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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  March 21, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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can slide on capitol hill. no news on whether they will allow snowmobiles. with school out today -- >> dana: that's awesome. who says nothing gets done in washington? we don't. "special report" is up next. hey, bret. >> bret: dana, thanks. keeping the russians from really interfering in u.s. elections, changing phones, national security experts tell congress what it will take to secure the technology supporting the ballot boxes. president trump unloads on the special counsel again, as the american leader receives major criticism for his congratulatory call to vladimir putin. he fires back. and the texas terror bomber dies a fiery death. apparently at his own explosive hands. this is "special report." ♪ good evening and welcome to washington. i am bret baier. we will begin with another heavy dose of palace intrigue in the trump administration pray there is a report out tonight that attorney general jeff sessions r
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investigation ray recently fired fbi deputy director andrew mccabe over his comments about russia. sessions, you may remember, terminated mccabe friday. he sessions lawyer is denying there is or was in the investigation. plus, today, the current fbi director is weighing in on mccabe's firing. chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge is on capitol hill with all the details. good evening. >> thank you, bret. the attorney general's personal lawyer told fox news that jeff jeff sessions is not under investigation for lying to congress, adding the office of special counsel told him, "after interviewing the attorney general in conducting additional conducting additional destinations, the attorney general not under investigation in his confirmation testimony and related rhythms submissions to congress." andrew mccabe oversaw a criminal probe obsessions who signed off on mccabe's termination two days before his
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retirement. the current fbi director chris christopher wray told nbc news of the firing was for cause and not political motivated. >> i'm committed to doing things objectively and buy the book. i think that has to extend not just to our investigations, but also has to extend to personnel the sessions and disciplinary decisions. >> on capitol hill today come in public as a democrat worn for 28 midterm elections are in russia's cross hairs. >> what i learned yesterday was horrifying. >> after reading the senate intelligence committee's draft finding on the russia election meddling, predicting the next round will be worse. >> they weren't doing it for fun in 2016. what it looks like is a test. and it was incredibly, as i say, thorough and comprehensive. >> no ballots were change, current and former homeland
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security warn against minimizing the threat. >> were there any votes affected by this intrusion into any system in america? >> not to my knowledge, sir. >> secretary nielsen? >> we have no evidence that any of these were changed. once these vulnerabilities have been made clear, it is not just russia that we have to worry about. >> the senate panel heard that vulnerabilities include compromising voter registration databases, manipulating mortalities, and hacking websites to publish false results. 18 months after the federal elections, one senator who advocates for paper ballots and mandatory audits, site security vulnerabilities remain. >> does your agency have the authority to mandate basic cybersecurity in the electronic voting machine used in this country? >> no, sir. >> does any agency? >> not to my knowledge, not at the federal level. >> the witnesses considered whether a foreign power has the
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ability to target swing precincts, altering voter registration data to undermine confidence. as big as result is on election day, we start getting reports about thousands of voters on different parts of the country,e we may show up, they are not registered. that sounds like something coming from a novel or a dramatic presentation in the movies. how far-fetched is this? >> i think your hypotheticals are very good and i think all americans should be concerned about a. >> the homeland security secretary also testified that there is no higher government infrastructure priority than securing the voting system, bret. >> bret: more on this with the panel prayed facebook ceo mark zuckerberg said says company is guilty of what he calls a breach of trust by allowing information about users to end up with a political consulting firm. and he's promising to make changes. national correspondent william la jeunesse has the latest tonight from los angeles. >> facebook ceo mark zuckerberg today finally speaking out. admitting mistakes in failing to correct them.
