Transcript

Gingrich slams idea Trump Jr. meeting was Russian 'set up'

Fox News contributor speaks out on 'The Story with Martha MacCallum'

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," June 22, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, "THE STORY" HOST: The White House goes on offense; the president goes to France. And Senator's struggle towards a potential deal on health care tonight. Good evening, everybody, I'm Martha MacCallum, and this is "The Story." The president on the ground in Paris, in meetings with President Macron, had this to say about the meeting that is being called a smoking gun.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We took a meeting with a Russian lawyer, not a government lawyer, but a Russian lawyer. It was a short meeting. I think from a practical standpoint, most people would've taken that meeting. It's called opposition research or even research into your opponent. That's new standard in politics, but nothing happened from the meeting; zero happened from the meeting. And honestly, I think the press made a very big deal over something that, really, a lot of people would do. Now, the lawyer that went to the meeting, I say that she was in the halls of Congress, also. And somebody said that her visa or her passport to come into the country was approved by Attorney General Lynch.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: And here is former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, a short time ago, making this argument on the Russia question. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER MANAGER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: If anybody, and I mean, anybody, did something with a foreign government that materially impacted the outcome of this election, that person should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. I spent 18 months next to the president's side, seven days a week, 18 hours a day, never, and I mean never, did he raise the issue of Russia to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge, live on this story for us in Washington tonight. Catherine.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Martha, these court records and transcript reviewed by Fox News show the Russian lawyer at the center of the Donald Trump Jr. e-mails was granted special immigration status by the Obama administration Justice Department, as first reported by the Helm Newspaper. Natalia Veselnitskaya was the lawyer for a Russian businessman accused by federal prosecutors of laundering hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate transactions.

The government's bypass the normal visa process and gave a type of extraordinary permission to enter the country called "immigration parole." The document states that the discretionary act of the statute allows the attorney general to do in extraordinary circumstances. The Attorney General at the time of the court filing is 2015, 2016, was Loretta Lynch. Democrat said tonight, Republicans may be overplaying the connection.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIMON ROSENBERG, FOUNDER, NEW DEMOCRAT NETWORK: Clearly, someone in the United States government had to make an exception. And what we've learned, or what is been reported, is that that was granted in order to allow her to come to the United States to defend her client in a major international trial in New York. That seems like a reasonable use of the parole option.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HERRIDGE: After the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and then Campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort, Natalia Veselnitskaya heads to Capitol Hill where she can be seen in the background of this video at House Foreign Affairs Committee. It's not clear from our reporting tonight what her immigration or parole status was at that time, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Catherine, thank you very much. Catherine Herridge, in Washington.

HERRIDGE: You're welcome.

MACCALLUM: So, here with more: March Thiessen, former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush; and Juan Williams, co-host of "The Five," both, of course, are Fox News contributors. Gentlemen, welcome, good to have both of you with us tonight. Marc, let me start with you in D.C. You know, there's now all of this speculation about this woman and want her connection is. She apparently worked with Fusion GPS on some of the investigation to this election related matters as well. You know, it's possible that, perhaps, somebody wanted her to be in this country. You know, you can go down that road if you want to, and no doubt people are going to be investigating all sides of this.

MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER CHIEF SPEECHWRITER FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: No, absolutely. And look, I mean, Trump was, factually, correct when he said that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer who is not a government lawyer. That is a fact. However, it's deeply misleading because Donald Trump Jr. thought he was meeting with the Russian government lawyer. If you read the e-mail that he was sent; according to the e-mails, he was asked to meet with "a Russian attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this purpose on Thursday," and that the crown prosecutor has offered to provide the Trump campaign with official documents that were part of Russia's government support for Mr. Trump. And he said, "I love it," and he took the meeting. Now, was that a crime? No, it's not a crime according to most lawyers that I've said, that I've talked to; I read and respect on this subject. But it is collusion. And the Trump campaign has been saying for a long time that there was no collusion. We now know that Donald Trump and Paul Manafort --

MACCALLUM: It's an attempted collusion, but it doesn't prove that any collusion actually happened.

THIESSEN: This is what we know, OK, that Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner were aware that the Russian government wanted to help the Trump campaign and hurt Hillary Clinton, and that they were willing to accept that help. That is a problem. It's not smoking gun, there's not a crime here yet, but it's no longer you can't just dismiss this as a witch hunt. This is serious stuff.

MACCALLUM: Juan.

