Transcript

Sen. Graham spearheading new ObamaCare repeal plan

South Carolina senator talks health care and tax reform on 'The Story with Martha MacCallum'

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," September 13, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, "THE STORY" HOST: Good evening, everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum and this is THE STORY. Tonight, perhaps the question posed by Hillary Clinton's book title: "What Happened," can be best answered by looking at the dinner table at the White House right now. It seems the summer of resistance has morphed into the autumn of playing nice. So, why would that be? Remember there was a time when Clinton, Pelosi, and Schumer were in lockstep on the subject of President Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-NY, SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER: This executive order was mean-spirited and un-American.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALI., HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: The president's fitness for office is something that has been called into question.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND SECRETARY OF STATE: This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes. He is temperamentally unfit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: But while Clinton says that she was dumbfounded by her loss to now President Trump, at this point with her supporters breaking bread at the White House, "what happened" is indeed the question of the moment tonight. Also perplexed, are Republicans who wonder where all of this is heading, as the president signals that tax cuts may not include those at the upper end of the bracket.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the wealthy will be pretty much where they are. Pretty much where they are. If we can do that, we'd like it. If they have to go higher, they will go higher, frankly. We're looking at the middle-class and we are looking at jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Chris Stirewalt, Ari Fleischer, and Marie Harf, here in a moment to weigh in and jump in on all of this. But first, we start at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where the dinner is underway, probably appetizer course at this point -- Fox Chief National Correspondent, Ed Henry, has not eaten, he's out here with the rest of us with this scoop. Hi, Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good to see you, Martha. Guess who's coming to dinner? The Democratic leaders, as you say and that is what is giving conservatives heartburn tonight. President Trump, trying to reassure his base today that, in fact, he has been inspired, he said, by the way, Americans came together after these two devastating hurricanes, and he thinks it's now time for both parties to cut some deals and actually get the government working for the American people. And so, the president, told reporters that his meal with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, 24 hours after another bipartisan dinner here with several key senators at the White House last night, could result in a deal that gives the middle class and corporations a big tax cut while, as you are the president say there, he could live with the rich getting a tax increase.

Hillary Clinton continues to claim: the president is simply not able to accomplish. Because on this book to her, she seems to be making much the same case she tried to make in 2016: negative attacks on Donald Trump's ability to govern without making a compelling case for why Democrats would do better in power. On day two of book tour, Politico revealed today a series of private focus groups conducted in recent days showing that while Democrats have developed these constant lines of attack against the president ahead of the 2018 midterms, nothing seems to be sticking with swing voters, which is why the Web site dubbed the president "Teflon don."

Democratic Pollster, Celinda Lake, saying about how President Trump is bearing in these Democratic focus groups. "People do think he's bringing about change, so it's hard to say he hasn't kept his promises." So, the Democrats have now headed -- script and maybe the same start. Clinton, who told NPR yesterday she's not going anywhere because she has the experience and the scars that give her the responsibility to speak out against President Trump while on NBC's "Today Show" she suggested today, she could maybe win another race against the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAKE: Did you make enough mistakes yourself to lose the election without any of the other things you talk about.

CLINTON: Well, I will say no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If the election were held today, would you win?

HILLARY: I don't know. I think that there's at least a 50/50 chance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: Clinton, also declaring she think she would've been a "damn good president." So much so that we're learning from her book that she only wrote a victory speech last November, she did not write any kind of a concession speech because she believed she was going to win, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Remember, she did not come out right away and maybe that's the reason. I want to apologize, Ed's signal was breaking up a little bit, so we are sorry about that for everybody at home. So, let's bring in Chris Stirewalt in, Fox News politics editor; Ari Fleischer, former Bush White House press secretary; and Marie Harf, former Obama State Department spokesperson, both are Fox News contributors. Hey, you guys, good evening to you. Chris, let me start with you, my friend. What do you make of this dinner going on right now?

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLITICS EDITOR: Well, the one thing that Donald Trump and the Democrats surely agree on is that they hate the Republicans, especially the Republican leadership, they hate the Republicans in Congress, they don't like it. For different reasons, Trump, of course, is furious, frustrated, annoyed, angry that they didn't deliver the sweet of legislative successes that he wanted to open up his term. It was part of a very uneven, unhappy beginning to the Trump term presidency. Frustrated with them, he says, OK, I'll go play with the Democrats. Now, the question is how long will the Democratic base tolerate the kind of failure to hashtag resist that they are supposed to do that you talked about at the beginning. I don't think the Democratic base is going to have a very long leash on these folks.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, it's really interesting, Marie, to look at the findings in this piece today. And the Democratic Pollster, Celinda Lake, whose comment you saw in Ed's piece, and she went on to say, you know, people are still impressed with his business background and they're still willing to give Donald Trump, the President, a chance and that the attacks aren't sticking to him. And that she says that, you know, the poll finds that Democrats are naive if they think that they can, you know, sort of lock down 10 Senate seats in 24 House seats. They may be misguided in terms of the way they're reading what's going on, what do you think?

