President Trump hosts joint press conference with Swedish PM

ABC News' powerhouse politics team covers the headlines.
10:25 | 03/06/18

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Transcript for President Trump hosts joint press conference with Swedish PM
President trough wrapping up a joint press conference of the prime minister of Sweden now live at the White House right now he was asked about tariffs North Korea and staff turmoil hi everyone. On ABC news political director Rick Klein joined here by Katherine folders and we've gotten hurt Bruce up on Capitol Hill and Mary I wanna start with you because. It's in my mind a little bit of a shift maybe it's a very saw the one on the issue with tariffs. On one hand the president saying we are going to impose those tariffs but at the same time. He sees the offering allies a bit of an off ramp saying it might be part of negotiations as part NAFTA fourth European countries. A lot of this has to be responding to the pressure he's getting back on Capitol Hill lot of the president's allies not happy with what they've been hearing art Harris. And the president in the White House and resenting a lot of mixed messages here wreck that of course not something new for this administration but. Really over the last 24 hours we've seen something up here that I remember a release saying. In recent month that month with which is Republican leaders really forcefully. Coming out against the president you have speaker Ryan yesterday coming out in a way that it I don't recall ever seeing him come out against this president opposing. This move on tariffs that Republicans argue this is bad for the economy that it will lead. To a trade war you did hear the president they're clearly disagreeing effect he. He said and I quote that it trade wars art so back. At eighty seems to be welcoming such a thing suggesting that made it somehow if a trade war war were to result. They that in America would somehow benefit while other countries would be the ones to suffer. Republican leaders have been trying they've been lobbying really hard the president top White House aides behind the scenes to get them. To to walk this back to not take these steps it's unclear how much of an impact that's going to have and remember Republicans all of this comes. As Republicans continue to trying to highlight and talent and sell. Their tax reform bill. And they feel very strongly that the president goes through with these tariffs that it could. Put at risk some of the successes and gains that they feel have been made from their tax plan their signature legislative achievement. And married it's not just that is not just the concern a couple notes inside the president's own staff and Catherine. I you were noticing an empty chair in that room that that might speak pretty loudly about some of the internal staff dissension on this issue of Taro. Right we didn't see Gary come in there who has been it trying to avoid this. Trade war in a sense persuading the president out of this and then I was just observing the room there and didn't see him in there and perhaps. Maybe you'll have vivid indication on Alley feels. Not on this issue but it just as you mentioned as mayor mentioned on Capitol Hill the same thing going on an inside the white house with the staff two different sides of this argument. And the president did Catherine addressed the staff turmoil at least indirectly he said he's not gonna talk about the attorney general like messages tweets. The company of street. General Jon Karl in the room for that for that news conference today. I wanna hit on this issue of the staff from what the president seems to indicate that there will be more movement I think it's. He's the agent talked about there about how much he likes that need attention that's about as frank admissions at the present. It was an itch thing description of the of the trump math they died and I'd never heard directly from him he likes conflict he likes to have. Conflict on his own staff he likes to hear. People on his own staff with strong opinions fight it out right in front of him he he enjoys that he. Joked at the gridiron over the weekend that he is the enjoys chaos. You do not now lot denies chaos today via via Twitter but clearly. He is somebody that likes to have that kind of Tom Waltz around him that's the way he operated at trump tower that's the way he operates here at the White House and that was that was a pretty candid admission by the way was asked directly. About sessions and he gave up a chance there to come out and tell the world that he has confidence in his attorney general. Maybe just the escalating a little bit Donna I want to ask you about another thing was he was asked about today which is handling Russia and intriguing question. From a Swedish journalists in the room about how. Sweden should handle Russia if Russia tries model in its elections also in twenty teen certainly there was Natalie the president said but then he moved on pretty quickly. I'll yet it was a very good question from the Swedish side. The that the question was what advice he would have given the experience that the Americans have. I had in the last election was sweetened its having national elections in September. And die he he did the first thing he said Rick was. Did the Russian meddling had no impact on the election no impact whatsoever. But they did out that old. Direct statement there was meddling but I'm immediately the next sentence talked about other may have been other club on to other countries involved in other people involved. And asked if he was concerned about meddling in the mid term elections. He said no they've taken you know just tremendous measures to prevent that it's a mystery what measures he's referring to. Yet the director of the National Security Agency was up on Capitol Hill and quite bluntly I