tv Special Report With Bret Baier FOX News December 26, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
>> the grinch today. >> i'm not a grinch. >> happy boxing day. set your dvrs, never miss an episode of the five. "the story" seven a subnet. >> bret: happy boxing day. amid a partial government shutdown, president trump and the first lady make a surprise visit to put troops serving in iraq. at this as stocks have another record day on wall street closing more than 1,000 points higher. a good evening i'm bret baier. the trip was a first for the president, who has been heavily criticized for not visiting the region and was announced in truth trump administration style with a tweet late this afternoon by his press secretary that included a photo of the president and the first lady posing with u.s. troops. while on the ground in iraq, the president thanked the men and women for their service and said he has no plans on removing them from iraq at any time this time
despite abruptly announcing last week that he was pulling troops out of syria. we have fox team coverage tonight. tomlinson with more on the progress being made in the fight against isis but we begin with correspondent ellison barber from the north lawn of the white house. good evening, allison. >> good evening, bret. the president is on his way back from his unannounced trip to iraq. he is set to make a second stop at an undisclosed location before returning her to the white house. >> under the cover of darkness they boarded air force one and made their way to iraq west of baghdad. roughly three hours on the ground visiting with troops stationed at the airbase. if president trump gave a 20 minute speech to cheering troops. >> we came to share our eternal gratitude for everything you do to keep america safe, strong, and free. >> this is the president's first visit to a combat zone since taking office and it comes on the heels of his decision to
draw out troops in afghanistan and syria. he says he wants soldiers to come home from syria, that other countries like turkey need to share the burden of cost, that the u.s. cannot be the world policeman. iraq can still be used two-stage attacks. spike the criticism of the war in iraq and calling president george w. bush's decision to invade in 2003 the single worst decision ever made, president trump told reporters he has no plans at all to withdraw troops from the country that is still considered a combat zone. >> i have concerns for the first lady, i will tell you. but if you would have seen what we had to go through with the darkened plane, with all windows closed, with no lights on whatsoever anywhere, pitch black, i've never seen it. all types and shapes and sizes, i've never seen anything like it. we are coming in and i know all of the things that were
surrounding us for safety. so did i have a concern? i had a concern. but my bigger concern was maybe the people that were with me. >> back home roughly a quarter of the u.s. government remains shut down. if the president promising the government will not open until he has funding for a physical barrier at the u.s.-mexico border. >> whatever it takes. were going to have a wall, were going to have safety. we need safety for a country. how long is it going to take? we need border security. one of the democrats going to say -- don't forget the democrats all agree that we need a wall until i wanted it. once i wanted it they didn't agree. >> when speaking with reporters about the shutdown and workers impacted, administration officials here at the white house often like to remind us that the last pay period ended on december 22nd and most paychecks will go home on december 28th, but the white house also says it is very likely that this shutdown will continue into the new year.
