For the Record with Greta, Transcript 2/13/2017
Show: For the Record with Greta
Date: February 13, 2017
Guest: Hallie Jackson, Kevin Baron, Karen Tumulty, Yamiche Alcindor, Eli Stokols, Pete Williams, Barbara Demick, Bob Scales, Karen Tumulty, Yamiche Alcindor, Eli Stokols
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOR THE RECORD HOST: Thank you, Peter. And for the
Record tonight President Trump and the Japanese prime minister at Mar-a-
Lago. New photos are raising security questions tonight, and a senior
administration official telling NBC News, national security adviser Michael
Flynn under fire over a call to the Russian ambassador. We`re learning
about an apology. And moments, the White House saying they are evaluating
the situation. And then there`s this, why North Korea launched that
missile? Was it deliberately done to send President Trump and the Japanese
prime minister a sinister message? And just a short time ago, President
Trump had a message for North Korea.
Breaking news on that North Korea missing test and growing questions how
President Trump and his team handled the aftermath. It was Saturday night
at President Trump`s exclusive club Mar-a-Lago. President Trump dining with
the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and it appears both leaders at the
dinner table in public receiving the word North Korea test fired that
ballistic missile. And then, a few hours later joint press conference heard
being called, and the two leaders, standing side by side and President
Trump announcing he stands behind Japan one hundred percent. He said no
more. And then today, reports surfacing on how all of these went down
during that dinner and in very public view. Some pictures then surfacing on
social media. This photo appears to show a group of people around the
Japanese prime minister, and shinning cellphone flashlights at a document.
And another photo appears to show President Trump with the Japanese prime
minister and others. We have not yet independently verified the timing of
the photos. Now, a video from the night appeared on social media over the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Along today and I
said, prime minister, I said come on Shinzo, let`s go over and say hello.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: And then there`s this, a press conference today. The
president said this about North Korea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Obviously, North
Korea is a big, big problem. And we will deal with that very strongly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Hallie Jackson is NBC News White House correspondent, Kevin
Baron is the executive editor for Defense One, Karen Tumulty is a national
political correspondent for the Washington Post, Yamiche Alcinder is
national reporter for the New York Times, and Eli Stokols is White House
correspondent for POLITICO. Hallie, first to you, what`s going on at the
White House over all this?
HALLIE JACKSON, NBC NEWS: Well, lots of action, Greta. I just walked out
from the West Wing to do the news here, as the press secretary was speaking
to reporters about – sort of what is happening when it comes to Mike
Flynn. And what is happening as well as the other news which is the
immigration executive orders that has been, obviously, under legal threat
basically for almost two weeks now. Let me start with General Flynn because
that is the headline of the day. You saw that statement that the White
House – the president himself is evaluating essentially what Flynn`s role
will be moving forward. Forgive me but I`ll pull out my notes because I was
taking some notes while we were in there. And essentially, the bottomline
is that that is the message that the president wanted to be conveyed via
his press secretary. That this evaluation is happening. I will tell you
this that a source who is familiar with the president thinking here and is
familiar with what is happening inside the White House that it wasn`t just
what Mike Flynn said to Vice-President Pence, prior to Vice-President Pence
going out and defending Flynn as you know on television very publicly. It
was also what he said Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, whether the national
security advisor forgot what was discussed on this phone call, whether he
mislead both the V.P. and the chief of staff. Regardless, it`s raising some
serious concerns. And I`m looking through my note here, this weekend the
president I`m told is very focus on Shinzo Abe. Obviously, today, focus on
Trudeau. He was aware of the situation. We`re not getting in to sort of how
he`s evaluating, and what`s exactly his evaluating. But, interestingly,
Flynn is still playing we are told an active role currently in the
administration, still fulfilling his duty as national security adviser,
VAN SUSTEREN: Hallie, stand by. I`m going to go to Kevin Baron. Kevin, when
we look at these photos, the social media photos, I don`t typically think
of such important matters as North Korea testing a missile as being sort of
for public consumption in a public restaurant, even though it`s Mar-a-Lago.
KEVIN BARON, DEFENSE ONE: Yeah, definitely not. So this is really what all
the national security world is talking about today. It`s incredibly
unusual, anybody who`s travel with an officials, I travelled with defense
secretaries that are Pentagon beats knows that there are plenty way to have
a secure communication when you need it. At a minimum, they could have left
the room and gone to a side room to have a small pow-wow. There should be
there already, some sort of skip, a secured compartmentalized facility down
there, which could be anything, it could be a side room, it could be a
trunk, it could be another building on the premises. But to just drop what
you`re doing and start that meeting in the middle of that dinner is just
incredible. It`s a sense of the – either there`s a lack of experience
professionals who are running the security ops, or maybe it`s just the
moment of Mar-a-Lago. But it`s got a lot of people talking. Now people want
to know what on those cellphones, anyone who took one out that turn their
flashlights, do they all need to be clear, who else was in the room, what
did they hear? It was just so out of the ordinary.
