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'Your World' on Russia's next step as tension grow with Ukraine – Fox News

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'Your World' on Russia's next step as tension grow with Ukraine – Fox News

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Retired Army Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis assesses Russia’s military buildup on the Ukraine border.
This is a rush transcript from “Your World,” January 28, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SANDRA SMITH, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Trace, thank you.

FOX on top of two storms bearing down, more than 70 million Americans bracing for a winter wallop here, while U.S. General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, warning, Russia could strike Ukraine with little notice over there.

Welcome, everyone. I’m Sandra Smith, in for Neil Cavuto, and a jam-packed “Your World.”

First to that potential storm brewing on the Russia-Ukraine border.

Mark Meredith is at the Pentagon. He’s got the very latest from there after we received a briefing today — Mark.

MARK MEREDITH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Sandra. We sure did. Good afternoon to you.

Top Pentagon officials are warning that any invasion of Russia by — invasion into Ukraine by Russia could have dire and deadly consequences for the 40 million people that call Ukraine home.

We heard, as you mentioned from the defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, as well as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Mark Milley, both men urging Russia to de-escalate the situation, to continue with diplomacy, to try to make things better, to bring some peace to the region. However, both men also talked about what could happen with 100,000 Russian forces on standby.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Conflict is not inevitable. There is still time and space for diplomacy.

GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: There are many people in highly dense population centers throughout Ukraine. And if war were to break out on the scale and scope that is possible, the civilian population will suffer immensely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MEREDITH: U.S. officials say they continue to offer logistical support and training to Ukraine’s military, also offering up that military equipment from the U.S. and NATO countries, more aid even arriving today.

The White House says it’s also open to potentially providing more economic support to Ukraine. There’s been a lot of concern about its economy just because of the threat of an invasion and this potential conflict.

We’re also watching what this could mean for U.S. troops. The Pentagon says there are still no plans for any U.S. troops to go into Ukraine. But they have 8,500 service members on standby, on alert that would basically be deployed to go assist NATO.

The majority of these service members would be coming from places like Fort Bragg in North Carolina, as well as Fort Campbell in Kentucky, and, if deployed, again, would be helping out in Eastern Europe.

And while there’s been so much talk about what Russia’s military has been up to, their buildup over these last several months, we also heard today from the Pentagon about what Ukraine’s military capabilities are right now.

They say they have 150,000 active service members, more on reserve, and that their forces have gotten better, become better equipped and better trained, in the last several years, but that they still need some help when it comes to military advice, and of course, the equipment that the U.S. and other countries has been sending their way — back to you guys.

SMITH: Mark Meredith, thank you very much.

Now to Kyiv, Ukrainian President Vladimir is Zelensky holding a news conference, saying there’s no need to panic.

To Greg Palkot. He is in Kyiv with more — Greg.

GREG PALKOT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: That’s right, Sandra.

Yes, we attended a pretty interesting news conference with the Ukrainian president today. More on that in a moment, but just a few other developments in the region. The buildup of Russian troops, planes, other hardware continues.

We have got new reports of Su-35 fighter jets of Russia landing in neighboring Belarus. Now we’re talking about something like 125,000 troops basically encircling this country.

Meanwhile, Russian President Putin today said that the U.S. has ignored Russia’s demands that NATO back away from the region. The response came in a written statement that Washington delivered to Moscow this week.

Russia said today it won’t attack. But, yes, we heard from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin saying that he doesn’t trust Putin. Finally, press conference today, yes, with the foreign media. The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he tried to tamp down fears of an invasion, saying he didn’t see any immediate indication.

Still, to my question and others, he also expressed real concern about the massing of Russian troops. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: The risk is that there are just too many of them, that there could be any provocation, and the probable escalation may be triggered, accidental provocation or non-accidental.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PALKOT: Sandra, to that point, he said that sanctions shouldn’t wait, that the U.S. and others should put them in right now to try to stop Russia, also that he needs more aid, including military aid, right now.

Still, he also gave a bit of a knock to the Biden administration, complaining about the beginning of evacuation of the U.S. and other countries, diplomats and families from the city.

The quote Sandra: “They’re jumping ship, and we’re not the Titanic,” not yet anyway — back to you.

SMITH: OK, Greg Palkot on the ground in Kyiv for us, thank you.

We have been reporting General Milley warning, Russia today now has the capability to launch an attack on Ukraine, he says, with very little warning.

