THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT FOR 'THIS WEEK' on July 2, 2017 and it will be updated.
ANNOUNCER: THIS WEEK with George Stephanopoulos starts right now.
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC HOST (voice-over): The health care plan on hold. Senate Republicans failed to rally enough support.
SEN. MITCH MCCONELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: I think we've got a really good chance of getting there. It will just take us a little bit longer.
RADDATZ: And now coverage for millions of Americans hangs in the balance. The president now urging senators to repeal and then replace on a later date if the bill does not pass.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The bottom line is we're focused on the end product here.
RADDATZ: But what does that end product look like, and what could it mean for you? I traveled to Ohio to ask some of the people it affects the most.
(on camera): Are you worried that you won't be covered in the future?
(voice-over): Plus our exclusive interview with the Ohio governor pushing back against the bill.
(on camera): Is that your only concern related to this bill or?
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: No, no, no, no. My concerns are --
RADDATZ: Would that solve it?
(voice-over): And the fallout from Trump's twitter attack against two cable news hosts. Is the president undermining his own agenda? Our powerhouse roundtable takes that on.
Everything you need to know as these debates rage in Washington. From the White House to your house, we take on the moments that mattered THIS WEEK.
ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, it's this week. Here now, co-anchor, Martha Raddatz.
RADDATZ (on camera): Good morning. And Happy Fourth of July weekend. It is a critical time for the president's agenda. One of his signature campaign promises to repeal and replace Obamacare with something better on the line and in serious trouble, with the plan put forward by Senate Republicans in critical condition.
Every American has a stake in what happens next, including the citizens of Ohio -- the ultimate swing state, a big reason Donald Trump is president. It's also one of those Trump states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare and now faces the prospect that future Medicaid spending will be dramatically checked.
This as a brutal opioid addiction epidemic is straining Ohio's health care system. Insurers are pulling out. Premiums going up. It's a real crisis.
We wanted to know how the standoff over Obamacare is playing with voters and whether Ohio's Republican governor, John Kasich, who ran against the president and has been critical of his own party's health care proposals, sees any way to work it out. Before we dropped in on the governor's mansion, we stopped by Tommy's Diner just outside Columbus.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a Donald Trump fan, but this is the health care issue that I cannot support.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's awfully expensive to get everybody covered, so I understand the tension between covering people and the cost of doing it, but I do think the federal government has a role to play.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope that it doesn't be just something that they push through really fast to get something done because it was something that Trump said he would do.
RADDATZ (voice-over): Delray Stockard (ph) has coverage now but is worried about the future.
(on camera): Tell me what you think when you look at Washington and the health debate right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that people who have to work for their health care are not going to be able to afford it any longer. And even --
RADDATZ: Are you afraid of losing it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I'm afraid our company might have to downsize on the insurance and us pay higher deductibles, which is already impossible to keep up with it now.
RADDATZ: And what would happen just to you? If that happened?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To me?
RADDATZ: And your family?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would not be able to afford to go to the doctor at all, so any major surgeries would use everything in our savings accounts.
RADDATZ (voice-over): It's not just Ohio. In Pennsylvania where I was recently, they share that concern.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a taxpayer and my health insurance is getting very expensive. I mean, it's so bad that I mean, you know, if I have any issues medically, it's like, do you go to the doctor?
RADDATZ: And in this hospital outside Columbus, the doctors are not the only ones paying attention.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just breathe normally for me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't do much of anything normally anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I noticed that a lot of my patients have been actually expressing their concerns about it. They never have before. It would affect a lot of the rural hospitals and it would have a dramatic effect on our communities all throughout Ohio.
RADDATZ (on camera): You've heard what some of the Republicans are saying, come on. This will work. It won't. It'll be fine eventually. You're not buying that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is really a big tax cut for the ultra rich and it's going to come at the expense of the poor, the elderly, and the sick. And I'm worried that this bill will take away a life line for some of the most vulnerable in our society.
RADDATZ (voice-over): But once again the president distracting from the issues with a series of tweets, lashing out against "Morning Joe" co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. His supporters in Ohio don't appreciate the distraction.
(on camera): Did you see the tweets about Mika Brzezinski and --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I stay away from the tweet feeds honestly. As soon as it started I deleted Twitter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little juvenile, obviously for a president. But, you know, he's a pit bull.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like the old playground mentality, you know, you said this so I'm going to say this and that's ridiculous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wish he would stop, period. He just does not need to do that.
RADDATZ: And it was on the topic of those tweets where my conversation with Governor Kasich began.
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: You know it's unfortunate, and people are now begging the president not to do this and, you know, he ought to stop doing it and we'll have to see what happens. It's one of the few things that I think brought Republicans and Democrats together. They spend so much time fighting and then they're all aghast, you know, and so it's just not the way we ought to be. The coarseness is not acceptable.
RADDATZ: You know, one of the things his staff says is that he has a right to fight back at personal criticism he's received.
KASICH: Martha, and this is not designed to kind of excuse anything, but it was early in my administration when I was having trouble, when I was first elected governor, that my wife came to me one day and she said, John, you're the governor of Ohio, you're the father of Ohio, why don't you ago like it. And sometimes it takes people a while to understand the way in which they're supposed to lead and what I would hope, and I've been saying this now for a long period of time, you know, I'm going to just hope he grows into this job and understands you need to be a unifier.
Any politician who is not a unifier is not somebody that I want to be for.
