tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC March 9, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PST
>> i don't always look forward to the briefing, but i look forward to whether or not i talk to you about it. have a great rest of your day. >> you, too. >> i'm ali velshi. stephanie ruhle-less. stephanie is off today. let's get started. >> in a move that took his own administration and the world by surprise, the president has accepted kim jong-un's invitation for an unprecedented face-to-face meeting. >> i told president trump that he can meet north korean leader kim jong-un, who is committed to denuclearization. president trump accepted the greeting and said he'd meet kim jong-un by may. >> south korea's president, moon jae-in, calling this a historic milestone, a miraculous opportunity. >> this was, in fact, according to a lot of people we talked to last night, an audible that the president called during the meeting with the south koreans. >> the announcement was so
unexpected, secretary of state rex tillerson, traveling in africa, said this hours earlier. >> you ask negotiations, and we're a long ways from negotiations. >> it is a remarkable turn after a year of escalating threats between the two leaders. >> they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. he is a sick puppy. >> what changed was his posture in a fairly dramatic way that, in all honestly, came as a surprise to us. >> a roll of the nuclear dice. >> those yearning for talks think it is confirming legitimacy on kim jong-un without getting anything, even a promise to release americans still being held hostage. >> i'm worried kim jong-un is setting us in a trap, but i support the president. things couldn't possibly be worse in the korean peninsula. >> after a week of speculation and controversy, president trump
formally launched new tariffs on steel and aluminum. the tariffs, 25% on imported steel and 10% on imported aluminum, will take effect march 23rd. >> steel is steel. you don't have steel, you don't have a country. the workers who poured their souls into building this great nation were betrayed, but that betrayal is now over. >> i'm just not a fan of broad-based, across the board tariffs, because i think you'll have a lot of unintended consequences, collateral damage. >> traders and investors are digesting the jobs report that just came out. what we saw was a much better than expected jobs report, 313,000 jobs created. economists, on average, were looking for a little north of 200,000 jobs. i'll talk more about those jobs later. it is a historic day in america. the president started his morning with a phone call to china's leader, discussing the surprise announcement that trump
will meet with north korean leader kim jong-un. around the same time, south korean president, moon jae-in, discussed the planned meeting at a reception for the paralympic games saying, vote, denuclearization and peace on the korean peninsula are beginning to be realized. the news was previewed when the president popped into the white house press room last night saying a major announcement was coming. this is a sharp reversal of the administration's previous positions, from the fire to fury comments to numerous presidential tweets, including one slamming efforts by his predecessors, declaring, talking is not the answer. the news came, it seems, without input from secretary of state rex tillerson, who is in africa. he discussed the talks with north korea before the president's surprise announcement though. >> in terms of direct talks with the united states, and you asked negotiations, we're a long way from negotiations. i think we need to be very cl r
clear-eyed and realistic about it. >> let's take a realistic look at the reality on the ground in north korea and its military capability. they spent $3.5 billion on military efforts from 2004 to 2014, according to numbers from state department. it is a quarter of the country's gross domestic product. the most worrisome military project is its nuclear program, which has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. the extent of the nuclear arsenal is largely unknown. many experts believe the nuclear program obtained enough material necessary to make a nuclear weapon for anywhere between 10 and 20 bombs. a u.s. intelligence number puts it upward of 60 bombs. six nuclear tests have been conducted since 2006. the latest was in september. it indicated the north may have developed the technology to create a hydrogen bomb, which is
a much more powerful weapon than a simple atomic device. hand in hand with nuclear development, kim jong-un loves announcing new missile ranges. experts say north korea's last launch could likely reach anywhere in the continental united states. the only steps left are miniaturizing a nuclear bomb and creating a warhead that could survive re-entry into the atmosphere. nuclear missiles go like that. the nuclear capabilities are not the only danger. according to analysis by the u.s. and south korean defense apparatus, north korea has about 1600 military aircraft, jets and helicopters, and almost 700 naval ships, more than 4,000 tanks, 2,500 armored vehicle and 5,500 rocket launchers. that's on top of hidden artillery pieces positioned along the demilitarized zone between north and south korea, pointed directly at seoul.
