tv Shepard Smith Reporting FOX News October 23, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
sit down to discuss their new book "sisters first." >> shepard: it's noon on the west coast. 3:00 at the white house. we're to put aside politics and partisanship as our nation and leaders come together for an american hero. a vietnam medic hailed for his heroics. let's get to it. >> good monday afternoon to you and yours. a live look at the east room of the white house where that ceremony to honor an american hero is expected to start at any moment. president trump about to award the nation's highest military honor to a former combat medic who repeatedly risked his life
to save his fellow soldiers during the vietnam wear. retired captain gary rose spent two decades in the u.s. army. it was his bravery in september of 1970 during a mission that earned him the most recognition. at the time he was sergeant rose. his unit was deep in enemy territory in laos. he repeatedly ran into the line of fire to provide medical treatment to dozens of troops. he used his own body to shield americans from harm. on the final day of the mission, sergeant rose was in a helicopter that crashed. instead of focusing on his injuries, he pulled the crew and members of his unit from the burning wreckage. during the four-day mission, three men died. rose is credited with treating between 60 and 70 others. for more on his extraordinary story, kristin fisher is live in
washington. hi, kristin. >> hi, shep. the other incredible part of his story, he was injured two days before that helicopter crash. he was firing at the enemy with one hand and dragging a wounded soldier with the other when he was hit by shrapnel in his back leg and foot and his men say he never stopped to treat his own injuries. he spent three days running into enemy fire treating the wounding and pulling them out. he had to convince them to keep going, keep moving. until the helicopters finally arrived. >> the damage there is incredible not to mention the blood loss and trying to keep ivs going. i won't tell you i had mortar rounds coming in. the next thing you know, your iv bottle is gone. the training i had that this was my unit. these were my guys. by god, they weren't going to
expire on my watch. >> but the men in his unit say it's more than just training. listen to how his commanding officer, colonel eugene mccarley described what he did. >> he never, never stopped -- to my knowledge, i never saw him eat, sleep, drink or anything. he was constantly drinking wounded. not only did he treat them medically, he treated them psychologically. he talked to them, kept them calm. the desire to live. >> those men say they owe their lives to captain rose. but captain rose now owes this moment to them. they have been fighting for him to receive the medal of honor for 47 years, ever since they made it out of the jungles. the reason they were there is because of operation tail wind. a top secret mission to join
forces with local fighters to collect intelligence on the hochiminh trail. the problem was, u.s. troops were supposed to be in laos. technically it was a neutral country. the mission was classified for 30 years. captain rose told me he still feels uncomfortable talking about it and he's bewildered by all of this attention. the thing he's looking forward to the most, meeting the president with his 10-year-old grandson by his side and reuniting with the survivors of opener rail tail wind. this is the find time, shep, they've all been in the same room since that mission nearly half a century ago. >> shepard: incredible. thanks, kristin. many of the guests and some of those you mentioned are still being seated at the white house. while we wait for this to begin, more on captain rose, then rose enlisted in the army after attending san fernando state college.
he attended officer candidate school in 1973 and earned a bachelor's degree in military science from cameron university. that was 1977. he retired from the u.s. army in 1987. after retiring, captain rose earned a masters degree in communication from university of oklahoma and worked as a technical consultant in the defense and automobile industry developing user and maintenance manue manuels. he's involved in charitable organizations with his life, part of the knights of columbus, the military order of the purple heart and special forces association. the special operations association and the vietnam veterans association. he's very busy. he and his wife, margaret, have two daughters, sarah and claire and one son, michael.
