tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN October 23, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
have him on, as well. thank you, sir. >> thank you. we are waiting for a medal of honor ceremony to begin at the white house any minute now. president trump is going to be awarding the nation's highest military honor to a retired army medic who risked his life several times in vietnam and laos to provide medical care to his wounded comrades while he was wounded himself. retired army captain gary rose is being honored while serving as a green beret medic with the special forces group during combat operations in september 1970. rose is credited with saving the lives of 60 wounded soldiers during four days of a brutal combat during a secret mission in laos. that is why it has taken so long to get to this point. i want to bring in cnn's jim acosta to talk about this. he is there at the white house. this is the second medal of honor that the president will have awarded, jim? >> reporter: that's right,
brianna, and this is one of those rare moments at the white house that is absent of politics. it is really just aimed at honoring the here onheroic actions. retired army captain gary michael rose performed an act of bravery that stands the test of time and this happened in laos during the vietnam war in september 1907 and it was such a secret mission, brianna, from when we understand and he didn't talk about this until the '90s. so this mission was kept under wraps for nearly two decades and from what we understand during the ceremony you will not only see the president. as you are looking at these live pictures now, there is the president's son-in-law jared kushner, but some of captain rose's colleagues who his fellow service members who were with him at the time. these are special forces soldiers. they'll also be there in the room with him as he receives this honor, and brianna, i was just looking at a story in
"stars and stripes" about this a moment ago. captain rose did not want to receive this honor. he did not want to receive this kind of praise and was telling reporters late last week that he kind of wished this never happened. and so this just sort of underlines the bravery and the sacrifice that the men and women of the u.s. armed forces dedicate to this country on a daily basis and you know, it is remarkable when something like this at the white house can take place without politics and we'll see that unfold shortly. >> why did he say that, jim? we understand when you have special operators doing their work, it is quiet work that they'll do and a lot of times you'll every know about it as it was in this case, why didn't he want to be acknowledged for his contribution? >> i think part of it is because of the secrecy of the mission. brian a you know from being a white house correspondent and covering these medal of honor ceremonies, in many cases these service members, they come back and they're the ones who survived and yes, he saved, you
know, many other soldiers on the battlefield that day and many don't come back and what you hear time and again from so many of these veterans who sacrificed so much and make it back home alive is that they don't want to receive these types of honors because it feels as if it takes away somewhat from the sacrifices made by the soldiers who didn't make it home, and so you often hear that, but looking at some of the stories about captain rose that have come out in recent days, some of the other people you will see in this room here today, people he saved out on the battlefield in laos so many years ago, they're glad he's receiving this honor and hopefully we'll see some of that, as well. >> hopefully we will. jim accostal stay there keeping an eye on things and as soon as this begin, you can see this is under way. people milling about ahead of this ceremony and when this medal of honor ceremony begins and we will bring that to you live. you can see top white house
officials and former four-star marine general john kelly there in the room, as well. the widow of a fallen soldier says she has nothing to say to his commander in chief president trump. in an emotional interview with abc myeshia johnson says the military did not allow her to see her husband sergeant la david johnson's body before she buried him and president trump's condolence call only broke her heart. >> dare tell me that he's in a severe wrap, like, i won't be able to see him. i need to see him so i would know that that is my husband. i don't know nothing. they won't show me a finger, a hand. i know my husband's body from head to toe and they won't let me see anything. i don't know what's in that box. it could be empty for all i know, but i need -- i need to see my husband. i haven't seen him since he came home. i heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband's name, and that will hurt me the most
because if my husband is out here fighting for our country, and he risked his life for our country why can't you remember his name? and that what made me upset
and cry each more because high husband was an awesome soldier. >> president trump responded immediately following myeshia johnson's interview with this treat, i had a very respectful conversation with the widow of sergeant la david johnson and spoke his name from beginning without hesitation. he has no plan to reach out to johnson's family again. all of these can be briefed on new details into the investigation into the niger ambush. joining me now, colonel steve warren, cnn military analyst and former spokesman for the anti-isis coalition in iraq. colonel, what do you make of ms. johnson's account of not only the president's call, but the
fact that she didn't get to see her husband's body before the burial and clearly, that's something weighing on her. >> this is clearly, brian a something weighing on mrs. johnson. it's tragic and heartbreaking, sadly. in combat sometimes the damage that's done to our physical form is such that it's simply can't be viewed in the public. i understand her desire. i understand her need to see her husband, and i certainly understand that there are going to be, you know, maybe some conspiracy theories out there, but i also have faith in the army and the military, the way they conduct business in dover, and i know that it is sergeant johnson who will be interred in the coming days and the entire thing is heartbreaking and tragic. >> you know, colonel, part of me thought as we were going through this back and forth for the last few days that maybe myeshia
johnson would speak and that maybe that would be the final word. that, i think was something that seemed appropriate to many people who have been following tis story and that's not what happened. she speaks out on "good morning america," and then the president tweets and disagrees with her. what did you make of that? >> well, i'll be honest, brianna, i don't understand why the president chose to tweet about this yet one more time today. i simply don't see the upside in taking a position against a grieving widow like this. i don't see the upside. this is a woman who has had the most unimaginable loss trike her. she's very vulnerable. she's clearly very young and her heart is broken and in my view, she can say whatever she wants to say right now, and what we should do is thank her for her service and for her sacrifice and for the service and sacrifice of her husband.
