Tony Shaffer reacts to uncovered New York City terror plot

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," October 6, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, "THE STORY" HOST: Breaking tonight heightened security at numerous big events across the country after an ISIS plot to shoot people at concerts is uncovered. We're going to have a lot more for you on that in just a moment. Also, this evening, an Oscar-winning producer faces a torrent of sexual harassment claims. He's a huge donor to Democrats, he is also backed by a former top Obama official. And Tropical Storm Nate -- here we go again, folks -- eighth hurricane of the season. It is expected to hit the United States early Sunday at New Orleans as a Category 1, we've got an update on that. I'm Martha MacCallum, and our story begins tonight with brand new information from the crime scene in Las Vegas.


JOE LOMBARDO, SHERIFF, CLARK COUNTY: We have no credible information to report to you as to motivation. ISIS has repeatedly claimed responsibility, which today, I can tell you, that we have no known nexus too. We're very confident that he did not -- there was not another shooter in the room. What I cannot confirm to you today and what we continue to investigate is whether anybody else may have known about this incident before he carried it out. The bulk of Tannerite there we found and whether we believe he was trying to make it into an IED. I can tell you, we found it in the condition that it was and it did not resemble an IED. There are still a number of people out there that know, that something looked out a place. If you know something, you need to say something.


MACCALLUM: Dan Springer, live in Las Vegas tonight with the latest. Hi, Dan.

DAN SPRINGER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL REPORTER: Yes. Hey, Martha, a lot of developments today. Unfortunately, nothing that points directly to a motive. You can hear the frustration in the police as they held that news conference today. What is crystal clear today and really forming every single day and we see this is that there was a ton of planning by Stephen Paddock and he had one goal it seemed, and that was to kill as many people as possible not really caring who or whereas he looked all over the United States at places where he could attack.

There are reports that today, that Paddock either tried to buy or did by tracer ammunition. Either way, it was not used but could have made the massacre even more deadly because he likely would've been more accurate. As for investigators, they continue to dive inside Paddock's phone and computer for any clues -- that work being done at the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia. There's also a note police found in the gunman's room, not a suicide note. It contained a bunch of numbers which they're trying to decipher right now. More chilling information that Paddock may have been planning similar attacks elsewhere. He searched for a hotel room near Fenway Park in Boston, he also and booked two rooms in Chicago during the Lollapalooza Festival but never showed there.

Some interesting information is leaked from the police interview of Paddock's girlfriend, Marilou Danley. She reportedly told investigators that recently, Paddock has been agitated at night, waking up moaning and sometimes screaming -- not sure what to make of that. Meantime, in an unrelated story, the Department of Justice later today announced that they broke up a plot to detonate bombs in New York's Times Square and also the subway. A terrorist attack was supposed to take place last summer in New York. Three people with ties to Pakistan and the Philippines have been arrested; one has pled guilty to terrorist-related charges and two are awaiting extradition. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Dan, thank you very much. So, here now with more, Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer, CIA Trained Intel Operative, he's been in contact with his sources in law enforcement; and Candice DeLong, former FBI Agent, and Criminal Profiler. Welcome, to both of you. Good to have both you here tonight. Tony, let me start on this, this uncovered ISIS plot. What do we know about?

LT. COL. TONY SHAFFER, CIA TRAINED INTELLIGENCE OPERATIVE: Well, we know that, clearly, this is great police work by the NYPD. The NYPD, I think, is the best counterterrorism organization, intelligence, and action bar nun on the planet. And this has been something that they've been studying very carefully. The basic plot was, individuals working to establish logistical support, and, obviously, explosives to place them at critical locations within the city to attack transportation.

Clearly, Martha, you know, you lived there, and I've been in New York, attacking these modes would've caused huge and continuous panic. So, clearly, as we've said before before this issue came up out of Vegas that you have ISIS is making a concerted and constant effort to establish both the network, as well as folks who will be able to execute attacks there. And clearly, they were moving towards that with this planned attack.

MACCALLUM: And we know from the past that when they have goals, they are not thwarted often. They keep continuing to --

SHAFFER: They're very persistent. They're very persistent.

MACCALLUM: -- try them in different ways.

SHAFFER: Yes, ma'am.

MACCALLUM: So, it's very alarming, the uncovering of this plot tonight. Candice, good to have you with us tonight. We heard about this piece of paper with numbers on it. They've obviously been searching for some kind of manifesto or suicide note, your thoughts on all of that?

