tv Morning Joe MSNBC March 9, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PST
nuclear-armed dictator. welcome to "morning joe." it's friday. just another week here in washington. >> yes. >> march 9th. with us in washington, we have nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of "andrea mitchell reports," andrea mitchell. good to have you. >> thank you. >> nbc news national political reporter heidi prisbella. steve rattner, and politics editor for "the daily beast," sam stein, along with our willie geist in new york city. good to have everybody on board this friday. >> so, really -- >> is this a deflection? >> of course, it's a deflection. willie -- >> from stormy? >> yes, of course, from stormy. >> but who can keep their eyes off the whole stormy situation? >> certainly not from the nor'easter. but willie, look, let's just look back at this week. you had donald trump enraged by some events earlier, the leaving of hope -- hope hicks' announcement that she was leaving, a testimony that didn't go so well, the house intel
committee, several other things crashing at the same time. and the news reports were, out of the white house, that the president was angry, and so, he just struck out and decided to push tariffs, and he did it without talking to any of his economic advisers. he lost his most able economic adviser, gary cohn. and then fast-forward a couple days, and the president is consumed in the story of a payoff to a porn star, which now we're hearing he was angry at his press secretary for -- >> right. >> -- mistakenly telling the truth. >> for mistakenly telling the truth. and suddenly, you have the foreign policy community shocked and caught off guard by the most significant announcement a commander in chief could make in 2018. so, tariffs, and north korea all to distract from a president that didn't go through the
proper channels or use the proper interagency processes once. >> well, that's exactly right, on both tariffs and this stunning north korea announcement. it appears to have done in a pretty ad hoc manner. when you have the secretary of state, rex tillerson, that we just played there, traveling in ethiopia saying, quote, we're a long way off from even the idea of any talks with north korea, and then a couple hours later the announcement at the white house by a south korean official and confirmed by the white house that the president would meet with north korea. look, i mean, i sort of take the ted cruz view, which he said on this show a couple days ago, which is that the president's first comments are kind of an opening bid. now, he followed through on the tariffs. we saw those yesterday with some caveats. it remains to be seen, i think, and andrea probably has better insight on this than me, whether or not this meeting, face-to-face with the leader of north korea and the president of the united states, actually will come to pass or whether it's some piece in a larger negotiation with that country over its nuclear weapons.
>> or again, a distraction to change the headlines from stormy daniels, which was yesterday. >> i think, yeah, that's exactly what it is. >> to north korea today. but why don't we start with major developments? >> let's go to the details of this major developments in the crisis with north korea. president trump accepting kim jong-un's invitation to meet in person. the groundbreaking news comes after south korea's national security adviser briefed president trump. national security adviser h.r. mcmaster and other top officials about a recent meeting he and other top south korea officials had earlier this week with kim jong-un in pyongyang. speaking outside the white house last night, chung said he expressed his and south korean president moon jae-in's, quote, personal gratitude for president trump's leadership which, quote, brought us to this juncture before going into details of the meeting. >> i told president trump that
in our meeting, north korean leader kim jong-un said he is committed to denuclearization. kim pledged that north korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests. he understands that the routine joint military exercises between the republic of korea and the united states must continue, and he expressed his eagerness to meet president trump as soon as possible. president trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet kim jong-un by may to achieve permanent denuclearization. >> chung also said that it's important not to repeat the mistakes of the past, referencing north korea's notorious history of offering to give up its nuclear weapons before ultimately breaking that promise, adding that until,
quote, north korea matches its words with concrete actions, the maximum pressure campaign will continue. in a statement, the white house says, "president trump greatly appreciates the nice words of the south korean delegation and president moon. he will accept the invitation to meet with kim jong-un at a place and time to be determined. we look forward to the denuclearization of north korea. in the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain." and a senior administration official later said that the meeting will happen, quote, in a matter of a couple of months. trump also later tweeted, "kim jong-un talked about denuclearization with the south korean representatives, not just a freeze." also, "no missile testing by north korea during this period of time. great progress being made, but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. meeting being planned." >> all right. andrea, we've heard that a lot of people were kept in the dark
here. rex tillerson, obviously, saying what he did earlier, the pentagon saying last night they were caught off guard. what can you tell us about how this developed and who knew what and when did they know it? >> clearly, the state department was very much out of the loop, that this was, in fact, according to a lot of people we talked to last night an audible that the president called during the meeting with the south koreans. i think they were all aware that there had been a lot of progress. the president teed that up on saturday night at the gridiron, started talking about it. we knew that the north koreans and the south koreans had had their meeting. but the fact that he would decide to accept almost on the spot the invitation for a meeting. now, there were leaks that there was a letter. in fact, there was no letter. it was a verbal communication. so, they were taking the word of of the south korean foreign minister. and we know that the south korean president has been very forward-leaning and making some people in the administration a little nervous about how much he wanted this to happen, taking
their word, rather than having any kind of a letter or a document to parse, to have the intelligence experts analyze as to to how committed kim jong-un really is. kim jong-un wants legitimacy. he wants a presidential meeting. the questions that people, even those that have been yearning for talks, rather than all of the rhetoric and the insults, the taunts, the nuclear button, mine is bigger than yours, all of that, which has been a real crisis. this has been a tinder box, rhetorically, at least. threats of a preemptive nuclear strike, a bloody nose, all of this. yes, people wanted talks, but even those who were really yearning for talks think this is conferring legitimacy on kim jong-un without getting anything, even the promise to release three americans who are still being held hostage. >> again, there was no process to this whatsoever and no build-up to it. and like you said, they got absolutely no concessions for this meeting, which, again, just proves to every dictator in the world, get nuclear weapons, uyou
get legitimacy, and you can actually remain a bad actor, and this president, at least, will just take a meeting. and andrea, let's talk really briefly for people who may not be aware of it, but talk about how the north koreans have made fools of every american president since bill clinton. >> bill clinton, george w. bush, even though he then called them the evil empire, and barack obama, all three fooled. a former president, jimmy carter, going in 1984 and getting fooled and misled by kim jong-un's father. i was there during negotiations with the previously the highest ranking american to ever meet with a north korean leader was madeleine albright. so in october of 2000 we went, and they were going to normalize relations, and then george w. bush hit the pause button on that when he was elected in march of 2001. but they've all been -- they've cheated in every instance. >> and even the madeleine
albright meeting, i'm sure it was not one of her favorite moments. >> no. >> in the clinton white house, because she sat there and it ended up just being a propaganda show for the north koreans. >> but they at least thought they were going to normalize relations and get something for it. then only a few years later, they discovered he was developing a parallel program to the nuclear program so that he had not dismantled. and then obama trading food and humanitarian aid, and then discovering that, look at the missile advances. we have -- our intelligence agencies deny this, but we have misread their advances and underestimated this man's brutality. and only this week we've confirmed that he used vx gas, an illegal poison, to kill his stepbrother in kuala lumpur. we understand that he has been providing chemical weapons to bashar al assad, and the chinese, while doing better, and the russians have been cheating by resupplying him with fuel at
sea. >> so, no question that part of the motivation here may be that he's trying to play our president. at the same time, there is some speculation about the totality of kim jong-un's motivation. is there also a chance that some of these sanctions -- >> yes, absolutely. >> -- are putting the squeeze on him when you have people showing up running from the borders looking emaciated with intestinal bugs and worms at the border? >> i think what studies have shown is that north koreans over the past 60, 70 years, are several inches shorter and thinner than their ethnic twins, if you will, in the south. they have been starved for decades and decades. and so, that is very, very true. i think the sanctions are taking part. >> that is the one thing we've learned, sanctions seem to be working in north korea. sanctions were working with iran. and it seems that, too often,
presidents are too eager to make deals and pull back from the sanctions. >> look, sanctions have a mixed record. sometimes they work. in other places, if you go back to roe deegea, it takes 20, 30 years before they have any impact. it does appear, per heidi's comment, that in this case, they're working. the other thing that's going on, look, i spent 30 years basically doing negotiations as an investment banker and it was sometimes helpful to have a client saying, if you don't do what i say, i'm going to blow up the world. that's kind of what we have here, our own madman who could potentially blow up the world. >> are you speaking of trump? >> yeah, i was thinking of trump when i said that, so it could have an impact on the north koreans, say hey, we don't know what this guy's going to do, let's see if we can get something done with him. >> it could be really, really dangerous. >> well, what could be really dangerous is if he goes in there like he's known to do, utterly unprepared, unaccompanied, with no idea what the real issues are, with none of the historical context that andrea just went through so well. >> i was just going to say, you're right, sometimes it helps
to have somebody say i don't care what anybody did before me, this is my position, and if you don't like it, then get ready, because i'm not going to be wringing my hands and talking to state department lawyers, i'm just going to move. so, i do understand that part of it, but what i fear -- and i'm drawing no comparisons, no direct parallels, but what i fear with donald trump is what we got with barack obama in iran, who in 2007, at the start of his campaign, was saying i'm going to negotiate with the iranians, and there are going to be no preconditions, and he thought he was going to remake the world and he was going to be the person that could just reason with the iranians, and we we were going to be able to move beyond where we've been since 1979. and i think most people looking at it honestly would look at that negotiation and say that barack obama and others in his
administration were so desperate to get a deal with iran that they got a very bad deal. and that's what i fear with donald trump, except at least the obama administration had the diplomacy and apparatus in place and were logical and reasoned, even though i think they came up with a bad deal. but donald trump, again, he just makes a decision on tariffs because of hope hicks, and he makes a decision on north korea because of stormy daniels. and people can deny that all they want, but if you're doing that, you're in the tank for donald trump, because it is painfully obvious that that is what's going on. >> that is his pattern. >> you know what, he did not want the "washington post" to have the words stormy daniels on the front page today. guess what. he succeeded. and he succeeded by lying about a letter that didn't even exist. and now he's -- >> angry at his press secretary
for actually confirming that there was some sort of transaction. >> telling the truth. and fools rush in. >> and his relationship with the porn star is confirmed and he doesn't want it on the front pages. it's not going to go away. >> there's no question this is a high-wire act and nobody knows what's going to happen, but in terms of preconditions, president trump has already violated his requirement for negotiations. he set a precondition that they have to denuclearize and he's walked back from that. so we'll see what happens. >> so fortune policy by deflection of porn star stories. willie geist, go. >> i'm looking at the new york papers as well. no mention of stormy damage on the front page of "the new york times," and certainly, no mention on the front page of the "new york post," where they're calling it "the kim and i." so, sam stein, to believe there's some type of a deal to be had between the united states and north korea, typically, obviously, a high-level meeting like this, highest possible meeting, this deal would be wired already. there would be something that we had agreed to and he had agreed
to as well. but you have to believe that north korea would be willing to give up its nuclear program, the one thing that's given it any power and prestige over the past several years. why on earth would kim jong-un give up his nuclear program and be left with, frankly, nothing? >> it's a good question. i don't know if he will. i think what joe was talking about with the iran nuclear deal and obama is actually a fairly good reflection point in parallel to look at this. i went back and read some of the reporting there. first of all, obama in 2007 announced that he would agree to meet without preconditions by accident. it's a funny story from the campaign. he had meant that as a policy condition, but he said it and it polled well and he stuck to it. in reality, he never met with leaders without preconditions. iran was something that was negotiated over the course of, you could say four, five, six years. they had back-channel negotiations, then the p5 plus
1, and they set the prenegotiations for ultimately meeting in geneva to finalize the deal. what we're seeing is sort of the inverse of that. we have of the high-level meeting to start the negotiations, and that is difficult. it's tricky. you have to figure out -- there's a whole host of contingencies and details you have to hammer out. you know, you can talk about denuclearization, but how do you do verification, for instance, what are the terms of sanction relief, if that is indeed the trade-off? so, there are so many variables that will be accompanying trump to this meeting, and i just want to stress, he does not have the staff or infrastructure in place, really at this point, to handle those variables. we still don't have an ambassador to south korea right now. >> yeah. >> so, he will be going out there without really much of a diplomatic team to help accompany him. >> wow. >> this is a high-wire act that steve talked about. there is a potential it could go really well. people who have been really worried about the pace of u.s./north korean negotiations, who felt like it was going to end in a military confrontation, this is good.
this is diplomacy. >> right. >> but it could end really badly because the stakes have been just ratcheted up to 11, to borrow a phrase, by donald trump, and you know, there is very little net under the tight rope here. >> i don't think he knows that. >> but you know, we've been around -- we've been seeing this guy on the national stage now long enough to know that so often it's just all talk, it's all bluster. he talks about the art of the deal. the deal never comes through. >> yes. >> all bluster about the wall. there's not going to ever be a deal for the wall. >> well, joe, do you think he'll actually ever meet him? that's my question, do you think this meeting will actually take place? >> yes. >> yes. >> he'll make that a big show. >> he'll do what is easy. he won't read a one-sheet on north korea. he won't figure out how the united states has been fooled the past four presidents have been fooled, since 1994, or the past three presidents. he does the easy things. and if he can get him at mar-a-lago, even better.
