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tv   Americas Newsroom With Bill Hemmer Dana Perino  FOX News  August 23, 2021 6:00am-8:00am PDT

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your part. thank you and appreciate your time. >> thanks for having me. pete: he said it, on deployment from his living room. steve: and how many people like him have family members or loved ones or someone they worked with and they are spending every waking hour trying to get them. ainsley: and if we leave them behind they will die, he said to. steve: thanks for joining us today. we will see you back here tomorrow
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>> dana: taliban calls it a non-starter. who is calling the shots? >> bill: dana, the president saying the u.s. has expanded the perimeter around the airport. more on that in a moment as the u.s. confirms that isis is taking full advantage of the chaos and plotting to kill americans who are trapped there. >> dana: team fox coverage. general jack keane, trey yingst the latest from the capital of doha and mark meredith is live at the white house for the update this morning. >> the white house insists it is making significant progress on the evacuation effort underway. evacuating another 10,000 people or so. but there is also mixed messages coming from the white house with the president insisting this is not going to be easy and he says it is possible that u.s. troops will have to stay on the ground in
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afghanistan longer than previously planned. >> president biden: there are discussions going on among us and the military extending. our hope is we won't have to extend. but there will be discussions, i suspect, on how far along we are in the process. >> the taliban is warning there will be consequences if americans stay beyond their original departure deadline of august 31. over the weekend we saw the federal government speed up the effort to get people out. six airlines are assisting. the planes are not flying directly into afghanistan. the british say their evacuation efforts are down to hours and not weeks. tomorrow the president is set to meet virtually with other g-7 leaders to discussion all things afghanistan. this as fox news is questioning biden's secretary of state why there is mixed messaging coming from the administration on the global response. >> the president said he hasn't heard any criticism from the allies.
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there has been a lot of criticism from the allies. words matter. the words of the president matter most. >> chris, all i can tell you is what i've heard. again, this is an emotional time for allies and us. >> vice president harris remains overseas spoke with reporters earlier today. the administration is focused on evacuation efforts. the president is due to get another update on afghanistan in another hour. not expected to talk about it on camera today but welcoming a wnba team to the white house. >> dana: i bet they had something. >> bill: now to doha, qatar. trey yingst. hello. >> we're learning more today about how the taliban views that august 31st withdrawal deadline. the group saying today it's a red line and unwilling to compromise. it could put american forces on
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the ground at greater risk. as we've already seen this morning one afghan security officer killed outside the airport in kabul amid a fire fight. we were on the ground in afghanistan yesterday as the qatar worked to evacuate civilian. >> the qatar government is trying to get vulnerable afghans out of harm's way. headed from doha to kabul on the c-17 to pick up 112 civilians. we just arrived in kabul, afghanistan just a week ago the taliban took control of this city and there are thousands of americans and afghans waiting to flee. the airport is surrounded by the taliban making it extremely difficult for people to get here and get to safety. it comes as new intelligence indicates groups like isis may try to attack americans as they make their way to the airport. the scenes of chaos we saw play out over the past seven days
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continuing once again today as u.s. forces try to keep a line between their soldiers and the taliban. i want to show you here there are still planes landing. there are thousands of afghans and americans trying to get to safety. many of them having immense difficulty. but just you see the faces of these women and children. a feeling of relief for many. how do you feel making your way out of afghanistan now? >> i'm feeling so good and so happy now. >> for many people on the flight it was the first time they ate or drank in hours. they were sitting on the runway waiting to get picked up working their way through taliban checkpoints to get to the actual airport. you see a range of emotion on people's faces. some people relieved to be headed to safety. others reality is setting in. they may never see their homeland again. >> the big question now for the
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biden administration, how many americans are left in afghanistan? and how will they be evacuated? we don't have clearances on either of those questions. as you can see on the ground a very tense situation making it difficult for anyone to get to the airport and flee to safety. >> bill: good to have you there. >> dana: let's bring in general jack keane. waiting to talk to you for hours counting them down because your take is so important. i want to set this up with one sound bite here from secretary blinken talking about the taliban being in control of kabul and that being the reality. watch here. >> so we have to ask the taliban for permission to american citizens to leave. true or not true? >> they are in control of kabul. the reality we have to deal with. >> dana: i want to ask you about the fact that is the reality and other things on the ground. another piece about isis reconstituting itself and possibly going to attack afghan or americans there at the
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airport? >> yeah, a couple of things, dana. first of all, secretary blinken's statement. i don't like the implications of that statement. what he is saying well, yes, they are in control of kabul, therefore they are in control of our destiny. that's absolutely not the case. the united states is in control of its own destiny and why we have our military power there to strengthen that. we should have our way here. the united states national honor is on the line here, dana. we have got to get all of our american citizens out and we have to get all of our afghan partners out. while there is obvious progress being made inside the airport at kabul. we brought order, stability. state department has a vetting process. all of that is good. taking care of the people hygienicly and human tearly. outside the gate it remains chaos out there. i understand we may be reaching out now a little more than what we have in the past but it is
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still not a fluid process. we have got to tell the taliban in no uncertain terms we're not going to leave here until all our american citizens and afghan partners are out. i would put a finger in the chest of the amir and let him know in no uncertain terms listen, we're going to facilitate our people transiting to that airport. you can either be with us in doing that or we'll do it ourselves and if you are in the way we'll stop it. we've got to get this process outside the airport under our control. here is another problem we have. i don't hear anybody from the administration talking about any plan whatsoever to deal with the people who are american citizens and also who are afghan partners who cannot get to kabul because the taliban have choked up all the arteries leading to kabul. no plan being discussed to evacuate them. we have the means to do this. it is a matter of the will.
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>> bill: general, we were watching and listening to every word yesterday from president biden at the white house and i'm certain you were as well. play this guys sound bite from yesterday. >> president biden: monitor and disrupt threats from any source, including the likely source being isis. but we're under no illusions about the threat. even though we're moving back the perimeter significantly. we are working hard and as fast as we can to get people out. that's our mission. >> bill: i don't know what was new in all that, general. like to get your view on it. the white house message from day-to-day seems to be selling the numbers on those who have been evacuated. how do you hear them talking now? >> we don't know what to total is that we're going after in terms of american citizens and also afghan partners. i think they must have a sense of what those numbers are but they are sure not sharing that
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number with the american people. i think because they don't want to be held accountable for it. we should be sharing what the objective is. i didn't answer dana's question when she asked about isis. before the collapse of afghanistan we had 2,000 isis fighters in afghanistan. they are largely taliban guys who switched over to isis when isis established that caliphate in iraq and syria and became such an iconic, barbaric organization and thought they would get more money and recruiting and the eyed ohology is different. they are largely taliban guys who became isis. what happened is when the taliban released everybody from the detention centers where the terrorists are, al qaeda got out, taliban got out and so did isis people. there are a few hundred more of those who have returned to their hideaways inside of afghanistan.
