This is a rush transcript from "The First 100 Days," April 11, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL THE FIRST 100 DAYS ANCHOR: Breaking tonight, 82 days in and it is election time again folks. There's a vote in Kansas tonight that has political players like Vice President Mike Pence and Ted Cruz working overtime here. Polls are about to close. This is Mike Pompeo's old seat. We're going to tell you why it may be a 2018 red flag. Good evening everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum, welcome to The First 100 Days. Today, the president takes on two of the most feared dictators on the world stage. And he came out swinging. First against North Korea's Kim Jong-Un. Watch.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier that I can tell you. And we have the best military people on earth and I will say this, he is doing the wrong thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: And then Bashar al-Assad of Syria.
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TRUMP: Frankly, Putin is backing a person that's truly an evil person. And I think it's very bad for Russia, I think it's very bad for mankind, it's very bad for this world. But when you drop gas or bombs or barrel bombs, have these massive barrels with dynamite and they drop them right in the middle of a group of people, and in all fairness you see the same kids, no arms, no legs, no face. This is an animal.
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MACCALLUM: We all know the president means action when it comes to these things. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, this is landing moments ago are a couple of hours ago in Moscow earlier today. For sure, this will be a fairly tense standoff there. He has -- since Russians got a decision to make basically to side with Assad and with the MOAs of Tehran or to get on board with the United States. Tonight, a great lineup to react to these explosive comments with Maria Bartiromo by the president.
Former Speaker of the House of Newt Gingrich and Robby Mook is Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign manager, of course to them in a moment but we begin in Moscow with correspondent Rich Edson who is with Secretary Tillerson in Russia.
RICH EDSON, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Martha. Secretary Tillerson is in Moscow. Tomorrow morning, he meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The challenge for Secretary Tillerson, find a way to ensure the political future of Syria excludes President Bashar al-Assad. His approach? Convince Russia to help.
REX TILLERSON, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: Russia has really aligned itself with the Assad Regime, the Iranians and Hezbollah. Is that a -- is that a long-term alliance that serves Russia's interest? Or would Russia prefer to realign with the United States with other western countries and Middle East countries who are seeking to resolve the Syrian crisis.
EDSON: Russia and the United States have spent the better part of the last week condemning one another. And just a couple of hours before Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived here in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that Assad had used chemical weapons. He says he wants the United Nations to perform an investigation of who was responsible for last week's chemical attack and he said he has intelligence that shows that it was somebody who framed the Assad Regime.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that there is no doubt that Assad was behind the chemical attack from last week. Despite the rhetoric back and forth, the U.S. and Russia say they plan to try to find ways to partner and work together on, but they both also say they have been making it more difficult with their actions over the past week. Martha?
MACCALLUM: Thanks, Rich Edson. So here with more on this, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Fox News Contributor and author of the new book Treason. New, good to see you tonight. Very strong words obviously from President Trump for these two dictators. Where are we heading here?
NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think the president has made the decision that North Korea after all these years of neglect is perilously close to having nuclear weapons within their continental ballistic missile capability to reach the U.S. I think he's also made the decision that after a year of being lied to, were both President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry claim things that were just plain false that Assad really is totally unacceptable.
This is a change for the president because I don't think he wanted to be drawn into these kinds of problems as early. I think he wanted to focus on job creation. But he's got a great national security team. I thought that Secretary Tillerson today was perfect when he said look, either the Russians collaborate and knew this was happening whether Russians were duped and they're just incompetent.
But they have to choose one or the other, and I think that Secretary Tillerson is going to be very firm tomorrow and saying to the Russians there is a path forward where we look work together but that path cannot include Assad and new -- the Russian State have to decide which team you're on. Very telling by the way, Martha, and the entire world, the only countries that publicly objected to the president hitting Syria were Syria itself, Iran, North Korea, and Russia. Nobody else. So Putin has to feel a little bit isolated at the moment.
MACCALLUM: Yes. It's an interesting strategy whom and as you just pointed out, it is quite different from what we heard from candidate Donald Trump on the campaign trail. Let's watch this.
