tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC June 11, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
news we're covering tonight. two volatile leaders, one handshake that has changed the course of history. the unprecedented summit between the american president donald trump and noirkrth korean dicta kim jong-un. a special edition of "the 11th hour" as our live coverage continues on a monday night. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. we've been at it all evening. this was day 508 of the trump administration, and these are the images, the historic photo opp being broadcast around the world tonight. we just don't know yet what this all means. it's currently just after 11:00 a.m. in singapore where donald trump and kim jong-un are still
meeting. this marks the first ever meeting between a sitting president of the u.s. and a north korean leader. immediately after their initial handshake, president trump, kim jong-un spoke with reporters. >> i feel really great. we'll have a great discussion and, i think, tremendous success. we'll be tremendously successful. and it's my honor. we will have a terrific relationship, i have no doubt. >> translator: well, it was not easy to get here. the old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward, but we overcame all of them, and we are here today. >> it's a remarkable event in
many ways. take two from that photo opp right there, how remarkable it is for him to leave his country and how remarkable it is for us to hear his voice. the president and kim jong-un spent their one-on-one time along with only translators. notably no note-takers in the room. down a long hallway.sation another meeting with the rest of their staff. that's still going on. in about a half hour, we are expecting the president and kim jong-un to take part in a working lunch. we want to bring in our leadoff panel on a monday night. nicolle wallace, veteran of the bush white house, host of "deadline white house ". jeremy bash. gordon chang, columnist for "the daily beast, autho of "nuclear showdown, north korea takes on the world" if we think that's germane. just kidding. and we begin with nbc news correspondent kelly o'donnell.
kelly is where it's all happening in singapore. kelly, do we have it about right that we believe this kind of bilateral conversation with staff is still going on? >> reporter: that's our understanding now, and this is a multi-event day, in part, brian, because both of the leaders are very aware of branding, of spectacle. to some extent, you could argue for north korea propaganda. so there was a need here to not simply meet behind closed doors and emerge at the end of a day, but to have intervals where we are seeing the leaders. the public can judge they are interacting. you've talked about the body languages and the words that have been said. but also to give sort of data points through the day visually, which are important for both countries and really for the record of history, and for president trump. he has said plainly a number of times that although there are working groups that have met and have really gone into the nitty-gritty of what could be on the table between these two countries, he has said again and
again it is not about staff. it's not about experts. it'sbout relationship. and so we saw at the beginning of this from handshake to time alone, as you've been describing tonight how it's the interpreters, but just these leaders getting a sense of each other. the president has leaned heavily that heelt he could have a gut check moment with kim jong-un. he would be able to tell, and that relationship would be the thing he would leverage for any outcome for the united states. now, there are certainly diplomatic histories here that have shown deception on the part of north korea. a lot of that is a turn of the page for this president, who likes to believe through the force of his own personality and in many ways both mee difficulcults of personality in their own right, that is the tool he brings to this. the president would also say there is almost abrinkzmanship of potentially war only months ago and now they're at a point
where there aren't rockets and missiles being tested. the rhetoric between the two men that was deranged maniac and little rocket man, that has all melted away. today it's the superlatives we've come to know from plump abo -- president trump about an excellent relationship. secretary of state pompeo, who has met kim jong-un before, says the president is trying to project this confidence, behe is the one who often says complete, verifiable nuclear disarmament. president trump doesn't use that phrase that much. he's focused on how he will project this as a demonstration of what he can do that past presidents have not. this is a men rabl moment that will be in the biographies of both of these men. >> with midnight approaching here on the east coast of the u.s., our thanks to kelly