but the north is probably most potent in its cyber capabilities. the country flexed that muscle in 2014, you'll remember, with the hack of sony pictures. retaliation for the seth rogen and james franco movie called "the interview" that lampooned the country and its leader. it attacked banks in south korea and malaysia. there is increasing evidence that north korea was behind the 2016 attack on the new york federal reserve's account at a bangladeshi bank, netting them $81 million. so this mixture of nuclear and potent cyber threat is the back drop to president trump's upcoming meeting with president kim jong-un. all this factors into tillerson's calls for talks about talks before taking any action. this morning, he was forced to confront the new dynamic. >> what changed in the last 24 hours that gave the trump administration confidence that now is the right time? >> president trump has said for some time that he was open to talks and he would willingly
meet with kim jong-un when conditions were right and the time was right. i think in the president's judgment, that time has arrived now. >> joining me now, "new york times" columnist nick cristoph, presidency of the woodrow wilson center, jane harman. thank you both for being with me. jane, secretary tillerson says the conditions and time are right, quote, in the president's judgment. do you believe the president is right? >> well, a chinese commentator this morning called this a happy surprise. i think the time is right to move away from military threats and whose button is bigger and start talking. i give tillerson a lot of credit. i mean, he set the stage. trump may have derided him, but he was there. i give the republican of south korea huge credit for this. perhaps the chinese played, too. oh, by the way, the u.s. congress insisted on very strong
sanctions, continuing them on north korea. so, there are a lot of players that set up the opportunity for president trump. what should he do with this opportunity has to be carefully considered, including by him. i mean, blowing this would be a tragedy. giving the north koreans, the dprk, an equal stage is a hard thing to contemplate. they are also exporting some of the ingredients to help the syrians use chemical weapons on their own people. >> good point. >> this is a distardly regime to meet with. >> cory gardner talked about the diplomatic risks involved when he was on "morning joe" this morning. let's listen. >> if the result of this meeting is not verifiable, concrete steps to denuclearization, it'll be a failure, and the president will be under tremendous pressure because the new red line has been set to act. a meeting with the president of
the united states doesn't achieve this result, what is left of diplomacy? >> this is interesting. tillerson talks about this as being talks about talks. we've seen this with nixon and reagan, where the president goes to break the logjam and then lots of things happen thereafter. you're wondering whether this is backwards. should there be talks that lead up to the two leaders of the country meeting, opposed to the two leaders meeting and then talks happening? >> that's right. there is one pivot here from saying that talks will lead nowhere to having direct talks. that is very productive. the way you do direct talks is you have skilled negotiators who carefully go through these issues, and verification is, indeed, a huge issue on denuclearization. you offer a presidential visit as a carrot at the end of the process. so, it seems very strange to me. look, i think this is misperceived in some quarters as
a huge concession by north korea. the truth is, north korea has been desperate to have a presidential visit for decades. we've given them what they want without extracting useful concessions. >> jane, let's talk about that for a second. you wrote an op-ed in september 2016 calling for talks, and i suppose when -- it was said, look, things couldn't be worse, so why not actually do something that breaks the logjam. should there be any requests in return for this? now, it looks like the south koreans brought this letter from kim jong-un to donald trump, and he very quickly accepted and said, by the end of may, something will happen. they will meet. >> yeah. >> is that okay, or should there be something else in place? >> well, i -- this has happened so quickly that i think everyone has to take a deep breath and think about what the steps have to be. the north koreans, as far as i know, have said they don't expect us to stand down with
respect to military exercises with the republic of korea. they're not asking for that. what are we asking for? i agree with nick, what are we asking for? i assume a total suspension of any form of testing. they probably know that since they are not doing it. >> that might be de facto in place, right? >> there needs to be a bigger list of things. again, i think the meeting is a happy surprise. i think the threats and the button comparisons and the, you know, storm and fury they've never seen before -- >> name calling, yes. >> -- and the rest of it was terrifying and wrong headed. >> what do you make of the fact that the president has spent the last two weeks mostly talking about china and trade? he imposed the steel tariffs yesterday. it was about national security. a couple days ago, it was about mexico and canada. when it started, it was about china. there was an aggressive stance, and the president tweeted an aggressive stance a couple days