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TRUMP: The people opposing us are the same people who weave -- and think of this -- who wasted $6 trillion on wars in the Middle East. We could have rebuilt our country twice.
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MACCALLUM: I mean, this is very different in terms of the focus that we're seeing from the president now who talked there about wasting $6 trillion and he also talked on the campaign trail about saying imagine if we use that money for infrastructure in the united States? Why are we bombing these areas when we could be rebuilding our own roads, he said. What changed?
GINGRICH: Two things. First of all the case of North Korea, I think you got some briefings that were very sobering about how big a threat North Korea has become. We also just saw the dictator of North Korea killed his half-brother by using a paid assassin. We also saw about a month and a half ago kill his uncle. This is a very dangerous regime. And I suspect the president's view in that sense has changed. In the case of Assad, I think people need to realize how much Donald Trump as a father, as a grandfather loves children, especially loves babies and how shocked he was by the footage and frankly unlike Barack Obama, who kept telling us how he was going to lead from behind but accomplish nothing.
Donald Trump is a guy who of it's time to lead, he is going to lead. And I think he sat down with people like General Mattis and General McMaster and Secretary Tillerson and said what are our options? Listen carefully. Pick-- very carefully. He didn't start putting troops in the ground. He didn't start another war. He used very directly targeted attack by tomahawk missiles. But he's also sending a signal that if they do it again, he's going to hit them even harder.
MACCALLUM: You wrote a piece today that draws a parallel between President Reagan's action in 1981 in Libya and what President Trump has carried out here.
GINGRICH: Yes. I do -- I do a regular -- two newsletters a week in Gingrich Productions and we publish them also to foxnews.com. And my point was I remember when Reagan replaced Carter, carter had been very, very weak, the soviets did not respect him and the Libyans have gotten what they call a line of death in the Gulf of Sidra and Reagan said to the U.S. Navy, what happens if you cross the line. They said we can handle, we'll shoot them down. So we cross the line, the Syria -- the Libyans launched two aircraft. We shot both of them down.
What really shocked the news media the next day, they said to Reagan, did they -- did they wake you when they -- when they shot him? And they said no, no, this is a direct quote from Reagan, he said no. We have an agreement. If we shoot them down, I get to sleep. If they shoot down, you wake me. That was such a shocking change from Jimmy Carter that it just stunned the kremlin. Same thing just happened. Eight years of Barack Obama being afraid to act decisively just got replaced in one evening by a Donald Trump was quite prepared to take decisive steps.
MACCALLUM: Interesting. All right. We'll see what comes next. Newt, thank you very much. Joining me now, Robby Mook, former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton who's been listening to our conversation tonight. Of course obviously, these very strong statements on the part of the president or on everybody's mind across the country, Robby, because everybody wants to know where were going next with all of this. Your thoughts?
ROBBY MOOK, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I think you just hit the nail on the head. Where are we going next? You know, you mentioned that Donald Trump had said during the campaign that we shouldn't be involved in foreign conflicts in this way. I'd actually go a step further. Donald Trump repeatedly tweeted that President Obama never to intervene in Syria in any way whatsoever.
Now he's doing that. And actually, what's been concerning to me over the last 24 hours is we're hearing more and more stories that it may have been his daughter that inspired him to do this will, his son was out, Don, Jr. who's not, you know, not a representative of the U.S. Government in any way, was out discussing foreign policy as if he did represent the government. We heard this weekend that the Secretary of State was saying that regime change in Syria wasn't possible. We heard Nikki Haley at the United Nations say that this was about regime change. We heard Donald Trump on the campaign trail say that there should never be regime change.
MACCALLUM: But, you know what, Robby. I'm not hearing what you're saying, I think that those comments, you know, did sort of draw people's attention, but I also see what's been happening in a very sort of practical way when you look at who's around the table and you see Henry McMaster, you see General Mattis. I think it's pretty clear that these decision-makers are the people that he has been relying on own and I think it is what most clearly would explain the change that we've seen in terms of the way he looks at the world because these are very big issues that he is taking on.
You know, in terms of not letting it stand anymore, what Assad is doing with killing innocents, which has been going on for five years at the course of the Obama Administration, you know, do you think President Trump was right to take action finally?