So I'm hoping that he'll, you know, that his family is going to talk to him and they'll say knock it off. I hope so. But I think in Washington we have bigger issues than people being outraged by somebody else's tweet. They need to look themselves in the mirror and figure out whether they're serving the country or they're serving their party or their own interests. I mean, this -- I'm very concerned about what's happening in many different directions including, of course, health care.
RADDATZ: But this doesn't help.
KASICH: The coarseness doesn't help anybody. But I don't think it has much to do with Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. They're both -- all of them see it the same way and they all have said it that needs to stop.
RADDATZ: Should he apologize?
KASICH: Well, I mean I would. But I'm not him, I'm me.
RADDATZ: I do want to turn to health care. President trump did tweet that if Republican senators are unable to pass a health care bill, they should immediately repeal Obamacare and then replace it at a later date. Do you support that approach?
KASICH: I don't know what that means. Honestly, I don't think the president really -- I don't...
RADDATZ: Repeal then replace.
KASICH: No. What I'm saying to you is, I don't know that he -- look, if somebody were to go to him and say we could sit down with the Democrats and we could come up with a deal that would improve the system, I mean you call it one thing, and they can call it another thing, I think he'd be fine with it. He is a negotiator. He's like a real estate guy. They -- negotiation is part of their DNA.
No, you just can't get rid of this, because you can't leave people without what they need. And this -- Obamacare needs significantly reformed. There's nobody that I talk to, either side of the aisle, and the Democrats side, that doesn't think there has to be some significant changes. The exchange is weak. It could fall apart. It could collapse.
What happens, people will lose their health care. I've talked to people on both sides of the aisle about this, Republicans and Democrats, I hate saying both sides of the aisle, it makes me like a Washington insider, but when you talk to them, there is sort of in the back of their mind a sense that ultimately they're going to have to figure this out. But right now they don't want to concede anything. One party doesn't want to concede anything to the other party because maybe it'll make the bill less, you know, less conservative. The other party wants the other party to kind of, you know, put their face down in the dirt and say, we failed. I mean, it's silly.
I have been involved -- look, I went through a government shutdown and negotiated with Senator Domenici the whole budget deal in '97 where we balanced the budget. Both sides have to have a willingness to achieve something and then both sides have to kind of back off and give some space to the other side. You don't put somebody in a corner. You don't put an animal in the corner without the animal striking back, you don't put a politician in the corner and without them expecting to strike back at you.
And right now, I was hopeful. Right now they're not ready. They are not ready to sit down and talk and put the nation first in my opinion.
RADDATZ: And you called for this bipartisan...
KASICH: Oh, I've been talking about it forever.
RADDATZ: With other governors.
KASICH: Oh, well, yeah, and that's been kind of a struggle to get many of them to come out because a lot of politicians now, here's what they're worried about. If you're a Democrat you're worried about your base on the left, and if you're a Republican you're worried about your base on the right.
RADDATZ: So, what's the incentive?
KASICH: WELL, the incentive is -- no one will ever remember you, the incentive is you're in that business, you give up a lot to be in politic -- believe me people don't really think that, but you do. You give up a lot to be in politics. And if you're not there to change the world I don't know what you're there for. I mean, it doesn't make any sense to me.
So you can't go home and look at your plaques at the end of the day, because every politician has like a million plaques on their wall. OK? You don't go home and look at -- you don't get anything for that. And you can't go home and say, boy, I really served the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. You want to go home and, you know, Fourth of July, you know, any of these special holidays that recognize our country, you want to feel like you've built a stronger nation, which means you helped build the people and put them in a stronger place where everyone's lifted.
I mean, I don't know how you could sit down there and not put the country first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ (voice-over): Everyone we talked to in Ohio, everyone, is concerned that putting country first is being lost, swallowed up in all the D.C. partisanship.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really dislike the fact that it has to be one party against another. It doesn't seem like we're working together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It appears to me that anybody that we elect doesn't seem to be working for us, they seem to be working for the party. It's either Democrat or it's Republican. It's not about the United States; it's about Democrats or Republicans. Who is against something? They're either all for or all against. That's all politics. It has nothing to do with our agenda.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hopefully we can get a few people talking to each other instead of just arguing all the time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm hoping that this will bring Congress together and get rid of some of this partisanship and have them actually take a look at these things without thinking about the next election. And do the job they're supposed to be doing. That's what I'd like to see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ (on camera): How do you get them to understand it? And the things you're talking about?
KASICH: If you say do you support Obamacare, they say no. If you say, well, do you support giving people who need health insurance insurance, they say yes. So you try to explain to them what it all means, but at the end of the day, Martha, it's leadership. You do what you know you have to do.
RADDATZ: And talk really about what's at stake here. We learned yesterday that another health insurance provider in your state is pulling out of the federal health insurance exchange. So what are the stakes?
KASICH: Well, the stakes are that for people who, say, are drug addicted, who need to get constant treatment, or people who are mentally ill who constantly need care -- you know, they're bipolar, they're schizophrenic -- that they would show up to a place where they've been able to go and all of a sudden the door is locked and there's a sign on that says closed. I mean, where are they supposed to go?
We don't -- we should not -- everybody is focused on the drug problem because it's unbelievable. It's horrific and we all know it. But think also about that other problem where we have the mentally ill either sleeping under bridges or living in a prison. You know, put yourself in their shoes and you'll realize we can't have that.
