This is a rush transcript from "The Story," September 21, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, "THE STORY" HOST: Breaking tonight, a dramatic week at the United Nations, ending with some blockbuster news and a new warning from North Korea. Good evening, everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum and this is the big story. Indications that China is ready to put the brakes on its financial institutions that deal with North Korea. This is the teeth that so many have said, without which, sanctions could never work. So, if China follows through, and that is the "if" here, it is a significant diplomatic win for this administration, and it may show that the tough talk from the president and from Nikki Haley may have had an impact on the world body. This is earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, I'm announcing a new executive order -- I just signed -- that significantly expands our authorities to target individuals, companies, financial institutions that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea. A new executive order will cut off sources of revenue that fund North Korea's efforts to develop the deadliest weapons known to humankind. We want to be clear, the order targets only one country, and that county is North Korea.
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: What this does is take it a step further. This says, anyone, that deals with North Korea, any financial institution that deals with North Korea are going to be punished. He has said multiple times, the president said it, members of his team have said, we don't want more. That's the last thing anyone wants. But at the same time, we're not going to run scared. If for any reason, North Korea attacks the United States or our allies, the U.S. will respond. Period.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, the leader of North Korea, responding to this tonight, Kim Jong-un in his inimitable way, declaring: I am now thinking hard about the response that he could've expected when he allowed such eccentric words to drip off his tongue. I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard, he says, with fire. So, that's from Kim Jong-un tonight. Former Counterterrorism Advisor to Vice President Cheney and Fox News Contributor, Lt. Col. Michael Waltz, is with us this evening; and Fox News Political Analyst and Co-Host of "THE FIVE", Juan Williams. Big developments over the course of this whole week and really punctuated with this news about China tonight. Your thoughts?
LOT. COL. MICHAEL WALTZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER COUNTERTERRORISM ADVISOR TO VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: But I'm fine with the tough rhetoric that we heard this week from the president and from Ambassador Haley. And we're seeing now that that was meant for the Chinese and not for the North Koreans. That's the only way, I think, we're going to get the Chinese to change their calculus, in the sense of if they're fine with the status quo and that they are fine with the status quo, it's America's problem, it's the Japanese's problem, it's the South Korea's problem, it's not their problem. Now, with these sanctions on the secondary sanctions on Chinese entities, we're making it their problem. And I think they finally believe that either the Chinese can handle it on their terms or we're going to handle it on our turns through military needs.
MACCALLUM: I mean, President Trump, and at one point, candidate Trump has spoken out very strongly about China once throughout the course of all of this. You know, is it time for the naysayers to perhaps give him some props on how this is going? At least at this point? We don't know what the outcome will be.
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST AND POLITICAL ANALYST: No. So, what we do know is that they had two votes in the Security Council, United Nations, unanimous votes to impose sanctions on the North Koreans. China participated in both of those votes, Martha. Today, you have an increase in terms of the power of the sanctions, in terms of the banking system, but some of the banking sanctions had been in place earlier.
The question is now, how are the Chinese viewing this? And from what I can pick up, the Chinese think, why is everyone pointing at us and blaming us? This is a bigger problem. But from President Trump's perspective, he has said it really is the Chinese who have leverage at this moment, and he is trying to force them to maximize that leverage. Do fire and fury, does rocket man serve that purpose? I'm not sure. I think a lot of people then say, well, wait for a second, why is he being so militaristic? We're trying to work that out -- the Russians even said that.
WALTZ: You know, the Chinese, though, can choke North Korea off tomorrow, economically, if they want to.
MACCALLUM: And only Chinese.
WALTZ: And only the Chinese. So, I do think, you know, it was right to direct the remarks at them. But the Chinese are very good at having a P.R. play: they agree with U.N. sanctions, and then they don't enforce them. They kind of dial things up, and then as soon as we shift our attention away, which as Americans we are terrible about doing, then, they kind of go back to the same old behavior. So, I have some optimism here but we have to hold --
MACCALLUM: I mean, I think you have to, you know, give credit where credit is due. That the ball has been moved farther this week on this measure than we have seen in years and years. However, you think about the, you know, even the -- even the Paris Accord and the pollution agreements. While you do this now, we'll start that in 2026 or down the road. So, I think it remains to be seen what the Chinese really mean by this agreement. And we haven't seen the letter of it, it's basically a verbal communication that there has been some agreement. I also noted today that the Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, was very careful to not, you know, sort of, lay it all on them -- he saying anyone who does trade with North Korea. This is a universal proclamation here.
