tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN April 19, 2017 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
set up and the results of the task force expected to be presented sometime in june. jake? >> alison kosik, thanks so much. >> sure. >> we'll mark president trump's first 100 days in office with a special primetime edition of "the lead" in addition to our regular 4:00 p.m. time. we'll also be on at 9:00 p.m. starting monday. i'm jake tapper. thanks for watching. i turn it over to wolf blitzer next door. happening now. iran warning. secretary of state rex tillerson says the nuclear deal with iran completely ignores other serious threats posed by the country he warns could be on the path to becoming the next north korea. what is the trump administration planning to do about it? putin's planes. for the second day in a row russian bombers buzz the alaska coast, and now syria's warplanes are huddled next to a russian base in an apparent attempt to protect them from another u.s. manulife strike. are the mess a message from
vladimir putin? missile sabotage? growing questions about a series of unsuccessful north korean missile tests. the program's failure rate is oddly above average. is the u.s. working to secretly sabotage it? and fox fire. the company announces it's dropping the host of its highly rated program bill o'reilly amid a wave of sexual harassment allegations. will the move end weeks of behind-the-scenes turmoil at fox? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're following break news. charges by the trump administration that iran continues to, quote, export terror and violence despite making good on the nuclear deal that president trump has slammed. secretary of state rex tillerson says the agreement ignores what he calls other serious threats
posed by iran which he says could be on the same path as north korea if left uncheckled. we're following news from syria where government war means are under the protection of the russian government. they moved their jets following the u.s. missile strikes that took out a portion of syria's military air fleet and we're investigating questions of possible sabotage of north korea's missile program by the u.s. were a series of failed test launches the result of american cyber attacks? and more breaking news. top-rated fox news host bill o'reilly has been ousted from the network amid a series of sexual harassment allegations. dozens of companies pulled their ads from o'reilly's show following a report that fox paid millions of dollars in settlements to his accusers. we're covering all of that and
much more this hour with our guests, including congressman andre carson of the house intelligence committee and our correspondents and panelists are also standing by. first, let's get straight to the state department and the breaking news. our diplomatic correspondent michelle kosinski has the very latest for us. michelle, rare remarks, tough remarks by the secretary of state. >> reporter: right, and no one doubts that iran is continuing its destabilizing activity around the world, but the secretary of state's remarks just add to some of the confusion today especially over what exactly the administration is going for here because this is the very day that the administration officially certified to congress as it's supposed to do every 990 days that iran is keeping up its end of the iran nuclear deal, so they spelled that out, but at the same time said that the administration is now beginning a review of the nuclear deal and specifically whether the u.s.'
lifting of sanctions which is a key part of that deal are in the u.s. national security interests, and if the u.s. decided to reimpose those sanctions, there would be no iran nuclear deal, and iran could continue with activity, however way it wanted, so secretary of state tillerson then comes out today with a long list of the ways that iran continues to be a bad actor, and he equates it with the iran nuclear deal. here's some of what he said. >> iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for intense and multiple conflicts and undermining u.s. interests in countries such as syria, yemen, iraq and lebanon and continuing to support attacks against israel. an up checked iran has the potential to travel the same path as north korea and take the world along with it. >> reporter: so this is interesting because all of those
activities when the iran nuclear deal was forged were viewed as separate. those activities are sanctioned by the u.s. and others, and they are sanctioned separately. the reason why is because if they try to punish iran for everything iran never would have joined in to the deal in the first place. that's why those things are kept completely apart, but tillerson seemed to be saying that the iran nuclear deal has failed because it doesn't take those things into account. he says it's already failed in its objectives and he called it a failed approach so a couple of questions here that this now raises. if this administration believes that this administration has already failed, then why conduct the review and if the review is because of other activities that iran is doing related to terror, why isn't the u.s. talking about those sanctions that are already related to those activities. wolf? >> michelle kosinski with the late news at the state