Are the U.S. and our allies ready if it does?

With us now, retired Lieutenant Colonel Bob Maginnis.

Colonel, thank you very much for joining us. We’re all trying to get ahold of this situation and understand it, as we have seen in recent days and weeks an escalation at the border there, with Russia building up its troop level.

I will ask you, as we now enter the end of a week where we have been following this so closely, what you believe are right now the chances that Vladimir Putin decides to move into Ukraine there.

LT. COL. BOB MAGINNIS (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Yes, Sandra, Putin has been waiting 30 years to do what we’re talking about.

And that is, after the fall of the Soviet Union, they were radically embarrassed. He’s already said to his nation he intends to bring back the Russo-Ukrainian empire. He also sees a very weak United States, a divided United States. He sees a new government in Germany, which is a powerhouse in Western Europe.

And he sees the balance of the European nations looking at their navel and not over the fence at what Moscow is doing. And then, of course, President Xi in China will basically celebrate what Mr. Putin might do with Ukraine, because he needs similar support if he were to go into Taiwan, which could, of course, be something in the near future as well.

SMITH: Those are two major threats that we face as a nation and that the globe is watching.

As far as the conflict not being inevitable, as you heard from the Joint Chiefs chairman today, as well as the defense secretary, do you believe Putin has made up his mind? Or do you believe, as they said in that news briefing today, that there is still a pass through diplomacy?

MAGINNIS: Well, Mr. Biden, as well as Mr. Austin, did not want to speculate as to the psyche of Vladimir Putin.

But Mr. Putin is an old KGB hand. He knows how to roll the dice. He knows how to take risks. He sees this as a vulnerable time for the West. If we had acted, Sandra, back in the spring of last year, and provided some meaningful armaments, such as air defense systems, to the Ukrainians, then what we’re seeing with the arrival of Su-35s fives into Belarus, would not be as disconcerting.

But that’s a marker. That’s an indication that they are getting serious. They have Ukraine surrounded from Belarus to the north to the east with 100,000-plus people, the Black Sea fleet, as well as Crimea to the South, and of course, Moldova with a regiment on the West.

If they want, they could probably have Ukraine. And I checked the weather today in Kyiv. It’s good armor weather. In other words, they could roll tanks very quickly across Eastern Ukraine, take Kyiv in a matter of a couple of days.

SMITH: And we’re, of course, left wondering what that means for U.S. troops, although President Biden continues to say he’s not going to send U.S. troops into Ukraine. But there’s 84 — 8,500 standing at the ready to assist NATO.

And that is where things, as we heard again today, stand.

Appreciate it, Colonel. Great to see you. Thank you very much.

MAGINNIS: Thanks, Sandra.

SMITH: All right, to the more immediate storm impacting more than 76 million Americans, a bomb cyclone set to wallop the East Coast. We are talking two feet of snow in some areas, and the travel nightmare already beginning. We are on it.

Plus, the inflation storm hitting all Americans. Why dozens of popular products may soon cost you more. When can consumers expect some relief from this?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SMITH: A major winter storm set to slam the East Coast with heavy snow and high winds this weekend.

FOX Weather chief meteorologist Rick Reichmuth has been tracking it all for us hour by hour, minute by minute.

What is coming our way, Rick? Tell us.

(LAUGHTER)

RICK REICHMUTH, FOX NEWS CHIEF METEOROLOGIST: We have had to look at it like at that hour by hour, minute by minute, because the models that we’re watching have not been in alignment. They’re getting in better alignment, though, and we have much more confidence that we’re going to be talking about a really big coastal storm.

The last few storms that we have had come across parts of the East Coast have been interior and it’s brought all the snow across interior sections, not that much away along the coast. This is going to be one for the big city.

Certainly, Boston is going to be pummeled by this storm, maybe getting up into its top 10-ish kind of storms that they have ever seen in history. You will also notice, down across parts of the Mid-Atlantic and interior sections here, though, as well, we’re going to be watching for some really big snow accumulating — sorry about that — accumulating across some interior sections.

So, even across parts of the Southern Appalachians, we’re going to be talking about really big snowfall, maybe some spots there six-plus inches. It’ll be the third week in a row that we have had snow across parts of the South.

Now, right now, we have had some snow flurries. It’s not the main event. The main event is actually just getting going here down across parts of Florida. It’s going to rapidly strengthened during about the next 12 hours throughout the overnight hours.

