Transcript

Rep. Franks: We solve problems with ballots, not bullets

Arizona congressman speaks out on 'The Story' after a list of GOP names is found on Alexandria shooter's body

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," June 16, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, "THE STORY" HOST: Good evening, everybody. We have breaking news just coming into Fox News this evening. Disturbing new details about the gunman in Wednesday's shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others. Fox News confirms that James Hodgkinson had a list of Republican lawmakers written down on a piece of notebook paper folded up in his pocket at the time of this attack. We are waiting to be joined by several guests on this, this evening. And first up, joining us is Fox News politics editor, Chris Stirewalt; and Kristen Soltis-Anderson is a Washington Examiner columnist and Republican pollster. Welcome to both of you.

I mean, obviously, this week has been stunning in terms of the political violence that we saw take place on that baseball field the other day. And now, we're learning that it looks like there were a number of people whose names are not being divulged at this moment, because we're working on that who were directly targeted for assassination in this plot, Chris.

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLITICS EDITOR: We don't know for sure that that's exactly what it is. But this is a chilling idea, a very chilling thought that you have a person who -- that the amount of premeditation that you start to see here, that you see these signs about a man who left home, and for months, and was hanging out in a place, was it his attention to be there because he knew that he would catch those people these? Was it his intention to hunt these people, stalk these people? This is a chilling thought for every lawmaker of either party but it's particularly frightening for Republicans today, as they wonder could it have been them?

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, it's so true. I mean, Kristen, you look at the environment and we were at the baseball game last night, and there was so much good feeling at that game and so much support for Steve Scalise. And in a moment, we're going to play some of what the doctors just gave us a little while ago to update everyone on his condition, which was so traumatic when he was brought into that hospital. I think a lot of us were stunned by some of the details that we learned, and as I said, we're going to play that in just a moment. But Kristen, your thoughts on the story that is developing tonight about the potential specificity that he had in terms of names on a piece of paper.

KRISTEN SOLTIS-ANDERSON, WASHINGTON EXAMINER COLUMNIST: Well, another piece of this that's chilling, and I think, Christ Stirewalt, a use of that word is exactly right. A piece of this that's really chilling to me is that this is a man all of his reporting on his back story, of the events that led him to wind up here in Virginia committing this atrocity, is that he began writing off ads about things like, wishing we had a different tax system, going to protest marches with protest signs about tax the rich, new tax bracket to folk in the 20 million bracket, you know, volunteered for a Presidential campaign. I don't think I agree with anything this guy stood for politically, but I want to encourage people to go march in rallies, to go right op-eds, to volunteer for campaigns. And yet, this man was able to be so radicalized in a way that we think of terrorists getting radicalized from religious beliefs to commit atrocities.

This is a man radicalized from political beliefs to commit atrocities. What is it about our environment that has allowed this to happen? And if you look at this last election, there was a study that asked voters: could you ever respect somebody who voted for the other candidate? And it found out about 40 percent of Trump voters said that they could just never respect someone who voted for Hillary Clinton, but it was a majority of Hillary Clinton voters who said they could never respect someone that voted for Donald Trump. The fact that those numbers are that high at all on either side is a devastating indictment of the current political climate of this country.

MACCALLUM: And that's how we got where we are today, unfortunately. Congressman Peter King is joining our conversation, he a Member of House Homeland Security Committee. Congressman, good to have you with us tonight and we're going to talk to you about another topic coming up later, but we have this breaking news at the top of the show here that there were specific names written down on a piece of paper in James Hodgkinson's pocket, your thoughts?

REP. PETER KING, R-NY, HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE MEMBER: I've heard that, Martha. Again, it makes it more terrifying and to realize just how specific he was, and again, it should be a signal especially -- I'm not saying Democrats and Republicans here but there are people who are carrying things to extremes and that does set off psychopaths like this. We have to realize that when you disrupt meetings when you start fires on campus, we speak as off-campus that goes beyond legitimate political debate and legitimate political conduct, and that's what sets people off like this. So, I think it's important for all of us to realize that, especially, people who are carrying a resistance to almost violent demonstrations.

MACCALLUM: Yes. And I want to pull up because this is what was rocked by this political violence in this incredibly charged atmosphere that we are talking about. And our minds go back to Steve's Scalise, who is in very tough shape in a hospital in Washington, D.C. Let's listen to what the doctors said earlier today about his condition when they brought him in and how he's doing now, so everybody can be up to date.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JACK SAVA, MEDSTAR WASHINGTON HOSPITAL CENTER GOLD SURGERY TEAM DIRECTOR: When he arrived, he was in critical condition with an imminent risk of death. Usually, the initial period is about hemorrhage control. It's quite common that we don't remove bullets and fragments, and that's the case here as well. I have not counted, but I would guess there are hundreds of fragments. He's been sedated, but we've been able to turn down that sedation enough for him to respond to his family members and he clearly knows they're there and appreciates their presence. But my understanding is that he will be able to walk, and hopefully run. I think that an excellent recovery is a good possibility.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Peter King, your thoughts when you hear all of that about your friend, Steve Scalise?

