First 100 Days

Graham: FBI could clear up questions on surveillance, Russia; Rep. Swalwell: Let's improve ObamaCare, not throw it out

South Carolina senator talks investigations, his meeting with President Trump on 'The First 100 Days'

 

This is a rush transcript from "The First 100 Days," March 15, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL THE FIRST 100 DAYS HOST:  So, tonight is an important one on "The First 100 Days" report card.  The president is right now in Nashville, he's about to give a live address that is expected to send some smoke signals on whether he and Paul Ryan are hand-in-hand, as the speaker says, on this repeal and replace bill, or is Mr. Trump starting to bend towards harder line conservatives who don't seem to mind a whole lot if this bill goes down?  Remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT:  Replacing ObamaCare is part of my 100-day contract with the American voters.  With the Republican House and Senate, we will immediately repeal and replace the disaster known as ObamaCare.

MACCALLUM:  So, it is day 55, and I'm Martha MacCallum.  Good evening, everybody.  The president sold himself as a great negotiator.  It is said the White House does not want to own this bill but he's somewhat caught in the middle.  Some lower income Trump voters may lose their health care. Others may want to get out from under the ObamaCare burden on business. So, is this the president's bill that he will fight for?  

Speaker Ryan saying just hours ago the president is "all in." But take a look at these.  A brand-new Fox poll shows repealing and replacing ObamaCare finishes a distant fifth on the list of what Americans want to do.  See it down there?  It's seven percent.  Create jobs at 33 percent. So, what will the president think when he looks at those numbers?  He will also talk tonight about school choice, something that may be of great interest to you and your family.  So, while debates on these issues that no doubt will actually impact your life, this was the breathless reporting heard last night for those who bought into MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's so-called "scoop".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW HOST:  It's been a little bit of a hullabaloo around here this evening.  I apologize for being a little flustered.  We've got some significant breaking news tonight.  Donald Trump's tax returns have surfaced, at least a portion of Donald Trump's past tax returns.  Has he received money from foreign sources?  Has he received loans from foreign sources?  What is his relationship with Deutsche Bank?  What is his relationship with foreign sources of income?  I mean, what kind of income has Trump Towers Istanbul provided to President Trump through his business?  Is he not as rich as he says he is?  Is he not as charitable as he says he is?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM:  So many questions, right?  So many dots to connect.  But it was not until the big reveal that the hype quickly deflated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW:  What I have here is a copy of Donald Trump's tax returns.  We have his federal tax return for one year, for 2005, these pages are straightforward.  He paid $38 million - looks like $38 million in taxes. If you add up the lines for income, he made more than $150 million in that year Mazel Tov.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM:  Mazel Tov, she says.  In moments, reaction from Brit Hume and Jonathan Turley, but first, Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry joins us on the fallout.  Ed?

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT:  Martha, good to see you.  Right, Rachel Maddow teasing her audience for over 20 minutes before finally getting to the actual scoop that led a series of liberal pundits to declare it was really a nothing burger.  It all started less than 90 minutes before her show and Maddow's started hyping on Twitter "Breaking: We've got Trump tax returns tonight, 9:00 p.m. Eastern."  Seriously, the first sign of turbulence came just 36 minutes before that broadcast when Maddow clarified, "What we've got is from 2005.  The president's 1040 form.  Details to come tonight."

Just two pages from one tax return, singular, not the plural tax returns she had first teased, which may be why when Maddow dragged it out, social media was aflame with comparisons to her own Geraldo Rivera's Al Capone vault.  The ridicule perhaps most distinctly summed up by Kaitlan Collins, White House Correspondent at The Daily Caller, who tweeted, "I filed my tax returns while waiting."  The most comical flip-flop of all, that was former Clinton spokesman, Brian Fallon.  Before the show, he retreated Maddow's scoop with the gushing declaration, "The Holy Grail."  But then, 22 minutes into the show, Fallon pivoted.  "Dems should return focus to TrumpCare tomorrow and the millions it will leave uninsured, not get distracted by two pages from `05 tax return.  Nothing to see here."

The president paid an effective tax rate of 25.3 percent, far more than the 18.7 percent President Obama paid in 2015 and the 13.5 percent Bernie Sanders paid in 2014.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KENTUCKY: Since Senator Sanders is such a good socialist, I think he'd want to pay his fair share. I'm expecting news any day that he's going to send a couple hundred thousand into the IRS so he can pay his fair share.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY:  Now, we should note, whomever leaked the tax return committed a felony.  While there is also a law prohibiting the distribution of such material, legal experts say as long as Rachel Maddow did not steal the returns, it's unlikely she'd ever face charges.  And tonight, Maddow telling The Daily Beast, the only thing she was focused on was getting the story right and she's "really psyched" she broke the story in the first place.  Martha?

MACCALLUM:  Thank you, Ed.  Joining me now with more, Fox News Senior Political Analyst, Brit Hume.  Brit, good evening to you.  Ed laid all that out beautifully.

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS CHANNEL SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST:  Hi, Martha.

MACCALLUM:  Good evening.  What do you think about all of this?

