This is a rush transcript from "The Story," September 22, 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. Three big stories tonight, one more surreal in some ways than the next. First up, you've got the president on his way to this spot in Alabama. He's supporting Luther Strange for the open Jeff Sessions Senate seat. To get this, the other Republican, Judge Roy Moore, and Steve Bannon, Sarah Palin, and now current Cabinet Member Ben Carson, fighting against the president and Senator Strange. Strange, right? OK. We will take you to the live rally, moments away. Then, there's this story tonight, also very important. Repeal and replace, now in deep jeopardy as Senator McCain once again says "no."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We need Graham-Cassidy and we need it now. This is not going to be easy. We cannot, in good conscience, abandon this cause.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, our story tonight begins here with the curious case of some critics who are so against the president that they're giving kudos to dictator Kim Jong-un. Kim's retort to the president's U.N. speech went like this: "I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire." So, there's that. Then, came the President response: "Kim Jong-un of North Korea, who was, obviously, a madman, who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before." So, that led to these headlines in the New York Times: "Kim Jong-un called Trump a dotard." How harsh is that burn?
The Washington Post: "Sorry, Trump, you were Trumped. Kim Jong-un Insult level: expert." And this tweet from Comedian Chelsea Handler: "Uhhhh, Kim Jong's letter to @realDonaldTrump is a little bit saner than @realDonaldTrump. Maybe we trade?" That, as we learn that Kim is considering testing a hydrogen bomb in the atmosphere which could rain down radioactive nuclear material all over the Pacific or wherever it, God forbid, might crash land. So, with all that on our plate, in moments, we will talk to former CIA officers about this latest threat: Buck Sexton and Marie Harf. But we begin with Trace Gallagher, live on the west coast newsroom with the real story on the danger of Kim Jong-un.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANCHOR: You know, Martha, Kim Jong-un's anti-Trump statements marked the first time that Kim, the younger, has ever issued a comment directly against another head of a state. And experts say, that's an indication that the standoff is escalating and that Kim might be willing to live up to his threats -- which is saying something, considering the North Korean leader has reportedly put his uncle in front of a firing squad, had his half-brother poisoned with nerve gas, and presides over one of the poorest countries in the world, yet has used its resources to build a nuclear weapons program. Kim Jong-un himself has gone on state-run television claiming his country has successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb underground. Some remain skeptical of those claims, but there are no doubters when it comes to North Korea's rapid firing of ballistic missiles. 22, this year alone, including one, the Pentagon says, could have reached the shores of the United States.
Some Korean analysts believe Kim Jong-un's nuclear weapons are nothing more than insurance policies for his regime to maintain power. But they also believe his behavior is getting erratic and risky. For example, the recent firing of a missile over North Japan had that missile fallen short, as the majority of North Korea missiles have. It could easily have landed inside Japan and then declared an act of war. And many U.S. authorities still say the brutal treatment of American student, Otto Warmbier, while he was held in North Korea prison, and who died days after coming to the U.S. was very much a provocation by Kim Jong-un. The U.S. president's going back to 1969, have chosen not to retaliate against Pyongyang, but the tone and tenor appear to be changing. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Rocketman is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: And as experts point out, there is no backing down in the North Korea rulebook. Martha?
MACCALLUM: Trace, thank you very much. National Security Analyst and former CIA officer Buck Sexton; and former State Department spokesperson Marie Harf, she's also a Fox News contributor. Welcome, to both of you. So, you know, first of all, on the media reaction, Buck, what do you make of that?
BUCK SEXTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST AND FORMER CIA OFFICER: Well, this shows us that Trump deranged with syndrome is an incredibly powerful thing right now, because you have someone in Kim Jong-un who truly is threatening not just us but allies in the region, has the weapons with which he could actually make good on those promises. And there seems to be this effort to create a kind of equivalency, as though North Korean propaganda and Donald Trump tweets are somehow in the same sphere, in the same universe. And the reality here is that there should be a bipartisan sense that we face a very real and growing problem from Kim Jong-un, that we face a regime that we cannot really guess what their next steps are going to be. And Donald Trump is just calling him out, calling that regime out for what it truly is. He's speaking plainly about a problem that everyone sees and knows is there in House for a long time.