as you mentioned, a 10-year-old grandchild will be with him and the rest of the family as he received the medal of honor from the president. for the medal of honor, it's awarded by the president to members of the armed forces that distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. while engaged in action against the enemy of the united states, engaged in military operations involving conflict or serving with friendly foreign forces against an opposing armed force in which the united states is not a belligerent party. in a matter of moments, it will happen. we'll provide live coverage here on fox news as soon as the medal of honor ceremony begins, we'll take you there live. first, president trump is pushing back after the widow of
a fallen soldier who said he can't remember her husband's name when he called to offer condolences. >> he said he knew what he signed up for but it hurts anyway. and i was -- made me cry. i was very angry at the tone in his voice and how he said it. he couldn't remember my husband's name. the only way he remembered my husband's name, because he told me. he had my husband's report in front of him. that's when he said ladavid. if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risk his life for our country, why can't you remember his name. >> shepard:s that from "good morning america." myeshia johnson, wife of ladavid johnson, deceased. one of four troops that died in niger earlier this month. about an hour after that interview, the president treated "i had a very respectful
conversation with the widow of sergeant ladavid johnson and spoke his name from the beginning without hesitation." john roberts is live on the north lane. a difference in memory on that matter. >> certainly. what makes this painful for the widow, myeshia johnson, is the fact that her husband, sergeant ladavid johnson was missing in niger for 48 hours, raising a lot of questions as to how did he get separated, why did it take so long to find him. a national security forces have told me his beacon was pinging the entire time. so still a lot of answers that mrs. johnson does not have to that. we have now heard from the member of congress, frederica wilson about her recollection of that phone call, the aunt that raised sergeant johnson and now his widow all saying the same thing. one of the things that she was particularly upset about, as you heard her say there, shep, in
disagreement with the president, the president did not recall her husband by name. listen to what she said as she expounded on that. >> i heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband's name. that hurt me the most. whatever mrs. wilson said was not fabricated. what she said was 100% correct. it was master sergeant, me, my aunt, my uncle and the driver and mrs. wilson in the car. the phone was on speaker phone. why would we fabricate something like that? >> master sergeant neil would be the casualty officer assigned to the johnson family. president trump said he did not fail to recall johnson's name. but he did say that he did not say what frederica wilson, the member of congresswoman from
florida said. senator john mccain weighed in on all of this as he was appearing on "the view" on abc wondering why in the world we're talking about this at all. listen here. >> we should not be fighting about a brave american who lost his life serving his country. that should not be the topic of discussion in america today. [applause] >> should not be a topic of discussion but on this monday morning it continues to be. >> president trump expected tomorrow to start the process of letting refugees back in the united states. officials had stopped those admissions under the president's travel ban. but john roberts, that ban has been set aside at least for the time being. what are you learn something. >> tomorrow is the deadline to do something about it. it's what is known as section 6 of the president's executive order, the travel ban. the president needs to do something about it tomorrow so he will sign some sort of piece
of paper. i'm not sure if it's and executive order or a memorandum and cap under new regulations at 45,000. it also changes the vetting procedures for allowing refugees into this country. it would enhance procedures for refugee entries raising standards for vetting individuals and apply the standard evenly across the board right now. there's more stringent vetting procedures for men than women and children. i'm told under these new guidelines, the new regulations, every one would face the same set of stringent vetting procedures to enter the united states. >> shepard: john, former presidents obama and bush that i remember have spoken of the importance of these medal of honor ceremonies and what it's like to be there. share what it's like to see
these american heros honored. >> i've not only been at these ceremonies, i know of a few medal of honor recipients. one from the second world war, a couple from the vietnam war. they're amazing people to be around. so full of stories when they recount them to you, you hang on their every word. they're normal every day americans who at one moment in life rose up to be here r -- heros, saving their comrades. to honor such people in such an apolitical fashion as happens here in the united states really is a testament to their current, their bravery, the fact that they would keep running back in under a hail of fire or whatever danger might have faced them to save their comrades really is an extraordinary thing and we can
