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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  August 9, 2017 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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season. >> that does it for us on this wednesday morning. i'm yasmin vossoughian alongside louis burgdorf. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury, like the world has never seen. he has been very threatening beyond a normal statement and as i said, they will be met with fire, fury and, frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before. thank you. >> certainly chilling words from the president of the united
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states. chilling words. i couldn't help but go back and jesse rodriguez called me up and we talked about it. couldn't help but go back to something that we had talked about on the show a year ago. let's take a quick look. >> several months ago a foreign policy expert on the international level went to advise donald trump and three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapon. three times he asked if we have them, why can'ty use them? that's one of the reason he just doesn't have foreign policy experts -- >> trump asked three times? >> three times in an hour briefing why can't we use nuclear weapons? >> be careful, america, and be
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careful republican leaders. your party is blowing up. >> i want to ask one more time and it may be classified but the steps, donald trump decide to use a nuclear weapon, what is the time frame between his decision and when the nuclear weapons are launched? >> joe, it's scenario dependent but the system is designed for speed and decisiveness. it's not designed to debate the decision. >> and of course, willie, when we were sitting there, nobody really thought donald trump had a good chance of winning the presidency, but even then even under those scenarios, i remember all of us were chilled by those questions. and the discussions that followed.
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here we are a year later, donald trump was elected president and yesterday we heard the sort of language that sounds like the man is just as open a year later to the use of nuclear weapons as he was when he was talking to that foreign policy adviser, who walked out of his office completely chilled by what he just heard. >> i'll never forget that day. i'll never forget what john hayden said that's words "met with fire and fury" are on the front page of every paper in the world this morning. we have mike barnicle, national
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consider correspondent steve bern -- bernaki, washington bureau chief and mika has the morning off. "the washington post" came out with a report that says a u.s. intel assessment believes north korea now has the ability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon and attach it to a missile. however, according to a u.s. official briefed on the intelligence, it does not believe pyongyang has a nuclear-tipped icbm. here it is again. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united
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states. they will be met with fire and fury, like the world has never seen. he has been very threatening beyond a normal statement. they will be met with fire, fury and fraenkly power, the likes o which this world has never seen before. >> hours after president trump's warning, north korea state media announced the regime is seriously considering to strike the u.s. territory of guam developing fire around the area. guam is home to andrew air force
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base. it's just rhetoric but it's more specific rhetoric than we've heard in the past. >> it's the sort of rhetoric we've grown to expect from north korea. it's not, though, what we expect from any of our presidents, presidents of the united states. david ignatius, i know people were throwing around examples in the past where bill clinton or somebody else may have said something about strikes to north korea but nothing to this degree. again, going back to what we were talking about a year ago, there it been some concern in the international community and among foreign policy experts that donald trump might take extreme measures if elected president of the united states. one of my children called me yesterday and said you were
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concerned about this last year. well, last year we didn't know he would win and this is very, very frightening. david, tell us what you're hearing and hearing from others overseas. >> this crisis which has been coming at us slowly over months has just speeded up big time. intelligence reports say that the north korean ability to put a nuclear weapon on top of a missile is probably farther along than we thought even a month ago. president trump has ratcheted up the rhetoric, but it's also true in the last few weeks, he has increased efforts to draw china into the diplomacy that might
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seek a peaceful resolution of this crisis. from early in his presidency, he saw beijing as the key to some way of dealing with north korea. he's made some progress on that. last weekend china joined the united states in a unanimous security council resolution condemning north korea for its nuclear missile tests. the north koreas have rejected any possibility of negotiating. the president's rhetoric, this fire and fury stuff is as much intended to scare china he might take action, which will be devastating for china's region as it is north korea. the president wants china to put itself in between the u.s. and north korea as a way out of this. to do that he thinks he's got to be very, very threatening. and where, david, are his
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generals, general mcmaster, general kelly, when lobbing such bombs north korea's way. >> from the first day, his top military adviser, starting with secretary of defense mattis, have been warning that a conflict on the korean peninsula would be at a level of civilian casualties, level of destruction that the world has not seen, one official said since stalingrad in world war ii, a terrible cost in human lives. there is not a good military option here. that said, these senior officials, mat yes, sir, m -- mattis, mcmaster, are all working to give him options, how do you take over north korea
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weapons without leading them to attack, seoul, just across the dmz and kill hundreds of thousands of koreans. that's the problem they're looking at. no one should think this is just rhetoric. the military planning is going on right now. it's accelerating in pacific command headed by harry harris. our military people are staying up late trying to answer trump's question how do you do this? >> in answer to trump's remarks, response has been swift. >> i take exception to the president's comments because you've got to be sure you can do what you say you're going to do. in other words, old walk softly but carry a big stick, teddy roosevelt's saying, which i think is something that should have applied because all it going to do is bring us closer to some kind of serious
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confrontation. so all i can say is that i don't believe that president reagan or president eisenhower or other presidents that i've admired would have said the same thing. they might have done as much as we could but not that kind of rhetoric, i'm not sure how it helps. >> and democratic senator brian schatz of hawaii said we need nominations to ambassador to south korea, secretary for east asia affairs and secretary for asian pacific security affairs sent to the senate now. >> you're talking about american servicemen and women closer than that along the bored are, youde talking about tokyo. there's a lot that happens.
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>> the are in the koreans have enough armaments to kill 20 million people within a couple of minutes in terms of missiles in the air. everybody i speck to yesterday afternoon and early evening, they all had the same question and i don't think it's been answered yet. i'm wondering if david ignatius has an answer to it. who vetted this statement in who helped him write this statement? was it just him or was it the nsc helping him with the statement? was it general mcmaster? was it general kelly? because it is a frightening selection of word, david. and an imposed threat and the threat is more powerful if it's made privately and directly to the chinese. do you have any information about who helped vet that statement? >> i don't specifically, mike,
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on that statement in general. i know that most senior officials in this white house, in our government, have concluded we have elected one president and it's donald trump and he has his on way of communicating. he using hyperbole, he uses bullying language. there's a view here making clear to north korea and the chinese that the president is serious in saying if you don't help us solve this, we're going to do it our way. senator mccain's point that that often doesn't lead to the outcome that you want, rather than scaring people, it puts it in this area of rhetorical, chang. but the one thing we know about this president is nobody really vets the tweets, nobody i think in this case vetted that particular language.
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he spoke it as if he was very proud to be saying just those words. >> and unfortunately it's right in line with what peggy noon aa wrote about in her column, talking about how donald trump speaks loudly and tries to be gruff but in the end undercuts himself and often looks weaker. julie, i know around the white house you follow the president and i'm sure you've seen some of the stories and heard some of the examples where he's used the phrase "the likes of which the world has neff seen before." he's used them on corn prices, i'm sure at some point in a promotional video. here we, go the price of corn has jumped over 50%. this will cause a jump in food price perhaps beyond what we've
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ever seen, nasty for the economy. i'm sure he used them on trump steaks. what can you tell us from inside the white house yesterday after the president developed these frightening words? >> you're right, this is almost look a verbal tick. it's much difference to use it regarding military power, perhaps military weapons. inside the white house there are two camps on these types of things. do you have people who cringe when the president uses this type of bellicose rhetoric. we don't know how they'll react
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to this type of rhetoric, but there are other people who look at the situation and say, okay, maybe other presidents haven't talked this way but other presidents haven't resolved the situation with north korea the way the obama or bush administration handled it, maybe delivering threats privately, backing off, not giving the north korea the attention they wanted. but john mccain said, you can't use that language if you don't have a plan to back it up when you're talking about a foe like north korea. >> and if you don't back it up, what have you done? you've become barack obama and you've put down a red line in syria and then you walk away from it and it makes the united states look foon even weaker on the internation stage and it's one more reason why donald trump and other presidents should never talk this way. >> it's why when a president has
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said something like this, it's usually calculated, vetted and gone through all the national security channels. to put a point on the likes of which the united states has never soon, he used that when talking about the opioid crisis and borderline. here's president trump yesterday. >> it is a problem the likes of which we have not seen, i would say the likes of which that country has never seen this kind of strength. >> steve kornacki, that comes against the back drop, david talked about a significant week in terms of sinanctions, a billn dollars, a third of their exports taken away from them. up have secretary of state rex tillerson saying we're not for
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rooj eem change, we just want to you pull back your nuclear program. >> it interesting because the thing that i was trying to figure out listening to him yesterday, thinking about it afterwards is who was the audience that was in his mind as he was delivers that? is this the president who was thinking of the american people? this this annin stint on him to try to sound tough to the voters who lelected him? i think that was interesting listening to david a few minutes was the idea maybe this was intended and maybe the audience in his mind of the chinese and maybe in his mind there might have been some strategic purpose here of making the chinese think we better take this sanction message more seriously. is that a message that the chinese received from this? if this is what the president was thinking, is that how they're likely to respond to it?
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are they likely to take it a different way? >> china and the u.s. are playing a little bit of a good cop/bad cop diplomatic round here. china has been warning north korea on its own but also saying you're really going to have to got into this diplomatic round, this guy's crazy, this guy's going to go after you. there is that dynamic here. so the more the president ratchets up the rhetoric, the more the president -- it would be a disaster for china, for south korea, japan, the whole region. i think that's at play here. the problem with this kind of rhetoric is you get stuck in it. joe made the right point, you in effect draw a red line and people sometimes call you on it. the north koreans are very good
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at that. their business is defines. so they wait for moments like this to puncture the other side with actions of their own. >> the north koreans have played the united states quite effectively for the past 30 i asked the question yesterday, it was more of a rhetorical question and i think unfortunately i know the answer to it. do we really believe -- does anybody at this tape really believe, do people that know this pred really believe he's going to be the president that' lous north korea to gettenons that can strike seattle, portland, san francisco and possibly los angeles? is he going to let that be written about him in the history books and i just don't see that as a possibility.