MACCALLUM: Yes. You know, it makes me wonder, Marie, you look at this speech -- I went back and looked at it today. I mean, he called out North Korea in such strong and specific terms, you know, detailing a young girl who was taken from Japan and turned into a slave in North Korea -- Otto Warmbier, what was done to him, you know? In a way that we really have never seen a U.S. president do. But so, this is the response, I guess -- you know, just sort of making somewhat light of this and some of these responses.
MARIE HARF, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER SPOKESPERSON OF STATE DEPARTMENT UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I think that Donald Trump's rhetoric could have a positive impact here because some of his rhetoric is so over-the-top. He's made a lot of serious threats, that it might convince Kim Jong-un that if he uses weapons against the United States or our allies, Donald Trump will respond. I mean, that's at the crux of how you deter a country from using nuclear weapons once they have them.
I think what worries me a little bit and what worries other people is that if we get trapped in this really escalatory rhetoric where it just keeps getting hotter and hotter and hotter, there is a bigger chance that someone like Kim Jong-un, who is crazy, will miscalculate and will do something stupid, and it will start a wider conflict that has really serious consequences for the U.S., for our allies, and for our American soldiers -- for example, who are stationed in the DMZ today. That's what worries me a little bit about this tit-for-tat on Twitter that the president's got himself into.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, it's a high-stakes game, to be sure.
MACCALLUM: And now, you're talking about a hydrogen bomb, potentially, being sent out over the Pacific. And you know, that hasn't been done in 37 years. China tried the last test of a hydrogen bomb back in 1980. It's scary. This is scary.
SEXTON: At some point, the provocations will be met with more than just words, and I think that's what President Trump has been trying to make abundantly clear to the regime, in North Korea. But on this point about the escalation of rhetoric, let's understand that there's also been an escalation of capability from the North Korean regime, there has been an escalation of provocation. They've been doing more aggressive, belligerent stuff in recent months than they have for years prior to that. And so, the status quo is unsustainable. The way that we've been approaching North Kora, the Obama administration's strategic patience, which is really just a fancy way of saying, don't do very much.
This notion of kicking the can down the road endlessly, won't come with any problems. We can literally see the problems getting worse and going further with these missiles. And that's what I think the president understands now and trying to take action on. And I should note that the, you know, allies that we have in the region understand that miscalculation has always been at play here. There's always been the possibility that Kim Jong-un might actually try to reunify the Korean Peninsula by force. I think it's better for them to be reassured that we take a strong stance on this and not just the status quo.
MACCALLUM: I want to place something on Iran for you. This is General Jack Keane with us the other night and also John Bolton. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. JACK KEANE, FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST AND CHAIRMAN OF THE INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF WAR: They are trying to dominate an 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: And this from John Bolton: "The U.S. needs to remember that Iran could buy tomorrow whatever nuclear weapons technology North Korea has today." So, both of these very smart gentleman with a lot of experience, Marie, are warning that we need to also not take our eye off the ball when it comes to Iran, and not treat Iran as if they are, you know, sort of a more sane player in this whole game.
HARF: Well, I think what North Korea shows us about Iran is that your options get much more limited when they already have nuclear weapons. So, today, Iran is, yes, a very dangerous player in the region, but thank God, they can't put a nuclear warhead on one of those ballistic missiles today -- like North Korea can. So, we can debate about how to prevent Iran from getting a weapon. I would, obviously, argue that the Iran deal does that and staying in it is the best way to do that. I'm sure they would disagree with me. But I think what it shows is that if you got an Iran deal-like agreement with North Korea, most security experts today would probably take it, because once you get nuclear weapons, those options go way down, and the cost of military action goes way up.
MACCALLUM: I need a very quick answer, Buck. Go ahead.
SEXTON: I would disagree on the Iran deal entirely. The regime into Iran hasn't changed one bit, what its end state goal is, and also hasn't changed all of its aggressive tendencies in the region. They want nukes. They just get a direct path with nukes without the possibility of international intervention based on Obama, looking for a foreign policy intervention.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Buck.
