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tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  June 10, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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g7 firestorm. the meeting with america's oldest allies ends on an acrimonious note. the president's team going on the offense. >> there's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with president donald j. trump. >> he betrayed the whole g7 by attacking right after that. >> so what went wrong, and where do things go from here? we've got answers ahead. plus, president trump and kim jong-un arriving in singapore and getting ready for their historic summit tuesday. the signs of weakness and strength diplomats will be looking for. a very good day to all of you. i'm alex witt here at msnbc world headquarters in new york. we're going to get to what's happening right now for you. we begin with the firestorm brewing over the g7 summit in canada and president trump's decision to pull out of a signing of a joint communique with other world leaders. the president's advisers
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trashing canadian prime minister justin trudeau on today's talk shows. >> we went through it. we agreed. we compromised on the communique. we joined the communique. in good faith. he holds a press conference and he said the u.s. is insulting. he said that canada has to stand up for itself. he says we are the problem with tariffs. he really kind of stabbed us in the back. he really actually -- you know what, he did a great disservice to the whole g7. >> now, according to reports, french president emmanuel macron is condemning president trump's refusal to sign that communique. he said diplomacy cannot be dictated by fits of anger. the president has moved on to his next diplomatic outing. he's landed in singapore with time to spare before his planned summit with kim jong-un tuesday. kim arrived just a few hours earlier and personally visited singapore's minister.
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at least one u.s. democrat says he's rooting for president trump to be successful. >> i know the united states has exactly zero good military options against north korea, so i want this summit to succeed. i want the president to do well at the summit. unfortunately, he goes in with a weak imposition. he's admitted he hasn't prepared very much for this summit. north korea has been wanting this summit for years. previous presidents did not agree to it. trump has. i really hope that this summit goes well. >> for the latest word now from singapore, we have both nbc's kelly o'donnell and bill nealy for us. helping us with the political angles, rosie gray of the atlantic and cnbc's john harwood. with a great panel there, we're going to go to kelly first. kelly, if you could bring us up to speed on what has transpired up until now. >> reporter: well, alex, after all of the hostility that you outlined between the united states and many of our closest allies, here in singapore
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there's a bit of quiet time. it's the overnight hours, so president trump is at his hotel getting rest. so is kim jong-un, who came in a couple hours before president trump arrived in singapore. they'll have their big meeting on tuesday. on monday, president trump will meet with the host of this summit, the prime minister of singapore. that will be a way to show gratitude for their willingness to step up and provide a secure location that is neutral to both countries. so that will be part of it. we are told by white house officials as well that the president will be meeting with the secretary of state, his national security adviser, and other top officials who will be helping to prepare him for the meeting. separately, there is still an ongoing conversation, a dialogue between officials from north ko and the united states at a lower level. they have been doing the nitty-gritty negotiation for a couple weeks now. that continues to sort of lay out the framework for what the meeting will ultimately be when kim and president trump meet each other for the first time.
