This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," June 11, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: Good evening from Washington, I'm Laura Ingraham and this is a very special edition of "The Ingraham Angle." We're witnessing history in the making tonight as President Trump and Kim Jong Un just wrapped up their one-on-one meeting and are now holding an expanded bilateral meeting with, as you saw there, top advisors. Now it's the first time a U.S. president and a North Korean leader have met face to face and he stakes could not be higher with President Trump seeking to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and solve a US Foreign Policy riddle that has stumped policy makers now for decades. Here's what they had to say as the summit began.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We feel really great. We're going to have a great discussion and I think tremendous success, we'll to do tremendously successful and it's my honor and we'll have a terrific relationship, I have not doubt.
KIM JONG UN, NORTH KOREAN LEADER: Well it was not easy to get here. The past has kept us on our limbs and the old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward but we overcame all of them and we are here today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: For analysis we've got an all-star team in New York with Gordon Chang, author of the influential 2006 book, "Nuclear Showdown, North Korea takes on the World," with me here in Washington Mike Pillsbury, he's the Director of the Center on Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute. Harry Kazianis is a North Korea expert and the Director of Defense Studies at the Center for National Interest, and Dr. Walid Phares is a Fox News National Security and foreign affairs analyst.
All right gentlemen we have a lot to get through. I had to stop myself tonight and had to pinch myself, is this actually happening? We don't know what will ultimately transpire here but go back six months ago to last fall. I was reading on Vox, something that you said, Harry, Trump language about Rocket Man and you weren't a big fan of the blunt talk. And I think that's what a lot of people thought. It was kind of funny, Rocket Man, but what was he getting at there. Harry now six months later, eight months later, nine months later, we're at this point were these two men are sitting down across the table. Now they have their closest advisors with them. And if it's true, again if, if, if, old practices and old prejudices, you saw with that script translated under Kim Jong Un, if that's really where we are, that could be the beginning of something really great, for not just the United States, the Korean Peninsula but for the world.
HARRY KAZIONIS, NORTH KOREA EXPERT: You know Laura I'm very hopeful but I think we have to be very honest here. This is step one of a one thousand step journey, maybe ten thousand steps. Look, where the United States and North Korea have come from is remarkable. I mean last year I was on Tucker and we were talking about nuclear war so to go as far as we have come is amazing. The North Koreans aren't throwing rockets across Japan, they're not firing missiles potentially near Guam or threatening them.
INGRAHAM: But they're not doing that because they just felt like not doing that. They're doing that because of Donald Trump and he's been trashed all over these other networks tonight and people are saying, "They're seeing the American flag, the Koreans, this is terrible". It is disgusting frankly what we've seen from the other networks tonight. It is because he had vision much like Ronald Reagan had vision at Reykjavik and before that there is something positive that we can do here. It's going to take a lot of work but it's the art of the possible. I think he disrupted the old order and the old dinosaurs are freaking out, that's what I think.
KAZIANIS: But it's more than that, I think it's actually more than that Laura. He's willing to take risks, that's the thing. He's willing to actually put in political capital into this. A lot of other Presidents and others wouldn't do that, Barack Obama wouldn't do that. That's why the American people voted for him.
INGRAHAM: Mile Pillsbury the status quo was acceptable for decades with a few intermittent visits, remember Madeline Albright with the hat, she came down the gang plank with the hat, she arrived at Pyongyang and it was all going to be very exciting, but of course it amounted to nothing. What's your take on just what you've seen so far tonight?
MIKE PILLSBURY, DIRECTOR AT THE HUDSON INSTITUTE: Well it's breathe taking, it is a bit of cliff hanger. We don't know what going to happen at the press conference at 4 am out time, I'm going to stay up for it. This could be the President's re-election is now in the bag. It's, from my point of view from what I know, this is very sophisticated strategy that has been worked out for almost 18 months now. The mainstream media networks you were referred to, are trying to imply this is some kind of silly mistake, or how did this all happen? And what we are actually seeing in these pictures is somebody coerced with military threats, exercises massive sanctions to come into Singapore. It's our idea to come to Singapore, not his idea. So you're seeing President Trump be gracious now to somebody that he knows he has to keep bringing along for the full dismantlement program which could take another two or three years. But this kind of start, I just think is fantastic.
INGRAHAM: I don't know frankly how it could gotten much better, given the enormity of the task ahead, Walid.
DR. WALID PHARES, FOX NEWS POLITICAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Enormity absolutely. I think the pictures we saw now, the footage here, the whole world is seeing them is already 50 percent plus epsilon which is about to go to the 51 percent. It is unthinkable that both sides have been building all these files, travelling to Pyongyang, to Washington DC without having a plan. Now what they are trying to do in the 49 point epsilon is basically how to engage the world about it and what would be the plan. I am very confident that what they have agreed on is going to be announced. Now of course you were mentioning the criticism. The criticism is because mainstream media, which I call now opposition media didn't understand, that's what they called them basically, they didn't understand what was happening inside North Korea and how our administration understood and seized the moment. And as you have just said, by deploying the task forces, by talking to China, this is rational thinking, this is not a joke.
