Kellyanne Conway: Goal is to move forward with the agenda

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," October 16, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: Breaking tonight, a Rose Garden truce; but what does it really mean for the two men who have traded insults for weeks? I'm Martha MacCallum and the presidential majority leader budding movie that we witnessed at the White House today have had everybody watching. And that is where "The Story" begins.

Midday, after a much-talked about lunch meeting, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took it a step further. They came down to the podium to prove that they were on the same page and they faced a barrage of pent up questions from the press.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We're probably now, I think, at least as far as I'm concerned, closer than ever before. And the relationship is very good. We're fighting for the same thing. We are fighting for lower taxes. Big tax cuts. The biggest tax cuts in the history of our nation. We're fighting for tax reform, as part of that. We are getting close to healthcare. We will come up in the early to mid-part of next year. We're going to have a vote. I think we already have the votes. We feel confident, we have the votes.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY., SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: We have the same agenda. We've been friends and acquaintances for a long time. We talk frequently. We don't give you a read out every time we have a conversation. But frequently, we talk on the weekend about the issues that are before us. Legislatively, obviously, the top priority is tax reduction. And I think what the president and I would both like to say to you today, contrary to what some of you may have reported, we are together totally on this agenda to move America forward.

TRUMP: I really believe that we have a very good chance. And I think Mitch feels the same way, of getting the taxes done.


MACCALLUM: Fascinating, right? Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway, here in a moment. But first, chief national chief correspondent, Ed Henry, live at the White House with the late details tonight. Hi, Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Martha, good evening. The most important message the president sent to the entire world today, they're literally standing shoulder to shoulder with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after frosty relations. Now saying that they are going to work together on tax cuts and much of the rest of the Trump agenda. But still, you could see there in that clip that McConnell seemed to even be struggling just a little bit to smile as the president claimed they are now closer than ever. Mere weeks after the commander-in-chief said he was very disappointed in the leader and suggested McConnell might even lose his job for repeatedly failing to repeal and replace Obamacare after seven years of promises.

This is the third consecutive week we're seeing the president trying to patch things up with a key player. First, it was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insisting he's still on board. Then, it was chief of staff John Kelly on Friday coming to the White House briefing room to insist he's not going anywhere. Today, the president tried to turn the tables on Democrats by saying that his problems on the Hill really stem from their obstructionism, while also dishing out criticism to Republicans who he said should be ashamed of themselves for blocking key parts of the agenda. But most importantly for our viewers and when they may get a tax cut, the president and the senator seemed to move the time line a little bit by both saying they could live with making progress this year but finishing the tax cuts next year. Watch.


TRUMP: I would like very much to see it be done this year. So, we won't go a step further. And if we get it done, that's a great achievement. But, don't forget, it took years for the Reagan administration to get taxes done. I've been here for nine months.

MCCONNELL: Let me just add to what the president said. The goal is to get it done this calendar year. But it is important to remember that Obama signed Obamacare in March of year two. Obama signed Dodd Frank in July of year two. We're going to get this job done and the goal is to get it done by the end of the year.


HENRY: The goal. They were also pressed about former chief White House strategist, Steve Bannon, trying to take out Republican senators in primary fights. He'll only endorse challengers who agree to vote against McConnell as Republican leader. Now, the president praised Bannon but said may try to talk him out of trying to push out some GOP senators that've been helpful to the president. McConnell, meanwhile, warned: you've got to look back to 2010 when they nominated a lot of Republican who were anti- establishment Tea Party candidates. They win the GOP nomination but then lost the general election. Key for the president next year: he needs Republicans to actually win in the general election to keep that majority, Martha?

MACCALLUM: So true. Fascinating afternoon out there in the Rose Garden. Thank you very much, Ed.

HENRY: Good to see you.

