First 100 Days

Anthony Scaramucci explains proposed border adjustment tax

Former Trump transition team member provides insight on 'The First 100 Days'


This is a rush transcript from "The First 100 Days," February 24, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS HOST:  Breaking tonight, the fight between President Trump and some media now escalating over reports of top White House officials seeking cover from the FBI on the Russia story.  And then a press briefing that shut out specific reporters.

I'm Martha MacCallum and it is a roller coaster of a day 36.  So buckle your seat belts and we will take you through it tonight, folks.

President Trump setting the tone early in the day with a barn burner speech that he gave at CPAC, where he told the crowd you finally have a president. And, of course, they were jubilant about that at CPAC.  And then singled out, quote, "Just some of the," quote, "fake news media as the enemy of the people."

This came as news reports based on anonymous sources accused Chief-of-Staff Reince Priebus of urging top FBI officials to speak out, to clear the White House in the Russia connections story.

The White House denies that Mr. Priebus did anything improper.  Then hours later he had another blow-up pushing those headlines right off the front page after Press Secretary Sean Spicer invited about 20 media outlets to his office for what's called an off camera gaggle.

Mr. Spicer said the room couldn't fit every member of the media, but that did not sit well with those who were not specifically included.

Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts takes us through what happened.

Boy, busy day, John.

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT:  I will tell you, it's kind of like the weather in North Dakota, you know.  If you don't like it now, wait 10 minutes because it's bound to change.

So the latest dust up happened this afternoon.  Because the president gave that big speech at CPAC, Sean Spicer decided not to have on camera briefing.  So what he did to keep people up speed was he had a gaggle in his office.

He invited the pool in, the pool of 13 people who work on behalf of all the news outlets.  They go to the very close presidential events like inside the Oval Office, some other things and then they disseminate the reports to the rest of the media from there.  And he invited some other media outlets among them -- Fox News, ABC, CBS and NBC but there were a couple that went uninvited.

So the White House Correspondence Association and five networks that make up the network pool decided that they were going to protest that today. The networks got behind Fox News once, but we were excluded so we decided to do the same thing.  And we joined in with the other networks who were protesting the exclusion of one other network and some of the other news organization.

And as you point out, Martha, all of this happened at the same time when the president and the White House, which looked like it might be dialing back earlier in the week on its attacks on the media doubled down at CPAC today.

Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I want you all to know that we are fighting the fake news.  It's fake, phony, fake.  They are the enemy of the people.



ROBERTS:  What we should also point out, Martha, the two of the outlets that were excluded today CNN and The New York Times are outlets that the president has repeatedly called out as being, quote, "Fake news."

MACCALLUM:  Yes, he certainly has.  And as we pointed out, John, this sort of pushed aside the story that was the big story this morning.


MACCALLUM:  Which had to do with Reince Priebus and dialogue with the FBI where he asked them, essentially, would they be willing to clear the White House of the involvement in the Russia connection story, explain all this for us.

ROBERTS:  Well, what's really important here is the timeline.  That the reports that initially came out suggested that he called over to the FBI and pressured the FBI to walk back that story.  But what happened, according to White House sources and administration officials who briefed us at length this morning was that the initial contact was made with Priebus by the FBI, specifically it was the Deputy Director Andrew McCabe who was over at the White House last week for an early morning intelligence meeting, took Reince Priebus aside and said, by the way, this whole story in the New York Times about Russia and your former campaign manager being involved in communications, that's, quote, "B.S.," according to the sources that briefed us.

So Reince Priebus then asked Andrew McCabe, well, is there something we can do about this to correct the record?  McCabe, according to the senior administration officials said give me a couple of hours, then call me back. So Priebus called McCabe back.

Once McCabe got over to the FBI, he was told no, there is nothing we can do about it, but what's important here is the timeline.  The White House insists it was McCabe who made the initial contact.  There are very bright lines and fire walls between the White House and the DOJ.  But the White House says they don't apply in this case because this was a report in the newspaper.  This was not about an investigation.

The fact the report was about an investigation, Martha, may grey the lines just a little bit here.  Also unknown is why McCabe approached him in the first place and who in a very small circle of people leaked this out to the media.

MACCALLUM:  Yes.  Boy, so many layers.  John, thank you very much.

So here now to give us reaction is Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a former Trump campaign national security advisor and Mark Alderman, Democratic strategist and former member of the Obama presidential transition team.

Welcome, gentlemen.  Good to have both of you here today.



MACCALLUM:  So with regard to this FBI Priebus story, you know, with the layout and the timeline that John Roberts just reported, Mark, how do you feel about it?