WALTZ: Well, there are other entities. There are the Russians that do business, there are some other folks, both Indians, and other folks in East Asia. So, it should be anyone. And because, you know, we are essential -- the other word that he used was sanctioning any entity. So, that essentially means any entity that does business with North Korea can no longer do business with the United States and is kicked out of the financial system and can't use U.S. dollars. That is significant. What's all significant is before, it was individual banks, individual entities. Now, we're talking the entire Chinese system. But the proof is in the pudding of whether they follow through and we have to stay on top of it.
MACCALLUM: Yes. Do you think they will, Juan?
WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, that's the thing. I mean, even if we're having this discussion, we don't know exactly what Kim Jong-un wants in North Korea. We have not engaged in these talks; he doesn't want to talk to us, apparently. What we hear from the North Koreans as they spoke at the U.N. was the kind of language that you cited at the top, you know, that this is ridiculous, this is rude, and if he thinks it's going to scare us, it's just the dog's bark and were not afraid of the dog and all that kind of stuff. So, we have this kind of schoolyard back and forth, Martha. I don't know.
I do know this: I sense that he is -- as President Trump said, somewhat suicidal. I don't think that he would hesitate to punish his own people in order to maintain this kind of posture, saying I am in defiance of the great United States and the great military powers, and that's what North Korea stands for. I think we've got to get inside his head somehow. The sanctions may work, I hope they work, but I think we've got to be resolute, not only with the Chinese but with ourselves.
MACCALLUM: And we have to see what the response is from President Trump. You know, this sort of bombastic words coming in from Kim Jong-un. This is a very delicate time where you don't really want to necessarily lay that the inappropriate tweet at this moment. Would you agree with that or no?
WALTZ: Well, I think we have to leave the military option on the table, and I think the tough rhetoric has perhaps changed the calculus in the region, and I'm hoping it will change Kim Jong-un's calculus. That's still a hope. You know, right now, he believes he has to have this program for his survival. We need to make him believe that if he attains this program and it's operational, it will guarantee his destruction. And how or whether we do that through tough rhetoric or whether we do that through diplomatic or economic, or even cyber and other issues --
WILLIAMS: By the way, but the contrary thought is that we may have to negotiate on the idea that they become a nuclear power.
WALTZ: I am not willing to accept -- you know, one of the things that are not discussed a lot is that our ground-based missile defense is only 50 percent effective, and of those 50 percent, they're high, highly scripted. These are the ones that are in Alaska and California. I'm not willing to bet millions of lives on that.
MACCALLUM: All right. We will continue. Thank you very much, gentleman. Good to see you tonight.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
WALTZ: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So, just after 6:00 p.m. in Mexico City, and a desperate search continues tonight for survivors inside a collapsed Mexico City school that was destroyed by this earthquake. We've been watching this all day. We've got a lot of reports. Some indicate that a child or children may still be trapped and alive in there. Others indicate that an adult maybe communicating in some way from there. If that is the case, you've got the heat, you've got lack of water, you've got, you know, diminishing oxygen in this situation. So, there's a race against time. Bucket by bucket, they're pulling debris off; need to be so careful about the way they move the earth and the rocks that exist there. But they are hoping that they are going to pull somebody else out of there. Jonathan Hunt, live on the ground in Mexico City with the very latest tonight. Jonathan?
JONATHAN HUNT, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Martha, the search for survivors becomes more desperate, less optimistic by the minute. Nowhere more so than here at the site of the school that collapsed. Cameraman, Eric Barnes, and I got the chance a short ago to get right into the site where the operation is underway. Here's what it looks like up-close.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: This is the heart of what is obviously a very tense and very difficult search and rescue operation. The rescue workers inching their way across the rubble, the remains of what was the school. They are looking for any signs of life. In the past 24 hours, they have seen some signs of life through heat-seeking cameras. They are not saying whether they believe those survivors are adults or children. They are still simply looking for anybody who may have survived what is obviously a devastating crash of rubble here. They say, they will not give up until they can be absolutely certain that there are no more survivors.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: Now, a similar search and rescue operations are underway across the city. There have been miracles, for instance, at a six-story or what was once a six-story office building that collapsed -- two women and a man were pulled out alive earlier today. So, these rescue operations will go on. And, Martha, President Pena Nieto is determined that they still are called rescue operations, not yet willing to term them recovery operations. Martha.
