tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC January 7, 2018 9:00am-10:00am EST
award-winning organic cheddar puffs from aldi. simply smarter shopping. "this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. >> fire and fury. >> a never interviewed with him in the white house at all. he was never in the oval office. >> president trump and his team fire back at the explosive new book. >> it's complete fantasy and full of tabloid gossip. >> it's a damning portrait of chaos the white house. michael wolff is also facing fallout. and -- >> everything i have done is 100% properly. that's how i do things. properly. >> how strong is the case? di
under oath? how will the gop counterattack on the investigation color the case? those questions ahead for preet bharara. plus, after taunting kim jong-un about the size of his nuclear button. >> without my rhetoric and without my tough stance, they would nts be talking right now. >> the latest from nikki haley and martha raddatz from south korea. we'll break down the politics, smoke out the spin, the facts that matter this week. good morning. to anyone who thought president trump's second year might be a bit more relaxed thn that first. two words. fire and fury. that title of the the blistering new best seller about the trump white house also describes president trump's response to the book. which has intensified an extraordinary debate. captured this morning in headlines across the country a
does president you trump have the mental stability it takes to handle his off office? >> a guy that doesn't know me. doesn't know me at all. by the way, did not interview me. he said he interviewed me for three hours in the white house. that didn't exist, okay. it's in his imagination. >> reporter: the president calling "fire and fury" a work of fiction. >> my credibility is being questioned by man who has perhaps less credibility than anyone else who has ever walked the earth to this point. >> reporter: broken his relationship with the former top strategist. >> difd steve bannon betray you? >> he called me a great man last night. so he obviously changed his tune pretty quick. >> reporter: bannon's quotes jump off the pages of "fire and fury." don jr. is treason nous. ivanka, dumb as a
>> sloppy steve is now looking for a job. >> reporter: the book reports trump and his campaign were shocked by a win they never expected. and in the white house portrayed by wolff, president trump is woefully unfit for the job. one staffer said working with trump is like trying to figure out what a child wants. others thought he was no more than semiliterate. calling him an idiot and a dope. >> according to your reporting, everyone questions his intelligence and fitness for office? >> let me put a marker in the sand here. 100% of the people around him. >> reporter: the book has drawn a full-throated denil from the white house podium. >> it's disgraceful and laughable. if he was unfit, he probably wouldn't be sitting there. wouldn't have defeated the most qualified group of candidates the republican party has ever seen. >> reporter: and saturday morning, trump to ok matters ino his own hands.
mental stability and like, being, really smart. calling himself a stable genius. >> only because i went to the best colleges. or college. came out, made billions and billions of dollars. became one of the top business people. went to television and for ten years was a tremendous success. as you probably have heard. ran for president one time and won. >> "roundtable" here to take it on. joined by chief political analyst matthew dowd. democratic strategist stephanie cutter. chair of the american conservative union, matt schlapp. roland martin from tv one. and sara fagen, political director for president bush and now with cnbc. every president hit by a book like this. usually by bob woodward. what is your take? >> speaking as a genius -- um -- i have three
many. i have three. first, i'm not a huge fan of michael wolff and the stale of journalism that that entals. think that the problem with that style of joump slichl, it's -- it's evidenced by celebrity. talks about the tawdry stories. i don't think it adds to tis course or helps us move forward. that being said, he paints a broad picture. take the little stories out of it. with insiders who have not denied they have said all the things they have been quoted as saying as something republicans on the record, and most republicans off the record have said. that there's a question about the president's temperament. serious questions about his mental acuity. can he handle the office? all of the stresses of the office? it's things that have been talked about for a year. the third thing, fund mentally, the president only made matters worse in what he's done. all the tweets and everything have basically confirmed everything michael wolff has said. >> you hear him
tweet, stable genius. it's like richard nixon, i'm not a crook. >> he handled it in the worst possible way by adding to it. he should have discredited the author. who discredited himself by being sloppy and let it go. donald trump can not do that. there's a great lesson for anyone wants to run for president. be careful who you surround yourself with. donald trump, one of his biggest mistakes was surrounding himself with people who didn't have his interests many mind. steve bannon clearly looks out for steve bannon. that is the worst possible chief strategist to put in the white house. >> matt schlapp, let me take this to you. you had steve bannon at the conference in 2017 when he was rides quite high. is he done now? >> no. i think he's marginalized his voice. most republicans want a big, long break from
brand of politics. i think the issues still dominate. i want to aguy with sara on this. they staffed up the white house. you could see it. in the most incomprehensible way with people that did not have the president's best interests at heart. quite frankly, they were not experienced. talked way too much. didn't have a strategy behind it. i think the person who realized it the quickest was the president. i think you have to give again kelly credit. >> the white house seems to have changed operations under general kelly. let me take that point to stephanie cutter. staff by the people not with the president's best interests at heart. one of the things you see in this book, the the president's daughter and son-in-law had outsized influence. >> absolutely. we knew that before the book came out. we know what kind of problems that presents in a white house. we have in some way, shape, or form, been inside the white house.
