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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  October 19, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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embarked on a mission to run 31 marathons in 31 cities over 31 days. >> god bless him. >> wants to raise $1 million. set your dvr, never miss an episode of "the five." special report is next. >> bret: the president's chief of staff delivers an emotional response to the controversy over the president's comments to the widow of a fallen soldier. plus what really happened in niger? and we talk with senator lamar alexander about whether his bipartisan short term healthcare fix has a chance to pass. this is "special report." >> bret: welcome to washington, i'm brett bare. you could have heard a pin drop at the white house press briefing. chief of staff, retired marine corps general john kelly produced a riveting and stunning condemnation of a democratic congresswoman for communities about president trump's condolence call to a widow of
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one of four servicemen killed in niger. kelly whose son was killed fighting for the u.s. in afghanistan described the agonizing process of notifying a family member of a loved one's death. and the incredible pain those loved ones go through and live with. a discussion and news cycle on this issue that began with one answer in the rose garden about past presidents' practices. all of this came as the ambush of those special forces troops in africa is coming under increasing scrutiny. we still know very little about what happened and why. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are making their feelings clear calling for briefings on the specific mission and the broad object in africa. we have fox team coverage. jennifer griffin at the pentagon tells us what we are learning about the attack. we start off with chief white house correspondent john roberts, mesmerizing and emotional briefing today. >> it certainly was. brett, good evening. yesterday the white house told
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us that the chief of staff, john kelly, was on that condolence call with president trump. today, an emotional kelly delivered an impassioned defense of his boss's outrage. >> i thought at least that was sacred. >> it was an extraordinary moment. chief of staff john kelly taking the podium at the white house denouncing in the strongest terms what florida congresswoman frederica wilson said in the condolence call of la david johnson. >> i was stunned when i came to work yesterday morning. broken hearted. at what i saw, a member of congress doing. it stuns me that a member of congress would have listened in on that conversation. absolutely stuns me. >> kelly knows of what he speaks. he lost his son, robert, a marine lt. to combat in afghanistan in 2010. he says he was so incensed by what was being reported yesterday, he had only one place to go. >> the only thing i could do to collect my thoughts was to go
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and walk among the finest men and women on this earth. you can always find them, they are knee arlington national cemetery. >> the congresswoman and aunt who raised the soldier, said they were incensed comments. general kelly revealed that he advised president trump to not make calls to the families of the fallen. when the president said he felt compelled to do soquelly offered what his friend, joint chiefs chairman joe dunford told him when robert was killed. >> he said kel he was doing exactly what he wanted to do much when he was killed. he knew what he was getting into. by joining that 1%. he knew what the possibilities were. when he died he was surrounded by the best men on this earth with kelly hoping to put the controversy behind the white house, president trump today aimed a staunch criticism he hasn't been responsive enough to the hurricane in puerto rico. >> i think we did a fantastic job.
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we are being given credit. >> the president welcomed the governor into the oval office to talk recovery, including an fbi investigation into allegations of widespread corruption among local officials and the distribution of relief supply sfls i think the governor will be able to do something about that. >> if there is some one mishandling the food for puerto rico, there will be hell to pay. >> the president gave himself a 10 when asked to grade the administration's response, and asked the governor to weigh in. >> president trump: did we do a great job? military, first responders, fema, did we do a great yob? >> you responded immediately, sir, you did so. >> while he pledged to stand with puerto rico during the rebuilding, president trump warned the federal emergency response kept last forker. >> the governor upped -- forever. >> fema, first responders, they cannot be there forever. >> the president also weighed in on tonight's crucial budget vote
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in the senate which could pave the way for tax reform. >> president trump: i think we have the votes for the budget which will be phase one of the massive tax cuts and reform. but i think we will be successful tonight. >> in an oval office question and answer session a full 35 minutes, president trump said he didn't see the speech former president bush gave earlier today, an address in which bush didn't mention president trump by name but certainly seemed to be talking about the politics surrounding his election. >> discontent deepened and sharpened, partisan conflicts. bigotry seems emboldened. politics seem more vulnerable to conspiracy they aries. outright -- theorys. outright fabrication. >> he lamented the return of isolation to america and strong words about the rise of ethnic nationalism. >> bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the american creed. >> president bush offered a
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spirited defense in three areas where president trump has shown the most skep ta sism. president trump would say that he is not foresaken those issues, he just wants to make them all work better for america. >> john roberts, live on the north lawn, thank you. >> bret: when we are learning about the ambush africa and what they were doing there in the first place. jennifer griffin has the latest from the pentagon. >> good evening. the pentagon has sent a team led by a general officer to niger to investigate the ambush that left four u.s. soldiers dead. this is typical of military investigations. it always takes time to sort through the facts. october 4, 2017, 12 u.s. soldiers accompanied 30 troops from nieger on a routine meeting with village elders in tonga tonga in the remote border between niger and mali125 miles north of the capital.
