'Briefing Room': US Embassy opens in Jerusalem, trade tensions in China mount

ABC News breaks down the Gaza protests as the U.S. Embassy opens in Jerusalem.
16:42 | 05/14/18

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Transcript for 'Briefing Room': US Embassy opens in Jerusalem, trade tensions in China mount
Another day of the fourth foreign policy maneuvering since the heady political feuds hi there and welcome to the briefing room out ABC news political director reclined. Joined here by Mary Alice parks and we're gonna get Cecilia Vega joining us from. The White House in just a few moments Mary Alice the big story of the day. Promise but delivered on by president trump he is move the embassy the ribbon cutting this morning. And in it was pretty remarkable. Said it images because it's on the one hand yes they are making this happen they are moving. The American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem something that US presidents have talked about as rusty been US law for two decades she had at Jared in of Bok there at the big ceremony. But violence breaking out in the West Bank and and eight if remarkable split screen that that all developed because it has moved. A shocking jarring split screen actually this morning and you're it was a promise that a lot of presidents before him had me. But not delivered on of course those former president cited the fact that this move could put it. And he peace prospects in real jeopardy. And it really sauce of that unfolding today it was a wild. Sort of scary and sad split screen such violence on one side and in this beautifully. Manicured formal of men some with diplomats and members of president comes along Stanley smiling and applauding the move. It's remarkable that. Over fifty. Palestinians have been shot and killed according to the Gaza health ministry with potentially even more about to com rested today in in days to come. But we saw members of congress on both sides of the aisle Republicans and Democrats applaud this minute. Senator Schumer wrote it was long overdue and that he applauded president chopper. I'm making a Smith and the White House asked how this impacts the peace plan that Raj Shah the deputy Press Secretary today saying I don't think it hurts the peace plan isn't news time when he saint. All responsibility. On Hamas. But it's precisely this kind of reaction that has made previous administration so reticent about this they know it used to its uses as a talking point and this is real violence going on in real time. Real balance and the Israeli army has said openly and publicly that they're now using live ammunition back across the border against folks who are storming the border storming the fat cell. It's a it's a hot were taking place right now. Yet another headline just addressed for the into the briefing there is the presence of Robert Jeffers two to give the opening prayer at the embassy opening. I he has given some inflammatory sermons over the years some really wild quotes some of them at that's a medic actually there in Israel I anti Mormon with some Mitt Romney tweet overnight saying he should not be included. No explanation there from the White House about he. Or some other folks got on to that speaking agent of the we know the Robert Jeffers is close to the president and and we just not hearing white is there. I'm just not sure but some naked as it just seems like an unforced air negative headlines that could easily have been avoided airplanes he of more. And and control to their hunting and pastors to choose from. American passers issues from so that was bizarre to me and the White House did not seem to have an answer for why this passer of all options was chosen despite his really controversial past. And and moving on to some other B for a policy topics it is a big moment here where you have the embassy. Openings you also have the Iran deal just ripped up last week you have the North Korea summit. Coming on line and we also have some interesting headlines around China but let's start with North Korea and Iran because we're seeing some different sick zags in in each of these areas. We're seeing things begin to come into view on a North Korea and we're taught we hear from. John Bolton the national security advisor just yesterday says they may be. Renewing economic ties even isn't that nice with North Korea on the other hand if you do business with a rant it's lights out in terms of this administration so. He really had an odd juxtaposition of these two big is big nuclear showdowns we have coming. And that's range tweed over the weekend from the president about needing to protect jobs in China from adding serve another dimension that is like you're hinting at. Once again foreign policy looks like just four dimensional chats where what's going on in one country in one part of the world from one topic. Could impact all the negotiations Andrew routes and I think that's a lot of what we're seeing with the sweet. This is leaving it joining us now for the White House they have the hats printed yet as it may centigrade again that we do those. I would love that the district would it collector's edition. I just can't get my head around Al Bakr that I'll let it. Yes it's what's what's what's your sense of how this fits in to the larger ministry that it ended this week just come out of nowhere does this reflect what's behind the scenes oh after Rea. Well it it. Yes and no I it's certainly came out of nowhere I think because the president's. Staff here in the White House and having to catch up with and it sent a clear occasions statement. After the fact that thing that's just illustrates how the president is. You know working to make America first even with that China. So a lot of confusion on that front. But you know as they are trying to do this cleanup mess here in the briefing today. The the discussion