Transcript

Sen. Graham on Comey statement: Pretty good day for Trump; Sec. Ryan Zinke on Trump's push to overhaul infrastructure

South Carolina senator explains on 'The Story' why he feels there is no case for obstruction of justice

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," June 7, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, "THE STORY" HOST: Good evening, everybody, I'm Martha MacCallum. It is June 7th and here is "The Story." James Comey was not on the Hill today, but it didn't matter. His opening statement dropped earlier than usual, and the novel like details basically spread like wildfire. And what he says, were Presidential loyalty pledges that were request, and also, and asked to let the Flynn investigation go by the wayside.

Mr. Trump's personal attorney said this today, "the president is pleased that Mr. Comey has finally, publicly confirmed his private reports that the president was not under investigation in any Russian probe. The president feels completely and totally vindicated. He is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda." So, the Comey statement with the clips - the clip strap of the testimony of the current intelligence and justice leadership today on Capitol Hill. When asked if anyone tried to pressure or influence his work, the NSA Director said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL ROGERS, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY DIRECTOR: In the three-plus years that I have been the Director of the National Security Agency, to the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything I believed to be illegal, immoral, unethical, or inappropriate. And to the best of my recollection, during that same period of service, I do not recall ever feeling pressured to do so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Very emphatic, Mike Rogers. And then the president hopped on Air Force One and went to the heartland.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PRESIDENT: My new vision for American infrastructure will rebuild our country by regenerating $1 trillion in infrastructure investment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: But back in D.C., it was all Comey. And we've got all the angles covered for you tonight. Senator Lindsey Graham is here, also Charles Hurt, and Marie Harf join me here on the set; and Judge Andrew Napolitano, and Chris Stirewalt, on the legal and then political fallout here. But we begin with Chief National Correspondent, Ed Henry, on what is in this statement today and what it sets up for tomorrow. Good evening, Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martha, good to see you. On top of what the president's personal attorney jumped on there about how James Comey in this testimony that's coming tomorrow, will back up what the president has said all along. That on multiple occasions, the then-FBI Director told the Commander-in-Chief he was "not under investigation." Beyond that, there are other good parts of this testimony for the president as well. For example, a February 14th oval office meeting; infamous now because, remember, this is where the president allegedly, said about General Flynn, come on-to the FBI Director-let this go.

Well, Comey also testified as he said, "I had understood the president to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian Ambassador in December. I did not understand the president to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to its campaign, about collusion." Which by the way Martha, there is still no evidence of that, months and months later, a good point for the president.

On top of that, in terms of that meeting, Comey says he did not tell FBI agents about that oval office meeting because he and FBI leaders "also conclude that given that it was a one-on-one conversation, there was nothing available to corroborate my account." That is clearly the former FBI Director saying, it is going to be a very, very high bar to prove obstruction of justice. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Ed, thank you very much. Joining us now, Senator Lindsey Graham, who sits on the Judiciary and Armed Services Committee, he is also the Chair of the Crime and Terror Subcommittee which is conducting its own Russia probe. Senator, good to have you here this evening.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SOUTH CAROLINA: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, the news broke earlier this afternoon that Director Mueller- former FBI Director Mueller, who is in charge - who is the Special Counsel in charge of this investigation, had had extensive discussions with former FBI Director Comey about the statement that he put up today and about the testimony as well. What do you make of that - what do you make of that connection and those discussions?

GRAHAM: Well, I've been a prosecutor, a defense attorney, and a military judge, and I can tell you what that means. That means, in the mind of Special Counselor Mueller, there is no obstruction of justice case to be made. Because if he felt like he had a case, he wouldn't let Comey, his chief and only witness, go out in public and get beat up. So, I'm convinced that Mueller has looked at the facts, so you'd have to go and tell your side of the story. But if he really believed there was an obstruction of justice case to be made against the president, he would not let his star and only witness to go out and do that.

MACCALLUM: But - I mean, this special counsel investigation has barely gotten underway. So, you're saying the fact that he let him go out there at all, and we do know that Robert Mueller cleared, was the word, cleared James Comey to go out and talk, that you think he's already reached the conclusion that there's no crime here. And do you mean with regard to the president or overall?

