tv The Daily Briefing With Dana Perino FOX News April 9, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
>> harris: all righty. i'm reading more about the arizona governor sending 225 guards men and women to the border with mexico and more tomorrow. that was breaking news this hour. i'm harris. here's dana. >> dana: fox news alert. florida governor rick scott making it official. he's running for the senate. while the man he will face in november meets with mark zuckerberg before his testimony tomorrow on capitol hill. coming up i will speak with governor scott and senator bill nelson. hello, everyone. this is "the daily briefing." we're all waiting for a white house briefing. sarah sanders to face questions on syria and president trump's quick decision on america's response to another apparent chemical attack on civilians. >> it was an atrocious attack. it was horrible. we are studying that situation extremely closely.
we are meeting with our military and everybody else and we'll be making some decisions over the next 24 to 48 hours. >> dana: national security correspondent jennifer griffin joins us from the pentagon. jennifer, what is the pentagon saying about a possible strike? >> reporter: well, dana, the pentagon has been working since yesterday to draw up options for the president. both defense secretary mattis and the president are blaming russian president putin for the apparent gas attack. the president indicated he would make a decision by the end of today, saying a major decision on syria would be coming in the next 24 to 48 hours. he said in his mind, there was no doubt who was responsible for this attack and nothing is off the table. >> if it's russia, if it's syria, if it's iran, if it's all of them together, we'll figure it out and we'll know the answers quite soon. so we're looking at that very very strongly and very
seriously. >> reporter: reinforcing a message delivered by defense secretary jim mattis at the pentagon this morning. mattis spoke before a prescheduled meeting with the amir of qatar. he also placed the blame on russia. >> is the u.s. capable of striking assad's chemical weapons facility? >> the first thing we have to look at is why a chemical weapon was used at all when russia was the frame work of removing all the chemical weapons. so we're working with our allies and partners from nato to qatar and elsewhere. we are going to address this issue. >> can you rule out taking actions, launching air strikes against assad? >> i don't rule out anything. >> reporter: right now the u.s. has no aircraft carriers in the mediterranean or persian gulf, but the navy just announced that the uss donald cook, a navy guided missile destroyer with dozens of tomahawk cruise
missiles on port left a port putting it within striking range of syria. >> dana: general mattis is trying to explain keeping his options open, but are we capable of hitting those sites? i wonder if part of the calculation is the death and destruction is happening at a rapid clip against civilians in syria. it doesn't necessarily always have to do with chemical weapons. is that part of the discussion? >> reporter: it's really complicated. of course, the u.s. can strike syria. if you look at the explosion, the air strike that occurred overnight at the t-4 air base in central florida, overnight fighter jets bombed that syrian air base which is used by the russians and the iranians. at first the syrians blamed the u.s., but the pentagon denied responsibility. now the russians say f-15s carried out the strike. three iranians were killed in that strike including the syrian
guard commander in charge of iran's drone program in syria. that according to an official statement from tehran. this all showing how complicated the syrian battleground is. there are a lot of players between russia, iran, syria and israel that must be considered. >> dana: i was wondering if you were going to mention israel. we'll keep in touch with you on this. thank you. after months of rumors and prodding from the president, florida governor rick scott making it official this morning. >> so today, with my wife by my side, i'm announcing i am running for the u.s. senate for the great state of florida. and this sets up a pivotal race between a republican governor and florida's three term democratic senator bill nelson. the first interview since his announcement, i am joined by florida governor and republican candidate for the senate, rick scott. thank you for joining us. the republicans are delighted
you decided to get into this race. last week mitch mcconnell said the midterms are like a category three, four, five hurricane. i wonder from where you sit, how are the winds blowing for republicans this year? >> it's going to be exciting this year. what i'm going to do is bring to d.c. exactly what we've done in florida. as you know, i grew up in a very poor family. lived in public housing. i got to build businesses. so i'm going to bring my business attitude to this. get return on investment, start changing washington. no different from what we've done in florida. seven years we've added about 1.7 million jobs. it's going to be exciting. >> dana: you're no stranger to close state wide races. the last two races you won. of course they were nail biters. there is expectation that this race in florida will not only be the most expensive in florida history, but perhaps the closest. a poll said bill nelson sat 46%
