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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  August 2, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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statements. and a real dump. reports that the president's eyebrow-raising assessment of the white house is just that. but chelsea clinton is having none of it. she strikes back, twice. but let's start with the confusion surrounding the newly signed russian sanctions law after the white house released two different statements, both attributed to the president, and both, including serious attacks on congress. an early sign that new chief of staff, john kelly, has his work cut out for him. the question of will he or won't he was answered this morning when trump finally and away from the cameras signed russian sanctions passed by overwhelming margins in the congress. only five members out both houses voted against them. but while the president's public schedule focused on immigration and visa reform today, he made his feelings about the sanctions clear. in the releases, staffers now say were, quote -- a signing statement. the other, a press release.
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in the signing statement, he wrote, this legislation is significantly flawed. in its haste to pass the legislation, the congress included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions. also, he wrote, my administration will give careful and respectful consideration to the preferences expressed by congress in these various provisions. in the press release, he wrote, the framers of our constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the president. this bill will prove the wisdom of that choice. let's go to nbc's kristen welker at the white house. matt miller is an msnbc justice and security analyst. megan murphy, editor of bloomberg business week. kathryn ram pell, opinion columnist at the "washington post," and allen gomez, "usa today" reporter to talk about the immigrations. kristen, let's start with the confusion surrounding this statement. i've never seen anything quite like it. what happened? >> reporter: the administration effectively put out two statements. one, the official signing statement, which devils into
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some of the provisions and the background of the legislation. and then a second one released by the president, which is effectively his statement about the legislation. look, bottom line, chris, this was a controversial piece of legislation here within the white house. why? because it effectively limits the president's authority to reverse or scale back any of these sanctions. and that's why you have the signing statements, both of them underscoring the fact that the white house is not pleased with this bill. now, in terms of what the legislation does and in terms of the overwhelming support that it has, first let's look at the support. it passed the senate back in june, 98-2. then the house in july, 419-3. a revised version passed the senate, 98-2. then, of course, today, signed by the president into law. and speaking to white house officials, they say, look, this had overwhelming support. so the president ultimately felt as though he needed to sign it.
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and, of course, what this bill does is to punish russia for meddling in the u.s. election. it comes, of course, against the backdrop of those investigations on capitol hill into russia's meddling, as well as the special counsel looking into any potential link between the trump campaign and russia. what does this legislation do? it locks in existing russian sanctions. it adds new ones targeting defense in the intelligence sector. it expands sanctions on the russian energy sector. it also gives congress, as i mentioned, chris, a check on the president's ability to lift any of these sanctions. and it targets iran's and north korea's missile development programs. so a robust bill that the president signed. but, again, pointing out in his statement that the white house believes parts of it are unconstitutional, because it limits the president's authority. chris? >> all right. thanks, so much. i want to start with that, if i can, kathryn. essentially, what the president is saying in this statement is, i signed a bill that i believe is unconstitutional.
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this is how i read it, when he says, "this includes a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions." >> so you're asking why did he do this? >> i mean, am i missing something here? >> i presume that he signed it because it would be too embarrassing to have, you know, his veto overridden by congress. so he has to kind of get on board and protest and go kicking and screaming and say, i really think this is a bad idea. it's going to hurt our relationship with russia. but, you know, if -- >> but i'm going to sign it, even though i believe it is unconstitutional. >> exactly. well, you know, he's all about pride. and he's all about showing that he's powerful. so if he controls the message, or if it looks like he's in control, anyway, of this policy, that's better for his ego. >> and he take these swipes against congress. and after signing this bill, we heard from a couple of republican senators. let's take a listen. >> i think it certainly signals there is two branches of government. and obviously, the united states congress spoke.
