tv Special Report With Bret Baier FOX News November 22, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
competition, swimsuit, evening gown, interview. interview contains a lot. >> 11/22, anniversary of a very dark day, jfk was shot in dallas years ago. set your dvr. "special report" next. during the campaign, donald trump said he'd put hillary clinton in jail. now it appears he may be giving her a get out of jail free card. this is "special report." good evening, and welcome to washington. i'm doug mckelway in for bret baier. donald trump won the presidency in large part by vilifying hillary clinton. he called her crooked hillary and his followers jub nailantly chanted "lock her up." trump may be doing a major reversal suggesting he may not pursue any criminal charges. his latest back track from a fundamental campaign position. we have team coverage of the trump transition. jennifer griffin at the pentagon
with a look at the president-elect's relationship with the military. we begin with correspondent peter doocy at trump tower tonight. what appears to be a clean slate for his vanquished opponent. good evening, peter. >> reporter: good evening, doug. the president-elect admitted today that pressing charges against hillary clinton could be divisive for the country. but mr. trump whose supporters have been known to chant "lock her up" also says that prosecution is still a possibility. this afternoon at "the new york times" headquarters in manhattan, donald trump explained to print reporters why he'd be hesitant as president to continue probing hillary clinton's possibly illegal behavior as secretary of state. one "times" writer president quotes the president-elect as saying "my inclination would be for whatever power i have on the matter is to say let's go forward. this has been looked at for so long ad nauseam." another posted this quote attributed to mr. trump, "i don't want to hurt the clintons,
i really don't. she went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways." that empathy for his former democratic opponent represents a major departure from what he said to her face in the final stretch of the campaign. >> it's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of donald trump is not in charge of the law in our country. >> because you'd be in jail. >> reporter: one of trump's most visible surrogates, rudy giuliani, says he would still support an investigation into clinton, but that he understands where the president-elect is coming from. >> look, there's a tradition in american politics that after you win an election, you sort of put things behind you. >> reporter: but critics are having a hard time stomaching the president-elect's second guessing. >> well, so much for locking her up, i guess. the bottom line is i think the clintons ' foundation, the whole mess needs to be looked at with an independent view, not a political agenda. >> reporter: last night, trump's transition team posted a youtube
video where the president-elect laid out his initial agenda. >> our transition team is working very smoothly. >> reporter: on his list, withdrawing from the trans-pacific partnership, cleaning up the visa system and adding cyber security measures. but notably not on the list, renegotiating nafta, banning muslims from entering the country, or building a wall. a spokesman said today the 2 1/2 minute clip was just a thing for the first day. back at trump tower, mr. trump continued meeting with candidates for administration posts. today, it was congressman cynthia loomis from wyoming. ceo of a health policy company. and dr. ben carson. mr. trump tweeted "i am seriously considering dr. ben carson ased head of hud. i've gotten to know him well. he is a greatly talented person who loves people." >> has it been offered, sir? >> we have had offers, yes. >> and is it the hud position? >> i would say that was one of the offers that's on the table. >> reporter: right now, the
president-elect is on his plane on his way to his mar-a-lago estate in palm beach for thanksgiving with family. when he gets back, we expect high-profile cabinet positions that still haven't been filled which is basically all of them to start getting filled. doug? >> peter doocy outside of trump tower. thank you, peter. trump seems to be focusing on former military flag officers to run the pentagon and he is already laying out his initial battle plan. national security correspondent jennifer griffin has that story tonight from the pentagon. >> reporter: in a 2 1/2 minute overview, president-elect donald trump told pentagon leaders what their marching orders will be on day one of his presidency. >> our national security, i will ask the department of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to develop a comprehensive plan to protect america's vital infrastructure from cyber attacks and all other form of attacks. >> reporter: during the campaign, the clinton team used trump's words against him in campaign ads and debate talking
points. >> i know more about isis than the generals do, believe me. >> reporter: now, president-elect trump is turning to many of those generals to solve the country's biggest problems and to potentially run several government agencies. he tapped former three-star army general mike flynn to be his national security adviser. and appears set to break tradition by appointing a retired four-star marine general, james mattis to lead the pentagon. another recently retired four-star marine general john kelly is being considered to run the department of homeland security. admiral mike rogers who currently serves as head of the nsa is still on active duty with the navy and was interviewed to be director of national intelligence. he currently oversees u.s. cyber command. for the next administration, cyber warfare and cyber defense will be a top priority. many experts have warned for years that america's critical infrastructure, its power grid, banking system and transportation grid with vulnerable to cyber attacks that could cripple the nation. >> this is an evolving threat. a challenging threat.
