tv Face the Nation CBS May 12, 2019 8:30am-9:31am PDT
captioning sponsored by cbs >> brennan: it's sunday, may 1th. i'm margaret brennan and this is "face the nation." these are challenging times for the trump administration as the president faces rising tensions with iran, north korea, china, and russia. as trade talks stall, president trump raises tariffs on china and threatens more. the north koreans test a second round of ballistic missiles, and the u.s. makes new military deployments to the persian gulf following intelligence reports that iran is planning possible attacks on american forces in the region. back at home, democrats say the country faces a constitutional crisis over the administration's refusal to cooperate with congress on several
investigations. as most republicans step up the pressure to move on from the mueller report. but the republican-led senate intelligence committee wants to hear more from donald trump, jr., on the issue of russian interference in 2016. we'll talk with a top republican in the house, kevin mccarthy, as well as democrat senator michael bennet who sits on the intelligence committee. continuing a "face the nation" tradition, we traveled outside of washington to talk with former defense secretary robert gates, who served eight presidents, to get his perspective on all those challenges. do you think it's a legitimate criticism of the president that he didn't confront vladimir putin about what the mueller report concluded? >> i think that was a mistake, yes. >> brennan: former bush treasury secretary henry paulson will also join us. and we'll have plenty of analysis. it's all ahead on "face the nation."
>> brennan: good morning and welcome to "face the nation." we have a lot to cover today.
we will begin with house republican leader kevin mccarthy. good to have you here in studio. >> thanks to having me. first i wish you a very happy mother's day. i know this is your first mother's day. also to my mom, my mother-in-law, and my wife, the mother of my children. >> brennan: you get points for that. let's talk about what we laid out in the open, which is this decision to ask donald trump, jr., to come back to answer questions related to previous answers he had given to the senate intelligence committee. you have said it's time to move on. this congress hasn't finished its own investigation. how can you say that? >> they have finished the investigation. >> brennan: the senate intelligence committee hasn't finished its work. >> think about why the senate is doing this? donald trump, jr., has spent 27 hours already testifying. they're requesting him back based upon something that cohen has said, when he's in jail for
lying to congress, but cohen was talking about a meeting he wasn't even at. so that is why i believe we should move on. if the senate -- >> brennan: you know it's specific to thtrtower meeting? >> that's the reason they laid out why. more importantly, it will not change the out come of the mueller report. no house or senate will have the number of attorneys, the ability to subpoena where they're going, the grand jury, all that, so this is a time the country wants us to move forward. we want to move forward. we have health care. we have trade. we have a crisis on our border. the democrats are more interested in subpoenas than solutions. >> brennan: again, this is a republican-led committee that went forward with this subpoena. bob mueller never interviewed donald trump, jr., but this committee did. if there were no -- >> for 27 hours. >> brennan: if there were no charges brought, why not just respect the mandate of congress and come back and answer the questions? you sound like you're saying he's too busy?
>> no, i'm not saying that. >> brennan: why does the number of hours matter? >> if you have ever interviewed an individual 27 hours, you get to the point of everything you asked. >> brennan: some senators didn't have a chance to ask questions. only their staff did. >> but you had a mueller report that had 40 attorneys, f.b.i. agents, went to different country, had more power within congress, the ability for grand jury and others, and they found no evidence. so don't you think it's time to move forward? don't you think the american public -- you're out on the road talking to democrats who are reasoning for president. they're not being asked about this either. we have a crisis on our southern border. we have an economy that is stronger than we've had in 50 years. we have more people working in america than any time in american history. you have more jobs being offered than people looking. >> brennan: but this is about whether or not a foreign power interfered in our democracy. >> you just had that answered by the mueller report. there was no collusion and there is no obstruction. >> brennan: but senator marco rubio, who sits on this
intelligence committee, said republicans who are criticizing this are fundamentally misunderstanding the intent of the committee investigation. it is focused on this question of a foreign power interfering. the intent is to move toward legislation that can prevent it from happening again or at least make it harder. doesn't that have mairtd? >> look, the idea of a foreign entity trying to move into our elections is something republicans have been working on for quite some time. we were the ones that pushed obama, who ignored our concerns of what was going forward when he was president. this is something republicans have stood up for a long time. but the question that the mueller report has already answered, so why do you prolong that? if you want the look at entities that are trying to get into our elections, yes, that's something we've always worked on, but donald trump, jr., has already testified for more than 27 hours. if you want to bring him back in, because something cohen has said when he's in jail for lying and talking about a meeting he wasn't even in? no, i don't think that's right. but it's not going to change the