RADDATZ: You've made it very clear that cuts to Medicaid in this bill will make it harder to treat opioid addicts. So is that your only concern really in this bill? Are there any other specific things in this --
KASICH: No, no, no. My concerns are --
RADDATZ: Would that solve it?
KASICH: It's not just the Medicaid and the fact that there's not enough money in Medicaid legitimately to treat people and be able to reform the program, but it's also the issue on the other side, the exchange, where the exchange is collapsing. And you can't also give people $3,000 or $4,000 a year in tax credits and think they can buy an insurance policy.
What kind of an insurance policy can you buy at $3,000 or $4,000 a year? I mean, the -- your deductibles would be so high that you couldn't afford to get any health care.
So, no, it's the whole thing, it's not just Medicaid. It's the entire bill, the entire package, which I believe can and will be fixed if people will put the country first.
RADDATZ: So just to be clear, a substantial increase in funding for opioid addiction would not do it.
KASICH: No, especially if they're only -- if they're going to give 45 billion, okay, over 10 years, I'm getting almost $300 million, $600 million a year. That would give me a billion over 10 years? That doesn't -- not even quite that. It's anemic. It's like -- as I said to Senator Portman at one point, it's like spitting in the ocean. It's not enough.
But that's what they're going to use, these efforts to try to buy people off, and they'll throw big high numbers but they won't understand what the impact is on the program. And that's why I continue to speak out.
Look, do you think that I like to have to fight the leaders in my own party over this? Of course not. There's no joy in that. But John Kennedy may have said it best -- sometimes my party asks too much.
RADDATZ: And back now live. We're joined by our Powerhouse Roundtable for their reactions to this wild week. Republican strategist and ABC News contributor Ana Navarro; "National Review" senior editor, Ramesh Ponnuru; and Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman, co-authors of Politico's "Playbook Newsletter".
Welcome. Happy Fourth of July weekend to all of you. Let's start with the latest tweet. We will definitely get to health care, but we have more tweets from the president saying, "My use of social media is not presidential. It's modern day presidential. Make America great again!"
An at his appearance that supposedly honoring veterans last night, the vitriol continued. He said the fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House but I'm president and they're not. We won and they lost.
So he continues on this. You are very passionate about in this, this week, in the attacks on Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, Ana.
ANA NAVARRO, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: And I continue to be very passionate about it. I am incredibly bothered that we are lowering the standards and the requisites of what it takes to be President of the United States in terms of character, in terms of behavior.
It's very difficult to focus on policy when you've got somebody that is so diminishing and damaging and making such harm to the office of the presidency. No weekend like July Fourth should remind us just how hard it was to establish this country, just what this democracy represents. Men like Washington, like Lincoln have held that office.
This is not modern day presidential. It is modern day crass. It is modern day coarseness. It is modern day "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest".
RADDATZ: Ana, it doesn't really seem to do any good. You've been saying this for a long time. A lot have been saying this for a long time, so what changes?
NAVARRO: Maybe nothing. But that doesn't mean I'm going to lower my standards, and I think a lot of the American people are not going to lower their standards. I think that a lot of people are in distress at seeing a president that is a man-baby. That is thin skinned like an onion. That can't take criticism.
I'm distressed at seeing the inconsistent standards that people apply according to party. If this was Barack Obama tweeting these things out, Republicans would have their hair on fire. They'd be calling for impeachment by now. And it happens on the other side too. There has got to be consistency on the character that we require.
So whether it changes or not, whether Donald Trump changes or not -- and believe me, I know changing a 70-year-old man is not easy -- that does not mean you stop calling for the change. Because the moment we get numb to this, the moment we get complacent and accept this, then we have agreed to lower the standards of what the person representing the United States of America to our children, to our allies, to our foreign foes, represents. That is not acceptable and we cannot do it. If you are an American, you have got to defend the standards of the presidency of the United States.
RADDATZ: She's kind of a tough act to follow there, Ramesh. Let me say.
RAMESH PONNURU, "NATIONAL REVIEW": Sure.
RADDATZ: One things that Sarah Huckabee Sanders said is that Americans knew who they were electing when they got Donald Trump. Now, I found actually on the road that a lot of people really don't like these tweets but they seem to say, OK, we'll just ignore them or it's juvenile, but, but, but.
PONNURU: Right, you know, Scarbrough and Brzezinski wrote an op-ed in the "Washington Post" where -- in response to his tweets, where among other things that he doesn't seem like the same man that they knew two years ago. And while I don't know President Trump as well as they do, I haven't spent quite as much time in his company as they have, haven't been as chummy, they -- I think they're wrong about that. I this I that Trump is acting exactly the way he showed himself to be for the preceding 70 years on this earth.
And so Sanders is right. People did know this is what we were getting. They either supported him, knowing this, despite it, and some cases because of it, or voted against him because of things like this. But it's just -- it's crazy to expect this is going to change.
And one of the things we've learned about him is he totally obsessed by the media. He is -- he is like the media critic-in-chief. He watches more cable news than people who work in cable news do. And he's extremely thin skinned about it. And that's one of the things I think that set him off against Brzezinski. She was making rather her own juvenile personal attacks on Trump and he responded just like a junior high school kid.
RADDATZ: And Anna, I know a lot of voters got what they wanted and they liked these tweets and going after the media, but how does this reflect on Republican lawmakers? Should they be speaking out more.
