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tv   Shepard Smith Reporting  FOX News  July 5, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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wish her the best. all of the special guests joining me on the five today, going to join me, we'll have special news about spike. thanks for joining us. here's trais gallagher for shep. >> trace: days before president trump's sitdown with putin, moscow finds interest self fending off new accusations. britain says this poisoning face involves the same nerve agent as used on a former russian spy. plus a race against the rain with a dozen children trapped in a cave, monsoons threatening to raise floodwaters. if pumps can keep up, rescuers might have a shot at getting the children to safety. we will get you an update from thailand. new word of possible front runners to take the seat on the supreme court. that's all ahead this hour. ♪
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>> trace: trace gallagher for shepherd smith. u.k. blaming russia for a poisoning in evening land. the same powerful tox that i know nearly killed an ex-russian spy and his daughter months ago. and just miles away. the kremlin denying involvement and accusing the british government of playing dirty political games. this all comes about a week and a half before president trump is set to meet with russian president vladimir putin. the poison couple is alive but in critical condition after friend said she showed up at their apartment as paramedics were bringing the woman out on a stretcher. >> charlie came out, and he said that she was complaining about a headache. so she went to have a bath and then she heard something there, she was on the floor having a fit and foaming at the mouth.
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>> trace: imagine foaming at the mouth. paramedics said it would be a while before they could see her in the hospital so they went out for food. >> we went back to his flat where he was packing stuff to get ready to go up to the hospital. and that's when he started sweating really badly. he had a you shoer, and started acting weird. she said he thought he had been poisoned. then she wassing roing against the wall making funny noises. his eyes were wide open dplazed and pin ed. making peered noises. so i was -- making weird noises i was speaking to him. . >> trace: investigators don't have any evidence the couple was targeted. live to benjamin hall in london. >> hi, trace. while authorities are trying to do is connect the two cases. try to find out how this new couple came in contact with the same nerve agent. is there any more of this out
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there. two main pieces of evidence, we have the same soviet era chemical, very toxic. and it was used eight miles away from where other couple was poisoned. police joining it, and we're seeing diplomatic the spas between russia and the u.k. a number of locations have been searched today, tests confirm the toxin was the same one. six other sites where the victims visited before falling ill have been cordoned off and haz-mat teams are going in. the couple charlie and dawn fell ill at a house on saturday and remain in critical condition. police say there was nothing in the background to suggest they were targeted but took police about four days to identify the toxin. what they thought at first it was con tam nalted drug due to their lifestyle and put a warning out. they quickly identified the toxin, they had experience with it in the past. now they're at the same hospital
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as the skripels were contacted. >> trace: if you could, sman what police are saying about this now. explain for us. >> one of the things they're looking at is how the new couple came in contact with it. the thing they said they told the public to avoid any containers, suspicious con spainers. the chemical would have been washed away, if it was outside. they go on the assumption is that perhaps whoever carried out the skripel poisoning left a sample and the couple came across it. the skripels are out of critical condition, many thought they wouldn't do. they're being protected, hidden by the british government for their own safety. the new poisoning will serve as a reminder to the international community of the aggressive actions we've seen by russia, a week before the nato summit meets to discuss in part russian aggression.
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president trump will be meeting with vladimir putin, and he expelled 60 russian diplomats after the skripel poisoning. they will to have discuss this a week and a half from now in helsinki. >> trace: benjamin hall, thank you. more rain on the way in thailand as rescuers race to drain water from a cave where a dozen boys and their coach have been stuck for nearly two weeks. teams have been working to pump water out of tunnels, but a firefighter says the water is up to the ceiling in some spots. they need diving gear to get to safety a commander on-scene says some of the volunteers accidentally pumped what thor into the cave when they were trying to drain it. we're getting a look inside the cave 12 days after they went missing of the youngest having 11 years old, the oldest 16. rescuers have been putting diving masks on the kids so they
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can practice just in kachls the boys are in relatively good health but doctors warn they could have psych lonl cal issues from their time cooped up in the cave. al jex rossie has been covering this for sky news, he said the water levels are starting to go down. >> you can see ho much water is coming out of the caves. these pumps are working constantly and we're told in some areas the levels have been reduced by about 40%. there is still one section, one of the most difficult parts, about 800 meters long, still completely sub americaned, making a dive for the children completely untenable. there is a break in the weather, not forecast until saturday. the authorities are unlikely to make a decision about what to do for at least another 24 hours. >> trace: that is alex rossie reporting from thailand. a live look at the scene, that's
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where workers tonight even at 2:00 in the morning and the work nowhere near complete. let's get to greg, he has more on the continuing rescue eferbts. greg? >> trace, one of the options for rescuing the 12 boys and their soccer coach are good but they're all being looked at. one thing being looked at, one approach being considered is to drill a tunnel into the mountain side to reach the boys in the cave. the boys at one point thought they heard sounds above them, they're looking for some type of opening. landscape is being combed by a rescue team. the other approach simply waiting it out, waiting for the rains to stop which are about to start in a couple of days. and the flooding to subside. many experts are suggesting this, many experts say that could take months, maybe until october. why the focus continues to be on having the boys and their coach swim their way out.
