This is a rush transcript from "The First 100 Days," March 2, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BRET BAIER, SPECIAL REPORT WITH BRET BAIER HOST: -- 9:00 p.m. Eastern time. Exclusive and live.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, THE FIRST 100 DAYS ANCHOR: Breaking tonight. A pitched battle by the White House to continue the good feeling from Tuesday's big speech while Democrats attempt to douse the momentum by undoing the attorney general after new Russia revelations. I am Martha MacCallum and it is day 42 of the first 100. While the Sessions controversy has some critics a bit giddy, with hopes of taking down another cabinet member, the president made a dramatic marine one landing on the decks of the USS Gerald R. Ford this afternoon. Attempting to keep the White House on message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our navy is the smallest it's been since, believe it or not, World War I. Don't worry. It will soon be the largest it's been, don't worry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Still news that AG Sessions had met with the same Russian diplomats that eventually took down Michael Flynn dominated the day. And at 4:00 p.m., Sessions faced reporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: I have now decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaign for president of the United States. This announcement should not be interpreted as confirmation of the existence of any investigation or suggestive of the scope of any such investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: That statement, no doubt forced by the buzz which went on all day. And through it all President Trump defended his attorney general.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, do you still have confidence in the Attorney General, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think he should have spoken truthfully about whether he may have spoken to the Ambassador?
TRUMP: He probably did.
CHUCK SCHUMER, SENIOR UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM NEW YORK: For the good of the country, Attorney General Sessions should resign.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: People are refusing to play partisan politics (INAUDIBLE) should be ashamed of themselves.
NANCY PELOSI, MINORITY LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: The top cop in our country lied under oath. He has proved that he is unqualified and unfit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that's ridiculous. Our friends on the other side are hyperventilating over the election. Look, they're expecting to win and they lost.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So tonight, we talked to Congressman Trey Gowdy, former chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi and current member of the House Intelligence Committee which is investigating the alleged Russian interference. Plus Richard Painter is a former chief Bush White House ethics lawyer who is calling on Senator Sessions to resign. And world renowned constitutional scholar and lawyer Jonathan Turley all here. But first, we begin with Chief Intelligence Correspondent Catherine Herridge, who questioned the attorney general today. Catherine?
CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Martha. The attorney general told reporters today that he was already considering recusal when a Washington Post story last night seemed to accelerate the timeline.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SESSION: On Monday of this week, we set a meeting with an (INAUDIBLE) final decision on the question. And my staff recommended recusal. They said since I had involvement with the campaign, I should not be involved in any campaign investigation.
HERRIDGE: The attorney general called allegations that he acted as an intermediary between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence as false and baseless. Attorney General Sessions said he will clarify his confirmation testimony to the senate judiciary committee. There, he said he was caught off guard by Democrat Al Franken's question about a media report concerning allegations the Russians had a damaging dossier on then- candidate Trump.
Attorney General Sessions said he correctly stated that he had no contact of a political nature with the Russians but will now explain his meetings with the Russian ambassador. On the September meeting with that Ambassador, Attorney General Sessions said, the request came out of the blue to meet with him and to this day, he does not understand the motive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With hindsight, do you believe this is a coincidence that the Russians asked you for a meeting or do you believe you were targeted?
SESSIONS: I don't recall and don't have a sense of any connection whatsoever. I can't speak for what the Russian ambassador may have had in his mind.
HERRIDGE: Also based on that news conference, the attorney general will no longer get briefed on the Russian investigation and he will no longer have decision-making authority. That will fall to his deputy and the confirmation on that position is next week, Martha.
MACCALLUM: All right. Catherine, thank you. So here now, Congressman Trey Gowdy, member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Good to have you here, tonight.
TREY GOWDY, MEMBER OF THE PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE: Yes, ma'am. Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So, you heard Senator Sessions' recusal today and watched him answer the questions. What questions do you have for him remaining?
GOWDY: For him, probably not any because I'm not a criminal investigator. So to the extent people are talking about false statements before congress. I wouldn't have any -- that was my old job. My new job is to provide oversight over investigations after they happen which is why we met with Jim Comey this morning. But, you know, Attorney General Sessions incorrectly answered a question. That happens almost every day in congress and there aren't perjury referrals.