SEXTON: Marie, we'll have to do this another time.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Marie. We will. We'll continue. Thanks, you guys.
HARF: We'll do this another time.
MACCALLUM: All right. So, coming up, President Trump will be on the ground in Alabama in moments. There's a lot of drama here tonight, folks. He is backing one Senate candidate, and his former chief strategist in the White House and current Cabinet members are backing the other guy. It's a puzzle. We're there alive. We'll take you there in moments. Chris Stirewalt helps us to break it all down. Plus, what has famed attorney Alan Dershowitz, this fired up?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR, HARVARD LAW: Who would imagine that a former CIA operative would retweet that? And, I believe, endorse it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: We'll explain the backstory there straight ahead. Plus, Graham-Cassidy health care bill takes a huge hit today, but is it a fatal blow? David Bossie is here with his take on the future of ObamaCare repeal and his message for Senator John McCain when we come back.
MACCALLUM: So, the Republican push to repeal and replace ObamaCare, facing new urgency, really, tonight, as the latest effort, the Graham-Cassidy Bill, which we have talked about all week here has, today, taken a huge hit. Hours ago, Senator John McCain announced that he will not support the Trump-backed bill that was brought forward in part by his dear friend Lindsey Graham. Chief national correspondent Ed Henry, here with the details and here with the fallout.
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good to see you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Here we go again.
HENRY: The fallout, very interesting because what's particularly frustrating for President Trump tonight is that after the mainstream media spent all this time claiming his agenda is off track, the Washington Post has this big front-page story today declaring, wait, the White House actually has momentum on taxes. The door is open to $1.5 trillion in tax cuts. So, the president was on the verge of two major victories, taxes, and health care. And now it's his fellow Republicans pulling the rug out from under. You mentioned John McCain, joining Rand Paul as two "no" votes.
A tiny glimmer of hope for the bill if Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins vote "yes". But Collins has but said she's going to vote "no". That means, the expiration date premiers in reconciliation, where the president could use just 51 votes in the Senate. If he gets this through, it's done at the end of the month. So, now, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer can bank on the fact that it will take 60 votes to pass any health reform. The president will have to try to find a compromise with Schumer and Nancy Pelosi that falls well short of repeal and replace or simply do nothing at all. Vice President Mike Pence, said in his home state Indiana a short time ago, he insisted, they're not giving up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PENCE: We cannot, in good conscience, abandon this cause. A vote against Graham-Cassidy is a vote to save ObamaCare. It's time for every member of the Republican majority to keep their word to the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NAME: The Daily Beast, now reporting that late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, wasn't just publicly speaking out against this bill because of his son's health issues. Kimmel is also working privately with Chuck Schumer, getting facts and figures from his office to slam the bill and his monologues. Of course, left out of those monologues, the fact that under ObamaCare right now, there are people who've lost their doctors, they've lost their plans. In John McCain's home state of Arizona, you've got premium spiking 115 percent. People never mentioned about the current system, Martha. And also, that John McCain campaigned on the idea that he was going to repeal and replace ObamaCare. He slipped on that.
MACCALLUM: Absolutely, he did. You know, so, you lined up tax reform, health care. The White House was really feeling like the end of the year was going to be a big policy push with some victories. So, what do they do now?
HENRY: Well, look, if the president's got on this is to basically let ObamaCare fall apart under its own weight -- he's said that publicly before. That dare, I say, would be the Bannon wait to this: let the Democrats eat this law and let it fall apart. But this president is now going more the way of General John Kelly, his White House chief of staff, which he let's find some middle ground. Be a statesman here, find some compromise, you know, prop up the insurance markets, do something that will win the president's praise, maybe from Independents, but you know this better than anyone, Martha. His political base is going to freak out if it's something short of repeal and replace heading into those 2018 midterms. There's a lot of frustrated Republican voters saying, you know, we've got a Republican House, Republican Senate, a Republican president, we can't get this done?