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13 sets of diving gear have been ready, as many as three dives would be with them, as each one came out. the water is high, the cave is narrow. that's why everything is being done, trace, just to bring the water level down to get them out safely. tlg i have been watching the video inside the cave at face value, the boys look to be okay. what else do we know about their condition? >> overall, in fact, considering everything that they have been through, they are in pretty good shape. they're getting a lot of help right now. there are as many as seven rescue team members with them all the time at any given time. they're being swapped out, provided food and medicine. but at least two, maybe three of the boys are suffering from malnutrition. remember, they went for nine days without any food. they're said to be in a weakened state. that's why officials say if they are brought out in this dramatic way, that not all might not come
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out at the same time. the stronger ones would come out, the weaker ones after they gain strength would come out. trace, you can be absolutely guaranteed, no one will be left behind. the whole world is watching. back to you. >> trace: the whole world is watching. some of these young soccer players have been asking about the world cup scores. greg, live in london, thank you. the interviews are apparently over and now it's up to the president to pick his nominee for the supreme court. we're hearing news about possible front runners, but some conservatives are apparently none too pleased about one of them. and we will explain why. that's next. truecar is great for finding new cars. you're smart, you already knew that. but it's also great for finding the perfect used car.
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don't wait. call today to request your free [decision guide], and find the aarp medicare supplement plan to go the distance with you. go long. fight over so-called sanctuary laws that protect undocumented immigrants. the federal judge in california ruled the trump administration cannot block two state laws. the judge put a third law on hold. president trump administration argued california is allowing dangerous criminals to stay on the streets. state officials say sanctuary laws create trust between immigrants and law enforcement of the judge says his ruling was not political, writing, quoting, there is no place for politics in our jukishl system and this one pin will neither define or solve the complicated immigration issues currently facing our nation. president trump narrowing down his search for the next supreme court justice, sources tell fox news the president plans to announce his pick monday night.
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according to sources president trump and his vetting team focus on three possible candidates. we will have more on them in a moment. president trump is choosing somebody to fill justice anthony kennedy's seat, a crucial swing vote on major issues including abortion and gay rights. his retirement means the court will be split four liberal and four conservatives of the president has a chance to give conservatives the majority. let's get to the chief white house correspondent john roberts live at the white house. >> one thing for sure of those on the short list or expanded list of interviewees or the full list 265 judges he released last november not a one would be considered to be a swing vote on the supreme court. all rock solid conservatives. sources are telling fox news the frontrunneror co-frontrunner is brett cavanaugh. he is an extensive record on the d.c. circuit court of appearance, very powerful court
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of apier peels. the d.c. circuit court of appeals, cavanaugh leaving his home this morning, for work or the gym, looking at his shoes. the d.c. court of appeals, called the farm team, justices roberts, scalia, thomas, ginsburg and others are alum night d.c. circuit. he was appointed by president bush, worked in the bush white house, later in the counsel's office. in the 1990s penaled most of ken starr's report of the big knock on cavanaugh, a 2011 opinion that he wrote on obamacare where he said the court did not hit have the jurisdiction to decide the matter. some conservatives say that paved the way for the salvation of obama came at the supreme court. other conservatives say that is an unfair reading of his opinion that, he didn't like obama one bit and paved the day for the
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dissenting opinion in that supreme court case. another frontrunner is said to be brett kethledge. he's from the sixth circuit court of appeals. he is a bush appointee. like brett cavanaugh, he is in his early 50s, both can serve on the supreme court for decades. unlike brett cavanaugh whoette went to nail law school, justice kethledge is a wolverine, university of michigan. his judicial record is not as comprehensive as cavanaugh. judge jamie barrett is drawing fire from democrats who fear she would overturn roe vs. wade. her support for overturning judicial precedent if she believes they were erroneously decided. i'm told the president would like to appoint a would map and nominating her would effectively put democratic senators like joe manchin, joe donnely and tim cain into a box they voted to
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confirm her last year. regardless of who the president nominates, there's going to be a big battle in congress over the confirmation. as you pointed out at the top, trace, this would 'ment a 5-4 conservative majority in the court for decades, years if not decades to come. listen to maryland senator benl carden speaking about this. >> clearly the president is looking at a list prepared by an extreme group that has an agenda that really wants to just ratify the president's policies. i think what the american people need to be concerned about is we're talking about changing the balance on the intreem court that's going to affect their rights. a woman's right of choice, worker rights, consumer rights. >> we may have a progress report from the president tonight at a campaign rally in the great state of montana. but we're going to be introduced to the president's nominee to replace justice kennedy on the
