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tv   Happening Now  FOX News  May 18, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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custody. a situation that has been unfolding for quite some time now. we will continue to monitor the situation and bring you the breaking news as we have it. thank you for joining us on fox news channel. "happening now" begins right no now. >> jon: fox news alert, we are following the chaotic scene in new york where a car plowed into a crowd of pedestrians, at least one person has died, we are told 13 people are injured. our david lee miller is live in times square, steve rogers is on the phone, former member of the fbi joint terrorism task force and julie banderas here with me in the studio has been in contact with a great number of nypd officers who know precisely what happen here. >> julie: initially, this was a report of a speeding car going through new york city. mowing down a crowd of people, so suddenly everyone dispatched from the nypd hoping and fearing
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for the worst but hoping for the best. it turns out this was a regular accident, apparently this guy had just committed a robbery. i am getting told by nypd sources that he was intoxicated and that police were trying to apprehend him and of course driving through times square at 20 miles per hour is what i am told as a very high speed to go through times square considering every single block there are masses of people walking through their crossways. this is right at the epicenter of times square. basically, everything a police sergeant in the city has been dispatched to this, i'm told as rg units are being dispatched, special task force units as well but antiterrorism task force, the special ops unit here in new york city that is trained for any sort of mass casualty situation or any potential terrorism attack in near city has not been dispatched which tells me and the nypd tells me as well that they are treating this as a regular accident, but unfortunately did happen in the busiest center of new york city. one person is confirmed dead.
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i am told seven people injured at first, there were reports 13 or 14, that were involved, realize that number could have been so much greater. it is very sad to report that one person has been confirmed dead. >> jon: 's of the incident began apparently as a robbery. the suspect who was apparently inebriated, the blood test will reveal all, but the suspect was apparently drunk, jumps in the card to get away from this robbery and police pursued in some fashion. >> julie: they did, and that person is in custody. at this point, it is an investigation, not search and recovery, not trying to apprehend the suspect. they believe only one person was involved, the driver who allegedly committed a robbery and is now a suspect in custody. now the investigation continues as to exactly what this robbery was and what police were doing at the time when they were trying to apprehend the suspect. >> jon: we are getting some new vantage points as well of this as what they call the crossroads of the world,
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times square, incredibly busy. 400,000 pedestrians pass through that area on a normal day, and this is a particularly beautiful day in new york. a lot of people who work in those office towers along broadway, seventh avenue are out just taking in the sunshine because it was a long, cold winter. we are finally seeing some spring here in the city. >> julie: david lee miller, one of our correspondence is in times square right now. this is something that we all sort of feared to potentially one day happen, and here it is, but what are you seeing right now? i know they've blocked off, i am told seven blocks of times square. >> that is right. no matter what the cause of this incident, whether it was an accident, criminal in nature, something more sinister, one hour after this incident took place, authorities decided then to expand their perimeter, the safety perimeter, taking
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pedestrians in addition a block away from the scene. often off in the distance over my shoulder, perhaps you can still see the car coming out two blocks away, but the car contino rest on some type of a stanchion, something that is used to prevent vehicles from entering a pedestrian zone. i am now getting an update that as many as 19 people, 19 have now been injured. one fatality associated with this incident. we have talked for the last few minutes about what happened leading up to this incident and why there are so many injuries. witnesses say this vehicle was heading in the wrong direction, it was heading north on broadway against the flow of traffic. those who heard the impact say that it was very loud, suggesting also that this car was moving at a relatively high rate of speed. this is a very congested area, danced with not just pedestrians
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but vehicles as well. it is very difficult to go past 10 miles, 15 miles an hour, so some of the witnesses here saying that the car was going considerably faster than that. just a short time ago, we watched authorities as they removed from the trunk virtually all of the contents we were able to see what looked like a box that was taken out from the rear end of the vehicle. there were also jumper cables, cds, usual type of stuff you would see in a car. there was also a sniffer dog on the scene used to detect explosives, but from what we can tell from our vantage point, that sniffer dog was not actively being engaged. it was standing by. authorities continue to consider all options here at this hour. this may have been nothing more than an accident caused by a criminal act as julie banderas suggests. but authorities an
