tv Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX News April 16, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
right there. >> you haven't eaten those yet. chris: north korea defies the world with a missile test that explodes just after launch. as president trump shows a new willingness to project u.s. force. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> north korea is a problem, the problem will be taken care of. chris: we will report from pyongyang as they celebrate birthday of founder. vice president pence visits south korea amid growing tensions and thousands of isis fighters are being killed as the military unleash it is mother of all bombs in afghanistan. >> really another successful job. we are proud of our military. chris: we will discuss president
trump's decisions as commander in chief with deputy national security adviser k.t. mcfarland and as russia, iran and syria warn the u.s., we will break down the president's military and diplomatic options with the chair of the house armed services committee mac thornberry and we will ask the panel about reports and the president is siding with moderate advisers against steve bannon and the populists, all right now on fox news sunday. hello again, happy passover from fox news in washington. the u.s. and north korea are continuing their tense standoff this weekend with a kim regime showing off advanced long-range missiles and conducting a missile test that exploded on launch while president trump threatens to, quote, solve the problem. in a few minutes we will talk with k.t. mcfarland, second in command at the national security
council about north korea and other hot spots but we begin with team fox coverage. kristin fisher traveling with the president in west palm beach, but first greg live from pyongyang in north korea, greg. >> chris, celebrations marking the anniversary of the birth date of the founder of this country ended with a dud this weekend, sunday morning north korea time, a missile blew up at launching this according to u.s. and south korean authorities. now just a couple of hours prior to that, we watched dozens of missiles in pyongyang including a medium-range solid-fuel missile which could have been the type used in that launch on the east coast of the country. if successful, it would have threatened the u.s. ally japan as well as some 35,000 u.s. service members there. now there were some speculation that the missile was a victim of a u.s. cyber-attack.
it has been done in the past, but they're also failures. now, the regime of kim jong un has no comment regarding the launch or the failure, one official admitted to me a short while ago, however, these kinds of mistakes can happen. now a missile launch or a nuclear detonation was expected to mark that anniversary date but there was new speculation that this could have been timed ahead of the arrival in south korea today of vice president pence in south korea where launches are monitored and flight control center and four officials said that the launch and military parade were a threat to the whole world. the trump administration demanding that north korea give them up. official we have been speaking with here show no sign of pulling back. they brushed off the threat of more sanctions and they say they would fight off any preemptive
military strike. as for young north korean leader, kim jong un, he has been in office for just over five years, it looks like he is someone to be reckon with. chris. chris: greg palkot reporting live from pyongyang, greg, thanks for that. let's bring in kristin fisher with reaction from the white house. kristin. >> chris, the reaction from the white house has been very restrained, no tweets from the president, the first response came from defense secretary jim mattis, he put out a very short statement that reads, quote, the president and his military team are aware of north korea's unsuccessful missile launch. the president has no further comment. now, the vice president was in the air and on the way in south korea when the failed missile took place. he was briefed on board air force two and landed in seoul nine hours later where he told american and south korean troops that their courage and valuer -- valor are needed now more than ever. >> the provocation from the
north is just a latest reminder of the risks each one of you face every day in the defense of the freedom of the people of south korea and the defense of america in this part of the world. >> from south korea, the vice president will travel to japan, indonesia, australia to assure north korea's nervous neighbor that is the u.s. has their back, reinforce diplomatic promises, the pentagon is sending military muscle, right now a nuclear-powered strike group is steaming toward the korean peninsula, the president calls it an armada. it was a show of force just like the force that dropped the mother of all bombs in afghanistan and 50 tomahawk missiles at a syrian air base, the question now, is how does president trump handle a nuclear power led by a man that's even more unpredictable than he is? chris. chris: kristin, thank you.
joining us from west palm beach, national security adviser and a familiar figure to fox viewers k.t. mcfarland. welcome to fox news sunday. >> great to be back on fox news, chris, thank you. chris: what is the president's reaction to the failed missile launch and open defiance of president trump's warnings? >> look, it's not a surprise, even in the last year president -- kim of north korea has launched over 30 missiles, most of them have failed. it wasn't as a surprise to us. we were expecting something particularly surrounding the birth of his grandfather i. wasn't a surprise. i briefed president trump on it last night. we saw it for what it was. secretary mattis issued the statement. the president doesn't have any further comment on this particular launch attempt. chris: is he distressed or upset that they've ignored his warnings? >> no. no. and let me sort of preface this by saying, at the beginning of
the administration in january president trump asked national security council, asked me to chair a series of meetings, that's my job as the number two on the national security council. i go to all agencies and departments, defense department, state department, military and say what tr options here and that's what we did, with north korea we did a big-wide study and we directed the intelligence communities and others, come up with things that you haven't thought of before, think outside the box. they came back with some really interesting suggestions, sanctions, diplomatic things we could do, secondary sanctions we could do and obviously military options and we presented them to the president, he was pleased with it and that allowed him when he went to the -- when he went to mar-a-lago for the summit with the chinese president to talk about north korea and they spent a lot of time talking about north korea, the chinese president has a lot of influence over north korea, china provides some 85% of their
food, their transportation fuel, cooking fuel. they have a lot of economic influences as well as other influences and the two presidents talked about how china might help along with other efforts taken with allies. chris: i have to ask you another question first, did the u.s. sabotage this missile? >> now, chris, you know we can't talk about secret intelligence and things that might have been done, operations that might have happen so i don't have no comment nor should i pch -- chris: should the kim regime consider that a possibility? >> the cyber attacks that have occurred in the past from the kim regime when they hacked sony pictures. with any country, major country, we are entering a cyber platform. that's where a lot of the wars of the future are going to be fought.