>> yeah. >> but he talks about, though, the wall, but there's no deal for the wall, right? >> yes. >> he was going to be the greatest dealmaker? he talked about immigration reform, remember? you go out, you give me a deal on expansive, comprehensive reform. everybody's smiling around the table. but it's all bluster. there's no deal, because he doesn't know how to make a deal. and then you have the same thing with guns. e he went out a couple weeks ago and said he was going to do all these things. >> paraded the families at the white house, put them on live television. >> yeah, mocked republicans, saying they were scared of the nra. it ends up, he's petrified of the nra. so again, all talk, all bluster, no deal, because he is horrible at making deals. that's why the man ended up $9 billion in debt. and so, now a deal with north korea? no. this is, again, this is -- >> he can't even make a deal with a porn star. he doesn't even sign the papers of the deal that he struck.
think about that. >> by the way, that's exactly right. he can't even draft, and his lawyer can't even draft a competent deal to keep a porn star quiet. >> wow. >> so, how is he going to keep the north koreans -- >> kind of painful. >> -- from getting nuclear weapons? and to answer this, of course, not the porn star side of the story, but the north korean diplomatic side of the story. we're going to bring in former u.s. ambassador -- i'm sorry, nick. former ambassador, now state department spokesman nicholas burns, professor of diplomacy and international relations at the harvard kennedy school of government, which, by the way, has no courses this year in negotiating with porn stars from your delaware corporation. thank you so much for being with us, nick. >> thank you. >> would you like to leave now, or can you answer a couple questions? >> no, i'll continue. >> you know, could you try to
boil this down for people that may not understand, for good reason, because i think most of us don't understand. everything that goes into setting up a meeting like, the sort of discussions that used to go on between the nixon white house and the breschnef regime or the white house and the mao regime. talk about the years and years of negotiations that were just frittered away and tossed to the side last night. >> this is about as complex as it gets -- nuclear weapons, north korea. there's never been a meeting between a north korean and an american leader going all the way back to the late 1940s. and i think, joe, you have to say, it's positive that the administration and north korea are turning towards diplomacy and talks the next couple of months, because we were heading towards a collision with them, but it's a huge gamble on the
part of president trump. because i think as sam was just saying, we don't have an american ambassador in seoul, with we don't have an american assistant secretary of state for east asia. our greatest expert just retired, ambassador joe young, last week. >> my goodness. >> you need a team, and you need to gain this out. it's going to be a very, very difficult negotiation because kim jong-un is in a strong position. he has nuclear weapons and has made progress on his nuclear and missile tests. he won't give these up. i don't think he will give them up, but certainly not easily. so, you're looking at maybe years of negotiations. rex tillerson is going to have to advance this for the president. he's going to have to go out and probably meet the north koreans. we're going to have to be in lock step with the south koreans, the japanese, the chinese, and even our friend vladimir putin, because they're part of this as well. as you saw, rex tillerson was in africa yesterday, and about an hour before the announcement, he wasn't aware of this, and he said we're a long way from
negotiations with north korea. so, they've got a lot of work to do. and you have to say kim jong-un is on the offensive here, and everyone's reacting to him, and that's not a good way to start this. >> andrea, rex tillerson had a rough day yesterday. first of all, he was blindsided by his own president, but he was also trolled by sergey lavrov on social media. >> and we all know what feels like. i've been trolled by sergey lavrov. >> he's an extraordinary, extraordinary foreign minister. >> i mean, rex tillerson and his advisers are saying, well, he knew all along. he was just trying to be cautious and speak very carefully, clearly not wanting to preempt the president's announcement. but the fact is, i think there was a lot of scrambling at the white house. they themselves, the vice president was there. and look at the hard line that the vice president took at the olympics, refusing to stand up. that was coordinated with the white house, obviously. and then the snub when kim's sister refused to meet with pence at the very last minute, standing him up.
so, there have been a lot of mixed messages. my concern, and nick burns, i don't know about yours, but when you think back to 1994, october 18th, 1994, bill clinton comes out and announces that after 16 months of very tough talks, they had an agreement, a framework agreement. and we now know that within, you know, eight years, we discovered how much they were cheating on that. this hasn't been carefully prepared, and we've got a president who, to put it kindly, enjoys being flattered. so, what happens when these two men with translators get in a room, and you have, you know, the show of a summit, but is it really wise to go into it at this level without the preparation and without joe young? >> andrea, that's the big question. it's never been done like this before. and it's not like you have a president like eisenhower, who was schooled in policy and politics and the military, who knew these issues. this president doesn't read and
he doesn't study and he doesn't prepare. and so, he's going to have to have a lot of support. but you're right, andrea, the north koreans, of course, cheated on the agreement they made with president clinton. when i worked for -- and i was in that administration. when i worked for president bush, president george w. bush made an agreement, the north koreans skipped out on that. so, that's their track record, and we ought to believe that's what they're going to do, and kim jong-un's looking for legitimacy. no american leader's ever met a north korean leader. he wants that. he wants sanctions relief. he want international aprobation and he gets that from the very first meeting with president trump, so this is going to be very -- degree of difficulty is off the charts, i think, for the administration. >> and willie, we go back. 1994 is a great example of just what this president may be stumbling into. you had jimmy carter going over for bill clinton to negotiate a plan that the entire world thought, actually, was going to do what needed to be done with
north korea. i think jimmy carter even won the nobel peace prize for those efforts. and then, again, eight years later, we find out the north koreans are cheating. and we have had the most skilled diplomats, even had a former president who helped your dad, dr. brazinski would say, negotiate the camp david accords. i'm just skroeking. dr. brazinski helped jimmy carter -- >> that's correct. >> but you had these brilliant minds working, and they still got duped by the north koreans. and now here's donald trump stumbling into this to change the headlines. >> yeah, it's a question of why this time would be any different, why you can trust north korea this time in a way we've never been able to trust north korea. and that's what i would ask you, ambassador, is that the goal of this in the end, obviously, is to get rid of north korea's nuclear program, its nuclear weapons. why would kim jong-un agree to that, or why would he actually
do it, even if he did agree to doing it, when that gives up the only leverage he has in the world is the fact that he says he has a nuclear program? it gives him the power and prestige you're talking about. what could president trump or anyone in the american government possibly say to him or provide or offer him that would convince him to get rid of his one major holding, which is nuclear weapons? >> and this is going to be the major problem here in these negotiations. kim jong-un knows what happened to gadhafi and saddam hussein when they gave up their weapons of mass destruction. they both lost their regimes and lives. i think the goal of the north koreans here is to legitimize themselves, to become more normal in international community, to keep their nuclear weapons, and maybe they'll agree to limits and verification and international insight into the fact that they have nuclear weapons and where they're stored. i don't think it makes any rational sense for the north koreans to give up those weapons, and that's why if you start at the summit level with
president trump and kim jong-un, there's nowhere else to go. if you fail there, then you're left with nothing, and that may drive you back, the whole situation, to the use of military force. so, this is a big gamble by the president. >> all right. ambassador nicholas burns, thank you so much. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> we really appreciate you being here. we need to get aibrebreak, but andrea, extraordinary color yesterday about how this meeting came together and how haphazard it really was. >> "the new york times" has a lot of these details. the fact that the president was not supposed to meet the south korean delegation, the foreign minister, chung, until friday, but he heard that the delegation was briefing national security officials in the west wing and wanted to talk to them, too. and so, none of the preparation of calling prime minister abe, the japanese are very nervous about this, calling the south koreans, and he proposed going ahead with it right away. chung was not prepared and said
i've got to talk with president moon. they got moon on the phone and he signed off on it because he's been pushing forward. and so, they announced it while rex tillerson was asleep in africa. >> while rex tillerson was asleep, mika, again. i mean, willie, it really does underline what we've been saying before, the president was desperate to change the headlines. he has succeeded. but it wasn't even a regularly scheduled meeting. he heard that others were talking to south korean officials and he rushed in and basically played monty hall and said let's make a deal. >> by the way, the end of all that was the president of the united states popping his head into the briefing room, the white house briefing room, which most reporters think it was the first time they'd seen him in there, and basically saying to people like hallie jackson in the briefing room, 7:00, big announcement, be there or be square, out in the driveway. >> oh, my god. >> and that's the way it all came to be. and the fact that the state department, the state department was cut out of this, we can't forgot how extraordinary that is and how it's unprecedented for a decision this big.