all be proud of them. only wish that we could show such courage under fire. so our collective hats are off. >> absolutely. katherine rose seems to have in common one thing with all of them that i've ever witnessed. that is just astounded that everyone is making a big deal out of him or her. he's the only one but he is. >> that's the way they always talk, shep. when you talk to a congressional medal of honor recipient. they said it was nothing about it at the time. i just did what my brain or god or whomever told me to do in that moment in time. the degree of humility that they always demonstrate really is quite remarkable. there's no question about that. >> shepard: really is. today, john, hearing that his grandson will be there with him and three kids as well, just --
an amazing experience. i'd give anything to be here. >> you should try to be here one day. i remember one tale recounted to me by a medal of honor recipient. he gathered together with a number of medal of honor recipients and sitting at the head of the table was jimmy doolittle. they were all going to have a drink together. they were drinking different types of bourbon or whiskey. jimmy doolittle said, from now on, you're going to drink george dickle. he said i've never drank george dickle in my life. jimmy doolittle, one of the most famous congressional medal of honor recipients said that's your drink from now until the day you die. when i got together with him last spring, that's what he was drinking. >> shepard: love the story. john roberts on the north lawn. kristin fisher with the back story. a look at photos. captain gary rose, medal of honor recipient as of today from
the president of the united states. officially retired captain gary mike rose, his friends call him mike, was never in laos at the height of the vietnam war. rose is -- captain rose is 69 years old. he served as a medic in the military assistant command studies and observations group, which was an elite division of the special forces and is. it was so secret at the time for more than four decades he never spoke about it to one person on earth. for four decades. not even the people with whom he served. so this will be the first time that the people with whom he's served have gotten together since that day. it has not been a secret anymore for a few years. but for four decades he never spoke of this. imagine. those that served with him never forgot the bravery called operation tailwind in the land
locked country in september of 1970. rose, then a sergeant, ran through a hail of gun fire to treat 50 to 60 soldiers that were fighting back the north veet that -- vietnamese army. i want to read that again. he used one hand to hoist wounded men on to his back while firing on the enemy with his other hand. and about that experience, he never spoke a word for four decades. he was injured at the time and in spite of his own injuries, he did not sleep for days to make sure all 16 american soldiers deployed with him made it home. all 16 did. 47 years later, his heroism will be commemorated today as he
receives the medal of honor in this ceremony with president trump at the white house. it's an extraordinary life experience. with history as our guide, the president will give us some of his back story, quite possibly many details of his life, his military experience and otherwise about which we have no knowledge, and normally there's a reading and a medal ceremony and then afterwards, a gathering of people near and dear and former colleagues and the rest. as john put it so eloquently, such an extraordinary american ceremony. quoting here, "the actions -- this is from lieutenant colonel eugene mccarlie. he calls him mike. in the quote he says "the actions that mike performed in that operation, you can't imagine it. he was in charge of the unit. we were going into the area that u.s. forces had not been in.
had we not come out that day, we were extracted, we probably would have never left." that's from the man in charge that day. the ceremony is to begin now. let's listen. truth is, they're running a few minutes late. lots of reasons for that from day to day. a lot going on there. back the john roberts briefly while we wait for this ceremony to begin. john? >> you know, shep, if you want to know, we can never know what captain rose actually went through. particularly he's a medic. if you want to get some sense of what he went through, rent be movie "hacksaw ridge." that's the story of private doss who is also a medic. he refused to carry a rifle. during the battle for okinawa, he displayed unbelievable courage and grace and dedication under fire that his story is
just incredible. and if you see that film, which is very, very difficult to watch because of the extraordinary amount of violence in it, that's what it was like at least during world war ii. i'm sure it was something similar for captain rose when he was there in laos trying to bring his comrades back out. the fact that somebody could do that in those circumstances is super human. it's extraordinary. but that's who these guys are. normal people that couple from humble background who at some moment in time rose up to complete super human efforts. for that reason, shep, that's why we have to honor them in this way and just say if i was ever in need, i would want to have something like that at my back. >> shepard: especially this concept for 40 years you never
speak of it. after all you went through. you don't speak of it to anyone. not with whom people you served or those there, in a private moment, never. that's -- that is extraordinary. >> again, speaks to the extraordinary sense of humility that these congressional medal of honor recipients have. it's never about them. it's always about the people that they undertook heroic actions to say. if you ever talk to a medal of honor recipient -- certainly some have great war stories. but you ask them about the day that they engaged in the act that was determinative to have them awarded the congressional medal of honor, they'll speak about it in the most mumble of terms. there was this one fellow, the george dickle guy, he was throwing explosives in places that you never thought you could get to. i said how did you summon the