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now, of course, all of this comes with a little baggage from canada as the president traveled here directly from the g7 meeting. as you outlined, there is tension after the president had said he had agreed with the other leaders, praised justin trudeau, then trudeau, who's the host of that, did his own news conference and was critical of the united states. and as we saw, the president's top economic adviser, larry kudlow, said there is a link between the attitude and the sort of negotiations and the break-in diplomacy from what happened at the g7 and how it might affect singapore. he's drawing that line. here's how larry kudlow explained it. >> potus is not going to let a canadian prime minister push him around, push him, potus, around, president trump, on the eve of this. he's not going to permit any show of weakness on the trip to negotiate with north korea, nor should he. >> so this was about north korea? >> of course it was, in large
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part, absolutely. >> reporter: so a carryover from canada, the sense that if the president had a breakdown in his relationships there, he would not allow any appearance of weakness before meeting kim jong-un. at the same time, you could also look at this as if there is tension among the closest friends. why should kim jong-un be willing to deal with president trump? that remains to be seen. but president trump and his top advisers are saying that part of the aggressive reaction to trudeau and by extension the other world leaders, by pulling away from the agreement to sign the communique, is in part setting the plate for what will happen here in singapore, not wanting to show any ground when it comes to meeting with kim jong-un and the nuclear talks. alex? >> all right, kelly o'donnell in the wee hours there, a little past 1:00 in the morning, still going strong, for which we thank you. appreciate that. north korean dictator kim jong-un arriving just a few hours before the president. his first stop, a courtesy call on singapore's prime minister to
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express gratitude for the host country, picking up a roughly $15 million tab for the summit. >> nbc's chief global correspondent bill neely is joining us from the place to be on tuesday. thank you for being here. we know that both leaders are planning to be there at 9:00 a.m. local time. what is the very latest on all of this? and also, set the scene for us, won't you, with regard to what that place is all about. >> reporter: well, just to pick up from what kelly was saying, yes, the two leaders are in their respective hotels at the
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moment, just half a mile apart. they have never been so close. but it's inconceivable that kim jong-un hasn't been briefed out, doe't know about what happened in canada. as kelly was alluding to, he may be -- the north koreans may be thinking, so president trump leaves a meeting with his friends and allies having agreed on a communique then on the plane decides to go back on his word. what is his word worth? they'll also be looking at a g7 -- look, i've been to these meetings. they're usually highly predictable. this was anything but. so i suppose expect the unexpected. that's another lesson kim jong-un will be drawing from what happened. remember, even before the justin trudeau/european allies spat, president trump suggested that russia rejoin the g7 again, an unscripted moment. so i think the north koreans will be expecting the unexpected.
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they arrive today en masse, kim bringing with him almost the entire north korean leadership. this is highly significant. his number two, the man who was with president trump at the white house, is here. his foreign minister, the head of his army, his sister, who's a senior member of the bureau. they are all part of this big north korean gamble, if you like. so they are all here just as on president trump's side all his senior advisers are there. of course, significantly we have john bolton there. you know, a man who tried in his own way to destroy the 1994 agreement with north korea, and he of course, just like mike pompeo, will be whispering in the president's ear. but they are in their hotels not far from here. they cannot have imagined that they would have travelled so far for this meeting. it's a meeting that not just kim
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but his father and his grandfather would love to have had. they wanted the respect of the united states and a meeting with the u.s. president. it's kim jong-un who's got it. i think, alex, finally, we can now say surely kim is out of international isolation. no longer the pariah of the world but a world leader now, or at least an asian leader, who the world appears to be queueing up to meet. alex? >> indeed, having met with both the heads of china, south korea, and with an invitation to meet with vladimir putin of russia as well. bill neely, many thanks from sentosa in singapore. joining me now, rosie gray and john harwood. a welcome to you both. john, your reaction to all the developments in singapore. what do you think the chances are this actually leads to something both positive and substantive? >> very low. i think the president has usefully recalibrated
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expectations. he said yesterday, maybe it'll just be a meet and greet session. but because his initial public demand was so high, complete rapid denuclearization, and because the chances of that happening are vanishingly small, better to get expectations in the right place before you go in. the other thing you've got to say in terms of what kelly and bill were just reporting on, you don't walk into a meeting like this and project weakness by saying, as my friend larry kudlow did in that interview you played, we're not weak and we're not going to show weakness. i think that was counterproductive. the other complaints that larry and peter navarro made against justin trudeau were preposterous. i watched the same press conferce that justin trudeau gave. he was not going out of his way to insult the president. what i think you have is aides like larry kudlow who know
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better trying to control and cater to a president who does not or is uncapable of controlling himself. this is certainly not an encouraging way to walk into a summit with that kind of disarray, that kind of chaotic behavior that took a sledge hammer to the industrial democracies that advocate freedom and was an assist to autocrats like vladimir putin who is opposed to freedom. >> john, i'm definitely going to cede to you because you know economics far better than i do, but with regard to justin trudeau and the claims that he was making, was he speaking the truth, or is president trump and by extension larry kudlow speaking the truth from an economic standpoint? >> justin trudeau was speaking the truth. look, this is not controversial among economists. tariff wars, trade wars are not good and not easy to win.
