Transcript for White House announces second summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un
And yeah. Everybody happy Friday welcome to the brief him on Devin Dwyer ABC news in Washington enjoyment and Siegel mark Hilan investigative reporter great to have you with us. All I have Einstein packed today including the big one from buzz feed news overnight this one. Has a lot of people talking down here in Washington we're still trying to get our minds are on the source seen whether this is true ABC news. Doesn't have independent reporting to could corroborate this but the headline is certainly a talker buzz feed news I think we have a graphic of it says that president trump. Directed his personal attorney Michael calling to lied to congress. About his negotiations with the Russians over trump tower Muppets tower Moscow. In 2016. Of course this is that business project that's at the center. So much of Robert Muller's investigation it's the one that Michael Cohen is his himself already pled guilty. Tell line about he's going to prison next month. But now buzz feed reports Ben that did they have evidence from federal officials. The president actually directed. Cohen to do the line Cohen of course said that he did the line and after the president. But he is not cut and dried based in everything we've seen. It's not a cut and dry and it's really hard to say for sure without seeing those documents that there reporting on without seeing some of that testimony without knowing what Michael Cohen told. Special counsel Robert mormino Democrats on capitol want to answer that question and they're gonna start investigating this. So sinners again so regardless of whether the special counsel has anything here or is pursuing this against the president. You're saying the Democrats a party promised to do their own investigation that's exactly right our let's bring in Kate shop our legal analyst who has been following a similar investigation as well Kate great to see you in person and thank you. Odd subway scene to help us break down what they potential liability is here for the president. If this is it is true and also why there might be some reason to doubt what Michael Cohen is seen about. Sore so look at this sounds like it combines feed report is true like a pretty cut and dried case directing a witness to lie to congress is supporting perjury. It may also be part of a larger obstruction of justice course of conduct. The only reason this is a harder to your interest in question is because the person who allegedly committed these acts as the president. And there are a number of open questions about whether a sitting president can be in died right most people think that a sitting president cannot be indicted. And if that's the case and he just has that missing. The real action lines in congress because. Of course while sitting president may not be indictable a sitting president surely is impeachable. And the historical examples of impeachment of sitting president. Have the last two have involved conduct. That looks a lot like the conduct that is described in the nineteen piece of impact its troops directing witnesses to lie in order to conceal. Is was part of the articles of impeachment against both Richard Nixon who resigned before being impeached in against Bill Clinton. Yes so if just a button that again if Democrats are able to find enough evidence that this is true that the president did encourage someone directly Michael Cohen told lied to congress. That could be grounds for impeachment proceedings and there is precedent as you said because Richard Nixon the first our article of impeachment there was obstruction after. You know if it was and it's if you read it directed witnesses to conceal information to make misrepresentations. You know in those articles were approved by the House Judiciary Committee but never even considered kind of floor the House of Representatives because he resigned before that can happen. I'm so you know it was a course of conduct. And then there was the concealment of the course of conduct and sort of the unraveling of the president's involvement in all of that was what ultimately led. To president Nixon's resignation of course you know this we don't yet know. How much about what beyond Michael Cohen whose testimony there is to corroborate this account by the historical parallels are striking. And that would seem to be key here better because Michael Cohen has already. Band is going to jail because he lied and so I think that's that's in large part the White House's defense they of course that the president did not do this there is a tweet from the president this morning. Every tweeting a comment from Fox News correspondent Kevin corker I think we haven't been. A he basically pointed out the president pointed out the Michael Collins been convicted of perjury and fraud which is a true statement he's going to prison for that and so. I ski was seen Ben and Lester has this corroborating evidence here. It is reason to doubt what Michael Collins might. Exactly we should suspect Republicans on the hill we'll try to use that at this point to as as as the public as Democrats try to figure out what exactly happened. What we do know is that Republicans of all the investigating that's going on to the president a special counsel's investigation. Into this concerns about collusion it's the at Salina congress it's the obstruction that privately many believe he remains the most. Vulnerable to right and we know why they will continue on this even though congress has left town there's a lot of talked today about the buzz feed stories we'll have much more on that to come meanwhile congress also continuing to take a close look at the administration's immigration policy a lot of headlines on that front. In the past 24 hours we are just learning now that senator Jeff Merkley. The Democrat of Oregon has now saying he's asking the FBI. To investigate DHS secretary cures to Nielsen for lying to congress. About that