courage to do it? he did i didn't have to. i just did it. seemed like the right thing to do at the time. >> shepard: john roberts on the lawn. thank you. notice we're sharing as many stories we have because this ceremony was to have begun 21 minutes ago. the white house said they were running late and people were coming late. we saw the official photographer come into the room and we're led to believe maybe this is about to get underway. but it certainly will shortly. you can see a few empty seats in the front row. possibly there's discussions going on behind the scenes, a lot of ceremony involved. again, when it gets underway -- we already skipped a couple commercial breaks. we're going to go on with the news for just a moment and we expect this will begin directly. president trump is warning gop lawmakers in a conference call now to get a deal done or tax reform or they'll pay a price
during the 2018 mid-terms. the president yesterday apparently urged house lawmakers to quickly pass the gop budget plan which helps pave the way for american -- for republicans to push through tax reform without any support from democrats. the senate passed the measure last week. president trump says he wants a tax bill on his desk by thanksgiving. the thing is, we really don't know all the details about this tax bill. for instance, if you were to say, i make this amount, what bracket will i fall into? we don't know. a lot of things we don't know. the chief congressional correspondent, mike emanuel, presumably, doesn't know either. when will we know more? >> in the coming days, shep. good afternoon. last night on the conference call with republican lawmakers, the case was made going to a conference between the house and the senate to try to negotiate differences in the various budget deals would be a waste of time. a source -- republican source tells fox news that house
speaker paul ryan told lawmakers they want tax reform to the president's desk by the end of the year. the way to do that is for the house to pass the senate-approved budget blueprint later this week. the house budget chair diane block said she supports passing the blueprint to allow quicker action on the tax code. the senate majority leader is talking about congress seizing this moment. >> been waiting for the opportunity to do it. donald trump being elected president and republicans having a majority in the house and senate, give us an opportunity to accomplish something really important for the country, to get it growing again. >> also working on the tax reform bus is adviser to the president, ivanka trump. she's selling expansion of the tax credit and how the tax bill will help middle class families. some in the rest belt are
calling on the president to use their ideas. >> if he throws in mcconnell, the billionaires don't support it. if he fights for the middle class and help companies keep production in the united states, not the bill that mcconnell has, if he does that it's a bipartisan bill. >> we've seen differences between the president and the senate majority leader over recent months. clearly some democrats are trying to see if they can drive a wedge in there and get some of their ideas included, shep. >> shepard: mike emanuel live on capitol hill. thanks. as mike was speaking, we watched abc vice president pence arrived and was seated on the front row, escorted in as have others including family members of army captain rose who will receive the congressional medal of honor today. it appears all of the seats in the front row, the vips, if you will, who will be there are now seated. the ushers, the guards have moved to the sides. we suspect that the president
will be announced presently. this is the sort of event that with experience as my guide gets away on time normally. but apparently there were other matters today. so doesn't matter how long it takes. we'll provide uninterrupted coverage once it begins. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states accompanied by medal of honor recipient, gary m. rose, united states army, retired. ♪
>> we recall the words of sacred scripture, "no one has greater love than this than to lay down one's life for one's friends." let us pray. almighty god, source of our faith, our hope and our love, be present with us here now on this so important occasion for our nation as we recognize the extraordinary selfless service of captain mike rose, his heroic acts of sacrifice reveal to us the true dignity of each and every one of us of all of our
brothers and sisters. may these few moments here today and this example of captain rose's noble service trace for us, for the world, the way of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. may his heroic acts stir within us all the sacred desire to serve our nation, to serve with honor and to serve with these selfless acts that lead to peace. amen. >> please, thank you. >> thank you very much, chaplain hurley, vice president pence, secretary shulkin, members of congress, members of the armed forces and distinguished guests, please join me in welcoming
joining mike today is his wife, margaret, three children, sarah, claire and michael and their two grandchildren, katelyn and christian. katelyn and christian, i want you to know that the medal that we will present today will forever enshrine your grandfather -- and he is a good man. we just spoke to him for a long time. you're great, great young people. but this will enshrine him into the history of our nation. we're also grateful to be joined by nine previous congressional medal of honor recipients. their courage, character around conviction is beyond measure. please stand. [applause]