VAN SUSTEREN: And Hallie, let me go back to you, what did they say at the
White House today about this?
JACKSON: Yeah, you know, there`s new information – sort of coming out now
from our White House sources, and here`s what I`m being told, the answers
to some of the questions, I think, that`s Kevin speaking that he had. So
here what`s the White House is saying the discussion was happening about
the logistic of that sort of joint statement, you can call it, that both
Shinzo Abe and Donald Trump had late that evening. You know, sort of
whether it was going to be nearby hotel, whether it would be at Mar-a-Lago
trying to figure out that. That the people assembled around the table were
all staffers of either the Japanese prime minister or President Trump. And
President Trump was fully briefed about the North Korean missile launch
prior to the dinner in a skip, and a secure sort of compartmentalize
facility that travelled with the president, and that briefing happened with
his national security team prior to dinner, and them again in the skip
after the dinner as well. If that helps to answer some of your questions,
at least from the White House perspective from a roving told from sources
inside the West Wing.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did either one of you know was Mike Flynn in the picture in
JACKSON: Yeah. I have go back to the picture, Greta. I`m sorry, I have to
go back and look at the picture. He was in the briefing.
VAN SUSTEREN: And do you know, Kevin, – I mean it was such a public
display. I mean, look, if I saw the president of the United States using a
cell phone and a flashlight and they`re all pouring over documents, and
you`ve got national security people there, I`d be enormously suspicious, I
wouldn`t feel particularly secure.
BARON: Yes, this doesn`t happen. Yes, Flynn is in one of the pictures that
showed up in social media. I think the Facebook slide has a poll today, but
a lot of us saw it. And again, I said I heard what Hallie had said that
this was really them pow-wowing about how to do the statement. But the idea
to do it so publicly liked that – again, all of those cellphone devices
that came out, all of them are easily compromised the minute that they`re
out like that. There`s no pow-wowing about strategy about – but even
something like this, how to respond to a global national security crisis.
The latest – an ICBM test by North Korea that we`ve been waiting for in
weeks, to have that meeting in wide open like that it`s just, you know,
another wow moment for the new guys at the Trump administration.
VAN SUSTEREN: Hallie, I`m asking one more question before I let you go. Has
there any indication what the White House intends to do about this missile
JACKSON: You know what, Nikki Haley actually just spoke about it, Greta.
I`m not sure if you had seen his reporting. Forgive me again for looking at
my cellphone. I`m sorry we get a lot of these e-mails flying through. It is
the first indication that we have gotten about the plan, Ambassador Haley
saying that the United States is calling on all members of the Security
Council to use every available resource to make it clear to the North
Korean regime that these launches are unacceptable. She said it`s time to
hold North Korea accountable not with our words but with our actions.
That`s the statement from Nikki Haley. That`s the next question which is
what will those actions be? And we are continuing to work to try to get
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Go ahead.
BARON: Well, just to say, you know, there are no good options militarily.
We heard Trump say this that there`s going to be stronger version of a
response from America. But, again, it goes right to the U.N. The first
thing we hear it goes back to U.N. and enforcing something that the U.N.
would do which would be sanctions. Militarily, the pentagon for weeks and
months now have said if the next ICBM test is launched towards United
States or toward one of its allies like Japan, sitting in the room next to
Trump, that the U.S. absolutely reserve the right to shoot it down. The
North Koreans have said if you do that we consider that we consider that an
act of war. So there`s a little-bit of – what are you going to do about
this other than what we`ve already heard before
VAN SUSTEREN: And, of course, we are technically still at war with them.
But the thing that nobody is talking about is one is worried about the
Japan Sea. Let me turn to my panel. Karen, we`ve got 28,000 troops that are
340 miles out in the Japan Sea. They`re right there on the DMC.
KAREN TUMULTY, WASHINGTON POST: And that is why – again, all these
discussions – that`s what sort of makes it so shocking what happened in
public at Mar-a-Lago, given the stakes, given the fact that one of the
first things in his meeting with President Obama when Donald Trump said we
were talking about a very alarming situation. We found out that that
subject was in fact North Korea. So after all – you know, the many, many
months of criticizing Hillary Clinton for her lapses of security with her
private emails system, et-cetera, I do think that a lot of the Republicans
who were questioning her need to be raising concerns now. And one of those
Republicans being CIO director Pompeo.
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me ask, Yamiche, you know, this is enormously serious. I
mean, this is done and is done deliberately, at least, I believe, while the
Japanese prime minister is here in the United States with Trump. I mean
this was a message to both of them.
YAMICHE ALCINDER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: This was a message for both of them.
