Trump, Merkel discuss North Korea, Iran, NATO and more

President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel covered a lot of ground in their joint news conference.
9:45 | 04/27/18

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Transcript for Trump, Merkel discuss North Korea, Iran, NATO and more
You've been watching ABC news live on cannot vote and here in New York we are continuing in our special coverage. President fronts joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as you see the two world leaders there. Walk away from the east room the president touching on a number of hat lines there from trade to North Korea. Comments so much more so let's get right back to Washington tete ABC news political director Rick Klein who's standing by right now Rick I think. Really what a big headlines here North Korea the president not answering the question that he actually spoken with North Korea dictator Kim Jong-Il. He says he does not want to confirm whether he's had a direct conversation or not although he says the communications generally. Have been very good interesting also he shared he tells of a private conversation he had with President Obama. Or Obama told him during their one meeting before president trump took office that was going to be the biggest issue of his presidency. Presidential blaming his predecessors for not solving it but taking I think something of victory lap in in this breakthrough and it is a breakthrough a remarkable one. That has happened on the Korean Peninsula Perry met also with top ports for Iran and I think you get a sense of what. The emerging trump doctrine is here he is lavishing praise on the north Koreans were moving toward some kind of of a peaceful region peaceful solution and having a lot of tough talk for a ran as the deadline comes operator recertify. The Iran nuclear agreement so I think some very different messaging coming out of the present a false all of that has a lot different from the days of fire and fury and locked and loaded in little rocket man in my button is bigger than yours which. At and into the relationship with North Korea just a few months ago. Let's bring in ABC's senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega who's there in the eastern Australia I've got to ask you if as far as when it comes to the presidency in his fifth responsibility. The handled North Korean situation. What was your take on. Well I am really struck by that line entirely Connecticut residents dead and really for the first time that he feels like. He asked to close this deal so that it benefits the world and and and as we know this the president who likes to humble bragging if you will and he sort of basic to be taking. Some credit for where things stand out I don't lot of people would say I think. Even his biggest critics that he deserves some credit for what is happening. What we are seeing right now on the Korean Peninsula. He says. He sort of seemed to be magnanimous in this one saying that that this is something he wants you for the entire route I honestly can't I'm also struck. I some of the questions that came from the German press or in here not just about. What's happening in North Korean not just what's happening about it in Iran this the president who still. Faces questions about his behavior. His tone in his tenor and what they describe as an abrasive style. On Twitter and and their relationship and and he said look this means I am doing a good job if you. Others are countries are complaining about my behavior and might tone. It means that I am doing exactly what I should be doing to our represent this country I gotta say they're seem to be maybe every candidate. Few eye rolls a few. Have faced is that it gondola Merkel the German chancellor made here we do know there's. This has been relatively rocky relationship at times much has been made about the relationship that the two leaders have out of the past particularly compared to the relationship that. Uncle Merkel had with crap former President Obama they would speak regularly on the phone months have gone by. With time passing between president trump and on the Merkel not speaking. As they tried out show the world that they are as the new found that friendship here I think a lot of people are still wondering whether that's the case. It did it feel awkward when the president was hitting the past administration especially President Obama knowing the relationship. Merkel how with Obama was there any type of facial expression she gave there. Sitting right here in the front row in and I am with my colleagues from other networks and we were. Source snickering if you will at some of the facial expression she seem to be making when we were looking. At her right you know the president made a joke as as he likes to do you ingesting think about. How I difficult it is to fire people at easy it is to file people hire people injuring it's very difficult are people there and she's heard. Raised her eyebrows and seemed to take cat make eye contact with a staffer here in the room. Look. Part of this is just got locked into the visit that is coming just days after France where French president. Back from left the White House and and there's his budding romance between those two leaders. And and they've got back and allowed it might take an opposite relationship. Oh win when she did arrived here today there was some warm there there were double kisses from. Presidents from Don Merkel he guided her into the White House they're certainly trying to shill for the cameras. That there is a a warm breezy warm mean relationship between. I want this morning talking about Russia big GOP report that came out. I'm curious about your take on the president's reaction to this thing of course that big headline that he likes to say which is no collusion. On but many point out this was led by a flawed. GOP committee. Yeah the Democrats certainly wasted no time in pointing that out and as expected