This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," January 10, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
EMILY COMPAGNO, FOX NEWS HOST: In the movie, the guy tossed the ring out and he pretended to catch it and then proposer to her right there.
GREG GUTFELD, FOX NEWS HOST: It's not going to last, Emily.
GUTFELD: It's not going to last.
JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS HOST: All right, way to nail it.
SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Yes, that's a lot of orchestration. Wow!
COMPAGNO: Oh, for God's sake. Anyway, yes, we missing -- and sleeping --
WATTERS: That's all for us today. Got a good weekend, everybody. We'll see you on Monday.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: Good evening, welcome to Washington. I'm Bret Baier. Breaking tonight, President Trump, says the top Iranian general taken out one week ago in the U.S. airstrike was planning to hit several American embassies. This evening, the president is continuing to defend his order and to punish Iran, imposing new economic sanctions on the regime, which is already careening under severe penalties from the Trump administration. Chief White House correspondent John Roberts begins our coverage tonight. Good evening, John.
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Bret, good evening to you. This all started yesterday morning when the president appeared to reveal previously undisclosed intelligence by saying that Soleimani was looking to blow up our embassy. White House officials initially said the president had been talking about the New Year's Eve attack on the embassy in Baghdad. But now, President Trump is openly saying it was a future plot and one of the reasons why Soleimani was taken out.
ROBERTS: In an exclusive interview with Laura Ingraham, airing on Fox tonight, President Trump revealed there was, in fact, a looming threat from Qassem Soleimani against U.S. embassies.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will tell you that probably, it was going to be the embassy in Baghdad.
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: City of large scale attacks plan for other embassies. And if those were planned, why can't we reveal that to the American people? Wouldn't that help your case?
TRUMP: I can reveal that I believe it would have been four embassies.
ROBERTS: Administration officials described the threat is imminent, though they did not know specifics.
MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: We don't know exactly which day it would have been executed. This was going to happen. And American lives were at risk. And we would have been culpably negligent. As the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, we would have been culpably negligent. And we not recommended the president that he take this action --
ROBERTS: President's critics continued to fume that the administration had not presented a compelling case to take out Soleimani.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of the questions I raised just right after this came out, is this does have anything to do with the fact that Donald Trump is right on the eve of an impeachment hearing?
ROBERTS: The secretary of state today insisted, members of Congress were fully informed about the threat to the embassy.
POMPEO: We told -- we told them about the imminent threat. All of the intelligence we briefed that you've heard today, I assure you in an unclassified setting, we provide in the classified setting as well. The Treasury Department today slap new sanctions on Iran, targeting various sectors of the Iranian economy: Iron and steel, construction, manufacturing, textiles, and mining, in addition to eight high-ranking Iranian officials. Those sanctions join about $1,000 ready in effect. Sanctions that have put a squeeze on the Iranian regime, but so far, not changed its behavior.
STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: We have 100 percent confidence and we are consistent in our view that the economic sanctions are working. That if we didn't have the sanctions in place, literally, Iran would have tens of billions of dollars. They would be using that for terrorist activities.
ROBERTS: In the wake of the missile strike that killed Soleimani, Iraqi officials had been publicly calling for U.S. troops to leave Iraq. In her exclusive interview today, Laura Ingraham asked President Trump if this presented an opportunity for him to make good on the 2016 campaign pledge.
INGRAHAM: The Iraqi prime minister has notified Mike Pompeo about potential plans -- drawing up plans for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq period.
TRUMP: I'm OK with it. By the way, that's what they say --
INGRAHAM: You're OK with removing our troops in Iraq?
TRUMP: Listen, just so you understand. That's what they say publicly, they don't say that privately.
ROBERTS: Secretary of State Pompeo today also added his voice to those of other administration officials who say Iran was indeed tried to kill Americans at that missile strike on Tuesday. But Pompeo indicated the restraint shown by the president and the wake of that its attack was appropriate because is Pompeo said, we don't want war. Bret.
BAIER: John Roberts, live in the North Lawn. John, thanks. A U.S. defense official telling Fox News, American Special Operations Forces tried to kill the top Iranian commander in Yemen, Abdul Reza Shahlai, seen here on the same night. The U.S. successfully killed General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq. The story was first reported by the Washington Post. The mission was unsuccessful. Pentagon officials not commenting on the record. Iraqis are once again telling four nations to bud out of their affairs. Protesters today in Baghdad renewing their call for independence from Iranian influence and American involvement. Correspondent Trey Yingst is in the Iraqi capital tonight.
