First 100 Days

Trump's budget proposal sparks debate about cuts; Rep. Meadows on what conservatives want in health care plan

Fox News contributors weigh in on 'The First 100 Days'

 

This is a rush transcript from "The First 100 Days," March 16, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL THE FIRST 100 DAYS HOST:  - or as Steve Bannon put it, deconstructing the administrative state, but make no mistake, there is new language being spoken in D.C. on day 56 of THE FIRST 100.  And it goes like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICK MULVANEY, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET DIRECTOR:  This administration tends to change course, to make soft power budget to a hard power budget.  And that's a message that our adversaries and our allies alike should take.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM:  So welcome everybody.  I'm Martha MacCallum, this is "The First 100 Days." Today, the new Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, said he literally looked at the President promises one by one in the campaign trail and he wrote a budget for them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT:  I'm going to cut spending.  I'm going to cut spending big league.

MULVANEY:  It's a simple message, by the way.  I put myself in the shoes of that steelworker and Ohio.  The coalminer -- the coal mining family in West Virginia.  The mother of two in Detroit.  Can I really go to those folks, look them in the eye, and say look, I want to take money from you and I want to give it to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

TRUMP:  I will end the wasteful government spending and hold the bureaucrats accountable.

MULVANEY:  The president is beholding to none of that.  The President has drafted a budget for the entire nation.

TRUMP:  And my first budget report to Congress, I am going to ask for the elimination of the defense sequester.

MULVANEY:  We had America first and America first candidate.  We now have an America first President and it shouldn't surprise anybody that we have an America first budget.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM:  So can they make that happen?  We will talk about that in just a moment.  But first, Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts takes us through this today.  Hi John.

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT:  Martha, good evening to you.  You know the new budget that the President released today could be described in this way, big increases in hard power, big cuts to soft power.  

Let's take a first look at some of those big ticket hard power items.  $54 billion increase in defense spending that breaks down into 52 billion for the Pentagon and 2 billion to be given to other agencies who are involved in defense.  Homeland Security ups its budget by $3 billion, Veterans Affairs gets a little more than $4 billion.  There's also, $1.5 billion in there for beginning construction of the wall, as well.  

Massive cuts on the other side to some of the most important departments that we have.  State Department gets a 28 percent decrease in funding.  That's a $10 billion cut.  The EPA will see a 31 percent decrease in its funding, that will call for the elimination of some 3,200 positions.  HHS, 17.9 percent decrease and restructuring and the National Institutes of Health.  And HUD gets a 13.2 percent decrease.  In that, it's - works about $6 billion in total.  And in that is a cut to the $3 billion Community Block Grant Program.  One of the things the Community Block Grant Program does is it gives money to states, some of which goes to fund programs like Meals on Wheels.  Mick Mulvaney, the Budget Director says he can't burden taxpayers with that sort of spending.  Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MULVANEY:  We can't do that anymore.  We can spend money on programs just because they sound good and great.  Meals on Wheels sounds great.  Again, that's a state decision to fund that particular portion, to take the federal money and give it to the states and say, "Look, we to want give you money for programs that don't work."  I can't defend that anymore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS:  And Mulvaney also said it wouldn't be compassionate to take money on the other end for people who are struggling hard to make ends meet and give it to programs that just aren't working.  Mulvaney says that in order to craft the budget, Martha, he listened to literally everything that the President set on the campaign trail over the months and crafted a budget policy item for just about everything the President said and that's what we saw released today.  Martha?

MACCALLUM:  Yes.  Interesting.  And it was also interesting in the briefing room today, John, as you well know, it was an explosive White House briefing today, especially for Sean Spicer.  As he doubled down on President Trump's claims that he was quote "wiretapped by his predecessor, President Obama."  Those claims persisting despite both the House, and today, the Senate intelligence leadership coming out and saying that there is no evidence that that happened.  Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  Hold on -

JONATHAN:  Well, the Senate Intelligence Committee is saying point blank they say no evidence of surveillance.

SPICER:  I understand that Jonathan.  And where was your passion and where was your concern when they all said that there was no connection to Russia? Where was it then?  You -- crickets from you guys.  Because at the end of the day when -

JONATHAN:  So you're saying the President stands by his allegation that President Obama wiretapped the Trump Tower?

SPICER:  No, no, no.  Hold on.  Hold on.  I making - let me - and I am trying to answer your question, Jonathan, if you can calm down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We have done plenty of reporting on all of this, Sean.

SPICER:  No, no, but you want to cherry-pick one commentary - one piece of commentary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  These connections between the aides of the President - associates of the President to the Russians has all been looked at and it's -

SPICER:  No, wait, how do you know all this?  How do you seem to be such an expert in this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Can you help us all by calling on Peter right now?

