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foreign policy

Is This What Winning A Tax War Looks Like?

President Trump says he's "A tariff man" which is to say "a tax man" which is to say he is saying we're going to tax our way to prosperity which is to say he's wrong. Is this what winning the tax war looks like? Why is Trump walking away from his 90-day China trade truce? Is this just another example of Trump's negotiation tactics? Why are steel and aluminum companies' share prices down if Trump's tariffs are helping them? Dan and Amy are joined by Stephen Moore Wall Street Journal Columnist; Chief Economist for CNN & President Trump advisor.

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Tariff Man

What did President Trump mean when he tweeted he is "A tariff man"? Did that tweet tank the economy? Why are Republicans running away from free trade? Did the University of Chicago win the Cold War, as George Will has said? Dan and Amy pose these questions and more to John Tamny, Director of the Center for Economic Freedom, editor of RealClearMarkets and author of The End of Work: Why Your Passion Can Become Your Job.

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Exposing The Global Corporate Bribery Network

Are kickbacks with foreign nations bribery but otherwise known as lobbying in the U.S? How did Greece overspend on healthcare and what are the lessons to be learned? Why are there so few prosecutions for drug reps who bribe foreign countries to use their product? What is the human cost? LA Times national correspondent and author of “Kickback: Exposing the Global Corporate Bribery Network,” David Montero joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Freedom And Chaos In Egypt And The Middle East

Seven years ago Tunisian shopkeeper Mohamed Buoazizi's self-immolation sparked a revolt against autocrats and theocrats in the Middle East. So why did the Arab Spring never blossom? What key decisions did the Obama Administration make or not make to assist in the revolt? Who’s emerging as our crucial allies in the region? New York Times International Correspondent and Author of “Into The Hands Of The Soldiers,” David Kirkpatrick joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Bolton: “Brilliant, America First” Appointment

What is the assessment of Trump's national security shakeup from the Israeli perspective? Is the PLO finally going to be treated as the terrorist organization they are? Will Bolton’s goal as National Security Adviser be not democratizing the world but protecting American security? Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post and Director of the Israeli Security Project, Caroline Glick joins Dan and Scot to discuss.

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North Korea’s New Olive Branch