TREY YINGST, FOX NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: You can feel the energy in Baghdad's Tahrir Square. Thousands are demonstrating against their government. Though hundreds have been killed in these protests since the beginning of October. The Iraqis today, tell us they are hopeful that the prime minister will cut ties with both Iran and the United States, putting the voters back on the Iraqi people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to replace a corrupt government. We want to build a new homeland. For the past 16 to 17 years, we are living in corruption.
YINGST: The Iraqis have occupied the square for months and say they will until the government changes. In an effort to appease the demands of protesters, Iraqi Prime Minister Abdil Abdul-Mahdi resigned, and assume the role of caretaker of Iraq, while adopting new hardline stances against foreign influences in his country. Since his resignation, Abdul-Mahdi condemned the American strike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, as well as the Iranian retaliatory ballistic missile attack against U.S. troops in Iraq. Abdul-Mahdi, reportedly told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a phone call Thursday night that he needs to send a delegation to Baghdad, and start the process of planning the American troop withdrawal. The head of Iraq's Shia population echoed that demand today.
AHMED AL-SAFI, SPOKESMAN OF AYATOLLAH ALI AL-SISTANI (through translator): Iraq should be its own master ruled by its sons. Strangers must take no role in making its decisions. The country must be ruled according to the people's will.
YINGST: The State Department released a statement Friday declining to discuss the issue, adding, "America is a force for good in the Middle East."
BAIER: Trey Yingst, reporting from Baghdad. We will have a story from Kiev, Ukraine, about that commercial airliner shot down by Iran according to U.S. intelligence officials. A new video about that out of Iran. Here in the U.S., U.S. employers added 145,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate held steady at 3-1/2 percent for the year. Employers added an average of roughly 175,000 jobs per month compared to about 223,000 per month in 2018. The Trump administration, says hiring slowed because the number of people seeking work has fallen with the steady rise in employment. On the markets, the Dow eclipse the 29,000 mark for the first time today, but it finished the day off 133. The S&P 500 lost nine. The NASDAQ dropped 25. For the week, the Dow gained two-thirds of a percentage point. The S&P 500 was up almost one. The NASDAQ gained 1-3/4. The Justice Department is not commenting publicly on a published report that its inquiry into alleged crimes by Hillary Clinton. The Clinton Foundation has effectively ended with no tangible results. The Washington Post reporting, current and former of officials never expected to find evidence of wrongdoing. However, Justice Department officials tell Fox the investigation is not yet officially closed. There is movement tonight in the impeachment standoff. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, says she will begin the process of transmitting articles of impeachment to the Senate and electing impeachment managers next week. Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have been playing a game of political chicken over the rules of the Senate trial. Chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel has an update tonight from Capitol Hill.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): We do expect there to be legislation on the floor next week.
MIKE EMANUEL, FOX NEWS CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Under intense pressure including from some fellow Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will send the articles of impeachment to the Senate next week. Pelosi wrote colleagues today, "I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate." Republicans say it's about time.
REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): Hopefully that's resolved by next week. And that charade ends and we finally get true justice where it's disposed of.
EMANUEL: In an exclusive interview with Fox's Laura Ingraham, President Trump unloaded on Pelosi.
TRUMP: Well, I think it's ridiculous. She should have sent him a long time ago. It just -- it belittles the process. Nancy Pelosi will go down is probably the least successful Speaker of the House in the history of our nation.
EMANUEL: Pelosi try to hold out for a better deal, trying to guarantee witnesses will be called upfront. But Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear, the House Speaker has no power over a Senate trial.
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): It is not the job of the Senate to try to fix the completely faulty and flawed process that the House Democrats conducted over here.
EMANUEL: The President is also shooting down the possibility of his former National Security Advisor John Bolton, testifying in the Senate trial.
TRUMP: I'm talking about future. Many future presidents and have a security advisor, anybody having to do with security and legal and other things. But especially --
INGRAHAM: Are you going to invoke an executive privilege?
TRUMP: Well, I think you have to, for the sake of the office.
EMANUEL: Another challenge for Pelosi, Senate Democrats, and even a key House chair we're losing patients questioning her tactics. Some are now worried this could backfire, leading to Republicans taking back the House and another term for President Trump.
REP. TULSI GABBARD (D-HI), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This whole process has only proven to strengthen his and harden his support. And I think it's likely that it will make him more difficult to beat in the general election.
Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins said she's been speaking with a small group of colleagues about pushing for witnesses in the Senate trial. McConnell has not ruled that out entirely but was not going to agree to that demand from Democrats upfront. It sounds like the critical vote in terms of sending overs the articles of Impeachment from the House to the Senate could take place as soon as Tuesday. Bret.
