tv Special Report With Bret Baier FOX News May 18, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
thank you all for watching. make sure to follow us on social media on twitter and facebook. "special report" is next. >> bret: president trump denounces what he calls the greatest political witch hunt in american history, denies any collusion with the russians, disputes the claim that he asked his fbi chief to drop the michael flynn investigation, and is ready to announce his new choice for fbi. this is "special report" ." good evening. welcome to washington. i am bret baier. while much of political washington on both sides of the aisle is applauding the decision to name former fbi chief robert mueller as special counsel for the trump-russia investigation, president trump is defiant. twice today he's called it a witch hunt and painting it as
sour grapes. a sour grapes mood by democrats who blew last fall's election, insisting it is past time to get this passed and unify the country to get big things done. chief white house correspondent john roberts starts us off tonight from the north lawn. >> good evening. president trump said he is close to naming a new fbi director, and white house sources tell fox news the leading candidate is the former connecticut senator joe lieberman. a lot of republicans believe lieberman would get universal confirmation in the senate, but at least two democratic senators, claire mccaskill and patrick leahy say it would be a mistake someone to that position was a political background. still, nominating lieberman may help turn around a relentlessly negative news cycle that has been surrounding the president. in the east room, president trump responded for the first time in person to the appointment of a special prosecutor to look into russia's attempts to influence the u.s.
election. >> i respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt and there's no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but i can always pick for myself and the russians. >> the president said he respected the decision to appoint former fbi director robert moeller to look into the matter, he also denounced it as bad for the nation. >> i think it divides the country. i think we have a very divided country because of that and many other things. so i can tell you that we want to bring this great country of ours together. i hate to see anything that divides. i'm fine with whatever people want to do, but we have to get back to running this country. >> the resident responded for the first time to a memo said to be written by former fbi director james comey, that claims that in a february meeting, the president asked comey to drop the investigation into michael flynn. did president trump say that? >> no, no.
next question. >> the appointment of robert mueller to take over the investigation was met with near universal praise. >> he has impeccable credentials. he was a former fbi director where he served with distinction. before that, he was a career prosecutor. he's going to follow the facts, do a thorough investigation. they need to clear the decks. >> some republicans say there's a danger a special prosecutor could feel compelled to pursue convictions, they also thought it could work in the president's favor if his statements about no collusion are true. >> from the president's perspective, you would rather not have any of it but if mueller says there's no evidence, it's going to be hard for the democrats to argue. >> white house staffers see it as in a opportunity to get back to the president's agenda. today democrats appear to have dialed it back. >> i have a significantly
greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts whenever they. >> another controversy is rising around vice president mike pence and whether he was aware lieutenant general michael flynn had informed the transition he was under investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for turkey. in a march nine interview, the vice president told bret baier he knew nothing of flynn's business dealings. >> the first i heard of it and i think it's an affirmation of the president's decision to ask general flynn to resign. >> pence's office said "the vice president stands by his comments in march upon first hearing the news regarding general flynn's ties to turkey." michael flynn has not set aside whether he will comply with subpoena. james comey is said to be eager to testify at is said to have many more memos he has so far
been keeping to himself. >> bret: john roberts who live on the north lawn. thank you. with the controversies and distractions mounting for the president, his number two appears to be stepping up to try to move the trump agenda forward quickly. chief washington correspondent james rosen has that story. >> speaking to the u.s. chamber of commerce, vice president pence addressed the political shocks, striking atone by now familiar from him. one intended to reassure. >> whatever washington, d.c., may be focused on, rest assured president donald trump will never stop fighting for the issues that matter most to the american people. good jobs, safe streets, and a boundless american future. >> those comments came hours after politico reported conservatives begin to whisper president pence. eric erickson road republicans who defending the wounds of this president have no need for
him with mike pence in the wings. as the vice president keeps up his schedule, including an event wednesday welcoming asian americans and pacific islanders to his office, aides say he remains focused on the job, enacting the trump agenda. he is offended by talk of impeachment or of him as the preferred alternative for congressional republicans fatigued by the controversy attached to president trump. also recoiling from such talk, the house speaker. >> there've been some members who have said we would be better with vice president pence. what is your take? >> i'm not going to give credence to that. >> unlike his predecessors, dick cheney and joe biden, the incumbent vice president registered a political action committee, a move that will enable him to support republican candidates in 2010.