INGRAHAM: This has been going on for months and months and months. Now let's go to chief house correspondent John Roberts who's live on the scene in Singapore. All right John, you've been watching this unfold there, from the sources on the ground what are you hearing?
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONENT: We've been watching this unfold not just today Laura, but over the last few weeks as well and things seem to be going well. The body language is good, off the top of this. Again, talking to White House officials ahead of this meeting, that one-on- one first kind of get to know you, let's shake hands and sit down and talk about where we are, where we've been and where we might be headed, is the most important aspect of today. The discussion is going on right now, the expanded bilateral meeting which include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly and John Bolton, who we know Kim Jong Un isn't particularly fond of. He's going to focus on issues of how they get moving with the process going forward. But there's still an open question here, Laura, about how sincere Kim Jong Un is about really giving his nuclear weapons. Don't forget the formula for North Korea has been, "Well let's see if we can goad the United States into giving us some economic incentives. Let's see if we can goad them into giving us energy, let's see if we can goad them into giving other things". Well does Kim Jong Un want to do that in exchange for completely denuclearizing or is he trying to get a deal where he gets something from the United States in exchange for a little piece of the nuclear program. But the President has said that he is not going to freeze in place a nuclear program and that's what's happened before negotiations between the United States and North Korea. The President says it's got to be rolled back and they have gone so far as to say, it has to be complete, it has to be irreversible and it has to be verifiable. Those are three really, really big challenges when it comes to North Korea. So I don't even know if the President will be able to get a full read today on exactly what Kim's intentions are. But at the very least, we've got this historic moment where an American President is sitting down with a North Korean leader for the very first time. They do seem to be on the same page with some issues and Mike Pompeo has said on a couple of occasions that on the two times that he's met with Kim Jong Un, Un has given him personal assurances that he wants to denuclearize. Why all of a sudden he wants to do that is anybody's guess but we'll see going forward Laura, whether or not the commitments to Mike Pompeo lasts with the President and whether it's a staunch enough and strong enough commitment that he will do the difficult work and, the amazingly difficult work, to roll back and eliminate North Korea's nuclear program. He has always seen this as the one way to keep his regime in place, the one way for his regime to survive. Now President Trump is offering him an alternative, we'll find out if he takes it, Laura.
INGRAHAM: Thanks John. And it's important for the US to open a dialogue with North Korea even if no deal is struck. So let's get some context on all of tonight's developments from someone who has covered summits like these before. Fox News Sunday Anchor, Chris Wallace, who is also in Singapore. Chris I don't know if you could hear John Roberts there bit he's basically saying the idea that we're going to see Kim Jon Un come out and "Okay we're going to denuclearize and oh it's all going to be great". That's kind of pipe dream, however, he's never dealt with some like Trump before. This is a new ball game, a new President, with a different set of priorities and a different way forward which I think has rattled the old order. I think they're rattled by him and they don't know what is going to happen next but they're unsettled by it.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Listen I think both the optimism and the caution are both warranted in this case. Good evening to you, it's good morning here in Singapore, Laura. I mean on the one had its almost surreal to see these two men who just months ago were lobbying verbal ICBMs at each other. Little Rocket Man, the Dotard, standing together, shaking hands, meeting a certain level of courtesy, diplomatic approach to each other. It is stunning and you are quite right, it is a dramatic change of the order, the diplomatic order that we have seen over the last 50 years. And that is not to be minimized in any way, it a major accomplishment. On the other hand I think it is well to keep in mind that Kim Jong Un has given up nothing at this point. He has not given up a single nuclear bomb, he's not given up a single ICBM, he's not given up any of the nuclear infrastructure. Yes kind words, yes they're meeting, yes they're talking about process but he hasn't given up anything and we have to remember this is a country, North Korea, that's has made deals before, obviously with different Presidents and has backed off on all of them and reneged on all of them. So it's easy now looking back at the Regan Gorbachev Summit and say that was great and it changed the world and it ended the Soviet Union, and it brought down the Berlin wall. But that was not at all a player after the first summit and certainly after the second summit in Reykjavik which seemed to end in failure. So this is a very good an encouraging start and I agree, very positive in the sense that months ago we were talking about a hair trigger towards a nuclear confrontation, but at this point there have been no actions taken by North Korea in terms of denuclearizing and as they used to say during the Reagan years, the devil is in the details.
INGRAHAM: Chris, Ben Rhodes earlier tonight on another network tonight, on MSNBC, he was very concerned about a lack of I guess a piece of paper, and pencils and pens in this meeting, let's listen, let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN RHODES, POLITICAL ADVISER: Right now the only person who will know what was discussed in that room is Donald Trump. Will he tell his own government about what was discussed? Will his representation of what was discussed be accurate or will he try to make himself look better in his read out to his own team? Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, probably not the two most trustworthy people in the world, are the only people that are going to know what was discussed in this, besides his interpreters, and that's the whole reason why you always have somebody--
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: I had been assuming that the interpreters had a dual role. I've been assuming that the interpreter is some massive spy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: God bless her. I think Rachel needed some smelling salts there, it's like she was they're both the same. The one guy has all these prison camps and he's torturing people and this other guy is American, but they're totally the same. And they're going to spin it to their best reputational advances, Chris.
