tv Washington Week PBS June 9, 2018 1:30am-2:00am PDT
>> america first or america isolated+ presiden trump's trade policies and his nod to russia angers u.s. allies. as the president travelsid abrod wento what it means there and at home. pres. trump: they don't mention the fact that they have trade barriers against our farmers. they don't mention the fact that they are judging almost 300s. tariff >> president trumpfaomes face-to-ce with world leaders that he has infuriated on a series of issues. from the iran nuclear deal to new tariffs on steel and aluminum. some say president trump is stoking division.
>> s therehould be no trade wars between allies. >> some republicans are warning that this strategy could backfire. presidentialower. advocates argue that it is unlimi id. pres. trumo have an absolute right to pardon myself but i will never have to do it because i didn't do anything wrong. >> new indictments in the russia administration -- investigation. charlie savage from the new york times and manu raju of cnn. >> this is washingtonweek, corporate fundinis provided by -- their leadership is instinctive. they understand the challenges of today. they research the technology of tomorrow.
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-- the excellence in journalism foundation. the corporation for public broadcasting and my contribution to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. once again, fromasngton, robert costa. robert:ru president was prepared for a fight on friday when he arrived for the group of seven summit in even before he left washington, he was confronting longtime allies over trade policy on twitter. he made headlines when he insisted that russia should be invited back into the club of industrial democracy. from bang why are we having a meeting without russia being in the meeting. th >> president trump received a cordial but not overly warm greeting from the other leaders. tension has been escalating over new u.s. tariffs he put on
imports of steel and aluminum last month. moll the talk in canada -- this has been g -6 + 1. th the u.s. is deliberately out on a limb. why is he so committed to this approach? molly: he is simply pursuing the philosophy that he campaign on from the start. th idea that his critics call isolationist, america first or erica alone, as you put it. that is, to the extent that he had a foreign policy pitch as a candidate, it was thi combating of globalism. that america would act only in its own interest. this is not the first summit at which he has been the proverbial skunk at the picnic. he seems to enjoy that a little bit.
sometimes he seems annoyed because it is like there is a high school clique of european nations excluding him and talking about him behind his back. there are some very awkward interactions. ehat has changed is that there is finally bited the bark with these tariffs. over the first year of his presidency, he talked a big game and it wasn't clat he would do. he called out of the paris accord. that is a symbol measure. but with thp tariffs, he signed them and thel put them on there was this idea that we can manage him, this is all bluster. now that they are real, things are getting serious and don't know what to do. jurobert: maybe he is no trying to join the clique but y ou see a reemergence of a new world order saying russia should
be invited back into this club after they left in 2014. they were booted out after going into the ukraine. >> that was the most interesting thing. out of nowhere, no one even asked if russia should be brought back in. he came back in wanting to troll the world by declaring, what about russia? russia has very little economy to speak of and they are still in the crimea, still messing around in the ukraine, apparently murdered someone in england. avtheydone nothing for a u.s. president to say tbry should bght back in and rewarded to this most elite club in the world, as some put it. i'm not sure how that is a sign of strength, that they would welcome russia back without any concession or sign tt they had done something wrong and were being punished. that is now what we are all talking about and trump loves
that we are talking about the curveballs. robert: we are talking about it, but is the president listening? on trade, you have gop senators this week taking a different position. on russia, senator mccain and senator schumer came out with bipartisan outcry. let's hear from a few of those senators. >> we seem to want to punish our allies and befriend our enemies. >> this is an unguided missile because retaliation can occur in other sectors that hurt the economy. >> our allieare scratching their heads. >> what is going on? what is remarkable is that there is almost unanimity among the republican conference opposing new tariffs on our allies. they don't believe this in terms of free trade policy. there is not much support about confronting president trump.
