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tv   Happening Now  FOX News  February 21, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PST

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>> thank you, ladies peer check out martha tonight. martha left me, how about that? >> you're going to be around online, right?, click the overtime tab or on facebook live, outnumberedfnc. "happening now" now. >> jon: we begin with a fox news alert, the daily white house briefings that you start soon, this after the department of homeland security issues new guidelines meant to significantly crackdown on illegal immigration. >> jenna: as we await the president's new executive order on travel in immigration, we are covering all of the news "happening now" ." >> the mainstream media's audience, their viewers, listeners, readers, they are not you, the american people. see the little slivers of blue, coastal elites, that is where the media is catering to you. >> jenna: comments like that resonating with plenty of people across the country as questions intensify about the media's coverage of the trump administration.
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is it fair? plus a fox news exclusive with the trump associate at the center of a controversy. accused of trying to act as an amateur diplomat, he tells us his side of the story. and the new commander-in-chief has called for the american military to grow, but are some people and the pentagon working to block those plans? it is all "happening now" ." we begin with a fox news alert, we are awaiting the white house press briefing set to start any moment now as the administration launches an aggressive effort to tighten border security into poor criminals in this country illegally. welcome to the second hour of "happening now" i am jenna lee. >> jon: i'm jon scott. new homeland security directives issued that just this morning as we expect a revised presidential order on immigration and travel affecting the same seven predominantly muslim countries. chief white house crisp on john roberts joins us live from the north line. >> good afternoon, we should also say this is the first sean spicer briefing and almost a week because with the press
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conference last week than the president was in south carolina bent away yesterday, a lot of questions pending particularly on the new immigration crackdown, this falls out of double executive orders that the president signed back on the 25th of january, one to enhance border security, the other to improve public safety in the interior of the united states. this will hire an additional 10,000 immigration and customs enforcement agents, additional 5,000 border patrol agents and expand what is known as the 287g program which is a partnership between the federal government and local law enforcement. doesn't matter if you are on the border or weight of the interior of the united states, partner with the federal government to crack down on immigration. it will also into the catch and release program where people are civilly given a slip of paper and told to appear in court, however there will be a carved out for unaccompanied minors. it also restores the secure communities program which means anybody arrested and fingerprinted, this figure prints get run through an immigration database.
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it will also prioritize the removal of criminal illegal aliens, anyone committed of a criminal offense or charged with a criminal offense that has not been resolved or anyone who has committed an act that could constitute a criminal offense. this is really aimed at gangs, drug dealers. also anyone who has abused public benefit programs are subject to an immigration removal order but is still in the country. the president talked about this as well, it will create a victims of immigration crime engagement force. anyone who has been a victim of crime by an illegal alien will be able to reach out to this office and av allocates resources that were targeted to for outreach and advocacy and then turns those back to people who were victims of illegal immigrant crimes. at the border wall, it begins the immediate planning, construction and has orders much like the casey's my keystone pipeline order where materials must originate in the u.s.,
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budding and el paso, texas, tucson, arizona, and el centro california where they've been using vietnam era temporary helicopter landing pads, really outdated and ineffective, a lot of people say the fence there is more of a suggestion than anything. the aclu is the first public reaction that we have seen to these new implementation orders from dhs, saying "these memos confirm that the trump administration is willing to trample on due process, human decency, the well-being of our communities and even protections for vulnerable children in pursuit of a hyper- aggressive mast deportation policy." coming later on this week is the president's newly written and rewritten executive order on extreme vetting, the so-called immigration band that got caught up in a number of courts, ninth circuit court of appeals really put the kibosh on it, refusing to release this day from a district judge in seattle. our correspondent thinks that
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the white house and the council office and homeland security which have been working on this new executive order may make it legally bulletproof. here's what the judge said this morning. >> they've taken the ninth circuit opinion, taken opinion in brooklyn and taken opinion in the federal court in alexandria, virginia, and all of these judges that pointed out what is problematic with the order, they will address them. >> they are looking everything the courts said they did not like in rewriting to believe that it will pass legal muster. the homeland security department was firm on a couple things, first of all, not going to be rolled out all at once, it will be rolled out over a series of weeks ahead, so they don't want anyone in the immigrant community to panic about mass roundups and deportations, they say that is not going to happen. it's also not going to involve the national guard at all and also does not apply to the program known as dac a, differed action for a child in arrivals, so-called dreamers are not part
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of this, however the president has said in the past that he wants to address that program, but that is probably weeks or months ahead. >> jon: a lot of work there this morning already. john roberts, thank you. >> every day. >> jenna: great explanation, thank you. james freeman is joining us, editor of "the wall street journal" editorial page, topics all having to do with immigration. let's start with the guidance we receive from the white house today, guidelines on many pre-existing laws or executive orders when it comes to immigration peer what stands out most to you about the actions taken by the white house putting forward these guidelines today? >> for someone who thinks immigrants add a lot to this country, and i do, and someone who wants to see us continue to have a path for people to come and add to our community, i think this is very good news. it is basically, despite the big overreaction we just heard about from the aclu, it is not about mass deportation, it is about prioritizing criminals.
