tv Shepard Smith Reporting FOX News October 20, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
we have a lot to talk about in a week where he passed a budget. i hope you tune in. thanks for joining us. i'm dana. here's shep. >> the white house marking a big victory. senators narrowly pass a budget deal that could steal the way for tax reform. and the president in an interview with maria bartiromo. >> i call it tax cuts. the biggest ever in the history of this country. >> there's a few obstacles that could knock the plan off track. we'll show you what they're watching. plus, an attack in niger killed four american soldiers. we're seeing the spot where it happened as we learn more about exactly how it unfolded. from when it began to the delay may have let militants plot their ambush. a day after senator mccain
threatened to subpoena pentagon staffers for details on the attack, the defense secretary himself heading for a capitol sit-down with the senator. loretta lynch is also at the capitol to talk about russian meddling. our catherine herridge caught up with her to ask some questions. >> can you raise any of the issues with director comey's questioning with the senate intelligence committee? that's ahead in this hour of "shepard smith reporting." i'm trace gallagher in for shep. the white house defending its response to the four americans killed in niger earlier this month saying it too wants answers. >> the department of defense is initiated a review, which occurs any time there's an american killed in action. we're going through that process. the president, the department of defense and frankly the entire
country and government want to know exactly what happened. and the president and the nation are grateful for those four american heros. we won't rest until we get some answers. that's part of the process. that's what we'll do. when the time is appropriate, we'll talk about the details of the investigation. >> president trump didn't say anything about the attack for more than a week. the senate's top republican on military matters john mccain said he might have to subpoena the trump administration for answers. today senator mccain is getting a meeting with the defense secretary himself, jim mattis. the meeting happening right now on capitol hill. we have reported the senator has said the white house has not been up front about what happened in niger during an attack that left four american troops dead. yesterday speaking for the first time about the ambush, secretary mattis said an investigation was underway and he promised to share the findings as rapidly as possible. let's get to the chief white
house correspondent john roberts on the north lawn. john? >> trace, good afternoon. the press secretary, sarah huckabee sanders, was asked about niger and the investigation and what happened in the incident a couple weeks ago. refused every time to answer the question in specificity citing the ongoing review. any time a u.s. service member is called in an operation. certainly sarah huckabee sanders had plenty to say in regard to the feud that is ongoing between the white house and florida democratic congress woman frederica wilson. yesterday you'll remember the chief of staff john kelly came out and ripped congresswoman wilson up one side and down the other for listening in the condolence call the president made to the widow of sergeant johnson and making it public. kelly suggested in 2015 when wilson was speaking at the dedication of the new fbi field office in miramar, chefs making it about her and how she got
funding for the building. we have since determined that she was not talking about funding, but she was bragging a little bit about the fact that she got the building named for the two fbi agents that were killed in the shootout in the 80s during the infamous bank robbing outside the dadeland mall. she did sponsor a bill to get it named for them and got it fast-tracked by going to the speaker of the house at that time, john boehner, to get it done. so the white house still very critical of her but adjusting their story. listen here. >> general kelly said he was stunned that representative wilson made comments at a building dedication honoring slain fbi agents about her own actions in congress, including lobbying former president obama on legislation. as general kelly pointed out, if you can make a sacred act like honoring american heros about yourself, you're an empty barrel. if you don't understand that reference. i'll put it more simply.
in the south we say all hat, no cattle. >> they're suggesting at the white house during the day outside of the venue where she made the speech, she was tooting her own horn and grandstanding other issues. trace? >> it wasn't just the congresswoman saying this. >> no. the aunt that was the woman who brought up sergeant ladavid johnson after his mother died was critical of it as well saying she agreed with the congresswoman and the president was insensitive in his remarks. sarah huckabee sanders for the first time addressed that this afternoon. let's listen here. >> if the spirit of which those comments were intended were misunderstood, that's very unfortunate. as the president has said, as general kelly said who i think has a very deep understanding of
what that individual would be going through, his comments were very sympathetic, very respectful and that was the spirit in which the president intended them. if they were taken another way, that is unfortunate. >> one thing the white house has stopped doing, trace is arguing the did not say what it's alleged he said in the telephone. they're saying his remarks about the fact that johnson knew what he was getting into and kelly went through all that yesterday. may have been misconstrued. sarah huckabee sanders saying today that she's surprised this thing is still going. we should point out discrepancy with what general kelly remembered and said yesterday and appeared to actually happen of the dedication of the fbi people is what has been driving the coverage today, trace. >> fuelling it a bit. john roberts, thank you. let's get more on the deadly attack in niger earlier this month. the pentagon under immense pressure for more answers about exactly what happened.