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so a credible threat is a suicide bombing incident somewhere in the vicinity near the airport and it's what has produced the actions that we're concerned about. >> bill: thank you. speak to you soon. giving us the lay of the land. >> dana: one of the things the chief of staff you talked about the white house trying to spin the numbers, right? if you listen to any of the -- it's a constant stream of numbers. who can keep up with it? call for three. this is -- basically saying over 37,000 people evacuated from kabul in eight days so far. evacuated 5700 people in the past 24 hours. the best military operation in the world. this is josh rogan, a columnist for the "washington post". the white house chief of staff should spend less time trying to spin the disaster on twitter and more time working to find ways to get americans and afghans to the air >> dana: i did notice retweets
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of people trying to defend. you do wonder how much time spent on twitter if that's a good use of time. >> bill: it seems off message in so many ways. the president said on friday al qaeda is not in afghanistan. that's not true. he said we are not in syria. that's not true. we have 900 men and women in eastern syria. no international criticism. if you listen to the member of parliament railing against the united states you wonder where our allies are on this. all it is factoring in. house members are coming back and apparently they will start working on a domestic agenda. how does that work? we'll talk to a democratic congresswoman shortly on that. stay tuned. 12 past the hour now. there is this now. >> houses are washed away. knocked off foundations. totally gone. still people missing. lots of cars are smashed up and
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gone. >> bill: an extraordinary story. death and devastation in tennessee like they haven't seen. massive flooding sweeping through the area. we're on the ground in that state for the latest today. >> dana: also dangerous weather in the northeast at tropical storm henri leaves people without power. when new england sees relief. >> bill: the fda could make a major announcement on pfizer's covid vaccine today. what that means coming up shortly. stay tuned. knows everyone's unique. that's why they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. [ nautical horn blows ] i mean just because you look like someone else doesn't mean you eat off the floor, or yell at the vacuum, or need flea medication. oh, yeah. that's the spot. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪
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waiverly, tennessee with the latest. good morning, charles. >> good morning. the flooding here has been nothing short of catastrophic. i will step out of the frame so you can see what it looks like out here this morning. this is some of what we're seeing pure devastation as far as the eye can see. someone's home overthere with a car inside. completely destroyed after being swept away and lift evidence into this exxon gas station which is also in pretty bad shape, too. we're seeing images like this all over the place. up to 17 inches of rain caused a tidal wave of floodwater that swept away everything in its path. it washed away roads, tossing cars and strux around and causing extensive property damage. people took cover on roofs and some rescued by helicopter. a lot of people weren't as
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fortunate. at least 22 confirmed dead and at least two dozen more missing, including a young boy whose mother couldn't save him. listen to the child's father. >> i couldn't get back to him. she managed to save our other four children. if it wasn't for her i wouldn't have any children right now. >> my heart is breaking for these sweet people, all of them. this town has endured so much in the last 24 hours. there is no words to describe it. >> emergency management agency says search and rescue teams are out today looking for those who remain missing and the american red cross is on the ground to offer assistance to flood victims. the good thing you can take out of this tragedy we've seen people this morning and yesterday all up and down these roads trying to help this community as best as they can. whether monetary donations,
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water, giving food or lending a helping hand. this community is bonding together in the midst of this horrific strategy. >> dana: thank you for bringing us this important story. >> does the president not know what's going on? >> this is an incredibly emotional time for many of us. >> bill: the biden administration still unable to say how many americans are inside the country. struggling to evacuate them and afghan allies as british and french forces go in and get their people out. michigan democrat debbie dingle back with us today. good morning to you. you are back in your home state of michigan headed for washington, d.c. later today. the president was suggesting last week that he thinks americans are going to lose interest in this story quickly. is he right? can we afford that? >> no, i have a great deal of respect for the president. last week was really a tough
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week because we had this -- i spent time with vietnam vets all last weekend. it brought back a lot of memories. i had a mother who lost her son in afghanistan. he died. and it was -- we need to thank the men and women that served there. we need to be focused right now on getting every american out of afghanistan safely. every afghan that helped us in some way. the interpreters who supported the americans, we need to get out and i'm worried about the women and children who are -- the girls who won't be able to get out but how we make sure they're protected in some way. >> dana: there were 6,000 afghan women serving in the
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afghan military. they need to be thought of as well. many times in august is a sleepy month or washington would like it to be a sleepy month. it's not. americans are paying attention to a lot of things like covid. nbc poll from over the weekend. biden's approval is down 4 percentage points since april. he is at 49% approved now and with this crisis showing no signs of abating any time soon it will be difficult to then get the domestic agenda off the ground. >> this is what i want to say to you. i don't think polls need to drive any kind of agenda. we have always had both foreign and domestic policy. we have a bipartisan bill which i think is very important that passed the senate with a lot of republicans votes because we need to come together as a country. i'm worried about how torn we are. it's an important start to
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build back better bill, the bigger budget bill that will have many important things in it. we need to fix our roads and bridges. we need internet in urban and rural areas. we need to get the lead out of pipes. you were talking about the storm in tennessee. i had five once in a lifetime floods in my district to six weeks. we have to come together. each come from different states, different districts in the country and we have to fight for our people and it won't be pretty. >> bill: it will be difficult. i think you would concede a little difficult to control the weather. i don't know if you heard what tony blair the former prime minister said over the weekend. he wrote an article. he said the abandonment of afghanistan and its people is tragic, dangerous, not in their or our interest. we did it in obedience forto* a
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political slogan ending the forever wars as if our engagement in 2021 was remotely comparable to our commitment 20 or 10 years ago. and circumstances in which troop numbers had declined to a minimum and no allied soldier lost their life in combat for 18 months. if our allies don't trust this administration, why should the american people trust this administration to spend trillions and trillions of more dollars in their policy plans? >> i will respectfully say i don't think that it's true that our allies don't respect us. i think that a lot of us are concerned about the pictures we see coming out of afghanistan. two republican presidents and two democratics have overseen this. donald trump said we have to leave and he set a deadline. but the fact of the matter is i'm worried right now and what i'm staying focused on getting
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americans and every afghan we have a moral responsibility out of that country. but i still think that this president is very focused on doing what's right for the american people and i have one of the most republican, conservative cousins in the world is defending what joe biden did and i was more worried than some of the others sitting there. >> bill: the question you are getting at is the way we did it. why should the american people trust this administration to spend $5 trillion or whatever the number is? >> they'll make sure it is going to the right places. fix the roads and bridges and get internet to people and make sure we get head out of pipes. >> that's infrastructure. that's the first trillion, not the 3.5 trillion that comes after that which is what many democrats call human infrastructure. >> it is not only human infrastructure. we have the goal of 50%
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electric vehicles. the storms are being caused by global climate. we need to invest to people have infrastructure to plug in the vehicles and get rid of lead pipes in america and tell people what we're doing in the bill. there are a lot of important things that the american people want. >> bill: love to have you back. the conversation will continue. debbie dingle, thank you for your time there. >> dana: have a safe trip to d.c. 3.5 trillion. it is a very good question of what is the domestic agenda the democrats will try to pivot to that. she said they can do both. i think it will get harder for them to get it done. >> bill: kamala harris is in singapore. this is what happened there. this is the video getting off the plane. when she got down to the carmack the question came from the reporter this way.
