tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC February 26, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PST
but does the president risk giving away too much? >> we see eye to eye, i believe. but you'll be seeing it more and more over the next couple of days. i don't want to rush anybody. i just don't want testing. as long as there's no testing, we're happy. >> coming up, more on that summit with senator tim kaine. correcting the record. the man who famously said he would take a bullet for donald trump begins three days on the witness stand before congressional committees, explaining why he lied to them before and why he now says he's telling the truth about donald trump. >> he sure has a track record of questionable -- and state of emergency. hours from now, the house is expected to vote against the president's national emergency declaration. but will republicans break ranks when it gets to the senate? >> it sets a very dangerous precedent. we don't know what mr. trump might decide next week or next
month is going to be a national emergency. coming up, a top senate republican leader here to talk about that and a whole lot more. and good day, everyone, i'm andrea mitchell in washington at a pivotal moment for donald trump and his presidency, arriving today for his second summit with north korea's leader kim jong-un, as his former lawyer and fixer michael cohen begins three days of testimony on capitol hill. at this hour, it is midnight in vietnam. the president is at his hotel. he arrived a few hours ago to a red carpet reception in hanoi, following a 24-hour flight from the u.s. chairman kim took an unexpected trip to the north korean embassy hours after arriving in vietnam earlier today by train, a 65-hour trip covering more than 2,000 miles through china. here is what to expect this week. president trump will meet with vietnam's president and prime
minister tomorrow before his first face-to-face meeting with kim jong-un. a small dinner with secretary of state pompeo and acting chief of staff mike mulvaney attending. the critical discussions between the world leaders over north korea's nuclear program are set to begin tomorrow, tomorrow night our time, which is actually thursday in vietnam. joining me from hanoi, msnbc political analyst phil rucker, white house bureau chief at "the washington post," and here with me in washington, national security analyst ned price, former national security director in the obama administration, and tom donlon, former national security adviser for president obama. you've been talking about the beautiful letters, the pen pal relationship that they've established. >> yeah, well, that relationship is central to them being here for this second meeting.
president trump has this unyielding faith in his own charisma and his own relationship with to overcome what has been decades of, you know, a nuclear threat in north korea. and so we'll see if they can make any actual substantive progress towards denuclearization. administration officials have been trying to play down expectations for this summit, saying they're looking more at incremental steps such as perhaps arriving at a common definition for denuclearization. but president trump has this belief that if he can get in a room face-to-face with kim jong-un and talk mano a mano, that he can somehow make magic happen between these two countries. >> you say in "the washington post" that the president gloats about the half dozen or so letters kim has written him as if he were a smitten teenager, as we hear the horns outside on the street in hanoi at midnight,
no less. phil, according to your reporting he shows these letters off to visitors to the oval office. >> that's right, andrea, he's shown these letters to dozens of visitors to the oval office. he's very proud of them. he's received five or six of them over the last several months from kim jong-un who has used flowery language, calling him "your excellency," referring to his political genius and smarts and how much he's enjoyed getting to know him. for trump, this is a source of pride for him because we know trump has an ego, he likes people compliment him and writing with that sort of praise. when he sees those letters from kim jong-un, he thinks that could potentially produce an historic agreement between the two countries. his advisers are much less, you know, gullible, so to speak, when it comes to this issue, they feel like it's a much tougher road ahead. >> the president back in september of 2018 after the
first summit of course in singapore, this is with a the president had to say about these letters and this relationship at a rally in west virginia. >> i was really being tough and so was he. we have a back and forth. and then we fell in love. okay? no, really. he wrote me beautiful letters. and they're great letters. we fell in love. >> so to ned and tom donlon here, ned, you were a national security adviser and top state department official in the previous administration. you've prepared secretaries for summits, perhaps nothing as high stakes as north korea, which has never been done before. what sets off alarm bells? >> first, nice to see you. first of all, that tape you played at the top where the
president says he and kim see eye to eye, there's no evidence of that at this point. it's important to have an honest and accurate assessment of what's going on. >> and he was addressing the nation's governors monday night. >> the president said eight months ago that the threat from north korea has been eliminated. that's just not true. these are the facts as we know them today. there is no agreement on what denuclearization means at this point, it will be important to talk about at this summit. there's no strategic commitment in evidence to get rid of nuclear weapons to date. dan coats, national director of intelligence, went to congress and indicated he didn't see that happening at this point. three, this is really important, the program is not frozen. we haven't seen testing. by the way, that testing stopped before the singapore summit. but the program is not frozen. they're proceeding on missile development. and the last thing he talked about, which is, i'm in no rush as long as there's no testing, there's a serious analytical error, andrea.
