tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC January 3, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PST
on "andrea mitchell reports." stay with us here on msnbc. remember to follow us online at "mitchell reports." craig melvin here at msnbc headquarters in new york city. good afternoon to you. treasonous? the new bombshell claim from steve bannon about that infamous trump tower meeting with the attorney general, that donald trump was introduced to the participants and why he thinks donald trump jr. will, quote, crack like an egg. plus, senator romney. two sources now tell nbc news his announcement is a matter of when, not if, so how would he work with president trump after calling him, among other things, a fraud? and state of emergency, a winter storm from new england to florida with terms being thrown around like winter hurricane. our meteorologist will explain what the terms mean and what we can expect. we start with a bombshell new book on the trump white house
that contains among other explosive allegations new highly damaging revelations about a key moment in the russia investigation. that now infamous june 2016 meeting at trump tower. we start with two nbc reporters, our chief white house correspondent hallie jackson and also intelligence and national security reporter ken delaney. we're all making our way through the book itself. and if there's been any response from the white house. >> reporter: the second part, no. the briefing from sarah huckaby sanders is about to start in a couple hours or so, 3:00 eastern time. i imagine she'll be getting a lot of questions about this. working on that frantically as you might imagine as we're back inside the white house pouring through all of this. a couple of excerpts i found interesting. number one was about this trump
tower meeting. the one that happened in june of 2016. donald trump jr. met with a group of russians. he recently said about an adoption program. turns out it was to get dirt on hillary clinton. here is what steve bannon says, he was certain after the meeting trump junior had taken the participants to see his father. no chance that did not happen. now donald trump has repeatedly insisted that he had not met with any russians and had not had inappropriate interactions during his campaign. this is notable if true. steve bannon isn't saying it definitely happened, at least not in those words. he would be shocked if it didn't happen. nuance there. it's worth noting. i was on a plane overseas for donald trump's first trip when on air force one on his way to
that trip the president and his aides were crafting a response to all of this. in "the new york times" piece that had come out at the time. now that statement about donald trump jr.'s meeting was in the eyes of some people in the president's orbit extremely problematic. that included marc carallo, a spokesperson for the legal team. this statement about donald jr.'s meeting largely directed by the president, with the curb mer. wolff goes on to say jared kushner and trump said it was a firing more than of carallo stepping away of all of his own accord. why is this significant? these excerpts, what we're seeing being reported by michael wolff, speaks to broader issues of what the administration was doing when it came to the russia
investigation and also speaks to what we saw for a long time, for many months, and you still get issues today the factions inside the trump administration, in the beginning of the administration, to the tail end, specifically jared kushner and ivanka trump versus steve bannon. there are some remarkable pieces to that when you read this, what michael wolff has written. wolff saying kushner had eventually come to the conclusion steve bannon was anti-semitic. and this came after months of, as wolff writes, kushner essentially defending bannon against some of those charges publicly and privately. there is also an example of just how -- what's the word here, surprised, impromptu, the trump campaign was. they were winging it. flying from the seat of their pants for much of the campaign. wolff really lays that out during the transition or the run up to inauguration day.
the president being shocked he won. that is accurate even back on election day from our reporting. the run-up to election day when the president and this other anecdote in the book was alittle peevish on inauguration day, snapping at melania trump, nearly making her cry. there's a lot of pieces to this i know sarah sanders will be asked about when peter alexander, my colleague here, gets into that briefing room and peppers her with some questions, craig. >> hallie, in terms of the access here with this book, again, we're just starting to read through it, it would seem as if michael wolff was able to conduct dozens of interviews -- >> reporter: hundreds. >> hundreds of interviews over an extended period of time. do we know anything more about the process in access? >> reporter: the publisher said, yes, he did have access to some folks in obviously very, very close to donald trump. you see a lot of on the record
quotes which is interesting in steve bannon which is very intentional about -- or tried to be intentional about when he goes on the record and when he speaks on background or doesn't speak at all or what have you. you know when you read this book or people talking to wolff scen nuggets or anecdotes about what life is like inside the trump administration, in the wild west early days of the administration and to the end of the campaign. craig, you're right, though, this is based on a lot of interviews with a lot of different people. when you read into it, the trump campaign, you can tell, okay, this is x faction or y faction. it's not like they have mended all their fanses by any means. they still loathe each other. i think that's accurate to say.
