tv Fox and Friends Saturday FOX News April 14, 2018 3:00am-7:00am PDT
abby: good morning to all of you. this is "fox & friends." we begin with a fox news alert. missile attacks on syria. the united states, britain, and france striking syria several times overnight launching more than 100 missiles. pete: not just missiles but b-1 bombers. aircraft striking three sites in syria connected to its chemical weapons program. griff: president trump calling for swift action in response to assad regime's chemical attack on his own people that killed dozens of civilians, many of them children. >> my fellow americans, a short time ago, i ordered the united states armed forces to launch precision
strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of syrian dictator bashar al assad. a combined operation with the armed forces of france and the europe nighted kingdom is now underway. last saturday the assad regime again deployed chemical weapons to slaughter innocent civilians. this time in the town of douma, near the syrian capital of damascus. the evil and the despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children, thrashing in pain and gasping for air. these are not the actions of a man. they are crimes of a monster, instead. pete: this, in my opinion, is what you want from the president of the united states at moments like this when international alarms of gassing people and lines are
crossed. america steps up and enforces them. it's nice as you saw in that graphic when our friends come next to us theresa may, that zone from france but ultimately this is about american leadership. no one else is going to enforce this. no one else is going to do what needed to be done. when that butcher right there, bashar al assad and his benefactors ultimately in russia and iran do this to innocent people, we have to stand up and do something about it. we will see what the future holds, but an important and bold night last night for the united states of america. abby: that's the big reaction this morning. you cross that red line, griff, we're going to respond. as you said, it's up to the united states to be the leader of the free world. if we don't step up, people are not going to follow in that lead. what do we stand for? do we want these innocent people, men, women, and children as the president said last night gasping for air? many of them killed over recent years. you think about the times we haven't followed through on that red line. and that is what led us to this very point. so the president had some powerful words last night if you were watching the tvs
around 9:00 p.m. for bashar al assad. russia and iran are both helping prop up the assad regime. here was the president last night. >> i also have a message tonight for the two governments most responsible for supporting, equipping, and financing the criminal assad regime. to iran and to russia, i ask what kind of a nation wants to be associated with a mass murder of innocent men, women, and children? the nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. no nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants, and murderous dictators. griff: so you will hear it call the assad axis, russia, iran and syria.
but for the context of all of this, last saturday was the latest in upwards of 50 or more che chemical attacks on his own people. the suffering likes of which you cannot find anywhere else on the planet. it was horrific. it was ignored by the previous administration. it was a failed attempt to remove these chemical weapons. and, yet, last saturday, president trump and his administration saw children, women holding babies with chemical bubbles coming out of their mouth and he said no. we have to say this is not okay and with france and with the u.k. he decided to send a message that this is not about regime change now. this is not about interfering into a civil war. this is about saying we have to stop this. while those same assad say it's fake news. it's not real.
russia also saying they feel threatened. abby: we have had guests on in the last hour talking about how delegate this response is that we made. at the same time you don't want to have a direct war with russia because of this. if you cut off the head of syria, bashar al assad you then. you got to be so careful i'm sure that was going on behind closed doors at these meetings with general james mattis and john bolt stolen the head of the u.s. there of how do we send that message. how are we as strong as we can be to try to deter assad but also not start world war iii. pete: we don't want a shooting war with russia, got it do you know who doesn't want a shooting war with us? russia. they are more afraid of us than we should be of them because of our capabilities today. push the envelope. what we did yesterday was important. doesn't change the calculus of what is happening on the ground but this president ran on america first policy. doesn't want to get us entangled in the war in the middle east. abby: he made that clear last night as well.
pete: he also understands he was handed a terrible situation by the previous administration because they wouldn't use force when they needed to and as a result he stepped up to do that and the world is a better place when america acts. may not have been enough. may not be the end as he said. but it was something worth doing. griff: that's right. all right, overnight secretary of defense claims mattis and joint chiefs of staff dunford laying out how the attack went down. pete: lucas tomlinson is live at the pentagon to explain. good morning. >> good morning pete and guys. clearly bashar al assad didn't get the message last year and another crews missile attack was needed after assad's latest attack on his own people. >> right now this is a one time shot and sent a very strong message to dissuade him to deter him from doing this again. >> the targets that were
struck and destroyed were specifically associated with the syrian regime's chemical weapons program. we also selected targets that would minimize the risk to innocent civilians. >> mattis and general dunford spoke about an hour after the strikes began at 9:00 p.m. eastern. the strikes are over for now. we don't expect anymore today or this evening. three targets hit by combined u.s., british, and french task force. a scientific research center near damascus was bombed, as well as two chemical weapons storage facilities outside of homs. third largest city. the french military released this video showing a missile strike from a french fridge gatt. participated along with three u.s. navy warships, some from the red sea. u.s. air force b-1 bombers from qatar, british tornadoes jets launched from cyprus. we expect to hear more about the battle assessment at the pentagon:00 a.m. eastern time. for now, this is looking like a limited strike against assad's chemical
weapons facilities and nothing more, guys. abby: thank you so much for us. griff: thanks, lucas. pete: if there are developments at that briefing at the pentagon we will bring them to you here live at the fox news channel. it a lot of confidence this decision which not everyone will agree on. should it be bigger or smaller or should we have done it, whether you have got james mattis and john bolton and john kelly the chief of staff with his experience advising the president you know have you serious people who say we shouldn't back down the way obama did giving recommendations to this president. a lot went into calculations. abby: it is serious when you are sending our own men and women into harm's way. they have served. they have been on the front lines, they know how important it is to get this right and protect our brave men and women. griff: i remember being in the invasion of iraq with general mattis who at that time was commanding the first marine and joe dunford, and these are very serious people. general mattis gets a little bit of a bad wrap for
nickname mad dog. diplomacy. when he tells you have to use force it is undeniably the correct choice to take. in fact, his call sign in the marines was chaos. and people thought that was like tough sounding. but it was actually a nickname he got as a colonel, which was -- acronym to stand for the colonel has another outstanding solution and it was because he always sought diplomacy. is he leading this effort. and like iraq he is giving the president solid advice. abby: a lot of critics to the president says he doesn't listen to anyone but himself. if you follow recently it's very clear that james mattis is someone that he pulls on often. someone he takes very very seriously and wants to get his take. you often hear them having lunch or behind closed doors just the two of them. he generally wants to hear
what james mattis has to say and how we should move forward. pete: we heard him huddling with john bolton and john kelly as well. shocking, the president has critics and find at any moment any reason to attack him. in this particular case folks on the left came out sounding the drum we shouldn't be doing. this listen. >> striking syria at this point would be illegal without congressional authorization. >> in no way should he conduct this because this certainly would be an illegal strike and it would be very dangerous and tragic if this happens. >> we must do all we can to prevent syria from using chemical weapons and prevent an unhinged president or a hinged president from taking us to war in the middle east without a plan. >> all right, griff, they are saying this is illegal. griff: just so our viewers who are trying to process this, we operate under the authorization of use for military force. it is the same one operating since 9/11.
pete: yep. griff: the members of congress saying they need a new one. here is the thing whether jerry nadler or barbara lee or eric swalwell is willing to acknowledge it or not the humanitarian tarren groups in syria or douma are crying out for the unfathomable human suffering they are seeing. they cried out and president trump said i will answer your call. pete: that's true. and i hear the cries. america can't answer every cry of every crying person in the world. what we can answer to is our own constitution and article 2. abby: where he has the authority. pete: tells us that the commander-in-chief has the prerogative and the authority to take this kind of action imminently, eventually 60 days is the understood standard. you then go to congress and seek an authorization for the use of military force to. declare this illegal out the gate is to set to continue your resistance of this president on another means. give him time, let's see what happens. then ultimately i agree we
don't have unilateral wars waged by the executive branch. congress approves war. if this comes to that, congress would have to approve it. but i know from what he said on the campaign trail, this president has no desire to get bogged down in a syrian civil war, especially with u.s. troops. so, that all seems very, very hate speech. abby: the president has also said in the past that president barack obama should get approval from congress as well. when you are in that position you are having to make that decision, i think things change. and this is a time where the country needs to come together and say what do we stand for? what is crossing that red line? how do we respond? this is not a time to play politics. i would actually be if the president called on congress this week i think you mentioned this, griff. put them in a corner and say you guys you approve of these actions in syria. if you say no to this? are you approving of chemical attacks of these people in syria. griff: on the record. pete: i would say yes and no. obama did that to punt. remember obama? should i strike or not? i will let congress to
decide. what i love about this president, he said i'm going to take decisive action. then you could take the next step and say if you want to prolong this, hey, congress, that's your proper constitutional role, make the call. i think you can do both and that would be very, very prudent. griff: let's brings in jim hanson, he certainly no stranger having served in the special forces in the army and conducted counter terrorist operations. jim, as we are all waking up to this news, what are your thoughts? >> as you guys are discussing, president trump, as pete said, has authority under article 2 of the constitution to take action in furtherance of american national security. when we have somewhere around 2,000 plus troops in the syrian theater, for the syrian military to be conducting chemical strikes is a clear and present danger to them. he doesn't have to ask anybody for authority to retaliate for that. but, as was mentioned, if this was going to become bigger and become an action to take the assad regime out that would be a time to
discuss that with congress. president trump did the right thing. he answered both assad, putin, and the iranians in their disregard of his previous warning. he needed to do that and now they're on notice. they got the mattis answer to what was the retaliation. bolton answer is still waiting in the wings. there was discussion as to whether there should be larger strikes. abby: do you think there should be? do you think they sent a clear enough message to bashar al assad to russia or iran or do you think this could continue on here. >> let's hope. so i think it's clear. the idea that we had the u.s., u.k., and france, we put the band back together to go ahead and send a clear message that this isn't just the united states. we're not just dealing with a trump-putin issue. this is the free world, the civilized world telling the uncivillized world we're not going to stand for that. if they decide not to listen to that, john bolton is ready to give them exactly what they don't want and that is smoking rubble all
across syria. pete: jim, when we talk about mattis and bolton, neither of them are shrinking violence here. you are saying the bolton option would be seen as the more aggressive one. what would that be and how far could we push the envelope? because ultimately you want to deter russia truly if they are not deterred by this, what could we do? >> you know what's interesting, pete. in the pentagon press conference last nitrogen dunford announced surface-to-air missiles were shot, whether it was just at the incoming tomahawks or potentially at u.s. aircraft or u.k. or french aircraft. if that happened, and those were some of the advanced russian surface to air missiles, then who did fire the first shot? if the russians did that and we potentially retaliated against those, it would be interesting to see if we took out any of those russian air defense systems with potentially russian technicians on them. so we don't want the russians involved but we can't shy away from the fact that they may have taken action against us.
pete: interesting. abby: you think about how we got here. of how we have set that red line for years now and haven't always followed through. how much of a problem are we in now because of decisions that were made under the obama administration? >> you know, president obama, mid wifed isis by leaving iraq without a plan for any way to stop a vacuum. the problem in syria was exacerbated when he set a red line and then failed to follow up on it and their miserable attempt to claim they got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out is belied by the death and destruction that's happened since then. so he is definitely responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths by not having a leadership attitude. president trump does. and that's the difference now. now, they may have ignored that first warning. if they are crazy enough to ignore the second warning, they're not going to like what comes next. because we're not going to tolerate it. we're not going to let them run a crazed regime out of
the middle east. griff: thanks, jim. pete: jim hanson, thank you for your time this morning. thank you. abby: all right. well, as we have been talking about, this is not the assad's regime of first deadly use of chemical weapons. about 500,000 syrians killed in the war since 2011. that's about 2% of their entire population. more than 5.4 million people have fled syria since 2011. many of them young children. pete: our next guest is no stranger to these atrocities having spent time in syria. he is here to tell us why it's so critical to take action against this dictator. griff: joining us now retired delta force operator and 25-year army veteran lieutenant colonel jim reese. colonel, good morning. >> good morning, peta. how are you? griff: good morning. what are your thoughts a lot of america are waking um. what are your thoughts about what happened and where do we go? >> you know, this is something we have seen before. last year we had the same instance and unfortunately i
believe we will see this again. i think if you go back to the point you just made about the division deaths going on in syria. i get over there about every quarter humanitarian and stability work we are doing over there. that country is devastated but it literally is, you know, we kind of lost this word here lately, but it's a genocide over there. and there is a whole generation of children that are orphaned. they are being destructed and like i said, the entire infrastructure is devastated over there. and the thing that really amazes me as i travel through there is refugees and displaced people in jordan alone, 20% of their pop plupopulace are displaced refugees from syria. pete: trillions in lives lost. explain to the american people why there should be more investment in syria as tragic as it may be.
what is the u.s. interest in that region and this country? >> yeah. that's a great question. we have got two options. it's a struggle for every commander-in-chief, for every military commanders out there to have to deploy our men and women in to another conflict where the friction is just incredible that we don't want to get bogged down in. the more dilemma. we have to go into and demographic aspects of the middle east. right now in syria, you know, one thing we have got to keep in mind, the isis issue is still not complete. we are still conducting operations. we had a special operations soldier killed just two weeks ago from a ied. that's still going on. the whole -- syria holds an intersection of the whole problems within the middle east. me personally, if i'm advising the president, what i say is it's time to kick in our coalition. and i have been saying this for years, the saudis, the elm rades, jordanians,
kuwaitys, this should be we have to lead them because we are america. we are the ones that know how to conduct fusion and bring these things together. we have got to be looking for a way for the arab countries in the area to bring this to bear and bring this problem to bear because, if not, we're just going -- we'll be here for another 15 years, 17 years. figure something out. abby: you have been there on the front lines you have seen it firsthand. lieutenant, thank you. pete: if not iran controls it and we don't want that world either for sure. as expected, the so-called mainstream media slamming the president's decision. >> there are national security consequences to having a presidency that is as chaotic as mr. trump's presidency. pete: all right. well, dan bongino here to react to that and much more next. [burke] at farmers, we've seen almost everything
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griff: welcome back. rachel maddow slamming the president for the joint airstrike against syria. >> there are national consequences to having a presidency as chaotic as mr. trump's presidency. the. even if the tail is not wagging the dog. even if you give the president every benefit of the doubt. what else is going on in the president's life right now unavoidably creates a real perception around the global that that may have been part of the motivation. pete: so what is the so-called mainstream media, otherwise known as the left wing media missing about our allies taking action against the regime? abby: joining us now with his reaction dan bongino former secret service agent and host of the dan bongino show who i'm sure has no opinions about this whatsoever. dan, it's great to have you on this morning. dan, it's always great to see you. >> good to see you too. this is incredible. abby: i was watching the
news play out this week. and it seems like there was a lot of frustration from members of the media that the president had tweeted taking action in syria and he hadn't yet. you are damned if you do damned if you don't. >> you know, abby, this is how conspiracy theories work. conspiracy theories the hallmark of them. here is how you can always find one. it's not falsifiable, no matter what. no matter what you do is further evidence of the conspiracy theory. how does this relate to rachel maddow the queen of conspiracy theories right now. she is absolutely committed to this russian collusion fairy tale despite the fact there is no evidence it happened. so whatever happens is further evidence of the conspiracy theory, abby, including donald trump bombing the snot of a russian client state last night. as you accurately stated, too. she has the order all out of whack. she doesn't even understand the order is all wrong to defend her silly conspiracy theory about wagging the dog. pete: dan, walk us through
this because some of the president's supporters said he ran on nonintervention and america first. why are we bombing countries in the middle east? what's your take on how this settles within the president's perspective? >> you know, it's a fair question. and i'm a big supporter of the president. i'm also a big supporter of us kind of dialing back our global commitments militarily. so it's tough for me to reconcile. you know, i think it's kind of one of these foxconner's rules of war scenario. don't go for war alone and don't don't go longer than you have to. i don't know that we absolutely had to do this. if it's a limited strike. here's my thing, guys. if i could be candid with you for a moment. i don't know the president personally. but i grew up in queens. i know a lot of people who know him and i know a lot of people who worked for him. i believe he was sincerely impacted by the photos of those unbelievably horrific gas attacks. we have seen this before
with him in parkland as well. guys, i just don't think he has been jaded enough in a career in politics, seeing this often or a career in the military where you see it a lot and it hurts you but have you already seen it, he sees these photos and i think they hit him really, really hard. griff: dan, you said about making the decision. i mean, first of all, what option did he have because he was moved. the horrific, unfathomable human suffering that occurred last saturday was 50-plus times this has happened. and how much of this goes back to a problem that he inherited from the obama administration's failure to get syria to stop killing their own people? >> yeah, griff. do you know what's interesting? obama drew a red line, assad crossed it, right? and then trump enforced the red line. i mean, that's what is really incredible about this whole thing. you talk about inheriting a problem. he inherited this problem from obama. now, if it's a limited strike, limited in scope and designed to take out the
chemical weapons capabilities, even for guys like me who don't really prefer these interventions, i'm not -- i wouldn't object to it. and i think it's a strong move on his behalf. and, really, the conspiracy theory angle from the left though, griff, is really incredibly deeply disturb disturbing. show you how far they will go to take this guy down. pete: they claim to crawl inside his brain and find the most nefarious reason for any actions he is taking as president. it's amazing. abby: dan, good to see you this morning. >> all wrong. that happened before these recent raids or anything. they won't tell you that. pete: that's a good point. the orders should matter. if you are building a time line of conspiracy that actually matters. abby: facts matter. coming up, president trump has a message for syria, and we are just getting started. >> we are prepared to sustain this response until the syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical
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reduce hunger, help control cravings with contrave. now you an talk to a doctor online and get free shipping at getcontravenow.com. abby: we are pack with a fox news alert. u.s. led forces striking syria overnight. pete: our military launching more than 100 missiles and those airstrikes were twice the side of last year's attack. targeting assad regime at three specific sights lasting an hour.