I think that what make this all warming is that this is really an easy
thing for people to understand. This is not something where he`s broken
protocol and other issues, and people have to kind to update this long
conversation about what this mean. And if he`s doing something different
than the last president. This is really a country that most people know is
– would be enemy to the United States firing this missile. And for you to
have that conversation in this public place where really it`s a private
kind of club that more – are increasing. That really I think shakes the
core of the people that supported him. I think that it`s very easy thing
for the American public to understand and that`s not something that Donald
Trump wants. He doesn`t want people to be really be looking at all his
actions and saying like, do you actually understand what you`re doing. Are
you actually prepared for this job.
VAN SUSTEREN: Eli, except – the White House position Hallie just reported,
they`re just looking at the joint statement or the logistic where they`re
going to make – I mean, OK, you know, that`s not national security whether
they`re going to go to one room or another to address everybody. But the
problem – but the real problem is that nobody has a solution for this
nation, the North Korea – I mean, the Obama administration didn`t, the
Bush 43 administration didn`t, the Clinton didn`t, everyone tried to
negotiate, to freeze them out, to sanctions, I mean, everyone tried
everything. And they keep on marching closer to miniaturizing a nuclear
warhead for a missile.
ELI STOKOLS, POLITICO: Right, it`s really serious. This was really the
first time this president had to step out and respond to an event like
this. And they had the press conference, they marched in the room, and
Trump said we will always stand with Japan.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, he said stand behind which I thought – he said stand
behind, I thought he should at least have said stand with them.
STOKOLS: But you expected more and that was it.
VAN SUSTEREN: But is there anything more, that`s the problem?
TUMULTY: Well, I think the other thing is only mentioning Japan and not the
other countries in the region, including Korea which.
STOKOLS: Is a perplexing statement in that sense that it was so short and
that – it wasn`t attack directly on Japan. So for him to only mention
Japan just because the prime minister is next to him was interesting. I
think this is – there`s a steep learning curve for this administration.
We`re seeing that everywhere you look. We`re seeing him say this vetting
order, the immigration vetting order is a huge matter of national security,
trust me. And to be so cavalier, you know, appearance wise about national
security to be sitting there, out on the patio, in ear shot of waiters and
guests to looking at these things, reacting to a nuclear missile test, I
mean, that`s crazy for this commander-in-chief. This is a person, Donald
Trump, who knows the importance of optics, of imagery. And the imagery of
that they have to be – they didn`t seem aware of it at the time.
VAN SUSTEREN: The roll of the executive order was horrible. And the imagery
of looking with cell phone in a restaurant is horrible. But underline all
that is said we`ve got a profound threat in the world. A nuclear armed
North Korea with the possibility or growing possibility of a delivery
system and that, and no president has been able to handle that. We have no
solution for that, Yamiche.
ALCINDOR: There`s no solution for it. And I can remember, I mean – I think
this is also been a problem that goes back decades. For the first time I
even think about, learning foreign policy – excuse me for being the young
one on the panel, thinking about it in high school when we were trying to
explain to what war was, and trying to explain to you what country are
really the threatening ones. North Korea was like top of the list. And now
you think about, 10, 15 years later, it`s still at the top of the list. So,
I think you`re right to say they`re really is no solution here. And it`s a
scary world, especially if you have someone – unexperienced as Donald
Trump. And he`s not really – and the people who surrounding himself with
right now are also problematic. You have Mike Flynn in this situation, I
just don`t think it`s stable for a lot of people who supported him.
TUMULTY: And also President Trump had said his strategy in dealing with the
world is to be very unpredictable.
VAN SUSTEREN: So we have two unpredictable.
TUMULTY: Exactly. If you have somebody on the other end of this equation
who is erratic – Again, it`s not – I think what people would like to hear
is a strategy.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, everyone talks about North Korea would never do
anything that was suicidal. I`ve been there three times. I don`t believe
that. I don`t believe that. And I think the thing that bothers me, Kevin,
is that – you know, everyone is focusing on the Japan Sea, and we`ve got
all our troops lined up at that border which is closer than from Washington
BARON: Yes, Seoul is 40 kilometers from the DMZ.
VAN SUSTEREN: With 11 million people or something.
BARON: Right. And so, that`s a whole different threat. I mean, that`s the
threat of a mass army invasion and rocket launches. But the nuclear – go
back to the ICBM. You`re talking about the policy.
VAN SUSTEREN: That was the medium range ones. They don`t have an ICBM as
far as we know right now.
BARON: Well, they don`t have ICBM – they don`t have an ICBM that could
reach continental United States yet, and we don`t think they can
miniaturize yet. There`s some intelligence that believe they`re there, they
still haven`t done it. For policy wise, it`s been a few weeks now and then
going back to the campaign where the hawks in Washington have already been
putting out a lot of statements in Op-eds and writing saying the next thing
to do is a preemptive strike. It may get close, and afraid to answer the
question what is close means. A strike on the missile sites, the mobile
launchers, their underground lab in North Korea and that just changes
everything. But it`s a short of that, what can be done?
