tv MSNBC Live With David Gura MSNBC June 9, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
to me?" good picture. >> have a good saturday. >> i'm david gura at msnbc headquarters in new york. president trump makes an early exit from the g7. he's en route to singapore for that highly anticipated sitdown with north korea. he's confident he'll be able to read kim jong un right away. >> i think within the first minute i'll know. just my touch, my feel. that's what i did. >> president trump refutes a contentious relationship with world leaders after an attempt to bring vladimir putin back to the table. >> and why he's asking athletes to help right the criminal justice system. >> president trump on his way to asia, leaving canada before the
the european council. >> what worries me most, however, is the fact that the rules-based international order is being challenged. quite surprisingly not by the usual suspects but by its main architect and guarantor, the u.s. >> so now president trump heads to singapore for what promises to be the most consequential meeting of his presidency. as he tries to pave that road to peace on the peninsula, what about the bridges he's burning with some of our most important allies. kristen welker, i want to come to you first to ask the basic question here, what hath trump wrought? what's the reaction been to his appearance there? how bad was the damage? >> reporter: well, that remains to be seen, david, but the bottom line, this summit was tense in really an unprecedented way, a way we just haven't seen
in recent years. the fact that president trump came into this summit essentially imposing new tariffs on america's closest allies and then that bomb shell that you just talked about, saying he thinks russia should rejoin the g7 summit, i can tell you the reaction to that is swift, it was angry. you had a number of g7 leaders, including canada saying, look, russia continues to act illegally because it continues to invade crimea. so there was absolutely no appetite for russia rejoining with the exception of italy. now president trump said today, look, they did discuss the possibility, there was no resolution. i think one of the biggest headlines, though, david, comes around the issue of trade. the fact that you have president trump moments before leaving using some of his toughest language yet on the issue of trade saying that if these countries don't lower their trade barriers, the united states will stop doing business with them. that is a striking ultimatum. the president said, look, the
actual conversations weren't that contentious. take a listen to what he had to say. >> i will say it was contentious. what was strong chwas the langue that this could not go on. but the relationships are very good, whether it be president macron or justin, justin did a really good job. i think the relationships were outstanding. >> reporter: and that all brnins us back to your initial question, david. what are the takeaways? it's not clear they came to any resolution, particularly on the issue of trade. the president himself saying we continue to talk about nafta. it's possible that there will be a better and a hanafta deals wio or canada or perhaps he'll get unilateral deals with those countries. certainly there was no agreement surrounding his call for russia to rejoin. a range of other issues, as you pointed out from iran to the
paris climate accord. but of course the president left a few hours early, ahead of what was going to be a very robust discussion about climate this afternoon, david. and of course he does head to that all-important summit in singapore that, face to face with kim jong un. >> kristen, great to speak with you in quebec city for us today. i'm going to turn to someone charged with overseeing u.s. sanctions on russia after that country annexed crimea. he's a distinguished fellio. -- fellow. what's your reaction to what the president has suggested here over the last couple of days? >> the president's suggestion is appalling. the g7 is a collection of the world's great democracies. it brings together the like-minded.
putin is not a democrat, he's an autocrat and he's not our friend. he's invaded his neighbors, attacked us, engaged in assassinations in the u.k. and interferes in european elections. what has he done that makes our president think he would add anything good? so i see no american interest advanced by such a proposal at this time. >> i want to ask you about what was to my eyes at least a very stark visual contrast. while this summit was getting under way, you had president xi giving a welcome to putin. >> i just don't get it. the autocrats are on the move.
america and its friends created the free world. for all its problems it, brought generations of prosperity and relative peace. now, the trump administration itself says that great power rivalry is returned. well, if that's so, and i think it is, then we ought to take our own side in a fight. >> while the president was talking about addition, a g7 to a g8, others were talking about subtracti subtraction. emmanuel macron said "the american president may not mind being isolated but neither do we mind signing a six-country agreement if need be.
