tv Morning Joe MSNBC February 28, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PST
ayman mohyeldin. "morning joe" starts right now. >> and some really bad things happened to otto, so really, really bad things. but but he tells me he didn't know about it and i will take him at his word. >> i have great confidence in my intelligence people, but i will tell you that president putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. >> i spoke with the king, i spoke with the crown prince yesterday and he strongly said that he had nothing to do with this. this was at a lower level. >> he's convinced that kim jong un didn't know anything about the deadly abuse of an american college student. he takes vladimir putin's word that russia didn't hack the 2016 election and he believes the saudi crown prince wasn't involved in the murder of jamal khashoggi. good morning and welcome to
"morning joe." it is thursday, february 28th. the president's comments on believing kim jong un came in his news conference this morning in hanoi. right now president trump is making the long trip home after his summit with north korea's kim jong un came to an abrupt end with no deal reached between the two leaders. a scheduled signing ceremony between the two leaders was scrapped and the president left vietnam two hours early. the white house issued a statement saying that president trump and kim jong un had, quote, a very good and constructive meetings. the two leaders discussed various ways to discuss denuclearization and economic-driven concepts. no agreement was reached at this time but their respective teams look forward to meeting in the future. here is the president in his news conference after that statement was released. >> we thought and i thought and secretary pompeo felt that it wasn't a good thing to be
signing anything. we had some options and at this time we decided not to do any of the options and we'll see where that goes. but it was a very interesting two days. and i think actually it was a very productive two days. but sometimes you have to walk and this was just one of those times. >> it was about the sanctions. >> will there be a third summit? >> basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do that. they were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted but we couldn't give up all of the sanctions for that so we continue to work and we'll see. but we had to walk away from that particular suggestion. we had to walk away from that. >> reporter: will all the sanctions in place remain? >> they're still in existence.
we haven't given away anything. i any we'll end up being very good friends with chairman kim and north korea. i've been telling everybody they have tremendous potential, unbelievable potential. we're going to see. it was about sanctions. they wanted sanctions lifted but they weren't willing to do an area we wanted. he promised me last night he's not going to do testing of rockets and nuclear, not going to do a testing. so i trust him and i take him at his word. i hope that's true. but in the meantime, we'll be talking. >> all right. well, david ignatius, a lot to take in there. but i would just say for me personally, that seems like the best of all circumstances where the president continues to communicate with a country that we were close to war with a year ago, that most foreign policy
experts gave us a 50/50 chance of having a land war in the korean peninsula a year ago, and talked but didn't give away anything, which was the great fear, especially after the cohen testimony yesterday, which we're going to get to in one moment. >> joe, i agree with you. i think as president trump said, sometimes up have to walk. it seems as if a sticking point here was what u.s. officials had been worried about since the singapore summit in june of last year. namely that the north koreans would want removal of most major sanctions before they had taken significant, irreversible steps toward denuclearization. in the view of trump's closest advisers, this was the problem with all past efforts with north korea, that they've been paid too early for inadequate
compromises. in a negotiation you have ups and downs, you have sessions that produce agreements, you have others that end early and hope flip people will come back to the table later. if the key thing that president trump said is that he had been given a verbal assurance that north korea would not return to nuclear or missile testing. if that holds, we're then in a period where there will be expiration of options, the kind of process that's appropriate in diplomacy. it's broken, then we fall right back into the very confrontational situation we were in last year. >> there's no reason to take kim jong un at his word, but at the same time, certainly that will be a test. if for some reason the agreement, the verbal agreement holds, that lab very positive step forward. >> we're going to have much more on the president's summit with the north korean dictator throughout the show. senator chris coons will be our guest. we'll also bring in the a.p.'s
jonathan lemire from hanoi. he was one of the four journalists the trump administration barred yesterday from covering president trump's dinner because he asked a question the president didn't lik like. to be clear, he barred by the trump white house. donny deutsciy deutsch is with . senior reporter at "vanity fair," emily jane fox is with us. she's been covering michael cohen since the very beginning. law analyst and editor in chief of "law fair" benjamin wittes
joins us and msnbc contributor joyce vance. >> the political and legal impact with benjamin, also with joyce, and emily jane fox has been reporting on cohen. what was your overall take on that remarkable -- it was just remarkable political theater. it also, though, may have been day one in a journey for donald trump, his administration and the democratically controlled house. >> well, it was an extraordinary day in america. if you sat there for seven hours glued to the tv and you watched every question, every claim, every allegation made by michael
cohen, you couldn't help but think, man, we've never seen anything like this where you had someone that close to donald trump for that long who knows all the stories of donald trump's business dealings, who knows all the problems of donald trump's personal life, spilling them out not just before an oversight committee but before the krirks before the american people. joy vance, beyond the american sort of tableau we saw, what new information do you think michael cohen brought to you table yesterday that could be a problem for donald trump above and beyond what we already knew? >> so certainly nothing that was new to prosecutors. i think it's important to say that. but cohen was in a unique position over the years to observe the president, and so it's the small details that show what trump knew and when he knew it. he talks about the phone conversation that trump has with roger stone and it's credible because of these little details. he mentions there's a black telephone in front of the
president that he puts on speaker phone. these are the sort of details that expose trump personally as opposed to the conversation that's been going on so far about the people around him. >> and there was questions obviously from the beginning about michael cohen's credibility. he apologized near the beginning for lying to congress about when negotiations over the trump tower moscow project ended and he also accused president trump of indirectly telling him to lie. >> mr. trump did not directly tell me to lie to congress. that's not how he operates. in conversations we had during the campaign at the same time i was actively negotiating in russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there's no russian business and then go on to lie to the american people by saying the same thing. in his way, he was telling me to lie.
you said, quote, mr. trump did not directly tell me how to lie to congress, end quote. can you explain how he does this? >> it would be no different than if i said, "that'snicest looking tie i've ever seen, isn't it"? he doesn't give up questions, doesn't give you orders, he speaks in a code. i understand the code because i've worked for him for a decade. >> and it's your understanding that others around him understand the code as well? >> yes. >> john heilemann, what's the political impact where you had some extraordinary -- you had some extraordinary testimony out there but yet up had the republican party and this seemed to be everybody's takeaway that
i heard even from republicans, that you had the republican party just completely disinterested in digging for truth. it was just a cover-up operation. >> well, yeah, joe. i would expand on that in a certain way. i'll say this -- there's no question that just the extraordinary kind of human drama involved here, this discussion about donald trump and his legal and political woes has been going on for the last two-plus years. often it takes place at a level of abstraction, we've been given a lesson in constitutional law and questions about criminal and civil procedure, the country's learned a lot over the last two years, but there is an airless quality to some of this discussion. yesterday was not like that. i think that's part of the reason why the political impact is potentially significant because it felt of this a blood, sweat and tears kind of thing.
part of the reason the public is obsessed with michael cohen, they all recognize a certain every man quality in his strengths and many, many weaknesses, the kind of schleper who got seduced and then betrayed and is seeking either retribution or -- all of it is shakespearean. to see it play out the way it played out yesterday is kind of gripping. the ways that cohen talked about trump are ways that people can relate to. to your point about republicans, there's no question the republicans behaved contemptibly in many cases in terms of how they tried to make their case against cohen, but the political thing that is most significant is the degree to which they made no effort not just to not find the truth, they made no efforts to do that, but they made no effort to try to discredit the
facts that michael cohen put forward. they tried to disdis credit his character but on the facts, the ones that had potential legal implications, they did nothing to try to discredit those facts. by beabdicating trump in that w, ne left him exposed and there may be, for all their attacks on cohen, there may have been an implicit understanding among a lot of republicans is the reason they couldn't take cohen on on the facts and that they vek niez how badly those facts are for donald trump. >> jim jordan practiced the james carville, "look at the at the bird, look at the bird" routine yod where he kept talking about rod rosenstein. he had all this information dump in front of him and yet they
just continued rambling on. but nobody, nobody on either side of the aisle why wouyester defended donald trump. they attacked cohen, they attacked his credibility, but they could not defend donald trump against those charges because they know donald trump by now. and here's chris christie after the hearings on that point talking about how damning it is for trump. >> there hasn't been one republican yet who has tried to defend the president on the substantial. and i think that's something that should be concerning to the white house. why are no republicans standing up and defending the president on the substantial? and that's either a failure of those republicans on the hill or a failure of the white house to have a unified strategy with them. they knew what was coming with michael cohen. as the day goes on, they're going to get tired of hearing the attacks on cohen's
credibility. where's the defense for the president? >> no defense for the president. my gosh, it just has to be said, there was no coordination on the republican side. it was a terrible, terrible hearing from the gang that couldn't shoot straight. these are the people that brought you the benghazi hearings year after year after year and actually -- i've never seen a hearing where people repeated themselves so much, asked the same questions, they asked michael cohen thinking it was a gotcha moment. so do you want a book deal? >> i don't have a book deal. >> would you like a book deal? >> yeah, i'd love a book deal. aha! >> what about a movie deal? >> yeah, i'd like a movie deal. >> why is your lawyer not being paid? >> because he thinks this is important. >> no more questions. >> it was rough.
