Krauthammer: Debates are going to hold more importance than ever before

Krauthammer says this year's debates are going to hold more importance than ever before

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer told viewers on Tuesday's "Special Report with Bret Baier"  that the debates are going to be crucial this time around for candidate and voters.

With Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump starting to take a slight lead in some battleground state polls, such as Iowa and Ohio, Krauthammer says "it's getting late early" for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. 

Krauthammer explains that with both candidates being well-known to voters, debates are going to play a bigger role than in years past, especially for Clinton.  "People know who they are...I'm not sure what her advertising advantage is going to be at this point," Krauthammer said.

Past history has shown that debates do not alter the basic shape of the race but Krauthammer predicts this year will be different.  "The importance of these debates is gonna exceed the importance of any debates in any race that we have ever seen."

Krauthammer on Hillary Campaign Health Cover-up: "These people are simply incapable of telling truth."

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said Monday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that Hillary Clinton's Campaign should have been honest about the presidential nominee's health from the beginning.  "I think this is another case of the cover up being worse than the crime. If it is what they say it is, this is totally benign.  The should have explained it right away and this just, as everybody can see, it just adds to the  impression that these people are simply  incapable of telling truth."

Krauthammer added that by not telling the truth about simple things makes Hillary look bad.

"They just find a way to make themselves make her look untrustworthy and that's where the damage is." 

Rogan: Trump and Clinton Commander and Chief Forum Performance "a lot to be disappointed about."

Columnist for the National Review, Tom Rogan said Thursday on "Special Report with Bret Baier" that both the Donald Trump and Hillary campaigns should be "disappointed" about their performances on the Commander and Chief Forum Wednesday night. 

“I think both candidates, both campaigns quite frankly have quite a lot to be disappointed about last night."

Rogan said that both candidates had to explain statements they made in the forum the following day.  Hillary Clinton had to set the record straight about having troops in Iraq and Donald Trump stated that he really wasn't for the war in Iraq, despite statements he made to the contrary on the Howard Stern show.

Rogan went on to say that Trump and Clinton used the forum to show how the other candidate was not fit to be the Commander and chief.

"Clearly Hillary Clinton is trying to make that her Pivot, that you can't trust Donald Trump in any sense of sitting in

that situation room on the flip side, Donald Trump saying you can't trust Hillary Clinton because of the decisions she has made."

Rogan said that as the election is heating up and that the candidates will be  "increasingly unrestrained" in the coming days and weeks.  

Confirmed: Russian jet buzzes US Navy spy plane today in Black Sea

Per Lucas Tomlinson, Fox News Pentagon Producer

A Russian jet buzzed a US Navy spy plane today over the Black Sea, a senior defense official tells Fox News.

A Russian Su-27 flew dangerously close to a US Navy P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft used primary for anti-submarine warfare while on routine patrol in the Black Sea.

The incident occurred Wednesday, but the official did not offer specifics on timing or how close the Russian jet managed to come to the US Navy plane.

In April, Russian jets buzzed a US Navy destroyer in the Baltic Sea, coming within 30 feet of the US Navy ship. 

This latest provocation comes as Secretary of State John Kerry is negotiating a cease-fire with Russia in Syria.

Earlier today, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said Russia is “trying to play by their own rules” and making the situation in Syria “more violent”  while speaking at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

Carter added, "Russia's actions in recent years - with its violations of Ukrainian and Georgian territorial integrity, its unprofessional behavior in the air, in space, and in cyber-space, as well as its nuclear saber-rattling - all have demonstrated that Russia has clear ambition to erode the principled international order.”

The Russian jet flew within 10 feet of the US Navy spy plane, a defense official with knowledge of the incident tells Fox News.

There is a classified photo of the incident, but a decision has not been made about releasing it yet, the official added.

“[The Russian jet] takes up the whole photo,” said the official describing how close the Russian jet came to the US Navy plane.

Navy Captain Jeff A. Davis, a Pentagon spokesman issued the following statement regarding the incident: “Earlier today (Sept. 7) a Russian SU-27 Flanker fighter jet made an unsafe close-range intercept of a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft while it conducted routine operations in international airspace over the Black Sea.  The intercept lasted about 19 minutes.  U.S. Navy aircraft and ships routinely interact with Russian units in the area and most interactions are safe and professional.  However, we have concerns when there is an unsafe maneuver like this.  These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions, and could result in a miscalculation or accident.”

Jeh Johnson to Fox: A lot of confidence in the security of electoral infrastructure

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger held a press conference at Reagan National Airport Wednesday morning. 

Asked by Fox News about recent suspected Russia-based hacking activity that targeted two different state electoral systems, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said the Department has “a lot of confidence” in the security of electoral infrastructure in the United States leading up to the November 8 elections.

Secretary Johnson would not comment directly on the Russia allegations, instead citing the FBI investigation into the matter which he said “is not complete.” Johnson added that he continues to urge state and local election officials to consult DHS for ways to secure their systems and to prevent cyber intrusions, noting that “the Department of Homeland Security is in a position to sure up electoral infrastructure.”

Johnson alluded to the complex nature of electoral infrastructure security given that it stretches several different jurisdictions at the state and local levels, but threw water on any notion that the U.S. government wants to federalize the electoral process.

