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tv   White House Briefing  CSPAN  November 2, 2017 8:58pm-9:27pm EDT

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reporter lawyer david sin and the "washington post" mike dr. evones discuss the republican house tax reform bill and the potential impact only -- on taxpayers. friday morning. join the discussion. >> white house national security adviser hr mcmaster jump date reporter ted daily white house briefing on the president's trip to asia. this tase minutes. >> good afternoon. >> i know you guys are probably
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very sad since we're not going to get a lot of days lying thick together over the next couple of weeks since we'll be traveling, but for those on the trip, i look forward to seeing you. for those that aren't, we'll certainly miss all of you and your questions. it's a busy day here white house. like most days here. the president was excited to announce the broad come limited is come back to the united states, moving back from singaporement their ceo residented the president's economic agenda for making the united states the best place the world to grow a business. he also noted that the tax reform plan rolled out this morning will make it easier for them and other companies to do exactly what they president has promised. bring back our jobs, bring back our wealth, and bring back our great american dreams. this morning the president applauded the house ways and mean its commitow for introducing the tax cuts and jobs act which is another important step toward providing massive tax relief for the
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american people. our entire administration is working tirelessly to make good on our promise to the working people who built our nation to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms. the rocket fuel our economy needs to soar higher than ever before. now is awe all know the president is preparing to leave the country tomorrow for a five-country ten-day tropic mist asia. this afternoon we have with us the president's national security adviser, general mc'smaster who will preview the trip and take questions. please keep your questions on topic. if you have others the press team will be around this afternoon and throughout the next ten days while the rest of us are on the road. thank you so much. general mcmaster. >> thank you. >> good afternoon. good to see everybody. tomorrow president trump embarks on this longest foreign trip to date and the longest trip to asia by an american president in more than a quarter century. this trip is a great opportunity
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to demonstrate america's and the trump administration's commitment to the endopacific, and our efforts to strengthen long-standing american alliances and expand new partnerships? in -- the north korea nuclear threat. since taking office, president trump has placed 43 calls to endopacific leaders and conduct conduct....
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and private enterprise and open markets is the best model to increase prosperity throughout the region and to secure the freedom and independence of all nations. and of course increasing prosperity of the american
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people is always one of president trump top priorities. throughout the trip the president will stress his commitment to free, fair and reciprocal trade. he looks forward to working with partners across the indo pacific region to ensure that governments do not unfairly subsidized their industries. discriminate against foreign business or restrict foreign investment. this will help increase trade, reduce unsustainable deficits and promote prosperity for the people in the people of the indo pacific region. a final point and the point that is often overlooked, this trip like all the presidents engagements with foreign leaders builds on previous accomplishments in previous diplomatic efforts. one example i will provide is in riyadh in may president trump delivered a historic speech to the leaders of more than 50 muslim majority nations.
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the president will interact with many of those same leaders at apac or asean both of those conferences and he will reiterate three counterterrorism pillars that he unveiled in that speech in riyadh. first deny terrorists safe havens at support bases, second cut off their funding and third, to his credit their wicked ideology. i think it's time for us to recognize there has been significant progress on all three fronts. raqqa and mosul have been liberated and will soon no longer control territory and populations as the united states worked hard with allies and partners to deny that safe haven and support bases and in this case isis. second, we should recognize there has been considerable progress on terrorist financing. as you saw secretary mnuchin's visit to the region last week
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during which he opened the terrorist financing targeting center and then also we have heard a lot of leaders across the world and the president foremost among them discrediting this ideology is islamist or so off the jihadist ideology. last week i think is worth reading saudi crown prince's speech during which he called for a return to moderate islam. at the asean 50th or the party of manila the president will discuss how to strengthen partnerships across the indo pacific to further efforts against terrorist organizations so this trip as an opportunity to build on that toward shared prosperity and security and i'm happy to take your questions. thank you. >> generalist you look at the
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tool from a toolkit regarding north korea how is the progress on putting that country back to to -- [inaudible] >> that as an option under consideration so the president's cabinet is looking at this as part of the overall strategy on north korea by the regime who murders someone in a public airport using nerve agents and it despotic leader who murders his brother in that manner that's clearly an act of terrorism that fits in with a range of other actions so this is something that is under consideration and you will hear more about that soon i think. >> will he be meeting with putin on the sidelines and will he bring up human rights? >> so that presently use
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whatever language he wants to use obviously in what the president has done is clarified and all of his discussions statements on north korea our determination to ensure that north korea is unable to threaten our allies are partners and certainly the united states as he is done that with the great deal of clarity in the past and i'm sure he will do that during the trip as well. that has been a great reassurance to our allies and partners and others in the region who are literally under the gun with this regime. >> the expected name modulated in his language? >> i don't think the president modulates his language. have you noticed that? he's been very clear about it and let me just talk about this quickly. i have been aware of the discussions about it eating inflammatory and what is inflammatory as the north korean regime and what they are doing to threaten the world.