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND HOST: I think Marc's right. I just -- you know it's interesting to me to hear the president talk about this because when they bring up the whole business of, oh, the Obama administration let this lawyer in the country; it's not our fault.
That's not the issue. The issue is that Donald Trump Jr. decided to take a meeting with this woman based on the e-mails as just described to by Marc, that indicated he was meeting with a lawyer --

MACCALLUM: So, the question that they're getting is: was he set up? OK. Now, no one -- I don't think anyone disputes the premise of what Marc just said, which is that it was really unwise to take this meeting and it looks terrible. And I don't think anybody disagrees with that part of the equation. The part that's raised by why she was allowed under this statute to stay in the country, that was in January when she was working on that case. She's still here in June, according to this timeline.

WILLIAMS: Correct.

MACCALLUM: She's also, apparently, involved in this Fusion GPS, you know, company. They had some relationship. They're the people who were trying to do the dossier on Trump to Christopher Steele. So, you know, you can kind of let your (INAUDIBLE) plot, you know, go along here with this, and ask yourself what is this woman up to? Is she setting him up? Is she trying to get him in the room to do -- it's like some sort of sting operation?

WILLIAMS: Well, wait a second. I mean, it's not that you would think that it was Fusion, and a Steele report on Trump, and Russia, and all that. It's more that we know that the Russians co-opt people --

MACCALLUM: Absolutely.

WILLIAMS: And that this is their strategy. This is the way they buy into people and the way that they confide in people and get them to suddenly the offering information. That's the danger here.

MACCALLUM: Yes. And there's a piece, Marc Thiessen, by David French that says, if you think ever that you're going to sort of play with the Russians and that you were going to come out of it with what you want and that they're not going to get something too, you're sadly mistaken.

THIESSEN: No, David French is exactly right on that. And I agree with Juan that this could very well have been some sort of a set up to get some sort of -- to compromise Donald Trump Jr. or some members of the campaign.

MACCALLUM: That he fell for.

THIESSEN: That he fell for. Now, look, there's a lot of people running around saying this is treason, that this is impeachable; we're way, way, way -- they're getting way ahead of their skis on this stuff. The name on the e-mail is Donald Trump Jr., not Donald Trump. And there's no evidence yet that Donald Trump knew about this, that he was in the meeting. But we also don't know whether he knew about this. We don't know what came of this later or whether there was more discussion. And we don't know if Donald Trump Jr. told his father that there's a Russian prosecutor coming over to give us information about Hillary Clinton. We just don't know any of that. So, this is why Bob Mueller has to get to the bottom of this, to get around the speculation.


WILLIAMS: I would just say that Donald Trump Jr., to be fair to him, said to Sean Hannity earlier this week that he didn't tell his dad. The problem is it's hard to believe that Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner, the son-in- law, his brother-in-law, are in this meeting and somehow nobody mentioned to the Principal, oh, yes, you know, we had a meeting with a Russian lawyer who said she had information from the crown prosecutor in Russia. That seems alarming to me. I don't know. The fact that the campaign managers in the meeting suggested it was a high-level meeting.

MACCALLUM: Seems odd. All right, more to come, stay tuned. Thank you, guys. Good to see you both. So, some conservatives are starting to lash out over this Don Jr. news. The New York Post editorial board declaring this: "Donald Trump Jr. is an idiot." David French, who we just mentioned of the National Review writing this: "Americans who aren't troubled, are Americans who need to check whether their tribalism has trumped their good sense."

And Quin Hillyer of the Washington Examiner writes this: "For Trump's three most politically important associates/family members to be so blinkered as to not recognize this meeting invitation as being morally compromising is for them to bring serious dishonor to a candidate and father with any sense of honor." Strong stuff.

So, here now to respond is former Speaker of the House and Author of the number one New York Times' best-selling book: "Understanding Trump," Newt Gingrich. Newt, you've been listening to all of this tonight. What do you think?

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE AND AUTHOR: I think we're going through a period of fevered insanity. You have a meeting -- first of all, somebody suggested the Russians have a technique of setting you up so that they co-opt you. Well, if that was true in this meeting, I've written three novels about terrorism and international spies. If they were setting them up, where were the goodies? Where was something in there to be --?

MACCALLUM: Well, the suggestion, Newt, is that the goody is what we're living through right now. The goodie is that he took the meeting and that there didn't even need to be anything that was transmitted in that meeting, that taking it made him look bad.