MACCALLUM: I mean, in part, report, you ask Republican voters what they care the most about, they'll say this. Repeal and replace. They don't want their premiums to go up any higher. Ed, thank you. Always good to see you. So, here now, David Bossie, President of Citizens United and a Fox News contributor, he was also a deputy campaign manager for the Trump presidential campaign. David, good to see you tonight.
DAVID BOSSIE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND PRESIDENT OF CITIZENS UNITED: Thanks for having me.
MACCALLUM: So, what do you make of this?
BOSSIE: Well, John McCain, once again, solidifies his legacy, unfortunately, as a Senator for ObamaCare. Coming out and not only doing it once but doing it twice. To sabotage this president's agenda again is counter to what he ran on two years ago to get re-elected. It is counter to when he ran for president in 2008 when he ran against Barack Obama as the Republican presidential nominee. It is anathema to me why we continue to hold out hope for John McCain. You know, I actually hope that Rand Paul, when he gets a chance to look at this bill when he sees the power of the bill in granting money back to the states, which is what winning --
MACCALLUM: Which was in his original plan. That's what he said he wanted.
BOSSIE: It's what Rand Paul stands for: bringing power back to the states, getting it away from a centralized federal government back to the states. And that's why, I hope, when Rand Paul, who has -- I understand that these Senators have not even seen the bill yet. When they see the bill, and there's -- I believe there is a hearing on Monday or Tuesday. When they see this bill and they hear the facts, I hope that there's a glimmer of hope that Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski and Rand Paul could be a "yes," and lead John McCain out there by himself as he just opposed President Trump.
MACCALLUM: There's a lot of sweeteners in this deal for Alaska, and we'll see what happens with Murkowski. I want to put something at -- this is from John McCain tweet on July 21st, he said: "I remain firmly behind that Doug Ducey," Governor of Arizona, "and will support whatever health care plan he believes is best for the people of Arizona." So, let's move on to the one that came up from Doug Ducey. "The people of Arizona expect us to repeal ObamaCare. I remain supportive of Graham-Cassidy and encourage others to do the same." And then, let's look at this tweet from President Trump on this. "Rand Paul, or whoever votes against the health care bill, will forever, in future political campaigns, be known as 'the Republican who saved ObamaCare.'" David?
BOSSIE: It's exactly right. You know, Senator McCain wants to hold out his vote to say, my governor isn't going to be for it. And then, his governor comes out for it. There is no reason John McCain is against this bill, except to be against President Trump. And I don't understand why he is failing the rest of his Republican colleagues who has lectured for the last 30 years for being part of the team to help get these types of bills across the line. And he's a team player, he seems to have been, his entire career, until today, and it is incredibly disappointing.
As somebody who wants to desperately replace ObamaCare, repeal and replace ObamaCare, somebody who -- look, Jimmy Kimmel, it's a ridiculous argument. He has all the money in the world and can afford the best care for his kids. And so, I find it, you know, a little bit nauseating as somebody who has four children and somebody who has had major health problems in my family, it is not something to hang your hat on, Jimmy. You should be looking at this for all the Americans and all the American taxpayers out there.
MACCALLUM: OK. David, thank you. Good to talk to you tonight. You made a lot of great points in there. And we're going to keep watching this and we'll see what happens. But it's not over until it's over. David Bossie, thank you very much. Good to see you. So, any moment now, we're going to watch this stage fill up and this crowd probably go pretty wild, as they usually do when President Trump walks out there because this is Huntsville, Alabama, a place or he's very popular. So, he's taken sides in a fierce Republican Senate primary. In many ways, politics doesn't get any more interesting than this, folks.
The president's loyal advocates are backing the other candidates. And hours ago, one of his own cabinet members broke ranks with the president to support the other guy. Who better than Chris Stirewalt to weigh in on this and he's excited. He's got his glasses on, and it's Friday. So, he'll be with us in just a moment. Plus, we want to go back to this tragic situation that we have watched all week in Mexico City: heartbreak and hard work and a lot of tears. Survivors that may be out there still, are still being searched for. Massive quake in Mexico and we are going to get a live report from a collapsed office building where a search is going on tonight, straight ahead.
