tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC June 12, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT
korea, holding a candlelight vigil in front of the u.s. embassy. they're hoping for a successful summit between the president and kim jong-un. we've talked a lot about implications for the u.s., but in seoul this stuff hits very close to home. the photographer here, kim hohon hong gi from reuters. for now, back to the u.s., stephanie ruhle and ali velshi. >> just stephanie ruhle today, ali velshi is off. hallie jackson, i am begging you, you need to take a rest. >> eight more hours to go, that's it. nightly news and then i'm on a plane, steph, coming back to you in the u.s. >> superwoman, thank you so much. good morning, everybody, i'm stephanie ruhle. my partner, ali velshi, off today. it is june 12th. let's try to get a little smarter. >> thank you. thank you, everybody.
i would actually say that it worked out for both of us far better than anybody could have expected. >> translator: we haa historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind. >> chairman kim and i just signed a joint statement in which he reaffirmed his unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula. we also agreed to vigorous negotiations to implement the agreement as soon as ssib chairman kim has td me that north korea is already destroying a major missile engine testing site. that was not in your agreement, i got that after the signed the agreement. i had do me a favor. you've got this missile engine testing site. we know where it is because of the heat. it's incredible the equipment we have, to be honest with you. i said can you close it up. he's going to close it up. today is the beginning of an arduous process. our eyes are wide open, but
peace is always worth the effort. the menace of nuclear weapons will now be removed. in the meantime, the sanctions will remain in effect. >> can you be specific about what assurances you are willing to give to kim -un? doest include reducing military capabilities. >> we are not reducing anything. we have right now 32,000 soldiers in south korea and i'd like to be able to bring them back home but that's not part of the equation right at some point i hope it will be, but not right now. we will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money. >> this joint statement does not talk about verifiable or irreversible denuclearization. is that a concession? >> not at all. if you look at it, it said we are going to -- let's see here. it will be gone. i don't think you can be re plain. it will be verified. we'll be verifying. >> how is that going to be achieved, mr. president? >> by having a lot of people
there. >> the horrible record that they have on human rights, was that discussed all? ishat something that you will tackle in the future? >> yes, it was discussed. it will be discussed more in the future, human rights. what was also discussed in great detail, john, was the fact that they want the remains of their sons back. they want the remains of their fathers and mothers and all of the people that got caught into that really brutal war, which took place to a large extent in north korea. i asked for it today and we got it. that was a very last-minute, the remains will be coming back. the going to start that process immediately. >> did you touch on the issue of peace treaty? >> yeah. >> and also will you travel to pyongyang any time soon? >> at a certain time i will. that will be a day i very much look forward to at the appropriate time. i also will be inviting chairman
kim at the appropriate time to the white house. >> wha is the immediate next step? is there some ongoing dialogue? >> yes. we're getting together next week to go into the details. secretary pompeo -- yeah, next week with john bolton and our entire team to go over the details and to get this stuff done. >> how do you ensure that north korea is not all talk, no action? >> well, i think can you ensure anything? >> over my lifetime, i've done a lot of deals with a lot of ople. sometimes the people that you most distrust turn out to be the most honorable ones and the people that you do trust, they are not the honorable ones. >> americans woke up to historic images this morning. the president of the united states and the leader of north korea in front of flags of both nations shaking hand something that never happenedbefore. why? president trump and kim jong-un sat down signing an agreement the two sides worked out. the two nations agreed to
establish better relations, build a lasting and stable peace, reaffirm the declaration made after kim and south korean president moon jae-inade in april and the most significant thing, the north agreed to hand over the remains of prisoners of war and those missing in action from the korean war. reaction poured in from the region following the summit. in tokyo this morning, japanese prime minister shinzo abe said he welcomed kim's commitment to denuclearize the kn peninsula. in beijing, the minister of foreign affairs called on the united nations to suspend sanctions against north korea and the perhaps with the most at stake, south korean president, moon jae-in, watched coverage with his cabinet telling reporters he hardly sle slept the night before the historic moment. just a short time ago kim jong-un began his trip to the airport, having accomplished what his father and grandfather never could, meeting with the sitting u.s. president. so for kim jong-un, clearly a massive win.