MOOK: Well, I think that a lot of people are encouraged that a gas attack like this is getting a response, but again, I want to -- I want to revisit something you just said. Donald Trump's son said today that it was his daughter who convinced him to do this. His son-in-law as the one --
MACCALLUM: You really think that Ivanka Trump is making foreign policy?
MOOK: Well, but Martha, let me finish. It's his son-in-law --
MACCALLUM: I'm just asking. Like based on what we talked about in terms of who we know is in his ear, do you really think -- is that a serious concern?
MOOK: I don't know. I don't know who's in charge and again, the individuals that were actually confirmed by the congress are saying very different things all the time. So we don't know what's happening. Look, the other issue I raised here is if the president is willing to take humanitarian action in certain countries. Is he going to take action in the Sudan, is he going to take action against the --
MACCALLUM: But, you know what -- no, but, Rob, I just want to go back to one thing because you tend to get caught up on a lot of things here. And I understand -- Robby, hold on. I asked you a very clear question. Do you think it was the right move for him to launch those missiles a week ago Friday? Was at the right move?
MOOK: I said earlier -- you know, you keep interrupting me. I didn't hear you interrupting Speaker Gingrich very much. So, I'd like to finish my point. What I was saying was that I think a lot of people are gratified but we don't know what the endgame was in the point I was just trying to make to you is that there is an enormous violence and famine going on in the horn of Africa, near the Middle East. The United Nations has said it's the -- it's the most serious humanitarian crisis since World War II.
Is Donald Trump going to start intervening there when he sees the pictures of children starving and being killed there? We need to know what the endgame is. We need to know what the strategy is. And nobody is telling us that. And again as I said, the secretary of state, the representatives of the United Nations, the president's daughter who is an employee of the United States Government and his son who is not are all saying very different things. The president -- to be a strong leader as he is being called here, he needs to be clear about what he's doing.
MACCALLUM: All right. Well, you know, thank you. That's your opinion and I think that, you know, some people feel like, you know, there seems to be a lot of support. In fact as you heard Newt say, Syria is one of two countries that thought it was, you know, a missed action on his part but I do think it's very valid as you point out and as I pointed out to see where were going next on all of this. I got to leave it, Robby but thank you very much. Good to have year tonight.
So another foreign standoff facing the president tonight as North Korea threatens a nuclear response after a U.S. NAVY strike group was redirected toward the Korean Peninsula. Marc Thiessen and Marie Harf are here on that next. Plus polls about to close. Another election. Let's see for a voting tonight. It's in Kansas and you know what, it could be the first real test of Trump(ism) in America. How is it faring 82 days in?
This may tell us something. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Bill Bennett here with their reaction coming up. Plus the shocking Title IX Case out of Texas gaining national attention tonight after a young man who was accused of harassment took his own life in. His family says this madness of the way colleges are adjudicating these cases must stop. Important story coming up here tonight. Stay with us.
MACCALLUM: Breaking toning, new concerns over escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea. After the United States redirected a Navy strike group including our aircraft carrier: the USS Carl Vinson towards the Korean peninsula. Amid concerns of possible weapons testing, North Korea state media now responding with a warning of a nuclear strike if provoked. President Trump though, undeterred stating in an interview with Maria Bartiromo that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is "making a big mistake."
Mark Jason, American Enterprises Scholar; and Marie Harf, former State Department Spokesperson, both are Fox News Contributors. Welcome, to both of you. Good to see you guys. I want to put up on the screen this tweet that came earlier from President Trump that says this. "North Korea is looking for trouble. If china decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them. USA." He says, and there's another one up there as well that you got a look at home but it was of the same tone. Pretty strong words from President Trump on this, Mark.
MARK JASON, AMERICAN ENTERPRISES SCHOLAR: Absolutely. And look, the difference we have here is that unlike Barack Obama, he enforced the redline in Syria. When President Obama failed to enforce that redline is Syria, it reverberated not just in Syria but across the world, sent - projected a message of weakness that spread from Moscow to Pyongyang. President Trump enforced Obama's redline for him and did it within 63 days, took his decisive action, sent tomahawk missiles to take out the site in a limited strike that took out that site. And that sends a message now across the world that when you project strength, would the aggressors have to recalculate what the United States is willing to do, and how far it's willing to go in order to defend its interests. And so, I think it makes conflict less likely because we were able to take that action in Syria that President Obama wasn't willing to do.