GINGRICH: But wait a second. Taking it makes them look bad. He agrees to that. He said the other night on Hannity that if he had to do it over again, he'd do it very differently. But looking bad, and having a United States Senator suggest that it's treason, is such an absurd jump. And I want to go back to what I started with. People are saying, oh, gosh, this is how the Russians operate. That's baloney. If this had been a set up by the Soviets or by the Russians, they would've had something there to get a second meeting, to get to a third meeting.

I think it's much more likely what you had, were e-mails, by the way, from a British publicist for a Russian singer. And the e-mails in British publicist exaggerated the woman who walked in the room. She walked in the room, and she had so little to offer that none of the three people thought the meeting made any sense. And that's precisely what they've said. That, you know, Jared walks out. Apparently, Manafort is on his cell phone, and Donald Jr. has said, as a courtesy, he talked to her for 20 minutes, but she wants to talk about this adoption bill that affects one very wealthy Russian.

My own point is if, after nine months, all of these hearings, all of these investigations, the best we can come up with is a 20-minute meeting with a lawyer who had nothing to say. There's zero -- by contrast, we do know that a Democratic National Committeeperson flew to Ukraine, worked with the Ukrainian government, sought to get information about Donald Trump. And by the way, what about Paul Manafort? And by the way, I don't see Mueller putting that on his list of investigations. I don't see that kind of collusion has seemingly bothered anybody. So, you have a totally one- sided, anti-Trump story, hyped up with a level hysteria that, I think, historians will look back on, and think, this was like the Salem witchcraft trials. They've created a fever in which people, certain things that are silly.

MACCALLUM: If you sort of go backward on it, and you're looking for, you know, where is the actual event that, apparently, turns the election, right? And all you have are the e-mails, right?

GINGRICH: There is no event.

MACCALLUM: Now, even if you believe, you know, the Hillary Clinton version, which is that she lost because of the e-mails, and there are a lot of other reasons, you know, with regard to health care premiums that were rising, and no, you know, campaign trips to various key states. But she has said that the e-mails turned the election. Now, we still -- there's no connection, necessarily, that goes back to the Trump campaign in releasing those e-mails. Now, if that were to surface, you know, perhaps you might have a link something, but we still don't have the meat between the pieces of bread here.

GINGRICH: Look, it's not even that. Let's put it in context. Do you want to talk e-mails? How about the 33,000 e-mails that Hillary Clinton destroyed? OK? Now, how come that's not a crime? How about the fact that Comey leaked the documents that belong to the FBI in clear contravention of FBI rules? How come that's not a big problem? I mean, let's just go down the list. How come Bill Clinton is getting a half million dollars from a Moscow bank? That's not a problem. How about the fact that the Chairman of the campaign's brother was a registered agent of the Clinton campaign; registered agent of a Russian bank? On, that's not a problem.

How about millions of dollars going to the Clinton foundation while the Secretary of State approves on Uranium being given to the Russian -- being sold to the Russian? That's not a problem. This city right now, the news media in this country is in a frenzy that is leading it to desperately seek something. They know something was wrong. They just don't know what it is. And every time something comes up, they grossly exaggerated. The Democrats pick up the exaggeration, and the news media picks up the Democrats, and we get up in what we think is the equivalent of hysteria.

MACCALLUM: Hyperventilating. Thank you very much, Newt, good to see you as always tonight.

GINGRICH: Anytime. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, big changes coming today to the GOP health care bill, but our change is the same thing as progress. Have we moved the ball forward on any of this? The Senators who got their wish list say, yes, they think it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: Today was a very important day. It was a productive step in the right direction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So, what does Bill Bennett think? He is standing by, next to talk about that. And his take may surprise you on the opioid crisis which he has studied in depth. He will talk about that, moments away. And new questions for dreamers tonight: will those brought here illegally as children be able to stay? The White House could be changing its tune on this. Stick around for the news where that's concerned. Plus, one of our morning favorites stayed late at night for us tonight, Brian Kilmeade, on Peyton Manning, medi-cad, you heard me right. And the congressional dress code, which Speaker Ryan addressed today. We'll be right back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: It came to my attention that there was an issue about the dress code.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: Breaking tonight after months of delays, the Senate may finally have health care reform bill that might actually pass. So, what is new in this version? Among the big edits and additional 70 billion for states to make their own reforms, health savings accounts that can help you pay down your premiums, and additional $45 billion towards the Opioid epidemic; more on that in a moment, and the option to buy a cheap plan if you want a cheap plan that has less coverage. Despite these changes, there's still pretty clear divide on Capitol Hill as to whether or not this is going to happen. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: The revised draft improves on the previous version in a number of ways, all while retaining the fundamental goals of providing stability and improving affordability.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-NEW YORK: The bottom line is this: the core of this bill is just as rotten as it was before.