ALDERMAN:  Well, Martha, it's no surprise that the White House thinks that the FBI is its partner after what the FBI did in the last two weeks before the election.

But, however the timeline is parsed, the fact remains that the chief-of- staff asked the FBI to do something that the FBI denied and that is problematic.

This Russia situation, Martha, keeps getting deeper and deeper.  And they are trying to make it go away but it won't.

MACCALLUM:  But why do you say deeper and deeper when so far and, you know, all we have is what we know about it.  So far the reports are that they have not found any connection that's troublesome.

So why do you say it's getting deeper and deeper?

ALDERMAN:  We have a national security advisor who was dismissed after lying about his communications with the Russians.  We have a chief-of-staff who asked the FBI to assist the White House politically by publicly down playing a pending investigation --

MACCALLUM:  Now you just heard they claim that that went the other way.  That the FBI reached out and said, hey, you know that story in the Times this morning, that's "B.S."  That's the report.

ALDERMAN:  I also heard --


MACCALLUM:  So you don't believe that.  You are entitled to not buy that, but that's, you know, we only know what we know.  And so that's the timeline and the course of events that we have reported on tonight, and that's to the best of our ability.

Pete, let me bring you in to get your thoughts on this story.

HOEKSTRA:  Well, Martha, you won't hear me say this very often, but this is actually where it worked exactly the way that it was supposed to do, except for the initial leaks.

The FBI then informs the White House that says, hey, that story is B.S. Reince Priebus says is there anything we can do to set the record straight? The FBI comes back a couple hours later and says, no, we can't do anything.

Compare that to what happened after Benghazi, where the Obama administration asked, you know, or Congress asked for the Obama administration and the CIA to prepare talking points.  Congress should never ask for talking points.  The administration should never have provided talking points.  This is exactly right.

Priebus asked an interesting question.  The FBI says nope, we can't do it. No harm, no foul.  This worked out exactly the way it was supposed to.


ALDERMAN:  Questions have never been ask, Martha.

MACCALLUM:  It reminded a lot of people, Mark, of what happened back in 1993 with the travel gate situation and George Stephanopoulos reaching out to the FBI and asking them for some cover in that story as well.

You know, I think every White House is well aware and should be of the rules with regard to investigations.  And I think, you know, according to John Roberts' reporting their take was because the FBI, the deputy director was responding to a story that he read in the newspaper, it didn't cross the line.  So I guess, you know, we will figure that out.

I do want to get your thoughts on one other story because I think this is an important story to get to tonight as well.  We have seen a lot of this where a draft comes out before the actual policy comes out.  But this draft that has come out from analysts at the Homeland Security Department says that at some there concluded that citizenship is an unlikely indicator of terrorism threat.

And this, of course, goes to the seven countries and the extreme vetting issue.

So, Pete, let me ask you, you know, is this why a re-do has been delayed? We were supposed to originally get this extreme vetting order today.  Now it's going to be next week.  And does it indicate to you that there is push back in homeland security about this seven-country ban?

HOEKSTRA:  I don't really think so.  I think, you know, if citizenship is one issue, you really need to take a look at a multitude of factors to decide what countries you are going to put on this list.  What's the level of terrorism and violence going on in that country?  What is the state of the government?

Is the state identified as a state sponsor of terrorism?  A whole menu of things you need to consider not just one, which is citizenship.  And I think when you take a look at the totality, these seven countries probably come out at the top or at least they come out in the top ten.  So it makes a lot of sense.  You can't just take a preliminary draft and take one segment and say this is why they had to do a re-do.

MACCALLUM:  All right.  Mark?

ALDERMAN:  Martha, it was never a citizenship ban.  It was a Muslim ban.  
There were citizens of those countries...

MACCALLUM:  Then why aren't they banning every Muslim country?

ALDERMAN:  ...who were Christian, who were Christian who were exempted from the ban.  That's why they're back to the drawing board.  And let's see if a constitutional order emerges this time.

MACCALLUM:  Let's hope that they come up with the best possible way to protect the country and a further layer and we will see what it looks like.

ALDERMAN:  Agreed.

MACCALLUM:  Mark, thank you very much.  Pete Hoekstra, thanks to you as well.

So coming up tonight, a U.S. Appeals Court ruling on assault weapons in Maryland renews a huge debate over the Second Amendment in this country as gun owners say that the decision is a direct affront to their constitutional rights.

Plus, the White House's promise of America first gets its first real test as the administration sends mixed signals on this whole issue of whether or not we are going to get a border tax.

Former Trump economic advisor Anthony Scaramucci joins us next on that.

Plus, does delivery matter?  We are going to play you some of the highlights of Steve Bannon against what Donald Trump said this morning at CPAC and talk about messaging coming across in two very different ways.

