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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  July 5, 2017 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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no, you're not jimmy. don't let directv now limit your entertainment. xfinity gives you more to stream to more screens. the challenge that president-elect trump said would not happen is happening now. to him, to us. a nuclear armed north korea testing missiles that can reach this country. now it's up to president trump to deal with it, and it's only one of many challenges he's facing. john berman here in for anderson. the president arrived in warsaw today. north korea launched an icbm. the president launched a salvo at china for not doing more to
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stop it. an emergency session of the security council, the u.n. ambassador issued a warning to pyongyang and beijing. >> their actions are quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution. the united states is prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves and our allies. >> add to that the words of the top american general in south korea said self-restraint is the only thing keeping the peace right now on the korean peninsula. it's just item one for the president who is in europe to meet allies made uneasy about his words and actions lately. he will also have his first formal meeting with vladamir putin, who has made a career out of bullying and generally bedevilling his share of foreign counterparts, including several u.s. presidents. to say there's a lot at stake hardly says enough. we'll talk about it all tonight. cnn's jeff zeleny starts us off. >> reporter: president trump arriving in poland tonight for a critical overseas trip.
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his second since taking office. striking an optimistic tone while leaving the white house today. he's facing rising tensions in europe and mounting challenges across the world. the most urgent, north korea's nuclear program. the testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could be strong enough to strike the u.s. >> together, we are facing the threat of reckless and brutal regime in north korea, the nuclear and ballistic missile programs of that regime require a determined response. >> reporter: the north korean nuclear ambitions are at the top of his agenda for a meeting with the chinese president xi jinping at the g20 summit later this week in germany. a friendly relationship when only months ago the president says has soured now. the president blames china for not doing enough to apply economic pressure on the north korean regime. trade between china and north korea grew almost 40% in the
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first quarter. so much for china working with us, but we had to give it a try. six weeks after his first trip abroad, the stakes are higher this time. president trump is set to come face to face with russian president vladamir putin, the first meeting between the two, as relations are highly fraught. russian interference in the 2016 u.s. election investigation have placed a cloud over the trump white house. it's also complicated the u.s.-russian relationship that president trump once suggested could be far stronger than president obama's frayed alliance with putin. >> if putin likes donald trump, guess what, folks? that's called an asset, not a liability. now, i don't know that i'm going to get along with vladamir putin. i hope i do. but there's a good chance i do. >> reporter: at the summit in germany, the president is likely to receive a chilly reception from key allies over his decision to withdraw from the paris climate agreement.
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and his harsh words on nato. angela merkel facing a re-election of her own, not sugarcoating her disagreements with trump's populism. telegraphing the confrontation. globalization is seen by the american administration more as a process that is not about a win-win situation, but winners and losers. >> jeff zeleny joins us now from warsaw with the president. jeff, i understand that on the flight to poland, the white house was asked about the situation in north korea. what did officials have to say? >> reporter: they were indeed, and the white house spokesperson sarah huckabee sanders declined to talk at all about the next steps toward the regime that is really bedevilling president trump. this is his biggest crisis yet, his biggest challenge on the foreign stage. but the white house is not saying what they're going to do about it, the next steps here. that is a subtext of all of the meetings the president is facing at the g20 in germany, which begins tomorrow. he's going to be rallying the
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faithful here in poland at his biggest rally he's had yet on foreign soil early tomorrow. but then going to that g20. north korea front and center in all of that. but the reality, not many good options nor this president. >> and some white house officials say watch this speech tomorrow in poland. we will be watching very closely. jeff zeleny, thank you very much. more now on what is at stake tomorrow and friday in hamburg for a president who has seen major western counterparts begin distancing themselves from washington. joining us is retired rear admiral john kirby, david gergen, who has been there in the room during countless crises dating back to the nixon administration. david, i want to start with you. i count three major issues facing the president. the north korean missile test, his meeting with vladamir putin, and the array of allies that are