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supreme court at 9:00 monday night. >> trace: former executive from this network works at the white house. >> bill shooin, former co-president of fox news, signed on as deputy communications. i've run into shine on many occasions at the white house and around the neighborhood, always told me it's not done yet. well earlier this afternoon it was done and he's accompanying the president on the trip to montana. trace? >> trace: john roberts, live, thank you. more on the supreme court frontrunner, and why some republicans are pushing for a candidate considered a long shot, senator mike lee is next. ♪motorcycle revving ♪ motorcycle revving ♪motorcycle revving ♪ motorcycle revving ♪ no matter who rides point, ♪ there are over 10,000 allstate agents riding sweep.
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>> trace: now more on president trump's search for a new supreme
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court justice, elena treen is a reporter for axeas. the interviews are all done, appears that president trump is likely going to pick the person that he feels the most comfortable with, personally, which has been the modus operandi for the in the a lot of the things he has chosen. >> exactly. something that you hear president trump say quite often is that we had great personal chemistry. i think we got along, hit it off well. that's something that the president kind of relies on. and stems from his business background. he gets inside the room with some one, the way that he feels, he likes to go off of that. ultimately, sources tell us that that will be what it comes to now that he narrowed it down to the top three contenders, kethledge, kavanaugh, and coney barrett. >> trace: the last several days brett kavanaugh has been in position one, you listen to the analysts.
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now raymond kethledge is moving up though some say his resume is much thinner. is that a fair assessment from what you hear? >> well, from what sources are telling us rg that kethledge is not as well known in the conservative movement which is something that i think concerns some people on the right. but at the same time there are concerns of kavanaugh as well a lot of conservatives are worried about his background and his record on healthcare and abortion as well as that he worked with the former bush administration. as we know president 2ru6r7 hates all things bush. with both of them, some areas where the president is a bit uncertain. but he has been, as wee recently as today, talking to aids and seeking advice on both of these candidates. it does look like kavanaugh and kethledge are the most in front, the two front runners. then of course amy coney barrett as well. >> trace: and for clarity, john roberts touched on it, the controversy with kavanaugh that some conservatives believe he set the table, he wrote the road
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map, if you will, that led to obamacare passing. others say that's absolute nonsense that he did not do that. it appears that that kind of has taken its toll. now, it seems like his momentum has at least slowed a little bit. it has a bit. and you're right, john roberts reported earlier a lot of people are pointing to that decision. worried that some one like kavanaugh, who is very conservative, is expected to vote the way that the president and several republicans want him to. you never really know what will happen when they're actually on the court, when they fill that vacancy, and it comes down to a different case. you look at abortion, healthcare. and these are issues that are making people nervous and prompting people like senator ted cruz to come out and say, you know, senator make lee, other candidates, seem to be the most, more sure option they'll vote along with the conservative ideology.
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>> trace: senator mike lee said he had an interview with the president, and some are saying it wasn't an interview, the president was using senator lee to get his opinion on who he thinks might be the best pick. what are the odds of a mike lee being the dark horse in this race? >> from what sources close to trump tell us, mike lee is definitely the senator, a bit of a long shot, he was on the list but not really on the short list or top contender throughout thes proper is. but i do think that senator ted cruz does raise a point he is very conservative and he does settle some of those fears that people on the right have. but at the same time the president also, remember mike lee didn't vote for trump in the 2016 election, he voted for an independent candidates what he called a protest vote that. 's something the president doesn't forget and i'm sure it's coming no play. >> trace: you look at amy coney barrett, brett kavanaugh, and
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raymond kethledge they're in their late 40s, early 50s, they could be on the court for years and years to come. this is a battle in the senate. good of you, elena treen, thank you. >> trace: fox urgent, immigration rights activist pleading not guilty in new york city this morning after police say she climbed the statue of liberty and refused to come down for hours. it happened yesterday on the fourth of july. police say the woman was protesting the trump administration zero tolerance policy on immigration, specifically parents and children getting separated at the southern u.s. border. emergency officials evacuated all liberty island where the statue is located. many tourists were there for the holidays and officers say it took nearly three hours to reach the climber and bring her down. she is reportedly part of a group called rise and resist. members had been holding an immigration protest on liberty island but they say this woman decided to scale lady liberty on her own.
