tv Special Report With Bret Baier FOX News January 18, 2017 1:00am-2:01am PST
that's it for us. "special report" is next. >> bret: this is a fox news alert. paul ryan said "this is outrageous." late this afternoon president obama commuted the sentence of a former army intelligence analyst convicted of releasing classified materia material, military and national security information. chelsea, now identifying as a woman, formerly bradley manning has been imprisoned for seven years of a 35 year sentence. she received a sex change operation while in custody. she will now be freed on may 17th. it is a decision that is causing quite a stir, as you might imagine, in washington tonight. kevin corke is alive at the
white house. good evening. >> great evening to you. if the white house striking a major deal here to release chelsea manning after more than six years behind bars. expected to be released on may may 17th, 2017. dramatic reduction of the 35 year prison sentence. part of a big day here at the white house as the president announces a number of commutations. let me tell you about chelsea manning. formerly bradley manning, accused of a major leak, a 2010 leak to wikileaks that revealed american military and diplomatic activities across the world. manning spending less than seven years behind bars, down from 35. not on the list of commutations and pardons today, infamous nsa leak or edward snowden. snowden has been holed up in russia. he has tweeted his support for manning, writing "mr. president, if you grant only one active, c.
please free chelsea manning. you alone can save her life." it's ironic that five days ago wikileaks tweeted that if manning were granted clemency, julian assange would avail himself to extradition to the u.s. to face possible charges. here is what he told sean hannity about manning. i'm quoting "we've never said chelsea manning is one of our sources. a child they have said they are buddy even if someone is arrested and convicted and even if they were to plead guilty, we still don't say whether they are one of our sources or not." outrage on capitol hill. the lion issuing the following statement. "this is just outrageous. chelsea manning's treachery put american lives at risk and expose sensitive secrets." and he adds president obama leaves and plays a dangerous president that those who compromise our national security
will be held accountable for their crimes. i should point out there's one other note. this is important. we are told this is not it. we thought this was the extent of the commutations and pardons by the white house. we are told by senior officials to expect more, perhaps as soon thursday. bret. >> bret: that is interesting. to that point, president obama as of today has 212 pardons, 1385 commutations. if you compare and contrast rather with george w. bush. 189 pardons, 11 commutations. bill clinton, 396 pardons, 61 commutations. he clearly has exponentially more commutations and what does the white house say about that? are they wearing that as a badge or are they walking away from those questions? >> i don't think there's any question. they are wearing this is a badge of honor. i should add to the numbers that you shared. 504 of those were life sentences
there were commuted. the president has made this part and parcel to his criminal justice reform. we are likely to hear more about that tomorrow as he holds his press conference. the white house sometime in the afternoon. >> bret: we will follow that. kevin corke live on the north lawn. chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge is here. what did chelsea manning, what did it mean? what kind of damage do you do, the leak? >> in 2010 the afghan war diary was leaked. incident reports outside of afghanistan. my contact inside the intelligence community say that after the documents were published the taliban and went on a killing spree. if they saw a description of someone with short dark hair working with the u.s. government, they just went out and killed everyone with short dark hair. they were not this terminating at all in terms of the target. that is -- people who are
working with the u.s. government were killed but it made harder to recruit intelligence assets. this issue is addressed by tom cotton. >> i don't want to speak about specific cases in part because of the classification levels involved. i want to say that it caused serious national scaredy harm. what president obama has done today is going to cause harm as well. pick up the other side of the argument is for the application for chelsea manning. it says the release the documents because no real damage to u.s. interests, so the viewers will have to decide for themselves whether there was damage and individuals died as a result of those leaks. >> bret: chairman of the house armed services committee saying this action has put our country and soldiers at risk. this has a terrible message of the world. what message does that it sendo julian assange? >> we spoke with a former senior justice department official under the bush administration