Should we believe the latest overture by North Korea through South Korea that Kim Jong-un is open to disbanding his nuclear weapons program? Has the DC press corps’ love affair with Kim Jong Un’s sister made them forget the last 25 years of North Korean propaganda? Former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. We're coming to you from Charles Equipment Energy Systems, our friends here in Des Plaines, part of our AM560/Signature Bank Business Tour, and it's always fun to be here. They're in the business of providing energy solutions, big-time energy solutions. They've been responsive in hurricanes, for example, where the power is out, they're the ones who bring the huge generators down to... Jacobson: Yeah, they have generators the size of semi trucks that they bring down to help people...well, to give them electricity, so that they can clean up the area, and eat, and just...survive. Proft: So, we're talking about big energy solutions here, and we'll be talking to the gentlemen who operate this company...one of whom is an excellent cook. Jacobson: Oh yeah, Mike? You can say his name, man. Proft: And he's a bit of a character, too. We'll be talking to him at the bottom of the 7 o'clock hour so you want to stay tuned for that. Yesterday, Jeanne Ives...so we talked about this show, both with Jeanne Ives and Alderman Napolitano, Anthony Napolitano of the 41st Ward, far Northwest side there, the Edison Park area. They held a joint press conference yesterday to talk about that City Key ID that has made national news, we've talked about it on this show, when your Alderman, Amy, Ameya Pawar was on Tucker Carlson, and got his lunch handed to him? (Jacobson: Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah.) So, Jeanne Ives and Napolitano doing a joint presser in their shared interest to not allow this ID that "Tiny Dancer" has concocted to be used as a form of identification for the purposes of voter registration for people who are in this country illegally. Jacobson: That's ALL it's used for. On the...Ameya Pawar said "Well, then I could take the train with it too." Well, what does that mean? No, you need a Venture card to take the train. Proft: Well, the point is if you want to use this new ID card to check out a library book or to get a Venture card, FINE. The only issue, and this was finely tailored, the legislation that Ives has filed, is it cannot be used for voter registration, cannot be used for voter registration. And we'll pick up that discussion in a little bit, but here right now we have our friend Ambassador John Bolton joining us. John Bolton, former United States Ambassador to the UN joins us now, and the timing couldn't be better because there's some breaking news. The New York Times reporting that Kim Jong-un saying that North Korea is willing to start talks with the US on giving up its nuclear weapons according to South Korea, per their little confab in Pyongyang... Jacobson: Pyongchang...PF Chang's... Proft: Pyeongchang in North Korea. Not ABC News version. Recently, and so let's get more insight on that from Ambassador Bolton, thanks for joining us Ambassador Bolton, appreciate it. Bolton: Well, glad to be with you, thanks for having me. Proft: So, do you...how much stock do you put in this New York Times report about what the South Koreans are saying, or is this just Kim Jong-un trying to manipulate and propagandize? Bolton: Look, this is the umptiumpth offer by North Korea to talk about giving up their nuclear weapons, we've been doing this for 25 years. The North Koreans have pledged in written international agreements four times during that period to give up nuclear weapons, they've lied about it every time. So I'd like to say, when you've tried something for 25 years and failed, what makes you think in year 26 it's going to be any different? Now, why are the North Koreans doing it now? I think precisely because they are so close, after 25 years of trying, to being able to deliver nuclear weapons on target in the United States. CIA director Mike Pompeo said a few weeks ago that he thought that they could master all the complexities that were necessary to do that "within a handful of months", HIS phrase, "a handful of months". So I think talking now, talking about a freeze on testing and,you know, maybe just freeze the American and South Korean military maneuvers that were postponed because of the Olympics and we'll just talk about it, and at the end of six months, the North Koreans will have deliverable nuclear weapons if we fall for it. Jacobson: So you think this is all just a cat-and-mouse game? Bolton: Yeah, I think this is all just a little diversion. "Isn't it exciting to talk to North Korea?" Honestly, it's when you've talked to them so many times in the last 25 years that it's hard to keep count, again somebody has to provide some compelling evidence of why talking to them now will make a difference. And what I fear is that next people say "What an amazing breakthrough!" as if they've forgotten the last 25 years of history, the news media are very good at that, they have short attention spans. But people say "Well, we have to help create the proper atmosphere, and we need to prime the pump a little bit, and we need to show good faith." All of which is code language for "make some concessions". Which the North Koreans would happily put in their pocket, as they have since going back to the Korean War Armistice negotiations in 1953, that's the way they negotiate. So, the Trump Administration has said previously they are happy to talk to North Korea, but we won't let up any of the pressure on North Korea. I think that's the absolute minimum, the pressure needs