outcome of what this investigation has already done, and the power behind the mueller investigation. that's the concern that i have. >> brennan: so do you disagree then with some of your fellow republicans who say they want to investigate the origins of the investigation? >> no. i think that's very important from the origin of the investigation. >> brennan: so it's not time to move on? >> new york it's time to move on. was there obstruction in no? was there collusion? no. but why did we get to this point? why did the dossier get to that point? what were the communications? you have an i.g. report coming in. you never want america to live through this again. you don't want to have a president on any side of the aisle have to go through what we just went through again. so i think from that instance, that's where attorney general barr is looking. i think that's appropriate. >> brennan: so not all of these investigations are about mueller. you have in the democratic-led house 20 or so investigations under way. some of them, though, we can put up on the screen, some of the scope of these investigations,
they're things like security clearances, and whether those are being handled properly. these are questions that republicans had when they held the majority. so don't you think there are some investigations here with merit? >> there are some with merit, and if you look at our ranking member -- >> brennan: so you disagree? >> no. if you look at what jim jordan, our ranking member in there, he actually brought in the individual from the white house to talk about it. the problem that i have is something, a situation like chairman nadler is doing. chairman nadler just held the attorney general in contempt because he requested that he break the law, and if you will not vote the law, i'll vote in contempt. >> brennan: in the interest of disclosing grand jury information more publicly? >> exactly. if chairman nadler was that serious about getting to the bottom, he hasn't taken the time to go read, which he's approved to read, the 99.9% of any obstruction inside the mueller report. he hasn't even gone to read it
while trying to hold the attorney general in contempt. he's asking him to break the law. >> brennan: well, as you know, democrats argue that this is a matter of transparency and going to see it without it being made public. you know the argument. >> but that argument doesn't hold water. he has the right the read it and he won't read it. >> brennan: for the reasons that they have given there in terms of being able to share it publicly. you say it's time the move on. legislatively, what is actually possible right now? because we have not really seen the white house go to congress and say, put forth a vote on this hard-core proposal on immigration, even on infrastructure, which the president says a $2 trillion deal is what he wants to get done. >> the administration is sitting here trying to grow an economy that we're already the strongest we've been in 50 years. u.s.m.c.a. but speaker pelosi is withholding a vote on that. that would increase thousands of more jobs, increase our g.d.p. of where we're going. >> brennan: like the u.s.m.c.a.? >> exactly. that has to be voted on in
congress. the power there is when to bring it up with the speaker. closing the loopholes on the crisis on the southern border. just last month more than 100,000 illegal crossings happened. these are the only ones that we're able to catch. in one month. that's the size of your hometown of stamford, connecticut. a little more than 130 there. that's in one month. that is a crisis. >> brennan: we're going to have to leave it there, though. >> even "the new york times" writes about this. everyone knows about the crisis except the
democrats in congress. >> brennan: congressman, thank you very much for coming in studio. >> thank you. >> brennan: we turn now to colorado democratic senator michael bennet. he's running for president, and he joins us from the campaign trail in des moines, iowa. good morning to you. sir, you sit on the senate intelligence committee. the decision to serve a subpoena to the president's son set off a firestorm among republicans, who are saying the mueller report is in, let's just move on. if mueller chose not to prosecute, he had access to the transcript from congress's
interview with donald trump, jr., what more is this? why is this necessary? >> well, first of all, congress's business here is not to -- we're not doing a criminal investigation. this is not about prosecuting anybody. this is about understanding how serious, and it was profoundly serious, the russians' interference in our elections were in 2016 and interference that the president of the united states refuses to acknowledge. and then i would say second with respect to the mueller report, this is just in the early days. i know the president and his attorney general and allies would like to wish the report away, but the american people are just starting to see this report. the congress has not yet received an unredacted version of the report. we have not yet seen the underlying documents for this report, and the report is a report that conclusively says that the special prosecutor could not clear the president of obstruction of justice. so i think while they want -- they do want to wish it away, i