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she's facing multiple charges including trespassing and disorderly conduct. another fox urgent, 17 people dead and dozens injured after two fireworks explosions in mexico. that's the latest from the government officials down there. video shows smoke rising from the scene outside mexico city. the area known for producing fireworks. the victims include first responders who raced to the scene. again, fireworks exploding in mexico, killing at least 17 people. well, secretary of state mike pompeo is in the air headed back to north korea. the latest step in intense noergss to stop that country's nuclear program. our next guest warns words will only go so far. what she says the secretary of state must demand to make the talks turn into actions. you might take something for your heart... or joints. but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish,
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>> trace: more of today's headlines. rescuers saving people stuck on a ferry in independent 23450esia after the boat began taking on water and more than 30 people died. more than 100 people made it to safety, the boat began sinking in rough seas so the captain headed for a nearby island crashing in the shallows. officials say the move probably saved lives. people climbed down ropes to get off the boat. part of a whiskey distyry in kentucky collapsing and leaving what a spokesman called a mountain of bourbon barrels. the rest of the building fell nearly two weeks ago, about 35 miles south and east of loo youville. nobody was hurt a seal catching a ride with boaters in british columbia to avoid killer whales. with its said the whales came right up to the boat but could not reach the seal. the boat captain gave the seal a lift to a safer spot. the news continues after this.
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>> trace: secretary of state mike pompeo traveling to north
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korea to find out how serious kim jong-un was when he committed to getting rid of the country's nukes. pom pea owe has said president trump would not accept anything but complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. but since the meeting last month the neat meeting has changed to fully, verifiable denuclearization. the trump administration seems to be stepping back from the all or nothing approach. heather nauert says nothing is further from the truth and the administration is committed to a complete deknee clue arization. tara is poll i advisor for the extreme project. heather nauert saying nothing has changed. feels like we're a little softer on north korea than previously. >> we are. there have been mixed messages coming out of the administration in all fairness.
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you have john bolton coming out with certain statements. the spokesperson at the state department, heather nauert, and you have trump tweeting with a more positive tone. the administration wants the sum to it look successful, they want to it appear like a win. what i'm concerned about, is the north koreans have been saying a lot of things and the trump administration has been praising them for what they're saying. what i want to see come out of the meetings with pompeo are written deadlines and declarations of what the north koreans have as the first step. and the time line about what is going to happen and what is going to be destroyed or turned over. key to this verification, what inspectors are allowed in, ho frequently. all of this has not been working out. we're nowhere near even the starting point for a genuine phased approach here. >> trace: a lot of people said that, tara, we need defined terms of agreement. this thing has to be laid automatic boom, a, b, c, d.
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south korea, we're battling that, they prefer doing this in steps, right, negotiating in steps so that it's not an all or nothing approach. so is it all or nothing or is there may be some happy medium that both sides can live with. >> you're right, there's a happy medium. i'm not against the phased approach. you need a step by step approach. how you build goodwill, establish trust, but you need the koreans following up with what they're saying they're going to do. what do they have, where are the facilities, how many missiles do they declare and are they telling the truth. intelligence reports were disturbing, the north koreans have reportedly saying they're going to be misleading or engaging in deception about what they have. step one, ra they being transparent. and then step two what are they willing to yield in. it's not going to be everything all at once. this is going to take months to even get a small progress.
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>> step one has to be something, tara, they have done nothing so far. >> nothing. >> step one is not going far enough, they have done nothing. step one has done nothing. has to be something for us to give them a carrot, they have to give us something in return. >> and the carrot can take many forms, it can be aid in exchange for the north koreans doing x. the carrot can be sanctionsle relief in exchange for the north koreans doing y. this is how you start the process. at the end of the day you do need to get to a point where you reach the united states goal of verifiable nuclear disarmament. at least from the trump administration perspective and what most people have been pushing on, that would mean complete, ver niable, and irreversible. that's going to be years, even if it's a success story. the trump administration should be reigning in expectations and focused on the incremental baby steps that need to start to have trust to get to that point years from now.
