First 100 Days

Former clerk for Judge Gorsuch weighs in on Senate battle; Activist calls women's march organizer a 'fake feminist'

This is a rush transcript from "First 100 Days," February 1, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL BREAKING TONIGHT ANCHOR: Breaking tonight, as Democrats walk out of hearings and threaten filibusters, Republicans are quietly starting to turn the wheels of Congress in spite of them, but some of the biggest battles are still ahead. I'm Martha MacCallum, it is day 13 of the first 100.  Good to have you here tonight.  So, the White House markings and victories this evening in areas where they have not had too many.  

They have confirmed - the Senate has confirmed Rex Tillerson, to be the next Secretary of State.  And Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, has also moved forward.  He's now in the final stages of his nomination process over the Senate.  You are looking at what should be a busy committee room. But look at it, for the second straight day, there are many empty chairs as people do not show up to do their job and refused to be there for the votes on the President's nominees for Health and Human Services and the Treasury Secretary.  

So, in response, the Republicans changed the rules.  They approved the President's picks without a single Democrat, by pushing forward a new rule. So, joining us now with more on this, Karl Rove, former Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush; and Austan Goolsbee, as a former Top Advisor to President Obama.  But first, we go to Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry, live on Capitol Hill tonight with the latest at what's going on there.  Boy, what a scene.  Ed.  

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT:  Yes, that's right Martha.  Two Republican Senators today came out against Betsy DeVos, imperiling her nomination to be Education Secretary, because if President Trump can hold Republicans, he will get most of his Cabinet.  He has Harry Reid to thank for that because remember, he changed Senate President so you only need 51 votes instead of 60 votes to get nominations through.  

He did that to help President Obama.  Now, it's helping President Trump, which is why Chuck Schumer, the new Senate Democratic Leader, may have miscalculated with this scorched earth strategy, trying to block all of the Trump nominees.  Schumer's democratic base may end up getting frustrated that for all the talk of stopping these nominations, many of them are going through, including Rex Tillerson, the new Secretary of State.  He's about to be sworn in over at the White House, just the next few moments by President Trump himself.  Most of these nominees getting through while the Schumer strategy has only stiffened Republicans vines, like that of Senator Orrin Hatch.  Listen.  


SEN. ORRIN HATCH, R-UTAH:  Yesterday, my colleagues took the unprecedented step of boycotting a finance committee vote on nominations.  Long story short, we took some unprecedented actions today due to the unprecedented obstruction on the part of our colleagues.


HENRY:  The point is that Democratic leaders are making a lot of noise about stopping the Trump Cabinet, but here is the dues for the President. You look at this list of ten Senate Democrats who are facing re-election in 2018 in states that were carried by Donald Trump.  Five of those states he carried by double digits, states like West Virginia.  So, the question moving forward is going to be not just with the Cabinet, but with this first Supreme Court pick.  Even if Democrats filibuster, how many of these Democrats who are going to have to face the electorate and two years are going to go along with the filibuster?  Martha.

MACCALLUM:  That's what it's always about, the next election.  Ed, thank you very much.  

HENRY:  Good to see you.

MACCALLUM:  You too.  So, here now.  Karl Rove, former Chief of Staff to President George W.  Bush and a Fox News Contributor; and Austan Goolsbee, former Top Advisor to President Obama and University of Chicago Professor. Gentleman, welcome.  Good to see both of you, here today.  So, for folks who are just home from work. I want to play just one of the other heads of the day.  This is Al Franken and Senator John Cornyn, going at it.  Watch this.


AL FRANKEN, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM MINNESOTA:  He said that I intended- that I had intended to undermine a nominee's character and integrity. Senator Cruz, misrepresented what happened.  So, I'd like to take this opportunity to set the record straight.  

JOHN CORNYN, UNITED STATES SENATE REPUBLICAN:  I object to the Senator disparaging a fellow member of the committee here in his absence.  I would think that --

FRANKEN:  Well, he should be here.  Secondly, he disparaged me.


MACCALLUM:  The good Senators from Minnesota, they're who has turned out to be basically the chief attack dog.  It looks like, Karl, for the Jeff Sessions nomination.  What do you make of all this?

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF UNDER PRESIDENT BUSH:  Well, look, Senators are entitled to say anything they want to say about one of their colleagues, as long as they don't say it at a committee hearing or the floor of the Senate.  The Rules of the Senate require a certain amount of decorum.  So, you can go out and say ugly things about any other member of the Senate, if you want on a cable T.V. show, or on news conference, or on a speech, but in the confines of the committee room and in the confines of the Senate.  