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>> the fact he does this kind of quietly i think reinforces the narrative that the trump administration is not really serious about pushing back on russia. and i think this is a mistake, too. because putin will see this as a sign of weakness. >> is he going a step too far there, or is there something to be read into the fact he did this quietly and clearly under duress, because one statement wasn't enough. he issued two. >> i don't think it was that quiet. at the end, he says i built a -- >> i built many billions of dollars. that is a big part of the reason i was elected. >> and i should be allowed to negotiate these deals myself. i can do a better job. i think we even need to take another step back. the reason congress passed this by such overwhelming margins, frankly, they were afraid president trump would start to roll back some of the existing sanctions in place against russia that there had been overtures as part of a bid to improve our relationships with putin and with russia that he would actually look at this in easing some of the restrictions
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on them. that's why congress acted. it is an overwhelming majority. he hasn't done it that quietly. he's acted like he does with things when he doesn't get his way and put out this statement, questioning the constitutionality of this. but you're exactly right. he was headed for an overwhelming override and he doesn't have the political capital at this point to do it. >> he doesn't like it. he thinks it limits how he can -- what he believes -- >> and it does -- >> -- is exercise his constitutional power as the chief executive. but, matt, there's one other part of this statement that i found particularly interesting. where he says, my administration will give careful and respectful consideration to the preferences expressed by congress in this bill. but it's not a bill any more, right? it's a law. so it's not preferences by congress. it's the law of the land. or am i misunderstanding what happens when you sign a bill? >> no, you're not. i mean, look. this is an area, signing statements of law, that has been evolving really since the bush administration in a significant
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way. president obama issued signing statements, as well, at times to complain about pieces of legislation that he was signing into law but otherwise didn't like. the real question going forward, does the president try to provoke a constitutional crisis, spark litigation by refusing to enforce some of the aspects of this law. if it's just a signing statement but he's not going to actually, you know, contest the legislation, refuse to enforce it, then it's a complaint that, you know, will have no lasting effect. >> and president's are allowed to complain. they're allowed to have fights with congress. >> president's are allowed to complain. and if you look at the two statements, one, obviously drafted by attorneys, one that referred to the preference. and this other one is a rambling, bizarre statement, where, as you pointed out, he boasts about his wealth, at times takes shots at congress over negotiations on the health care bill. those are clearly the parts of the statement that he wrote. and so i think the -- what we have to look at going forward, you know, is this the end of this? will the president now enforce these sanctions against the russian government that he clearly was very reluctant to
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see passed into law? or will he at times try to undermine them, and if so, how would congress respond? >> and i wonder -- and i guess we aren't going to know this. but what does this say about the new chief of staff, the power he has to sort of keep things organized? kristen welker, what do we know about whose hand was in this, and especially whose hand was behind these statements? or do we know anything about how the president weighed in on one or the other? >> reporter: we don't know who specifically wrote these statements, chris. but obviously, he has a national security team and i would imagine his new chief of staff had some role to play. particularly in terms of the timing of making sure that this piece of legislation did get signed. but, look, make no mistake about it. i've been talking to white house officials here behind the scenes who say that retired general john kelly is very serious about having the messaging be more disciplined coming out of this
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administration. it might be something that will take a little bit of time. but that is one of his key goals. and if you think about it, in terms of twitter, we sort of have seen that already come to play out. the president has, of course, sent out a few tweets in the past 48 hours, but for the most part, they have been pretty measured. in terms of who actually wrote the signing statement and the president's official statement, we'll have to ask press secretary sarah huckabee sanders, who is going to hold her briefing later on this afternoon, chris. >> one of the things that is absolutely working like clockwork at the white house is during the 1:00 hour every day, the grounds crew goes to work, and kristen welker tries to talk over it. we thank you for doing that. >> reporter: thanks, chris. let's go to immigration, one of the big stories today. and this is the wray's act that trump and two republican senators were touting together. tell us about it. >> basically, what they're trying to do is reorganize -- actually, completely overhaul the way that the u.s. accepts