ANNA PALMER, CO-AUTHOR, POLITICO PLAYBOOK: I think you have seen some of them, obviously in the latest round of tweets, speak out against them. I think the bigger issue, though, is truly what this means for his agenda, right? If he's going to go after the media, if he's going to, you know, kind of rail on that day after day, what about health care? What about the trump travel ban that went into effect? what About the fact that they haven't been able to get any major bills passed? Which in the 2018 midterm elections is going to be a much bigger problem for Republicans?
RADDATZ: And, Jake, I will say that the people on -- that I spoke to in the last couple of days, while they were somewhat annoyed by the tweets, they did talk about the fact, look, you know, we're concerned about health care. That's what we're concerned about.
SHERMAN: And imagine if he used his platform to talk about those issues, right? I mean, the health care bill is nowhere. It's flailing in the Senate. There's no infrastructure plan. They've not started tax reform. The government runs out of money in a couple of months and the debt ceiling is not lifted.
Those are big issues to deal with that have nothing to do with cable news, and I think the president would be wise, according to Republicans I talk to on Capitol Hill, they say the president would be wise to back off.
RADDATZ: And, of course -- go ahead.
PONNURU: On this point, because I hear this a lot. I hear that same thing from Republicans. And I just think it's a little bit of fantasy land, because the idea that the alternative here is that Trump is going to be tweeting a bunch of convincing arguments for the health care bill, and going to be selling this to the American public, I just think that's delusional. There is no evidence that he knows what's in this health care bill in that level of detail. It's not going to -- you know, if you look at the media sites that are most interesting to him they don't care about the health care bill. They're not interested in policy debates.
NAVARRO: You know, Ramesh, I don't think it was delusional for many Republicans and many people who voted for him to think that when he walked into that Oval Office, the weight and gravitas of that office would transform him into a presidential figure. It is not happening. And after six months I think it's time to lose hope.
And I do think Republicans have to be a lot more assertive. I think that words like the disturbing and disappointed have to be erased and changed for unacceptable. And, you know, Republicans have got to take more action. I wish the Republican women in Congress would call for a meeting with him and would explain to him what it does to hear those words being used about a woman. What it means for children to be using his words and terms to bully others in school, reports that we have seen are happening.
This is affecting our moral fiber. We cannot let it go.
RADDATZ: And, Ana, I do want to get to health care here. And, Jake, I just want you -- the senators obviously went home for recess without anything happening, so what's the state of the bill now?
SHERMAN: Well, they have the bill kind of getting scored for budgetary impact. I think if you saw Mitch McConnell yesterday in Kentucky, he was asked about Donald Trump's plan to rework the strategy to pass the bill. And he said, wow, it's really hard making America great again. And this is Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate.
Listen, this bill is going to lay out for about ten days while lawmakers are back home in their districts and they'll hear people's opinions. And the longer it lays out, according to people we talked to all the time on the Hill, the harder it's going to be to get it through. Health care is an extremely difficult topic, a hard topic, an expensive topic.
PALMER: This is quickly going to become 2009 Democrats' Obamacare --
PALMER: -- as soon as this is going to -- you know, it's out there for weeks, months, this is going to be the noose on the Republicans' head when they go every single time.
RADDATZ: And what are the chances President Trump will have a bill to sign by the end of the year.
If you talk to Republicans on Capitol Hill, they are hopeful, but not terribly hopeful. They're optimistic, but still, there are -- he can only afford to lose a couple Republican votes in the Senate. And then you go to the House, which is more conservative, where it's going to be even tougher squeeze. So, you know, I don't like to make predictions because the prediction game is a dangerous game to get into, but all I could tell you is Republicans are seriously concerned.
RADDATZ: And Democrats and Republicans, you heard Governor Kasich say let's all come together. Let's work together. And how is that possible? What's the incentive for those?
PONNURU: I don't see any evidence that either party is really interested in that right now. And partly it's because they're just too far apart on the underlying issues. I mean, the Democrats would be perfectly happy if the Republicans would all accept a Democratic bill which basically just funneled more subsidies into Obamacare. And Republicans don't want to do anything that doesn't cut taxes, cut spending, and deregulate.
There's a real clash of visions there. But I do think that it's possible that they could get together and I think if something does pass the Senate, I think it likely will pass the House because it will have to have significant conservative support from people like Ted Cruz, people like Mike Lee, and if it has that support I think it gets the conservatives in the House.
RADDATZ: OK, we have much more to talk about later in the show, but we'll be back with all of that later.
So first, President Trump set for his first face-to-face meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin this week, so how will the two get along and will Trump confront Putin over last year's election hacking? We'll cover it from all angles with our panel of Russia experts and the president's homeland security adviser. We're right back in two minutes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID LETTERMAN, TV HOST: Have you had any dealings with the Russians?
TRUMP: Well, I've done a lot of business with the Russians.
LETTERMAN: This Vladimir Putin, have you ever met the guy?
TRUMP: He's a tough guy. I met him once. He said very nice things about me but I have no relationship with him. I don't -- I've never met him.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: You said for three years -- '13, '14 and '15 -- that you did have a relationship with him.
TRUMP: No, look, what do you call a relationship? I mean he treats me --
STEPHANOPOULOUS: I'm asking you.
TRUMP: -- with great respect.
I have no relationship with Putin. I don't think I've ever met him. I never met him. I don't think I've ever met him.
STEPHANOPOULOUS: You would know it if you did.
