This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," December 16, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENT-ELECT: I am asking Congress to support the construction of new roads and bridges, airports, tunnels and railways across this nation and we're going to put people back to work in the process. Believe me. It's going to be our people. It's time to help get Americans off of welfare and back into the labor market rebuilding this country with American hands by American workers. American workers. My administration will follow two simple rules.
Buy American and hire American. At the center of this agenda is fixing our absolutely terrible trade deals. They have so bad -- I have studied them. You know, I'm one of these people, I like reading trade deals. Can you believe this? But that's what you want. You don't want to read them. They are so bad. I can tell you how bad are they. Is this how bad are they? Like really bad. But we're going to make them really good.
And we have the great people to do it. You know, the media were saying, the people that are negotiating your trade deals are very rich. I said, but isn't that what we want? And they said, why is it that the people protecting our border are generals? Because that's what we want. We want generals. We want generals. I don't need an MBA at the border and I don't need a general negotiating our trade deal, right? When you think of it.
No. We have General Kelly. You know General Kelly. He's going to be watching over our borders. He's amazing, incredible. And as you know we have General "Mad Dog" Mattis, Secretary of Defense.
We're not playing games, folks. We're not playing games. No more games. Do we agree? No more games. We've been playing games for 20 years, for longer than that. No more games. That's -- look at them. Drain the swamp. That's right. It's pretty good.
(CROWD CHANTING "NO MORE GAMES! NO MORE GAMES! NO MORE GAMES! NO MORE
We're going to have strong borders, folks. We're going to make great trade deals and you're going to be proud of your country again. You watch. America is now running a nearly $800 billion trade deficit. Think of it. $800 billion. Our country has lost one third of its manufacturing jobs since NAFTA. We've lost 70,000 factories since China opened and joined the World Trade Organization.
Seventy thousand factories we've lost. Can you believe it? It's hard to believe. I thought it was a typo. It's the greatest jobs theft in the history of the world, but we're going to get them back. But we're going to turn it all around and we're going to turn it around fast, faster than you think. We are not going to be taken advantage of by other countries anymore. Right?
Our goal is to bring back that wonderful phrase -- remember some of you that are a little bit older, made in the USA. Remember that beautiful -- made in the USA. We used to have on the cars, it says, made in the USA. We don't have that anymore. We're going to start putting made in the USA, right?
What do you like better, made in the USA or made in America? Hold it. Hold it.
(CROWD CHANTING "USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!")
So ready? Who likes made in America? Who likes made in the USA?
I think so. Okay. Wait. So I have one more because you know, this is like doing a free poll. You know, a lot of people would spend a million dollars for that. And these are the people that led our country. They would go out and they would do a poll that would cost $1 million. They might not be as accurate. But here's another one. So "Time" magazine and the Financial Times, big deal, just gave me person of the year. Person. Person. Okay.
They should give it to you because this is a movement, folks. This isn't me. Although I have been a very good messenger, do we agree? But they gave me. So are you ready? So in the past it was called man of the year. Now it's called person of the year. So here's the question. What do you like better, ready? Do you like person of the year? Do you like man of the year?
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
And that's the women too. You know, I mean -- well, they want to be politically correct. Now, I've heard for so many years, man of the year, man of the year and then it comes out person of the year. You know, look, they had to be politically correct. But I had an idea. No, no, I had an idea. No, because they say, what do you do if it's a woman, right? So, you go, if it's a man, if it's a man, you go man of the year, Trump. If it's a woman like this incredible woman down here, if it's a woman, maybe you go woman or the year or person of the year, right? It's a big deal. Right?
Should we speak to the people at Time magazine, say, we want it again next year but we want maybe man of the year next year. Okay? So, no. It's a great honor. It's great to be -- and you know, we're going to have to justify it. We will withdraw from the Transpacific Partnership. We're going to totally renegotiate the worst trade deal ever made anywhere in the world at any time, NAFTA.