HUME:  Well, it's kind of a journalistic fiasco.  But perhaps, a promotional coup in the sense that you and I are sitting here still talking about this almost 24 hours later when, as a substantive matter it just wouldn't - you know, it just didn't amount to very much.  And to whatever extent it meant to anything, it suggested that Donald Trump, you know, makes a lot of money and pays a lot of taxes, which is certainly not what a lot of people who were suspicious of him have been suggesting about him, which is that either he wasn't that rich or maybe he didn't pay any taxes. Neither it turns out it seems, at least, based on this sliver of evidence to be the case.

MACCALLUM:  Yes.  You know, in some ways - and it was even suggested during the report last night, it made Donald Trump looked pretty good.  And the reporter who broke the story, who somehow, these returns landed in his mailbox -- and I'd love to know what you think about that theory, Brit -- suggested that, you know, maybe this came from the Trump camp, maybe they were glad to have these numbers come out, maybe it's a welcome distraction and buys them a little bit of breathing time while they're working on ObamaCare.  What do you make of any of those theories?

HUME:  Those such theories are - they're kind of too clever by half.  I don't (INAUDIBLE) -

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM:  But somebody put them in his mailbox, right?

HUME:  Well, I - look, this happens, Martha.  When I was an investigative reporter back in the day, one of the most explosive documents I've ever seen came into the office through the mail.  We never know where -- knew where it came from.  It took a little work to verify that it was a legitimate document, which we succeed in doing.  That was the - to some people who were alive then, that was the famous Dita Beard-ITT scandal which based on this memo that suggested all kinds of hanky-panky, but it arrived in the mail.  And we - you know, we didn't - we didn't go around telling people that at the time, but that's how we got it.

So, this kind of thing does happen.  And if you're the kind of person that's, you know, into the leaking business, David Johnston, a long-time investigative reporter might be the very person you'd leak it to.  So, I find that plausible, and you know, his comment that, you know, it's possible Trump leaked it, and suggests, you know, that the truth is, he doesn't know where it came from.

MACCALLUM:  Yes.  In terms of the broader potential scandal that was suggested in their conversation, and really based on nothing, you know, will -- what we are not seeing here is the source of this income, the Turkish hotel, all of these other ties that they, you know, sort of talked about in breathless tones, but they've got nothing in terms of these documents to back up.

HUME:  Yes, they only have two pages of the tax return, and obviously, if there's any Turkish hotel income in there, it isn't reflected here.  I mean, I think - that's just out and out conjecture, out and out speculation, out and out guesswork, you know, which is perfectly permissible on an opinion show, but at the same time, she's claiming a great scoop and talking about how she -- proud she is having broken the story.  Well, she broke the story and one might argue that while she broke the story, she broke a lot of wind at the time.

(LAUGHTER)

MACCALLUM:  All right.  So, in terms of the other stuff that's going on, we've talked about it at the very top of the show here, we're about to hear from President Trump about 30 minutes from now, we expect.  And he's under a bit of pressure on this health care deal.  He's got - sort of being tugged in both directions.  How do you think this is going to go, Brit?

HUME:  Well, I think it's - you know, we're nearer the beginning than the end of this process.  And my thought would be that we have a long way to go.  The bill as - if it - if they can get this bill as it now is shaping up through the house, which isn't not at all clear they can, but they got at least some chance in that.  It's not going to fly in the senate.  The senate will to make adjustments to it, and then, you know - or even if that happens, they're going to have to work out a compromise between the house and senate versions, and then, send both, send that version, that final compromised version, back to both houses.

Now, I've seen in the past, back in the days when legislators were still legislating, back in the 70s and 80s when I was covering Congress, I've seen this happened more than -- many, many times.  I mean, I remember watching bills being amended on the house floor to where you thought. Well, now then, some members have got it just where they want it, and then, it goes down, then they have to go back to the drawing board.

So, we got a long way to go here.  This is not a pretty process, legislating never is.  You know, you've heard the famous - the old cliche about, you know, you don't want to watch people make bills, you don't want to watch people make sausage either for the somewhat same reasons.  So, they've got a long way to go here.  This is going to be tough.  There are budgetary reasons and policy reasons why they need to get this thing out of the way, despite the fact that the public doesn't consider it a priority because a lot of other things hinge on it, their ability to do tax reform, the rest of it.  So, there's reason for this, but it's tough.

MACCALLUM:  All right.  Brit, thank you.  Great to see you as always.

HUME:  You bet, Martha.

MACCALLUM:  So, President Trump is responding to that MSNBC report, telling our own Tucker Carlson exclusively that publishing his tax returns violates the law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  I have no idea where they got it, but it's illegal, and you're not supposed to have it.  And it's not supposed to be leaked.  And it's certainly not an embarrassing tax return at all, but it's an illegal thing, they've been doing it, they've done it before.  And I think it is a disgrace.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM:  Jonathan Turley, professor at the George Washington University School of Law, joins us now.  Jonathan, good to see you tonight.

JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW PROFESSOR: Good to see you.

MACCALLUM:  Is he right about that?

TURLEY:  Oh, he is right, it is illegal.  And a reporter can be charged with the crime of publishing a tax return.  There's no exemption under the law.  But what they have is a first amendment defense.  And that defense has been successful in the past.  The famous Pentagon papers dealt with an alleged crime of the media having that information.

But courts tend to try to err on the side of a free press.  And I think that's the correct thing to do.  So, it's unlikely that MSNBC would be charged with a crime unless they facilitated the removal of the return or the effective theft of the return.

