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tv   Lou Dobbs Tonight  FOX Business  January 7, 2020 10:00pm-11:00pm EST

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appreciate you sticking with me throughout the whole thing. tomorrow night on the show near congressman will be here along with kitty pavlovich and guy benson. they're gonna break down all of the fallout. good night. [♪] lou: good evening, everybody. we have breaking news tonight. iran has retaliated and in that retaliation has struck at a base, a joint base, iraqi base al-asaad in western iraq, 112 miles west of baghdad. reports are at 6 iranian missiles have hit the base. there are no reports at this hour of either injuries or damage to the base. but six missiles as they are described, not rockets or d not
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mortars. iran is claiming tens of mill isles have been launched. we'll go to mark meredith in washington, d.c. who versus further information. reporter: we are trying to find out exactly where the attacks have been taking place. where the bases are in iraq and what the damage will be. president trump has been briefed on what's been going on. the white house put out a statement 15er 20 minutes ago saying the white house is aware of attacks on u.s. facilities in iraq. the president is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team. we have not heard exactly how the u.s. will decide to respond to an attack. the americans that are based at these different facilities all
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across iraq, and what the damage will look like. we have seen the images starting to pop up on social media from groups trying to show these were the missile launches and rocket attacks. attacks. we have heard from some lawmakers including chris murphy saying he's praying for all the troops stationed in iraq. we are trying to find out if congressional leaders were notified about what's going on. there was a report that speaker me lowsy ma -- mat speaker peloy have had a chance to be briefed on what was going on. what will this mean for u.s. infrastructure over there. and what will it mean for the american service members based there in iraq.
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they didn't expect any more news to happen this evening at the white house. we saw some reporters making their way back. it's snowing in washington. a number of the government offices closed early today to make sure people could get home to beat the storm. it's unclear whether that would have impacted anybody at the pentagon or anybody needing to be on hand to be abreast of what's happening in iraq. we have not heard the official update, but we are waiting to to find out whether some congressional leaders knew what iran was doing as it was unfolding. we are waiting to see as it unfolds in the next couple minutes. lou: mark, thank you very much. mark meredith reporting from washington. mark talked about the number of government offices, including the pentagon, where people have been sent home. it seems markedly trivial
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against the backdrop of the actions taken by the iranians, the dimensions we do not know at this hour. we know as many as six missiles have been and have hit the al-asad base 100 miles west of baghdad. and we have no reports of damage or casualties as a result. joining us now, the former state department official christian whiton serving in the bush and trump administrations. and christian, good to see you tonight. this very troubling development, missiles hitting a very important iraqi base, a significant air force base as well as hub for transportation, supply and of course the movement of iraqi and u.s.
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forces. >> it's a particularly vicious thing to do. we don't know the extent of the damage. hopefully no one was hurt. but u.s. forces are in this base and have been for some time. in iraq we were helping the iraqis to rid their country of isis. that's the reason we are there. isis had taken over half the country if we had not gone in and helped them get rid of it. it puts in context the evil viciousness of the iranian regime. i think they miscalculated badly. i expected a retaliation from a proxy of iran. i assume the president is going to want to wait to judge the damage and understand what's coming next and what's behind the iranian motivation. but this is fundamentally stupid and reckless. this regime that has torn up the
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middle east for decades is a functioning in a vicious manner. lou: their calculations, they were overt. the ayatollah ordering a direct retaliation by iran rather than use proxies, which is their customary response whether attack innocents or other forces, including those in the united states. some people forget. most of us will never forget. iran was responsible for as many as a third of our casualties in iraq and were never held to account. that may be about to change. this president, christian, said there will be 52 targets that have been decided upon, selected by the president in response to any attack on american interests or an attack on americans of any
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kind. this certainly teams to fall within that framework. >> this is a recurring feature in history and the history of the united states. despots around the world who would do us harm always underestimate the will of the american people and of our leaders time and again going back to the war of 1812, going back to the revolutionary war. people look at us and they think democracies are weak. they see our political debates and mistake democratic debates for weakness. iran has been conditioned by previous presidents to expect no big reaction. if you look when they took our diplomats hostage when this regime came to power 40 years ago, jimmy carter attempted a
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rescue with the military than was no follow-up. they killed people at the khobar tower barracks. i think the retaliation will be at a time and lace of our choosing. lou: the time and place seems to be within iran. the up reply cases here, nato, standing solidly with president trump and the united states on iran. the possibilities here for iran it seems on its face seems to be utterly i will logical and self-destructive. theyl have a lot of help in that with the united states responding as the president has made clear we'll. what do you see in terms of the
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alliance, their roles and the coalition. >> the allies i am more concerned with are saudi arabia and the united arab emirates who have spent a lot of money purchasing weapons from the united states. nato has a limited role to play. they will be with us in some respect, but youer in know. britain, france and germany have been trying to help the iranian government get out of secondary sanctions. nato hasn't played a strong role. the germans have said some strong things and the brits i believe sent forces to the gulf. but the more fundamentally important ally are the partners in the middle east, and i bet
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they will be behind us. they have been impressed with president trump's resolve, doing the iran deal that frankly went the wrong way encouraging iran to do this type of thing against us. i think we'll have the partnerships in place. and hopefully there have been a number of options. if the president does order a target of iran's nuclear facilities. that's the key game changer in the middle east we don't want to happen. lou: nato, to me it's interesting whether they will continue what had been unity with the united states. now that the iranians have taken this hostile action. there is no question about israel and the emirates in egypt as well as saudi arabia, kuwait.