MACCALLUM: Tonight, rescuers are running out of time in the search for survivors. It's now 72 hours since the massive earthquake that rocked Mexico City. Jonathan Hunt has been on the ground throughout the course of this. He is now at a collapsed textile factory, where they're digging through the rubble tonight as we speak. Good evening, Jonathan.
JONATHAN HUNT, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Martha. It has been an intensely emotional day here at what was a four-story textile factory. And tonight, as you can see behind me, a small group of civilian volunteers is still searching a way through what was the basement of that factory, hoping against hope that they might find a sign of life. Earlier today, after a man was pulled alive from the rubble here overnight, official rescue teams swarmed this site, using every tool at their disposal to try to discover whether there might be more survivors. But then, about three hours ago, all of those hundreds of workers were called together. They all stood motionless. They removed their hard hats in unison. They sang the national anthem. And then, this.
That traditional Mexican tribute to the fallen marked, as it turned out, Martha, the moment at which those official rescue crews deemed it impossible for there to be any more survivors. They then pulled out of this site, but as I say, tonight, a small group of civilians still there hoping against all reality and logic that they might find someone. Similar scenes going on around Mexico City tonight, Martha. Search and rescue operations still underway, but clearly, we are moving, tragically and inevitably, to the point where the Mexican government declares this a recovery rather than a rescue operation. Martha.
MACCALLUM: Amazing. I saw that man who was pulled up this morning, it was just absolutely remarkable. Jonathan, thank you very much. The breaking news that we are watching tonight is based in Alabama where politics are quite interesting this evening. President Trump will be there in a moment. He's said to speak at a campaign rally for Republican Senator Luther Strange. Strange is locked in a very tight primary race with former Alabama Chief Justice, Roy Moore. Both men are trying to reach out to and curry favor and votes from the Trump supporters, but the president's base is split with people like Sarah Palin backing Judge Moore. Listen to how this is playing out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUTHER STRANGE, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL OF ALABAMA: The president supports me. We've developed a close, personal relationship.
ROY MOORE, FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE: Citizens for Trump is going to endorse me tonight, a national spokesman. They know what President Trump stands for.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: A vote for Judge Moore isn't a vote against the president. Make no mistake, big Luther is Mitch McConnell's guy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Chris Stirewalt, Fox News politics editor. I do not think I have ever seen anything quite like this, Chris. Steve Bannon, Sarah Palin, Ben Carson, all lining up with the other guy from President Trump. What's going on here?
CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLITICS EDITOR: I say this admiringly as a West Virginian. Alabama politics beats all. This is really something. And basically what you have are people saying that the president is not in control of himself, that he is not the master of his destiny and he doesn't know what he wants. And if you read between the lines on what Palin and others are saying, it's basically, they'll determine what constitutes the real agenda of Donald Trump, not Donald Trump. You have to pity the president in this situation a little bit because the truth for him is, he desperately needs some wins. He needs a legislative victory.
He's got a little polling uptick going on right now. He needs to try to get this tax cut over the finish line. He got to have something on ObamaCare. He's got to have all of these things. Luther Strange has run, essentially, as an empty vessel to channel the will of Donald J. Trump into the United States senate. He said I am nothing but a 6'8" tall funnel that will flow right into the United States senate. And these folks say not good enough because you don't understand the original attitude of Trumpism that they think they more effectively channel than the president.
MACCALLUM: Yeah. I mean, you can really see, sort of, the people who are very driven behind things like the wall on the southern border, and the disgruntlement that they've expressed in recent days and months, really, since the White House sort of turned over a different leaf and Kelly came in, and they're seen as, sort of, more traditional in terms of the Republican --. That's the heart of the battle that's really going on here, right?
STIREWALT: This is absolutely truth. But conversely, Moore is ahead. The incumbent, Luther Strange is the underdog. But if Trump can pull him over the finish line, and he can have a comeback win, then the president's chances for getting that health insurance bill across next week go way up. His chances on taxes go way up. His agenda chances go way up if he can deliver a win for Strange down here, because then it demonstrates that he still has the clout to deliver for Republicans, and that he can make primary decisions. He can determine primary outcomes.