they congress has an important oversight role to perform here, including the senate intelligence committee. >> brennan: so it sounds like you're saying republicans may be overreacting? >> i think that what you've had is a sequence of events that started with the attorney general of the united states acting like the president's defense lawyer and summarizing mueller's document falsely and implying that somehow the document didn't show wrongdoing by the president. and republicans like mitch mcconnell have taken advantage of that false summary, a summary that mueller has said is false, and have said case closed. the american people have not even heard robert mueller testify yet. so i think they ought to allow this to take its course. >> brennan: bob mueller had an issue with contacts. i don't know if he used the word "false," but in terms of the mueller report, it did make clear as you have said in your
personal view that the president committed impeachable offenses. that sounds like you're saying you supported impeachment. what is the point of that process if it's just going to be dead on arrival in a republican-controlled senate? >> well, i've said that i am not ready to say the president should be impeached. i said that it looks from the report as though he's committed impeachable offenses. i think there is every reason why the investigation into congress should continue and then we should make an assessment of where it leads. you're quite right that as long as the republicans are in charge of the senate and theyway to bury their heads in the sand about what's going on here that it's unlikely that that process will go through all the way to the end, which is why i think nancy pelosi has wanted to say, let's not jump to a conclusion on impeachment yet, let's let the process go forward and see where it takes us. and by the way, ultimately i think where it will take us is to replacing donald trump in 2020, which is what we need to do. >> brennan: well, something
you personally would like the see happen, as we mentioned, you are in the field yourself. you wrote an op ed recently saying that while you do support you think president trump has been really bad for farmers. do you support a third bailout for farmers? >> i think it shouldn't be necessary. i think, look, donald trump has shown himself to be the most fiscally irresponsible president we have had in generations. here's a guy who has managed to rack up a $2 trillion deficit at a moment of full employment in the country. it is almost impossible to do that. >> brennan: what would you do differently if you are commander-in-chief? >> what i would do differently is mobilize the world against china's master can tilist trading policy, which is president is right to point out have been unfair, but putting tariffs on our ally, putting tariffs on even the chinese that are actually taxes on american producers, american farmers, taxes on the american consumer
and taxes on the american worker i think are completely the wrong way of doing this. i can assure you the chinese have a longer attention span than donald trump has. so i have just spent two days with farmers in iowa. i've spent time with farmers all over my state, as well. they were facing low commodity prices. in my state they are facing drought inch iowa they are facing flooding. and now on top of that, they're facing the retribution by our trading partners and our foes. and that's a direct consequence of the president's immigration or trade policies. his immigration policy has at been terrible for farm centers my state. people are selling their equip because they can't hire people to be able to do the work they need to keep their farm and their ranch or their dairy operation in business. and it's ironic because he has such massive support among so many of these folks, but we'll
see what happens over time. >> brennan: all right. senator bennet, as we said, you are on the campaign trail. we appreciate your joining us today. we'll be back in one minute with an interview with former defense secretary robert gates. stay with us. t one blows them all out of the water. hydro boost from neutrogena®. with hyaluronic acid to plump skin cells so it bounces back. neutrogena® ( ♪ )
only tylenol® rapid release gels have laser drilled holes. they release medicine fast, for fast pain relief. tylenol®. >> brennan: it's out sefort year of traveling to williamsburg virginia to sit down with former secretary of defense and now chancellor of william and mary, robert gates, to talk about the news of the day. we asked him whether he thought russian president vladimir putin had paid an adequate price for meddling in the 2016 election. >> no. i think we have not reacted nearly strongly enough to putin and to russia for their blatant interference in 2016. i think there are ways we can do that, not military, but it's perhaps a certain set of sanctions. it's also using some of our own capabilities to go back into
russia and let's say inform the russian people at the magnitude of corruption of putin. and i think we can make a case about that. i think we can create more problems for him. we have the capabilities to do that. >> brennan: why don't you think the president has done that? >> i don't know whether it's his me cureall relationship with putin, whether he feels like any acknowledgment of russian involvement in the 2016 election somehow delegitimizes his being elected president. i don't know what the mix of motives are. but the interesting thing is everybody around the president actually has a much more realistic view of the russians, and that includes up on the hill. >> brennan: and it's favorite talking point for the trump administration to say that they have been the toughest on russia of any administration. >> and in some respects that's