hundred of thousands of federal workers are expected to be impacted. congress returns tomorrow. bret. >> bret: allison, thank you. as ellison reported, touting success in the fight against isis. lucas tomlinson joins us now from the pentagon with a look at what the president believes is the dwindling dominance by the terror group. good evening, lucas. >> evening, bret. more than 5,000 troops are currently deployed to iraq and include special operations forces. those troops are used to train and advise local iraqi forces and could be used against isis in the future. president trump says the terror group isn't as threatening as they once were. >> two years ago when i became president they were a very dominant group. there were very dominant. today they are not so dominant anymore. >> since the president announced all 2,000 troops will be leaving syria, the pentagon says more than 30 air strikes have been launched in eastern syria going
hundreds of isis fighters. more evidence the terrorists army isn't quite defeated. u.s. officials warned isis and its ideology has spread to other continents including europe and africa. terror attacks have been launched in recent days. and in iraq not all u.s. troops are training local forces. u.s. artillery and iraq's border with syria has been shelling isis positions around the clock in eastern syria. the last known isis stronghold is a city located within range of these canons. if at its height in 2014, isis controlled area the size of ohio. during president trump's first year in office air strikes against the group increased 33%, roughly 40,000 bombs were dropped on ice as last year. this year, air strikes have been sharply reduced as fewer isis targets remain on the battlefield. today, isis only holds 1% of the territory of ones held in iraq and syria. despite the gains against isis, the security situation in iraq remains tense. one of the reasons the presidents visit remain secret and the president and first lady
only spent a few hours on the ground at a u.s.-controlled airbase west of baghdad in the middle of the night. the president spoke to iraq's new prime minister over the phone. security situations prevented face-to-face meeting but president trump hopes his iraqi counterpart can visit the white house early next year. outgoing defense secretary jim mattis did not make the trip to iraq. president trump says he's in no hurry to find a replacement. mattis' deputy patrick shanahan takes over next week as acting defense secretary. bret. >> bret: lucas tomlinson live at the pentagon, thanks. another fox news alert now. talk about a comeback. the markets roared back with another record day. the dow posting its best day in nearly a decade after having its worst christmas eve monday. the dow closed up 1,086 points. the s&p 500 finished ahead 117. the nasdaq was up 361. for more on the stunning turn on
wall street we turn to susan lee of the fox business network. good evening, susan. what sparked all this? >> what you call volatility. an emphatic bounce back with the biggest single day points gain ever for the dow and the best day for the nasdaq and the s&p 500 since march 2009. markets coming back from the brink close to ending the longest bull market run in history. investors were out bargain-hunting, jerome powell is staying put. >> he made it very clear that secretary newton's job is safe. >> 100% that chairman's job is not in jeopardy. >> absolutely, that's correct. >> retailers like amazon target kohl's and macy's leading the rally today. after the best holiday shopping period in six years according to mastercard with americans spending over $850 billion from november to christmas and that strong retail trend confirmed by
amazon's own results. the largest u.s. online retailer saying it was a record-breaking holiday shopping period with more items ordered worldwide this year than ever before. spending crucial to the u.s. economy powering over two-thirds of it and highlights a disconnect between main street confidence and wall street jitters. oil prices also lifting sentiment. rallying the most in two years with investors rethinking their fears of a sharp global economic slow down. most economists are forecasting moderating economic u.s. growth in 2019. a few are predicting an actual recession. it only a one in six chance according to the federal reserve. at the central bank is still forecasting the best year of economic growth in 13 -- this year if the last time you grow through percent and only a slight drop to over 2% next yea year. not exactly a recession. bret. >> bret: more on this with the panel.
susan, thank you. there's good news and bad news for travelers this holiday season. first, the good news. gas prices have been steadily falling since october and continue to drop. on christmas eve across the nation the national average was $2.32 per gallon according to aaa. and in many places races dipped below the $2 mark. however, with the cheaper gas comes a lot more people out and about. this is the bad news. aaa forecast more than 112 and a half million americans will travel over the holidays, so traffic is definitely up. homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen is calling the death of a young guatemalan boy in u.s. custody a tragedy and is taking extra steps to check on the health of illegal immigrant children in u.s. care. national correspondent william la jeunesse reports on what officials say happened and how the administration is handling it. >> following the death christmas eve of an 8-year-old boy, customs officials today asked the centers for disease control to investigate the
symptoms of sick migrants crossing the border. >> our job is to try to identify any children that need medical care and get them to a hospital as quickly as we can and we are doing that. >> commissioner kevin mechling provided the timeline and the death of philippe gomez. agents apprehended the boy and his father south of el paso december 18th. december 20th they were moved to the el paso station. december 23rd transferred again because of overcrowding to a station in new mexico. december 24th, in agent noticed the boy looked sick and took him to the hospital. admitted at 9:30, he tested negative for strep throat but with 103-degree fever, doctors prescribed an antibiotic and ibuprofen. discharged it to: mike 50 he arrived at a highway checkpoint holding cell at 5:00 p.m. two hours later he began vomiting, returning to the hospital at 11. he lost consciousness during transport and was pronounced dead just shy of midnight. >> people need to understand they are coming from a third world country. a lot of these people have never seen a doctor.