GRAHAM: Obstruction of justice. Well, there's only one witness, that's Comey. And what Comey and I think Mueller's concluded: I don't have an obstruction of justice case here. Probably, they'd be worrying about what Comey said that doesn't raise the level obstruction of justice. What prosecutor, in their right mind, would allow their star witness to go out before the Senate panel of 20 senators and get beat up if he really believed he had a case? So, this is the best evidence yet that in the mind of the Special Counsel, there is no obstruction of justice case to be made against President Trump because he allowed Comey to testify in public and issue a statement. No prosecutor would ever do that if there was a real case here.

And secondly, Comey has now told us all that the president is not under investigation as an individual for colluding with Russia. That President Trump is not a target or subject to a criminal investigation or counterintelligence investigation regarding colluding with the Russians. All in all, it's a pretty good day for President Trump.

MACCALLUM: Fascinating! You know, when you take a look at some of the different pieces of this statement that we got from former FBI Director Comey today, there's a couple things in here that are sort of unusual. And one is that he said: "we," meaning the leadership with FBI, concluded that it made a little sense-and Ed Henry just spoke about this a moment ago-to report it to Attorney General Sessions, who we expected would likely himself from involvement in the Russian-related investigation. He did so, two weeks later.

Now, this is odd to me, because Comey is saying, you know, we figured he was going to recuse himself. Now, keep in mind that this is the middle of February. The story that he had - that Sessions had meetings that he did not recall or didn't report with Kislyak, didn't happen until March 1st. So, why was he keeping things from Sessions when there was no indication yet that Session had any issue to recuse himself?

GRAHAM: I think it was obvious to me from the get-go that Jeff Sessions did not preside over an investigation of the Trump campaign because he was a chief surrogate for President Trump. Jeff Sessions is one of the most decent, honorable men I've ever met. He's very loyal to the president. He loves the law. There is no way in hell that Jeff Sessions could preside over an investigation of the campaign that he was part of; that was never even a remote possibility.

And if President Trump is listening tonight, Jeff Sessions had no alternative, Mr. President. As a lawyer, he had to get out of the way of the investigation because he was so close to your campaign. The American people would not tolerate somebody part of the campaign investigating the campaign. That was obvious to me. It was equally obvious to me that President Trump, there's no evidence of him colluding with the Russians. And clearly, in the mind of Mueller and Comey himself, there is no evidence of obstruction of justice by President Trump. All in all, a pretty good day.

MACCALLUM: So, I take from that that you're basically sending a message to President Trump, and you're asking him to back off any tensions that he may have with Attorney General Sessions, and allow him to continue in his job?

GRAHAM: I think he's one of the most decent people I've met. He had no legal choice. You're not going to let a man who's a part of the campaign investigate the campaign. I think that Mueller is going to take this wherever it goes. I think the president is frustrated because he knows he didn't do anything. I made a joke, but it's a half-joke - half jokingly that the president has a hard time colluding with his staff, so I don't think he colluded with the Russians.

Just give this time, the time he needs Mr. President, stop tweeting, there's a system that's going to work. And I promise you this Mr. President, you are going to be treated fairly in our committee, and I think this is a good day for you. Because one: we now have it public, that you're not a subject or a target of their investigation regarding colluding with Russians. And to any lawyer with a half a brain, they wouldn't let Comey testify if there was really an obstruction of justice case to be made because you wouldn't let your star witness go out in public.

MACCALLUM: Very interesting.

GRAHAM: Now, what the president's got to do is just focus on infrastructure, focus on cutting taxes, and I'm going to promise the whole country that I'm not going to stand in the way of this investigation. I'm not sure the president's treated fairly, but we're going to go down the road of: did the Department of Justice and the DNC colluded with each other to stop the Clinton email investigation.

MACCALLUM: That's another issue that we are going to talk about in a moment as well. Senator Lindsey Graham, always good to see you. Thank you so much, sir. Good to have you here.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Here with more: Charles Hurt, political columnist at the Washington Times; and Marie Harf, former spokesman - spokesperson for the Obama State Department, both are Fox News Contributors. Welcome to both of you. You know, something that Lindsey Graham just touched on is, another part of this that I found interesting today. Because, basically, James Comey said, well, when the president was asking me, you know, could I let this go, essentially or would I get past this?