we are honored to be in their presence. this afternoon, i want to take a few moments to share with you the incredible story of mike's heroic deeds. raised in watertown, new york, mike's father was a metal worker and a world war ii veteran. he taught his son that we live in the greatest country in the world and that we must love it, cherish it and always defend it. mike took that very much to heart. after his first year in college, he enlisted in the army and by the time he was 22, mike was a medic for the fifth special forces group in the vietnam war. on september 11th, 1970, mike was called on his second combat
mission. he was the only medic for 136 men who embarked on one of the group's biggest missions of the war, operation tailwind. their goal was to prevent the north vietnamese from funneling weapons along the hochiminh trail to use against our american troops. helicopters dropped the unit into laos. before they touched the ground, enemy fire struck three men. once they landed in the clears, they rushed to the jungle for much-needed cover. soon another man was shot outside their defensive perimeter. mike immediately rushed to his injured comrad, firing at the enemy as he ran. in the middle of the clearing, under the machine gun fire, mike treated the wounded soldier. he shielded the man with his own body and carried him back to
safety. this was just the beginning of mike's harrowing four-day mission. mike and his unit slashed through the dense jungle, dodged bullets and explosives and everything that you can dodge because they threw it all at him and continually returned fire as they moved deeper and deeper and deeper into enemy territory. mike rescued those in distress without any thought for his own safety. i will tell you, the people with him could not believe what they were witnessing. he crawled from one soldier to the next, offering words of encouragement as he tended to their wounds. on the second day, one of the allied soldiers was shot outside of their company perimeter. again, mike raced to the side of the soldier, exposing himself to
constant fire. as bullets flew in every direction, mike fired with one arm while dragging the injured soldier back to the perimeter with the other. soon after they returned to their unit, a rocket-propelled grenade exploded nearby and shots smoldered metal into mike's back and into his leg. he was seriously, seriously wounded. the shrapnel left a gapping hole in mike's foot. for the next 48 excruciating hours, he used a branch as a crutch and rescued the wounded. mike did not stop to eat, sleep or care for his own serious injury as he saved the lives of his fellow soldiers. on the second and final night of the mission, the enemy surrounded the company. all night long, mike treated the wound and dug trenches to
protect them from blazing rockets and grenades. after four days of engagement with the enemy and after successfully destroying an enemy base camp, mike's unit prepared to evacuate. when the helicopters arrived, mike fought back the enemy as his fellow soldiers boarded the aircraft. he boarded the last chopper, limping up to the craft while still warded off the enemy forces that were fast approaching. as mike puts it, if you don't believe in god, then you should have been with us that day. i can tell you, it will make a believer out of you. because we should not ever have survived. mike, today we have a room full of people and a nation that thank god that you lived. [applause]
mike's story doesn't end there. soon after the helicopter lifted off the ground, the chopper was hit by enemy fire. mike, this is serious stuff. this was not a good four days. the bullets tragically struck a young marine gunner in the throat. again, mike rushed to help. as he wrapped a clothe around his neck, the engine of the helicopter failed and the aircraft crashed less than a mile from where it was taken off. mike was thrown off the aircraft before it hit the ground. he raced back to the site and pulled one man after another out of the smoking and smoldering helicopter as it spewed jet fuel from the tanks. finally, another helicopter rescued them. by the time they reached the base, mike was covered in blood. he was refused treatment until all of his men had been cared
for first. in every action during those four days, mike valiantly fought for the life of his comrades even if it meant the end of his own life. mike, you will -- i mean, i have to say, you really -- your will to endure, your love for your fellow soldier, your devotion to your country inspires us all. that is something. nations are formed out of the strength and patriotism that lives in the hearts of our great heros. mike never knew for certain whether or not that marine gunner who was shot on the helicopter survived until earlier this year when mike learned that the marine had endured a painful and difficult recovery, but that he had made it and lived a long and very full life before passing away in 2012. as mike said, that in itself
made it all worth it. that marine was one of many men mike saved throughout those four days, mike treated an astounding 60 to 70 men. their company disrupted the enemy's continual resupply of weapons, saving countless of additional american lives. today we're joined by many of mike's brothers in arms that fought alongside him in operation tailwind. as mike put it, if it wasn't for those air crews, all of us would still be in laos. among those here today are ten members of mike's unit. please stand up as i call your name. sergeant major morris adaire. sergeant don beaudrot.