BAIER: Mike Emanuel, live on the Hill. Mike, thanks. We're going to talk more about impeachment tonight with one of the senators who will serve as a juror if and when that trial begins. Alabama Democratic Senator Doug Jones joins us from Birmingham tonight. Senator, thanks for being here.
SEN. DOUG JONES (D-AL): Hey, my pleasure, Bret. Thank you.
BAIER: You know, you just heard that. Do you think Speaker Pelosi mishandled the handing over of these articles of impeachment? We understand it's probably going to happen next week. What do you think? How do you think it went down?
JONES: You know, look, Bret, we were out of session for two weeks. Everybody was gone for the holidays, the House of Representatives, it was out for a couple of days in the Clinton trial impeachment it was three weeks before they came over to the Senate. I think that's been a much to do about nothing. I think there has been legitimate questions about Senate procedures. And it could be appears pretty clear now that Senator McConnell has got his procedures in place that he wants to go forward with and that those will be voted on and they will abide by those as soon as the articles get over. And I think that will be coming over very soon.
BAIER: Well, can you support Senator McConnell's impeachment rule plan? Or let me phrase it this way, is it a problem if you oppose the way McConnell sets up this trial?
JONES: Well, I don't know what you mean by a problem. I'm going to -- I'm going to vote for witnesses. I think we need to have witnesses. There are a number of witnesses with firsthand information that I think that American people deserve to hear from. I think there are documents that are out there that haven't been seen to test some of the witnesses that we have heard, as well as those that I'd like to see called. So, I'm going to vote for witnesses. If there is a plan that gives forward that doesn't have that on the front end, I'll probably vote against that. But there will be another opportunity during this trial to vote for additional witnesses. And I will once again vote for here -- to here at least two or three witnesses, maybe as many as four, but certainly two or three.
BAIER: What -- when I say problem, I mean politically for you. You're up for reelection, and there are some who think you're in the toughest position of any Democratic senator during this impeachment trial process considering the substantial support President Trump has in your State of Alabama. He won the state by almost 28 points in 2016. And most voters in Alabama, at least, according to recent polls, suggest that impeachment does not fly there, about 54 to 39. That's why I said, problem.
JONES: Well, you know, Bret, and I appreciate that. But the fact to the matter is the real problem, as you say, is that too many people both in the media as well as colleagues in the House In the Senate, they only look at this through a political lens and a partisan lens. I'm not doing that. I think if you go back and look at everything I have said from the very beginning of this process, it's to follow my oath to do my duty to take that oath very serious about impartial justice. And to do that and not look at this through a partisan lens. And so, from that standpoint, the only problem that I have is a problem I want to make sure that I do the right thing. I want to make sure that I examine all the evidence that we have in front of us, and vote in a way that I think is consistent with my obligations as a senator.
BAIER: Is it possible to please both Senator Chuck Schumer and Alabama constituents at the same time during this trial?
JONES: I -- you know, I'm not trying to please Chuck Schumer. I'm not trying to necessarily please anyone. As I said a moment ago --
JONES: My job is to do my impartial justice as a senator. I'm not out to please the president, I'm not out to please Chuck, I got to look at this as Doug Jones, and I've got a fair amount of experience as a prosecutor, as a defense lawyer in a courtroom looking at evidence. And where things ought to be and how the puzzle ought to come together.
BAIER: I appreciate that, Senator. I want to move on to another topic, and that is the War Powers Resolution. What the president, the administration are saying. Here's the president last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have Bernie and Nancy Pelosi, we have them all. They're all trying to say, how dare you take him out that way. You should get permission from Congress. You should come in and tell us what you want to do. You should come in and tell us so that we can call up the fake news that's back there and we can leak it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: One of your potential opponents, Congressman Bradley Byrne, said this. "Instead of thanking the brave men and women who successfully executed a surgical strike against a ruthless terrorist, House Democrats are ignoring intelligence from national security professionals of an imminent threat to Americans, manufacturing yet another opportunity to attack President Trump." Where are you on this War Powers Resolution and how you stand on it?