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the american agreeinger about rays traveled by convoy in unarmored military vehicles as they had done 29 times without incident over the past six months. the soldiers were ambushed after they were already in their vehicles after leaving the meeting. estimated 50 jihadists riding motorcycles, toting rocket-propelled grenades sprayed them with gunfire. the vehicles disbursed, a gunfire ensued, this they decide there was an intelligence failure nmplts this specific case, contact was considered unlikely. there's a reason we have u.s. army soldiers there and not the peace corps. we carry guns. >> armed french mirage jet fighters arrived in and the militants scattered. a french helicopter flew the wounded back to the capital. a contractor gathered those killed in action. sergeant la david johnson was missing. they feared he was kidnapped and
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asked the press to hold off reporting. u.s. special operations troops were alerted. u.s., french, and niger forces conducted an intense search on the ground. >> no one was left behind, the sense it was a desolate sight, we went back and didn't search for the soldiers. nothing is further from the truth. >> two days passed before his body was found a contractor influence his body back to the capital. u.s. africom put out a statement. quote, we're working to confirm details on the incident and will have more information as soon as we can confirm facts on the ground. no drones were airborne during the routine convoy. the u.s. military doesn't have enough. with its blame the attack on a new isis affiliate that broke from al qaeda in october, 2016. its leader is thought to be holding an american aid worker hostage. senators are demanding hearings.
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>> may require a subpoena. >> do you feel the administering is forthcoming about what happened there? >> of course not. >> to delay as much as the nondisclosure is a cause for very grave concern. >> initially pentagon officials were reluctant to put out statements, because they were picking up a beacon that suggested the missing soldier, sergeant la david johnson, was engaged in evade and escape or had been taken by the enemy. they feared giving out too much information that might put the soldier's life in danger s. >> bret: these special forces troops, they work with indigenous forces to prevent isis or al qaeda or the terrorist groups from gaining hold in that territory. >> absolutely. that's why they were out there. engaging those village elders. they work with the niger force so that isis can't set up base there is. >> bret: jen, thank you. two dozen senators supporting a plan to extend obamacare subsidies. president trump was initially for that but at last word was against it.
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i'll talk with one of the bill's authors, senator lamar alexander. first, peter doocy has the latest from capitol hill. >> the list of lawmakers sponsoring the fix just grew from 2 to 24. 12 are democrats, 12 are republicans, including the infamous no vote on the last healthcare package, senator john mccain. >> with regard to healthcare talks, you had called for a rrn to regular order. >> that's what they're doing. >> are you satisfied with the way that the party is handling it. >> yes, i am. >> president trump doesn't want to bail out insurance companies and cutting off the special success subsidy called cost sharing reduction payments that give the companies incentive to offer certain plans. but now 18 states and the district of columbia are suing to keep the cashflowing including senator kirsten jill i brand's home state of new york. >> the president says he wants to roll back subsidies, mills of americans won't have access to
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affordable care. >> others want the president to look at how this alexander murray plan would help low income americans pay premiums. >> i hope the president will look at the legislation and realize we're working really hard to make sure this money does not go in the insurance companies pockets. >> these subsidies remain in limbo but healthcare is at the top of the to-do list including one who spoke to the president today. what did the president say snmpbs his number 1 priority for 2018 calendar year is to pass graham-cassidy to replace obamacare with a block grant, hold the states accountable. >> the democratic leader, chuck schumer, said the bipartisan healthcare plan already has the 60 votes it needs to pass. now he's basically daring the republican leader, mitch mcconnell, to bring something to the floor if it does pass could have more democratic support than republican support. bret?