that was had ever from rot shot at deputy Press Secretary here. Is that this came up in many conversations behind closed doors between the president and China and that it is it very complex relationship. That they have they're not answering and sort of where this came from and what it all means going forward. Or or really this potential for conflict that can't really it seems that the president is circumventing his own Commerce Department which. Sanction does ET this company for violations against working with North Korea and Iran. It's it's really had scratch or Kerry you know as this essay as pregnancy even really the big. Headline out of this meeting of courses is. Yeah let's talk about this the city because rush out today who's saying he was dealt with internally it's the Kelly's tablet still at work today. We learned over the weekend bits out when. When Kelly called Megan McCain she apparently according to mega McCain sat that she planned to apologize publicly that of course has not happened and it doesn't selling its gonna happen so yeah. Now I would be shocked if it did happen I have been wrong as have we all. Covering this White House with things that they surprise us on and at times but I really don't believe that you'll get. Yet again an apology out of the white house on this one and I don't know when this controversy is going to go way until they. At least acknowledge in some form that this statement it was made that no one is denying that. Was wrong and downright offensive and really just sort of bottom of the barrel you know rot shot with at the podium today was questioned because. It's been reported that he was there he was running this meeting when camp Kelly Sadler made these comments and whether he has a personal problem with what she sat and even he didn't really have an answer that he just kept repeating this line it is being handled internally is being handle internally but you know she still have a job. She still here she still the White House today so I'm not sure how this is being handled internally in one of the questions and I put. So rods today was. Eight. Eat is their only concern among people here in the White House especially in the press shop which is tasked with shaping. Anti you know coverage really perception of this White House. And that that the perception right now is that they seem more concerned about the fact that this leaked then about the comments in the contents of these comments. Themselves which even Republicans have come out as they are just despicable. And and are calling for the White House to make an apology but still no apology today. I was struck by the fact that he wouldn't say that he thought the content of those comments was wrong. Not if it seems to be a new low in some rain for the White House to save it for even staff any apology any I'm sorry. Is beneath them that I don't really lame. I agree with you Mary Alice we've been saying that this is a new low a lot of people have said that as a new low but I think we need to step back a little bit here and talk about. This administration that we're covering this is not an president who himself and apologizes. Ever if I can remember. Sort of forced into half apology over reach weeding a very anti Muslim. Video once forced into an apology. Over in the Access Hollywood tapes but grudgingly did it. And you know really. You know that's that's the tone to be honest and I and I don't think people here would argue with with that assessment this is coming from the top. I don't think people behind the scenes anyone act talk you condones what was said. But they are very ups that perhaps even yourselves that this was leaked out and you heard match lap whose married to. And and at Mercedes Flacco was also in this meeting and who reportedly set I stand with Kelly let the record reflect that when this leaks out. I want it to be known that I stand with Kelly and and her husband went on CNN today in said that Kelly Sadler is in some ways. A little bit of a victim and so this big and but inter elevation here at this White House is that they were wrong because of this week. And that's going to be a really hard public relations mess to clean up for the. Cecilia Vega we thank you for joining us are you to get back to two to file for world news tonight another interest in day at the White House thanks to Sylvia thanks guys and were joint we're joined now by phone a special guest out joining us here in the briefing room Chris Christie the former governor of New Jersey. And a big day at the supreme court for the state of New Jersey that I wanna get two and a second governor but if we have you know I wanna I want to ask about this issue regarding John McCain you know the president very very well he worked closely with him you know this White House. So well. Should we read anything into the fact that there is no apology forthcoming from the White House do you do would you view that as the president's preference given that he seems never want to apologize. I looked and I don't think is our topic but to the president the side. Whether. Global politics of the efforts but the president not to do with. Now you know I think you're by understating it securely divers old Megan McCain but she would apologize publicly. Well it certainly. Back to speculate about what should apologize spoke. Why should this be so hard and he couldn't couldn't it be some in the White House right so quickly just this to say look at it this is not a statement. That we endorse and anyway it was a bad joke it was it was ill timed it's no place at the White House and and she should apologize publicly. But I think it's the responsibility of persons said it first and foremost. Why do you think that can't. Overcome its particular. Right I mean it's a particular it's distasteful so it stopped over that should have been set and so now the person who set