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i mean, as frightenings that is, i just don't think he has the mindset to say, well, there's nothing we can do about it so i guess we're going to have to try to figure out how to contain that nuclear threat like we've contained pakistan's nuclear threat, like we're going to have to contain iran's nuclear threat. when you start thinking that way, willie, suddenly everything david ignatius is saying and everything that mika and i have been hearing off the record that people are preparing for a war with north korea, preparing for all the possibilities of war with north korea from the south to the north or defending an attack from the north to the south suddenly unfortunately it seems frighteningly real. >> i agree with you he will not and does not want to be the president to allow north korea to launch a nuclear attack
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against the united states. the question is how does he stop it? is he willing to strike preemptively against north korea with all those implications? and he's also the first president we've had since ut talked about bill clinton in '94 that north korea ignored, when north korea put out the rhetoric about engulfing in flames and he's the first to respond with comment as strong as with fire and fury. the problem is we've had a lot of thanksgiving happening and history is speeding forward much more quickly than donald trump would have expected, than a lot of our generals would have expected. things are happening faster out of north korea with the development of these weapons that we would have expected.
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barack obama, when they were sitting and talking during the transition for those who haven't heard this yet, he sat down with donald trump and said you can worry about obamacare, go ahead, do it, have fun. what's going to keep you awake at night is going to be north korea. that's what you better start focusing on now. and of course that's proved to be unfortunately all too true six months later but i don't even think the obama administration or many foreign policy experts would have expected their nuke cler or missile technology to move this quickly forward in six months. >> and it ties into your book as you talk about the devil's bargain with steve bannon influencing -- it doesn't feel like steve bannon.
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where is that mindset coming from now is. >> donald trump is now in the west wing, not surrounded by people like steve bannon, who can present a more -- bannon is not a guy in his cabinet who would be pushing for this. when trump going to bedminister, he tends to react, it was at bedminister where he deaver sided to fire jsid -- decided to fire james comey. >> david ignatius, this has always been the conflict at the center of donald trump's foreign policy, even during the campaign donald trump would say we fought too many wars, we need to bring our sons home, let everybody else worry about their regions, we're not going to spend money on more missiles.
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and at the same time in the same speech he would say we're going to destroy isis, we're going to run them into the ground. we're going to wipe them off the face of the earth, it's easy, we're going to do it quickly, we're going to stand up to the iranians, we're going to tear up that nuclear deal. there's always been trump the isolationist when he's playing for the crowds but then there's been trump, the jacksonian. the purest sense of the term, we're going to go over and destroy anybody quickly that gives us any trouble and then we're going to come back home. >> i think you're right, joe. i think there's that tngs ensio trump. within one of the things he's been consistent about is saying to u.s. allies and potential partners like cln, either you step up and help more, whether it's purchasing weapoaponweapon
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you step up and help more or we're going to have to take care of this. deal with this or we're going to have a world of fire and fury, which is not in your interest. since right after the election, i have been listening to members of the incoming trump administration talk about foreign policy issues. north korea always was at the top of the list. this is one they have known was coming at them, they've been looking for options now for six months and to be honest, they still haven't found any. that's why the generals and the cia are being tasked so surgely to look at this is because so far the answers keep coming back, it's a bloody mess that leaves everybody worse off. >> we've only scratched the surface on this story, joe. >> i was just going to say and, willie, this is something that americans need to know. this is something that has literally been keeping them up
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all hours of the night for months now. it's not like any of this is a surprise. they see this coming and they have been losing sleep over it over the past six months. they isn't didn't want the president to escalate things yesterday the way they did but, as david said, they've seen this train coming and they're preparing for it but there are just no good options. >> and they're preparing with a lot more than rhetoric as david said. still ahead, ranking member. foreign relations committee senator ben cardin joins us and a man experienced with this north korea problem, william cohen. how clinton's warning compares to what we heard from president trump yesterday. and later michael beschloss joins us on what happens to be the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of nagasaki. knowing where you stand.
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president trump's the most gifted politician of our time and the best orator of our generation. he is the leader of this nationwide and world wide populous movement and it's about uplifting working class people, black, his ppanic -- >> there are certain that don't want that to resonate. >> that he was stephen miller talking on fox news. another poll shows president trump hitting a new low in job approval. the august investors business daly tipp poll puts his approval at 32% with 59% disapproving, a net negative of 27 points. his approval with republicans is down 12 points. with white men, he's dropped 7%
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and down 13% with those making 30,000 to 50,000 a year. and president trump tweeted don't believe the fake news suppression polls. i don't believe this is the greatest orator to hold the office in generations, which puts ronald reagan, president clinton and perhaps president obama in an interesting light. >> it does put him in an interesting light. it is safe to say he's been able to do things any other president has been able to do without an organization, he knew how to electrify crowds.
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the tweets, the rallies, all the other things he's used in the past aren't as effective as before. steve kornacki, let's look at the worst news and then look at the parts of this poll which are just devastating for him, 32%, where he actually is holding a little bit better. the worst news obviously is the falloff in the republican support. he's losing a lot with his republican base. it's interesting, though, the two areas where he's fall i don't know the least i saw yesterday were among white men minus 7. that's sense july. so that's still terrible, but also in the midwest, he's dropped minus 7, which also was less than all these other subgroups. if he is to pull things together, those are the people that he's got to keep, those white working class men in the midwest. >> yeah. i mean, look, there's no question whether the polls you're looking at, i think about
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a half a dozen polls we've seen overs last two weeks, there's clear slippage now. and as a candidate, he never lit the world on fire when it came to his poll numbers. in the last two weeks he's hit a new low. every poll that's come out in that period has put him in the 30s, we're not even seeing him in the low 40s, mid 40s, that seems like a long time ago. there see the slippage where he's struggling, blue collar, white women. this is a degree they did very well against might have turn him off, might have alienated him. there's a lot of slippage there. the one thing i try to keep in
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my mind when i look at these numbers that i can remember so many moments in the campaign last year, july, august, even start of november, that we were talking about slippage. there's this element of cultural polar sags that existed with donald trump. when you get back into an election season, does that return? >> well, it may return. it depends on who he's returning against, if it's donald trump against bernie sanders, it returns, if it's donald trump against somebody else on the far left, then obviously they've got a shot. but, willy, interesting interesting people are driving
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and we hear a lot of people listen to us on the radio. the gallop poll was 37%, cnn was 38%. 37 gallup, even the cnn number, that's the lowest donald trump has ever scored in that cnn poll. >> there's no good way to spin those numbers. josh, live by the pls. and his stump piece included a jack jacket during the campaign. not so good now. but what's the practical his health care bill, i was extraordinary i recall unpopular. it's montana clear where he's going to move forward. initially they were going to do tax reform by the fall.
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now maybe it's going to slip into next year. there's just a general sense he's not performing a as president. there aren't the tangible compliments among ris base voters. think that. coming up, our next guest has covered north korea for decades and says escalation is on the agenda. why jordan change says president trump may start the next korean war. he joins our table next on "morning joe." crohn's disease. you're more than just a bathroom disease. you're a life of unpredictable symptoms. crohn's, you've tried to own us. but now it's our turn to take control with stelara®
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joining us now is gordon change. he's eighthor of the book nuclear showdown, north korea takes on the world. he's also a columni isist for "
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daily beast." your latest piece puts this in historical context. we want to get a check from you about how you're feeling about the development yesterday, the rhetoric from the president and where we are with north korea. >> this is getting, se exceedin dangerous. i think david ignatius had this right because essentially this statement on the part of president, fire and fouhy was probably more directed against beijing. right now china is in a very sensitive period politically, it's therefore, hi what our president was friing do to was shocked by trump in early april
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when oofs stall against a chinese friend, syria. i think that c.j. ping is wary of president trump. i think it makes the chinese more cautious and possibly push them into proposing the security council sandings appreciated on opinions. and just say the more i think about this statement, the more your words actually ring in my head and make more sense that this actually was directed more toward beijing, to let them know we're not going to sit back like everybody past administration, we're not going to let things continue to devolve, we're not going to allow north korea to be able to strike seattle down to los angeles with nuclear weapons. this is not just our problem.
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this is your problem. is there a possibility, david, even a slight that the president did consult with his. leaders and desooded to give a dangerous but rhetorical brush back -- when i've asked trump advisers whether the time for negotiations i've more attempt before it moves towards resolution. i wanted to ask gordon, we're thinking of the effect this. -- what do people there think as our president talks about fire and fury enveloping their
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homeland sp. >> i think president moon yin because he's going back decade wanting to encage the north koreans, talk to them. and moon has made a bunch of initiatives to the u.s. which so far have gone aggressive. after that phone called oo. i have yet to figure out what's going going. as for the rest of the south korean establishment, i'm sure they're concerned. they live in seoul and it 35 miles from the demilitarized zone where the north koreans have forward deployed their military. >> gordon, during the break you
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were talking about what is one of kree. i'm sure it's about the missiles that they have fired off this summer. >> there's been so much help from beijing. those two missiles filed made the north croons a real threat because it made. look to be -- these are solid fuel. north korea has has had three solid fuel tests since last year. we need to ask the chinese house of representatives come the
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north koreas, the answer to this question will tell us who to and of course once we know that, we can craft some solutions. >> everybody ought to use p read his piece. gordon, thanks so much. good to see you. >> thank you. >> he's no stranger to the different b that's straight ahead on "morning joe." haven'td something more barry?
