tv Morning Joe MSNBC September 5, 2017 3:00am-6:00am PDT
>> cutting rug, isn't that -- >> that's like a 1930s or maybe 50s. >> he's also the author of "the world in disarray." >> hold on a second. >> what? >> korean barbecue ribs, wonderful. >> the kimchi. >> that's a great recipe. >> people who haven't red "woad "world in disarray", the barbecue section. >> we're going to begin with the latest on the increasingly volatile situation in the north korea peninsula where they say they completed a nuclear test.
president trump, secretary of defense jim mattis and ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley each spoke out about north korea and its leader. >> reporter: mr. president, will you attack north korea? >> eel swe'll see. >> we have many military options and the president wanted to be briefed on all of them. any threat will be met with a massive military response, both effective and overwhelming. 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. >> to the members of the
security council, i must say enough is enough. we have taken an incremental approach and despite the best of intentions it has not worked. his abusive use of missiles and his nuclear threats show that he is begging for war. >> richard haas, we'll get to those comments in a minute. those were the comments that were choreographed and the sort of comments you would expect during this sort of crisis, but what the diplomatic world is talking about certainly what our allies in south korea are talking about this morning are the attacks the president of the united states made on the south koreans. suggesting that they were appeasing the north koreans and also talking about inexplicably starting a trade war with the south koreans at the very moment
that they are at risk of an all-out hot war that could cost millions of lives on the peninsula. sort through that for us. >> it's a sign that the national security process, which is designed to make sure something like this doesn't happen is not working because all focus ought to be on collaborating with south korea against north korea. one of north korea's strategic aims is to split the u.s. from north korea. >> this would be like fdr attacking germany in the fall 1939, right before the air blitz on done done, the battle of britain. why would we attack a longstanding ally on the eve of a possible wa are? >> the answer is we shouldn't be. there's already enough tension.
what they care more about now we're worried that north korea poses a treat to us directly. there's a tension between instead, we want to figure out can we come up with a common stance or a north korea that are able to deliver nuclear power around the world. >> how how can you be adopting the united states turning and on a completely different point, talking about a naristic trade war with this country that's literally on the cutting edge of
what could you a nuclear concentration. >> or at least again to explain is failure of his own policy. we have to remember that in moving last weekend to test, we believe a hydrogen bomb, to significantly escalate the confrontation between the united states and north korea, kim jong un rebuffed, a pr in federal court insitting them into negotiations, cred etting nem
the state department officials were describing in private, in detail where they thought this was going. last weekend patrd that. so the president i think is now scrambling. he always reacts impulsively, i think, toso the red rick of apays.opinion i think they were put in separate category and there's now intensive discussion behind the scenes about new diplomatic efforts centering on the effect of pressure has only been to rush capability to take faster and they are now a clur
dprsh where she said the independent for half measures is over, enough is enough. what is left to do that hasn't been done offer the last decade in terms of aeng prng the short answer is if the oo lot fmt north korea hoose already begun to sfrnl and there's black markets and gray marks. >> they're willing to have their people starve in order to support them. so sanctions aren't the answer. >> so is it a hilt response or nothing? >> at some point get swim many and now it's down to a binary
point. oot we learn to live with north korea, we admit forces to the region, maybe we'll say we'll use military force in they get a missile ready to launch or we launch as the national security advisers was talking about, a preventive strike. we say this has reached an intolerable point, let's cut through this. there's either a military option or there's acceptance of north korea by -- >> it's binary. >> so bain airy. so where is most of the foreign policy community m. >> most are saying as bad as it is, we can live with it and
balance it. >> let talk about what that means. that means the. community is again, this is not a single community. >> but that is a choice. >> that is a choice. i this what they're upd estimating is right now he's close to a point where he could attack several american city ps what they haven't dealt with is in five or ten years, he could impose a threat to american society. maybe he had 20 or 30 sfwrrnl
it's been the are the that people are notle to strip it down to has been into the wp and selling inons to isis or you have a military response? there's not really any middle ground. and that you will this talk about sanctions really is just nonsensible. is. >> with all due respect to to my friend richard haass.
i'm always worried when people describe themselves as binary choices. nm the reality is there are lots of intermediatia options along the wu it it. sfm spchl tirifying the japanese people, what was the most recent example of this. so i think that the question really is action is going to be taken to deal with this threat, the idea of simply accommodating it, i don't see that on the table but what and on a fairly wide menu of possible next steps or officials considering, i thought we heard a little bit of that from secretary of defense mattis, the coolest head in this
>> this to me is a fundamental question i don't have an answer to. o deterrence for -- throughout the cold war and particularly with the u. sncht s.r.fa the people who run the thinks we're deterring frrp f that under normal circumstances is someone who is not considered rationale. i asked if this is a person sfp
it may also be that he wants to use the nuclear weapons to give himself protection. look what happened to ukraine when they gave up their nuclear weapons. another school of thought is offensive. he wants to have this as a shield. he can, among or thanksgiving? snp specific we'll have to look at what risks to takes, there as from jim mattis can i will.
>> that has been the biggest intelligence challenge for this administration, arguably as for the one before, understanding what makes kim jong ill fsk he already long deterred sek pb the missiles that would take out sole. sfchlt that that's what he's rushing toward. president trump has tried toing isle pa is spm the issue that i never. >> what is the.
ff on the road. would the chinese cutting off oil exports to north kpree okay, talked about tougher at that and will going to have to face decisions they didn't want to face, like china. >> as we talk about these two leaders and then mattis and till areson and kelly, the only problem is when you talk about the mags ality of the leaders and a will the of this conversation, i honestly did not know which leader you were talking about, l it was trump and the north korean leader. and that's the sort of the elephant in the room, that we are dealing with a president that some might argue is very hungry for war or is hungry to
make unhinged decisionsand i'm not sure how much influence our foreign policy leaders have over that ultimately had a decision is made. you remember over a year ago general hayden staying on our show that it was quick, it's quick when it happens. so there's in part was. sfm a major nuclear tests. north korea has a strog mag nrngs south korea, i have told them their talk of frj to
it. f. >> well, you could do that if you want mrk's dgp toflchlt p from something he's not going to carry out, what does that mean to his word around the world and his 67, you never want people to start distonighting fvgt it not inconceivables north korea will suddenly announce ld. from. from. >> level of nuclear kprmt skprmt
that was an important wrinkle. there as difference between what masters and mcmast are has been saying. mcmaster has been talking about a a would you mean out of the fly f what that could mean, if we see, say, tomorrow a myself ffrmt but simply trying take out a single missile. >> i opened this before before we close the wlork, blich
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the notion that we would just arbitrarily or because of politics punish those kids when they didn't do anything wrong themselves i think would be something that would merit me speaking out. >> and that was president obama in his final news conference before he left office in january on what it would take to bring him out and start speaking during the trump presidency. well, that condition may be met today as president trump is expected to announce -- >> a non-announcement. >> a none announcement. >> because that's the thing. >> it's not really an announcement. it's a huge news conference you're all expected to watch at
11 and it isn't anything that's happening. >> it could be an announcement. >> it might be a transgender like -- >> there's word for this -- fake news. >> everyone should be shocked right now. attorney general jeff sessions set to hold a briefing on the program known as daca at 11:00 this morning. two sources tell mbc news to end the program he's actually not going to end tood will come with a six-month delay. but they also strez -- this is very important -- the decision is not final until it is announced. >> i thought they were announcing it today. >> the bases already thought he ended daca program. >> see p so this is just messaging from the base but isn't actually happening? >> steve heilemann, let's say, for instance, your former campaign manager had his home
raided at 6 a.m. in the morning, right? >> ooh, transgender. transgender! >> a couple hurs later you say i am now banning all transgender personnel from serving in the military, to which the joint chiefs go, what? >> this is a little bit different than that merely in the sense that this is actually something where his hand is being forced by rerlt. the transgender thing came out of nowhere. there were no pending court cases, he was not under any real pressure to do that. that was a pure distraction. >> a blur. >> today seems like, again, we don't know what jeff sessions is going to say. it's sword of extraordinary given the high profile of this issue, the level of controversy attending to it, how much pressure trump's been under that he's going to send jeff sessions out to not take questions on whatever it is he's going to unveil today.
>> but it's not an unveiling. it's six month ps. >> but we'll see. >> but this is not the ending of the program, this the president kicking the can down the road for six months. i think it was maggie haberman who said there's always a lawsuit coming around the corner, there's always a huge press conference two weeks from now, there's always a new bill since he's been president of the united states that we're going to unveil next week. look over there. it is james carville, look at the bird, look at the bird. while something's going on in front of your face. he's not going to get his wall. so he distracts with an announcement that, julie, could it just well be a non-announcement because this daca program will not end in six months? >> it certainly could be a nonannouncement where he buysically says i'm planning to
end this but only in six months and only if congress doesn't act. i think the problem, though, just in terms of the practical of the program is that you're going to create this huge amount of uncertainty among these dreamers as 800,000 dreams are who are around the country, who are working, who are in school, serving in the military, do some of them choose to leave the country rather than see what happens overs next six months? do folks not enrolled in the program refuse to give their personal information in case it does end? it's going to create a lot of uncertainty and i think it's going to be damaging for the country. >> i think it's the president again engaging in a form of bullying. making people uncomfortable of using his words which are not backed up by bu he's bullying.
