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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  August 11, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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by contrast, a month ago he would have been talking about health care and russia. it's about image. >> we have to leave it on that note, guys. this story is certainly not going to go away. cnn is going to have extensive live coverage throughout the night on all the late-breaking developments. "erin burnett out front" starts right now. out front next, breaking news, president trump issuing another grim warning to kim jong-un saying "make one more threat and you will truly regret it." could all the fiery talk lead to war? plus, what a shooting war between the united states an north korea would look like. we'll show you what the u.s. military would bring to bear. and loyal supporters reacting to trump's fire and fury threat against korea. what's the one thing they all agree on about president trump? let's go out front. good evening, i'm erin burnett. out front tonight, breaking news, big, big trouble. those are president trump's words moments ago lobbing a new threat at north korea.
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trump for the fifth time this week, the fifth time, using fiery language to make it clear the united states stands ready to strike north korea militarily. speaking from his new jersey golf resort, here's the president of the united states. >> if anything happens to guam, there's going to be big, big trouble in north korea. >> so is this situation heading to war? the president was directly asked that question today. here's what he said. >> we think that lots of good things could happen and we also could have a bad solution but we think lots of good things can happen. >> reporter: what would be a bad solution, sir? >> i think you know the answer to that, sir. >> reporter: tell us more, mr. president, please. when you say "bad solution" are you talking about for whwar? is the u.s. going to go to war? >> i think you know the answer to that. >> nobody knows the answer to that and just over four days the president has issued threat after threat. it's now become the question every american is asking because
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of this. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united stat states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. the people that were questioning that statement, was it too tough, maybe it wasn't tough enough. north korea better get their act together or they're going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world, okay? he's not getting away with it. it's a whole new ball game and this man will not get away with what he's doing. believe me. or if he does anything with respect to guam or any place else that's an american territory or an american ally, he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast. >> the bellicose words follow trump's tweet this morning which suggested american military forces are ready to go at a moment's notice. the president borrowing a catch phrase from an old john wayne movie writing "military solutions are now fully in
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place, locked and loaded should north korea act unwisely. hopefully kim jong-un will follow another path." trump then retweeted this photo of two air force be-1b bombers n flight. the u.s. central command said it's "standing by for orders." as for north korea the response has been almost exclusively from state media which has threatened to turn the united states into a "sea of fire" and saying the united states would suffer "its final doom." but kim jong-un himself has not said a word. even the regime's threat to test a missile off the coast of guam was issued by a north korean general and trump tonight asked about north korea's threat made the point loud and clear, he wants to hear the tough talk from him himself. he said "let me hear kim john un say it, okay? he hasn't been saying much for the last three days, you let me hear him say it" perhaps giving north korea an off ramp. athena jones is out front near
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where the president is staying in bedminster, new jersey. is anyone inside the trump inner circle worried about the president's continued rampup of rhetoric against north korea? >> hi, erin. if anyone in the president's inner circle is worried about his fiery rhetoric, they're not saying so publicly and if they're expressing that concern to the president privately, he clearly isn't heeding it because we continue to hear this rhetoric several times this week. as you mentioned, five times this week, whether it's on twitter or statements to the press. we just heard it again and what was interesting is that during that gaggle, that brief appearance before reporters at his bedminster golf club, the president was asked about whether he was on the same page as some others in his administration who have been taking a more diplomatic approach. folks like secretary of state rex tillerson or u.n. ambassador nikki haley and the president said "totally, we are totally on the same page" and he pointed to secretary tillerson to weigh in.