MACCALLUM: So, earlier I spoke with Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president about this solidarity sign between the president and senate majority leader, and asked what the goal was of today's meeting.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: Well, the goal is to move forward on the president's agenda on tax reform, immigration reform, the wall. Certainly, healthcare, infrastructure, probably next year. And I think one of the uncovered points of both what the president said today and Leader McConnell said today, is the unnecessary and dangerous partisan obstruction of the president's nominees before the senate. We have historic blockage, unnecessary cloture votes, the Deputy Secretary of HHS took 181 days for him to be confirmed. For what reason? He's now the acting secretary. Six of the seven DOD folks at the Pentagon have been ready since the summer for confirmation. And this is just historic. 65 percent of President Obama's nominees had gone through by now. President Trump has 39 percent.

MACCALLUM: You know, it's a great point. I mean, I think when people do dig into that story and they see what's happening, and they the hours of debate where people are talking about what they did over the weekend, just so that they can keep pushing this hours and hours down the road. I think it's frustrating, and I think it clogs things, really, on both sides ultimately. But I do want to ask you about Steve Bannon. Because, you know, when you have Steve Bannon saying that it's a litmus test for anyone that he wants to help recruit and back to run against sitting Republicans, for them to raise their hand or step up to the mic as he put it over the weekend, and say I will vote against Mitch McConnell. And then, you have the president saying, you know, I understand, Steve, you know, we know each other well. We get along well, and I know he thinks he's doing the right thing, and he's standing next to Mitch McConnell while he's saying it.

CONWAY: Well, the president also said that in some cases, he's working well with some of the senators that are up for 2018. And that he -- but he understands that some should do their job. He didn't name names, necessarily. I know Steve is naming names. And I -- you know, the president also made remark at the cabinet meeting today about this very topic, and he said he understands where Steve Bannon is coming from and that he shares his frustration that Steve is helping the president's agenda go forward.

I think those were trying to cover this as some kind of internecine war within the Republican Party. They're missing the essential point, which is that on major policy issues, Steve Bannon and Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are all in agreement to cut taxes, to get these senate -- to get the judicial and other nominees do for the president.

MACCALLUM: I don't think Steve Bannon would agree with that, Kellyanne. He clearly called for his ouster. And he said, anybody who runs against him has to basically make a promise that they're going to push him out.

CONWAY: But that's up to the senate members who their leader is. And we saw this many times, by the way, in house of representatives where people who are sitting there in Congress right now, Martha, ran promising to vote for new leadership. But when they got the chance, changed their mind. So that's what happens. But, look, the fact is that you've got a majority party here in the Republicans and you saw today the majority leader saying that I talked to the president more frequently than you realize. We don't give you a readout of every single conversation. But we're moving forward to pass historic tax reform. This tax reform is necessary. It's a middle- class tax cut that'll make us more competitive --

MACCALLUM: I mean, a lot of people who voted for Republicans in the last elections are going to feel, you know, that that's exactly what they want to hear. They want to see these folks on the same page now. They want to see healthcare get done, they want to see tax reform get done. But before I let you go, I want to ask about this, because the president was asked about Tom Moreno today -- his pick to be the Drug Czar. Republican from Pennsylvania who got some very bad press over the weekend for his involvement in something that is seem to be a negative in terms of fixing the war against opioids. Here's the president -- here's what he said about it today.


TRUMP: Well, he's a good man. I have not spoken to him, but I will speak to him and I'll make that determination. And if I have think it's one percent negative to doing what we want to do, I will make a change.


MACCALLUM: So, he says he is open to dropping him.

CONWAY: Well, the key and what the president said is that he's so committed to this issue that he's going to make sure that he has all the right players in place to help combat, which is truly a national epidemic. The president has promised to declare a national health emergency. He said that he is putting his full force and effect behind this. I traveled last week, last Tuesday with the first lady to West Virginia where she saw the first of its kind in our nation a center, Lily's Place it's called, Martha, where they take in newborns who are addicted. And you've got the president and first lady now giving support to this issue in a very important way. Look, 64,000 people last year died over drug overdose.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely.