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>> slow down, everybody. i want to talk about two things. first afghanistan. >> bill: that's how that went. singapore first, vietnam second. this trip -- the events in afghanistan clearly overriding the headlines. >> dana: her laugh is a way for her to gather herself before she answers the question but it -- that's how she ended up being in charge of the border. maybe she will be now put in charge of afghanistan. we'll see. pentagon scheduled to give an update on afghanistan in an hour. we'll keep you updated as it happens. the afghan interpreters who risked everything to help us. president biden's handling. u.s. withdrawal had a fiery rebuke from marc thiessen last week. >> the goal in afghanistan was to make sure there was a
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near the lowest rates in newday's history. it's only for veterans and it's only from newday usa. >> bill: the u.s. saying isis poses a serious threat to thousands trying to evacuate afghanistan specifically at the airport. jennifer griffin back at the pentagon to begin another week there. good morning. >> good morning, bill. the danger now highlighted after an afghan sniper fired at u.s. and german troops at the airport earlier today. isis and al qaeda and the taliban and even disgruntled afghan forces angry at the u.s. that the u.s. is abandoning them could begin firing at the airport. here is jake sullivan.
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>> the threat is real, acute, persistent and focused on with our tool in our arsenal. commanders on the ground have a wide variety of capabilities to defend the airfield against a potential terrorist attack. working hard with our intelligence community to isolate and determine where an attack might come from. >> fox news has learned of an internal intelligence document that warns that isis and al qaeda plan to begin pressuring u.s. forces to leave before the president's announced august 31 deadline by launching attacks on the airport. u.s. military asks the taliban to push back the airport perimeter for 500 yards. the president's national security team on sunday admitted al qaeda has a footprint. >> are there al qaeda members and remnants in afghanistan? yes. but what the president was
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referring to was its capacity to do what it did on 9/11. that capacity has been successfully diminished. >> a u.n. report this summer said al qaeda had a presence in 15 out of 34 provinces. the estimate has always been there are 1,000 al qaeda in afghanistan. don't forget when the u.s. pulled out of bagram air base in july they left a prison full of hardened terrorists. 4800 taliban, 1,000 isis k and 500 al qaeda according to a former u.s. intelligence officer who worked at the base. those terrorists were released when the government fell and they already are seeking revenge. i received a video of an execution sent to an afghan intelligence officer showing the taliban killing his lieutenant. it was sent to him from the dead man's cell phone. it is too brutal to show on air. the revenge killings of u.s. allies have already begun.
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>> dana: afghan interpreters and allies are scrambling to escape afghanistan. coo jen wilson joins us now. a lifeline to a lot of people there. describe what your weekend was like. >> i guess it was a weekend. i don't know what today is. it's been absolutely non-stop but it's been the most incredible outpouring of help and support. you guys have been kind enough to put matt and i and charlie and kristin out front but the coalition that we have built is massive and it is not just in the united states, it is in australia, u.k., germany and canada. i was on the phone with someone
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former c.i.a. this morning at 7:00 offering help and advice. we literally have from our friends that are just texting gift cards to feed us up to people that do things that i don't even know about offering to help us. it has been an absolutely incredible outpouring of help and support. >> bill: you were quoted as saying it is madness. there isn't a lot of disagreement on that. the other quote you gave. you said you have them, meaning the afghans at the airport, every time they go to a new gate take a picture, you are telling them. we need to see who is guarding it, what they're wearing. if you get a picture of their patches, show me everything. what is that strategy and what's involved there? >> that was at the beginning. the u.s. have the gates under control now for the most part. coalition and allied forces are there. at the beginning we didn't know
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if it was afghan national army or police or u.s. or british. and they were panicked, panicked asking us to help. can you call someone. they literally think i have guys stationed at every gate that i can just get on the phone and say let my guy through. so we couldn't figure out what was happening on the ground until we got footage from the gate. show me what they are so that i can then go to my royal marines in britain and paratroopers in britain or our group in australia and special forces in australia and get them to help. that's how it has gone. it has been get me intel ton ground and i can project manage this and send it where it needs to go. rude meant try as that sounds. that's how it is going. >> dana: listen to president biden sending this message to the interpreters. listen here.
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>> president biden: we want you to be able to get to the airport. contact us and we'll see what we can do to get you there. we have to get you out. we are committed to deal with you, your wife and your child to get all three of you out of afghanistan. that's the commitment. >> dana: is there anything else that you think the administration should be doing in order to meet that commitment? >> well, he says contact us. i'm not sure who he wants us to call. it has been me and my team having a guy in kabul driving around dropping pins and live locations of taliban checkpoints to move guys to safe houses or to the airport. we would love help who to contact. if you have a way to move them safely to the airport, i would love to talk to you. >> bill: how many people have you gotten out so far. can you put a number on it? >> i can tell you this morning
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that we have lost count. we have lost count. it has gotten so big. thankfully i did actually hear this morning that i got my first one out through canada and i got another one out through britain. so it's not just getting them out through the u.s. when -- >> dana: i want to end this by saying jen wants everyone to make sure the veterans, that it all mattered, that you matter, if you are feeling any distress there is a veterans crisis line at the bottom of your screen. i know, jen, that's on your mind. thank you so much for all you are doing. we'll stay in touch. >> bill: you are a keyboard jockey saving lives. well done. >> could i speak to the veterans if you don't mind? >> dana: can you do it quickly? >> yes, i can. for all of the men and women
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that wear the cloth of their nation and the u.s., u.k. and australia i know the terror and the panic and anxiety. i speak to hundreds of you all day every day. i know you feel like your life can't matter if he loses his. i can't promise we'll get them all out but i can promise you we will not stop. my grandfather was a d-day bronze star. he got off his beach so i could get you off yours. we will not stop. you cannot give up on us. do not give up on us. we need you in the fight with us. >> bill: jen wilson in new york city of all places. deadly flooding in tennessee. dozens missing this morning. keep you updated on this horrific story coming up throughout the day and our program here. pentagon briefing 45 minutes away as the afghan women fear for their lives. the latest on the ground coming up. nothing rhymes with liberty mutual.