separation policy the children separation policy at the border which of course she's denied and this administration. Had at any time let's bring in Jon Cohen our ABC news national security contributor John you've of course track immigration issues for so long there's this new fight now in the wake of investigate inspector general port yesterday. About the number of children that were separated from their parents at the border. How do you Parse what do what we've been seeing the past 24 hours and what does it tell you that that this is now turn to potentially. An attack on accuracy Nielsen. Yeah I think sex during Elson has has a problem. He she has on the one hand and her public statements. I tried to saying that how are not doing anything different during the trump administration that was than that that was done during the Obama administration. Unfortunate that's not actually completely accurate. While it's true that during the Obama administration there were occasions when. Adults were separated from miners that war that were caught while crossing the border illegally. I typically that was only done in situations. Where there was reason to doubt that the adult was actually the parent of the minor. Or that the miner safety was somehow in jeopardy by being with the adult. What's really different about what the trump administration has done is through the zero tolerance policy is that they sent first to their and a prosecute every adult apprehended. Crossing the border. Between the ports of entry. But secondly and this is where it's really different they said that they were gonna placed as adults in pretrial detention direct turn them over to the US Marshals Service. And put them in a fragile jail. Pending the date there being in appearing in the courtroom. Once an adult is put into a correctional facility or criminal justice jail. They can they can't be housed together with children that that in the event went so it's the pretrial detention element. Of the trumpet zero tolerance policy. That was very different than what's been done in past administrations and that directly led to the wide spread separation of adults from children. And just remind everybody this was a policy put in place by attorney general Jeff Sessions. In 2018 it obviously was widely criticized the president then moved to roll back as far as we know most of those children had been had been. Reunited. If not all of them we know the practice has abated significantly. I'm glad John the significance of the past 24 hours is we've learned that there's now some evidence Jeff Merkley has this memo has a whistle blower he says it's come forward. I went documents showing that the administration as far back as early 2017. Was talking about separating children from their parents. Yeah that's right the man. You know illustrates that there are looking for a way to deter people from. Migrating to the country and there are some folks at the White House and the Justice Department and even a DHS. That believe that that separating children from their parents went with serve as that to turn. It underscores two things. One. It's another example of when the administration has rolled out an immigration related info on operational plan. And there didn't seem to be the necessary planning or the necessary resources apply. And into the zero tolerance Ra I was just one example of that. Second lay out what we're seeing is that. That lack of planning seems to be continuing today even in some of the reporting it we've seen over the past several days. That we had our hearing from Border Patrol officers were saying. Yes a barrier is important but what's more important is that adequate resources be at the border to deal with these large number of individuals coming to the border and and and requesting asylum. You need more people than that these individuals anymore people to process these individuals in need more housing they need more medical care. How facilities so they is it just seems to be a lack of planning. And resource allocation on the humanitarian side of the border challenges. Let's bring their senior national correspondent Mac gotten he's in Los Angeles just back from the border. Where he's done a lot of reporting Matt. You know just in the past couple of weeks is as you've been reporting it does seem that the humanitarian crisis there. He's maybe a dated apprehensions are down a little bit and in fact that you just broke the news that the administration has closed one of those facilities that was housing all these children. I don't think it has abated in any sense I think what typically happens in this time of year in the month of December. Asylum seekers tend not to come because people don't like to travel. Doreen the Christmas season and the New Year's cease and so they typically it's seasonal and they don't travel ban as we've seen in early January there is an enormous uptake in fact. Just this week we saw two enormous groups one of them was. The biggest ever crossed across into the United States this was a group of asylum seekers mostly from Guatemala. 330. Parents with children's 376. In all so they're still coming in large numbers in fact in the Yuma sector I was just this morning. They are on track to quadruple. The number of families with children crossing into the US south a little back to something that John mentioned that is so important. There is a policy it is always the policy of the US government. To detain and then sent to a trial people who enter the United States who have a past criminal record who are felons. So what they're doing it and what happened in the case have been separations is they basically enacted that rule saying all. They crossed into the US they committed a felony they commit an illegal act we will send them. Two a court in the sixty detained and during that time having to separate them because you can't have. Children beat with adults in the general population of a detention center. But that's still happening dampen that happens. Every