“That’s not what we do. That’s not our mission,” Johnson added. “What we do in the Department of Homeland Security is offer assistance to anyone who comes forward and asks for it.”

Krauthammer: Trump rising poll numbers not surprising

A new CNN poll shows Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton by two points, which syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer believes should not come as a surprise.

“I don’t think this is really complicated,” Krauthammer said Tuesday on Special Report. “Every bit of news about her is always about emails, the foundation, the corruption.”

“Of course it’s her numbers declining,” he stated.

Krauthammer told the panel what he found most interesting though was Trump’s support among republicans jumped to 90 percent in the CNN poll after previously being in the high 70s.

“That’s a huge difference,” he said adding “if it shows up in the other polls, that will make a big difference.”



Krauthammer on Obama Administration Iran Payment: “Can they not stop lying about this?”

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer  said Wednesday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that the Obama Administration’s acknowledgement it paid $1.3 billion in interest to Iran just days after sending the $400 million hard currency raises the question “can they not stop lying about this?”

The Obama administration acknowledged on Wednesday paying $1.3 billion in interest to Iran in January, two days after sending $400 million in cash to Teheran as principal to settle a decades old dispute over undelivered military equipment. On January 17 the administration sent the $400 million in cash - a combination of foreign currency, including euros -  but the move has been scrutinized since it was used as leverage for the release of four Americans held prisoner by Iran. The administration has maintained that the payment was not a ransom for the four Americans  as critics allege, and the State Department would not elaborate on the January 19 payment due to diplomatic concerns.

In a press conference August 4, President Obama said “we do not have a banking relationship with Iran that we couldn't send them a check and we could not wire the money. And it is not at all clear to me why it is that cash, as opposed to a check or a wire transfer, has made this into a new story. “

But Krauthammer says the revelation that the administration was send funds – not hard currency -  to Iran just two days later raises more questions than it answers: “The president says that we have to send the 400 million in cash because we don't have a banking relationship and we can't write a check. Two days later, they wire the money or they send a check through the banking system, uh, and you say we couldn't do it because of sanctions, well the sanctions were still in place two days later.

“This is one lie after another, and it's an administration attempting to cover its tracks, not because anything illegal happened here, although that's possible, but because it's hugely embarrassing. And it just, I mean Iran has been taking advantage of this knowing that this administration can be walked all over humiliated be forced to abandon all its red lines, for example can launch missiles, we say and do nothing, with impunity.”

Rosen: Evidence in Hillary’s Email Scandal

James Rosen discussed Hillary Clinton’s email scandal Tuesday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” saying the FBI “made very clear that their investigation was limited to the handling of the classified information and not even the content of the emails” and in regards to the Clinton Foundation “the FBI demurred on that point.”

While challenging his fellow panelist Charles Krauthammer, Rosen added, “he states that there isn't yet any evidence that have been arrayed of any kind of actual pay for play except for the facetimes and the meetings and the phone calls.”

Questions about Hillary Clinton’s email practices as Secretary of State have dogged Clinton's White House run and triggered an FBI probe that found she was “extremely careless” with sensitive information by using a private server but recommended against bringing charges.

While Clinton leads in the polls nationally and key battleground states, the flood of stories regarding her private email server and donations to the Clinton Foundation demonstrate the former secretary of state won't be able to completely outrun voter skepticism.


Charles Lane on Trump changing course on immigration, NATO: ‘Tacit concessions to his critics’

Washington Post opinion writer Charles Lane said Monday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s pronouncement that, under his immigration policy, those who support hatred or bigotry will not be admitted to the United States was, in a word, ironic.

“This is a guy who, by Paul Ryan's account, made a racist statement about a federal judge based on his Mexican heritage and now is… calling for only admitting people who are free of intolerance. Very interesting,” he said.

More broadly, Lane said Trump’s comments in Youngtown, OH on immigration and supporting the NATO alliance were “tacit concessions to his critics.”

“The whole thing is revealing in it is backtracking. He is backtracking on the original Muslim ban, and now is sort of recasting it as extreme vetting based on values,” Lane said, adding, “Same as NATO, which he disparaged over and over again, and now he's talking about how great NATO is. He can say what he wants, but all of that is a result of the negative blowback his campaign suffered because of those previous statements.”

Krauthammer: Trump pivot ‘never comes’

Charles Krauthammer told “Special Report with Bret Baier” viewers Tuesday that Donald Trump’s controversial remarks are, “a reflection of who he is.”

“Everybody expected the pivot to being Presidential, to being conciliatory, to bringing the party together and it never comes,” said Krauthammer.

Trump is under fire for his criticism of a fallen Muslim U.S. soldier’s parents, Khizr Khan and Ghazala Khan, following their appearance at the Democratic National Convention. Many Republican leaders have denounced Trump’s remarks.

President Obama said Tuesday Trump is “unfit” and “woefully unprepared” to be President.

“The only way that [Democrats] can win is to argue for the unfitness of the opponent for the office,” said Krauthammer. “Because if [Trump] crosses the threshold of fitness, he wins.” 



Coming Up

We will continue to follow the latest developments with President-elect Donald Trump's transition team and speculation over top administration and Cabinet posts.

Tonight's All-Star Panel

  • Matthew Continetti @continetti
  • Mercedes Schlapp @mercedesschlapp
  • Susan Page @SusanPage
  • Charles Krauthammer @krauthammer

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