ron christie, a former aide to vice president cheney, urged the white house to raise mr. pence's profile now. >> there are a lot of supporters of the vice president who wondered why he took this job in the first place and they are questioning whether or not he made a mistake. i look at this and say i'm glad mike pence is there. i am glad he stands shoulder to shoulder with the president but he understands the way the system and the process works. >> as the individual to whom michael flynn purportedly lied about his conversations with the russian ambassador, vice president pence can expect the special counsel's office will seek him out. aides say all such medications will be handled by the office of the council to the vice president with no immediate plans for additional staff or resources. >> bret: thank you. tonight, u.s. senators have a better idea of just what robert mueller will be doing as he takes the lead in the trump
russia probe. rod rosenstein held a briefing on capitol hill behind closed doors this afternoon. chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge was there. good evening, catherine. i want to ask, did deputy attorney general rosenstein give senators a sense of the scope of kneelers investigation? >> every senator said it's extremely serious and the newly appointed counsel robert mueller has a broad mandate. some senators told us that they think the ongoing fbi case has crossed a threshold from a counterintelligence probe that typically does not result in charges. >> special prosecutor is doing an investigation of criminal allegations that are extremely serious, including possible obstruction of justice. >> i've always believed a counterintelligence investigation did not need a special prosecutor or consul. they criminal investigation
might. >> senators told reporters that the deputy attorney general was very careful with some of the questions because he told them he didn't want to say anything that might jeopardize the work of robert mueller. >> bret: what the senators said after the briefing, did rosenstein know president trump was going to fire the fbi director before he wrote that memo concluding comey mishandled the clinton email matter? >> senior democrat said definitively that on may 8 the deputy attorney general already knew fbi director james comey was going to be fired, and that's one day before rosenstein wrote the memo that was part of the president's decision-making process. justice department officials are telling fox news the deputy attorney general was not that definitive. one senior republican said the memo was one piece of the president's decision making. >> bret: catherine, thank you. one person is dead, 22 others
hurt tonight after a driver smashed his car into pedestrians on a sidewalk in times square in new york city. authorities say the 26-year-old suspect has a history of drunken-driving. police do not suspect a link to terrorism. president trump still hasn't gotten the congressional go-ahead to build the border wall he talks about, but his immigration policy is already having a major effect in many american cities. national correspondent william la jeunesse shows us how from los angeles. >> making good on a promise to overturn obama-era regression policies, new enforcement numbers show a nearly 40% increase in the arrests of illegal immigrants. not at the border but in u.s. cities. that is roughly 400 a day, although down from 2014 levels. i.c.e. says 75% were criminal aliens. >> our mission is to acknowledge the damage caused by criminal illegal aliens.
>> targeting immigrants who commit crimes are more difficult because of sanctuary policies. >> we have to use resources to find them in the community. >> for agents, that means encountering spouses, relatives, and coworkers who did not commit crimes but are here illegally. unlike the prosecutorial discretion discretion used by the obama administration, i.c.e. does not. noncriminal alien arrests are up 150% which angers critics like the l.a. police chief priest big you can say our sanctuary policies are what makes us successful. we get people to talk. we get witnesses to come forward and we get witnesses to come forward. >> a crackdown on the ms-13 gang. half of those arrested are here illegally. the commission is considering a proposal to ignore minor crimes.
the stats show how far apart they trump administration is for many immigrant cities. sources say l.a.p.d. officials refused to even show up at the ms-13 press conference if i.c.e. attended. even though they were part of the same joint task force. >> bret: thank you. the trump administration has officially begun the process of renegotiating the nafta trade deal. the new u.s. trade representative sent a letter to congress today starting 90 days of consultation with lawmakers over how to revamp the pack. robert lighthizer says new deals should do a better job protecting factory workers and should be updated to reflect new technologies. stocks rebounded today. the dow was up 56. nasdaq -- s&p 500 gained 9. nasdaq finished ahead 44. roger ailes, who created this channel, one said fox news channel was set up for a "niche audience."
