Keane: Trump putting US back on world stage as leader

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," September 20, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, "THE STORY" HOST: Tonight, one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit U.S. territory has left Puerto Rico in the dark tonight. I'm Martha MacCallum and that is where our story begins. Maria, a storm that went from a Cat 1 to a Cat 5 in a matter of hours has now raked across St. Croix and other islands in the chain -- damages not yet fully known. When it hit earlier today, the winds were coming in at 155 miles an hour. It's been 85 years since they have taken a hit like the one they took today. Thousands of people are seeking shelter, it is pitch black in the evening there now. The entire island, 100 percent of Puerto Rico has zero power. Steve Harrigan live in San Juan for us tonight. Hi, Steve.

STEVE HARRIGAN, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Martha, the start of a long and painful cleanup is just beginning behind me. Around this courtyard, there are trunks of buildings everywhere -- these are high-rise hotels. And those 145-mile-per-hour winds were strong enough to rip the sides off, rip balconies down, rip satellite fixtures down. That wind just kept ripping through here and snapping off trees. Widespread damage across the island. This was a worst-case scenario for Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory of 3.5 million people.

A powerful storm moving diagonally around the most heavily populated eastern tip of the island. As it stands now, there is still danger ahead even after these winds. Widespread flooding, perhaps, flash flooding as well as a storm surge. Right now, as you pointed out, no electricity. There is some generator power behind me and here near the airport, but 3.5 million people; the entire island in the dark. The electrical grid was already weakened by Irma, now it could be the start of a cleanup and recovery that could take months. Martha, back to you.

MACCALLUM: All right. Steve, we'll check back later. Thank you very much. And there is new fallout tonight from the president's speech at the U.N., as all sides of the media scramble to figure out what to make of the bold calling out of torturous, terrorist, and authoritarian regime in North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump calls Kim Jong-un "Rocketman" in front of the whole world. He doesn't on purpose. Doesn't give the respect of even using his real name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He also insults the Iranians and puts them in a corner where they will absolutely not react positively to any suggestion of renegotiation.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: Iran, is actually living up to the spirit, and the letter of the Iran nuclear deal.

WENDY SHERMAN, SENIOR FELLOW AT HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL'S BELFER CENTER FOR SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: This is not an axis of evil.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So, others focused on the president's frequent use of the word sovereignty during the speech.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: This idea of sovereignty. That's a loaded term. This is a favorite expression of authoritarian leaders from China to Russia to the African dictatorships.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back to this use of the word sovereign and sovereignty. Did you hear a buzzword or a dog whistle in his repeated use of that word?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So, to remind you at home, sovereignty is defined as power or authority, or a self-governing state, not exactly on the face of it a controversial position. General Jack Keane is here in a moment on what to make of that in the U.N. speech, and why it has so many people talking. But first, we want to debate some of the reaction with Charles Hurt, Political Columnist for the Washington Times and Fox News Contributor; and Zac Petkanas, former Senior DNC Advisor and Campaign Aide to Hillary Clinton. Good to have both of you here today. The sovereignty -- Zac, does the use of the word sovereignty bother you?

ZAC PETKANAS, FORMER SENIOR DNC ADVISOR AND CAMPAIGN AIDE TO HILLARY CLINTON: No, it doesn't, it doesn't bother me. I think what people are concerned about is the intellectual dishonesty that he uses when he employs it. You know, he's fine sovereignty when it comes to authoritarian regimes like in Russia, but it's a problem when it's in places like Cuba and Venezuela. I'm not a fan of the regimes in Cuba and Venezuela, but if he's going to call them out, he should be also calling out Russia. But he's not, then, I think we all know the reason why there.

MACCALLUM: Well, he did call out Russia. He specifically called them out for -- he said, we must reject threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to the South China Seas. We must uphold, respect the law, respect for borders, respect the culture, and peaceful engagement that these allow. I mean, it's right there.

PETKANAS: Yes. But I must've missed the calling him out for the attack on our democracy and working to undermine freedom and elections here in the United States. I mean, look, if we're going to call out regimes and how they attack other nations sovereignty, it has to start there and it has to start how they attacked us in 2016.

MACCALLUM: All right. So, you don't want anyone to question North Korea or Venezuela or Syria or any of those countries with regard to these questions?

PETKANAS: No, no. That's not what I'm saying at all. I think we should absolutely call out North Korea and Iran.