o'donnell for a situational report from there. okay, nicolle wall so kelly appropriately kind of paraphrased the president. the staff meetings are over. this is down to me and him. this is where i excel. and the problem is there are going to be deliverables that are expected out of this thing. >> the two things i've heard all night from former natnal security officials are around two central concerns. one, that that first meeting took place without anyone in the room. so whatever kicked off this first ever interaction between the two leaders, america and north korea, has no witnesses. and keir simmons of nbc news reported today at 4:00 that both men are known liars. so it's not a good starting point for a meeting with so many potential consequences. the second was at the end of kelly's report there where the stated goal -- u.s. policy is what was articulated by
secretary of state mike pompeo, and kelly mentioned it. vertifiable, verifiable denuclearization. donald trump didn't match that goal. his goal was, eh, i'll decide in the first minute if i like him or not. so we now have u.s. policy highly unlikely to be achieved today if ever, and a president who made this all about himself. go figure. >> jeremy bash, our friend steve schmidt talks about the absence of rigor. it's a word he loves, and so do i. was it an absence of rigor that led our president, our side to say "sure, just you and me and the translators in the room. nobody needs to know for posterity's sake." >> well it was certainly a mistake to wing it, not to prepare. i think there could be room for two leaders to get together to have some private conversations. but i think that conversation was really kind of basically
niceties. you and i are going to work together. i think we're now down to brass tacks on the u.s. side, the secretary of state, and the national security adviser. let's not forget the big picture. the united states is the most important bastion of freedom in the world. north korea is the most important bastion of repression. it is a prison state. it is a police state. we have elevated that police state. we have elevated that dictator by putting him on the same stage as the american president. now, it may be worth it if we can help guarantee the security of our allies and our own country. but i think that's not clear. i think tonight was a lot about symbolism, whether it's actually significant remains to be seen. >> gordon, what makes you think that kim jong-un is going to say, okay. we'll denuclearize? >> we can get to that point, brian, if the united states is willing to apply real maximum pressure. >> it's a long ball game. >> it's a long ball game. the administration believes that u.s. and u.n. sanctions have reduced the flow of the international payments to north
korea by about 50%. "wall street journal" reported that. but we have a long way to go. we need to get that down to about 10%, and we can do that by a number of stricter sanctions on north korea. but more important, going after north korea's major power, its backers, russia and china. chinese banks have been laundering money for north korea. it's not just the small ones. all four of the so-called big four banks have been handling north korea's cash. that's a violation of u.s. federal law. that gives you enormous leverage. >> did i get it about right, the two shocking things about seeing this scene of the two guys is kim jong-un is out of his country, and listen to his voice? >> yes. well, kim jong-un is much more outgoing than his father. his father spoke only once in public, and then he said about 13, 14 words. something like "long live the korean people's army." now, kim jong-un has actually spoken to the north korean
people, but we generally don't hear that. the more important thing that you point out is that kim jong-un felt secure enough to leave north korea for three or four days. now, he wants to get back quickly, which is an indication there are problems in the military. we know that because of that recent reshuffle of the top three posts at the korean people's army. that is an indication that kim is a little bit nervous, and there's all sorts of other indications that all is not well in north korea at this particular moment. >> i also felt the need tonight to point out that they don't make a car that he can use as a limousine overseas. they don't make a jet airliner that they can fly to singapore. he's driving a g armored limousine and in a air china commercial jetliner. >> both of those are significant. with regard to the air china, that is china's flag carrier. basically she jixi jing ping isg to president trump, look, kim
jong-un is my vasyl. you better not hurt him. with regard to that mercedes, kim jong-un engages in gift politics like his father and grandfather. that's the giving of luxury items to senior regime elements to buy their loyalty. two things are given, you know, really important. rolex watches and mercedes. north korea buys mercedes in hundreds. so that is significant that he actually arrived in that particular brand of german car. >> and cor vause yea apparently. he h but what else have they built in north korea or what have they built? 60 nuclear weapons, brian. nd rockets aimed at seoul. a chemical weapons program that was used to kill his own brother, a biological weapons program. i think the real important yardstick of tonight and the diplomacy that will unfold and the press conference we're probably here at about 4:00 a.m. eastern is will the north kores give up these weapons