to be increased as they get closer to achieving their objective but I have no doubt that in parts of the State Department they're breaking out the champagne saying "Great! Let's head to Beijing for more talks and let's keep the party going!" That's a way of GUARANTEEING that North Korea gets deliverable nuclear weapons, which by the way they will be HAPPY to sell to anybody with the right amount of money. Proft: And also, too...I mean a part of this is the DC Press Corps' love affair with Kim Jong-un's sister, the Gold medalist in diplomacy at the Pyeongchang Games according to the DC Press Corps, his propaganda minister and sister. And I just wonder if North Korea is seizing on all of that goodwill foisted upon North Korea through his sister to then bring the South Koreans in, and make it look like there's some reproach ma (?), and as you say the entire thing, including as it pertains to South Korea, is diversionary. Bolton: Yeah, as we saw, there's a new diplomatic first here. Kim Jong-un met with representatives of South Korea. Well, big deal! His father met with representatives of South Korea on more occasions, I think, than we can count. We know that South Korea funded North Korea's participation in the Olympic Games, it's another way...the North Koreans are the best grifters and tadgers...I mean they make Wimpy and his offer, you know "How about a hamburger today, and I'll pay you tomorrow?", they make him look like a piker. And there's just more of this coming, you can see it. It's very...it's very dangerous, and nobody should be deceived by it, but I'm sure the usual suspects will be deceived by it. Jacobson: Well, besides talking, they also set up a hotline where they can talk, you know President Moon and Kim Jong-un, they can speak freely and directly to each other. And then there's this April summit, that's going to be held, you know, on the South Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two countries. And do you think President Trump will soon get involved in this? Do you think there will actually ever be talks between Kim Jong-un and President Trump? Bolton: Well, I don't think there SHOULD be. Because I think simply the presence of the American president in the same room as Kim Jong-un gives him legitimacy that is beyond calculation and value. I really think this whole thing is just to tap for our attention while they're putting the last touches on their ballistic missiles and their thermonuclear warheads, as I said, Mike Pompeo thinks it will only take a handful of months. I don't know EXACTLY what that means, of course, but it sounds like before the end of this year, absent sabotage or other steps that might slow it down. So you know, it's just hard to credit that after 25 years or so of trying, the North Koreans have come within a handful of months, and then decided to say "Oh you know, we weren't THAT serious. We're prepared to give it up right now!" It's just...it doesn't wash, but there are lots of people looking for bridges to buy on the cheap, and I'm sure we're gonna hear from them in the next few days. Proft: I want to get your take on some of the developments in the whole Bob Mueller Special Counsel investigation, Russian collusion, and everything under that umbrella. Not just Sam Nunberg's bizarre day on the cable TV news networks, but also this story about the Australian diplomat that provided the FBI with the information that launched the FBI's Russia probe. The infamous conversation over cocktails with George Papadopoulus, this guy Alexander Downer, who's now the Australian ambassador to London...he also... Bolton: Right. I know Alexander Downer. He is a friend to the United States, whether he was a member of (?)...the administration, the conservative administration in the early part of the Bush administration. But whether he wholly understood what he was doing, whether it was others in the Australian government that really moved this along, I don't know. But yeah, it's really just another example of the reach of the Clinton Foundation, and why we're still looking at the tip of the iceberg here in terms of the information you have on so many of these fronts. So yeah, there's more here to look at, there's no doubt about that. Proft: Yeah, I mean you're talking about a $25M donation, that he apparently helped arrange, from Australia to the Clinton Foundation to support screening and medication to AIDS patients in Asia, that was back in 2006, but it's still something to kind of factor in, kind of in the interest of full disclosure and context. And I also wonder about what you...how you interpreted what Intel Chairman Nunes said the other day, that the person who was sharing or getting information from Russia was the...or the organization was the Clinton campaign. Bolton: Yeah, this is obviously tied to Nunes and (?). I've seen information that's not public, and I think it's entirely consistent with the argument that many in the Intelligence community have made, that the Russians were trying to sow distrust and erode faith in our public institutions, and even Mueller's indictment, that's only a piece of the puzzle, that's for sure. But, it tells that the Russians were prepared to help all kinds of candidates, even Bernie Sanders, and...the Green Party candidate, in an effort I think to cause confusion in the American electorate. So if they thought they could attract the Clinton campaign, I have no doubt they'd be prepared to try. There was certainly no principle reason for them not to. Proft: He is John Bolton, the former United States Ambassador to the UN. Ambassador Bolton, thanks as always for joining us, appreciate your time. Bolton: Thanks again for having me.

