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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  January 31, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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stock after the election. >> greg: good trade. >> greg: set your dvr so you never miss an episode of "the five." that's it for us. "special report" is up next. >> bret: pushed back from the homeland security secretary about who knew what when on the executive order. senate democrats fail on two key votes and president trump prepares to name his first nominee for the u.s. supreme court. it's tuesday, day 12 of the new administration. this is "special report" ." good evening. welcome to washington. president trump is back on familiar turf into ours, primetime tv, the center of attention. he will review the name of his nominee to the u.s. supreme court tonight, but there are other home fires burning, most notably a democratic slow down and into cases, shutdown of
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the cabinet confirmation process. the uproar over the president's extreme vetting executive order. it has given the billionaire businessman and now president a chance to resurrect one of his signature phrases. you are fired. we have fox team coverage. shannon bream with a look at the two judges believed to be under final consideration. john roberts at the white house on president trump fighting back against his critics. we begin on capitol hill with peter doocy and a trump cabinet confirmation process that's crawling along. into cases, essentially stalled. >> good evening. 11 democrats on the senate finance committee didn't show up for work today, at least not for a vote to advance to critical nominees. treasury secretary and hhs secretary. republicans say their colleagues on the left are acting less like lawmakers and more like little kids. >> collect a old-fashioned hissy
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fit. >> boycotting committee votes on steven mnuchin and tom price for hhs secretary uninstalling the process because at least one democrat needs to be there to vote on anything. the g.o.p. is getting fed up with all the holdups. >> i'm very disappointed in this type of crap. no excuse. >> at the white house, they think this makes them look good. >> i want to give a shout out to c-span who are making sure that the -- this gets the attention it deserves. >> they are saying price and mnuchin held back important information about their backgrounds. the second highest ranking democrat in the senate has a hard time explaining the boycott. this afternoon a vote on the attorney general nominee jeff sessions was delayed until tomorrow, hours after the president tweeted "when will the
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democrats give us our attorney general and rest of cabinet? they should be ashamed of themselves. no wonder d.c. doesn't work." last night, the president got rid of sally yates and democrats weren't happy. >> we had a monday night massacre. >> chuck schumer elaborated further with this. "the firing of sally yates honors because how boring it is to have an attorney general who stand up to the white house when they are violating the law. many people have doubts about whether jeff sessions can be that person." one sign of how partisan things of god, the minority leader schumer voted against the majority leader mcconnell's wife who is nominated for transportation secretary. elaine chao was easily confirmed by the full senate and the trio of others were approved by committees. rick perry for energy secretary, ryan zinke for int secretary, and betsy devos for education secretary. trump has only seen three total cabinet secretaries confirmed in january. president obama had three times
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as many confirmed in january '09. >> think about if you are a coach of a football team or leading a business, you want your full team on the field. >> if you think it is better now, people say wait a few hours for the fight to begin over the justice president trump wants with it on the supreme court. >> bret: peter doocy live on the hill. exit polls from the election indicated the u.s. of record was a big factor in candidate trump's office at win in november. tonight president trump delivers the payoff. chief white house correspondent john roberts has the story from the north want tonight. >> good evening. you will remember nine months ago then candidate donald trump released a list of 11 potential supreme court nominees in an effort to placate skeptical conservatives. he expanded the list of 21. tonight president trump brings it all down to one. the front runners to fill the scene on supreme court are george neil gorsuch of denver,
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and thomas hardiman from the third circuit court of appeals in philadelphia. while republicans are girding for a confirmation battle, the president's press secretary today argued that either should be easily confirmed. >> they may not like their political or philosophical background, but i think the criteria in terms of academia background, time on the bench, the expertise and criteria meets the intent of both republicans and democrats. >> the nomination comes as the president finds himself in an escalating war over his executive order on extreme vetting. senate democrats are urging their republican colleagues to join an effort to rescind the measure. >> two weeks into the new trump administration, we are on the cusp of constitutional crisis. we are already in a crisis of confidence. >> some republicans have criticized the order but others left to the president's defense today even if they thought the initial rollout was "confusing."