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immigrants. they want to base it on what canada does. there the majority of immigrants, legal permanent residents that come into the country there, they're admitted based on economic ties. based on their ability to contribute to the canadian economy. in the u.s., it's the opposite. the majority of people that are allowed into the country are based on family ties. so think about somebody coming to the u.s., they get to sponsor their parents, children, spouses, brothers, sisters. and what trump and these senators want to do is completely go towards that canadian system, where we allow people to come in based more -- where we test them first, to see what their education is like and what their potential contributions are to the economy. >> all of this comes after this piece in the "post," and this is where we find out that trump did indeed -- according to multiple sources, direct the first misleading statements. so if you go through it, you have donald trump jr.'s statement on the meeting with the russian lawyer, saying it's about adoption. you have his denials. you have the denials by the president's personal lawyer that
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he knew anything about it, that he directed it. then we have the reporting in your paper, and then secondarily, i think it was by the "new york times," saying, oh, no, he dictated this statement to hope hicks. and even then, yesterday at the press briefing, and it's going to be interesting to see what sarah has to say today -- sarah huckabee sanders. she said, well, you know, it's like any dad. sort of like, you know, he was just sort of looking over his shoulder a little bit, trying to give him a little bit of help, a little bit of guidance. but he never dictated it. so where are we with this white house in terms of just not being able to get one story out? whether it's putting out two statements, one that looks like it was written by the president, one that looks like it was written by his staff on something he signed today, or this continuing evolving story on russia. >> well, so on the don junior statement, i would make two points. one is we have this broader theme of the white house denying
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facts, being disproven by investigative reporters. and then claiming the facts don't really matter. it was fatherly love, et cetera. >> yeah. >> in this particular case. i would also add that i wonder how we can continue believing that don junior is running the trump organization on his own when he needs daddy to help him, you know, fix this public statement when he already has a team of lawyers. so clearly, trump, the father, is quite involved in the actions that don junior is involved in. so how can we continue to believe that the company itself is being run completely separate from the president, you know? the father is clearly intricately involved in the actions of his children. >> you know, from big to small. and this could be big. because a lot of people are suggesting when you have a group of people who are getting together to craft a statement, that turns out to be wrong. it's a big sort of red flag for an investigator. certainly somebody like robert mueller and his team who have a lot of experience. and then you go to things that are small in this new interview
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that got, i guess, leaked, if you want to say, but the "wall street journal" and was then obtained. and he talks about this being the greatest speech the boy scouts ever had. and yet the boy scouts actually reliev released a statement, saying we apologize for this. from big to small, does the pattern -- this pattern that seems to be created in this white house that doesn't matter what it is, that they will put their own spin on it, make it impossible for them to move forward on any level, whether it's putting the russia investigation behind them, dealing with congress, so increasingly seems to be turning against them. or even showing up in front of a group of police who then you have your own dea chief saying, don't listen to what the president said, by the way. we treat all suspects with respect. >> well, there's two main points on this. one is, you're right, in that we aren't always in a fact-free environment. and it's more than just little slips or guiding or putting out their version. it's actually not true what they're saying, most of the
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time. and that is very important when we look at this and we look at the transparency. so the one is, there's the aspect of whether or not they can ever get these stories straight. whether or not that's ever going to change. the evidence shows they aren't. but on the bigger picture, they have lost the creditability of members of their own party. we increasingly see people, whether it's on health care, whether it's on tax reform, whether it's on immigration, where we're going to see this bill end up. they simply -- he cannot get his own party behind him to get the coalition that he's going to need to get any sort of legislation through. we see people abandoning him. we see people trying to move forward with priorities that they think they want to push forward. if they cannot be -- if they aren't able to do that and we increasingly see people saying he's talking to himself, they're treating him as if he's talking to himself. they're treating him like the overgrown child that he acts like from time to time, whether it's in the boy scouts or whether it's on twitter. that is death to any sort of meaningful legislative progress on the priorities. tax reform. we have already seen what's happened with health care. and the really worrying thing is