JONES: You know, first of all, I think what the congressman said was absolutely misleading. People have appreciated the fact that we had a great military and intelligence. The very intelligence community that the president keeps attacking. We have been commending for a long time, and we are still commending them for the work that they did in this operation, and no one is going to missed Soleimani. No one is mourned Soleimani in his death, not by any stretch. And the president last night, I think was also a little bit misleading. No one was asking for a warning. But I do think it's appropriate in a measure that significant and that serious, to at least, give the members of Congress and the Gang of Eight a heads up on what was going on. With regard to the War Powers Act, this is not about what happened in the past. It is not about President Trump. It's about whether or not Congress ought to be able to have its constitutional role, and that is to be involved in any military escalation. It does not mean that the president can't take unilateral action to protect American interest in a defensive mode, but what it means is before we escalate with military action, he should come to Congress. That's what's the Constitution requires. And that's what this War Powers Act is -- War Powers Resolution is going to say.
BAIER: Yes, I mean, the White House is pushing back. Hogan Gidley, tweeting out, saying, "Soleimani was, in fact, planning imminent attacks. While Democrats in the media quibble over its definition, quick point: When President Obama killed bin Laden, al-Awlaki and Gaddafi, without Congressional approval, there were no imminent attacks and Democrats did not ask for care." Last (INAUDIBLE), Senator
JONES: Well, you know, Osama, Osama bin Laden was not a state actor.
BAIER: Gaddafi was.
JONES: This was like the number two. Yes, this isn't a number two guy in Iran. And there was --
BAIER: Gaddafi was a leader of Libya.
JONES: The question of whether or not -- sure. And the question is whether or not there was an imminent attack is maybe up for debate. But Bret, I think the most -- for me, and I'm just talking for Doug Jones right now. The most important thing for me is looking forward. And what is going to be our strategy? We've got some serious issues that we got to deal with. We've got more troops in the Middle East now than we had at the beginning of the summer, some 15,000. I want to see a little bit better strategy than what I'm hearing about, instead of just talking strictly about whether or not there was going to be an imminent attack, which by the way, did not come out in a classified briefing about anything involving embassies. That just did not happen in the Senate intelligence briefing.
BAIER: Senator Doug Jones, we'll be following your race very closely. It's a close-run down there in Alabama. We appreciate you coming on. We'll have you back.
JONES: You got it. Thanks, Bret. Appreciate it.
BAIER: When we -- when we come back, the latest on the Ukrainian jet disaster in Iran.
BAIER: Iran is challenging the U.S. and its allies to put up or shut up about accusations the regime shut down a Ukrainian passenger jet with 176 people aboard. But the evidence and the confidence from the U.S. and allies about that shoot down is building around the world tonight. Senior foreign affairs correspondent Greg Palkot has the latest from the Ukrainian capital.
GREG PALKOT, FOX NEWS SENIOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: The human cost to the Ukrainian International Airlines tragedy was on display at Kiev's airport. The widow of the captain on the plane that went down early Wednesday morning outside of Tehran, paying her respects at a makeshift memorial. This as the news tighten on the Iranian regime. Going on the record with U.S. suspicions today, Secretary of State Pompeo.
POMPEO: We do believe that it's likely that, that plane was shut down by an Iranian missile. We are -- we're going to let the investigation play out before we make a final determination. It's important that we get to the bottom of it.
PALKOT: The plane with 176 people on board, including many Canadians and Iranians crashed just hours after barrage of Iranian missiles targeted U.S. troops at bases in Iraq. Iran today still deny they had anything to do with it and blasted the U.S.
ALI ABEDZADEH, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, IRAN CIVIL AVIATION ORGANIZATION (through translator): American politicians have talked without paying attention to technical matters. There is a political aspect to it. They have made those statements just to sell their political agenda.
PALKOT: As worries grew about how Iran was handling the crash aftermath. There were reports of a too rapid cleanup at the debris field, a too slow recovery of data from the recovered black boxes Iran said it would take, at least, a month. And talk from Tehran of the probe extending into next year. Still, Iranian Investigators also today professed a willingness to hand over the black boxes to another country for analysis and accept international participation, including from Boeing. Kiev is playing it careful.
VADYM PRYSTAIKO, FOREIGN MINISTER OF IRAN: We will come to our conclusion. We don't want to come to them right now.
PALKOT: Conclusions not of the mind of those mourning their loss today. How do you feel seeing this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't hear any words.
PALKOT: No words?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It's very sad. It's a huge tragedy.
PALKOT: In fact, the Ukrainians have a team of some 45 investigators on the ground in Iran right now. Remains to be seen whether they will help to get to the bottom of this tragedy. Bret.