MACCALLUM: And it comes, you know, following this meeting with the Chinese leader, Marie. And I'm wondering, you know, with these very bold moves, what they discussed?
MARIE HARF, UNITED STATES STATE DEPARTMENT FORMER SPOKESPERSON: Well, I'm wondering that too. And we haven't heard a lot of read out from that meeting, so hopefully as I've said before on the show, they really focused on North Korea. But to Mark's point, you know, one strike doesn't make a strategy. And my question now is, how far is President Trump willing to go to stop North Korea? And there are a lot of military options that are possible, but none of them are particularly good.
There are diplomatic and economic options which are much more effective if we can get the Chinese on board. And I'm not sure that conducting diplomacy by tweet, especially when you're dealing with a madman running North Korea is something that we should be doing. But I really would like to know what is a strategy for North Korea, what are we asking the Chinese to do, and what will we do of the Chinese don't act? That is the question.
MACCALLUM: These threats have been escalating over many years at this point. And it's interesting to me, mark, that Marie poses the question, you know, what's President Trump going to do next? Because that's something that he is trying to leave as an open question, and it does seem to try to be - it's changing the dynamic because it does have some people back on their heels wondering what he will do next, and perhaps that isn't such a bad thing. I heard from Marie also, a litany of reasons why you couldn't do anything to change the situation for quite a long time.
JASON: Yes. Well - I mean, President Trump's answer will be, "I'm not going to tell you." That ambiguity is in America's interest because we don't want North Korea to know what we're going to do. We don't want China to know what we're going to do. I think that China's more likely to do what Marie says which she was right, it's important. We need China. This is going to be resolved peacefully, it's going to be because China put the screws on North Korea.
They're more likely to act and do things. I mean, her president, my president: George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, all tried to get China to put the pressure on North Korea, and none of us - none of them were terribly successful. Maybe President Trump will be more successful because he took that, took that shot at Syria while the President of China was sitting there with him at dinner at Mar-a-Lago. That sends a message to China that if you want to do this peacefully, we want to do it peaceably, we need your help.
MACCALLUM: Yes. You know, it reminds me of some ways of Richard Nixon, you know, whether there's this feeling in the world that people weren't quite sure what he would do next an, you know, his State Department sort of did the diplomacy behind the seas. And we have Tillerson doing that now, Marie, and you were with the State Department. You know, is there sort of a good cop, bad cop for less of a -- lack of a better term going on here that may be effective or might sort of rejigger things to the point where they might get some openings, to make some changes that might things a little bit safer in the world?
HARF: We'll see, Martha. I think it's really too early to tell and there are sometimes benefits to unpredictability, you know, if you're unpredictable in the world stage, I think there are sometimes benefits of that. I also though think that to some of our allies and partners, it can look erratic. And so, when you're talking about South Korea, the people that are the closest to North Korea, who have the most, you know, threat coming from North Korea, sometimes I'm not sure they look at what President Trump has done and feel comforted by the fact that he seemed to change his mind about Foreign Policy on an almost daily basis. So I hope they are having these conversations privately even if they're not protected to the world. I hope they're putting the strategy in place for what comes next.
MACCALLUM: Marie, Mark, thank you very much. Good to see you.
JASON: Thank you.
HARF: Thank you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So, new details tonight. A title IX case out of Texas that is getting national attention now after the accused college student took his own life. His father is now suing and the family's attorney joins us here exclusively tonight, important story with implications for a lot of schools around the country.
And there are the polls on the left-hand side of your screen. Here we go again, right? Kansas has a special election tonight for the seat that was opened up when Mike Pompeo took over as head of the CIA. But now, Republicans are kind of concerned. This is a tight race. How will it play out? We will take you there. Coming up in just a moment.
Policy Chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, and Bill Bennett. Coming up on that, right after the break.