Bill Bennett helps us break it down straight ahead.


TRUMP:  I'm not representing the globe.  I'm representing your country.




MACCALLUM:  So a closer look tonight at President Trump's unique brand of straight talk, which at times lies in stark contrast to the rhetoric of one of his most trusted advisors, White House chief strategist and Trump's 2016 campaign CEO Steve Bannon.

President Trump and Bannon made appearances at CPAC on successive days. They delivered really in many ways the same message, but it came out a bit different.



STEVE BANNON, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST:  I kind of break it out into three verticals or three buckets.  The first is kind of national security and sovereignty.  And that's your intelligence, the defense department, homeland security.

TRUMP:  And, remember, we are getting the bad ones out.  These are bad dudes.  We are getting the bad ones out.  OK?

BANNON:  The second line of work is what I refer to as economic nationalism.

TRUMP:  I said who makes the pipes for the pipeline?  Well, sir, it comes from all over the world.  Isn't that wonderful?  I said, nope, it comes from the United States or we are not building it.


American steel.

BANNON:  The third broadly line of work is what is deconstruction of the administrative state.

TRUMP:  We don't need 75 percent of the repetitive, horrible regulations that hurt companies, hurt jobs, make us non-competitive overseas with other companies from other countries.  That, we don't need.

I'm not representing the globe.  I'm representing your country.



MACCALLUM:  There is a contrast there, right?

Joining me now, a man with quite a resume himself.  Host of the Bill Bennett podcast, chairman of Conservative Leaders for Education, former education secretary under President Reagan and Fox News contributor, Mr. Bill Bennett.

Bill, good to see you tonight.  Welcome.


MACCALLUM:  It's funny.  I mean, you know, when you listen to the contrast between Bannon and Trump.  They are saying the same thing, but in very different and equally effective ways, right?

BENNETT:  Yes.  I'm a student of the spoken word and these guys speak the word differently, don't they?

MACCALLUM:  They sure do.

BENNETT:  I mean, Bannon is a heavyweight intellectual, serious guy.  
Goldman Sachs background.  He reads, you know, journals, no doubt.  Off print some articles.  He probably subscribes to some obscure Austrian economic journal and uses hyphenated terms and a host of things and he is a power house.  And he deals largely in abstraction.

Donald Trump is a deal-maker.  He is an American businessman.  He deals with the concrete, the practical, the particular, the palpable, the specific.  You heard that in their contrast.

But, you know, it can be very complementary when you have two people who speak in different ways.  I don't think they need a translator between them.  Maybe that's what Reince Priebus does.  But they have very different styles, both effective.

MACCALLUM:  Yes.  I mean, it's great to watch them sort of, you know, up against each other saying such similar things in such completely different ways.


MACCALLUM:  And you and I spoke a while back about the president.  And today, we saw him at CPAC.  And we talked about whether or not, you know, how he could kind of expand his voter tent back at that time in August. And here is something that you said about that.


MACCALLUM:  What do you think is the biggest group that he needs to influence?  Who does he need to pull over?

BENNETT:  He does not need to speak to the Never Trumpers.  Some of my friends or maybe former friends who suffer from terrible case of moral superiority and put their own vanity and tastes above the interest of the country.


MACCALLUM:  And guess who came to the White House today, Bill, just to see Donald Trump -- President Trump -- John Kasich who once said, you know, it's on him how he does in the country.

And you know if you are going to insult Hispanics, you're going to turn off minorities, you are going to have reckless foreign policy that's not good and then here is he today at the White House.


GOV. JOHN KASICH, R-OHIO FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The man is the president of the United States.  It's sort of like being on an airplane, you want to root for the pilot if you are on the airplane with the pilot.  I mean, you don't want the pilot to screw up.

I also told him that I remember back when I first became governor, there was some things that I was doing to the point where my wife said to me you are the father of Ohio, act like it.


MACCALLUM:  So what was Kasich's message there, Bill?

BENNETT:  Well, his message was he didn't vote for this pilot.  I don't think we should vote for pilots.  He voted for some others.  He was, of course, the most famous public official Republican opposed to Trump, governor of Ohio where, as you know, Martha, the convention took place.

Isn't it interesting that he comes to see him a little bit hat in hand saying I want to work with you.  Look, it's an important state.  Trump won it big.  But it's interesting to me that he does it just as we are hearing reports from the media, maybe the fake news media, that, you know, there are Republicans who are considering defecting, stepping back, you know. Should they criticize Trump?  Here comes Kasich.

Well, that's because he is a responsible governor.  He wants things for his state and he understands who is in charge.  Good for John.