MACCALLUM: So, you thought that those speech was good or that was concerned?

PETKANAS: Well, I was concerned and a couple friends, especially when it came to -- you know, first, with North Korea and that bellicose language that he uses, it doesn't weaken the regime, it actually strengthens it. I wouldn't be surprised if his remarks are being played on a loop in North Korean central T.V. for domestic consumption. But on Iran, I have a real problem with how he called out and talked about withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. That's simply going to lead to yet another power with a nuclear weapon just like North Korea.

MACCALLUM: Charlie, what do you think about all this?

CHARLIE HURT, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND POLITICAL COLUMNIST FOR THE WASHINGTON TIMES: I just have a hard time understanding why it is that advising North Korea, advising rocket man, that if you do attack one of our neighbors or attack the United States, you will be annihilated. I think that that very clear message is something that's very, very important. Of course, you know, these people -- let's say, I don't think there's any speech that Donald Trump could've given to the U.N. that the people at the U.N. would've liked. They despise him and everything he stands for every bit as much as they love Barack Obama and everything Barack Obama stood for, even before he accomplished a single thing or in my view, failed to accomplish a single thing, but even before he took office they loved him.

That said, he did give a very Trumpian speech. I thought it was terrific. I think a lot of people -- I think any, you know, an unbiased observer would agree that it was a great speech. But the real problem -- this is the thing that kills me, Martha -- is listening to the people on the left and listening to Democrats talk about all of these things that Trump didn't address or didn't address properly, or didn't respect, all of these problems were given to us by Barack Obama. And whether it's Russian run amok, whether it's nuclear North Korea or ISIS on the march or the mayhem in Syria, all of this was bequeathed to us by his predecessor. And so, the idea of trying something different is actually, I think, probably, a pretty smart idea.

MACCALLUM: What's wrong with trying something different, Zac?

PETKANAS: Look, I'm all for trying something different, but I think we also need to keep things that are working. For example, the Iran nuclear deal. This is not Zac Petkanas saying that the Iran nuclear is working, it's the Trump administration, this summer, certifying that Iran is not making nuclear weapons if the head of U.S. Central Command today, who said that Iran is abiding by those rules. Yet, despite the fact that Trump's own administration is saying that Iran is not making a nuclear weapon, the administration -- he is winking and nodding saying that he's going to blow up this agreement and blow up American credibility with the world, with the Iranians. and with North Korea, who if we want to enter into some sort of agreement so that they would rid themselves of nuclear weapons, they'll point to what we did with Iran -- where we broke our word when we said that we would keep an agreement with them that the Iranians were keeping, but the United States did not.

MACCALLUM: Charlie, I want to --

HURT: The problem with the Iran deal and the administration are not acknowledging that they're doing everything right. They are making a political decision not to withdraw from it right now, we'll see how long that goes. But the problem is we got nothing in return for it and at the end of it, best-case scenario, and we don't know that the inspections are very lax. We don't know -- we can't say with any certainty that they are abiding by everything. We do know for certain at the end of the 10-year period, then it will all -- Iran will then be on the path to achieving a nuclear weapon and that is a terrible, terrible deal, and that's what Donald Trump ran on.

MACCALLUM: All right. I got to leave it there.

HURT: Thanks.

MACCALLUM: Guys, thank you. Charlie, thank you very much. You didn't finish your sentence, I', sorry. Zac, good to see you as always. Thanks, you guys.

PETKANAS: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: All right. So, let's bring it with more on this, Fox News Military Analyst and Chairman of the Institute for the Study of War, General Jack Keane. General, always good to see you. Thanks for coming on THE STORY tonight. And you listen to the conversation, what you have to put in there?

GEN. JACK KEANE, FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST AND CHAIRMAN OF THE INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF WAR: Well, first of all, when it comes to the speech, I really thought it was one of Trump's best speeches -- the only one that's comparable to it is his value-based speech in Poland. And you know, I was just so relieved, Martha, that after eight years of Obama's empty platitudes, his persistent apology for America and this kind of soothing, comfortable rhetoric that he uses to get an applause line, it's over.

And to Trump, direct, bold, fearless, he has been, for nine months, and I've been watching this very closely to see what are the contours of Donald Trump's foreign policy and national security direction, and this is consistent with the direction he's moving in -- and that is to put America back on the world stage as a global leader promoting stability, security, and prosperity. That is truly what he's doing and the criticism he's getting it seems to me when you listen to it, it has more to do with his style, his directness, his boldness, his rhetoric than with the policies he's actually emanating.

