Watch CBS News

Face the Nation July 9, 2017 Transcript: Haley, McCain, Cruz, Brown

JOHN DICKERSON, CBS HOST: Today on FACE THE NATION: tension overseas, as Presidents Trump and Putin meet face to face, and the U.S. warns of a strong response to North Korea's breakout missile test.
The G20 conference of world leaders saw violent protests, as it has in the past, but the rounds of photo-ops and meetings that usually mark unity among the leaders could not mask the sober tone of the countries gathered.
French President Macron summed it up.
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): Our world has never been so divided. Centrifugal forces have never been so powerful.
DICKERSON: For President Trump, a series of crucial meetings targeting issues where the stakes couldn't be higher, first, a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin.
DICKERSON: An honor that the Russian president extended to accepting Putin's claim that Russia did not meddle in the U.S. election.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): He did accept what I said.
DICKERSON: American officials did not challenge that claim.
So, what consequences do the Russians face? We asked U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: I think they're you're going to have to ask the president.
DICKERSON: Not on this trip.
The president returned to the White House without holding the end-of-summit news conference presidents usually hold. He did tweet, though: "I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. It is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!"
The president also huddled with President Xi of China amid an escalation of pressure to get China to do more to curb North Korea's nuclear program after the country's first successful test of a missile that could travel as far as Alaska.
As the U.S. searches for diplomatic options, American bombers fly over the North Korea Peninsula as a show of force. What are the options? We will talk with chairman of the Armed Services Committee John McCain.
And back at home, as predicted, Republican senators got an earful over health care from their constituents.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You come up with terms like access to health care. It's a lie.
DICKERSON: Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz thinks he has a solution. We will talk to him.
Then, on the one-year anniversary of the Dallas police massacre, former Chief David Brown joins us to talk about his book on race and policing.
We will also have plenty of political analysis.
It's all ahead on FACE THE NATION.
Good morning, and welcome to FACE THE NATION. I'm John Dickerson.
There's a lot of news to cover this morning.
And we begin with the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley.
When we spoke with her yesterday, we asked her if President Trump accepted Russian President Putin's assurances that he didn't meddle in the U.S. elections.
HALEY: I think we need to be realistic about what happened. You had two men walk into the room. You had two men who knew the exact same thing, which is Russia did meddle in the elections.
I think President Trump wanted to make sure that President Putin was aware that he was acknowledging it, that he knew it. I think President Putin did what we all expected him to do, which was deny it. And I think that is what it is.
President Trump still knows that they meddled. President Putin knows that they meddled, but he's never going to admit to it, and that's all that happened.
DICKERSON: But given that the president, as you said, knows that the Russians meddled, what consequences will they face as a result of that action?
HALEY: I think you're going to have to ask the president. I think that's one of the things is first is confronting them, letting them know that we know this happened, letting them know it can't happen again.
I know that they had quite a bit of cyber conversation in terms of cyber-meddling or cyber-abuse during not just political situations, but also from the security situation. And they talked quite a bit on the cyber-attack risk.
And so I think we will see what happens there. You know, keep in mind, yesterday's meeting was all about talk. But at the end of the day, this is all going to be about actions. We now have to see where we go from here.
DICKERSON: That's right.
And on that question of action, the president has criticized -- criticized his predecessor, President Obama, saying he choked when he found out the Russians were interfering in the election.
So is it your expectation that President Trump will take stronger action against the Russians for interfering than President Obama took?
HALEY: I think that they're going to wait and see how all of the investigation plays out there. There's not anybody that thinks that Russian didn't meddle in the elections.
I think we're all very clear on that. And I think we're going to see what Congress does. And I think the president will continue to work on this going forward, but, yes, I don't think this is over. I think what this was, was one leader telling another leader, look, we know you did it, don't do it again.
DICKERSON: So, nobody should have the misimpression that the Russians are going to go scot-free on this? They're going to pay a price. It's just a question of what that price is?
HALEY: I think that President Trump was letting him know, look, we know you did it. This is being talked about. I think that President Putin had to deny it, even though he knows that we know, and I think we see where it goes from here. You know, when you put President Trump in the room with any leader, we can kind of cut through all the diplomatic tape. And I think that's exactly what happened.
DICKERSON: During the campaign and during Secretary of State Tillerson's confirmation hearings, there was this idea that if Russians are shown weakness on anything, that then that is an incentive for them to act and to take advantage.
And so on this question of what some people in the intelligence community say is a political equivalent of 9/11, what is the message in terms of the consequences to the Russians for that action?
HALEY: Well, I think the message is, look, we're not going to have you interfere, not just with our elections, but with any part of how the United States functions.
And I think that's not just us. Russia has been meddling in multiple ways in multiple countries. And so I think we don't just stand up for the United States and say it doesn't happen here. I think we stand up and say it shouldn't happen anywhere.
And we have to keep that voice strong, and we have to keep that moving forward, because the one thing we never want is for any country to think that they can cause chaos in our elections.
DICKERSON: But it seems like it's just words at the moment. Will there be any action?