i don't have a particular comment on what happened with the north korean missile, but it was fizzle. chris: president trump ratcheted it up. if china decides to help, that would be great, if not, we would solve the problem without them, usa. he said this. >> i don't know if he sends a message. it doesn't make any difference if it does or not. north korea is a problem and the problem will be taken care of. chris: despite the tough talk and sending a carrier strike force to the area as we are showing pictures right now, north korea showed up new long-range and conducted test launch, you're talking about the long discussion of options. what is -- does the president do now? >> well, i think in that parade there were a whole number of new missile that is were shown and some canisters, but there
canisters that could have go to the north korea and reach the united states. the threat is upon us. this is something president trump is going to deal with follow the first year but i would also say that as a result of the mar-a-lago summit, the two presidents were meant to have, you know, short conversations, short one-on-one conversations, what they ended up having were several hours of conversations. chris: well, let me talk to you about china because the president has indicated after that that he formed a good relationship with president xi and that he hopes that president xi will help with north korea. there was talk about the fact that china is turning back coal shipments from north korea and threatening to cut off oil supplies, north korea depends, 90% of oil comes from china. on the other hand, trade between the u.s. and north korea is up 37% so far this year over last
year, so my question is, did president trump get a specific commitment from president xi on north korea? >> well, i think -- you didn't mean trade between north korea or the united states? chris: between the two. >> yeah. between china and the united states. well, you know -- chris: trade between north korea and china is up 37%. >> okay. yes. it is. that's why china has the ledge it does have and that's why the two presidents talked about could china use that kind of leverage. the chinese president gave an indication that he would be willing to work with president trump and with other allies to try to see what could be done. we all understand that the korean peninsula should be denuclearized, everybody said it. the question is how do you do it. the chinese have always been
concerned about instability in the korean peninsula and what the president has been able to convey to the chinese president is north korea is no longer an asset. it's a liability to everybody and a threat not just to the united states, not just to south korea, not just to japan, not just to russia but actually a threat to china as well and at this point we have to wait and see. you know, it's like your kids in the back of the car when you're in a long trip, when are we going to get there, in this case, i think we should give the chinese president some opportunities and some time as well as pursuing the economic and diplomatic pressure that is we have and our allies have that we can bring to bear on north korea. chris: all right, i have a limited time. i will remind of your job and ask you to give me specific answers here. during the campaign, mr. trump talked about getting along with vladimir putin and cracking down on china but this week he flipped 180-degrees on both. here are a couple of clips.
>> right now we are not getting along with russia at all. we may be at an all-time low in terms of relationship with russia. i have really gotten to like and respect as you know president xi is a terrific person, we spent a lot of time together in florida and he's a very special man. chris: again, i need a quick answer, is that good for the president to shift so dramatically and so quickly on both china and russia? >> well, first of all, the president is now -- president trump has spent a lot of time with president xi, he has gotten to know him and understand what his priorities are and shared what our priorities are and he has not met with vladimir putin. the secretary has said, secretary tillerson that our relationship depends on russia, we would like to have a good relationship with russia but russia has been doing some things whether in syria, whether it's with american democracy that we really -- we take very seriously, so the ball is in their court. we love a great relationship
with them but it's up to them to take those first steps and to stop taking the steps that could potentially adversely affect us. chris: this week the u.s. dropped the largest none -- nonnuclear bomb in our arsenal, largest used in combat in afghanistan killing dozen of isis fighters. here was president trump's explanation. >> what i do is i authorize my military. we have the greatest military in the world and they've done a job as usual. we have given them total authorization and that's what they're doing and frankly that's why they've been so successful lately. chris: but k.t., while that apparently was a success, there's been tragic mistakes just this week, 18 syrian allies who are rebels who were allies of us were killed in a friendly fire incident by u.s. forces. the question some people are asking, is the white house exercising enough oversight?