so i simply don't see the upside of taking up any position against mrs. johnson. there's no gain in it at all. >> colonel, the white house is saying that they're not going reach out to the johnson family again, which i can see that that may not be productive, right? they've certainly had a major disagreement over how effective it was the last time, but with that in mind, if it's not the white house, how should the government, the military be reaching out to myeshia johnson and presumably, i would imagine they are reaching out to try to provide some comfort. >> the army does a fantastic job of providing support to grieving families. in fact, there is a casualty officer who is assigned to mrs. johnson and to that family and he will be there with that family until she no longer needs that casualty officer there, and then he will remain even after
that. there is a lot of everything from the grieving process to the simple and maybe mundane red tape process of benefits and the like. this casualty officer will be with her every step of the way. our casualty officers are well trained. they understand the rules and the regulations and they also understand the human dimension and the human component to this, so i can assure you that the army is providing terrific first-class support to mrs. johnson, and in fact, we know she mentioned that the casualty officer was even in the car during that phone call. we've seen some photos of him from the back as he handed her a flag. so we know that the army is going to provide that much needed support from the higher levels and from the highest levels of government. my view, really, if there is a miscommunication. if you miscommunicate to someone and you say words that you intended to make them feel better, but you accidentally made them feel worse, then in my view it never hurts to simply
pick up the phone and say hey, i'm sorry, but these are political decisions, i suppose and they're made at the white house. >> and we are -- i do want to let our viewers know we are waiting. the president will award a medal of honor which is going to be a phenomenal sight. we will take you to the white house as soon as this begins. he is going to be honoring an army medic who served during the vietnam war, retired army captain gary rose of huntsville, alabama. that's what we're keeping our eye on the screen to the right there, colonel. we also heard from myeshia johnson. she says she doesn't know what happened in the last 48 hours of her husband's life. we know senators will be briefed on thursday. what could they learn in that briefing as so few details are coming out? >> the details are still emerging. they may be able to learn and it's difficult to know exactly where we are in this investigation. the first thing the investigators both the military and now the fbi is part of the
investigation, the first thing these investigators will try to do is piece together a reliable time line and what happened when, where were people positioned on the battlefield and they'll likely learn more details of the specific, tactical situation before, during and after the ambush. they'll likely learn who last saw sargence johnson, where, what his condition was and at least we hope they'll learn that much and then they'll likely learn what the evacuation procedures were. it's difficult to know at this point if they were able to get a full intelligence picture yet and that can take longer and we'll have to go through and review intercepts and review satellite photos and review the lines of intelligence to come in before any operation and figure out what the intelligence picture of the battlefield was before the operation started. >> senator lindsay graham has talked about how he didn't realize there were that many u.s. troops in niger. let's take a listen.
