Trump says North Korea summit 'may not work out'

Sarah Sanders briefs reporters on President Donald Trump's Tuesday meeting with South Korea's president ahead of the scheduled U.S.-North Korea summit.
27:18 | 05/22/18

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Transcript for Trump says North Korea summit 'may not work out'
It afternoon. The president has just concluded a productive meeting with South Korean president and in this is the sixth visit between them. The two leaders had significant conversations on important issues including the scheduled US North Korea itself. Those leaders are committed to working together to accomplish the common goal of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. And you also know it's commencement season and the president and First Lady would like to extend a special congratulations. To World War II veteran Bob Barker. 68 years since he last sat in the classroom Bob graduated from the University of Toledo. This month after a review of his transcripts from the late 1940s. Showed he completed enough courses to qualify effort associates degree. As the president sent his letter to Bob his hard work diligence and passion to learn exemplify the greatest generations commitment to excellence. And the American spirit as you know the president took a number of questions earlier passed we'll keep it short today but now it started. John thank. Sorry if you agree with the and do you agree with the South Korean officials. 899%. Chance that this can. Comes off what will how the president ultimately make the decision. But whether or go. The president addressed this earlier. Directly to you in. Said that will see what happens we continue to prepare for the summit. And if they wannabe we will certainly be ready and the president I think rightly stated that. Yes. North Korea agrees the new Clorox that it can be a bright future for them but we remain clear at a news negotiations that we continue prepare and we'll see it happen. Conditions. What does he succeeded the north Koreans have to community. Make that perfect in his basket at challenge Koreans were ever made was premature and make us. I'm Rick. So I'm no the first part of your question. The president's laid out what he wants to see is a commitment. To denuclearization. That has not changed. In terms of the claims this is not something that the White House has anything to do with the don't have any input on the designed to manufacture. A process in any capacity. This is a standard procedure by the White House communications agency which is made up exclusively of career military officials. And these coins are designed and and done by that or is it Pamela. Think he's Daryn the US guarantee the safety thinking there is when he Wednesday. Serial human rights abuser is responsible for a recent the American college student why is that the morally right to you. Again the goal and the purpose of these conversations would be to have complete and total. Denuclearization. Of the peninsula and the president has been up front about that part of the conversation and we're gonna continue to move forward. Sarah Palin quits aren't thinking that he gets his ring series a major ahead. Talk about preparations for war so can you describe for us all the president himself. He's personally preparing I was working with a published. A daily basis to get ready for the underlying themes questions and difficulties of some of them. As you all know he spent a significant amount of time. The meeting both in person and having regular phone conversations. With other world leaders like you saw today. With South Korean president noon. As well as he has constant and regular meetings with his national security team. This is something they talk about on the daily basis and will continue to. In preparation Jordan. The answer I would ask about the meetings. Setting up lawmakers regarding documents that they've requested about what investigation that he's in what. Specific documents the lawmakers of Biloxi tribute to this question all the documents relations intelligence works he gets all documents. That's of the that you would have to ask the Department of Justice I can tell you the president asked. UNICEF Kelly to set up the meeting it is scheduled to take place on Thursday. Let this week the individuals that. Are expected to attend our chairman noon as chairman dowdy. FBI director ray uniter actor coats. In DOJ official at a Callahan. No one from the White House apple it's place. The north Koreans are brilliant journalist you view what they say news. The dismantling of a nuclear test site curious. The administration believes that site. It's already damaged aunts are less believe and what exactly the administration's response. Anything I can comment on this student. Seat yes. Tell us what was the outcome of discussions. Between the South Korean president president called today. About the size and cost of US troops in south. Add the focus. At least a minute meeting thousand specifically did not come up. But certainly. Conversations primarily centered around preparations. Towards the scheduled some. So. Yes perfect act coordinating and making trick took place at this point is not expected to attend. Michael. Can you ask you who struggled in those two right. Democrats would be at that meeting it that way houses created to. With just Republicans and Justice Department did its due to white house with a White House welcome Democrats did and he. How will keep you posted my understanding is they have London the ones requesting this information. City police stated to the extent of the White House's. Brokered deal between the Justice Department and an. I hardly call brokering a deal to senate help coordinate and meeting. And help congress receive information it requested. To my knowledge that Democrats have not requested that information. So I would refer you back to them on why they would consider themselves randomly invited to see something that never asked him Jeff. President's belittling this morning about his vision for solutions. Dealing with the Chinese companies. Both Republicans and Democrats