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Threat Assessment On Russian Missiles

Are the new Russian "Avangard" missiles a signal from Putin telling the western world to back off? Is there thawing of relations between North and South Korea? Should there be a second special counsel to investigate alleged FISA abuses? What is McMaster’s future as National Security Adviser? CNN Military Analyst and Security Consultant, Colonel Cedric Leighton joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Did the approach during the Bush and Obama years undermine the efforts that were being made by troops in the ground prior to 9/11 in eradicating the Taliban? Does the US have more at stake in Pakistan? Pulitzer Prize winner and author of the new book "DIRECTORATE S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan," Steve Coll joins Dan and Amy to discuss. 

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Successes Of Trump's "Principled Realism" In Foreign Affairs

What should POTUS highlight at his first State Of The Union after the first year of his presidency on the foreign policy front? How much credit does Trump deserve from removing ISIS’ control and territory? Is he going to address the Taliban and their recent string of attacks? What are the odds of the survival of the Iran deal? Former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

View full transcript


Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. How has Trump principled, realistic foreign policy served American interests in Year One of his presidency? That's something that I'm sure he will tackle, at least in part, during his State of the Union address tonight. That was part of the conversation during the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, and there was a very interesting exchange between Israel Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Fareed Zakaria on the controversial...I GUESS...decision for Trump to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital...something that previous presidents had SAID...Trump was the only one that MOVED on it. And Bibi Netanyahu had this reaction to the President's decision, much to the chagrin one of one globalist named Fareed Zakari. Netanyahu (from tape): The seat of government is in Jerusalem. This has been the case for the 70 years of Israel's existence, that we're celebrating now. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people since the time of King David, that's only three thousand years ago. So President Trump made history by recognizing history, recognizing these indelible facts of the past and the present. And under ANY peace agreement, you KNOW that the capital of Israel will continue to be Jerusalem, and the seat of our government will continue to be in Jerusalem, so I think on the contrary, he did a great service for peace, because peace can only be based on truth, on reality. And denying the simple fact that Israel's capital is Jerusalem pushes peace backwards by creating an illusion, fantasy. Can't build peace on fantasy. Proft: For more on this topic, and this aspect of the President's remarks tonight, we're pleased to be joined by our friend John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Ambassador Bolton thanks so much for joining us again, appreciate it. Bolton: Well, good morning! Glad to be with you. Proft: So how would you summarize Trump's first year on the foreign policy front, and whether or not decisions like the decision in Jerusalem have advanced the cause of peace of the world over? Bolton: Well, I think he's had an awful lot of successes, but he faces an awful lot of problems, because a number of due bills left to him by the previous administration are coming due: the North Korea nuclear program, the Iran nuclear program, chaos in the Middle East and a whole range of other issues. But I think it's...there's been a lot of hysteria about what Trump's foreign policy is. I think it ends up being in the mainstream of conservative Republican thinking on most issues. That's depressing and boring for a lot of the critics, maybe for some of the supporters too, but I think that's the reality. I think it's what we desperately needed after eight years of Barack Obama. Jacobson: Well, the Palestinians are none too happy if the embassy is moved to Jerusalem, but President Trump the other day said he'd deny them foreign aid if they don't continue with peace talks. Bolton: Look, I think it's time...it's time to shake up the conditions in the Middle East. We've been pursuing the two-state solutions, so called, between Israel and the Palestinians, for about six or seven decades, it's not working out too well. And I think what Netanyahu said about peace ultimately being based on truth rather than illusion, it's just something you can't argue with. So acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel's capital and saying we're going to put our embassy there, does just recognize reality. And by the way, to the people who say it prejudices the outcome of the negotiations, that's just not true. Trump's own statement says he's not intending to do that. The embassy, whether it is built from scratch or, as it looks like now, converted from an existing consulate facility, will be in territory always recognized as WEST Jerusalem, WEST of the Green Line, NEVER under claim by the Palestinians. So this is just one example of an urban legend that's been out there for decades, it was never going anywhere. And the idea, for example, that the only people in the world for whom refugee status is inheritable, like DNA, are the Palestinians. That impedes the peace process as well. So the President withheld half of the operating budget of the UN Agency that works with the Palestinians, and as you say, he basically threatened to take off the table the direct aid that the United States gives the Palestinians, for which, by the way, we have ample statutory grounds, and some would say requirements, that the State Department hasn't yet met. So it's a painful reality that intrudes for some people, but I think it's the right thing to do. Proft: Ostensibly tonight the President will, in listing his successes, talk about crippling ISIS. Yesterday the Islamic State issued a new video, calling on "brothers in Europe, America, Russia, Australia, and elsewhere" to "kill them all, now it's time to rise". What is the state of the Islamic State, and how much