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>> we need to pause and we need to make sure that the betting standards are up to snuff us we can guarantee the safety and security of our country. that's what this does. we want the gold to be achieved. >> the white house was pushing back against reports the rollout was botched and that the secretary of homeland security wasn't even aware it was being implemented. >> the second detailed multiple occasions on which he was briefed on it. his staff made edits to it. to go general john kelly insists he was fully in the loop. >> we didn't know it was coming. we have people involved in the general drafting of it. -- we did know it was coming. this whole approach was what candidate trump talked about. >> kelly defended the order, long overdue he said. >> i will not gamble with american lives. i would direct leadership to implement the executive orders
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professionally, humanely, in accordance with the law. >> the president turned his sights toward cybersecurity, meeting with experts in the roosevelt room. i made that talk about critical infrastructure, the president couldn't resist tweaking the democrats over getting hacked and losing the election. >> despite spending less money than the democrats and winning, people don't say that we spent a lot less money. and we won. that's a good thing. >> the white house had prepared an executive order on improving cyber security. they pulled it back and postponed it. the reason why am told is because the president wanted to hear from those experts on cybersecurity and potential incorporate some of what he heard. >> bret: thank you. let's get another look at the top contenders for the u.s. supreme court and what the battle could look like for their confirmation to the highest
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bench in the country. chief legal correspondent shannon bream is at the court right now. >> you know we have been waiting for weeks through vetting and meetings and also consideration of how tough the confirmation battle would be. now we are down to the final pick. the president believes the right person to fill the seat that's been empty for nearly a year, we are believe we are down to two. judge neil gorsuch wrote in favor of hobby lobby and little sisters of the poor when they challenge the obamacare contraception mandate. he clerked here. we think he would be the first former clerk to sit alongside his former boss on the bench as a fellow justice. he's the one -- judge gorsuch wrote an essay talking about the politicization of the judiciary. he said judges come to be seen as politicians and their confirmations become another
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avenue of political warfare. thomas hardiman has a personal connection to the president, serving on the same bench as the president's sister, the third circuit. he was the first person's family to graduate from college, got through with scholarships and by driving a taxi. in a 2003 questionnaire he said "i do not believe that judges should seek to achieve the legal, political, or philosophical goals of one's friends or a clinical party." the president is well aware that conservatives expect him to deliver on this pick. more than 1 of 5 voters have this room court was the most important factor for them in casting their vote in the presidential election. of those, 56% voted for mr. trump and 41% for mrs. clinton. across the board, conservatives generally say they are thrilled with these potential picks although there some caution on the issue of abortion. neither of them has a long paper trail on that issue and that worries some. democrats have said they plan to oppose whoever the nominee is.
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these two judges sailed through the senate without opposition in 2006 and 2007. a lot of those top democrats who were okay with them back then are still on the hill and would be part of the vote this time. >> bret: thank you. who is your choice to be on the supreme court? let me know at @bretbaier. or on facebook at facebook.com/bretbaiersr. president trump says he wants to lower drug prices, make medicare and medicaid cheaper, and bring drug companies back to the u.s. the president met with pharmaceutical executives today at the white house. he says he's going to change a lot of rules and promises to and what he calls global freeloading. consumer confidence has taken a dip after a 15 year high right after the election. the figure was down about 1.5% from december to january.
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according to the conference board of business research group. stocks were mixed. dow lost 107. s&p 500 was off 2. nasdaq gained 1. it did not take long for former president obama to get back in again. mr. obama released a statement yesterday, less than two weeks out of office, in directly critical of his successor and that controversial executive order. james rosen looks and what the 44th president said and what he may be planning to do and how all that fits in with the behavior of other newly minted former presidents. >> i want to do some writing, i want to be quiet a little bit and not hear myself talk so darn much. >> former president obama required only ten days. he didn't even make it out on january before criticizing his successor. once demonstrators began protesting president trump's executive order suspending the
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refugee program and halting immigration from countries of high concern for terrorism, mr. obama's office issued a statement that never mentioned president trump but was unmistakable in its condemnation of him. president obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place, adding that the protests are exactly what we expect is the one american values are at stake. the former president fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion. >> may god bless this house and our next president. >> george w. bush, he made it his practice never to criticize his successor. >> >> president bush's point of view is that it's good for the country, not having one president criticize the next. >> former president obama endorsed sophia king in chicago's fourth ward. mr. obama is america's youngest
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living former president and while he left office with stronger approval ratings than most recent chief executives he remains acutely aware that some presidents such as harry truman and richard nixon fared better and americans estimation years, decades after they left office. jordan michael smith is the author of "humanity," how jimmy carter lost election and transformed the presidency. >> barack obama is going to be engaged to a degree in partisan politics that we have not seen in a long time. what i think he wants to do is make the country progressive or at least have a hold until the next democratic president comes in. >> one mandatory stop on the post presidential track will be the publication and promotion of a memoir by the former president of a former first lady. the former president should enjoy something of a leg up on his peers. he published memoirs before
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becoming president. >> bret: there may be more to a terror attack on a saudi arabian ship off the coast of yemen that first thought. and iran may be conducting more missile testing and we've been led to believe. national security correspondent jennifer griffin has the specifics from the pentagon. >> a day after the u.n. security council called an emergency meeting to discuss ron's test of a medium-range ballistic missile sunday, fox news has learned of another secret missile launch from the same launchpad used previously by the tehran regime. a ballistic missile was fired based on north korean technology with a range of 800 miles on december 6th. another apparent breach of resolution 2231. the u.n. security council met today to discuss sunday's launc launch. iran's foreign minister pushed back, issuing a stark warning to the trump administration.
