Transcript

Ron Hosko: Comey firing will not change Russia investigation; Lawyer for family of dead Penn State pledge speaks out

Attorney says there is clear intent in this case on 'The Story with Martha MacCallum'

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," May 11, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, "THE STORY" HOST: Breaking tonight, we now have brand-new sound from the full interview that aired just moments ago with President Trump backing up his claim that James Comey told him three times that he was not under investigation by the FBI.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: What I did is I was going to fire Comey - my decision. It was not-

LESTER HOLT, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS HOST: You have made the decision before they came-

TRUMP: I was going to fire Comey. There's no good time to do it, by the way.

HOLT: You said, "I accepted their recommendation." You would already make the decision.

TRUMP: I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So, good evening everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum and this is "The Story" for Thursday, May 11th. In a brand-new part from this interview that just aired moments ago, the president says among many other things that James Comey was "not my man." Listen to this whole thing here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOLT: So, are you angry with Mr. Comey because of his Russian investigation?

TRUMP: I just want somebody that's competent. I am a big fan of the FBI. I love the FBI. I love the people of the FBI.

HOLT: But were you a fan of him taking up that investigation?

TRUMP: I think that - about the Hillary Clinton investigation?

HOLT: No, about the Russian investigation and possible links between-

TRUMP: As far as I'm concerned, I want that thing to be absolutely done properly.

HOLT: Did you ask him to drop the investigation?

TRUMP: No, never.

HOLT: Did anyone from the White House?

TRUMP: No. In fact, I want the investigation speeded up.

HOLT: Did anyone from the White House to ask him to end the investigation?

TRUMP: No. Why would they do that?

HOLT: Any surrogates on behalf of the White House?

TRUMP: Not that I know of. Look, I want to find out if there was a problem with an election having to do with Russia, or by the way anybody else, any other country. And I want that to be so strong and so good and I wanted to happen. I also want to have a really competent, capable Director. He's not. He's a show boater. He's not my man or not my man; I didn't appoint him. He was appointed long before me. But I want someone who's going to do a great job, and I will tell you we're looking at candidates right now who could be spectacular and that's-

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: We're going to get you to some of those may be. In addition tonight, we can tell you that why the president has considered a visit to the bureau tomorrow. We are told that that is not now happening; it may happen in the future. Big show for you tonight, we've got to cut through the hysteria and the misreporting in some cases and bring you the facts as we know them so far.

Mark Thiessen, Matt Bennett, here to react to President Trump's new Comey comments, and then Ron Hosco, former Assistant Director of the FBI on the suggestions that the president is going to "war with the agency." What does he think about that? But we begin tonight with Chief White House correspondent, John Roberts, live on the North Lawn tonight with breaking reaction to that brand-new interview. Good evening, John.

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Martha, good evening to you. I think one of the most surprising things is the degree of animus that the president had toward his former FBI Director James Comey, which was demonstrated in another section of the interview which was played earlier but he didn't run just there where he said that he was a "show boater and a grandstander." Those remarks drew a sharp response from the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Virginia Senator, Mark Warner, who said today that he found the president's words offensive and yet another slight and an ongoing series of slights against the Intelligence Community.

Another surprising aspect of that interview is when the president said that he had made up his mind to fire James Comey before he asked the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to drop to the review about Comey's conduct in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Surprising, because it dramatically altered the narrative the have been put forward by the White House Press Office and the vice president on Wednesday morning, who had both insisted that the impetus for the firing came from Rosenstein. The Principal Deputy Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders in the briefing today explained how that discrepancy happened. Listen here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: I hadn't had a chance to have the conversation directly with the president to say. I had several conversations with him, but I didn't ask that question directly.
Had you already made that decision? I went off of the information that I had when I answered your question. I've since had the conversation with him right before I walked on today, and he laid it out very clear. He had already made that decision.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: All right. So, that explains why the press office didn't know anything, but it still doesn't explain how the vice president didn't have the full narrative because his breathing would've come through different channels; not from the White House Press Office. So, either the president wasn't fully forthcoming to the vice president. And this would mark the second time that that's happened where someone dropped a very big ball somewhere.