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wary about the u.s. role in the world going forward. any one of these issues would be all-encompassing at a g20 summit. now president trump has to deal with all three. how important is the way he navigates the next few days? >> these are probably the most important international meetings that he's going to have the first couple of years in office, because everyone is still taking a measure of donald trump as a world leader and whether he's going the retreat from the stage, as he's given indications that he would in terms of international collaboration, and whether he's going to be able to persuade others who are not in his corner to take tougher actions against north korea. he's going to have tough conversations with the chinese, because he's very disappointed. and they've gone angry with his responses to it. he's going to have very tough meetings with putin there, because vladamir putin is a master manipulator. and donald trump thinks he is. and they may well clash. we'll have to wait and see. then again, this is the first
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time i can remember a president going to a meeting in europe with our european friends which he's getting a frosty reception from the most important and most powerful player in europe, angela merkel from germany, who is very happy -- loved obama and very unhappy with trump. this could be a fractious meeting. and it could come out without a lot of progress on the issue that americans view so important, north korea. there's going to be pushback from the chinese and russians against the u.s. position on north korea, that we have to get a lot tougher. >> admiral kirby, you have the russian audience and the rest of the world leaders watching to see how tough this president is willing to be with russia. perception matters in diplomacy and politics here. how do you think the president wants to be perceived here? >> i think he wants to come off of this meeting being able to say that he reset -- maybe that's not the best verb, but he
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certainly got the u.s.-russia bilateral relations in a better place, or at least the beginnings of a better place, sort of moving it forward in a positive direction. i think he wants to show that he's not intimidated by vladamir putin, that he is willing to meet eye to eye with him and be strong. but i don't think we're going to see a lot of tangible results out of this. they'll come out of this thing and say we had a constructive meetings. going to talk about a lot of things. our teams are now going to work on issues going forward. i don't think you'll see a lot of real results here. but first meeting as president with putin, this is a key opportunity for him to lay down markers. you're not going to achieve deals. you do have an opportunity to make some strong points to putin of things we're not going to tolerate, things we can work together on and things that we're going to have our teams work even harder on. >> you see this, the g20 summit as a possible pivot point for the entire presidency here. there are a number of nations, u.s. allies waiting to see which way this administration will go.
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and it's possible some of these leaders will make their judgment how the next four or eight years will be based on the next few days. >> i agree. this isn't trump's first engagement on the international stain. he did meet with nato leaders in may, and he spoke to them in quite a condescending way and they were not happy with him. the way they respond to him and publicly message on the issues they disagree with him on, such as climate change or syria or north korea will be indicative of the decisions they've already made from may until now, and how they plan to treat the trump administration. and i do think they've moved beyond trying to figure out what trump means by his tweets and what his plans are. and we can judge merkel's response in that vein, but he's been giving him these chilly vibes from across the ocean, and we should anticipate that when he attends these meetings. that being said, there will be other countries there, such as
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saudi arabia, india, australia, who actually do like trump's populist rhetoric, because it appeals to certain domestic sentiments they want to tap into at home. so we might see some favorable views of trump coming out of this trip. in particular, i think poland will be very positive on trump. the far right government there is a fan of his, and there will be people there supporting him very vocally during his time there. so we'll see a mixture of response to trump. >> the poland visit is fascinating in itself. poland is a nation with a leader who is somewhat trump-like, but it's also a nation that juxtaposes itself with russia, the former soviet union. poland and russia very wary of each other. by going there tomorrow and giving what the white house is billing as a pretty important speech, is the president sending a message to russia? >> absolutely he's sending a
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message. the polish government is looking for affirmation from trump that he will maintain american commitments to nato. that's in poland's interest because they're threatened by russia. it's not that inconsistent with trump's demeanor so far in russia. he has spoken positively about putin, but at the same time, he's been inconsistent and criticized russia and the state department has taken a hard stance on certain russian behavior. that's part and parcel of the instability and unpredictability that trump wants to generate in government and to the foreign governments that he's dealing with. but poland is playing their cards really well right now. >> admiral kirby, obviously the north korean missile test, which may be the most proximate challenge facing the president, how much will he have to deal with on the ground there, how much can he get done on that? >> it's going to be a backdrop issue. there will be opportunities for him to discuss it. there's no doubt that the