VAN SUSTEREN: Even that though is that China doesn`t want 25 million
refugees pouring over their border. And I can tell you that – you know,
talk about the aftermath after we went into Iraq when – I think it was
Vice-President Cheney thought we`ll get parade. I`ll tell you one thing,
the people of North Korea who are everyday training to fight us since 1952,
they are not going to give us a parade. This is a very different country
and a nation that we can imagine. But everyone stay with me. Next, more on
the breaking news story, national security adviser Flynn in the hot seat.
President Trump spoke first giving an update. And much more on the breaking
news of North Korea testing a ballistic missile. No president had been able
to solve this nuclear crisis involving North Korea. And the crisis is
getting more serious. What is President Trump going to do? The latest
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: General Flynn has full confidence
of the president, and a big week for General Flynn. He`s the point of
contact for many of these foreign visits. General Flynn had said he can`t
recall and he had about 30 phone calls with I guess leaders at the time,
and since then 70 I`m told with different leaders, and I`ll just leave his
comments at that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway, just moment ago,
right here on MSNBC, defending Michael Flynn who is facing allegations that
he discussed hacking related sanctions with the Russian ambassador before
President Trump took office. And moments ago, NBC News also reporting Flynn
has now apologized to Vice-President Mike Pence for misleading him. The
vice-president gone on national TV one month ago and denied that Flynn had
discussed sanctions with the ambassador. The president has not addressed
the controversy directly. But late this afternoon, White House press
secretary Sean Spicer said that the president is, quote, evaluating the
situation and speaking to Vice-President Pence about it. But with the
panel, Kevin, Karen, Yamiche, and Eli. All right, I don`t understand this?
Is that Kellyanne goes on and said that the president is 100 percent behind
Flynn, and then Sean Spicer said he`s being evaluating. Why is we
evaluating if he`s 100 percent behind, Eli?
STOKOLS: Well, I mean, there you go, right? This is again, we`ve just
talked about the learning curve that is administration is facing here and
it`s difficult. They`ve got a situation they`re trying to spin. Kellyanne
is on TV saying one thing, and you may even have the president in the Oval
Office hearing her and saying, well, that`s not exactly right. I mean, it`s
very hard to get a read on exactly what`s going on, and they are sending
mix messages. What I hear from talking to people inside the White House is
that Flynn may be on thin ice. They are contemplating and thinking about
who could replace him, but they`re not quite there yet. So they haven`t
come to the decision – I understand that they`re going to replace him. And
two, if they do, they`re not set on who would they bring in. They want to
have a plan. They want to do this sort of professionally as possible at
VAN SUSTEREN: I see this as a less serious issue than North Korea. I mean,
its nuclear weapon issue. But, first of all, is there a transcript to say -
- I mean, Flynn says he doesn`t remember. Do we have a transcript, do we
have proof that he brought up sanctions with the Russian ambassador. Is
TUMULTY: Well, according to The Washington Post.
VAN SUSTEREN: You work there. You work there.
TUMULTY: . sources. Yes. The fact is when you`re talk to the Russian
ambassador you can assume the conversation that people are listening to it,
and those people – there are multiple accounts that it was brought up
directly. And in the context of, you know, don`t worry too much about these
sanctions, we`re going to revisit the issue after the inauguration.
VAN SUSTEREN: Jeremy Bash who worked for Panetta at the CIA and in the
defense department – and I know Jeremy holds himself as a Democrat, has
worked with democratic administration, he said he would not – I`m
paraphrasing, he would not find it unusual in a transition period for
someone in the transition team, Flynn in this instance, the national
security, to have a conversation with the Russian ambassador.
ALCINDOR: The issue is whether or not he misled the vice-president of the
United States. If this something that you forgot that`s one thing maybe.
But it would be hard to understand that he would have forgotten talking
about these sanctions. But if you gave – that you sent Mike Pence out on
to national television with the idea that you have never bought this up,
you assured him over and over again, or at least once that you – this
haven`t come up, and then you have months later coming out saying, oh,
actually, I don`t remember – and I think that`s what it`s really about.
It`s whether or not Mike Pence feels as though he intentionally misled him.
VAN SUSTEREN: And that`s why – I would like to see the transcript, if it`s
like a ten-page transcript and there`s only one line about it. Or whether
it`s a ten-page transcript and there are nine pages on it. See that`s why
that transcript to me it`s so important. Whether it`s something that you
could forget if you have a number of topics.
TUMULTY: But these are intercepts.
VAN SUSTEREN: No, no, no, I`m saying – I`m trying – I`m just playing
devil`s advocate with you. Trying to see – because, frankly, I forget
things I`ve said. So I guess I`m defensive.