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secretary tillerson said that he felt that there needed to be a combined strategy to urge movement on the part of north korea and so there is a diplomatic approach that he says the president has made clear he prefers but that it was also important for the president to help them with that by making sure north korea is aware of the stakes in this conflict so that was an interesting answer. but as you noted, two things were interesting about part of that exchange, one was this idea of the president talking about a potential bad solution in north korea but not, andi iexpanding t and also in his statement earlier in the day he talked about how if north korea utters a threat in the form of an overt threat, they're going to regret it. the bottom line is that that threat has already been issued by north korea in terms of sending missiles off the waters of guam. erin? >> thank you very much, athena. will ripley is in beijing. china at the center of this. will, obviously you've been to
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north korea more than a dozen times. new threats from president trump aimed at north korea but you just heard what the president said. basically "i hear the threats coming but they're not coming from kim jong-un" and either upping the ante daring him to do it or basically giving kim jong-un an off ramp saying "it's not you who said it, we could stop this." how do you think kim will respond? >> i can tell you, it's very unlikely kim jong-un would come on television in north korea and make a conciliatory statement and very unlikely that he would respond directly to these comments because aside from giving major speeches, most of kim squong un's message is delivered, as we've seen this week, from his general's, from his ministerial level officials in these kcna, korean central news agency, releases. so perhaps the message is president is trying to say is that the warnings we're hearing repeatedly from north korea are diminished in seriousness because they're not coming
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directly from north korea's supreme leader himself. however it doesn't mean that north korea won't try to back up the warnings they made with action and that's what we need to watch in the coming months. according to intelligence, while there are no imminent signs of a missile launch in north korea, some u.s. analysts have said they have seen missiles being moved around in the country, which is not unusual. north korea often moves its missiles from one location to another but it was just a couple days ago, erin, that north korea threatened to simultaneously launch four intermediate range ballistic missiles, fire them over japan and put them down within 20 miles of guam. all of this unfolding on a very tense month in the peninsula because of the regularly scheduled joint military exercises between the u.s. and south korea due to kick off in a matter of weeks towards the end of the month. it was just one week after these exercises last year that north korea conducted its fifth nuclear test. these exercises always enrage pyongyang and that's why china and russia are asking the united states to suspend the military
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exercises which most analysts say is highly unlikely if not impossible. there is the phone call coming up perhaps within the hour between president trump and president xi. we should get a readout shortly after that call. >> that will be a crucial call between the president of china and president trump. perhaps within the hour, as you said. thank you very much, will ripley. out front now, republican senator jim risch, a member of the foreign relations and intelligence committees. appreciate you taking the time, senator. the president was asked directly today if the united states was going to war. his response "i think you know the answer to that." most americans don't know the answer to that and most americans are really worried about what that answer might be. senator, are we really talking about war between the united states and north korea? >> well, that's up to north korea. the united states isn't going to do anything other than respond to whatever north korea does so the difficulty is with the guy
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running north korea, you don't know what he's going do. something happened today that seems to have slipped through the cracks in the media and that is that china stunningly said they would not defend north korea if indeed they took first action and the u.s. responded. that's something that nobody has ever heard before and if i were in north korea, boy that would make you run for cover. we've always been under the chinese umbrella and they've said "you're on your own." >> they also said, the chinese state-controlled newspaper the global times said if the u.s. and south korea strike first against north korea china will take action. and the global times newspaper said if north korea launched missiles first, this is a china-controlled newspaper, china would remain neutral which is different than what you just said. are you confident that china is playing ball and on the u.s. side here? >> i think if indeed they launch
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first and china remains neutral they have a big problem. they will cease to exist after a few minutes of that war and this is dangerous territory. there's no question about it. >> i want to play more of the threat that the president issued to north korea, one of the threats he issued just this afternoon. here he is. >> this man will not get away with what he's doing, believe me. and if he utters one threat in the form of an overt threat which, by the way, he has been uttering for years and his family has been uttering for years or if he does anything with respect to guam or any place else that's an american territory or an american ally he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast. >> north korea issues threats on a regular basis, we know that. the president said fire and fury would ensue if that happened again but today he used a different word. a couple days ago it was if he