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and what the president is doing by slapping in the name of national security tariffs on steel and aluminum from our ally is not only insulting them but raising the price of steel and aluminum to the many industries that consume steel and aluminum to protect a much smaller number of jobs in primary steel and aluminum production. additional tariffs that the president was talking about in his angry tweet on justin trudeau, the auto tariffs, if he puts a 25% tariff on imported vehicles, that's going to have a large negative effect very quickly on the american economy. will president trump do that despite those effects? it's hard to say, but he does not appear to be acting in a rational manner at this point. >> one more question before i get to rosie. you said larry kudlow is your friend. we should add he also is a former cnbc and colleague of
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yours. were you surprised by his rhetoric with the way he went after justin trudeau on the sunday talk shows? >> look, i think if you work for donald trump, you stay in his favor by echoing his own thoughts. everyone talks about the audience of one for aides in the white house. larry looked to me like he was straining for negative things to say about justin trudeau. he was saying, well, justin trudeau was -- in a negative way, he was saying justin trudeau said he was going to stand up for canada. of course he's going to stand up for canada. that's what the prime minister of canada does. the president himself has said that on numerous occasions. larry was just echoing back what president trump was saying, and it was not persuasive in the slightest. >> so rosie, when you have the president this morning saying that heeels very good about the summit, why do you suppose that is? because by john's assessment here, there's a lot of mud slinging going on.
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this would seem this summit just coletely disintegrated into an acrimonious tone. >> well, i think first of all, the president has shown his willingness to sort of back out of longstanding international agreements. he doesn't necessarily have that much respect for the international community as a concept. so i think from trump's perspective, it's possible that he thinks that went well that, he projected strength, that he stood up for america. but it's everybody else, really, who is feeling the fallout and backlash from this. i think obviously something like the g7 is not supposed to be this difficult, something like our relationship with canada is not supposed to be this difficult and strained. something is clearly going on. >> you know, trudeau tweeted just a short while o. i want to put this up. it says, the historic and important agreement we all reached at g7 will help make our economies stronger and people more prosperous, protect our dmok sis, safeguard our
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environment, and protect women and girls' rights around the world. that's what matters. what do you think he's trying to accomplish here, rosie? is he trying to just smooth over the waters? >> we, i think that the other world leaders would like things to go back to normal, yes. but i think that there's also been a shift in terms of how they are dealing with trump. i think you're starting to see a little bit more open pushback against trump. you know, john pointed out, and i would echo this, that justin trudeau, what he said about donald trump was not actually that aggressive. he just said that cann daada wat going to be pushed around. still, i do think you're starting to see more pushback. you're also starting to see more willingness of the other allies to kind of throw up their hands and say, maybe we'll make our own way, like emmanuel macron saying maybe we need to be the g6. >> jaurnohn, how much of this i about showmanship?
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i'm looking for a silver lining here. do you think it's possible that whatever conversations happened between these leaders at the g7 refute all of the noise and the acrimonious tweets back and forth and statements? are you hopeful? >> i'm sorry to tell you, alex, there's no silver lining to this situation. remember, we have a coalition of industrial democracies that advance values that we share. the strategic goal of russia, which does not share our values, is to break off that alliance. president trump took a step to crack that alliance this weekend. that is not good for people who believe in freedom. that is not good for the american economy. that is not goodor the united states. and i don't know what comes next. if a miracle occurs in singapore
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and we get a nuclearization -- denuclearization deal that enhances the security of the united states without undercutting the security of south korea and our other allies in asia, that would be a great thing. but there is precious little reason to be optimistic about that at this moment. >> john harwood and rosie gray, thank you so much for weighing in. much appreciated. what intelligence experts will be looking for at the singapore summit, and it won't be just kim jong-un. my next guest explains what the behavior of kim's entourage could reveal about the north korean leader. gary: i've been making blades here at gillette for 20 years. i bet i'm the first blade maker you've ever met. there's a lot of innovation that goes into making our thinnest longest lasting blades on the market. precision machinery and high quality materials from around the world. nobody else even comes close. it's about delivering a more comfortable shave, every time. invented in boston. made and sold around the world. order now at gilletteondemand.com.