CONWAY: Many of them through opioids. And opioid is so different. Let me just tell your viewers, because, you know, it starts in mom or dad's medicine cabinet, and that bottle has your local pharmacy and your family doctor often on the label. So, people are tricked into believing it's helping someone. This is a president committed to that, and he will put the right people in place.

MACCALLUM: All right. We're going to talk to Joe Manchin about that a little bit later. So, stick around we've got a whole segment coming up on that. Kellyanne, thank you so much.

CONWAY: Thank you, Martha. Always a pleasure.


MACCALLUM: So, coming up next, Steve Bannon as we just said, declares a "100 percent war on the GOP establishment."


STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: Nobody can run and hide on this one. These folks are coming for you.


MACCALLUM: Newt Gingrich, here next on why he says Bannon's crusade is "stunningly stupid in his words." Plus, Bill and Hillary Clinton now say that they will not return any of the money that was donated to them by disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, despite the fact that so many others have already done it, why not? Judge Napolitano joins me on that. And Colin Kaepernick now filing a complaint with the NFL for being sidelined this season. A former player and a Green Beret, behind the quarterback's decision to kneel is here with his fascinating take on this. Do not miss it.


MACCALLUM: President Trump stands behind Steve Bannon's declaration of war on the GOP establishment. Trump former chief strategist now going after everybody who he sees as a threat to the president's agenda, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who just mended fences with the president earlier today at the White House. Watch.


BANNON: This is not my war. This is our war. And you all didn't start it. The establishment started it. But I will tell you one thing: you all are going to finish it. And let me give a warning to you: nobody can run and hide on this one. These folks are coming for you and why are we nationalists? It is not ethno-nationalism; these guys can run that drill all they want. It's economic nationalism. It doesn't matter what your race is, your ethnicity. As long as you are a citizen of this Republic, that's what matters.

Now, Mitch, I don't know if you're watching it, I don't know if you are watching value voters. Maybe you had your staff, but if I can take a little rift on Plutark and Shakespeare up on Capitol Hill, because I've been getting calls it's like the Ides of March, right? The only question is, and this is analogy or metaphor, or whatever you want to call it, they're just looking to find out who's going to be Brutus to your Julius Caesar? We've cut your oxygen off, Mitch.


MACCALLUM: The president responding to those comments earlier today. Watch this.


TRUMP: Steve is doing what Steve thinks is the right thing. The Republican Party is very, very unified. When we get things approved, we have to go through hell because we have no Democratic support. Massive tax cuts; we may not get any Democratic vote that's because they're obstructionist, and they just basically want us to do badly but that's not going to happen.


MACCALLUM: Here now with his reaction, former Speaker of the House, Fox News Contributor, Newt Gingrich, also author of the new book "Vengeance." Newt, good evening. Good to see you tonight. So, I want to get your thoughts first. You had called what Steve Bannon is trying to do in terms of inciting civil war within the GOP, stunningly stupid. And that was the latest sort of monologue that he presented at the value voters. What did you think of that?

NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, I think it is exactly the wrong strategy. And have you notice when the president spoke, who did the president say was the problem? The Democrats. The fact is, the 48 Democrats consistently vote no. There are 10 Democrats up for election next year in states that President Trump carried. Six of them are states he carried by big margins. If Steve Bannon would focus his energy and his drive in his fundraising on beating those six Democrats, we'd get virtually everything through the senate. This isn't a problem of personality. This is a problem of numbers.

And, you know, I was a Reagan Republican. Reagan had 11th commandment: don't speak ill of other Republicans. He learned it by watching Barry Goldwater get attacked by Republicans leading to a Liberal Democratic landslide in 1964. So, my whole career has been spent focused on how do I elect more Republicans, not how do I cannibalize Republicans. Or I just think Bannon is going to spend enormous amount of money on the wrong targets in the wrong way. What we need to focus on let's beat the Democrats who vote no. Let's not go out and pick fights with Republicans.