ago. as jane pointed out, the south koreans wanted these talks for a long time, and the chinese must be involved in some fashion. >> chinese are delighted to have the talks, as well. both china and south korea, i think, are really nervous about the prospect of a war in their backyard. direct talks, as i say, would be a really healthy step forward, but i kind of feel as if the president has been played. that we have given north korea what it wants, in terms of the -- they desperately want credibility. >> right. >> they desperately want recognition. >> high-level talks for kim jong-un puts him on the level of the president of the united states. >> let me agree with that. he may be played, but i don't go where lindsey graham is going today in his tweet, which is, if he's played, you know, we head directly for war. that was the impression i got from his tweet. we have to -- there will be some intervening time here to take a deep breath and figure this out a little more carefully. i mean, donald trump is donald
trump. you have to know that. i've given him credit for first thing as president saying, we have to focus on north korea. that's something president obama did not do. strategic patience has failed. the agreement we had in 1994 was abrogated both by the clinton administration and then by the bush administration and then the obama administration didn't focus on this issue. maybe, just maybe, with the right players, including the republic of korea, south korea, the chinese and others, and some sage voices in the united states, including our secretary of state, we will position this right and not just get played, which, obviously, is a terrible idea. >> the secretary of state has been a sage voice in this thing. unfortunately, he's not listened to all the time. let's hope he plays a central role in this. i cannot think of two more wise and experienced people to have this conversation with. i thank you both. nick cristoph, read his op-ed in
the "new york times." jane harman's piece of north korea is in the "washington post." the u.s. needs to negotiate with north korea. she was ahead of the game on this one. thanks to both of you. from his european education to accusations of human rights abuses, what we know about kim jong-un, who trump called a maniac, a sick puppy, but whose invitation for a face-to-face meeting, he enthusiastically accepted. and former president obama and michelle obama are in talks of their own to produce a series for netflix. people familiar with the discussions say they don't plan to target president trump and conservative critics. they look for inspirational stories and topics the two championed during their time in the white house. you're watching "velshi & ruhle" live on msnbc. we'll be right back. first word you think of
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so this morning, many people are wondering how these upcoming talks will go down between president trump and kim jong-un. the two have been trading insults for months, and the president's language has been especially colorful. >> nobody ever mentions north korea, where you have this maniac sitting there. i wouldn't go there. if he came here, i'd accept him. i wouldn't give him a state dinner. north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.
rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. little rocket man. he is a sick puppy. >> kim jong-un hasn't backed down either. last september, he called the president mentally deranged and stated a frightened dog barks louder. on top of all this, there is the open question of where the talks will take place. if there is any indication on president trump where he will not go, it is this tweet in 2014. quote, crazy dennis rodman is saying i want to go to north korea with him. never discussed, no interest, last place on earth i want to go to. all right. prospects of direct talks with north korea spurring mixed emotions, from some people doing cart whe cartwheels to trepidation and skepticism. if the talks do happen, president trump would be the first sitting american president to meet with a north korean leader. let's see what we know about the guy he's going to meet with. kim jong-un. the man donald trump is going to
meet with face-to-face is the third member of his family to rule the reclusive communist state. in fact, he's been the third leader of it since it's been the state of north korea. he succeeded his father in 2011. his childhood is shrouded in secrecy. he's known to have attended an english language school in switzerland under a fake name, which is apparently where he developed a fascination with basketball. he was apparently a pretty good basketball player back in the day, and the fascination led to dennis rodman's first visit to north korea in 2013. since he's come to power in 2011, he's worked to establish himself as a revolutionary leader. he's ordered the construction of lavish westernized buildings. he's put on massive military displays. of course, he's pushed to advance the country's nuclear program. his regime continues to be tainted by reports of human rights abuses. the u.n.'s latest report on north korea found that the government continues to commit
various crimes against humanity, including extermination, murder and enslavement, torture, imprisonment and rape. the examination of a defector who escaped across the demilitarized zone into south korea, it happened last year, hinted at the poor conditions there. south korean doctors found him malnourished and full of parasites. it brings me to this, three americans remain prisoners of war in north korea. whether president trump will make their return a priority remains to be seen. none of these three have been seen since june of last year. that's where american student otto warmbier was released and returned to the united states. he suffered brain damage, had fallen into a coma during his 17-month detention. he died six days after arriving in ohio on a stretcher. for more on this, i want to bring in nbc's chief global correspondent bill neely, who is very, very familiar with this. bill, you know, normally, we use
