tv Happening Now FOX News May 24, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT
>> you have one second. >> we have to run. see you tomorrow. >> jon: and we start with a fox news alert. new fallout after the white house pulls the plug on that upcoming summit with north korea. good morning to you. i'm jon scott. >> i'm melissa francis. live to the white house which just released a letter from president trump to kim jong-un where the president just canceled their meeting next month in singapore citing tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in recent statements from north korea. chief white house correspondent john roberts is live with more. a lot of speculation about why exactly this was. >> we have good reasons for it as well. this letter first of all that went out this morning in the 9:00 hour really is a page
right out of the president's book the art of the deal and certainly makes good on what he had been threatening for sometime. if he didn't think that talks with north korea were going to bear fruit he would pull out of them before the talks even got going. listen to what the secretary of state mike pompeo said on capitol hill a short time ago. >> sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement i feel it is inappropriate at this time to have this long-planned meeting. >> in terms of the anger and hostility one of kim jong-un's closest advisors threatened a nuclear confrontation with the united states if diplomacy failed. white house officials tell fox news that threat was at the center of president trump's decision to cancel the summit. at the same time, president trump reminded kim the u.s. can level his country if he decides that he wants a nuclear confrontation. the president though was also flattering to kim jong-un saying, quote, i felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me and
ultimately it is only dialogue that matters. someday i look very much forward to meeting you. in the meantime i want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. that was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated. the president also gave kim a chance to put the summit on track. if you change your mind having to do with this most important summit please do not hesitate to call me or write. the world and north korea in particular has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. this missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history. an interesting aspect to all of this to the best of my knowledge this is the first publicly acknowledged direct communication between a president of the united states and a north korean leader. at the same time all of this is going on two important meetings on what the president is calling spygate. one about noon today will include devin nunes and trey gowdy, the respective chairman
of the intelligence committee and oversight committee and the director of national intelligence, the f.b.i. director and the deputy at the department of justice and john kelly. they may be reviewing documents related to the fisa request to surveil carter page and as well information related to the f.b.i. informant who had contact with three members of president trump's campaign. then this afternoon the gang of eight will be meeting with the same officials from the d.o.j. except trey gowdy will be filling the place of paul ryan who says that he doesn't need to or want to go to that meeting. nunes and gowdy want to see the intelligence that led to the fisa request to surveil carter page and the information about the confidential informant. nunes says he isn't knowing the informant's name. all you want to do is unmask this person. nunes says i just want to see the information. the president himself ordered the d.o.j. to convene the meetings.
here is what he said about it yesterday. >> president trump: everybody wants this solved. but a lot of bad things have happened. we now call it spygate. a lot of bad things have happened. i want them all to get together. sit in a room and hopefully they can work it out among themselves. >> senator chuck schumer was critical of the fact that democrats aren't invited to the first meeting and now critical there is a first meeting at all. >> the separate meeting with a known partisan whose only intent is to undermine the mueller investigation should be called off. what's the point of the separate briefing if not to cause partisan trouble? clearly tensions running high on all sides of this this morning. >> thank you for that. >> jon: president trump taking a tough stand against gang
violence singling out ms-13 and detailing their gruesome crimes and making a case for stronger immigration policies and doubling down on his word animals. >> these are vicious killers and shouldn't be allowed into the country. the laws are horrible. the democrats are sticking up for ms-13. you heard nancy pelosi the other day trying to find all sorts of reasons why they should be able to stay. these are stone cold killers. vicious killers. and when you hear families like that and see families, these are incredible families where they lost their daughters in this case. yet other people in the room lost sons. this should never happen. >> jon: joining us now is the white house reporter at the associated press. the president is proposing a change to the way foreign aid is distributed to countries whose citizens illegally enter the united states. how would that work, jill? >> this is the plan the