One other revelation that's getting a lot of attention, the fact that the president asked James Comey point blank on three occasions whether or not he was under investigation. One of those times came during dinner, two other times in phone conversations. It has raised questions as to whether it was inappropriate for the president to ask whether it was interference in the Russian investigation or whether it was something else. The White House insisted it was absolutely appropriate for the president to ask that question.

One other important moment that happened today, Martha, and that's when the Acting Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, said to the Intelligence Committee and the Senate, he appeared before that with a number of other people, that he would not give the president anymore updates on the investigation, but also said that there had been no indication that the White House, at any time, had tried to interfere in that investigation. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Fascinating stuff. John, thank you very much. Here now into a weigh in, Marc Thiessen, former Chief Speechwriter for President George W. Bush and a Fox News contributor; and Matt Bennett, former Deputy Assistant to President Clinton and Co-Founder of Third Way. Gentlemen, welcome. Good have you here.

There's a lot to get to tonight, but in terms of Andrew McCabe's testimony- and Matt, let me start with you first on this. He said that there had been no effort to impede the investigation. He said they consider this investigation very important, that it is an ongoing investigation, and that there's a staff of people who are working on it. So, I guess, what difference does it really make whether James Comey is at the head of the FBI with regard to digging into all of this or not?

MATT BENNETT, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT CLINTON AND CO-FOUNDER OF THIRD WAY: Well look, it might've been a clumsy effort to hack the investigation on the part of the president, but there is no doubt that that is why he fired James Comey. He was trying to send a signal and his staff has sent the signal too, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this that he was fired because he wants - they want the investigation over with. They are sending a signal that is-

MACCALLUM: No, she said that they wanted it to be handled with integrity, and that they do, which I'm sure coming as no surprise to anybody, want to put this behind them. That's what she to the as for the record.

BENNETT: She also said that they think that firing Comey will bring this to a close quicker. And it just leaves no doubt that the president who badgered - by his own account badgered Comey to tell him he was a target of this investigation over and over, and over, which is incredibly inappropriate. Imagine if Hillary Clinton as President had done that.

MACCALLUM: Let me ask you, what you think about the fact that the Senator Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein also asked the same question - you know, it was very much out there. We just saw it in an open testimony played in special reports. It was discussed that no, in fact, he was not one of the targets of the investigation. In fact, we've heard names that are targets in the investigation; we know Michael Flynn is among them. The president's name has not come up as a target of this investigation.

BENNET: That's right, and at least not so far.

MACCALLUM: So, why is that such secret information that couldn't be discussed?

BENNETT: It's not necessarily secret information; it's a pattern of conduct on the part of the president putting pressure on the FBI. First, by badgering the director and then by firing the director and making it clear that he was fired because he doesn't like how this investigation is going.

MACCALLUM: Let me - Marc Thiessen weigh in here. Marc, what you think about all this?

MARC THIESSEN, FORMER CHIEF SPEECHWRITER FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH AND A FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: So, it is a political conspiracy to kill an investigation that he's not a target of. It makes no sense. He's not the target of the investigation. We know that not just from the presidents-

BENNETT: His campaign is the target.

THIESSEN: These are not just from the president; we know it from Dianne Feinstein and Senator Grassley today. He's not the target of the investigation. And so - I mean, I just don't understand how the FBI continues to do its work regardless of who's the head of the FBI. So, there's no conspiracy here. I don't understand. James Comey works for the president of the United States. He serves at the pleasure of the president of the United States when the president's pleasure ends; so does his tenure. And this is what I don't understand about how the Trump administration is handling this, Martha.

It's just - all this, you know, going on in an interview with Lester Holt today and tearing down his character and that. He doesn't need to do that. All he has to say is look, I lost confidence in him, a lot of people in Washington lost confidence in him on both sides of the aisle and we just need a fresh start. I thank him for his service. He spent many years serving the country and let's move on. I'm going to pick a great new director of the FBI that everybody is going to like. And if he does that by the way, Martha, all this goes away.

MACCALLUM: You know, it's highly possible that this move may stir up this investigation even more because there's going to be a lot of people on these committees who are going to want to prove that they are going to continue to dig as deep as they possibly can, they may not find anything. But Matt, in that sense, it could backfire.