MACCALLUM: When he spoke about Venezuela, he basically made a criticism of socialism at the heart of it. He was -- there was some backlash from the Venezuelan foreign minister and here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JORGE ARREAZA, FOREIGN MINISTER OF VENEZUELA: This return to the cold world. For a moment, we didn't know we were listening to President Reagan in 1982 or to President Trump in 2017.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: I mean, it's highly possible that President Trump might really like that comment. He didn't mean it as a compliment. But he really did not, you know, sort of broker any fools when he laid out his feelings about socialism. He said, it simply doesn't work and that what they're doing in Venezuela is a perfect example of it.

KEANE: It is not a socialistic movement that has ever survived the test of time because you eventually run out of other people's money, and that is what has happened in Venezuela. Every single one of these socialist movement has failed and it's tragic because the people suffer so extraordinarily -- that's what's taking place here. And thank you, Donald Trump, for identifying what the real problem is there.

MACCALLUM: I want to play one more sound bite for you. This is Lester Holt speaking with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LESTER HOLT, NBC ANCHOR: The Trump administration representative is the president in New York, and they are putting Iran, essentially, in the same basket as North Korea -- portraying both countries as a threat to stability and peace and calling on the world to act. How do you feel when you hear Iran and North Korea spoke about in the same breath?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: He went on to say that he wasn't crazy about that idea. What do you think about the context of the question, though?

KEANE: Well, I think Iran's behavior is actually worse. In 1980, Iran started killing Americans. They blew up -- using their proxies, they blow up our embassy in Lebanon, they blow up our marine barracks, they blow up the annex in Lebanon, they blew up the Kuwait embassy, they blew up our Air Force barracks in Saudi Arabia, and they made a systematic killing of American soldiers in Iraq for three and a half years. They are now marauding over Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. They are trying to dominate entire region. North Korea is not trying to do that. Iran has been in the killing business for a long time outside of its own country. North Korea is in the killing business, certainly, inside of its own country. Iran, if it gets nuclear weapons, Martha, will be a global menace that will dwarf the threat from North Korea.

MACCALLUM: General Jack Keane, always good to have you here, sir. Thank you very much for coming tonight.

KEANE: Good talking to you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: You too. So, the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is about to speak to reporters at the U.N. We're going to monitor that and we will take you there if there is news in that room. And then tonight, there is this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I feel like I'm a bit of a, you know, Paula Revere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Hillary Clinton said she is glad that she is sounding the alarm on Russia. But wait a minute, what is her backstory on this? It is complicated, so we're going to show you her record and we'll talk to Karl Rove and we will talk to Adrian Elrod, who works closely on the Clinton campaign tonight. Plus, a leading voice in the Democratic Party, Keith Ellison, facing some major backlash tonight after comparing illegal immigrants in this country to Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. Ben Shapiro, reacts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. KEITH ELLISON, D-MINN., DEPUTY CHAIR OF THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: If you ask yourself what would happen in 1941 if my Jewish neighbors were under attack by the Nazis, would I give them sanctuary?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I feel like I'm a bit of a, you know, Paula Revere. I'm trying to sound the alarm about this. Is that the -- you know, you've got to understand what Putin's strategy is: he really doesn't like democracy. He thinks it's an inconvenient, messy process. And he doesn't like us and he wants to destabilize our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So, that was former Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton, on "Late Show" last night, saying she's like Paul Revere warning everyone about the dangers of Russia. But let's take a look at where Hillary Clinton has been on this concern in the past.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: We want to reset our relationship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's do it together.

CLINTON: We will do it together.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: And then, when it was suggested during the campaign that candidate Trump may not accept the outcome of the election at a point when everybody thought he was going to lose, Clinton said this even though at that point the Obama administration had been warned that Russia might be trying to exert some influence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: We've been around for 240 years. We've had free and fair elections. We've accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them. And that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Joining us now, Karl Rove, Fox News Political Contributor and former Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush; and Adrian Elrod, Strategic Communications Director for the Clinton 2016 Presidential Campaign. So, Adrian, let me start with you. So, this argument was made in a number of places today that Hillary Clinton is really not standing on firm ground when she says that she's been warning people about Russia.