And by the time we get towards tomorrow morning, we’re going to have the storm right across parts of the Mid-Atlantic. And it is a Saturday daytime event. So it’s a day storm. You will be able to watch this storm. And because it’s on a weekend, hopefully, people can stay inside and just try to enjoy it and stay off of the roads.

So, blizzard warnings now in effect from the Mid-Atlantic all the way up across the Northeast on the coastlines. Snowfall totals that we’re projecting, looking to be a little bit higher than we initially had forecast as well.

Watch what happens with this future track, so, most of the coast by tonight seeing the snow throughout the overnight hours, But it’s really by the morning. New York City, you’re going to be seeing the kind of the meat of this storm.

And then, by tomorrow night, take a look at this, it’s pretty much gone. So we will be fully done with the storm by the time we get towards tomorrow night. Here’s how much snow we’re talking about, lighter amounts across interior sections here into the Mid-Atlantic, parts of the Ohio Valley, but get across parts of coastal New Jersey, Eastern Long Island and then southeastern parts of Massachusetts, we’re going to be talking some spots there well over two feet of snow — Sandra.

SMITH: Wow. That is something.

OK, I was taking that all in.

REICHMUTH: Yes.

SMITH: This is going to be…

REICHMUTH: Yes.

SMITH: This is going to be a big one, it looks like.

All right, Rick Reichmuth, thank you.

REICHMUTH: Yes. You bet.

SMITH: And he will update as the day goes on.

Massachusetts bracing, meanwhile, for blizzard conditions and could see a historic amount of snow in some parts of that state.

FOX Weather multimedia journalist Robert Ray joins us now.

You are there, Robert. And there are predictions that Boston could see its biggest snowfall ever.

ROBERT RAY, FOX WEATHER MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST: Yes, Sandra, this is going to be an intense next 24-plus hours.

I’m in Gloucester, Massachusetts. And if people are not familiar, that’s about 30 miles to the northeast of the big city in here in New England, Boston, that you just mentioned.

Behind me, a very calm Atlantic Ocean, and everything is going to look much different tomorrow, whiteout conditions where I’m standing right now, potential for two to three feet of snow and, as Rick was talking about, those blizzard conditions. Did you know 700 miles of the Eastern coast are under those potential blizzard conditions tomorrow?

That means 35 mile-an-hour winds or above sustained for three-plus hours and a quarter-mile visibility. We could potentially here see up to 70-mile- an-hour winds. That’s almost hurricane — Category 1 hurricane conditions.

All day today here in Gloucester, I have been out about looking at the city and talking to people. This is a fishing village, actually. This is one of the original seaports in the U.S.

Let’s listen to what one fisherman is doing to prepare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE MURRAY, LOBSTER FISHERMAN: We usually come down like mid-storm and we will check on the boat, make sure all the lines are good and tie them up right, and make sure we put a bucket on the exhaust to make sure that that’s good.

So there’s, yes, definitely a lot of preparation that goes into it and a lot of — not a lot of worrying, but a little bit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RAY: Yes.

And you can tell, I mean, they are worried. And then you talk to restaurant owners, one of them who says she’s going to stay open throughout this. The hotel behind the camera, they have two weddings here tomorrow, Sandra, of 180 people-plus. They’re concerned. They do have backup generators, that they’re going to go.

But when you’re looking at potential for two to three feet of snow and blizzard conditions, this might be a tough wedding scenario here on Saturday.

Now, also, if we look at travel conditions across the country, over 3,500 flights have been canceled already. That’s according to FlightAware.com and our partnership with them, so, anybody trying to get in and out of the East Coast or the Mid-Atlantic, probably going to be tough road tomorrow.

The conditions will start to deteriorate tonight around 11:00, 12:00. And by tomorrow morning, we’re going to be looking at a very serious situation here.

SMITH: Yes.

RAY: A potential for power outages all over, and people hunkering down, we hope, and staying safe — Sandra.

SMITH: Which is why local leaders are just suggesting, please stay home. If you don’t have to be anywhere, don’t go anywhere.

I can only imagine the brides from those weddings, like, staring at their weather hour by hour. Like, this is not — this is not looking good.

RAY: I know. know.

SMITH: Just, everybody, please stay safe, you as well.

Robert Ray, great to see you. Good stuff, as always. Thank you.

Personal, precise, powerful. Go to FOXWeather.com to download the app and watch now. I will be glued to it.