president floated yesterday. he was in long island talking about illegal immigration and talking about ms-13 and he threw out this idea. there were already working on it they set up a system where countries that receive foreign aid from the united states, every time somebody crossed the border illegally the u.s. would deduct money from that aid that the u.s. provides to those countries. it's an idea the president has flirted with before. also talking about putting sanctions on those countries. i was at the white house for responses on which countries he is talking about and how that mechanism would work. the white house has yet to answer those questions but clearly something the president is looking for new tools and new ways to be able to punish these countries and prevent people from entering the country. >> jon: sounds like a bookkeeping nightmare. >> the people in charge would agree with that. it is hard to say until we see the details of the mechanisms
he would want to use here. >> jon: he referred to nancy pelosi and how she reacted as house minority leader to his animals comment. i want to play some of that for you now. >> when the president of the united states says about undocumented immigrants these aren't people, these are animals, you have to wonder does he not believe in the divinity and dignity and worth of every person? >> the president was speaking specifically about ms-13 gang members, not illegal immigrants at large. >> yes. the president and white house have been using the democrats' response to his animal comments to their political advantage suggesting here that democrats nancy pelosi, chief among them, are coming to ms-13's defense how could you possibly be defending these brutal people who do those horrific crimes? they are speaking past each
other. when the president made those comments, he speaks in a way that is different from other politicians and sometimes people are able to interpret him in different ways. the way his comments were first reported by some out lets without context suggested that they were directed at a broader swath of people living in the country illegally. then you had all of these politicians including nancy pelosi responding to that comment out of context saying mr. president, how can you be referring to this broader group of people who enter the country illegally animals? you have the president suggesting they're referring to ms-13. they're talking past each other in a way that benefits each other politically. the democrats want to say he is inhumane. the president is looking for ways to jump on nancy pelosi. he was at a dinner on tuesday night with susan b. anthony list. a great day for us, so bad for the democrats to be here
defending ms-13. >> jon: jill with the associated press. thank you for being on. >> we want to tell you the president tweeted on north korea saying sadly i was forced to cancel the summit meeting in singapore with kim jong-un. a very tame tweet by the president's standards. also coming from the white house right now car and trucks imported into the u.s. may be the next tariff target with the trump administration launching an investigation into whether or not they are needed. the president invoking a provision that would authorize him to restrict those imports based on national security grounds. the move is seen as an effort to gain leverage in the stalled talks with canada and mexico over nafta. as many of the car imports come from assembly plants in those two countries. >> jon: the white house is out of the summit meeting with north korea. the big headline this morning. the timing of this on capitol hill is interesting as the secretary of state is facing a
grilling in front of the senate foreign relations committee. we'll get senator john thune's reactions coming up. volcano troubles mounting in hawaii. why some residents could be trapped after a lava flow takes a drastic turn. >> the lava activity continues and all operations are working today. we have had several over flights that report continuous vigorous activity. whoooo.
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explosions in ignited causing scientists to issue extreme warnings. meantime new eruptions bracing some residents with further uncertainty. so far 2,000 people have been evacuated. already lava has destroyed 50 buildings and close to two dozen homes. >> the white house calling off the summit meeting with north korea. the president tweeting about it just moments ago saying sadly i was forced to cancel the summit meeting in singapore with kim jong-un. that's it. short and sweet. meanwhile today is going to be a long day for the justice department. two big meetings are set with top lawmakers and the heads of both the f.b.i. and the d.o.j. both meetings talking about the president's spying claims. joining me now is senate g.o.p. conference chairman john thune. a lot to get to this morning. let me jump right in. what is your reaction to the cancellation of the north korean summit? do you think it was about the
deal that was on the table and maybe not liking that? was it about the words? what is your feel? >> good morning. i think it's a combination of all the above. i think the administration made a judgment based on some preliminary discussions and rhetoric coming out of north korea of late. the meetings the president had with president moon of south korea this week in which they talked a lot about this. i think it's pretty clear at this point that kim jong-un is pulling back and intensifying some of the rhetoric. i think the president made the right decision. we've always approached this with a certain amount of cautious optimism. it is a missed opportunities for the north koreans. they have a lot to gain at the table. if they aren't willing to denuclearize the president has made it clear that's his priority. that's i think the world community's priority. if they aren't going to go there it is time to pull back