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mb thanks. let's find out -- >> bret: let's find out about the temporary plan put forward by senators alexander and murray today. where things stand. joining us from capitol hill, senator lamar alexander of tennessee. thanks for being here. >> thank you, bret. >> bret: where do things stand. you rolled it out today. what are its prospects? >> the prospects are pretty good. we rolled it out with 24 cincinnati co-sponsors, that's one-fourth of the senate, really. half republican, half democrat. the proposing is something almost all the members of the house have voted for, in the repeal and replace bill. all the democrats want it. the president is interested in it. the leaders of the senate repeal and replace bill, senator as cassidy and graham are for it. it's there for people to consider, to improve, and i hope that, looks like something that is likely to become law by the end of the year. >> bret: you said the president's interested in it. this was the rose garden press conference two days ago when he
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was asked about this bill. >> have they been involved in those negotiations, will you support that deal? >> president trump: yes, we have been involved. this is a short-term deal, we think block grants going to the states is going to be the answer. that is a very good solution. >> that sounded positive. the next day, in the cabinet room, he said this. >> president trump: if something can happen, that's fine. i won't do anything to enrich the insurance companies. right now, the insurance companies are being enreach riched, they've been enriched by obamacare like nothing anybody has ever seen. i won't enrich the insurance companies. >> bret: he doubled down, tweeted that he supports you. but can't enrich the insurance companies. how do you get the president onboard? >> well, we 100% agree, we've talked about it, he called me about 12 days ago and asked me to do this. he said we need a short term agreement so people don't get hurt between now and the time we repeal and replace obamacare which takes a couple of years. he said i don't want to bail out
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the insurance companies. in our bill there's about a page and a half of language that makes sure that the benefits go to consumers not the insurance companies. if the president has better and stronger language, we'll put it in. i've talked to him about it, i agree with him, senator murray agrees with him. we're all on the same page on that issue. >> bret: you heard the evolution of those statements from the rose garden to the cabinet room bhashgs did you think? >> here's what i thought. i talked with the president four times in the last 12 days. two times yesterday. i know what he thinks on this. i mean, he asked me to do it. he's encouraged me to do it. all we're asking him to do is to consider a proposal that he wanted to have. i'll give him credit for seeing the need nor short-term bipartisan solution and engineering it to be done. now he has it, decide what he wants to do with it. he'll probably like it after he fixes it, improves it. likely to become law. >> bret: to his main charge about not bailing out insurance companies, you're saying your
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bill does not do that. >> oh, no, it doesn't. cost sharing payments are payments that the government makes to low income americans to help pay for co-pays and deductibles. those are the beneficiaries. and what our bill says, every state has to come up with a plan to make sure that happens, in 2018. it automatically happens in 2019. >> bret: the speaker's office did not sound that positive. spokesman putting out, the speaker does not see anything that changes his view that the senate should keep its focus on repeal and replace of obamacare. so you worry that even if it passes the senate it's doomed in the house? >> well, i don't think that. the house has already voted for this. it was in the repeal and replace bill that passed the house. what they did was to say they would continue the cost sharing payments for two years. only thing different about our proposal we make it legal to do that. the reason for it, almost everybody understands, that as you switch from obamacare to a
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different system, you got to have something in the transition or you create chaos for people. premiums go up. according to the congressional budget office, you might have $16 million americans that live in counties where they couldn't buy insurance at all in the individual market. nobody wants. that i think people read the bill, they'll see it doesn't bail out insurance companies. avoid chaos. chaos is a big birthday present for bernie sanders. leads right to a public option, right to a single payer. >> bret: you have said there are conservative elements in this bill that republicans can rally around. besides giving states flexibility, what are those? >> one is a catastrophic insurance plan, with lower premiums and higher deductibles. the bill gives the states the flexibility to approve things like the iowa waiver, or the alaska waiver, or the oklahoma waiver, or minnesota or new hampshire.