MARIE HARF, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER SPOKESPERSON OF THE OBAMA STATE DEPARTMENT: Well, she certainly right that we can't do it just by running against Donald Trump. That didn't work in 2016 and it's not going to work in 2018 or 2020. The Democratic Party is going through a lot of soul- searching like any party does after it loses a major election. And we're looking for those next leaders right now. Hillary Clinton is not the future of the Democratic Party. And look, I don't think Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have changed their opinion of Donald Trump. They realize that Donald Trump is a dealmaker, he's not an ideologue. And if they can get him to work with them on things like DACA, for example, on things like getting him to agree to extend the debt ceiling like they did just last week, look, they're willing to play ball if you'll come close to them and further away from the Republicans like Chris said.

MACCALLUM: So, Ari, what do Republicans, Conservative Republicans, think when they watch all this?

ARI FLEISCHER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER PRESS SECRETARY OF THE BUSH WHITE HOUSE: Well, they're nervous. They don't like a lot of this. But listen, what Donald Trump disrupted was ideology. The old conservative liberal way of looking at Washington, D.C., was totally thrown out the window by Donald Trump, who brought an outsider-insider to Washington. And that's one of the reasons that Donald Trump's poll numbers are shown, as the Democrats are discovering, that he's hard to take on. Because what he represents is not with the media thinks about these inflammatory things he says, how can he possibly say it, but people hear him being the anti- Washington.

And there is still so much dissatisfaction with this town that Donald Trump is successfully tapped into and has retained. So, it's a much more complicated question than just left-right; it really is the outsider- insider. The question remains, though, at the end of the day: can all this fighting lead to legislation being passed? Can the (INAUDIBLE) work? And that's where, I think, it's only going to be (INAUDIBLE) at the White House. They're not going to kiss. They won't even dance.

MACCALLUM: It is so fascinating to watch this. And Chris, you hear Senator Joe Manchin talking about, you know, 30 Democrats and 30 Republicans. Does that new coalition possibly exist that could pass tax reform, especially if as the president just said, you know, they're not really that worried about the upper end of the bracket, it's middle-class that they want to make sure they cut taxes for?

STIREWALT: Well, Unicorns might possibly exist, possibly. And if you are a Democrat representing a state that is Trumpier than all the Trumps that ever Trumped in Trumpland. Yes, you definitely want Unicorn. You are in a bi-mode on Unicorn's interest. But I would say this: Donald Trump is enjoying and Democrats are enjoying humiliating Mitch McConnell, embarrassing Paul Ryan, rubbing their nose in this. There are no viable replacements for those people -- nobody wants those jobs. And when all of this is over, it's going to be up to the president and his team to work through the leadership in Congress to get this done. And with a deadline gone -- remember at the end of the month it was going to be the fiscal cliff to end all fiscal cliffs. Without that there, the ability to spur them into action is much less.

MACCALLUM: Well, Democrats know that the map doesn't look good in 2018, necessarily, and even in 2020, according to this report this morning, so we'll see. I want to switch gears for just the last couple of minutes here. This is Hillary Clinton talking about this sort of pivotal element of why, of what happened, so watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I believe, and I think the evidence shows, I would have won. Were there head wins? Yes. Were there lots of other issues and the whole interference by Russia is still an issue? Absolutely. But the role that he played, historically, was determinative.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Determinative. And she's talking there about James Comey, Marie.

HARF: She is. And look, I think there are probably five or six big reasons that Hillary Clinton lost. One of which at the top is our own campaign strategy. But I do think that the role the Russia played and the roles that the whole Comey investigation, in particular, the way he reopened it, that did, I think, play a role. I'm not sure it was determinative, and I'm not sure that's a helpful conversation at to have as the party figures out what comes next. But look, there are a lot of reasons she lost and we can't pretend like those aren't some of those reasons. I think that would be historically inaccurate to do so.