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chinese are going to want to talk about this with him and others will, as well. >> south koreans, japanese, they're all there. >> of course. this will be a major issue he's going to deal with for the whole trip. the g20, their agenda is financial regulation, africa, refugees, lots of issues that they believe can only be solved multilaterally. of course, this is a president who is all about america first, and unilateral solutions or bilateral trade negotiations. so there's going to be a real frustration to get any progress on the agenda of the g20 itself, which is multilateral. but clearly north korea will be shading all of this. >> thank you all very much. next, we're going to dig deeper on the military options for handling a north korea with nuclear weapons and perhaps soon a fleet of missiles to put them on. former defense secretary william cohen joins us. and why many states are voicing such objections to the president's election integrity panel. advil liqui - gels work so fast you'll ask
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self-restraint is all that's stopping the u.s. and south korea from going to war with north korea, those words from general vincent brooks. this was not off the cuff. it's a message, and they don't get much blunter than that. as for what military action could look like, it ranges from difficult to nightmarish, in part because china is nearby and seoul is within artillery range of the north. joining us now with more on this difficult problem, correspondent jim sciutto. jim, first tell us what u.s. officials are saying happened during this missile launch. >> reporter: when they look at it, they're saying one, it's new. that's interesting, because the u.s. and the international community has been aware of most
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of north korea's missile classes and they've been seeing advances in each class, but this one is a new category. two, it does appear to be an attempt at an intercontinental ballistic missile. one remaining question is did the reentry vehicle come down to earth in a situation that was controlled, meaning they had control from start to finish. that's not clear yet. but they're certainly getting closer here. that's a lot of the ingredients, a lot of steps to get to that eventuality, that north korea has the ability to hit across continents, including the u.s. >> theoretically how far could this missile reach? >> reporter: to alaska. if successful, it could go to alaska. the question welcomes, can they take the next step of reliably
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miniaturizing a nuclear warhead to put on the tip of that missile? that's another step that the u.s., u.s. intelligence believes north korea is moving closer to. they don't believe that they're at that step today. but they know they're making progress. it's interesting. james clapper told me this last year, he said our footing is we have to assume that north korea can do that. it's a pretty remarkable and alarming assumption. >> we heard from the generals both u.s. and south korean saying self-restraint is the only thing keeping the u.s. from going to war. if that changes, what are the options? >> reporter: the military option, at least in terms of a preemptive strike and taking out the nuclear facilities is not an option because of the consequences. you named them. seoul is very close to the north korean border. north korea has rockets and artillery trained on seoul.
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so, the price of a u.s. or international military strike would be very high. james mattis said it would be unlike war we've seen in decades. because of that, the actual options will be familiar to ones that everybody listening tonight have been tried before. so pressure on china, economic sanctions, the possibility of talks. where does that lead in the end? the reality that's approaching, the world recognizing north korea is a nuclear power and contain north korea. that's a remarkable and alarming reality, as well. >> that's what richard haass calls acceptance. acceptance is not something a lot of diplomats are willing to deal with. jim sciutto, thank you very much. perspective now from someone who dealt with kim jong-un's father, william cohen, former republican senator, currently ceo of the firm the cohen group. mr. secretary, thank you for being with us. when you hear the commander of u.s. forces in the korean peninsula say that self-restraint is all that is
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preventing war, that sounds pretty terrifying to a lot of people. how long do you believe this self-restraint can or should last? >> it's been lasting for some time now. the north has been engaged in provocative action for years, building its nuclear capability and missile technology, engaged in attacking south korean boats, killing a number of sailors, et cetera. this has been going on a long time. and the south has exercised, as has the united states, great restraint, because there are some 800,000 troops on the border of south korea, from the dmz, that could rain havoc on seoul. nothing has changed except it's gotten worse. the north korean allies, china and russia, have been helping his economy grow. we used to say you can't have guns and butter. well, he's had guns, but he's also had butter. furnished by the russians and the chinese and others.
