glass. we'll keep watching the politicians so you don't have to. we'll watch them in our new time slot on fbn fridays. see you next week. have a great weekend. thank you very much for watching every night. now here's lou dobbs, keep it here. ♪ ♪ lou: it's been an extraordinary week of historic and, in some cases, unprecedented events. so much has transpired that the full impact of all this won't be fully realized for weeks, if not months. and last night's missile strike against a syrian air base drawing praise from both allies and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. >> tonight i call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking the end the slaughter and bloodshed in syria. lou: in response, the russian navy sending one of its most powerful frigates into the eastern mediterranean where two u.s. navy destroyers launched
those airstrikes into syria. ambassador john bolton joins me here in moments. also tonight president trump says he's made progress over two days of talks with chinese president xi jinping. >> i think we have made tremendous progress in our relationship with china. my representatives have been meeting one-on-one with their counterparts from china, and it's, i think, truly progress has been made. lou: we'll have political analysis of the critical summit, the syrian airstrikes and much more with leading republicans ed rollins and randy evans. and the senate today confirming judge neil gorsuch as the 113th justice of the supreme court. the vote ends a bitter, year-long political battle that forced republicans to go nuclear in the face of democratic obstructionism. we take that up with the president's supreme court
adviser, leonard leo. a week filled with historic events, and this is only donald trump's 11th week as president of the united states. good evening, everybody. there hasn't been a more action-packed week in this country in a very long time. the deluge of events, decisions, issues, inflection points this week would test even the most seasoned president. but only 11 weeks into his presidency, president trump is winning praise for his decisive and strong leadership in ordering airstrikes against the syrian air force. trump is a dramatically different president than his predecessor. president obama never enforced his own red line threats against syria's use of chemical weapons. president trump, for his part, never made a threat, and he immediately enforced -- as he put it -- the many lines that bashar al assad crossed. fox news chief white house correspondent john roberts with our report. >> reporter: lou, good evening.
the full impact diplomatically and strategically of last night's missile attacks has yet to be felt, but the early indications are president trump is on a solid footing with his syria policy. >> i think we have made tremendous progress in our relationship with china. >> reporter: president trump's focus this morning was on his chinese guest, president xi jinping. but the white house spokesman says the president was gratified at the outcome of last night's misis ill strike. >> i think he's pleased that we have justified in a proportional response around the world. >> reporter: the president took action not only in response to the horrific scenes of death and suffering of civilians -- especially children -- but also because if assad were to get away with such actions, it may increase the chance the united states could be targeted with chemical weapons. >> it is in this vital national security interest of the united states to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly
chemical weapons. >> reporter: at the united nations today, ambassador nikki haley warned bar shower al assad he could get hit again if he doesn't come to heel. >> the united states took a very measured step last night. we are prepared to do more. but we hope that will not be necessary. >> reporter: russia, which has a close relationship with assad, has complained loudly in public about the missile strike and flexed its muscle, sending a warship to the area. but sources say beyond that the response has been muted. >> publicly, the russians have been suggesting outrage over this, but i understand through diplomatic channels there 457b9 been a lot of blowback. >> well, that's true. i think the rest of the world, including russia, understands we took desies, justifiable action based on the just tragic actions that the assad regime took, especially when it comes to small children. >> reporter: the missiles were flying last night as president trump was having p dinner with the chinese president. xi jinping did not mention the
strike in brief remarks to the white house press corps today, but a chinese spokeswoman said, quote: we are concerned about the condition current conditions in syria. we hope all sides will remain calm. the strike also adds an extra measure of weight to the president's call for china to rein in north korea's nuclear program. president trump warned last week if china didn't do something about kim jong un's nuclear ambitions, the united states will. but to hear the president tell it today, the budding relationship he has with china may yield positive results. >> we look forward to being together many times in the future, and i believe lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away. >> reporter: after the china summit wrapped up, the treasury secretary, steve mnuchin, said the united states will soon be announcing additional sanctions on syria as part of the effort to stop the attacks. the secretary of state says he's disappointed at rush.