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>> dana: fox news alert. fda just giving full approval to pfizer's covid vaccine. the first vaccine to get the full approval and in record time. critics asking if the process was rushed. was it? let's bring in admiral brett giroir former assistant secretary and testing czar. tell us, sir, about what this moment means to get full approval. >> this is a very big moment in
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operation warp speed history and the history of our fight against the pandemic. prior to this we had emergency use authorization. what that meant is the public health benefits outweighed the known and potential harms. what this says today is we know the benefits, we know the harms, and this vaccine is safe and effective and every confidence can be given to that and americans should feel very good, better than they did yesterday about getting the vaccine. >> what took so long? >> it is a complicated process. there are many, many good professionals and credible professionals at the fda. it does take a while because all the data is looked at in detail. every page is turned. the facilities are inspected. however, again as i said before, i think it's unconscionable the biden administration doesn't have an fda commissioner even nominated to provide leadership. it is complicated. there is a lot of material and
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americans should feel very confident in the process. >> dana: some said they were hesitant to get the vaccine and pointed to the lack of full approval. how do you think the administration in its goal to get more people vaccinated can utilize this news? >> well, i think the american people will utilize the news. the poll said 30% of those who haven't been vaccinated would become vaccinated, feel confident about that once the vaccine received full approval. that just happened. the vaccine is fully approved and i'm very hopeful this will push people over the edge to go get the vaccine because it is our best protection aside from natural immunity against all the hospitalizations and deaths particularly that delta is causing across the country. >> bill: as you look down the road with the fda approval every day about a booster shot requirement. how do you view that process today? >> so, i believe boosters will
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be authorized at some point by the fda. hopefully soon. the data in israel and data here are clear that our vaccine immunity is very good but it wanes over time. after five, six, seven months our protection against infection and particularly for those over 60 protection against hospitalization and death decreases. booster shot just like all your typical vaccines, we give them very many months apart. we don't give them all in one sequence. a booster shot for covid would be very similar to booster shots we get for other vaccines and really has the potential to give many, many years of immunity. so it is not just the number, it is the spacing. i'm very encouraged by the data out of israel and published this weekend showing that the third shot is highly protective in those over 60 in particular. >> bill: in order to get the approval you need time to make sure it works, right? just like the six month pfizer
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vaccine followed by a booster perhaps if necessary. but there are americans getting the vaccine last december. so that's a full eight, nine months ago from today. so at what point would pfizer then understand and know whether or not a booster was necessary? can you forecast that? >> so pfizer has been talking about waeng immunity. there have been many publications of waning many unity. you have to have the time that goes by. six, seven, eight months is a time when immunity wanes and you have to wait that amount of time. what we're seeing right now not only waning immunity but the vaccine is effective against delta but not as much as the other variants and parent strain. what we're seeing now is because of diminished effectiveness of delta and
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waning immunity and getting the cases. i'm certain it will be authorized for at least people over 60 or maybe over 50 within the next few weeks. >> dana: we know efficacy goes down after eight months. what do we know about the lasting effects of natural immunity? >> so natural immunity is very important and there is still no data to suggest that vaccine immunity is better than natural immunity. i think both are highly protective. we do know, however, even if you are naturally immune a dose of vaccine can raise it further. i think if you had proof of covid infection right now it is still equivalent to vaccine immunity. even the cdc recognizes that if you are an american coming back to this country. if you have proof of a previous covid infection you don't need to be tested. when businesses reopen they ought to consider natural immunity, vaccine immunity or frequent testing all to get you
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back in the workplace. >> dana: i had one last quick thing. some have suggested that they would like to go after big pharma and complain about big pharma and the profits suggesting a booster is a way for them to make more money. how would you reply to that? >> look, i'm not going to defend big pharma except to say they came to the rescue with a lot of government support. the doses are $20 a dose. not very expensive. the science clearly says it is not a pharma scheme, it is absolutely necessary to protect americans. the first two doses and now we see the third dose. >> bill: last point out of the whole booster thing. you will have some people who will run to their doctor to get the booster shot. some people saying you told me to get the vaccine, i got the vaccine and now i have to go back again? from a medical standpoint and messaging standpoint how do you communicate that to people, it's the next step you need to
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do to keep you and your family safe? >> i would just ask people to consider when they get their children vaccinated, they don't get all the vaccines in one little bunch. same thing for other things. you actually have to get it over time. months should pass and your immune system evolves its response. when you get that boost it's long lasting. what we heard in the pandemic we got everybody vaccinated to squelch the storm, the fire, but now we are looking for the long lasting immunity and the boost will do that. >> dana: admiral, great to have you as the news breaks as the fda fully authorizes pfizer and they will have a briefing at 11:00 a.m. to answer questions. >> bill: we'll have live coverage of that. want to get back to the story in afghanistan. a lot of great americans doing a lot of great things. we just met jen wilson a short time ago. now we meet another one. as the u.s. withdrawal continues from kabul president biden leaving it up to the
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taliban to take care of the people of afghanistan. the taliban they harbor activities especially notorious for brutality of women. this is a former u.n. ambassador at large for women's issues. good morning. what challenges do you have now? >> well, much like your previous guest we are having to deal with the same thing only we don't have people with american passports or people who served alongside our wonderful loyal and brave armed forces. we're dealing with women often in rural areas, isolated, they are facing systemic discrimination in their own society and now they are last in line for rescue in this whole evacuation. they come in line behind the u.s. citizens, of course. we have our first responsibility as america to our own people. but actually one of the interesting things that we've been seeing is that there is a
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lot of overlap by many of the last u.s. citizens to leave because they are often family members of some of these women who are running ngos or members of parliament. often we cannot get the whole family out with the u.s. passport bearer. and so we've been having to sneak people in even though they are in a family with a u.s. passport. it has been the same kind of thing that you've been hearing from your other guests. i'm operating on two hours of sleep a night just like everybody else and i try to grab it here and there, not eating, drinking a lot of coffee and spending a lot of time yelling at people. >> dana: i want you to listen to someone in afghanistan on the things that his sister is facing as she tries to find a way to escape. >> my sister has got two kids
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in america. she is an american citizen and it has been seven days, she has attempted three times to go to the airport but they would not let them pass unless they show their passports. this is an american citizen. that's a death sentence for herself. she will be killed on the spot or taken and executed. >> dana: i'm sure you hear that kind of thing over and over again. women over the last 20 years weren't allowed to go to school and working in parliament and starting businesses. they were a big part of trying to bring afghanistan to a place where you could get some people out of poverty and now that's all at risk, of course. >> dana, as you know, there has been a huge bipartisan effort over the past 20 years that has spanned across all the generations to empower women in afghanistan to help them get educated, start businesses and participate in public life in a way that was completely not allowed during the previous time the taliban was in power
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in afghanistan. and we've seen a flowering of activity across the past 20 years that is unbelievable when i think about the loss of what we're seeing right now. if you think that it's hard to get through the five rings of taliban security as a woman with a u.s. passport, imagine what it is like if you are an afghan woman and you are a young unmarried afghan woman and you are also somebody who worked for an ngo that advocated for the rights of afghan women and you are on a death list from the taliban. you can't get to the airport to even if your name is on a list or the state department says they are trying to help you, which we have a lot of really great public servants who are trying to do the right thing here but they are being stymied at the top levels by poor decision making and by a process that almost seems intended to thwart the private efforts that you've been hearing about all morning.
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i am working with some of the most amazing people. i don't even know some of their last names. they show up in my signal on my cell phone saying i'm here to help you get so and so from point a to point b. it has been incredible to see what american people are doing to help these people halfway around the world. my in box is full, email and texts and everything just full of people trying to help. we're trying to make it happen but our first plane it took a week and day to get our first plane off and onto the tarmac in kabul and every bit of it was an absolute struggle. by the time we got the plane there, we couldn't get the women into the airport because the airport was shut down and even after the u.s. pushed out the perimeter the taliban just pushes out further. so now pushing out the perimeter -- >> bill: how would you rate the level of contact or assistance you've gotten from this
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administration? >> sporadic. i have been able to get help because i used to work at the state department and so i have -- i have a good network of contacts but i have also really relied heavily on my international contacts. my contacts in other countries to get things done because those people have been more action focused and they're much more focused on helping these women in addition citizens. it is not for a lack of caring, there is a problem with the way we are allocating the resources around this and then there is a bigger strategic problem. we're doing so many what we call drug deals on the street right now just to be able to get americans to the airport. the consequences of this are going to be just unbelievable and have a really long-term
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effect. >> bill: thank you for your time. appreciate you sharing your story. >> dana: thank you so much. >> bill: stay at it. >> dana: fox news alert. president biden adjusting his message as he addresses the chaos in afghanistan. the president changing his tone as the situation unfolds after a lightning fast takeover by the taliban from friday to monday. welcome to a brand-new hour of "america's newsroom," i'm dana perino. >> bill: i'm bill hemmer. one other thing to add. if you present an american passport as an afghan citizen the taliban will rip it up. what happens at that point? you are just out there on a limb with nothing. nothing to support you. so the president yesterday saying the withdrawal from afghanistan will be hard and painful, dramatic difference from last week when he said no problem for americans trying to get to the airport. general jack keane saying the president needs to send a firm and clear message to the taliban, among other things. >> the united states national honor is on the line here, dana.