BAIER: Greg Palkot, live in Ukraine. Greg, thank you. Up next, the media all over the place in coverage of President Trump's dealings with Iran this week. We'll bring you that. First, here is with some of our Fox affiliates around the country are covering tonight. Fox 32 in Chicago is documents released by congressional investigators indicate Boeing employees raised doubts among themselves about the safety of the 737 MAX jet. They also apparently tried to hide problems from federal regulators and ridiculed those responsible for designing and overseeing the jetliner. The aircraft has been grounded following two catastrophic crashes. Late this afternoon, the FAA announced a fine of more than $5 million, alleging Boeing failed to prevent the use of defective parts on the 737 MAX. Fox Richmond as Virginia lawmakers vote to ban firearms at the state capitol and a legislative office building. Newly empowered Democrats in the General Assembly say the move is needed to protect public safety. Republicans have voiced opposition to such a ban and some GOP lawmakers routinely carry guns into the capital there. And this is a live look at Houston from Fox 26. A rainy Houston. One of the big stories there tonight, the graduation ceremony for a new group of NASA astronauts. The agency says that 13 graduates will be eligible for missions to the moon, and ultimately to Mars. NASA aims to send the first woman and the next man to the moon by 2024. That's tonight's live look "OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY" from SPECIAL REPORT. We'll be right back.
BAIER: Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott, says the state will reject the resettlement of new refugees. That makes Texas the first state known to do so under a recent Trump administration order. Governor Abbott, says Congress has left his state to deal with disproportionate migration issues resulting from a broken federal immigration system. He says Texas has already done more than its fair share. This evening, we're taking a look at how the media are covering the ongoing conflict with Iran. Fox News media analyst and host the Fox's "MEDIA BUZZ", Howard Kurtz, tells us his colleagues have been all over the map this week.
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST, MSNBC: This would be so bad and so worrying and so weird under a normal circumstances.
HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS MEDIA ANALYST: The media have been on an emotional roller coaster when it comes to covering the confrontation with Iran. It was hardly shocking that President Trump's airstrike which killed Iran's top general drew cheers on the right and dire warnings from the left.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: A president of the United States, they used to hide from assassination responsibility. This president is bragging about it.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: A huge success. The world is safer. One of the world's worst, most powerful terrorists is dead. The mob in the media, Democratic Party, they just seem distraught.
HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS MEDIA ANALYST: But there is a divide, with some commentators warning against being drawn into another endless war like Iraq, or relying on intelligence agencies that the president himself has criticized.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, "TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT": It seems like about 20 minutes ago we were denouncing these very people as the deep state, and pledging never to trust them again without verification.
KURTZ: Yet even some Trump critics praised the president's speech that de- escalated tensions with Iran.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: It was measured by Donald Trump's standards, and I would even argue that it was measured by the standards of any American president.
KURTZ: But as journalists lowered the temperature, they accused the White House of chaos, as in the mixed signals on withdrawing troops from Iraq.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Those worries were not helped today by the bizarre doubletake, walk-back, oops, we didn't really mean it, announcement and then un-announcement from the Pentagon.
KURTZ: Reporters today pressed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after Trump broadened his charges against Qasem Soleimani.
TRUMP: We did it because they were looking to blow up our embassy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you have specific information about an imminent threat, and did it have anything to do with our embassies? You were mistaken when you said you didn't know precisely when and you didn't know precisely where?
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your definitely of imminent?
POMPEO: This was going to happen.
KURTZ: The media's aggressive approach stands in contrast to their failure to challenge the intelligence used to sell the Iraq war, but their critique of the president on Iran transcends the usual left/right division. Bret?
BAIER: Howie, thanks. Thousands of people are fleeing their homes, and helicopters dropping their supplies to towns at risk of wildfires in southeastern Australia. Officials saying wildfires are holding within containment lines so far, but a strong shift in the wind is predicted later. Fires across Australia have left at least 26 people dead so far, 2,000 homes destroyed. President Trump says he feels badly for Queen Elizabeth over news that Prince Harry and his family are stepping down from royal duties and will live at least part time in North America. The president making that comments to Laura Ingraham.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Would you be able to give her any advice for some of the rogue royals? What's happening there? It seems like there's a lot of tumult.
TRUMP: I think it's sad. I do. She is a great woman. She's never made a mistake, if you look. She's had a flawless time.
INGRAHAM: Do you think Harry should go back, come back and fix it?