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when states have asked permission of the federal government to create different insurance plans with more choices and lower costs. that's something we haven't gotten in eight years of debate. it's in this bill. >> bret: when the president says he believes he has the votes on another effort of gray cam ham-cassidy in the new year -- graham-cassidy in the new year, do you think anything has changed? >> what could change between now and next year is a better process. we do better when we go through committee, when we vet a bill, when we have more time to do it. they did that in the house. they got it resolved. we didn't do it that way in the senate, we didn't get a result. i think that's the difference that is likely to make a difference in 2018. >> bret: senator lamar alexander, appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> bret: top homeland security official says terrorists want to pull off another 9/11. tonight we're hearing from the head of the cia. chief intelligence correspondent
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catherine herridge has details. >> the cia director said the threat from islamist terrorist groups is severe and complex with the collapse of the caliphate in iraq and syria. >> the intent still remains, the capability remains, and we worry, too, that there is capability that we just don't see. we're very focused on it. clearly the case that there are terrorists around the world who are intent upon using commercial aviation as their vector to present a threat to the white house. >> the director responded to comments from the acting secretary of homeland security, elaine duke. speaking at the u.s. embassy in london, duke warned that isis remains determined to pull off a large-scale attack like 9/11 using passenger jets. duke says isis uses truck attacks like barcelona in august where terrorists plowed through a pedestrian mall killing and injuring more than 140 people to remain highly visible, raise money, and keep their followers engaged. despite the losses, intelligence
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officials say terror groups and independent ak terse are developing -- actors are developing nonexplosive devices with the intent of bringing down civilian aircraft bound for the u.s. this led to new restrictions in march, 10 overseas airports banning personal electronics, larger an smart phone in the cabin. the restrictions were lifted in june after new screening procedures were implemented and other standards met. >> bret: catherine, thank you. president trump's top dib low mat has harsh words for china, coming up later on "special report."
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>> bret: should you and fellow taxpayers be rired to pay for an abortion for an illegal imgrant? that is the issue at heart of a
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dispute involving a teenager in texas. chief legal correspondent shannon bream is with us. what is this about centers around a 17-year-old unnamed young woman. she crossed the border illegally in texas, came in was apprehended, held in a federally-funded shelter, the policy for immigrants who come here as minors, come illegally. she's believed to be about 15 weeks pregnant. wants to get an abortion. under texas law she needs parental permission or court order. one legal group says she has the permission but the federal authorities refuse to transport her or allow her to be transp t transported. the trump administration says they have a strong and constitutionally legitimate interest for not providing incentive for pregnant minors to illegally cross the border to obtain electrictive abortions. the federal judge ruled, plaintiffs will suffer irreparable injury in the form of at a manipulate mum increased risk to health and the permanent inability to obtain a desired
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abortion to which she is legally entitled. >> bret: now what? >> this is interesting. as you imagine, the pro-choice groups say this is a young woman's right, whether she came here legally or not. pro-choice advocates are worried, they think this could open the door to the u.s. providing abortions for minors seeking to cross the border solely for that purpose. . when she was talking about constitutional rights, conveying to illegal immigrants and illegal minors. >> the fight is far from over. appellate court set to hear the case tomorrow morning issued an order today. they allow the minor to attend the required preabortion counseling appointment. but they temporarily blocked the judge's order she be permitted to have the abortion on friday or saturday. the court made it clear on blocking the abortion the order shouldn't be seen as judgment on the merits, they want to hear this argument tomorrow morning before final ruling. it's a three-judge panel.