president trump boarded air force one to returnhome. but before leaving, he was surprisingly candid about just how tentative the whole situation remains. >> you trust him? >> i do trust him, yeah. now, will i come byou in a year and you'll be interviewing and i say, gee, i made a mistake. that's always possible. we're dealing at a very high level. a lot of things can change. a lot of things are possible. he trusts me and i trust him. >> now i want to bring in nbc chief global correspondent bill neely live in singapore and director of asian security at the asia society, lindsay ford. bill, to you first. we are looking at these historic sittingether.se twoeaders a lot of people have already said to me this morning take a breath, give credit where credit is due. these two men are sitting down. but give us a history lesson. was president trump able to get a meeting that no previous president was able to get? or was he willing to take a meeting that no previous
president would consider taking with an autocratic leader, a massive human rights violator? i think back to 2007 when president obama said he would be willing to meet with the north korean leader and he was blasted from democrats, from republicans. sean hannity said this shows what poor foreign policy experience obama has. fast forward to 2018 and sean hannity is saying this is extraordinary that trump achieved this, and we're saying look at this amazing thing that he did that no one else could. is it no one else could or no one else would? >> reporter: yeah, stephanie, you know, it's glass half full or glass half empty. but you're right, the inconvenient truth for president trump is that the north koreans have wanted to sit down with a u.s. president for decades. you know, the propaganda machine might spit out nasty words and they might launch missiles, but what they have always wanted was respect and recognition and really it's party time in
pyongyang, because that's exactly what the elite has got, respect as an equal nation. look at the choreography, look at those flags, six north korean, six american, same number of officials on each side. they have been respected as an equal nation. and kim, well, he is not pariahed now but partnered and showered with praise by an american president to an almost embarrassing degree. compare what president trump said about kim jong-un to what he just said about justin trudeau. it is pretty amazing. but you know, again, to be fair president, what h got is a historic summit and surely we are in a different place, at least if not a better place than we were last year with fire and fury, stephanie. >> without a doubt. think about this, last year, fire and fury, talk of the little button. imagine how so many people on the peninsula felt. lindsay, secretary pompeo talked all about verification,
verification, verification. his press conference monday, you know, wasllbout this v. yet in the document that i've seen, is verification anywhere? >> no. it magically disappeared, unfortunately. >> so we're going to take kim jong-un's word for it when we know in the past north korea has agreed to these identical terms and then reneged? >> yeah. you know, the concern for me with the statement, i think there were a lot of assumptions going into this that we'd probably have something that was light on details. i think it's lighter on details than even we anticipated or hoped. and the question now is what have you -- what kind of process have you set up f mike pompeo? and that's the concern that i have. the president is actually sort of leaving mike pompeo with a pretty weak hand to play as he goes into really critical negotiations to see if you can now produce a more meaningful substantive agreement, because he sort of set the table in a really weak way where north
korea doesn't really seem to have committed to anything beyond probably what their opening bargaining position was here. >> but that's president trump's jam. whether you're talking health care or tax reform, he always says i'm the guy who closes the deal and my boys work out the details. so i want to share what he specifically said about what wasn't in the agreement, because he leaves that to pompeo. >> kim jong-un for a complete verifiable irreversible denuclearization and can you say why you didn't secure those details in this agreement? >> because there's no time. i'm here one day. we're together for many hours intensively, but the process is now going to take place. >> he could staylonger, lindsay. >> yeah. you know, i mean it's funny, it's not. this is why in diplomacy you start with the experts at the beginning. it's why you actually wait until you have an agreement in hand to
send the president out, but he insisted on this very abbreviated process where he was going to fly in and he was going to be the one who could really do something that nobody else could. and again, at the end of the day, it's just not so. there's no substitute for hard work in these situations. >> well, president trump would say, or i shouldn't put words in mouth, but if you look at him over the last 24 hours, it's been all about reading the room, reading kim jong-un and making him feel good, leaning over, complimenting him, smiling and really build him up. does it seem like president trump is relying on creating this personal relationship with kim jong-un that will get him over the top? that is something no one else has done before. while criticize it, it just might work on a super ego monster like kim jong-un. and i don't mean monster, i mean he's an ego guy. bill. >> reporter: yeah, president trump does rely a lot on personal relationships and this might be a foundation from