you, just announcing, at 42%. to me that seems like a pretty close race. i know there are internal polls that show you up over him. what is it that you want to take from your experience in florida that you can take to washington, d.c.? you did a lot of leadership after the parkland shooting to change gun laws in your state. is that something you'd like to see on a national level? >> first off, here's what we have to do. we have to send people to washington who are not politicians. who are not good talkers. they're just good doers. if you're building a company, you don't talk about getting the best talker. you talk about getting somebody that's gotten something done. what i want to do is go to d.c. and change the direction of our country. we've done it in florida. we've got to get an economy that's growing much faster than it is now. we've got to solve problems. the problem with d.c. right now is their ideas are tired. their ideas are old. it's just having anti-getting
something done attitude. i believe that we can change washington. i don't think there's any choice. we have to change washington for our kids and grand kids. >> dana: what would be the main issue? you've recently been talking about guns, immigration, jobs. i know jobs are always number one in your book. beyond that, when you look at the gun issue or immigration, are you hoping to bring some different sensibility to washington that you've learned about in florida? >> what i'll do is i'll come up with policy initiatives. we've got to get rid of the concept of career politicians. we have to have term limits on congress, no different than what we have on most of our governors, our president and state, in our house and senate. we have to get away from this concept that somebody will be here forever. so we get new ideas, new energy. that's what i'm going to bring to the table. a business attitude, a new idea. we'll look at everything. i have had to deal with terrorist attack in my state. i have had to deal with a school shooting in my state, i have had to deal with hurricanes. so you learn how to solve
problems. >> dana: one of the things i wanted to ask you, as governor, you don't have to weigh on foreign policy as much. right now the senate is going to grapple with the issue of syria. with that being front page news this morning, would you prefer that the united states were to intervene at this point? how do you see things when it comes to utilizing american might to try to help those people there? >> well, the first thing is we have to make sure we defend our own borders and defend the freedom of this country. on top of that, we have to help people around the world. now, what i would be doing and i think sounds like that's what the president is doing, you get advice from your military leaders to find out what your options are. with this country, the greatest country in the world, we believe in freedom and we've done whatever we can to help promote freedom around the world. so i have been listening to my military advisers to figure out the right opportunitys there are, the right choices. >> dana: you have a 49% approval
rating which is pretty good for most politician right now. lot of people would love to be right around 50%. i wanted to ask you though, because florida changed demographically in the last 20 years. you know this from running state wide twice. it's not possible for you or senator nelson to win just based on appealing to your base, to republican voters. you're going to have to find some of those independents to vote for you. what are the issues you think you can get someone from across the aisle to look at you and decide to vote for you in november? >> i think this election will be about how do we fix washington? how do we change washington? i think the voters will think we need to send somebody to washington that has a background of getting something done. we have a great economy in florida, but we need a better national economy. we need to grow this economy better. we need to get a return on all the dollars we spend in washington. we shouldn't spend all this money in d.c. and not knowing
what return we get back. we've got to hold people accountable in d.c. i think what they're looking for, they'll look for somebody with fresh ideas, somebody who will change the direction of the country. that's the important issue this year. what i want to do come out with term limits today. i will be coming out with policies and proposals over the next few months. >> dana: president is glad you made the decision to run. will you ask him to campaign with you in florida? >> i have not had the opportunity to talk to him recently about this race. i know he's asked me to get into the race. what i tell people is i'm running as rick scott. people know my tax record. i'm a business person. i grew up in a very poor family. i'm going to bring that to the table to make sure we change the direction of d.c. >> dana: welcome to the race. we look forward to having you back on. governor rick scott, everybody. >> have a good day. >> dana: at the bottom of the hour i'll be speaking with scott's democratic opponent, florida senator bill nelson. facebook's mark zuckerberg just met with the senator, so lots to