MACCALLUM:  Yes.  In terms of what is on the return, you know, what strikes me is there's never been a suggestion that President Trump, you know, cheated, didn't pay anything.  I mean, there's never even been that hint of suggestion.  So, there's all of this judgment in their tone about the amount of money that he made, where it might have come from, is it enough, you know, compared to how much he said he made.  But the basic bottom line with the IRS is, you know, you don't cross that line.  Either it's legal or illegal.  And it appears that that's not part of the conversation, so I'm not really quite sure what they're so up in arms about.

TURLEY:  While I was watching, like many people, and it was a rather curious leak, because you are left with this Marc Anthony moment of not bearing Trump but praising him, in terms of paying taxes.  And I don't think that's what perhaps the leaker wanted.  It certainly wasn't what the buildup suggested.  There's nothing in the tax return that is particularly noteworthy.  He paid a higher tax rate than some people might have guessed. He took what were accepted deductions at that time.  He's allowed, obviously, to do that.

So, there's nothing there that would support some of these allegations.  That's what makes this whole thing rather curious of why someone would release the tax form that seems to support Trump.

MACCALLUM:  I mean, when you look at the comparisons of what, you know, President Obama paid, for example, you've got to wonder, if President Trump looks at that and goes, "Yes!" you know, "I should have a different tax attorney, I'm obviously doing something wrong."

One last question for you, this Hawaii judge has made - and there are the numbers that people can see at home, which pretty incredible.  This Hawaii judge tonight, we're waiting for the, you know, the second version of the extreme vetting legislation bill that the president wants to uphold -- executive order, rather.  And the feeling is that this Hawaii judge has now put in place basically something that's going to be nationwide in terms of banning this thing on the second round.  What do you make of it?  What does it look like to you?

TURLEY:  Well, the judge can oppose a national ban.  There's no question about that.  It's similar to what occurred in Washington State.  The word is, that it seems to be based on the establishment clause, dealing with religion, which I frankly just don't see how that could be sustained. It's not that it's not a good faith position or there's not good faith arguments, I just don't see the case law supporting that in the long run. But we'll have to see.  And ultimately, that could go to a court with a brand-new justice on it named Gorsuch.

MACCALLUM:  Could be.  And his process gets underway on Monday. Jonathan Turley, thank you so much.  Good to see you tonight.

TURLEY:  Thank you.  Thanks.

MACCALLUM:  So, tonight at 9:00, don't miss Tucker Carlson's interview with President Trump, the exclusive one-on-one covers everything from health care to wiretapping allegations, much, much more.  We've seen a little bit of it, and we all look forward to seeing the rest of it.  9:00 tonight, the president sits down with Tucker Carlson.

So, we are just moments away from President Trump set to take the stage in Tennessee.  He will deliver remarks on repealing and replacing ObamaCare, quite possibly the most important speech for the president since his joint address to congress.  We'll take you there when he arrives and bring you that live.  Mr. Trump speech comes, as back in Washington, big questions linger over the FBI's potential investigation involving Russia and the campaign.  Senator Lindsey Graham joins us.  He's demanding answers.  He'll be here next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM:  Breaking tonight, as we wait for the president to takes stage in Nashville, Tennessee, confusion and uncertainty continues to swirl around a number of potential FBI probes into Russia and the Trump campaign.  FBI Director James Comey was on Capitol Hill today, he met with lawmakers on this issue.  One senator says that the answers are just not coming quickly enough for him.  Republican Lindsey Graham, announcing today, that if he doesn't get information from the FBI about Mr. Trump's wiretapping claims, and soon, he will subpoena to get it.  Senator Graham joins us in moments, but first, our Chief Intelligence Correspondent, Catherine Herridge, takes us through the latest on these efforts to get to the bottom of this whole thing.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT:  Well, thank you, Martha.  Late today, Fox News confirmed at least two senior senators, Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Republican Chuck Grassley, whose committee has direct oversight for the FBI, met with Director Comey in a closed meeting, and afterward, offered nothing to reporters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DIANNE FEINSTEIN, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA:  This briefing was all on sensitive matters and highly classified.  And it's really not anything that we can answer any questions about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HERRIDGE:  This comes as the House Intelligence Committee leadership said; they have seen nothing that backs up the president's allegations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADAM SCHIFF, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM CALIFORNIA:  To date I've seen no evidence that supports the claim that President Trump made that his predecessor had wiretapped he and his associates at Trump Tower.  

DEVIN NUNES, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN:  That evidence still remains the same, that we don't have any evidence that that took place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HERRIDGE:  But tonight, the president suggested he would be vindicated in an interview with Fox's Tucker Carlson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  But wiretap covers a lot of different things.  I think you're going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HERRIDGE:  Incidental collection comes when a foreign target, like the Russian Ambassador, is tracked, and in the process, the phone calls and text messages of an American citizen are picked up.  That's how former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn's communications were captured, and the Republican chairman wants to know if there are other Americans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NUNES:  What I remain concerned about is whether or not there is additional, incidental collection that we're not aware of.  And then, if any of that information was put into any types of intelligence reports. And then, you know, whether or not additional names were unmasked.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HERRIDGE:  The Democrats want more information about Roger Stone, a political advisor associated with the Trump campaign, who confirmed then-downplayed contact with Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, as well as Guccifer 2.0, the hacking entity that spilled damaging emails from the DNC, Martha.