this afternoon we asked if there was a partner clemency for manning, will it have a ripple effect on any kind of prosecution of julian assange in the future? he said absolutely it would help assange. >> i think it with strengthen his position. if the u.s. government says we are going to pardon manning for those offenses, i think it makes it that much effort to then say but we are going to drop the hammer on the person who published that information. >> assange was on twitter tonight. it's important to note he made no mention of that earlier offer to come to the united states if manning was freed. >> bret: thank you. we are less than three days away from donald trump's swearing in. we are bringing you stories and angles journalists have never dealt with during previous inauguration weeks. president-elect trump is tweeting happily about record numbers for his big day. as house democrats abandon the
festivities in record numbers. the president-elect will enter office with record low approval figures, pulls but he and his supporters are pushing back and what they are calling for fake polls. the relationship with vladimir putin is getting stranger. with putin comparing trump critics to prostitutes. john roberts is outside trump transition headquarters good evening. >> good evening. donald trump is tweeting about the inauguration on friday, he is angrily taking aim at polls that show him with the lowest pre-inauguration public opinion rating of anyone in recent history. tweeting "the same people doing the phony election polls are now doing approval rating polls." trump's team is planning a steady stream of negative news
reports. with just 66 hours until donald trump takes the oath of office his transition team is accusing democrats of doing everything they can to delegitimize his presidency and leave a mark on his election victory. even senator john mccain, whose relationship with trump has been contentious, acknowledged when it comes to the leak of the dossier of unverified rumors, something just doesn't smell right. >> this damning information, i handed it over to the fbi. the fact that this validated to say the least document was leaked is somebody's responsibility. the president-elect has a point. >> trump got back up from vladimir putin who accused the obama administration of trying to undercut the president-elect. putin dismissing reports that trump was cavorting with prostitutes. >> translator: he has socialized with the most beautiful women in the world.
i find it difficult to believe he ran to a hotel to meet with our girls. although here also we have the best ones in the world. >> putin charged for the peoplo paddle in sex rumors are worse than prostitutes. >> interesting metaphor. the men and women of the united states intelligence committee are patriots. they are experts in their field. >> but putin did not stop there. sending an admonition to democrats trying to delegitimize trump's pridency. >> translator: the people who do that harm the interests of the united states significantly. >> cia director john brennan kept up the drumbeat against trump over the dossier. in an interview with "the wall street journal" insisting he didn't leak it, charging trump crossed the line and comparing the leak to the tactics of nazi germany.
the number of democrats boycotting the inauguration is up to 58. trump's team is playing it off as no big deal. whether it was a memory lapse or something else, georgia congressman john lewis walked back his assertion that trump's would be the first inauguration in 30 years that he had missed. an aide acknowledging "representative lewis also missed one other inauguration, the first inauguration of george w. bush. his absence at that time was also a form of dissent. he did not believe the outcome of that election." >> we are learning more about trump's inaugural address. presenting himself as a present for all americans, america first grade we are told he spent much of the weekend rewriting it in his own words and did at least one run through with the teleprompter. he will use two bibles. one, a gift from his mother, the other the same lincoln bible barack obama used in 2009.
>> bret: john hubbard's here in. let's get more on the democratic perspective on the boycott. steve: from tennessee is in the group of lawmakers for said they will not be attending. representative joins us tonight. thanks for being here. why are you doing this? >> several reasons. a large part is to let my district know that they have a voice in washington. my district voted strongly for hillary clinton and they felt that the slight tweet of john lewis, fighting for civil rights and voting rights at the edmund pettus bridge, it was wrong to say he was talk, talk, talk and no action. john lewis is a man of action. he had to do it against his own government to get voting rights and civil rights for that was
wrong. that was the straw that broke the camel's back. >> bret: could it be he was not talking about his civil rights record and what he did in the past but what he's doing now to lift inner-city situations across america? and particularly in his district? i'm not reading between the lines here in the president-elect's tweets but they are only 140 characters or less. >> i know cnn has is in atlantd you have to go through atlanta to get anywhere in the south. there are a lot of good communities and areas. he took a slight at atlanta. you can't communicate through 140 or 142 characters. that's one of the problems the president has. if he wanted to communicate that, he should've sent a letter to john lewis, not tweeted and expressed his thoughts about inner cities.