and take another look at this and restart the negotiations at another time. >> every meaningful deal gets back together and falls apart before it happens. the meetings supposed to be on today revealing what was going on in the f.b.i. and d.o.j. does it feel like it's getting crazy who is invited and who is not? >> seems like the invitation list or guest list has become more of an issue than it out to be. i hope that at least having a bipartisan sit down where you have members from both the house and senate republicans and democrats in the same room, whatever information is imparted there will shed some light on some of these questions and hopefully enable us to get some answers. now, obviously there are many of us who won't be at the meeting who are interested in who is going on as well. if there were attempts by the d.o.j. or f.b.i. to have some
interference in the last election, it is something we all need to know. i hope they get to the bottom of it today. and more information as the day wears on. >> are you comfortable with not going? >> i understand the intelligence on this and the top level security clearances are the folks that get presented with this information, the gang of eight. i hope we'll see it as well eventually. >> the president talking about the mid-term elections as well and here is what he said. >> president trump: your vote in 2018 is as important as your vote in 2016, although i'm not sure i really believe that but, you know. i don't know who the hell wrote that line. i'm not sure. [laughter] [applause] but it is still important, remember. that's why we will be campaigning for every last vote
in every part of our great country. >> does that sum it up? >> well, i think the president will be very involved and we're very interested in the senate. we have a very narrow 50/49 majority now and makes it challenging to get things done. if we want to get the president's agenda and our agenda across the finish line. giving us more republican senators is very important and i think the president knows that. >> what does it feel like right now to you? >> i think it feels good. the competitive races are in states where the president did well and we think we have a good opportunity and good candidates. so it all comes down to fielding good candidates and making sure they're resourced and having a good message benefiting from a reasonably good environment. if you look at it today, things can change. campaigns and all these environments change over time but i think we're in pretty good position right now. optimistic that we could have
some good successes this fall. >> senator, thank you for that. >> jon: much more ahead on our top story as the u.s. pulls out of a planned summit with kim jong-un. new reaction from congresswoman martha mcsally who sits on the house armed services committee is ahead. plus police are apologizing after release of body cam footage shows an officer using a taser after a routine stop for a parking violation. >> it revealed members acted inappropriately and they were recently disciplined. ners claimr so allstate is giving us money back on our bill. well, that seems fair. we didn't use it. wish we got money back on gym memberships. get money back hilarious. with claim-free rewards. switching to allstate is worth it.
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milwaukee police are issuing an apologize after the release of body cam footage of an officer arresting and using a taser on an nba player, sterling brown. the officer stopping the milwaukee bucks rookie over a parking violation before things turned confrontational. the milwaukee police chief expressing regret over the incident. >> our department conducted an investigation into the incident which revealed members acted inappropriately and those members were recently disciplined. criminal charges against mr. brown were not pursued. i'm sorry this incident escalated to this level. >> melissa: the milwaukee bucks are giving brown their full support calling the officers' actions shameful and inexcusable. >> jon: now this fox news alert. the white house has withdrawn from a planned june 12th summit
with kim jong-un after a top north korean official lashed out at vice president mike pence slamming his as a political dummy. president trump announcing his decision in a letter to kim jong-un saying quote sadly based on the trem en dose anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement i feel it is inappropriate at this time to have this long-planned meeting. joining us now arizona congresswoman martha mcsally a member of the house committee on armed services and homeland security. what do you think of the president's decision to cancel this meeting? >> well, i totally agree with his decision especially the developments of the last few days. look, kim jong-un has continued to play around with this thing and trying to act like he is an equal to us on the world stage. the reality is that he is a gnat in charge of a failed state. president trump is the leader of the free world and this is not a game. so just the rhetoric that
they've used has gone beyond posturing and back to the threats. so i totally agree that president trump needed to walk away to remind him we'll continue the maximum pressure campaign to crank up the noose on this failed state to stop them from achieving a nuclear weapon that can threat en our country. >> jon: this referred to vice president mike pence as a political dummy. is this a case of tit-for-tat or is that reason enough to withdraw from a summit? >> that combined with the threats. again, he is trying to act like he is an equal and he is not. they have a net income per capita of 5% of those living in south korea. they are an oppressive, failed state and through the leadership of president trump and this administration they've cranked up maximum pressure on them and we need to continue to choke it off in order to stay focused on our vital national interests. it was right for president trump to say enough is enough.