true. >> brennan: in some respects. >> in the sanctions. >> brennan: you're a cold warrer. you actually believe that? >> i think in terms of the magnitude of the sanctions put on russia, they are more significant than have been imposed in the past. >> brennan: do you think it's a legitimate criticism of the president that he didn't confront vladimir putin about what the mueller report concluded? >> i think that was a mistake, yes. i think he should have said, we've had this discussion. the evidence is in. and don't ever do this again, or there will be consequences for russia. i think he very much should have raised it with him. >> brennan: republican leadership on capitol hill says mueller report, case closed. should it be? >> the piece of the mueller report about russian interference is not case closed. and frankly, i think elected officials who depend on honest elections to get elected ought
to place as a very high priority measures to protect the american electoral system against interference by foreigners. >> brennan: we've already kicked off campaign 2020. will you be supporting president trump? >> i have no idea what i'll do in 2020. >> brennan: you consider yourself, though, to be a republican? >> i do. i do. >> brennan: but you're not sure if you're going to support the republican nominee? >> it's a long time until the election. >> brennan: do you think, though, when you say you still are a republican, has the party itselfk become the party of trump? >> i this to a considerable extent it has, and i am disappointed that more republicans don't stand up more often for traditional republican values, whether it's greater fiscal discipline,
internationalism, trade, and so on. >> brennan: i was rereading your memoir before we sat down to talk. and you said in your memoir, joe biden is impossible not to like. "he's man of integrity, incapable hiding of what he really thinks, and one of those rare people you know you could turn to for help in a personal crisis. still, i think he's been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades." would he be an effective commander-in-chief? >> i don't know. i don't know. i think -- i stand by that statement. he and i agreed on some key issues in the obama administration. we disagreed significantly on afghanistan and some other issues. i think that the vice president had some issues with the military, so how he would get along with senior military and
what that relationship would be, i just... it would depend on the personalities at the time. >> brennan: he's a peer of yours. he's a year older. >> yes. >> brennan: do you think he's right for this moment? >> i think i'm pretty busy and pretty active, but i think having a president who is somebody our age or older, in the case of senator sanders, is... i think it's problematic. i think that you don't have the kind of energy that i think is required to be president. i think -- i'm not sure you have the intellectual acuity that you might have had in your 60s. so it's just a personal view. for me the thought of taking on those responsibilities at this point in my life would be pretty daunting. >> brennan: the argument being made, though, is you think he's
been wrong for 40 years, but he's got 40 years' experience. he has foreign policy experience. there's this argument about american values right now and who we are as a country. do you think given that that there is a role for him in the conversation right now? >> well, i definitely think there is a role for him in the conversation, and i think he will raise some issues that the other candidates for the democratic nomination need to address. i've had my issues with him on foreign policy, but i have heardly heard award out of any of the other 20 candidates on foreign policy at all. i have no idea what any of them think about any of the issue you and i have been discussing. >> brennan: do you think that's a mistake that more of this isn't discussed on the campaign trail. the argument is foreign policy doesn't win you the election. >> it certainly doesn't win you the primaries, but in the interview, that's an opportunity for them to say, i actually know something about foreign policy. here's what i think on these
issues. i think if you're responsible not give people the electorate more broadly some idea of where you're coming from -- >> brennan: going back to the question i asked you about joe biden being a peer of yours and his age, you raised senator sanders' age also as a concern. is the president's age a worry for you? >> well, he's getting up there, too. he's a little younger than we are, but not a lot. i think it has to be, you know, it's question people ought to address. the other side of the coin is by the time of his second term, road rage was up there also. and i think road rage was a pretty great president. so there are exceptions. >> brennan: but the mental acuity issues that you raised for joe biden or pi anyone in that age group, you would apply to the president? >> i was talking about myself as much as anything else. but i think it's a question... when you're talking about being the president of the united
states, the ability to do the job in every respect has always got to be a consideration. >> brennan: our conversation with secretary gates will continue in our next half hour. we'll hear his thoughts on china, north korea, and iran. we'll be right back in a moment. p you with turning ideas into action. putting your business on the map, connecting with customers, and getting the skills to use new tools. so, in case you're looking, we've put all the ways we can help in one place. free training, tools, and small business reses are now available at google.com/grow change has many faces. names you'll never know. the bright-eyed, the brave, the visionaries. where challenges exist, you'll find them.