>> yeah, the state department, our closest allies. i'm sure people on the hill, nobody knew about this. donald trump just decided to play reality tv show president to change the headlines. >> this is how he rolls. this is how he ran the trump organization. he has no concept of how you run a diplomatic operation in an enterprise as large as the government. he thinks you just kind of drop into a meeting, say, okay, i'll do that, and you do it. >> everyone thinks this is going to happen now, that this decision, or this movement, which may have happened like "the new york times" outlines is, will be happening. >> they will be meeting. what they get out of it will be another question. >> again, there will be be a meeting because that's easy. that's easy for him to do. just like the meeting with dianne feinstein on guns was easy to do, just like the meeting with democrats on immigration was easy to do. he always can do the easy things. >> this is the king of deflection, and he was very disturbed yesterday. >> right. >> and he does not want his family seeing the porn star on
the front pages of the papers. it causes deep distress to him to have details of that being revealed by his press secretary, and it it seems that this was, this was his point, was to deflect. >> and if you don't believe that's the case, then again -- >> you don't have to. >> just look at what happens. he makes a big announcement on guns, nothing comes on it. he makes a big announcement on dreamers, nothing comes of it. >> nothing. >> makes a big announcement on immigration, on transgender, nothing comes of it. he talks about the wall, nothing comes of it. that's what he does. he just edistracts. he's a day trader. so, yes, i agree with andrea, a meeting will take place. i'll be shocked if anything came from it. what's next? still ahead, president trump brushes off warnings and concerns from members of his own party and many u.s. allies and moves forward with his plan to impose higher tariffs on steel and aluminum. and former trump campaign chair paul manafort pleads not guilty to another indictment and walks
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these houses! yes, yes and yes. and don't forget about them. uh huh, sure. still yes! xfinity delivers gig speed to more homes than anyone. now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. "morning joe." joe and mika, big congratulations for you. i understand last night the radio television digital news foundation honored you two with the letter eed ziedenberg award presented to a radio or television journalist or news executive who's made a major contribution to the protection of first amendment freedoms. and andrea, i understand you were generous enough to provide the introduction for joe and mika last night. >> the only problem was, in keeping it short enough, because there's so much to say. and it was very exciting.
and this was while all this korean story was developing, so there were a lot of things -- >> andrea's head was spinning. >> andrea was actually looking at breaking news while introducing us, for good reason. >> but it was really exciting. the first amendment award. and who has been more outspoken in terms of speaking out, empowering people, not only women, but certainly, importantly women, than mika, starting all the way back in 2014 with know your value. and joe and mika speaking truth to power and leading the way and what i said was transforming morning television, which willie, you are so much a big part of, you and steve and the regulars. >> we talked last night when we got the award. alex and dan, if you can show the control room. we just talked about this really, i mean, this award was for the three people that we have working for us. we have more than three people, but sometimes, it seems we don't
have enough to do a three-hour show live every day, but they literally work around the clock and allow us to come in and do this. >> make this possible. >> so, it was -- >> too much. >> willie, we told the story about tim coming in when we were at java joe's back in january of 2008. >> ten years ago, yeah. >> ten years ago. >> can you imagine? >> and that's really when the show started, when tim walked in and said, hey, can we be on your show? and we told the story, what phil told us, which is, he said the only advice i'm going to give you is, you know, your audience is tim russert. >> right. >> that's your audience of one. he's in northwest washington watching the show every morning. and -- >> what does he want to see? >> let that be your north star. and of course, willie, you and i especially have fallen short of that goal. >> well short, yeah. >> every day. but it is a good goal to have. >> it is. and by the way, i would add to that list the person sitting to
your left, andrea mitchell, someone who we've all looked up to for so long and who added legitimacy to our show when we were a scrappy group in secaucus, new jersey, and people wondered what we were doing. so andrea deserves a piece of this as well. >> thank you, willie. >> and can i say something about andrea which tells you what kind of person she is? when i had my previous job, "scarborough country," which won 87 peabody awards, as you know. >> listened to by millions. >> i never saw it. >> when i first came into nbc, and i'll say this, i've said it before, most everybody would not talk to me. i was a strange man in a strange land, and a lot of the nbc correspondents wouldn't come on the show. andrea mitchell was the first. she would always be on the show, always deliver the news, and that's something i never, ever forgot. in politics, i remember the first person that gave me a $200 donation when nobody else would,
and in media, i remember the first person that said, yeah, i'll go on this show. i don't care what anybody says. so, that's why last night was so special. >> here we are. >> thank you. >> very, very much. >> and we have to thank phil. do we have that picture of phil? it's the first time i've seen him look serious. also, it is pretty incredible for alex and jessie and the whole team, and meek kmika and willie. >> and poor rachel. >> poor, poor rachel. to have a guy like griffin, which willie, how many times has phil griffin called you over the last decade and said, hey, don't talk about this or do talk about that? we have complete, absolute freedom. sometimes it makes him very nervous, so he calls alex. but that is pretty incredible in news, isn't it? >> it is. yeah, no, we've never received those phone calls. i think alex might have some other stories for you, some concerns from phil about what we're doing on the show behaviorwise, maybe, but -- >> oh. >> no he's been completely
supportive, again, from day one, almost 11 years now it's been since we launched this. and phil's been there every step of the way. >> yeah. and also, of course, thanks to dan. >> oh, my god. >> and again, just absolutely everybody. so anyway, a great honor. and andrea, thank you so much for being there. >> i really appreciate it. still ahead, some members of the senate foreign relations committee are skeptical over the news about north korea. senator cory gardner says price of admission for a meeting between trump and kim jong-un must be complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the korean peninsula. the senator is our guest this morning. and the "washington post's" bob woodward will join the table as pell wp here's the story of green mountain coffee roasters sumatra reserve told in the time it takes to brew your cup.
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the fact is, we've been treat treated, really, treated so badly over the years by other countries. i think, really, we've been treated very badly by our politicians, by our presidents, by people that represented us that didn't, frankly, know what they were doing. and we lose $800 billion a year on trade. every year, $800 billion. it's been going on for a long
time. our factories were left to rot and to rust all over the place. thriving communities turned into ghost towns. you guys know that, right? not any longer. the workers who poured their souls into building this great nation were betrayed, but that betrayal is now over. >> yes, and you are going to help create 150,000 jobs -- >> no. >> you are going to cost 6 million workers, working-class americans, who work in industries that depend on steel and their products, to actually be hurt, and of course, working-class consumers will pay the biggest price. this is, of course, you said it yourself, this is the trump tax, and it will be working-class americans who will be disproportionately hurt by it. >> after a week, the speculation
and controversy, president trump formally launched new tariffs on steel and aluminum from foreign countries yesterday. the tariffs, 25% on imported steel and 10% on imported aluminum, will take effect on march 23rd, according to a senior administration official. steve rattner, your thoughts. >> look, i think joe summed it up very well. >> really? >> yeah, this is a terrible economic policy that is going to actually cost us jobs. it's been well documented. if you go back to the bush tariffs in 2002 that he put on steel, when economists studied afterwards, it ended up costing hundreds of thousands of jobs afterward, and it potentially also is going to lead to a trade war. >> by the way, you have people in the steel industry saying this is going to hurt us, this is going to cost jobs, because yes, there are also, again, 6 million workers -- >> you mean the steel-using -- >> yeah, yeah, yeah. you've got 6 million workers whose products that they make depend on steel, which now costs
more, which means their products will cost more, which means, you know, there will be people losing jobs. >> yeah. you know, there's been this sort of argument about how much it does to the cost of a coke can or a budweiser can, and wilbur ross is saying it's only a penny on a can, about out then you do the math and it's something like a $9 billion tax on americans because there are a lot of soda and coke cans sold every year. and it's no surprise you have the steel users against the tariffs because of what it will do to cars. >> the trump tax obviously is going to hurt, andrea, working-class americans, but what does it do to our allies and our alliances? >> yeah, maybe there's -- >> first of all, yes, canada and mexico are supposedly exempted if they make conceptions on nafta, so that's a really carrot-and-stick approach. but the european union and the brits and others who are our major allies are furious about this, and they're going to retaliate. and their retaliation can be
more painful, and it's going to be very targeted, and they're talking about, you know, key areas, like kentucky bourbon. and the other thing that is so typical of this administration is that their fact sheets are not factual. and i defer to steve rattner on this, but they don't talk about our surplus in services. >> yeah. >> so, when they talk about $800 billion, they are ignoring the fact that there is a $300 billion surplus, so the net is different. obviously, there's -- or $500 billion in services, rather -- >> trump's numbers are always wrong. the $800 billion is really $500 billion and so on and so forth. but what andrea's talking about in terms of retaliation and the state of our allies is a serious problem because this could be a race to the bottom in terms of one country after another putting on tariffs to try to get even. >> can i just say, though, i did some reporting on tariffs this week, and i really think this may be another instance of this white house making an unprepared and sensationalistic
announcement that they have every intention of reining in. why? because based on my reporting -- and i talked to top union officials both at the afl-cio and the steelworkers, they don't even support this. when wilbur ross presented options to the president, he had three different options. the options that the steelworkers themselves, which is the main union that they're trying to appeal to here, were a more targeted list. so, we've already got carveouts for canada and mexico. you see what's happening with congress threatening to step in here, and the president himself when he made the announcement left room for him -- >> a lot of wiggle room. >> -- to add additional carveouts. and yes, the europeans will retaliate. that's why i think they may have to revisit this. >> the reason steelworkers are of mixed minds because they also represent the companies that use steel as well as make steel. so they're on both sides. >> by the way, south korea, huge effect. this really hits -- it hammers south korea. we need south korea now more than ever. >> yeah. >> nothing makes sense. still ahead, we'll go live to the pentagon, where officials
reportedly didn't know about the president's north korea announcement until everyone did. "morning joe" will be right back. thank you. ♪ imagine if the things you bought every day... earned you miles to get to the places you really want to go. with the united mileageplus explorer card, you'll get a free checked bag. two united club passes. priority boarding. and earn fifty thousand bonus miles after you spend three thousand dollars on purchases in the first three months from account opening plus, zero-dollar intro annual fee for the first year,
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trump signs some executive orders for steel and aluminum tariffs. during his speech he thank add steel worker, but things got awkward towards the end. take a look at this. >> i that you can for the opportunity for what you do. >> your father is herman? >> yes, sorry. >> well, your father herman is looking down, he's very proud of you right now. >> oh, he's still alive. [ audience reacts ] >> did you hear that? i just saved his dad's life. that happens. >> oh, my god. just can't -- >> you know, willie, it's one of my favorite memes on twitter right now is somebody will take moments like that -- and they did it again yesterday -- and will use it as the closing credits from "veep" they'll have
the music and the split screen and the credits. that may have been one of the best "veep" closing credit scenes. "your father would be very proud of you." he's still alive. >> what a strange assumption to make, too, just to assume the guy had passed on. it's like assuming a woman is pregnant. you better be sure before you congratulate her on the pregnancy. >> never, ever do that. exactly. we were talking about tariffs before, steve. charles koch, a man who knows a little bit about trade and business and also a guy who republicans have looked to for guidance, i'm sure you saw his op-ed in the "washington post" where he said this is -- you know, we need to do a better job on immigration policy and we need to do a better job on our free trade policy. >> trade is actually uniting, oddly enough. a lot of democrats and a lot of republicans. the only ones who agree with the president are out-of-the-way
fringes so this is one issue that has brought reasonably minded republicans and democrats together. >> real quickly. >> at 8:30 eastern, we'll get our monthly jobs numbers but what you want to watch more are the earnings numbers because last month when the earnings took an unexpected jump up the stock market rolled over because it was scared about higher interest rates. >> steve rattner, andrea mitchell, thank you both very much. still ahead, much more on the president's announcement about a high-stakes meeting with kim jong-un. plus, the continued fallout over tru trump's new tariffs, porn star? i don't see a porn star? coming up, the "atlantic's" joins us next on "morning joe." you made the mistake. i beg your pardon? he says, you should have chosen full-car replacement. excuse me?