talk about with him including this senate race. as we wait for the white house briefing to begin, chris stirewalt joins us to kick off midterm monday. he'll roll out the fox news house race ratings for the first time. we'll find out which ones he thinks are tossups only on "the daily briefing." plus john boltton on his very first day as national security adviser. what will he tell president trump to do about syria, north korea and the russians? karl rove will join us. hi, i'm liz tryon. and i'm mike tryon. and this is our sears hometown store. (toddler speaks) i used to run my own landscaping company. people have asked why i'd sell my business just to go work for sears. but i didn't. i own this place. and being an independent business owner means we make sure to treat you to the best deals and the best service. sears hometown stores have been independently owned and operated for over 23 years. we don't work for sears. we own this place. we work for you. ♪
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"halftime report." i just had senator -- i called him senator. i don't want to get ahead of myself. governor scott on, to talk about his race. i have heard this will possibly be the most expensive state wide race in florida's history. is it really going to be that close? >> well, whether it's going to be close or not, we'll find out. is it going to cost $100 million or more? you betcha. you could burn a wet elephant with how much they're going to have to spend on this thing. florida has big media markets. as we know, has a history of close elections. scott, in his own previous two, by one point or so in each case. this will be a clash of the titans. what democrats have to worry about in a big way is if it starts sucking cash from other races. they've got four democratic incumbents in indiana, west virginia, north dakota and missouri that look like sitting ducks right now. if they have to take cash from those races, take resources from those races to try to keep nelson propped up even if scott
doesn't win, he will have helped his party. >> dana: i teased the audience that you were going to give us the first ever look at the midterm races. so tell me where do you think things stand right now? how many races are up for grabs? >> we've got 65 races that fall into our basket of things that we're going to look at more closely. both parties have. 187 seats onnite side that are pretty much safe, we can say safe at this point. as we drill down, we get to the group of 65. an then inside that 65, there are 25 that are real pure tossups right now. what we know about the places where they're real pure tossups, these are mostly, so 18 of those 25 are in districts that either hillary clinton won or where donald trump won by less than three points. so basically, the house is the inverse of the senate. while the republicans have a very favorable senate map, on the house side it's tough.
18 of those 25 districts look like they're very tough for republicans. >> dana: out of the 25, how many of those are open seats versus incumbents running for re-election? >> we only have a couple handful. ryan zinke, his seat remains open. there's two republicans that look like automatic. and that is costello in pennsylvania. one pennsylvania race, one in california. so there are a couple that look like this that the republicans are seeding. most will be fought out, most will be grueling and awesome to cover. >> dana: are they regional when you look at this, do you think, can you see some sort of pattern in the region? >> the good news for republicans in 2010 and 2014 is they won house seats in places they never expected to. the hard part is now when you're in a more difficult climate, you're having to play defense, new york new jersey, pennsylvania, also a big overlay with suburbs places where we
have seen female voters particularly turning away from the republicans. so that's what it looks like. >> dana: i read today that democrats are fielding challengers for nearly every republican house incumbent this year. that's a change from 2014 when 36 republicans won re-election without even facing an opponent. >> and what happens sometimes, appallingly weak incumbents. they get soft. they get overrated in terms of how good or how well they're going to run. they get overstated and overrated as time goes by. sometimes somebody shows up. you never know. >> dana: you never know. that's why you keep watching and have to subscribe to chris stirewalt. all right, chris. thank you. we are live at the white house awaiting the briefing as the u.n. security council prepare force an emergency meeting on syria in less than an hour. what can we expect russia to do? you totaled your brand new car.