KING: He's a great guy. You know, not everyone in Congress is a great guy or a great woman but Steve Scalise is really a terrific human being. I don't know anything, anyone who says anything bad about him, I've never met a more friendly guy, a more outgoing guy, there's nothing else a person I thought that feeds all of us. He has all this Louisiana food in there, and he's always like the gracious host welcoming everybody. A few times, I've been walking through the Capitol at night with (INAUDIBLE), he'll come out and see you, bring him into his office, 12 and around, show all the Lincoln memorabilia that's in that. He was a great guy.

And again, I was like most people, I thought he just got shot in the hip, how bad can that be? But my sister was a nurse, she called me immediately. This can be life-threatening, this is really serious. And she was right, unfortunately, but thank God it looks like Steve is doing better. But I know he's still in tough shape, but it's important for all of us to pray for him and to really stay on his side all the way.

MACCALLUM: Given this new information, Pete King, let me stay with you for a moment on this. What does it do to the security environment for Members of Congress given this new information?

KING: I would think, at the very least, whenever there's a gathering of members of Congress, or they're going to have a town meeting or any kind of public meeting that there'd be security there; not just to protect them but to protect the public, to protect the citizens, the people who'd show up at the meeting, the people who would say want to go out and watch members of Congress practice or play baseball, who go to a-again, a public meeting, go to a town hall meeting. It's important for them, and also the members of Congress, but also, again, for the general public and the innocent civilians that they'd be protected, because, really, the climate in this country is in a very dangerous level. Someone saw that it's almost routine news now when we see a speaker being kept off-campus, this is crazy. And it's time for people to say, hey, knock it off. Let's get back -- I love tough debate, I like the partisan fighting but there's a certain level you don't go above; you keep at that level, and then at the end of the day-

MACCALLUM: But is above that level. You know -- I mean, that's what we're living in now. We are living in a very different moment in this country, and you can feel the fabric of the nation fraying a little bit. It is torn. And I hear people talking about things, you know, as extreme as a civil war. You know, just sort of having that divide that pits people so strongly against each other that it ends up with someone who is obviously unhinged going that extra step and bringing a gun to a baseball field.

I mean, I don't know how we get back to -- everyone talks about this now during the course of this week, and I want to get your thoughts on that Pete and then bring back in the rest of our panel. Who can be the leader in getting back to this? Because President Trump says he wants to unify everybody but a lot of people feel that some of his discussion and his narrative-during the course of this campaign-added to the problem.

KING: Again, I think it is important for the president to help turn this around. I think all of us in the public eye, those of us who are on television, radio -- mainly our nation's leaders. It's Democrat and Republican, and of course, the president, have to find a way to make your points forcefully, articulately, but within reason. I mean, I go back to -- not that it was a honeymoon period, per se. But you know, Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill, you couldn't have had two national leaders with more divergent views. And totally, Tip O'Neill was part of the most liberal Speaker of the House of Representatives they've had until our time. Ronald Reagan, the most conservative president. I don't think that they sort of love each other, but they got things done. They realized they had to get it done.

MACCALLUM: Very civilized.

KING: They fought as hard as they could.

MACCALLUM: And they figured out a way to be friends.

KING: And then -- absolutely.

MACCALLUM: Congressman Pete King, thank you so much. Good to have you with us tonight.

KING: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Joining me now, is our exclusive guest: Arizona Congressman, Trent Franks, for an interview tonight. Congressman Franks, thank you very much for being here. I know that you received some information that is very troubling this evening. Can you please share with us what you know?

REP. TRENT FRANKS, R-ARIZONA: Well, Martha, I don't want to disappoint anyone. I'm not able to confirm the reports that you're talking about, specifically, because there's an ongoing investigation, I know you understand that. But there are certainly many indications now that the shooter was premeditated in his actions, and I think that points to a very, very troubling circumstance in our country. I think in a sense, you hit on it in just a moment ago, you know, you said that this country once fought a civil war where we shot each other to do all rags on civil war battlefields.