Meanwhile, to the inflation storm. McDonald’s says costs will keep going up. And now the maker behind some of the most popular products is jacking up prices even more. What’s getting hit, and how long will this pain last?

And we see what the videos of migrant releases across the country are showing, so does that discredit what President Biden’s homeland security secretary is saying?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SMITH: Emotions running high in New York City for the funeral of a slain officer, a massive turnout and show of support.

But what will it take for these tragedies to finally end?

We are back in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SMITH: Call it a Big Mac attack on your wallet, as a key inflation read is showing the biggest annual jump in prices in nearly four decades.

McDonald’s is saying costs will continue to rise this year, which could lead to more hikes. Add food giant Kraft Heinz warning of higher prices for some of its most popular items.

To FOX Business’ Lydia Hu on those rising prices that keeps slamming Americans — Lydia.

LYDIA HU, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Sandra.

We are talking about the food staples that are found in many American homes. They’re getting more expensive. Kraft Heinz says that it’s grappling with inflation, and it’s forcing the company to hike prices starting in March, prices on things like Oscar Mayer cold cuts, their hot dogs, sausages, bacon, Velveeta cheese, even Maxwell House coffee.

It’s all getting more expensive, going up from 6.6 percent on Velveeta to 30 percent on Oscar Mayer turkey bacon. Kraft Heinz said in a statement — quote — “The entire food industry is facing ongoing and unprecedented global supply shortages, coupled with other extreme inflationary pressures on ingredients ,labor and transportation. This is in no way unique to Kraft Heinz. As a result, the list prices of our products continue to reflect the cost of our production.”

And, Sandra, it’s true. It’s not just Kraft Heinz. Fast food is also getting more expensive. At McDonald’s, prices went up by 6 percent last year. The burger chain is squeezed by its own rising costs for ingredients and wages.

It’s a similar story for Little Caesars, the famous hot and ready pizza. It’s going from five bucks to $5.55. And Domino’s pizza, they’re taking a slightly different approach facing the same issues. But it’s shrinking the number of chicken wings that come in its carry-out deal, going from 10 to eight, but they’re keeping the price the same at $7.99.

These price hikes and changes come as a food industry’s battling for customers, trying to maintain a work force and protect their margins. And what’s clear, Sandra, is that the price hikes we see now are not likely to be the last — Sandra.

SMITH: All right, thank you very much, Lydia, for that report.

Let’s get right to Bill Johnson, the former CEO of Heinz.

So, Bill, welcome.

It’s not just your former company raising prices. We’re seeing this pretty much happening across the board. And we could be seeing higher prices in the very near future.

BILL JOHNSON, FORMER CHAIRMAN & CEO, HEINZ: No, you will be seeing higher prices. There is no question about it.

And I think the thing that people have to remember, most of these companies are pricing up simply to maintain profit dollars, not margins. So, eventually, there’s going to be enormous pressure coming from the market about margins, and there’s going to be additional pricing and cost measures taken to protect margins.

But I was on this show in late October. And I told Neil at the time that I thought November would be the inflection point. And I think I was right. To me, the disappointment here is that the Fed still hasn’t reacted appropriately. And I don’t think this is going to improve short term.

And now, with the McDonald’s announcement, the service industry, which has sort of been lagging behind the goods industry, is starting to feel it. And that’s both in their products that they sell and also in the services that provide them.

So, my own view is, this is going to be exacerbated over the next six, nine months until we get through the supply chain issues and the work force strengthens again.

SMITH: Because one of the big problems is, as the inflation goes up, that wage inflation is not keeping up. And so if people aren’t getting paid more, that is just more money out of your pocket that is diverted away from the average American family.

You look at these prices, and, I mean, this is absolutely significant. And you have got to wonder at what point people curtail — they change their habits and demand is eventually curtailed? I mean, high prices generally, historically speaking, cure high prices.

So are we seeing people change their habits? In other inflationary times, we typically see people switch to generic brands. They cut back on certain items. Are we seeing that happen yet?

JOHNSON: Not yet, Sandra. And I think there’s a couple of reasons.

One, I think we’re testing, as an industry, the elasticities that people are willing to abide by in terms of what they’re going to buy. But, secondly, you have a very pragmatic issue. There aren’t any products. The supply chain is so backed up that literally there isn’t a lot of consumer choice.

