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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  September 4, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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happy labor day. how did we get roped into today? >> have a good afternoon. i'm ali velshi. right now we're following breaking news in north korea. president trump and south korean moon jay inspeaking by phone today for the first time since north korea's most powerful nuclear test yet, a test that could be a game changing advance in its nuclear capability. the north claiming it detonated a hydrogen bomb. that's a big deal, and i'm going to break that down for you in just a few minutes. but we're still waiting for read out of that conversation from the white house. south korea's presidential office says the two agreed to limit the pay load on south korea missiles as part of the response. also today u.n. ambassador nikki haley. >> despite our efforts over the past 24 years, the north korea nuclear program is more advanced and more dangerous than ever. they now fire missiles over
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japanese air space. they now have icbm capabilities. they now came to have tested a hydrogen bomb. and just this morning there is reports that the regime is preparing for yet another icbm launch. to the members of the security council, i must say enough is enough. we must now adopt the strongest possible measures. nuclear powers understand their responsibilities. kim jong-un shows no such understanding. his abusive use of missiles and his nuclear threats show that he is begging for war. >> south korea is also responding today with a huge show of force. live fire drills involving war planes dropping bombs. south korea also launching ballistic missiles in a simulated tack against nuclear's nuclear test site. all of this after north korea state media announced kim
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jong-un successfully oversaw the debt nation of a hydrogen bomb that is many times more powerful than the regular atomic bombs that the rogue nation has tested before. also claiming it's small fit to fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the united states. the test sight in the mountains of north eastern north korea triggered an earth wake. now the trump administration is considering its options. >> we are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely north korea, but as i said, we have many options to do so. >> mr. president -- >> all right, now let's say a look at what significant advance north korea may have made in its six nuclear tests since 2006. again, north korea claims this is a hydrogen bomb. what's the difference between a hydrogen bomb ask a regular
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atomic bomb? >> a hydrogen bomb is up to a thousand times more powerful. you'll also hear the term therm nuclear. a hydrogen bomb is called a thermo nuclear bomb. it's different in that it has a second stage reaction that moog fiez the force. atomic use figures or atom splitting. hydrogen bombs add fusion to produce the second much more powerful blast. i'll give you a sense of how much more powerful it is. the regular atomic bomb that was dropped on hiroshima was 15 kilo tons. it has the explosive force of 15,000 tons of dynamite. north korea's previous tests ranged between 1 kill ton to 20 kill tonts. yesterday's bomb had an estimated force of 120 kilo tons. what's interesting is you can get regular atomic bombs that have that kind of power. suddenly got very dark in here.
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but that's why we're speculating this might be a thermo nuclear bomb. joining me now is david cone who served as the deputy director of the kraib and under secretary of the treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence during the obama administration. also joining us is msnbc military analyst and medal of honor recipient jack jacobs. let's just talk about the distinction in the type of bombs. is it significant for you? >> yeah, it is. if it's just a regular nuclear device, an atomic bomb, it would have been a very large one. you can make them almost that size, about 100 kilo tons, but it certainly wouldn't be able to fit on top of a missile and not with north korea's technology. the likelihood is that it is a thermo nuclear device. and they have the capability of putting that together. >> david, let me ask you this.
