tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC August 11, 2017 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
job. rick perry leaves his job to go take john kelly's old job. but then who would take senator manchin's old job, the senate seat from west virginia? well, the person who would get to pick joe manchin's replacement in the senate is that state's governor, jim justice who, remember, just switched parties and is now a republican. presumably newly minted republican jim justice would put a republican in that senate seat that up till now has been held by democrat joe manchin. that would matter because it would put the president and the republicans one vote closer to getting key legislation through like, say, killing health care. so manchin of course is a conservative democrat. he's facing a tough re-election battle in 2018. tonight his office is saying he has not had any recent conversations with the administration about the energy position. so it's a mystery. we'll see if this very important meeting and this pretty big press conference on monday involves joe manchin and this
very dramatic partisan musical chairs. we will find out on monday. meanwhile, watch this space. that does it for us tonight. i will see you again on monday. now it's time for "the last word" with the great joy reid sitting in for lawrence. good evening, rachel. it always comes back to killing obamacare. all roads lead back to that one, same, exact place. >> well, when you're within one vote, every vote is the most important vote in the world. >> i got to say rick perry as homeland security director blows my mind. my mine is blown. >> here's the thing. could you imagine rick perry as energy secretary? right? >> no! >> no. >> no! >> here's been my theory. my theory has always been that now that there's nobody at ho homeland security, they move jeff sessions from attorney general over to homeland security. it's his mission in life to deport as many people as possible, so he could act that out. then you have to appoint somebody else to be attorney general. >> rick perry? >> well, anybody who would
promise to cast a -- to be askance with robert mueller. >> i agree with that theory. let's hope it doesn't happen. thank you, rachel. thanks for joining us. president trump today spoke about north korea, vladimir putin, and angela merkel. he threatened north korea again, thanked vladimir putin again, and dismissed angela merkel again. >> i hope that they are going to fully understand the gravity of what i said. and what i said is what i mean. >> when you see fire and fury and then today's locked and loaded, it's sort of like the president is branding this like a summer blockbuster sequel. it could have been a movie title. >> he's talking the way action heroes talk, not the way presidents talk who have the power of life and death in their hands. >> if somebody else uttered the exact same words that i uttered, tha they'd say what a great statement. >> the president is crazy like a fox. i think it's going to get us in
trouble. >> he's gone from the low 40s to the mid-30s and the smaller that number gets the less republicans are going to defend him against say the russia investigation. >> they're specifically looking for tax records, foreign financial documents. that's sort of the fear, i think, that gets injected into the president. >> we have a weak president. he's an ignorant person. he doesn't appear to want to adapt to the office. on tuesday, it was fire and fury. today, it was locked and loaded. >> mr. president, what do you mean by military solutions or locked and loaded as it relates to north korea? >> i think it's pretty obvious. we are looking at that very carefully, and i hope that they are going to fully understand the gravity of what i said. and what i said is what i mean. >> for the second day in a row, president donald trump stood before the cameras and spoke to the press, not once but twice
each day. and rather than toning down his rhetoric as the world increasingly cringes at the thought of a restart of the korean war with nukes, he ratcheted it up. >> and this man will not get away with what he's doing, believe me. and if he utters one threat in the form of an overt threat, which by the way he has been uttering for years, and his family has been uttering for years, or if he does anything with respect to guam or anyplace else that's an american territory or an american ally, he will truly regret it, and he will regret it fast. >> he even threw in a second country to potentially use our military in. >> we have many options for venezuela. by the way, i'm not going to rule out a military option. >> okay. so did you notice secretary of state rex tillerson and u.n. ambassador nikki haley standing next to the president as he
spoke? national security adviser h.r. mcmaster was there too. we don't know if they knew that their boss was going to talk about sending troops to venezuela, but a pentagon spokesperson later told reuters, quote, the pentagon has received no orders on a venezuela military operation, and they referred all questions to the white house. there's been a lot of talk about the so-called axis of adults around the president. the experienced hands many of them generals who are supposed to keep donald trump on track. general john kelly is often cited as a member of the axis of adults and his move to chief of staff was supposed to be such a fix. so far donald trump does certainly seem to like him. here's donald trump praising general kelly today. >> i think that general kelly has brought a tremendous -- has brought something very special to the office of chief -- i call him chief. he's a respected man. he's a four-star from the marines, and he carries himself like a four-star for the marines, and he's my friend,
which is very important. >> he carries himself like a general. i don't even know what that means. according to "the washington post," general kelly apparently could not control what trump would say next or how long he would keep talking. that was about the questions that trump took thursday. one anonymous trump confidant told the post, this is what general kelly will learn very quickly, which is when you put this guy in a cage and think you're controlling him, things like this happen. today the white house tried to do some damage control on another trump controversy, his statement thanking russian president vladimir putin for expelling hundreds of u.s. embassy workers in retaliation for new u.s. sanctions because it cuts down our payroll. white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders said, quote, he was being sarcastic. but here is how her boss, the president, responded when asked about it today. >> were you being sarcastic when you thanked vladimir putin for expelling 755 diplomats from russia? >> in order to reduce our payroll, absolutely. i think you knew that.