>> he's playing to his base, doing something that's faking aggressive back but all he's doing is passing on to general there and, by the way, all the whining on twitter, my god. members of congress stop using twitter like you don't have a voting card. and if you're in the leadership, no more tweets about dreamers, all right? put legislation on the floor and pass it. these members of congress tweet as if they have no power. it is -- it's just a -- seriously, you know what? they need to go to the wizard of oz and get courage. >> we have a powerful former
member, he's a man of courage. >> a lothe says we as americans do not hold children legally responsible for the actions of their parents." a lot of republicans coming out saying this was aaor craft the statement in a way where you can see the states. with regard to the military, one of the more astonishing things is you had the leadership of all the branches of the military that come the president will be
curious to see if they do something very similar on this front. i hope i get a chance to talk about north korea but when you look at the debt ceiling, the budget resolution and what's obviously occupied the minds and labor of so much people hurricane and o if you don't support my wall we won't move forward to a budget resolution and it may giving vehicle for some of these other things to be done, so i'll be curious to see how they balance what clearly -- i cannot remember -- i'm only 47 but i don't remember when i was in congress a plate this big in
this kwens twengs prurn. >> at least give 218 house members something they want and maybe paul ryan in all the things that are in front of him will say sfrks we're going to give you this tax cut pu you're going to have to pass dhaka and mack permanent. >> and senator mckpanl. >> attacking republicans.
>> he's going to need to get all these things done? >> and he and his family went to who is ton nfrm john corker, lindsey graham, mitch mmm connell. . and significant public officials and 60% of americans, not me, not me, i just want to be very clear here, but just for the record, a fox news poll and the head of the foreign relations committee and several others questioning his ability. not me. solid as a rock. look at that. he's solid as a rock. but however, of 30% f.
>> this has been one of the most forly used august resources that i can imagine for the president. as willie said, he has intended to common your. >> i could go on. >> that's not crazy, brpg. >> this would have been challenging periods for any president if you were l about fwrm donald trump is now going to be having to multi-.
hoob, if unless i lod my preem. from. >> it shows he's going to have a challenge in 2020. he needs to stay out of the way and let mitch mcconnell and paul ryan do their jobs. >> still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> with nancy pelosi's happy. >> the president's legal team may need some counseling of its own. one of his lawyer forwarded an e-mail echoing secession iist propaganda. and we'll talk to natasha bertrand head team morning. ♪ who's to blame, that girl just
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. >> that's all you got? you don't have the -- >> what about the family when they came down, ivanka and ja d jared? >> willie, let's explain. >> that's obviously a photo-op for the president, who did a nice job going down there twice. let's give him credit for going down there. mr. president, put that in the bucket. >> where do you tut put that? >> right back in the bed. >> why? what does that have to do with anything? >> he hands it in the front window of the guy driving, gives him the bucket. >> it's better when you see it.
>> you have to just take it because the president put it it in the wrong place. here's your bag of cement. you have a whole like back there -- >> the flatbed you mean. >> that's why they call it a truck. >> you put it right here. >> there you go. >> i am totally -- >> okay, i'll put that on the gear shift. >> okay, we'llle put it here. >> there you go. >> i'll bet they're not breaking this down on "fox and friends." >> coming up next, senator john mccain set to return to washington today for the first time since calling on congress to return to regular order. >> we'll read the op-ed next on
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senator john mccain returns to washington this week after beginning chemotherapy last month in cancer. the arizona republican penned a blistering op ed last friday calling for an end to washington dysfunction as congress comes back to work after its august recess. he called for congress to return to regular order and said the institution is not meant to govern like it currently is and, quote, relies on compromise between opposing sides. mccain also implored his fellow legislators to stand up to president trump calling him impulsive and poorly informed. writing we are not his subordinates. we don't answer to him. >> he remained critical of the president in italy while at a forum, a major international economic policy conference along with senator lindsey graham and
the director of national intelligence dan coats. mccain told the audience i realize i come to italy at a time when many are questioning whether america is still committed to remaining engaged in the world, to upholding our traditional alliances and standing up for the values we share. american remains committed to truth over falsehood, fairness over injustice, freedom over oppression, and the immortal spirit of human kind. he also added that nato allies and european partners can still count on america. >> he also admitted it is true that there's a real debate underway in my country about what kind of role should play in the world, and frankly, i do not know how this debate will play out. >> let me go to julie first. congress returns this week. and there are so many members of congress not just through the
trump age or the obama age or even the bush age that have said for a very long time, we've got to return to regular order. we've got to go through committees. we've got to go through conferences. we've got to do this the way we've been doing it for 200 years. so i would guess there are a lot of members who agreed with john mccain in his op ed. >> absolutely. members having say this for a long time. they're not able to put it into practice. i often feel like i'm living in the reverse of the obama years where democrats were in charge doing things on their own. now republicans are in charge trying to do things on their own. there's little attempt at real legislation. when you have legislation that's bipartisan, it's a surprise and a shock here to see that happen. and you think about everything that's coming at lawmakers this fall, government funding, the debt ceil, now harvey aid, potentially daca, and you think
about if it was a different environment and they were doing things through regular order and attempts at bipartisan, how much different washington would look, but that's not the reality, and if mccain comes out and says this every day until the end of the year, it's not going to change much, i don't think. >> david, think how extraordinary it is when we read the statement from john mccain in italy yesterday that he had to go out publicly and say before the world that the united states treasures truth over falsehood, freedom over oppression and reaffirming american commitment to justice. a place america never before found itself having to state that publicly, because it was implied in our values and our ideals even if we didn't reach them perfectly. what's the view right now outside the world, in a place like italy where senator mccain was yesterday of this administration of the way america is headed? >> if you look at global polls, they show quite catastrophic decline in support from
traditional allies in the united states and this president, the numbers are remarkable. i haven't seen anything like them. it's a period when you think thank goodness there are people like senator john mccain who can express into the country is about powerfully and believably. you listen to john mccain and you know this is coming from the bedrock to the country. there are a lot of members of congress who are the same way, and really believe that president trump is an outlier in his views. the problem with talking about returning to regular order, regular order has beendecade. it doesn't work. they've been trying to solve the immigration problem since 2010. john boehner couldn't do it. none of the republicans can. so as much as i admire senator mccain, i don't think regular order is there working now to solve problems. >> richard, what about the questions he raised about america's place in the world?
>> he said something important. the debate going on in this country about our role in the world, is far bradd broader tha it has been in the modern era. most of the debates were small. we had certain assumptions. i think donald trump introduced a presidency without assumptions. there's no givens about america's role. john mccain put his finger on the most warring thing for the rest of the world. they no longer can gear their expectations. they can no longer count on the united states to be the united states they thought they knew. >> you remember the soviet union, they would say things outrageous that were patently false, and you just knew that's the way the soviet union did business. they lied. baghdad bob, same thing with baghdad bob. it sent a message across the world. i'm not trying to be funny when i say we have a president of the
united states who will lie or distort facts every single day. and that sends a message to people across the globe like the soviets did from 1918 to 1991. >> i remember when i was a kid, the joke was the soviets say we invented baseball, and it made everybody laugh, because it was well, it was baghdad bob like. we do have a president who says things that just have the world scratching their heads thinking is this america? is that what i just heard? >> if republicans take a look at that op ed. david and julie, thank you very much. zblnch co coming up, the u.s. splits with south korea over the response -- over the reaction. we'll talk to ben cardin and senator ed markey. and glen thrush with his reporting on a series of issues from trump's decision to take on south korea to the president's
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hailman. >> my kids are going back to school. >> how wonderful. >> yours aren't? >> one is. >> mine either. >> what's the deal? >> they go back friday for 45 minutes and then monday for real. >> friday? no. today is school. >> i don't understand. >> 45 minutes on friday? what do they do? >> give them a desk? who knows. >> give them a pencil. >> wonderful place. it just starts late. >> don't you want them to go to school? >> yeah. >> that's amazing. >> in florida they would put us in august 8th or something. >> mika seems to be craving the empty nest. >> i've never had an empty nest. i wouldn't know what that's like. anyhow, it's lovely to have the girls home, actually. i've had a wonderful summer with them. >> i can tell. >> no, really. >> all right. >> i'm sorry. >> the chickens are wonderful. >> baby bumba.
>> she's amazing. i'll get you pictures from yesterday. >> john, do not encourage her. or there will be mountain goats. >> we also have the president -- >> richard hoss also former democratic congressman harold ford junior. >> i'd like to encourage one of the mountain goats to be named ho hoss. >> and also our correspondent, glen. >> good to see you. >> straighten up here. >> he's sort of the baby bumba of this panel. >> i don't know what they're talking about. how was your labor day weekend? >> i worked. >> we knew that. we begin this hour again with the latest on north korea with the possibility of war hanging in the balance. >> it comes after the regime claimed it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb on sunday. it's pyongyang's sixth nuclear test. the first during the trump
administration and appears to be their most powerful to date. the chinese morn ministry don kem -- condemned the test along with russia. ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley suggested the latest provocation marks a turning point for the world. >> mr. president, will you attack north korea? >> we'll see. >> we have many military options and the president wanted to be briefed on each one of them. any threat to the united states or its territories including guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming. we are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely, north korea. as i said, we have many options to do so. >> to the members of the security council, i must say enough is enough.
we have taken an incremental approach, and despite the best intentions, it has not worked. his abusive threat of missiles and nuclear threats show he is begging for war. >> richard hoss, the mattis comments obviously were tough, but they were measured in this sense. effectively restated, u.s. policy toward korea for years. if you attack one of our neighbors, we're going to attack you. was it really that much of a departure? >> i may be overreading into it, but i think he introduced a new wrinkle. if you pose a threat, we'll act. they posed a threat to south korea and to u.s. forces there for a generation or two, but they haven't posed a direct threat to us. that's what's different. i took it that mattis was signaling that under certain circumstances we might be prepared to take out missiles on launching pads before they could get over japan or toward guam.
