tv The Journal Editorial Report FOX Business June 2, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
♪ ♪ paul: welcome to the journal editorial report. i'm paul gigot. house oversight committee chair tray gowdy causing a stir when he told martha that he believes fbi acted properly when used informant to investigate trump amp cane aides. >> it was president trump himself who said number one, i didn't collude with russia but if anyone connected with my campaign did, i want the fbi to find that out, it looks to me that the fbi was doing what president trump wanted him to do, the fbi acted exactly what my fellow citizens wanted to do
and has nothing to do with donald trump. paul: gowdy's remarking after meeting with ros stieb. the white house said wednesday that there are still cause for concern about the fbi's actions leading up to the 2016 election. let's bring many wall street journal columnist and deputy editor dan henninger and kim strassel and bill mcgurn. all right, kim, what do you make of gowdy's remarks there and where are we on the probe right now? >> well, the first thing i'd note that there's a lot of different points when you're talking about the fbi's mishandling of 2016 and while mr. gowdy seems to be saying that he thinks this informant or spy is okay, we haven't heard him renounce other areas like fisa abuse which we know he's had concerns with. but i think the bigger point here, is look, mr. gowdy has always been clear, former
federal prosecutor, he tends to have a lot of difference for the department of justice and fbi. he's saying that they acted appropriately and that the informant was used to investigate russia, not the campaign, the problem with that, though, paul, it's their own investigation. the fbi in 2016 opened a counterintelligence probe into the trump campaign. not in the specific individuals, not into russia which would have been a cia job, they did it in the broader campaign and they said -- we know that for a fact. paul: kim, did gowdy and nunes, the chairman of the committee, did they see all of the documents they had been seeking or was this what gowdy said a reference to the briefing that they got? >> if you listen to mr. gowdy, he seems to make it very clear that he's making the judgment based on what rod rosenstein and christopher wray said to him. he talked about how important trump appointees, loyals, makes
distinction, i don't think they've seen the vast documents related to informant-spy. paul: let's say gowdy is right and had ample reason to get informant, why don't you tell trump campaign or canned gait that they have an obligation to do that? >> absolutely. that's why i'm not willing to say they were right. there's so many dots to connect. it's very hard to follow this. but the main question we don't know is we don't know what started it all. devin nunes saw the electronic communication that was the official start, we have an official start of the investigation at the end of july, but we have these things going on earlier, may or june, we don't know. why are they fighting so hard to keep congress from seeing it.
if the fbi did everything correctly, why shouldn't they let the committee see it and why did they hide it from them for so long. the gang of 8, mr. comey mentioned that he did not tell them about what was going on, the reason we have gang of 8 is so that the fbi can tell congress what's going on in a controlled way. paul: gang of 8, the most senior congressional -- >> right. that's why we have gang of 8. paul: dan, what do you make of the fact that they haven't turned over documents to the intelligence committee? if trey gowdy is right, why not turn them over? >> you end up defaulting to something approaching one worst's suspicions about the behavior of the fbi and the justice department because consider we are talking about event that is took place in 2016, possibly early 2016. here we are in the middle of 2018 and the justice department and the fbi are essentially
saying trust us over this truly mysterious investigation that began possibly with legitimate concern over russians trying to penetrate on american election, but russians have tried to do that in germany and chance as well. why has it been necessary for those institutions to keep this investigation to themselves at this late stage other than the fact that they are perhaps, indeed, investigating the trump campaign and possibly the president himself? paul: here is an idea, bill, why doesn't the president, director of national intelligence dan coats to look into the counterintelligence side of this, leave aside the criminal stuff, but started as counterintelligence probe, the president, i think, has the right to know what intelligence services are doing, why doesn't he say dan coats, you go do investigation and tell me what really happened? >> exactly. look, there's a lot of things the president could do.