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appointees one judge from george h.w. bush, one from george w. bush and one from barack obama. three past presidents have a voice now. >> bret: interesting. 11 days away from 191:00 p.m. show. >> can't wait. see you for fox news at night. >> bret: the house oversight committee demanding that 15 federal agencies fully account for senior officials' travel following reports of costly airplane trips by trump cabinet secretaries. the panel threatening to subpoena the agriculture and justice departments by the end of the month if they don't provide full details. the committee says 13 other department and agencies including the white house have only partially responded to its request for that information. and for information relating to the use of personal e-mail. the justice department is confirming it has received a letter from senate judiciary chairman chuck grasslee seeking information about an informant with information on the partial sale of a uranium mining company to a russian firm.
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grasslee wants to examine potential conflicts of interest for president clinton and the obama administration. president trump calls for more coverage of this issue that he calls the real russia story. . >> president trump: the problem is that the mainstream media does not want to cover that story. that afebts people they protect. they don't like covering that story. the big story is uranium and how russia got 20% of our uranium. frankly, it's a disgrace. >> bret: senator grasslee wants a gaing order lifted for the fbi informant. up next, historically low numbers for people wanting first-time unemployment benefit as the stock market observed a not so happy anniversary. first some of the fox affiliates are covering around the country. baltimore with the capture of a suspect of the shooting of three people. ray d. prince was arraigned this morning in delaware where he's
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accused of attempted murder in another shotting. arrested late last night after a 10-hour manhunt. fox 51 in gainesville with tight security for this afternoon's speech at the university of florida by white nationalist richard spencer. a massive law enforcement presence there. many downtown businesses closed early. spencer spent much of his speech noisily engaging with protesters in the audience. a live look at denver, the big story there tonight, the rescue of a 3-month-old girl and her 5-year-old sister from sex traffickers. the operate by a special denver fbi task force was part of a four-day national effort. the mission rescued 84 sexually exploited juveniles. 17 of those in colorado and wyoming. 120 suspects were arrested. that's tonight's live look outside the beltway from "special report." we'll be right back. each year sarah climbs 58,007 steps.
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>> bret: secretary of state rex tillerson is calling out china's leadership tonight, just two weeks before president trump makes a major foreign trip to the region. this report from the state report. >> china defies international law provoking its neighbors at the expense of the united states and its allies. secretary of state rex tillerson lobbed criticism at china in a speech intended to define the long-term relationship with asia. >> we will have important relationships with china. we'll never have the same relation with china, nondemocratic society, that we can have with a major democracy. >> in an interview with bloomberg, the secretary suggested impatience with china. i think it's important that china knows we're expecting to see change. expecting to see movement. korea, south china sea, whether it's trade.
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massive trade imbalance between the two sun countries. we hope they can see china's development in an objective manner. cast away bias and meet china half way. >> china policy will likely remain consistent, as they consolidate power on his way to a second term. the trump administration declined to officially name china a currency manipulator. during the campaign, president trump repeatedly vilified china and promised to label it a currency manipulator. his tone has changed. he applauded china for work to isolate its ally, north korea. u.s. officials complimented china for supporting additional sanctions against north korea, china can can do more to go
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after the kim jong-un regime. the president will address this next month when he travels there. >> bret: rich, thanks. today is the 30th anniversary of the biggest crash of the dow industrials in history. it was called black monday in 1987, the dow fell almost 23% in a single day wiping out $500 billion. it took the dow more than two years to recover on this anniversary the current bull market is spooking some investors, remembering back to black plon day. the dow today posted another record close, gaining 5. the s&p 500 up one, the nasdaq lost 19. historic news about unemployment. let's get that and market analysis from deirdre bolton, joining us from new york. good evening. >> good evening, bret. there is an indication of strength in the american job market. every week the government publish as report on the number of workers filing for
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unemployment benefits. you have to go back to 1973 to see a number as low as we got this morning. economists are cautioning before we all celebrate, that there are reasons to pause. hurricanes harvey, irma, maria all of those storms that skewed the data. power outages prevented some workers from being able to file necessary paperwork. that said for the past 2 1/2 years claims have been below a key metric accepted as a sign of labor market strength. last month's job reports said wages are rising by 2.9% compared to this year -- this time last year. basically, it seems like the americans who do have jobs are getting raises, which is very different than a few years ago. speaking of jobs, fed chair janet yellen interviewed to keep her own. her term ends in february. earlier today, she met with president trump for about 30 minutes. so it's unclear if she is going
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to remain in her position. the president has said he has four other candidates in addition to her. fed chair nominated by the president, confirmed by the senate. the president's closest aids and advisors really want him to choose some one else other than her. she was nominated by former president owe bam. >> bret: watch that closely in coming days. thank you. up next, we return to one of the hardest hit areas in the opiod crisis. first, beyond our borders, spain's government has set in motion plans to take away local powers in cat a lonia. the region's president refused to renounce the secession ambitiontion of catalonia, threatening to make a unilateral proclamation of independent fence the government refuses to negotiate. turkey's president says his country could close its border with iraq's kurdish region at any time. the latest response to the kurdish refer dumb on independence last month. -- referendum. turkey has closed air flight to and from the kurdish reason.