department, thank you very much. let's get some more now. as syria is moving to protect its warplanes in the wake of the u.s. missile strike. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr is working this story for us. barbara, what are you finding out about the syrian warplanes moving closer to a russian base? >> reporter: wolf, you'll remember in the tomahawk missile strike that the u.s. conducted in early april about 20% of syria's operational aircraft were destroyed, according to u.s. estimates, so now they are taking some protective measures and have moved most of the remaining aircraft to an air base along the coast very close to the main russian military footprint in the region there, on that coastal region. the russians have sophisticated air defense systems and sophisticated missiles there, so by moving all of their aircraft to this area along the coast it puts them under the protective umbrella of the russian military and would make it very difficult for the u.s. to make a decision
to strike syrian aircraft again because they would be flying into that russian protective umbrella. if the syrians decide to conduct another chemical attack using aircraft from this area, it's going to really narrow some of the options for the u.s. it's going to make it much more dangerous for the u.s. to retaliate. again, of course, the syrians maintain other methods of delivering chemical weapons, helicopters, artillery and rockets and by all accounts those remain spread out across the country, at least the parts the regime controls. wolf? >> and all of this comes as russian bombers were once again spotted off the alaskan coast. what are you finding out about that? >> reporter: second time in two days, russian bombers came within 36 miles of the coast of
alaska. important to mention that they stayed within international airspace and for the second day in a row the u.s. sent up aircraft and the russians turned and flew back towards russia exactly as everybody expected. is it routine or is it a provocation? the question is now what is putin really up to with this aircraft? is he just sort of pinging at president trump saying, look, i can fly near your coastline or is there some other motivation there? nobody thinks that this is about a russian attacks, but it's coming to -- coming to at least an annoyance for the u.s. military. >> certainly is. thanks very much, barbara starr, over at the pentagon. the vice president mike pence, meanwhile, he's ruling out any direct negotiations with north korea, at least for now, even though president trump said as a candidate he would be willing to talk with kim jong-un. our chief political
correspondent dana bash spoke exclusively to the vice president and joins us live from tokyo. you spoke on board the aircraft carrier the "uss ronald reagan." tell us how it went. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. you know, the vice president spent the past four days with really, really stepped-up rhetoric towards north korea, talking about the need for more diplomatic talks and also putting on the table or keeping on table, i should say, the notion of military action, but with regard to diplomatic talks, what i talked to him about aboard the "uss ronald reagan" was trying to get beyond the rhetoric and trying to set a sense of what exactly the trump administration's policy is. take a listen. let's talk about north korea and what you've been saying while here in the region, that the strategy of the u.s. will be to reach out to allies in the region and that the best path to dialogue, you're saying, is
through a familiar life nations. i've got to tell you. that sounds a whole lot like the six-party talks back in the bush administration that failed. how is your policy different? >> i think that the president has made it very clear that after more than two decades of failed die mog and even what was called strategic patience, in a the patience of the its and the allies in this region has really run out and we're beginning to take such measures diplomatically to isolate pyongyang. and for anyone looking on, for president trump's leadership, not only our allies in south korea and japan and in the wider world standing with us, but china has taken unprecedented steps now to begin to economically isolate north korea, and given the fact that china represents more than 80%
of the exports from north korea is enormously important to their economic marketplace. we believe that this is an important step forward. >> so i just want to try to -- to drill down on the diplomatic side of this a little bit more. will the u.s. actually sit down in any way, shape or form for diplomatic negotiations with the north koreans? >> you know, whether you go back to the agreed framework of the 1990s or the six-party talks -- >> not, that just looking forward, whatever version it will be. will there be any negotiating, whether it's direct i? mean, you can answer that -- could you see a direct negotiation with north korea and the u.s.? >> i think not at this time. the policy that president trump has articulated is to marshall the support of our allies in the region, here in japan, in south korea and nations around the world and china who have taken the position now for decades of
a nuclear-free korean peninsula. >> bilateral talks, that's not going happen, understandable. is there a move or a thought that as part of those diplomatic steps you're talking begun to get the nations like south korea, like japan, maybe even china back to the table with north korea and the u.s.? is that something that you think is doable and would make much of a difference? >> i think the president's vision for this is very straightforward and that is that we are going to make it clear to the regime in pyongyang that the days of broken promises, the days of running out the clock on agreements with the wider world are over, that when you look at two nuclear tests in the last year alone, you look at an unprecedented number of ballistic missile launches, there's no question that north
