tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC May 22, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT
i have been spending the last few days with you and ambassador nikki haley. it is also her first overseas trip as u.n. ambassador. i will have much, much more on our exclusive conversation and also what she saw in that massive refugee camp on sunday. we'll get to that in just a moment. more on that wide-ranging conversation. but let me bring in nbc's kelly o'donnell. she's traveling with president trump. she is just a stone's throw, if you will, in jerusalem. kelly, bring us up to speed on what president trump has done so far today. and also on what we can expect to hear from him and mr. netanyahu any moment from now. >> reporter: craig, this has been the second stop on the president's five-stop, nine-day trip and it's been framed in history with threads oh of what is new and different with the trump administration by the president and his team. of course, we saw for the first
time an airliner went from an arab country, riyadh, saudi arabia, landing directly in tel aviv. there was a lot of attention drawn to that, because that is not what is typically done. and then there was the opportunity for the first time to see a sitting u.s. president visit the western wall. and president trump and his family were there. we saw the solemn ceremony, the sort of exchange and explanation of history. and seeing donald trump making an observance of prayer, the kind of thing we have not seen from him in public in this way before. so that was notable. then there was the diplomacy and relationship that has at times been frayed. questions raised by some of the comments the president made back home where he disclosed in a meeting with the russian foreign minister and ambassador some intelligence, sort of boasting about the quality of the intelligence he receives. and in doing so, perhaps unknowingly, revealed classified
information to the russians and we later learned that the source of that information was the israeli intelligence service. of course, the u.s. relationship with israel is so strong, and a very notable exchange happened after what is a typical hand shake photo between president trump and benjamin netanyahu, the prime minister. intended to just be the photo-op of the moment. but both leaders inserted beyond the sort of stage craft of the moment to talk about intelligence first with benjamin netanyahu, affirming the u.s. relationship and then the president stopping everyone from leaving the room to make his own point. here's that exchange. >> the cooperation is terrific. >> just so you understand, i mentioned the word or the name "israel," never mentioned it during the conversation. never mentioned the word israel. >> reporter: so benjamin netanyahu affirming his
confidence in the u.s. system, and then the president sort of on the defensive saying he had never used the word "israel" in his exchange. but that's not how it had been reported. what had been reported he shared the classified content of the information, which he can do as president, but there were concerns about nations being concerned with their information being shared with countries like russia. so benjamin netanyahu wanted to make that point that at a time when there were so many diplomatic challenges in this long trip and the admission of the president's visit, that the intelligence piece, according to netanyahu, is not in trouble. the president sort of taking it a bit further and it was interesting to watch who was bettibe getting the last word, it typically should be the prime minister, and there was a little back and forth who got to cap off that very notable exchange in front of the cameras. craig?
>> as we're having this conversation, a look here at prime minister netanyahu. it appears as if they are waiting there at the residence for president trump to arrive in jerusalem for that joint news conference, if you will. andrea mitchell also standing by, our chief foreign affairs correspondent. so is steve clemens, editor at large at "the atlantic." and we also have the ambassador with us, as well. andrea, let me come to you for a moment. again, you've watched this play out here since trump touched down in saudi arabia to great fanfare. what do you make of the president's visit so far? as we watch president trump and melania trump make their way up the step there is to greet mr. and mrs. netanyahu. >> reporter: let's just listen in and hear what they may say, craig, as they're greeting each other. >> welcome to our palace.