that will threaten the united states and our allies? not, this was a nice photo opp, but it doesn't mean anything for our own security. >> back up to the hundred thousand artillery tubes pointing at seoul. this is where i always go back to. take nukes off the table. let's say it's fantasyland and they're going to go home and destroy them all by the weekend. you have a hundred thousand artillery tubes aimed at a city of 25 million people, if you include its environs. that's a first strike capability right there. >> seoul is an amazing city. if you've ever been there, you take off in a military helicopter where the american military is there with the south korean military. if you fly north to the dmz, you see the entire city. it's amazing what the south korean people have achieved over the last generation and a half. really at war. basically on the border with a hostile regime. there has never been peace there as we've been discussing all night. they've created an amazing,
immaculate city. that city lives under daily threat from these artillery tubes from the north. >> nicolle, let's talk about politics. how does this -- what happens now in the next 12 to 24 hours? >> well, two things. it's important to note that donald trump has been talking about this summit with his friends and his outside advisers -- >> it's a big deal. >> -- as a big moment for him in the sun. it was never going to be canceled. i went back and looked at communications from senior national security officials in this white house around the 25th and 26th when there were news reports that it was on ice. and there were meetings in -- there were meetings during that time whenthy we they were putti their own fake news. because he needs it. this is what he plans to run on in the midterms. the second point i'd make about what happened today - i know we live in a 24 hour news cycle. we've been covering this minute by minute. this didn't happen in a vacuum.
he left canada where he literally seemed to thrill in sticking his finger in the eyes of our oldest, closest, most reliable allies to legitimize, and you can never put that toothpaste back in the tube. he has now elevated the leader of north korea to a stature that he can never undo. so literally on the plane ride from canada, where he seemed to delight in ridiculing and harsh personal attacks against some of our closest allies, he then landed and called it a tremendous honor tbe there with this murderous dictator who republicans used to describe as a thug before they all got brainwashed by trsm. >> gordon, he does get points for the spectacle of it. this is a history making event and it's going to make the world safer for our children and grandchildren? >> yes, we've eventually got to talk about human rights. first of all, otto warmbier, this is the one-year anniversary that he came back and he died shortly after that.
there's a guy named david sneden, an american who was probably kidnapped by the north koreans. there's the japanese ductees. president trump said publicly he was going to get an accounting for shinzo abe the japanese prime minister. and this is the most horrific regime on earth. but the one thing we've got to remember, though, is that we get state visits to china, and china engages in horrific practices of its own. so we need to sort of put this in perspective. i am sort of viscerally, i agree with you. i don't really like the idea of u.s. and korean flags next to each other. but if that's the small price to pay, then i'm willing to do it because one thing president trump can do here -- and this is important when you look at the scheme of things -- if he can win over north korea to be a friend, that is one more friend that we have in a struggle with china that is attacking us across the board. that is china's only military ally. that would be undercutting north korea -- china's narrative that they're going to take over the world. that's important for us.
it's a small price to pay. >> but if i could just say something about that, i think it is tru thent deserves some credit here. first of all he got three detainees back. that's no small feat. he also was able to hold these talks not under fire. after all, the north koreans have suspended their missile tests. but it was a year of provocation, a year of needless provocation in my mind from an american president that i think caused the north koreans to accelerate their program. they flight tested an icbm twice. they have never done that. they conducted a sixth nuclear test. they twice overflew japan, our ally. they engaged in the most provocative acts and once and only when the north koreans felt like they had the nuclear deterrent well in hand, did they pivot, turn, work with president moon in south korea. they held that meeting on the dmz at panmunjom, walked to the north, walked to the south, and then they said we're ready to deal with the americans. >> as a reward, they get their
flag right next to the stars and stripes at this event. our thanks to our three panelists, to nicolle wallace, jeremy, gordon chang. it's been a long day and a long night of analysis for everybody here. up next for us after our first break here in this hour, two days ago you just heard us mention this. president trump called the canadian prime minister very dishonest and weak. tonighhe said it's a great honor to sit down with the dictator of north korea. exactly the point nicolle was just making. we're going to go live to singapore when this special edition of "the 11th hour" comes right back. whoooo.