i think you're still seeing some of that play out. >> ken delaney, i want to read another portion from the book. this is an on the record quotes that hallie was talking about from steve bannon. quote, the three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside trump tower in the conference room on the 25th floor with no lawyers. they didn't have any lawyers. even if you thought that this was not treasonous or unpatriotic or bad expletive, there's a fair amount of language used throughout the book we can't use on cable news in the afternoon, or bad expletive, and i think it's all of that, you should have called the fbi immediately. that's from steve bannon. if true, ken, how would all of that change what we know about the trump tower meeting? >> craig, i don't know that it changes what we know about the facts. it shows this pro-trump figure, steve bannon, reacted the same
way to this meeting every other political professional did and regular americans. it just seemed wrong. you don't take dirt from a foreign government. as tactics you don't do it without lawyers in the room. it was morally wrong, he was trying to say, potentially treasonous and amateur hour. i spoke with a source who disputes that there was any pull aside and as bannon says he is sure probably happened. we're endeavoring trying to reach the reporter to get her on the record comment. >> the aforementioned investigation, quote, this is all about money laundering. what might mr. bannon mean? what does he appear to be alleging there? >> reporter: again, he's looking
at this case the way i've heard a lot of legal experts, a lot of people believe it's unlikely robert mueller will be able to prove that donald trump intentionally colluded with the interference effort. many people believe he's vulnerable to money laundering, the business he did with the russians. in 2008 donald trump jr. made a comment that a disproportionate amount of our assets come from russia. that's never been explained. i've heard that's the key to this is the business that the trump organization did with potentially russians and other foreigners on these around the world. >> we'll come back to you in just a bit. thank you both. the editor at large at "the atlantic," david smith, washington bureau chief for "the guardian," the reporter who first reported excerpts from this book, and seth waxman is a
former federal prosecutor. seth, let me start with you. what do you make of this allegation that then candidate trump now about this meeting after it happened? >> that could be very key to the muller investigation. mueller started at the low level, moved up to the middle and is riding up to the higher level officials in the trump administration, his son-in-law. if he's able to put criminal charges at their feet, very close to the top of the conspiracy. a person has to have knowledge to be included in the conspiracy. showing donald trump sr., the president, knew about those meetings, maybe took actions after those meetings would be very essential to the mueller investigation to include him in that crime. in other words, just being a bystander to a criminal conspiracy does not make you a part of that conspiracy.
if the president was made aware, if the participants met with him thereafter and then over acts or things in furtherance of that conspiracy took place following those days then you start to see a case that could rise up as high as the president himself. >> how damning is it, seth, that a former white house aide thought the statement the president reportedly helped to draft on that trump tower meeting was possibly an obstruction of justice? >> there's two parts to this case in total. there's the obstruction, the after the fact, and then the conspiracy before the election. i know the obstruction gets a lot of attention because we're seeing it happen in real time before our eyes. i bet what they're looking at is, first and foremost, can they prove the underlying charge, the conspiracy, whether that's to hack computer databases, influence the election, all of these post election acts that could be considered obstruction.