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overabundance, abundance of caution here are moving pedestrians far away from this vehicle so that in case there is something in the car that there should not be that there will not be any more injuries. back to you. >> julie: david lee miller, we will go back to you when news comes in, thank you. >> jon: time of year when a lot of high schools are out for spring break, a lot of colleges are out for spring break, so the number of tourists in new york city explodes exponentially as families come to see the bright lights of the big city. this is the kind of thing that just sends chills into the hearts of people really all over the country, one moment you're walking down the street, in the next, a car comes from the wrong direction. steve rogers is a former member of the fbi joint terrorism task force, also a former police officer and detective himself. steve, again, i just go back to
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what i said before. it is the kind of thing that can happen anywhere at any time, and it really, really sends chills up your spine when you see this kind of thing happen. >> it sure does. something you could never predict. i have to give a lot of credit to nypd for getting out in front of this and letting us all know it was not terrorism-related. saying that, there will be a thorough investigation. we are talking about a crime scene investigation. they are going to look at all of the video footage from the time the incident started to the time it ended. they are going to do a complete forensic background on this individual who was driving the car. i am sure they are going to want answers, was he working with anyone, did he go to rob that bank alone? was he sent there by someone? was someone waiting for him? all of these things are going to be investigated, but as you said, how do you predict something like this? you can't. it's a tragedy. hopeful to god that it does not happen again.
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>> jon: we are getting information from the new york police department that they have arrested a suspect, richard rojas, 26-year-old from the bronx, one of the boroughs in new york city. >> julie: apparently, he had two prior dwis, he's been taken into custody immediately after the crash but apparently drove the wrong way up seventh avenue for about three blocks, then hit several people along the way before crashing into a pole, and those are valid poles. they are set up there for security purposes. >> jon: lettuce with the car is resting on right now. >> julie: the injured in critical condition are three people in fact there were entered in critical condition and we mention one person sadly was killed. this person apparently does have a dwi record, in fact two prior ones. >> you hear so much about people with prior dui convictions on the road yet again. you hear it over and over again. how do you prevent this? a person with a history of drunk driving from getting on the
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road? these are one of the challenges so again, very, very sad tragedy, and it does sent chills down one spine especially if parents have children walking around. >> jon: one of the questions will be who owns the car? was at his car, was it grabbed as part of the robbery, did he borrow it from a friend? we don't know but it has turned into a weapon of death today apparently, and that is just -- >> keep in mind, we don't know if he was coming from home or a local bar? there is responsibly that will be looked at. if he was at a bar and walked away drunk with keys in his hand, the owner of the bar is going to have a serious problem. >> jon: also the question, and i do not intend in any way to criticize police, but apparently there was some kind of police pursuit involved here.
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i know that very often in a place like california, you get these high-speed chases freeways, and if it turns out that the danger to the populace is too great, police will back off. in a place like eric city come you cannot backup very much are you very much lose sight of the person you're looking for. >> you are right, we are trained in police work to back off, not to pursue a vehicle when there are huge crowds. i know nypd has that training, but as you say, ready back off? these are split seconds we are talking about, a minute or 2 minutes. sometimes when we look at this, we think this took a very long time. i am sure the police did what they are properly trained to do, but these things happen so quickly, it is just unavoidable. this obviously was unavoidable. >> jon: steve rogers, former member of the fbi terrorism -- joint terrorism task force and
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detective himself. thank you. >> julie: i'm joined now by michael balboni, former new york homeland security advisor who joins us here in the studio. it's very important to note for those at home, wondering why police would conduct a police chase in times square, here's why. they did not know necessarily what the motive was behind the man. they did not know whether this man was a terrorist who was seeking out to kill so many people. so they have to make that matter of a second life or death decision, and that is the pressure that the nypd and era law enforcement in the country are up against. just tell me how you believe that would play into the role of the nypd trying to pursue somebody like this who could potentially kill dozens of people. >> law enforcement's mission has changed after 9/11. before, it really was to react -- obviously if you could prevent something, do that, but now it is about trying to anticipate and stop a terrorist event. what has happened, of course, is that al qaeda and isis have gone