WALLACE: I think it was Ronald Reagan, it may not have been, but I think it was Ronald Regan who said that if he could walk on water some of his critics, the headline would be, "Reagan can't swim". And there does seem to be a look here for the dark cloud and the silver lining here, you know that's absurd and in addition, whatever happened in that 45 minutes, the fact is they're now having a meeting with their, not full national security teams, but a lot of their top advisors. Look, I think we should be hopeful, I mean remember where we were a few months ago when President Trump was threatening fire and fury and there was a sense as I say, we were on a hair trigger. And President Trump actually went to some of his top advisors and said maybe we should pull all the US dependence, thousands of them, out of South Korea because it's such a dangerous situation. We're a long way from there and that's all to the good. But again, you know we haven't really seen any firm commitment and we still don't know this question of denuclearization. Does that mean that Kim Jong Un is going to give up his entire nuclear arsenal, what is he going to demand in return in terms of the US holding back, taking down its nuclear umbrella, yes we don't have nukes on the South Korean mainland, but we do have nukes on the planes that fly over from Guam. We do have planes on ships and on submarines in the area, as part of our nuclear umbrella to protect South Korea and Japan and a lot of the people in the US don't want to see that given up. I will say one thing that concerns me a little bit in the opening meeting that was on camera when the President said, "It's a tremendous honor to be here with you and I think we are going to have a terrific relationship". I shouldn't be giving advice to the President but I don't think we should be giving away too much. Kim gets a lot by just having this meeting. It does boost his prestige, it does--
INGRAHAM: That's Trump though Chris, come on. He's going to pat you on the back, he does the body language, domination and he's a lot taller than poor old Kim Jong Un. And Trump's like, "It's going to be great, you know, we'll get you an In-N-Out burger, whatever you want". I mean whatever, that's just the way Trump is , he's not like Madeline Albright back in 2000 when she met Kim Jong Il, she said, "It's a great pleasure to meet you". Nobody was freaking out when she said it was a great pleasure to meet Kim Jong Il but she did that and you know, it didn't work.
WALLACE: Here's the one concern I have. The main reason, even for all the rhetoric, the main reason that Kim is here, he didn't suddenly decide he wants to be in Jeffersonian Democrat is because of the maximum pressure which goes far beyond anything that any previous President has done in terms of really tightening the economic screws and getting China to go along. I wonder, given the fact that Kim and President Moon of South Korea will have a relationship, we understand that the Chinese now are not as tough on the sanctions that they were forced to impose on North Korea. The President may say, "I'm not giving you anything until you start to denuclearize", but in fact has the maximum pressure regime, will it weaken, not because of the US but in a sense, Kim is on the world stage and things have been normalized.
INGRAHAM: I think that's a cautionary note and a smart one but I think that's what they said about Trump is going to be easy on China after he had that pageantry is Beijing. And oh, Trump seems to be enamored now with President Xi then he come backs home and "No we're going to do all these tariffs". So I think he's hard to predict there but I think it's cautionary note. Chris Wallace, thank you so much from Singapore, great reporting and let's get back to the panel still with me in New York is Gordon Chang. With me in Washington of course, Mike Pillsbury, Harry Kazionis and Dr. Walid Phares. All right Gordon we have to get to you, we just brought up the issue of China of course and I think back to the Korean War by some estimates China lost, I think it was 900,000 casualties, in the Korean War. A lot of Chinese blood spilled in the Korean Peninsula, they have been thwarting sanctions, even those luxury gifts you pointed out the other day. They filmed the luxury gifts that Xi gave to Kim Jong Un and his family and you're not even supposed to do that. All the banks that trade and use the banking system in China, they help North Korea out. But they haven't been unhelpful, correct?
GORODN CHANG: Yeah if you look at China, let's say two three years ago and compare their behavior now, it's much better now. The problem is you back two or three months, maybe four months, China's sanctions enforcement has deteriorated. You know, the important thing here, Laura is that President Trump has created a momentum. This momentum I think, is pushing Kim in a direction he may not want to go, but nonetheless he's being there. And that is really the result of skillful diplomacy on the part of the President. You know President Trump started out by saying his number one foreign policy goal was disarming North Korea, and we hadn't heard a President say that before and because of that, we have seen over the course of is 500 and so days, essentially a focus of North Korea. That's why we're at Singapore right now and that's actually fantastic when you think about what we have done, not only the threats but also the maximum pressure of sanctions which have cut North Korea's international payments by half. That's a significant advance.
INGRAHAM: Harry we kept sharing about Obama's Pivot to Asia. If I heard about that pivot to Asia one more time, and what did we do? We were still stuck in the Middle East, we were socially re-engineering our own military, doing all this stuff with Obamacare, putting all this radical judges on courts, but we never did do his pivot to Asia. In fact China got stronger and stronger and stronger. Mike's written an entire book about this, and now we're at a point where again, cautiously optimistic. He's at the table, Kim's at the table because he's out of money. He has some money but his people are starving and he wants legitimacy, he wants legitimacy on the world stage. Who knows if he's going to be able to denuclearize or even has the appetite for it, but if he's going to do something, there's going to be a gradual denuclearization, for gradual lifting of sanctions, don't you think? Is that where this is going?