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julie pace, what are we expecting from the white house today? what are we expecting out of jersey? what do you think today looks like? >> well, i think the president has really now put the ball in the court of his generals of his military advisers to come up with some plans that he can present to allies in the region. he's going to be having conversations with leaders not only in asia, but in other
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places as well and for the president, look, he's dealing with what presidents have to deal with, crises that are not on the list of priorities they come into office with but so often end up defining their presidencies. >> josh, is steve bannon blocked out of this process, since he's in the white house and the president's going to be talking to his generals? >> it sure seems to be, in a statement like "fire and fury" is the opposite of the sort of guidance that i would expect a guy like bannon would be giving him, so it's a sign, a, of his lack of physical proximity, i don't think's in bedminister but also of his lack of political proximity. it seemed as if he were back as one of trump's important advisers, and at least on this issue, he doesn't seem to be having much influence. >> and steve kornacki, what about the polls, 32%. how do republicans and democrats alike respond to those historically low numbers? >> yeah, i mean the question to me has always been republicans and we were talking about this earlier in the hour, but i think
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the thing that kind of has spooked republicans about donald trump is they saw numbers like this during the campaign last year. they saw indications their own base they thought wasn't really going to be there for them on election day and not only did he win, but republicans were more loyal to donald trump on election day than democrats were to hillary clinton. i think that paralyzed republicans in washington elected owe fishes in the party to a large degree these last six, seven months because they have this feeling in their heads that maybe donald trump understands their own voters in some way that they don't. so there was a poll yesterday, the pollster has a shaky track record but a poll up there in new hampshire that put john kasich ahead in a potential trial heat with donald trump. i don't think that poll alone is going to do it but that's the kind of poll if you see that result replicated in other polls of republican voters results like that, i think that's the kind of thing that could make republicans start to say okay maybe that magic we think he has with our base isn't quite what we think it is. >> and willie, republicans
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should be concerned but democrats also i think have reason to be very concerned. just running against donald trump will not win them back the house, certainly it's not going to win them back the senate and right now, they seem to be a party just as lost and just as adrift as they've been over the past six to eight years. >> you know, i hear democrats and progressives saying donald trump won't win a second term. look at how bad he's been. you better find somebody if you want to prevent a second term. don't take that for granted. lewin a second term unless you find a candidate who can beat him. it's not going to happen on his home. julie pace, josh green author of "devil's bargain" explains steve bannon, donald trump and the storming of the presidency and helps understand how their relationship put donald trump into the white house. >> willie you read that book and almost think that like steve bannon's like the genius behind that operation. he's like trump's brain, like he's the guy that got him
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elected. we should call him president bannon. >> stick that knife in there, joe. >> no, everybody should read this book, because you just come away from it thinking that steve bannon was responsible for everything that happened good to donald trump. great work, josh. >> almost the reason why he's in the white house, is that what you're saying joe? >> that's my argument. i don't think steve bannon would say that if you had him on the show. i don't think trump gets elected president without steve bannon as chief strategist because of his politics and year's long effort to tear down hillary clinton. >> you got to read the book. >> president bannon, that's exciting. it's a great book. it shows you that steve bannon, just like steve bannon says to everybody, steve bannon got donald trump elected president of the united states. wow! what a book "devil's bargain." >> joe, can i have an ironic blur be on the back of my book, is that allowed? >> joe still has that light touch when he makes a point. we've got much more ahead on
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north korea's answer to donald trump's fire and fury warning with a threat to attack guam. andrea mitchell will join us with her latest reporting. we'll talk to the ranking democrat on the senate foreign relations committee ben cardin and former secretary william cohen urging the president to get sear yis and disciplined when it comes to north korea and stop acting "tv tough." a lot to get to when we come right back. hello, this is adt,
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north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. he has been very threatening beyond a normal statement, and as i said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before. thank you. >> several months ago a foreign policy expert on international level went to advise donald trump and three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons. three times he asked at one point if we have them, why can't we use them? that's one of the reasons why he
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just doesn't have foreign policy experts around him. >> trump asked three times? >> three times in an hour briefing, why can't we use nuclear weapons. >> be careful america and be careful republican leaders. >> general hayden -- >> your party is blowing up. >> i want to ask one more titime and it may be classified, the steps, donald trump decides to use a nuclear weapon. what is the time frame between his decision and when the nuclear weapons are launched? >> joe, it's scenario dependent but the system is designed for speed and decisiveness. it's not designed to debate the decision. >> that of course was a clip from last year august of 2016, and it was, willie, of course, as you remember, we were sitting
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around talking about it. it was a discussion about foreign policy expert going in and briefing donald trump and i got on the phone with him afterwards and i said how did the briefing go, and he said well, other than him asking me three times about why we have nuclear weapons if we can't use them, and he asked that once generally then once it was related to iran and then once as it was related to north korea, and of course at that time, it was certainly frightening, but very few people expected donald trump to be elected president of the united states. now he's commander in chief, and of course those words as chilling as they were a year ago when nobody expected him to get elected, they're far more chilling this morning after yesterday's warnings. >> that moment a year ago this week, joe, is seared on all of our memories. as you say it was a hypothetical at the time. i think most people at that time in early august thought it was
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trending toward hillary clinton, but now it's very real, and he is the president of the united states, and he sat at his club in bedminister, new jersey, yesterday. we saw there, arms folded and offered a stern warning, whether he was talking directly to north korea or to china, he said fire and fury. that's not a direct claim of nuclear war but certainly a threat of war of some kind. we'll talk about that with us, msnbc contributor mike columnist -- >> mike columnist? >> mike barnacle for "the washington post," and elizabeth b. miller, mika has the morning off. north korea now has the ability toia tourize a nuclear weapon and attach it to a mice sill. according to a u.s. official briefed on the intelligence that does not necessarily mean pyongyang has a nuclear tipped icbm nor that it could survive
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re-entry if the country did have one. the report prompted that response from president donald trump that we played for you at the top of the show. hours after president trump's warning, north korean state media announced the regime is "seriously considering striking guam" guam is home to major u.s. military installations including andersen air force base and the b-1 bombers recently used in a show of force that followed north korea's latest icbm test. joe? >> i'm sorry, somebody was talking in my ear. just getting reports from the red sox. that's actually not true. just by the way so you know, columnist, you got it right, columnist is his middle name. >> exactly right. >> just like danger is your middle name. >> legendary columnist. >> speaking of danger,
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elizabeth, as we sort through the technical gaffes here, i'm wondering, we were having a discussion last year, david ignatius suggested that maybe all this sabre rattling the reckless language wasn't intended for north korea but in fact for beijing. 24 hours later, what are your thoughts looking at this story, as you've seen it develop? do you believe that was for beijing or for north korea? >> well, our assessment that david seng, peter baker, all the people covering this, that is their assessment right now, that this is aimed at beijing. as we know the president's been very disappointed, very angry with china for not stepping up and pressuring north korea, and the language was so calculated yesterday, he stuck very closely to what seemed to be a script, and it was aimed at frightening beijing, we feel, and getting
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them to finally step up. as you know, without china, north korea wouldn't exist. huge amounts of trade with north korea, and don't forget also that the president of china xi jinping was at trump's side when the united states lobbed missiles in syria, and so that impressed him, and that was -- we believe that was what trump was trying to do here. nonetheless, it certainly scared a lot of the country, a lot of americans, and certainly the north koreans did take notice right away. >> and willie, the inconsistency in this approach that donald trump has had towards china has to be maddening to most foreign policy experts. you had donald trump during the campaign bashing china, using it as a political tool. then he tried to cozy up to china with the mar-a-lago dinner, and then we saw last week him threatening trade war
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with the chinese, and as david ignatius said earlier this morning, over the past week, trying to actually move a little more closely to them. there is, of course, as is the case with donald trump in most cases no consistency, and a commander in chief who is acting more like a day trader in penny stocks. >> all you have to do is ride the wave of the president's twitter over the last couple of months the way he's addressed and talked about china, where he's at first said the chinese have good intentions, they're working hard for us, they're trying to get something done with north korea, then he moved to well, they tried. unfortunately china couldn't do anything so we have to fill that void, now to that address he made yesterday. david ignatius i'm interested to hear your take on what gordon chang, an expert on north korea, who has written books, said in our last hour. north korea at this point may be "undeterable" partly because they believe this is the chinese 21st century and power has moved
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away from the u.s. but also that as long as north koreans have nuclear weapons they have no reason to be deterred by the united states. what do you make of that argument? >> i thought it was powerful. north korea is a state that lives to defy not simply the united states, but china. just looking at their kind of guiding philosophy, their national myth, if you will. they call it juisei, it's about self-reliance. you don't have to depend on anyone economically, militarily. you go it alone. that's been their rubric since their founding leader kym il-sung. it's behind kim jong-un's statements. it's so embedded in the national consciousness, so there is a question, are they deterred in the normal way? just with one other interesting thing, in their response to donald trump's fire and fury comment, they seemed to almost
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to be setting up the ladder of escalation by saying well we'll strike at guam, we'll envelope guam with fire. they didn't say they'd strike alaska, and i think people are going to study that comment very carefully, as they think how do the north koreans imagine this playing out as we go forward? >> and willie geist, we have breaking news. north korea, this according to the "wall street journal," not confirmed yet by nbc news, but the "wall street journal" in breaking news reporting that north korea has released a korean canadian pastor it has held since 2015 among rising tensions with the u.s. >> interesting timing on that, sir. we'll look more into confirming that as well, mike. >> you know, mark leibovic, in washington over the past 24 hours and throughout this country, there's been this rhetorical escalation that began with president trump's statement and as david ignatius has pointed out, the north korean statement that well we're going to hit guam, and i'm wondering,
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although it's just been 24 hours, the shock value of the president's statement aimed supposedly for the chinese more than the north koreans, and yet it has rattled teacups from coast to coast in this country that i can't remember being rattled as much. >> it's just very puzzling i think. i think people are immediately and i think this is sort of reflexive thing in this day and age they go right to sort of trying to read tea leafs. the second tea analogy in about two minutes, what does it mean and also you think of the internal dynamics of the white house and you do wonder how calculated was this? he looked, he actually sounded more controled, more calculated than he might normally be but did general kelly know about this, did general mattis, and general mcmaster nknow about this? there's obviously at this point we're still, thank god, in hypothetic
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hypotheticals, but you just sort of wonder whether there's some end game people are thinking about. >> let's bring in andrea mitchell, msnbc chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of "andrea mitchell reports." >> good morning. >> give us a sense of where we are right now. you sort of covered this journey from let's start at 1949 from the afreed framework under president clinton with north korea to yesterday's comment of "fire and fury" from president trump. >> well i think that the shocking thing the first shocking thing was president trump's comments. they were thunderous and startling. they seemed calculated in that he looked down, i thought he perhaps had some notes. all of my reporting is that this was not from general mattis, not from the generals. that's what, we were up all night trying to sort this through but we do not believe the generals signed off on this. general mattis has said publicly and told people on the hill preemptive strike, first strike option by the u.s. would be catastrophic.