People do make mistakes. I was struck listening to the intro, Martha, that it could not have been a campaign related conversation if it took place on Capitol Hill. I don't know where the meeting with the Russian ambassador took place but if it took place in the Capitol --
MACCALLUM: If it was in his office with two of his aides.
GOWDY: OK. Well, then, you can't discuss politics. President or otherwise, that is yet a separate issue. So, the Jeff Sessions I know has always been a rule follower. I don't think he's going to be talking about campaign related matters on capitol grounds. And if he said he forgot about it, he would be about the millionth person who actually forgot about a fact.
MACCALLUM: But here's what I think, you know, the whole thing is raising questions. And after I watched the news conference today, some of those questions arose. You know, it's the middle of the campaign, it's September. There's already all these discussion about hacking from Russia that surfaced during the DNC in the summer. So he says that the Russian ambassador called out of the blue and said, you know, I'd like to come in and talk with you. And he said yes.
So just a few short months later in January, he describes a somewhat uncomfortable conversation and he said he brought up things about the Ukraine that, you know, seemed to make the ambassador a little uncomfortable with his take on that idea. And then in January, he doesn't remember that conversation happening? And then after that, he doesn't -- his aides don't say to him, you know, hey, after the testimony, you -- we did have that meeting, remember? And there's no follow-up to the committee based on that recollection?
GOWDY: Well, it's up to him. He's the one that gave the testimony before the senate judiciary committee. It is up to him to clarify. I'm just telling you, having been there for six years, almost every witness gets some fact incorrect. That does not -- that does not tantamount to perjury. I'm not prejudging this. The FBI is welcome to look at it. If the senate feels as strongly about it, they can send a referral to the FBI but simply making a factual error is not tantamount to perjury.
MACCALLUM: All right. So the investigation is ongoing. You met with the FBI Director this morning. I watched Congressman Schiff come out and speak about that earlier today. He said that, you know, the FBI has only given us a fraction of what they know here. He seemed very rattled that they're not sharing enough about whether or not there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. That is the main question. What's your take away? What are you able to share about that?
GOWDY: I was in the same room for the same morning and it is exactly the opposite. I have never heard a federal law enforcement agent give with that degree of particularity and detail, an update on an inquiry. And as you may recall, I was a federal prosecutor for six years so I have talked a lot to FBI agents. He went so far beyond what any other administration official has ever done, whether it's Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch or his predecessor Robert Moller.
They never gave us this level of detail and specificity. He bent over backwards. Not just the DNC, Martha, I want to investigate all aspects of Russia, not just Podesta's e-mail. Everything. Hacking our infrastructure, attempts to hack the RNC, whatever they did, look at it. But congress does not run parallel criminal investigations with the FBI. We're not equipped to do it. We're not supposed to do it. Jim Comey did more today to update us than I have ever had done in the six years I have been there and for Adam to treat it that way, that dismissively, clearly he and I were into separate rooms this morning.
MACCALLUM: Very interesting. Just last question. John Brennan and Mr. Clapper both said that after the investigation they did not -- were not able to see any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians but they were trying to bring down Hillary Clinton's candidacy. Is there any new information that you got from Mr. Comey on that today?
GOWDY: Well, If I did get new information despite how definitely you ask that question, I would not be able to share it given the nature of our hearing but I will tell you this. to the extent people are relying on media reports, whether it's the New York Times or Washington Post upon which to base their factual assertions, I would tell them to be very, very careful. I'm not going to say any more than other than the person leading the investigation on behalf of the United States government, the head of the FBI, listen to what he has to say.
Don't listen to anonymous sources who will leak classified information which, oh by the way, is also against the law. Between Jim Comey and a reporter from the New York Times, give me Jim Comey.
MACCALLUM: Thank you very much, Congressman Gowdy.
GOWDY: Yes, ma'am.
MACCALLUM: Pleasure to see you, sir. So range of reaction across the political spectrum to the news of Attorney General Sessions. Here now, Professor Jonathan Turley, constitutional scholar who teaches the George Washington University Law School and Professor, Richard Painter, former Ethics Chief Lawyer for the Bush White House who tweeted this today misleading the senate in sworn testimony about one -- about one -- one's own contacts with the Russians is a good way to go to jail. Let me start with you, Richard Painter. Do you still feel that way after what we saw unfold today?