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the reaction has to be to go after the countries supporting the north korean regime, saying if you do business with them, you can't do business with us. that raises the issue of china itself. we're not going to get into a trade war with china, but we are and should take a number of sanction steps against those companies, those banks who have been in fact moving money through in order to help the north korea have the butter as well as the guns. >> you said this has been going on for some time. but everyone we've spoken to says it's worse, the fact that it's now a device that could reach alaska in theory, changes the calculus here. at what point do you have to go beyond the diplomatic scolding and force china to do what needs to be done? >> we still have two very important things, deterrence and defense. when we talk about beefing up our capability, we can do more
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in south korea and japan. the south korean president was just here, i spoke with him. he has had some apprehensions about the deployment of thaad, because he wasn't aware of the implications. i would see this as an opportunity for him to say we're going forward with a full-scale thaad. the same should be said and encourage japan to do the same, not only to employ land-base systems in japan, but i would talk about japan having a cruise missile capability. so i think we can do things on a defensive basis that will make life much tougher for the north koreans if we, in fact, really imposed the sanctions that need to be imposed and say to the north korean regime, if we're going to negotiate, we're going to negotiate on a basis which you don't gain. as you have been in the past. >> thaad is a missile defense system placed in south korea, just for the viewers. but the south korean leader had opposition because it felt it might be too provocative. it's there, but the question is
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how long will it stay? maybe they will enhance it even more. i was thinking today how remarkable it was, while you were secretary of defense, your counterpart madeiline albright went to north korea. it seems like a world ago. we're looking at this video right now. should negotiations, should the idea of direct talks with north korea at this point be on the table, and if so, in what way? >> at some point, there can be direct talks, but not at this point. what you've seen is the north koreans have simply engaged in extortion after extortion and now at a much higher level. so they can sit down and start talking some more so they continue their testing and research and development, and then we're at a much more difficult place. soy met with the north koreans, as well. i think there is an opportunity to make a deal at some point.
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but we're not ready yet, because they're not ready and the chinese and russians have to be a part of it, and they've been too willing to allow the regime to continue enjoying the benefits of that relationship. >> north korea says it won't talk unless the u.s. stops doing military options, which the u.s. won't do. doesn't seem like there's a starting point. >> there is. if you don't exercise, you don't train and you become less capable. over time, that capability erodes. so when the time comes to negotiate with the north koreans, you're at a great disadvantage. so we have to talk in terms of even talking about regime change in north korea, because we haven't been doing that. and i think if this regime continues on the path it's going, we should start talking about it, if not considering -- >> how do you change the regime? >> from within.
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you start, again, crushing the economy. i think we can do more to make it much more painful for the north koreans to continue what they're doing and enjoy an increased quality of life. the economy of north korea has been improving because other countries have helped them to feed and fuel them and continue their guns policy. that has to stop if we want to negotiate a settlement. >> secretary cohen, fascinating discussion. your impression from the inside the last several decades. thanks so much. >> thank you. president trump's first face-to-face meeting with vladamir putin just days away. forget the fact that he said he met with him during the campaign. what is on the agenda or lack thereof and whether the matter of russians meddling in the u.s. election will come up. that's next. ♪ ♪ award winning interface. award winning design. award winning engine.
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in just two days, president trump meets with vladamir putin face-to-face for the first time. leave aside the fact that president trump said the two had met, he said that at least twice. the major question looming over this meeting, will russia's meddling come up as a topic of conversation?
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elise labot reports. >> reporter: president donald trump will come base to base for the first time with russian president vladamir putin. a man he has cozied up to. >> if putin likes donald trump, guess what, folks? that's called an asset, not a liability. >> reporter: and one u.s. intelligence agencies say directed a plot to help trump win the white house. with u.s.-russian relations at their lowest point since the cold war, the stakes couldn't be higher. yet aides are in the dark about what he might say. >> there's no specific agenda? >> whatever the president wants to talk about it. >> reporter: white house officials don't expect the president to dwell on the election. despite political pressure, even from trump's own party. >> as americans, it's important for us to be united on this front, protecting the process, not just looking backwards but looking forwards as well and send that message to make sure
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it doesn't happen again. >> reporter: moscow is lowering expectations and setting the tone. a spokesman saying they hope "a working dialogue will be established" and they claim putin may not have time in that meeting to explain russia's actions in ukraine and its position on the civil war in syria. >> i would love to be able to get along with russia. >> reporter: with an fbi investigation between trump's campaign and russia, making significant breakthroughs on any issues is unlikely. officials say the best hope for the meeting is good optics, but even that is a gamble for a president prone for off the cuff remarks. trump raised eyebrows at his last meeting with russian officials, smiling and laughing in this photo with the russian foreign minister and ambassador, discussing his firing of james comey, and revealing intelligence from israel.