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i think we realized that one thing americans said they wanted in last year's election was the rule of law at our borders. that is what this is focused on. >> jenna: how do you think this fits into broader immigration reform? do you see it as something that could potentially be the end goal of some of these executive orders? >> republicans for years said that first we have to secure the border, then we can do other things. i don't think voters really believed them. i think may be president trump now has an opportunity to gain credibility that he is going to have our laws enforced. i am not for a while building, some of this does not look like a physical wall, but he may have the credibility to then turn and say if he chooses to, let's look at the benefits here and talk about how we get more job creators into the country. >> jenna: what do you make of the fact that flynn, -- daca,
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the deferred action for childhood arrivals program, that not being part of the presidents barely moves when it comes to immigration. what do you make of that? >> you probably will not know it from the coming reaction because i predict we will get more demonstrations and talk about mass deportation and families being ripped apart, but i think what he is saying there is that is not the agenda. the agenda here is to make sure that anyone who is coming in here illegally and not living by our rules and is committing crimes who is not being a good citizen has to go. >> jenna: what do you make of their reaction? you seem to be very balanced, james, just by what you have told -- i know, shocking. but from what you've told our viewers so far in the short time you've been on our program come you have been balanced. obviously you have some criticism of the way the president is thinking about immigration, but for the most part, you are saying these are the laws of the land, they are just being enforced. what do you make of the reactions, the demonstrations, the outrage to the president's
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moves? >> i think some of it may really gain sympathy for him because as we have discussed, i think immigration is really key if we want to make america great again in terms of getting back to that 3% or 4% economic growth, we see how immigrants are such contributors to new business, not just tech start-ups, look at small businesses and including latino immigrants. there is an impression that okay, we may want brilliant engineers from asia, but a lot of uneducated people from down south are not as valuable, they are appear they come here, they create businesses. we've seen that and research from the foundation, but the reason i am defending the president is that it just seems to me really over-the-top a lot of attacks from the media and the left suggesting that this is somehow un-american for us to have the rule of law here that it is improper for the president to set policy on who is allowed into this country. he has a lot of authority both
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under the constitution and given to him by congress to make these decisions. i think we ought to respect that. >> jenna: just point to the power of the symbolism of our southern border because there is a lot of that. as you mentioned, a lot of stereotypes attached as well. this is part of a real public conversation about what do our borders made to the nation, what does it mean about our identity as a nation as well? i want to point out to our viewers again we are awaiting the white house press briefing. we don't know if we're getting an executive order that could be the redo, if you will come of the previous executive order when it came to travel in this country, but there is a lot of emphasis on this page you mention the president's authority and talking a little bit about immigration. what are you going to be watching for when we see this new executive order, and do you think it is something that will stand? >> i think it will stand. i'm expecting a lot of smoother rollout, hard to be any less smooth than last time for you are going to see that lag between when it becomes
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announced and forced, so there is not confusion at airports and people on their way here having the problem. again, there's nothing wrong with the government of the united states as it did with barack obama and republican congress agreeing that certain countries pose a heightened risk of terrorism and reform our policies accordingly. we can expect more over the top, overwrought rhetoric when this policy comes out again, but i think it will be successful. it's really important that we see the end of the ninth circuit decision because the truth is the university of washington and minnesota, they do not have the right to say we want more revenue from foreign students. so we will override the national government immigration policy, that is not how it works. >> jenna: interesting part of the case we will be watching. james, great to have you on the program, get to have you back, thank you very much. quick programming out as well on something we don't want you to miss tonight. immigration is such a big topic and we have no idea what we will
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hear from the white house today moments from now. "the first 100 days" town hall from jacksonville, florida, martha maccallum will draw down on immigration, speak with this in your white house policy advisor stephen miller who wrote the original executive order to restrict emigrant travel, that is tonight, 7:00 p.m. eastern on the on the fox news channel. >> jon: in the meantime, president trump moves forward on his border wall related to the immigration debate geared the department of homeland security orders the immediate planning for construction of such a wall, why our next guest thinks the white house could face a legal battle and this multibillion-dollar project. and we are awaiting the daily white house briefing such a star just minutes from now. we will bring it live to you when it begins.