influence bid those relatives. >> it is an extremely disruptive to a well-functioning white house. think the other takeaway, yes, the -- that white house lacked a team ready to go that was loyal to the president. but, they had a very hard time finding people who would go in the white house to work for this president. think that created an unvirt wous circle. >> i don't think that is true. >> the book makes it worse. >> the central insight in the book is they didn't think they were going to win from the president on down, all through the campaign, and heading into the early days of the white house, they acted like it. >> all true. bottom line is, this book changes nothing. i read 250 of the 350 pages last night. bottom line. eg he laid out, we already knew. you don't have principles. you don't have morales. you don't have ethics. what you have is a republican
they get exactly what they want from donald trump. you have white conservative evangelicals. they don't care about how he's treated women. they'll want is federal judges who will get rid of same-sex marriage and abortion. folks on the business side, you get the tax reform. folks who are all about the social issues thark get -- everybody gets what they want. this comes down to power. the republican party, they want all those folks, they want power. donald trump provides that. and so as long as he's there, and they can get what they want, it doesn't matter. this book will not change a thing and i'll give the last point is this here. you look at the fact that democrats forced out senator al franken and congressman john conyers. have republicans forced out blake fairhold? no. >> it raises questions about the president's fitness. a lot of the anecdoteanecdotes. let's say 50% are true. >> i think that is probably the right number. >> maybe 90.
>> i think it raises serious questions about his mental capacity, his ability to process information, his impulse control. >> it does. it doesn't matter. it's not going the mat per until and unless something catastrophic happens as a result of a tweet or a provocation to another national -- international lead eer. until that happens, i don't think most of america is paying much attention to this conversation. >>let me respond to the conversation about the finance to office. i enjoy it. >> we'll pray for you. >> as person as you want to make it, you embold nl him. my interaks, he doesn't repeat these stories. he totally gets the policies. unlike a lot of politicians. what people don't get about donald trump is he asks you 20 times more questions than most politicians. most politicians talk at you. yammer on. donald trump is the opposite.
he wants to get the information you have. i find that this coverage. he did a whole chapter in the book, michael wolff on c-pac. never called anyone. he never called me. he said wilbur ross was the secretary of labor. john kelly was the director of homeland security. another man has that job. he was the secretary of homeland security. when it came to c-pac he got fact after fact after fact wrong. he didn't boert to call. there might be fact in here. he doesn't believe in calling anyone to verify sources. >> donald trump. and the trump supporters like matt. even if i gave him truth serum. i know what he would say. about the level of integrity he holds the office to. the idea that donald trump and them would castigate this author for not being truthle is like al capone saying a jay walker is a criminal. >> they're made for each other. >> one is the king of
the other is a pauper. i would say this book is not about palace intrigue. i don't agree with this type of journalism. i don't like it. fund mentally, the core kernel of the store i have questioning donald trump's fitness to hold the office. it's been done by people on the left, people in the media people that don't like him. it's done almost universally by nearly every republican official when you talk to them off the record. >> when you get what you want, it doesn't matter. and that's part of the issue here. you look at the different people within the party. as long as they get what they want, donald trump serves a very unique purpose. he has no anotherology. no convictions. no morals. no principles. >> the other part of the story here. we can debate michael wolff's book. there are lots of factual inaccuracy.