you to report on things, but i think i need to use you for your expertise today and ask you, quite simply, what i would ask the most sophisticated analysts of this. what do you make of this development in the last 24 hours? what does a guy like you, who has been to south korea many times, who has followed this very closely, what do you think of this? >> ali, i think every capital in the world has been astonished at this development, and this will be a summit meeting like no other. remember, kim jong-un has never met a single foreign leader. president trump's met a few, and he's alienated as many as he's clicked with. here are two strong-willed mavericks, if you like, largely untested leaders. one, 71. the other, maybe 36. as you said, we just don't know that much about kim jong-un. they've insulted each other. they've threatened each other. they're meeting about nuclear weapons with no preconditions and possibly with little preparation. as you know, ali, most summits
start with low-level meetings. >> yes. >> often with people called sherpas. then with secretaries of state. then leaders by the end. by agreeing to meet kim first, donald trump is upending all of that. look, this isn't like any other summit. i covered clinton/yeltsen in 1993. then, there was talk of these strong, unpredictable leaders. closer to reagan and gorbachev. a meeting discussing ridding the world of nuclear weapons and failing to agree. yet, they were two men who took a risk, and within a year, there was a nuclear deal. it was a historic summit. it was a huge gamble. >> yup. >> so this one, too. some described this meeting as the equivalent of a hail mary pass. of course, as you've been saying, the key question is, how do we know kim's genuine, or is he just playing a bad hand very
well? playing president moon and now playing donald trump, buying time for his nuclear program, as north korea has always done, ali. >> you bring a good point up. president moon of south korea, the new president of south korea, has been in favor of direct talks with north korea for a long time. you are one of very few westerners who has been to north korea. this is a country not only attached to its nuclear program, but unlike iran, which didn't want to give up its nuclear program, north korea has little else. it is the biggest thing about north korea. the north koreans have said to you, and others, they won't give up their nuclear program. has anything changed in their thinking? are they desperate for money, food and relations with the west, enough that they might trade some of it away? >> well, as we've been hearing, there is the theory that, actually, these sanctions are biting. that north korea, for example, might be about to run out of foreign currency.
back to your point, i was told, i think, at least three times by senior officials in north korea over a couple of years that there is no way they will give up their nuclear weapons. it's their shield against the united states. it's a bargaining chip. it's kim jong-un's weapon of surviv survival, if you'd like, for his regime. why would he give it up? north korea also has always craved not just the respect of the world but especially the united states. kim jong-un is getting that now, just like that. you know, it's been his real goal, chiefly, of course, to get the united states off the korean peninsula. the other real goal, of course, is reunifying the two koreas. you know, what is donald trump getting here? he's already risking enormous political capital. because of his presence, he's giving that away, if you like, straightaway. it's not clear what the reward
might be. you know, is it a peace treaty finally with north korea, to end the korean war formally? that won't be enough. a freeze on nuclear weapons? again, not enough. getting rid of north korea's nuclear weapons is the stated american goal. we know how long the iran deal took, the deal that donald trump hates so much. we know how complex that was. any deal with north korea will be extremely difficult. it'll need to be verifiable. >> yup. >> i know you know it is the world's most closed, most secretive country. >> right. >> it is not easy. lots of uncertain rewards here. >> yup. >> lots of huge risks, ali. >> we had a lot more information about iran when negotiating that deal than we do about north korea. bill, don't be far from a camera in the next few months. we'll need your analysis and coverage as this gets closer. bill neely for us in london. bill is an expert on south korea and north korea. we're going to dig into the details of former trump campaign
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a warm welcome back to "velshi & ruhle" on another extremely busy news day. they're all extremely busy news days these days. joining me live to discuss a series of major developments is a man who has been very busy since the election, democratic congressman eric swalwell of california. he's a member of both the house intelligence and judiciary committees. congressman, good to see you, as always. >> thanks for having me back, ali. >> let's start with your investigation into russia and trump soerassociates. it is kind of hard for people, even people like me who follow this every day, to know where you are in this investigation because so many new details show up and so many new people and new interviews. where's your head at on this investigation into where you are, what inning you're at and what you think of now that you weren't thinking of when this began? >> ali, my head is looking up at a towering wall between our investigation and the truth.