MACCALLUM: Is it significantly that she said, you know, Russia, yes, played a role. Because for a while, the, you know, sort of party line on this was it was all about Russia.

FLEISCHER: Well, when she says Russia played a role, I don't know if she's saying they influence votes as much as they got Comey involved. And I think it is arguable about what Comey did, and how much that may or may not have tipped things. But I will say this: Republicans are celebrating that she's out there. The more Hillary Clinton speaks, the more they are reminded that elections are about choices and it's not just you measuring Donald Trump and is he doing. This was a Trump-Hillary election, and Trump won for good reasons over Hillary. And so, as Republicans have been used to now almost a year of the pummeling of Donald Trump, they're celebrating. Now, seeing Hillary return to center stage, and I hope she gets booked on a lot more T.V. shows.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, how long do you think Democrats, Chris, will put up with that before they start putting some of these people, you know, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, and we saw -- heard from Bernie Sanders today, they start pushing them forward to kind of ground out her message?

FLEISCHER: That's exactly. And the future of the Democratic Party is the Bernie Sanders-Elizabeth Warren win. You know, the untold story, really, is because the focus is on Trump, how far left the Democratic Party has shifted.

MACCALLUM: All right. Let me get the last words from Chris?

STIREWALT: You cannot resist or contain the Clintons. They will eat a coke bottle in order to stay on the front page, to stay on -- it is just who they are, it's just what they're made of and there is no core group within the Democratic Party strong enough to resist them. So, they will inflict themselves on Democrats just as long as they want.

MACCALLUM: Thanks, you guys. Good to see you all tonight.

STIREWALT: You bet.

MACCALLUM: So, breaking tonight, we have this very rough story for you. There are horrifying details that keep emerging after a sweltering Florida nursing home had no air conditioning in the wake of Irma. There are at least eight who have died in this nursing home. There's a criminal probe that is now underway. The investigation, all of that coming up just ahead. Also, student protesters in Charlottesville are calling one of the founding fathers a "racist and rapist." And they have shrouded the statue of Thomas Jefferson in black. Former Governor Mike Huckabee has a message to convey about that, straight ahead. Also, the clock winding down on the Republican effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. The men spearheading the latest GOP effort joins me in a moment next: Senator Lindsey Graham. We'll talk about that in a busy day on tax reform as well when we come back on "The Story."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SOUTH CAROLINA: If this bill dies, it's because Democrats say no.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VERMONT: You, the Republican Party, have no credibility on the issue of health care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: ObamaCare, now back in the conversation and the countdown is on for the GOP because the window to repeal and replace this law closes in just over two weeks in a move that some are calling a Hail Mary. A group of Republican senators led by Lindsey Graham ruled out their reform proposal earlier today. Just moments later, that plan was met with the rebuttal of sorts from Senator Bernie Sanders, announcing his own government-run, single payer program. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRAHAM: If you believe repealing and replacing ObamaCare is a good idea, this is your best and only chance to make it happen. Mr. President, help us. Because we are trying to help you.

SANDERS: All of us stand before you, and proudly proclaimed our belief that health care in America must be a right, not a privilege. You, the Republican Party, have no credibility on the issue of health care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Here to respond: Senator Lindsey Graham, who coauthored the GOP plan. Senator, good evening, great to have you with us back on "The Story" tonight.

GRAHAM: Great. I can't wait for this fight. You've got a devout socialist, who's a really nice guy, who went to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon, and I don't think he ever came back. So, here's the choice for America: prop up ObamaCare, which is a disaster, it's not working, it will never work. Go to BernieCare, which is full-blown socialist, single-payer health care or vote for our bill which is a block grant back to the states, sending the money and the power out of Washington back to where you live. I vote for the last one. And to my Republican colleagues, the fight is not anywhere near over, get behind this bill, take it to the floor of the United States Senate, and let's debate what's best for America. Bernie's approach or our approach.

MACCALLUM: All right. So, is everybody -- who do you have on board? Because, you know, Rand Paul doesn't seem to be on board, Murkowski, Collins, where, you know, they were both --

GRAHAM: I think we've got -- I think we'll get 50 votes for a block grant. What we do is we will repeal the individual mandate, the employer mandate. We take all the money that would be spent on ObamaCare and block grant it back to the state. By 2026, every person and every state get the same amount from the federal government. Under ObamaCare, four states get 40 percent of the money: New York, California, Maryland and Massachusetts. We send it back to the states, which he paired by 2026. It will allow governors to control health care with the state legislators. If you don't like your health care under my approach, you can complain to your governor or your state house member. If you don't like the ObamaCare or BernieCare, who do you complain to? Some faceless bureaucrats in Washington, who could give a damn about what you think? So, to my Republican colleagues --

MACCALLUM: But you know -- I mean, everybody watched this process before and it didn't pass. And your good friend Senator McCain voted against it.