BENNETT: Without a doubt, Martha. This was a very clumsy move. I mean, Trump is not good at being President, and this is one more piece of evidence as to that. And then he lies to his own vice president and goes out and says seven times the wrong thing, to put the wrong thing in the letter that was distributed. This was the most clumsy week of a very clumsy presidency so far.

MACCALLUM: Guys, thank you very much. Thanks for weighing in. Good to see you both. So, as we reported earlier, there were some suggestions the president may visit the FBI headquarters in the coming days. Word came down a little while ago that that visit is not going to take place, at least not tomorrow. So, as reports suggest, the president is practically at war with the bureau. Is that true, and what does that mean for the relationship going forward? For that answer, we turned around Ron Hosco, former Assistant Director for the FBI. Ron, welcome back to the program. Good to have you again tonight. Is that true? Do you see this as a President at war with the FBI?

RON HOSKO, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: You know, I don't see at war with the FBI. And as you alluded to earlier, you know, Jim Comey was the CEO of the FBI, he's the Director. He's receiving briefings, asking hard questions, assessing whether the investigative team in this or other important cases has the right resources. You know, he's keeping up-to-date, but he's not leading the investigation.

There's an electronic case file - case agents are documenting what's going on in this case, that case is locked down to the whole world let alone the FBI can't even see it. It's a small group. Those guys are diligent professionals moving forward. So, taking Jim Comey out of that equation is not going to change anything in this investigation. But one thing I can assure you is if those agents see obstacles deliberately placed in front of them, slowdowns, they're going to need prosecutive support at some point in these important investigations. And I guarantee you; those agents will not be silent if that comes to be. And there will be lots of questions that come out of that.

MACCALLUM: Well, I would imagine if it's true, what the White House said that they want to get this behind them, that they would be very forthcoming with whatever information needs to be turned over. We know that Michael Flynn has been subpoenaed because he was apparently slow walking some information that the Senate Committee wanted - and now he's going to be subpoenaed for that. I do want to play one piece of sound, and this is from - because there's been a lot of discussion about James Comey's testimony would last Wednesday, and this was a comment that he made that then need to be cleaned up by the FBI and it may have gone into the mix of this decision. Let's play that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES COMEY, FORMER FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION DIRECTOR: They found thousands of new emails. They found classified information on Anthony Weiner. Somehow, her emails are being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information by her assistant, Huma Abedin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So, that number, thousands had to be walked back. And it was a bit embarrassing for the FBI. And my question to you is, you know, would there be any other reason for James Comey to put that in that way, other than to say there was so much coming at me, I had no choice but to reopen this investigation. And in essence trying to sort of fix his own reputation on that matter, and if that is the case and it wasn't credible, it wasn't true; that's problematic, is it not?

HOSKO: Well you know, as to his testimony last week, we're talking about one comment in what, three plus hours of testimony that was supposed to be an oversight hearing and touch on pretty much anything with the FBI does.
And you see that in these hearings, Jim Comey's not looking at a lot of notes. He's not looking down at the table trying to figure out the facts and figures. So, a minor misstep like that and particularly one where the overstatement really cut against former Congressman Weiner and his wife and by extension Hillary Clinton, I can't imagine how that could be the offense that Donald Trump took.

MACCALLUM: No, my point is that it made, it made James Comey - it gave him a reason for reopening the investigation because it was so egregious - they released thousands of emails, how can we not reopen. And so, because it wasn't exactly accurate, my point is that he was using that particular example, you know, to make himself look better like he had a reason to reopen.

HOSKO: No. Martha, I think he did explain it in the hearing because when they initially got the large volume of emails, they looked at the metadata. And that is not content, right. That's the to-from information. And they looked at that large volume and said this is a problem, and with this many emails that involve Hillary Clinton that may go back to things we did and didn't have; I have to tell congress where we are.

MACCALLUM: Fine point, I just wanted to ask about it. Ron, thank you very much. Good to have you here tonight. So tonight, a potentially dramatic byproduct of James Comey's removal from the top of the FBI, as a former FBI agent suggests that both the case and the immunity deals struck during the Clinton email investigation have not run out the statute of limitation. They could be revisited by a new boss.