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>> translator: we hope the issue of iran's defense programs which are out of the scope of the resolution and the nuclear deal will not become an excuse for some political gains by the new u.s. administration. it must not abuse this issue to spark fresh tension. france has expressed its concern over missile tests which is against the provisions of the resolution. >> pentagon officials are concerned a suicide attack yesterday targeting a saudi frigate off the coast of yemen may have been meant for an american warship even though the closest u.s. warship was more than 100 nautical miles away. a voice narrating a newly released video shouts in arabic. "death to america, death to israel, death to the jews." analysts say -- they thought they were striking an american warship or this may have been a
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dress rehearsal similar to the attack on the uss cole. rebels carried out a similar attack on a uae flagged vessel in october, the same month u.s. warships came under attack off the coast of yemen. days later, tomahawk missiles were fired. the attack on the frigate came after a day after president trump spoke with the saudi king. >> bret: you have learned more about the raid by seal team six this weekend. >> senior military sources tell me the seal team gathered a large amount of intelligence during the raid, almost as good as the reference to the bin laden raid. analysts are sifting through information. i am told the commander took a tough decision and approached the compound the hard way. the only way to judge the missions success will be the
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final analysis of the materials gathered. special operations forces from the united arab emirates participated. >> bret: jennifer, thank you. president trump is continuing his push for safe zones that would protect syrian refugees and make them less likely to go to europe or come here to america. therapy and to have obstacles, not the least of which is the president's own defense department. >> as a serious blood he civil war continues to rage and thousands of serious flee the fighting, president donald trump is vowing, as he did on the campaign trails, to end the crisis. >> build a safe zone. build a big, beautiful safe zone and you have whatever it is so people can live. >> the move will curtail the number of syrians seeking asylum. on sunday, president trump spoke
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with the saudi arabian king and agreed on the need to create safe zones in syria. how to implement one in the chaos of syria remains a challenge. >> safe zones are a buzzword people use. when the rubber meets the road, it's more difficult. >> at the pentagon has resisted a creation of u.s.-backed safe zones in syria, arguing it would cost $1 billion a month and require 15,000 to 30,000 american troops on the ground, resources that would be taken away from the fight against isis. the question remains who would be in? turkey, a key nato ally, wants pro-american kurdish fighters excluded. rush i would have to back a safe zone to be effective.
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president trump vowing to limit american military indenture as number of the world. creating safe zones in syria would seem to contradict the goal. spewing up next, is california going to be a sanctuary state? -- >> bret: up next, is california going to be a sanctuary state? jill maldonado was kicked out of his scout troop because he was born a girl. monday the boy scouts of america changed its policy and will determine enrollment based on the gender listed on the application. fox 11 in los angeles with the closure -- the l.a. county sheriff says the man who killed medley's former wife was himself
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shot and killed six years later. authorities made the determination using modern dna technology. this is a lie look at chicago from our affiliate fox 32. big story there, caterpillar is moving its headquarters to the windy city. it has been in peoria for decades. chicago is more accessible to the international customers. they will send a limited group of senior executives to chicago later this year. that is tonight's live look outside the beltway from "special report." we'll be right back. freedom has made america exceptional, but it can only last if you and i choose to act as people of character. forging character has been the pursuit of hillsdale college since 1844.