they come in bad shape. >> in a conference call officials defended agents overseeing him. >> it was the emergency room doctors and nurses who made the decision to discharge the young boy. >> .exclamation likely won't go far on capitol hill who are some in are already investigating. >> i want to make sure that we put the welfare of the kids before any other concern. >> several one of the border patrol to review their pediatric screening procedures and the release of any child 72 hours after apprehension. the secretary said review is underway. also sending more emts to the border. 1500 women, children and families each day. bret. >> bret: william, thank you. ruth bader ginsburg is out of the hospital and recovering at home. the court spokeswoman says she left the new york hospital on christmas day. she underwent surgery friday to remove two malignant growths in her left we long. despite her health problems she
has never missed arguments. court resumes january 7th. new leads in the search for a body of a missing colorado mother. the police now believe she was murdered by her fiance around thanksgiving. correspondent claudia with the latest on this investigation. >> authorities in colorado and now twin falls idaho working with the fbi confirming they have no evidence in what has become a murder investigation. >> we have not found kelsey at this time, information that has been developed that is helping narrow down our search. as you can tell from the arrest, sadly, we do not believe kelsey is still alive. >> refusing to detail the new evidence, investigators confirm it was found in idaho near where her cell phone paint after she vanished on thanksgiving some 800 miles from her home outside colorado springs. the alleged killer her fiance and father of her 1-year-old daughter. 32-year-old patrick phrase he faces charges of first-degree murder and solicitation of murder.
today on "america's newsroom," fox news legal analyst mercedes said investigators are honing in on whoever else was involved. >> they do hope that someone is going to trip up. someone is being accused. that they will trip up eventually. they will trip up and who they talk to. they will get -- a consciousness will sort of rise up and they will make an admission of some sort. >> the surveillance video shows the 29-year-old mom at a grocery store near her home on thanksgiving day. she was shopping with her daughter hours before dropping the child off with him, who allegedly killed her in her home. >> we finally received enough information to implicate patrick and his involvement in kelsey's death, which we were able to present to a judge and a judge was able to sign off on the first-degree murder charge. >> hours after mourners gathered at her church in moses lake washington. many signing condolence cards for her family and praying for justice. patrick is being held without bond at the teller county jail.
he will be formally arraigned on monday and could enter a plea at that time. bret. >> bret: claudia, thank you. up next, the changing face of american families. first, here's what some of our fox affiliates around the country are covering tonight. fox 2 in san francisco where outgoing governor jerry brown granted clemency to 35 people in the bay area. the move was part of 143 pardons and 131 commutations throughout the state granting a certificate of rehabilitation for some and cutting down jail and prison sentences for others. fox 29 in philadelphia where it go fund me says it has refunded everyone who contributed to a campaign prosecutor's was a scheme orchestrated by a homeless veteran from the city and a new jersey couple. the alleged scam raised more than $400,000 which police say was then spent on luxury items and casino trips. this is a live look at new york from our affiliate, fox 5. one of the big stories there
tonight is the bump in pay for minimum-wage workers in in new york city. this new year's eve, base pay for workers is going up around the state. the highest wages will be in new york city where many employees will see their minimum hourly pay go up to $15 an hour. the move makes new york city, seattle, and san francisco, major american cities to have hit that benchmark. that's tonight's live look outside the beltway from "special report." we will be right back. ♪ wifi wireless charging 104 cubic feet of cargo room and seating for 8. now that's a sleigh. ford expedition. built for the holidays. (hurry!) it's the final days to get zero percent financing plus twelve hundred and fifty dollars ford credit bonus cash on ford expedition