cory lu corey lewandowski put more wall on the bricks yesterday and had helping hands from committee members. most people expect us to unite and tell the american people how we were vulnerable, who worked with the russians during the campaign, whether our response from the government was adequate, and that goes to the obama administration. that shouldn't be partisan at all for republicans. also, what we with k do can do our country at the ballot box. >> why is there a wall between the concept of, we were interfered with and we need to do something about this, and there may have been a relationship with the trump campaign in doing this? it seems that many republicans don't want to get to subject two and, as a result, are not dealing with subject one. >> it defies what we have seen in the country's history, which has been unity around attacks and bipartisan efforts to protect the country. i'm afraid my republican colleagues on the committee and in congress believe that their job is to protect donald trump,
which is crazy because donald trump would never protect them. he is not dwight eisenhower. he's not ronald reagan. i don't understand why he is somebody they think is worth protecting and shielding in this investigation. you know what, the democrats on this committee, with what little resources we have, because we do not have the subpoena power, i think we're keeping this flame burning so americans understand what happened and they know that we're doing all we can with what little we have to protect them at the ballot box. >> you talked about corey lewandowski talking to the committee. adam schiff seems to feel unsatisfied with some of the comments he got. tell me a little bit. i know you can't tell me everything, but how would you characterize cory ley lewandowss conversations? >> he refused to testify about three key areas, the june 9th meeting, whether donald trump has talked to him about firing bob mueller, and what donald trump's views were on the firing of james comey. now, we know that corey lewandowski talks to the president often.
he may have left the campaign, but he's not left the side of the president. if you want to help your country, if you want to be cooperative, i don't know why you wouldn't just be straight, come clean and answer questions that could be helpful in our investigation. like so many who have come before him, he straight refused. >> what can you do about that? >> well, typically in an investigation, you'd subpoena somebody. again, the republicans have the subpoena power. we asked them yesterday. mr. schiff asked directly yesterday for mr. lewandowski to be subpoenaed. that request was denied. i'm afraid, you know, we're going to have future congressional investigations. if this is a new precedent, people can just ignore questions from congress. they can ignore investigations and believe they will have no penalty. >> and that surprises people who don't even follow this conversation very closely, the idea that nunberg said earlier in the week and late last week he would entirely ignore not just a congressional investigation but the grand jury investigati
investigation. turns out he showed up to testify in robert mueller's investigation, but adam schiff, your ranking member, said he'd like him to testify to your committee. >> yes. we'd like to hear from sam nunberg. there are still individuals from the june 9th meeting we have not heard from. you know, steve bannon, donald trump jr., attorney general sessions, they've made up privileges that don't exist in the law, that law professors will be teaching to law students for decades, that we need to resolve. there's more work for us to do. republicans are calling for us to shut down the investigation. in light of what we've learned about new contacts that were never disclosed, we should widen this investigation. >> that's a strange one, calling for the shutdown of investigations that have not come to a conclusion on matters that should be of concern to every single american. whether you think there was collusion or not, the idea that there was interference by the russians into our election is an attack on our democracy. i want to ask you about a report that democrats in the house intelligence committee are
frustrated by. erik prince in 2012, after his testimony, he joined stephanie ruhle and me to talk about this meeting he had, apparently, in the seychelles with a russian finan financer, set up by the saudi prince, with nader. he may have misled the committee or outright lied in his testimony? >> this were a number of individuals throughout the campaign who had approaches to establish a russian u.s. back channel. from cohen and sader to papadopoulos. now prince, who said he happened to run into a russian banker at a bar in the seychelles. if this story about george nader is true, he had been there with prince and the goal was to create a kremlin/trump back channel, erik prince lied to us and should be held accountable for that. we should bring in george nader as well as others. again, the worst thing we could
do would be to shut down this investigation as more details continue to come to light about the trump team and their efforts to create back channels to rush jah. >> -- russia. >> how do you counter that? in america, people say they've tuned this out. they're not as concerned about whether there was collusion. they may be concerned about other things, their jobs. your constituents must tell you the other things. my response is, how can you not be concerned about getting to the bottom of who knew what when with russians interfering in the election? some of the criticism, as it rightly seems should fall, falls on the obama administration, so be it. whoever was wrong in this thing needs to be brought to account. >> ali, this isn't about donald trump and, you know, whether he colluded or not at the end of the day. this is about your freedom. if a foreign adversary is able to take away your freedom to choose, you lose every freedom in the country. the freedom to work, freedom to
live, to love. we lose everything and enemies can decide who leads our country. >> representative swalwell, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. while the white house is casting the president's aluminum and steel tariffs as a way to protect american jobs, some companies like harley-davidson are worried the tariffs will make doing business harder, especially if our allies in europe respond as they've suggested they will with tariffs of their own. i'll talk about that on the other side. take a look at the market. nice every now and then to tell you it is up more than 1%. the dow up 280 points, reacting to the news that president trump is going to meet face-to-face with north korean leader kim jong-un. stay with us. you're watching "velshi & ruhle" live on msnbc. i have type 2 diabetes.