lucas tomlinson has the details live at the pentagon. lucas? >> trace, a short time ago i asked defense secretary mattis how he felt about the fbi and the four soldiers were killed. mattis joined temperature french minute stir to thank her in part for coming to the rescue of his forces including evacuation of two wounded soldiers. >> following the ambush to the u.s. troops in niger last week, thank you for your support and for your letter of condolence for our fallen following the attack. >> fox has learned the 12 men special operations team was ambushed at 11:00 a.m. local time. 30 minutes later, french mirage jets flew overhead. the jets were armed but did not drop any bombs because they couldn't tell the difference between friend or foe. the green beret's meeting went longer than expected, which
could have tipped off the militants to attack. this video was given to fox news from a nonprofit in africa to show what the area near the attack looked like. the military sent a general officer to niger to investigate the attack and now the fbi is headed there, too, bringing law enforcement techniques to help piece together the timeline and what led to the attack. top pentagon officials are pushing back strongly on the notion that this was an intelligence failure. they say the u.s. team that were attacked had made 29 previous trips without incident. when sergeant johnson went missing during the attack, a massive search and rescue operation was launched immediately and was nonstop for two days, a senior u.s. general said nobody was left behind. >> the fact of the matter is, it's a battlefield. we had a significant engagement. it's tough country. it's in the middle of nowhere.
>> there's roughly 800 u.s. military troops on the grounds in niger, mostly at two drone bases in a country twice the size of texas. at the time of the attack, there was no drone overhead. trace? >> thanks, lucas. what he's talking about on the subject, we mentioned senator mccain and defense secretary mattis are meeting in senator mccain's office. we have a camera waiting outside the door. we don't know if they will speak afterwards. let's listen in. here we go. >> we discussed various issues and it's always a pleasure to spent time with him and work with him in these difficult times. >> you basically had been saying the administration was holding out about details of the niger ambush. do you still feel like that? >> i felt we were not given a sufficient amount of information and we're clearing a lot of that up now. >> yesterday at the press conference, you said the
pentagon was providing half the staff with as much information -- >> as much what? >> as much information -- >> on what? >> i'm generally speaking. mrs. white saying t ing thing t was being fully transparent. mr. secretary, you agree with that? >> let me address that. we can do better at communication. we can always improve on communication. that's exactly what we'll do. >> could i just add, the relationship with the secretary and i have goes back 20 years. it's one of respect, one of appreciation. it's one of honoring his service. so we continue to try to improve our lines of communication and our regular meetings would be very helpful in that area. >> what would you like to see going forward? >> change from what? >> communication. >> we're discussing that. we're committed to improving it.
>> senator you said yesterday earlier in the day about the possibility of issuing subpoenas to the pentagon to get information. is that still on the table? >> depends whether we get the witnesses or not. >> who do you want to come as a witness? >> the head of cyber that was -- there was a place for him at hearing yesterday. >> [inaudible]. >> i have the technology to make it happen, that they show up. >> secretary mattis, on the raid in niger, would you say the president ordered that particular action? >> i don't discuss those kinds of things. thank you. >> let me just close by saying, the secretary and i have had a 20-year relationship. we have had our problems and issues. i'm proud to work with him and i proud of the work that he's doing and we will continue these
regular meetings so we can work together in these very difficult and challenging times. i'm proud to know him. >> secretary mattis, would you say -- >> thanks very much. thanks very much. thank you. >> secretary mattis, would you say it's a matter of hours or days or months that we get a full timeline as to what happened? >> peter doocy was talking with secretary mattis. he was following him down the stair. we're going to get to peter in a few seconds. what we're seeing here, the meeting that happened between the chair of the senate armed services committee, john mccain and the defense secretary mattis. they were talking about exactly what happened on the ground in
niger. you heard lucas tomlinson say earlier, the transcript has changed a bit. we're fold told the soldiers, two of whom green berets were going to a meeting near mali on the border of niger. he was saying that in fact, they were coming from a meeting and there was somehow an attack by an overwhelming amount of power. we're talking about 50 members of isis or al-quaida. and there may have been two waves of attacks. senator mccain said there was not transparency about what happened on the ground. you heard calls saying this could be president trump's benghazi. now the two have met. seems like the diplomacy is there. as we have always said, john mccain is a very big fan of the defense secretary and always has been. so there's no conflict there. but mccain made it clear he does want to hold hearings on this. if he does not get cooperation and the witnesses that come
before the committee, he will subpoena them. now back live to peter doocy that was there during that -- i apologize. let's go back to the chief white house correspondent john roberts. the meeting didn't last long. what is your assessment of what happens inside and what is the next step for these two men? >> what we can glean by the comments, particularly by john mccain, he called the secretary of defense over to say look, i'm the chairman of the armed services committee in the senate. i need to know more about what was going on. john mccain said he doesn't know how many people in congress were aware of the fact that we had operations going on in niger. you heard john mccain say that the two of them have had a 20-year-long relationship and had some issues between them but they have mutual respect. mccain was probably just driving home the point here that you've got to be more communicative about things like this. i don't know if mccain knew whether or not we had forces operating in niger. could be mattis told him about
the operations there.