ALCINDOR: I imaging that`s why he`s evaluating. I imagine part of those
conversations is how deep was the conversations, was it a whole
conversation or is it a bit of it? Is it something that I could have
forgotten? Or is it something that I felt like he actually misled parts of
TUMULTY: And I think the larger question, the big question is whether it is
time for President Trump to admit that he made a major mistake in this
particular hire in this very key position. And I suspect that is.
VAN SUSTEREN: He believes he was the right man at the right time.
VAN SUSTEREN: But the only sort of, quote, miss stepped by Flynn and it
could be a fatal one is whether or not he deliberately misled Vice-
President Pence accidentally, or maybe didn`t had the conversation about it
all, except I understand the Washington Post had talked to people who said
that it happened. Multiple people. Multiple people.
STOKOLS: Within the White House, Pence and Priebus had always been wary of
Flynn. I think this is about whether it rises up to the level that Donald
Trump himself is concerned enough to empower whoever it is, Jerry Kushner,
someone beyond Reince and beyond Vice-President Pence to make that
decision, make that change.
VAN SUSTEREN: But doesn`t Bannon like him? I mean, how did Pence get the
job in the first place?
STOKOLS: No – I mean, yes, but Bannon is not going to, you know, die on
this – if this is a problem and it upsets President Trump, you can bet
that Flynn would be replaced.
TUMULTY: Yeah, Flynn got the job because he was an absolutely stalwart
supporter of Donald Trump in the campaign. At a time when a lot of people
in the sort of military establishment wasn`t behind him.
VAN SUSTEREN: Kevin?
BARON: That`s exactly, yeah. Flynn got his job because nobody else wanted
it. I mean, let`s be frank here. The short list was Flynn. For the real
professionals in this world that would have done it. And Flynn`s reputation
was as wonderful as he was as an operator, even on the joint staff with
Admiral – by the time he got to three-stars, making the – he lost his
charm, and problems, and why he never made it past that level with Obama,
maybe some policy differences. But also, that management style. So, I think
this incident while, yes, you need to look into and try to find out what he
said, also did he lied to the FBI when he said he didn`t remember or not.
Was he telling the truth there.
VAN SUSTEREN: That could be more serious problem. That`s a crime.
BARON: Exactly. So beyond that it`s just one more page on the growing stack
of things that are not good for Flynn as an NSC leader. You can`t find a
single person who are watching right now who will tell you that they think
that Flynn is in control of the NSC, or the NSC is in control of security
policy throughout the federal agencies.
VAN SUSTEREN: You`ve got Kellyanne Conway going out and saying that the
president is behind him, and the president gets the last word on this.
BARON: You don`t have teams talking to each other between the state
department or the DOD, frankly. There`s no spokesperson at DOD or state
department who usually be in the room and messaging all that out.
VAN SUSTEREN: Kevin, thank you. We`re going to take a quick break. The rest
of you just stay with us. Ahead, North Korea missile testing could reach
our 28,000 troops at the DMZ. That is for certain, but what about the rest
of the region, the United States. But first, tonight there`re new
developments about President Trump`s temporary travel ban. That`s right
after the break.
VAN SUSTEREN: President Trump once again defending his travel ban. It
happened today in a press conference with Canada prime minister.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We will get the
criminals out, the drug lords, the gang members, we are going to get the
bad ones. The really bad ones. We`re getting them out. And that`s exactly
what we`re doing.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: The last thing Canadians expect
is for me to come down and lecture another country on how they choose to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: And now that travel ban the Trump administration now looking
to the U.S. court of appeals for the ninth circuit to rehear the case, but
the state challenging the ban are pushing for a trail on the merits back at
the trial court. NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams joins me.
Pete, do they really want the full court to hear this? The Trump
PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: They didn`t say so. All
they said is let`s wait till the ninth circuit act. Remember what happened
here, the easy way to think about this is the lawsuit itself is still in
the courtroom of the judge in Seattle who after getting a lawsuit from the
state of Washington and Minnesota put a temporary hold on enforcement.
That is what went to the ninth circuit, the ninth circuit as you know last
Thursday said that hold remains in place. After that happen a judge`s on
the Ninth Circuit on the judges own motions in essence asked all of his
colleagues to vote on whether the full ninth circuit to hear the case. The
question for the Seattle judge is what am I supposed to do now, because the
ninth circuit said let`s treat this like a preliminary injunction, are we
done. Where do we go from here? The government said today, let`s wait to
see what the ninth circuit does about whether the head of court another
rehearing before the full ninth circuit, the lawyers for the state said
let`s go ahead with the trial.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right the whole – the thing I`m having trouble with,
let`s wait to see what the ninth circuit does, because the whole the point
of this, is because there are something urgent going on and the whole point
of the roll out before telling cabinet officers, like DHS was because it
was urgent, so if it was urgent situation, you can actually – the
president could issue another executive order, sort of companion one, let
that one go forward and get challenge in courts and let this other one fill
through the ninth circuit or whatever serve legal or hoops that they want
it to go through.
