tv Cashin In FOX News May 20, 2017 8:30am-9:01am PDT
is going to be saying he wants to find areas of mutual cooperation without trying to lecture them how to begin or live their lives. that's good, but at the same time there are going to be people in the united states on both the republican and democratic side who say, why aren't you standing up for women's rights because presidents be there democrat and republicans have traditionally done that. the president will have to find a way to keep both saudis and the muslim world happy, as well as keep american critics happy and that's a very fine needle to thread. >> evan, you used the same word that judy miller used, or phrase she used, a lot of needles to thread with this speech. and any speech begins with a simple question, who is the audience for this? is it the american people? is it his supporters who he was so tough about taking on terrorism and calling it radical islamic terrorism, something that he over and over said was so important or is his
audience the saudi arraignions or iran? you can't make all the people happy all the time. who is most important tomorrow? >> it's an audience of the world. the president, what he says is closely watched in beijing, pyongyang, here in new york, washington d.c. and everywhere else including riyadh. because the president has yet to fully outline the trump doctrine and foreign policy in a speech. we got a preview of it with the strike in syria which he was very right to do, but we haven't had elaboration and this is a good opportunity for him to tell the world not only the citizens of the world, but the leaders of the world. this is how america is going to be going while i'm in charge of it. >> i'm curious because tomorrow is day two, obviously, it's a nene-day trip. he's visiting other countries as well. that he also has to set a tone for this trip and i know when we talked to judy miller, she said a lot of these countries need to be woven together and work together to build a coalition. can he accomplish that tomorrow? and how does he set the tone,
not only for the global audience you mentioned, but also for the next few days of this trip? >> well, the first tone he has to establish is american leadership is back. look what the failure of american leadership brought us over the past eight years and that was a disaster in syria, where president obama called not striking syria because of the atrocities that were committing against their own people a political-- or the most politically courageous thing he'd done as president. that was political cowardess and president trump needs to show the opposite. the middle east can be attributed to president obama and not only what he doesn't do in syria, in libya, egypt and elsewhere and we have to have president trump set the course of the ship back toward north, which is a more stabilized region and more stabilized world.
>> hate to interrupt you. i want bring this to you from the pool. when the president is overseas, he has a group, a small group of reporters travelling with i am had, a couple of wire reporters, some still photographers and then television producer and television photographer supplied by the networks and they report for all of us. they were inside this bilateral meeting with the crowned prince who is the defense minister and president trump that's still ongoing from the pool now, the president making a brief statement, this would have happened about five or six minutes ago, making no news, so we didn't learn anything new, but the rough notes from the pool, it was a tremendous day, said the president, tremendous investment, hundreds of billions of dollars into the united states and said, jobs, jobs, jobs, which is a turn back almost to domestic policy that we see. even as the president is overseas, still speaking to that front. evan, stand by, i think we're bringing judy miller back in as
we await this press conference, hearing that it could be delayed even longer. judy, anything you make in terms of this deliverable of $110 billion arms contract? is it a red herring, simply a gift from the saudis to president trump or do we read more into it? >> no, i think this is definitely a signal saudi arabia wants to continue to do business, and arms business with the united states. you know, saudi arabia is already the fourth largest military spender in the world. more than the u.k. so, the fact that they're buying these weapons from us is a signal to us that, yes, they wants a long-term partnership at a time when they are also trying to begin to develop their own arms industry. so, it's a very important signal, as is this press conference about oil. that's the second thing to watch for.