the assumption behind your question is the right one. the most important thing is american people to know what happened in 2016 and what role intelligence agencies played in it and there's lots of things the president can do to declassify information. what we need is less people being indicted and to get the story out of what really happened. paul: kim, you close out the segment. you had australian diplomat who according to leaked stories started it off, why is this important in. >> well, it's important because what we have now discovered and put out there is that alexander downer when he met with papadopoulos, we had never known how the information was back through the fbi, now run through u.s. embassy in london and the introduction -- the intersection of the obama state department and that's political element in the story that's new, at least
with regard to that event. it brings up the question of whether or not was this really entirely driven by intelligence agencies talking to each other, was there political pressure exerted for the fbi to act. paul: more questions still to come on this, long way from being over, when we come back, the republican record, president and members of congress looking to run, what have they done in last year and a half and would they counter anything in november. >> to keep this momentum going, to continue this incredible progress, to keep on winning, you have to vote republican in november how do you win at business? stay at laquinta. where we're changing with contemporary make-overs. then, use the ultimate power handshake, the upper hander with a double palm grab. who has the upper hand now? start winning today. book now at lq.com.
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we've passed the largest tax cuts and reform in american history. plus, in the tax cuts, what did we get? the individual mandate is out the window. paul: president trump picking off some of the republican accomplishments this week in rally in tennessee. polls show gop closing the gap when it comes to which party voters will support in the midterm applications, the latest real-clear politics average showing the democratic shrink to go a little over 3%, down from double digits earlier this year. so will the republican record over the last 18 months be enough to keep control of the house and senate this november? we are back with dan henninger, and wall street journal assistant editorial james freeman and editorial writer kate bachelder odell. kate, you heard trump give a couple of examples, give us a list of what you would call the main establishments of this
congress? >> well, the first one is tax reform, paul that was the first in several decades, overhaul the tax code. but there's also a lot of things that haven't gotten as much attention like a large increase for defense spending that isn't a reagan-style build-up but still important reverse freal the obama years and also just recently the congress finished reforms for the veterans affairs agency and right to trial bill and a long list of accomplishments. paul: also the individual mandate, i guess, and in that tax reform they also included the alaska drilling, opening that up over a couple of decades and how many appellate judges now have been approved? i think it's more than 20, isn't it? it's not just the supreme court, the appellate bench? >> no, right, a new record in the senate even as democrats are invoking a cloture vote, longer periods on nominee. >> james, let's look on the debit side, what they have they
failed to do that they promised? >> failed to control spending and not just failed to control it but made the problem much worse. essentially over 2018 and 2019 we are to spend almost $300 billion more than under previous legislation. paul: wait a minute, part of that was the price of more military spending, was it not? and you're not willing to grant that that had to be done? >> well, i think when -- paul: to get votes in the senate, i mean? >> i think you have a problem in terms of debt that 75% of gdp having doubled in the last decade, on our way in next decade to 100% of gdp, you are getting close to italy territory, that amount of debt, not associated super power status. paul: 132%. >> we will be at 100 unless we
change trajectory. i would say in defense president trump did not promise us huge cuts in spending. entitlement reform was not part of his pitch. i'm not sure how much you can hold him to that in terms of what he promised in 2016 but as a governing failure that he and the congress owns i think controlling spending would be one of them. paul: dan, i would be willing to give the congress a break on that short-term domestic spending that james talks about, but i can't give him a break on medicaid reform which failed as part of health care reform that. was the big failure. repealing -- as part -- failure to repeal and replace obamacare because that's going to stick with them for a long time as medicaid increases. >> yeah, it will and the other thing they failed immigration, daca bill, battling inside the congress and i think, you know, james makes a fair point, spending -- the level of spending is a serious issue with a lot of republican voters and
what we are talking about here is whether you can connect this record to the november elections. be that as it may, much of what they have done, we forgot to mention the congressional review act reversing 18 obama-era regulations and i think one to have big issues here is the economy under two terms of barack obama and the economy that we now have after a year and a half of president trump and it is like opposite sides of the moon. it was a torpid economy then. [laughter] >> and the economy now is -- is basically through the roof. >> we are on the sunnier side of the moon. [laughter] >> this is something that the president exceeded promise on regulation. he promised he was going to knock out two rules for every new one and he's on a pace of about 5 to 1. so reducing the overall costs of regulation. paul: i think the congressional review act has been used 19 times and 18 of