how problematic is that? >> here's a bit of history. on september 10th, 2001, the nsc staff where i was then working had in mind a whole different week than the one we got. on september 12th, the day after the attacks, i was in conde rice's office as she was talking to the french about having them help invoke article 5, the nato defense guarantee, on our behalf. sometimes even america needs friends. does president trump really believe that we will never again need our friends, that he can throw away alliances it took decades to nurture for the sake of what, currying favor with vladimir putin, who is not our friend and wants to weaken us? i don't see how it advances american interests to weaken our
friends and coddle up to our enemies. >> i've seen commentary that indicates that this is president trump's theory about international relations realized, that he's talked about america first, he's now buffetted by and surrounded by advisers enabling that to happen. is it ignorance or is it theory applied? >> that's a fair question. american grand strategy for a hundred years has been rooted in the belief that our interests and our values would advance together; that is, we would make the world a better place and get rich in the process. the genius of american strategy is that we knew we would get rich only if others prospered as well. so all together and all forward. now, that worked out very well. a hundred years later we have -- we are a wealthy country, we are a more secure country. the problems and shortcomings of the free world system which we built are real.
we need to fix them. but i don't want to throw it away. trump's view of the world and international relations he may think is new but it's actually a rehash of pre-1914 nationalism and as i recall, that leads to world war and millions of dead people. i don't want to throw away the lessons that it took generations and many american lives to learn. >> ambassador, your last position in government was overseeing sanctions policy. we've heard the president say he has 300 sanctions ready to be placed on north korea. so what sense i want to get from you here is the degree to which he is prepared to pressure china to help us implement those sanctions, whether there are 50 or 100 or 300. we've had this deal made with zte, the chinese telecommunications company, the administration backtracking on
sanctions imposed previously. what does this say? >> i will give a qualified defense of the trump administration's north korea policy. i do see an interest which this administration is trying to advance. now, a summit with kim jong un is a roll of the dice. it high risk, high gain, but it may be worth the effort. if it works, then we're going to be faced with a series of questions about how to monitor it, how to verify that the north koreans are doing what they i hope promised to do and, by the way, it's a bit of an irony here but the deal we may get from north korea will resemble in structure the iran deal that the president has just thrown out. but never mind. if it's in our interest, i'm for it. if it fails, then the question is going to be what we can do to increase the pressure on north korea. it's not easy to turn on and off
sanctions. it's not like a light switch. it takes a political coalition and, by the way, we're going to need the europeans as well. but you're right to focus on china. the question is how much is this administration willing to put pressure on china to get them to adhere to strong sanctions against north korea? now, this administration is not very good at choosing between its many priorities. it sets out a lot of objectives and it doesn't rack and stack them to know what to pursue first and what to hold for now. the question is how much pressure will we put on the chinese if it comes to that? to put ourselves in the best possible situation, we need to be seen as reasonable toward the north, and if they walk away from a decent deal, then we have to make sure that they're isolated. that's going to require some
deft diplomacy and it's possible that secretary of state pompeo and the -- his staff will come up with some decent options. at lst i hope so. >> mr. ambassador, thank you very much for the time. daniel freed, distinguished fellow at the atlantic council. >> and president trump's so focus now is that meeting on tuesday with kim jong un, a meeting he's on his way to as we speak. he said he's confident the summit will be much more than just a photo-op. >> this is a great opportunity for peace and lasting peace and prosperity. >> bill neeley is nbc news's global correspondent and he joins me now. bill? >> reporter: the world's focus is if you like shifting already from that summit in quebec, a summit of allies to the summit here in singapore of old enemies, and the stage is being
set for a summit like no other. because whatever you say about this meeting, it is not a normal summit. so the advance teams from both the u.s. and north korea have arrived, the north koreans arriving at there hotel here today. there is an empty aircraft on the runway at pyongyang airport, which we believe will take kim to the summit. it is not an aircraft of his country, it's an diplomatic plane lent to kim jong un by beijing. security preparations here as you would imagine in a city that is pretty orderly and well used to strict security at the best of times, security is being tightened up, concrete barriers are being set up in the streets. the island and the capella hotel is in virtual lockdown. air restrictions not in place
yet but it will come and we expect both leaders to arrive here in singapore tomorrow. so far so good and so much detail. but what we don't have detail about is the actual summit itself. we don't know what the two men will talk about. we simply don't have a clue what the agenda is. we don't know how many times they will meet. it could be more than once. we don't know whether south korea's president moon will join the summit afterwards or perhaps the next day or even whether this is a one day or a two-day affair. so many questions, not many answers. president trump says it much more than a photo opportunity, it's a getting to know you session. plus he says he doesn't have to prepare for it. of course kim jong un probably preparing for the entirely different way. he's president xi of china twice
and south korea's president moon twice. mike pompeo says they are working on a joint statement for the end of the summit and that would constitute a partial success. what might be in that summit statement is really anybody's guess. david? >> that's bill neeley in singapore. in deep, more trouble for paul manafort as charges mount against the former chair of president trump's campaign. and the safey for "most parallel parallel parking job" goes to...