And ironically, part of that problem was that we couldn't really speak to the big issues as we should in a political environment. We left decency toward each other devolve to invective, and then invective devolved into violence. And the bottom line is, we're going to have to stop in this country trying to figure out who's right and try to discover together what is right. And we're going to have to be able to speak to great the issues that divide us using a principal persuasion rather than just scream at each other. And I know a lot of people have articulated that better than I can. But let me suggest to you that this is a different country in that we solve our problems by the ballots instead of bullets.

And it's important for two people in this country to really understand what we have to do together. One, we all have to articulate the great principles that made us the nation that we are and we have to do so in a loving, principal persuasion kind of approach. And then secondly, we all have to be more susceptible to a principled argument. Truth has to be re-invited to the discussion, because otherwise, when truth just is dismissed out of hand, then when these great issues face us, it leaves us with no option.

MACCALLUM: Congressman Franks, there are a lot of stories floating around out there. Can you confirm or deny that you have been contacted that your name was on that list, sir?

FRANKS: Well, Martha, I can, but I won't because I feel like it's important. You know, the Capital Police have shown themselves to be noble beyond words. I know it's an easy moment to try to express gratitude to people like them, but they put themselves at profound risk for all of us. They, in a sense, lay down their lives for their friends, which is the biblical admonition that reaches the very pinnacle of what it's all about. And so, the last thing I'd ever want to do would be to complicate anything that they're already doing.

MACCALLUM: So, are you saying that they in the middle of an ongoing investigation, have you been notified by anybody that that would include you?

FRANK: I have been notified that there is an investigation, and that -- yes, that I might be involved in that investigation. But you know, I certainly can't go any further than that.

MACCALLUM: Understood. In terms of the measures that will be taken, because the picture that we saw on the baseball field the other day was horrific, and everyone prays for Steve Scalise and the others who are injured. And you so rightly point out the valiant behavior of the Capitol Hill Police, who were involved in that and we saw one of them out on the baseball diamond last night throughout that first pitch, it was stirring and very moving moment for everybody. But in terms of how things change now, if there are others who were on his list, and I'm sure they are investigating whether or not -- and there's no indication at this point that he was involved with anyone else, but are they investigating whether or not his circle went wider than just himself? Mr. Hodgkinson?

FRANK: Well, I think that they're trying to investigate every possible element. It seems pretty clear that he acted alone, I think that's the case but I don't certainly want to prejudice any investigation. But I don't want to say, and I don't want to take advantage of the moment, but I want to say something about Steve Scalise. I know everybody is praying for him, and I want to make sure he knows my name is on that list. But there's something greater here that we need to point out, Steve has always been a very loving, decent human being to all the people in Congress. He's never been arrogant in his leadership role, and because of that, he was out playing baseball with the rank and file, and his security team was there. So, in a sense, Steve Scalise took a bullet for a number of his colleagues, and if he hadn't been there, neither with the police have been there, neither with the Capitol Police have been -- and it's very, very likely that several members of Congress-

MACCALLUM: You're so right. His presence changed-

FRANK: So, I salute him with my heart.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely. And his presence changed the dynamic there, and it did save all of those people's lives. Has your security changed in the past several hours? Do you have any additional -- are there measures that you need to take now, sir?

FRANK: We'll, we have taken significant measures prior to this already, especially in our home district. The Capitol Police have been so effective that we have relied upon them primarily in D.C., but there has been a sharpened awareness as you might imagine, but fortunately, we've been very blessed to have good people on our staffs that are trained in that regard, and so I'm thankful. You know, that does remind you: no matter who you are that we are all not promised tomorrow, and we should be very thankful for each day that we have.

And as a father, you know, coming up on Father's Day two 8-year-old twins, I'm extremely grateful for every day that I have with them. And I hope that all of us, as Americans, will begin to recognize what a gift it is to be alive and be in the United States of America and to somehow make sure that this flagship of freedom for the whole human family remains vibrant. And to do that, we need to get together and consider those ideals of the family values-

MACCALLUM: Let's hope that everybody -- yes, from your mouth to God's ears and everybody else, I guess. Congressman Trent Franks, thank you, sir. And we hope that you, and all your colleagues, and all the staffers, and everyone who works with you continue to stay safe. Thank you, sir. Good to speak to you tonight.

FRANKS: Thank you, Martha. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, let's bring back in our panel: Chris Stirewalt, Kristen Soltis-Anderson, and Richard Fowler now joining us as well; obviously, a difficult situation for these people who are involved in this now widening investigation, Chris?

STIREWALT: Yes, and we can imagine at a time and the not-so-distant future that we will have considerably more security around Congress. And that is perhaps a necessity, but it's also a shame. Because part of what has happened to Washington, and part of what has happened to Congress and our politics is that all of the security and all of this puts our representatives at a greater remove from us.