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we have got to get all of our american citizens out and we have to get all of our afghan partners out. we have got to tell the taliban in no uncertain terms that we aren't going to leave here until all our american citizens and afghan partners are out. >> bill: full fox coverage begins anew now. congressman and iraq war vet greg steubey ahead. peter doocy at the white house. >> good morning, bill. president biden is not second guessing any of his decision making about afghanistan. >> president biden: my job is to make judgments. my job is to make judgments no one else can or will make. i made them. i'm convinced i'm absolutely correct. >> the president says he is having talks about keeping american forces in afghanistan until all americans are out but the taliban warns u.s. forces must leave by the end of this month. so some critics want a little more urgency from the white house. >> the french, the british, even the dutch military is
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leaving the airport to identify their citizens and bring them back inside the wire. that's what we should have been doing all along and what we should start doing today and do it for as long as it takes until we get every american out of afghanistan. >> president's rhetoric is changing somewhat. friday he thought americans were getting to the airport no problem. >> president biden: we've made an agreement with the taliban thus far. they have allowed them to go through. in their interest for them to go through. so we know of no circumstance where american citizens are carrying an american passport trying to get through to the airport. we'll do whatever needs to be done to see to it. >> two days later he admits it is so dangerous that americans are, in fact, hunkered down away from the airport. >> president biden: we have identified by phone, email and other means to ascertain their whereabouts and their plans. we're executing a plan to move groups of these americans to
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safety and to safely and effectively move them to the airport compound. for security reasons -- >> based on the president's schedule he is supposed to be getting an update on afghanistan right now so updates as we have them. >> bill: nice to see you from the white house. >> dana: joining us for more on this is florida congressman greg steubey, he was in the war in iraq. talked about, maybe not a lot of action on the ground. interesting to us to listen over the last hour of all the american civilians working with partners from all over the world and telling us that the state department response to them has been sporadic at best, sir. >> joe biden's legacy is going to be the taliban soldiers wearing our uniforms and our equipment erecting their flag hmong our marines. that's his legacy because we refuse to go in and get our americans out of afghanistan. we had a briefing on friday
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with the white house and the secretary of defense and secretary of state who refused to say that we were going to go and get our people who are not at the airport. that is not the american way. we have to rely on germany and other countries to go in and get our people when they are stranded. that will be their legacy. it is awful to be a veteran who served our country to see this happening to american citizens. >> bill: that briefing was friday. a lot can change in three days. what else did you learn in that briefing? >> myself, congress needs to act. myself and a democrat, a california democrat filed a bill on friday to demand that congress declare that we will go in and get american citizens out and tell the biden administration to go in with any means necessary to get our citizens out and we are going to go in and get our vehicles, aircraft and our equipment so they are not in the hands of
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the taliban. >> dana: do you get the sense, sir, from your contacts or the briefings that there is a disconnect or daylight between the department of defense or maybe what our military wants to do and what they are being allowed to do from civilian leadership? >> absolutely. there are a lot of people like myself i would go over there tomorrow. a lot of americans that would go over there tomorrow to help. our leadership in the white house and the state department and defense department can't even ask direct questions. you saw the secretary of state on fox on sunday not be table ask the question that the president even knew what was going on in afghanistan. complete inaction from our leadership and it is showing on the ground. people like your previous guest is relying upon other people in the state department, relying upon other governments to try to get the help she needs to get our people out of afghanistan. >> bill: sir, how does that end? what happens next? the president suggests that
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american people will lose interest in this. we were speaking the congresswoman debbie dingle and refused to agree with that statement. she says this is not going away and we will not lose interest. >> listen, it won't go away until every american is out of afghanistan. equipment is out of afghanistan or destroyed by our military service members and our equipment is back in the hands of americans where it should be. this isn't going to go away. everybody i talked to in my district the number one issue. get emails daily and people contacting us because there are interpreters or citizens in and around our district and know people in our district trying to get out of after after -- afghanistan. we're doing everything we can as congress to tell to white house to do whatever is necessary to get our citizens back to our country. >> dana: they will try to
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pivot to the $3.5 trillion bill on the democrat side. how will the mood be tonight when everybody gets back to d.c. >> the mood will be on the crisis we have facing our crisis. the last thing we should be concerned about as congress is passing a $3.5 trillion infrasfruk tour package or funding the american government. we should be focused in afghanistan and our laws on the southern border. the democrats and white house are refusing to do. they want to deflect attention from those issues. >> dana: congressman, thanks so much for being with us today. >> bill: we saw this nbc news poll from over the weekend. how do you feel about biden's handling of afghanistan? 60% disapprove on top of the cbs news polling came out with sunday morning. eight minutes past the hour. now to another story about another man who is desperate to
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help his family. listen here. >> we're scared for our lives. every moment a car passes by i feel they are going to pull in and execute us. i don't know if i will see my children again. >> bill: that's a mother. gut wrenching plea for help. american woman stranded in afghanistan terrified for her life. the woman's husband, mohammed, afghan national, is on the phone with us now. we'll keep your identity and location secret. thank you for your time and good day to you. what's the latest you've heard on your family? >> good day to you, sir. well, unfortunately because of the things going on and the situation is as we hear and listen from the administration and they aren't very helpful at all ever since this whole thing
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unfolded. we have to take a huge risk to relocate her in a different place. so it is extremely dangerous in the situation on the ground. we're in constant contact with a lot of folks. the taliban are getting stronger. every day that goes by we try to call the state department, there is no embassy exists in afghanistan. all the phone numbers for the embassy doesn't work. i tried to contact state department. we did that and so it seems like the administration is not there. it doesn't exist for us no more. so my asking americans to help, to chip in. we tried to do everything we could. all we receive is an assurance
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that we will do something for us. but my wife is not in the united states borders. we can't call 911 if something happens. this is a situation where their life is in danger. we try our best to keep the faith but where should we go to ask for help? i had a -- i have a -- we have to take the risk to send her to the airport three times, you know? she was there. she almost got shot. the person next to her got shot. she had an american passport. they ask you to come to the airport but coming to the airport, how do you come? there is this group from the taliban, red bat ol on, intelligence. they have checkpoints all over the city. checking everybody's passport.