TRUMP: I think -- I don't want to get into the whole thing, but I find it - - I just have such respect for the Queen. I don't think this should be happening to her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: You can see the rest of that interview on the "The Ingraham Angle" tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern time on FOX. Up next, the latest on the Democratic presidential race, and one of the contenders calls it quits, plus a new poll out minutes ago. First, Beyond our Borders tonight. A powerful explosion ripped through a mosque in southwest Pakistan during Friday evening prayers, killing a senior police officer and at least 13 civilians. Police say the bombing wounded another 20 worshipers there. No one immediately claimed responsibility for that attack. Pentagon officials say a Russian Navy spy ship aggressively approached a U.S. guided missile destroyer in the northern Arabian Sea Thursday. It says the American warship was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision. A spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet says the USS Farragut asked the Russian ship to change course. The Russian vessel initially refused but ultimately moved away. And the Trump administration is banning charter flights to Cuban cities besides Havana in a new tightening of U.S. restrictions on Cuba. In October the administration banned commercial flights to cities outside the capital. Just some of the other stories beyond our borders tonight. We'll be right back.
BAIER: Breaking political news tonight. In tonight's Democracy 2020 Report, Bernie Sanders has taken the lead in a new poll heading up to the Iowa caucuses. Sanders gets 20 percent of the support in the latest Des Moines, Iowa -- " Des Moines Register" survey, considered a key pole to watch ahead of the Iowa caucuses. That's a jump of five percentage points for Sanders. Elizabeth Warren next at 17. Previous frontrunner there, Pete Buttigieg, lost nine points, falling to 16 percent. Joe Biden is fourth at 15. Two of the top Democratic presidential candidates turn their attention out west to California. Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg spent at least part of the day in the solidly blue Golden State. This comes as Iran continues to be a hot topic for some but not all the contenders. Peter Doocy is in Marina Del Rey, California, tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joe Biden.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Today, Joe Biden brought a potential foe into the fold -- L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Eric when he was thinking of running for president decided at the end not to do it. And I said, I'm happy you are not running because you might beat me.
DOOCY: Biden never mentioned Iran, but Elizabeth Warren did, after this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're siding with Iran. Why are you siding with terrorists?
DOOCY: The agitated attendee was immediately escorted out.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think getting into a shouting match with a man who is so clearly disturbed is not helpful to him and not helpful to anyone. Pete Buttigieg has a different problem, now accusing the U.S. of recklessly responding to Iran's attack and contributing to a plane crash, even though the U.S. insists they never fired back. Mayor Pete tweets "Innocent civilians are now dead because they were caught in the middle of an unnecessary and unwanted military tit for tat." Marianne Williamson tweeted today she's dropping out, but insists in a statement "A politics of conscience is still yet possible. And yes, love will prevail." If Bernie Sanders prevails as the nominee, the actor who often plays him on "SNL" knows he'll be busy.
LARRY DAVID, COMEDIAN: It's not going to be easy for me. It'll be great for the country, terrible for me.
SANDERS: I'm getting you a good job for four years and you're complaining.
DOOCY: And Sanders isn't the only candidate carefully choosing who he stands next to in the days before the caucuses.
BIDEN: I can speak fluently in Spanish, but I'm not going to do it today. The one time I tried it at the Spanish gala we have, the Hispanic gala we have in Delaware, I butchered everything. They're the only community that gave me a standing ovation for trying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: But now Joe Biden is all the way down in fourth place in that "Des Moines Register"/CNN poll of Iowa Democrats, five points behind the new frontrunner in Iowa, Bernie Sanders, who may soon miss significant campaign trail time to serve as a juror in Washington, D.C., for an impeachment trial. One critical number, though, in this poll, 45 percent of Iowa Democrats say they could still be persuaded to pick somebody else three weeks from Monday night, caucus night. Bret?
BAIER: That's how the caucuses work. Peter, thank you. One of the Democrats' top fundraising machines is not paying her dues to her party. New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she is building her own fundraising operation her way for her handpicked candidates. This evening correspondent Doug McKelway tells us how that's going over.
REP. ALEXANDRA OCASIO-CORTEZ, (D-NY): It's pretty nuts -- $250,000 for a freshman? Could you imagine being 30 years old and getting a bill for $250,000?
DOUG MCKELWAY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Representative Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez is angering her party's establishment yet again by refusing to pay dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: I still have $20,000 in student loan debt. So I'm working on some things here.
MCKELWAY: But it's not just repaying debts. Moments after this interview with FOX News, AOC tweeted, "DCCC made it clear that they will blacklist any org that helps progressive candidates like me. I can choose not to fund that kind of exclusion." Instead, Cortez is raising money for her own PAC, Justice Democrats, and for another PAC, Brand New Congress. Both are part of a new generation of digital age PACs empowering the far left through small donations and breaking the party's dependence on corporate donations from establishment fundraisers like the DCCC and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Brand New Congress is further threatening the status quo by grooming more than 30 candidates to run for Congress in the primaries.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Seventy percent of Americans live in a safe blue state or a safe red seat, which means the only choice that they have realistically is in their primary election. And the idea that we should take democracy away from people is one that I fundamentally disagree with.
