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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  March 22, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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>> i'll give you that one. [laughter] >> all right. set your dvrs. never miss an episode. chris wallace next, hey, chris. >> i'm worried about nashville's sunday little talk show host. >> i'm chris wallace in washington, and we begin tonight with a dramatic response to president trump's controversial decision to impose stiff new tariffs on chinese imports. fears this will ignite a trade war sent stocks plummeting on wall street. the dow down 724 points. that's almost 3%. the s & p 500 fell 68 and nasdaq fell 79. we have team coverage. we'll get an analysis on why the markets reacted so negatively. first, john on what the president did today. >> john: the stock market didn't like it one bit and neither did the chinese.
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here in washington, mixed reaction to the president's latest moves on trade. in what aides call a historic event, president trump took aim at a favorite target today, what he has repeatedly called china's unfair trade practices announcing his intention to impose tariffs on select goods. >> in addition to china we'll do a section 301 trade action. it could be about $60 billion. >> john: white house says it's punitive, not protective. he wants to recover damages from years of inequity and trade policy. >> we're doing things for this country that should have been done for many, many years. we've had this abuse by many other countries, and groups of countries that were put together in order to take advantage of the united states, and we don't want that to happen. we're not going to let that happen. >> john: the china announcement upped the anxiety for some of
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the president's closest political allies, already suffering heartburn on tariffs over steel and aluminum. >> i'm concerned about it. i'm not a great fan of tariffs, as everybody knows, but i will see what the president thinks is the right thing to do, and we'll go from there, but i'm very concerned about some of these tariff ideas. >> john: the national association of manufacturers urged the president to proceed with caution. in a statement this morning saying: tariffs are one proposed response, but they are likely to create new challenges in the form of significant added costs for manufacturers and american consumers. in addition to these challenges, tariffs also run the risk of provoking china to take further destructive actions again american manufacturing workers. but in another example of opposites attract, progressive ohio senator brown applauded the move. >> i appreciate the president standing up and china subsidizes its energy and its water and its land and its capital. i'm hopeful the president puts
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as much interest in workers as he does intellectual property, and i support him on both. >> john: president trump also wants to impose new investment restrictions on china to stop them from gobbling up u.s. companies leading the future of technological innovation. the tariffs regime hasn't yet been fully formed, but china is already laying down a marker indicating it may retaliate. but china's foreign ministry also holding out the hope for compromise. >> we hope the two sides can have a talk with level heads and work out a mutually beneficial solution through constructive dialogue on communication and on the basis of mutual respect. >> john: the president dismissed the notion the tariffs could ignite a trade war saying that china needs the u.s. more than the u.s. needs china and the chinese would be foolish to risk that relationship. but late this afternoon, china ea -- chinese officials saying they are neither afraid of nor will recoil from the trade war. chris.
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>> thanks. let's get more on the market melt down. deirdre joins us from new york. good evening, deirdre. >> deirdre: good evening, chris. there was a huge sell off, the dow and the s & p both negative for the year logging the worst day since february 8 and 9, respectively. losses were broad. 9 of the 11 sectors in the s & p 500 lower, all 30 dow components lower as well. investors bought gold futures, safe haven assets. investors buy those in times of fear, instability, or both. so president trump's announcement of those roughly $50 billion of annual tariffs on chinese exports shook some investors, especially since the president also said there may need to be more to come. that adds a layer of uncertainty to any investment equation. most diplomatic experts say as well that saving face is a strong chinese cultural theme
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and that china will retaliate. investors just don't know how yet. but they are clearly pricing in discomfort. you saw stocks such as caterpillar or deere fall at least 38%. if china retaliates on soy or sorgum, live hogs, that would hurt american farmers and the machinery companies that support that industry. airplane maker dow component boeing got about $12 billion in sales from china last year. that's 13% of its overall revenue, so the types of american businesses that would have to recalibrate their revenue models are wide-ranging if tariffs are retaliated against us. chris, back to you. >> chris: deirdre, thank you. there is a major shake-up tonight on president trump's legal team. his lead attorney and special counsel robert mueller's investigation has resigned. catherin herridge spoke to john dowd today about why.