2004 earthquake and tsunami that killed 230,000 people across asia. beaches were large largely empty struck by saturday tsunami although some residents defy that warning. as we head into 2019 you may look back and think about how much has changed. not just in the past year, but in your life. and it's not just you. america's population, our culture, it is all changing. in the first of our three-part series, correspondent doug mckelway looks at how the changes could affect everything from the u.s. economy to politics. >> ask not what your country can do for you. ask what you can do for your country. >> a few months after president kennedy preached about civic duty harry efird found the new president was practicing something else. he analyzed 25 of his first communications to congress and found 175 requests for increased
government spending. 58 years later, $21 trillion in debt and settled with expensive entitlements the u.s. is facing a demographic crisis that jfk could not have imagined. a fertility rate of 1.8%. that means the u.s. is not producing enough to sustain its population. >> we do see fertility rates going down not just in this country but in much of western europe. other parts of the world and that becomes a problem when you're relying upon younger generations to pay for many of the social programs of older generations of which there are no more people. >> the reasons why these demographic changes or complicate it. >> the reason people have fewer children as they are unsure about the future, unsure about the cost of raising those children, especially the cost of education and the student loan debt is a crisis that everybody knows about. >> in her book, helen smith argues that young men's resistance to marriage is a rational response to today's culture. >> they gone on strike because they feel like the incentives are just not there for them anymore. the risk of marriage and a lot
of things from in a very high and the rewards for men are very low. >> others argue declining fertility rates are the result of women's success. their choices to pursue career earlier, their children later, oftentimes on their own without husbands or biological fathers. >> women are in a position today to be able to educate their own children, pay for the medical care, house their children, shelter them. there is not as much of a need for them to have a partner. >> at the other end of the economic skeptic don't expect, many poor single mothers rely on government. in kennedy's time, such dependents may have been shown. today, many embrace it. >> we saw that in the obama administration with the life of julia and at each stage there was the government to provide assistance with children or assistance with housing or assistance with education. >> the u.s. is compensating for lower fertility rates with another demographic change, an increase in immigration. >> in the case on the right,
they want people to work cheaply, more cheaply than native born citizens and on the left want to further argument or an agenda for big government. >> these demographic changes partly explain the emergence of socialism in the united states. a gallup poll from august found young america's ari more positive about socialism than they are about capitalism, 45%. that's a 12-point swing in only two years. bret. >> bret: doug, thanks. part to go tomorrow. up next, an old foe with a new threat to our airlines. first, beyond our borders tonight. at the government of japan announced today that it is leaving the international whaling commission to resume commercial hunts for the animals for the first time in 30 years. government says the whale population has recovered enough to warrant resuming the commercial hunts but the japanese did say there were no longer go to the anarchic for hunts, which often had a belief criticized by conservationist. tunisian authority say 18 people
have been arrested during protests following the death of a journalist who set himself on fire to protest economic problems in the north african nation. the journalist posted a video online calling for a revolt over unemployment and what he saw as unfulfilled promises of tunisia's 2011 arab spring revolution. nearly a dozen people were injured in italy after an earthquake that was triggered by a volcanic eruption from mount etna. homes and churches were also damaged in eastern sicily when the earthquake struck before dawn today. just some of the other stories beyond our borders tonight. we will be right back. ♪ chicken?! chicken.