going so far, sir? >> very good. very, very . excellent relationship. thank you. thank you very much. >> as we await this working lunch between these two leaders, allow us to put this night into context. this evening's historic face-to-face meeting comes just days after a major clash between donald trump and some of america's closest allies at the g7 summit, which, remember, was just this past weekend. tionre aeady straid when the president went to the g7 on friday. but then disagreements over trade and trump's own pressing the case for tariffs made things more contentious. canadian prime minister justin trudeau struck back, nicely but firmly, with these comments, hinting at further retaliation. >> canadians did not take it lightly that the united states has moved forward with significant tariffs on our steel and aluminum.
canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around. >> so that was that. then trump responded with a torrent of insults on twitter, calling trudeau, quote, very dishonest and weak, while attacking other u.s. partners. he also withdrew u.s. support from a joint agreement reached at the g7 meeting. they had just agreed to it before his departure. this now iconic photo got a lot of circulation this weekend. it was released by theffic of the german chancellor angela merkel, and it really does capture the seriousness of what was going on there. and the president's, according to some who look at the picture, isolation as part of the group as he makes his most important diplomatic move since taking office. with us tonight, philip rucker, pulitzer prize-winning bureau chief from "the washington post." and with us from washington, peter baker, chief white house correspondent for "the new york
times." philip rucker, i'm sure if your view, at the halfway mark, perhaps a little past, it's too early to know what it is we are witnessing here. the history part, what donald trump wanted to emerge, the visuals, has that already been accomplished? >> i think it has, brian. the history here is donald trump is the first u.s. president to have this kind of a meeting with the leader of north korea. the event, the photo opp this morning was staged with that big red carpet. they came out, shook hands, sat down one-on-one and then they joined each other's delegations for that bilateral meeting that is ongoing now. and for trump, it's just so striking because he's afforded kim jong-un more respect than he did the canadian prime minister and quebec a few days ago. he's referring to kim here as mr. chairman. he's flattering him in some ways. he said it was his honor to meet him, has said nothing yet that we're aware of about the human rights violations of kim jong-un
and his regime in north korea or about the totalitarian state that he leads back home. >> so, peter, this just could be one of those things donald trump is more interested in. it is the big chess move on the big stage. the g7 may bore him by comparison. a two-day kind of low-energy summit up in canada. but then you hear arguments, as we did in this studio tonight from jeremy bash, that the stars and stripes should not be adjacent to the north korean flag. this elevates all of north korea by proximity. >> well, look, this is a president we know of who looks superlatives. he wants to be the first, the most, the biggest, the best. things that have been done for 40 years don't interest him. things that have never been done do. and the meeting with kim jong-un has never been done. no sitting american president has ever met the north korean leader. now, the question is whether it
goes beyond the photo opp, whether it goes beyond having those flags next to each other, and we can't tell. president trump did tell us over the weekend he wouldnow within the first minute of meeting kim jong-un whether it was going to be a successful summit. it's now gone on for more than a minute, so we have to assume he's feeling pretty good about it. the truth is he hasn't set a definable standard for what success would be out of this meeting. presumably, it's just a way in the door to future meetings that might or might not be presumably more substantive and more concrete in getting us down the road toward an actual agreement. >> so, phil rucker, we've agreed that president trump made history tonight. i'm the last person who should be judging right and wrongs in the business of diplomacy. but have you talked to anyone who has passed judgment on the decision to go into the first bilateral meeting, the first one-on-one with merely translators and no one recording for the record, no note-takers, which is customary?
>> well, president trump's advisers have been saying that that meeting is set up that way in part because the most important thing to come from it is the personal relationship between the two leaders. trum here to singapore hoping to establish a rapport with kim. kim came here hoping to sort of normalize relations with the united states. and to do that, they wanted to meet one-on-one together to establish their own conneion, build their own chemistry, sort of feel each other out before they bring in their other advisers. there's risk of course, which i'm sure others on the broadcast have been talking about all night, which is that there are no note-takers. there's no sort of official version of events for either government to hold on to about what is said back and forth. but for trump, this is totally not surprising, i think. trump likes to have these kind of personal engagements. he sees this as almost like negotiating one of these real estate deals he did in manhattan where he sits across from someone, sizes up his competitor, and tries to figure out a way to manipulate h and outsmart him.