>>'s response because it shows they're still backing assad. rex tillerson saying he's, quote, disappointed but not surprised. lou? lou: john roberts reporting. our first guest says the syrian strike's a wake-up call around the world for honoring agreements with the united states. and joining us tonight, former u.s. ambassador to the united nations, american enterprise institute's senior fellow, john bolton. ambassador, good to have you here. first, your assessment of the strikes, the president's decision to order those strikes. >> well, i think it was based on a limited but important rationale about american national security when weapons of mass destruction are used by a rogue state like syria. it was a limited and precise strike. it doesn't foreclose possible additional strikes, but it by no means guarantees that the united states wades into the syrian civil war. and even though precise and limited, i think it's already
had profound impacts around the world for the signal that it sent our adversaries and our potential adversaries in china and russia, in iran and north korea that the obama era of american foreign policy is over and that the united states is prepared to act swiftly and decisively when our national security is affected. lou: the president made good on, also, his word that he would not have public discussions about what he would do or when he would do it, and that in and of itself is impressive that he carried out exactly what he said. >> well, and in addition, that he did it with the leader of one of the world's other major powers in for dinner that evening. i mean, a hollywood script writer couldn't do any better than the president order oring a strike and then -- ordering a strike and then having a steak with xi jinping and letting him know as dessert is being served what he just did. that is a signal china will never forget, and i hope they tell north korea about it.
lou: yeah, my guess is the relationship between the two nations -- north korea and china -- it's a certainty that they'll have a discussion. what is not a certainty is that these talks will amount to any kind of step toward resolution of the north korean threat. what's it going to take? >> well, i think that we are now very, very close to the point where after 25 years of failed, bipartisan, failed efforts to negotiate with north korea -- which i think were always do yod to failure, the north is very close to getting that objective of deliverable nuclear weapons. that's why there's talk about the possible use of force. a very unattractive option, but preferable to nuclear weapons landing on american soil. that's why i really think the pressure's on china even more than before to do what they uniquely can do to stop the north koreans from progressing further. lou: which is the easier choice or the least difficult for
china; that is, in itself to insist to north korea -- kim jong un -- that he dismiss his nuclear ambitions and whatever weapons he has, or allow the united stateses to take care of the matter? -- united states to take care of the matter? which is more attractive to the chinese? and, obviously, we understand which is the more difficult for the united states. >> well, it should be more attractive to the chinese to resolve the problem in the way they say they want, which is they don't want north korea with nuclear weapons. and if they want to do it in a prudent fashion, they should work with us to what i think is the only long-term solution. i think we've talked about short-term solutions for 25 years. the long-term solution which we may not have time for but which we should nonetheless try for is the reunification of the korean peninsula. that's the way to end north korea's nuclear program. lou: well, it's one solution, but the two-state, the two-korea policy has been, you know, it's
been beneficial to both china and the united states, the east and the west, throughout these many years. so i think that we are looking at a very stark proposition; that is, that we either end the threat that north korea poses, or china does. and if they do not, that that in and of itself is a choice. ambassador, the united nations has been absent, absent for six years in the syrian conflict. president obama was present but absent, abstaining, if you will. and now president trump has made it clear he will act. the united nations takes up real estate and money from this country and several others. why are we putting up with an inert institution like the united nations? why don't we save the money? if this is a nation that's going to be required to stand up for humanitarian values, then what
good is the u.n.? >> well, i would just like to point out as we've been discussing, last night donald trump acted unilaterally. he didn't consult others as far as we know. he may have given the russians a little bit of advance warning, but he certainly didn't discuss it in the united nations. and i think that is as m powerful part of the signal as everything else he's done. i think the united nations is facing a crisis. i think it's been long in the making. i think the trump administration's proposed budget cuts are going to bring it to crisis on capitol hill. i think the vote in the security council against israel that obama allowed the happen in december has produced a crisis. i think it's all going to come together. it's going to be a very difficult year for the u.n. lou: i'm not worried about a difficult year for the united nations. i'm worried about a difficult year for this country and for the world. and i really would like to know, do you think it's an institution whose time has passed and that