SPICER:  No, I'm going to - I understand - I actually call the questions. Alexis, if you don't want me to answer your question, I'll call on somebody else.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Could you call on the New York Times, please?

SPICER:  Thank you.  Yes?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM:  Back to John Roberts at the White House.  What was that like today, John?

ROBERTS:  It was the craziest thing I've seen at the White House since the President's press conference a few weeks back.  Every day, something else happens.  Let me just give you the back story that about 15 minutes before the Spicer briefing was supposed to take place, Senators Burr and Warner came out and said they didn't see any evidence or any kind of wiretapping or surveillance specifically up Trump Tower.  

So the Press Secretary and his staff spent the next hour Googling everything they possibly could so they could come out with a lot of ammunition.  Spicer had basically a sermon that he wanted to deliver from the podium there and we knew that he was going to get the question when Jon Carl my colleague from ABC asked him, he went on for seven minutes. He wanted to get out everything that they had googled the previous hour.  And he did.  And then, of course it got contentious because a lot of people thought that he was stonewalling.  

I think the reality to this is, Martha, and I know that some people aren't going to want to hear this.  But the evidence to back up the President's assertion that there was wiretapping or some sort of surveillance specifically of Trump Tower is exceedingly thin.  It may be that there were some incidental surveillance of people who might have been going in and out of Trump Tower because, you know, they have transcripts, apparently, of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn speaking on the telephone with the Russian Ambassador.  That had to come from somewhere.  And there are other people who were loosely connected to the Trump campaign over the course of probably the first part of last year who have said to me they think they were being surveilled and their cell phone was in and out of Trump Tower a few times during the course of the year.  So, we may find that out that any direct surveillance has no proof of that just yet.

MACCALLUM:  I mean, the big question is whether or not it's all based on the news reports.  Sean Spicer read them today, the President reference them in the interview that he did with Tucker, he said, "that's how I know."  But then he said, you know, "over the next of couple of weeks, you going to hear some pretty interesting things.  So that sort of the bucket that hasn't been filled yet.  And I know you're on top of all of that. John, thank you.  Yes go ahead.

ROBERTS:  I got to point out too that every intelligence official who has been asked had said there is no evidence that that happens.

MACCALLUM:  That's right.

ROBERTS:  So maybe news reports of it but nobody from Intel has said that.

MACCALLUM:  John, thank you.

ROBERTS:  Thanks.

MACCALLUM:  So, let's bring in our panel on what has been a very busy day. In Washington Chris Stirewalt Fox's Politics Editor, Richard Fowler Senior fellow at the New Leader's Council and Fox News Contributor and Charles Hurt Political Columnist to the Washington Times and a Fox News Contributor as well.  Well, gentlemen, welcome.  It was a very spicy news briefing today, we could say.  But I do want to start with this budget.  Because, you know, there was a lot in there.  And you know, you can - you can pick it apart, it basically leaves the overall budget the same, even though they talk about cuts.  But Chris, let me start with you.  There was definitely language and a way of looking at spending in terms of taking it from the taxpayer and giving it to someone else that we don't really hear put that way quite often.

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLITICS EDITOR:  Absolutely.  If conservatives were lukewarm or even upset about Trumpcare and the health insurance plan and all that jazz, this is something that will make them stand up and cheer.  This is the most conservative, conceptually conservative - I think you nailed it.  It is not about the dollars, it's about the concept of what the - what the scope and role and appropriate place for the federal government is in American life.  This is the most - by those standards, the most conservative budgets ever put forward by chief executives.

MACCALLUM:  Yes.  I mean, we are talking about slashing programs, 28, 30 percent.  And Richard, the argument that was made, was -will you know what, we don't have the money for all this stuff, folks.  We just don't.  So we need to figure out where it's going to come from.  And I know - you know, you feel strongly that they're taking it from the wrong place, right?

RICHARD FOWLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  I do think they are taking it from the wrong place.  I think bolstering up our Defense Department when our Defense Department is pretty muscular as it is already is not the right move.  But here's the silver ling in this cloud, Martha for the audience at home.  Trump says he is the guy who is the art of the deal.  So maybe he is creating a budget that's absolutely, positively so toxic that he knows it's not going to get to the Hill and he can get something more like what he wants without much movement, right?  So maybe that's it.  But if not, I find this budget to be really, really heartrending for the seniors who depend on Meals on Wheels every day to get - to get their dinner or the kids that wake up and watch Sesame Street or the African nations that depend upon the United States for their - to be able to eat.  All of those are zeroed out in this budget.  And I think that one other point that I want to make here, I spent a month in Africa with Foreign Service officers who do the work of maintaining peace every day when our military isn't there.  31 percent cut or as over 30 percent cut to the State Department and our diplomacy by far is one of the worst things that we can do in the world where China -

MACCALLUM:  I hear you.  I hear you but you know what, let me bring in Charlie Hurt here.  You know interesting things happen when companies are told that they have to cut by 25 percent.  They find places to spend less money and still get the stuff done in order make some money, right?