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>> trace: give me a letter grade, how so far do you grade this thing a, b, c, d, f? how's it going? >> i don't love giving grades but i don't want to deflect your question. i think all of the administrations, not just the trump administration, are getting low grades. we haven't seen progress. i do think it was good to try diplomacy, to have the summit. i wasn't basking in the administration for making that attempt. but we shouldn't mistake diplomacy for denuclearization. they're not doing any better or worse than previous negotiations. we have seen the ebb and flow of the north koreans over time. agree to things, disagree to things, cheat on things they agree to. i think it's too early to give it a grade. if pompeo leaves with a real deadline timetable and if the north koreans really make serious declarations about the nuclear materials they hold, if they're honest and in alignment with what our intelligence community assesses they have, the grade will go up from the cb
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minus range to the b plus range. >> you're at a solid c, i think. good of you to join us. >> thank you. >> trace: before secretary of state mike pompeo arrives in pyongyang athletes from north and south korea playing friendly basketball games there. the dictator kim jong-un a fan of basketball. so far he has been a no-show. well, the u.s. will begin taxing chinese products minutes after midnight eastern time unless there's a last-minute trade deal. beijing threatening to retaliate immediately with its own taxes on american products including soy beans and suvs. bloomberg reports a u.s. car go ship is on its way to china as we speck with soy beans, heading up through the yellow sea. if it stays on schedule, the cargo should clear chinese customs right before the new tariffs take effect. if not all of the soy beans could be taxed at 25%.
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hillary vaughn from the fox business network is here with more on that. 25% if you miss it by a couple of minutes. >> right, trace f china is correct and promising to punch back against president trump enforcing their own $34 billion in tariffs, this cargo ship will be too late. the office of u.s. trade representatives say they're hitting chinese goods 8 1/2 hours, one minute after midnight. china promises to fire back instantly with more tariffs, targeting 540 different products, ag products, soybean, meet products like beef, poultry. and they're saying corn and crude oil. i talked to a policy representative who represents corn farmers, they're getting hit trace as hardened u.s. ethanol shipments are at a standstill. if china sthandz guy its threat,
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exports will be tacked at 70%, i spoke to an expert who represents grape growers in california, he's also aware of wine shipments being diverted already because of these tariffs. that haven't even hit yet. >> trace: what are the chinese authorities saying? >> they're trying on to make it as difficult as possible to get u.s. goods into the country. i spoke to a large almond exporter, they say that china has shut down all gray routes into the country. indirect routes, a lot of u.s. products make their way through hong kong or vietnam. now all products have to go directly to china, no products slipping through the cracks and making it clear they blaming the u.s. for firing the first shot in the trade fight. saying today, quote, to put it simply the u.s. is opening fire on the entire world including itself. china will not bow down in the face of threats and blackmail will not falter from its determination to defend free trade.
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we'll have to see what happens hours from now. >> trace: oh, my gosh, hold on. thank so much, hillary. breaking news, apparently the epa head, scott pruitt, has now -- i'm sorry, he has resigned? trump just tweeted he is out. that's all we have right now. we know of course that he's been embroiled in controversy for several months no about lis expenses, about this condo that he rented in d.c., just about four days ago that some one walked up to him in a restaurant and said that he should resign. they challenged him. he actually got up and left that restaurant. now the president has tweeted seconds ago, we're still waiting for that tweet, that scott pruitt has, in fact, resigned is the information we're getting. the pressure has been immense. against him, and for his handling of certain deals as well as his handling of expenses. scott pruitt, the epa chief, has
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now resigned. we're still waiting for more information about this. when we get it, we will bring it to you. we're going to look for some more information as well how this happened and the timing. the president has just left to montana, the president is en route to montana. he is over there, trying in montana tonight, trying to actually get rid of the senator jon tester and campaign for matt rosedale. the tweet, i have accepted the resignation of scott pruitt as the administrator of the environmental protection agency. within the agency scott has done an outstanding job and i will always be thankful to him for. this the senate confirmed deputy at epa andrew wheeler. the senate confirmed deputy epa andrew wheeler will apparently replace him. i'm trying to read this off of the thing if we can make it bigger that, would be great. on monday assume duties as acting administrator of the epa,
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i have no doubt andy will continue with the great and lasting epa agenda. we have made tremendous progress and the future of the epa is very bright. again, scott pruitt is out and mr. wheeler is now in. we will get information. trying to get john roberts back up on the north lawn for us. more on this. and, remember, the epa chief scott pruitt has an embroiled in controversies about his expenses. theed a mrs. managers said we went past that and then there was the condominium in d.c., he rented this konld minimum, $50 a night, one room, and apparently that was also controversial because it might have been against the rules. the administration overlooked that. he's been under great pressure from even conservatives saying that the epa chief scott pruitt needs to resign. and now he apparently has resigned. we just did a story couple of days ago on a woman who walked up to him in a restaurant and scott pruitt was sitting there, eating.