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KENTUCKY: This is an insurance bailout on steroids.

SEN. JOHN THUNE, R-SOUTH DAKOTA: We have to find the sweet spot, try and find the balance that takes into consideration, all those different perspectives, and come up with a bill that we think we can get on the president's desk.

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, D-CONNECTICUT: I think this proposal is in effect. Let's take on a pig, its cosmetic changes to a fundamentally flawed, cruel, and costly proposal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Joining me now Dr. Bill Bennett, Fox News contributor, and our nation's first-ever Drugs Czar. Bill, good evening. Good to see you tonight. So, what do you make of this new version and do you think you can pass?

DR. BILL BENNETT, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think it's better. I think it's progress. But you know, I have tipped my hat to Ted Cruz. I think he has been the positive impression on a couple things. First of all, he introduced this bill which is getting some traction. It gives more flexibility. There is more freedom in this bill. But the basic heart of ObamaCare is still there, and this is what people like Rand Paul object to. The other thing about Ted Cruz -- way back when you remember reading Dr. Seuss on the floor and all that? He warned us that if this passed, ObamaCare passed, it would be near impossible to get rid of, even with majorities, Republican Majorities or Republican president. People are getting used to the idea that there's a right to health care, but the federal government should provide it. And this is obviously what's creating the problem. So, I hope this thing goes --

MACCALLUM: That is a great point. And they have to accept that fact, you know, that the benefit that was given, including the tax cuts for the wealthy and investments to pay for it, all of that is still in here and it's not going anywhere, it doesn't look like.

BENNETT: Yes. And it seems it's very hard to take away. Once given, it's very hard to take away. People become accustomed to the condition that habituated to these things very quickly.

MACCALLUM: All right. Let me talk to you about something that I know you care quite a bit about, and that's the opioid crisis in this country. So, this bill adds a lot more money to try to battle that crisis. A shocking new report from HHS breaks down some stunning figures on how addicted America has become; finding roughly 3.5 million Americans on Medicaid Part D received opioids for at least six months in 2016. So, Bill, is putting $45 billion into this problem the way to go?

BENNETT: Well, it depends on how you spend it. It's a start. I was the first Drugs Czar. And you introduce me as that, that's right, and that was the time of the cocaine crisis and epidemic. The situation we have now, Martha, is worse. Let me quote my friend John Walters in a report he just wrote: "The current trafficking in opioids in the United States may be the most murderous criminal activity in the history of the United States." Let me say that again, this may be the murderous criminal activity in the history of our country; 30, 40, 50, 60,000 deaths a year.

And let me explain something because I'm afraid this is just been lost. Everybody thinks that the major part of this problem is overprescribing by doctors. Well, we have had a problem with overprescribing by doctors and some pill mills out there, but that is not the major problem now. Our major problem now is the importation of these illegal drugs, lots of heroin, lots of fentanyl, lots of things like them; they're very cheap on the streets, and we are not getting after them. And there's a second reason we're not getting after them. Everyone thinks the problem is helping rehabilitation. Well, health is a major part of it, but rehabilitation is very difficult, and the best kind of rehabilitation is prevention: keeping people from getting it in the first place.

If you have poison coming into the system, you don't just set up a number of poison control centers. You try to stop the poison from coming in. And we're not focusing on that part of the problem. And we have to. We've had a couple of successes around the country on this, there's a task force in Southern Indiana that got after it. But you need a coordinated effort of law enforcement, international efforts, the health care community, and churches, and other voluntary organizations to go after it. If you don't, it's going to get worse.

MACCALLUM: I don't know any families who haven't -- excuse me, I don't know any families who have not known someone or lost someone in their own family due to this. I just want to let people know this fact: almost
70,000 beneficiaries received what the Inspector General labeled as extreme amounts of the drugs. And average daily consumption for the year, that was more than two and half times the level the CDC recommends avoiding.

I mean, and that doesn't even include people who are on cancer treatments, and you know who maybe have a legitimate reason, in those cases, to get these drugs. There's a vast over prescription problem. And I know that you said that it's getting better and that is good news, but you can go get your wisdom teeth pulled out and they're going to hand your prescription for this stuff on your way out the door, Bill.