neither man was giving anything away. >> secretary mattis, how often is the president being briefed on the timeline on the way that things went down in niger? >> the president is kept fully informed. >> every day? >> he's kept fully informed. >> what is your biggest frustration with the way this story has been discussed in the press the last couple weeks? . >> [inaudible]. >> secretary mattis, how is the
pentagon working with the fbi in africa? is this something that -- >> you can see -- john, we didn't mean to cut you off. we
wanted peter walking down the hall. before they started to walk, the defense secretary talked with john mccain that when the senate calls, the defense secretary is willing to listen and they will have witnesses for john mccain. seems like they agreed that transparency would go forward. john? >> that's part of the process. every once in a while the senate feels like they have to rattle the pentagon's case, to get to the hearing, the witnesses they want. and in particular, senator mccain was talking about the
head of cyber at the dod and the individual didn't show up. what i'd like to know is, did general mattis -- secretary mattis actually discuss with mccain the finer parts of the operation in niger. because there's this -- a lot of it is still sketchy. exactly what they were doing there, why there wasn't more air cover that was provided for them, how it was that sergeant ladavid johnson got separated. i was told by national security officials that his beacon was pinging overnight. they didn't want to give information away to the enemy. >> that's why they said keeping this close to the vest. they didn't know if he was in enemy captivity. and peter, we saw you walking down with the defense secretary. we're not sure if we got the
whole conversation, peter, but he said very little. he said a lot with senator mccain. they seem to agree that transparency would now be forthcoming. >> senator mccain has been complaining that he does not think congress and the senate armed services committee are being treated as a co-equal branch of government over the last couple weeks because they have not been briefed since october 4 about what happened on the night of october 4 in niger where four americans were killed. but secretary mattis today, our producer, chad pergram from capitol hill was with us when he was going into the meeting. when chad asked secretary mattis, are you just here because mccain was threatening a subpoena? mattis looked at him dead on and said, are you kidding me? so they're really stressing the 20-year -- i'm having a problem
with the ifb. the issue right now is communication. these two are trying to make sure that everybody knows they've had a 20-year relationship, they can get along and they're trying to re-establish the line right now, trace. >> and just for audience clarification there, when he's talking -- peter can hear himself talking in his ear which is disconcerting. if you can hear me clearly now, i'm curious how long the meeting lasted. we hit the meeting at the top of the hour and they said the meeting was going on then and just a few minutes later they came out. how long did the meeting last and did we miss anything from the time we hit senator mccain talking before we hit you on the back side of general mattis? >> the meeting was less than 15 minutes long, trace. the only thing that you would have maybe missed is that
mccain -- seemed like somebody asked about those subpoenas from yesterday. seemed like they are still some sort of a possibility, although he mentioned that he wanted to subpoena the person that did not show up for yesterday's hearing about cyber security. right now, mattis -- you can see we have the whole walking press corps with us. he's in with senator lindsey graham who has not been nearly as harsh a critic about the niger attack, ambush and the follow up and the administration's response. but mattis is in here. he should be out in the next five or ten minutes. mattis, i'm not sure if you heard, but he said he does not have any frustration with the way the story has been covered. obviously the focus of this story has not for the last two full weeks been on exactly what happened on the ground. it's on the condolence call. he said the president is getting briefed as necessary.