MACCALLUM: In fact, Mitch McConnell sort of reminded him of that today. He went through a laundry list of people like Todd Achin, Christine O'Donnell, Murdock. He mentioned a number of them. Sort of saying, you know, let's learn from the lessons of the past. You know, I mean, that's what -- that's what the danger is here.

GINGRICH: Remember, Martha, look, if we had the four seats that were thrown away by running candidates that couldn't be elected, we would be at a 56-vote majority. If we had a 56-vote majority, we would pass the repeal of Obamacare. So, I think the goal here should be -- I know people focus on the three Republican no votes. None of them, by the way, can be beaten in 2018, because two of them aren't running, and Susan Collins is going to get re-elected in main period. So, the people focusing on three Republicans, there are 48 Democrats. That is 16 Democratic nos, for every Republican no. And I think Republicans ought to be focused on beating the Democrats who don't vote with us. And this tax bill is going to be a perfect example. If you're from Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, and you end up voting against this tax cut, you are going to hard time, I think, getting re-elected.

MACCALLUM: I want your quick thought on Iran before I ask you about the book. But you know, you wrote a piece on this today. And you know, the president is now saying he'll terminate the deal if he has to.

GINGRICH: Well, the president is putting pressure on the Congress and on our European allies. I wrote, and I really believe this, it was a courageous decision, it was the right decision, it's a very measured decision, it's one that his entire team came together. They talked about it for over six weeks. They took exactly the right step. They did not renew certification, but they didn't break the deal. What they did is they said to the Congress have you 60 days now to find a way to approve this. Chairman Corker of the Foreign Relations Committee already has a bill which he and Senator Cotton of Arkansas have developed. They're going to put it forward pretty quickly. I think it's likely that we will see a strengthened position with Iran, and I think that's what we need. And I am delighted that president took this, I think, very challenging and very courageous decision.

MACCALLUM: Big day for your wife as well, Newt.

GINGRICH: I'm so proud of Calista, and we're frankly grateful to the president for nominating her to be the Ambassador to the Vatican. It is something she really, really wants to serve the country. She is very excited by the opportunity. And she realizes how big a challenge it's going to be. If you're the communications bridge between Pope Francis and President Trump, you're going to have a really big job.

MACCALLUM: You're going to have an interesting time. It's an extraordinary opportunity. We wish her well. It's good to see you. Thanks, Newt.

GINGRICH: Good to see you. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, reports say Harvey Weinstein will try to fight his way back into his company. And that he is showing no remorse, whatsoever, as women take to the #metoo in solidarity between those who have been victims. And now, NRA Spokeswoman, Dana Loesch, says it happened to her and sent her packing. Her awful story is next.

And a bombshell report titled: The Drug Industry's Triumph over the DEA. A whistleblower saying that the drug industry used money and influence to allow the sale of millions of dangerously addictive painkillers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know the implication of what you're saying that these big companies knew that they were pumping drugs into American communities that were killing people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not an implication, that's a fact. That's exactly what they did.


MACCALLUM: Breaking tonight, some brand-new details coming forward in the growing Harvey Weinstein scandal. Bill and Hillary Clinton's charitable foundation, announcing that they will not return any of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that they got, and money for the legal fund as well for Bill Clinton's legal fund from the movie mogul. This as the leadership of the foremost organization in Hollywood, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, they do the Oscars, they have expelled Weinstein. And this is a statement: "The area of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexual predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over," they wrote. Meanwhile, more victims coming forward. Listen to Actress Angie Everhart who told TMZ about an encounter with Weinstein on a yacht at the Venice Film Festival.


ANGIE EVERHART, ACTRESS: I had just arrived from America. I had jet lag. I was in the bed sleeping. When I woke up to him above me. I told people on the boat. I told people at the dinner I was at. And everybody was like, oh, that's just Harvey. Because when I talked about it before, nobody listened. And now, people are listening and not just for me. I'm glad that people are listening so that it doesn't happen anymore because it's not OK.