korea represents the most dangerous and most immediate threat in the asian pacific, and president trump is determined to confront that threat by marshalling unprecedented cooperation of our allies in the region and china and the world. >> you've got your rhetorical strategy down and so does the president, but is it a rhetorical strategy in search of an actually practical diplomatic approach? >> i think it's -- i think it's imminently bracket camp i think the president's direct engagement with president xi of china and the fact now you've seen china turning back coal shipments from north korea, making changes in the ability of ability to travel by air from pyongyang into china and other measures that they may well take in the future demonstrate the kinds of hands-on diplomacy that president trump has brought to
this, and -- and that's what it will take. >> did the missile test that the north koreans launched while you were on your plane heading to the region fail because the u.s. used any electronic or cyber technology to sabotage it in. >> i really can't comment on the electronic or tech cam capabilities of our military but we certainly -- we certainly recognize that that was a failed missile test. it filled almost immediately just like another test. >> that the u.s. didn't have anything to do with it? >> i can't comment either way, dana, and what i can say is failed or not it was one more provocation by a regime that continues to flout the views of the international community and it's got to the come to an end. >> reporter: now, there's no
question that although the vice president didn't want to talk about whether the u.s. was involved in this most recent failed north korean missile test, that this has been something that the administration's certainly passed, the obama administration in particular, has reportedly been working on in a big way, wolf, trying to figure out other ways besides direct military operations to try to stop north korea and scrambling using cyber warfare and other electronic means, scrambling north korea's nuclear missile test, has been reported a big way that the u.s. has tried to do that. sfwhofl. >> dana, thank you. dana bash reporting live from tokyo right now. let's get some more on that from democratic congresswoman from indiana is joining us. thanks for joining us. >> thank you, wolf, for having me. >> does the trump administration right now have any good options as far as dealing with north
korea? >> well, i think the provocation that we're seeing coming from north korea is not unusual. we saw the same actions under the obama administration. we saw the same actions under the bush administration before him, and even president clinton. it is unfortunate that north korea has a very irresponsible leader who is was impulsive and a threat to the korean peninsula, but having said that i think that removing any negotiating strategy off of the table should not be our ultimatum. i think we should be firm in our posturing. i think we should have a reasonable show of force, but i also think that they have a lot to lose as well. listen, much of their artillery is soviet-era equipment. that's not to say that we should take their regular testing of missiles lightly. >> it's a serious situation. now you probably know the top
democrat on your committee, adam schiff, issued a statement that mentioned casual talk or tweets that could lead to war. congressman, do you believe some of the recent tough talk coming out of the trump white house is pushing the u.s. and north korea right now closer towards confrontation? >> well, i think in a very real sense we have to be firm as it relates to, south korea is a strategic ally, an important ale, and we also need china's help. i know they rely heavily, north korea that is, on china for food and fuels, but if they are willing to dismantle their attempts at nuclear weaponry and it job in their best interest to look at ways in which concessions can be made in terms
of us -- you know that that's been the u.s. goal now for at least 20 years to get them to end the -- were to do this and kim jong-un eliminated his weapons program and he has a number of bombs already, developing the intercontinental ballistic missiles with potentially nuclear warheads, if he didn't have that threat. he'd be gone and would wind up like gadhafi who ended his nuclear program and we all know what happened to him in libya. that's the argument they make. they won't give up their nuclear program realistically, are they? >> it's difficult to say which is why our tough talk has to be womener and we have toy will lie on -- when north korea had support from the russians and, of course, we supported south
korea, but i think that when you're dealing with this kind of leadership, this kind of childish leadership, we cannot play games with them. now, they cannot match our military might, that's true, but the casualties that they could cause in the region alone could create a humid. i don't know christian is that we would have to ultimately respond to so in a real sense, wolf, i think it's important that we do show a sizable presence in the region. we need to bet them know and we have to work an letting them now without execution or apology that we're not here to play. >> congressman, stand by. there's more to discuss there. he's more information. we'll take a quick break and be right back. most on these balloons. travel with my daughter. roller derby.