the numbers really matter. if you don't have a frozen program, the programs proceed apace while they talk. you have higher and higher numbers. that's a really increasing threat to the united states from a proliferation perspective and most importantly, from a missiles defense perspective. that's a serious analytical error by the president. i would advise him, number one, we need to get the facts straight here as we go in about our predicament, and secondly, the formulation is not correct. >> going into the singapore summit, at that first meeting we were told there has to be full disclosure and inventory of what the weapons are, that's what mike pompeo was supposed to get and when he went to pyongyang, he couldn't even meet with kim jong-un, he was stiffed. as you just said, let's talk also about what we just heard from andrew mccabe, according to andrew mccabe, at an
intelligence briefing for president trump, the president was saying to his own intelligence advisers, i don't believe you on the north korean missile range, the threat of their missiles, because vladimir putin told me -- >> i believe putin. >> i believe putin. >> that's right. president trump in doing this, pursuing this dialogue with north korea, has established this dangerous and cartoonish binary. it's either fire and fury and a rush to war or it's this in some ways even stranger bromance we see now between donald trump and kim jong-un, the fact that they are in love. i personally would much rather see engagement and diplomacy than a rush to war, to quote churchill, jaw-jaw is better than war-war. what the president is set up in hanoi over the long term is a very dangerous recipe because you have a naive and gullible president who crucially needs a win on the world stage given what's going on here at home, meeting with crafty american
adversary who has a very strong hand. i think fundamentally what we see here is that president trump's interests and incentives diverge from the american people. he wants the chance of nobel, nobodies that he's heard at political rallies. he's asked the prime minister of japan to nominate him for the nobel prize. we need a durable agreement of the likes we were promised going into singapore that we have not yet seen. >> and who should pop up in hanoi, sergey lavrov. kelly o'donnell joining us, our white house correspondent, there. the russian foreign minister is in vietnam and we're told from what they're reporting out of moscow, he was asked by the u.s. to help advise on this. that sounds like the russians are now trying to undermine the american agenda as well.
>> well, of course there's a relationship between russia and north korea, sort of a shadow diplomacy that may be attempted here. and it's one of the curious things, we were getting some reports about another high profile dignitary arriving at the airport. and we were trying to think who beyond president trump is landing here because chairman kim came by train, a long, long journey. this is a complicated stage play that will go through the next through days where, as you've been discussing, the president needs to be able to claim some sort of victory to move the ball forward. there are real disputes between senior u.s. officials and even the president over some of the terms being discussed here, what is denuclearization, what agreement could there be, in defining that between north korea and the united states. and russia is an active player in this that is not necessarily a helpful sign to have lavrov in
vietnam for this team period. also we expect that the president will try with an anticipated press conference at some point to put an end note on whatever comes out of this to try to be the first one to sort of set the terms of what was accomplished, what comes next. he has often said there will be a series of meetings, so this second summit may only be one of a series and not an endpoint. the personal relationship you've talked about, the president plays into that very strongly because he believes sort of the cult of permsonality, his own ability to connect with people individually. we know he has done these one-on-one meetings with foreign leaders where there is no record. that may play out here, we have secretary pompeo who will be part of the discussions. over the next few days we'll be looking for the outward signs. we'll also look for some of the diplomatic machinations for is