we'll see. in fact, i was just speaking to the secretary, and we're talking about coming up with an answer when, rex? tell me. >> by september 1st. >> by september 1st, we'll have a response. but we have reduced payroll very substantially. >> joining us now, jonathan alter, a columnist for "the daily beast," ned price, former senior director and spokesperson for the national security council and a former cia analyst, and he's an msnbc national security analyst. and betsy woodruff, politics reporter for "the daily beast." all right. jonathan, i'm going to start with you. i mean donald trump was asked about sort of the way he speaks and how that would resonate with the american people. let's listen to how he responded. >> we have tens of millions of people in this country that are so happy with what i'm saying because they're saying finally we have a president that's sticking up for our nation. and, frankly, sticking up for our friends and our allies. >> what i have heard in general is alarm at the way that the
president has been talking, but he seems to be just looking at a happiness index about his own base. >> well, that's just his way of saying he's looking at this politically, which is if he, you know, sounds the trumpets of war, he thinks he's going to go back up in the polls because that will appeal to his base. and generally, you know, presidents who are in a war-like mode get more public support. so he's playing from that old playbook, but he's playing a very dangerous game, and it got worse tonight when he extended north korean misbehavior from acts to threats. so he's now saying essentially if the north koreans continue to do what they've done for many, many years, which is make these outlandish threats against the united states, that he will consider that to precipitate action on the part of the united states. so we're into a very dangerous period. when you have people like leon
panetta saying this is the most dangerous period since the 1962 cuban missile crisis, it makes it hard to take rex tillerson's advice and sleep well. >> ned price, you know, the analogy to the cuban missile crisis, it's almost inverted. in the cuban missile crisis, it was kennedy attempting to reassure a nation that was afraid because the russians were deciding to put nuclear weapons right off of our shores in cuba. this is the inverse. is north korea somehow behaving remarkably differently to cause donald trump to ratchet up this rhetoric against them, or is it the american president that's behaving differently? >> well, joy, you raise a very good point. in the cuban missile crisis, obviously there were missiles placed in cuba, hence the crisis. but let's review what has happened this week. the president started off the week by attacking dick blumenthal and the failing "new york times" on twitter and ended the week by suggesting we could be attacking venezuela and north korea. you know, i admire both "the new york times" and dick blumenthal but i kind of wish we would be
back to what the president was attacking on monday. when it comes to north korea, the important point is there haven't been any changes with the facts on the ground. if you recall, what precipitated this crisis, it was the publication of a report in "the washington post" about north korea's alleged miniaturization of a nuclear warhead, something that presumably the president had already been briefed on in his daily intelligence briefings, the presidential daily brief. yet somehow that "washington post" report precipitated this crisis that now has the president threatening nuclear war over facts on the ground that weren't any different than they were last week. >> yeah, and i mean in addition to that, betsy, you now also have donald trump adding venezuela to the menu. this is is sort of a completely out of left field threat to use military force in venezuela. we now have tonight the white house issuing a statement saying essentially that donald trump had refused a phone call that nicolas maduro, the president of venezuela, had wanted to have
with him. how did venezuela get on the menu? it is truly out of left field. >> i think part of the reason for this is that the president's default is to threaten to use the military anytime he sees a problem happening that he's not sure how to solve. remember in the past, he's threatened to send, quote, unquote, the feds into chicago, hinting sort of ominously at the possibility of martial law. no one took that threat seriously for understandable reasons but it was a threat he was comfortable making. in the same way he's hinted about sending the military to the border to try to deal with people crossing the border illegally. his default is to pivot to the military, to pivot to some sort of military solution. i think that's part of why he likes generals so much, part of why his default when his own white house was sort of turning into a bit of an omni shambles was to bring in a four-star general, somebody with that military credibility. the question here then becomes not so much necessarily why is the president bringing up the