CANDICE DELONG, FORMER AGENT AND CRIMINAL PROFILER, FBI: Well, they're saying it's not a suicide note. I think it could have been anything who -- what was going on in this man's mind, but it's not a suicide note. I think he did two things that, to me, are a suicide note. He sent his girlfriend away so she wouldn't be in Las Vegas when it happened; bought her a ticket to the Philippines, and then sent her a large amount of money telling her to buy a house. He knew he was going to commit suicide and he didn't want her anywhere around.

MACCALLUM: You don't put any credence in what we heard from the sheriff, which was that there was a possible exit route for him?

DELONG: Not until it is revealed. I don't believe he planned on getting out of there.

MACCALLUM: Fascinating. Tony, when you look at the coverage of this, you feel that there has been some misleading coverage with regards to this?

SHAFFER: I do. I do. Well, to Candice's point, they need to put out the note to let us know what's on it. If it's nothing, then, you know. The other thing that they opened up with the report was there's no credible motive, and this goes to the other reporting. Look, this credibility issue is something the officials are not doing well on, and I think they have to be much clearer what was in the room, what's in the video. But to your point about deception -- look, the bump fire issue, the weapons that are being shown on the networks, they're trying to create, essentially in my judgment, a state of panic.

Tracers, look, I fired weapons with tracers, they don't help in a situation like this. They simply show you kind of the trajectory of where your bullet is going. And let me tell you something, he had no problem putting those bullets where he wanted them. I've looked at the field of fire, so I don't -- again, I think some of the reporting is almost spectacular to the point of where they're trying to draw attention away from the court issues of what happened here, why did he become radicalized and trying to focus on the technology? So, I think it's a very disservice to the public and dishonest overall in the reporting.

MACCALLUM: Yes. You know, the more we learn about him, Candice, he spent a lot of time alone sitting at gambling machines in casinos. He traveled from place to place. He looked at a number of different hotels, many of which were overlooking some of these venues. I mean, most big cities, you're going to be overlooking something. But when you put all these together, it's definitely curious. And the night terrors that she talks about, what does all that tell you?

DELONG: The night terrors interest me quite a bit. If it was just once it could be written off as a bad dream, but the implication is that it was more than once, and that tells me this man was very, very disturbed to be crying and moaning and screaming while he was asleep. If a child were doing that, we'd call the doctor. The second most important thing is the revelation that he was taking a valium, that he was new at using it, that he had a prescription for it. Valium is an anti-anxiety agent, it's a tranquilizer, it's like a dry martini -- calms the person down. But extended use, frequent use, and extended can cause more problems. When the person comes down off the dose, the drug is no longer acting in their system, they can go into a clinical depression and become even more nervous.

MACCALLUM: Obviously, you know, putting all of that together, Tony, you would certainly want to talk to the doctor who had prescribed these medications to him, right?

SHAFFER: Again, I'm surprised where this investigation hasn't gotten to that point. I mean, these drugs are controlled, prescription is very controlled. So, why aren't we figuring out more about who prescribed these and why? And this goes back to my contention earlier this week on Monday, when we first talked about this, Martha. This does parallel the Hodgkinson attack in Alexandria against Congressman Scalise, because of the fact that-- clearly, this man was mentally disturbed and something was going on. So, I think, again, we need to get to the bottom of this.

MACCALLUM: Candice and Tony, thank you very much. Great to have both you with us tonight.

SHAFFER: Thank you, Martha. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, still ahead, this:


MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: He is a wonderful human being, a good friend, and just a powerhouse.


MACCALLUM: So, now, the Hollywood producer is facing a slew of sexual harassment allegations as another former Obama administration official -- not President Obama, but someone who worked with him is standing by him. We're going to break down the unbelievable story coming out of Hollywood tonight. And we are also keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Nate; the monster storm expected to strengthen to a hurricane before it makes landfall. This is like Groundhog Day and it is headed towards the general direction of the last ones we've seen. Rick Reichmuth, standing by in the extreme weather center tonight with the latest track on this storm. But, first new calls to ban bump stocks in the wake of the Vegas massacre. Will it help? Former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie and Matt Bennett, debate, next.


DANA LOESCH, SPOKESPERSON FOR THE NRA: The NRA is not the ATF, I think that's the bottom line there. The ATF needs to do its job.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Form, officer. Present arms.