i'm not dealing with you as a peer. we're trying to give you a path forward that's good for your people but we aren't playing games and he is walking away. president reagan walked away from iceland with gorbachev. they are a failed state and they aren't going to continue on their path. >> jon: what is the purpose of you heading to that part of the world >> i am. i can't get into specifics for security purposes. our intent was to get eyes on the ground and talk to the troops and military leaders and our diplomatic leaders and those of south korea to see what is really happening. what is our readiness situation is. should we need to our troops are ready to defend our national interests and make sure they don't have a nuclear weapon able to hold an american city hostage. i wanted to get there firsthand and see what is going on ?* on the ground. >> jon: you are the first woman
to fly in combat for the u.s. air force. as a veteran and someone who has seen combat nobody likes the prospect of war less than a veteran. >> no. >> jon: the north koreans, if they don't come to their senses is that on the table? >> this administration and president trump and all those around him know and we're clear eyed that what we cannot have a north korea hold an american city hostage with a nuclear weapon. that can't happen. we must stop it. we use all elements of national power. a maximum pressure campaign with economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure and if we need to, we have to have all options on the table. the whole idea of deterring your enemy from doing something so dangerous is that you have to be willing and able to make it so painful for him that he has to change his behavior. so if needed, we will have a military ready and they are able and we are willing to stop them holding one of our cities
hostage. an awful scenario but second to having a nuclear weapon in his hands. >> jon: keep us updated on your trip to the korean peninsula. >> melissa: two months after the president deployed the national guard to the southern border we got a ride along on a busy sector of the u.s./mexico border. we're live with that story. the nfl's new stand on the national anthem. the politics of the league's policies and who the winners and losers really are. >> i'm glad they came to an agreement. some form or another. i'll be out there standing. i'm really into this car,
but how do i know if i'm getting a good deal? i tell truecar my zip and which car i want and truecar shows the range of prices people in my area actually paid for the same car so i know if i'm getting a great price. this is how car buying was always meant to be. this is truecar. >> jon: fox news alert. we're awaiting an appearance from president trump at the white house. he will be there momentarily signing the economic growth regulatory relief and consumer protection act. it is the republican's answer to what they see as the abuses of the dodd-frank legislation passed during the obama administration. the president expected to be in the white house any moment now to sign that legislation. when he does so we'll take you back there live. >> clearly our objective is a
league into all 32 clubs that was unanimous. we want people to be respectful of the national anthem and we want people to stand. that's all personnel and make sure they treat this moment in a respectful fashion. that's something that we think we owe. we've been very sensitive in making sure that we give players choices but we do believe that that moment is an important moment. >> melissa: that was roger goodell explaining the league east new policy regarding the national anthems and teams and league personnel will get fined after they don't follow it after kneeling protests have sparked a firestorm of controversies. on "fox & friends" this morning president trump reacting to the new policy. >> president trump: i don't think people should be staying in locker rooms. you have to stand proudly for the national anthem. or you shouldn't be playing or there. maybe you shouldn't be in the country. you have to stand proudly for the national anthem.
and the nfl owners did the right thing if that's what they've done. >> melissa: joining us now is a syndicated radio talk show host and a former communications director marco rubio. leslie, here we go. football season is starting. was it smart of them to have the change at the beginning or bringing something up where people on both sides are frustrated with? >> i'm glad you asked the question in that manner. i think it's the latter. first the nfl players were happy and felt the organization had their backs. they don't feel it now. the idea of a protest in the tunnel or locker room isn't a protest. if a tree falls in the forest but no one is there to see it or hear it did it fall. with regard to the first amendment, to me this is spitting upon freedom and the
constitution. and you know, melissa, it bothers me the nfl seems to be taking a knee than some of the other terrible things that many of the players in the nfl have been accused of, domestic violence and other things. to me this is just really bad all around for the players, for those that go to the games and for the #metoo movement. >> melissa: picking a scab off a wound or addressing it head on before the season gets started >> i'm a big football fan. i give the commissioner credit for finally making a decision. later is better than never in this case. look, last year these protests week after week was a distraction from the game for the reason why fans like me tuned in in the first place. the commissioner is right to finally address it. i give a lot of credit to the president for keeping the pressure on the nfl and keeping it on the radar forcing the owners to make this decision.