MCKELWAY: That disagreement could move the party further left.
CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLITICAL EDITOR: The movement overall is that, thanks to decentralized money, thanks to a lot of other factors, candidates like Cortez and Bernie Sanders are the new face of the Democratic party in a lot of ways.
MCKELWAY: This fragmentation that's happening among Democrats also happened with Republicans when they held the House with the rightward tilt of the Tea Party and the Freedom Caucus. For leaders in both parties it makes governing, or herding cats, all the more difficult. Bret?
BAIER: I'll say. Doug, thanks. For more on this story, go to FOXnews.com.
Meantime, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Peart has died. Peart was the drummer for the Canadian group Rush. Media reports say Peart died in California after a long battle with brain cancer. Neil Peart was 67.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Don't the American people have a right to know what specifically was targeted without revealing methods and sources?
TRUMP: I don't think so, but we will tell you that probably it was going to be the embassy in Baghdad.
INGRAHAM: Did he have large-scale attacks planned for other embassies? And if those were planned, why can't we reveal that to the American people? Wouldn't that help your case?
TRUMP: I can reveal that I believe it would have been four embassies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: President Trump talking to Laura Ingraham. You can see that interview again, tonight, at 10:00 p.m. This as the week has come to an end with taking the off-ramp, at least the U.S. and Iran have so far. We'll see what comes next. Let's bring in our panel, Charles Hurt, opinion editor for "The Washington Times," Leslie Marshall, Democrat strategist, and Steve Hayes, editor of "The Dispatch." Steve, the end of this week, obviously the administration still explaining about the imminence, but overall, 30,000 feet, where are we.
STEVE HAYES, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It's sort of amazing that we are still having that discussion. If Qasem Soleimani was not plotting against the United States in the leadup to the strike that took his life, that would've been the change. He has been plotting against the United States literally for 20 years, longer even, and we saw an increase in that plotting in the weeks and months before the United States took him out, including attacks on the U.S. embassy which he allegedly orchestrated, where they were, in effect, firebombing the U.S. embassy. We saw the death of a U.S. contractor. There was plenty of reason for the United States to take him out. It's a good thing that they did. It was a smart decision by President Trump, I think. The problem is the president is having a difficult time convincing people about the nature of the threat because he had lied so many times throughout his time in office. He lies day in and day out about things large and small. And over the course of that time, you see this erosion of credibility that has people unsure of what to believe and what not to believe, including the people who are trying to make his case for him.
BAIER: But you are saying believe him here?
HAYES: We don't know whether to believe them here, and that's part of the problem.
CHARLES HURT, OPINION EDITOR, "WASHINGTON TIMES": I don't think that anybody, any normal people are having a hard time understanding why the president decided to strike, make that strike in Baghdad. He killed a terrorist who was a top general in the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism. I don't think people have any problem with that. In Washington, because everybody is so conditioned to calling Trump some trigger-happy maniac, they seized on this word "imminent," and they're trying to drill down on this. And I think that outside of Washington, nobody is even thinking about this. They're like, no, he killed a terrorist. Great job. Thank you.
BAIER: What about, to Charlie's point, about where Democrats are on this, and how they are talking about this process? I should point out when I was interviewing Senator Jones, I read from Hogan Gidley's tweet about things that happened with the Obama administration. Gaddafi was killed, but not technically by U.S. forces. It led to his death. Anyway, where do Democrats stand, Leslie?
LESLIE MARSHALL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Democrats stand, and not just Democrats. As we know, we have Mike Lee and Rand Paul who are Republicans who say, why wasn't the imminent threat discussed in Congress the way we're hearing the secretary of state today and the way the president is speaking, what were the specific targets? If you're not going to give that information to the American people, you at least should give the underlying intelligence to Congress. Where does it leave us? A lot of Democrats are talking about the concern, a lot of people are discussing things as if Iran is really standing down. Are they? Soleimani was a terrible man, a terrorist. Two administrations, George W. Bush and President Obama, both chose not to take him out because they thought strategically it would be a mistake. Secondly, you have terrorists out there that are going to use this to recruit, sadly. We're going to have cyberattacks, possibly. We have to worry about Navy attacks.
BAIER: We don't know what we don't know.
MARSHALL: And then additionally, the people of Iran, the people of Iran who get hurt, not the mullahs, by these sanctions, are they going to turn from being moderate and protesting the government --
BAIER: Either that, or they sit down at the table and negotiate.