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international threats to peace and national security and second meeting was called for by the united states and eight other countries. now, there is an agreement, an agreement though that only one meeting is going to take place. but that it is likely the only thing the security council is going to agree upon today. demanding for a u.n. investigation into the use of chemical weapons in syria has expired. russia repeatedly used his veto to prevent further investigations. a russian resolution that would allow for inspectors to examine this issue in syria would reportedly give damascus significant influence and control over the process. that would not be acceptable to the united states and its allies. a resolution sponsored by the u.s. would create a new mandate said to be vetoed by moscow. since the start of the syrian conflict, russia has used his
veto power to deal with this conflict a total of 11 times. five times alone on the subject of chemical weapons. according to the group human rights wash, there have been 85 chemical weapon attacks during the syrian civil war and most cases they say the assad regime was responsible. since the u.n. mandate expired at the end of last year, that same group says there have been at least five chemical weapons attacks. we expect this emergency meeting of the security council to get under way in just about 40 minutes time. it will start with two u.n. briefers then individual countries are going to speak out. among them, russia and the united states. a hint as to what the u.n. ambassador nikki haley might say. sunday she released a saeuplt that said in part, unfortunately chemical weapons attacks used to injure and kill innocent civilians in syria have become
all too common. meeting gets under way in more than half an hour. dana. >> dana: thank you, david lee. you are looking live at the white house as we await to hear from sarah sanders. we'll go there as soon as she's sent to the podium. plus we heard from rick scott as he announces a run for the u.s. senate. up next the man scott is challenging. three term incumbent democrat senator bill nelson joins me. good things come in threes. sargento balanced breaks are a trio,
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>> dana: mark zuckerberg meeting with lawmakers ahead of his testimony tomorrow. we just got a look at what he will be telling congress. peter doocy is live on capitol hill. how much money is zuckerberg planning to spend the fix the problems that let bad actors take advantage of facebook? >> apparently so much money, dana, that their profits are
expected to suffer. we got a hold of zuckerberg's prepared remarks. part of it says this. i have directed our team to invest so much in security on top of the other investments that it will significantly impact our profitability going forward. i want to be clear about what our priority is. protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits. the way the profits have been earned is of great concern to the first lawmaker that zuckerberg met with today, democratic florida senator bill nelso nelson? >> if i am on facebook and communicating with friends that i like chocolate, do they know of a good chocolate shop. suddenly i have an advertisement pop up on chocolates. is that an invasion of my privacy? i think that's a real question. but, of course, the question -- and that's their business model.
>> reporter: so zuckerberg plans to apologize for letting facebook become a tool for propaganda artists who want to interfere with the u.s. election. but an of that there's a great appetite for new regulations on facebook on both sides of the aisle. >> i don't want to hurt facebook. i don't want to regulate them half to death. but we have a problem. our promised digital utopia has mine fields in it. mr. zuckerberg has not exhausted himself being forth coming. >> reporter: dana, you can see we're on the third floor of the senate office building. zuckerberg has got quite a crew of reporters. about as many as you would ever see following anybody on the hill. he's in with senator feinstein right now. we expect to shout some more questions at him when they're all done. >> dana: i'm sure a lot of members of congress wish they could get that much attention. thank you for your report. bill nelson joins me now.