said in congressional testimony they. He has not been given the authority he needs to. Aggressively go at Russian meddling at its source. Seem to be of direct statement from admiral Mike Rogers that he does not have the authority from the president that he needs to really fight this growing threat of growing threat he said. Of Russian meddling not just the threat. That we saw in the last election but one. It is aggressively continuing as we go into our our our next election. And dump problem less headline why appoint if you're with before you head back their North Korea. The president joking it what makes north Koreans wanting to wanted to talk he's at me. If he's that nobody nobody got that joke but here is brick on brick monster that was a joke I mean I want. I don't laugh. Yeah navy admits it but what what is the White House attitude toward this this seeming reversal. From the north Koreans its musical moment of the long way since Byron York. All we have and what we have heard from senior White House officials is that. Diplomacy. Is is the main effort here now of course the military always develops contingency plans. But what I've been told by several very senior officials in this White House. Is the emphasis is on diplomacy is on pressuring. The north Koreans this latest round of sanctions and I often wonder Rick you know recovering. The North Korean nuclear threat. For I don't know for longer than I care to admit. And you know there's always a new round of sanctions how much left is there to sanction North Korea but they. Insist officials that this latest round that it's been put in place. Is really hurting the north Koreans that the Chinese have been. More cooperative in the past and the north Koreans are feeling the pressure and that's why they say were seeing us some movement on the part of north Koreans there's also. Caution you know that if that this is a long. Way to go a very very long way to go. Double we will let you admit how many years covering North Korea that would have been up perfectly fine. At least two or three I don't know OK but ferret out Jon Karl at the White House thanks for thanks for being here. I pigs in an area what a circle back with you on on the on a few points here because it into one of the interesting dynamics in the of this. News conference is the president was being challenged at least at least subtly by the Swedish prime minister. Talking about trade and the importance of free trade talking about immigration. A little bit of push back up the rhetoric the president's had there he's hearing from a lot of people friends allies enemies. Advice from from lots of folks it doesn't seem to be changing the president's mind but it isn't stopping you'll try. Yet it certainly was interesting to sort of see the not so subtle messages coming mayor for from the Swedish prime minister to it to president trump. But you're right it doesn't seem to be moving the ball forward. In any kind of way earning on tariffs are gonna have to see. How this played out what the president ultimately does because as we mentioned earlier those mixed messages. Coming from the White House it's kind of hard to see wait what he's going to do next if or how he's going to stop beta. His stance whether he will. Sort of you know came in some ways is under the pressure from members of his own party. On this issue and Anna and on immigration that issue that came up of course and temperatures yesterday was the deadline appeared to act on dreamers that was the president's. Own deadline that he set that deadline came and went without any action. Here on Capitol Hill and again it's one of these things that we simply don't know how this is going to play out. In the coming months but certainly interesting to watch all of the people publicly and privately trying to sway this president on these various key issues. Partner is our congressional correspondent let it back to be thank you very. In Katherine. I like conflict that might be the the the quote that's remembered out of at a this news conference it was interesting as John mentioned to me that joke over the weekend that like chaos and he's tweets I have there's no chaos things are things are going great. He does treaty that have. Emisphere he does and in the tweet this morning fuels the narrative of this Friday you see he says people coming dole there's a list of about. A ten people who weekend is who we can must stop that you know aren't necessarily on good standing on good president I'm so he does create his tension internally as well and a White House official text me this morning actually about this particular suite and compared it to the apprentice. You know it's it's. Really it's it's it you know who goes next he says there's no chaos only great energy so it chaos persons conflicted is something that. And he does fuel and an also have a lot of people scratching our heads internally. And no questions about Sam Lundberg despite that bizarre sequence of interviews that he gave yesterday about as a potential that's what we're Bob Lawler. Yeah no no questions about him numbered and you know well hung while he was on them. Cable television for hours yesterday. It the president hasn't reacted to this city is certainly CNET and it's early been. And brought his attention but what we are probably wake up with another presidential tweet about this them. Shirley he is an avid fan of these comments but no questions on any hasn't weigh in and yet. Yes surprising and I heard three a couple of hours on Ares I think. Pentagon all right Catherine falters. For everyone here at ABC news on ABC news political director Rick Klein download the BC news happy Cuba's post keep your most couples that all the along an abcnews.com. Thank you for watching.

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

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