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going into a possible budgetary impasse, as well. >> in the meantime, he's talking about the stock market today. we're going to talk about that a little bit later. who gets credit for that. there is so much more to talk about. kristen welker, matt murray, ellen gomez, thanks to all of you. when we return, we're going to talk about one of those major crises the president has to deal with. and that, of course, is north korea and the u.s. test launch of an icbm missile. stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. parker. the at&t network is helping first responders connect with medical teams in near real time... stay with me, mr. parker. ...saving time when it matters most. stay with me, mrs. parker. that's the power of and. fixodent plus adhesives. there's a denture adhesive that holds strong until evening. just one application gives you superior hold
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the united states in a show
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of strength to north korea conducted a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile overnight. the minuteman two missile launched from the california desert travel 4,200 miles to the marshall islands. also, secretary of state rex tillerson yesterday underscoring the importance of defusing the north korea threat. >> we have reaffirmed our position towards north korea that what we are doing, we do not seek a regime change. we do not seek the collapse of the regime. we're trying to convey to the north koreans, we are not your enemy. we're not your threat. but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us. and we have to respond. >> let's bring in msnbc national security analyst, former cia director, john mclaughlin and barry mccaffrey, msnbc military analyst. john, let me get your take on secretary tillerson's comments. >> i think they are probably the right thing for a secretary of state to be saying at this point.
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it's not all about diplomacy, but diplomacy has a very important role here. i suspect we have passed the point where we are going to eliminate this nuclear program the north koreans have by any military preemption. and so our tools are really things like deterrence -- that is telling them they can be destroyed. economic pressure. missile defense. diplomacy. >> what are the diplomatic channels that are available? >> well, i think there's a number of ways to do this. but i think it's going to -- inevitably be most effectively a multilateral setting. the chinese should be involved. perhaps the russians. certainly the south koreans. maybe the japanese. but we should organize a consortium of those countries to talk through what our options are and to make sure we understand where all of these countries stand and what they're prepared to do to deter this
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threat. that can be very effective. but it's a complicated process that so far the administration has not shown a lot of skill at orchestrating. >> in the meantime, general, this is the fourth time an icbm has been launched from vandenberg this year. and on sunday, there was that successful test of the terminal high altitude area and defense system. it was conducted in alaska by launching an icbm over the pacific. is the time, though, to avoid a serious military escalation running out? what do you read into what you're seeing? >> well, first of all, i think john has got it entirely right. but at this point, the goals of the north koreans are three-fold. one, they want to reunify the peninsula under their control, so-called final victory. they want to be recognized as a nuclear power. and they want u.s. forces out of south korea. none of which are likely to achieve going nuclear. they are raising the threat to themselves significantly, from both the japanese, south
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koreans, australians, u.s. and others. so i think what's not going to happen, the chinese aren't going to strangle them economically. they're not going to -- north koreans aren't going to negotiate away their weapons, for sure. so we're really in a very tricky situation. i think at this point, as john suggests, the most important thing we can do is to invest in missile defense systems. that's not enough. but the north koreans know we're not going to take preemptive, conventional military strikes to eliminate the nuclear threat. it's no the going to happen. >> so in the meantime, the question really was what the administration believes, what they think. particularly about regime change. and secretary tillerson indicated that, and we just heard that part of it, that we're not interested in getting rid of kim jong-un. but two weeks ago, mike pompeo had this to say. take a listen. >> it's one thing for him to
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have one missile capable of landing in denver, colorado. or even this beautiful place we find ourselves. it's another thing for him to have an entire arsenal. >> as for the regime, i'm hopeful we find a way to separate that regime from this system. >> that's an interesting answer. >> the north korean people, i'm sure, are lovely people and would love to see him go, as well. >> would love to see him go. is there a contradiction here between the cia and state, or is this all just part of ramping up the pressure on pyongyang? how do you read those two different statements? >> well, first, it's a little difficult to interpret what director pompeo was saying. but i would read it as ramping up the pressure on them. and i would think that on this issue, secretary tillerson, as the policy chief on diplomacy and on foreign policy, has the last word. and his last word was, we're not pushing for regime change. now, would we like to see that regime change? yeah. of course. but that's not something you're