>> peter, you've watched this guy for a long time. i am anticipating a joint statement, perhaps a press availability that will be rife with superlatives. but then even as he gets outside of chinese airspace, the pressure foreliverables begins. and people in our business will keep writing the articles about the deal with north korea. what happened with denuclearization? and that's the tough part of this job. >> oh, it so much is. look, president clinton struck a deal with north korea, and obviously it fell apart. president bush got close to a couple deals that also fell apart. and, you know, in the flush of the moment, you feel good about a deal. you feel like, you know, you brought the world closer to peace. of course anyone would want that. but the details are so important. and it's so much more difficult. one thing president trump has said, and he's right about, is it's more difficult today than it was a decade ago when president bush was doing it and certainly more difficult than it was 25 years ago when president
clinton was doing it because north korea has a nuclear arsenal right now. it's not the libya model. iran, for all the sturm and drang over the agreement that was made with president obama didn't have nuclear weapons. they had a program that might get them to getting a nuclear weapon. this is more complicated. it will take a long time over the best of circumstances. you don't normally do it this way. you normally he the experts go in first. you work your way up to a leader meeting. but as we saw in the g7 and other instances, the only person that matters in this administration is the president. the only one that can cut a deal is the president. so i guess in that sense, there's a certain logic to having the president in on the first meeting. >> well, when we say singapore is the other side of the world, we mean it. it's a half hour before noon there and a half hour before mid night here. that tells us we owe phil rucker a lot of thanks for being jet lagged and doing television on top of deadline journalism
covering this summit today. really appreciate it as we do peter baker in a more manageable location of washington, d.c. gentlemen, thank you both so much. coming up for us, two of the preeminent names in foreign policy and military policy are coming here. "the 11th hour" is back with them after this. he highway when the guy in front slams on his brakes out of nowhere. you do too, but not in time. hey, no big deal. you've got a good record and liberty mutual won't hold a grudge by raising your rates over one mistake. you hear that, karen? liberty mutual doesn't hold grudges. how mature of them. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise their rates because of their firstccident. liberty stands with you. liberty mutual insurance.
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president trump and north korean leader kim jong-un are meeting right now in singapore. they're awaiting what comes next along with us. a working lunch where the two leaders will be joined by top advisers from both nations. we're expecting to go live to that location when they sit down, welcome cameras in. perhaps there will be some brief remarks. we'll bring them to you live. the delegation, as you see there, includes secretary of state pompeo, chief of staff john kelly, and the national security adviser john bolton. we have two terrific gentlemen to talk about all this tonight. with us here in new york, richar haas, a diplomat under president george w. bush with experience working for both the pentagon and the state department, currently serves as president of the council on foreign relation ks. also with us from seattle, retired four-star u.s. army general barry mccaffrey, a decorated combat veteran of vietnam and former battlefield
commander in the persian gulf. his global portfolio includes the korean peninsula. i think i got my george bush wrong. george herbert walker bush. >> i actually worked for both of them. >>ou can have that on your résume, i gluess you're doing you. . i'm going to quote you back to you. the unraveling of g7 summit works in north s favor as the real donald trump will not want to bust up two summits in a row, lest people conclude he is the problem. increases i for kim to up his asks and limit his compromises and for trump to do the opposite. hardly the ideal context. i wasn't planning on asking you about our new effort to bottle canada's nonstop aggression, but there is that. there was the g7 before there was singapore. >> no, absolutely. normally you would see allies as a way of pooling strength. essentially we wouldn't approach north korea or any other issue