it's only a secondary part. i don't think if bob mueller brought an indictment himself wants that to look like a cover-up. people do get charged that. martha stewart faced that as the sole charge. he was never convicted of the securities fraud. they're spending time and effort on this investigation, obviously. at the heart is influencing that election. >> i want to read another excerpt here from the book about jeff sessions, the attorney general. on march 1st when stories emerged that jeff sessions had met with russian ambassador sergey kislyak, trump didn't see a problem. when the president was shown the story, he didn't see its significance. so what, he said. steve, what's the most troubling part of all of this to you? >> well, the density of donald
trump's relationships over time during the campaign and apparently those people he had surrounded himself with with perhaps the exception of steve bannon, the density of those relationships with russian figures was so astoundingly deep and dense that perhaps it shows the president had lost any sort of gravity, had lost any sense of boundaries. and when it came to the way our government works and the officials and concerns people had of undue influence by a foreign power that didn't register with donald trump. someone who had been knee deep. that's disconcerting. it's interesting to see steve bannon now beyond the legal issues is the political one because steve bannon has been a maestro of telling many gop conservatives or gop-ers that support donald trump what to think. and now a big chunk will have to
reconsider the whole notions of conspiracy, that this is all a democratic game to entrap the president and is both economic nationalism and security nationalism which means russia hugging has no place in that. i think that is the impact here we may see a real budge in that 30% that has seen immovable around the russia investigation and around steve bannon's tutelage this is really different. >> have you read the book in its entirety, is that right? >> yes. >> i figure you're the only one who has read it cover to cover. for our viewers and listeners, this is another excerpt. this is michael wolff's reporting on michael flynn. michael flynn shrugged off his dubious dealings with the russians and others by saying this would only be a problem if the campaign won, and what were the chances of that?
>> what was your overall impression reading the book? >> one of dysfunction and disko discord in the white house now. it confirmed the suspicions and the reports we've read, the infighting. between steve bannon on the one hand and jared kushner and ivanka trump on the other. there were some lurid accounts of screaming matches, of people bursting into tears and a memorable quotation from henry kissinger, the former secretary of state, saying this is a war between the jews and the non-jews in the white house. and some unmroumtry things said
about the president, friends, confidants, including rupert murdoch who said something i won't repeat on air and also calls him an idiot after one particular phone conversation about immigration policy and his contradictions. >> david, what kind of picture, after reading this book, what kind of picture is being painted of our president? >> a man not especially in control of events. a narcissist, someone with authoritarian tendencies and breaking a lot of the traditional rules of what it takes to be a president of the united states and watching things spiral out of control. expletives and shouts. trump overheard it and apparently said, what's going on
here? seemingly taken aback. seems to be relying on bannon himself and others to sort of lead policy, lead without any great expertise of his own. i think most people should be worried and would be worried about who is sitting in the oval office. >> sure to get a lot of folks pretty angry. this is, again, from michael wolff's new book, quote, trump conceived an early, obsessive antipathy for deputy attorney general sally yates. she was, he steamed, such an expletive. this is from the president talking about then deputy secretary sally yates. how are republicans going to
defend against that? >> well, now with what bannon has done, which i think reorients the political map, will be very hard for the republican party, the conventional leadership in the republican party. we've seen a lot of things from the roy moore stuff where maybe we're wrong. maybe the capacity among leadership just to roll over. i think steve bannon's comments changed the game. when you've looked at that well, this isn't a conspiracy. he just took on the deputy attorney general who had warned him about michael flynn. barack obama had warned him about michael flynn. i wouldn't call that antipathy, that repugnant, gross behavior and commentary of the president of the united states versus someone celebrated and respected by both sides of the aisle in previous days.
the map has now changed and i think the willingness of some percentage of that 30% that has been rock solid is going to take a new look. >> thanks to you. up next, more from this new bombshell of a book about the trump campaign and the administration. why a fear of being poisoned might be a driving force behind the president's fast food habit. also the agreement between jared and ivanka about which one of them would be running for president first. one of the the president's loudest critics could be heading to washington. the likelied in mitt romney will run and the role that the former governor could play. we don't know. dozens. all right! let's teach these freaks some manners! good luck out there, captain! thanks! but i don't need luck, i have skills... i don't have my keys. (on intercom) all hands.