The Senate rules require stability and do not allow for personal attacks on a fellow member.  So, Senator Franken was out of line, maybe he didn't like what Senator Cruz had said to him out of - off of the floor and out of the committee hearing.  But look, I've read plenty of ugly comments by Senator Franken and interviews over the years, where he had been disparaging of his fellow colleagues and his fellow Senators, but he did it outside the confines of the senate floor and the Senate Committee.  So, he was entitled to smear them, say ugly things about them.  But he's not entitled to say it in a committee.  

MACCALLUM:  So, It's like school.  

ROVE:  Yes, sure.

MACCALLUM:  You can't do it in a classroom but on the playground?  All bets are off. Austan, let me bring you in and get your thoughts on this.  You know, the fact that the wheels are starting to turn and that they changed a rule today to make them turn, and then because of the electoral situation that Ed Henry pointed out about the risk that a lot of the Senators face in their own states.  Many of which, you know, lean towards Trump or at least cause them a little bit of a scare.  It could be a lot of sound and theory on their side and signifying nothing in the end.  

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FORMER TOP ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT OBAMA AND UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PROFESSOR:  I think that's fair.  I thought Ed was - it was insightful.  You know, that's always going to be the issue, is people who feel like they're going to be up for election and how will people react. The only thing I'll say is; A. this is clearly a trend, I don't know that it started in 2009 and it's probably even before that.  There were some extended battles and holds in the Bush administration, then, there were some in Obama administration.  

We've gotten into this - let's call it the unprecedented dynamic, that it's a game of cat and mouse of - we're going to do something that's never been done, oh, yes, well then, we are going to do something that has never been done.  You know, they held up Merrick Garland longer than a Supreme Court Justice was ever held up.  Then, the Obama administration got rid of the filibuster for non-Supreme Court nominees.  Now, they regret having done that.  

That said, I do think it's relevant.  In the Bush administration and in the Obama administration.  They put forward nominees who had cleared their FBI background vets, who had submitted all of their financial disclosures, and there wasn't any question about their testimony, whether it was true or false.  In this case, that is not true.  So, even though they are likely going to still get through, it's perfectly legitimate for Democrats to be saying, wait a minute, don't ram this down our throats, they haven't turned in their documents yet.  

MACCALLUM:  I mean, I think you touched on something, you know, that people are the level disgust with all this is so high.  And they listen to the tit-for-tat, and we all remember how much President Obama talked about obstruction.  So yes, Karl, I think people look at this and they say, you know, so now, it's on it - the shoes on the other foot.  I think that it would really behoove some of these individuals to come forward and say, you know we are going to work together.  Or President Trump to bring them into the White House and say, let's sit down.

ROVE:  Hey, look, their accusations are going left and right about people not turning in their paperwork.  Well, the paperwork is that every time they answer a set of questions in derogatory from the Democrat members in the Senate, they send more questions.  And then, when they answer those, they send more questions.

MACCALLUM:  Well, that's ridiculous.

ROVE:  Come to an end.  

MACCALLUM:  Is that really what's happening?  Because that's ridiculous.

ROVE:  And look - Oh, sure, that's the issue.

GOOLSBEE:  That's the long standing

ROVE:  That's the issue with Congressman Price and with Steve Mnuchin. And look, I love - I love the fact, remember, yes, there were lots of attempts during the Bush years to obstruct our nominees to the appellate courts. And one of the people who was obstructing them, who tried to lead a filibuster against the nomination of John Roberts as Chief Justice was none other than young Senator from Illinois, Barack Hussein Obama.  So, I love how now the democrats are saying, oh, we have never - you know, we've been so mistreated.  They've been at this for a while.  In fact, look, this isn't the first time.  

MACCALLUM:  But it's - I think there's like a grow up on both sides effort.

ROVE:  Absolutely.

MACCALLUM:  That could be, you know, that people could get behind here.  

GOOLSBEE:  Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM:  And you know, but you look at people not showing up, if they have questions and they want to keep sending more paperwork at this people, just come to the hearing and ask them the questions in front of the American people and let's get this move - you know, vote up or down.  

GOOLSBEE:  Well.  Well, but Martha, no.  But Martha, hold on.  They ask to have more time to ask those questions.  The reason they sent more questions was because there are accusations in several of these cases that the answers given by the nominees were either plagiarized or false.  So, they wanted more time to that questions then we've -

ROVE:  No, no, no.  No, no, no.   

MACCALLUM:  You know what, we'll going to have carry this over the next segment, guys.  

