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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  August 21, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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inducted into the rock 'n' roll hall of fame. happy birthday to joe. >> lisa: that's all the time we have today. thank you for watching. make sure to follow the show on fncspecialists on twitter and facebook. >> bret: president trump repairs to tell the nation what he's decided to do about afghanistan. plus you likely either side yourself or coverage of it, the first coast-to-coast total eclipse in nearly a century, bringing millions together for one son splashed -- sun splashed day. this is "special report" ." welcome to washington. we are about three hours away from president trump's first major policy address. we will learn his strategy for dealing with america's longest war. expectations are he will allow his commanders to increase the u.s. military presence in afghanistan, something he's strongly opposed in the past.
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the address gives president trump a chance to reset after one of the most difficult weeks of his presidency. we have fox team coverage. catherine herridge will tell us with the intelligence is saying. we start off with chief white house correspondent john roberts at fort meyer in virginia. >> good evening. the troops behind me are gathering in anticipation of going into witness the speech. the president has said repeatedly that the war in afghanistan is going nowhere and is in urgent need of a new strategy. what is expected tonight differs vastly from what he's advocated in the past. at the president's only public appearance today, watching the clips, he said nothing about tonight's address although he is expected to announce more u.s. troops will be headed to afghanistan. >> i think we are going to see him on general nicholson's request for more troops.
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about 4,000, to train the afghan national army and police and the governance of my afghanistan. >> in 2013, donald trump was a fierce advocate of complete withdrawal. in a series of tweets writing "we've wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in afghanistan. their government has zero appreciation. let's get out." and "i agree with president obama on afghanistan. we should have a speedy withdrawal. why should we keep wasting our money? rebuild the u.s.." as a candidate, he conceded he had little choice but to continue the fight. >> i would stay in afghanistan, probably the one place we should've gone in the middle east because it's right next to pakistan which has nuclear weapons. i think you have to stay under the best you can, not that it's ever going to be great for battle degree of much of a choice. speak with the president made his decision after a meeting of his faux national security council on friday.
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three options were on the table. stay and increased troop levels, pull out or replace u.s. troops with private contractors. private contractors, an idea advocated by steve bannon, wouldn't fly with military leaders. pulling out, according to newt gingrich, isn't an option either. >> the last time we allowed afghanistan to be an empty space, it was filled with the taliban and al qaeda and the planning for 9/11 was done in afghanistan. we know if we pull out in the government collapses, you're going to have some combination of isis, al qaeda, and the taliban and running the country again. >> the president's announcement will be welcomed by the military which has advocated a larger troop presence. the president may be on less friendly territory tomorrow when he travels to phoenix. phoenix's mayor has said he would prefer president trump stay home. the president's meandering response to charlottesville and his pronouncement that he's
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considering a pardon for controversial sheriff joe arpaio who was convicted of criminal contempt of court. president trump avoided a potential conversation -- confrontation washington, announcing that he and the first lady will skip decembers kennedy center honors. three of the five artists said they would either or were thinking about boycotting the preshow white house reception. the secret service denied a report that the increased demands of protecting president trump and his family have left the service so strapped for cash it can't pay overtime. the service did acknowledge 1100 personnel were put in overtime they won't be paid for but said "this issue is not one that can be attributed to the current administration's protection requirements but rather has been an ongoing issue for nearly a decade due to an overall increase in operational tempo." plan the president is expected
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to outline tonight will be a comprehensive strategy for the greater south asia region and will likely address pakistan's lack of action against bad actors. as well as corruption in the kabul government. >> bret: john roberts in fort myer. thanks. the prospects for success after 16 years in afghanistan are clearly in question tonight. how do you define success? what does winning look like there? the intelligence community has assessments. catherine herridge has our stor story. >> days before the suicide attack in the afghan capital diplomatic district, senior u.s. officials told congress the outlook was grim. the taliban and network that sheltered osama bin laden before 9/11 was making a comeback. a separate assessment by a special inspector general found the taliban controls 40% of afghan districts.
