tv Washington Week PBS June 15, 2018 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT
robert: president trump infiltered, from singapore to the white house, he is, as ever, combative. i'm robert costa. how the trump doctrine is battling intrarge order and an f.b.i. report quicklyes becom a political flashpoint tonight on "washington week." inesident trump: we haven't given up every i think the meeting was every bit as good for the united states as it was for north korea. bert: after a history-making hand shake and signednt agreeme president trump declares north korea is nor longe a nuclear threat. remaine in his own party skeptical. >> this is the beginning, i think, of a long, long process. robert: there are bipartisan codeerns about the presint's decision to suspend joint military exercises with south korea. >> i the exercises are important. i'd like to see them continue. robert: mr. trump is looking to
host a similar one-on-one summit president vladimi putin. plus, the justice department inspector general delivers report about the f.b.i.'s investigation into hillary clinton's emails. and president trump's former campaign chaman is heade to jail. we discuss it all with mark landler of the "new york times," one gearan of "the washington post," susan glass"the new yorker," and jeff zeleny of cnn. announcer: this is "washington week." corporate funding is provided by -- >> their leadership is instinctste. they underand the challenges of today a research the technologies of tomorrow. some call theman vet we call them part of our team.
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the corpn for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs u.ation from viewers like thank you. once again, from washington, moderator, robert costa. robert:good evening. o the long histo american diplomacy has featured many turbulen chapters, but long-standing u.s. allies have fairly faced such blunt challenges over trade, as theydi at the g-7 meeting in recent days. and u.s. presidents have directly engaged dictators like north korea's kim jong-un as president trump did this ekn sing ore. during the landmark meeting, bo sides discussed north rea's nuclear weapons program and securi assurances for kim jong-un, but they did not address human rights concerns about the kim regime, north korea's ballistic missiles, or the missile defense system the u.s. helped install in south
korea. the signed joint statement calling for a nuclear free nortu korean pen is nonbinding and lax a time line or concrete commitments from north korea about how it would dismantle its de nir ars-- nuclear arsenal. president trump: we have a very good relationship with north korea. when i came into this job, it looked like war. not because of me. if you remember the sit-down wi barack obama, he said the biggest problem that the united states has and by far the most dangerous problem and he said te hat we've ever had, because of nuclear, is north korea. now rtat was s before i entered office. i have solved that problem robert: mark, when you think about the handshake, it was a hioric moment but there's also the meaning of the handshake in terms of policy and the president's put war games and removing them from the south korean area on the table withth
north korean region. what does that mean for the region, forhina, they want to see u.s. with a smaller footprint? mark: war games, a term the president used, a t loadedm because these are joint military noexercises. thh koreans refer to them as war games to give him a more aggressive nature but by them on the table, the message i think he's sending is that the alliance between the u.s. and south korea is in play to a certain extent. he's willing to make anc sion on something the south koreans view as a u.s.-south of the korean alliance and it's not just a south korean issue. the japanese will look at this and say, how committed is the u.s. to japan and its alliance in the long r president has talked about in the long run withdrawing american troops from the korean peninsula so all of these things our allies in eas asia took for granted for decades are now in play as a result of thisdi omatic overture.