I have always liked John.  I'm glad he came around.  You know, this is kind of the prodigal son story, maybe a little bit.  The prodigal governor. Maybe we will call it that.

MACCALLUM:  Yes.  So you are saying that you think that there are prominent Republicans who sort of are having a different, a different take right now. So are they the never Trumpers or are they, you know, people who went down the road and have questions now?  What do you think?

BENNETT:  Yes.  Some are uncertain, Martha, and some are just scared.  Some are coming out of those town hall meetings where they have been terrified. Tom cotton is not one of those.

But, you know, they are seeing this.  And they are wondering what's going to happen.  There is uncertainty in this.  By the way, the solution to all this for Donald Trump is to get the things done that he said he was going to do.  This is where Bannon was crystal clear, wasn't he, at CPAC.


BENNETT:  He said this president will do what he said he is going to do. Watch.  If he gets it done, he will have 60, 70 percent of the country.

MACCALLUM:  Yes.  We're going to play one of his sound bites as the quote of the day.  And it's one I think we're going to continue to hear from Steve Bannon and the rest of the White House going forward.

Bill Bennett, thank you so much.

I'm glad we got the lights back on and glad we got to see you tonight.

BENNETT:  Yes.  We got the hamsters running batteries and the lights.

MACCALLUM:  Whatever it takes.  Thank you, Bill.

So, coming up tonight, new developments in the ongoing battle between President Trump and the press as The New York Times is set to do something they haven't done in seven years.  Find out what that is, when we come back.

Plus, this, the head of the NRA pulling no punches at CPAC today as the fierce debate over the Second Amendment goes to a whole new level now based on a decision from an Appeals Court on Maryland's assault rifle ban.  Stick around.  We'll be right back for more on that.


WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA HEAD:  We'll fight the violent left on the airwaves, the Internet, and on TV.  We'll fight the violent left in Congress and in the Washington bureaucracy.


MACCALLUM:  Big story tonight.  A decision this week from a U.S. Appeals Court to uphold Maryland's ban on assault rifles sparking some new debate over the Second Amendment and further highlighting the high stakes for the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch.

Rhetoric between both sides ramping up here as the NRA head Wayne LaPierre makes clear that his organization will not go down without a fight on this.


LAPIERRE:  Terror knows no more ferocious foe than freedom in the hands of we, the people.  And to defend it, we'll go toe to toe with him in any arena they threaten.  We will fight the violent left on the airwaves, the Internet, and on TV.

We will fight the violent left in Congress and in the Washington bureaucracy.  And we'll fight the violent left in state houses and courthouses from coast to coast all over this country.


MACCALLUM:  Fired up today at CPAC, here with me now, Guy Benson, political editor at and a Fox News contributor and Michele Jawando, vice president for legal progress at the Center for American Progress.

Guy, let me start with you because a lot of people on the right are very up in arms, you could say, about this decision.

What do you make of it?

GUY BENSON, TOWNHALL.COM:  Right.  Well, I think you have to go to the Supreme Court president on this in the Heller decision, which established very clearly that there is a fundamental right to own a firearm in this country.

And what the Supreme Court said was that includes all common use firearms.  
And I don't think you can interpret that any other way as to say this protects the purchase and ownership of guns like, for example, the AR-15 which is banned by Maryland.

The AR-15, there are millions of these in the United States.  It is the number one rifle in America.  That is the definition of common use.  I think this is going to the Supreme Court.  And I think it's going to be tough for Maryland to prevail.

MACCALLUM:  You know, the harmonica strings cue behind you at the CPAC meeting there.

So, Michelle, let me get your thoughts on this, because it's a semiautomatic weapon that's being discussed here.  It was called a weapon of war by this court, and that is what conservatives take such issue with here.

MICHELE JAWANDO, VICE PRESIDENT, LEGAL PROGRESS AT THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS:  You know, I think what's interesting with this decision, particularly, is that what we see is evidence-based models to protect communities are constitutional.  And that's what this decision says.

You know, it's interesting that we quote Heller because what I like to often point out is Justice Scalia who many people, including Judge Gorsuch often praised, said that there isn't unlimited right to own and possess a gun.  That you can't just keep a gun for whatever purpose you want or hold it or carry it for whatever purpose you want.  It is a limited right.  And I know that that's --


MACCALLUM:  But he did agree with Heller, which said that you could use it to protect yourself.

JAWANDO:  Of course.

MACCALLUM:  And he agree with -- he also made a point of Justice Scalia, of saying that he thought the judicial branch in too many cases treats the second amendment as if it's a second class right, that it doesn't give it equal credence with the rest of the constitution.


