White House reacts to North Korea missile threat

ABC News' Cecilia Vega reports on President Trump's pledge of "fire and fury" in response to North Korea threats and new details of reported communications between Trump's legal team and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
2:52 | 08/09/17

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Transcript for White House reacts to North Korea missile threat
dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. We will talk about it more with Cecilia Vega right here. Such a bracing moment to see the president hugging himself as he said these words but parts of the statement tightly scripted. Very much so and this was a question that was prompt. This was an answer promised by a question by a reporter. He was there to talk about opioid addiction and was asked this question at the end of that. Look, I am told this was very much a strategic answer by people in the white house, that the president knew if he was asked about this, that he would have this answer ready to go and if you watch that tape of the president, it seems as though during parts of it he looks down and -- seems to be reading a little bit. This -- we've seen ramped up rhetoric from the president. The president already set out a red line in January where he said he will not -- North Korea will not be able to create a ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States and we heard Steve ganyard say they have done that and then he said it wouldn't happen and particularly the use of the word threat yesterday drawing this response from the president because, of course, the north Koreans came out within hours with a new threat. And drawing criticism from people within his own party. John McCain, you just heard Martha talk about it, saying you have to back this up if you use language like that. You and I both know the one thing that is consistent with them is they say that the president is not going to message what his military actions will be. But we do know that his national security adviser H.R. Mcmaster said the president had been briefed on military options in North Korea. We know that this is something he's been following closely. This seems to be a big shift in rhetoric, though, and in tone coming out of this white house on this topic. They say many types nothing is off the table. Let's switch topics. The special counsel Robert Mueller reported in "Usa today" that there has been some side communication between the president's team and the special counsel. Essentially what we're told, what this story said was that the president's legal team had passed on messages from the president sort of niceties expressing appreciation for the job that they're doing. We're told by people in that circle that the report seems to be a little bit overblown, that this is nothing more than per fup perfunctory conversation. We're told no direct communications between the president and Mueller, but this report has raised a lot of eyebrows. Has been a gulf between the president and his legal team and seen his lawyers say nice things about Robert Mueller and say they want to cooperate with Robert Mueller but the president complaining a lot about what he says are the special counsel's conflicts. Calling this a witch-under. Not backing down. Kellyanne Conway told you that this weekend. The legal team says we are willing to cooperate. We've heard from others in the president's circle called on to possibly testify saying they will cooperate if asked to do so. The president himself, one thing on this, he is firm, he is calling this a witch-hunt and not backing down from it. Going to move on to the other

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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