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threatens the united states, fire and fury. today he paused and he said if it is an overt threat. what does overt threat mean? do you feel you understand very specifically what the president's red line is tonight? >> i'm going to let you guys parse those words. he wasn't speaking from a prepared text which is always best when you're talking about these kinds of things. from my perspective, this is how i view this. if north korea does something very stupid, they're going to regret it quickly and bad things are going to happen. i know that there's a lot of people worked up about the president using the adjectives he duds and the demeanor he does and that sort of thing but it would be worse if he didn't and didn't telegraph to the north koreans what was on his mind because the north koreans push the envelope, have been for years and years, there's nothing new there but when you're
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engaged in that activity, it's really ripe to make a mistake. they need to know exactly what's on president trump's mind. i've talked with president trump, he's passionate about defending this country. the north koreans need to understand that. >> the question everyone has, though, is of course they do tests and the united states has not militarily responded to tests before, okay? so when the north koreans threaten guam -- and, by the way, they're threatening to test missiles that they could prove would land near the coast of guam, they're not threatening to bomb guam -- would you support for that or any other test, all these tests that have gone by with no response, do you support a change in that? that the united states would have an actual military strike after any test from north korea? >> in this format i can't answer that question because there are other things going on and it's too simplistic a question to
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answer. and there's no question that if indeed they attack united states citizens and do a kinetic attack, i would support a response to that. >> but that's different than a tes test. >> there are things that are happening that i can't talk about here. >> but let me quickly ask you, when you say -- i know you can't get into the details but if you could indicate -- obviously you're in a position on your committees where you're being briefed. is there any diplomacy going on other than the president's threats? are you at least able to tell us that? i cannot tell you that. but what i can tell you is that generally any time you see any issues between any two countries whether they're mortal enemies or not, other countries frequently get involved as messengers, as negotiators, as carriers of proposition. so i cannot confirm or deny any
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of these things are going on but anyway, history is history. >> history would give you a precedent for assuming that. before we go, i must ask you one other thing because the president said he's locked and loaded for for what the pacific. he struck syria, he said he will do it again and up the ante if assad crosses his red line, now he's threatened another country on another continent and he did so twice. here he is. >> i'm not going to rule out a military option. we have many options for venezuela. we have many options for vaz including a possible military option if necessary. >> senator, that would theoretically be war on three fronts in three continents and we're not even talking about afghanistan. is the president warmongering? are you all right with all this? >> well, as you said theoretically, and it is all theory right now. we get briefed on this stuff regularly. the united states is always ready to respond to whatever the
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situation is but as far as anything that anybody needs to get real worked up about at this point, everybody needs to stay calm, we're safe in america. we've got the best military in the world. we know how to respond, we know how to defend ourselves. i sleep well at night but i can tell you as far as the north korea situation is concerned, it is a dangerous situation. >> all right, well, thank you very much, appreciate your time, senator, thank you for coming on. >> you bet, thank you. all right, and president trump of course warning north korea that it will pay steep price if it threatens guam. there's obviously a question as to whether a threat is a test or whether it's killing american citizens, there's a lack of clarity. guam is home to two military bases and nearly 240 200,000 americans. martin savidge is live in guam
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and martin we know there are for lack of a better word preparations where you are. >> there are two levels of preparations going on. there are the physical ones that would be people stocking up food, water, the essentials that which they might need for a typhoon or hurricane. then there is the mental preparedness and that is much more difficult. let me show you the saturday morning headline. we're under a missile watch as the main headline says. for the one that's more troubling is the one at the bottom of the page here and it says officials do not look at the flash. that's a direct warning to the population here that if there is some sort of nuclear flash or fireball they'll be looking at it because you could go blind. this goes to the other aspect of the preparation here because the governor is telling people they should go on with their lives as normal, keep calm, carry on, that saying, however the civil defense and the homeland security, they issued a sheet of
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sorts a to how to prepare for a nuclear blast including not looking at the flash, getting under cover, covering your head, the old duck and cover but then on top of that afterwards stay inside your home for up to 24 hours and go into a shower and watch yourself thoroughly with soap and water and don't use conditioner, apparently that attracts the radiation. that kind of information, know very important, is very disturbing to people because it makes it seem so very real. erin. >> thank you very much, martin savid savidge, it certainly does. i think it was the conditioner line that may bring it home to all of us who, of course, are sitting far away from guam, how real this threat is. what does president trump's threat mean? when he says "locked and loaded" and you have flyers like that going around guam, about not using conditioner because it attracts radiation, what does this mean? tom foreman is out in front. what options does the united states military have?