he said they're going to be -- he would not tell me as we were just walking out of mccain's office if we will get a timeline about what happened in niger in a matter of hours, days or months. he said they would take care of it and when there's -- here's senator graham. we'll try to grab him while he's walking. all right. senator graham in his office. quite a commotion. as there tends to be when a member of the administration comes here to the russell building. so he had mattis waiting in there. we don't know exactly what the meeting is about. >> i'm curious, when you said -- when you were saying that mattis seemed to tell you on the stairs
when he walked down, he's fairly pleased with the coverage coming out about what happened in niger, but there's been a lot of push back from the defense department on whether or not there was a communication breakdown a reconnaissance breakdown, there was not enough of surveillance being done in that area. they have pushed back dramatically on that. yet we know from testimony on capitol hill in march that the generals were saying, look, we need more resources on the ground in niger if we're going to do our jobs properly. in march they said they needed more resources. now when they're being pushed if they had more resources, the answer is yes. >> and something else that mattis was talking about. we'll have to check the tape because it's hard to hear in the hallways with the echo. he was trying to stress to some reporters that were asking that the united states military, the pentagon does operate in africa.
while the details of this mission are murky and may be for some time because there's no indication about when this investigation will be complete, he was stressing they operate very regularly in africa. something else he told me is that the fbi is helping the pentagon because that's what they do any time there's a terrorist attack. he used the word "terrorist attack." so that's an interesting depiction. we'll check the tape. he mentioned terrorists. that's why the fbi is now helping pentagon investigators over in africa try to figure out what happened. >> yeah, peter doocy, stand by. he's talking about terrorists there. we know from our reporting from catherine herridge and jennifer griffin and others that what you have on the ground isis and al-quaida. on some days, they have the isis t-shirts on and other days the al-quaida t-shirts. when the department of defense
comes out and said we have 50 pluses terrorists, isis or al-quaida and they were using overwhelming force, that's where this whole thing began. let's go back to john roberts, the chief white house correspondent. john, we know that africa command back in march testified there were not enough resources on the ground. one of the first things we heard coming out of this whole niger controversy is the fact that there was not enough intelligence, maybe improper reconnaissance and we don't know what type of surveillance they had. there seems to be a great deal of push back on that today and late last night. >> yeah, not a lot of it, i have to say, trace, coming out of the white house. their default position is all being looked at by the department of defense and they're conducting an investigation and they are the ones they have to get the information from. when you look at the tick tok of things, going back as far as you just pointed out, that's why some people are trying to turn this into president trump's
version of benghazi. you remember there were requests for assistance that were turned down as well. some people trying to make political hay out of this from that standpoint. it will be until we get that time line from the department of defense as to exactly what happened that we'll be able to put together the pieces of this. again, i was reporting just before he went back to peter doocy in the early going between october 4 and october 5 when the white house came out and announced what had happened to some degree in niger, there was a lot of confusion in the conversation and communication back and forth between the white house and the department of defense of what happened. there was a reporting that there was an incident in niger but the department of defense wasn't forthcoming on the details. there was a statement that the president might give when the details became more clear.