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>> brennan: welcome back the "face the nation." we continue our interview with former secretary of defense robert gates. so the world is watch these trade talks between trust and china, and there seems to be this brinksmanship game over tariffs under way. does china have an advantage over us? >> the chinese have an advantage because they have a strategy and we don't. they have set goals. they have a strategy for achieving those goals. and we really don't have a strategy. we have not had a strategy in quite a while. >> brennan: you don't think the trump administration has a broader plan for china? >> i don't think basically that recent u.s. administrations have had a strategy for how to deal with china long term. >> brennan: why? >> in washington i always liked to say that long-term planning is a week from thursday.
washington is so consumed all the time by the issue of the moment that it's very difficult to get senior people to set aside the time to think about where do we want to be in five years with this country or that country. that's what the national security council and its staff is supposed to do in terms of bringing together all of the elements of the government to figure out where we want to be, but recent administrations i think have not been able to do that very well. >> brennan: we've seen a number of hot spots right now attracting attention from the trump administration. iran in particular, the u.s. just sent b-52s, redirect an aircraft carrier to the region, and it's supposed to be a warning to iran that the u.s. will defend itself, but how do you interpret this muscular response? >> in a way we're kind of returning to a presence that we had when the wars in iraq and afghanistan were at their
height. the theocracy in tehran really is hostile to the united states all the way down to the core. and so trying to figure out how to deal with these guys and to warn them not to take some rash action that would precipitate a response by the united states i think is an important element. i think the administration is sending that signal. but it isn't just the fact we walked away from the iranian nuclear deal. this is a more deeply embedded rivalry and dislike between these two countries. >> brennan: they would argue they negotiate with the united states, with the world, and the result after this diplomacy was to have the u.s. walk away. what is their incentive now to talk? >> what the agreement did not address was their testing of ballistic missiles of increasing
range, and it did not address at all their meddling and interference in the middle east, their support for hamas and so on. now, those are the kinds of things that actually are creating a lot of turbulence in the middle east, and so getting a handle on that kind of behavior seems to to me importa. i believe the original agreement had some very deep flaws, but once it was signed, i believe it was a mistake to walk away from it. we should have used other pressures to address these issues. >> brennan: that was a strategic misstep by the trump administration? >> i think so because in part it ended up isolating us, as well as the iranians. >> brennan: we heard this week from iran, this threat that they may not comply. they have been, and the rest of the world stayed in the deal. what happens if this thing actually does fall apart? >> i think moving ahead like this for iran just puts them deeper in a box, because then it will not only be the united
states that has reimposed sanctions, it will put the europeans in a position where they have to do that, as well. >> brennan: so you think the iranians are bluffing? >> no, they may be making a mistake, which may be even worse. >> brennan: we spoke recently with iran's top diplomat, and he basically said he thought president trump was being manipulated by his advisers, particularly john bolton along with some u.s. allies. he seemed to be saying, we're on the path where an accident, a military confrontation only some sort could happen. is that where you see us headed? >> i think there is that risk, absolutely. if the iranians make the mistake of launching an attack in the persian gulf on a more american warship or if they carry out an operation against american troops in iraq or something like that, the administration probably won't have any alternative but to retaliate. >> brennan: but do you think that there is that manipulation happening to create the
conditions for that? >> i don't believe that the president is being manipulated, and i don't believe his advisers are trying the maneuver him into a position that provokes an incident with the iranians that could then be expanded. i don't believe that. >> brennan: it sounds like you're saying miscalculation is still a possibility? >> i think it's a very real risk right now, yes. >> brennan: you're a former secretary of defense, former c.i.a. director. do you still speak with foreign lead centers. >> sometimes. not all that often, but sometimes. >> brennan: president trump said that john kerry should be prosecuted under the logan act because he still talks to foreign leaders, specifically iran's foreign minister. what do you make of that? >> to the best of my knowledge new york one has ever been prosecuted under the logan act. i think it's been in effect since world war i. >> so you're laughing about this? >> yeah. this so in the going to happen, and american politicians and foreigner leaders talk to other
leaders all the time. >> brennan: so these accusations from the president that is it because the former secretary of state is interfering, that it's keeping iran from negotiating, you think the president is just wrong? >> i don't believe that. >> brennan: and there's nothing wrong with it in your view? >> i think it's a matter of judgment. and i think trying to hold a negotiation, if you will, with a foreign leader when you're out of power is a mistake. i think that's a mistake in judgment. there's only one president at a time. and negotiations with other governments ought to be left to the administration and to the president. >> brennan: north korea another hot spot. do you think the president is on the right track? >> under president trump's three predecessors, all tried to negotiate with the north koreans and all failed. i thought that the president's decision to reach out to kim
jong-un and offer a personal meeting, sure there were ris but i thought it was a bold stroke that might create an environment where there could actually be progress toward getting limitations on the north korean nuclear program. i believe that the north koreans will never completely denuclearize. >> brennan: the proposal in hanoi... >> yes, was basically the same strategy that he's followed with trump's predecessors, you know, we'll do a little and you do some. we'll do a little and you do more. >> so you don't think he's serious about diplomacy? >> kim? i think he is, but i think he's got a different set of objectives. i like to say over the years of negotiations, the nuclear facility has been opened and closed so many times it ought to have a revolving door. >> brennan: so that's not a serious offer by north korea? >> they've done this before. >> brennan: the president was right to walk away?