>> and obviously the saudi military suddenly now using the military a lot more in its fight against the iranian-backed rebels in yemen. >> i want it bring in john roberts in the room here as we're awaiting the press conference with secretary of state rex tillerson and his counterpart. now, john, i want to bring you in, although you don't have a crystal ball, i want to ask you before these two men approach the podium, what expectations or what predictions do you have that we will hear from these two men? >> i think and good morning again to you elizabeth. i think you're going to hear a lot of words of-- between these two men, a new day with saudi arabia. they weren't happy with the last president, a chill, a mutual irritation between the two leaders. rex tillerson is in the building we understand. you can tell from the first few
hours of the visit it looks like a new day centered around the $110 billion arms deal. problem for saudi arabia, can can't buy its way to security. and they're number three in the world in terms of military spending, but 127th in terms of readiness and their ability to mount an effective defense in the country and go after terrorism. so there's a little bit of a disconnect there so something clearly they'll need to work on. but this is $110 billion in business for the american arms and electronics industry, because a lot of this involves electronics as well as missile. and it's a $350 billion deal over ten years, so, in terms of the military/economic relationship between the two countries, off on a very strong footing, it's also interesting to watch the body language between president trump and ki
killng-- king salmans. and the president meeting with the deputy crown prince and bin salmans is trying to reenact reforms in saudi arabia and loosen up the doctrine between men and women in this country and we'll see where he goes with that, it's a country slow to change, but he's trying. >> that's something if you don't mind expanding on. first of all, you said you can't buy your way to security, but you mentioned other efforts going on within the country, trying to reform the country and we also heard this, if i'm not mistaken, from ben hall, sort of a younger generation coming up trying to reform the country as a whole to strengthen it on the global stage. do you see that? >> we haven't actually had much of a chance to get out and about to witness it in person, but it's a program that's ongoing. of course, the leaders of this country, the royal family, run up against the theocratic leaders as well.
there's only so much change that they can enact and change can only happen so quickly, but they want to bring saudi arabia into the modern world. they know that the oil is one day going to run out. they're trying to change the economy, and in doing, that probably need to loose and lot of restrictions in place for decades now. it's something that's not done overnight. >> and they've got tone, as you've reported on, john, they've gotten so much pushback in terms of when they tried to cut the salaries and having to put them back and having to deal with the religious police there as well in terms as they've tried to loosen things up. john, i'm curious, up until now, nine-plus hours into this trip, is this entirely choreographed, ultimately sort of made for tv show, and the saudis obviously understand imagery as well as the united states, no surprise the king shows up at the tarmac and greets the president as he walks off air force one. this is the first time that the
press has an opportunity to question members now of both sides, from the saudis and the americans. what is there to press secretary tillerson and the foreign minister on? where is the pushback to the pomp and circumstance and the warm hand shakes and smiles we've seen for the past nine hours? >> i think some of the pushback is going to come in exactly how the cooperation between these two countries will come together and will work in the long-term. in terms of trying to root out the roots of terrorism, extremism and radicalism. the president is dialing his language back a little bit from the language that we heard during the campaign where he talked at every campaign stop about the need to name and fight radical islam elk terrorism. i'm told by sources those words radical islamic terrorism was not in the initial draft of the speech, yet cautioned it could come back in. the other thing that the united states and saudi arabia want to
work on, and the proof will be in the pudding here, what they can do to try to rein in iran. saudi arabia very appreciative that this president shares the view that iran is a threat to many of the u.s. alice -- alley ins the arab world. it's difficult in the years past and we'll see in the years to come. >> no surprise as you've been reporting, this is the president's first overseas trip and meaningful, of course, it's to saudi arabia. how is the staff doing for the first night out? you've traveled with a lot of presidents and covered a lot of presidents. do they seem like they're drinking water from a fire hose? give us a sense what is happening beyond the cameras. >> typically when you're a staffer for the white house and
the press deals with a that, to. >> and there was a dube proposition at best. it's airplane sleep and that's good as bed sleep. and they've got meetings all the way over here. if they've got a couple of hours sleep, they need to go into the high level meetings where the wrong word can throw things completely off track. they appear at the beginning to handle this quite well. as you mentioned, leland, this was very well orchestrated almost down to the second and although it's running late in terms of the optics, people coming together to change the document. i think what would be interesting to watch, tomorrow, when the president gives the speech on iran to the summit, he's got a speech written by steve miller.