[ inaudible ] >> andrea, i'm not sure if you know the answer to this question, but it's not going to stop me from asking it. what exactly is the president signing leer ining here in the do we know? >> yes, he's signing a guest book and writing quite a bit of an inscription. i can't read the inscription, nor should i. but they usually release those afterwards. but he's signing a guest book, and we heard the prime minister say to him as he was entering, welcome to our palace. that might have been a touch of irony, given he had just come from the gold plated palaces of riyadh, where there was an incredible royal welcome, if you will. this is far more humble, but it is quite a lovely home here in jerusalem in this beautiful walled city. the ancient city. and now melania trump is signing
the guest book, as well. it's quite a moment here. they're supposed to make remarks. >> this is a bible from 150 years ago. >> we know that they're going to be making remarks. we have not been told whether they'll be taking questions after these remarks here. >> right now, the netanyahus are showing a 150-year-old bible to the trumps. the president smiles at the cameras. then they're going to their marks. first they pose for pictures, craig. the four of them, the trumps and netanyahus, posing for the
cameras in front of two flags. then they are supposed to make remarks. >> andrea, the prime minister and president trump, they really do seem to have a great rapport when cameras are around. what do we know about their relationship when there are no cameras, is it pretty much the same? >> it is a very, very close relationship. they are allies. there have been a few frictions regarding this trip. and the intelligence issue. members of the family. >> nice to meet you. >> the netanyahus are introducing the two sons-in-law. so jared kushner is meeting the netanyahu's son-in-law. as we know, family is very, very important to president trump,
and jared kushner seen there in this greeting who organized this entire trip. a very big job. he and the middle east peace negotiator taking key roles. and kushner, in talking to reporters, both on the record and also some of his aides speaking behind the scenes, have been very, very eager as they portray this trip as a potential breakthrough. the relationship with the arabs in riyadh, and now this close relationship with israel. slightly marred by that photo opportunity earlier today. the president was more explicit than anyone had ever expected about the intelligence breach with the russians in the oval office, in effect confirming that israel was the injured party, by saying he never
mentioned israel. they're going to another room now, craig. i don't know if you can see this video, but the living room with a grand piano and they're being shown the room and the paintings on the wall by sarah netanyahu as president trump and melania trump walk through the living room. they are suppose to make remarks very shortly. i think there are two podiums set up and two flags. >> it's a bit jilted, andrea, so we're going rely on you to give me the play by play, if you will. >> we see a large gathering, aides and relatives around them. jared kushner in particular. now we see the backdrop, a blue curtain. several israeli and american
flags. two podiums. with the symbol of israel, the menorah on each. both making their first remarks since the intelligence issues. a lot of anger in israel among the professional spies, have not spoken publicly so much, certainly not by the leaders. in fact, prime minister netanyahu opened the subject at that photo opportunity saying they have very good intelligence sharing. that prompted the president to say to the reporters, i never said the word or mentioned the name of israel, so that story was wrong, referring to the story that "the new york times" first broke, that it was an intelligence secret from israel, not to be shared with anyone else, shared with their closest ally the united states and it led to that incident in the oval office when the russian foreign minister and the russian
ambassador were visiting with president trump, and he -- once the official photographers had left, because no american reporters were allowed in, did share a secret about the laptop intelligence, the threat of another potential terror attack from isis against the u.s. and other countries. and explained what was behind the potential of securing laptops in checked bags. that was a very, very closely guarded secret, what's considered the crown jewel of intelligence because it dealt with someone who had actually penetrated isis. the hardest kind of intelligence source. and so without mentioning the country or the source of the information, it was very easy for the russians to reverse
engineer that leak and figure out where it came from and potentially share it with the assad regime. potentially share it with the iranians in syria, and other enemies of israel. so that was the cause of concern. so we see the podiums and the flags. >> andrea -- >> they're about to come in here. >> yes, craig? >> i was just going to say, we got our signal back here. you were talking about the president and the revealing of that classified information. ambassador haley and i spent some time talking about that yesterday. and i was a bit surprised to hear her admit that it was a conversation that she had had with cia director mike pompeo, and she has actually spent some time reassuring our nation's allies over the past few weeks that ours is a country that can still be trusted so handle