nope. don't we need to run? nope. it just explodes in a high pitched 'yeahhh.' yeahhh! try directv now for $10 a month for 3 months. no satellite needed. today, after 16 months of intense and difficult negotiations with north korea we have completed an agreement that will make the united states, the korean peninsula, and the world safer. under the agreement, north korea has agreed to freeze its existing nuclear program and to accept international inspection of all existing facilities. this agreement represents the first step on the road to a nuclear-free korean peninsula. >> in 1994, president bill clinton announced a plan to give north korea more than $4 billion
in energy aid over a decade in exchange for them to freeze and gradually dismantle its nuclear weapons program. it did not work out. welcome back to "morning joe," with us we have nbc news national political reporter heidi przybyla, editor-in-chief of the "atlantic" magazine jeffrey goldberg, pulitzer prize winning associate editor of the "washington post," bob woodward, national political reporter for axios, jonathan swan and, of course, willie geist is along with us from new york. good to have you all on board today. >> so bob woodward. you have to give every president going back to bill clinton an a for effort and an f for results. bill clinton in 1994 sent jimmy carter over to negotiate a deal. jimmy carter ended up winning
the nobel peace prize for that work but jimmy carter and george w. bush and bill clinton and barack obama all were just unable to come up with a deal the north koreans would keep. here we have donald trump stumbling in -- >> it may be stumbling, it may not. you have to talk. what's the alternative? if you dig into this -- i'm doing a book on trump and there's more at work -- you're smirking. >> i'm smirking. keep going, bob, and i'll tell you why. >> there are things that can be done. for instance it's being talked talked about at high levels that their confidence-building measures can take place between the united states and north korea that will lay a foundation. i'm not saying it will work and these things have sort of -- are
dangerous but the thing the north koreans hate the motion are military exercises. there are things that can be done to turn down the temperature. maybe you don't have to send b one bombers that are capable as part of the exercise. you cannot call them things like eagle claw or bombs away and telethe north koreans we're doing this, it's a readiness exercise. >> operation fuzzy bunny. >> don't run away from the of better relations. >> here's why i smirk. it's important to understand the possibilities here and it's important to hash them out. having said that, given the way this announcement was made by this president with absolutely nobody in the white house and
more specifically the state department and the secretary of state himself even knowing about it, what is the potential that those possibilities have been thought out? >> good critique. but all of these summits are dangerous. go back to reagan/gorbachev. here reagan and gorbachev finally sat down and talked, let's not blow up the world. and they came up with some ideas that were quite strange like zero ballistic missiles, let's do away with all ballistic missiles. well, the military went nuts and the joint chiefs chairman had to sit with reagan at the nsc and say we're not going to do this because all of your -- most of our deterrent capability involves ballistic missiles and you know what reagan said? oh, i love the military, that's
it. and the idea disappeared. people have to watch all of this. >> so here you have donald trump keeping his pentagon in the dark, keeping rex tillerson in the dark, keeping the national security agency -- keeping everybody in the dark. in fact, it was all improvised, he wasn't -- >> well, he has no korea experts anymore. >> he has no korea exports, doesn't have an ambassador to south korea, the one korea expert he had left last week and he wasn't even supposed to be in this meeting. he heard they were talking, he rushed over, met the diplomats and said, hey, let's make a deal. they had delivered a letter -- there was no letter and donald trump just decides -- i'm sorry, he decides to once again improvise in the same way he improvised on tariffs when he was angry about hope hicks leading. >> it's jazz. it's jazz. it's not very pleasant jazz. >> are you saying he's the miles
davis of diplomacy. >> jazz is fun to listen to. >> you know, off situation in which -- bob seems to be in the keep hope alive camp, i'm in the more of the he must be kidding camp. we've just given kim jong-un something for nothing which is the to say what north korea traditionally wants, kim and his father and grandfather have always wanted was the grand summitry, the world superpowers recognizing our potency and relevance. you don't do -- the first thing you don't do is give them the president of the united states. >> and isn't it more than ironic that this president, who blasted barack obama for striking the worst deal in the history of the united states diplomacy with iran actually gives the north koreans the one thing they want before he gets any concessions. >> the danger here is an
overestimati overestimation, perhaps, on the part of the president of hiss negotiating abilities, right? he believes that he's the best negotiator therefore you can't trust barack obama who's a woolly headed law professor, constitutional law professor but me i'm a tough real estate guy. >> but there's no evidence -- he's got no deal, he's done no deal on guns. >> well, he hasn't negotiated anything. >> he doesn't know how to. >> well, i don't know that but there's no proof yet in this presidency that he can. >> name the deal donald trump -- >> deal maker in chief. what's he done? >> what deal, heidi? >> it's been a year. what's he done? >> in process. >> you can't even say the tax deal because that was all republicans. >> well, that was very led by the republican leadership. but the question i have here is kim jong-un clearly thinks he's already gotten a concession in terms of getting this meeting at
all. he believes that perhaps it confers some kind of legitimacy on him as a nuclear power. but my question is does it? how big of a concession is this to just have the meeting regardless of whatever the preparations are, whatever the outcome is. >> there's no meeting yet. nothing has happened. i mean, the chance of this meeting happens is -- what? >> as you know, donald trump may be watching this now. >> oh, really? >> yes. >> there's just a slight possibility. >> he still is addicted to hour i don't have fest here. >> i doubt he would be that obsessed. >> he likely is thinking, oh, yes, that's exactly what they said about my presidential campaign. >> but that's not -- >> well, it was improvised, it was chaotic, it's not going to work, it's going to fail. now i agree, this is a fair critique but what is the
alternative? we know from the assessments, hundreds of thousands of people dying if there is some sort of war. >> but this is the classic north korean move. you spin everybody in japan and south korea up into a frenzy, right, through aggressive action and aggressive rhetoric on the part of the north koreans and then you have this -- there's a great piece in the "the atlanti atlantic", they called it an endorphin release. you have a sudden endorphin release where kim says "i don't want to have a war, i want to have talks." it's a recurring pattern. he brings everybody to the brink and then makes everybody so thankful he won't go to war with you tomorrow. we've seen this movie. >> but sometimes the movie changes, jeff. it does. >> what's the expression? only time will tell, bob, but it doesn't seem likely based on his record of negotiating. >> i'm not saying it's likely. what's the alternative? >> a more coherent negotiation, talk, talk. >> it seems the alternative is,
willie, to first work with your allies, first confer with japan, first confer with australia, first confer -- >> with your secretary of state. >> with your secretary of state. >> definitely him. >> first confer with your secretary of defense who's going to have to fight that war. prepare that war if things don't work well. first talk to your u.s. ambassador to south korea. before you run into a meeting and say let's make a deal. >> first you do the leg work, you understand what you're getting yourself into. and i think some people around this table may disagree with me. one of my problems with barack obama's deal with iran is barack obama decided in 2007 he was going to make a deal with iran and he and john kerry were far too interested in making the deal instead of getting the right deal. in this case, donald trump wants a deal. there is a process to go through.
as critical as i may be of what barack obama ultimately got at least he went through the proper channels, he did the right process and there was a chance at negotiations that might work out well until the end. >> the iran deal, also, has worked so far. just a note froeor the record. the iran deal has worked. they don't have nukes. >> you're speaking for the mullahs there. >> well, no -- iranian spokesman, yes. >> because the inspection regime is so rigid. how many inspections have we had there? >> iran does not have nukes right now. whatever you think about iran it doesn't have nukes in large part because of this iran deal. but we don't have to relitigate that one. >> but they get billions and billions of dollars in sanctions relief. >> here's the problem. joe just tried to break it down. donald wants a meeting. we hear the geopolitical ramifications of this potential said meeting that is or is not scheduled brought out by jeffrey
and bob but we know how donald trump thinks and i don't think he's thinking about a meeting and i don't think he's thinking about america's place in the world stage, about any concerns we have in terms of foreign policy. i think he was thinking yesterday -- and this is my gut, i don't like this stormy daniels story, i want to figure out a way to deflect from it, meeting, meeting, we're going to do a meeting. and i think he blurted it because he's desperate to change the headlines and here we are talking about the potential for this meeting and what it means on the world stage. he's happy we're not talking about the deal his lawyer cut with the porn star that he forgot to sign. >> and as evidence of that, we've spoken to people close to donald trump -- >> we know him, this is how he operates. >> -- he spoke to him the morning out he sent those tweets attacking mika saying she was bleeding from her face and everybody was exploding, republicans on the hill were
attacking him and they were saying you're going to need to apologize to mika and he said "what's on the front pages of the paper today? you see anything about north korea? you see anything about russia?" and they said no. he goes "okay, i'm doing pretty well." >> this is his game. >> so knowing him for as long as we do, that's what he was thinking about last night. you know what he's thinking about this morning? how do i get this meeting at mar-a-lago? >> there's no question that he whipped this up himself. when his own secretary of state didn't have any knowledge that it was happening and said so in front of tv cameras in africa yesterday that we're a long way from nations with north korea, president trump as you said rushes into the south korea meeting, he rushes personally into the white house briefing room to let reporters know there will be abig announcement at 7:00, y'all better be out there, and then sending the south korean emissary to make the announcement then the white house confirms the announcement, jonathan. the way this happened, unconventional isn't the word to
use but i guess we should begin to expect that there's a way things happen for the president of the united states. i guess the big question is what makes him think? what makes anyone at the highest reaches of the united states government think that north korea is going to give up its nuclear program. it's the one thing it has. it's the one thing that led this maken leader to summon the leader of the free world into a meeting. he summoned president trump to a meeting and to have talks at that level. why would he give that leverage under any negotiation? >> well, you just said what makes trump think and then you said what makes the people at the highest levels of the united states government. those are two very separate questions and the latter i don't think we have any evidence that they do think that. trump himself believes perhaps more than even bill clinton in the great man theory of history that his own personal charisma, he uses the word talent all the time, he truly believes that his
singular charisma and quote/unquote talent is all that's needed to solve the world's most intractable problems. he believes that's the case still in the middle east with the israeli/palestinian conflict and he believes it here with north korea. i'm told by sources inside the building that he was in a jubilant mood yesterday afternoon when he ducked into the press room, he was kind of on a giddy streak wandering through and on a bit of a high, he was wandering in and out, had a meeting after that and he clearly thinks this is a moment. he sees life in these cinematic moments and plays moment to moment. i don't know -- all of his ridiculous -- i can see why people are saying nixon to china but that outcome, as bob woodward knows, was just about pre-cooked and there was president nixon and a regime china that shared an anti-soviet position and had a whole lot of rigor and choreography going
into these meetings so this is actually literally the exact opposite of nixon to china except for the surprise factor. >> deals at that lifl aevel are, already cooked by the time it happens. let's take up joe and mika's point about stormy daniels. you're wired into this white house and talk to people everyday. how concerned about the president is this about the payment going to stormy daniels, allegedly, about covering up an affair with the president of the united states? >> i have asked a lot of people in there and you'll be surprised to know he doesn't talk a lot about it but they sense there is a tension in the air. that's about as far as i'm willing to go based on conversations. >> a tension in the air. jeffrey, i want to pick up on bob woodward's point. it's a good point, what are the alternatives? we've talked about the way he should have set this up if we want to talk about nixon going
to china or if you want to talk about the start treaties or salt treaties, it's pretty cooked. what your father did working under jimmy carter on the kaica david accords, these things are years in the making. but can you think of any time that the united states or any u.s. president was faced with a tougher dilemma? you right now have two choices, one being that you start a war on the korean peninsula that ends up killing half a million south korea south koreans and a lot of americans in one day or you sit back and allow the north koreans to have the ability -- a madman have the ability to deliver a nuclear weapon to seattle. it's such a terrible dilemma, isn't it? >> i'm not arguing against diplomacy, i'm arguing for diplomacy. that's why the iran deal is an interesting model. for whatever flaws it has -- and it does have flaws -- that was a
process. there are teams of experts that spent years trying to -- we're talking about a nuclear program. these are complicated things. no president as gifted intellectually as obama or some other kind of president is going to be able to master these details so there's an elongated process. there's study, there's back channel negotiations. there's back channel negotiations -- set up back channel negotiations. this was all spontaneous and, by the way, you'll notice one thing that hasn't happened, barack obama never met the leaders of iran. they were not -- the americans were not going to give iran that prize because that's a prize in international diplomacy. you're a rogue regime, what do you want more than anything? the legitimacy conferred by an official meeting with the president of the united states. now we're starting at the last part. >> just because you're talking about iran, if i couldn't get a meeting i would like billions of dollars in cash delivered in cargo, that would be really cool. >> no, no, no, we can do that in the second half. >> oh, boy.