CHARLIE HURT, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  The notion that a company could have a $20 trillion debt on their books and not have to cut things dramatically at every department is absolutely unheard of in the private sector.  And so, for Donald Trump to step in here and do that and to make these dramatic cuts, I think Chris is exactly right.  It is the most conservative budget that certainly I have ever seen in my time in Washington.  Because, you know, politicians, they love to give stuff away. And it doesn't matter if it is their money or someone else's.  In fact - it does matter.  They prefer it to be other people's money.  They love to give it away.  And they think that - you know, spending it on cartoons or shrimp jogging on treadmills or silent Shakespeare productions, they think it is a great expenditure.

MACCALLUM:  Which is sometimes better than audible ones, by the way.  But, no, I love Shakespeare.  But you know, I mean, this whole concept that it's wrong to take something from a single mother of two in the form of taxes or a minor who is trying to put food on his table, in order to give it to a program that is failing is I think - you know, somewhat a revolutionary thought.  

HURT:  Or not -

MACCALLUM:  This is not the kind of language that we hear spoken in Washington every day.

HURT:  Or not even failing.  If it's just - you're just taking the money from the mother who - single mother with the child in order to give it to some program that maybe it's a great program.  It is still something we ought to sit back and say, "is this right?"  And that's what make --

MACCALLUM:  I just want to circle back one more time Stirewalt, I do want to get your thoughts on the other part of this briefing today, which was combustible.  It was something else.  So what did you think?

STIREWALT:  So, you know, this is - this is - we see this side of Trump that gives hope for his supporters.  This is going to work, that he have this budget, this maybe he is doing deals, he's back selling the healthcare plan.  And then you the stuff that we are reminded of the troubles he had when he was running for President when he gets stuck on something or when he first came into office.  And there's 5 million secret votes, so, I really did win the popular vote.  Or I had the biggest crowd for the inaugural, or all that stuff.  The problem is, his defenders have enough work to do defending him on substantive matters.  When they have to devote their time, effort, and energy, to defending the President on this stuff, this pointless stuff that is matters of pride, when you do that, you are burning energy and burning capital that is desperately needed to advance an agenda that is the most ambitious I'd ever seen.

MACCALLUM:  Yes. You're gumming up the gears.  There no doubt about it.  And they're wasting you know, seven minutes recounting all of this today.  And as Tucker said last night, Charlie, and quick back.  You know, why didn't you wait until you had the evidence and then present it?  Rather than you know, sort of spilling all the stuff all over the place and making everybody talk about it all the time in your press briefing when you rather have them talking about your budget.

HURT:  Sure.  Absolutely.  But, you know, a lot of people have gotten hung up on the word wiretapping and the Trump tower.  The bottom line does remain, though, there have been a lot of reports out there about surveillance of either the campaign or people around the campaign, of a political opponent of the sitting President.  And those are serious charges.  And there has been reporting to at least suggest that there may be something there.  And that is alarming.

MACCALLUM:  Well see.  I mean, if there's something there, there's something there.  We'll see it eventually when it comes out.  I got to go.  Thank you.  Richard, you going to get the first word next time.  I'm sorry. It came to short trip buddy.  Good to see you all.  

So still ahead, first lady Melania Trump, the victim of two separate attacks from a rapper and a liberal cable host.  Governor Huckabee and Lisa Boothe sound off on the Double Standard that is playing out there.  Plus, could the American Healthcare Act be turning a corner?  With the President voicing his continued support last night in Nashville and signaling that he wants folks to come together, is it off life support?  We'll see. That does not include House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows.  He is up next and he'll tell us why he thinks the whole thing should be scrapped.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL RYAN, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE SPEAKER:  It is something I haven't seen in a long time.  This president is getting deeply involved, the President of United States is the one who has been mediating this, hashing out the differences so that we can get to a consensus.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  The bill that I will ultimately sign, and that will be a bill where everybody is going to get into the room, and we're going to get it done; we'll get rid of ObamaCare and make health care better for you and for your family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM:  That was last night in Nashville.  President Trump at a rally, saying that he hopes to bring everybody together and to hammer out this Republican health care bill.  He believes it can get done.  And with the future of ObamaCare repeal at stake, some are suggesting tonight that perhaps the replacement legislation could be possibly turning a corner. Maybe they can get this done.

In moments, we're going to talk to the House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, who basically says that he thinks there's a lot of work that still needs to be done on this thing, not too crazy about it.  But we begin with Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel live on Capitol Hill tonight.  Hi, Mike.