HALEY: You know, look, everybody keeps saying, but what next, what next?
Well, first, they wanted him to bring it up in front of President Putin, and he did. So, things are happening, and those things are taking place. But, yes, this is going to have to play out. This isn't something small. This is a big deal.
I think you saw a big step when he brought it up to President Putin first thing to say, look, we know you did this. And I think now we see where it goes from there. But I think first thing was face-to- face acknowledging the fact that we knew that they meddled and face- to-face looking them in the eye and saying, don't do it again.
DICKERSON: Let me ask you about North Korea. You said this week that Pyongyang was -- quote -- "quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution." What does that mean exactly?
HALEY: You know, I mean, how many tests does it take and how many more times do we have to tell them no -- no escalation?
The fact that they launched an ICBM test is hugely dangerous, not just for us, but for so many of our friends in the world. And we have got to put a stop to it. And so what we wanted to tell North Korea is, look, we have told you, we're not looking for ream change, we are not looking for war, but don't give us a reason to get involved in any of this. And so we're going to go ahead and push for a strong resolution against North Korea. I think it will be very telling, based on how other countries respond, whether they want to hold Kim Jong-un's hand through this process or whether they want to be on the side of so many countries who know that this is a dangerous person with the access to an ICBM. And we don't want to that happen.
So, we're going to fighting hard on this. We're going to push hard, not just on North Korea. We're going to push hard on other countries who are not abiding by the resolutions and not abiding by the sanctions against North Korea. And we're going to push hard against China, because 90 percent of the trade that happens with North Korea is from China.
And so, while they have been helpful, they need to do more.
DICKERSON: Has China let America down in their work on North Korea that the president put trust in them on?
HALEY: I think that they actually followed through on the things that we asked them to in terms of whether it was coal, whether it was talking to them, whether it was dialogue, whether it was letting them know and condemning. They did that part.
Now we have to say, OK, clearly, that's not enough. With the Security Council resolution that we're negotiating now, we don't expect a watered-down resolution. It will be very telling as to whether China works with us, which we're hoping that they will -- and we will know in the next couple days whether that's going to be the case -- whether Russia is going to stand with North Korea and, you know, just oppose us for the sake of opposing us, or whether everybody is going to say once and for all to North Korea, stop, this is reckless, it's irresponsible, and we're not going to take it anymore.
DICKERSON: Let me ask you something you said about China, or you seemed to be referring to China this week when you talked about countries that do business with North Korea.
HALEY: There are countries that are allowing, even encouraging trade with North Korea. Such countries would also like to continue their trade arrangements with the United States. That's not going to happen.
DICKERSON: Are you saying that China is going to lose trade with the United States if they don't do more on North Korea?
HALEY: I'm saying that ammunition comes with multiple options, and it's not always military.
Ammunition also comes with sanctions. Ammunition also comes with trade. We this a lot of trade with a lot of countries. If there is a country that we don't think is looking out for our security and looking out for our confidence in that, then, yes, that is one of the ammunition options we have on the table.
DICKERSON: You mentioned countries in general, though, but China is obviously, as you mentioned, 90 percent of the trade with North Korea, so this is really a direct threat to China about their trade with the United States.
HALEY: This is encouraging and motivating China to say, look, we appreciate what you have done. This is a whole new level. This is an ICBM test. We need you to not only do more, but we need the pressure on North Korea, and China has the ability to do it.
They know that. We know that, and we need to see some more action going accordingly. And I think the resolution is going to be a really big test on that.
DICKERSON: Ambassador Nikki Haley, thanks so much for being with us.
HALEY: OK, thanks, John. Appreciate it.
DICKERSON: We turn now to the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Arizona's John McCain.
Senator, I want to jump all over the world here. But let's start with...
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: There's a lot of ground to cover.
DICKERSON: That's right.
We don't have a globe, but let's start with Russia.
So, the U.N. ambassador said, in terms of consequences for Russian interference in the election, she said, don't think this is over, and she suggested consequences could come.
But the president this morning is tweeting. And he said the following: "Now it is time to move forward in working constructively with the Russians."
That seems to suggest no consequences.
MCCAIN: Well, so far, the interesting aspect of this whole issue is we know that Russia tried to change the outcome of our election last November. And they did not succeed, but there was really sophisticated attempts to do so.
So far, they have not paid a single price for that. We passed a very good bill through the Senate on sanctions. And we also have other proposals out there. But as far as a specific penalty for what they did, there has been no penalty.
So, if you were Vladimir Putin, who I have gotten to know over the years, you're sitting there, and you got away with literally trying to change the outcome, not just of our election, the French election, tried to overthrow the government of Montenegro, a beautiful little country. I recommend it.
MCCAIN: And there's been no penalty whatsoever.
Time to move forward. Yes, it's time to move forward, but there has to be a price to pay.
DICKERSON: Why? Why does there have to be a price?