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another witch. charges were also brought against konstantin kilimnik, who manafort once described as, quote, my russian brain. president trump dismissed the charges and called it a fantasy. but the numbers do not lie. we now have 20 individuals and three bases ensnared in the investigation, over 100 counts. with me, a law professor at the university of atlanta and joyce, both are contributors. in 2018 the defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired to corruptly persuade another person to corruptly persuade another person in the testimony
of any person in an official proceeding. >> conspiracy to obstruct justice. it significant because it's the first time we'veeen mueller bring together an american and a russian in one indictment. it looks like perhaps the tip of the iceberg in that regard. legally it's a very significant charge for mueller's prosecution of manafort. one situation that juries find to be very compelling when they're examining evidence of a defendant's guilt is how did the defendant act after the alleged crimes were committed. here you've got manafort with two ankle bracelets on being monitored for charges in two different federal districts. what does he do? he goes out and trying to obstruct justice, tries to cook the story that the witnesses he spoke to, that he communicated with on what he believed to be a secure communications platform,
trying to make sure their story will match his. i don't think that any jury will be very forgiving of that sort of a situation. >> natasha, help me stand the metamorphosis here. paul manafort goes from being his translator to his brain. how did that happen? >> i think one of the most telling episodes about how important kilimnik was to paul manafort was revealed last year and happened in 2016, which was that paul manafort during the election was e-mailing with konstantin kilimnik, asking him to connect him with the russian oligarch, deripaska, how can we get him to repay my debts. he has all sorts of connections, particularly with oleg
deripaska. of course kilimnik is also accused of being part of this big massive money laundering experience that paul manafort and rick gates are accused of engaging in over the last decade. so kilimnik was manafort's right-hand man, along with rick gates and now manafort is looking like he's increasingly isolated. kilimnik is in moscow. doesn't look like he's going to be extradited to the united states any time soon, if ever and gates has flipped and the two journalists that manafort reached out to trying to get them to change their testimony, the witness tampering charge that we saw mueller bring against manafort who went directly to prosecutors -- or went directly to the fbi and said paul manafort is reaching out to us, we don't want anything to do with this. so you have manafort now increasingly on his own and he is particularly stung of course by the flipping of rick gates
and now it doesn't look like he's going to be able to speak to konstantin kilimnik anymore, who of course was his russian brains. that's going to be a huge loss for him. >> joyce, natasha is describing that isolation. what's he thinking at this point? i want to get your perspective as a former federal prosecutor of what robert mueller is trying to do here and the effect that may be having on paul manafort. >> so mueller has at least a couple of goals here. one is to get a conviction in the case that he has charged -- the cases he's charged manafort in. and then a second goal is to see if manafort has anything valuable that he can share with investigators to help them better understand the entire situation. so far manafort hasn't shown any effort to help. is what because mueller didn't need manafort or because
manafort is unwilling to cooperate? the latter seems more likely. and we don't know why won't manafort cooperate? it looks like he'll spend the rest of his life in prison on these charges. one would think there must be a powerful reason to keep him from cooperating at this point. >> thank you very much. >> president trump embraces russia and north korea while taking america's closest friends to task. how the president is defending the international upheaval. and a baseball diamond... ...a mythical castle ...and a grand banquet hall. this is not just a yard. it's where memories are made. the john deere x350 select series with the exclusive one-touch mulchcontrol system. nothing runs like a deere™ save $300 on the x350 select series™ tractors with the purchase of a mulchcontrol™ kit. you might or joints.hing for your heart... save $300 on the x350 select series™