griff: president trump vowing it's not over yet. kevin corke is live from the white house. what's the latest? >> good morning. you are right about that. in fact, the president said u.s. and allies march to the righteous power against brutality on the syrian people. he followed through on that threat as we expected him to do ending the message to the assad regime by way of strikes last night. in fact, the president's comments which we showed here on fox came just as explosions were rocking damascus. again, the strikes were limited here. they were targeted. and obviously they included our allies from france and the u.k. now, all this is in response to, of course, the use of chemical weapons on civilians, even children in that country of syria. obviously shocked the international community. still, the strikes again are unlikely to alter the course of this multi-sighted war which has killed half a million people over the past seven years. >> the combined american, british, and french response
to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power, military, economic, and diplomatic. we are prepared to sustain this response until the syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents. >> did you catch that last part? we will sustain these attacks. that means there certainly could be more to come. in fact, that's what we are hearing from our sources here at the white house. again, this has been criticized not just by democrats on capitol hill as unconstitutional. there are others in the international community that are calling this out including syria, iran, and russia. no surprise there. as i get an update, i will make a couple calls here guys at the top of the hour. if i get more granular detail i will pass it along but for now back to you. drive griff all right, kevin, thank you very much. you just heard kevin's report. the president saying it might not be over yet.
what happens next? let's bring in buck sexton security expert and fellow with the clarion project ryan mauro and former cia station chief who served in moscow, iraq and pakistan daniel hoffman. gentlemen, good morning. daniel, let me start with you down there in washington. what is next? what are the options here? >> well, there are probably three options that are out there. the first is another military strike or series of military strikes against syria's chemical weapons facilities and storage facilities. there are also a couple other options. one is to try to create safe zones to protect the population. third, we could get some skin in the game and restart the support that we used to provide the to the syrian democratic forces. when i was chief of the middle east operations at cia a few years back and we were considering all the threats resulting from this petri dish that is syria now, we all believed at the time that to get to dealing with those threats, you needed to remove assad. in order to do that you have
really got to help some of the opposition on the ground. and that's not what we're doing right now. griff: you have some familiarity with this. walk us through how this decision will be made because clearly, there will have to be a larger plan. consequences of initial strike have to be seen. we don't know how exactly russia and iran will respond to this. and i think that one the big tensions right now that president trump is dealing with is the fact that his base does not want and i think quite honestly the american people don't want a deeper involvement in syria. it's one thing to enforce a red line. i think messaging by missiles has its uses. but we shouldn't start to think this is going to be easier for us going forward if we get more deeply involved. and many of the different parameters that are out there right now, many different options that we could utilize i think that honestly too late in the game for them to be effective. we don't want to take out the assad regime because we don't know what would follow it.
that really put the major problem in the midst of all of our strategic concern. griff: right. what do you say to the fact that we are sending a message now after this second strike over there that you're not going to like what comes next if you don't stop. is that going to be enough? >> well, assad's calculation is going to be did this work out for me? overall, if i got a few sites that were bombed, did my territory increase? am i stronger? and if the answer to that is yes, then he will continue to use chemical weapons. but, i think in the near future what you are going to see is assad testing us by using nonchemical weapons to commit massacres to see where our red line is on that. it's very possible you are going to see terror plots by iran and hezbollah particularly against our arab allies. you are going to see bombardment of russian and assad disinformation coming towards the american audience. that's very conspiracy theorien in nature. make it seem like putin is some type of hero and assad is innocent. griff: that's a good point.
daniel, let me ask you how important. -- are we on collision course with russia. >> our relationship with russia is in pretty serious rough patch following elections meddling and their attack. putin is messaging his own people. he was very concerned about the results of arab spring and the threat that that posed for potential populist uprising in russia. i have listened to the russian news media they are characterizing this attack by russia, france and u.k. on syria -- that's where the russians are coming out on this. it is vital importance for us to continue this battle of ideas. the president, i thought, spoke eloquently last night. ambassador nikki haley likewise delivered a strong message. i would like to see something as well from our allies in the region starting with turkey. griff: buck, let me ask you, just broadening this outside of the assad axis full,
north korea, what message does this send to north korea? the president obviously looking next month to sit down with kim jong un. >> one of the considerations for this strike was the message that it would send to regimes like north korea and to russia, specifically for the usage of chemical weapons even in the very limited context we have seen of assassinations. so this does reinforce that bright red line well outside the boundaries of syria. it also shows the administration is willing to follow through on threats. much of our foreign policy and national security based gloms is all about the credible threat of force. we heard about that during the eight years of the obama administration. a lot of our enemies figured they could keep pushing and pushing. assad is a perfect example of that did not believe that the threat of force was credible and rightly. so i think if you look at what north korea has to take away from this, what the russian proxies, iran its proxies, hezbollah and all the rest, they have to see this and recognize if they cross certain lines, this president is going to take
action and there will be consequences. griff: ryan, give you the last word, how much of this is an inherited problem from the last administration. >> so much of it but even going before the obama administration, under the bush administration there were many syrian dissidents, some of whom i kind of worked with and did research for that were saying look, in the future there is going to be a civil war in syria, if you don't start backing the good guys and building up alternative to assad the only alternative you will have is islamic terrorists. that's what's happened. griff: thank you very much, guys. a lot more coming up on this topic. it's certainly a big story. many of you just waking up. we will have more. thanks guys for being here. come up, some lawmakers are slamming president trump for taking action without congress' approval. >> we must do all we can to prevent syria from using chemical weapons. he should have gone to congress. he should have told us what the amount of time we're going to commit to syria would be. griff: charlie hurt is here
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griff: welcome back. some lawmakers slamming president trump for taking action in syria without congressional approval. >> we must do all we can to prevent syria from using chemical weapons and prevent an unhinged president or a hinged president from taking us to war. in the middle east without a plan. we have seen what that has done before. he should have gone to congress. he should have told us what the amount of time we're going to commit to syria would be, what the terrain covered would be. is this going to include iran and russia for their involvement? and what's the troop commitment? abby: joining us now to react is "washington times" editor and fox news contributor charlie hurt. good morning. good to see you. >> good morning, guys. abby: let's talk about the
politics of this. you remember 2013 president obama did tweet to president obama at the time he must get congressional approval if he wants to strike syria. here we are. is the president in a difficult place under the constitution article 2 he did exactly what in his power he could do. where does this go from here politically. >> first of all, this is always an important debate to have. i like it when especially somebody like rand paul who has been beating this drum all week has been, you know, he is very consistent. it doesn't matter whether it's a democrat or republican in office. he is always making the very important point that the president should proceed with congressional approval on, you know, any sort of act of war. but if you take this case as it is, a lunatic across the globe, an increasingly shrinking globe, who is willing to use chemical weapons on his own people, and if you view that as a national security threat to america, especially when we have a completely wide open
porous border to the south, you know, thin it becomes something different. as you point out, abby, the president absolutely has the right to defend the country in sort of an emergency like that. if it gets protracted beyond that it becomes a completely different matter. pete: charlie, we had a previous guest use an analogy. syria is a bar fight. it's happening. lots of actors. it's a brawl. america is on the outside looking in. we can go in and choose to jump n this bar fight or grab one or two people out. one or two people. how do we do the right thing, acknowledging that we don't have the same kind of strategic imperative in syria that russia or iran does. what does america first foreign policy look like beyond this strike? >> quite frankly, pete, i hope that it sort of ends here because this is not what donald trump got elected for. you know, he got elected by people who found his message very resonating about getting out of these sorts
of situations. and i understanding. you know, chemical weapons, you know, that should be a red line for, you know, humans around the globe. it should be totally unacceptable. and, you know, inasmuch as we have, you know, the power and the strength to reach out and touch someone who does that sort of stuff, again, assuming that we do have all of our information lined up, you know, we don't have a terribly good track record over there of getting things right. but it is a civil war. it's a very dangerous thing to get involved in. and, the reason he got elected was because he said we wouldn't do those things. griff: charlie, do the supporters of the president at least support his leadership nut world role? that's what we are seeing. we are seeing a failed policy under president obama. he did not get rid of him. and we struck once under president trump. and now he struck again at the advice of general mattis and dunford and said this is what we have got to do. we have got to say it's not okay and send that message
to in iran. they probably do support that luckily we have a president now who doesn't sort of say things that he doesn't mean. one of the biggest problems we had with the previous administration is he would draw these red lines and walk away. he was just kidding. just funning around or something. he didn't mean it and then, of course that emboldened all of our enemies whether it's iran or russia or syria, whatever, to just kind of run amuck. and so i do think that the president's supporters will support something like this where you are just sort of, you know, you are putting money behind the check that you wrote. pete: smacking them in the mouth. abby: clear message to people in north korea as well we will follow through. pete: thank you very much. we appreciate your time. >> you bet. pete: still ahead. what do the airstrikes mean for our troops, over 2,000 of them in syria? sergeant johnny joey jones lost both of his legs in a bomb blast in afghanistan. he is here to tell us the importance of keeping our soldiers on the ground safe.
♪ abby: back with a fox news alert. the u.s. leads a coordinated effort to strike syria overnight. more than 100 missiles launched targeting three specific sites that lasted about an hour. pete: the president is focused on keeping our on the ground in syria safe. griff: retired u.s. marine corps bomb technician johnny joey jones lost both of his legs in a bomb blast while serving in afghanistan. he joins us now. good morning, sir. >> good morning, guys. griff: what are your thoughts on what's happened last night. >> listen, there is going to be a lot of debate on whether or not the president should have sent these tomahawk missiles and other ordnance into syria and taken out these bases. at the end of the day, we have troops in syria, we are effectively at war in syria. who that is with and why, that's debatable. we have troops in syria. we have to protect those troops. and when you hear about chemical weapons being used, this is the right action in my opinion. abby: talk about the combination. when we talk about chemical weapons. we see the horrific images and videos of innocent
people. children gasping for air. it's so heart breaking to see. you think about the combination of chlorine and sarin chemical gas. talk to us about that combination and how it impacts hermine when we see these videos here. pete: you are a bomb tech. you know these things. have you dealt with order nangs. >> absolutely. to give you perspective. did you go to about 10 to 12 month school 12 hours a day with study hall to become a bomb tech. the hardest course in bomb school is biological and chemical. it's the scariest. hardest to treat. hardest to diagnose. it spreads in a way that's undetectable. it's the scariest thing on the battlefield. we are talking high explosive fragmentation or nuclear doesn't care you the way that chemical and biological weapons do. this is something we have to put an emphasis on. when we have a country like syria actually sign a ban on chemical weapons. we have to hold them accountable. yes there are atrocities, general sides all over the world. this is something we are
legally bound to uphold number one. it puts our own troops and people in imminent danger when we see this happening. it is a very scary thing especially sarin a nerve agent. for those who don't understand when a nerve agent attacks your body, everything that works off the neurotrans mitter goes crazy until you die. your body pumps fluid out of every orifice and poor it can until you go into convulsions. not an easy way to die. if you are not equipped you can't treat it. this is a scary thing and something that should never happen especially from a civilized nation. abby: i was going to say if the u.s. doesn't stand up against, this who will? who is going to lead the charge? >> well, exactly. now, whether or not we should have troops in syria or be involved there at all, that's debatable all day long. but the fact is that's not a decision this president made. that's a decision we made as a society and as an administration a few years ago. was a mess that was already there. i would love to see the president continue to talk
rhetoric about bringing our troops home when it's appropriate. right now we have troops there and chemicals were used against people. this is a time to act and that's what we've done. pete: as dan bongino said president obama set a red line, syria crossed it and president trump was forced to cross that red line because of chemical and biological attacks. joey, thank you very much for your expertise and your service. and insight. we appreciate it. abby: still ahead, we follow the latest breaking news from the strikes in syria. we have a jampacked lineup of guests all here to analyze. pete: jack keane sebastian gorka, all here live on "fox & friends" saturday tied up wit♪ ♪ these are a few of my favorite things ♪
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i know people who specialize in "am i going to be okay." i like that. you may need glasses though. yeah. schedule a complimentary goal planning session today with td ameritrade. griff: this is a fox news alert. and this is "fox & friends." we begin a missile attack on syria the united states britain and france striking overnight launching war. >> warships striking in syria. connected to chemical weapons. >> president trump calling for swift action last night in response to the assad regime's chemical attacks on his own people that killed dozens of civilians. many of them young children. >> my fellow americans, a short time ago i ordered the united states armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with
the chemical weapons capabilities of syrian dictator bashar al assad. a combined operation with the armed forces of france and the united kingdom is now underway. last saturday, the assad regime again deployed chemical weapons to slaughter innocent civilians, it time in the town of douma, near the syrian capital of damascus. the evil and the despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air. these are not the actions of a man. they are crimes of a monster instead. abby: that was the president last night saying if you cross that red line, you are on notice. a lot is happening in reaction this morning. pentagon briefing is set for:00 a.m. we are hearing russia calling for an emergency
meeting of the united nations security council and france promising more strikes if necessary. so this could just be the beginning. we don't know where this leads. but the big take away this morning is the president said you cross that red line, we're going to act. pete: that's right. red line that had not been enforced in the past. swift action taken once we knew chemical weapons were used. president of france said it but it's way more important that president trump said it. there could be more to come here. the fact that it wasn't just tomahawk missiles. it was b-1 bombers that americans were flying over the skies of syria dropping precision guided bombs. it was also measured. you could have gone furnished and some of the president's critics said you could have done more to smack russia. careful not to escalate larger fight against russia. send enough signals that russia, iran, north korea realized that america will act when our interests are at play. the president also, if you listen to his statement last night, being clear, i'm not interested in occupying syria. i don't want to be entangled
in syria. i believe dictators shouldn't be able to gas their own people. we will enforce that when no one else in the world will do so. griff: the key here is the message being sent to russia in iran and whether or not what has been done, thought second strike in syria, to deter it from continuing, a problem dating all the way back to the obama administration. here is the president last night talking tough on russia in iran. >> i also have a message tonight for the two governments most responsible for supporting, equipping and financing the criminal assad regime. to iran and to russia, i ask, what kind of a nation wants to be associated with a mass murderer of innocent men, women, and children. the nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. no nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue
states, brutal tyrants, and murderous dictators. abby: so there you heard a direct message to bashar al assad to russia and iran. the question now is will russia respond. they did have this to say after the strikes were announced last night. this is a quote from the russian ambassador to the u.s. says quote we are being threatened. we warned that such actions will not be left without consequences. all responsibilities for them rest with washington. london, and paris. so that gives you a sense of just how muddy these waters are and how complicated this is going to be moving forward. >> this is the responsibility for the gassing of your own people lies in moscow and tehran. bashar doesn't eat lunch without asking him for permission. this is why the president has been smart to tie this together. this is not one dictator gassing people. a power struggle in a region. we have been fighting isis there. which we still have 2,000 troops on the ground which is why this is a national
security imperative for us. iran wants a land bridge to destroy israel. moscow wants as much influence in the region as possible. they want to reassert. putin wants to restore the ussr if he could. this is what we're up against. this president showing that red lines matter is an important part of american leadership. even if we don't know what the end date is. abby: the president campaigned on there is only so much we can do in the middle east. we can be a friend and 58 lie ultimately it's up to you people, the people who live in the middle east to solve their own problem. obviously doesn't want to stay there longer than we have to but felt this was a necessary thing. we are learning more how and why the u.s. led airstrikes on syria went down. griff: the pentagon laying out the mission to assad regime chemical weapons. pete: lucas is live at the pentagon. >> despite all the tough talk from moscow, it's notable that russian guns were silent last night over syria. the u.s. military's top general said that assad's military did fire surface to
air missiles but to no effect. >> the russian concerns we specifically identified these targets to mitigate the risk of russian forces being involved and we use our normal deconfliction channels. those were active this week to work through the airspace issues and so forth. we did not do any coordination with the russians on the strikes nor did we prenotify them. >> dog we have sent a clear message to assad and his murderous lieu ten nantsz that they could not perpetrate another chemical weapon attack for which they will be held accountable. >> mattis said the strikes were a one-time shot u.s. british and french sources hit three targets associated with the chemical weapons program. mattis said double the fire power was used compared to last year's u.s. cruise missile strike. the french military releasing a new military showing its missile strikes from a fridge gatt in the eastern mediterranean.