MCCAIN: Otherwise, he will be encouraged to do so again, obviously. I mean, does anyone doubt his intentions of undermining American supremacy, undermining democracy, the principles of freedom and all of the things that have epitomized Europe and the world since the end of World War II?
For the last 70 years, we have had a new world order, and that is now under severe stress, not only in Europe, but all over the world.
DICKERSON: The president announced and the White House said this is a significant achievement of their meeting.
The president, again, tweeting this morning, said: "Putin and I discussed forming an impenetrable cyber-security unit, so that election hacking and many other negative things will be guarded."
MCCAIN: I am sure that Vladimir Putin could be of enormous assistance in that effort, since he's doing the hacking.
I mean, it's -- it's -- look, I support this president. I did not support him, OK, but he is the president. I have tried to work with him wherever I can. Armed Services, we passed a defense authorization bill, which maybe we will get to later on, that is bipartisan, comprehensive, 27-0 through the committee, in the normal process.
We considered over 200 amendments. So, instead, we decide on this path where we're going the ram through a Republican proposal that requires 60 votes for a number of important provisions of it.
I don't understand it. What do we need to do now? Go back to the beginning.
Introduce a bill.
DICKERSON: On health care.
MCCAIN: Introduce a bill, move it through, bring it to the floor, vote on it. That's the normal process. And if you shut out the adversary or the opposite party, you are going to end up the same way Obamacare did, when they rammed it through with 60 votes. Only, guess what? We don't have 60 votes, John.
DICKERSON: So what happens now on health care next week? Everybody comes back.
MCCAIN: I think -- my view is it's probably going to be dead. But I am -- I have been wrong.
I thought I would be president of the United States.
MCCAIN: But I think -- I think -- I fear that it's going to fail, and then we should convene a Republican Conference and say, what are we going to do? Introduce a bill. Say to the Democrats, here's a bill.
It doesn't mean they don't -- that they control it. It means they can have amendments considered. And even when they lose, then they're part of the process. That's what democracy is supposed to be all about.
DICKERSON: Let me go back overseas.
MCCAIN: There we go.
DICKERSON: I want to ask you about Syria. Let's listen to something that Secretary of State Tillerson said about the Russians, who have interests in Syria, and the United States. Let's listen to the secretary.
REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: By and large, our objectives are exactly the same. How we get there, we each have a view. Maybe they have got the right approach and we have got the wrong approach.
DICKERSON: Do the Russians have the right approach?
MCCAIN: You can't make that up. You can't make that up.
These are the same people that use precision-graded weapons to strike hospitals in Aleppo where sick and wounded people are. This is just -- you know, I -- preparing myself mentally to be on this show, I said, John, you're not going to get upset, you're not going to get emotional.
But I have met the White Hats. I know what the slaughter has been like. I know that the Russians knew that Bashar al-Assad was going to use chemical weapons. And to say that maybe we have got the wrong approach?
Look, I agonized over voting for or against Tillerson for secretary of state, not that I didn't admire his success and all the great things he's done, but the things that he said in the past. He has divorced a fundamental of American democracy. The reason why we are the shining city on the hill, as Ronald Reagan used to say, is because they look up to us because of our principles and our beliefs and our advocacy of freedom -- for freedom.
That's what America is supposed to be all about, not whether they're right and we're wrong. We know who is right and who is wrong here.
DICKERSON: You regret that vote for Tillerson?
MCCAIN: Sometimes I do. But I'm still torn by the fact that the American people chose this president, and he ought to be able to have his team.
When Barack Obama won in 2008, in 2009, I voted for his team, because I think that the American people wanted him to have his team. But don't think I wasn't worried about it, really worried.
DICKERSON: Finally, you were just recently in Afghanistan. What's your sense of the picture there?
MCCAIN: We have no strategy, and we are losing.
When you're not winning, you're losing. And the ANA, the Afghan National Army, is taking unacceptable losses. And we are going to have a new strategy. You know, they're coming to us and asked for additional funds for additional people and additional men -- missions. We won't do that unless they give us a strategy.
I have been asking our General Mattis, who I'm a great admirer of, General McMaster, I'm a great admirer of, where is the strategy? Where is the strategy? Then we can have a policy. Then we authorize funding and troops and tanks and guns.
And, you know, we all know what the problem is. It's in the White House. They have got to get their act together, announce a strategy. That has to be done by the president, by the way, and tell the American people we have got to win there. Don't forget 9/11. And here's what we need to do to get there.
Unfortunately, there's so much disarray within the White House. But I am confident the United States of America, the best and strongest nation on Earth, can do it.
DICKERSON: All right, Senator McCain, thanks so much for being with us.
MCCAIN: Thanks, John.
DICKERSON: And we will be back in one minute with another key Republican, Texas Senator Ted Cruz. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) DICKERSON: We want to turn now to health care and efforts to come up with a bill that can pass the Senate.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz has held several town halls in his home state of Texas over the break.
Senator, you're working on a solution.
But it looks like the bill is in trouble in the Senate.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Well, John, good morning. It's good to be with you.