The distance between the governed and the governors grows greater. That increases misunderstanding, that increases resentment, and that makes situations worse, it would be a terrible shame if it's the consequence of a lunatic that these was a necessity that we would find all 435 Members of Congress under armed guard all the time. But you can see how we could get there.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, I think of the days when you couldn't line up and sit on the floor outside of Abraham Lincoln's office and wait for your turn to walk in. Those days have long been over, obviously, but the world changes so dramatically in the course of all of this. Richard, you know, you think about the coarseness of our society and the kinds of things that we have witnessed in the past few weeks from comedians, and you know, people who are, you know, getting ratings on cable news and everywhere else to sort of throw barbs of the president, to throw barbs at each other, we're in a problematic moment now.

RICHARD FOWLER, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO TALK SHOW HOST AND POLITICAL ACTIVIST: Yes. I think this is a moment of self-reflection, Martha. I've got to tell you, I think pundits a lot of times, folks at home think we yell at each other on here, but the civility amongst actually does exist, we actually all get along. And I think they all only get to see the yelling, and the I-disagree-with-you-on-policy, that stuff to call you a name, or you have to call me a name. And that is what you -- that's what ends up taking root, instead of the fact that we disagree on policy but doesn't mean that we hate each other as people.

MACCALLUM: But what about the hatred towards the president? You know, I mean, thoughts on that? I mean, we know that this individual hated President Trump; he said that; he wrote that; he put that on his social media. I don't remember a time ever when the vitriol was so outspoken, and so forceful, and so ugly towards a president of the United States.

FOWLER: Well, I would say that this, I think, started in, you know, the early 2,000. I think there's a lot of hate for President Bush; I think there's a lot of hate for Barack Obama. I think now it's translating over Donald Trump. And it's everything to do with the fact that it's since 2,000; I would say since 9/11 and years after -- since subsequent years after that.

Almost the 2004 election with a swift boat, you saw this divide where it became "the left" and there was a clear line of distinction and it became "the right," and there was a clear line of distinction. And now, you know, we've all sort of fueled this, and we yell at each other and because of that, it's created this sort of situation where folks at home and people watching are loons like this gunman. They take that to be the reality when that actually isn't the case.

MACCALLUM: Yes. Kristen, you know, it pushes over the edge and we find ourselves covering stories like this.

ANDERSON: Well, Martha, you are talking about how things aren't the way they used to be, there's a quote that I'm reminded of from somebody across the aisle from me, former Vice President, Joe Biden. He gives his speeches where he talks about how he remembers the time early in his political career when people would disagree but they didn't question to other's motives. That you could say, I think you're wrong but I don't think that you're a bad person. And that seems to be something that's really lost in our political discourse today; that it's so easy not just to say, I disagree with you about whether tax policy changes will create jobs or I disagree with you about what we should do on foreign policy. But instead, it's this assumption that people on the other side of the debate are bad people, that fundamentally, their motives or bad, that we don't want the same things as Americans. I think that's a contributor to where we've seen this political discourse in our country.

MACCALLUM: We just have about half a minute; final quick though, Chris.

STIREWALT: About 40 years ago, every major American city had burned, and riots. The federal government had profanely lied to the American people about the Vietnam War. President was about to resign. We had assassinated the president, his brother, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X; times were very bad in the United States in the mid-1970s. We're going to be OK. We can do this. We're better than this moment, but we've been in worst times before, we will be OK.

MACCALLUM: Chris, Kristen, and Richard thank you very much. I like all of you. Bye, guys.

FOWLER: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Quick break now. We will be right back more on "The Story."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: Breaking tonight, President Trump overturning Obama-era Cuba policy and in a fiery rally before a Miami crowd, he called out the Cuba regime's treatment of its opponent and demanded the return of a woman convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We challenge Cuba to come to the table with a new agreement that is in the best interests of both their people and our people and also of Cuban-Americans. To the Cuban government, I say put an end to the abuse of dissidents. Release the political prisoners. Stop jailing innocent people. Open yourselves to political and economic freedoms. Return the fugitives from American justice, including the return of the cop killer Joanne Chesimard.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: That in particular, a very hot issue. Peter Doocy, live at the White House with more on this tonight. Good evening, Peter.

PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL REPORTER: Good evening, Martha. President Trump says, he doesn't want the Castro regime to benefit any more from tourist dollars, so he's made it a lot harder for U.S. tourist to visit there and a lot harder for U.S. businesses to set up shop there until the Castro's meet his demand including sending back the cop killer Joanne Chesimard, freeing all the political prisoners arrested and jailed by the communist government, and scheduling a fair election were all political parties can legally compete. The president made this announcement down in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood because he thinks the Obama administration authored a one-sided deal that benefited Cuba a lot more than the U.S.