military all the time as should people and can people take the president of the united states seriously when he threatens military action. in the past, over the course of his presidency, he's been sort of on and off about whether or not he follows through on those threats. republicans hit obama hard when he didn't follow through all the way on when he drew a red line in syria. the question now becomes do republicans hit trump in the same way when he doesn't follow through on the numerous -- on the plethora of military threats that he's so comfortable making. >> there's, you know, the accusation that barack obama didn't threaten to use military force enough. donald trump is threatening it for everything. there is this weird dichotomy in trump word. you have him run with these alt-righters like steve bannon who would only want to do military strikes if they use mercenaries. you have people like sebastian gorka now on the u.s. payroll. this was him talking about rex
tillerson, who is the secretary of state, and saying don't listen to him. this was him on bbc radio. >> you should listen to the president. the idea that secretary tillerson is going to discuss military matters is simply nonsensical. it is the job of secretary mattis, the secretary of defense, to talk about the military options, and he has done so unequivocally today. he said woe betide anyone who militarily challenges the united states, and that is his portfolio. that is his mandate. secretary tillerson is the chief diplomat of the united states. >> i mean, ned, are there enough adults in the axis of adults to rein in that kind of influence on the president? >> well, i'm not sure about that, joy. but what you have in the form of sebastian gorka is an individual who is consistently first in line at the white house cafeteria because he has little else to do during the day, attacking the person who is fourth in line to the presidency
of the united states, rex tillerson. the fact that sebastian gorka accrues a salary of $155,000 a year, and you talk to anyone on the nsc, none of them can tell you what sebastian gorka does. in fact, it's been reported that sebastian gorka doesn't even have a security clearance precluding him from sitting in on any of these sort of national security meetings. president trump sarcastic or not earlier this week thanked president putin for cutting down the u.s. government payroll. there seem to be about 155,000 reasons for letting sebastian gorka go from the white house in addition to the fact that he seems to do very little for our national security. >> in addition, you then have this memo. really quickly on this memo from an nsc official who was fired because of it. rich higgins talking about marxists and deep state actors. that is what's going into donald trump's brain. >> he read the memo after donald trump jr. sent it to him.
>> who shouldn't have had it. >> just in terms of gorka, if this had been any other administration, rex tillerson would be calling the president and saying, i want that guy out, and he would be fired. it's kind of peculiar to me that tillerson is putting up with this kind of guff from gorka. but in terms of this memo, you know, this goes to the very heart of their world view, their kind of paranoid world view that not only are bankers, quote, you know, jewish bankers and democrats and maoists, but establishment republicans are out to get them, that's the world view. >> why is it the people who seem to be in danger of their jobs are people like mcmaster? >> because they don't necessarily feed into the president's bunker mentality. the president feels like he's constantly being threatened.
when adults, members of this so-called axis of adults like mcmaster remind him that he's the president of the united states, he's the most powerful person in the world, that doesn't fit into his personal narrative. it doesn't fit into his twitter narrative. the result is it's not advice he necessarily wants to hear. >> thank you guys both. coming up, paul manafort suddenly loses his legal tell and donald trump's personal secretary, she could soon have to answer questions on the russia investigation. later, president trump's obsession with president obama.
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as the president issues threats to north korea and venezuela, there are new develop manies in the russia investigation. abc news reports congressional investigators would like to talk to donald trump's longtime assistant rona graph. she's a senior vice president at the trump organization and has been trump's gate keeper for three decades. her name even appears in the june 2016 e-mail exchange between donald trump jr. and trump family acquaintance rob goldstone that led to the meeting with a russian attorney and other russian nationals at trump tower. goldstone even suggested senting damaging information about hillary clinton directly to miss graph, writing, quo, i can also send this into to your father via rona. then campaign chairman paul manafort and trump's adviser and son-in-law jared kushner would copied on the e-mail change. graff was not.