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guidelines issued today on previous executive orders when it comes to immigration as well as a slew of other additional topics like our brand-new national security advisor and others. we will be watching the white house briefing room. when it gets underway, we will bring you there. >> jon: disk fox news alert deals with some of what the white house rolled out today. new measures to crack down on illegal immigration. homeland security today or drink planning for construction of a border wall to begin immediately. that, of course, was one of the president's main campaign promises. critics say the president's estimate of $10 billion for the project understates what it will actually cost. but beyond money, there is the issue of eminent domain. our next guest wrote an op-ed in "the wall street journal" called "trump cannot build a wall with other real estate." it reads in part "about a wall and the u.s. come you have to own out 1,954 miles of the border, most of this land is now private property, especially in
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texas where the u.s. government owns only 100 miles of the 1,25. to acquire the rest of the land washington would need to employ eminent domain, the authority under the fifth amendment to seize private property for public use upon payment of just compensation. recent history shows that is easier said than done." talking with them and he wrote those words, evan, author of "g.o.p. gps" and also worked on rudy giuliani's presidential campaign. president trump was a real estate developer. i guess he still is. he's going to have some trouble getting the land he needs for this wall? >> yes, it is a very big challenge because it takes a great deal of time to go through and take each piece of land. we are talking about parcels of land that at some points are as wide as a parking spot, but they are privately owned. in texas, 1254 miles on the mexico border and 87% of that is privately owned by private
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citizens. many of them are ranchers. president trump come he said he will complete the wall under cost and under the expected time, but it's going to take an immense amount of time to go through the court system. >> jon: because he has to go to each one of those ranchers and say we need what, 50 feet, 100 feet of your property as long as it stretches along the border? >> yes, not only that but they will have to compensate them. in the 2006 border act, passed by a bipartisan group of congress including chuck schume chuck schumer, and my own research i'd discovered that most of the governments just compensation offers were well below that. the government fitted up paying 10-40 times more for pieces of land and they initially offered prayer that's going to cost us a lot more than $10 billion. >> jon: want to take a look at some of the spots along the border they are talking about. homeland security says it has identified potential places "where we will build a wall" and
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where fences and brittle landing mats will not be effective. that includes up also texas, tucson, arizona, and el centro california. that makes sense where you have the biggest population concentrations along the border, that is where you need the most robust deterrents from keeping those people from coming across into the united states. >> it should be stated that president trump is actually right to focus on border security, but building a physical wall is not the best way forward. we could take the money, regardless of who pays for it, and use that to pay for an electronic wall which would include more drones, sensors, and that could help i.c.e. enforce it. additionally, 40% of illegal immigrants come to the united states through legal means. they can flying to jfk airport, they just overstay their visa. we can then implement an e-verify system which would help cut down on illegal immigrants through other means. >> jon: the electronic monitoring fence was tried.
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it was proposed in that earlier iteration of the fence, and it did not go so well. >> that was 11 years ago. the technology has vastly improved. look at where we have come with sensors and drones. you and i could order a drone off amazon and be able to see everything going on for a mile in each direction. if they can use that to pinpoint the way it goes, that could help. additionally, in 2006, that walt caused even conservative ranchers who had their land essentially cut off because they were going to build a wall for the fence both along the fence due to logistical entering issues issues, it caused them te government to go on their own land and ranchers were very upset. >> jon: so you do not think the people who on this property along the border, many of them have complained about being overrun by illegal immigration come you don't think they would just say, here, president trump, take 50 feet of my land for the next couple miles? >> this happened in 2006, in
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this had one particular rancher who told "texas monthly" that he was a conservative, very strong on stopping illegal immigration and did not want them coming across as private land. but because of the way the government did it, he now has to ask for government permission anytime he wants to even take a cattle out to graze on the field. that impacts him economically and makes it harder for him as a rancher to earn a living and provide for his family. >> jon: obviously it is not about a lot of affection for washington. evan siegfried, interesting, thank you. >> jenna: president trump is no fan of the mainstream media as you likely know and is pushing back hard against the press. one of our guests says pushback is essential. another one says that president is dividing the country and the worst possible way. we have the fair and balanced take on that all of that as we await the next sean spicer encounter with the white house press corps now moments away away. boost