the players still have an option. if they don't want to stand for the national anthem they can wait in the locker room. at least there is a clear policy the players and everyone can look to and be ton same page and focus on football. >> melissa: i'm not advocating for this. playing the other side are they kind of saying move on by saying we've seen the protests, a lot of people have taken a knee. now at this point you can stand out there proudly or you have the choice to stay inside but let's move on. what do you think of sort of interpreting the decision that way? >> i like the idea that they have something that the entire league can agree on. i don't like what they've agreed to. i think this is not only going to reopen the wound but i think players will become creative and find other ways of protest without taking a knee and without being in the tunnel and the locker room. i think they are putting the spotlight on an issue once again that they want to go away because of failed ratings and sponsors complaining and the
bottom line, which is money. and that's what they care about. our tax dollars, melissa, don't pay for this. that's what bothers me about the president weighing in. this is not something like okay, this is a federal entity. this is a sport. >> melissa: he has the right to free speech just like everybody else. everybody is out there expressing an opinion. at the end of the day it is a business. the owners do own the teams and their images and they are trying to react to what gets ratings and fills the stands and do what's right from a financial perspective. they are businesses. >> what we saw the nfl go through last year was a crisis, they didn't have a policy that the players can't damage the business by causing these distractions. now they have that policy in place and hopefully it will
make things much smoother moving forward. i think the president has every right to speak out about organizations that are as important to the american people as the nfl is. >> melissa: i want to point out to people what they're seeing at the bottom of the screen. the president is getting ready to sign a rollback of dodd-frank. what is significant about this as well is that it's the first time we will see him out there at the podium since the meeting with north korea, the summit has been canceled. we sort of expect that perhaps in conjunction and in addition to talking about what he is actually there for. you see wilbur ross on the right who has anything to do with business. we expect he might say something about north korea as well. what do you think? >> if we talk about north korea, i don't think this is the art of a good deal. the reason i say that is we have angered russia and china but more so a key ally, south korea. this could have been a very
historic meeting. i think the president, the way he has put it has said i hope you come back to the table. no, president trump, you canceled this meeting and i understand why he did it. to me it becomes childish to say you said something that we don't like. you made a statement we don't like. meeting is off. that's a different kind of deal. maybe it works in the boardroom but not on an international level regarding nuclear weapons and diplomacy. >> melissa: i would say that's not how it works in the boardroom. when you sit there and say respectfully we can't make it any further and not have this meeting. it is not about what was said it is about the specifics of the deal they were negotiating behind the scenes and the idea that the president is saying you have my best and final offer. if you aren't interested in that, maybe that's what was going on, we are now canceling this summit. what do you think of that interpretation of today's events? there are a lot of folks out there saying that's what they think is going on here. >> that's absolutely right. normally when heads of state
meet like they were going to meet next month in singapore it is to codify some sort of an agreement. so they put the deadline out there of june 12th to say we'll have an agreement by then. clearly given the north korean's recent statements they weren't ready to make a deal. if you don't have a deal in place for the june 12th meeting the president is absolutely right to cancel the meeting. it keeps the pressure on the north koreans, is sanctions remain in place. in the meantime we have the hostages back. they destroyed one of their nuclear test facilities this morning. i think progress is being made with the president's policies. we have a long way to go and still a tremendous threat but there is no doubt in my mind and most senators in the buildings behind me would agree with this, there is no doubt that canceling the meeting was the right thing to do because the time was not right, the agreement was not in place. it wasn't going to be a productive use of everyone's time and a setback of keeping
