tv Face the Nation CBS March 3, 2019 8:30am-8:59am PST
the new 7pm news. captioning sponsored by cbs >> brennan: it's sunday, march 3rd. i'm margaret brennan, and this is "face the nation." >> unphased by one of the boston weeks of his administration, the president slammed his critics in the longest speech of his presidency before a group of conservative activists. >> and all of a sudden, they are trying to take you out with bull (bleep), okay? it is bull (bleep). >> brennan: the president is struggling to contain fallout from devastating testimony from former personal attorney michael cohen. >> he is a racist, he is a con man, and he is a cheat. >> brennan: and blasted democrats for expanding their
investigation. >> i saw a little shifty shift and he said we are going to look into his finances. i said where did that come from? he always talked about russia. >> brennan: we will ask the man in the president's crosshairs the chairman of the house intelligence committee adam schiff about this week's bomb shell revelations. and we will ask the president's national security advisor, john bolton what went wrong with north korean leader kim jong-un. cbs news foreign correspondent charlie d'agata sat down in syria. she is the american who joined isis and is now barred from returning back home. and senator doug jones talks about what it is like to with be a democrat in the very red state of alabama. that plus analysis on all the news of the week is just ahead on "face the nation". . >> brennan: good morning and welcome to "face the nation". we begin
today with president trump's national security
advisor am bass do, ambassador john bolton, good to have you here. >> good to be with you. >> brennan: we have different versions of the story as to why this summit failed to produce any results. why was the president unable to negotiate further? >> i don't consider the summit a failure. i consider it a success defined it is a real estate protecting and advancing american national interests. there was extensive preparation or this meeting. extensive discussions between the president and kim jong-un and the issue really was whether north korea was prepared to accept what the president called ththe big deal, which is denuclearize entirely under a definition the president handed the kim jong-un, and have the potential for an enormous economic future. or try to do something less than that which was unacceptable to us. so the president held firm to his view. he deepened his relationship with kim jong-un. i don't view it as a failure at all when anatio interests are protected. >> brennan: but to be clear, north korea still has not agreed
to denuclearize as the u.s. defines? it. >> not as we have defined it, although they have committed this public and regimes in north korea four or five times in writing to denuke cries. >> brennan: so that doesn't mean much to to you? >> which we expect them to do if they reach an agreement with us. >> on the specific a seen 0 your state department official spoke to reporters and said what the north koreans proposed specifically was about dissonant ling the three-mile pyongyang complex which he defined as the total at this of north korea 0's plutonium reprocessing and enrichment program in exchange for lifting all sanctions except those on the weapon programs. did the u.s. make a counteroffer? >> well, the counteroffer has been there from the beginning, from the very first summit back in singapore, which is if north korea commits to complete denuclearization, including its ballistic missile program and chemical and biological weapons programs, the prospect of economic progress is there.
at north korea put on the table. >> did not. >> this narrow definition. >> very limited concession by the north koreans involving the pyongyang complex, which includes an aging nuclear reactor, and some percentage of their uranium enrichment possibility in exchange for substantial relief from the sanctions. now one thing president trump has said beginning in the 2016 campaign is that he is not going to make the mistakes of require administrations and get into this action for action kind of arrange a president, which benefits -- >> brennan: with no counteroffer. >> the counteroffer is where we have been, where the president has exercised his persuasive abilities on kim jong-un to take the big deal and they weren't willing to do it. >> brennan: but what made the president steak out this tion? he negotiated the north koreans before going back to 2002, did you see the same pattern playing out now? >> i think the difference that president trump has the articulated to the north koreans
is the future for them, once they make this strategic decision to question nuke, denuke cries what they have done before is promise, and get financial benefits and renege on the deal. the president asked to look what was possible for them overall and i think he remains optimistic that this is possible. kim jong-un himself said in our last meeting,, you know, we are going to go through many stations on -- before we achieve this deal, the meeting in hanoi was one such station. so the president is ready to keep talking. >> brennan: are you expecting north korea to come back with an offer a? >> i don't know what they are going to do. i think the 43 himself said he expects, they will want to go back and reevaluate what happens. certainly we will and look at continuing the economic sanctions against north korea, which brought them to the table in first place. we will see what happens next. >> brennan: but in the antime, north korea till produce nuclear fuel? they v tha exactly correct. it,e >> brennan: so they are a growing threat? >> well, i think our objective remains to find a way to get them to denuclearize, the