>> iran deal jokes. >> when the next war comes in between iran and hezbollah, it won't be a nuclear war. >> let us hope. >> let us hope and pray but that is a true thing. >> at least for right now we have a pause, right? we can debate what the president's motivations were till the cows come home but right now we have a pause on this and when you look back at where we were a couple months ago with these two trading really hot rhetoric, rocket man and dotard and comparing sizes of rockets. >> we would refer that to your point, bob that the president insulting someone that is considered to be a madman. >> jeffrey's point is correct about iran. that deal is much criticized legitimately and you point out that it worked -- >> it worked for now.
>> let me say a lot of people were still saying in 1996 that the clinton/carter deal was working so we will see, right? >> we will see and i still fall back on the idea of -- i've spent too many years writing about wars, wars that don't work, presidents who think -- yeah, we're going to solve problems with wars and actually we create problems with wars and i think that's exactly -- this is a pause. we don't know where it's going. i do know that the idea that this just erupted spontaneously, i think there is more back channel work that was going on that is significant and fits with trump's improvised move. >> improvisational approach. jonathan swan, thank you. >> thank you, jonathan. >> we'll be looking for your
reporting in axios, including one titled "peter navarro wants gary cohn's job, terrifying d.c. "that is terrifying, actually. bob woodward and jeffrey goldberg, stay with us. still ahead on "morning joe," we'll go live to the white house and the pentagon for details about what led up to the president's north korea announcement and the key officials blindsided by the move to deflect from stormy. you're watching "morning joe." y we'll be right back because i want my children to know it's all so that they can have a better life. oh my gosh. this is amazing. we're so much closer to home ownership. this is amazing. bp's natural gas teams use smart app technology to share data from any well instantly. so they can analyze trends
welcome back to "morning joe," we have reporting from both the pentagon and the white house on this north korea story. nbc news pentagon correspondent hans nichols is with us, also nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker. kristen, i'll start with you at the white house with the process of how this came together last night capped by the president of the united states ducking into the white house briefing room and saying "be in the driveway at 7:00." >> this was a fast-moving impromptu process, i think, willie, to some extent.
we know according to senior administration officials president trump was briefed by south korean officials who were here as well as some of his top national security officials and essentially was delivered a verbal message from kim jong-un that invitation to meet. then it was soon after that the president agreed to the meeting, stunning how quickly he made that decision. then it was also striking that they had the south korean officials make the announcement but willie i can't underscore just how unusual and unprecedented it is that we would see the president in the white house press briefing room. let me recreate that scene for you. we were in the process of preparing for our evening newscasts, writing our scripts, we happened to look up on the monitor that we have in which we can also see what's happening in the briefing room, we saw reporters huddled around so we went running around to see what happened. by the time most of us got there, the president had left, our own ali vitale was there to
capture the moment. she overheard the president say "there's going to be a big announcement at 7:00 p.m. by the south korean leaders who are here" and it was a reality tv moment, willie. this was a president who was sort of seizing not only his bully pull kin but drawing from his past as a reality tv star and remember it came on a day when he made a major announcement about trade so he caught the world by surprise and his own secretary of state who said just hours earlier that negotiations were far off so this was fast paced, impromptu and, again, surprised a lot of people here. >> news not just to you but many of the people in his administration including the secretary of state. incredible. nbc's kristen welker at the white house. thanks, as always. hans, let's turn to you. i'm reading a tweet from yours about the time the president made that announcement. officials are walking along correspondents' corridor telling reporters they don't know what the announcement is. that's pentagon officials saying they don't know what the president is talking about when
did they learn? >> secretary mattis was in the room with the president so mattis was at least read in. in a lot of way this is felt like the transgender announcement, the tweet from the president where no one at the pentagon had any idea what was going on. now, yes secretary mattis was with the president but officials who would normally know about this be part of the communications strategy, they simply weren't read in. this morning they're trying to say they're taking credit, that this is about the maximum pressure campaign, they say training exercises will continue. as this was breaking last night, there's a great deal of skepticism about this. pentagon officials don't believe he's willing to depart with either his missile program or nuclear arsenal, what he wants to accomplish. the most official version we got of that, just earlier this week we have the director of the national intelligence as well as the head of the defense intelligence agency saying he
has a testing plan and a schedule plan, kim jong-un is barrelling towards his ultimate goals. so there's a great deal of skepticism in this building and i think what we'll find out throughout the reporting this morning is just who knew and who was informed but more importantly who was consulted. was general dunford who is supposed to give advice, was he consulted? >> some of the things that north korea you could foresee wanting as part of a negotiations is an end or at least a reduction in those military exercises. we know they've long been upset about american troops along the border of the dmz. 25,000 of those. is the pentagon open to those reductions. >> so far no. and officially they keep saying that planning and the exercises will go on. here's the thing about the pentagon. they can do whatever they're dodd do in terms of planning and they always say there's planning. if you want to insult a high-ranking general, don't call him a wimp, just say hey, i hear your spreadsheets on planning
aren't very good and that will get him going. what we've learned from the pentagon under the trump administration is that if the president asks for something, they'll do it. we see that with the parade, we've seen that in so many different examples. >> chain of command. the commander in chief. nbc's hans nichols, thanks for that. we appreciate it. still ahead on "morning joe," one trump campaign manager declines to answer questions in the russia probe, while the man who replaced him on the trail was pleaded not guilty to another indictment in a federal courtroom and leaving with a second ankle bracelet. "morning joe" will be right back. ♪ we the people... are defined by the things we share. and the ones we love.
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all right, willie geist, what do you have on sunday today this sunday? >> obviously we have a lot to talk about with everything we've been talking about this morning. my guest will be the great jeff daniels, the great jeff daniels, one of my favorite actors, one of america's favorite actors "terms of endear." "purple rose of cairo" but maybe the one he'll be best remembered for "dumb and dumber." >> what do the people around you say when you said, you know what, i want to do this "dumb and dumber" movie, i want to do it with jim carrey, trust me on
this one. >> he goes jim carrey is a comedic genius, he'll probably wipe you off the screen. i said but he's not in the tongue on the pole scene, he doesn't hit her in the head and then pick a fight with her, and he's not on the toilet. >> classic scene, by the way. >> it will be on my tombstone. >> we spared you the visual of the toilet scene but he says that is the one scene that will be on his tombstone. >> where was that? was that in that little theater that -- >> he's got his own theater in chelsea, michigan, his hometown where he lives called the purple rose theater and we did it on the stage there. >> so mika did something -- >> a long time ago i did a piece on him on cbs "sunday morning". >> and he showed her his rv which had mirrors on the ceiling. >> we didn't go in the rv. >> pink champagne on ice. >> his new show is "the looming tower" he stars in it, it's streams on hulu.
it's an amazing show, the true story of the leadup to 9/11 and the intelligence failures in there. >> it's so interesting. all the great work he's done but we, of course, joke about "dumb and dumber." somebody asked him if that upset him and he said, he goes, there will be guys that come back from iraq or afghanistan that will talk about how they watched that and it made them laugh. he said the fact that i was blessed enough to be able to do something that made people happy. >> absolutely. that's absolutely what he said to me. he loves that he gets recognized. and his career -- although he was a big star early -- took a dip because he left hollywood and moved back home to michigan at the height of his career and he said "dumb and dumber" is the thing that put him back on the map and it wasn't like, hey, you're that guy, it was "oh, you're jeff daniels" and provided these opportunities he's had since so he loves the movie and he's grateful for it. >> that's wonderful. great guy, great family. >> we have lawrence wright on
tuesday for "the looming tower." wasn't that -- that was an extraordinary book where you actually had people in a divided time in america, people on the left all the way to the right were -- everybody was reading that book and saying if you want to understand what's been happening read lawrence wright's book. extraordinary. what is your "dumb and dumber" in your career? >> what is my "dumb and dumber" in my career? this has taken a turn i'm not comfortable with. what movie do i like to watch with the kids that's extremely stupid? "something about mary" does that count? >> sure. it's a very clever movie. >> i'm not a big "dumb and dumber" fan. >> why not? >> i don't know. i never got into it. i never did it. >> it's not as funny the second or third time around. >> everybody's got their own thing. >> such a snob. just like mika, i can't watch a movie -- >> >> i like the ""pitch
perfect" movies. >> joe made me watch the one with baby steps, baby steps. >> she didn't get "what about bob". >> no. >> just like -- she didn't understand "what about bob," she didn't understand "wedding crashers." >> i made you stop "coming to america." was that it? >> you have ""citizen kanciti " "wedding crashers" and "coming to america." >> that's an outrage. it may be time to entertain the thought that mika on movies is a lost cause. we're try too hard to force something that won't happen. >> she's an intellectual. >> let's move from movies to -- i want to go back to donald trump and i want to ask you, you're talking about look at his
successes. let's talk about what's happened in iraq and syria. barack obama started to move in this direction but there is no doubt under general mattis and the trump administration, thereby very extraordinary gains in iraq and into syria but right now there's a fear that there's not a strategy moving forward and isis may reconstitute itself. >> that is always the problem but here -- and i think history is going to show obama gets a lot of credit because he laid the foundation and the strategy for dealing with this and trump picked it up. there's a battle not just between between the political parties but between old order and new order and sometimes the old order works and what secretary of defense mattis has done, he has lifted the
restrictions on local commanders, people on the ground and he backs people up who do things sometimes that are too aggressive when they make mistakes and that has -- you talk to people in the military at a number of levels now and that has energized them and there is a feeling of, hey, they've got our back where in the obama era there was not as much of that feeling. that's a big change. >> well, there's also feeling by many of the front lines a reporter told me -- and i don't want to say who it was -- that on the front lines there was the concern during the koogs that if they had somebody shooting at them and it was a difficult situation sometimes they had to actually call and get through to susan rice before they could move forward. that's not the case anymore. >> yes, and that's a big
difference and there was a whole notion of let's hold back. obama, to his credit -- jeff know this is so well, just did not like war and wanted to avoid a new war. >> to be fair, he was a stone cold killer when he had to be. he had a high standard for when to unleash u.s. military forces but when there was someone to kill and they brought him a name he was no pacifist on that. >> yes, but he did -- >> killed more terrorists than any other president in american history. >> but he did it through drone strikes. >> he tried to avoid putting people on the ground. >> and as we know, when you do a drone strike the chances are that you're going to get the person who's pretty high but it's not perfect and lots of collateral damage follows. >> so march 20 is the 15th anniversary of the iraq war. and it's really extraordinary.