If he fails, if Palin and those folks succeed in defeating Trump's candidate when Trump goes to the senate next week and says, all right, boys, this is a tough vote but I need you to go out there and vote for this bill that's complicated, it's a hard vote, they're going to think, man, this guy couldn't even get a win in a state that he won the primary by more than 20 points and won the general by almost 30 points. What gives?
MACCALLUM: You know what, President Trump would -- there's nothing he would rather do on a Friday night. Most people like to do other things on Friday night. This is what he wants to do on this Friday night. And my guess is he's going to go in there very fired up. And the stakes are very high here for all the reasons that you've just pointed out. So we'll see what happens. He's going to land in Alabama, moments away. Chris, thank you so much.
STIREWALT: You bet.
MACCALLUM: So still ahead tonight, after the Valerie Plame affair -- remember that whole thing? Former CIA operative Valerie Plame became famous, so when she tweets, it has weight. Why is she is apologizing, and apologizing, and apologizing today. Journalist Judith Miller, who was at the vortex of all of that whole thing, joins us with her reaction coming up. Plus, Hulk Hogan battled many opponents in the ring, but one of his biggest fights involved a sex tape and the first amendment. The wrestling icon sat down with Harvey Levin for a brand-new Fox News show. Harvey joins me with a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: What went through your mind when you first heard there was a sex tape out?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So former CIA operative Valerie Plame is back in the news tonight, and for -- kind of a shocking reason. She is attempting to defend yourself against anti-Semitism charges after re-tweeting a rather vile and offensive article that was titled, America's Jews are driving America's wars. Fox News chief national correspondent Ed Henry here again with that story.
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Martha, particularly shocking because these retweet was on the first full day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Remember, there was a special counsel probe of whether Valerie Plame was outed as a CIA spy by the Bush administration in order to seek revenge against her husband Ambassador Joe Wilson for being a fierce critic of the case for war in Iraq. That made Plame a hero of the left, but then she retweeted this disgusting story you mentioned, entitled, America's Jews are driving America's wars, on a website that had other stories like it's time to rethink David Duke.
Shocking because, remember, one of the uglier parts of the debate over the war in Iraq is the Bush aides -- coming under fire for allegedly being too close to the pro-Israel lobby. Past forward to this week, over the course of less than 40 minutes, it unraveled for Plame, America's Jews are driving America's wars, first of all, she wrote as respond -- first, calm down. Retweets don't imply endorsements. Yes, very provocative, but thoughtful. Many neocon hawks, she said, are Jewish. Then, just FYI, I am of Jewish descent. I'm in not in favor of war with Iran or getting out of the Iran- nuclear treaty, there are simply too many who are so ready to go to war, haven't we had enough for a while.
Then she said, read the entire article and try, just for a moment, to put aside your biases and think clearly. Well, Alan Dershowitz said the problem for him is that he thinks Plame was thinking too clearly, as the thing with twitter, he said, is you sometimes retweet something so quickly it can reflect your real genuine beliefs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Who would imagine that a former CIA operative would retweet that and, I believe, endorse it. Because I don't think this is just retreating. You know, if you want to retweet something that you disapprove of, you can say that. Oh, read this terrible article about how people claim Jews control the media. This is retweeting a blatantly anti- Semitic article.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY: Claiming knowledge she failed to do her homework, and missed what she called gross undercurrents in this article, adding one word that sorts of sums it up, ugh. Martha?
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Ed. All right. So here now with more tonight, someone who was swept up in the Plame affair, Judith Miller. She's a Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter and adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute. She's also a Fox News contributor. And this also led to a rather difficult and very interesting chapter in her life where she spent some time behind bars as a result of all of this. So when you see this, Judith, what do you make of it?