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TED CRUZ, TEXAS SENATOR: You know, Kansas is a state that embodies Midwestern commonsense, basic conservative values. And those are values that this country desperately longs for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Breaking tonight, you are looking live at a polling station in Wichita, Kansas. Polls are about to close there tonight. It's a very closely watched special election that some see as a test case for how Republicans will do in the age of President Trump. The president even putting his name on the line to make sure that this seat stays in GOP hands.
Joining us in a moment, Ronna Romney McDaniel, the Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, on what this outcome will mean for the party. And Bill Bennett, former Education Secretary under President Ronald Reagan, and what it means for "Trumpism" as we say. But we begin tonight with Chief National Correspondent, Ed Henry on this race. Hi, Ed!
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good to see you, Martha. The first time the agenda of President Trump is really on the ballot, a race that should be a slam dunk for Republicans, but they're sweating it out a bit tonight. This is the battle in Kansas to replace the CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, in Congress.
At district, the President carried by 27 points in November, suddenly Republicans have been spooked a little by a poll showing their candidate, State Treasure, Ron Estes, is only leading by single digits over a neophyte which is a top civil rights lawyer, James Thompson. So, Republicans rushing to his rescue, Senator Ted Cruz brought in yesterday for a last- minute rally while the President has state automated phone calls urging voters to get out to the polls and the president of course is been tweeting. "Ron Estes is running TODAY for Congress in the Great State of Kansas. A wonderful guy, I need his help for Healthcare & Tax Cuts/ Reform."
Now, there are some Republicans who were saying calm down, they've got this. This poll could be wrong like many were wrong in 2016. And the high-level maneuvering by the President, Senator Cruz is really just insurance. But Republicans are also a little nervous about the main race to replace Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price in Congress. That's a seat in Georgia. That is also usually very friendly to GOP but you have to be careful not to overrate the results in one special election.
Think back to earlier 2010, Republican Scott Brown, winning the special election to replace the late senator, Ted Kennedy. That was a political earthquake that hinted at major problems for then President Obama in the 2010 midterms. However in 2012, President of course was reelected. Scott Brown, lost at sea. Martha?
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Ed. So here now, Ronna Romney McDaniel. She is the new Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, still pretty new in the job. Good to see you.
RONNA ROMENY MCDANIEL, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRWOMAN: Great to be here.
MACCALLUM: What's your take on this Kansas race?
MCDANIEL: I'm optimistic. Ron Estes is a great candidate, the President has gone to Kansas and said, "Hey, I need somebody to come to Washington and help me govern and do the things that I promised on the campaign trail. I need to partner here and that is going to resonate. The Democrats have one message wishes the Party of no and obstruction right now I don't think that is the winning message.
MACCALLUM: Is interesting because Estes is the treasurer under the governor and some people think any uncertainty for Estes may be coming more from unhappiness with Governor Brownback then unhappiness with President Trump, right?
ROMNEY MCDANIEL: The special elections are always unique to the states and what's going on within the states and their specific dynamics. But the president has made a very clear, I need people to come to Washington right now and help me govern. Help me accomplish the things that I set forward for the American people, and I need Ron Estes to join me here in place of Mike Pompeo who did such a great job.
MACCALLUM: He has put himself on the line. It will be a reflection on whether or not that worked in this election. But there's also a story about tax reform that was done understand Brownback and that there weren't enough cuts to the state budget. So could it be that there is a little bit of dissatisfaction among establishment Republicans who felt like -- they felt like they're going to get tax reform in Kansas and they didn't get what they thought they were going to get.
ROMNEY MCDANIEL: That state dynamics obviously playing, but they're looking at their congressional district and who they're going to some to Washington and I think the president rightly shifted the message and said hey, I need congressional numbers.
MACCALLUM: You have 100 percent confident that Estes is going to win this.
ROMNEY MCDANIEL: I'm optimistic.
MACCALLUM: All right. What about prices seat in Georgia, because the president cherry picked some of these important spots and took these guys out of congress and now they cease need to be filled.
ROMNEY MCDANIEL: It's really interesting race in Georgia. You've got one Democrat who the party has totally coalesced around. They put $8 million into his race and you got a really exceptional Republican field, about six or seven great candidates in our field that could get through to the runoff. So you're saying all those votes, for that Democrat early. We're going to be pushing through Election Day as Republicans make up their mind as to who is best suited to take on that important seat of Tom Price.