speaking of paul manafort, bloomberg news reports that manafort alerted authorities to the june 9, 2016 meeting, according to people familiar with the matter. bloomberg news said that manafort disclosed the meeting to congressional lawmakers about three months ago. but we know that trump's son-in-law, jared kushner, also reported that meeting when he amended his security clearance forms in june of this year. we're also learning that the white house is not especially fond of paul manafort right about now. "the daily beast" reports that, quote, according to sources close to the president, many on team trump blame manafort for special counsel robert mueller's divergence from election interference and for ray into the prievate fans finances of te president's family and political and business associates. there is no trust between the president and paul manafort, another west wing official said. there never really was any to begin with to tell you the truth. so here's what the president said about paul manafort on thursday. >> i know mr. manafort. i haven't spoken to him in a long time, but i know him. he was with the campaign, as you
know, for a very short period of time. i've always found paul manafort to be a very decent man, and he's like a lot of other people probably makes consultant fees from all over the place. who knows? i don't know. >> and joining me now, one of the authors of that daily beast article, a politics editor covering the white house, and jill wine-banks. this idea that there's never really been any trust between donald trump and paul manafort seems kind of patently false. i mean paul manafort was the campaign chairman. he was hired at a sensitive time when trump was fearing a floor fight at the convention. is it true there's no trust between the two men? >> well, there certainly was very top-level working relationship between the two men. he of course shepherded the trump campaign for a number of months as its campaign chairman. but in terms of did trump ever see mr. manafort as one of his trusted allies, as one of his
true believers during the campaign. the answer is actually no. the president even during the duration of manafort's tenure on his campaign never saw him as a true confidant, someone who could be trusted with his deepest, darkest secrets or whatever. and in turn, in the way that manafort was pushed out of the president's inner circle, then candidate trump's inner circle, and has kind of been left to hang out to dry by not just the president but the entire white house apparatus itself -- >> and that's despite the fact he was former business partners with roger stone, who is certainly a trump enthusiast, and despite the fact that he's a paying tenant at trump tower. >> correct. that is all correct. he certainly has been very close to the trump orbit in the past, but unlike someone like, say,
michael flynn or, of course, trump's family members and now senior staff in the white house, trump does not have any sense of loyalty towards paul manafort. and the exact opposite is also true. >> and, jill, we know know that paul manafort has switched legal teams. he's no longer being represented by the firm that has some associates actually with robert mueller, and his case is now going to be handled by a boutique firm in washington specializing in complicated financial crimes among other things. what does that tell you? >> it indicates what the special prosecutor is now looking at, which are financial crimes. and from the very beginning, we've all said follow the money. and in this case, manafort may lead to, particularly if he's not that close with mr. trump, he could be someone who could be flipped. but if he doesn't know that much because he was never trusted with any secrets, he may not be
all that helpful to mr. mueller. >> so the question i guess comes right back to what donald trump actually thinks he is in jeopardy of. donald trump on thursday reasserted again there's no collusion, no collusion, no collusion. today in bedminster, new jersey, he responded to a question about his weird comments on thursday about u.s. diplomats expelled from russia. this is what he said. >> mr. president, were you being sarcastic when you thanked vladimir putin for expelling 755 diplomats from russia? >> order to reduce our payroll, absolutely. i think you know that. in fact, i was just speaking to the secretary, and we're talking about coming up with an answer when, rex? tell me. >> by september 1st. >> by september 1st, we'll have a response. but we have reduced payroll very substantially. >> there's a sense there's actually no connection between the things that donald trump's aides say to reporters like yourself and what he actually thinks about anything. >> well, in terms of what you were just talking about, and that was the same press conference where the president
seemed to threaten military action or potential invasion of venezuela, only to be undercut by his own department of defense, which later had to tell reporters who were frantically reaching out to them later that night that we have no plans to attack venezuela, and any implication of that by the maduro regime is flat-out false. the maduro regime did not mention anything like that. that was purely president donald j. trump saber rattling against venezuela, a country that is in great turmoil right now, that did not threaten nor attack the united states in any capacity. >> jill, one of the people he is now sort of decidedly publicly not saber rattling against is robert mueller. this is donald trump responding to whether there is anything that mueller could do to get donald trump to dismiss him. >> i haven't given it any thought. i've been reading about it. you say i'm going to dismiss it. no, i'm not dismissing anybody. i want them to get on with the
task, but i also want the senate and the house to come out with their findings. >> jill, he doesn't have a top team of lawyers like manafort is assembling, but do you get the sense from donald trump's comportment regarding mueller that it's starting to sink in how serious the situation is? >> it may be sinking in, but i'm afraid that with president trump, he says one thing today and something else tomorrow. and then his staff will say something completely contrary to that. so it's very hard to know anything that he says and whether it's true. it's very concerning that he has this sort of flippant attitude and that he could possibly have been sarcastic in what he said in anything. it just is not the right way for him to behave. i think that he does need a different legal team, and the fact that his legal team was communicating with mr. mueller seams to me at best inappropriate and possibly
extremely bad. it could even be considered as some kind of a threat when they communicate with him for no reason. so there's a lot of things that he should be doing that he isn't doing. >> yeah. >> and getting a better legal team might be one of the things he should be doing. >> and maybe not beating up on potential witness paul manafort. i don't know. just might be a strategy too. >> joy, may i add something real quick? >> very quickly. >> back to what we were saying earlier, that even though the president never truly trusted paul manafort, there is still unease within trump's inner circle as to what paul manafort does or doesn't know. they aren't sure. so within the white house, even though there is this intense distrust towards paul manafort, they're not sure exactly what will become of it if mueller really sits him down and has him spill his guts. they just don't know. >> yep. therein lies the rub. thank you, guys. appreciate it. coming up, donald trump today continued to pretend that
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some breaking news for you. donald trump just spoke with the governor of guam about the crisis with north korea. take a look. >> you're going to be taken care of. you've become extremely famous. all over the world they're talking about guam and they're talking about you. tourism -- i can tell you this, you're tourism, you're going to go up like ten fold. i congratulate you. >> so that's eddie caldo, who is the governor of guam.