MACCALLUM: All right. Let's keep hoping. Jonathan, thank you very much. So, you can ring the bell for around two in a bitter battle over health care that's playing out on "Late Night T.V." Jimmy Kimmel with another shot across the bow at Senator and Dr. Bill Cassidy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY KIMMEL, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE" HOST: Which part don't I understand? Is the part where you cut $243 billion from federal health care assistance? Am I not understanding the part where states would be allowed to let insurance companies price you out of coverage for having pre-existing conditions?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: All right. So, Senator Cassidy is here tonight with us and he will respond point by point coming up. And Sean Spicer had a pretty tough day under media scrutiny and new questions about his habit of taking copious notes while he was working at the White House, Howard Kurtz is here. Plus, new developments, you know, Obama error surveillance -- Jonathan Turley was razzed for his take on the president's wiretapping tweet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN TURLEY, LAW PROFESSOR AT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: That may have just been in an article tweet. Those things happen --
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: He didn't just suggest it, he said that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, was he right? He's here tonight to follow up on that conversation right after this.
MACCALLUM: Tough day in the media for former White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, starting with an interview that was at times tense over his potential role in the Russia probe. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has the Mueller team reached out to you at all?
SEAN SPICER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I can't discuss that issue at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you hired a lawyer.
SPICER: I'm not going to discuss that issue at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, have ever been subpoenaed?
SPICER: I'm not going to discuss that issue at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you are oppressed, will you testify?
SPICER: The White House has been clear, they're going to be as cooperative as possible.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think you have a credibility issue, Sean?
SPICER: I don't. But it's up to other people to judge that.
MACCALLUM: And there are also some new reports from Axios says Mike Allen, that Spicer documented everything while he was at the White House -- something that could be of interest in the Mueller investigation. But the story didn't end there. Reportedly, when contacted for comment on his note-taking, Sean Spicer got defensive, texting this: "Mike, please stop texting/e-mailing me unsolicited, anymore." After the reporter replied with a question mark. Spicer shot back, "Not sure what that means. From a legal standpoint, I want to be clear, do not email or text me again. Should you do it again, I will report this to the appropriate authorities."
And note, Sean Spicer was supposed to appear on our show tonight and talk to us about all this. He backed out late in the day following these headlines. He has told us that he will come on again soon, and we sincerely hope that he will. So, here now, Howard Kurtz, Host of Fox New "MEDIA BUZZ," joining us tonight. So, Howard, what do you make of what was, you know, kind of a complicated day for what the press secretary?
HOWARD KURTZ, "MEDIABUZZ" HOST: A well stay, indeed, for Sean Spicer. Let's take that email exchange or that text exchange with Mike Allen. That was not a smart thing to say. What is he going to do? Report him to the e-mail police? An impeccable source tells me that Spicer now admits that he just lost his cool and he feels he's been very good to Mike Allen and his new Web site and has instead received a barrage of negative stories and questions. I can now report that Sean Spicer has apologized to Mike Allen and the apology has been accepted.
MACCALLUM: So, you know, in terms of what's going on here, you know, what's the underlying issue is that has him nervous? Does it have to do with these notebooks and whether or not he's going to be after them? What do we know about all that? It seems to me it'd be a highly speculative story. Sean Spicer, indeed, kept a lot of notebooks -- both at the RNC when he is White House press secretary. Yes, it could, potentially, be of interest to the special counsel, or it might have nothing to do with it.
I mean, we don't have a firm indication that it does. But that "Good Morning America" interview that you played, there was more it, the questions were pretty hostile. Have you ever lied? Did the president ever ask you to lie? Do you have credibility issues? I challenge anyone to find one network interview with Obama's guys, Roberts Gibbs, or Jay Carney, or Josh Earnest after they've left office. That was one-tenth as computational as that. In fact, they all got hired as contributors immediately by CNN or MSNBC.
MACCALLUM: Howie, thank you very much. Good to see you tonight.