credit does Trump deserve for removing them...removing their control from places like Syria and Iraq? Bolton: Well, I think that the Territorial Caliphate has largely been destroyed. I think there are still some pockets of resistance, our military says it's a few weeks until they're taken care of, I suspect that's right. And I think it was important to destroy the Territorial Caliphate, because it's holding territory that gives ISIS the color of legitimacy to its claim that it is indeed a legitimate Islamic Caliphate. But losing that territory doesn't mean that ISIS disappears. We know for a fact that a lot of its people got out of the Caliphate, and escaped to places like Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to continue the terrorist attacks against the West, and I do think that they will continue. So, there's been an important victory. I do think that Trump's changing of the rules of engagement for American forces was helpful in that regard. But I think it was not helpful that we continued basically many of the policies of the Obama years, supporting the government of Iraq which is, sad today these days, a subsidiary of the government of Iran, the Ayotollahs basically control it. And that's one reason that we still face enormous threats in the Middle East; to Israel, to our Arab friends, as well as our own interests there as well. Jacobson: Do you think President Trump will address the Taliban? I mean, they killed 100 people, they filled an ambulance with explosives, and then earlier in the week 22 Americans were killed at the Intercontinental Hotel, a good friend of the show, Greg Selig, was there, hiding in-between mattresses, and he had this 13 hours of Hell, and they tracked him down and they killed him. I mean, there seems to be something there with the Taliban. Bolton: Well, I think the President was pretty forceful at lunch yesterday with the UN Security Council when he said "We're not gonna talk to those people." And ultimately, this argument that this group of fanatics and terrorists would sit down and have a nice corporate conference around a conference table was always delusional. I think you've got to defeat these people. It may take a long time, but if you want the terrorist threat eliminated, if you want to make sure they don't re-take Afghanistan, and provide a new base for ISIS or al-Qaeda to threaten Pakistan, with terrorists taking over there and getting their hands on Pakistan's arsenal of nuclear weapons, which is estimated publicly to be 60 or more, maybe up to 200. This is just something that...it's unpleasant, Americans don't like to deal with these long-term lingering infections, but that's what it is, and to preserve the safety of innocent civilians here in the United States, far better to deal with them over there than deal with them over here. Proft: Dr. Richard Benkin has a piece in American Thinker where he profiles a Pashtun village elder who is very complimentary of President Trump's policy. He talks about President Trump's...and Pashtun's generally speaking, a favored form of democratic rule...small D. He has...but this elder that he profiles suggests that Trump is right for calling out Pakistan for decades of lies and deceit, duplicity in the War on Terror. He says that successive US Governments have given Pakistan billions of dollars, and its people...for its people's welfare and to fight the War on Terror, and in return Pakistan has given us nothing BUT terrorism. This kind of in the North Waziristan area that kind of borders Afghanistan and Pakistan. And I wonder if that is a perspective, although anecdotal, that informs US policy, and Trump's policy, towards Pakistan...or at least it SHOULD, and thus the basis for us to retain some presence there. Bolton: Well, I think Trump's decision recently to withhold assistance from Pakistan was correct, I think from time to time you've gotta show 'em the cold steel, and that was a necessary decision. But, I think it's also important to remember, and I said this a moment ago, that they've got a substantial supply of nuclear weapons, and if the terrorists took control, we would find ourselves with Iran on steroids. So it's a difficult balance to walk, it's a country that every time you turn around you've got to grit your teeth and think about it. I had a friend, a colleague, at the State Department, who said that the government of Pakistan is the only government he knows that consists simultaneously of arsonists and firefighters. And, and, and...and, and that's about right, and that's why it's hard to deal with. But, if you walk away from them, China will basically insert itself as the dominant external power, you'll have this greater risk of even more proliferation of nuclear weapons and this risk of conflict with India rises as well. So, it's hard, and it does require a well thought-out strategy, which is something again, Trump inherited basically a vacuum in terms of strategic policy regarding Pakistan, and he's still gotta make one up. Proft: You talked about the prospect of Pakistan becoming Iran on steroids, if terrorists got a hold of the nuclear weapons...what about Iran, minus the steroids, the actual Iran, and Trump and his position on the Iran Nuclear Deal, and his position that it was the worst deal in American history, at least at a foreign policy level. What are you hoping he says about the survivability of that deal tonight? Bolton: Well, I think if he just repeats what he said before, it'll be a reminder to everybody in Congress that he's still waiting to see if they can come up with anything. I mean, I would have abrogated this deal on January the 20th, 2017, during the Inaugural Address, because it was a strategic mistake. It was the worst diplomatic deceit that the United States has ever suffered, and it hasn't gotten any better with age. So I'm...I'm...if you put me down as what my druthers would be, we would have been out of it long ago. But if it's not gonna come till May, so be it. This is a good time to work with our allies in Europe, and others around the world, to talk about the reality that is going to exist on that date in May when Trump pulls the plug on this thing, which I certainly hope he does. Proft: He is Ambassador John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations, Ambassador Bolton thanks again for joining us, appreciate it. Bolton: Always glad to be with you, thanks for having me!