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>> bret: californians are considering one off paying the sanctuary cities president trump is threatening with cuts. some people want to make a sanctuary from border to border paired william la jeunesse has details from los angeles. >> san francisco is a sanctuary city. it is in our dna. >> soon all of california may be a sanctuary state. >> we will defend everybody, every man, woman, and child who has come here for a better life. >> lawmakers passed a bill on tuesday as the first step toward making california the first state to shield all illegal immigrants from deportation. >> you can't use taxpayer dollars, all residents of california, to enforce immigration law. >> the bill restricts state and local law enforcement from cooperating or assisting federal immigration efforts, prohibiting the use of any state resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes.
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>> to be a sanctuary state to a level we haven't seen before. >> the law changes existing protocols. currently many local sheriffs notify i.c.e. before criminal aliens are released from jail. under the bill, agency that won't happen. >> california is proposing to say that even at the most basic level of information sharing, we are not participating. >> local police can't even cal i.c.e. to report violators. this bill revokes the freedom. >> sacramento is playing chicken with someone else's money. >> california receives 100 billion a year from federal money, most in grants to cities and counties that president trump threatened to take away. san francisco sued president trump claiming his executive order is unconstitutional because the federal government cannot coerc
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coerce. former attorney general eric holder arguing the case. >> president trump has named a new chief of the border patrol. his name is ronald vitello. he will take the job less than a week after his predecessor resigned. mark morgan morgan reportedly said he had been forced out after president trump signed an executive order on border security. we told you about california and their efforts. on the other side of the country, an effort to bring thousands of syrian refugees to one small community is now in question. after president trump's vetting order. this is the story from rutland, vermont. >> amid legal challenges and protests, a small city nestled in the mountains of vermont has found itself in a national spotlight. a microcosm of the national immigration battle. >> we deplore president presids
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decision. >> the mayor made plans to welcome up to 100 syrians in 2017 but in the wake of president trump's executive order placing a halt on refugees from the war-torn nation, he fears the two families that have arrived so far will be the last. over the weekend, activists rallied together in rutland, a volunteer organization rutland welcomes, has spent months preparing for the arrival of the refugees. >> it's been hard, heartbreaking. to think of the 91 folks who might not be able to come to rutland, who might be stuck in a really difficult, tragic situation. >> some have opposed the breadth of the resettlement program and are relieved by the administer agency policy. dr. timothy cook is among the founders of the opposition groups rutland first. >> unfortunate trying to turn
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this into a moral equation. >> he fears that shift toward a welfare state, away from the rugged independence embodied by generations of vermonters. >> i think the people who have, called us racists and bigots, they need to do better. >> the refugees expected to resettle here and tens of thousands of others hoping to come to the united states are now in limbo. immigration advocates say it's unclear whether the van will be lifted. >> bret: molly, thank you. super bowl week is about much more than the biggest football game of the year. all kinds of activities going on in houston from news conferences to concerts and all of it taking place alongside a massive security operation. as you can imagine, fox news is the only news organization on the inside of all that effort.
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chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge reports. >> at houston's and rg stadium, the nfl and homeland security teams are locking in their game plan. >> re-sweeping the stadium on friday. >> fox news went behind the scenes where the planning began 15 months ago. >> a lot of moving parts and a lot of different events. as you can see with the agencies involved, we've got the best team on the planet. we are ready for game day. >> it's amazing to look around the stadium and see it empty and no that in a few days, every seat is going to be filled. >> yeah, and we are confident in a safe and secure event. >> next to the inauguration, the super bowl has the highest security designation. there is no specific or credible threat, 25 federal agencies are working side-by-side with state and local law enforcement. >> the assets we have here, the folks on the ground.
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>> from blackhawks securing the airspace to screening each one of the spectators. >> the department is under a lot of scrutiny with the executive order. is it impacting how they prepare? to go not at all. i have talked to the folks. they are focused on the mission and ready to execute. >> with more than a million people expected here this weekend, the super bowl is the first major security event for the trump administration. >> bret: catherine, thank you. tonight is the last chance for people to sign up for obamacare for this year and possibly forever. kevin corke explains from the white house tonight. >> 11:59:59 is the second that the enrollment. matt comes to an end. if president trump passes away, it will be the last. >> executive order minimizing the economic burden.