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in addition to potentially damaging details about the president michael wolff's soon-to-be released "fire and fury" contains snap shops of a highly ambitious group around the president including his son-in-law jared kushner and daughter ivanka. jared agreed between themselves that ivanka would be the one to run for president one day. when bannon and ivanka had a bitter verbal confrontation in the oval office in front of the president during which bannon called ivanka an expletive liar, the president said to his daughter, i told you this is a tough town, baby. in the last few moments we have
gotten an official statement from the white house. this is a stachlt on steve bannon and we are actually going to read the president's statement in its entirety. peter baker is standing by, white house correspondent for "the new york times," also msnbc political analyst. so is david smith of "the guardian." here is the statement from the white house. steve bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. when he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. steve was a staffer who worked for me after i had already won the nomination by defeating 17 candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the republican party. now that he's on his own, steve is learning winning isn't as easy as i make it look. steve bannon had very little to do with our historic victory which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country yet steve had everything to do with the loss of a senate
seat in alabama held for more than 30 years by republicans. steve doesn't represent my base. he's only in it for himself. steve bannon pretends to be at war with the media which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the white house leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. it is the only thing he does well. steve was rarely in one-on-one meetings with me, and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue whom he helped write phony books. we have many great republican members of congress and candidates very supportive of the make america great agenda like me. they love the united states of america, and they're helping to finally take our country back and build it up rather than simply seeking to burn it all down. that statement coming from the president of the united states just a few moments ago. hallie jackson, our chief white house correspondent, is back
with me as well. there continues to be a lot of talk, hallie, over the relationship between the president and his former senior adviser, steve bannon. it would seem as if based on the statement that the breakup between the two men is now official. >> reporter: there is no reconciliation coming based on this staple, craig. i think when every reporter inside the white house read this, remember, this was sent out from the communications staffers to the pool to be distributed to every reporter that covers the white house, to call this explosive is an understatement. i was walking up, jogging up to talk to you now. i was on the phone with one source who is just reiterating how furious, how angry donald trump is right now. and the sense inside the white house of what in the world is steve bannon's end game here, he is clearly throwing a grenade in and exploding it. he has been, obviously, since the excerpts of the book came out. now the president is doing a
little scorched earth of his own. there's no coming back from this. it's interesting when you look at the arc of the relationship between donald trump and steve bannon from where they were on the campaign, i think back to the news conference at trump tower in which president trump referred to bannon shortly before his firing as mr. bannon. and i will tell that you raised some hackles on bannon's side, team bannon. from that to the firing -- remember when that happened everyone thought, allegedly, the folks on bannon's sort of side bannon was going to go out and push for the president's agenda on the outside of the white house instead of on the inside. this is the final rupture, i think, of that relationship. listen, this is also donald trump, and it's also steve bannon, and so you can't rule out a reconciliation at some point, that donald trump may
eventually zig. this is one hell of a zag, i think you could say, considering the president said steve bannon has lost his mind. not only lost his job but lost his mind. that is coming from the sitting president of the united states, someone's office about 12 steps down the hallway from him, craig. you can't overstate how remarkable this is and how angry donald trump is right now and, frankly, how angry others in the president's osrbit, people talking to folks very livid about all of this. >> this is the statement on the screen i just read from president trump. a partial statement. one of the things that strikes me about the statement, hallie, while the president spends a fair amount of ink going after steve bannon, he does not dispute so far, at least, anything else in the book. >> reporter: well, he calls this -- he says steve bannon leaked false information,
essentially, calls this -- says he essentially tried to have -- is writing phony books. i'm looking at my phone on the statement here, the one you're showing up on your screen. but you're right in that there are a number of very specific anecdotes that casts the president in a negative light. bannon in some instances is on the record for these. you can't hide behind a source close to says. steve bannon has put himself in front of the bull's eye with his name on all of this. again, i'm looking at my watch. it's, what, 1:30 on the east coast. so in 90 minutes sarah huckaby sanders is coming up. this is four paragraphs from donald trump on steve bannon. don't forget iran is in the middle of what appears to be these nationwide anti-government protests. north korea is opening up talks with apparently south korea as the president is tweeting about the potential for nuclear war