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you wrote a "washington post" op-ed earlier this year. in it you said in dealing with north korea, the trump administration should look to iran, specifically to take a page out of the obama's iran sanctions playbook and apply against north korea the tool used successfully to bring iran to the nuclear negotiating table. secondary sanctions on those who do business with the regime. now, president trump tweeted yesterday that we're going to stop doing business with anyone who does any business with iran. that includes china and india. that's not a particularly practical approach. but talk to me about these secondary sanctions. >> right. well, the idea is not to cut off all trade with china, and that is absurd on its face. but the idea is to focus in on those firms, particularly in china, but it can be elsewhere as well, but china is the key, that are facilitating north korea's access to the international financial system. and these tend to be small
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chinese banks that host accounts for north korean front companies. so companies that look like they're chinese but are actually doing the business of the north korean regime. and we know who many of these front companies are. we know the banks that they use. we can essentially go and use authority that says to those banks, either you cut off "your business" with these north korean front companies or we're going to cut you off from the united states. it's your choice. that's the secondary sanction aspect. and what we did in the iran context is we went to banks around the world, gave them that choice and almost uniformly they chose to maintain their access to the u.s. rather than to do business with iranian entities and i think we could do the same sort of play with respect to these smaller chinese banks. >> the danger, of course, is
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threatening the stuff that we're threatening and having all these intermediate at stops in between that we can be utilizing before we get there. colonel jacobs, let me ask you about what secretary mattis said on sunday and get your view on on the other side. let's play this. >> any threat to the united states or its territories including guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response of effective and overwhelming. >> what was interesting about that, colonel, is he said any threat. we've seen a lot of threats from north korea. >> yeah. we've had no -- nothing but an unending series of threats and yet we have not done any of the things that secretary mattis is talking about. talk is often cheap, and part of our problem is that we have a tendency and the administration does talk publicly too much. i think it would be wise to say nothing at all. that's the best thing to do and keep our cards closer to the
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vest. there are lots of things we can do. i think mr. cohn is absolutely right. secondary sanctions have proved in the past to be extremely useful. we could do them again. we've been talking about sanctions a lot. we said we put sanctions on chinese entities and north korean entities, but we've got a lot longer way to go to threaten that we're going to use military force to retaliate against a threat flies in the face of what we've already done. the best thing to do would be to retaliate in the event that there's an actual attack. and it would be useful for us to convince the chinese to tell the north koreans that we will attack, conduct a counter attack if they attack any of our allies. they haven't done that yet. i think it's important for the chinese to say that if the chinese conduct an attack on the
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united states, on american territories or on our allies that they the north koreans are on their own. it would be useful if they did that. >> david cone, let me ask you something. going back to your point about sanctions or secondary sanctions and the colonel's point about telegraphing sort of red lines too early, during the negotiations you had with iran, there were lots of people who thought that we should have bombed iran, particularly that nuclear plant, and the administration's view was not we're not there yet. we have a lot of things we can do. we may not say publicly what they are. the danger here is there are a lot of threats from north korea and there are a lot of counter threats. the military option is unimagineably horrible. was there -- i mean, do you advice this administration to sort of slow it down a little bit because we've got so much more room for sanctions? >> look, i think the administration really does need to think very carefully about any kind of military option here. and i think there are two
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questions that need to be answered. the first is what would any kind of military strike, preventive strike accomplish? and i think most experts agree that you're not going to dismantle north korea's nuclear program or its missile program through a military strike. so, you know, what is it that we would achieve with a military strike is one question. and the second is then what comes next? if we launch some kind of military strike against north korea, which i think ambassador hailey was hinting at and secretary mattis obviously said we had the capability to do, but what comes next. i think everybody acknowledges that kim jong-un is not likely to just take that and not respond. and north korea has a number of different ways in which it can respond, from artillery attacks to cyberattacks to, you know, they've got mini submarines with tore pea dose that they can try to use against our forces or against our allies in the region. so before we use the military card, i think we do need to sort
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of think hard about what it would accomplish and what we can accomplish through diplomacy. as secretary mattis said, diplomatic options are always available. and i think some combination of the pressure strategy that we're talking about with secondary sanctions, as well as some inducements, there's still some possibility that we can attach down this growing crisis through serious, sustained diplomatic efforts. >> gentlemen, thanks very much for being with me. unfortunately, i think we're probably going to have conversation like this a lot in the coming weeks. thanks to boat of you. >> thank you. >> it's decision day. president trump is expected to announce his decision tomorrow on whether elscrap the daca program. all indications point to him ending the obama era program. coming up next, i'm going to dig into the numbers for you. but first while you wait, think on this, what% aej of daca
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recipients do you think are in work or are in school? think about it. tweet me your answer. but do it quick because i'm going to give you the answer right after this break. [car tires screech] [bell rings]
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talk to your doctor, and call 844-214-2424.
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i will immediately terminate president obama's illegal executive order on immigration, immediately. >> are you going to rescind the treem act, daca.