GRAHAM: It's going to pass this time.

MACCALLUM: You know, from what I'm looking at it, I mean, 50 votes look like it's a bit of a long -- a pretty tough slog at this moment. But do you think the GOP realizes how upset folks back at home were, that you folks weren't able to get this done?

GRAHAM: After seven years of promising to repeal and replace ObamaCare and taking one boat in quitting, it is not exactly doing everything you can. So, here's what I want people to remember, Harry Reid made us vote on Christmas Eve to pass ObamaCare. He moved heaven and earth to make sure ObamaCare got on the floor of the Senate and kept us in on Christmas Eve. Barack Obama did everything humanly possible to pass ObamaCare. Here's the question for the Republican Party: do we have the same determination to repeal ObamaCare as Democrats had to pass it? President Trump's Vice President, Mike Pence, called me tonight to tell me that President Trump is 1000 percent on board.

I sent five names of governors to get them behind this. I've got 15 Republican governors who liked the idea of a block grant to replace ObamaCare. They want the money, they want the flexibility. I'm urging my Republican leadership, don't take one boat and walk away and say it's over. Bring our bill, which is a fundamentally different approach to health care.
Getting the money and power out of Washington back to the states, and let's have a debate worthy of a great country. And I will say this to the Republican Party if you walk away and you give up, we'll never get over this. It's one thing for Democrats to stop us. It's another thing for us to quit.

MACCALLUM: You may be right about that. The president has said that inaction is not an option, and as you point out him supportive of this. I want to play a sound bite from Paul Ryan and Mick Mulvaney on the corporate tax rate -- which is the other big issue that you folks are trying to push through. Let's play that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: The president has said 15 percent on the corporate tax rate many times.

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: He said, get it as low as you possibly can. It's all about making the numbers work.

MACCALLUM: So, he's OK with not 15 percent?

RYAN: Yes, he's OK with getting as low as you possibly can.

MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: The president and I just talked not 15 minutes ago, he's adamant about this 15 percent rate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So, he's adamant about 15 percent. Are you on board with, you know, the president's tax plan and the way that it appears to be shaping up? And do you think that you can get a coalition put together to do that?

GRAHAM: I'm on the Trump train when it comes to taxes. Here's what the president is going to say: he played the game better than anybody not paying taxes and he wants rich people to pay taxes. So, he's going to come up with the plan to make people pay -- a lot of people pay in zero in the corporate world. He's going to pick a number, like 15 percent and make them pay. I think the average American wants companies to pay their fair share and 35 percent is not their fair share. But I will tell you this about tax reform, we need to get it done, we need to get it done soon, but there is no way to save America from becoming Greece and unless you deal with health care.

We're on a glide path to becoming Greece. Medicare and Medicaid alone are going to take all the money you send in taxes by 2042. This is the best and less chance to replace ObamaCare. It will destroy the American economy if we give Bernie his way. So, we got a chance to get power and money out of Washington when it comes to healthcare. We got a chance to change the tax code. Let's take it. To my Republican friends, the fight is hard to repeal ObamaCare, as Democrats did to pass it, and we will win because our ideas are better.

MACCALLUM: Well, you know, as I've talked to the other day. They said he's retiring, the three guys across the street are retiring. Everybody wants out of the medical profession right now. So, you're right that the system is clearly not working, and that there needs to be something fixed so everybody has to pick either Bernie Sanders or your plan, I guess if they want a change. Thank you very much, Senator. Good to see you tonight.

GRAHAM: Thank you. God bless.