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because we are their only -- their only resource should iran turn their retaliation toward them. >> that's right. we have a partnership that's longstanding. the saudis have highly sophisticated weapons systems. this is something president trump has led very strongly on in approving arms sales and sucking members of the u.s. congress who wanted to digs represent the sale of arms over human rights issues. this will pay off now. the military president trump has built, restored to the budget, got out of the obama era sequester which had deprived our military of the resources it
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needed. and that's very important because we can't assemble a military overnight. john rumsfeld got in trouble for saying you go to war with the military you have. thought it's a blunt statement of fact. the extent of the damage in what the president will do. thank god he has the options at his fingertips to do what is necessary to defend us against this islamist regime that has seen itself at war with us the past four years. and we have just begun to recognize and begun to push back. this is a regime that wanted to set off a bomb in washington, d.c. in the last administration and wanted to assassinate an ambassador in the united states. this isn't just a middle east problem. lou: and it hasn't been for a very lock time.
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christian whiton. if we could ask you to stay with us through the hour for your insight as we gain more information about the attack on the al-asad air base. approximately 5:30 p.m. according to the pentagon statement eastern time, iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against u.s. military and coalition forces in iraq. it is clear these missiles were launched from iran and targeted at least two iraqi military bases mosing u.s. military and coalition personnel at al-asad and and i are. billatal al-asad and irbil. unless they were launched
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without warheads, it's hard to imagine there wouldn'te considerable damage if indeed they truck their targets. >> right. this does answer some of the initial questions we have as the fog of war starts to recede. a ballistic missile gets lobbed. it cruises like an airplane just above the ground. it's very easy to track a ballistic path. the fact that there are two targets involved means this wasn't just meant as a limited gesture of retaliation. but it was an attempt to degrade our military capabilities in this region. it increases the chances of damage. we hope and pray no mayor cabs or iraqis were killed in this, but it would be unlikely if that were the case. this is a very, very bad
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miscalculation from a regime that, you know, seems not to understand basic facts of what's likely to happen as a result of this. lou: this is video that we just brought in during the attack as you see there in what appears to be an aircraft as best i can determine not a missile, but this is at least the video we are getting in. and there is to this point no sign of an impact of any kind. so i'm not quite sure what to make of it. christian, your thoughts? >> it's very hard to tell. that could be an aircraft scrambled in response. if it were a missile it would be
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a cruise missile. lou: we know they are ballistic missiles. >> that might be a response by u.s. forces in the region to put up a bit of a shield based on early information. lou: as we get more information, we'll take a quick break. we'll be on the story. joining christian whiton will be sebastian gorka. two air bases in iraq carrying each of them with u.s. air force and other military assets and most importantly, u.s. troops. we'll be right back. thousands of women with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, are living in the moment and taking ibrance.