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sectarian tensions run high in northern iraq around kirkuk. at least 58 taliban security forces killed in a wave of taliban attacks, a continuation of a series of assaults that began tuesday targeting police compounds and government facilities with suicide bombers. at least 74 people have died so far. some of the other stories beyond our borders tonight. we will be right back. the best simple salad ever? heart-healthy california walnuts. the best simple veggie dish ever? california walnuts. the best simple dinner ever? great tasting, heart-healthy california walnuts. so simple, so good. get the recipes at
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manipulate tm many times a day, unresponsive person. manchester, new hampshire it's code for some one deep in the cluchts of an overdose. >> last month was our highest month, with overdoses. we had 118, we had 11 dpeths. >> a year ago this stit sti was battling an opiod epidemic, the streets with opiods. >> to the folks that are the command and control. the one making decisions that are really affecting life in new hampshire, who we are targeting. >> in the last 12 months, things have gotten worse. o.d.s in broad daylight have become commonplace. in august, during a phone conversation with the president of mexico, president trump called new hampshire a drug-infested den. the state's lawmakers didn't like the harsh words but admit they need assistant, repeatedly promised during the presidential campaign. >> president trump: we're going to help the people that are so
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badly addicted. . but that help specifically federal funds for treatment programs has been slow to arrive. >> really, right now, if it wasn't for private donors, we certainly wouldn't be doing this. i'm pretty certain of that. >> safe station opened the doors of every manchester firehouse the any addict desperate for help. the program drew national attention and invite to the chief for a meeting with the first lady in washington. >> she showed compassion and wanted to understand the depths of the problem, kind of see what we're seeing on the streets. encouraging. >> since it was launched in august 2016, safe station has helped roughly 2,500 people, more than half of them from outside the city. like this man who took a taxi from the northern part of the state. >> i'd like to better myself for my family. >> next week, president trump will declare the opiod epidemic a national crisis. >> for new hampshire, we've been
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pretty hard hit and promises were made on this turf. i don't think we're seeing much. or if something is happening we're not aware of it yet. >> this week governor chris sinunu announced $100,000 in new funding for local rehab programs acknowledging the severeimity of the issue. >> a bunch of bureau krats and the government aren't going to solve it. folks in recovery, telling their stories and giving examples of what works and doesn't work, that's how you make a difference. >> dennis is a prime example. when we met him last year he was just beginning his path to recovery. >> people need hope f they feel like nothing they do matters, or no way out of it, there's no reason to change. but if people provide them hope and a realistic way to get out of that lifestyle, you know, they will go for it. >> dennis lost his wife to an o.d., lost his home and lost custody of his son. he says he turned his life
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around. he's clean and sober, has a roof over his head, and a full-time job. but he's more the exception than the rule. officials in manchester say they're overwhelmed by the sheer volume of addicts. they say the emergency response system is stretched to the breaking point. bret? >> bret: amazing look one year later, thank you. next up, the panel on the riveting comments today about losing a loved one in battle and the political environment today from white house chief of staff john kelly. prudential asked these couples: how much money do you think you'll need in retirement? then we found out how many years that money would last them. how long do you think we'll keep -- oooooohhh! you stopped! you're gonna leave me back here at year 9? how did this happen? it turned out, a lot of people fell short, of even the average length of retirement. we have to think about not when we expect to live to, but when we could live to. let's plan for income that lasts all our years in retirement.