should now head toward the dust bin of history? >> look, it's a vast and sprawling organization. that's part of its -- lou: history is replete with such organizations. [laughter] >> too many things. there are elements of it, particularly in some of the specialized agencies, i do think do good and productive work. its political institutions are grid gridlocked or failed, the general assembly, the human rights council -- lou: let me put it this way, why don't we have it stamped when we send aid around the world, good things, stamped us of a on the side of the carton instead of u.n.? why blue helmets and not good old, you know, green and desert tan american helmets? >> well, you're preaching to the choir is since i'm an alumnus of the u.s. agency for national development. cutting the foreign aid u.n. multilateral bunk budget is
going to be a -- lou: ambassador, you've spent too much time over there on the east river. [laughter] that's what the u.n -- do you want the u.n. or do you not? >> as jeane kirkpatrick once said, she paused and said it's too much trouble. lou: all right. we -- i, ambassador, you always -- if you don't get to the answer, the journey is always fascinating. [laughter] thanks so much. >> thank you, lou. lou: we're coming right back with much, much more. stay with us. the president making it clear that america first is his top priority during his summit with chinese president xi. >> i have been clear about advocating for the national interests of the united united , something so important to me and so important to our people. lou: randy evans and ed rollins join us here next p. and is president trump about
to shake up his white house staff? one report speculating that the president might remove his chief of staff and chief strategist. of staff and chief strategist. finish we take that up and m m m guests can earn a how cafree night when theypring book direct on choicehotels.com and stay with us just two times? spring time. badda book. badda boom. or... badda bloom. seriously? book now at choicehotels.com
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is in the works according to "the wall street journal." president trump is considering ousting both white house chief of staff reince priebus and chief strategist, steven bannon. but deputy press secretary lindsay walters says, quote: the only thing we are shaking up is the way washington operates. we'll see. joining me now to discuss the president's big week, his china summit, the syrian airstrikeses and much, much more, rnc national committeeman and former chairman of the republican lawyers' association, randy evans, and republican strategist, veteran of ten presidential campaigns, the dean, ed rollins. good to have you both here. >> randy, how are you? >> good to see you, lou. lou: yeah, we're start oring with pleasantries tonight. >> i haven't seen him in a long time. [laughter] lou: you want to let you guys catch up? [laughter] >> we've got nothing else to talk about today. lou: i'm going to start with you, randy, now that we know how you're doing.
the president, how's he doing? >> oh, he had a wonderful, winning week. you've got the confirmation of associate judge gorsuch, that's a huge cool. that will make an enormous difference immediately, effective next friday, he'll be voting on which cases to grant review. you've got the attack in syria which proves he means what he says is and he says what he means and he leads from the front. no doubt about where his head is. and then finally to end with, the chinese delegation leading and inviting him to china to continue the negotiations. i think if you're russia, you've got to be thinking long and hard about what this president stands for. lou: if you're russia, if you're xi, a lot of people, including the ayatollah khamenei, you've got to be thinking in iran, it's interesting to me, ed, iran has sort of receded to the background in the midst of what has been a tumultuous and absolutely triumphant week for president trump. >> he's had a fabulous week. and i think the statement that he made last night in the middle
of his chinese dinner that if you mess with us or mess with people that are knelt, i'm going to take -- we're not obama, we're going to take a challenge. when you fire 60 missiles and hit with 59 of them, that's a pretty good record. i think the message to both china on north korea and to the iranians and the russians, the thing i'm most pleased is it puts a little distance between him and putin which we need to have. lou: talking with ambassador bolton, as you both know, former ambassador of the united nations. he didn't want to answer whether the u.n. should be consigned to the dust bin of history, but it has operated as an oppositional force to u.s. foreign policy for decades. it wasn't consulted by this president, he moved forward, and that united nations has stood pat, static and, to me, tragically so on the issue of syria in particular here tonight. randy, why do we tolerate it? >> well, we shouldn't.