If you go to a grocery store, which I really would admonish every economist in the country to do before they started making prognostications…

SMITH: Good tip.

(LAUGHTER)

JOHNSON: Yes, my view is, you walk down the grocery aisles, and you will see empty shelves.

So, until the supply chain catches up with the supply needs and the demand, we’re out of equilibrium. And I think that’s going to allow consumers or think — make consumers think about, I’m going to continue to pay these this money, because what else am I going to do?

But the key thing — and you just said it — historically, when we have had these bouts of inflation — private label generic brands haven’t been as strong as they have been the last few years. So, eventually, as they get back into the supply, and as things continue to improve in an innovation standpoint, you are going to see the consumer sort of confront the reality, is, do I want to pay this price or should I just shift to a lower price item?

SMITH: I mean, we have seen it on our — from our FOX digital team.

They go to the grocery stores. They talk to consumers walking through those aisles. Their cart that they’re filling up today, in some cases, is 50 to 75 percent more in price and they were paying just a couple years ago. I mean, it is a real, tangible pain for the average American family. They’re certainly feeling it.

Great to have you here, sir.

Real quick?

JOHNSON: And, of course, economists don’t — economists don’t account for that, because they use their PCE numbers and exclude food and energy prices, which, to me, has always been kind of crazy, because that doesn’t affect a normal person and their pocketbook.

SMITH: I lumped that in there.

I mean, with gasoline — oil prices up like they are, and gas up a buck from a year ago, it’s a costly trip to the grocery store, right?

Very good to have you here. Thank you very much.

JOHNSON: It certainly is.

SMITH: OK.

JOHNSON: Thanks, Sandra. Thank you.

SMITH: President Biden on his way back to the White House now after visiting Pittsburgh, talking about those supply chain issues.

To FOX’s Jacqui Heinrich. She is in Pittsburgh with the very latest from there and what we heard.

Hi, Jacqui.

JACQUI HEINRICH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Sandra.

This is the unofficial start of the president’s tour to sort of restart his messaging, to go around the country and tout the administration’s achievements and distract from some of the worries that has been plaguing it.

And a bridge collapse only miles away from here could not be more serendipitous as he starts talking about this infrastructure law. They just announced about a week ago that this state is going to be getting $1.6 billion from the infrastructure law to repair some 3,000 bridges that are in disrepair across the state, so relevant timing for him.

But the focus of today’s visit here at this location was research and development and manufacturing. It’s a big focus of the competitiveness legislation the White House is pressing Congress to pass right now. They’re framing it as a tool to address supply chain bottlenecks and create jobs.

But it comes at a tough political moment for Biden. He’s still being dragged down by inflation. Today, the Commerce Department reported a key measure of inflation, core personal consumption expenditures, rose 4.9 percent from a year ago in December. That’s the fastest gain since 1983.

And Axios reports the kind of economic growth that we saw in 2021 likely won’t continue in 2022 because of fiscal drag, with as much as 22 percent of Americans’ personal income last year coming from government benefits.

But the president pointed to a cause of inflation that we haven’t heard him isolate too many times before.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, inflation is a problem, which I will speak to in a second. And it’s real. And a lot of people are being hurt by it.

But guess what? One-third of the inflation in America is a consequence of the cost of automobiles, one-third. You know why? Because of the shortage of semiconductors.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEINRICH: So the speech then turn to sort of the greatest hits of what we have heard from Biden before. There was this push for the Build Back Better legislation, which is still stalled in Congress, making the same plugs for it, that it won’t increase taxes and would bring down inflation.

But there was a new pitch that I noticed for this CHIPS Act, the competitiveness bill that’s in Congress, and an acknowledgement that its bipartisan nature might give it an actual shot at passing, so an interesting sort of pivot for Biden to also give attention to something that has GOP support and might actually have legs.

No chance to take questions, though, Sandra.

SMITH: OK. Jacqui Heinrich on that for us, thank you. Have a great weekend, Jacqui. Thank you.

HEINRICH: Thanks.

SMITH: Well, how about this for a money turnaround? After getting hammered most of the week, stocks rallying big time today, finishing the week up, making up for all of their losses for the week.

It was a wild ride, the Dow and S&P 500 closing in positive territory. Even the Nasdaq, with a 3 percent gain today, was able to squeak out a game for the week, investors shaking off those inflation worries, at least for the moment.

All right, meantime, is every state now a border state? Republicans seeing these migrant releases across the country and saying yes. How is the Biden administration responding?