There's no doubt this has been a rocky path to getting there, but I continue to believe we can get this done. I think there are a lot of senators who have been working in good faith, working collaboratively for a long time.
Six months ago, Lamar Alexander and I brought together a working group that ran the full spectrum of the Republican Conference. And I think we're making real progress.
In my view, failure is not an option. This has been a central promise Republicans have made to voters for seven years. I think we've got to deliver. And the way to deliver, what I have been urging more than anything else, the way to get this done, let's focus on lowering premiums.
The biggest reason so many millions of people are unhappy with Obamacare is that it's made their premiums skyrocket. If we can fix that with commonsense solutions, give people more choices, more options, more freedoms, and lower premiums, that will be a win. And that's how we unify our conference.
DICKERSON: So -- but here's the challenge, coming from Senator Grassley, your own party, who has worked on the health care issue.
On your plan, he said this, and let's listen to the audio. And I want to get your reaction.
CRUZ: Sure.
SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: There is a real feeling that that is subterfuge to get around preexisting conditions. And if it is, in fact, subterfuge, and if it has the effect of annihilating the preexisting condition requirement that we have in the existing bill, then, obviously, I would object to that.
DICKERSON: Your response, Senator.
CRUZ: Well, Chuck Grassley is a good man. And he's a good friend.
You know, I think it's important for Republicans not to be deceived by the attacks that are coming out of Chuck Schumer and the Democrats. Chuck Schumer this week blasted the consumer freedom amendment, which is I think critical to getting this done
DICKERSON: Your amendment.
CRUZ: Yes, because Chuck Schumer doesn't want us to pass this.
Schumer wants this to fail. And so no Republican should be deceived when Schumer -- Schumer made the argument. He called it a hoax. Now, look, I will note that Schumer and Obama, they know a lot about health care hoaxes.
Obamacare was sold to the American people on a whole series of lies. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. And so what we need to focus on is, how do we actually deliver results for the people who are hurting under Obamacare?
DICKERSON: But this is Senator Chuck Grassley. He's not -- it's not the first run for him. He knows this issue, and he's a Republican. So he's not Schumer.
CRUZ: Well, but we need to focus on the actual facts.
How does the consumer freedom amendment operate? It operates as follows. It's designed to be a compromise that can bring together both conservatives and moderates, that can unify the conference. And so what it says is, you, the consumer, you, the patient, should have the freedom to choose the insurance you want.
It shouldn't be the government dictating what insurance you can buy, so that, if an insurance companies offers at least one plan that's consistent with the title one mandate, so it meets all of the mandates that you got to provide right now...
DICKERSON: That are part of Obamacare, including preexisting conditions.
CRUZ: All of that is there. If they offer at least one plan, they can also offer additional plans that consumers may desire.
That means you're not taking away anything that is there right now. All of the protection for preexisting conditions are there, but what you are adding is additional options, so all the people right now who can't afford insurance suddenly will have options of lower premiums where they're be able to afford coverage that they don't have now.
DICKERSON: Here's what is embedded in Senator Grassley's critique, though. His argument is that one vestigial Obamacare plan that you allow will attract all the sick people, that the premiums there will skyrocket. And so you may be offering people preexisting conditions in that single plan, but the premiums will be so out of sight, that, in effect, you're not really offering it.
CRUZ: But, again, that argument is simply not accurate.
If you look at how it would operate, yes, it is true that some young healthy people may choose to purchase freedom plans at much, much lower...
DICKERSON: They would be crazy not to.
CRUZ: And so they'd get much, much lower premiums. And so, number one, you have millions of people who are winners straight off, young people. Young people get hammered by Obamacare. Millions of young people suddenly have much lower premiums.
But let's focus on what you just asked, the relatively small pool of people with preexisting conditions, significant illnesses on the individual market. You're dealing with roughly four to five million people out of a country of 330 million people.
DICKERSON: But the sickest among us.
CRUZ: In the individual market, yes.
In every other market, in the group market, preexisting conditions protections are there. Everywhere else, the preexisting conditions are there. The individual market is a relatively small slice, and this is an even smaller slice.
Now, what I would say is, in Congress, that there is wide agreement that we're going to provide significant assistance to people with serious medical conditions and preexisting conditions. The question is, how do we do it?
What Obamacare does is, it takes millions of young people, millions of people just starting out their career, and it jacks up their premiums, it doubles or triples their premiums, and then it uses that money, not for those people, but to cross-subsidize those who are sick.
I think that's unfair. If you have got a 28-year-old woman who is just starting her career, she's making $30,000 a year, trying to make ends meet, I think doubling her premiums is wrong and it's unfair.
My view is, we ought to do it with direct taxpayer funds. Let's use Warren Buffett's taxes and not that of a 28-year-old woman starting her career. And let me point out, the Senate bill has billions in taxpayer subsidies and stabilization funds, so that the premiums for preexisting conditions stay stabilized and low.
DICKERSON: OK. It will be worked out this week. Senator, thank you so much for being with us.
And we will be back in a moment.