It was my understanding, Jim Comey says, that he only talking about that with regard to Flynn, not with regard to the broader Russia investigation, which I thought that was interesting. You know, reading through the way that conversation went according to James Comey; I don't know why sort of he understood it as this one specific slice of the pie, and not the big picture, which makes it a pretty different thing.

CHARLES HURT, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND THE WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICAL COLUMNIST: A completely different and of course, also, something that was conveniently left out of the leak. Remember, the first time we ever heard about the memo that he had written to himself, which he should have done and is not unusual because it was a private meeting between two federal officials. The first thing that we - you know, we were just - heard about it through a reporter who had portions of it read to him by somebody that clearly Comey had given the memo too.

MACCALLUM: And we still don't know where those notes are.

HURT: No. And -

MACCALLUM: We heard Jason Chaffetz here said, turn over the notes. Are they with the Justice Department? Are they in your back pocket? Are they at your house?

HURT: Comey-

MARIE HARF, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Are they not classified? So, he said, you know, he said, because they're not classified, they should turn them over to Congress.

HURT: Jim Comey doesn't own those. Those are public records. They are - you know, and they memorialize a private meeting between two public officials that we as the American people have a right to either know about or -

MACCALLUM: And as we know that Jim Comey's investigation of the - Hillary's e-mails, those were all public property, right? And you have to turn them over.

HURT: Exactly.

MACCALLUM: OK. Marie, you know, when you read through; I said this is sort of novel like, as you read through this. The first meeting at the White House, you know, they go in; he says, you know, would you like to bring your family? But tonight please come alone, right?

HARF: Yes.

MACCALLUM: And they're sitting in the green room at this table and said, oh, you know, do you still want that job? And he says, well, it was my understanding that I already told you that I do definitely want the job. And then he said he starts to wonder what's up with that. What really stood out to you as you went through this today?

HARF: Well, one thing I would take a little bit of issue with one of the things you just said, he didn't say that the conversation about Flynn. He understood to just be about the Flynn investigation. But the two phone calls that came later, where President Trump called him and you just can see the president stewing, sitting in the oval office, picking up the phone and calling Jim Comey; he understood that to mean, let's get rid of this cloud over the whole Russia investigation.

MACCALLUM: Of course, right? I mean, I think that's a logical conclusion.

HARF: A logical conclusion and just because something doesn't rise to the level of obstruction of justice-and I'm not sure if this does. I'm not an attorney, there are a lot of different opinions on this; it can still bother us that the president, in my opinion, inappropriately tried to ask the FBI director to do things regarding certain ongoing investigations.

HURT: Clearly, it's not the way things are done in Washington between the president and the FBI director. But you have a guy that was elected because he didn't know how things were done in Washington. And you know, think about the frustration he feels. You know, he won the election, running on very specific issues about terror, about health care, about all the things, immigration, all the things that he said.

And then, there's this Russia investigation. Everybody keeps talking about Russia. And then it goes to the people, they're investigating and they're like, oh yes, there's nothing there, don't worry about it. And he said, well, you've got to go out and tell people this. I got this agenda, I want to - but all they're talking about is Russia. And they're like, no sir, we can't do that. And he said, wait a minute, I'll tell you, don't you work for me? And it's got to be frustrating-

MACCALLUM: Well, I mean, you can't - you know, they don't work for him in that sense, and they're investigating people from his campaign. But I understand what you're saying because he had been told three times. And it's funny, you know when you read through it, and there is time number one, and there is time number two, and there is time number three. So, it's fascinating to me that I thought that, you know, James Comey was going to take issue with being - telling him that three times. But he - he doesn't. He clearly lays it out in here, Marie.

HARF: He clearly lays it out. I actually was happy with how forthcoming he was on a number of issues. What I think is the broader question we've all talked about on your show a number of times that we've talked about: if Donald Trump had never fired James Comey, we wouldn't have a Special Prosecutor, we would not have Jim Comey testifying tomorrow about these private conversations. We might be too actually, talking about infrastructure week, which is what he wants to get back on. So, taking it to a political point, so much of this is Donald Trump's own-making.

HURT: Yes. I'm sure Democrats would want to be talking about infrastructure week if it were for this.

MACCALLUM: I though it's interesting, I heard Chris Christies say today. You know that there's nothing with that, that's a New York conversation.

HURT: It is.

MACCALLUM: I thought all this, the New York conversation.

HURT: 100 percent New York.