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>> catherin: john dowd on the russia probe this morning, the president graciously accepted. he exclusively told fox news the president has a terrific case and has proved it to the special counsel robert mueller and his team in spades. dowd defended his weekend statement calling on the deputy general rod rosenstein who wanted robert mueller to end it, saying the statement is no different than what i have told mueller and his investigators on multiple occasions. i am so proud of the president's transparency and how anyone could accuse him of obstruction after the president's extraordinary cooperation is beyond me. while dowd would not comment on legal strategy, fox news learned there was disagreement on whether the president should sit with an interview with the special counsel. after signing a presidential order imposing tariffs, a reporter raised the issue. >> would you like to testify to special counsel robert mueller, sir? >> i would like to. >> catherin: tye cob, and other
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attorneys, while top litigator ted olsen turned down an offer. provided witnesses and records on a voluntary basis raising the question why the president needed the special counsel's interview while others can answer his questions. on capitol hill, mixed reactions and warnings. >> i am not overwhelmed by the allegation of obstruction of justice. what i have seen is a president who gets fixated on the investigation and he says things that create legal issues for him. >> if you shut down or throttle the mueller investigation, you will plunge this country into a constitutional crisis. >> catherin: other house democrats expressed concern as it is beginning and the president might take dramatic action with lawmakers out of town, chris. >> chris: catherin, the house committee revealed new leaks on the russia probe. what can you tell us about that.
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>> that's right. they released new findings from the russian investigation today. leaks have found the former director of national intelligence james clapper, whose job was protecting classified information, quote, provided inconsistent testimony about his contact with the media, including cnn. based on fox news reporting lawmakers questioned clapp about the january 2017 briefing on the trump dossier into the incoming president. they got the dossier story out into the main stream media. we have reached out to him for comment and he is an analyst for cnn, chris. >> chris: catherin, thank you. the house passed a measure earlier today. president trump must sign before midnight tomorrow to avoid another partial shut down. chief congressional correspondent mike emmanuel is live on capitol hill with the
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latest with where things stand right now. >> mike: there was complaints today about price tag and process but it is one hurdle down and one to go. facing a friday night deadline, the house and senate $1.3 trillion package to the senate for consideration after this pitch from the house speaker. >> vote yes for our military. vote yes for the safety and the security of this country. vote yes. >> mike: the spending package includes almost $655 billion for national defense. nearly $48 billion for homeland security, $21 billion for infrastructure projects, and almost $1.6 billion for barriers and technology on the border. there was plenty of support for democrats since it is a bipartisan compromise, but the house democratic whip hammered the gop for voting on it before anyone had read the more than 2200-page bill. >> as i said, nobody's read that either.
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this is report language. come to the well if you've read this language. >> mike: in a last-ditch effort, the conservative freedom caucus applied pressure to the right. >> put a good bill in front of the president and he'll support that too. i know he would. let's not bring the worst bill i've seen in my 10 years in congress to the white house. >> mike: the white house swiftly shut down the argument. >> is the president going to sign the bill? the answer is yes. why? because it funds his priorities. >> mike: part of the senate leader's pitch for support are concerning background checks and safety. >> this bill will include two important bipartisan common sense measures to address real issues facing the nation. the fix next bill and the stop school violence act. >> mike: as for when the senate might send it to the president. >> that depends. one person, as you know, can shut the place down if they want to, so it's really up to our
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members. >> mike: bipartisan senate leadership is eager to vote tonight. in fact, they're trying to get an agreement to vote later this hour. it is possible, though, one or more senators may want to make a point and burn some clock, chris. >> chris: mike emmanuel with the latest on capitol hill. israel is the latest company to start an investigation into the facebook privacy scandal. this comes as ceo mark zuckerberg apologizes and promises changes after information from some 50 million users ended up in the hands of a political consulting firm to the trump campaign. william has more on the zuckerberg's response. >> if the industry won't solve these kinds of problems themselves, we'll have to solve them with legislation. >> william: facing a crisis of public trust, facebook ceo zuckerberg weekend oversight. >> if you look at how much information there is on advertising on tv and print, it's just not clear why there
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should be less on the internet. you should have the same level of transparency required. >> william: facing lawsuits from users and investigators, zuckerberg apologized for allowing an elections consulting firm to obtain users' personal data from a third party and then failing to confirm the data was deleted. >> we have a basic responsibility to protect people's data. if we can't do that, then we don't deserve to have the opportunity to serve people. >> william: going forward, zuckerberg says facebook will limit app developers' access to a user's name, photo and email. problem is, thousands of apps already have that data and more, and there's no way to call it back. >> if you think you're getting information for free, you're not. you're paying for it one way or another and you're probably paying for it with your privacy. >> william: which is why congressional staffers today asked facebook how the company is dealing with user privacy and foreign interference in u.s. elections. >> obviously, he can shed a lot of light on what happened, maybe give us some insights about how we can address this issue going
