tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC July 8, 2017 9:00am-9:30am PDT
hey there, everyone, i'm alex witt here in new york at msnbc world headquarters where it is high noon in the east, it's 23450i9:00 a.m. out west. as we bring you a live picture, there is the president and he is heading to air force one any moment now. he will be taking off and there you see melania after wrapping up his first trip to the g20 summit. the president's departure comes shortly after holding bilateral meetings with japanese prime
minister abe and president xi. among the topics was the
escalating tensions with north korea. >> we're also talking obviously about north korea and the problem and menace of north korea. the prime minister is, i will say this, very, very focused on what's going on with respect to north korea. >> also new today, we're learning more about what happened during the high-stakes meeting between presidents trump and vladimir putin. the russian president among several world leaders who held a press briefing this morning. president trump did not hold a briefing. let's go right to hamburg for all the latest details. we get that from nbc's hallie jackson and keir simmons. with a welcome to you both, ladies first. i'll go with you, hallie. you've been following the president's busy day of the g20 meetings and all the sitdowns with all the world leaders. big headlines out of those meetings today are what? >> reporter: let me run through a couple of them for you, alex. windy hamburg, the president as
you noted just getting ready to leave and head back to the united states. we expect to hear more about how that meeting went, the many meetings he held today later today. let me run through a couple of highlights. we heard from the president directly this morning that his meeting yesterday with russian president vladimir putin was in his words tremendous. that is something he said at one of these so-called pool sprays as he met with about a half dozen international leaders. another headline is the division that is continuing to deepen here internationally when it comes to the united states' stance on climate change versus frankly the rest of the developed world, the rest of these g20 nations. the communique has come out. this is the document that all these nations sign onto and notably it references the united states specifically. you don't often see a single country called out like that in a communique, and declares that the rest of the g20 nations besides the u.s. believe that the paris climate agreement is irreversible. they're not going to renegotiate it, alex, despite president trump and his top advisers
saying that is something they would like to do. let me hit the third headline for you before you toss it over to keir for the fourth big headline, but that is the discussion that the president held just before leaving with the chinese leader, president xi, talking about north korea obviously. after that show of force after the last 14 to 18 hours and the president believes there will be some kind of successful resolution to the situation in north korea saying this alongside president xi. if you looked at his tweets a week ago, you might have thought president trump felt a little differently about china, but that is not what we heard today. let me give you one little optics interesting moment. because the president has been holding so many of these meetings sort of one on one or in small groups with these leaders here at the g20, the g20 table where everybody sits around and talks, at one point the seat from the u.s. was held by ivanka trump. she tend in to replace her father. the u.s., one administration official telling nbc news they didn't believe that was totally
out of the ordinary, although it certainly raised some eyebrows here in hamburg, alex. >> about how long was she sitting at the table? i was asked that by jonathan alter and i did not know the answer. do you know? >> reporter: that's a good question, no. remember, we're not actually seeing inside that meeting so we know that ivanka was at the table because the russian sort of sherpa, someone who works with the russian delegation had tweeted it out. so still some question marks around that. >> one last question for you, hallie, before we get to keir. the big sticking point with regard to the u.s. perspective of signing the g20 climate agreement was about fossil fuel development here in the united states. i guess there was a provision put in there that indicates the u.s. will continue to develop fossil fuel origins, but try to do so environmentally -- in an environmentally sound way. i'm not clear yet as to whether that was part of the final agreement or not. >> reporter: i'm going to have to go back and research that one for you, alex, because i don't
have my copy of the communique in front of me at the moment. i will tell you that what you have seen from inside the west wing where advisers -- you know of all the divisions in the west wing and you saw some of the president's advisers pushing him towards this paris agreement. saying listen, they didn't want him to come out as strongly and harshly as he did saying he no longer supported it. there was concern that would alienate other members like german chancellor, angela merkel, who said she deplores this situation when it comes to where the u.s. is on climate. so it has certainly created divisions inside the administration. the president has been clear this is what he wants to do. it's how he wants to move forward. he's got an eye on what is happening at home politically, which is playing into this as well. >> all right, hallie. i'll look for you to get the answer to that. i was looking for it and if i can't find it, i'm sure you will be able to. as we look to the left of your screen, there you see air force one about to taxi to takeoff there at the hamburg international airport. let's go right now to nbc's keir simmons who has more on what
russian president vladimir putin is saying after this face-to-face meeting with president trump. are we getting the same readout of the meeting from both sides, keir? >> we were in the room with president putin for that news conferen conference. yesterday we were covering the riots. look, president putin was asked again and again about that meeting with president trump and specifically how president trump reacted to president putin telling him that russia did not intervene in the u.s. elections. president putin said trump asked a lot of questions on the subject. i was able to answer all those questions. i think he took this into consideration and agreed. but in fact how he reacted to this, ask him. nbc news pressed him further and said just tell us what exactly it was that president trump
