This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," August 28, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
EBONI K. WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: Hey, everybody. I'm Eboni K. Williams along with Kat Timpf and Lisa Boothe. This is "The Fox News Specialists."
President Trump wrapping up a joint news conference with Finland's president just short time ago. The unfolding chaos in southeastern Texas from tropical storm Harvey looming large over the event, but President Trump speaking out about the intensifying devastation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Recovery will be a long and difficult road and the federal government stands ready, willing and able to support that effort. We see neighbor helping neighbor, friend helping friend, and stranger helping stranger, and you see that all over. You watched it on television. You just see such incredible work and love and teamwork. We're one American family. We hurt together. We struggle together. And believe me, we endured together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Kat, there are moments for politics and then there are moments for governing. This is obviously a moment for governing. And I'm happy here the president speaking those words, speaking that power of truth about the activism of community and neighbor helping neighbor. The irony, it was 12 years to the day ago that Hurricane Katrina hit land in the New Orleans area. I was one of those people that had to evacuate. I was a second year law student. So I understand on a profound level what the community of Houston is dealing with. How are you feeling, I guess, in terms of this moment and what we can all do to help the Houston area?
KATHERINE TIMPF, CO-HOST: Right. Well, I like the way he spoke about unity and working together, but also about rebuilding the area because I can't even imagine what kind of emotional impact that would have, that kind of devastation on this huge city with all these people. We night not even have homes to go back to after this is over.
WILLIAMS: Lisa, I lot of people, at least I'm hearing some people say it's only five or so casualties. But to Kat's point, the huge devastation of not knowing if you have a home to go back to. How long before you have energy, food, children panic, elderly people panic, what's your reaction to all this?
LISA BOOTHE, CO-HOST: Well, any loss of life is too much. And I think those were beautiful words from the president. I think whose opinion really matters is Governor Abbott. And what he has said he's given FEMA, he's given President Trump, all the way down, all the cabinet secretaries an A-plus in their response and the help that they have provided him and his state as they recover in these coming days and months and years. And additionally, he said that the disaster relief, the turnaround on that in his request was the fastest that he's ever seen. So I think President Trump and his administration is doing everything they can to help the state of Texas.
WILLIAMS: As well as they should, of course. We've got a lot to get to today. So let's bring in today's specialists. She is a former White House National Security Council staff for under both President George W. Bush and Barack Obama, she's currently a Fox News contributor, Gillian Turner is here. And she's a radio talk show host, journalist and a writer, Jamila Bey is here. Ladies, of course, thank you both for being here. Gillian, your reaction to this. What you would want to say to the people of Houston and the southeastern region.
GILLIAN TURNER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You know it's really been a tremendously heartbreaking day. You know today we've gotten, for the first time, things we haven't been seeing as much for the last couple of days. Health care facilities like hospitals, like elderly nursing homes, just heartbreaking images. The one that went viral earlier this morning of the elderly women who are trapped in their care center there. In their wheelchairs with water up to their elbows and shoulders. So from a human standpoint, this is just horrendous. I think -- I guess, you know, we always go to the political optics here. So that's an important thing to talk about too. It's a real challenge for President Trump. The remarks he made today, I think, were really the kind of unifying, sort of bringing the nation together in tone type remarks. And a lot of people had hoped to see in the aftermath of Charlotte. So hopefully this will go some way toward starting to help people come together and support one another.
WILLIAMS: Charlottesville. Jamila, of course, this devastating, it's heavy, but when these tragedies strike, of course, we call on our better parts of humanity and that resilience, and that perseverance and that survival. What's your take on all of these?
JAMILA BEY, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: My take is that right now, you know, we are literally shell-shocked about what has happened. It's going to continue to rain for the rest of this week at least. We know that what we have to rely on, I mean, Americans are resilient people. However, Americans are also very smart people and we need to make sure that this shows us, look, this is not an, if. It's a win situation. These things happen. Climate change is real. We need to make sure that our policies absolutely recognize this and say how do we make sure that other areas that are prone to flooding get the resources that they need. How do we make sure that we are certainly supporting our government agencies that need to be doing this kind of work? Now is the time to get real.
WILLIAMS: Absolutely. Well, guys, hang on just a second. Now we want to go to Fox News correspondent Matt Finn. He joins us from Houston with more on the flooding conditions and the rescue efforts. Matt?