day along the border and that's because there are still and remain fell into cross all the time and right now they are crossing with children. The vast majority than their own children sometimes not. And in order to other protect those children or because these people are felons they are separating them from their Pham is it's not done that often but it's still done. Every single day along the border so this is still very much about a present concern. For everybody involved and to John's point the Border Patrol agents I was with yesterday the most important thing they need right now is humanitarian aid they need that. 800 million dollars that the president they have asked for the president is now last four that should be earmarked towards humanitarian aid along the border. That's partly because we have seen this influx of families of parents with children crossing in. They're going into these detention centers DeVon that were designed for single adult males most of them from Mexico which means they could be kicked back to bounce back to Mexico within. A number of hours but these detainees are largely. From Central America and that means that we don't have the same the United States does not seem agreement with Central America you can't deport them immediately. Many of them are Seeking Asylum that means or applications have to be heard and sometimes they're hearing before a judge an immigration judge. Could be backlog by years so. It's a very complex system. The ultimate upshot is that we have many more parents with children stuck at these facilities than ever before. And that is what Border Patrol all these agencies along the border asking for help for so as we've been saying all along to some degree. There is a crisis along the border is just not the one the president has been talking about not so much a national security crisis but more of a humanitarian crisis. It's yet thanks Matt and wondering John called back and this John it was speaking. The difference in perspective somewhat kind of a crisis this is the president this morning tweeting. About prayer rugs founded allegedly found in the desert suggest seen. A threat from Muslim terrorists perhaps she's been talking a little bit more about terrorism though he didn't mention it in his Oval Office address. I'd give us the bottom line on this there's no evidence that terrorists are pouring in across southern border isn't. Now there's no credible our objective intelligence. That suggests that foreign terrorists are. Going into Mexico or Central America. In any significant numbers and seeking to use that. This as a Maurer as a way to enter and I just also say that even if it's true that a Pereira was found a prayer Iraq does not necessarily an indicator of terrorist activity. Yes absolutely the president him or seen. The saving your from the DHS spokeswoman saying that. The truck administration's continuing to rein in on unchecked illegal immigration at the border which which does continue. Com and John give it give us your sense of where things stand right now with with with Shearson Nielsen and that this these efforts to build a border wall. We heard Max reporting that there in the flows continue to come. Do you think there's been any change in you know in in in opinion up on on Capitol Hill where suspect to the need for reinforcing the wall and he and some of these points we saw people crawling under the law on mats reporting. I mean not raises to really important points. On a Kyra back to my own position my advice to secretary to the president would be focused less on the border Wallin more on dealing with the increasing and people at the border who are seeking. Asylum. But. Mass reporting is also important for another reason I mean he just told a story about. 300 some odd people who tunnels under a border while we're hearing from the Coast Guard that they're increasing. In her saps are in her addictions migrants in the Pacific Ocean and and that corresponds also with what we're seeing in the Caribbean. Illegal drugs are flying into this country. From the south but through the ports of entry through the Pacific. Through the Ukrainian transit zones and mirrored recent reports it just came out that didn't confirm that firm's seven straight years. The overwhelming majority of undocumented aliens in this country. Didn't come across the southern border of the northern border but they flew here and are overstating their views so. Border security footage of the southern borders important we have to stop criminals have to stop terrorists we have to stop illegal drugs. But the wall isn't the answer. And bass to provides a sense of. False comfort me. At least it certainly is not the silver bullet and as we've heard me. Sort of more thoughtful lawmakers talk about this it's a more holistic comprehensive. Approach to border security act conversation is not he had right now wish it was Jon Cohen thanks so much for coming in. On this Friday have a good weekend and then. Speaking of conversations by lawmakers there there really aren't any going on right now the most of them have left town for those from long and OK we Cameron dates when he needed to shut down. A yet so much of the oxygen in the last 24 hours has been this. Sucked up by this petty tit for tat between president trump and Nancy Pelosi the latest been this shot across the bow last night the president pulling the plug on her trip. What have you heard from policy staff about her plans and she had planned just keep going on to Afghanistan percent. That's right the speaker was on making her final preparations for the strip yesterday when the letter went out on Twitter. The put the speaker's office learned about this the same way we did that is that that the president was canceling the military air flight that they were gonna use to fly to Afghanistan through Europe. Also revealing that the secret trip was taking place. They were going to do this commercially. But then came out with a statement say claiming that the