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welcome back, i'm david gura. president trump once again playing the role of disruptor in chief, this time with u.s. allies at the g7 summit in quebec, canada. after arriving late to a breakfast discussion on gender equality, the president shaking things up with regards to russia to the group of global economic leaders. >> this used to be the g8, not the g7 and something happened where russia is no longer in. i think it would be an asset to have russia back in. >> the president spoke about trade and tariffs. >> well, if they retaliate, they're making a mistake because, you see, we have a tremendous trade imbalance. when we try and bring our piece up a little bit so that it's not so bad and then they go up, right, the difference is they do so much more business with us than we do with them that we
can't lose that. >> joining us is josh barrow. peppered throughout his comments this morning was this through line of trade and tariffs and the folks on the trade deficit. square that with what he's saying about inverting the international order the way it is. >> the president has this idea that is trade deficit is a zero sum game. a trade deficit fundamentally means we send little pieces of paper with writing on them around the world and people send us products in exchange for them. persistent trade deficits can't last forever, there are global imbalanc imbalances. his idea that because we're behind in the trade deficit means we can't win the war is
just wrong. you'll probably create some jobs in there, you might add almost 30,000 jobs there but you would lose hundreds of thousands of jobs in industries that employ people who use those mel tals, aerospace, fabbricated metals. even though those are imports, those are american jobs that rely on imports. so the global economy is extremely integrated and the president has a very antiquated model of it and is setting us up for something where the u.s. is likely to lose a lot because of these restrictions. >> what's your sense about how he regards allies? it strikes me reading all of these profiles that he is at many times a lonely figure. he likes to operate in isolation, doesn't like to take
advice. what's your sense of how he regards the longstanding alliances the u.s. has had? >> he considerably more transactional than most presidents have been and he's extremely focused on himself. he likes it when world figures treat him as a regal figure. he does not like being greeted with protests. he doesn't like these summits where everybody wants to come plate about him and what he's dpo doing. i think one of the reasons he likes the idea of having putin is because he wouldn't be the enemy at the table. shinzo abe, the prime minister of japan, has really tried very hard to personally ingratiate himself with the president.
you saw that this week, a very positive appearance between the two of them. they golfed together, that sort of thing. but it doesn't seem to have done japan a lot of good on policy. japan didn't even get a temporary waiver from these metal tariffs. we waited before putting them on canada and the european union. the president is talking about a tariff on automobiles, which would hit japan hard. it's not clear it's led to the president treating japan for favorably. he's taken on north korea, which japan is very scared about. >> you read something about what emmanuel macron tweeted, maybe it's equal to the u.s. being isolated but we're also equal to being six if it's needed. he's talking about dairy tariffs and disparaging the trade relationship between these two countries. how aloof is he as it seems like
the other members of the group has been going in a different direction? >> the macron relationship has been hot and gold. had you macron tweeting out that graphic that said "make the planet great again." they had the tense handshake and macron was bragging about the way he squeezed the president's hand really hard. it li i it's like omarosa on "the apprentice." >> coming up, a discussion on why prison reform remains unchanged in the age of trump with johnson's daughter and the woman who rallied kushner long before kim kardashian did. you've ever met. there's a lot of innovation that goes into making our
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i am so happy. it's amazing what i feel right now. my heart is overflowing with love and gratitude for everyone who made this possible and for my family, who made it possible by standing by my side, too. >> alice marie johnson, a free woman again after spending 21 years in federal prison. this is the scene when the great grandmother ran into the arms of her family upon her release. her sentence for a first-time non-violent drug conviction was commuted by president trump. president trump recently called for the death penalty for drug traffickers so what's changed. >> with my congratulations, i want to know how this changes your perspective on this issue.