BENSON:  Yes.  The A.R.-15 is not a weapon of war.  That is a fallacious argument by the Fourth Circuit, which by the way, Barack Obama stacked after Harry Reid blew up the filibuster.

And so if you look at the AR-15, it is a semiautomatic rifle.  Weapons of war are fully automatic.  These are not the same thing.  It looks like a weapon of war.  That does not make it a weapon of war.  And I think this was just really shoddy legal reasoning from the Fourth Circuit.  And, again, this shines a spotlight on the Gorsuch confirmation.


BENSON:  Because I wouldn't be surprised if this goes to Scotus and I think it will be perhaps another split decision like Heller was 5 to 4.

MACCALLUM:  Michelle, you have so many people who maybe did or did not like Donald Trump when he was candidate Donald Trump, but they voted for him because of the SCOTUS decision.  When Justice Scalia passed away a little more than a year ago today, they really felt that they wanted a conservative on the court.

So what's the impact on the court decision here?

JAWANDO:  Listen, when we think about Newtown, when we think about San Bernardino, we have to ask ourselves are weapons of war what we want in our communities?

And, again, this decision found that evidence-based policies to protect our community are constitutional.  And I know people may not want to hear that or agree with that, but that's what this decision found.  And I think it is profound for the country and it's a step forward in the right direction. Justice Scalia himself said there isn't an unlimited right to own and carry and keep a weapon.

And so when you think about that, reasonable, evidence-based policies matter. And that's what the legislature in Maryland decided.

MCCALLUM:  Michelle, thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  When you think about the concurrence opinion from Judge Wilkerson it was powerful. It said this is their community.

MCCALLUM:  We have to leave it there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It is our safety. And we deserve to have that.

MCCALLUM:  Michelle, we're going to get cut off. Michelle, thank you so much.



MCCALLUM:  And Guy, great to see both of you tonight.

So, ahead, we take stock of another wild week when our panel of experts, Chris Stirewalt, Jessica Hurt and -- no, Charlie Hurt and Jessica Tarlov will join us straight ahead.

Plus, America first runs into a wall, whoa, where are we on this whole border tax thing? What does it mean for you? Anthony Scaramucci attempts to answer that question, it's an important one when we come back. Stick around.


MCCALLUM:  So, a busy 24 hours for an obscure part of the federal tax code, the border adjustment tax. Right? You have heard people talking about this, arguing about it, creating a little bit of heart burn for the president and for Congress as they look to keep the promise of America first motto, right?

So, this all began yesterday when the president told Reuters "I certainly support a form of tax on the border. What is going to happen is companies are going to come back here. They are going to create a lot of jobs. And then there is no tax."

Then there was this exchange at the White House press briefing today. Try to follow this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  How does the president respond to critics that are saying this border adjustment tax will be passed on to lower income and middle class families in the form of higher prices for goods and higher privacies for gas?

SEAN SPICER, UNITED STATES PRESS SECRETARY:  You know, actually benefit consumers. Benefit workers and benefit our economy. And that's, when you really think about the economic impact about that, that benefits our economy. It helps our American workers. It grows more jobs.


MCCALLUM:  So, we didn't quite get the answer to whether or not the president is completely on board with the border tax adjustment idea. Then this morning reporters suggesting that Gary Cohen, the chief economic advisor to President Trump says the president does not support this tax.

The White House is now pushing back. They say no, there is no daylight between Gary Cohen and the president on these issues.

Let's sort it out Anthony Scaramucci is here, Former Trump transition executive committee member and founder of Skybridge Capital. Anthony, good to see you tonight. Thank you for being here.

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, SKYBRIDGE CAPITAL FOUNDER:  Thanks for having me. Congratulations on--


MCCALLUM:  Border tax do we want it, do we not want it.

SCARAMUCCI:  So, I'll try to put it very simply. So, BMW sells a car here, they get like 22 percent adjustment from the German government to sell that car. It makes that car more affordable in the United States. And it weakens our competitive standing against them.

And so what the border adjustment tax effectively does it sets upon equalization mechanism, so things coming in would get taxed to make them more equal to American goods. And what Sean was basically saying to the press is that if we set up a border adjustment tax appropriately than more American jobs will be created. More things will be made inside the United States. Our trade deficit will become lower.

MCCALLUM:  A lot of people think it's going to make goods more expensive for American consumers.

SCARAMUCCI:  And then -- OK. And so, and that question was related so now we are bringing imports into the country from China, let's say, and that manufacturing supply chain would make the prices higher if you be going to tax those goods at the border.

So, there has to be some kind of adjustment. And so that's what the tension is in the White House between Paul Ryan, Gary Cohen.

MCCALLUM:  Paul Ryan wants it.