he expressed his thoughts in ways that were open to interpretation. when he does that concerning foreign policy, we are at risk. >> bret: congressman, your district, you mentioned the votes. tennessee 9. hillary clinton won to donald trump, 19.8% paired what do you see to the utmost 20% in your district voted for trump and in tennessee, trump won 61% to 34%. what you say to people who voted for donald trump from your state, your district, jose it's not about the man or the campai. it's about the office of the presidency and the peaceful transition of power. >> i say two things. i'm representative of district 9. senators represent states. >> 20% of your district voted for donald trump. >> obviously not, every single one of those people who wanted to go to the inauguration has been offered to get through my
office. i will see them on thursday and talk with them. >> i'm not casting a vote or doing anything congressional. it's congress getting the best seats available. >> bret: do you see donald trump not a legitimate president? do you say he is illegitimate? >> i don't know the definition of that term. he won the electoral college. >> bret: so he is a legitimate president? >> yeah, he's going to be president. >> bret: john lewis says he's illegitimate good that's what triggered the treat. >> what john lewis is saying is that the russian leaks to wikileaks that trump used the same verbiage 174 times about wikileaks. they knew that would influence votes, the influence of those
votes in michigan, wisconsin, michigan might've made the difference. if they did and if there was any coordination between the trump campaign in russia you've got a major factor to consider about your allegiance to the united states. >> bret: there are many states, michigan, wisconsin, pennsylvania where polls showed the people voted for donald trump not because of what they were hearing from wikileaks but because they were concerned about their jobs and their situation. >> you don't know that. none of us know that. there's an accumulation of events that happened. a lot of moderates. if the polls made a difference, why would donald trump 174 times have talked about wikileaks. the polls told him that will move votes. >> bret: today the president, president obama, is commuting the sentence of the man, now woman, who leapt to wikileaks and many believe put u.s. troops
in danger appeared what's your reaction to that? >> don't approve of that. there might have been some term that should have been lesser. i don't know. i think the governor of alabama was unjustly convicted and many u.s. attorneys and attorneys general have written and asked that his sentence be commuted or pardoned. i think people in prison for marijuana in states where it's legal now should be commuted or pardoned. i don't think that people like chelsea manning should come before all the people who have had nonviolent drug offenses in states where marijuana is legalized should be housed by the federal government. >> bret: we appreciate your time. you are not making a determination whether president trump is legitimate or not. you are skipping the inauguration. >> right. i am skipping the inauguration because of many things he's done. it was wrong to say
john mccain wasn't an american hero. it was wrong to criticize, in my opinion, shouldn't have criticized meryl streep. it shouldn't have criticized john lewis. it shows he doesn't know about civil rights, that's important to me in my district. the fact that he didn't have engagements on martin luther king jr.'s birthday to celebrate their birthday and that man is a terrible indictment of the next president of the united states. >> bret: we appreciate your time. thanks for coming on. >> you are welcome. >> bret: the president-elect did meet with martin luther king iii and expressed on martin luther king day. we said -- manning is waiting. she has been told she will get gender reassignment surgery while in prison but will be released may 17th. president-elect trump's nominee for education secretary is appearing before this hour
before a committee. mike emanuel has the latest tonight. good evening. >> democrats would love to derail one or more of president-elect trumps cabinet nominees. one of their prime targets is testifying now and if confirmed is expected to shake up the education system. >> i share president-elect trump's view that it's time to shift the debate to what moms and dads want, expect, and deserve paid >> that makes betsy devos, the pick for education second, a target for the left. massachusetts senator elizabeth warren sent a 16 page letter ripping devos' qualifications, writing "there is no precedent for an education department secretary nominee with your lack of experience in public education." devos' support for school choice and charter education has angered the teachers union. >> she spent 30 years defunding
public schools, railing against them, fighting against having an investment in them and fighting for having private, for-profit charters. the record is abysmal. >> a fellow republican reformer says devos represents change and is the right person to fix our schools. >> she has worked with children all over the country in michigan, indiana, arizona. she understands what the problems in education are and she will go right at what i call 30 years ago, the blob, which is the mess of interests that clog up the american education system. >> montana republican congressman ryan zinke had his confirmation hearing to be the next interior secretary. bernie sanders grilled zinke on climate change. zinke replied climate is changing and man has played a role. >> i think where there is debate is what the influence is and what we can do about it. i'm not a client scientist expert but i can tell you i will
become a lot more familiar with it and it will be based on objective science. i don't believe it's a hoax. >> a break from the president-elect who has suggested climate change is a hoax. >> zinke appeared to win over bernie sanders with the answer. the retired navy seal is not considered one of the more controversial nominees. >> bret: we will continue to follow that hearing. up next, why president obama has sent several hundred marines to norway in his final week in office. i thought i married an italian.