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in april, another report by the state department highlighted a 30% spike in afghan security force casualties. the widespread use of vehicle bombs and suicide vests. significantly, the report noted some of the devastating thoughts were planned and executed from across the border in neighboring pakistan. traveling overseas, the defense secretary advocated for a broad approach. >> it's a south asia strategy, not just afghanistan. >> mattis told reporters he needed firm policy direction before making a change. >> i was not willing to make significant changes until we knew the strategy. >> after january, the primary security responsibility transitioned from u.s. and coalition nations to the afghan security forces, the intelligence picture frayed.
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during testimony, the nation's intelligence chief dan coats was blunt. >> political and security situation in afghanistan will almost certainly deteriorate through 2018. even with a modest increase in military assistance. >> with isis and al qaeda among more than a dozen terrorist groups, an analyst explained the calculus. >> what are our national interests? having an afghan country not a source of regional instability and not a platform for transnational terrorism. >> critics accused the obama administration of downplaying the numbers. it took a large-scale u.s. operation in 2015 with air strikes to clear two major al qaeda training camps. >> bret: thank you. let's get some perspective from a former special forces officer
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who served multiple tours in afghanistan. a retired green beret and a terrorism advisor. author of the book "warrior diplomat." he joins us from jacksonville, florida. thanks for being here. i want to bring you up-to-date. we got some new information. fox news can confirm senior u.s. officials say the president is signing off on additional 4,000 troops to afghanistan. a big part of the speech tonight, he will include asking the region to do more, india and pakistan to do more to bring the taliban to the negotiating table. when you hear that, read between the lines. >> i am proud of our president to make. this takes leadership. afghanistan is incredibly difficult. it's a regional problem. i think what you're going to see in this announcement is, well, let me go into what you are not going to see. you are not going to see our troops doing nation-building.
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you're not going to see hundreds of thousands of troops in direct combat. you're going to see our soldiers advising and assisting the afghan army and building their capability to fight on their own. that's going to take some time. you are also not going to see a bunch of arbitrary timelines. i was in my headquarters in afghanistan when president obama announced the surge but then announced when it was leaving. i think you're going to see some tougher demands of the afghan government, particularly when it comes to corruption, and you're going to see us get a lot tougher on pakistan and its support or at least turning a blind eye to the taliban, isis, other groups. and al qaeda as well. finally, i think you're going to see us move closer to india. the world's largest democracy, also really serving as a hedge against china and pakistan. we are going to see some
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strategy shift but at the end of the day, we could not withdraw. we couldn't do what we did in iraq and let the islamic state move into afghanistan and still attack europe and still attack the united states. >> bret: from the reporting, adding to what you said, the president will announce he will hold pakistan accountable for attacks in its country and continuing to support the taliban and also asked what's different, officials saying the pace, scope, overall pressure campaign will be different than it has before. do you buy that? >> i do. one of general mcmaster's key lieutenants, lisa curtis, she's written for years about how to dial up pressure on the pakistani government. they've essentially been playing a double game in many ways. part of that was because they were convinced the united states was just going to leave, and they were going to be holding the bag. i think part of the messaging here is this is in our national interests. we are not going to let the islamic state and al qaeda move in the wake of the televangelist
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we are going to eventually negotiate but it's going to be from a position of strength. so pakistan region, you need to get on board with where we are going. we are not going to just turn our back and walk away. >> bret: we should point out iran is active inside afghanistan. >> they are. iran has been playing a much bigger game here, and afghanistan is a piece of it. in terms of reinserting itself across the middle east from western afghanistan through iraq, syria, into lebanon and the mediterranean. they are creating a shia crescent and if they can tap into anyone in afghanistan, whether it's their shia allies or the taliban and they have historically opposed, they will cut deals and have marriages of convenience for bigger iranian aims. russia, china, pakistan, iran, reasons we can't turn our back
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on the region. i am absolutely convinced -- i can't say it enough. isis will establish itself, it's already trying, in afghanistan if we walk away. i'm thrilled to hear the president has moved away from that option. >> bret: i want to put this up. afghanistan by the numbers. you spent a lot of time on the ground there. 8400 u.s. troops currently in afghanistan. 714 billion spent. 2,258 total deaths, 20,257 wounded. more than 11% of afghanistan still today controlled by insurgents or the taliban. for people who say this effort has been so long. there is that feeling. >> sure. believe me, i am frustrated. there's a lot of frustrations and a lot of things we could have done better and should do better. at the end of the day, do we want to fight them in kandahar
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and kabul or in kansas city? it's a critical decision. this is going to look how things have looked in colombia where we've had soldiers. we've had 30,000 soldiers in korea for almost 70 years. this is going to be a long-term effort unfortunately and in terms of troop numbers, we've had about 15,000 except for the surge period and we are going to see that into the foreseeable future. >> bret: mike waltz, thank you. what do you think? let me know on twitter. at @bretbaier. use the hashtag #specialreport. or on facebook at facebook.com/bretbaiersr. make sure you join us tonight for the president's address, special coverage starts at 8:55 eastern with president trump's speech at 9:00.