We're going to stand up to foreign cheating and fight for every last American job. And if a company wants to fire their workers and leave Florida for another country and then ship their products back, there will be consequences. Not going to happen anymore. They fire their workers, they close their plant; they move their factory to Mexico or someplace else. They sell the product back in with no tax to our country.
So, we end up with unemployment and loss. They end up with everything, right? Everything. So, one-way street is not going to happen anymore. From now on we'll inform them that they're going to pay a 35 percent tax if they would like to leave, okay. Thirty five percent. Or something substantial. And you know what's going to happen? They're not going to leave. It's very simple. Now why didn't the politicians do this 15, 20 years ago? Why didn't they do it? But two reasons. Two reasons. You know what the two reasons?
Either they're stupid or they get paid off by campaign contributions. That's all. Very simple. But to be a rich nation we must also be a safe nation. The murder rate has experienced its largest increase in the United States in 45 years. The press doesn't tell you that. The murder rate in Orlando doubled last year. We are going to support the incredible men and women of law enforcement and we are going to bring this terrible crime wave to a rapid end.
One of the greatest public safety threats remains open borders. This is horrible what's going on with the borders. And the drugs pouring into our country and poisoning our youth and other people. Poisoning our youth. Pouring in like water pours in. I have a message for the drug dealers, the gang members and the criminal cartels terrorizing our cities, our locations, our citizens, your days are numbered. We're getting you out and we're getting you out fast. We will build a great wall and we will stop illegal immigration for once and for all.
Going to build that wall. The border patrol agents endorsed me. I.C.E. endorsed me. I said, tell me about the wall. They said, we need it, Mr. Trump. We need it. They know better than anybody. We're going to build the wall, it's going to be a great wall and it's going to have big beautiful doors on it because we're going to have people coming into our country, but they're going to come into our country legally.
We will also work to keep our country safe from terrorism. The attack on Pulse Nightclub in Orlando was the worst mass shooting in American history and the deadliest assault on the LGBTQ community in American history. We've seen Islamic terror attacks from Paris to Belgium to San Bernardino. One after another, again and again, we're going to stop it. So, let me just state this as clearly as I can. I am going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
That includes suspending immigration from regions where it cannot be safely processed or vetted. And the vetting is going to be a term that I devise and now other people are using, extreme vetting. Right? Extreme vetting. Nothing will come before the safety and security of the American people. Ethics reform will be a crucial part of our plan as well. We're going to drain the swamp of corruption in Washington, D.C. And stop government officials from trading favors at your expense.
We face many challenges, but this is truly an exciting time to be alive. The script is not yet written. We do not know what the page will read tomorrow. But for the first time in a long time, what we do know is that the pages will be authored by each and every one of you.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
You the incredible American people will be in charge. Your voice, your desires, your hopes, your aspirations will never again fall on deaf ears. The forgotten men and women -- by the way, they're not so forgotten anymore, are they? They didn't know what hit them. Oh, those forgotten people, they're not forgotten. They are not forgotten. They're still writing stories about it. They say, what happened. They came out to vote big league, didn't they?
And these are great people. These are smart people. These are hardworking people. These are people that sometimes haven't voted in a long time. But you know what? They saw, they heard, they wanted what we're all doing and we're doing it together. And they came out and these people had no clue what the hell happened. So, I just want to tell you thank you and you're going to be very happy with the result. Thank you.
You're going to be very happy. Together we will raise incomes and bring jobs and wealth and opportunity to our poorest communities. We will repeal the disaster known as ObamaCare and create new health care, all sorts of reforms that work for you and your family. And we are going to be doing it properly. And we will not spend $5 billion for a website. Okay? Remember.
And we will not spend $4.2 billion for an airplane so I can fly around. All right? $4.2 billion for Air Force One. I don't think so. We will reestablish the rule of law, defend the Second Amendment, protect religious liberty and appoint justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold and defend the constitution of the United States. We will heel our divisions and unify our country. Our country is very divided.