thanks for making time for us today. you talked to mark zuckerberg earlier. the hearing is set to take place tomorrow. are you anticipates based on your conversation with him today that he will be very candid? i know they're going to apologize, but do they have some solutions that you think will pass muster at the u.s. senate hearing? >> well, he will be candid. he was with me. he clearly said they made a mistake. he said they were lied to by cambridge analytica. but if we don't do something about this, dana, we're not gonna have any privacy anymore. and when you put that threat to us in the hands of a state actor like russia or china or north korea and you've got a real threat to this country as well as to our individual privacy. >> dana: do you think that it would have been useful if the ceo of twitter jack dorsey and the ceo of google would have
joined him at the hearing? because certainly facebook is not the only company in silicon valley that is dealing with privacy issues. >> the short answer is yes. what i would hope that we would have them each in individual interviews just like i have requested my co-leader john thune to bring in cambridge analytica. we intend to do that. >> dana: sir, you have won state wide in florida several times. you served florida for many years. now you have a new opponent. we just spoke to rick scott. he's going to get into the race to challenge you. what do you think you will run on as your signature accomplishment from your years in the senate? >> well, first of all, i will treat any opponent with great seriousness. i run like there's no tomorrow. now, in the case of rick scott, he'll say and do anything to try
to get elected. and that's gonna contrast with me and my record because i have always thought if you try to do the right thing, the politics will take care of itself. so you say what have i done? well, go to the beach. look out there. you won't find any oil rigs. you won't find any oil rigs particularly on the gulf coast that protects the largest testing and training area of the united states military in the world as well as our $60 billion a year tourism industry. go to the east coast. look at cape canaveral. look at a revived space program, nasa and a commercial space program. now, i'm just giving you two examples of major laws that i have passed. >> dana: what do you think about his first policy atphoupb announcement that he's going to run on term limits being favorable to florida. >> the fact is mark zuckerberg
came to see me because i am now the ranking democrat. and if we get the majority, will be the chairman. it takes time to work up through the seniority system. so i would think that that's particularly important to florida. >> dana: let me ask you about something else that's happening in florida. not all states are dealing with this issue in the courts about restoring the voting rights to felons. this weekend george will wrote a column in which he talked about this issue. i wanted to get your take on it. he said what intelligent purpose is served by reminding felons, who really do not require remind of their past, and by advertising it to their community? the rule of law requires punishment, but it is not served by punishments that never end and that perpetuate a social stigma and sense of never fully re-entering the community. i understand that both on the ballot and the courts, this issue is up for debate. where do you stand on it? >> well, i'm all for giving over
1 million people in florida who have done their time and it was not a crime of murder or sexual kind of crime. i'm all for restoring their rights. i think george will in that column is right on. are we a society that tries to rehabilitate our people? do we believe in the essential goodness that a person should have their rights back, especially the right to vote if they made a mistake and did their time? i think that's what we believe. and i think that constitutional amendment in our state will be passed. >> dana: sir, as i understand it, the first ads that your group has, your campaign, against governor scott is basically talking about all sorts of issues but does not mention president trump. has your campaign found in its research that going against president trump is not fruitful at this point in a really tight
race in florida? >> oh my goodness, no. and i think the important question is watch rick scott. he's not mentioning trump at all. he's trying to keep his distance. because he knows that there is -- there's some problems in washington at 1600 pennsylvania. >> dana: you are going to have to do a lot of fund-raising. everybody is. this will be a very kpepbive race. chris stirewalt said enough money will be spent to burn a wet elephant. florida is in the state where you'll have to reach across the aisle to get some independent voters to vote for you, but you need to fund raise from democratic donors that might be quite far to the left. is that doable? >> there's nothing inconsistent with that. that's what i have done all my life. that's why i have won state wide by reaching out moderate republican support me. independents support me. that's why we've had wide margins in the past.