MACCALLUM: Thanks, you guys! Great to see you both.

HARF: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, still ahead, with all of the mayhem in the media, now on Capitol Hill over the Russia investigation. The president, getting back to the business of leading the country and focusing on one issue that affects us all: bridges and roads. He would like very much for that to be the sole focus. It was supposed to be infrastructure week, as Marie Harf pointed out.

But first, ahead of Comey's big hearing which is tomorrow, it deals with the question of obstruction of justice: it's a term that's thrown around by a lot of people in the media. What does it mean, and is there any of it here? Judge Napolitano, straight ahead. And Chris Stirewalt, here on with the former FBI Director hopes to accomplish tomorrow now that he has the world's attention.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People suggest that the question that apparently The New York Times is selling, that you ask Comey whether or not you had his loyalty was possibly inappropriate.

TRUMP: No, I don't think. I read that article. I don't think it's inappropriate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you ask that question?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: There is a criminal investigation going on of one of the president's top associates. His former national security advisor. He gets fired, he's under criminal investigation, and the president brings in the FBI director and says, please stop your investigation. If that isn't obstruction of justice, I don't know what is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So, that was the Legal Analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, on another network tonight saying that the president did obstruct justice. This is we will get more of Comey opening statement. These are his notes from a March 30 call with President Trump about the Russia investigation, which the president referred to as a cloud. Comey writes, he asked what we could to "lift the cloud?" I responded that we were investigating the matters quickly as we could and that there would be a great benefit if we didn't find anything to our having done our work well. He agreed, but then reemphasized the problems that this was causing him. Here now: Fox News senior judicial analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano.

ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS CHANNEL SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: Yes.

MACCALLUM: So, is there any problem with that statement?

NAPOLITANO: Well-

MACCALLUM: The cloud? Can you get this off of my back? Can we move past this?

NAPOLITANO: I do not share the view of my friend and colleague, Jeff Toobin, that this is an open and shut case of obstruction of justice. In fact, reading the Comey statement, which I've done several times now, it's like a Christmas tree with ornaments on, and you find one that you like, and you find one that you don't like. There's enough material here for the Democrats to throw some mud at the president's way tomorrow. And there's enough material here for Republicans, as Lindsey Graham did marvelously with you a few minutes ago, has said there was here, here.

Did the president actually obstruct justice? Well, no, because the process of investigating General Flynn is going on. Did he attempt to obstruct justice by saying Flynn's a nice guy; I want you to make this go away? Apparently, the people of the FBI did not perceive it that way because the investigation continues to go on.

MACCALLUM: Is there anything in and of itself wrong with that? And do you think that prior administrations have had moments whether it'd be the IRS investigation, or the Hillary Clinton investigation, or numerous one elsewhere where the president or someone close to him may have said, look, can we get past this?

NAPOLITANO: You know there's a theory of government called the Unitary Executive. Basically, says, everybody in the executive branch works for the president. If he asks you to do something you don't want to do, you quit. But he's the one that's answerable to the public, and the public has entailed to somebody that's answerable to them and he gives the orders. That was the law of the land until Watergate.

Post-Watergate, we have these floating islands of government independent of the president: the FBI is one, and the Justice Department is one. That the president, Donald Trump, is probably of the view; he runs the executive branch and he has the right to give the orders.

MACCALLUM: He's used to being the CEO, right?

NAPOLITANO: Yes.

TRUMP: I mean, it's a big transition in a lot of ways. Let's take a look at one more of these quotes, which has to do with the loyalty pledge that James Comey says the president wanted him to make. Can we put that up on the screen? He basically, said, "Will you be loyal?" And he said, you know, well, I'll be honest with you-I'll act it up-and then, he said, you know, but I like honest loyalty, said president. You know, you can read into that a lot of ways.

NAPOLITANO: He told our colleague, Jeanine Pirro, that he never said that. So, that maybe he said, he said. And there's nothing wrong with loyalty unless loyalty is going to impair the independence of judgment. Loyalty could mean: can you give me a heads up before you do something? Not you'll always do everything I want you to do. So, look, all of this came out, in my view, to blunt the effect of the nomination of Christopher Rae as the head of the FBI. The Comey people wanted to sort of-

MACCALLUM: Seal that train that came out today. Because, generally, we get these things about one hour before the statement comes up.