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>> we have to -- >> so you're going to split up families? >> chuck, no, no. we have to keep the families together. >> but you're going to keep them together out. >> they have to go. >> we are going to deal with daca with heart. it's a very difficult thing for me because, you know, i love these kids. i love kids. >> should dreamers be worried? >> we love the dreamers. we love everybody. >> okay. thank you for your responses. i asked you before the break how many people in daca are in school or employed? i got some great responses from you. 78%, 80, 84, 85, 98%. the number is 95% are currently in school or working. as president donald trump's rhetoric on daca seemed to shift from the hard line substance he took as a candidate giving a glimmer of hope to the roughly 800,000 young immigrants who came here as children, today things have changed. nbc news has learned the president is leaning toward ending the program. a decision that could leave all
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of the so-called dreamers subject to deportation. that decision is expected tomorrow. the president is also expected to give congress six months to mass a fix. now, as we await the president's final decision, msnbc's jacob headed to southern california where the fate of tens of thousands of dreamers are now in limbo. >> reporter: this is cal state if you recall ton. the southern california university says it's home to more than 40,000 students. and so many, around 900, are undocumented, the school created what it calls a dreamer resource center just for them. >> nice to meet you. >> first year physics student and dreamer daniel la called aronnie's parents brought her from to the united states from mexico. >> so if something happened -- >> if and happened, they would probably stay here, maybe with a family relative. >> how do you deal with this -- i mean, you seem so cool and collected about this. >> it's tough. it really is.
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yesterday i did nothing but cry with everyone around me, but you kind of have to -- >> today is a new day. >> yeah. >> everyday life doesn't stop either for sociology majors. >> have you ever been to mexico other than being born there? >> no. >> never? >> never. >> how about you? where would you be deported to. >> i would assume mexico too, but i think it's like in the back of my head. if not, maybe i'll just go to another country. i was even thinking that i could transfer my education to another school because that's my goal. i just want to finish. >> it's just a waiting room. you know, ever since the elections, everything you do, as every day you goes you just think about it more. >> in the country they call home, stiejts fasds with the prospect of a forced return to a life they've never known. >> that was msnbc's jacob sober off reporting. we are building our future with
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american hands, american labor, american iron, aluminum and steel. happy labor day. he makes all of his products overseas, with the exception of only four known products, hats, some bedding, water and cologne. and as his daughter and white house adviser ivanka continues to make her brand products overseas, as trump surrogates argue ending daca will benefit american workers and the economy, it's worth reminding just how many immigrants under daca contribute to the united states. the institute on taxation and economic policy estimates that they contribute $2 billion a year in state and local taxes. remember, people are daca pay taxes. and they are not entitled to government benefits. about 9% of their income goes towards taxes. that is a higher rate than paid by the top 1% of u.s. taxpayers who pay an average of 5%. nearly $800 million in state and local tax revenue would disappear if daca were repealed. so if boosting the economy is the focus here, and i understand
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for some people it's not the focus, but if that is the conversation, how does it all add up and what happens then to the nearly million immigrants who have lived and worked here most of their lives? joining me now is my old friend maria, she is the alaska or and executive producer of npr's weekly show. good to see you. >> good to see you. >> we never meet under good circumstances. just on the economic argument. there are lots of emotional arguments. you look at what jacob just did and talked about these kids who are trying to better themselves. as a subset all immigrants, as a subset even undocumented immigrants, this has got to be at the other end of the spectrum. these are the ones, they work. they can't commit crimes or they'll get kicked off. they pay taxes. i mean, i can just keep going on. they're educated. they speak english. >> if this goes through -- we don't know. >> we don't know. >> we don't know. and frankly, for the mental health of all of these young