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>> jon: fox news alert, and if all goes according to plan, sean spicer will be stepping up to the microphone there in the brady briefing room to give his first press briefing and a week or so. these things can work he would not run a little bit late, we expected it to start 5 minutes from now but they are kind of busy at the white house these days, so as soon as he begins the briefing, we will take you there live, always interesting television. in the meantime, there has been a lot of talk about media coverage of this trump administration, that is why there are so many fireworks in those briefings with sean spicer. last night, sean hannity weighed in, listen. >> the mainstream media's audience, their viewers, listeners, readers, they are not you, the american people. they are not the forgotten men and women in poverty on food stamps, out of the labor force that cannot buy a house. have the lowest home ownership
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rate and 51 years. it is not the oceans of red in the middle of the country, the little slivers of blue, coastal elites, that is where the media is catering to. >> jon: joining us now, ethan radio talk show host based in l.a., kevin paul scott is a republican strategist and former mike huckabee campaign aide. ethan, i'm starting with you because you're one of those coastal elites and their blue states that he was just talking about. what do you think of what he had to say there? >> can i point out the hypocrisy? he was one of the people leading the charge arguing against expanding the food stamp program and there he was touting the fact of how many people in the red states are on food stamps. number one. number two, look, the media is from everywhere, and by the way, isn't fox news the number one cable news channel? so this is mainstream media where we have fair and balanced conversations. yes, of course, people have
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biases, and you're going to find unique specific examples where they show they are biased, but overall, the media is doing their job of holding that trump administration accountable for saying things that are patently false and we can pointed out in real time now because he tweets them. >> jon: kevin, are the media doing their job or are they overdoing their job when it comes to covering this trump administration? >> i think in many ways the media is doing what they are supposed to. free press is adversarial sometimes, that is the centerpiece for a free. but just because they are pointing out things or calling things into the light, that does not mean that we don't have a right to push back on what they are saying. for too long, i think politicians in general, conservatives in particular, have let the media get away with crafting the narrative for the entire country. just because they are advocating one point of view does not mean they are always accurate, and i think it is more than okay for the president of this administration to pushback and be able to have a dialogue where they are at least able to
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articulate their point of view. >> jon: there isn't any other line of work, ethan, that is protected under the u.s. constitution. have journalists abused their freedoms? >> i'm sure there are individual journalists where we have caught them plagiarizing or saying things that are factually untrue. by the way, we hold them to account as well. i know you do, i do that on my show as well. overall, the media is absolutely doing what they are supposed to do and why it is the first amendment protected right for freedom of the press is to hold politicians accountable. when we attack the integrity of the media without actual facts to support it like the president is doing, it undermines our democracy. this is where conservatives and liberals and independents alike all agree. we need a free and fair press, and by the way, we have that here in the united states. >> jon: >> free for sure, fair,t
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so sure. >> jon: what about the accusation when the president talks about those dishonest journalists, some of the worst people in the world, you can name the quote from him, he is really dividing the country more than serving as a uniter, what do you think? >> i think for this trump administration, they would benefit more from attacking, pushing back on certain stories and not making them personal. i think that is where president trump wades into some dangerous waters when it becomes a personal attack, when he paints with broad strokes. i think it does become a little bit dangerous. for the most part, but he is saying is true, that americans get tired of getting media that is slanted one way or the other instead of reporters calling the facts as they see them, not playing referee come just reporting the truth. there is too little effect going on, and i think it is appropriate for him to pushback when he thinks it is not fair. >> jon: we will hear what sean spicer has to say again
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when he steps up to the podium. kevin and ethan, thank you both. >> jenna: in the meantime, as iraqi forces gain strength in the fight to retake mosul, trump assigns in his national security advisor with a host of experience in iraq. they explained what the generals numeral may be in the fight against terror. and we are awaiting the white house press briefing to start any moment from now, we will take you live when it begins
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>> jon: fox news colored, we expect sean spicer is going to have a lot to talk about on this day as the white house trotted out its new plans on immigration and the hiring of more customs enforcement agents and border patrol, that news conference and briefing from sean spicer expected to start a couple moments ago. as soon as he gets to the podium, we will take you there life. >> jenna: fox news alert, iraqi forces making major progress in retaking mosul from crisis control, troops now closing and on an airport in the western part of the city. this phase as the battle comes as president trump appoints a new national security advisor for the history of success in iraq. hr mcmaster is a three-star general who helped lay the blueprint for the 2007 iraq war search for "the wall street journal" on its editorial page analyzing the president's choice in an op-ed called "a military strategist for trump's nsc" which says this