seen for a long time. and it's been painted by main stream media, and republicans. so, it's not hard to believe, the reason we're talking about it so much is it's not hard to believe. but the bigger issue here is, if we do have a president who -- has some fitness issues, even though he says he's, like, really smart. there are problems happening. can we have a functioning government with somebody like that in the white house? up until now, you could argue yes. you're starting to see craters in that. >> we'll talk about that impact. come back later in the show. right now, to the latest on north korea. this week, kim jong-un made a surprise announcement saying he would engage in talks to take part in the upcoming olympic games with the neighboring south korea. and just days after taunting the north korean leader over the size of his nuclear betting, president tump talked about talks. >> i would love to
beyond the olympics. and at the appropriate time, we'll get involvele. >> to follow up, are you willing to engage in talks with kim jong-un right now? >> sure. i always believe in talking. >> and we'll take that to ambassador nikki haley after this report from martha raddatz from south korea. >> reporter: this is south korea today. not what you may imagine in a country turned the threat of nuclear war. an ice-fishing festival. hundreds of families enjoying this clear, cold sunday morning. just miles from the border with the north. in the middle of this icy fishing paradise, the idea of fire and fury is never far away. the kind donald trump warned kim jong-un he could face. overhead, attack helicopters make a quick pass over the ice. a remirnd. south koreans are well
saying and tweeting. it was immature of him to say his nuclear button was bigger than kim's, this man told us. i feel less safe with him as president. despite the criticism, there is great anticipation about tuesday's meeting between representatives from north and south korea. which will take place in the so-called truce village. where north and south korean soldiers stand just feet apart. the armistice that suspended the korean war was signed here in 1953. the topic this tuesday will be limited to the north's participation in the olympic games. as we journeyed further north today, past the artillery pieces lining the roadside, the barbed wire. the barriers. everyone we talked to agreed with trump on one issue. that tuesday's talks were a positive sign. this woman is 75.
survivors. she remembers as a child passing dead bodies as she was fleeing with her family. i know trump goes overboard, she says. but sometimes you need that to be strong. and aggressive. and unlike any president before him, donald trump faces a prospect of nuclear war with north korea. and kim jong-un is every bit as aggressive and unpredictable as trump. and, back if seoul, now, where there is also optimism about tuesday's meetings. tempered by the realization that they are very narrow in scope and the nuclear threat is far from over. george? >> thank you, martha. we're joined by the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley. thank you for coming in. >> thank you. >> i want to go to the president's press conference. he said if the past it would be a waste of time for secretary tillerson the t
why the turnaround? >> there is no turnaround. he's said, yes, there could be a time where we talk to north korea. a lot of things have to happen before they takes place. they have to stop testing. they have to be willing to talk about banning nuclear weapons. those things have to happen. we're trying to make sure we don't repeat what's happened the last 25 years. them start to act like they're coming to the table. them ask for a lot of money. and them cheat their way through. we're going to be smart this time. make sure whatever happens makes the united states safer and that we denuclearize the peninsula. >> it's one thing to stop testing for now. it's another to say we'll get rid of the nuclear arsenal. both conditions are necessary for the u.s. to talk? >> no, i think stop testing is very important. and for a significant amount of time. then cow go and work towards the next step. this is going to be phases. it is not going to happen overnight. it's a dangerous situation. >> what do you expect