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people on daca, this has just been -- >> it's horrible. >> it feels like psychological operations to be together with their emotions in this way. i'm not so sure. i don't know what donald trump is going to do here at this point. and let's not forget -- >> for political reasons or do you think he's actually conflicted about this because he gives off as being conflicted about it. he says he loves the dreamers. >> i think that latinos and that grinlts, ali, at this point know exactly the kind of heart that this president has. so he can say he's conflicted and has heart. he can't forget the fact that it was just a couple of days ago that he pardoned joe arpaio who specifically was going after latinos and immigrants. so that's his heart. his heart is that he was clearly sympathizing with white supremacists and the kkk. his heart is that he started and ran his entire campaign against immigrants and mexicans specifically. at this point for the daca people, if they're hearing him talk about his heart, it's like they don't really care. and in terms of the laws, i
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mean, yeah, it's about what will be probably a thousand to 1,500 losses, job losses a week at this point. and i think what's going to happen is going to be really interesting because, yes, there's a lot of sadness here, but there's going to be a whole other thing that's going to happen that whoa don't know, because remember, daca was created because of the profests of these young people. they will not be quiet. but you know this, ali. their employers are going to come out in their defense, right. like the young kid who i know who works at bank of america. they don't want to lose him. what are they going to do? who are they going to start challenging to keep these young daca people employed. so i think you're going to see a whole interesting political shift. and by the way, there is a political argument. this may absolutely be the death nil for the republican party. >> so a number of elected republicans have come out and said don't do this for two reasons, one is as much as a lot of people say it's an executive order it doesn't have the legal weight of a congressional, of a
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bill, a lot of them don't want to have to vote this one way or the other. they're trying to have this stay on the president's plate. but the bottom line is a number have said, these are all republicans who have said there's a different way to do this. do you think this six months, we're hearing that the president will allow six months for this to be a lengs laifb thing, do you think that will help. >> i think this is entirely disenjeb wous on these republicans. they got behind a candidate and a president who has said i'm going to end daca. i'm going to build a wall and i'm going to deport all of you. what i'm hearing from young people is what is it that these immigrants have done to stooeb miller and to jefferson beauregard sessions and to donald trump that they feel so much hatred towards them because that's the way that they're interpreting it. that's the way that they're feeling it. and for bh of them they just --
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one of the questions was what's going to happen next. they don't know what's goes to happen next but they will probably be going deeper and deeper underground which worries me, because then you're probably going to see like a heightened police security force around i.c.e. to go and find them wherever they are. these are young people who were telling you where they lived willingly. >> they registered. >> now that's going to happen? are they going to have to go into hiding, find another place to live. this is very real for young people. and i've been encouraging them to find their heart, to meditate, to do a lot of self love, to find the people who want them here which include, again, their employers, their military commanders. these are our fellow americans and they are going through a really difficult mental health program. >> a young man going through the daca program drowned from hurricane harvey -- >> the good news is everybody will know what daca is.
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>> that's right. >> so if there is a tiny silver lining it is that everybody knows what daca is. >> yeah. let's leave with some statistics. as i said and as many of you guessed, 95% are working or in school. of 3% got a better job after 2012 because they were able to get a driver's license and work. 54% bought their first car legally after 2012. 48% got a job with better working conditions and 12% are now homeowners as a result. these are the people under daca. all right. thanks so much for being with us. we'll continue to follow this. come up, lost in the headlines, the russia investigation, new revel agsz sign light on a deal the trump administration sought to build a tower in moscow.
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i have nothing to do with russia, folks. okay? i'll give you a written statement. nothing to do. >> there is no collusion between me and my campaign and the russians. believe me, there's no collusion. russia is fine.