DICKERSON: You can keep up with news of the week by subscribing to the FACE THE NATION Diary podcast. It recaps the week and sets the stage for our Sunday broadcast.
Find us on iTunes our your favorite podcast platform.
DICKERSON: We will be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION, including an interview with former Dallas Police Chief David Brown.
Stay with us.
DICKERSON: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. I'm John Dickerson.
It's been a year since 12 Dallas police officers were shot by a sniper, five of them fatally, at demonstrations against the use of excessive force by police officers. Tributes were held around the country Friday in honor of those lost. We're honored to welcome former Dallas Police Chief David Brown. He's written a book. It's called "Called to Rise."
Welcome, chief.
I want the start with a year ago what you said after the shooting, which was, you said that society is asking the police to do too much. Is that still true?
DAVID BROWN, FORMER DALLAS POLICE CHIEF: It's still true. You know, when a third of our prison population suffer from mental health issues and basically the prisons aren't meant to be mental health providers, and that translates to cops having to deal with people who are mentally ill, who we don't have the training for that, and we just kind of by default take on that task.
DICKERSON: Have any police answered this call that you put out a year ago, or legislators? I mean have they heard you? Are there places where police departments are -- and getting the load lifted off them because people recognize the point that you've made?
BROWN: John, it seems that every time we see some progress take a step, there's two steps we take back with another viral video or a court proceeding that didn't end in the way I think the public expected. And so we stay divided in this conversation about the role of policing in the 21st century and particularly in communities of color. DICKERSON: Your book is such an insight into what life as a police officer is like. And I want to get to that in a minute. But since you raised the viral videos or the news events and -- what do you say to those in the community, communities like the one you grew up --
BROWN: Right.
DICKERSON: Where people see these court rulings and they say, you know, the policeman seems to get off free from what, you know, one of these incendiary events. What's your response to that?
BROWN: That officers are willing to sacrifice their lives for these communities. That they give their all, particularly white cops. It's still, in many department, a majority white officers are --are on the police force and they go into these communities and they risk their life.
Just this week we had a really bad time for police with the officer in New York and the officer in San Antonio being shot and killed in the line of duty by -- by ambush.
BROWN: By suspects. And so there -- there's no question that the -- the cop on the beat is sacrificing and -- and committing their life to protect all of us, including communities of color. But at the same time, I don't think there's a contradiction in saying that communities of color do get treated differently by those few officers that don't deserve to be in the profession. And there's a small number, but for these communities, this becomes their world view.
DICKERSON: First from the side of the police. One of the stories you tell in -- in your book about the mindset of what it's like to be a police officer where you see threats where regular civilians don't. And I love the story you told about your mentor that you still had lunch with, a veteran, a retired police officer, and why he chooses to sit the way he does.
BROWN: Right. So cops deal in possibilities, obviously, and we obviously can be perceived as very paranoid about what's happening. Even in a restaurant at dinner with a friend, we want to sit with our backs -- where we're facing the door and can see who's coming in. Even though retired cops, an 80-year-old gentleman I have lunch with, he's always the first inside so he can have that perfect seat. And he's been retired long. And, again, it is the paranoia -- almost a hyper vigilance that's required to make it through your shift, to stay alive as a cop.
DICKERSON: So that's the mindset people need to learn that police have and to do their job. How do police learn about the mindset of the community? What's the solution here in terms of getting, you know, to walk in the other person's shoes? How do you solve that?
BROWN: I'm a big proponent -- in my book I describe how I transformed to a community-oriented policing type of police chief because without the community we cannot be successful in the best ways to protect it because the community's priorities should be the police department's priorities. We're -- we're public servants and we should be serving these communities.
DICKERSON: Yes, you -- the -- the -- the kitchen -- operation kitchen sink. You were skeptical, though, at first about community policing.
BROWN: Very much so. Actually kicking and screaming I went to a community policing assignment. I was hired on in 1983. This was the war on drugs, the height of the mass incarceration. So I came into the profession believing that, you know, let's put them all in jail and let God sort them out. And what I understood later, as I matured in the profession, is that there's only so much jail bed space and that mass incarceration is not, first, affordable, nor is it smart, because you have to make a distinction between people who are mentally ill, drug addicted, so we can have space in jail for people who are truly violent and will hurt all of us and need to be in jail. But if you mix them all in the same bag, you don't have enough jail space. It's not practical to do that.
DICKERSON: And the only way to really figure that all out is if you're there, day to day, having these kind of relationships where you see people where they live before there is a crisis.
BROWN: Right. I try to say things to cops and to citizens like this. Policing is the people's business. It's not the enforcement business. And if you take away people from this formula, you lose the very nature of what policing is supposed to be about. We're supposed to protect people.
DICKERSON: The number of shootings of police officers is up. What's -- what's your sense of what's happening right now in the relationship that you write also in your book about how both after Columbine and you own experience, I think it was Arizona Street.
DICKERSON: Where the fire power you were facing was -- was of a different kind.
