tv Special Report With Bret Baier FOX News February 20, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
>> dana: it wasn't food court. he didn't share them with us. >> juan: i don't think your parents you have them. >> jesse: set your dvrs. never miss an episode of "the five." "special report" is next. bret is back. >> president trump takes that first step on possible gun changes. survivors from the shooting take their case for stricter gun laws of the state capital. and how the russians tried to capitalize on the florida shooting and affect your opinion through social media. this is "special report" ." ♪ >> bret: good evening. welcome to washington. i am bret baier. president trump respond to calls for greater regulation on rapid-fire weaponry like that used in last week's florida school shooting and in las vegas last year. he is calling on the justice department to come up with new rules on so-called bump stocks that increase the speed at which bullets can be fired. bump stocks were used in the
las vegas shooting, not florida. but the move could either be a signal by this president of more things to come or a move to just do something ahead of meetings this week about the next steps after a long string of mass shootings. chief white house correspondent john roberts starts us off from the north lawn with an announcement no one really saw coming. >> it's been more than 140 days and we have heard nothing from the president. his big event today which we saw over your shoulder was to honor first responders who risked their lives to save others. the florida shooting in the issue of how to keep guns out of the hands of killers front and center. in the wake of the douglas high school massacre, president trump reached back to the last mass shooting, las vegas, announcing he was sick of ban on so-called bump stocks that allow the shooter to fire off so many around so quickly. >> a few moments ago i signed a
memorandum directing the attorney general to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. i expect these critical regulations will be finalized, jeff, very soon. >> he recognized the valor of safety officers who responded to yet another mass shooting, san bernardino in 2015, the president praised the heroism of those who sacrificed their lives last week. >> in the aftermath of this evil massacre, or spirits have been lifted by the accounts of bravery at the marjory stoneman douglas high school who have shown us that the forces of love and courage are always stronger than the forces of evil and hate. >> douglas high school is the first mass shooting in the school since president trump took office. today he pledged to take steps he said would actually make a difference. >> the key in all of these efforts, as i said in my remarks the day after the shooting, is
that we cannot merely take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. we must actually make a difference. >> the president will hold listening sessions this week on school shootings. tomorrow he will meet students and teachers from douglas high school, sandy hook elementary, and other schools. thursday he will meet with state and local officials to hear what they have to say. president trump has voiced support for a senate bill that seeks to make a background check system more efficient, but when pressed, the press secretary indicated more needs to be done. >> the president is very focused on mental illness, working with the health and human services department to determine the best path forward on that and what is available and allowed under the law. unfortunately we can't just flip a switch, but there is a process. we are a law and order country. and the president is trying to do everything he can under his capacity to address these concerns and certainly when it comes to mental illness.
>> the white house also defended a tweet president trump was widely criticized for. he said the weekend missed all the many signal sent out by the florida school shooter because they were spending too much time trying to prove rush of collusion with the trump campaign. >> he was making the point that we would like our fbi agencies to not be focused on something that is clearly a hoax in terms of investigating the trump campaign and its involvement. >> four days after robert mueller announced indictments against 13 russians for interfering in the u.s. election, president trump faulted the obama white house for not taking russian meddling more seriously. while the president made no effort to call out the russians after mueller's announcement, the white house insisted president trump has been far harder on russia then the obama administration ever was. >> helped push through 700 billion to rebuild the military. he has helped export energy to
eastern europe. he has closed three diplomatic properties here in the united states. he has helped arm the ukrainians. there were is a number of places where obama was too weak and refused to put pressure on russia where this president has. >> president trump took a swing at the obama white house and his memoranda to the attorney general looking to ban bump stocks, pointing out the obama administration repeatedly concluded bump stocks were illegal to purchase and possess. >> bret: john roberts live on the north lawn. students from that south florida high school were 17 people were killed last week are heading to the state capitol tonight. they are using their sudden surge of fame to try to make changes to gun loss in the political process they impart blame for the massacre. correspondent steve harrigan's live in parkland, florida. good evening, steve. >> good evening, bret. some survivors of the attacker already on route to the state capital and they are bringing a message that is angry and urgen