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♪ >> bret: our top story at the bottom of the hour, president trump visits u.s. troops in iraq. during his trip the president praised the battle being won against isis but is correspondent gillian turner reports, an old foe is promising a new threat. >> american and british intelligence officials are ringing alarm bells about an uptick in terrorist threats against airlines and airports around the world. >> terrorists are going to continue to target us, so we've got to keep targeting them. during the holiday season and all year-round. >> much of the u.s. government's attention has been focused on isis over the past four years. since its inception in 2014. >> we are destroying the
bloodthirsty killers known as isis. we've done a very, very major job on isis. >> we have defeated isis. >> intelligence shows that al qaeda has been alive and well and making inroads into vulnerable regions. >> weekly linkages from al qaeda in west africa to al qaeda in syria to al qaeda in south asia. so in my judgment they are trying to regain relic relevance. >> al qaeda is looking to make a comeback and reassert itself as the world's most high-profile terrorist group. it's been hit hard by the u.s.-led coalition's ground wars inside iraq and syria. their manpower in those countries has been decimated over the past several years. so instead, the group has turned its attention to aviation attacks. officials say first up on al qaeda's agenda is developing new technologies to take down passenger jets including bomb carrying drones, naturalized bombs, new chemicals and new explosion methods. terrorism experts tell fox news
al qaeda is also focused on infiltrating airports. they're planning to get more jihadist operatives hired as airport employees giving them access to flight passenger info and planes. >> we don't have any illusion about what their intent is. >> european intel chief say they're worried that president trump's division so my decision to withdraw troops from syria will embolden al qaeda and other terror groups to up the ante in the middle east. >> the white house is also worried about increasing terrorism in the friendly skies and they've been working on this issue behind the scenes for months. national security officials will soon release our national strategy for aviation security. the first from the trump administration and the first aviation plan in ten years. the strategy itself is classified, but an unclassified version will be released publicly. bret. >> bret: gillian, thank you. israel's military is not backing down in syria. launching air strikes overnight in that country. the move comes after the trump administration announced the
u.s. was pulling troops out of syria. correspondent trey yingst reports tonight from jerusalem on what russia is calling a provocative act by israel. >> christmas day the sky was clear and quiet over the syrian capital of damascus and then at nightfall explosions. a series of israeli air strikes were conducted overnight on iranian targets. western intelligence sources confirmed to fox news. >> we are not prepared to accept the iranian military entrenchment in syria, which is directed against us. we will act against it vigorously and continuously, including during the current period. >> in response to the strikes, a volley of antiaircraft missiles were fired towards the attacking planes. one entering israeli airspace and triggering an air defense system in central israel according to the israeli defense force. sources add that russia was notified ahead of the strikes to avoid collision. in september, syria and
antiaircraft missiles attempted to shoot down an israeli fighter jet. leading to a russian military aircraft being shot down. now the russian defense ministry says syrian air defenses destroyed 14 of the 16 missiles fired on the syrian capital last night. russia also claiming the israelis used two civilian planes as cover to launch the assault. tuesday's action was the first by israel since the trump administration's decision to pull u.s. troops out of syria. >> president trump's decision to withdraw the american soldiers from syria will not change our policy. we are standing steadfast on our redlines in syria and everywhere else worried >> when asked this month by fox news whether or not israel would attack iran within its own territory, israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu did not rule it out. bret. >> bret: trey yingst in jerusalem, thanks. amid a partial government shutdown, president trump takes a surprise trip to see u.s. troops in iraq. our panel on the objects of this
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and pay my respects most importantly to the great soldiers that we have here. >> bret: president trump and the first lady landing in iraq and the news came via, as many things in the administration do, via tweet. sarah sanders tweeting out president trump and the first lady traveling to iraq late on christmas night to visit with our troops and senior military leadership to thank them with their service, their success in their sacrifice and to wish them a merry christmas. a lot of pictures of them on the ground in iraq. this of course as many news organizations went with this story, nbc, trump becomes first president since 2002 not to visit troops at christmas time. "newsweek," trump's first president in 15 years to not visit troops. it daily beast, similar headline, this coming out as air force one was landing during at the airbase in iraq.