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forward. >> william: zuckerberg said he's open to testifying before congress. >> so what we try to do is send the person at facebook who will have the most knowledge about what congress is trying to learn. if that's me, then i am happy to go. >> william: house staff say facebook is now reviewing all apps on their platform to determine how member data is being used, chris. >> chris: william, thank you. authorities in texas are learning more tonight about the thinking of the man who built a series of package bombs that terrorized the austin area for weeks. mark anthony conditt left behind a 25-minute cell phone video. here is correspondent casey steegle. >> it's the outcry of a very challenged young man. >> casey: and now investigators in austin have the challenge of analyzing the confession of a killer as they pour over mark conditt's words and determine
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why the college drop out became a deadly serial bomber. >> he does not at all mention anything about terrorism, nor does he mention anything about hate. >> casey: but in that 25-minute confession recorded on his phone, the 23-year-old conditt described in detail the explosives he made at his home. >> the suspect described the six bombs he constructed with a level of specificity that he identified the differences among those six bombs. we have told you all along that they all had similarities, which they did as far as specific componen components, but there were also differences between them. >> casey: while conditt didn't explain how or why he chose his targets, but the man described as socially awkward had a hit list. >> he had a target list of future targets, residences, addresses that we found. >> casey: as for conditt's
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family members and what they knew, his aunt says they had no idea of his darkness. >> he was a great kid. he was smart. he was loving. he was kind. i have no idea who this person is. >> casey: and tonight, federal agents have wrapped up their investigation processing the crime scene at the suspect's home back here, and the streets have been reopened around it. we've watched them collect a whole load of evidence and take it away. authorities say that includes a cash of bomb-making materials, computers, and hard drives to assist in the investigation. now, the house just boarded up. chris. >> chris: casey, thank you. up next, a battle between two political heavyweights as president trump and joe biden exchange fighting words. first, here's what some of our fox affiliates around the country are covering tonight. fox 46 in charlotte, as north carolina-based kita recalls
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nearly a half million smoke detectors. the devices were sold at stores such as home depot and wal-mart between september of 2018 and this january. the company says the devices may not work properly. wsvn in miami with word that students of marjorie douglas high school will be required to use clear backpacks and wear id badges at all times. the new rules come after last month's shooting that left 17 people dead. the school system says it will provide the backpacks free of charge. and this is a live look at las vegas from fox 5. the big story there tonight, the surveillance video showing stephen paddock before he carried out the deadliest mass shooting in u.s. history on the las vegas strip. he is seen buying snacks and playing slots and also spotted carrying suit cases which contained an arsenal of weapons and ammunition into the hotel. paddock killed 58 people from his room at the mand lay bay
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resort and casino. that's the live look outside the beltway from "special report." we'll be right back.
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>> chris: there was something of a playground spat going on tonight between two of our country's top political leaders, president trump and former vice president joe biden are arguing over who could kick the other's back side. given that trump is 71 and biden is 75, a pay-per-view cage match is probably out of the question. correspondent peter has the reaction tonight. >> peter: it's like wwe has taken over d.c. round 1, tuesday in miami.
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round 2, today on twitter, president trump bounced back. joe biden is trying to act like a tough guy, yet he is weak mentally and physically. yet he's threatened me with assault. he doesn't know he but he would go down fast and hard crying all the way. don't threaten people, joe. this is the closest we've come to seeing politicians in boxing gloves since mitt romney did it. but that was for charity. this is -- liberal writers, one headline, hey, joe biden, your macho fantasies about a trump beat-down don't help women. also a washington post article titled: joe biden and the case against toxic masculinity. >> i do a million of these a day. >> peter: he may have a seed advantage if they went at it, as for trump, we've seen him swing, just not in the ring. although his body slamming has been well documented. it's tough to handicap a
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trump-biden bout so we asked senator orrin hatch for help. >> i'd feel bad for biden. he'd be right there in the fight. >> on the counter punch, they go after he, i go after them. >> peter: liberals -- >> i had two old couchity uncles used to do that at family dinners. i think it's another example of that, i guess. >> peter: republicans say this would be far from the thrilla in manila. >> i don't think that's going to be a big audience on pay per view. >> peter: as it turns out, trump v. biden may just be the undercard. >> i'll say this, i think melania could take them both. >> peter: can you imagine if we picked a president based on who could beat up whom? it sounds barbaric. on the plus side, it's hard tore hack a boxing ring than a ballot box, chris. >> chris: peter reporting and having too much fun. rex tillerson said he is not a
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fan of the nation's capital, saying this during brief goodbye remarks today at the state department. >> this could be a very mean-spirited town. [applause] >> but you don't have to choose to participate in that >> chris: tillerson also told state department workers to respect one another and do their jobs. the secretary was dismissed by president trump last week. the trump administration is signing off on the sale of more than $1 billion in arms to saudi arabia. the package includes up to 6700 u.s.-built antitank missiles. other items include support, maintenance, and spare parts for american tanks, helicopters and other equipment already in saudi arabia's arsenal. up next, we take you inside the national institutes of health and talk with the health secretary about the deadly opioid abuse epidemic.