and one thing the secretary wants to make sure is that it's a threat that we continue to address and adjust our own posture accordingly. >> reporter: former defense secretary leon panetta raised eyebrows in 2011 during his confirmation hearing when he warned about the possibility of a cyber pearl harbor. u.s. officials convinced the public in 2003 that a blackout in the northeast of the united states was caused by a downed power line, when, in fact, many experts believe it was the result of a cyber attack that resulted in 11 deaths and $6 billion in damages. disrupting power for two days. another priority for the trump administration, according to those familiar with his national security thinking, will be to escalate the fight against isis and simultaneously rebuild the military after 15 years of nonstop war. an expensive proposition at a time of ever shrinking budgets and concerns about skyrocketing deficits. doug? >> jennifer griffin from the
pentagon, thank you, jennifer. let's talk more about donald trump's relationship with the news media. fox news digital politics editor chris stirewalt joins us now. chris, this is truly one of the more unsusual moves. mr. trump calling high ranking executives and influential anchors from all the networks to trump tower for a meeting. as a wise writer once said, they thought were coming in with a haircut but came away with their throats slit. what's behind this strategy by trump? >> well, every president-elect throughout history, or at least history of the modern mass media, has a love/hate relationship with the press. you want to get your message out. you want people to hear what you're saying in the broadest possible way, but also, of course, you don't want the story shaped in a way that's not flattering to you. so what the president has to offer the press as an inducement is access. if you are nice, if you're fair, if you treat me the way that i think i ought to be treated,
then i'll let you in. i'll give briefings, i will hold press conferences, i will let you follow me around. and if you don't, i'll cut off access rights. we certainly saw this with president obama and his predecessors. >> and then trump shortly slafr released a video outlining his first executive actions as a president. this is not the first administration obviously that has tried to bypass the press. you mentioned the obama administration. >> great hope, great and persistent hope of every president is to be able to go around the press and talk over the heads of the people here inside the washington bubble to the broader electorate. get your message out. now, barack obama tried that at the beginning of his presidency using youtube videos and other things. he said he was going to talk directly to voters. in reality, in the end, he needed mass media to get the message out and had to come up with, though at times challenging, and at times contentious, some sort of a working arrangement with the reporters who cover him. >> but this is a more advanced digital age right now. we're seeing this reporting
where people are picking out the news outlets that conform to their views. can he bypass the press in the way he might be signaling? >> i think to a greater degree than president obama and certainly when it comes to keeping his base engaged. i think what you will see from president trump when he is in office is, yes, continued wage his war with the mainstream press, but also to use his social media presence and use favored outlets like breitbart and others that have curried favor with him, even part of his administration indirectly, that those folks will carry the message to the core supporters. the challenge for every president, though, isn't how do you talk to your core, it's how do your spread your message to a larger audience and get results? >> then came today's meeting with "the new york times" at "the new york times" building which trump initially canceled tweeted "i canceled today's meeting. when the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment. not nice." he rescheduled the meeting at "the new york times" building.
>> quite a game of chicken they're playing. the press needs trump, they need access to cover him. trump needs the press but he doesn't like their coverage. he's playing this game of chicken about how far can he go in condemning the establishment press, while at the same time getting the coverage that he needs. i think today's meeting was a reflection of that. >> meantime, the public editor of "the new york times" recently wrote the paper and media were too tough on trump supporters. "the media is at fall for turning his remarks into a krim caricature, that it applied to people who backed him." to that point, the media outlets are going wall to wall with coverage of this national policy institute meeting at the reagan building over the weekend in washington. a group which describes itself as an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity and future of the people of european descent in the united states. troubling sight of people using -- doing the hands in a gesture, what do you make of that? >> part of trump's claim against the press is that they are saying that even though there have been racist white
nationalists and other troglodytes in our midst for these many years that somehow their rediscovery of these folks since they like trump and are using trump to get attention, so here's the press paying attention to these unsavory characters and in an effort to try to hurt trump in some cases. trump says, no way, that's no good. and there's an interesting side effect and the interesting side effect is that in an effort to hurt trump or hold out trump for this, we are seeing the normalization to use the favorite phrase of today, of conduct that we previously knew wasn't alt-right but was, in fact, quasi fascist or white nationalist or just plain racist and we're seeing this behavior become normalized through its coverage. all as part of this effort to try to define trump by some as a white nationalist, himself. >> and where's the coverage raising the question after where's the coverage of every progressive extremist, carried a