ROVE:  No, spear.  They answered the questions, they just don't like the answers.  

MACCALLUM:  All right.  That's Karl and Austin.  Thank you very much.  Good to see you guys, as always.  So, still ahead tonight, 24 hours after his President Trump announced his Supreme Court pick.  The claws are already out for the Colorado judge, as the Center for American Progress call to make, "conservative extremist".  They're here to defend that comment against the former Law Clerk for Judge Gorsuch, coming up next.  And Betsy DeVos' future as Education Secretary is now very much in question.  Two Republican Senators, are the first in their own party to say no to a Donald Trump pick.  We will tell you why, uncertainty, surrounds the President's pick here and it could lead to a historic conclusion.  


SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  I have 100 percent confidence, she will be the next Secretary of Education.  I think that the games are being played with Betsy DeVos, are sad.




DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT:  I have to say, if you can Mitch, go nuclear.  Because that would be an absolute shame if a man of this quality was caught up in the web.  So, I would say, it is up to Mitch.  But I would say, go for it.  


MACCALLUM:  That was President Trump, not pulling any punches when it comes to getting his Supreme Court pick on the bench.  Calling on GOP leaders to do whatever necessary to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch even if they have to implement the nuclear option.  Many on the left, meanwhile, going nuclear themselves with reaction that some critics have called over the top at this point.  Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He's come down against employees' rights, clean air, clean water, food safety, safety and medicine and the rest, if you care about that for your children.  He is not your guy.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Because this is not a normal consideration.  This is a seed that was stolen from the former President, Obama, that's never been done in U.S. history before.  To let this become normal just invites a complete partisan polarization of the court from here to eternity.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Because this Supreme Court, will be tried in ways that few courts have been tested.  Because again, this administration seems to have little regard for the rule of law.  


[19:15:00] MACCALLUM:  Joining me now, Matt Owen, Judge Gorsuch's former Law Clerk who also served as a Clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia; and Michele Jawando, is here as well, Vice President of Legal Process for the Center for American Progress.  Welcome.  Great to have both of you here today.

So, obviously, this is going to be very controversial despite the fact that this man - this judge, is someone who pretty much everyone expected was very high on the list.  So, I don't know why it comes as a big shock.  

MICHELE JAWANDO, LEGAL PROCESS FOR THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS VICE PRESIDENT:  So, you know, I think it's important to start this conversation with where we were March 2016.  President Obama, put forth a moderate pick- Merrick Garland, who was 64 at the time, he was not the favorite of progressives.  And there were Republicans on the Senate side who didn't have the decency to even meet with him.  It was unprecedented.  He couldn't even receive a hearing.  And so, when you think about that moment, you had Senior Statesmen like John McCain, and others like Ted Cruz, and Borough from North Carolina, who said that they would block a Hillary Clinton nominee for four years.

MACCALLUM:  We know the reasoning behind that.  


MACCALLUM:  I know you disagree with it.  But it was an obviously, a very unexpected situation when Justice Antonin Scalia died - it was very unexpected and sudden.  It was also within the year that an election was going on, and the feeling was that that was inappropriate, that it was too late in the tenure for the President to be picking someone and going through the process.  So, Matt, let me ask you.  You know, as an Attorney, do you agree with that?

MATT OWEN, LAW CLERK TO JUDGE GORSUCH:  Well.  I mean, I can't speak to what happened last year with Judge Garland, but I do know that the seat on the Supreme Court can't stay open forever.  And the President won an election and he has a nominee that he submitted to the Senate, we all know that nominee is extraordinarily well-qualified.  I don't think anyone is disputing that, and has a long record of fairness and independence as a judge.  And I think the Senate should take it up and consider him on his marriage.

MACCALLUM:  Matt, what's reaction when you heard Nancy Pelosi and the things that she said about Judge Gorsuch?

OWEN:  Well, I think it means that she, maybe, hasn't carefully studied his record, because Judge Gorsuch doesn't have a doubt for any particular kind of regulation.  He's the sort of judge who has a well-earned reputation for being careful and for following the law without thinking about who it will favor in any particular case.  He's not interested in gutting regulations. He's interested in reading the law and following it.  He has said that judges and not bureaucrats should be in-charge of interpreting the law. And I think that, that's - that's a thing we learned in civics class, and it's not that controversial.

MACCALLUM:  So, Michele, you know, it sounds as if anybody that this President would pick, you would be opposed to.  I mean, you know, are we supposed to have four years without another judge on the bench?