so let's start there with our panel. marc theissen, a fellow at the american enterprise institute. karen timothy, opinion writer for "the washington post" and tom bevan, real clear politics cofounder and president. you know the importance of presidents visiting troops in the field. especially after all that has happened after the syria announcement. what about this day? >> it's a great day. all credit to the president for making the trip. all credit to him for taking the first lady, which is a historic first and i'm sure our troops really appreciated having her along as well and getting a chance to meet her. and this is the president's first trip to a combat zone since he took office and it's really important to do that because you get a chance, president bush always said i need the advice and are just kind of confirmed to my commanders on the ground. now he had a chance to sit down today with the commanders on the ground and what i'm sure and i hope you listen to them because i'm sure those commanders on the ground told him that isis is not defeated. it's true the president is right
when he's said we have knocked the hell out of them. and he had to knock the hell out of them because of the precipitous withdrawal that his predecessor barack obama made. they turned into tens of thousands and took over territory the size of ohio in syria and iraq. right now according to our military they have about 30,000 fighters. if they have lost their physical caliphate and president trump deserves great credit for removing their physical caliphate for what they've done is reverted into a classic insurgency and according to our military isis is as powerful today as they were before the surge in 2007. so they are not defeated yet and we have a lot of work to do before they are. >> bret: karen? >> i think it was a great thing that he went and i'm sure the troops very much appreciated it and certainly after christmas eve with more than a dozen tweets it was interesting. he was relatively disciplined for donald trump. i think the only thing that really marred it when he kind of
went into campaign rally mode at one point where he brought in his fights with the democrats and those sorts of things. those are really not sort of the kind of rhetoric that we are used to seeing out of a president in this kind of setting, this sort of partisan sparring, taking it past our shores. >> bret: he also said that he is not pulling u.s. troops out of iraq, which i'm sure is a welcome news for the iraqi prime minister, who still dealing with issues in his country about that iraq commitment. take a listen to two former officials. >> i think the president is trying to communicate that he's on top of the national security decision. that he's been faulted for recently. certainly for the syria decision and it's good to see that he is also on top of iraq. >> i think the fact the president has demonstrated a commitment to iraq is really important because we still have a lot of work to do there both on the domestic political scene as well as ridding iraq of those terrorists which are seeking to
do them and us harm. >> bret: tom, the security was extremely tight. they had some kind of thought that there was a breach heading over, that they were being tracked, air force one, as it landed in the airbase and i think it might have tighten things even further. they did not meet one-on-one with the iraqi prime minister on the ground. there was a phone call but just being there and saying that the u.s. troops were staying is probably a relief to the iraqis. >> i'm sure it is. and also i think it shows trump -- to his point, there has been some discussion about whether this is a wise move or not. certainly the pullout of troops of syria. certainly was something trump talked about a lot, campaigned on, wanted to do and is finally doing it but i think there's also reassurance that he's not going to be shy if isis wears rears its head. to go back and knock the heck out of them as trump would say. so i think he absolutely is going to be committed to the fight against isis.
>> bret: let's turn now to the shutdown and where we are in this standoff. here is the president on tuesday and also his top economic advisors. >> can tell you where they got the government is going to be open. i can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they would like to call it. i think they understand what's happening. if they want border security. if the people of this country want border security. it's not a question of me. i'd rather not be doing shutdowns. >> they might mess up a period because the government to shut down but in the end even if they aren't working and congress has decided to pay people for the whole time and so in the end it's really just a sort of short term problem and not a long-term problem for government workers. >> bret: there seems to be backbone here on the president's part in the word from capitol hill is that he is not going to back down unless there is significant movement on the