>> was a who were day, ben. if you're chief counsel for elijah cummings, what did you learn yesterday and what witness lists are you now developing for a series of hearings that not only democrats are going to want to say but americans are going to want o see. >> i think the single most important thing that you said was a witness list. whenever you're doing a major investigative hearing, it's whether that hearing gives you an agenda for the next case. they quite effectively got michael cohen and i think he was very cooperative in this to identify a name -- an additional name associated with a great many of the lines of inquiry that he described, a great many of the allegations that he made, he would tell sort of who else was in the room, who else was involved. and the result is that they come
away with a very long list of people, some of whom you would expect, like allen weisselberg of the trump organization and daefd pecker of ami. the list gets pretty long and pretty granular of people that the committee will want to approach and hear from next. so as i was listening over the course of the day, i was just struck by how many other hearings this committee could map out, just based on cohen's testimony alone. and the final thing about that of course is that this hearing is only presumably a shadow of the story that michael cohen actually could tell because of course he spent tuesday, the day before the hearing, in a day-long closed session of the senate intelligence committee. he's going to spend today in a closed session with the house intelligence committee. so what was sandwiched in between in public yesterday was only the part of his story that
is ripe to be told in public. so i think if you put those two things together, you really do have a rich terrain for future investigative hearings. >> and you got a sense of the list as referred to by congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez. >> do you think we need to review his tax returns to compare them? >> yes. and you'd find it at the trump organize. >> i saw you as he was leaving the hearing room. i feel like i was reading on
your face what you were following was not just the story, the facts and political implications but also the human drama playing out. this was a big day for him and possibly for his family? >> sure. it was something that he had been preparing for, looking forward to, something that had been weighing on him and his family for many weeks. i think that it was complicated for him. in some ways he wand ted to get there to tell his story to the american people and at the same time he knew he was going to be spending hours and hours being questioned and bringing up things that would be sensitive to his family. when i first sat down with him for an interview, he told me he could ptake a bullet for the president and yesterday he seemed to be the one firing a little bit. it was a stunning change.
there were several thing that were legally, politically and personally consequential. seeing the checks presented on slides in that room where the president had son and a cheigne from the oval office, seeing the check with donald trump jr.'s name on it, seeing the evidence in front of you is sort of spectacular to see. it's not really hard to connect the dots between a signature on a check and a payment that is potentially illegal. so those were really moving moles and i thought one moment that stuck out is that cohen is continuing to actively participate in a number of ongoing investigations in the southern district of new york. that had to strike fear in the hearts of the trump administration, the trump organization and the trump family. >> yeah, and willie, it was
stunning to me, he presented himself fairly humbly. john heilemann did a great description this guy that everybody saw, michael cohen, presenting himself to the world. the republicans leering at him for going to jail, making fun of him, bullying him. it just fell flat. >> joe said they repeated the book deal again and again and the one from louisiana yelling and he said what about the boxes in your office? >> why haven't you turned offer the boxes? because they were seized and then return and think that helped money. you're in the rare position to happened to speak to michael cohen. what surprised him? how did he feel coming out of the hearing yesterday if.
>> obviously he was exhausted. i said how do you think you did? he said i'm really happy. i said what would you change? he said, "i wouldn't change anything." today yesterday was a simple game. was he going to be credible? and where michael won the game stunningly was two points. if it comes down to a he said/she said, do you believe trump or cohen, all along, he told me to give me the payments, he paid me, trump said no and there you have the evidence. to me what gave him his credi e crediblity is where he exonerated trump. he said about the tape of him
striking melania, it would have been easy for him to say i've heard of a tape, i've never seen it but he didn't say that, he said mr. trump would never hit melania. and also aoc, i say this ends up in the southern district, in a rico charge. i thought it was a great day for america. it was a stunningly poor day for the republicans. >> thanks to elijah. >> you've been saying for quite some time, donnie, that you'd been talking to michael
privately and you had been telling him, hey listen, you really can do your country a great service. i remember us talking about this in realtime. i personally never believed he would do it, that he would move from being a trump lackey to telling mrk what he saw. you kept saying you thought he might do it and he did. and by the way, bloggers that are watching, you're allowed to talk about your personal feelings still. donny deutsch, what were your feelings about a guy who was still your friend when he was working for donald trump? >> i'm glad you asked me that. it was obviously very personal
for me. >> i was always a stench -- a staunch. >> a stench, i'm sitting right next to him. >> most of the time i have a stench. all you saw was this bellicose guy, and what i watched were very personal moments, seeing him in tears and his family. and this is a guy who got in the trump orb, who did the very bad things he did say. but i always did say this is a decent man. the camera doesn't lie. i think what people saw yesterday and what people were surprised about, maybe you didn't love the guy but okay, he got caught up in it, his life
was destroyed. for me, i actually was very proud of him. i was really proud of this guy up there because he's had the world against him. >> we're going to keep talking about this, mika, obviously throughout the morning. but, boy, we would be remiss if we didn't talk about the man who i thought brought some of the most dramatic moments, just with his words and his leadership and that was elijah cummings, whose closing statement was one of the most moving things i think i've seen come out of congress in a very, very long time. >> yeah, we were crying. we'll talk about that. everyone stay with us. we have much more on yesterday's hearings including the impressive role played by congressman elijah cummings, his message to congress and the american people.
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i'm responsible for your silliness because i did the same thing that you're doing now for ten years. i protected mr. trump for ten years. and the fact that you pull up a news article that has no value to it and you want to use that as the premise for discrediting me, that i'm not the person that people called at 3:00 in the morning would make you inaccurate. in actuality, it would make you a liar, which puts you in the same position i am in. i can only warn people, the more people that follow mr. trump as i did blindly are going to suffer the same consequences that i'm suffering. >> wow. criminal enterprises rarely operate in plane view. straw men are set up, money is laundered, conspiracies thrive
in shadow. this has never been president trump's card. instead his confessions are blurted out on nightly news or white house in the white house meeting with russian diplomats. yesterday michael cohen explained how donald trump and his allies sent messages over public air ways. all as the house overtight committee members exposed th themselves in plain sight whose goal and purpose is to cover up for the illegal and immoral misdeeds of donald j. trump. that would have been more shocking to you and me but the morals collapse of lincoln abraham's party stated almost three year ago.
remember paul ryan called him a racist one day and endorsed him the next. yesterday wasn't a turning point, though, for republicans. it was another sorry, self-defeating step to political oblivion, crassly covering up for a commander in chief who is unworthy of their loyalty and they did it shamelessly in plain sight for all the world to see. joyce vance, talk about how you had republicans on that committee so either unaware or uncaring of the fact that potential crimes and misdemeanors that the president may have committed were being brought up before them and none of them sought to go down those lines of inquiry. >> you know, defense lawyers always like to say when the facts are on your side found the fact, when the law is on your side, pound the law. when neither is on your side pound the table.
and republicans yesterday certainly did not pound the facts. i think that was very telling. had they tried to get into it with cohen over some of these details, i think there was the risk they could have the gotten the president into even more hot water. they did not know what they were walking into or where the mortar shells were going to start blowing up. >> imagine being one one of the republicans on that panel, having a witness sitting across the table from you and saying the following, "the president of the united states, the current president of the united states, had an affair with a porn star, he directed me to make payments and here are the personal checks that shows how he reimbursed me for those payments to make sure he got elected in the weeks before the presidential campaign" and not having questions about that, not
following up about that. that would be the biggest scandal in the history of presidential scandals but there's not a single follow-up question about that fact. i know the objective was to undermine the credibility of michael cohen and they tried to do that with every question but do you have no curiosity about some of the questions that michael cohen raised? >> and it wasn't just that check, how about a check signed by donald trump jr.? what are the implications for that? what did you know, mr. cohen, about donald trump jr.'s involvement in this scheme? did you talk to him about it personally? there were so many different places they could have gone. ben wittes, i think you have to include they just didn't give a damn, they stopped caring about donald trump and whether he committed illegal acts. even if they had, i'm sure they
were worried they would be stepping into a legal minefield. >> it is very hard argument to make that some of the facts that michael cohen is alleging are untrue because he walks in with a birch of documents that cooperate them. by the way, a lo things that are to one degree or another publicly acknowledged, like, for example, that there was this repayment scheme that stretched into the course of trump's presidency. so it's very hard to talk about the facts. and so what you have left is the ability to yell at michael cohen. and to emphasize that, you know, he has lied in the past, which of course is a troubling little
argument in and of itself because you're basically saying exactly what he walks into the door saying. i mean, he walks in saying i've lied before, i'm here to correct the record. and you say up lied. and he's like, yeah, right, i lied. i just pled guilty to lying. so you're actually repeating a thing that he has walked in the door saying from the beginning. if ends up being a very ineffective argument over the course of six or seven hours. >> emily jane fox, it was incredible. when republicans seemed to be not interested in the evidence and facts, things that could lead them to truth, and they constantly accused michael cohen to what he has done and what he's going to jail for and that's lying. of course, we have a president
who lies, six, seven, eight times a day, who was tweeting about him that morning ant didn't tell the truth, who has been tweeting about michael cohen from vietnam during a north korean summit. it an incredible back drop for these republicans to really stand up for this president and and i thought one of the most incredible i lied for him, for ten years i followed him blindly. >> him pointing out that i was in your shoes and it leads to great consequences was one of those moments where you are kind of felt an exhale in the room. the hypocrisy was on full display yesterday. it was brought up several times in the hearing the thousands of times that the president has lied since he has taken off, it came up a number of times.
what i thought was an effective strategy of credibility for cohen is everybody time it was brought up you lied, he said you're right. he made the point of saying this is why the brought the evidence, this is why i brought all of these documents, i understand if you don't believe me, you have every reason not to believe me but you don't have to believe me because here are the checks, here are the financial statements, here are the letters from the president. think whatever you want about my credibility but here it is. >> and how incredible that you did have republicans -- they don't give a damn when donald trump lies 6,500 times or however many times the fact checkers have shown he has lied and it's obvious lies.