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at what i saw a member of congress doing. a member of congress who listened in on a phone call from the president of the united states to a young wife. and in his way, tried to express that opinion. he's a brave man, a fallen hero. he knew what he was getting himself into. he enlisted. there's no reason to enlist, he enlisted. he was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken. that was the message. >> bret: that was quite a briefing today by the white house chief of staff, john kelly, marine corps general, lost his son in 2010 in afghanistan. an emotional day in the white house press briefing room as he was talking about democrat representative wilson, frederica wilson, who has been talking out about this call to one of the widows of the soldiers killed in niger.
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wilson was asked for comments after the press briefing and here's what she said. >> let me tell you what my mother told me when i was little. she said the dog can bark at the moon all night long but it doesn't become an issue until the moon barks back. >> bret: let's bring in the panel. senior editor national review. molly meming way, senior editor, the federalist. and chief washington correspondent. that was the comment she gave, that was the reaction that the congresswoman had. >> sounded like world war. world war ii code. i don't know what to make of that. and i don't know what to make of the constant hats. everyone of sound mind says this
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has been an ugly 48 hours. which ever side you come on, i personally think it strains all credulity to think that donald trump wasn't trying to be sympathetic and empathetic in that phone call. did he communicate in a way that was on a conference, on a speaker in a car that was miss interpreted by the people in the car? entirely possible. the idea that somehow he wasn't going into it in good faith, strikes me as bizarre and sort of false on its face. i don't think that tweeting and the defensive's in and the way the media now has to go and doublecheck every victim, all that stuff is incredibly ugly. whatever i think he can pars what kelly said. at the end of the day he was a grownup and he was trying to put it to bed which i hope happens. >> bret: by the way, twice, now, he has come to the briefing room and essentially held court. and steered what had been the
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controversial coverage for a couple of days to a different mace. -- different place. the first time and likely today. >> i'm not sure we'll get a different level of coverage, we have to wait and see what happens. it's true that he is providing leadership. i think it was unwise of president trump to refer to how previous presidents had or had not called families of people who had died in service. but this has been just a really ugly thing to witness. i have never seen, except for today, it was beautiful to witness, i have never seen that level of leader sthp and cultural shaming. really amazing to see some one make the point that we should not be exploiting these stories about families who made the ultimate sacrifice. and i really hope that people in the media respect that and understand that this is a very sensitive situation for people who have died. they can still do a good job reporting without allowing these stories to be exploited for harm or gain. >> i'm not sure why chief of
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staff kell kelly was on the call, she was a long-time friend of the family of the bereaved, she mentored the gentleman. the sacrifice of gold star families is turned into a partisan loyalty test, that's never positive. i will say that i know a lot of people in the political press and i would say as a group, as a population, they have a lot of respect for the proops, they hold the commander in chief as much as possible. >> bret: this started with the question in the rose garden about niger. and why we haven't learned what happened. why there hasn't been more explanation. up on capitol hill there is a concern as well, the defense secretary talked about the investigation ongoing. >> the loss of our troops is under investigation. we in the department like to know what we're talking about
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before we talk a specific case, contact is considered unlikely. there's a reason we have u.s. army soldiers there and not the peace corps, because we carry guns. [inaudible] >> courageous your man on a mission. >> maybe with a subpoena but i had a good conversation with general mcmaster and they said that they would be briefing us. >> bret: look at the map, the reason niger they're, there the four soldiers killed, special forces, working with indigenous forces. and we're told that they came trying to meet with village elders. and then the u.s. led patrol was ambushed, roughly 50 terrorists from a new isis affiliated group, islamic state. and basically, they're there to try to prevent isis from getting a foot hold in that area. >> yeah.