MACCALLUM: Very moving moment yesterday in Las Vegas. The police lining the street as they salute Officer Charleston Hartfield, who was among the 58-people killed in Sunday's massacre. Their names are on the bullets on the cover of the New Yorker Magazine in a very moving, artistic display as well. The search for the motive, as you know, goes on this evening. And the conversation turned to gun control, specifically so-called bump stocks-- it's the gun accessory that allowed gunman, Stephen Paddock, to fire hundreds of shots within minutes. Now, the NRA is clarifying its position on calls to ban them.


WAYNE LAPIERRE, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, NRA: What the NRA has said is we ought to take a look at that and see if it's in compliance with the federal law, and it's worthy of additional regulation. That being said, we didn't say ban, we didn't say confiscate.


MACCALLUM: Carl Higbie, former Navy SEAL; Matt Bennett, Public Affairs Director for Americans, for gun safety. Gentlemen, welcome. Good to have both of you here. Carl, your thoughts on the bump stock issue?

CARL HIGBIE, FORMER NAVY SEAL: So, I mean, this is just another thing that is an example of technology out-pacing legislation. Those people who are in charge right now are legislators; you cannot legislate on emotion on this. We're rushing to judgment to look for someone or something to blame.
This is Paddock's fault, and he's not an inanimate object. You cannot legislate personal responsibilities. And when you do, like they're trying to do with this bump stock, you get bills like you did in Connecticut after Sandy Hook which was SP-1160 -- which essentially made a ton of law-abiding citizens felons over overnight. It didn't solve any problem, wouldn't have stopped the actual shooting itself. We can't afford to have bad legislation like this; this needs to be thought through. And if it's deemed that this is somehow of a negative effect on society outside of this shooting, then, yes, we should take a look at it. But I don't think banning certain individual parts of technology because then it will be the trigger, then it'll be the barrel, and where does it stop?


MATT BENNETT, PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIRECTOR FOR AMERICANS FOR GUN SAFETY: We already do. We already do ban certain kinds of technology. We ban fully automatic weapons. And what this piece of technology does is it converts a legal weapon into what should essentially be an illegal one, which is to say, it increases the rate of fire by three times and it increases it almost all the way up to fully automatic.

HIGBIE: Should, by your logic?

BENNETT: Pardon me?

HIGBIE: Should, by your logic? Or should by what logic, should be banned? Or should be illegal?

BENNETT: Not my logic, the logic of the legislators who passed the bill more than 40 years ago to make automatic weapons mostly illegal. It's very hard to get a permit to have an automatic weapon, and there's very good reason for that, and one of the reasons we saw in horrible detail in Las Vegas. But another thing to keep in mind here: it is true that these bump stocks, to my knowledge, haven't been used in a major crime before, but they could be in the future because these things -- these kinds of crimes often have copycats.

MACCALLUM: All right. Let's look at the 2015 firearm deaths. You have 36,000-plus homicides in the country, deaths, OK; 12,000 of them, roughly, are homicides; 22,000 of them are suicides, and the rest are the accidental or undetermined intent. It just raises the question, Carl, there's obviously too much death in this country by these ways of killing yourself, either with a gun or killing other people with a gun. We all know that there are other ways for people to die. However -- and we also understand that people want the ability to protect themselves and keep themselves safe. But it raises the question: are -- there are guns falling into the hands of the wrong people and what can be done to prevent that to whatever extent we can? What would like to see to that aim, Carl?

HIGBIE: Well, I want to make sure that this is -- whatever legislation we do pass is well thought out. I don't want to go banning bump stocks right now. If after a careful consideration we determine that it is, then fine. But the issue here is we must respect the second amendment here. If we continue to chase add-ons to guns, that nomenclature of an assault rifle, less than five percent of these crimes, these mass murders, or these murderers at all are committed with assault or so-called assault rifles -- which is America's most popular hunting rifles.

MACCALLUM: So, why does anyone need an assault rifle? Is one of the questions that are out there, quickly and then I want to hear from Matt.

HIGBIE: Well, because it's America and we don't have to answer that, and we have the second amendment. It's the most popular sporting rifle, Martha.

BENNETT: I mean, look, this is a long and difficult debate, but we don't need assault rifles; other countries don't allow them. And we have a massive crime problem, as you pointed, Martha, 12,000 murders a year, five times those of most industrialized countries with guns. It's insane.

MACCALLUM: Let's put up the Chicago shooting victim's number, because, you know, there is selective outrage on your side of the equation sometimes, Matt. You look at the -- 47 percent in Chicago, right? So, you obviously have all of this well-placed concern that we're all talking about here tonight, about what happened in Las Vegas. But where is the outrage on a day to day basis about the murders that happen in Chicago and why don't we hear more about that? Why does it take something like this for your side to get fired up on this question, Matt?