SCARAMUCCI:  Yes. Well, I think -- I think--


MCCALLUM:  Senate republicans don't want it, right?

SCARAMUCCI:  Well, I would put it to you this way. I think what everybody wants is a much simpler system that's more cost effective for American corporations. We have the highest corporate tax rates in the world. And set's come up with a system that brings that down.

But to what the president really wants is let's create more manufacturing and more jobs in the United States and how can we put that into the tax code? How can we incentivize people, even international companies to bringing manufacturing jobs that help the working class families and the middle class.

MCCALLUM:  I got you.

SCARAMUCCI:  And that's the tension right now. And I would say that Gary Cohen is a great team player and my guess is that he is on side with the president. And the good news is a lot of good intentions in the building and on Capitol Hill. I think we'll get it right. I think the American people will be very happy.

MCCALLUM:  All right. I want to play for you a little sound from President Trump earlier today about welfare.


TRUMP:  It's time for all Americans to get off of welfare and get back to work. You're going to love it. You're going to love it you're going to love it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Wow. Yes. Well, the perceptions of this president seem to be distorted and rooted in stereotype of many orders. I think, look, obviously people who have been -- and I've been on welfare myself a recipient of that most people use welfare as a temporary means until they can ultimately make ends meet.


MCCALLUM:  What's your reaction?

SCARAMUCCI:  Well, I have think the president is basically trying to say that the labor participation rate is at the lowest it has been in 45 years. Unfortunately, if you look at these transfer payments, they are up. And he would--


MCCALLUM:  Welfare payments?

SCARAMUCCI:  Yes. And what we would prefer to happen is having really good aspirational working class jobs. Unfortunately, I'm not blaming anybody but we've got eight million more Americans, Martha, have dropped below the poverty line in the last 10 years.

And so he wants to fix that. I think he is sending a message to people, it was very great value in self-determination and then in our culture of getting back to work and earning your keep. I don't think he is trying to be offensive to anybody.

I think he is saying it's going to be great because he is going to come up with the right policies for these people to work for themselves and feel better about themselves.

So, it's a community thing and I love him for it. I think his jobs program is going to be fabulous.

MCCALLUM:  Thank you, Anthony. Good to see you, Anthony Scaramucci.


SCARAMUCCI:  Great to be here. Thank you. Have a great weekend.

MCCALLUM:  You, too. So, still ahead, class is still in session and Stirewalt, Hurt, and Tarlov are here to give grades for Trump presidency in week five, folks.

Plus, the New York Times said to do something they haven't done in seven years on Oscar night. So what is it? Mollie Hemmingway is here to talk about that, coming up next.


MCCALLUM:  Media conflict tonight. Earlier today, President Trump attempted to clarify his ongoing clash with the media when he was at CPAC. Here's what he said.



TRUMP:  A few days ago, I called the fake news the enemy of the people. And they are. They are the enemy of the people.


In fact, in covering my comments, the dishonest media did not explain that I called the fake news the enemy of the people, the fake news. They dropped off the word fake. And all of a sudden the story became the media is the enemy.


MCCALLUM:  What do you think? Just hours after those remarks the White House excluded certain outlets from an on-the-record gaggle in the White House Press Secretary's office, Sean Spicer's office among the outlets that was excluded was the New York Times, the paper set to air this ad during the Academy Awards this Sunday. It is their first TV ad in seven years.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Investigation of any type.



MCCALLUM:  The truth is more important now than ever. When wasn't it, right?

Let's to do on there, joining me now to break it all down is Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at the Federalist. Mollie, good to see you tonight. Welcome to you.


MCCALLUM:  First your thoughts on this brouhaha that happened at the White House this evening. How serious a matter was that do you believe?

HEMINGWAY:  I think it is serious and it was a petty move by the White House to exclude these organizations. At the same time the media reaction is a bit over the top. And this is not unprecedented.

There have been things that we saw like this during the Obama administration. So, it helps that the media just kind of keep an even-keel about themselves and don't flip out over every little thing that Donald Trump says or does.

MCCALLUM:  Yes. You have you to wonder because there was, you know, there certain specific people who were not included. CNN was among them, the New York Times. If it was just that the room was too crowded it would not have necessarily targeted those individual outlets which led them to, you know, feel hurt and left out and to lash out.

But, at the same time, it also pushed the other story that was our top story about the FBI and Russia story sort of all the maps. So do you think it was intentional?

HEMINGWAY:  Yes. I do think everyone should be on guard whenever something like this happens.


HEMINGWAY:  To think what is it that they don't want us covering and make sure that you are covering that. But at the same time, you know, this is all the more reason to have these media outlets to hear this back, this briefing because they were talking about some of the problems with these stories.