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the woman walked up and videotaped it and she posted on it social media, literally reading pruitt the riot act about the list of controversy he was embroiled in and ended by saying you should resign. scott pruitt looked her directly in the eye, did not say a word, but then as she walked back to her table, scott pruitt got up, he walked out of the restaurant, and that was the last we heard of it, until minutes ago when scott prou it resigned. let's get to the chief con congressional correspondent, what are you learning mike? >> talking to folks on capitol hill a lot of republicans, allies of the white house, thought it was time for scott pruitt to go as head of the epa. republicans got tired of defending scott prou it's actions during his time in office. they felt like he did not defend his actions very well. in public settings such as the interview with ed henry on fox. bottom line, a lot of allies of
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thes who who thought enough was enough. we believe there were enough people inside the white house who felt the same way. just the question, was basically here in washington you're always asked, does this person have the confidence of the president of the united states. and quite often in this town they say yes until the person is gone. bottom line, scott pruitt is out. i don't think anybody behind me on capitol hill is terribly surprised. after a series of bad headlines over recent weeks and months making him look bad and reflecting poorly on the trump administration. bottom line, there will be a new epa administrator picked by president trump the i think a lot of republicans on capitol hill will be breathing a sigh of relief. >> trace: mike, we talked about this, for color on this, may have come out of the bloo here, a lot -- blue here. a lot of people and controversy, but yesterday for the fourth of july he was at the white house, he was there, he was -- he seemed in good spirits from
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everybody. and apparently, the decision was made some time this morning. as we said, president trump is now on his way to montana. he is campaigning for matt rosendale there, campaigning against jon tester. the president releasing this tweet above air force one. i want to, if i can, quickly, want to read this, again. i now have it. it says, i have accepted the resignation of scott pruitt as the administrator of the environmental protection agency. within the agency scott has done an outstanding job and will always be thankful to him for. this the senate confirms dep tiff the epa andrew wheeler will on monday assume duties as the acting administrator of the epa. i have no doubt that andy will continue on with our great and lasting epa agenda. we have made tremendous progress. the future of the epa is very bright. mike, do you know anything about andy wheeler at all? i don't want to put you on the spot, do we know anything about andy wheeler? is this unusual for scott
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pruitt, epa, anybody to give their resignation while the president is leaving town, what do we know about the chain of events here, the time line. >> i've heard the name before but i don't know much about him personally. certainly, in many of these situations you know that the principles, if you will, the head of the agency but not so much the second or third layer people who are critical players. and if this person has the confidence of the president, then the president saying to you, this is my guy, at least for now, going forward the epa will be in good hands. i should be fair to scott pruitt, a lot of conservatives think that what he was doing on the job was very helpful in advancing the trump administration agenda. perhaps that is why president trump held on to him for this long. there were a lot of people saying, essentially, the headlines are bad about this guy. doesn't look good. including some suggesting that he was trying to push out the attorney general, jeff sessions. then he had to defend against
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those comments as well. scott pruitt is on his way out of town. the president saying the epa will be in good hands. we'll see if this acting person gets the job permanently or whether there's somebody else the president has in mind for this high profile post. >> trace: great point, the president himself has many times said scott pruitt is doing a heck of a be just a moment. i want to go to john roberts live for us on the north lawn. we just talking to you a few minutes ago. is this a surprise? was this anticipated? i know he's been embroiled in controversy. this resignation at this time. >> i think it sort of is the case by death by a thousand self-inflicted wounds. i had breakfast with the epa administrator a couple of weeks back in which we went over all of the allegations against him. without going into a lot of detail because it was an off the record breakfast, he maintained his innocence saying there were simple explanations for the things that had been dug up