i think it would make a new, great trump hotel right there in new york city -- [laughter] to take this u.n. building and convert it. look what he did at washington, d.c. to a government post office. imagine what he could do with that reality. lou: well, you know, just about every piece of real estate, as best as i can discern, given randy's suggestion, it looks better with a trump sign on it. >> i think it would be better suited to sit in geneva. we give it a lot more attention than we normally would if it wasn't here in our neighborhood. i don't think they have been good supporters of us, and we've been one of their biggest financial backers for many, many years. i don't think the american public would care one iota if it moved out, and those that did could move out with them. >> you do have to agree that ambassador nikki haley stepped forward and took charge. she really has been very impressive this week. i think she's earned a lot of stripes on those sleeves. lou: i think, by the way, from the moment she stepped into the
post, she has acquitted herself extraordinarily well. i want to turn, if we may, to gorsuch. the judge -- this was a bitter, long battle. it's one year of what is a long battle over the judiciary between these who parties going back 30 years now to robert bork. but now the democrats went so low and stayed in the muck for so long and were utterly irrational and on city nate and thuggish -- obstinate and thuggish throughout. what damage would you judge they've done to themselves? >> well, it looks like to me they've made themselves clearly partisan. remember, it was bipartisan support that confirmed associate justice gorsuch. he's now going to sit and decide, he's got a very important case on april 19th right out of the box, a case where in the state of missouri religious elementary schools were denied materials to improve the safety of their playground
simply because they're religious. it's absurd. but he'll break those 4-4 ties. they'll be coming early and often. lou: ed, your sense of the politics of this. have we moved into an even darker no man's land where, when it turns to partisan politics? >> well, i think so, and i think it's been building and building and building. and the foolishness of the filibuster means the minority gets to rule the senate. one great thing about the judge being appointed today, sworn in next week is we now have four or five really young, dynamic judges that are going to be on that court for a long period of time. and thomas, who's been there the longest, basically is one of the the great writers of the court, he'll be there another 20 years, roberts, alito, gorsuch and whoever else we get is going to give us some great stability, and the constitution's going to stand up, as it always should have. lou: i had the privilege of talking with justice thomas for a few moments last week. the man is, he is vigorous, he
is smart as a whip, and his presence on that court has been extraordinary. >> well, he's one of the great writers, and you read the court decisions that he's written, they're fabulous. lou: all right. we're going to turn very quickly, i know we're out of time, but i want to ask you both about this because fox news is reporting susan -- and i want to quote this -- susan rice most likely, quote, left a very extensive paper trail of unmasking requests related to members of the trump transition team. what is your judgment, randy, as to whether or not she will be held accountable? >> i think she'll take the fifth amendment. i think at the end of the day when rubber meets road, she's not going to be able to answer those questions because there is no justifiable excuse for what she did. lou: no excuse but also no accountability, is that right? >> that's exactly right. no accountability. but there will be responsibility in the end. >> i think the attorney general ought to basically hand this off to the fbi and say do a full
investigation and come forth with documents that basically we can indict her. lou: and i think we all should be straightforward about the experience of these congressional investigations over the course of, trout the, certain -- throughout the, certainly, the obama administration. they have led to nothing. they have been lacking in producing results that are substantive or meaningful. and i think that the leadership of congress and the senate should take note of that fact and not waste either taxpayer dollars or the time of citizens. the fbi sounds like a very good idea to me. >> absolutely. lou: randy evans, ed rollins, thank you both. >> thank you, lou. lou: be sure to vote in our poll tonight, do you believe last night's airstrikes are important to altering the course of events in syria and the middle east? cast your vote on twitter @lou bobs, follow me on twitter -- lou bobs, follow me on twitter
and instagram at lou dobbs tonight. and up next, president trump has prevailed in his battle with obstructionist dems in the senate. >> today is a day to celebrate, and it's also a day to recognize that the republican majority in the senate did its job despite unprecedented democratic filibusters. lou: a full report on all that and more from shannon bream here
...so he got quickbooks. it organizes all his accounts, so he can see his bottom line. ahhh...that's a profit. know where you stand instantly. visit quickbooks-dot-com. lou: an historic week and historic day, the senate voting to confirm judge neil gorsuch to the supreme court. gorsuch is scheduled to be sworn in monday morning, and he could have an immediate impact on supreme court decisions. shannon bream has our report. >> the nomination of neil
gorsuch of colorado to be an associate justice of the supreme court of the united states is confirmed. reporter: after months of wrangling and recripple nations, history was made friday on two fronts. it now takes just a simple majority vote to end a filibuster of the supreme court nominee, and neil gorsuch has been confirmed to join the supreme court as its 101st associate justice. as senators across the aisle debate how unleashing the nuclear option will impact their efforts moving forward, gorsuch has an enormous workload waiting for him at the supreme court. one of the most prom fn in the cases involved the church spree school. because after ban on state money
going to any church or section of religion. >> when this case gets teed up for argument and decision, all eyes will be on justice gorsuch, because in all likelihood he is the one who will break the tie. reporter: his vote will have an immediate impact on deciding which cases to take up next. >> just fist gorsuch won't have time to set until quietly because there are mott button cases just on the doorstep of the supreme court, whether it's religious liberty versus gay marriage and gun regulation cases. reporter: there will a also be emergency requests for gorsuch to handle from a slew of executions to the president's order on immigration. it's possible he will rehear cases that ended in a 4-4 tie.