WILLIAMS: Two points about that, all the government is saying judge,
before we tell you what the next step in your courtroom is, let`s wait to
hear what the ninth circuit does. The government can still go to the U.S.
Supreme Court and ask them to lift this stake. In the meantime, the
question is the one you asked, if the president Trump issue a new executive
order and there are indication that he will, then all of this stuff that we
are talking about just evaporates, it just go away, because it`s all about
the executive order he wrote on January 27. And it becomes moot. The
government could immediately start enforcing that new executive order and
then presumably the state or somebody else could go back to court again and
we would go true this all one more time. Although if the new executive
order is narrower, and just refers to people who never come here in the
first place, refugees, people who want to get visas then it might be a
tougher case for the state.
VAN SUSTEREN: Pete, thank you, very much.
WILLIAMS: You bet.
VAN SUSTEREN: Coming up, President Trump responding today about North
Korea`s missile test, why did North Korea do it and what it the threat to
the United States.
VAN SUSTEREN: Back to the breaking news in North Korea and U.N. Security
Council holding an emergency meeting today on how to respond to the missile
launch, new technology that could mean faster launch time and greater
reach. Barbara Demick is a former Beijing Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles
Times. She is also the author of nothing to envy: ordinary lives in North
Korea. And Major General Bob Scales also joins us. Barbara first to you,
you have spent an awful lot of time in North Korea has in which I wanted to
hear on what you had to say – looking at the strategies of the president
going back to President Bill Clinton, has anything been successful in
dealing with the people of North Korea.
BARBARA DEMICK, BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: Well this
is a very controversial thing to say, thank you for the question. I think
under the Clinton administration they had something called the agreed
framework that sort of kept things in check for a few years. President
Bush thought they could get something better, and he unraveled it and could
never put the deal back together again. And then I think President Obama
really just ignored it. Now we have another president inheriting this
VAN SUSTEREN: I thought that the agreed framework that Clinton had work
out back in his administration, there were cheating, that they were
discovered they were cheating which is one of the reason that they
ultimately fell apart.
DEMICK: There`s a lot of discussion about this, the Clinton people would
say that the way they were cheating was not exactly a cheat. They had a
highly enriched uranium program and some beaconing level. The Clinton
people would say it was better than nothing it was not perfect that there
was some loop holes that they exploited. At least plutonium program which
seems to be what they are working at now was kept under check.
VAN SUSTEREN: General Scales, let me talk about this missile. A medium
distance, it is not intercontinental but it went 340 miles in the Japan
Sea. Two questions, do you know if they have miniaturized a nuclear weapon
to put on a missile, that is the first question and secondly, could they
reach the DMC where we have 28,000 troops.
BOB SCALES, RETIRED U.S. ARMY: The first question is no and they are
probably five to six years away from doing it. Remember, to miniaturize a
nuclear weapon you have to get it down to a little less than a ton. That
is sounds like a lot, but for a nuclear weapon that is not very much. I
think your second question answer is yes, absolutely not only that this
missile will reach in the South Korea, they have almost a thousand missiles
that they can launch to the South. Not to mention 15,000 artillery and
rockets that they can fire a long range rockets that will actually reach
the city of Seoul, the city of what now, 13 million people. The threat to
the South is enormous, the threat to the United States to this stage,
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, except for the 28,000 troops that is on the
VAN SUSTEREN: Two questions for that, number one, has any of sort of the
rogue nation that they pal around with, like Iran, and of course they
bought technology from AQcon from Pakistan, do they have the technology and
the ability to miniaturize it for the benefit of North Korea and do they
have intercontinental ballistic technology?
SCALES: the answer is yes and yes. There is almost a rogue nuclear club
in the world today. It is mainly centered between Iran and North Korea.
There characteristics of the Iranian missile, you may recall was launched
about a month ago, almost identical to this missile. It`s a solid fuel,
roughly analyst flight characteristics to what the two missile that we
developed in the 70s and `80s. This is an active program by very bad
actors in the world. Remember Greta, it is important to understand, it is
now 2017. Making a nuclear weapon is no longer a high technology it`s an
engineering project. We are going to find this nation getting better and
better at this.
VAN SUSTEREN: For the 28,000 there on the border, for whatever reason
North Korea gets angry with us and they don`t have the ability to
miniaturize a nuclear weapon on a intercontinental ballistic missile but
they are angry with us for whatever reason, they have the technology to
shoot missiles at our 28,000 that are just non nuclear, right?
SCALES: Absolutely right.
VAN SUSTEREN: And the Seoul.