ADRIAN ELROD, STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR THE CLINTON 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: No. Look, first of all, Secretary Clinton made very clear in her book and during the campaign, especially when we realized that there may have been significant influence by the Russians and potential collusion by the Russians and the Trump campaign. We sounded the alarm that she's talking about today around this time last year, if not before. But I'm glad that she's going here in her book because, first of all, when Secretary Clinton speaks, people listen. She makes a point, it drives news, we're talking about it tonight, for example.

Secondly, the Russians did have a lot of issues. I mean, it's indisputable they did have an influence on this election. What we don't know is to the extent that they may have had a contact in collusion with Donald Trump's campaign. So, again, she's sounded the alarm, she's speaking. I love her Revere comment because I think, again, that drives headlines and that's what we're talking about. And we need -- regardless if you're a Democrat or Republican, everyone in this country should be concerned about any adversarial government trying to influence the election process.

MACCALLUM: I mean, one of the points that aren't lost on anybody, I don't think, Karl, is that you know, Mitt Romney was sounding the alarm on Russia, President Obama laughed at him. In fact, back then, Mitt Romney said that he thought Russia was a nation that lines up with the world's worst actors, which, you know, now turns out to be true in a lot of places. And at this point, that narrative has been completely lost. Democrats seem to have invented it.

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, remember, Romney called in the third debate called Russia America's greatest geopolitical foe. And President Obama whipped off the line. The 1980's are calling, they want their foreign policy back dismissing this as inaccurate. What was interesting was what happened next. The secretary of state, who normally stays on the sidelines in political campaigns, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton jumped into it and attacked Mitt Romney, saying his views were dated.

So, maybe today after she's lost the election, she's decrying the involvement of Russia and saying that they are a foe of the United States. But when she was secretary of state, she sought a reset, she turned a blind eye to their expansionism and she dismissed them as being a foe and called anybody who thought that as being irrational. So, you know, this book, I'm reading the book. First of all, she misquotes me on page nine, but that's a minor thing. This book depicts, just as her speeches are, that the American people are a bunch of racist and misogynist and deplorable, and that she is the victim of an unfair campaign. At the woman has no ability to assume responsibility. No losing presidential candidate has ever written a book like this nor should they -- it diminishes her and diminishes the process.

MACCALLUM: I mean, Adrian, you know, she made the argument to reset relations with Russia. She said she wanted to, you know, improve the relationship there, to build democracy there. I mean, you can also go back to her own relationship, the Clinton foundation's relationship with Uranium, one -- she didn't seem to have any problems with that transaction. I mean, so, it's pretty tough after you lose to suddenly say it's all because of those guys.

ELROD: Well, look, first of all, her job as secretary of state was to improve any sort of diplomatic relationship that we had.

MACCALLUM: Why did she have a problem with Donald Trump, you know, sort of, working towards that?

ROVE: No. That's not the responsibility of the secretary of state, the responsibility of the secretary of state is to represent U.S. interests and values and to deal toughly with people who are not our friends and who are instead our adversaries. And she was right from the beginning seeking to cozy up to Putin and as was her boss and all deference or defense.

ELROD: She was not trying to cozy up.

ROVE: Oh really, really? Give me some slack, because, after the election, I'll have more flexible? What was that? What was that all about? And where did we see President Obama get tough on Russia when Russia took Crimea? We said to the Ukrainians, yes, we'll send you meals ready to eat but we're not going to give you defensive weapons, and you can pick up the MRAs in Poland because we don't want U.S. aircraft landing in Ukraine. Putin saw that for what it was, the continuation of weakness and President Obama was not the only actor in this. Hillary Clinton was the prime mover in our foreign policy as secretary of state.

MACCALLUM: Let me give Adrian the last word. Go ahead, Adrian.

ELROD: No. Look, again, I'll go back -- I disagree with Karl Rove strongly on this. It's her job as secretary of state to reset relations. Yes, she did admit that the red button was not exactly the best way to do it. But part of her job, again, was to reset relations with Russia and try, you know, a new administration coming in trying to reach that. Secondly, on the uranium issue, she was not even involved in that situation, so you can even compare the fact that the Clinton Foundation --

ROVE: she's a member -- it had approved the sale.

ELROD: But it was largely debunked by the Washington Post, they got four financiers. It was also something that was amiss that was written in Clinton cash, which was awful a book that was largely debunked.