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martha maccallum and i will be here. we will have reports from the white house, pentagon, and our panel pre and post-speech analysis. desperate search underway right now in the waters off malaysia and singapore for sailors missing commute another collision between the u.s. navy warship and a civilian vessel. the navy has expanded its investigation. >> it's the second major collision involving a u.s. navy warship in the past two months. the latest collision involve the uss john s mccain, a guided missile destroyer, which collided with a liberian oil tanker three times its size near the busy strait of malacca. the warship is in singapore. ten sailors remain missing. four injured sailors airlifted off the ship.
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the navy's top officer has called for a broader investigation. >> and operational pause taken in our fleets around the world. >> while traveling, jim mattis said he fully supported john richardson's efforts. >> he has put together a broader inquiry to look into the incidents and determine causal factors. >> this is the fourth major mishap for the u.s. navy in the pacific since late january. a guided missile cruiser ran a grand in tokyo bay, spilling more than 1,000 gallons of oil. in may, a cruiser collided with a fishing boat. in june, the uss fitzgerald had a cargo ship, killing seven sailors. two ship captains have been relieved for these mishaps. president trump responded as he returned to the white house for vacation. he later tweeted "thoughts and prayers with our u.s. navy sailors aboard the uss john s
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mccain where search and rescue efforts are underway." the navy is down two destroyers. further straining and already stretched navy. the navy is looking into how it qualifies junior officers to drive ships. >> bret: jennifer griffin live at the pentagon. thank you. another global story to update you on. associated press thing officials have suspended the third for five army soldiers in a helicopter crash during offer training in hawaii. we will bring you more information as we get it. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is guaranteeing congress will raise the debt ceiling. mcconnell told an audience in kentucky there is zero chance lawmakers will allow the country to default on its debt by voting not to increase borrowing limits. stocks mixed. dow gained 29.
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oregon. >> they great american solar eclipse started along the oregon coast. darkness came to madras, oregon, in the morning. >> this is amazing. >> with the moon covering the sun, only the corona was visible. >> oh, my gosh. it's dark. >> probably the coolest thing i've ever seen. >> amazing. once in a lifetime. >> the reaction was the same as the shadow raced across the country. there were big eclipse parties throughout the 70-mile wide, 2500-mile long path of totality. the celestial show was over in the blink of an eye. lucky viewers were treated to more than 2 minutes of darkness. the eclipse slipped off the coast of south carolina just an hour and a half after it all began in oregon. stick a very weird.
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once the sun vanished, watching everybody scream and have a great time was a blast. >> officials said this would be the most studied eclipse in history. a dozen major projects, many involving citizen scientists. matt henry was among 1500 amateur photographers. >> i have seen a number of things, like the northern lights. this is the top. >> even president trump and his family took in a partial eclipse at the white house. all things come to an end. the eclipse is over, and madras is clearing out. this eclipse seemed to capture the attention of the nation for one day. brought the country together and politics seem to take a backseat to a natural phenomenon that will be seen again in this country coast-to-coast for 28 years. >> bret: dan springer and ground zero. thanks. the debate is growing tonight
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over symbols of the confederacy and other historical events in light of last week's racial violence in virginia. officials at the university of texas removed statures of robert e. lee and other confederate figures from the main campus overnight. the school president because the items symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-nazi is in. this is a video posted today of two people vandalizing a 225-year-old monument to christopher columbus in baltimore. the narrator says columbus initiated a wave of terrorism, murder, genocide, slavery, ecological degradation, capitalist exploitation of labo labor. the people who take care of monuments here in washington, d.c., say they will update the jefferson memorial to reflect what they call the complexity of his status as a founder of the u.s. and a slave owner. changes to other monuments in d.c. are being considered.