MATT FINN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, we are on the western side of the city of Houston. We just witnessed multiple families and people behind us get rescued from their homes on boats. People coming out with children who did not have jackets or long-sleeved shirts on, shivering in the wind. I'll tell you more about that in a minute, but I want to bring in Scott, this gentleman says he lives in one of these houses behind us and was just rescued. Scott, what did you just experience in the past hour?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, in the last hour, the coast guard came by in a boat and said to expect another 10 feet of water, and when we heard that, it was game over. We can't -- we couldn't stay there with another 10 feet of water.
FINN: Were you one of the gentlemen or families who were rescued by boat?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, and my neighbor also had four cats, so I went across and helped her. And she's going to go stay with a friend of mine and it's that house.
FINN: We saw some families with children shivering. A lot of dogs. Elderly people. Do you any of these people? Are these your neighbors?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Yesterday, we were the good Samaritans helping them out when it was more manageable. They were OK. But in helping some dogs get reunited with their owners, but today it's crazy.
FINN: And your house is right back here, one of these houses here?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, my house is on the bayou. And it wasn't a problem until really the bayou started to -- you know, the attic dam was released, and that's what really -- that was the game-changer today.
FINN: So where do you go from here knowing that your house is underwater and you're leaving it?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I've got a good friend of mine that lives here. I moved here recently. And so, his dad has graciously opened up his house. He's going to pick us up as well as my neighbor that I didn't even know before really today.
FINN: What have your neighbors and friends across Houston had been saying in these past couple of days? Who have you've been taking to?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I don't think they know really what we've been experiencing because we've been on an island over here. I mean, we had 5 feet of water in the front and the bayou in the back. So the only way to get in and out of here was wading through water. So they were always asking, what's going on via text, but then we lost heat and gas today. And we lost the internet and the TV. We didn't have a TV today. So, you know, we had to go.
FINN: Is this the first time you've seen flooding of this level, this magnitude?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, this is -- I mean, this is crazy. I mean, you know, all my neighbors, all their cars are flooded. You can't even see some of the cars now. They're so underwater. And all the homes are flooded. I'm on the highest ground back there, and it's still another 10 feet. It's over.
FINN: Anything else you want to say, Scott?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: No, I mean, the people going around our neighborhood on paddle boards, you know, letting us know that help is on the way. I mean, the Houston people are just awesome. And so I'm grateful for that.
FINN: Scott, thank you very much. We wish you well.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
FINN: Thank you. So that's just one of the countless, countless stories here in Houston. We arrived here to this neighborhood on the western side of the city about an hour and a half, two hours ago now, and the water here has just been rapidly rising. You know we spoke to some people who say they're abandoning their house and going to their neighbor house who's on higher ground. And we must have seen at least five or six full-size families get off on boats from these houses right behind us. Some of them are waiting the water. You might see some of them floating around on a kayak behind us.
And this is the western side, the far western side of the city. Yesterday, we were closer on the southwestern side of the city in the downtown, closer to downtown area. And there were also countless families who were plucked from their rooftops. We saw one family who was walking in water like this, and they had their dogs on a pool raft. And we said where are you guys going? And they said we just left our house. First time ever we have to leave our house. And they had their dogs on a pool raft. Another gentleman we spoke too said my wife and children and I abandon our house for the first time ever. They're a mess. I got to get out of here. He brought his canoe over to his brother's house because he figures his brother is going to need it in the coming days because his brother will have to abandon his house.
And as you guys can see it is a consistent saturating wall of rain. It's been like this almost on and off for 24 hours for about three days now. And as you look at it and as our forecasters say this is going to continue, you say where is this water going because it's going to end up in places like this. It's going to destroy people's homes. And gentleman like Scott that we just talk to, and he's in good spirits considering the circumstances, has to walk away from their house. So, you know, you've opened the show talking about the devastation, and this is it. We're witnessing it firsthand. Back to you guys in New York.
WILLIAMS: Matt, let me ask you a couple things. We're going to take it around for the co-hosts to do some Q and A with you. You are there. You've been there as you've said for over 24 hours. With only reports that it's going to get worse, quite frankly. Scott, as you said, in good spirits considering, but what is the mood like? I hear the heaviness, Matt, in your voice as you are reporting live for us. Is there panic, is there concern? Are people trusting and feeling hopeful around the efforts of the community? Please just tell us about the emotional gravity where you are.