>> you read that statement as a statement endorsing the idea of possible preemptive strikes? >> i did. the idea of preemption, that we would act against an imminent threat which is different than a gathering threat. the idea that if they put something on the launch pad, and we're not sure what's on it or where it's aimed, how do we know they won't do it to us? i think that's a legitimate issue to be debating. >> speculation about north korea's aims have centered around a seat at the big boy's table. they want us to accept they'll have nuclear weapons and have fewer troops in south korea. some have suggested the tests are aimed at chinas and encouraging them to force us to sit down with them. do you interpret some of this
tests and this range of tests over the last seven months as directed at urging china to sit down with them? >> there's no love loss between north korea and china. north korea wants to create facts with nuclear program. north korea wasn't trust china and china will put pressure on them. they want to create a new reality. it's against china, us, south korea, and japan. north korea is saying we're here to stay, and you have to treat us much more carefully and take our interests into greater account, and by the way, they can now put pressure on us in south korea. they might say we can hide behind our nuclear weapons and do things. >> is china powerful in this relationship? >> it could be, but it's not, because china wants a buffer state. china will never use all its influence or north korea, because it fears destabilizing
them. they will never be a full partner. it's a limited partner of the united states. that's where nikki haley is going to be frustrated. >> let's branch out the column nation and bring in gordan chang. and former nato supreme allied commander now the dean of the fletcher school of law at tufts university, retired four star admiral, chief international and diplomacy analyst for msnbc. admiral, how do you think this plays out, based on the patterns of president trump himself, psychologically and the words he's used in. >> i'm tempted to reach for "game of thrones" and say winter is coming. both literally and figuratively. i think the chances of an actual shooting war on the korean peninsula have risen pretty
significantly. i still think it's not the main chance, but i'd say it's verging 10%, maybe 15%. that's very worrisome. the question is what do we do? you have the three options we've discussed which are a military option, put increasing pressure on with sanctions, or kind of live with it as richard was advocating last hour. i think you can probably do a mix of two and three, and i think that's where it's headed. but, boy, when i look at jim mattis who i've known for 30 years, and i hear the tone in his voice and i see the look in his eyes, i hope that kim jong-un is listening. >> he may be unpredictable, but he has -- he is scheming into danger. >> gordan, maybe you could help us answer a question. that's the question of whether or not north korea can even be deterred. what would deter kim jong-un? he's getting the attention of the world. he's getting the respect he
craves. sanctions have been on this country for a generation. he hasn't seemed to mind that even as his own people starve underneath him. is there a way to deter this man, and if so, what can be done that hasn't been done already over decades of sanctions? >> we have deterred him, because he hasn't launched a war against south korea. >> yet. >> you got to be concerned. a couple things. beginning in january and continuing through february, there were a series of events that told us that there was extreme turbulence in the regime. for instance, there was the execution of five senior subordinates in the state security and the tension of the minister himself. and, of course, there was the assassination of kim jong-un's elder half brother. the other thing that's concerning is that kim jong-un has been talking about final victory, and in recent months and indeed that's a code word for taking over south korea. and the question is what does
north korea want? well, yes, it wants security and other things, but also it has to achieve the core goal of the kim regime which is to rule the entire peninsula and kim jong-un has been talking to his generals that this is going to be imminent. i've got to be concerned that he might do something that would surprise us. >> what would stop him? to my question, if it's not more sanctions, if they don't concern him, what would stop him from going to a point -- he lobbed a test missile over japan. what would stop him from attacking japan? >> two things. first of all, as the admiral said, it's the stare in secretary mattis's eye. the second thing is that we could actually start to increase the pressure on north korea in ways that were considered unimaginable a few months ago. for instance, if we start to move against china, against their banking system, put their country at risk, which we could do by enforcing u.s. law and going after the money laundering chinese banks, the chinese might
actually start to do things that we thought were impossible. i think it is generally accepted that china won't put a lot of pressure on north korea. but that's only because we're not putting a lot of pressure on china, and president trump has signalled j especially with his tweets about embargoes, that he is willing to consider things that we weren't willing to talk about last week. >> john? >> glen thrush, i have a question for you which is to go back to something the admiral was talking about when he referred to secretary mattis's, the tone in his voice. at this moment, there have been various places where the president and his national security team have been at odds or in different places. on north korea, from your reporting and your sense of things, does it seem like president trump and his national security high command mcmaster, mattis, tillerson, are they in sync right now? there's some internal tension there? >> i think they're in sync on
this policy as they are on anything. i think there was a little bit of concern a couple weeks ago, actually, in july when the president was sort of tweeting in a really bombastic way that sort of he crayoned outside the lines. i think john kelly has roped that in. if you note what's been happening in terms of sequencing, you'll see a statement, a fairly measured normally written statement coming out of the white house after one of these north korean prof kagss followed by the president's tweets. my reporting shows that kelly and his national security team is actually reviewing in most cases, most of the tweets that have to do with foreign policy. and i think the larger question is what would hillary clinton be doing that would be different on this. the one thing i would say is the language from nikki haley at the u.n. yesterday and mattis's language to some extent is unnuanced. the question i have would
hillary clinton be or her surrogates be putting out a more complex message or would they be forced to kind of use this bat man -- this bat man versus the super villians message? >> i think the short answer is this would be a national security challenge for anybody. county clinton wouldn't have threatened a trade war at this moment. but the idea that north korea is finally at the point where it poses a serious direct threat to the security of the united states and if we didn't do anything about it over the next five years, they would threaten american society. i think that is something the clinton administration would have had to deal with fundamentally and frontally. and the same debate this administration is having about the potential forces of use, i think the clinton would have had. you probably could have had an arms control component. i think there could have been more of a diplomatic component
to the clinton administration. that's one of the mysteries here. why haven't we done anything in eight months. where is rex tillerson? why isn't there a proposal? if we want to freeze the north korean programs, why don't we say this is what we're prepared to do. i don't think why there not a diplomatic initiative. >> others could ask why we haven't done more over the past quarter century. jimmy carter was sent by bill clinton in 1984 in an attempt to try to do something meaningful in north korea. the north koreans used that to lie and to begin the nuclear program in earnest, and then the same thing happened under george w. bush. barack obama for eight years. it's always weeping and gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands by republicans and democrats alike. at what point do we realize that
all this talk of sanctions and the tough talk at the u.n. and the tough talk from secretaries of state and the tough talks from presidents does absolutely nothing? >> yeah. we've kind of boiled the frog on this one. but i think that temperature on the frog kicked over with the hydrogen bomb. i would add three things to what richard said a moment ago. one is we need to talk more to the south koreans and be aligned with them. this gets to the diplomatic point. the idea that we're going to abrogate the trade agreement is idiotic. we need to exercise our cyber options. they're subtle. they're not for public consumption, but there are options there. and in addition to the missile defense we need to up game the intelligence. what we really have here is a failure to understand kim jong-un. the south koreans understand him a lot better than we do. i think those are components that need to be added to the mix
along with the things richard mentioned? >> admiral, thank you very much. and gordan chang, thank you as well. glen thrush, let's talk about daca. some question about whether the president is just pandering to his base or whether he's planning to do anything significant here. it looks like he just kicked the can down the road for six more months. what's your reporting telling you? >> reporter: well, it feels like ground hog day. doesn't this strike you as similar to barack obama's problem with guantanamo bay. he made a campaign promise that was unavoidable and unfulfillable. he has a situation here where a vast majority of americans and the majority of people in his own party don't want him to do this. and he's got steven miller and particularly a somewhat resurgent jeff sessions telling him that he has to do this. and really, it's sessions and miller who have essentially created this crisis. i can tell you from my
reporting, paul ryan doesn't want to deal with this right now and mitch mcconnell definitely doesn't want to deal with this right now. it's the last thing they need when they're confronting the debt ceiling issues. >> are they going to deal with it along with everything else? is this really the frog they want to boil? >> i can't imagine for the reasons glen said, i can't imagine that's the case. there is a very small, very loud caucus or chorus in the republican party that wants to do this, but the leadership does not. they don't want to do it probably ever, and they certainly don't want to do it now. to your point, trump's kicked the can down the road six months. congress wants to kick the can down the road further. >> but -- >> what happens is eventually the ball comes back to trump again and we'll see what happens then. it seems the likelihood of anything happening in the next
six months -- >> it's a distraction. president trump expected to announce end to dau ka. it's not true. it's six months delay and then the language is until it's announced. it's an announcement that's not an announcement which leads me to believe it's a distraction. so let's go through the list of things he would rather us not look at. let's start. what is it today? the wall? is it the fact that the justice department said that he lied about obama ware tapping trump tower and it came out friday and announced monday. >> glen, you can look at these sort of announcements that are nonsensical, that mean nothing, and it's usually a sop to the base, because he knows something else is coming out. we talked about paul manafort's home being raided three hours later the transgender tweet. now he understands he's not going to get funding for the wall even mark meadows, the head
of the freedom caucus says you're not going to get funding for the wall. what does he do? he makes a nonannouncement announcement, that makes it look like he's tough on illegal immigration, and then on little kids. when it's never going to come to fruition. >> and by the way, he's not even the one who's going to be making the announcement. we found out last night jeff ske sessions is going to be standing in it. here's the internal thing that's going on. john kelly successfully ejects steve bannon from the white house. so the moderates rejoice. well, trump is now completely ticked off at steve cohen for, gary koern, rather for the charlottesville and is icing him out at meetings, and trump is paying more attention to steve bannon than he has in the last six months. and bannon yesterday i'm told met with mark meadows at the embassy on capitol hill. so he is cooking something up.