urgent. with the sleeping bags and pillows in hand, 100 students boarded three buses for a 400-mile drive to tallahassee to meet with stable members -- state lawmakers. >> after sandy hook and columbine, you never heard of such movements like this. there is never been school walkouts and things like this that have been statewide. everyone is paying attention. it's a huge call to action for anyone who has kids and anyone who is in school. >> going to call the people doing wrong and work towards better. we are not little kids. we had to grow up so fast in the last week. some of our innocence is taken from us and we are going to go out and make noise and get stuff done. >> vigils and rallies for gun control across the state are increasing the pressure on politicians here to take action. the movement has emotional support from both students and parents. >> this animal took this
beautiful girl from us. no one should ever do this and it happened a bunch of times. it shouldn't happen and it stops here in parkland. this is where it's going to stop. >> the 19-year-old suspect nikolas cruz appeared in court monday. his medical records have been ordered unsealed. a visit from a state social worker in 2016 concluded cruz was a low risk to harm himself or others. it also concluded the following. mr. cruz had fresh cuts on both arms. mr. cruz said he wanted a gun. it was unknown with the gun was for. cruz remains in solitary confinement and is on suicide watch. he faces 17 counts of first-degree murder. the school will reopen for teachers to return on friday. the students will not return until next week tuesday for a limited schedule of classes. bret, back to you. >> bret: thank you. the surge of fame based in incredible pain from this week. changing gun laws could be a
monumental task. one reason, many of the decisions are made on the state level. correspondent peter doocy explains how that works. >> state strengthening their gun laws without spring court interference continued today. california lawmakers learned they could proceed with their proposed ten day waiting period to buy guns, the second longest wait in the country. >> federal laws provide a certain baseline every state have to respect. but above that, states are free to vary how they regulate guns. we have wide diversity in the united states. >> an overwhelming 77% of adults polled by "the washington post" "washington post" and abc news don't think congress is doing enough to prevent mass shootings. a majority 62 percent don't think president trump is doing enough. when states act faster than the feds, the result are sometimes mixed. >> california, we have a law that bans the position of high-capacity magazines but according to law enforcement, no one has turned in one of these
magazines. >> on a store card -- scorecard, florida it's a f. the group concludes consistently we see a powerful correlation. states with stronger laws have fewer gun deaths per capita wealth states with weaker laws have more gun deaths. over half a dozen states get a's including maryland where there is a universal background check for all handguns and assault gun purchases. maryland's gun laws didn't stop this clarksburg high school student from building an arsenal with an ar-15, and multiple grenades. police say he had a list of grievances. >> if a determined criminal wants to do harm, they do harm. if you have a state banning a rifle just because of the way the rear hand holds the rifle, that's just ridiculous. >> the white house as president trump is open to beefing up the national background check but the
administration is just as alarmed by the fbi's failures. >> when you have a specific troubled individual the community is focused on, law enforcement is focused on, how come no one can take action? that's an area outside the background check system where looking at. >> protests continue a new gun laws discuss, not all elected officials are voting based on the emotion of what happened last week and sorta because in florida, late this afternoon, te legislature voted not to pursue a new ban on assault rifles. >> bret: thank you. republicans on the house intelligence committee are launching a new offense of tonight regarding alleged surveillance abuse during the 2016 election that goes beyond the fbi and the justice department. chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge has the latest. >> with the current and former officials, republican chairman of the house intelligence committee launched phase two of
the trump dossier investigation. chairman devin nunes posed a string of dossier related questions, covering when officials learned the dnc and clinton campaign paid for the research. as well as how they dossier was used to secure one or more surveillance warrants. fox news learned the questionnaire, including a threat to subpoena, went to former fbi director james comey, former director of national intelligence james clapper and former cia director john brennan. the republican staff memo released this month said fbi and justice department knew about the dossiers democratic roots. it asked the court to collect trump campaign aide carter page's communications. a year later, john brennan testified he didn't know the whole dossier story. >> director brennan, do you know who commissioned the steele dossier? >> i don't. >> do you know if the bureau relied on the steele dossier is part of any court filings,
applications, positions? >> i have no awareness. >> london lawyer entered a washington, d.c., federal court and pled guilty to lying. he lied about his communications two months before the presidential election. along with his business partner and former trump campaign chairman paul manafort, gates was indicted. white house spokesman said the guilty plea is many steps removed from the special councils collusion mandate. >> this has to do with an attorney representing one of the individuals was already been indicted. it has nothing to do with actions related to this president. >> the guilty plea puts pressure on gates. vander swan faces up to five years in prison. due to his cooperation, could be six months in prison. a fine not to exceed $10,000.