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putin has sympathized with trump, recently describing the u.s. as locked in "political schizophrenia that prevents trump from improving relations with russia." >> translator: this is clearly sign of an increasingly intense domestic political struggle and there's nothing we can do here. we cannot influence this process but we're ready for constructive dialogue. >> elise, we know from both sides that syria is on the table for discussion. what do you imagine will come up there? >> reporter: i think president putin is looking for support from president trump for his political process, dealing with president assad and the opposition, which essentially would mean that assad would stay. just minutes ago, secretary of state rex tillerson put out a statement saying yes, the u.s. does want to work on a political process in syria. but put russia on notice that russia has a lot of responsibilities as a main
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backer of the assad regime, that it has to support a genuine political process that it has to make sure that as isis is liberated from raqqah and other parts of syria, that they don't give assad an advantage to go in there. and they have to provide for the needs and humanitarian situation of the syrian people. that includes making sure that assad does not launch any more chemical weapons against the syrian people, really putting president putin on the back foot as they go into this meeting. >> elise, thank you so much. joining me now is steve hall and jill dougherty. jill, covering moscow and watching summits like this, with both sides that will go and try to carefully choreograph what this meeting is like. how do you see it playing out? >> well, i think vladamir putin will do that. i think his people are very adept at that. i'm not quite sure what will
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happen on the american side, because as we know, there are a lot of conflicting right now factors for president trump. he wants to have a good relationship with putin. he wants to make this summit look like a success. but anything that he does that really is very positive towards vladamir putin can boomerang back home. so it's very delicate. and also, you have vladamir putin is a very experienced person. he's been in power 17 years, started out as we all know as a kgb operative. part of what he does is he looks at the other guy, evaluates what the other guy wants, and he plays to that other guy. so if he figures that donald trump wants a deal, he might suggest a deal. he might suggest a deal that's not good for the united states but attractive to trump. it's very difficult for any person to sit in a room with
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putin. you see he's quite a strong debater and also a person who knows how to manipulate. >> sure, and you know that this will be hyper analyzed down to the facial expresses. if donald trump frowns, he runs the risk of offending vladamir putin. but if he smiles too much, it will seem like he's cozying up. >> exactly. i think that's really the other thing, the hand shake. one question i would love to know the answer to, what are the cameras going to be in that room, will they video cameras or still cameras. will there be any media in the room? i tend to doubt it. if so, those are important questions to look at and follow. >> so steve hall, former chief of russia operations for the cia, you've been watch thing guy for years and you know how
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vladamir putin operates. he shows up to these meetings prepared. there's that story of bringing a labrador to a meeting with angela merkel because she's afraid of dogs. how will he approach this? >> let's start with what vladamir putin has been up to. there's the dismembers of ukraine, to you supporting a civil war, shooting down an airliner with an american on board and a whole bunch of allies. and then there's the meddling of our elections and western european elections. so if you're donald trump, and you're the great negotiator, and you're contemplating negotiating with a businessman, what is your opening position with someone who has stolen your buildings, tried to break into your systems and killed your friends? is it going to be let's see where we can come to an agreement and cooperate on? what it ought to be is there's been some up acceptable behavior, and we can't discuss much at all, until we come to a
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conclusion as to what it is you have been up to with these activities. people are making a big deal that that's not going to be enough time. that didn't take much time. all you have to do is say look, on syria, which is an important thing now that russia has gained a seat at the table, talk to my national security team. they'll talk to your guys and we'll figure something out. without a strong lead, putin will view that as a weakness and say okay, they're good with all the stuff i've done the past couple of years. and we can go forward without paying a penalty. >> how do you see vladamir putin walking into this meeting, knowing the domestic pressure that donald trump faces, do you think vladamir putin will try to use that to his advantage? >> sure. putin will use everything to his advantage. much is made of the fact that he's a former intelligence officer, and that's helpful in identifying motivations and vulnerabilities in people. but he's dealt with four american presidents in the past,
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and all sorts of senior officials and for a long time. so he's gained a lot of experience and he understands how the west thinks and works and knows we want to cooperate and that american presidents want to do this great reset or a great, i'm going to fix the russian problem. >> will there be cameras, will there be a u.s. policy? thanks so much. in addition to the meeting with vladamir putin, the president has a north korea problem to deal with. the white house says it will not broadcast any next steps. broadcast any next steps. that's next. ♪ if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis,... isn't it time to let the real you shine through? maybe it's time for otezla (apremilast). otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable after just 4 months,... with reduced redness,...