MACCALLUM: All right. Guys, thank you very much.

ELROD: Thanks, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Good to see you both.

ELROD: You too.

ROVE: You bet.

MACCALLUM: So, still ahead tonight, we're going to have live reports from two natural disasters, 2,000 miles apart. First, we'll take you to Mexico City, where the desperate rescue efforts are happening at this hour, following the deadly and damaging 7.1 earthquakes there yesterday. And then, to San Juan tonight where Hurricane Maria is causing absolute destruction as it tears through the Caribbean. Where it's going next and does the U.S. mainland need toe prepared? The latest on the storm's track coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: Major rescue effort is underway at this hour in Mexico. Workers and volunteers raised to find survivors after a deadly 7.1 magnitude quake struck Mexico yesterday. At least 225 people have lost their lives in this disaster. It's the second major quake that hit Mexico. The other one was down in Chiapas, near the border, in just the last couple of weeks. So, these numbers, sadly, are expected to rise as they continue to comb through the rubble. Jonathan Hunt, following all of this for us today as the rescue efforts continue tonight. Jonathan, good evening.

JONATHAN HUNT, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Martha, we are at a staging post for the official rescue workers and the many hundreds of volunteer civilians who are engaged in the effort to search through the rubble of what was a Mexico City elementary school. So far, we are told at least 30 children are confirmed to have died when that school collapse, up to another 30 may still be missing. Here's what it's like at the scene.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUNT: Directly ahead of us is the collapsed school. It is a constant hive of activity here as hundreds of rescue workers continue the desperate search for any children who may have survived and be trapped beneath the rubble of that school. As you can see, supplies are constantly being brought in and the workers are constantly digging the way as carefully as they can at that rubble trying to find anybody who could still be alive. And then, every few minutes the rescue workers and the civilian volunteers here hold their clenched fists in the air. That is the signal for silence. The signal that those workers believe they might be able to hear something. It is a sign of desperation, and as every minute ticks away the situation becomes more desperate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HUNT: That sort of scene, Martha, is being repeated across this city tonight. Some 44 buildings in all collapsed and there are searches going on in many of them. President Pena Nieto had said this remains at the moment a rescue operation, and he says it will remain exactly that until authorities could be absolutely certain that there is no possibility at all that anybody is left alive beneath the rubble. Hope is there but hope is increasingly faint. And clearly, as every hour passes the hope to find survivors dims. Martha?

MACCALLUM: All right, Jonathan. Let's hope they bring more children alive out of that school. That is an awful story. Jonathan Hunt in Mexico City, tonight. And another natural disaster, some 2,000 miles away striking a similarly devastating blow, Hurricane Maria wreaking havoc across the Caribbean, which is already been so battered by the chain of hurricanes that we have watched. Puerto Rico was slammed today with fierce winds, heavy rainfall that left the entire island without electricity. Authorities say it could be months before they get back regular electricity there. The storm now a category 2, continues to make its way to the Atlantic, and that raises some concerns over where it may head next as it goes north. Would it hit the east coast of the continental U.S.? Chief meteorologist Rick Reichmuth is in the weather center for us tonight, tracking Maria's path. Good evening, Rick.

RICK REICHMUTH, FOX NEWS CHIEF METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Martha. Yeah, it hit the east coast, unlikely. Impact the east coast very likely. I'll show you that in a second. Keep in mind these northern Virgin Islands right here that took that direct impact from Hurricane Irma, just a couple weeks ago. And now St. Croix, the southern island here watching the eye wall go right over the island from this storm, and cutting diagonally across Puerto Rico, really the worst-case scenario impacting the entire island, that's what all of it is without power now. Now, the storms is to the north of the island, take a look at that. It is starting to get that back together. Likely will be strengthening backup into a cat 3, cat 4 hurricane at it moves towards the north.

Here is what you look at though for hurricane force winds. The darker colors the higher the probability of hurricane force winds. Notice this, less of a chance in across the Dominican Republic, less of a chance in Turks and Caicos. Likely staying just to the north and just to the east there of Turks and Caicos, which would be great news. The official track pulls this off towards the north. And you've said it, it gets very close towards the eastern seaboard, somewhere between the outer banks and Bermuda by the time we gets, say towards Monday and Tuesday. You notice though it's a much weaker storm at that point. It will begin to get pull apart. Likely, we're going to see impacts here primarily coastal erosion and some very strong waves, but if it inches a little bit closer, obviously, those impacts go up. We have plenty of time to watch this and wait and see, Martha.