KURTZ: Good to see you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So, here now with more and some reaction to this from a legal perspective, Jonathan Turley is a Washington University Law Professor who joins us frequently, and we're happy about that. Jonathan, good to see you tonight. Welcome back.
TURLEY: Hi, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So, read into this a little bit. Because, you know, it may be that Sean Spicer is concerned about what may be requested for all of these documents or these notebooks. We know that the Mueller investigation has been expanding of late and that they do want to know, especially about the period leading up to the firing of James Comey and what may or may not have been discussed about what was going to be said about that, potentially.
TURLEY: Yes. He's a reason to be concerned. Mueller just hit the White House, reportedly, with a demand for documents in 13 different areas. Now, prosecutors will often look for the most fastidious and retentive individuals who like to take notes -- the people that can't leave the House without a double column, you know, to-do list. That sounds like Sean Spicer. He's known to be a copious note taker. And in Washington, that's not a good thing. People tend to sort of clam up when someone pulls out a notebook and starts to take down notes. It's generally, the approach of most people to take fewer notes because of the federal records laws that require things to be preserved. And so, a lot of people in the beltway have learned not to write things down. Spicer is not one of them, and those notes are going to be very likely targeted by Mueller.
MACCALLUM: You know, in terms of the whole issue that was really brought up this week with the president's tweet about wiretapping and all of the vitriol that followed that, and the scuffing, and you know, that he was being ridiculous, that he could even suggest that President Obama may have had his wires tapped, as he put it. Here's an exchange that you had with Anderson Cooper on that a while back. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TURLEY: The point is obvious that no one would seriously suggest that President Obama, you know, personally ordered an intercept under FISA. That may have just been an unartful tweet. Those things happened --
COOPER: But the president did -- he didn't just suggest, he said that.
TURLEY: Right. But he may have been referring to the Obama administration.
COOPER: But Jonathan, you're saying that -- you're just excusing Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: All right. So, that got a little cut off but you get the idea. So, with the revelations that we had this week about Paul Manafort, the wiretaps that were on Paul Manafort, the fact that he lived in Trump Tower. What do you think about all of it now?
TURLEY: Well, you know, it's interesting when the media went really overboard in taking wiretap literally as a term. People of Donald Trump's generation were told wiretap was the term for surveillance -- that's how he referred to surveillance. My kids make fun of me because I refer to any remote as a clicker. I even used to refer to any copy as a Xerox. So, you know, the fact is, we all tend to use these terms. I never even -- from the first instant that he sent that tweet, I never took it literally. What he was referring to was that he believed that some of his people were under surveillance. That turns out to be true.
And there are legitimate questions here about why there was so much unmasking -- by people like Samantha Power, who was averaging about one a day. Now, that's not uncommon to unmask. She was on National Security Council. She's highly regarded at the United Nations. But these are legitimate questions to ask, whether a FISA, which is a troublesome institution because it has such sweeping authority, might have been used for some purposes that were not intended under the act.
MACCALLUM: And you know -- I mean, you bring up Samantha Power. It's kind of astonishing the number of, you know, the unmasking that she did. And as you pointed out, it basically comes down to about one a day, which is, you know, pretty astonishing. And it really just begs the question: you know, what were they looking for, right? So, toward the end of the Trump administration, you have to have a good basis to get this kind of a FISA wiretap. And we know that they were looking at Paul Manafort for some time, but then they sort of had a resurgence of interest around that time, right after the election. James Clapper said, you know, on national T.V., well, no, there was no wiretapping whatsoever at Trump Tower, it didn't happen. He's now had to kind of step that backs and suggest that maybe somebody in his circle had the authority to approve this, and somehow, he was out of the loop and didn't know about it. What do you think of that?
TURLEY: Well, there's a lot of statements made by former Obama officials that don't quite square with what we know now. In fairness to them, unmasking does occur, but we should all share the same concern. FISA was created to work essentially below the standard, normally for fourth amendment searches. It doesn't require a true probable cause. It's a very dangerous institution if used for the wrong purposes. And so, I think that we can all, at least, agree that we should find out more. Why so many requests were made, particularly when, essentially, these officials were heading out the door?
MACCALLUM: Yes. Jonathan Turley, always interesting to talk to you. Thank you very much.