president is trying this negotiation but his objective has always been denuclearization. >> brennan: is the window for diplomacy about to close here? i mean this seems like an open-ended -- >> i wouldn't say it that way. look, the president opened the door for north korean and singapore and they didn't want through it. he kept the door over. >> brennan: eight months ago. >> he kept the, it open in eight month in hanoi, the north korea wraps can walk through it. if they want to that's the diplomatic window. >> brennan: you said the plan last july was to dismantle north korea's nuclear facilities and have them turn over its weapons of mass destruction within a year. is that still a realistic timeline. >> no the question you asked them operationally how long would it take. there is some dispute in the u.s. government over what the period of time is. once north korea makes the decision to give up these capabilities how long would it take to conduct this dismantle. and with a few exceptions our judgment was we could finish within a year once with the
process started. >> brennan: so .. you still think it will take a year to dismantle it but acknowledge they haven't even agreed to it denuclearize. >> no, exactly. >> brennan: and no expiration on this offer to continue to negotiate? >> there is no expiration date. as i said the president is fully prepared to keep negotiating at lower levels, a to, or to speak to kim jong-un again. >> brennan: aren't they a continuing threat if they continue to pump up nuclear fuel, doesn't the leverage get reduced on our sentenced. >> i don't think the leverage gets reduced because i think we will keep the maximum pressure campaign in place, even before the summit we were looking at ways to tight 010 it up to stop, for example, the ship to ship transfers that the north koreans are using to evade sanctions, to talk to other countries, to make sure they tighten up on north korea, the sanctions that brought the north koreans to the table, it is the sanctions they want relief from, and relief they can get if they denuclearize. >> brennan: before the president went to a know, was the u.s. aware that north korea would not allow anything beyond
the pyongyang complex in this second uranium enrichment site the president nodded to in his press conference? did you know that was not on the table? >> well, we don't know what is on the table from north korea until it comes out of the mouth of kim jong-un the chairman. >> brennan: well, that's what diplomats are supposed to be laying the groundwork for so the president doesn't walk away with a failure. >> he didn't walk away with a failure. unless you are prepared to say that it would better to accept the bad deal than to walk away from no deal, to me that is a success. >> brennan: so you thought that nothing else was on the table? you were just testing the process by sending the president to hanoi? >> no, no, we monsly didn't know. i mean, it is not unusual in these circumstances to find that there are additional concessions that the other side might make. but we have tried to make it clear to them as again the president has said this repeatedly, we are not going to make the mistakes of past administrations, we are not going to make the mistake that obama made in the iran nuclear deal, what we want is denuclearization broadly define
as the president himself laid out for kim jong-un in the paper that he gave him. >> brennan: but you have tested this proposition now of what it's like to negotiate top down? >> well, we have had two meetings. >> brennan: the commander in chief to do this, a very different approach but the success rate hasn't been anything more than in the past? >> well the success rate in the arizona was zero, so that's not a hard bar to overcome. there is an argument that preceding deductibility rather than inductively makes sense, we had two meetings we will see what happens next. >> brennan: but in the meantime, as we say, they can still produce nuclear fuel and as you saw after the president left hanoi, kim jong-un stayed, there i mean he was walking around, touring hotspots in it have familiar. he no longer looks like a pariah. didn't he gain from this? >> wrong that's the president's view at all. >> brennan: he sat across from the president almost as an equal. >> he did that at singapore the president's view is he gave nothing away. >> brennan: but do you actually believe that? >> the president's view is he
gave nothing away that's what matters, not my view, as i said before, as i can't get people to listen so i will try it one more time i am the national security advisor i am not the national security decision maker. >> brennan: well, your views have been well documented in the past. >> usually by me. i mean i have written a lot of -- >> brennan: you are skeptical for many, many years. >> as i said those views are tout there. anybody can read them. my job is is to help the president, give him advice, give he my industries and he will make the decisions. >> brennan: 0 to be clear the administration is still no longer advocating regime change? >> the position of the administration is we want denuclearization of north korea and that's the objective we are pursuing. >> brennan: and still believe that kim jong-un can deliver on that? >> i think he is the authoritative ruler of that country and if he were to make the strategic decision to denuclearize we think it would happen. >> brennan: the real estate was asked about some student -- who died tragically after being released after some brutal treatment in north korean act captivity. when was it that the president
actually brought up his dice kim jong-un? >> well, that was in one of the meetings in -- on the second day. i think, and look the president. >> brennan: in hanoi? >> the hanoi. >> brennan: he's the firrought ? >> no, i think it was brought up before, it was brought up in singapore, he was very clear what was with in that case was unacceptable and barbaric and the best thing how long could do is come up with a full explanation of exactly what happened to him. >> brennan: but it seemed to suggest the president since he said he toon took kim kim at his word was willing to put aside these egregious human rights abuses and basically killing of an american while in captivity. >> listen i heard the president talk about otto warm beer on any number of occasions in the oval office and i know how strongly he feels about it. i have no doubt about that whatsoever. >> brennan: before i let you two the house oversight chairman a requested question about your personal security clearance is there anything you know of that would have raised a red flag, what he is looking for here? >> not tall one day i will be a