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>> from the moment he signed an executive order to minimize the financial burden of obamacare the president set sail on a journey to dismantle the law. they are by the headwinds along the way. >> we will come back as soon as we can get our colleagues to come. >> the president pick for health and human services secretary, tom price, has seen his confirmation delayed, preventing him from getting to work. and then there's the question of what to do with the millions of americans have been able to get health care under the affordable care act. credits argue republicans in congress have done little with it and seem prepared to do even less. >> the question is can they come up with a responsible plan to replace it? that's going to be the key. repeal is easy. replacing it is going to be more difficult. >> if a bipartisan fix seems a bridge too far, consider what the president recently said. >> what is crucial for me is for
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the public to understand that obamacare is a disaster, okay? because now the democrats are saying it's wonderful. it's a horror show. you live your doctor, you don't have your plan. 116% increases, like in arizona. >> they followed could be disastrous for both parties, especially if the tug-of-war over the concerns of millions of americans continues. on the one hand you have increasing costs and increasingly faltering marketplaces. on the other hand you have the congressional budget office suggesting that without some form of mandate next year, 18 million americans can lose their health insurance, making this a real political catch-22. >> bret: kevin corke from the white house. thank you. white house officials say president trump will not rollback federal workplace protections of lgbt q people. in 2014, president obama signed an executive order protecting people from sexual discrimination while working for
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federal contractors. president trump rips on democrats for slowing down the cabinet confirmation process and is not buckling to criticism of the extreme vetting policy. we will get reaction from the panel after the break. p not down. it's feeling up thinking up living up. it's being in motion... in body in spirit in the now. boost. it's not just nutrition. it's intelligent nutrition. with 26 vitamins and minerals and 10 grams of protein. all in 3 delicious flavors. it's choosing to go in one direction... up. boost. be up for it.
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>> our obligation constitutionally is to thoroughly vet these nominees. if it takes longer, they could be in office up to four years and it makes imminent sense to get their views out. >> these highly qualified nominees have the votes. they are being stalled because democrats are boycotting the committee votes. it's outrageous. the idea that they are not showing up to hearings is truly outrageous. >> it's time to get over the fact that they lost the electio election. the president is entitled to
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have his cabinet appointments considered. >> bret: that was the big news today is democrats stepped out and did not show up for two committee votes to move cabinet nominees forward. as you take a look at the confirmations in january, this president and previous presidents, how many they have had approved and confirmed. donald trump is officially at three. the committee votes to lead today. treasury secretary steven mnuchin, tom price, hhs. jeff sessions as attorney general. we are getting word that rex tillerson will not come for up for vote until wednesday afternoon at the earliest pray let's bring in our panel. laura ingraham. syndicated columnist charles krauthammer and susan page, washington bureau chief at usa today. susan, what about this? some of this comes in the fallout of the firing of susan
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yates at the justice department. democrats seem to feel emboldened but they are stepping away from these votes. >> they have no expectation of defeating so far any of the cabinet nominations. only of delaying them. the statistics are worse than your chart shows. it is the worst showing for the number of nominations confirmed by this point since 1933, which is the year of the inauguration was moved to january. it's an historically slow rate of confirmation. you have to say you don't see a nominee who is poised to be defeated. >> bret: laura. >> the word impotent comes to mind when i think of what the democrats are doing. the idea that they are going to somehow prove their relevance or their ability to govern better by pulling this stunt is ludicrous. they know, as susan said, these nominees are going to be confirmed and they must know
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that this is actually harming the interests of the united states. we don't have a u.s. trade representative. we have big trade stuff coming up. we need rex tillerson in place. when they complain about chaos and disorder and trump is this chaotic, disruptive guy, okay but what's your role? are you acting as a ballast for normalcy and common sense when you proceed this may? to me it's a desperate stunt but it's more of a sign of impotence than anything else. >> bret: i think i said susan. i meant sally yates. here is senator schumer and sean spicer today. >> we had a monday night massacre. sally yates, a person of great integrity who follows the law, was fired by the president.
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she was fired because she would not enact, pursue the executive order on the belief it was illegal. >> the department of justice vetted the executive order, sent it back saying it was compliant. the acting attorney general says i' not going to enforce it? you tell me how that drives. >> bret: the white house statement goes further, saying the acting attorney general sally yates has betrayed the department of justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the united states. miss yates is an obama administration appoint dewey who is weak -- appointee. >> she will have her 15 minutes as the new star for liberal america. not going to last that much longer. exactly the same as the schumer stunt walking out on the nomination hearings on the delay of the cabinet appointments. it's a way to play to the base.