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they are discouraging foreign nationals. they tell them there are no flights today. there is so much chaos and that's why there is chaos. they want to prevent people from coming out. and they are discouraging people. they are taking people's passports from them so they get stuck. how will you prove that if you are a foreign national somewhere in the middle of afghanistan? the communications are getting restricted day-by-day. >> bill: we can hear your frustration. it is clear to us. >> yeah. >> bill: you told our producer last night you feel betrayed. betrayed by whom and why? >> well, i mean, i think we all -- i have been a contractor for a very long time. i have made a lot of soldier friends and working for seven
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years. so i talked to everybody. i don't know why we are there for 20 years, you know, all this -- thousands of americans' lives since september 11th and after that 20 years of war. our soldiers who got killed and thousands of them are injured. many people are dead in afghanistan. thousands of afghan security forces inside afghanistan who are in danger right now and the taliban has cracked open the biometric system in the country so they have the biometric system and put the people who are within the age limit that could be part of the military. so they can easily -- if you don't have an i.d. you put your finger and part of the military they'll prosecute you. we are calling it american
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citizens. i call every single person -- tell me, how should i feel if i call our embassy and i call the department all they say is we are going to escalate the matter. we will escalate the matter. they will shoot my wife. are you going to keep telling me escalate the matter? what is this? >> bill: it is fraught with peril. thank you for sharing your story. we are oef in contact with you now and we won't forget you. stay in touch. thank you, sir. >> dana: interesting -- >> bill: think about that. family on the line. >> dana: it isn't a one off thing that people can't get the response from the administration. several people over the course of this show and last week and after the weekend you saw people saying they aren't answering calls. one. emails from the state department to the afghan americans that are there said use your best judgment when coming to the airport. like i wasn't going to use my best judgment?
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of course they will. >> bill: at one point they encouraged them to come to the airport. another point they said stay away. the threat of isis around the area. this hasn't gotten much better other than the thousands who have gotten out on a plane. the situation back there in afghanistan is tough. >> dana: here at home in the united states we'll talk about this a massive storm system drenched the northeast and threatening severe flooding in areas saturated by a wet summer. >> bill: tennessee search crews looking for dozens of people still missing at this hour. we'll take you their live. >> a total loss. all the equipment has been destroyed, washed out. we have stuff from other businesses washed into our place. windows smashed out. but totally destroyed. nothing is salvageable.
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>> dana: fox news alert. catastrophic flooding in tennessee killing at least 22 people over the weekend. rescue teams are still searching through the mud and debris for dozens more who are missing. up to 17 inches of rain fell across five counties in 24 hours. several homes and schools collapsed and even some entire rural towns were destroyed. we'll stay on top of this story. >> bill: severe weather hitting the northeast. tens of thousands without power today after tropical storm henri came blowing through. it is still around. the storm made landfall in long island yesterday. how does it go? >> good morning. that's right. tropical storm henri made landfall in rhode island and left flooding and downed trees like this massive oak tree that took down power lines with it.
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the ground was saturated before henri hit. wet soil and 60 mile-an-hour winds makes for a messy combo. power crews are working whatrd to turn the lights on. more than 100,000 customers loss power. 41,000 customers in rhode island are still without power. it brought flooding to western and central connecticut. manchester outside the capital of hartford. it brought rain and flooding to new york and new jersey. it recorded the wettest hour ever in central park. nearly two inches of rain fell between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m. saturday. some parts in central new jersey were inundated with 9 inches of rain. it was supposed to be a hurricane but downgraded just before it made landfall and shifted to the west. a big relief for people in new
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england. who haven't been hit directly by a hurricane in 30 years. >> bill: thank you, bryan llenas a lot of anxiety for the storm. for others turned out all right. for others not so much. nice to see you in rhode island. >> dana: we're just learning president biden will speak to reporters later today. supposed to be on covid following the fda approval of the pfizer vaccine. see if he takes questions on afghanistan. we're waiting to hear from the pentagon in moments. let's bring in a former senior intelligence officers and 26 years veteran of the cia. this happens regularly where an administration will try to blame the intelligence community for a situation that happened -- that has been happening over the last few days. how do you see that? >> unfortunately it is part of the business and this is certainly not new. i wouldn't call this an
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intelligence failure. when -- as we read the reports coming in to the white house from the intelligence community one talked about 30 days perhaps before the fall of kabul. if you are a policymaker 30 days is the lights blinking red. an incredible warning. at the end of the day cia is not in the business of predicting time and place of certain events but certainly i believe the intelligence community gave adequate warning and remains to be seen why the warnings were not heeded. >> bill: i hope in the hearings we find out. i hope it these hearings are public as i'm sure you do as well. i know you favor a force of 2500 left behind. i don't think you'll get your wish. we have no embassy. we have no intel on the ground. no local afghan intel either. when you understand that reality under those circumstances, what would you recommend we do now, mark? >> what a great question. as you said we lost a key component of our human intelligence gathering. we have no embassy number one.
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no eyes on the ground. number two we don't have a partner there. the afghan intelligence service. we're going a bit more blind than we would like. we have to partner with old contacts. those who fled north to give us ground truth on ct reporting. we'll have to turn to our allies, the british and others because ultimately our human intelligence gathering has been degraded. when you talk about counter terrorism there are three things you need. human intelligence, signals intelligence and eyes in the sky. we lost a key part of it and it really concerns me. >> dana: i will give you a chance to talk about the task in front of us in terms of getting the americans out and then those who actually helped serve with us promised a chance to be made safe. your thoughts on that. >> absolutely. this is really personal. c.i.a. officer we deal with foreigners. my entire career was dealing
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with indigenous groups. i served in afghanistan for a year. i see the faces of our afghans. two things have to happen. we need to continue with the evacuation of the americans. the big numbers are reflecting that but we're forgetting about our afghan allies. 31 august withdrawal date is not soon enough. so we have to renegotiate that with the taliban. there are over 100,000 afghan allies out there. men and women who relied on us. i fear that we're starting to feel a little bit better now about the success on the ground. that's good and god bless the troops on the ground and state department officials. don't forget the 100,000 allies who counted on us. i see their faces in my sleep. we have to push out the deadline. it's paramount. >> bill: got to be infuriating to see the taliban fighters holding american weapons. you see it in the videos and makes your stomach turn. mark, thank you. we'll call on you again.