sensitive, classified information. she said it was something that she spends a fair amount of time with, as u.n. ambassador. also something of course that most of the trump cabinet deals with, as well, the handling of sensitive classified information. i was surprised to hear the ambassador reveal -- although many suspected, especially friends in europe, needed to be reassured after that revelation. >> well, in fact, i think the president may encounter that. maybe they won't say so, because they might be polite. but some of the european officials who are going to be gathering when he meets with them at nato in brussels, have had concerns. i've heard that from some of their diplomats, as well. that they're concerned about sharing intelligence with the u.s. now. we could chalk it up to a rookie mistake. this is our first president in memory who has had no experience in either military, politics, or
government. so he's not as used to his predecessors in handling that kind of intelligence. there have been breaches before, and i was talking earlier in our broadcast with michael lauren, israel's ambassador to the u.s. he commented on the leak that clearly came from the u.s., that it was israel that went and intercepted an illegal iranian arms shipment to syria. and i remember that very well a number of years ago, and it clearly came from someone in the u.s. intelligence to u.s. media. we all reported it at the time. so we said this is not the first time that has happened. maybe the first time it's happened in the oval office to the russians, and that certainly made this a very high profile intelligence leak, especially because of the presence of russia's ambassador in the oval office, which was not reported to the american press, only discovered after the russians published pictures of that, because kislyak is front
center of the scandal of who may have colluded from the trump campaign with the russians and the ambassador is an essential player in all of that with michael ninflynn. back home, michael flynn's lawyer notified the senate he's going to take the fifth amendment rather than turn over subpoenaed documents to the intelligence committee. so there's a lot brewing back home while the president is trying to turn the attention to this long planned trip overseas. craig? >> as we continue to wait for the president and the prime minister to make their way to the podium there, ambassador mark ginsburg is standing by. so is steve clemens. steve, of course, editor at large of "the atlantic." steve, as you watched president trump on his first overseas trip, as president here over the
last two days, what do you make of his performance overseas so far? again, my apologies in advance if i have to cut you off. >> so far, i would say it's better than expected. there has been so much errat erraticism of the president. we saw him as a guy with a deep sense of islamaphobia. and now when you just look at the visuals we're seeing with prime minister netanyahu and president trump, it's a remarkable change from the very icy and cold relations we all knew existed between obama and prime minister netanyahu. >> the prime minister of the state of israel -- >> as mrs. trump and mrs. netanyahu move in to take their seats, president trump and prime minister benjamin netanyahu following there, making their way to the podium. let's listen in to some remarks from the president and the prime minister of israel.
>> president trump, donald, sara and i are absolutely delighted to welcome you and melania to the prime minister's residence in jerusalem. the eternal capital of the jewish people, the united capital of the jewish state. we've known each other for many years, and it's always good to see you. but it's also wonderful to see the blossoming friendship between our two beautiful wives, sara and melania. you're so welcome here. and we're so pleased to see you. we're honored to have you in our home. you've been today, mr. president, to the western wall. one of the holiest sites of judaism. you've been to the church of the ho ho holy sepchure.
we protect the christian sites, muslim sites, obviously jewish sites. we're committed to the freedom of all faiths and to the rights of all. mr. president, i appreciate the fact that you went to the western wall and you're the first acting president who has done that. the people of israel applaud you for it. [ applause ] we had a terrific discussion today. and when i say terrific, it encompasses everything. we could talk about deregulation, economics, i think we quote each other. we understand each other. and so much of the things that we wish to accomplish for both our countries. but i want to thank you especially today for your deep commitment to israel's security, its well-being, and its future. i have no doubt that as we work together, you and i, the
alliance between our countries will grow ever stronger. i want you to know how much we appreciate the change in american policy on iran, which you enunciated so clearly just an hour ago. i want you to know how much we appreciate your bold decision to act against the use of chemical weapons in syria. and i want to tell you also how much we appreciate the reassertion of american leadership in the middle east. i look forward to working closely with you, to confront the dangers we face together in this violent and volatile middle east. i believe that together we can roll back iran's march of aggression and terror in this region. and we can thwart iran's unbridled ambition to become a nuclear weapons state. i also look forward to working closely with you to advance