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too low-tech. they've tried to take anything and it turned into a weapon. we saw this in france, germany. >> julie: in london most recently. >> what we have now as you can take any vehicle down the road and now use it to target civilians. incredibly difficult for police officers in the moment to sit there and say this is one thing or another. it's really about just trying to protect people the best you can. >> julie: so then tell me, as far as dealing with a moving vehicle at about 20 miles per hour, in my sources are telling me through times square, they have these poles set up in order to prohibit a car from racing through times square, but how do you apprehend a suspect safely and also spare the lives of so many pedestrians that are in the crossfire, if you would? >> obviously, it's incredibly fact-specific to that instant situation but here is what you do not do. do not unload a lot been like you would see in a movie into the vehicle because first of
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all, you could hit so many other individuals, it depends upon the facts and circumstances what is the speed, who is around? what you are trying to do is get people out of the way. obviously, if he can get the driver to stop, pull over, recognize there is going to be potential deadly force used against that individual, try to deter that, but again, it is so fast when this happens. >> julie: i want to let everyone know, i'm getting from the nypd the heads up that they will hold a news conference. the mayor and police commissioner going to be holding a news conference any minute now to sort of answer the question. that says the following to me as a reporter who has been covering new york city for years and years come if they're holding a news conference this quickly, that means the investigation has pretty much come to a close. they know all the facts we've been presenting to you now are the facts, and that is that this was a robbery suspect. this person was being apprehended by police, sped through times square. he has been arrested. he is now in custody. now it is no longer an active situation, but we are of course
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going to continue to follow this breaking story as it develops. michael, thank you very much for talking to us. so if you're just joining us, you've been watching this breaking news unfold, times square, crossroads of the road here in new york city, a speeding car driving about 20 miles per hour, mowing down a crowd of pedestrians as he was apparently being apprehended, being chased by police. those police apprehending him after a robbery. at the time, they did not know much about the suspect. we know now that he is in police custody. we will have much, much more after the break. ou total your n, they replace it with a brand new one. that's cool. i got a new helmet. we know steve. it's good to be in (good hands).
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>> i don't think you can diminish or downplay the important role that the special counselor is going to play or the role that the intelligence committee and the senate and house are going to play, i just think the president needs to get the answers out there quickly, get as much of this issue as he can behind him and move forward on focusing on the american
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people agenda. >> jon: lettuce south dakota senator john thune, republican and our last hour responding to the appointment of a special counsel to lead the rush investigation. it's a move at our next guest also supports. joining us now, maryland senator ben cardin, he is making member of the foreign relations committee. so this special counsel has been appointed, obviously, what do you think about the notion of picking former fbi director mueller to pick this up? >> i think this was a good choice, mr. mueller has a stellar reputation. the selection of a special counsel now allows this investigation to go forward in regards to potential criminal involvement. the department of justice needed to do this, so i think this is a very positive step so that we can get all of the facts and see where facts leave. we don't want to prejudge but we want to make sure we have an objective investigation that cannot be interfered with by the white house. >> jon: capitol hill has become a very politically polarized place. i would like to get your
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judgment as a longtime senator. is it as bad as it has ever been? >> it is too partisan, no question about it. we have to do the people's business. we have to work together. you saw that on healthcare, there was no bipartisan effort on tax reform if we are going to be successful, democrat and republican's need to work together. we let the system work, we were able to do that on the fy '17 budget, let's see if we cannot do it for 2018. we should do that in regards to mega sure we have all the information we need to know what russia was doing here in the united states. >> jon: do you think the selection of mr. mueller will perhaps reduce some of the political sniping on capitol hill? >> i think it will help us in moving forward on the criminal investigation and on the replacement of mr. comey as the fbi director. i think we can now concentrate on the qualifications of the individual and not have to worry about whether that person will appoint a special counsel since that has now been done. i think it does allow us to move
