Gingrich: Hillary Clinton can't come to grips with reality

On 'The Story,' the former House speaker discusses Clinton's blame game for her election loss


This is a rush transcript from "The Story," May 2, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, "THE STORY" HOST: A big story from the White House tonight as the President threatened to shut down the government on the next round. He's clearly angry that Democrats are claiming, the White House backed down big time on this spending deal.


DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: So, we have more money now for the border than we've gotten in ten years. The Democrats didn't tell you that. They forgot. In their notes, they forgot to tell you that.

MICK MULVANEY, UNITED STATES OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET DIRECTOR: And how the President actually cut a tremendous deal for the American people. The number is 21 billion. OK. That is what the additional defense spending is, $21 billion. This is a full two-thirds of what we'd ask for in the beginning. The largest funding level for border security in the last ten years. Every single second amendment protection that we wanted, every single pro-life production that we wanted, that's why I think we are seeing them trolling about the success, is ordered to cover up the fact that they actually cut a deal with President Trump. And President Trump did a tremendous job.


MACCALLUM: So, good evening, everybody. Welcome to THE STORY. I'm Martha MacCallum. It's May 2nd. We're going to show you a little bit more of that fiery counterpunch from the White House in just a moment. But first, a surprising interview today with Hillary Clinton. It caught our attention in a big way. The election autopsy, as you know, has been underway for the recent days. But today, Hillary Clinton herself, weighed in. Listen to her take on why she lost.


HILLARY CLINTON, UNITED STATES FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I take absolute personal responsibility. I was the candidate. I was the person who was on the ballot. And I am very aware of, you know, the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had. I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey's letter on October 28th and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me, but got scared off. But as Nate Silver has concluded, you know, if the election had been on October 27th, I'd be your President.


MACCALLUM: Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, joins us. He is also Fox News Political Contributor and author of the new book "Understanding Trump," which we will ask him about in just a moment. Good to see you this evening, Newt. You know, it was very interesting listening to Hillary Clinton. As you can see in that timestamp, she said in one moment, "I take full responsibility for what happened." And then, the next moment, she says, "well, I would've won if it weren't for Comey and WikiLeaks." Do you think that she has learned the lessons that everyone else seems to have taken away or are many people took away from this election?

NEWT GINGRICH, R-FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: No, it's actually - I'm reading "Shattered," which I, frankly, was doubtful about it- it's like watching a car wreck in a slow motion. She can't come to grips with reality. She can't come - you know, over and over again in this book, they point out that none of her staff can tell her the truth. The number one problem of the Hillary Clinton campaign was, Hillary Clinton.

In the end, she couldn't win a race that they all thought was going to be easy. Now, the number two problem, let's be clear, was Donald J. Trump, who turned out to be an amazingly better candidate than any Democrat thought he could be. And who understood that if he really did his best in Western Pennsylvania, in Ohio, in Northern Michigan, and Wisconsin, that he was going to be President. So, he won, she lost. And it's kind of sad to watch her repeat this somebody-else-made-me-do-it kind of analysis.

MACCALLUM: You know, I mean, lessons learned will not be very effective for Democrats if they don't look at things like the number that we showed our viewers last night, which was that 42 percent of the people who went from Obama to Trump said that they think they now look at the Democrat Party as the party of the wealthy, the party of the elite and that it doesn't speak to them. I mean, to me, if Hillary Clinton were expressing those kinds of facts that have now come out, you know, Democrats could become quite viable in the near future.

GINGRICH: Well, they could be. I mean, the challenge for the Democrats, which is very different than the challenge for Republicans, is that Democrats are drifting off into kind of loony left enclaves of college professors, and Hollywood stars, and people who are at times frankly just weird. And you see this - I mean, their new National Committee Chairman is just strange. I mean, he was a pretty good cabinet officer, he had a pretty good reputation, but if you watch the way he's been behaving, it's almost like he can't cope with the reality of President Trump. And the more you get off that kind of stuff - recently, Keith Ellison, a very smart Congressman from Minneapolis, made the speech that was just like nutty. And you look at this and wonder, what's happening to them? Why are they trapped into this kind of behavior?

MACCALLUM: It's interesting to hear you speak that way. I heard a very similar conversation this morning on my way to work that pointed the nutty finger in the opposite direction, at President Trump. And I want to play this for you, and I want to get your thoughts on it. Watch.