sentencing is scheduled for april >> bret: president trump burying the political hatchet. the president tweets: "@mittromney has announced he is running for the senate from the wonderful state of utah. he will make a great senator and worthy successor to @orrinhatch, and has my full support and endorsement!" romney responded saying "thank you, mr. president, for the support. i hope over the course of the campaign i earned the support and endorsement of the people of utah. in the past it's not been that nice between the two. romney has called the president a phony. mr. trump is called romney, said he choked like a dog in the 2012 presidential race. president trump is urging republicans in pennsylvania to fight a new congressional district map drawn up by the democrat-controlled state supreme court. the redrawing of the map could have big implications for the midterm elections. it is seen now as a big win for democrats.
eric shawn tells us where things stand. >> pennsylvania republicans charge the fixes in after the state supreme court redrew the congressional districts. democrats say the courts move erases a current map that has long unfairly favored the g.o.p. the court found the current map was "aimed at achieving unfair partisan gain." the new map cuts the number of districts president trump won from 12 to 10 and increases the number of districts hillary clinton could have won by 2. that prompted president trump to treat: "hope republicans in the great state of pennsylvania challenge the new "pushed" congressional map, all the way to the supreme court, if necessary. your original was correct! don't let the dems take elections away from you so that they can raise taxes & waste money!" this is a blatant power grab.
all americans, all pennsylvanians should be concerned about this overreach. >> he says only legislatures, not courts, can redraw district lines. democrats praised the ruling saying it eliminates gerrymandering. >> was the old map tilted? stucco it was. >> election expert michael lee says the new map creates a more even playing field. >> somebody put their thumb on the scale and a pretty heavy way. that's not very natural in a state like pennsylvania. pennsylvania isn't nebraska where you have dark red areas and things like that. it's not utah. this is a state that's a classic battleground that you would expect to be competitive. >> democrats he notes also drop congressional districts that favor them, like in maryland. as a result of the ruling in pennsylvania, he says democrats there could go from holding five
seats now to almost doubling that number. >> bret: thank you. democrats and republicans are growing about their january fund-raising numbers. the democratic congressional campaign committee says it took in $9.35 million for its best january ever. the national republican congressional committee says it pulled in 10.1 million, the best january in an election year. the republican national committee, rnc, says it raised 12.4 million in january, nearly $145 million overall in the 2017-2018 cycle. we are awaiting the dnc numbers for january. stocks not too good today. they were down across the board. dow lost 255. s&p 500 fell 16. nasdaq dropped 5. up next, a north korean defector's amazing escape story. first here's what some of our fox affiliates around the country are covering.
fox 2 in honolulu. hawaii's governor unveils the report on last month's false alarm over a ballistic missile attack. the state did not have a fully developed plan to address a threat before testing the system. a mistaken alert sent hawaiians scrambling. it took 38 minutes to correct. fox 43 in york, pennsylvania. albertsons companies buy a big chunk of rite aid, the nation's third largest drugstore chain. albertsons owns safeway, bonds, and other grocery brands. lassiter number walgreens bought nearly 2,000 rite aid locations and distribution centers. this is a live look at the santa monica pier from fox 11 in los angeles. one of the big stories there tonight, a cold air mass that has sent temperatures plunging. hard freeze warnings in effect early today up and down the central valley and on the central coast with a mix of freeze and frost warnings elsewhere. this as temperatures climb into the 60s and 70s on the
>> bret: senior pentagon officials say james mattis will make his recommendation about transgender people serving in the u.s. military to president trump either today or tomorrow. defense officials are not saying what secretary mattis will recommend. they say future announcements will come from the white house. last year, president trump called for a ban on transgenders in the military. the president made a very big deal of a north korean defectors during his state of the union speech last month. tonight senior foreign affairs correspondent greg palkot talks with a man who took his own long and harrowing trip to freedom.
