Krauthammer: Russia compares Trump Cuba plan to ‘Cold War’

Charles Krauthammer reacted to Russia accusing the U.S. of returning to ‘Cold War rhetoric” on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Monday saying “we’ve been in a new Cold War ever since Putin came into power, but it’s not exactly at the same level of risk as the old Cold War.”

Russia made the accusation on Sunday after President Trump’s decision to reinstate some sanctions on Cuba. “The Russians are very careful. They made a similar announcement after we did the tomahawk attack with the cruise missiles that we would cut off communications. It didn’t happen,” argued Krauthammer. “It sounds as if there is a lot of bark here coming out of the defense ministry from Moscow.”

Krauthammer also said the larger picture involves a “post-ISIS Syria” adding, “they both assume that ISIS is going to be wiped away fairly soon and the question is will Syria, will Assad be able to restore what the Russians and Iranians full control of the country including the part that is now ISIS or will that be a kind of semi-independent rebel territory and Assad regime will be kind of a mini state. That’s what this maneuvering is about. I don’t expect that we’re going to have a conflict with the Russians, but we are going to have a long tussle on the ground with the forces who support Assad and the forces who are against taking over in the absence of ISIS in a few months. "

Sen. Thune says on Russia investigation, “let’s not drag this thing out forever.”

Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) said Tuesday on “Special Report” the current FBI and congressional probes into Russian interference in the 2016 elections needs to proceed, but should could continue indefinitely.  Thune, who is the Senate Republican Conference chairman—the majority’s third-ranking position in the Senate—told Bret Baier that Tuesday’s testimony by Attorney General Sessions made clear, “There haven’t been any conversations that suggest there’s any evidence anywhere, that there was collusion with the Russians by the Trump campaign.

Thune said, “ I’m one who believes the special counsel  ought to be able to do his thing, investigate this, but there ought to be some amount of time in which they can conduct that, and make sure they stay in their lanes, and this gets done in a way that brings us to a conclusion one way or another.  But let’s don’t drag this thing out forever.”   

Krauthammer: Trump’s tweet teasing the media

Charles Krauthammer said on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Monday that many of Trump’s tweets are “a tease” for the country and particularly members of the media adding “it’s all smoke.”

“I think he particularly enjoys keeping the country, particularly the media, hanging on his every word,” said Krauthammer. “I have nothing against Ivanka Trump. I think she's done a splendid job in a pretty difficult situation, but it’s a little rich when the Trump family is complaining about the viciousness considering what her dad called ‘Little Marco,’ ‘Lyin’ Ted’ and ‘Crooked Hillary’ as sort of three random characterizations from the campaign. So, I mean he's pretty good at the street fight and what he's getting is a street fight back.”

Although Krauthammer also claimed a large part of the problem included democrats who do not accept the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency arguing “[Trump] is the president. He deserves at least a chance to govern.” 

Krauthammer on Trump-Russia collusion: “I don’t trust the story”

Charles Krathammer said on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Monday that he is skeptical about the Trump-Russia ‘collusion’ conspiracy theory.

I don’t trust the story,” Krauthammer said. “The Russians are leaking it clearly on a channel we know we’re going to pick up. The Russians are masters of disinformation and they already have Washington with its knickers in a twist over the Russia conspiracy.”

Krauthammer also mentioned these kinds of negotiations with foreign countries happen all the time adding, “I don’t quite understand. Where is the crime other than it’s another piece that has Russia in the headline, Trump people in the headline and thus it’s supposed to be scandalous. Show me.”

York: Appointment of Special Counsel Could Drag Investigation to 2020 Presidential Election

Byron York told viewers on Wednesday's Special Report with Bret Baier that the appointment of a special counsel for the Russian investigation means the probe could drag on for years and years, even into the next presidential election.

The Deputy Attorney General named former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. 

York says that while the choice is a good one, it will still bother Capitol Hill Republican members.   "'He's a very respected man but they [Republicans] are worried about a wild goose chase," the Chief Political Correspondent for the Washington Examiner stated. 

York even shared with viewers what one current lawmaker told him.  "A U.S. Senator just said to me, 'it matters what the word matters means and what the word directly means.'" 

York explained the senator was referencing the 2003 case in which a special counsel was appointed to find out who leaked the name of a CIA operative to the press.  The Washington Examiner correspondent pointed out that that case was "followed by years and years of investigation.”  And as a result, York said, “we will be talking about this investigation in 2020."  

Krauthammer: “Who is going to step out now and defend the president in these denials?”

Charles Krauthammer told viewers Tuesday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that when it comes to breaking allegations about President Trump by the New York Times, “I think what is really stunning is that nobody, not even from the White House, has come out under their own name in defense of the president here.”