i've always said iraq has made fools of all of us. most americans were for the start of the war in 2003. >> i was. >> i was. most americans were against the surge. most americans were for withdrawing when barack obama withdrew. most americans -- and i include myself in most of those -- were wrong time and time again yet we look at what happened in 2007, 2008, 2009. nothing short of extraordinary the turn around there and the negative turnaround after 2011 and once again we've seen in '17 and '18 yet another turn around. the president says himself we always lose these battles but iraq over 15 years, there are a lot of highs and lows and right now -- >> it started with a low, to be fair. in retrospect. >> many more lows than highs. i'm just saying 15 years in you
can look at what happened in 2007 and look at what happened in 2017/2018 and say okay, maybe we're learning how to do this. >> maybe we're learning how to do this, maybe we're not. we could say that for instance barack obama overindexed in a kind of way. overlearned the lessons of iraq and spent the last two years of his presidency trying to avoid going into syria precisely because of what happened in iraq and also to some degree what happened in libya. but we'll never know. this is the debate. we've had this discussion many times on this show. it's -- the consequences of not doing something sometimes outweigh the consequences of doing something but we will never know and i think barack obama -- we'll be studying this for the rest of our lives, was it a mistake not to go in hard? was it a mistake to pull out troops from iraq prematurely, some people think, did that lead to the creation of isis? we'll never know. this is alternative history, alternative facts and we'll have
no sense of it. but we didn't get caught in a huge iraq-style war in syria, that's true. >> one thing we know right now is what barack obama started and what donald trump has continued in iraq and syria has worked. we know the kurds have once again not just been partners of convenience which sometimes we like to make them but have been steadfast allies through it all have worked and right now those gains are at risk. >> bob woodward, jeffrey goldberg, thank you very much for being on, thank you for keeping hope alive. donald trump, keep hope alive. >> you at least devote a minute or two of each show to keeping -- >> to optimism. >> yes. >> well, again, that's why we have jeff daniels on. but we hope it works out well but there aren't a lot of good alternatives. let's hope the president from
this point forward starts talking to the state department and starts talking too experts. we do need an ambassador to south korea. hopefully the president does that and we move forward in a way that makes this world a safer place. >> still ahead. in the wake of the parkland students nationwide are mobilizing for gun safety laws but new polling shows surprising results about what millennials think about the issue. we're breaking down the numbers and what it means for action on capitol hill. back in just a moment. this is something that i'm
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>> a private 3450e9ing at the white house yesterday, president trump brought together top executives of the gaming industry, parents groups, and members of congress for a discussion about violence in video games. participants urged the president to consider new regulations that would make it harder for children to purchase violent
video games, arguing such games may have contributed to mass shootings like the recent attack in parkland. video game executives in the discussion countered that numerous scientific studies found no connections to games and violence along with the industry's already in place wity already in place rating system. meanwhile, mitch mcconnell's office announced yesterday what is left on the senate's docket before the easter recess starts in two weeks. notably absent, any gun control or school safety legislation. >> extraordinary. they could pass a bump stock ban, which the nra claims they support. they could pass cornyn murphy which actually tightens background checks. they could pass a number of things that the nra is claimed to support and they just aren't doing it. it is really -- it is really distressing. following parkland. >> i'm not sure what it takes. >> by the way, most nra members support these measures.
almost all gun owners support these measures. overwhelming majority of americans support the measures. >> there is surprising new numbers when it comes to young people's views on gun control. joining us now, director of polling at the institute of politics at hartford university. >> we found surprise comply counterintuitive finding. happens once a year. once just a couple of years we found on this particular issue, millennials are less progressive than other generations of americans. the issue overall. >> on guns. >> only really on guns. very few issues where they haven't been trending more progressive in the five or six years. intensity of this issue is being driven by general x, baby boomers, and essentially the grandparents of the kids. >> doesn't mean they're not supportive overall. >> what do you define as gun control. >> overall, we saw a significant increase of the generic gun control question. should we have stricter laws.
two-thirds roughly of young people millennials say yes. when it comes to taking property away. >> like taking away ar-15s, high capacity magazines, essentially a 20-25 point gap between what younger people think. >> even before i knew we were going to come in with the news on the video, i have two kids. you have three. two older boys, dtwo younger. i will admit it right here, right now. they grew up in a house where they played halo. they played call of duty. as willie always joked before, you know, my kids even bought me headphones for call of duty. it was the guys would do it. you know, others would walk in the room and go what's wrong with you people. i've talked to people who are
experts in the field as far as gun control and on both sides. and they say they believe that games like call of duty have contributed to poll numbers like this. these kids who have grownup playing video games with assault style weapons. >> video games and constant war in and other things could desensitize a generation for sure. i think there's a line between shifting opinions right versus violence. right. i think that could be a factor in a ten point shift in opinions. young people are also more likely to say they don't know. so it is a nunes situatiance si they want to see other changes first. >> it is -- i mean, the numbers that big, that big of a gap, sam, is surprising. >> but you, what about you and all of your kids at the prep school? >> the ivy league kids.
>> this joke doesn't work after ten years. i graduated. >> yes, it does. >> you're a baby to us. >> do you agree that perhaps call of duty, halo, the fact. >> i find these numbers very interesting. >> yes. >> clearly people spend hundreds and hundred us and hundreds of hours playing these games. >> been multiple polls. >> yes. i'm not sure what the factor is behind why millennials seem to be more desensitive. it's interesting. the bigger question beyond polls is what do you do about video games. the white house seems to be almost singularly focused right now on video game violence. after the president held the summit which he said i want to do broad gun control measures from background checks to raising the age limits and now has boiled down to let's shame video game manufacturers. you called it distressing.
it's super distressing. when you look at empirical data and evidence, video games don't contribute to gun violence. other countries have video games. they don't have gun violence. >> i want to be very careful. i'm saying video games may contribute especial i i would say among males, male millenn l millennials to a certain attitudes towards guns, but doesn't drive them to go out and start shooting people. >> no, but the other factor that's probably more significant than video games is this generation has seen the same movie for 20 years. shootings happen. grief, prayers and nothing else happens. i think. >> that's true. and i guess it is distressing to see this likely happening in the wake of parkland. i will say if you step back for a second, the kids from parkland did manage to create a huge amount of change. might not have happened on the federal level. >> in florida. >> business associated themselves with gun sales. the state law changes in florida national awakening of sorts.
you shouldn't be distressed if you are for this measure because they are produced change. >> they are leading the change. even though the numbers. >> john, thank you so much. >> i just got to say. we got to go, but i do have to say, let's not underline this. it is extraordinary whether you talk about same sex marriage, marriage equality, whether you're talking about -- you go through the issue, you talk about social justice, you talk about health care, you talk about education, in every single area millennials have become more progressive, except according to this poll, this one. >> exactly. >> we're beginning to figure it out. >> all right. thank you as well. >> something to think about. still ahead on morning joe, important voice on military matters. former chairman of the joint chief of staff. general marten will be our guest. on the heels of president's
announcement he will meet with north korea's kim jong-un. we will be right back. by the way, i said it was fantast fantastic. i meant remarkable. i can't wait to dig into it. ur. that sunday night date night with hbo allllllll night thing. that island without men or children would be nice to visit thing. buy an at&t unlimited plan, and get hbo included. more for your thing that's our thing. you or joints. something for your heart... but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is the number one selling brain-health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember.
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nobody talks to him other than dennis rodman talked to him. that was about it. >> i would speak to him. i have no problem speaking to him. >> the one -- i would speak to him. there's a chance i can talk him out of those nukes. i'm not going to say it's going to happen. and probably it won't. i won't go there. if he came here i would accept it. >> at a very young age. he was able to assume power. a lot of people tried to take that power away. obviously he's a pretty smart cookie. >> north korea, best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. >> rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his
regime. >> little rocket man is a sick puppy. >> i thought north korea was terrific. they came out and went into the olympics. went in with good spirit. did well. hopefully go in a very peaceful beautiful path we're prepared to go whichever path is necessary. >> would you be willing to meet kim jong-un. >> we'll see what happens. >> smart cookie. isn't that what fdr said about stallen. uncle joe is a smart cookie. >> welcome back to "morning joe." president trump has odd relationship obviously with kim jong-un. teetering between fear and mockery and at times strange respect for the young dictator. he's going to be having face-to-face meetings and will that fix the president's problem? >> i don't know. welcome back to morning joe. it is friday. march 9 and with us here in
washington, we have prison winning columnist. doctor evelyn she's a senior fellow at the atlantic counsel and msnbc national security analyst. and the president and ceo of the atlantic counsel, fred camp is with us this morning. along with our willie geist in new york. >> i thought you were going to say our rocket man. >> our sick puppy. willie geist. >> our smart cookie. >> before we jump into this. i want to go to you, fred. what are the alternatives. there have been obviously the president seemed to jump headfirst into shallow water yesterday, but we've all heard over the past year or so frantic talks behind the scenes. the pentagon planning military
attacks. mattis, mcmaster, others trying to figure out a way out of this. tillerson doing shuttle diplomacy. they're actually is a lot that has gone on and it has been an obsession of the national security team for the past year and a half. hasn't it? >> yes. i'm on the page of bob woodward on this. which is give the guy a break. maybe give the president a little bit of credit on this one. we had rex tillerson at the atlantic counsel in december. he said we're ready to talk to north koreans. meet with north koreans without precondition. if they want to talk about the shape of the table, if that's what turns them on, we can do that. if they want to talk about the weather, we'll do that. we need to do a road map. >> does that make sense? does it make sense to give the north koreans what the north koreans have always wanted and that is a meeting with the most powerful country in the world. >> if you keep the military pressure on, if you keep the
sanctions pressure on, why not. and so -- and i think they also have done talks with the chinese. they said to the chinese, if we have to cross and tillerson told us this in december, if we have to cross into north korea, we will return though the 38th parallel because we have no design to north korea. rex tillerson passed them a note saying we're not going to go for regime change. we're not going to go for regime collapse. we're not going cross in and use this as an excuse to get troops in. a lot taking place behind the scenes. all that was a surprise really was how it happened yesterday. >> willie geist. >> so gene robinson, i guess the question to our panel all morning is what's in it for kim jong-un to give up his nuclear program? frankly it's all he's got in a country without food or electricity. this is his leverage. this is his nuclear program. what can america realistically hope to get out of this that previous presidents from bill
clinton, ford have not. >> nothing for him to give up nuclear program. i don't think. however, i am on the side of, you know, talking to him is better than not talking to him. not talking to him has not worked. obviously. if only thing he put on the table is pause to nuclear testing. didn't say anything about ballistic missile testing. is there going to be a lot of issues that remain. i don't think this is going to solve the crisis. i think for us to be talking to north korea is a lot better than for us to be rattling sabers at north korea and contemplating some sort of bloody nose strike that could be catastrophic for south korea, catastrophic for japan. catastrophic for the world. and so as long as we're not talking about that sort of thing. i say great.
let's have the meeting. >> so let's bring in from denver, member of the foreign relations committee republican senator cory gardener of colorado. also the dean of the school of international studies a the the university of denver, former u.s. ambassador to south korea and former assistant secretary of state for east asia, christopher hill. master hill, start with you. and okay, let's say this meeting was fully thought out and planned. who is the advance team that is preparing this president for this said meeting? >> it's very unclear a lot this point. seems the president is own advance team. own set of advisers and own strategist, but i would agree i think it's something he had to try to do. now the question is to kind of line up all of the elements of denuclearization and by the way, it's far more than just getting a declaration. we had a declaration for them that they would get rid of nuclear weapons in september
2005. it wasn't until 2008 we realized we couldn't get from them any verification regime. this path is probably the right direction given the complete s possibility of any reasonable alternatives. >> senator, what are your concerns and let me ask you the same question that was asked previously. what does kim jong-un have for what purposes would he agree to remove nuclear weapons from his country when that didn't turn out so well for gaddafi. >> i think it's very important to realize why we're here. we gave up on failed doctrine of previous administration. this administration is working. if you talk to intelligence officials and state department officials they will tell you kim jong-un is starting to feel real pressure from our sanctions, the sanctions we passed in congress to put mandatory sanctions in
place on this regime. allies around the globe, they're starting to feel the pressure. as a result you have a regime trying to find a way forward. they've promised meetings before. they've promised action before. this is a new red line in the sand here. this is what's so important about this. we're here because the president's pressure has worked. the next step is very, very significant. . i sent a letter to the president yesterday saying continue maximum pressure. don't give up on denuclearization. i spoke to the president last night. sounds like that is what he intends to do. >> evelyn, we had fred camp, chris hill. cast of thousands say this is a good thing. president is doing what he should do. >> doing what he should do whether it's a pause or whether it's an opportunity for peace. what do you think?