joining us now, christina greer, an associate professor of political science at fordham university. jonathan alter is back with us. >> christina, he calls the governor of guam after these, you know, threats that have people really concerned about nuclear war -- >> yes. >> -- and joked with him about being famous. your reaction? >> again, this is a man who does not understand the role of the office. he does not understand the gravity of the situation. i think many people have been frustrated that we haven't seen a proper press conference in several months, and now we're saying, well, maybe we should actually have him not speak at all because each time he speaks, it gets worse and worse. he thinks that because he surrounds himself with four-star generals, he's playing president. he's not a public servant. he's never served in the military. no one in his family has ever served in the military, so he does not fundamentally understand the gravitas of the situation. he's dealing with an unstable leader. he himself is one as well, who has nuclear powers.
so to say you're famous, he is still a reality star, and he's still thinking as one. you know when jared was going through his shenanigans and possibly being investigated, he was like, well, he's really famous. he's getting more famous than me. he's really obsessed with not just what obama is doing, what hillary has done, but how he's being seen, as evidenced by him tweeting his new 45% poll numbers. as a professor, that's an f-minus. >> this idea of him having not served in the military is so critical. he's a chicken hawk. >> mm-hmm. >> and it's chicken hawks who get us into wars. my father was shot down over nazi germany in world war ii in a b-24. most people like that do not talk this way. people who have actually seen action do not make these kinds of threats, do not make jokes about critical national security situations. that's why so many professional
military, people like leon panetta, who was defense secretary, are really concerned right now. this is not a joke. it's not a game. >> right. >> real people can -- you know, in 1994 when we almost went to war with north korea, president clinton had the casualty figures put together, what would actually happen. 59,000 american dead. 490,000 korean dead in 90 days. >> yeah. we don't even have an ambassador to south korea to sort of sit him down. >> it wouldn't be nuclear. this is conventional war. this is the real deal. >> let me read you what senator ben sasse had to say. he said, no, congress obviously isn't going to war in venezuela. nicolas maduro is a horrible human being, but congress doesn't vote to spill nebraskans' blood based on what the exclusive lashes out at today. i recently saw the movie lbj,
and i'm struck by the fact that when you look at all of these previous presidents whether it's johnson, clinton in the '94 situation, even george w. bush, you could oppose what he did in iraq. but you always got the sense that they had a sense of the gravity of the office. at some point it hit them, i'm the commander in chief. people could get killed as a result of my actions. trump does not seem to have any sense of that. >> we are in day 200-plus. he still does not understand we're not playing games here. and barack obama never served. however, barack obama made sure that he read every single letter from every single serviceman, every single family member. he greeted every single body that came off that plane because he wanted to fundamentally understand, my actions have real-world consequences for families across this nation. men and women are losing their sons and their daughters, their fathers and their mothers, their aunts, the whole thing. trump doesn't get it. i mean fundamentally doesn't get it. hillary clinton warned us saying
this is a man who wants to just play games. and he's not surrounding himself either with people who understand the gravity of the office as well. he's got two generals and tillerson. they're all a little shaky as far as i'm concerned. but the depth of the bench is actually not there. so barack obama, as young and as inexperienced he may have been as a junior senator when he became president, he made sure he surrounded himself with people who had been public servants, who had served in the military and who fundamentally understood how government worked on the domestic and international -- >> and even the people around him who are serious people, they can't control him anyway, so it doesn't make a difference. stay with us. coming up, donald trump is not known for his attention to detail with one exception. his years-long obsession with the aforementioned president barack obama, next.