them have been in this congress. what else can we expect to see between now and -- and, say, when the campaign begins in september or october? >> well, i think we point into one of the republicans' vulnerabilities and that's failure on health care. democrats are going to make huge issue on health care and i think they deserve some of the political heat for that failure, that all of them campaigned on repealing and replacing the law. paul: is there any chance they can make progress on that, further progress here in the next coming few months? >> i'm not particularly optimistic but perhaps they can cancel some of their august recess and use that time valuably. paul: but you don't think -- i guess they have to put together a budget to get the 50-vote threshold otherwise they have to get democrats and they are not going to get those democrats. >> they won't get those democrats and they may not get susan collins and lisa murkowski
again and they lost seat in alabama. paul: double digits, the economy could float this back up and they could get to -- they might be able to hold the house and the senate, you're looking better. >> okay. paul: these days. >> nothing is assured yet. it's not a game. paul: all right, when we come back with the north korean nuclear summit back on track we will ask general jack keane what president trump should demand of kim jong un before going ahead with the meeting or more hi.i just wanted to tell you that chevy won a j.d.power dependability award for its midsize car-the chevy malibu. i forgot. chevy also won a j.d. power dependability award for its light-duty truck the chevy silverado. oh, and since the chevy equinox and traverse also won
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there's really hatred between so many different nations but i think you'll have a very positive result in the end. paul: that was president trump friday announcing that the june 12th summit with president kim jong un is back on after meetings this week with secretary of state mike pompeo and a top north korean official. those meetings tapped off by visit to the white house friday where north korean delegation delivered a letter from kim jong un to president trump. earlier i spoke with refired four-star general jack keane about the expectations for the june 12th meeting. so we have the report of a letter from kim jong un to president trump, apparently saying i want to have the meeting, but no demands and no concessions, is that enough to go ahead with a summit? >> well, first of all, i think that the letter is in response to president trump's letter to kim jong un and he ended his letter when he was terminating the summit, get back to me if you want to go forward. that's kind of what this is. [laughter] >> we shouldn't expect much more
than that. we have to pay close attention to what secretary pompeo is saying. while he says on the one hand we make great progress, on the other hand, significant challenges and differences and i think what they are trying too as in his words set the conditions. resolve differences so we can set up at least the first summit because likely to be more than that where there can be some success, where they can at least agree on a framework going forward. the president is really holding all the cards here, paul, i mean, he doesn't need the summit as much as the north koreans need it and this period right now, we are getting up close to the summit, he still has significan leverage and i'm sure he's using leverage to the fullest with pompeo and also kim sung over in north korea. paul: seems to me that if there's just a meet and greet summit, no tangible movement on
the north korean side towards denuclearization, that's a victory for kim jong un because he would have sat on the stage with the president of the united states and turned out to be kind of a meet and greet, would you agree with that? >> i totally agree with that. if that's all there is, then the president at a minimum should delay the summit and apply more pressure to try to get these differences to close a little bit and if he can't, he's just got to back away. he cannot go in there and just come out with a framework for a peace treaty ending the war and bring back the families from the north and the south and reunite them and agree in general that the security of north korea is paramount to the united states, that would be unsatisfactory solution. paul: okay, there's a merging here on difference on pace of denuclearization, the united states saying it must be complete, verifiable and irreversible and the north koreans suggesting that, well, we want this to be in a fazed
form, we want to you do one thing and we will do something. is that what you see as the biggest gap that has to close? >> it certainly is and they want to do this over a period of many years, certainly they want outlast trump's first term because they don't know if he will have a second one, i think the president is right on the mark when he's saying, i want to get this done during my presidency, during my first term, two plus years is sufficient time to get it done. we can faze it during those two years, i'm not going to pass this problem onto success or as it's been passed onto me and i think that's a reasonable goal to have and we should stick to it. paul: as we know, we have done twice before, promise of denuclearization over stages and both times the north koreans reneged, stopped, kicked out inspectors, so, i mean, it's a bit of a gamble with the united