fighter jets also participated along with three american warships. some from the red sea. u.s. air force b-1 bombers from the qatar fired missiles. british tornado ships launched from cypress. hezbollah command post was struck near lebanon. we expect to hear more about this strike at a pentagon briefing right here at 9:00 a.m. we will keep you posted, guys. griff: at 9:00, we are awaiting for that press conference at 9:00. is there anything that you expect to hear about plans for any future action? >> well, griff, last night secretary mattis said this was a one-time shot but you heard the president last night said this could be a sustained effort if there is evidence that assad continues to use chemical weapons on his own people. but, for now, u.s. military assets remain in the region. there is certainly more tomahawks inside those warships. abby: we will monday monitor that briefing. panel of experts. pete: with us is retired general richard newton.
retired green beret commanders lieutenant waltz and army special forces veteran jim hanson of the securities studies group. thank you for joining us this morning. general newton, let me start with you. first of all, your response to the level of fire power, the -- was the response commensurate with the violation? >> i believe it was. particularly it was a much more complex, i think a more lethal strike than what we saw last april of 2017. it's a measured response. i think it's been an effective response. we're going to be going through our battle damage assessment right now. we will be hearing from the pentagon here at 9:00 this morning. we will get an update in terms of how effective the strike was. but i think this was a correct measured response. and just waiting to see what the battle damage assessment tells us in terms of what our next stepping could be. abby: what do you think the next steps will be, jim, from russia. they have said that there will be consequences. we know how russia operates. they will at least try to flex some of their muscles. who knows how big those
muscles will be. what do you expect the response will be from them and ultimately how do we handle that? >> russia does not want a shooting war with the united states. what they want is to maintain their client state in syria. they want their warm water port and they want the air because base they have right now. what president trump accomplished last night was two things. number one, he sent a message to putin saying don't overstep your bounds. he also said the same message to iran and north korea. the second thing he did was per his message that i don't want to be in syria indefinitely, he said don't step over the line anymore and we'll start planning for a transition to regional control. security studies group gave the administration a plan for turning some responsibilities over to our regional allies to some of the gulf cooperation counsel state the saudis and elm ratties talking to turkey russians and iran yams to get them back to being a better friend president
trump did two things successfully on that. griff: see on our screen brand new video. colonel waltz, let me ask you, if indeed what has been done is not enough to deter further attacks on the syrian people, what would another response look like in your opinion? >> well, on this strike, we went after the chemical capabilities. we went after a couple of storage facilities. we also went after a production facility. i think in a future strike, you know, which, by the way, all of those facilities, the russians had promised had been shut down and were no longer active and john kerry said, you know, that his chemical capability was 100 percent destroyed. so that's worth noting. you know, on a future strike i think you would see us go after the syrian air force itself, possibly artillery sites. possibly commands and control sites which would be a much broader expansion of the targets. there was a nothing of reports this last week that
the syrians were deliberately co-mingling air assets with russian assets to hide them and to raise the stakes in terms of what type of escalation that they assumed we would not want to have in the region. pete: general newton talk to us about that cooperation between russia and syria. why are they so entangled? why is there such support for this as the president calls them animal assad who is gassing his people? why would moscow continue to back him? >> well, i believe it provides a vacuum, you know, vacuum of leadership that i think over the last administration where the united states was seen as, perhaps, not staying strong in the region and russians quite frankly have moved into that vacuum. so i think that's something to be concerned. there is what i would call maybe a puppet state in syria and so forth made it very complex. wherever the united states in the past has refused to lead, that's where russia is going to try to assert its
influence and power as well. that's why this is very important from u.s. national security interests to maintain our efforts in terms of not only this strike but looking at using other instruments of national power such as diplomatic, economic and certainly military. it is in the best interest of the united states and also to make sure that we not let russia come in and try to certainly flex its muscle or maintain power in a region that we feel is definitely part of our national security interests. abby: jim, speak to that bigger picture. this comes at a critical time in our country's history. you think about this potential historic meeting the president is going to have with north korea leader kim jong un. what message does this send to north korea and to other dictators about how the u.s. will respond, how we will follow up with our word if you go beyond the red line that is set? >> iran is still a major threat in the region. part of what they want to accomplish in syria is a land bridge to the medicine tier iranian so they can
threaten israel to the north and basically become a bigger problem. so, this was a shot across their bough, literally, and telling them we're not going to tolerate that. in addition, it was a counter proliferation message to north korea and to anyone else who thought that potentially weapons of mass destruction of any kind were going to be tolerated. president trump has said we are not going to allow the tyrants of the world to push theirselves farther into a dangerous situation. so, by stopping iran, by sending a message to putin, and by letting all of those folks know that this is not going to be tolerated, he's accomplished that. i think, hopefully, that will stop future things and future attacks from being necessary. griff: jim, colonel waltz general newton thank you for joining us on this busy saturday morning. abby: president trump making his message to the assad are a jaivery clear.
griff: president says he is not interventionist but this is the second time he has taken action in syria. why does he feel it's so important to take this action? pete: joining us now is dr. sebastian gorka fox news security strategist and deputy assistant to president trump. you are a perfect guest for this morning. a strike like, this take us inside the mind set and decision cycle of this president as he chooses to strike assad for the second time. >> well, first things first, peter. the president is not a man of the mold of president bush. he's not an intervention interr. he iinterrist --interventionist. he made it clear to me our forces invading other people's countries and occupying them is fundamentally unamerican concept. nevertheless, he understands as a compassionate man that this kind of weapon used against unarmed women and
children is evil, is reprehensible. secondly, his advisors have made it clear to him from secretary mattis to the new national security advisor and everybody in his a-team that there is a precedent-setting issue here with assad using these weapons repeatedly. a very, very clear message has to be sent not only to assad but to his sponsors, including russia and including iran and other countries that are countenancing the use of these weapons, such as potentially north korea that we will not allow anyone, anyone to use these weapons. he made it clear in his speech we can't fix everything in the world, but this is a line that when you cross it, america has the capacity to respond and we will. we are duty bound morally to respond. and that's the decision process that led to the last night's bombing raid. abby: there is also such delegate balance. i wonder if you feel this was the right balance made
last night. you don't want to go to war with russia. have you people asking why don't you take out bashar al assad if he is evil dictator. you can't take off the head of syria, or else we then own syria. the united states has to take that over as we did with iraq and we saw how that ended 15 years of chaos. so is this the right balance? it seems like these airstrikes did send a message but ultimately where does this end? >> you are completely correct here. this isn't about us imposing, for example, as we try to after 9/11 imposing our political way of doing business on a country in south asia like afghanistan or on the people of iraq. this isn't about, you know, the future of the political makeup of syria. it's about making sure that everybody understands in the world that you cannot use these weapons. they are morally reprehensible. they are illegal. and we can't have them being used in the theater where
there are multiple actors. this isn't just about assad. these weapons could fall into the hands of all the different actors that are there. groups such as isis. such as al qaeda. then we have a much larger threat. those weapons could be used against us on our soil. they could be used against our friends, whether it's jordan, whether it's israel. so there is a very concrete imperative for why we acted. what is the long-term future of syria? that's another question that has nothing to do with yesterday's actions. griff: i want to bring you to that, dr. gorka, here, june 2013, some near three years before he would become commander-in-chief. the president tweeted we should stay the hell out of syria. critics on the left will point to that as a real shift. what do you say? >> well, he still believes that i can tell you. i mean, i worked for him. i have spoken to him since i left the white house. he still believes that. he's not interested and i guarantee you donald trump
is a conservative and he never will be. deploy 160,000 troops into iraq. he is not going to do that into syria. this isn't about our president. he has no desire to do nation building. that's the farthest thing from his mind. so that sentiment remains. and i find it really disappointing that whether you are on the left or on the right. i have been up on twitter all night arguing with people who say they are conservative. whether you are on the left or the right, you have to understand this is a different geopolitical reality and this isn't 2003. and this isn't iraq. this is a very different situation. but we have to act for multiple reasons. pete: dr. gorka today it's syria tomorrow could be the iran deal and getting scrapped and tomorrow north korea. this strike sent signals in all of those theaters. what is this white house most focused on as far as a threat to this country? is it assad and chemical
weapons? is it the iranian nuclear capability? is it north korea? where when they lay their head on the pillow are they most concerned? >> on the short-term, the short-term issue is north korea. but that is progressing very, very well. remember in 1953,we didn't have a peace treaty at the end of the korean war. all we had, peter, was the cease-fire and then an armistice. so that conflict has been frozen in ice for 65 years. for the first time ever the north koreans are prepared to speak to an american president and those negotiations may not lead to some kind of long lasting revolution. but the fact they are going to happen and the word denuclearization is being used by all parties is massive. on top of that the threat from the global jihad movement remains. we have done incredible things. when our military as a former veteran you understand it, you've spoken to your friends. when this new commander-in-chief unleashed the military to do the job they were trained to do,
unlike president obama, guess what? they did the job. we were told isis was a generational threat by obama. well, president trump squeeze the generation down to about six months because the caliphate of isis is gone. it isn't finished. al qaeda hasn't disappeared nor has isis. we have to continue now the counter ideological threat. but though right now north korea is right there, syria, with chemical weapons is being dealt with. and then our longer term threats such as iran and, frankly, russia remains -- it's not a strategic threat, peter, but russia is a destabilizing force and they have been sent a very clear message as well. abby: dr. sebastian gorka, always good to have you. i think we have you on next half hour as well: pete: u.s. military hitting specific targets in the syrian airstrike. what exactly was being targeted. retired general anthony at a
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pete: allegedly to the research center hit by the airstrikes in syria, the u.s. and u.k. and france striking in response to chemical attacks, the syrian military says the strike destroyed an educational center and laboratory. so what does this video show us and what should we take away from the targets of the strikes? retired general anthony tata is back with his analysis. thanks for being here. the strikes overnight. let's start with the locations that were hit. the video we just got in is from outside of dam mass can you say. and homs. >> means of delivery of chemical weapons and you saw that it was very direct hit. it was.
pete: looking at it right now. >> most likely direct attack mooammunition delivered from a variety of aircraft. it looks like it did a very effective job of destroying that facility and everything in it. and which will make it very hard syria to rebuild its in that location. did we get all the locations up in homs and damascus, it looks like we were pretty effective. what we are doing today is battle damage assessment of our attack. we came, in we attacked and neutralized their air defense. then we neutralized their command and control. and then we attacked the targets that we wanted to hit that are their chemical weapons manufacturing. pete: talking about future attacks they -- >> the sa-2 missile can range up to 80,000 feet. our b-2, b-1 bombers are flying about 40,000 feet. it's a little dangerous. on this map, pete, one of the things that dr. gorka
was just talking about is, you know, this is not an interventionist president. this is a president who is enforcing our national security strategy of not allowing the proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction nor is he allowing people to violate international law and so up here in the red is where u.s. forces are. way down here in the southwest is where we attacked along this region and here. and, of course, you can see you have got iraq, have you got turkey, iran is further over. so you can see the geopolitical situation. pete: lebanon, israel. >> exactly. pete: significant. our forces in the northeast fighting isis. the assad regime trying to clear out damascus. >> two different issues. you have got our ground troops up here defeating isis and then you have the attack here to neutralize the ability to deliver chemical weapons. two entirely different discussions. pete: as you noted different forms of attack. >> yeah. so we have got the navy.
the sixth fleet out of naples the truman in the med. tomahawk crews missiles coming in he defeat air systems. that's the first thing you want to send. in b-1 bombers, b 2 bombers, f-35s and other types of aircraft that can fly stealth into syria and deliver these joint direct attacks. pete: general, these are all precision munitions. >> yes. pete: too precise? should we have done more to strike the air force? >> we want to be able to be as precise as possible because we wanted to minimize collateral damage. we don't want to give the enemy the russians, the iranians, or the syrians any kind of come back to say oh, well, you killed innocent women, children, et cetera. you know, when our whole purpose for being there is the immorality of using chemical weapons to kill women, children. pete: we want the right kind of propaganda. not the isn't civilians which we never want.
it's ultimately if you cross a line, your facilities will be detroit. >> that's right. pete: we have partners. >> this was multinational operation. there was a lot of clamor early in the week saying why haven't we operated yet? why haven't we executed yet. we were brings the u.k. and french on board. we were building a coalition. and we also have a coalition against the iran where you have the kingdom of saudi arabia and uae and other partners that the president and his administration very wisely trying to separate iran. trying to separate russia and isolate syria here. and this shows that we have quite more capable in this area. pete: we have been looking for bringing sunni elements saudis on board to fight their own fight. this might be another reason for it appreciate it. as expected the so-called mainstream media slamming the president's decision to strike syria. >> there are national security consequences to having a presidency that is
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the air targeting the assad regime at three specific sites. the whole attack lasting about an hour, we're told. pete: president trump vowing the response is not over yet. kevin corke is live at the white house with more on that promise. kevin, good morning. >> thank you, guys. good morning. even as the battle damage assessment report continues to be written, the white house and u.s. officials are actually engaged in conversation with their counterparts across the globe. of course, all this following that missile attack on the assad regime last night. and their chemical program. i want to stress this is not against the syrian people. have you heard the white house say this previously, and i think it bears repeating. this is about attacking the assad regime specifically. dozens of missiles striking what coalition forces are calling specific targets and it was, quote, limited. the barrage was carried out not just by the u.s. but also our allies from france and the u.k. it marks the latest and most significant international response to the use of chemical weapons on the syrian people. of course, we all talked
about this earlier last night in an address to the nation here at the white house the president told the american people the u.s. will always help, when needed. >> americans have no allusions, we cannot purge the world of evil or act everywhere there is tyranny. no amount of american blood or treasure can produce lasting peace and security in the middle east. the united states will be a partner and a friend. but the fate of the region lies in the hands of its own people. >> now, while the white house certainly has its viewpoint, there are others who feel like this may not have been the right call. let me take to you twitter. this is the twitter of california congressman adam schiff. chemical attack against own people merited strong international response. these attacks must not be tolerated however morally justified, the strikes risk serious escalation.