BROWN: I think we've taken two steps back when it comes to the safety of our police officers. They don't feel supported. And I'm also encouraged though that there are number of citizens who openly express that their support police officers. And that's not giving the cops who don't deserve to be in the job a pass. We still need to be held accountable. But the vast majority of cops do the job the right way and they deserve our support.
DICKERSON: There was a Pew study at the beginning of the year that found that 72 percent of police interviewed said their colleagues are now more hesitant because of that, what you described.
Before we go, I want you to tell one last story, which is about an experience you had that changed your life when you were young about a guy named Mike. Tell people that story. BROWN: Yes, Mike Shillenburg (ph). A real quick story. In sixth grade I was part of busing, desegregation in this country, and I was bussed to an all-white school. Mike Shillenburg was a white kid. Obviously you can tell I'm black. And we were both 11 years old. And he invited me home for dinner because he saw the difficulties I was having in school. And that transformed my world view of race because Mike's mom brought out two pot pies and we sat and had dinner and we became best friends. We're friends today. And God knows what I would be thinking about people if Mike hadn't invited me home for dinner. So, again, my takeaway is, see you at dinner. Let's -- let's not be so divided.
DICKERSON: All right, Chief Brown, thank you so much for being with us.
BROWN: Thanks, John.
DICKERSON: And we'll be right back with our political panel.
DICKERSON: We're joined now by our political panel. Margaret Brennan is CBS News White House and senior foreign affairs correspondent, David Ignatius is a columnist at "The Washington Post," Michael Crowley is Politico's senior foreign affairs correspondent, and David Nakamura covers the White House for "The Washington Post."
Margaret, I want to start with you. Welcome back from the trip.
What was the administration's view of this meeting with Russian President Putin?
MARGARET BRENNAN, CBS NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the administration believes now that they've checked the box. They've handled the issue of Russian hacking by speaking directly to Vladimir Putin. The only account of that meeting was described to us by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He was the only other administration official in that very small meeting. And as described by Russian officials, in their on-camera press conferences, both from their foreign minister and Vladimir Putin, they said President Trump accepted their denials and that agreed to move forward. Secretary Tillerson says, well, yes, we agreed to move forward. And the majority of the meeting then went on, he says, to focus in on this first test of U.S.-Russian cooperation in Syria and this limited ceasefire in the south of the country that went into effect today.
DICKERSON: I want to get back to that Syria in a moment.
But, David Nakamura, you write about -- you wrote about this week other presidents who have met with President Putin. Continue to put this meeting in the context of history.
DAVID NAKAMURA, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, you know, the -- I think what's interesting is Putin has sort of really soured on U.S. relations. We know that under President Obama at the end of George W. Bush they had tried to get off to a better start but he was very frustrated. And he was known from the people I've talked to, to begin meetings with a litany of complaints about U.S. actions, undermining, you know, Russian cooperation.
I think there was a little bit of a different, you know, element here at play, where he sort of recognized the challenges that Donald Trump is under politically. And to some degree, it's interesting, we don't know who set up the terms of this meeting, the so few participants and the idea that both sides came out spinning sort of proactively on their behalf. But what we do know is that President Putin has gone on camera and had, as Margaret said, a press conference, and Foreign Minister Lavrov has as well, the U.S. side has not done that. You've seen administration officials, some on the record, some not, disputing some of Putin's characteristics of this meeting. But this morning you have Donald Trump again saying that the Russian leader denied it -- denied the meddling and that -- but that I, Donald Trump, have already said what I had to say about this. Let's move on. And it's just not enough.
DICKERSON: David Ignatius, the president, seems from his tweet this morning, to want to move on from this question of interference. Senator McCain says, if you move on and the Russians pay no consequence, they'll be emboldened. That's certainly the way president -- presidential candidate Donald Trump talked about it. It's the way Secretary of State Tillerson talk about it at his confirmation hearing. If their -- they see weakness, they're emboldened. What do you make of the kind of state of play right now with respect to this interference?
DAVID IGNATIUS, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Sanctions against Russia are still in place. Contrary the what Senator McCain said, President Obama did impose additional sanctions for the hacking on December 29th, expelling Russian diplomats, closing two of their compounds. Those are not, so far as we know, being returned. They're -- they're still in play. So there -- there are no additional sanctions for now, but -- but none were taken off as a result of this meeting.
This summit was -- was just fascinating. To see the U.S. in the form of President Trump so isolated from our traditional allies where people are talking about the G-19 versus the U.S. on -- on climate change. And -- and then this extraordinary rapprochement with Vladimir Putin, accused by our intelligence agency of attacking our elections and the president basically saying, you know, it's time the move on. The -- we won't move on until Robert Mueller has delivered his investigative report. That's what's going to resolve this, along with a conditional hearing.
DICKERSON: Right, and even if -- if --
DICKERSON: Go ahead, Margaret.
BRENNAN: I would say, to your point, one of the best sort of contrasts to this would be to look at the French president when he met with Vladimir Putin, who, yes, they had a meeting, let's talk about working together, but in public came out and directly said, I don't like where they are on human right, persecution of gay, issues of election hacking, et cetera, and he stood up to at least say, here are our values that we don't like you undermining.
