House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committee member Joaquin Castro warned Tuesday's edition of 'Morning Joe' that President Trump "is determined to go to war" with North Korea.
"You know, I just think that this president, based on everything that I've seen and heard, is determined at some point to go to war with North Korea," he warned.
Asked if he would support the war, Castro said: "I'd be likely to, yes."
"My fear with what's going on in the clearing out of this White House from Sec. Tillerson, Gen. McMaster and others is that the president is basically clearing out anybody who isn't subservient and obsequious to him and putting in people who are just going to say yes or who already agree with him anyway so there's no conflict at all," Castro said.
"You're talking about a minimum of hundreds of thousands of people dead if not millions of people. That's what's at stake here."
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: With us now, let's bring in a member of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees, Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas.
Congressman, let's first start by asking you your reaction to John Bolton's appointment and what it means for the United States foreign policy.
REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): I think it affirms to me the idea Joe that if diplomacy fails with North Korea this administration and this president have a desire to go to war with North Korea, and I don’t say that lightly.
I mean based on everything that I've seen in classified and, of course, unclassified settings, I believe that this president basically wants to go to war with North Korea and the appointment of Ambassador Bolton, to me, is an affirmation of that.
SCARBOROUGH: What's the -- what's the impact -- let's say the United States attacks -- bombs unilaterally North Korea the way John Bolton has said he wants the United States to do? Based on unclassified material that you've seen in your committees and in Congress how many deaths does that lead to, not only of South Koreans but also of Americans in that region?
CASTRO: You're talking about a minimum of hundreds of thousands of people dead if not millions of people. That's what's at stake here.
RICHARD HAASS, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Congressman, do you think that you and your colleagues -- are you prepared to pass a law or resolution that would try to stop the president from launching a preventive or preemptive military strike against North Korea absent specific congressional authorization?
CASTRO: You know, that's something --
HAASS: Is that a realistic possibility?
CASTRO: Yes. It's hard to say whether something like that would pass but it's certainly something that we should talk about and pursue in the Congress, absolutely.
You know, I just think that this president, based on everything that I've seen and heard, is determined at some point to go to war with North Korea.
HAASS: And would you support something like that yourself?
CASTRO: I'd be likely to, yes.
MIKE BARNICLE, MSNBC SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR: So Congressman, what do you do -- what does the House Intelligence Committee do given the role of the national security adviser to the president? Supposedly an honest broker assembling the intelligence, forwarding recommendations -- options for a president to choose from -- when Mr. Bolton gets high grades for being a responsible -- at least an intellect and knows what he's doing, and yet he's been accused in the past of twisting intelligence for his own specific purposes?
What do you do when you realize what you see on a classified basis is not the same as what the national security adviser is providing to the president?
CASTRO: Well, I think as members of Congress -- and really, it's the responsibility of people in both parties, without regard to party, that need to speak up in the press. But also, those who have link or a hotline to the White House need to be making the case to the president and folks at the White House.
But ultimately, there has to be some check and balance, I think, on a president who is determined to go to war. And also, you like to see people around the president who aren't just yes men or women.
My fear with what's going on in the clearing out of this White House from Sec. Tillerson, Gen. McMaster and others is that the president is basically clearing out anybody who isn't subservient and obsequious to him and putting in people who are just going to say yes or who already agree with him anyway so there's no conflict at all.