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in a statement saying, "we have a responsibility protect your data. if we can't, then we don't deserve to serve you." sheryl sandberg adding, "we know this was a major violation of people's trust and i deeply regret we didn't do enough to deal with that." for days, facebook has been humbled in the markets, hamilton and the press, and in washington's cross hairs. >> facebook needs to come and talk to congress. >> facebook's challenge, how to balance user privacy within the business model that exploits their personal data for profit. >> people don't trust that they are safe. they are stuck using it in their entire business model. >> facebook's undoing began years ago when he gave a british app developer access to the data. >> 270,000 surveys, 50 million people were impacted on the date it was access is. >> facebook claims he did not know the data was for sale and unbeknownst to users on their friends and family, survey answers were sold to cambridge analytica, a company cofounded by former trump campaign advisor
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steve bannon. g.o.p. fund-raiser robert mercer, and alexander next, who ran the company until he was suspended this week, after an undercover tb report appeared to show him bragging about corrupting public officials with money and hookers. >> we need to do a data audit to find out whether this personal information was acquired by cambridge analytica, whether or not facebook took appropriate measures when they found that there may have been a breach. >> federal records show the trump campaign paid cambridge almost $6 million in 2016. but campaign officials say they only used rnc data, not facebook data, to target voters. yet both companies are under scrutiny for their use or misuse of personal information. >> check this box, that is very in the minutia of a 16 page document to. >> zuckerberg set in the future, facebook would restrict act developers access to only users name, photo, and email, and remove their axes altogether if
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you haven't used the app in the last three months. sources say it's unlikely to stop congress from calling zuckerberg to testify. bret? >> bret: william, thank you. the commander in chief may have pulled rank on those advisors when he congratulated russian leader vladimir putin on his reelection. or maybe not. either way, president trump's hearing about it from virtually all sides tonight. he's also defending his actions on twitter. chief white house correspondent john roberts has specifics. >> the spring snowstorm canceled the president's schedule but it didn't affect his twitter feed one pet. president trump making no apologies for congratulating vladimir putin on his election victory. i called president putin of russia to congratulate him on his election victory and past obama called him also. a fake news media is crazed because they want me to excoriate him. they are wrong. getting along with russia and others is a good thing, not a
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bad thing. president trump went on to say, russia can help solve international crises, and he criticized president bush for not having the smarts to get along with russia, obama and clinton for not having the energy or chemistry to do it. the president and his chief of staff are also hot about the leak of a classified presidential briefing memo on the putin phone call. john kelly said to be frustrated and disappointed, somewhat leaked that the memo had "do not congratulate" in all caps at the top. on capitol hill, a criticism of the president congratulated bruton but more concerned about that week. >> i don't like what you did but i really hate that someone in his inner circle is going to leak this stuff. if you don't like working for the president, you should resign. >> white house officials tell fox news that president trump may have never seen the memo and its warning. the calls a person was made early from the residence. just prior to us, h.r. mcmaster and others briefed the president by phone coming out in person. fox news has was told during tt conference call, the do not congratulate point and never came up. sources say while the memo was
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in the president's daily briefing books, he may not have seen a need to read it since he was already briefed. the senator jerry committee chairman says he likely wouldn't have called. not all. >> i think putin is a criminal. what he did in georgia, what he did in ukraine, what he has done in london, poisoning people with nerve gas. that is a criminal activity. >> the former cia director, a fierce critic of president trump, said today, he believes the president is afraid of criticizing putin. >> the russians may have something on him personally that they can always roll out and make it. >> president trump also took aim at the mueller investigation today. in a tweed coat and constitutional law expert alan dershowitz's agreement with the president that muller should have never been appointed. >> i think president trump was right when he said there never should have been a special
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counsel appointed because there was no proper cause. >> one of the president's biggest supporters on capitol hill went so far as to say mueller should be gone. >> he's done enough damage. he needs to go. i'm not calling for him to be fired because of all the establishment republicans that think they'd have to come out for trump if he were fired. >> some big news expected to come out of the white house tomorrow. president trump expected to announce new tariffs, this time aimed specifically at china. these are being called protective cover not punitive tariffs come at us designed to recover damages from what the president says our chinese unfair trade practices. they would be aimed at a number of goods and code total $30 million or more. the president is also expected to announce investment restrictions in u.s. technological companies. it's believed that china has tried to capture the technical logical industries the future. 2017 u.s. china commission report recommended that the united states restrict investment by chinese owned or
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chinese government entities and u.s. technological companies in order to protect those businesses for the united states. bret. >> bret: we'll follow all that tomorrow. john, thank you. any minute now, congressional leaders will unveil the details of the $1.3 trillion spending plan that would fund the government through the end of september and avoid a possible shutdown this weekend. chief congressional correspondent mike emanuel tells us what is in it tonight. good evening, mike. >> one day closer to the friday night deadline and top republicans received a critical endorsement of this bipartisan compromise from president trump. >> late today after a discussion with speaker paul ryan or mitch mcconnell, president trump signed off. press secretary sarah sanders segment president support of the bill because it includes more funds to rebuild the military, such as the largest pay raise for our troops in a decade, more than 100 miles of new construction for the border wall, and other key domestic priorities.