overnight and the next morning, the department of defense still said we're not ready to confirm what's going on. the statement drafted late into the night and early in the morning being held until the dod gave confirmation. the department of defense called and noon that said we can confirm the details. go ahead and release the statement. at to point, about noon, the white house said rather than putting something out on paper, let's make it more personal. they drafted a statement for sarah huckabee sanders to read that afternoon. there was a narrative going on that the white house sat on this for a long time. but if it was sat on, it was for a matter of minutes a couple hours. there's a question as to why it took a long time for the president to finally weigh-in on this. you can bet that he's probably in frequent contact with his secretary of defense wanting to know what happened here so he has clarity on it the next time
he's asked. >> yeah, those are very salient points. thanks, john. let's bring in a.b. stoddard from real clear politics. i'm not sure if you heard this conversation, but the idea of the analogy of benghazi, it seems to be a stretch. you talk about what happened in benghazi, there was a call. we know there were a call for help and backups. we have no idea what happened on the ground except on the fringes of what we're getting from the pentagon. we do not know exactly what happened on the ground in niger. >> right. in benghazi, there were requests for additional security before the attack. it was obviously an unsecured place where people were worried for their safety. the obama administration lied about it and pretended it was a result of a video. this is not something people
should jump to conclusions on. we know many operations in the military are covert. many are dangerous. some of them are messy. it doesn't mean there's any malfeasance here. but tragedies occur. i think the administration is right to ask for more time. the pentagon secretary, the chief -- secretary mattis is right to not want to speak before they have a complete picture. i think the question of whether or not the president came out to say something soon enough -- sometimes he goes many days without addressing the press. it's a feature hoff this white house. you get a slew of interviews in a row and then he goes silent for a while. they need the complete picture and share it with the public as soon as they can. the concern that i have and others will have, the function of communicating privately between the administration and the congress certainly -- for
john mccain who has known secretary mattis for many years and holds him in the highest esteem, to come out this week and have to say to provoke a response that he had better relations with the obama administration was quite a strong statement. obviously he got the result he wanted. we all hoped that congress was being informed privately about these matters as soon as possible even if it's information that can't come to the public yet. >> yeah. you think on the flip side, when you watch senator john mccain, watch the defense secretary sitting there, talking about the transparency going forward, you think, you know, the senator did the administration a favor in this case by saying, look, let's throw the cards on the table right now. when you hear about the analogies of benghazi and you have john mccain saying you need the cards on the table right now so we can put this to rest, maybe he's doing the administration a favor. >> he's watched all of these incidents, trace. the sooner that people feel
they're being told a full picture, the better it is for everybody. most importantly for the families. you don't want distrust to build. the congress is a co-equal branch, even if it's information that doesn't paint a full enough picture for the public to hear yet. we need to be rest assured as representatives that the voters, that the congress is in on this from the beginning. that how our taxpayer dollars are being sent, how are men and women are operating around the world in dangerous places. that always should be something that the senate armed services committee chairman is kept a breast of. he was very complimentary about james mattis. something must have taken a turn and it's good they're fixing it up. >> it is. do they have enough resources. a.b. stoddard. thanks for jumping in with us. we appreciate it. just ahead, president trump
sitting down with maria bartiromo and making a prediction about lawmakers work on his tax plan. you'll hear from the president as well as a journalist that says the deadlines with this plan could be a problem. that's coming up. baa baa black sheep, have you any wool? no sir, no sir, some nincompoop stole all my wool sweaters, smart tv and gaming system. luckily, the geico insurance agency recently helped baa baa with renters insurance. everything stolen was replaced. and the hooligan who lives down the lane was caught selling the stolen goods online. visit geico.com and see how easy it is to switch and save on renters insurance. i had purpose and i loved it. you never told me you were a hero. you are my hammer out there. don't let these young guys see you fold. ♪ i'm only human ♪ i make mistakes
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killed in mogadishu. al shabaab has been claiming responsibility. astronauts going on a spacewalk to fix a blurry camera on the international space station. scientists say the camera's focus is crucial to get incoming supply ship photos. the news continues with trace gallagher after this. whoooo. you're searching for something. like the perfect deal... ...on the perfect hotel. so wouldn't it be perfect if... ....there was a single site... ...where you could find the... ...right hotel for you at the best price? there is.
>> trace: senate republicans setting the stage for a showdown over taxes as president trump tells maria bartiromo that he plans to deliver the biggest tax cuts in u.s. history by the end of the year. >> we had a fantastic vote, as you know. the budget is indirectly passed. now it will go through an iteration but end up i think doing very well. i think we're going to get our taxes. i think it's going to be -- well, hopefully before the end of the year but maybe sooner than that. >> trace: the president saying he thinks there's great spirit for tax cuts and people want to see it happen. you can watch more of maria's
interview at 10:00 a.m. eastern on sunday morning futures on fox news and the fox business network's "mornings with maria" at 6:00 a.m. eastern time. and the senate narrowly passed a budget bill last night. that bill clears the way for lawmakers to pass a tax plan without a filibuster from democrats and a simple majority. it's not a done deal. more on that later on. now back to the correspondent who gets double pay this hour, john roberts live at the white house. >> something extra in my packet next week. if mattis pops out of graham's office, let me know. the president was meeting with the finance committee the other day. promoting tax reform. he wants to see this done after being stunned twice by the senate over healthcare. the president suggesting with members of both the republican and democratic party that he's got some democrats on board with tax reform.