there's all kinds of political intrigue going on on the president's right he's concerned with while this other stuff is going down. >> you look at the polling here. this is once again a 33% solution. the president is once again blocking off all escape routes. >> like everything else. you look at every poll, it's 33/66. every poll. >> it seems like everything he does, it plays to the heard 33%, and the only rational answer to this is this is a man that wants to get out of the white house and start a media company that just feeds on the 33%. because there is not a rational answer to why he continues to do things that offends two out of every three voters. and that for a while, after a while you have to say -- >> what's gary cohn still doing
there? >> it's not a mistake. for him, he knows what he's doing. he'll take his 33%, start a tv network, make billions. because -- i know we need a break -- but you and i have never met another politician who worked as hard to enrage two out of three voters in their district, in their state, or in their country. but that's exactly what this does. just like all of his other policies. two out of three americans don't like them, don't like him. >> he ran this way. he was successful this way in the campaign. he presented himself this way from the outset, and he's not changed. so in a lot of ways we're the ones that should be wondering why you've accepted it, but a lot of people in washington and other places have not accepted the fact this is who he is, and then to add more uncertainty to it, there's another hurricane brewing that could hit south
florida and create even more disarray on the part of the country. this is who he is, and we may be stuck with him unless he pursues the course you just laid out. >> which is starting a media company. >> glen flusthrush, thank you. >> he's not acting like a man who actually wants to ever see his approval ratings go beyond 39% again. >> perhaps one of the president's attorneys is a joe peshy fan. >> i bought a suit. you've seen it. now it's covered in mud. this town doesn't have a one-hour cleaners, so i had to buy a new suit. except the only store you could buy a new suit in has got the flu. you get that? the whole store got the flu, so i had to get this in a secondhand store. so it's either wear the leather jacket which i know you hate, or
this. so i wore this ridiculous thing for you. >> you on drugs? >> that's a good question. >> you break down the great movies of our time, legal movies of our time, you got "to kill a mocking bird ""and my cousin vinny. top two". >> a reporter asked the same question, are you on drugs when she started digging into the jim comey firing. we're going to talk to that reporter next on "morning joe." in the future, a nation's technology will determine its power. in its economy, in medicine, in science and in national security. one company designs and builds more supercomputers than any other. an american company.
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and confidence of the american people and the federal bureau of investigation. >> intelligence officials said there's investigation into potential ties between campaign officials and russian officials. >> that's not what this is about. >> that was mike pence back in may suggesting the russia investigation was not behind the firing of james comey. the president himself contradicted that saying the opposite. now the president's attorney confirmed reports that robert mueller has a droft letter describing trump's reasoning for the firing of the fbi director which unlike the final letter sent to comey included the russia investigation in the rationale. multiple outlets reported the president's thoughts were put in writing after discussions with aides jared kushner and steven miller 48 hours after comey testified before congress. "the new york times" reports trump ordered miller to draft a letter and several people described it as a skreed. reports say the president read
it aloud to others. later rod rosenstein was give an copy of the original letter and agreed to write a separate memo for trump about why comey should be fired. that focussed on the handling of the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. joining us michael schmidt, julia ioffi. michael, let me start with you. mueller has this letter in his possession. what do we know about what the president said originally in the draft letter? >> basically the president was at med minister the weekend before. he was supposed to play golf but it got rained out. he started stewing about comey and starts writing a letter to comey about why he's going to be firing him, why he's going to be getting rid of him, and steven
miller, his aide, is taking it all down and writing it down. and then the president comes back to washington that monday morning. he sits down with his staff in the oval office and says i'm going to fire comey. he hand it out, and starts reading aloud from the letter. his chief lawyer is there. mcgann becomes very concerned by what he sees in the memo. he thinks the rationale is a problem and begins an effort to stop the president from sending the letter. >> the president's instinct was to put down in writing i fired you because of the russia investigation. many pointed to his comments to lester holt where he said it was about russia as a path that could lead bob mueller to obstruction of justice. >> exactly. i think this is why mcgann's instringt was to stop him from sending the letter. the white house special counsel
pushed back on this idea that this letter was problematic at all in fact he said there was little or no pushback in the white house when trump was drafting it. at the same time "the new york times" reported that mcgann took the letter, made heavy edits and gave it back to miller. and then it was given to the doj. it's hard to believe that there was really no problem with this letter. >> again, julia, there can be no question that the president's instinct and what his intent was was to fire comey because of russia. we now have a draft letter. he was dictating and his interview with lester holt where he said i fired jim comey, the former fbi director because of the russia investigation. he said it out loud. >> that's true. i think it's kind of an open and shut case with comey. i think the other things we need to look into is, for example, why salliuates was fired.
was it because she refused enforce the president's immigration order or because she was continuing to carry out the russia investigation? and then there was the firing of the attorney in new york who trump asked to stay on but at the same time was looking into possible corrupt business dealings by people in trump's orbit. why was he fired? i think those are also possible avenues for investigation. >> harold? >> michael schmidt, quick question for you. we talked on this set about elements of obstruction of justice. your reporting in the mueller office, what have you learned or what are you learning about how they are di secting and coming to understand the draft letter as well as the president's comments about why he fired comey? does it rise to the level of obstruction in the eyes of mr. mueller's office? what does your reporting suggest? >> i want to collarify one thin.
the references to russia are related to comey's unwillingness to clear trump, to say that trump is not under investigation in public. some of that survives in the final version of the letter. now, it's a several-page letter, and we don't know everything in it. and the white house has insisted there's nothing as explicit as look, i'm trying to end the russia investigation or anything like that, but this get into the gray area of what mueller is trying to understand which was what was going through trump's mind. what were his intentions in the other thing we learned is the deputy attorney general, the person overseeing the investigation, had a copy of the letter, because basically had evidence that's in this case, and was in possession of it. he also knew about the letter when he wrote his memo which the white house then used as the rationalization for why trump fired comey. >> and then there's more news on
the relationship tweeb washington and the kremlin. russia claims the u.s. is planning inspections of diplomatic building in the united states calling it, quote, illegal, and unprecedented, aggressive action. however, there are reportedly no indications that the u.s. was planning any such searches. it comes after the u.s. state department announced last week that it is forcing russia to close three diplomatic buildings located in washington new york, and san francisco, and that it is planning to secure and maintain the property. that decision came in response to russia forcing staff cuts to the u.s. diplomatic mission in russia. julia, what's going on here? >> how -- that's such a long intro. you have to keep doing. which is in response to, which is in response to, which is in response to russia hacking our election and trying to influence our presidential election which the russians conveniently leave out, and deny ever happened. you also have a couple hours ago
vladimir putin saying that they might reduce the american diplomatic presence in russia by another 155 people which would effect the u.n. mission and also saying it's going to pursue claims in u.s. courts, property claims for those closed consulates saying the property rights of the russian federation have been violated. the problem here is the russians aren't copping to the original sin which is metaling in our election. to them, they can't ever admit to that. and so this, the problem is that this keeps going, right? which is in response to, which is in respon to, which is in response to. and where does it end, and how does this get ironed out? it's hard to see a bottom here. >> and are you on drugs, being asked that. what happened? >> i had written an article on saturday afternoon explaining
why don mcgann, if he's called to testify, why it could be devastating for the president. because if he were to tell this grand jury that the reason why he blocked trump from sending this letter was because he felt it could be legally problematic, that could be used by mueller as evidence of corrupt intent, obstruction of justice. ty cob was upset with the article. he wrote a letter writing it was exonerating, that's the word he used. in response to my followup questions, i asked then why wasn't the letter sent to comey directly? why was it sent to the doj. that's when he asked me are you on drugs? >> no, i'm not y. i'm asking you to clarify why it was never sent, and i never received a response. so -- >> thank you all.
