Trump meets South Korean leader, 'demands' DOJ investigates FBI

Powerhouse Politics Team talks Trump's meeting with the South Korean president and updates on the president's order for an investigation into the FBI.
14:21 | 05/22/18

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Transcript for Trump meets South Korean leader, 'demands' DOJ investigates FBI
Everybody I'm Devin Dwyer here at ABC news headquarters thank you for watching the briefing room here with captain Paul was at the White House we saucer Sanders with an abbreviated briefing today first time we've had a chance to hear from her question ever. And several days obviously had a big news day Katherine with the president meeting with. President moon's South Korea at the summit before the summit three weeks from today is when that's scheduled sit down in Singapore is set to begin. I would Kim Jung and today the the president throwing some doubt. Yeah raising a lot of doubts he's saying there's a good chance we'll have been meaning but a very substantial chance that it won't work out raising doubts about that meeting that's three weeks from today we just a stark contrast to South Korea's. National security advisor who said earlier that they think. In this meeting has a 99.9. Percent chance of happening we know president noon has pushed for these meanings he's pushing truck to sit down so. Absolutely raising more doubts but at the same time this is similar rhetoric we've heard. From president Ferguson may have and it may not happen if it goes poorly and they get up and Williams so we just as article what is president. Trump likes to keep people guessing he also we know as art of the deal likes to be able to show he can step away. From the negotiating table so props and signaling going on. Prospering and Alex Mallon over at the White House who has been tracking the developments. All day today with with the big visit and the president's forty minute. Pool spray Alex you just saw that briefings are Sanders was asked what specifically. I would need to be presented to president trump an order for him to get on that plane and take it Tony our flight to Singapore. She had an interest and answer. Yet found this kind of striking she said a commitment to. I'm and that's basically what we've heard only verbally from the north Koreans at this point. But again. You've seen this last week that rhetoric has shifted they have really backed away kind of as a result of those joint US and South Korea. Military drills as well as national security advisor. John Bolton and some of the rhetoric that he's had in the past with regards to North Korea so the president obviously today with some of the art of the hobby out I guess is what wouldn't call it basically doing what he seizes this this summit is really. Has some doubts were out and speaking of the caveat out with take a listen to the president himself with think we have the sound clean up your it was earlier today. Throwing into doubt the summit three weeks from today Nicholas. They are working on something and you know there's a chance that it work at this chances are very substantial chance it won't work GAAP I don't want to waste a lot of time and I'm sure he doesn't want to waste a lot of time. So there's a very substantial chance it won't work out and that's okay that doesn't mean it won't work out. Over a period of time. Let it may not work out for June 12 but there's a good chance it will have the meeting. Will live longer president rob keeping everybody guessing but I think captured facing some blowback from critics that he had been perhaps too eager to get to the table. And I think of spooked a little bit that Kim Jong-un sort of back to wail in the past week offered some. Waffling on whether or not he was willing to new. I think he was definitely spooked at caught off guard it sure did catch the State Department off guard as well also added that at least through Tibet by the waffling and I think. The other interesting aspect of today was our own Karen Travers with. But during questions and the president and he was totally willing to top of the two things he wouldn't answer what. Had he spoken with Kim Jong-un and DD trust that he didn't want it touched that it also you could even see a little bit obviously in his delivery in the questions he didn't answer that. Stephen I haven't but he is waffling. Right and it is those of your home reading the tea leaves here and you just have to show you this tea leaf because if you are wondering what in the White House truly is. Skeptical of this summit taking place. Or perhaps they're not really perhaps it's a bluff take a look at this commemorative coins. That has been minted by the White House communications agency that is a real. Souvenir if you will ahead of the summit they've already gone through the trouble. Celebrating the coming meeting between president trafficking agenda and there on the right calling calls and the supreme leader. You're going to the trouble to making a coin Catherine you're probably feeling pretty good about it me. I mean you know when I Senecal and that tells me it's happening at the White House released a statement saying that they make these claims when the trips are announced this trip has been announced. And that they had no say in in the design or manufacture. Of this quite Adam but we look at that yesterday with. It seems like it's the line right. Your taxpayer dollars aggregate used let's move on though to it another big story today which is the president's. Demand for an investigation of the Russian investigation a lot of rapid developments overnight. From the hill to the White House we will go to the hill and a second but I want to bring in. Are Matt Olson. Former director of the National Counterterrorism Center a former briefly former deputy attorney general Matt is joining us on the phone. Matt thanks for being here wanted to get your take first of all. On the big picture of this story before we hear wrote what Sarah had to say today. On the investigating the investigation. All what's your take in was a line crossed with the use of an informant. Cherry app heated chat about this I mean I think it is actually. Kind of remarkable moment there I know the federal prosecutor for twelve years in there's a very strong. Norm really more than a norm it sorted inviolate that White House doesn't direct. Investigate it doesn't open it doesn't close it doesn't influence. The course of investigations so. And you would think that that norm would be particularly. Strong winds the actual you know subjects of the investigation are. People in the White House and crappy the president and so that your you have. The president basically saying I want the Justice Department to investigate. You know whether or not it was wrong doing. In this investigation which you know from I think anyone outside. Appears to be you know pretty clearly interpreted. Equally the -- investigation. Tom at anybody drink and Matt how and how do you think what do you think rod Rosen Stein is doing here this is the deputy attorney general met with president front yesterday. House Republicans are threatening to impeach him potentially you've got the president turning up the heat for sort of. Telling aides he may consider firing Rosen Stein. If you're Rosen sign power you hurry plane distances sort of has to throw of the deal. Yet you don't have to thread the needle that exact break even of dairy tough spot rotted the serious and and death. Impressive. You know former career federal prosecutor before he you know they into the deputy Terry general position. You know he made it very clear a couple of weeks ago that he would not be intimidated he would not be it eat it extorted. And I think you can take in that is word value that a great a body that congress. And the white out