almost nothing. remember, there is no trust whatsoever between these two countries, so it might just build. but i mean i was reminded of george bush jr. saying i looked into putin's eyes and i saw his . you know, this could come back to haunt president trump saying i trust him. again, you might say politically, remembe george bush sr. when he said read my lips, no new taxes. these things politically can come back to haunt people. and if in two years' time there is nothing from this deal so far, people will say, all right, so you thought the iran deal was the worst thing that had ever been negotiated, just tell us what is being achieved by this north korea deal, mr. president. so it is a huge personal risk. well, it's a huge political risk for president trump. and personal relationships only go so far. ask justin trudeau. ask president moon, who said he
didn't get a good night's sleep last night. there is every indication, stephanie, that south korea knew nothing about the cancellation of military exercises in august, because both the military and the presidency have put out statements basical saying what? you know, we need to check this out. so it may well be that president moon wasn't even consulted by his great friend, president trump. >> victor cha did say south korea was unaware of this and they're obviously left very vulnerable. bill, lindsay, thank you. i just want to button that up. to the point bill made earlier, remember that one meeting that president trump had with president obama, obama said the number one concern, the most at-risk situation is north korea. it wasn't long ago we were in a very tense situation and now at best you have these two guys shaking hands and smiling, so while there might not be huge progress, that remains to be seen, at least it definitely
feels like the tension has been turned down. next, kim jong-un has killed his own family members. starved countless koreans and brutalized his own people in labor camps. we're going to look at this leadere leader that our presiden is calling very strong. maybe it's a savvy negotiating tactic, but we need to remind you just who this man is. he is not the peer of an american president. plus, what would it take to clear north korea of its nuclear weapons. we are going to explain how complicated it could be. you don't just throw it in a dumpster and the remnants could end up in the state of tennessee. so i'm not happy unless my hands are dirty. between running a business and four kids, we're busy. auto insurance, homeowner's insurance, life insurance policies. knowing that usaa will always have my back... that's just one less thing you have to worry about. i couldn't imagine going anywhere else. they're like a friend of the family.
his people, you see the fervor, they have a great fervor, they're going to put it together and i think they're going to end up with a very strong country and a country which has people, that they're so hard working -- >> do you know why they're so hard working? they're in prison camps. that was president trump talking about the north korean people's love for kim jong-un. so let's take a look at the life under the kim dynasty. north korean society is split into three categories according to human rights groups. loyal, wavering and hostile. a citizen's category is arbitrary but determine's everything about that person's life. educational opportunities, employment, marriage, even
travel and food rationing. there are 51 subcategories to determine the exact mix of privileges and opportunities. a person's class is largely dependent on the actions of their family. from second cousins to grandparents, it's incredibly ha move up, but it is very easy to fall. the top class, loyal, is the best off. descendants of those who fought the japanese clone juary authority during world war ii and the families of soldiers who fought and died in the korean war. they largely live in pyongyang and run the military and government. they get imported food. many go to western universities. life is good for this group. next, wavering. anyone related to those with low level involvement during the japanese colonial period. they have a second-tier education and work as low-level technicians. their lives are closely monitored by state surveillance. and at the bottom, hostile. anyone whose grandparents served in the japanese colonial government, lived in south korea before 1953 or are seen as
disloyal to the party. during famine this group would be the first to starve. that's right, starve. and yocould be wavering or even loyal. but if your brother, sister, son or cousin tries to defect to the south, you will get sent to a political prison camp. the hostile class is forced to live and work in mountainous regions, farming land that barely supports crops or mining, always under fear of being disappeared by the government. many end up in political prisons where they suffer rape, torture, starvation, beatings, and summary execution, according to a u.n. report. they work in forced labor but by no means free. many times a person doesn't even know what group the government classifies them under. their loyalty to the state is examined every time they come to government attention, applying for work, travel, even within the country or marriage. and fortunes can change in an instant. so earlier when i corrected