people try to undermine the fact checkers, they make fools of themselves because there are so many lies. can you just put one tweet up in front of another. the lies are constant. and these republicans so shocked that michael cohen may have lied. it's outrageous. i'll tell what you else is outrageous. jim jordan lied repeatedly about the chairman, about elijah cummings saying this is the first hearing you've had. elijah thundered back at the end. >> yes, he did. >> i understand these guys see donald trump lying every day and they think they can get away with it but can can you imagine jim jordan being stupid enough to lie in front of eliej kra ia but why would he lie about that when elijah's had several hear
joy, i want to ask you before we let you go about the places where there's not documentary evidence. i'm talking about dp to have had a conversation where donald trump effectively said go ahead with the meeting to get dirt on hillary clinton. and he said he overheard president trump, then donald trump on the phone with roger stone. what do you as a prosecutor do with that when there isn't a big check you can wave at that table. >> as a prosecutor, you like to corroborate every piece of testimony a jury or decision-making body will hear. prosecutors have this opening and you hear it actually in cohen's testimony. there is every opportunity to
cooperate him when the president denies that he knows about wikileaks, it will be interesting to go back and put that on the timeline of known public statements that the president made, to look at opportunities the president's secretary might have had to be in the room, to hear to corroborate, so that's what prosecutors do. in each of these instances, they'll meth otically look for every time of evidence for witness testimony that might be available to confirm cohen's testimony. >>. >> it's upon to say cohen is not a stand alone in in the prosecution. he might be a piece of the case, he is not the case. >> thank you all for being on this morning. still ahead, the white house bans journalists from covering
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and the president of the council on foreign relations, richard haas. >> jonathan, you were kicked out of the pool, not allowed to go to the dinner last night. why? >> that's right, joe. we're reporters, we ask questions, that's what we do. but that was deemed unacceptable yesterday by the white house. last night president trump had his first meetings with chairman kim of north korea. the press pool, which is the 13-person group of traveling reporters who travel the president all over the world, including to vietnam, were going to have access to three of those
events, to the beginning to hear the introductory remarks. and what is customary, we ask questions. the president can choose not to answer. that's his right. but it's our right to ask them. we asked a couple questions about the upcoming north korea summit. the president chose to answer those. at our second occasion, a few minutes later when he brought us in to see the top of the one-on-one meeting with kim and his translators, after his intrope ducktointr introductory remarks, i asked him about michael cohen, his testimony was out, the president looked at me, shook his head and scowled, press secretary sarah sanders came back and said no reporters would be permitted into the third event, into the
dinner with kim, that only photographers and the tv crew would. the photographers said they wouldn't go in without an editorial presence. a compromise was hashed out. one reporter and the radio reporter were allowed to go in but four of us, including for the wires and including myself, were not here. these important trips traditionally are used by american presidents to highlight american values and that includes the free press, and that's especially important when he's sitting opposite from the leader of a country where there is no free press. the president chose to bar the press from that. it has been condemned by the a.p. and the white house media association. >> i'd like to say it's shocking, but it's not. you can go back to the meeting in the white house with the russian foreign minister and the
russian ambassador to the united states back in 2017 where he allowed russian journalists and i put that in quotes, inside that meeting but banned american reporters. >> it's consistent obviously with a regular criticism of the media characterizing them as enemies. i think it overlooks such an important thing and jonathan was getting at this, joe, which is one of the most important aspects of foreign policy, it not what people who work at the state department do, it's what this society is. it's the character, it's the quality of american democracy and we ought to wrap our arms around it, we ought to embrace it, we ought to say this is who we are, we think it's a better way. and when we go against our own values, it seems we undermine one of our fundamental strengths. >> this happens also a week or so after a plot to assassinate journalists as well as members of the democratic leadership, as well as democratic candidates and the president still attacking the media after that
assassination plot was actually busted up by the fbi. still attacking the press and still doing things like this. >> and this is about the public's right to know. that is why the media, the united states is allowing access to the media to ask questions, whether or not the president chooses to answer and jonathan lemi lemire, as if he was from a different country. david ignatius, i want to talk about what did and didn't happen during this summit, the no deal, the possible concessions that might have been made along the way and south korea's response. what happens next? >> well, assuming that the conferrings continue at a lower level and weep move toward the possibility of another summit, the same basic issues will be on the table. north korea seems to have offered to at least partially shut down one of its nuclear
facilities and the u.s. responded that's not sufficient. that is not sufficient to get you relief from sanctions. u.s. intelligence has evidence there's another facility in secret where the north vietnamese are doing the same work. that's a key issue. second thing that was on the table was, in effect, agreeing to end at least in political terms the state of war between the two countries. that something the president has been wary of doing, that's out there for as possibility of the next meeting. the toughest set of questions involved south korea's desire to move toward normalization, to move toward projects across the dmz that begin investment and development of north korea. there president moon is committed to that approach. that pathway now seems to be
obstructed. i think there there be structure to resume the dialogue and progress. i think this was the right time for president trump to say no. after the singapore conference, president trump said the greatest achievement there was our relationship. this time it was about substance and on the substance issues, the president decided we have not gotten enough from the north koreans to be table to have a friendly communique and walked away and i think there's general agreement that was a good idea. >> playing off of what david was just saying, the united states was offering the north koreans a it seemed like it was there for the taking essentially. it feels like they overreached here and probably from the
standpoint of the foreign policy establishment, it's probably a good thing we didn't end up with the deal that trump was offering. how could it be that kim overreached and misread a deal that would have been very much in their favor had he decided to just make a small concession. >> i think you're exactly right. i think north koreans overreached. north koreans overreached, probably the lack of preparations, what happened in sing more and the president brimming with optimism and confidence. i th i think the north koreans thought the summit would break their way. if north korea does random acts of deconstruction of the facility, do they get rewarded for that or do we insist we will only give you sanctions relief in the context of a clear commitment to denuclearization. we were about to give north korea sanctions relief for an isolated act of destructing for
all we know they could have increased and i think in is do we basically tell the north kreebs we will only give you sanctions roo leaf if we know where we're going, when we're going to get there and if we're going to verify it. we don't know if you're actually moving closer to denuclearization. the u.s. has to think through what our strategy is here. >> let me ask you how concerned you would yesterday when you reports that we actually wanted an inven. again, it looked yesterday afternoon during cohen hearings that donald trump was moving away from that requirement. >> exactly. it seems to me that's exactly
the wrong way to go you're moving towards a something-for-something strategy. we can do that forever and they would never arrive at denuclearization because they could do other things outside of whatever deal they had made. so again, we got saved from ourselves and we should not relax on this requirement, joe, that north korea gives as you full accounting and that we have a schedule that by this date certain that he will deal with this facility, then we go in and inspect it and in tandem with that, we would give tem a degree of sanctions relief so they don't have to do everything before they get anything. i do think we've got to link specific actions on their part with sanctions relief and we've got to make sure that specific actions are done in the context that we know where it's heading. so i actually think the fact that we were prepared to relax our requirement, that they give us a full accounting and a full schedule, that would have been a taushl mistake.
the biggest issue so the biggest issue right now is not between the united states and north korea, it's between the united states and itself. >> everyone around the table agrees that no deal is better than a bad deal. here he wasn't going to what does that say about the president's i alone can -- >> he believes the power of his personality and his charm and chris ma can sines a deal. did that take a blow on his trip? >>. >> where it is just i and
sitting across the table from another leader where putin and his charm are thinking will bring together an advanced deal. usually deals are more or less hammered out in advance and these summits are a victory lap rather than the hardline negotiations. the success is guaranteed. that want the case here where the president was planning to seal the deal with kim, someone whose relationship that he real values and really touts, that he thought that he alone could do that. s you said, today in that rather unusual news conference after the deal fell apart, not only did he not commit to making north, verify and confirm they are getting rid of their weapons.
. they need to be better prepared next time. >> jonathan le mire, thank you both. they were 8,000 miles apart by michael cohen and donald trump came head to head yesterday. trump came head to head yesterday. . >> i am ashiemd p shamed that i chose to take part in concealing mr. trump's illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience. i am ashamed because i no what mr mr., he is a con man. >> he called you a liar, a con man, a racist. what's your response to michael
cohen? >> it's incorrect. i tried to watch as much as i could. i haven't been able to watch too much because i've been a little too busy. but you think having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit is a terrible thing. they could have made it two days later or next week, it would have been even better. they would have had more time. but having it during this very important summit is incredible. he lied a lot but there was very interesting he didn't say there was no collusion for this fact or that fact, he said no collusion. he on went about 95% instead of
100%. >> he doesn't understand what he's baffled by, mika, he's baffled that cohen told the truth yesterday. he's like, wait a second i guess he thinking that mabb could i had say, though, his argument about the timing of the hearing, i think you would have heard that from any commander in chief. they would have said, hey, you never what, have your hearings but let me fin, my summit first. >> the thought of the rez united states at is pathetic at best -- >> well, that's who he is. >> and that's the reality that we're confronting. and what we saw yesterday is some evidence that might back up
the reason still with me, we have couple ul ad man danny deutch, john heilemann and eugene robinson. garrett haake who covered the hearings yesterday and scholar at new york university school of law and bob bauer, o served up the question about president obama. >> when i acted yesterday please were talking about the possibility that this was the first step toward impeachment hearings. did anything in yesterday's hearings make the possibility, the spectra of impeachment pore
likely -- more likely or even inevitable? >> well, you now have witness lists and a lot of different tributaries to explore that arise out of the cohen testimony and evidence. in terms of if you think the engine of impeachment is the newly empowered democratic majority and its oversight capacity on a variety of committees, all of those engines have been stoked by this. they have new leads to follow, new witnesses to call, new hearings to convene, and all of that darkens the picture, i think, for the president on that front for sure. it's also the case -- another thing we talked about is the way in which republicans did not try to defend the president yesterday on the facts. did not defend his kirk ter, did trite to shoot down any of the
that and then finely, some of the evidence was brought to bare including this check that will be part of mensch history and part of the culture that. you've got evidence that the president of the united states was engaging in an act of criminal conspiracy and one that relates directly o defrauding the american people, the election that put him in office while he was still in office. that to me raises some very pro-found questions and will have to get to grips with. in that sense, yeah, i think we are in a deep are place now on
the threat -- the existential threat post trump's presidency than we were at the beginning of this week for sure. >> you bring up a great point about the fact of the possibility of this criminal conspiracy being a criminal conspiracy that was launched right before the election. it was fraud committed on the american people. the cover-up and act to make it more likely that donald trump could be elected president. that's just, it seems to me, willie geist, that is a law school question waiting to be asked on a con law exam. can a president be indicted if the act pr actually helped him ormer become then insulate the
government from any indictments. >> if the president of the united states had been awhile his wife was home with their newborn son. i think it might have. >> i actually think we can. i think you can probably it one thing talking about billy bush and it quite another doing that be engage. >> based on the fact that we've seen this check now for the first time and as john says, it part of american history. does that change the calculus here for you as an attorney in terms of what exactly happened from a criminal point of view? >> it certainly adds some very telling detail about the
president's involvement. bear in mind we've seen in story unfold over a series of phases. it began with michael cohen appearing in open court to make his play plae and then proceeded through the publication of the plea agreement and sentencing memorandum and gradually individual number one's role began to surface, as a director of the conspiracy and. >> now we have the we're looking at -- possibility that mr. trump nay as correctly say occupying the oval office confers upon
him. >> the information about donald trump jr. signing a check, does that put him in any more legal jeopardy than we were aware of before cohen's testimony yesterday? >> it is certainly conceivable he gets brought into. by the way, there's a lot about kb the collusion-related issues are ones he's been touched by. there's more detail to be learned there. but to the extent you have a circle who are all collaborating with the campaign, to pay this money, to keep these stories out of the press, don jr. surfaces as somebody who was clearly one of them. whether in the months ahead we find out that's a more significant issue in the legal process, i can't say but that certainly did come up in the hearings yesterday. >> elijah cummings overseeing what was a expect call for over
seven hours. >> i was struck by the way how by and all of bravado with -- it was a deflated man, hootd the republicans, namely jim word rorn they tried to engage him and enrage him and getting him off talksing pounts toward the end of the day, united states you haddy sensely the junior most democrats to go and question cohen, as some people might have turned the hearing off when they came back from that extended debate to go vote.