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there would be a grave danger that regime didn't understand our resolve in the president's resolve to counter north korean aggression and the president has made it very clear. >> is there a likelihood during the course of this trip that multilateral sanctions will be announced with north korea and the second question i have has to do with china. are they doing enough to apply pressure on the north korean government? >> on those questions what you have seen is a concerted effort to isolate north korea economically and that is then combined with a major diplomatic effort that asks all countries to do more. there is tremendous momentum behind that. we have seen countries across the end of pacific region more globally doing more to expel these north korean slave laborers to shut down a lot of trafficking that his is aimed to
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circumvent u.n. sanctions and to shut down a lot of the moneymaking enterprises of the worst regime oftentimes run out of their embassies to the obscene expulsion of the diplomatic corps a restriction on this activity and the president welcomes that an appreciate it but will be asking others to do even more there. it's both diplomacy and sanctions working together. china is definitely doing more it's not enough until we all received denuclearization which is essential to remember about china's approach is china recognizes this isn't the united states or anyone else asking china to do us a favor. china recognizes it's clearly in china's interest in all nations interested the nuclearized the peninsula and that's because the direct threat from a regime like this from a nuclear weapon but it's also because of the spectrum of the breakdown of the
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nonproliferation regime but others in the region have to arm and that's not good for anybody so china was it always does act in this interest but this is a scenario where inches are clearly aligned. >> you mention your opening comments that the world is running out of time with north korea. if you could expand on that an earlier this week general mattis was asked about the process by which the president might use nuclear weapons and you said if we were to detect the potential launch from north korea that's the scenario by which the president might act. do you agree with that assessment and is that something that has been discussed here when the options were presented to the president? >> on the first being at a time where out of time because in the past they have not labored on
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halting and reversing north korea's very dangerous nuclear and missile programs and the approach in the past has been that we will be happy with something we will call a freeze for a free zaurus suspension or a suspension that the beginning of a long drawnout negotiation process or talks during which the north korean regime has continued to develop its nuclear capability and continues to develop its weapons. upon delivery of a week non-enforceable agreement the framework for example and 94 what that does, what that agreement does is it locks in the status quo is the new normal and north korea breaks its agreement and continues with the programs. we are out of time to do that because of how these programs have advanced over time. so what it it's time for us a concerted effort to do everything, everything all of us can to resolve this short of
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military action. in terms of scenarios the president is always very clear he doesn't draw a red light and he doesn't forecast directly what is going to do. what he will do as he will do whatever it takes to protect the american people and our allies. and so what is clear is the united states will respond with all the capabilities available to north korean aggression. >> the gentleman in the center in the back. >> thank you general. there have been stories coming out of north korea and certainly parts of that part of the world that the north koreans have targeted the president. are you confident about security and if you heard any of the rumors about targeting pyongyang? >> with whenever the president
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travels 13 dozen assessment and we are short of capable forces in the region. that's routine for us is to take the lead into consideration. >> how do you assess president xi to consolidate his power. does that make it easier for north korea are hard or? >> i think what the president will do is build on an already strong relationship that they developed that mar-a-lago but also a substantive policy dialogue we have especially on the security side. in mar-a-lago and indeed since then at the g20 four example multiple phonecalls between president trump and president xi. i would highlight three elements of that foundation for the u.s. chinese and the multinational approach to north korea. the first of these is a recognition that north korea is not just a threat to united
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states. in the old days you would hear this is really a problem between north korea and the united states. everyone acknowledges china specially that this is a problem between north korea and the world. the second thing that is really critical is the universal acknowledgment that denuclearization of the peninsula is the only acceptable outcome. no more suspension versus suspension in the third thing is the sick knowledge meant that it's in its interest obviously but china has a great deal of economic power. 90% of the trade of these two flows through china so the implementation enforcement of the u.n. resolution holds promise but there's more that can be done beyond that and i think it's time for nations to do more beyond what has been called for in u.n. security council resolutions. >> two questions, want to
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follow-up on a a previous question. if you determine whether there will be a bilateral meeting with russian president latimer are put in? >> it has not been determined that we will announce it. >> can you talk for a second about the president weighing in on the -- mowing down people in new york city and how that could complicate prosecutors efforts and help the defense in the trial? >> with the president wants us to secure the american people from this threat and from mass murderers like this and so what he is assess for options to assess. if our tremendous law enforcement teams in our judicial system has all the tools they need to be able to combat this threat to the american people so we'll options to take a look at to see if this is the time to reassess, change