alone. we'd always package it with countries that were on our side. so a strong showing in quebec would have been a perfect way, one, to approach north korea, and, two, to reassure south korea and japan. instead, you have a situation where obviously we distanced ourselves from our allies for reasons that remain inexplica e inexplicable, which makes, again, our allies in this region nervous, and i think does put pressure on the president, or he put pressure on himself now because you don't want to have two unsuccessful meetings in a row. >> in a perfect world, that g7 is kind of a pep rally. it gives you momentum going into your dicey summit overseas. you say for reasons we don't know. do you have a theory as to why an american president would go in and break the furniture in the durable post-war alliance? >> yeah, my own explanation, brian, is two things. donald trump from the get-go has believed two things deeply. one is that the burdens and costs of american world
leadership far outweigh any benefits. he actually believes that. and, two, he believes, as he would say, that we have been taken advantage day in, day out by the global trading regime. so he had to confront both issues here. he had to confront nato and he had to confront the trading regime. so he picks on an issue with canada about dairy, which is, what, one-tenth of 1% of the u.s./canada trade relationship. meanwhile we're in slight surplus with canada on manufacturing and so forth. it was as if he w looking to pick a fight, which seems to me either he was unable to grasp the reality of the relationship or unwilling to, and then you get into the whole political conversati. but for whatever reason, it was damaging. it's damaging with allies. it basically shows that having a larger relationship with us doesn't count for a lot. that this administration at any moment is willing to focus on a particular and drive that home regardless of the larger damage it does, regardless of the larger degree we benefit from the relationship.
>> because it's important to the boss. barry mccaffrey, i know you've been watching the coverage tonight. let's see here. where are we? here. okay. hi. general, i was looking for a camera so i could talk to you. what's your view? i mean history has been made already in this summit. the's that. what's your view so far of what you've seen and the pitfalls? >> well, look, go back and read your haas point for one second. the last time i testified to the senate it was on the mexican border, 2,000 miles, and i pointed to the 5,000 miles of u.s./canadian border and alleged the only thing safer than living next to canada might be next to the vatican. so the whole notion of using national security as an argument to bash canada is really unsettling. looking at singapore, a couple of thoughts. one is some good can come out of
this. i think dialogue, it's potentially going to reduce the tensions in the short run as many of your panelists have pointed out. the major believable short-term threat are north korean artillery bombardment of the south. if we thought it would laid to denuclearization, we're sadly mistaken. it's never going to happen. kim jong-un's a clever brute. he's murdered more than 300 of his senior officials. there is absolutely no reason to believe what he would say, and i think the biggest problem we've got going into this talk this time was he's playing along game. he's going to be around for 40 years. he's going to assume that president trump's gone in three years or maybe eight years. so he's going to promise enormous payoffs in denuclearization over the coming ten years and try and get anything he can now. the next president of the united states is not going to roll this
stuff back, so i think we're in a very tricky position. but in sum, i think it's probably a helpful thing that president trump did break through the stacis and get a dialogue going. >> barry, back up to your first point, and i want a parting thought that's on the nice side. the mccaffrey grandchildren are probably safer as a result of this summit happening in singapore? >> yeah, i think so. by the way, i've got a grandson headed to the air force academy this summer. so it's of great interest to our families. i think kim jong-un -- by the way, i've got a very angry tweet. it says, of course kim jong-un is seeking like every leader a prosperous and happy population. nothing could be farther from the truth. he doesn't want an open society. he wantshe economic constraints lifted. he's got to rejuvenate his armed
forces. he wants an industrial capacity. he wants to be recognized. that sort of thing can happen. but he will not give up a nuclear capability. he's sure, correctly, that's why he's in singapore with the eyes of the world on him. >> richard, you got to love that. the guy has stared down the north vietnamese and the rockies, but send him a tweet and that will get his attention. richard haas, last word. will the haas grandchildren be safer because of what hapd today? >> the at the risk of a cliche, way too soon to say. north korea is going to agree in principle to denuclearization. won't do it in pr. barry is right. the danger is either the summit breaks up with bad news, or the good news is we end up giving too much for too little. and we've got to be really ca to do anything that weakens our military presence on the peninsula or our alliance unless north korea fundamentally deconstructs the conventional military threat it poses to south korea and japan. >> thank you.