alexandria ocasio-cortez came in with is he specific questions, give us names, give us information, essentially setting up the upcoming hearing in this matter. >> elijah cummings really summed up the day yesterday in his closing statements. take a listen. >> i know that it's painful going to prison. i know it's got to be painful being called a lot. a lot of people don't know the significance of of that but i live in the inner city of baltimore, all right? and when you call somebody a rat, that's one of the worst
things you can call them because when you go to prison that means a snitch. i'm just saying. so the president called you a rat. we're better than that! we really are. and i'm hoping that all of us can get back to this democracy that we want and that we should be passing on to our children so that they can do better than what we did. so you wonder whether people believe you? i don't know. i don't know whether they believe you. but the fact is that you've come, you have your head down and this has got to be one of the hardest things that you could do. let me tell you the picture that really, really pained me, you were leaving the prison, you were leaving the courthouse and i guess it's your daughter had braces or something on, man, that thing hurt me.
as a father of two daughters, it hurt me. and i can imagine how it must feel for you. but i'm just saying to you. i want to first of all thank you. i know that this has been hard. i know that you face a lot, i know that you are worried about your family, but this is a part of your destiny. and hopefully this portion of your destiny will lead to a better -- a better, a better michael cohen, a better donald trump, a better united states of america and a better world. and i mean that from the depths of my heart.
when we're dancing with the angels, the question will be asked, in 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy in tact? >> chairman elijah cummings. gene robinson, tell us how he managed all this yesterday, the job he did. how did he do? >> i thought he did an incredible job. that phrase, "we're better than that," that's something that elijah cummings has been saying for a long time, the entirety of the administration in fact. it was a perfect point to bring us back there. he was accommodating enough to the republicans on the committee, he gave them their say, he gave them their chance to do what they did, which was stunningly bizarre. not a single republican that i
heard made any sort of affirmative statement in defense of donald trump and what he might have done. not a one. it was all attacks on michael cohen. but elijah cummings gave them the room and the space to do that. he pushed back when jim jordan raised a spurious issue about a form that cohen had signed and whether he represented foreign government or foreign entities or whatever and claimed that he had signed it in error and later it was discovered that, no, actually he had complied with the regulation, but cummings gave that space to play out. he even wait a minute to the defense of mark meadows when he pulled out that really insulting stunt of bringing in an
african-american woman as a prop to demonstrate to the world how in the world could donald trump be racist. why here's a friend of his, who he happened to appoint to a hud position after he planned eric's wedding. but he gave them space to do that. yet he kept it all on track. i thought it was just a magnificent job of orchestrating what was a weird piece of theater. >> donnie. >> first of all, i just wanted to step back as far as trump's counterprogramming theory. michael had planned to gut oo on the 7th until his father-in-law was threatened. it was painful watching michael
react to elijah's speech and i was so proud to be an american watching chairman cummings, but as i said, where he gets teared up is when his kids get brought into it. you saw that very real. i just want to reset because it's easy to forget, two men, trump versus cohen and put yourself in cohen's shoes for a second. you're michael cohen and for years we've seen this all take a bullet and everything. all of a sudden your life goes up side down because basically you were protecting the guy you were loyal to. and your life gets ripped apart and for the last year not only are you brought in front of courts days in and day out, you are called a rat, the dirtiest person in the world, the worst guy in the world and basically what you did is on behalf of the other guy and the other guy is the most celebrated man on the planet. you're going to jail because you are protecting the guy who then
cuts you loose and you can't speak back and the other guy and his henchmen and giuliani on a daily basis or destroying you. talk about an unfair fight. it changed yesterday. for the first time. and he couldn't speak. he couldn't speak. and talk about an unfair fight. talk about a strong man and a weak man. one other personal anecdote, it important to know, michael at some point was obsessing at one point. he's never had a drink ever. he's never taken a sleeping pill. he has never taken an ant anti-depressa anti-depressant. i would be curled up in a corner main lining zoloft.
against the most powerful man in the world, the rock 'em sock 'em role changed yesterday. >> who were the family members that you briefed on the trump tower moscow project? >> don trump jr. and ivanka trump. >> were these in the regular course of business or did the president or family request the briefings? >> this was in the regular course of business. >> in his senate before the senate judiciary committee committee, trump jr. was asked did you have any involvement in this potential deal in moss skou cow? trump responded, like i said, i was peripherally aware of it but most of my knowledge has been
gand since as it relates to hearing about it over the last few weeks. did he get into some more peril yesterday based on the allegations and again, they are allegations made by michael cohen? >> cohen certainly pointed his finger in donald jr.'s direction. he really got to the surface of what my light underneath and what we might find out further in what we we do have access to the mule are findings. there's also that conversation that he relates of don jr. whispering in his father's ear. there's a lot of quiet around donltd jr.'s precise involvement but there's every reason to see him as an extension of his far so i think there is more to be
learned there. >> hey, joe, i got a big peacekeeper in the wake of what happened in vietnam. we went into in week, we knew this was going to be an extraordinary week. sometimes literally there's been a split screen, sometimes it was metaphorical. you had the michael cohen screen, we knew it was going to be an ugly picture for donald trump. but vietnam was supposed to be a pretty screen, certainly good was going to happen on that screen. instead we have a screen from vietnam that says summit collapses. terrible headlines. so now you're donald trump. you know donald trump pretty well if i recall correctly, you're on a plane home from vietnam and you've had the split
scream. what do you anticipate he will do when he gets back to washington, d.c.? >> you know, it very interesting. the republicans -- they refused to defend donald trump. they all refused to defend donald trump against the charges. i was not surprised by the headline yesterday that was going to tack a terrible deal, just to get the headline to distract. let's go to david ignatius on this. i was just say, i was very surprised, david, and relieved this morning, especially after hearing the news that they were going to relax requirements from north korea, especially after
the bad hearing, i woke up this morning relieved that our president had actually held a firm line and actually when we were doing our quick call before the show today, i said actually, i think it's the best of all scenarios that the president went over, spoke to a leader who we thought we were going to be fighting on the korean peninsula a year, year and a half ago. he had talks to continue that relationship and keep the channels open but he didn't give anything away. i do think with john's questions and backdrop, it's more surprising that was donald trump's response to it. it's not certainly we've grown accustomed for but i think this morning it's at least certainly we should be grateful for. >> i think that you're right in that the headline is not in my
mind, i don't think it will be in most people's mind "and as we look at the evidence, we're just beginning to learn what happened in hanoi. the evidence suggests that the president walked away because the north koreans were asking for more than the president of willing give up. so donald trump has gone for the cheap, quick headline he did not do that and dare i say he when he was very calmly announcing
sometimes you just have to walk away from a deal approximately. >> the only thing i can think is the person who is been managing this portfolio from the beginning, mike pompeo, said the one mistake we can't make is the one our predecessor did, which is to give up too much, to ease our sanctions, ease our leverage against north korea too early. i've heard that over and over again from people doing these negotiations. and it's clear that president trump has heard that, too. he hears it from john bolton, from pompeo, from the special envoy. you just have to figure that it got through we will not leave sipgsing until what we had can can with his dear friend kim
jong un. otherwise we would have seen a different outcome. >> the "new york times" headlines is trumps' talks with kim jong un collapse over a.m. we'll see and i can tell you the o i will say not only for donald trump supporters, but also for a lot of independents, people like me and even some democrats, there a lot of people this morning relieved that donald trump did not capitulate to a north korean tyrant for the sake of a cheap headline. that is good news for america. at least in my opinion. >> personally, though, i think
he left early because he was just too distracted to be able to do the work. but we shall see. to close out the block i just want to say one more word about congressman alija coming earlier we played his impassioned, closing statement. in a diof acrimony this man presided over the michael cohen hearing with dignity, human and fairness but also with a zeal for oversight and truth. cummings a goals were as obvious as they were good. to find out whether or not he broke the law and to envelope the person people in the process. that's sufficient an important remi
remind. >> i've worked elijah, i've been friend with him for that he and mark medios were great friends despite the fact we were balancing would different sides. and the other point is ho mar n mardonand coming up, we'll talk about what happened in reason and whether michael cohen just under the president's legal exposure. you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ i'm 53.
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joining us now, senator chris coons of delaware. as you well know by now, the president of the united states has left vietnam a couple of hours early on his way back to washington, walking away from a potential deal with north korea saying kim jong un wanted us to lift all the sanctions, i wasn't going to do that. did the president do the right thing? >> i'm grateful the president didn't take a dangerous step of giving away or military strength on a weak deal. i think it's a good thing that he walked away rather than doing something that was wrong. i'm concerned about a report by nbc news that american
negotiators had dropped a requirement that north korea make a full and transparent accounting of its nuclear missile, its nuclear research program and enrichment facilities. president trump criticized the deal made with iran as being terrible and weak. i'm concerned there doesn't seem to be a follow on or next step to transition this to professional diplomacy between technical experts. we need to stop with the reality tv summits and move towards real and serious diplomacy with north korea. >> senator, is it naive not just for president trump but for any american or any diplomat to think that north korea ever would fully give up its nuclear program, given that's the only leverage it has in the world?