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ask anyone who is defending her and saying how principled was sally yates' action, ask her what was illegal about the executive order? i've heard a lot of constitutional lawyers from alan dershowitz on down who vehemently opposed the trump policy but say that she was absolutely wrong in what she did. she has no leg to stand on. her only option, if she really thought it was either unconstitutional or unlawful, would have been to resign. trump was within his rights to fire an insubordinate cabinet member. it's a very simple story, and this is the democrats playing to the base. they had this huge demonstration. they feel they have to satisfy the anger of their supporters. they have to show zeal. that they have no chance of
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stopping these nominations, no chance on the order, so they have to pretend. >> bret: she said in her statement she was convinced the executive order was not lawful. this is what, this made the rounds today. senator sessions asking sally yates this question from march, 2015. >> do views the president wants to execute, should the attorney general say no? >> i believe the attorney general or deputy attorney general has an obligation to follow the law and the constitution and give their independent legal advice to the president. >> bret: that got a lot of attention today. >> seems appropriate to. goodness for video clips. i would say a lot of this seems to be a self-inflicted wound on the part of the trump administration by not spending enough time vetting, consulting, working on the language of the
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executive order on immigration. got put aside today even by paul ryan, the house speaker, who has been positive in the effort to tighten vetting, saying it created problems he didn't need to because. should be seen as a little bit of a warning for the trump administration that may be the speed and drama and action is costing them to implementing the policies. >> bret: i will say the homeland security secretary today said his people were in on the drafting process. they knew it was coming, that the executive order was coming and they were part of the drafting. all of the hyperventilating about who knew what when seemed to be put down. >> he did say he was watching tv when he saw that it was being announced on friday. i think that might have been a surprise but the timing. the idea that the democrats, they are saying it's because --
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yates is the new poster child for left-wing activism. on my radio show today, the gas to said it an choice for the transition team to pick her to be the acting attorney general. she was well known in the department to be an activist and she was talking to lawyers, telling them we are going to resist this. that wasn't a good choice. there were other people they could have selected. that was a mistake, selecting her in the first place. >> bret: criticism of the rollout, fair but as far as the substance of what was in it, here is senator schumer then and now on refugees. >> every refugee has to be vetted and have to make sure there is no connection whatsoever with terrorism. if there is even a doubt, they
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should not be admitted. this executive order... was mean-spirited and un-american. >> bret: the substance of it, charles. >> when i was, the principle is defensible. you want the best vetting you can have. a new president comes in and wants to declare a moratorium so they can re-examine the vetting, i think it's fine. the way they carried it out, you do come in advance. i don't care how many people looked at it or not, that's not the problem. the problem is that on the day it was announced, homeland security was told it includes holders of green cards, which is absurd, and it was rescinded and then nobody knew. green card people have been vetted left and right, up and down. it's unnecessary, creates hardship and particularly i
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think the worst is the ones who have the special visas, the ones who risk their lives in iraq, afghanistan, elsewhere to help us in wartime and are subject to being killed, you have to exclude them from day one from the beginning. >> bret: homeland security is saying we've got it. >> yes but three days later, you have hung up and locked. it's not as if we has condemned them to death but it's not the way to do it. remember, there's a president who ran on competency, among other things. the people in washington, they are stupid, they are idiots, they can't negotiate. i'm going to bring in the best and the brightest. that's not what you do when you are the best and the brightest. >> bret: next up, who was the president's choice to serve on the u.s. supreme court and what will the fight look like to get that nominee confirmed?