>> well, first of all, what the president saw -- what we all saw when we came into office was that the previous administration had a lot of decision that is should have been made by the battlefield commanders, they were being made by the west-wing of the white house. that's not the right place. the west-wing of the white house doesn't know what the conditions are like or the threats they are facing. president trump has taken a number of steps to delegate that authority back where it belongs, back where it was in the reagan administration frankly, to the battlefield. what you're seeing now is exactly what's happened. sometimes mistakes are being made and we regret any loss of life and specially any of our allies, but on the other hand, it is the battlefield commander's decision to make and we do not have a president who is going to be sitting there picking out bombing targets. he left that to the military and so far with a few tragic exceptions, so far the military has been terrific. look at the syria attack on the -- on the airport that was used by the syrians to deliver those
chemical weapons, that was done completely successfully, it was done quickly and it was done with enormous effect. chris: i want to ask you one last question and we are less than a minute left. michael flynn brought you in as number two national security adviser, there's a new head of nse, general mcmaster, the reports that you are out and you're moving to singapore to be the embassador there, what happened and how do you feel about it? >> well, first of all, president trump hired me and he gave me a call on thanksgiving day to be the deputy national security adviser so i want to set that straight. general flynn has departed and general mcmaster has arrived. i helped through the transition and the president and i have had a number of conversations over the last two months about what my role would continue to be and where i could be best used for what his vision is of foreign policy.
i can tell you we talked about it again last night and there are changes coming but i'm not going to tell you what they are. you got enough secrets out of me this day. chris: k.t., thank you, thanks for your time. >> one more thing, chris, happy easter to you at everybody at fox news and your entire, very large viewing audience. chris: thank you and we wish the same to you and the president's party, thank you for your time this holiday weekend and always good to talk with you, kt. >> next chris. chris: up next we will ask mac thornberry about north korea acm
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chris: a look outside the beltway at jerusalem as christians mark holey week in the old city. the trump administration's launch of two military strikes in less than two weeks is a sharp contrast to barack obama who employed a more cautious approach to the use of force and promised to end america's wars. joining me now here in washington the chair of the house armed services committee congressman mac thornberry. welcome to fox news sunday. >> thanks for having me. chris: what do you make of the events in north korea this week? first of all, that display, that impressive display of weapons, some of which we hadn't seen before and then the launch, yes, failed but still the launch of a ballistic missile despite president trump's warnings. >> well, i think the message was we are strong and we can hurt you. chris: the message from north korea. >> that's what they are trying
to send for us but also japan, south korea and maybe they are trying to send a message to china as well that they, north korea, are not as dependent on china as some of us think. i think we are in a different place with north korea. for years, the father and the grand father would talk tough, maybe launch a missile, but then negotiate for some increased aid of some sort. i think that this guy is not interested in negotiation, he wants to have an ballistic missile with nuclear war head to threaten us and i think he's determined to get it even failed launches tell them something and improve their program. chris: there are a couple of questions i want to ask, first of all, directly, how close is north korea to developing a nuclear weapon that could hit the u.s. homeland? >> well, we know they have nuclear weapons because they have conducted nuclear tests. the question is, how close are they to an intercontinental
ballistic missile that can reach our homeland and the short answer is we don't know, there are various estimates on how long it would take, but again, i have no doubt that they are driving toward that and every test, failure or success, helps them. chris: here is north korea's foreign minister firing back at president trump and his warnings. take a look. >> we are taking into account the most aggressive and dangerous options that the u.s. might come up with and we have also got our options, our countermeasure is ready in our hands which means we will go to war if they choose. chris: you talked about kim jong un, the new young leader although he's been there five years in north korea and he's termed to -- determined to get a nuclear weapon, do you think he's somewhat unstable, he might be willing to go to war with the u.s. to achieve that? >> i don't think he is suicidal, but he is certainly erratic and so the most important thing we
can do is increase our military presence specially our missile defense in that area because we cannot rely on his good judgment to prevent a war. we have to have the military capability there to deny him that ability. chris: i want to talk about president trump's posture on this because i have to say that there was a growing sense of tension, if they don't solve the problem, china, we will and sending the carrier strike force as we say, kim ignored all of that, had this big military parade, had a launch, yes, it failed but he still had the launch and from k.t. mcfarland what you got it was a process, it's going to take a while, let's wait and see with china. does the u.s. have a clear strategy and frankly what are our options and what we can actually do? >> yes, when it comes to north korea, we need to make sure that we are tied with our allies, that's a good reason why vice president pence is there.