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about him. certainly, it's something that has raised concern with the white house over the months. just the other day, hogan gidley the deputy press secretary said it was troublesome, the latest news from scott pruitt that, he personally approached the president asking him to fire jeff sessions and appoint him as the attorney general. i was told by scott pru that it that conversation never happened about the it was 100% false. but i do have scott pruitt gave he his resignation letter that he sent to the president. mr. president, it has been an horor to serve you in the cabinet as administrator in the epa. this has enabled me to advance your agenda beyond what anyone anticipated. your courage, steadfast commitment to get results for the american people with regard to improved environmental outcomes as well as historical regulatory reform is a fact occurring at an unprecedented pace and i thank you for the
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opportunity to serve you and the american people in helping to achieve those ends. helping to achieve those ends, sorry. that is why it is hard to advise you i'm stepping down as atd mrs. or of the epa effective july 6. it is extremely difficult for me to satisfies serving you, first i count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity but because of the transformative work that's occurring. the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family are unprecedented. and have taken a sizable toll on all of us. my desire in service to you has always been to bless you as make important decisions for the american people. i believe you are serving as president today because of god's providence. i believe that same prove dents brought me into your service. i pray as i have served you that i have blessed you and enabled you to lead the american people. thank you for the honor of serving you and wish you god's speed in all that you put your hand to. that was a personal message from
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scott pruitt, to the president. again, it's kind of death by a thousand cuts here. most of themself-inflicted, just because of the nature of the news that was out, always swirling around scott pruitt. most recently the idea that he reached out to the president personally to ask him to appoint him attorney general. again, scott prou it said that was 100% false. another story that he had asked his staff to try to get his we a high-paying job in the $200,000 range. it was true there was too much of a swirl of negative news for this to last much longer. and i think he probably had a conversation with the president, i'm surmising here, to say it's become a distraction here, probably better if i step down. andrew wheeler, deputy over at the epa, has been senate confirmed, will take over for the interim as epa administrator. >> one other thing, trace, in all of the stories written about
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scott pruitt, there was one that really seemed to unfairly touch a member of his family. that was his daughter who had applied to the university of virginia school of law back in early november of 2016. it was written in a very prom innocent news paper that scott pruitt used his influence as the epa administrator to getler into law school. it turned out that publication had the wrong date on a letter of reference from a virginia, former virginia legislator. and that she had applied to law school before the election. she was accepted to law school before he was nominated, before pruitt was nominated to be the epa administrator. all of this swirl, i believe, is a correspondent, as journalist, as a reporter, unfairly subsequent up his daughter. but had a significant impact on her. again, back to scott pruitt, there was just too much swirling
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around him. as much as the president appreciated what he was doing at the epa. >> trace: and you said, you know, he talked about his family and his family being fed up with this step. john roberts stand by. andy wheeler, those who don't know, the acting epa corrector, a lawyer, lobbyist by trade, he said senate confirmed. he previously served as co-leader of the energy practice at the law firm of thager baker daniels. wheeler was previously aid to u.s. senator james imhoff and staffer on environmental and public works. wheeler is a consider it chiropractic of nationwide limits on greenhouse gas emissions. and has supported the continued use of fossil fuels. that of course is a key push for the administration, limiting greenhouse gas not high on their agenda. wheeler follows in the steps of scott pruitt, also against greenhouse gas emissions
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limiting nationwide limits to greenhouse gas emissions and supporting the continued use of fossil fuels. in october 2017 wheeler was nominated by the president to become the deputy administrator. he was, as john said, he was confirmed by the senate. now he will be the acting epa director in the short time. and you go back to john roberts talking about the letter that scott pruitt gave the president and the personal note. we talked about when we first heard that scott pruitt resigned. yesterday afternoon he was at the fourth of july barbecue, in good spirits, having a good time. then he goes on in this letter saying here's the picture of the fourth of july yesterday, the event at the white house, scott pruitt with his family there. and you talk about the pressure that was put upon him. as we talked about, somebody walked in, who is a self-proclaimed liberal activist, walked into a restaurant he was eating at, and literally called him on the carpet.