but in that interview with maria bartiromo that again will air sunday morning and mornings with maria monday, the president suggesting that he expects the initial reaction from the senate minority leader will be a negative one. listen here. >> here's the thing. schumer -- i like schumer. before he knows the plan, he says oh, this is for the rich. he doesn't even know what the plan is and he's screaming it's for the rich. he did it for healthcare, too. you're not going to get your coverage. it's going to be terrible. the world is coming to an end. okay. >> it's a preview of what senator schumer might be saying of the tax reform debate. in terms of the budget last night, schumer said i think it will go down in history as one of the worst budgets that congress has ever passed. the president also weighing in on his use of twitter with maria bartiromo and the back and forth, the bickering that he's had with some members of his own
party. the president saying he thinks that sometimes the bickering is a good thing because it gets things done and he also said twitter is something that he's going to be using the rest of his term. listen here. >> they're well-crafted. i was a good student. i'm like a person that does well with that kind of thing. i doubt i'd be here if it was president for social media, to be honest with you. there's a fake media out there. i get treated unfairly. i have to keep people interested also. you have to keep people interested. but social -- without social media, i'm not sure that i would be here talking. i probably would be here talking. >> the president said that he sees twitter as something of a typewriter. i type it into my twitter account and it shows up on the air. it's like the broadcast news show. i say it and it comes out there. that's the way the president --
>> trace: yeah, william hurt. thanks, john. let's get more on senate republicans passing a plan and helping clear the way for a tax bill. the chief congressional correspondent, mike emanuel on capitol hill. mike, there's this sense of urgency to pass a tax bill. >> trace, there's no doubt about that. for one, to keep a major promise to the american people and two, to deliver on a major agenda item. there's the issue that two of the 52 senate republicans are dealing with health issues. john mccain and thad cochran. so leaders could get stuck if they're receiving treatment. so there's the wild card of the senate race in alabama. there's a lot of interest in the house and senate and getting moving. the chairman of the ways and means, the house's tax committee says it pivots off of the budget. >> when that is signed, sealed and delivered, we'll announce the date for the tax reform plan and the ways and means markup as well. the answer is soon.
this keeps us on the timetable to get this to the president's desk by the end of the year. we know that's an ambitious timetable. we think, look, america is falling behind. people are sick of this tax code. it's time to move. >> kentucky senator rand paul says he's in for tax cuts. the biggest, boldest cuts possible and soon. on the other side, democrats are charging that 80% of the republican tax plan benefits the top 1%. a senate independent member is criticizing the gop budget. >> it's a horrific budget bill and extremely cruel bill. the most unfair budget ever presented in the modest history of our country. at a time of massive income and wealth and equality, this budget provides $1.9 trillion in tax breaks for the top 1%. >> it's possible house leaders may put the senate's budget on the floor next week and would
save considerable time over going to a conference between the house and the senate. trace? >> mike emanuel live on capitol hill. thank you. it's not just the budget. it's not just taxes. president trump says he hasn't given up on health care. we'll tell you what he told maria bartiromo and break it down with our political panel next. ♪ "grandma! grandpa!" ♪ thanks mom. here we are. look, right up to here. principal. we can help you plan for that. and her new mobile wedding business.tte at first, getting paid was tough... until she got quickbooks. now she sends invoices, sees when they've been viewed and-ta-dah-paid twice as fast for free.
>> trace: president trump says congress will probably pass a healthcare bill within the next few months. he told maria bartiromo it will be great. >> it will be a wonderful healthcare. it will be a tremendous healthcare. managed properly, in smaller doses where you can do it more individually. so i think we'll get that. also, a little bit later, in three or four months from now. >> let's bring in our panel. christy setzer, a democratic strategist. he runs new heights communications, a public relations firm in d.c.
and vince is a republican strategist and a former campaign manager for george pataki's presidential campaign. seems like there's this rush. they want it done before the end of the year, which seems like pie in the sky at this point. what do you make of the alexander murray compromise bill? >> i have a lot of sympathy for lamar alexander. what he offered up with patty murray was a good faith compromise from my perspective. it's not perfect. seems clear that the republicans would get what they wanted with state flexibility. and democrats got what they wanted so there wouldn't be chaos in the markets. but he's getting a cold shoulder from the caucus and the president who are saying absolutely not. let it burn. to me that is saying something amazing about the republican party right now.