robert: what are other concessions that could be on the table? >> this is also something that china has wanted. china's diplomatic play on north korea for some time, which the u.s. used to reject out of time, was what they called a freeze for freeze, the u.s. would no longer hold what china considers to be provocative exercises in its backyard, in waters china wants tonsider as part of its -- we call it international waters and say that the chinesee overstepping. they say we're overstepping. that we would no longer do those exercises and in exchange for a freeze on thear chinese on sanctions. and so essentially what trump did waso t give chinese the part that they have been seeking from us in stopping these otercises. which is to say that that isn't a prelude toottial
concessions from north korea but we don't know that part yet. what we know is that he offered to give up something that the chinese andor the koreans have been wanting him to give up for a while.be : where was south korea at this summit? >> not there but certainly played a huge role in ming it happen. sident moon jae-in of south korea, the summit would not have happened. what i was struck was how quick it came together. ree months and three days after the president first walked into the briefing room march 8 and said i have an announcement coming up tonight, stay tuned. what's it on, mr. president? i happened to be in the briefing room. he said he was accepting this invitation so that was an invitation south korea brought. so south korea was central to this but they were not at the summit and were surprised and caught off guard by the fact that the joint militaryex cises were called off. i think something wasy extraordinis week. i don't think the white house
anticipated, talking to people afterward, that joint headline was going to be that the president travelsre to singa and makes a concession that will anger the pentagon, cause concern among republicans on capitol hill. they did nothing to pave the way for calling off the joint exercis. it seemed to me it was a last-minute thing and using the word "war games," i'm not sure the presidenthe kne was using p'yongyang's language. robert: you said anger the pentagon. secretary mattis at the pentagon has been somewhat quiet t inhis process but secretary of state pompeo has been o front. >> secretary of state pompeo has taken the lead in preparing the summit a working with president trump, according to reports, no easy task pulling off the summit in a short period of time. secretary mattis made an extraordinary speech today at the naval war colle. he made comments about russia which seemed out of step with president trump's more favorable
view vladimir putin, but interestingly, he also made a commbot north korea in this deal. he said it's a possible path towards pea now with north korea. now, that is a wildly different characterizations of the outcome of the summit than theen press grandiose words saying that he solved the nuclear issue once and for all. there's nothing to the actual outcome of the summit or this short, vaguely worded communique they issued at the end of the sumt, there's thing in there that says the nuclear program is resolved. it's much more vaguely worded than previousommitments that north korea has agreed to in thgotiations with the united states and countries. previous commitments that, of course, north korea has actually reneged on in t past. so, again, there's this enormous gap between the president's
ousized claims for whate's achieved in the north korea summit and there's this hug rift within his own government. in any other administration, we would bt talking about t as the big story. robert: didn't kim commit to denuclearization? or is it more complated than that? >> kim committed in principleo denuclearizing but north korea's committed to doing that several times in the past, as far back as 1992. >> i thi it's 12. >> that's right. this is a common thing,or the northns have put this on the table. >> and never defined exactly. >> so the time table for doing it, how you verify it and modalities of how you do itre all basically the substance of what negotiations are about. that's what the clintonra adminion spent years negotiating and what the bush administration also spent yearss negotiating,cessfully in both cases. so a vague kind of aspiration to denuclearizing gets you basically to the starting line.
it doesn't get y any further than that and the criticism is that president trump extracted that return for all the prestige and validation and legitimatation he gave to kim. robert: what doehat prestige mean for kim when he sees bideos provid the administration about hotels in p'yongyang? >> it means eveinthing and i the flattery we've seen in previous examps of the president traveling around the world. the president is flatterg kim jong-u he's half his age, 34 years old, calling him a terrific gotiator, a master negotiator, strong man. and i was so struck by all that. but one thing, we wer all briefed by the secretary of state in singapore, and secretary pompeo said repeatedly, verify, verify, verify. that word was not in the statement at all. so i t the cleanup now and the details here obviously wil be left to the secretary of
state. >> the president is doing his own thing. >> the secretary of state will be left to actually do it and it's much harder task. robert: but the president keeps building his own world order, his own new doctrine. susan reported today that he'see looking to with russian president vladimir putin after saying he would like to see russia join the g-8. susan: first of all we know president trump has this ng-standing fascination with vladimir putin. he's consistently the only person who president trump has not criticized on the world stage aside from that one minor tweet after the syrian chemica weapons incident. trump has had it in his head, as i reported this morning, ever since march,am when thes "do not congratulate" phone call, after president won re-election and of course president trump did congratulate himnd also invited him to the oval office -- nobody really took that seriously, i think, because they t that's insane, right, in the politics
of this, in the middle of the special counsel investigation with all the questions about trump and russia, why would he do this, and yet, in fact, theyb han negotiating over this. it looks like it's possible as soon asy in jresident trump and president putin could meet. anne: they could attach it to the nato meeting. president trump answered that question today. he said that talking to putin, including putin in things like the g-7, formerly the g-8, ss the as talking to north korea, that -- and it gave a window into what trump's version of diplomacy is and the trump world order which is very personal very direct. he thinks he can make a difference by having a personal retionship with dictators, with leaders -- whoever they may be -- and he is willing t set aside any number of concerns
that the united states raises in other forms, in order to have that personal relationship because he thinks he can get business done and that's what he said he wand to do. robert: let's not forget the g-7, attacking allies on trade, taking on long-time u.s. aies. he says it's a transactional relationship that matters, the economic relationship that matters. buthis is so different from the history of u.s. foreign policy which has so often been about values. >> you're right abo that but the point to build on what anne said is that not only ds trump see the upside in foreign policy in talking to our adversaries, he sees our allies almostel exclus in terms of downside. our allies are free riders, free loaders, they've lockednt us deals that are against our advantage and if one were to define the trump world view, it's to shred existing alliances and look for new relationships around the world.