JAWANDO:  Well.  You know, I actually think that the onus is not on Senate Democrats to make a decision.  If the onus is really on President Trump to put forth a nominee who would be more in the mainstream.  The reality is, at 49 years old, he would be the second youngest to ever sit on the court. He was hand selected by what many would call kind of conservative extremist.

MACCALLUM:  Is there something wrong with that?  With being 49?

JAWANDO:  Well, I think when you're 49, you're not talking about four years of a presidency.  You're talking about 40 years and the potential to kind of change fundamental understanding of issues around rights, liberty.

MACCALLUM:  That seemed discriminatory to me, on the face of it.  That the age should be a component of how you choose this person.  I mean, you know, we're going to be at the stance of - what we're going to end up with is nuclear option.  That whoever is in power, picks their judge.  And nobody will be able to have hearings, and get together, and have any real say in this matter.  Matt, what do you think about that option?

OWEN:  Well, I think it would be a real shame.  We have an opportunity now, I think, to call an end to this escalation of the confirmation wars. There's a well-qualified nominee who was unanimously confirmed to the Court of Appeals ten years ago, with no opposition, who's had ten years to build a record of universal respect.  President Obama, Solicitor General Neal Katyal, wrote in the New York Times just today, that he has great confidence that he would be the sort of judge who could restore confidence in the rule of law, and stand up to the administration if necessary.

MACCALLUM:  All right.  We're going to leave it there.  Thank you very much.  I mean, remember, he was confirmed for his appeals court position unanimously by many of the same Senators, who will be facing this decision this time around.  Michele and Matt, thank you very much for being here tonight.

So, we are expecting some new video, at any moment, from the newly confirmed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's swearing in ceremony.  They didn't waste much time with that.  So, when it comes, we will show you the whole thing here.  That's straight ahead.  And also, President Trump's pick to leave the Department of Education is coming under increased pressure tonight.  This one is really turning into a battle, folks.  We'll tell you what is going on here, and why her confirmation could be very much in question at this hour.  Mercedes Schlapp and Mo Elleithee, will join us on that.


MACCALLUM:  So, we are just moments away from taking you to President Trump, as he will make some remarks tonight at the newly minted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's swearing in ceremony.  When that video comes in, which we expect in moments, we will bring that to you in due order.  So, tonight, President Trump's pick to head the Department of Education is now facing a very uncertain future.  As two a Republican Senators announced that they will not vote to confirm Betsy DeVos.  And with the current balance of power in the Senate, those two votes could open the door to a dramatic conclusion.  For more on that, we go to Trace Gallagher, in our West Coast Newsroom.  Hi, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANCHOR:  Hey, Martha.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell office, tells Fox News they're not concerned about Betsy DeVos' nomination, which is interesting, because when you run the numbers, at the very least, this goes down to the wire.  Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and Main Senator Susan Collins, the first two GOP Senators to break with Trump on his Cabinet picks.  Both said today, they're worried about Betsy DeVos' lack of familiarity with public schools.  Watch.


LISA MURKOWSKI, UNITED STATES SENATE REPUBLICAN:  I think the Chairman of the committee for working with me and with my colleagues on this matter.  But I cannot support this nominee.

SUSAN COLLINS, UNITED STATES SENATE FROM MAINE:  Madame President, I will not, I cannot, vote to confirm her as our nation's next Secretary of Education.


GALLAGHER:  So now, there is pressure on Republican leadership to keep the other GOP Senators on board because there is no Democratic support for DeVos, which means there's no wriggle room.  If the vote was held today, it would be 50/50.  And Vice President Mike Pence, the President of the Senate, would need to cast the deciding vote to confirm DeVos.  The Senate historical office says, the Vice President has never been called upon to break a senate tie - to confirm a cabinet member.  It's also worth noting, Betsy DeVos' confirmation vote will come before attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions because they needed Sessions to still be a Senator, so he can vote for DeVos.  But through all of this, the White House is supremely confident.  Listen.


SPICER:  I have 100 percent confidence that she will be the next Secretary of Education.  She is unbelievably qualified educator and advocate for students, teachers, parents.


GALLAGHER:  Betsy DeVos is also fighting allegations that she plagiarized some of her written answer to the Senate Committee.  The Trump administration calls those allegations "character assassination".  Martha.

MACCALLUM:  All right.  So, breaking tonight, just moments ago, Rex Tillerson was officially sworn in as the next Secretary of State.  We are waiting for a video that's going to be here any second, as it comes into Fox News.  And the President also made comments in the course of the swearing in, as well, about his visit to Dover Air Force Base today, which was a very somber moment for him.  So, let's watch some of this as it plays out.