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we're back with democratic congressman andre carson of indiana. congressman, let me get reaction to the news that the syrian regime of bashar al assad has moved most of its remaining operational combat aircraft to a new location in very close poximity to a russian air base. now those planes that have been relocated, does this complicate the potential for president trump to order another missile strike against that -- those syrian warplanes with the protective cover, if you will, of the russians? >> it absolutely does. this is an even greater reason for president trump to condemn president putin, and even beyond that, wolf, i think it shows that russia it in fact or it
looks like russia is in fact complicit in the chemical attacks launched against syrians this. kind of protection is questionable and unacceptable and deserves condemnation from our president. >> does russia ultimately hold the cards when it comes to the war in syria? >> not necessarily so, but i think they have a lot of leverage. i mean, you know, syria has for some time been a client state of the russian government and this relationship is one in which we cannot avoid with a direct confrontation with -- with russia. i think that are of course i salute the air force for scrambling the f-22s a few hours ago, but i think at some point we may have a direct confrontation with russia. this provocation coming from north korea, the provocation coming from the russians. it's to me trouble, but it shows
that this is why we train regularly. this is why our military trains. this is why our intelligence services train for these kinds of events, and i think if we are provoked we will show the kind of force that has not been seen. of course, we all want global partly cloudy skies burks wolf, i think there are people out there who are fighting to be the ultimate superpower and, unfortunately, when you're dealing with these kinds of egos, direct confrontation is necessary. >> congressman andre carson, thanks so much for joining us. >> what an honor, thank you. breaking news coming. fox news fires bill o'reilly. is it enough to calm the sexual harassment controversy that's rocking the network. plus, growing concern among republicans about anti-trump anger. should the president be taking a victory lap after an inclusive election -- after an inclusive election result. what's the best way to get two servings of veggies? v8 or a fancy juice store? ready, go! hi, juice universe? one large rutabaga, with eggplant...
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we're following break news. bill o'reilly fired today from fox news amid a sexual harassment scandal that caused advertisers to flee his show, his top-rated show. he's just put out a statement. the statement from bill o'reilly. let me read it. over the past 20 years at fox news i've been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history which has consistently informed and entertained millions of americans and significantly couldn't abuse beauted to building fox into the dom not news network in television. the statement adds it is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims, but that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live
with today. i will always look back at my time at fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. i wish only the best for fox news channel. that's the statement from bill o'reilly on this day that he was fired. let's dig deep we are our experts and analysts. chris cillizza, he is certainly one of the biggest if not the biggest star in cable news. >> it's that statement, if an alien land on earth and wanted to know who bill o'reilly was and could read him the statement and do a good job sort of brassy, unapologetic egotistical and at the same time he's not wrong. he -- he and roger ailes helped build fox into, he is the public face and roger ai le s is the architect behind the scenes, made fox news into sort of the voice, the face, the modern
conservative movement, you know, not the william f. buckley and the irving kristols, he was elite, the mainstream media and all its problems and he was in many ways that person so he's not wrong. the show did get amazing ratings. fox does have tremendous ratings in mine share and what happened in 2016 with roger ailes and now bill o'reilly, huge for the media. >> they are both gone, bill o'reilly amid the sexual harassment allegations, two of the architects of this conservative media alignment. >> that's right, and, you know, if you were going out and talking to voters out in the country, they would often parrot things that they heard on -- on fox news, o'reilly this, attitude of anti-political correctness this, sort of brash
blustery approach to things, very much in terms of crafting the identity of obama and the identity that conservatives rallied against. that was very much part of o'reilly and fox news, the rise of the tea party, and you saw candidates for president really want to go on fox news, go on and talk to o'reilly to get their face out there, to get their message out there, so this is just a seismic shift to have him not on that slot any longer on fox news. >> one thing to add quickly. bill o'reilly, the first interview donald trump gave after he announced for president, bill o'reilly. >> yeah, and trump strongly defended him the other day, bill o'reilly in that interview he gave to maggie haberman in the "new york times" saying he did nothing wrong. he's a great guy. he went out of his way to support him and he said he should never have settled any of those sexual harassment lawsuits. he should have fought every step of the way, and as you know, mark preston, donald trump as a
