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 weekend.
(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. (INAUDIBLE)
(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, Greta.
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 the restaurant?
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 test?
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 answers.
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 to Baltimore.
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 coming up.
(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 this point.
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 that proven?
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 my administration.
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.
(CROSSTALK) 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.
(CROSSTALK) 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 govern themselves.
(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 administration.
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 problem.
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, doesn`t exist.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, except for the 28,000 troops that is on the border.
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 met.
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 problem, gone.
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 today?
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 your daughter.
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, because I put so much other information behind the scenes, photos, videos, and a whole bunch of things on Facebook. So you don`t want to miss out. There is a lot of going on my Facebook page, make sure you go, www.facebook.com/greta, Facebook. And I hope to see you tomorrow night 6:00 p.m. Eastern, Hard Ball with Chris Matthews starts right now.
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