First 100 Days

Rep. King: Systematic leaks against Trump are 'disgraceful'; Gingrich: Lack of FBI aggressiveness is disturbing

On 'The First 100 Days,' congressman says the president 'over shot the mark' with the wiretap allegations


This is a rush transcript from "The First 100 Days," March 20, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: Breaking tonight, big fixes coming any minute now in the health care bill as the president now says he wants a face-to-face with all Republicans in the House tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. So that should be interesting, since now more than ever, he needs a win on this bill that is going to be voted on on Thursday.

So on a day with plenty of heat and tense hearings for the White House, the president may have been happy to get out of town tonight. Moments ago, he touched down in Kentucky, we are told. There is a packed house waiting for him. We expect to hear some tough counter punching on this Russia story which was everywhere today, as well as a full throated endorsement of the health care fixes, those could be coming any hour.

It's Martha MacCallum, this is day 60 of "The First 100". So, another potential win on a rough day, his Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, we're going to show you how the judge did today as the Dems decide whether or not they're going to try to filibuster this nomination. And the story you did not hear much about, the president met today with the leader of Iraq and promised him that U.S. support in the fight against ISIS will, quote, "accelerate". So what does he mean by that? We're going to talk about that tonight as well.

But we begin with that wild hearing on Capitol Hill as the FBI, for the first time, confirmed an ongoing investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. Denies any wiretapping happened at Trump Tower and takes on the unsubstantiated allegation of Russian collusion potentially with the Trump campaign. House Intelligence Committee member, Congressman Peter King, was there today. He was part of the questioning of the FBI director. He's going to join us in just a moment. Plus, former House Intelligence Committee chairman, Pete Hoekstra, and former CIA spokesperson, Marie Harf, here to respond with their thoughts on everything that transpire there. But first, we go to Chief Intelligence Correspondent, Catherine Herridge, who is live on Capitol Hill with her report on what happened today and what we learned. Catherine.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT:  Well, thanks, Martha. What the FBI director did in his testimony today is really extraordinary under any circumstances, confirming the existence of a counterintelligence investigation. These C.I. cases are among the most highly classified and sensitive, and they are reserved for operations to disrupt spying by foreign nations and other hostile actors. The FBI director also testified that there simply is no evidence to support the president's wiretapping allegations.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF.:  Was the president's statement that Obama had his wires tapped in Trump Tower a true statement?

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: I have no information that supports those tweets. And we have looked carefully inside the FBI. The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components.


HERRIDGE: Based on the FBI director's testimony today, here on Capitol Hill, we have quite an extraordinary set of circumstances as we look back to the summer of 2016. We now have confirmation that the nominee for the Democratic Party, Hillary Rodham Clinton, was under criminal investigation, and we also have confirmation that associates with the Trump campaign were also under investigation for their contact with the Russians. In the meantime, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee pressed the FBI director to see if Democrats crossed the line with Russia.


REP. DEVIN NUNES, R-CALIF.: If this committee or anyone else for that matter, someone from the public, comes with information to you about the Hillary Clinton campaign, or their associates, or someone from the Clinton foundation, will you add that to your investigation?

COMEY: People bring us information about what they think is improper lawful activity of any kind, we will evaluate it.


HERRIDGE: The White House spokesman held his ground today, saying that there is simply no public evidence of collusion between Trump associates and Russian intelligence. And they cited the statement of former Obama administration officials, the director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, and then also, just as recently as last week, the former acting director of the CIA, Mike Morell, Martha.

MACCALLUM: All right. Catherine, thank you very much.

HERRIDGE: You're welcome.

MACCALLUM: Catherine Herridge, reporting. Here now, Pete Hoekstra, is former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a former Trump campaign National Security Advisor, and Marie Harf, is former CIA officer and spokesperson and a Fox News contributor. Welcome to both of you today.

The president tweeted quite a bit throughout the course of this about what he made of it. Pete, taking a look at your thoughts on this, you think that this is much ado about nothing. Why?