he will take the oath in a friday ceremony monday morning followed by the judicial oath being administered by justice kennedy. lou: shannon, thank you so as much. much more still ahead. president trump's supreme court advisor leonard leo joins us next. we have a series to cover. stay with us. we'll be right back. law flairks both sides of the aisle praising president trump's strong leadership including this democrat. >> making sure assad knows when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do. lou: that's right, even dem chuck schumer offering high praise for president trump.
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lou: not much movement today on wall street. the dow down 7 points. s & p lost two and the nasdaq off one point. investors try to follow an action-packed week in d.c. with a lot of long-term implications. ratheon up 1.5%. crude oil settling above $52 a barrel. listen to my reports three times a day coast to coast on the
salem network. the economy adding 98,000 jobs, but the unemployment rate fell to 4.5%. the number of americans entering the workforce did lag behind those who found jobs. 63%. hourly wages up. up 2.7% from a year ago. joining me to talk about the trump economy, the strikes in syria, the u.s.-china summit and what we can expect from it all. steve forbes, great to have you here. let's start with the missile strikes. do you believe this is the foundation for altering what would have been a sorry course in syria and the middle east? what kind of effect? >> as the president would say,
it's truly huge. the statement last night was exactly right. first north korea, russia, china, iran on notice. you take our word seriously. but also it draws a marker. chemical weapons, biological weapons. those bands will stay in place and we'll enforce it. otherwise we would have chemical weapons all over the place. it reassures our allies in europe and asia, we are back in the game. the bad guys will not have the run of the table. lou: this president has firmly on his head the white hat and throughout the world. he stood up for humanitarian values, he stood up for the geneva convention. he stood up and performed the job of the united nations, an institution i think is irrelevant. >> the tape he made last night was his most eloquent since his
address to congress a few weeks ago. it even come passed the u.s. and the world. he couldn't have done better. this was a 10 strike in every sense of the word. lou: we have neil gorsuch about to be sworn in as justice of the supreme court monday. this was unthinkable almost a year ago without great conner nation and battle. this was an almost nothing today, as history was made. it was almost nothing as the democrats created some history of their own by becoming the first party and senator schumer leading the first filibuster of a supreme court nominee. here we are with a result i would have thought the republican leadership would have wanted all along. >> they kept the republican party together in the senate. message to house of
representatives. if you lean right you can do it. howie: do you think you have the caliber of leadership in the house to compare to the senate? steve: they will get their test the next few weeks. it's like colleges. you keep giving the test again. lou: the test runs out after you flunk so many. steve * it may in that case. this great constitutional republic of ours. steve: the speaker need a win or he will be pursuing other opportunities. lou: the country always first, then the speaker and his wins. or whatever you would like. i know you were fixated on this tax reform. it looks like it is under some threat. i know the treasury secretary, steve mnuchin said august. do you think it's still possible?
>> i think they can get a tax cut through. the key is making it retroactive. may first, january first. make it retroactive. if they make it clear at the beginning it will be made retroactive, then people can make plans for it. just the prospect of it is having a good effect. that jobs report got overlooked. in the so quiewld -- the so-called household survey, that was fantastic. howie: we don't use that survey. steve there are the february household survey numbers are great. the march household survey great. lou: people will say what is steve talking about? steve: job creation. lou: 98,000 last month. what's going on.
216,000, 219,000, was that accurate? steve: no. what's overlooked in the headlines. lou: only a pal would kill me like this. steve: it shows small businesses are starting to hire. and this establishment survey lags the household survey. lou: now that you brightened the subject up for us. steve: 900,000 jobs in two months. that's not bad. u6 under 9%. steve forbes, always great to see you. do you believe last night' airstrikes are important to altering the course of events in
syria and the most? we would like to hear from you. what do you think, steve? steve: and the world. lou: political wrangling on who will succeed justice antonin scalia ended happily. >> the nomination of neil m. gorsuch of colorado to be an associate justice of the supreme court of the united states is confirmed. lou: president trump's advisor on the supreme court. leonard leo joins me next.