robert: e nato meeting is coming up soon. should we expect moves on that front? >> in brussels in four weeks. sure. i think some of these e relationshiprything seems so dramatic. he had emanuel macron, they were best friends and at the g-7, that was blown up but tonight again he tweeted, blaming the coverage on the g-7 on the fake news media, saying the n waso problem at all. that's simply not true. i'm not exactly sure why he's doing tha but clearly, a couple of days after he reads a lot of news coverage and hase had t to watch commentary, he's obsessed and often changes his view by what he hears or see so i think he's actually a little bit worried about fraught relations. robert: it's not just newspapers piling up in the oval office that he's reading, it's republican comments about his position on trade. senator bob corker said the g.o.p. isn coltish o how it's fallen along the president on trade. >> he said his fellow republican
senators were afraid to poke the bear, poke president trump. there is evidence to suggest that's true whent comes to the politics of it here. but i think actually that's pmpt of why t maybe has misread his allies in attacking them so hard, i don't think he realized, a, they don't play politics the way that he does,nd they actually think that the rhetoric of the president of the united i states matte a way that trump, i think, is not used to being taken literally. number one. number two ti thinkmp may not really fully understand that theolitics in other countries, in canada, in germany, in france, and in many of the countries in east asia, as well, esident trump is wildly unpopular there. there is an enormous political imperative, actually, to these fellow allies and worrs lea to stand up to donald trump. these countries don't like donald trump to smack around insult tders, to prime minister of canada when he's hosting a major global summit.
the politics are good for justin trudeau to say, you know, in a polite, canadian way, screw you, mr. president. and think that trump hasn't fully thought through, what does itean to b america alone, that's the word i keepearing from allies and people in europe when i've traveled there cently. robert: these are not isolated issues. you have the president going after china on, tra $50 billion in new tariffs as he's negotiating with north korea. >> absolutely simultaneously the trump administration is asking ina to go on a limb and continue enforcing sanctions against north korea and presumably prod north korea along to make the deal that is outled in that page and a half agreement to keep talking, and at the same time he's slapping tariffs on up to $50 billion worth ofh goods w immediate
retaliation by china. it's kind of -- yes, they're two different tracks. but they're happening so close together andan they simply be separated politically and they certainly can't be separated by xi jinping. >> he's made an explicit connection between the two. he said at the summit, part of the reason china may not be as cooperative on sanctions is because he'seen tough on them on trade so he's actually put these two things on the same track and that makes it complicated for him going forward on north korea and trade. tbert: talking about blurred lines, let'sn to the russia probe. today a federal judge orded former trump campaign chairman dul manafort to be jai ahead of his trial. special counsel robert mueller accused the 69-year-old manafort and a russian associatef contacting potential witnesses and askg them to lie to the jury. manafort is facing a number of federal charges including money
laundering, illegally lobbying and tax conspiracy. president trump: paul manafort worked for me for a very short riod of time. he worked for ronald reagan, he worked for bob dole, he worked for john mccain. he worked for me for, what, 49 days or something? a short period of time. robert: he was the campaign chairman and we know that, we have fact-checked that. if you look at this manafort trial, now that he's going to jail, will he break? will he cooperate like so many others have with mueller? >>hat'she central question here. the president has said so much about the special counsel's investigation. bob mueller has kept his head down, doing his work in the courtroom but what he did today is significant. i would not have said up to this point that manafort would break cooperate and he may not but this certainly raises the stakes on all of that. but a bit of perspective, yes it was9 days but, bob, as you
know, without paul manafort, donald trump likely would not had become the nominee o as smooth of a ride at the convention. paul manafort was in crge of th delegates. this is an example of the president met all day on thursday, or most of the with his lawyers, talked to them a lot throughout the day. it's oso of the r he has unplugged a little bit in talking about all of this. we saw him on the north lawn of ge white house this morn answering all these questions, frying to get -- trying to get his point of view and seizing on the i.g. report saying he's exonerated but the manafort thing, we have to keep an eye on that. is is serious as it's been and we don't know if he'll fli or not. robert: the president's chief lawyer, rudy giuliani, dangled the idea of pdons, not directly to manafort, but dangled the idea in a series of interviews. >> that's kind of been the implication, the uns thing that's hung in the air all