BENNETT: They are. And again, it's a serious problem and I do not mean to understate it. But I'm telling you as this number have gone down, the overprescribing and the amount of pills in the system; it's still a serious problem. But the debts have increased, and they've increased because $2.00 will buy you heroin on the street. Fentanyl, you can get very cheaply as well, and it's all across the country, and we're doing enough to keep it from coming in. Look, we can attack all sides of this problem and we need to; that's what we did in the late 70s -- late 80s and the early 90s. And you know something, we got the problem down. We have to get the problem down again, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So true. Thank you very much, Bill. Good to see you tonight.

BENNETT: You are welcome.

MACCALLUM: So, still ahead, outrage growing over a controversial bill in Oregon that would put taxpayers, including religious organizations on the hook for abortions. That must-see debate, straight ahead. Plus this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We cannot let them come into this country, period. We're going to have extreme vetting, and I mean extreme.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: All these are back on the table now, three big moves today in these campaign promises. Governor Mike Huckabee, here with his reaction to the latest on immigration from the Trump team.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(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)

MACCALLUM: So, that was then-candidate Trump on the campaign trail. Now, President Trump is working to rally his base with several new developments on the immigration front. Dreamers once thought to be safe, may now be in jeopardy as DHS Secretary Kelly signals in a closed-door session with lawmakers that DACA may not survive a potentially looming court battle. Then you've got to crackdown on legal immigration. New reports on an upcoming bill that would cut the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country by 50 percent over ten years. And the state department, now cracking down on other countries, essentially, making them vet or face sanctions if they don't do so in a way that the United States believes is tough enough. So here now, former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, who is a Fox News contributor. Governor, welcome. Good to have you here tonight.

MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ARKANSAS: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So, I want to start, actually, by playing reaction to what happened in that closed-door session with the head of the DHF, General Kelly, and the reaction from Representative Gutierrez to the suggestion that DACA may not hold up in court, and those people may have to go back. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary Kelly has absolutely no understanding of this department. I mean, he is either just the most -- I don't know, unmanageable member of the cabinet that I have ever met in my 25 years here, or he's trying to make a fool out of us by trying to say, oh, it's the courts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Pretty strong words. What do you think, governor?

HUCKABEE: Well, I think the representative is missing something. President Obama should have done this legislatively because he did it by executive order and he had no authority to do it. What he did was a legislative act and he doesn't have the constitutional authority to do it. What he should have done is gone to congress and say look, we've got people who are here because they came as children. We don't want to just force them to leave. They didn't commit a crime. Their parents may have come across the border illegally. And I think that that would've been a legitimate thing for the president to do. But he didn't want take the time to do it legislatively. Now we have two problems. One is of the federal level where you have this issue of what's legal, what we should do with people who come here illegally. But Martha, there's a totally separate issue at the state level. What you do with these children who had nothing to do with being here.

MACCALLUM: And you defended DACA in Arkansas as governor, correct?

HUCKABEE: Yes, I did. And I have taken a lot of grief for it. A lot of hate mail. I'll get some tonight. But when you have a child who came here at four, and under state law was required to go to the schools and did so, and what if that child -- we have one in Arkansas, one of the largest, most fluent high school, came here when he was four, and the only school he knew was U.S. schools. He was the valedictorian in his senior class. Now the question, should we allow him to go to college and maybe becomes a software engineer or a doctor, or are we go and make him pick tomatoes? Quite frankly, from a pragmatic standpoint, he'll pay far more taxes if he's a software engineer or a doctor and he's college educated. So that's a separate issue than the federal issue. But I think President Obama created a mess by not having the patience to go through and get this done legislatively.

MACCALLUM: I hear what you're saying. I want to get a quick thought from you also on one of these other ideas, which is cutting legal immigration by
50 percent. We take about a million legal immigrants every year. And Tom Cotton brought this forward, and now the president is supportive of it, that over the next ten years they want to cut that number to 500,000 a year. What do you think?

HUCKABEE: I think the bigger question than how many it ought to be why they're coming. I'm not as worried about how many people come. If they come here to help build America, make it a great country, to assimilate and be part of this melting pot that we've already always been. But if people want to come here because they hear that we're going to give them free things or because maybe they want to disrupt America, or they want America to become more like them, than them become more like America, then I don't care how many or how few. That's not a good reason for a person to be allowed to immigrate here.

MACCALLUM: Governor Mike Huckabee, thank you very much, always good to see you, sir.