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lou: senate democrats led by senator chuck schumer did just about everything they could to stop it. but senate confirmed judge neil gorsuch as the 113th justice of the supreme court. >> the arguments against him didn't have much to do with him. they were about other things. i think ultimately it was a rejection of the legitimacy of
this president by those disappointed in the outcome of the election on november 8. lou: joining me to discuss gorsuch's historic day, the political implications of going nuclear, leonard leo. he's the executive vice president of the federalist society. congratulations first of all. this is an amazing achievement and an amazing day. >> it's a great day for our country. such a fitting success to justice cal yeah. the man will defend the constitution as it's written. lou: you talk about justice scalia, he was an absolute icon and stalwart of the court and of course the constitution itself, an originalist, a textualist. and gorsuch is the appropriate
man we were told by everyone who knows to sit in the scalia seat. >> the legacy justice scalia left us is the idea enforcing the structural limits on government power and our constitution is the most important thing to preserving freedom of and dignity. if you read all 707 of judge gorsuch's opinions, you see that running through so many of them. this such an important appointment to the court, and it will mean a lot in years to come for personal freedom and placing limited powers on the government. lou: 56% of those who voted for president trump, that supreme court seat was the reason they voted for him. it looks like the president going forward will likely have another opportunity to nominate a justice.
your thoughts about the impact of neil gorsuch on the court immediately. >> first all, this president gets it like no other i have seen. he understands how important this issue is and he save the firsthand in the election. there is no question judge gorsuch will make his presence known on the court. he's extraordinarily intelligent. he has great charm and elegance. he's stow committed to the constitution as it's written. i have never seen someone in a confirmation hearing defend originalism and textualism in the way he did so that so many americans could understand it's a great opportunity for our country to have him on the court. lou: this court now will be deciding with 8 other justices what courts will be heard. how important are those cases coming forward as you understand them? >> we have a couple of important
cases in this first sitting later in april. one that has to do with the kinds of aid that religious schools can receive. if that case comes out the wrong way, there are a lot of religious schools that can go bankrupt. a lot of important cases regarding the second mevment, the separation of powers, and the constitutionality of the cfab. so there will be a lot of important cases involving the power of government, several of the key provisions of our beautiful rights the next two or three years. lou: our viewers are interested in every one of those issues. i want to say thank you to you as well. as well as congratulations. a great day. thank you so much. lou: secretary of state tillerson warning russia about their support of syria.
>> the syrian regime under the leadership of bashar al-assad are responsible for this attack. and i think further it is very important that the russian government consider carefully their continued support for the assad regime. lou: we'll take you have the strong leadership of the trump white house with charlie hurt and gayle trotter. we'll be focusing on this incredible week. with the travelocity customer first guarantee...
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lou: president trump today wrapped up his summit with chinese president xi jinping in florida. deep differences remain on trait to core ror. but there was no sign that in the president's public remarks there was any disappointment at all. >> the relationship developed by president xi and myself i think is outstanding. we look forward to being together many times in the future. i believe lots of potentially bad problems will be going away. progress has been made. lou: progress has been made. senator vanlds paul criticizing the decision by the president to launch missile strikes against a syrian air base without congressional approval.
>> the president doesn't have the authority under the constitution to inpushate war. what we are doing now is illegal and unconstitutional, and the ram if i quaitions could be extreme. lou: joining me to discuss this and more, washington times opinion editor, fox news contributor charlie hurt and gayle trotter. let me start if i may with what senator paul was saying. despite the almost universal acclaim for having shown strong, decisive leadership. the senator wanted him to go to the senate for approval to congress. your reaction to the senator's concerns. gayle: senator paul has good instincts. the president should work with congress on these issues. but president obama wasted no
time, he's a man of action and decisive leader. if you use chemical weapons on children, we'll lower your airfield to a pile of rubble. that is what should have bee done. it was the right decision it's a stark contrast with the foreign policy of leading from behind where the professorial red line drawn by president obama was ignored. senator paul has the wrong application to this issue. lou: the contrast is so magnified. here president trump did not threaten, he did not talk about what he would do. he did it. and he did it because in his judgment as he arctic late it, bashar al-assad crossed many lines in his words. the id