We will bring our country back together. We will love everyone. Everyone. Not segments, not small groups or big groups. We're going to love everyone in our country. When Americans are unified, there is nothing we cannot do. No task is too great, no dream too large, no goal beyond our reach. My message tonight is for all Americans from all parties, all beliefs, all races, all walks of life, whether you are African-American, Hispanic American, Asian American, whatever the hell you might be, okay?
We are all Americans and we are all united by one shared destiny. So, I'm asking everyone to join this incredible movement. I'm asking you to dream big again, dream bold, big and bold, I love that, dream big and bold and daring for your families, for yourself and for your country, big and bold and daring. I'm asking you to believe in yourself and I'm asking you to believe once again in America. And if we do that, then all together we will make America strong again.
We will make America wealthy again. We will make America safe again. And we will make America great again. Thank you very much, Florida. Thank you, Florida. God bless you. Merry Christmas. God bless you. Thank you very much. Incredible support. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've been watching a Donald Trump Thank You rally in Orlando, Florida. Trump talked about building the wall and he also talked about extreme vetting for immigrants and keeping Islamic Jihadists out of the U.S.
SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS HOST: Breaking tonight, President-elect Donald Trump continues his Thank You tour across the nation visiting yet another blue state he turned red. Thanking the crowd and reviving his inevitable campaign style.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, let's start off by saying Merry Christmas, everyone. Merry Christmas.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
I'm here today for one main reason, to say thank you to the incredible people of Florida. What a group.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
As you know, Florida's my second home. In many ways it's my first home. And I love this state. I love the people. I love the people of this state. You propelled the victory of a grassroots movement, the likes of which the world -- they have never seen before. Look at these people. How many people are here? Man. That's a lot of people.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
They say we broke the record tonight, by the way, folks. We broke the record.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Incredible. Incredible people. The patriots of this audience tonight stood up to the global special interests and delivered a historic win for the American worker. With your votes, the great citizens of this country declared to the world that from now on it's going to be America first. America first.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BREAM: Breaking, it has now been 38 days since Mr. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton and each day her defenders offer a different explanation about why she lost. From the Russian to the FBI director, from negative campaigning to white resentment, we've heard a steady list of different arguments. While Clinton supporters have not stopped talking about this, the candidate and her top lieutenants have mostly been quiet until now.
Clinton campaign Chair John Podesta filed a piece for the Washington Post saying, "The more we learn about the Russian plot to sabotage Hillary Clinton's campaign and elect Donald Trump, and the failure of the FBI to adequately respond, the more shocking it gets. And also, last night Mrs. Clinton decided to join in with her own explanation or excuse, depending on you view.
Trace Gallagher has that from our LA Newsroom. Hi, Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Shannon. You know, in conversations with her supporters in the days after the election, Hillary Clinton certainly mentioned FBI Director James Comey's letter that raised new questions about her private e-mail server. But now it appears Mrs. Clinton is making a public case that the Comey letter is one of two, quote, "unprecedented events" that led to her defeat.
Saying it cost her close races in several battleground states, quoting, "Swing state voters made their decisions in the final days breaking against me because of the FBI letter from Director Comey." The second unprecedented event Clinton refers to is what she calls Russian cyber- attacks on Democratic targets. These are her first public comments since the CIA says it believes the Russian government was meddling in the election. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, D-FORMER PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Vladimir Putin himself directed the covert cyber-attacks against our electoral system, against our democracy, apparently because he has a personal beef against me. Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people. And that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta himself, a direct target of hacked e-mails released by WikiLeaks has now written an op-ed in The Washington Post highly critical of the FBI. Podesta sites a New York Times article saying that when the FBI discovered the Russian cyber-attack, it failed to send a single agent to warn Democratic National Committee officials. But at the same time, two agents were visiting a tech firm in Denver that helped maintain Clinton's e-mail server.
Podesta writes, quoting, "Comparing the FBI's massive response to the overblown e-mail scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI." We reached out to the FBI for comment. So far no response -- Shannon.