MACCALLUM: Obviously, you'd be less concerned and imagine if President Trump's approval numbers were higher. He is been stuck in the 39-40 percent range. That has to be a little worrisome.
ROMNEY MCDANIEL: Rear 88 days and I think there's time. The president has made it very clear. I'm coming to Washington to fight for the American people. He is already focused on jobs and deregulation. Which is put forward one of the best Supreme Court justices I think in history, Judge Gorsuch and a now you saw him take decisive action in Syria. Voters are going to have time to look at his presidency, but it's important that he has people who are coming to Washington here focused on helping the people and the Democrats have one message right now, it's obstruct and no. They're making a political calculation and Republican are there to govern.
MACCALLUM: Everyone's going to be watching on close sides of the aisle. Thank you very much Ronna, good to have you tonight.
ROMNEY MCDANIEL: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So here now, Bill Bennett, host of Bill Bennett podcast the former educational secretary and Fox News contributor, Bill, good evening, good to see tonight.
BILL BENNETT, CONSERVATIVE LEADERS FOR EDUCATION FOX NEWS: Good evening Martha.
MACCALLUM: Listening to all of this, Trump is on the ballot so to speak in Kansas. How do you think that the theory that got President Trump elected is holding up in the country 80 something days in here?
BENNETT: Well it's hard to know. You can't really draw a generalization from specifics and Kansas as you wisely pointed out has its own dynamic. There have been books written about Kansas, what's wrong with Kansas? Why is this happening in Kansas? Of course, there are contentions here between the governor Republican and other Republicans in the state. So we'll see. Unless the result is overwhelming one way or the other, I'm not sure how much it tells us. Let me guess which is that the Trump supporters and there are a lot of Trump supporters in that district are saying we are glad we elected this guy, we wouldn't go another way of the election were held again, but would like some things to pick up. We would like to see some progress in health care reform and other things. Now which way people then vote could depend upon how much weight they put on either half of that. My guess is the Republican will win out of this and we shouldn't draw too much in. But you remember the Greeks looked at the entrails of birds and predicted the future. This is a little like that.
MACCALLUM: We do pretty much the same thing.
BENNETT: I know we do. No analysis is too small for us.
MACCALLUM: Exactly. In terms of big picture, Bill, you look at this president who has turned his attention in such a strong way towards these dictators that really nobody's been able to take on and confront and doing that with them pretty strong language so far and with some tomahawk missiles that made a pretty strong statement not too long ago, are you surprised at the turn that his focus has taken given the importance of jobs and the economy that people talk so much about in their support of this president?
BENNETT: Yes, I am. I am surprised about it. I couldn't analyze it. I hope he comes back to those concerns and I am a little worried about this international situation. Because that guy in North Korea is crazy. He is a lunatic, and he is got his hands on weapons, nuclear weapons. Anything can happen. Now if something does happen and he tries something, United States would put him in his military in its place. But the president needs to come back to what the promises were and this is a bit discordant, Martha from what he said during the campaign, which is America first. We will look at things in terms of our national security interests. You can make a case from the heart as I said last time I was with you for doing something when they're in Syria. But you can't really make the case I think in terms of national self-interest. I heard the people tried, smart people try. I do think it really work. I understand it as a signal it's important to say I'm not Obama is important, and to say most importantly America's back. We are strong, where the United States of America, do not mess with us.
MACCALLUM: I think that is the strongest part of what we are seeing and it's almost like consumer confidence. You send a message and it does have ripple effects in terms of how the dispatcher or the standing of the other countries that face you, and clearly that missile strike sent a wake-up call to a lot of countries. Where do we go from here? That is a concern, and that is the work he is got cut out for him but it does change the tone, does it not?
BENNETT: It does. But something like 100 years of polling I was reading the other day when people were asked was the single most important characteristic for president, they said firmness, strength. And I think you see that in Donald Trump and boy, did that come into sharp contrast the other day. Even the liberals were saying we've gotten past the weakness of Obama. By the way, I agree with one of their negative and obstructive. The third thing is they're cursing a lot. The Democrats are cursing a lot which is not a profound political enterprise.