myself, when i said in a flippant way that he's a monster, that was a mistake. he is. joining me now, former ambassador to the united bill richardson. ambassador, you have gone to north korea several times and negotiated prisoner releases. right now there are more than 100,000 north koreans being held as political prisoners. give us a look into these labor camps, because for those of us who don't know, who listen to the president and the picture he's painting about these north koreans and their loyalty to kim jong-un and how happy they'll be at the end of this, tell us what their lives look like. >> well, i've been to north korea eight times, and i have to admit that whenever i go, i'm closely watched and not given much access. but i've been to the rural areas. i know about some of these very bad reports about human conditions. there are prison camps. many of the american prisoners
that we've been able to get out and others have been in these prison camps and labor camps. a lot it, though, is because of the extreme poverty in north korea. it's one of the poorest nations if not the poorest on earth, especially in the rural areas. pyongyang has mainly the military, the intelligence people, thos that work for the vernment. their food is rationed they have minimal salaries, but they survive. i think the first step, stephanie, is full unfettered access by the united nations into north korea to document some of these abuses, some of the prison conditions. secondly, allowing groups like amnesty international, human rights watch, to really look at the statistical situation regarding human rights. i think those reports that we've gotten have been from defectors, they're not direct human rights investigations by the u.n.
because north korea doesn't allow access to anybody of types. so i think this is very important, that if we are going to have, for instance, investments in north korea, economic assistance, that that assistance like the congress has mandated be contingent on human rights, be contingent on proper treatment of individuals and absence of torture, ways that we condition our assistance to countries around the world, otherwise the encouraging part is the president did say that kim jong-un wanted to change things. well, you know, there's got to be pressure on that. you know, i'm disturbed that we didn't talk about human rights more. the president kind of glanced at it and said, well, we talked about it but very briefly. we mainly were talking about denuclearization. north koreans get those signals when you don't raise an issue. and this is very important for
the international community and for the korean people too. >> then do you think the president doesn't understand how important the human rights issue is? you know, his perspective could be, well, those are the north korean people, i'm not responsible for them, i'm responsible for the american people and the american people care about denuclearization. could that be his perspective? >> well, yeah, i worry about the president. he seems to like dictators that are not very strong on human rights like duterte in the philippines and putin in russia and many others, now kim jong-un. i worry about that. you know, for some reason, we shun s the democracies, our allies, like what happened in this debacle in quebec with the european union, with the canadians. you know, you kind of wonder why is the president more comfortable with authoritarian figures. and that's bothersome because these authoritarian figures have
very little regard for democracy, for human rights, treatments of their own people. and my hope is that with north korea the situation is so bad it can't get any worse, so there's room, dramatic room for progress. >> so while it's still , very early to tell, how would you grade this summit in terms of progress, because we're coming off, to your point, an absolutely awful trip with our closest democratic allies and canada. >> well, i would say on the normalization front, on the tone of the personal connection of the two leaders, on diffusing tensions in the peninsula, i think that was a positive. it was a historic summit. on the denuclearization missile issue negotiations, very vague. this is typical of the north koreans. they always want you to go first. we went first by suspending the military exercises. then they say now then we'll do
something. well, that's where they get you. so i think a peace treaty negotiation, hang it up there, don't give it to him, find ways that they denuclearize that they destroy weapons, that they freeze the technology on the missiles so it doesn't hurt japan and south korea and the american mainland and hawaii and guam and alaska. but, you know, the meat on the bones wasn't there on the important substantive issues. and again, human rights. i just wish we had pushed harder. i'm pleased about the issue of the en. there's 5,000 remains of our soldiers from the korean war. i brought seven back in 2007. there are a lot of families around the country, these are 17, 18-year-old kids that were killed in the korean war. the remains have to come back to give closure to their families. it seems that progress was made on that issue. but the issue of human rights in
the region in asia is critically important, especially since south korea is such a thriving democracy and there is respect for democratic institutions and elections and human rights there. >> all right, ambassador, thank you so much. i appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me this morning. ambassal richardson. i want to stay on that when we come back, talking about north korea and their nukes and what it actually takes to dismantle the gime's nuclear infrastructure and how some pieces could actually end up here in the u.s. but before we take a break, it's my favorite part of the show. it is time now for monumental americans. today in light of the fight against nuclear weapons, we are honoring american activist bella abzug and dagmar wilson. abzug was worn in 1920 and became an attorney and u.s. congresswoman for new york. wilson on the right was born in 1916 and was an artist and illustrator of children's books.