a treat to have you here in new york at this late hour. both gentlemen, thank you very much. coming up for us, is president trump any closer to that goal we keep mentioning, denuclearization? li live coverage continues after this. ng so we know how to cover almost anything. even "close claws." (driver) so, we took your shortcut, which was a bad idea. [cougar growling] (passenger) what are you doing? (driver) i can't believe that worked. i dropped the keys. (burke) and we covered it. talk to farmers, we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ wwow, this is quite the busyo. place. right? this is the product for you. (vo) the new bissell crosswave pet pro vacuums and washes at the same time. it's better than ever for homes with pets.
but climbing 58,070 steps a year can be hard on her feet, knees, and lower back. that's why she wears dr. scholl's orthotics. they're clinically proven to relieve pain and give you the comfort to move more. dr. scholl's, born to move. we are back, and again 11:44 eaoast time, that means it's 11: 44 the other way, about 15 minutes before noon in singapore. we're waiting to get live pictures of the start of this worklunch. we are back, importantly joined by three important voices right now. if you've been watching our coverage, you've seen sue mi terry with us tonight, a former senior analyst at thecia, was in charge of the region while at the white house in the nsc.
joerence yoenny, president of ploughshares fund and author of "nuclear nightmares." joe is actually a fun guy. "securing the world before it is too late." and our presidential historian and author and friend, michael beschloss is here with us in new york. welcome to you all. thank you for coming in. thank you for your continued service. sum up everything you and i and we have discussed here all night. i ended up asking both of those gentlemen if their grandchildren were safer because of what ppened today in singapore, and i think that's an acceptable lens to view this meeting in. >> the problem is we don't know, and only years later we'll know. even if there's a successful deal and there's an agreement, we don't know if that's truly successful or not. in the past, for example, when we agreed, we had an agreed
framework. we thought it was a successful agreement. it was in 2002 we found out north korea was cheating on that agreement by separately pursuing uranium enrichment program. it's going to be many years before we know if there's a successful agreement and that's a big if because tonight could just produce a joint statement that's not a real agreement yet. >> there's a new york expression, couldn't hurt. how can a summit make anything worse? how could it make it worse if these two leaders for the first time took their measure of each other? >> it's certainly better than l this preventive strike talk or bloody nose of where we were last december. >> pyre afire and fury. >> certainly it's much better situation than that. but if we're really looking at complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement of north korea's nuclear program, are we there just based on today's meeting? i would say if i had to make a bet, no. >> joe, same question. >> i'm betting yes, we are safer.
i mean look at what donald trump has done. he has done something that other presidents have tried to do and failed to do. he's overcome the majtacle to getting an agreement with north korea, which is getting the right wing of the american political establishment to embrace this approach. many, many people in the united states have been completely opposed to any negotiations with this regime, favoring in one form or another regime change. donald trump has brought that right wing to the table, in this case literal draggingohn bolton to the table there to bless this -- >> veteran hawk, yeah. >> so he's opened up enormous space for any president who follows. even if this deal runs into trouble, he's established a precedent that, yes, the right wing of the party is cheering him on in negotiations with the last totalitarian state on the planet, a repressive communist regime, and he's establishing the principle, as eugene robinson said, yes, we talk to our enemies. this is how we solve our problems.