MACCALLUM: You too. So, still ahead tonight, President Trump is working to heal wounds after the Charlottesville violence. And tonight, he will reportedly sign a memo condemning White Supremacy. Dana Loesch says that's a good step, but what about adding one for Antifa? She's going to join us ahead. And it may take weeks to fully know how bad the situation is in the Florida Keys. We are live in South Florida and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi joins me with an update. She has been out looking at the damage today, and it is astounding. And why some of the projects to help out has turned political, right after this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK RAMSAY, SHERIFF, MONROE COUNTY: Right now, we have total devastation from about the 70-mile marker to the probably south of about the 15-mile marker, it looks like a nuclear bomb went off. We cannot let --

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: Heartbreaking story tonight. A tragedy at a Hollywood, Florida, nursing home. Eight people are dead due to intense heat that was caused by a power outage from Hurricane Irma. You can see here, more than 100 residents that they had to bring out of this facility and a growing humanitarian crisis, more than 150 miles away. FEMA says 90 percent of the homes that people live in in the keys are now destroyed or have suffered serious damage. The sheriff adding that people can't even get in yet because they just don't know how bad the devastation truly is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAMSAY: We cannot let people come in until it's safe. Right now, there's no power, there's no water, there are no food stores open, there's no ability to provide services and no hospital in the keys right now. You see trailers flipped over, you'll see boats that were on the side of the road, we pushed off with bulldozers. You'll see boats sunk everywhere. You'll see the front of buildings not even there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: It's unreal. Fox News Brian Llenas is live at the Homestead Air Reserve Base, where many of these relief efforts for the keys are based. Brian.

BRIAN LLENAS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Martha. Well, here at the Homestead Air Reserve Base, air reserve from as far as Massachusetts and Indiana are pitching in. This is really the center of it all. FEMA helping out the air force, the army, the navy, the marines. Really, just one team helping out the keys. The USS Iwo Jima, the USS New York are also off of the keys ready to help. And what we've been seeing are C-5s and C- 17s taking off with food, water, and cots. Today, we rode on a helicopter with a U.S. Navy, over a 110-mile stretch of violence known as the Florida Keys. And from the sky, it doesn't look nearly as bad as it is in person.

There still structures there, the keys have some of the more strict building codes in the country. But when you get down, you realize that people don't have water, power, cell phone service, gas, and it is already making an isolated place even more isolated. So, mobile homes are gone, hundreds of boats are sunk at the bottom of the ocean. Now, today in Key West, we were there at one of six distribution centers. And for the first time, we saw supplies like water and food dropped off by Chinook helicopters -- a surreal scene, Martha.

People watched these helicopters land in the middle of a shopping plaza in front of a T.J. Maxx and an outback steakhouse. People ran, some barefoot, others with their children as soon as the helicopters took off. These are residents who stayed in the keys for the storm, but we met residents who either lost their homes or boats or simply are just running out of supplies. They each got a case of water, some four MREs -- which are those meals ready to eat from the military. We spoke to Bobby Urdu, who was first in line for food -- for food and water. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LLENAS: What's going through your head right now?

BOBBY URDU, FLOOD VICTIM: Everything, man. I'm trying to get food supplies. We've lost everything at the house. We're just trying to -- we need some help. We just need help, you know. Everything we can get down here we're going to need. If you can help, do work, everybody get down here and help us please. We really need it.

LLENAS: It's the first time you've been in line for food and water?

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. We ran out last night. We need it.

LLENAS: The house is completely gone?

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, we've lost everything.

LLENAS: How is your family? How big is your family?

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I've got a wife and a son, a 7-year-old son.

LLENAS: They're back at the house right now?

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. I'm trying to get them some supplies. They're supposed to be water and stuff yesterday. We tried to get it. By the time we got there everything was gone. Just hopefully I can get some today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LLENAS: And Bobby is not alone. There are many others. There are hundreds in line there. And if they didn't get supplies today more will come tomorrow. Helicopters were landing until 4:00 today. Look, as for Bobby, a 6-foot storm surge ruined his home from the inside, and his roof was torn off, a very emotional scene today, but really the U.S. military stepping up big.

As for what the many people will be eating today its MRE's. This is a rib shaped barbecue flavored pork patty. It's enough to maybe feed somebody for the full day. And this is the type of thing that people are eating until they can finally get power restored and get those waterlines and those sewage lines and everything else together. The infrastructure here really badly damaged.

Again, not from the air, doesn't look like necessarily like what you would have seen in Katrina because the water has receded, but once you get a little bit closer it's a different story. Key West, by the way, not as hit hard as the rest of them. Luckily, for the Key West, which is very big for tourists, to whatnot, looks like they can get back to normal pretty, pretty soon, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Wow, incredible. Bryan, thank you very much. So here now with more, Florida attorney general, Pam Bondi. Pam, good evening. You listen to the heartbreak and the desperation in people's voices, and I bet it's hard to believe that it's your home state.

PAM BONDI, FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL: It is. It is, Martha. And I was also flying with law enforcement in the middle of the state and seeing just complete devastation. It's been truly tragic, but we've seen a lot of good. We've seen, of course, a ton of price gouging, but overall Floridians and Americans are great people.