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>> they have a lot of them, erin. if north korea were to launch a missile toward guam where our friend martin and those thousands of other people, immediately, even though this flight would take 14 to 18 minutes, immediately the u.s. would trigger the thaad missile defense system. this is an advanced radar system. there are ground based systems, as it moved over the water you would have sea-based stations involved. japan has a different system they're going to try to kick out and there would be assets from space, all trying to track how big this thing is, how fast it is, and precisely where it is headed bauds if they believe it represents some kind of significant threat, the thaad system would trigger these countervailing missiles from guam which would come in and try to intercept it and tear it apart in flight. this has been tested. they've shown this can work. even if it misses there are
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patriot missiles batteries in guam that could be fired in an effort to stop this if they think one of these threats is actually coming toward people there or assets that need to be protected. erin? >> and it raises questions because what they said is they would trystrike 15 to 25 miles the coast to prove they can do it but not kill people. does the united states accept that or not? if the defensive part of the locked and loaded equation is how you laid it out, what is the offensive start something happens and the united states then responds? >> right, and we don't know if the u.s. would respond or want to respond, we're not advocating it in any way shape or form. when they say they're locked and loaded, that's because they have a lot of assets in the region. in guam there's a naval base and anderson air force base is home to the f-22, the f-35, the b-2, these are stealth aircraft which could be sent very quickly into north korea to tryauout
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radar facilities and north korea's robust anti-aircraft system. they could be followed by the b-1 which is a heavy bomber that can carry the heaviest munitions in the u.s. arsenal, not nuclear weapons but everything else which could be used to break up fortified nuclear facilities and missile facilities there. beyond that, erin, there are about a dozen destroyers and cruisers in the water out there almost all the time and they could launch a very healthy barrage of tomahawk-guided missile which is would go streaking toward targets in north korea at more than 500 miles an hour. if u.s. officials want to do that, that's what they mean when they say locked and loaded. they have what they need to get that done. >> tom, thank you very much. just to remind all of you, the president retweeted today pictures of b-1 bombers in the pacific in action. out front now, retired u.s. army general spider marks, former lieutenant general mark hertling and jim sciutto who
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served as chief of staff and senior adviser to the u.s. ambassador to china. obviously the perhaps crucial player in all of this is not going to be in pyongyang or washington but beijing. general hertling, let me start with you. the reality of the situation is the united states can hit north korea. that's the easy part. technically speaking. it can not, though, eliminate its military power in a single strike and we don't know where all their missiles are located. they have 1.1 million people in their military, the united states isn't that much big we are 1.4 million and they have thousands of rockets pointed directly at seoul and we've heard the estimates, hundreds of thousands of south koreans could die in the first few hours of any kind of combat. my question to you, general hertling, does the united states have the ability to have a military conflict and prevent that kind of slaughter? >> this could be a majjor theatr war. it would not be like iraq and afghanistan.
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even though those have been devastating conflicts and have taken up resources, this is a major theater war and it would take a lot of equipment that's currently not on the peninsula and nowhere in the area. we have equipment there, we can fight there, we would prepare to fight there but we need reinforcement. the thing i'd say, erin, i spent a lot of time in the military, i've learned lessons, the who most important ones i've learned is number one, these are universal truthings, when soldiers go some place, they can never pronounce the names of the towns they're fighting in and most importantly it's easy to start a war, it's a whole lot harder to stop it. what does this look like at the end? what is the t the's end game going to be and what is he trying to do? there are 52 million people in south korea. there are 26 million people in north korea. i just heard senator rich say wel -- risch say we're going to take them out. what are we taking out and how? it's going to be a difficult problem set and i'm not sure
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we're ready for the type of conflict being advertised right now. >> general marks, on that front, the president says if the united states strikes he gives a totally different perspective, he says it's going to be successful and done quickly which harkens back to words we heard in iraq, very different situation and we're still not done. here he is today. >> i have no choice but to take it on and i'm taking it on and we'll either be very, very successful or very, very successful in a different way quickly. >> our barbara starr reports that there's no evidence of deployment as general hertling just referred to yet you have tonight a possibility of a major theater war that the president put on the table and he's added a military option in venezuela that he brought up himself in comments moments ago and you have afghanistan, iraq and syria. can the united states military do that? >> well, as mark laid out, this is a major regional conflict if we were to be engaged in korea. the united states over the