absent congressional authorization, they are also on thin legal ground. now, the fact is, they are frankly on solid legal ground as long as the past 9/11 amuf is intact. as can you imagine there is other criticism from tehran and moscow in particular. i will bring you any more details as i get them, guys. but for now back to you. abby: kevin live from the white house. thank you. pete: we will bring in sean spicer former white house press secretary to react to this as well. sean, thanks for being here. i can't recall if you were at the podium when the first attack happened or not. if not, you are familiar with the first time the trump administration enforced the red line when it was not enforced it. >> last time we fired them off the president was meeting down in mar-a-lago. the president convened his team down in the secure facility down there and we watched the airstrikes. this time last night was bold and desizeable. and i think accomplished two
really important goals. one is i sent a very strong signal the united states, president trump won't condone these type of atrocities. these three sites will did he go grey gait and undermine the ability of syria to reconstitute or deploy chemical weapons on its people. that was very important going forward president called out iran and russia and any other actor continue to support and aline themselves and enable such a heinous regime. griff: sean, let me ask you, when the president campaigns on saying we have got no business in syria and now as the commander-in-chief assumes that grave responsibility, what is going to happen next, in your opinion, whether it be a consideration of further action or really a larger strategy? >> well, i think that's an
important distinction because there is a big difference between deploying troops and putting a ground presence there and having very limited targeted airstrikes that undermine the ability for syria to either research, engage, or deploy chemical weapons further on its people. doing limited strikes with our coalition partners and sending a strong signal to those who enable them is one thing. sending in troops for a long-term mission is quite another. i think right now the president picked the perfect strategy, threading that needle perfectly. and obviously you see the reaction not just domestically in a bipartisan fashion but internationally there is a very strong coalition of the willing that shares that feeling with us. for syria the most important story of the morning, sean. while you are here, i want to get your take, as you know there is a book coming out early this next week. james comey has a lot of nuggets we have read. about his feelings. he takes a hit at the p.r. team and their focus so much
on russia and making sure that the public didn't see that as russia collusion. there wasn't a focus on how we handle it moving forward. i will read this to you. says the president-elect and his team shifted immediately into a strategy session about messaging on russia. the trump team led by priebus, spicer and trump maximum political advantage. your reaction? >> well, that's just not accurate. and both comey's description there and the book is misleading and cnn's reporting are entirely inaccurate what happened. that meeting was long and robust. people bike tom bossert. mike flynn, the vice president asked a series of questions throughout that briefing to the intel team which included two obama political appointees that were there to talk about it as you recall there was a bit of tension going in because of a lot of the leaks. as the meeting wrapped up director comey said to the president can i speak with you privately and share something with you? the president got up, they moved to the bask of the
room with director comey. the rest of us walked out of the room to give them the room. at that time we compared notes. we knew there was a massive media audience downstairs waiting for reaction. we asked them, we shared with them what we were going to say and we asked them how they were going to characterize the meeting. we wanted to make sure we were aligned and didn't cross any classification issues or anything that was inappropriate. that was simply the nature of this. there had been some tension clearly leading up to that because of some concerns that obama appointees in the intelligence community were leaking information. and we wanted to make sure we were all on the same page coming out of that meeting. it was director comey who got up and said can i speak with you privately? cnn later reported that the president was shown a two-page document which laid out a bunch of these. that's entirely false. it never happened. director comey himself confirms that the cnn reporting about that meeting is both false as well as director comey's misleading comments about the nature of that meeting. but the idea that we weren't going to have some kind of idea of checking, touching
gloves and saying is it okay if we say the following, there is obviously a ton of media interest in this meeting would have been malpractice had we not done that. abby: was there a concern and was there an effort at that time by your team and the administration who make sure that there were steps being taken that russia didn't continue to do this in elections to come? can you hit back at some of those claims by james comey? >> well, remember, abby, this is important. four people came up to brief us. two of them the cia director and director of national intelligence were obama appointee. they were both being replaced by trump appointees. the idea, our goal at that point was to get a briefing on the report that was being issued that next day by those folks. not to create a strategy. they were coming up to merely brief us. we had our incoming team there. whether it was mike flynn at the national security advisor, tom bossert, the home landing security advisor, director mike pompeo who was designee for the cia.
vice president mike pence was there i remember the national security council. the idea wasn't to create a strategy. they came up very clearly to come in and brief us. they were briefing both president-elect trump and president obama. it wasn't a strategy meeting. that was not the intent of the meeting by their admission. themselves. the idea that we would have some kind of follow-on strategy meeting on russia is ridiculous. that wasn't the point of it. the idea we would have a follow on meeting with appointees from the obama administration on their way out is further ridiculous. what our team talked about afterwards i'm not going to divulge. i will say on its face what director comey described doesn't even make sense as far as what the purpose of the meeting was. at the end of that meeting, yes, we did describe after director comey had asked the president to step aside what we wanted to compare our statement. that was it the idea was some kind of strategy session is hardly accurate. pete: we will all get our hands on that book soon. we would love to have you back as more comes out. you were there. you were behind the scenes. you got the information.
abby: great to get your perspective. pete: shanks, sean. appreciate it? >> thanks, guys. pete: tomahawk missiles blasted at syria's chemical weapons facilities reportedly coming from this guided missile destroyer uss donald cook might have had submarines around there, too. we don't know. the commanding officer of the u.s. kohl lippold knows about missions like these. he is here coming up next. ♪ ♪ full sentences. i refer to every child as chief. this hat was free. what am i supposed to do, not wear it? next thing you know, i'm telling strangers defense wins championships. -well, it does. -right? why is the door open? are we trying to air condition the whole neighborhood? at least i bundled home and auto on an internet website, progressive.com. progressive can't save you from becoming your parents, but we can save you money when you bundle home and auto. i mean, why would i replace this? it's not broken.
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to allies russia and iran. allied fight against assad. who are all the other major players in the syrian war? abby: here to break it down for us is kirk lippold former commanding officer of the "u.s.s. cole." great to have you, sir. help break this down for us. who are the most important players in this. >> good morning abby. the most important players were the ones that conducted the combat operations, the united states, the united kingdom and france. you also have to have the supporting players in the region that provided us the ability to launch those strikes. principally it's going to be qatar and most likely saudi arabia to allow the overflight through their airspace of both craft and missiles. when you look at it while we may have a large force in the area, it's the key countries that provided us the ability to launch those strikes from or provide the support forces for them. pete: you have been in those waters. you understand the systems that were used as former commander of the "u.s.s. cole." walk us through the destroyer in the area that
was a part of this attack. there wasn't a carrier group there. we had destroyers, possibly submarines. what assets did we bring to bear to make these strikes happen. >> most of what you want to do is take a look at what is the target set going to be and what are the weapons most cabeably be able to take them out. look at the ship that's there donald cook obviously a close tie to "u.s.s. cole." that ship has tomahawk missiles on board. they will operate in an area near where they call the launch baskets be able to launch those missiles from in order to follow a particular path coming. in have you different warheads on board depending on the targets you are going after. and you use those different missiles to be able to do that. one of the key points that you have to remember though is that in going after the three different targets that we went after, with those missiles, is the united states probably made a very conscious decision to hold certain capability back. the reason why is you have to take the long range view. what capabilities do we not want the russians to know
about so that in the future should we decide to do against the country like iran. we preserve that capability to use again in the future. griff: commander, basically the message of syria is stop you are really not going do like what comes next. what are those options that could come next? >> great question, griff. and i think what you are going to look at is the united states is going to have a large number of forces in the region. not necessarily for the strikes, but more to deter and an expansion of the conflict itself. while we clearly send a signal of deterrence in law firming over 100 missiles into these three sites. we also have the capability that should it escalate, should something have happened. should the russians decide that they are going to react to it or iranian forces react to it, that we would be able to launch strikes there as well, contain the conflict or more importantly, deter it from even getting out of hand. pete: very interesting, commanders. what you are saying like in football you don't give away your best plays in preseason game. ultimately saying we use
capabilities that we're well aware of to take out these facilities and this is not a game. this is real life. people's lives are at stake. ultimately there are some things we are going to hold back whether it's north korea or iran or another strike against this regime, we need the element of surprise surprise. you are saying we almost don't know what we don't know at this point. >> exactly. this swit military keeps certain programs classified because we want to have those capabilities fielded so that when we do go to exercise them. it is because whatever danger this nation may face in the future. it would present a clear and present danger to our national security interest. while clearing going after these chem sites was in our national security interest for a variety of reasons, especially enforcing international law, should the united states be directly talent or our assets directly threatened, we would want to have a certain capability always available in our back pocket that we could use to protect ourselves. abby: very interesting. some great points.
griff: thank you, commander. abby: thank you for coming on this morning. democrats and members of the media refusing to give the president credit for what's happening on the world stage. the headline the strike has fire and fury. not the element of surprise. herman cain is here to talk about that message for his critics. he is up next. ♪ once-daily anoro contains two medicines called bronchodilators, that work together to significantly improve lung function all day and all night. anoro is not for asthma . it contains a type of medicine that increases risk of death in people with asthma. the risk is unknown in copd. anoro won't replace rescue inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than once a day. tell your doctor if you have
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herself. that might be a imat the tuts for the statement. herman cain joins us. why the instinct immediately from his political opponents to mischaracterize what the action that was taken saying it's a larger effort when clearly it's been stadium even from the podium from the president this is a limited targeted action. >> i would say two points first pds. trump derangement syndrome. the president made it clear that no action was not an option. if he had taken no action, they would have been critical. since he took action, they are also going to be critical. secondly, democrats are not used to having a president that actually leads. he is listening to his key advisors. he listened to them. and as general mathis said last week, they presented the president with options and he made a decision to act so the "new york times"
headline is misleading. her statement is misleading. because he had every authority to do what he did. tds, trump derangement syndrome, can he do nothing right in their eyes and secondly they are not used to a lowered that listens and leads. abby: he seemed torn. you listened to the president last night he has long talked about pulling us out of the middle east as recently as last week was pushing to remove the 2,000 troops that we still have in syria. last night as part of his message being tough on assad and russia and iran also making it clear that it's not ultimately going to be up to the u.s. to solve all of the problems in the middle east. do you feel like he struck the right balance there? >> i believe he did. and your statement that he seemed torn, he probably was. as i wrote on my website, herman cain.com, this is not a trigger-happy president. he doesn't want to pull the trigger if he doesn't have to. but, secondly, i have warned
people, don't test this president. he is a real leader and you do not want to test him, which is what assad did. griff: her man, very quickly, we are almost out of time. what do you advise comes next? >> what comes next we don't know because we didn't have the opportunity to hear all of the intelligence that went into making this decision. what i believe should come next from the perspective of those outside of that briefing room is wait and see. i'm confident that the president is going to be given the right advice by the people he is surrounding himself with and i'm confident he will make the next right decision. abby: we will leave it there. pete: lots of common sense. we appreciate your time this morning. thank you. >> thank you. pete: still ahead, we continue to follow the latest breaking news from the strikes in syria, including new images. we will bring them to you when we have them. live reaction from corey lewandowski and virginia congressman, former navy seal scott taylor coming up ♪ ♪
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♪ griff: good morning. this is "fox & friends." we begin with a fox news alert. missile attacks on syria. new video you see here showing damage near the capital city of damascus. this is believed to be a research center. the united states, britain, and france striking syria several times overnight. launching more than 100 missiles. pete: that's right. the warships and american aircraft striking three sites in syria, all connected to his chemical weapons program. listen to the president. >> my fellow americans, a short time ago, i ordered the united states armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of syrian dictator basar al assad. a combined operation with the armed forces of france and the united kingdom is
now underway. last saturday the assad regime again deployed chemical weapons to slaughter innocent civilians, this time in the town of douma, near the syrian capital of damascus. the evil and the despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children, thrashing in pain and gasping for air. these are not the actions of a man. they are crimes of a monster instead. abby: a lot is happening this morning in response to those airstrikes. the pentagon briefing on the attack is about to happen an hour from now. 9:00 a.m. eastern time. russia calling for emergency meeting of the united nations security council and france promising more strikes if necessary. so a lot happening since last night. if you are just waking up this morning, i think the big take away is that red line was sent out. president trump making it very clear you cross that red line, we are going to
act. pete: that's exactly what happened last night. likely while you were sleeping. you wake up this morning and seeing new images, we are seeing them as well. buildings destroyed as well. we believe chemical facilities assad regime used to put together the chlorine and sarin bombs used against civilians. a swift response from the trump administration. he also said in his remarks last night that there could be more to come. that ultimately if they were to do this again or push even further, there will be even more fire and fury, you might say from the united states of america. this attack itself, very specific, very measured to three particular sites where these chemicals are made sending messages not just to assad but to russia, iran, and frankly north korea that ultimately in this world where those type of weapons can't be dictators. world is not going to react but america might and will. in this case president trump's word has meant something. abby: griff, you said directed attack. it had to be. you think about the groups on the ground there in syria. if you were going to hit russians you can only
imagine what would stem from that you think about basar al assad, if you take him out, people say why don't you take him out he is the cruel dictator killing innocent people on the ground, then you have a real problem in syria. we then own it and we have seen that play out in the middle east before most recently in iraq. we have to be so precise and so careful in that balance in how we respond to those chemical weapon attacks. griff: the president sending that message to syrian allies as we learn more about how the u.s.-led plan came together. abby: lucas tomlinson is live for us at the pentagon to explain and also where this briefing is about to happen about an hour from now. what are you hearing. >> good morning, abby. defense secretary mattis said last night he used double amount of fire power he used a year ago. president trump said the message he was sending was not just the assad regime. >> to iran and to russia, i ask: what kind of a nation wants to be associated with
a mass murder of innocent men, women, and children? the nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. >> clearly the assad regime did not get the message last year. this time our allies and we have struck harder together we have sent a clear message to assad and his murderous lieutenants that they could not perpetrate another chemical weapons attack for which they will be held accountable. >> last year only u.s. navy warships struck assad. last night the u.s. was joined by british and french sources hitting three targets the nerve center assad's chemical weapons program. the french military releasing new video showing missile strikes from its fridge gatt in the eastern med. french fighter jets also participated. in the region there was at least three american warships including the uss donald cook, la boon and the guided missile cruiser
monterrey. bombers from qatar fired long range missiles. british tornado jeghts launched from cypress. despite the tough talk it was notable fell silence last night. we expect to hear more at 9:00 a.m. press conference an hour from now to find out which warships or submarines fired submarines into syria. pete: russia's response is and will be very telling. they said they would shoot missiles out of the sky. we still don't know everything about the response. and ultimately the fact that there were americans in cockpits above the skies of syria within range of missile defense systems that syria has provided by russia, means you are just on the precipice of a larger conflict. did we punch putin enough last night? we'll find out. but, assad certainly felt some pain. griff: keep in context, perspective, for our viewers just waking up learning about all of this and russia's role, back to the obama administration, president obama draws a line in the sand and then he tries to get a deal with
russia, takes a gamble that russia will hold syria accountable. it does not happen. president trump now dealing with it. six times since 2017 russia has blocked an effort to hold syria accountable. abby: this is breaking now a statement coming in from vladimir putin. president of russia. he said russia condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack against syria where russian military personnel are assisting the legitimate government in its counter terrorism effort through its actions the u.s. makes the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in syria even worse and brings suffering to civilians. in fact, the u.s. panders to the terrorists. so that's a pretty strong statement there from vladimir putin. obviously very upset about the airstrikes that happened overnight. will they respond militarily. how much will they flex those muscles? that is a big question. how the u.s. responds from there. pete: let's bring in dr. sebastian gorka former deputy assistant to president trump.