she died in 2011. together, these women co-founded women strike for peace. at the height of the cold war in women to march in 60 cities to protest nuclear testing. it washe largest national women's peace protest of the 20th century a it helped push the u.s. and soviet union into a nuclear test ban treaty. thank you to those women. if you have a monumental american, please share it with us. tweet us@velshiruhle. i'm a fighter. always have been. when i found out i had @velshi. age-related macular degeneration, amd, i wanted to fight back. my doctor and i came up with a plan. it includes preservision. only preservision areds 2 has the exact nutrient formula recommended by the national eye institute to help reduce the risk of progression of moderate to advanced amd. that's why i fight. because it's my vision.
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welcome back to vel s"velsh ruhle." kim jong-un has agreed to work toward denuclearizing the korean peninsula but without any deadlines in the deal that could almost anything. during a briefing with reporters on air force one right before leaving singapore, trump insistede has a complete plan. >> how do you get people in there?
>> we'll have to check it. we'll check it very strongly. but he has a plan total and complete. >> and you trust him? >> i do. you know, as i told you in six months, let's -- the answer is i do. >> a total plan for denuclearization. you said he has a total plan. >> he has a total plan. >> for denuclearization. >> it will get done. >> he's got a complete plan, we just don't know what it is. today expe north korea, diplomats and lawmakers, are giving mixed reviews on the summit. >> what this seems to be is ultimately very much a trumpian summit. tremendous emphasis on chemistry and on the personal relationship and yet again a desire to reduce the american footprint in the world. i think the president, he should get some credit here for having arrived at this day, turned away from war where we were seven or eight months ago and turned toward diplomacy. but i must say i think the big question i've got, david, is does donald trump have the strategic patience to carry out a multi-year negotiation.
he is not a famously patient person. >> when you start looking at the statement, putting aside the syntactical problems, you'll see it has major problems and frankly is an invitation for the north koreans to do nothing, or nothing i should say in our lifetime. >> this is a good thing that the two leaders met, it does break ice and create a personal relationship. i must say i was a little taken aback by the north koreans flags and american flags side by side. we really aren't side by side >> you'd want a complete and full declaration of all nuclear weapons, weapons, precursors, facilities and expertise that then could be identified, located and verified by the international atomic energy agency. these sorts of specifics are completely miss from this document. >> if the president really wants to make sure otto warmbier didn't die in vain, he has to be -- i don't think he deserves the trump's thumbs up yet. >> certainly nothing in the
history of kim jong-un or his father or his grandfatherhat would demonstrate we should be optimistic. but having said that, you've got to y. >> i'm hopeful. i think he has convinced kim jong-un that he's better off giving up his nuclear weapons than he is keeping them and that's the goal. >> denuclearizing north korea will take a herculean effort and "the new york times" laid out the steps it will take to break down 50 years worth of nuclear development. that's all they there. first, the north must dismantle and remove the nuclear weapons. inspectors would watch north korean engineers take apart each weapon and ship the parts out of the country, possibly down to the oak ridge laboratory in tennessee. second, halt uranium enrichment. they have to be shut down and dismantled as well. north korea has five enrichment
plants according to a 2014 rand corporation report. third, disable the reactors, which turn uranium into plutonium making for a more powerful blast. the north has one reactor and it is in the process of commissioning a second one, a bigger one. fourth, close the nuclear test sites. last month the north blew up tunnels at its only known test site. and experts now -- see, you have it right there on your screen -- must determine whether that site is unuseable. fifth, end h-bomb fuel production. what does that the north has to close these fuel plants which can make atom bombs hundreds of times more destructive. it is suspected of having at least two of these sites. and the sixth step, inspect anywhere forever. the north would need to give international inspectors freedom to review almost any site in the country, including military facilities, under past agreements inspectors were limited to small partsf the nation's main atomic complex. joining me now, lacy heely,
clear expert and partner with truman national security project, a group focused on ic solutions in national security. this, denuclearization, my sister, this is your jam. and again, it's going to take a long time toeall understand what we got out of this summit, but what's your take thus far? >> so just watching you lay out those steps, it really -- it really hit home for me just how hard this is going to be honestly. we have to understand that this summit was a first step. it was -- we didn't lay out any of this process. sure, trump says kim has a plan but we don't know what that plan is. and that plan, those types of plans, they take a very long time to negotiate and a very long time to carry out. maybe 15 years, maybe 10 years. this could take a very long time. it's not a six-month process we're going to be completing. we've done these kinds of things before. we did a large amount of dismantlement in the former soviet states when the soviet union crumbled, but that was done over many, many years.