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congress didn't have time for a snow day with the clock ticking to finish up a $1.3 trillion spending package. >> i'm proud to announce it will meet a number of vitally important objectives. >> some of the final pieces put the puzzle together, including $2 billion in new money for school safety measures, a bipartisan proposal tightening up background checks for firearms purchases, and $1.6 billion for the presidents burger wall. there's also $4.7 billion to address the opioid epidemic. republican succeeded in keeping obamacare stabilization money out of the deal, and president trump gets a win on keeping the gateway tunnel project between new york and new jersey new jersey from being given priority status. but lawmakers were steamed about how the deal went down. louisiana senator john kennedy told fox "i think the whole process sucks. i think whoever designed it is not qualified to run a food truck." he's not alone. >> $1.3 trillion in spending and four people -- it's not a good way to do business.
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i hope we can do it better in the future because it's just designed -- it's not very transparent. >> a former house budget blast of the senate for creating the mess. >> we passed the appropriation bills. it is the senate they cannot get their act together and really come to this fight where we do this huge spending bill that has not been negotiated between the house members and the senate members, but just a small group of people. >> top democrats signaled the relief that in the final hours, the impasse seems to have broken. >> i don't believe we are going to shut down. if necessary, god forbid, continuing resolution. i would like to see it completed this week. speak with are leadership pipes on both sides hoping deadline pressure will help produce a result. we have heard conservative car frustration with the house expected to vote tomorrow and lawmakers won't have time to read the bill. bret? >> bret: mike emanuel live on the hill. more on this with a panel as well. mississippi governor phil bryant
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is giving cindy highsmith to succeed thad cochran who was resigning because of portsmouth. she will be the first woman to represent mississippi in congress. once cochran resigns april 1st, she will immediately begin campaigning for a november 6th nonpartisan special election to fill the rest of cochran's term which expires in january 2020. the federal reserve has lifted its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point to a range of between 1.5% and one and three quarters. it is the sixth increases since december of 2015 when the bank began raising rates from rock-bottom levels. the rate hike is the first under move. chairman jerome powell who were placed janet yellen last month. stocks turn negative after the move today. the dow finished 45 down. the s&p 500 lost 5 and the nasdaq was off of 15. the man believed to be behind a series of packet bombings in central texas is dead tonight.
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the bomber apparently blew himself off when cornered by police. you've correspondent jonathan hunt has the story tonight from texas. >> it's been a long, almost three weeks for the community of austin. >> now the reign of terror is over for austin's serial bomber. the suspect identified as mark anthony conditt. police started zeroing in on the 23-year-old over the past 48 hours. and using cell phone signals, witness accounts, and a surveillance video, tracked him down last night to a hotel just north of the state capital. as officers closed in on him, it all came to an explosive end. >> as members of the austin police department s.w.a.t. team approached the vehicle, the suspect detonated a bomb inside the vehicle. knocking one of our s.w.a.t. officers back and one of our s.w.a.t. officers fired at the suspect, as well. >> one of the final pieces of the puzzle, surveillance video showing conditt wearing a blonde wig and gloves, taking packages
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to an austin area fedex store over the weekend. the governor of texas also telling "fox & friends" that conditt, who had no known criminal record or military experience, did not destroy his digital footprint. >> i think there is a treasure trove of information an end has house as well as digital information that should shed light more on who he is, what he was doing, why he was doing it. >> conditt family members are stumped as to why the young man, described as quiet and homeschooled, felt the explosive packages from materials he may have got at home depot. killing two people and injuring four others. >> i haven't got the slightest idea what the motivation would be. we are praying for the family. i can't imagine what they are going through. >> police evacuated the area around conditt's home as investigators searched the premises. they are warning residents to remain vigilant to.