KAZIANIS: You know Laura, I think I'm going to be the Debby Downer of the group here--
INGRAHAM: That's okay.
KAZIANIS: I think someone has to do it so I'll be the guy. Here's the thing. History screams at us to be cautious and I think the Trump administration is being cautious, we're sort of going through the steps, trying to see what North Koreans are going to do. But even if Kim Jong Un does agree to some sort of denuclearization, we know the North Korean playbook. To cheat, to lie, to break the agreement, to have parallel programs, to say that they're going to denuclearize over and over again.
INGRAHAM: You don't think Pompeo knows their history? I mean they are not going to anything that is not completely, reciprocally verifiable where we'll know in six months whether they are serious about any part of what they agree to.
KAZIANIS: I think we are actually going to know probably in the next few days because remember Laura, we can't keep going negotiating forever and ever. Eventually we're going to come at a cross roads and it's going to be two choices. Either some sort of war, which millions of people could die to we're going to contain the North Koreans and go match pressure 2.0. I hope we do match pressure 2.0. I think that's the better way.
INGRAHAM: Run out of time. Yeah I think Chris is concerned that we're going to go soft on the region. I don't see that, I don't see that with Trump. We have so much more to get to, let's take a quick break, thanks to all of you. We go right back to Singapore in just a minute to get the very latest from Ed Henry so stay right there. History in the making. President Trump and the North Korean Leader, Kim Jong Un just wrapped up their historic summit at the top of the hour and Trump is trying to exceed, let's face it, where so many presidents have failed, and put an end to the Hermit King's nuclear program. Let's get the very latest in Singapore from Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry, Ed.
ED HENRY, FOX CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Laura good to see you. You're right, here on the ground in Singapore, one thing that top Trump officials have been talking about is the fact that previous administrations, Democrat and Republican have tried the same thing over, over and over again and left us in this position where when Donald Trump took office, North Korea was closing in on the ability to miniaturize nuclear warheads. That they could then attach two missiles and potentially reach the continent of the US. That is why these talks are so urgent. Ad one thing that's Trump officials say they find frankly amusing is that when a top Korean official was in the oval office about a week or so ago to hand deliver that letter from Kim Jong Un to President Trump.
There were stories in the Washington Post and elsewhere with former Clinton officials questioning why they had done such a photo op, that this was such a propaganda coup for Kim Jong Un and his regime. And top Trump officials will say in private, look they tried it that way, they said, "Oh we can't do photo ops, we can't actually do direct meetings. We can't continue pressing sanctions at the same time and none of their previous ways actually worked". And what's fascinating is they are now at the negotiating table, at least, a long way to go has been noted by your panel but beyond that I can tell you something new that secretary of State Mike Pompeo told us a short time ago before these talks commenced, which is that they are not, inside the Trump administration, going to pull back on the crippling sanctions that have put Kim Jong Un in a corner, pushed him to the point of potentially going broke.
They're not pulling back on those sanctions until they have a path to denuclearization from Kim Jong Un in these negotiations. Now, he may never offer that, we'll have to see where it goes, but they're insisting they're going to take a tough line there and in fact I can tell you that Mike Pompeo added that if Kim Jong Un does not take this opportunity, they may increase US sanctions against North Korea which have already been crippling. And so the bottom line is you put facts together with what President Trump was saying before the summit that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for North Korea and if they don't take it, that opportunity will never be there again. That raises the stakes big time, Laura.
INGRAHAM: All right Ed thanks so much. And America has stunning, breath taking history of diplomatic failure when it comes to curbing North Korea's missile programs. Since 1985, US administrations have tried embargoes, they've done sanctions, threats, treaties and appeasement. But no combination of sticks and carrots has ever worked. So why could it be different this time? Let's go back to our panel here in Washington to discuss that. Mike Pillsbury, Harry Kazianis, Dr. Walid Phares, Mike, you want to address a point as a former government official, how things really go behind closed doors and how we talk about them as members of the media, we want to be very careful. I want you to touch on that but you to touch on the won and done point that Trump made. He basically said that you've got one shot at this young man and this is it, is that just bluster or is that really the way you think he feels here?
PILLSBURY: I think it's in the context of the military exercises, the military threats last year, the extreme sanctions, perhaps some other things that have been going on that we don't know about yet. There's a kind of intimidation of Chairman Kim. He's only 34 years old, he's now very poised, he's calm, he's sort of touching the President's arm the way the President touched his arm, so on the surface, there is this kind of mild comradery. But as a government official, I look at this in terms of the media outside, Chris Wallace and the others. They have no idea what is going on in that room. For all we know--
INGRAHAM: None of us do.
PILLSBURY: It's close to a walkout and back to the tables and even military threats, or it's the opposite, that they've got a schedule for dismantlement, they've got some specific things that they've been talking about. First you stop the Plutonium reprocessing, then you do this with the underground Uranium enrichment facility. In the case of both Nixon and Mao, and later on with Gorbachev and Reykjavik, the documents were kept secret for 30 years. Scholars only found out, "Ah, this is what the deal was", thirty years later.