peace in our region. because you have noted so succinctly that common dangers are turning former enemies into partners. that's where we see something new and potentially something very promising. it won't be simple. but for the first time in many years, and mr. president, for the first time in my lifetime, i see a real hope for change. the arab leaders whom you met yesterday could help change the atmosphere, and they could help create the conditions for a realistic peace. these are all great signs on your historic visit. it's a visit that i think hasekohaseko -- has echoed down the ages. abraham lincoln said there was
no city on earth he desired to see as jerusalem. well, mr. president, donald, there's no city on earth where you are more welcome than right here than here in jerusalem. welcome to jerusalem. welcome to israel. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. and it's a great honor to be with my great friend, prime minister netanyahu. and of course, sara. thank you. and also thank you for that beautiful tour. melania's still talking about it. thank you very much. you honored me and melania by being one of the first world leaders to visit the white house, as you know. and we had a very good and sound discussion. and now you honor us again by welcoming us to your home, on my
first trip abroad as the president of the united states. this is a land filled with beauty, wonder, and the spirit of god. i've been amazed by the glorious and beautiful monuments and holy sites, and the generosity of your incredible people. >> thank you. >> because it's all about the people. >> that's right. >> i was deeply moved by my visit today to the western wall. words fail to capture the experience. it will leave an impression on me forever. today, we reaffirm the unbreakable bond of friendship between israel and the united states. a friendship built on our shared love of freedom. our shared belief in human dignity, and our shared hope for an israel at lasting peace. we want israel to have peace.
but we are more than friends. we are great allies. we have so many opportunities in front of us. but we must seize them together. we must take advantage of the situation and there are many, many things that can happen now that would never have been able to happen before, and we understand that very well. that includes advancing prosperity, defeating the evils of terrorism, and facing the threat of an iranian regime that is threatening the region, and causing so much violence and suffering. during my travels, i have seen many hopeful signs that lead me to believe that we can truly achieve a more peaceful future for this region, and for people
of all faiths and all beliefs, and frankly, all over the world. if my visit to saudi arabia, i met with many leaders of the arab and muslim world. including king solomon, who treated us so beautifully and really wants to see great things happen for the world. he really does. i got to know him well, and he really does. these leaders voiced concerns we all share about isis, about iran's rising ambitions, and rolling back its gains, and about the menace of extremism that has spread through too many parts of the muslim world. i'm encouraged that they pledged cooperation to confront terrorism, and the hateful
ideology that drives it so hard. american welcomes the action and support of any nation willing to do the hard by vital work if eradicating the violent ideologies that have caused so much needless bloodshed in killing. here and all over the world. we are willing to work together. i believe that a new level of partnership is possible and will happen. one that will bring greater safety to this region, greater security to the united states, and greater prosperity to the world. this includes a renewed effort at peace between the israelis and the palestinians. and i thank the prime minister for his commitment to pursuing the peace process. he's working very hard at it. it's not easy. i've heard it's one of the
toughest deals of all. but i have a feeling that we're going the get there eventually. i hope. >> thank you. >> i'm certain we will have very productive discussions, and we're going to have very productive discussions in my opinion with the leaders of other nations also. and i feel strongly about that. because there's a lot of love out there, and people from all nations, even nations that you would be surprised to hear, they want to stop the killing. they've had enough. america stands ready to assist in every way we can. our deep and lasting friendship will only grow deeper and stronger as we work together in the days ahead. i thank you again for hosting us in this beautiful and ancient land. truly it's a land of wonders,
>> and there you have it. some very brief comments, first from prime minister benjamin netanyahu, and then from president trump. the four of them are now off to a private dinner we're told. we heard from the prime minister first at one point invoke the 16th president of the united states, abraham lincoln. and he also said to president trump, i want to tell you how much we appreciate the reassertion of american leadership in the middle east. and then from president trump, we heard some familiar themes. he talked about the fight against terrorism, specifically isis. he also talked about the iranian regime as well. and then brought a message from the king of saudi arabia saying that the saudi king wants to see great things happen in the world and then spending some time