it so happens the niche was half the country who felt they were being underserved by the media. ailes died this morning at 77 years old. his legacy lives on here at fox. take a look back, he is being remembered as someone, the man who created this channel, the man was being remembered tonight as tough but brilliant strategist and television pioneer, a career that ended here in controversy. senior political analyst brit hume worked with ailes from the beginning of the channel. he takes a look back tonight. >> good morning. my name is roger ailes. >> 21 years ago amid predictions it would fail. for roger ailes, failure was never an option. from simple beginnings as the son of a shop foreman in ohio, roger eugene ailes found his way
up. at 25, he was executive producer of the mike douglas daytime tv show. that is roger in the baseball cap. one guest on that show was richard nixon, who was so taken with the young ailes that he hired him for his 1968 presidential campaign. >> he understood the value of television after losing the 1960 election to jack kennedy. >> nixon's election started ailes on a broader career as a media and political consultant. in 1984, he advised ronald reagan after reagan lost the first presidential debate to walter mondale which had raised doubts about reagan's age. ailes' advice led to this. >> i will not make age an issue of this campaign. i'm not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. >> mondale's hopes of an upset died among the laughter. ailes coached george h.w. bush.
president bush 41 tweeted this today "he wasn't perfect, but roger ailes is my friend, and i loved him. not sure i would have been president without his great talent, loyal help. rest in peace." after head of cnbc and launching the channel that would become msnbc, news corporation chief rupert murdoch tapped ailes to start the fox news channel in 1996. >> we had no studios, control rooms, stars, programs or anything else. we did have an idea. we knew there was an audience. >> critics scoffed. this was bill carter of "the new york times" comic "given the current state of fox news, it may be less a toy than an imaginary friend." it took a few years to build it but the audience did come in for long there were cameras, studios, control rooms and
stars. sean hannity, shepard smith, bill o'reilly, megyn kelly, neil kabuto, bret baier, martha martha maccallum. the evening shows were built on the views of the mostly conservative hosts but plenty of democrats have found a home at fox as well, including geraldo rivera, juan williams, bob beckel, leslie marshall, ailes was a conservative but those responsible for news coverage were encouraged to play it straight, as on the eve of the 2000 election. >> rogers interest, is it right? are we sure the sources good? are we sure the facts are accurate? after that, there was never a moment's hesitation about whether we should do the story or not, even though it had the
potential to derail busch's candidacy. >> fox news ratings climbed. coverage of the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, by the end, fox news fox news became everyone in cable news and has remained so ever since. there has always been as scrappy atmosphere. a sense that the work here is a privilege to be enjoyed. >> i tell people, if you're not having any fun, go home. go home. you are irritating me. >> roger never forgot where he came from. >> how would you describe yourself? >> a guy from ohio who worked his way up and got lucky. going into television as a gofe gofer, and an opportunity presented itself. i think i rose to the challenge
most of the time, and was able to create a career. >> what a career. last summer, it came crashing down amid allegations that ailes had made repeated unwanted sexual advances toward numerous women at fox news. he denied the allegations but was reformist to resign. the accusations came as a shock to nearly all of fox news who remember him today for his talent, leadership, humor, and kindness. >> changing the trajectory, the path of their life, seeing something in other people they didn't see themselves, and he is so sorely missed. >> he was there for me when i went through some hard times. are you okay? >> i wouldn't be here without that man. when i was diagnosed with ms, he got on the phone and said whatever we can do for your family, because we were all part of a family. he was a presence and he will be missed on this channel. he will be missed.
>> rogers death this morning was announced by his wife who described herself as profoundly sad and heartbroken. he suffered from hemophilia and took a fall in the bathroom of his home in palm beach florida which caused bleeding in his brain. he is survived by his 17-year-old son zachary. stealing all those years, he said so many things to all of us. he used to say negative people make positive people sick. he used to fire us up. i know the man we knew for all those years was not the man at the end of his career that ended in controversy. when he hired me, some 20 years ago, my experience was always one where he was always just the first to reach out. the first person who called. each time my son had an open heart surgery. >> when my son those years ago, roger, who had a bad ankle and had trouble getting around, he got on an airplane and came down here and was at my
side. he was supportive to me at that time as anybody was. i will never forget it. >> bret: thank you for doing this. our sincere condolences to his wife beth, his son. we are signing off for you, roger, for the last time on fox news channel. rest in peace. ♪ before you invest in a car, remember, it's not just the car you're investing in. subaru. kelley blue book's most trusted brand and, now, lowest 5-year cost to own. think about what you value most. subaru.