FINN: You know it's heartbreaking to witness this. And as Lisa said, any loss of life is too much. But when you go around from neighborhood to neighborhood and see people abandoning their homes. And in this moment here, it was rapid rising. You see people shaking. They're in shell- shocked. They're getting off a boat from their home. They didn't walk away from it. They were escorted or rescued by a boat. In multiple neighborhoods, we saw people coming together. That's for sure. We saw neighbors helping neighbors. We saw people -- we saw volunteers, so many volunteers around here on their own boats.
We ran in last night to a firefighter who was out on his own boat for the entire day rescuing people. You know, the county called out for anybody here, if you have a boat, feel free to use it, and we've seen that a lot. So the human element is that people have got each other's backs here, but there is also a lot of shell-shocked and just genuine heartbreak. As you walk around and you witness people leaving their homes behind.
BOOTHE: Matt, first of all, you're doing a great job covering this for us, and thank you so much for bringing all these stories to our attention. You know I want to talk about -- I know I've been so struck by the resiliency of Texans, and the togetherness that we've seen in the face of such a dangerous and scary time in the storm. Can you tell us about any moments that have stood out to you as you've been covering this for the past couple of days?
FINN: You know, I think, first and foremost, was those -- the fireman last night. We were in Maryland, which is a huge residential area on the southwestern side of the city. Houston police tell us perhaps the hardest hit area. We spent nearly the entire day and into the night there last night. And towards the tail end of the night in the same saturating rain you're seeing right now, out of the darkness came this little boat that was floating, and on it were three firemen. And they were clearly exhausted. And they said we've spent the entire day rescuing people. I can't even count how many people we've rescued from roofs. And people we've rescued from their homes. And they actually said, you know, can you give us a ride back to the fire station? And I'm not a hero, I'm not trying to point that out, but they were so exhausted they couldn't go any further.
A story like that you see replicated over and over. And that same neighborhood, the man that we talked too said, well, my wife and kids are back in the house, we're abandoning it. I'm running this canoe over to my brother because I think he's going to need it next. We watched as a young lady last night, we brought you on-air last night a young lady who was watching her car go underwater. She said I tried to move it the night before but I couldn't get it started. And now she sat there watching a fairly nice new car that she might be working hard to drive go underwater. And so, there is a resiliency, but you know there's also people who are frustrated in situations like this. You know, who say we don't know where to turn to. And so, there's -- that element is there as well. But in general, right now, I think most people are trying to help each other get out and stay alive here in Texas, Lisa.
TIMPF: Well, Matt, was this a surprise, this level of flooding? And keep saying it's going to get worse. It's going to get worse. Do we know how much worse? What are people expecting?
FINN: Well, our meteorologists who have been doing an outstanding job. That goes without saying. They have been saying that this could be in total a five day event. And I think right now we're about three or so days into it. And, you know, the forecast had called for up to 50 inches of rain. If you can wrap your mind around that. And I don't know where we stand on that scale right now. But, you know, since I arrived here, Friday, our forecasters have been saying this is going to be a five day event if not longer.
And they were saying from the start basically that most of the damage would probably not come from wind, which we have seen a lot of that, but from this consistent rain. And, you know, this is being referred to as a catastrophic, unprecedented event here. In fact, I talked to two of those firemen last night and they said -- one of them who was the president of the firemen's association of Houston, and he said this is without a doubt, on record saying, this is the most catastrophic event we've ever seen. Here you guys see some neighbors coming out. How are you guys doing?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Better now.
FINN: Better now. And one of your homes back here?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, yeah, it's way on the back.
FINN: Are you leaving here for good tonight?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, we left last night and came back for my dog.
FINN: Well, we wish you guys well. Where'd you go from here?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Well, thank God we have a good neighbor over by Barbara Bush. We're staying with them last night for the rest of the duration.
FINN: Did you guys know a storm of this intensity was coming?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: We had no idea. We would have gone a long time ago
FINN: OK. Thank you very much, guys. So that somehow answers your question there. Back to you in New York, guys.
WILLIAMS: Matt, thank you so much. Hearing so much talk about neighbors and community, it's very profound. Much more on Harvey directly ahead, including the latest forecast on the next colossal round of rain for the region. Stay with us.