you just heard that statement from vladimir putin. he didn't condemn in the strongest possible terms of the gassing of people but, instead, condemns us, what do you make of that. abby: and says we are only promoting violence. >> when a former kbg colonel condemns our actions, you know we took the right actions. he is a thug. that's who he is. this is the same government that yesterday, and this is not a joke, look it up on your search engines. this is the same government whose defense ministry spokesman yesterday said it was the british government that executed the chemical weapons attack in douma last week. the russians couldn't careless about -- don't make me laugh. humanitarian exigencies. this is a regime that has propped up assad a mass murderer he is. this is regime that invaded an independent country ukraine not too long ago. this is a country that supports bad guys everywhere. so if they're clamoring and
making a lot of noise. you know donald trump took the right decision last night. abby: dr. gorka, that statement is a perfect example of what president trump is dealing with when it comes to vladimir putin and with russia how they continue to lie through their teeth. how does the president move forward here? how does he deal with russia specifically other than calling them out last night? >> everything that -- so the president is the patriot. he is the new commander-in-chief. is he a pragmatist he said it the week he became president or won the election, he gave a press conference in trump tower where he said in theory, i would like us to have better relations with russia. why? it's a nuclear power. it's got 11 time. it's on the u.n. national security council. it makes sense to have decent relationships with russia. even back then, a year and a half ago, he said if that's not possible, so be it. if they continue to do things that are against international norms. if they exploit and
exacerbate, unstable conditions around the world. then we can't cooperate with them and last night we sent a very clear message and people is right. when they didn't respond, when they stayed quiet, you know that they got the message that it is not business as usual and they can no longer get away with murder like they have in the past. griff: so, dr. gorka, aside from russia, the message also being sent to iran and even north korea. >> absolutely, griff. absolutely. last night was about our response, morally, through the atrocious weapons that are chemical weapons. but also, more importantly, it's a message to anybody who supports this kind of regime and also may be thinking, like north korea, may be thinking about their own potential use of weapons of mass destruction. so on all accounts, morally, when it comes to our national security, that these weapons should not be used against our people, our
citizens, and when it comes to other nations who need to be read the riot act, yesterday's intervention serves all of those purposes at the same time. pete: dr. gorka, you hate to get political in moments like this. the haters of this president immediately do so saying he doesn't have the ability or right to strike. he doesn't have a plan. what do you say to their sudden constitutional arguments that this is not an action he could have or should have taken as commander-in-chief? >> it's funny. so, i didn't hear them criticizing the last president when in one weekend he bombed seven countries in one weekend. our forces were engaged in seven different nations around the world. i didn't hear much protesting from the democrats when this -- when the last president, president obama, without due process, with the hell fire missile, killed a u.s. citizen and his son in yemen. funny, if the left didn't have double standards, they wouldn't have any standards at all. and the president, according to article 2, he is
absolutely in his constitutional authority to use military force when there is an exigent situation. this isn't a state of war. we are not invading another country. this isn't 1941. there was a threat to the international order and we have to take action. abby: it's important because you mentioned the obama years. it's so important to look back on that time in history, because that's ultimately what led us to right here what we're dealing with today. >> yes, yes. abby: take a look back at some of those moments with obama, rice, and john kerry. >> we have been very clear to thassad regime. a red line for us is we start seeing a bunch of chemical weapons being moved around or being utilized. >> cut the deal that got 100 percent of the declared chemical weapons out of syria. >> we were able to find the solution that actually removed the chemical weapons that were known from syria in a way that the use of force would never have
accomplished. abby: you heard it there. 100 percent of the chemical weapons gone. >> i give your team full credit who is working in the background. abby: we have some great producers on our team. >> the fact that you had that ready is superb. that's why we are here. we had 8 years of what, think about it, we ar the last commander-in-chief saying we are going to lead from behind. pete hegseth, how many offices do you know lead from behind. it's oxymoron. you can't lead from behind. we're not going to do anything. we are going to let other axis act. what happened? we had a inferno around the world because of that lack of american relationship. we had russia invade ukraine. we had military bases we have the iran deal that actually strengthened them and emboldened iran which is the key sponsor of assad. that all changed at 12:01 on
january 20th when donald trump became president. now he is fixing all the disastrous policies mistakes made by kerry, clinton, and obama. pete: phrase of the morning don'tian infernio because of lack of american. thank you. abby: we want to bring in scott taylor of virginia who is also a retired navy seal. great to have you on, congressman, and great morning to get your perspective. your reaction to the airstrikes last night and the tonal the president had last night of balancing, talking directly to basar al assad but also to its allies russia and iran. was it the right tone? >> let me preface it by saying as you know i represent a district we have fighting men and women if there is anything going on in the world our people are there. so i take a very serious use of force and putting their lives at risk. i do think and just like the president i'm torn, too. i think he was and i think he was measured, calculated, i think he listened to his
advisors. and i do think that he had the right balance. pete: you do. >> in tone and in action. pete: you saw russia, you probably heard what vladimir putin said in response that, you know, we're to blame and they did nothing wrong and ultimately it's self-defense. was it enough to deter putin's support for the murderous assad regime? does it change the calculation on the ground at all or are we trying to avoid that? do we not want to change that calculation and just say you can't use chemical weapons? >> fundamentally i don't think it changes the calculation. i think it does have a deterrent effect, of course. yes, putin is going to say it's all of our fault. but the reality is their failure to uphold their end of the bargain is regrettable, predictable, and they have to be held accountable in terms of not bringing out all the chemical weapons there. this president has drew a red line. and he has been very clear that we will not stand for this. the world won't stand for it the world was watching last time. they are watching this time. putin certainly was watching. i think they hit fast. they left hard, and i think
it was calculated. griff: congressman, some of your colleagues in congress were also watching and i want to play you a quick clip of some of your colleague's talking about whether or not the president had the right to do what he did. >> striking syria at this point would be illegal without congressional authorization. >> in no way should he conduct this because this certainly would be an illegal strike and it would be very dangerous and tragic if this happened. >> we must do all we can to prevent syria from using chemical weapons and prevent an unhinged president, or a hinged president, from taking us to war in the middle east without a plan. griff: congressman taylor, your reaction? >> well, you know, obviously there is a lot of political rhetoric there. i think that they were very clear with what the plan was. i am someone who has been very vocal about the amuf this is the third president using 17-year-old amua use of military force that absolutely should be updated. the president spoke about a
sustained effort there. if that's the case he should come to congress. and congress should have the courage and guts to debate this with input from the executive branch, of course, and strategy and what is happening there. i do think he was right to do what he did last night and i do support it like i did one year ago. that being said, do i have concerns about inside of syria. you have a lot of great powers playing in the same sandbox. there is a lot of potential for flash point in conflict which is why i was very pleased to see the way they took this action was calculated. it thread a needle. it signaled a deterrence to the other great powers there. it was targeted in scope. abby: it's important onto point out you are a former navy seal. you think about the mission that played out in the middle of the night in syria. have you been in very intense missions like this. what is your message to the men and women who served last night but just to our military in general with all of the conflicts that we face today? >> well, as i said, my people are there. you know, so, my heart goes out to them. god speed to them and their families. they need to listen, trust
their chain of commands. trust their superiors. trust their training and the mental and women on the left and the right. we support our troops over here for sure in virginia and america. and we want them to be safe and i think it's important that, you know, again, that this was targeted in scope. that we have told the world that we won't stand for this type of action in syria with chemical weapons which are obviously internationally banned and assad and putin and tehran should take note. and they should be held accountable for their actions in support of this regime. pete: representative, briefly, talk to us about the morale of those troops. we have seen funding boosted but seen wars going on and on whether it's afghanistan and now in syria. do we keep the troops there? do we not? is there clarity of its in. this know this commander-in-chief has their back in terms of what they are executing, how is morale on that? >> well, morale is better now. morale was low with sequestration part is fault in congress. congress men and women raw rarah rah rahwe support the tro.
congress with continuing resolutions has hurt the war fighter and we have hurt their training and readiness and maintenance and deployment schedules have been extended which hurts their families. our troops and their families, they willingly take a huge sacrifice and have shouldered this burden of this wars over the past 17 years. i'm confident they will continue to do their job. it's important that our leaders show we are with them 100 percent of the time and reduce the political rhetoric that is basically worthless wind bags. abby: such an important message. great to have you on. pete: god bless them. sit on this couch in comfort and safety and freedom because of what they do for us overnight a long ways away. all right. moving on. president trump sending a message to brutal regimes by taking action in syria. why are some critics saying it's not enough? corey lewandowski said something has changed in america this morning because of it. he's up next ♪ ♪
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this tech stuff is easy. [ whirring sound ] you want a cookie? it's a drone! i know. find your phone easily with the xfinity voice remote. one more way comcast is working to fit into your life, not the other way around. griff: welcome back, former president obama drawing a red line in 2012 when it came to syrian chemical weapons but now president trump is the one taking decisive action. >> it there would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front. >> the purpose of our actions is to establish a strong deterrent against the production spread, and use chemical weapons. >> that's a red line for us. >> the united states will be a partner and a friend, but the fate of the region lies in the hands of its own people. abby: so why are some critics now saying it's not strong enough? pete: here to weigh in corey
lewandowski chief strategist for america first action and former trump campaign manager, corey, thanks for joining us this morning. you are used to this or just as you appear on the screen, we have brand new tweet from the commander-in-chief. we want to share with our audience and get you to respond to. the president tweeting this just moments ago: a perfectly executed strike last night. thank you to france and the united kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine military. could not have had a better result. mission accomplished. so the president satisfied with the military action last night. are you? >> well, you know, pete, i think the american people wake up today and people around the world wake up, thank the united states, great britain and france for standing up to a brutal dictator who is killing his own people with chemical weapons. and think are thankful that the american people and this president is not the previous administration. we have now seen on two separate occasions the united states' responding when a brutal dictator decides to kill his own people there are repercussions. what we have seen is the
greatest military in the world and the precision with which we acted last night and early this morning shows exactly why we are the greatest super power on the earth and that partnering with the united states and france was a very important process for us to demonstrate to the world we are in this together. abby: well, not everyone agrees with you, corey. one tv host rachel maddow saying last night if you have a chaotic white house, you can't have a. here is a little bit of what you said. >> there are national security consequences. to having a presidency that is as chaotic as mr. trump's presidency. >> even if the tail is not wagging the dog, even if you give the president every benefit of the doubt, what else is going on in the president's life right now? unavoidably creates a real perception around the globe that that may have been part of the motivation. abby: even if the dog is not wagging the dog, corey. >> it's amazing. because you saw our secretary of defense joining
with the other secretaries from around the world strike. this was well thought out. it was well-planned. it was perfectly executed. this is not something that was done on a whim. this is not something that was done in reaction. overnight. this was something that was planned and executed. our military was there. they knew exactly what the targets were. this was a limited strike scope. look, the liberals can discuss this all they want. the reason we are in this situation with assad is because barack obama drew a line in the sand, which meant nothing. there were no teeth behind it. the chemical weapons, which are supposed to be a red line in the previous administration meant nothing. we're here today and people lost their lives in syria because the previous administration did nothing to prevent it from happening. griff: corey, let me ask you, so president vladimir putin responding today, of course, attacking the united states for their action. the stakes raised here. what is the message to russia and was it sent loud enough? >> well, the message from both russia and iran is very clear. if you continue to support a
brutal dictator in assad, there will be consequences with assad. you can't have it. and the president last night in his address raised a very important question to those nations. do you want to be nations that support the killing of innocent men, women, and children? and it doesn't matter how are, nobody can support that. we cannot have genocide. and i think those nations have to look deep within themselves to say do we want to continue to have a relationship with assad and, if so, what are the consequences for us? and this president is very, very clear last night. his statement about that was clear to russia and iran. we will not tolerate this moving forward. pete: corey about a mile from here 11:00 at the united nations russia is calling emergency security council meeting about these strikes. if we do something, they will veto it. we would, of course, veto any action by them. is the u.n., the international community even a viable player and the president has been a critic of that body for a long time. or is this ultimately the reality that if america
doesn't lead, nothing gets done? >> look, i love the work that ambassador nikki haley has been doing at the united nations. she has made us tough again. she has made us strong again. inside that organization. but let's be clear. if it is not for the united states partnering with great britain and france last night, we don't know if there would be another chemical attack. we don't know if there is going to be another chemical attack in syria. what we do know is bashar al assad will have consequences if he continues to kill his own people, innocent men women and children. that cannot be acceptable regardless what the u.n.'s position is i know russia has a seat on the security council. vetoing any position that the u.n. puts forward is not going to stop us from preventing a brutal dictator from killing his own people. abby: we will leave it there. corey lewandowski always good to see you. pete: thanks, corey. >> thank you. griff: north korea watching as takes action in syria. what message is this sending. our military panel is here next to analyze it coming up
abby: we are back with a fox news alert. we just learned there will an u.n. security council meeting in about two hours. so 11:30 a.m. eastern time. griff: meanwhile syrian allies russia and iran loudly condemning the airstrikes. pete: david lee miller is at the israel-syrian border with the international reaction.
david lee, good morning. >> good morning to you from the israeli side of the syrian-israeli border where a few hundred yards from syrian territory, take a look over my shoulder and can you see for yourself some of the syrian villages that are still under rebel control, but that may not be for long. the syrian president quoted as saying that the attacks have increased resolve to continue fighting and crushing terrorism in every inch of the nation. syrian state television airing the first images of the damage caused by the airstrikes. the targets include a scientific facility near damascus and two chemical storage facilities near homs. syrians were in a celebratory mood waving syrian and flags taking to the streets of damascus listening to nationalistic music. good souls will not be humiliated. vladimir putin called the strikes an act of aggression. the french foreign minister
said more strikes are possible if syria uses chemical weapons again and from iran now. leaders there saying, quote: u.s. allies will not gain any achievements from crimes in syria. u.s. president u.k. prime minister and the president of france are challenges. meanwhile, the u.k. leader, theresa may called the airstrikes a success. >> this was not about interfering in a civil war and it was not about regime change. as i discussed with president trump and president macron, it was a limited, targeted and effective strike with clear boundaries that expressly sought to avoid escalation. >> here in israel there is broad support for the airstrikes. a senior israeli cabinet minister says today that the strikes will send an important signal. not just to syria, but to hezbollah, as well as iran, the axis of evil.
back to you. pete: david lee miller, thank you very much. appreciate your insight. first deadly use of chemical weapons but 500,000 syrians killed in the war since 2011. that's about 2% of their population. and more than 5.4 million people have fled syria since 2011. joining us now to react congressman steve russell who is also a retired army lieutenant colonel and hudson institute fellow rebeccrebeccah heinrichs, thanks for joining us this morning. people may not know this about your biography. you were part of the hunt for saddam hussein when we took down that dictator. we are facing down another dictator. some will say bashar al-assad is ultimately fighting islamists. he is more effective than the vacuum we might create. was this the right approach? should we do more? should we do less? what do you think? >> i think this was the right approach because these are continued acts of barbarity. and while we see condemnations from iran and syria. what we have to remember and even condemnations from
russia, we take great pains to use our force for good. they use chemical weapons, wipe out infrastructure and cause tremendous human suffering. so, they are going to be in a very untenable position. this is the right approach. of the president did have the authority. and we're grateful for our allies in the operation. rec back ca other nations are talking as well. we are talking about syrian strikes today and north korea tomorrow. if you are kim jong un and you see the fact that america now enforces red lines, does this bring a knew calculation to us sitting down with them? could they actually be thinking about or looking at denuclearization? >> i think so. and the message is clear it is a waste of time and energy and resources to invest in chemical weapons to proliferate them and employ them. the north koreans are assisting the ba syrians in their chemical weapons development that message was
sent loud and clear. i would commend president trump's statement that he made to the american people when the attacks were underway. that was just a clear powerful display of american leadership. he explained to both russia and to the iranians that you need to stop supporting this barbaric dictator in assad. and, and this might not be the last that you see of us, that the ball is in assad's court. pete: he said so proud of our great military which will soon be, after the spending of billions of fully a proved dollars, the finest that our country has ever had. there won't be anything or anyone even close. as someone who is actively engaged in pentagon leadership but also troops still serving, is that the sense that the pentagon has these days that they have everything that they need to execute on multiple fronts around the world? >> our warriors can fight with hatchets and get the
job done if we need to. knowing that you have a commander-in-chief that has your back and also knowing that we have clarity in our foreign policy and we're using a force for good, the men and women on this mission last night, they had no misgifingts about what it was they were trying to stop. all of that is a good news story. pete: absolutely. rebekah, the other subtext to this entire -- not even the subtext, it's right up front and center is russia, vladimir putin's response. they didn't shoot at missiles or planes overhead last night. but could have because they have very sophisticated surface-to-air missiles that pro-provided to syria. do you think there will be an escalation with russia and if so what do you think it will look like. >> i certainly hope not. president trump and secretary mattis are very clear-eyed about the danger of that. but we cannot allow the russians to dictate the terms, especially when it comes to u.s. interests. and so i think the message was clear to the russians and it is interesting all of the bluster and threats from the russians they did
nothing as the united states pursued our interests and retaliated in this limited strike that took out these targets related to the chemical weapons program. and, remember, the reason we did this wasn't purely humanitarian. it was the intersection of humanitarian and u.s. interests. but that is because chemical weapons are in a category all to themselves. we cannot allow them to be normalized or u.s. troops and -if you told me a year ago where i'd be right now...