and coming up, new reaction from vladimir putin. condemning north korea's nuclear test, but also warning against, quote, military hysteria. keir simmons joins us live from russia's border with north korea. "morning joe" is back in just a moment. it's time for a getaway. the lincoln summer invitation is on. now get our best offers of the season. on the agile mkc. and the versatile midsize lincoln mkx. or go where summer takes you in the exhilarating mkz. hurry in it's the final days of the lincoln summer invitation sales event. ending september 5th. right now, get zero percent apr plus 1,000 dollars
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welcome back to "morning joe." joining us now from near the north korean border, keir simmons. good morning. vladimir putin weighing in on the escalating tensions with north korea. what more can you tell us? >> it is late in the evening here, and the border with north korea is along the coast behind me there, and there are some incremental developments we could talk about. we could talk about in south korea the restrictions on south korea and missile payloads being lifted. a conversation between the president of south korea and president trump about the u.s. selling south korea more sophisticated weapons. we could talk about the reports that north korea is moving to
perhaps test another missile. all of these things are incremental important in the big picture. but i think significant is this intervention by president putin. he's been talking about north korea for a while. now he's saying it's a thinly veiled rebuke of president trump saying that the hisser tysteria north korea is senseless. vladimir putin talking about sanctions on north korea and comparing them to sanctions on russia. he is saying that he wants to see negotiation. but russia, and i'm starting here pointing it out. it has a huge interest in all of this. in a sense, i guess, vladimir putin has a lot to gain and a lot to lose. >> rich hoard hoss has a questi. >> it shows you why sanctions won't work, and it shows you that mr. putin gets up every morning and wants to be a spoiler. and this is why, again, this
entire issue -- you may disagree, it's going to have to boil down to what the united states is prepared to do or not to do, but the russians, chinese and others aren't going to bail us out here. >> keir? >> reporter: that's right. i'll tell you something. we're near the border with north korea. something we've seen today. we have seen north korean after north korean working on construction sites. they send the money back to north korea. you're left here that there's a strong link between russia and north korea, even more so for china. and it's difficult for america to if you kind of move into that, and push that out the way and push that aside, despite north korea being an ally that doesn't do them any favors and often doesn't make them look good your verdi good, they are predisposed to stand behind that ally, because a conflagration in north korea
would mean refugees pouring across the border. in it was nuclear, imagine the consequences for here, perhaps with radiation pouring over the border. >> keir simmons on the border. fascinating reporting. thank you. joining us now the ranking member to the senate foreign relations committee, ben cardin on maryland. senator, good morning. we've been talking about this going on two hours. we've had some of the brightest foreign policy minds around discussing it. there is no easy answer when it comes to north korea. what's the best answer as of 7:44 on this use morning? >> we all can agree there's no easy answer. north korea is extremely dangerous. the president, president trump's language, i think has only made the circumstance more dangerous and worse. we got to find a common interest. china is the country that can change the equation in north korea's calculation. i understand that china may have a different agenda than the
united states. china wants to make sure there's a communist north korea. the united states wants to make sure that north korea doesn't develop it nuclear capacity that could endanger the united states. both china and the united states would like this done without a military option. we got to find a common agenda working with china, and maybe russia, that can tone down this crisis. >> senator, respectfully, haven't we been trying that for a couple of decades now, a generation, in fact, to get china to get to north korea to no aveil? >> i think china believes the united states wants a unified korean peninsula controlled by a democratic governments. what china wants to make sure is that there's not a democratic country on their border on korea. so what i think we need to do is be able to assure the north koreans that with the security arrangement with china, that their security can be guaranteed
without the use of nuclear weapons. our main interest right now is to tone down, to deal with the nuclear threat of north korea. we got to find a common agenda. to use a military option could be catastrophic. >> good morning. general mattis spoke over the weekend and used the words unacceptable and intolerable. richard hoss suggests that language means we're prepared to deal with that threat as a country. should the president come before the congress and specifically ask for authorization to use force in light of general mattis's comments? >> well, he should ask force if he wants to use force. that's what i believe is the constitutional responsibility of separation of the branches. congress authorizes force. he should. at this point, though, i would hope that he is looking at a way of dealing with north korea without the use of a military option. a military option, its effectiveness is unclear.
what is clear is there could be extreme casualties. what we want to do, and i think china and russia probably agree with this, the military option puts their countries at risk also. we have to find at least explore a common agenda on diplomacy. there is no easy options here. but i believe what president trump is doing is making the situation even worse. >> ranking member of the foreign relations committee, senator ben cardin. thank you for joining us. and still ahead this morning, texas continues to recover from harvey, but now hurricane irma is tracking closer to the u.s. we'll get an update on where it's headed and the areas already under a state of emergency.
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beginning to return home. mandatory evacuations remain in place for certain areas as the army corps of engineers relesions more water to manage overwhelmed reservoirs. meanwhile, hurricane irma is becoming a growing threat to the continental united states. the storm has strengthened to a category four hurricane, and warnings have been issued for puerto rico and the virgin islands. in an advisory last night, the national hurricane center said the chances of irma affecting parts of florida later this week or this weekend are increasing. florida governor rick skolt declared a state of emergency yesterday, and he offered the full resources of the federal government. as floridians prepare for hurricane irma. >> i'll tell you what, last week marco rubio, i saw this coming. he told people in his state to start preparing for it. good for him. now rick scott is actually declaring a state of emergency. they need to do that. our thoughts and prayers are
with houston. elizabeth warren came out. a huge spread in the boston globe. dploo co >> come on. >> don't be cynical. >> stop. >> was this news to you? >> i never heard her talk about it. i don't know. maybe it was just, like, hey, it's the fall. i'm going to talk about my religious faith to "the boston globe" because there are a lot of evangelicals in boston. >> a lot of people like to know that she's a woman of faith. >> she's great. the democratic party could be doing better. >> you're talking about the boston globe piece. we're talking about the context of people that may or may not challenge donald trump in 2020. some people may or may not have begun the ramping up of that talk this weekend. >> someone that's so concerned about the democratic party and was concerned about hillary clinton --
>> i love talking real pretty like. i like that. you know, that was good. that's good, boy. >> hey, democrats. don't resist. lead. >> listen. >> lead. >> let's talk about some other news. let's talk about some serious news. >> if i run tore offense, i want -- >> exactly. >> a music great passed away this weekend. you and i went to see steely dan play a couple of times, actually. >> yeah, yeah. walter becker. >> walter becker. genius. >> a genius and someone who was for an incredibly successful group, a guy that almost no one, even the beggest fans of the group really knew very much about him. he was a pair of guys making incredibly professional, incredibly intricate jazz rock for years and years and years, and most of their fans had never heard the man speak for years and years. over time he kind of came out of the shadows and became a favorite of the fans of the band
and had a sense of humor. he was more the voice of steely van than donald fashion gan. >> came out in the songs and songwriting where, there are so many great steely dan songs, and, you know, i read a quote this weekend that i absolutely love, which was when -- they used to get the greatest studio musicians to come out, and it was all about the music. the extraordinary thing about the beatles songwriting was the simplicity. how did they do that? it's like that scene in amadeous. with steely dan, it was the opposite. they had these extraordinary cord changes influenced by jazz that fit neatly into a pop record. somebody thinks they can do that, good luck replicating steely dan. he said in this interview, he said, oh, i have no problem playing on any of my records.
we want the best musicians. they got them. >> generous of spirit and caring most about the music and not his own fame. >> still ahead, the washington post's ruth marcus joins us with her new op ed on the deal trump wanted with russia. plus, defense secretary under bill clinton, william cohen on the nuclear threat from north korea. "morning joe" back in a moment. rethink what's possible. rethink your allergy pills. flonase sensimist allergy relief helps block 6 key inflammatory substances with a gentle mist.
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>> kids go back to school today. >> no, they really don't. >> your kids aren't back in school yet? >> one is. one isn't. >> when does -- >> they never go to school. then they come back for, like, a month. >> what, are they -- scloo there's no empty nest. >> isn't there a time where you go at the end of september and come back at the beginning -- back with us, we have national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc john hallman and richard haass, and in washington columnist and associate editor for the washington post david ignacious. we begin again this hour with the laes on the increasingly volatile situation in the korean peninsula. in a phone call sunday south korea's president moon told vladimir putin it's time for the
u.n. security council to "seriously review blocking all sources of foreign currency going into north korea." in addition to cutting off its oil supply. president trump, secretary of defense jim mattis, and ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley each spoke out about north korea and its leader. >> mr. president, will you attack north korea? >> we have many military options, and the president wanted to be briefed on each one of them. any threat to the united states or its territories including guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming. we are not looking to the total annihilation of a country namely nougt, but we have many options to do so. >> to the members of the security council, i must say enough is enough.