[vo] quickbooks introduces he teaches lessons to stanley... and that's kind of it right now. but rodney knew just what to do...he got quickbooks. it organizes all his accounts, so he knows where he stands in an instant. ahhh...that's a profit. which gave him the idea to spend a little cash on some brilliant marketing! ha, clever. wow, look at all these new students! way to grow, rodney! know where you stand instantly. visit quickbooks.com. >> chelsea manning pleaded guilty to very serious crimes
leaking highly classified information and put at risk the lives of our troops, diplomats, intelligence officers, allies. caused serious national security harm. what president obama has done today is going to cause harm as well. >> i'm surprised the president took this action i have concerns about what message we send about ultimately repealing sensitive national security documents. >> chelsea manning went through the military, criminal justice process. was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for crimes. and she acknowledged wrongdoing. >> bret: the commutation of chelsea manning, in jail for leaking classified material to wikileaks that lawmakers say definitively put u.s. troops in danger and may have killed some. this, as you get the number of pardons and commutations by this president, contrasting that with george w. bush and bill clinton.
clearly leading and commutations, exponentially. the dash there is a list of commutations and pardons. the other pardon, james cartwright, accused of a national security breach in revelations about the iranian computer virus, stuxnet. he's been pardoned. let's bring in our panel. steve hayes, a.b. stoddard, and laura ingraham. steve, first. chelsea manning and what this says, what it is. >> it's a disgrace and it's not a surprise from this president. the damage that these leaks did is not theoretical. it's real. it's clear, and it's demonstrable. the case the u.s. government made against chelsea manning, as one of my colleagues wrote about at the time, found this aided
al-qaeda and its efforts to attack the united states and u.s. interests and u.s. military grade this is the way the ap wrote it up at the time. al-qaeda leaders reveled in wikileaks publishing documents. the u.s. government presented a written statement that osama bin laden asked for and received from an associate the afghan battlefield reports that wikileaks published. this is real effects. i think what the president of the united states did today is a total, absolute disgrace. it does tremendous damage going forward because it incentivizes weeks like this. >> bret: ab, what about the politics? wikileaks is in the news. julian assange this is a great thing. he tweeted last week that if you want to see whistleblowers and a new trump administration, that
you need to commute the sentence or release chelsea manning. >> the politics of this are so bizarre. to watch senator menendez and democrats earlier tried to walk away from this, it's amazing. you almost wonder if it will be interesting to see what president obama says tomorrow. you almost wonder if he's trying to unite donald trump and the intel community and republicans and democrats together against this. no one has anything good to say. it's completely bizarre. there is may be an explanation about the length of the sentence. the fact that she has served seven years but beyond that, this is corrosive, as steve says, to future intelligence. it's the opposite. >> this is a radical move by a president who, tens of millions of americans think at various points in his administration he didn't have the best in interests of america.