JEO SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC MORNING JOE CO-HOST: There's such a difference in clarity. In clarity and, you know, perhaps it's exhaustion. Perhaps, it's the weight of the job. There is no doubt that there is something impacting his thought process. Somebody needs to get in there. And say, especially as foreign policy leaders, say, you have got to stop talking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who would that be? Reince Priebus?

SCARBOROUGH: Mattis, McMasters, Tillerson.


MACCALLUM: The argument was the President is unhinged. That he's not - didn't have mental clarity when he speaks about the issues that he's talking about with regard to North Korea, and they're posting that there needs to be an intervention. You were there today. You wrote a book about the way Mr. Trump thinks, President Trump thinks. What do you think about that?

GINGRICH: Look, I think the left completely misunderstands how he operates, they misunderstand what he's trying to accomplish. And they keep trying to apply their principles that would make perfect sense if he were a normal President. He's not. He's a wheeler-dealer, he is an entrepreneur, he's a negotiator. A lot of the things he does are done for effect to set the stage for a negotiation. He's - look, look, what he has done with China? He took the President of China one for being a potential enemy to being our ally dealing with North Korea. That's an amazing achievement.

MACCALLUM: Newt, they're claiming that - while you catch your breath, they're claiming that, you know, with regard to North Korea that he sounds like he doesn't know what he's talking about. Because one minute, he says, that he should - he would be honored to sit down, and the other minute he says we're looking at a potential major, major military confrontation here. And they say that that makes them appear to not know what's going on.

GINGRICH: I apologize. I got allergies.

MACCALLUM: No, it's OK. Take your time.

GINGRICH: Think about what you just said. Both can be true. We are faced with a major - and I think a disastrous choice if we end up in a fight with a nuclear-armed North Korea. Even with conventional weapons, they have 100,000 artillery tubes and missiles aimed at Seoul, Korea, a town of 25 million people. That's a disaster. Over here, he's saying look, I want to find some way to deal with this guy because I don't want the disaster. Both can be true simultaneously. I think it's the news media whose minds are too small to understand both can be true at the same time.

MACCALLUM: Newt Gingrich, thank you very much. Good to have you here tonight. So, here with the take from the other side, Democratic Strategist and DNC Committee Member, Robert Zimmerman. Bob, good to see you.

MEMBER: Good to be with you.

MACCALLUM: Let's go back to the Hillary Clinton stuff, and I want to play one more sound bite before I let you jump in. And this has to do with her saying, you know, the areas that she didn't visit, and you know, being out in the rural areas during the campaign, here was the issue.


CLINTON: If you drive around and some of the places that beat the heck out of me, you cannot get a cell coverage for miles. And so, you don't - and even in towns, you know, the President was just in Harrisburg.


MACCALLUM: They don't even have cell phones out there, Robert. Why would you campaign in those areas?

ZIMMERMAN: The full context of the question and answer, she was talking about the labor market, the need technological innovations. She wasn't blaming self-service for her loss. And I mean, let's be clear about that. She was talking about the need to increase high-speed Internet service throughout the country. And the role the U.S. can play in doing that. That was what that segment was all about. It wasn't about - it wasn't about blaming cell service for her election. Let me be clear, she took responsibility in that interview and she took responsibility for the-

MACCALLUM: How so? What part of that interview jumped out at you, she pinpointed what she got wrong in this selection?

ZIMMERMAN: First of all, she said, "first and foremost, I'm responsible for the campaign." And she pointed out that she was responsible for the campaign's loss. Let's be clear it's very different from Donald Trump, who actually-

MACCALLUM: She said, "I would have won if it hadn't been for Comey and WikiLeaks."

ZIMMERMAN: Well, As a matter of fact, that's just math. Look at the polling before Director Comey relaunched the investigation. And it wasn't just Hillary Clinton saying that. Leading Republican conservatives in our country denounced Director Comey. Judge Jeanine Pierro, from Fox News - let me finish my point. Judge Jeanine Pierro said that Director Comey disgraced and politicized the FBI.


MACCALLUM: OK. Here's the thing. If she's saying that -- OK, if that's the case, then you say she's taking responsibility, and she says that's the reason, then I guess she's going back to the fact that the underlying issues with James Comey were that she had an email server at home, which she never should have had, and she was using it for classified - to send classified material. With WikiLeaks, you know, her folks were sending these really - these emails that made her look horrible that got out.