Although, a U.S. Embassy that opened there and a Cuban Embassy that opened here are going to keep their doors open for now. This is a policy that Congress wasn't consulted about it, so it can be easily undone. However, another Obama-era policy constructed without Congress is apparently staying in place for a little longer. The Homeland Security Secretary and Attorney General are not making any changes right now to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program also known as DACA, which has prevented 750,000 young people brought here by adult illegal immigrants from being deported and which was something that candidate Trump vowed to get rid of.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We will immediately terminate President Obama's two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the constitution to give amnesty to approximately five million illegal immigrants-five million.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOOCY: But since moving here, President Trump had said that he wants to have a heart when dealing with these young people brought here by illegal parents, and he has assured those young people to rest easy. And the White House stressed to us earlier today, there has been no final decision made on DACA, there's just change for now. Martha.

MACCALLUM: A lot of questions, Peter, thank you very much. So, joining us now, David Wohl an Attorney; and Pablo Manriquez a Democratic Strategist and K-Street Media co-Founder. Gentlemen, welcome, good to have both of you with us tonight. So, in terms of Cuba, a fairly big development, in terms of the approach and in terms of the people that would have to be brought back here including Joanne Chesimard which is a huge issue, if we were to reopen this agreement. So, Pablo, what are your thoughts on that?

PABLO MANRIQUEZ, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST AND K-STREET MEDIA CO-FOUNDER: Well, I think that a sensible U.S.-Cuba policy needs to take into account two things. The very real suffering of the Cuban-American community and what they felt as exiles in this country for the past six decades, but also America's best interests, economic interests, and foreign policy interests both at home and in the region. I feel like President Trump's statement today, as his announcement today, definitely played a lot of tribute to the latter, to the Cuban-American community. But it doesn't necessarily help the U.S. economy in a short or in a long term. In fact, if anything, it's going to cost us money and it's going to cost us jobs.

MACCALLUM: Well, I mean, when you look at the potential for the Cuban economy, I think a lot of people felt, David, that the original deal that was done under the Obama administration did quite a bit actually for the future of the Cuban economy and the for the Cuban military and the regime.

DAVID WOHL, ATTORNEY: That was exactly it, Martha, all the tourist dollars, and the business dollars went exactly to the wrong places: the military and the Cuban regime. And I think the reality is that Mr. Trump knows what's going on here, and he knows how the innocent people are being persecuted there, and the 71 fugitives that are being harbored there like the cop killer Joanne Chesimard need to be returned. When Barack Obama made this deal, he went there and said, how about returning the fugitives including in the cop killer? They said, no; and he said, OK.

Well, there's a new Sheriff in town and he said -- bottom line is, he's going to renegotiate this deal and part of that renegotiation because he loves law enforcement and supports them 100 percent, will be returning all of those of fugitives. And if Cuba knows what's in its best interests, it will comply believe me.

MACCALLUM: All right. Pablo, your thoughts on the moves that were made in the announcement on DACA, and on the parents who are here as well.

MANRIQUEZ: Well, I would like to say that I am a Democrat and I voted for Hillary Clinton, and I am extremely pleased with President Trump today. Mr. President, if you're watching, I would encourage you to talk and meet with Secretary Kelly and look for a more permanent solution like the one he mentioned he's in favor of to congress the other day to keep these kids here because they really are Americans and they deserve a future here.

MACCALLUM: All right. So how does that go over with President Trump's base though, David?

WOHL: Well, the base will have a difficult time with it. But Martha, I liken it to a pair going into a store shoplifting and putting the merchandise in the child's backpack. The child isn't going to be convicted of any type of shoplifting. Mr. Trump has tremendous respect for young people who against all odds make successes out of their lives. He knows this is a big deal. He also respects John Kelly, the secretary of DHS, tremendously. Kelly wants this to go through. So the big thing with Trump is he's going to keep that exception for kids who engage in criminal activity, but other than them I fully expect this will proceed and those kids will get the benefits of DACA...

MACCALLUM: Very interesting.

WOHL: ... it fit under the circumstances of the law.

MACCALLUM: Pablo and David, thank you very much. Good to see you both tonight.

MANRIQUEZ: Thank you.