INGRAHAM: Maybe Trump's not such a fool after all, all of these smart people thought.
PILLSBURY: There's a lot of premature commentary going out on a limb. Some of these journalists who think they know what's going on, they really don't. So I have a hunch that we're going to learn more at the press conference, but only as we begin to see when will be the first dismantlement and there have been two small steps already. Blowing up of the tunnels with the press nearby. It wasn't a hoax, it may not have been much, maybe the mountain was tired.
INGRAHAM: It was already going to collapse before.
PILLSBURY: The other thing is this strange story recently about the missile testing facility being disabled. So it's not right to say nothing's been done by North Korea at this point, that's not true.
INGRAHAM: Walid I want to touch on what Bill Richardson and then a Christian preacher, Kenneth Bae, was held in North Korea. We have the preacher, we are going to listen to the preacher so Kenneth Bae brought up the issue of Human Rights. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNETH BAE, CHRISTIAN PREACHER: I would love to see President Trump to talk about the Human Rights' issues happening in North Korea as part of the summit. Because I was released and rescued by the American Government here but for the 25 million people living in North Korea and their Human Rights is violated every day, especially with their religious freedom that they do not have right now.
INGRAHAM: Walid eight prison camps, devastating types of torture reported, is it going to be mentioned in the press conference, do you think? We're all guessing here but I think it should be. How much emphasis will be put on it to get in the way of world peace, I'm not sure.
PHARES: Let me say that our concern as Americans for Human Rights in North Korea is not going away, this is the dessert. We're at the appetizer now at these negotiations. We need to peel off one layer after the other. One thing is to address the issue of Human Rights, and they have missiles directed at us. And the other thing is to put pressure on them when we start our aid and the nukes are not around. So it's a question of strategy, at this point in time I think what is happening right now is the first stage. And the first stage is to get a commitment as it happened with Yeltsin. Remember, at the end of the Soviet Union he said our missiles are not directed at you. That was chapter one. That's what we need. That's what our citizens want.
Second, we want to reduce these nuclear weapons. And third, what happened, the entire Soviet Union collapsed. So we have a model in front of us. I think we are at the appetizer.
KAZIANIS: Laura, let's not forget one thing here. It's actually one year ago today that Otto Warmbier came home braindead. And we need to keep his family and him in our hearts and in our prayers. And we do have to remember the millions of people that have died under the Kim regime. We can't forget that. I actually talked to a North Korean defector. What he called Kim Jong Un is Hitler. He called his family three generations of Hitler. So we have to remember who we are negotiating with. That makes it a lot more difficult. But the United States has to deal with people like this. That's the reality of international politics.
INGRAHAM: And hundreds and hundreds of thousands more can die if we don't solve this problem.
PHARES: Laura, one point. It is possible that our intelligence agencies will have to confront that. But the very initial reason for why the North Korean dictator started lobbing missiles and then after that he came to the table of negotiation, that something big is happening in North Korea. The civil society of North Korea has not responded.
INGRAHAM: Guys, state media for the first time is openly reported today that their leader, Kim Jong Un, is talking with Trump to denuclearize and find peace. That is in state media. Is that significant? I think it is not nothing. That's a pretty interesting view. That's what beams into everybody's house.
Fantastic conversation, as always, three of my favorite people. Stay with us. We have more from this historic summit currently underway in Singapore. The latest when we return.
INGRAHAM: Two major players were not part of the talks between the United States and North Korea today. China will want a say in any nuke deal because North Korea has been dependent on Beijing for food, energy, and trade. And Russia fears the summit could impact its reputation as a major dealmaker in east Asia. According to an online piece by former Russian diplomat Vladimir Frolov.
Let's ask experts how China and Russia may react to any deal and its impact. We welcome historian Victor Davis Hanson of Stanford's Hoover Institution, Michael Malice, biographer and author of the book "Dear Reader, The Unauthorized Biography of Kim Jong Il," and rejoining us, Gordon Chang. Gentlemen, there is so much I want to unpack with you. Michael, I want to start with you, because much has been made of Kim Jong Un's historical affection for his grandfather and where his grandfather was in conversations with I think it was Jimmy Carter back in '93, end of 93, and he died three weeks later. He even looks kind of heavy. He looks a lot like his grandfather in many ways. How does that play into this, and then your reaction on the Russia-China issue?
MICHAEL MALICE, KIM JONG-IL BIOGRAPHER: A lot of people make fun of Kim Jong Un for his haircut, and that is actually very intentional. He is doing a throwback to his grandfather, the great leader Kim Il-sung, who was the founder of North Korea, who is very much revered to this day even by refugees as one of the greatest people who's ever lived. When Kim Jong Il took over in 94 that's when the famine started getting worse. He even launched a campaign called let's eat two meals a day instead of three so say that having less food is a good thing.
So even his clothing is a throwback. I have the same suit Kim Jong Un is wearing. I got it in North Korea. I think it looks better on me. But the point is very much optics are a function there of the regime. And anything he can do to channel his grandfather's energy, and in fact by law, only a descendant of the great leader Kim Il-sung can be the North Korean leader which is one of the reasons why he had his elder brother assassinated because if there is no Kim Jong-nam to take over, it's not like there's a Mike Pence. You have to stick with what you have.