administration had leaked that information. Publicly which they said would also endanger the speaker who is of course in the line of succession for the presidency said they've called off this trip. But bottom one going back to which are saying about the negotiations this is. We are not discussing the government we're not discussing got border security right now it's it's a contest of wills almost between the two party leaders. And let's take a licences speaker Pelosi who weighed in on the developments in the past 24 hours just a few minutes ago tickle us. Yeah this is retaliation for your letter does. I don't think the president would you. Meanwhile the fallout from this shutdown continues to percolate and ripple across the country it's been Kate shot back and because the federal court system is about to be the next front in the shut down. Impact Kate give us a sense of what's ahead in the coming days in the court system if they don't get to a government funding back online. And I think that it. The courts are right now not in shut down mode. Last in their current slightly reduced to basic operations and then they too will move him to shut down mode. But even now the federal courts are profoundly impacted by the shutdown because of course the executive branch is already in Chinatown so the US marshals and the assistant US attorney is. And all of those staff members who spend their days working in the federal courts are already working on paid and so that has consequences. In terms of moving to actual shot town known in the federal courts. You know so in first and offers federal court employees want to be paid but that's gonna have impact for individuals who are litigating cases. At in the federal courts individuals were serving as jurors in the federal courts so one example but the times published this morning. Federal jurors are usually given lunch when there are performing injury due in the federal courts pay for that lunch and I can add money to do that that are they're gonna have to run. Some tab at a local bodega in New York City or they're gonna have to not feed their insurers. There are there will be reduced all the civil cases that are pending the federal courts we'll be indefinitely stayed until the shutdown is over so no one's going to be able to move forward with their civil cases. That involves everything from. You know Kennedy torch disputes. Social Security benefits appeals that's a huge category of cases that my people are waiting to hear about Social Security appeals and that's money that they need and it won't be able to even. How come to court to move forward with those cases. On wall the shutdown. Goes on criminal cases will continue to be processed. But the course will be under reduced hours. So that's not consequences for things like the ability to post bail in a timely fashion. And then all of the private attorneys were paid with federal funds. Under a statute called the criminal justice act are already not being paid and and that's since late December. And so that's. Representation to indigent defendants are already either not receiving or is not being compensated so. It's just another of these kind of you sort of see the ripple effects spread more and more broadly from the shutdown as mr. Indies take pot. Yes over is you know over at the Supreme Court earlier this week a lot of concern there at the upper Echelon of the court system about what this will mean. For justice the criminal justice system in this country the public defenders Kate big big deal they are not being paid as well. Kate shot great to have you in thanks so much Kate have a great weekend to see you. And then moving on Al you know this isn't just in Washington we keep reminding people most of the people impacted by the shutdown on the middle of the country impact 800000 workers not being paid. Large majority of those federal workers work elsewhere. That's right and you have people and all these congressional district all of these states. We're lawmakers have now left town to return do you have people scatter from all these agencies across these places. And and and it's that it can K mentioned a ripple effect it's these people and their immediate family and then it sort of echoes out from there. And one of those people joins us now from mountain middle of the country from Iowa. Clooney Iowa and fact front runner as of corn and soybean farmer it's great to see you sir thanks for being here population for 72. Climbing Iowa we should say. Great to have your Rea a Europe and perspective here Brent and give us give us a sense of let's just start with the news of the past 24 hours. What's your reaction to this tit for tat between president trump and Nancy Pelosi how was that plane or you must look at this. And wonder what the heck is going on here Washington. You know I think a maturity of us me answer. Sick of politics as usual. I would argue that that's probably why trump elected. Mom. In Maliki. Definitely doesn't conduct himself like normal all visions com. You know and it is opponents with a teacher and color or so certainly it is the first time when Russia now. It may be as long as long but. It's unfortunate that sons a all of us are unable to do business as usual in the end some mothers that are currently missing paychecks. Our our era being directly affected by such in our opinion childish. Gamesmanship. I think the people that you previously interviewed in the last thirteen minutes or so endlessly. Explained very well there is no crisis or order it may not be beat deep crisis. Trump then. Referring to but a crisis nonetheless. That could be dealt with some local maybe not seem local. And isn't. There. And when I think it's high time that the two sides together. Set aside their differences in the knowing that known. No one party worker or 100%. Want. But recent common ground group or in India and the bickering. For art work where do you fall on the position of the wall do you think we need one right now is the crisis they are