They're joining us to discuss that: David Bossie and Mo Elleithee, debate on the breaking details tonight. Plus, two stories, two front pages, and one similarity; both wrong. As we examine the anonymous sources in the wake of Comey's ouster that are wreaking havoc in Trump's Washington. Plus, new details tonight in the fraternity hazing death of Penn State student, the attorney for Timothy Piazza's family joins us in an exclusive interview tonight on what could've saved his life and what happens now with this case.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MCCALLUM: Tonight with Director Comey out after President Trump's firing, the Senate Intel Committee wasted no time. They got the new acting Director Andrew McCabe to Capitol Hill after 48 hours of debate, McCabe put to rest the questions about how the FBI rank-and-file felt about their old boss. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREW MCCABE, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION ACTING DIRECTOR: Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI. And still, does to this day. I can confidently tell you that the majority, the vast majority of FBI employees enjoy a deep and positive connection to Director Comey.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCCALLUM: But no more than 30 minutes later, a bit of an about-face as he admitted that they're yes, there was anger among the staff especially over the handling of the Clinton e-mails case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCABE: I think morale has always been good, however, we had -- there were folks within our agency who were frustrated with the outcome of the Hillary Clinton case and some of those folks were very vocal about that this concern.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCCALLUM: Chief Intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge with more for us tonight live from Washington, Catherine.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Martha. The acting Director of the FBI testified that despite the impact and losing the guy at the top, the Russia probe is on track.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLORIDA: Has the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped, or negatively impacted any of the work, any investigation or any ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

MCCABE: Simply put sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding a constitution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HERRIDGE: The Senior Democrat on the committee focus on the former FBI Director James Comey who was scheduled to testify here until he lost his job on Tuesday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARK WARNER, D-VIRGINIA: For many people including myself, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that the president's decision to remove Director Comey was related to this investigation. And that is truly unacceptable. However, President Trump's actions this week cost us an opportunity to get at the truth at least for today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HERRIDGE: And there were a lot of questions on the need for special prosecutor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCABE: It is my opinion and belief that the FBI will continue to pursue this investigation vigorously and completely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you need somebody to take this away from you and somebody else to do it?

MCCABE: No, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HERRIDGE: A lot of people woke up to the headlines today that FBI Director James Comey, had asked the new Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for resources and they implied in the reporting that may have been one of the reasons that Comey was fired but the acting Director really debunks those stories today saying it just simply doesn't work that way and they had everything they needed, Martha.

MCCALLUM: Fascinating. Catherine thank you very much.

HERRIDGE: You're welcome.

MCCALLUM: So here is more along with President Trump's Deputy Campaign manager David Bossie, previously worked with former Director Comey in the Senate and Mo Elleithee is the founding Executive Director of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service, both are Fox News contributors. Gentlemen, welcome. Good to have you here tonight. Mo let me start with you. You know you look at this and the suggestion is that this is very much on track. There was also a suggestion that was written about that said that they didn't have the resources they need and that the reason for this firing was that James Comey, was looking for more resources for the Russian investigation. That was also debunked today. Your thoughts?

MO ELLEITHEE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think it's a mess, that's my thought. I think the president of the United States. Look there are a lot of Democrats out there who didn't love James Comey. But the president of the United States yesterday got rid of the person who is leading an investigation into him and his campaign. He's now getting to replace that person with his own hand-picked choice. That is concerning. His White House came out today and said that they are hoping that the dismissal of James Comey will expedite the end of this investigation. I don't know a lot of people that want the investigation go on forever, but they sure don't want expedited until the full truth is known.

MCCALLUM: Why? I mean the -- whatever happened to the speedy trial notion? I mean why wouldn't you? This is been going on for months Mo, and you know wouldn't you think that at least to some extent they would have found, if there was a big smoking gun in this that they probably somebody probably would have leaked it, the environment that were in right now at this point?