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>> well, candidate trump and president trump driving home the message he has no ties with russia, but the latest round of headlines suggest otherwise. a series of rel laugsz include a deal sought by the trump organization to build a tower in moscow the same time then candidate trump was running for president. adam shiff reacted to that news. >> it means among other things the president was dishonest when he said during the campaign that he had no business in russia, wasn't pursuing business in russia. so yet another i think misleading samt by the administration. >> now, amid all these headlines there's another wrinkle in president trump's denials. it's the. the law is named after this man, sergey meg. this man. the biggest foreign investor in
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russia before police raided and seized his company offices and expelled him from the country. now, he testified in court that top russian interior ministry officials colluded with alleged organized criminals to embezzle $230 million in tax refunds from the russian treasury after illegally seizing subsidiaries of broward's companies. the court responded by charging him for tax evasion, imprisoning him for pretrial detention where he died. russian officials blamed a heart attack for his death, but browder refused to accept that version of events, especially after a report from russia's hiem rights counsel suggested for tour contributed to his death. after that the individuals placed sanctions on those individuals directly taking part in the tax fund fraud and the killing of him. moscow retaliated barring americans from adopting russian
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children. the apparent focus of that trump tower meeting. this morning bill browder sat down with me to break down the larger implications of that gathering. >> the act freesz visas. at the moment there's only 44 people on the list, but it's an open-ended list and what putin is afraid about not who is the list today but who will be on the list tomorrow because he thinks eventually either he or the people that hold his money will be put on the list. >> and this is an executive order. this is actually something congress passed overwhelmingly. >> uh-huh. >> so natalie veselnitskaya would not be the -- the adoption restrictions are something the russians imposed. that's not something that you would be talking to donald trump jr. about. >> right. so what was going on in trump tower on june 9th last year when veselnitskaya showed up, she
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showed up and said we really don't like the act. we really don't like it and we'd like it revealed. now, she showed up there with that and there's no question that that's what she was talking about because that's the one thing all eight people in that meeting took place. what we don't know what happened is what she was offering in return. it's not some minor ask to say if your father becomes the president of the united states -- >> we'd like a major piece much legislation reversed. >> a very highly controversial piece of legislation. >> right. >> they would have come in with a big package of something in return. we don't know what that package was, but that's what they were there. >> but arguably, if you are vladimir putin and he is, as you and others have written, alleged to have taken pieces in major corporations, the act could be the biggest thing for you personally. in other words, that could be the thing that costs you the most money. so if you had a friendly in american goth, that would be -- if only one thing you could ask, that would be the one thing to ask for, the repeal of the act.
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>> that's it. that's the thing that most upsets him. and he has made no -- there's no uncertainty about this. when he became president again after being sort of sitting in the secondary seat in 2012, he put out a white paper, a foreign policy strategy paper where he said getting rid of the act was the single largest foreign policy priority. there's no secret that he hates it, that this affects him personally, and there's no secret that this is what he was trying to get rid of. >> veselnitskaya denied he was working for the russian government although there's some e-mails that indicate she's referred to a government lawyer. who else would be there fighting the act? if you weren't either a friend of vladimir putin's oi a government official, why would somebody be having such a meeting? >> well, there's no other reason why she would have this meeting. it was completely based on the vladimir putin objective. and, you know, no private citizen has a need to go in and
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have that meeting. this was clearly planned. and there's a huge amount of evidence from the russian side that this was a major government operation as well. the general prosecutor of russia, the foreign minister of russia, everybody has been talking about getting rid of the act and this was just one of their approaches to get rid of it. >> that's bill browder joining me earlier on msnbc. coming up, what to do about the north korea crisis. the stakes are as high as they've ever been as north korea pulls off its most powerful test yet. we're going to break it all down next. pampers. unlike ordinary diapers with two layers, pampers have three absorbent layers to stay up to three times drier, so babies can sleep soundly all night. wishing you love, sleep and play. pampers.
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breaking news in the north korea crisis. president trump talking by phone this morning with sorj counterpart moon after north korea claims it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb which is much more powerful than a regular atomic bomb and able to be put on to a missile. south korea's presidential office says the two leaders agreed to boost south korea's missile capabilities. also today, u.s. ambassador nikki haley urging diplomacy at an emergency meeting of the security council. >> his abusive use of missiles and his nuclear threats show that he is begging for war. war is never something the united states wants. we don't want it now. the time has come to exhaust all diplomatic means to end this crisis, and that means quickly enacting the strongest possible
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measures here in the u.s. security council. >> south korea responded today with a massive show of force, live fire drills, f. 15 fighter jets in a simulated attack against north korea. now, north korea claims its latest bomb was small enough to fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the united states. u.s. intelligence analysis is on going, but initial indications are what it says it was. president trump now considering its options in the cries that he's dealt with since taking office. >> a year of strategic patients with the north korea regime has failed. many years and it's failed. and frankly, that patience is over. >> 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
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seen. >> i can tell you what i said, that's not strong enough. some people said it was too strong. it's not strong enough. but kim jong-un, i respect the fact that i believe he is starting to respect us. >> mr. president, will you attack north korea? >> we'll see. >> so the thing we have to think about are the military stakes. there's extremely high. 25 million people live in south korea's capital of seoul, which is just 35 miles from the border. also 140,000 americans are in the neighborhood, including 28.5,000 u.s. troops. there are more troops in the area in japan, hawaii, guam and other parts of asia. right across the border to the north korean side of it, there are 1.2 million north korean regular soldiers and 7.7 million
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reserveists. so north korea has a massive land army. north korea is stimd to possess 10 to 20 nuclear weapons. that of course is dwarfed by the almost 7,000 each that are in the ars analysis of the united states and russia. and all thf is extremely concerning given north korea's missile capability and the ability to reach japan, the united states and guam. these missiles have about a 5,500 mile capability. chicago is at about 6400. san francisco is about 5,500. los angeles is 5,900. alaska is much closer. let's talk a little bit more about the developments in south korea. joining me live now are gordon chang, he's the author of nuclear show down. he's also a daily beast column nis. abraham denmark, former deputy defense secretary of east asia.