PETE HOEKSTRA, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE AND FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, we didn't learn much new today. You know, their -- the Trump campaign under investigation, that's been out there talking, you know, that's been talked about for a long time. James Clapper, we thought, put that to rest a few weeks ago. Obviously, that did not happen. Yet, we knew all about the leaks. You know, there were some questions raised today. I think that, you know, what was leaked, who leaked it, is that criminal -- is there an investigation in those types of things? But in terms of ground breaking news, no, I think the ground breaking news if anything, there's a lot more questions that need to be asked and that this committee is going to be looking to get the answers for, rather than breaking news that said, "Hey, finally, we understand exactly what's happening."

MACCALLUM: It's a good point. I mean, I don't know, you know, there was a lot of drama in there today, Marie, but I don't know that we advanced the ball on really any of these issues. Did we?

MARIE HARF, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  Well, not substantively but I do think it's significant that you had the head of the FBI, under oath, confirm that the Trump campaign is under investigation for its work or possible ties with the Russians. And nothing may come of this but the fact that there's an FBI investigation that they feel like they have enough to investigate, is significant, I think. And it's also worth noting that this is a topic that multiple Trump administration officials have repeatedly not been truthful about. Mike Flynn got fired for not being truthful about it.

So, we'll see what comes from this but every day this is a story, everyday Trump tweets and says things that aren't true. It takes away from all the other things I know he wants to accomplish. So this is not going away and that's what I take away from today.

MACCALLUM: Yes, I mean, it does go on and it goes on in part because in some ways, Pete, the president keeps tweeting about it. And that has kept us alive. You know, politically, that may be something that he wants to reconsider. He's, you know, stuck up for his tweeting quite a bit in the past 10 days or so. But one of the tweets that he sent out today, the first one that we have here is, "The NSA and the FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence the electoral process." And when questioned about that, the FBI director basically said, "No, that's not exactly, you know, what we have said here today." Your thoughts.

HOEKSTRA: Well, I think, yes, what they did say was that there's no evidence that vote tallies in any states, like the state that I come from, Michigan, were affected, which was a tossup state. So, the parsing or, you know, how President Trump phrased it or how the tweet came out wasn't an exact reflection of what the director said today. I think, though, there's other interesting questions that come up today. You know, it's interesting that the FBI director saying this investigation has been going on since July. And if there's an investigation going on, you would think that there would be surveillance of the Trump campaign and other folks associated with the candidate, the president-elect at that time, at the same time that the FBI director is saying, there was no surveillance going on.

So, these are the kinds of confusing issues that people are looking out and saying, "Let's dig down into this. You know, the leaks." Were -- was the information that was leaked on Michael Flynn, was it collected legally, was it distributedly -- distributed appropriately, and obviously, when it was leaked, that was illegal. So, these are the kinds of question we're going to be hearing about, yes, probably for months.

MACCALLUM: It's not going anywhere. Marie, thank you very much. Pete, thank you. Good to see you both.

HOEKSTRA: Thank you.

HARF: Thanks.

MACCALLUM: Here now with a little bit more on this, one of the lawmakers who was in the room today, Republican congressman Peter King.  Good to have you here, Congressman.

REP. PETER KING, R-N.Y.: A pleasure. Thank you. Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: You know, a lot of questions that came up during the course of this today. Trey Gowdy was very forceful in his questioning. He wanted to know, specifically, if anybody could tell him who may have leaked that information on Mike Flynn. The NSA director said there's only about, you know, between 12 and 20 individuals who have the potential or the ability to unmask someone. So, I mean, that seems to make it pretty clear that this was an intentional move to do a hit job on him, to take him down, and it worked.

KING: You know, Martha, I think what a lot of the media, the so-called "mainstream media", was missing from today, is that Director Comey, several times, during the Trey Gowdy questioning during (INAUDIBLE), he said how serious these leaks are. And when I was questioning, he said it is unprecedented. He has never seen such a volume of serious leaks in such a brief period of time. That's what's happening obviously, with General Flynn, no matter what he said or didn't say, it was -- it was illegal and it was a felony that anyone should disclose the transcript (INAUDIBLE) said even his name, because that's under a FISA warrant and the courts, that's -- that is almost sacrosanct. You cannot disclose that (INAUDIBLE) Americans.

Also, for instance, with the dossier, there was only -- as far as I know, four people in the room. There was Brennan, there was Clapper, there was Director Comey and Admiral Rogers. Well, they met with Donald Trump, and at the end of the meeting, reportedly, Director Comey, gave him a copy of the dossier. That's all and request upon --


MACCALLUM: Him meaning Brennan?