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>> we are concerned that there still may be other devices out there. we want to make sure that if you receive specific packages or bags that, call 911. >> within the last hour, federal officials have said they have a reasonable level of certainty there are no more package bombs "out in the public." but public safety remains their number one priority in so tonight, several blocks around the suspect some here remain sealed off. bret? >> bret: jonathan hunt in texas tonight. jonathan, thank you. up next, winter will just not go away in the northeast. we'll show you. and possibly tell you how long it may be here. first, here's what some of our fox affiliates around the country are covering tonight. fox 32 and chicago, two billionaires are set to square off in november to be the next governor of illinois. incumbent republican bruce rauner defeating conservative challenger jeannie ives in yesterday's primary. he will face hyatt hotel air
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j.b. pritzker, who easily won the primary point fox 11 in los angeles has reigned from a possible tell, powerful pacific storm falls across areas of southern california, putting residence at risk of mudslides. thousands of people have been evacuated from that area, the storm has been closely watched in santa barbara county for a january storm unleashed debris laden flash floods that ravaged the community of montecito, killing 21 people. and this is a live look at miami, from our affiliate player. one of the big stories there tonight. two students at marjory stoneman douglas high school are arrested for bringing knives on campus. one-third is accused of making a threat social media. this goal was a sight of last month's gun attack that left 17 people died. that's tonight's live look outside the beltway, "special report." we'll be right back. ♪
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♪ >> bret: epa administrator scott pruitt's spent more than 120,000 120,000 taxpayer dollars for a trip to italy that included a meeting and a private tour of the vatican. he has been under fire for his travel expenses. he travels first class and has a full-time security detachment. house oversight committee chairman trey gowdy has demanded copies of pruett's travel records. epa spokesman said today that the security precautions taken during the italy trip were no different than those for private or epa chiefs during international travel. the calendar says spring but the weather throughout much of the country continues to be of the winter variety. another major weather system is jumping on the east and the
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midwest. senior correspondent rick leventhal is a new york tonight. >> extrawide plows are trying to keep runways clear at new york's laguardia airport. most of the gates are empty, with every single flight canceled through wednesday night, thanks to the fourth nor'easter to hit the region this month. new york governor andrew cuomo declared a state of emergency on this first day of spring. >> we are experiencing storms that we have never experienced before. that is true. there is a higher frequency and there is more severity to the storms. that new reality has existed now for four, five, six years. so it is no longer a surprise when this happens. >> the heavy snow and high winds forced the cancellation of more than 4300 flights across the u.s. today. making this the worst march for air travel in five years, according to the website open web flight aware. the storm hammered indiana, west virginia, talkie, maryland,
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and the nation's capital, with white out conditions including pennsylvania where authorities warned residents to keep off the streets. >> we owe them all a great debt of gratitude and thanks for working tirelessly and a lot of overtime to make sure these roads are safe. >> we are still here. >> 79-year-old beverly had heart surgery on monday. she and her daughter hope to catch a flight back to kansas city, missouri, this afternoon. instead, they would be spending at least one night at the airport. >> i am concerned about her sleeping in a wheelchair all night. we just want to get home. >> i'm fine. >> beverly and sharon are scheduled on a flight tomorrow but at least 541 flights have already been canceled thursday. there are tens of thousands of people without power as a result of the storm. and one has already been reported on the island with us every step continuing to volatile early tomorrow morning. >> bret: rick leventhal live at laguardia. thank you. two weather of another kind, it
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has meant six months since puerto rico was devastated by hurricane maria. tonight we continue to look at the recovery or lack of it there. correspondent bryan llenas is an old san juan with the story. >> we are treated as second-class citizens. >> puerto rico governor is frustrated. he said the hurricane maria disaster funds are taking too long to arrive and he blames congress. >> why is the same cop process in florida or texas, it takes a week, and puerto rico, it takes months. >> he is not alone. on tuesday, nearly two dozen puerto rican activists were arrested in the u.s. capital demanding congress provide more financial aid to the commonwealth. puerto rico claims that needs $94 billion in aid. congress appropriated 23 billion, less than 2 billion has been sent. >> i want to see shovels in the ground and things being built. houses being built to code. i want to see a power system that's under construction that will withstand a storm.