NAPOLITANO: At the most. I know Stirewalt has another view, and he's familiar with these things than I am. But generally, this is the way to capture the moment, and Jim Comey did. We're talking about Christopher, right? This is a big deal. This guy is going to run the FBI; Chris Christie's former lawyer. No, we're not. We're talking about the statement that Jim Comey released because we are trying to figure out what he's going to say in response to that statement tomorrow. I think tomorrow will be incendiary. Until the statement come out, tomorrow would have been ho-hum. And I think it's going to be incendiary.

MACCALLUM: Thank you.

NAPOLITANO: You're welcome.

MACCALLUM: I think so too. Judge, good to see you.

NAPOLITANO: My pleasure.

MACCALLUM: So, here with more on this bombshell Comey statement that will be incendiary tomorrow, according to the Judge: Chris Stirewalt, joins us now, Fox News politics editor. Chris, good to see you tonight.

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLITICS EDITOR: Good to see you.

MACCALLUM: We're sort of picking through different parts of this. One of the parts that I thought of you when I read, was the moment where Jim Comey and Donald Trump, the president of the United States, are alone in the room, and they've asked everyone else to leave the room including Sessions and Kushner, who were the last two people to leave the room when the president made it clear, according to this account that he wanted to be alone with the FBI Director. And at some point, Reince Priebus, sticks his head back in the door, hey, what's going on? Are you guys about done in here? How do you read that? Were they concerned that he had cornered Jim Comey in the oval office?

STIREWALT: Yes. Well, as others have said before, the innocent way to read all of these things would be that Donald Trump doesn't know - didn't know how the FBI functions, how the Department of Justice functions, what the proper relationships are, all of that stuff. And then ignorant of these things, he just said, hey, I just want to get a side word with you man. Take it easy on my boy, he's a good guy, do what you can. And then he didn't know that he was doing anything wrong. But, obviously, the people around the president were like, Oh boy; this is not what you're supposed to do. And also, knowing that Comey, as sort of this, as the head prefect of the Washington prep school, is going to be feeling very put out about this with a strong letter to follow. And they probably knew that this was a disaster in the making.

MACCALLUM: Another one that sort of stuck out to me was when two things. He said, James Comey said, I got back in the car and I started to immediately take notes because I wanted to remember everything that the president had said. He said: "I began to type it on my laptop and then an FBI vehicle outside of Trump Tower. The moment that I walked out of the meeting, creating written records immediately after one-on-one conversations, he goes on to say, with Mr. Trump; was my practice from that point forward, this had not been my practice in the past." Your thoughts?

STIREWALT: And he also makes a point that he only ever talk to Obama, one- on-one, twice. And once was farewell-congratulation on not being President anymore in 2016 that he offered to him. What you have here, though, is Comey understanding that he has a bombshell on his hands, but also the way that James Comey gets himself into trouble. The way he gets himself into trouble is, he is not a caring sharer.

He determined that these things that he thought were so incendiary that he had to make a record of them should not be shared with Jeff Sessions, should not be shared with the acting deputy, should not be shared with all these other people. That he alone, could be the only one who would handle this and he would take the ball himself and not tell anybody else. Obviously, this was an improprieties conversation which the president has happen to-

MACCALLUM: Which is reminiscent of the wrestling of the Hillary Clinton investigation. And deciding that he, alone, could decide on that too. Chris, thank you very much. Great to see you tonight.

STIREWALT: You bet.

MACCALLUM: So, also breaking tonight, a potential blow to President Trump's foreign policy agenda is one of our key allies: South Korea turns away a potentially life-saving gift from the United States. And the president trying to stay on message and get away from the Comey chaos on Capitol Hill and put America first. Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, is with the president in Ohio today, and he joins us live, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Remember Shovel Ready, right? Shovel Ready wasn't shovel ready that I can tell you. We're not going to repeat that mistake.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARTHA MACCALLUM, THE STORY HOST: Developing tonight, as the Comey chaos unfolded today on Capitol Hill, President Trump was in Ohio, trying to focus on his agenda, trying to reach across the aisle, to fulfill his campaign promise to put America first. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It's time to rebuild our country to bring back our jobs, to restore our dreams, and yes, it's time finally, to put America first. American lives and livelihood depend on our action together. I'm calling on all Democrats and Republicans to join together, if that's possible, in the great rebuilding of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Joining me now, secretary of the interior, Ryan Zinke, who was with President Trump today in Cincinnati. Good to have you with us today, sir.