the sanctions in place in the long term. >> melissa: you don't think this is the last we're hearing in this negotiation, do you? >> absolutely not, no. you know i'm not a big fan of the president but i think he actually sitting down with kim jong-un might get farther. i think they have some similar traits in their personalities and i think quite frankly if a deal is to be made that's when it is hammered out. not agreed to before. i think we're naive to think kim jong-un would come to the table and say i'll completely denuclearize north korea with american troops in south korea. he won't do that. he won't agree to that. >> melissa: she makes a bunch of good points. it's possible they're talking about what they are going to agree to. maybe they have to a stalling point. they don't necessarily have to have every detail before he goes in the sense he does tend to do better with people when he is in the room. what do you think? >> i think that's right and that some details could be ironed out between the two
leaders when they meet face-to-face. however, when their principals are so far apart. the u.s. is demanding he gets rid of nuclear weapons and he says no way he will get rid of the nuclear weapons. i don't know how you resolve that in 10 or 12 days. i think it's better to leave the sanctions in place. the moment you have that meeting the pressure comes off the north koreans in terms of the sanctions. they can blame trump and the u.s. for being unreasonable and then it's easier for the chinese to take the pressure off north korea, the sanctions. the most important thing that president trump can do moving forward is keep the sanctions on the north koreans. it is bringing them to the table. they need to come ready to make a deal. if they weren't ready to make a deal on june 12 he did the right thing to cancel that meeting. >> melissa: to have his note in
the public to read to kim jong-un and hear the language and feel it is not his normal language. so to me it seems to indicate that there is still a ton of diplomacy going on and it seemed like every word in that letter was very carefully chosen to deliver a specific message. what are your thoughts on that? >> i agree with you 100%. i think some of the letter is quintessential donald trump. but i think there is certainly diplomacy thanking for the hostage release. i felt that we had and were building a good relationship although i think that may be the president's own words it is clear somebody looked it over and edited and tweaked it, as they would with any leader. what is interesting, melissa, is that unfortunately at this moment the president finds himself, which for the past 50 years administrations both left and right have found themselves n a bit of a quagmire with north korea. imposing sanctions, hoping to have meetings and diplomacy
both left and right criticize each other for but we've seen obama and clinton and bush and reagan and daddy bush have the same problems with regard to north korea regardless of who is leading that country at the time as we're seeing now the president is grappling with with kim jong-un at the helm. >> jon: alex, was it a mistake for the president to negotiate with the north koreans in the first place? a lot of observers said the prospect of a meeting elevated kim's standing on the world stage because all of a sudden this dictator would be meeting with the most powerful man in the world. >> that was the risk the president took. it is why previous presidents have been reluctant to offer to meet with the leader of north korea. however, i think if you look at the failure of the past policies, the failures of the previous presidents, clearly something different needed to be tried. in part because the problem now
is more acute than it was a couple of years ago even for president obama. now we know that the north koreans have nuclear weapons because they've demonstrated their ability to explode them and we know they are getting really good at long-range missiles that very soon would be able to carry a nuclear warhead to where i'm sitting here in washington, d.c. and so therefore it is critical that we confront this issue now. i give the president credit for changing policies, taking some risks, and trying to engage the north koreans more directly since the multi-lateral approach in the past just has not been successful. and he has dramatically increased the sanctions and we've already seen some results as we discussed in terms of getting the hostages back. this problem is not solved. he is making progress but not ready to get the nobel peace prize quite yet. the north koreans haven't agreed to disarm or get rid of their nuclear weapons. that's the ultimate goal here.