>> i think he was. now, i think they're unrealist nick believing that they can get complete denuclearization. so the question is: if the north won't give up all of its nuclear weapons, are other limitations worth pursuing? and what's the alternative pursuing those other alternatives? >> brennan: well, north korea hasn't handed over its weapons inventory, they haven't dismantled their missiles. they haven't broken down any part of their nuclear program. so how long do you keep talking before you say, this just isn't going to work? >> as long as there is no nuclear testing it's probably worth keeping the door open, but at some point people have to realize that if you just drag this thing out, it's not going to lead to anything. >> brennan: we'll be right back with some analysis from our panel. never know. the bright-eyed, the brave, the visionaries.
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connecting with customers, and getting the skills to use new tools. so, in case you're looking, we've put all the ways we can help in one place. free training, tools, and small business resources are now available at google.com/grow >> brennan: we turn now to our panel for some analysis. susan glass covers the presidency and foreign policy for "the new yorker" and david nakamura covers the white house for the "washington post." good to have you here. it was interesting to have bob gates take us around the world, all these hot spots seem to be bubbling up this week, a lot on the trump administration's plate. david, from your reporting with the north koreans and this round of testing, what is the -- what are they looking for here? is it a third summit? what are they trying to -- >> the north korean strategy has bong been if they are not getting the kind of attention
from the united states that they want, they act this way and they press the boundaries. now we're seeing since the breakdown of the talks in hanoi without a deal, increasing signals that kim jong-un is frustrated and he wants donald trump to reengage. the u.s. side says they sent feelers to pyongyang and they are not hearing anything back. which side budges and sayings, okay, we're ready to renegotiate, reopen this, i think is unclear. i think what you're seeing with tests by the north that have gone so far as to say they're violating this ban on ballistic missile testing, which he trumpeted as a achievement. so now there's the north korean cargoship suggesting the north is trying to get around economic sanctions. this is leading to greater tensions. how they break through that is not clear, especially at a tile when trump is also engaged in a trade war can china and he's trying the keep the chinese support on the sanctions regime. >> brennan: and the u.n. said that 40% of the north korean population is nearly starving right now.