there anything tangible that will come of this. as you've been discussing, certainly there are some benefits that have already been established, the hot level of rhetoric between the two countries has been dialed back. but can there be something measurable coming out of this? that will be a real test, andrea. >> and phil rucker there in hanoi, what we've already seen of kim jong-un, he gets off the train and at one point during that trip -- let's play the tape of a north korean aid who apparently missed the cue. and you'll see kim jong-un gets off the train and is being greeted by chinese officials and is having this red carpet reception. i think we have the tape of the poor guy who, lord knows what happens to him, but there's also kim jong-un and his smoking habit. he's got this powerful adviser who is his sister who we saw at the summit -- rather, the olympics in south korea, and we see him going out for a smoking
break. and at some point also his adviser, his sister, is holding the crystal ashtray so that he has an ashtray for him to use. we don't know a whole lot about kim jong-un but what we do know is he's going to be well-prepared and a whole lot better prepared for the strategy of these meetings than potentially the president of the united states. >> yeah, well, andrea, kim jong-un came into the singapore summit incredibly well-prepared for that face-off with president trump and i think it's going to be the same here in hanoi. this for kim jong-un is a major moment. he doesn't leave his country, nobody from his country has had a chance to have a face-to-face with the american trump. it will be interesting to see whether president trump confronts the issue of human rights at all. kim jong-un has a long-demonstrated record of brutality in his country, of
starving his citizens, of killing and assassinating his political enemies. and president trump has said really nothing about the human rights record these last several months in public. the question is whether he'll confront kim jong-un in private or will he brush that issue under the rug as we expect he may. >> that's an issue, tom donlon, that has been really brushed under the regular by the secretary of state and top leaders as they travel around the world, the embrace of erdogan, the embrace of leaders in china, except for trade issues. they have not been raising human rights issues. and again, we expect it will not be raised here. i'm also curious because of your long experience with china, you did so much diplomacy with beijing, how do you read that train ride? he could have flown, he flew to singapore. it seems to be almost shoring up the connection with china, which holds the levers over economic sanctions by going through the
lapp landmass of china. >> a couple of things. china wants to indicate it has its eyes on the summit and its eyes on him. they facilitated the transportation. a couple of things on the great reports we just heard. first, on kelly's report on one-on-one meetings, no serious national security professional would ever advise president trump to meet one on one with kim at this summit. >> he shouldn't have met one on one with putin. >> absolutely right, that was going to be my second point, on this disconnect between the president and the intelligence agencies. there's this really important theme throughout this presidency. this is the second time we know of, if mccain's book is true, where the president has divided himself from the intelligence community based on conversations with vladimir putin. it is extraordinarily odd. at helsinki we saw the president stand up in front of the world and say that he believed putin with respect to interference in the american elections as opposed to the unanimous view of
the intelligence community. now we have a report here that putin doesn't believe the reports of a missile problem in north korea. >> there's also report, just to finish that point, there's report that the president's decision to suggest that there be a freeze or a suspension of the military exercises with south korea at the singapore summit was the result of a suggestion from vladimir putin, "the wall street journal" reported this last year. we'll have a lot to talk about the next couple of days. thank you so much for being here, tom donlon, ned price, always great to see you, and our friends in hanoi, kelly o'donnell and phil rucker. thank you both. coming up, tell-all. what michael cohen is prepared to disclose about president trump when he testifies tomorrow. stay with us, you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. eports" on msnbc.