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gold star. thank you, mark, very much. in a moment here the percentage of migrants testing positive for covid at an all time high at the southern border. how is one texas city responding to that? we'll take you there live. a growing number of military officials say the window is closing to save americans. is it time for a strange in strategy? we'll talk to marc thiessen as we wait for the pentagon briefing that is set to begin in moments. we'll be right back. -what's snapshot? -what the commercial was about. -i tune commercials out. -me too. they're always like blah, blah blah. tell me about it. i'm going to a silent retreat next weekend. my niece got kicked out of one of those. -for talking? -grand larceny. how about we get back to the savings? [ everyone agreeing ]
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>> bill: president biden at times at odd with his national security team. the president claimed on friday al qaeda no longer had a presence there. pentagon was forced to contradict that statement 16 minutes later. here is what secretary of state antony blinken said with chris wallace on "fox news sunday". >> mr. secretary, sir, the president said al qaeda is gone. simple question. is al qaeda gone from
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afghanistan? >> al qaeda's capacity to do what it did on 9/11 to attack us and our partners or allies from afghanistan is vastly, vastly diminished. >> is it gone? >> are there al qaeda members and remnants in afghanistan? yes. >> bill: marc thiessen with us now. marc, good morning. may get interrupted when the pent gron briefing begins. he said there were no troops in syria, which there are. he also said there has been no criticism or backlash on behalf of our allies. that's obviously the case. boris johnson, tony blair, et ra. where are we now? >> governed by -- he is not aware of the facts on the ground in the worst foreign policy crisis in my lifetime. and tony blinken. the answer to chris wallace's question is no, the president was wrong. he tried to say there are al
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qaeda remnants in afghanistan. first of all. there are more than al qaeda remnants in afghanistan. there were only isis remnants in iraq when joe biden presided over the withdrawal of troops in iraq. according to them it had only 700 adherents. within short order after u.s. troops pulled out they built a caliphate the size of great britain. massacreed iraqis and carried out 142 attacks in 29 countries that killed 2,000 people. remember "charlie hebdo" attack, the nightclub, the explosions at the brussels airport and attack on canada parliament. terrorist attacks coming out of iraq and syria out of the isis caliphate. we had to send troops back in to take down the caliphate. i don't understand why he is thinking that al qaeda remnants
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is not something that should be worrying to us even though there are a lot more than remnants there. >> dana: one thing the administration has been doing to president biden's statements and the secretary of state and secretary of defense and national security advisor r using a lot of numbers. you watch the speeches and listen to them they are trying to kill you with numbers. it feels like a checklist. it feels like it is missing the point. it doesn't seem to match what we're hearing from people working to try to get american citizens and interpreters out of afghanistan. what do you think about that as kind of a crutch to get through? >> i think that providing numbers is useful but if the numbers as you say, if it's contrary to what we're seeing on the ground, then the numbers don't matter just like words don't matters. i was in the bush administration from 2004 to 2009 and during the worst parts of the iraq war no matter what the president said, if we
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didn't turn around the battle on the ground it didn't matter what he said. our words only started having an effect on public opinion when he launched the surge and turned around the battle and winning ton ground. so the numbers i would like to see how many americans are there left that you haven't collected yet? how many afghans are there left who are our allies that we haven't collected yet? what is that number? here is my fear. the deadline is coming up. taliban have said there will be consequences if we overstay our deadline and let's say we get all the americans out who reached out to the embassy but still tens of thousands of afghans who risked their lives to protect american soldiers. are we going to pull up and pull up the tents and go home because the americans are out? there is a massive job to be done and we have to tell the taliban we set the clock, you don't set the clock. we decide when the deadline is and when it isn't.
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the number i want to see is how many are left. >> bill: so much of that feels like we allowed that moment to pass. eight days on the calendar. tony blair just ripped this administration. here is part of what he wrote, the former prime minister. the world is now uncertain where the west stands because it is so obvious that the decision to withdraw from afghanistan in this way was driven not by grand strategy but politics. we didn't need to do it. we did it in obedience in a political slogan about ending the forever wars. it is tony blair in london, marc. >> wow. labor prime minister who supported joe biden's candidacy saying twaes right man for the right moment. joe biden says he hasn't heard anything from our allies about loss of credibility. when is the last time you heard a foreign leader call america's policy like an imbecile.
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he is right except the biden administration is even getting the politics wrong. the reality is if you asked a man on the street should we get out of afghanistan after 20 years most people would be yes. but no marches on washington or backlash for keeping our troops there. i'll tell you what, if al qaeda reconstitutes itself in afghanistan and carries out attacks on the west, there will be a backlash, all right. the politics will be very bad for joe biden. >> dana: thinking about this being an ideological struggle. war for a generation, right, when we were attacked on 9/11 it brought it home. america goes on offense. we won't sit back and wait to be hit again. that's happened. a lot of progress has been made certainly. but it is possible, marc, we will start talking more about radical islamic terrorism again. >> that was -- that is interesting.
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read the full tony blair article. that's what he says. he says that we're in a generational struggle with radical islamic terrorism. when we talk about ending endless wars, radical islam hasn't ended its war against us. the reason people take for granted the fact we haven't been hit since 9/11. like the terrorists lost interest or something. no, we've had our boot on their next and haven't allowed them. we had a policy in the bush administration, no sanctuary for terrorism anywhere in the world. joe biden handed them a sanctuary. he handed them back the sanctuary where they planned the attacks on september 11, 2001. you think thousands of jihadists won't travel toward a magnet toward afghanistan and it won't become -- donald trump took away isis caliphate. joe biden handed the islamic radicals an emirate in afghanistan they've been wanting. they will use that safe haven
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to plan attacks. if you think 9/11 is the worst thing they can do to us. another thing coming. they consider it a floor, not a ceiling. >> bill: thank you. you are right about being on offense and no longer. the border in the southwest is wide open. the taliban -- al qaeda is devious. when a family from ghana can walk across the border into texas, the sky is the limit here, marc? check out your piece in the wall street post. stand by waiting on the pentagon. thank you for your time today. >> people who are desperate enough to bucket brigade style past their kids to get in line because oats the best hope they have. all the reason we need to go we need to save these people. if we don't do it now, they will be dead and we will regret for the rest of our lives
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having failed them. >> dana: army reserve captain matt zeller co-founder of the no one left behind organization part of a network of veterans using cell phones and gps direct taliban interpreters around taliban checkpoints as they try to escape the country. they aren't the only ones trying to help save those who helped us. former army ranger matt griffin. he is helping to evacuate people there. tell me about your efforts, matt. great to talk to you last week. you have been on our minds ever since. catch up with you today on a monday. >> kabul is a complicated city of 4.million people. easy to stash folks away from violence. we're waiting for the taliban leadership to do is establish their authority over their commanders on the ground. the way they demonstrate that to the people is through benevolence. people are hungry and need to get to the banks and grocery stores. if they don't they have a
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massive revolt on their hands. people start resuming their lives you will see a change. more people will be able to move around the city, freedom of movement will become easier and more people get processed through the airport leading on a mix of commercial and military aircraft. that's the way it's going and we forsee it happening. >> you are painting a more optimistic picture than others. >> we have 18 years of experience there worked with non-governmental organizations that know how to get work done. i wish the military leadership with listen to the people outside the wire to facilitate the safe transfer of refugees and evacuees. >> dana: do you think there are people there on the ground, military men and women back on the ground would like to do more but being held back? >> they are definitely being held back right now. we're seeing the british and french and other private contractors go out and do the right thing. in the face of what the military and state and political leadership is telling
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them what to do and it is disheartening to u.s. service members not to be able to do more when they have the ability. >> bill: it's like we're risk averse. what do you think about marc thiessen's point about growing islamic terrorism coming back into our lives. you could argue we were on the offense in afghanistan for a long time. what is your view now? >> i think we had mixed results in afghanistan. i think the idea of radical fundamentalism and terrorists coming across the border is a legit concern. i think we need to have our eye on the ball and need to make sure that our intelligence community is leveraging whatever assets we can to make sure it doesn't pour into the united states. it's going to be a mixed bag and see how it develops. right now i'm in a one problem at a time scenario. >> dana: thank you so much. >> bill: thank you very much for that. president is meeting with his national security team at the white house.