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we are still 15 months from the midterm elections but both republicans and democrats are already in campaign mode. the g.o.p. opened hang on -- hoping to hang onto its majorit majority. peter doocy in southern california on how the balance of power exchange. >> democrats looking at the map of races and dreaming of winning more than the two dozen seats they need to take control of the house. >> we are building the largest battlefield in a decade. >> denigrates democrats lookine seats. >> two weeks before election day in 2016, nancy pelosi was on tv say they would take the house back in win 30 seats. stick with the g.o.p. is trying to expand the majority. in a dozen districts where
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voters just picked a democrat for congress and trump for president, experts say democrats start at a disadvantage. >> the map is slanted against them. how their coalition is heavily dependent on urban areas. >> it has been that way since 2010 when republicans won be egg in state elections and used gerrymandering to redraw some districts. for now, it's hard to turn the map blue. stick we have seen the number of competitive districts go from 100 to about two dozen. >> the house gets the most democratic attention because in the senate their membership may shrink. ten democratic senators trying to get reelected and states trump just won. >> democrats are hugely exposed in the 2,018th senate map.
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>> the house is in play. both sides are brainstorming. >> i can't wait to run ads against democrats saying they want to abolish the va, medicaid part d, complete government control of your health care and raise a trillion dollars in taxes. >> republicans had a chance and blew it is the counterpoint from the left. >> they had unified, controlled government and haven't been able to get a single thing done. democrats are going to contrast that with a better deal. >> as democratic congressional candidates hope for their best showing at the ballot box in a decade, the democratic national committee just had their worst earning july in a decade. numbers show the dnc has raised half as much money as the rnc so far this year. >> bret: peter doocy in california, thank you. up next, a major development in the barcelona terror investigation. here's what some of our fox affiliates are covering. fox 11 in los angeles, someone has placed a piano at the cobra
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peak. fox 5 in new york, a major bust of contraband cigarettes. a man from virginia could face $1.6 million in fines for having more than half a million illegal cigarettes in brooklyn. they say the products had virginia tax stamps but not the newark state and city stamps required. live look at norfolk. fox 43, the story of the george aged on the bush strike group. home ported in norfolk. two ships are based in florida
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and are headed that way. the strike group has been involved in the mediterranean sea and persian gulf. that is to make live look outside the beltway from "special report." we will be right back. ♪ hey, is this our turn? honey...our turn? yeah, we go left right here. (woman vo) great adventures are still out there. we'll find them in our subaru outback. (avo) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. get 0% apr financing for 63 months on all new 2017 subaru outback models. now through august 31.
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>> bret: the man thought to be the driver of the vehicle that slammed into people in barcelona, spain, last week is dead tonight. we are learning additional details about who the suspect was and some of what he may have been doing since the attack. benjamin hall has the latest. >> attracted to a small village after a european wide manhunt, younes abouyaaquoub, the final member of the terror cell that killed 15, is dead, shot wearing a fake suicide belt. he was the driver of a van that mow down pedestrians. seen here fleeing the scene. a clear picture is emerging. digging through the rubble of a house that blew up as the terrorist prepared bombs from a 120 gas canisters found intended
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to be used for car bombs. a reminder of how much worse this could have been. this will be a little comfort to the families of of those who d, among them seven nationalities, two children, aged three and seven, and an american. the attackers were of moroccan descent. one left a suicide note asking for forgiveness. the mother of another said he had been acting normally. >> translator: he said i'm going out, i will be back later. he didn't come back. >> 8 out of 10 came from a small town 90 minutes from barcelona which has a large immigrant population. the supposed leader was the local imam. his house is being searched. police are investigating connections to other jihadist cells around europe. in barcelona, life goes on, and people here have united in the face of terror. >> the collaboration.