MIKE PENCE, UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT:  Welcome to the White House. Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States.

TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  I just returned from an amazing visit with a great, great family at Dover.  And it was something very sad, very beautiful.  Ryan, a great man.  Secretary Tillerson, I first want to congratulate you - Renda, and your entire family on this incredible honor and it is that, an incredible honor.  You bring the unique skills and deep, deep insights and I've gotten to see it firsthand into foreign diplomacy, our nation needs, to foster stability and security in a world too often trapped.  And right now, it's trapped in violence and in war.

You understand that the job of our diplomats and the mission of the State Department is to serve the interests of the United States of America to make our nation safer, our country more prosperous, and our people much more secure.  In that mission, you also understand the importance of strengthening our alliances, and forming new alliances to enhance our strategic interests and the safety of our people.  Your whole life has prepared you for this moment.  And you really have had a tremendous life, heading up one of the great companies of the world, and doing it magnificently - absolutely magnificently.  And I can say, this is a man that's respected all over the world, before he even begins.

But as Renda said, now, he's beginning his big, big, and most important journey.  This is where you were meant to be, right here, today, at this crossroads in history.  It's time to bring a clear-eyed focus to foreign affairs, to take a fresh look at the world around us, and to seek new solutions grounded in very ancient truths.  These truths include: the fact that nations have a right to protect their interests, that all people have a right to freely pursue their own destiny, and that all of us are better off when we act in concert, and not in conflict.  And there has rarely been conflict like we have in the world today.  Very sad.  I am excited for you, I am excited for your family, and perhaps, most importantly, I am excited for our great country.  

Though you inherit an enormous challenge in the Middle East, and around the world.  I do believe, we can achieve peace and stability in these very, very troubled times.  May God bless you in this journey and may God bless our very, very special and great country.  Thank you very much.  Mike, you can do the honors.  Thank you.  

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  On behalf of President Trump, I have the privilege to administer Rex Tillerson as the Secretary of State of the United States of America.  Please place your left hand on the bible, raise your right hand and repeat after me.  I, Rex Tillerson, do solemnly swear.  

REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE:  I, Rex Tillerson, do solemnly swear.  

PENCE:  That I will support and defend the constitution of the United States.  

TILLERSON:  That I will support and defend the constitution of the United States.  

PENCE:  Against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  

TILLERSON:  Against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  

PENCE:  That I will bear truths and allegiance.  

TILLERSON:  That I will bear truths and allegiance.  

PENCE:  That I take this opportunity freely.  

TILLERSON:  That I take this obligation freely.  

PENCE:  Without any mental reservations.  

TILLERSON:  Without many mental reservations.  

PENCE:  Or purpose of invasion.  

TILLERSON:  Or purpose of invasion.  

PENCE:  That I will go well and faithfully.  

TILLERSON:  That I will go well and faithfully.  

PENCE:  Discharge the duty.  

TILLERSON:  Discharge the duty.  

PENCE:  Of the office upon which I am about to engage.  

TILLERSON:  Of the office upon which I am about to engage.  

PENCE:  So help me God.  

TILLERSON:  So help me God.  


TILLERSON:  First, I want to express my profound thanks for President Trump for giving me this extraordinary opportunity to serve my country.  I also want to think Vice President Pence for giving me the honor of swearing me into this office today.  I have a few folks in the room that are with me that have helped me over the last month to get to this point of confirmation.  They represent a much larger group of people that have worked enormously long hours, tirelessly, helping me and guiding me through the confirmation process.  To them, I will always be eternally grateful for the sacrifice they have made with their time and effort this past weeks.  

I have also received over the last month, so many messages, letters, and phone calls, best wishes, encouragement, prayers, from family, friends, and colleagues, who know me well.  But I have also received an enormous outpouring of wonderful messages from people all over the country, whom I do not know, words of encouragement and their prayers.  It is their messages that are going to really stand in steadfast reminder to me as I enter the responsibility of Secretary of State, as I serve this president, I serve their interests and will always represent the interest of all the American people at all times.  

Again, Mr. President, thank you for this extraordinary opportunity.  





MARTHA MACCALLUM, THE FIRST 100 DAYS HOST:  There you have it.  A big moment for Rex Tillerson, former chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil is now the Secretary of State for the United States of America.  The wheels have started to turn with these cabinet members getting their nomination process through.  So joining me now for what this could mean for Middle East policy, which you just heard mentioned there, Chairman of the Institute of the Study of War and Fox News Military Analyst General Jack Keane. General, welcome, good to have you here tonight, as always, your thoughts on the work that Rex Tillerson has cut out for him here.  