TRUMP: I think so, yes, I think so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: That was then-Candidate Trump one year ago claiming he had never met with Russia's Vladimir Putin, after saying in 2013 that he had.
We know they will be meeting this week when they both travel to Germany for the G20 meeting of world leaders, so what can we expect? I sat down with three experts for their insights into the U.S./Russia relationship: Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, a member of the House Foreign Affairs committee; Robin Wright, a contributing writer for "The New Yorker", who's been traveling to Russia since the Reagan administration; and Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for "The New York Times", and author of "Obama: The Call of History", who previously served as Moscow bureau chief for the "Washington Post".
RADDATZ: I want to start with you, Robin. We now know that President Trump will be meeting Putin on the sidelines I guess of the G20. What do you expect from that meeting?
ROBIN WRIGHT, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, "THE NEW YORKER": I think it's going to be primarily on the sidelines. I think the White House actually doesn't want to do more than what they call lance the boil to try to break the impasse, get the two men in the same room. But I was told by one U.S. official that they don't want to even see the two men sit down with each other. They want this to be a brief meeting, they're standing up, they go over probably three or four different issues. One is the Ukraine. Second is Syria. Third is ISIS. And the fourth, some kind of mention of the hacking issue in some nuanced way.
RADDATZ: How do you do that? How do you really lance that boil? I mean, does that mean he gets really aggressive? What -- how do you do it?
PETER BAKER, CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Doesn't seem like that's his style with Putin. Like ,every time people want to, his own staff urges him to, he tends to go friendly instead.
And you remember for him -- personal chemistry matters a lot ,so that's one thing we're going to be looking for. Do they actually have personal chemistry? We saw it with China's leader. We saw it with the king of Saudi Arabia. We saw it with Bibi Netanyahu of Israel. These kind of things matter for him, and whether he can actually establish a connection with Vladimir Putin that doesn't seem politically perilous is the interesting question.
RADDATZ: Congressman, what do you want to see from that meeting?
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R), ILLINOIS: I want to see -- it's one thing to talk. That's fine. You know, I meet with ambassadors from all these countries in my role as a member of Congress, and you always have better relationships with those you actually personally get along with. That matters. So if there is chemistry, as was mentioned, between the two, maybe that can bode for something.
But I think the president needs to be very clear to Vladimir Putin. Let's try to discover areas we can work together. That's fine. We're two -- we're a world power. They're a great power arguably. But at the same time we're not going to give any ground. We have to defend our NATO allies. You're bombing hospitals with precision munitions in Syria, which is totally unacceptable. You were complacent in the use of chemical weapons. You're propping up a regime that is perpetuating ISIS, and that's not acceptable to us.
So I think have personal chemistry, great, but also be tough.
WRIGHT: My bet is that it's a very brief meeting, you know, no more than half an hour. They don't want him actually to go in by himself. They don't want to see a repeat of the 1986 meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev, which everyone had high hopes for in disarmament, and it broke down in a terrible collapse over the issue of star wars. And so they're trying to prevent that kind of dynamic where they both come in strong willed, one's Russia first, one's America first, and they find out there actually is very little common ground.
RADDATZ: Peter, you used to live there.
BAKER: (INAUDIBLE) term. Yes.
RADDATZ: He comes in this meeting how?
BAKER: He comes in this meeting trying to take measure of this new president. This is the fourth president he's going to have worked with, OK? Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump. He respects toughness. He doesn't respect weakness. He decided, rightly or wrongly, that Obama was not a tough guy. And the question is whether or not Trump acts tough. We know he can. Right? We don't know whether he will.
Putin is going to be taking Trump's measure -- how much can he get away with? This is not exactly what Putin would have wanted. He wanted sanctions to be lifted. He wanted a better relationship with the United States. Politically that's impossible now for President Trump even if he wanted to. So what he's going to look at this meeting and say, what can I get -- what can I get out of Trump? How do I work with him or how do I work past him?
RADDATZ: So if you were Putin, how would you manipulate him or try to get around him from -- ?
KINZINGER: Putin knows how to run the KGB playbook. I mean, this is -- he knows how to work people, so I would appeal to the president's, you know, self-image. That's I think how you can get to the president if you're Vladimir Putin. If I'm the president, I'm going to be very aware of that. And again there's nothing wrong with getting along.
But what Vladimir Putin -- he's a smart guy. I don't like him, smart guy. He is going to advance the cause of Russia until he hits a brick wall. He's hit a brick wall in a few areas. I think we need to make it clear that your growth of the former Soviet Union is over. You can be a great power that's respected. Fine. But this is not going to be the old Soviet Union and you're meeting a new president now that's willing to stand up to that.
RADDATZ: Knowing that there's this investigation going on, knowing that, you know, people are saying he's not tough enough, can he overreact? How do you walk that line?
BAKER: It will be interesting. What will Trump say about Putin, right? Remember, Bush -- President Bush got in trouble for saying he had seen into his soul. He was seen as being too gullible in that sense.
Trump can't afford politically at home, you would think, to seem too friendly with him because people will say, wait a second. This just shows this has been --
WRIGHT: Putin comes in much stronger than Trump does.
BAKER: Of course.
KINZINGER: I think it's been interesting though because there's a lot of talk about him not being tough on Russia. The actions of this administration and Vladimir Putin -- and President Trump are actually some of the toughest Russian hawk type measures I've seen from this government in a very long time. But I think if we back away, I will raise holy hell on it, because it is very important for us to make a statement that Russia does not meddle not just in our elections, here and the future, but in our allies'.