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it's proof it's a great city and we will overcome it. >> this may be over but what will worry authorities is that this was not a lone wolf attack like others recently. this is a coordinated sale of 12 people. slipped under the radar. >> bret: benjamin hall, thank you. the u.s. and south korea began joint military drills today in action that has north korea warning of apocalyptic consequences. william la jeunesse reports from guam. >> joint military drills have the north on edge. kim jong un building support at home and abroad by portraying his regime as a victim of u.s. aggression and a belligerent president. >> if he does anything with respect to guam or anyplace else that's an american territory, or
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an american ally. he will truly regret it. >> the games date back decades. >> north korea should not exaggerate exaggerate our efforts. >> in japan, some cities holding evacuation drills in case kim retaliates. protesters urged their president to back off. in seoul. >> the exercises can provoke north korea. >> the debate extends to washington. some urge restraint in hopes of bringing came to the negotiating table. others believe the u.s. must demonstrate it will not give into threats or abandon allies. >> this is an exercise.
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>> how will north korea respond? last year during the games, they fired a submarine missile followed by a nuclear test. history suggests kim will not stay silent. few believe he will test the u.s. by firing at guam. >> bret: william la jeunesse in guam. thank you. what will president trump do about afghanistan? we will find out but first we will get predictions and analysis from the panel when we come back. my dentures. i love kiwis. i've always had that issue with the seeds getting under my denture. super poligrip free. it creates a seal of the dentures in my mouth. even well fitting dentures let in food particles just a few dabs of super poligrip free is clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. super poligrip free made even the kiwi an enjoyable experience try super poligrip free. ♪
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sikh americans we believe in equality tolerance and respect for all. because sikh values are american values. we are doctors pta moms patriots we are americans we like game of thrones im obsessed with star wars ive seen every episode of sponge bob because thats what my daughters like to watch we we are sikhs. >> do you believe we are not winning in afghanistan? >> i understand the urgency and that it's my responsibility. we are not winning in afghanistan right now. and we will correct this as soon as possible. >> our longest war. we've been there for many years. we've been there for now close to 17 years.
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i want to find out why we've been there for 17 years, how it's going, and what we should do in terms of additional ideas. >> president has made a decision. he wants to be the one to announce it to the american people. >> bret: the president will not be silent tonight, issuing this primetime address on afghanistan. our team at the pentagon coming up with confirmation from u.s. officials saying the president has signed off on sending an additional 4,000 troops to afghanistan, a big part of tonight's speech said to include asking the region to do more. india, pakistan to do more to bring the taliban to the negotiating table and also holding pakistan accountable for attacks in its country and continue to support the taliban. as you take a look at this chart of u.s. troops in afghanistan from 2009, 51,000. 100,000 u.s. troops on the ground in 2011. the current level, 8400.
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that goes up to almost 13,001 it's all said and done. steve hayes, editor-in-chief of "the weekly standard." julie pace, washington bureau chief for the associated press and editor-in-chief of lifezette, laura ingraham. seems like there will be more substance to this speech from fort myer tonight. >> typically presidents tried to avoid focusing on the number even though that's what we tend to focus on. it's the number of americans were going to be going into a war zone but it sounds like the president, at the urging of generals and foreign policy, has been encouraged to look at at s more holistic, talk about pakistan and india, and the regional problem. it's not a wholly new idea. it's no secret pakistan is part of the solution here. the big thing tonight is what does he talk about in terms of
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potential length of u.s. commitment they are and what does he envision a success? victory isn't something people like to talk about on afghanistan but what will be considered success? >> bret: we didn't hear a lot from president obama about this more frankly. >> what we did here was often not accurate. the obama administration made the claim consistently from 2010 to 2016 that there were only 50 to 100 100 taliban fighters. we found a training camp in afghanistan in 2015 that covered 30 square miles and turned out many more al qaeda fighters than that. the obama admin initiation got that wrong and i think they got wrong their approach to the tile man. jennifer griffin's reporting suggests president trump might be in position to make the same mistake. negotiating with the senior taliban in afghanistan is folly. it won't work.