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obviously they have plans and they've talked about the plans and keeping all of those "options on the table." that's obviously what you would do. there was a message as david ignatius said earlier, a lot of this was a message to china. secretary tillerson is flying back from asia and just been going through the diplomatic steps that you would expect and they have successful so far at least as far as the sanctions vote in the u.n. we don't know if china will live up to it, there are a lot of back doors in the sanctions resolution itself, but at least it's a start. but even if they were just messaging china, and if the president wanted to get china's attention that he's really serious about this, and that the military option would of course be devastated for china as well as the whole region, if not the world, the language and the tone was pretty startling, and of course it was followed by what you routinely expect from the rogue regime, which is a threat against our territory in guam. guam has long been within range of north korea that, that is not
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new but the timing has everyone's attention. >> we have breaking news, andrea, coming, i want to jump in from secretary of state rex tillerson. he just landed in guam on a scheduled refueling stop on the way back home. here's what he told the pool following him about the president's comments yesterday. "i think what the president was doing was sending a strong message to north korea in language that kim jong-un would understand, because he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language. i think the president just wanted to be clear to the north korean regime that the u.s. has an unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself, and its allies, and i think it was important he deliver that message to avoid any miscalculation on the part of the north koreans" andrea, that's rex tillerson landing in guam, he was scheduled to be there to refuel his plane on the way back. just your reaction though to tillerson had sort of pulled back a little bit saying we
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don't want regime change in north korea previously. obviously the president went much further. >> well they had a number of hours to calculate that response and coordinate, but we have to point out that dianne feinstein's comment was that tillerson now has to do immediate diplomacy. diplomacy is the only path. the credit ticiticism by john m from both sides of the aisle from responsible leaders on both sides in the senate yesterday and last night. so i think tillerson's response is now to try to make the best of this statement, but to me it would be very surprising if he had been clued in on that earlier, because he's been traveling the globe trying to dial this down, not dial it up. >> and elizabeth b. miller, we could actually find ourselves as a country in a position as chilling as any sense possibly the cuban missile crisis back in the early '60s, and yet we don't have diplomats assigned to these
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countries or in this region, or in any of the desks that would be working around the clock right now in normal administrations trying to defuse this crisis. how much more difficult does it make it for our foreign policy leaders as well as the white house? >> i think andrea touched on it. i think that our secretary of state, who normally would be doing, you know, emergency diplomacy here seems to have been cut out of the loop, and so that is what is the most frightening here, is that rex tillerson does not seem to have, certainly he doesn't have a close relationship with the president, like previous secretaries of state. he seems to be odd man out. it's unclear right now who is advising the president. we know that general mattis is on vacation. i'm sure he's been on the phone. we know mcmaster has been
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involved but the president there's been somewhat of a bumpy relationship with him. it is somewhat alarming that we don't know exactly who advised the president on this statement and where it came from, and it was certainly nothing i think that general mattis would have endorsed. >> david ignatius, i think for any of us that talked to general mattis for more than three minutes i think we would all assume that this is something as elizabeth said that the secretary of defense would not endorse. that said, who is day in and day out talking to donald trump? is it general mcmaster, and general mattis? general kelly, having fa ar mor contact with him over the past week. best guess based on all of your reporting over the past several months, who is talking to donald trump every day on north korea? >> i think all the people you
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mentioned, obviously general kelly his chief of staff is the central person. my impression has been that secretary of state tillerson is coordinating the diplomacy, the engagement with china. there are extensive conversations going back and forth, not all public, with the chinese, also with the japanese. i would just note one additional thing, joe. this "fire and fury" rhetoric, whatever audience was intended becomes a tasking order for our military. general mattis and others at the pentagon think there are no good military options but when your commander in chief says through h.r. mcmaster, it is intolerable for north korea to acquire nuclear weapons that could strike the united states, in the pentagon you salute and you look at options, even if you think there are no good ones you go back to the stack and you examine -- and that's what's
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going on. this san order from the president. when the president says fire and fury you figure out how you're going to deliver it. it's a part of this that adds its own kind of engine of escalation as they go look at options, explore them, think about them. you get to a different place. >> all right, andrea mitchell we'll let you get back to the phones. thanks for your reporting. we'll check back in with you as breaking developments continue. elizabeth b. miller thank you very much as well. still ahead the top democrat on the senate foreign relations committee, ben cardin and william cohen who served as defense secretary under president clinton. plus what dusz general john kelly think the next step should be on legislative matters? does he want to pick a position? "the washington post" john costa joins us with reporting when "morning joe" comes right back. stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital,
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joe." joining us political reporter for "the washington post" and moderator of "washington week" on pbs, robert costa. bob's taking a look at the new chief of staff in a piece titled "john kelly is an apolitical force in a white house divided by ideology." we'll get to that piece in a second. because you are so would ird in wired into the white house, if it was a decision if there was one for president trump to make his "fire and fury" comment. andrea mitchell reported pretty extraordinarily that it was not cleared by general mattis, the defense secretary, who obviously would have to prosecute the fire and fury mention by president trump yesterday. do you think this was a calculated comment by the president or was it off the cuff? >> based on my reporting, it was more of an ex-tetemporaneous. he had notes provided by his security policy team. general kelly, h.r. mcmaster, the national security adviser has been briefing the president
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for weeks and months on the north korean threat, but the president himself is dictating the rhetoric being used and he's talking to other aides but it's really the president himself driving the process. >> so fire and fury, bob, was not a line drawn up in a meeting somewhere at bedminister? >> we have no reporting on that yet. the president did have notes. >> joe? >> bob, you obviously have been looking in to john kelly, general kelly's first week on the job, and how he's doing there. it seems to me that there have been some unrealistic views of what this man is supposed to do and what he's not supposed to do. he's never going to be dictating donald trump's tweets or telling him what to say in situations like that, is he? >> he's not, and he came into the job i'm told by some of his associates that twitter and when it comes to public messaging would not really be his portfolio. we would guide the president when possible, but it wouldn't be at the top of his agenda.
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chief of staff who is managing the staff more than managing the chief. >> right. and as you talk about in your piece him managing the staff, right now he seems to be able to be a bridge between the different warning factions inside the white house. how long does that last if as the "wall street journal" wrote in their editorial this morning you have steve bannon trashing an american hero like general mcmaster? >> that's an intriguing question because if you think about bannon's bat well general mcmaster it's about the future of afghan policy, how many troops to have in the middle east and'president moves in the mcmaster direction in the more traditional hawkish direction could you see some outrage from the bannon wing of the white house, and maybe that could further enflame this situation. i think that you look at general kelly, he's also being turned to by a lot of staffers to be a voice of calm on national security, to help the president think through the regional
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challenges when it comes to north korea. general kelly has served throughout the world, 45-year marine. there's hope in the white house and expectation that he can help the president talk through how to work with china, how to work with japan, work with international institutions to confront this threat. >> mark leibovich it's surreal you have somebody like steve bannon thinking that he can second-guess and undercut a marine general who not only served this country for 45 years all over the world, but lost his son in combat and just said good-bye to another son going over to afghanistan. i think it's safe to say unlike steve bannon when it comes to issues like this, the general's all in. >> you would wonder how i mean sort of speaking in general, the general here what, general kelly thinks of this. i mean to me that relationship between mcmaster and kelly here is central because you wonder
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when and if people are blaming steve bannon for the stuff written about mcmaster over the last week or so. does general kelly take notice, does general mcmaster go to general kelly and say what is this? in so much as there are warring factions in the white house, bannon looks like he's been in the second wave of sidelining in some ways in that apparently the president was not pleased with this josh green book that came out that gives him more authority, gives him more of a sense, someone -- >> mark, if you read that book it's basically steve bannon got -- >> got him elected president. >> -- donald trump elected president, it was impressive, but when you have steve bannon again trying to dictate policy on afghanistan, why not just go to your chief of staff that's been all over the world, that's been in the marines and as i said, john kelly just sent his second son over to afghanistan. >> it is very personal obviously with military figures, and you
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do sort of wonder how that relationship is playing out. it's obviously very early in bob's reporting soured of speaks to the nonideological orientation of this, but you know, do you sort of wonder where does this go from here? are they developing a relationship? is this a candid interaction that he can speak to the president about? >> just to add to something mark just said, joe. you think about the relationship between bannon and general kelly. remember bannon's a navy veteran. bannon has a daughter who served at west point, went to west point, so it's a complicated web within this white house. it's not always easy to figure out who is aligned with who. the general kelly i'm told is friendly with jared kushner, also friendly with steve bannon. he's this apolitical figure. how this plays out whether he aligns with the general perhaps on afghanistan but keeps bannon around to keep the base in check it's all an open question. >> one of the more interesting dynamics on the white house staff is general kelly's
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loyalties. he has his principal loyalty to his country, our country, and then the president of the united stat states. in a white house which is somewhat filled with the cult of personality, witness steven miller yesterday calling president trump the greaters orato in the history of presidency, how is this going down? >> well, let me preface, mike, by saying who knows how this will play out. general kelly could be short-lived as chief of staff for all i know. i have a couple things to say. he's told the staff last friday in a big meeting at the white house, check your opinions at the door. no one really cares about your opinions. your opinions don't matter, only the president's opinions matter. take that into account. and on the big policy decision facing the administration on taxes he had all the key stake holders in front of him trying to sit on the edge of their seats. where is general kelly going to lean when it comes to taxes. he says i doent avery a position. my only position is i pay them and i don't like them. so a lot of people in the white
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house sat back and said this guy, this new chief of staff is not taking a position. this is a new culture inside of the west wing but again who knows how long it lasts. >> it's interesting, rob as you said you weren't sure whether the "fire and fury" comments were calculated. obviously not anything president trump regrets. he's retweeting stories highlighting his comment about fire and fury and retweeted a couple of messages to amplify fire and fury. always good to talk to you, bob costa. he called north korea a "tense dangerous and unstable situation" and that was in 1997. former defense secretary william cohen joins our conversation, plus senator ben cardin, all that and more when "morning joe" comes right back. electric light orchestra ]
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this was not written by the national security council, h.r. mcmaster. this is right off the top of his head in his hotel. >> that is general barry mccaffrey yesterday with nicole, and just moments ago, secretary of state rex tillerson landed in guam on a scheduled refueling stop on the way back home and despite some hot rhetoric from north korea in response to president trump, secretary tillerson said there is "no imminent threat" and he told reporters this. >> i think americans should sleep well at night, have no concerns about this particular rhetoric over the last few days. i think the president again as commander in chief felt it necessary to issue a very strong statement directly to north korea, but i think what the president was just reaffirming is the united states has the capability to fully defend itself from any attack and defend our allies, and we will do so. so the american people should sleep well at night.