along. the presidentimself is widely thought of -- some of the other pardons he'sy made recenve been seen as setting a precedent in place for him to dangle pardons for people that are directly involved in this so that's the next sort of twist to watch in thisryueller s robert: susan, we have to turn to the others big news this icweek. the ju department released a sweeping report about the f.b.i.'s investition into hillary clinton's private emails. the inspector general found former f.b.i. director james comey made mistakes and should not have bypassed his boss, then enattorney geral loretta lynch, in how h made announcements about the clinton investigation. it concluded that while comey broke withhe protocol, f.b.i. was not motivated by political bias yet the president said he was exonerated. a these separate investigations. susan: that's exactly right and that, in a remarkable appearance before the press this morning, topics, probabl the president's
mischaracterization of this inspector general's report was one of the most csequential i 'tying it exonerates him for something it doeven relate to. number two, i never cease to a marv the ability of the president and his defenders to flip around the subject when it comes to f.b.i. director james comey and the 2016 election. robert: they're making an institutional argument. aysan: not only that, but you have to to the extent that comey intervened in the election, was clearly on behalf of donald trump, not on behalf of hillary clinton. it's almost this inversion of reality any timede the pre talks about it, that is fascinating, number one. but, you know -- giuliani came out after the report, used it as a pretext to say that the president should fire the special counsel, robert mueller, who is not the subject of this
report. robert: everything in washington these days seems to be about perception. a you look the text messages from the f.b.i. agents saying we'll end it, talking about ther p campaign. republicans have seized on that and the f.b.i. i.g. said that wasn't appropriate conduct. anne: there's something in the report for everyone and trump is seizing on, part, and republicans in congress, are also seizing on parts support his narrative. the president is also distortinh narrative considerably as susan laid out but, i mean, the report not onlys s that individual agents behaved badly but does deliver a reprimand to comey that he rejects, and the overarching conclusion of the report is that the f.b.i. institutionally did not act out of bias and you add all of those things up together, it comes out thatin everye thing the f.b.i. did and comey
did had the effect, whether intentional or not, o hurting hillary clinton and helping donald trump. robert: it does bring up all these questions about credibility of the justice department. different investigations but much is about the p wlic, not necessarily the details of everything. >> the president has done a very skilled job,ll act in mixing all of this up and certainly ising serious issues about the investigation here. muellerreality is, b is going to do his own thing here. we'll see what happens going down, but the president has a decision to make. will he sit down with him or not. robert: that's for next week. will he sit for an interview or not? t.b.d. our conversation, meanwhile, will continue on the "washington week extra." we will discuss attorney general jeff sessions and his decision to separate undocumented migrant children from their parents. you can find that later tonight atto pbs.org/washieek. and we want to send best wishes to long-time cameraman charlie
vogt who will be retiring soon. it's beenreat working with you. to all the dads out there, happy father's day. i'm robert costa. have a wonderful weekend. announcer: funding for "washington week" is provided by -- >> their leadership is instinctive. they understand the chlenges of today and research the technologies of tomorrow. me call them veterans. we call them part of our team. announcer:additional funding is provided by --
>> at cancer treatment centers of america, we publish treatment results for 11 cancer types so patients can make informed decisions about their cance care. learn more at cancer care.com. american cruise lines, proud sponsor of "washington week." newman's own foundation, donating all profits from newman's own's food products to charity and nourishinghe common goo the ethics and excellence in f journalindation. koo and patricia yuen through the yuen foundation, committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities. the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbsst ion from viewers like you. thank you. >> you're wching pbs.
-before it was a neighborhood, it"the castro,"r, one in a series of documentaries introducing you to the hidden cities of san fncisco, brought to you in part by your neighbors at pacific bell. -major funding for this prograb has aln provided by james c. hormel, the wallace alexander gerbode foundation, the durfee foundation, the mary a. crocker trust, michael dezordo, richard mac almon, and robert w. hofer, by these contributors... ...and by hundreds of individuals in the castro community. -well, good morning. i'm trevor. good morning. and welcome to the castro. i'm delighted you're here. llthe first thing i might ou that where you stand as i speak happens to be the heart of san francisco.