protest sign that read "bush hitler" or "george w." with a noose around his neck? didn't see too much of that. >> this is smart of the ongoing squirmish between trump and the press. he always said, if you treat me nice, i'll be nice to you. unfortunately for them, the appropriate nature between the press and the president is an adversarial one. people who are in power ought to be led to account and that's our job. that's what we're supposed to do here, make sure people are telling the truth, abiding by their promises and following the rules and that will make for some difficult times in the days ahead. >> chris stirewalt. good to see you. >> you bet. philadelphia's police commissioner says a package that exploded in an apartment included an actual device that was meant to injure. federal agents are helping the city's bomb squad investigate the incident. a 62-year-old man was injured when he opened that package believing it contained an inhaler or other type of medicine. officials do not consider it an act of terrorism. but there is real concern tonight that terrorism could be coming to a city or town near
you. law enforcement is on alert after a new warning about unconventional attacks in the u.s. chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge has an update tonight. >> reporter: this homeland security intelligence analysis obtained by fox news was sent to law enforcement after the new isis propaganda magazine called on followers to use trunks as weapons, mass casualty attack in france. the president will receive his regular updates. >> as usual, the president will get a briefing from his national security team before the holiday about current threats and about all the steps that are being taken to mitigate and counter those threats. >> reporter: isis inspired terrorists used a rental truck in nice, killing 86 and injuring more than 400, many of them children. while the new isis magazine does not lay out specific targets, homeland security officials wrote, "the use of two macy's thanksgiving day parade images implies the desire of isis to
focus on such high-profile holiday events." monday's arrest of a brooklyn man, naji, a legal permanent resident from yemen, seems to underscore the warning. according to the criminal complaint, naji expressed his support for a similar attack by isis in times square using a garbage truck. terrorism analysts say the naji case follows a pattern. >> most of the arrests are coming as this arrest in new york through the internet. the fbi and others are catching people on the internet saying things they shouldn't say and thus being flagged. so we have to revisit this whole see something/say something to make it really work. >> reporter: in advance of the holiday weekend, fox's rick levinthal went behind the scenes with new york's elite counterterrorism team. >> we see threats coming from isil, from the magazine where it says the parade will be a good target. we understand that. we accept that. that's our operating premise each and every day. >> reporter: after this week's terrorism arrest in france,
disrupting another plot possibly targeting paris, the state department issued a travel alert for u.s. citizens in europe warning of a, "heightened risk of terrorist attacks particularly during the holiday season." >> the main point that we were trying to convey to potential travelers is to be vigilant. >> reporter: the intelligence community sees terrorism on a spectrum from those who inspired to act by isis, to others who are recruited and directed by the leadership in iraq and syria. europe have seen both. the majority of plots in the u.s. have been driven by internet radicalization. doug? >> catherine herridge, thank you, catherine. an intelligence analysis firm says there's a high risk that is yn is terrorists will use chemical weapons against civilians and iraqi troops as the fight for mosul continues. the firm says isis used chemical weapons at least 52 times in iraq and syria since 2014. a federal audit says the state of new york improperly received as much as $150 million in grants to set up its obamacare exchange system.
the inspector general for the department of health and human services says the state used inflated population figures to get that extra funding. the new york health department disputes the findings and says its method was approved by the centers for medicaid and medicare services. the dow crossed over the 19,000 mark for the first time today and all three indexes again finished at record closes. the dow gaining 67. the s&p 500 was up 5. nasdaq finished ahead 17 1/2. five children are dead, several more seriously injured and a 24-year-old bus driver is in jail tonight. those are some of the numbers behind an incredible tragedy in chattanooga, tennessee. a school bus carrying more than 30 students flipped onto its side and wrapped around a tree. speed is considered a likely cause. correspondent jois watching the situation tonight from our southeast newsroom. >> reporter: the driver of this school bus faces charges of
vehicular homicide. >> involving a school bus flipped off the roadway. it is occupied with children. they believe there's ejection. >> reporter: local investigators say 24-year-old johnthony walker may have been speeding when his bus crashed killing five elementary school student and injuring dozens of others. an ntsb go team has joined the on-site probe into what went wrong. >> we conduct parallel investigations with the chattanooga police department. they are looking at whether enforcement is warranted, we are looking at what caused the accident in order to try to prevent it. >> reporter: the bus left woodmore elementary school in chattanooga with 37 students onboard. it was a few blocks away from the school when it left the road and crashed into a tree. some survivors escaped through roof hatches while first responders pulled others from the wreckage. >> there are still some unanswered questions at this time, but our priority remain with our students. we're doing everything that we can to help the students through this time. >> reporter: a day before thanksgiving vacation, woodmoore
elementary remained open offering counselors for student and other members of the school community. parents say they're struggling to explain monday's events to their young children. >> that's been our challenge all night long, to see how we're going to tell him and how we're going to break the news to him because he don't understand death. >> don't even know what to say to him. all i can do is hold him, hug him, tell him i love him. >> reporter: local and federal investigators look to determine the events leading up to the crash, city leaders are dealing with the emotional aftereffects. trying to comfort a grieving community. >> the most unnatural thing in the world is for a parent to mourn the loss of a child. there are no words that can bring comfort to a mother or a father. and so today the city is praying for these families. >> reporter: according to police, three fourth graders, one first grader and one kindergartner are among the deceased. they say a total of 12 students remain hospitalized. half of them in intensive care. doug?