WOHL: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So still ahead tonight, seven crew members are reportedly missing and one injured after a U.S. navy destroyer collided with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan. The U.S. seventh fleet on its Facebook page saying that they are working with the Japanese coast guard to conduct a medical evaluation -- or evacuation, I should say, of one of those sailors. The fleet is said to be determining whether or not there are further injuries and we're going to keep you posted on all of this because it's just coming in. They have not announced anything specific in terms of names. So we'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: We are back with more of "The Story." The president igniting a fire storm this morning with this tweet, I'm being investigated for firing the FBI director by the man who told me to fire the FBI director, witch hunt. So who was he referring to? And did the president confirm that he is under investigation? Bryan Lanza served as the deputy communications director for the Trump campaign, and now works as a lobbyist with Mercury in D.C. And Michael Meehan served as senior communications advisor to John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. So you both have a background in communications. Michael, how's the communicating going here?

MICHAEL MEEHAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yeah. I can't believe it, but I think twitter should not be in the president's hand but he clearly loves the fact that he gets to speak over the national media and use it. This cannot be helpful, the lawyers who helped him and have advised him not to be on this. I'm not in the position to give the president advice, but this cannot be helpful to their case.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. I mean, you've got to imagine that when this one hit, the Twittersphere, Bryan, that the lawyers were not happy.

BRYAN LANZA, FORMER COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR TRUMP CAMPAIGN: You know, listen, I think there's -- you know, the president has frustrations with this investigation, lawyers have frustration, congress has frustration, I think everybody has frustration that we're nearly a year later into this so-called investigation. And we started -- I think we've seen reports that said it started in July of 2016, and nobody been able to come up with a single crime of collusion. So obviously, you know, frustration goes everywhere.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: Does this prompt the need for Rod Rosenstein to recuse himself?

LANZA: That's something that Rod is going to have to answer for himself. I mean, he has stated -- he'll recuse himself when there's a conflict, I don't think there's been determination of a conflict. I think if were looking at anything of a conflict it would probably be the relationship between Comey and Mueller. I mean, those two are best friends. Like those two have the ability to communicate and set up traps for the president along the way whether fair or unfair, I mean, that's the only thing that gives me pause.

MACCALLUM: Everybody was very happy about Robert Mueller until -- sort of all the rest of this trickled out, Michael. Now this is definitely the thinking that they're too close, that this doesn't work, thought on that.

LANZA: Well, what about the leaks?

MACCALLUM: Michael, go ahead.

MEEHAN: I'm sorry. Bob Mueller is one of the most unimpeachable characters in this play. And he's been put in charge of a task where he has -- he's a war hero, he's very thorough. Senator Lindsey Graham said it best. This investigation may in fact clear the president, so he just steer clear of it until they get the facts, run through the process and make a recommendation. Everybody should take a deep breath.

MACCALLUM: In the meantime, I do want to get your thoughts on this because the vice president, Mike Pence, now also has hired an attorney, and in -- sort of a plot thickening development, is Richard Colin, who happens to be the godparent to one of James Comey's children. I mean, Bryan, everybody seems to be intertwined in this play as Michael put it.

LANZA: It's the swamp. It's the swamp. I mean, it's just everybody is interlinked here in D.C. and that's the problem, while the rest of America is trying to get ahead, it's working two to three jobs to make ends meet. You know the swamp's intermingling with partisans left and right. At the end of the day, D.C. is the problem for a lot of people in the American dream. And, you know, you're right, I mean, very few times I agree with Lindsey Graham, and he's right. This investigation will ultimately prove President Trump innocent of any of the collusion or any of these things that are being brought forward. But it doesn't change the fact that the leaks which now are coming from the Mueller's investigation are distracting from the president's agenda. I don't the president want any of this frustration, if we would just have dealt with the leaks appropriately. We're now talking about leaks that are potentially criminal. So you have an entity that's potentially breaking the crime to investigate crimes and to -- what may have taken place during the campaign. And we now know a year later, nothing is taking place. So there's reservation. There's frustration.

MACCALLUM: All right, we got to go. Thank you very much, Michael Meehan and Bryan Lanza, nice to see you both tonight. We have a lot of breaking news, so still to come tonight, a teenager tells her boyfriend to kill himself and he does. So is she guilty in his death? The shocking verdict that you must see after this. And President Trump promised to go after MS-13, and guess what, it is working. We're going to talk about that when we come back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Not pleasant for MS-13, get them the hell out of here, right? Get them out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: The MS-13 motto is killed, rape, and control. That's their motto, so that should tell us enough about the kind of group that we confront. Our motto is going to be justice for victims and consequences for criminals.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and it's a crackdown that is actually getting results. Authorities had just announced the arrest of 39 MS-13 gang members in New York in just the last month. Back now with us tonight, Congressman Peter King, his own community in New York has experienced firsthand the brutality of MS-13. Congressman, welcome back, good to see you again this evening.