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Heritage's James Carafano On U.S. Foreign Policy Under President Trump

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Oliver North On American Foreign Policy And Military Strength

How strong is the U.S. military in 2017, and where does America stand currently as a world leader? On this edition of "Against the Current," Dan Proft talks to the decorated Lt. Col. Oliver North about pressing foreign policy issues – both past and present – and North gives his assessment on the military leadership under President Donald Trump. And, taping on Veterans Day, North offers some thoughts on how he thinks the day and veterans should be honored.

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Foreign Policy Establishment In DC

How realistic is a regime change in North Korea? How do we convince China to apply economic pressure on North Korea? What’s in it for China to keep a Kim Jong Un regime in power? Is the American business community on board with possible economic sanctions? Was Sebastian Gorka done in by the "courtier class" inside DC's foreign policy establishment? Did the Trump administration lose its America first foreign policy initiative? Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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No More Bribes For North Korea

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Logic Lapse In Afghanistan

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Would the faction of Trump supporters who tolerate no substantive criticism of POTUS like to reconsider their position as Trump has reconsidered his on Afghanistan? Is there a difference between institutional and establishment? Should we always listen to the generals? Have we learned nothing from Charlie Wilson's War? Is Trump looking to horse trade escalation in Afghanistan with the neocons in exchange for support for his domestic policy agenda? Ed Henry, Chief National Correspondent for Fox News Channel and author of “42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story,” joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

     