>> i agree with all those eminent men. i will add that we should have maximum pressure so you heard the senator talk about the maximum pressure. when the vice president came back on the plane from the olympics. remember he said we're going to have engagement. that was the first time we heard they were open to engagement at that level, but he said we're going to continue maximum pressure. it's great the president wants to shift from fire and fury to talking, but if you want a successful outcome, we have to keep the pressure on. twice before we had a pause. we had a freeze. and 1994 with the agreed framework under president clinton and 2005 under president bush. the minute we went to the negotiating table. we accepted the north korean condition that we remove saix and remove from terrorism list. this time we can't do that. >> chris hill, what advice would
you have going forward with all of the mission takes that have been made by the three past administrations, what would you warn the president of the united states to be looking out for and what is the best way to prepare for this meeting? >> we can keep maximum pressure on and talk to them. i just want to correct what evelyn said. we did take them off the terrorism list. that was in regard to a very specific element, which was blowing up their cooling tower. we kept a full pan of sanctions on them and i would recommend we do that. i think it's very important to understand that these issues hinge on very technical problems. there's the operation of the plutonium based reactor, the so-called graphite reactor. we should get that stopped. we should get international
inspectors in there. then the question of the highly enriched uranium program. and ultimately, we should have a step-by-step plan whose last step involves getting international teams in there to take possession of the material. that may be a long way from now, but there needs to be -- this needs to be spelled out. see what the north koreans expect from us. they probably want economic assistance, energy assistance. might ask for civil nuclear plan as they have before. we need to be prepared for all of these things. what i would like ideally to see is if there's a summit meeting that it is in the context of fully articulated plan and that means sending diplomats out there and this administration has had challenges just namie i diplomats let alone empowering them and sending them out to get work done. a lot of specifics to get done to make this successful. >> before getting back to
senator. let me ask you, what would the atlantic counsel recommend the president do moving forward. >> first of all, to understand the answer to earlier question which is why would kim jong-un give up nuclear weapons. for kim jong-un, this is about survivability. right now, he thinking nuclear weapons are the way that he survives. if he comes to believe that that could cost him his regime, there might be a military attack, then the logic shifts to the way i survive is not to have the military weapons, that's absolutely crucial. where the stars are aligned where one has a chance and chris is the best in the business, but really fascinating to know if he agrees with this. sanctions are biting. economic situation is worse. he is in a situation where for his survivability he is had his uncle executed. he's had his brother probably assassinated.
it's about nuclear weapons and survivability. you have a peacemaker there. someone kim jong-un might be willing to deal with. you could have the stars align to take this further. and add the madman theory. he might really fear trump might do something to remove him from power. that's a possibility. >> just to point out, the trump administration had this posture of maximum pressure. so has kim jong-un. if you look at where he is today as opposed to where he was before in 2005. he's got a much better developed more fully developed nuclear weapons program. he's got ballistic missiles that potentially could reach american soil. the american homeland. we don't want to negotiate with ourselves we also need to be realistic about where he is starting from. so just a question to senator gardener, do you have confidence that our allies, especially
china, are willing to stick with the u.s. position to the end of denuclearization as opposed to some intermediate stop of the no testing, no this, no that, but short of full denuclearization. right. i think we have to take this with more than a dose of reality, but a whole barrel of reality. the fact is china hasn't stepped up in the past. as they needed to. north korea's economy relies on china. have done more recently. in recent months they have stepped up. we're hearing they're doing more and more. china has grown more concerned. they have to do more. if this is going to succeed. the only way they succeed is it results in denuclearization of north korean regime, china has to engage in a way that they have never done before. it's now or never to show they are going to be responsibility global leader. >> one of your colleagues put out a statement. tweeting this after the north
korea talks announce. reads in part a word of warning to north korean president. the worst possible thing you can do is meet with president trump in person and try to play him. if you do that, it will be the end of you and your regime. that coming from senator lindsey graham. some strong language. >> seems kind of destructive. >> your reaction to that senator and the idea of a military strike from the united states. talking about a red line. new level of red line. i spoke to lindsey graham after i spoke to the president. we have a president of the united states meeting with kim jong-un. somebody who murdered, led the assassination of stepbrother with chemical weapons. they are going to meet. if the result of this meeting is not verifiable concrete steps to denuclearization it will be a failure and the president is going to be under tremendous pressure because the new red line has been set to act.
a meeting with the president of the united states doesn't achieve this result, what is left to diplomacy. this is a very important meeting. and it must succeed with a team around the president that has a plan to deliver. i'll be introducing legislation next week to talk about a denuclearization framework. resolution on this. it's something to drill down on and get it right. there's no mull michigan in what we're about to do. >> if they do not denuclearize which is a big step as a result of this meeting, are you suggesting the military option will be the only one remaining? >> i'm suggesting that right now we have length on the diplomatic runway to pursue, but what more is there than a meeting with the president of the united states. if we're not going to achieve those verifiable denuclearization promises and concrete steps, more than promises, then perhaps the meeting isn't a good idea. can't just be about negotiating the next meeting. this has to be about how we're
going to present a plan for piece denuclearization. . we do not plan to bring him to his knees. leading up to promises north korea made in 1994 as ambassador hill talked about. suspension of nuclear program. and inspectors look we've had inspectors before. they've lied. they've hidden. this has to be different and we need to verify first and then we can go in and say, all right. now we can work together. >> and as you suggested, senator, the sanctions actually are working. they're bringing him to the table. and i think everybody agrees we shouldn't let off from that pressure. senator, thank you so much. i can only say willie on the lindsey graham statement that was harsh. this is after all a man who went golfing with donald trump and it didn't end up well for him.
so maybe lindsey knows what he's speaking about. seems harsh. >> very trump. >> hanging out with him a lot. >> my understanding is the funds were released. i would be interested in your thoughts, i understand that prime minster abe is booking flights to come and talk to president trump. what do you expect him to raise with president trump? i think the japanese especially prime minster abe are going to be skeptical of this whole venture. make sure we kind of tie all the loose ends here. and that is going to be interesting. i suspect we don't with doing that. i think another point is we need to stay in touch with the chinese on the one hand the chinese are going to be very pleased because they have been encouraging this kind of contact in the past and on the other hand it's clear the north
koreans want to cut them out of this. at least for the time being and probably not happy about that. and finally with respect to sanctions is purpose of sanctions is to get people to do things. when they do things, you may want to reverse course in the case of this minor sanction. $23 million. and yes, 18 months later, we gave it back to them on the basis of things they were doing. so we need to be able to use sanctions in a kind of two way basis, put them on when we need something. take them off when we get that which we need. and so i think we needs to have that kind of understanding and flexibility and real sense as how we go forward. i mean, diplomacy is a game of give and take. i hope this administration will be able to do that. >> should be interesting. ambassador, thank you for being on this morning. evelyn, thank you both for being on as well. ever to capture the new
cycle the way this president sdwl no. timing is perfect. remarkab remarkable. constant conversation with the president of the united states. that is what he's accomplished. >> kind of frightening. gene, stay with us. up next. read from your new column entitled stormy daniels beat trump at his own game and that's the story that i think trump wanted to deflect today, but others disagree. also ahead, law with us has been a leading voice on the robert mueller investigation. he joins us the day after two of president trump's former campaign managers were in the headlines for their connection to the russia probe. you're watching morning joe. we'll be right back. more and more people are finding themselves in a chevrolet for the first time. trying something new can be exciting. empowering. downright exhilarating.
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the payment made in october of 2016 by long time lawyer and adviser. >> the president has addressed these directly and made very well clear none of these allegations are true. this case is already been won in arbitration and anything beyond that i would refer you to the president's outside counsel. >> did he know about the payment at the time. >> not that i'm aware of. >> you said there's arbitration that's already been won by whom and when. >> by the president's personal attorneys. for details on that, i would refer you to them. >> that was the tooifirst time white house spokesperson aknowleda acknowledged he was -- source close to white house tells cnn that trump was very unhappy with sarah huckabee sanders. source said comments gave the stormy daniels story line
steroids. sanders had previously repeated the denial of any encounter between the president and daniels as had trump's personal attorney michael cohen who received a straining order in private arbitration to silence daniels and warned she will face penalties if she publically discusses a relationship with the president. joins us now, msnbc legal analyst. white house reporter for "the washington post" and msnbc contributor, ashley parker and gene, you have a new piece out in the "washington post" entitled stoentitle ed stormy daniels beat trump at his own game. you write the personal lawyer of donald trump days before the election paid $130,000 to apparently buy the silence of a porn star. said porn star credibly describes an affair she had with the president and the hand
fisted attempts by her lawyer to keep her from talking about it. all of this unquestionably speaks volumes about his character and morals. republicans who regarded bill clinton' affair with monica lewinsky as the end of civilization as we know it are untroubled. evangelical christians who rail against sin and cloak themselves in piety offer nothing, but a shrug. daniels has taught us more about their character. i'll start there. i'm stunned at the evangelical sport for this president overall. jon beyond it. it's almost like they're excited to be in the white house and get access to them. the main players in the community are running books about this president just to overlook the most hue among gus
moral failings. >> we're all sinners. >> believe me. >> when in fact there were coming from the evangelical community and appalled at the sort of behavior. in much smaller doses than we get from donald trump on a daily, weekly basis. you know, there were other women's names mentioned in the privacy agreement with stormy daniels and some people are even looking. >> what is newsworthy about this stormy thing. >> the most newsworthy is if this hush money is a donation to his campaign. that would be the sort of legal
issue. the other striking thing is just as you wrote, how credibly she describes this. if you look at that interview she gave to in touch, i believe, that just became public now, she's outlining details that we all know right now because we covered the president, but for her to know that sort of stuff and detail in 2006 and 2007. he had a body guard named keith. she is sort of one of the more credible women who has emerge. not just a he said she said. this case has already been won in arbitration. what is this case? >> we don't really know of course. arbitration is a system of private adjudication of disputes within a contract. so this contract demands that if there's a problem, it be handled not by a court, but by this
private mechanism. >> what are the implications given what we know which seems pretty limited, for trump, but also for his lawyer. >> right. so i first of all assume that the biggest implications since this is already out there is not whether stormy daniels will be able to talk. the biggest implication is that there are presumably other such agreements and the question is whether you create an environment in which everybody who has a nondisclosure agreement with the president feels free to come forward and say what that person, he or she, knows and that would be i would think a problem for the president. >> yeah. i mean, it seems like there's a potential of violation. >> as a nonlawyer, this kind of clever to file the suit in los angeles is stormy daniels did say. this contract is not valid, it's not signed by donald trump. so who knows.