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the president faces at least two major challenges this week. he's in poland ahead of the g20 summit in germany, where he's scheduled to meet with vladamir putin on friday. looming over the whole trip and over the whole country is north korea's first successful intercontinental ballistic missile test. lots to talk about with fareed zakaria.
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in some ways, the missile test from north korea is the first real international crisis the president has had to face. we learned a lot about presidential leadership at moments like these. what do you think we're going to learn about the president in the coming days? >> we really don't know. so i think it's fair to say that on the basis of what we know in the past, what you've seen from president trump is somewhat impulsive, you know, the tweets come immediately in a way that isn't quite disciplined. that's not necessarily all bad. it could be unpredictability is helpful. what worries me about this, this is one of those cases where is the united states actually has very limited options. the united states does not have much of a military option. the south koreans wouldn't go for it, and they are the battlefield in a sense. it would cause enormous concentration. so when you're looking at it diplomatically, you have to get all your ducks in a row. you've got to get to the
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chinese, and they are the key. but you've also got to talk to the south koreans, the japanese, the russians. it's complicated. and in that process, you have to be very consistent. >> meeting with vladamir putin. how important do you think the first impressions that these men make with each other will be in what could be a four or eight-year relationship? >> my great worry about donald trump in this regard, his skill and success, which is he's a good salesman. he's a good negotiator. clearly in the private sector. you think about his ability to create his brand and sell it. when i met him personally, you get that feel. you understand why. he's charismatic. the problem is foreign policy is very rarely just about that personality interface, as he learned with the xi jinping situation. he thought i give this guy a great welcome in mar-a-lago and a beautiful piece of chocolate cake and he's going to pressure
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north korea in a way they hadn't for 25 years. no. china has permanent interests in north korea that are hard to move. similarly with putin, the most important thing to remember about putin is putin is above all a russian nationalist. he believes in following russia's national interest, and he's very clear about it. he's quite intelligent about it. when you talk to him, he has a very consistent, very logical way of thinking from russia's point of view. >> so the g7 meeting, the meeting with nato leaders, controversial, rocky from some perspective. how much of u.s. standing is on the line this week with the g20? >> i think there are a number of countries that have begun to say things similar to what angela merkel said just yesterday, which was that the united states sees the world very differently than we do. we have to, in a sense, chart our own course.
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there are other leaders who have made similar observations. the foreign minister of canada gave a speech saying it is now up to canada to defend the liberal international order since the united states is not going to. >> do you think we'll have a better sense of what america first means by the end of this week? >> yeah. i think the truth about trump is, he's pretty transparent. i don't think he's going to go and it's going to be complicated, diplomatic language and the minnuettes. all he can talk about in those nato meetings is you didn't pay your bills. he talks to merkel, you didn't pay your bills. you're too tough on trade with us. you don't get a sense this is a guy who thinks that, but can say wonderful to meet you, madame chancellor, i reaffirm our historic relationship. that's not president trump, what you see is what you get.