award winning engine. the volvo xc90. the most awarded luxury suv of the century. this august visit your local volvo dealer to receive sommar savings of up to $4,500. you're holding up the letter that barack obama had left you. >> correct. >> a lengthy letter. >> it was. >> and you seem to have a personal rapport with him. >> i like him. he likes me. i think he likes me. you're going to have to ask him. i don't know if he'll admit this, but he likes me. >> how do you know? >> i can like him because i can feel it. that's what i do in life. it's called, like, i understand. >> that was the high point of donald trump's strange years-long relationship from afar with barack obama. when he finally became president, trump, who has for
years despised and disparaged the 44th president, whose legacy he vowed during the campaign to tear down, suddenly seemed really worried about whether obama liked him. it was a strange scene precisely because donald trump spent most of his last eight years obsessed with barack obama for very different reasons. >> why doesn't he show his birth certificate? you know what? i wish he would because i think it's a terrible pall that's hanging over him. he may have one, but there's something on that. it may be religion. maybe it says he's a muslim. i don't know. he is the founder of isis. he's the founder of isis, okay? he's the founder. we're led by a man that either is -- is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind. and the something else in mind, you know, people can't believe it. there's something going on. it's inconceivable. there's something going on. >> it's even believed by trump
friends and associates like apprentice alum omarosa manigault, that donald trump ran for president in large part because barack obama mocked him at the white house correspondents dinner in 2011. and who can forget trump's inability to get past the difference in his and obama's inaugural crowd sizes? not surprisingly this week we learned trump is still measuring himself against barack obama. six european diplomats told buzzfeed news that donald trump's foreign policy decisions are driven almost entirely by his predecessor. it's his only real position, one european diplomat said. he will ask, did obama approve this? and if the answer is affirmative, he will say, we don't. he won't even want to listen to the arguments or have a debate. he is obsessed with obama. that obsession was on display today when donald trump was asked about south korea. >> certainly they feel more reassured with me than they do with other presidents from the past because nobody's really
done the job that they're supposed to be doing, and that's why we're at this horrible situation right now. >> and if that's not enough, donald trump literally compared himself to president obama this week, re-tweeting a totally unscientific poll that asked, who is a better president of the united states? president trump or president obama? up next, the consequences of trump's obama obsession and what else european officials have to say about the 45th president. rethink your allergy pills. flonase sensimist allergy relief uses unique mistpro technology and helps block 6 key inflammatory substances with a gentle mist. most allergy pills only block one. and 6 is greater than one. rethink your allergy relief. flonase sensimist. ♪
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have you ordered any change in our military readiness? >> i don't want to say. i don't talk about that. you know that. i'm not one that says we're attacking mosul in four months. >> joining us now is alberto nar deli, the europe editor for buzzfeed news who broke the story on what european diplomats really think about donald trump. back with me, christina greer and jonathan alter. alberto, your story was -- first of all, congratulations on a great story. you quoted lots of diplomats. you said on one level, trump is something of a laughingstock at internet gatherings. one revealed that a small group of diplomats play a version of word wingo whenever the president spaeeaks because they consider his vocabulary to be so limited. i think it's the obama piece of it that caught a lot of people's attention. what were people saying about his sort of weird orientation toward obama. is it envy? is it jealousy? what is it? >> well, they didn't -- first of
all, good evening. we didn't talk a lot about the reasons behind trump's obsession with president obama. mostly the thing that a number of diplomats mention -- they consistently mention is this obsession that he has with obama, that in a discussion, he will ask, did obama agree with this? if the answer to that question is affirmative, he will say, i don't support this, and won't even want to have a discussion about whatever the topic is. and also consistent is how concerning this is for america's european allies. >> did you get the sense from talking with these diplomats that they're concerned that donald trump is changing foreign policy from the things that obama did, or that he just simply doesn't want his name brought up? >> the concern is on various levels. so if you look, for example, at the paris climate deal or the
discussions now around the iran deal, the risk of unraveling agreements that obama signed up to and which american allies signed up to also, but also in terms of the bigger picture. if you take a topic like trade, for example, lots of obama's positions reflected positions america has held for decades. so the current administration is unpicking positions on big issues that america has always held. this is a deeper level of concern for european governments. >> to quote your article, these diplomats are saying that trump has no historical view. he's only dealing with these issues now and seems to think the world started when he took office, according to one diplomat. so essentially the idea that he's sort of shallow in his knowledge of the world. >> absolutely. i think the issue of not having