maybe he has a signed copy of the contract, but if he does, then he has to acknowledge that he signed the contract. so he sort of been twisted between there. >> ben s there potential of violation of federal elections laws here. >> so i don't know the answer to that. it would come down to a question of whether the payment to her was in fact a funding of his campaign or whether it was simply a private transaction between two people, and, of course, you would have to have an enforcement mechanism that was viable for that. >> all right. as for the mueller probe. former trump campaign chair paul manafort is now required to wear a second ankle bracelet after pleading not guilty at court in virginia to charges brought by special counsel robert mueller including bank fraud and filing false tax returns. also fighting federal charges in
washington, d.c. on conspiracy and money laundering. trial in virginia could begin as early as july while d.c. trial is society to begin in september. meanwhile, another former trump campaign chair corey lewandowski declined to answer questions for a closed door session of the house intelligence committee. the committee's ranking democratic adam ship said he refused to answer about the president that described the 2016 trump tower meeting with russians as only about adoption as well as the questions of firing of james comey and shift called on republican colleagues to subpoena lewandowski who has never served in the white house to answer the question. this also involves hope hicks who was involved in the drafting of that letter, but ultimately
what connections do you see that mueller is getting to here with the questions being raised about manafort's role in all of this and lewandowski. >> mueller has an easier job than most t. chaos of the white house. people like corey lewandowski fired from the campaign. never served in the white house. because of the fact he was in and out of the oval office before general kelly came in, he was talking to people. the president is making late night calls. any number of people not necessarily in the official line who the president could have talked about decision to fire james comey or anyone else. hope hicks. was in the white house. someone who the president saw everything, heard everything, knew everything. and it is obviously going to be of deep interest. >> can answer a lot of questions. >> ben? >> so there are really no people other than bob mueller who have visibility into the entire picture of the white house because other people you know they know what they've seen, but they don't talk to each other in
a fashion that gives any single person in the white house i suspect not even don mcgahn or ty cobb real visibility into the real picture. mueller gets to bring everybody in front of the investigation. none of the white house with the exception of ty cobb have seen the investigation. he gets to talk to everything and develop comprehensive picture of what happened there. i think it's pretty hard to imagine what based on what we've seen in public which is awful and appalling the fuller story isn't more shattering. >> based on what we've seen in public, we have to go, there's no way of getting a sense of timeline. >> none. >> yes. i know. >> okay. thank you both very much. up next, we've been talking about how past presidents have
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welcome back to morning joe. the 41-year-old military veteran and 41-year-old authored a new book on leadership landscape. titled radical inclusion. what the post 9/11 world should have taught us about leadership. in it the gentlemen write this. traditional leadership among power and control has changed. solving problems with emphasis on exclusion is producing suboptimal fragile and costly outcomes. gentlemen. good morning.
great to have you with us. congratulations on the book. >> general, let me start with you. seems the thesis of the book applies to something we've been talking about today. that is seemingly unilateral decision of the president of the united states to accept a meeting with the leader of north korea without the knowledge of state department. without the apparent knowledge of the pentagon. what are the implications of a decision like that. >> ultimately, it's a good thing we have this diplomatic engagement. certainly a better path than conflict. many other stake holders in the senate room and the region that are going to have to be brought into this. this can't be something between the united states and north korea. i mean, it's got to include and i'm sure it will, but not evident yet how. the south koreans, the japanese, the australians, our allies in the region. in keeping with the theme of the book, has to be inclusion outcome or it won't last. >> you've watched north korea
for the entirety of your military career. do you believe this is a regime that actually under some circumstances or some deal would be willing to give up nuclear program. it's hard to believe that. one will be negotiating the legal side of it. in other words, i'm sure that the north koreans at some point are going to ask us to reduce or footprint in the region and probably on the peninsula, but we're there legally. they're going to be negotiating with an illegal argument which is we want to keep nuclear weapons. so you've got immediately this disconnect. which we'll have to work through. the second thing is we're going to need some stamina. these are the same individuals, the same country that negotiated the shape of the table for negotiations in the 50s for months. >> literally. >> we're going to have to have stamina. >> let's talk about how this all applies to your book. what have you seen.
talk about the post 9/11 era. how has the leadership changed and why do you think it's changed. >> the biggest thing that's changed the shift from having an argument over what's right or what's wrong debate to a battle of narratives. whoever has the stronger narrative is going to be the one winning. we saw in the election. democrats trying to fight a right or wrong battle. the more they talked about trump. the more they elevated his narrative and more powerful he became. the question becomes how can you have a more powerful narrative and how can you be as inclusive as possible. you know, do you bring people into the table to share the narrative with you. >> gentlemen, joe has a question for you from washington. >> general, i just want to go through some principals. first one is belonging isn't optional. give them memories. and the second i read that, i was reminded of ron's discussion
of general grant. he was a captain, had a rag tag group of men in illinois. three or four days they went from mocking him to shouting grant, grant, grant. he made them all feel like they were a part of something much bigger than themselves. we've seen grant do it. other leaders do it. talk about this principle and how it applying in 2018. how we apply it not only on the battlefield, but also at home, at work. >> leaders are in a competition for trust and those who follow them. that's because you've got competing narratives. digital echoes. technology intense scrutiny. so if you don't take your organization and give them a sense of belonging, someone
will. someone is out there competing with you for the trust and confidence of your followers. that's why we think this is both important and timely. >> and number two is connect effort with meaning. make it matter. what -- discuss that. >> i mean, what actually caused us to come to that was an experience i had in iraq when you lose soldiers on the battlefield and you go to memorial services, you engage with the men and women left behind, the teammates who are still have to go out the next day, you can see in their eyes this combination of fear and guilt and courage. it occurred to me. that helped them. they couldn't bring the teammate back. they could make the sacrifice matter. i actually think that's true in everyone's life. whatever sector of society you find yourself. it doesn't have to be big
things. you can make it matter in little ways. then in the sum, the aggregate of your life matters and you can help people feel like what they do matters. i think you've got a team that's ready to take on whatever challenges they face. >> the idea we can learn that imagination is a learnable skill. you think about pre9/11. who would have imagined that a group of islamic terrorist would be changing the world so much we would still be talking about them. what is going to be the next threat the united states faces? can we imagine that? how do we prepare ourselves effectively for that. only way to do that is have enough different people around us that they can inform of of what's actually happening on the ground and help us actually imagine a future that if it's just the two of us sitting and people who look like us and
people who think like us, you're not going to be able to imagine accurately what's going to happen in the future. >> all lessons that could be used by people in leadership today. hope they put it on the book reading list at the white house now. thank you very much. the book is radical inclusion. general martin dempsey, thank you very much. washington wall street taking a close look at february jobs report that crossed the wires moments ago. what this morning's better than expected numbers could mean for the markets and the economy. we'll be right back on "morning joe."
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we have breaking news with the release of the monthly jobs report. cnbc's dominic chu join us now. >> we're expecting 200,000 new jobs. we're over 300,000. unemployment stays at 4.1%. what does it mean for the markets? >> it means we have a better than expected jobs report, joe and mika. what you're seeing in the marketplace right now is a stock market that's reacting at least for the time being positively.
like you said, that 313,000 jobs created headline number is getting a lot of attention. the unemployment rate does stay steady at 4.1%. one other employment measure that people like to look at is something called the u-6, with the bureau of labor statistics. it's the underemployment rate, the true unemployment rate some people look at it. it stays unchanged at 8.2%. one of the headlines people will focus on, especially in washington, d.c., is the labor force participation rate. that went higher. meaning more americans are actually out there looking for jobs not considered structurally unemployed, giving up on looking for a job. they've actually entered the workforce again. that's a pretty decent sign there. i would also note that the job growth, where the jobs are, came from a few pretty specific locations. when it comes to construction, we saw 61,000 jobs created there. retail and then professional services each added 50,000 jobs. and even manufacturing added
31,000. you take all those together, along with some numbers with regard to average hourly earnings, they came in less than expected. so more people are working, but they're not making nearly as much money as people thought they were going to. it leads to what some call on wall street a goldilock scenario where the economy is getting more people involved in the workplace but you don't have fears that inflation or rising prices is really going to drive things, at least for the time, for the federal reserve to raise interest rates. so that's the reason why you're seeing a lot of green on the board, guys. >> cnbc's dominic chu, thank you. really appreciate it. those are the best numbers for new jobs in a year and a half. you'd expect unemployment rate to go down but it didn't go down because actually the job participation rate crept up to 63%. i will say the unemployment rate is the most meaningless number. because this was a month of good news. really good news, that more people are going out, looking for jobs. really good news that we had new
jobs, more new jobs. >> my only comment is, you know, heaven forbid for the markets that people would make more money. heaven forbid that, that would be a horrible thing. >> we'll be back in three minutes. don't we need that cable box to watch tv? nope. don't we need to run? nope. it just explodes in a high pitched 'yeahhh.' yeahhh! try directv now for $10 a month for 3 months. no satellite needed.
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>> a long, long time. until touchdown. brings me around to find. i'm not the man they think i am at home. oh, no. no, no, no no. rocket man. rocket man should have been handled a long time ago. ♪ rocket man >> tip to dan, that is awesome. trump happens to be a -- >> that was great. >> an elton john fan. >> that would sort of play at the opening of the talks maybe, you think? >> yes, they could do that. >> that would be awesome. >> you know, mika, andy warhol said in future everybody was going to have their 15 minutes of fame. this week has proven, i will just say, sam nunberg, that it has been reduced to 15 seconds. that was this week. >> can you believe that was this week? >> that was this week. >> i mean, just every day, it's --
>> hope hicks, tariffs, stormy daniels, north korea. >> we got a good jobs number. >> sam, meltdown the internet, say something. >> i don't know about melting down the internet. my point is what you were talking about. every day at 5:00, i get like a little bit of a panic attack that sets in, like a cold shiver down my spine, because i know some sort of existential news story is going to happen. but tonight, i have a feeling it's going to be nice and calm. >> all peace. >> never say never. >> jinxes it. >> just cursed us. i'm a southern baptist but i'm knocking on wood and crossing myself. >> you don't plan ahead anymore. you just kind of come in the office and have a cup of coffee and just sort of wait. at what is coming at you at the moment. and hope you can write fast enough so that people might read about it before the next ten things come in and make you
forget about whatever you're writing about. >> this can't be good. >> i asked jean last week, i'm doing the column for "the washington post." how do you prep for it? i feel guilty because i always start the morning off and -- >> that's what you need to do. if you asked me five years ago, i would have given you different advice but no, just kind of wait for it. >> everybody have a great weekend. that does it for us this friday. >> have a great weekend, everybody. hello, i'm chris jansing in for stephanie ruhle. fire and fury defused? president trump agrees to meet face-to-face with north korean dictator kim jong-un. some comparing it to knicnixon china. >> this is the first time an american head of state said sure, i'll go. so this is really quite extraordinary. >> taxing decision. the president signs that controversial tariff on steel and aluminum. much to the