tuesday's talks? >> i think two countries can talk if they want. they'll talk about the olympics. it's not my understanding they'll talk about anything further. those two countries have to get along. it's good for the united states if they get back into talks. >> last week, admiral mike mullen talked to martha. echoed this week by joe biden. both saying they believe the u.s. is closer to nuclear war with north korea. do you agree? >> it's a dangerous situation. it's not something we want. every member of the administration has said it. this is a very dangerous situation. >> did the president make it worse with the tweet about the nuclear button? here's what former vice president joe biden said. >> when we engage in activities like let's compare the button. they all, for different reasons and different motivations, lose confidence in us. they wonder, do we know what the
hell we're doing? >> is he right that we're losing credibility? >> they don't wonder what the hell we're doing. we're not going to let them go and dra advertise the fact that they have a button on the desk that they can destroy america. we want to remind them, we can destroy queue, too. be cautious and careful with your words and what you do. i know it make people nervous, if we didn't do it, we would be in a more dangerous -- >> you think the tweet is a good idea? >> i think he always has to keep kim on his toes. it's important to not let him get so arrogant that he doesn't realize the reality of what would happen if he started a nuclear war. >> you have republicans this congress saying this is reckless. cory gardner. job john cornyn. >> i'm dealing with the diplomats on the ground. all of the actor ifs h this situation. it's a serious situation. and he can't sit there and imply that he's going to destroy the united states without us reminding him of
the reality that if you go there, it's not us that's going to be destroyed, it's you. >> you deal with the diplomats on the ground. every single day. world leaders from across the globe. how do they respond overall to the president's tweets? i read one analysis this week saying they're starting to tune him out. >> i don't thing they're tuning them out. if anything, they're glued to them. they see him as unpredictable. that's probably the overwhelming feeling. >> too unpredictable? >> i don't think so. they don't know what the juu.s.s going to do at any given time. it's not a bad thing. it's really not. >> a lot of the questions, reinforced by the book that came out this week. in your dealings with the president, he says 100% of the people around the president are concerned about his fitness. have you seen any behavior that concerns you?
having been governor. now an ambassador, i'm always amazed at the lengths people will go to to lie for money and for power. it's really -- this is like, taking it to a whole new low. i have not read the book. i won't read fipt excerpts i have seen and the things i have seen in the press, i know those people in the white house. i'm there once a week. these people love their country. and respect our president. i have never seen or heard the type of toxic language they're talking about. i'm not there seven days a week. i'm there once a week. for a day for white house meetings and everything. no one questions the stability of the president. >> except that michael wolff says he has 200 interviews. he says he has interviews on tape. we know he e spent a lot of time in the white house over the course of the first several months. and a
interviews have not been denied. >> i can't vouch for that. i can't say if it was 200 interviews with steve bannon. 200 interviews with himself. i work with the president. he didn't become the president by accident. and as much as everyone wants to talk about stability, was he unstable when he passed the tax reform? was he unstable when we finally hit back at syria and said no more chemical weapons? was he unstable when we finally put north korea on notice? was he unstable with is the jobs or the economy or the stock market? we need to be real ising at the fact that, every person regardless of race, religion, or party, who loves the country, should support this president. it's that important. >> you're not concerned that those close to the president don't have his interests at heart? >> i'm around
i see these people put everything they have got into their jobs. and into trusting the president. if they didn't, they wouldn't be there. >> thank you for your time. >> thank you. up next, as the mueller investigation focuses on obstruction of justice, president trump says it's making the u.s. look foolish? we'll take up the questions with preet bharara and dan abrams. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ what we do every night is like something out of a strange dream.