ELLEITHEE: There's not always a smoking gun. A lot of times, these things are a slow build. Let the FBI hold the investigation, let the Senate hold its investigation. We've given up on the House at this point. Let them do that without interfering.

MCCALLUM: All right. What about this notion that whoever the president does pick David, they could legally, potentially reopen the Hillary Clinton investigation it was reporting on that a former FBI official said that he thought that could be a possibility.

DAVID BOSSIE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You know it is a possibility and I think it's a remote possibility. This there's going to be no direction from the White House, I can assure you in my opinion to do that. In any way, shape, or form because that would look political and Mo is right. The American people want these things to be done right. They want them to be seen as being done the right way. And I think that the what the president did in getting rid of James Comey and I think we all have agreed over the last couple of days that James Comey had no support amongst the Democrats and when he lost his confidence by the president, he was gone. And I think that it was just as simple as that. The president of the United States is now going to nominate somebody in the Senate is going to get to go through that hearing process to make sure that that 10-year term for FBI director is filled with somebody of the highest integrity.

MCCALLUM: Gentleman thank you. We got to leave it there David Bossie and Mo Elleithee, good to see you tonight, thank you both. So the use of anonymous sources during the Trump administration has exploded and the reporting that has followed James Comey's firing, the usage of these very sources has led to some very big media mistakes. We'll take a look at those that analyze them with Lisa Boothe and Marie Harf joins us next.

Plus border crossing are now at historic lows as law enforcement says that they are finally getting the resources that they need.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Still a lot that have been in the books all this time are now being supported.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MCCALLUM: So two of the big stories grabbing coverage, of James Comey firing but just one problem, they have both been proven wrong. The first was on the front page of The Washington Post reporting the Deputy Attorney General nearly quit in half over way the story was rolled out. Well within hours, the DOJ knock that down followed by Mr. Rosenstein himself going on the record to reporters and saying did you threaten to quit? He said no, I did not. The second front and center in The New York Times this morning reported that Comey was fired for requesting more assets to go after the Russian investigation. Then in within hours, the DOJ denied that follow by the acting FBI Director saying this under oath.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCABE: I'm not aware of that request and it's not consistent with my understanding of how we requested additional resources. I strongly believe that the Russian investigation is adequately resourced.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Lisa Boothe, president of the political communications firm, High Noon Strategies, and Marie Harf, former state department spokesperson, both are Fox News contributors. There seems to be a lot of emotion surrounding the coverage of this story, a lot of people started declaring the end of democracy and its degrading of the presidency, and Watergate, and all kinds of stuff. But we need to deal in facts, and two of those misnomer that we just pointed out, Lisa, we're on the front page of two of the nation's biggest newspapers which I might add have gotten a lot of praise for their coverage of this story.

LISA BOOTHE, HIGH NOON STRATEGIES PRESIDENT: And there's a reporter on a different network that said that the White House has a crisis of credibility, but I would argue that the media has a crisis of credibility.
We really seen the media carry the Democratic Party's narrative of, you know, somehow that Trump -- you know, the timing, raising questions about the timing, also saying that somehow the White House is trying to thwart the Russian investigation, where we had the acting FBI director today testified under oath that the White House is not tried to impede that investigation, that the FBI investigation is going to go on. We've also had people like Senator Susan Collins who is no fan of President Trump say that it's highly absurd to suggest that somehow, you know, President Trump firing Comey is going to thwart the investigation or impede in any way?

MACCALLUM: Yeah. Marie, what do you think? Why are we getting these stories that need to be fact-checked before they run on the front page on two of our nation's biggest newspapers?

MARIE HARF, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I certainly agree that reporters particularly at those kinds of newspapers should do a good job at fact- checking stories. I think the reason you're seeing reporters were lying so much on anonymous sources on this specific incident is because the official story about what happened coming from on the record Trump administration sources has changed two or three times now and the last 48 hours, so when you keep getting a different story from an official source, you start to look for the true story elsewhere. And, look, anonymous sources are always a mixed bag. Sometimes they're accurate, sometimes they're not. So when you have dozens of anonymous sources saying the same thing, forget about those two specific stories you mention, if those aren't true, they shouldn't have been on the front page of those papers. But in general, when you have dozens of anonymous sources saying this wasn't about the Hillary Clinton handling, this was about Russia -- you have to follow that where it leads.