RICHARD PAINTER, Well, yes. I feel very strongly about the real problem which is Russia's conduct over many decades. And our inability to deal with that. Russia has tried to subvert western democracy since the 1920s. Here in the United States and in Europe. It is going on in France right now. And if we're going to deal with this problem, we need to be honest with each other about what we know about what the Russians are doing and when we're meeting with the Russians.
And when Senator Sessions in his confirmation hearing said he had no contact with the Russians, that is what he said and that was just wrong. He had these meetings with the Russian ambassador. I'm very concerned about that. I'm not going to prejudge weather Senator Sessions committed perjury. What I'm interested in is do we have an attorney general and other officials in our government who are willing to be honest with each other in communicating about this very serious threats to our democracy coming from Russia.
MACCALLUM: All right. I want to get Jonathan Turley's reaction but first I want to play a bit of what senator Sessions said today about the meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SESSIONS: We talked about -- a little bit about terrorism, as I recall. And somehow the subject of the Ukraine came up. I have the Ukrainian ambassador in my office the day before and to listen to him, nothing -- Russia had done nothing that was wrong in any area and everybody else was wrong with regard to the Ukraine. Got to be a little bit of a testy conversation at that point in a wrapped up. He said something about inviting me to have lunch. I did not accept that and that never occurred.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Jonathan Turley, your reaction.
JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: Well, I think the attorney general was correct to recuse himself. He was also correct in issuing a letter of clarification. As I've said before, I thought that there should've been a recusal early. You know, my only complaint on that point is the administration sometimes seems three beats behind, sort of like your uncle who keeps on dancing after the music stops at weddings.
They need to pick up the rhythm on something like this. There should've been an earlier recusal. They could have avoided much of this but I still don't see where the crime is here. I looked at the testimony. I respect what Mr. Painter said. No question that the answer was not complete. The question was broader but the question was not a model of clarity. It was a long question that involved a just recently released CNN story. Should he have been a little more broad in his answer? Absolutely.
But I'm still not convinced that there is a compelling or even cognizable case for perjury. He's recused himself. That's the right thing he did, the right thing to do. He did it a bit belatedly because he waited for this meeting.
MACCALLUM: Richard, why do you believe there's a -- do you believe there is a case for perjury as you stated in your tweet message this morning? Do you still believe that?
RICHARD PAINTER, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE CHIEF ETHICS LAWYER: No. What I-- what I said is that not telling the truth about your dealing with the Russians is a good way to end up in jail and you can and people have gone to jail for that or whether it's Alger Hess or other people. I'm not going to prejudge this case but I don't think he's fit to be attorney general if he can't communicate honestly with his colleagues in the senate about a meeting with the Russian ambassador. That's not a fact you forget conveniently. This is a very, very serious situation.
MACCALLUM: Final thought, Jonathan Turley. I'm going to go.
TURLEY: Well, I think we need to recognize he answered the more difficult and more poignant question that is campaign discussions with the Russians. That was the one he did not evade ad he did answer it and it does appears to be truthful.
MACCALLUM: All right. Thank you, gentlemen. Good to have you both here tonight. So tonight at 9:00 right here on Fox, Tucker Carlson will speak exclusively in his one-on-one interview with Attorney General Jeff Sessions about today's big announcement that he is recusing himself from the investigations into the Trump campaign and the Russians. That is tonight, 9:00 on Tucker Carlson tonight. You don't want to miss that. It's going to be a great interview. No doubt.
So more tonight on the top story, Attorney General Sessions recusal reminded us of a moment, a pretty big one and Dems call for Sessions to resign, Mercedes Schlapp and Juan Williams debate straight ahead. Plus, President Trump donned his commander-in-chief hat and doubled down on his promise to rebuild the United States military. Charlie Hurt and Julie Roginsky join us. Coming up.
TRUMP: I will always support you and your mission. I will never, ever let you down.
MACCALLUM: More now on our top story, and the ongoing political fallout after all they demands for Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal. Some are still calling for him to resign on the Democrat side. It all ended with the attorney general doing just that, recusing, not resigning. But not before Democrats came out in full force ordering for him to step down. Watch some of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHUMER: Beyond the shadow of the doubt that Attorney General Sessions cannot possibly lead an investigation into Russian interference in our elections or come anywhere near it.
SEN. AL FRANKEN, D-MINNESOTA: This is pretty suspicious. I certainly would have said, you need to recuse yourself.
PELOSI: If this congress impeached the president for something so far less.