states, with any president taking their word for it again. >> i totally agree. russians and chinese are both advising kim jong un to to the fazed operation and push it out over many years for the very reason that the north koreans are taken advantage of us in the past. it's a promise that is not kept and that's clearly the path that we would be on if we buy into it. paul: can the u.s. president put the status of u.s. forces in south korea on the table to negotiate in return for some promise of denuclearization? >> yes, i think he can. that would really unnerve the japanese quite a bit but that doesn't mean it would have to be immediate withdrawal or complete withdrawal. that could be done over time and it doesn't have to be all at once. it could be a gradual withdrawal of those forces. listen, if we have a peace treaty and the war has ended and kim jong un is denuclearizing
and taking systems, the reason troops would be going away, be able to pull armies away from each other in the dmz. that's sort of a happy solution and unlikely to get something like that, i believe, but nonetheless, it would delegitimize the presence of 28,000 troops. i think the president has in the back of his mind, not initially but eventually he would put those troops on the table to get a final completion of denuclearization. paul: what about security guaranties that the north koreans are talking about -- have talked about for kim jong un? is that something that we can really promise kim? how can we guaranty his continuation in power particularly if they open up to the world and people see just how the north korean people are? >> well, it is their number one issue, economics, prosperity is not their number one issue. this is the issue, it's the
reason they have nuclear weapons and it's the reason why they are nuclear -- they are weponizing icbm's because they want to hold the american people at risk to guaranty the preservation of the regime. we will never get a deal with them even on the best of circumstances unless we are able to convince them that we are providing a grantor of their indefinite security. kim is a young man and he's clearly got that in mind as he looks to decades ahead. he wants that regime to be secure. paul: all right, thank you, general, appreciate you being here. >> good talking to you, paul. paul: still ahead the trump administration pushes to impose steel and aluminum to key allies, how méxico, canada and europe are responding and what it could mean to the
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paul: fear of escalating trade war the trump administration announced thursday that it is move ago head with 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminum imported from european union, canada and méxico. the president first announced the tariffs in march but granted exemptions to major trading partners while the u.s. continued negotiations, those exemptions expired on friday. renewed trade tensions come amid some good news with the u.s. economy adding 223,000 jobs in may bringing the unemployment
rate down to 18-year low of 3.8%. we are back with bill mcgurn and james freeman and wall street journal editorial board member mary kissel in london, so mary, you're over there, what's the reaction been from our allies and they are allies in europe, canada and méxico to this unilateral trade action? >> well, i think it's what you would expect, paul, it's complete disbelief that the united states would punish such close an important trading partners and i think the individual country reactions so what you wowd expect. the german were pragmatic and the british were measured and the french disdainful and eu announced that they would take immediate counter action, look, the eu supplies about 17% of steel import to the united states, a lot of it is high-end going into cars in detroit, they will take counter action and you have to believe that they will put their money where their
mouth is, they will file a wto also. >> is canada a national security threat, do you see the invasion from méxico coming any time soon? how can you justify the import from those countries are really a national security threat? >> no, well, the short answer is that you can't, paul, it's absolutely indefensible and, you know, the real tragedy of all of this is that president trump is doing exactly what he said he wouldn't do which is to reward the swamp. he's rewarding certain interests which is the u.s. and the steel producing industries, steel and aluminum industries rather and everybody who uses the stuff downstream will get hurt not to mention u.s. consumers who will pay 10% or 25% for for goods and comes at a terrible time also i'd add for european partners who we are dealing with brexit, the terror threat, iran, putin on their doorsteps. paul: i guess the big question, bill, how much economic damage
will this -- will this hit us with? >> well, i think it could be a lot and the problem with the trade war is that a lot of innocent casualties and the reason for that is supply chains are very complicated things come from all over, so when you launch one of these things you hit people that you don't intend, for example, when president bush put the steel tariffs in in 2002 cost more jobs in the steel industry which is why they ended early. all paul the other is retaliation, all said we are going to retaliate, japan is coming because they are also not exempted and what they're doing is they are targeting precise areas that are going to do political damage to the republican party and their senate candidates and potentially house candidates, paul ryan harley davidson in his district, bourbon in kentucky, citrus fruit and not -- apples and grapes.