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Dan Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy, in President Trump’s national address on his change of opinion on Afghanistan policy yesterday, in which he expressed support for an escalation of American presence there, to kill terrorists, not to nation build, he also made a very transparent overture to last week’s controversy over his response to Charlottesville. Amy Jacobson: Yeah, his speech at the beginning did echo a little bit of Charlottesville, he came out and said basically no tolerance for hate, but I was wonder when I heard him talk about that and to say we want a country that’s not at war with itself, did the critics get to him? Did his family? Did everybody get to him?7 Donald Trump: The young men and women, we send to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home, we cannot remain a force for peace in the world, if we are not at peace with each other, as we send our bravest to defeat our enemies overseas, and we will always win, let us find the courage to heal our divisions within. Amy: Was that a moment of contrition? Dan: I don’t know if I go so far as to say contrition, but tis certainly a moment that was orchestrated, or a passage that was orchestrated by General Kelly in conjunction with the staff speech writers to address it without addressing it directly, to address it globally, without addressing it specifically, so that people would pick up on it as we are, and suggest something approximating contrition or recognition and to try and put that past in the administration and focus on the challenges ahead, for more focus on the challenges ahead, and insight on such challenges, we’re pleased to be joined by our fried Ed Henry, Chief National correspondent for Fox News, and the author of ’42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story’, as you know Amy, because you have a signed copy of said book. Amy: I do. Ed Henry: Amy so disappointed you weren’t at the ballpark there a couple of weeks ago. Amy: I know, well Dan was representing the show, but thank you for the book. Dan: Yeah, I’m her ambassador. Ed: You’re a great ambassador. Dan: Yeah, great time was great to see you, and thank you for the signed copies of the book, and I know it’s doing very well and wish you continued success with that, with respect to Trump’s address last night, obviously being received very well by the neo-cons, Graham and McCain and others, do you sense that maybe an ancillary benefit that had to be considered was supporting this escalation, is consistent with in placing trust in the Generals around him, including his Chief of Staff, as well as maybe re-securing more support on the Hill for his domestic political agenda. Ed: It’s a complicated question, because you’re wrapping several things in there, but I think you’re very smartly wrapping it together, because look, this president himself acknowledged last night that his instinct was to stick to his campaign promise, which was to get out of Afghanistan, not to send more troops, even though it seems like a modest number of 4,000 more, I think President Obama in 09, put about 30,000 more, a much more dramatic escalation, so this President could be accused of a middling escalation, because maybe it’s not enough, if his instinct was, as he said himself, to get out, stick to his guns on that, what happened in Charlottesville, may have made that political calculation more difficult, because you’re right, he was losing support, facing criticism from fellow Republicans, if he had then pulled out of Afghanistan, he may have had, I don’t want to say a revolt among Republicans, I don’t want to exaggerate it, but I think that he has been facing a very tenuous political situation, so I think that part of the (4:28), on the other hand, I think we have to give him credit for showing leadership and putting aside some of that political calculus, he himself said look I wanted to get out, but you get behind that desk in the Oval office and you realise if we just have a rapid pull out of Afghanistan, like President Obama did in Iraq in 2011, it’s going to be haven for terrorists all over again, it’s already a difficult situation, let’s not make it worse. So, my bottom line is how many times have we had the critics of President Trump, and there were many, say this guy doesn’t learn anything, he can’t possible grow in office, he doesn’t know what he’s doing, I think last night he showed some leadership and said you know what? I’m going to step up to the plate here. Amy: Well I always questioned the timing of everything, do you think the timing was because of the negative publicity from Charlottesville? Ed: There’s no way of proving that that’s when he did, I think you’re right to raise the question, that this maybe helps him change the subject, from a difficult week last week, and I thought that the way you both handled it a moment ago, before I came on, was exactly right, which was that, again, he’s got critics who if he did not allude to Charlottesville last night, they would say, oh interesting he never mentioned anything about that, oh he doesn’t want to talk about that anymore, then he mentions in there, and they’ll be some people saying well is that politics? Is he trying to turn the page on last week? So you’re kind of darned if you do, darned if you don’t, so I think using the coming together moment of he’s at Fort Myer in Virginia, a military base, that like a microcosm of the rest of the US military, not just the toughest, best in the world, but the most diverse, and it really does look like a patchwork of America, it seems like it would have been a missed opportunity to not mention that the military goes and fights and defends and protects this nation, regardless of race, creed or colour and for all of the missed opportunities this president had last week, and I certainly don’t let him off the hook about that news conference last Tuesday, which certainly could have been handled a lot better, I think last night he handled it well. Dan: And I’m all for president changing their mind, and particularly when they do things I disagree with, and they do something I agree with, like anybody, and trump explained why he changed his mind, which is all fine, that’s acceptable, that nobody knows what it’s like to be president, till you’re president, and so it’s not about changing his mind, it’s the question of whether he’s getting the policy right, whether this is an instance where changing his mind was