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forward, and that is certainly a very positive step. >> jon: let me read for you a couple tweets the president put out this morning, sure you have heard them already: "with all of the illegal acts that took place in the clinton campaign and obama administration, there was never a special counsel appointed! this is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in american history!" what is your take on that, senator? >> the fbi started an investigation that the president really compromised by firing mr. comey, and then suggesting in the oval office that mr. comey should go easy in regard to one of the individuals involved in the investigation. there's good reason why a special counsel was appointed, someone that can be protected against any influence and let the facts go where they need to go. i think any comparison is just wrong. this is a situation that is extremely serious. we are talking about what russia was trying to do in the united states, may have cover most people in this country, we need to have the answers. >> jon: we mentioned you're making member of the foreign relations committee, the president is about to leave on
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his first overseas trip. what are your hopes for his accomplishments during that time? >> this is a very important trip here he's going to saudi arabia, meeting with the leaders in the muslim world, we want to have unity in regard to our fight against terrorism. he's going to be in israel meeting with our closest ally in that region, underscoring the importance of u.s.-israel relations. meeting with the pope at the vatican to deal with international and he managed aryan issues from northern africa to our own hemisphere in venezuela. this is a very important opportunity for the president to move the agenda of national security interest of the united states. >> jon: senator ben cardin, democrat from maryland, thank you for sharing time with us today. >> julie: fox news alert, i'm being told by the nypd just moments from now the mayor and police commissioner will be holding a news conference with the very latest, but the very latest is this. the suspect is in custody come his name is 26 road richard rojas apparently a bronx
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resident with two dwi priors. he was racing up the wrong way of seventh avenue. seventh avenue stretches south, he was driving north. made it about three blocks then crashed into a ballard poll. we will have much more after this. hey, need fast heartburn relief?
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>> julie: fox news alert on the rush investigation. it comes on the heels of the appointment of a special counsel to lead the probe with reuters now reporting that trump campaign had 18 undisclosed contacts with russia including phone calls and emails during the 2016 election. this comes as a lamb makers get ready to hear from deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, i'm going to get that name right one of these days, a day after he appointed former fbi director
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robert mueller to special counsel for the investigation peered president trump taking to twitter to blast the probe as a -- witch hunt. john roberts is live with more. >> good afternoon. i'm told by white house staff that the president took it pretty well when his white house counsel don mcgahn broke the news to him at 5:30 in the oval office, but now he's had a few hours did she would overcome he seems to be coming to a different state of mind about the whole thing then he was yesterday afternoon, tweeting out this morning: "with all of the illegal acts that took place in the clinton campaign and obama administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!" also, "this is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in american history!" bill clinton may disagree with that. a lot of republicans are seemingly comfortable with the idea that richard muller, the former director of the fbi has been appointed to be a special counsel to look into the russia contact and whatever russia did to try to influence the electio
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election. senator from alabama is the former chairman of the intelligence committee, listen to what he said. >> this is an excellent appointment. he has impeccable credentials, former fbi director were he served with distinction. before that, he was a career prosecutor. he's going to follow the facts into a thorough investigation and may be clear the decks. >> there are some white house staff that believe this could be an opportunity to get some breathing staff, get the stuff together than move forward on the agenda. i understand you have some breaking news, back to you. >> jon: john roberts at the white house, thank you. breaking news out of syria. shepard smith is on it from the fox news test. >> breaking news now on fox news channel, senior united states official has just told fox news that a united states air strike has just hit in syria. we have struck, i am told, pro-syrian government forces in the south of syria. our jennifer griffin confirmed the reporting of the reuters news agency just seconds ago.
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according to a senior defense official, coalition air strikes targeted probe regime units operating in the vicinity of an airbase in the south of syria after a show of force to try to stop that probe regina forces was ignored, a coalition commander took the decision to hit regina -- probe regina sources and a "well-established conviction zone" peered the coalition commander assessed the threat then afterward shows of force did not stop the regime forces and those forces refused to move out of this "deconfliction zone." the commander on the ground called for an air strike as a matter of force protection. the senior u.s. official has now told fox news, quoting "there is no change in policy." the official said, this is the first time other than the tomahawk strike on the airbase that gave u.s. warplanes a targeted pro assad forces. we expect a statement from the pentagon any moment.