and it has only just recently been finalized. so if we're talking about a process of full and complete denuclearization, the kind of thing that the trump administration says that it's pursuing, we have to understand that this is going to take a very long time. >> okay. so we went this with the concern that what trump thought was denuclearization and what kim jong-un thought was denuclearization were two different things. as we walk out of the summit, it seems that's still the case, because based on what the agreement looks like, they haven't agreed to anything that hasn't already been agreed upon and reneged upon in the past. >> yes. so the agreement actually really just reiterates what had been said earlier this year on the north korean side. they have agreed to denuclearize at some point in the future. but this is sort of a north korea thing, this is what they do. they say, yeah, sure, we'll get rid of the nuclear some day. you ju go ahead and do all of those things that benefit us in
the meantime and we'll get around to it. that's not a process that we're going to be able to stick with for very long. we're going to have to come back with the kimregime. we're going to have to talk toe the definition of denuclearization and get on the same page and really talk about these steps and the nitty-gritty details. i will say that's where things have the possibility at many points to break down. it's likely that the trump administration is not looking forward to digging into those details, so i do hope that they'll stay just as committed to this process, just as committed to diplomacy as they have been, and really begin to work through this, because it's going to take some time. >> me, just having to read through those six steps, i could barely get through it. it is a herculean effort. thank you so much. next, one of kim jong-un's biggest dreams, goals, might actually be coming true. president trump says he is suspending joint military exercises on the korean
peninsula. he calls them war games, ones that are a big waste of money. what that means for the u.s. troops who are there and our allies who depend on america for protection. you are watching v"velshi & ruhle" live on msnbc. you alwahe lowest priceo on our rooms, guaranteed?m let's get someone to say it with a really low voice. carl? lowest price guaranteed. what about the world's lowest limbo stick? how low can you go? nice one, carl. hey i've got an idea. just say, badda book. badda boom.
and we got to know the friends of our friends.r the friends. and we found others little less alone.t like thata but then something happened. we had to deal with spam, fake news, and data misuse. that's going to change. from now on, facebook will doe to keep you safeand protec. because when this place does what it was built for, then we all get a little closer. second question, on the security assurances you talked about in your statement, can you be specific about what assurances you are willing to give to kim jong-un? does that include reducing military capabilities? >> no. no, we're not reducing anything.