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the pentagon says warning shots were fired and russian officials trying to get the syrian forced to stay out of the so-called deconflicted area. president trump begins his first foreign trip tomorrow. he will be in saudi arabia saturday, as mui. more on that later. monday he visits israel. that relationship is in the state of flux. john huddy tells us why from jerusalem. >> president trump said he will reaffirm the u.s.'s unbreakable alliance with the jewish state while in israel next week. he's planning to visit the western wall, but that's not the headline. earlier this week, a senior u.s. official reportedly said the western wall is in the west bank, not israel, during a heated exchange with the israeli delegation planning the president's visit. president trump's national security advisor h.r. mcmaster and press secretary sean spicer wouldn't say the western wall is in israel during recent press
briefings, adding fuel to the already fiery headlines and raising concerns about problems between the u.s. and israel before president trump even stepped foot in israel. >> the western wall is obviously one of the holiest sites in the jewish faith. it is clearly in jerusalem. but it's an issue that's had serious consideration. it will be a topic that's going to be discussed during the president's trip between parties he meets with. >> in an interview with the christian broadcasting network, u.s. ambassador nikki haley said she believes the western wall is in israel and the u.s. embassy should be moved to jerusalem. one story continues to dominate the headlines, and israel may now be playing a prominent role. israel reportedly gave the intelligence information to the united states that president trump shared with russian officials at the white house last week.
an "abc news" report says according to former several current and u.s. officials it may have endangered the life of an israeli spy inside isis. none of this appears to be straining the u.s.-israel alliance. the defense minister tweeted "deep significant ties to the u.s.." michael warren said he wanted to talk about the latest issues but agreed both powers remain closely aligned. >> in the middle east, there is no closer intelligence relationship. that relationship will continue to be close and grow stronger. >> benjamin netanyahu spoke by phone with president trump, a conversation that lasted about 20 minutes and focused solely on the president's upcoming visit to israel. it will be a challenging visit, not only in light of the recent headlines, but also the efforts to resume peace talks between the israelis and palestinians. >> bret: a short time ago,
president trump and juan manuel santos met at the white house. joining me now is president santos to talk about his country, its relationship with the u.s., and the situation. mr. president, thanks for being here. i want to ask you your reaction to your meeting, what you took out of it with president trump? >> it was a great meeting. i came out satisfied. we have a special relationship with the u.s. a long time ago. the policy towards colombia has been bipartisan. i started with president clinton, president bush and president obama. now with president trump, we ratified the importance we give to our common policies come up, policies, and objective spirit we ratified the commitment that we have. we are strategic allies of the u.s., and we are proud of that. we have decided to continue working together on many issues,
issues that concern our countries. >> bret: one of the issues is drugs and the drug trade. the president talked about it in the news conference. >> the drug epidemic is poison into many american lives, and we are going to stop it many different ways. one of them will be the wall. >> bret: talked about the wall in the u.s. colombia produced 710 metric tons of cocaine in 2016. that is up from 235 metric tons in 2013. there are stats that suggest the drug trade is increasing dramatically. how do you describe it? went to the president press you on? >> this situation, the peace process, i thought it was going to take three years. it took six. one of the first issues is that
the farc has to collaborate on finding legal crops. since we are three years later, there was an expectation going to buy out the coca peasants and they started planting. we have in place, and i explained to president trump and the u.s. government, a very effective policy, carrot and stick. a substitution of illegal crop for legal crops. now we can go there with the rest of the state, roads and schools, hospitals. it's going to be for the first time a permanent solution. we are doing an effective job this year. we have so far eradicated 15,000. our objective is 50,000. we have for the first time a
unique opportunity to address the problem. >> bret: you received the nobel peace prize for that peace deal with the farc. there are critics in your country. pointing to the metric tons of cocaine, how can you say it's working? tickle the -- the fight againsts has changed. the u.s. government is the first want to recognize we are doing extremely well, seizing enormous amounts of tons of cocaine. last year was a record 400-plus tons. this year, even more. we are attacking the problem in a conference away. don't forget this is a problem for both the u.s. and colombia. the u.s. is also responsible.