it. Should apologize. And be not over because I think she should but according to make him think she's apologized for negative privately. The Shubert baggage she would we should apologize publicly. And so it seems to me that that you know Keller that we should get doing what she promised she would do. And then I if she did not obligated but it would be offered a battery. Senator Graham said over the weekend that if someone on his staff has said that that person would not be working for him what's your take on that as a former governor someone. He's a comment like that even if it's in a private staff meetings that. Grounds the firearm. I would. That would handle them all right I like there if there is a bit of a misconception in the White House and perhaps even across Washington. That this is what Republican voters want a Republican voters want defiance no matter what an un apologetic. Liter no matter what. And I just say that's not in my. Perceptions talking to voters across the country I often find even plenty of supporters of president trump see they're sort of tired of this lack of civility. Do you think that voters are looking for someone that we'll just never apologized or maybe are getting tired of this steadfast. Staunch behavior. And I think voters have been hired market stability. For Walt long before president trump Gupta Washington DC. I think there's a lack of stability before that going all the way back. Up to the Clinton your. And so you know voters there old apartment it's part of it. And so you know the public have to brightly each everywhere these people on their own merits. How they how they are conducting themselves. And an interview for day surely that would be inappropriate. Distasteful comment. Of that you know got leaked out by other people were at the meeting. She then our own accord or I can tell. Decided to call. Megan McCain apologize. And assure victory spiritual brick public policy as well. Half of that has been part of policies and made. Registered public policy made by Kelley's artwork and move on. A governor want to ask you about the debate data stream court for your hopes in New Jersey a piece of legislation that I believe you signed into law. Was at issue here and Supreme Court ruling that the city New Jersey and other states have the ability to to have. Legalized sports gambling like the state a lot of slate of Nevada does now illicit union. You've been fighting this for a long time to try to get New Jersey got right of course Atlantic City has a lot riding on this. What is your sense about how quickly this can be put into action is this going to be the salvation of Atlantic City. Well it erected there it is already got would downsizing. And it's right now very successful we have. Two casinos being built right now to add to exit so. Atlantic City is coming back regardless this was gambling now. Split Yemen will help to add another another attraction to of their city which will be great but operator. You're you're going to be able to accept. In New Jersey on sport in two weeks. Mile park are racetrack. Which was sure had already built doubts that the money to build up space could they were confident. We are gonna win. Our and so there's been murdered be great for two weeks artfully. You're gonna see mullah park on. Memorial Day weekend beginning of the summer being ready to accept sport that. And I got a feeling if you go to Marva part of act upon the traffic. Because there's going to be some serious alliance weighs about sports. In New Jersey for the post apartment and there's an important political and constitutional principle don't think it was well and but so we will put it really well. He said abort their brick directly on the State's sovereignty is not easy to imagine. The constitution. Gives congress know such power. That is a pretty unequivocal statement that was shortened by seven members of the court. Seventh and two decision. And so we feel really good about it although I say and it was serving your fighting million dollars in legal fees to get there. Fighting this professional sports leagues in this country is neither easy nor cheap. And you know bet that you're gonna make in two weeks that you can win it all back at feels like oh come out of it. You put on the Mets. I know I got upward of player right now are not about football and act the way they're playing right now put. I would I would say he had that I promised spoke about the park where evidence lightning bug filled it out and expertise that we win. That if we didn't win that I would be your first state of quakes of that so I will be a model for the first state they're ready to accept that votes for. And out of what we were quick to bet on but whatever stated I will quit effective for the long are coming and the people majority voted overwhelmingly that they bought that this. By referendum. Has so I was fighting for the people Mike state it took seven years. But I'm glad that fondly one. All right governor Chris Christie will be there with you if you let us the memorial and hanging around nationals that sounds like a veterans Memorial Day weekend thanks. All of raw separate agencies fair we're was well. Are high that the governor Chris Christie from the Jersey they you have it two weeks that's pretty quick I mean your eyes just like lit up you know to study of the sell the Sally its that he can be addictive you a lot of fun not good for the city's new Jersey's Sam Alito from the city New Jersey gets the right that majority opinion. On behalf of the state have and out of things into maintenance position. Karen up let's give way to end it here on the briefing room for Mary Alice parks I'm Rick Klein please download the ABC news that will be back here next time. With the receiver.

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

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