RADDATZ: Peter, when you hook at his foreign policy team, are their voices really being heard?
BAKER: You have some of the people on the staff around the president who are skeptical about Russia. They think they've discovered, as you saw with the meeting with Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister, where they released those pictures from the Kremlin of the smiles and so forth that the staff only matters so much. In the end, there's only so far they can go in sort of directing a president. It's going to be up to him to decide what he wants to do and how he wants this meeting to play out.
RADDATZ: And, Robin, I want to go back to something you said, which is you said Putin goes in a stronger position.
WRIGHT: Absolutely. And even when you hook at the recent Pew poll that looked at favorability ratings among world leaders, and both Vladimir Putin and President Xi Jinping in China were viewed by the international community as having -- being willing to do the right thing more than the American president. Donald Trump only came in with 22 percent.
So Putin is much stronger, and Trump looks very vulnerable at the moment, both at home and in the international community.
RADDATZ: Congressman, I want -- you're Air Force Reserve.
RADDATZ: You've been up there flying. What did you fly?
KINZINGER: RC-26. Still flying.
RADDATZ: OK, o course, you're in the reserves, there you go. So you flew the RC-26, are sill flying the RC-26. When you see what the Russians are doing -- buzzing our airplanes, intercepting our airplanes. I know a lot of that is normal. I know we do it too. But lately it seems like there's been a lot more unsafe and unprofessional behavior.
KINZINGER: It's true and, you know, these are kind of old Cold War tactics; both sides do it. But when you have a plane that comes within five feet of I think a KC-135, that's not intentional, that's a -- my view is that's a bad pilot that's not really good at intercepts and when you come within five feet that's when it becomes dangerous. You have a military of Vladimir Putin that's not well trained and this could escalate to some sort of an incident.
RADDATZ: So, what's our policy right now if you had to explain to somebody towards Russia?
BAKER: In some ways on paper it's not that different than President Obama's, which is find ways to work together where you have shared interests, you know, be tough in areas where you have conflicts whether it be Syria, Ukraine and so forth.
Whether it's actually executed or not and how it's executed is the real question.
KINZINGER: I don't know if I could describe our Russian policy, I couldn't have described it on under President Obama and probably couldn't have described it under George W. Bush.
Look, they're a competitor. They're a strong nation, something we need to recognize, but their economy is just a little bit bigger than Illinois, so they're not our equal. I think its important to engage them. And I think it's important that we continue to fight for human rights, which is essential to denying the next generation of terrorists their recruits and this is a long-term fight we're in when it comes to the war on terror. And I think the Russians are exacerbating this by making people displaced and killing families and that's how you lead to radicalization.
WRIGHT: I think it's still evolving. The danger I think is that the Russians look at Donald Trump and they're going to play him. And I'm not sure we know how to counter that or that we have the clout or leverage to do it.
RADDATZ: We will of course have full coverage of the Trump/Putin meeting on ABC News later this week.
Up next, the president's homeland security adviser on the president's travel ban, the latest cyber threats and security preparations on this July 4th weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DE BLASIO: We think about the particular challenges of a holiday weekend. Of course, we know the world we're living in. The NYPD is constantly focused on preventing acts of terror. As the commissioner said, there are no specific and credible threats directed at New York City and directed at these celebrations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: That was New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on how the nation's largest city is preparing for July 4th. When we come back, I'll ask President Trump's homeland security and counterterrorism adviser about the current threats to public safety.
RADDATZ: And I'm joined now by White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser Thomas Bossert. Welcome to THIS WEEK, Mr. Bossert.
THOMAS BOSSERT, WHITE HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY AND COUNTERTERRORISM ADVISER: Thank you.
RADDATZ: I want to get to security questions and security concerns, but we've just had the president tweet a gif that I want you to take a look at. You can see it right there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my god, what's going to happen?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: Obviously President Trump has taken some video and put a CNN mic logo on who he's beating up.
Can I just get your reaction to that?
BOSSERT: Well, my first time seeing it, Martha, but, first, thank you for having me on the show. I very much appreciate it.
I guess my first reaction to that tweet would be the same as any of the president's tweets. There's a lot of cable news shows that reach directly into hundreds of thousands of viewers, and they're really not always very fair to the president. So I'm proud of the president for developing a Twitter and a social media platform where he can talk directly to the American people. In fact, he's the most genuine president and the most non-politician president that we've seen in my lifetime. And he's demonstrated -- whatever the content of that particular tweet is or any tweet, he's demonstrated a genuine ability to communicate to the people.
RADDATZ: He certainly can communicate to the people. But I want to ask you is that the kind of communication you want, that he's beating up on somebody?
BOSSERT: Well --
RADDATZ: That's beating up on the media? You're in charge of homeland security there. That seems like a threat.
BOSSERT: Yes, it's certainly not, though. I think no one would perceive that as a threat. I hope they don't. But I do think that he's beating up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to. And that he does that regularly so...
RADDATZ: And you don't think that's a threat to anyone?
You don't think that's sending a message, do that to the media, do that to CNN?
BOSSERT: No, I certainly don't. I don't think so. And I think that importantly here, he's a genuine president expressing himself genuinely. And to be honest, I think that's why he was elected.
He's the most genuine person and the people that see politicians and then see him find him to be someone that they can understand and relate to.