talking about the prospect for peace between israelis and the palestinians. president trump saying "i have a feeling we are going to get there eventually." ambassador, you spent a great of time in this part of the world. is that a realistic expectation at this point? >> craig, hope springs eternal when it comes to jerusalem, and presidents who love to meddle in peace processes. we've had every president since richard nixon, and then jimmy carter, ronald reagan, all had their respective peace plans. of course, president bill clinton and george w. bush. so let's understand, i think the president understands this is an extraordinarily heavy lift. what is unique here, craig, during the president's comments, he didn't immediately focus on the palestinian/israeli negotiation. he talked in very general, very telegraphic words about the
relationship that could be built between sunni arab states and israel, provided there is an israeli-palestinian agreement, in order to combat the threat that iran poses, not only to israel but sunni arab states, as well as the threat that extremism poses. we have a president now who essentially went to saudi arabia, and established a rapport with the islamic world and has been received back in jerusalem as a hero because of the fact that there is such enormous antipathy towards his predecessor barack obama in israel, and so much antipathy towards barack obama in the sunni arab world. >> andrea mitchell, you have spent a great deal of time in israel, a great deal of time in jerusalem. you covered lots of these kinds of events. in terms of perspective here, this is a president who, over
the past few days, we heard pundits talk about the historic nature. we know that he is the first president of a very long time to not go to canada or mexico as his first trip outside the united states. do you believe, andrea, that we are at the dawn of some sort of new beginning with regards to relations between the united states and israel? >> i think certainly this is a great change from the obama years and the tension of those years. but the downside of that, of course, is that the palestinian aspirations and the palestinian needs are not going to be addressed at all by the white house, and there won't be any pressure on israel, or a lot less pressure on israel to address the needs of the palestinians in terms of a comprehensive peace. what they're talking about is taking things step by step, some economic benefits from the palestinians and their working
relationship. you heard earlier today from mike lauren, making it easier for them to cross the bridge to their jobs in jordan. it's been taking six hours, rather than reducing it to a half hour so they can get back and forth to their jobs. it's been a huge economic drawback to the west bank. so those are the kinds of things they're talking about. but not anything that reaches the level of statehood, which has been the aspiration of the palestinians and the u.s. policy for decades. so it's a mixed bag. i think one of the most notable things, though, was that prime minister netanyahu was so confrontational in his remarks. he took a real slap at barack obama by saying that he was congratulating, praising president trump for his new policy on iran, for his retaliation against assad on chemicals, something that as we know president obama did not do, and for reasserting american
leadership, u.s. leadership in the middle east. so that was a triple slam against former president obama. you don't usually hear that from a foreign leader. >> steve clemens, what did you not hear from the president? what did you not hear from the prime minister there? >> well, i did not hear from president trump a recognition of the complexity of the israeli-palestinian situation. i agree with mark ginsburg. it might not have been good to lead with that, but what we're seeing is a new evolving pattern in the leaders that president trump is meeting with. and he has said it himself, he's not holding them to account for internal issues. he's not challenging the saudis about their treatment of women. their suppression of minorities. he's not challenging any of the leaders that he wants to like and have a personal relationship with anything, with any of the warts that may be going on
inside of their society. i think president obama, when he spoke in these places, and one of the reasons why he wasn't appreciated as much perhaps would mix american objectives with an appreciation for that other nation's objectives, but would talk about human rights, reaching out and trying to do something beyond what gravity looked like it would produce. trump does not do that. that is the missing piece of this. this is ra-ra stuff that at the end of the day will not necessarily get very far unless we have a deeper appreciation for the complexity of the situations. i agree with andrea mitchell, that i was surprised by netanyahu's slam of obama. of course, president trump did the same thing along with calling the king of saudi arabia, i don't know if anyone caught this, he referred to him as king solomon, an interesting minor gaffe. but these leaders can overstate
the personal relationship at that moment. the fact is, israel has had an incredible relationship with every u.s. president in the modern era, including president obama who was able to wrap up before he left the largest aid package to israel that's ever been done. >> kelly o'donnell is traveling with president trump. she is also if jerusalem. kelly o., we know the two men and their wives are having this private dinner tonight. what is on the agenda for tomorrow and the remainder of president trump's trip? >> reporter: craig, tomorrow is the meeting with mahmoud abbas, the head of the palestinian authority. part of what is striking about the first two stops for president trump is a unified agreement among those he is visiting and the stone he is bringing of this criticism of iran and the former administration, president obama, as we heard others comment on. that is a string that ties these two stops together in some unexpected ways. steve is right, the president is