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"one question for lieutenant general mcmaster like all generals is whether he can step out of his military background and become a foreign policy strategist peer with retired general james mattis at defense and john kelly at homeland security, the trump security team is top-heavy with distinguished pentagon brass." were going to talk about that more in a moment and ambassador jeffrey is joining us for former ambassador to iraq and the former director for the national security council during the bush and obama administrations. great to have you both since you both have worked with general mcmaster. ambassador, tell our viewers a a little bit about that experience. >> it was a great experience. when i was in charge of our embassy in iraq come he deployed with his regiment to mosul and started preparing for his great victory where he introduced the clear hold and we also followed him from washington where he was basically a standout of all of
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our combatant commanders out there in the way he did things. but more importantly, someone who served as deputy national security advisor, he has the skills to do that very different role and to answer "the wall street journal," he will be a strategist, not just a military strategist. >> jenna: i'm so curious what you both think about that. i don't mean to go back to this point and perhaps i'm reading too much into it, but it seems there is a suggestion that if you are brave enough to be able to take a bullet for the country, you may not have the tools necessary to be a strategist. i wonder if that is with "the wall street journal" really meant to infer or perhaps i am reading too much into it. what is your experience with the general? >> if so, they misread general mcmaster. he is one of the great warrior intellectuals the army produced. in the mold of general david petraeus, a decade younger, but similar mindset. i do think he's going to have any trouble stepping up his military background to be the national security advisor. in fact, two of the best national security advisors we've
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ever had, and think: power will have the same general title in front of their names. all military people will not necessarily do well, but it will help. >> jenna: i'm curious when you pointed out, examples in the past, so why all these questions about trump tapping these military men that quite frankly have the reputation as well as being philosophical, academic even? >> i think it is probably because of the preponderance of the administration where they are not former general mattis at the pentagon, former general kelly at dhs, his succeeding retired general flynn, we would probably be in a different atmosphere without this kind of murmuring. i have very few concerns. not to say that he walks on water and has no weaknesses peer he will have a learning curve, but i see no major problem with him getting good at this job quickly. >> jenna: want to go to the
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ambassador with a question about real-life implications. based on your experience with general mcmaster, what do you think is what we will see? what will the american people see with him as the top advisor to the president? >> let's take what i think he will do and what i'm pretty sure for my own experience he will have to do. the fight against isis you just showed an mosul, american military command is believed that we will defeat isis within six months and a plan will be on the president's desk from secretary mattis next week. but the question is how should that victory fit into our larger policies in the middle east which includes putting iran unnoticed, dealing with russia, working with our allies, israel, turkey, those are huge, political and military questions. that is why we have the national security advisor, not to second guess joseph dunford, second mattis on where to put which tanks in which artillery, the
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rules of engagement, they can do that. we have to figure out what strategies to defeat isis will best set us up for the day after, that is his job. >> jenna: interesting. you work with general mcmaster in regards to what was happening in iraq and afghanistan, so talk to us a little bit about the experience and same question, what real-life implications what we see from having a person like mcmaster in the role he has in? >> i worked most closely with him in 2007 as the iraq surge plan was spinning out. he came back to iraq the second time after his success, so essentially he worked as the special advisor for general david petraeus and helped put together the plan, i was part of that. he is very intellectually capable, capable of seeing the big picture and integrating diplomatic means with military means. again, he is more of an expert on the military and is going to need to find people who advise him on the diplomacy side, but again, i have very few concerns
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about him able to pull this together. i think ambassador jeffrey is exactly right that he is going but i do not think he'sarger going to want to take on the pentagon. he has no desire to do that. he trusts second mattis and general dunford, he trust them to do their job. >> jenna: it is the team as we reflect on that. great to have you both here to give viewers perspective from those who really know him and how he works, had that opportunity. thank you both for that very much. we will continue to watch the white house for a press briefing that we expect any moment now. >> jon: as we await their briefing, president trump making good on his campaign promise to expand the u.s. military, calling for additional service members really all across the board. each branch of the armed forces laying out a plan to increase its numbers. but a top lawmaker says some of the pentagon are getting in the way of those plans. thomason is live from the pentagon come he explains. how is general mcmaster's
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appointment as national security advisor helping the military expand if that is what happens? >> the first time since 1987 at the president has appointed an active-duty general to be the national security advisor. this past spring, lieutenant general hr mcmaster sounded the alarm on capitol hill when he said this about the state of the u.s. army. "we are outraged, outgunned by many of our adversaries and our risks are that we are too small to protect the nation." it was at the smallest level since between world war ii. at his press conference, president trump says he hopes he never has to use the military and anger. >> they do not have the right equipment, and their equipment is old. i used it, i talked about it at every stop. depleted. it is depleted. it will not be depleted for long. >> for some services, the expansion will be gradual.