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just a bit under 32 hours to go until the president meets with north korean'kim jong-un in the historic summit set for tuesday. president trump arriving there in singapore this morning. kim jong-un arriving a few hours beforehand, but as much attention as this meeting is getting, it is still shrouded somewhat in mystery. not much is known about kim. it is unclear how the president will act when the two finally meet. joining me now, senior research fellow at the heritage foundation and former cia deputy chief. bruce, a big welcome to you. >> thank you. >> with the president having said, as you heard, he could size kim up in anywhere from five seconds to a minute, get a sense of how this is going, u.s. diplomat intelligence officers will be sizing kim up as well. you said they're going to be looking at kim's health. why is that so important?
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>> the intelligence community provides information and analysis to policymakers to enable them to make the best informed decisions that they can. so in the run-up to this, the intelligence community would have been providing not only information about north korea's nuclear capabilities and missile capabilities but whatever information they could on assessing kim jong-un. so that would be from meetings with secretary of state pompeo, but also any information from other sources about his health, his decision making capabilities as well as tendencies, whether he relies on others to provide information or whether he can make a decision right there at the table. so a lot of it is going in to try to enable president trump to have the best sense of kim jong-un even before he walks into the room. >> and bruce, it's not only the behavior of kim jong-un whom you would be watching and those in the intelligence community, but the behavior of his top advisers with whom he's traveled, those in his entourage. why look at them? what do you glean from that? >> well, a lot of it will be the
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interaction between kim jong-un and his entourage, whether he needs to turn to them for information on specific technical issues, whether he is looking to them for nods of agreement, that they think it's a good idea, or whether he really is singularly in command and will make a decision without looking to anyone else in his entourage without either support information or approval. >> so once all this information is gathered, bruce, then what? how does u.s. intelligence use this to their advantage? >> they'll try to use it to refine any kind of leadership analysis that they've already conducted on kim jong-un as well as the other members of the senior leadership, trying to get a sense of how capable they are, whether, you know, they detect divisions between them, defactions. there's often depictions of soft liners and hardliners. so any kind of interaction with any north korean official will be information that kind of goes
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into the overall assessment of trying to provide the best information on how -- what makes kim jong-un tick. >> bruce, i don't know if you saw the video we were just playing. i'm going to have my director play it again. that is kim jong-un there meeting with the foreign minister and say thank you for all of the support for the, quoted, provisions provided to north korea. can you pick up anything from this, from the way that he is sitting, his demeanor. there's certainly someone taking copious notes between the two men, which might be a translator. >> just from that little snippet, he seems a little stilted in his performance, which contrasts very much with the inter-korean summit with south korean president moon jae-in, where he seemed really to have quite a masterful performance. he certainly created a bit of what we would see as irrational exuberance in the south, that he's very different from his father, that he's willing to move very quickly down the denuclearization path. we see in south korea already a
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really dramatic shift in public opinion, much more supportive of engaging north korea, much more supportive of the idea that diplomacy can work this time, where all the previous efforts failed. from that one short snippet, he seemed a little less gregarious. >> bruce, i'm curious the top thing, the one thing you're looking for in this summit wi. >> i'd say other than the intelligence aspects would be the results. what we really need is to have north korea embrace and then work towards the u.n. required complete verifiable, dismantlement of his missiles and biological and chemical warfare. all the information that the intelligence community provided to president trump is to prepare him for this meeting where we're trying to achieve u.s. security
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objectives. >> bruce, always good to get your insights. thank you so much. come see me again. >> thank you. coming up next, tariff tiff. larry kudlow fires away at canada's justin trudeau. and with the summit just hours away, msnbc's headliners takes a closer look at kim jong-un, unravel the mystery of the north korean leader in a special hour hosted by craig melvin. watch "headliners: kim jong-un" sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern. that is tonight. we'll be right back.