MACCALLUM: All right. We will with your help. Rick, thank you so much.

REICHMUTH: You bet.

MACCALLUM: So breaking tonight, we are waiting for secretary of state Rex Tillerson to speak in New York City at the United Nations. If there's any news there we will certainly bring it to you. We're keeping a close eye on it. Also, the White House ratcheting up pressure on senators ahead of a crucial vote to try to get repeal and replace through in the next several days, can they do that? Ed Henry on what's going on behind the scenes at 1600, and Chris Stirewalt on how the vicious politics of this, and even crept into late-night TV and Jimmy Kimmel after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: This is not repeal. It's not even -- it's barely ObamaCare-lite. It keeps ObamaCare. It's not what we promise.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: If you're voting against us, you're voting to keep ObamaCare.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: We're flying blind and they're going to rush this through.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans (INAUDIBLE)

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is really a stinkaroo.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: We'll appoint -- we're going to take the bill up next week.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So you get the idea, senators split on health care, as Republicans latest fight to get the 50 votes to finally repeal ObamaCare, which they have been promising for seven years, is expected to really go down to the wire in the next few days. So today, we got a big announcement from senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, he says he's going ahead, it's his intention, I think was his word, to bring the bill to the senate floor for a vote next week. Senator Rand Paul as you just saw, that was on The Story a couple days ago, said he's definitely a no. So the GOP can afford to lose one more vote on this Graham-Cassidy bill. Fox News chief national correspondent Ed Henry at the White House with how the folks in the building behind him are trying to turn up the heat on congress. Hi, Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, good to see you, Martha. The last time health care reform went down the president took some heat for not being personally invested enough in the fight. So this time he is making a stronger push both from him and his vice president, Mike Pence. Interesting because while he's heavily engaged in those U.N. meetings in New York, the president is still using his favorite megaphone, twitter, to play cheerleader with at least a slightly lighter touch than we'd seen before, rather than savage Senator Rand Paul over that sound bite you've played. The president tweeted, quote, Rand Paul is a friend of mine, but he is such a negative force when it comes to fixing health care. Graham-Cassidy bill is great. End's O-care.

Meanwhile, the vice president has been literally shuttling back and forth between those U.N. meetings and health care conversations back here in Washington. Yesterday, Pence left New York just to fly to D.C. for lunch at the capital with GOP senators. Today, he actually left a U.N. Security Council meeting to take a call from senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. Now, the president after that spoke about the optimism he and the vice president have about this vote.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Mike Pence has been working on it. Our vice president has done such a great job on health care, and those health care (INAUDIBLE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: Now, all eyes are on another important relationship, bill co- sponsor Lindsey Graham and John McCain. The president has called out McCain for syncing the last health care bill. But McCain, remember, is close friends with Graham, so he could be swayed this time. And the namesake of ObamaCare weighed in today. Former president Barack Obama declaring that to see people trying to undo his hard-won progress is, quote, aggravating to him. Critics immediately pass on social media the real aggravation goes to people who lost their doctors and health plans.

And you have to watch this because the other big thing here is the former president getting involved may actually get the right more excited, more invested in this vote, and rally behind the current president, President Trump, right after President Obama's comments. In fact, Lindsey Graham went out there and said the only reason why Barack Obama is saying this is he doesn't want to admit that ObamaCare is failing. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Fascinating. Ed, thank you so much. So here's another sort of element to this story. Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel has launched a pretty personal attack on one of the bills architects, Senator Bill Cassidy. The two have a bit of history on this. In May, Kimmel told a story about his newborn son, Billy, who needed open-heart surgery. During a cheerful monologue, Kimmel went after Republicans in their efforts to repeal ObamaCare saying that children like his son might not be covered by insurance if it were repealed. So a week later, Senator Cassidy came on the show for an interview and they found some common ground, including what Cassidy dubbed the Jimmy Kimmel test, saying that no family should be denied medical care because they can't afford it. But last night, Kimmel turned on Senator Cassidy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY KIMMEL, 'JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE' SHOW HOST: He said he would only support a health care bill that make sure a child like mine would get the health coverage he needs. Bill Cassidy just lied right to my face. If this bill isn't good enough for you, call your congressperson. You can't just click like on this video.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I wish he understood completely. Now the state will have the ability to provide coverage, so when that child has a problem the parents have the coverage that the child's problems can be addressed. And we protect those with pre-existing conditions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Here now, Chris Stirewalt, Fox News politics editor. Chris, good to see you tonight.