BENNETT: That's a good question, but it's not my side. What I tweeted was more people will die by tomorrow night than died in Las Vegas in what we call a garden variety gun crime. We have been shouting from the rooftops about this, and let me give you one example: after Sandy Hook, the parents Sandy Hook banded together and decide to push for something constructive. They knew that they couldn't get assault weapons banned, and they couldn't things that were related to their own tragedy, that what they wanted to do is improve the background checks and to keep going inside their heads in the very criminals that are victimizing people in Chicago.

MACCALLUM: Matt, thank you very much. Carl, we'll continue the conversation. Thank you very much to both of you. Good to have you here tonight. So, breaking tonight, deadly Tropical Storm Nate, strengthening as it threatens to slam into New Orleans this weekend. Rick Reichmuth has the next track on that. Plus, this:


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You guys know what this represents? Maybe, it's the calm before the storm.


MACCALLUM: You hear that here first last night. Now the speculation about what that means is running wild. Chris Stirewalt, Mollie Hemingway, and Richard Fowler, up next.


MACCALLUM: Breaking tonight, everybody, once again, is watching a brewing tropical storm in the gulf. Right now, it is forecasted to gain strength, and it is threatening to hit the gulf coast as a Category 1 hurricane near New Orleans over this weekend. This storm has already killed more than 20 people in Central America. Fox News Chief Meteorologist, Rick Reichmuth, back on the watch tonight in the extreme weather center. Hi, Rick?

RICK REICHMUTH, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Martha. Yes, it's a really fast-moving storm, that means the impacts are going to come very quickly throughout the day tomorrow. The storm is just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, and the light we're getting right through the Yucatan Channel here, not having any interaction with the Yucatan. That means no real weakening from it. I will tell you, it's really got its act together over the last few hours; winds are up to 60 miles an hour. It's also going over kind of the warmest water that it will have at any point; right here, across parts of the Western Caribbean.

The water as it moves forward not as warm even though the temperature is certainly plenty warm to sustain a hurricane; doesn't have the depth and that extra fuel it'll need. You will, however, notice it's going to make a V-line, right there, towards the central gulf. Because of that, the rainfall totals are going to be heaviest right here where it comes on shore inland, even all the way across parts of the southern appellations, I think that's where we could see the worst of the flooding from this storm, especially just due to some of the mountains in the hills that are across this area.

Localized flooding, especially, maybe around the Mobile Bay, that's where, I think, we'll see the worst of the storm surge. But the track of this, very much in agreement; all of our model's in agreement coming on-shore somewhere between New Orleans and over towards the Alabama coastline. That's where the worst of the storm surge will be. But you'll notice, this is tomorrow night, we are about 30 hours likely from having a landfall of a very strong tropical storm and a possible hurricane here towards the central gulf. Because it's moving so fast, it's going to get here very fast, but then it's also going to move on very quickly. I want to point out one last thing, Martha, moving up through the Tennessee Valley, and eventually through the Ohio Valley, and across parts of the northeast throughout the weekend. And in the early part of next week, a lot of people are going to be having some impacts of from this storm.

MACCALLUM: Rick, thank you. Rich Reichmuth, thanks a lot. All right. Also, developing tonight: President Trump's seemingly ceremonial dinner with military leaders sparked quite a few questions last night. We first played this for you last evening on "The Story," watch.


TRUMP: You guys know what this represents? Maybe it's the calm before the storm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the storm?

TRUMP: Could be, the calm, the calm before the storm.


TRUMP: We have the world's great military people in this room, I will tell you that. And we'll have a great evening. Thank you all for coming. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What storm, Mr. President?

TRUMP: You'll find out.


MACCALLUM: You'll find out. Then asked today about that, he doubled down, watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, what did you mean by calm before the storm yesterday, what did you mean by that?

TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you very much. You'll find out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will find out?



MACCALLUM: We'll see. OK. So, what does that mean? Joining me now, Chris Stirewalt, Fox News politics editor; and Richard Fowler, nationally syndicated radio talk show host; and Mollie Hemingway is with us as well tonight. We are having trouble with our audio, but I think we've got the gang together. So, it's good to see all of you tonight. Chris, let me start with you. The calm before the storm. What is it? Sounds kind of scary.

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLITICS EDITOR: I thought it was a potential Teddy Pendergrass reference.