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in short, please hear what is happening. there are a syrian regina forces that have been murdering their own people in the middle of a syrian war that's been underway for more than six years. assad, the president of syria is widely accused of war crimes and is suspected of killing hundreds of thousands of his own people. there is a deconfliction zone, a sort of the safe space, area that is protected by american and other forces. pro-syrian regime forces were in that area today. the united states in essence fired warning shots, get out of this area now. pro-syrian regime forces as the story goes to fox news would not comply. so american forces on the ground called in an air strike which meant u.s. forces, i presume at this moment, i am led to believe planes dropped ordinance of some sort on this area on an attack on pro-syrian forces on the ground and now we wait to find
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out what has happened in the aftermath. our national security correspondent jennifer griffin from the pentagon will be joining us in just a moment, i am told. this news broke less than 10 minutes ago on the reuters news service and has not been reported nationally by television operations but we now have this confirmed, united states forces, united states weapons have struck inside syria in the south of syria and 80 conviction zone, as it has been described to me. though the policy has not changed according to the senior defense officials, speaking to fox news, the policy remains the same. the facts on the ground are now quite different. in the past, the united states struck one time -- excuse me, when president trump ordered that there be a tomahawk missile strike on a particular airfield, and if that tomahawk missile strike was meant to be a sort of warning against the use of chemical weapons is our understanding at the time that the syrians had launched
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helicopters that used chemical weapons, barrel bombs on their own people, that the president did this air strike to warn the syrian dictator assad not to conduct this sort of war crime anymore. though the words redline were not used, it was a warning certainly to the syrians, stop with what is no doubt a war crime, no more use of chemicals. since then and before then, the united states has not been directly involved with this syrian civil war. our forces are on the ground in various ways, but that is largely a matter of high-security and much of their activities are not known to the public for reasons which should be obvious to you and for that matter, not known to us either. but today, a new decision was made. there is this a deconfliction zone in the south of syria, pro-syrian forces had apparently entered it. we can assume that meant danger to those who were in what was prior to and up until that
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moment a safe area. u.s. forces on the ground called and air strikes. what does this mean in the big picture? well, sources tell us very specifically that the policy toward syria, the policy toward the syrian civil war has not changed, but we have just taken new steps. for the united states to drop ordinance on that area, we don't know if there were casualties, we don't know the specific target but we do know that the goal was to get these pro-syrian forces out of there. remember, the united states does have a stake in this civil war. the russians and the iranians back the syrian regime and its leader bashar al-assad. the united states and a small coalition of western powers and others throughout the region back these rebels who are fighting against the syrian dictator and his forces. that has been the case so do we have a stake in this? the united states certainly does
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and has. but our military aside from the launching of the tomahawk missile has not become involved in any way until this moment. will this be a turning point? will the united states, one of the concerns among military analysts who watch these matters, former generals and diplomats who watch these matters have been concerned that the united states could be drawn into this civil war, that it could become a larger thing. obviously with russia and iran and syria on one side, the united states along with our proxies in the area, the syrian rebels and we have been supporting others, there is always the question, it is very difficult to assess whether what has happened will draw us into something further. the hope is certainly that it will not, that there will be never tell you should we are waiting to find from jennifer griffin exactly what happened from there at the pentagon. we are expecting a statement at any moment. i should let you know, fox stations from coast-to-coast are joining us now on
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fox news channel. from fox news in new york, i am shepard smith, and this is fox news coverage of breaking news in america at this moment. fox news has now confirmed that the united states has launched a strike in the south of syria. it is my understanding that this was a sort of deconfliction zone, a safe space area, and that the united states forces were on the ground. syrian forces there as well had entered this sort of safe space area and united states forces on the ground wanted them to leave. warning shots fired. they did not leave. as the story goes to us at this moment, 1:34 eastern time in new york, as the story goes to us, air strikes were then called in and coalition forces dropped ordinance of some sort on this deconfliction zone. this is not a change in policy toward the syrian civil war which has left hundreds of thousands died, a murderous dictator still in charge, and after more than seven years of civil war, hundreds upon