and his nuclear arsenal. you have serious foreign policy issues and this budget deadline coming up in two weeks here. so i do think that's some context that is important to remember here. i think there are a lot of people who are intrigued by the relationship between donald trump and steve bannon and, yes, from a policy perspective it could be important when you look ahead to midterms, to who steve bannon might back in some of the critical races. will president trump back the same people? there was a reference to the senate seat in alabama where donald trump in the statement blames steve bannon for essentially the loss of the seat, it going to a democrat, doug jones, who was sworn in up in washington. he says steve had everything to do with the loss of a senate seat held for more than 30 years by republicans. steve doesn't represent my base. he's only in it for himself. that is a piece that will be relevant as we move into the midterm year, as we move closer to november. but keep in mind that to a
degree this is still intrigue, partially, when there are some very serious policy issues that sarah sanders and the president and his team will have to be facing questions on, too. >> hallie jackson for us at 1600. hallie, thanks for coming back. david smith, thanks for sticking around again. david is the only one among us who has read this book that we're talking about from cover to cover. david, let's just start with the statement from the president of the united states on his former senior adviser, steve bannon. what do you make what we're hearing from president trump? >> it's kind of remarkable in any circumstances. perhaps not entirely surprising when these are two gigantic egos colliding, two 800-pound gorillas wrestling, if you like. and quite consistent with the book where you can see bannon
and trump falling out, that blood is thicker than water. the president is bound to side with his own daughter and son-in-law over steve bannon in that bitter struggle. and to the end of the book bannon says he's worried trump has blown it. that he's finished. hence, maybe he would even consider running for president himself in 2020. and i think because of the bigger picture, you know, the book gives an impression of bannon seeing trump as a vehicle for his ideas, but something that can be -- something disposable, that perhaps trump's nationalism is steve bannon's real goal and we'll see that in candidates that he backs. he's willing to take his own path. and, yes, some kind of reconciliation now does look
extremely unlikely. >> i think you're being diplomatic there. we should note we have not heard from steve bannon since the excerpts began to surface a short time ago. nothing else from steve bannon. why would steve bannon, david, why would he conducted on the record interviews like the ones we've been reading for a book about the president that he helped elect? >> i think some of it may be ego. some of it may be anger and alienation from donald trump. perhaps he just lost too many battles, frustration. maybe the wall is not getting built fast enough. other items on the nationalist agenda that bannon lost battles over within the west wing to the likes of gary cohen, steve
mnuchin and jared, bannon was displaced from the national security council. so anger to h.r. mcmaster. and perhaps, i think, a sense that, you know, his time there was always limited. he had nothing to lose. better to revert to not unlike donald trump himself, be a bomb thrower, to be willing to blow things up and pursue his own agenda. bannon, a guy in his 60s, doesn't come over as a yes man or a diplomat or somebody who would want to keep his own counsel. >> we want to keep you around because you're the only one who has read the entire book. there's a moment in the book where wolff is writing about president trump and perhaps painting a bit of a picture of a man a bit paranoid. quote, long afraid of being poisoned, he would say one reason he like to eat at mcdonald's was because nobody
knew he was coming and the food was safely premade. is that a theme that you notice throughout the book that the president is, according to his friends and closest advisers, a bit paranoid? >> yeah. there's touches of it. i wouldn't say that struck me as a strong recurring theme in terms of lots of descriptions of him hiding or worrying about being assassinated or other things like that. certainly as we've gathered over the last couple of years, he's a man very self-conscious about his public persona, and popularity and vulnerability to -- whether it's investigations or which way the election is going and so on.
but i think he likes mcdonald's, the burgers just as important as the paranoia there. >> david smith, david, thanks so much for so much of your time this afternoon. i want to bring in bill crystal now, founder and editor of "the weekly standard." lonnie, also for the purposes of a conference in a few moments, a former romney campaign policy adviser. we'll get to mitt romney in just a moment. let me start with you, if i can here, bill, on the book. i know that you haven't had time to read the book. i assume you've read some of the excerpts. we heard from the president via statement saying that his former senior adviser had, quote, lost his mind. what do you make so far of the back and forth here, bill, and of the book itself, the parts you've been able to read? >> i guess two thoughts.