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when you have done nothing wrong, let's be open and get it over with. baas honestly, vs. very, very bad for our country. it's making our country look foolish. and this is a country that i don't want looking foolish. >> president trump yesterday on the mueller investigation. let's talk about that with former u.s. attorney preet bharara. now a distinguished scholar at nyu school of law and our legal analyst dan abrams. you heard the president say, there is though collusion. even though mueller is still doing all his work. more evidence this week that the special counsel very focused on this idea of obstruction of justi justice. both "the knonew york times wrt report and some of the the revelations in the book. >> if you believe the reports, there's a continuing saga of information that would lead you to believe that mueller and his team are looking at other things that paint a picture of potential obstruction. the
times" was aspect was that apparently, and reportedly, the president asked his white house council, don mcbeggan, as you s, to encourage jeff session not the recuse himself. >> why can't a president do that? >> that by assist not necessarily criminal. it's unhelpful. it max him look bad. you have to consider the reason why hi didn't want people to look at -- the reason for that is, that doesn't get talked about as much is that presumably the president wanted to be protected bay loyal attorney general. not to protect the process of law. but to protect him from the due process of law. that's not right. over time, if row have enough instances of things that show that the president wanted to end the russia investigation. and this is just a piece of it, you start to find yourself building -- >> it has to be pattern of
behavior. one of the quos is the president railing with his staff, where is my roy cohn? >> if that's true, that's a horrible thing to look back on. he means i want someone to protect me, if he said that. there are two avenues. was there collusion with russia? is there a possible conspiracy charge? and number two, is this a possible obstruction of justice. for the last year, it's been proven, shown, we know it didn't happen. i don't know where that is coming from. how do we know? we don't know what mueller knows? when don't know what he's going to conclude. >> we know he's got an plea agreement from george papadopoulos. >> yes. you have that piece. and then the second piece is this possible obstruction. again, we don't know that robert mooul sir going to conclude that
there was obstruction. but of course he's going to be looking at it. of course he's going to be investigating it. you have to view it as a puzzle, as preet is saying. you look at the pieces, if you put these together, does that tell a story of corrupt intent? >> if you look at the various pieces. the new york times article that the discussions with don mcgan and jeff sessions. all the discussions in the white house. before james comey was fired. and the president talking about how he wanted to fire james comey. all those discussions in the white house where the president helped write a false statement about his son don jr.'s dealing with the russians. would you need to talk to the president about that if you add that all up? >> generally speaking, when an investigation is overt as opposed to covert. even nose what's happening. the lawyers have said
to meet. the president's lawyers want to meet with special counsel mueller. generally speaking, before you make a decision about this, buttoning everything up, crossing every "t," dotting every "i," usually, you have a high-profile potential target, you talk to that person. the president doesn't have to talk. i imagine the president will talk because that's what he does. >> the president will talk. that is a perilous decision for the president and his lawyers. >> i don't think he can do it. i don't think that the president can sit down with mueller's team and answer these sorts of questions. why? because he's opening himself up to other possible crimes, right? if he gets in there and they determine he isn't telling them the truth about certain things, again, it doesn't have to be about the fundamental questions as to russian collusion. it can be about almost anything. he's opening himself up to the possibility of
i think that that -- i think he will say, maybe i'm wrong. i think he'll say, my lawyers have told me. i want to be in there. i want to talk. and i believe that by the way. i believe donald trump wants to be in there and talk to them. i have to believe that his lawyers will tell him not to. do you disagree? >> i believe the president doesn't listen to his lawyers. the president -- a gentleman who is a stable genius, he tells us, was listening to his lawyers, there's lots and lots of stuff he would not have said, done, tweeted. >> sure. >> here's a person who wants to defend himself. he does it through the platform of twitter on a daily basis. and he said he wanted to talk. to the special counsel's office. if they make the request, or say we're available for you to talk us to, it seems untenable not to do it. >> let me flip it. what does the special counsel do if the president refuses to talk to them? >> they go on their merry way and decide to make a case o
to them depending on what they're looking at. usually there are two reasons you want to talk to target close to the end. one is to afford them the opportunity, them and their lawyers, to explain to you why you may have it wrong. we did that all the time. people think prosecutors have a blunder bus approach. it's an open and notorious thing that prosecutors are doing, you give them the opportunity. why did you say this? why did you do that? why don't you give us your explanation? it may be the case, as dan says, you could fall into a trap if you speak and lie about it if you think you're charming enough to address the facts and circumstances. another vn to further the investigation. in a case like this, they're going to have all the facts that they have. they're going to be interested in wanting to hear from the president if he wants to talk to him. >>
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what we do every night is like something out of a strange dream. except that the next morning... it all makes sense. fedex powers global commerce with vast, far-reaching networks... deep knowledge of industries... and, yes... maybe a little magic. ♪ we want the wall. the wall is going to happen or we're not going to have daca. we all want daca to happen. but we also want great security for our country. >> that was the president talking yesterday at camp david.