STIREWALT: I didn't really. It was hard. I think, I think, I think that what happened if I had to guess was that the president looked around the room, he saw his awesome generals, he was feeling awesome about how awesome they were. And he thought like, wow, wouldn't it be awesome? And he said that, and then, he -- no one is better than Donald Trump in reading these reactions. And the reporters immediately go, oh my gosh, what storm? What are you talking about, are we going to war? And then, he knows he's got a moment. And he says, we'll see. You never know. So, he got -- he has a cliffhanger.

MACCALLUM: You can't help but think that he's, you know, watching throughout the day and he's going they're still talking about that!


MACCALLUM: They're still talking about the calm before the storm, and we're just as guilty of it as well. Richard, what do you make of it?

RICHARD FOWLER, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I think Chris Stirewalt's right. Besides, it's there's no time reference; it's Smokey Robinson, but I'll forgive you, Chris Stirewalt.

MACCALLUM: Oh, we're going to have a music showdown match upcoming. The (INAUDIBLE).

FOWLER: But I tend to agree. I think once again, he advantaged to troll the media. This is -- just like the covfefe moment that he had a couple of months back, where we will spend the next three or four days talking about the calm before the storm and what that means. And then, in the meantime, the Trump administration is, you know, all of the real news is happening, we're not focusing on it, we are talking about the calm before an impending storm that we're not really sure what it is. It is could be a quiet storm by Smokey Robinson.

MACCALLUM: On the other hand -- on the other hand, though, no musically references at the moment. On the other hand, though, Mollie, there's a lot going on. I mean, he's talking about recertifying the Iran deal, there's the ever sort of bubbling difficulty intention with North Korea. One another possibility that we haven't talked about is that a very significant and dark moment that the loss of some of our Green Berets in Niger, and the possibility that there might be some retaliation perhaps for that. So, who knows what's in the works here.

HEMINGWAY: Right. And I think it is important, you know, people get so distracted by what President Trump says, and it's really key to just pay attention to what's, what's actually going on or what policy changes are going on, and there is a lot that's happening. And I do think that this decertification of the Iran deal is a huge story. Now, I'm not sure if anything is fought in Niger, I don't even know if people understood that we had troops there for the last couple of years. Certainly, learning that people are dying there, that American troops are dying there was significant to people. But this Iran deal is big and I think that it is something that completely blows up the last couple of years of Obama foreign policy, something that we were told just couldn't be done, that we could get Iran back to the negotiation table.

They've signaled the six world powers that they're willing to talk on ballistic missiles. Just in August, they were increasing funding there after shouting death to America. You know, their parliament voted increase funding's. So this is significant and could be what he's talking about.

MACCALLUM: All right. Another big story that's brewing is within the White House and over at the State Department. Chris, what do you make of Rex Tillerson's situation, and do you believe the reports that came out late today and another one earlier today that they're considering Mike Pompeo for this position, that his days are numbered? Is that true?

STIREWALT: Well, I mean, aren't all of ours. I think that Rex Tillerson's days as the secretary of state are certainly numbered because it's an untenable situation. We have a guy -- a report say calls the president a moron, and then he goes out to say I think he's smart. Did you ever call him a moron? Well, I don't want to get into that right now. That won't do to have your secretary of state in that position. And also, to the policy front that Mollie's references, you have a group of people inside this administration, including Tillerson, including secretary of defense James Mattis, and others who are urging the president not to back out of the Iran deal. And in fact, to stay in to get the good stuff that they see on the back side after the bad stuff the Obama administration gave away on the front side. They say you've got to stay in here. We need this as a framework. So there are real policy implications underneath that.

MACCALLUM: Richard, what do you think?

RICHARD FOWLER, SYNDICATED RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I think Chris Stirewalt is right on this one. I think there are real policy implications. There's only implication on our foreign policy that we've work really hard on, whether you agree with it or not. I think the other thing worth looking is Rex Tillerson's state of mind. Remember, for the past few years before being secretary of state, Rex Tillerson was like a world leader. Exxon is like a country. So now he's reporting to Donald Trump. He's sort of distanced himself from the president's tweets during Charlottesville and other things. And now he has to sort of take directions from a guy who -- I don't like his tweeting, I don't like his policies directives. And the press conference we saw was very awkward for him. So I think he thinks his days are numbered because he's like, I'm sort of tired of this.

MACCALLUM: OK. Last word from Mollie. Go ahead, Mollie.