TIMPF: We are tracking tropical storm Harvey by the moment with even more catastrophic flooding expected. With the latest, let's go to Fox News meteorologist Adam Klotz. Adam?
ADAM KLOTZ, FOX NEWS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, there. Yeah, big system continues to rage on here at this hour. Let me show you what we're looking at currently, heavy rain all the way from Houston over to New Orleans. Everything you're looking at shaded in the red there that is a tornado watch. The conditions are right for tornadoes right now. And actually, this tropical storm, this hurricane at last count, it's hard to keep track. I believe we're at 32 spun-up tornadoes from this system. Currently, we're looking good but we've seen several in the last couple hours. Either way, very heavy rain running all along I-10. That is going to be continuing here throughout the overnight hours.
Let me show you what's going to be happening in the next couple of days, our actual system is still spinning there off the coast of Texas. All the rain out on the eastern side of this. But pay attention to where it's moving. This is taking you into Tuesday, eventually into Wednesday. So this system is going to pacify Houston again. Good news it's on the good side of the storm which generally brings a little less rain. At least not as heavy of rain, but still pretty consistent over there right now. Heavy rain though on the right side of this here for the next couple of days. Before we eventually dry off, not until the end of the week.
What it's actually going to like? Well, this is the future forecast. Heavy rain continuing for you into Tuesday. By Wednesday, perhaps beginning to see a little less rain in the Houston area as the heavy rain continues to track off a little farther to the east. But what numbers are we talking about? Quick look at this, we're still talking about numbers getting up easily to 10 to 15 more inches, maybe 20 inches of rain before this is all said and done. Kat?
TIMPF: Wow. Thank you, Adam.
TIMPF: For more now on Harvey's devastating impact, let's go to Fox News correspondent Steve Harrigan who's in Rosenberg, Texas. Hi, Steve.
STEVE HARRIGAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, this is just southwest from the city of Houston. We're in the suburbs here. And the rain has not stopped for a moment, just pounding, coming down sideways. Pretty cold as well. It's making it very difficult for anyone to get around. A lot of the major roads are flooded. And as you can see behind me here, sometimes even worse than that. Some of the structure, some of the roads is being washed away. A major sinkhole here. We've seen a lot of emergency trucks go out, so despite these tough conditions, they're going out to try to do what they can. It's not just a Houston problem. A lot of shelters here in the suburbs all around filling up and filling up quickly as these neighborhoods go from voluntary evacuations. Now many of them turning into mandatory evacuations. Back to you.
TIMPF: Steve, I know that there were some problems over the weekend with 911 calls and there being such a backlog. I've heard it's gotten a little better today. Is it still better or is that becoming an issue?
HARRIGAN: The 911 calls have been steady. There have even been some complaints from authorities who don't want people to use social media. They want them to get on 911. The police here have also tweeted that they want people to hang out a sheet or towel from their houses if they need of help. But despite their pleas, the calls on social media for help are steady. If you watch this area, in Richmond, it's every minutes people are saying, you know, my grandmother is stuck. I have three kids in the house. Does someone have a boat? Can you come and get me? So it's really old- school and new school, people calling out for help.
WILLIAMS: Steve, its Eboni. I want to ask you this. You've been speaking to the people of, as you said, not just Houston but the greater community out there in southeast Texas. One of the things we felt in New Orleans and that area was that we were alone and that we were left to our local resources, and all we had were one another. Are you getting that sentiment or are the people of the greater Houston area understanding that from a national perspective, and I'm sure even international at some point, that people are there for them and that they're not alone.
HARRIGAN: I think one of the things that's different here in Texas than what we saw in Katrina is that there have been calls from officials too for people to help each other. So I don't think there's a sense of I'm in trouble. The government will help me. It's I'm in trouble. Someone's got to help me, even if it is the guy next door. If you can help somebody else, you are going out to do it. But there's a lot more sense of not just waiting for the government. But a lot of people of people help going on. I think that's really been a real positive out of this disaster so far.
BOOTHE: Hi, Steve. It's Lisa. You've covered a lot of events like this, a lot of disasters in your time in the news. How is this different? Is this different than ones that you've seen?
HARRIGAN: I think this just reinforces the inexact nature of hurricanes, science and forecasting. I think this caught a lot of people by surprise. The last three or four major storms, you know, were busts. People gin everybody about how terrible it was. Let's evacuate. And then nothing happens. And this one was the reverse. It was a tropical storm and then within 56 hours, it was a major, powerful hurricane. So it just really shows me how inexact things are.