KING: Well, no, actually, it was Comey. Director Comey gave him the dossier but within --

MACCALLUM: Gave who? The dossier?

KING: Gave -- President-elect Trump. He gave him the dossier to look at.  Within a matter of hours, that was all leaked out. Now, that's a small universe. You don't --


MACCALLUM: It went to The Washington Post, it went to The New York Times, do you think we're ever going to find out who that -- who leaked it from that very small, highly placed group?

KING: Well, it seems to me if there's any group where you can find, you have such a small number of people, they may have had one or two aides in the room, there couldn't have been more than six to seven, eight people in the room at most. So, that's a very small universe. And that again, was disgraceful. To be doing that to a -- to a president-elect what that was doing is that gave the rest of the media the excuse to leak the dossier, which they would have been able to do otherwise. This is -- this is systematically leaks against the president is disgraceful.

MACCALLUM: I mean, a lot of attention has been given to the wiretapping issue and, you know, it was put to rest a couple of times by the heads of the Intel committees and now, by FBI Director Comey as well. Does the president need to address this, to put it to rest?

KING: I think he should. I think he overshot the mark. What he could have said, and maybe he explains it, and he can say, this is -- there was obvious surveillance going on through investigations, which may or may not have been legal, let's assume they are all legal. But somebody was misusing that information. Leaking it to the media, leaking it, perhaps, to Democratic opposition, which we saw all these news reports talking about the reports and transcripts and conversations that were being held, that could only have been done by illegal leaks.

So, the president could have said, "I was so angry over that. I assume there was a wiretap of me." The fact is, I'm sure they were people in the Trump camp who came under some kind of surveillance and this investigation gone on for several months. As Pete Hoekstra said, "I assume there was."  So, I think he was confused. I don't (INAUDIBLE)


MACCALLUM: I mean, he could potentially clarify it, but not discount the underlying sentiment of what he thinks has been going on here.

KING: And it's clear illegal conduct. Felonies have been committed against the President of United States. That is terrible. So the president sort of overshot it, and by doing that, he took the spotlight of what really a serious crimes being committed against them.

MACCALLUM: It's a great point. Congressman Peter King, thank you. Good to see you, sir.

KING: Martha, thank you very much. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, we are currently awaiting remarks from President Trump. He is set to take the stage in Louisville, Kentucky at about 7:40 tonight.  You can see the crowd has gathered, and no doubt, he will want to take advantage of this opportunity to speak to those people and to speak to the nation at large about all of these big stories today. We're going to bring you there live as soon as they get underway.

Up next, more from the fiery James Comey hearing today, over just how the leaks from the Intel community came to life, who leaked, we were just talking about this with Pete King, we're going to dig into it more. Why is it taking so long to uncover the people because it's a very small universe of individuals who had access to that information? Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich joins us with his reaction to all of that.

Plus, day one of Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch is over. About three more to go for this gentleman as some Democrats claimed that he's nothing more than the pick of interest groups. Do they really want to expand political capital on the Gorsuch fight or not? We'll be right back.


MACCALLUM: Live look as the president will be taking the stage soon in Louisville, Kentucky this hour. We're going to bring you that live as soon as it gets underway. But first, more from the House Intel Committee hearing today that cited some pretty heated exchanges.  Congressman Trey Gowdy is always can be expected for a few of those. And he talked to the FBI Director Jim Comey about this rash of intelligence leaks that ended up in the media. Watch this.


REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C.: Would Director Brennan have access to an unmasked U.S. citizen’s name?

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: In some circumstances, yes.

GOWDY: Would National Security Advisor Susan Rice have access to an unmasked U.S. citizen's name?

COMEY: I think any -- yes, in general, and any other National Security Advisor would.

GOWDY: Do you agree much of what is learned from these programs is classified or otherwise legally protected?

COMEY: All FISA applications reviewed by the court collection by us pursuant to our FISA authority is classified.

GOWDY: The dissemination of which is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison?

COMEY: Sure. Dissemination -- unauthorized dissemination.

GOWDY: Unauthorized dissemination of classified or otherwise legally- protected material punishable by a felony up to 10 years in federal prison?

COMEY: Yes, yes, as it should be.