candidate and as a private citizen, he faced those kinds of allegations himself. >> a lot of similarities aren't there, no doubt, and as chris was say, you know, the idea that he felt like he was under attack but he's bombastic and he's a fighter, that statement that you just read right there, if you just took off that last sentence where he wished fox news well, that could have been delivered by donald trump himself. the fact is they did share a certain strain of populism. populism the liberals will get upset by using that, but the populism that they were advocating for was very similar. donald trump used it on the campaign trail and bill o'reilly would parrot that on his show or donald trump would parrot bill o'reilly on the campaign trail over the past two years, very much what we saw with bill o'reilly was taking a conservative talk radio and putting it on tv. >> take a look at this picture, chris. bill o'reilly, he's been on vacation for a week and a half now in italy, and this picture,
he shows up at the vatican. he's at st. peter's square with pope francis getting a handshake from the pope. >> so a lot of times people are like, wow, your job, you know, people are beating on you all the time and then things like this happen and it's just such an interesting odd job. if we talked about the same day that bill o'reilly, i think the largest brand in cable television, if we talked about the same day bill o'reilly got fired from fox with a picture of him meeting prance its. oh, come on. when i first saw this picture, sure. it was either a hoax or from ten years ago, that it couldn't possibly be serendipitous enough in the news cycle that bill o'reilly would meet the pope on that day. >> it's interesting the "new york times" quotes a spokesman for cardinal timothy dolan saying he wrote to the vatican several months ago requesting these tickets for mr. o'reilly
and his family to meet with the pope, athlete get an audience. quote, the cardinals is often asked to assist people from the archdiocese of new york going to rome and always does his best to help and the spokesman for the cardinal said as in all cases the decision is ultimately up to rome, but this -- the request came in months ago. >> sure, and it -- it certainly didn't hurt bill o'reilly that he was bill o'reilly. >> sure. >> and he got to the top of the line, but timing is everything in politics and that's what we just saw right there. >> yeah, i mean, amazing coincidence, and i think it also sort of gets to one of the problems here had. i mean, i think conservatives, had -- they have been the arbiter of morality, this idea that they represent family values and you have bill o'reilly being accused of this string of harassing women and having to pay out all of these settlements, so, again, i think that's why it was so untenable and all of these advertisers
pull out but a massive day in terms of fox news and cable television. >> following the story in the "new york times" a couple weeks ago that reported that he and fox had paid out $13 million. >> it speaks to o'reilly's strength as a brand and his ratings that it took that long. think about it. any other -- most other people, you withstand a story like that, you're gone the next day. >> did president trump play a role in prevent hag major republican election loss? some republicans are worried he may do more harm than good. plus, a series of failed north korean missile tests. were they sabotaged by u.s. cyber attacks? yeah, i just saved a whole lot of money by switching to geico. huh. we should take a closer look at geico... you know, geico insures way more than cars. boats, motorcycles... even rvs! geico insures rvs? what's an rv? uh, the thing we've been stuck on for five years! wait, i'm not a real moose?? we've been over this, jeff... we're stickers! i'm not a real moose?
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bill has nothing to worry about. it kills weeds and greens grass, guaranteed. this is a scotts yard. republicans narrowly passed their first major electoral test since donald trump became president, but some are fearing the effects of anti-trump anger out there in the upcoming races. our senior white house correspondent jim acosta has the very latest for us. jim, the president personally weighed in on this closely watched race. >> reporter: that's right, wolf, and the white house it is taking something of a victory lap after this special congressional election last night in georgia where the democrat in the race just missed a chance to seize a traditionally republican district, but race in georgia highlights some real problems for the white house that are making fellow republicans very nervous. it was almost a stunning upset for democrats in a gop stronghold in the red state of georgia. >> hey, everybody. >> reporter: but for the white house democrat jon ossoff's near
miss was a big victory for republicans. >> there was one candidate on the democratic side. their goal was to get over 50%. they came up short. >> reporter: president trump who became personally invested in the race with a series of tweets slamming ossoff crowed despite major outside money, fake media support and 11 republican candidates big "r" win with runoff in georgia. glad to be of help. but not all republicans share this assessment. >> this should be a wake-up call to the republicans in the south. >> reporter: ossoff will face the leading gop contend are in the race, karen andel who has received assurances of more white house help from the president. >> he just called to say congratulations and encourage me and let me know that as we go into june 20thth, you know, it's all hands on deck. >> reporter: that nationalizing of the race could make life difficult for ossoff. >> i think folks in washington tend to overstate their influence in local races like
this. >> reporter: still, the anti-trump anger that fueled ossoff's rise is also being felt in more congressional town halls. in iowa senator joanie ernst repeated her concerns about his the president's trips to mar-a-lago. >> i do wish he would spent more time in washington, d.c. that's what we have the white house for. >> reporter: as a town hall in oklahoma republican senator james lankford urged the president to release his tax returns. he should. >> can you say what the single piece of legislation are the proudest that you got through congress that was on president's agenda? >> well, a few things on that. number one, we're not done. we have a little ways before we hit the 100-day snoork whethmar. whether you're trying to win a super bowl or rebuild our country, as coach belichick would say there are no days off.