There's a real sadness too. I mean, I'm talking to people who lost everything. And when you look at your house, you're glad you're alive, but after a little while when you talk to people, they start to shake or they start to cry. You know a 65-year-old man was breaking down the other day. You know I have no insurance. What am I going to do? What do you say to that man? What can I tell him?
TIMPF: I don't know. Thank you so much. Thank you. Next up, a man caught in Houston's harrowing flooding joins us with his story amid heroic rescue effort. Don't go away.
BOOTHE: Despite Harvey's horrific tool, there're incredible stories of perseverance and courage, from regular Americans caught in the middle of the on flood. One of those people is Jake Lewis, who suddenly became an amateur rescuer amidst the flooding in Houston. He joins us now on the phone from New Braunfels, Texas. Jake, how are you doing?
JAKE LEWIS, RESIDENT OF NEW BRAUNFELS TEXAS: I'm doing fine. How are you?
BOOTHE: I'm doing well. Can you just take us through, so you went to bed around 11 PM on Saturday night, you received a co-worker at 6 AM, which what got you out in your room, tell us what happened after that.
LEWIS: They decided to leave. I moved up to a second story and I decided it was time to leave because water just keep rising. I knew I could get out safely. And I took matters into my own hands and got out of there. I mean, the roads were crazy but, I mean, I got out of there.
TIMPF: Now, question: as you were out there rescuing these people, I understand that you are using your truck. You were eventually trying to swim with people. As this was happening, did you have any idea of what the weather was going to be like, if it was going to get worse? Or were you not really thinking about that and just focusing on helping out these other people?
LEWIS: I mean, I tried swimming out and I wasn't very successful. But they were people sitting on the side of the road. And I mean, they were, you know, in thigh-high water, and they needed to get out of there. And they had no clue what was going on. I mean, they were disoriented. I mean, they were just shocked, just kind of like I was. And I just didn't want to leave them there, so I picked them up and took them to safety, I guess.
WILLIAMS: Jake, you are no doubt doing, really, God's work in this moment; and everybody across the country thanks you for -- for it.
My question to you is, every time you go back out there, and it's my understanding that you're about to try to run and go back out there again for another rescue effort, you are putting yourself also at great risk. Can you tell us and walk us through the risk calculation that you go through internally and decide that you're going to go back out there and go into that arena?
LEWIS: I'm really not thinking about it like that. I mean, I went home; and I was sitting there, and I was dry. I took a hot shower, and I laid down. I couldn't sleep. And last night was rough. And just knowing that there's people out there, that, you know, they're sitting on a roof or they're stuck in an attic. Or, you know, the worst possible scenario. And I just -- I can't sleep like that. And I just had to go. I had to come back.
TIMPF: I understand you're about to borrow a boat? What's your plan? Where are you going to head?
LEWIS: I have three friends. They brought a boat down. Their name's Justin Elliott, Shelly Boyes (Ph) and Cole Herbold (ph), and they came down here, and I'm about 30 minutes behind them. I'm trying to find them right now. And we understand there's, like, people stranded at a church we're going to try to get to. So I'm just trying to find them right now.
WILLIAMS: Jake, quick question. About how many individuals, adult-sized people can fit into the boat when you go get one group grouping of them?
LEWIS: I'm thinking with the four of us on the boat, we could -- I mean, three or four people. I mean, and just take trips back and forth and trying to reassure those people we're coming back for them. I mean, we're trying to find a way there now. They are there, and I'm trying to catch up with them, and we can get this going.
WILLIAMS: And how long is that distance, Jake, that you're going from the site that you collect the individuals in the boat and then drop them off to safety? How far that distance, can you estimate it being?
LEWIS: I really have no clue. I have no clue.
BOOTHE: Jake, thank you so much for joining us. Please stay safe and please know that our prayers are with you and your neighbors and your family.
LEWIS: Thank you very much.
BOOTHE: Thank you.
Gillian, so when you hear, you know, interviews like this, what comes to mind? What's in your mind right now? What's in your heart right now, sort of hearing some of these stories?
TURNER: I think Eboni is right, that these types of folks are really out there doing God's work, and they're filling in the gaps, you know, the inevitable gaps that come even when the government is perfectly coordinated, which doesn't ever happen, despite the best intents of everybody.