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they can't be separated from al qaeda. they are jihadist or less. the afghan taliban, his son committed a suicide attack in july, and he is a jihadist ideologue. he is not someone we should negotiate with. this is something the obama administration tried. it didn't work because we don't have partners in the senior taliban. >> bret: this is a change for president trump who as a candidate tweeted a number of things. "let's get out of afghanistan. our troops are being killed by the afghans. we trained and we waste billions." "don't allow very stupid leaders to sign a deal that keeps us in afghanistan through 2024. "this has been his mantra. is it tough? >> it's one of the reasons why
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he won because i think after 16 years, when he announced he was running, america had begun to think we had lost the war. it's unfortunate and it's awful but it was the soviet union's graveyard and people were concerned it was becoming slowly america's graveyard. we lost an enormous amount of great men and women in that battle. we are still there. we still don't seem to want to defeat the islamist ideology. there was a great piece out today about what we are not willing to do. mcmaster is careful. he doesn't want to call it islamic, islamist terrorism. i understand that that the failure to recognize what we are up against, an ideology that does not care about killing women, children, brutalizing people, torturing them. as long as pakistan continues to
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help the taliban, and al qaeda, i don't see what we are really going to get out of there. with 4,000 troops. so it's not another 9/11 disaster for us. can we do it with a residual force? maybe. i think if you took a poll of the american people, what should we do in afghanistan, they would support candidate from. >> bret: listen to the national intelligence director asked about afghanistan. pakistan not exactly stable either. >> the ic assesses the situation in afghanistan will almost certainly deteriorate through 2018. even with a modest increase in military assistance by the united states and its partners. the taliban and is likely to continue to make gains, especially in rural areas. afghan security forces
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performance will probably worsen due to a combination of taliban operations, combat casualties, desertions, poor logistic support, and weak leadership. >> bret: other than that, it will be fine. >> other than that. he is describing the situation that i think president trump is choosing, a modest increase. i hate using the word modest when you have 4,000 families. when you talk about the afghan government, this is where so much of this gets to. it's a government that has been supported by the u.s., continues to be corrupt, continues to traffic in corruption. that's the system of government essentially. until that government can govern their country, you're going to continue to have these problems. >> bret: i mentioned steve bannon. chief strategist, no longer in the white house, now at breitbart. if this is a first indication about how that organization is going to cover things, saying
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"with a strong globalist contingent firmly embedded in the white house including not only many cabinet members but also members of trump's family because of the trump administration's been slowly moving forward toward him took up intervention abroad." there will be pushback from the right. >> i think so. this is how he campaigns. he didn't want to further entangle us. you talk to people who abandon these meetings, he's torn. he's got competing instincts. he wants to win. he wants to kill the bad guys. he made that very clear throughout the campaign. and empowered the pentagon, changes in the way the pentagon is able to fight, rules of engagement. he's also said we don't want to be further caught up in these kinds of fights. obviously i think this feels like a compromise position where he's not going with the bigger
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plan. you talk about pentagon planners. they will say we need 50,000 additional american troops. going to actually fight the wars. he didn't want to do that. >> how are we paying for all of this? a friend of mine, a senior in chinese business, saying we are hoping you do the big surge in afghanistan. he said what do you mean, as long as you are spending more money you don't have, it's good for china. where are we getting the money for this? that is what candidate trump campaigned on. we had one 100,000 troops and e couldn't win the war. >> bret: how many attacks did we prevent? next up, from policy to politic politics. the number one
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>> our country is in the morning after the tragedy in charlottesville in which a young woman was murdered and his reaction was not to be unequivocal in his condemnation of the white supremacists. this is not the right time to come. >> bret: phoenix, arizona,'s mayor saying don't come to this event tomorrow. which the president is going to, the president creating more controversy about the trip, saying "i am seriously considering pardon for sheriff arpaio. he's done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. he's a great american patriot and i hate to see what has happened to him." arpaio faces charges of criminal contempt of court.