they're really getting squeezed we these sanctions. does delivering food aid violate the maximum pressure campaign, susan? does the president have a way around this? >> i think he does. the other thing president trump has shown he won't be bound by many of the constraints anyway. he's not, as you know, one of those people who in his negotiations insistsi consistency as well as all other virtues inch this situation i agree with david that the north koreans are really looking to pressure the united states in some way back to the table. kim jong-un is essentially launching these missiles. he's give an deadline interestingly of the end of the year for there to be some sort of progress here. and, you know, what's striking is that president trump, although he suffered what looks like an embarrassment, the collapse of this summit, his theory that the north koreans would respond to his pressure differently than the three previous u.s. administration, that hasn't paid off either,
trump has been unwavering in his very, very public desire to go back to the table, as well. so i think that once again we're seeing it's much easier to blow up deals than it is to make them, despite trump's believing that he's a great dealmaker. >> brennan: david, while the president has said these short-range missile tests don't violate his sense of trust with kim jong-un, that's got to make japan and south korea a little nervous. >> absolutely. you had the prime minister of japan here a few weeks ago. he's take an hard line on these talks in contrast with what's happening of with the president of south korea. tokyo and seoul do not see this the same way. it's concerning for japanese that they're launching these shorter-range missile, project tiels, new weapons that kim jong-un talks about. it all sends a signal that north korea is continuing to make progress on its overall weapons system. and this is something that as this thing drags out out, theree
major issues with the economy. that's troubling for kim jong-un and his long-term future. but i think overtime this idea that north korea likes these talks as they continue to drag this out in a way that gives them more time. >> brennan: susan, on iran, that was another flash point this week. the pentagon sale anti-missile battery, the b. >> 52 bombers, an amphibious shift, combat headquarters, aircraft carrier, what is this buildup aimed at? >> well, you know, look. talk about maximum pressure. i think that is the goal right now of the administration. but again, on north korea, on iran, we have not talked about violence -- venezuela yet, china. people are so eager to find a trump doctrin in foreign policy. there is no donald trump doctrine in foreign policy. if you lose yourself all day long trying figure out why are they tough and talking about human rights but on the other hand with north korea talking about embracing a dictator. in iran, we're looking at one
year after the president blew up the iran deal, walked away from this accord negotiated not only by the united states and its key allies and partners. woe could say we're just seeing the inevitable unraveling of that previous agreement. that's what's happening right now. but i think it really connects back to the great uncertainty about what the trump administration policy is in the middle east more broadly. you have this situation in syria where the iranians are there on the side of the syrian regime. the russians there, as well. interestingly, you could say that president trump has a very hard-line policy in many of these places, and the only question is whether he himself actually supports it. >> i was going to say, trump undercuts his aides so often. we have seen that from the start of the administration, speaking out of two sides of their mouth. trump is building the maximum pressure on iran, the goal being that trump himself would then get to the negotiating table with iranians. trump himself called me right
after john bolton said there was a new hard line in place. so what i think is interesting also, in the end of the iran deal on the nuclear weapon, the allys have been cut out of the u.s. policy and the u.s. approach. trump believes himself to be the great dealmaker and only i can fix it. you've seen him do that with north korea and iran and now china. he got a lot of kudos for hard-line policy on chinese practices, which allies believe is predatory, but he's cut out the allies in building pressure on china and nothing estimating. >> brennan: i thought it was interesting in talking by bob gates, he stands by his assessment that joe biden has been wrong on foreign policy for 40 years, but then he pointed out, democratic candidates new york one is articulating their view of what american should be doing some all the problems you're laying out may get handed off to another commander-in-chief in 2020. where do we pick up? >> well, look, first of all, you have president trump to the extent there is a unifying team, it often has been up until now a
sort of anything but obama foreign policy. that was usually a pretty sure way to predict the otherwise unpredictable. so if president trump saw a place in a way to undo something that obama did, for example, the iran nuclear deal, or to achieve something he felt obama did not, for example, a breakthrough with north korea, he would do it. it's very hard after two years, after four years to make the argument that your foreign policy doctrine is to do what the other guy didn't do. democrats would face that problem, as well. there would be enormous -- president trump is extremely unpopular with the democratic base, so simply argue thank you would do differently than trump may be enough-of-a ford policy argument generally speaking. american voters are not looking far consistent world view and doctrine from their presidential candidates as much as they are focus understandably on the economy and what's happening here at home, but look, the bottom line is that it may suit president trump to have joe biden as the nominee and to be able to once again to say, well,
at least i'm cleaning up the messes from barack obama. biden wouldn't be like that. >> brennan: ? we want to talk about the challenge the president faces with former treasury secretary hank paulson. that's coming up next. man, that's a cool looking hot tub. we should check on the baby. he's so sweet. maybe too sweet? internet's down. go! your home is only as smart as your internet. get reliable at&t fiber and get speeds up to 300 megabits per second and directv. bundle for 75 dollars a month for 12 months. limited availability. may not be in your area. more for your thing. that's our thing. call 1-800-call-att. it's a revolution in sleep.