One of the things the president touted earlier was coordination at the national, state, and local levels. And that's something that has been implemented, anecdotally to much greater effect in this storm than we've seen in previous major hurricanes like this. So that's a wonderful thing that's happening. But it's stories like these that show us that folks on the ground, neighbors, friends, family members are really the ones who are going to carry a lot of people through this.
BOOTHE: What's your thoughts, just hearing these stories?
BEY: It -- it makes me -- it makes me glad to be human. It makes me recognize that as a humanist, I'm not a person who prays or subscribes to religion or whatnot, and if that's helpful, great. But it is the work of human hands. It's the work of people saying, "I'm going to put myself at risk to save another human life, because human life is the greatest good that we have, and it's always to be protected." I mean, it doesn't matter if you're gay, straight, black, white, wet, dry, whatever. It's about putting humanity first, and that's the greatest thing that any human can do.
BOOTHE: When we return, President Trump sounding off on the furor around his pardoning of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. We'll be back in a minute. You don't want to miss.
WILLIAMS: All right. South Korean and Japanese media both saying that North Korea has fired a missile over northern Japan. The Pentagon is currently investigating. A senior U.S. official said that there have been some movement suggesting an immediate missile was being prepared, but there is not yet any confirmation about how far this missile flew.
Gillian, I'm going to come to you on this. You've worked for two presidents. North Korea is not a new issue. I think we can all agree no one has effectively figured out how to handle it. Based off of what you've seen from your days in both White Houses, what you've observed so far from the Trump administration, what is your general sense and feeling around this possible development?
TURNER: Well, if these reports are confirmed, this is a huge deal. I mean, that kind of intermediate-range missile flying over Japan's airspace is, I mean, that's -- I don't like to ove- dramatize. And you claim that that's tantamount to an act of war. But I mean, depending on the circumstances, when we get the details, but it's a big deal no matter how you slice and dice it.
Japan is a major ally to the United States, though we're not -- you know, they're not wedded to us through a NATO treaty; and we're not obligated to necessarily come to their defense in this instance. That's a question that will immediately be on the president's plate.
BOOTHE: Gillian, how does this -- if you're the White House, how does this change their calculus in dealing with North Korea, if the reports are true?
TURNER: I don't know that it will immediately change the president's calculus, but it definitely -- it ups the stakes. It doesn't mean that we'd be prepared to -- you know, to launch a ground war against North Korea or, you know, sort of escalate the nuclear threat or anything like that.
But it's definitely something that will infuriate the president, and rightly so. And it's something that will, I think, cause the United States to really push China a lot harder than they even have been, which has sort of been to the max lately, in terms of hedging against North Korea.
WILLIAMS: And a lot of people have been describing this dynamic between President Trump and, really, previous U.S. presidents, as well, and Kim Jong-un and that regime, as kind of a game of chicken. It is something that I've heard floated. We know this is not a game. Right? We know that these are potentially millions of lives at stake, as you're saying. And if this development is even anywhere near true, those stakes just got higher today.
TURNER: You're absolutely right. It's not a game. It's not a game of chicken. There are real consequences here. Millions of lives when you calculate out North and South Korea, Japan, whoever else is in arm's length of the missile, or a nuclear missile.
But the problem here is that there's no good alternative. So people have been very quick to criticize whoever the president is on this issue for not doing enough; we're not being forceful enough. But there are no good -- there are no easy options, and there is nothing that is guaranteed to get us from 0 to 10 on this issue.
WILLIAMS: Certainly no guarantees.
With more on this very immediate development, we're going to bring in FOX's Jennifer Griffin. Jennifer, thanks and what do you have for us?
JENNIFER GRIFFIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Eboni, we have seen the reports, and the Pentagon is aware of the reports from Yonhap News Agency, the South Korean news agency, which first reported within the last few minutes that the North Koreans had fired a missile somewhere from a location near Pyongyang.
The reports from Japan suggest that that missile overflew northern Japan. This is not the first time that the North Koreans have launched a missile with that kind of range. The first time they did so was back in the '90s, when they surprised the world by firing a Taepodong missile. That was the first time that it flew over Japan. It got the attention of the world. They've only done so three times.
What's notable about the timing of this -- and I've spoken to senior U.S. officials who said that they had seen some sort of movement that suggested that the North Koreans were preparing for an intermediate range ballistic missile. But they weren't sure whether that was going to come. They were surprised that it came today.
