Ben Rhodes slams President Trump on North Korea: 'We should not be manufacturing a crisis'

The Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics on "This Week."
4:55 | 08/13/17

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Transcript for Ben Rhodes slams President Trump on North Korea: 'We should not be manufacturing a crisis'
And we're back with "The roundtable." I want to bring in Ben Rhodes. You served on the the national security council for president Obama. We're no close or the war with North Korea. There's though problem with the president's rhetoric. He said, we cannot tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea. The fact is, North Korea tested its first nuclear device in 2006. We do have to apply pressure. We should not be manufacturing a crisis, which is what president trump did with his words. Those words were not coordinated with our allies, to me. No strategy there. Is there no, not only is there no strategy, it's dangerous. A war with North Korea would likely take hundreds of thousands of lives. Including tens of thousands of Americans serving and living this South Korea. The fact is by makinging those threats, what happens if the thort Koreans misread U.S. Military movement this the region and respond is this what happens if there's a north Korean provocation and we're out over our skis because of president trump's rhetoric? And we're escalating? This is a big situation. The person he concedes he probably can't manage is the president himself. You wonder what general Kelly is bri doing bringing up fire and fury. And the possibility of military intervention of Venezuela. It's a Friday afternoon. We got nothing else. Ten minutes, let's declare a war on Venezuela. This was a coordinated message. And then Sarah Huckabee Sanders had to explain, no, this is the boss. The boss' voice. The boss gets the credit for everything in this white house. In a strange way, this is Donald Trump. We can't take him literally but take him seriously. This is Donald Trump, an embrace and a threat at the same time. The truth is somewhere in the middle. It's never in the extreme. In many ways, think situation is ready to deescalate because trump -- because, because -- Kim Jong-un has gotten what he wanted. He's got America validated the threat that keeps Kim Jong none power. Maybe now -- Which would be, then what do you do? How do you get them out of there, all of that? Gomplgt back.n listened to all the taps around the Cuban missile crisis. Jack Kennedy, this young president that nobody trusted, is saying to his military and congressional advisers, we're not going to do that. We're not going to declare war and going into Cuba. They said, we gotta get in there. It's usually the president with the big picture and calms everybody down. Whether it's Truman firing Mcarthur and sayinging we're not going to have a land war in Asia. Or -- Eisenhower saying we're not going to send troops to Vietnam. It's the president who does that. The president does -- He has a history of being a noninterventionist. Kennedy learned from the mistakes of the bay of pigs. He conducted the Cuban missile crisis differently. I think we have to dispense with the fiction. The fiction that we're going to stop North Korea from getting a nuclear weapon. We ought to deal with them the same way we deal with Pakistan. We were going to on stop Pakistan. Now we have a foreign policy that is surrounded by deterrence and containment. Let's remember, we helped create this problem. We drew a line arp arbitrarily between North Korea and south Korea. We did that after World War I. Instead of us imposing, we have to figure out a way they lead on this. Can we deescalate? I think we can. I think insisting they give up the nuclear weapons is not a policy that will work in the near term. We need to reach an agreement where we're imposing a freeze on the nuclear program in response for some degree of sanctions. That requires China. That does. That's why the words of the president of the United States matter. When he threatened war with Venezuela, the next day, the same leaders H.R. Mcmaster were saying could help 1068 the problem breathed life in to maduro. It's a losing happened of cards. He's destabilizing. You're betting billions of lives on the stability of Kim Jong-un? Both. We'll be right back.

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

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