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>> secretary tillerson talking about the now specific threat against guam from north korea. joining us now ranking member of the senate foreign relations committee, senator ben cardin of maryland and washington former secretary of defense william cohen. gentlemen, welcome. we have a lot of questions for you, starting with joe. >> mr. secretary, let's begin with you. you have obviously been immersed in this issue for quite some time. barack obama told donald trump during the trance thasition thah korea would be one of his biggest problems but this is a problem you were dealing with back in the '90s. tell us what's happened, and what we can expect moving forward. >> well, the north koreans have simply accelerated their development and their goal to develop a nuclear capability, one that can threaten the united states, but they are not suicidal, and this is the message that the president has sent or should send in a way that doesn't sound, and i have to hyphenate the word
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bomb-bastic. that language is not going to intimidate the north koreans. to me, it's always better, you see an enemy that remains silent that's more frightening than someone who is beating his chest or engaging in schoolyard banter or locker room language, than to have a more, you know, powerful impact. so i think silence would have been very good here, and let the diplomats like secretary tillerson, let the others who are trying to bring about a peaceful solution to this have the authority to do so. but simply issuing threats, which the north koreans are not going to take as serious, because they know intuitively i think that the united states is not going to launch a preemptive attack putting at risk hundreds of thousands if not millions of south koreans and japanese and others. so i think we have to be careful of the rhetoric. it doesn't push us closer but it
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was pretty bombastic. >> mr. secretary if you could expand on your comments north korea is not suicidal. we in the west try to paint them as irrational, possibly suicidal, crazy. in fact, from their point of view, looking at what happened with libya, and moammar gadhafi when he gave up his weapons program, many believe that the north koreans think the most suicidal approach would be not to develop nuclear weapons, and be exposed to possibly having their regime overthrown. they see that as their protection against what happened to gadhafi in libya. >> if you go back to the chinese strategist sun su, he said you must know your enemy and to know your enemy you must think like your enemy. i think we have to do more of that to understand what their goal is. their goal is not to invite a nuclear holocaust. their goal is to remain secure in perpetuity with the family, if they can, to develop their
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country and hopefully they think one day to dominate the korean peninsula, whether by intimidation, or by some sort of an agreement which takes down the barriers, where you can have a united korea that is not militarized. now, that may be pie in the sky, but they are not taking action to invite an attack by the united states. that is totally counter intuitive certainly from our point and i believe from theirs. >> senator cardin you were critical of the fire and fury comment yesterday, you say he lacks the temperament and judgment to deal with a serious crisis the united states confronts. what is your specific concern as it relates not to the president's temperament but what it means for foreign policy, the united states and national security. >> i think the international community is looking to the united states for leadership to avoid a military confrontation with north korea that could well involve nuclear weapons, and what the president said was just not helpful, but also raises the
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question to the international community whether the united states has a game plan for north korea in order to change the equations. so i think it was just the wrong message, and elevated the situation rather than showing the international community there is hope for a diplomatic solution. >> it's now senator, a pham refrain there are no good options when it comes to north korea. at this point, given what you've said and given the new rhetoric and also the tests we've seen own the reports from nbc news that north korea does now have nuclear capability that can be attached to an icbm, what is the best course of action for the united states right now? >> i think the best course of action is to continue to work with the international community to change the equation particularly for china, so china becomes much more engaged in working to get north korea to at least freeze their program, to sit down and talk, to show that there's a path forward and i agree with the secretary. i think what the north koreans want is to preserve their
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regime. china also wants to preserve that type of regime in north korea, so we should have a common agenda with china to ease back on the current situation in north korea. >> david ignatius? >> i want to ask secretary cohen, mr. secretary, without divulging things that were classified, give us a sense, we always talk about how bad the military options are in dealing with north korea. you've looked carefully at this. give us a sense of the options and why they trouble people who look at them. >> well, as we know the north koreans have as many as 15,000, 20,000 artillery capability about 40 miles, 45 miles from downtown seoul. they could rain seoul with these missiles, and destroy it, in a matter of a few hours or days, if necessary. they also have nuclear weapons, which are buried deep in their territory, hard to detect, hard
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to get at. so the notion that we would launch a preemptive attack thinking we could wipe them out before they could strike is i think foolhearty and that is one of the reason the military commanders never have in my judgment advocated we take a preemptive military strike against north koreans. if we're trying to send a signal to the chinese and to others, what we ought to do is call the south korean president moon and say put the thaad missile system back on track. you suspended it. put it back on track. that gives you some defensive capability. go to the japanese and say perhaps it's time for you to have the thaad system there as well. start doing those things in conjunction with the sanctions that have just been voted upon and start squeezing the north koreans and saying it's going to get tougher for you. we'll make it hard for you to continue this testing and having the resources to do it and then maybe they'll be in a mood at that point with the help of the
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chinese and the russians let's get back to the table so we can solve this. the united states should be determined to squeeze like a python the north koreans in saying we're going to continue this on a nonmilitary basis but make it very painful for you to continue in the way you're doing. i think the notion that the military is now accelerating their planning for a military attack, we've always had plans for what if. what if we have to go first, what if we have to respond? so that's not something new, and i think secretary tillerson's comments are just the right ones. let's take a deep breath, rest easy at night. we have a capability of deterrence and destructive capability second to none. we don't have to worry to the point where it becomes hysterical or what the next move is by them or what we're going to say in response to what they're doing. >> senator cardin, andrea mitchell's initial reporting earlier this morning indicates that defense, the nsc, as well as the chief of staff, had very little input, if any, into the
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president's statement issued yesterday. that leaves three generals with the knowledge, military knowledge, foreign affairs sort of out of the loop according to this reporting. what are your thoughts on that? >> well, i think this is how president trump operates, and i think it's very unfortunate. it's not the way you should be conducting foreign policy. as secretary cohen said there's not really a good military option here. the best option is to continue a process in which we isolate north korea, and change the equations particularly for china, and russia, to help us to avoid this type of a military confrontation. that's our best strategy, and what the president is doing by making his own unilateral decisions that indicate that we're ready to start a military confrontation, that's just moving in the wrong direction to get the type of international response we need to get north korea to freeze their program, sit down and negotiate a peaceful end to this nuclear
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confrontation. >> senator ben cardin, ranking member foreign relations and former defense secretary bill cohen great to have your perspective. still ahead president trump is no fan of what he calls fake news, often reporting about his struggles in the white house. new report says he gets some good news as well, so-called propaganda document of glowing stories. we'll dig into that, when we come right back. hey, i've got the trend analysis.
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hey. hi. hi. you guys going to the company picnic this weekend? picnics are delightful. oh, wish we could. but we're stuck here catching up on claims. but we just compared historical claims to coverages. but we have those new audits. my natural language api can help us score those by noon. great. see you guys there. we would not miss it. watson, you gotta learn how to take a hint. i love to learn. watson, you gotta learn buttrust angie's list to help., [ barks ] visit angieslist.com today. finding the best hotel price is whoooo. now a safe bet. because tripadvisor searches... ...over 200 booking sites - so you save up to 30% on the... ...hotelock it in. tripadvisor.