>> jonathan in atlanta tonight, thank you. coming up next, once he leaves office, could president obama actually do more harm than good to the democratic party? but first, here's what some of our fox affiliates around the country are covering tonight. fox 4 in kansas city, an explosion at a kansas chemical plant sends one employee to the hospital. the blast happened this morning at a facility about 100 miles southeast of wichita. the plant manufactures and packages aerosols and other chemicals for industries. miami, south florida, airports are bracing for one of the biggest travel weekends of the year. almost 1 million passengers expected to pass through miami international airport. another 600,000 will fly through ft. lauderdale, hollywood, airport. this is a live look at san diego from fox 5. one of the big stories there tonight, county crews will spray a neighborhood to kill mosquitos which could carry the zika virus. health officials say mosquitos were found near a person who contracted zika outside the u.s. workers knocked on doors
throughout the neighborhood to warn residents of tomorrow's spraying. that's tonight's live look outside the beltway from "special report." we'll be right back. 200-degree range of sight... which is good for me hey! ... and bad for the barkley twins. take care of all your most important parts with centrum. with our most vitamin d three ever. what makesheart healthysalad the becalifornia walnuts.r?
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this is a fox news alert. late today a federal judge blocked an obama administration rule to extend mandatory overtime pay to more than 4 million workers. the rule would have doubled to $47,500, the maximum salary a worker can earn and still be eligible for mandatory overtime pay. it was set to go into effect december 1st. mike emanuel is at the white house tonight. mike, what are you hearing about this judgment? >> reporter: doug, good evening. what department of labor was saying was essentially pay your employees more than $47,000 a year or else give them overtime. or else only work them 40 hours a week or some combination of the three. so that has been put on hold
just before this rule was set to take effect. the national federation of independent businesses says at least 44% of small businesses in this country would have been impacted by this rule. so that organization is happy. no immediate reaction from the white house to this breaking news, doug? >> and mike, president obama has already made it clear he is not going anywhere politically after he moves out of the white house. he is already, in his own words, reserving the right to be critical of his successor. are the president's high-profile intentions counterproductive for democratic party desperately in need of its new leadership? >> reporter: doug, it is interesting to note that as the democrats do a postmortem after the 2016 election looking at what went wrong a lot of the names we're hearing about moving the party forward are the same names. after massive losses in the 2016 election, president obama remains one of the few national faces of the democratic party. and with plans to stay in washington after leaving office, it sounds like mr. obama wants to be part of the rebuild.
>> i don't think there has to be a complete overhaul here. i think there does have to be better organization, a smarter message. >> reporter: there's also generational conflict, for example, over who should lead house democrats in the new congress. longtime leader nancy pelosi is trying to hang onto power by making calls and offering concessions. while ohio congressman tim ryan a younger, fresher face trying to defeat her. former howard dean campaign manager joe trippi says mr. obama can play a temporary role. >> there will be some who would like to see other people emerge and given the space, but the party desperately needs a face to be that bridge and he's somebody that everybody could rally around. >> reporter: however, a name and personality as big as a former two-term president could potentially keep younger democrats from emerging. press secretary josh earnest called on that next generation to take on the mantle. >> there also is a responsibility for that next
generation to step up. and to assume more responsibility and not just rely on being impressed or inspired by an extraordinary political talent like president barack obama. >> reporter: the democratic national committee is also faced with a choice of going forward with congressman keith ellison, the early favorite to be the next dnc chair. but he represents the bernie sanders and elizabeth warren wing of the party. the other options may be return to the fast. former dnc chair howard dean or former maryland governor martin o'malley. a prominent democrat floated the idea of someone else who might be looking for something to do come mid-january. >> joe biden is the one person who i think can bring the party together. the progressive wing of the party, the left of center wing of the party and start giving their message to those working class democrats who abandoned us. >> reporter: the vice president's office would not comment on whether the vice president is interested, but, again, that would be another big-name democrat bailing out the party after its bench has