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abby: we are back with a fox news alert. the pentagon set to give an update in less than 20 minutes about the overnight strikes in syria. we will, of course, bring that to you live. and that coming as a chorus of democrats blames the president for a lack of congressional approval. play. play. this. >> striking syria at this point would be illegal without congressional authorization. >> in no way should he conduct this because this certainly would be an illegal strike and it would be very dangerous and tragic if this happened. >> we must do all we can to prevent syria from using chemical weapons and prevent an unhinged president or a hinged president from taking us to war in the middle east without a plan. abby: so why can't they give him any credit? here to debate radio talk show host jamila bey and heritage foundation fellow. ladies, welcome to you both for being with us. >> thank you. abby: beverly, your take on this. it was within his constitutional powers, the president to do what he did last night to do those airstrikes. do you think he needs
congressional approval. >> not at this point. if he takes this further, which it doesn't appear that he wants to, of course he would go to congress. he said that he would. and let's not pore get that even if you are looking at this situation, there are democrats who are standing up saying this was an appropriate action. the senator chuck schumer has agreed with this response. and also i think it's important to point out that this was a coalition effort. you had france, you can the u.k. join the united states. i think that's extremely important because when you have someone like rachel maddow or other hosts of shows saying this is purely so he can cover up any type of personal scandals in the news, that's just thought the case and insult to our allies who also thought this was the right decision to take. abby: jamila, it's important to understand how we got here and remembering those obama years when he did set that red line. he said if they do use chemical weapons we will respond. he then punted it to congress and they ultimately did not act on that. so do you think that we should learn from those years and say if we do set that red line we follow through with it? >> well, i don't agree that
we didn't follow through with the red line. let's be very clear. the u.s. has been bombing. the u.s. has struck syria before. allegedly we had gotten rid of all of the chemical warfare -- the chemical, you know, weaponry of the assad regime. and that's not the case which we see here. my biggest interest and i believe the biggest interest of the american people is that we were told by james mattis that this strike was in helping to keep, you know, to help americans -- i don't see how this particular time, this particular strike, has anything to do with what is happening in america. our president was elected by people who are interested in domestic issues, who are interested in having our opioid crisis addressed, who are interested in getting
clean water in flint. this is a distraction. abby: are you saying we should not -- i just want to be clear. are you saying we should not have taken action? bashar al-assad can do whatever he wants to his people and use chemical weapons have you seen the horrific images of these children. >> i agree that's a horrific and there are many horrific images. there has been horrific images. abby: your response is to do nothing. >> my response is not to do nothing. my response is to do what the president has said and that is dealing with american issues, dealing with american interests. and he should have gone into syria with more than just france and england. i don't know that this was the wrong thing to do. i certainly believe it's the wrong way to go about it. >> if i can jump in here, i think there is a place for us to discuss whether or not this is the right strategy. a lot of people disagree with his strategy. it's important to figure out what the issue or what the solution to syria is because it's an extremely complex and complicated matter. >> thank you. >> i think the american
people do agree that national security and dealing with the middle east and dealing with north korea especially russia who is behind what is going on in syria is of utmost importance to americans. we do care about national security. i think when they look at the president's move, i think from a message standpoint that he is sending russia, they appreciate it was a strong response. that he said something on wednesday. he tweeted it out saying russia, we are going to do something about this. and he is actually taking the steps to do so. i think after eight years of an obama presidency where there were blurry red lines, where there was the re-set button, once again you can disagree with whether or not we should have this type of strategy with syria. i think people are tired of the weakness that the obama administration put forward and they deeply care about national security. abby: yeah. and being the leader on the world stage is so important for so many people in this country. jamila bey and beverly thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> thank you. abby: the u.s., u.k. and
france taking on bashar al-assad. what message is it sending to the rest of the world. we will ask former tied margaret thatcher. that is coming up next. you don't want to miss it. [burke] vengeful vermin. seen it. covered it. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
abby: now to a fox news alert. we are just about 10 minutes away from a pentagon briefing hours after u.s. led airstrikes hit syria. the strikes, in coordination with the u.k. and with france. >> british, french, and american armed forces conducted coordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the syrian regime's chemical weapons capability and this collective action sends a clear message that the international community will
not stand by and tolerate the u.s. of chemical weapons. pete: u.s. allies echoing the president's message to the syrian regime as they unite to take on assad. so what message does the global alliance send to the rest of the world? because not all those countries are created equal when it comes to the support for these attacks. griff: here to weigh in former aide to prime minister thatcher. good morning. what say you? >> personally i think this was a decisive military strike by the united states and its allies. the president sent the right message to the monstrously evil assad regime and the fact that great britain and france joined this strike is very, very significant. i think the international coalition sent a message not only to assad but also to moscow and to rogue regimes across the world, chemical weapons this kind of b bar
barrage. very strong leadership by the president on the world stage. he has assembled this coalition together. it's something that president obama, of course, could not do back in 2013. and so this is a very significant action and i think it sends the right message to the enemies of freedom across the world. abby: speaking of messaging, president trump tweeting out just a few moments ago in response to the strikes that happened overnight. he said a perfectly executed strike last night. thank you to france and the united kingdom for their wisdom and their power of their fine military. could not have had a better result. mission accomplished. places like russia and iran? >> it's a very good question. even though only u.k. and
france joined the military action last night. i think you will find every country, for example, in western europe backing the military action. there is widespread support for the united states. yet again, of course, great britain is the key ally standing alongside the united states here. but also france as well has joined. that's a big deal because, of course, the french has hesitated to join the united states in many previous military actions. the fact the french -- very significant. i think very strong robust support from across the western world but also from key u.s. allies in the middle east as well. extremely strong support for the u.s. from israel but also from the gulf states as well. countries who are acutely aware of the dangers posed by the assad regime. also concerned about iran's growing role in syria. this coalition will certainly be expanding. pete: nile as you alluded to
previous attempts to take on the coalition failed. cross the re -- there was a votn the parliament in the u.k. not to be a part of this. not to be a part of any action. why the change now and is it more than just symbolism? because there is some skepticism from americans that, okay, the u.s. is going to do the heavy lifting. sure the u.k. and france will be there, but it's largely symbolic. is that the case? >> i think it's more than symbolism. both the united kingdom and france made a significant contribution to the strikes last night. so this is more than just symbolism here. but also, i think it's very important to note, as you mentioned, barack obama was not able to assemble this coalition. and in 2013, for example, britain's parliament voted against taking part in military action. there wasn't a parliamentary vote in london this time around. but you had steadfast 100 percent support from the british government for these
military strikes. that's a demonstration i think of the fact that the united states now has very strong leadership. and that makes a real difference, actually. pete: great point. abby: loolooking at these countries the ones that supported the syrian attack one in particular is turkey. talk to us specifically about important it is for them to condemn these attacks. they along with russia and iran have helped prop up syria in many ways and them speaking out that sends a clear signal, doesn't it? >> yeah. i think it's very important to have turkey on board. of course, a member of the nato alliance, the turks intimately involved in the situation in syria. it's vital i think that we have the entire nato alliance on board. also important that we have muslim countries on board with this coalition and we auto do already have a number of muslim allies fighting with the united states here. and so, this an emphatic declaration of u.s. leadership and clearly, i
think countries across the world will be following. griff: we have to leave it there. thanks for joining us this morning. >> my pleasure, thank you. abby: fox news alert. brand new video of those airstrikes coming into the news room. pete: waiting on a briefing live from the pentagon about those airstrikes. we will bring it to you. of gum . try parodontax toothpaste. ♪
abby: this is fox & friends and just coming into our news room you can see there you're watching brand new video showing missile strikes launching into syria overnight. griff: we're just moments away from the pentagon briefing the air strikes coming in response to the assad regime's latest chemical attack. president trump: my fellow americans, a short time ago i ordered the united states armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons
capabilities of syrian dictator bashar al-assad. a combined operation with the armed forces of france and the united kingdom is now underway. pete: president trump continues to communicate with american people and the world this morning tweeting this. so proud of our great military which will soon be after spending billions of fully approved dollars the finest that our country has ever had. there won't be anything or anyone even close. well, russian president vladimir putin of course predictable condemning the attack saying this, the u.s. makes the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in syria even worse and brings suffering to civilians the current escalation around syria is destructive for the entire system of international relations. abby: no surprise there. well the united nations security council holding an emergency meeting this morning at russia's request we'll follow that. that is happening at 11:30 a.m. this morning but also we're monitoring what we're going to
be, the pentagon briefing. pete: yeah, while you were asleep last night this attack, swift attack by american uk and french forces from
surface to air missiles from u.s. destroyer s potentially submarines but also b1 bombers there's footage we just got in brand new from the dod, likely from the mediterranean. i can't confirm that but we know these strikes happen and there could be more to come. the president in his address last night said this could just be the beginning if bashar al-assad does it again but clearly, griff a measured approach because if we wanted to strike targets where there were russian officials or russian supporters of the assad government we could have with syria being a client state of russia. griff: and what we know is that those three targets were the science research lab where the chemical weapons were made and two storage facilities and damascus and homes but what we'll find out at this pentagon briefing is a little more of what you know pete which is the battle damage assessment.
we'll hear more about exactly as we've had several guests who said this was the right thing a very targeted thing. we'll find
out exactly what happened. pete: that's right. that actually matters in this case, because did we get rid of the things we wanted to get rid of? did it send the signal to the assad regime? abby: well of course as we await the briefing from top military officials meanwhile the president is also sending a firm message to syrian allies. and all of this as we learn more about how the whole plan came together. lucas donaldson is live at the pentagon and we're waiting for the briefing to happen at any moment. reporter: abbey that video you just played is from the uss monterey a guided-missile cruiser that's actually in position, the red sea, they arranged up to 1,500 miles monterey this was her last day of deployment senior officials tell me here and in addition to monterey where we will hear shortly from the pentagon i'm told the uss baloone also fired
tomahawks into syria and president trump said last night this message was not just to the assad regime. president trump: i also have a message tonight for the two governments most responsible for supporting, equipping, and financing the criminal assad regime. to iran and to russia, i ask what kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children? >> right now this is a one-time shot and i believe that it has sent a very strong message to dissuade him to deter him from doing this again. reporter: last year two u.s. warships struck assad but last night the united states was joined by british and french forces hitting three targets associated with assad's chemical weapons program and as you mentioned just in the pentagon releasing this new video showing the guided-missile user uss
monterey launching tomahawks into syria from the red sea. british tornado jets also launch ed from cypress, a french fired missiles from the eastern med and french fighter jets also participating. the pentagon briefing is set to begin any moment now we will be getting a full update on all of the u.s. , french and british assets that took part in this strike. griff: lucas we heard from defense secretary mattis and joint chief dunford yesterday. who are we going to hear from at the pentagon? reporter: we'll hear from defense secretary mattis' senior spokeswoman dana white and also lt. general kenneth mckenzie one of the most senior officers at the pentagon. pete: absolutely. abby: we will wait that lucas thank you. this was such a delicate balance as we are now seeing result of those strikes last night and figuring out what we were ultimately able to demolish. the importance of deterring bashar al-assad but also notice daniel lating the situation to a
world war iii. you've got russians on the ground in syria and people wonder why can't you take out bashar al-assad? if you take out the head of syria then it becomes the united states full-on problem exactly what happened with iraq so this is a very delicate balance. the question is will it deter bashar al-assad enough and what will the response be from syria potentially from russia. they've already made their statement today from vladimir putin saying this only escalates the violence going on so a lot of questions. pete: but they didn't shoot at our missiles, they didn't shoot at our planes and they're going to an emergency security council meeting that'll do nothing because the security council is effectively worthless in this problem because we can veto them and they can veto us but when you watch the images from the us s monterey that is a picture in the modern world of what justice and freedom and rule of law looks like because the u.n. can't do that and nato ain't doing that and a lot of other allies are not doing that. if we don't enforce these thins, if we don't stand up to russia and iran and north korea no one else is going to so when you see
president trump do it the rest of the world starts to follow. there's a reason the uk and france joined with us this time and not with obama in 2013 because they know we will lead and take decisive action and taylor it, very carefully with the advisors he has around us. griff: you talk about that striking that balance let's check in with deputy white house press secretary raj shah. good morning it must be very busy where you are over there. what has been the reaction this morning? >> well it's a very busy morning and thanks a lot for having me on. look, the president last night took very decisive strong action and sent a clear message not just to the assad regime but to russia and iran as well, that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated by this president and this administration. he targeted assad's chemical weapons infrastructure, the three sites that you guys have been discussing this morning. this was to degrade the infrastructure that is necessary
to research, build, construct, and eventually deploy chemical weapons. these are horrific agents used to target civilians. this is the kind of acts in war settings that have not been used in decades and really have been banned for nearly a century, and the president took the right action to protect not just kind of human rights and humanity but also u.s. , vital u.s. national security interest which is to prevent the proliferation and use of these weapons and deter them in the future. abby: well raj, the president spoke last night at 9:00 p.m. to the american people also speaking this morning on twitter saying actually i'm going to interrupt myself here asking the question. we want to go straight to the pentagon for the briefing we have been waiting for. let's listen in now. >> i want to start by making one point clear. the use of chemical weapons anywhere in the world is an in excusable violation of international law, and the united states will not tolerate
it. the assad regime's attack against innocent syrians on april 7 is horrifying and tragic , and it demanded an immediate response. yesterday, united states forces at the direction of president trump launched precision strikes against assad regime targets associated with the use of chemical weapons in syria. we launched these strikes to cripple syria's ability to use chemical weapons in the future. we were joined by the united kingdom and france who demonstrated solidarity in addressing these at ross its. americans are united in condemning syria's inexcusable use of chemical weapons which no civilized nation would tolerate. we are encouraged by the support we received from the senators and congressmen on both sides of the aisle.
we are also extremely proud of the united states service members who carried out this operation last night. they demonstrated unwavering courage and commitment and their defense of the american people and the values and ideals our nation represents. this operation was carefully ark its rated and methodically planned to minimize potential collateral damage. i can assure you, we took every measure and precaution to strike only what we targeted and what we successfully hit every target this operation does not represent a change in u.s. policy nor an attempt to dispose the syrian regime. these strikes were justified, legitimate, and proportion at response to the syrian regime's continued use of chemical weapon s on its own people.