SESSIONS: I have studied the roles and considered their comments and evaluation. I believe those recommendations are right and just. Therefore, I have recused myself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Democrats are calling this a victory but critics are pointing out that some of these same politicians had very different reactions when Attorney General Loretta Lynch was caught having a very questionable meeting with President Bill Clinton in the middle of his wife's email probe. So joining me now, Mercedes Schlapp, Republican strategist, and Juan Williams, co-host of The Five. Both are Fox News Contributors.
Welcome to both of you. So, you know, it always seems when the shoes on the other foot, the level of the outrage is ramped up, you know, with an equal and opposite reaction. Juan, I want to start by showing Senator Schumer back on June 30th with regard to Loretta Lynch. We'll play him then and to now. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHUMER: She has said nothing was discussed related to the investigation. So, you have two choices, to say this didn't matter or she is lying. I think it didn't matter. There cannot be even a scintilla of doubt about the impartiality and fairness of the attorney general, the top law enforcement official of the land. It is clear, Attorney General Sessions does not meet that test. Attorney General Sessions should resign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Juan, why such a different story?
JUAN WILLIAMS , FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean, Clearly, Loretta lynch didn't deny that she had a meeting at the time with Bill Clinton, it wasn't planned but I think context is somewhat different. But your point is well taken that this has become such a partisan play. I think the attorney general today did a big favor to President Trump. I think he added credibility to whatever investigation has now done, and the way that Loretta Lynch removed herself, that's still a big controversial item and allowed the FBI Director Jim Comey to make a decision about going forward on prosecution.
It was totally wild because normally, the FBI Director has nothing to do with it. Now, you're in a situation where, you know, the attorney general has said, look, I'm going to be formal about this and recuse myself. And I think that was the right move. He said it was based on the advice of his top aides. And I think it was the right move because it will help President Trump as this investigation goes forward.
MACCALLUM: Well, they said they were considering this move to recuse among his staff before this whole story broke last night. And, you know, the context of it, Mercedes, everything is seen in a political context these days, right? So you got this big Tuesday nights speech, President Trump is all across the newspapers in every internet site, every news site that's a big win for him, right? And then, all of a sudden, lo and behold, as he, you know, heading out to Newport News to land on the aircraft carrier, this is the meat of every single moment on cable news and (INAUDIBLE) today. What you make of that?
MERCEDES SCHLAPP, FOX NEWS CONRIBUTOR: It was shocking news, quite frankly. But I think what is disturbing is the fact that the Democrats have decided that they're going to jump the gun. They are so eager to find their next target and their next target in this case is obviously Jeff Sessions. And their focus on -- they jumped right into that he's lying and that he should resign. Now, that's just a far stretch, it's ridiculous. When you actually listen to the exchange and that's why I encourage viewers to listen to the exchange, it is very clear that Senator Al Franken asked the question in a way that was focused on the Trump surrogates and their continuous exchange with the Russian government.
And he responded, Senator Sessions based on that context as a surrogate. Now, obviously, we know that Senator Sessions as do many of the senators and members of congress, they meet with ambassadors in their official role as a senator or congressman.
MACCALLUM: I think the thing that people take issue with is the fact that he didn't correct it, you know, that when -- he said there are two staff members in the office with him during the discussion with the Russian Ambassador. You know, the fact that nobody said, we got to get out in front of this but you remember at that moment --
SCHLAPP: It would have been a smarter move. Right.
MACCALLUM: -- the ambassador was the same person who had discussions with Mike Flynn and, you know, maybe they just thought if they kept their head down for a while,they wouldn't have to discuss this but that's just not the way the world works.
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: And I would also add, Martha, that Senator Leahy sent the -- well, now, Attorney General Sessions a letter and asked him about contacts with the Russians and the respond from the attorney general was no, I've had no contact.
MACCALLUM: It was no contact about the election. A lot of parsing of words going on here. Both of you, thank you very much. I think people, you know, kind of up to here with a lot of the stuff. So, we'll move on. Thank you for being here.
WILLIAMS: Thanks, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Good to see you both. So, breaking tonight, new reports of massive budget cuts at the environmental protection agency. The president asked for these cuts and he will get them at non-security based agencies. Charles Hurt and Julie Roginsky way in next. And as the Secretary of State about to blow up the Iran deal that President Trump hates so much. Our own General Jack Keane joins us next with his take on that. Stick around.