MACCALLUM:  Kevin, thank you very much.  Joining me now, the senator demanding answers from the FBI Director Comey, Republican Lindsey Graham. Senator Graham, good to see you tonight.  Welcome.

LINDSEY GRAHAM, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM SOUTH CAROLINA:  Thank you. Didn't I, like, give you a headache?

MACCALLUM:  Yes.  I mean, there's a lot going on there.  I want to start with the interesting comment by President Trump in the interview that Tucker Carlson did with him, he said, you know, you're going to see some interesting information coming out over the next couple of weeks in all of this.  Any idea what he's talking about?

GRAHAM:  Absolutely not.  But here's what I think we owe the country.  Was there a warrant issued by a judge anywhere in America allowing the Obama administration or anyone else to do surveillance on the Trump campaign?  I've seen no evidence that a warrant was (INAUDIBLE) one was that warrant was issued against the Trump campaign.  The Director of National Intelligence, Clapper, said two weeks ago, he saw no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.  I don't want to hear it from a politician.  I want the FBI Director to answer very straight forward question, "Did you seek a warrant?  Did you get a warrant?"

MACCALLUM:  It may be that there was no warrant and that the case exists, as Devin Nunes suggested, that these intercepts that pick up foreign entities, who we have the right to survey all their phone conversations, and that that is what is actually the meat of the matter here.  Do you think that's where this is headed?

GRAHAM:  It could be.  But don't you want to know if the Obama administration had surveillance on the Trump campaign?  I do.  The President Trump has suggested that may have happened.  The easy way to find that out is to do that legally.  In America, you have to have a warrant, either a FISA warrant or a criminal warrant.  And if no warrant exists, you can say with confidence that there was no effort to surveilled the Trump campaign in a lawful manner.  

MACCALLUM:  Yes.  I mean -- I hear what you're saying but the indications, and as you point out, we don't know yet.

GRAHAM:  We don't know yet.

MACCALLUM:  But there's something underlying all of this that the president seems to be hinting at to some extent.

GRAHAM:  Right.

MACCALLUM:  And we hear all of this about deep state, about intelligence agencies who perhaps are holdovers from the Obama administration, who wanted to make this candidate look bad during the election.  Is that where this is headed?

GRAHAM:  All I can tell you is that the Russians interfered in the 2016 elections.  They hacked into the DNC and Podesta's emails.  They gave it to WikiLeaks to try to undermine our elections.  I don't believe they change the outcome.  President Trump won fair and square, I want to punish the Russians.  But here's what I want to find out.  Was there any effort by our government to surveilled the Trump campaign?  I don't know of any evidence.  

And here's another question.  Is there an ongoing criminal investigation of the Trump campaign in terms of any potential ties to Russia?  I haven't seen any evidence at all of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.  And there may be no (INAUDIBLE).  And I'd like to get to the bottom of it.

MACCALLUM:  Yes.  You and the rest of the American people want to know whether or not there's (INAUDIBLE).  

GRAHAM:  Yes.

MACCALLUM:  And if you deal with it or move on.  That's pretty much --

(CROSSTALK)

GRAHAM:  Amen.  Amen.

MACCALLUM:  -- as well.  You spoke to the president a couple of days ago for 45 minutes, you said?

GRAHAM:  Yes, probably a half an hour.  It's a great conversation.

MACCALLUM:  About what?

GRAHAM:  We talked about health care.  We talked about, you know, the way forward on health care.  We talked about the budget.  He has been great on the military.  We talked about the military.  He's been a godsend as far as I'm concerned for the men and women in uniform.  He wants to rebuild the military.  We're trying to pass a health care bill that is better than ObamaCare.  You got to do it with the Republican, all of us.

MACCALLUM:  Do you think that's going to happen?  He's (INAUDIBLE) tonight.

(CROSSTALK)

GRAHAM:  I don't know.  Yes, here's what I'm told.  And I said, "Mr. President, you are the president of all of us,  If you think that the Republican bill will not get us to where we need to go, say no.  Let ObamaCare collapse, and it will.  There were five providers in South Carolina in 2014, we're down to one.  That one is hanging by a thread, 27 percent increase in premiums.  Let it collapse and replace it.  Fix their mess rather than having a Republican bill that would replace ObamaCare and maybe may not get us to where we want to go."

MACCALLUM:  Well, we're moments away from either getting, I think, a full-throated backing of Paul Ryan's GOP version, or maybe saying we're going to start over and keep working on this thing.  

Senator Graham, it's always a pleasure to talk to you, sir.  Thank you so much.

GRAHAM:  Thank you very much.

MACCALLUM:  So, watching that Phil, on the right-hand side of your screen.  Here now with a take on all of this, Marc Thiessen, served as chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush, Julie Roginsky is a Democratic strategist, both are Fox News Contributors.  Welcome to the both of you.  Good to have you here tonight.  

JULIE ROGINSKY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR AND DEMOCRATIC PARTY STRATEGIST:  Great to see you.

MACCALLUM:  So, Lindsey Graham is getting impatient --

MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR AND SPEECHWRITER FOR UNITED STATES PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:  Good to be with you.

MACCALLUM: -- with this whole thing.  He wants to know, Mark, if there was a warrant and, you know, there was a suggestion that over the summer there was a request for some FISA surveillance that was shot down.  What do you know about this and what do think we're going to find out?