i assumed the trump white house would have asked for comment on this because people clearly had confidence. i wonder if that explains the increased vehemence or irrationality and i don't know what of trump's tweets over the last 46-72 hours. in the past he'll know about something before the rest of us because they're asked to comment on it and you see his distress and his excitability and unhappiness ahead of time with some of those tweets. the second thing bannon will be called by robert mueller to testify. he can pop off to michael wolff all he wants and make claims. we'll see if they're true or not. with mueller you're under oath and it's a different matter. the degree of risk trump is at with mueller is so much greater now that flynn has flipped and now bannon has said certain things on the record he's going to have to back up or not or he's going to open various doors to the interrogating of donald junior and others that were already open obviously but gives
more impetus to it. seth waxman said this to you 20 minutes ago, people are underestimated how serious trouble just legally trump is now in -- maybe not legally in the sense of an indictment but in a sense of a referral from congress finding genuine impeachable offenses. >> bill, as you read the excerpts of this book, were you genuinely surprised by parts of it or does this book, again, the excerpts, do they confirm the view that you already had of this president and this white house? >> pretty much confirm it. i think the other point that rings true they didn't expect to win. they thought nothing would be followed up if you cheat and lie in a losing campaign people tend to, okay, he lost, who cares? maybe he gets in trouble with the federal election. you don't have a special counsel looking too closely into it. the same is true of how you carry yourself in all kinds of ways and suddenly they win. they're in the transition. trump is appointing michael
flynn, his national security adviser to be in the white house and then they're off to the races. i think they didn't take seriously in the campaign the fact people might now be looking back at that campaign as the campaign of a president, not of a losing presidential candidate. >> another excerpt of the book, this related to michael flynn saying his russia dealings, again, would only be a problem ifwon, were the chances of that? what does that say about the ethics and perhaps moral grounding of the trump campaign staff itself? >> well, it's an amazing statement, craig, because you expect that people who were running a presidential campaign conduct themselves as if they will be in the office in a certain manner. if that is true it is troubling. all of the conduct during the campaign is related to what's happening in government. all of the relationships made
are related. and so these are very serious charges indeed. and the bannon statement, and the back and forth between the president and bannon are quite striking because it's difficult to understatement -- or, rather, to overstate just how close those two were or perceived to be during the campaign and in the aftermath of the campaign. >> he also, steve bannon, spent a fair amount of time apparently in the book talking about the special counsel's investigation. michael wolff, quoting steve bannon on where the investigation is headed. quote, you realize where this is going, he's quoted as saying. this is all about money laundering. mueller chose, senior prosecutor andrew weisman first, and he's a money laundering guy. their path to -- trump goes right through paul manafort, don junior and jared kushner, it's
as plain as a hair on your face. if you were reading that, what's your reaction? >> i would not be pleased. i would be very upset and concerned, let's say, because these are all people who beyond just being close are family. and we've always known that for president trump, family is something of a red line. the fact he is furious about this, it should not be a surprise to anybody. the fact this is a huge piece of information should not be a surprise to anybody and, again, it goes back to your point, craig, they didn't expect to win. the reality is you would hope that the nominee of a major political party in the u.s. would run a campaign come porting itself in a particular way and, unfortunately, it doesn't appear the campaign did come port itself in that way. >> if you're robert mueller reading the statement you read, what do you do? i believe you call in mr. bannon, why did you think money laundering could be such a big problem? did you have discussions with this with mr. manafort? did you have independent knowledge of certain things?