we have taken an incremental approach and despite the best of intentions, it has not worked. his abusive use of missiles and his nuclear threats show that he is begging for war. >> richard haass, we'll get to those comments in a minute. those are the comments that were choreographed and the sort of comments you would expect during this sort of crisis, but what the diplomatic world is talking about -- certainly what our allies in south korea are talking about this morning are the attacks the president of the united states made on the south koreans. suggesting that they were appeasing the north koreans and also talking about inexplicably starting a trade war with the south koreans at the very moment that they are at risk of an
all-out hot war that could cost millions of lives on the peninsula. sort through that for us. >> it's a sign that the national security process, which is designed to make sure something like this doesn't happen is not working. all the focus ought to be on collaborating and cooperating with south korea against north korea. one of north korea's principle strategic ames is to split the united states from south korea. >> this would be just for people that are just tuning in now, about korea, this would be like f.d.r. attacking germany in the fall of 1939 right before the air blitz on london, the battle of britain. why would we attack a longstanding ally on the eve of a possible war? >> well, the answer is we shouldn't be, and there's already enough tension in the u.s.-south korean relationship. think about it. what they care most about, joe, is maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula. up to recently that was enough
for us too, but now we're worried that north korea poses a threat to us directly. there's a structural tension between the united states and its close ally in seoul, so we don't want to be adding fuel to that fire. instead, what we want to figure out is can we come up with a common stance against a north korea that's hell bent on developing a large nuclear arsenal with missiles able to deliver those nuclear weapons around the world? >> well, you are speaking logically, but david, how can you be adopting a common stance when you have the president of the united states this weekend actually accusing the south koreans of appeasement and at the same time on a completely different point, talking about a nationalistic trade war with this country that's literally on the cutting edge of what could be a nuclear confrontation? have you heard any explanation
of the president's words this weekend that could legitimatize what he said or at least begin to explain his thought process? >> no, joe. i think this is a president who is frustrated, who is angry at allies, who is angry really at the failure of his own policy. we have to remember that in moving last weekend to test, we believe, a hydrogen bomb, to significantly escalate the confrontation between the united states and north korea, kim jong un rebuffed a very direct diplomatic opening from the united states, from the president himself and from secretary of state tillerson, in effect, inviting them in to negotiations, crediting them for being restrained over the last several weeks prior to the test in not making additional tests. kim jong un has blown right through that. the scenario the u.s. was
carefully drafting state department officials were describing in private in detail where they thought this was going. last weekend shattered that. the president i think is now scrambling. he alleges reacts impulsively, i think, to new developments. he had a long conversation monday night south korean time with south korean president moon, so the rhetoric of appeasement, the threats of trade war, i think, were put in in a separate category, and there's now intensive discussion, i'm told, behind the scenes about new diplomatic efforts centering on china, centering on a much tougher effort by china than the united nations to increase pressure. the affect of pressure has only been to make north korea rush faster to the nuclear capability and the truth is, they are now a nuclear state. >> richard, david sort of led me to my question to you, which is this comment yesterday from nikki haley at the u.n. where she says the time for half
measures is over. enough is enough. what is left to do that hasn't been done over the last decade in terms of sanctions? nobody wants to go to the military option. if you have done almost all you can in terms of sanctions, what's left somewhere in the middle there that hasn't been tried and if it hasn't been, why hasn't it been tried over ten years? >> short answer is not a lot is left. you can cut down physically, but north korea has already begun to stockpile oil. you can try to cut off every financial flow. i think the history of sanctions shows that that won't work. there will alleges be outliars that get in there. there's black markets and gray market. north korea also is the most closed society in the world. they're willing to have their people starve if need be. >> they don't care. >> sanctions aren't the answer. >> is it a military response or nothing at this point? >> i think we're down to a binary choice. at some point things get simple, and now it's down to a binary choice. either we learn to manage or live with a north korea that has nuclear weapons on missiles, and that's some combination of
deterence, missile defense, military forces to the region. maybe we say we'll use military force if they get a missile ready to launch, or we launch as h.r. mcmaster, the national security advisor was talking about, a preventive strike. we simply say this is now reached an intolerable point, and we use -- when we use words like intolerable or unacceptable, we're going to do something. obviously that has all the risks of starting war. >> let's cut through this for a second. i mean, there is the military option. let's just strip it down. and this actually has been the reality for years now. there's either a military option or there's acceptance of north korea as a nuclear state. >> it's binary. >> it's binary. where is the foreign policy community in the united states of america? >> i think most of the foreign policy community is saying we -- as bad as this is, we can live with it, we can manage it through missile defense, through deterence and so forth. >> let's talk about what that
means. that means the foreign policy community is saying we can live with kim jong un having the capability of delivering a nuclear warhead to -- right now to seattle, to portland, to san francisco, and to los angeles. >> again, there is not a single community. i think a lot of foreign policy experts are saying -- >> but that is a choice. >> that is a choice. what i think they're underestimating is right now he is probably at a point or close to a point where he could attack several american cities. what they haven't dealt with, i think, is the reality that in five or ten years, he could pose a threat to american society. imagine he had 25 or 50 nuclear weapons on ballistic missiles that could reach the united states. >> david, imagine that he decides to sell this nuclear technology to isis. imagine -- and that he decides to sell this nuclear technology somewhere else. you know, i am certainly not
advocating anything right now. what i am saying, david, is what's been the reality that people have not really been willing to strip it down to. nonsensical. it will not matter to a man who would starve tens of millions of people to have a nuclear bomb. >> with all due respect to my friend richard haass, i'm always wary when people describe things as binary choices. you either go to war or you do
nothing is the way it enz up being framed, and the reality is there are always lots of intermediate options along the way. it is true that kim jong un has introduced thin his regime a stable new factor in the region and also globally. his ability to proliferate in a way that we haven't seen. his ability to blackmail neighbors flying a missile over japan terrifying the japanese people was the most recent example of this. i think the question really is action is going to be taken to deal with this threat. the idea of simply accommodating it, i really don't see that on the table. what? what on a fairly wide menu of possible next steps are officials considering? i thought we heard a little bit of that from secretary of defense mattis. the coolest head in this crowd really saying if north korea
attacks us, it will be met with a massive response, but then stressing that the u.s. prefers diplomatic outcomes. there are a lot of tools in our military arsenal that are never talked about that involve subtle ways to make systems not work, to have missiles that take off don't go very far. that bag of military tricks, i'm sure, is being examined, even expanded by the administration. >> right. >> but i wouldn't -- i think the idea that it's one or the other, i would be careful of that. >> still ahead on "morning joe" congressional republicans took the lead in the health care fight, and we saw how that worked out. what's going to happen now? as the president prepares to punt an immigration issue back to capitol hill. it's an announcement that's not really an announcement and is six months away. you're watching "morning joe."
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>> the notion that we would just arbitrarily or because of politics punish those kids. when they didn't do anything wrong themselves, i think would be something that would merit me speaking out. >> that was president obama in his final news conference before he left office in january on what it would take to bring him out and start speaking during the trump presidency. that condition may be met today as president trump is expected to announce -- >> a non-announcement. >> a non-announcement. >> actually, a distraction. >> that's the thing. >> it's not really an announcement. it's like a huge news conference that you are supposed to watch at 11:00, and then it actually isn't anything that's happening. >> it could be an announcement. it might be a transgender-like tweet. it's a distraction. >> fake news.
>> anyway, today he may be noinsing that he is ending an obama era program that allows undocumented immigrants who came to the u.s. as children to stay in this country. >> everyone should be shocked right now. attorney general jeff sessions is set to hold a briefing on the program known as daca at 11:00 this morning. two sources tell nbc news that the president's decision to end the program that he is actually not going to end today will come with a six-month delay. >> they also stress the decision is not final until it's announced. >> i thought they were announcing it today. >> the base already thought, hey, he ended the daca program. >> oh, so this is just sort of messaging to the base, but it is not actually that something is happening. >> hold on. let's get some help from the table. >> yeah. let's look deep into the president's eyes. >> your former campaign manager had his home raided at 6:00 a.m. in the morning. right? >> hmm. transgender. a couple of hours later you say
i am now banning all transgender personnel. >> when you are really not. >> serving in the military to which the joint chiefs go -- >> no, we're not. this is a little different in the fact that this is something where his hand is being forced by -- the transgender thing came out of nowhere, right? there were no pending court cases. he was not under any real pressure to do that. that was a pure distraction of the kind you are discussing. >> a blurt. >> today seems like, again, we don't know what jeff sessions is going to say. it is sort of extraordinary given the high profile of this issue the level of controversy to it, how much pressure that trump has been under and his public waivering. he is going to send jeff sessions out rather than speaking to it himself, and then he will send jeff sessions out and not take convection e questions. it's amazing. >> it's not an unveiling. >> well, we'll see. >> it's six months. >> julie pace, this is not the ending of the program.
this is the president creeking the can down the road for six months. i think it was maggie habarman who correctly said there's always a lawsuit coming around the corner. there's always, like, a huge press conference two weeks from now. there's always a new bill since he has been president of the united states that we're going to unveil. look over there. it's like someone saying look at the bird, look at the bird while something is going on in front of your face. he is not going to get his waurl. what does he do? he distracts with an announcement that, julie, could it just well be a non-announcement because this daca program -- >> he says i am planning to end this, but only in six months, and only if congress doesn't act. the problem, though, judge us in
terms of the practicality of the program is you're going to create this huge amount of uncertainty among these dreamers, this 800,000 dreamers who are around the country, who are working, who are in school who are searching in the military. do some of them choose to leave the country rather than wait to see what happens over the next six months? do folks who have not enrolled in this program hold back from doing it because they don't want to give the government their personal information in case the program does end. even if he doesn't really end daca now or in six months, it is going to create a lot of uncertificate, and i think it's going to be pretty damaging for the country. >> it's the president participating once again in a form of bullying. he uses his words, that aren't in reality, but do the trick of bullying people. coming up on "morning joe" first bob corker questioned the stability and competence of the president of the united states. now john mccain is using words like impulsive and poorly informed to describe the
commander in chief. we're going to read from his op ed straight ahead. plus, how america went haywire. author curt anderson is here with what he calls the nation's fantasy land. in the future, a nation's technology will determine its power. in its economy, in medicine, in science and in national security. one company designs and builds more supercomputers than any other. an american company. hewlett packard enterprise. leading the way to discover... to innovate... and to protect. hewlett packard enterprise. a national asset in supercomputing. can make anyone slow downt and pull up a seat to the table.