coming on the heels of all of this caterwauling about leaking and sensitive information in the public domain and russia and our enemy is using this information against us. on the heels of all that, president obama comes out in the waning days of his administration and gives a commutation to this individual who the prosecutors wanted to nail him on treason and aiding and abetting the enemy. he played down in the case. it was a shorter sentence. could have gone for a capital case. prosecutors decided not to. this was punishable by death, and now he's going to walk in may. are we really concerned about the release of sensitive information that compromises our troops and our national scaredy or not? i mean, i think heads are spinning for good reason. >> bret: if democrats want to see whistleblowers expose more crime and corruption under trump, they need to send a
signal. release chelsea manning. that is from yesterday. i assange will agree to extradition. what do you think this means for julian assange? >> nobody knows what it means. it is silly to try to predict what julian assange will do nex next. suggested he will come here and face trial. i'm not banking banking on that. the politics of this are interesting. in effect president obama has been saying for the past six weeks that wikileaks is a russian front that has done tremendous damage to the integrity of the u.s. system. but the person who empowered it to do that damage should be let off. incredible thing to say. >> the layer of politics. you have 50-plus democrats saying they are not showing up for the inauguration because russia hacking before the election affected people's
votes. john lewis says that that makes him an illegitimate president, there by he's not going to the inauguration. and these congressmen are standing with him. >> there is no way that tomorrow those people who were boycotting can say that they agree with president obama's decision on this commutation. >> bret: steve cohen didn't. >> it's a celebration of wikileaks, to be sure. what's really bizarre, bret, about this by caught -- boycott is that they aren't using the hacking as a reason. they are saying he's been on -- on presidential. it's a consequence of decision that is misguided. it's -- not really about celebrating democracy in the peaceful transfer of power. >> bret: i want to talk more about this but i want to play the sound bite from josh earnest. he was asked about guantanamo
bay. four more transfers to. >> i don't anticipate we will succeed in the goal of closing the prison. but it's not for a lack of trying. the possibility of additional transfers remains a possibility. once we had reached the 30 day deadline for notifying congress in advance of teeny transfers, the likelihood of succeeding closing the prison was quite remote. >> bret: 72 hours left. they are still going to transfer people out? >> who knows what more damage they will do. you think about the president made this to do versus trump and the intelligence community. think about what this does to the intelligence community. everything that's happened, release of the gitmo prisoners. lord knows what's going to happen. we know many of them went back
to the battlefield. if president obama were so concerned about the release of sensitive information in making our system vulnerable whether to whistleblowers who want to release information or hacks from the russians, he would have been tougher on hillary rodham clinton. he would have had a different attitude. he wouldn't have put politics first. once again it's not about what he thinks about intel or compromising information. this is about politics. it was in the beginning with hillary clinton server. it is now with what he's doing with gitmo, manning. it's about throwing a bone to the left as he's walking out the door. >> bret: quickly. >> more commutations and pardons possible. could we see, i don't know, bowe bergdahl? >> president obama as he's always wanted to be, knowing he won't suffer political consequences for his actions. the questions on these moves and
the ones to come, he see consulting with military and intelligence leaders? the cia declined to comment. john brennan has been everywhere in the past few days criticizing donald trump but he cannot comment on whether he agrees with this? it's an incredible no comment from them. i heard from one intelligence official today who said to me no president has ever to hurt u.s. national security interests ever. >> bret: next up, the trump inauguration grows closer, and it's lead up is
he didn't remember that he skipped them inauguration. >> conveniently doesn't remembe remember. you don't forget something like that. he got caught, and it's pretty bad. and it's making him look bad frankly. it's a very important time. this is a transition and a very important transition, especially because things will be done beautifully but they'll be done differently than they have been over the past eight years. and i can say over the past 16 years. there will be differences. we have to have a smooth transition, and president obama understands that very well and that's why he's been so gracious but he understands that. i think for him to have grandstsanded, john lewis, got caught in a bad light. let's see what happens. as far as other people going that's okay. we need seeds. i hope they give us their