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first, beyond our borders tonight, nationwide strikes are hitting france hard. authorities say 30% of flights to and from paris were canceled, along with 40% of high-speed trains. public servants are demanding better wages and protesting the plan cut of 120,000 jobs by 2022. eight people -- or six people are dead rather and two others hurt at an explosion at a chemical factory in the czech republic. the blast took place inside a storage tank in a refinery 10 miles north of the capital prague. there is no word yet on what caused the explosion. a u.s. counter terrorism training center has opened in jordan. it's the second one of its kind in that country. law enforcement officers from partner countries can practice shooting, storming hideouts and responding to bomb threats, and officials say more will be built
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in kenya. those are some of the stories beyond our borders tonight. we'll be right back. 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. hais not always easy. severe plaque psoriasis it's a long-distance run and you have the determination to keep going. humira has a proven track record of being prescribed for over ten years. it's the #1 prescribed biologic by dermatologists. more than 250,000 patients have chosen humira to fight their psoriasis. and they're not backing down. for most patients clearer skin is the proof.
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quickbooks. backing you. >> chris: tonight, an exclusive look behind the scenes at the national institutes of health. the agency has its hands full dealing with many issues, the lingering effects of obamacare, a heavier than normal flu season, and a growing opioid abuse crisis. this evening, my colleague bret baier talks with health and human services secretary alex azar about the opioid strategy. >> the president laid out a historic vision, funding, and first-ever benchmarks about what the goals for success are. first, prevention. we need to keep people from getting addicted in the first place. second, preventing the illicite supply of these illegal opioids and third, effective treatment
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for individuals who are trapped in the cycle of addiction and how we can help them get out of it and stay out of. >> it's a massive problem. the statistics are through the roof. >> it's shocking. 116 americans die every day as a result of opioid overdose. >> every day. >> every single day. that's why we're approaching this as, frankly, a war campaign. you know, i was out in -- near the dayton area in ohio a couple of weeks ago. i met a young girl, 17 years old. her sister died of overdose, her mother died of overdose, her father died of overdose. the grandmother that she was put in the care of died of complications from opioid use. she is addicted. she is in recovery and thank god seven weeks clean and hoping to get her high school diploma next year. >> just shocking. >> multigenerational. impacts every community. >>bret: how much should we put on drug makers and how much responsibility falls across the board? >> there are elements of this
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across the board, across the medical profession, across our payment systems, just how we deal with pain and think about pain. absolutely, there's accountability and should be accountability there on anyone who conducted themselves improperly or illegally. we continue to work on this, so the attorney general, jeff sessions, recently filed what we call a statement of interest where the united states is joining in litigation being brought by state attorneys general against many manufacturers of these legal opioids. will be uncompromising if we determine unethical or improper conduct. >>bret: there are a lot of elements as you mentioned. the one that got the most headline on monday was the president saying we should look at death penalty for drug dealers who are moving the drugs into this country. that raised some eye brows. >> he is very serious about this. i think the core message is the president saying this requires a no-holds-barred approach, use
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all the tools we have at our disposal to the maximum extent. >>bret: it is getting positive feedback from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle but overall your department takes a bit of a cut. >> in terms of the opioid crisis, we have an agreement that allocates $6 billion over two years of funding for grants, for prevention, and for law enforcement, we think this is very important and expect that to happen. in terms of other hhs funding, we actually did relatively well as an overall department. we're a large department, $1.2 trillion as a department, and we prioritized organizations like the national institute of health, where we sit today, the crown jewel of the world's biomedical research organizations and then also the cdc, the world's premier epidemiological organization. >>bret: even though the numbers are down. >> at the institutes of health, the numbers actually remain constant in terms of where we
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are currently appropriated and dr. collins, our great nih -- >> chris: we have breaking news. we will be posting the breast of president's interview with the secretary on our fox news special report web site. we have breaking news. president trump has just tweeted: i am pleased to announce that effective 4/9/18, april 9th, ambassador john bolton will be my new national security advisor. i am very thankful for the several of general mcmaster, who has done an outstanding job, and will always remain my friend. there will be an official contact handover on 4/9, april 9th. so the president announcing that h.r. mcmaster, general mcmaster is out as his national security advisor and former ambassador john bolton, a fox news contributor, is in as the national security advisor. i think it's fair to say -- let me first bring in the panel,