on the hill are that if vowing to pressure from Beijing. The US and tighter relationship as a number. The issues that were constantly having conversations national security trade ZT is among one of those. And this is something that the president is asked commerce to look into it he's outlined some possible. Actions against ETE by commerce but at this point they're still in discussion. And there's nothing else to add. Beyond what the president arsonist. That criticism though it would use them. Like SA a few times before senator Schumer is not somebody this White House is probably ever gonna take advice from on how to negotiate. We're get a good deal on and he thinks particularly based on his track record certainly. I think his weakness when it comes to China we finally have a president who's actually. Calling out China on their unfair trade practices and not just calling him out actually doing something about it. And aggressively pushing forward in negotiations something that we haven't seen. In decades and so senator Schumer are the last person we would call and ask for on how to make a deal Anita. If your car accident that happened at the EPA earlier today they are having a national summit on. Water contaminants. At least two reporters were. Barred from going into the event and one was forcibly removed I wonder if we had a comment you grew. You approve of how that was handled accordingly be speaking to the press office of the. I certainly rule look into the matter I've seen the reports I know EPA has put out a statement. At this platter free give them as we look into the incident I don't I don't have a lot of visibility since. Certainly we weren't there. And were in other meetings here but something we are certainly a look into that at this whenever free the statement EPA and out. Again I can't speak to a situation don't have a lot of visibility into that I would or free back to their statement. It's yet. 3%. Annual law since he was disappointed. After. The second meeting when she's being kingdom seem to have change back. Is what happens any theories as to why that might be puppies China's weather and one. The president spoke to this directly there's nothing else at this point my. More. He said trying to solve the Japan's ruling cute that's very large sums of money to North Korea. Q you had anything more that is the US planning to add to benefit their very large song he described what kind of money. Had anything to add beyond the president's comment that you can. I'm all about what president moon says about him. The news and are coming out of Pyongyang. What central learned meeting with Woodward. We felt like conversations today were productive. And again Marie continued preparations we'll see what happens out there as a follow on India and it has you. Is there any situation mark securities in which fuel the White House feels is appropriate to physically touch or physically and my answer random hypotheticals that may or may not exist I don't know if any information about the specific incidents are asking me to. You're asking me to speak a blanket possibilities which I'm not gonna do nor would I ever asked for executive. Job. I think that's on the sorry idea and an excellent parents and bank Austria short on time go ahead. Sorry John go ahead then. Thank you Sarah you're starting Q advertisement. Next considerable discussion back and forth about the whether he's. Relinquish his gavel early have a new election of the speaker before the elections. Conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill made it clear that they want. Brian state congressman Warren Damon's. That's unfair to the new members come again. And he also said. That there should be discharged positions of members and have. And up and down vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act and immigration does the president agree with the statements of Dave some. And the conservatives. I haven't spoken and what's with him specifically about that statement so I wouldn't want waged their empire. He's prepared for these meetings have led to the summit actually it takes place. Does human rights play any consideration. And he president. I'm not gonna get ahead of the discussion that the president. And Kim Jong could have but certainly we would expect that that would be come up and be addressed Chara. Johnson the question. People Ryan's. Where is concerned there to. Mania period. Serving as. Yeah at this point that something after or speaker Ryan and members of congress to make that determination not something that the White House is wait until this. Think that's got. For that evening. After speak out and just. Trunk feel more like it's sunny it's worth having and that it will happen but what is the White House's drop dead decent speed. We're deciding whether or not that it's something. Again Britney continue to prepare. And we'll see what happens there's really nothing to add beyond that at this point we'll take one last question then. Things are wanted to ask about the cause of the violence continued today the White House have any plans. There are no scheduled meetings at this point but if something changes we'll certainly anyway guys now thanks so much had a great. I. 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 her. And several days obviously and a big news day Katherine with the president meeting with. President moon of South Korea 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 noon today the the president throwing some doubt. Yeah raising a lot of doubts he's saying there's a good chance we'll have the meaning but a very. Substantial chance that it won't work out raising doubts about that meeting that's three weeks from today which is 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 knew president noon has pushed for these meetings 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 front 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 has been tracking the developments. All day today with with the big visit and the president's forty minutes. 