been depleted in recent elections. doug? >> mike emanuel from the north lawn, thank you, mike. the past two weeks we have heard plenty of conjecture about why donald trump won the election. tonight we're going to talk with the president of oklahoma wesleyan university who has theories of his own and have to do with education and elitism. edward piper is with us tonight. dr. piper, thank you very much. you know, parents of college students today, myself included, are really struggling to understand what is going on on campus in general. we've got forbidden words and books, we've got the safe spaces, we've got microaggressions, people being identified almost exclusively by their ethnicity and not by the content of their character. turning dr. martin luther king's ideas on their head. how did we get here? >> i would argue this is an indictment of my industry, of the american academy, our colleges and universities. we created this monster. this is our fault. somehow we're surprised it's turning around to bite us. stop and think about it, for decades we've been sending our
kids off to institutions that teach narcissism and self-absorption. now we're surprised their narcissists and self-absorbed. we celebrated self-aculization. we're surprised to see a selfish college student and selfish student body. we were told in work in 1948, titled "ideas have consequences" that ideas have consequences. bad ideas lead to bad behavior, bad culture, bad government, bad community. good ideas lead to the opposite. good government, good community, good culture and good kids. as your grandmother said, garbage in, garbage out. she was right. the ideas that we feed the next generation, if you will, are those ideas that will bear fruit in our culture. when we send our students off to institutions that celebrate political pablum, politically correct pablum, when we send them off to consume ideological
c carcinogens, we shouldn't be surprised when they return home on thanksgiving break. we created this cancer and shouldn't be surprised it's turning around to bite ut. >> you mentioned what your grandmother told us, or my grandmother, i happened to be going through a box of old family letters not too long ago and found my grandmother's report card from george washington university in 1916 or 1917. five subjects on this little report card, greek, latin, math, science, english, and history. something like that. she was, by the way, the first female editor of the college newspaper in the college's history. is the that what we're missing? studies like that? >> absolutely. i'll two back and quote chesterton. he said to us when you get rid of the big laws, you don't get liberty but rather thousands and thousands of little laws that rush in to fill the vacuum. in other words, when you stop teaching the big ideas, good ideas, the great ideas, the great books, the great book, when you stop teaching, latin for truth, you start pedalling
politically correct pablum, what you're going to get is thousands and thousands of little laws that rush in to fill this vacuum, don't get academic freedom as a result of that, you get ideological fascism, power and popularity controls the debate rather than the pursuit of truth. christ, himself, told us we shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. there's a reason those words are emblazoned across many a college seal and university seal for the last several decades and centuries. if you go all the way back to oxford some 1,000 yoears ago, truth gives us the context of freedom. not politics, not power, not freedom, but truth. >> i suspect some of your critics, in the academy of today, might say you're doing exactly what they've done because you were recently quoted in a piece you wrote that i refuse to let my desire to win trump my moral compass."
talking about the election of dronald trump, how you would refuse to allow him to speak on your campus. "i will not sell my soul or my university's to a political process that values victory more than virtue." how do you defend that? >> virtue is much more important than a political victory. a political victory that lacks virtue is limited and short lived because sooner or later it will succumb to power. the principles of a free republic are grounded in self-evident truths that are endowed to us by our create r, self-evident views that give us rights of life, liberty and happiness. not haplessness that's grounded in vengeance and vice, but happiness. purpose that's grounded in veritas and the pursuit of truth. i was told when i started in oxford this past summer, if you want liberty, always vote for the covenant, the constitution, if you will. never vote for a hierarchy. his point was this. it's the ideas of the covenant, it's the ideas of the constitution that will endure.