JACK KEANE, FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST:  Well certainly he has his hands full. I mean the world has become a much more dangerous place. The Middle East is absolutely full of volatility and dynamic every single day.  As we've already seen, while this government is in transition, and we are trying to put in play the National Security team, the problems of the world do not wait for that.  Problems come to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue regardless of what else is going on and we are seeing that right now.  Certainly, he is going to be a very key factor in formulating our national security strategy and foreign policy. And listening to his testimony carefully, while I didn't know him at all, I truly think he is up to the task.  I have great confidence in Secretary Gates and Connie Rice who made strong recommendations on his behalf, as well.  

MACCALLUM:  One of the big conversations that have been going around in recent days is how much these cabinet members will be listened to.  What is your sense for where the security policy for the country is coming from in the White House and do you believe they will have an opening to Rex Tillerson?  

KEANE:  I actually believe that.  In my own discussions, I have a couple of discussions with President Trump when he was President-Elect Trump, and he has an open mind and he has great confidence in the people that he is selecting to be on his National Security team.  I am so more confident he is going to listen to them, because he knows they clearly have more experience than he does.  He is a quick study.  Just like his predecessors who came to this office with virtually no foreign policy experience, going back many presidents, except for George H.W. Bush, the fact is, they learned very quickly.  He will be no exception to that, but I know that he will listen to his advisors around him.  

MACCALLUM:  Listen to this from General Mike Flynn today, General.  


MIKE FLYNN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR:  Recent Iranian actions involving a provocative ballistic missile launch an attack against a Saudi naval vessel conducted by Iran supported Houthi militants underscored what should have been cleared by the international community all along about Iran's destabilizing behavior across the entire Middle East.  The recent ballistic missile launch is also in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolution 2231.  President Trump has severely criticized the various agreements reached between Iran and the Obama administration, as well as the United Nations, as being weak and ineffective.  Instead of being thankful to the United States in these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened.  As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.  


MACCALLUM:  Iran on notice.  What does that mean to you, General?  

KEANE:  First of all, it is welcome news.  We are finally going to hold Iran accountable for its horrific behavior and dominating this region since the early 1980s, when they began to kill Americans by blowing up our embassies and our barracks.  The reality here now is that this message is going to tell them that we are not just going to hold them accountable, we are going to hold them accountable for their proxies and their fighters in terms of the damage that they are doing in the Middle East.  That is truly welcome news.  The second part of that message, which is unequivocal, though not stated, is that we are reassuring our allies that this policy that Iran has in destabilizing the Middle East, we will not put up with that anymore.  What that means, is that we will be willing to confront Iran.  And they understand that, we are going to hold their behavior accountable and they are going to learn to understand that.  

MACCALLUM:  General Jack Keane, always good to have you here, sir.  Thank you very much.  

KEANE:  Good talking to you Martha.  

MACCALLUM:  So there is new controversy tonight as the organizer of the woman's march in D.C. comes under fire for her treatment of other women, including one of my next guests.  Ayaan Hirsi Ali Hersey Alley is here with a powerful response and her message to those protesting President Trump. Plus, we will show you how one top news agency is telling its reporters to cover the president and how that might shake this administration's relationship with the press going forward when Chris Stirewalt, Jessica Tarlov and Charles Hurt joined me for the media conflict segment coming up next.  


TRUMP:   A lot of the media is actually the opposition.  They are so biased and really it is a disgrace.  




TRUMP:  A lot of the media is actually the opposition.  They are so biased and really, it is a disgrace.  Some of the media is fantastic and fair but so much of the media's opposition party.  They are the saddest people.  


MACCALLUM:  Well you have heard that before, that was President Trump earlier today at the White House, once again referring to the press as the "Opposition Party."  It comes as there seems to be a struggle with a larger media of over just how to exactly cover this unorthodox presidency. Reuters Editor-in-Chief Steven Adler going as far to provide his journalists with the do's and don'ts list and among the advice.  Do become ever more resourceful and do give up on handouts and worry less about official access, he says.  But don't pick unnecessary fights or make the story about us and don't take too dark a view on the reporting environment. Earlier this week, Adler added some interesting case studies his journalists might use as guides.  Watch this.  


STEVEN ADLER, REUTERS EDITOR IN CHIEF:  It is hard to be a good journalist, really hard to be a great journalist.  And in this environment, you have to be.  So I am thinking, though, we covered Duterte, we covered Sisi, we covered Putin, all around the world, we covered all around the world we face this challenges and so there is a playbook for that.  