HEMINGWAY: Decertification is not getting out of the Iran deal. It just meaning that we actually have some room to repair some of the damage of how horrible that initial deal was. We need Iran to come back to the table, it sound like they're going to do it. And as far as Tillerson -- he actually did -- the entire story was that he had threatened to resign and he needed to be talk down. He explicitly denied it. When ask about the juvenile gossip that people like to put out there, he said I'm not going to do your juvenile gossip thing. And, of course, reporters still want to hold him -- they want to drag him back into that and he's declining to do it. I don't think that we should privilege anonymous sources over a guy on the record coming out and giving us his actual views.

MACCALLUM: OK. Thank you very much you, guys. Good to see you all.


FOWLER: Thank you, Martha. Happy Friday.

MACCALLUM: You too. So coming up next here is Bowe Bergdahl about to plead guilty. And what might he get for that? Next. Plus, a huge win for religious liberty fighters as President Trump makes a major change to ObamaCare. Tony Perkins, Jessica Tarlov, up next.


MACCALLUM: Breaking tonight, Bowe Bergdahl the U.S. soldier who was held captive by the Taliban for 5 years will reportedly plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, rather than face trial for leaving his Afghanistan post back in '09. The Taliban released Bergdahl in May of 2014 in exchanges for the release of five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay. It was hugely controversial. And now it's coming to a close. Bergdahl could face up to life in prison when he is sentenced later this month.

Also tonight, a big win for religious freedom fighters in America. Today, the Trump administration scaled back a key part of ObamaCare that insisted that many employers provide coverage for birth control. The move met with widespread praise on the right and a lawsuit from the ACLU. Joining us now, family research council president, Tony Perkins, who advised the president on these issues, and Jessica Tarlov, senior director of research and a Fox News contributor. Welcome to both of you. Good to have you here tonight. Tony, let me start with you. Obviously, this is a big win for people from your way of thinking on this, and those who want to protect religious freedom.

TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: It's a huge win. This day, I think, combines with the DOJ guidance on religious liberty could be considered as the religious animist day, the day that the federal government attack on the little sisters of the poor and people of faith ceased in this country after 8 years of constant attack by the Obama administration. So this is a significant turn in the approach of our federal government to respecting religious liberty.

MACCALLUM: So Jessica, you know, the question comes down to this, you know, should private entities have to cover contraceptives if it's goes against their religious belief?

JESSICA TARLOV, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, if it's in violation of the equal protection clause which is what the ACLU alleged, and what I believe then they absolutely should have to cover it. Well, the Trump administration has done though is actually go beyond what religious fighters usually do and they added a clause that you can also reject providing contraception based upon moral convictions. But there's no explanation whatsoever as to what moral convictions mean there. We have Tony Perkins here, maybe he could explain that to me. But what it seems to be is that the Trump administration, just like with the Muslim ban, is going to face a number of lawsuits on this issue. Going to have a lot of angry Americans who rely on that health care. You've heard, hundreds of thousands of women who get it through ObamaCare, 62 million women nationwide right now who are covered. And there was something else in the guidance that I found interesting, it said having access to contraception's promoted risky sexual behavior. But that has nothing to do with religion. We shouldn't be legislating what people do in their private time--



PERKINS: Well, the mandate to begin with had nothing to do with contraceptives. The mandate had to do with subjecting religious beliefs to a government ideology. And look, we're talking about an order, a direction that is keeping with the Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby cases extending this to non-profits. You know, it's nonsensical that the little sister of the poor, a group of Catholics nuns who care for the impoverished that they have to provide for contraceptive in their health care. And we're talking about contraception that could be -- can act as a (INAUDIBLE). Look, this is not about cost. If the government really wanted to provide contraception, they could. But they can do it as the court said in a way that does not trample upon the religious freedom of Americans and of non-profit religious organizations.

MACCALLUM: So it's separating this. The question of whether or not -- of how people want to obtain them. Of course, anyone in this country is free to obtain birth control any day of the week. Anybody can do that. The question is whether or not a private corporation or private entity, Jessica, should be instructed by the government in terms of how they should provide for their employees? So, in any way, why would you want to step on their right to provide in a way that they choose to do so? That's their right.

TARLOV: Because they're discriminating against women. This case with ObamaCare that they made contraceptive part of a women's right to health care. Just like men have their pills--

MACCALLUM: But this is assuming that you're OK with the government, sort of, being the instructor--


TARLOV: And obviously, I know that Mr. Perkins is not a fan of ObamaCare more generally. That's what it comes down to--

PERKINS: That's correct.

TARLOV: Well, we have that.