>> great answer. michael oss, the only summit i think i've been thrilled by in my adult life was at -- >> reagan and gorbachev. >> yes. and when they emerged, we learned how close they almost came. >> that's why these things are so unpredictable. you know, reagan in that case, that was '86. reagan went to iceland. it was a summit with about a week's preparation. and reagan went in, had no idea that gorbachev was going to make him this bigoffe i'll talk about abolishing all of our ballistic missiles, and maybe a lot of our nuclear arsenals, if you will give up your strategic defense initiative. and reagan, in retrospect to his great credit, said no. and one thing that also shows negotiators is sometimes you
can't be so desperate for a deal that you're not going to walk out. reagan did. this is what i worry about with trump. >> we disagree on that. >> okay. >> they should have made the deal. gorbachev wanted to keep the missile defense in the research stage for ten years. reagan, because of richard pearl, who played the john bolton role at this point, said no. either one could have compromised. it turned out it didn't make any difference as missile defense stuff still doesn't work and we could have made that deal. this is what's so significant about having donald trump make this deal, open up this discussion. i agree with sue mi terry. there's a long way to go here, but we have just taken a major step, a step we can't take back in just having the meeting, having that photo opp. >> sue, what if i told you they're 19 minutes late for lunch? is that a good sign? >> yeah, i think it's a good sign. >> because they're still talking. >> it's better than just walking out right away. yeah, it's a good sign. >> they've got things to talk about. >> exactly. >> maybe they're trying to
hammer out the deal. >> we will fit in a break. oh, here we are. we'll be right back. in these turbulent times, do you focus on today's headwinds? or plan for tomorrow? at kpmg, we believe success requires both. with broad range of services and industry expertise, kpmg can help you anticipate tomorrow and deliver today. kpmg.
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you saw president trump at what appeared to be kind of a u-shaped table. here's another attempt at the video we have sofar. there kim jong-un and it's clear the american side is over there. okay, this is taped. let's listen to the audio. >> sue mi terry, who is speaking will? >> --re? >> sounds like south korean reporters, south korean's are talking about it. the south korean reporter is saying, we think president trump is trying to say to the reporters, take good pictures.
make it -- make it look -- something like that. >> still directing the show. >> the south korean reporter is commenting on the table. it's not overly elaborate. looks fancy enough. they're commenting on the table and what's going on. >> the show. joe, do you think this administration has the long-ball staying power? this is going to be grunt work from here on out? >> they're the snow plow going down the road. they're clearing the path for it. but this is going to be a long road. i think they do have the expertise in the establishment in the deep state to actually take care of this. if they can arrive at an agreement in principle, i understand that president trump was pushing for a specific date of 2020 to get north korean denuclearization. he's not going to get that. that's impossible. this is the kind of stuff that will be left to the trucks behind the snow plow. >> i was going to say if you spend time in the northeast, driving behind the snow plow is not a -- maybe math wasn't your
strong suit and your s.a.t.'s wereerbal like mine. what happens in 2020? >> gee, i think there may be an election and that may even be there there will help a glitzy summit. >> politics. >> that puts pressure to have the president look like the summit is a success. it may force him to push for certain things that he otherwise would not. that's what i'm worried about. >> to our viewers, just to let you know, obviously the live coverage will continue all evening long. we're having some of these technical issues, but there's been no press statement or press event. if there is going to be one of those, it's going to be in the 4:00 a.m. eastern hour. so far, these have been what we call veils or variabilities where the pool members of the traveling press core are allowed
in. they can talk to president trump. as cnn's jim accosta did, they can toss a question to kim jong-un. are you prepared to give up your nuclear weapons? no answer on that one. and we may not have an ans very soon. but again, they are at the start of the working lunch which started, by our count, more than 20 minutes late, which according to our expert here in our new york studio, was probably a good sign. probably a sign of productive talks. live coverage continues all evening long. with thanks to sue mi terry, joe, michael, as always. that's our broadcast for tonight. thank you for being with us. stay with this network for live coverage. hey blue. i brought you something. okay. we're getting out of here.
at fidelity, our onle u.s. equity trades are just $4.95. so no matter what you trade, or where you trade, you'll only pay $4.95. fidelity. open an account today. good evening, i'm chris mathews up in new york. it's midnight here on the east coast, but 9:00 p.m. on the west coast and 12:00 noon in singapore where president trump and the u.s. delegation are holding a working lunch with kim jong-un and the representatives of north korea. well, tonight president trump became the first sitting u.s. president to meet face to face with the leader of the north korean regime. and during that greeting which was staged before a row of alternating u.s. and north korean flags, president trump could be heard exchanging a few brief words with the young dictator before posing for photographs.