BREAM: All right. Trace Gallagher with the latest. Thank you.
Joining us now with more, presidential transition team, executive committee member Anthony Scaramucci and Fox News contributor and former economic adviser to President Obama, Robert Wolf. Good to see you both.
ROBERT WOLF, FORMER ECONOMIC ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Great to see you.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, MEMBER, DONALD TRUMP'S PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION TEAM: Hi, Robert. Hi Shannon.
BREAM: Hello to both of you. Robert, let me start with you. I want to talk about some of the things that we've outlined here. The Russians, Comey, negative campaigning, white resentment, poor management and there are some now who are trying to throw Huma Abedin under the bus. At some point, I mean, Hillary Clinton herself said, we have to accept the results we don't like and we have to move on. She called in everyone to do that. And, you know, where does this leave us?
WOLF: Well, first of all, Podesta has the right to be furious from a personal perspective.
WOLF: You get hacked, it's an incredible violation. I also like the idea that he said there should be a bipartisan commission looking at the hacking. With respect to the election, you know, I'm going to probably align very much with Anthony here. It's over, it's time to move on. You know, if you lose Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania as a Democrat you are going to lose the election. We lost. Of course I don't like what happened with Comey. Of course I thought the WikiLeaks thing, someone who actually had 140 of his own e-mails part of it. I hated that as well. But at the end of the day, you know, like the President just said, the ballots were counted and the election is over and we have to move on.
BREAM: Well, two things, Robert. First of all, there's no Comey letter if there wasn't a potentially illegal use of a server. Those were decisions that Secretary Clinton made. There wouldn't have been a Comey investigation or letter without those decisions that led to that path.
WOLF: Yes. There's no question that the e-mail server was, you know, over our head for an 18-month period.
BREAM: Because of decisions that she made.
WOLF: Yes. I'm not questioning that.
WOLF: But I'm not all that familiar with when the FBI should or should not engage publicly. It seemed a little strange to me. He goes out and then he retracts. But like I've said, I'm not going to be here because someone says that the score board was changed because of the letter. But it definitely stopped momentum. I mean, that's just clear.
BREAM: Yes. Okay, Robert, you mentioned a bipartisan look into the Russian hack. Anthony, that is something we've heard from top people including the Senate Majority Leader, the top GOP guy on the hill. Mitch McConnell, I mean, he says he's all for it and they're going to move forward. I mean, how much do you think that would do to instill confidence, that listen, both sides care about this regardless of party?
SCARAMUCCI: Yes. I think that's the most resonating message that we want to give to the American people. Certainly we care about this. I think Robert and I line up that the election is over. If there was a nefarious group, a state organization that was doing something to harm the electoral process, we certainly want to understand what that is.
BREAM: But Anthony you get that people think that Donald Trump, the President-elect, doesn't want to understand that. There are those who say he keeps blowing it off, and saying there's no evidence. I don't care about that.
SCARAMUCCI: I don't think that's fair, Shannon. I think all he was basically saying --
BREAM: We're basing off of his tweets and what he said.
SCARAMUCCI: Yes, because there is a partisanship that's going on right now where there is a group of people from the left that would like to delegitimize the election and the victory. Now, President Obama said this afternoon that we shouldn't do that and the vote is counted. Roberts is agreeing with me on that. But I think what you're getting from the President-elect is that hey, hold on a second, okay, I won, I won fair and square. It's not my fault that someone tried to meddle in the election if that's what we discover 100 percent happened.
So the message here from the transition team and from the new administration coming in is of course we're going to cooperate with the Democrats on this. Of course we want to get to the bottom of it and we will denounce and if necessary punish people that are trying to do that. Not only to the Democratic National Committee but all of our institutions, Shannon. I know Robert agrees with me on this and so do the people here.
WOLF: Shannon, Anthony, just to add to that point, this is not just about an election. If we are being hacked by China, if we're being hacked by Russia --
BREAM: Which we are.
WOLF: -- or any of our places.
SCARAMUCCI: North Korea.