Remember, there are ten days of military exercises taking place right now in South Korea between the U.S. military and the South Korean military. Those exercises are slated to end on Wednesday. Those exercises have -- are annual exercises. They have angered Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea.
And what's notable is just last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had praised the North Korean leader, saying that, in fact, he had shown a great deal of restraint. But then you saw over the weekend he fired three missiles. Two of them were short range. One of them failed of the three. So I believe that this is timed to coincide with those military exercises with South Korea.
Back to you.
TIMPF: Jennifer, do we know how or even when we can expect to hear from the White House on this?
GRIFFIN: Well, I know that the White House has called over here to the Pentagon to get the latest intelligence on this. Right now, U.S. Pacific Command and others are trying to gather the data on this missile launch. And so they will be communicating that to the White House. The White House will want to wait, of course, until they have that information, because there will be a lot of decisions based on this.
But from those I'm speaking to here at the Pentagon, this missile never posed a threat to any of the continental U.S. or to Hawaii or Alaska. However, this kind of range missile could pose a threat to Guam, and it is not clear whether this is the last of the missiles being fired from Pyongyang, especially since these military exercises are ongoing.
BOOTHE: Jennifer, from your time covering North Korea and from your perspective, are we in a different place with North Korea than we previously have been?
GRIFFIN: It certainly feels like it is -- that tension is ratcheting up. There's what feels like a very dangerous game of chicken, almost a dare taking place, and Kim Jong-un continues to try to show that he is still -- still in power and in control and able to fire these missiles.
But certainly, the range of these missiles has gotten the attention; and the capabilities in the last six months of what we've seen has gotten the attention of those who watch these things here at the Pentagon and elsewhere.
WILLIAMS: Jennifer, just quick final question. You talk about Secretary of State Tillerson and what sounds like a very diplomatic tone he took last week. Can you give any anticipation about what that diplomacy will look like moving forward?
GRIFFIN: Well, I think that you're going to see a very tough line from not only the White House. Tillerson had praised those U.N. sanctions the Security Council had imposed unanimously, sanctions against North Korea. And that was significant. That was an achievement.
But it is clear that it is not deterring Kim Jong-un, so now they're going to have to go back to the drawing board on this.
WILLIAMS: Jennifer, thank you so much.
Very busy news day here. We've got much more after this, including President Trump's comment today on Sheriff Joe and his pardon. Stay with us.
TIMPF: This afternoon, President Trump addressed the firestorm around his pardon of Joe Arpaio, the controversial former Maricopa County Arizona sheriff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's done a great job for the people of Arizona. He's very strong on borders, very strong on illegal immigration. He is loved in Arizona. I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly.
I stand by my pardon of Sheriff Joe, and I think the people of Arizona who really know him best would agree with me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TIMPF: This man violated the Constitution...
TIMPF: ... and was very, very proud of having done so.
TIMPF: And yet we don't even see this -- President Trump saying, "Oh, he may have made a mistake, but I pardoned him." He's saying, "Great job. Everything he did was great."
BEY: There's a problem here. This is -- this is going to be a judicial crisis. Arpaio, he did violate the Constitution, but let's ignore that for a moment.
Let's talk about the fact that he -- he violated a federal order, and while the -- while he was being investigated for the illegal violation of a federal order, he hired a detective to look into the wife of the judge was prosecuting him. What? How can a sitting president think that it's OK to pardon someone who would -- who would seek to have, I mean, I guess judicial retribution or something for even being investigated?
This is dangerous. This is frightening, and this cannot -- this cannot stand. This can not stand.
BOOTHE: So from your perspective, was it a judicial crisis when President Obama commuted the sentence of Oscar Lopez, someone who's a domestic terrorist, who said back in the '80s that "I am an enemy of the United States government"? Someone who has been...
BEY: OK, so...
BOOTHE: ... the Armed Forces National Liberation was involved in more than 100 bombings that led to the deaths of Americans, who got another 15 years tacked onto his...
BEY: OK. We are on the same side on this one. I don't think that's an appropriate...
BOOTHE: I have a problem with not only Bernie Sanders, who cheerleaded him getting -- or cheerleaded the commuting of someone like him, but then goes and has a problem with this, calling it racism and discrimination.