MIKE EMANUEL, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT:  Martha, good evening.  House Speaker Paul Ryan says his focus is on finding the votes to pass this health care replacement plan in the house.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN:  We constantly get feedback; we constantly get suggestions from members, and we're working on bridging those gaps to get - to make improvements in the bill so that members as we have a bill that can pass.  And we feel like we're making great strides and great progress on getting a bill that can pass, because it incorporates the kinds of feedbacks from members from all walks of life in our conference.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

EMANUEL:  Idaho Conservative Congressman Raul Labrador took a swipe at the speaker today, saying, he should try to play on offense, "I don't think that we're talking anything about leadership issues, but he does need to figure out what it means to have a majority.  I have to be honest, sometimes I give credit to Nancy Pelosi that she knew what it meant to have a majority."

Today, the bill took another step, passing the Budget Committee on 19-17 vote.  But three conservatives: Brat of Virginia, Palmer of Alabama, and Sanford of South Carolina voted with Democrats against the GOP plan. Palmer pushed for tightening up Medicaid soon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARY PALMER, HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE MEMBER AND UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM ALABAMA:  The Affordable Care Act led to the explosion of the program into a permanent welfare benefit for anyone including the able-bodied and childless.  The Medicaid expansion has created a perverse incentive for states to provide benefits to able-bodied adults at the expense of the elderly, the blind and the disabled.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

EMANUEL:  Democrats continue attacking this bill.  House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi suggested Speaker Ryan may force his members to, "walk the plank", making them vote for a bad bill.  She's not the only critic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  All of the evidence suggests that this bill will worsen every aspect of our health care system, and return us to a time before the ACA when coverage was neither accessible nor affordable.  The burden is on the Trump administration to prove otherwise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

EMANUEL:  Ryan says the president is being helpful trying to rally support.  Martha?

MACCALLUM:  Thank you, Mike.  So, two Republicans, Senator Ted Cruz and House Freedom Caucus Mark Meadows got together to pin an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal today where they argue the GOP health care plan simply doesn't go far enough to accomplish the goals.  

Congressman Meadows joins us now.  Good evening, sir, good to have you with us tonight.

MARK MEADOWS, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM NORTH CAROLINA:  Good evening, Martha, great to be with you.  Thanks.

MACCALLUM:  So, do you think they should scrap this and start over?

MEADOWS:  You know, obviously there are some things that have really been thought out with the speaker and putting forth this.  We're not there yet.  And I can tell you, I made a promise to the president to negotiate in good faith and really make substantial changes.  But Martha, the real barometer for all of this is that we've got to lower premiums.  And if we don't do that, then we had failed.

MACCALLUM:  But doesn't lower premiums by 10 percent over time?

MEADOWS:  You know, if you look at an average, 10 percent over time, but if you look at that, that's really calculating an increase or a decrease in terms of the younger population.  And so, older Americans, those that are 40 and above, actually will see an increase over a 10-year period.  And so, it's -- according to CBO, our seniors really have to be careful with this. And so, we've got to adjust that to make sure that not only those that that are getting protected with this, but those that are not, actually get the protection.

MACCALLUM:  So, there are some specifics out there that conservatives are pushing for, for instance, work requirements for Medicaid for able-bodied recipients of Medicaid.  Medicaid expansion that would end sooner, 2019 perhaps, rather than 2020.  Give me a -- which things do you think - and I know you spoke to the president about this, and no doubt he told you he wants to get a deal done.

MEADOWS:  He does.

MACCALLUM:  What did you indicate to him you would be willing to do to get there?

MEADOWS:  You know, we've laid out a few items that we're willing to, but that op-ed that you talked about, that Senator Cruz and I actually put forth, talked about the fundamental aspect of this.  And those are the insurance regulations under ObamaCare.  

Currently, you have to buy a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum plan.  And even when we go through this whole process, you're still going to have to buy those types of plans that are - that are left in in terms of the regulations.  So, for us, it's looking at those regulations, repealing those, and then, once we get to that, the rest of it become much easier to negotiate, Martha.

MACCALLUM:  All right.  In a word, can this pass?  Can you get something through?

MEADOWS:  You know, not today, but I'm hopeful in the week to come that we're meeting -- I know I'm meeting with some of our Tuesday group, our moderate members to try to find some common ground.

MACCALLUM:  All right.  Thank you very much.  Good to see you.  Thank you -

(CROSSTALK)

MEADOWS:  Good to see you, Martha.

MACCALLUM:  So, here with Dan Henninger, Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Editor, who just wrote a piece titled "The GOP's ObamaCare Choke"; and Juan Williams, co-host of "The Five" and a Fox News Contributor.  Gentlemen, welcome.  Good to have both of you here.  I want to start by reading a little bit of the piece that you wrote down.  So, let's put that up so that we can share it with the viewers.  This was in The Wall Street Journal this morning.