so there's some downside political risks here too. >> yeah, especially frustrating, you mentioned the great friday job's report, all the evidence that so far the trump plan to cut regulation and taxes is working within the united states, so now he's saying, but i think more regulation and more taxes at our borders will somehow benefit the united states, it won't. as you mentioned, a lot more people consume steel than produce it. so you're talking a lot more jobs in the industries that make things out of steel than in the actual producers. so it's a strange idea to fight with allies. i think what he ought to be doing, get ghts together with them, how do we fix that chinese intellectual property theft problem. he also seems concerned about. paul: there's a problem, danger, mary going forward with what happens with nafta, cusp of a deal, we are negotiating renegotiation, redoing of agreement modernization for some time but this really is a thumb
in the eye of the canadians and mexicans and they were already kind of approaching a deadline in méxico with its presidential election, i don't know if that can be salvaged? >> it may not, paul, i hate to say that but it may not be salvageable. the other thing we should worry about is when it comes to méxico, mexico is next leader may not be very pro-american, so you might see additional measures that could hurt u.s. consumers, hurt the u.s. economies and the mexican side. paul: do you see over there in europe any -- is this kind of tariff decision, asking for exemptions, hardening the responses unlikely to say we are going to retaliate and trump might say, look, okay, you hit me, i'm going to hit you back again, he threatened 25% tariff on german cars, for example, on british cars, that could escalate this and the more you escalate the more you can damage you get.
>> well, look negotiating trade deals or going to trade wars is not like buying condo in manhattan or recking an office building. the leaders over here, paul, have political constituencies, say britain, their steel industry is in a lot of pain right now and the idea that prime minister theresa may can do nothing or will do nothing in response to this is just fantafible -- >> so you kind of assume that the other side is going to respond back and this is the way a lot of innocent people get hurt and let's remember the american consumers, the kind of people donald trump wants to help, they benefited enormously from the lower prices that come from trade. paul: let's face it. this economy has been doing very, very well and this is a real risk to that progress. president trump causing a stir this week with another controversial pardon and hints
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president has. there is a process. there's hiring attorney, justice department, several thousand people who feel they were wrongly accused or convicted of trying to go through the process. donald trump has jumped over all of that to pardon these individuals and i don't think we should be too doubtful about this, paul, donald trump believes he is in a war with the justice department and robert mueller and he's going use pardons like this to send them a message. every one of these individuals danesh dsouza, martha stewart and rod are connected to prosecutors who have been -- who have had donald trump in their cross hairs one way or another, comey, prosecuted martha stewart and patrick fitzgerald executed rod goyavich. paul: is that proper use of
power? we want to use the pardon power if the president -- to enhance justice, not undue justices and not undermine the rule of law. >> one, it is one of the least fettered powers. that's the reason. there was a debate by the founders on what they should do and rejected and gave it to the president for a reason. i don't think it's about guilt or innocence strictly as legal matter. i think a lot of it is the idea that the president would have a discretion to address something that might be legally right, legally guilty of all things but in some ways it's out of whack, it's a check for that. i think the president can do that. the one check that there is on the pardon is public opinion. paul: sure. >> politics, that's what it was meant to be. that's why presidents usually wait till end of the part to give the controversial pardons.
paul: i really do think that it undid a mistake that president bush had made and then you get to joe arpaio, refuse today honor court order, that was a different thing, what about these individual cases, you list them, i agree with you that he is sending a message but are these justifiable cases do you think just -- on the standard of does this increase respect for the rule of law? >> well, look, paul, this is a complicated subject, danesh dsuoza for violations and martha stewart, insider trading, rod for political corruption, now in every one of those cases we have editorialized that there are not clear lines on some of these issues, you want to respect the rule of law but as the attorney harvey silverglade, there are
now thousands of ways to break federal law, you can get into trouble very easily and the pardon wower is one -- power is one way to correct the balance against prosecutorial abuse. there's legitimate issue raised of just how the public, the people, including celebrities find some sort of compensation against what prosecutors can do to them. paul: briefly, bill, you wrote about the martha stewart case, do you think the pardon is justified? >> i think it is justified. i thought the scooter levy pardon was fine. sometimes it's not about the crime but about the punishment that is disproportionate. paul: okay, thank you very much, gentlemen, when we come back primary voters get set to the polls tuesday to california, a state that could make or break
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paul: primary voters head to the poll, democrats in golden state are feeling the heat. all eyes are on three battleground districts in orange county? once seen as promising pickup opportunities for democrats as they seek to take back the house. crowded primary field as well as state's unusual top two primary system could leave democrats without a general election candidate in these key races. we are back with dan henninger, kim strassel and allysia finley.