MACCALLUM: Good observations always. Thank you so much sir, lots of woodstove as always. Bill Bennett, thank you very much. So new questions tonight over the media's blind eye to the revelations that former Obama administration advisor Susan Rice spied on Trump campaign officials. George Washington law professor Jonathan Turley penned a very provocative piece about this story, bringing it back to the forefront and said the press is proving President Trump's point here. He is straight ahead. We'll be right back.
MACCALLUM: This evening, new questions over the media's handling of revelations that former top Obama administration advisor Susan Rice ordered the Intel Community while she was still there and to expose the names to peel off the masking from these Trump campaign officials. It was supposed to be for national security interests although that reason has not become clear. So she denied that she had any knowledge that those names were asked to be unmasked in, then she admitted to that part of it but said I was at the leaker of those names to the press. She got an almost complete pass from most supporters on this and that caught the attention of our next guest, who wrote this. "The loss of objectivity and the response to the Rice story reflect a broader problem of the press focusing so hard on Trump that it is losing sight of its own bearing." Jonathan Turley is a professor at George Washington law school and nationally renowned constitutional scholar and frequent guest of our spread we welcome you back tonight. This article caught our eye. Why do thing that happened? Why do you think the press turned a blind eye to this revelation in the story?
JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF LAW: We've seen a lot of this. It's quite surprising. I've been very critical of things that President Trump has said about the media, because in some cases is been unfair. But the media seems to be rushing to fulfill every stereotype of these tweets. There are so focused on debunking the Trump administration that there debunking actual stories. The Rice controversy is a real story.
We don't know what the motivations were. We don't know how far it went on, but in her first interviews with the network after she had denied any knowledge about unmasking them, the networks didn't ask her about that statement that was made only a couple weeks before in this second round of interviews. Not one said, but you're saying something diametrically opposed to what you just told national media not two weeks ago. That would seem a natural starting point for the media I think the media is really in danger here. I think that this is something of a Faustian bargain. They struck the steel to go after Donald Trump, will there really fulfilling what he saying about the loss of objectivity.
MACCALLUM: Is a symbiotic relationship in some of these safe zone media outlets that she goes to. Where she knows she is not going to get tough questions like that and that is probably exactly why she is there. In some ways and, a similar sort of thing happen today there were some comments -- a comment that was made by Sean Spicer during the news conference today about a comparison of Hitler and essentially saying that Assad was doing something that was in some way more egregious than what had been done there. He walked back several times, came right out, made an apology said he should not have said it and corrected it. Watch this exchange because the sled all three nightly news cast this evening. It led them despite the North Korean news and other bigger serious story. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did even make that comparison to Hitler on gas attacks, 6 million Jews were killed.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I was obviously trying to make a point about the heinous acts that Assad had made against his own people last week. I mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the holocaust for which frankly there is no comparison. For that I apologize. It was a mistake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who are you apologizing to? Why bring Hitler into it? Did you not know Sean that there were gas chambers?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hopefully all of us can move on. Is it over now?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: I guess is not over. They're going to keep asking the question. What you make a lot today?
TURLEY: Well this is the problem. It's not that that comment didn't deserve criticism. It was a dumb comment. And he had to walk it back. But the media seems to be fulfilling Oscar Wilde's advice that the only way to be rid of temptation is to yield to it. And so they are eating their dessert first every evening. They're going for these kill shots on gaps and other things when there is real news out there. The problem I think is at the media is not engaging in any sense of self-awareness or appraisal. And that really worries me. The media is under a lot of threats now in terms of sustainability. This is not the time where they want to lose that objectivity.
MACCALLUM: Thank you Jonathan. Jonathan Turley, good to have you tonight.
TURLEY: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So coming up tonight, Title IX was supposed to protect college students and students across the country, but critics of an Obama era rule say undergrads virtually forfeit their constitutional rights when they step on that campus for four years. One such case out of the University of Texas Arlington led to a suicide. The shocking details of this tragic story are straight ahead. Stay with us.