MACCALLUM: Let's see where that was going. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is here with his reaction to all of what we thought today.  He's also a Fox News contributor and author of the book "Treason." Newt, good to see you again tonight. Welcome back.

NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, it's good to be here, although, it's very disturbing to look at the lack of FBI aggressiveness when you're having so many secrets that are leaked. They are dangerous to American national security.

MACCALLUM: So, that's your takeaway. You know, I mean, when you sort of look at the --

GINGRICH: Absolutely.

MACCALLUM: -- the scope of what we saw today, right? You have the wiretapping which was debunked, which the president tweeted about it.  That's, you know, part of this story, to be sure, and how he should address that in the coming days. You have this issue of how Flynn's name got out, which is a very serious matter, as you just heard from Jim Comey. And then, you have this issue that is sort of was pressed by Democrats today, that there was a nefarious relationship between the Trump campaign and Russia that was all designed to create a win for him. Which one do you want to take on first?

GINGRICH: Well, look, some of it is so idiotic, you have to really wonder what's going on. For example, two of the people that they cite as campaign people actually had letters written to them by the campaign lawyers that were seized and desist letters that said, "You're not a part of this campaign, don't say you're part of this campaign. And we're bringing legal sanction against you. Yet, you listen to the news media and you listen to the Democrats, they described them as though they were part of it.  Remember, Hillary's campaign chairman's brother is a registered foreign lobbyist who was representing one of the biggest banks in Russia.

Now, you said you don't hear any talk about that and that's certainly not a problem, and nobody would have any suggestion that the Podesta brothers weren't any way tainted by Russian money. But now, let's talk about allegations that are baloney; 97 percent of the donations in the Justice Department went to Hillary Clinton. That is an institution filled with people who are liberal lawyers who hate Donald Trump. They're not doing their job. Comey's answers today were pathetic. The fact that he was -


MACCALLUM: In what way? How are they pathetic?

GINGRICH: Of course, we have investigations under way. Of course, you want to (INAUDIBLE) you'll notice when he's asked by Trey Gowdy about Susan Rice, he promptly puts in, oh, and other national security advisers would also have that ability. That's not what Trey asked him. He asked about a specific person in the Obama administration. We're not talking about other people. But there's this constant effort. I find the performance by the FBI director very, very disappointing. And frankly, a little alarming. He has too much power to be as politically clever as he is.

MACCALLUM: Do you think he should not be talking about any of this? I mean, he was asked to come to this hearing, he was forthcoming when he said, you know, I can verify for you that there is an ongoing investigation --


GINGRICH: Well, if he's going to (INAUDIBLE) the fact that he can say -- no. What he said was, "I'm allowed to tell you there's an ongoing investigation about the Russians and the Trump campaign. I'm not allowed to tell you about any investigations involving Americans who are committing felonies up to 10 years in jail, leaking secret information. Now, how come he could tell us the one but not tell us the other? I mean, it makes no sense. And I think Comey's performance today was incomprehensible as a matter of law enforcement, but pretty good as a matter of political hatchet job on behalf of the Democrats.

MACCALLUM: All right. So, that's outside of the equation. What about President Trump? I mean, he has stirred up a lot of this controversy on his own. And he's got of ton of agenda items going on right now. He's meeting with the Iraqi Prime Minister today, nobody will barely mention it because of all of these overshadowing by these accusations. And he kept going at it today on Twitter. Good or bad?

GINGRICH: Well, look first of all, I think he sometimes clutter he's own message. I think everybody ought to go back and read his speech at the Hermitage at Nashville last week where he talked about the parallels between him and Andrew Jackson. One of the most revealing speeches Trump has given. But Trump is Trump. He's -- when he gets in a fight like this, he sticks at it, he doesn't back off as the lesson he learned dealing with page six in New York. But interestingly, it also doesn't seem to bother him. As you pointed out, he meets with the German Chancellor, he meets with the Iraqi Prime Minister, they're working on the Supreme Court nomination. They're trying to pass a health care bill. He's doing a lot of stuff. It's the news media that seems myopic.

MACCALLUM: All right. But he's given on the opportunity to be in some cases, so thank you very much, Newt, good to see you, as always. Thanks for being here.