TURLEY: Thanks, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So, late night host, Jimmy Kimmel, launching a fresh attack against Senator Bill Cassidy and the GOP Health Care Bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIMMEL: Maybe I don't understand the part of your bill which federal funding disappears completely after 2026, or maybe it was the part where the plans are no longer required to pay for essential health benefits like maternity care or pediatric visits.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, is he right about those points? Senator Cassidy, lined up and on deck here on "The Story" to tell us where he thinks Jimmy Kimmel is wrong on this. Also, a wave of court battles being waged against the president's immigration agenda from the wall to sanctuary cities. Are the courts wielding too much power in this growing fight? That debate straight ahead.
MACCALLUM: Senate Republicans, gearing up for a fight to replace ObamaCare and not just with their peers across the aisle. For the second night in a row, late night comedian, Jimmy Kimmel, launched a personally-tinged attack against the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill and its author. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIMMEL: Yes, I took him to task for promising, to my face, that he would oppose any health care plan that allowed insurance companies to turn people with pre-existing conditions away and any health care plan that had an annual or lifetime cap on how much they would pay out for medical care. He said, anything he supported would have to pass what he named the Jimmy Kimmel test, which was fine. It was good. But unfortunately, and puzzlingly, he proposed a bill that would allow states to do all the things he said he would not let them do.
He made a total about-face, which means he either doesn't understand his own bill or he lied to me. It's as simple as that. So, today, it was a bad morning for Senator Cassidy. He and his co-sponsor, Lindsey Graham, spent the morning defending the indefensible. This morning, the senator sat for an interview with Chris Cuomo of CNN and pulled the "all comedians are dummies" card.
KIMMEL: There is a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you. It's called a lie detector test.
KIMMEL: You're welcome to stop by the studio and take it anytime.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Harsh words, not apparently ingest. And joining us now is Senator Bill Cassidy. What is your response, Senator?
SEN. BILL CASSIDY, R-LOUISIANA: I'm sorry he doesn't understand.
KIMMEL: Oh, I get it. I don't understand because I'm a talk show host, right. And then, help me out, which part don't I understand? Is it the part where you cut $243 billion from federal health care assistance?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, here now, the target of Mr. Kimmel's ire, Senator Cassidy, who's also a doctor. Senator, good to see you tonight. Thank you for being here.
CASSIDY: Thank you for having me.
MACCALLUM: You know, I guess, first of all, what's your response? You know, obviously, you guys are now fighting this out on national television.
CASSIDY: I'm not fighting. Oh, we're not fighting. I actually wish that Jimmy would actually -- maybe hear my perspective. And not -- I apologize if I offended, but I didn't intent to. For example, he says that we only -- that we kicked everybody off the program in ten years. In Washington, you have to reauthorize a program. The people that want to keep ObamaCare keep putting this misinformation out, but you have to reauthorize. As an example, the children's health insurance program we're going through has to be reauthorized. Technically, it could end. In reality, it will not. Similarly, this going to the chip program has to be reauthorized. You could say, well, it stops in ten years. No, it has to be reauthorized. His concern that those folks will be kicked off of coverage is not a concern.
MACCALLUM: All right. You know, let's put up the fact-check that we sort of put together to take a look at here with you tonight. Are there $243 billion in cuts from the federal government, is that number true?
CASSIDY: You know I don't have the exact total. But let me say, we spend less than ObamaCare. We repeal the penalties on those who do not -- the individual mandate penalties, where the federal government tells people, if you don't purchase insurance, then we're going to penalize you. Turns out, 60 percent of those folks -- 60 percent of the people who pay that penalty earned less than $50,000 a year on their IRS form. Sixty percent earned less than $50,000 a year. Now we can penalize them, get a little bit more money. I think we should be helping those folks, not penalizing them. So yes, we spend less money, I make no apologies, but we spend over $1.2 trillion in the last five years alone.
MACCALLUM: You're a physician. Your wife is also a physician. She was head of surgery at a facility that you both were at in Louisiana. You started a clinic to try to provide more health care for lower income people. So personally, how do you feel about where you are right now in this process, and having someone accuse you of creating a program where, for example, if a child has a heart condition and then they need surgery over the course of their lives, they're just going to be left out in the cold?