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course of the last 15, 20 years has walked away from the notion of maintaining readiness for two major regional conflicts simultaneously and to reserve a bit of a strategic reserve. here's what happens on the peninsula. we have the ability, united states in concert with allies in south korea and japan to strike very quickly and precisely with munitions over the horizon and take out targets in north korea. we can do that and we can do that immediately. immediately. the challenge is as mark laid out what happens as you have an action followed by a reaction which would be a devastating blow in south korea by way of artillery, dumb rockets, middles that would pour down on seoul, tokyo would be under that attack as well, you would have tens of thousands of people dying. then there would be a counteraction which means the united states has to stop either the potential of an invasion or
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to continue to move forces. we have assigned forces and allocated forces which means they have to flow. those are not been ready to deploy so the intended consequences of a strike will be as we've just described which is going to be incredibly devastating to the south and the region and beijing, beijing is going to have a role to play. >> so jim let me ask you about this because we're moments away from a call between president trump and president xi of china. i don't know if you heard senator risch but his take was "china's completely on the u.s. side because they're saying they're going to remain neutral" which he interpreted as taking the united states' side. if north korea launches missiles first, china says it will remain neutral according to the state-controlled newspaper but if the u.s. and south korea strike first, china will take action. how do you interpret china's stance? >> that was a calibrated message
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delivered via the global times. their message being, listen, north korea if you strike first unilaterally on the u.s., we're standing out. we're not your friend on that but the u.s., if you strike north korea first preemptively, we're going to stand by our ally. in effect telling both players, you know, watch out which is an interesting and somewhat calibrated considering they're saying that north korea as well has decades old relationship and telling them their limits but also telling the u.s. its limits. i would disagree with the senator on saying china is on our side because remember china has different interests. they don't want to go to war, no question but they view the end of the north korean regime, a reunification of korea, a u.s. ally on its border assuming that might very well happen if there was reunification, they view
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that as a greater national security threat to them than a nuclear north korea. so they could be friendly, we could have common sbreinterests wanting to avoid a war, keeping north korea under wraps but it would be a misinterpretation from the president side or the u.s. side to assume that. >> general hertling, the big question, though, is it seems there are maybe some expectations of how things operate if somebody strikes first but what there doesn't seem to be any clarity on is what the president keeps saying is which is a threat or overt threat. if that's just a test of a missile off the coast of guam and the u.s. responds, it doesn't seem like anybody knows in the world of a test and right now the world of a test is what we're talking about. >> right. well, what i'd say, too, is even the use of the thaad or the pac three missiles, those operators are trained to watch not only the point of origin, the poo, as they call it, but the potential point of impact, where it's
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going to land. so if there's no threat to a population, if itlands 20 miles outside of guam, would you fire a defensive shot against it or would you let it land in the ocean and say "it didn't hit." >> nobody knows, no one has made that clear at all. he says "if you do anything to guam." well, that's 20 miles off the coast of guam. >> right, so you have to be prepared for something like that. are those individuals manning those platforms going to be told "we don't care where it lands, take it out of the sky, we want to prove a point"? which is possible but you have to be within range to do that. so there's a lot of -- this is not a video game, erin, that not just shoot the laser, this is hard, hard military business and the commanders on the scene are going to be faced with some conundrums as they fight this. what jim just said a minute ago about how long did this last, we still have forces in the balkans, we still have forces in
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the baltics. >> germany, germany. >> germany. we have people training in ukraine, we have potential now to go to venezuela and we've been in iraq and afghanistan now for 17 years. it never ends fast and we have to be aware of that. >> general marks, a final word to you. what do you make of these now additional threats to say venezuela? >> well, that puts additional pressure on the department of defense and our ability to respond but let's be frank about the level of readiness on the peninsula. it's always at an extremely high level and all of the capements that we've talked about are in place and are ready to be deployed to include the thaad missile system. and correct, none of these technical solutions are foolproof yet there is a level of redundancy within those that gives you a sense of comfort. the challenge that we have is what is the level of provocation
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that we're going to be able to take and withstand and, again, those are human judgments, there's a man, there's a person in the loop all the time to ensure we don't let that get too close to where we think we have to be. we can't aforth to have a nuclear tip missile coming close to guam and then we make a miscalculation like, o, my god, there is going to be a challenge and we find out too late. so this level of readiness is always non-negotiable. >> i don't think lost in this, the president has held out the possibility of military intervention undefined in another country, venezuela, apparently to the surprise of his own commanders. the pentagon telling us they've received no orders from the white house and referring all questions on venezuelan military action back to the white house. >> which is a stunning statement. thank you all very much. next, the president just saying millions of americans support his rhetoric towards north korea. what about his most ardent supporters? what do they think?