SCALES: Absolutely, remember, this is an army that is twice the size of
our army. It is 1.1 million men. And they have over 15,000 long range
rockets, artillery that can reach well into Seoul. Everything is – in
Korea everything is jammed up very close to the demilitarized zone.
VAN SUSTEREN: Barbara, based on your experience in North Korea, do you
have any sort of sense that they have almost a survival instincts. Do we
have any – let`s say the United States for whatever reason tried to do a
military strike, what would you anticipate, would be their response?
DEMICK: I think you would have a response that we used to call the last
lash of the dragon`s tail. If they thought that they are going down, they
could be very dangerous. That is how they stay in place because no one
knows how to get rid of them. Because you`re paranoid doesn`t mean you
don`t have real enemies who want to kill you. They believe that these
weapons of mass destruction are all that prevent the Kim regime from going
the way of Kaddafi or Saddam Hussein, they believe that.
VAN SUSTEREN: As to the actual people, when I was there, I have two
distinct impressions of the people that I thought were options. One is
that they may flee North Korea in the event of something, but then you
would have 20 to 25 people flooding into China, that would be the worst
humanitarian crisis you can imagine or the other is they are so devoted to
their regime and s certain that they would fight back with everything they
had, your thought.
DEMICK: I have talk to a lot of North Koreas about that. If they
perceived to be attacked by United States they would rally behind the
regime. I really do that they - even the North Koreans defectors I have
VAN SUSTEREN: That is always been my impression. The last time I was
there, I tried to explain to someone that on Saturday night, we Americans
are not sitting around training how to kill them, but we are ordering pizza
or Chinese food or a movie. But they actually believe they we were
training like they are training against us.
DEMICK: On the other hand, we were just discussing this before the show, I
think that if something happened internally and can the region collapsed
from within you would have lots of people saying, you know I have a belief
for the last 15 years and it`s not really a contradiction, but if we tried
to take them out from the outside, they would rally around. That is why
the threat of United States has been what`s kept them together.
SCALES: Greta, you and I have had this conversation. I firming believe
that this regime is far more fragile than they portray.
VAN SUSTEREN: He kills off anyone who gets in his way, when you are a
SCALES: But if we can attack – if that is the right word, if we can get
to the ruling with overwhelmingly information campaign, as much as we used
against the East Germans in the 80`s if we can get through the ruling elite
with media and with thumb drives and radios and loud speakers overtime, not
tomorrow, not next week, but over years I think we can wear down the
resolve, not all the common North Korean soldier are peasant, but of the
ruling elite in Pyong Yang to over throw this regime.
VAN SUSTEREN: And with that, I`m going to point out so many presidents
have tried. We have yet to figure out how to solve this very serious
problem. And it`s getting worse I think, anyway.
Thank you both.
SCALES: Thank you Greta.
DEMICK: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: President Trump and claims of voter fraud, his advisors
doubling down, but where the evidence and a singer are shows up for the
Grammy`s in make America great again dress. What happened to their sales
VAN SUSTEREN: Now three stories you may not know. Number three, a bomb
that dates back to World War II force evacuation yesterday in Greece`s
largest city. The bomb weighs 550 lbs. and was discovered 16 feet
underground during construction work, luckily the bomb was deactivated and
no one was hurt. Number two, there`s new design for airplane seats that
provides more aisle room as passengers board. The seats expand to make the
middle seat, two inches wider than the aisle and the window seat. People
may start fighting for that middle seat now. Ok, maybe not. And number
one, singer Joy Villa has gained lots of attention for showing up in the
Grammy`s in a make America great again dress. The dress was design from
President Trump campaign poster. She posted on Social Media that she felt
the need to stand up for what she believes in. Now the singer`s album is
number one on Amazon`s digital download, so there you go and now you know.
Now the voter fraud allegations back in the headlines. President Trump
claims three to five million illegal votes costing the popular votes just
like no evidence to back up that claim. Now Trump adviser Stephen Miller
is doubling down on the allegation saying the White House has provided an
enormous evidence of voter fraud.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: The White House
has provided an enormous evidence which respect to voter fraud, with
respect to people being registered in more than one state, dead people
voting, non-citizens being registered to vote, it is a fact and you will
not deny it, there are massive numbers of non-citizens in this country who
are registered to vote. That is a scandal, we should stop the presses as a
country, and we should be (inaudible) about the fact that you have people
who have no right to vote in this country, registered to vote, cancelling
out the franchise of lawful citizens of this country. That is the story we
should be talking about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Back with, Karen Tumulty, Yamiche Alcindor, and Eli Stokols.
Eli why, why is he doing this?