CASSIDY: Well, I respect that Mr. Kimmel is passionate about the issue. His child might have died on day of birth. I understand his concern. I have that concern. As much as he doesn't want to think that, you can look at my life's work, 25 years in a public hospital for the uninsured, working in prison, setting up free clinics, et cetera. My life gives testament to that. And by the way, because of this bill, there'll be so many more people in states like Florida, Utah, Tennessee, Missouri, Maine, Virginia, that have access to health insurance who do not have it now. And that child who needs heart surgery will have coverage because of this bill. Again, Maine, Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri, are we not to care about them? I care about them. By the way, we do good things for states with two Democratic senators. This is not partisan, it's about patients.
MACCALLUM: One more specific question that he talked about last night, which is whether or not there's a lifetime cap, or an annual cap, that you can be treating a child like this and the insurance company is going to say, I'm sorry, you can't come back for your appointment next week because you've already hit your cap. Is that going to happen or not?
CASSIDY: It's not. We base it upon the children's health insurance program, which everybody loves. Both Democrats and Republicans like the children's health insurance program, and we have the same benefits that's in.
MACCALLUM: But you're asking the states to take on that responsibility now. So I guess in this scenario, he's suggesting that once the state is in charge, they're going to make decisions based on what's best for them, and then, in that case, that could happen. Could that happen at the state level under your bill?
CASSIDY: If a state wants to do something different than what our bill says, they have to come to the federal government, the secretary of HHS, and show that those with pre-existing conditions shall have access to adequate and affordable coverage. Someone says, what does affordable mean? When I look it up, it says, able to afford. Let me contrast that, by the way. I have a friend with a pre-existing condition in his family. He's paying $32,000 a year with a deductible on top of it. Another friend whose premium was -- it's on my Facebook page, $39,000 a year. This is not affordable.
MACCALLUM: All right, we've got to leave it there.
CASSIDY: The idea the status quo takes care of people, in account of the middle class is wrong.
MACCALLUM: All right. Senator, maybe you should give him a call, and you guys should talk this out. Thank you very much. Have you done that, by the way? Have you reached out to him?
CASSIDY: No. We've talked about it. And frankly, I don't think Jimmy wants to talk. He's hard to reach.
MACCALLUM: Jimmy, give him a call.
CASSIDY: By the way, if he wants to talk, we should talk.
MACCALLUM: All right. Well, there you go. We'll see what happens. Thank you very much, senator.
CASSIDY: You, too.
MACCALLUM: Good to see you tonight. So still ahead, a foreign leader once hailed as an inspiration by Hillary Clinton and others, by the way, on the Republican side, is now accused of enabling ethnic cleansing, leaving hundreds of thousands of her own people displaced. This story is starting to get a lot of attention, and we want you to understand why when we come back. Also tonight, the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration hits a speed bump as California takes legal action to stop construction of a border wall days after Chicago courts shield sanctuary cities. Should the courts have that much power? David Wohl and Emily Tisch Sussman on that.
MACCALLUM: So tonight, while the focus has been at the U.N., there are some big developments in the president's plan to crackdown on illegal immigration. First, let's go to California, where the attorney general is suing the administration over the plans to build a border wall. Now let's go to Texas, an appeal is now underway after ruling last month blocked the state from enforcing a ban on sanctuary cities. And in Chicago, where a federal judge issued a nationwide injunction against the administration's plan to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities if they do not comply with federal law. All of this as President Trump could fast-track the deportation of minors from Central America who entered this country without their parents. Joining me now, David Wohl, attorney and conservative commentator, and Emily Tisch Sussman, campaign director for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Welcome. Good to have all of you -- I mean, both of you. There's two of you, right? One with me tonight.
DAVID WOHL, ATTORNEY: Hi, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So thanks for being here. You know, I want to start with this action to potentially deport a number of teenagers who have come in from Central America without their parents. I mean, obviously, David, you have a concern about MS-13 inherent in that, do you not?
WOHL: Yes. There are a lot of MS-13 gang members who came up from Central America several years ago, Martha. And remember something, these are minors, these are children coming up here with no documents, no birth certificates. We don't know who they are, we don't know whether they were kidnapped, whether they were taken from their parents, whether they have parental permission to be up here. The best result in this matter would be to deport them back to their countries of origin and let child protective services in those individual countries handle these matters because these are children who are out of control of their parents, who are at risk of harm, and need to be dealt with by the authorities in the countries they come from, not American authorities, clearly.