>> i can say this to defend the families and they were there to help america and i can help allies and john mccain is right to tell the military because this is an endless war without boundaries and no limitation on geography. you have to tell us more. >> he didn't know we had a thousand troops in niger, did you? >> no, i did not. >> my goodness, colonel. you have top congressional leaders unaware that there were -- there was this footprint in the country keeping in mind that special forces are in many, many countries around the world. what do you think about that? >> special forces are in many countries around the world and senator graham is exactly right when he says they were defending america. i wonder, you know, the commander of the united states africa command was talking about
his presence in africa and his operations in africa. i know the previous president obama notified congress when these forces were initially sent into niger. so it's a little bit of a chicken and egg here. i feel like the congress has an oversight responsibility, whether or not they asked the right questions during testimony really is something that is up to them. i feel like both the pentagon and the last two administrations have to get their war powers notifications and moved over to congress when it needs to be done. all that said, however, africa has not been high on everyone's radar. we've been focused and as a society we've been thinking and talking and worried about the middle east, about north korea, so it's easy to understand how maybe they overlooked some of the specifics in africa. >> yeah. colonel, thank you so much and you will see on the side of your screen there. on the right side, any moment the president is going to award
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it's not just picking a surgeon, it's picking the care team and feeling secure in where you are. visit cancercenter.com/breast we are waiting right now there at the white house for a medal of honor ceremony. president trump is going to bestow this highest military honor on an army captain gary michael rose who was a green beret medic who served in the vietnam war including some operations in laos that were classified which is why we are now seeing this having taken so much time before he does receive this honor, but that is what we are awaiting at the white house. we expect this to happen any
moment and we will bring that to you as soon as it begins. another story we're following is former president jimmy carter, because he's making an offer to go on a peace mission to north korea. he raised this idea in a recent interview when asked by "the new york times" whether he would consider a diplomatic mission. he replied i would go, yes and he went on to defend president trump's feud with the north korean dictator. he might be escalating it, but i think that precedes trump. the united states has been the dominant character in the whole world and now we're not anymore and we're not going to be. russia is coming back and india and china are coming forward. i want to bring in cnn's jamie gangel. what do you think? is it likely that the trump administration could tap 93-year-old jimmy carter to help negotiate here? >> with the trump administration i'm never going to say never, but i think it's unlikely. so what president carter said in
the interview was that he had spoken to national security adviser h.r. mcmaster who is a friend of his and he had offered his help and he even says in the interview that he got, quote, a negative response, so i don't think that he that the they were interested, but today a senior white house official was asked about the report and he sort of danced around it. he said that they would be willing to have help from anyone who might be able to help, but when asked specifically about president carter, he said there were no further discussions. so is it possible? yes. would these be two unlikely allies? i think yes, too. >> yes. definitely. >> i wonder what you've been thinking, jamie, as you look and listen to senator john mccain making headlines today for his comments where he really seemed
to be taking a swipe at president trump for his draft deferments during vietnam. here's what he said. >> we drafted the lowest income level of america and the highest income level found a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur. that is wrong. that is wrong. if we're going to ask every american to serve, every american should serve. >> people thought you were talking about -- >> trump. >> mr. trump because he had a doctor's note that said he had bone spurs. >> i think more than once, yes. >> more than once. >> chronic bone spurs. >> do you consider him a draft dodger? >> i don't consider him so much a draft dodger is as i feel that the system was so wrong that certain americans could evade their responsibilities to serve the country. >> jamie, important to note, president trump did have multiple draft deferments, five
in all, four while he was going to school and one for bone spurs and he later could not recall which foot and the campaign said both feet. as you see him, as you see john mccain saying that, what do you think? >> there were many reasons to get drafted. it's the fact that he used bone spur seems to me a pretty clear indication that he was referring to donald trump and let's face it, there is no love lost between these two men. this has been going on back and forth for quite a long time starting from when donald trump said that he didn't like people who were captured to, you know, quite recently john mccain's very dramatic thumbs down on health care. john mccain has always been blunt. he -- and he's sick now. he has been battling cancer, and
i think that there's no question that he feels he's going to say exactly what he thinks during this time. >> yeah. he certainly is. so we're awaiting this ceremony there at the white house, jamie, where the president is going to award a medal of honor to former sergeant -- former army captain gary michael rose who served during the vietnam war. what do you think as we're watching this, and what is going to be just a solemn ceremony of the utmost importance and it's the highest military honor that can be bestowed and all of this is happening in the midst of this controversy over how the president is relating to a gold star family. >> right. so it's the -- it's the neverending contradictions in this white house. first of all, one of the things we have seen is when president trump is on message, when he's been in formal ceremonies, when
teleprompter, he can carry off these moments. remember with supreme court nominee neil gorsuch, it was considered one of his best days. so i imagine he will carry this off in just that same style. that said, we can't forget the context, the fact that just this morning the president chose to tweet again about the widow of this soldier to a gold star family. it's just pretty incredible to have both of these things going on on the same day. >> it certainly is incredible. you are looking there, and we expect this to begin very soon. we see the vice president mike pence has been -- has taken a seat there in the front row as we await what is going to be a very special ceremony there at the white house.