ELI STOKOLS, NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER FOR POLITICO: We don`t know why it
is like a compulsion to keep putting this out there without any actual data
to back it up. The Republican and Democrats were around the country, say
sorry, this is isn`t true. And in New Hampshire the latest sort of, you
know imaginary voter fraud claim they were making last week, they are
saying people were bussed over from Massachusetts. People have been focus
saying, no, that is not true.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: There`s data coming out of the
white house people are registered in other states including Steve Bannon –
VAN SUSTEREN: When you move, I have been gone for decades. I mean people
don`t forget to check that, but they don`t vote twice exactly.
ALCINDOR: When you talk to the heads of some of the organization that have
been dealing with voter rights for decades, people are talking about voter
frauds is because it`s going to be excuse for when you targeting different
areas of the country, we need to make it harder for them to vote, and then
becomes tactics about who you are picking out and Africans Americans are
going to be target about this.
VAN SUSTEREN: I just think of a better idea, let`s just give this one a
rest, I mean we take the bait every time it is brought up.
KAREN TUMULTY, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT FOR THE WASHINGTON POST:
But Donald Trump himself brought it up. Just within the last week, while
meeting with congressional leaders.
VAN SUSTEREN: I thought that Steve Miller was very effective on Meet the
Press and making this argument but then when I see this, I thought, why is
he doing this? Anyway President Trump and the Canadian Prime Minister
hosting a round table discussion and the advancement of women in the
workplace. The associated press rights about the rising policy of
influence of Ivanka Trump. Ivanka has been a vocal advocate for policies
benefitting working women and she was involved in recruiting participant in
setting today`s meeting agenda. Eli, Ivanka Trump has been on the
forefront representing women and working hard for women`s rights and had
been a good example for women forever, so this is no surprise.
STOKOLS: No. It`s easy for president of foreign leaders to find an issue
that they can find some common ground on. This Ivanka bring in photo op,
her sitting out message that they want to heighten the diplomacy a bit.
VAN SUSTEREN: People are talking about her rising influence. I think he
had a lot of influence with her father. She worked side by side with him
in the corporation.
TUMULTY: We`ll see whether that translates into him pushing legislation,
into him pushing initiatives. It should be mentioned it turns attention
from the fact that last week her father and Kellyanne Conway were both
hawking Ivanka`s brand in merchandise.
VAN SUSTEREN: A father will defend his daughter, if he had not defended
her I would have thought that was lame, you defend everything`s but not
ALCINDOR: There are real ethics questions on whether or not Kellyanne
Conway should be asking people to buy Ivanka`s products.
VAN SUSTEREN: She could not be doing that.
ALCINDOR: Ethics said she should not have done that.
STOKOLS: But Donald Trump liked it. I mean that was an audience of one.
She was doing that - it was Donald Trump who is sucking up the Donald Trump
because she felt insecure about her position in the West wing.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think she learned her lesson on that.
ALCINDOR: We`ll see.
VAN SUSTEREN: What do you mean we`ll see?
ALCINDOR: We`ll see.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think we will see a lot more of her influence, I mean it`s
tough to be a kid of someone in the White House. I think it`s tough.
STOKOLS: She remarkably poised, asked anybody that is around her, they
have nothing but positive things to say about her personally, you know
Donald Trump has got approval ratings on 40 percent, not really good. She
could be a good asset to him depending on whether use her in a right way.
If there are any sort of nepotism ethics questions that come with that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you panel. Ahead Democrats and Republicans have major
similarity and it is not very helpful for anyone.
For the record is next.
VAN SUSTEREN: I want to say something “for the record” ordinarily I`m not
in the business or giving either Republicans or Democrats advise, be
sometimes you just wonder, why do they self-inflict so many political
wounds. Take the republicans last week, silencing Senator Elizabeth
Warren. It is not whether the republicans are right or wrong, I let you
decide that, but rather - what were they thinking, more on speech, critical
on Jeff Sessions had been, a mere bleep on the radar screen with no
intention, but by silencing her, you put I on front page and it is all over
the cable news. And making it more explosive with the fact, the
Republicans shutdown a woman, yet the next day they let the male senators
read the same thing that she had wanted to read. That was dumb of the
Republicans but now some Democrats get their turn of fame, well dumb. Some
Democrats are urging now a breakaway party, splitting up the Democratic
Party into People`s Party. If they thought Electoral College in 2016, how
could it be possibly smart to shave off some Democrats and create a new
party? You do the math. It`s political suicide. Yes, that is dumb. If
politician in either party wants to win, skip the, knock off the fighting,
and just get the result. That is all the American people want, a result.
That is what they really want.
Thank you for watching, I will see you tomorrow night right here at 6:00
p.m. Eastern, if you cannot watch live, set your DVR. And now, I want you
to do something. I want you to go to Facebook page www.Facebook.com/Greta,
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There is a lot of going on my Facebook page, make sure you go,
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6:00 p.m. Eastern, Hard Ball with Chris Matthews starts right now.
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