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president trump's top economic adviser out this morning defending the administration's decision to withdraw support from the g7's communique. here's larry kudlow. >> potus is not going to let a canadian prime minister push him around, push him, potus, around, president trump, on the eve of this. >> so this was about north korea? >> of course it was in large part, absolutely. >> well, the announcement stunned allies when just a few hours before the president was praising his relationship with the g7. >> i will say it was not contentious. what was strong was the language that this cannot go on, but the
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relationships are very good, whether it be president macron or with justin. justin did a really good job. i think the relationships were outstanding. >> here with more, cnbc's ron ensana. big welcome to you. lo, your reaction to all this. you've worked with larry kudlow. do you believe him when he says justin trudeau stabbed the u.s. in the back of these negotiations? >> i consider larry a good friend. i've known him for almost 30 years. no, i don't believe him. i'm also a little worried he telegraphed the whole thing was just an act just to look strong before the meeting with kim. now president kim or chairman kim, whatever you want to call him, knows it was a false moment, if indeed it was. i'm shocked we're focused on things like dairy subsidies, that this is a point of contention with one of our closest allies. this g7 meetings is in some ways
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unprecedented. we've never not signed a communique. i don't think that this is in the best interest of the united states, to take this approach. i think among the president and his team, there's a staggering degree of economic incompetence here, when you're threatening your closest allies with tariffs not only on steel and aluminum, but as john harwood said earlier, on autos, which would be a major blow to north america if something like that took place. larry is an avowed free trader. his about face is somewhat shocking. >> so why is he doing it? why is he saying what he's saying? >> i think john was right. >> is he playing to an audience of one? that's such a risk. >> i understand. i agree wholeheartedly. i think many in this administration are playing to an audience of one. this is also the triumph of bannonism. you have the desire to fracture international relations and the deconstruction of the administrative state all happening in front of our eyes.
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i think the last time we saw economic and foreign policies like these was in the 1930s. i don't think the results were good. i can't overstate, i think, how important this weekend might be in a real challenge to the global economy going forward and to the health of our own economy as well. we're doing fine right now. the tax cuts have helped very late in the cycle, very strange time to cut taxes. they're acueicruing mostly to corporations, the benefits are. i think we're heading toward a greater degree of instability. >> look, ron, larry kudlow. you just said he's a free trader. he understands the implications of trade and tariffs and all that. does that president understand that? he has long advocated that the united states, and pardon me for saying it this way, is getting screwed by countries around the world. >> you know, i don't understand that in a certain sense. there are serious issues we have with other countries on trade.
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when it comes to china, intellectual property theft, the stealing or forced transfer of sensitive technology. those are two very legitimate issues. there's a dispute settlement mechanism within the world trade organization. the president does not like multilateral institutions, through which we can adjudicate these disputes. we can also form even closer relationships with our allies who have similar complaints about china to make sure they play fairly on the world economic stage. we're doing just the opposite. to fight canada over dairy imports is absurd. no, i don't think the president -- let me be blunt about this. it may be dangerous for me to do so, given that he's the president of the united states. i do not think the president understands global economics in any way shape or form. i also don't think that he was a wildly successful businessman. i think he was a good showman. so i think that there's a staggering degree of incompetence on the economic front, particularly in trade, when it comes to this administration and where they're taking this country. they don't understand a global supply chain that's used to manufacture products around the world.
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they don't know or seem not to understand or care what the implications of a trade war might be, which again, if you go back to the 1930s, they deepened the depression. it's a very risky game to be playing. if it's all just a bluff to get some token concessions from our allies, then it's also a strange way to play this given we need our allies for things other than manufacturing. >> i'm almost frightened to ask this question because you're going to be blunt about it. who stands more to lose financially in this fight, the united states or canada? >> well, it's hard to say. listen, canada is one of our top three trading partners. if the president were to impose tariffs on autos and not fully understanding how the north american free trade agreement accounts for this integrated global supply chain we have for building automobiles in the united states, wing bring that industry to its knees. now, that would hurt us as much f not more than, other than countries. we have the possibility of a far leftist being elected in mexico,
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who some people think will take it farther left than we can imagine today. he's got a 50% approval rating. nobody's even close to him. that will complicate our relationship with mexico even further. we have a lot to lose. the global trading system has a lot to lose when it comes to these debates we're having now and the potential for a trade war. they look at this as a zero-sum game. global trade has not been that. if you look at nafta alone, when it was implemented in 1993, trilateral trade among canada, the u.s., and max was $3 billion. today it's a trillion dollars. it's been a benefit to the united states as well as our other two trading partners. i don't see how any good comes of this approach. i don't see how any good comes of a trade war. i think maybe tomorrow the markets might start reflecting this. >> ron ensana, thank you so much. >> thank you, alex. coming up next, hope and soul. how south koreans view the historic nuclear summit. we had . i'm really grateful that usaa
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new ensure max protein. do ynever thought i'dirst tsee one in real life.r? [ dinosaur screeches ] the park is in the past. run! we're not on an island anymore. there is a town five miles from here. am i dead? not yet, kid. change was inevitable and it's happening now. welcome to jurassic world. rated pg-13. president trump and north korean leader kim jong-un both now in singapore. that's where the eyes of the world will be on this historic summit in less than 36 hours. one city that's very intently watching is seoul, south korea, where we find janice. a very early good morning to you your time. talk about the mood there in seoul now that the president and kim jong-un have arrived in singapore. it happened, what, five-plus hours ago. so what's been the reaction?