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>> mica says fema's efforts has been unlike any hurricane response he has seen, spending more than $6 billion so far. $15 million has gone to san sebastian, where the mayor blames san juan, not the feds. >> this town took control of our circumstances and relisted ourselves up. >> frustrated after not seeing power restored in a month, the town created volunteer brigades, including retired lineman to restore power and clear debris on their own. he says the problem is in fema funding. >> the governor should have acted with more urgency. he should have taken charge of the utility company. immediately firing those who weren't doing their jobs. >> on tuesday the governor appointed a new head of the bankrupt government on power utility widely blamed for the islands feeling electric infrastructure. 5,000 businesses are now closed and expecting to never reopen. johnny ramos, president of a manufacturing company, says time is running out. >> i cannot sit down and wait
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for the government. i have to move. >> compounding the crises, puerto rico is bankrupt. tomorrow treasury secretary steve mnuchin will be to the governor here in old san juan to secure the terms for a $2 billion deal. he says he wants to enter taxpayer's interests are met. bret? >> bret: bryan llenas and puerto rico. thank you. up next, terrorist stage or holiday bombing in afghanistan with deadly results. we will have that story and more here on fox. ♪ are defined by the things we share. and the ones we love. who never stop wondering what we'll do or where we'll go next. we the people who are better together than we are alone... are unstoppable. welcome to the entirely new expedition. the entire community came whtogether as a whole.t,
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even when nothing else is. keep her receipts tidy, brand vo: snap and sort your expenses with quickbooks and find, on average, $4,340 in tax savings. quickbooks. backing you. ♪ >> bret: ices is claiming responsibility for a holiday bombing in afghanistan. it came as afghans delivery to the persian new year. correspondent benjamin hall shows us what happened. >> is isis murdering again. this time targeting shiite muslims in kabul. the latest in a wave of attacks that seeks to divide afghanistan. a lone suicide bomber killed 32
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and wounded 52 when he targeted crowds celebrating the start of the persian new year. many victims were young and had been dancing, singing, and celebrating. everything that terrorists hate. >> translator: people were heading home full of joy, having celebrated the new year. the bomb decimated many of our people and they have been martyred. >> the attack comes at a critical time for time for stability in the war-torn country. there are numerous groups to battle. in the last week, both general mattis and general general dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, have visited capital ahead of the annual taliban spring offensive, within terror group ramps up attacks against the government offensive after the harsh winter. u.s. forces have dropped more bombs then in the last five years, deploying more hardware, in preparation for a gloves off approach, which they hope might break the bread login create a peace deal.
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>> we are trying to build this out so that the taliban leadership actually has a process. >> it is now the 17th year of this warrant today's attack is just a reminder that it's only getting more complicated. a rapid rise of isis in afghanistan, the more they prey on sectarian differences, the harder reconciliation will be. bret? >> bret: benjamin hall in london. benjamin, thank you. we could be closer to the end of u.s. involvement in the iran nuclear deal. it was a main topic of discussion yesterday between president trump and saudi arabia's crown prince. this evening, correspondent gillian turner tells us where things stand right now. >> the iran deal is coming up. >> after months of will he-won't he rhetoric of the nuclear deal is on the president's mind once again this week as he faces a may 12th deadline to decide whether to recertify it. now policymakers are once again abuzz about the agreement's future and there is a growing consensus that this time around, it may finally be dad once and
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for all. leaders on capitol hill predict the president of both out in coming weeks, given that the u.s., britain, france, and germany have so far failed to agree on a path forward. >> i think the president likely will move away from it unless our european counterparts really come together on a free market. >> the u.s., e.u., and iran or can be convening in vienna for the latest round of negotiations in the u.s. wants actions on a list of complaints, including the ballistic missile program, a ledger support for terrorism, illegal detention of american prisoners, egregious human rights record, and fiber and maritime aggression. this is other u.s. allies from the middle east wing and loudly here in washington. >> do you believe iran is breaking the deal currently? >> i believe that the iranians are doing whatever they can to try to move forward with regards to the nuclear program. >> admin divisions officials claim secretary of state tillerson had been the deal's staunchest active forget, speculating why the president
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replaced him. with tillerson out in cia director mike pompeo in slated to take his place, president trump has solidified a foreign policy team that backs terminating the deal. >> director pompeo has made negative comments about the iran deal, saying we will scrap the deal, creating new reality, and find another way to prevent iran from getting deliverable new nuclear weapons. >> advocates of the nuclear deay that pulling out about now would anchor european allies and risk leaving the u.s. without any choices. even if president trump reneged on the deal, he would remain open to diplomatic engagement with iran in the future. bret? >> bret: thank you. keeping the russians out of u.s. elections and failing to keep president trump from congratulating vladimir putin, plus, by the book by the fbi director weighs in on a deputies firing. we'll talk about all of that with the panel when we come back