and we all know that steve miller has conservative views when it comes to american security and lockstep with the president in terms of the campaign trail, we understand from a briefing yesterday that that language has been smoothed out and dialed back a little bit. and a little less strident. he's talking tomorrow before 50 leaders from arab and other muslim countries. we don't know at this point how well that speech will be received. but i think that will really be a key moment for saudi arabia. >> just sitting there john, any surprises so far in this? is it pretty much gone as scripted? >> well, one of the big surprises for a lot of the people when the president touched down, when the king came forward and shook the hand of the president and first lady. there were a couple of gasps in the briefing room because of that, because it's something that you don't normally see,
and the hand shakes were repeated again when the president came to the palace. i think that was probably one of the most surprising moments, but i think, also, reflects the changes that the deputy crowned prince, bin salman is trying to put through here to saudi arabia, and loosen things up a little bit in terms of the separation between men and women over the decades. >> you said you didn't necessarily have the time to get out and about, but obviously, as you mentioned in your earlier reporting, there's turmoil here domestically for a number of reasons. do you get the sense hovering over this, the tiptoe on the first foreign trip that they're fatigued by that or it's all hands on deck and the focus is the here and now? >> well, elizabeth, i think you can safely say that given everything going on in washington, that the president
is happy to be in saudi arabia this weekend. he is in a place where he is appreciated. he's on very friendly territory. he is held in very high esteem by the saudi leadership and happy to be away from washington. no question, i've seen this time and time again on foreign trips, that ultimately it's never about the foreign trip, it's about what's going on back in washington. i saw it with bill clinton, saw it with george bush and now again with president trump, there's a swirl of controversy surrounding him given the latest revelation what he told the russians in terms of firing james comey. >> john, i hate to interrupt-- >> go ahead. >> does that weaken the president meeting with the foreign leaders? it's not always roses and kisses and hand shakes in these meetings. sometimes the president's got to be tough, even with allies, got to stand up for american interesting, even with somebody like the saudis and israelis. is he weakened in some way by
the controversies that are going on back in washington and sort of having this baggage that he's had to fly over with? >> you know, i'm sure that there's a little bit of chatter going on behind closed doors when the saudis are alone together about all of this. the president's strength here in the region is based on the fact that he can sit down and he can sign $110 billion arms deal and bring together the heads of corporations like lockheed martin and raytheon and general electric and others and do business with the saudis. so, i think that his problems going on back home are far off the table here, when you compare it to what the saudis are actually getting from this president. so, i mean, it's clearly something that weighs on his mind and i heard somebody say the other day, what president trump needs to do is perfect the art of compartmentalization that president clinton was so good at. take that problem and put it in a box and focus on what's ahead of you. i don't know if president trump
has been able to do that. he hasn't tweeted anything in that regard. you know, in terms of-- >> hasn't tweeted at all. >> dogging him back home in the last 48 hours. we'll see because this is a long and pressure-filled and exhausting trip for him. so we'll see how he does from that standpoint. >> this is day one from our viewers. what's going on. 6:45 p.m. riyadh, saudi arabia, you're looking at the hotel there on screen left. we've got john roberts chief white house correspondent travelling with the president. screen left is a press briefing room where we're awaiting now about 45 minutes late the secretary of state of the united states and his saudi counterpart who will address the media and talk about the first nine and a half or so hours of this trip that's unfolded here on saturday. >> that's right, i want to get this in before we go back to john. we have a couple more questions for him as we await the press conference between secretary of
state rex tillerson and his counterpart. the cost of freedom business block was not seen today, you can see it between between 4 and 6 a.m. and-- >> they had a lot to talk about for this morning, so. >> they did. >> you want to check that, your favorite hosts there. john, as we continue with you in riyadh, so much of the discussion as you pointed out has been-- the focus has been on isis, isis, isis. the other huge component of this trip is iran and we have that arab-american summit that the saudis are hosting tomorrow, the other gulf countries coming together, looking to the united states to make this pivot from president obama's view of iran to president trump's view of iran. the saudi arms deal conceivably to allow them to be a regional
count counterweight to iran militarily. >> and what's the saudi perspective iran and isis. what's keeping them up at night and looking for the united states for reassurance on? >> leland, i think you can make the case as important as the case against isis is, it's particularly important for the united states and european allies because we've seen the terror attacks in europe and so many times. i think you could probably make the case that for saudi arabia, the bigger deal is iran. saudi arabia has long seen iran as an existential threat coupled with lebanon and syria, that iran is changing the face of the whole middle east and they want the united states to adopt a much different posture than the obama administration had. elations-- >> it looks like we just lost john roberts.