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>> reporter: well, they're watching very closely because south koreans know that there is a lot at stake with this summit. if there's one person who has tied their fate to the outcome, it's south korean president moon jae-in. it was his olympics thaw that led to that summit he had with kim jong-un on april 27th. so there is the sense that he is very heavily personally and politically invested in this. he has local elections that he's looking at next week as well. he has yet to get that april 27th agreement he made with kim ratified by his own legislature. so he needs this to work. he wants this to work. and it's very tricky for him trying to balance loyalties to the u.s. and to north korea. they share culture. they share language. and eventually north and south korea want to share economic ties as well. if we expand it regionally, there is a lot of anxiety that
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is warranted. they have -- allies have watched president trump spend the last few weeks alienating long-time u.s. allies, while at the same time, kim jong-un has been seeking them out. he's found them in russia, certainly with china, with south korea. so there is the sense that kim jong-un is going into this with more diplomatic oomph in his corner than president trump, who feels he doesn't need to prepare for the meeting, whereas the north koreans have spent the better part of the last seven decades looking forward to this meeting. >> all right. janice, it is not lost on us both you and your crew, we thank you -- big thanks given the hour there in seoul. appreciate coming up next, feudh friends. and next hour, how to tell if the nuclear talks are successful. at&t provides edge-to-edge intelligence, covering virtually every part of your manufacturing business. & so this won't happen.
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president trump played that process in good faith. so i ask you, he gets up in the airplane and leaves and then trudeau starts blasting him in a domestic news conference. i'm sorry.
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that is a betrayal. that is a double cross. >> there's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with donald j. trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door. >> president trump's chief economic adviser, also his trade adviser, blaming ka ncanadian p minister justin trudeau for the exit of the g7 meeting. joining me now, democratic strategist donn calloway, republican strategist, michael steele, and host of trade ideas on real vision. welcome to all three of you. don, you first on this. the president, of course, also accused mr. trudeau of making false statements and threatening new tariffs on imported cars. do you see any part of this as being justifiable? >> absolutely not. you know, we know that this
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president has no relationship with the truth whatsoever. so therefore, when there are potential real issues that we can have with a genuine ally in canada, nobody is positioned to believe what this president has to say about mr. -- about prime minister trudeau's veracity because, guess what? this president lies to the american people via twitter and via open microphones every week. alex, i've been watching your show. i don't know that i have a whole lot to add to what everybody's analysis has been. i'd just like to point out that this president and people like navarro and kudlow, what they do by doing this is we have absolutely substantively diminishes american leadership on the global stage. we're left in a position now where angela merkel and justin trudeau and emmanuel macron are the leaders for industrialized democracies. that's not something this president or the next president will be able to recover very, very quickly.