THIESSEN:  I don't know what we're going to find out.  You know, in your lead into that story about Rachel Maddow's big scoop, there was a reference to Al Capone's vault, that when you open it up, there's nothing there.  It may be that this is Al Capone's vault as well.

MACCALLUM:   Poor Geraldo, he had to relive that thing the whole day.

THIESSEN:  But also, keep in mind, there two accusations out here.  There's one, Trump's accusation that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, and two, an accusation made by the Democrats that Trump -- that Trump colluded with Russia.  There may be nothing to either one of those.  It may be something entirely different.  The FBI is in charge of counter espionage.  So they are in charge of counter intelligence.  It may be that there are some investigations going on, that Director Comey does not want to reveal publicly or acknowledge publicly, that have nothing to do with either of those charges but have to do with Russians spying.  It's entirely possible, for example, that Russia was spying on the Trump campaign, and that some people had contact with the Russians in that sense.  We just don't know.  But the reality is, is that if you look at the tenor of the senators, Senator Feinstein, coming out of that meeting, she was very serious.  She said, "This is very serious stuff and we can't talk about it."  So, let's see where it comes, where it goes.

MACCALLUM:  Yes, and I would add to that, Julie, that the White House doubled down on this twice in the past day.  Sean Spicer in the press briefing said that the president would be vindicated on his claim, that there was wiretapping.  He says it's, you know, in quote, and that means surveillance in the broader sense.  And then, just now, in the interview with Tucker Carlson, which everybody will see the rest of later tonight, the president said, "Just wait a couple of weeks.  You're going to learn some things about all of this that you don't know right now.

ROGINSKY:  Well, you know, nobody forced a president to send out that tweet.  Nobody held a gun to his head.  He sent out that tweet, and now that he sent out that tweet, the onus is upon him and upon the White House to provide some evidence.  It's not -- and the onus is not on the Justice Department, as the president now seems to indicate.  It's not on anybody else, it certainly not on Director Comey.  The president made a very serious allegation.  It is a crucially serious allegation.  He accused his predecessor of breaking the law and wiretapping him.  And if that's the case, the onus is on him to provide that evidence.

MACCALLUM:  Yes, but the onus is not on him to do the investigation.  I mean, the FBI is doing the investigation, and Congress is doing their own investigation.

ROGINSKY:  Well, Martha, he -- the onus is on him, because he clearly, clearly made the argument.  So having made that argument, having made the statement, he has to back it up.  There's no -- there's an investigation that's ongoing, why would he talk about it?  

MACCALLUM:  I agree.  But, you know -- I mean, he's not trying to make it go away.  He didn't answer Tucker's question, Mark, by saying, you know, "Well, I didn't really mean that," or, you know, "I was taking about what happened with Mike Flynn," or anything like that.  He did double down on it.  Mark?

THIESSEN:  He did, but I mean also, Sean Spicer said that he never asked the FBI whether it's true or not.  So, you know, it's the power of the presidency.  You could ask the FBI to tell him and they would answer him. But it's also a very serious accusation, Julie, to say that the president -- that the president's campaign colluded with Russia, and which is also unsubstantiated, which the DNI has said, there's no evidence of that.  And it's really, where's the -- where's the evidence of that?  

There's (INAUDIBLE) tons of stories going around, and Democrats suggesting that this happen with absolutely zero evidence.  When you -- accusing somebody of colluding with the Kremlin without no evidence has a name, it's called "McCarthyism".  And at least Joe McCarthy was right.  There were Russian spies in the state department.  There's no evidence of whatsoever, and yet, these charges are made willy-nilly.  So live by the same words that you're -- if you want to say that it's on Donald Trump to prove this, it's on the Democrats to prove that there was some sort of collusion.

ROGINSKY:  Well, that's why I fully agree with everything Lindsey Graham said.  He's absolutely right about this.  We need to find out, from Director Comey or elsewhere, as to exactly what's going on.  This has been going on since the summer, as you recall.  It predates the election, and it's about time that we all get to the bottom of exactly what the FBI knows.  You're right, there may be counterterrorism or counter espionage -- excuse me -- operation being run, he's not capable of talking about.  But surely, so many questions have been asked.  Director Comey has not been shy previously about answering some questions that may not have ever been asked, as he said, during the course of the election.  I think it's time --

MACCALLUM:  Well, it doesn't have to (INAUDIBLE) ongoing investigation.  

ROGINSKY:  He certainly have.

MACCALLUM:  And they have the closed-door discussions.  So, we'll see where it goes.  Julie, thank you.

ROGINSKY:  Yes, thank you.

MACCALLUM:  Marc, thank you.  Good to see you both.

So still ahead, here tonight, we're now just moments away from President Trump speaking in Nashville, Tennessee.  So, where is he on the Ryan plan to scrap and replace ObamaCare?  We are about to hear it from the president himself.  