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hundreds of thousands of people dead, a refugee crisis beyond imagination, and a very tenuous set of circumstances as the russians and iranians back the syrian regime, the united states backs rebels who are fighting against it. now where are we? let's go straight to jennifer griffin, our national security correspondent who broke as the news. >> senior u.s. defense officials i've spoken to told me as you mentioned that there is no change in policy but what is unusual about this air strike is that it is the first time that the u.s. has called in an air strike against pro assad redeem forces. there was an accidental targeting of those pro-syrian regime forces not too long ago, and then of course there was that tomahawk missile strike on the airbase in the wake of the chemical weapons attack, but it is unusual and certainly was not something that was authorized under the rules of engagement during the last administration,
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during the obama administration peer the rules of engagement at that time were extremely tight. we have been hearing about a loosening of those rules of engagement, and it is sending some of the authority for those air strikes back down into the field to local commanders, and that is really what we're seeing today. we don't have all of the details, but we can confirm that u.s. warplanes stop pro assad regime forces moving into an area known as a deconfliction zone around the town that is spelled at-tnaf, on the border with iraq, it is sort of in eastern syria. what is notable right now is that it is clear that the u.s. is concerned that those redeem forces are making moves on areas where the u.s. has likely trained forces, trained forces that are gearing up for a very big fight against the isis
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capital. we've been reporting for weeks now that they are on the verge of retaking, beginning the operation to retake this city, the u.s. backed forces, many of them known as the syrian defense forces, they are trained by the u.s., armed by the u.s. and include some kurdish factions, syrian kurdish factor as well as others, they've essentially circled raqqa the defect out isis capital, they've made gains, it taken land in the outside surrounding area, so that is an operation that we expect to begin at any time. we also expect to hear from the defense secretary tim mattis and his chairman of the joint chiefs, joe dunford, general joe dunford tomorrow in the press bs only the second press conference that defense secretary james mattis has held since he has taken up his job here at the
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pentagon, and we were expecting to hear about the strategy to fight isis and also the way ahead in afghanistan. so that press conference slated for tomorrow, and certainly, all eyes are on nato and the nato coalition as president trump begins his journey tomorrow to the middle east and then onward to meet with nato allies in rom rome. >> jennifer griffin reporting live from the pentagon, thanks very much. the headline here, the united states has dropped ordinance in the southeast of syria in response to syrian forces coming into a deconfliction zone there when they were warned to get out, the united states fired warning shots, in when they did not leave, the united states called and air strikes. those air strikes have now commenced and are now complete, it is our understanding. there is no change in policy. the united states in regards to the syrian civil war. are expecting notices from the pentagon and otherwise in the moments ahead.
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i should tell you as well the breaking news that we've been following out of times square in new york city, in the car crash that killed at least one person and injured an unknown number, more than a dozen at least, concerns early when you're at the crossroad of the world, but i heard from a police source an hour ago or more than that there was the belief that this was maybe an alcohol-related crash, there was no terror relation here, that the suspect is in custody and being question, and now the police have confirmed all of that is true. no terror strike in times square. a horrible event, of course, believed to be possibly alcohol-related, but no terror, not in times square, not today. continuing coverage of that story on fox news channel on satellite and cable right now. much more on this local fox station as time permits. i am shepard smith, fox news new york. now back to regular programming
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on the fox news channel to jon scott. >> jon: thank you. jon scott here with julie banderas doing "happening now," new york officials had just been giving an update on that situation in times square that sheppard just mentioned, the headline here is the incident is not terrorism al de blasio as well as the police and fire commissioners get together for this news conference. at least one person is dead, we know, 23 injured, and julie has been developing more information with her sources. >> julie: nypd again confirming not terrorism, they knew that from the beginning, counterterrorism units were deployed but not put into action at the scene because they knew from the get-go pretty much they were going to try to apprehend an intoxicated suspect who was being apprehended after a robbery. i am told more about the victim. it was a 26-year-old woman, her family has yet to be notified. so that they are not releasing