ZIMMERMAN: Let's be clear. First of all, when it comes to Director Comey and his conduct, after he exonerated Hillary Clinton, that it wasn't even a close call as to whether there was any potential legal violation. He then reopened the investigation, and then, maybe it was 6-10 days later said, right before the election, "never mind, they were all duplicate email." That was announced by a Republican-

MACCALLUM: Robert, if you are in a camp that believes that that's the reason she lost, then you need-

ZIMMERMAN: No, I didn't say that. You're putting words in my mouth, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Well, then, what would you do to fix your-

ZIMMERMAN: That was one of the - that was, that was one of the reasons. She admitted she made a - she stepped up and said, "I made a mistake on emails." She stepped up when she misspoke, versus Donald Trump, who never apologize, even when he defrauded thousands of students and had to pay $27 million fine over Trump University, or his own foundation admitted to crimes in the way they used their money.

MACCALLUM: But let me ask you this if you are the former leader of the party as she is when she sits at a conference like this and talked about what her party did wrong or where they need to go next?


MACCALLUM: Is this a productive discussion to blame it on these things at this point? And I hear what you are saying. And you know, those things were likely factors in some people's minds. And you're right about the fact that it looks like some of the final voters - 60 percent of voters decided way before that.

ZIMMERMAN: But that's just polling math. That's just math.

MACCALLUM: OK. But do you think it's wise to approach the autopsy on the election without recognizing some of the underlying issues that happened with blue-collar workers, that happened with people who were Democratic Obama voters?

ZIMMERMAN: Let's be clear. When you look at the election, there were a lot of factors that went into the laws. But very frankly, if we don't learn from history if we don't recognize the role of WikiLeaks and to the Republican Congress. They understand, that as Director Comey pointed out, this was a deliberate strategy by Russia to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump. There's no mystery. Every intelligent sector, every agency- intelligence agency in our country has said that. So, the point simply here is, we've got to learn from history, we've got to make sure that Russia doesn't engage in further undermining and attacking our democracy. And unfortunately, Donald Trump still does not step up and accept that.

MACCALLUM: And there are two investigations. They're trying to prevent that from happening.

ZIMMERMAN: And Donald Trump is still trying to blame other countries including China, and keeps trying to give Russia a pass.

MACCALLUM: Robert, thank you very much.

ZIMMERMAN: Great to be with you.

MACCALLUM: Good to see you.

ZIMMERMAN: Congratulations on the show.

MACCALLUM: Thank you very much. See you soon. So, new details tonight on a possible breakthrough between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Congressman Pete King here to tells us how this may change U.S. National Security and our relationship with Russia. And Marc Thiessen and Zach Buchanan, on a debate raging over the President's willingness to speak with dictators.

So, it's the same level of outrage, therefore, his predecessor. We'll show you what Mr. Obama said on the very subject of sitting down and talking with individuals in these categories back in 2007. And the White House coming out in full force. They are defending their controversial spending deal that was reached over the weekend. They're accusing Democrats of playing dirty tricks on this. The debate on that, straight ahead.


MULVANEY: And if you're in a bipartisan meeting, I think it's very unusual for one group to walk out and started spiking the football and say, hey, we won, we killed the other guys. And it certainly doesn't bode very well for future discussions.


MACCALLUM: Developing tonight, President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin did speak by phone mid-day today for the first time since President Trump ordered air strikes against Russia's ally, Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad. The leaders agreed to work towards ending the civil war, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions. In moments, we'll be joined by House Homeland Security Committee Member, Congressman Peter King. But first, Chief National Correspondent, Ed Henry, in Washington with what was discussed today in that important phone call. Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, good to see you, Martha. Remember, all those Democratic attacks on President Trump that charged being that Russia meddled in the election so the Republicans will be soft on Vladimir Putin. When in fact, the administration so far has gotten tough and now, that may be bearing some fruit, as the U.S. takes on a bigger role in trying to mediate a cease-fire in Syria. This was their third conversation since President Trump took office. But as you noted, the key is the first time they spoke since the U.S. launched 59 cruise missiles at an airfield controlled by the Syrian strongman, who is tight with Putin. That is why Mr. Trump declared last month that U.S.-Russian relations had reached a new low, though today maybe a thought, the U.S. agreeing to send a representative to Kazakhstan tomorrow for two days of those Syrian ceasefire talks, Putin talking about maybe sending peacekeepers into Syria, as well, Russian forces, the Trump and Putin administration is also pledging to work together to deter the nuclear threat from North Korea, leading Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson, to sound cautiously optimistic today.