KING: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So give everybody a sense of the brutality that happened at the hands of MS-13 in your area.

KING: These are the most brutal murders immeasurable. Just in the last year there're been 17 murders in my district alone, within 20-25 minutes of my home, and these aren't just killings. These are young girls whose faces are cut open, whose eyes are gouged. They're chopped up with machetes. Their faces are almost cut of completely. Pictures are taken. Videos are taken and sent to their families. And these are 14, 15-year-old, 16-year-old girls. And there's no real motive for these. This isn't even like any money involved. These are sadistic murderers for the sake of murder.

And it's been going on, and I have to give the FBI, homeland security, credits, local police -- President Trump, I spoke to him back in April of this year, he pledged that he would do all he possibly could. Attorney General Sessions came to my district to the centralized federal court house back on April 28th, he made a full commitment, Attorney General Sessions did. We're having a congressional hearing this Tuesday, at the courthouse. I'll be sharing it. And, but again, I give the administration credits but also the local police, -- county, and the FBI, and homeland security, that are really working together. And the president has pledged to destroy ISIS, and that has sent a real message and a real vote of confidence to the local police and to the FBI and homeland security.

MACCALLUM: Tremendous progress is being mad. And this is exactly what the administration had wanted to do. While we were talking, congressman, we do now have a release of the list that we spoke to you about prior, and it has been confirmed and now officially released. The names of six House Republicans whose names were on the list that were found in James Hodgkinson's van. And included in that list is Trent Franks from Arizona, who we spoke with a little while ago, and who confirmed to us that he was part of an investigation. As he put it at the time, he was waiting for the official announcement to come out. Also, Scott Desjarlais of Tennessee, Trent Franks as I said, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Morgan Griffin of Virginia, most of these people are members of the house freedom caucus, I can't say all of them are, but I know a lot of those names are. Your thoughts on the release of these names, sir.

KING: Yeah. They are all members as far as I know of the freedom caucus. And it shows how vicious this is that this person was actually singling people out. Now, listen, I have differences with the freedom caucus. I don't have an axe to grind here at all. They're great guys, great people, and the fact with the left wing, right wing, center, that he would take the time to actually come up with a list of names shows how planned this was and how orchestrated it was.

And again, how none of us in the public I know who's out there looking for us. Again, as we said before, Martha, something has to be done to take away this element of violence. We can have tough campaigning, tough politics, doesn't have to get personal. Doesn't have to get vicious, and certainly shouldn't rise to the physical level the way it does too many times when we're talking about on college campuses, town hall meetings, all of that. That creates a situation where the next step becomes what we saw the other day.

MACCALLUM: On the way out here, Jeff Duncan, was one of the individuals who Hodgkinson asked. Are these Republicans or Democrats who are playing on this field? So I can just imagine how chilling knowing that his own name was on that list as for him tonight. Representative Peter King, always good to see you, thank you so much for being here tonight.

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

MACCALLUM: So tonight, this is a live look now at the courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, where a verdict could come at any moment in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial, a live report from Norristown, right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: A lot of court action today. A verdict could come at any moment in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial, Rick Leventhal out there on a Friday evening, when it's usually a verdict night in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Rick, what can you tell us?

RICK LEVENTHAL, FOX NEWS: Martha, by our calculations, jury deliberations have now lasted longer than the entire weeklong trial and Monday's closing arguments. We're at 50 hours and counting. One court security officer told me the previous record for jury deliberations here at the Montgomery County court house was 14 hours. Record or not, this has been a difficult week and a grind for all parties involved, including the defendant, Bill Cosby, who turns 80 next month, and his accuser, Andrea Constand, whose been in court every day along with several other alleged victims and supporters.

Constand is one of more than 60 women who claimed Cosby drugged and them rape or molested them, but her case was the only one to result in criminal charges. And the jury is clearly divided, interrupting deliberation a dozen times, including asking for clarification on the terms, reasonable doubt, and, without her knowledge. And for read back of testimony or depositions from Cosby, Constand, her mother, and the police.

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UNINDENTIFIED MALE: What more they could ask for, to close an argument, open an argument? You know, I think they have all the evidence now they could ever want, and hopefully we would come to finality on this someway somehow.

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LEVENTHAL: Yesterday, the jury told the judge they were deadlocked, and he told them to go back to work and they have, leaving the defense to ask for a mistrial for the sixth time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: The jury is still actively deliberating. There is no reason -- well, more importantly, there is no case that has been cited to the court in support of terminating a trial while a jury is actively deliberating.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEVENTHAL: Martha, I don't think anyone thought we'd be here this long. And if there is no verdict tonight, deliberations will resume again tomorrow, Saturday. And yes, we will be here.