Dan writes "Maybe in politics, genes really our destiny.  Under pressure from a CBO "score", the genetic disposition of Republican politicians is to go wobbly."  He goes on to say, "The disposition of movement conservatives is to get out the long knives and start carving up other conservatives."  Is that what you think Mr. Meadow is doing?

DAN HENNINGER, WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR:  No, I don't think Mr. Meadows is doing that.  I think some of the -- at least not tonight.  It's very interesting.  Some others have been doing that, Raul Labrador saying he admired Nancy Pelosi, you know, Raul -- Nancy Pelosi never had anyone in her own party like Raul Labrador trying to carve up the speaker.  But Mark Meadows was so interesting tonight, because he said I think we'll get this worked out in the next week.  He didn't say weeks, he said seven days.

And I think Congressman Meadow is now committed to the idea that through negotiation, they're going to be able to do some of the things he described in The Wall Street Journal piece that he wrote for us with Ted Cruz.  And it wasn't that major, Martha.  It was just as you said, moving to Medicare cap up -- expansion up by the year, a work requirement for Medicaid expanding health savings accounts, these are the sorts of things that you would expect to be negotiated in a big piece of legislation.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM:  Yes.  I mean, Paul Ryan spoke very positively about the president this morning.  He said, I'm very, you know, impressed with his commitment to get this done.  And there's no doubt that Mr. Meadow is feeling pressure from the president.  Juan, what do you think about all of this?

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL THE FIVE HOST:  Oh, I think it's interesting to watch President Trump on this, because I don't think that he has bought into the plan.  I mean, obviously, he's famous for his branding.  You notice, it's not called TrumpCare.  I think that he is holding off some distance because I think his top advisors are making it plain.  Hey, wait a second, we're not sure this is going to take off, and we don't want to feel like we are loaded down in terms of the Trump brand if it doesn't go forward.

I was taken by Dan's piece this morning in The Wall Street Journal.  I read this one, the first things I saw today.  And my feeling when I was reading it was, "Yes, I think Republicans are choking if, in fact, they have been, for seven years, condemning ObamaCare and now, they have a chance, after all I think it's 50 plus votes, Martha, to repeal.  They have a chance and they don't do something.  But that's the politics of it.  And I think your bottom line, Dan, was why would Republicans vote for Republicans in the future if they don't follow through on this?

MACCALLUM:  Yes.  I mean, so much -- it sounds crazy to say but so much of this feels about 2018.  I mean, you can feel Democrats, you know, salivating.  Like, "Hey, if they blow this, we're going to be in good shape."

HENNINGER:  Consider, we're actually doing real politics again as people have been describing today.  This is the way legislation works.  It hasn't worked this way for the last eight years.  Congressman Meadow was elected to the house in 2012.  This is the first -- his big piece of legislation he and a lot of his colleagues -

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM:  It is so amazing.

HENNINGER:  It is incredible.  And now, everyone is beginning to -- this is why politicians come to Washington to do negotiations like this, and that's what happened.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS:  But you know the -

MACCALLUM:  This morning, I thought (INAUDIBLE) I was listening to Paul Ryan, he was saying, you know, so it has to get through one more committee, we have four committees, then it goes through to the house, then you have to have a conference, then it's going to go to the senate, then I thought, it's like a refresher's civics course because it has been so long since we've seen any legislation passed, Juan.  ObamaCare, that's it.

WILLIAMS:  Well, you haven't seen any.  Well, right.  But I'm saying - no, that's not true, but I mean it's -- what you're seeing here is that Republicans are now the governing party.  And they have to govern.  And that takes -- the result is, you have to have compromising consensus in your own ranks if you have a majority, as Congressman Labrador was saying.  

So, my problem with this is, it's all about the politics.  My difference with Dan is, what about the American people?  Because I think the problem is that the Republican plan isn't adequate, Martha.  I don't think it covers as many people as ObamaCare; I don't think it drives down premiums, as you heard from Congressman Meadow.  Older people, especially, are going to be ill served.

MACCALLUM:  But you know what, the proof will be in the pudding, if people are unsatisfied; if their health care cost more in the next year than it cost before, then -

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS:  Well, we heard from them.  We've heard, but Fox - the Fox News poll -

MACCALLUM:  -- it actually turns out to be the truth that people are paying more and their coverage is less, believe me, Republicans are not going to get re-elected.

WILLIAMS:  Well, that's right.  I mean, I think the Fox News poll today had 54 percent disapprove.

MACCALLUM:  It better work or they're not going to be happy.  All right. Gentlemen, thank you.  A pleasure to have both of you here tonight.  