WOLF: Even within the United States.
WOLF: Okay. Think about what could happen to our national electric grid, what could happen to financial institutions. So, I would just like to see President-elect Trump shift from using Twitter in 30 days to using the bullet pulpit to of course make sure that he takes this in a little different tone.
BREAM: Well, gentlemen, it sounds like --
SCARAMUCCI: I think you guys are going to see that.
BREAM: Yes. We all hope so. And listen, you have some agreement on numerous things. We like that here on "The Kelly File." So, have a great weekend. Thanks, gentlemen.
WOLF: Thank you.
BREAM: All right. We're also tracking new controversy tonight over Facebook and its plan for labeling what it decides to call fake news.
Critics are warning about the coming of the truth police. Mollie Hemingway and Nomiki Konst are next on that.
Plus, with the situation in Syria getting worse by the hour. President Obama was today forced to defend his actions. We will fact-check his argument when Dana Perino joins us, next.
PATRICIA STARK, AMERICA'S NEWS HQ HOST: Live from America's news headquarters, I'm Patricia Stark. Frigid weather slamming much of the northeast today, with wind chills 20 to 30 below zero in some parts of the region. Lake effect snow and ice made for dangerous driving conditions in some areas. The National Weather Service blaming arctic air from the North Pole for New England's problems. And they say it's going to get worse with overnight snow and ice moving into New York and Pennsylvania.
The country saying good-bye to astronaut John Glenn today, there was a public viewing of his coffin at the Ohio State House Rotunda. Politicians from Secretary of State John Kerry to just regular viewer citizens paid their respects. There will be a public service tomorrow. Glenn will be interred later in the spring at Arlington National Cemetery. Glen was just 95 years old and died last week. I am Patricia Stark and now back to "The Kelly File."
SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS: Developing tonight, new backlash over an announcement from Facebook about cracking down on fake news. The website claims more than 1.7 billion users worldwide listen to it and it took a lot of heat in recent months over an explosion of bogus stories. Mostly political that got shopped around as quote, news. Now the social media giant said has a plan to fix the problem, but that has some folks worry about what is exactly, who is working in the ranks of the truth police. Fox News William La Jeunesse has the details, hi William.
WILLIAM LA JEUNESSE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Shannon that is a legitimate concern. And now Facebook even admits that fake news represents just a fraction, maybe 1 percent of all news yet the company claims it needs to weed out the worst of the worst and here's how. Users will flag a story they think is false. As more complain the story get flagged and sent to a third party fact checker. Like PolitiFact, FactCheck, A.P., Snopes, and if it is found in doubt, the story is being labeled disputed on a news feed and a link will explain why. Finally Facebook itself says it will screen out the sensational head line grabbing click bait we all love, stories that rake in a lot of cash and stop the automated ads that reward fake news, all good.
Problem is 62 percent of Americans get their news from social media and Facebook has helped to spread some the hyper partisan one sided the content through their algorithms, because a lot of it' content is reader generated, so there's no filter and no responsibility to be accurate. Companies' profits from posting false stories, like the one that said, Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump or at Hillary Clinton use a pizza parlor for a child sex ring, but that protesters got 3 grand to disrupt a Trump rally. The concern is two-fold now. The politics of Facebook and the fact checkers who in the past had demonstrated a liberal bias, stories that labeled, they labeled false were not. And PolitiFact say also focus on misleading stories. Well anyone in our business, Shannon, knows that is a huge gray area. You can always find an expert with a title and an agenda to challenge almost any story you want. That is where some fear these truth police could go in the future.
BREAM: Yeah and it's just like hiring expert witnesses in court. You can always find one to say what you want them to say. William thank you so much, joining us now to talk about it, Molly Hemingway, she is a Senior Editor of the Federalist and Nomiki Konst she is host of the Filter on SiriusXM Progress. Good to see you both.
NOMIKI KONST, POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR TO CBSN: Good evening.
MOLLIE HEMMINGWAY, THE FEDERALIST SENIOR EDITOR: Hi.