it really shows the power that the president still has over the members. i was talking to jeff flake earlier this week, he said, this should be a layout. we all believe in free markets and free trade. we should stand up for this knowing that we disagree with the presidentwe eed to push back. because of the president'spu back, the republican leaders are concerned. they don't want to get in a fight with him in the middle of a midterm year. some of them are saying they don't want to reign him in and hurt his negotiating ability. the bui and bob corker has developed is not going anywhere because the president is opposed to it. mitch mcconnell, who is opposed to the tariffs, does not want to do anything legislatively to take on the president. robert: republicans are hands-off. y are many world leaders hands-on with president trump?
they thought they cou convince him to come into the mainstream of diplomatic outlook yet they seem disappointed time and again. molly: for the first year, l it did see he was all bark and no bite. this has been a constant feud inside the white house over trade. there is faction of trade advisors who speak to the presidenu's like light heiser, peter navarro. they have been pushing him to follow his instincts. trade is the most deeply held belief that trump has politically. it is something he has been talking about -- america getting screwed. this has been a tenet of his speech since before he entered politics. however, the conventional republican thinking is conventionally opposed and most of the white house is conventional, conservative republicans.
there has been a tug-of-war around him. they have put him off and placated him. he spent the first six months arguing over whether there would be a border adjustment tax. he wanted his tarriff. there s a group in the white house who he said, bring me my terrorist, and they wouldn't -- my tarriff,t and he wouldn' it. d is so easily distrac and so easily waylaid -- he wants to make everybody happy all the time. he likes to try to split the difference and have it both ways. he was successfully put f off of th a long time. s because other countruld see how successful flattery is, as a strateg the saudis do it and we have seen the chinese do it, there was a fun thatsi the pnt was schooled enough in foreign affairs that they could sweettalk him. robert: flattery is not enough.
it doesn't seem like the president is paying a political cost for tse moves on the litical stage. we had a poll this week that six of 10 americans are satisfied with the economy. there does not appear to be a revolt against his trade policies. charlie: the fact that the economy is roaring gives him little room. even if the economy is damaged by a trade war and retaliatory tariffs, we are still at full employment and people are doing quite well. relati to how they have been ever since the slow but steady escalation of things. now he is enjoying the peak of it. at some point the party will enl and maybe thatlook differently. we should remember that his unorthodox he o -- unorthodoxy on trade has been one of the core appealing things to his
insurgent campaign that put trust into the republican nation, along with things like immigration. he is feeling more confident about the psidency, he has figured out where the levers of power are or have decided he doesn't need to listen to his advisers who say slow down or we will get back to you next week -- and its not just about trade. finally pulling out of the iran deal. we are seeing 2018 looking more active than 2017 did in of the activity versus rhetoric balance. robert: let's talk about north korea. president trump will f directly to singapore, ahead of his summit with north korean leader kim jong-un. when asked if he felt prepared for the high stick talks, heree is what esident said. pres. trump: i think i am very well-prepared. don't have to prepare very much. it is about attitude and willingness to get things done.
robert: secretary of state mike pompeo is traveling with the president. he appeared cautiously optimistic that the meeting could change the course of history. >> the fact that our leaders are coming to the table shows they are serious. robert: president trump's goal for secrety pompeo, the complete, verifiable, irreversible, denuclearization of the korean peninsula. fo9r kim, easing trade sanctions as well as keeping conventional weapons and his military. when you think about congress watching this, they see the president hang a major moment, butha many arng a major moment. manu: president a chance.the nuclear war and what to see if there is an agreement. thpresident seems so eager.