And it is true that there have been problems with anonymous sources and just an overreliance on them in the media at The Washington Post has had many stories fall apart based on anonymous sourcing whether it was that Russia hacked the Vermont power grid or that Russia pop propagated fake news or, you know, misreporting the meeting between General Kelly and Steve Bannon or what happened at the State Department.

So, the White House has a good point, it fails to make that good point when it overreacts and acts petty about these other news organizations.

MCCALLUM:  Let's play a moment from President Obama way back when.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  If you watch Fox News on a regular basis it is a constant minute venue they will find like folks who make me mad. We're going to have to change how our body politics thinks, which means we have to change how the media reports on these issues.


MCCALLUM:  He spent a fair amount of time going after the media and this institution as well. So, I think a lot of people don't remember that part of the story.

HEMINGWAY:  Well, I don't know how they could forget because this was the main theme of the Obama administration not just Fox News but other, you know, conservative talk radio or what not that they were definitely fighting and it need to be remembered.

But also when the White House tried to freeze out Fox News, other news organizations let them know that that is not an appropriate thing to do.

MCCALLUM:  That's right.

HEMINGWAY:  And so you are seeing that again now. But, yes, even worse than that would be what the Obama administration did in terms of spying on reporters. Indicting them as co-conspirators, not doing a good job with FOAI requests, this Freedom of Information Act requests, those are threats to press freedom and that's what you want to guard against in this administration and all administrations.

MCCALLUM:  Good point as always, Mollie. Thank you so much. Great to see you tonight.

HEMINGWAY:  Thank you.

MCCALLUM:  So, straight ahead, the report card for President Trump's week number 5 and the moments that everybody is talking about from this week as you head out for Friday night. Stick around for this coming up next.



TRUMP:  I just wanted to announce, we've been working all weekend very diligently, very hard, that General H.R. McMaster will become the National Security Advisor.

SPICER:  We've been very -- working very closely with the Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice and the team here at the White House to make sure that the next step achieves the president's goal of protecting the country.

TRUMP:  We're getting really bad dudes out of this country. And at a rate that nobody has ever seen before. And they are the bad ones. And it's a military operation.

JOHN KELLY, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY:   No use of military force in immigration operations.

BANNON:  Actually, we cherish, I cherish his friendship.

REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF:  Yes. You know, I can run a little hot on occasions.

BANNON:  And Reince is--

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I believe President Trump has given voice to the aspirations and frustrations of the American people like no leader since Reagan.

TRUMP:  There is no dream too large, no task too great. We are Americans.
And the future belongs to us.


MCCALLUM:  Quick snapshot of another packed week in the Trump presidency. So how is he doing? Here to help us grade the week, Chris Stirewalt, Fox News politics editor, Charles Hurt, Fox News contributor and a political columnist at the Washington Times, and Jessica Tarlov, democratic pollster and senior director of research at Welcome all.




MCCALLUM:  Boy, Henry McMasters seems like a long time, doesn't it, that nice moment on President's Day on the couch?

TARLOV:  Right.

MCCALLUM:  Chris, what do you think?

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR:  Well, that was a big, big deal and a huge smashing success for the new administration. Democrats, republican hawks, dog, everybody agreed this guy is a serious thinker, put a lot of anxieties to rest.

Trump moved decisively with a huge win. And I had him graded very strong this week but he gave a little back because we got stuck back on the media stuff at the end of the week and back to--


MCCALLUM:  Did you think he spent too much time on that in the speech this morning, Chris?

STIREWALT:  It's so boring. There's -- I know that his base loves it and they eat it up and it's great for them. But it is impossibly boring. He's play the same record so many times and it doesn't -- time is running out they have to move the ball on Obamacare and on taxes and on other issues. Carping about the media? Step back.

MCCALLUM:  Chris? I mean, Charlie?

HURT:  You know, I think Chris is right, he does need to move on some of these other things. But people never get tired of listening to Donald Trump beat up the media. You might find it boring but people love listening to Donald Trump beat up the media, and you know, it is a bit of destruction.


MCCALLUM:  You don't think -- you don't think it becomes sort of inside baseball after a while, Charlie?


HURT:  No, I don't think it is. And I think -- I think it goes to the heart of what Americans are. Americans actually -- you know, we are a creed of nations, we believe in something, we're sort of bound by the belief in principles. And so, when you have the media and they make things up or they say things that aren't true or they distort things, people -- Americans get very angry at a very, very gut level about that sort of thing. And this guy taps into that. And they like it. And they love watching him beat these people up.