MACCALLUM: So developing right now, hot off President Trump's speech about rebuilding our military, the commander-in-chief travel to Newport News, Virginia for a visit aboard America's newest aircraft carrier. He used to stop to gain promise -- again to promise more support for our armed forces.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I am calling for one of the largest offense spending increases in history. Our military requires sustained, stable funding to meet the growing needs placed on our defense. Our navy is now the smallest it has been since, believe it or not, World War I. Don't worry. It will soon be the largest it's been. We also need more aircraft to modernize capabilities and greater force levels. American ships will sail the seas. American planes will soar the skies. American workers will build our fleets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Here now, Charles Hurt, political columnist for the Washington Times and Julie Roginsky, Democratic analyst. Both are Fox News Contributors. Good evening you guys.
CHARLES HURT, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Hey, Martha.
JULIE ROGINSKY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Thank you very much for being here. This is what today was supposed to be all about. From the White House's perspective, of course a lot of it was drowned out by the Jeff Sessions news but, you know, he really does want to increase the budget here, Charlie. And he's also has worked pretty hard to get some of those contracts lowered with Lockheed and Boeing and all of that -- those negotiations that he's been making. How is he doing?
HURT: Yes. Well, you know, love him or hate him, this is exactly what he ran his campaign on. And it's exactly what he -- what he won the campaign on. And as you mentioned, you know, I -- we've never seen a commander-in- chief come in and sort of knock heads on individual programs like the F-35 jet strike fighter and the Air Force One replacement. You know, actually getting real savings out of those things by negotiating.
Of course, Donald Trump likes to present himself as the great negotiator. Apparently, he is going to sort of get under the hood of every negotiation there is out there. But, you know, the military is -- you know, we are -- it has been degraded to a point but we have never seen in decades. And this is what -- this is exactly what he said we would do.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS SHOW HOST: Yeah, he made it clear after today, Julie, that he wants to turn that around, but while doing cost cutting at same time. He is a businessman. And I see approach that he takes to these things and as Charles has said, you know, most people who become president have spent their lives in government. So they don't have any problem with escalating costs time and time again. This individual works very differently.
JULIE ROGINSKY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, you know, there is something to be said for the fact that sequestration was a pretty devastating thing, not just for the defense budget, but across the board. I will say you have a letter signed by over 100 generals begging him and saying to him that a national security crisis would ensue in so many words if he were to cut the budget as he wants to cut it by third at places like the state department. So it is not just about building more ships or building more planes or getting the budget hike to the defense department.
ROGINSKY: It is also about ensuring that our diplomatic corps is not drastically cut with the.
MACCALLUM: Isn't there a banner on the ship today? Charlie, you pointed this out. What did it say?
HURT: A 100 tons of diplomacy. And indeed, the nice thing about having 12 aircraft carries is that you don't always have to use them, just having them kind of sets the tone.
ROGINSKY: You know.
MACCALLUM: Yeah, that's the argument he's making, Julie.
ROGINSKY: The problem is you have people like General Mattis and others who are saying if you cut the diplomatic corps and you cut the diplomatic budget, you are forcing them to buy more bullets and ultimately, we don't want to go to war. I mean, a great part of avoiding war is clearly diplomacy in the state department and what you are doing by.
MACCALLUM: --Peace through strength.
ROGINSKY: Well, you know, I think you have a 100 -- you have -- He should look at his own generals and some previous generals. We have 100 generals there.
MACCALLUM: You made your point. I hear you. Want to get your thoughts on the EPA though. Because he said we're gonna slash 20 percent, 25 percent from all of these agencies, we're gonna cut billions from these agencies, and we're gonna cut your head count as well. There is a vast bureaucracy, anyone who drives around downtown D.C. sees enormous buildings. You think what is everybody doing in there, Charlie.
HURT: Yeah, well, you know, any sort of, you know, business leader that had to somehow get a grip on the massive sprawling bureaucracy that the federal government would demand cuts across the board from everywhere. The EPA, which is very much sort of morphed away from being, you know, antipollution, environmental protection, and morphed into federal bureaucratic control of the most arcane things like ditches and people's backyards, it cannot be immune from those cuts.
MACCALLUM: Regulatory. Julie, your thoughts?
ROGINSKY: Well, you know, if he wants to stay to Michigan, I would suggest he go to places like Flint, Michigan and see the devastation of lead poisoning which is cutting the prevention of drastically.