REX TILLERSON, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: It was a very constructive call. The two Presidents have very, very wholesome thought, a lot of detailed exchanges. So, we'll see where we go.


TILLERSON: I will not try and keep track of time.


HENRY: Now, far too early to tell if the President's carrot and stick approach with Russia will work. The stake being officials like U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, flatly blaming Russia for not stopping Syria from launching that horrific chemical weapons attack. The carrot coming as the President continues negotiating with Putin on Syria and other matters. In fact, we are told that the Russian President extended an invite for face-to-face talks in July on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany. Though, that has not been locked in by the White House yet. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Thank you very much, Ed. So, here now, Congressman Peter King, member of the Homeland Security and Intelligence Committee. Congressman King, always good to have you with us. Thank you for being here tonight. Your thoughts on what you heard from this read out with a conversation with Vladimir Putin.

PETER KING, HOMELAND SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE MEMBER: I think it can be positive. I don't trust Putin. I didn't agree with President Trump when he thought he could reach out to Putin early on, but I do think now he is coming from a position of strength. The fact that Putin has seen how President Trump is willing to launch those rockets, those missiles against Syria, the fact that he is talking tough and appears to be bringing China onto our side as far as North Korea is concerned, President Trump is now showing the firmness, which I think is all that -- somewhat like Putin understands. Strong, tough talk, and actions.

So I think, again, this is going to be tough but if we can use North Korea, we can use Russia to help us with North Korea and also have, you know, China doing the main role that will be a trifecta. As far as Syria, I am still concerned about Russia having troops in Syria. I don't like the idea of Russia being a permanent power in the Middle East. But again, President Trump is dealing right now, I believe, from a position certainly of more strength than President Obama had, and certainly, more than President Trump had when he came in on January 20th. So to me, this can work but it's going to be tough.

MACCALLUM: And they are most likely going to meet on the sidelines, as we heard, in July, Vladimir Putin and President Trump. I'm just curious what you think about this, Hillary Clinton spoke today at length; it was a broad range, wide-ranging interview. And part of it, she was asked, you know, did you back the Syria strike that President Trump did? And she said, yes, I did. You know, I said I supported it but she said I would like to know if there were any backroom deals going on with Russia with regard to that strike. What do you think about that?

KING: I think it is totally inappropriate. I am saying this as someone who, I am probably one of the few Republicans who actually has had a good relationship with Secretary Clinton over the years. But that is totally inappropriate to suggest that somehow there is a backroom deal, as if there was something nefarious. There are always diplomatic moves with military moves. But as former Secretary of State, she should realize that the way she worded that, certainly is an innuendo attached to it. And that is wrong. Unless she has something to back it up, it is the wrong thing to say.

MACCALLUM: Congressman King, thank you very much. Always good to see you.

KING: Martha, thank you. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So also tonight, critics are slamming President Trump for offering to talk to some of the world's most dangerous dictators. That was nearly the same language that was used by former President Obama, who once advocated for it back in 2007 when he was running for President. Watch this moment in debate.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?

BARRACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES FORMER PRESIDENT: I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them, which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration, is ridiculous.


MACCALLUM: Interesting to look back. Marc Thiessen, former Chief Speechwriter for President George W. Bush and a Fox News contributor. And Zac Petkanas is a former aide to Hillary Clinton'S Presidential campaign. Welcome, gentlemen to both of you.

Zac, let me go to first on that. Why do you think there is such widespread criticism for President Trump for suggesting that he would be willing, and he said under the right circumstances, as you noted there, President Obama said with no preconditions? He would be willing to talk. Why do you think he is getting so much heat for it?

ZEC PETKANAS, HILLARY CLINTON'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN FORMER AIDE: I mean, I don't think that is where the criticism is coming from, that he's willing to meet with these guys. I think the criticism is coming from the fact that he had praised these dictators, these strong men, that he said that he would be honored to meet with Kim Jong-Un, not that he would meet with him, but he would be honored to do so. We are talking about a murderous dictator, a thug, a human rights abuser. And this isn't the first time that he has done this. He has praised the leadership of Rodrigo Duterte from the Philippines, el-Sisi of Egypt, Vladimir Putin, and several others. So the issue is, there is a big, big, big difference between saying, are you going to meet with these guys, as President Obama said, and that these guys are good guys, which is ultimately what he is saying.