PERKINS: Well, I know, we have it because the senate hasn't acted. But I don't think it's the government's role. I mean, look, drinking wine is actually good for your heart, so should we mandate that the government provide every -- or makes employers buy wine for all of their employees because it's for them? Look, you can have access to this. We're talking about 3 or 4 cappuccinos a month will cover the cost of contraceptives. Should we force--

TARLOV: That is unfair for lower and middle income women who rely on getting this as a government subsidy. I would also asked about the conditions--

PERKINS: The government can do it in another way.


TARLOV: -- what about that--

PERKINS: The government can provide this--


PERKINS: The government can provide it if they feel that this is essential through another means without--


MACCALLUM: All right. We've got to leave it there you guys--

TARLOV: -- open up clinics for you and they don't do it.

MACCALLUM: You've got great points on both sides. Thank you very much for being here tonight. Jessica and Tony Perkins, it's always good to have both of you with us. Thank you. So still ahead tonight, quite a story here. An Oscar winning producer, he has deep ties to the Democratic Party, and is facing blockbuster claims that he sexually harassed young women for years. Conservative columnist John Podhoretz is calling out the hypocrisy as he sees it as some of the people who are supporting Harvey Weinstein tweeting this, Harvey Weinstein is such a wonderful feminist that he has feminist Lisa Bloom and Anita Dunne fronting for his disgusting misogyny. That's what he tweeted today. Attorney Mark Eiglarsh and entertainment reporter Matt Donnelly joins us next.


MACCALLUM: Bombshell allegations tonight against mega-producer Harvey Weinstein as the New York Times uncover what they say is a 30 year pattern of sexual harassment involving numerous women. The Hollywood mogul is now on damage control mode and seeking the advised of former Obama officials Anita Dunn as Democrats have taken millions of dollars in donations and fundraisers at his home scramble to respond. Many of them have started to give back some of this money. Correspondent James Rosen in Washington with more on this tonight. Hi, James.

JAMES ROSE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Martha, good evening. Some Hollywood insiders reacted to this bombshell New York Times story about Harvey Weinstein multiple sexual harassment settlements by saying that he's conduct was an open secret. Yet, the movie mogul acknowledgement this he is, quote, caused a lot of pain for female colleague is throwing a fresh spotlight on the depth of his ties to the Democratic Party. Buzz Feed is reporting that as the Times gathered its evidence, Weinstein retained a number of top P.R. executives. Among them, according to Buzz Feed was Anita Dunn, the White House communication director during President Obama's first term.

Dunn is perhaps best known for leading the so-called war on Fox News in 2009, when Obama aides declared this network of an arm of the Republican Party and worked behind the scenes, unsuccessfully, to get Fox News expelled from the White House pool. The consortium of TV networks that rotate the cost and duties of White House coverage. On inauguration day the Hollywood reporter reported that first daughter Malia Obama was going to be interning for the Weinstein Company starting the following month.

Across the 3 decades in which the Times reported these sexual harassment cases occurred, Weinstein contributed an estimated $750,000 to Democratic causes and candidates, and the Republican National Committee demanding those funds be returned. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer is donating $16,000 and change he receives to charities that support women. The nearly 12 grand received by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand also of New York is going to a nonprofit that helps victims of sexual violence. Likewise, Senator Cory Booker is sending nearly 8,000 to the New Jersey coalition against sexual assaults. And Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts donated 5,000 to a Boston nonprofit. Among those Democrats who've not yet returned return or donated Weinstein's contributions, at least thus, are New York governor Andrew Cuomo, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Senator Kamala Harris of California. She, like Gillibrand, Booker and Warren is considered a potential presidential contender in 2020. Martha?

MACCALLUM: James, thank you very much. Here now with more, Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, and Matt Donnelly, senior entertainment reporter at Good to have both of you with is tonight. You know, it is interesting to look at the people who are involved in defending or tutoring is one of the word that's being used. Lisa Bloom is apparently tutoring Harvey Weinstein out of what he has called is bad behavior in the past. Just to familiarize everyone with her, let's watch some of this video of her defending women who claimed that they were harassed in the past. Watch this.


UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jane Doe has received numerous threats today as have all of the Trump accusers that I have represented. She is living in fear. She has decided that she's too afraid to show her face.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: And as we have said all along, revenge porn is a form of domestic abuse. It is also a crime in California and 38 other states, and it's a civil wrong.


MACCALLUM: So that is the way we are all used to seeing Lisa Bloom, defending women who say that they have been harassed. Here she is this morning on GMA defending Harvey Weinstein. Watch.


UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have to throw out the old playbook, OK? You're going to be attacking women. You're not going to be disrespecting women. You're not going to be digging up dirt on them and embarrassing them. You know, that's the tired old way to go.