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going to do overnight. you're not going to do it by military means. we need to maybe take some counsel from the south koreans here, who have the largest stake in this. it's their peninsula, and they have some ideas about how to maneuver this regime over time toward a more acceptable posture for us, and toward a more human rights friendly posture in the north. >> general, when we saw that the experts were moving up when they thought that north korea could have a potential to hit the american mainland, and they talked about the threat being perhaps two years away and then it got to be 18 months away and now we're looking at potentially sometime next year, as somebody who understands the technology, as somebody who understands both sides, what's your level of concern right now? and where do you see this going? >> first of all, let me add something to john's statements. i fully concur with. another rule of thumb in
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diplomacy and military action is, never threaten people in public. put forward your positive views in public and threaten people privately. and in an incredible manner. and if you're going to threaten people, you have to follow through on the threat or be prepared to. so i think this is a huge error in judgment. look, we're in a very unstable position with the north koreans. they clearly, within five years -- don't say next month, next year -- within five years, they'll have a substantial icbm capability that probably will read as capable of striking the u.s. they may well, certainly within ten years, have submarine launch ballistic missiles. they have tested one already in a static sense. so it is a threat. there's no question. and it's not just south korea and japan. it's also the continental united states. i think at some point we clearly are going to have to take dramatic action short of war. and that probably involves -- as
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john suggests, a consortium in trying to strangle these people economically. >> general mccaffrey, always good to see you. john mclaughlin, you, as well. thank you both, gentlemen. >> good to be with you, chris. the dow jones surging to 22,000 for the first time ever. can president trump legitimately take the credit? and long-simmering tensions between senate republicans and the president beginning to boil. can this political marriage be saved? for your heart... your joints... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something for the most important part of you... your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish,
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a record day on wall street. moments after the opening bell, the dow crossing the 22,000 benchmark for the first time ever. right now it's hovering just under that mark. the market has spiked more than 2,000 points since president trump's inauguration. joining me now, msnbc's ali velshi. so the president marked this historic moment. >> it's all because of him. >> is he? >> i don't know. generally speaking, presidents -- are limited in their ability to take blame or responsibility for what goes on in the market. there are things in a moment, a declaration of war, a big policy statement, that will move the market one way or another. but the market is much more sophisticated than this.
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this market was on an upward trend before donald trump took the presidency. what happened is, when he won, because of his promises about infrastructure spending and regulation, you know, taking regulation back and reform on taxes, a number of companies that really stood to benefit from those policies surged. so banks, financial companies, caterpillar, big infrastructure companies. they all gain. so what you saw was a line that was going up like this. suddenly go up like that a little more. and then flatten out. and we have just been continuing to go on. so there's some -- >> we keep hearing the markets hate instability. and if there is anything in washington -- >> that's an interesting one. you're right. the markets do hate instability. and strangely, they have completely tuned washington out. now, there are two things that it won't tune out. one is when anything in washington reaches a level of a constitutional crisis or something of that nature, that's really serious. they don't care about the politicking too much. number two, we have a federal reserve that is a very steady hand on the tiller.
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interest rates are gradually moving up. when the fed doesn't think they're ready, they skip this last opportunity to do so. they'll probably raise rates again the next time. so monetary policy is very slow. interest rates are raising very slowly. inflation is low. unemployment is going down. so everything looks -- >> and points to the gdp. >> this is an interesting one. 2.6% quarterly gdp. generally guys like they don't look at quarters, we look at years. but if you want to play the president's game, 2.6% gdp in one quarter, it happened 14 times under president obama. 3% in any given quarter happened eight times under president obama. so you know, when president trump wasn't president, he would criticize the measures by which we measure these things. the stock market, the unemployment rate and gdp. well, now it's the same measures and he's taking credit for it. so, again, if you had asked me this while president obama was president, i would have said the same thing. careful, no the too much credit, not too much blame. presidents have some role to play, not all of it. that's the same situation here.