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i find first of all, i think the effort to try and turn this into a benghazi scandal seems incredibly strained, the political context is completely different, issues involved are different. our troops sometimes get killed when they're doing dangerous things in combat. and i'm all in favor of investigation to find out, there has to be oversight, any time an american troop dies. one of the things that purchase plexes me, in terms of the -- perplexes me, in terms of the political matter, donald trump has a great story to tell about breaking the back of isis. and one of the complications that come from essentially defeating them as a territorial power, you get this sort of runoff, metastasized element throughout africa and the middle east that require this kind of thing. seems to me it would be in the white house's interest, also true, to put it in that larger context and say, look, we're making enormous strides on the
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campaign promise to defeat isis. we're going to have a lot of these kinds of issues, because they're fleeing all over the place trying to set up places in ungoverned spaces. >> bret: this president communicates differently. if he had answered that way to that question and said this is under investigation, thank the soldiers for their sacrifice and the families, but this is why we stand for the national anthem and put our hand over our heart. or he had somehow answered the question differently than he did pointing back to past presidents we would be in a different news cycle would we not part of the blame is attributable to president trump, i don't think it was correct to talk about what previous presidents did or didn't do. there is pabilt on -- culpability how the media doesn't respond to the defenses of this president. it would be great to have a good conversation about what's happening in niger. we have been there for a long time. we should know a little bit more about what we're aiming to do there, about our $100 million drone base there.
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or the uranium enrichments that make it a valuable place for various countries there. we're going to be spending a lot more time talking about those things. but i don't think this is just a problem of the way trump communication. this is a problem of everybody making everything about donald trump. we've been there for a long time, we will thereby for a long time. it's a country that is an ideal partner for the u.s. >> bret: i want to turn to capitol hill, we'll get a vote on a budget, expected to go through some time tonight. republicans feel they have the votes, sets the table for tax reform. biggest question is this healthcare stop gap measure. lamar alexander on, he feels confident. >> the vote doesn't just set the table for the tax reform, it's a must-ask. with it they can pass tax reform with 51 votes, mike pence with the 51. we have a fight over healthcare which is really interesting. you remember the deal that chuck and nancy cut with donald trump
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in the oval office? one of the concerns was that that gave leverage to democrats down the road in december or possibly later with must-pass items, with the debt ceiling. we'll see whether this healthcare is wrapped in that kind of stuff. >> bret: maybe all wrapped together. when we come back, a son tells his mom just how much he needs her. can own the road. aggressive styling, so you can break away from everyone else. the bold lexus is. experience amazing. >> tech: don't wait for a chip like this to crack your whole windshield. with safelite's exclusive resin, you get a strong repair that you can trust. plus, with most insurance a safelite repair is no cost to you. >> customer: really?! >> singers: safelite repair, safelite replace.
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>> bret: finally, tonight, a 4-year-old boy was scared when his mom was admitted to the hospital. even though she was just going there to give birth to his new sister. >> we need you. we need you. >> i'm here in the hospital, they can take out your sister and i can come to home to after they take her out. >> i need you! >> i need i know you need me, . >> i don't need no brothers! i need you. >> i love you. >> i love you too.
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>> his mom did return home with his newborn sister. he needs her. fair, balanced, and unafraid. here's my colleague, martha. >> let me ask you this. let me ask you this. is anyone here a gold star parent or sibling? does anyone here know a gold star parent or sibling? >> martha: good evening, and martha maccallum, and this is "the story." instead of reverence and gratitude, the deaths of these four men set off a political firestorm that culminated in a gripping appearance from general john kelly at the white house podium today. recounting his own story of how he became what no military father wants to be, a gold star parent. if you saw what happened in the briefing room today, we ask that you watch it


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