at some point i have to be honest, and i used to say this during my campaign, as you know probably better than most, i want to get our soldiers out. i want to bring our soldiers back home. we have right now 32,000 soldiers in south korea, and i'd like t able to bring them back home, but that's not part of the equation right now. at some point i hope it will be, but not right now. >> that was president trump not saying u.s. troops would withdraw from south korea but leaving some wiggle room. let's look at the u.s. forces in south korea right now. despite the president's number, the pentagon reports there are just over 25,000 active duty and reserve personnel stationed at several military bases in south korea. the troops along the demilitarized zone that borders the north are always on high alert. their mantra, ready to fight tonight. in the region, the seventh fleet has at least 13 forward deployed ships patrolling the waters, including a powerful aircraft though the pentagon does not
discuss submarine movements, it's a safe bet there's at least one or two in the area. on air bases inside south korea, powerful b-1 bombers along with several other aircrafts are fueled and ready to go. they took part in the recent max thunder military exercises the president was referencing there. and nuclear capable b-2 bombers are nearby on guam, also ready if needed. all this military posturing costs upward of $1.5 billion a year. south korea pays about half the bill under a cost-sharing agreement reached in 2014. last year the trump administration sought an extra $4 billion for a missile defense system to counter the threat from north korea. for more, i want to bring in nbc news pentagon correspondent hans nichols and msnbc national security analyst, my friend, evelyn farkas. hans, do you first, secre is didn't say the troops would be leaving but didn't rule it out either. what exactly is going to happen here, and how did the troops take this? >> what's going to happen is the
president will make a decision and the policy will be translated to the pentagon and the pentagon will have to figure out some way to make that happen. we've seen this time and time again, where the pentagon appears to be caught flat-footed by a policy decision by the president. we've seen it with transgender, you saw it with the military parade. what's very clear from officials here, when the president makes a policy decision, even if they disagree with it, they will implement it. we saw a little of that with secretary mattis challenging president trump on the iran nuclear deal. eventually he fell into line and toed the party line. steph. >> let's talk about these military exercises. president trump dismisses them as expensive war games. i'm guessing that's not how general mattis feels. >> the view is you need to train. they would never say war games here at the pentagon. they're always referring to them as military exercises. and the question here at the pentagon, really the urgent question is what counts as what the president is calling war games. to be forward deployed in korea means you're constantly
training. down there at camp humphries, i was there a couple of months ago, they have a giant rail spur that goes to the back of the base. wh they have at? because they want to take tanks out all the time to go up to the ranges. they don't like to drive the tanks on the roads because they rip up the roads. there is constant training in south korea. so what qualifies as what the president says war games and wh here at the pentagon is required for not just lethality but readiness to make sure you don't have the aviation or sea mishaps that we've seen so many deaths in the last several months. >> evelyn, nobody likes paying for insurance. i don't. over the years it's massively expensive. i can't touch it, i can't feel it, it feels like it goes nowhere, but it's my protection. >> yes. >> could you make that kwif a s equivalency when you talk the military there. i wonder if the president understands the purpose. >> no, he clearly doesn't. first of all, you need
deterrents. you need to create the impression and the true impression, you need to create the impression among your versaries and they're not just north korea. this is a regional effort. yes, we exercise with the south koreans but you mentioned the seventh fleet. that's based in japan. this is about deterring north korea, it's about deterring china, it's about deterring russia, it's about maintaining freedom of navigation through the sea and in the air for the united states and our allies, for the international community at large. we are still the number one military power. it doesn't actually cost that much. sure, when you say a billion dollars a year to the average american, that costs a lot. but if you put it in the context of the overall pentagon budget it's a drop in the bucket. it's almost $700 trillion, the u.s. defense budget. so first of all, it's not a lot of money. and then you have to exercise to be ready. and that's important for deterrence. if your adversary wants to beli come at them if they charge at you, if you're going to defend yourselves and you're going to do it effectively, you have t
exercise. training is really important for ourroops at l level, at the unit level, all the way up through the echelons and, frankly speaking, it's important when we're doing it with the south koreans because god forbid we have a war on the korean peninsula, we'll be fighting shoulder to shoulder with the south koreans. >> join me in this fantasy. let's say president trump has played kim jong-un. listen, they're similar guys. as absurd as it is to see dennis rodman in a pot coin t-shirt there, this is the sensibility that we're living in. let's just say president trump and his compliments work on kim jong-un. what plagues this country? extreme poverty. what if president trump actually strikes a chord and they denuclearize. does that solve the problem? >> no. >> would it make sense for us to pull troops or is that such a basic sophomoric way to look at this it's just nonsense? >> look, there's mer c if the north koreans reduce the nuclear threat to us and our
allies in the region, we should take some sort of action, reciprocal action, right, but i do not believe that halting our exercises or reducing our forces on the peninsula are commensurate. completely doesn't take care of that threat. it could take a new, new kind of government. i don't mean regime change, necessarily. kim jong-un, if he really has that change of heart or change of mind if he's the ultra pragmatist and comes around to presenting government and a military that is no longer a threat to his neighbors or to u.s. interests then we can talk about it.terring china as well. >> china is a big threat.