private citizen again and i would be delighted to take this nonsense on in detail, but as a white house official right now, threatened with subpoenas, with a lot of other things that is going on in congressionally take guidance from the white house counsel's office and the justice department and just wait for the day when i am a private citizen. >> brennan: but counsel, the white house
will respond to this? >> they will respond to it, that is correct. >> brennan: ambassador bolton, thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> brennan: we go now to the top democrat on the house intelligence committee adam schiff, he joins us from florida this morning. good morning to you, congres kon the president personally attacked you yesterday. >> good morning. >> brennan: at a conservative political action summit and he basked balked at the broadening of the investigation into his finances. can you clarify exactly what democrats are looking for here? sit his tax returns? >> well i am not surprised the president has balked at congress looking into his personal business, something he has tried
to draw a red line around, but we have seen from our own investigation as well as the special counsel's, just how perilous it would be for the country if we ignored or allowed him to draw red lines. the moscow trump tower deal, for example, is among the most disturbing, because that is is something the president was pursuing throughout the midst of the presidential campaign while saying he was having no business dealings with the russians. that was a deal that stood to make him more money than any other deal of his life, and it was a deal where he was pursuing help from the kremlin, from putin himself at a time when putin was seeking relove from sacks and that is the most compromising circumstance that i can imagine. so we are certainly looking deep into the set of issues around moscow trump tower, we are also looking at persistent allegations the russians have been laundering money for the trump organization. i don't know that that is true, but if it is, again, it is a profound compromise for this
president. >> brennan: you said you don't know that that is true. who can answer that question for you? who do you need to talk to? >> well, we will need to talk to some of the banks that have been doing business with mr. trump, like deutsche bank, which has had a history of laundering russian money. it was a bank, one of the very few if only that would do business with mr. trump after american banks refused. but we also will want to speak he accountants, the chief financial officers for the trump organization and others who have information about the moscow trump tower deal, about the issue of money laundering, n fact, we were bringing felix sater to talk about trump tower in a couple of weeks so any number of witness whose can shed light on whether america's marble security is compromised because the president has been pursuing financial interests with the russians. >> brennan: well, michael cohen i know will be testifying again for your committee this week. what kind of corroborating materials do you expect him to bring to that meeting?
>> well, mr. cohen testified that in open session and i can't go into our closed session interview, but about his pals testimony before our committee previously and how that written statement had gone through the different drafts or iterations. he testified in open session that others had reviewed that testimony and we have obviously a deep and compelling interest in whether others were knowing of those false statements that he would make to congress, whether there are any other acts or evidence of obstruction of justice which is also a core part of our investigation. >> brennan: cohen said, though, in that open testimony he had no direct evidence of collusion with russia. the senate intel chairman also says at this point, no evidence of collusion at this point. have you seen, to you have direct evidence of collusion with russia? >> well, i think there is direct evidence in the e-mails from the russians through their intermediary offering dirt on
hillary clinton as part of what is described in writing as the russian government effort to help elect donald trump. they offered that dirt, there is an acceptance of that offer in writing from the president's son, don, jr., and there is overt acts in furtherance of that, that is the meeting at trump tower and all the lies to cover up that meeting at trump tower and apparently lies the president participated in. that to me is direct evidence, but there is also an bun tenant circumstance july evidence, there is for example evidence of .. manafort sharing internal polling data with someone linked to the russian intelligence services. why do that, what legitimate purpose is there for things like that? michael cohen's own testimony was circumstance y'all evidence that the, circumstance july the evidence he was dealing with roger stone and wikileaks about yesreleases of information. >> brennan: none of this reaches impeachment allegations. they are serious allegation also. >> i have made this distinction all along, and that is, while
there is abundant evidence of collusion the evidence from a criminal point of view whether there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt of a criminal conspiracy. and that is something that we will have to await bob mueller's report and the underlying evidence to determine, we will also have to look at the whole body of improper and criminal actions by the president, including those campaign finance crimes to determine whether they rise to the level of removal from office. i have said that i think we should await the evidence from bob mueller as well as our own work and i am pleased to see that mr. nunez, who he and i have profound disagreements about many things are in agreement on one thing. the report and the evidence i thinato n trovng made public. >> brennan: kevin mccarthy, the republican leader has called for your recusal saying that because yo you had contact with michael cohen that you should not be directly involved in these investigations any longer and you set that standard. how do you respond to that? >> well, it is pretty frivolous,