daca. the president says there has to be funding for a border wall. let's talk about that now with senator bernie sanders and senator tom cotton. both in the middle of the issue right now. senator sanders, start with you. you heard the president there, not daca without a border wall. you said some kind of daca proe teks have to be included in the bill to keep the government open in late january. does that mean we're headed for a government shutdown? >> georgers as you know, the republicans control the white house, the senate, the u.s. house. they'll determine whether or not there is a government shutdown. i hope there is not one. it would be a disaster for the country. but when you have a president who says, who precipitated this crisis back in september by revoking the daca provision, and now we're in a position where some 800,000 young people. young people raised in this country. young people in school, working
now are living in extraordinary anxiety about with whether or not they're going to lose legal status and be subject to deportation, this is what the president precipitated. we have to tale with that decision. what we have got to do, it seems to be, is to pass the dreamers legislation that provides and protects legal status. later on we have to work for comprehensive immigration reform. american people want that. 77% of the american people in a recent poll suggested day want to see legal status for the young people. the american people don't want to spend billions of dollars on a wall which trump told us would be paid for by the mexican government which is, of course, not going to be paid for by the mexican government. >> is there any compromise on the wall? in the past, democrats have
border fence. is there a compromise that can be worked out? the president can call ate wall. the democrats get drks aca protections. >> i don't think there is anybody that disagrees we need strong border security. if the president wants to work with us to make sure we have strong border security, let's do that. but the idea of spending some $18 billion on a wall that most people think will not do what he says it will do, does not make any sense. and by the way, george, when we talk about a government shutdown, the other thing that concerns me is that senator mcconnell, now wants to do away with the concept of par irk the ty chrks is what we have had in four budget agreements since 2011. and what that means is, they want to spend $90 billion, $100 billion in the next couple of years on the military. but they're ignoring the needs of the middle class. of veterans. of the people about to lose their pensions.
leadership, unbelievably, has not reauthorized the c.h.i.p. prap for 9 million children in the country in terms of health care or the community health program. we have to get priorities right. giving tax breaks to billionaires. throwing millions of people off health insurance is not what we should be doing. we have to pay attention to the working families of the this country. we have to protect their health care. make sure that young people are not leaving school dep lie the in debt. fund the social security administration. 10,000 people died last year who are with disabilities because they didn't get the kind of attention they need in processing their claims from the social security administration. that concerns me as well. >> sounds like there's a wide gap between republicans and democrats. it's a couple of weeks from the possible shutdown. i want to ask you about the concerns raised by the michael
and the president's response. saying he's a stable june ugeni. do you have concerns -- i saw you raise your eyebrows. do you have concerns about the president's stability? are you going to sign on to the oversight commission on the president's ability to handle the job? >> i'm not going to -- look, what bothers me about this president is no so much what he says. but he's so offensive. a few weeks ago, he attacked a united states senator with sexual innuendo. he talks about prison for his former opponent in a presidential election. this is not what presidents of the united states do. but i am more worried about what this president's policies are in terms of telling the working people of this country, during his campaign that he was going to stand with them. and