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welcome back. president trump's former personal attorney and fixer, michael cohen, is on capitol hill today, promising this time to set the record straight, having pleaded guilty to lying to congress. cohen is prepared to tell a different story, we're told, during three days of testimony this week. a knowledgeable source telling nbc news cohen will detail what he views as his old boss' lies, racism and cheating, including
evidence of his criminal conduct while in office, not only during the 2016 campaign. the white house in a statement called cohen a, quote, disgraced felon, saying it is, quote, laughable that anyone would take cohen at his word, that from sarah sanders. joining me now is harry litman, former u.s. attorney and former deputy attorney general during the clinton administration, and msnbc's national security analyst frank figuliuzzi. frank, what are you looking for as a counterintelligence expert from michael cohen, the impact of his testimony in secret and in public? >> when we get to hear him in public, in open session, i'll be looking for evidence of crimes committed while in office by trump. that will be directly related to
impeach tability impeachability. let's focus on that. also i need to hear what is it precisely that cohen lied to congress about the first time, and perhaps more importantly, who directed him to lie or who knew he was lying. >> and those two things are related, if he were hypothetically told to lie by the president or someone on behalf of the president. >> exactly. and that's the material that he will testify about today as opposed to tomorrow, all things russia, which we're told won't come out tomorrow, but things like who told you to lie about how long the trump tower negotiations went on. hey, did -- you said you briefed the kids about it, what did you say? do you know whether trump junior told trump senior about the russia meeting? tomorrow i think it's going to be more free-ranging and in some ways lurid. he's promised tales of things
dating back before candidate trump was candidate trump and a lot of dirty business dealings. >> we already know that the president as a candidate was implicated in his plea deal, in michael cohen's plea deal regarding the payments to these women, which are the basis for the campaign finance and actually for the perjury or for lying to congress. but here, the republicans will go after him as an admitted liar and felon as sarah sanders already has. but at this point, how does he as a witness comport himself and establish his credentials and his bona fides, as someone who was involved in the negotiations over the trump tower in moscow and shed light on why so many people now have lied? >> a couple of thoughts on this notion that a liar can never be believed. i can tell you in my career as a
prosecutor, we didn't use sunday schoolteachers as informants and snitches. what he says needs to be verifiable by documents and other witnesses. sometimes the best motivator for someone to come clean is the imminent sound of the prison door closing on you. he wants the southern district of new york to be happy and that's the best motivation for him to tell the truth. >> harry, he could still get a reduced prison sentence from the three-year term. >> he could. that's a long time with kids the ages he has. it's unusual, for the sdny, to credit him for testimony to congress. if it's a part and parcel of an overall cooperative posture, that's one thing. but normally testimony to a public body would not, because what you want is the secret information that's the coin of the realm. so we'll see how the sdny -- today it's been interesting, the
sdny has been pretty tough on him, mueller pretty easy on him. how will the testimony affect his fate? >> he'll be testifying to the intelligence committees, senate and house, that he's already lied to on the house side. but now in public, the oversight committee. and what congressman cummings has said, the chair, has said they expect he will talk about criminal behavior by the president. >> this goes right to the heart of not only impeachment but u.s. attorneys around the country may be tuning in to hear if there's any new crimes revealed that may be in their jurisdiction. we could find new crimes that could be prosecuted after cohen speaks. >> and what concerns if any do you have about rod rosenstein's comments about the mueller report and how little will be released and should be released and adam schiff saying, we're going to subpoena it? >> a few. i actually think rosenstein's been a little bit misinterpreted
and it doesn't necessarily mean that the report itself will be cut to the bare bones. on the schiff point, if push comes to shove and there's a subpoena battle, it's not clear to me that congress wins it, and even if they do, mueller or the department may have important cards to play about executive privilege and other things. so if it's actually in that posture, it would be much better if it were cooperative and if the department is of a transparent mindset, as barr said he would be. >> that's why we talk to the lawyers, harry, frank, thanks so much. coming up, more republicans say they will vote to block president trump's emergency border declaration. how many? senator john barrasso joins me next, right here on "andrea mitchell reports." "andrea mitchell reports." i wanna keep doing what i love,
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that the emergency declaration establishes what they call a bad precedent. >> reporter: do you support this resolution to declare an emergency declaration? >> yes, based on everything we'll be receiving, yes. >> i have been concerned whenever any president, republican or democrat, moves beyond what i think most would consider to be their authorities. >> joining me now is republican senator john barrasso, the third ranking republican in the senate, a member of the senate foreign relations committee. senator, welcome, thanks very much for being with us. i want to ask you about lisa murkowski, your colleague, saying she is against the president's declaration of the emergency declaration and i guess is going to vote against that declaration when the house measure gets to the senate. >> i think some members will. it may actually pass the senate and then get vetoed by the
president. republicans are united in wanting to secure the border. we've passed a law with some down payment for border security. i want to do more and the president has been very for the rig forthright. it's being challenged in the house today. >> when you say a number of the republicans, it could even pass the senate and face a veto, obviously, but not survive the veto from the president. but that many republicans might declare their support for this? >> well, the senate, there's now 53 republicans, 47 democrats. i think that senator murkowski, maybe senator collins, i think senator tillis had an op-ed in "the washington post" to say why he was vote that way. it's certainly possible when we vote on this over the next two weeks on it, republicans are
committed to securing the border and we're proposing things that democrats in the past have supported and voted for. i think the last four presidents have sent troops to the border, whether it's president obama and clinton and both president bushes. so this is not unusual for us to the to make su-- to make sure w the border. the president ran on this and i think he'll accomplish it. >> they say they also want to secure the border but they believe the border can be secured without using this emergency procedure to move money around. roy blunt, your colleague, has already said on "face the nation" on sunday that he's still wavering on this. you're about to go into the policy lunch. you yourself back in june of 2016, said, i believe, that you believed that president obama was wrong in using this emergency declaration. it wasn't to move money around so it's not exactly analogous.