53 house seats in california, how many are held by republicans? >> 14, they are endangered species. paul: those were picked -- >> won by hillary clinton in 2016 and some of the democrats have voter registration advantage, huge one, central valley. paul: are most seats competitive, where are they in southern california, valley? >> mainly southern california and central valley which is very agriculture. paul: okay, how does the jungle primary where the top two vote getters get to go on the ballot in november regardless of party, how does that figure in here in. >> well, i guess the worry for democrats right now in that in some of the seat, you get two republican that is will go to november. they are trying to put thumb on certain candidates in order to
conduct -- paul: the problem is that so many democrats are running. >> right. paul: open seat. >> it's very divided in many cases they all kind of stand for single payer, progressive. paul: fewer republicans running so republicans could possibly -- >> republicans have some name recognition. you know, you have diane, darrell, board of equalization member and ran against high speed rails. paul: that made a name for herself in that district. now, if they don't take those -- any seats in california, democrats, they are going to have a hard time picking up the house, aren't they? >> well, i think that's right. they are counting on pennsylvania and the redistricting there by the state supreme supreme courtment but california is their hope, they need to pick up at least 4 there. paul: kevin mccarthy is from california, majority leader in the house of representatives, he is trying an interesting maneuver, he wants to push john
cox, republican who is running for governor to finish second so he can get into the final race in november and you think, okay, that makes sense. on the other hand, you disagree with that? >> well, i think -- paul: you wrote a piece where you disagree with that. >> the worry is that you democrats, former mayor, progressive, wholly-owned subsidiary, if you get john cox in the top 2, in november, gavin is sure to win and probably a lot more left-ward tilt to the party. paul: the state goes further left. >> probably higher taxes. antonio, a chance he gives more pension forms, charter schools, more charter schools. >> mccarthy, kim, figures if you don't have a republican on the governor's race, republican voters might not turn out in those house races and you lose more house seats.
>> yeah, i'd push back a little bit. i'm not sure to california to go more left. i look at the candidates -- [laughter] >> and it's not clear to me it could get much worse, but i think mccarthy has a really good point that you get a republican on statewide ballot for that big top governor's job and you inspire some more turnout for republicans because that's going to to be key in districts. hillary clinton won in some of them narrowly as alisa said, the challenge in california is to get their side out to vote that day. paul: dan, what do you make of this jungle primary idea? do you like this idea of -- of just the top two, mike bloomberg pushed that through and didn't go through. the idea is it's somehow going to move politics to the center, there won't be polarized, i don't see a lot of evidence that
california is becoming less polarized. >> no, i have to tell you, paul, i love the jungle primary in california because what a spectacle it is in a state that can't move any further left. typically in some of the congressional districts you have a couple of republicans running and say, 5 democrats, why, because of the tremendous anger at donald trump, democrats left-wing democrats have come out of the wood work to run for congress and get to washington to impeach him. this is driven in democratic national committee absolutely crazy because the democratic voters out there can't distinguish between the 5 candidates and they are worried that ultimately republicans will put their two candidates at the top of that ballot. paul: all right, thank you all. we have to take one more break. when we come back hits and misses of the week. so, how's it going? well... we had a vacation early in our marriage that kinda put us in a hole. go someplace exotic?
yeah, bermuda. a hospital in bermuda. a hospital in bermuda. what? what happened? i got a little over-confident on a moped. even with insurance, we had to dip into our 401(k) so it set us back a little bit. sometimes you don't have a choice. but it doesn't mean you can't get back on track. great. yeah, great. i'd like to go back to bermuda. i hear it's nice. yeah, i'd like to see it. no judgment. just guidance. td ameritrade. i'm all-business when i, travel... even when i travel... for leisure. so i go national, where i can choose any available upgrade in the aisle - without starting any conversations- -or paying any upcharges. what can i say? control suits me. go national. go like a pro. most people come to la with big dreams. ♪
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>> lou: good evening, everybody. our top stories, diplomatic drama as the united states and north korea making a last ditch effort to save the singapore summit. secretary of state pompeo warning that kim jong-un must make major concessions if we wants to sit down with kim jong-un. and president trump keeping promises and putting american workers to work.