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>> maybe he brings a lot of chocolate cake. thank you so much. coming up, 44 states and the district of columbia saying not so fast to the trump administration's voter fraud commission. the panel is asking for personal information on every voter in the country. we'll hear from one republican secretary of state who says the request is part of a political game, when "360" continues. 80 percent of recurrent ischemic strokes could be prevented with the right steps. and take it from me, every step counts. a bayer aspirin regimen is one of those steps in helping prevent another stroke. be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. be the you who doesn't cover your moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization.
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act® strengthens enamel, protects teeth from harmful acids, and helps prevent cavities. go beyond brushing with act®. almost every state in the union is now refusing to hand over at least some of the voter information to president trump's election integrity commission. falling into that camp louisiana's republican secretary of state, the former president of the national association of secretaries of state. i spoke with him earlier. mr. secretary, 44 states are refusing to provide at least some type of voter data to the election commission, and your state, louisiana, is one of them. what exactly are you refusing to provide and why do you have a problem with what has been requested? >> okay, john. the data that's available to anyone, myself as a candidate and you as news and media is one that we sell, it's called our commercial list. it is an individual's name, address, party affiliation, and
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the frequency of their vote, not how they voted. the information that has caused the big stir nationally and certainly here in my state was the -- they didn't come out directly and asked for only the public information available under law, but then they went on to say social security number, mother's maiden name, date of birth. that's the part that i had heartburn over because i refused under a federal lawsuit some time ago with the obama administration, eric holder doj, naacp and the like the very information that they ultimately backed off on. as a matter of fact, i almost got contempt of court for refusing it. so i'm not refusing to give president obama anything -- i mean president trump anything i didn't do for president obama. so it's a matter of protecting people's confidentiality. i think there's other ways that we can get assistance from this commission and the federal government. >> mr. secretary, you do say you think this commission has been
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politicized. how so? >> well, i think it became politicized when the whole avenue of the loss of the election on the popular vote, just that whole avenue and that there was massive voter fraud. you know, on that particular issue, john, quite frankly i welcome an investigation because what it's done, whether you're a democratic secretary of state or republican secretary of state, the participation rate of voters in this country has been on a downward slide for years. >> well, sure. >> certainly, when you start questioning the integrity, you start keeping people from the polls. >> sure. we should have more people voting, not fewer people voting. obviously it should all be done legally. but the question is you said it has been politicized and the whole issue of the popular vote. it was president trump or then president-elect trump who questioned whether the election was valid because he said that 3 million, up to 3 million people he argued voted illegally. have you seen any evidence of that? >> well, i haven't seen that in
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the state of louisiana. i can't speak for the other 49. but again, john, what i would say is i have nothing to hide -- restricting this information, i have nothing to hide. i'm just protecting the sensitive part of the confidential information. >> one of the things that some democrats say, and again the goal here, you just said it, is to have more people vote legally, as many as possible. some say this is -- this data collection is a step toward voter suppression. do you see any merit in that argument? >> well, no, i do not. that's the argument from the left side, voter suppression. the argument from the right side is voter fraud. when can we get over all of this debate and just get on with the most precious right americans have to vote. all of this chatter that's been going on from both left and right side, to be fair here, is totally irresponsible and it has done nothing to increase participation. >> as you sit here tonight in closing, just simply yes or no, are you happy with the way this
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voter commission has gone about its business so far? >> i think that procedurally they fumbled the ball coming out of the gate. quite frankly, if you look at the letter and you read the letter, he does ask strictly for public information available under the state law, but he only yesterday in an interview, i'm speaking of kris kobach, my colleague, i watch him on fox and your channel. he let this rhetoric go on and on and on about social security number and mother's maiden name when that was a secondary request. but he put a lot of us in a real trick bag by the way they handled that coming out of the box. of course the rest of it's history and now we're all picking up the pieces. >> all right. secretary of state tom schedler, we'll let you get back to picking up the pieces. thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> thank you, john. appreciate the opportunity. up next, more on the rising tension with north korea and the limited options for dealing with it now that it could be close to deploying long-range missiles. first, though, a sneak peek at a moment when the world may have been a whole lot less serious,
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