INGRAHAM: And Victor Davis Hanson, when Madeleine Albright was there in 2000, she made a quick pilgrimage to the memorial for Kim Jong Un's grandfather, Kim Il-sung, and a great leader, that is how they refer to him. But do you mind commenting on the China-Russia concern in this deal, any deal that might come out of this?
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, HOOVER INSTITUTION: Russia hasn't had any international clout since it squirmed into Syria when it was invited in by the Obama administration. Otherwise it had been out of the Middle East for almost 40 hours. So it's going to try to repeat that, punch above its weight and wiggle in. It has a border with North Korea, and offer some type of triangulation, maybe help with Iran or something.
China, North Korea wouldn't be nuclear if it wasn't for China. It wants a nuclear North Korea but it doesn't want a nuclear war. It wants a sort of pit bull on a Chinese leash it occasionally lets go and consumes American attention and resources and it feigns ignorance of what's happened.
So it is perplexed right now. It's even scared maybe. It seems impossible to imagine that maybe North Korea might gravitate away toward China. And that's something. As far as the Iranians, that's really interesting because this is their pipeline for nuclear technology, North Korea and China. And all the conventional wisdom said if you walk away from the Iran deal you can't cut a deal with North Korea. In fact the opposite is true.
INGRAHAM: Wait, wait, Victor, Victor, are you saying the experts were wrong again? Trump was going to blow up the world six months ago. The economy was going to tank. We are going to go into a global depression. And the Iran deal was going to screw up anything we try to do in North Korea. All of that -- so everyone watching notes, the experts in this region for the most part, the ones who are on all the other cables all night long have been wrong about Asia for decades much to the detriment of the United States of America.
HANSON: I think Trump was sort of like the apple commercial where the athlete ran and threw their hammer into the screen and it just shattered everything because he wasn't beholden to these pieties and conventional false wisdoms.
And one thing we have to do, though, Laura, we can't go back to the status quo. So the status quo, Trump inherited a terrible condition of missiles pointed at us that might've been nuclear tipped. Once they made that decision to point a missile at Portland, Trump is basically saying you not only lost the missiles, you lost your entire nuclear program, and that's where we want to be. And I think he can do it. And the other thing is, we are going to get medieval pretty soon because these sanctions are really biting. In the past under the agreed framework and the six party talks, strategic patience, we always let up. I don't think Trump will, and Kim knows it.
INGRAHAM: He's not going to. It's going to be maximum pressure. I completely agree.
Gordon, I want to play something for you. Jeremy Bash, former chief of staff at CIA and DOD under Obama. All this is unfolding tonight, history in the making. Again, we will see what happens but it's still historic. And this is his takeaway. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY BASH, MSNBC ANALYST: The spectacle of seeing the American flags along with the DPRK flags as a backdrop for that handshake is really jarring actually to see, to witness. In fact I would say it is somewhat disgusting. It is actually a debasement of the American flag.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: It's a debasement of the American flag because we've never had conversations diplomatic or otherwise, Gordon, with regimes or countries who have had human rights violations and even threatened us, never happened before. I cannot believe this man was a chief of staff for a major U.S. federal department. Stunning. Your reaction?
GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR OF NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN: Not only have we had conversations with countries like these, we have given state visits to their leaders. We have had Chinese state visits. And so clearly we have got to talk to North Korea. It's much better than the alternative. President Trump's maximum pressure campaign is largely responsible for getting the North Koreans here. If we have to have our flag next to theirs as we talk to them, so be it.
The important point here right now is that President Trump is talking about a relationship with the North Koreans. That is going to scare the Chinese and the Russians as well because it means that we can then have one more friend in Asia, and China will have one less friend. And by the way, Laura, that one less friend, North Korea, is China's only formal ally. And so this undercuts the narrative of China being the global hegemon, the U.S. in terminal decline, that the Chinese will rule east Asia, all of that goes out the window in one summit.
And as I mentioned, if you have to have the American flag next to the North Korean one, that's a very small price to pay for a geopolitical advantage.
INGRAHAM: That is just a boneheaded comment. I'm sorry, we had to play that for you.
Michael, when you go back and we are talking about a lot of different aspects of this whole regime, relationship, part of the world, very complicated. But when Mao Zedong was looking at how North Korea and the North Koreans were developing and Kim Il-sung and they were going to the old Stalinist ways. They were abandoning Marxism-Leninism. But it was the cult of personality. I know Victor has written about this extensively as has Gordon, as has you. The cult of personality with Mao in China, the Great Leap Forward, and also with Kim Il Sung, and to some extent with this young man who is his grandson. We can't look away from that dynamic either.
MALICE: And it's really funny, there is gigantic statue in North Korea of Kim Il Sung, and everyone who visits has to bow down and put flowers before it. And when they put it up originally it was plated in gold. And the Chinese government in the 70s said we are communist regimes. We shouldn't be plating giant idols of our leaders in gold, so they changed it to bronze.