first sergeant bernie bright. captain pete landon. sergeant jim lucas. lieutenant colonel gene mccarlie. first sergeant denver minton. sergeant keith planchet. specialist five craig schmidt and staff sergeant dave young. thank you very much. [applause] to mike and all of the service members that fought in the
battle, you have earned the eternal gratitude of the entire american nation. you face down the evils of communism, you defended our flag and you showed the world the unbreakable resolve of the american armed forces. thank you and thank you very much. after serving in operation tailwind, mike went on to become an officer in the army and served for over 20 years. now mike and his wife, margaret -- margaret, stand up. i met margaret. margaret is lovely. [applause] reside in a fantastic place, where i just left, huntsville, alabama, where he lives by a core conviction. you serve your country by fixing your block or fixing your neighborhood. mike volunteers with the
"american legion," the knights of columbus and many other organizations. he volunteers at a local soup kitchen, fixes broken appliances for the elderly, donates his hair for those suffering from cancer, makes lunches for children in need and organizes gathers to bring people closer together. which is something we need all over the world and certainly in our country. he's a loyal friend to his fellow service members, many only whom are in addition here today, and every wednesday katelyn and christian come over for homework night with grandpa and grandma. i think katelyn and christian will agree -- just met them. you have to stand up. come on, christian. katelyn. [applause] but i think that katelyn and christian will agree this field
trip is their best homework assignment yet, right? what do you think? yes. he said yes. i'm told that recently christian asked his grandfather, what exactly is the congressional medal of honor? that is a wonderful question, christian. it's the award given to america's bravest heros that earn our freedom with their sacrifice i those that receive the medal of honor went above and beyond the call of duty to protect their fellow service members and defend our nation. katelyn and christian, you're about to witness your grandpa receive our nation's highest military honor and america is about to witness captain gary michael rose recognized as the true american hero that he is. a patriot that never gives up, never gives in and always stands strong for god, for family and
for country. mike, we honor you, we thank you, we salute you and with hearts full of admiration and pride, we present you with the congressional medal of honor. now i would like the military aide to come forward and read the citation. thank you very much. thank you. [applause] >> the president of the united states of america authorized by act of congress, march 3, 1863, has awarded the in name of congress the medal of honor to sergeant gary m. rose for gallantry at the risk of his life, sergeant rose
distinguished himself by acts of gallantry while serving as a special forces medic with a company-sized exploitation force, special augmentation, command and central, special forces group, airborne, first special forces republican of vietnam. between 11 and 14 september 1970, sergeant rose's company was continually engaged by a well-armed and superior hostile force deep in enemy controlled territory. b-40 rockets and mortar rounds sprayed down while the enemy sprayed the area. sergeant rose braving the hail of bullets sprinted 50 meters to a wounded soldier's side. he used his own body to protect the casualty from further injury while treating his wounds. after stabilizing the casualty, sergeant rose carried him through the bullet ridden combat zone to protective cover. as the enemy accelerated the attack, sergeant rose exposed
himself to intense fire as he moved from casualty to casualty. a b-40 rocket impacted meters from sergeant rose. knocking him from his feet and injuring his head, hand and foot. ignoring his wounds, sergeant rose struggled to his feet and continued to render aid to the other soldiers. sergeant rose exposed himself to enemy fire as he attempted to hoist wounded personnel up to the hovering hem continuer which was unable to land due to the terrain. the medevac was aborted and the helicopter crashed due to the fire sustained. sergeant rose continued to expose himself to fire to treat the wounded. on september 14, during the company's eventual helicopter extracti extraction, the enemy launched a full scale offensive. sergeant rose was a loaded wounded personnel, rounded to the outer perimeter caring
friendly casualties until they could be evacuated. he returned to the perimeter to help propel the enemy under the final extraction helicopter had arrived. as it was loaded, the enemy began to overrun the company's position and the marine door gunner was shot in the neck. sergeant rose saved his life. the helicopter carrying sergeant rose crashed several hundred meters from the extraction point. despite his wounds from the past three days, sergeant rose continued to pull and carry unconscious and wounded personnel out of the burning wreckage and continued to administer aid to the wounded until another helicopter arrive. his heroism above and beyond the call of duty c critical to saving numerous lives over that four-daytime period. his actions are in keeping with
[applause] >> shepard: medal of honor recipient, captain michael rose for gallantry during the vietnam war. coming up here at the top of the hour, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staffs set to talk about the attack in niger, this is new. unscheduled at the beginning of the day. he's to speak just 12 minutes from now. of course, you must know by now that four american troops died in an ambush in niger. the defense secretary last week said a full investigation is underway. an official update coming minutes from now. the news continues after this.