HURT: The EPA did a good job of preventing that.
ROGINSKY: Well, actually, the EPA did not do a good job of preventing that. The problem is the places like lead poisoning obviously not just in Flint but in your home state of New Jersey. Martha, there are places.
MACCALLUM: I think that the overall goal is that you can do good work and cut cost.
MACCALLUM: --Across America all the time, right?
ROGINSKY: Not when you take (inaudible) acts the way he has taken quarter of the budget. I mean, that is a lot of clean water that he wants to prevent from getting dirty.
MACCALLUM: Let's see how it goes. Let's see how it goes.
MACCALLUM: Julie, thank you.
MACCALLUM: Charlie, thank you.
HURT: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Good to see you guys. We are also getting reports tonight that our new secretary of state is considering the Iran deal and possibly pulling out of that deal. It is a huge development. General Jack Keane weighs in with the details on that. Plus, could the answer to Chicago's crime involved one of the most controversial police programs in New York history? Garry McCarthy ran the Chicago PD for more than four years. He is our special guest. He has very strong feelings on this. Straight ahead.
MACCALLUM: The story developing this evening, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is now calling for a full review of the controversial Iran deal. So, what happens with that? It comes as he met today with the director of Atomic Energy Agency on the future of the deal that was struck during the Obama administration and was the cornerstone of their state department activity.
President Trump has called that deal as you saw on the campaign trail a disaster. He has suggested that he quote, might just tear it up, as president. Here now, General Jack Keane, chairman of the just tear it up as president. Here now, General Jack Keane, the chairman for the Institute for the Study of War and a Fox News military analyst. General, thank you for being here tonight. Always good to have you. What do you think of this move by Rex Tillerson?
JACK KEANE, CHAIRMAN FOR THE INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF WAR, FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: Yeah, I think it is absolutely necessary. This deal has been cloaked in secrecy, not only in the development of it, but once the deal was finalized, the American people were never given a full accounting of all the facts and details that are supporting this deal.
So I think this is absolutely essential. There has been rumors running around the government for some time now that there has been violations of this deal, a good, solid review of the intelligence on the protocols and what do we have on the Iranians already violating this? And if so, why didn't the Obama administration come forward with that information? So, absolutely essential he's doing this.
MACCALLUM: When you look at the supposed moves on the part of some former administration officials perhaps to try to save this deal. They don't want this Iran deal to go away, that people that worked so hard on it in the Obama administration. But if it does go away or if it is altered, it can be altered by our re-recognizing, our allies on the Sunni side, right? Saudi Arabia, rebuilding these relationships will diminish that deal, won't it?
KEANE: One truly happened, this was the primary foreign policy of the Obama administration of eight years. Everything that they were doing in the Middle East at the expense of our Sunni Arabs, as you point out. We were accommodating the Iranians and putting their security at risk.
Therefore, they are absolutely applauding the Trump administration, reach out to them as leaders, saying, we are going to restore America's leadership in the Middle East. We understand, you're number one threat is Iran, and Iran wants to dominate and control the Middle East. So, this is all moving in the right direction.
MACCALLUM: All right. Some pretty strong words about North Korea from the Trump administration. What do you think they will do? What do you think they should do?
KEANE: Well, first of all, let's get all the options on the table. We have a belligerent power here that three presidents have failed to control the development of a nuclear arsenal, which is what they have now. And now, they are intending to build an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States and delivering a warhead. That is an incredibly dangerous situation. And no amount of sanctions has been able to bring them to heal. Our 20 years of involvement with China, trying to get them to curb North Korea's behavior has failed.
So, it is appropriate. Let's get it all on the table. What realistically are some of our options here with North Korea? Are we just going to continue to move in the same direction? And are we going to find ourselves at some point conducting a peremptory strike against an intercontinental ballistic missile? The problem with that is, the option that North Korea has at that point would be to start a war with South Korea.
MACCALLUM: A lot of great option. Once they have that arsenal which they already do, and you talk about preventing Iran, North Korea is way ahead in that game. I don't want to let you go without asking your thoughts on today's big story with regard to Sessions and the Russians.
And the bottom line is, do you think there is anything to the suggestion that there was collusion that the Trump campaign try to convince the Russians to help them undermine Hillary Clinton's campaign by releasing those emails?