JUDITH MILLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think that had it been the first time that Ms. Plame had actually retweeted an article that contained anti- Semitic settlement, I would give her a pass and say we all make mistakes. We all have had too much coffee and too little sleep. But, in fact, this is one of several times that she has retweeted things that can be broadly interpreted as anti-Semitic. But beyond that, Valerie Plame has really made a career out of a fraud, and that is out of the notion that she was an innocent victim of an outing, her own outing, as a CIA agent, which caused terrible harm to the national security and terrible harm to her family. She went on and on portraying herself in senate testimony and then a best- selling book as a victim.
The truth of the matter is, according to John Rizzo, who was the former general counsel of the CIA, no harm was done to either Ms. Plame, or national security, or any of the Iraqis who she worked with when she was at the CIA. It was all fraudulent. And so, I believe that Ms. Plame should not only be apologizing for her anti-Semitic tweets, the retreating of them, this kind of vile notion that Jews brought us to the war in Iraq and threaten to do so again. She ought to really apologize for going along and giving aid and comfort to the lie that the CIA knew there were no WMD in Iraq, and they misled the country into war. She was part of that narrative. She benefited from that narrative. She's been giving speeches all over the country based on that narrative. And that is a fraud.
And it led to Scooter Libby's trial. He was the aid to the vice president, Dick Cheney. It led to his conviction. And I have actually written a book called, The Story, which attempted to set the narrative straight in which I recant my own testimony at the trial. So Valerie Plame has been a very important person in the lives of everyone who tried very, very hard to bring honest information to the American people, and for many of us who did not succeed, we never said we were lied into anything. She continues to live on that fraudulent narrative.
MACCALLUM: And just for background, you refused to reveal your source in the related story to all of this. And then it was later revealed -- you know, obviously, this was a very difficult time for you. Do you think that-- first of all, on these articles, on this article that she retweeted, you know, as you pointed out, this was written by a person named Philip Geraldi, a former CIA case officer, and she has praised his work before. She retweeted an article that he wrote in 2014, and said that his argument that criticized Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu was, quote, well put. So, you know, are we to believe her, sort of, scrambling sentiment now that she really, you know, didn't do her homework on this issue? That seems a little bit of a far-fetched.
MILLER: No, exactly. She said she was busy moving, but she also told her readers to read the entire article, suggesting that she had done so. So either she was lying about having read the article, or she was, you know, lying to her twitter followers, or she was just lying.
MACCALLUM: Judith Miller, always good to talk to you, thank you very much for joining us tonight. We appreciate it.
MILLER: Thank you very much.
MACCALLUM: So still ahead this evening on The Story, the patriots head coach dodges questions about new reports of brain damage suffered by ex- player and convicted killer Aaron Hernandez.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not a doctor. I'm not a trainer. I'm a coach. So the medical department -- they handled the medical part of that. I don't get that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: He's also referring to the fact that Aaron Hernandez has a very complicated background, all of which is a big part of this story. So we have startling revelations about the 27-year-old who committed suicide in prison earlier this year. Plus, he was once one of the biggest names in wrestling until a leaked sex tape and very ugly language derailed his career. Now, Hulk Hogan is speaking out about all of that in a fascinating interview that airs this weekend on Fox. The man who conducted that interview, Harvey Levin, is here next with the behind the scenes when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: If this tape wasn't leaked, and suppose there was no gawker trial, do you think you would be using that word today? Wouldn't you got angry?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Hulk Hogan is now telling all just months after the wrestling legend reached a massive $31 million settlement with a website that published part of a sex tape. Hogan undresses the scandal that nearly led him to end his life. Here is a sneak peek of the Fox series, "OBJECTified."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: What went through your mind when you first heard there was a sex tape out? I mean, you used the n-word in this sex tape, because that was the nuclear bomb, right?
HULK HOGAN, WRESTLING LEGEND: Yeah, it was. When I knew that was coming out, all the lawyers said, if you want to stop, you can stop. You don't have to go forward. There's a huge amount of money being offered. This will never see the light of day. I mean, I can't do that.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: If this tape wasn't leaked, and suppose there was no gawker trial, do you think you would be using that word today when you got angry?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Wow. Harvey Levin, executive producer of "OBJECTified" joins us now from L.A. Harvey, always good to see you.