MACCALLUM: Very compelling from Angie Everhart over the weekend on TMZ. Here now, Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano. And Judge, of course, everybody is weighing in on this. And Woody Allen kind of stepped in it with his first statement about it saying that he felt sad in some way for Harvey Weinstein. So that he came up with this in Variety Magazine. He said, "When I said I felt sad for Harvey Weinstein and I thought it was clear, the meaning, because he's a sad, sick man. I was surprised it was treated differently. Lest there be any ambiguity. This statement clarifies my intention and feelings." And look the cover of Variety -- Harvey Weinstein's face on the cover, and then message: game over. Pretty stunning.

ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: I think one of the more significant statements was from a clip you just played of the actress, who said he approached her in bed on the yacht, and the crowd on the yacht who were his friends and colleagues said "that's just Harvey."

MACCALLUM: That's just Harvey.

NAPOLITANO: Guess who also said that's just Harvey? The Weinstein Corporation in his employment contract, which is, I must tell you is a document the likes of which I have never seen. Because it basically indemnifies him from the consequences of his intentional behavior. I don't know how a lawyer could have drafted this, whether it was his lawyer or whether it was the corporation's lawyer, or whether that was same person.

MACCALLUM: Could be.

NAPOLITANO: Because such a contract would never be enforced when anyone is going to challenge it because it encourages, rewards, and reinforces the most awful behavior which is profoundly against public policy.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, he had it written into his contract that with the first harassment settlement, it would cost him 100,000 or something, the next one would cost 250,000. So, he had a structure to just keep going and he'd pay them all off.

NAPOLITANO: So, as long as he paid off those who accused him of harassment, his work status would not be changed. So, again, it's an encouragement. But it also tells us that the corporation, which has a lot of very sound, solid people in there, and investors in there knew of his behavior and protected him.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely, they did. You know, when you look at some of the stuff that's coming out tonight, it doesn't sound like Harvey Weinstein is ever heading to rehab. In fact, he's going to hop on the board meeting call tomorrow from what we're hearing, and probably argue -- try to argue his way back into the company and his brother, Bob Weinstein, who some people think pushed this story forward because he couldn't take it anymore.


MACCALLUM: Says, he shows absolutely zero remorse. No remorse whatsoever.

NAPOLITANO: We have five allegations of rape. These are the strongest allegations because they alleged rape, which is one of the most serious crimes a person can commit. None of them can be prosecuted. Each one is protected by what the statute of limitations was at the time the allegation occurred. And I am sure that he and his lawyers know that.

MACCALLUM: So, there's nothing -- and yes, no doubt.

NAPOLITANO: Other than the civil lawsuits and his ostracization from the entertainment --

MACCALLUM: So, even the harassment charges, some of the others, none of them fall within the period that he could be -- he could be indicted for?

NAPOLITANO: Correct. The harassment charges are subject to civil litigation, meaning he can be sued. Big deal. It's just money to him. But as far as we can tell, thus far, there's only five allegations of rape, all are barred.

MACCALLUM: Awful. All right, just a half minute, but the Clintons say they're not going to give the money back. A lot of other people gave the money back. Their argument is we already spent it on our charitable foundation.

NAPOLITANO: I don't know what they have in the bank, but they certainly have in the bank enough to give it back. Is there a legal obligation for them to give it back? Of course not. But don't people who condemn this behavior publicly lose credibility when they benefit from it privately? Of course. They have the opportunity to reverse that and they've chosen not to do so. Both him, his legal defense fund when he was in White House, and she, one of the owners of the foundation.

MACCALLUM: She said she was horrified by his behavior, but not enough to send the money back. And she said his husband was off the hook for his episodes because she said -- that all went away.

NAPOLITANO: Then she turned the conversation into her personal view of the present president.