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byron york of the washington examiner, susan page of usa today and jonathan swan of axuous. i think it's fair to say while the timing may be a bit of a surprise, the fact that mcmaster was going to be out sooner rather than later, the surprise at the timing of it. jonathan, you've been covering this, as to whether mcmaster was going to be out, your thoughts? >> i tell you, this has shocked people inside the building. again, it's the timing of it. there was an assumption at some point he was going to remove h.r. mcmaster. they never fortunateli fortunatelied -- formed a chemistry. he never figured out how to brief the president. this is not about ideology. john bolton is about as hawkish as they come. this is about chemistry with the president of the united states. he thinks he's strong, he sees him on television, likes him
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and, again, h.r. mcmaster never really gelled with this president. never became as toxic as with rex tillerson as the secretary of state but he was seen as a dead man walking inside the white house. >> chris: i want to talk more about this but general mcmaster has issued a statement in independence -- response to the president of the united states. after years of service, i am requesting retirement from the army this summer. it has been my greatest privilege to serve alongside extraordinary service members and dedicated civilians. i am thankful to president donald j. trump for the opportunity to serve him and our nation as the national security advisor. i am grateful for the friendship and opportunity of the members of the national security council who work together to provide the president with the best options to protect and advance our national interests. i'm especially proud to have served alongside the men and women of the national security council staff who established a
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strong foundation for protecting the american people, promoting american prosperity, achieving peace through strength and advancing american influence. i know that these patriots will continue to serve our president and our nation with distinction. before i bring in susan and byron, jonathan, the reason i think we're a little bit surprised is there was a story on the front page. i believe it was the washington post last week that said mcmaster was out, and on friday, mcmaster and kelly said, no, he's not out, that he's there, you know, with the dreaded vote of confidence. why give him the vote of confidence and less than a week later pull the rug out. >> jonathan: the honest truth, they didn't know the timing. i was one of those reporters on thursday that reached out to the white house and the reason the washington post could run the story was the white house stopped pushing back. on thursday last week, the white house stopped leaning into aggressively opposing reporters who were saying, you know, i'm
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hearing mcmaster is out. they basically said behind the scenes, we're not going to wave you off in a very aggressive way. the next morning, you can't say the guy is gone while he's in the job still. they had to walk this very tightrope knowing full well the president of the united states wanted a new national security advisor, not knowing who that person would be or when he'd make the decision. i'm tell you this afternoon, i was getting calls from the white house, the press team was chaotic and running around. it seems they were caught off guard by what happened today. >> chris: susan, there are two aspects of this that are interesting. one obviously is mcmaster, his service, why he didn't gel with the president and the appointment of john bolton and what that says about the president's foreign policy going forward. we've got to remember we're less than two months away if all goes as planned with the summit with the president of north korea and the president will have a new national security team, mike
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pompeo, and a new national security advisor in john bolton. we need to remember mcmaster was brought in after the precipitous and sudden firing after three weeks of michael flynn as national security advisor. first your thoughts on mcmaster, what he did and what he did wrong. >>susan: as you said, he wasn't a good fit with the president. remember, bolton wasn't a good fit either. bolton went in and met with the president and did not immediately click with him either. there's a reason this is shocking, but not surprising, we knew mcmaster was having trouble. it's shocking because of the timing you mentioned. this spring we're supposed to have a meeting with the northern korean leader. we may not have a secretary of state. mike pompeo may not be confirmed if the meeting takes place on time. the national security advisor can work at the president's discretion and doesn't require confirmation. so he can start in april as they've said. this is the time where we've got these huge foreign policy
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challenges. we know that the state department is not staffed in the way it's traditionally been staffed up with experts and now the president will have this new team that will take presumably at least some time to find their footing. >> chris: and as i'm thinking as you're talking, we're all obviously reacting in real time here, the president surprised his foreign policy team when he had his phone call with vladimir putin this week, not only congratulating him on his victory but perhaps more consequentially talking about having a meeting in the not-too-distant future, and they're not supposed to be in the same city for one of these huge multilateral meetings until next november so conceivably, they could be on the fly be dealing with a kim jung un summit and vladimir putin summit. >>susan: and we're also talking about a trade war with china. >> chris: we don't know if we have a trade war with them. >>susan: it's possible. it's a world in turmoil, that's for sure. >> chris: it is interesting, byron, about john bolton, a respected member of the fox news
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team as a contributor, because i do know the president was considering him when he first came in in december during the transition, in december of 2016, and one of the concerns was he was very aggressive, a neoconservative in the sense of wanting to confront the countries and the president wanting to avoid international entanglements. >> byron: i think you could talk about one policy in particular in the sense that mcmaster was a guy who told the president he couldn't do stuff particularly concerning the iran nuclear deal. it has to be recertified every three months, so it's come up four times so far, and the president wants to get out of it and they say no, you can't do that. maybe you should pull out a little bit or issue an ultimatum or get other people and try to get them on board. there's other things you can do. meanwhile, our commitment to it stands. he sees john bolton on television talking about the iran nuclear deal, sees john bolton taking a very hard line