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so for president trump who says we don't talk about this stuff, i certainly, as you know, talk about it an awful lot. >> 22,000. >> may go back later today. it's what we call flirting with 22,000. >> flirting. >> yeah. >> thank you ali velshi. starting to show the strain. >> there are going to be times when i disagree with him, and when i do, i usually state that very clearly, as well. >> populism is, you know, you can win elections with it. it's popular. it's populism. but it's not a governing philosophy. >> we're here trying to do our duty. >> i'm going to do what i think is right. and sometimes that means i'm going to be agreeing with the president and sometimes it means that i'm not. >> and, of course, it's more than just health care with the president late this morning slamming congress as he signed that sanctions bill into law. msnbc's garrett haake on capitol hill with the latest. and we're joined by former congressman, tom davis, a virginia republican. garrett, let me start with you and any reaction you're getting
quote
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to the president's pretty tough anti congressional language in that signing statement. >> well, chris, right off the bat, democrats jumped on this, pushing back. house minority leader nancy pelosi saying president trump's signing statement raises serious questions about whether his administration intends to follow the law or whether he will continue to enable and reward vladimir putin's aggression. talking to senate republicans about this, they see the sanctions themselves as the congress sort of stepping up and showing its own might in here. saying, look, we're a coequal branch of government, and we're going to flex our muscles here a little bit. not so much in response to the statement itself, but saying, look, we have the power to create these laws and the power to put the president under some controls ourselves. and we're going to use it. >> congressman, in signing his statement, i want to read this again. in its haste to pass the legislation, the congress included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions. he refers to it repeatedly. and in both statements as
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flawed. where do you see the divide right now between republicans and the president? >> we've had signing statements for over a decade. president bush with republican congress would issue signing statements. they don't have the force of law. they're basically standing up for the rights of the executive branch against the legislative branch. neither branch like to give up power. this particular legislation, i think, restored some power to the legislative branch. and i think the president is defending the executive branch on it. but, look, congressmen and senators have a different duty than the president. the president is elected by the country. members are elected by their districts and states. and sometimes these come into conflict. also, the president doesn't have to run for four years. house members all have to run in the midterm. and they like getting re-elected so they're going to do what they have to do. >> well, they have this fight now, ongoing fight, about health care, because most of the republicans have come out, and garrett can talk about this a little bit, and said, look, we've got to move on. we have a lot of other things on
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the agenda, including tax reform. but then you have the omb director saying this morning the senate should take another go at it. here's part of what he said. >> we are doing our job down here. we hope the senate does theirs, and continues to work on health care. let's not move on from health care just because you fail by one vote. the president isn't giving up on health care. neither should the senate. >> so where do you go with something like this, when you clearly have a president who many members of congress feel didn't do everything he could have done? he certainly didn't do, for example, what president obama did, which was hold, what, four town halls in the first six months, i think it was. he went to many places around the country. he tried to sell his plan. where does mulvaney, where does the president think he's going? first of all, pushing this on a senate that clearly has said it's time for us to look and see if we can get some other stuff done. but also in the meantime, insulting them. >> yeah. let me start. lamar alexander, the chairman of
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the committee in the senate, is going to work with democrats now and try to stabilize these markets. you've had a statement by 43 evenly divided almost members of the house of representatives saying they want to work in a bipartisan manner to relieve small businesses of some of the mandates of obamacare. but on the other hand, stabilize the markets. so i think there's a recognition on the part of a lot of republicans that they own outcomes, regardless of what happens. and let's see what we can do on a bipartisan basis since we couldn't get our act together as a party. >> so garrett, what's next? what's going on on capitol hill? >> what's going on now, a lot of senators are desperate to strike a deal on a couple of provisions and pieces of work so they can get out of town. remember, they were supposed to be on recess right now. the majority leader rolled that back by two weeks. the hope among senators and their staffs, especially, they might be able to strike a deal on some of these outstanding measures, which, by and large,
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aren't controversial. so they could go home at the end of this being with. i think in terms of health care and other things that need to get done, the senators feel they need to recharge a little bit and regroup. going back to that previous point, there is just not any energy in this building to try to take up the issue of health care again, especially right now. >> garrett haake, former congressman, tom davis, thanks to both of you. tensions with north korea and russia continuing to escalate. msnbc's hugh hewitt just sat down with national security adviser, hr mcmaster. we'll tell you what he had to say. and president trump reportedly calls for his new home -- reportedly calls his new home at 1600 pennsylvania avenue "a real dump." chelsea clinton has something to say about that. we'll have that, as well. (boy) sorry. (dad) don't worry about it. (mom) honey, honey, honey, honey! (vo) at our house, we need things that are built to last.