To Bill Melugin at the border.

BILL MELUGIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visits Border Patrol here in Texas, while 12 A.G.s from other states also visit and say his policies are a disaster.

That story coming up right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SMITH: To the Southern border now, 13 state attorneys general today filing a lawsuit against the Biden administration over its policies, saying it’s no longer just a border problem.

This as the White House tells FOX there are no such things as secret flights, in response to video of mass migrant releases.

Our own Bill Melugin is in La Joya, Texas. He’s got more on all that for us.

Hi, Bill.

MELUGIN: Sandra, good afternoon to you.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was in Laredo, Texas, earlier today visiting Border Patrol agents there. Take a look at this video we shot. His schedule was not public, but we were able to get a crew up there and take a look at him as he was shaking some hands and going on a tour on the river there, meeting with front-line agents of Border Patrol.

Did not take any questions or make himself available to FOX News. And we have got plenty to ask him.

In the meantime, take a look at this video. As you mentioned, Attorney General of Texas Ken Paxton hosted 12 A.G.s from other states here in the Rio Grande Valley earlier today to discuss the border and what they see as a massive problem down here with the Biden administration and their policies.

Many of those A.G.s saying their constituents back home are absolutely fed up with what’s going on down here, because what happens here also makes this way to their states. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC SCHMITT (R), MISSOURI ATTORNEY GENERAL: The American people are tired of a president who ignores the rule of law. The American people are tired of the double standard. They’re tired of State Department officials lecturing Americans about the sovereignty of borders of countries halfway across the world, and they pay no attention to the sovereignty of our border here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELUGIN: Meanwhile, Texas law enforcement continues to have to deal with border issues themselves.

What you’re looking at here is newly released video of Texas State Troopers chasing a human smuggler on Monday in Dimmit County. That smuggler was driving a truck with a dump trailer attached to it. Inside those dump trailers were 59 illegal immigrants being smuggled and hidden inside.

The driver gets off the road, goes through a brushy area, bails out on foot. And then you will see from that video right there all those migrant starts spilling out of those trailers, jumping off, scuttling down in an effort to try to escape. It goes on and on and on, as those 59 illegal immigrants try to get out.

Ultimately, the driver did get away. I’m told all of those illegal immigrants were later taken into custody.

Then back out here live, all week long, we have been showing you guys live images of single adults being dropped off and released en masse. We have just learned from DHS numbers, in the month of December, they only expelled 59 percent of single adults via Title 42.

We will send it back to you.

SMITH: All right, Bill Melugin down there in La Joya for us, great reporting, as usual. Thank you very much.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas maintaining they are enforcing the law. But do these mass releases tell a different story?

Texas Department of Public Safety Lieutenant Chris Olivarez joins us now.

Thank you very much for being here with us, sir.

We do want to mention that we did call Secretary Mayorkas, and have yet to hear back. He is welcome to join.

He says that they maintain — they maintain, I should say, that they are following the law. But we see these images that Bill just showed us. We see these images of planes landing in the dark of night, no information about them, in suburban New York. Do they tell a different story?

LT. CHRISTOPHER OLIVAREZ, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: Well, good afternoon, Sandra. Thanks for having me on.

So it does tell a different story. And the data shows that just what Bill Melugin just touched on as far as the 59 percent that were actually expelled for Title 42. That goes to show you that there’s thousands that are coming across the border right now that are being released into the country, just for the month of December, over 175,000 apprehensions.

And then we talk about reinstatement of remain-in-Mexico. From what I understand, several hundred were actually deported under that policy. And, of course, that’s not very effective. That’s not making an impact on what we’re seeing right now on the Southern border, especially what our men and women of DPS are having to deal with on a daily basis.

Bill Melugin just showed a video right there of one of our State Troopers having to interdict the human smuggler when he saw 59 illegal immigrants that came out of that vehicle. We’re dealing with that on a constant basis.

So the data does show a different story as far as what’s being put out by the federal government right now.

SMITH: It was really amazing to me to hear the governor yesterday say that, if we’re not going to get the federal help we need, and that if the Biden administration is not going to get on board tackling this crisis, then we’re going to take this into our own hands.

In fact, the governor says, we already are.

And what does that mean for resources, knowing that you have already got your hands tied and you’re overwhelmed at the border?

OLIVAREZ: Right.