what mccarthy is upset about is that i invited michael cohen to testify and that he accepted and our staff sat down and interviewed him before his testimony. that is what you do in any credible investigation. bob all, mueller -- >> brennan: was that the extent of your contact. >> the extent of my contact was to invite him to testify and to alleviate his concerns about the president's threats against him and his family but our staff certainly sat down to interview him and that's what you do in any credible investigation. i think mr. mccarthy can be for given in not now hogue to run a credible investigation, for two years they did none but one thing i think is really unforgivable and that's the degree to which mr. mccarthy and others have prostrated themselves before this president and not just in the russia investigation but even more significantly now with this emergency declaration which is an attack on the congress's power of the purse, for kevin mccarthy as a republican leader
to go along with that, so debase himself before this president that the cost of our institution i think is unfor giveable. >> brennan: thank you very much, congressman. we will be back in one minute to take a look at what did happen at that a moye summit, at that at that a moye summit, at that hanoi summit. stay with us. >>
>> brennan: after we finished our interview with chairman schiff he asked to turn the cameras back on to comment on what ambassador bolton said about the north korea summit. >> congressman, what was your impression of how the national security advisor described what happened in hanoi? >> well, i was struck by one thing in particular and that is when you asked him whether the president had given up anything by going to this summit and walking away empty-handed and his answer was that the real estate didn't believe so and you asked him well do you believe so. >> well what the president believes is all that matters. he couldn't even agree with his own president, of course the president did give up a great deal by going to that summit, by enhancing kim jong-un's prestige on the world stage, by giving up
those military exercises in the last summit, and getting nothing for it. and this is, i think, the result of a president who is not prepared for 0 these kind of negotiations, a staffer that is not well prepared and that is is essentially flying by the seat of its pants and has real world consequences those actors continue to spin on as you point out producing more material that can threaten us and our allies, and i think that this was a spectacular failure but made all the worse by the president's obsequious comments when it came to the murder of an american citizen otto warn beer. >> brennan: how intelligence committee adam schiff weighing in on the north korean summit we obviously spoke with both gentlemen earlier. we will be back in a moment with more face the nation. >> you've tried moisturizer after moisturizer...
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♪ >> brennan: the theatre of the summit element overshadowed the seriousness of the issues. on the streets of hanoi, t-shirts with quirky images of president trump and kim jong-un were sold as souvenirs. a local bar served a kimche beer called kim jong-un ail but they spent far more time traveling to vietnam than negotiating. kim took a 60 hour train ride. president trump flew 17 hours plus to go half way around the world. >> sometimes you have to walk and this was just one of those times. >> brennan: they left with a stalemate and a pledge to have diplomats continue talking. but even that may be a winning prospect for kim, who no longer appears the pariah. he stayed in vietnam after the summit to tour hotspots, an option not afforded to his people, they are forbidden to travel. still, the sanction sanctions cs
country's economy remain as do widespread food shortages, north korea is scrapped for cash due to crippling global sanctions so it relies on illicit trade and even state owned businesses like this restaurant which sends known back to pyongyang. >> now it may be even harder to get other countries to shut down these small operations. actor kim earned the right to sit across from the pea as almost an equal, since he figured out how to threaten the u.s. with nuclear weapons and then flattered him with letters flirting with the idea of giving that arsenal away. the u.s. did learn a few things, that kim does not want to be isolated and most of all that he wants the financial strain on north korea lifted. >> are you -- >> >> brennan: it was extraordinary to see him face questions from the western yes, sir with a very, for the very first time. >> chairman kim are you ready to allow the united states to have -- >>
>> brennan: questions that make aides nervous but even president trump wanted answered. >> is it bert better to. >> is it better to -- >> yes. i think so. it is an interesting question. i would like to get an answer. >> brennan: while the brinksmanship of these two unusual personalities failed to forge a breakthrough, at least neither side seemed ready to escalate to war. instead, leaving the door open to future diplomacy. and we will be right back. >> >> this portion of "face the nation" is sponsored by charles schwab, own your tomorrow. >> highest in investor satisfaction with full service brokerage firms...again. and online equity trades are only $4.95... i mean you can't have low cost and be full service. it's impossible. it's like having your cake and eating it too. ask your broker if they offer award-winning full service and low costs. how am i going to explain this?
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>> brennan: some 0 of our nations station, leaving us thousand but we will be back a with senator doug jones, he is here to talk about his new book, the church bombing that changed the course of civil rights and talk about the case 0 of a young woman from alabama who joined isis and now wants to return home to the u.s. our charlie d'agata spoke with her yesterday. plus our political panel is ahead, so stay with us. >> for comfort food at a comfortable price,
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