he's opening up -- what is bannon going to say? i was making it up. presumably he had a reason to say those things. mueller gets more in the way of leads, conversations. did you ever discuss this with donald junior. did he tell you what he was doing in russia? i assume he was going to call bannon anyway so i don't want to exaggerate this but it makes it more -- it will be interesting when bannon testifies before robert mueller and the grand jury. >> again, you really have to wonder what steve bannon's motivation would be to go on the record with a lot of this stuff. have you talked to mitt romney lately? >> well, we haven't talked recently. what i will say his statement about orrin hatch was spot on. i hope governor romney seeks a senate seat. >> do you think he'll run? >> i think there are very good reasons for him to run. i think there are great
opportunities for him to go. >> sounds like lanhee chen thinks he's running. >> he'll run, craig. >> bill crystal does as well. engaging over a button size with north korea's leader. starbucks, mcdonald's and your favorite pot shop. one man's quest to make his business the world's next big franchise. ♪
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a major diplomatic breakthrough. north korea reopened a key communication channel with south korea for the first time in two years. it happened hours after president trump took to twitter once again to go after north korea's dictator. here's the tweet. north korean leader kim jong-un just stated that the nuclear button is on his desk at all times. will someone from his depleted and food-starved regime please inform him that, i, too, have a nuclear button but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his and mine works. kevin, i want to play something the vice president joe biden apparently just said on capitol hill. vice president biden a few minutes ago talking about the president's tweets. >> i'm disappointed because i
think it's -- the only war worse than one that's intended is one that's unintended. this is not a game. this is not about can i puff my chest out bigger than your chest. it's not presidential. >> would part of president trump's motivation here, kevin, perhaps be to try and use heated rhetoric to drive kim to the negotiating table with south korea? >> i don't know if it's that intentional and i would take joe biden's own legendary advice to never question the motivation of your political opponents or to assume to know what they are. there's a lot of questions today about this tweet and whether it is him spouting off, whether it had any strategic intent whatsoever, whether he's serious about it at all. but all i know is as a pentagon reporter who covers the defense world, we're constantly asking
secretary mattis about these things and almost to the point he gets annoyed because secretary mattis is the first one to say diplomacy, diplomacy as much as possible. there are other leaders in this administration that are trying to tamp down the rhetoric for the purpose of peace to get the north koreans to talk more, to get them at a table, to get some sort of stop to the nuclear program and every one of these tweets that comes out from trump, not just on this issue but iran and every other issue, it's just the trump way of trying to bully or shame other international adversaries to some end. >> where does this olive branch from north korea to south korea, where does it leave the united states? >> the united states is living on the outside of it. a lot of the analysis i'm seeing overnight not just from the tweet but from the beginning of these talks, this is a lot between the north koreans and south koreans themselves because of the olympics coming up. there have been several questions to the american
leaders going back at least a month about whether or not it's safe to go to the olympics and how the north koreans would react to find a truce during that time. i think a lot of folks -- i -- to folks like nicholas burns, for example, seasoned diplomats who say the united states should have a leadership position but if they're not doing things to make the south koreans feel safer than the south koreans are going to start to do things without the americans. >> all right. kevin baron, executive editor defense one. kevin, always appreciate your insight, sir. thank you for your time. >> good to see you, craig. let's turn now to weed. that recreational pot. it's legal in california now. entrepreneurs are looking for ways, to expand the marijuana market there. for some that means mass-producing weed. researchers project that the cannabis economy will not only bring in billions of dollars in annual revenue to the golden state but will also create some marijuana millionaires. msnbc's jacob soboroff actually here in new york city with part two of his gold rush series
here. >> i made it. >> you met a guy -- >> yes, i did. >> -- whose company could very well become starbucks or mcdonald's. >> and that's the goal. first i have to say, you asked me to bring you a t-shirt when i was at the dispensary yesterday. i forgot. i don't know if it was because of exposure or something else but i apologize i didn't bring you a t-shirt. this guy's name is steve deangelo. he's a genius, some think, in the marijuana industry. he could be the howard schultz just like starbucks of the marijuana industry. he wants to squash the black market by keeping cannabis cheap for all. it's a tall task to do. he showed me how he intends to do it. take a look. in california's salinas valley, home to some of the most fertile land in the world, harborside farms finds itself in the middle of california's pot gold rush. you've been waiting on this moment for a very long time. swl i have been working for and struggling toward this moment for my entire adult life. >> long-time activist and
medical marijuana entrepreneur steve deangelo's been fixing up greenhouses here to grow cannabis for california's brand new legal recreational market. he hopes by producing pot on a massive scale he'll help knock the black market out of business and become a brand name in weed. >> the number of people that can legally purchase cannabis in california is going to expand by orders of magnitude. >> it's going to explode. >> it's going to explode. and we're really, really concerned that there's not going to be enough cannabis to supply all of those new consumers. >> reporter: deangelo thinks recreational pot in california could be worth as much as $15 billion just two years from now. how do you keep the price cheap enough so anybody does have access to cannabis? >> so we do it by growing cannabis in the same way we do other agricultural crops. we're just beginning. we're at nowhere near the scale that traditional big ag is. and we're still very much in a learning process. this is our propagation greenhouse.