MACCALLUM: The kind of vexed Judge Neil Gorsuch, another big story today.  He faces Senate judiciary committee with partisan politics quickly taking center stage. Chris Stirewalt, Matt Bennett, and David Wohl, all here on whether or not this aggressive stance is a wise move from Senate Democrats.

Plus, as we await President Trump's next speech, no doubt he is chomping it a bit to get to that microphone and say what he thinks about what happened today, all of it. It says Republican start to make changes that are quite significant in the healthcare bill. What are, what do they mean for you?  Congressman Sean Duffy will join us. He is now firmly behind the House GOP's effort. He was not before. We'll ask him why, straight ahead.

REP. SEAN DUFFY, R-WIS.: I don't think we have the votes he (INAUDIBLE) pass this. So, you have seen Donald Trump, the President, engaged. We have some Freedom Caucus members who are still no, and I think we're going to get there.


MACCALLUM: So, you are looking live as we stay at the stage in Louisville, Kentucky. The president has landed there a little while ago.  He's going to step to the podium and speak in just a few minutes. As soon as he does, we're going to take you there live. But earlier today, on Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court confirmation was the talk of the town for Judge Neil Gorsuch, as he came in, made his opening statement, which was quite eloquent, talked about his family, his grandparents, his parents.  And everyone wonders if partisan politics will enter this soon or if there'll be some hesitation. For more on that, we turn to chief legal correspondent Shannon Bream who joins us live from Washington. Hi, Shannon.

SHANNON BREAM, SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Well, hello, Martha. You know the last time that Judge Neil Gorsuch faced Senate confirmation back in 2006, not a single Democrat objected to him taking the (INAUDIBLE) he was easily approved by a anonymous voice vote. Well, that was then and this is now. Many of the Democrats who voiced zero concerns in 2006 are slated to vote again this time around, that includes Senator Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy. Several of them now questioning his fitness for the bench. A number of Democrats spent their allotted speaking time today, blasting Republicans for not allowing President Obama's nominee to get to this point.


SEN. PATRICK LEAHY, D-VT.: The Senate Republicans made a big show last year about respecting the voice of the American people in this process. Now, they are arguing that the Senate should rubber-stamp a nominee selected by extreme interest groups and nominated by a president who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.


BREAM: Gorsuch seemed to be in good spirits, tough, today taking it all in stride and joking with the dozens of photographers who swarmed him as he took his seat. He mostly kept a poker face during both the praise and criticism he took today, often taking notes. To close the day, he was sworn and made a statement of his own praising the man he hopes to succeed, Justice Scalia, and his philosophy that decisions are supposed to be only about what the text of the law says, not what a judge may want it to say.


NEIL GORSUCH, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: For a judge who likes every outcome he reaches is probably a pretty bad judge, stretching for policy results he prefers rather than those the law compels.


BREAM: So, the first round of questioning starts at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, I'm told by one of the members of the White House team who has been helping Gorsuch to prepare is actually really looking forward to getting this whole grilling behind him. I can imagine, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Yes, no doubt. Shannon, thank you very much. So, here with more on this, Chris Stirewalt, Fox News politics editor; Matt Bennett, former deputy assistant to President Bill Clinton, and David Wohl, an attorney and Trump supporter. Gentlemen, welcome. Good to have all of you here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Martha. Thanks for having me.

MACCALLUM: Hello there. So, Matt, let me start with you. You know, what would be your objection to this judge? And do you think that Democrats will go that road?

MATT BENNETT, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Well, I don't know that there will be objections for him after the hearings are over. But don't forget, a couple of months ago, going into the hearings around President Trump's cabinet appointments, no one would have guessed that Rex Tillerson would have a relatively easy time of getting confirmed and Betsy DeVos would come within a hair of not being confirmed. Because these hearings really matter. They get the opportunity to hear from these nominees themselves, ask them tough questions, and really get a lot of things out in the open. So, we don't really know what's going to happen with Judge Gorsuch. He's obviously - he's capable, intelligent, qualified, no question, but we don't know what we're going to hear over the next three days, so we don't really know what the objections are going to end up meeting.

MACCALLUM: Chris, what did you read in the tea leaves today? We just got opening statements, it will get tougher. What did you see so far?