So, Sandra, I was present yesterday at that border conference with the governor, as well as today with the A.G.s. I got to spend some time with them, hear their concerns. And, of course, some of the A.G.s did mention this not only affects the state of Texas. It affects the entire country. So every state is a border state, because these individuals are coming across, the drugs, the fentanyl that’s coming across is not staying in Texas.

It is going to other states. Now, as to what the governor touched on, that’s why he launched Operation Lone Star back in March of 2021, because the federal government failed to take any action to secure the border. And that’s why the state of Texas stepped in and provided all these resources with State Troopers, National Guard to secure the border.

SMITH: Yes.

OLIVAREZ: And that’s what we have been doing from the very beginning.

And the numbers show the impact that we’re making in trying to secure the border.

SMITH: Thank you for doing your job. Thank you for what you do.

The governor also in that meeting yesterday blaming TikTok for human trafficking and the crisis at the border.

OLIVAREZ: Right.

SMITH: All big angles to this story. Thank you very much, sir, for your time.

OLIVAREZ: Appreciate it, Sandra. Thank you.

SMITH: What if I told you some on the left think President Biden needs to be moving harder to the left?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SMITH: President Biden isn’t moving far enough to the left?

According to a new report, some progressives are saying they aren’t to blame for the president’s troubles, saying he isn’t pushing hard enough for the left’s agenda.

What to make of that?

Let’s get the read from FOX News political contributor Gianno Caldwell and Democratic strategist Kristal Knight.

Great to have you both.

GIANNO CALDWELL, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Great to be here.

SMITH: So, Kristal, I will kick this off with you.

And we continue to see sinking poll numbers for this president. Is there — are there clear signs that Democrats are now, some at least, are beginning to distance themselves from the president because of it?

KRISTAL KNIGHT, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Absolutely not.

What we saw with the FOX News poll earlier this week is 72 percent of Democrats are still with this president and would vote for him if the election were held today. We also saw numbers yesterday, 5.7 percent, the economy grew the largest since 1984.

So, while this talk and chatter may be good for hyperbole, it’s not the actual reflection of the Democratic Party.

SMITH: Interesting.

Gianno, Axios is pointing out that there are very visibly Democrats stiffing President Biden, as his poll numbers continue to take a hit, including swing state Senate candidates, it points to, that are not tweeting about the president. Many Democrats in front-line districts have also stopped mentioning the president on their campaign account.

They have noticed this starting September 1. So are we actually seeing some signs that some of these Democrats are distancing themselves from a very unpopular president at the moment?

CALDWELL: I would absolutely agree with that.

Just ask Stacey Abrams why she had a scheduling conflict when the president of the United States is in her home state, where she’s looking to run. And beyond that, if you look at the numbers, if you look deep in the numbers, you see that less than 30 percent of Americans want to see Joe Biden run for reelection.

This is not someone the Democrats want to attach their hopes to, because he’s been a failure, point blank, period. And for those who choose to see it a different direction are not just facing reality, and — they’re not facing reality in the face.

SMITH: We have got up on the screen, Kristal, Biden’s approval rating on the economy, those that approve of it, 41 percent, disapprove, 58 percent.

He continues to slide there. Those that think the economy is excellent or good, just 27 percent. So, while he likes to tout the economic performance under his presidency, people don’t seem to be feeling it.

KNIGHT: Well, listen, make no mistake. The economy is not in the best position right now. And the president has to accept that and face it.

But the party is still with him. Folks are still behind him. And he will come out of this rut, if you will, stronger in the midterm elections. But the failure really is on Republicans, who will — who refuse to bring the Build Back Better bill to a vote on the floor.

And so that’s some of the challenges that this administration is facing.

SMITH: And, well, Democrats are having to answer amongst themselves for that as well, right?

I also want to bring this up, because this really — this really stands out to me. Just three in 10 Americans are either somewhat or very confident that Biden can bring the country closer together, this about a president who promised to unite and bring the American people together.

He can’t tout that he is getting that done, at least not in his first year, Gianno.

CALDWELL: Yes, the idea that Joe Biden was going to bring the country together sounds like a headline from an Onion article.

The facts of the matter is, he’s been a very divisive president. He just called our own Peter Doocy a son of a B-I — as you know.

This is not a president who’s ready to unite America. This is a president who is completely unhinged and focused on left-leaning, progressive policies that the American people don’t stand with. He’s lost independents. He continues to lose Democrats and he never had Republicans.