Congressman Eric Swalwell and Adam Kinzinger, standing by on this battle, that is going on and playing out in Washington tonight.  Plus, Fox News Political Contributor Karl Rove joins us with a look at what he believes the president must do tonight in the face of some sliding approval numbers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  Education is the civil rights issue of our time.  And it is why I have asked congress to support a school choice bill.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  

MACCALLUM:  Breaking tonight, a live look at the Nashville municipal auditorium where President Trump is expected to speak and just moments.  We are told he is in the building and we will take you there live as soon as it is time, the Gatlin brothers on the stage. The senator from Tennessee, some 700 miles away on Capitol Hill, some Republicans from their party more conservative wing, are now changing their messaging on the health care bill, shifting blame from leadership in their own Party to the Democrats. Watch this.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The Democrats have a stranglehold on the entire nation. That means, through reconciliation, we have to put this bill through the Byrd rule.  That neither allows a full repeal nor a fault replace.  That is our challenge.  That challenge has been driven by a senate rule rather than the best interests of the country.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)  

MACCALLUM:  Here now Democratic California congressman Eric Swalwell, good to have you here tonight, sir.  

REP. ERIC SWALWELL, D-CALIFORNIA:  Thanks for having me Martha.  

MACCALLUM:  You heard from Trent Franks, we also are hearing essentially, that there are some in the GOP who believe that the best thing to do would be to back off, to let this thing fail, you have a lot of states, one provider at this point.  Put it around your neck, essentially.  

SWALWELL:  Martha, what I care about and what I think what my colleagues care about, making sure that people have access to a doctor.  That it is a portable and it is of the highest quality.  ObamaCare certainly does that and if Republicans want to work with us to improve it.  I think we are ready to do that.  

MACCALLUM:  There are so many people who lost their doctor under this plan. I know many of them personally.  I'm sure you do, too.  

SWALWELL:  I know a lot of people who were never able to get a doctor, because they have breast cancer or Alzheimer's and had a doctor for the first time in their lives.  It is not perfect.  No bill ever in the history of congress has been.  So let's improve it, let's not throw 24 million people on the street without health insurance.  

MACCALLUM:  What are you Democrats going to do?  What will you do if the president, we are going to hear, listening very carefully to his tone?  Either he'll get up there and say, it is true, Paul Ryan and I are hand in hand on this.  I want all Republicans to get behind it.  Or he will suggest that perhaps it is time to back off and let you guys go with it.  

SWALWELL:  He should negotiate with the Democrats.  This is the president who put himself out there is a great negotiator, the first businessman president, and we are for a few days an end he hasn't negotiated anything.  Why don't you work in the Democrats and have a bipartisan improvement to the affordable care act?  

MACCALLUM:  So, you know what are you willing to change?  What can go?  

SWALWELL:  What I am concern about is that there are parts of the country where there is not enough competition.  You are seeing premiums go up. Putting the risk quarters into place which house Democrats had in the original version of the affordable care act, I think that would be more competition in.  Come talk to us, work with us, and make sure that no one loses coverage.  

MACCALLUM:  I mean it seems a bit of a long shot.  Chuck Schumer did an interview tonight with Bret Baier.  Infrastructure is an area that they are willing to talk about.  But this is too potent, perhaps.  It is too tempting to hang this on the GOP the numbers that you saw from the CBO, use those in an electoral environment in November, is that an opportunity that the Democrats will pass up?  

SWALWELL:  Remember Martha, the CBO is a Congressional Budget Office, this is the Republicans congressional budget office.  If they don't like the numbers, they are responsible for the person they put in there.  For us, we just want everyone to be able to see a doctor.  We don't want her to break the bank.  Who wanted to be of good quality and so if we can improve what we have now, come work with us, we are ready.  

MACCALLUM:  Eric Swalwell, thank you very much.  

SWALWELL:  Thank you Martha.  

MACCALLUM:  Good to have you here tonight.  

Some have speculated that Republicans are fighting a losing battle and have been left to wonder if health care is a GOP willing to sort of die on this one.  Are they willing to go down with this ship, so to speak?  

Here now, Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger.  

Good to have you here tonight, congressman.  

REP. ADAM KINZINGER, R-ILLINOIS:  Yes, good to be here.  

MACCALLUM:  We are waiting for the president to come at any moment now, as we understand.  What side are you on?  You support Paul Ryan's version of this.  Do you think that will survive?  

KINZINGER:  I think it will.  They will be some tweaks and changes and I think we are always open to negotiating stuff like that.  That is really important, when you try to figure out in an imperfect process like legislating, how do we get to, you know the final product?  Listening to your prior guest, who is a friend of mine, talking about, we are willing to work with the president.  When he created ObamaCare, you weren't willing to work with us in the first place.  Now, we need to fix it and bring competition, lower people's premiums, give them an option, I mean half of the counties in my district, the 16th of Illinois, only have one option for healthcare.  In many cases, it is just like writing insurance on a piece of paper and handing it to somebody, because they have to spend 30 grand before they see their first benefit from having it.  We have to fix this and we will do our best to get there.  

MACCALLUM:  What do you say to your colleagues who are not on board to? They are saying, this is way too expensive, just another version of ObamaCare.  It hurts senior citizens.  It basically gives money back to the rich.  So, we are taxed to cover the poor in this country.  That is going to go away.  That will hurt poor people who were covered by this.  They don't like this bill at all.  

KINZINGER:  Reform is very difficult.  This is a very tough thing to do.  That is why it is hard to reform and it almost never happens.  Ultimately, someone will say somebody is losing something. We repealed $900 billion of taxes.  That is on all the American people.  It still shows almost a $400 billion savings to a deficit and date at that is absolutely out of control, while increasing competition.  This is difficult.  Again, I have friends that say this is not just repealed.  We need just to repeal.  Well the problem there is that you think the CBO score that came out as bad, have no replacement plan and that is going to be even worse.  Then, that some say come on let's come together, figure out how to make things better and sign something into law.  That is an art out here and something we have to figure out.  