MACCALLUM: So in terms of that because I know the price gouging and the looting is something, as attorney general, that you are very focused on. Has that cool down or is that still happening?

BONDI: Yeah. The looting got a lot of attention because, of course, it was caught on camera. You know, a bunch of young folks stealing tennis shoes, really? During a time of crisis? I've already spoken the state attorney, Cathy Fernandez Rundle, down there. Her office will be prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law. She's got jurisdiction over them. But for the most part, you're seeing love and kindness. I've gotten over 10,000 complaints, up to 11,000 now about price gouging. It's mainly hotel rooms. And if you're a bad hotel you're going to hear me talking about you, and I will be coming after you because that's ridiculous to be hurting your fellow Floridians in a time of need. We're still seeing some fuel complaints. The water ones have leveled off a little bit because I said -- let me use supply and demand against them. We had Home Depot deliver 100,000 waters at $2.97 a case to South Florida.

MACCALLUM: That's great. Good for them. So last night there was a big benefit hand-in-hand to raise money for victims of the hurricane and, of course, everybody is supportive of that. But as we see often in these things, it sort of got political at points. Let me play some of this, I want to get your reaction, Pam.

BONDI: Thanks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Anyone who believes that there is no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: During a time where it's impossible to watch the news without seeing violence or racism in the country, just when you think it couldn't possibly get worse, natural disasters take precious life.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: There are those who say we are a nation divided, that we are unsure of our way, that we have lost touch with the relief, the beliefs that make us strong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So what do you think, Pam?

BONDI: OK. Well, first, to address the first about global warming, you know, we can talk about that all day long, but that's not the time -- this isn't the place. Right now in Florida, let me tell you, I'm sure they're going to bash our oil companies. Chevron gave a million dollars today to Florida. You know, 7-eleven, $150 thousand to the Red Cross, and a hundred thousand waters. Ashley Furniture, a million dollars. So, you know what, why would you be talking about that now when we need to talk about love and unity? You know, Beyonce, I invite you to come to Florida and go around with me, and maybe I can change your heart. You talk about hatred, you talk about racism, I know she's bashed law enforcement before.

Well, I snapped a picture yesterday of a trooper, Captain Anthony Sapp, I took the picture of Captain Sapp helping a family on the side of the road who had gas, fuel in the back of a tank, and they couldn't put it in themselves. So troopers are out in 100-degree weather helping people all over the place. They're working shifts. It's everybody working together. And Florida, right now, we need to be about coming together as a state and as a country, and I cannot thank all of those -- and, you know what, even those celebrities who are raising money for our state. Thank you. In behalf of our country, thank you.

MACCALLUM: Of course.

BONDI: It's incredible.

MACCALLUM: Yeah, it is. And that's the spirit that you want to foster all around this very tough situation for everybody. Pam, thank you very much, always good to see you.

BONDI: You too, thank you.

MACCALLUM: Pam Bondi, the attorney general. So also tonight, there's new protest breaking out in Charlottesville, Virginia. And this time it is Thomas Jefferson who has come under fire. Remember we've said it might lead to this? So the shocking story now, what was done to the statue of the man who drafted our declaration of independence? Governor Mike Huckabee is here with some reaction to that. Plus, who is behind crafting the message for Trump in the White House? These women. So where is the feminist praise for all of the women who are in very high power positions in the White House these days? Are they going to have a big magazine spread to celebrate them? Dana Loesch and Jessica Tarlov weigh in when we come back.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think there's blame on both sides, and I have no doubt about it, and you don't have any doubt about it either. But you also have people that were very fine people on both sides, you had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of -- to them, a very, very important statue, and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

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MACCALLUM: So remember those remarks from President Trump, and they set off a firestorm after Charlottesville. And now, congress has sent a resolution to the president's desk asking that he condemn white supremacy, the White House saying tonight that he will sign it. The president also met today with Senator Tim Scott, the African-American Republican lawmaker who has been openly and harshly critical of the president's Charlottesville response. Here's the senator after they had that meeting today.

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TIM SCOTT, UNITED STATES SENATOR: He was certainly very clear that perception that he received on his comments was not exactly what he intended for those comments. What I wanted to get out of the conversation was a focus on fairness and opportunity. Most people of color and, frankly, all Americans, want to be treated fairly in this nation, and they want access to opportunities.