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of trump on tv looking powerful. reportedly the folder is prepared in the republican national committee's war room beginning around 6:00 a.m. and the first document is prepared around 9:30. the follow-up, according to this report, comes around 4:30 in the afternoon. exchief of staff reince priebus and former press secretary sean spicer reportedly both wanted the privilege of delivering the 20 to 25 page packet personally to the president. those anonymous sources told that part of the story according to vice, spicer responded calling the story not accurate on several levels, though, he did not elaborate. this seems right up your alley, what do you make of this story? >> why does this seem right up my alley? >> you get this dossier every morning. >> do they actually fight to bring the president the daily dossier of good news? and actually if he's -- if there's good news, do you get
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two dossiers. it does sort of the larger point it does get to the selective information flow in which you have a president who -- i think this is a way of currying favor -- who just loves good news about himself, it keeps him -- it's a motivational tool. it's what keeps him going and you can judge it and you can sort of dis parage it but this is how he operates his day-to-day consciousness, so if it works for him more power to him. >> that's a great scene rolling through my diseased man right now. rebus and spicer wrestling with the folder. >> they're kind of two sides to this, one is if the story's true it informs us about the way trump sees the world, why he believes things are going much better than the outside -- the outside the white house and also that odd dynamic between the president and his staff. you remember reince priebus in
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that meeting when they went around the table and reince priebus said it was a blessing to serve you every day. scott miller talked about the president being of the greatest order to hold that office. just a strange dynamic. >> the same thing with the rallies and that pumps him up. it is a blessing, though, i've got to be able to work with you every day. >> thank you, thank you. >> though, what is the alternatively? would we rather have people deliver donald trump a dossier of bad news every day? we know that never ends well as we've said before, we think it's in america's best interest and the best interest of the world that donald trump doesn't watch "morning joe" every morning because it makes him so angry, if watching "fox and friends" and reading happy stories and seeing pictures where he looks powerful keeps donald trump from going on the war path, maybe that's exactly what the doctor
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ordered. >> joe, willie and i have collected these clips that we want to present you later today. there's awesome stuff in here with great pictures of you in here. >> do i look particularly powerful, mike? >> you look both powerful and very handsome and your hair looks beautiful. >> that's fantastic. let me ask you, who do people say i am, mike? >> they say that you sort of remind them of kim jong-un. >> that's good. see, as you know. >> just physically, just the hair. >> we can't even -- willie, we can't -- we can't even pretend to do this without it sliding into an insult within five seconds and you really do wonder what type of grownup requires so much back padding and so much stroking of his ego as does the president of the united states. this seems sick. the last thing in the word i want is people sending me
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positive articles about myself. i'd rather just hang out with my kids. if there's really bad news, then let somebody else know and let them tell me. i don't understand how you have an view of the world if everything that's sent to you is filtered and that apparently is what's happening here. >> you don't. you don't have an accurate view of the world and he's got a very serious problem right on his plate this morning. we have much more ahead of the north korean threat and president trump's harsh rhetoric. the president on tweeter amplifying his fire and fury. peter alexander joins us with the latest reaction from the trump administration. stay with us. we'll be right back on mornin"m joe." flonase sensimist allergy relief uses unique mistpro technology
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and it's completely free for everyone. it's free for everyone? do hawks use the stars to navigate? i don't know. aw, i thought you did. i don't know either. either way it's free for everyone. cool. what's in your wallet? >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. he has been very threatening beyond a normal statement, and as i said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before. thank you. certainly chilling words from the president of the united
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states in a country club i think where he's in a working vacation. those words, the second they came across, willie, came across my breaking news banner and i'm sure your breaking news on your phone and everybody else's. chilling words and i couldn't help but go back and jesse rodriguez called me up and we talked about it, couldn't help but go back to something that we had talked about on the show a year ago. let's take a quick look. >> several months ago a foreign policy expert on under level went to advise donald trump and three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons, three times he asked at one point if we have them why can't we use them? that's one of the reasons why he has -- he just doesn't have foreign policy experts around him. >> trump, trump asked three
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times -- >> three times in an hour briefing why can't we use nuclear weapons. >> be careful, america, and be careful republican leaders. your party is blowing up. >> i want to ask one more time and it may be classified, but the steps -- if donald trump decides to use a nuclear weapon, what is the time frame between his decision and when the nuclear weapons are launched? >> joe, it's snoer dependent but the system is decide for speed and decisiveness. it's not designed to debate the decision. >> and of course willie, when we were sitting there nobody really thought donald trump had a good chance of winning the presidency but even then, even under those scenarios, i remember all of us
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were -- were chilled by those questions and the discussions that followed and here we are a year later and it's not speculation what would happen if donald trump were elected president, donald trump was located president and then yesterday we heard the sort of language that sounds like the man is just as open a year later to the use of nuclear weapons as he was when he was talking about foreign policy advisor who walked out of his office completely chilled by what he had just heard. >> i'll never forget that day when you reported that and as i watched it i could almost report word for word because he said the process is designed for speed as if to say when the president makes up his mind to launch a nuclear with that's going to happen and it's going to happen pretty kickly and those words donald trump met with fire and fury are on the front page of every newspaper in the country to the
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"the new york times" and "the washington post." that pullout quote is everywhere you see and that's what we're going to talk about this morning. we have contributor mike barnicle, national political corresponder, steve cor knack can i, national correspondent josh green. he's the author of the new book. we'll get to that a bit later and in washington, david ig nashs and washington bureau chief for the associated press julie pace. mika has the morning off. yesterday "the washington post" came out with a report which nbc news has now confirmed that the u.s. intel assessment believes north korea now has the ability to miniature a nuclear weapon and attach it to a weapon. that does not necessarily mean pyongyang has a nuclear tipped icbm nor that it could survive
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reentry if the country did. that reported a response from president donald trump. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. he has been very threatening beyond a normal statement and as i said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before. thank you. hours after president trump's warning north korea state media announced the regime is quote seriously considering a plan to strike the specific territory of guam creating a quote enveloping fire around the island. guam is home to major u.s. military ins tlagss including anderson air force base and the
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b1 bombers recently used in the show of force that followed north korea's recently icbm test. north korea specifically talking about an attack on guam. it's just rhetoric but more specific rhetoric than we've heard in the past. >> what's more specific rhetoric that we've grown to expect from north korea? it's not, though, what we expect from any of our presidents, from presidents of the united states. david, i know some people were throwing around exampled in the past where bill clinton may have said something about strikes against north korea but nothing to this degree and again going back to what we were talking about a year ago, there had been some concern in the international community, there had been some concern among foreign policy experts that donald trump might take extreme measures if he were elected president of the united states, well as one of my children called me and said, you were
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concerned about this last year. i said, that was last year, we didn't expect him to win. this is now. and this suddenly became very, very frightening. david, tell us where we are, tell us what you're hearing from foreign policy experts enwhat you're hearing from allies and others overseas? >> this crisis which has been coming at us in slow motion for months has just speeded up big time. there's sever reasons for that, one is the intelligence reports that we referred to earlier which say that the north korean ability to put a nuclear weapon on top of a missile is probably farther along than we thought even a month ago. so there capabilities are growing. president trump has ratcheted up the rhetoric with his fire and fury comment and we're rightly
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focusing on that but it's also true that in the last weeks he has also increased his efforts to draw china into the diplomacy that might seek a peaceful resolution of this crisis from early in his presidency. he saw beijing as the key to some way of dealing with north korea. he's made some progress on that. last weekend, china joined the united states in a unanimous u.n. security council resolution condemning north korea for its continuing missile tests and adding new sanctions. the north koreans have rejected any possibility of negotiating, but interestingly, i think the president's rhetoric, this fire and fury stuff, is as much intended to scare china that he might take action which would be devastating for china's region as it is north korea, the president wants china to put itself in between the u.s. and
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north korea as a way out of this, to do that he thinks he has to be very threatening. >> and where david, are his generals? general mattis, where is general mcmaster, where is general kelly when the president is lobbing such hot rhetorical bombs north korea's way? >> from the first days of the presidency of donald trump, his top military advisors starting with secretary of defense mattis have been warning that conflict on the korean peninsula would be at a level of civilian casualties, level of destruction that the world has not seen one official since stallen grad in world war ii. that's understood. there is not a good military option here. that said these senior officials, mattis, mcmaster, all of the pep who work for them are
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now working to give president trump military options to look at this very tough military problem, how do you take out north korean weapons without leading them to seoul just across the dmz and kill hundreds of thousands of south koreans, that's the probably they're looking at. i don't think they have good answers. no one should think that this is just rhetoric. the military planning is going on right now. it's accelerating in pacific command headed by harry harris. our military people are staying up late to answer trump's question, how do you do this? >> the reaction from president trump's remarks have been swift including from one of his biggest foreign policy critics, juan mccain. >> i take exception to the president's comments because you've got to be sure that you can do what you say you're going to do. in other words, the old walk softly but carry a big stick
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teddy roosevelt's saying which i think is something that should have applied because all it's going to do is bring us closer to some kind of serious confrontation. so all i can say is that, i don't believe that president reagan or president eisenhower or other presidents that i've admired would've said the same thing. they might have done as much as we could, but not that kind of rhetoric i'm not sure how it helps. and democratic senator brian schatz of hawaii went straight to the fundamentals. we need nominations for ambassador to south korea, secretary of east asia affairs and secretary for asia pacific security affairs sent to the senate now. so mike, when you talk about fire and fury, a rhetorical move from the president for now you're talking about fire and fury in seoul if this is what breaks out 35 miles away, you're talking about american
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servicemen and women closer than that, you're talking about tokyo. there's a lot that happens if you deliver fire and fury. >> 35 miles from seoul along the border along the dmz you have enough armaments to light that country on fire to kill 20 million people within a couple of minutes in terms of missiles in the air. everybody i spoke to yesterday afternoon and early evening they all had the same question and i don't think it's been answered yet, i'm wondering if david has an answer to it, who vetted this statement, who helped him write this statement? was it just him? was it the nse helping him with the statement? was it general mcmaster? was it general kelly? it is a frightening selection of words. and a threat, an imposed threat that was made public by the president of the united states yesterday in terms of people i spoke to yesterday the threat is
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more powerful if it's made privately and directly to the chinese or certainly through channels to north korea, but do you have any information about who helped vet that statement? >> i don't specifically, mike, on that statement in general. i know that the most senior officials in this white house in our government have concluded we have located one president and it's donald trump and he has his own way of communicating. he uses hyperbole and bullying language. i think there's a view here that making clear, again, that north korea and also to the chinese that the president is serious in saying, if you don't help this solve you we're going to do it our way is a deliberate effort and i think they chose red hot rhetoric. senator mccain's point that that often doesn't lead to the outcome that you want rather than scaring people it puts it
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in this area of rhetorical exchange. the one thing we know about this president is nobody really vets the tweets, nobody i think in this case vetted the particular language he spoke it. he spoke like he was very proud to be saying just those worlds. >> global markets trending down in morning on north korea news. we'll get a live report as wall street prepared to open for business. plus as the president's poll numbers fade, one of his staffers calls him the most gifted politician of our time. "morning joe" is back after this. my dad's.