MACCALLUM:  Good luck.  Thank you very much, Congressman Kinzinger. Good to see you.  

KINZINGER:  You bet.  

MACCALLUM:  Nashville, Tennessee.  Lots of excitement in the arena there as they wait for President Trump and after he does his speech, he is going to sit down with Tucker Carlson after that at 9:00 tonight.  The two big themes or health care and also, school choice, which is a huge issue across this country, as a lot of people, want to provide that option for their kids.  Fox News contributor Karl Rove, also former senior advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff under President George W. Bush, good to see you tonight Karl, welcome.  

KARL ROVE, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:  Thanks, Martha.  

MACCALLUM:  The president is in a tough spot.  I mean he is new at this political game and he certainly did well throughout the course of the primaries and the election.  Now, he is got to wrangle with his own party on this.  What do you think he should do?  

ROVE:  I think he has been doing a pretty good job of it, which is to say, I want a bill, I wanted to be repealed and replaced.  I am open to ideas that will make the bill better.  Then, he has put his Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, out to take the lead.  As he is sort of the scout who is talking to a wide variety of people, finding out where the differences are, where the points of agreement might be, and keeping his boss informed about that, so, he can do a good job, a better job of stepping into say, let's narrow the differences come on let's find some places of agreement and let's get this done.  

MACCALLUM:  These priorities, Karl, we showed what people care about created jobs, 33 percent.  That number stays pretty steady through most of political history.  That is the thing that matters the most to people.  The fifth priority as ObamaCare, you have a lot of people who voted for President Trump, some of them on the poor end of the spectrum, who say don't take away this health care that I just got.  Then, you have those who are business owners, who say, you promised me you would repeal and replace.  
He is in a tough spot here.  

ROVE:  I think he is.  I think you are right that the main issue that drove the election, driving people's perceptions today, is the economy.  I am not certain, though, that he is facing the issue because a lot of his people are going to lose their health care.  I don't think that is accurate.  I think what is concerning people is if you take a look at the polls, the Fox poll for example, 2 out of every three people who oppose the Republican plan thinks it is taking too much away from people.  

MACCALLUM:  We have that number.  I think we can put that number up.  67 percent say that this proposal changes ObamaCare too much.  And the other one is Republican plan to replace ObamaCare, 64 percent, say that they oppose the plan to replace ObamaCare.  Karl.  

ROVE:  My point, though, is that while people feel that way, it doesn't really necessarily affect them.  This is a country of 330 million people. There are 10 million people who have gotten coverage through Medicaid. Those are not a lot of Trump voters.  Then, 10 million who've gotten coverage through the exchanges.  I think people are more concerned about, well they're somehow discombobulated my health care that I am getting for my employer, as opposed to, I am now getting it -- I am one of the 10 million out of 330 million that is getting additional Medicare coverage or one of the 10 million out of 330 million who is getting my coverage now through the exchanges.  It is more that, this is so personal to people, they don't want people to mess with it.  

MACCALLUM:  And people want their own doctor.  They want their premiums to go down.  They want their deductible to go down.  They don't want to have to spend five to $7,000.  That is not having coverage.  Most people never get to that point.  It is completely all out of pocket.  This is not what they bargained for.  

ROVE:  The bill reduce the amount of money you could save tax free come out of pocket medical expenses, reduce the number of things you can spend it on.  

MACCALLUM:  Karl, thank you so much.  Stick around.  

ROVE:  You bet.  

MACCALLUM:  We may come back to Karl as we get ready this.  We are still waiting for the remarks from the president in Tennessee.  We will bring you those live as soon as he takes the stage, in the meantime breaking news on the ongoing legal fight over the president's revised travel ban.  A judge in Hawaii just moments ago, placing a stay on that order.  We have been here before, remember?  It is happening again, Mercedes Schlapp and Jessica Tarlov next.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  

MACCALLUM:  Breaking tonight, we are currently awaiting remarks from President Donald Trump, who is expected to take the stage of the Nashville rally in a moment.  It was supposed to start about 7:30 p.m.  We a little bit of a delay, but we do expect to get underway in a moment now.  Also today, just hours before the revised travel ban was set to take effect, the federal judge in Hawaii has put it on hold, following one of several hearings that were held across the country today on this order.  William La Jeunesse is live in Honolulu, Hawaii, with the details for us tonight, good evening.  

WILLIAM LA JEUNESSE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Well Martha, you know, you have three judges today from the Easter George the middle of the pacific considering that travel ban.  Just about one hour ago, Judge Derek Watson, a federal judge in Hawaii, an Obama appointee, did approve again a restraining order, saying that it would cause irreparable harm to the state.  Which argued that number one, it was discriminatory towards Muslims and secondly, it would harm Hawaii's tourism and finally, that it would deny about the 5,000 Muslims living here, a right to see their relatives, but I have to tell you, there were multiple legal arguments today but the one issue that was on trial was undoubtedly Donald Trump himself.  The state even conceded.  We probably wouldn't be here if another president had proposed identical policy.  