HAYES: There is a lot of good that can come out of these strikes. There is a real deterrent effect that I think now the Iranians are waking up and go, OK, we are really at risk if we don't behave well.
HURT: It's a very bad look for Democrats that their first day back in Congress, what did they spend the day doing? Condemning Iran, no. Condemning Soleimani, no. They spent the day trying to -- on a meaningless resolution meant to curtail the president's ability --
HAYES: But it also matters if the president tells the truth when he makes the case, right?
BAIER: All right, I want to move down, because we have got an election that's happening on the Democratic side, and we have to decide where the chips fall. Here we go, $100 Candidate Casino.
HAYES: I'm going $20 on Buttigieg, $20 on Biden, $20 on Sanders, $10 on Warrant, $10 on Klobuchar, and $20 on a convention fight. I think the person I don't feel good enough about there is Klobuchar. I think she's probably a little -- that's a strong $10 for her.
BAIER: All right, Leslie, this new poll "Des Moines Register" poll is interesting. Sanders is obviously ascendant.
MARSHALL: Yes, and Elizabeth Warren has descended. I'm still putting Biden at the top. I'm giving him $70 and I'm giving $30 to Sanders. I think that Biden will pull it off, that he will be the nominee whether he gets Iowa or not.
HURT: I was going to put everything on Marianne Williamson.
BAIER: She's left the race.
HURT: But now I have to change my bets. And this is the first time I put Bernie at less than about $90. I say $25 on Biden, $25 on Bernie, just because the rest of the field I think is hopeless, and $50 on a brokered convention where they will try to pick somebody that is like Biden except less --
BAIER: I think that's what Mike Bloomberg is actually playing for, a brokered conversation. Here's the deal. I've got a lightning, lightning Winner and Loser. I know your loser is long.
HAYES: Representative Doug Collins is my winner for what seemed like a genuine apology for saying earlier the Democrats were, quote, in love with terrorists. We don't see genuine apologies. I appreciate that he gave one. My loser last week was the Dallas Cowboys. My loser this week is the Dallas Cowboys. They hired my old Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy, by all accounts a good guy. I don't think he's a great coach.
BAIER: Winner and Loser?
MARSHALL: My loser is Congressman Steve King who on the House floor spoke about how there is no white nationalism, and George Soros is giving money to all the Democrats. I'm a Democrat. Where is my check, I want to know. My winner is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who does not have cancer. She's cancer free, and that certainly is a win.
HURT: Winner, Nick Sandmann for winning the settlement. We don't know how much it is, but he stands to win further settlements from other news organizations --
BAIER: That's from CNN.
HURT: -- from CNN, who slandered him. Loser of the week is without a doubt Nancy Pelosi. Disastrous couple of weeks. Her strategy, she's actually lost members to the Republican Party. She had members desert her on the impeachment. And she actually came to the point where she had lieutenants openly ragging on her about her strategy of sitting on the articles of impeachment until now. She got nothing for transmitting them, so that's an admission by her, I would say, that it failed.
BAIER: Although those chairmen walked it back.
HURT: They did walk it back very quickly, abruptly.
BAIER: Very quickly. Panel, you are the winner. You got around the horn. When we come back, "Notable Quotables."
BAIER: Finally tonight, "Notable Quotables."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't mind them having the freedom. What we don't like is the Queen not being informed about nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a community spirit here that is not burnable. It hurts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cowboy diplomacy did not work in Iraq. Cowboy diplomacy will not work in Iran.
TRUMP: We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'd like to say you can judge someone's character by what they've done.
TRUMP: We stopped him quickly and we stopped him cold.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's part of a group that --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he a terrorist?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's part of a group --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not a terrorist?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course he is!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would you shoot down an airliner full of civilians? I think it's tragic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are the articles going to be transmitted tonight? Anytime soon?
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Do you listen when I speak.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This resolution has as much force of law as a New Year's resolution.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're in the process of telling us that we need to be good little boys and girls club run along and not debate this.
TRUMP: I said what a beautiful name. I'm good at names, right? USMC, like the song, "YMCA."
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: I made you reporters laugh this morning. That's fantastic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So getting back to sports, because that's all we live, right? Football, football, college, high school, professional.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love playing for this team for two decades and winning a lot of games.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: One week, one week in Washington, and obviously New England.
Join us on "FOX News Sunday" where Chris Wallace will speak to the National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien this weekend. I bet you that'll be an interesting interview. Thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. That's it for this SPECIAL REPORT, fair, balanced, and still unafraid.
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