MACCALLUM:  There is a playbook for that.  Chris Stirewalt, Fox News politics editor, Jessica Tarlov, Democratic pollster, and Charles hurt, political comments for The Washington Times. Welcome, all.  Glad to have you here tonight.  So Chris, there is a playbook for that and that is written in Turkey and Russia, just cover President Trump the same way you do those people.  

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DECISION DESK CORRESPONDENT:  I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt.  I'm going to say that what he is trying to say there, if you read the written version, what he is trying to say is, "don't freak out, people, ok" we are in a situation where the government -- we have an administration before that was hostile toward the press sometimes, sometimes extremely so.  Now, we have one that is more hostile towards the press.  But don't freak out.  If we can cover Putin, for goodness sakes, we can cover Trump.  I read him as saying, calm down, don't take too darker view, do your job, and you can get through this.  

MACCALLUM:  So Jessica, we have heard stories about CNN saying that they are being for frozen out, reporter saying that they are not getting the access that they believe they should have.  What do you think?  

JESSICA TARLOV, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  I think when you look at the feud between Jim Acosta and Donald Trump, you can see that happening.  Donald Trump also went after CNN for the report that Jake Tapper put out there about the information on what role Russia had played in the election.  We know that Donald Trump has called CNN "fake news" for months now.  He made that a principal part of his campaign.  So I do understand CNN being concerned.  As Chris said, I take this as guidance for reporters to make sure that Reuters can continue to be as resourceful and fair as they have. There have been over 100 countries and I think they are generally known to be pretty unbiased.  So I think this note, to his staff on his comments are actually incredibly important moving forward.  Treating the media as the opposition is dangerous.  And that is something that a Putin would say. Now, of course, Donald Trump is not Vladimir Putin.  Their humanitarian crisis issues that certainly we don't have going on in this country.  But I understand the concern and that certainly of CNN.  

MACCALLUM:  Charlie is there an effort to freeze out the press on the part of the Trump administration and what do you think of this response?  

CHARLIE HURT, WASHINGTON TIMES:  Well, I think that without any doubt, there is an effort by the Trump administration to manhandle the press, but with good reason.  I mean, you know, what Jessica just mentioned, the CNN report, it was not a false report about Russian ties.  It was an upper research dump filled with just ridiculous claims that were completely unsubstantiated.  

MACCALLUM:  But Charlie BuzzFeed report and the CNN report was different and Trump conflated them, Sean Spicer did it and Kellyanne Conway, to able to use that against CNN.  

HURT:  Whatever it is, CNN or BuzzFeed or whatever, it was treated as if it was an actual story.  This is why the media manages to have an even lower approval rating in America than politicians do.  And obviously, the big reason why Donald Trump did so well in the election is because he beat the living daylights out of the media every single day.  Another thing, Reuters advice, you mentioned, Martha, don't pick unnecessary fights, do stories about things that matter to people, these are the same people who gave us the whole crowd size a story, which was absolutely ridiculous, where they had a photographer climb because the elevator was broken and the Washington monument.  The poor guy had to climb 500 steps to get to the bottom -- to get to the top of the Washington monument so he could take a picture to compare to 2008.  This instance is the dumbest story that has ever been written.  And people don't care about this stuff.  And it is just picking a fight.  

MACCALLUM:  I am just watching Chris Stirewalt a side glance on that.  

HURT: I can't see that but I would like to see it.  


STIREWALT:  Well look.  We are accustomed to, as journalist, the fact that the government generally doesn't like us.  They don't want to make our job easier.  That is what they do, because they want to get their agenda forward.  This is not a new space.  Whether you are Republican or Democrat, generally, hostility is your starting point when it comes to when reporters trying to cover you.  This is different.  There is more here because Trump is good at, as Charles points out, making us into scapegoats, making us into a whipping boy for what they are doing.  And also, it helps because even when criticism is legitimate, even when inquiry or accountability is legitimate, you can tell your supporters, "don't listen to them, listen to me" that is always helpful for the government and now for Donald Trump.  

MACCALLUM:  It reminds me of the discussion we had earlier about the senate and about congress.  I mean at some point, does somebody speak of higher ground, because there is a purpose, obviously, with the press.  We ask the questions, we hold people accountable, we look at what they said they would do as president and we measure whether or not that is happening.  And when things slip away, you have to make sure that those stories are investigated, Jessica.  But there is an antagonistic attitude on some of the press that they're not going to give any breathing room at all.  Maybe he set that environment up during the campaign.  But how do we get to a place where there is some sort of comedy or that is never going to happen.  