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>> it is concerning, i would step back just a little bit. >> and a power struggle inside the west wing getting uglier. new details about how trump's own national security advisor is being undermined. with an unlimited mileage warranty on your certified pre-owned mercedes-benz, you can drive as far as you want for up to five years and be covered. because only your authorized mercedes-benz dealer has the skilled technicians to certify that your pre-owned vehicle is up to mercedes-benz standards. visit the certified pre-owned sales event,
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president and north korea nearing a boiling point. the president insisting that millions of americans want him to keep up the verbal attacks. >> i will tell you, we have tens of millions of people in this country that are so happy with what i'm saying because they're saying finally we have a president that's sticking up for our nation. >> so what to do trump's core supporters think? jason carroll went to north carolina to speak with them. it's a story you'll see only out front. >> they will be met with fire and fury. >> reporter: the president's comments on north korea drawing condemnation from critics, some of whom have called his words inflammatory or reckless. that has not deterred trump, who tweeted friday "the u.s. military is fully in place, locked and loaded." it's comments like that that have raised eyebrows with trump supporters like jason olson. >> it is concerning. i wish he would step back just a
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little bit and have advisers on things of that magnitude. >> reporter: olson opens woody's bar in north carolina. he opened it after retiring from the army where for a short time he was stationed in south korea. he still supports trump but when it comes to north korea, olson says trump should tone down the rhetoric. >> i know he doesn't -- i'm almost sure he doesn't want, i know the american people don't want a war and i think sometimes that can be pushed to that type of environment. nobody want s ths that we've be war for the last 20 years. we don't need to fight with anybody else. >> reporter: there's a lot of support for trump here in these parts. after all, robeson county helped trump win north carolina by having the greatest percentage of voters in the state who flipped from democrat to republican during the flexion. robeson is also noted for being
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the poorest county in the state. boarded up store fronts not uncommon here. sentinel fence factory is a metal manufacturing company. its ceo comes from a family of democrats but he voted republican. he says he can accept trump trash talking north korea, for now, if he can help struggling businesses like his and improve the local economy. >> do i like he tweets all the time and some of the stuff he says and does? no, but i'm not going to agree with everything he does. he keeps saying he's going to work for the american people. that's what i want him to do. trump's north korea talk and tweets too tough for some, maybe not tough enough for others, so says susan walker, the owner of candy sue's. >> i think he might have been on target on a lot of it. he should let him know we mean
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business. >> reporter: back at jason olsen's bar, the erry tyndle shs the same sentiment. >> nice sweet words won't stop this problem. i wish it would, but it won't. >> so the othverall sense we go from those folks in north carolina is that they're willing to give trump wiggle room in terms of how he expresses himself but there's also gray area we noticed and got a sense that many people we spoke to have real concerns over why six months into this presidency president trump hasn't learned to choose his words more carefully. >> thank you very much, jason. out front now, brian will lanza, former deputy director communications and robby mook, hillary clinton's former
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campaign manager. robby, you heard two people express what the president said at the end of jason's report, they say talk tough, someone has to do it. >> i think as americans any time our leaders are talking tough with foreign dictators it's easy to feel pride and support iv of statements like that. but the fact of the matter is in this case it's just not the smart thing to do. kim jong-un is a terrible person. . i hope every president will speak out against him but the problem here is the president's threatening a war that we don't wantment the figure i heard today is a quarter million americans are in that region, not to mention more than 20 million people. this war can't happen. and when the president does the saber rattling and threatens violence, we know he'll never come through in fact, he's going to degrade
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his own credibility and our credibility and when we do need to make threats then we need to follow through on that credibility won't be there and the other thing i would add is this president is threatening one dictator in korea, in north korea, this week he thanked vladimir putin for kicking our ambassador staff out of russia so i just think the president needs to be consistent and he's not doing that. >> brian, the person in that report who said the president is making a mistake, the person the strongest on that, is the veteran, the one who actually was in the military stationed in south korea. is that something that should make the president listen, when one of his hard core supporters, a vet, says this is a big mistake? >> i think the president listens to a lot of voices and if what we're seeing with north korea and the rhetoric, president obama used tough rhetoric against north korea as well and he had a policy of strategic patience where the rhetoric didn't match the policy.