said. president putin said, you know, we also talked about the conversation that the president of russia had had with president obama previously. they actually had that conversation as well, president putin and president trump, but president putin again said i don't want to tell you what exactly was said in that meeting. so we are left wondering still. there is not -- there is not clear agreement, i'm just looking to my right because as you can see, this looks like the leader of turkey leaving. the leaders erdogan, i think that may be, heading out. all of the leaders from the g20 are leaving here, alex, so there you go, a live picture of one of the delegations heading out. just one final point on what president putin said. aside from announcing or confirming that as far as he's concerned the u.s. and russia have agreed to work together on ukraine, to work together on syria, to work together even on
cyber hacking. aside from that, he told the gathered russian reporters that president trump is not the way he seems on television. >> all right. well, more will certainly remain to be seen. i'm sure there will be a lot more coverage of that meeting and we'll get more from you as well. keir simmons, thank you very much, as you show us the president of turkey leaving the summit. let's bring in congressman susan. i'd love to get your rating of the president's performance at the g20 summit. >> well, we have so many important issues that need to be discussed. our changing economy, addressing climate change, the situation in syria and clearly the recent actions from north korea. i think the biggest news that we've seen from the president's visit has been his longer than expected meeting with vladimir putin. and i really would hope that we would focus on these key issues and have conversations about
that. >> all right. let's talk about today's front page "new york times" in which there is a story that has head lined once dominant, the u.s. finds itself isolated at the g20. do you share that perspective, ma'am? has the u.s. become isolated from our g20 allies? and if so, why? >> well, i think the president has said that he wants to pull away from the international community in many ways, and so that has created an atmosphere where many of our allies have felt like they need to fill a gap in u.s. leadership. it's important that we are leaders on issues and are actively engaged, so i think that we need to make sure that that's a priority going forward. i hope that the president hears that from members of congress as well and we also see that with others in the administration and throughout the cabinet. >> all right, let's get to a change here of topics. in terms of one of the big talking points at the summit, all the escalating concerns over
north korea, i know that you are right there on the pacific border in washington state. experts are saying it's not going to be too long until they have a long-range missile capable of reaching right where you and your constituents are. what do you see as the best solution for denuclearizing north korea? >> well, north korea is a very serious and ongoing threat to the pacific region and definitely here in the northwest and up through alaska. in fact because i represent the area right here in washington state, it is a very serious issue right here for my constituents. and so it's important that we make sure that there is an international dialogue. we are bringing people together to make sure there is an ongoing proactive diplomatic effort. i proposed legislation to develop a joint commission on north korea which would bring together key partners in the pacific region, in particular south korea, japan, china, so that we have a coordinated,
proactive, very deliberative diplomatic plan going forward so that we are doing everything that we can to address the threat of north korea. >> look, everything -- doing everything that we can is one thing, but the trump administration, as you know, is still calling for china to do more to rein in north korea. a bit earlier today, as you know, the u.s. demonstrated a show of force, flying bombers over the korean peninsula. they also held u.s. joint military drills with south korea and japan. do you see this, are you worried this is a sign that we could be headed for military conflict? >> well, we need to put all of our efforts into diplomacy, and i think that leadership is important. and we're not going to lead via twitter. leadership is hard. it means sitting down with people, convening efforts on the diplomatic front. that's why my legislation for a joint commission i think is so important because we would be leading and bringing together our partners in the region,
including japan, south korea, and china, and others as are needed to make sure that we have a unified strategy with respect to north korea. tweeting about north korea is not going to be the way that we address these issues. sitting down, having important discussions and coming up with a plan. >> all right, democratic congresswoman suzan delbene of washington. thanks for your time. >> thanks for having me. russian president vladimir putin and president trump, of course they're finally meeting face to face and they have a tongue-in-cheek moment with reporters. and our panel of journalists will talk about the reaction the president can expect in washington to his meeting with putin. ♪
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prime minister may and i have developed a very special relationship, and i think trade will be a very big factor between our two countries, so i want to thank you very much. >> mr. president, did the russians lie about your meeting yesterday? >> president trump there this morning during a bilateral meeting with uk prime minister theresa may declining to answer a reporter's question about the conflicting narratives coming out of his meeting with vladimir putin. the president and first lady, melania trump, left hamburg just a couple of minutes ago after wrapping up his first trip to the g20 summit. joining me now, heidi pryzbyla and john harwood. with a welcome to you both, heidi first to you. the white house pushing back on the narrative coming out of russia but the only person in