>> hitting hard at the brutality of north korea on under the regime of kim jong un. it's a new strategy of the trump administration. it's a weapon is a north korean defector, the human face of the horror. >> translator: north korea is the kingdom of evil. >> we are joined by one more witness to the ominous nature of this regime. >> he was singled out by president trump in the state of the union address. he held up crutches he once used. he lost a leg and hand in an accident in 1996, struggling to stay alive in north korea. ten years later when famine, hardship and persecution were too unbearable, he swam to freedom, crossing a river from north korea to china, almost drowning. >> translator: if i had one day, to live as a human being outside north korea. >> he would later meet with the president and the white house. with vice president pence during his trip to south korea.
even recently hugging fred warm warm -- warmbier. >> it was a victory against north korea. >> he runs an organization in seoul helping defectors. north korean state media has made threatening statements about him, branding him "human scum." ji seong-ho has concerns about recent efforts. >> translator: i think north korea has a hidden side. i think this is just a show. >> the defector says any future conversation the south or the u.s. has with north korea must deal not only with the regime's nukes and missiles but with human suffering. washington seems to agree. bret. >> bret: thank you very trump
administration preparing for its first transfer of a detainee from guantanamo bay. a saudi man said to be moved out of the facility and return to his homeland following a plea agreement with u.s. military military. the prisoner pleaded guilty to planning a 2002 terrorist attack on a french oil tanker off the coast of yemen. it killed one crewmember. he agreed to testify against other al qaeda detainees accused of the uss cole bombing and attacks on u.s. troops in afghanistan in exchange for his transfer home. top syrian opposition figures as government forces along with iran and russia are committing a new holocaust and rebel held suburbs of damascus. a monitoring group says more than 100 people have been killed in each of the past two days. rebels are calling on the u.n. security council for help. up next, how the russians are trying to take advantage of the florida school massacre. first beyond our borders to my
pretty israeli police say benjamin netanyahu's former spokesman tried to bribe a judge to drop a fraud case against the prime ministers wife. last week police recommended benjamin netanyahu be charged in a corruption scandal. their prime minister has denied all accusations of wrongdoing. palestinian president mahmoud abbas is calling for an international peace conference with key goals of full u.n. membership for what he calls the state of palestine and a time frame for resolving all issues with israel for a two-state solution. he appeared before the u.n. security council today and said future peace efforts cannot be brokered by the u.s. u.s. ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley reiterated the u.s. is ready to work with palestinian leadership. venezuelan president nicolas maduro is offering to meet with president trump for direct talks. he tweets the american leader should change his agenda of aggression for one of dialogue. venezuela becomes the first country to launch its own
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♪ even in your darkest hour, ♪ and i will never desert you. ♪ i'll stand by you. ♪ >> bret: russia is once again tonight being accused of interfering in american domestic affairs. this time it's the national conversation over gun control. sparked by last week's school shooting in florida. fox news media analyst and host of fox's "media buzz" howard kurtz tells us how the russians are trying to turn the tragedy to their advantage. >> an hour after the florida school shooting, twitter erupted with hashtags as #guncontrolnow. we now know hundreds of such posts came from twitter account suspected of having links to russia. "the new york times" reports the
russian social media blitz is part of a far-reaching disinformation campaign that includes conspiracy videos on youtube, phony interest groups on facebook, and so-called bots that can drive a twitter discussion and push it into the mainstream media. analysts say a divisive subject like gun control is fertile ground for these covert russian operatives whose goal is to fuel conflict and frustration in america. >> they are trying to foment dissension and anger. they're really trying to get americans to point fingers at one another, to drive wedges, and double down on features that exist in our society. >> special counsel robert mueller highlighted the problem last week with indictments against 13 russians for cyber hacking and trying to disrupt the presidential campaign. these russians are alleged to have covertly organize political rallies in the u.s. after the election, mueller charges they courted one near growly "to show your support for president-elect trump" and another call, "trump is not my president."