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♪ >> in 2016, were there any votes that were affected by this intrusion into any system in america? >> not to my knowledge, sir. >> secretary nielsen? >> we have no evidence that any votes were changed. once these vulnerabilities have been made clear, it is not just russia that we have to worry about. these are vulnerabilities that any adversary could pursue. so we think the threat remains high. >> bret: a lot of testimony on capitol hill about trying to protect the ballot boxes in the u.s. 2018, beyond, for mushy interference. then another breaking story late this afternoon. abc news had a story about andrew mccabe. nearly a year before attorney general jeff sessions fired senior fbi official andrew mccabe for what sessions called a lack of candor, mccabe oversight federal criminal investigation into whether sessions like candor
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when testifying before congress about contacts with russian operatives. the sessions was not aware of the investigation when he decided to fire mccabe last friday. last year, several top republican and democratic lawmakers were informed of the probe during a closed-door briefing with deputy attorney general rod rosenstein and mccabe. a sessions' personal lawyer said that he is not under investigation and that the special counsel informed him that there was no such investigation. mccabe and the firing, christopher wray, the fbi director, was asked by nbc today about that firing over the weekend. take a listen. >> i'm committed to doing things objectively and independently end by the book. i think that has to extend, not just to our investigations, our intelligence analysis come of it but it also has to extend to personnel decisions and disciplinary decisions. >> i want to be careful about what i can say about the process but i will tell you that my commitment to making sure that
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our process is followed, that it relies on objective input, and that most importantly, it is not based on political or partisan influence is something i am utterly unyielding on. >> bret: again, ask the question, he says everything went by the book. thus bringing our panel. steve hayes, an editor in chief of the weekly standard. karen tumulty, opinion editor for "the washington post." and bill bennett, host of "the bill bennett podcast." you have to piece them altogether, these stories. your thoughts on this "abc news" stories and will christopher wray just said. >> it's hard to digest because you have a denial by sessions' lawyer that this was actually going on. it is the story true or not? if the story is true, i think the language of the abc report was -- he was -- mccabe was overseeing the investigation. who authorized the investigation? the story suggests the instigation came from the hill to democratic senators al franken and lahey. who authorized it?
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the thing i'm interested in as this last thing you played. wray now inserts himself between the office of professional responsibility, the office of the inspector general, and president trump, or if you will, attorney generals sessions, taking responsibility for this decision. mccabe, we need this inspector general report. we need it soon. to find out really what was going on. >> bret: it's coming out in the coming weeks. we were thinking days but probably weeks. karen, the fact of the fbi director, who we haven't heard from him about his deputies firing, is saying it was by the book, kind of tamps down a little bit of the rapport up about the president's tweets over this. >> yeah, i think it does. the president's tweets certainly didn't help. he proceeded to inflame the whole situation. but the whole -- the revelation that sessions himself may have been under investigation also goes back to what end
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donald trump's mind is the original censure, the thing he's been at his attorney general for since the beginning of the presidency, which is sessions' decision to recuse himself from the russia investigation. this suggests that even if he hadn't had not then, he would have had to eventually have done it. >> bret: steve? >> you have seen even some of the president's most vociferous critics on the left, democrats, say that the mccabe firing may well have been justified. people who have been briefed on the details of this, if they were not justified, they would let us know rather loudly. i think that is a factor. >> bret: with leaks or something else. >> any number of ways, they become good at that. on the sessions question in general, you go back to his testimony on january 10th, where he said that he did not have communications with russians when he was asked who questioned by al franken. sessions maintains that he was talking about in a campaign context. he's admitted that he should
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have been more forthcoming by allowing for his two meetings with sergey kislyak. he also involve operative matter on january 17th said he had not had communications with the election, responding to senator leahy he. if there had been such an investigation and if we were to believe the statement from jeff sessions' attorney, he's been found to have not committed perjury because the investigation is now over. >> bret: in the meantime, all of this talk about russia, the testimony on capitol hill, plus "the washington post" runs the story. president trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisors tuesday when he congratulated russian president vladimir putin on his reelection, including a section in his briefing materials, and all capital letters, stating "do not congratulate." trump also chose not to heed talking points from aides instructing him to condemn the recent poisoning of a former russian spy with powerful nerve agents. the president tweeting, "i called president putin of russia to congratulate him on his election victory. in the past obama called him