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gentlemen, good to see you. gordon, let me start with you. we've just received word on what president trump discussed with the south korean president today. let me read this to you. the president donald j. trump spoke today with the president moon jae-in of south korea. president trump provided his conceptual approval for the purchase of many billions of dollars worth of military weapons from u.s. by south korea. is there an implication there that we should know about? we know that north korea buys u.s. military weapons. we have a mutual defense agreement with them. any news here? >> the big news is that the united states agreed to scrap all limits to the pay loads that north korean missiles can launch and that's important because we have this 1979 agreement with the south koreans, severely what they can do. those limits are now going to be taken out, and that's going to, of course, upset north korea. but it will also upset china, because china has been very
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concerned about the remill tarization of south korea because south korea is actually gaining some important capabilities. beijing is going to be really, really upset. >> they don't like that sort of thing happening. before we stalk about china, donald trump has again been treating in the last couple of days about breaking off trade agreements with south korea. it's a very strange strategy. he's talking to the president of south korea. they're sharing military strategy as it relates to north korea, and we're talking about breaking off a trade agreement. that's behind that? >> well, it's difficult to say really. the message coming out of the trump administration, including from the president himself, has been quite chaotic really since the beginning of his administration. if you look at the statements he's made, he has said that diplomacy is the objective. he's said that diplomacy is off the table. he even just a few hours after his statements that diplomacy is off the table some of the secretaries have said actually, that's a key to our strategy.
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so this is really fairly consistent with the behavior that we've seen and the rhetoric that we've seen coming from the trump administration, which has really been fairly quite chaotic and it's unclear and unmoord how it connects to any sense of a real strategy towards north korea. >> let's talk about trade and as it relates to china because the president tweeted that he wants to cut off trade with anybody who does any business with north korea, gordon. obviously china is the main one we're thinking about and obviously it would be crippling to cut off trade with china, for the u.s. to cut off trade with china. there's sort of some space between cutting off and not cutting off trade with china, right. >> yes. and we know that the secretary mnuchin said yesterday he's going to put together a sanctions package. we could sanction companies that deal with north korea. we wouldn't deal with them. the other thing that we could do and this could very well be a cover for basically trump to go after the largest chinese banks.
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>> right. >> because many people would say that's not as bad as cutting off all trade with north korea -- than china. this is going to be, i think, the linchpin of our strategy going forward because the chinese banks have been money laundering for the north koreans. that's a vulnerability for china because once we take one of those big banks out of the global financial system then for the first time an american president has demonstrated to the chinese that we're putting a really high priority on our own security. because cutting off a chinese bank would also hurt us but it would say to the chinese we're willing to take main in order to deal with the north koreans. i think that would have a beneficial affect on they xi jinping looks at us. >> north korean companies sort of set up did you mean my corporations in china. they do business with chinese banks. doing what gordon says seems to be an obvious strategy. it's very similar to the strategy the united states used when trying to isolate iran by telling countries you can't deal with them on a financial basis.