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lou: breaking news. iranian retaliation against u.s. forces in iraq firing ballistic missiles against two bases. the pentagon says two bases were attacked at approximately 5:30 eastern time. we'll go to trey yanst in
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baghdad. reporter: reports indicate more than 30 surface-to-surface missiles have been fired toward the al asad air base in iraq. missiles are coming from iranian territory. at this point we do not know. all we have are the statements from the iranians this week saying they were going to strike back as a result of president making the decision to take out the iranian it in leader qassem soleimani. what started out and looked like it was going to be taken ongoing proxy war. something we have seen often in the region has turned to using missiles fired from iran into iraqi territory. we saw a number of statements from president trump and the
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iranians. it seems like a ping-pong, if you strike us, we'll strike. but what we have seen is missiles being fired toward an iraqi base with u.s. troops. president trump this week a number of times indicating he would strike back at iran and would be willing to hit some of their cultural sites. the president confirming much of that information today with john roberts saying he would be willing to strike iran within its own territory. this is a major step forward in this larger conflicts of what we have seen unfold in the region. they were targeting western-linked oil infrastructure. we saw the iranians shooting down a u.s. drone. the president saying he was watching but wasn't going to
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respond. even striking at the largest oilfield in the world in saudi arabia. it took killing an american contractor and injuring four american service members for president trump to respond. he struck hezbollah, and that led to the embassy being stormed in baghdad. and after all that unfolding, the drone strike outside of baghdad international airport killing a militia leader and a member of the iranian military. iraq is caught in the middle of what is an escalating conflicts between the u.s. and iran. 30 missiles have been fired
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toward an iraqi base that contains u.s. forces. lou: there in baghdad, any sign of street demonstrations? any kind of civil unrest there? >> it's been very quiet in baghdad today. most of the people we were talking about earlier in our report. they said they hope things remain calm. so many people in baghdad have lived through so many conflicts. right now in baghdad things are calm and the the two bases are in northern iraq in irbil, this is kurdistan in kurdish territory and the al asad air base. they are iraqi bases housing american troops. then camp hajii close to
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baghdad. we have not been able to confirm those reports. but in the past baghdad has seen a number of parts of this conflict hitting the city. just a few days ago there were five rockets fired into the green zone. u.s. forces have been on high alert out of concern. we have seen american apache helicopters throughout the late afternoon and the early evening firing flares to make sure the american personnel in baghdad remain safe. lou: those service members dispatched to baghdad to protect the embassy a u.s. personnel there, they are in the helicopter protection overhead, is it almost constant now? >> in the laid afternoon it is.
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right as the sun is about to go down, we have seen helicopter activity. and right when it gets dark you can see when they are firing the flares to avoid getting shot down. the concern is the iranian-backed shiia militias, there are a number of them operating would ultimately try to target american forces. the president did dispatch american marines after the siege last week. the bigger concern from civilians on the ground, there are concerns that if you are not supporting the iranian regime or the iranian backed militias that you could be a target. as an american citizen in baghdad, you are a target. all americans have been urged to leave iraq.
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many airlines in the region have stopped flights to baghdad. jordannian air stopped flights to get here. so not only will we see airlines and other personnel limiting the times and places you can get into iraq. the canadian military announced they are removing all troops assisting u.s. forces. they are moving those troops to kuwait where president trump dispatched 8,000 troops from north carolina. the concern for the united states and allies in the region. an attack like this could happen. more than 30 missiles, surface-to-surface missiles toward a base that houses u.s. troops. this was the nightmare scenario everyone was talk about.
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this is a pages today laying. there are a number of iranian proxies in the region and in syria. many are iranian-backed militia groups. lou: trey, stay safe. we'll be hoping for the very best for everyone there in iraq. attacks on two bases, irbil and al asad base. we are learning iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at those bases. the pentagon telling us they are making early battle assessments with very little information obviously. they have a great deal more than we do at this point. but we do know there have been at least 6 iranian missiles
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strike the base in which 500 of our troops are stationed at al asad about 100 miles west of baghdad. christian whiton is still with us. a state department senior advisor in the trump and bush administrations. you rinsed to trey yinst from baghdad. so far it many quiet there. the green zone heavily fortified. but still an immense risk but with additional u.s. forces, marines and their support. your thoughts as to what obviously the iranians have done here in launching these missiles. we are told they have as many as 2,000 missiles of various
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ranges. iran says they are posted towards bases in iraq where u.s. military are posted. >> the footage i believe are the missiles departing from iran. this was planned as a big public episode in iran made in haste. the hastiness and recklessness of the sidity of the iranians' decision to do this. the missile offensive capability, hamas, gaza, and hezbollah. they cooperated extensively with the israelis. we have also seen very effective
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missile defense is tips. defense -- defensive systems. you had protesters in iran. one of the raps against soleimani is he executed hundreds of his own countrymen. the people of iran probably do not support. the combination of donald trump cutting off the paycheck for iran. cutting off obama's paycheck that afforded this regime perhaps a hundred billion dollars in an unfrozen fund. a pallet of cash put on a plane in the middle of the night to iran. they were paid for by obama in his foreign policy. done * put an end to that.