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toward north korea. he calls them up. it's not like they haven't talked all year. they have been talking at various times. i think he feels he wants that kind of voice. also, this is a position that doesn't have to be confirmed by the senate and george w. bush when he made bolton the u.n. ambassador had to do it through recess appointment because rand paul and other members of the u.s. senate said it would not happen so it had to be, if you were going to appoint bolton, had to be in a non-confirmed position. >> chris: panelists, standby. we're going to continue this conversation in a moment. jennifer griffin is standing by at the pentagon, our national security correspondence. jennifer, we're talking in the case of general mcmaster, a lieutenant general in the military. there had been talk about trying to get him a fourth star and one of the reasons for the delay was the idea they were trying to find him a good, appropriate spot, some would say a soft landing inside the military so he could continue his career but
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instead, in this announcement we're hearing we'll retire this summer from the military. your thoughts about all of that. >> jennifer: it's interesting, chris. i've been having conversations for weeks now with people in the chain of command here in the pentagon about whether h.r. mcmaster was planning to come back either to the pentagon or to an army post, and there was some talk, but there was never any formal requests to find him a new job, either in the army or in the military, and so it was clear to me that there was never really a plan for him to come back, receive a fourth star, and carry on in his army position, so nobody knew for sure that he was going to be replaced, but if he were replaced, it was clear there were no preparations being made in the army. what's curious about this is that i know from trump administration officials that they were concerned about the message that it would send if someone like h.r. mcmaster was
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thrown out of his position at the national security council the way that rex tillerson had been -- sort of tweeted out at the state department. they are concerned that senior-level people in the national security establishment will not take jobs with the trump administration because they don't like the way that they see that rex tillerson was treated and others. what's interesting about h.r. mcmaster is that he really made his name in the army and in the military back during the surge, during the iraq war. he was known as part of general petreus' brain trust. he made enemies in the army as a result of that. he was seen as an up and comer. he operated off and outside of the box. he had a brisk manner. clearly, president trump never really got along with him and didn't appreciate that brusque manner in the briefing from those who were in the room with him. h.r. mcmaster also wrote a very
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famous book called "dereliction of duty" about the national security advisors and the chairman of joint chiefs during vietnam who did not give their best military advice to the president, so it's very interesting this next national security advisor is going to be very different. >> chris: well, and let's talk about that, because john bolton will be in in the next couple of weeks as the national security advisor. we know him very well at fox news. he's a real hard liner when it comes to iran and the iran nuclear deal. that certainly should be very much in keeping with the position not only of the president but also mike pompeo who's been a hardliner as cia director about the utility of that deal. what can you tell us about john bolton when it comes to north korea and again, we're talking about all of this happening with the summit. things could be delayed but a summit that is supposed to take place with the president by the end of may. >> jennifer: there's no greater
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hard liner on north korea than john bolton. he wrote "the legal case for striking north korea first" so he has put out there the potential for a preemptive strike against north korea. i've heard him say on many occasions that he does not think talking to north korea will work. it will not lead to denuclearization of the peninsula. john bolton was involved in the '90s where, you know, he was burned by the north koreans in the past, and so he is not somebody who is going to trust that talks are going to lead to the denuclearization. also, we have a very important date coming up in may in terms of the iran deal. the president has indicated that he may let that deal lapse, and i certainly think that john bolton would agree with him on that. you have a real daisy chain of changes within the national security roles surrounding the president, and it certainly is leaning more towards allowing
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the iran deal to lapse and a hard line on north korea. >> chris: let me just pick up one more time with you on that, jennifer. in terms of the hardline towards north korea, is that going to be a hardline but still a summit, or is it such a hardline that the ambassador bolton, to some degree, and we're speculating here, might be trying to persuade the president not to sit down with kim jung un for what was going to be an absolutely unprecedented meeting, the first time any american president met with a north korean leader. >> jennifer -- i think it would be hard for the president to back out of that meeting: at this point. you've heard it would be a trilateral meeting between the three countries so the south korean president would be there at the same time. but i certainly think that with john bolton advising the president that is unlikely that it will be a long diplomatic process that they would enter into. john bolton is very suspicious of that kind of long process.