the second one that president trump has overseen as he awards the medal of honor, the highest military honor to army captain gary michael rose. he was a green beret medic who served in vietnam and especially during some very intense combat situations in laos where over the course of multiple days -- and you know what? we're going to pause. we're just going to listen now to the ceremony. ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states accompanied by medal of honor recipient captain gary m. rose united states army, retired. ♪ ♪ ♪
♪ >> we recall the words of sacred scripture, no one has greater love than this than to lay down one's life for one's friends. let us pray. almighty god, source of our faith, our hope and our love, be present with us here now on this important occasion for our nation as we recognize the extraordinary, selfless service of captain mike rose. his hereoic acts true dignity of
all our brothers and sisters, may these few moments here today in this example of captain rose's noble service trace for us, for the world, the way of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. may his heroic acts stir within us all the sacred desire to serve our nation, to serve with honor and to serve with these selfless acts that lead to peace. amen. >> amen. >> please. thank you. thank you very much, chaplain hurley, vice president pence, secretary, members of congress, members of the armed forces and
highest military honor. joining mike today is his wife margaret, their three children, sarah, clara and michael and their two grandchildren, caitlin and christian. caitlin and christian, i want you to know that the medal we will present today will forever enshrine your grandfather and he is a good man. we just spoke to him for a long time and you are a great, great young people, but this will enshrine him into the history of our nation. we are also grateful to be joined by nine previous congressional medal of honor recipients. their courage, character and conviction is beyond measure. please stand. [ applause ]
we are honored to be in their presence. this afternoon, i want to take a few moments to share with you the incredible story of mike's heroic deeds. raised in watertown, new york, mike's father was a metal worker and a world war ii veteran. he taught his son that we live in the greatest country in the world, and that we must love it, cherish it and always defend it. mike took that very much to heart. after his first year in college he enlisted in the army and by the time he was 22 mike was a medic for the 5th special forces group in the vietnam war. on september 11, 1970, mike was called on his second combat
mission. he was the only medic for 136 men who embarked on one of the group's biggest missions of the war, operation tailwind. their goal was to prevent the north vietnamese from funneling weapons along the ho chi minh trail to use against our american troops. helicopters dropped the unit into laos. before they even touched the ground enemy fire struck three men. once they landed in the clearing they rushed to the jungle for much-needed cover. soon, another man was shot outside their defensive perimeter. mike immediately rushed to his injured comrade firing at the enemy as he ran. in the middle of the clearing, under the machine gun fire, mike treated the wounded soldier. he shielded the man with his own
body and carried him back to safety, but this was just the beginning of mike's harrowing, four-day mission. mike and his unit slashed through the dense jungle, dodged bullets, dodged explosives and dodged everything that you can dodge because they threw it all at him and continuously returned fire as they moved deeper and deeper and deeper into enemy territory. throughout the engagement, mike rescued those in distress without any thought for his own safety. i will tell you, the people with him could not believe what they were witnessing. he crawled from one soldier to the next offering words of encouragement as he tended to their wounds. on the second day one of the allied soldiers was shot outside their company perimeter. again, mike raced to the side of
the soldier, exposing himself to constant fire as bullets flew in every direction mike fired at the enemy with one arm while dragging the injured soldier back to the perimeter with the other. soon after they returned to the unit, a rocket-propelled grenade exploded nearby and shot smoldering metal into mike's back and into his leg. he was seriously, seriously wounded. the shrapnel left a gaping hole in mike's foot. for the next 48 excruciating hours, he used a branch as a crutch and went on rescuing the wounded. mike did not stop to eat, to sleep or even to care for his own serious injury as he saved the lives of his fellow soldiers. on the second and final night of the mission, the enemy surrounded the company. all night long mike treated the