that meeting was secretary of state tillerson. he's not exactly denying what mr. lavrov said, that trump accepted putin denying his involvement in terms of election hacking. how is putin reading all of this? >> well, they're pushing back but not in a very transparent way and that's because the whole process hasn't been transparent with the normal officials usually in those meetings not only documenting what was said but afterwards having the president uphold the normal tradition of holding a news conference. so i think honestly the precedent or kind of the tone was set for this before trump even went into the meeting when he cast into question our own intelligence agencies for putin to come out and say this after the fact. so the reality is we're never going to get an answer about what exactly happened, but it does kind of demonstrate why this whole credibility problem that the president has back home becomes a problem when you have
people in our own country wondering whether to trust what the russian account is or what the u.s. account is. >> and to that last point, heidi, john, i want to play for you as secretary of state tillerson responded to reporters' questions about the election hacking. here it is. >> mr. secretary, can you say if the president was unequivocal in his view that russia did interfere in the election? did he offer to produce any evidence or to convince mr. putin? >> the russians have asked for proof and evidence. i'll leave that to the intelligence community to address the answer to that question. and, again, i think the president at this point, he pressed him and then felt like at this point let's talk about how do we go forward. >> all right. so to heidi's point and then what you heard there by rex tillerson, are you shocked that the president to some degree again mocks the intelligence community in front of russia,
john? >> no, you can't be shocked at this point. it is shocking that an american president does that, but it's not shocking that donald trump is, if that makes any sense, because he's done it so often. look, the disagreements between tillerson and lavrov in their accounts of the meeting aren't that great. by rex tillerson's own account, he emphasized the positive chemistry they had. we're not going to relitigate the past, we're going to go forward. all of that is precisely what vladimir putin would want out of that meeting. he went so far as to say that, you know, on our larger goals are very similar to russia's and that on some issues they might have a better solution than we do. it continues the very consistent pattern of the administration, candidate trump and then president trump and his administration accommodating russia consistently. it is very difficult to view
that set of facts as distinct from the reality as our intelligence agencies have said that russia helped donald trump get elected. >> yep, 17 of them. heidi, i saw you tweeted there about the president attacking john podesta on twitter just hours before that meeting with vladimir putin. so besides the errors in the president's tweet, was this some sort of a strategy for dealing with putin? >> it's hard to know. if you want to believe that it was a strategy, then this is my theory on what was going on. if you couple this with the fact that he was also denigrating our intelligence agencies, think about who john podesta is. he is the primary victim of russian hacking. so on the eve of his meeting with putin, he's attacking the primary victim of russian hacking and attacking our own intelligence agency. so he goes into this meeting and the first thing he brings up is something he's probably uncomfortable bringing up, the hacking. he's got to do it. this is a way beforehand to ingratiate himself by doing
these things that would be very satisfying to vladimir putin. so you can choose to believe that if you want to believe it's strategic, or it's just part of this whole pattern of inexplicable random twitter outbursts that he just -- a thought came into his head and he decided to tweet this out. >> so, john, if you look at the post news conferences, vladimir putin gave one, angela merkel, theresa may, justin trudeau. president trump opted out. how significant is that? >> well, i think it is significant and also for obvious reasons. sort of like we were just discussing with trump and russia. think about the situation the president is in. he is not popular at home or abroad. his lenlt i've agenda has not advanced, it's in trouble. the health care bill is in deep trouble. he's just finished a meeting with 19 other world leaders who isolated him on climate change, his big initiative to leave the paris agreement.
he has weak command of the issues. and he had this meeting with vladimir putin in which he did not get toughs many foreign policy experts in both parties had wanted. so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that he doesn't have a lot of good answers at this point. >> after that significant trade agreement signed without the u.s. participating in those. all right, john, heidi, good to see you both. guys, thank you so much. celebrations in iraq today as troops get ready to mark a major milestone in the fight against isis. where are we? about to see progressive's new home quote explorer.
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soldiers in iraq are making gains against isis in the city of mosul. the iraqi army is on the cusp clearing the city from the terrorist group. joe, with a welcome to you, what's the military there in iraq saying about the progress? >> alex, iraqi security forces say at some point today they expect to take full control of mosul, which was a key stronghold for isis. so far no official announcement
but there are reports and images of iraqi soldiers celebrating in the streets, shooting rifles in the air and waving captured isis flags. the final stages have been bloody and intense with insurgents using suicide bombers as they try to mount their final stand. officials told nbc news fighting has been taking place rooftop to rooft rooftop, at close range at times. isis captured mosul in 2014 and declared it the seat of their so-called islamic caliphate. over the past eight months a u.s.-led international coalition has provided air and ground support to iraqi forces as they try to take back the city. the fighting has taken its toll. thousands have been killed, include many civilians. nearly a million residents have been forced out. many are living in camps outside of the city where today temps were in the triple digits and many there wonder what's next. hundreds of buildings have been destroyed. there are estimates it could cost as much as a billion dollars, perhaps more to rebuild
basic infrastructure. i'm alex witt, thanks for watching. at the top of the hour i'll speak with republican congressman french hill. coming up next, vels"velshi & " ruhle." stay with us. noo text "blades" to gillette on demand text to reorder blades... ...and get $3 off your first order with gillette on demand.
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