sufficiently urgent enough. That it would Merrick shutting down the government until that check is cut by congress or do you think this is something that. Can be can continually discussed and worked through. And that it's more important open the government. Our third acts as some of the people you just get an interview. Again that there's a crisis that some lull in May not be the same price is that for Charleston recruits who. Wouldn't we have many of the seat Democrats that are existing supreme 08 ball gets is that what you want to put it. Are probably want to put it. We had several Democrats on record. Technology centers has been a crisis her now more than a decade now. Com we'll steal it maybe that doesn't mean building a wall over every square inch of the southern border. Maybe that means. A long hearted and maybe that means taking the remaining balance of whatever funding needs that they choose who applied towards southern. On border. Security measure come towards the the ports and here. One years. The previous guests referred to that we do we have some drugs coming in. I think there's there's plenty of problems to be six hello when we decide not to acknowledge each other's. Science and nothing gets done in its ordeal. And wrecked before we let you go opt in addition to the tariffs than an oath put a squeeze on many soybean farmers in the middle of the country. How is the shutdown affected your business is this something that you've already felt or expected fuel in the coming weeks. So. In my regards decades speak for every farmer minutes and I would see. And it bit him mom mama Lou farmers in my neighbor had not been. So directly affected by the government shutdown as of yet. We are used to an office being open that we can do business in England when their businesses is considered rare and others tons of different programs for the USDA. Tara a lot of which we don't use that some which we do in the dickens' time you know speed and each farmer currently. Boats in the biggest. It you uncertainty or. Situation the government shut down its cost whore and many my colleagues is the lack of reporting arm every month we order. Com accepting a report that comes from the USDA. In regards to export numbers for our exports and imports into. It's. An excellent tool for those that so workshop on portrait crisis everything she can't have an idea. What direction our markets are heading. And we use those figures to make some critical decisions in the next month or so in regards the crops that we know breezing through this year 2019. On percentage crowd corn or soybeans and not so. That's I think the biggest thing that we feel right now in regards the shut down obviously every day we are happy to make those decisions as we approach strength. It becomes more and more did call more more uncertainties make those decisions. Take part Renner thank you so much for joining us in different thanks for sharing your view really appreciate it hope you take care Britain Renner of on the Iowa corn and soybean farmer. Talking that the impact of the shut down and hand bend so many businesses not just farmers relying government data. To make better business decisions and with that you know labor statistics shut down. This particular bureau that brown was talking about shut down they can't make business decisions even though they're not directly impacted but they don't have the numbers they need just more uncertainty into the system. Even two point even if they're not directly impacted that there are things the government provides that ways we don't even think about that but do fastened into every every single aspect Cleveland we'll. Turning art finally today big headlines is coming out of the State Department and the White House the last few minutes president trump. I'm meeting with the top nuclear negotiator from North Korea for the second time in the Oval Office we know those. Nuclear negotiations. Have ground to a halt is they're going to be I jump start will there be a second summit let's bring in our State Department. Reporter Connor Finnegan joins us now Connors been. Back tracking the movements today of the north Koreans hear Washington DC Conner a big headline coming that Oval Office meeting. Yeah that's right DeVon Press Secretary sir Sanders saying that president trump and Kim Jung un. Will meet for a second time. She said that'll happen near the end of February giving themselves. Political wiggle room there perhaps the end of February may be beginning of march which would still kind of fall within that category this was the second time that Kim young troll. The former North Korea spy chief and other top nuclear negotiator has met with president from. He met with president from the Oval Office last June just weeks before the Singapore Simon. To deliver a letter from Kim Jung and that really got that summit back on track I think the hope here is that he in this meeting with president trump. Was able to do the same thing again. You know really talk to the president warm him up again it it's been that personal relationship that the president has had with Kenton and that has kept negotiations alive so far as North Korea has really not taking any steps any meaningful verifiable steps. To dismantle its nuclear weapons program. So we're headed toward a second son I know you'll be there Connor Finnegan have fresh back. On a trip with the secretary of state thinks Conner for being here in the briefing room have a great weekend. I'm much more to come on that front does that North Korean summit number two develops with president trump will be following that right here in a briefing room hope you have a great weekend. We will not be back here on Monday but in honor of Martin Luther King Day hope you. I get out in the community and do some service in his honor we'll be back Tuesday 3:30 eastern time here in the briefing room. I'm Devin Dwyer agreed to have been Siegel with us we'll see you next time.
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