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pentagon is about to hold a briefing number one for this week. they had one over the weekend. on this monday morning we'll bring it to you when it begins momentarily. 13 minutes behind schedule but don't fret we'll bring it to you when it starts after this. m, newday's rates have dropped again. it's time to refinance. newday's low rate refi offers their lowest rate in history. two and a quarter percent. just 2.48 apr. save thousands every year and there are no upfront costs. not one dollar. the newday low rate refi. take advantage of these record low rates so you and your family can save. [sfx: psst psst] allergies don't have to be scary. spraying flonase daily stops your body from overreacting to allergens all season long. psst! psst! all good
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>> bill: headlines of the hour. pentagon will brief in a moment. you should see admiral john kirby in a matter of minutes. jennifer griffin reporting that another u.s. military base will take in afghans. that will be the fourth. this one in new jersey. the president speaks at 1:30 on covid. a briefing at 2:00 from the white house and on cue here is admiral kirby. >> operational update. when he is done i have a couple other things that i will kick off the briefing with and then we'll get the questions if that's okay, all right with that? general. >> thank you, mr. kirby. good morning, everyone. thank you for joining us this morning. once again i want to provide an operational update and then as mr. kirby said we'll follow up with questions. as we know this continues to evolve. the situation. we continue to strive on the ground and what we really want to do is continue to provide
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you details in a timely manner. as you know recently the secretary of defense activated the stage 1 of the civil reserve air fleet. right now that activation includes 18 aircraft from six commercial airlines. this will increase passenger movement from the intermediate staging bases, temporary safe havens to the united states. while we continue to prioritize million tear aircraft for the transportation of individuals out of kabul and out of harm's way. note as i said these craft flights will not be flying into kabul. as of this morning within the last 24 hours 25 u.s. military c-17s, three u.s. military >> dana: 130s and a combination of 61 charter, commercial and other military flights departed kabul. total passenger count for those flights was approximately
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16,000. of that number, the u.s. military transported just under 11,000 personnel. our mission remains focused on insuring a steady flow of evacuees out of kabul to the intermediate staging bases at our installations continue to rapidly build out capacity as needed to insure reception and providing humanitarian assistance. the use of temporary safe haven locations across europe and the middle east in areas that include u.s. installations in qatar, uae, kuwait, bahrain, italy, spain, and germany. we deeply appreciate the support from these countries. this is truly a testament to the importance of our alliances and our partnerships. in the past 24 hours five flights landed at dulles with
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approximately 1,300 passengers. at this time four military installations as well as dulles international are receiving afghans as they come into the united states. these installations include fort mccoy, wisconsin, fort lee, virginia, joint base mcguire lake hurs, new jersey and fort bliss, texas. the number currently at these installations is 1200 and north com continues to build out capacity to insure they're prepared to receive more flights coming in the next few days. absolutely a worldwide effort which several countries, multiple commands and thousands of service members across the joint force. over the weekend the airport in kabul remained secure. as many have seen already centcom released a statement regarding an incident to report as a no u.s. casualties partner
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force or coalition forces were involved but an afghan security force member lost his life. as the president referenced last night in his remarks, we are in communication with taliban of several checkpoints to increase threw put and facilitate safe passage for individuals trying to gain access to the airport. today the number of troops at the airport is 5,800. commanders on the ground continue to actively monitor threats. they are empowered to make the appropriate force protection decisions. u.s. forces retain the right to use force in self-defense. we are using all of our available tools to maintain the highest threat awareness both in afghanistan and throughout the globe. while this mission is not without risk, the safe of our personnel, american citizens
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and afghan evacuees at risk is of paramount importance. to wrap up, we continue to make progress in the completion of this mission. since the end of july we have relocated approximately 42,000 people. since the beginning of evacuation operations on august 14th we have evacuated approximately 37,000. all of this progress stems from the teamwork, professionalism and dedication of our military, our interagency colleagues and our allies and partners. we know more hard work remains in the coming days and we are absolutery prepared to meet that challenge. thank you. >> as you are all aware the fda approved licensure of the pfizer vaccine this morning and also back in august on the 9th the secretary articulated it was his intent to mandate the
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covid-19 vaccines upon fda licensure or by mid september to seek a waiver from the president. so now that the pfizer vaccine has been approved the department is prepared to issue updated guidance requiring all service members to be vaccinated. a timeline for vaccination completion will be provided in the coming days. the help of the force is as always military and civilian employees families and communities is a top priority. important to remind everyone it insures the safety of our service members and the readiness of our force and the health and safety of communities around the countries where we live. scheduled item. secretary and general millie will be attending this afternoon the funeral for former secretary of state of defense donald rumsfield. he served as the 13th secretary of defense as well as the 21st. he also served the united states navy in 1950s as a pilot
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and flight instructor. on behalf of the department of defense we extend our deep condolences to his family, loved ones and the country. with that i'll start taking questions. >> on the pfizer vaccine the secretary's intention to require it. he has not yet made that direction and did you say there is not yet a deadline for doing that? >> we're preparing now actionable guidance to the force. we will move forward making that vaccine mandatory. we're preparing the guidance to the force right now and the actual mraoetion date of it, in other words, how fast we want to see it get done we're working through that guidance now. >> i want to ask a question on afghanistan also. a couple things. one is you've said that general
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taylor said a number of times as well the military's airlift capacity at the airport was in the neighborhood of 5,000 to 9,000. you have now gone beyond that at least yesterday. can you say what the capacity has grown to? also, can you explain a little more about the perimeter issue that the general alluded to briefly when the president yesterday said something to the effect the perimeter had been moved back significantly to facilitate entry. can you explain that? >> a couple of capacity thing. we aren't taking everything for granted. yesterday we exceeded it. we would love to see the numbers continue to rise but we will take it day-by-day. there are a lot of factors that go into be able to reach that output capacity to include temporary safe havens that you can bring these individuals to as they complete their screening.
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the screening is a big part of that. we have intelligence and law enforcement personnel at these sites making sure a robust screening is done of these individuals so that nobody comes into the united states that hasn't been screened in a robust manner. so there is lots of factors that affect through put. we were glad to see we were able to get that number out yesterday but take it day-by-day. >> the number of aircraft available. >> recent number was like 20 -- the same number of aircraft are available on any given day. we can get up to on a given day 30 c-17s. that doesn't mean that 30 will fly every day. we were under that yesterday and still was able to get out more than 10,000. the perimeter question.
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without getting into tactical details, bob and understand why we wouldn't do that. we are very interested in making sure that access to the airport remains as fluid as possible particularly for american citizens trying to get in as well as our special immigrant visa applicants. and there is a lot of factors that go into making sure that access remains secure and that we can facilitate it. and what the president was referring to was efforts to improve that access from a geographical space-out beyond just the perimeter of the airfield. and i won't speak to the details of how we are managing that but you can imagine thus far and going forward it does
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require constant coordination and deconfliction with the taliban. it is absolutely requiring us to keep these lines of communication with the taliban open that have checkpoints beyond the airport. we have seen this coordination has worked well in terms of allowing access and flow to continue. one of our commanders used helicopters to bring people in because of the crowd size. crowd size matters, too, and that's what the president was referring to. >> i have two questions. i would like to go back


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