BREAM: All right Molly, you wrote about this and talked about some of very specific issues that you have. And like what William talk about, who is going to fact check the fact checker, because some of these fact checkers have a demonstrable bent, one way or the other.
HEMMINGWAY: Right. So Facebook is putting together this panel of people to police and sensor speech that they determine is fake, but one of the groups they have doing it is PolitiFact. PolitiFact at first had a somewhat good reputation in recent years they've turned out to really lose the trust of a lot of people. Just for instance six times they rated President Obama's claim that if you liked your health care plan you could keep it true while he was running for election. And then the next year they rated it their lie of the year. Hillary Clinton, they rated half true that she didn't send or receive any classified information. That is not true at all. And even when Director Comey came out and said that she had, they didn't really change their rating. So they don't have a lot of credibility or trust with the people to litigate this.
BREAM: And Nomiki, apparently this is how it's going to work is it's going to flag a story that the Facebook internals have figured out or have decided is fake news and until then you can't share it in certain ways, it can't be made part of an Ad. And if they decide that is fake news, there will be a link explaining why this isn't legitimate and why you should, you know, set.
BREAM: But I mean a lot of people say that is a form of censorship. If they don't like something coming from a conservative view point or conservative news group, it might get flagged all of the time.
KONST: I think we're confusing journalism and fake news. Journalism has a certain set of standard and yes there are news organizations that get things wrong and usually go back, on both sides, The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, they've all gone back and they have investigated, they fact check, you know, they make mistakes. That is just human nature and when you have editors who are getting information as it comes, they're going to have the fix things. But fake news is something intentionally designed to profit off of or has some sort of a political agenda on the left and the right. That is designed to confuse people, to trick people. And it's something that Facebook, which calls itself a tech company not a media company, needs to understand more, not just from outsourcing it to other different organizations to fact check it, but really internally and adjust its algorithm so that they're not pushing out what is known to be this sites that are designed for fake news out into the public which may not have the media literacy that it is two year ago.
BREAM: Well and a lot of people would argue that Wall Street Journal and Rolling Stone they're not in the same -- if you're going to use the word journalism, I mean that is not something that we would equate. But a lot of people are worried, because they feel like they are more control there is on speech the less variety you're going to have. And that is a real concern on if we're going to start cracking down on what gets exposed and what doesn't.
HEMMINGWAY: Right. I would question whether it is actually true that there even is a huge fake news problem, there is always fake news, and there is always a problem with people sharing things that aren't true. You know Hillary Clinton's alien baby or something like this.
BREAM: Check out at the grocery store, right. You see plenty there.
HEMMINGWAY: But take Rolling Stone which had, which had so much to damage the reputation of journalism with their fake news stories about a gang rape at the University of Virginia. That is why people don't trust the media, it is not actually.
BREAM: That was actually overtly fake news.
KONST: It was.
HEMMINGWAY: It was bad journalism.
BREAM: I would agree with you on that.
HEMMINGWAY: But that is the problem with the media environment. And the more that we try to come up with other people to blame for the fact that we've lost credibility for how well we are telling or how well we are accurately conveying what's happening in the country, it will be even longer before we fix the problem.
BREAM: How much of this is America's problem that we get our news off of social media websites instead of doing some readings of our own and figuring things out. We accept things that we see online as true all of the time.
KONST: Yeah, and some of that is designed by Facebook. Their entire algorithm was built off of community sharing. So, if your mom posts a story, you trust your mom as a source.
BREAM: I don't know. I love my mom, but she is got some crazy stories.
KONST: If you posted something, I would trust you as a source. Ok, how about that?
BREAM: We will leave it there, because I like that. I love you mom, nothing personal, just lots of fun stories, great to see you both.
HEMMINGWAY: Thanks, happy weekend.
KONST: Thank you.
BREAM: All right. There is a new fight breaking out over the Supreme Court and it could affect whether President Obama or President Trump gets to pick the next justice. We're going to explain.