he was in riyadh, actually in that briefing room you see right there. we're awaiting secretary of state tillerson and his counterpart, the saudi foreign minister. as john was saying, as much as the focus has been on counter isis and fighting islamic terrorism, a big part of president trump's campaign, for the saudis for the gulf states, for where president trump goes next, it's iran. we already saw just, you know, sort of the effect of that, t theithe saudis are fighting a war outside of their borders, outside to yemen to the south. >> i want to bring in judy miller in the conversation. and continue what we were talking about with john roberts. saudi arabia and some of the gulf states, especially when it pertains to iran. i want to go over some of the details of the deal that they came to an agreement on, 110 billion effective immediately,
350 billion over the course of ten years, there were a number of private sector agreements in that deal, but as far as long-term safety is concern. this not only behooves the united states, there's a presence there, but helps the country of saudi arabia and the gulf states. what's your reaction when you saw, really, the outline of this particular deal? >> i think what i reacted to immediately was the prospect of jobs, jobs, jobs, in america. and what this means for us. i mean, the saudis are saying to us, we believe in your weapons, we believe in your security guarantees, and we're investing in america, which is a huge payoff for president trump who has made such is repeated theme in the campaign and now as president of bringing jobs back to america. so the saudis are saying, we're going to help you and they're
doing that, by the way, at a time when they are under tremendous financial strain themselves, because their foreign reserves are down by 30%. now, they have over-- they had over 700 million dollars worth of foreign reserves and now it's down to about 500, but the strain on them is particularly severe. so they're doing this as a political payoff to america, that means a great deal to donald trump. >> we're going to ask you to stand by and come back to you for more questions as we await this press conference. in the meantime, i want to bring in representative chris collins, representative from new york. first of all, congressman, thank you so much for joining us. i do want to get your reaction as we await here for the secretary of state rex tillerson to take the podium with his counterpart from saudi arabia. i want to ask you, you probably have been watching the coverage this morning. i want to get your reaction so far on the president's middle east trip. >> well, i think, you know, as
president of the united states and all the issues around the nations, i think it's a very timely visit and you know, just speaking to the other nations, that we're standing with them, you know, to continue the fight against isis, but there's a lot of issues that need to be addressed. >> that being said, do you find it motivating, sir? we have been talking so much about distractions here at home, especially when it comes to this administration, do you find this motivating in the sense that the president is doing his job, perhaps lawmakers can get back to the hill and focus on this session of congress? >> well, i mean, certainly that's a good piece of it, but this trip has been planned for a while so i won't say it was done strictly to distract the public from some of the other issues, but with that said, it is nice to see the president overseas and to see the dialog on many of the news shows now shifting in that direction as,
you know, i'll call it the hysteria surrounding the russian situation, the comey situation, with a special counsel now that can just go play out as it will over the next any number of months, as those of us that are working on tax reform and health care reform and infrastructure can get back to our job in d.c. and meanwhile, secretary of state tillerson and the president can be meeting with foreign leaders around the world, that's a key job of our president, to take our issues of democracy and freedom across the world. so, it is a welcomed presidential trip that many of us are just looking forward to, you know, to the secretary of state and the president meeting with world leaders. >> as we wait for this press conference. i want to ask you about some things going on here at home. i want to get your reaction to the announcement of a special counsel within the fbi. do you feel as if you and fellow lawmakers can really focus, as you mentioned, on tax reform, on obamacare, on
infrastructure, now that this special counsel has been named? >> you know, certainly we're waiting on the senate to do what they have to do on health care and we're looking forward to a conference bill we can send to the president. we're knee deep into tax reform. i met with secretary mnuchin and gary cohn last week, a small group of us, what we think will happen with the budget reconciliation and where are we on issues of interest deductibility for corporations and the white house, the administration is knee deep in getting tax reform and infrastructure over the finish line and not slowing down at all. and many of us are welcoming that, that discussion as we try to fulfill the campaign promises we made to america, not only on health care, but certainly on tax reform and infrastructure. >> there were certainly some headlines this morning that included former fbi director
comey's name where his name was brought up in conversations between the president and russian men in his oval office, which we've talked about a number of times. i want to ask you, when you learned that fbi director, former fbi director comey agreed to testify publicly before the senate intelligence committee, of course, after memorial day, did that surprise you that he preferred the public setting as opposed to a private one? >> no, i would say there's no question director comey, you know, has enjoyed the limelight. he certainly politicized the office of director of the fbi and many would way inappropriately so he is now gone, but you know, if i remember back just a short while ago, he certainly indicated he had not been pressured at all by the white house relative to the russian probe. i hope he's not changing his tone there, because he's already said that he was not pressured.