Secretary Tillerson, on the other hand, described this meeting and chemistry between President Trump and -- and Putin as positive. They couldn't stop talking. The first lady had to barge into the room to say, can you wrap up the meeting, and then they kept talking for another hour. The optics are troubling to our European allies because of that degree of positive chemistry.
DICKERSON: And -- and, Michael Crowley, this morning the president is -- is tweeting about this cyber security unit.
DICKERSON: It's getting some -- some tough reviews. Senator Rubio tweeted, "partnering with Putin on a cyber security unit is akin to partnering with Assad," the leader of Syria, "on a chemical weapons unit."
CROWLEY: Yes. Well, our one thought I had would be a maritime security cooperation arrangement with the Japanese after Pearl Harbor. I mean they came in, the Russians hit us really hard. It's not clear whether they were able to influence the outcome of the election. We know that votes were -- there was the integrity of the vote. Votes were not changed. But I think despite Trump's repeated assertions, you can't say for sure that the Russian propaganda that made its way into the U.S. and the theft and release of embarrassing e-mails from the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign, you can't say that they played no role. So I think that it's very troubling for a lot of people in Washington, in the Congress, possibly even in Trump's own administration, to see him -- his response to this is, we need to working together.
And, John, I would add that in that press conference that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had when he talked about this, he said that, you know, as we move forward and we have this cooperative relationship, both sides are agreeing not to interfere in each other's affairs, which I think is a real concession to Vladimir Putin, who feels that Hillary Clinton helped to mastermind popular protests against him in 2011. And indeed many people believe that created a grudge where Putin was out to get revenge against Hillary.
There's basically no evidence that the State Department or the U.S. government whipped up those protests. That was genuine popular dissent. This is essentially a Kremlin myth that Tillerson and Trump may have implicitly endorsed.
DICKERSON: David, one thing that seems confusing here in terms of the president's posture is, on the one hand he blames President Obama for having choked, having not held the Russians to account for this interference in the election.
DICKERSON: But now the president would like the move on and is forming a cyber unit in cooperation with the Russians.
NAKAMURA: I mean it's political jujitsu and he blamed -- right on this trip he blamed President Obama again for not doing enough. So he wants to have it both ways. And that's not going to satisfy people on Capitol Hill or others in the media who, I think, really want to see not only Robert Mueller's investigation play out, but also whether the president will take accountability and follow up on some of the, you know, sort of additional sanctions that some in Congress are -- are pushing.
DICKERSON: David Ignatius, the Syria agreement -- and, Margaret, I want to get you take on this, too. So there's a -- that's one of the things that came out of this meeting. But also we have what the secretary of state said about Syria, which is, again, he said, "by and large our objectives," he's talking about the Russians here, "are exactly the same. How we get there, we each have a view. Maybe they," meaning the Russian, "have got the right approach, and we've got the wrong approach."
IGNATIUS: I have no idea what Tillerson meant by that. It's -- it's a -- it's a strange comment and Senator McCain was right, the Russians have been associated with an absolutely barbaric campaign by President Bashar al Assad. Tillerson also said that the U.S. expects, and the -- it was implied that the U.S. and Russia expect, that President Assad will leaves as part of a transition and that the Assad family will leave power as this transition moves forward.
I've just been in Syria two weeks ago, and -- and I -- what's obviously is that there is movement with the U.S. and Russia working together toward de-confliction, de-escalation, identification, the different parts of the country where there can be truces, in effect, people stand down. That's real. It's been happening for weeks. And the reason that I -- I have some confidence that this, you know, may have legs is because they've been testing it, you know, one de-confliction line for the last three weeks, the agreement on the southwest, that Margaret made reference to, actually was reached about a week ago and they've been watching to see if it holds. And when it held, they decided to announce it. So maybe there is something there.
DICKERSON: Margaret, what's your take?
BRENNAN: And negotiated by American diplomats, not necessarily in that room between the two heads of state.
But what I think is interesting here is -- is, it's being presented as a test, but this is also a test of Russia in terms of, can they actually influence and control Assad and the Iranian forces that are on the ground, because were don't negotiate, as the United States government, with either the Assad regime or with Iran. So paper agreements are nice. Let's see what happens.
But as David was just saying, this has been tested. In some ways this could be a lifeline for the U.S.-backed opposition in the -- that particular part of the country. It could also be something that allows them to hold on to the governance structures that they've started to establish there. That might be a blueprint for the future, but it is so heavily caveated with, can anyone actually enforce this. So we'll have the see what happens.
DICKERSON: All right, we're going to pause there. We'll be back in a moment with our panel on North Korea and health care. Stay with us.
DICKERSON: And we're back with our panel.
Michael, I want to go -- switch to the issue of North Korea. Where do we think the administration's strategy is right now?
CROWLEY: I think it's still actually a work in progress. John, one strange thing about Trump and North Korea is that there's some evidence that Trump's own advisers and officials are following his lead, that he -- a lot of this policy has been laid out through his tweets, and Trump will treat something and it's not clear that the key players in his administration understand exactly what he means.