>> bret: secretary tillerson said the u.s. must own the problem of drug addiction. do you agree the u.s. has to do a better job to address demand? >> we all have to do a better job. the world has to do a better jo job. we have to be more effective, more creative and in the case of colombia, which has been the country that's suffered the most in the war against drugs, we are for the first time because of the peace process, have a unique opportunity to diminish the problem. >> bret: i know you talked with president trump about the issue of venezuela. it is collapsing. do you foresee a situation where the u.s. military and the need to get involved? what will happen if the u.s. does not play a role? is venezuela on the verge of becoming a failed state?
>> we need to find a peaceful, democratic transition. the worst thing that can happen is violence. venezuela is not accustomed to violence. colombia is a country that would have the greatest losses. the avalanche of immigration towards colombia would be very, very big and difficult to control. we are working together with the u.s., other countries to force a peaceful transition. we have three objectives. the two sides to agree on a calendar for elections. the regime to recognize the authority of the general assembly in venezuela. and third, to seek a way to liberate the political prisoners. we are pressing for that and we have to continue to press for
it. >> bret: quickly. >> quickly. >> bret: you are asked in the press conference about president trump and his pledge to build a wall. didn't really get an answer whether you are okay with that. >> i prefer, the best while you can build is economic development in central america and south america. i urged president trump and all of the united states to look more to the south, this strategic interest of the united states are much more important in the south, latin america and many parts of the world. if you see that, then you don't need walls. >> bret: we appreciate your time, president santos. president trump remains defiant after the appointment of a special counsel in the probe of his campaign alleged ties to russia. we will get reaction from the panel when we come back.
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>> the entire thing has been a witch hunt and there's no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but i can only speak for myself and the russians, zero. it divides the country. i think we have a very divided country because of that and many other things. i hate to see anything that divides. i am fine with whatever people want to do, but we have to get back to running this country really, really well. believe me, there is no collusion. russia is fine. whether it's russia or anybody else, my total priority, believe me, is the united states of america. >> bret: president trump in a news conference at the white house, first reaction after the special counsel was named, robert mueller, the russian investigation period he was also asked about his
interaction with former fbi director james comey. >> did you at any former fbi director james comey in any way, shape, or form to close her back down the investigation of michael flynn, and also? >> no, no. next question. >> bret: okay. here's the latest poll. monmouth, the approval rating. 39% for president trump and the march numbers. the question is interesting. concerned that president trump may be too friendly with russia, concerned, 39%. not concerned, 45%. that is at the heart of the allegations about russia. let's bring in the panel. jonah goldberg, national correspondent for "the washington post," mollie hemingway, and syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. >> i thought the comments were
syntactically challenged. what comes across to me is that the appointment of mueller is good news at least in the short term. assuming he's not guilty of any of these charges, it takes it out of the hands of democrats and out of the hands of the press to a certain extent and lets him focus on the trip, lets him focus on the agenda. if anybody calls for impeachment, which i think it's ridiculous, the white house and the replicants get to say we have to wait for mueller to comk with his findings. until then, there's nothing for us to do. it slows down the congressional hearings. that's all good news. >> it gives him permission. the question is whether he has the discipline to focus on edge. the white house put out the light of the president had been stoic when he received the news,
he said to his staff let's go to the agenda. by this morning, he was tweeting about how it was a witch hunt and he was a victim. i think he can use a little bit more about quality that bill clinton had in a time like this. it was called compartmentalization. clinton had the ability to stay focused on the agenda and that's one of the reasons that the week he was impeached, his popularity in the gallup poll, his job approval had the highest level of his presidency. >> bret: this is donald trump. this is the donald trump we saw in the campaign, the one we saw the beginning of the presidency. he hasn't changed. >> no, but it's true that people like him in parts because he steps back and looks at the group picture. there was no special counsel investigating eric holder, not when the irs was targeting and
harassing american citizens for their political views. there was no special counsel investigating hillary clinton. you look at these things and wonder why there is this hysteria on something like this that wasn't evenly applied elsewhere. >> bret: the last thing, let senator lindsey graham talked about it, about where this investigation could go. >> i have reason to believe that there are emails between clinton campaign officials, democratic operatives at the department of justice regarding the email investigation print i want to know, did the department of justice receive communications from the clinton campaign or democratic officials about the clinician email investigation, to those emails exist? they should be shared. everything is on the table. it should be both ways. >> i think he's right. the idea that there's only one