MCCALLUM:  Yes. I mean, you look at the approval numbers for the media and--


HURT:  They are lower than Congress I hear.

MCCALLUM:  Congress, exactly. And lawyers and all those horrible, horrible awful people.

HURT:  Horrible.

MCCALLUM:  Jessica, what do you think?

TARLOV:  I actually think that this is the best week that Donald Trump has had since he was elected President. There are obviously things I didn't enjoy. The media attack I think has gone too far.

And there's a new TPP poll out today that shows actually that the American public doesn't like it. I think that McMaster was a great choice. But I also think that we saw transgender rights being rolled back this week. That's a significant issue for people on both sides of the aisle.

Attacks on media as I mentioned and then also the attacks on people showing up at these town halls. These are Americans. These are your constituents. And they are concerned about keeping their health care and making sure that the country smoothly operates.

But I would like to say so kind of for Trump himself I was in the C range, but I thought that Mike Pence did such a wonderful job this week in Munich and also in St. Louis at the Jewish cemetery that was unfortunately, desecrated. So, I thought that for the Trump administration as a whole it brings a B minus. I don't really want to give a grade, but B minus.

STIREWALT:  I'm B minus, too. I'm in for B minus.

TARLOV:  OK. Great.

MCCALLUM:  Charlie, do you have a grade?

HURT:  You know, I would give it like, you know, I would give an A, A minus, somewhere in.

TARLOV:  Charlie. Be a little less partisan. Come as the easy on this one.


HURT:  What do you mean partisan, no. What's the great -- they guy beats up republicans just as much. There is nothing partisan about that. I think it's terrific when he beats up everybody. He's an equal opportunity offender.

MCCALLUM:  You know, one of the things that stood out, Chris, that is sort of bubbling around the surface is these appointments to all of these different agencies.


MCCALLUM:  You know, the State Department and all this, and you look at Rex Tillerson and the trip he took to Mexico and all these stories about him sort of not being in the loop or not being able to pick the people that he wants to pick. What do you see going on beneath the surface here?

STIREWALT:  So let's take another news story this week, refer, administration weighing whether we're they're going to against the--


TARLOV:  We knew you're not going to get out there.

STIREWALT:  -- pot smokers. And I think you have you so much have you to do.


STIREWALT:  Holy Croconaw. You have so many things that you have to do. You have hundreds of confirmed positions that still need to be filled. You have an Obamacare plan that needs to be done. The name of the game for this administration that's only thing holding it back really right now is a lack of focus, focus, focus. You got to fill these slots, you had a craft the legislation, you got the move the ball.

MCCALLUM:  Yes, so, Charlie, who should be the main driver of that?

HURT:  Well, I think that Trump needs to be and I think that Trump is. And I think that one of the nice things that I have enjoyed about watching Trump operate as President is that fact that he does, he goes after the media, he goes after refer or whatever.

He is not afraid to have a lot of chaos going on. But he does have people who are focused on things and maybe they don't get everything perfect the first time. But what we have seen with McMasters this week and with some of these executive orders is that he is willing to stop and admit that -- or maybe not admit that things didn't go well but you know, reissue things and redo things in a better way. And I think that's a very positive development.

MCCALLUM:  You know, I think often, you know, we have to dig below that shiny surface and talk about what happened. One of the things that I thought was significant today was this task force.

You hate to even say task force because it sounds like the graveyard of a good idea sometimes. But to roll back regulations--

TARLOV:  Right.

MCCALLUM:  -- and find them in agencies. That is something that business owners, you know, sat up and took great notice of today, Jessica.

TRALOV:  Absolutely. Yes. No. I think when he does focus on issues that relate in any way to the economy, he is going to do better. Because right now, that's the only area that Americans actually approve of what he is doing when you look at the polling. So, yes, it's a good thing. Listen, I like regulations, personally but you knew I was going to say that.

MCCALLUM:  I feel warm and fuzzy about regulations, don't they?



MCCALLUM:  Can I say this is like curl up with some regulations. All right. Thanks, guys. You all have A's in my book. Good to see you as always

TARLOV:  Have a good weekend.


STIREWALT:  Thank you, Martha.

MCCALLUM:  So, we leave you with this quote of the night. This one kept coming back from yesterday. It is chief strategist Steve Bannon. Watch this.


BANNON:  If you think they are going to give your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken.


Every day -- every day it is going to be fight.


MCCALLUM:  That right there may well become the Trump bumper sticker for the first 100 days and beyond. It's one we will no doubt revisit as this battle continues.

Let us know what you think, send me a tweet @marthamccallum, hash tag first 100. Thanks for watching. Have a great weekend, everybody. We'll see you back here Monday. O'Reilly is next.


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