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he's seen how that is used as a stalling mechanism by groups such as north korea. what is not clear to me is that if you let the iran deal lapse, how do you turn to the north koreans and negotiate any sort of settlement with them believing that the u.s. would, in fact, live up to an agreement, and that's going to be -- that's the biggest argument among nuclear experts as to how you go into the north korea nuclear talks if you let the iran deal lapse. >> chris: thanks so much, jennifer. i want you to standby. if you can come up with any more information, let us know and we'll let you back in. let's go to catherin herridge. you have great sources in the intelligent community. as i said, there had been talk about mcmaster out there and talk about john bolton coming in, but late last week or over the weekend it seemed that was all going to be on hold for a while and now suddenly it isn't.
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>> catherin: i saw john bolton yesterday and today and i want to emphasize he's always been very discrete about any kind of discussions he may or may not be having about entering the white house. i agree with jennifer when you look at this shift in the context of the other changes to the cabinet that the president has now put forward. on iran, i think you've given that a good treatment. the odds of the u.s. pulling out of the deal have gone way up. ambassador bolton has never been a proponent of a deal that was struck under the obama administration. if you look at the issue of russia, ambassador bolton is seen as someone who is calling for a very aggressive policy with the russians. in fact, just on his twitter account in the last few days, he post body how vladimir putin had been able to use kind of an information warfare campaign on his own people in order to ensure victory, and then he could take that sort of sarcastically speaking and apply it to the united states and other countries so he's advocating a pretty aggressive position or more aggressive
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position with russia. and then on china, he also was tweeting about the need for a more aggressive posture which would, of course, be in line with the imposition of tariffs that the president did today. i want to say though sort of on a personal note, it does appear to me that he would have sort of a good chemistry or connection with the president, especially on the issue of the special counsel and related discussions. i know with speaking to ambassador bolton on a number of occasions, he was deeply distressed about the unmasking controversy and to which the extent the obama administration were unmasking individuals either directly in the trump campaign or associated with the trump campaign in the 2016 election. he said to me that in the years he had that ability in the intelligence community, he only did it a handful of times, and he felt that it was beyond shocking that the former u.n. ambassador it was alleged had unmasked -- made a number of unmasking requests, upwards of 200 in the calendar year of
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2016. and then also as a final point, he was very distressed about the special council investigation in light of what he saw as a double standard with the handling of the clinton email case under fbi director james comey. so a lot of agreement that he's going to be more aggressive, more hawkish. he was very discrete about any discussions but certainly would have a lot of common ground with the president on those key issues of special council, and also the unmasking, which would be outside of his purview as the national security advisor, chris. >> chris: catherin, thanks so much. we're going to take a break here, catch our breath, get some thoughts together and we'll be right back with the panel with further analysis of what all this says about the state of the trump white house and the future of the president's foreign policy. just one free hearing test at
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>> h.r. mcmaster will become the national security advisor. he's a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience. i've watched and read over the last twro da -- two days. he is highly respected by everybody in the military, and we're very honored to have him. he also is known for a long time -- i know john bolton, we're going to be asking to work with us in a somewhat different capacity. jon is a really terrific guy. we've had a few meetings with him, knows a lot, and has a good, a good number of ideas that i must tell you i agree very much with. >> chris: well, that's an interesting piece of archival tape. that's president trump announcing the appointment of general mcmaster a year ago february at mara largo, when he was named to replace michael flynn after he was forced out
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after he had misled the vice president about his meetings with the russian ambassador. interestingly enough, in that same meeting, he was talking about mcmaster's eventual successor, john bolton, and we want to alert you to not change your channel here, because at the top of the hour, martha mccallum is going to have an exclusive interview with john bolton, the new national security advisor to the president. i must say, folks, i'm a little jealous of that booking, as much as i want to talk to all of you. i was just during the commercial looking at this and, you know, it's happened over a couple of weeks, but gary kohn, the president's top economic advisor out, general mcmaster, the national security advisor out, the secretary of state, rex tillerson out. today, the president's top personal lawyer, john dowd out. susan, what do you make of it? >> susan: you know, i think we're seeing a president increasingly comfortable in the role and increasingly unwilling to put up with advice he doesn't want to hear, so advice from the