possible scandal here is a mistake and obviously it is prejudice. but it doesn't help the president. it doesn't help to say yes, but how about the others. he is the president. it's his problem. ironically, the appointment of a special counsel is what the president needs and helps him in the short run. you deflect questions by saying there is an investigation. we will find out. the problem is in the long run, he has lost control. you could in theory have been fired but you really can't. there's only so much firing you can do and the reason we are in dangerous territory for trump is once you've done the big one, once you get rid of the director of the fbi, which is pretty unusual, then you don't have a
lot of bullets left. that's why i think the vulnerability is that mueller can take this anywhere he wants for as long as he wants and no one is in control except mueller. >> bret: every day we have been dealing with some story or another. the latest has "the new york times" and deals with the timeline of when the transition knew about michael flynn, former nsa, former national security advisor. his connections and conflicts. the disclosure on january 4 was made to the transition team's chief lawyer, donald mcgahn. that conversation another 12 days later between lawyers shows the trump team knew about the investigation of mr. flynn far earlier than has been previously reported. march 9 when the story came out, i asked the vice president about it. the story today that former national security advisor michael flynn has filed with the
department of justice has a foreign agent for making more than $500,000 as a lobbyist essentially for turkey, your reaction, considering, doesn't that mean, mr. vice president, that even if he didn't lie to you about the russian investors said or didn't say, you what i had to fire him anyway. >> well, let me say, hearing the story today was the first i heard of it. >> bret: you are disappointed by the story? >> the first i heard of it and i think it's an affirmation of the president's decision to ask general flynn to resign. >> bret: the vice president's office says he sticks by that answer. >> information in "the new york times" is coming from somewhere. i don't know who their sources are but i can only assume their sources are general flynn's team. he's in a situation where he is in potential legal jeopardy and i think this sounds like they're
not going to go quietly. >> bret: we should point out that general flynn's attorney think they will respond to the subpoena. >> i want to push back against something, that this is irrelevant when it comes to how previous candles were handled. the leaks, the information coming out speaks to the issue that affects everything, which is people elected donald trump because they feel there's this problem and washington, d.c. they have rejected control of how things are handled and now the establishment is pushing back through a leak campaign. using the media at all the people who have the power in d.c. and this is the real subtext. >> bret: i understand those points but also on the substance of the allegations, which is they are told this. they are told this. he's the head of the transition.
the vice president says that's the first he heard of it and they stick by it. that is substance. i understand the leak argument. >> i guess i am with you on tha that. what has to psalms and thinks the mainstream media has double standards -- the reason why donald trump is in this trouble is not because of double standards. he constantly stokes the stories by tweets and accusations, calling it a witch hunt, not getting his messaging straight on why they fired the fbi director, the story about michael flynn. you can go down a long list of things and when you constantly act like you are covering something up, which i think there probably is no "there" there, but if you act like it is and admit that you fire the fbi
director because of his handling of the russia probe is dragging the press to go nuts. there's a lot of a substance that fuels why there is a media frenzy. >> bret: the sense in the administration as they have fired up the base by the reaction of the press on the establishment. that they believe, and anecdotally you go to the country and you hear folks say, what's the big deal here? all the process. they think that's insulating them. >> it is insulating them at least in the short and may be midterm. the fact is that to get his agenda achieved, the president is going to need more than his base. he's going to need to be able to reach out to bring people to hi him.
that is really what's being jeopardized here. >> bret: mar with the panel after a break program will look at the fbi director choice which could be coming any hour, and also a look ahead at the trip this weekend. ving for retiremen. then we asked some older people when they actually did start saving. this gap between when we should start saving and when we actually do is one of the reasons why too many of us aren't prepared for retirement. just start as early as you can. it's going to pay off in the future. if we all start saving a little more today, we'll all be better prepared tomorrow. prudential. bring your challenges. but with my back pain i couldn't sleep or get up in time. then i found aleve pm. the only one to combine a safe sleep aid plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. and now. i'm back! aleve pm for a better am.