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i think the president has articulated his position. he's been transparent that he viewed protecting the american people a priority and that's what he's doing. it's a shame politics comes into the dynamic but there has to be a republican and democrat in this fight whereas there should be an america in this fight rather than being split apart by politics. >> the question here though -- both of you are raising a point in different ways but trump is right about something. he is saying past presidents have failed when it comes to north korea. there's a truth in that. after north korea's fifth test last september it was candidate hillary clinton who made it clear she felt united states policy wasn't working and had to change course. here she is. >> it's clear that the increasing threat posed by north korea requires not only a we thinking of the strategy but an urgent effort to convince the
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neighbors, most particularly china, that this is not just a u.s. issue. >> robby, i know you must have spent time talking with her about that issue, you were her campaign manager. would she do -- maybe not exactly the same words, but would she do what trump is doing now? >> well, i don't want to ever speak for her on this matter but, look, i think there's one thing that had broad support and that was further sanctions and that has happened? >> which trump just got, a big victory, 15-0, china and russia on board, that was a big victory for the president. >> i think it was important the entire world came together and did that but the second part of what she said was working with the chinese to get them to change their posture and this president has insulted the chinese, he has ridiculed them over twitter, i think he would have seen secretary clinton or frankly a more thoughtful republican work more
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collaboratively with the chinese not just just get the sanctions but to cool off the situation and get real negotiations going on. violence isn't an option here. we've been hearing people say that all night, people need to come to the bargaining table and i think that would happen faster if the president was more responsible. >> brian, you worked with him, you know him, everyone said violence isn't an option, the generals on this program, everybody. you're talking about possibly millions of people dying. we're going back to world wars sort of talk here. does the president actually think that is an option? is he willing to do that, do you think? >> here's what the president wants to do. he wants to have a discussion with the american people about north korea and can they be a nuclear country in this world stage? that's an important conversation -- >> they are already a nuclear country on this world stage so to stop that, you have to have a war. you can't stop it from happening. they've already gotten there. >> they haven't gotten the technology to hit most of the cities in the united states so you have a moment where they're
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having discussions. we've heard diplomacy is taking place on the back channels. that is what happens when you have these situations. you have the president putting a marker out there saying -- no different than when president reagan put out the marker against the soviet union when he called them the evil empire. presidents use these rhetorics all the time and strengthen their position because the american public wants to feel safe at the end of the day, they felt safe under president reagan and they'll ultimately feel safe against president trump. >> if that happens. i think there's a lot of questions about what's going to happen, people are nervous. >> we all hope for the best. out front next, as the trump white house faces threats from north korea, there's an ugly around intern fight brewing among his top security advisers. plus, just who is kim jong-un? the north korean leader, a former cia director calls him calculating.
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when you choose by the gig or unlimited. call or go to xfinity mobile. it's a new kind of network, designed to save you money. breaking news. president trump threatening north korea for the fifth time in four days, saying it will be in big, big trouble if it targets guam. the president making those comments flanked by top advisers, including h.r. mcmaster, and the one or the far right who has been at the center of a fierce, fierce rift in the white house, coming at a horrific time for a rift in the national security apparatus. >> reporter: a controversial memo by a former national security official argues that bankers, globalists and establishment republicans are
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trying to undermine the president. the seven-page memo, obtained by foreign policy, describes a larger power struggle within the white house. that divide is symbolized by the tension between chief strategist steve bannon, a populist, and the more establishment minded h.r. mcmaster, tapped by the president in february to replace michael flynn. >> he's a man of tremendous talent and experience. >> reporter: the army general has found himself in the cross hairs of right wing media and bannon's allies. bannon has been laser focused on helping the president fulfill his campaign promises on the domestic and foreign policy fronts. in february, he touted trump's decision to withdraw from the tpp. >> he got us out of a trade deal. >> reporter: supporters say they believe mcmaster is pushing the foreign policy bannon and trump opposed during the campaign. >> i think that steve bannon