protesting nfl players, the russians took their cue from the president's criticism by pushing such hashtags as #boycottnfl and #standforouranthem." . they moved onto the hashtag #falseflag pushing and outlandish conspiracy theory students had rehearsed their actions in advance and the tragedy never happened. a year of heavy media coverage foster the impression russian hackers were mainly interested in putting donald trump in the white house. it is now clear russian propaganda and disinformation are a constant fact of life, even or perhaps especially when americans are being killed. bret. >> bret: thanks. president trump is denying an allegation that he forcibly kissed a woman in the lobby of his office building in 2006. "washington post" reports a secretary named rachel crookes says mr. trump kissed her for about 2 minutes. the president tweeted the incident never happened and how could it with all the security
cameras throughout trump tower. crookes responded she would like the security camera footage released. tonight we begin a three-part regulation nation series by looking at the trump administration's rollback of many education department policies. correspondent doug mckelway tells us there's a lot of red tape to cut through. >> i am challenging my cabinet to find and remove every single outdated, unlawful, excessive regulation currently on the books. >> few federal agencies impose greater bureaucratic burdens than the department of education, created by president carter in 1979. even "the new york times" at the time editorialized against it sang education will "continue to do better without a central bureaucracy." more than 30 years later, the department of education has
fundamentally changed education especially higher education. since 1996, college tuition has skyrocketed 200% and end. we have not just more administrators and faculty. there are more administrators than our personnel and universities teaching, research. they are all getting pay decent salaries. costs go whale. >> graduation rates have declined. 59% among students seeking a four-year degree. student loan default are soaring, and issue the administration try to tackle when it proposed capping payments. >> to us in the american public, regulations are the public protections we depend on. >> education secretary betsy devos has been rescinding federal mandates and has tried to tackle the issue in lower education.
gone under the trump administration: michelle obama's school lunch program. chocolate milk is back. also gone accountability programs like no child left behind and the race to the top. most controversial, betsy devos has recalled title ix standards for sexual misconduct. >> we are in the midst of the "me too" moment. people are paying attention to sexual harassment. >> students are suing and universities are losing sometimes to the tune of big damage awards. >> real courts have setbacks 79 cactus guilty verdicts. one analysts notes judges are losing patience. >> bret: thank you. some say president trump is taking his first steps toward gun control. others see this as somewhat of a head fake head of several meetings on school shootings
following the florida school massacre. we will get reaction from the panel to a call for new rules about bump stocks when we come back. don't we need that cable box to watch tv? nope. don't we need to run? nope. it just explodes in a high pitched 'yeahhh.' yeahhh! try directv now for $10 a month for 3 months. no satellite needed.
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with accident forgiveness your rates won't go up just because of an accident. switching to allstate is worth it. ♪ >> i will be holding a number of discussions with students, local leaders, and law enforcement to develop concrete steps that we can take to secure our schools, safeguard our students, and protect our communities. just a few moments ago, i signed a memorandum directing the attorney general to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. we cannot merely take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. we must actually make a difference. >> bret: president trump today calling for a change in the rulon bump stocks.
these are the additions to guns used in the las vegas shooting, not in the florida shooting, to make it essentially come as the president said, an automatic weapon. the justice department. you see a picture of it. justice department releasing a statement. "the department understands this is a priority for the president and has acted quickly to move through the rule making process. we look forward to the result of that process as soon as its duly completed." "washington post" and abc have a pullout after the shooting in florida saying doing enough to prevent mass shootings. congress at 19%. president avenue 29%. at least in the polls, there's a lot of momentum to do more. let's bring in the panel. steve hayes, editor in chief of "the weekly standard." charles lane, opening writer for "the washington post." charles hurt, opinion editor for "the washington times." came as a surprise today, the
bump stock announcement. what does it portend to the meetings ahead? >> it's hard to tell what it means and where the broader debate is going. if you look back before the new year, republicans in congress had considered taking some measures like this legislatively and opted not to. i think the fact that the president stepped up suggest there is consensus on the republican side or at least stronger agreement that this is something ought to be looked at. in terms of the broader debate, democrats are, as they often do, complain about the nra and republicans, the media is obsessed with the argument republicans are controlled by the nra. really the problem i think suggest if you're talking about an assault weapon ban or far-reaching efforts being discussed, the problem is on the democratic side. if you look back at the 2013 vote on the assault weapons ban, your 15 democrats who voted, including blue state democrats, who voted against the assault