we do not seek conflict in syria , but we cannot allow such violations of international law. our goal in syria remains defeating isis, by, with, and through the 70-nation coalition, but we will not stand bypass everly while assad, backed by russia and iran, ignores international law. the assad regime's actions in april 2017 and again on april 7, 2018 show they have abandoned their commitments to the international community and resorted to illegal tactics against the innocent syrian people. we call upon russia to honor its commitment to ensure the assad regime dismantles its chemical weapons program and never uses chemical weapons again. we support our diplomats who are working to set the conditions
for the united nations backed geneva process to succeed, and we look forward to working with the united nations envoy to syria, in an effort to maintain transparency, now we will get a detailed overview of the actual operations, general mckenzie? >> thanks, dana. ladies and gentlemen good morning. i'm going to spend the next couple minutes just talking about the military details of the strikes that we executed last night and i could get the first graphic up, please? as you've heard from the president of the united states and directly in this room from secretary mattis and chairman du nford, the united states, the united kingdom, france, three of the five permanent members of the u.n. security council conducted a proportional precision coordinated strike in response to the syrian regime's continued use of chemical weapon s . this combined military strike was directed against three distinct syrian chemical weapons program targets and i'm going to show them to you in turn on the monitor behind me and i think you have access to
that information also. the three facilities are more appropriately now were fundamental components of the regime's chemical weapons warfare infrastructure. let's go to the first slide, please. the bars that were search and development center, next slide, pardon me, the chemical weapons storage facility, and last, and the next slide, please, the chemical weapons bunker facility which is located about seven kilometers from the previous site. this strike aimed to deliver a clear and ambiguous message to the syrian regime that their use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians is inexcus able and to deter any future use of chemical weapons. we selected these targets carefully to minimize the risk to innocent civilians. we're still conducting a more detailed damaged assessment but initial indications are that we accomplished our military objectives without merl interference from syria.
i'd use three words to describe this operation. precise, overwhelming, and effective. let's go back to the first bars of the slide please. i guess the first target, the search and development center is located in the greater damar yeah, we employed 76 missiles. 57 of these were top a hawk land attack cruise missiles and 19 were joint air to surface standoff missiles. as you can see for yourself from the graphics, initial assessments are that this target was destroyed. this is going to set the syrian chemical weapons program back for years. and you also note that we've successfully destroyed three buildings in metropolitan damascus one of the most heavily -defended aerospace areas in the world. next slide please. against the second target, the chemical weapons storage facility which is located in syria, 22 weapons were employed,
nine u.s. , eight storm shadow missiles, three naval cruise missiles and two land cruise missiles so this target was attacked by alcoa recognition forces. our tomahawks, the british storm shadow and then the french missiles went against it as well against the third target, next slide, the shinshar chemical weapons bunker facility we deployed seven missiles. again the initial assessment is that this bunker facility was successfully hit. i'd now just like to talk a bit about the specific platforms that were part of this strike and let's go back to the first slide, please. the missiles that i've just described were delivered from british, french, and u.s. air and naval platforms in the red sea, the northern arabian gulf and the eastern mediterranean. all weapons hid their targets at very close to the designated time on target of about 4:00 a.m. in syria which of course is 9:00 here on the east coast. i'm going to give you a little more detail now about the platforms. first in the red sea, the class
cruiser monterey fired 30 tomahawk land attack cruise missiles and the burke class destroyer laboone fired seven tomahawks and in the north arabian gulf the burke class destroyer higgins fired 23 tomorrow o hawks and in the eastern mediterranean, the french fired three missiles of the naval version and also in the mediterranean the virginia class submarine john warner fired six tomahawk missiles. in the air, two b1 lancer bomber s fired 19 joint air to surface standoff missiles and in addition, our british allies flew a combination of tornadoes and typhoons and launched eight storm shadow missiles. our french allies flew a combination of mirages and launched nine scalp missiles. taken together and as you can see from the graphic behind me these attacks on multiple axis were able to overwhelm the syrian air defense system. it's also important to note that
we flew a variety of defensive counter air, tanker, and electronic warfare aircraft in support of these operations. none of our aircraft are missile s involved in this operation were successfully engaged by syrian air defenses and we have no indication that russian air defense systems were we are confident that all of our missiles reached their targets. at the end of the strike mission , all our aircraft safely returned to their bases. we assess that over 40 surface to air missiles were employed by the syrian regime. most of these launches occurred after the last impact of our strike was over. it is likely that the regime shot many of these missiles on a ballistic trajectory. i mean by that without guidance and we assess the defensive efforts of syria were largely in effective and clearly increase risk to their own people based on the response. when you shoot iron into the air without guidance it's going to without guidance it's going to
come down somewhere. by contrast, the precise nature of our strike and the care which our allied team planned and executed significantly reduced the risk of collateral damage to civilians. in summary in a powerful show of allied unity we deployed 105 weapons against three targets that will significantly impact the syrian regime's ability to develop, deploy, and use chemical weapons in the future. its been said before but i want to emphasize again, that by comparison this strike was double the size of the last strike in april 2017 and i'd also emphasize that this strike was a multi-national effort. the precision strike was executed with france and the uk demonstrating our unquestionable resolve. i'd like to close by noting that since the strike, we have not seen any military response within syria and we remain postured to protect our forces and those of the coalition should anything occur. dana back to you. >> so with that, we'll take your questions. bob? reporter: thank you, general
mckenzie you said that that you assessed initially that the attack set back the syrian chemical weapon program for years. can you elaborate on that, ms. white said that it was intended to cripple it. can you be more specific? >> well as of right now, we are not aware of, i'll answer that part first. as of right now we're not aware of any civilian casualties. i will also note as i said in my prepared remarks the syrians shot 40 large missiles into the air last night. those missiles came down somewhere and so we should just recognize that's apart of this equation too, but we don't right now, we have no reporting of any civilian casualties against any of the targets that we struck and we'll continue to look at this closely as we go ahead so very briefly the first part of your question particularly the facility is a core site for them and as you can see from the graphic it does not exist any more and we believe they've lost a lot of equipment, they've lost
a lot of material and it's going to have a significant effect so the words cripple and degrade are good accurate words. >> tom. reporter: secretary mattis said last night he was pretty convinced that chlorine was used ment he's. he's still waiting and also confident the syrian regime mounted these chemical attacks. what evidence do you have of chlorine and of the syrian attack and also the opcw is on the ground now. they're collecting information on that. >> we are still assessing, but as the secretary said last night , he is confident of the evidence that we already had and which is why he recommended the strikes last night, but we are still assessing and getting details and we can provide more details once we have them. reporter: well can you give us a sense what evidence you do have? >> there's various intel and i won't speak to that but when we
have more evidence and more details i will come back to you, tom. barbara? reporter: for both of you, first , general mckenzie, could you speak about in these other facilities, were there actually are you convinced there were chemical agents inside at the time of the strike? how did you mitigate not having the chemical agent cloud and dana, yesterday the president talked about the possibility of a sustained response and the secretary last night spoke about this being a single strike at this time. could you help people understand is there a difference there? what are they both talking about , but for both of you please. targets, we have a variety of sophisticated models, plume analysis other things that calculate the possible effects of chemical or nerve agent being
in there and in relation to the target we assess there are probably some chemical nerve agents in that target however we believe by the way we attacked it the attack profile, we were able to minimize that and so i'd just leave it at that. you'll be able to judge over the next few hours, the results of that but we believe that we successfully mitigated against the fact that there are illegal and unauthorized weapons at these sites. >> very briefly are you doing anything to take air sampling to see if there was disbursement? >> we look at the target through a variety of means. reporter: okay and dana? >> and with respect to his comment, i think the operative word is the words were "at this time." what happened going forward has everything to do with the assad regime. we sent a very clear message last night and we hope that he heard it. joe? reporter: general mckenzie have you had any contacts with the russians through the lines in the aftermath of these operation s or are you planning
to have such contacts in the next few hours? >> as you know, the channel which we use between we and the russians has operated frequently over the past few months it continues to operate frequently leading up to the strike and a routine basis after the strike. reporter: general mckenzie the three targets that you struck, were those manufacturing or research in chlorine? >> it was a little of both and particularly in the marsa target but it's a little of both. reporter: and do you, do any of these facilities have any other non-military application? >> no, they're essentially this is what they do. there may be other activities that are carried on there but this is the core activity associated with these sites. >> phil. reporter: you said the russian air defenses were not turned on. how do you explain that? >> i didn't say the russian air defenses were not turned on i
said they weren't employed. defenses were not turned on i reporter: i'm sorry. was there an agreement with the russians they would not employ their defenses and also you said the syrian air defenses do not have any significant impact on the operations. is that since there was no interception of any of these missiles that were fired? >> so we did no coordination, no agreements with the russians before the strike. it's important to know that, we did nothing more than that and i want to say to the best of our ability to determine at this time no syrian weapon had any effect on anything we did. reporter: thank you. dana, for you, last year, when a similar-type strike occurred, there was an assessment that you degraded syria's ability to generate chemical weapons yet a couple months later the pentagon thought that specific airfield was right back at it. what assurances do you have now that you degraded syria's ability to generate chemical weapons and then for general mckenzie, that slide appears that the b1's were escorted by u.s. fighters. could you tell us who escorted the b1's and what type of
service air missiles were shot out in air and then getting back to the russian defenses, if their defenses weren't employed, were russian radars at all employed, were they with any of the u.s. aircraft? >> so i'll take the first one. last year, the focus was on the deliveries. this time, we went the strikes went to the very heart of the enterprize to the research, to development to storage so we are very confident that we have significantly crippled assad's ability to produce these weapons >> let me just answer. so b1's employed our joint standoff missile so that was the weapon that they used, the b1's were accompanied by u.s. fighter s up to the launch and release point, it's a normal way you'd integrate an air package to provide protection to the bombers just as the french and british aircraft were accompanied by their own fighter s as part of an integrat
ed package that provides defense for the shooters. additionally, we positioned defensive counter era round and in fact it's still operational right now as we observe potential syrian response. the air force raptors? >> i don't know the question. >> david? reporter: there were reports these facilities today have been evacuated prior to yesterday's strike. do you have any indication either of you that that's the case and wouldn't that to some degree degrade your assessment of the damage that's been done to the regime? >> sure, the syrian regime knows we've been looking at these targets for a long time so it is possible there might, some people might have left it. we also chose to strike at pin the morning, 4:00 in the morning local time so we weren't trying to kill a lot of people on the objective so we struck at a different time of the day. i believe, however, that there's material equipment associated with each of these sites that was not moveable and that's the source, that's what really sets them back and to go back to an
earlier question that's really the difference between striking an airfield and essentially a delivery platform and a research development and generation part of the facility. this is far more damaging to syria. >> michael? reporter: general mckenzie, were the three targets that were struck does this represent the totality of syria's known cw infrastructure or were there cw structures that you didn't hit because of collateral damage concerns? second, is chlorine the new red line because the administration monitored the use of chlorine for many months and didn't take any action and it seems only to have taken action because a nerve agent appears to have been used and just the last weapons question was the jasm used or just the first generation? >> so let me in terms of the targeting. as we selected targets obviously the syrian chemical weapons systems larger than the three targets that we addressed tonight, however these are the
targets that presented the best opportunity to minimize collateral damage, to avoid killing innocent civilians and yet to send a very strong message. we could have gone to other places and done other things but we in close coordination with our allies decided these were the ones that best fit those, that best fit that criteria so certainly there's an element that is not part of the, there are other elements and we'll continue to examine those as we go forward so we did employ the jasm er. reporter: and you say you destroyed most of the infrastructure 50%, 80%? >> you can look particularly at the barsa site and make your own conclusions i'd say they have three buildings and a parking deck and now they don't so that's the one easiest to see because it's a building structure. i think we dealt them a severe blow. there's some left but we dealt them a severe blow. reporter: what about perspective use of chlorine in the future? the administration didn't have in the event of previous use of chlorine, is that a new red line >> what's important to
understand is that the assad regime has a pattern of using chemical weapons to get to some people. against the chemical weapons convention, despite the fact that they had agreed to it and despite the fact that the russians were there, so what happens next has everything to do with what the assad regime decides to do, and it has everything to do with what the russian government decides to enable as well. stephanie? reporter: why does the administration, we touched on this but why does the administration feel these strike s are enough to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again? >> i'll pass it to general in a second, but we were very methodical in making the decision about these sites, and it was a deliberate decision to go to the storage facilities, to go to the research and
development facilities. that was the difference. we think by doing this, this was very successful and we are confident that we've significantly degraded his ability to ever use chemical weapons again. reporter: one more in what kind of response should the assad regime expect from the u.s. if they were to use chemical weapon s again. >> well i think it's very important to remember that this represents three permanent members of the u.n. security council who did this. the uk and france are our oldest allies. this is about values. we did this because it's in tolerable for any civilized nation to tolerate the use of chemical weapons. missy? reporter: thank you i just have two or one follow-up on michael 's question for you, general and a question for you, dana. general, can you just press you a little bit on the chemical
weapons program, should the american public understand that this is a minority of the existing chemical weapons program? is it more than half? is there anyway you can give us a better sense of the scale of what these three sites represented? also for you general, how long did the strike last, how many minutes, hours, and dana for you , can you just comment on put this a little bit in the context of the broader civil war i know that the u.s. policy is not to get engaged in the civil war and that the objective is to get to a negotiated settlement eventually but we have this significant military response to chemical attacks that in this people, at the same time the outside regime has continued to use conventional means to attack women and children, civilians repeatedly using barrel bombs and other means. can you just talk about that,
how should people understand the difference in the response to these more isolated chemical attacks and the ongoing confessional attacks by the government on its own people. >> it is clear to everyone that the syrian people have suffered for too long and it's why we are 100% behind the u.n.-backed geneva peace process and we encourage our allies & partners in the region to also help to facilitate that conservation. we have a new u.n. envoy, and this is an opportunity to really put real steam behind the process but our mission in syria remains the same. it is not to be involved in the civil war. christina? oh, sorry. christina i'm sorry. >> missy, so you're two part question first we believe that in particular we've attacked the heart of the syrian chemical
weapons program and i'm not saying they aren't going to be able to reconstitute it and not saying that it's going to continue but this has dealt them a very serious blow so i think that's the core of what i'm second point is how long did the attack last? as you know an operation like this has many many elements from a 0-400 time on target which all our missiles impacted within a minute or two of that time really several hours before you begin to launch tankers and intelligence aircraft and do a variety of things. probably a couple hours before would be a period of maximum intensity for the mission. that's when you're beginning to spin and launch the ships and other aircraft are getting to the point where they release their missiles but the operation actually many hours before in order to just get setup. christina? reporter: thank you. what would craiger another wave of attacks? are we talking another chemical weapons attack or retaliation and do we expect any retaliation either from the regime, the russians or the iranians? >> i can't speculate on what
could happen but what i will tell you is that this, we took action and what happens next is in is the decision of assad. >> and also do we expect any kind of retaliation? >> so i can't speak to that but i can tell you that we're ready for it. we're postured both in the region and globally. we're on the balls of our feet and we're ready for anything. >> tony? reporter: general a couple questions. one was this the least extensive of all of the options that were crafted? can you give us a feel for how many options we'll put together and was this the one that we need at the least amount of damage? >> so i would say that i can't comment on options we present to the president, that's the choice he makes so i won't be able to discuss that. i will tell you that of all of the options carefully looked at ways to minimize collateral damage you balance always minimizing collateral damage against getting maximum effects.
reporter: what impact is the public prelude have in terms of developing a 21st century bodyguard in terms of deception and what impact did it have on possibly launch access to the aircraft or ships used? we're all focused on the donald cook, can you give some sense of that? >> sure if i could build on your bodyguard comment, the truth is, it had no effect. reporter: no effect at all? >> it had no effect on military planning. david? david martin? reporter: i thought i heard you say that this strike put more steam behind the geneva peace process. how does this help bring peace to syria? >> we have been very clear about the fact that we fully support the u.n.-backed geneva process. sochi has failed. our focus remains defeating isis it is not to get involved in the
syrian civil war. we call on all nations and i think the demonstration of our allies, france, and the uk helping us demonstrates that we are serious about the fact that chemical weapons use is intolerable, it's inexcusable , but we will remain committed to the 70-nation coalition to defeat isis. reporter: and how does the use of chemical weapons effect the outcome of the syrian civil war? >> it effects it by again, demonstrating to the world that this is a heinous regime. this is a regime that murders its own people daily. we, yesterday, with the help of our allies, addressed the fact that they continue to use chemical weapons to their own people. we continue to hope and urge and
we're confident that the u.n. process will move forward, but our mission remains to defeat isis. there is still work to be donald we will do it. right here right now. reporter: i'm going to ask three quick questions. first, were you ready yesterday to engage russian targets in case russia responded that attack? second, you keep talking about the current syrian chemical program. can you give us an idea about the size of this program in comparison to what the regime had before dismantling it? what is in percentage and third you're talking about evidence of chemical weapons attack. we haven't seen any evidence really. that's what you're saying; however there's an organization on the ground in syria, the opcw , and it will conduct an investigation. why didn't you wait for that
investigation to end? >> well let's remember that opc w and others have been blocked from entering duma. that's because of the assad regime. we need to remember that everything that's happening with respect to the murder of these people, innocent people, is the responsibility of the assad regime, so we were very confident about the evidence that we had and it was clear. the secretary said yesterday he was very confident about the intelligence as well as the evidence and that's why we moved forward. reporter: two other questions on russia. >> sure, we have an active effective deconflict channel with russia that's been used months before this attack, and through this strike and afterwards and i'm not going to be able to comment on anything more specific on that. reporter: the type of the program the current program that the syrian regime has now?
because you may think like you made lots of assessment and have a good idea and lots of targets so in compares -- >> i would say there's still a residual element of the syrian program out there. i believe we took the heart of it out with the attacks we accomplished last night. i'm not going to say they are going to be unable to continue to conduct a chemical attack in the future. i suspect however they'll think long and heart about it based on the activities of last night. >> we have a time for a couple last questions. reporter: president trump tweet ed about an hour ago mission accomplished which historically is not born out when the phrase has been used and you're saying that if you've got the option open for future strikes in case chemical weapons are used again so could you sort of reconcile those statements, mission accomplished and could be used in the future in terms of authorities if there are other strikes, does secretary have to go to president trump or has he even dedicated the authority to carry out as he sees fit.