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lou: it's important to note the iranian regime, the ayatollahs became even more aggressive after that payoff of $100 billion delivered in the dead of night on u.s. pallets, cargo aircraft. then taking hostages in the gulf, and in addition, i think we should point out as we are waiting to see what the white house and the pentagon will be telling us here in we hope a matter of moments. we have considerable assets in the gulf now, the president ordering bombers into the region. more fighter aircraft, and it's important to remember the harry
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s. truman aircraft carrier strike force is positioned in the gulf of oman. that's within striking distance of any targets in iran if they wrote decide or have to go to war. >> the military is god forbid, but i think we are at that point. it's their time to shine. we have an incredible ability to strike be back at iran using standoff weapons. we previously deployed b-52s to the gulf. also within range. but we have an ability to seriously inflict economic and political damage on iran with stealth weapons that limit the amount of risk. iran has if you look at just a
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few oil refineries responsible for 80% of its re-fined petroleum -- of its refined petroleum product. there is uranium that could be used in a bomb. and those can be held at risk by the u.s. military. lou: those, i think it's arguable. certainly any target would be appropriate give what they have done in going after u.s. assets and forced. the president said there will be 52 targets hit as a result. ways your sense -- he's not talking about so-called proportionate response. this is an attack on the united states and americans that requires a full response, does
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it not? >> it does. and a proportionate response would be encouragement for more iran why misconduct. misconduct. it's important to climb the chain to dem extra that we have the will and the capability to do more damage than was done to us. i hope we don't rule out political warfare. i think the president is right. maybe less so today. but right to leave the door open to negotiations if this regime does want to come across. but the state department issued a bewildering cable telling u.s. embassies that they can't meet with iranian opposition groups from around the world. i hope that's just a mattress
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mite in the deep state making a mistake. i hope we can work with ex-patriots to do what they can. that's just hoping for our adversaries to run into political trouble. lou: we'll continue with the developments and this breaking news story. the iranians attacking two targets. u.s. troops stationed at two iraqi bases. we do not snow damage or casualties that may have been. the epson ecotank. no more buying cartridges. look at all this ink it comes with. big ink tanks. lots of ink. no more cartridges. incredible amount of ink. the epson ecotank. just fill and chill.
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this is the epson no more buying cartridges.. big ink tanks. lots of ink. print about... this many pages. the epson ecotank. just fill and chill. lou: joining us now, dr. sebastian gorka, former strategist to president trump. it's very unclear right now. we are being told the iranians launched dozens of ballistic missiles. we have video some are suggesting is if we could put this up, this may be the exhaust of cruise missiles being launched by the iranians. it's unclear to me which is which. they are being launched in a
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military trajectory. your thoughts about first of all the audacity and the just this attack on american forces in iraq by the iranians. >> lou, i have to agree with chris whiton. this is a massive miscalculation by the iranian regime. we should welcome what they have decided to do because now they have done in the. >> what they have been doing against us and our friend for decades in the warfare domain. they used proxies because they are cowards. they have shrunk around 7 continents using bombs and i.e.d.s against our servicemen and women. now there can be no question
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that iran is a threat to national security. iran is an imminent danger to our country, our servicemen and women. but they chose the wrong time with the wrong president. this president will unleash holy hell on that regime. not against the people of persia, but against the murderous mullahs who have created the largest sponsor of state tear i' d terrorism. anyone who is alive, breathing and has a pulse, should know what iran is. lou: the intelligence assessment suggests iran has more than 2,000 missiles of various types and ranges.