TARLOV:  Well I am hopeful that it will happen.  I think it is going to take an advisor within the Trump's administration, someone very close to him.  It won't be Steve Bannon, who told "The New York Times" something closer to President Trump's set about the media being the opposition to say, you know you got to come down here and the press can be a very good thing for us, as well.  I mean we see the Trump administration releasing those highlights from the Sunday interviews.  Every time that something happened that is good, he is all over it.  If there is a poll that is favorable, he wants to talk about it nonstop.  So that doesn't mean we should just give flattering coverage, of course, but I think it will take someone close to him to drive him in this direction.  And I used to think that Kellyanne Conway might have been that voice of reason but the alternative fact scenario had complicated in my view of that.  

MACCALLUM:  Well, you know that they feel burned by many of these stories, and I think there is time to repair that relationship to the point where you can get it to a place where both sides are giving the people what they need, which is accurate information.  Charlie, thank you very much, Jessica, good to have you here.  Chris, thank you very much.  

There is no reaction tonight to a newly uncovered insult from an organizer of the women's march.  Linda Sarsour had insulted Ayaan Hirsi Ali with words that do not belong on TV.  The controversy raising questions about whether the movement -- this Women's March Movement, can claim moral high ground when it comes to the views of all women.  Ayaan Hirsi Ali is here to respond with a powerful message for those marchers coming up next.  


MACCALLUM:  New controversy tonight concerning one of the top organizers behind the Women's March Movement, which was supposed to represent a wide cross-section of women in this country.  Linda Sarsour criticizes the Trump presidency while supporting Sharia law.  Her views promoted by the official Women's March twitter account, she was one of the organizers.  They say they will always have her back.  But now, some are questioning if she is the right messenger for women of this country.  Sarsour has lashed out other prominent women, who are in favor of reforming some of the tenets of Islam.  Sarsour's 2011 tweet, which has now resurfaced, went after these two very prominent women who have spoken out against Sharia law in this vicious way.  Read this for yourself at home.  As she berates them and says that she wishes that she could whip them and take away their body parts. It is vile to say the least.  Joining me now is the person who that was directed at, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, well-known author and activist and research fellow at the Hoover Institution and the founder of the AHA foundation, Ayaan welcome, very good to have you with us tonight.  

AYAAN HIRSI ALI, AHA FOUNDATION FOUNDER:  Martha, thank you very much for having me.  

MACCALLUM:  What is your reaction when you look at it?  I know you have read that, and everybody at home just read it at, as well.  What is your reaction?  

HIRSI ALI:  My reaction is that Miss Sarsour is hostile to me, not because she knows me, but because she is a fake feminist.  Miss Sarsour is not interested in universal human rights.  She is a defender of Sharia law. And the principle of Sharia law is no principle that demeans, degrades, and dehumanizes women more than the principle of Sharia law.  Linda Sarsour is a defender of that.  She hates me.  She hates (inaudible) because of that. I want to say, I want to ask Linda Sarsour, and the women who put their trust in her, why did she not organize a march for us here?  That is the women in Pakistan who is on death row.  She is condemned because allegedly she did something that caused her to blaspheme.  Or a woman in Sudan who was imprisoned, the 270 plus women that were kidnapped in Boko Haram, the Yazidis women who were subjected to slavery by ISIS.  This is the times we live in and this fake feminists who say they speak for Muslim women, they have never said anything about this.  Linda Sarsour is not a defender of universal human rights.  She is a defender of Sharia law.  She hates me because I exposed what Sharia law is.  What the Sharia Law is what the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria is doing.  

MACCALLUM:  You have been a victim of genital mutilation, which something that you speak out about quite a bit.  It must be shocking to you to watch all of these women gather in Washington under this women's leadership. What is your message to those women?  

HIRSI ALI:  Well I have friends there who marched.  And when they spoke to me, I would say to them, listen, guys, we have real threats against women, real war on women, our genitals are being cut, 114 million women are being subjected to genital mutilation.  Child brides, we have women in China, for instance, the technology of looking at what is in your womb.  I have a baby and at 20 weeks, I could tell whether it was a boy or a girl.  That technology is being used to remove girls.  We are not marching against this kind of thing.  We are not marching against that in Europe.  This is the kind of thing we need to be marching against.  We are not marching against it.  If we are really interested in saving crisis of human rights, we should not go with fake feminist.  

MACCALLUM:  Thank you so much.  Thank you for being here tonight everybody. We will see you tomorrow.  


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