Plus with Syria turning into an even bigger horror show, the critics are taking a new look at who's to blame. Dana Perino joins us live on that next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I always feel responsible. I felt responsible when kids were being shot by snipers. I felt responsible when millions of people had been displaced. With respect to Syria, what I have consistently done is taken the best course that I can to try to end the civil war while having also to take into account the long term national security interest of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BREAM: That was President Obama, just a few hours ago having to defend his record on Syria in the face of the ongoing disaster unfolding in the City of Aleppo. We will circle back to the controversy of Mr. Obama's handling of the crisis in a moment, but first, Correspondent John Huddy has the latest on this nightmare that continues to unfold there.
JOHN HUDDY, FOX NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Shannon also President Obama said that dealing with the situation in Syria has been one of the hardest issues he's faced in his presidency and it continues particularly in Aleppo where tens of thousands of people remain trapped, men, women and children, many sick, many wounded, some dying, hoping for life amid so much death. The convoys of buses and ambulances that we've been seeing have removed civilians from war ravaged eastern Aleppo.
About 8,000 people at this point, that are the estimate, have been evacuated since Thursday. But at least 50,000 civilians remain trapped there according to U.N. officials. And just as the evacuation process they will be picking up speed this morning, it came to a jolting halt, because of ongoing violence. Well that said, tonight, as mentioned, President Obama said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime along with Russia and Iran has blood on their hands for the slaughter of innocent civilians adding quote, the world is united on horror at the savage assault by the Syrian regime and it is Russian and Iranian allies in Aleppo, and he called for humanitarian aid to fly in to eastern Aleppo, because people are dealing basically cut off from medical supplies, food, water and also he called for safe passage for the thousands of people, as I mentioned, who remain trapped there. And Shannon, while the battle for Aleppo may be coming to an end. That does not mean the end of Syria's civil war, Shannon, back to you.
BREAM: Far from it. John, thank you very much. Here now, Dana Perino, co-host of "The Five" and former Bush White House Press Secretary. Dana, you know, you're very familiar with how this is, when a president has to go out and take some kind of responsibility for their policies and what's led us here. And clearly the president seemed anguish earlier today, but we didn't hear any solution.
DANA PERINO, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No. And this is not going to end. This is actually probably going to continue for quite a while. The slaughter has been going on for years. Earlier this week you had Samantha Power, the U.N. ambassador -- the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. chastising the Syrians, the Iranians and the Russians saying have you no shame. But what President Obama is saying is the shame is on him. And he has to live with that. One of the things that history will have to decide later on is looking back at that decision that he made several years ago, to not enforce his red line was the day I think that it led to the wreckage of the world. Not only do you have this problem in Aleppo, but the migrant crisis that we report on in Europe.
BREAM: That was 11 million people.
PERINO: And so the only way to solve a refugee problem is at its source, if you want to solve it, but President Obama I think was saying today that the country did not have the will to do it. I don't think that is true. I don't have all the information that he had at the time. I wasn't looking at polling information. I know the country felt believers, but how do we feel now? Do we or do we not believe in the universality of human rights?
BREAM: Yeah and to that point. We have a little bit more from Ambassador Power and what she said and this is at the U.N., an emergency meeting over the situation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMANTHA POWER, AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: To the Assad regime, Russia and Iran, your forces and proxies are carrying out these crimes, your bell bombs and mortars and air strikes have allowed the militia in Aleppo to encircle tens of thousands of civilians in your ever tightening noose, and it is your noose. Are you truly incapable of shame? Is there literally nothing that can shame you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BREAM: I mean the videos and the pictures and the stories of the people there are gut wrenching.
PERINO: She knows the answer to the question. There is nothing that can shame them. One of the things that the Obama administration has done is to say that there was only two paths, either doing nothing or sort of letting Russia try to figure it out or having to put U.S. ground troops down. That is not the case. And that is not what the military intelligence told us. So now you have President-Elect Trump inheriting a situation that is not going to end well. I do believe he will believe in human rights, but he is inheriting a situation where I think Bashar al-Assad gets to stay. And that was against our foreign policy.