So, still ahead, the revised version of President Trump's travel ban, as you know, was shot down once again at the 11th hour.  So, with this latest decision based solely on legal grounds, or is this political on the part of this judge?  That debate with Katie Pavlich and Michele Jawando coming up next.

Plus, 24 hours after many in the media panned President Trump's national address last night, our focus group looked at the dials and watched what he said.  It's fascinating to see what they - what resonated with them and what resonated in a way with some Democrats.  We'll show you the dials, coming up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  We're going to fight this terrible world; we're going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  

MACCALLUM:  Developing tonight some new reaction to the decision by two federal judges in Hawaii and in Maryland to reject the revised version of the travel ban.  President Trump has vowed to fight on, even the Supreme Court, calling it a quote, unprecedented judicial overreach.  Trace Gallagher has details from our west coast newsroom.  Hi, Trace.  

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Hi, Martha, the only difference in these two federal rulings is the judge in Maryland, Theodore Chuang, only halted of the travel ban from the six majority Muslim countries.  He left the refugee travel ban intact.  Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii halted the entire executive order.  But instead of ruling solely on what was in the executive order, both of these federal judges based their decisions on statements Donald Trump made in the campaign trail, like this.  Watch.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)  

TRUMP:  Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.  Until our countries representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)  

GALLAGHER:  The judges said those types of statements supported claims by the states that this travel ban and mounted to religious discrimination. The judges also take into account comments made last month to Fox News by Trump policy advisor Stephen Miller, who said the new travel ban was fundamentally the same as the old travel ban.  It now appears that President Trump never wanted to rewrite his executive order to begin with. Watch.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)  

TRUMP:  This is a watered-down version of the first one.  This is a watered down version.  Let me tell you something, I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what I wanted to do with the first place.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)  

GALLAGHER:  Going all the way to the Supreme Court may now include a few more stops, including back to the ninth circuit court of appeals, which has ruled against the administration once and the fourth circuit court, which covers Maryland.  The DOJ says, the president's executive order falls squarely within his lawful authority in seeking to protect our nation security and the department will continue to defend this executive order in the courts.  But while the DOJ wants the courts to focus on president's authority, so far, the courts have focused on whether the president's order is discriminatory.  

MACCALLUM:  A lot of questions about that.  Trace, thank you.  Here with me Katie Pavlich, Townhall.com editor and Fox News Contributor and Michele Jawando, the legal progress vice president at the center for American progress.  Thank you for being here.  Welcome, ladies.  It struck me again when I listen to President Trump last night, Katie I want to start with you on this.  It was revealing I thought that he said, I didn't want us to have a second order in the first place, I wanted to stick with a first order.  He ends up in the same place.  Perhaps he was perturbed with someone who urged him.  We have to rewrite this one.  We have to try again.  He wanted to stick with the original version.  He wants this to go to the Supreme Court.  

KATIE PAVLICH, NEWS EDITOR AT TOWNHALL.COM:  Yes, after the first order was struck down, the administration repeatedly said from the White House that they were going to fight this and appeal the first decision.  Then, the advisers got involved and said we should just issue another one, the court fight, first for the reason of expanding past the 90 day temporary period. Second, they thought that they would lose based on the arguments made in the first time.  The second time around, they did tailor it to the complaints from the courts.  When you look at the way these judges came up with their decisions, they are not basing them on constitutionality.  They are basing them on campaign statements.  As a law professor Jonathan Turley, who is not a conservative, said this morning, there is a lot more case law to fall on the side of the president then there is to fall on the side of campaign statements.  

MACCALLUM:  Michele that stuck out to me.  Jonathan Turley and Alan Dershowitz both look at this and they say there is a lot of emotion around these judges' decisions.  But it will stand up.  The president does have the right to ban entry from countries if he deems them to be a national security risk.  It is a 1952 law.  

MICHELE JAWANDO, VICE PRESIDENT AT THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS:  I think I have -- my mother is a minister and my dad is an attorney.  My entire life I have been guided by two things, the law and our values.  And the constitution has made clear that this executive order is fundamentally un-American.  I think no matter what law you refer to, that is why you see these judges saying so clearly, it is a violation of our constitutional values.  And that is why, when we see this as I continued to move through the many different district courts, appellate courts, potentially, the Supreme Court, we are going to hear people say this is unconstitutional. It is a violation of our American values.  

MACCALLUM:  Just reading from the law, the law says that it gives the president the power to suspend or impose restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals if it determines their entry would be detrimental to the interest of the United States.  These are the same countries, a similar group that President Obama deemed to be a national security threats, Katie.  