wall or border security or fence or whatever you want to call it. >> i agree. i think time is on the president's side and here's why. nancy pelosi today made some snarky comment about how his concrete wall has become a beaded wall. that's a sign that the democrats are not negotiating and they are not taking it seriously. the president on the other hand -- mick mulvaney was on "fox news sunday" and he said they've made a counter offer to the democrats for a lower price tag. fox news has been reporting that it's 2.1 billion. so the president is trying to compromise and come to an agreement and the democrats are making snarky jokes and thinking they have him on the run and not engaging. for the short term, he owns the shutdown because he claimed the mantle of the shutdown. he said i want to shut down the government over border security but over time if he seems to be the one -- americans want compromise on this. if he's the one who's compromising in the democrats are demanding absolute surrender and it's going to backfire on them because that's not what the american people want and over time as he keeps making -- if he can be responsible and keep making concrete offers that are concessions to the democrats
then over time they will start to on the mantle of the shutdown. so i think he's right to stick to his guns and be reasonable and make reasonable offers. >> bret: karen, we put up the pie chart often about this particular shutdown and what has been funded and what is still really in doubt here, whether it gets a deal and that is 25%, not yet enacted bills in the spending bills. that's still a lot of people potentially who are affected as it could last into the new year. >> and this idea that this is just a short-term impact and that they will all get their backpay, the fact is for these government workers their mortgage payments still comes due. their credit card payments still comes due. if so a lot of these people are living paycheck to paycheck and also, there are a lot of federal workers, people who work for the government, who are contractors, who clean the building who
really are paid on an hourly basis and those people will not be getting backpay. so for the people who are affected, and yes, it is a small piece of that pie chart, but to say that these are temporary effect and that it's like no big deal as long as you get your backpay is simply not true for people who do live paycheck to paycheck. >> bret: right. and to that point what if the shutdown continues into the new year? this is an official talking about that, kevin pascoe. >> longer than december and all that backpay that people would get for the weeks in december would come in january and so that would have a slight negative effect on gdp in the fourth quarter and a positive effect on gdp in the first quarter. >> bret: i guess i just don't see -- it's kind of rolling off of them. and if that's the case then eventually this negotiation is going to go the other way.
>> we will see how it plays out. this is sort of like the first quarter of this thing. people are on holiday. if they're going to be on holiday through the first of the year but after the first of the year pressure is going to get ratcheted up. democrats are going to come back. nancy pelosi will put a bill in the house to reopen the government on january 3rd and then they will put the pressure on trump, why what you sign this, why won't you do this? there won't be any border funding and that's when it's going to heat up and we will see was that the leverage and where the pressure points are and whether marc's scenario plays out for trump conflict is on them and say i'm negotiating in good faith, you guys are not negotiating it also now it's your shutdown. but it is going to get serious in about a week. >> bret: next up, a huge day would have led any newscast except for the trip to iraq. where is the u.s. economy added? next. ♪ wifi
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♪ >> i have great confidence in our companies. we have companies, the greatest in the world and they are doing really well. they have record heights of numbers. so i think it's a tremendous opportunity to buy. really a great opportunity to buy. >> the fundamentals for me are extremely sound. the christmas sales are through
the roof. gdp in the fourth quarter is looking like it's going to be very close if not above 3 again so i think the momentum we saw this year is carrying forward to next year. >> bret: the close -- that was good. a recovery for the american red cross ringing the bell on wall street today because the recovery happened in the dow up more than 1,000 points. its biggest day in a long time. if you look at the trading, it took a dip at the beginning but then just sword for the rest of the day and if you look at the year to date you can see how it has been a roller coaster ride really since about six months ago, but in reality, some of the worst numbers on christmas eve we've ever seen. we are back with our panel. the fundamentals of the u.s. economy, karen, that, i guess,
is really what the white house is focused on. less so about the market up and downs. >> that's right. in the fundamentals, a lot of analysts think there will be a weakening in the economy in part. just cyclical in part because interest rates are going up in part as a result of the trade war and the tariffs. so there is in fact likely to be some sort of softening of the economy over the next few months again, partly cyclical. and what really kind of drives the market into these roller coasters is the sense that after his call to the bankers over the weekend, the sense that the administration sort of is putting matches to gasoline sometimes on this. at least in in the very short . >> bret: there are a lot of positives going through the stats and if you look at for example holiday sales.