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crab lover's dream and new favorites like dueling crab legs with dungeness and snow crab. it's happening right now right here at crabfest. red lobster. now this is seafood. we've been talking a lot that this is a time when tensions are mounting with north korea, and msnbc's hugh hewitt, just moments ago, got the chance to sit down with an exclusive interview with hr mcmaster. also joining me, david ignatius, columnist for the "washington post," who has written on this topic bei topic, as well. hugh, i want to start by showing a portion. >> two u.s. senior officials confirmed the icbms that north korea tested can reach anywhere in the united states. can you confirm that, general? >> i'm not going to confirm it. but as i mentioned, whether it could reach, you know, san
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francisco or pittsburgh or washington, i mean, how much does that matter, right? it's a grave threat. >> so tell us a little bit more about this interview, what struck you the most. anything really surprised you about what hr mcmaster had to say? >> the drums of war are beating, chris. it was a wide-ranging interview, and we covered iran and afghanistan. but when we talked about north korea, i was taken aback. i asked him if kim jong-un should sleep easily at night and he bluntly said no. he also said the president is going to take care of that. this follows on a series of warnings that chairman of the joint chiefs, joe dunford, rex tillerson, lindsey graham, have been delivering about preemptive action. and i walked away from this long interview thinking to myself, the american people are on notice that war is in the offing here very soon if north korea's behavior doesn't change. >> so i was struck too by your
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question to him, should kim jong-un sleep well at night. he didn't just say no, but he said, "no, we are clearly at a point of no return." did you get a sense when you had this conversation that there was a clear strategy here? that the way forward had already been determined? what was your sense of if we're at the point of no return here, what are they going to do about it? >> i think there is a decision tree that's been laid out. david wrote about this in his column this morning. they would much rather prefer to have china do the heavy lifting here. that it's in china's interest. i think it's part of the messaging strategy. the reason they gave me an exclusive interview was to get some focus on the messaging strategy, which is china, step up, or we'll step in. and that's a very dangerous situation. we also talked candidly. we're not talking about thousands of casualties. we're talking about hundreds of thousands or millions of casualties if it's a shooting war on north korean soil. >> yeah, so we have been talking for a while, david, about how there is no good military option. in fact, no not just are the military options not good,
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they're pretty awful, and they are deadly. so you do write in your column today, and i like the way you start it. here's a contrarian thought. president trump had the right instinct to insist china help resolve the nightmare problem of north korea. make your case. >> well, i think that president trump's instinct after campaigning angrily about china, china's economic rape of the united states. he called it at one point. decided very early on that the only way to deal sensibly with the north korea threat was to throw china in. so he made explicitly to president xi jinping the offer, we'll step back on our trade demands if you help north korea. and the smiles reflected president trump's belief that the chinese said we'll take care of this, we'll work on it. we share your interest. president trump's deep disappointment that the chinese have not been able to deliver, that they sent emissaries to
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pyongyang and the tests continue has come out in several ways. one of them is we are on the verge of very tough trade measures against china on steel, and i'm told perhaps also on technology companies. those would really be a shock to the chinese. would be a warning. also, we're getting statements as -- given to hugh by hr mcmaster, other officials, lindsey graham on television yesterday, essentially warning that war in graham's words is inevitable, unless the chinese do something to get a freeze in the north korean program. so this is basically, i think, a way of signalling the consequences of china not acting are so severe that china must step up. i laid out this morning what i think is the basic strategy here, which is to encourage china to be the convener of a negotiating process that gets all of the neighbors, japan, south korea, the u.s., as a pacific neighbor, china, maybe