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our capabilities in this area and the area of law enforcement in particular. >> thank you general. you spoke about a lot of different freedoms but i did not hear anything on freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and self-determination and what i want to know is are these things no longer as important to the united states under president trump and is a comfortable with authoritarian regimes consolidating power moving away from democracy as long as they can help us accomplish larger goals such as north korea more than any other subject? >> what you will hear the president when he talks about celebrity talk about sovereign nations protecting the rights of their citizens. you heard in just a preview and you will hear much more in
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speeches and statements the president makes abroad about the importance of two rule of laws individual rights so it's extremely important and what we have to do is just look at the president's record. in syria you have a regime that is a big human rights offender obviously in a number of areas, the murder, the torture and the displacement of 6 million people internally, 5 million refugees, mass murder of their own people with chemical weapons. who stood up against the side to prevent even further murder by chemical weapons? the president did. if you look at the policy toward venezuela, i regime that is consolidating its grip on power denying their citizens their rights the president has taken a strong stance along with our great american partners on venezuela so i would say look at the options.
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look at the cuba policy and look at the shift from the old cuba policy that enables an autocratic regime and a policy which incentivizes human rights in the development of free enterprise for example in cuba. >> you mentioned venezuela that the president and his administration on occasions has condemned what's going on in venezuela but has not done the same thing with the other leaders in the philippines in turkey and also in russia. the president seems to have no problem with some authoritarian regimes but problems with others and i will ask you one more time why is venezuela different from turkey or russia or the philippines? >> i think what the president is focused on this being effective in advancing and protecting human rights and advancing the rule of law. you've seen him do that in his relationship -- so how much does
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it help to yell about these problems? it hasn't delivered in recent history anyway so i don't think we should assume anything because you are not in the phonecalls and you are not in the meetings and the president has done quite a bit treaty will continue to do more to advance and protect human rights across all of our relationships. >> with a presence in the region is there any concern or expectation that it could cause the north korean regime to ratchet up their aggression and are we doing anything proactively to prepare for acceleration attentions? >> the only thing that is ratcheting up north korea's aggression is the north korean regime itself. what is important is for us to have the capabilities necessary and to have them in the right locations to deter conflict and
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if necessary to be able to respond to north korean aggression. we are doing that with our allies in the region. primarily our great south korean allies have since the armistice in 1953 so we are working together with our south korean allies every day to make sure we have the highest rate of readiness and he have seen some of the most recent provocations involving missile launches over japan and north korea posing a great threat to our allies in japan as well produced to mention this is a global threat that requires a global response. improving our military readiness ensuring we have the right assets strategic assets in the region is immensely to preventing conflict in making sure we are prepared to respond. >> general there are some foreign policy and intelligence
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experts that believe the only route to a negotiated settlement between the united states and north korea the china support would be a very strong pledge from the united states not to seek regime change in north korea and also to remove u.s. forces from the korean peninsula and provide south korea's defense. that's something this white house would even entertain? >> we are always assessing our strategies and policies based on the degree to which we think they are effective. right now we say the goal is the nuclearization of the peninsula period and what you have seen is just the very beginning and maybe the end of the beginning of the present strategy in the form of new sanctions in place. there's much more work to do to isolate the regime diplomatically and economically and i think we have to be a location to see what more we and others can do as some of you mention in the beginning. i don't think we need to
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reassess our strategy now. we have to give it a few months and see what adjustments we need to make. can you talk about who is going to be leaving conversations and i know secretary mineta and is not going. whether it's ivanka or jared or even the u.s. crp can you talk about this? >> certainly our ustr will be leading the discussions on trade trade. in terms of trade economic development economic practices it will be our ustr and at times other members of the president's team but really it's the president's trip so the president is going to be leading the discussions on trade and security and the rest of us are there to support this engagement
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and to make the most out of this as we can. thanks everybody. thanks everybody. [inaudible conversations]
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next hearing on infrastructure response and recovery efforts in the wake of hurricanes in texas florida in and the caribbean. public and private sector officials sat before the house energy and commerce subcommittee on the issue. in this portion of the hearing government officials give updates on recovery efforts. this is two and a half hours. [inaudible conversations]

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