>> well, they also have a very strong and lethal ticyber attac capability. don't believe me, believe president trump's own director of national intelligence, dan coates, who recently testified that our intelligence assessment is that kim jong un will never fully denuclearize. president trump took dictator kim jong un at his word that otto warmbier's condition. >> trying to put that aside and putting aside that he took a dictator at his word, senator koons, you talk about lack of
preparation. the president was tweeting about michael cohen throughout the summit and even said when asked questions during a press availability that he tried to watch as much as he could. he works for the american people. shouldn't the american people expect more when the president of the united states is at a summit with a dictator? >> absolutely. we would open that he would be exclusively focused on trying to accomplish a diplomatic bre breakthrough with a contract that we know has nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles and has threatened to attack us. clearly the president was greatly distracted, as was the whole country by the riveting testimony of michael cohen. i'll agree that michael cohen is a liar and criminal and is now going to jail. but the striking thing is so is michael stone, so is paul
manafort, so is michael flynn. apparently candidate trump surrounded himself with criminals and liars yet we're supposed to believe that he and his campaign did nothing illegal. i'm sure president trump isn't the first president to have an affair or to do improper things to kof it up so no matter hour distracting the sleazy aspects of a porn star hush payment might be, the important matter yesterday that was michael cohen testified that he was in the room as president trump and then candidate trump heard from roger stone about their coordination efforts to make sure that wikileaks disclosed the materials stolen by russian intelligence from the dnc in order to influence the 2016 collectio election. i'm sure he's the first president to be credibly questioned over whether or not there was some role over his campaign and a hostile power. >>david ignatius. >> senator coons, i want to ask
you where you think this goes next after today's events, call it the collapse of the talks, call it president trump essentially walking away. what happens now and what do you think the dangers are in terms of returning to a highly confrontational situation? >> our success of iran's nuclear program came because of a several-year heavily coordinated program to sustain sanctions. that's what we need to do now. i'll commend the president for walking away rather than lifting all of our sanctions. but i was just at the munich security conference and i heard from a wide range even while our
coral lies were in combat against isis out without consulting them has weakened our standing with our allies. i'm concerned that president trump's america first strategy may leave us a friendless nation when it comes to trying to rally the international community to impose meaningful sanctions on north korea. this is a critical moment for to us gather our allies and reapply tougher sanctions on north korea. >> senator chris coons of delaware, thank you for being on the show. >> thank you. >> still ahead, the law who tried to take a page out of president trump's play book by attacking michael cohen on twitter is facing a serious fallout, including investigation by the florida bar association. n
of whatever's going on on the stage. it's really cool to be able to immediately post it on my social media. (vo) there when it matters. get $300 off our best phones. only on verizon. all of you. how you live, what you love. that's what inspired us to create america's most advanced internet. internet that puts you in charge. that protects what's important. it handles everything,
and reaches everywhere. this is beyond wifi, this is xfi. simple. easy. awesome. xfinity, the future of awesome. you said, quote, mr. trump did not directly tell me to lie to congress. that's not how he operates, end quote. can you tell me how he did this? >> sure. it would be no different than if he said, "that's the nicest looking tie i've ever seen, isn't it?"
that's how he speaks. he doesn't give you questions, he doesn't give you orders. he speaks in code. i understand his code because i've been around him for a decade. >> and it's your understanding that others around him understand his code, right? >> yes. >> he asked the most significant question yesterday and the one that followed. it gets to the idea of how donald trump directs his people. a few weeks able we were all talking about this blockbuster piece in buzz feed that suggested that the president told michael cohen to lie and the special counsel came utility and disputed that. amash's question may, and i emphasize may get to the heart of that, that president trump doesn't order anybody to do anything, that it's the culture
around him that leads people to do these things. it could be the connective tissue. and his next question was the seminal question about these hearings. he asked cohen what is the truth that president trump is afraid of. and there was this long, pregnant pause in the room and cohen couldn't answer it. think of all the people who have thread guilty of lying to congress, all in the service of covering up something, what. that was the question he couldn't answer. it was such a big moment about how do we tie all these investigations to thgether. what is everyone lying to cover up? and cohen couldn't answer. >> the people who know trump will understand this when he said trump will not leave office in a normal, peaceful -- i said,
trump, you have to understand something. he did it in the last election. when he thought he was going to lose, he was teeing it up for a few days. if impeachment starts to happen, whatever inner move you think this guy is capable of doing to create a civil war, i'm not speaking hhyperbole, i didn't know michael was going to say that, that was his warning as a guy who knows him better than anybody. >> does anyone doubt that? does anyone doubt that donald trump would do that, even if he loses a free and fair election that he'll start talking about voter fraud? >> i'm taking it to the next level. he said he won't leave in a peaceful transition. that's different than saying that's unfair. take it to that extreme. >> we had don jr. on and say will your father respect the results if he loses and he said
yet. >> congressman matt gaetz is reportedly under investigation for an intimidating tweet on the eve of michael cohen's testimony. t gaetz posted tuesday, "hey, michael cohen, do your wife and father-in-law know about your girl friends? maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. i wonder if she'll remain fai faithful when you're in prison. she's about to lose a lot." he removed that post and posted i've personally apologized to mn michael cohen referencing his family. garrett, you were in the chamber
yesterday. matt gaetz was there sort of lurking. what did he tell you he was doing in the room? >> this was weird. gaetz was in and out of the room for most of the morning, though he left when the first break happened, shortly before news outlets started reporting the idea he was being investigated by the bar association for his comments. i followed him out of the hearing room and asked him what he was doing there, he brushed it off, oh, i'm just doing my job as a congressman. there were other members who weren't a member of that panel by gaetz's presence goes to the same sort of lurking intimidation tactic that existed in the tweet in the first place. he got what he wanted, a news cycle of talking about the content of this tweet and then can throw his hands up and same i'm really sorry. on the eve of the hearing, we were still talking about it and it meant that it continued to be this lurking possibility that perhaps someone on the
republican side, who would actually be allowed to ask a question might have asked a questi question. >> the "godfather" part two. >> i don't think i'm being extreme about this but if you were a real attorney general, i would have had an indictment for witness tampering within 24 hours and i would have had federal mamor marshals at matt s office. >> so would i. it amazed me that he showed up at the hearings.
just like in "the godfather" part two. we're in a total mob scenario here. >> and there is a quality i think, mika, i'd just say you saw michael cohen yesterday say this thing where he said to all the republicans on the committee, you are going on the path i went down. you are defending this man for no good reason. it goi it's go corrupt your soul, you're going to do things you're ashamed of. matt gaetz looks just like he's following the michael cohen road map here, which is protect donald trump at all costs and for what? >> well, the florida bar is looking into it not just for a tweet. he said it before the cameras. he made these leering threats before the cameras and he made them on the house floor. so that little apology 24 hours later is way too little given what he's done and he's done the
damage and he showed up to make sure that he could continue with the intimidation. that's what it appeared to me. garrett? >> his presence in the room, he wasn't sitting in the back to take the temperature of the room or of the room or take a picture for historical purposes. he was standing on the side with staff in a position where he could see cohen and cohen could see him. he probably wouldn't show up in any of the cameras but he was in a position to see and be seen. this was not a casual drop by of a hearing of interest. >> it's sad he felt he had to do that. eugene robinson, thank you. coming up, we'll talk to the congressman who got michael cohen to say that he's aware of other wrong doing or illegal acts by the president that haven't yet been discussed in public. "morning joe" is back in a moment.
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have you and singapore confronted kim jong un about the death. >> i have and i don't think it was in his interest at all. i know the family very well. i think they're an incredible family. what happened is horrible. i really believe something very bad happened to him and i don't think that the top leadership knew about it and when they had to send him home, by the way, i got the prisoners back, i got the hostages back, and otto was one of the hostages but otto came back in a shape that was not even talking about talked about. i thought it was horrible. the others came back extremely healthy but otto came back in a condition that was just terrible
and i did speak about it and i don't believe that he would have allowed that to happen. just wasn't to his advantage to allow that to happen. those prisons are rough. they're rough places and bad things happened, but i really don't believe that he was -- he -- i don't believe he knew about it. >> did he tell you that he did not -- >> he felt badly about it. i did speak to him. he knew the case very well but he knew it later and you know, you've got a lot of people, a big country, a lot of people and in those prisons and those camps you have a lot of people and some really bad things happened to otto. some really bad things but he tells me -- he tells me he didn't know about it and i will take him at his word. >> that's the president giving a dictator the pass on the murder of an american citizen, the brutal murder of an american citizen, giving him a complete pass. the president also left the
north korea summit with no deal. while democrats left the michael cohen hearing with a clear road map of where to take their investigation next. we'll talk about that straight ahead on "morning joe." ead on ". with the new pronamel repair toothpaste we can help actively repair enamel in its weakened state. it's innovative. with pronamel repair, more minerals are able to enter deep into the enamel surface. the fact that you have an opportunity to repair what's already been damaged, it's amazing. i think my go-to toothpaste is going to be pronamel repair.