presidents come and presidents go, but the covenant, the ideas endure. it's those ideas that give you liberty and liberation and freedom and justice. and that should be the goal of the academy. not the perpetuation, the pedalling of politically correct ideas and comfort. this is why we've got students crying for play doh and puppies and coloring books in counseling centers. rather than going to a classroom where they're pursuing what's just and right and real and true. >> i'd love to delve into this more with you. we're flat out of time. dr. piper of oklahoma wesleyan university. thanks for your time, sir. >> blessings. we do not cover a lot oftry "special report" but tonight we make an exception. a tale of two first ladies and a double standard. from the left, correspondent, kristen fisher explains. >> reporter: the fashion world fell in love with first lady michelle obama. she's graced the cover of "vogue" three times, became the darling of designers and made the career of up and comers like soph soph
soef saleh. now that melania trump is moving in the french designer to refusing to dress a fellow immigrant and next first lady. >> sophie saleh came on the map because michelle obama wore her. there's a weird hypocrisy happening in saying that she won't dress melania trump. >> reporter: saleh, "the rhetoric of racism, sexism, xenophobia unleashed by her husband's presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by." a florist in washington was fined for refusing to make arrangements for a same-sex wedding, could have violated her values to do so. just like she says she's morally opposed to dressing melania trump. >> thank you, god bless you, god bless this incredible country. >> reporter: according to author of "on the road with american first ladies" this is a fashion snub of historic proportions. >> i think it's unprecedented for someone to absolutely refuse
to work with a first lady and even more so to ask oathers to do the same. >> reporter: so far, no other designers have followed suit. in fact, one of the founders of rag and bone told "the new york times" it would be hypocritical to say no to dressing a trump. "if we say we're about inclusivity, making american manufacturing good good, we have to put that before personal political beliefs." >> at the end of the day, fashion is going to play it smart. a new first lady. she's a fresh, clean slate in terms of her look and style. seems to me like they should dress her. >> reporter: when we finally see melania at the white house, we know the cfda, council of fashion designers of america, is encouraging its members to at least keep an open mind about the new first lady. doug? >> kristin fisher at the white house tonight, thank you. president obama has now topped the 1,000 mark for commutations while in office. the white house announced 79 more today. they're said to be mostly nonviolent drug offenders. the white house says president obama has commuted the sentences of -- i should say, has commuted
more sentences than the past 11 presidents combined. so now, donald trump indicates he might not want to put hillary clinton in jail. we'll talk about that and the rest of the transition news when the panel joins me right after the break. there's only one egg that just tastes better. fresher. more flavorful. delicious. only one egg with better nutrition- like more vitamins d, e, and omega 3s. and 25% less saturated fat. only one egg good enough for my family. because why have ordinary when you can have the best. eggland's best. the only egg that gives you so much more: better taste. better nutrition. better eggs. better nutrition. anyone ever have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas or bloating? she does. help defend against those digestive issues. take phillips' colon health probiotic caps daily... ...with three types of good bacteria. 400 likes? wow! phillips. be good to your gut.
getting a full-size and paying for a mid-size? ♪ whoa, oh, whoa, whoa, lovin' every minute of it... ♪ as the boys from loverboy so eloquently noted... i'm lovin' every minute of it. go national. go like a pro. if i win, i am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. there has never been anything like it. and we're going to have a special prosecutor -- >> a special prosecutor? >> i don't want to hurt them. i don't want to hurt them. they're good people. >> i think he's thinking of many different things as he prepares to be become the president of the united states and things that sound like the campaign aren't among them.
>> well, having defeated his foe, donald trump is now expressing some degree of magnanimity, saying he no longer has an interest in bringing in a special prosecutor to prosecute hillary clinton. so what to make of it? our panel now amy walter, national editor for the cook political report. syndicated columnist, charles krauthamm krauthammer. charles, any thoughts? >> i think it's the right thing. procedurally, not quite, but this the equivalent of him saying, issuing a pardon. and there are a lot of people who are saying, well, what about justice here? well, the point of the pardon power, which is always rather odd in any constitution, is to allow political expediency or, if you like, reasons of state to trump justice. obviously, if you can issue a pardon, you're going around justice but you're saying some things for the country are more
important. like the nixon pardon, he might have been guilty, he never was tried. it was done so the country wouldn't have to suffer the long national nightmare anymore and it was the right thing to do which i think many people today who objected at the time recognize. i think it's right to do it. you put that behind us. yes, there are probably offenses which are prosecutable, maybe she would be convicted, but that's not what we want to do. we do not want to see national political opponents putting each other in jail. so even though procedurally he's not supposed to say this because he's not the one who would decide whether there would be a special prosecutor, it's the equivalent of saying, when i'm sworn in, i would issue a pardon and that's i think the right thing to do. >> amy? >> yeah, i agree that it is the right thing to do. at a time when you're a president-elect with disapproval rating somewhere in the 50s, the idea of going after your opponent and really just sticking a finger in the eye of every person who supported her
is not the best way to say i'm going to bring this country together. we have a very polarized environment right now. so on that part, i think it's good. and i think charles brings up another important point which is it is still the department of justice who gets to make these decisions. if they do find something, it is not up to the president. it is up to the department of justice to make these decisions. i think what he was saying and kellyanne conway made this point this morning pretty explicitly, what he was really saying to members of congress, don't use the time we have now to wage a war on the clintons. we have control of congress, we have both branches, we have the white house, let's work on a proactive agenda rather than spending it all back on the clintons. >> as you mentioned, the fbi investigation of clinton foundation still exists. we've heard nothing to suggest it does not. >> yeah, it still exists and there's no -- there's, as you point out, procedurally he can't politically influence the fbi in its investigations but it was a good message to send because it was keeping very much in his
message of unity post-election. and i think we saw that message very much in the youtube video when he talked about what he was going to do in his first 100 days. you didn't see on immigration, for example, you didn't see a lot of talk about building a wall or even overturning those executive orders of president obama's to keep young immigrants here who were here illegally who came here as young people. we saw him talk about an investigation by the department of labor into abuses of the visa program that hurts american jobs. so everything about that that was about saving american jobs, that youtube video, so i think that's -- he is very much keeping on theme with what he's trying to accomplish in bringing the country together. ironically, by the way, if hillary had won, she would be under investigation by the house, republican-controlled house and i think we'd be seeing attempts at impeachment probably a year from now. so it definitely has a different outcome this way.