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president trump's the most gifted politician of our time and he's the best ortor to hold that position in generation. he's the leader of this nationwide and worldwide populus movement and it's about uplifting working class
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people -- >> they don't want to hear. certain republicans don't want that message to resonate. >> steven miller speaking last night on fox news despite miller's assessment which we'll get back to another poll has president trump hitting a new low. the tipp poll puts his approval rating at 32%. the present support among republicans is at 71% in the poll down 12 points. with white men he's dropped 7 points and has 27% support among those who make 30 to $50,000 a year. the president tweeted yesterday after 200 days rarely has any administration achieved what we have achieved. not even close. don't believe the fake news suppression polls. i believe that's a new term. i haven't looked. joe, let's go back to steven miller's line there that this is
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the greatest ortor to hold the office of presidency in generations which puts ronald reagan, perhaps bill clinton, even president obama in an interesting light? >> it really does put them in an interesting light. it is safe that he was able to do things i think that no other politician has been able to do without an organization, without any hopes, obviously, he electriified crowds and he certainly knew how to play to a base, not necessarily conservative or republican base but a trump base. but those numbers keep going down, so obviously, the tweets, the rallies, all the other things that he's used in the past just aren't as effective as before and steve kornacki, let's look at the bad, the worse news and then look at the parts of this poll which are just devastating for him, 32%, where he actually is holding a little bit better. the worse news obviously is the
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fall off in the republican support. he's losing a lot with his republican base. it's interesting that two with areas where he's fallen the least, i saw yesterday were among white men minus seven. that's since july, so that's still terrible but also in the midwest. he's dropped minus seven which also was less than all these other subgroups. if he is to pull things together, that's -- those are the people that he's got to keep, those white working class men in the midwest? >> there's no question whether it's the poll you're looking at right now or i think about a half a dozen polls we've seen over the last few weeks there's clear slippage now. this is a president who since his inauguration and as a candidate all of last year never lit the world on fire and when it came to his poll numbers but even by that standard i think in the last two weeks he's hit a new low. every poll that's come out in that period has put him in the
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30s. we're now seeing him in the low 40s. you got three more up on the screen right there. there's been slippage here. one of the groups when you dive inside these numbers where he's struggling, blue collar white women, white women without a college degree. this is a good he did very well with against hillary clinton. there's talks and speculation out there that maybe the health care news, all of the push for a repeal and replace of obamacare might have particularly turned them off or alienating them. there's a lot of slippage there. i do think the one thing -- i always try to keep in my mind when i look at these numbers, though, i can remember so many moments in the campaign last year, july, august, september, october even into the start of november where we were talking about donald trump's slippage but with republican base voters and i do think there was -- there's this element of just almost i don't know what the term is but cultural
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polarization that exists with donald trump or certainly existed last year in the campaign and the question i keep asking myself is, when you get back into an election system, does he do that return? >> it may return. it depends on whose he's running against. if he's donald trump against bernie sanders, it returns. if it's donald trump against somebody else on the far left, it returns. and that's going to be the democratic party's challenge. can they get somebody from joe mansion's wing of the party. can they get a governor from middle america to run then they've got a shot. willie, it's interesting, people that are driving and we hear a lot of people listen to us on the radio, the gal dlop poll was around 38%, cbs was around 36%, cnn, 38%. that's the lowest he's ever scored in that cnn poll. coming up.
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an uncanny similarities between president trump's comments yesterday and harry truman's words when he announced the u.s. deployed the first nuclear bomb ever. back after this. ♪ we're drowning in information. where, in all of this, is the stuff that matters? the stakes are so high, your finances, your future. how do you solve this? you don't. you partner with a firm that advises governments and the fortune 500, and, can deliver insight person to person, on what matters to you. morgan stanley.
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>> they may expect a reign of ruin from the air the likes of which has never been seen on this earth. >> they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before. president trump's language yesterday echoed in part president harry truman when he announced the use of an atomic weapon against japan. he's author of the book nuclear showdown. he's also a column in any event for the "the daily beast" and gordon your latest piece puts all of this in historical context dating back to the arm ma tis in 1983. this is your expertise we want to get a check from you about how you're feeling from the development yesterday and where we are with north korea? >> this is getting exceedingly
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dangerous. the effect on the north koreans was to make the situation worse and we saw that not only with the threat against guam but also a 47 paragraph statement that the north korean will military issues. i think david ignatius had this right because essentially this statement on the part of the president fire and fury was probably more directed against beijing. right now china is in a very sensitive period politically. it's in the run up to the communist's party 19th congress. chinese rulers xi is vulnerable right now. he's shocked by trump by early april when he was standing right next to our president and he announced the launch of the 47 or 57 cruise missiles against a chinese friend syria. so i think xi is wary of donald trump when he hears this statement, he makes the chinese more cautious and push them into
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enforcing the security council sanctions that were enacted on saturday. >> david ignatius, i was actually going to go to you and just say, the more i think about this statement, the more your words actually ring in my head and make more sense that this actually was directed more towards beijing, that to let them know we're not going to sit back like every past administration, we're not going to let things continue to deinvolve, we're not going to allow north korea to be able to strike seattle, down to los angeles with nuclear weapons. this is not just our problem. this is your problem. is there a possibility, david, even a slight possibility that the president did consult with his foreign policy leaders and decide to give a rhetorical, a dangerous, but rhetorical brush
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back pitch to beijing here? >> when i've asked trump advisors whether the time for negotiation is now, if you can get the chinese to do it, usually what i hear back is no, not yet. this is going to have to get more tense before it move towards resolution. i want to ask gordon, we're thinking about the effect of this fire and fury rhetoric on the u.s. on the way we observe this, what about in south korea, gordon? what do people there think as our president talks about fire and fury enveloping their homeland? >> i think the president moon jae-in who was just recently inaugurated is extremely concerned about this. he's been going back decades of want to go engage the north koreans and moon have made a number of initiatives to kim
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jong-un, i think it concerns him when he hears the president of the united states talk like this. after that hour phone call that trump had with moon jae-in, moon talked about maximum pressure and that's uncharacteristic statement from him. i have yet to figure out what's going on in the blue house because you would not expect a progressive south korean president to say something like that. as for the rest of the south korean establishment, i'm sure they are concerned. they live in seoul. it's 35 miles from the demilitarized zone where north korea has forward deployed their military. it was on this day in 1974 that nixon resigned the office of the white house. historian joins us to join that moment into context. but first we'll go live to bedminster, new jersey, whose covering the president's eventful working vacation.
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the former secretary of defense said you could not launch pre-emptive strike against north korea because the nuclear fallout could be devastating to the asian peninsula. >> if the military told you, we can't do this. >> you're giving me two names. you want to do it in five years when they have war heads all over the place everyone one of them pointing at new york city or do you want to do something now. you berl do it now. if they think your serious, i deal with lots of people, if they think you're serious they'll negotiate and it'll never come to that. >> that's donald trump then private citizen in october of 1999 talking to the late great tim russert on the meet the press, his quote says it'll never come to that has now been met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. trump's message yesterday was
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quote, don't test america and don't test donald trump. he then went on to compare the events to the last few days to the cuban missile crisis. joining us now from bridgewater, new jersey where the vacation is on a working vacation, peter alexander. this morning the president is tweeting somewhat in conflict the with message that social media rex tillerson has been delivering on that plain. >> we're now hearing from america's top diplomat en route back from asia this morning. much more low key, much more reassuring in the tone of his comments this morning. urging calm saying america's should sleep well at night. he hasn't seen any significant change in this situation over the course of last 24 hours despite the president's comments and he doesn't believe there is any eminent threat to the u.s., so americans should feel okay this morning. in effect he's in the unhe have
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i can't believe finish to being the trump to english translator right now. he's trying to make it more diplomatic in its terms. here's part of what he said on his airplane. >> i think the president -- what the president is doing is sending a strong message to north korea in language that kim jong-un would understand because he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language. i think the president wanted to be clear to the north korean regime that the u.s., you know, unquestionable ability to defend its self, will defend its self and its allies and i think it was important that he deliver that message to avoid any miscalculation on their part. nothing that i have seen or know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours. >> reporter: the president offering up a more balanced tone this morning as well. here's what he tweeted within the last hour. my first order has president was to renovate our modernize our
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nuclear arsenal. hopefully we will never have to use this power but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world. we're trying to get a better understanding if the secretary of state rex tillerson had spoken to the president before the fire and fury comments that he made yesterday. we do know the last time that's public that they spoke was monday during that hour long krns call so it appears that the secretary of state may not have had any role in the crafting of the president's rhetoric yesterday. it did appear that the president was browsing notes. we can now report that the mike pence will be here in bedminster tomorrow visiting with the president. today's he's going to be at one of the president's golf courses in virginia hitting around a golf with some lawmakers there so he may be able to bring to the president the words of some of those reluctant lawmakers who have been anxious about what they heard from the president so far.