BEY: My issue, I agree -- I agree. Well, here's the thing. Here's my point. Look, yes, a bad pardon, we're on the same side with that. This is someone, however, who -- you know, Arpaio was looking at making certain that judges do not come after him to obey the law. He was -- he was investigating the family member of the judge.
WILLIAMS: Jamila, let me say this.
WILLIAMS: I really despise the actions of the sheriff. Right? But that's the thing about pardons. We're not going to relitigate the underlying nature of what Chelsea Manning did or what Oscar or what Sheriff Joe did, because that's the very point of a pardon. Is that the president, whoever that is occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, any given time, gets full discretion around who to administer them to. So we can have a feeling around it; we can like or dislike it, but that is the nature of a presidential pardon.
BEY: ... family and the presidential pardon. That's a dangerous message.
TURNER: They are always divisive. They always are more harmful politically to the president than they are helpful, and we go through this at the end of every administration. President Trump has decided to take on this quite contentious one earlier on, which is why we're talking.
TIMPF: My issue is that he doesn't even want to acknowledge that Sheriff Joe did anything wrong.
BOOTHE: And Jonathan Turley actually made the point, a liberal law professor of George Washington University made the point that Eboni just made and Gillian, as well, of saying, looking back at Bill Clinton and his pardoning of Marc Rich and saying this pales in comparison to previous presidents. And I don't think he's the biggest fan of the president. So...
TIMPF: We've got to say goodbye to our specialists today, Gillian Turner and Jamila Bey. Thank you both for joining us.
Up next, more on the devastating flooding in Texas and Louisiana and what folks at home can do to help.
BOOTHE: For our last segment today, there's no "Wait, What?" But instead, we wanted to focus on some of the profound acts of kindness coming out of Texas and what folks can also do to help those afflicted.
And so for mine, I just wanted to show, basically, a compilation of people helping each other. Because one thing that I've been profoundly struck by is just the resiliency of Texans, the fact, neighbor helping neighbor, community helping one another. And I just think it's a beautiful message, because it shows that we are so much more united than we are divided as a nation. And, you know, thank God for the people of Texas standing strong and showing that to all of us in this time of need for them -- Eboni.
WILLIAMS: Lisa, that's exactly right.
I just want to do a full-screen graphic. A lot of people want to know in these moments what they can proactively do to help. These are two opportunities right here. One, the American Red Cross. The thing is, and I hate to say this, but I was a young, budding litigator. And you saw a lot of scams, unfortunately, in these times of crises and people really taking advantage. So the American Red Cross is a safe place, if you want to give money, you want to give supplies, clothing, food, anything like that. Please reach out to your American Red Cross. And also, there is a local option, as well. So that's very important.
BOOTHE: That's very important, Eboni.
TIMPF: Absolutely. I want to share this photo, a cute little picture of a dog walking down the street with an entire bag of dog food in his mouth, alone in the hurricane, after the hurricane. And a woman posted this on social media and was actually able to reunite the dog with his -- his owners, so I think it's just great to see people helping out to save, you know, people and also their animals, which are very important for us. We all have pets.
WILLIAMS: Yes, we do.
BOOTHE: Yes, we do.
WILLIAMS: We're all fur mommies. And that's -- that's very special.
BOOTHE: And it's also -- even when you just see photos like that, I mean, as I mentioned, there's all this conversation about divide in the country, and when you see people that are so hard struck and really down, right now, in the things that they're facing, but they come together.
BOOTHE: And it's just really beautiful to see. I'm sure you saw this when you were in Louisiana.
WILLIAMS: A 100 percent. And you know, I'm one of those people that, like, neighbors -- I'm an only child, so I'm not someone that, like, you know, does a lot of neighbor interaction, but you certainly, Lisa and Kat, learn who your neighbors are in these moments, and that's really important.
Another opportunity for people to reach out to is go to Project70805.org/Harvey, and that's a Louisiana and a Texas organization that's bringing these communities together in this moment of need.
BOOTHE: Well, and I've also heard Samaritan's Purse is a great organization, as well.
WILLIAMS: Yes, it's a very good one.
BOOTHE: So a lot of good ones.
Well, that's all the time that we have for today. Thank you so much for watching. Please make sure to follow the show on social media, @SpecialistsFNC on Twitter and on Facebook. Remember, 5 p.m. will never be the same. "Special Report" is next.
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