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also. the fake news media is crazed because they wanted me to excoriate him. they are wrong. getting along with russia and others is a good thing, not a bad thing. it can help solve problems with north korea, syria, ukraine, isis, rhonda, and becoming's arms race. bush tried to get along with that and have the smarts. obama and clinton tried but didn't have the energy or chemistry. peace through strength." that was a big response by the president. you know, what's interesting about this bill is not only the call itself and the uproar about it, obviously come on all sides. but you this week about the acl document, that we don't know if president trump read or didn't. but the fact that it's out there for you. >> it's amazing. somebody who had top-secret briefings, go overcome us septimus given the white house, there has to be very few people, very small number of people sitting around that table and looking at these documents.
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so they have got to get to the bottom of this. i believe there wasn't an investigation started six months ago, a year ago, but i think sessions are the justice department to look into leaks. do i have this right or wrong? i don't think anything has been resolved. can i speak to the congratulations to putin? everybody has pointed out that obama did this and obama also congratulate to the president of iran on his. a little history here. you want to talk about bad russians, churchill, i checked my books, churchill congratulated stalin on his birthday, god knows one of the worst days in history of the world, the birthday of joseph stalin. churchill said that, the great statesman. i was watching one of the other cable networks and they were highly insulted because they said the president has insulted us and meryl streep and chuck todd but . may be the president things putin might be useful for international negotiations in the way chuck todd, meryl streep
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may not be. >> bret: karen? >> this is at odds with members of his administration. his administration as having sanctioned russia over the election interference, they are trying to project that they are getting tough on russia. this suggests the opposite. the fact that this note, this piece of advice, do not congratulate was leaked, suggest a high degree of frustration within the white house over the fact that the president is going one way and the national security team wants to go another way. >> bret: i would just say this. john roberts is reporting that there are a lot of livid people inside that white house, including the president, about that particular element at this story. >> it may just be one person. how many times did ronald reaga ronald reagan -- speechwriters and staff cross down "tear down this wall." turns out i was a good idea. >> the leak is extraordinary. the big story is russia. russia is acting like an enemy, donald trump is treating them
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like a friend. he wants russia to solve our problems with her ukraine? he is causing problems of ukraine. russia is blocking for iran at the u.n. security council. he wants russia to solve our problems with syria? russia is enabling syria to conduct chemical weapons attacks. russia is causing these problems or exacerbating the pre-existing problems. for the president of the united states not to speak up against that and for the white house spokeswoman to shrug off the idea that russia is not holding a free and fair election, congratulating him on a sham election, i think is a departure from long-standing u.s. policy. >> bret: there's two sides of this administration, one that is sanctioning, one that is giving arms to the ukrainians, one that is doing much more than the obama administration did to stand up to russia, and the president who is talking differently to the president. can you acknowledge one without the other? >> i think that's part of the story of russia policy. set aside the russia investigation. that is part of a story of russia policy under
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donald trump. there was a great political piece about this. there are two policies. one is a policy that is being carried out by the trump administration. the other is the policy that donald trump, the president, is articulating for the two are at odds with each other. >> bret: last word? >> a perfunctory congratulations doesn't seem to amount to a full statement of policy. >> especially when it's not accompanied by at least a perfunctory combination condem. >> he speaks through a lot of people, his representative at the u.n., the number of the things this administration has done, been a lot tougher than obama. we shall see. may need to live to fight another day. >> bret: i just want to point out one thing, sessions' lawyer is clarifying that he is not under investigation. whether he was under investigation, i think we have yet to definitively now. i want to make that clear. next up, congress closes in on the huge. ♪
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♪ >> i am pleased to report that the appropriations package is currently being finalized. >> unfortunately it is one of those big old bills that is going to have good and bad and ugly all in it. >> i don't believe we are going to shut down. if necessary god for bread, a continuing resolution. i would like to see it completed this week. >> i anticipate it would be done early on thursday. that's assuming the house does what they say they are going to do. >> it appears to be as though things seem to be moving forward. we hope there is no shutdown. we don't believe that is the way we should be governing. we certainly hope we don't go back to see ours. >> bret: here's the deal. at this moment, we don't know what the $3.3 trillion look like, what is in it, it has not been posted. house members probably will only have a day to read it, not three days. maybe vote on it on friday. we are not really sure.