they made such a big deal about sitting down for a meeting. it is significant that they are sitting down but there are all of these thingssa -h sanders said there could be major commitments to denucleariz upfront before the meeting all of that has gone away and this is just a meet and greet. they have really lowered the bar. the president wants a deal so badly that he may rush into something not suitable to them. the thing they are pushing on both sides of the hill is any deal to be a treaty, which would mean that the senate would have to ratif that as a two thirds majority. ould require bipartisan support. it is a high hurdle to get to that point molly: the concern has always been the trump will give away the store. that heems like ancienttory. a couple weeks ago he did pull summi the to many concerned about the
ssibility, that was a relief to a lot of republicans, in fact. oma them coming out of the saying, we alwa thought this was a bad idea. you don't hear from them anymore. that was a signal that perhaps he was not so committed to the photo op that he would do anything to get it. robert: is there power in that photo op for president trump? even if he doesn't get a commitment? molly: he believes that there is because he believes he is doing something unprecedented. yo yesterday, with the prime minister of japan, saying, all of these other presidents should have done this. i am cleaning up their mess. i am the only one who can do it. he is very invested in the ide the experts will tell you that or is also a propaganda vi for the north koreans. the north koreans have wanted this for decades. no previous u.s. president has been willing to giveust to them
beof the propaganda victory that it represents, because of the legitimacy it confers on this regime. robert: c that come out of this? an end to the korean war, the release of japanese refugees, andthe continuation of the process. how would that be received if it were smaller bore? charlie: i don't feel 100% confident predicting the coming out of this eting and north korea will completely denuclearize the peninsula. the notion that kim jong-un will ever agree to give up his nuclear weapon seems far-fetched. iat seems realistic would be something like then deal with -- which trump abrogated. theon eliminaf certain missiles. certain adjusting's and downsizings.
the notion that they will give up nukes at all seems crazy. there haseen very little licy level substance preparation at the working group level between the countries. we didn't even think that there was going to be a summit. at best, this is a photo op and the blessing of talks to continue. at that point, kim jong-un has a victory. whether anything more comes out of that may be incidental. robert: let's turn to the russia probe.mu there is s news every week. special counsel robertueer filed an additional indictment on friday againstau manafort. he also added constantine: nick -- konstantin kalimnik to the charges. mueller's prosecutors claim that
the men used encrypted messaging to contact former business managers to influence their business dealings. metaphor is chargedne with mo laundering, fraud, and failing ose hisover -- to dis network. he maintains his innocence and is failing to cooperate. . his trial begins in president trump tweeted days ago th metaphor came into the campaign very late and was with us for a short period of when you think about what the special counsel is doing with paul manafort, with these initial indictments, is bob mueller trying to break paul manafort to get him to cooperate ? >> that is what everybody thinks. bob mueer is the sphinkx.
he does not speak. they're putting escalating pressure on paul manafort has the likeliest link if there was any collusion who would have been in a position to know. now this looks like a move toward revoking his bail and sending himri back ton before the trial would start. at the same time we have president trump talking about sendis left and right, an unmistakable message that he to use that pow without much constraint which can only mean, hang in there and don't flip. manu: to metaphor to cooperating, he has be thinking this is a president who feels emboldened about his use of the pardon. on his way t canada, he said he is considering 3000 pardons. at this stage, a president suggesting that isar rble, never mind saying he can pardon
himself. he has said repeatedly that he things paul manafort has been treated unfairly. if your paul manafort and you see these charges piling up, you think, fight thi out, and if i get convicted i will get pardoned, or maybe even before i am convicted. may decide to fight it out. robert: you have a terrific cover story in time magazine about the long evolution of the molar investigation -- mueller investigation. the manafort trial is set to start in a month. molar's report on t president's -- mueller's report on the president'sonduct could come later this year. molly: we do not meow what the rame is. some of the critics of the president have said that this
has gone on too long. something the only investigation -- the only reason the invest because he has done nothing and as long as it is going makes the president look bad. if he is continuing to investigate, it would note an unusual length of timeator an investn of this complexity to continue. we have seen steady progress. we have seen 19 people indicted, 5 pleaded guilty. 20 now, with the addition of kilimnik. every single that manafort has sent is that he is fighting this and not considering caving including the fact that this new ctinnt is about allegedly tampering with witnesses. in addition to cupping a plea he is trying to lean on people not to testify. robe: we will be tracking paul
manafort and his trial all summer. we have to leave you a few minutes ear your local pbs station which in turn supports washingtonweek. our conversation will continue online o the "washington week" extra. we will talk of a possible blue wave in november. you can find that later tonight at pbs.org/washingtonweek. >> funding for washingtonweek is provided by --
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