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the name of that victim, but the one fatality in this tragic accident, 26-year-old woman. we don't know whether she was here from new york city or a tourist. as you know, many tourists go to times square, biggest attraction really in new york city, but that victim is a 26-year-old woman whose family is going to be getting the worst news of their lives today. >> jon: times square still virtually shut down. >> julie: fox news alert, more now on the appointment of a special counsel for the russia investigation. let's bring in ab stoddard, associate editor and columnist for real clear politics and a calm is for the "washington examiner." let's try to wrap our heads out of some of the information that has come out of the white house just this week. when president trump was informed, he found out just moments before it went public when the news broke that robert mueller would assume the role of the special counsel. upon hearing the news, we are told he reacted calmly but defiantly, apparently at first, saying that he wanted to fight
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back. he summoned his staff, they issued the press release. sarah, let me ask you, how do you feel like the white house responded to the news? >> at first, the white house accepted the resignation -- excuse me, appointment of a special counsel, publicly they said they welcomed the investigation and hoped it would conclude rapidly, but in the morning, president trump took to twitter and said that he was the victim of the biggest political witch hunt in history. in doing so, he sort of precluded himself from using the special counsel as a shield or now the white house has a chance to catch its breath, to say they cannot comment on the russia controversy because of the subject of an ongoing investigation, and really stop the bleeding and chaos that has spent all of these unanswered questions. but president trump forfeits that opportunity if he's going to argue that it is a witch hunt and be defined in the face of this special counsel investigation. so we are getting a little bit of a mixed message as to how the white house is going to handle
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this news. >> julie: ab, i want your reaction to how the white house handled the news and then, of course, subsequently, donald trump, the president went on twitter and basically called this the biggest witch hunt and political u.s. history. also compared in his treatment to crimes being committed by the clintons, campaign and also the obama administration that never was a special counselor assigned to investigate their crimes as he calls them. what do you say? >> candidate trump told his supporters and voters he was going after hillary clinton if he won the election then gave an interview with "60 minutes" a few days after the election and said they were very nice people and did not want to hurt them. it is interesting this morning that he is wishing that someone had gone after hillary clinton campaign. donald trump, as everyone has concluded this morning, really had an opportunity to create some calm and return to his
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policy agenda and get moving on some legislation because the special counsel investigation is going to go very quiet. i doubt there will be leaks. i think even if jim comey is considered a witness -- >> julie: we have to do to be my go, thank you. we will see after the break, thank you.
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i usually make their lunches then, and i have a little vegan so wow, you are busy. wouldn't it be great if you had investments that worked as hard as you do? yeah. introducing essential portfolios. the automated investing solution that lets you focus on your life. >> jon: fox news alert, new york city officials have just wrapped up their news conference on the incident in times square. a 26-year-old woman is dead, 23 others have been hurt by the car you see there balanced against a couple of bollard poles. the driver of the car we are told, 26-year-old richard rojas, veteran of the u.s. armed forces, had a couple of dwi convictions in his past, and that suspicion is that he was driving while intoxicated today, although that has yet to be confirmed. again, one person dead, 23 others injured. originally, there were fierce
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this was a terrorism incident, but they new york city mayor says no signs of that. we will bring you any updates. >> julie: fox news alert now, back to the russia investigation and sarah westwood rejoins me now, white house correspondent for the "washington examiner." i just want to ask you this special counsel appointment, what does this give trump? could this be good for the president? >> it could be good for the president. it puts an end to the endless speculation and unanswered questions about why there was this perception that no one was investigating these russian collusion allegations independently. the house and senate committee probes had become politicized, the fbi investigation under former director comey had come under question, and particularly since comey was removed and revealed that trump had mentioned that michael flynn investigation to him in a conversation he found inappropriate, there was this perception that nobody was looking into the allegations credibly, and the white house could not swear their response
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there was no there there in their refusal to embrace democratic and republican calls for the independent investigations of the special counsel gives them that opportunity. >> julie: thank you very much. >> jon: this fox news alert as we remember our founder, roger ailes, tv pioneer and former chairman of fox news died this morning at the age of 77. tributes pouring into day for the man who advised president and changed the face of 24-hour news. >> roger and i had different perspectives. the one thing we agreed on was our love of country. he loved america very deeply. totally committed to america, and had eight perspective that when we shared it, it was not about compromise. it was about understanding and respect and a basis for building a direction for the country. so roger ailes was a close friend of mine. i'm going to miss him. i have to tell you, it is really a loss.