MACCALLUM: Right. But I would suggest that the sort of emotion and the hysteria in some cases of the way that people are covering this story is pushing them to sort of spill some of these things out before they've actually checked them out. For example, maybe you should speak with Mr. Rosenstein and see whether or not he did actually threatened to quit because it was put out there. But, Lisa, Marie makes a good point. The White House handling of this which we have said here really could have been a whole lot better.

BOOTHE: Yeah, obviously. I think that's a given. But I also think that -- look, if President Trump was trying to cover something up, he's the one who set on record that he met with Comey, that they had dinner. He's the one that said he's always wanted to fire Comey. So regardless what the story is, they all point in the same direction, that the -- President Trump lost confidence in Comey, who served at the pleasure of the president. He ultimately had the right to fire the former FBI director if he wants. And mind you, this is the same former FBI director that everyone from Senator Chuck Schumer to Harry Reid had expressed concerns with.

MACCALLUM: Even Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump have agreed on this one on twitter with the president said today. Thank you both. Good to see you both here tonight.

HARF: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So still ahead, we have an exclusive interview with the attorney who is representing the family of a Penn State sophomore who tragically lost his life on a night that should have been fun and full of fraternity brotherhood. Something went terribly, terribly wrong for this young man.
What is the culture on college campuses that led to this? We will speak with him coming up. Plus, a 6-year-old boy in the hospital tonight, the victim of a hit-and-run by an illegal immigrant deported out of this country 15 times. Katie Pavlich, Emily Tisch Sussman weigh in, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to bring my son home. I just miss playing with him and his sweet spirit. And I just hope the justice system does what it's supposed to do and things are handled properly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Over the last six weeks, ICE's homeland security investigations had conducted a nationwide gang operation targeting violent criminal street gang throughout the United States. A total of 1,378 individuals were arrested. Let me be clear that these violent criminal street gangs are the biggest threat facing our communities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So that was today, that was the director of ICE touting success of their six week operation targeting murder, drug trafficking, and weapon smuggling across United States, as new statistics show illegal immigration has dropped to historical lows along the southern border. This all comes as a 6-year-old lies in a Southern California hospital tonight, the victim of a hit-and-run by a drunk driver, reportedly, an illegal immigrant who had been kicked out of this country 15 times. Trace Gallagher is live in our west coast bureau tonight with how these stories intersected today. Trace, good evening.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS: Good evening, Martha. Throughout this anti-gang operation, immigrations and customs enforcement or ICE has made two points crystal clear. One is that gangs are posing a major threat in both urban and rural areas. And two, the effort to dismantle gang activity is much more effective in areas without sanctuary city policies. Of the 1,378 suspects arrested, 1,095 were confirmed gang members, spread fairly evenly across gangs like the bloods, crips, and MS-13, 445 of the gang members are in the U.S. illegally. Eventually, those illegal immigrants will likely be deported, but keeping them out is another issue. As evidenced by the hit- and-run involving 6-year-old Lenox Lake, who is now undergone two surgeries for a severe brain injury. Lake, along with his family were on their way home from Disneyland when police say 38-year-old Constantino Banda-Acosta, who was highly intoxicated, rear ended their car and fled the scene. Banda- Acosta was arrested 30 minutes later. Since 2002, he'd been deported 15 times, including as recently as January. Here's the father of the boy struggling to survive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: If we could find a better system. I mean, I don't feel like this guy represents all illegals, but I feel like the ones that have the criminal record, and have done bad things, and previously been deported, they shouldn't be finding ways back into the country and being allowed to hurt further people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: And while immigration agents said they have finally started to get the support they need along the border, Trumps anti-immigration rhetoric also seems to be keeping immigrants away. Since he was elected, apprehensions along the border have gone down six consecutive months, for more than 47,000 in November to just over 11,000 in April. The drop has also sped up deportations because the tension centers are not nearly as crowded and the courts are not as backlogged. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Very interesting. Trace, thank you for that report. So here now with more to comment on this, Katie Pavlich, townhall.com news editor and a fox news contributor, and Emily Tisch Sussman, campaign director at the center for American Progress Action Fund. Emily, I know you look at those numbers of the gang members that have been rounded up, the number of illegals crossing the border that has dropped I think in part due to letting the border patrol agents do their job, and also the rhetoric of the president which has made it sort of unappealing to cross the border, sadly that one individual who hurt that child was able to get back across. But it seems to be a pretty impressive report so far.