>> and christy is against what president trump did by getting rid of the subsidies, vince. he forced congress' hand. he says you have to get this done now. this is going bad if you don't get it done. people are saying at least it's forcing some action. may not happen by the end of the year but at least the ball is moving. >> that's right. the opening gambet with the president and the healthcare reform was simply a disaster. i think this middle game is so much better. it's because of this political move, which i believe will go down as probably the most brilliant political move of his first year of cancelling the subsidies and forcing democrats and republicans to talk to each other. something that we have seen since no child left behind with ted kennedy and president bush. when was the last time democrats and republicans got together to discuss a huge issue? the ball is being advanced. the president has warmed up. he will be able to convince paul
ryan and the house. i'm very encouraged about this. >> that's not a strategy on president trump's side though. that has nothing to do with him. first he endorsed the compromise. then he decided he didn't. we're lying to ourselves if we think that trump is different by anything other than petty jealousies. i don't think that ultimate he's going to let lamar alexander or patty murray get credit. i think he's looking to purpose down what could be seen as a victory of president obama's. so he's a wild card here. i don't think you can really say -- >> trace: christy, are you -- hold on, vince. are you disputing that really obamacare you think if he hadn't done this, obamacare was working fine and things were going -- >> no, no, no. that's -- i think -- look, i think that anybody including former president obama would say there were fixes that could be made to the system.
but yes, fundamentally it was working well. you had tens of millions that had health insurance for the first time in many, many years. this is the first time in generations. many presidents have tried to do this. they couldn't. what you've seen from president trump -- let me finish -- what you've seen from president trump is this ability -- this desire to sabotage it by, for example, cutting the open enrollment period in half. cutting the advertising budget by 90% so people don't know how to enroll. so what is the ultimate goal here? it's to tell people -- to have viewer people enroll to say look, it's a failure. we tried. sorry. it failed. that's the goal. >> that's a little bit. let me get vince here. well, that's the reason it was all -- went by -- vince, the whole truth here, she's right. put a lot of people on insurance. a lot of businesses saying, if you look at my premiums, they've doubled and tripled and a lot of
insurance companies pulling out. it was not working. it was working for some. working for those that had insurance. but for a lot of others this was not working for them. >> exactly right. this is a lot more than political strategy. you have people -- before this aca, you have the haves and the have nots. now a lot of people with insurance and you created a third class here. those are the people that have who are deathly afraid in very shortly they're not going to have it anymore. that's why this is above -- far beyond political strategy. this is about nearly 16 million americans, also -- more than 5% of our population that will be living in counties without coverage. they don't care about semantics. they don't care about whether you call it, whether it's repeal, replaced, fixed. they want solutions. the president's actions have forced the hands of democrats and republicans to come together, work on this and provide solutions for americans. >> trace: i do not think it will
happen by the end of the year. 10 seconds, christy. >> probably not. >> trace: we have to go back. looks like lindsey graham is working out of the room between him and defense secretary jim mattis. this could be the peter doocy camera here. let's listen. >> thanks very much. there senator graham, what can you tell us -- we're live right now. anything you want to tell about the meeting while we're walking. >> okay. so -- >> we had peter doocy. he wanted to speak with lindsey
graham in front of the flag because the senator wanted better optics. now let's listen. >> all right. what was today about? today was about receiving information about niger but it was more than that for me. here's what the men people need to know. the counter terrorism rules under president obama i thought were overly restricted, they denied us the ability to basically engage the enemy effectively and aggressively. the war is morphing. you'll see more actions in africa, not less. you'll see more aggression by the united states towards our enemies, not less. you're going to have decisions
being made not in the white house but in the field. i support that entire concept. so the rules of engagement are going to change when it comes to counter terrorism operations. we're going to move to status-based targeting. if you find somebody that is a member of a terrorist organization, we can use lethal force. they don't have to present and immediate threat. when it comes to moving geographically, they have a system in place as to whether or not we want troops on the ground, what kind of level we want to provide in terms of assistance regarding the threat. so i've been a military lawyer for 30-something years. here's the friction. there will be a lot of members of congress that will say, wait a minute. if you can go anywhere you want to go and start killing people, anybody you want to kill, then we need to reign you in. that's not the way it works. designated enemy forces a commander-in-chief job, not a congressional job. it's up to the president and his