♪ >> we are very blessed. mr. lieberman, senator lieberma senator lieberman. >> i think it's a mistake to nominate anyone who has run for office. i am somebody is not a long time and law enforcement. this is a moment where we need a law enforcement professional that has never campaigned for a presidential candidate. >> i think in a very divided nation's capital and a very divided country, joe lieberman is probably the only person who gives 100 votes in the senate.
he is universally well-respected. >> bret: joe lieberman, a democrat who ran for president and for vice president, became an independent, campaigned for john mccain, and now, is the leading candidate for fbi director, for president trump. we are told, mollie, it could come any day now. we go to such an interesting selection. not that it's a bad selection, for there are so many buttery ideas. you do need someone who has integrity and also, just good knowledge of the fbi, particularly after comey. comey slow walk to the investigation into russia. you need someone who comes in and takes charge. i think governor keating is well respected, has the fbi experience. >> bret: what you think of joe lieberman? >> look, i think it could have to do with a personal relationship between lieberman and trim. i don't think it is a bad choice. what you are really looking for here is elliot mass.
this is a political moment. this is when trump, who has been helped in the short term by the appointment of a special counsel, mueller, could be helped by appointing someone who is seen as a completely clean law man who brings nothing but integrity, law man or woman, i guess. lieberman, because he's a politician, has baggage. i think it's an okay appointment as any under the circumstances. it will probably be okay here. but if you wanted somebody that would be the politically most advantageous for the administration, to give them the most relief from the pressure they are under, you are looking for an elliott ness. >> bret: what do you think about that? >> i think that is basically right. part of the problem, it feels like these things, firing comey, donald trump thought the democrats would like that. i don't know.
richard blumenthal, can connecticut senator, what i commit to supporting joe lieberman as the fbi director. that is not a sign that he will get 100 seats. claire mccaskill already came out against them. people forget that joe lieberman as hated by the hard left of the democratic party as it is. i think he's an honorable, decent public statesman and a great guy. it's a kind of weird peg. i'm not sure the politics will work. >> bret: asking about claire mccaskill's comments, john mccain told the reporters today, joe lieberman has more experience than all of my democratic colleagues combined, so, screw them. [laughter] >> it seems like his relevance, experience in this realm was a long, long time ago. you can also take issue with the degree to which he has fresh qualifications. >> bret: i want to take a look at this foreign trip. the president leaving tomorrow, his first foreign trip, his first trip is in saudi arabia. we are going to cover it there.
but mollie, he will have 54 arab and muslim leaders in the first stop. saudi arabia is want to get all of these countries to sign a pledge against extremism and terrorism. they are going to invest $350 billion in u.s. weapon systems. they will invest $163 billion in businesses in the u.s. on a whole bunch of ceos are going. what about the image of this trip? >> we'll know more about the arms deal this weekend. i think that donald trump's foreign policy was sort of an underappreciated aspect of why certain people supported him. he really does have a different take than either of the previous two administrations. he campaigned on a pledge to work with russia on isis. also, to avoid wars in the middle east. i think there is an excitement to see how he handles it. >> bret: quickly, can they turn the page with this trip? >> yes, i think this is a real moment where the u.s. announces that the iranian appeasement is
over. we are committed to the sunni arabs, the moderate arabs, and resisting iranian encroachment. 50 nations is a big deal. saudi arabia is the leader of those nations. i think it's a very important signal. at the and the israelis were both given the back of the hand by obama, and now, that's over. >> bret: a sneak peek of our coverage when we come back. panel, thank you. ♪ without touching our savings. yeah, our insurance won't do that. no. you can leave worry behind when liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance say no to this because of my bladder? when liberty stands with you™. thanks to tena... not anymore! only new tena intimates has pro-skin technology designed to quickly wick away moisture. to help maintain your skin's natural balance. it goes beyond triple protection
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initiated there. a big trip, bring interviews, "special report" on the road from riyadh. thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. that is it for this "special report." fair, balanced, and unafraid. "the story" hosted by martha maccallum starts right now. >> martha: good evening, everyone, i am martha maccallum. this is "the story" and is thursday, may 18th. president trump faces reporters as the hits just keep on coming. tonight, the white house pushing back against reports that they knew michael flynn was under investigation and hired a national security advisor anyway. the president, who spouted off in the morning on twitter about witch hunts, was cool under pressure in the afternoon. watch. >> i respect the rules but the entire thing has been a witch hunt there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but i can always speak for myself and the russians, zero. i think it divides the country. i think
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