representative of the billionaire class. tax breaks for the wealthy. cutting people off of health insurance. ignoring the needs of children. not dealing with the prescription drug crisis in the country that he said he would deal with. i worry about him being a pathological liar. those are some of the concerns i have. >> senator sanders, thank you for your time. want to bring to it senator tom cotton. republican of arkansas. you heard senator sanders call h ima pathological liar. you have seen the quotes in the michael wolff book, as well. your cheegs in the past, like senator corker, has challenged his stability. lindsey graham called him a kook. some are suggesting that behind closed doors, those sentiments are felt by
books. you wre one about the clinton administration. your book was truthful. looseness with the truth is an elemental thread of the book. the media made similar claims about presidents bush and reagan. they all have in common they are republicans. when i have been around president trump, he's been active, engaged. leading the fight against isis. turning the economy around. >> you worked with the president this week on immigration. you heard senator sanders talk about the democrats' demands on daca and the border wall. they won't go along with the border wall. the president says that's a bottom line demand of his. is there a way to solve the problem? >> i hope so. the president has said all along, president
illegally by giving them legal status. in addition to funding, we have to take steps o against unskilled and low skilled immigration. one of the unheralded accomplishments of the first year of the trump administration that gets overlooked with the growing stock market, for instance is that wajs for people who work with their hands and their feet, the kind of jobs where you have to take a shower after you get off work not before you go to work have increased at the fastest pace yet. there's a reason for that. it's the growing economy. and that this administration is getting unskilled and low skilled immigration under control. we need the to continue on those efforts while finding a compromise on those people brought here as young children and young adults through no fault of their own. i hope the democrats will come off their unreasonable negotiating position and
willing to compromise. >> senator dick durbin. his reaction to the $18 billion for the border wall. he's saying it's a nonstarter. not close to a compromise at this point, are we? >> well, george, as you rightly side, those are democratic demands. and senator durbin's dream act would cost $26 billion according to the congressional budget office. senator durbin should reconsider who is making unreasonable, costly demands. the southern board sir a huge magnet. >> are we going to have a government shutdown at the end of january? >> i don't expect to have one. i don't want to have one. but in the democrats want to shut down the government because they can't get amnesty for illegal imimmigrants, they'll he
people. they know amnesty without reform is not popular. >> let me ask you about north korea. you saw the president's tweet about the nuclear button. ambassador haley says it shows the president is forthright and strong. are you hopeful about the talks between the north and south koreans this week? >> george, my understanding is those talks on tuesday are primarily about the upcoming olympics. i don't know if they'll go beyond that. but, president trump's statement didn't come out of the blue. kim jong-un is the one that raised the issue of a nuclear button in his new year's day speech. for 25 years, we have sat around and allowed to kim regime the make any kind of threats they wanted against the united states. donald trump's statement reiterated a point of strategic
we don't allow other countries to hold us as risk when our arsenal is the largest and strong nest the world. >> there is talk that the president might ask you to join the administration as the cia direct sner. >> that's time i checked, the cia has a director. he's doing a jood job. i'm honored to serve in if senate for the people of arkansas. >> thank you, tom cotton.