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america has ceded global leadership because of the antics of this administration. it is very dangerous and very sad. >> so michael, do you think it is largely show machimanship or this have real impact? john harwood and ron insana are colleagues of larry kudlow's. and they both said they don't believe what he was saying as being economically truthful, that he was rather just playing to one person, the president of the united states, they were playing to his ear. >> well, i think it is pretty clear that if president trump continues to push away our closest allies, that they are going to react. you are going to see more of these "love actually" style speeches from foreign leaders who just don't think they have to take it. frankly, their populations, their people who elected them, very much want to see them stand up to president trump, see them stand up to these bullying tactics and to the utter
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economic ill lis rascy of some -- illiteracy of some of these policies. >> i want to get to what senator john mccain tweeted this morning, carrie. after the president's reversal on the g7 statement to our allies, bibarts majorities of americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization and supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. americans stand with you, even if our president doesn't. >> what he said before he was heading to canada is that this is a process, it is a conversation. he said i am here to stand up for the american people and i am not angry with the current leaders of europe and canada. i am angry with prior american leaders who gave away the farm, who didn't stand up for the american people. there is over 100 billion, with a "b" dollar deficit with europe
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that america currently has. so i find it strange that michael would say that trump is a bully when he is merely standing up for the american people for once after decades of -- decades of neglect. so i just don't think it is so rich. >> how do you describe the president? i won't use the word bully. >> he is a free-throated defender for the american people. for american farmers, for american manufacturers. and for people on this panel and for senator john mccain who i admire, he is a war hero. but for him to put the interests of europe ahead of the interests of the american people is bad faith. that is bad faith for the american people. >> right now the president is picking fights with friends, certainly. but he is playing nice with dictators. how do you explain -- how do you analyze this dichotomy? >> i think that's the question that everyone is trying to answer. it is very hard to keep track of president donald trump and guess whether or not there's actually a real strategy behind what he's doing. i think the silver lining at least is that donald trump is not a dictator.
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right? the american people can vote him out. the american people can also vote in members of congress in the mid-term elections this year that might put additional pressure on the president. and so i think that while this might be doing some short-term damage, at least our european allies know that there isn't going to be a major re-shifting of our position in the world and those relationships at least for the long run. that's at least my hope. and when it comes to i think you're probably referring to the way that donald trump -- what i'm trying to say is, american leaders have always had meetings with unsavory characters, have always had relationships with dictators when it is politically convenient for us. but usually maybe there are fewer of them. here i think what's raising so many questions is that donald trump happens to be cozying up to almost all of them. but when it comes to the summit with north korea, the truth is that this is a historic moment. i think that we should be seeing some hope here and we do also have to recognize that decades
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of sanctions here and of isolation have not actually done anything to further the cause of human rights for the korean people. it is the reiya korean leaders themselves who are really leading the way here in trying to change the status quo and what's going on. >> in the couple of minutes that i have left here, i'm going to ask this question and have all of you quickly react to it. larry kudlow also said that the president's response to mr. trudeau was in part fueled by the timing of this. it is on the eve of the north korea summit. he said the president's not going to permit any show of american weakness, et cetera, at a critical time. how effective was this to convey strength to kim jong-un if that indeed was what he was going for? michael, you first. >> i think it was a terrible strategy to convey strength. i think it was counterproductive. i think pushing away our allies does not convey strength. i also worry that it raises the stakes for this upcoming summit in the sense that he won't want two blown summits in a row. i worry that it will increase the pressure to come to a bad deal, an agreement that doesn't
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make the world safer by getting a denuclearizatied korea. >> this is not a show. this is about a nuclearized, crazed dictator who is a known human rights abuser, and an opportunity that we've not had -- i agree with my conservative colleague -- it is an important opportunity to sit down. but it has to be serious. has he conferred with north korea and south korea and scholars? has he conferred with nuclear scholars? we don't see any evidence that any real preparation or intellectual vigor has been applied to this. this is not a show. this has serious implications for gloebl stabilibal stability president is a ridiculous showman. >> so the president showed the template of his leadership in stepping back from the iranian nuclear deal. this president is not going to give away the farm to a deal
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that's bad for the american people, that's bad for the bloebl orde global order which is a gift to terrorists, which was the obama/iranian deal which was unconstitutional. he didn't even have the right to sign it. >> i would just say, in contrast to what carrie is saying, any world leader should probably be hesitant of going into any kind of a deal or agreement or pact with president trump considering that he's pulled us out of the paris agreement, considering he's pulled us out of the iran nuclear deal. and it creates a type of picture that we're a country who can't be counted on. >> going around, thank you all so much. appreciate it. former negotiator with north korea weighs in on how to tell if the singapore talks are a success. the simple way to judge the trump/kim summit in the next hour with my friend, david gura.
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