>> so to your first point last night operations were very successful. we met our objectives. we hit the sites, the heart of the chem weapons program so it was mission accomplished. give me your second part? reporter: second part is the authorities question if there are future strikes does the same process have to go you go to the tcc, what is the process now? >> as the secretary said last night the president has the authority under article ii to defend u.s. interest and national interest and so i'm not going to speculate on anything that happens in the future but this was a fully legitimate operation. ryan? reporter: general mckenzie did chairman of the joint chief dun ford communicate in the days or hours leading up to this strike and then in addition, would you, do you assess that this is actually fundamentally changed the military balance of the syrian civil war or is it assad regime maintaining its advantage? >> so i go back to some of the things i've already said about
the de conflict channel with the russians. it's a multi-level robust system of communication we employ for some time. i'm not going to be able to give you any more information on our particular conservation. the chairman may or may not have had. what was the second part of your question? reporter: military balance of the civil war do these strikes fundamentally effect that or the assad regime remain? >> i think our strikes were targeted to send a message about the employment of chemical weapons and i think they were successful in achieving that military objective. >> i want to get to someone who hasn't spoken. way in back. reporter: thank you, dana, just following up on jason's question this question of mission accomplished. if a mission is to deter president assad from producing from spreading chemical weapons is it actually impossible at this stage from the military to know whether that mission as described was accomplished? >> last night, operations were successful. we metal of our objectives, we hit all of our targets successfully.
no aircrafts, allied aircrafts were engaged. it was a successful mission. what happens next depends on what the assad regime decides to do. right over here. reporter: thank you. you said earlier that you didn't observe any material effects on forces during the strike. can you describe any other effects, electromagnetic or cyber effects that were perhaps targeted towards coalition craft and also have you observed any activities around residual or remaining sites that you didn't strike that suggest perhaps an after action plan to hide or use chemical weapons in some other way? >> the syrian response was remarkably ineffective in all domains is probably the best answer so they had no material impact on the strike. as i noted in my prepared comments they actually typically began to fire their missiles after the last impact of our weapon, so no effect that we
know at this time. >> finish your thoughts? reporter: other activity around other sites perhaps movement of weapons or movement of chemicals >> i just don't have that information right now, i'm sorry >> okay, tom? reporter: you said we're very confident about the evidence we have. now, russia and syria denied any chemical weapons were used so i'm just wondering why you wouldn't share your evidence with the world, and stevenson famously went to the u.n. in 1962 with the evidence of the russian buildup in cube why wouldn't you do something similar especially if there's doubts. >> well there's no doubt for us reporter: why won't you share the evidence then? >> one, a lot of this has to do with intelligence and i'm very happy to show evidence if i can but we were very confident about the decisions we made. i'm going to take one more question from aaron. aaron? reporter: just a couple of clarification points, thanks,
dana. general mckenzie. you said i believe there's still an air defense package in operation right now, in case there's potential for retaliation there's syrian or russiases." how long do you intend to keep that package in the area specifically keeping an eye on if there's a retaliation to this strike and then during the strikes last year, a couple of t lams have failed not just because of interference but failed were there any weapons that didn't make it to the targets? >> none of our tomahawks experienced any problems. i don't believe so, no. and your last question, we typically keep dca over deployed forces in eastern syria, so typically we've got aircraft up over them so as we open in time from the event going forward, the commander will continually readjust air defense posture that we've got. keep it robust for a while and make adjustments based on our observations of the environment. >> lucas? >> [laughter] reporter: general, the syrian
government is seeing a shot down over a dozen tomahawks are they lying and what syrian military units did you strike and for the people at home can you explain this you say they didn't coordinator give a heads up to the russians and dana finally you say you want to avoid conflict with syria yet with all due respect you just lobbed a couple dozen cruise missiles into the country. can you explain that? >> our mission stays the same. can you explain that? >> our mission stays the same. it's to defeat isis but assad's actions were beyond it. again, we will do, we will 100% and we are supporting envoy and we will continue to do that, because we want a diplomatic political resolution to the syrian conflict, but, civilized nations can't let what's happened in syria stand, so with that i'm going to -- oh, sorry go ahead.
sure so you asked about de conflict. the best way to understand it is the russians don't have a veto on anything we do and that's probably the best way to describe it. we're not cooperating with them in syria. we don't want to get into a fight with them they don't want to get into a fight with us and the best way to do that is share certain information about what you're doing carefully metered out by us and i'm sure the same by them but we're not cooperating with them and they have no veto over what we do. at the same time we owe it to our service men and women and those are our coalition partners to do the best we can to simplify the environment in which we're going to fight so the mechanisms allow us to do that as to the last part of your question i can't help you with what the syrians are saying or not saying but i'm telling you what actually happened. >> on that point as secretary mattis said last night, the russians disinformation campaign has already begun. there has been a 2,000% increase in russian trolls in the last 24 hours.
therefore we will keep you all a breast of the facts moving forward. thank you all very much. pete: as you have been watching that was dana white chief pentagon spokesperson, also lt. general kenneth mckenzie director of the joint chiefs of staff and our final question from our own lucas thomas bringing in the details of the strike in syria. yesterday dana emphasizing they're not focused on regime change but isis but they had to set a clear standard and the general saying they were 105 total missiles fired, three targets, alchemical weapons facilities. abby: we've got complete coverage we want to bring in fox news military analyst lt. colonel oliver north, geraldo rivera and arizona congressman martha mcsally who of course is an air force veteran. thank you all for being here, get your take on what we just heard. the big takeaway, one no civilian casualties all planes were able to land safely, all missiles were able to reach their target. what do you say a mission
accomplished? >> oh, absolutely. look just a little historical note. 32 years ago tomorrow the reagan administration struck terror targets in libya both in the gaza and tripoli. it took us 10 days to pick the targets and to give the assignments out to those who carried it out. france by the way in that particular mission denied us overflight rights an this time france is in it with us. the bombing which occurred on the fifth of april we couldn't respond to it until 10 days out, this time it's a week out, and we lost an aircraft in that and this case not a single u.s. asset was endangered by the syrian aircraft fire. i think that what you've got today is a far more effective military at accomplishing limit ed goals, with an appropriate amount of force. now, whether this is going to stop assad, all those questions about what's next and every time it's asked, the spokesman for the administration at the white house or the pentagon come back
and say that it's up to assad and it is up to assad and you could be absolutely certain whether they say it or not we can say it, if assad uses chemical weapons again, the next strike is going to be even more significant than this one with 105 standoff and cruise missiles griff: that's a good point want to bring in congresswoman mc sally. we heard from this briefing that general mckenzie used the words crippled, degrading saying they had struck really at the heart of the chemical weapons production facilities. are you confident that that has been achieved and how concerned are you that we may yet see another attack? >> well, look i just want to say i'm so proud of the men and women in uniform having been involved in this attack in the military it took a whole lot of effort for them to be able to precisely hit these targets and do it in such an incredible way with such precision to go after
them and so sure we'll look at the damage assessment afterwords but as you could see from the photos, i mean, there were very specific targets to degrade their chemical capabilities and their research and development and also, those are the operational goals, but the sea-tac goals were to send a message using mass destruction will not be tolerated by the civilized world so i'm very proud and i stand with the president for this decision and now the next steps are up to assad and putin and are they going to continue to go down this road? this cannot be tolerated. remember russia used chemical weapons in london and north korea is watching as well killing his own half brother with the nerve agents so this is a very strong message strategic ally and operationally. pete: geraldo you've covered that region for quite some time. you know it well as you said from the podium there's no material resistance from syria meaning whether en they did shoot it was after our missiles hit . assad would not have taken
that response without russia telling him to do so at some level. what does that say to you about russia's response to some american strength here? geraldo: well first of all i think that it is a huge win for president trump. i had my doubts because i feared that the retaliatory strike was in cold blood, too much time had passed. i was wrong, this was a dramatic and proportional strike. it was awesome. i'm delighted that the british and the french joined in us this awesome air armada which accomplished exactly what the pentagon wanted it to and it sent a message to assad in terms of russia and i think the response from putin has been relatively muted. the same thing about china. even iran, even syria itself all seem to have come to the conclusion that assad had it coming. i don't know where with ego from here. i don't know what our strategic goal is in syria.
is it partition of the country? what is it? is it the outing of assad? i hope that we don't stick around to build a nation here, but in terms of this military strike, i think that it hit exactly what they wanted it to. this syrian air defense capability was shown to be woefu l in the face of our modern weapons and it really does appear there was no wag the dog vibe from this. nobody suspects that president trump did this to detract from or distract i should say from this domestic woes. this was in every regard i wouldn't necessarily say mission accomplished but i will say that assad crossed the red line, trump said don't cross the red line and if you do you'll be punished i promise you you'll be hurt and he was punished he was hurt and i applaud the president and our men and women and our armed forces they've done a magnificent job, and
congresswoman and colonel north are absolutely right. abby: ollie, not everyone agrees that this was the right way to approach this, you have a number of democratic lawmakers who says there was no plan, there was no strategy, no authorization. you have served this country for so many years. how important is it at a time like this for the nation to come together to support the what the president is trying to do here and when they crossed the red line a dictator and another nation that we act on that. >> was that for me? abby: ollie, up to you. >> well look, first of all i want to come also back to what i said at the beginning and everybody reinforced that. this was a limited objective and the appropriate amount of force was used on it. the fact that we've got two other allies engaged in this one of which 32 years ago wouldn't let us over france. we didn't ask france to join us in the attack on libya. all we want to do is fly the fb
111s from england over france to attack libya. look at the world is standing with us on this idea that you cannot use chemical weapons against anybody. certainly not civilians, and so i look at this, all these questions being asked about can we believe the russians? look the russians lie about everything. how do you know they're lying? their lips are moving. >> [laughter] >> the ideas that the russians are going to tell the truth about anything in this thing is foolishness. and what i'm suggesting to you is what we ought to be focused on is the reaction of the assad regime and their enablers on the ground in syria. forget the rest of it. they can scream all they want but the bottom line is what's happening inside syria right now to make sure that this syrian civil war doesn't see any further use of those chemical weapons. griff: congresswoman mcsally if i can just interject real quick
we are hearing from your colleagues many democrat members saying the president should have sought authorization. what do you say? >> well let me just say in this environment a lot of the democrats are going to resist literally everything the president does and some are auditioning for president themselves, so that's not helpful. in this case, i believe the president had clear authorities under the constitution as article to authorities, the war powers act, the aumf. he had all of the authority he needs. as soon as i landed last night when i got back to tucson i had a phone call from the under secretary of state calling me to give us the information. we are in very close contact with the appropriate committees and the leadership. we will continue to be moving forward, but i think this is just another example of the democrats resisting everything the president does and the hipocracy of how they treat him versus previous democrat presidents. pete: geraldo ollie north pointed out how france treated us differently and the same could be said of the uk in 2013
president obama effectively stood down on the red line in large part because the parliament in the uk said we don't want any part of syria and now here they are directly aligneded with us taking this stand on the use of chemical weapons . what does that say about president trump's leadership in his approach in the world and specifically to this problem? >> well it's obvious i covered the libya strikes over 30 years ago and i remember the contorted approach of our bombers was so prolonged that many in the news business new the strike was en route and we voluntarily kept quiet about it until they were carried out because we didn't want to endanger our air men coming on those f1 11s but we have a situation here where clearly france, britain and the united states stood together. this was again a proportional dramatically effective attack. where we go from here i think is a big question. i think it's irrelevant about the war powers act now and the
fact of the matter is that trump said he was going to do something and he did it in a very very effective way. there is a very very big and profound question that i would love our government and the allies to ponder now. are we going to petition, partition syria? will there be a sunni syria and a shiite syria? what's the end game here? will this force the parties to get together to negotiate some post-war syria because syria right now is an open wound still bleeding refugees into europe, still destabilizing the middle east but at least the president has made clear that weapons of mass destruction will not be permitted regardless of any political or military end goal? right now we say that red line means something assad, dare you step over it again, we doubled the missiles from last year this time. next time will be an exponential increase in the response. i really do think despite
skepticism from people like me the president has done something that i believe he deserves credit for. now moving forward these are the issues, these are the big stuff that we've got to consider as a country. that's why it's so annoying. it is so distracting to see stories of porn stars and play mates and so forth, access hollywood takes, i mean at what point do the american people rebell against the tabloid crap and focus on what is truly in the national interest? abby: ollie, i want to give you the last word we've heard from russia saying this only escalate s the violence worse. where do you see things going from here and what advice do you have for president trump moving forward? >> well, first of all, syria is a totally failed statement the ultimate outcome is going to be a completely different map than we're looking at right now and that's not going to be our
determination. that's going to be the people on the ground working with others in the region. there are a lot of players in this and most important message that was delivered last night wasn't just to assad. it was also delivered to tehran and moscow. they are the enablers of this kind of activity. they are the enablers of prolonging this war. the turks are big players in all of this. the fact that you've got egyptions and jordanians and the uae and saudi arabia backing this measure shows that there's a momentum that's being created to help fix this problem and stop what's been taking place inside syria now for better than six years. this is a horrific war. its got to end. pete: absolutely well, oliver north, geraldo rivera and lt. colonel martha mcsally who was a fighter pilot as well in the military appreciate your time. >> colonel. pete: my goodness i'm sorry ma'am. she does outrank me. abby: that's for sure. pete: we've been covering every angle of this all morning long. abby: thank you for being with us the past five hours its been great being with all of you
we'll be back here tomorrow morning. happy saturday. neil: the strikes everyone is talking about, the strikes on syria, fox on top of missiles reigning down as the u.s. , uk and france all team up and it is all making very very bad welcome everybody i'm neil cavuto. russian president vladimir putin calling these strikes on chemical weapons sites in syria an act of aggression. his ambassador going even further saying there will be consequences. here is what we know right now. the pentagon saying that all the missiles launched against syria did in fact hit their targets. the president tweeting "mission accomplished." russia calling it an e
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