team to determine who enemy threats -- who falls into the category of being a threat to the united states and what military response to come up with to meet that threat. it's up to congress to have oversight over these operations. if we don't like what they're doing, we can cut off funding. so as you expand the places we go, as you give more authority to designate terrorist groups and more authority outside the white house into the field, it's important to keep the congress more informed because if we don't like what you're doing, we can cut off the funding. for us to make that decision, we have to know what you're doing. here's the balance. i'm never going to participate in an exercise where an authorization to use military force is a micro management of the commander-in-chief's responsibilities by the congress. will insist as the war expands and as the rules change to be more aggressive that congress is
informed more often and more detailed so we can exercise our constitutional authority of whether or not we want to authorize this operation through the appropriations process. >> does that mean more briefings for armed service committee members or does that mean -- >> so there's going to be an amf debate come out of this. because some people are going to say, wait a minute. you can designate anybody you want to designate and here's the answer. congress is not set up to be military commanders. 535 members of congress don't sit down and designate what threats the nation faces. the groups morph weekly. they pledge allegiance to isil and other groups by the day. it's impractical and unconstitutional for congress to make that decision. having said that, when you designate somebody, an individual or a group, you need to inform us. then we have the ability to say
we don't agree and we're not going to fund that operation. so the intel communicatety has a collaborative process with tin tell community. i think what senator john mccain is doing here, as the war expands and there's more authority, the require will require more information. >> there's a lot of americans that probably never heard of niger until they found out four americans have died there. is that appropriate? are we overextended if we're at the point that americans are dieing in countries most people have never heard of? >> it's not whether you can pass a geography test. it's whether or not the threat exists. most americans want to do the following. they don't want another 9-11. we don't want the next 9-11 to come from niger. when you look at the number of the forces on the ground, a pretty good return on investment. they're not massive deployments.
i would like to know, are there 1,000 soldiers in niger. what are they do something if we don't like what they're doing, then we would cease funding the 1,000 in niger. that's the way the system works. to the american people. the war is headed to africa. it's beginning to morph as we suppress the enemy in the mid ease, they're going to move. they're not going to quit. so president obama set up a precedence there. in yemen, there's no government to work with. the general idea, we're not going to a country unless we're invited. we're not going to do anything unless we buy into what they're doing. yemen is a classic example of where you have aqap, al-qaeda in the midst of the -- basically a war between saudi arabia and iran, a proxy war. in the middle, there's radical extremists that want to hit the united states. i like where they're going.
>> twhat would recommend that president trump and congresswoman day -- >> number 1, you'll never convince me that president trump doesn't breathe when somebody falls in the line of duty on his watch. same for president obama. i know president obama and michelle obama spent a lot of time with the families of the fallen and the injured. i've seen president trump in action. he goes out of his way to middle a military member. there was an inartful communication of what general kelly was trying to explain to president trump and correct that problem. quite frankly, i'm ready to move on. i'm so sorry these four men died in operations. i will say this about the operations. i can't give you the details. they died in the defense of
america, this war is getting hot in places it's been cool. we have to go where the enemy takes us. >> the white house press secretary said it was highly inappropriate to get in a debate with a four star general. do you agree with that? >> no, not in america. [inaudible] >> she's not a big fan of the president. to her credit, she was in the car with the president. i think she started -- i would never do that. if i were in the car with the family and the president -- if president obama was calling, i would never suggest from a political point of view he did something inappropriate. general kelly expressed it better than i could hope to express, what it's like to go through this. here's what i want you to know. the american public needs -- >> trace: the wrap-up here is
that lindsey graham says what they're going to do, they're going to give the forces on the ground the ability to defend themselves. that's been a big debate, whether they can send drones that are armed or at all. you'll hear more about that. i'm trace gallagher in for shepard. neil is next. >> neil: market down. probably used pencil. i'm neil cavuto, this is "your world." another record-setting world. five days in a row. we've seen the major averages do this. the dow and the s&p. the do you over 23,000. it marches on confidence that tax cuts are coming what has that going is a budget that passed last night out of the united states senate. it was close. but what we have seem to telegraph from that or at least what traders are telegraphing from that, it's full steam ahead to get the tax cuts done. there's some wrinkles. it's not a slam dunk. we're