not overtly talking about issues like women's rights or human rights as using that as a lever, although aides tell us he is having those conversations in some of the private, off-camera meetings, but he's not using it as a public lever on these new relationships that he's building. part of the trump approach has been to take things that are within their reach and to do them a bit differently. for example, going to saudi arabia before israel. trying to have the focus on these friendships first and a willingness of the parties to do some smaller things differently as a way in to getting the more complicated parts of this. also, ivanka trump has been a voice trying to deal with some of the women's issues in this part of the world. melania trump, the first lady as well. so it is very different. so in a way they are approaching it, the techniques they're using, some simple and yet
meaningful ways that they are doing it differently is part of where the trump administration thinks they may have an opportunity to at least attempt to change things up, to not repeat the same american playbook where we have seen a trail of failed attempts by sincere presidents to make headway on this. so tomorrow, the palestinian authority that will change the dynamic. again, a different look at the relationship. notable too that both the president and the prime minister referred to each other by their first name. that's something that typically is not done, unless there is real friendship there. they're trying to lead with friendship on this trip in many ways. craig? >> kelly o'donnell, thank you. steve clemens, editor at charge, thank you. ambassador ginsburg, good to have you. and of course, andrea mitchell there in jerusalem, as well. the trump administration barn storming the middle east to a certain extent. this his first overseas trip as
president. his ambassador to the united nations, nikki haley, also making her first overseas trip. she was here in amman, jordan. she has since traveled to turkey. when we come back on the other side of this break, my exclusive conversation with her about the refugee crisis that continues to persist in this part of the world. she also made some news on russia and north korea, as well. we'll be right back. capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on all of my purchasing. and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... which adds fuel to my bottom line. what's in your wallet? anyone ever have occasional y! constipation,diarrhea, gas or bloating? she does. she does. help defend against those digestive issues. take phillips' colon health probiotic caps daily
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nikki haley, the u.s. ambassador to the united nations, was here in jordan up until a few hours ago. she was here in amman and she is now on her way to turkey. she is here talking about the devastating effects of the six 6-year-old syrian civil war. more than 500,000 people have died. some 5 million syrians have been displaced, they are refugees. we spent the better part of our time on sunday at a refugee camp here in jordan, where some 80,000 syrians were forced to flee. then last night we sat down for an exclusive conversation and we talked about the refugee crisis and a host of other things, as well.
this is an administration that has, at times, notably talked about clamping down on refugees. could we be doing more in our country besides financial support in terms of refugees? >> from what i saw today, the -- we can be doing more here, because what you see is we're so much more effective here. what we're doing is making sure we keep families together. we're making sure that they're getting an education and getting the proper food and assistance that they want. and now we're working with -- i met with the minister of planning. we want to work how we lift them up. >> nothing you saw or heard today moved you in a way to suggest to the administration that we should be taking in more syrian refugees? >> i think that what i saw today was that this crisis, as terrible as it has been, the way they have continued to perfect the operations here is impressive. and what we need to do is make
sure we're changing with the times. so the u.n. does a lot for humanitarian. we don't know how long going to last. we need to shift that aid now to the development side. >> your boss has called for a 25% cut in terms of u.n. funding. how is that going to affect you and your mission? >> so the u.s. has always been a leader when it comes to humanitarian issues. the u.s. will always be a leader when it comes to humanitarian issues. and so when i came here, when i go to turkey, i'm not going because the president said go see what to cut. i'm going because the administration wants to know what else do we need to do to support the situation. >> so those cuts aren't going to happen? >> cuts are going to happen in the budget, but when it comes to situations like this and it comes to humanitarian issues and famine issues, the u.s. is going to continue to be the vongest leader in the world when it comes to these things because that's what we do.