tickets. what happens to their tickets? i hope they're going to give us their tickets. >> bret: >> bret: president-elet talking ainsley earhardt tomorrow on "fox & friends." right now the number is at 58 democrats who are not attending or say they will not be attending. we are back with the panel. laura. >> started calling up various congressional offices to see if we could get these tickets they have and give them to wounded warriors, gold star families, or high school kids would like to go. they told us tickets were not transferable. in many cases that's not the case. what a dull, lifeless quality this bitterness is, graham greene wrote. it's bitter, petty, silly. it's not going to change anything. i think it's better to engage with the new president and i think smart people are doing that. i think the meeting with martin
luther king iii could be instructive. i think you will see trump reaching out to other communities to expand economic populism, economic rebirth. i don't know what maxine waters, who says she will never work with president-elect trump, does that stop a drug connection from being made, stop a gang member, help a single mother? doesn't do that. america is sick of the two-party system and sick of nothing getting done in washington. it perpetuates gridlock and it's unfortunate. >> i agree. i think the list of donald trum donald trump's egregious words and deeds is without end. he is the father of the birther movement, trying to delegitimize president obama. there is great reason for their feelings. donald trump is right that this situation where lewis can
remember boycotting another inauguration diminishes his credibility. they are stepping on their own feet. one day they will want to work on the president for their own constituents and they will regret this. >> bret: imagine that maybe the economy does boom maybe there is some prosperity and some of these inner cities and maybe some of these communities to see the rising tide that lifts all boats. >> bret: or there is a natural disaster in their district. >> and they need some help. >> bret: what happens then? >> this is a totally misguided move born out of, you know, their anger and disagreement. they can be an opposition, they can criticize but they have to leave themselves open to helping their constituents who are voting americans. >> he's the president-elect of the united states of america. this is the peaceful transfer of power. it's not a question. you show up, go, pay respects, disagree strongly, make your case on policy and issues, point out when he is wrong.
call him a liar if you think he's lying but young engage, go, show up. this is a chicken way out for the democrats to try to avoid the problem and bolster their political base on the left. i think it's unfortunate. >> bret: many people i said it's not about the last campaign, the man or woman, it's about the office. the office of the presidency of the united states. we will see if that changes over the next 72 hours. that's it for the panel. more from today's confirmation hearings you may not have seen when we come back. . .
♪ >> bret: finally, tonight, you don't often see all of these confirmation hearings, a nice personal story from today's secretary of education confirmation hearing. >> more than 25 years ago, miss devos, i was sitting where were you sad, where you are sitting. and as a nominee for u.s. secretary of education. former senator of ohio said to me, well, governor, i have heard some disturbing things about you but i am not going to bring them up here. senator nancy of kansas looked at him and said, well, howard, i think you just did. >> bret: lamar alexander there. as we wrap up another welcome to a future viewer,
"special report" director john walter welcomed roman daniel walter into the world late yesterday evening. the whole family is healthy, looking forward to some sleep. i can tell you that is probably not going to happen. congratulations to them. little roman is probably already calling out the different cameras, different angles, you never know. steve hayes, by the way, welcomed a new child recently. we are adding viewers left and right. thank you for inviting us into your home tonight. that is it for two nights at "special report." fair, balanced, and unafraid. "the first 100 days." have you seen the show? editors posted by martha maccallum. it is very good. it starts right now. it starts right now. heather: wednesday january 18th, fox news alert breaking overnight. george w.h. bush has been
hospitalized. >> the army private who leaked military secrets and put our national security at risk. the move causing backlash. >> i think it's absolutely dead wrong. >> it caused great harm to national security. >> i am concerned about message we sent about revealing sensitive document. >> what does this mean by people like julian assange and edward snowden. heather: president-elect trump goes head to head with john lewis in an interview you will only see in fox news. >> he got caught and it's pretty bad and it's making them look bad frankly. heather: now more than 60 democrats are promising to boycott the inauguration. live in washington. "fox & friends first" starts right now.
[music] >> certainly fireworks in dc. you're watching "fox & friends first" on this wednesday morning. i'm abby huntsman. heather: i'm heather childers. the 92-year-old was taken to methodist hospital. the bush's steve of staff says he's doing fine an expected to go home in a few days. abby: has dealt with severe