MACCALLUM: I find some of those phrases really striking, Mark. And I want to start with you on this. She said you're going to have to throw out that old playbook. And this is the tired old way to go. This is the way that guys used to behave in the workplace. But, Harvey, we're not going to be doing that anymore. Do you find that contrast striking, Mark?

MARK EIGLARSH, ATTORNEY: I don't agree with you on this one. I've got to say at first, I read 3 times -- wait, she's defending him? Is that what I'm reading? But then -- here's what I found out. First, you've got to read her statement in its entirety. People are picking out little sound bites. Secondly, she's not defending him. She's serving as an advisor. And when someone like this readily admits what they've done wrong to some extent, obviously, he takes exception on something, and he's saying I want to evolve, I want to raise my level of awareness, then who better than someone who's been a fierce advocate for victims to help him find his way?

MACCALLUM: I mean, you know, Harvey Weinstein is making a book that she wrote into a series. I just think there's a little bit of a double standard going on here in terms of the way that this cases is looked at by this attorney and, you know, she's not defending him in that sense. But she is tutoring him is the word that was used. And she did say in remarks today that some of these allegations she believes are false. That is not something that we have ever heard from her on any of these prior cases, in terms of understanding, you know, the background and the full picture and looking at both sides of this equation, which she is apparently is quite willing to do with Harvey Weinstein.

EIGLARSH: I get it. Martha, I absolutely understand your thought process, and that's what makes this country great. Even Lisa would be the first to say if you don't like it, that's totally OK. But her firm is very different than her mother's. She has an open practice. We know her for defending victims, she also does other kind of work. And in this particular case when someone comes out and says, I want to accept responsibility. I want to get better. What's wrong? Where is that person supposed to go for assistance? It's going to somebody like Lisa.

MACCALLUM: All right. Matt Donnelly, what do you think?

MATT DONNELLY, ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Yeah. One of the biggest criticisms I think Hollywood gets in dealing with sexism that it doesn't go far enough in dealing with (INAUDIBLE). So, it's a pretty interesting tactic that Lisa would go to the other side and really help change behavior. But, obviously, it raised a lot of eyebrows here. But they have a book deal. They have one of Lisa's books in development as a mini-series that Jay-Z, by the way, is an executive producer about the Martin case--


MACCALLUM: So Hollywood is going to circle wagon around Harvey Weinstein and help him with his problems? It sounds somewhat like what we heard about Bill Clinton and others, you know, that it's an addiction, that there's a problem that they need to work through. The language when it was used, when she was defending -- you know, when she was representing women who accused the president of things, Bill O'Reilly of things as well was completely different. I mean, in those cases she said after that case, this is what happens when women speak our truth. We can slay dragons. In this case on Harvey Weinstein, she saying as a woman advocate he is an old dinosaur learning new ways. I mean, doesn't that strike you as a little bit of hypocrisy?

DONNELLY: I don't think you'll find a lot of Hollywood people, you know, rushing to drive him to therapy. I think they'll do a lot of watch and waiting and see how this pans out if he pursues his own, sort of, remedies for all these things. But I think people are just waiting to see how this shakes out. I would not...


DONNELLY: -- everyone is rushing to--


MACCALLUM: He did a documentary, Harvey Weinstein, called the hunting ground which went after the college sex issues on campuses which was roundly criticized by people for its impartiality and its lack of understanding of the whole issue. Mark, just a quick final thought here?

EIGLARSH: You mentioned a couple of people like the president, for example, and Bill O'Reilly, who never stepped up to the plate and said, OK, I want to learn, I did wrong. This guy does.

MACCALLUM: And we're going to have to address that. We'll have to have you back because I'm getting cut off. Thank you very much.


MACCALLUM: So we end the week kind of where we started it. Watch this magic moment that just happened at the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs game, Congressman Steve Scalise threw out the first pitch.




MACCALLUM: That's going to get everybody on their feet, right? That's less than 4 months after being shot at a congressional baseball practice. The Louisiana congressman returning to Capitol Hill after undergoing several surgeries and intensive rehab. Three other victims of the shooting, capital police officer David Bailey, congressional aide Zack Barth, and lobbyist Matt Mika, all were at that pre-game ceremony this evening. What a great moment for all of them. We thank them for their time this week as well. That is our story. Have a great weekend. We will see you back here on Monday night at 7, where we'll continue all this conversation. Tucker, coming up next.


Content and Programming Copyright 2017 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2017 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.