>> our humanitarian aid won't be cut is what it sounds like you're saying. >> we're going to see what happens. but at the end of the day, what makes america great is the fact that we do love our neighbors and we do love our syrian brothers and sisters and our jordanian brothers and sisters who are supporting them and we want to support both in a way that we can make sure that they're productive. the last thing we want is for isis to win. >> north korea, as you know, has launched yet another missile. a few weeks ago in an interview, you said that we should continue to try the sanctions. we should continue to put the screws to kim jong-un. at what point do we try something else? at what point do we concede that's not working? >> we're doing that now. in terms of getting another resolution together, looking at sanctions and how we will enforce it. because this is the same movie that keeps playing. he continues to test. we've got to do action. i think the international
community sees that. you know, some say oh, but sanctions haven't worked. first of all, when the entire international community speaks with one voice, it does work. it lets them know that they are on an island and we're all against them and that they need to correct their behavior. >> all options are on the table this >> all options are on the table. >> what does that include? >> that means that we have made it very clear that we don't want to start a fight, so don't give us a reason to have one. we are going to continue to put the pressure until you stop and we'll continue to have the international community work with us to put the pressure until you stop. >> i imagine you saw the images last week when mr. erdogan was in washington of his bodyguards roughing up those protesters there in our nation's capital. what did you think when you saw that? >> you don't come to our country and act like that. you don't do that in our country. we have a very peaceful way of protesting. we believe in freedom of speech
and people should be allowed to protest. so we don't want any of those actions or feelings from any other country to come in and invade what we do in the u.s., and so they are very aware that we did not appreciate it. they are very aware that it cannot happen again. >> is that going to come up do you think during your visit in turkey? >> i don't know. we'll see. >> what is the administration's position on a two-state solution? >> they want israel and the palestinians to decide what to do. what the u.s. doesn't want to do is interfere. but we do want to mediate both sides to get to a peace solution. this has been going on long enough. it's time. and what i'm pleased about is, we've seen cooperation from the palestinians, cooperation from the israelis. they both are feeling the pressure. but at the same time, there's a willingness. i think we all have hope that something good could come out of
it. >> ambassador nikki haley there, talking about the middle east peace process during our exclusive sitdown here in amman, jordan sunday night, she on her way to turkey to talk about getting that u.n. aid through that country a little better. joining me now is e.j. and charlie sykes. e.j., let me start with you. sometimes it sounds as if the ambassador is reading from a different set of plays, if you will, than other members of the trump administration. >> absolutely, craig. sometimes it sounds like she's a member of a different administration. first i salute you for calling attention to the plight of those refugees. it's very easy for all of us to forget. and i thought you drew a fascinating answer out of her. when you talked about the cuts
the administration is making in u.n. funding, in aid to refugees, and she said, we're going through the congressional process, we'll see whathappens. it almost sounded like she was calling on congress to overturn the cuts that the administration will propose and restore the funding. i also thought she was particularly strong in defending the way in which erdogan's security detail, if i do call them that, they're really thugs, beat up demonstrators on american soil. she is really carving out a position for herself that is quasi-independent inside the administration. >> charlie, one of the things that caught my attention and caught the attention of a lot of other folks when she said it, the ambassador talking about the appointment of the special counsel, robert mueller, last week now looking into ties between the campaign and russia.