it's kind of interesting how things turn out. >> couldn't you make the case, though, that today's announcement by donald trump basically is an indication that he was after a political prosecution and not a legal one during the campaign? >> well, i think what it indicates is that he tends to say things, he says what he needs to say at the moment if he's in the middle of a debate or if he wants to rouse a crowd, he'll say "lock her up" or encourage "lock her up" and smile. in the end he tends to shift. we've seen lots of shifts on lots of issues. today, waterboarding, there's a lot of stuff going on. makes you think what he believes about campaigning is you say what's useful at the time then later figure out how you want to govern. >> there's an alternative theory i've been hearing a little bit of today, the similarities between the clinton foundation and her position as secretary of state is not all that different from donald trump ice co's comi position and his own family's interests.
>> absolutely. this is going to be a key issue for the next how many months, depending on how he decides to handle this. it looks like from his conversation with "the new york times" today, he's not interested in divesting his investments. he's not interested in doing some of the things that even the "wall street journal" suggested he should be doing. and so that leaves him in a very vulnerable position. now, every time we see whether it's a legislative action, something that the president does, himself, there's going to have to be a question mark, then, about whether this actually benefited him and his companies. there are constitutional issues that still have to be addressed that we've never seen before. so we could be in for a very long messy ride. >> you talked about this "new york times" meeting today which was acknowledged by donald trump early in the morning. it was then withdrawn by donald trump saying that the ground rules had been changed and then he retracted the retraction saying the meeting's back on again at "the new york times." "the new york times" reporters
were tweeting as the meeting was going on. i want to read through a handful of these things. tweets from "the new york times" "i don't think we should be a nation builder" trump says of the u.s. role in the world. "syria, we have to solve that problem, trump says as he has a different view than anybody else." donald trump on "the new york times," "i do read it, unfortunately i live about 20 years longer if i didn't." asked pointblank about the nazi conference in d.c. over the weekend, donald trump tells "the new york times" "of course i disavow and condemn it." on steve bannon, "if i thought he was a racist or alt right or any of the things that we could use, i wouldn't even think about hiring him." then trump lastly, "jared kushner could help make peace between israelis and palestinians." a lot covered there, nina. >> there was a lot covered there. it's interesting, i think, you see "the new york times" tweeting which, of course, is the preferred vehicle of communication by this president-elect. what i found fascinating over the last several days, since the election, was we have seen now the near total complete disruption of the traditional
media. all the gatekeeping, the traditional media, not just establishment media, it's right, left, anybody. it's traditional media has been upended by this president-elect who chooses to tweet and i still love that quote he -- from last summer, the summer before this, where he said "i love tweeting, it's like owning "the new york times" without the debt." you know, so he's communicating directly, and he doesn't hold a press conference to talk about his first 100 days, he puts it on youtube. >> right. >> he's figured out how to bypass the traditional media. >> all the news that's fit to print in 140 characters or less. coming up next, could president obama actually sabotage the future of the democratic party? you can't predict the market. but through good times and bad... ...at t. rowe price... ...we've helped our investors stay confident for over 75 years.
i don't think there has to be a complete overhaul here. i think that there does have to be better organization. a smaller message. >> i'm pulling the fire alarm right now is what i'm doing in the democratic party. i believe we're in denial of what's happened. i'm pulling the fire alarm because the house is burning down. >> certainly shot across the bow at the democratic party is representative tim ryan says the party does indeed need an overhaul and what better person to make the case than ryan who represents ohio's 17th district that stretches through the rust belt where people went heavily for donald trump. let's bring back the panel. overhaul or tweaking? >> it needs a lot of work. i think we saw from this election that barack obama's coalition cannot be stitched
together by somebody other than barack obama. hillary clinton's get out the vote across the country and by the way she's closing in on 2 million votes ahead of trump in the popular vote but it's not a recipe to win the electoral college and win the presidency or take back the senate. that's a big problem. two members that struck numbers number of obama voters that voted for trump was notable and 40% of union households voted for trump. you always think of union households being the labor leaders are very much tied at the hip with the democratic party. that's trouble, i think, for the democrats. >> i want to make mention of a tweet that mr. trump sent out. he said and i'm quoting now, if nancy pa lowsy was with us before and after the election, our agenda is her agenda and that's why we're with her to be the democratic leader.