For instance, recently, and he's done it now a few time, Trump tweeted that the Chinese had tried, he had exerted pressure on President Xi to do more to crack down on North Korea economically, and now has said, while the Chinese tried and it didn't work, too bad, we're going to have to do something else. I'm not sure that plan b is fully spelled out. It is clear that there are options for imposing more sanctions on Chinese entities that do business with North Korea.
But this is -- and maybe that would have some effect, John, but this is something that many -- the United States has been thinking about and talking about for many years and the question is, what price will you pay in your direct relationship with China to try to solve the North Korean problems and that relationship with China encompasses so many things -- economics obviously, stability, military issues, cyber issues. Remember, Russia is not the only country that's messing around with computers. So there are not great options here.
And I guess I would say the last thing is, when it comes to this question of what do you do with China, again, I think there's this sense in the United States that if only we can convince the Chinese that it's in their interests to do what we want them to do, then we can make some progress. They'll change their policy. And I just think the Chinese have a sense of their own interests. You can't just persuade them to do something. It will require probably some kind of tough, economic measures that it's going to -- that are going to exact a real cost and I just don't know whether Trump is there yet.
NAKAMURA: You have -- you have a couple things in play here, though. The administration did follow-up through Treasury to sanction a Chinese bank in the Dandong (ph) bank. People in the Bush administration I talked to suggested that is a significant step, a first step, maybe more. They don't know how quickly that will take effect.
You also saw on the sidelines, it was fairly overlooked in Germany, but President Trump had this trilateral meeting with President Moon and -- and Prime Minister Abe of Korea and Japan, and that's not a small feat. President Obama took a lot of effort to sort of get that kind of dialogue started. And these are two allies that we think are allies but they themselves are not often on the same page. You had a Korean president who came in sort of running on more engagement with -- with Pyongyang. You have the Japanese prime minister saying, no, we can't do that, we need more -- tougher actions first. So to get them in the room at least talking on the -- potentially on the same page is a start.
DICKERSON: And China not in that meeting at all.
NAKAMURA: Not in that meeting.
DICKERSON: David, what do you make of the U.N. ambassador saying countries that do trade with -- with North Korea, which means China essentially, you know, their agreements with the United States are not going to continue? Is that right, a trade war over this?
IGNATIUS: Well, she was mildly threatening economic action if China isn't more helpful. I -- to me the takeaway of the last two days on -- on North Korea is that the Trump administration has doubled down on its strategy of working with and through China to try to restrain North Korea. A week ago we were all talking about military options and a -- on the General Brooks and South Korea had us on edge of war it seemed.
After the summit, we've returned to this idea that -- that China is our partner. The president said very nice things about -- about China. The atmospherics of that meeting were very -- were very warm. And I thought that was the heart of what -- of what Ambassador Haley had -- had to -- had to say. She added a little bit that, you know, we may stick it to them, but I think that the -- where they're really going is to -- is to kind of reanimate that diplomacy.
BRENNAN: And a lot of that is getting some of those smaller countries who have even guest worker program with North Korea to cut off any kind of financial lifeline. But the biggest checks come from Beijing, which is why they're so relevant here. Secretary Tillerson did say that that proposal, a freeze for freeze, something that Russia and China seem to be supporting, freezing North Korea's nuclear program in exchange for the U.S. doing things like stopping the joint military exercises that we have with South Korea are something that their -- that the U.S. administration is not receptive to at this time. They think it can be a freeze, it has to be a rollback. In other words, North Korea needs to offer more before diplomacy really gets underway here.
CROWLEY: But we don't have the leverage to force them to rollback right now unless we start dropping bombs essentially. And that is just a terrible -- I mean the options here are good, ugly and horrible. And, again, I think that we've heard people talk for years about, we're going to convince the Chinese to change their minds and we're going to talk the North Koreans into this. You can't do it unless you're willing to start blowing things up, and that's a terrifying scenario. A lot of people start dying. The global economy gets rocked. It's a really tough problem. DICKERSON: One finally before we go, David Ignatius. You were in Mosul recently. There are now reports that Mosul has fallen from ISIS. What's your assessment? What's --
IGNATIUS: I -- I want to be clear, I was actually in -- in Syria and near Raqqa, which is also heading toward -- toward falling.
IGNATIUS: John, the strongest emotional response I had was to see the faces of people who have been living under ISIS for three years as -- as if they're coming out of a prison into the lights. And, you know, they -- the can't quite believe it. There's just a -- there's a little bit of -- of optimism. But you can just see how painful this has been. The U.S. has found allies that have -- have helped clear this territory finally. You know, a number of Americans who have died in Syria and Iraq in the past three years as ISIS have been chased out of the major centers, five.
DICKERSON: OK. That's got to be it. Thanks to all of you.
And we'll be back in a moment.
DICKERSON: That's it for us today. Thanks for watching. Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I'm John Dickerson.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.