we need to keep the pressure on china to rein north korea in and announcements of their restricting coal shipments, for example, is a big step forward. biggest export north korea has is coal to china, but the third and the most important thing is increase our military presence in the region and our military capability overall. remember, china does not want to have the new carrier battle group in their backyard. they are not excited about the missile defense deployments in japan and korea, the answer to china is to get ahold of this guy in north korea and that will reduce the necessity of us increasing military presence. chris: chairman, let's talk realistic about the military threat. if we were to launch a preemptive strike and there's been loose talk on the u.s. about that to take out north korea's missile program or nuclear program, they have thousands, i don't have to tell you of short-range missiles that are on the border, i've been in
that area, dmz and 30-drive mile to seoul, 20 million people, not to mention the 24,000 u.s. troops. if we were to hit them, they would hit back in seoul and it would be a human catastrophe. >> yeah. number one i think it is important. the president said, you don't take options off the table. many mistakes during the obama years was to talk about what you would never do and that just assists your enemy in their calculations, but i also think that if we can continue to encourage china to put pressure, increase our missile -- our military presence in that region, what you may will see is some changes inside north korea without a -- a conflict. now, we can't know for sure. what we do have to know, though, is we have to have the military capability strong enough to prevail if he does something erratic and unexpected.
chris: let me ask you a different part of the equation, how effective is u.s. missile defense both to protect our allies in the region and to protect the u.s. homeland? >> we can knock down missiles, but we need to step on the accelerator to do more for missile defense. it is -- it is remarkable going back to president reagan speech in 1983 there has been political opposition in this country to doing more on missile defense and we've been scraping for more money, both to deploy more of the systems we have and to put research into new systems. we have been fighting that fight during the obama years. this is the time to step up on the gas because it's not just north korea, it's also the iranians as well as others who are pushing for missiles, we need to be able to knock those down. chris: i want to take a bigger 30,000-foot look at this, president trump has authorized the use of force several times in the last two weeks.
he ordered the cruise missile strikes, 59 cruise sis -- missiles in syria, sending a carrier strike force to north korea, question, what message do you think he's send to go allies -- sending to allies and enemies? >> let's step back to context, the obama years saw decrease, not following it up, and cuts to the defense budget of more than 20% since 2010. and during that time, we saw invasion of crimea, the chinese building islands in the south china sea, et cetera, president trump is taking a different approach, thank goodness. he is sending a message that now the united states is going to stand up for our interests and make sure we have the military capability to prevail if we choose to use force. it's a different message than has been given before.
chris: here is my question, is there a strategy behind the use of force? do you know as the chairman of the house armed services committee what our strategy is in syria, in afghanistan, in north korea? >> well, i don't think anybody can set -- sit back and say, okay, i know these events will happen over the next year, two or five but i do think that you are seeing a different approach to the world and it is one where -- that says not only to adversaries but to friends who have had questions about us that we are willing to put the resources into defending ourselves and making the judgments from time to time when it's necessary to use those military resources. that's different than the message that was sent out during the obama years. chris: finally, specially with this increase willingness to use force, does president trump need to go back to congress to get authorization for the use of military authorize and all of the arenas that are far beyond the authorization back in 2001
after 9/11? >> administrations of both parties have used limited force to advance national interest whether it was president reagan bombing gaddafi in '86 or clinton trying to get bin laden in the desert. i believe that we should, however, update the authorization to use military force against the terrorist networks and -- and have been working to try to do that, so if it's sustained, if it involves u.s. boots on the ground and lives, then, it needs to come to congress. if it's limitary military action, then not so much. chris: chairman thornberry, thank you for coming in on this holiday weekend. >> happy easter and happy passover. chris: thank you, same to you, sir. next a group to discuss the rising tension between the u.s. and north korea. plus, what would you like to ask the panel about how the president should handle
>> if you've looked at what's happened over the last eight years -- weeks, compared to what's happened in eight years, you will see the tremendous difference. chris: president trump highlighting on what he believes are better results and it's time now for our sunday group, michael needham, heritage action for america. bob woodward from the washington post. fox news national security correspondent jennifer griffin and former national security council staffer gilian turner. jennifer, let me start with you, what do your sources say over the last 24 hours about this impressive display of military hardware by the military regime and in defiance of president trump? >> i think what's notable, chris, is when i walked out of the bent gone on friday
afternoon it was a pretty relaxed atmosphere over at the pentagon. you didn't see the president travel down the mar-a-lago with his work cabinet, if you will. he did not have his defense secretary with him, he did not have h.r. mcmaster. they know that north korea has not tested an icbm that could reach the u.s., so they had different scenarios, the bottom line is, i think if you look at general mattis' statement, 22 words in length. very short, to the point. the president would have no more comment and what they're pointing out is that that was a medium-ranged missile. it failed, it fizzled and in terms of the parade, we are not really sure what we saw in the parade. i remember when i was a moscow correspondent that we learned decades after we saw the parades in moscow that many of the
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