look, having a dialogue with the north koreans can be producttive so long as it doesn't jeopardize the sanctions regime currently in place. the president is clear-eyed about this and i give him credit for canceling the summit in two weeks knowing it was likely to not be successful and could be counterproductive. >> jon: for our viewers we're waiting the ceremony on screen at the white house, waiting for president trump to emerge. he will be signing legislation that sessionly -- rolls back some of the restrictions of dodd-frank in the months after the great recession began. it puts severe restrictions on banks of all sizes and the smaller community banks, the local banks complained it was really, really affecting their ability to do business because they were awash in paperwork as a result. the president is going to sign legislation to release some of those banks from that kind of
onerous obligation. there will be a lot of rejoicing in smallville as a result. >> melissa: we'll see. in the meantime we want to bring in jennifer griffin live at the pentagon right now. no doubt there is a lot of reaction there to this change in plans over north korea. what was the response around you like? did it feel like a surprise or did it feel like this is where we were headed at least for the time being? >> we started seeing some indications that there was likely to be trouble with these talks. there were indications here at the pentagon yesterday that there were high-level meetings taking place in the wake of some of the actions that china has taken in recent weeks. if you look at what the pentagon did yesterday, it is all interconnected to these north korean talks and the cancellation of the talks. there was a belief at the top level of the pentagon and you heard the president express it that china's president xi, when kim jong-un went to beijing to
meet with him. that shortly after that as the white house was engaged in very tough trade talks, that's when kim jong-un started to pull back and indicate that maybe these talks wouldn't go forward and started making some threatening statements and we saw the pentagon yesterday disinvite -- take the unprecedented move of disinviting china to upcoming military exercises at the end of june that would involve 27 nations. known as rim pack at the rim of the pacific. it was a sign to us the pentagon was starting to send a signal to the chinese. remember, they just last week landed a nuclear-capable bomber on the disputed woody islands in the south china sea. the war footing in terms of the way china is behaving, it was not setting the tone for these talks and while china was very helpful in bringing kim jong-un to the table and helping the u.s. with sanctions in the early months of the administration, the actions in
the last few weeks of president xi had caught the attention and now unfortunately what is going to happen is the pentagon is going to have to go back to that sending signals that the strong pressure that was believed to have gotten kim jong-un to the table. so once again the pentagon wants this to be a diplomaticly solved resolved issue but we still have 28,500 u.s. troops on the korean peninsula. you still have war exercises taking place in the next coming weeks that have always made kim jong-un anxious. so we're in a very, very tense situation as we see these talks called off. >> melissa: was it supposed to look like to all of asia is we are putting the pressure back on. before we were trying to seem more diplomatic and opening the door but at this point it's a tough stance and the president said in that letter, you know,
basically i'm paraphrasing kim jong-un has said a lot of hostile things in the past 24 hours the end of the day that really matters is the conversation between the two leaders and its potential. what did you make of that part of the note and contrasting that with what you were just talking about and seeing elsewhere in the world? >> i think what's important to remember the pentagon never took the pressure off. they did not submit to requests from the south koreans to not use b-52 bombers in upcoming exercises. the south koreans pulled out of those exercises. they have been slightly concerned at times that maybe the u.s. was pushing too much in keeping the military posture as strong as it has been. the pentagon has not backed off of that. but you hear from defense secretary mattis and others that they always wanted this to be a diplomatically-led process and they still intend to keep -- continue with exercises. they weren't going to call off
any of the exercises just because kim jong-un had decided to come to the table. the president, i think now, has taken the decision to not meet with kim mostly because he was getting indications that kim was getting cold feet. and the belief at the pentagon and at the white house was that that pressure, the slowing down, was intricately related to the trade talks and china wanting kim to go slower. this is a high-stakes poker game and i think they've called -- the president essentially has called kim's bluff and now the question is can they get the talks back on track in the future. >> jon: that secret meeting between kim and president xi a week ago, a lot of people were surprised by that. is it a feeling at the pentagon or the white house that xi leaned on kim to sort of back away from doing some kind of deal with the president?