RYAN ZINKE, INTERIOR SECRETARY: Glad to be with you.

MACCALLUM: So, you were out on the road and it was a pretty busy day back in Washington. Did the president react, did you discuss with him at all with what was happening back in Washington, while you were in Cincinnati today, and what was his reaction to it all?

ZINKE: You know, we were focus on, what we should be focus on is jobs today, infrastructure, and doing what the American people said we should be doing. So aside from the distractions, you know, as a former SEAL, and it's the -- it's the distractions, you know, they want to take the president away from what the American people elected him to do, is to get things done, put America first. So today, the president wasn't exactly on track talking about infrastructure, talking about getting rid of the bad trade deals, and he had builders with him, he had union folks with him. He got a huge applause when he said, you know, we're going to stop the dumping of steel. So I think today, the president was focused on what he should be doing.

MACCALLUM: So as a member of the cabinet, you know, he talked in this statement that was put out by James Comey today about the cloud that was over his administration, and how hard it was to get things done, and how much he wanted to move that cloud away so that he could do exactly that. As a member of the cabinet, how concerned are you about this Russia situation, and -- obviously, it would help if it's moved away, but do you think it's preventing him for being able to get things through congress where you were not too long ago.

ZINKE: Certainly it's been a distraction. I mean -- I have friends who are Democrats, but it's all about resisting, resisting, ensuring nothing gets done. The president did talk about in a speech today that he doesn't think he's going to get any help at all on such things like ObamaCare. We all know that it's sinking. We all know ObamaCare did not meet the expectations, costs have risen exponentially, and yet, we don't have any votes. And even if the president reached out and said, let's all work together, have the best plan in the world, no votes from the other side.

MACCALLUM: What about on infrastructure? He suggested today -- he suggested so much in the campaign trail that he was going to be able to bring people together from the Republican and Democrat side. But maybe infrastructure is one place where there it could still happen. Do you see signs that is -- that that's true?

ZINKE: Well, you know, I think America deserves to be red, white, and blue and on infrastructure. We all drive across the same bridge. We see in Washington Memorial Bridge, which is going to cost about $262 million to repair, I think there should be a consensus that we need to invest in infrastructure. You can't move product if the roads don't work. You can't be energy dominant unless you have pipelines and power lines to move energy back and forth and be more efficient. So, I'm hopeful that certainly on infrastructure, which affects the lives of every American, that we can come together and have an investment.

MACCALLUM: Any Democrats you want to tell us about who your former colleagues on the Hill that you believe are going to be on your side on this?

ZINKE: Well, you know, I love my good friend up in Massachusetts, a young Joe Kennedy. I think he's a phenomenal young leader on the other side. But, again, I'm red, white, and blue. There're a lot of veterans that are also that I've spent time with on veterans issue. I see progress on -- certainly objections we can get together and make sure we have a strong defense. Then, come on. American congress, do your job. Let's get together and be more solution oriented rather than creating problems

MACCALLUM: We have to leave it there. Secretary, thank you very much. Great to have you with us today.

ZINKE: Thanks, great to be with you.

MACCALLUM: So coming up next, ISIS's claims responsibility for a massive terror attack in Iran. And now, President Trump says that it could be their own fault. How's this going to affect peace talks? General Jack Keane here on the growing threat from ISIS terrorist. And Reality Winner, the alleged NSA leaker claims that she's a victim, but Rush Limbaugh has another theory here. You're going to hear the whole thing coming up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NSA had has this -- I don't know how long, Obama has known about this even before he went out in December.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: So big potential blow to President Trump's strategy to rain in nuclear North Korea. The U.S. ally, South Korea, joining a bit about space today, suspending plans to accept an American missile defense system known as THAAD, the defense weapon would protect the south from an attack by the north, but they might not want it anymore, so why would that be? General Jack Keane, chairman of the study for institute for the study of war and a Fox News military analyst, of course, one of the best we have, if not the best. Good to see you today, general.

JACK KEANE, FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: Yeah, good to see.

MACCALLUM: So why would they reject something that would help protect them?

KEANE: Well, first of all, President Moon has taken a different approach in terms of.