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>> there is a lot of cases in the queue that have the potential to be 4-4. the idea is to get this individual confirmed as soon as possible. >> when our republicans colleagues say let's do it quickly, they don't come here with clear, clean hands. after what they did to merrick garland. >> i will support having a hearing which our republican colleagues did not afford to merrick garland. i will support a hearing on a vote because i think the president's nominee deserves that consideration. >> bret: we learned -- we will learn the president's nominee in about an hour and 10 minutes and we are getting indications from a couple sources that the pickets neil gorsuch. he has 49 years old, from the tenth circuit court of appeals
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in denver. he is essentially seen as somebody who is an originalist, a textual list, someone who matches up with scalia, justice antonin scalia. he has a kind of writing of scalia even. we are hearing that he is the pick. we need to carry out that by, this is president trump and it could be a number of other people on the list. laura, your thoughts. >> it's an interesting choice. there are a lot of conservatives one of this to be a real fight because they are going to fight him anyway so why not go for the most solidly judicial conservative on the list? bill pryor from alabama was kind of on the top of the list for a lot of conservatives. nevertheless, gorsuch clerked for byron white and was loaned out to the kennedy chambers,
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justice kennedy is very fond of him. extols his writing on religious liberty, religious conscience clauses. it will be a fight. he was a voice vote when he was confirmed. there was not -- you can't say there was a big controversy back then but that won't stop the democrats from viciously and i think very unfairly attacking neil gorsuch if he's the nominee. >> bret: you look at the exit polls and you look at how big a factor this was in the election, donald trump, 56-41. people said the supreme court nomination was the most boring factor in the road and among white evangelicals or white born-again christians, 80% of the vote, donald trump, one would think largely on this
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issue appeared when democrats make the case to oppose the nominee in the scalia seat and a look at those numbers, how do they make that justification? >> there's a big debate going on within the democratic party. and among senators about how to handle this. there's a lot of anger over merrick garland failing to even get a hearing for almost a year. some desire for pay back there but you also have democratic senators, including ten of them in states trump carried who are up for reelection in 2018, who are somewhat may be uncomfortable about looking like they are fighting him to fight him, to just have a fight, the kind of thing people hate about washington. i think it's not entirely clear whether democrats are going to fight, no question about whether they will seek to filibuster and whether they will come out of the gates saying whoever gets unveiled tonight. >> bret: some have said they are going to step up the fight. i should point out the other
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judge that is said to be the finalist or one of the finalists is thomas hardiman, 51, from the third circuit court of appeals. apparently the president and others inside the administration really like his background, as the only justice without an ivy league degree on his resume, he also drove taxis at one point. charles, he is seen as somebody that fits a lot of the same kind of stipulations of the conservative jurisprudence but perhaps the background is different. to go i think either choice for conservatives will be spectacular in any either choice for the schumer-ites will be a battle. they have probably prepared their personal attacks on the nominee before knowing who it is. it is going to be what ted kennedy said about robert bork, all the terrible things.
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they will fail. i don't know whether or not there pointed to a battle to the end but i think everybody understands that mitch mcconnell, if it comes to it, and they decide to filibuster, is going to drop the nuclear option on them as he should, and it will be extremely satisfying. because of course that was harry reid who did that for the circuit court's nomination for cabinet nominees, abolish the filibuster. this would be perfectly in step. >> i agree. >> bret: nuclear option takes it from 60 to 50. >> i think it is going to go nuclear. they are going to lose this and i don't think they're going to win any plaudits from middle america that they lost so badly. >> bret: we shall see in about an hour and 5 minutes. stay tuned to hear a fiery speech that some didn't.
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(vo) do not go gentle into that good night, old age should burn and rave at close of day; rage, rage against the dying of the light. do not go gentle into that good night. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> bret: finally, tonight, is this thing on? we had our audio issue friday, you may remember. it can be a problem. the audio gremlins. it is here in front of you, the supreme court delivering a fiery speech -- is this thing on? >> thank you very much for coming out. is it working? good? is the sound working? >> no. we can't hear you. >> i can hear you, can you hear us? is the sound working? good evening, everyone. i am very proud -- it's not on? >> bret: oh, no. eventually, they got it. adding to that, president trump went after the audio issues on twitter and nancy pelosi fired back. quite a day. i will be back for a special "special report," 11:00 p.m. eastern tonight. we will have a complete wrap up,
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mitch mcconnell will be here. that is it for this "special report." fair, balanced, and unafraid. it's a big night. u.s. supreme court nominee an hour away. martha maccallum starts right now. ♪ >> martha: breaking tonight, we are one hour away from the announcement that could begin to change the face of the supreme court for decades to come. this decision tonight from president trump could set off a battle that may bring us back to the days of the clarence thomas hearings. welcome, everybody, to "the first 100 days." i am martha maccallum. there is the white house. just after 7:00 p.m., inside, they are busy preparing for a very big moment. we are told that will happen shortly after 8:00 local. president trump will step in front of the microphone and the east room to unveil his toys. now, the two leading contenders appear, to become at this point, judge neil gorsuch of denver,

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