He’s a disaster and a failure of a president.

SMITH: Having a rough time keeping some people happy right now, although it’s just one year in. Here he goes into his second year. We will see what happens in a midterm election year.

Great to have you both. Gianno, Kristal, thank you.

CALDWELL: Thank you for having me.

KNIGHT: Thank you.

SMITH: All right, thousands, meanwhile, showing their support for NYPD Officer Jason Rivera today.

For leaders pushing policies that are soft on crime, did the widow of Officer Rivera just put you on notice?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOMINIQUE LUZURIAGA, WIDOW OF JASON RIVERA: The system continues to fail us. We are not safe anymore, not even the members of the service.

I know you were tired of these laws, especially the ones from the new DA. But I promise, we promise that your death won’t be in vain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SMITH: An emotional day in New York, the city mourning NYPD officer Jason Rivera during his funeral service earlier today at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Officer Rivera’s widow calling out Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg over his soft-on-crime policies.

FOX News’ Bryan Llenas is outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral. And he’s got the latest from there for us.

Hi, Brian.

BRYAN LLENAS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Sandra.

Well, look, Officer Jason Rivera just 22 years old, his life cut short, but today remembered by the NYPD and the city, frankly, as somebody who devoted his life, dreamed of one day becoming an officer, and realized that dream.

He had just been married and was just beginning his life. He was eulogized by the city’s mayor, as well as the NYPD commissioner. And, really, the images of the procession in downtown New York here, down Fifth Avenue, a sea of thousands of cops, was something to behold.

The speeches inside were moving, but Dominique, his widow calling out the DA, Alvin Bragg, over his what critics say are soft-on-crime policies was striking. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUZURIAGA: I know you were tired of these laws, especially the ones from the new DA. I hope he’s watching you speak through me right now.

(APPLAUSE)

LUZURIAGA: But I promise, we promise that your death won’t be in vain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LLENAS: The DA, Bragg, was in attendance when she made those comments and when that — there was a standing ovation.

Bragg released a statement later saying that he will prosecute those who target police officers with violence — Sandra.

SMITH: Bryan Llenas reporting there from Midtown for us outside St. Patrick’s.

Bryan, thank you.

And with crime so out of control, law enforcement increasingly under siege, six officers shot in the last two days alone. What needs to be done to put a stop to it?

Joining us now on what he makes of it, former D.C. homicide detective and FOX News contributor Ted Williams.

Tough for any of us to keep it together today, listening to the officer’s widow there speaking from the church. But the show of support will last in so many of our minds forever, lining the streets of New York City, the men and women in blue. It was a sight to see, Ted.

TED WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It certainly was a sight to see.

And you have to be moved by the widow of Detective 1st Class Rivera. He was officer Rivera, but he was promoted to detective 1st class in his home going here today.

But his widow said something that I have to agree with. And she said, Dominique said, we are not safe. And she’s right about that. We have had law enforcement officers shot or killed all over this country.

Next week, they’re going to be burying Officer Wilbert Mora, the partner of Rivera. We in Houston had three police officers shot yesterday. We had Detective — or Corporal, should we say, Charles Galloway, who was killed in Texas.

And there’s one common thread here, Sandra. Most of these individuals who have committed these crimes against these officers have a criminal record. I want to say it one more time. They have a criminal record.

And we need to be asking, why and what in the hell are we doing in this society where we let these scumbags back out on the street, so they can harm innocent people, as well as kill wonderful, wonderful police officers?

SMITH: Just a heartbreaking image there, as the widow took the folded flag from the officer outside the church there, Ted. Our heart breaks. We have got almost leave it there, Ted.

But just leave us with a final thought of optimism. This great country, we will see what’s happening and we will learn and we will hopefully make things better. Quick final thought, please.

WILLIAMS: My thoughts are, I take my head off and I salute these wonderful officers who make the ultimate sacrifice for their community.

God bless them, and God bless their family, and God bless this country.

SMITH: Absolutely.

Ted Williams on just an awful day for the city, as we mourn the loss of that officer.

But, to your point, that image of those police men and women filling the streets here, and it was a silent moment and obviously a somber one, and we will remember. And we will get better. And we will support them.

Thank you very much for joining us here on “Your World.” I will see you Monday back on “America Reports” at 1:00. Thanks for joining us.

I’m Sandra Smith.

And “The Five” starts right now.

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