KEANE: We do know that the Russians likely did hack into the DNC and try to undermine their participation in the election. But I go back to what Director of National Intelligence Clapper said and the Director of the CIA John Brennan, no lovers of Donald Trump, to be sure. And they said that there was no evidence to support any collusion on the part of Trump campaign officials and the Russians.
And I don't think the basic facts have changed since then. Obviously, there is an investigation that is ongoing that will either confirm or deny those facts. But I suspect there is not more to the story than what we already know.
MACCALLUM: All right. General Jack Keane, always good to see you, sir.
Thank you very much.
KEANE: Good to see you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Still ahead tonight, the real story of the 22 years old in Mississippi who is now the newest poster child in the war with the president over immigration. Plus with 400 shootings in Chicago just so far this year. Former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy joins us on a controversial new idea to cut back on crime in that town when we come back.
MACCALLUM: Breaking tonight, more than 400 reported shootings and 94 murders in the City of Chicago so far this year. Prompting a surprising new reaction from President Obama's former chief of staff, William Daley, who suggested that a stop and frisk program, long considered very controversial, is probably what Chicago needs to do to combat the violence.
In moments, we will have a reaction from Garry McCarthy, who spent more than four years as a superintendent of Chicago Police Department and from Attorney Eric Guster. But first, we turn to national correspondent Matt Finn in Chicago tonight. Matt.
MATT FINN, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT FOR FOX NEWS: Martha, last month, three children under the age of 13 were shot and killed in this city. There has been nearly 100 gun deaths already this year. This violent crime is not slowing down as the cries to stop it are growing. And of course, there are many issues at hand. But one problem many people might not realize is the city's exclusive agreement with the ACLU that critics say has tied the hands of Chicago police officers.
In 2015, the ACLU did a study that concluded that CPD was grossly over stopping minorities and profiling plaques. So, beginning in January of last year, Chicago started to require police officers fill out a lengthy report after every single stop. As a result, standard police stops in Chicago plummeted by over 80 percent. The same time, the city's murder rate exploded. Begging the question, if the ACLU agreement is in part to blame.
Chicago's fraternal order police president tells us his officers are afraid to engage in basic stops because they fear the ACLU stats (ph) will label them racist, that the stats (ph) would somehow be used against them. And that standard police stops may never return to what they were. The ACLU, however, says the Chicago Police Department is to blame for the spike in crime and it considers the drop in police stops a victory for minorities.
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KAREN SHELEY, DIRECTOR OF POLICE PRACTICES PROJECT, ACLU: Most of us never saw this, never saw the experiences of black Chicagoans around stop and frisk. It was harmful to communities.
DEAN ANGELO, FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE PRESIDENT: It's the amount of above and beyond type of activity that officers were engaged in, that we may not see at that same level ever again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FINN: Martha, the Department of Justice just wrapped up an investigation into CPD that paints it as racist and in need of a training overhaul. It is yet to be seen how President Trump will enforce that report that was done under the Obama administration. Martha.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Matt. All right. Joining me now with reaction tonight is Attorney Eric Guster. Eric, you listened to that report, what is your reaction?
ERIC GUSTER, ATTORNEY, LEGAL ANALYST: I listened to the report and I think about the fairness in stop and frisk. Stop and frisk is not unlawful but, for example, NYPD did, they would stop people unlawfully. For example, over 80 percent of the stops when NYPD instituted that rule were black people, black and brown people, and that is very unfair.
So we take this argument that stop and frisk works, which does not. The NYPD clearly states that stop and frisk when it was implemented improperly by the NYPD, for example, did not lower gun deaths, did not lower gun seizures. But, however, we have to look at the opioid addiction.
GUSTER: Look at it in the same vein, Martha. Should we stop white women and white men because opioids are killing them and starts searching their cars illegally and going to their houses illegally? That is something that we should consider as well.
MACCALLUM: In terms of the violence that is happening in Chicago, don't you want to protect those communities to the greatest extent that you can? You have more black victims, and many cases, black perpetrators, they are being told that they have to stop people equally, Caucasians, blacks, you know, they can't have a higher number of stops based on even the population in that neighborhood. That makes absolutely no sense. You can see that?
GUSTER: They have to make legal stops. That is the issue. They have to make legal stops. For example, when the NYPD utilized it, 40 percent of the stops were illegal.