HUCKABEE: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So still had tonight, a call to arms as one lawmaker dons a sleeveless dress on the house floor, defying an unwritten congressional dress code that has caused quite a stir in Washington. Brian Kilmeade is still awake, and he will join us on that coming up. And also this, a radical bill is about to become law in Oregon. This could put taxpayers in the state on the hook for abortion way out of the mainstream, all of that coming up next in a debate, right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: Developing tonight, a radical new bill is about to be signed by the governor of Oregon, that would enforce insurers and taxpayers to fund free abortions for virtually any reason at any time, including sex selective and late-term abortions. Critics have called this grisly and appalling. Trace Gallagher has this story for us live from our west coast newsroom. Hi, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS: Hi, Martha. There are still no date set for the signing of Oregon house bill 3391, but any question about where Governor Kate Brown stands on this was pretty much answered when she tweeted, quoting, yes, yes, yes, and then shared a link to an article titled, Oregon legislature approves reproductive services bill covering abortions, contraceptives. The governor followed with this statement, quote, attempts to deny access to contraceptives and family planning are an attack on all Oregonians, particularly women of color, low income, and young women. What this means is that insurance companies in Oregon will now be required to cover abortion at zero cost to patients, and companies that cover abortions for illegal immigrants will be reimbursed by the state.

Religious employers and insurers that currently do not cover abortion are exempt, but any women who fall into those categories would also have their abortions covered by the state. Planned Parenthood, which is struggling financially and has recently shut down four clinics in Oregon, helped draft this bill and then lobbied to pass it. Some GOP state lawmakers say the law is a gift card to Planned Parenthood, and that state taxes should not go towards something that many Oregonians are morally opposed to. Listen to both sides.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's important to have abortion as an option so that women have a chance to really choose when their pregnancy happened. And that every baby is a planned and wanted baby.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're totally against it because of the abortion component of it. Abortion is taking away the innocent and innocent human life. And this bill will inevitably increase abortions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: Oregon's Democratic lawmakers say this bill will protect reproductive rights regardless of what happens on the federal level, referring of course to the Trump administration and congressional Republicans pushing to defund Planned Parenthood. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Trace, thank you. Here with more, Lila Rose, founder and president of live action, and Danielle McLaughlin, author and political commentator. Welcome to both of you. Danielle, let's start with you. I mean, on the -- of it, the need to allow late-term, even full-term abortions for an illegal immigrant, this is the most extreme example, so if you've just arrived in Oregon and say, this is what I'd like to have done, and the taxpayer needs to pay for it seems very extreme. No?

DANIELLE MCLAUGHLIN, AUTHOR: Sure it does, when you use that example. When you use the example of a low income woman who's working three jobs, who has three children, but she doesn't want otherwise have -- but this still doesn't just allow for funding for abortion. It's contraceptive care. It's preventative care. It's pre-screening's. It's a whole host, frankly, of health care for women, and actually -- frankly, ObamaCare currently covers, that a state like Oregon, Maryland, also is concerned it would go away if the GOP changes health care protections in this country.

MACCALLUM: Lila?

LILA ROSE, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF LIVE ACTION: I think it's horrific because women deserve better than abortion. And this Oregon bill is basically saying women, undocumented immigrants, whomever, abortion is a solution for your problem, killing children up through the ninth month of pregnancy for any reason is a positive thing, so positive that we're going to force insurance companies. We're going to force individuals to buy those plans. We're going to force taxpayers in Oregon to pay for it, and their estimates being done that this could increase abortion. This could kill 3,000 more children a year in Oregon. There're actually lives at stake here, innocent lives, pre-born children.

MCLAUGHLIN: Oregon is one of the states in this country that has almost no abortion law.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you say that. Of course, Oregon is governed by Roe vs. Wade, by Planned Parenthood this is -- by any other Supreme Court law.

MACCALLUM: You're going to pay for someone to decide because they don't like the sex of their baby to abort it at eight months?

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: Why would any state want to pass a law that would allow that?
It's barbaric.

MCLAUGHLIN: It's up to the state to do that. I personally think it's horrendous. I agree with you, Lila. But you can't legislate against in effect what the state wants to do. Last thing I'll say, Oregon has almost no abortion law at all. It's a low abortion rate than the rest of the country. So you can say more access to abortion means more abortion, that's not the case at all.

MACCALLUM: In 1994, they passed the first physician-assisted suicide, and then you had five more states that ended up allowing that as well. As a country, I think, facing the question of what you feel is -- falls into the lines of ethics.

(CROSSTALK)

ROSE: This is another defining moment for our country. And you even said it Danielle, you said look, I don't like it either.

MACCALLUM: So why would you want it to be -- why would you feel OK with it being a part of this bill?