and we're back with "the roundtable." want to pick up on the conversations with the senators. sara, let me begin with you. so much is going to happen in the month of january that could determine the whole course of 2018. from listening to those two senators, it seems to me that we're headed for a government shutdown in a couple of weeks. >> well, i hope not. think that will be very promatic for republicans, since we control the house, the senate, and the presidency. having said that, there is
there's broad bipartisan consensus that something needs to get done. to me, it's a recipe to put together a spending package and a broader immigration package. the president may have to back down. not get as big of a wall or some structures. for it to be, for frankly all the criticism of trump, and hid fitness of office, to get through january and get tax reform. a huge piece of obamacare repealed. and significant immigration reform, that's a pretty good record. >> that will be the question, matt. is either side looking for a win-win here? or not? is the president willing to take a wall that's not a wall? are the democrats willing to let him call something a wall that they don't think is a wall? >> as we have discovered over the last few weeks, and said by the majority leader, the president will sign anything that comes to h
so, i don't think the president fund mentally, as long as he gets a bill on his desk where he can stand up. he said he repealed obamacare when he didn't repeal obamacare. he repealed an element of it. >> bag element. a big element. >> i'm saying the president's ability to say whatever he wants, he'll signed a bill. the fundamental question is, why is the government drawing a line between young people who have come not of their own will, but are willing to put a wall, that the president says immigration into our country has slowed to a trickle on our southern border. >> what's the answer? >> he's not asking for a wall for this, as sara -- let me go beyond that. even barack obama and hillary clinton have voted for fences. we want to secure the southern border. he wants to do that with funding for as much of a wall as he
he wants to end the family chain migration. wants to end the the diversity lottery. people struggling in this country want to find good jobs for their families. this broader question of how we have our immigration system, that we need to have as country. i would like to see us do that. if the democrats are going to be dumb enough to say they're going to be #resistance all year. that is a political risk that is not wise to take. >> the president has admitted he's willing to shut down the government if he doesn't get the $18 billion to fund his wall. the president has said he's holding daca hostage to get what he wants on immigration. why can't we just agree, since there is broad bipartisan consensus, across the country and washington, to have a daca fix. >> because that created the tea
tea party movement. >> it's not -- >> first of all, i'm going to pull the applause there. it was creative for you to say, he doesn't want a wall. we're not going the call it a wall. but again, that was cute. a nice try. >> he wants a wall plus. >> at the end of the day, here's what you're facing. this president pushed the appropriate racial buttons in terms of immigration. so what you have here is, he has no choice but to hold it hostage. because he understands who he's appealing to by pushing those buttons when it comes toim grags. what you have on the other side, though, is individuals, for instance, this care taker for a paracleejic, the only person who is going to be sent out of the country. look, that's a sad story. you have people out there who are taxpaying citizens. who have contributed to the country when it comes to daca. you can do both things.
because it serves a very calculated political interest. >> does the president have to abandon his base on this issue? >> no, not at all. this is not that complicated. you have republicans who want stronger border security. and some democrat who is have agreed in the past that we need it. you have almost everyone who agrees that daca needs to be fixed. and you have to avoid a government shutdown. so if these leaders can get in a room and figure this out. >> it's called legislating. >> why is it a hostage for republicans to take? >> exactly. >> the bipartisan congressional process of the people who care about these issues was working until a set of poison pills were set up to the hill by the white house, authored by steven miller, of their demands on immigration before there was a dac ax deal. if the white house could stay out of it, i think a deal can be done.
washington, if they stay out of it, the system will work. >> the reality is i know matt likes to create a world that is a fictional -- >> quit saying i'm a liar. >> i have never called you a liar. >> you did. >> i said if you traing truth serum, you would admit -- fund mentally, the republicans have passed nothing that is popular with the majority of america in 2017. i expect them to pass nothing that is popular with the majority of america in 2018. the president is inherently the most unpopular president at this point of any president we have had. the democrats have a generic ballot lead larger than any time in the last 20 years. i don't see a president who has only gofered to base to change that in the course of the next few months. >> this conversation has to continue off the air. we're about to hit the computer. we're out of time. we'll be right back.
and now, we honor our fellow americans who serve and sacrifice. in the month of december, two service members died overseas supporting operation in iraq and afghanistan. ♪ that saul for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news" tonight. i'll see you tomorrow on "gma."
♪ >> there is no better example of america's neglected infrastructure than the old charleroi lock and dam on the monongahela river near pittsburgh. is the concrete falling in? >> it is. the concrete is in very poor condition. >> the cost of our infrastructure, or the lack of our infrastructure, costs american businesses money. sharyl: has the result of the delay in this project, or how long it's taken, ultimately probably cost more money to the people paying for it and taxpayers? >> i will tell you definitely yes. >> through heavily guarded checkpoints, we cross into the west bank city, ramallah.