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>> shepard: new details on exactly what happened in that deadly attack open u.s. troops in niger. jennifer griffin has that live from the pentagon. jennifer? >> well, shepard, we just learned that those troops on the ground could not communicate with the french war planes that were sent 30 minutes after the attack in niger began. it's not clear why they could not communicate, but we do know from the pilots of the french planes that they did not drop any bombs because they could not differentiate friend from foe. we'll hear from chairman of the joint chiefs, general dunford, in about ten minutes time here at the pentagon. it's the first time that he has spoken about the attack in niger that left four american soldiers dead. the circumstances behind the ambush still unclear. a pentagon investigation is ongoing. lawmakers from both parties are calling on the white house to provide answers.
>> we get different stories of what happened. we have some stories that said that our soldiers engaged in the battle, that pursued them. we have others that said no, they attacked us. we have to find out what happened. >> the ambush began after a meeting between an american special ops teams and tribal elders went longer than expected. officials traveled near the border with mali to accompany three dozen troops to meet the local leaders. on capitol hill, there's calls for a separate congressional investigation. over the weekend, lawmakers say they'd didn't know there were 1,000 troops in niger and the surrounding area. >> senator mccain is frustrated. we don't know where we're at in the world and what we're doing. >> we're in a brave new world. there's no set battle plans. you don't declare war and fight three weeks later. >> senator rand paul, a republican that leans libertarian tweeted you know
you're in too many wars in too many places when war monger lindsey graham can't keep track anymore. the fbi has sent a team to collect evidence in case they capture the perpetrators and want to build a legal case, this is standard in cases like, this. >> shepard: thanks, jen. japan's defense minister says north korea's weapons programs have reached an unprecedented critical and imminent level. he said that in a meeting in the philippines with the defense secretary james mattis. let's bring in gordon chang. thank you. >> the language on both sides is really getting quite dangerous. you have our cia director thursday talk about taking the final step of preventing the north koreans from getting the capability to hit the united states with a missile. then you have kim jong-un talk about final victory. he's be doing that more frequently. that's code for basically taking
over south korea. now you have the japanese foreign minister saying, oh, you know they're getting to an imminent level. >> so you have to watch what is happening, not what is being said. what is happening from north korea is apparently nothing. north koreans haven't tested anything, haven't set anything up since this ratcheted up. is that coincidence? >> what is happening on the north korean side, the chinese have their 19th national congress. the chinese told them no provocations during that political calendar. but that ended wednesday. so perhaps the end of next week or the following week we'll see the north koreans do something. >> shepard: and then the president visits. >> and the president visits. if he goes to the dmz, that's a perfect opportunity for the north koreas to commit some sort of provocation. you know, you put this together,
the united states right now is preparing for war. we have the ronald reagan, a carrier which is off the north korean coast, and we're talking to the taiwanese about looking at their ships to see if they can be used for injured americans. that is extraordinary, shep. >> shepard: president trump at the dmz and the north koreans do something. that doesn't sound good. >> no. also air force one will be in the air over the pacific. the north koreans can launch a missile. it would be a message. the last time they arced a missile over japan, they got within an hour of an air france airliner. the north koreans don't notified anybody about these missile tests which means they could hit a plane or a shop. >> shepard: gordon chang, great to see you. >> thanks. >> shepard: in just a moment, a commercial break. the markets will close.
final bell will be ringing in three minutes. neil cavuto will have all of the details and a busy day in business and another busy day in politics as well. i'm shepard smith in new york. neil cavuto coming up next. 1c, and now reduces cardiovascular risk. victoza® lowers my a1c and blood sugar better than the leading branded pill. (avo) and for people with type 2 diabetes treating cardiovascular disease, victoza® is now approved to lower the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, or death. and while it isn't for weight loss, victoza® may help you lose some weight. (avo) victoza® is not for people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. do not take victoza® if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to victoza® or any of its ingredients. stop taking victoza® and get medical help right away if you get symptoms of a serious allergic reaction such as rash,
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>> neil: all right. we are awaiting the defense department update from the joint chiefs of staff on whatever happened to the four soldiers killed in niger, what they were doing there in the first place and how it was in the case of the fourth soldier identified that it didn't happen until some days later. the time line is what has been very crucial. the joint chiefs chairman general joe dunford will start dotting is and crossing ts. kevin corke at the white house on what they're coming to find as a controversy has been called by the lef