>> every party goes through this who gets to the white house. what we've seen going back to 2006 is that a party loses, then it goes into the wilderness, we've lost our way, and then the party in charge does something stupid and the out party wins. in 2006 the iraq war helped bring democrats to congress. 2010 republicans won back congress. i would be very careful about writing off any party and it is really much more about republicans in this republican congress and white house going to be able to do enough good to prevent democrats from benefitting from that. finally, the challenge for anybody against nancy pelosi, you had that quote from time ryan, the congressman from youngstown, ohio is the fact that two-thirds of the house right now in the democratic caucus, they are from either the west coast or from the
northeast. a third alone come from the three states of california, new york and massachusetts. the democratic party is not a heartland party, and so tim ryan's message is going to be difficult to get through when you have a party that really is not sitting in those places. >> interesting point. charles? >> obama says we don't need a full overhaul. he's either in denial or he's trying to protect his legacy. the reason that you don't need a full overhaul is that there's no way to overhaul rubble. he's been in office for 8 years and what he's left behind, he did okay, he won twice re-election because he's one of the great campaigners in american history, but every other election where he wasn't at the top, party was shellacked. somebody said of the 2010 election, the mid-term, that it wasn't an election, it was a restraining order. what obama leaves behind is a loss of ten senators, 14 governors, a loss of 31 bait
houses and 63 house seats. the democrats are at the lowest in the house than they had been since the 1920s. if you look at map of the u.s. there are about 5,000 counties of which hillary clinton won 300. i mean, if you draw a map of the country who went where, it is red from sea to shining sea with these little pockets of democrats. this is real trouble and the problem is because of the december makes of the party, they have no bench. when you talk about the vice-president being the face of the party now, that tells you how decimated the party is. >> who takes control of the dnc? it's leaderless right now with donna brazile out of the picture, debbie wasserman schultz having resigned during the convention. joe biden's office sent out a message saying he is not interested in becoming the chair. we've got governor howard dean of vermont, representative keith
ellison and a few others, the former governor of maryland whose name escapes me right now, i'm having a senior moment. martin o'malley. >> martin o'malley, what did he score in the primaries, like 1%? keith ellison is the one that's viewed as more fresh blood i think going in. do we want a roundabout to howard dean again? >> who called steve bannon a nazi. >> yes. and knows his stuff in terms of party building but i'm not sure he's the right face of the party. you know, charles is right. the bench is not -- you saw how empty the bench is for a young generation. nancy pelosi, leader of the house, she's 76 years old, she's been in charge for 14 years. where is the fresh blood. >> keith ellison far, far left. does the party need to go in that direction, amy? >> look, i think that there are
a lot of young names in the house but the key for democrats is going to be what they do in 2018, especially for governorship. >> as a republican i would endorse keith ellison. go for it. up next, a look at president obama's final picks for the presidential medal of bravery. as i was researching my family tree, i discovered a woman named marianne gaspard... it was her french name. then she came to louisiana as a slave. i became curious where in africa she was from. so i took the ancestry dna test to find out more about my african roots. the ancestry dna results were really specific. they told me all of these places in west africa. i feel really proud of my lineage, and i feel really proud of my ancestry. ancestry has many paths to discovering your story, get started for free at ancestry.com enepeople want power.hallenge. and power plants account for more than a third of energy-related carbon emissions.
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finally tonight, today's presidential medal of freedom ceremony was president obama's last in office. some of the high profile honorees included kareem abdul-jabbar, ellen degeneres, rob de niro, robert redford, michael jordan and bruce springsteen. the president said they helped to push america forward and inspired millions around the world. president obama has awarded 114 medals during his time in office. more than any other president.
good night from washington. tucker carlson coming up next. good evening and welcome to tucker carlson tonight, the show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pom possty, smugness and group think. we've got news tonight about a new appointment the associated press is reporting on within the trump administration. we'll get to that in just a minute. first, dozens of colleges and universities are making plans to become sanctuary campuses. one of the first schools to take this step is