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for others, the ramp up will be steep. the air force wants 30,000 more airmen, army 30,000 more soldiers, navy, 82 more ships and submarines. marine corps wants 3,000 more marines for the air force will spend the next six years putting up its force, the army wants to do it by october. the navy and marine corps also want to get their jets flying again. currently have to navy's hornets cannot fly and nearly 75% of marine corps jets are granted. president trump's plans may face obstacles here at the pentagon paid late last become of the g.o.p. chairman of the armed services committee tweeted "promises facing obama holdovers at dod and they are still undermining his agenda." >> jon: think he peered fox news alert, here is sean spicer. >> press secretary spicer: first off, i want to acknowledge the tragic plane crash that occurred in australia that took the lives of five individuals including four americans. the president's thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and the u.s. embassy and consulate are ready to
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provide necessary and appropriate assistance. moving on, the president was honored to announce that lieutenant general mcmaster will be his national security advisor. general mcmaster served his nation and the united states army for over three decades including during operation iraqi freedom, operation enduring freedom and desert storm. the president met with many distinguished and qualified candidates for the position and has said he will continue content consider many of them for many physicians within the initiation. he is especially pleased that lieutenant general kellogg will stay on as national security chief of staff. the president is proud to welcome general mcmaster to the team. he has full authority to structure the office to his desires to best serve its ultimate mission which is to protect the american interest at home and abroad. this morning, second kelly and the department of home insecurity released memos regarding the implementation of of the president's executive orders that are designed to protect the homeland.
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these two memos provide explicit guidance to dhs staff clarifying executive orders from jenny way fifth, one for security enforcement and border security. perhaps most important become he's empowering dhs to carry out the immigration laws currently on the books. of course, the dhs gave a full briefing on these memos this morning, but just to briefly summarize a few of the facts. the memo regarding the executive order enhancing public safety and ensuring the unite states outlines several practices and policies in order to strengthen the efficient and faithful execution of this country's immigration laws. that includes hiring more i.c.e. agents and officers as well as additional mission support and legal staff necessary to support their activity. this memo also directs the establishment of the victims of immigration crime engagement office within i.c.e., fulfilling another major campaign promise of the president. this office will facilitate the
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engagement with victims and their families to ensure that their questions and concerns regarding immigration enforcement efforts are addressed. the memo regarding the executive order border security and immigration enforcement improvement outlines the steps the dhs will take to secure the nation's southern border, prevent further illegal immigration and to repatriate illegal immigrants swiftly, consistently and humanely. this includes immediately identifying and allocating all sources of available funding for the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of a wall along the southern border and hiring of additional personnel including 5,000 additional cbp border agents. again, i would refer you to dhs for further comment on these specific memos. there are fact sheets and question and answers on the web site that address many of the intricacies and areas within each of these executive orders that you may have questions on. also this weekend, the present had calls with the president of park panama and the
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prime minister of trinidad baguio. we have to read out the both of those calls. this weekend, they had a lot of progress on the plan to repeal and replace obamacare to make sure it is replaced with a system that works for all americans peered back to the president's schedule today in honor of black history month, he started his day by visiting the national museum of african-american history and culture. the museum opened last september it has really become one of washington's most visited attractions. the president was joined by a group of individuals that include his daughter, dr. ben carson and his wife, senator tim scott, alveda king, the niece of martin luther king jr., the museum director lonnie bunche, dr. david, the secretary of the smithsonian as well as others. the president commented several times during his tour about how impressed he was with the museum. some of the exhibits he was particularly drawn to included the section on harriet tubman which big mac featured a shawl given to her by queen victoria
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in the late 1800s. the section of the museum that feature the courageous country of america in the mack african-americans to the military and the president was particularly pleased by the mahal valley exhibit with the quote "i shook up the road" prominently displayed. the president also enjoyed viewing for the first time with dr. and mrs. carson the exhibit dedicated to his externally life. similarly, alveda king had never viewed the museum exhibit on her uncle, the president was honored he was able to share this experience with the two of them specifically. the president further express his appreciation of the tour and says he looks forward to returning again peered his desire is to honor the immense contribution courageous in african-american leaders have made throughout history by bunny a more unified country dedicated to liberty and justice. this afternoon, the president will have a routine national council briefing in the situation room in addition to his presidential daily briefing which he received earlier this morning. then this evening, the president will have dinner with the vice president. i'm sure they will discuss the