MACCALLUM: New president of South Korea.

KEANE: Yeah. In terms of working with North Korea. Moon wants to establish a dialogue with them. He wants to move away from restrictive policies in the past. We've had presidents of South Korea like this before, and they've never been able to accomplish anything with North Korea. They keep advancing their technology, nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, so we'll see. But, also, he's also frustrated because he believes that the United States rushed this missile system in there, knowing he was going to take office to succeed the president who's now in jail. As a result of that, he didn't have an opportunity to kind of vote on it himself.

The other thing, publicly what he's saying is that we've never done an environmental test for the two systems that are already there. There's total of six systems, so four are not there, and that's what he's holding off on. Environmental study takes about a year. But here's the other truth that's going on. China does not want this system in South Korea because our radars are so sophisticated they can pick up a lot of activity that China is doing. And China has been putting pressure on this new South Korean president -- China's cut off tourism, and also has put pressure on South Korean companies that are operating in China. So, China has got this president of South Korea's attention.

I think, Martha, in the long run, we're in a collision course with China anyway. I know we're waiting for China to do something positive with North Korea. I doubt if they're going to achieve what we would like them to achieve. China is interested in regional hegemony. They want the United States emphasized to be reduced in the region. They're trampling on our interest in the South China Sea.

MACCALLUM: All this happy talk in at Mar-a-Lago.

KEANE: I think it appeared genuine to the president, and maybe it was even genuine on the part of the Chinese president at the time, but his actions don't seem to be measuring up to those words.

MACCALLUM: Let's take a look at the white house statement that was put out about this today. Do we have that? It will up in the screen in just a moment. Here we go. We grieve and pray for the innocent victims -- this is, I'm sorry, this is about the subject that we're about to move on to which is the ISIS attack that happened in Tehran, and the White House saying, we grieve and pray for the innocent victims and for the Iranian people, we underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk failing victim to the evil that they promote. We have not seen this kind of attack in Tehran, Jack?

KEANE: Well, there's been no terrorist attack ever since the Islamic state took over in 1979. That's the reality of it. But this is all payback because the Iranians are very much involved in Iraq, and they're even more involved in Syria. They propped up that Syrian regime. They've ground forces in there. They've got the Hezbollah who work for them. They got Iraqi-Shia militia in there. They've got Republican Guard forces in there. Their head of that, General -- has been in and out of it. They've lost two generals on the ground there. They got so much troops on the ground, they're more effective now than the Syrian ground army because of their limited capabilities.

So ISIS knows this. They're opposed to what the Iranians are trying to achieve in Iraq and Syria, and this is a little payback for them. Noe, they don't have a large presence in Iran. These were likely Iranians who were motivated ISIS. They're probably part of the Sunni minority that lives in Iran. And I don't think that they'll be a major continuing threat for the Iranians. Now, when the Iranians seem aghast by something like this, we've got to remind our viewers that the state of Iran is the world's number one sponsorship of terrorism around the world.

MACCALLUM: As at seeing at home. Jack Keane, thank you very much, general.