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even russia -- >> well, could russia be helpful? and does the fact that the president signed that sanctions bill today change the equation at all there? >> the sanctions bill makes it less likely that russia will be helpful. there are rumors that the russians in recent weeks had been offering help, had been more active on the north korea issue. part of why president trump, i think, was so disappointed in his signing statement. and explains the tone of that. >> this is a sobering interview, clearly. are we going to see the whole thing on your show this weekend, hugh? >> you bet. saturday morning at 8:00, chris. it's i think -- anyone who is interested in the state of the world should be watching hr mcmaster and what a smart, articulate and very, very alarming interview. >> if you're watching msnbc, presumably you are interested in the state of the world. i can't wait to see it. thank you, hugh. always great to talk to you, david ignatius. much appreciated. his column in today's "post." president trump reportedly calling the white house "a real
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once called his home at trump tower "the best apartment ever built" said the white house was a real dump. >> there was switch reaction. thank you to the white house, butlers, cur ray tators for all do. larry o kor nor is talk radio show host. on a purely numbers evperspecti, it is just numbers. the fact of the matter is that it is the white house, and it is the symbol of our democracy. anyone that has worked there.
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you walk through the gates and there is something extraordinary being there. >> i think he was disa poippoin when the floors were not embo embossed in gold. it is the people's house, not a big flashy mcmansion. people are struggling to cover their mortgages, and he says he is fights for the forgotten man, but this is at odds with his brand.
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most people must feel like it is a great honor. in a statement, he points out that president trump has been quoted on the record describing how proud he is to live in the white house. he told the "new york times" it's a beautiful residence. very elegant. part of the problem for this president is that he has been caught so many 250i78s in misstatements and lies that you could not blame people for being skeptical what do you make of this? >> when it comes to misstatements and lies, let me remind everyone that i like my health insurance and i was not allowed to keep it, but this story is ridiculous. "sports illustrated" chatting with some members before a round of golf. it is more thinly sourced than
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the claim that he removed the martin luther king bust. i want never to severyone to sed you catch the eye roll. >> having said that, what is it that makes you think they would want to make this up. >> this story is about something that someone, they don't no have been overheard at a golf club. we have no names. why would someone not put their name on this. >> maybe he didn't like what he saw possibly. he spent over 33,000 on white
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house furnishings. more than double what president spent at that time. would you say that president trump, his particular lifestyle and the house, the apartment at trump tower that is modelled on v v verci being different. they want to make it better to the tune of $133,000. >> because you spent $60,000 or $70,000 more than president obama did? >> you were the one talking about the little guy. i would say people around america want $133,000 to buy a house. >> you can buy multiple houses with $133,000? >> yeah, where do you live?
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>> i mean, yes, do you want me to point out different markets for you. yes, you can. another thing i would say, i agree with you that sometimes it is silly stories, but it speaks to a larger trend with him. >> i thank you both, we'll be right back. i would always answer hispanic. so when i got my ancestry dna results it was a shocker. i'm everything. i'm from all nations. i would look at forms now and wonder what do i mark? because i'm everything. and i marked other. discover the story only your dna can tell. order your kit now at ancestrydna.com.
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