It was campaign rhetoric by Donald Trump the proposed Muslim ban, the complete shutdown of Muslims coming to the United States, that haunt to the courtroom time and again.  In fact the judge had used conflicted, what am I supposed to do?  Turn a blind eye to these backgrounds in this statement, because context he said mattered.  In fact, he said, the feds argued, the administration argued, Judge, stay within the four corners of the document, the executive order himself.  He said he could not.  Let me go to the quote.  "Because a reasonable, objective observer, enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous with public statements made by Donald Trump and specific sequence of events, leading to its issuance, would conclude that the executive order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of a stated religiously neutral purpose."  The state attorney general argued that was exactly their intent.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)  

DOUGLAS CHIN, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF HAWAII:  That is certainly the impression that we were trying to convey, convince the court to do.  Obviously, the record is pretty full of a lot of statements.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)  

LA JEUNESSE:  The next step is that the government could appeal this again to the ninth circuit, which of course turned him down the last time, back to you.  

MACCALLUM:  All right William, thank you very much.  Here now to react all of this, Mercedes Schlapp, Fox News contributor, and Jessica Tarlov, Senior Director for research in a Democratic pollster.  Welcome to both of you.  Good to have you here.  Let me start with you, Jessica.  Not a huge surprise.  We have had inklings that there would be pushed back to the second round.  

TARLOV:  Absolutely.  We have another so-called judge as Donald Trump would say it, our President Donald Trump would say.  There is no surprise here.  We heard these arguments before on round one.  Though the administration did make changes and they removed one country from the list, it still doesn't quite cut mustard obviously for some judges.  I do think it is interesting that there was discussion of the fact that this was just because it was Donald Trump, we know what his initial intent was.  We heard Rudy Giuliani said he called me and say, how do we make a Muslim ban legal?  And then we did this.  I have a lot of difficulty with that myself.  I understand there will be tremendous pushback.  

MACCALLUM:  Legally, Mercedes, you have to judge this based on the document, based on the executive order itself.  People say a lot of stuff in campaigns.  That may not have been, certainly not politically correct, perhaps offensive, it is not what is in this order.  

MERCEDES SCHLAPP, WASHINGTON TIMES:  The words obviously matter to this particular judge, who was an Obama appointee.  Also, what is interesting Martha is that, the ninth U.S. Circuit court of appeals, while they didn't reinstate the travel ban, they never really ruled on discrimination claims, it brings in an interesting legal point.  That is one of the areas that this particular judge is also trying to focus on.  I think that it goes back to the merits of it, the fact of the constitution grants broad authority in terms of immigration to the president.  The president, under this U.S. code 1182, can decide who enters and who does not enter the United States.  When you think about this merits of the case, the fact that the constitution was to be supporting the present on this in terms of granting this broad authority, I mean it does have a stronger ground in terms of its legal merits, but obviously, the judge ruled differently.  

TARLOV:  The constitution also protects freedom of religion, which is part of this argument.  

SCHLAPP:  There is no reference to religion and an executive order.  

MACCALLUM:  The fact that they admitted, if it were a different president who put forward the same claim, the same executive order, they probably would have responded the same way.  

TARLOV:  I have difficulty with that.  I can't see anyone across the political spectrum not having difficulty with that.  I think there is a larger discussion to be had.  I totally understand of Mercedes is saying here.  When we do know the intent behind this, we also know that he just took the country that were on the Obama list to investigate essentially then, went that far.  

MACCALLUM:  We got to go back.  Thank you very much.  This live event, just ahead, President Trump will take the stage for this major speech.  Where does he stand on health care?  Which side does he stand on?  Can he bring the GOP together?  Kristin Fisher is inside the auditorium coming up.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  

MACCALLUM:  We are still waiting for Nashville to get underway.  The president's speech is about to get started.  He was running a little bit late, getting people inside, some issue with that for the presidential seal is now on the podium.  That is assigned this will happen any moment.  Let's go to Kristin Fisher, who can give us an update from inside the arena at the Nashville rally, hi, Kristin.  

KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Hey, Martha.  We have been told that President Trump is inside the building and this event should get started any moment now.  The reason for the delay, as you mentioned, there were so many people outside still trying to get into security.  They wanted to make sure that they gave everyone a chance who wants to get in, to get in.  That is the hold up.  Tonight, the big focus was supposed to be on health care, just how much President Trump supports this Republican health care plan.  Now, the news that the federal judge in Hawaii had halted his revised travel ban, travel ban 2.0, that was set to take effect just a few hours from now, a lot of people are wondering if President Trump will bring it up if when he speaks tonight.  

We ask for Press Secretary Sean Spicer about her, he was in here, he said he didn't have anything to say, because the news is breaking.  He would check back and get back with us a little bit later.  We expect President Trump to spend the majority of his speech talking about health care, let about a school choice, since Nashville is a hotbed for charter schools, which President Trump supports.  School choice, health care, and then of course, possibly come of this travel ban, which the federal judge halted. That is the big news right here Martha.  

MACCALLUM:  All right thank you, Kristin.  We will see what this is, is that a speech or a campaign rally.  The president with a bit subdued in Michigan, he has a lot on his mind with the health care bill.  We will see what he brings to the table as he gets ready to come out.  Always nice to feel the crowd, get the feedback.  Thanks for watching everybody.  I am Martha MacCallum.  I will see you later on O'Reilly tonight and back here at 7:00 tomorrow evening. Have a great night everybody, stay tuned.  Live from Nashville straight ahead.

END

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