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 how 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 we can call it that basically doing what he seizes this this summit is really. Has some doubts were out and speaking at the caveat out the 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 editor working at this chances are very substantial chance it won't work at I don't wanna waste a lot of time and I'm sure he does it 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 that will have the meeting. Will live on president front 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 spent a condom 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 can even see a little bit obviously in his delivery in the questions he didn't answer that. Secret I haven't but he is waffling. That's right and it is your home reading the tea leaves here it's just tapestry of this tea leaf because if you are wondering whether 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 in 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 what I senate claim that tells me it's happening at the White House released a statement saying that they make these claims when the trips are announced the strip has been announced. And that they had no say in in the designer or manufacturer. Of this quite out of the will we look at that yesterday with. It seems like it's the line right. Your tax Payer dollars to get 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 and 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 row with 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 a remarkable moment there I know that federal prosecutor for twelve years in. There's a very strong. Norm really more than a dorm it sort of inviolate that White House doesn't direct. Investigation it open and close it doesn't influence. The course of investigations so. And you would think that that norm would be particularly. Strong winds the actual yet subjects of the investigation are. People in the white outs and crappy the president himself 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 Europe from I think anyone outside. Appears to be you know pretty clearly an effort to. Equally the Mahler investigation. Tom has anybody drink and Matt how and how do you think how 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 are sort of. Telling aides he may consider firing Rosen Stein. If you're Rosen sign how're you Hari playing indices and sort of has to thread the needle. Yet you'd better at the thread the needle that exact ready bit of dairy top spot rotted the serious and and death. Impressive. You know former career federal prosecutor before each you know they included deputy Terry general position. Yes 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 words value that a great about it got 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 is make them not only art for this investigation but brother investigate and to recruit sources who you know what they confidential. So eight at about I think you do about bloody Janica thread the needle here. And before we let you go Matt want to 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 about this that 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 thing for us. And the most sensitive document 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 the intelligence agencies. They you literally put their lives. Help pursued apps security investigations and criminal investigation. So. Those that was that the document that that are in just aren't I I assume that what they want to look at it. It won't debate who is this source what was the background on him. Out why the as a credible or maybe you know we're. That is now being cross and I think there's real concern within the Justice Department new houses community. That went supplies cross its going to be hard to hold it going forward and make it harder proceed detected investigations. There really difficult to see how this can be continue to be an end it truly independent investigation Matt Olson think he's so much ABC news contributor and former director. The national counter terrorism center. And Catherine sir Sanders saying that that meeting is gonna happen this week she said it's gonna happen this week. John Kelly the chief. That is courting Indian its meaning he's not involved in the meeting nobody from the White House says but she said meaning as scouting re. 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 at Adam Schiff who spoken about it. Her defense about was that they didn't. Request to see the documents from let's go to Capitol Hill numbering and our Capitol Hill reporter Ben Siegel who's been tracking that side of the story. These documents the secret documents about the informant the sourcing and then 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. Qualify had to guess I would assume that the Democrats learned about this from Sarah standard 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 document. 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 mean Wallace 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 opened 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 that 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 counts before it in the past sessions ignore that that we interesting out of CF. If if this prompts a tweet from the president if there's a second order perhaps. For the Justice Department to too quick to 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 they 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 you promised tariffs on China. Those are still in limbo and. What's going on but this could this company's DT EU 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 congress I'm. And I have to say then singled 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 are 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 Matt Olson with us as well thank you for joining us today here in the briefing room. For Katherine folders on Devin Dwyer were hoping you follow the latest developments on ABC news. On BBC news apple we'll see you back here. The next White House briefing.

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

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