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believes that president trump ran as a non-interventionist, as a nonmilitary hawk. >> reporter: the feud between bannon and mcmaster is getting noticed and raising concerns. >> i would also resolve this strife that seems to be going on in the white house between bannon and mcmaster. look, you can't run a train with two engineers. >> reporter: the president said thursday mcmaster has his full confidence. >> absolutely. he's our friend. he's my friend and he's a very talented man. i like him and respect him. >> good morning, everybody. >> reporter: and "the wall street journal" editorial page came to mcmaster's defense, saying of bannon, he has been a white house survivor, but his warring habits have also been responsible for much to have white house dysfunction. still, conservative outlets like breitbart continue to slam mcmaster, aimed at firing aides close to fin, including the
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memo's author. and his decision to extend the security clearance of susan rice. a practice a white house aide described as routine. athena jones, cnn, bridgewater, new jersey. >> and now mark preston joins me. mark, this is problematic at any time, but you now have infighting between the top members of the president's inner circle, talking about national security. you have this happening at a moment in time when the president is talking about possible war with north korea. >> a possible war with north korea, and just opened a rhetorical front against venezuela, talking about sending in troops. there's always infighting in a white house, but it's never this public. this is a bad spot to be. we saw john mccain just say right there that there needs to be some kind of resolution. it seems like he was asking for the ouster of steve bannon from
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the white house. >> and what does happen here? steve bannonslammed by the president, but he has survived when many others have lost the president's favor. sean spicer, reince priebus among them. does bannon survive now? >> i think he does for the time being. having him on the inside as "the wall street journal" says causes -- is creating all of this chaos. having him on the outside, would it be worse, because would he be able to marshal up these forces from breitbarts and other alt-right news organizations? i think he's a survivor for now, but who knows in this trump administration? >> thank you very much, mark preston. >> thanks. and next, kim jong-un, the man at the center of all of this now. the new details we are learning about the mysterious 30 something, because we don't even know his exact age, the dictator accused of killing his own family members.
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breaking news. president trump upping his fiery rhetoric aimed at kim jong-un tonight. trump saying kim will not get
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away with what he's doing. now, kim is known as brash. he's known as temperamental and he is young and unpredictable. the question is though, is he a madman if is he crazy? or is he a mastermind? brian todd is "outfront." >> this man will not get away with what he's doing, believe me. >> reporter: a stern warning to the 30 something dictator, kim jong-un. but experts say heated rhetoric to the man worshipped as a living god in north korea may only force imhim to kaes latesc crisis even more. in late 2011, kim has moved swiftly and ruthlessly to cement his power. he's believed to have executed about 140 top officials, including his own uncle, sometimes with anti-aircraft guns. >> we know he's violent and listens to no one, so far as we
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can tell, certainly not the chinese. >> reporter: he's conducted three nuclear bomb tests, and in less than six years in power, he's overseen about 80 missile tests. more than twice as many as his father and grand father combined. u.s. officials tell cnn kim jong-un grew up with few limits. after studying at a private school in switzerland and developing a passion for basketball, he leapfrogged his two older brothers to be placed in line as supreme leader. intelligence believes he ordered the murder of his brother earlier this year in kuala lumpur. his regime denied it, but john brennan told erin burnett, the leader will do anything to become a nuclear power. >> a megalomaniac. calculating. >> reporter: it's his grandfather, kill il-sung, who
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is young tie rant wants to imitate. is kim jong-un under threat internally? and if so, could that cause him to flex his muscles against the u.s. in a show of strength? >> kim jong-un's leadership appears to be solid. he has insulated himself and protected himself from any threats to his leadership, whether those be physical or political threats. ro >> reporter: analysts say it's possible the elites may move against kim if he keeps taking his country from one crisis to the other. but he keeps his generals under such close surveillance, it's tough to gather forces against him. >> interesting what john brennan said. he said he's a megalomaniac, and then that pause, i wouldn't say he's reckless at this point. that was last september. is he reckless now?
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big question for the world tonight. thanks for joining us. you can watch us any time, anywhere on cnn go. have a good weekend. see you monday. "ac 360" begins right now. good evening. we begin with more startling headlines from president trump. in just a last four days, he's threatened north korea with fire and fury, said maybe that wasn't enough of a threat. said american forces are locked and loaded and late today he said even more. appearing this morning outside his new jersey golf club, the president went before reporters. when he was over, he raised the possibility of u.s. military action in venezuela and renews his warnings to north korea. >> nobody loves a peaceful solution better than president trump, that i can tell you. hopefully it will all work out. but this has been going on for many years. it would have been a lot easier to solve this years ago before they were in the position that they're in. but we will see what happens. we think that lots of good things could ha