PAVLICH:  Right, I mean there is nothing unconstitutional about keeping the foreign nationals from failed states like Yemen, Syria, Libya, Somalia, where there is a very severe problem with terrorism and terrorist organization saying they will use refugees to get fighters through the United States.  We have seen this happen in Europe.  There is nothing unconstitutional about the president using his authority, which is written in the U.S. code, to keep those people out.  This is not permanent.  This is something that was temporary.  I think of the justice department is going to appeal this.  Attorney General Sessions has more in place now.  They will fight it.  I think it will come out on a positive side.  

MACCALLUM:  No doubt that campaign words can come back to haunt you.  That is what has happened in the first couple of rounds.  Michele and Katie, thank you very much.  

PAVLICH:  Thanks, Martha.  

MACCALLUM:  Still ahead, two separate incidents, both resulting in ugly attacks against first lady Melania Trump.  We will show you the fallout.  Plus, after some of the media gave President Trump's speech of some remarks last night, we will show you but they had to say.  Then, we will look at the dials with Lee Carter when we come back.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  

MACCALLUM:  Last night, President Trump gave a big speech in Nashville and it was received differently from different aspects of the audience.  Many in the media panned of the president's remarks last night.  Here's a sampling of that.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It with a campaign rally, the kind of which we saw over and over again last year for Donald Trump, the only difference tonight was that reality has hit his politics, his pledges, and his rhetoric.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Donald Trump also said that the Republican health care bill is not a finished product.  In other words, Donald Trump now is committed to absolutely nothing in his own health care bill.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He is quickly turning into president dog ate my homework.  The buck stops somewhere over there.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)  

MACCALLUM:  That is what they thought.  We asked the pollster Leigh Carter to commission a focus group to see how watchers and voters thought about it.  Watch the reactions of Republicans on the red line and dependence on the yellow line, and Democrats on the blue line.  Watch how they move in response while the president talks.  Take a look.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)  

TRUMP:  I want to get to taxes.  I want to cut the hill out of taxes.  But -- but before I can do that, I would have loved to have put it first, I'll be honest.  There is one more very important thing that we have to do, if we are going to repeal and replace horrible, disastrous, ObamaCare.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)  

MACCALLUM:  Poster and communication strategist, Lee Carter joins us now. It is fascinating to watch it move.  What did you see?  

LEE CARTER, POSTER AND COMMUNICATION STRATEGIST:  You can see that Republicans have not missed a beat.  They are with Donald Trump the whole way.  We are seeing independence is often just a little bit, not a lot. I think they are waiting to see some action here.  Democrats across the board have come -- they have never supported Donald Trump, they are not coming around.  You can see that he is not even trying to get them around with these messages.  I think the important thing to watch as the independents.  

MACCALLUM:  Let's take a look at the next one, the travel ban.  Let's see how people reacted to that.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)  

TRUMP:  This ruling makes us look weak.  Which, by the way, we know longer are.  Believe me.  

(APPLAUSE)  

(CHEERS)  

Just look at our borders.  We are going to fight this terrible ruling.  We are going to take the cases as far as that needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court.  

(APPLAUSE)  

(CHEERS)  

We are going to win.  We are going to keep our citizens safe. And regardless, we are going to keep our citizens safe.  Believe me.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)  

CARTER:  You can see come of Republicans are so onboard with this travel ban.  On the other hand, Democrats are so on the other side.  When you talk about it, the Republicans and independents, you can see, responding favorably.  This is about national security, America first.  Democrats are think I'm a humanitarian issue.  It is not about America first, it's about all people first.  It is a totally divided issue.  You cannot get Democrats to move over no matter what Republicans or independents think.  

MACCALLUM:  There was one area where it was a little bit closer.  Let's take a look.  Remember, one of the big thrusts last night was to talk about school choice, a very important issue on this country, it go straight to the heart of how people feel about education.  Watch this.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)  

TRUMP:  We will give our children the right to attend the school of their choice, one where they will be taught to love this country and these values.  

(APPLAUSE)  

(CHEERS)  

(END VIDEO CLIP)  

CARTER:  So, I was shocked last night.  When he was talking about school choice, we saw Republicans, of course, supporting it, Independents, supporting it.  Democrats come across the board, said this is an issue they were optimistic about.  Something that historically and all throughout the election people have said that Donald Trump is and at what he is doing about education.  They did not support the education secretary.  Here they are saying that choice is a good thing in education. Also, during his speech, he said education is a civil rights issue.  To something that is bringing people together, I think we see it here.  

MACCALLUM:  Betsy DeVos is big on school choice.  And even some Democrats seem to be on board with that, very interesting.  Lee, thank you so much.  

CARTER:  Anytime.  