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establishment that you can't do this or you must do that, he is less willing to do that, and he is replacing some key figures with folks who either agree with him or are willing to express agreement with him, and i think that goes to the questions of things like will he testify before the special council, who's going to give him advice on iran, is it okay to go ahead and put tariffs on chinese goods, even though some republicans think that's a very bad idea. >> chris: you were talking during the break, jonathan, about how bolton will fit into the president's new national security team, which will be pompeo and mattis, and bolton. >> jonathan: the dynamics are going to change dramatically. you had really three people who were aligned. you had tillerson, mattis, and to a lesser extent john kelly and they're aligned to a dubbish pose on north korea. it was letting them to be known on the outside or in their orbit that mcmaster was a bit too
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aggressive on the korean peninsula, a bit of a warmonger, not happy with his tactics. but h.r. mcmaster was quite differential to mattis. they clashed a lot but he was deferential. john bolton will not be deferential. i had a conversation last week with one of mcmaster's allies who was frustrated with the way mattis treated him and this person in the frustration said you know what, i hope they appoint john bolton. sitting at the opposite of mattis, it will be very dynamic. john bolton will not take a backwards step. >> chris: let's talk about general kelly -- i'm sorry, the chief of staff, because there was last week that he might be out, and then supposedly, the president and kelly had a meeting and they agreed, no, no, they were okay with each other. kind of odd that they would have to have a meeting to agree on that, and there are even rumors today that the president might think he doesn't need a chief of staff and that he could be the sort of the hub and the spokesof the wheel, and there would be an
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economic person and a national security person, and he would, in effect, be his own chief of staff. i mean, is that possible? >> jonathan: library this steven bannon theory he's spreading. i've espn to steve in the past few weeks. his theory is trump wants to run the white house like an organization. i don't know if that's based on reality. there's an essential truth to it in which trump doesn't like to be overstaffed and he's frustrated with john kelly and he's vented about him to a lot of different people but i don't think he has a clear replacement in mind, which is what seems to be delaying any action on that front. >> chris: but he is running the executive branch, which is a really big thing. and one thing to remember about john bolton is that he's not that sort of trump company employee. i mean, he has extensive experience in the executive branch. i remember talking to him about immigration one time, and he told me that he was working in the justice department in the
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reagan administration and was dealing with congress on immigration. he has broad experience across the executive branch, and if there's any job that needs it, it's national security advisor, because you're dealing with so many different agencies in the national security apparatus. so this is -- yes, he's going to be a very different person, but this is not a sort of freelancer. this is someone who, i think, really understands the complexity of what they do in the national security council. >>susan: you know why the president had success with a spokesat the wheel in the organization. carter tried it for a while and brought in a chief of staff. running the white house is a very complicated thing and there is not an example of a modern president who has not needed to have a chief of staff and powerful chief of staff. >> jonathan: and on byron's point, john bolton wrote a book and one section of the book he's quite proud of, i think it's his confirmation hearing where joe biden said my problem with you isn't that you're incompetent, it's that you're too competent.
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yes, he knows where bodies are buried and knows his way around the bureaucracy and i think he's going to be a very effective national security advisor advancing his points of view. >> chris: what are your thoughts? it's interesting. we all know john bolton to varying degrees, both as a government official and as a contributor here at fox, as they would say in kindergarten, can he play well with others? he's got some sharp elbows as a member of the state department and u.n. ambassador and always a controversial figure in the bush administration. >> byron: absolutely and has enemies on capitol hill too. i was speaking earlier that it would be impossible to speak to any other thing. as long as he has the president's ear, which he seems to have right now, and with that knowledge of the government i was talking about, i think he'll actually be pretty effective at least for a while. although, we have to remember the rate of turnover in this administration, everybody is going to get to work for the trump administration at some point. >> chris: susan.
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>> susan: you got me. >> chris: you know what, we're running out of time. hold that thought. you can with on with john bolton on the next show. that's "special report" for tonight. i'm chris wallace. the story with martha maccallum and a pretty big guest. general h.r. mcmaster is out as national security adviser. former u.n. ambassador to the u.n., john bolton will be his replacement. he will join us in moments to speak about this very breaking news tonight. he's just been announced in his position. also breaking this evening, investigators in austin hunting for a motive, looking closely at a target list that they have found of future addresses that bomber mark conditt was looking to strike. >> he was at my christm