KEANE: Always good talking to you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: You, too. So coming up, remember the Maryland teen band from walking at her Christian high school graduation because she was pregnant. We have an update on Maddi Runkle. And if the Obama White House had evidence that this young woman who has now reportedly leaked that the Russians were trying to break into our voting system, so why would then President Obama say this days before the election about attempts to rig the U.S. election?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: There's no evidence that that has happened in the past, or that there are instances in which that will happen this time. And so, I invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and go to try to make his case to get votes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Curious, right? Governor Mike Huckabee has an answer. He's here next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: All right. We just want to mention that we have some breaking news. We were just talking to Jack Keane about the situation in South Korea. And we can now report that South Korea is saying that the north, the North Koreans has fired surface to ship missiles, this according to a statement coming through that these projectiles were coming off the east coast of North Korea on Thursday. So, as I said, they were believed to be surfaced to ship missiles. Now, we were just talking about the fact that the new president of South Korea is hoping to have a better relationship with North Korea, but now you have the South Korean military reporting something very different from that, yet, another launch of missiles coming off a northeastern coastal town of Wonsan. So we're going to keep a close eye on that as the tensions between North Korea and South Korea appeared to be escalating this evening.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's been pulled into this political windstorm where there is a much larger debate going on, that this administration is choosing not to focus on. Instead of focusing on the question of what is Russia involved in interfering with the election, now we're focusing on whether or not -- or the extent of punishment for this low-level government employee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So that was the attorney for DOJ contractor accused of leaking NSA documents proving that Russia did try to attempt to hack in to some election hardware areas that did electronic vote polling. Titus Nichols, that was the lawyer, says that 25-year-old reality winner is a victim of the Trump White House crackdown on leaks. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has a little bit of a different take. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO HOST: They think this proves it. This is it. This is what we had been looking for. Well, the NSA has had this for -- I don't know how long. Obama has known about this even before he went out in December, and said there is no evidence that the Russians ever tried to tamper with voting machines. This is too big a smoking gun. And if this document really contained what it's said to contain, we would have heard about it long before now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: This is becoming a very curious story about this young 25-year- old reality winner, and why she would have decided to leak this document. Governor Mike Huckabee, Fox News contributor joins me now. Governor, good to see you tonight. You know, it's interesting when you look back at the discussion at the time, and we have this sound bite that I want to play. This is from then candidate Trump on October 20th, and at the time, I think it's just worth going back to recognize that he was concerned that maybe somebody was trying to mess with the voting machines and that it was going to impact badly on him, perhaps. And he didn't make a speculation about where it was coming from, but here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Of course, I would accept a clear election result, but I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: And as you just heard, President Obama at the time said nobody messes with our system. Our system is in great shape. While he knew already that the NSA had found this interesting breach that was just released in this document.

MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I think the most curious thing about all of this is, before the election, President Obama said, oh, the Russians are not involved. I've talked to them, told him to back off. They're not involved at all. Then right after the election, because Hillary didn't win, suddenly the Russians were totally involved and had hacked the whole thing. The one thing that we know is this. There is no evidence that the Russians had any impact on the outcome of the election. Zero evidence for that. What we do know is they try.

The second thing we know is that this young lady was a Bernie supporter, hates Donald Trump, and gave out information that she took illegally, and therefore that's why she's being charged with a federal crime as she should be. People who leak information when they are sworn to secrecy have an obligation under the law not to do it. All of it gets very confusing, Martha, but it ought to be pretty simple. You break the law, pay for it. Russians, they really didn't affect the outcome. Hillary's poor campaign and Donald Trump's good campaign is what made that happen. And now we're learning that Donald Trump really didn't have anything to do with the Russians and he wasn't under personal investigation. Could we not maybe move on at some point?

MACCALLUM: Just quickly before I let you go, does this story raise any red flags to you? Do you think there is more to it than this young woman who decided, you know, rather willy-nilly to bring this to the intercept and leak this document?

HUCKABEE: Martha, I think that there are hundreds if not thousands of federal employees and contractors who are doing everything they can to deep six the Trump presidency. So, yes, I think there is a lot of stuff going on out there, and it's serious. But the seriousness of it's not that Donald Trump is done something wrong because they can't prove that, hasn't done a thing to get there. The seriousness is that people that our tax dollars are paying for are committing what really amount to treason and dishonesty against their own government.

MACCALLUM: We've got to go. Governor, thank you so much. Good to see you tonight. Still ahead, a new twist in the story of a bright young teenager who was barred from her own graduation. Follow up when come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MADDI RUNKLE, STUDENT: I agree I had to be disciplined. I broke the rules. I have no problems with that. I accept my consequences. But I never thought that my consequences would be drag out. No kid has ever had consequences drag out like this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Maddi Runkel, straight-a student, barred from her Christian high school graduation ceremony because she is pregnant. She officially graduated, though. She had her own private ceremony over the weekend in front of her family and friends. Her little boy is due in the fall. So before we leave you tonight, pass it to Chad Pergram on Capitol Hill, for citing the following as moments that history will long remember from big hearings of days gone by.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you no sense of decency there have long last? Have you left no stem of decency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did the president know, and when did he know it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From my standpoint, as a black American, as far as I'm concerned, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So which moment if any will linger from the Comey hearing tomorrow? We will be in D.C. tomorrow night with live coverage and throughout the day, and on "The Story" at 7:00 PM. See you in the nation's capital tomorrow. That is "The Story" for tonight. Good night, everybody. Tucker Carlson is up next.

END

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