november 1st-december 24th up 5.1% from 2017. $850 billion. strongest growth in the last six years. online sales up 19.1%. from the previous year. but there is this volatility. >> we are living in volatile political times so it's not surprising that there is volatility in the market to match it. it looked like the traders were getting a good after christmas sale today buying a lot of the stocks that were at bargain prices after christmas and after the sell-off on christmas eve. but kevin is right, the fundamentals of the economy are strong and i think that's why president trump feels that he can do things like take on china on trade because a lot of people may disagree about the wisdom of starting a trade war with your allies like canada and the european union that i don't think there's a serious person out there who doesn't believe that china is a trade creditor, that they are stealing our intellectual property, but they are forcing american companies operating in china to hand over
the propriety technology as a cost of doing business, putting illegal subsidies into dozens of sectors of the economy to make it impossible for american companies to compete and trump understands that he's not going to be able to get them to stop doing that by filing a complaint with the wto. he's using the threat of tariffs in order to get to the chinese to the table and cut a deal and that causes volatility in the markets. it makes people unsettled but he feels that because the american economy is so strong in the chinese economy is slowing down, that he has the reserves in order to survive a trade war where beijing doesn't really have that. so he's trying to make some fundamental changes in our trading relationship with beijing that most people agree need to be made even if they disagree with his techniques and this is the only way he understands -- this is the only way he's going to do it. >> bret: the president has put a lot of the problems on the fed decision to raise interest rates. he's been very vocal about that, much more vocal about the fed ever than any other president has really been.
there were stories that steven mnuchin's job is in danger. that the feds somehow could get changed down. kevin hassell was asked about that today. >> you made it very clear that secretary mnuchin's job is safe and the fed chairman's job is safe. >> 100%? this is not interpreted? >> absolutely. >> bret: it doesn't seem like the market's that worked up about the federal government shutdown. it doesn't seem like that at least according to if you listen to experts. but the action, with the president does and says about it, seems like it adds to volatility perhaps, is that something, tom? >> sure. 100% and this is kevin trying to reassure folks. that was part of what contributed anything to the market jitters just a couple of days ago. and look, he was warned early on not to peg the market, not to tell the market as being success
of his policies because markets go up and down and you live by the sword, you die by the sword and to really focus on the fundamentals, which is what the administration is trying to do now but trump really can't help himself. he sees the market go up and he tweets how great it is, markets have never been higher and all that but it's the political uncertainty. the market hates uncertainty and that's what we've got going right now. not so much the shutdown, to your point, as it is about interest rates, the fed chair, steven mnuchin, all the turnover in the administration and the fact also that the tax cuts are done and it doesn't look like they're going to have any more -- nothing to juice the economy in 2019. >> bret: we shall see. we are just beginning almost to the end of the year. panel, thank you very much. when we come back, an officer pulling over people to put a smile on their faces. ♪ prevagen has been shown in clinical trials
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, but not for the reasons you would expect. >> how are you doing officer? >> just want to tell you, merry christmas. you are not trouble. >> bret: he patrolled the town with a car full of gifts for people he chose at random. he handed out around 50 stuffed animals. $350 in gift cards and $150 in cash. the officer has been doing this for nine years and each year he tries to talk top himself.
that's a great thing. thanks for inviting us into your home tonight, that is it for this "special report." fair, balanced and unafraid. another lie version tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. eastern. "the story" hosted by ed henry starts right now. >> ed: that's a good story. welcome everybody. breaking tonight, the trump rally. from wall street to the world stage, the president appears to be back on offense tonight. early this week the critics were mocking the president for that dow died on christmas eve. nbc news was claiming he'd be the first commander in chief to skip a holiday trip to see our men and women in uniform since 2002 and the president himself was tweeting about being, well, home alone at the white house. what a difference a couple of days make. i'm ed henry in for martha maccallum. hope you had a wonderful christmas. in a stunning reversal, the stock market saw its biggest daily point gain ever. that's right, ever. and abroad, the president, who