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR: I saw a lot of posturing. I think for Democrats to put as much focus as they did on the stolen seat pieces, the idea that this actually belongs to Merrick Garland, they weren't going after Gorsuch, they weren't going after Gorsuch's judicial philosophy, and they were just blaming Republicans for what they did in blocking the previous president's nominee. I think this is setting up for Democrat letting Gorsuch go, because they don't want to have a larger fight at stake here, which is to deploy the nuclear option and Republicans would move to lower the threshold for Supreme Court nominations to 51. Gorsuch is a pretty good pick for Democrats in the sense that he is a mainstream conservative. I think, it sounds like they want to take them and not have that larger fight.

MACCALLUM: That is what it comes down to, David. One way or another, he will likely get through, because Mitch McConnell can employ that 60 vote threshold and go the nuclear option, as Chris points out, if he wants to do that and change that rule.

DAVID WOHL, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I love that his opening statement, he said, I am a faithful servant of the constitution, and otherwise, it is the master, it is etched in stone. My decisions will be based in the black letters of the constitution. I mean, if you want a living, breathing document, you have to get an amendment. He has a humble appreciative approach. He has a reputation, both personally and professionally, beyond reproach. I mean he is a fisherman. He eats his catch apparently. Ask Christopher how important and that is.

MACCALLUM: He is a fisherman.

WOHL: He is a judicial version of Ward Cleaver and you don't mess with Ward Cleaver.

MACCALLUM: Oh gosh, who would want that? I'm sure the man is not perfect, although, we haven't heard anything to the contrary. But Matt, what do you make of that? He is a fisherman! What are you going to do? You got to bring him in.

I guess we should just call off the hearings because that is an ironclad take. There is no question.


MACCALLUM: All fisherman and black robes, a picture to prove it. That is him with Antonin Scalia.

VISER: Let us make a point that came off earlier. It is true that they voted for him unanimously to join the tenth circuit. That is very common.  It was true also, Justice Soto mayor, she was nominated and passed unanimously for the lower courts. The Supreme Court is different. They really have to have searching hearings for the kind that they are going to have the course of the next three days, so we can understand who will sit in this unbelievably important seat.

MACCALLUM: Chris, just 30 seconds, what is the toughest line of questioning coming his way tomorrow?

STIREWALT: It will come down to basically, well he look out for the little guys? Democrats will say do you care for the small people are powerful people? They will cast this as class warfare issue and try to put Gorsuch as a friend of the big corporations, but I think he will probably slip --

MACCALLUM: It turns out he is not that friendly to little fish. We will see.


Thank you guys, good to see you all. Breaking tonight, at any moment now, Republicans in the House expected to make an 11th hour changes to the health care bill. This is very interesting. Are they going to make these changes before the president speaks or after the president speaks?  Leadership will weigh in and the freedom caucus, of course, a big element in all of this out of Thursday's boat. Congressman Sean Duffy and Mo Elleithee take it on as we wait for the president and the crowd is building in Louisville tonight. No doubt the president is happy to be out of Washington, kind of a hot, steamy day for the White House and Washington.  Now, he is in Louisville. We expect two moments away. We will take you there live.


MACCALLUM: And we have the president for you in Louisville, Kentucky. He has just taken the stage. 7:37 a few minutes early tonight. He has been running a little bit later for these events over the past couple of weeks but as we said, it was kind of a rough day in Washington, D.C. He has had a lot on his agenda. We do expect some health care changes to the bill and fascinating that he will sit down with all of the Republican members of the House at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, be back in Washington, no doubt, he wants face to face time with them. Perhaps some arm-twisting with some of the members of the more conservative branches of the Republican Party who have pushed for changes. We also know that they will get word on some of those changes tonight. What will they be? We will scrutinize them as soon as they come out. This is what president Donald Trump loves to do. He loves to get out and speak with the people, do these rallies. It is not lost on anyone that this is the home of Rand Paul, who has pushed back very hard against this bill and a number of ways. He has had a lot of conversations with the president which is something that a lot of people find refreshing. He has talked to people who are opposed to him on this and tried to bring him around.

Rand Paul said earlier today in a discussion with Neil Cavuto that he thinks these discussions with the Freedom Caucus in the House. They have 21 votes to stop this thing. Let's see with the president has to say tonight on a big day in D.C. He is now in Louisville, Kentucky. Let's listen.

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