good, that’s my criticism, not the idea that he’s rethought his position and… Ed: Can I say one thing on that? Dan: Sure, yeah. Ed: I said this on the air last night, and I don’t want to leave it unsaid on your air this morning, which is that while I am giving the president credit for leadership and stepping up as I said, I certainly share scepticism, I seem to hear in your voice Dan, that I didn’t hear a whole lot of details last night, I heard and when I went on Twitter last night during the speech and said look he gets some high marks, but there’s a lot of detail missing here, I kept getting Trump allies saying, you didn’t listen, he said two key things, he’s going to kill terrorists, and he’s not going to nation build, sure but that’s not a strategy, those are slogans, of course we’re going to kill terrorists, of course, the Democratic Republican president, you want to kill terrorists, no one wants to see them thrive, but I think to be fair and balanced about it, he left out a lot of details. Dan: And the other thing is, is this a moment where Trump decided this is a way for me to be counterintuitive, he likes to do things that are unexpected, to play against type. Ed: Well, and I think it gets a little bit back to Amy’s question, which I started answering and then answered some other point son it, which I think she raises a very fair question about the timing of this, because General McMaster, had wanted the President to deal with this policy back, I believe, in May when he was going to the NATO summit, so we could have the policy announced back then and get the allies more involved as he talked last night about really holding Pakistan’s feet to the fire, for example, which I think was another important and positive point he made last night and so he’s been sitting on this policy, why all of a sudden did they roll it out, just in the last 24 hours, unexpectedly, this weekend when they abruptly announced, he’s going to address the nation in primetime, that’s a big deal when the commander-in-chief does that for the first time, I’m not saying it wasn’t warranted, I’m not saying he did it for political reasons, but I think Amy raises up their question, was which is, is this also about changing the point and not just getting the policy right now. Amy: Scene out of House of Cards, or Wag the Dog, today President Trump, after last nights, which I thought too was a pretty effective address to the nation, he’s going back into campaign mode and heading to Arizona, there’s going to be, I’m sure he’s, you know, tens of thousands of protestors, but he’s both publicly scrutinized both of their state Senators, and neither of them are showing up, but what, I know that some of his aides have begged him to cancel today’s event in Phoenix, and he’s of course said no. Ed: Right, and this gets to maybe the two Trumps, of last night, and I’m also hearing critics saying, reacting to what I said on Fox News last night, saying it’s not leadership to read off a teleprompter, that’s what critics used to say about President Obama too, look folks, presidents read of teleprompters… Amy: Get over it. Ed: Yeah and when you’re delivering remarks about Afghanistan policy, you kind of need to be precise and it right, ergo what happened at that news conference last Tuesday, where the president, there was no teleprompter, but veered off the script if you will and dug a deeper hole on Charlottesville, you can’t do that when you’re talking war on peace and I mention that to tie it back to your question, which is the two Trumps, so last night I think he gets high marks, but tonight we’re going to see the unscripted Trump and does he undo some of the goodwill, I think he generated last night, not just with Republicans, but maybe some fair-minded independents, and the Democrats who say look, I don’t really love this Afghanistan policy, but he’s right that we can’t just pull out, we’ve tried that before, tonight, we’re going to get the Trump who’s up there with no prompter and starts gets this fiery crowd out there and feeds off the energy of that, which positive, but also can end up digging a deeper hole if he starts re-explaining what he meant on Charlottesville yet again, we’ll see. Dan: Getting back to his domestic policy agenda, interesting piece on CNBC yesterday, with professional courtesies, and that is with Trump’s troubles, comes better odds for a tax cut, do you sense there’s movement on that? Ed: I don’t sense movement, to be honest, but what I think CNBC is getting at, which is that I think a lot of people can do wrong when for example, a president struggles, like the president did last week on show, so there’s a tendency in Washington, the pundit class to say, aha, the president’s in trouble so he’ll never get tax cuts, well on the other hand when you’re in some trouble, get back to Amy’s point about changing the subject and finding a compromise or a policy somewhere that you can latch on to, maybe, because of a more precarious political position, the president says I’m not going to get a hundred percent of what I wanted on taxes, I better call Chuck Schumer and figure out how I can get 50 or 60 percent of what I wanted, and there’ll be a lot of Republicans not happy that say corporate taxes go down to 24% or 22% instead of a 15% or 20% that he’s been campaigning on, that’s a whole heck of a lot better than the current environment and I think the CNBC would be interesting to the Fox Business audience, would say maybe we take (12:13) now better than no loaf, and then you come back a year, two years from now, later in his presidency and try to finish the job on taxes, and I think maybe, and I underline the word maybe, this president and the White House will learn something from healthcare being tried in one fell swoop to repeal and replace Obamacare and obviously playing into a brick wall you try to do the same thing on taxes, let’s remake the entire tax code in one fell swoop, I think you both know it isn’t going to happen in a couple of weeks, so maybe you should start doing some bit size stuff and rack up some victories and build some momentum. Dan: He is Ed Henry, Chief National Correspondent, for Fox News, and the author of the book that you should pick up, ’42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story’ Ed, thanks as always for joining us. Ed: Have a wonderful day, good to talk to you both Dan and Amy. Amy: Thanks, and he joined us on our Turnkey dot pro answer line.

   

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