MACCALLUM: OK. You know, Marc, I was listening to Senator McCain this morning and he was talking about the fact that he also has a big problem with using words like that, that the words are very important that you use when you talk about these foreign dictators and he said, you know, essentially, he said when I look back at Ronald Reagan, Reagan was always trying to uplift the people who were trying to overthrow these governments, supporting those people, supporting freedom in these countries, and not giving any lip service to the people who ram them. Your thoughts?

MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first of all, I agree with that, that Ronald Reagan did that. But Barack Obama also praised these dictators. I mean, Barack Obama went to Cuba and said that he was honored to meet with Fidel Castro, the exact same word. Not only was he honored to meet with him, he sat there eating popcorn and crackerjack and doing the wave with him at a baseball game. That is not exactly hard-nosed diplomacy. And when he went to meet with Vladimir Putin the first time, he said he praised him for the extraordinary work he had done as President of Russia in 2009. So, there is a huge level of hypocrisy here. He was saying the exact same thing, he's having these dictators on the back, and there's a difference though between what Trump is doing and what Obama is doing, and that is Trump was engaging them from a position of strength, and Barack Obama was engaging them from a position of weakness. When Obama went --

MACCALLUM: Zac is shaking his head like, you know, like crazy. So I got to let him jump in.

THIESSEN: All right.

MACCALLUM: They seem like pretty good points to me, Zac. Why not?

PETKANAS: But let's look at what actually happened in Cuba. President Obama stood next to Raul Castro and publicly criticized the regime and what they were doing to political dissidents. And then what did he do? He went and met with the political dissidents that were opposed to the regime. Let's compare that to what Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did on his recent visit to Russia. He refused, refused, despite being called to do so, refused to meet with the opposition leaders to Vladimir Putin.

MACCALLUM: All right. Point made. I want to hear one more quick thing here. Today, Hillary Clinton said, basically, she trashed President Trump for using tweets and not working to unite the region against North Korea, which I find interesting. When you look at the number of trips that have been made by Mattis, by Tillerson, by all -- by Vice President Pence to South Korea, to Japan, in my mind, you know, there has been an enormous effort to rally the region against North Korea. Marc, quick thoughts, and quick thoughts from Zac.

THIESSEN: Yes, exactly. And it's working, by the way, because what Donald Trump did is he's engaging these countries from a position of strength. He didn't go and pander to them. He launched an air strike on Syria while he was meeting with the President of China. And now all of the sudden and he told him then, when he goes to the President of China, and says, either you take care of this problem or I will. He takes it seriously. And all of a sudden, China for the first time, not in the Bush administration, not in the Obama administration, only in the Trump administration, is actually pressuring North Korea. He is trying to engage all the countries in the world, and the region to pressure North Korea.

MACCALLUM: Very quick -- quick rebuttal there, Zac.

PETKANAS: I just think it is very hard to say that Donald Trump has some sort of a long-term strategy when it comes to North Korea, when he goes out there, willy-nilly, saying that he would be honored to meet with this murderous dictator, breaking decades and decades of U.S. Foreign Policy toward that country.

MACCALLUM: We will see. We will see. Got to leave it there. Thank you very much. Zac and Marc, good to see you both.

So also tonight, a story that reads like a real life "homeland." An FBI agent marries her ISIS target. We'll take you behind the scenes of this very disturbing story coming up next. Plus, President Trump since two of his top lieutenants today to press briefings to defend his new budget deal, as some grassroots conservatives argue they are not happy, they feel like the GOP has given up way too much in these early stages. Mollie Hemingway and Austan Goolsbee, here to debate the real winners and losers in all of this. Straight ahead.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: They wanted a shutdown. We know that they were desperate to make this administration look like we couldn't function, like we couldn't govern.


MACCALLUM: Tonight, the White House offering a forceful defense in the wake of President Trump's first budget battle, after the battle over who got more, the president took to twitter, hinting at aggressive measures if negotiations don't go his way in the future.
Either elect more Republican senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51 percent. Our country needs a good shutdown in September to fix mess. White House heavyweights took the baton from there. Watch this.


JOHN KELLY, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Frankly, I am shocked at the behavior of some individuals in public service or public office that instead of celebrating how they've managed to reduce the amount of money for a border wall.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: The Dems have been trying to claim victory on this, which I think is a very strange way to look at a bipartisan discussion. They wanted a shutdown. We know that. They were desperate to look make this administration look like we couldn't function, like we couldn't govern. I think the president is frustrated with the fact that he negotiated with good faith of the Democrats and they went out to try to spike the football and make him look bad.