so we'll have to see what he says. i think we have to take some of it with a grain of salt because he is, you know, trying to protect his legacy to some extent, but i look forward to hearing what he's got to say. i don't think it's going to be incriminating towards the president and the sooner we put this behind us, the better. the special counsel, again, has taken the hysteria away from it. gentleman mueller do his job, he's well-respected across the aisle, so, you know, we'll let that play out and let's get back to the business of getting this country moving. >> right, and he is a private citizen and we certainly could continue this conversation, rent collins. i have to interrupt you because if you are seeing a live feed right now, we are seeing it appears, that i believe that's secretary tillerson, he is at the doorway there, he is just approaching the room, this is as we mentioned, the hotel where a number of media members have gathered for this press
conference between secretary rex tillerson and his counterpart. we're going to break in so we can all listen live now. >> are we ready? okay, good evening, everybody, i would like to welcome all of you to the kingdom of saudi arabia, it's a great pleasure and honor for me to welcome my colleague and friend, rex tillerson on his first visit to saudi arabia as secretary of state. mr. secretary, while this may be your first visit as secretary of state, you have been here many, many, many times over many, many years. you know our country and our region extremely well, and i believe your country's fortunate to have you as secretary of state during this period. we, in the region feel very fortunate having you at the helm of the state department. we, today was a truly historic day in the relationship between the kingdom of saudi arabia and the united states and we believe the beginning of a turning point in the
relationship between the united states and the arab and islamic world. his majesty, the custodian of the mosques and donald trump signed a joint declaration which sets the stage of a truly strategic relationship between our two countries. it will-- our relationship will evolve into more strategic partnership. it will deal with ways to cooperate in terms of violent extremism, financing of terrorism, terrorism, increasing defense capabilities, working on a defense architecture for the region, initially between our two countries and then looking at how other countries can join. the strategic vision also includes trade and investment, education, and working in all fields in order to enhance our
common interests and deal with the challenges that face both of our countries. this is unprecedented. we have not had an agreement, i believe, signed by a king of saudi arabia and the president to codify the strategic relationship and where we want to take it moving forward. so this was a great accomplishment and mr. secretary, thank you for your efforts in this regard. the-- in addition to the signing of this strategic vision declaration, the two countries signed a series of agreements of both commercial as well as government to government that involve trade investment, that involve infrastructure, that involve technology, that involve defense sales, that involve saudi investments in american infrastructure as well as american investment in the kingdom of saudi arabia, whether in the form of building up our defense manufacturing capability or other areas. the total value of those
investments is in excess of $380 billion. i will not get into the details because i believe our colleagues have briefed the media about this extensively. we expect the investments the next ten years or so will provide hundreds of thousands of jobs in the united states and saudi arabia and lead technology from the u.s. to saudi arabia and enhance our economy and enhance american investments in saudi arabia which already are the largest investments of anyone. the custodian of the mosques and president trump had a very, very good and wide ranging conversation, they discussed, of course, the challenges facing the region and the world, they began by talking about the bilateral relationship in ways to enhance it and improve it in all areas. they discussed this scourge of terrorism, extremism, terror financing and how we can work together to eradicate it. they discussed the nefarious activities of iranhe