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dozens apparently, the iranian state news media is claiming that tens of them were fired on our forces. the ayatollah said directly he wanted the iranian military to respond directly. not to go through proxies. but rather to retaliate directly against the united states. the president said there will be 52 targets and they will be hit if a single american interests are struck. it's almost inconceivable with that's missiles hitting a base that is 12 miles in diameter, that they would not have injuries, god forbid, but it's almost inconceivable. what do you expect to be the response.
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>> let me say what the response will not be. this is for all of the 63 million who chose donald trump a non-politician to be our president because of 18 years of endless wars. there will be no invasion of recall and regime change. but there will be retaliation and it will be disproportionate. because iran has been doing this since 1979. the good news is, we have such overwhelming capabilities. we are not a super power any more. we are a hyper power. with our own cruise missiles and stealth bombers and f-35 fighters that were paraded across that base today in a symbolic message about the american hostages that were held in the embassy.
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i hope that you are wrong, the math belies the fact that dozens of missiles have been launched. the fact that nobody is wound is hard to expect. but it's an attack on us, and we have more capabilities than any other nation in the world to respond, and this president will be responding. but more than that it wok reckless of me to possibl -- to. he's not barack obama. he's not clinton. he doesn't telegraph our strategy. he acts and does so in the interest of america. lou: thanks, and god bless our forces in iraq and around the world. let's bring in dr. walid phares.
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your thoughts first on what little we do flow a -- we do knt this hour about damage, about injury, whe there are casualties. as i said earlier it's almost inconceivable there would not be casualties if the reports are accurate as many as six of these missiles, perhaps more did hit the base in al asad. >> we have official statements acknowledging that the al asad base in north kurdistan have been targeted. but we have an official statement by the iranian revolutionary guard confirming they launched a first wave. there is a second statement from iran they are preparing a second wave. all of these are online. we can see them. we have information coming from
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the iranian opposition. they have a lot of information about the iranians. casualties, we do not have information at this point in time. i am sure the u.s. government is going to issue a clear report about that. the most important matter is what is the iranian regime trying to do. in iran for the last few days there was a debate in the leadership between those who are hotheaded, meaning the base of the quds force. they wanted a strike. revenge. versus others not very visible who are concerned about president trump's statement. and the actions that followed. so the debate was about should we respond and enter this war or limited war and risk the regime
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and what we achieved in the region or not. apparently the answer is the leadership decided to send a wave of missiles. lou: and it appears there is a preparation. the iranians made it clear, we know that their military went on high alert in the last 24 hours. we knew they did so for some purpose. my guess is our pentagon, our national security apparatus expected the worst. this is not the worst that could have been imagined in terms of the dimension of it. but it's a strike against u.s. forces. and the foreign minister of iran made it clear, they were creating what they consider a proportionate response along with propaganda nonsense he was
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spewing. but he used the word proportionate. the presidentai his response will be disproportionate. what should be the targets in your mind? we don't know what the pentagon and the president has chosen. what are the appropriate targets in response to this assault? >> i wish i can answer. but i can tell you one thing we all know. the pentagon and the intelligence community are in interaction with the president and administration to offer what they can do. the president has already in his tweet said it will be disproportionate. when we go back to the reality on the ground. the iranians are trying to be limited. because they have three ways of doing it. attack our forces in iraq, attack our navy in the persian gulf area. or doing something at home. they know the thickest red line
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is at home. the response will be similar to our response when bin laden attacked. they know that. but i can't imagine they would be suicidal to do it. lou: you don't think this is suicidal. >> this is at this point in time. we'll respond. it's controllable. if they cross the red line and kill americans at home, that will be uncontrollable. the second and most dangerous thing they could do is try to attack our ships or allies in the gulf. the response is reasonable. president reagan destroyed one-third of the iranian fleet in 1983. the most limited place they can engage with is our forces in iraq and that's what they are trying to do. the rules of engagement are going to tell a different story. we'll see.