But very North Korea is the function of this personality cult. In their literature they attack the idea that a personality cult is a bad idea because from their perspective it is only the leader who bestows political life onto the population. So you can't really separate the two.
However, that does give Kim Jong Un some leeway in the fact that since the leaders will and ideas are law, he's free to do whatever he wants, including contradict himself, and everyone will stand and applaud him. And Laura, I'm going to make one more point. When you played that clip earlier of Ben Rhodes, if you can't pronounce Kim Jong Un's name correctly, maybe you shouldn't be flapping your gums on this issue and stay in your lane.
INGRAHAM: OK, Victor David Hanson, we've got 15 seconds. Sum it up for us.
HANSON: Well, Trump is playing the good cop now because he's got realists like Pompeo and Bolton so he doesn't have to play the bad cop. And he is much better at that role. That's new. And then finally, as far the Rhodes in the final administration, nobody in the Trump administration is doing what Obama did in trying to coerce U.S. banks to violate U.S. law to facilitate liquidity for the Iranians.
INGRAHAM: All right, fantastic. Got it. Good cop-bad cop. We have a lot more coming up. Dennis Rodman crying tonight when we come back.
INGRAHAM: OK, I have a rough transcript of what was said at the top of that bilateral extension of the meeting. Trump said we are working together. We will get it taken care of. And then Kim said there will be challenges ahead but we will work with Trump. We overcame all sorts of skepticism and speculations about this summit, and I believe this is good for the peace. Trump ended by saying we'll solve it and I look forward to working with you. Thank you very much. Thank you very much everybody as he kicked the media out of the room. So that's a little rough transcript.
Now, it's no secret that much of the mainstream media are rooting against a successful summit because they are possessed with utter hatred for Donald Trump. I've never seen anything like it. But this may in fact take the cake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it worth even bringing up, Victor, that the president of the United States turned 72 this week. We think Kim Jong Un is 34. Again, somebody who has been trained, who has come through a dynastic situation. Does that give him necessarily an advantage here?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Come through a dynastic situation? OK. Let's look at the media's role in this diplomatic chess match with NRA TV's Dan Bongino and Chris Hahn for aide to Senator Schumer. Chris, have at it. This dynastic situation, the 34-year-old has more experience with these matters than Donald Trump. Kim Jong Un is wearing a pair of depends at this bilateral meeting, OK. That's my view. He's holding it in. This guy is willing to go to the mat militarily to denuclearize the peninsula and stop my missile tests. Rocket man, and he called him an old man six months ago. And now he's sitting there across the table with Trump with John Bolton present who he said he would not meet with, by the way, before. Your reaction to this?
CHRIS HAHN, RADIO SHOW HOST: I don't know where she was going with that honestly. I have been a pundit for 20 years now. Sometimes you've just got to talk, and I guess that's where she was going with the comment, trying to make something happen on TV.
Look, I think that most people hope that this summit goes well, that the United States comes to an agreement where North Korea denuclearizes, and of course we welcome them back into the family of nations, plus we secure the borders for our allies in South Korea and in Japan, and we see some action on human rights in North Korea. That's what I'm hoping for. If that comes out of that, I will say yay, Mr. President.
INGRAHAM: Dan Bongino, that's great to hear from Chris. We heard from Bill Maher over the weekend that he hopes the economic collapse which would devastate American families coast to coast, he wants an economic collapse to get rid of Trump. So in the Hollywood elite, when they were flipping off the president last night at the Tony awards, I guess it was in New York, flipping off the president. They are all giving him a standing ovation, Robert De Niro, oh, you're so brave, Robert, "Meet the Fockers." And this is where they are. The elites on the left want this president to fail. To hell with nuclear war. You have to have nuclear war to get Trump then I think half of them are OK with that. I'm not exaggerating.
DAN BONGINO, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Laura, it's bizarre. Wasn't Robert De Niro in "Dirty Grandpa" recently? Wasn't that his latest big hit. And believe me, I use that term "hit" loosely. I mean this when I say this, I know this may sound bizarre, but we should really be thanking De Niro and Bill Maher and Nancy Pelosi for her whoop-de-do and crumbs comments about the economy. I mean it. I know it's painful to hear, it is. You hear it, and you're like they can't be this dumb, but they are, because each time they say this, you can chalk up thousands of more people who are realizing what the Democrats really are and what they have been.
And in addition, this is a two-prong win for us Laura. So we win thousands of voters who see Trump as a reasonable alternative, and secondly they lose thousands of customers for their crap movies like "Dirty Grandpa" and "Meet the Fockers 6" or whatever De Niro was in. So this is a double win for us. Chris, you know I'm right, too.
HAHN: Dan. Danny boy, I now Dan has "Godfather Two" on a loop in his hours right now.
INGRAHAM: I do. You have to go back 40 years, though, Chris, for that one, and "Rain man." We liked "Rain Man." I will take "Rain Man's" political analysis over De Niro.
HAHN: That was Dustin Hoffman.