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>> senator john mccain began chemotherapy last month, and his battle against brain cancer. the arizona republican penned a blistering op ed last friday calling for an end to washington dysfunction as congress comes back to work after its august recess. he called for congress to return to regular order and said the institution is not meant to govern like it currently is and "relies on compromise between opposing sides." mccain also implored his fellow legislators to stand up to president trump calling him impulsive and poorly informed. he wrote "we are not his subordsubor suborder nants. we don't answer to him." >> he remained critical of the president at a major international economic policy conference along with senator lindsey graham and the director of national intelligence dan
coats. mccain told the audience, "i realize that i come to italy at a time when many are questioning whether america is still committed to remaining engaged in the world, to upholding our traditional alliances, and standing up for the values we share." >> look at this. >> he assured allies that "america remains committed to truth over falsehood, fairness over injustice, freedom over oppression, and the immortal spirit of human kind." he also added that nato allies and european partners can still count on america. >> mccain also admitted, "it is true there is a real debate underway in my country about what kind of role america should play in the world, and, frankly, i do not know how this debate will play out." >> let me go to julie, first. congress returns this week.
>> it's not just from the obama age or bush age. we've got to return to regular order. we've got to go through committees. we've got to go through, you know, conferences. we've got to do this the way we've been doing it for 200 years. i would guess there are a lot of members who agreed with john mccain in his op ed. >> members have been saying they're not able to put it into practice. i feel like i'm lig in the reverse of the obama years where you had democrats in charge doing things on their own. now you have republicans in charge trying to do things on their own. there's very little attempt at real compromise it's such a surprise here, a shock to see compromise happen. you think about everything that's coming at lawmakers this fall. government funding, the debt ceiling, now harvey aid, potentially daca, and you think about if they were taking on these challenges in a different environment, if they were doing
things through regular order, if there were real attempts at bipartisanship, how much different washington would look. frankly, that's just not the reality. if mccain comes out and takes this. it's not going to change much, i don't think. >> coming up on "morning joe" a live report from richard engel in south korea. plus, former defense secretary william cohen and member of the foreign relations committee senator ed marquee who is just back from a trip from the dmz.
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it's something he has been trying to live down for years. apparently even on his mind while helping victims of hurricane harvey. joining us now, the co-founder of "spy magazine" best-selling author curt anderson. his new book "fantasyland" how america went haywire, a 500 year history" is out today. also joining the conversation veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnacle, and in washington columnist and deputy editorial page editor at the washington post ruth marcus and pulitzer prize winning columnist, an associate editor of the washington post eugene robinson. >> you say it's cooked into our dna this lust for fake news. it reminds me -- i love the book something along the lines of i don't care whether paul revere road or not or i love paul revere whether he road or not. we want to believe the fantasy. >> we want -- >> the legend. >> correct. that's how we began. i mean, imagine the pilgrims. they had never been here. they had no idea what was here,
but, by god, we're going to come here. or the gold hunters in virginia. well, we didn't find gold for 20 years, but they kept coming and kept coming and kept searching because they wanted to believe. that's at the beginning of our dna. then we had generations of charlotteons from p.t. barnham to many others i could name who were taking advantage of americans' wish to believe. >> isn't that what we have here? >> that's exactly what we have here. we have -- and until now, of course, you know, it was for a few centuries it was kept in balance. it was -- you know, people like donald trump were kept out of the mainstream. you know, kept out of running our government. >> what happened? >> we had 50 years of the gate keepers stopping to keep the gates. i would say -- my theory is that starting in the 1960s for all the good that came out of the 1960s, we -- the anti-establishment gene in america kind of went a little
nuts, and suddenly the elite, the establishment, the gate keepers were no longer allowed to say, no, that's b.s. that's not true. >> mike. >> you know, your coverage of trump goes back many, many years. you know, "spy magazine" short-fingered vulgarian and all of that. do you think when you first began covering him, writing about him, angering him, having him sue you all the time -- >> never sued us. >> okay. >> threatened to. >> threatened to. okay. that's the point. do you think he had more self-awareness then, that he was a character in some play in his own mind rather than today where he really takes himself seriously? obviously, he is president. >> that is the question is that cognitive changes have happened in the last 30 years. there was more evidence that he was aware of himself as a character, but he was never one of these guys like, i don't know, william shattner or wayne newton who i became friendly with who were really aware of themselves as a joke. he never had a very good sense of humor about himself. he could play along and go on
letterman or do whatever he needed to do, but i don't think that's a big difference. >> here's the thing that i -- the line from the book and the thing you said over and over again is this notion that we now live in a country where opinions and feelings are the same as facts. how that comes out of the self-actualization movement, just talk about that linneage. that's as much of a new age spiritual thing as it is the crazy conspiracy theories of the left or right. >> correct. well, goerch, starting in the 1960s when we could no longer suggest that science was superior to magical thinking, to put it bluntly, yes, that led after a couple of generations to people like donald trump and others doing what senator moynihan always said nobody should do, which is feel entitled to their own facts as well as their own opinions.
>> so as you look at this 500 year spectrum of this and a little bit more recently going back even to george washington, the cherry trees, or believing in this mythology, do you believe this donald trump's election in this moment in america, this particular one is some sort of a spasm or is it the logical conclusion of what we've seen over a couple of centuries? >> well, let's hope. the good news is that it's both. it is definitely in my view it's what i spent in this book explaining the ultimate extension. not inevitable maybe, but something like inevitable, ultimate extension of who we have been for our whole several hundred years. now, three years ago -- let's say donald trump had not been elected. what i say about american culture and the national character would still be true. we just would have missed that bullet. i do think that donald trump is the coin flipped this way, and
we got tails instead of heads, and that's too bad. maybe we'll pull back from the spasm that donald trump represents, but i don't think in 2021 if we have a different president suddenly it's all going to be good in terms of my argument. >> this is very damaging long-term. >> gene robinson, you look at the institution. it's so much easier to do this now because of what's happened over the last 20 years. you can literally tick it down, the government shutdown on the late 1990s, 99 impeachment, 2000, the 2000 recount, 2001, you know, wmd's and 9/11. i'm sorry. 9/11. 2002, enron. 2003, wmd's in iraq. 2004, the meltdown in iraq. 2005, hurricane katrina. you can go year by year by year. 2008, wall street melts down. you can go year by year by year and see one institution after another institution failing americans. >> yeah.
you can see meltdown after meltdown, i guess. you cou on capitol hill, you know, congress has particularly changed, i think, and really one thing that's happened there is that nobody controls anybody. they're all freelancers now. there's no -- they got rid of the seniority system. they got rid of earmarks. they got rid of -- they, thus, got rid of both the carrot and the sticks that leadership used to use to keep congress in line. you look at the legislative agenda over the next month, for example, and you wonder how they possibly get that done. now, you know, 30, 40 years ago they would get it done because the speaker of the house and the senate majority leader would say it's going to be this way, and it would basically be that way, and if you didn't vote the way they wanted, you would be punished. nobody can punish anybody now. >> right.
>> and so they're just all over the map. they answer to their constituents, and the constituents are in these gerrymandered districts that encourage them to be bold and to be, you know, not to compromise. >> with that in mind, to curt's point, ruth marcus, if trump is a charlottan taking advantage of people's dreams, wishes, and desires, we have a republican party that appears to be blown up or blowing up. we have a democratic party that appears to be leaderless and nonexistent, and we're on the brink of war. where does this go? >> i think it's a very scary moment, and this is going to be a month, i think, that's going to give us some sense of whether we can kind of as a country get it together on a couple of different levels. can congress do the very fundamentals of its job. not manage to do what congress has not managed to do for ten years, and deal with immigration reform. simply, get the budget done, fund the government, avoid the
debt ceiling, which is sort of the dumbest self-inflicted crisis. that's a huge thing on congress's agenda. in the end they will probably limp their way through all of this, but it's a question of how damaging it will be along the way, and then from the point of view of the president's agenda, the crisis with north korea and how that has ramped up. it was going to be a crisis, as people said earlier this the show, that was going to face whoever was going to be the 45th president, but how is this president going to deal with it? and so we have all of our institutions really on trial right now. >> curt, we've said many times on this show over the last seven months that the president obviously was dually elected by the electoral college, but has been thwarted by the institutions in his agenda. in other words, the institutions have stood up to the president, whether it's the courts, whether it's congress. you've had a special prosecutor in bob mueller now. judiciary committees in the senate and the house.
what's the best possible outcome in your mind of this first trump term or this only trump term, dpepding what happens? can things change? it has the system held in a way that you expected it to? >> well, the best possible outcome is for starters, we avoid world war iii, i guess, this week. >> it's important. >> but, yeah, i have been impressed by not so much the congress standing up, but certainly the judiciary, and i think from the get-go, the institutions have not caved. whether they've stood up as forth rightly as they should is another question. i mean, the other thing as i listen to all this -- i mean, there's the institution of congress, washington, trump, and all that. another thing that he embodies and that has made it hard for everybody, including you guys and us guys to deal with from the beginning is he is a show business performer. that's one of the themes of my book is that entertainment --
everything in america becomes show business. donald trump -- and that started with presidents from john f. kennedy through ronald reagan to bill clinton. trump took it a whole quantum leap further, and that's what makes it so hard to come to grips with who he is and how he governs because he is the -- i don't know. what is he? the insult amcoic that goes to his 33% base and gets them to -- >> he is a latterday triumph. >> triumph versus trump would be -- again, we can -- i think it can be contained, the worst aspects of trumpism, but as i say, we're not going to be done with what brought him to us. he is not the problem. he was kind of an ultimate symptom of fantasyland. >> totally agree with you. we have to know where it came from. curt anderson, thank you so much. curt's new book "fantasyland how
america went haywire, a 500 year history." >> an uplifting tale. >> we should all read it. thank you both. we'll be reading europe ed, ruth, on the deal trump wanted with russia in today's "washington post." still ahead, richard engel joins us live from seoul on the nuclear threat from north korea. plus, senator marky from the -- and william cohen on the options available for the trump administration. keep it right here on "morning joe." a pilot like you should be flying for the c.i.a. holy- shh... you are an airline pilot. that's how you support this family. this is gonna be good for us. based on an incredible true story... we need you to deliver stuff for us. just don't get caught. of c.i.a.'s biggest secret. i helped build an army, defend a country and create the biggest drug cartel this world has ever seen. that sounds made up barry. tom cruise. stop now if you want. it gets crazy from here. woo! american made. rated r.