MACCALLUM: Yeah, exactly. Thank you very much, judge. Good to see you as always. All right. So in the wake of these horrifying allegations against Weinstein, abuse victims are talking to social media and sharing their stories and they're using the hashtag me too. Our next guest used that hashtag but in a different way. Dana Loesch posting this picture showing garbage bags filled with their family's possessions after she was forced to move out of her home because of threats to her and her family. She's an NRA spokesperson. You know her well, host of Dana on the Blaze TV. So Dana, you had to leave your home, move your family out of your house because of these threats.

DANA LOESCH, NRA SPOKESPERSON: Well, Martha, thank you for having me and for discussing this as well. Now, to be clear on it we're in the process of moving right now. And it's difficult to have an open house and sell your home conventionally when you're still in it, and you have a security issue as well. Although, I want to say that our local police have been amazing to work with, the local FBI office as well, the field office, they've all been absolutely amazing to work with. And, of course, we appreciate that. But, yeah, it's an awful, unfortunate thing. Martha, you mentioned the-me-too hashtag, and I was sitting -- I was finally sitting down and relaxing after spending my entire weekend starting to get things packed up. Doing the pre-pack before you have movers come and just getting everything, what do we need and what do we not need? And let's just try to get it done quickly. And after spending all weekend doing that I looked on twitter and I saw that the-me-too hashtag was trending. And I looked at it and I saw many awful stories of women who have experienced and have endured sexual harassment, and I should add that there were some men in there, too. Because we know that men experience it as well.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely.

LOESCH: And the thought, you know what? This is really -- these threats are why I'm leaving. These threats are why I'm moving my family at a horrible time, in terms of real estate before the holiday, which is never fun, and this is what I'm dealing with because of these threats. And Martha, you know, and we've talked about gun control advocacy, and we've talked about gun control activism, I don't hate anyone that disagrees with me. My advocacy for Second Amendment rights isn't designed to magically put a firearm in the hands of someone else. I just want people to have that choice. And all of this has really underscores why I carry. It makes me so grateful that I can protect myself, Martha. I've had -- this has been going on for a while, but it was when they started talking about my kids when I got some pretty creepy emails about my kids.

MACCALLUM: I read some of what you put out there, attacking you. They're talking about doing horrible things to you, horrible things to your family. As a mother, I can't even imagine how frightening that must have been for you. I thought it was interesting that Chelsea Clinton tweeted this, Dana, this is awful and unacceptable. Those of us who disagree with you, the strongest have a particular responsibility to strongly condemn. What do you think?

LOESCH: She's right. She's right on that. And I give her credit for -- and kudos for acknowledging that because I think for so long there have been many who have tolerated a little bit of sexism to achieve their political objective. I think that some people, some on the left have tolerated sexism towards conservative women because it helps them achieve a goal of silencing conservative women and silencing the conservative agenda, and that is never how it should be. You know, when I spoke with you last on the subject of feminism I know it was a really heated conversation, but I feel that all women, all men should have the platform to be able to speak freely and voice their opinions without having to move out of their houses, without having to reach out to police over that, you know. And let the.

MACCALLUM: We feel for you. It's a terrible situation that you're going through, and these threats are awful. And we hope you are well and your family is taken care of. And you're doing what you have to do and we all respect that. Thank you, Dana.

LOESCH: Always. I'll never stand down. Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: All right. So a stunning report tonight says that congress passed a bill that helped pharmaceutical companies and led more people to die of pain killer addiction.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I just don't understand why congress would pass a bill that strips us of our authority in the height of an opioid epidemic in places like Congressman Marino's district and Congressman Blackburn's district. Why are these people sponsoring bills when people in their backyards are dying from drugs that are coming from the same people that these bills are protecting?


MACCALLUM: Very dramatic charges. Senator Joe Manchin joins me on that next. Plus, the quarterback behind the NFL's kneeling protest files a complaint against the league. So now we want you to hear from a green beret who has a very powerful message to him, to the president, and to the rest of America.