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MACCALLUM: Dana Loesch, host of Dana on the Blaze TV, and Jessica Tarlov, author of America in the age of Trump, and a Fox News contributor. Welcome to both of you. Good to have you here. So this resolution, which was a bipartisan resolution, Paul Ryan, Senator McConnell, they were both in support of having the president signed this resolution. I want to put up what it says. It says -- just a small part of it, but it says it urges the president and his administration to speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy. Dana, what do you think about that?

DANA LOESCH, DANA ON THE BLAZE TV HOST: Well, Martha, thank you for having me. It's basically just a formal request to something that the president has already done, two, three, and four times now, I think. I think there's also a little bit of inside baseball to this in terms of some political infighting between Republican leadership and the president. I think they're probably a little bit upset over some of the deal that he made with Chuck Schumer. So there's probably a little back-and-forth. But, Martha, the bigger thing is, that the president already made the statement, which is why the White House had no issue with signing it at all, whatsoever. Now, the bigger question is when do we include Antifa?

MACCALLUM: That is the bigger question. I mean, it raises this question, why would you, Jessica, put forward a resolution like this, and I think as Dana points out, that probably some political reasons for why they felt it was so important for him to have to sign this. And I think to their credit, they just said, OK, he's going to sign it. They don't want to make a bigger deal out of it than they have to. But it's a little bit, you know, nudgy, isn't it?

JESSICA TARLOV, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think that they're just protecting themselves, because I think if the president's response which was initially, completely inadequate, and people on both sides of the aisle agreed with that. You've heard from Tim Scott, obviously. We know what happened to Gary Cohn after he came out against it. I mean, this is not adequate. Then he fixed it. Then he unfixed it again going back to what was the line from very fine people on both sides. No fine people with the white supremacist.

So I think what the Republicans who supported this were trying to do, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, may be a little Schumer payback. But more trying to clear their own name and the Republican brand name because there's a lot of conversation about the fact that if you're a Republican then you support racism, which I certainly do not believe myself, but we know that's been said. Howard Dean has commented in, and a lot of other people in high positions. So I think they were covering themselves a little bit too, here. And not just mad about what happened with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

MACCALLUM: All right. Let's move to the other topic, which is that there's been some new appointments in the communications department at the White House. And we can put up the picture of those who are now in positions. The deputy -- the communication director now is Hope Hicks, who has really been at the president side since the very beginning. Kellyanne Conway, of course, is the senior counselor to the president. Mercedes Schlapp is added to this team, she is now going to be a strategic communications director for the president, and, of course, the press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. But it's it was interesting today because after all of this was announced there was some twitter activity going on, as there always is, and this one from Hadas Gold, was just, sort of, emblematic of what we saw a lot of today. She said, almost all women. Will there be an Elle, Glamour, Vogue, Marie Claire, Cosmo spread coming soon? It's a good question. And they're ought to be because it's pretty impressive, this team. What do you think about, Dana?

LOESCH: I think that's great. Of course, there's not going to be any kind of Vogue spread like Samantha Power, or anyone else received because women apparently don't count if they identify as Republicans or conservatives or libertarians or simply independent thinkers. They're immediately discounted because so many people on the left, not everyone, but a certain number of them, have tried to tie identifying as being female with identifying as being Democrat also. You can't be a woman and be anything but a Democrat. You can't be a woman and be anything but pro-choice. And so, they're not going to get that same sort of treatment, they should because their accomplishment are great.

MACCALLUM: It really is. You know, we talk about, you know, empowering women and supporting each other and all of that, it doesn't go across the party lines though, Jessica, especially with these publications.

TARLOV: I do want to say massive congratulations for Mercedes Schlapp, who I absolutely adore. I would miss her greatly because I'm on and off with her. I would say that Dana is absolutely correct, and yours as well, that there isn't going to be a spread about this. But I think that it's not just the fact that they're conservatives. I think it's because they support policies that don't help women. And the Democratic platform is very clear about this that they want to support policies that raise women up. That's raising the minimum wage. That's making sure you have access to health care, as much economic opportunity as possible. So that's where.

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MACCALLUM: So their voices have to be banished from these publications? There are plenty of women's on the other side of the aisle who believe that they are very supportive of women.

TARLOV: No, they believe that.

LOESCH: Democrats aren't the only people that have policies.

TARLOV: No, you don't. But if your policies hurt women in the end. If they actually keep them down.

LOESCH: Pro-choice -- no, they don't. That's a misnomer. Pro-choice is not health care. We have to stop that.