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>> jon: voice of former democrat candidate dennis kucinich of ohio. fox and fox news channel issuing this channel: "everybody at fox news is shocked and grieved by the death of roger ailes, a brilliant broadcaster, roger played a huge role in shaping america's media over the last 30 years. 21st century fox, we will always be in office he grateful for the great business he built. our thoughts and prayers are with his wife elizabeth and son zachary." roger ailes, dead at the age of 77. will you be needing anything else? not a thing. beautyrest black. get your beautyrest. ykeep you beautyrest black. that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love.
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>> hi, everyone, i am jenna lee. getting more details about the u.s. air strikes hitting pro assad forces in syria. we are alive at the pentagon for that and awaiting a full briefing with the deputy attorney general as the former
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fbi chief is appointed special counsel overseeing the russia probe. we are going to ask senator lindsey graham about all this and more at the top of the hour. >> jon: it took an oklahoma jury just over nine hours to acquit tulsa officer betty jo shall be. she fatally shot terence crutcher last year after what she described as competitive behavior, saying she was afraid he had a gun. the 40-year-old was unarmed. shelby's not guilty verdict prompting protests overnight. alicia acuna is a life us in tulsa. >> yes, the mayor of tulsa today said the greatest issue facing this city is racial disparity, and while the police department here is accessing signs of a leaf that one of their own was acquitted, the police chief acknowledged there is a lot of work in front of them. >> we know we have had feelings. we understand that. we are committed absolutely to making a better relationship
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where we can ensure trust and cooperation for our community. >> offers their betty shelby found not guilty in the shooting that happened in september. she was responding to a domestic violence call when she came upon terence crutcher's suv stopped in the blocking traffic. shelby said she shot him out of fear when he refused demands to get on the ground, and she says reached into his suv for what she thought was a gun. prosecution says she overreacted. he did not have a gun in his suv, but the drug pcp was found in his system. four of the 12 jurors had tears in their eyes when that verdict was read. >> i don't know what was in the mind of that jury, how they could come to that conclusion. there was precise evidence that said she was guilty. i am going on record to say to them, you did your job, but i am wondering what you were thinking about. >> tulsa police say that
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protesters who showed up outside the courthouse last night were small in number and demonstrated peacefully without any arrests. as for officer shelby, she has not made a statement however her lawyer said she is elated with the verdict and the chief today said it's still a little unclear exactly how her employment is going to look going forward. >> jon: alicia acuna joining us from tulsa, thank you. >> julie: this is a fox news alert, new york officials just wrapping up a news conference in times square, police commissioner and mayor confirming to fox and to the media that this was not a terrorism incident. this was an individual and single car accident involving one car. the driver was 26-year-old richard rojas. he is a bronx resident. he does have two prior dwis, i am able to confirm. the victim was an 18-year-old girl, and apparently the 18-year-old girl was with her sister who also was injured.
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total injured 23, including the dead, and an 18-year-old girl who has not been -- her identity not been released was killed in this tragic accident in times square. we will be right back. millions of you are online right now,
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schedule a checkup with your doctor to learn your four health numbers, and start taking control of your health today. it could save your life. cigna. together, all the way. >> jon: thanks for joining us today. "america's news hq" starts now. >> a major development in syria. hello, everybody. i'm jenna lee. as senior u.s. defense official confirming coalition air strikes targeted a pro government mill tan group in the war torn country. strike being placed in an area is u.s. is using to train its partners forces. let's get jennifer griffin who is live at the pentagon. >> reporter: officials tell me american warplanes carried out a strike against pro-assad regime units in at tanf in southeast syria today. after a show of force to try to stop the pro


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