>> that's certainly what the president said the other day in remarks at the white house. and i've heard that from senior leaders here at the pentagon. i believe the assessment at the time was that something happened during that meeting because the tone started changing from kim jong-un after that meeting with president xi. >> melissa: it's interesting jennifer you make the point it seemed like kim jong-un was getting cold feet here and the pentagon didn't ever soften their stance or pressure. everybody loves to quarterback afterwards and look back. will the administration now be criticized for having, you know, pressured him to the point where he got cold feet? >> well, there will always be criticism. the question is did the administration -- i think the biggest criticism will be does the administration, the white house as well as secretary pompeo indicate or send a message through their body language and the things they
were telling kim publicly that they wanted these talks too much? did they seem too eager? the biggest criticism i've heard is many of the long-time negotiators who dealt with north korea in the past felt that over a month ago the administration should have gone quiet about these talks. there were too many sunday show interviews and too many interviews that could be misinterpreted by kim jong-un who is unpredictable. >> jon: what has been the reaction from china since they've been disinvited from the rim pac exercises. >> we have not heard any direct response from the chinese after that unprecedented move yesterday for the pentagon to disinvite them from this high-profile 27-nation military exercise which they had participated back in 2014 and 2012. they participated twice before. this was designed as a confidence-building measure with the chinese military and
navy. we have not heard any public remarks from the chinese in response to that but that is a very strong signal about where the pentagon is and how they are going to maintain pressure and they are not -- they may start responding more, i think, to some of china's moves in the south china sea. remember that there was a time where we were responding very aggressively to those moves and then i think as china was helping with the north korean situation, some of those public military reactions to china's mill -- >> melissa: if you say the loudest criticism you were hearing ahead of this being too eager. the idea of the president pulling the plug may have been the best remedy. we'll listen into the president right now. thanks, jennifer. >> president trump: hello, everybody.
thank you very much. i would like to begin by saying that based on the recent statement of north korea, i have decided to terminate the planned summit in singapore on june 12th. while many things can happen and a great opportunity lies ahead potentially, i believe that this is a tremendous setback for north korea and indeed a setback for the world. i've spoken to general mattis and the joint chiefs of staff and our military, which is by far the most powerful anywhere in the world and has been greatly enhanced recently, as you all know, is ready if necessary. likewise, i have spoken to south korea and japan.
and they are not only ready should foolish or reckless acts be taken by north korea, but they are willing to shoulder much of the cost of any financial burden, any of the costs associated by the united states in operations if such an unfortunate situation is forced upon us. hopefully positive things will be taking place with respect to the future of north korea. but if they don't, we are more ready than we have ever been before. north korea has the opportunity to end decades of poverty and oppression by following the path of denuclearization and joining the community of
nations. and i hope that kim jong-un will ultimately do what is right not only for himself, but perhaps most importantly what is right for his people who are suffering greatly and needlessly. all of the korean people, north and south, deserve to be able to live together in harmony, prosperity and peace. that bright and beautiful future can only happen when the threat of nuclear weapons is removed. no way it can happen otherwise. if and when kim jong-un chooses to engage in constructive dialogue and actions, i am waiting. in the meantime, our very strong sanctions, by far the
strongest sanctions ever imposed, and maximum pressure campaign will continue as it has been continuing. but no matter what happens, and what we do, we will never, ever compromise the safety and security of the united states of america. i want to make that statement. i feel very, very strongly about it. our military, as you know, has been greatly enhanced. we'll soon be at a level it has never been before. our approval of $700 billion this year and $716 billion next year, largely due to the help of a lot of the people with me today and standing right here,
we appreciate. but we had to do that for our military and we have done it and hopefully everything will work out well with north korea. and a lot of things can happen. including the fact that perhaps -- and we'll wait -- it's possible that the existing summit could take place or a summit at some later date. nobody should be anxious. we have to get it right. okay. with that being said, we have something else which i have to tell you all of you chairmen, mike, and everybody, that was a big deal until this came up. [laughter] i don't know, where is mike? where are you? mike, congratulations. you did a great job. it doesn't seem so important now. [laughter] but it is important. it's incredible. and it is incredible that you've done it and done it in a very bipartisan way, which is very nice. thank you very much. but a very bipartisan way, mike.
i want to congratulate you and everyone else. i'll read a few names. these people worked hard. this is all about the dodd-frank disaster and they fixed it or at least have gone a long way toward fixing it. mike crepeau, thank you very much. thank you, steve daines. john kennedy, thank you very much, john. heidi heitkamp, thank you very much. appreciate it. david perdue. where is david? i love david. [laughter] what a great guy he is. jim risch. thank you, what a great lawyer. i learned all about you. one of the great lawyers. i think i have to use him. [laughter] i think i have to use him. tim scott. tim, thank you. great job. a great achievement. and pat toomey who does know the financial