• With: Jim Pinkerton, Judy Miller, Rick Grenell, Cal Thomas

    This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," June 8, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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    JON SCOTT, HOST: A big week of breaking news. A British newspaper breaks a disturbing story, the National Security Agency and FBI collecting your phone call data and following every move you make on the Internet. The bombshell revelations raising tough questions about our government's invasion into our lives. The scandals surrounding the IRS (inaudible) along with charges of targeting conservatives -- new details of how that agency blew tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. A defiant president takes on his critics and promotes a controversial ally to a top position in the White House; her role in misleading Americans dismissed as partisan politics. Bradley Manning on trail for leaking military secrets. Charges of aiding our enemies. The liberal media come to his defense and with all the scandals and spinning it is a good time to be a political cartoonist.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The scandals it opens up for a lot of opportunities.

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    SCOTT: On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor Judy Miller. Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, Jim Pinkerton contributing editor of The American Conservative Magazine, Daily Beast columnist Kirsten Powers. And Fox News contributor Richard Grenell. I'm Jon Scott. "Fox News Watch" is on right now.

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    ERIC HOLDER, .U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: With all due respect, senator. I don't think this is an appropriate setting for me to discuss that issue. I would be more than glad to come back in an appropriate setting to discuss the issues that you have raised but in this open form I don't know how to ..

    SEN. MARK KIRK , R-ILL.: I would -- I would interrupt you and say the correct answer would be save, no we stayed within our lane and I'm assuring you we did not spy on members of Congress.

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    SCOTT: Attorney General Eric Holder taking some heated questions following bombshell revelations that the FBI and the National Security Agency have been collecting data on phone calls of all Americans regardless of whether or not they are part of a counterterrorism investigation.

    And if that wasn't enough, The Washington Post reported on Thursday, "Those same agencies, the NSA and the FBI have been tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, grabbing even more data on our Internet activity. So the president came out on Friday, Jim, and addressed all of this. He attempted to put us at ease, you know, this monitoring has been going on for a while, it's covered by Congress and the courts. And I don't know, should the press back off?

    JIM PINKERTON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the press might ask openers how come we didn't catch the Tsarnaevs or Major Hasan or the underwear bomber if we have all this fancy technology? But I think this week we'll be remembered as the week that even the president's face in the media. The Huffington Post fowled (ph) on him, the big better picture there was a picture of George W. Bush and Barack Obama morphed together and the headline was George W. Obama. That hurts, when up (inaudible) in your posters' jumping ship.

    SCOTT: Rick I want to ask you about the New York Times editorial on Friday, it was not on Friday -- I think it was on Thursday, they wrote this piece called "President Obama's dragnet" and they wrote "The administration has now lost all credibility. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act enacted in the heat of fear after the 911 attacks, by members of Congress who mostly have not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers."

    Well then The Times went back and softened that first line. The original line read "Lost all credibility", then they changed it to "lost all credibility on this issue. How did that happen, Rick?

    RICHARD GRENELL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, let me predict that we will find out in several years from now that somebody at the NFC or at the White House called up Andy at the New York Times and complained and they went back in. And they changed it. That's just how things work. Look, the irony here is that the arguments for and against the government snooping, they haven't changed since Bush was very clear about what his limited policy would be. What has changed is the media coverage. Obama has done a 180 and the media hasn't noticed that they completely are just either on his side or they are acting now like the snooping is a good idea.

    SCOTT: Judy, we were talking about this on Friday on "Happening Now." The president's line seems to be "Trust us."

    JUDY MILLER, WRITER & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, yes, and that is the problem. Because there is no well of credibility left given the succession of scandals that we have had starting with Benghazi, proceeding on to the AP, James Rosen and now this. The problem is, I think we do have to distinguish between this scandal and the previous ones because this one has these two programs and they are often conflated by the media. Appear to have been supervised, you know, approved by the courts and at least two very prominent members of the Oversight Committees at that supervised intelligence on the Hill have defended these programs. I think now that this leak occurred and, oh boy, is there going to be another leak investigation into this one. I think we need to know as Americans more about the limitations of this program, about what's being done with the information both under the Verizon program and other Prism, as it's called, which is the Internet program, which now apparently only applies to people overseas and not to Americans. But we don't know. Now, we need to know more.

    SCOTT: Yeah, Kirsten, we'll talk more about the IRS thing later on, but, you know, using that as an example, this is the government in which private IRS data was handed out apparently to people for not some -- well, for some fairly nefarious purposes apparently ....

    KIRSTEN POWERS, DAILY BEASTS & USA TODAY COLUMNIST" Right.

    SCOTT: And these are the folks we are supposed to trust.

    POWERS: Yeah, well, and in his press conference I think Obama made a mistake in basically arguing trust us, these are professionals, they have no interest in your personal information. I think that's about 99 percent right. But it only takes one percent of the time for somebody to do something bad, and so I think the president should say I understand your concerns, this is an important program and we are taking all the necessary steps to make sure it is protected. And we're going to make sure that nobody abuses it and gives out your personal information, your private e-mails or anything to someone else.

    SCOTT: On the topic of security the president made a big announcement this week, he named Susan Rice as his new national security advisor. She replaces Tom Donilon. Now, Fox News chief White House correspondent Ed Henry asked Jay Carney about that decision. Listen.

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    ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Last thing Susan is right, she described her as one of the most qualified experienced foreign policy experts in America. If that is the case, how did she get the information on Benghazi so wrong in the days after the attack?

    JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: And I welcome the opportunity to correct the record, especially for some news outlets who persist in misrepresenting the facts. You have seen the so-called talking points, you have seen the testimony of the deputy director of the CIA, you have seen the documents themselves that demonstrate that the central contested point that Ambassador Rice made on those Sunday shows was drafted in the first instance and in every instance thereafter by the CIA.

    HENRY: Then why do various intelligence officials say in various testimony elsewhere that they almost immediately knew that this was terror? And if she is so experienced in these matters, why wouldn't she see it as they saw it? Regardless of what the talking points say?

    CARNEY: So you are suggesting that a senior member of the national security team should actually disagree with the assessments of the intelligence community provided by the CIA because somebody on Fox News perhaps said something?

    HENRY: No, actually the intelligence community -- at one point General Petraeus (inaudible) talking points he did not even want to agree with anymore, because the talking points have been changed so much, the CIA director didn't think they were worth anything.

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    SCOTT: All right, Cal, what about Susan Rice's appointment? Have the media questioned it at all?

    THOMAS: Well, in some parts. Interestingly, not surprisingly, KT McFarland wrote on FoxNews.com that she enters the job with zero credibility with the media. But apparently, as we've talked before, credibility does not apparently matter, especially when the president has been on all sides of all issues. But there have been some more liberal remarks on this. The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson said Obama felt he owed her. David Ignatius, great foreign policy writer for the Washington Post, called her a provocateur will now be in the White House. She can be her own worst enemy. So this is not exactly the kind of press you want going into a new assignment.

    SCOTT: All right, next on "News Watch," can the media handle the IRS scandals?

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    REP. DARRELL ISSA, R-CALIFORNIA: What were you thinking?

    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scandals engulfing the IRS heat up as the outrageous details surface. But the media coverage getting cold as some in the press pass on the hot topic. What are they thinking? That is next on "News Watch. "

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