TARLOV: Really?

LOESCH: I'm so tired of hearing all the time. Yes, Democrats try to have-- they want to monopolize taking care of women, and they don't. Let's look at where women and unemployment are right now. High unemployment for women. I'm tired of this talking point.

MACCALLUM: Guys, I got to jump in. I'm sorry. We've got to leave it there, Jessica and Dana. But I think it's about respecting the fact that women have all different opinions on these things. That they ought to be represented, they ought to be credited when they achieve a position like this at the White House. So, thank you both for being here. So a new protest breaking out in Charlottesville, tonight, this time targeting UVA founder and the author of our declaration of independence, Thomas Jefferson, protesters calling him racist and a rapist. Plus, new concerns about violence at UC Berkeley as the school readies for a pair of events featuring well-known conservative, including Ben Shapiro. We're going to get Governor Mike Huckabee's take on that right after this.

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MACCALLUM: So now school is back in session, and across the country we are witnessing the latest in a long debate over free speech on college campuses. Just last night at the University of Virginia, demonstrators climb on top of a Thomas Jefferson statue, the founder of course of UVA, they covered it with a black shroud and protest of the school's handling of recent white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville. The protesters labeling the former president a racist and a rapist. Joining us now former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, a Fox News contributor, good to see you, governor. What do you think about all of this?

MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ARKANSAS: Well, I'm just so glad that President Teresa Sullivan, the president of UVA, brought her brain to work because a lot of college presidents apparently don't. But she stood up for a simple reality, that Thomas Jefferson was a flawed man but he was also a great man, and if you read the declaration of independence, the very sort of birthday card for this country, how can you not appreciate at least the extraordinary understanding that he had in the time in which he wrote it? And I just think that some of these students, did they not know that the University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson? Were they ignorant and completely unaware of any of his own personal history? Why did they go to school at the University of Virginia? And I would love to ask them where in America could you go, and go to a school that was founded by somebody who was utterly perfect? I mean, the bible is filled with people who were imperfect, and I think only Jesus measures up to the person without sin.

MACCALLUM: Where do you think all this is going?

HUCKABEE: Well, the sad thing is, statues don't really hurt us. But I'll tell you what hurts us, what hurts us are the bodies of human beings who continually want to stamp out every vestige of who we once were, who we are, and I don't understand what the goal is. This nonsense of saying that we're not going to listen to our history. That's a dangerous thing, Martha. Our history is what gives us perspective. And, you know, if a culture doesn't know its history it's the same as an individual not having a personal memory. If I woke up tomorrow and didn't know who I was, where I came from, who my parents were, anything about my background, I'd be utterly lost. And a culture and a civilization that has no clue to its history is utterly lost. And this is why we study history. History is to the culture what memory is to the individual.

MACCALLUM: Yeah, I mean, there's also the evolution of how we got where we are. You know, we're constantly trying to perfect our nation, right? And they represent the beginning of how we begin this process, and that's valuable, isn't it?

HUCKABEE: Well, it is. And you go back through history, I mean, where does this stop? Do we get rid of the Jefferson Memorial, Mount Rushmore? And who else do we need to eliminate? Do we eliminate Bill Clinton? He was a man that did some pretty, let's just say untoward things in the oval office as president. Do we get rid of John Kennedy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Where does it stop?

MACCALLUM: Great point.

HUCKABEE: We have a long history of people who weren't perfect.

MACCALLUM: We sure do. Governor Huckabee, thank you, always good to talk to you. So right out of this we're going to come back with the quote of the night, after this.

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MACCALLUM: So here's a very hot topic, the role that tech companies increasingly play in our lives, our commerce and our politics, companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple. Our quote of the night comes from Franklin Foer new book, World without end, the existential threat of big tech. He says this. When it comes to those central tenet of individualism, free will, the tech companies have a different way. They hope to automate our choices, both large and small choices, the choices we make as we float through the day. If their algorithm that suggests the news we read, the goods we buy, the paths we travel, the friends we invite into our circle, it's hard not to marvel at this company and their inventions, which often make life infinitely easier, but we'd spent too long marveling. The time has arrived to consider the consequences of these monopolies, to reassert our role in determining the human path. Once we cross certain threshold, once we remake institutions such as media and publishing, once we abandon privacy, there is no turning back, no restoring our lost individuality. Now that is the story we're going to be talking about for some time. Hope you'll join us in the coming days. We will see you back here tomorrow night at 7:00. Tucker Carlson is up next.

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