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laura, what about this controversy? become i am over the belief that president trump should travel more and go not just to places like arizona but go to upstate new york and connecticut and california and talk about how we are going to get the economy humming come up with the pressure on congress to tax reform, keep pushing his agenda which is popular and will work. i don't care what the mayor of phoenix says. i think donald trump is probably more popular than the mayor of phoenix. the charlottesville thing was terrific and horrible. donald trump is trying to get past it. i think it's a good step. he should say a few things about what happened in charlottesville and advance the cause of race relations by reminding everyone that economic growth is good for everyone. all races. >> bret: when this announcement of the address happened, i thought that maybe there would be both of these things. afghanistan and kind of buttoning up charlottesville.
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i don't think that's going to happen at fort myer. >> i don't get that sense but tomorrow is the opportunity to do it. the president should be traveling more. he's in a better mood. he's at his best in front of crowds. the problem is he hasn't been taking advantage of the opportunities. he will go out there in the middle of the health care debate and talk about anything but health care. tax reform on the agenda, debt ceiling, will he push republicans? if he can do that, it puts him in a better headspace. puts his administration on the offense. looks like he's focused on the issues. that's something he struggled within that what makes his advisors nervous. >> bret: his messaging. last week, he stepped on it. if you -- kim jong un stepped away from the table after threatening guam. that would've been a big win story but it wasn't anywhere.
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>> i think julie and laura are right. the president has an opportunity. he can say things that are designed to heal. even if it doesn't work and people are skeptical of what he says, the fact that he's making the effort, it would be to his benefit. the other interesting thing to look at here, and it's interesting with steve bannon having left the white house, in the interview he gave to my colleague peter boyer, the end of the interview didn't get a lot of attention. steve bannon said i'm going to work with you, go after the republican establishment for yo you. and donald trump said good, i need that. that's an interesting question. does steve bannon really go after the republican establishment? does it help donald trump? does it make it more difficult to pass his legislative agenda? >> bret: he's also going to arizona where two republicans are not exactly on his happy list. >> if i am jeff flake, i definitely don't want donald trump to come to arizona.
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he could come in and tacitly support his opponents. flake could go down in 2018. >> bret: final thoughts and the word of the day one we come back. ♪ this is a story about mail and packages. and it's also a story about people. people who rely on us every day to deliver their dreams they're handing us more than mail they're handing us their business and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you ♪ hundreds of dollars on youmy car insurance. saved me huh. i should take a closer look at geico...
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>> bret: before we go, a quick note about our friend and colleague charles krauthammer. he underwent a preplanned surgery this morning and will be recovery for a number of days. we don't know how many. we're told that everything went extremely well. charles is doing great. he is eager to get back to work. is he on the mend tonight. so when the trends and facebook messages and emails flood n coming at as asking where's charles. that is where he is. charles, as you know, we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers and look forward to having you back here on
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the panel very soon. finally tonight join martha maccallum and me for special coverage starting 8:55 eastern time for president trump's afghanistan address on fox news channel. thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. that's it for this "special report" as we leave you tonight, a look at folks trying to put to words their reaction to the solar eclipse. one word was very popular, while others paid tribute to the eclipse in song, fair, balanced and still unafraid. ♪ >> describe this event in one word. >> i think i have to say awesome. >> awesome. >> it was awesome. >> awesome. >> awesome. >> awesome. >> awesome. >> this is awesome. >> awesome. >> how why describe it? i would just ask, i would say awesome ♪ forever's going to start tonight ♪ forever's going to start tonight ♪ falling in love ♪ now i'm only falling apart ♪ nothing i can do ♪ a total eclipse of the
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heart ♪ ♪ ♪ >> martha: breaking tonight, president trump is about to announce that after deep debated within the white house, he has decided to send 4,000 more u.s. troops to afghanistan. good evening, everybody, i'm martha ma maccallum coming to you from washington tonight. and this is the story. since 9/11, the u.s. mission has been to never let it happen again. a war on terror under president bush gave way to president obama's ending of the iraq war and a focus on what he saw as the right war in afghanistan before pulling out there as well. two hours from now, the president will speak to the nation about the most solemn question that a commander-in-chief faces, the call to put more american lives at risk. it is his first prime

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