you know, i think it boils down to the fact that they understand and my attitude is i try to represent all the people not just the people that vote for me. and that seems to be kind of what people want. >> dana: well, senator, thanks for joining me. i have a feeling that you're going to get a lot of advertisements for chocolate shops anywhere you are. so we appreciate you coming on today. >> thanks so much. >> dana: okay. for more on this, i'm joined by democratic strategist and the president of solidarity strategies. and matt schlapp. thanks for being here. this florida senate race is now, well, chuck, it's off to the races. it will be an expensive one. both of these candidates are going to have to find votes outside of their base. who do you think is better positioned to do that? >> look, i'm a good democrat. i think senator nelson is. one thing that's not being
talked about is the latino vote in florida. you have two white guys running in a state full of la teen nos. there's a big difference between cubans in miami, who tend to be more conservative and puerto ricans in central florida around the orlando area. there's a whole new group of young latinos that don't know either one of these guys. who ever does the best outreach there i think will be the determining factor of what happens in this race. >> dana: matt, florida. boy, you and i know florida well. right? >> right. >> dana: it's always tough. razor thin margins rick scott has run by. people think nelson hasn't ever really had a tough opponent. what do you think? >> i think that the money advantage that rick scott has, he's a man of personal welt. he's been willing to put it on the line as he's run for governor of florida. he's going to be willing to do that as he runs to represent florida in the senate. i think that's going to be a new
and unique aspect to this race that senator nelson's going to have to wrestle with. i also think rick scott has one very clear advantage. do you know what? this is not a big shock. people don't like washington, d.c. lot of people now refer to it as the swamp. any time you're an outsider running to be in congress, you've got an advantage especially over a long time incumbent who can be tied to all the problems like this. >> dana: let me ask you about facebook, chuck. mark zuckerberg released a prepared statement that he's going to use tomorrow at the house energy and commerce committee that says facebook is an optimistic company where most of our existence focuses on all the good connecting people can bring. it's clear now that we didn't do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm. i do think in many ways facebook and mark zuckerberg is aoeud dealistic to a point where it's indeering, but tomorrow is he about to face a mack truck of cynicism. >> you will see a lot of people
who are upset. 2.1 billion go to face book every month. we've never had to deal with this on a global scale. we usually talk about nbc, abc. nobody can reach as many people as facebook can and have the influence they can have over every aspect of our lives. i think he's gonna get it from both sides. >> dana: but, matt, conservatives are reluctant to think government can solve the problem. can the swamp step in here and help protect americans or other users from the evils of facebook? >> of course. look, as conservatives, we all believe in oversight. maybe liberals want to you this oversight so they can regulate google and facebook and some of these online companies. but there's another side to this which is to shine a light on the fact that companies like facebook and google know all these personal things about you. know all the things you search for online. they know what your heart is searching for online.
they know that information. they monetize it. they track you. there comes a point where people get very defiant with the fact that companies have so much information and what are the boundaries to how they use that personal information. what they're learning is there's no boundaries at all. >> dana: i'm going to have you back and we'll talk about personal responsibility in all this. i got to wrap you. chuck and matt, thanks, guys. >> thanks, dana. >> dana: john bolton's first day on the job as national security adviser. he has a whole lot on his plate already. karl rove breaks it down next. ♪ managing blood sugar isn't a marathon. it's a series of smart choices. like using glucerna to replace one meal or snack a day. only glucerna has carbsteady... unique blends of slow-release carbs to help manage blood sugar. every meal. every craving. it's the choices you make when managing blood sugar
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we're expecting reporters to ask about that at the white house briefing that's set to start at any moment. last week nikki haley warned that the u.s. is prepared to act if we must on syria. we're waiting to hear what she will say during an emergency meeting at the united nations set to start at the top of the hour. a very busy news afternoon. we'll see you on shepard smith reporting. >> dana: fox news alert. arizona's governor holding a sendoff ceremony for 225 national guard troops headed to the border. the troops are part of president trump's efforts to increase border security until a wall is built. the men and women will provide support for border patrol agents. meanwhile at the white house, former u.n. ambassador john bolton taking the reigns today as national security adviser as the president promises a quick response to a suspected chemical weapons attack in syria. bolton previously supported military action against the assad regime. karl rove former white house deputy chief of staff and fox
news contributor. i wonder based on your experience, karl, what do you think john bolton's day is like as he looks around the world and tries to triage deciding where the most important issue is to take to the president as he gets settled into his new job? >> i have known john a long time. we were in our 20s together at the republican national committee. he was research director. he had to mustache back then. as i recall, it was a little bit darker. not so gray. of course, i had lot more hair. his first day is going to be almost overwhelming. think about the immediate crisis that face him. we have the syrian gas attack. we have the necessary preparations for potential meeting five or six weeks or seven weeks in korea with the north koreans about denuclearization. we have an issue with regard to the president demanding a new policy or review of the existing policy with regard to the 2,000