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>> brennan: we're now joined by henry paul sorng treasury secretary for george w. bush. he was the administration's point person on the 2008 financial crisis and also led previous u.s. trade talks with china. it's great to have you here in studio. you know china's leadership very well, both from your time as treasury secretary and billing out business for goldman sachs for many, many years. how do you expect china to retaliate against the u.s. since these talks have stalled. >> let me begin by saying happy mother's day and to my mom and my wife wendy. i'm not going to predict on how china is going to respond. they've been very restrained to date. they clearly want a deal and need a deal, as does the united states. no one wins a trade war. so i'm expecting, you know, a fairly restrained response. >> brennan: you had one of the
president's top economic adviseddors larry kudlow on air today saying that the chinese came to talks this week and back slid on some of the things they previously agreed to. why the miscalculation? >> well, there is often miscalculations right? people misunderstand china. they have a different political system than ours, but they have politics, they have vested interests. but the bigger picture here is this is a deal that can be very good for the united states and very good for china. the trump administration has been working very hard to do something, which i think would make a big difference for american workers, for the american people, in terms of getting more balanced trade new york terms of protected i.p., in terms of breaking down some big structural barriers to competition. and china's got plenty of problems themselves. they have an inefficient financial system, inefficient state-owned enterprises, massive misallocations of capital. so their reformers know if
they're going to grow at an acceptable level, they need some structural changes. so this i think is a missed opportunity for both countries. but i believe and i think the overriding point here, the big picture is if and when this deal is done, and i'm an optimist, i think it will get done, the underlying tensions are still going to be there, because this is mistakes are much bigger than a trade war. the basic economic problem is still going to exist. >> brennan: you put up huge warning signs around this. you said you fear an economic cold war. i'm an economic iron wall. >> i talked about an economic iron curtain. the reason i did is this, margaret: as i said, the stakes are much bigger than a trade war. this is a battle between two
countries to drive, to set the standards for the technologies of the future, the technologies of which you'll bolster economic growth and competitiveness around the world. and so the fundamental issue is technology. >> brennan: uh-huh. >> that's where the battleground is. and technology has blurred the lines between national security and economic competitiveness. and so, you know, i think it's vitally important we protect our national security. but growing an important part of trade is technology related some the real risk is that both counties, through their actions, will throw up or create an economic iron wall, which means we will be decoupling global supply chains, right, we'll be having two systems with incompatible standards and rules. and so as i look at it, the defining strength of america is
innovation. we need to protect our technology. we need to protect our innovation, but if we close ourselves off from other, you know, other innovative economies and entrepreneurs, we jeopardize our leadership position in the world and we're much less attractive as a destination for foreign investment. >> brennan: so you seem to be saying the moment is ripe for this deal. you're optimistic. you don't like tariffs. that's the president's main tool here is. this going to damage the u.s. economy? >> well, you're darn right i don't like tariffs. why don't i like 'em? because they're a tax on the american consumer. but i see an even more perverse effect with tariffs. those who do us the great honor of investing in america, of doing business with our companies and suppliers, do so because we have always had predictable, reliable economic policies. tariffs jeopardize that.
but now we see a situation where republicans and democrats and many international companies are applauding for tariffs if they're used to get concessions from china. why is that? the reason is because we're in a tough spot in negotiations. our tariffs are either non-existent or very low. so how do you put pressure on other countries to act? how do you put pressure on china? we don't have very many good tools. that's why they prefer tariffs. >> brennan: is it going to hurt us economically? >> yeah, but i would say this: i would prefer... i would prefer the tactic of working with our allies to put pressure. but i got to admit that's an imperfect tool, right? because our allies aren't very tough when it comes to negotiating with china. will it hurt us? i tell you, if this persists too long, it will. there will be a cost to it.
we're trying to accomplish something that's very important in terms of opening up the chinese economy, flu is a cost, and as strong as our economy is right now, and it is very, very strong, as strong as it is, i'll tell you, if -- >> brennan: mr. secretary, we have the leave it there. we're running up against a hard break. i'm so sorry. we'll be right back. stopping drivers from: liking. selfie-ing. and whatever this is. available to the public... never. smartdogs are not the answer. but geico has a simple tip. turn on "do not disturb while driving" mode. brought to you by geico. a lot will happen in your life. wrinkles just won't. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair's
>> brennan: thank you all for watching. to all the mom, including my own mother, my mother-in-law, happy mother's day. for face the nation, i'm margaret brennan. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org man, that's a cool looking hot tub. we should check on the baby. he's so sweet.
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