MACCALLUM: Emily, what you think?
EMILY TISCH SUSSMAN, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Look, these are children, and I think we could have a little bit of compassion for them. I mean, imagine, as a parent, being so afraid that you actually send your child into another country. About 90 percent of these children are actually united with family members once they arrive here. What the fast tracking would mean, is that they would actually go straight to a detention facility that are overcrowded already, and not have the opportunity to actually have due process, to have a credible threat hearing. Most of them, actually, are found to have a credible threat to fear for their lives, which is why they're allowed to stay. So he's trying to bypass that entire process. It really adds a layer of inhumanity to it. We know just last week a young man who was deported who has said I have a credible fear that I will be killed. He actually was killed. So we'd be sending people really back into harm's way.
MACCALLUM: All right. The big picture in terms of sanctuary cities and the battles that are being based there, David?
WOHL: Yeah, no question about it. I mean, here in California, lawsuits are flying all over the country. Remember something, they're being litigated in ultraliberal federal courts. No surprise that the results and the decisions are taking place that say that they can't -- federal government, Jeff Sessions, can't defund sanctuary cities. These cases are all going to be group together, they're going to end up in the Supreme Court where conservatives, where President Trump, have a 5-4 advantage in this matter. The Supreme Court will decide -- look, when you're talking about sanctuary cities, you're talking about not letting federal authorities deal with fugitives from federal law. That's obstruction of justice. That's accessory after the fact. Those are numerous federal crimes that are taking place. And defunding these cities and states should be the least of their worries because the particular politicos who are causing this, who are perpetrating it could be prosecuted themselves. That's where I think it's headed, Martha.
SUSSMAN: You must be referring to those ultraliberal courts in Texas, which is where some of these cases are being litigated. But look, these are just example after example of the Trump administration's chaotic approach to immigration. They're not well thought out approached, they are piecemeal, and the courts are blocking them because they have no good reasoning to even move forward with them. You want to talk about going after gangs, you want to talk about going after M-13. Working with law enforcement is, actually, the best way to do it. What we're hearing from law enforcement all over the country is, why are the feds coming in and telling me how to police my community. I want to go in, find out who the criminals are, find out where the gangs are, and I can't do that if the community that I'm policing doesn't trust me because they think they're going to get picked up.
MACCALLUM: Very quick, final thought, David. Go ahead, and then we've got to go.
WOHL: Well, no, these are feds coming in and saying, we want to pick up people that are in violation of federal law, and the state authorities are saying, we don't want you to because we see these as future voters from the Democratic Party. We want them staying here in our states. And it's obstructionism at its worse, and it's going to be dealt with as such, Martha.
MACCALLUM: All right. Good discussion, thank you very you, Emily Tisch Sussman, David Wohl. Thank you, guys. So secretary of state Hillary Clinton championed the release of Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar. Heralded as a freedom fighter by both sides in the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Let me, again, reiterate that the charges against her are baseless, and we call for her immediate release.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: She was released. And now she is overseeing what many are calling a genocide. Marc Thiessen joins us on a story that many people are waking up too. We'll get you up to speed when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The United States renews our call on Burma's security forces to end their violence immediately. And support diplomatic efforts for a long-term solution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So that was Vice President Mike Pence at the United Nations, yesterday, addressing the violence against innocent Muslims in Myanmar. In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands have had their villages torched by the military. They're taking boats. They're desperate to get out. Tragically, not everyone has made it out alive. These next images are very hard to look at, but this is one of the tiniest victims that you will see in a moment. A baby boy cradled in his mother's arms. He was just 40 days old. All of this has the international community questioning why the country's de facto leader -- now you're going to remember this woman. She has been very much in the news in recent years. Nobel peace prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi. Why isn't she doing more to stem the violence? She is supposed to be a great humanitarian. Trace Gallagher gives us the background here from the west coast newsroom. Hi, Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS: Hi, Martha. For the first 25 days of what witnesses describe as the torture, rape, and murder of ethnic Muslims in Myanmar in the hands of the military, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate and de facto leader of the Myanmar civilian government was silent. And when she finally did address the world, Suu Kyi hedged. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AUNG SAN SUU KYI, MYANMAR STATE COUNSELLOR: There have been allegations and counter allegations, and we have to listen to all of them. And we have to make sure that these allegations are based on solid evidence before we take action.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: She went on to say the international community should pay more attention to the areas where there is peace than the areas of conflict. Human rights activists were quick to condemn this speech, saying the woman who was once championed as the savior to her country was now, quote, sugarcoating ethnic cleansing. Other said Myanmar was now simultaneously watching the fall of a national icon, and the continued rise of the military. The very same military than Aung San Suu Kyi defined when she founded the national league for democracy in the 1990's. And as a result, spent 15 years detained as a political prisoner. In 2009, then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton said this. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We think she should be released. We don't think she should be in detention. We've believed that she has every right, as any person should have, and certainly that she has demonstrated over the years a commitment to democracy to participate in the active Democratic life of her country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: And in her book, Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton compared Aung San Suu Kyi to Nelson Mandela. Suu Kyi has also garnered praise from Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. And despite the condemnation from human rights groups, some experts believe that Aung San Suu Kyi's hands are tied, that she has no power to direct her military, supreme military commanders, yet those commanders have a vested interest in undermining her and undermining the fledgling democracy she once fought so hard to establish. Martha.