u.s. special operators that are inside syria still fighting isis. then we have the deadlines coming up on the iranian nuclear deal. and that's just the tip of the iceburg. we had the ukraine with the russians messing around. the baltics where the russians are threatening. we have issues with our nato allies, with islamic extremists in africa. we have the chinese militaryizing the south china sea. we have our great ally. he got a busy schedule ahead of him. >> dana: if i could just hold you there. sarah sanders has taken the podium and is talking ab syria right now. >> -- and other actions targeting civilians. the president has noted that russia and iran also bear responsibility for these acts since they would not be possible without their material support. it is also now clear that russia betrayed its obligations to
guarantee tend of the syrian regime chemical weapons program. the president and his national security team are consulting with allies and partners to determine the appropriate response. as president trump clearly stated, there will be a price to pay. we call on all members of the international security to share any information related to this attack and to hold the perpetrators and their sponsors accountable. we call upon the syrian regime and russia to open the area to international medical assistance and international monitoring. with that, i will take your questions. john? >> the president was pretty definitive today saying this was an attack with banned chemical weapons, yet there hasn't been any concrete proof of that. russia insists that there is no evidence of chemical weapons. what makes the president so sure that he is willing to make such a declarative statement. >> the president has been briefed by his national security team and being kept up to date constantly and regularly on the
intelligence around that. i can't get into any further. >> do we have proof that it was a chemical attack? >> we're very confident in those comments we made. >> it was just a couple weeks ago the president was talking about wanting to leave syria very quickly. now there's a price that has to be paid. does the president believe there have some things that are so atrocious that the united states is, in fact, the world's police and it demands response? it demands the presence of united states government in the area? >> the president wants to bring our troops home after we complete the mission to eradicate isis in syria. at the same time, he wants to make sure assad is deterred from chemical weapons attacks on innocent civilians. we want to remove our troops in no way degrades our ability to hold responsible parties responsible. >> does he believe the president wanting to leave syria played a
part in emboldening syria? >> tk only individual that played a part don't reside in this country and i think we made very clear who we think is responsible for these attacks and to try to make this on any part in blame on this president is absolutely ridiculous. >> he has criticized others for signaling military plans. seems to be what he was doing here. does he regret though comments that he made? >> the president's been clear that he wants to make sure we have the defeat of isis. we've also been clear in our actions as you've seen after previous chemical attacks what this president has done. and i think we've been very up front on that. >> sarah. news about apparent strikes overnight. does the united states belie believe -- [ inaudible ] was the united states given a heads up by the israeli government?
>> i can only speak on behalf of this government. i can tell you at this time the united states is not conducting air strikes in syria, but i can't go beyond that at this time. >> does the white house get any heads up from any foreign governments about a strike in syria? >> again, i can't go any further than commenting on behalf of our government. currently at this time the united states is not conducting air strikes in syria. >> does the president want to make sure -- [ inaudible ]. last year the president said there was a deterrent. what changed between months ago when the assad regime wasn't using chemical weapons and this strike now? why is it the president's
explanation is a deterrent on the assad regime now failing? >> once again, the president has made clear that with the defeat of isis, he wanted to be able to bring our troops home. but at the same time, he wants to make sure that assad is deterred from chemical weapons attacks on innocent civilians. wants to get out of syria to give a green light to assad to do this as john mccain suggested, that the united states was leaving, was kind of pulling up and leaving it to -- >> we're still there. i think that it is outrageous to say that the president of the united states green lit something as atrocious as what has happened over the last couple days. the president has made clear how he feels ab those types of actions when this took place roughly a year ago. we'll continue looking at the
options on the table. >> did that embolden assad? this was sending a message to assad. is that still his -- >> i think the message we sent to assad was very clear both in the president's words over the weekend and in our actions that we've taken in the past. >> has the president's attitude towards president putin changed because of what's happened? >> the president has always been tough on russia. as he said last week, as i echoed again when asked about it. this administration and this president has been tougher on russia than previous administrations. i think you can see that both through the actions that we've taken and in the comments over the last several days. >> he singled out vladamir putin in his tweet yesterday. does he feel that he is closer to finding common ground with him? >> the president still feels that if we can have a good relationship with russia at some point, that's a good thing for the world.
