From the July 26 edition of MSNBC Live with Velshi and Ruhle:
STEPHANIE RUHLE (HOST): Here's the thing. The president seems to think he has reached a major milestone. So let's take a closer look at what we know about Trump's proposed deal with the European Union. And remember, proposed and signing on the dotted line are very different things, and what we have to focus on is what we don't know.
Yesterday was simply an agreement to begin talking about reconciliation. My question is reconciliation from what? President Trump created this. President Trump called Europe our number one foe a week ago. Now the president has taken his bazooka down and the European Union has done the same. But to say that we are in a better position than we were before, that's absolutely not the case. We've got lots of trade issues, but the most recent trade war that's gone on for the last four months is all done at the hand of the president. .
All right. We also have to get into, not to mention the negotiations that are going to need to happen behind the scenes. Id we go through all the behind the scenes action, assuming everything goes as planned, things will get better between the two nations, but thus far, the president shares very little. And if you think about the timing of yesterday's announcement, at 4:00, the White House leaked out that Europe had made concessions. That's all they said. And what did the market do? It skyrocketed. Soon after, European officials said hold on, a deal's not done until a deal is done. What did President Trump win? He won a headline that served the markets. Did he serve the country? We certainly don't know yet.
With me now, John Harwood, editor-at-large with CNBC. Okie doke, John, let's walk through this because, at the core, if you talk to people around the country, if you talk to farmers, for example, even those who will be hurt, they're happy that the president is addressing this. But what he's done thus far is created a big old mess.
JOHN HARWOOD (CNBC EDITOR-AT-LARGE): Of course he has. And if you wanted to give a name or a true headline to this announcement they had yesterday, it would be that President Trump would say, “I've agreed to stop hurting the economy.” This was something created by him and now he is in the face of a lot of resistance, a lot of upset among his constituents as well as his political adversaries, he's come out and said, “OK, I'm going to stop that, and we're going to talk.” Well guess what? The talks that they have agreed to have -- and you played that clip from [Secretary of Commerce] Wilbur Ross saying we're going after not just tariffs but non-tariff barriers -- that is precisely what the United States was already doing with the European Union in the trade talks that were known as TTIP.
RUHLE: Can we focus on that?
HARWOOD: That was something that under the Obama administration was ongoing.
RUHLE: When TTIP and TPP were on the table, we were working toward getting rid of all these tariffs. So how can the White House possibly make an argument that they're now saving things? They created this. Who's believing it?