MACCALLUM: Wouldn't you prefer if you lived in that neighborhood for the police to stop more people than fewer people when people are dying at a much higher rate?
GUSTER: I want them -- I want them to stop people legally just like I want to stop the opioid addiction and the opioid deaths. So we need to start going to these people houses and start doing that. That is the same argument you are making.
MACCALLUM: You want to stop the risk for opioids but not.
GUSTER: No, no, no. I'm not saying that. I am telling you that the same argument would go for opioid addiction. All these people are killing themselves and overdosing, should we illegally search their houses and illegally search their cars in order to stop those deaths? It is the same exact thing. But we have to make sure that we follow the law when it comes to stopping people.
MACCALLUM: What we have to make sure is that the law-abiding citizens who live in these communities are in a safer situation because they are not right now and we need to ramp up and make sure that they have what they need.
GUSTER: Right. And 90 percent of those stops that were made were illegal, Martha, and that's the problem.
MACCALLUM: All right. I want to get reaction from Garry McCarthy now, who is joining me. He was the police superintendent for four years there. Garry, you heard the conversation, what do you think?
GARRY MCCARTHY, FORMER SUPERINTENDENT OF CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: I don't even know where to start. First of all, they are called Terry stops. And the Supreme Court in 1968 determined that the police can stop people based upon (inaudible) reasonable suspicion. That is the authority on whether or not we can stop people. It's not the ACLU, it's not the Department of Justice.
The problem that we are having in Chicago and across the country, is the greatest challenge to policing today, is that over the last eight years, the ACLU and the Department of Justice have pretty much linked up together and determined that data-driven policing, in other words, (inaudible) that started in New York in 1984, results in systemic racism, which is absurd.
You have pointed out that is preposterous to expect that in a 97 percent African-American community here in Chicago, Inglewood, which is our most violent community, we are going to stop 32 percent white folks. The problem is, we put officers at the places, at the times and locations where crime happens over and over again. We take police actions to prevent that next crime. Some of that or Terry stops.
I can show you two years of data from Chicago from 2013 to 2014 that shows that our stops were almost precisely when, where, and who was committing crime. As a result, we had five decades worth of reduction, 1965 murder rates, which now are up by 100 percent, and the stops are down by 95 percent. There is an absolute correlation, DOJ has a lot to do with this.
MACCALLUM: What do you think about the fact that Bill Daley who is chief of staff briefly for President Obama says that he believes that stop and frisk may be what Chicago needs to do?
MCCARTHY: Well, I agree with virtually everything he said. I can tell you this, though. The whole idea that there is a stop and frisk policy is not the case. Terry stops are tools that every police department in the country uses. You have to get out of the car to get the gun. You have to get out of the car to make an arrest. And that is what officers do. This whole thing has been spun out of control. It has been articulated improperly. And therefore, officers are heels, while criminals are being emboldened, people are dying as a result.
MACCALLUM: We got to do more to protect people in these neighborhoods and put them first because.
MCCARTHY: Don't they deserve that protection?
MACCALLUM: Absolutely. That is the priority of the police in these neighborhoods as well. Thank you so much, Garry. Always good to see you.
MCCARTHY: My pleasure. Always great, thanks.
MACCALLUM: Quick break. We'll be right back.
MACCALLUM: All right. Moments ago, we discussed the statement from President Trump and here it is. He says, "Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong. He could have stated his response more accurately but it was clearly not intentional. This whole narrative as a way of saving face for Democrats losing an election that everyone thought they were supposed to win. The Democrats are overplaying their hand. They lost the election and now, they have lost their grip on reality."
The president writes, "The real story is all of the illegal leaks of classified and other information. It is a total witch hunt!" It's worth noted that it was not tweeted, none of it, there's nothing on the Twitter. That was put out as an official presidential statement.
Speaking of quotes, here's another one for the night. From actor Tom Hanks, who has reportedly given the White House press corps three espresso machines over the years and he just sent a new one today because the old one went kerplunk (ph). Mr. Hanks offered this message. "Keep up the good fight for truth, justice in the American way, especially for the truth part."
Our John Roberts tweeted this out and sent us this picture today. We thank him for that. We know that he and all of our good friends there in The Washington Bureau will keep up the fight for all three of those good values. Thanks for watching, everybody. I am Martha MacCallum. We'll see you back here tomorrow night at 7:00. O'Reilly is next.
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