but at the same time, this president is going to be tough on russia until we see some changes in their behavior. just as we've done every day over the last year and as we've outlined multiple times before, both from the president and as i have done from this podium on many occasions. john? >> thank you, sarah. question regarding foreign policy front. given the situation in syria, your statement today, could the president be in the process of forming an alliance with president macon in france and prime minister may. >> certainly great relationship with both countries and are continuing conversations with those, the u.k. as well as france and hope to work with all of our allies and partners in a response.
>> the other thing is, prime minister orbon, an admirerer of the president who said things about him. won a land slide re-election. will the president call him? and are there any plans to extend an invitation for a state visit or a working visit to prime minister orbon? >> i'm not aware of a scheduled call at this time. but if there is one, we'll keep you posted and likely have a readout to follow. >> today first day on the job for john bolton as national security adviser. >> i'd be happy to tag him in at some point. >> please do. >> i wanted to ask you about some comments he made about syria back in 2013 on fox and friends. he said, i think if i were a member of congress, i would vote against an authorization to use force in syria. he continues, i don't think it is in america's interest. i don't think we should, in effect, take sides in the syrian
conflict. is that a point of view that ambassador bolton is bringing to the table now as national security adviser? >> the point of view that matters most here at the white house, as you well know, is the president's. as ambassador bolton himself has said, he certainly is here to serve as an adviser but the decisions being made are the president's and the comments that he's made previously are personal and he's here to carry out the president's agenda. josh? >> epa administrator booked first class, $50 a night rental an capitol hill, tripled the budget of his security detail. can you explain what the president meant when he said security spending what more, but it was okay. why did he say that? >> he was referencing a report done by the epa which we are continuing to review. but in that, it cites that apartment was at market value and goes into other details.
that's what the president was saying. >> $50 a night on capitol hill is market value? >> yes, according to the office of government ethics. >> travel spending okay. president okay with cabinet secretary taking first class travel and tripling the security detail? is that okay? >> again, we are reviewing the specifics of each of those components. i know there was a much larger number of security issues surrounding the epa administrator in the past, but for specific questions beyond that i'd refer you back to the epa. >> were those security issues? including a police report? there shahs been a report that no one found police reports that jeopardized his life or safety. what are you talking about? >> i can't comment about police reports but i do know there have been a number of questions raised. again, we're continuing to review that. until that's complete, i'd refer you back to the epa beyond that.
>> there are two questions on syria. all that's happened with russia, strong words associating russia with an attack, is there an expectation or feeling that diplomatic relations with russia and this administration are eroding? >> we've been very tough on russia for quite some time. i think the only people maybe that didn't understand that or see that were members of the press who continue to question that. now i guess people are concerned that we're being tough on russia and get confused on which way you want to have it. the president would like to have a good relationship but that's going to be determined by the actions that russia takes and we're going to continue pushing forward. >> are there any thoughts on the regime with assad?
where does diplomacy? >> i'm not going to ahead on any options the president may take. dave? >> at the cabinet meeting the president was talking about the potential any impact on american farmers for the chinese tariffs. he said we'll make it up to them. what did he mean? >> the president has worked with his team to determine how best to respond to china's attack on american farmers. he's asked the department of agriculture to protect our farmers and will present a plan on specifics of that shortly. >> would you consider like extra crop insurance subsidies that are often put in the farm bill for market fluctuations? >> i'm not going to get ahead of potential options. the president has asked the department of agricultu