why is it okay to object to president obama and not to object to what president trump is doing? >> well, just the last a couple of weeks i've said i would prefer the president not take this route, i would prefer we got the money appropriated and then move money around in other ways, not to have to go to the emergency. but i agree with the president in his goal to secure the border. we're going to see how this comes over from the house. i know we'll have additional discussions with the administration. we'll have discussions at our policy lunch today. but i think that this will pass the senate because the margin is so slim. but i don't think is able to overcome a veto by the president. and that's why i believe we're going to move ahead and actually secure the border as the president -- and it's not just the president, andrea. what has been recommended here is from the experts who took a look at this and said, you need barriers at ten specific locations. it would cost this much money. and that's what the president put in his request to congress
and republicans supported but democrats, who in the past have voted to allow for barriers to additionally be built, now because of their dislike of president trump have said, no, they're not going to vote for it this time even though they have in the past. >> of course critics would say the president should have asked for it last year when he controlled both houses. let me ask you about the summit, though, because -- >> sure. >> -- sergey lavrov has shown up in hanoi, no foreseeable reason, other than he's putting out indicators in moscow that the administration is asking for his advice as to how to deal with kim. do you have any concerns about the president going into the summit with this wily north korean? >> well, i'll tell you, i think the world continues to be a very dangerous place. i think the world in terms of the korean peninsula today is safer today than the day barack obama left the white house and i think that's because of the
actions of president trump. we have haven't had any missile testing or nuclear weapons testing by north korea in over a year. we've had a return of some of our lost soldiers from the korean war. i think that the heat at the demilitarized zone has been turned down. this will be a long and winding road. you have to be very clear-eyed. it's not just kim, his father and the father before them, all of them brutal, ruthless, unforgiving, corrupt dictators. that's who you're dealing with. but i think it's critical that we make sure that we can get rid of their nuclear weapons. we're clearly not there now. we're heading in the direction. but it's going to take a long time i believe to accomplish it. >> and as you've laid out, brutal dictators. the president seems to be praising kim and talking about how wonderful their letters are, a little skepticism is certainly in order, does it not? >> you have to be clear-eyed, as i just said, in dealing with
him, and anyone from that whole family and the regime over the years. i want something that's accountable, verifiable, enforceable. we are not there yet. >> senator barrasso, a pleasure to have you, i know you have to run to your lunch meeting with senate republicans, thank you for taking the time, i appreciate it. >> thanks for having me, andrea. coming up, plan of attack. president trump's reelection campaign tries to shut down potential challengers. just who are they targeting? robert costa has the story next. stay with us on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. ndrea mil reports" only on msnbc so, we re-imagined the razor with the new gillette skinguard. it has a unique guard between the blades. that's designed to reduce irritation during the shave. because we believe all men deserve a razor just for them. the best a man can get. gillette.
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president trump and his reelection campaign are taking nothing for granted. according to robert costa's reporting in "the washington post," the trump team is already moving to shut down any potential primary challengers to the president starting with maryland's governor larry hogan, a vocal critic to the president. david bossie has already met with maryland supporters to try to cut off hogan's chances in case he decides mount a primary challenge. joining me now is the author of that report, nbc political analyst robert costa, "washington post" political reporter. and ruth marcus, "washington post" editorial page editor, and msnbc political analyst michael steele, former chair of the republican party.