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may cause low blood sugar. common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, indigestion, and constipation. side effects can lead to dehydration, which may cause kidney problems. change the course of your treatment. ask your doctor about victoza®. oo. time for your money, money, money. the february jobs report out this morning exceeded expectations. the labor department says the united states created 313,000 net new jobs last month. that's the jobs that were created minus the jobs that were lost, add up to 313,000. the unemployment rate remained the same at 4.1%. it's the lowest since december of 2000. i tend not the like the unemployment rate because the denominator changes a lot. it's confusing to people. how do we add 300,000 jobs and we're at the same unemployment rate? i almost ignore the unemployment rate. the number on the left is
important. that's good. 313,000 jobs in a month is good. 200,000 or 250,000, that's good. if you get 150,000 a month, that's the replacement rate for our working population. that's good. below that is where you start to have problems. put the chart up a second. i want to show you, probably, to most working people, what the most important thing is, the one on the right, wage growth. 0.1% for the month. that's not fantastic. we are having wage growth, but that's not great. anyway, you always have to take this as a whole. you have to look at all the things together. after days of confusion, president trump officially signed off on his controversial tariff plan. >> i'm defending america's national security by placing tariffs on foreign imports of steel and aluminum. we will have a 25% tariff on foreign steel and a 10% tariff on foreign aluminum. >> all right. while exceptions were carved out
for canada and mexico while nafta negotiations are underway, some republicans say this is going to have an impact on jobs in the united states. >> we want to limit as much unintended consequences and collateral economic damage as possible. we want to work with the administration to do that. >> i think there's a good chance we will nullify them, based on if i have it my way. i don't see it. >> i'm worried about the unintended consequences of the pretty broad imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum. >> notice those were all republicans, right? this is republicans saying, hey, we've possibly entirely lost control of republican orthodoxy now that the president is a protectionist. the white house has cast the president's moves as a way to protect american jobs. some american companies say the tariffs could make doing business even heaarder, especiay if our allies retaliation. msnbc's garrett haake went to
kansas city, missouri, where harley-davidson is going to close a plant, causing many to lose their jobs. >> reporter: more than a dozen years, these men built harley-davidsons. >> been here 14 years. >> 16 years. >> 16. >> 17 years. >> reporter: by the end of next year, they'll be building new careers and, in some ways, new identities. do you think of yourselves as harley guys? >> we used to. when we got hired in here, it was an excellent place to work. >> everybody ate, lived and breathed harley-davidson. there's been a lot of loyalty lost. >> reporter: facing declining sales at home, harley hopes to consolidate, adding 450 jobs in pennsylvania, while closing kansas city's plant completely. how did you find out the plant was going to be closing? >> walked into a 5:00 morning town hall meeting. >> reporter: no warning? >> no warning. it was shock. >> reporter: harley says their decision is final. a simple matter of too much supply, not enough demand. the demand they're getting comes from overseas.
to get around foreign tariffs on american bikes, the iconic wisconsin-based company is building its next new plant in thailand. a decision leaving workers like kevin amos fuming. >> if we were building widgets, no one would be standing here speaking to us right now. but we're building harley-davidsons. we're on the brink of building hardly a davidson, because they are going to be moving to thailand soon enough to build a large portion of the motorcycles overseas. >> made in america. harley-davidson. made in america. >> reporter: president trump has held up harley as the kind of great american manufacturer he wants to protect. >> we have deals where companies will send in a motorbike and we charge them nothing. when we send a harley-davidson or motorbike to those countries, they charge us 100% tax. that's not fair. >> reporter: harley says trump's new tariffs on steel and
aluminum would drive prices up domestically. if european countries add tariffs to imported harleys, it could hurt sales abroad, too. it would hurt the workers the president vowed to protect. do you think he gets it, where what's going on? >> no. >> no. >> i believe it is a great headline grabber for a politician, right, to say, oh, yeah, we care and this and that, but when push comes to shove, i mean, it's not affecting them on a daily basis like it is the people in this plant. >> that was garrett haake in kansas city. the three vladimir putin allies and their ties to president trump. we'll connect the dots between the kremlin, oval office and why you should care. you're watching "velshi & ruhle" live on msnbc. at roundup®, we know they keep coming back. you never invited this stubborn little rascal to your patio. so, draw the line.