HARVEY LEVIN, OBJECTIFIED EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Hey, Martha.
MACCALLUM: There's a lot here. What else really stood out to you in your conversation with Hulk Hogan about everything that he went through on this whole huge story.
LEVIN: Well, remember, I mean, his life is just -- it epitomized by highs and lows. And he made wrestling. I mean, Hulk Hogan made wrestling. Popularized it, you know, it became a thing. It was always kind of a thing, but not to a big group. It was when Hulk came around. So he's experienced those highs, but with his divorce, with his kid, you know, with that horrible car accident where his son went to prison, the divorce, the sex tape, the N-word, all of this stuff. You know, he has seen his share and taken his share of lumps. But the way he handles it in this interview is different than what I expected. He makes no apologies for it. He doesn't try to explain anything away. And I think that actually the way he has taken it in has given him final -- ultimately, strength. But it almost, like you said earlier, it almost killed him. He had a gun in his mouth.
MACCALLUM: You know, what did he say about the bankrolling of this lawsuit, and the Peter Thiel part of the story, and bringing down gawker, and closing that operation up really, for good?
LEVIN: Well, you know, the way I see it, and you have to kind of draw your own conclusions from the show, but the way I see it, it wasn't so much revenge against gawker. He talks about getting a phone call when he was urged to settle this thing before trial. You know, from somebody who kind of suffered something similar where one of their relatives was horribly embarrassed by something that had come out and the relative committed suicide. And, you know, he says to me, that call made a difference to him when he got it. And that it was really not just about getting revenge. It was about trying to draw a line where people just should not be able to do that. I mean, he wanted to make an example of all of this, and he talks about it. Again, this cost him a lot, this trial. He made a lot of money, but he's been banish from wrestling for life, and that wounds him deeply. And he talks about that. It's not like he passes that off as though it's nothing. He doesn't.
MACCALLUM: I want your thoughts on Aaron Hernandez, because this is a story that we've followed closely as well. It's now been revealed that he had such severe CTE, brain damage -- his family believes from the NFL, that they're now going to sue the NFL. Quick thought on that, Harvey?
LEVIN: Well, you've got to remember, this is the fiancee suing on behalf of the child that she had with Aaron, and that they're saying the child was denied companionship with a parent because of this. Look, there are doctors, the doctor who's featured in Will Smith's Concussion, the doctor who's based on, he is convince that he committed suicide because of this, and may be committed the murder because of this. What I find stunning is Belichick, a deflection, and saying, well, doctor's deals with this stuff.
It is impossible for me to believe, I hope at least, that there wouldn't have been long discussions with the Patriot staff and every football team about CTE. They should know about this. And the idea that Belichick said, well, that's a doctor thing.
MACCALLUM: Well, he's a man of few words. So we'll see what comes from it. Harvey, thank you so much. "OBJECTified," this weekend. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.
MACCALLUM: All right, tonight, we leave you on a lighter note with this, in case you missed it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Someone is pressing buttons and turning my sound off. Who is asking for a Labor Day run down in my ear? Someone in that control room is out of control. Stop the hammering. Stop the hammering out there. Who's got a hammer? Where is it? Where's the hammer. Go up on the other floor. Somebody go up there and stop the hammering.
STEPHEN COLBERT, "THE LATE SHOW" HOST: What's happening in my ear piece? Someone is hitting buttons in my ear piece. Why is the woman talking about Christmas in my earpiece right now? She is literally describing Christmas traditions. Why is this happening? Who's drilling? Where's the drilling?
COLBERT: Where's the drilling coming from? Stop that drilling. Stop the drilling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: O'Donnell apologized, which is fine. Any of us with voices occasionally in our heads can empathize. And on a week when there was a lot of politics in late night, which we documented here, this just made us laugh a lot. So that's always a good thing. Have a great weekend, everybody. Keep it right here. President Trump about to take the stage in Alabama at the Luther Strange rally. Tucker has live coverage of all of that, and we will see you back here on Monday night with more as "The Story" goes on.
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