MACCALLUM: Absolutely. Thank you for letting all that out for us, Trace. Joining me now, Marc Thiessen, an American Enterprise Institute scholar, Fox News contributor, and former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush. Marc, good to see you tonight.
MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Good to see you.
MACCALLUM: It is a complicated story, but we all remember the very devoted fight. And I remember her being under house arrest, and she would lean over the fence at the end of her driveway to talk to people, and they would shake her hand. So she got out thanks to the support of Hillary Clinton, of President Obama, and as you point out, Senator Mitch McConnell very involved, the Bushes very involved. And now, she is in this position where people are looking at her and saying, are you a great humanitarian and leader of democracy?
THIESSEN: It's very sad to see this unfolding because she truly was a great hero of democracy, as you said, 15 years under house arrest, demanding free election. Won the right to free election, became the leader of her country. And so, you have this minority called the Rohingya, who are -- they're called the world's most oppressed minority. Burma is a Buddhist majority country, and they are a hated Muslim minority in that country. They suffered decades of repression under the military dictatorship, and they thought things would get better under democracy. And instead what's happening is ethnic cleansing.
You have had half a million of these -- the Rohingya have been driven out of their villages, 63 villages burned to the ground according to human rights watch, parents being shot in front of their children, rape, sexual torture, destruction of villages, and this is all happening in a government that she heads. So she's not directly responsible, she's not ordering these things, but she is not speaking out against them. In fact, she's making excuses for them. And it's terribly disappointing.
MACCALLUM: Yeah. But the Trump administration is now choosing to speak out quite forcefully about this. What's the significance of that that.
THIESSEN: Well, first of all, good for Vice President Mike Pence for giving that very strong statement in the United Nation. Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, has called this ethnic cleansing, which is exactly what it is, and said it has to stop. And then, not just words, they're actions. They're sending $34 million in emergency humanitarian relief to these suffering Muslims who were being persecuted in their country. So it's very important on a couple of levels.
One, it's really important to send a message around the world that just because the Trump administration is taking measures to protect our national security when it comes to the travel ban or when it comes to refugees, it doesn't mean that the United States doesn't stem with Muslims around the world who are being oppressed. And, you know, ISIS and al-Qaeda would love nothing better than to be able to say, look at what's happening to these poor Muslims and the west did nothing. So it's sending that message around the world, which is extremely important.
MACCALLUM: Absolutely. Marc Thiessen, thank you very much, thanks for being here tonight.
THIESSEN: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Quick break, and more of The Story when we come back.
MACCALLUM: So lost in the high-level talks at the U.N. this week is some of the great work that's being done to fight disease by countries around the world. Today it was announced that the president's malaria initiative will be expanded under President Trump. It was started by President Bush in 2005. PMI has worked to prevent and control malaria across the world, saving lives of 1.7 million children and nearly 7 million people in all. Malaria No More, has played a huge part in that fight, and hopes to be a part of eradicating this deadly disease that takes more lives than any other in the world, and it can happen. It can be done. For more, go to malarianomore.org. Thanks for being with us tonight. That's our story. Send us yours @MarthaMaccallum on Twitter. We'll see you tomorrow night.
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