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from seoul south korea chief foreign correspondent richard engel. richard, good morning. south korea accused by the president on twitter of appeasing north korea. what's the reaction been there? >> well, the reaction is bewillederment. the u.s. military, whenever you spend time with them, they go out of their way to stress how this is an unbreakable bond that the two countries are joined at the hip, that their security and their fates are intertwined. you have yesterday the president talking with south korea. just a few minutes ago he tweeted out how the u.s. is going to be selling billions of dollars worth of arms to japan and south korea, and then he goes and insults the close ally
while the crisis is going on. there is a sense that they are not dealing with a stable consistent american president the likes of which this country depends upon. this is coming at a very, very sensitive time because over the next few days north korea expects that we that we could he another ballistic missile launch, and the time to watch, particularly, they expect, is this weekend, specifically saturday morning. south korea's military today is showing north korea it is a force to be reckoned with at sea with new live-fire exercises. the latest show of force after north korea's leader, kim jong-un, tested on sunday what his regime claims was a powerful thermonuclear bomb small enough to be loaded on a missile that can reach the united states. but the big news today came from vladimi vladimir putin. at an economic summit, he weighed in on the crisis for the first time, seeming to back north korea, saying the country would rather eat grass than give
up its nuclear weapons and that ramping up military hysteria on north korea is senseless and could lead to global catastrophe. defense secretary mattis yesterday warned north korea faced total destruction if it threatened the united states. >> 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. >> reporter: and president trump on monday spoke with his south korean counterpart, who he recently insulted in a tweet, calling him an appeaser, agreeing now to sell south korea billions in new weapons and lift restrictions on the power and payload of south korea's missiles. u.s. officials tell nbc news the white house's strategy is to negotiate a solution to the crisis and use military force to deter north korea while pressuring other states, especially china, into helping. today, vladimir putin made it clear russia does not go along
with that plan, if the united states was hoping for some big, international consensus to get behind moves to punish north korea. moscow today through vladimir putin said don't count on russia. >> all right, richard engel in seoul, south korea, for us. richard, thank so much. >> and joining us now, a member of the foreign relations committee, democratic senator ed markey of massachusetts, and former secretary of defense, william cowan. mr. secretary, i'll start with you. you heard engel's report about the international community questioning the stability of president trump. where do you weigh in on this? >> well, first thing that comes to mind is churchill's famous statement about take this pudding away, it has no theme. we don't have a theme that is consistent, certainly to serve our allies or to propose to our adversaries. and what we're lacking is a comprehensive strategy. we've been engaged in incrementalism, a sanction here, another sanction there, but no
real program or strategy to bring about a shock therapy to the north koreans, and i think that's going to come in the sense of we have to start talking about we tried to change the course of the regime. now i think we have to get serious about talking about how to change the regime. we can do that in conjunction with some really serious negotiations with the russians and specifically the chinese, or we can start doing it on our own, in terms of going after them financially, going after them, really precluding them from having access to many of the resources they need, also going after our allies and say you've got north korean workers in your country? tell them to get out. it may not be a big thing, but it's a symbol that we're sending north korea's workers back to north korea so they can't have revenue coming into that country. so, it has to be a comprehensive strategy to really bring about the kind of pressure that will either change the course of this regime or change the regime, and i think the latter's probably more likely.
>> senator markey, are americans willing to -- are american leaders, foreign policy leaders -- is the foreign policy establishment willing at this point to accept a nuclear north korea that has the ability to deliver a nuclear warhead to seattle, portland, san francisco, and los angeles? and if not, what are our best options to prevent that? >> well, we have not exhausted our options yet, and we have to try and apply intense pressure on the north korean government. i just led a delegation up to the north korean/chinese border. dandong is the city where there is a customs office through which the trade goes in from china into north korea. we could insist that the chinese cut off the oil. there's been a 22% increase in trade between north korea and china from last july to this
july, unbelievable -- >> why is that, senator? i mean, north korea is effectively china's 51st state. why are they increasing exports to a regime that is destabilizing the entire region? >> well, they're playing a double game. when we deployed the thaad in south korea, they punished the south korean government with a $10 billion hit on the south korean tourism industry. so, we have to basically deal with china, say we do not want to collapse the north korean regime. that's their greatest fear, that there will be an influx of refugees from north korea, and ultimately, the korean peninsula will be united and there will be a democracy on the chinese border. we have to tell them that's not our goal, that if they cooperate with us on the cutoff of oil, of textiles, of slave labor, and
those revenues being repatriated back into north korea, as bill cowan just said, along with business partnerships around the world are all shut down, then we have a chance to really put pressure on this north korean government, but we have to go to the table with the north koreans, as the chinese have been insisting that we do. we have been rejecting this. and until we have these bilateral negotiations, i don't think that we're going to get the full cooperation from the chinese government which we're going to need. >> secretary cowan, in addition to negotiations, i mean, would you be in favor after a 25-year absence of restoring tactical nuclear weapons into south korea? >> well, that may come eventually. the south korean conservative party, as such, in south korea, is now talking about having the u.s. reintroduce those. the argument against that is it's hard to call for an elimination on the part of the north koreans while you're putting it back in.
but i would say, are you going to allow the north koreans to have a monopoly on this kind of capability and put the south koreans at their whim? i would say that may be possible. it may become a necessity in the future. i also want to say, we need to put the thaad system into japan and to beef up japan's defenses much higher than they are right now. so, combining an adequate defense, an increased defense, coupled with an overall strategic way of bringing enormous economic, diplomatic, intelligence pressure to say to kim that you should not be allowed to go to sleep at night without worrying what your generals are thinking about. they don't like to see what's taking place in the country and you are the cause of it. so i don't want you to sleep easy at night. and i think this is the kind of program we have to have, to send the signal to him, you can change the course you're heading, or we're likely to try and change your regime itself. that's not going to be music to the ears of the chinese or the
russians. that, in my judgment, has to be done. >> senator ed markey and former secretary of defense william cohen, thank you both very much. >> you're welcome. so, we're following some news of hurricane irma within the last hour, was upgraded to a category 5 storm. it's making its way -- >> oh, boy. >> -- west, maximum winds up to 175 miles an hour. yesterday, florida governor rick scott declared a state of emergency, puerto rico under a hurricane warning, as you can see. >> look at that. >> ripping through the caribbean at 175 miles an hour, the winds inside, anyway. if you can think of a caribbean resort island that's in the path there making its way across puerto rico, dominican republic, and they're saying by friday and into the weekend could hit florida as a major, major hurricane. >> well, it certainly looks like puerto rico, dr, haiti. >> haiti. >> all directly in the path. and when you start talking about
175 miles per hour, winds up to that and a category 5, it's just absolutely devastating. there's just no place to run or hide from that if you're in puerto rico or the dr or haiti. if you're in florida, though, get ready now and get out. final thoughts, john heilemann. >> yes. affirming what you just said a second ago. it's a horrifying thought that you could have two disasters on the scale of harvey in such quick succession. you know, this country can withstand a lot of stuff, but that's going to be very, very tough if it hits florida that hard. >> yeah. any final thoughts on the day, mike? >> i'm just stunned that haiti, again, has the possibility to be victimized by nature. it's just incredible. >> it hasn't been rebuilt much since the last one. haiti is always the most vulnerable of those islands. >> and of course, in the months to come, we're looking at harvey leaf relief and how to get the funds allocated and the funds in washington. hopefully, the priorities will be in place. >> and the timing, looking at how dysfunctional washington is,
how many years? we've gone a dozen years without a category 3 or 4 hurricane. they came in rapid succession in 2003, 2004 -- >> there's a reason for that. >> -- 2005. >> yeah. >> and then absolutely nothing until a couple of weeks ago, so -- >> all right, we'll be watching. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> thanks so much, mika. hi, there. i'm stephanie ruhle. this morning, breaking news on the weather front, hurricane irma now a category 5 storm, looking at places like puerto rico and haiti. and a big week ahead in washington. a decision on the d.r.e.a.m.ers, funding the harvey recovery, and what to watch on north korea. >> remember the old line in the sand? they have now drawn a line in the ocean. if any missile threatens our territory in guam, hawaii, or the west coast of the united states, we're going to act. >> the big question affecting so many texans, how to pay for harvey. a vote set for tomorrow, but