MACCALLUM: Joining me now, Mollie Hemingway, a senior editor at the Federalist and a Fox News contributor, and Austan Goolsbee, who served as President Obama's chief economist, he's a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Welcome to both of you. You know, you could really feel that there was a concerted effort today from the White House saying, get out there. Let's change the narrative on this story. We don't like the way that this is looking. And we don't like the fact that even members of the GOP are making it look like we gave in, Mollie.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, THE FEDERALIST: Well, this is not in the budget that people elected Republicans to control the house, the senate, and the presidency for. So it wasn't a huge victory and people are right to notice that this didn't have a lot of what we should have expected from a Republican budget where they control all of these different branches of government. At the same time, yes, Democrats and people in the media are making this out to be much more of a victory for Democrats than it actually was. Still, there is no way this type of budget is going to look good going forward. And I think that's why President Trump already announced, putting people on notice that this would not be how the next budget goes.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. He suggested as much to us after our interview last week, Austan, that he would be willing to go as far as a shutdown on the next time around. This one, they were letting past. And we can share that because now he's been Tweeting the same thing himself. But he would be sort of willing to let this moment pass because they wanted to get to health care and then tax reform. But come September, he is expressing that he thinks that shutting the place down might be the only way to essentially drain the swamp, to clean it up.

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FORMER CHIEF ECONOMIST FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA: Indeed, he did say that. Now, I've been a Cubs fan for a long time and until last year, I think one of the lessons is, if you're saying we'll get them next time that means you lost. And I think the president knows that. I have fear that it's going to create a dynamic in the presidents mind that if his own people are telling him you lost and the Democrats are dancing around saying, ha, ha, we won. He's going to dig himself in. And you almost saw him saying that now. I want to shutdown the government to teach them a lesson. Usually, in the past, when they shut down the government, that has not gone well for Republicans. We've never had a situation where the same party controlled both houses of congress and the White House and still had a shutdown. So I think you saw Paul Ryan saying there that Democrats wanted to show that the Republicans can't do anything.

MACCALLUM: I got you. I want to get your thoughts on one more thing, though, this idea of a filibuster because when I interviewed the president on Friday, he talked about this. He said the rules are so archaic that we may have to make a change. And now we're learning, you know, what that may be, a 51 majority vote on legislation, as well as on the Supreme Court. As we just saw, Mollie, Charles Krauthammer just a little while ago said he should do that. He's not getting stuff through if he does do that. You agree?

HEMINGWAY: Well, you know, the filibuster is a really nice thing to have but it is not sacrosanct. Everyone agrees that congress is broken. But I don't think it's bad, to touch back on what Austan was saying, to let it be known now that things are going to be different. Democrats perfectly exploited Republicans fear of a shutdown, and they got everything they wanted because they knew that Republicans didn't want to have that. Trump, let it be known that he's not scared of that. He should also put out a list of budget priorities that are non-negotiable, that he will veto any bill that doesn't have it, whether it's -- they need to stop funding the country's largest abortion provider responsible for ending the lives of more than 300,000 children each year, Planned Parenthood. Increases in defense spending or border wall security, whatever it is, he needs to put out his list of priorities and make it known that that's not going to work in the future.

MACCALLUM: Quick final thought, Austan.

GOOLSBEE: If they change the filibuster, you know, they could try to do that, but a lot of the leading Republicans don't want to because they remember just a few years ago, you wouldn't had ObamaCare, you would have had fundamental immigration reform, you would all of those things go through with 51 votes.

MACCALLUM: Very true.

GOOLSBEE: . by Democrats.

MACCALLUM: Mitch McConnell said as much. He doesn't want this. We'll see what happens. Thank you very much. Good to see both tonight. So just ahead, we've got new details on the love story between an FBI agent and an ISIS killer. Why was this stunning breach not dealt with more severely? The answer will surprise you, former house intelligence chairman, Pete Hoekstra, here on that. And remember this moment from last Friday?


MACCALLUM: Do you ever think, well, maybe one time will be enough of this kind of life?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, I mean, I want to see how we're doing. I hope that we do so well that, you know, things are good. That I could either run easily and nicely, and enjoy the fruits of what we did.


MACCALLUM: But what does Governor John Kasich have to say about that? He's on just ahead on whether he might consider a challenge to President Trump.