the president wasted no time and applauding this this is going to be spun. As a big win out I eat from insiders I certainly this administration they will stay as proof as they have been saying is you just that of no collusion of a witch hunt. This is a heavily redacted partisan document it would be on either side. And the Democrats are not happy with the way all of this this has come down and the conclusions that this document as Ronnie find it very faulty. On Thursday apple. My last question I promise or use them over me here I thought I just left talked into yet. Those are my friends down there and goofy but I think the room there is just completely actually use it with a more German press. Then American presence there with an unusual. Yeah this room and this is this is a historic room in here and it's up. Perhaps one of the bigger ones in the White House if I guess I would say predominantly German press but I think when I was coming in here I was commenting with. Alan my producer that it looked like there were actually more people. To get in then then this room outfits they we we did fit but it's this. Big crowd I was here for the macro oppressors I don't have any way to compare but I gotta tell you this as. This is prime time viewing him I was lucky they are different thing we've got your back front. You know what I'm gonna get back down down there soon and it I know you're probably going to help both convicted you've gotten mine on that front row right you know I asked are now a all right thank you to our affiliate bay get there in the east room let's get right back to Rick Klein are breaking as. Since you brought up the critics of the president's aids scare tactics and threats. They don't work when it comes to deal with North Korea path not peacemaking but supporters point out the sanctions didn't work. On the outs in the past administrations also had little impact so should the president get some credit here. No doubt he deserves at least some degree of credit now I think he's freaking maybe more credit than he might be do it this at this moment. I'll one Republican member of congress obviously running out for the senate in Indiana is already nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize how they were there yet. But you know I talked to one aide to one ends sometime critic of president all president trump was a Republican today said. You know for as much as we don't like his personal sciele that brash manner and we think he's making a mistake in egging on North Korea. Maybe he's on to something maybe there is some essential truth to the way he's managed that a relationship with North Korea. If the assaults war maybe that got him to the table maybe this moment wouldn't have happened if not for the president's leadership so we will see how it develops and what the outcome of of an eventual meeting in the eightieth Kim Jung won though puts down and dismantles his nuclear program if there's peace and that it on the Korean Peninsula that is undeniably a good thing. And it's on the rivals while the president trump would have had a major role in that in fomenting in fostering the relationships that lead to that moment. As far as what we heard and that joint news conference we heard on the Merkel saying that. When it comes to the Iran nuclear deal that. It's not sufficient but it's there it will it working. Odyssey. Germany plans to stay and knowing the US could get out of this the president saying they will not have nuclear weapons you can bank on that some very strong and toppling which there. Arms but there's still some policy difference that were evident there on that stage. That's right I think he saw play out with the French president and on wall Lecrone earlier in the week although this much of closer personal relationship a lot of handshakes that he didn't see today some facts on the cheek. Bassam dandruff normal you name it with the with the two presidents earlier in the week you don't have I would Merck will be you do have the same policy difference. I do think they'll get if you're starting to see. A bit of potential middle ground on this which would this did you say the president may not rip off the current agreement but he may insist. On an additional agreement that that covers the out years covers the years after the current agreement expires. Talks about how tough it is set to keep that amused maybe uses that as a condition of staying in the agreement is to know that it's a permanent solution in Iraq. On Russia wreck you know the president's that he was honored by the GOP house intelligence report that says no collusion between the trump campaign and Russia. The two got folks coming up pretty quickly like former Obama's CIA director John burning calling that report highly partisan flawed saying the special counsel's findings. Will we more comprehensive. Yeah it'll look in the house Republicans will not get the final word on this certainly not DeVon noon as that the chairman of that committee who's come under fire himself for closely coordinating. Revelations with the White House this as is of these that is a partisan document it will be used in in partisan warfare in the coming months but what Muller has the say. We'll be orders of magnitude more impact full in terms of understanding the ultimate contours of what kind of cooperation was going on between the Russians and the trump campaign. If any as well as anything that stands from that whether it's obstruction of justice or anything else. Abbott our expertise from Rick Klein they're and in DC thank you rake in our thanks to Cecilia Vega at the White House is well. You've been watching our special coverage of president fronts the joint news conference here ABC news live. To find out more on what the president's that a more analysis please go to and our ABC news that again I'm cannot vote for ABC news lives.

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

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