prime minister abe. in regard to trade, you're going to establish new is it going to be in the direction of fta or tpp? i'd like to hear it from both of you you. >> so between president trump, , the talks before the free, fair and resip row cal trade deals to initiate debt has been agreed. minister and ambassador will be the representative and mr. aso and vice president pence, u.s. japan economic dialogue will be
receiving the report. as for the talks, this will be in the best of both countries, the trade between the two will be expended and asia pacific economic growth. so under u.s. that they are interested in a bilateral deal, at any rate, country's position is that tpp is the best for both of the countries and based on that position, we shall be dealing with the talks. >> thank you very much. the united states has a massive trade deficit with japan. it's anywhere from $69 billion to $100 billion a year. that's massive by any standpoint. we are doing 232 on steel and aluminum and if we can come to an arrangement on a new deal between the united states and
japan, that would certainly be something we would discuss. aluminum and steel tariffs. i would look forward to being able to at some point in the future, take them off, but right now we have a deficit that's a minimum of $69 billion a year. japan sends us millions and millions of cars and we tax them virtually not at all. and we don't send so much product because we have trade barriers and lots of other things. so these are the things that the prime minister and i are going to be discussing oaf the next short period of time. the media has not covered the t p pp correctly. i don't want to go back into tpp, but if they offered us a deal that i can't refuse on behalf of the united states, i would do it. but i like bilateral better. i think it's better for our country. i think it's better for our workers and i much would prefer a bilateral deal.
a deal directly with japan. we already have a deal with six of the 11 nations in the tpp. so we already have trade deals an the others we can make easily. they're all calling wanting to make a deal, but we think that's much better for us. so unless they offer us a deal they cannot refuse, i would not go back into tpp. we'll see what happens. but in the meantime, we're negotiating and what i really prefer, is negotiating a one-on-one deal with japan and that's where we are now. i will say the representatives here are extraordinarily competent and very tough. those representing japan and we will hopefully in the not too distant future, have a very good deal. good for japan and good for the united states. thank you all very much. we appreciate it. thank you. thank you very much.
>> reporters are shouting questions. president ignoring those questions. we'll continue to monitor it. in fact, let's listen in. >> that is a question there's been nobody tougher on russia than president donald trump. between building up the military, between creating tremendous, vast amounts of oil, we raised billions and billions of dollars extra in nato. we had a very, very severe, we were talking about it a little while, fight in syria recently. a month ago. between our troops and russian troops and it's very sad. but many people died in that fight. there has been nobody tougher than me. with the media, no matter what i did, it's never tough enough because that's their narrative, but russia will tell you there
has been nobody tougher than trump. then the other night, we had a strike in syria, which was absolute precision. i leave it with this. with all of that said, if we can get along with china and if we can get along with russia and if we can get along with japan and other nation, that's a good thing. not a bad thipng. just remember that. if we got along with other nations, that's good. not bad. thank you very much. >> all right, so there you have it. the prime minister of japan, the president of the united states. the president making news on three major fronts including the mueller investigation. special counsel investigation. we'll assess that. north korea and now that last final shouted question involving russia. the president says nobody has been tougher on russia than he has been. let me ask you first of all, the
president says mueller and rosenstein. they're still there. clearly, he also said we're coming to, we're hopefully come tog an end of this russia probe. >> right. i mean, he didn't offer i must say, any direct signals. he was asked about whether he would fire one or both of those people. he said they've been there. they've been saying i'm going to get rid of them for three to four months and they're still there. but e he didn't say he wouldn't fire them eventually. then went on to what we've heard time and time again this is a hoax. he said they've handed over 1.4 million pages of documents to the special counsel. didn't talk about testifying. we know from our own reporting that the president now after the raid of michael cohen's office, hotel room, et cetera, that he is, much less interested in testifying and less likely to do that. but went on with what we've heard about no collusion with
russia and then at the very end of the press conference, we heard him talk about nobody's been tougher on russia than i have been. >> jim acosta asked that question. he shouted that question. he's joining us now. chief white house correspondent. finally, the president is insisting that no one has been tougher, no american leader has been tougher on russia than he's been. >> that's right. i think reagan and kennedy would probably disagree with that, but at the same time, we tried to ask the question as the president and abe were leaving, what happened to sanctions on russia. he essentially said we may do sanctions on russia if we feel the events warrant such an action, but went on to say as you mentioned that nobody has been tougher on russia than he has. that is just not really born out by the facts. now, with we should also point out a lot of other new us made at this. one o f the things we're going to be turning back to is the president say iing if this
upcoming meeting with kim jong-un is not fruitful, he's going to pull out of it. he said at one point, he'll leave the room if necessary if he feels those discussions are not going to be fruitful. he sort of added a new sort of response on what he thinks about the trans pacific trade deal. at one u point saying during this news conference and this was after he said he's not really interested in doing the trans pacific trade deal. he's given an offer he can't ref refuse, he may look at it ben. so another new incar neigh of that response on that issue, but it's spresing the president essentially confirming what we reported today that for now, no new sanctions on russia. wolf, this continues to be something that's gotten under his skin. this notion he's not tough enough on russia. you could see that xexasperatio there. one other quick piece of news out of this. he did not give a definitive answer as to the fate of rosenstein and mueller.
he didn't say i'm not going to fire those individuals. he said we've been talking about this for four or five months and they're still here. >> jim? >> he laid a marker down on the russia investigation. he said the it's a very bad thing for our country and we'd like to get the investigation over with. making no promises either way, but made clear his view is that there's a time limit on this. leaving the door open for that going forward. and it is interesting. on the point he made regarding sanctions, the president is standing on firm ground there. at least not comparing himself to past president, but on the steps that his administration is taken. military build up, deployment of forces in the nato zone and he cited again as mike pompeo did, last month, u.s. and russian mercenaries deployed by the russian government came into a shooting fight and hundreds of them r were killed. a remarkable moment. >> he said we've come along way
as far as north korea is concerned. let's see what happens. he said the meeting was going to take place with kim jong-un. we're going to stay on top of all the breaks news, but that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, lawyer in chief, president trump acting as his own attorney as the legal pressure mounts, is he making a dangerous mistake? plus, the trump administration telling russia u, no new sanctions. don't worry about it? what happened. when did the president change his mind and why didn't he tell nikki haley? and the hero southwest pilot. one of the navy's first female fighter pilot saves more than 100 lives after a midair crisis. let's go "outfront." >> good evening. tonight, the breaking news. no collusion, that from president trump tonight speaking