demanding to know who distorts what that this investigation which of another very. Clear red line you don't reveal sources. That it may not only art for this investigation but brother investigate and to recruit sources who you know what they confidential. So I ate it up by I think you do about quality Janica thread the needle here. And before US ago Matt wanna ask you about these documents. That the pro that the president has requested. To be revealed we learn from sir Sanders that there's going to be some sort of meeting brokered between. House Republicans who want to learn of the senate Clinton's seat with the Justice Department has been doing here. And some White House officials. What might they be able to look at when they have this mean what sort of records are kept internally. The justice department for think for us. You're the most sensitive documents in the FBI are documents relating to sources. That for good reason sources who. To cooperate with investigators whether it the FBI or CIA you know intelligence agencies. They you literally put their lives. And help pursued national security investigations and criminal investigation. So. Those that look that the document that that are in just aren't I I assume that what they wanna look at it. In what was debate who wins this source what was the background on him. Out why did we credible or maybe you know we're. That is now being cross and I think there's real concern within the Justice Department in thousands community. That want to let crock it's going to be hard to hold it go reported that make it harder to see these types of investigations. In a really difficult to see how this can be continue to be an end it truly independent investigation Matt Olson thank you so much ABC news contributor and former director. The national counter terrorism senator. And Katherine Sarah Sanders saying that that meeting is gonna happen this week she said it's gonna happen this week. John Kelly the chief of staff is coordinating its meaning he's not involved in the meeting nobody from the White House is but she said meaning as Goudie ray coats in a DOJ official is. But no Democrats which is surely come across shock waves on on Capitol Hill that's going to be. I'm a big issue for app Adam Schiff who spoken about it. Her defense about was bat they didn't. Quest to see the documents from let's go to Capitol Hill numbering in our Capitol Hill reporter Ben Siegel who's been tracking that side of the story. These documents these secret documents about the informant the sourcing that battles and was talking about going to be revealed to Newman has. Chairman dowdy. All Republicans no Democrats then what is the reaction from that side of the aisle to this to this development lot of politics here. Well if I had to guess I would assume that the Democrats learned about this from Serra sent in the briefing that's generally how information has flowed. From the White House to the minority on Capitol Hill so we haven't heard from them yet but I do want to point out one interesting point in this whole back and forth. Senator Mark Warner the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Told one of our colleagues that he and chairman Richard Burr decided not to get a briefing on this subject because they thought it was too sensitive. To that just goes to show you how. How sense that this issue is and how how these congressman might be waiting at some. Uncharted territory here with regard to a sensitive investigative documents. Yet very interesting that the senators involved in this investigation Republicans and Democrats. Trying to stay away from this stuff just out of respect for the FBI very different take in house as you say. And one point 01 of the big headline today that you've been following that a number of Republicans meanwhile is all these other developments are swirling. Today announced a big push for a second special counsel. That threat we had about nineteen house conservatives Republicans who are among the president's. Allowed a supporters on Capitol Hill they have unveiled a twelve page resolution calling for Jeff Sessions the attorney general. Two point a second special counsel to essentially investigate the investigators as you. The language you used earlier in this program and what's interesting about this is is the context within which it comes obviously this comes after the president. Ordered the Justice Department open an investigation. It comes as the president's new personal lawyer and in in the Russian investigation Rudy Giuliani has been increasingly. On the offensive with regards to them all their team and and sort of his PR war about discrediting. In some respects of the the special invested special counsel. So. This is haven't won won't want to make is that this has happened before. Republicans have asked for a second special counsel before it in the past sessions ignore that that we interesting out of see if if if this prompts a tweet from the president if there's a second order perhaps. For the Justice Department to 222 instant install another special counsel I guess we'll just have to see in this new environment. Right you're right those allies of the president certainly keeping up the heat and Siegel stand by let's talk about the other big topic that he captured the president's. On going trade negotiations with China. A big sleeper story really. An important as so many of those red state that helped elect president trump he had promised tariffs on China. Those are still in limbo and. What's going on with this could this company's GTE who might. Telecom giant the president had signaled perhaps he would lift sanctions on them. He signaled he would lift sanctions and an assist and sorry for about a week and a half now he directed the Commerce Department to look into this air Sanderson today. That it still in discussion but you know he said today that he was not satisfied about the recently announced trade agreement between the US and China. The bottom line is there's a lot of mixed messages from the administration's human each and saying one thing. President tweet something else and then obviously and the whole debate over at the Telecom companies eats he is still not sorted. Out in the White House this punting to congressman and I have to say and single before we let you go. I've been surprised by the amount of commentary from both Republicans and Democrats a lot of. Major newspaper headlines today. Basically suggesting the president has caved on China already by holding back on the tariffs and letting ZTE. Off the hook putting her in apparent help. That's right a lot of strong words from Republicans Marco Rubio Democrats like Chuck Schumer. Saying that China has outmaneuvered the deal maker in chief here and just one point about how. How incredulous some members of congress are they're drafting a defense policy bill in the house it's making its way through congress. There's a measure in that bill that prohibits. The Pentagon from working with defense contractors who use ETE electronics and software so this is a company that's seen as a national security threat. By members of congress so that's partially one of the reasons why they're so frustrated by this. Apparent deal that the that does come out of the white house with China to help save this company. Right definitely keep our eyes on that deal are our thanks to Ben Siegel for that now it's now on over at the White House and of course great to have metal some with us as well thank you for joining us today here in the briefing room. Of for Katherine folders on debt and wiry hoping you follow the latest developments on ABC news. On BBC news apple we'll see you back here at the next White House. History.

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

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