MCLAUGHLIN: I'm just saying if this is what a person chooses, there're plenty of things that I don't like that are allowed.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: We think about other sort of thing we have a real moral quandary. Oregon is a state, has made a decision to make this access available to low income women who might otherwise not have this access.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: I think that's potentially very offensive about how we need this especially for women of color and low income women and young women. I think to myself, well, you know.

(CROSSTALK)

ROSE: It's the opposite of the dignity of a woman to say, you're your child in order to get ahead in life, in order to deal with your problems. What's going to happen to that woman, whether she's low income, she's young, she's going to be then the mother of a child who's is dead, and have the same problems in her live and the same kinds of issues.

(CROSSTALK)

ROSE: This is as problem. And this is a larger debate going on in our country right now. We have a law, Roe v. Wade that was passed. That ultimately rule of the land that even experts on the pro-abortion side had says is a bad law. It says it doesn't actually -- it shouldn't actually be the rule of the land. And so, you have states doing extreme things like this because we got it wrong at the Supreme Court. And that's where Americans are so divided on this because they know deep-down that's a child, that's a life, and that this is wrong.

MACCALLUM: Danielle, last word and then we've got to go.

MCLAUGHLIN: This is about more than abortion. I think we need to fix that in a global scene. This is about access to health care, whether you earn $100,000 a year or whether you earn $1,000 a month. So this is not just about abortion.

MACCALLUM: But it does include these elements.

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, it does. But there are plenty of these kinds of things that have really terrible and very trying element, and the very important element that means women can make economic decisions that are ultimately helpful.

ROSE: Send the bill back, take out abortion.

MACCALLUM: We've got to leave it there, ladies. Thank you very much for bringing your opinion to the table tonight. So coming up tonight, we're going to tell you the story behind some of the viral images that are out there today, including the lawmaker who dared to bear her arms in congress. Also, the lawmaker who forgot to use spell check, look at this, I mean, there's something wrong. OK. And in this picture of an unamused Kevin Durant at last night ESPY Awards. Brian Kilmeade joins me to run down these pictures that tell the story. And there he is.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: So cooler heads are prevailing as the temperature rises in Washington over the Capitol Hill dress code. Last week, a controversy erupted claiming Speaker Paul Ryan was refusing to let women wear sleeveless dresses and open toe shoes during the hot dog days of summer, while the unwritten rule was never Ryan's idea, a long-term policy generated a whole lot of heat. Earlier this week, Republican congresswoman, Martha McSally, defy the rules by wearing a sleeveless dress on the house floor, and today a big announcement from Speaker Ryan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL RYAN, HOUSE SPEAKER: Decorum is important, especially for this institution. And a dress code in the chamber, in the lobby, makes sense. But we also don't need a bar, otherwise accepted contemporary business attire. So look for a change in that soon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So business casual. No one knows what it is, right? Here now Fox & Friends co-host, Brian Kilmeade. You can also catch him on the Kilmeade Show on Fox News radio where you can also catch me every Wednesday with Bill Hemmer. How are you doing, Brian?

BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX & FRIENDS CO-HOST: I'm doing great. Thanks for having me.

MACCALLUM: So what do you think? Is it horrific to see -- to do the sleeveless thing and the open toe, both of which --

KILMEADE: Right. So this has been on the books for a while, I guess, open toe, no sleeves.

MACCALLUM: Nancy Pelosi was fine with the dress code, apparently.

KILMEADE: But guess who they enforce it -- eventually, Friday is get-away- day, and everyone kinds of dresses down.

MACCALLUM: Right.

KILMEADE: Even the men come in sometimes in jeans. But the only people they really got it enforced, you know the press. And this CBS reporter walked in and they said you have no sleeves, you can't go in.

MACCALLUM: Right.

KILMEADE: And then, she said, OK, I'm going to put some paper in my sleeves.

MACCALLUM: It's like going to the Vatican.

KILMEADE: Right. And they go, no, no, you can't put paper -- and she wrote the story. And then, of course, we see Martha McSally who served in the military, also protested to Donald Rumsfeld when she was in Saudi Arabia, and they said you've got to hear something on your head, and said I'm not doing that.

MACCALLUM: She likes to be comfortable.

KILMEADE: Right. And I've met a lot of people who don't wear sleeves. They're wonderful people. They look fantastic.

MACCALLUM: There's a lot of sleeveless around here. However, I think dress codes are appropriate. And I think that we've gotten too far away from dress codes. I think we've become like a sweat pants nation.

KILMEADE: Right.

MACCALLUM: And I think that there are places where a certain amount of decorum is required. And I think that close toe shoes and sleeves are OK in congress, as long as the guys don't take off their jacket in that room.