>> reporter: in search of the winning spirit the president welcomed the super bowl winning champions new england patriots and mr. trump counted on tom brady during the campaign. >> trailed, great guy. he called today and he said, donald, i support you. you're my friend >> reporter: white house press secretary sean spicer was on the receiving end of a cameo from patriots star rob gronkowski in the briefing room. >> can i just -- >> you need some help? >> i think i got this, but thank you. >> you sure? >> i'll let you. >> hold on. all right. that was cool. >> now as for white house plans to highlight president's legislative accomplishments when he reaches 100 days, sean spicer
said the executive orders and the appointment of neil gorsuch but those are not legislative successes. we're hearing up on the white house that white house officials are exploring ways to take one more stab at repealing and replacing obamacare next week before that 100-day milestone. wolf. >> we'll see how that works out. thanks very much, jim acosta over at the white house. coming up, are u.s. cyber attacks responsible for north korea's failed missile tests? ful ♪ we are not here to sit idly by.
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missile tests. brian, u.s. cyber attacks could have caused these north korean test launches to fail. >> there is. the secret very effective cyber attack on iran's nuclear program. has the u.s. been launching attacks on north korea's missiles? kim jong un proudly launches a land based mobile launch missile, the intermediate range and the icbm's that could some day carry nuclear war heads to the u.s. a new question tonight, are these missiles being sabotaged be i the u.s. in the most recent test a north korean missile exploded seconds after launch. they say the u.s. has a program
to disrupt north korean missiles with cyber attacks. president obama accelerated the program. >> if you track what's happened to the missile tests since then you discover an unusually high failure rate. for the most potent intermediate range missile, last year that failure rate was 88%. >> reporte >> it's not clear in if missiles were hacked. experts tresz hacks of missiles are almost impossible to detect and things like poor design or bad engineering could cause them to fail. >> any of the things that electronically happen, the ignition of the fuel, the staging of the missile, the cut off of fuel burn with liquid fuel missile, the guidance system, any of those things and
the kill switch are possibilities. >> in addition to possibly setting back north korea's missile program they say cyber attacks could have a crucial psychological effect on this brutal young tyrant. >> if his missiles continually fail he is not looking strong. he is looking weak. that is something he can't live with. >> kim jong un ordered an investigation. >> basically trying to fair it out a spy would involve all types of surveillance. it would possibly involve conduct an investigation of hardware, computers that were used, all common occasions and of course remember, in north korea pretty much each and every person has to be an informer. >> and while they are investigating they say north cor
koreans are getting better at cyber defense. they say if he becomes convinced that his missiles have been hacked by the u.s. he could launch a cyber attack on the scale or worse. >> thanks very much. breaking news. coming up rex tillerson issues a blunt new warning about iran saying it could become the next north korea. we have details of his rare public remarks. that's next. here. [wife] hi [dad] hey buddy [son] hey dad [wife] i think we can do this. [chancellor] adam baily. [chancellor] adam baily.
secretary of state speaks out warning that iran may follow the same dangerous path as north korea. what does it mean for the future of the deal that the president railed against during the campaign? syria moves most of its warplanes to a single location in the shadow of a russian air base. apparently looking for cover from the kremlin in case u.s. missiles strike again. risk of war, as north koreans cheer the attack on the united states the trump administration is ready to respond with overwhelming force if necessary. and factored out, fox news is take taing bill o'reilly off news for good as he reels from a sexual harassment scandal. the conservative movement and president