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLITICS EDITOR: Good evening.

MACCALLUM: This is powerful stuff. I mean, it's all over social media.

STIREWALT: Sure.

MACCALLUM: And we had seen that, you know, late-night TV show host can have a pretty big impact when they want to on an issue like this.

STIREWALT: Well, I think what strikes me in all of this, more than just what Jimmy Kimmel's opinion is, or what anybody's opinion is, there's, you know, opinions -- everybody's got one. What strikes me here is the nature of the invective, not just from Kimmel, but that it reflected among other Democrats. We saw senator from Connecticut say that this was a moral garbage truck fire. Hillary Clinton said it was cruel. So you're calling Bill Cassidy, you're saying this man is a liar, he is cruel, he is a moral garbage truck fire starter, so he's immoral, cruel and dishonest. And I wonder at what point do we say that we lost the ability to have a real discussion here about anything if it immediately goes to ad hominem attacks, and it immediately becomes about attacking the person and not their ideas. And we're talking here about senior people. We're talking about important people inside the Democratic Party, including Kimmel.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. Tim Albert, reporter, said that Kimmel once hosted a show with a segment called girls jumping on trampolines. Today, U.S. senators quote him on health care. God bless America, he says. You're laughing because I think you remember that episode, don't you, Chris?

STIREWALT: It was the Man Show.

MACCALLUM: Oh, no. We're not showing it.

STIREWALT: Look away. Look away.

MACCALLUM: You know, I don't know what's worse, I looked at this today, and it was the first time I've ever seen "The Man Show." So I don't know who's worse, the girls who volunteered to jump on the trampoline, or the two of them. But anyway, that's old news. But, you know, the point is that should we be looking for -- because a lot of people have questioned whether or not Jimmy Kimmel is actually right on the facts when he talks about this policy. And even whether he was right about whether or not any child would be denied surgery in a situation that his baby had. I actually spoke with a prenatal cardiologist who does surgery. He said no child in America is going to be denied an emergency surgery after birth. It just won't happen. That was his opinion, whether or not it's ever happened, I don't know. But that's what this doctor told me today, Chris.

STIREWALT: Definitional terms matter here and, of course, you can pull to fit to stretch this any way you want. Jimmy Kimmel is entitled to his opinion.

MACCALLUM: Of course.

STIREWALT: Not only is he a citizen of the United States, but he's got an hour of late-night television. So, if he and his bosses want to put an hour up about the reproductive habits of chinchillas, or if they want to do a firing line hour-long health care debate, it's up to them. They can do whatever they want to do, and that's what's great about this country. My point, my problem here is the degree to which -- and Republicans have done it, too, but in this instance we're talking what Democrats, the degree to which they become personal attacks on individuals who are in the arena. They're trying to fix things, whether you agree with Bill Cassidy or not, I don't care. What I care about is when people get in the arena and try to have a civil discussion and try to talk about issues it immediately goes to invective. It goes to ad hominem personal attacks. You cannot run a country this way. If federalism is immoral, then the federal government itself is immoral, and it's time for us to face facts.

MACCALLUM: Meaning, if you're going to kick back the decisions and the money to the states that is not necessarily something immoral, it's something that the country has debated, you know, state rights and the power -- federalism versus federal government versus big government, forever. But you make a great point, which is that once we get into this purely emotional area, unfortunately, very few people end up with the facts on the table that they need to make a decision about how they feel about the legislation. Chris, thank you so much, always good to see you.

STIREWALT: You bet.

MACCALLUM: So this is a story that you want to stick around for. Top Democrat Keith Ellison compares illegal immigrants living in the shadows here in the United States to Jews living under Nazi Germany. Ben Shapiro is here to talk about why Keith Ellison may be the wrong person to make that comparison, when we come back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEITH ELLISON, DNC DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: You ask yourself what would I do if I was a gentile in 1941, if my Jewish neighbors were under attack by the Nazis. Will I give them sanctuary?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: President Trump's indecision so far over whether to rescind DACA has Democratic leaders in a tailspin, perhaps not have gone so far as the DNC deputy chairman, Keith Ellison, who made this comparison to Jews in Nazi Germany. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEITH ELLISON, DNC DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: I'm one of the people who believe that we should give our neighbor sanctuary. And if you ask yourself what would I do if I was a gentile in 1941, if my Jewish neighbors were under attack by the Nazis. Would I give them sanctuary? You might be about to find out what you'd do. Will you pass that moral test or will you fail it?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So Ellison is not only comparing immigrants who have broken laws in the United States to Jews facing persecution during the holocaust. He's seemingly comparing U.S. law enforcement to Nazi Brown Shirts. Joining me with his reaction is Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire. Ben, good to see again, tonight, welcome back to the program.