michael steele, that's your former republican party in maryland, where you were the lieutenant governor. >> it's interesting, david bossie is a national committeeman from maryland. the governor obviously is the newly-reelected governor. and at one level there's no news here in the sense that this process began going back to the previous administration, in the '16 cycle. the rnc was sort of gearing up against preventing a floor flight and someone challenging donald trump from the floor then. there were rules changing made in that regard. this now, particularly given that there is a national drumbeat that's beginning to develop some rhythm out there for the idea of a larry hogan coming into this race, bill weld is already there, but hogan now, a two-term, very popular governor in a very blue state, republicans are outnumbered in maryland two to one, with
support among democrats at 50% on a slow day. so yeah, the white house should be concerned. and i think that's reflected in the effort that our good friend and colleague robert is putting out in his story, that that nervousness is translating into phone calls saying, okay, we want a legislative lockdown among republican legislators supporting come out and endorsing the president. i think that's going to be a hard get. >> a hard get in maryland. robert costa, this is just another indicator, an important indicator, though, of how organized and how nervous potentially the trump re-elect is about any potential challenge. larry hogan would be an important challenge. >> he is seen as a credible potential challenger by people inside of the white house and close advisers to president trump, talking to them over the last few days. they say former governor weld of
massachusetts, he to them is not really a serious threat. they see former ohio governor john kasich as someone not making significant moves toward a bid. but governor hogan has made sharp statements about president trump, he's planning trips to new hampshire, heading to iowa soon. david bossie on the ground level is trying to send a signal with a statement in the coming days and saying to the governor through this statement, you don't have that much support for a presidential bid should you choose to run. >> and what is the larger story here about president trump, how vulnerable he might be? we've got this high stakes appearance tomorrow by michael cohen, three days of testimony. tomorrow is public. and the president's vulnerability because of all of these investigations. >> you see in president trump someone whose advisers are telling him, you're fine at this moment, we haven't seen the mueller report, keep moving forward with foreign policy.
but there are a lot of variables out there. they're worried about the republicans on capitol hill backtracking on this national emergency, about the republicans getting cold feet should the mueller report have some kind of development that they did not expect. and this hearing with michael cohen, another unexpected development that could be explosive. they're trying to contain this party even as they have power over it. >> and ruth, the president's approval ratings among the republican voters, among the base, remain really high. >> really high. actually historically high. but the size of the republican party as a share of the electorate is historically low. so it's like a soup, right? he's cooked down the stock to its essential elements, gotten enormous power within that smaller group. but i think that is the challenge, really, for governor hogan, because it's great to have the support among democrats in maryland, but you're not going to win the republican primary with support from democrats in maryland or elsewhere.
you're going to have to win it with support from republican voters. but the reason that the trump folks are spending some time trying to prevent this from happening is that history tells us that the problem is not that a challenger is going to unseat an incumbent president and win the nomination, but i don't want to have that weaken you going into what is going to be a very close-fought general election. >> just ask jimmy carter. >> yes. >> and that's a big part of it, andrea, is this idea of these outside forces coming into this primary process, which is why in the first step, the administration made the rnc a wholly-owned subsidiary of its campaign. so typically the rnc steps outside, you know, plays its role, but at the end of the day the president is still a candidate like any other candidate, like a bill weld or potentially a governor hoghogan and should be made available resources to all those potential
candidates. well, they've put a lockdown on that. you saw governor hogan last week speak rather loudly about the fact that the system is rigged within the party structure itself if the rnc is going to play the game this way and prevent of potential of a primary which republicans up to this point always argued, yeah, we like primaries, we should do those things. not so much now. >> the fun will be when the trump rnc, led by mitt romney's niece, what would happen if mitt romney decides to challenge the president? >> she'll drop that romney part from her name. >> ruth marcus, michael steele, and robert costa, thanks so much for your reporting. coming up, second date. is the president too eager for his second meeting with kim jong-un? senator tim kaine joining me next on "andrea mitchell reports." on "andrea mitchell reports.