weapons ban. 60-40 vote in a senate controlled by democrats. democrats at this point are the ones who are going to have to -- if they want to start to win politically on this issue, they're going to have to primary democrats. >> bret: the reason this is a rule and not congresses because because congress didn't take it up. a lot of people said after the las vegas shooting this is the one to do around the edges, it's the president who is moving the ball. >> yes and i think to your original question, what does it mean, it raises the question of how substantial a rule is going to end up being. under the obama administration it was thought in the atf there wasn't enough statutory authority to enact it by regulation which president trump is going to attempt to do. that tells me somewhere down the line somebody is going to sue over this if it's not actually enacted into law. senator dianne feinstein, democrat of california, calling for a statute. i don't understand why there
shouldn't be a statute unless the only thing that's going on here is president trump is feeling under pressure under gun control and he's got to do something really quickly. steve makes an astute point about democrats. there is a dilemma for them politically. right now there's a special election going on in western pennsylvania, trump country. the democratic candidate for that seat is running as a pro-gun western pennsylvania democrat. some of these red states, the senate candidates on the democratic side are torn as well. that's one of the reasons i'm very skeptical of substantial gun-control coming out of this. >> that's always been the problem with the accusation that these people are beholden to the nra. the truth is it's not that politicians are beholden to the nra. they are beholden to voters who don't want to lose their gun rights. any bump stocks on shelves after
the las vegas shooting are flying off the shelves right now. one of the things i think a lot of people miss about what people love about guns. they love their brilliant mechanic ingenuity that goes into them. they are complex, beautiful, graceful machines. that's how the bump stock came around. as you point out, the questions will be how broad is it? whoever came up with the bump stock can easily come up with something else that does the same thing. >> i think what that guy in las vegas loved about it was how it enabled him to kill 50 people. i think we are now reaching the point, what may be changing in the democratic party, is that this is -- there is a level of outrage now. slaughters and massacres. it's a national embarrassment and i think the fact that president trump felt pressure to move shows the beauty of the gun and the second amendment right is starting to lose its hold a little bit at the margins. >> the fact that it was an easy
thing -- wasn't a big gun company that came up with the bump stock. people were fiddling with guns. if people know how to do this, other people can recreate it. >> bret: this week he is going to meet with several different groups on the issue of gun control broadly and also stopping school shootings, increasing security at schools. here is the republican from florida and sarah sanders today. >> we need to strengthen second amendment rights for responsible gun owners but we clearly have to do more to make sure guns stay out of the hands of those who want to harm innocent people. >> the president has expressed his support for efforts to improve the federal background check system and in the coming days we will continue to explore ways to ensure the safety and security in our schools. >> there is a growing interest. a lot of republicans are saying yes, some changes are common sense. >> bret: i guess it's a
different tone. you haven't heard this kind of tone i don't think ever. >> no, i think there is a new tone. that's pretty broad, what they are saying. we are going to take a look at background checks. we have heard that before. we have heard that after every one of these. the question will be when you lay out the details of what the changes will be, if we ever get to that point, is it something republicans will embrace at that point? as charlie argues, is it something gun owners across the country will embrace? >> i don't think anybody would disagree with the fact that we need to do more about making sure people who shouldn't have guns are not allowed to get gun guns. whether it's the guy in las vegas or this guy in florida. you have police coming to his house 39 times in one year. and you can't tell me there isn't enough there --
if they report about him shooting from his neighbor's chickens. where i am from, that's a felony. you are shooting on someone else's property. he should not have been able to have a gun if that crime had been pursued. >> bret: next up, president trump blames his predecessor for russian election meddling and the latest to the mueller indictments. are defined by the things we share. and the ones we love. who never stop wondering what we'll do or where we'll go next. we the people who are better together than we are alone... are unstoppable. welcome to the entirely new expedition.
put pressure on russia and to be tough on russia. just last week, there was an incident that will be reported in the coming days and other ways this president was tough on russia. i think he is angered that anyone would try to metal in the system. it's important to remember we are looking forward on figuring out the best ways to make sure that doesn't happen again. >> bret: white house white house press secretary fielding questions about the president's reaction to the mueller indictments last week and also russia's involvement inside the u.s. system. back with the panel. charlie, there's a lot of pushback saying the president is not angry enough about what russia did do and he's more angry about collusion and what didn't happen, in his mind. making sure everybody knows that rather than what russia did do, according to bob mueller's indictment and others. >> that may be a fair point.