EMILY TISCH SUSSMAN, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS ACTION FUND: Well, I think that the way the numbers are presented would be, but it's actually -- I think we need to go a little bit under the surface on that. That roundup of gang members today that was actually two-third citizens, which should actually make everybody nervous, that a deportation force is going out and rating areas and then rounding up citizens. So we need to go a little bit under the surface of what they're actually claiming it to be.

MACCALLUM: You mean, gang members, you mean, citizens who are gang members?

SUSSMAN: Well, I think that citizens should be nervous when enforcement officials are going around the country and rating and taking people up. I think we should nervous about that. If the whole point of this was to go after gang member.

MACCALLUM: if you're a gang member you should be nervous that you're going to be rounded up, right? I don't understand what you're saying.

SUSSMAN: They were saying that it was immigration raid. That it was an immigration pickup.

MACCALLUM: So you're upset that in that immigration raid, they picked up gang members who happen to be citizens.

SUSSMAN: If they're going to use it as a justification for the fact that they should be kicking immigrants out or not letting asylum-seekers to the border, yes, that I do have a problem.

KATIE PAVLICH, TOWNHALL.COM EDITOR: First of all, they're not kicking immigrants out. They're kicking illegal immigrants out. And I love how the left always conflates the two. There's a big difference. And in fact, legal immigrants are some of the staunchest opponents of illegal immigrants, especially the ones who are deported multiple times and continually break the laws to come here illegally. And if you're going to say, like you're arguing, that gang members who happen to be citizens shouldn't be rounded up in these ICE raids, well, maybe you're presenting the real issue which is that illegal criminal aliens are operating not just along the border as many seem to think, but in cities across the country, and they're working with gangs inside those cities with criminal illegal aliens that work hand- in-hand. The goal of the justice apartment is to go after these guys to make sure that communities including undocumented immigrants who aren't engaged in violent crime are protected from repeat offenders, criminal aliens who have convictions of murder, homicide, which by the way the Obama administration led 80,000 of those people out on the streets.

MACCALLUM: I want to get a quick thought from both of you on this because this little boy, Lennox Lake, his father said I'm not really a political person, I haven't really thought much about illegal immigration, but he feels very differently about the situation now that he knows that the person who hit his son and cause damage -- potential damage to his brain, he seriously injured, was kicked out of the country 15 times. I think when someone has a personal experience it brings his home in a way that perhaps we should all understand even if it hasn't happened to us. Emily, can you relate to that?

SUSSMAN: Oh, absolutely. And the images are horrible, and the father's plea is heartbreaking. And he said himself that we should not assign this to all people who are immigrants.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: Talking about illegal immigrants.

SUSSMAN: But this administration is kicking out mothers with special needs.

MACCALLUM: Oh, come on.

SUSSMAN: Those were actually kicked out. They have names, they have communities, they were pillars of their communities, and they were actually kicked out under this administration.

MACCALLUM: There are couple of insistence that we have discussed here that is not in any sort of large numbers to any extent. Katie, final thought and we've got to go.

PAVLICH: Like this is border enforcement and ICE interior enforcement is crucial. And again, when you look at the polling, the majority of Americans believe that ICE and the federal government should be going after these criminal repeat offenders, not after non-violent illegal immigrant, that's exacting what the Trump administration is doing.

MACCALLUM: Thank you very much.

SUSSMAN: Unfortunately, that's the opposite of what this administration is doing. They're going after everyone.

MACCALLUM: Thank you. All right, new details tonight in the hazing death that has rocked Penn State University, as text messages traded between fraternity brothers like this come to life, quote, Tim Piazza may actually be a problem. He fell 15 feet down a flight of stairs head first, going to need help. The attorney for the grieving family is here tonight in an exclusive interview. He says that this excessive culture on college campuses does not change quickly, you will hear more and more stories like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was he breathing?