RADDATZ: OK, I've got to stay on this for a minute.
RADDATZ: Sarah Sanders said recently the president in no way, form or fashion, has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary.
RADDATZ: He's simply pushing back defending himself.
But you know what happened to Congressman Scalise. And you have these...
RADDATZ: -- messages out there against the media. The media has had -- and I hate this to be all about us, but he's making it about us, or particularly CNN, I suppose.
Some people had to get private security guards.
RADDATZ: Is that really fair?
BOSSERT: Yes, so I think that the most important part of my message isn't just that he's genuine, it's that he's found a way of communicating directly to the people without going through whatever the media (INAUDIBLE) is.
RADDATZ: But I understand that. I'm talking about the message...
BOSSERT: And he...
RADDATZ: -- not how he communicates.
BOSSERT: But it's a good example of you or the media producers here deciding what it is that we're talking about and what it is we don't talk about.
And so with respect, I think that's why he needs to go around you and the producers that control the message and directly to the people and whatever he cares about, is speaking about that day.
And occasionally, he cares to speak about those cable programs that are beating up on him unfairly.
RADDATZ: And with respect, we do talk about other issues and then when something like this comes up, it distracts from what we really wanted to talk about.
BOSSERT: And you're a very substantive person and I know we're going to talk about substantive issues.
RADDATZ: Yes, we are.
BOSSERT: So I appreciate you asking me...
RADDATZ: Yes, we are.
BOSSERT: -- but I do think (INAUDIBLE)...
RADDATZ: And I appreciate you...
RADDATZ: -- and I appreciate you answering that.
BOSSERT: Thank you.
RADDATZ: So let's talk about something that's on the minds of Americans. And we've watched overseas, we've watched in Syria, we've watched in Iraq, we're really pushing back ISIS.
RADDATZ: But we've also seen a great number of terrorist attacks around the globe, from Australia to the UK. We've got the July Fourth holiday. I know there's always sort of a heightened security because of that, and these large gatherings.
Should Americans be concerned?
BOSSERT: Well, Americans should be concerned that we're seeing a growing threat environment across the globe. We've got A Jihadi globalist movement that we can't predict.
And we're seeing it manifest itself in ways that are extremely daunting to law enforcement authorities -- three actors with knives are very difficult to thwart and interdict.
We don't have, as you heard the mayor say earlier today at a federal or a state level any credible, actionable intelligence.
So as people set out this weekend to enjoy their Independence Day with holiday member -- with family members and with friends, I think that they should focus on that and feel safe and secure and rest that we're doing everything we can to protect them.
But I think they would be remiss in not understanding that the world we live in is increasing in this threat environment and that we spend an inordinate amount of time and resources as the United States, but also as our partners, trying to not only defeat ISIS and their control of the physical caliphate, but their virtual space that they own, their Internet space. They're proselytizing. It's troubling and we need to take -- and we have taken -- President Trump has taken a number of steps, controversial and otherwise, to protect Americans.
RADDATZ: And we talked this week about the enhanced security measures for all flights to the US.
RADDATZ: Laptops are banned on some of those flights, but the laptop ban was not expanded.
Tell me the calculus for that, why you decide some flights, why not others?
BOSSERT: Yes. So first, let me say that the threat that we've talked about is real. It is extremely troubling. It's, on one hand, a trends that no one should be surprised with. We've seen terrorists, for some reason or another, seek to go after our aviation sector since 9/11, with some zealotry.
But this particular threat that we've observed upon taking office has really alarmed us, and Secretary Kelly.
And so the calculus here, I want to applaud Secretary Kelly quite a bit. The calculus here is that we'll never reduce risk to zero, we'll never be completely safe. And what we need to do is balance certain airports from places closer to the risk. And we need to ban those devices that we think represent a problem to safe flight from those points of departure.
But instead of, as Secretary Kelly said, playing whack-a-mole with an underwear bomber here and a shoe bomber there and another kind of bomber on the other hand, what he'd like to do is to implement a comprehensive increase in our security posture around the world.
To be honest, this is the most comprehensive opportunity for aviation security improvement since 9/11...
RADDATZ: But when we hear about this threat -- and it does sound very frightening...
BOSSERT: Yes. Yes.
RADDATZ: -- if they're able to get laptops through...
RADDATZ: Why not ban them all and not take the chance?
We did that with liquids.
RADDATZ: So it seems like there's a real danger here that you can solve by doing that.
BOSSERT: Absolutely, something that we've considered. And that's not off the table. But any electronic device represents an issue for security officials and we look at that in a very serious way. But there's also competing interests here of trying to allow people to travel safely and conveniently.
And so what we've done is instead of going after certain airports and certain electronic devices, Secretary Kelly has given the entire world an opportunity to increase their security posture, the entire world of all points of departure. And if they do that, we'll probably buy down a significantly larger amount of risk than if we just focus on one laptop threat at a time.
RADDATZ: And I want to turn to cyber security. This week's another major cyber attack, the second global attack we've had in recent weeks. What's the latest on how this attack has affected the U.S? And do you have any idea who is behind it? I believe it started in Ukraine, so does that point the finger at Russia?
BOSSERT: Yeah, so certainly many people have -- this is the same fundamental exploit that we saw used in the recent Wannacry attack. And that Wannacry cyber attack was particularly troubling to me and to other security officials, because it was indiscriminate. Whatever hacker launched it, launched it without control of it, and that was launched in a way that could hit any target. So, those are things we look for as being particularly bad. We're lucky there were no deaths associated with that.