wound and dug trenches to protect them from blazing rockets and grenades. after four days of constant engagement with the enemy, and after successfully destroying an enemy base camp, mike's unit prepared to evacuate. when the helicopters arrived mike fought back the enemy as his fellow soldiers boarded the aircraft. he boarded the last chopper, limping up to the craft while still warding off the enemy forces that were fast approaching. as mike puts it, if you don't believe in god then you should have been with us that day, and i can tell you it will make a believer out of you because we should not ever have survived. mike, today we have a room full of people and a nation who, thank god that you lived. [ applause ] thank
god that you lived. [ applause ] >> mike's story doesn't end there. soon after the helicopter lifted off the ground the chopper was hit by enemy fire. mike, this is serious stuff. this was not a good four days. the bullets tragically struck a young marine gunner in the throat. again, mike rushed to help as he wrapped the cloth around the marine's neck, the engine of the helicopter failed and the aircraft crashed less than a mile from where it had taken off. mike was thrown off the aircraft before it hit the ground, but he raced back to the crash site and pulled one man after another out of the smoking and smoldering helicopter as it spewed jet fuel from its ruptured tanks. finally, another helicopter rescued them and by the time they reached the base mike was covered in blood. he refused treatment until all
of his men had been cared for first. in every action during those four days mike valiantly fought for the life of his comrades even if it meant the end of his own life. mike, you will -- i mean, i have to say, you really -- your will to endure, your love for your fellow soldier, your devotion to your country inspires us all. i have to tell you. that is something. nations are formed out of the strength and patriotism that lives in the hearts of our great heroes. mike never knew for certain whether or not that marine gunner who was shot on the helicopter survived until earlier this year when mike learned that the marine had endured a painful and difficult recovery, but that he had made it and lived a long and very full life before passing away in
2012. as mike said, that in itself made it all worth it. that marine was one of many men mike saved. throughout those four days mike treated an astounding 60 to 70 men. their company disrupted the enemy's continual resupply of weapons, saving countless of additional american lives. today, we are joined by many of mike's brothers in arms who fought alongside him in operation tailwind along with brave airmen and marines who provided critical support throughout the mission. as mike put it, if it wasn't for those air crews, all of us would still be in laos. among those here today are ten members of mike's unit. please stand up as i call your name. sergeant major morris adair. sergeant don boudreaux.
>> to mike and all of the service members who fought in the battle, you've earned the eternal gratitude of the entire american nation. you faced down the evils of communism. you defended our flag and you showed the world the unbreakable resolve of the american armed forces. thank you and thank you very much. after serving in operation tailwind mike went on to become an officer in the army and served for over 20 years. now mike and his wife margaret. margaret, stand up, margaret. i met margaret. margaret's lovely. [ applause ] reside in a fantastic place where i just left, huntsville, alabama, where he lives by a core conviction. you serve your country by fixing your block or fixing your
neighborhood. mike volunteers with the american legion, the knights of columbus and many other organizations. he volunteers at a local soup kitchen, fixes broken appliances for elderly and disabled neighbors, donates his hair for those suffering from cancer, makes lunches for children in need and organizes community gatherings to bring people closer together which is something we need all over the world and certainly in our country. he's a loyal friend to his fellow service members, many of whom are an addition here today and every wednesday caitlin and christian come over for homework night for grandpa and grandma. i think caitlin and christian will agree, and i just met them. you have to stand up. come on, christian. come on. caitlin? [ applause ] but i think that caitlin and
christian will agree this field trip is their best homework assignment yet, right? what do you think, christian? yes? he said yes. i am told that recently christian asked his grandfather what exactly is the congressional medal of honor? that is a wonderful question, christian. it's the award given to america's bravest heroes who earn our freedom with their sacrifice. those who receive the medal of honor went above and beyond the call of duty to protect their fellow service members and defend our nation. caitlin and christian, you are about to witness your grandpa receive our nation's highest military honor and america's about to witness captain gary michael rose recognized as the true american hero that he is, a patriot who never gives up, never gives in and always stands
strong for god, for family and for country. mike, we honor you. we thank you. we salute you and with hearts full of admiration and pride, we present you with the congressional medal of honor, and now i would like the military aide to come forward and read the citation. thank you very much. thank you. [ applause ] >> the president of the united states of america authorized by act of congress marks 3rd 1863 has awarded in the name of congress the medal of honor to sergeant gary m. rose for gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and