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why don't we do that? >> well, it certainly makes sense and the trump administration has begun already to put some sanctions on bad chinese actors, actors that are doing business with north korea. unfortunately, the new yorkness have in the past proved quite adid he want at circumventing these with did you mean my corporations, other sorts of tactics that they've used to get around some of these sanctions. so it certainly makes sense to incorporate secondary sanctions, but it really gets to, i think, a more fundamental question, which is is there a certain degree of economic pain that could be inflicted on north korea through international sanctions, through these unilateral sanctions that we're discussing that would convince kim jong-un to come back to the negotiating table and to begin real discussions about denuclearization. and there's a lot of -- >> ron, there was an amount of pain that you could impose that would cause iranians to actually
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rebel against the government. that's not the same thing in north korea. there's a much smaller number of people that kim jong-un seems to be interested in keeping happy. it's not the general populous. okay, guys, thanks very much for joining me. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> okay. pass hurricane harvey relief, pass a budget, raise the debt ceiling, fix hell care, the russia investigation. that's a hell of a to-do list for congress. we're going to go live to the nation's capitol next.
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we're just one day away from lawmakers returning to capitol hill after a five-week summer recess. hopefully it's been a restful vacation because they have a massive to do list before them. first and foremost, they have to pass disaster funding for tens of thousands affected by harvey. they have to pass a budget and raise the debt ceiling. they have it keep the government open. reform the tax code and health care. won't see much movement on that and delving into the russia probes amid new revelations between the trump campaign and russia. that's exhausting just reading that list. this is for a congress that has a uniquely bad reputation for actually getting stuff done. >> that's right.
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the funny thing is that list that you listed as long as it was, that's not even all of it. those were the big things though. what we should watch out for was wednesday that's when the house will vote on harvey aid. it's an almost $8 billion package. it's expected to go through very easily with a lot of bipartisan support and then over to the senate. that's where things could get complicated. republican leadership are talking about adding debt ceiling raise to that harvey aid. senator roy blunt said as much yesterday on "meet the press." that could cause problems for republicans. a lot of conservatives don't like to lift the debt ceiling and that ten abls tenables the o pay their bills so things could get ugly even with harvey disaster relief and that doesn't include that they have to pass all 12 appropriations bills by september 30th or give themselves an extension. they have a lot of reauthorizations that are also under the limelight including
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flood insurance, which is especially important in light of what happened in texas and louisiana. so while it's not only going to be just a busy fall. it could also be a very contention fall as well. >> they've added a couple things here. president trump and others are talking about getting something done with health care, which was the sort of disaster that has occupied this congress since the beginning. and then he's reintroduced this tax reform stuff even though there isn't really a bill yet on that. so for an already crowded agenda, do we think that those two things have a likelihood of getting done at least in the next month or talked about in the next month in any meaningful way. >> there's some people that want health care reform to still happen. there's a bill by lindsey graham and bill cassidy. it was supposed to be scored by the congressional budget office, and that was supposed to be released over the last few weeks. it hasn't yet and that's a big sign that there probably is not a path forward on health care. taxes, a must do thing for republicans. they need to show the american
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people that they are productive in doing something. but they're behind schedule on that. they would like to do that before the end of this year. we should not expect to see any legislative text before the end of the month. >> all right. and the border wall. president trump said he's prepared to go to the wall on the border wall even if it means shutting down the government. has that changed because of harvey? >> it could very well have changed because of harvey. i'm talking to republicans who say, look, this is not a time to shutdown the government. the federal government needs to be active right now especially with this disaster relief. so i think there's no appetite right now for a government shutdown. >> good to talk to you. thank you so much. a very busy september. coming up, while texas still faces a flood emergency and developing threat in the tropics and a new state of emergency as hurricane irma grows stronger and could impact parts of the u.s. mainland. that's next. starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world.
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the governor of puerto rico issued a state of emergency as a powerful hurricane heads its way. hurricane irma is a category 3 storm and it could go stronger. irma is moving west and will pass close to puerto rico and could threaten south florida and the florida keys in the coming days. now, we're going to take a look right now it's headed -- it looks headed right for cuba. it's a few days out so it could change track and end up even further north into the united
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states. we'll stay on top of this for you. thank you for watching this hour of msnbc live. i'm ali velshi. "hardball" starts right now. lord of the flies. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. they're dropping like flies. donald trump has shed almost all of his senior staff. the result one of the most chaotic unstable west wings in recent history. take a look at this incredible photo. it's of the men pictured in late january. the only ones that remain in that picture of president trump and vice president pence. then there was the firing of james comey i


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