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senator kennedy giving us a quote as only he can. "i think the whole process sucks. i think whoever designed this is not qualified to run a food truck." there you have it. i wish that was on camera but it wasn't. we don't know what we don't know but we know it is kind of up in the air. >> first, food trucks serve some of the best food in washington, d.c., if i can say this on behalf of my food truck friends. [laughter] looked, nobody has any idea what is going on. i talk to people on capitol hill, members, staffers, nobody has any idea. this has been a negotiated that has been carried out by paul ryan, mitch mcconnell, nancy pelosi, chuck schumer. i think they are trying to find something that will pass at this point. one of the latest issues to arise this afternoon is the inclusion of this language on this fix nics bill that would fix the background checks. when it was voted on in the house before, it carried with it
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concealed carry reciprocity, sort of a trade-off. if it is just now this fix nics language alone, it is something which i believe is what has been included in its version that is yet to be released. house freedom caucus members who are already coming to this pretty skeptical are going to be even more skeptical. probably some others, as well. >> bret: karen? >> also, you've got a lot of things that were missed opportunities in this bill. chief among them being the fix on daca and the dreamers. >> bret: talk of a daca-border ball deal? he had never materialized. >> it looks like the president will get about $1.6 billion on that. he asked for 25 billion. the bunny that he does get for a wall is not going to be a wall. it is going to be very restricted and it will be used for some fencing. this is not what donald trump wanted in this bill on immigration. >> it sounds like a lot of money
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to me. that's a lot. i think the main thing that was driving the agreement on the republican side is the military spending, the increase to military spending, very important. this is not a way to run a railroad. i hope donald trump signed it under protest or at least with great reluctance. we got to fix this. and the president, whom i support, has to start addressing the issue of entitlements, spending, it's out of control. >> bret: the deficit hawks have not been met up on capitol hill. >> i know. they need to be. they have >> . my former intern paul ryan has to remember what jack kemp taught him or maybe not, the deficit thing. >> bret: panel, as always, thank you. when we come back, we are going to do something that a lot of people in washington do, all the time. ♪ ... nick was born to move.
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dear freshpet, zooka had digestive problems and wouldn't eat. then i fed him freshpet.
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♪ >> bret: a snowy white house. it's really not that bad here, though. despite what you hear. tonight, some debates can often seem competitive in washington. gun control, budget, the latest fiscal cliff. we are at a cliff right now. foreign policy, iran, north korea. one thing in all the policy debates seems to be the fall-back position for politicians. they found one phrase that pretty much sums it up. >> we don't want to keep kicking the can down the road. >> kicking the can down the road does not make sense. >> for 25 years, we've been kicking the can down the road. >> we want a two-year budget bill and immigration plan that fixes the problem and doesn't further kick the can down the road. >> kick the can down the road. >> kick the can down the road. >> it was kick the can down the road, right? >> we is to stop kicking the can down the road. >> there was no more road left to kick the can down. >> bret: where is that can?
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we seem one election away from solving the big problems. we'll find the can and get back to you. thank you for inviting us in your home. that is it for this special report. "the story with martha" starts now. >> martha: thanks, bret. we begin with a fox news alert. we are awaiting a news conference that we'll get any moment in austin at the austin police headquarters. we do hope we will get some answers to the countless questions tonight about this 23-year-old man from a "good, christian family" whose friends and loved ones apparently never noticed anything amiss. while he was quietly building a bomb room inside his house. and then sending explosives to innocent victims in boxes marked kelly killmore. it ended this morning. he blew himself up in a ditch on the side of i-35. tonight the f.b.i. is

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