KILMEADE: Right. That would be the problem. Then it would be the double standard. So look what's happening on Friday, I just printed this out because I don't have the money for a color printer. But this is sleeveless Friday is tomorrow. And then, they're going to have a picture on the steps to show that women.

MACCALLUM: This is a priority, right?


KILMEADE: Can we raise the debt ceiling if you have some time we'll good health care?

MACCALLUM: All right. We'll be moving along. So on the topic of congress, Democratic senator, Maria Cantwell, is being mocked for this critique of the Republican health care plan. Can you spot the mistake? I mean, if you can't, you have a problem. War of Medicad. Look at all these people standing around that time.

KILMEADE: Right. Now, I didn't think there's a war on Medicaid, but I did know there's a war on Medicad. And that's what I'm protesting this morning. How about this guy? The guy that put it there is just sitting -- would you put the picture up again. His job was to get the easel and put the picture up.

MACCALLUM: Are you calling the shots on my show?

KILMEADE: If you don't mind because I just think they should understand it. He's so confident that this is spelled right. Look how bored he looks.

MACCALLUM: you know what? We have also become a nation that doesn't understand spelling.

KILMEADE: Right.

MACCALLUM: And it's OK to have these kinds of errors, which I find really egregious and lame. Get your spelling correct.

KILMEADE: In the age of the iPhone and the drone, we're back to easels and-- can we please kick it up a notch? Can someone do a Power Point and just do it up the entire constituency?

MACCALLUM: Good point. And finally, NBA superstar Kevin Durant looked this upset last night at the ESPY Awards. They did this dig from host Peyton Manning. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PEYTON MANNING, FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER: Our gymnastics team was so dominant that Kevin Durant told me he wants to play for them next year.

(LAUGHTER)

MANNING: And I've got to tell you, I don't think you'll start for that team, Kevin. Russel Westbrook, what do you think?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: He looks pretty mad, Brian. What do you think?

KILMEADE: So here's the background, you know that he went to the Golden State Warriors after they went 75-4. Last year, he went to a great team as a great player, they said you shouldn't have done that. How could you do it? You basically rigged the game. He went and won a championship. So for him to do that, he get called out, people said wow, he's not laughing. Evidently, it's a total put on, he was told to put that face on. He worked it out with Peyton Manning ahead of time. He is not really angry.

MACCALLUM: He's not mad, oh good.

KILMEADE: He put it on.

MACCALLUM: I'm so relieved. I was really worried that the two of them might not be getting along for a while.

KILMEADE: Yeah. Between the $150 million contract and the world championship he's been down in the dumps. So this could be -- no, he was really -- that was a put on. How great is Peyton Manning, though? He was awesome in those things.

MACCALLUM: Let's watch Peyton Manning with Jimmy Fallon here -- I'm sorry.

KILMEADE: Jimmy Kimmel.

MACCALLUM: . Kimmel. Jimmy Kimmel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MANNING: To me, no matter what you believe sour -- you know, I heard Arnold Palmer say one time, if the president of the United States ever ask you to play golf, you do it. And I think it would have been almost un-American to have said no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KILMEADE: Jimmy Kimmel was challenging him about, why did you play golf with the president of the United States, he said because he asked me. That's what you do in America, un-American not to play. Can you believe that this is actually controversial? Peyton Manning.

MACCALLUM: I love it in this audience is when the people -- they were applauding for Peyton Manning.

KILMEADE: Right, they did.

MACCALLUM: Yeah.

KILMEADE: But Jimmy Kimmel has become so anti-Trump, he's almost as bad as Stephen Colbert.

MACCALLUM: But the audience went against him on that one.

KILMEADE: They did.

MACCALLUM: Brian, thank you. We're in pay-per-view. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: Before we go, this is a great story, President Trump personally intervening to allow a group of Afghan teens to come to the United States to participate in a robotics competition. So the State Department reportedly dismissed their visa request at least twice, but once the president heard about it he ask the team to try to find a solution for them and they did through a special waiver. We heard about those somewhere else tonight, right. But the tenacious teenagers will have to do the competition without their original robot, which is stuck in customs? That's the part they didn't fix that. But it didn't stop them, they got here, and they remade the robot with household items. They're geniuses, obviously. So the first global challenge is set for this weekend in Washington. Good story, right? Thanks for being here. We will see you tomorrow night at 7:00. Coming up right next, my friend Tucker Carlson from Washington. Good night, everybody.

END

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