MACCALLUM: Big story tonight in a Title IX case out of Texas as an Obama era rule meant to protect college students takes heat for doing just the opposite. A new federal lawsuit points to a young man who was one quarter shy of graduating and then ended up tragically taking his own life. Trace Gallagher takes us through this disturbing detail live from our west coast newsroom tonight, Trace?
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Title IX has been law in this country for 45 years, in short it prohibits sexual discrimination in any school or college that accepts federal funding, but in 2011 the Department of Education under President Obama issued the now famous and dear colleague letter, which reinterpreted Title IX and dictated precisely how colleges would adjudicate student on student sexual assault allegations.
For example, investigations and rulings will be limited to 60 days. Instead of clear and convincing evidence, colleges would use a preponderance of evidence, which is the lowest standard of proof. Defendants could no longer cross-examine their accusers and accusers who could appeal a not guilty verdict to amounting to what many legal experts say, is double jeopardy. The dear colleague guidelines also spawn the rash of sexual misconduct allegations including the case last May of Thomas Klocke, a student at the University of Texas Arlington. Klocke is a straight male was accused by a gay male student of writing anti-gay comments on his computer and calling him anti-gay slurs.
Klocke said it was the accuser who made unwelcome sexual advances toward him and because those advances were rejected, Klocke said the accuser made up the story about sexual misconduct. Klocke ended up being charged with two violations, was told he could be expelled and a few days later took his own life. But a lawsuit against the university now claims that Klocke never even got the lowest protections under Title IX in saying that a Title IX coordinator was never informed of the allegations and that Thomas Klocke never got a hearing and therefore never had a chance to present witnesses in his defense.
The University of Texas won't comment on the lawsuit except to say it followed all policies and procedures and we should note the Trump administration is still assessing how to address the dear colleague guidelines, now in place.
MACCALLUM: We hope that they will look into it. Trace thank you very much. This is a very important story, joining me now on an exclusive the attorney to Thomas Klocke's parents, Kenneth Chaiken, Kenneth thank you very much for being here. Obviously this family is distraught, heartbroken over the loss of their son. In these cases where a person who is accused on a college campus, we see time and time again the person who was accused has essentially no right to defend themselves on a college campus, correct?
KENNETH CHAIKEN, ATTORNEY TO THOMAS KLOCKE'S PARENTS: Thank you for having made. In this case in particular, Thomas Klocke had no chance whatsoever to even mount a defense, let alone to have a fair process. And the consequences as just stated were absolutely devastating. He was distraught by the occurrence of the accusations, his inability to defend himself and ultimately the devastating impact it had on his life.
MACCALLUM: The media told that he could not go to that class anymore. This is what we see in many of this harassment cases. The person who is accused basically is cut off from their life even though they have not had any due process, any opportunity to argue their own side of the story anywhere.
CHAIKEN: That is absolutely true and in this case, he was not only immediately pulled out of the class and unable to continue to receive the information in the class and, get expected to take exams et cetera, he was unable to even talk to anybody in the class even if his intent to talk to them was to ask them what they saw the day of the incident that took place in the classroom, which in effect denied him any opportunity to even find a witness in support of his position.
MACCALLUM: We hope because we get a number of stories on these Title IX cases that the Trump administration Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will look at this the dear colleague letter's will try to create a system that is more just for both sides because we live in a country where you're innocent until proven guilty, but what is your one bit of advice for them? Almost out of time, to a college student of their accuser someone like this on campus, what do you advise them to do?
CHAIKEN: Well first, take an accusation in and of itself very, very seriously and understand that the stakes of not doing so and not finding out what your rights are and how to protect those rights can be absolutely devastating, if you don't act to protect them. So we encourage students to involve their parents and seek legal counsel. That is the best they can do.
MACCALLUM: Kenneth, thank you. We'll continue with this and be right back.
MACCALLUM: We are just about out of it. Thanks for joining us tonight everybody on "the first 100 days." Tomorrow, we'll be back with the next. Day 83 is tomorrow. Have a good night. Watch that Kansas race. Bill O'Reilly is straight ahead. See you tomorrow.
"The O'Reilly Factor" is on, tonight.
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