beyond the call of duty sergeant gary m. rose distinguished himself from acts of gallantry anden trip idity as a company medic special operations augmentation, command and control central, 5th special forces group airborne, 1st special forces republic of vietnam. between 11 and 14 september 1970, sergeant rose's company was continuously engaged by a well-armed and numerically superior hostile force deep in enemy-controlled territory. enemy b-40 rockets and mortar rounds rained down while the adversaries sprayed the area with small arms and machine gun fire wounding many and forcing everyone to seek cover. sergeant rose braving the hail of bullets sprinted 50 meters to a wounded soldier's side and used his body while treating his wounds. after stabilizing the casualty, carried him to protective cover. as enemy accelerated the attack,
sergeant rose continously exposed himself to intense fire as he fearlessly moved from casualty to casualty administering life-saving aide. a b-40 rocket impacted meters from sergeant rose knocking him from his feet and injuring his head, hand and foot, ignoring his wounds sergeant rose struggled to his feet and continued to render aid to the other injured soldiers. during an attempted medevac sergeant rose exposed himself to enemy fire as he attempted to hoist wounded personnel up to the hovering helicopter who was unable to land due to unsuitable terrain. the medevac'd mission was aborted due to intense enemy fire and the helicopter crashed a few miles away due to the enemy fire sustained during the attempted extraction. sergeant rose continued to expose himself to enemy fire in order to treat the wounded estimated to be half of the company's personnel. on september 14th, during the company's eventual extraction, sergeant rose after loading
wounded personnel on the first stretch of helicopters returned to the outer perimeter in enemy fire carrying kashlt tees and wounded personnel into more secure positions until they could be evacuated and he helped propel the enemy during the final extraction helicopter had arrived. as the final helicopter was loaded the enemy began to overrun the company's position and the helicopter's marine door gunner was shot in the neck. sergeant rose administered critical treatment onboard the helicopter saving the marine's life. the helicopter carrying sergeant rose crashed several hundred meters from the extraction point. further injuring sergeant rose and the personnel onboard. despite his numerous wounds from the past three days, sergeant rose continued to pull and carry unconscious and wounded personnel out of the burning wreckage and continued to administer aid aid to the wounded other another extraction helicopter arrived. sergeant rose's extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty were
>> eternal god, we ask for your blessings, the blessings of this day to remain with us as we go forward. may we go forth in peace empowered to serve with greater courage and strengthened to overcome the challenges of our service of our call given to serve all in need, and we ask all this in your holy name. amen. >> amen.
[ applause ] >> all right. and there you have it as we watch this medal of honor ceremony there at the white house as army captain gary michael rose is awarded with the medal of honor for his service as a medic during the vietnam war and just listening to that description of everything that he went through really tremendous, tremendous valor that he exhibited during that
time and now decades later, he is receiving the honor that he is due. and we are going to -- i am joined again by colonel steve warren and jamie gangel, as well. colonel, i was mesmerized listening to the description that seemingly just went on and on because then you understand why he is receiving this honor for what was just exhaustive, unrelenting, one action after another that he provided during this time, during this battle. it was phenomenal. >> it was tremendous, and it's so good that we put these on television because this is what gives america the opportunity to see what a hero looks like, and we just got to see that right now. a hero looks like a man, but he's got a lot more in his heart. he's got gallantry. he's got intrepidity. he's got selflessness. he's got courage and he never, ever quits.
he works for his buddies. he works for his brothers in arms and he never stops until he gets his mission done. we were lucky today because we got to spend a little time watching a real hero. >> we sure did. >> jamie, we heard the when rose had a gaping foot wound that he picked up a branch, used it in -- as a crutch and continued to provide life saving measures to those around him. i mean, this really is a tremendous opportunity after what has been really i think a difficult week. >> right. it's been a very rough week. it takes your breath away when you see a man like this, a soldier like this and you hear his story. it's just extraordinary. and it's -- it's one of the most special moments, i think, that we get to share in for something like this.