INGRAHAM: That's right. It was Dustin Hoffman. Why am I thinking De Niro. Oh, gosh, it's late. Chris, this is another reason I love you, you know your cultural references. Let's play for you, just to have fun, just to have a little fun. Dennis Rodman was on CNN tonight, and he was very emotional. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NBA PLAYER: Donald Trump is going to do a great job to try to reach out and make sure our hands, America's, our hands are always open. I got so many, I was protecting everything. And I believe in North Korea. And I went home, I couldn't even go home. I couldn't even go home. I had to hide out first 30 days. I couldn't even go home, but I kept my head up high, brother. Today is a great day for everybody, Singapore, Tokyo, China, everything. It's a great day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: If he doesn't work for the CIA and isn't under deep cover, he should be. Chris?
HAHN: I don't know what he's talking about, hiding. There was this special about his trip to North Korea on TV, and he called into Howard stern that next day he got back. He is clearly emotional because people have been very critical of his trip there. And maybe he will get some vindication and he will be seen as somebody who started the process to opening them up. Who know?
INGRAHAM: He is just another character in this new world order under Trump, Dan Bongino.
BONGINO: Laura, we do live in the stupidest of times sometimes. Dennis Rodman is on CNN as some kind of subject matter expert on this. Listen, I watched him, he was a great offensive and defensive rebounder.
HAHN: He was great.
BONGINO: His resume on international nuclear disarmament talks, though, I am reasonably confident, Laura, it's quite thin. I am not sure CNN -
HAHN: He is one of the few Americans that actually sat down with him. It is true. There aren't a lot of Americans who have actually been there and sat with the guy. This guy has actually done that. In addition to being one of the greatest rebounders of all time. He has done that.
BONGINO: Chris, if there is A to Z list of celebrities, I am a y. Dennis Rodman is maybe y plus one. He's right above Dan Bongino. That's not saying much.
HAHN: Dan, Dan, Dan. He's at least a c.
INGRAHAM: I would rather have Dennis Rodman over there than Ben Affleck or something. I think Chris is right. He's been there. He has a personal relationship with Kim.
BONGINO: Laura, that was an intervention on camera. That was painful to watch.
INGRAHAM: What was that? What was the sunglasses.
HAHN: It's jetlag. It's a long flight to Singapore.
INGRAHAM: What's going on with the sunglasses. I don't understand the sunglasses.
BONGINO: Hannity just did the whole show jetlagged live on TV. That's no excuse. I'm sorry. He did a whole hour. No, no, I'm not buying that jetlag excuse.
HAHN: Hannity has not spent as much time in the paint as Dennis Rodman has.
INGRAHAM: All right, guys, we're Rodmaned out, we're Rodmaned out. I am calling foul on our entire conversation on Rodman. I think Dan is right. All right, guys, thanks so much.
Let's go back to chief White House White House correspondent John Roberts in Singapore for the very latest on what he's hearing about the upcoming working lunch between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. I want to know what's on the menu. I'm getting hungry. We were talking about appetizers earlier here John and foodstuffs and In and Out Burgers. Come on, give us some flavor here.
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: One thing I can tell you, I don't know what's on the menu but there is very good food here in Singapore.
One quick update, Larry Kudlow, chief economic advisor, the White House put out a statement he suffered a mild heart attack earlier today. He is in good condition and according to his doctors and will make a full and speedy recovery.
The most important thing on the table right now, and this is the big unknown for the U.S. delegation and the one that they are most concerned about, and that is, is Kim Jong Un sincere about wanting to give up his nuclear weapons program? Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was twice told in person by Kim that he is sincere about it. I asked the president about it on the south lawn of the White House and again in a press conference in the rose garden, do you think Kim is sincere? The president said he believes he is.
But giving up the nuclear weapons would really go against everything North Korea has been doing for the last few decades. But the president believes, at least on the surface, that Kim Jong un is willing to do that. But just in case the president has reminded all the way along that there are sanctions are going to remain in place for North Korea, and there is another package of sanctions that's ready to go if North Korea decides to bail out of these talks. And we heard the president talk about it when he was in Quebec, saying that this is the one shot that Kim Jong Un has got to do this. This is an opportunity that's not going to come around again.
And then the unspoken part of that is, it's not going to work well for Kim if he doesn't come to the table here and deal with the United States and continues to pursue his nuclear program because this president has made it very clear, Laura, that he is not going to tolerate a North Korea that has a nuclear weapon that can be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile and fired at virtually any city in the United States. We will hear a lot more about this when the president has a press conference this afternoon at 4:00. That is going to be one of the more fastening press conferences that I have ever been to. We'll bring it to you.
INGRAHAM: Oh, my goodness. Lucky you, John. Thanks so much.
And we're going to right back with some final thoughts on this historic day and night. Stay there.
INGRAHAM: You want to lock this here on Fox News because there's going to be this amazing press conference happening at 4:00 a.m. eastern time. You can get up for it. It's going to be incredible, historic. You've got to wake up for this kind of stuff. So the two of them will stand side-by- side. The question is whether they will leave representatives behind even when the president is wheels up coming back to the United States. No one else could have pulled this off. So far, cautiously so good.
We pass the baton now to Shannon Bream and the fantastic "Fox News @ Night" team for continuing coverage of the Singapore summit. Shannon?
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