basic understanding of key issues and a sense of history, a lack of understanding, for example, around nato's presence in europe and nato's presence in europe and why there are historical reasons for that. but all that is compounded by the fact that there is a sense among european governments that there's chaos in the white house. the president is surrounded by enough experts. there are lotscancies across the administration and from a european government point of view, they don't know who to talk to. in europe, we had a prime minist minister, but one diplomat told me we laughed at him, but we knew who to talk to. with trump, they don't know who
to talk to. and his aides contradict each other, and that compounds this problem in terms of the lack of basic knowledge of issues. >> alberto, thank you very much for your time. >> thank you. >> let's bring in jonathan and christina. there was a poll that talked about confidence in the united states president, trump versus obama. it isn't close in germany. 11% expressing confidence in trump. france, 14%. this is a president who is batting zero when it comes to our european allies. >> clearly these stats won't be in the folder he gets every day. that point is well taken. when you have your 36-year-old daughter and son-in-law as your conciliatories speaking on your behalf and they have zero foreign policy knowledge, when you look at his cabinet, i like
you, let's make you a cabinet member. these are people who have no experience whatsoever. this is a really dangerous position. this is a position that democrats warned us about before the election. i think this obsession with obama is, let's just be clear. donald trump race baited obama for seven years, right? the birth certificate stuff. we're not even going to talk about how he race baited the central park five. he has a long history of it. he thought this 45-year-old man black man can do it, of course i can do it. how can he walk into the office -- >> how many people have you got? >> when barack obama came in, he wanted somebody that wasn't that experienced. how was he able to build these relationships across europe? >> he was willing to listen to them to use their wisdom to learn. what's really dangerous here is the iran deal unraveling.
because then we'll have two nuclear confrontations in the world at the same time. dealing with iran and north korea simultaneously, if you think we're scared now, wait till that unravels. it's extremely important that the people around him, not just in the white house and his cabinet, but in the senate, and they are starting to speak up, that they contain trump. remember, containment of the soviet union? the goal now is contain trump. we all have to figure out how to make that containment work. >> if you just think about what donald trump has been able to do, withdrawing from the paris climate agreement, which has been for our relationships around the world, reimposing travel restrictions in cuba, lifting the ban on coal, rolling back waterways.
>> he's trying to take away monuments and protected land. the beauty of the constitution is that there are trap doors built in. the founding fathers anticipated a donald trump. and so they -- in article i, ii, and iii of the constitution, they built in all these trap doors if we got a donald trump, congress has to step up and do their part. the courts have to do their part. what we're seeing is a break down in congress stepping down to put on these parameters to the president. the president has the veto power and the executive order. everything else, congress has the power to really rein this in. they can either not fund it or pass some -- putting together some real laws to make sure -- >> how much control he has over the nuclear codes. >> they certainly weren't shy when obama was president. thank you very much. thanks for loading, sweetie.
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poor and tired, i just need a man. now she's like, he has to be rich and light skipped andnned . >> most of "saturday night live" was about the first family. >> thanks for having us. >> thanks for letting us come here and talk about some of the amazing things my father is doing. isis is listen the ropes. the border has never been more secure. and the story of the summer -- >> when you met with the russians? >> no. >> our surging economy. no one cares about my meeting with the russian s anymore. >> but last week, you got some peanuts. >> what i told you is a subpoena. not some peanuts. >> that's tonight's last qurd."
tonight, the president goes there, again on north korea, calling the u.s. locked and loaded and vowing if kim jong-un takes action, he'll regret it fast. and there's something else. it might not have occurred to you that american sons and daughters would be called on to fight in venezuela, but the president won't rule that out. he also weighed in on iran, on mitch mcconnell, mike pence's plans for 2020. and announced a press conference for monday. just another summer friday in america as "the 11th hour" gets under way. on the upside we did make it to friday. good evening once again from here in new york. day 204 of the trump administration. and for the third day this week, the president took reporter's questions in front of cameras. that's more than one venue. today, the president