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lou: it's been two hours, over two hours since these attacks were launched by iran. we are not getting any details from the pentagon. we are getting no details from the white house. that can be for a number of reasons. if for some reason there isn't active community communication between the pentagon and those bases and our troops which is i would hope an impossible contemplation, and the second is there is a reason they are deferring this. what is your judgment about why wire not getting any information from the pentagon or the white house. >> that's a god question. basically pentagon has issued already a press release saying using a key word. we are doing now assessment. we are assessing what has
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happened. what does that mean? we want to know what kind of casualties, casualties in lives and infrastructure. we want to know where the iranians have bombard and we want to know -- lou: you and i know they have that early assessment. they may and certainly will have better information over time. but they have that early assessment. and the american people have a right to know what's going on. this is deeply frustrating that we know that a base where american forces are posted has been attacked and we are not hearing what's happened. i have to tell you, that is to me deeply troubling and unfortunate. >> i agree with you 100%. just a little bit of faith and we'll see in the next few hours
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which is the time between getting the assessment. our people are fast. lou: excuse me, walid. we are -- we understand that there are now reports that iran has launched a second a wave of missiles against targets in iraq. ostensibly. >> that's what we announced on your show the iranians said they launched a second wave. lou: it has begun. >> so that would answer the point i was trying to make. it's not just the damage. it's where are the iranians going. one wave will have one type of response. a second wave if this is confirmed, you say it's confirmed. it's a different ballgame. the president and his national security team. they are where the decision is
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going to be made. lou: the president repeated that indeed there will be a disproportionate response. we are at a point right now which we simply do not have any new information coming from any official source. we know at least the streets of baghdad tonight which our embassy was attacked and which the president sent in marine reinforcements to protect that facility and those americans based there, but the idea that we still don't have even early reports is not only frustrating, but it's unusual that we would not. but i think back to the persian gulf war. immediate communications around
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the middle east. that was a very long time ago. it makes no sense. and i would ask you to consider what might be the reason for it. >> that's another great question. but this is what i would suggest. the second gulf war, the invasion of iraq. we have the initiative. our forces are moving forward. our following this in 2003, logically the information will be given by our defense institutions as they are accomplishing these missions. now we are under attack. we are talking about a second wave. lou: i want to go if we may to special advisor to president trump. tony sayegh. good to have you with us. i'm going to ask you, i know that you may be just as
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frustrated as the rest of us, but why is the pentagon that sharing at least the early assessments of what has happened here. we all understand, this country has been at war for a very long time. we understand the fog of war, early assessments. the american people need to hear what is happening to our forces, our people in those two bases. >> as you know, these events are developing in real-time. the president's press secretary indicated he's meeting with his national security team at the white house. they are monitoring this very, very closely. i think you know the president cares about the military and their security. when there is information to share, i'm sure they will share it. lou: i know it was a tough proposition. we appreciate you being here. i am going to bring back
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christian with iton and walid. last comments here as we wrap up this hour. >> i just heard even unconfirmed report that a third base may be under attack. this is a comprehensive attack from iran. it will be a temptation to strike the target that originated these missiles. i hope it's comprehensive to deter a future iranian attack. lou: with waves of attacks, the president it would seem would have very little choice but to preempt those attacks. it's no longer about punishment. it's about protection of americans. >> it is. he's chairing the council right
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now. he will make a statement to the world imminently from the white house. i am not going to say what the president is going to do. but the iranian regime, the murderous mullahs will regret taking the decision they took tonight. i can assure you of that. lou: as we are looking here, two missiles salvos fired at u.s. coalition allied forces and perhaps as walid suggested a third base. christian, is there any -- there is no way in the world that the president could do anything but extend u.s. military might and weaponry against iran. >> exactly. the president has been incredibly reexplained when a u.s. navy aircraft was shot
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down. he canceled the attack because he thought it would be too disproportion mall because too many iranians would be killed. he bent over backwards and left the door open for negotiations. but this is a bridge too far and a response is necessary. lou: the consequences in your judgment, seth? >> the consequences after this decision, the regime will be more fragile than ever. the president will take incredibly robust action. now it's up to the people of persia. this may be the liberating moment. the president will not invade iran. but this could be the moment we have been hoping for. lou: tony sayegh. we have 20 seconds left. tony, thanks for being with us.
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we just heard the president may indeed, may address the nation sometime this evening. that again may. thanks for being with us. our coverage continues. [♪] trish: a senior u.s. military force telling us we are under attack from iran. the defense department confirming iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles gifnlts s. military forces in iraq. they were launched around 5:15 eastern time. all of this breaking right now. a military source telling us the u.s. is under attack by iranians in iraq. one of the military bases is in irbil in northern iraq, and the other in al asad ines


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