MACCALLUM: So newly released court documents are shedding some light tonight on a bizarre story that really does sound like something straight out of Homeland or a terrorism movie. It's an FBI translator who was investigating an ISIS fighter in 2014, and then, fled to the United States for Syria and married him. So, why are we just finding out about this breach? Chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge digging into this unbelievable story. Catherine, good evening.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Martha. It's hard to explain why any woman would again involve with ISIS, but tonight, the Republican chairman of the house homeland security committee said that's exactly what happened with a federal investigator.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: We just had an FBI agent, female FBI agent, who was having an affair with an ISIS operative. That kind of shows you sort of the strangeness of how somebody can be attracted to a figure like that and ISIS. But that FBI case is very disturbing to me.


HERRIDGE: Newly unsealed court records first reported by CNN and independently confirmed by Fox News, show an FBI translator married this German rapper turned ISIS pitchman, Denis Cuspert, in 2014. The FBI contractor, Daniela Greene, was investigating Cuspert when she lied to supervisors and traveled from the U.S. to Turkey and across the border to ISIS held territories. Greene, who still had an American husband at the time, wrote an email that life in the ISIS caliphate was frightening, dangerous, and she might not survive. And she even believed she would go to jail if she ever got out alive. These records filed here in D.C. say that Greene's conduct was a serious breach. The U.S. attorney wrote that Greene had, quote, violated the public's trust, the trust of the officials who granted her security clearance, and the trust of those with whom she worked, and in doing so, endanger our nation security. The case got zero publicity for months because the records were sealed by the courts. And critics say Greene got up with a life sentence, two years on probation because she cooperated with the FBI. A bureau spokesman would only say they've made policy changes to avoid a repeat in the future, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Catherine, thank you very much.

HERRIDGE: You're welcome.

MACCALLUM: Joining me now, Pete Hoekstra, the former chairman of the house intel committee. Pete, welcome, good evening. It is shocking that she would only get two years for this breach. And why was this keep so quiet, this whole thing?

PETE HOEKSTRA, FORMER CHARIMAN OF THE HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE: Well, I think that's the very interesting question. The FBI, as we all know, during the recent election, was more than willing to talk about cases that were under investigation, whether it was the Hillary Clinton emails, or server. After the election, they're saying, hey, we're investigating the Russian connection with the Trump campaign. But when it came to talking about the FBI, it's kind of like, we need to seal these records. We can't put it in to the public domain that we've had a major breach within our own organization. Let's bury it. Let's bury it for two and half years. Even right now, the FBI appears to be very tight-lipped about what happened and really not sharing a lot of details with congress, at least that's what my sources on the hill are saying.

MACCALLUM: So we don't know what intel she may have shared with him. What she may have disclosed. What their interaction may have exposed about our sources and methods, you know, all of that. Big concern.

HOEKSTRA: It's a huge concern. And , you know, good practice in the intelligence community says you have to assume that everything that she knew has been shared with ISIS. And so, the FBI has to do a damage assessment of exactly what now happens or what ISIS now knows about their policies, procedures, there tactics, and those kinds of things. And they have to go back and they need to change all of those because the assumption is that whatever she had, whatever intelligence she had, is now in the hands of ISIS.

MACCALLUM: If you read the emails that she wrote, I can't even imagine being in the position that she's in. And she is sort of writing about it like, this might be bad. I might be in trouble. This could be dangerous. And you wonder what kind of person she is and I guess we're going to learn more about that. But, you know, the other thing that really struck me, Pete, especially giving the warning that went out today, a broad warning for travel in Europe. I mean, these people live among us and they are friends with people. This guy was with this FBI agent. Talk to us, and we're putting some of the particulars about this alert on the screen, but how serious is this?

HOEKSTRA: Well, I think that's absolutely essential, that we look at this as a pattern and not one isolated data point. Remember, after 9/11, it was connects the dots. Americans need to connect the dots. We've done it in Europe, but we need to connect San Bernardino, Fort Hood, Orlando, this event, they are among us. Their message is seductive and people fall victim to them. We connected the dots in Europe with Nice, with Paris, with Brussels, with what's going on in Germany, in the U.K. Who would have expected that at this point in time that America, that our state department would be sending out a travel alert warning Americans that going to Europe, you know, stay aware of your situation because Europe is at the highest level of alert and threat that it has seen in decades. And Europe has taken way too long to connect the dots that this terror is among them, it is a real threat.

MACCALLUM: There are thousands of potential operatives in Europe, according to this report.


MACCALLUM: Pete, thank you very much pretty, good to see you tonight, sir. So straight ahead, it's one of the wildest presidential primaries in the nation history. And now, Governor John Kasich is here with the back story tonight of what really went down on the campaign trail. And would he ever consider doing it all over again? His answer next.