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vice president's recent trip to europe hear the vice president was an incredible representative for our nation and the president during his time where he reiterated our support for our european allies and unified pursuit of the noble ideas of freedom, democracy, and justice and the rule of law and discussing how to do more to encourage all nato allies did meet their obligations and commitments. during his speech before the munich security conference on saturday, the vice president conveyed the admeasure rations unwavering commitment to europe's peace and prosperity, especially from entering the tens of thousands of americans who gave their lives to defend those ideals during world war i and world war ii. these shared sacrifices are the backbones of airlines and derivation of security through strength. during his time in munich, the vice president also met with nine world leaders, vice president and these leaders discussed the issues most pressing to them including the escalation of violence in eastern ukraine and the role of nato and the fight against isis. the vice president also met in brussels with the president of
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-- vice president task of the council of european union and nato secretary general. as a candidate for office, president trump actually called attention repeatedly to the fact that for too long, many of our other nato allies have not been sharing their financial burden. the president looks forward to working closely with nato to advance their shared objective, a strong nato means a safer world. the united states looks forward to working with our partners and nato to achieve just that. looking ahead to the president's upcoming schedule, tomorrow he will meet with secretary of state rex tillerson fresh off his trip to germany for the g20 foreign minister summit. they will discuss that president's foreign policy agenda and the secretary's upcoming trip to mexico. thursday morning, he will have a listening session regarding job creation and that manufacturing sector with ceos and business leaders from different industries. on friday, he will deliver remarks to conservative political action conference, and we are just one week out today from the president's joint
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address to congress. the president will continue to work closely with his team to have a speech that lays out his ambitious policy agenda that benefits all americans. plans are in the works for pre-and post-address activities for the president and his staff, we will have it updates as the week goes on peered before i take your questions, want to address the recent threats and act of vandalism on jewish citizens and bases around the country. i want to reiterate his quote. peered about what the anti-somatic threats on these jewish centers are horrible and painful in a sad reminder of the work we must do. the work that must be done to get rid of hate and prejudice and evil." with that, i would take some of your questions. jim stenson. >> reporter: thank you. i'm curious if the president -- by the way, i have two questions. his characterization of the media as "enemy of the american people." >> press secretary spicer: having the president is very clear that certain outlets have gone out of their way to not
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represent his record accurately. it is a concern to him. i think some reporters he has deep respect for the first amendment and the role of the press, i've addressed this multiple times, he has a healthy respect to the press, but there is also a two-way street as i've said before and the president understands certain outlets have gone out of their way to not be completely accurate and fair in their coverage of what is going on. >> reporter: i've noticed two times in the last week that you have been directly contradicted by two members of the media, one was bill marr of hbo who said that in front of guests at mar-a-lago, the president was briefed on classified north korean situation. >> press secretary spicer: say that again, i am sorry. >> reporter: the president and prime minister of japan were briefed in front of guests -- just be what i did not say that. >> reporter: this was what was being set on hbo, that the president and prime minister minister were briefed on
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classified information in front of guests at mar-a-lago. i just want to clarify, did that happen? >> press secretary spicer: no, i think i walked through this timeline before. it is amazing, a photo gets put out, the president has a piece of paper, the immediate conclusion ses to be talking about classified information. the president was briefed on the situation of north korea prior to the dinner and a scif at mar-a-lago come he went to the dinner and talked with the press conference, there were questions wait to hold it, they had a discussion about the logistics of it and subsequent to that dinner he was briefed again in a scif with updates on the situation in north korea peer that is it, plain and supple. to your first question, i think it is amazing that the immediate jump to conclusion of several outlets was that there is a piece of paper, it must be classified. it is amazing to see that and to
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see people jump to that conclusion that he is surrounded by his staff and members of the japanese delegation, the conclusion is they must be doing something nefarious or wrong. in fact, he followed every procedure that is laid out. i think in some cases, it is disheartening to realize that those are the kinds of immediate conclusion someone jumps to. when you talk about coverage, we have a free press. we have the right for people to say and do what they believe. but at some point, it is incumbent on people to try to get it right. in that case, it was not even attempted. it was a jump to conclusion by many to say there must be something else going on when in fact we were able to provide a very clear tick-tock of what happened. jessica. >> reporter: that happened last week, in the letter they said in part, we know longer serve a president who creates outcomes diametrically opposed