the contrast, however, you know, you just have to note is pretty stunning with the back and forth that's been going on with the white house and the gold-star widow, including president trump tweeting again this morning about it. it's really hard to understand because watching president trump there, it was a beautiful ceremony. he, you know, hwhen he put his hands on sergeant rose's shoulders, the way he reached out to his family, he had the perfect touch. and yet we have this other incident where it was anything but that apparently. >> no, and all of these families deserve the utmost respect and dignity, especially our gold-star families.
jamie gangel, colonel warren, thank you to both of you. any minute now, we're expected to hear from the chairman of the joint chiefs. expected to brief reporters on the attack that left four soldiers dead. he is scheduled to speak at the top of the hour. we're going to bring that to you live when it happens. people would stare.
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any minute now, we are expecting to hear from the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general joseph dunford. that is what you're looking at right there on the right side of yur screen at the pentagon. we're going to bring this to you live as soon as it begins. i want to bring back colonel steve warren though to talk about what we expect to hear. this is going to be about what happened in niger, we would expect, but it seems line
details are few and far between. are we going to get big picture here or is this going to be perhaps some specifics about what we're missing about what happened in the ambush, colonel? >> i think that's exactly the right question to ask, brianna. i think we'll get a few tidbits on the tactical situation, what specifically happened, but my sense is the pentagon is not yet quite ready to release the entire timeline and all of the play-by-play, blow-by-blow what happened. i think what we'll see probably is general dunford more interested in talking about the mission in niger and why it's important, and then he'll probably want to talk about the mission in africa. why it's important. maybe a little bit about the spread of isis and terrorism in that region. that type of thing. but if we're lucky, we'll get a few tidbits to shed a little bit more light on this tactical operation. >> because you do have even some leading senators, lindsey graham among them, chuck schumer, who had no idea of the footprint of
u.s. soldiers in niger. >> that's right. and this will be an opportunity now for general dunford, for the pentagon, to start sharing some more of that information publicly. certain there has been plenty of phone calls going on behind the scenes to bring these senators up to speed on specifically what's happening, but this will be an opportunity now for the pentagon, for general dunford to tell america what specifically is happening in africa, why it's important that we have forces in africa, what we're seeing out of isis. remember, this is all related to isis or in many ways related to isis as we see isis begin to get squeezed in the middle east, actually getting pretty close to wiped out in the middle east, we see them beginning to my great agreat -- migrate and move some of their operations into africa. it will be helpful for all of us to hear from general dunford and have him explain to us specifically what the pentagon's strategy is going forward. >> all right, colonel warren, thank you so much for that. some of the specifics we're
looking for which we may or may not get. wondering why that intel was so wrong that indicated to these service member who's were killed and the others who were with them that they would not encounter a hostile enemy. we don't know that at this point. that is it for me. i'm brianna keilar. thank you so much for being here with us. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. thanks, brianna. the military just moments away from revealsing new information about what happened during that horrific terrorist ambush. "the lead" starts right now. what happened in niger when four soldiers were killed, when one of their bodies wasn't recovered for days. the chairman of the joint chiefs is about to speak. we'll bring it to you live. the phone call to a grieving widow gone terribly wrong. have our nation's leaders put the grieving family at the top of their priority list? plus, anchor megyn telling unloaded on bill o'reilly saying the abuse and shaming of women has to stop after a bombshell
report that o'reilly paid $32 million to silence one accuser. good afternoon, everyone. i'm jake tapper. we're going to start with a briefing at the pentagon where we expect to hear from the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff about new details of that horrific niger raid when four service members were killed. jim sciutto, what are we expecting to hear? >> reporter: jake, and i should say we're less than a minute away from the hearing from the chairman of the joint chiefs. listen, many key questions still unanswered. why 48 hours before they were able to locate the missing body of sergeant la david johnson? was why was he as we reported over the weekend a mile away from the initial site of that ambush and also questions about where those forces were when this am push took place. did they divert from their initiatitheir -- and why are troops putting their lives on the line there?