JOHN KASICH, U.S. GOVERNOR: As I suspend my campaign today, I have renewed faith, deeper faith, that the lord will show me the way forward and fulfill the purpose of my life.


MACCALLUM: That's was the moment almost exactly one year ago today that Ohio governor John Kasich dropped out of the presidential race, making Donald Trump the undisputed Republican nominee for the presidency. Now, Governor Kasich is telling some of the secrets from the campaign trail in his new book, Two Paths, America Divided or United. Here now, Ohio governor, John Kasich. Governor, good to see you tonight. Thank you for being here with us. And congratulations on your book.

KASICH: Good luck, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Thank you.

KASICH: We're excited for you.

MACCALLUM: Thank you very much. When you look back on that moment, I'm sure it was one of the tougher moments of your political career, how do you think that happened? You're the most popular governor from Ohio, everybody thought that in the initial months that you were the guy to beat.

KASICH: Well, Martha, I was basically unknown across the country. And so, it just didn't work. But I was really happy with how the campaign went. And, look, this book that I have is not really -- it does cover the campaign, but it's a more important message about how we move America forward. And I don't mean just politicians. I mean all of us where we need to listen to one another, show one another respect, treat our neighbors, or the people we work with, the way we want them to treat us. It's about our culture, the drift in our culture, the division, and how we got here and what we can do to fix it. So it's not just politics. It's really my observations, my love for our country and my hope for my 17-year-old twin daughters.

MACCALLUM: I mean, I think a lot of us can relate to that and would love to see a country that is more like what you describe. But when you look at what's going on in Washington right now, you look at this health care vote, look at the finger-pointing over just a spending bill that only lasts until September, I mean, everybody is so anxious to jump on the other side and to make them look bad at every turn. I don't know how you ever change that culture. I mean, it's just incredible.

KASICH: You know, Martha, I think it starts with us. It's where we live and the way we get along and the things that we demand. And if you just think about the United Airline incident, you know, what really happened was the people who fly basically sent a message, all of us, to the top, which is we're not going to put up with this kind of nonsense. And it basically changed the way that United looks at the world on the way they treat their passengers. See there is a lot of common humanity. I've just saw a video on Jimmy Kimmel, you know, his son -- his newborn son was struggling with an illness, and when he said he's doing well, you know, it didn't matter whether you were red or blue, or Republican or Democrat, everybody cheered because everybody loves babies to be healthy. We all need to engage in the fight against opiate drugs. We need to be making sure that our seniors, when they lose a spouse, they're not all alone.

MACCALLUM: Let me ask you before we ran out of time. You know, about that Kimmel moment because we watch that today, as well. A suggestion, though, in some ways, was that covering everybody is the answer and everybody would like everybody to be covered. But do you think there is a lot of misnomer about health care out there right now, and a lot of sort of panic? You think 90 percent of the country is covered by their employer or Medicare, including pre-existing conditions in most cases.

KASICH: That's right. Well, the one thing we don't want to do is to leave people behind to live in the shadows, whether they're drug addicted or they're mentally ill. So we need to have a system that is reformed. ObamaCare needs dramatically reformed, but not one that just leaves millions of people without anything because you wouldn't want to be in that position and I wouldn't either. So there're ways to get that done. But there was another interesting part of Kimmel video and he said, even atheists were praying for my son. And the fact is, you could see people coming together. And I believe that if we do come together, respect one another, listen to one another, everybody ought to read for 10 minutes, ought to study something that they don't agree with. Open your mind, you'll find its exciting, it's exciting to be able to do all of that, and we can make America better and stronger than it is today.

MACCALLUM: We've got to go. Thank you so much, sir.


MACCALLUM: As you know, in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Today, more than 500 years later, experts believe that they found an anchor that belonged to one of Christopher Columbus' ship. It was spotted off the Turks and Caicos, where some of the ship made that initial famous voyage, later got caught in a hurricane. The anchor is said to weigh over 1,000 pounds and will be featured on the Discovery Channel Docu series "Cooper's Treasure." It's pretty cool, right. So now, the quote of the night, we're inspired so it's from Christopher Columbus, and this is it, following the light of the sun, we left the old world. That's what he said as he set off. And we in the Americas are glad that he did. From the new world in New York City, good night, everybody. The Story goes on tomorrow at 7:00. We'll see you then. Tucker is up next. Have a good night.


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