BREAM: Right. We've said for years it was time for him to go. I mean President Obama said that, five years ago.
PERINO: Well, and you also have to look at, there's the Russian component, in which there is so much in the news right now, but the Iranian component as well. Iran did not want Assad to fall. And we wanted our Iran deal on the nuclear issue.
PERINO: So we were hands off. Now those are decisions that presidents make. And he'll have to live with that. We can't redo that. You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. So what do we do now going forward, is there anything that we can do and it just sort of feels like we're shouting in the wind asking if they have no shame. They don't.
BREAM: What about Trump? Best advice for him in.
PERINO: Well I would look to see if there's possibility of getting all of these amazing people that he has talked to for the post of Secretary of State position, plus the career officials that are in there now for the military Intel and the also the State Department. There's a diplomatic solution here that needs to be put in place as well as possibly some force, I'm not saying it's U.S. forces that can be U.N. peace keeping forces. But if they are talking, John Kerry, the Secretary of State for this is like Srebrenica, you aren't looking at genocide of people and Samantha Powers actually wrote the book about preventing additional genocide. I don't know what the options are going forward, but literally something has to happen.
BREAM: Yeah. Things have to change, Dana thank you.
PERINO: Thank you.
BREAM: There's a high stakes fight breaking out over the Supreme Court and it could affect whether President Obama or when he is President Trump gets the pick the next justice. We're going to show you why, next.
BREAM: Developing tonight, high drama in the battle over the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's seat. A lawyer from New Mexico has just upped the ante asking the Supreme Court itself to intervene and to force the U.S. senate to vote on President Obama's nominee. Trace Gallagher reports from the West Coast Newsroom. Hey, Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Shannon. Steve Michelle is an environmental lawyer from Santa Fe, New Mexico who believes that because senate leaders are not taking action on Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court, it is creating a constitutional crisis. Michelle says he doesn't really have an agenda except to restore some functions of the government. He is not the first person to file a lawsuit compelling the senate to act, but he appears to be the most persistent. He is already been denied in a U.S. district court and federal court and now has filed an emergency request with the Supreme Court itself asking the high court to force Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, who chairs the judiciary committee to hold hearings and for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put Garland's nomination to a full senate vote. Before deciding the matter, the Supreme Court would normally ask the opposing party to respond, but in this case that would be Senators Grassley and McConnell. So the path forward is a bit unclear, but Michelle's request with the Supreme Court is a long shot at best.
Meantime, aides to President-Elect Trump say he is getting closer to deciding who he would like to fill the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia. And though the list is long, two names continue to resurface, Judges Diane Sykes and William Pryor. Pryor was appointed to the Federal Appeals court by George W. Bush and once called (inaudible), legalized abortion, the worst abomination in the history of constitutional law. Diane Sykes is on the seventh district of court of appeal. Her ex-husband Charlie Sykes is a conservative talk radio host in Milwaukee who actually opposed Donald Trump, Shannon.
BREAM: We wait for that Trace, thank you very much. And we'll be right back.
BREAM: It's hard to believe, but we are just about one week away from Christmas and you know what would make a perfect gift for anyone on your list? Megyn's new book "Settle for More." As several tweeters in Amazon users have suggested. Alaina Wegg gave it five stars and said really enjoyed this book. Now that I've read the book I plan to give it as a Christmas present to the younger members of my family. Like this long and complicated and hers is especially interesting. Castle also gave "Settle for more" five stars on Amazon and added good read, nothing but respect for Megyn Kelly, very empowering. It was better than I thought it would be, absolutely, sending it as Christmas gift to all the strong women in my life. And Amanda Stout tweeted, couldn't wait till Christmas so I gifted myself, #settleformore. As a celebration of finally being over, thank you for inspiring words. If you order your copy now from Amazon it will be under your tree by Christmas day. Enjoy. Have a great weekend.
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