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when went after him, she had her 2-year-old in her arms. there's the video. pruitt is having, he's having lunch there and this woman goes after him and goes after him, calmly, after scott pruitt with a list of grievance she is has against him. the entire time scott pruitt looked at her directly in the eye and never said a single word. she turned around and walked with her child to the other side of the restaurant and scott pruitt got up and walked out of the restaurant. then this letter saying, with what has been put upon his daughter, some of these stories inaccurate against his daughter, calling her out, the scandal at the condominium in d.c., all of these travel expenses. and now, you have people calling him out in restaurants, and one wonders do you get to the point, if mike emanuel is still with us, mike you still standing by? you get to a point mike emanuel, where you say enough is enough and i think i'm going to go backnd live my life with my family.
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. no question about that, you see people come to the town with big ambitions in terms of getting things done for the american people. they make a misstep or two or five or ten and it takes a tremendous toll on your loved ones, takes a tremendous toll on your family life. and these days we're seeing high profile officials with the trump administration going into restaurants, can't even have a meal in peace when you have sarah huckabee sanders turned away from a restaurant in virginia, scott pruitt at a low key luncheon in town confronted by somebody at the table. critics will talk about a lack of civility in the politics. but bottom line, when you are under intense scrutiny, under intense pressure, certainly this town can chew you up and spit you out pretty quickly. scott pruitt is not clear whether he was asked to submit his resignation or did it willfully. but appear those he has had enough and president trump has had enough for sure. >> stand by if you works i want
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to bring in the national security correspondent, jennifer griffin, with more information about the inspector general's report and how it ties in. >> remember, there are 14, at least 14 federal probes into scott pruitt's behavior as epa chief. it's my understanding it was today that a letter was sent by representative don bear of virginia and ted loou have california, two democrats, writing to the even spector general of the epa asking for an investigation into a new report that scott pruitt and his aids that he had authorized his aids to actually whitewash his calendar, change federal records, concerning meetings that he had with coal executives and others that might have been embarrassing to the epa administrator. of course any sort of change to federal records is against the law. so that would have been actually
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more than just these sort of drip, drip, drip of reports of unethical behavior. this would have been against the law. that letter was sent to the epa inspector and may have been the tipping point that caused the president to either request or accept scott pruitt's resignation. until now it looked like pruitt was planning to fight all of these probes. 14 federal probes into his behavior as epa chief. i believe this letter from two democrats on the hill this morning to the epa inspector general may have been the tipping point. >> trace: what is the status, if scott pruitt resigns and goes back to pry sat life, do the probes continue or do the probes immediately end? >> i think that in the case of this letter to the inspector general, the inspector general will have to look into this complaint. his deputy chief of staff has gone the record suggesting there
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were meetings in conference rooms where they would take his calendars, his aids would arace certain meetings, would change -- erase certain meetings. that is against the law. i think that once that process is started, the inspector general would have to look into it. if a law is broken, then i believe that that will continue to daunt -- to follow scott pruitt, even though he submitted his resignation. >> trace: yeah, geoff jennifer griffin, live, thank you. i want to go back quickly to make emmanuel. we know that andy wheeler is the acting epa administrator. the question is what's next, is it seem like it's common policy for the acting to become permanent or will there be some kind of battle up on capitol hill within the white house to bring somebody in, who might be, you know, better suited for this role? >> great question. we'll just to have wait and see. the good news for wheeler, he
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has the job at least on an interim basis. if he comes in and does a great job, the president is pleased with him, he has been senate confirmed. these days that's not a guarantee, things are polarized behind me, senate confirmation isn't a shoo-in. but it's easier if the administration says you confirmed him to another post we want him for the top post. bottom line, hard to know what president trump is thinking at this point. he's saying it's in good hands at least for now and the epa mission will continue at this point. something to watch in the weeks ahead. >> trace: indeed. mike emanuel in washington, thank you. again, the breaking news here, is that the epa chief scott pruitt has resigned. he issued a letter to president trump saying that in fact it just got too much. the pressure on him and his family became too much. he decided to step down. the acting epa director is now andy wheeler who if anybody was
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hoping things at the epa are going to change, they will be sadly mistaken. things will stay on the very same path. neil cavuto will continue the breaking news coverage. i'm trace gallagher for shepherd smith, see you tomorrow. >> neil: in the case of scott pruitt it wasn't a matter of if it was when. today was the day. the ema chief under barrage of criticism for expense reports, and extravagances that went way beyond the cabinet level position. you just heard from jennifer, may have gone beyond certain lee qualities, that much we don't know. this much we do. he is history. and now, the question is what happens? especially for a guy who shepherded this anti-regulatory push that went after things that were near and dear to environmental interests and those concerned that the epa was being a bit too aggressive. that we're told won't change. just the guy who ran the agency.