where do you go from here? >> thank you for your congratulations. from here we're going to enjoy our mother and definitely be involved with the prospects of prison reform and definitely sentencing reform and tackling those draconian laws from the 90s that incarcerated so many people. >> topeka, i want to get a view of how you change the problem. looking here at the number of inmates held on drug charges in federal prison, 279,100 behind bars. 45.9% have little or no criminal history. what's your opinion on how to change this? >> thank you for having me.
the prescription for me would be sentencing reform, prison reform. i would like to see when we're thinking about the federal system, let's reinstate federal parole. they had it years ago back in the 80s, the sentence was 30 years. we make all laws retroactive. it will give people who have life sentences the opportunity to come home. >> catina, what's your sense of how thoughtfully this is being done? there has been some criticism in the celebrity involved in this, that kim kardashian had that meeting at the white house and that's what brought it to his attention and mead him approve that commutation. what do you say to those that say it too celebrity driven and it's not being done thoughtfully enough perhaps? >> well, i mean, i'm a believer, i'm a believer in god and i believe that all things happen and it's in divine order. for me it's really not about
what trump is doing or about what the politics around it is. what i feel like is if we put people first and continue to move forward, then we don't have to worry about who's in office, what celebrities are coming forward because everyone has to come together, rally together in order to bring more people home. that's the bottom line. miss alice, i love her, that's my sister and she is one of many, many women and many men serving life sentences in federal prison and and the country. just as another recommendation, we need to get life without the possibility of parole off the table completely. this is a country of second chances and we have to allow that to everyone. >> catina, i want to get a sense from you how this case was championed. what kind of contact or communication did you have with those who were working on her behalf? what was that process like seeing the support unfoiled for
her release? >> well, from the beginning there were key people involved, from linda holiday and kenny holiday who had the initial contact with my mother in prison to help her and come forth to help her. and then there was amy pova, who put her own can do, change.org, number one on the 25 women deserves clemency. then there's topeka, who we have on the program and watching all these people, including jennifer turner, britney bar nnett, her attorneys and fight for her and the person that aired the video that got kim's attention and eventually what freed my mom, who touched trump's heart to free her at this point.
but going through the process, the ups and downs, the roller coaster ride, it was difficult. but my mom would actually lift us up in prayer and tell us it's okay, god got a plan for me, this isn't the time for me to get out. we're watching his plan now. i guess his plan was not to just get her freedom but to be one of so many others to follow her to regain their freedom. >> when your mother was behind bars, how aware of the campaign too get her out was she? you talk about how she was lifting y'all up. i wonder how aware she was of the effort being waged on her behalf to get her out of prison. >> oh, we kept her informed. we were able to e-mail her and skype her. we would tell her when the mic.com video came up, we're like, mom, you're going viral.
you're at one million, two million, three million. when it hit four million, it was amazing. and people who she did not know from all around the world would send her letters. it's amazing how much people have came together and they care about my mother and our family. it just a complete blessing. >> i want to thank both of you. appreciate the time. a day in the life as we await the start of this historic summit with north korea, a look at what it's really like to live in one of the world's most reclusive nations. stay with us. ♪ he holds your house in the palm of his hand ♪ ♪ he's your home and auto man ♪ big jim, he's got you covered ♪ ♪ great big jim, there ain't no other ♪ -so, this is covered, right? -yes, ma'am. take care of it for you right now. giddyup!