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>> are these not boxes that should have been turned over to investigative authorities during the many criminal investigations you've been subject to. >> these are the boxes that were returned to me. >> if they contain data pertinent, did mr. davis know of these boxes? >> i don't understand your question. i don't understand his question sir. >> it's a serious question. where are those boxes that contain documents worthy of evidence to be presented to congress and why have they not been turned over to investigating authorities looking into some of the many criminal activities that you're allegedly cooperating in? where are these boxes? who knows of the -- where is this treasure of evidence? >> the boxes that i'm referring to were boxes that were in my law office when the fbi entered and seized documents. >> mr. chairman, i would move
that the investigating authorities have noted what the gentleman had just stated. >> that is republican congressman -- >> that is a great summary of the whole day. >> there's a republican summed up in one little exchange. >> tim jordan yelling why? tell me why. constant taunting but asking, why would davis work for free? so clay higgins -- >> because he actually believes in -- >> the man you just saw there, he previously worked in louisiana law enforcement and he couldn't understand where the boxes were. >> where are the boxes? >> evidence blow in michael cohen's criminal investigation. >> the thing is, and this was very typical of yesterday. >> comical. >> they would keep asking questions, keep interrupting thinking they were getting gotchas. they would not let him answer the question and if he tried to answer the questions then they would scream, this is my time.
this is my time, mr. chairman! this is my time. now, can you tell me what happened next? well, yes, sir. this is my time. and then they'd take back time. they looked -- i've just got to say regardless of what side you were on and we were of course watching with fellow republicans -- >> who became democrats yesterday. that was it. >> who i think probably became lifetime democrats yesterday. >> no, did. >> it was just a horrific performance and they had no game plan. i mean, they should have gone to john dingle's last hearing and saw how he would set up a hearing or should have seen how others have set up hearings in the past where you get together, you have a game plan, you have a strategy and everybody doesn't ask the same stupid question about book deals thinking they're playing gotcha or saying you've lied and he of course said yes. >> all day long they accused
michael cohen of lying while defending a president in their accusations who lies every day. it just doesn't work. >> and michael cohen said off the top that yes, he had lied. he was sorry for it. >> he's going to jail. >> and that's why he was coming to talk. i mean, that is -- and for -- i mean, if those republicans and of course they knew exactly what they were doing. they weren't interested in the truth. pete had a wonderful column talking about how the central organizing principal used to cover up for illegal and immoral actions of donald trump and i think pete has it just right. they weren't interested in the truth. they were actually interested in hiding the truth. the truth is not on their side. you had the james carville strategy. jordan constantly saying we should have brought in rod rosenstein when you have a guy here saying i have information about a possible felony or a
number of felonies kmitded not only by the president of the united states but people in his campaign and also people inside the trump family. one of the things about jim jordan that i found especially offensive in his line of inquiry yesterday is while he didn't care whether the president of the united states may have committed multiple felonies that would be impeachable offenses, that even the wall street journal said we'll end up damaging republicans because as the wall street journal said yesterday, character matters. character still matters especially with presidents. but i found it fascinating that jim jordan chose yesterday to's hearing to attack the fbi again and again, with a -- with a list of possible felonies and misdemeanors in front of him that the president may have committed with evidence coming in front of him that actually i guarantee you the republican running the southern district of
new york and republicans running the fbi and republicans running other law enforcement communities are very concerned about the information that not only they heard yesterday but they've heard from michael cohen before. and yet all jim jordan wanted to do was submit a list of horrors that we believes has been committed by the fbi. this is -- again, this is not your father's or mother's or grandfather's or grandmother's republican party because we, when ichs was in the party we defended law enforcement. we defended the fbi, the cia, the intelligence communities. we defended military leaders against attacks from many people on the far left. now you have people like jim jordan who claim to be conservative who spend their time attacking the federal bureau of investigation, spend their time attacking the cia, spend their time attacking the dni, spend their time attacking
the intel community when the president of the united states attacks the intel community and not calling out the president of the united states when he attacks the cia or when he attacks the dni or when he decides to believe the word of an ex- kgb officer instead of the word of one of his own republican appointees. instead of the word of a republican appointed fbi direct tor or republican appointed dni director or republican appointed cia director or appointed lead of homeland security. yesterday he decides he's got all this evidence, possibility of evidence, possibility of felonies and crimes committed by the president of the united states. he's going to attack the fbi. way to go. you made your republican party proud yesterday. >> still with joe, willie and me we have columnist david ig nashs
and president of the national action net work reverend al sharpton. and former gop counsel for the house oversight committee and daily beast opinion writer. we'll get to all those but first the very latest from the vietnam summit which ended as abruptly as it began. >> we thought and i thought and secretary pompeo felt that it wasn't a good thing to be signing anything. we had some options and at this time we decided not to do any of the options and we'll see where that goes, but it was -- it was a very interesting two days and i think it was a very productive two days but sometimes you have to walk. and this was just one of those
times. >> so let's bring in our news chief who's life in hanoi, vietnam. bill, give us the latest from hanoi. >> reporter: yeah, good morning, guys. well, president trump is on his way back to the united states and of course we have only heard his version of why these talks broke down. so far neither kim jong un who is still here nor the state media have explained their point of view. president trump said they wanted sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do that. now, there is an element to this that strains credibility. there were five hours of talks. yes, we know the north koreans want all the sanctions lifted but president trump was implying that the trip wire was about the nuclear processing plant, that the north koreans were willing to dismantle or destroy that, but in return, they wanted all the sanctions lifted and that's
why this summit failed. now, i have to say that strains credibility. that is something that could have been dismissed in five minutes. instead there were about five hours of talks altogether. din ter and three hours today. there is no deal. there was no definition of what denuclearization meant or means. that has been a problem for years and that's still not being resolved. there was no peace declaration ending the korean war, no liaison officers are going to be set up in washington and pyongyang. by the way, south korea had no head's up about this. president trump did not inform president moon until he was on air force one after the news conference. there is no commitment to a second summit. there may be no military exercises in the spring because president trump once again said that they were a waste of money and he called them war games.
so that's what we don't have. what we do have is that the centrifuges are still spinning in north korea. the rockets are being perfected. the missiles are still being built and we have a diplomatic stalemate just as we've had for the last few months and president trump has now twice flown halfway around the world to go to kim's backyard here in asia and twice he's come away with absolutely nothing. i mean, with a symbol in singapore, but with a failure here. so going forward, it's really difficult to know how these talks can get back on track. he also said there was great progress here. he offered no evidence of progress whatsoever. guys, this was a failure short and simple. >> all right. thank you so much in hanoi, vietnam. we appreciate it. david r so what is next if in
fact this was a fill your on the president's part? what is next in these relations between the president of the united states and north korea? >> so joe, i think that's the right question after bill neely's somber report. the issue i would make is whether north korea will stick to what president trump's claims is its promise not to return to testing of missiles and nuclear weapons. it has not tested since november 2017. that's the most significant piece of actual progress that's emerged in the dialog. will they stick to that? if there's any move back toward testing we're back in a crisis mode. is there going to be pressure on the u.s. to limit its military exercises and training further? as bill said, president trump talks as if this is a big waste of money, but if you talk to our
military commanders they say it's crucial to maintain readiness, to maintain some real deterrent against north korea. there will be a lot of unhappiness at the pentagon if there are any additional limits on the ability to test. the third thing to keep your eye on is the u.s. and south korea. our south korean allies are eager for normalization, for increased trade, economic ties across the dmz. they will be disappointed. i think they were hoping for more progress. final key point, if north korea continues to maintain this significant nuclear arsenal it's estimated they have something between 20 and 65 nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them, at least short and medium range, what's japan going to do if we're in this sort of holding pattern now with no action, the japanese are going to have to think, how do they deter the north koreans and they may have to think of this question, does japan need its
own nuclear deterrent? >> a lot of questions, obviously that have come out of this summit. now two summits where we may not have gotten much again as david has said and as we have said. you also measure that against the fact that a year, year and a half ago, most foreign policy expects feared a possible land war on the korean peninsula with american troops. so there is of course it's far more positive that they are talking and that they continue to talk. but willie, while they were talking yesterday, a lot of talking going on on capitol hill in the house oversight committee. it was just a remarkable day of testimony in front of elijah cummings committee. >> yesterday as you probably all saw, president trump's former attorney called out his former boss for among other things being a racist.
>> mr. trump is a racist. the country has seen mr. trump call poor countries [ bleep ]. his private, in private, he is even worse. he once asked me if i can name a country run by a black person that wasn't [ bleep ]. this was when barack obama was president of the united states. while we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way. and he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid. >> and here's the moment when republican congressman mark meadows had hud official stand behind him citing her work with president trump's family business to refute cohen's claim that the president is racist. >> mr. cohen, do you know lynn
patton? i'm right here. >> yes, sir. >> do you know lynn patton? >> yes, i do. >> i asked lynn to come today in her personal capacity to actually shed some light. how long have you known ms. patton? >> i'm responsible for lynn patton joining the trump organization and the job that she currently holds. >> you made some very demeaning comments about the president that ms. patton doesn't agree with. in fact, it has to do with your claim of racism. she says that as a daughter of a man born in birmingham, alabama, that there is no way that she would work for a -- for an individual who was racist. how do you reconcile the two of those? >> as neither should i as the son of a holocaust survivor. >> the fact that someone would actually use a prop, a black woman in this chamber, in this
committee is alone racist in itself. donald trump is setting -- >> mr. chairman i ask that her words be taken down. >> i reclaim my time. >> is it -- i want to make sure i understand. you did not -- you were not intending to call mr. meadows a racist is that right? >> no, mr. chairman, i do not call mr. meadows a racist. >> mr. chairman, there's nothing more personal to me than my relationship, my nieces and nephews are people of color. not many people know that. you know that, mr. chairman. >> mr. meadows, you know -- and of all the people on this committee, i've said it and got in trouble for it, that you're one of my best friends. i know that shocks a lot of people. >> and likewise, mr. chairman. >> but you are. and i would do -- and i could see and feel your pain.
i feel it. >> i do apologize if that's what it sounded like but i said someone in general. thank you, mr. chairman for allowing me to clarify but again i said someone and again i was not referring to you at all as a racist. >> that's rashida talib of the state of michigan. the comments came much later in the day. the initial gesture made by mark meadows to bring lynn patton up. lynn patton was an event planner for the trumps. and was given a pretty weighty post inside hud in new jersey and new york. what did you think about meadows using lynn patton as an example of why he was not racist? >> finding out to someone's racial sensitivity, their first defense is some of my best friends are black.