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as president trump and north korea's leader, kim jong-un, prepare to sit down in vietnam for their second summit, the president's intelligence advisers and critics in both political parties worry the president will make too many concessions. joining me now is senator tim kaine, who serves on the foreign
relations and armed services committees. what concerns do you have and one of the things that just happened today is that sergey lavrov has shown up in vietnam with no apparent agenda or reason to be there. >> yeah, having the russian presence there complicates it and probably makes everybody more suspicious. look, andrea, my biggest worry is what happened last year. the president had the meeting in singapore, nobody really has briefed us yet about what they talked about. he proclaimed it a great success, but the one bit of overwhelming evidence you would want to see that north korea was serious, that they're willing to disclose what they have, that's really the beginning step, in the hospital only did they not do it, they've taken no steps that would really suggest their serious art denuclearization in the year. so, again, i know the president will come out of this and saying things are great, but i think what the american public and what congress wants to see is north korea taking that first
step to disclose their nuclear arsenal and what they have. if they're not willing to do that, they're not serious. >> and if they're not willing to disclose their arsenal, let inspectors in and take steps towards denuclearizing their own weapons, would you, as an important members on foreign relation s and armed services want oversight hearings if we agree to end the war and open intersections? >> absolutely. we would have to do that. and look, much of it would not only have to be oversight, but i think the congress would need to be involved in approving it. when president obama, who instrong lly supported, was working to do a nuclear deal with iran, i insisted he bring it to congress. and congress had to put it through a review process to give ate green light, not a red light. and president trump's actions with north korea need to be treated the same way, so that we can verify that there's actually something there. again, a year after singapore, there's no evidence that north korea is serious. we'll see what happens in vietnam. >> over the weekend, on another
front, you posted concerns about iran and about what the administration's posture really is. whether there is a regime change plan afoot, military action that hasn't been approved. tell me what your concerns are. >> well, andrea, i'm really worried about this. the president is saying all kinds of nice things about kim jong-un and trying to do diplomacy there, when they took a kid that was a university of virginia student, otto warmbier, and brutalized and killed him. but they are talking about iran on the other end, the administration has backed out of a nuclear deal that was working, that allies, our military leaders, and the international agency said was working, backed out of a deal, they used bellicose rhetoric about iran all the time, and then last week, for me, sort of a last straw, a story broke in the "washington times," that the administration is trying to figure out how they could wage war against iran without coming to congress. is there a way they could claim the 2001 authorization gives them the ability to go to war
against iran, again, without coming to congress. they don't want to have to do what the constitution requires them to do and seek congressional approval before initiating war. so this really worries me. and the president, while northeast vietnam, i don't want people to lose sight of the fact that he could blunder us into an unnecessary war in iran that could be a huge mistake. >> and this emergency declaration letter, the letter that was written against the national emergency declaration, 'tis going to come to the senate after the house vote. it looks like enough republicans would join in, so it would pass the senate. it would be the president's first veto, apparently. you don't think you'll see him override it? zpli >> i think you'll see ft. with two bills on his desk that raise veto questions. because we are going to in the senate, as we did in december, strongly take the position that the u.s. should not be involved in the civil war on yemen on the side of the saudis.
they're waging the war in an inhumane way, the saudis who killed jamal khashoggi, we're going to say the president should withdraw military support in hostilities in yemen. he says he'll vote it. and then we'll have a bill on his desk to repudiate the national emergency declaration that we'll also put on his desk. just this morning in an armed services hearing, the key armed services commander, general asiansy of north com said that the threat at the border is not a military threat. and yet the president wants to cannibalize on his own say-so the dod budget to take $6 billion out of the pentagon to deal with a non-military threat. the senate, i think, is going to vote to reject that and the president will have to make a decision about veto on that one, too. >> wow, tim kaine, thanks so much. a lot of news there. and we'll be right back. much a lot of news there. and we'll be right back. eve it. that we just hit the motherlode of soft-serve ice cream? i got cones, anybody wants one!
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and we're out of time. here's ali velshi and stephanie ruhle. >> all right. thanks, andrea, have a great afternoon. and good afternoon to all of you. you are already watching "velshi & ruhle." so, here we are. i'm velshi, she's ruhle. we're back together. >> we have to cover a lot today, so i think we should do our very best to get a little smarter. president trump's former lawyer and fixer, michael cohen, has arrived on capitol hill for the first of three days of testimony. >> tomorrow's