this is what she said when i asked her whether she thought that was a good idea. take a listen. >> i have not seen or heard the president or any senior officials in the administration talk about russia in those terms. having said that, there's been a lot of hearsay in the press, but i think that's the point of the special prosecutor. do the investigation. find out whatever is there so that the entire -- so that all americans know what's going on, because none of us know. we know what the networks are saying. we know general mcmaster said none of that happened in that room -- >> he didn't say none of it happened, he said some of it may have been taken out of context. >> but we weren't there. we didn't hear the conversation, so for me sitting in new york, it's hard to know what happened in d.c., but i do think the administration continues to say there was no involvement and i think the investigation should prove that. >> the president trump has said
the appointment -- president trump, of course, charlie, has said the appointment of robert mueller divides this country. she insists that's not the case. what do you make of those comments? here you have the ambassador essentially saying, you know what? yes, move forward with the investigation on my boss. >> yeah, no, i agree with e.j. as i was watching, i thought, does she know who her boss is right now? she's clearly on the same page. she's not using terms like witch hunt. if she keeps talking like this she might need a taster next time she goes to the white house. she has carved out a very particular role in this administration. i'm glad she is outspoken, but clearly there is some real dissidence there, and i wonder how long it's going to be before we start to see the anonymous leaks about the concern or tension between the white house staff and nikki haley. but that was very, very interesting that she did not repeat the trump mantra that this was somehow, you know,
nothing, fake news, witch hunt, et cetera. >> it did seem as if for a moment there she was going to accuse us of being fake news, but she stopped short. she didn't call us fake news. e.j., i want to go back to what we were talking about, what you brought up, the plight of these refugees in this part of the world. the ambassador went out of her way a number of times yesterday to talk about how taken aback she was by this refugee camp. and a lot of folks, e.j., when they think refugee camp, they think tent city, they think folks sitting around with no running water living in poverty, and the reality is that's not the case here. the reality is there is electricity, you've got 80,000 people, a lot of whom go to work every day. there is a small but thriving economy as well in this
particular tent city in jordan, e.j. >> right. what you have is a massive crisis of so many hundreds of thousands of people, you can argue millions of people, really displaced by this civil war, and the fact that they have put down such deep roots suggests how little hope they have of peace back home any time soon. and so people are trying to create what life they can in a completely new circumstance, and a lot of others have headed over to europe, opening that they could find some peace for raising their families over there. it just shows what a large catastrophe this is. and if i could just go back to what charlie and you said about nikki haley, charlie and evan mcmullen and others have said to people in the trump administration, how long do you want to hang around here before you undercut yourself? nikki haley clearly seems to be somebody who will go just far
enough to defend trump but no farther than that. >> e.j. dionne, "washington post." charlie sykes, author, commentator, msnbc contributor. big thanks to both of you. >> good to be with you. >> we'll have much more from jordan in just a moment. love mom and dad' i'm takin' a nap. dude, you just woke up! ♪ ♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪ ♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪ geico motorcycle, great rates for great rides.
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haley spent saturday touring the refugee camp, one of the largest in the world. 80,000 sir yayrians displaced. she also spent some time taking a look at precisely how the $6.5 billion in u.s. aid that we send to this part of the country has been spent for the better part of six years. this is an all girls' school. this is a supermarket inside that refugee camp. all of the food there sdai-- sch that -- the lion's share of the food there donated by countries like the united states and its allies and friends. there's also been a bit of interesting technology, and i'm not sure you can see in this video, but they use a retina scanner inside the supermarket, a scanner that allows folks who are buying groceries to have their eyeballs scanned instead of using a card. it's supposed to cut down on scams, it's also supposed to cut
down on refugees. it takes a look at how these air drops are conducted. 20 pallets of food dropped every day in other parts of syria that you just can't get to otherwise. medical supplies in addition to food and other essential items as well. the ambassador telling me yesterday that the better part of the rest of her tenure at the united nations is going to be spent talking about what's happening in syria, what continues to be happening there, and not just the refugee crisis that continues to persist but the bashar al-assad regime and the evilness, the death it has been responsible for over the last six years. some half a million people killed, more than 5 million displaced. that's the very latest from here in amman, jordan. lots of other news to get to on this monday, and for that we send it back to katy tur in
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