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>> all right. peter thanks so much. joining us now, susan glasser and aleash jordan. david ignatius still with me and mike barnicle as well. susan, let me start with you, just a reaction not just to the fire and fury but what we've seen in turned to that the president has been amplifying those comments on twitter, retweeting story about the fire and fury and talking baghdad the strength of the nuclear arsenal something that started the modernization under president obama and continues under president trump. what's the net effect of all this, mix in rex tillerson's comments on the plane as well? >> more confusion. something joked that our policy used to be strategic patience now it's either strategic confusion or strategic inpatience. this to me highlights one of the
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signalled problems with the trump era when it comes to foreign policy that the united states has now become the chief source of instability in many ways in the world rather than being sort of the guarantor of the international order we're now leaving everybody guessing as to which is our real foreign policy and rex tillerson's comments now sort of underscored that. we had him -- is he playing good cop to trump's bad cop? was he not on board as has been the case several times where he's been off message? we don't know is the answer and right now here it is the day after president trump has made these comments and we're basically guessing. there's been no real clarification at all about what he means. >> annese, general mattis had not cleared or been consulted about the fire and furry comment that president trump made. he did have some prepared remarks in front of him but speculation that he may have ad
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libbed that line. not clear that secretary of state tillerson was involved in the strategic decision if there was one to go out so strongly with the rhetoric. what does that tell you about what's happening behind the scene? >> general mattis has been such a good influence on president trump regarding his evolution and how he views nuclear weapons and president trump for a time toned down his rhetoric a bit just because general mattis has convinced him that nuclear warfare is just not something we talk about because we don't ever want to do it. but you see this and it almost looks like a defiant child who is trying to just, you know, test all of the adults around him as much as he can because this is simply something that the military certainly isn't backing this escalation and i just watch how secretary tillerson seems completely out of the loop and almost detached and uninvolved from the process and you wonder who is actually having influence on donald trump
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other than he's just shooting from the hip. >> susan, andrea mitchell reported in the last hour that according to her reporting and her contacts, both secretary mattis, general mcmaster and general kelly seemingly played no role or very little role in the crafting of as you refer to the incendiary statement used yesterday. so what does that tell you about the way foreign policy, crisis foreign policy is now operating within this white house? >> i'm really glad you brought that up because to me that's what leaps out here, time and time again you see president trump on the one hand brags about having all these military officers, he's surrounded himself with these big brawny generals but he seems determined not to take their advice. and this is not an outlier on this issue of north korea. we've seen it on afghanistan, we've seen it on nato, we've seen it on basically fundamental questions surrendering our
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national question. you have the president not being on the same page with his national security team. you have a white house in turmoil now any ways. let's not forget it's basically the first week on the job for the white house chief-of-staff. there are on' noormus erups. you have a public campaign by one faction of republicans against the national security advisor h.r. mcmaster who should be running any kind of a crisis situation response like this to north korea and so, you have on the one hand a team that's in disarray. on the other hand, you also have a president who is determined to signal i don't want any adults in the room except me and nothing i think makes him crazier than this idea that there are responsible grownups who are going to contain him and so now you have him, you know, essentially flirting with this nuclear rhetoric almost as a response to this critique. >> keep in mind this has been an obsession of donald trump's for decades to be the nuclear
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negotiator. since the '80s he has been saying that he could solve the nuclear crisis with russia and he was talking about it in '99 this is something that he's been want to go sink his teeth in for a while. >> it's not exactly like he's in a negotiating position. the question is where do you go from fire and fury and you have sebastian comments that the united states will not be tested, do not test this president or this country. when is north korean and kim jong-un shown any unwillingness not to test or at least provoke in this context and if, in fact, this fire and fury comment doesn't sort of result in the kind of chasening that the president in some mind set hopes it does, it's going to fall on the generals to actual develop a strategy in which the president or someone says to them, we now have to justify the fire and fury comment because we don't want to look weak now. we have a 24 hours -- we have
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the 24 hours the president i suspect is happy that we're all talking about him and they're showing his remarks and he came across strong. >> it's clear that the president and pep close to him believe that was a show of strength because ut sebastian on the air this morning saying the united states was a super power before donald trump, it's now a hyperpower and the message yesterday was don't mess with america. let's bring in cnbc's brian sullivan, how are the markets reacting this morning? >> reporter: good morning. they're not reacting too strongly. there's a theory out there on wall street that nothing is likely to happen and if it does happen then it's probably so big it won't matter any way. the dow futures, i hate to be tongue in cheek about it, the dow's indicating a drop of 2/10 of one 1%. it's a very small move considering these kinds of comments. i think the idea, guys, is that we have seen this kind of
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rhetoric before, maybe not to this level but that wall street is not buying into it and like i said, if something does occur, then it probably won't really matter any way what corporate earnings are going to command. >> thanks, brian. >> reporter: did i make you feel better? >> the market has pushed this to the side whatever happens. >> listen, corporate earnings are up, the economy -- all the things that should matter to the stock market that should matter to stock prices are doing well. i mean i was just in wisconsin yesterday and nobody out there is saying, oh, gosh what do we get attacked if new york. however not minimizing it, wall street believes this is just rhetoric. you've got tillerson in guam headed over there talking to people. there's a feeling that we will get through this despite the bluster. that's -- you could agree or disagree with that point of view that's just why we have not seen the stock market move much. in fact, if you're watching cnbc at all, pretty much every day we have been hitting record highs. yesterday we fell for the first time in ten sessions.
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stocks keep going up. and perhaps -- perhaps trump administration is getting its advice from "game of throne." fire and fury the dragon episode. >> mike barnacle has no idea what you're talking about right now. call him after the show and explain it to him that would be great. >> you can go, brian. >> brian, sullivan that's your cue. the president has been retweeting "fox and friends" articles. they have headlines like president trump vows america will respond to north korean threats with fire and fury in a warning to the rogue nation and france vehicle attack leaves at least six soldiers injured and millions of gallons of mexican waste threaten border patrol agents. the president has yet to address the bombing of a mosque in the minneapolis suburb in bloomington. the muslim director told
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buzzfeed, we are wondering why president trump has not tweeted about this. he seems to want to tweet about security and terror issues. yesterday white house aid sebastian gorka said it was important to let the investigation take place before jumping to conclusions. >> you think that somebody throwing a bomb into the window of a mosque could be something else, it could be fuzzy ground -- >> the question of who does it is a question. when you've had people fake hate crimes in the last six months with some regulate later i think it's wise to find out what is going on before you make statements when, in fact, it could turn out to be not who you are expecting. >> but the president has called incidences like the philippine casino fire terrorist attacks before there was any indication about the cause and in that case police later said the man who perpetrated the attack was in gambling debt and the mode was robbery and not terrorism. he tweeted about a terrible incident in france where a car drove a car into a group of police officers.
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speculation that it could have been terrorism but we don't know. he shined a light on that. >> it's all politicize. you're never going to see president trump jump to a conclusion quickly when it happens to involve a muslim place of worship the the way th in other incidents. and that was just really disingenuous of sebastian gor ka to say that. >> and the investigation in minneapolis continues this morning at that mosque. up next, it's a notable day in history. richard nixon resigned on this day in 1974. we'll talk to historian michael about that teurbulent time. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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they may expect a rein of ruin of the air, the like which have has never been seen on this earth. >> they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before. >> another look there at the comparison we played earlier this hour. president trump's language yesterday echoing that of president harry truman when truman announced the use of an atomic weapon jens japan. today is the anniversary of the bombing of nagasaki in 1945. also another anniversary today, in 1974 richard nixon resigned as president. and jared r. ford assumed the office.
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let's bring in our presidential historian. michael, a lot to talk to you about today. let's start with the anniversary that we could not peg to news of the day of nagasaki, the second of the two bombings there on august 9, 1945. and the rhetoric used by harry truman, similar to what president trump used yesterday in bedminister, new jersey, talking about north korea. >> you're right. the rhetoric is similar, but the situation is totally different because -- >> yes. >> when truman used that language, as you well know, willie, when truman used that language, it was right after we had dropped the first atomic bomb on hiroshima, the japanese had not surrendered, we were demanding unconditional surrender. truman said we're going to keep dropping these bombs until you surrender. some of the japanese thought, this bomb may not have been as important as it was. someone thought perhaps we didn't have anymore to drop, so he was trying to scare them and say, you know, if you don't surrender, this is going to happen. and the result was that today,
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as you were saying in 1945, the second bomb was dropped on the sea port of nagasaki, and there was another atomic bomb in waiting, but this one, after hiroshima was -- had enough of an impact on the japanese that they threw in the towel. >> michael, david has a question for you. >> michael, i want to ask you about today's other anniversary of nixon's depar kmur. today, with all it's hot rhetoric about north korea, we think of the madman theory that was applied to richard nixon that he was -- he tried to present himself as just so crazy he might do anything. what do you think, if nixon could come back he would say about that confrontation and what are your thoughts generally about this idea that you can seem so crazy that it has some benefit? >> yeah, the madman theory was usually pedalled as you know,
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david, more by henry kissinger than nixon about nixon, but the idea was that it is a strategic asset for a president to seem unpredictable. and as you know in 1972 at christmas time, nixon bombed, you know, enormous bombing of north vietnam, trying to move the north vietnamese to negotiate, and presidential aids, you know, were caught saying to reporters, you know, off the record or on background, you never know what the president might do. so, that was something that did happen. but nowadays, i think what nixon would say is, i never used language like fire and fury. i always tried to moderate crisis, not escalate them. that's what dwight eisenhower used to do when they used to go out and roar about saying we're going to send the missiles flying over new york city and we will bury you, eisenhower said,
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you know, the way that we show strength is to be mild and quiet. >> susan. >> michael, i'm wondering what you think about the extent to which president trump is trying to follow explicitly in president nixon's footsteps. he seems to often want to use foreign policy crisis as a distraction from sort of the talk inside the white house here and back in washington. >> yeah, susan, i think that is entirely right. and i keep on going back to what steven miller, the white house aid said in february on five different networks saying, the president's powers as a national security, he said are very considerable and will not be questioned. and i'm not suggesting that that is the reason why president trump said what he said yesterday, but i think we have to always be on guard for any sign that any president is trying to use national security to divert from domestic problems. >> a perfect day to have you on, michael, always good to talk to
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you. thanks for being with us. >> thank you. >> elise, what will you be looking for today as this north korean story has a new chapter it seems every 30 minutes or so? >> i'm curious it tost going to turn into a fever pitch and if trump is going to keep fanning the flames or if anyone is going to be able to get to him and to say, hey, let's calm this down, we certainly don't to want escalate this anymore than it already is or if he's going to really revel in the chaos. >> it seems to far they're not going to back off the comment, susan. >> trump is not famous for backing off. i'll say that. he seems to be aggressively suggesting that this is as you said a successful day on the messaging front for him. you know, i bont surprised if he sticks with it even if his advisors like tillerson are saying, don't worry, americans can sleep well at night. >> dave, what are you looking for today? >> well, i'm looking for more of the same. i hate to say it but i think the mixed messages, bombastic, then tone it down from tillerson back
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and forth up and down, that's sort of the way they want to play it. they think that disrupts people, makes them uncertain and invest their benefit. >> all right, david, susan, elise, mark, mike, you to some extent, thank you very much for being here. >> thank you, willy. >> that does it for us, chris jan sing picks up the coverage. >> i am in for stephanie rule this morning. president trump's unprecedented language on north korea's nuclear threat. >> they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. >> now, new threats against u.s. interests. >> they are blowing through this president's red line like tissue paper. what is trump going to do now? >> and from both sides of the aisle, concern that trump isn't up to the task. >> the great leaders that i've seen, they don't threaten unless they are ready to act. and i'm not sure that president trump is ready to act.

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