MACCALLUM:  Still ahead tonight, first lady Melania Trump lands in the center of two ugly attacks, one of which claims the only reason her citizenship status went through was her husband's squeaky clean tax return from '05.  The other one was so outrageous that we are (inaudible) to mention it, honestly, but we will in a peaceful manner with this two great folks, Mike Huckabee and Lisa Boothe coming up next.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  

MACCALLUM:  Developing tonight, first lady Melania Trump becomes the subject of two attacks.  The first set up by a disturbing music video from Snoop Dogg depicting the shooting of a man and a clown suit, resembling Donald Trump.  President Trump criticized that video, taunting another rapper, Bow Wow to weigh in with an offensive tweet an offensive tweet that said this.  Read this stuff.  It is about his wife, it is about her work, it is just repulsive.  That is that.  The second, less incendiary attack was from MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who in defending her report on Donald Trump 05 tax return.  Suggest that the reason it was so squeaky clean, which was somewhat of a surprise to her, must have been because it was the year of Melania Trump's citizenship status, when she was trying to attain that.  Joined now, by Mike Huckabee former Arkansas governor and Fox News Contributor and Lisa Boothe president of Prime News Strategist, welcome to both of you, good evening.  It is usually understood, you don't go after first ladies, and you don't go after families.  This has been happening on a fairly regular basis to most members of the family for the Trumps.  Governor Huckabee what is your take?  

MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  It is been historical that we don't let people just go off on the families.  They are not on the ballot.  They didn't ask for this.  Melania Trump is a beautiful, classy lady.  The attacks on her are just obscene.  Some of them, frankly, I think are felonies.  When you start specifically talking about violent acts and misogynist kind of activities toward a person of a prominent position, it is just disgusting, this guy, Bow Wow.  What a bad dog, take away all the bones, make it go underground.  What a goober for him to go out and think he is an important and he thinks he had the right to say that.  It's just disgusting.  

MACCALLUM:  It is the crude, crass world we live in, this guy -- I looked them up on twitter, he has 3 million followers.  That is how many people saw that repulsive and disrespectful and every other adjective you can think of things that he put out there.  I wonder how he would feel if that was that about a number of his family, Lisa.  

LISA BOOTHE, HIGH NOON STRATEGIST PRESIDENT:  Well absolutely Martha, there is a clear -- it is not just a reflection of what society looks like now.  As a reflection of the double standard that exists.  If you remember back in 2014, a Republican staffer, who wrote on her Facebook page, something critical about President Obama's daughter, mainly just surrounding the way she, was dressed.  She was hounded by news reporters, she had to resign, and she was made into an international news story.  There were TV cameras outside of her house.  What have we seen done to the Trump? The comments from Bow Wow, we have Snoop Dogg literally shooting the President in a music video.  We have Madonna talking about blowing up the White House. The "SNL" writer writing something horrible about Barron Trump, who was only ten years old, but yet, these comments are completely excused, because it is about President Trump as opposed to President Obama.  

MACCALLUM:  I just want to talk about the '05 tax return, which Rachel Maddow has had to do a dance with because it didn't turn out the way she anticipated it would.  She said in 2005 is the year Mr. Trump remarried his lovely wife, Melania.  Their first jointly filed tax return as a married couple.  She noted that Mrs. Trump was not a U.S. citizen but a green card holder.  She goes on to say it was an important piece of evidence in that whole process.  That is a lot of reading into that tax return, Governor Huckabee.  

MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  You know the great philosopher Ron White says you can't fix stupid.  That is just stupid.  To think that Donald Trump paid $38 million just so that his wife could get citizenship, Donald Trump is not that stupid but Rachel Maddow is for saying it. If you Donald Trump wanted to spend money just to grease the pathway, he could have probably done the old-fashioned way and just made a few political contributions and that would have taken care of it.  You don't pay $38 million.  That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.  Good grief, that is off the rails.  

MACCALLUM:  We about 15 seconds, Lisa come away and before we go.  

BOOTHE:  I think she is trying desperately to excuse the embarrassment that happened last night.  All we found out this President Trump is very rich and he is paying more than the average person.  

MACCALLUM:  We got to go.  Thank you, guys.  Good to have you here.  

BOOTHE:  Thanks Martha.  

HUCKABEE:  Thanks.  

MACCALLUM:  We will be right back.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  

MACCALLUM:  To relieve you on the St. Patrick's eve with this today from the president, it is the quote of the night.  Watch.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)  

TRUMP:  Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue, but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.  We know that, politically speaking.  A lot of us know that.  We know it well.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)  

MACCALLUM:  Can't make it up, right?  Go ahead at St. Patrick Day today, because tomorrow is apparently Germany day at the White House because Angela Merkel is coming to town.  Have a good night tonight, everybody.  Thanks for being with us.  Bill O'Reilly is up next.  We will see you back here tomorrow night at 7:00 for "The First 100 Days." have a great night.  

"The O'Reilly Factor" is on, tonight.

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