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controversial at times. i want to go back to the web of russian connections that we showed you yesterday. we laid this out for you step by step. you would be forgiven for not knowing who all the folks are, the russians at the center of this part of the drama. we want to focus on these three putin allies. gorkov, the head of veb bank, a state-owned bank in russia. he's a graduate of the fsb academy, russia's spy school. he reportedly met with jared kushner at trump tower in december of 2016. the next one is sergey kislyak. he's the former russian ambassador to the u.s., called by some russia's spy master in the united states. he served in foreign affairs since the 1970s, first with the soviet union and then when it became the russian federation. in december 2016, he met with jared kushner, michael flynn. kushner allegedly proposed a
back channel between the transition team and moscow. he also met with attorney general jeff sessions and that landed sessions in hot water during his confirmation hearings. finally, the newest addition to this list, kirilldmetriev. new reports indicate he met with blackwater founder erik prince on the seychelles in the indian ocean. several officials say prince attended that as an unofficial trump representative and wonder whether this was the attempt to set up that back channel. joining me now is nbc correspondent keir simmons who met with gorkov and tried to get him to answer for his relationship with jared kushner and that's a key part of this discussion. jared kushner and the white house say they met with him in jared's new position at the white house, in that capacity, and initially, the bank had said
they met with kushner as the head of the kushner companies, which would be a direct conflict to the type of work he's doing at the white house. >> reporter: yeah, that's right. look, i met gorkov and kirill dmetriev as well. let's start with kirill dmetriev. he's a fascinating character. he is very well connected with the putin circle, if you like, yet at the same time, he's very western. he's always open to be interviewed. he isn't ex-goldman sachs, he's also ex-mckenzie, somebody who back in january last year will have been excited by the idea that something was really going to change in the relationship between the u.s. and russia, that maybe sanctions were going to be lifted. he would have been excited about that from a business point of view. but he and gorkov and the other man, kislyak, all of them are
very, very close to the kremlin. there are questions in some cases, some of the stories we have heard about whether that would be directed by president putin in these men's cases, it seems quite likely anything they would do would be directed or known about by the president of russia. >> what do we make of all of this? because there's an excuse or a reason that can be given for all of these meetings, that these are russians wishing to do business in america, and that anybody who is particularly successful in russia or holds a high government position, or even a position like dmetriev where he runs a sovereign wealth fund or hedge fund, would be tied to the kremlin. how do you separate the fact that all successful people in russia may have some ties to the kremlin and maybe just wanting to do business versus might be trying to set up a back channel? >> reporter: kirill dmetriev is more than kind of possibly tied to the kremlin. i have stood as close as this
camera to president putin while at a finance meeting and i have seen kirill dmetriev sitting in the ranks of what you might call the modern politboro so he is definitely close to the president of russia, but plainly, you're right, the tricky thing is to figure out the motivation and president putin is the kind of guy who is very careful to cover his tracks so it's very difficult to establish exactly what's been directed by him, and again, businessmen like kirill dmetriev, he's a very rich russian businessman, will want things to change with america from an economic point of view. he has talked about trying to improve relations so better business can be done in russia. it is murky and i don't think we will know the full story until we hear from the investigation. >> you are tenacious in your
efforts to get it for us. thanks very much. good to see you. we'll be right back. find us on social media and connect with our show or our twitter handle. so that's the idea. what do you think? i don't like it. oh. nuh uh. yeah. ahhhhh. mm-mm. oh. yeah. ah. agh. d-d-d... no. hmmm. uh... huh. yeah. uh... huh. in business, there are a lot of ways to say no. thank you so much. thank you. so we're doing it. yes. start saying yes to your company's best ideas.
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president trump agrees to meet north korea's leader within two months, offering a chance to eliminate the threat of nuclear conflict. why would kim jong-un make such a bold move now? and is the united states prepared for the most challenging nuclear negotiations since the end of the cold war? >> it is a roll of the nuclear dice. in some ways the president kind of got boxed in here. he elevates kim jong-un, puts him on a stage next to him which is a huge concession, elevating the dictator without the dictator having to do anything. doesn't give up his nuclear program at all. >> how will donald trump avoid being played by a regime that cheated on nuclear agreements with barack obama, george w. bush and bill clinton, who hailed his deal as a breakthrough in 1994? >> this agreement will help to achieve a long-standing and vital american objective by ending the threat of nuclear proliferation on the