BEN SHAPIRO, THE DAILY WIRE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Thanks.

MACCALLUM: So what do you think?

SHAPIRO: Well, I mean, there are about one bajillion things wrong with everything that he just said. First of all, Keith Ellison is the last person who should be making holocaust reference considering that he spent the last 30 years of his life opposing Jews. I mean, he was very close with nation of Islam -- in that 1990's. He gave a lead-off speech for a guy name, -- Mohammed, who is so radical that he was thrown out of the nation of Islam for anti-Semitism. He's tried to back off of that in recent years. But Alan Dershowitz said that if Keith Ellison had been appointed head of the DNC, he would have left the Democratic Party wholesale.

Keith Ellison is not the guy to be making this particular reference to begin. If Keith Ellison had been around in 1941, I have my doubts about what he would have done with Jews trying to hide from Nazis. But beyond that, the reference with regard to ICE, that ICE is somehow a Nazi force enforcing immigration laws is just an absurd. And the idea that people who are here illegally, who have been living in the country in largely freedom, many of their kids are going to public schools, they're taking advantage of public benefits, they have jobs here. The idea that this is the same thing is making legal citizens of your country illegal, and then throwing them into concentration camps or gassing them is just beyond the pale. It's insane language from Ellison, but nothing shocking considering who Ellison is.

MACCALLUM: I mean, unfortunately, has become all too convenient in this debate to sort of go directly to the Nazi argument. You know, the idea that anyone who is conservative is sort of somewhere on that spectrum that is espoused by some people, and appears to be used as, sort of, a tangential argument here by Keith Ellison, really puts this in a place -- you know, it goes back to what we were talking about in the last segment where everything is so fired up, so emotional, that we have little opportunity to actually have a good, solid exchange of ideas that doesn't go to that place.

SHAPIRO: Yeah. I mean, on the internet it's called Godwin's Law, the idea of the first person to invoke the Nazi losses the argument. And in this particular case, I think it's a pretty good example of it. I mean, Keith Ellison could make a decent argument in favor of DACA. I think he would have to make a strong argument against President Trump, who apparently wants to re-enshrine DACA with the help of congress. But, again, comparing our law enforcement officers at ICE to Nazis is about the most insulting thing that I've heard since, like, the senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin, did the same thing (INAUDIBLE). It seems like certain Democrats from the Midwest sometimes have problems with these sorts of linguistic analogs.

MACCALLUM: Ben Shapiro, thank you very much, Ben, always good to see you.

SHAPIRO: Thanks so much.

MACCALLUM: So coming up next, 8-year-olds kneeling for the national anthem, is that OK? Or -- I don't know, what do you feel when you look at this video? The Story will lay it out. We want to get your thoughts on it right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: That's the scene in New York City, not too far from here, across town from where we are right now, as they wait for Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, as we really wrap up a very consequential 48 hours for the Trump administration. He will take some questions about what's been going on at the U.N. this week. So stay with Fox throughout the evening for more news to come on that. That's expected about 10 minutes from now.

And finally tonight, a story that has been going viral. Every player on this peewee football team, peewee football team in Illinois took a knee. The practice began in the NFL by Colin Kaepernick, and that happened this Sunday during the national anthem. They did it in protest. This is an 8 and under league. The coach said that the young players wanted to do it in protest of the St. Louis cop killing verdict, which as you know has caused a lot of problems in St. Louis. We're told the parents supported the coach's decision to take a knee, and that the coach thought it was a good teaching moment. He said he likes to teach them about integrity and honesty. So what do you think about that? Send me a tweet @MarthaMaccallum using the #TheStory. We'll see you right back here tomorrow night at 7:00. My colleague and friend Tucker Carlson coming up next from D.C. We'll see you tomorrow.

END

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