If the Russian government was behind this latest attack, it was a really silly and stupid move on their part because by and large Russia was hit pretty hardly by it, so if they were Russian supported hackers, the Russian government should step up and take them to task if they want to be treated seriously as people and as governments that want to act like like-minded professionals on the internet or be excluded from it, if not.
And if the Russian government did it themselves then shame on them, that's unacceptable behavior.
RADDATZ: And the president travels to Germany this week to the G20. He'll meet with Vladimir Putin.
RADDATZ: Would you encourage the president to bring up this hacking with Vladimir Putin?
BOSSERT: Well, don't want to encourage the president to do anything right now. I think there's two things I would advise the president and I'll tell you what they are. We've got two of the world's largest superpowers being in the same place at the same time. It's not unusual for them to meet. I think President Obama met in the last five G20 summits with President Putin.
We don't know if it will be a long bilateral meeting, or a shorter pull aside at this stage. Those details haven't been set so in part that format of that meeting will dictate what they discuss and how they discuss it, but I would say that if there is an opportunity the president would recognize that we have an extremely low point relationship based on distrust right now and while we should condemn their cyber security behavior and we should condemn their behavior in the Ukraine and sanction them for it and President Trump has said as much, he should also take opportunities to partner with them in ways that help us defeat ISIS and prevent the Syrians from using chemical weapons.
RADDATZ: OK, thanks so much for joining us this morning.
BOSSERT: Thank you, Martha. Appreciate it.
RADDATZ: When we come back, more from the powerhouse roundtable looking ahead to the rest of President Trump's agenda.
RADDATZ: And we're back now with the roundtable and I have a feeling you guys are going to have a little different comments than Tom Bossert had about that gif. Let's look at it again. This happened just as we were ending our other roundtable.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Oh, my god. What just happened?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: OK, Ana, I got to start with you.
NAVARRO: I'm a CNN commentator. I think that is unacceptable. I think that is the president of the United States taking things way too far. It is an incitement to violence. He is going to get somebody killed in the media, maybe that will stop him.
I am disappointed beyond belief by the answer that the homeland security adviser just gave. What a wuss. What a wuss. You could see that he is ceding his principles. You are the homeland security adviser and you can't stand here and say the difference between right and wrong? That's what's part of problem. He is surrounded by enablers that do nothing, but shake their heads and nod their heads in agreement with everything that he says. They have got to stop. They have got to stand for democracy, for freedom of the press. This is just going way too far. The President of the United States is inciting violence against the free press. And America, we cannot stand for it.
PALMER: I mean, it is just kind of theater of the absurd, right? I don't think any of us would have thought that this is what the president, any president, would do. But in particular it just comes, as you mention, right after the shooting of Steve Scalise. Republicans and Democrats, it's time to take the rhetoric down a notch. And this clearly does not do that.
SHERMAN: And everyone that we spoke to on the Hill right after that incident said the president was actually quite good on that stage. He was reassuring, he called for the country to get together. He gave a really good speech and visited the hospital to see Steve Scalise. And now this.
Listen, I know a lot of people who work for CNN who have to be scared and wondering why the president has decided to physically pummel somebody with the CNN logo on his face. So it will be interesting to get reaction.
NAVARRO: Nobody at CNN is scared. If anything, this is making each and every one of us more resolute not to cower at the bullying of this president. This is a free press. This is a free country. This is a democracy.
And if he thinks that with these little tricks he's going to scare Jeff Zucker, he's going to scare anybody at CNN, he's got something different coming. We are resolute at continuing searching the truth, speaking the truth, and calling out right versus wrong.
RADDATZ: Ana, I'm sitting here thinking now what do Americans think when they look at that? What are those voters think who I talked to in Ohio? I know that when we talk about ourselves and we say, oh, it's terrible that he's going after the media, but that's pummeling somebody from CNN?
PONNURU: Well, I think that probably -- my guess is the president doesn't regard this as literally inciting people to violence. I think that --
RADDATZ: I'm sure he thinks it's funny.
PONNURU: And I think that most people see it and they think pro wrestling is fake, and they think that's sort of what he's getting at here.
The problem is that it's just -- it's more juvenile behavior. It's something that most people, including a lot of his own supporters, want him to quit doing. And he can't do it. You know, I didn't agree with the way Thomas Bossert was talking about this, but I think he's right that it is genuine in the sense that he is showing us genuinely who the president is.
NAVARRO: Ramesh, this is not funny. Look, there's way --
PONNURU: I didn't say it was.
NAVARRO: I know, but there's way -- and he can't think it's funny. There's way too many unstable people out in the streets right now at this time of impassioned and heightened passions. We all know it. We've all seem it. We have seen the results of harassment. We've seen the results of shootings. We've seen the result of violence out in the street.
And for the President of the United States, who is supposed to be unifying this country, on a July 4th weekend, to be tweeting out incitement to violence -- it is incitement to violence, let us not parse words. Let us not call it by any other name. It is disgusting by this president. Yet one more disgusting act.
RADDATZ: We'll have to leave it there, thanks all of us. Thanks to all of you for joining us and happy July 4th. We'll be right back after this from our ABC stations.
RADDATZ: That's all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out "WORLD NEWS TONIGHT". Have a great day and have a happy and safe Fourth.