that's a tell sign. if you have to go there you really are in trouble with sensitivity or outright bigotry so when he made that move, he was really playing into everyone saying wait a minute now, this is the best you could do is have somebody standing there that by the way, can't come to the mike, just standing there as the congresswoman says as a prop which in many ways is insulting to her and the audience. but secondly it doesn't address the point that was being made by the witness. and that was, here's a guy who was the go between between donald trump and many of us in the black community, civil rights leader ship, he was the guy that would call me and say the boss is upset you're saying so and so. >> michael cohen. >> yeah, call me saying would you meet with him? i'm not interested and come on reverend, and it was like he was
the good guy to get you in. and we'd talk about he's going to chicago and not working with black contract tors. cohen was the connect guy. rather than what address what trump said in private, many cases after we left meetings with him, they're going to have this woman who can't even speak stand there, who had no office in the trump -- she was -- she was outside contractor brought in for event planning. i've been to trump towers a zillion -- well, not a zillion times but scores of times for meetings, to argue debate with donald trump, the darkest thing i have seen in the trump towers is the lighting in the elevator. >> we pause on that. >> sophia nelson, i don't know if you've ridden the elevators at trump tower but what did you think about what meadows did yesterday? >> it's important to put mark
meadows into context. there's video for this, he said we're going to send barack obama back to kenya. so for him to try to say he's not a racist or has racial insensitivity is ridiculous on its face. second as a black woman and as a republican woman my entire life who served on that very committee that we watched on tv as the first black person ever to work on that commit tease on the gop side i was horrified and apalled at my party for not participating and in their constitutional duty to ask questions and secondly to bring a black woman out, shame on lynn first of all for agreeing to do it but to have a black woman out and stand there like she was on the auction block. you couldn't swear her in and there's this visual exhibit a american people. there's a black person here and we have a black person who can't tell you what she thinks. we'll tell you how she feels and that will prove that donald trump is not a racist is the
most ridiculous thing i've seen the republican party do in a really long time and that's saying a lot. >> okay. and i just -- >> i'm upset. >> yeah, i hear you. i feel the wrong person apologized and i really, really am uncomfortable when women apologize, when they didn't do anything wrong. when they were just speaking their mind. when they were speaking their truth. and when something that you just described happened actually happened. i think the wrong person apologized. and if mark meadows wasn't acting and wasn't feeling racist in his heart, he has to understand how he made people feel in that moment. and instead -- >> the other thing, mika -- >> he cried and then he forced an apology out of rashida talib. the whole thing felt extremely dysfunctional. >> yes, and the thing is for you to say i have biracial nieces, i'm a black woman, i have
biracial nieces that have a white@ white mother. that is also ridiculous and the fact of the matter is you're right, mika. congresswoman talib was making the point that the prop itself was racist. i called it a prop because that's exactly what it was. she shouldn't have apologized to anybody for anything she said because she didn't say anything wrong. >> well, you know, he was deeply offended to be called a racist, offended that it was called a racist action. i will say that reverend al talked about racial insensitivity. at the very least it was racially insensitive and certainly clueless. i just -- i can't imagine who in the world would do that. it just -- >> apology from the wrong person.
>> yeah, i know mark meadows and like elijah cummings, i like him. there were people inside the room that said it actually seemed like mark meadows understood that his attempt to use a black woman as a prop was not exactly working for him and so he moved quickly past that and started asking a series of other questions. but what -- talk about your takeaway. what was your big takeaway from yesterday's explosive hearing? >> on that exchange as our colleagues here have laid out, it was disserving because it was so clueless and really missing the point. my only extra observation to echo the analysis we've heard is we have someone under oath in michael cohen who spent ten years as the reverend was just explaining dealing with these issues were donald trump as well as legal and business issues. and what he basically laid out under oath under the threat of
more jail time if anything is a lie. what he laid out was in michael cohen's telling under oath, is here is a man who is always abusing everyone and lying to everyone and taking advantage of everyone around him and he has almost no core believes. he didn't want to really be president. that's not what this was about. this was one more massive scale way to take advantage of people but to the extent he has believes, one of them is, according to cohen's testimony under oath, alleged racism so i think that's part of what was going on in the room and why that was such a tense exchange because other republicans who are cosigning felt needs in different ways, to -- they felt the need to say oh, my god, however clumsily, they felt a need to address that and i think that is -- >> it's important because -- >> that debate in america is not over. >> so what was your legal
takeaway? what are the legal consequences of this? what does it mean for future investigations in other jurisdictions and what does it mean for future investigations in elijah comings house oversight committee. >> i'll run it down, joe. number one you have michael cohen's testimony, the roger stone and donald trump both lied about the early head ice up on wikileaks and clinton e-mails. that's huge and brings potential legal peril to both stone and trump. number two, the new york feds have a brodmann date. when cohen says he can't discuss his last conversation because it's under investigation in new york. it tells us the new york feds are looking at something else that donald trump was asking michael cohen. could be obstruction, could be something else. and the cover upof the hush payments involving the widening
conspiracy and the misuse of funds and again, of other people we've heard about, but this was eyewitness testimony with written evidence that the family donald trump jr. and another trump exec were in on that. is that a chargeable conspiracy? we're not there yet but we are darn close. >> so michael cohen also discussed the last time that he spoke with president trump but was tight lipped on the specifics. >> when was the last communication with president trump or someone acting on his beand a half. >> -- behalf? >> i don't have a specific date but it was a while ago. >> do you have a general keim fra -- timeframe? >> i would suspect it was within two months post the raid of my home. >> okay. so early fall of last year? generally? >> generally. >> and what did he or his aide
communicate to you? >> unfortunately, this topic is actually something that's been investigated right now by the southern district of new york and i've been asked by them not to discuss it and not to talk about these issues. >> okay. joining us now the lawmaker who asked that question. in addition to yesterday's oversight proceedings the congressman will also participate in today's closed door hearing with cohen before the house intelligence committee. let's get back to your question, congressman. why do you think that michael cohen couldn't reveal the details of that final conversation? >> well, i think that as he said, the feds in the southern district of new york asked him not to. and then i asked a subsequent question which i think might be related to it but we don't know for sure. i basically said is there any
misconduct or illegality that you're aware of regarding donald trump that we haven't discussed today and he said yes, and then i said, what is it and he said, again, i can't discuss it because of what the southern district of new york prosecutors have instructed me about this. >> congressman, you said after the hearing yesterday that you found michael cohen to be a creditable witness. obviously the thrust of the republican argument is that he's not a credible witness for the fact that he's lied to congress before. why did you find him this time credible when he clearly wasn't and admitted not being honest last time? >> i think that his statements were largely consistent with his testimony and other statements he's made. they were specific and then just his demeanor and the way he said what he said suggested to me that he was credible. i mean, if there's anybody that knows the consequences of lying to congress, that's michael cohen because he's in part going
to prison because he lied to congress. and he knows the consequences in terms of months and years at this point. if he lied further yesterday, that would only add to his time in prison and at this point i've got to believe he's trying to lessen his sentence, not increase it. >> what do you do with statements and allegations like the one he made about the trump tower meeting where he says i overheard a conversation between donald trump jr. and donald trump where donald trump gave the go ahead to meet with russians to get dirt on hillary clinton. he provided no evidence of that. no documentary evidence. he's recorded a ton of meetings and calls before. donald trump jr. has come out and said that just didn't happen. so how do you weigh those things when michael cohen makes that allegation? >> again, i think that you're right. i think that some of what he said obviously needs to be corroborated and it's not really clear that he heard everything with the specificity that you
know, for instance he made other comments such a the conversation between roger stone and donald trump that he overheard on speakerphone giving him a head's up about the wikileaks dump. so i think you have to weigh different pieces of testimony differently and decide for yourself, you know, which should be probed upon more. >> congressman, the committee and michael cohen said they would avoid things involved in the mueller probe. then michael cohen testified about roger stone calling donald trump to give him a head's up about the wikileaks e-mail leaks which is the heart of the mueller probe. how do you explain that? >> well, as you know, you sometimes can't control witnesses. he presented this in his testimony originally and so then i believe that fit became, you know, something that the committee wanted to ask about more. i think that today obviously we're going to get into a lot
more detail in closed session in a classified setting with the house intelligence committee and again, i think it's really important to go further on some of the lines of questioning yesterday and get into a lot more detail. >> all right. thank you very much for being on the show this morning. a lot of questions. >> thank you. >> and reverend al, what were your thoughts at the end of the hearing yesterday looking back over everything you heard regarding obviously impeachment and the pressure that a lot of democratic activists are going to being on members to move impeachment hearings forward against donald trump as soon as they get information. do you think yesterday was the first step toward that? >> i think it was a major step toward that. what i was looking for, as you know, joe, michael cornhen reacd out to me twice. what i was looking for was a
consistency and when he told me in private and what he said on that stand and as someone who has been a minister moegs of my life, i was looking for whether it was this staged contrition he showed me at breakfast or for real, that he really is concerned about how his kids feel about him and how he would be regarded. and i think that gaifzve a lot credibility to the things that he placed that committee in which i think will lead to some firm steps to impeach the president. for him to say whether he had a recording or not that they had this kind of interchange i think makes it more authentic because he wasn't there trying to set up evidence. he was there because he was part
of the inner circle. if you match that with other things, i think the democrats are forced to move forward because there's enough there that you have to drive forward. otherwise you betray your oath to the american people. >> and so much of what he said rang true. as donald trump said earlier today where he could have actually attacked the president, but actually said some things that were exculpatory towards the white house. >> absolutely. >> and this president and the family. you know, the wall street journal's editorial board is out. in it they write in part this. the day was above all a reminder that americans elected a president in 2016 who had spent decades in the sleazy business of new york business and tabloid life.
even brought in paul manafort as his campaign chairman for a time. republicans knew all of this when they nominated mr. trump and now he and the gop will pay a political price as democrats marinade in that blue past in hearing after hearing. character does matter, especially in president trumps. a very powerful message from an editorial board who didn't think a lot of new mfgs came out yet. but i know you like me, enjoined with a lot of our friends and saying yesterday, there's a really dark day for the republican party. >> it was. and it was for exactly the reason the editorial board said one of the things that mycocohen talked about is where he pleaded with republicans, don't be like me. don't be against your character.
don't go against your code and it was disappointed to watch member of member on the republic inside not ask a legitimate question. not using the probative value of testing the witness's credibility. not being curious enough, joe, to let me test whether or not these things are true and if they are true, we may have a serious problem with the president of the united states of america. the water gate hearings they were bipartisan as they were looking into whether or not nixon had committed rieg crimes and misdemeanors. it was just very disappointing to watch. >> i want to go back to something that is so crucial and here's this black woman, we have to -- if we're going to have real discussions about race, we
have to talk about the gamut of racism. there is racial heat and racial see peer yo-- superiority and di think meadows has hate in his heart for black people? no. there are so many people do not understand how racist that is to do when he is an his ark versus some of the other people. somebody would have to say an offcolor joke. does that mean they're racist? until we can have those honest discussion we can't get to the core of racism. what he did and the fact that he is defending it it's so absurd, it's ignorance. >> that's why i said you have to deal with racial insensitivity all the way to bigotry which are second things but on the same line. let's not let meadows become the distraction to trump who michael cohen was testifying about.