“Who is going to step out now and defend the president in these denials?” Krauthammer continued.

Late Tuesday the New York Times published a story which stated that Trump asked then FBI Director James Comey to end a federal investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn in a February Oval Office meeting. Comey reportedly detailed the meeting in a memo, writing that Trump told him “I hope you can let this go.” The White House has denied the report.

Krauthammer: Timing of Comey firing “inexplicable”

Charles Krauthammer told viewers Tuesday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that the timing of President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey is “inexplicable.”

“This is about – according to the letter by the deputy attorney general – this is about something that occurred on July the 5th. This, it, so we start out with something that is highly implausible,” Krauthammer said.

Krauthammer noted that if Trump had wanted to remove Comey from his position, he could have done it earlier.

“If that was so offensive to the Trump administration, what you would have done is in the transition you would have spoken with Comey and said we’re going to let you know. That’s when a president could very easily make a decision to have a change. That’s not unprecedented,” Krauthammer commented. 

Krauthammer: Shutdown is not a strategy, nuclear option is a strategy.

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said Monday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that suggestions from President Trump of a government shutdown later this year if a  long-term budget deal is not reached would be the wrong approach.  

Krauthammer strategy said Republican leaders in the Senate already have a solution that worked successfully on the Supreme Court nomination of Justice  Neil Gorsuch. While the nuclear option—requiring only a simple 51-vote majority instead of a 60-vote threshold—should be applied to a wider range of legislation.

“If you control the White House and the Senate and the House, and you can't get anything done, because you're eight votes short of 60-percent,” then said Krauthammer, “a reasonable thing to is… drop the nuclear option on you and then we'll be able to pass our legislation.”

Benson: Buyer's Remorse Aside, Voters still Don't want Hillary Clinton

Guy Benson, political editor of Townhall.com, told viewers on Monday's "Special Report with Bret Baier"  that if Americans are changing their tune about President Trump, it probably still has to do with his then-opponent. 

A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that if voters had a do-over today, even more would vote for Donald Trump, with 43% choosing the current White House occupant and only 40% choosing Hillary Clinton.  

Benson said "you would get a sense from the coverage that there is massive widespread buyers' remorse with President Trump and this poll suggests that that's just not the case."

Benson, a Fox News contributor, stated that certain obstacles still cloud things for the president.   "The Russia stuff is interesting," Benson said.  "It ought to be investigated," he continued. 

The Townhall.com editor said that some disgruntled voters look at FBI Director James Comey's investigation into the former Secretary of State's private e-mail server as foul play but any loss really lies with the candidates themselves. 

Benson explained "I think that what we're seeing now that even with a very controversial president whose numbers in that poll, internally, not very good would still defeat Mrs. Clinton."  As for the new poll numbers,  "maybe she was just a really lousy candidate and people still recognize that," Benson said. 

NoKo failed missile is KN-17, new type of Scud, US officials tell Fox

By Lucas Tomlinson

U.S. officials tell Fox News the failed North Korean missile was a KN-17, a new type of Scud, which could be used to target ships similar to the one launched earlier this month days before Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.

“The only way a Scud gets a new designation is if it is substantially different,” said Jeffrey Lewis, a scholar at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

The KN-17 is a single-stage, liquid-fueled missile -- not the three-stage, solid-fuel missile that North Korea successfully tested back in February, which caused more concern among Pentagon officials.

Monday, the Pentagon announced it was conducting a new nuclear posture review, two days after North Korea failed to launch a new type of ballistic missile, which exploded four seconds after launch.

The latest failed test over the weekend occurred hours before Vice President Pence touched down in Seoul. On Monday, he visited the Demilitarized Zone on the border between North and South and warned the rogue communist regime against conducting further tests.

"There was a period of strategic patience. But the era of strategic patience is over. President Trump has made it clear that the patience of the United States and our allies in this region has run out, and we want to see change,'' Pence said.

Aside from the rumblings out of North Korea, Russia recently deployed a ground-based, nuclear-capable cruise missile in violation of a decades-long arms treaty between Washington and Moscow, drawing condemnation from Capitol Hill lawmakers. The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the United States and the then-Soviet Union required complete “destruction” of ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 310 and 3,418 miles and support equipment by 1990. 

On Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Deputy National Security Adviser KT McFarland on “Fox News Sunday” if the U.S. played a role in North Korea’s failed test launch over the weekend.

“You know we can't talk about secret intelligence and things that might have been done, covert operations that might have happened. So, I really have no comment on that, and nor should I,” McFarland said.

She added, “I do think we are entering a whole new era, not just with North Korea, but with everybody, with any country, major country, we are entering a cyber platform, a cyber battlefield.”

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