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president trump making his way to singapore for a meeting with kim jong un. it's unclear how hard the president will press north korea's leader on human rights. we spent a lot of time today talking about policy. i want to spend some time on what life is like for the people of north korea. suki kim spent half a year in north korea working as an english teamer. barbara demock chronicled the lives of other period in north korea. i want to read a passage from your book, barbara. "north korea invites parody, consider that their indoctrination began in infancy, during the 14-hour day spent in factory day care centers and
every song, newspaper article was to defy kim ill-sung. who could possibly resist? >> we still have these images of marching in place to the leadership, just robots. there's a lot of negative stereotypes about them butch i found north korea koreans, the ordinary people to be quite delightful and quite opinionated, contrary to the excerpt you just read, they're pretty cynical now. i think they kind of know. they don't dare to think but i remember a coal miner telling me, we know our own country and
our own leaders are to blame, but we're not stupid. i know what to think, i know what my neighbor thinks but we keep our mouths shut. >> and you wrote "i've never experienced a scene so entirely devoid of noise, the evidence of life lived behind closed doors, i saw no dogs, no smoke from the chimney, no color from a tv set and what troubled me more was the fact that i did not know and what never know the truth of what i was saying." describe if you would a little bit more about what life is like when you get outside of that capital. >> i think that maybe the most striking thing is how controlled it is. you know, once you leave the capital, of course there is far
less, almost just no cars on the road but also no people, unless suddenly you saw somebody walking on the side of the road as if she had been placed there. i think what's really frightening about that idea is that life is not your own in a way, the state controls you. and i think you really feel the stark bleakness when you leave pyongyang. >> in that quotation, suki talked about truth as an illusory thing. this is a crafted or cultivated history of the country. how does that play out in the every day lives that people live there? their sense of who they are as a people? >> the slogan that all the north koreans spout from kindergarten on is we have nothing to envy in the world. they have been told by their leadership that this is the greatest country. maybe they're poor are than the
south koreans but the south koreans are corrupt puppets of the americans and the chinese they're the greatest. in order to maintain that myth, they have to keep people hermetically cut off from the outside world, where you have no movies, no tv, no music. you know, it's dangerous to watch a south korean soap opera, you'll see people living in a modern house. they're very cut off so they can maintain control. >> can you talk about the intra net within the school in which you were teaching. you write about the movies you were allowed to screen for the students you were teaching. when you were there, how much curiosity is there about the outside world? >> do you have conversations about america, about new york? and there were questions about
life there. what was your sense of how curious they were of life beyond those borders? >> there was definitely curiosity. i think the boys i lived with, the young men, they were age 20, they're not allowed to really ask anything. but they meet want to know how many television channels there are, for example, because they really only have one that only plays the great leader, programs over and over and over again. and i think something as little as there's more than one channel that plays different kind of programs is a dangerous idea for them. so curiosity is there. i think what i was struck by was how frightened they were to show that. they're constantly checking themselves because somebody is watching and somebody might report on them having shown that curiosity. so i think what fear that they're under. it's that unfathomable consequence for that fear was
what i found to be not only incredibly sad but also an unthinkable reality because we don't know what that is like to be under that kind of consistent fear. >> barbara, you talk about how there is a sense now that things might not be agreed or there something beyond. how much has it changed under this newest regime? >> well, you know, this is seldom said about kim jong un, but he's not been a bad leader in some ways. he's the perfect dictate or, some of the analysts say about him. he has improved some the economy. his father didn't care if somebody stafforved. now people can go out and sell biscuits and tofu. they do have more economic freedom. i would say they're not starving
in the same way that they were. but they're hungry and malnourished and they have no more political freedom than ever before. this regime has not budged on human rights. >> you come to the conclusion that reunion fay phi case is just not possible in light of what you've seen. one wonders what the end game might be here. do you still feel that way, that this is a nation too far gone in a sense. >> in a sense i think the violations against humanity that's been purpose -- perpetrated in north korea, to be born in that system and not given any sense of agency or just the basic right to live your own life, i think that kind of psychology is really a
fundamental one. so i don't really see what the summit that's going to happen in singapore really has anything to do with that. >> thank you both very much. coming up, president trump blaming his predecessors has he trying to quiet concerns of u.s. allies, ranking them at the summit. >> i blame our past leaders. in fact, i congratulate the leaders of other countries. i'm really into this car,