trump is obsessed with race. spike lee makes an acceptance speech and says do the right things in 2020. trump hears race. when you have anybody that is black or brown talks at all, you see race. you can see good morning. i'm al sharpton, mr. trump. don't call me a racist. he's obsessed with this. we wouldn't even know michael cohen if donald trump hadn't given him to us. well, we're going to accept what he had to say about you. >> as we look back on this week, maybe friday, maybe next week, maybe next month, maybe next year, what will it all have meant? >> i'd say three things. number one is the character
aeseszment of this man, dths. not just crime, but who is he as the investigator process lays that out. a man who rose on the racist appeal of birth irism and has add an min strags that's unwinding what -- all of that is not a crime but part of whether people want to make that judgment. the two, the point that joe was just raising, the editorial board looked at what cohen said and talked about character and the fact that they need to do this. it's the people trying to get away with stuff. things matter, viewers matter. voters matter, facts matter. i think that's a big part of yesterday at elijah cummings speech. the new york probe is not over. congress here under the
democrats is now trying to gather this information to be alongside without getting in the way of those probes and what we know is we have to follow the facts where they lead. but there's evidence that we saw yesterday that suggests if there are conspiracies and people who are misleading authorities, congress or try to commit new crimes, the system here is still working. >> all right. thank you so much. reverend al sharpton, thank you. sophia nelson, everyone should read your piece in the daily beast. the wrong person apologized in a side show but it was important and i'm -- i'm really, really frus tratded th-- frustrated. >> we'll talk to two former ambassadors about what happens next in the negotiation. "morning joe" is coming right back. ion. "morning joe" is coming right back
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ended on a soft note for 2018. the wall street journal says in breaking news, as the economy expanded at an annualized 2.6 rate in the fourth quarter of 2018. obviously well below the 3% that donald trump and the trump administration was predicting and that they were suggesting tax cuts would provide to the united states for some time. let's bring in mika, right now our next guest. >> yes, member of the house foreign affairs committee, congresswoman from virginia and former state department spokesman nicolas burns. he's professor of diplomacy and international relations at the harvard school of government. and former u.s. ambassador to south korea. now advisor to the chancellor at the university of denver, christopher hill. on monday, ambassador hill
published a piece essentially predicting the exact outcome of the hanoi summit which ended many say in failure for president trump. >> so ambassador hill, first of all, tell us why you expected this summit to fail and more importantly, tell us what it means not only for the united states, but really more importantly right now for south korea, japan, and other american allies in that region. >> well, obviously they're going to have to do some regrouping and think this through better. as a baseball manager sometimes the best deals are those that you don't take. this is not a deal to be taken. the question i have is there's always some preparation, so they must have known that the north koreans were demanding all sanctions in return for shutting down the plant. and the problem is their enormous, you know, expectations that they have other facilities, so in the absence of knowing
what the totality is, schuhutti down is not going to be enough. when i dealt with the north koreans sometimes they side come in and they'd walk back their position. i'd say okay, thank you very much and i'd go upstairs and meet with the chinese and tell them i'm never going to talk to them again until they walk back their walkback. the problem with this bilateral business is we have no one to turn to at that point and so i think they need to regroup and i would really urge them to think in terms of a better sort of diplomatic architecture, get south korea more involved. get china more involved so that we can really kind of work on this so the north koreans don't get to turn to someone else and say oh, the americans were mean to us and that sort of thing. >> so ambassador burns, would you expect the chinese are
disappointed by this outcome? >> i think the chinese are not surprised. this was a bad deal that kim jong un offered and president trump was right to walk away but he does have to regroup as chris has said and the united states needs to have a lashlarger stra than just being buddies with kim jong un. that hasn't worked out so well. we've got to ten gauge and we should do two things. go back to stronger sanctions. that's going to be tough because the president's been so forward leaning about his friendship with kim jong un, so fawning about him that it's taken the pressure off the chinese and russians on sanctions. we've got to put more pressure on kim jong un in a diplomatic context. i also think we ought to go back to full military exercises with south korea to show the north koreans we're staying on the peninsula and we're going to hold our position until they bend to our position which didn't happen in these last two
summits. >> i just wonder where we go from here and what our government can do despite this president who is quite distracted during this summit, was tweeting about other things about michael cohen. at one point, you know, dropped demands for full accounting. he's not necessarily a figure that one can count on in terms of predictability i think is fair to say. so what can the government do to work together despite him? >> i think there's troubling things that we've seen. the lack of preparation, the lack of taking into account reports from our intelligence community. i think it's important that we continue, we being members of congress continue to affirm the role of congress and any offensive military action, confirm the role of congress related to sanctions and treaties and work to ensure that you know, we are part of the discussions because what has
been so troubling is that it does look like the president is attempting to pursue diplomacy just based on one on one conversations and as the other guests said, that is absolutely not in the best interest of the united states and certainly doesn't >> david ignatius, i know you questions for our guests. i have a quick one for you though. do you expect a showdown between the pentagon and this president regarding military exercises? >> joe, i think if there is any significant push from the white house to scale back military exercises as a way of making a confidence-building gesture with north korea, there will be strong resistance. i've already heard in conversations over the last week at the pentagon concern that readine readiness is declining. they tried to keep enough of an edge that they feel they've be ready to fight if they needed to. but any further pressure will get pushed back.
i would think john bolton as national security adviser would strongly urge the president not to do that. >> i do want to ask minister byrnes to help us think about where this goes next, starting with ambassador hill. if you were to sit down with secretary mike pompeo and his enjoy of state, what would be your next steps to try to get this process of negotiation on a better path after the essential failure of this round in hanoi? >> well, first of all, i would send deegan and may pompeo himself over to seoul and moscow as well. we need to get the affected parties more involved in this. the idea china would be sent over-action report is completely
unrealistic. we have to have an understanding with the other countries. one of the problems is, of course, china and russia have been urging the north koreans to kind of demand troop withdrawals or certainly a stand down of exercises in return for some elements of denuclearization. to do that, to involve exercises, even the peace treaty declaration, is basically to buy in to the north korean notion that they need nuclear weapons because we plan to attack them. and they know that's not the case. they want nuclear weapons to kind of urge us to get off the korean peninsula. i think we have to have a better understanding of the allies. and future summits, one summit a year with nato and one summit a year with north korea. really this is a time for others at that level to try to work out deals. again, they shouldn't leave it up to president trump to negotiate nuclear weapons. there should have been a clear
understanding so that president trump could sit with kim jong-un and talk about each other's haircuts rather than nuclear weapons. it should have been agreed ahead of time to send our president halfway around the world for something that was kind of half-baked i think is really problematic. >> ambassador, what do you think? >> david, we need leverage on our side. we've got a very good negotiating in steve beegen. he's smart. the president needs to empower him. we have to work with these other countries, japan, south korea, china, to build up leverage against north korea. i think that's the language kim jong-un would understand. it's what's been missing in this i think misbegotten bilateral dance between president trump and kim. >> i might ask a final question of congressman spanberger, in this situation with this round of summitry having led nowhere, there's some arguments that have
been made by the carnegie endowment at stamford university the u.s. should focus on the more limited process of reducing the north korean threat rather than make or break a total denuclearization deal. what do you think about that? >> i think overall we need to look at what is it we're trying to focus on? are we trying to keep our allies safe, ourselves safe? are we trying to have a diplomatic engagement with north korea? for me one of the biggest problems is it doesn't seem clear what our actual end goal is. i think defining it and having the president define it, having our diplomats define it, whether that's made public or not, is incredibly important because walking into deals and, you know, we're saying that this deal was a failed meeting but in the end, you know, at the singapore summit, we gave up concessions for nothing in return. frankly, from a u.s. government perspective, i am pleased we did
not once again, see the united states give something up in return for nothing. but i think what our larger strategic goal on the korean peninsula is -- should be the subject of much larger strategic conversations and not driven by a friendship that the president is pursuing or as the ambassador has mentioned, the outcome of one bilateral meeting once a year. >> congresswoman abigail spanberger, thank you very much. ambassadors christopher hill and nicholas byrnes, thank you as well. an important conversation. we're back in a moment with more on today's two major stories. on today's two major stories so with xfinity mobile
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please. think of my family. >> some really bad things happened to otto. some really, really bad things. but he tells me, he tells me he didn't know about it and i will take him at his word. >> how insane. in that state, in that state, mb did that without telling kim jong-un that, of course, was ot otto, a college student from iowa. they sentenced him to 15 years to hard labor and sent him back to the united states in a coma. they so brutalized him and he died. this morning is the third anniversary of his public placing around the world, president trump actually says he believes kim jong-un. that pretty much says all we need to know.
>> giving him a pass on murder of a college student. >> mika, what are your final thoughts this morning. >> that sums up where we are with this presidency and what we saw all day with michael cohen and what we will hear about today as his testimony continues in private. >> johnny deutsche -- >> i'm sorry, go ahead. >> "the wall street journal" thing is as important as the michael cohen thing. the economy is softening. donald trump lost in a land slide midterms with a booming economy. in the democrats do not overreach, step away from the word impeachment and socialism and let the u.s. attorneys go after criminally, not politically, the economy continue to fall, you will take this guy out. do not overreach, joe. i know you have spoken about this eloquently and passionately. >> republicans and democrats have done that time and time again over the past 20 years. and whatever party overreaches ends up paying for it. david ignatius, final thoughts this morning.
>> joe and mika, watching michael cohen really felt to me for the first time like the watergate hearings, as kind of a deep, emotional resonance watching the degradation really of the republican side, as michael cohen said, as they basically tried to lie and cover up, hide the transgressions of the president and seeing elijah cummings at the end speak so powerfully to everyone. man, that was powerful stuff. >> really was. >> elijah reminded us who we are. his closing statements were everything you need to watch if you missed yesterday. >> so powerful. >> that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. thanks so much, mika. hi, joe and mika. i'm stephanie ruhle this morning. president trump's rough week after flying halfway around the world in search of a deal, he fails to reach an agreement with kim jong-un during their second nuclear summit but is no deal