this is where we keep the youngest cannabis plants. now, i'm going to ask you to put your feet in this little dip here because it's very important that we keep this room clean so you don't bring in bugs, pests, mold. so here's your suit. they're coveralls. >> so to me this almost looks like you could be growing anything in here. you could be growing anything we might find in the supermarket. >> yeah. you can grow cannabis in greenhouses that is equal or superior in quality to the cannabis that's grown 2in warehouses and you can do it with a fraction of the carbon consumption. it's also a much less expensive way. under the power of the sun. >> reporter: after a greenhouse tour steve took me to a warehouse where the harvested cannabis is processed, and we suited up for a second time. >> yes. the newest fashion trend. >> this is weed chic? >> weed chic, man. >> what you see here is these are just barrels that have already been harvested. i'll show you what one of these barrels looks like on the
inside. >> oh, wow. >> and these are going to be extracted. and then the juice from the extract is going to be used to fill vape pens. >> oh, wow. if you're buying a vape, you're buying this fluffy stuff. >> this is how your vape pen started out. >> before you guys were working in this business, what were you doing? >> working in the field. >> in the field. you like this job better? >> yeah, it's better. >> we're taking cannabis out of warehouses and out of hidden little places and bringing it to a real agricultural community where people have the skills to deal with a crop like this. >> so this is the structural support. >> reporter: as deangelo works to increase cannabis production at his greenhouses, up in the bay area he's investing money to expand his medical marijuana dispensaries for recreational sales. >> we've gone from one construction site to another construction site. >> welcome to another construction site. yes. >> this location is almost like ground zero. how many more of these are you
going to open across california? >> wiet nright now we're in oak and san jose. we expect to have a statewide footprint within three years. we hope to be able to take this model out to the rest of the world. >> so when eventually, craig, "forbes" comes out with its list of marijuana millionaires we may remember this moment of steve deangelo telling us that by using the practices of big agriculture you're going to have better jobs for people, you're going to create a lot of income and that's going to affect the bottom line of states like california. >> again, california's expecting 7 billion in its first year. >> it could go up to 17 by 2020 they think. >> that's a lot of weed. >> sure is. >> jacob soboroff, thanks as always, sir. >> thank you. some breaking news right now, we just got a statement in on the book that we have been talking about. this of course "fire and fury: inside the trump white house" by michael wolf, the book we've been discussing. a lot of quotes from former white house chief strategist steve bannon in this book. sarah huckabee sanders saying, "this book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access
or influence with the white house. participating in a book that can be described as trashy tabloid fiction exposes their sad desperate attempts at relevancy." as of now a white house briefing is set to happen in about an hour. we will all be watching. dad! dad!! dad!!! can you drive me to jessica's house? uuughhh! ♪ ♪ this is what our version of financial planning looks like.
>> hey craig. 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. at the white house, where a trump friend may now be a trump foe. explosive quotes from steve bannon in a new book, "michael wolf's "fire and fury." we got an early copy of it, and it reads exactly like something that will draw fire and fury from the trump white house. especially on this. bannon, the former white house chief strategist, called that now infamous 2016 meeting at trump tower between donald trump software jr. and the russians "treasonous." a reminder the president has claimed he knew nothing of the meeting at the time but bannon appears to suggest otherwise. "the chance that.net jr. did not walk these jumos up to his father's office on the 26th floor is zero." and according to the book, bannon didn't stop there. he said of the president's namesake, "they're going to crack don junior like an egg on national tv." he also had thoughts about son-in-law jared