the president is always an argument mode. when he's in that mode, he's not going to entertain the argument of the other side wants to entertain. what he winds up doing is perhaps not condemning russia as much as he should. i think everybody agrees and has agreed for some time now that clearly russia tried to interfere with the election. the question is whether it proves collusion. i think the president gets hung up on the point about collusion. he is defending himself which is when he is at his most virtuosity. trying to make sure he makes his arguments. it's brilliant the way he does it. maybe -- at some point you have to accept there is no evidence of collusion between donald trump and the russians means there's no evidence of collusion between trump and the russians. >> bret: we don't know what sarah sanders was pointing out, that the president was tough and
it will be reported on soon. we don't know what that is yet. we will obviously try to dig it out. he is that he is tougher on russia than president obama was, points back to president obama saying nobody could rig the election. president trump went on a tweet storm saying why didn't president obama deal with this. >> on the narrow point about arming ukraine, i guess he has a little bit of a point there but just to go back to what charlie was saying. the president is not angry. what part of that do we not understand? he is not angry about what happened in the election. if he were angry, he would show it. he has showed us many times he knows how to express anger when he's really mad about something. this doesn't bother him. the only part that bothers him is that people are using it to question his election. i don't think he's going to change about that. what is striking to me if you step back, here's a president harshly criticizing his immediate predecessor on a manner of policy. there is so much that's unusual
about this president. we tend to overlook the ordinary unusual stuff but i can remember when something like that all by itself would have been headlines. >> bret: tom friedman, "whatever trump is hiding is hurting all of us." saying that the biggest threat is the integrity of our democracy. saying basically what russia did, even if you take out the collusion stuff, it should've been been a red flare to any administration. >> i think that is true to a certain extent. if you think about the capacity russia has to meddle in our elections in the future, we certainly should be concerned. one of the think trump has going for him, his most outspoken critics so overstate their case. he's not showing anger, as chuck points out. you get comments about pearl harbor and 9/11. we will find out about the
extent to which russia meddled. we should find out. it's important. it needs to not happen again. it's important this president speak out about it. it's notable the president hasn't spoken out. we know what it looks like when he's angry. he is clearly not angry about this. >> bret: we will follow up about what sarah sanders was talking about. an update on our favorite panelist. i have updated you about the health and status of charles krauthammer. of the questions i get on email and twitter and facebook, how is charles? it tops the list. charles has been recovering from complications after a surgery for several months. i check in with charles more than i tell you. a lot. today he had a message he wanted me to share with you, the viewers of "special report." "things are progressing steadily slower than i would like but steadily. still i wish i could give you and myself a better idea of when
this marathon ends. i am sure it is strange for your viewers that a regular panelist should disappear for months without warning and without any real explanation. there were serious complications after my surgery. my improvement has finally allowed me to concentrate on intensive rehabilitation to recover my strength and stamina. this too is progressing well but is intense and slow. nonetheless, i am determined to make it back. i've got to. i can't let you guys have all the fun." charles, we miss you and your voice on the big issues facing us. we hope and pray for your speedy recovery. until then, we will keep your spot warm. next, a touching tribute by the u.s. army and west point. little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla.
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>> finally tonight, the united states military academy says a 15-year-old junior reserve officer's training corps, junior rotc member, who was killed in last week's florida school shooting, will receive an honorary appointment to west point. the academy tweeted today one of usma's priorities is to develop leaders of character, committed to the values of duty, honor and country. peter wang's actions on february 14th are an example of those principles, and the academy honors his dream of being a west point cadet with a letter of acceptance into the class of 2025. he was wearing his junior rotc uniform while helping his fellow classmates escape that shooting. two others were also in the junior rotc program in florida, also killed in the shooting. all three students will receive the medal of heroism for their actions from the u.s. army. something to think about tonight. thanks for inviting us into
your home. that's it for tonight's "special report." hi, martha. >> thank you. breaking tonight, this story, is general michael flynn rethinking his guilty plea? flynn was one of the earliest supporters of now president trump. >> the next president of the united states right here. >> they campaigned together, and he became the white house national security advisor, one of the very first hires in the new administration, there only 24 days, the first casualty of the russia investigation. he took a plea in december to making false statements to the fbi when they asked him about his meeting and the contents of it with the russian ambassador. and then became a cooperating witness. his lawyer has said for months that flynn, quote, certainly has a story to tell and very