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: He's breathing.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there any alcohol or anything involved that you know?

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, there is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what's going on today?

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: We have a friend who's unconscious. He hasn't moved. He probably needs an ambulance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: That's the 911 call coming 12 hours too late for 19-year-old Timothy Piazza. The Penn State Beta Theta Pi fraternity pledge would soon declared dead of a traumatic brain injury. The sophomore fell 15 feet down a flight of stairs, hit his head several times, had a blood alcohol level that was four times the legal limit. But time after time throughout the course of those 12 hours, all caught on videotape, his fraternity brothers take turns basically dumping water on him, showing him onto a couch, all kinds of terrible behavior. After he was rushed to the hospital, there was a series of text messages among the fraternity brothers in what appears to be an attempt to cover up what happened that night. One writing this, quote, if need be, just tell them what I told you guys. Found him behind in an away bar the next morning at about 10:00 AM. He was freezing cold. We decided to call 911 instantly because the kid's health was paramount. Here now in an exclusive interview, Tom Kline, the attorney for the Piazza family. Tom, welcome, good to have you here tonight.

TOM KLINE, ATTORNEY REPRESENTING THE PIAZZA FAMILY: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: I mean, this is such a tough story, and your heart breaks for his parents, every parent who has kids in college worries about these things. Everyone is aware. I think across this country of the kind of culture that exists on our college campuses when it comes to drinking and looking the other way. But one of the defense attorneys for these 18 students said on Friday morning, quote, of course it's a tragedy, but that doesn't mean there's any intent involved in any of this. Your thoughts on that?

KLINE: Well, this is every parent's nightmare. And unfortunately, it happened brutally to the Piazza family who grieved for their son. It is ridiculous to say that there was no intent. There is intent written all over this starting with the force to drinking of this young man, Timothy Piazza, marching him into a basement with other pledges, force-feeding him alcohol until he was alcohol poisoned, watching him fall down the stairs, rendering no aid, and then taking every step imaginable to cover it up, cover up their own tracks, and make sure that they were not caught rather than giving aid to a young man in distress. There is intent written all over this case. It's sad, it's tragic. It never should've happened, and those people who are responsible must now come to justice.

MACCALLUM: I want to play a sound bite for you from Eric Bannon who is -- or Baron, rather, excuse me, who's the president of Penn State University. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: If behind closed doors a group of people are willing to band together, keep something secret, not tell anyone, how is it that universities can manage to deal with a situation like that. It's private property, it's a private house. The only tool that Penn State has to be effective is to say you're no longer a student organization.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: What do you think about all that?

KLINE: Oh, I think that Mr. Baron has it completely wrong. This is Penn State going into defense mode. The fact of the matter is they have a task force in 2015. They have known all of these problems underneath their nose.

They have done nothing about it. Nothing at all. They knew that they had fraternity problems. As to the claim that this is private property, this is something we couldn't control, that's also something that's not true. The fact of the matter is when they needed to, they shut this fraternity down immediately, but they did it after Tim Piazza died. This was not an accident. This was not something that could have been just happenstance. This is something that was the logical result of a pattern of conduct known to Penn State and ignored by Penn State.

MACCALLUM: I only have about 20 seconds left. But have ever seen a case like this because we know these deaths happen across the country every year, where there's this much videotape, this many text messages, this much evidence?

KLINE: I know of no crime that occurred over the course of 12 plus hours every bit of which are almost every bit of it was caught on videotape. That is the blessing here. We now know what happened and we now know how to prevent it. It's Penn State and other universities job to prevent it in the future. That is the Piazza family's mission.

MACCALLUM: Thank you, Mr. Kline, we hope you'll come back. We're going to stay on this case. And we appreciate you being here tonight. Many thanks.

KLINE: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: We'll be right back with more of the story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: That's the story for tonight. We want to know your stories too, and we have a brand new hashtag, the story FNC. Send us your thoughts. We will see you back here tomorrow night at seven. Tucker, coming up next.

END

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