>> exactly it's a potential choke hold for global trade. i think about a third of global trade goes through the south chie chi-- china sea. >> shaking hands and saying i lo you man, it's just the beginning. thank you so much. next, the u.s. gun lobbyist group and their connection to russia of all places. we're talk about the nra and new reports that executives were in touch with russian elites during the 2016 campaign. we'll tell you why they were there and how russians could be using the iconic gun lobby to push its own agenda here in america. first, today marks two years, you're not going to believe what i'm about to say. two years since the pulse nightclub massacre in orlando, florida. 49 people died.
53 were hurt. later today a remembrance service will be held at that nightclub and churches will ring bells a total of 49 times. the survivors and victims will be honored in an artit in orlando. think about all those victims today. an absolute american tragedy. alice is living with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. she's also taking prescription ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor, which is for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive her2- metastatic breast cancer as the first hormonal based therapy. ibrance plus letrozole was significantly more effective at delaying disease progression versus letrozole. patients taking ibrance
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a new report claims several promise innoce prominent russians met with nra executives during the 2016 campaign. according toaphs in an nra source, russian banker and nra member accompanied by two other russians met with nra leaders in russia back in 2015. joining me now iestigative journalist who helped break this story. first, we need to remind our audience the nra was the biggest backer of trump campaign. they spent about 30 million bucks. talk to us about this meeting. russians were there.
they are allowed to be members of the nra. why is it a big deal? >> this meeting is unseemly for a couple of reasons. deputy prime minister who was at the meeting in december of 2015, was under sanctions stemming from the russia incursion in crimea. a second individual who was at the meeting sergei rudolf who runsargest charity in russia but he works for a man under sanctions at the time. another reason many hiends sight this looks unseemly is because the russians were hacking the democratic national committee and john podesta they had already done a social media
bli blitz. >> do we know the russians at the nra meet rudy giuliani tied to any of that? >> we reported in january that the mueller investigation also includes whether the number two person in russia central bank was involved in funneling russian money to the nra to help trump win the election. we don't know what the role of the other two men would be. if there's more smoke and we'll have to see how this goes. >> the story keeps getting so interesting. >> right now some pretty big action in washington, d.c. today a special day. they are putting politicsaside to celebrate the caps first ever stanley cup win. if you saw the partying this
weekend, it's as though they wanted to share the stanley cup with every person in that town. the parade is heading down constitution avenue for a massive rally. at least 300,000 people are expected to attend. later today the golden state warriors will celebrate their championship with parade in oakland, california. i know my kids are going o be super stokes about both. thank you for watching this hour of "velshi & ruhle." i'll see you ting at 9:00 a.m. eastern where i will be there in our nation's capi l capitol. i hand you off to andrea mitchell who has been working non-stop for the last 72 hours. she's live in singapore. >> thank you so much. what a 72 hours it's been right now on a special edition of andrea mitchell reports. what's the deal? president trump and kim jong-un sign an agreement calling for denuclearization of north korea
but now plan on how to do it. ending joint mitary exercises with south korea or what the president called c eed war game. >> it's a very provocative situation. i think it's inappropriate to be having war gam number one we save money, a lot. number two, it really is something that i think they very much appreciated. pomp and circumstance with american and north korean flags waving side by side. the two leaders shared lots of hand shshakes and back slaps bee signing an agreement with one of the most repressive regimes in the world, something the president would not do with america's closest allies. >> great personality and smart. good combination. >> we're proud of what took place and we developed a special bond. people w v