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to our missions as charge for first of all, what is the white house reaction, and do you plan to appoint your own members to this council? >> press secretary spicer: those members of the council were political appointees of the obama admin initiation germs were set to expire this year. it is not surprising in the sense that they were appointees of barack obama, they were going to have terms expire. but i get it, but most political appointees from other agencies or whatever would automatically resign because of their term of these individuals, they would carry through to later in the year, but i do not think it is surprising people appointed by barack obama to fulfill his agenda suddenly understand that there is a new administration in town and did not want to stay on board. we will make sure that we appoint people for the task force, it is important. it something that has provided guidance to multiple presidents in the past and we will continue to do that. >> reporter: on the statement about the anti-somatic acts, what exactly is the president
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going to do to address the issue? and along those lines, there were reports earlier on that he was considering changing the mandate of this countering violent extremism program to focus just on islamic extremist groups. is he still considering that, or was he also going to consider -- because >> press secretary spicer: are you talking about the travel executive order? >> caller: no, this is that countering violent extremism program. >> press secretary spicer: i think we're getting ahead of ourselves, there's nothing to announce on that front. to the first part of your question, the president is going to do what he has talked about since the election. it is through deed and action, talking about how we can unify the country and speak out against hate, anti-semitism, racism, and he's going to can need to do that. he will show you over the course of months and years through what he does in terms of his policies and his speech that he is going
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to be a president that brings people together, that unites them and speak very forcefully against those who are seeking to do hate or to tear people down because of their religion or their gender or the color of their skin. those are all things i think the president has made clear. >> reporter: two questions unrelated. the next big piece in the immigration profile at the white house is going to be the new executive order. is the president confident this one will pass legal muster? and if he is, what gives him that confidence? >> press secretary spicer: first, i want to be clear that we feel confident we are still going to prevail in the case, the merits of the case. i think as was seen in the case of massachusetts, once it is fully adjudicated, we will prevail because the authority is granted to the president to do what he has to do to protect the country. i feel very, very confident about that. the second he has made clear is that until that occurs, we will have a dual track system and make sure we limit a second
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executive order that is tailored to achieve the same goals but in accordance with what the courts said. we've been working very closely with the department of state, department of homeland security, department of justice and the teams here at the white house to make sure that the next step achieves the president's goal of protecting the country and does so in a way that recognizes the concerns of the court until we prevail at a later time. it is a dual track thing. >> reporter: second question from above is admit attrition sent american terror suspects picked up overseas to guantanamo bay for interrogatio interrogation? >> press secretary spicer: i'm not going to discuss that right now. the president has had before we do not telegraph what we are going to do. he has made it very clear that he believes that guantanamo bay doesn't serve a very, very healthy purpose in our national security and making sure that we do not bring terrorists to our shores, but i'm not going to say what we will do in the future. >> reporter: i want to give
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you a chance to respond to something because of the president's remarks and your clarification about where he stands on anti-semitism is clear but after that statement was made about the president, the center released a strong statement that while these remarks are well received, there a band-aid on the cancer created from this admission ration saying that the is, whether blessed or otherwise, a sense of xena phobia in this administration. >> jon: >> press secretary spic: look, the president has made clear since the day he was elected and frank lee going back to the campaign that he is someone who seeks to unite the country. he has brought a diverse groups of folks into his admonition both in terms of actual positions and people he sought the advice of. i think he has been very forceful with his denunciation of people who seek to attract people because of their hate, excuse me, because of their religion, gender, the color of
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their skin. this is on the he will continue to fight and make very clear he has no -- it has no place and his admission but it is ironic that no matter how many times he talks about this that it is never good enough. today, i think wasn't unbelievably forceful comments by the president as far as his denunciation of the actions that are currently targeted toward jewish community centers. but i think he has been very clear previous to this that he wants to be someone that brings the country together and not divide people, especially in this area. i saw that statement. i wish that they had praised the president for his leadership in this area. i think that hopefully as time continues to go by, they recognize his commitment to civil rights, voting rights, equality for all americans. >> reporter: i think you will want to respond to this bid the
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southern poverty law center said the number of anti-muslim groups has tripled between two newly make 2015 and 2016, the time of the campaign. as the message within the admission, anti-semitism is not allowed, >> press secretary spicer: the president understands that people who want to express a peaceful position has a right. but if you want to come here and seek to do our people harm, he will fight it aggressively whether there is domestic attacks or attempts from people coming from abroad. there is a difference in preventing attack and keeping the country safe so that there is no loss of life and allowing people to express themselves according to the first


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