MACCALLUM: Stunning. Rick, thank you very much. So another big court case making headlines tonight, a Massachusetts teenager convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the suicide of her boyfriend. This is an unbelievable case, awful. Michelle Carter texted Conrad Roy this before his death, you just need to do it, Conrad, or I'm going to get you help, you can't keep doing this every day. He text back, OK, I'm going to do it today. Where do I go? Carter responds. And you can't break a promise. Just go in a quiet parking lot or something. Watch Carter as the verdict was read today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: This court having reviewed the evidence and applied the law there to, now finds you guilty on the indictments charging you with the involuntary manslaughter of the person Conrad Roy III.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, and Eric Guster, defense attorney and a political commentator. Gentlemen, I watched this verdict this morning, and when you read the text messages between these two teenagers, it is horrific. I just want to put one more up on the screen when he was deliberating whether or not he should use a generator or a pump, and she says, well, in my opinion, I think you should do the generator because I don't know much about the pump, and with a generator you can't fail. Mark?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I will not at all defend her actions, they're abhorrent, they're horrible, and she deserves to be punished. The only issue if I'm defending her is what should be the appropriate penalty? You got a 17-year-old girl who knows better, but whose frontal lobe is not a fully formed, it's the portion of the brain that governs reasons and judgments. And I would say to the judge, you can go up to 20 years, but you can also go down to probation if you wanted to. Please consider that you honor, no priors, an isolated scenario, a girl who is on antidepressants, who should've known better, but she's learned.

MACCALLUM: One of things that was problematic in this conviction for her, Eric, is that later on she sent another text message that said it's my fault, I could have stopped him. This is unbelievable, this case, your thoughts?

ERIC USTER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY. Horrible. They need to throw the book at her. This is a lesson for everyone. If you encourage someone -- not just encourage them but tell them how to hurt themselves, tell them how to kill themselves, you need to be held criminally responsible. This young man had a full life ahead of him, and not only did she encourage him, Martha, she told him how to do it. She told him once he got out of the car that he needs to get back in the car.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: I don't know how much more she could have done. You know, we've been covering the Penn State case. I mean, you know, you look at involuntary manslaughter which is what the charges here and the charges there. I mean, I don't know how much more effectively you can cause someone death And recently, before that, she had taken the mother's phone number, she wanted his mom's phone number, why didn't she reach out for help, Mark?

EIGLARSH: Martha, I don't disagree at all, again, with what she did being a criminal offense, the appellate courts is obviously going to review it and make sure that this does constitute a crime. But my zealous advocate just said the book should be thrown at her. If he literally means she should get 20 years, he's insane. That's ridiculous. That's not justice.

GUSTER: So if you encourage someone to kill themselves and...

EIGLARSH: Twenty years?

GUSTER: ... actually puts the gun to his head, yes, absolutely.

(CROSSTALK)

EIGLARSH: ... 17-year-old girl to go in prison as an adult for 20 years.

GUSTER: Absolutely.

EIGLARSH: That what's you're saying.

GUSTER: She told him to kill himself, encouraged him to do it, and give them the means, of course she should. This was in a message to other people, don't do it this.

EIGLARSH: Not ten years. Not five years...

MACCALLUM: So I understand...

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: Are there mitigating circumstances in terms of her on mental health?

EIGLARSH: Of course there are. And I hope my advocate over there concedes that the fact that she has no priors, 20 years, the max should be reserved for those who have been around the system. Secondly, the fact that she is on antidepressants and that definitely affected her, the fact that this was an isolated incident in her life, 20 years, my friend, really? Do you really believe that?

GUSTER: The judge address the antidepressants, did not believe the doctor in his testimony, and this young lady not only encouraged him but told him to get back in the car when he said he couldn't do it. Mark, this is not just encouragement, this is a person who actually participated fully.

MACCALLUM: Gentlemen, thank you very much. All right, before we let you go tonight, going back to our prior discussion about civility in this country, we leave you with this quote tonight from Ben Franklin, and also -- Pulitzer Prize winner Peggy Noonan, she said this in her article today, in her editorial today, so as Ben Franklin said we have to hang together or we're surely hang separately. To hang together, to continue with the country, at the very less we have to lower the political temperature. It's on all of us more than ever to assume good faith, put our views forward with respect, even charity, and refuse to insight, wise words from Peggy Noonan. We want to now your story, tweet them to us @thestoryFNC, use the hashtag #thestory. We'll see you back here on Monday night at 7. Good night, everybody.

END

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