MACCALLUM: Developing tonight, a bombshell report that's raising serious concerns about Washington's role in the nation's opioid crisis, it suggests that congress and the drug industry are complicit in allowing the epidemic to get out-of-hand by allowing hundreds of millions of pills to flood into these tiny pain centers and in some cases pop-up pharmacists. Here is some of that report.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: This is an industry that's out-of-control. What they want to do is do what they want to do and not worry about what the law is. And if they don't follow the law in drug supply, people die. That's just it. People die.


MACCALLUM: Trace Gallagher joins me now live in Los Angeles with the back story. Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS: Martha, the 60 Minute-Washington Post investigation is based on the allegations of the man you just saw, former DEA agent, Joe Rannazzisi, who claims he was forced out of the drug enforcement agency because he accused congress of teaming up with drug companies to allow the opioid epidemic to spread. Critics say the law called the insuring patient access and effective drug enforcement act makes it nearly impossible for the DEA to freeze suspicious narcotic shipments from drug companies. In other words, they're saying they claim the feds are handcuffed when it comes to preventing shipments of drugs to corrupt doctors and pharmacies who hand out medications in droves. Of course, prescriptions opioid addiction has spiked in recent years igniting a huge and deadly resurgence of heroin use. Here's more of the 60 minutes investigation. Watch.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: You know the implication of what you're saying that these big companies knew that they were pumping drugs into American communities that were killing people. That's not an implication. That's a fact. That's exactly what they did.


GALLAGHER: We should note the DEA fought against the bill. The pharmaceutical industry lobbied hard to get it past. The law which sailed through congress was championed by Pennsylvania GOP Congressman Tom Marino, who is now President Trump's nominee for drug czar. Democratic lawmakers and at least one Republican are now calling on the law to be repealed and for President Trump to withdraw the nomination of Marino. Watch.


TRUMP: Tom Marino, so he was a very early supporter of mine. We're going to look into the report. We're going to take it very seriously.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to reverse the law that Congressman Marino helped past that the DEA whistleblower say had contributed to the expansion of the opioid crisis?

TRUMP: We're going to look at that very closely.


GALLAGHER: Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer says confirming Marino is like putting the wolf in charge of the hen house. And so far, there has been no statement from Tom Marino or his office about the investigation. Martha.

MACCALLUM: West Virginia is among the hardest hit states by the opioid crisis, here's more from that CBS report.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: He was looking into one mid-size distributor that had shipped more than 28 million pain pills to pharmacies in West Virginia over five years. About 11 million of those pills wound up in Mingo County, population, 25,000. Suddenly he said he ran into road blocks from one of Attorney Jonathan Novak's bosses.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I spent a year working on this case. I sent it down there and it's never good enough. Every time I talk to this guy he wants something else. And I get it for him and that's still not good enough. You know, this goes on and on and on. And when these road blocks keep getting thrown up in your face at that point you know they just don't want the case.


MACCALLUM: Democrat Joe Manchin is a West Virginia senator, he's calling on the White House to withdraw the nomination of Tom Marino as drug czar. Senator, good to have you with us tonight.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN, D-W.V.A.: Good to be with you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: This is an incredible story and it sort of wreaks of swamp when you go through it in terms of who has influence in Washington. Now this bill, when it passed originally, you didn't vote on it, didn't get a chance to vote on it?

MANCHIN: No. How that works, it goes through the committees, OK. The committee was on help, which is health and finance. So those two committees basically work the bill. If they don't find any reason or and fault and it's unanimous coming out of the committee with no Democrat or Republican opposing because they probably checked and the same as our office. Our office checked when the bill was first -- when they were working on the bill we check with the DOJ, department of justice, and the DEA. And attorneys and people working the bill came back and didn't see any alarm that would be effective and affect them in doing their job. That's the way it came out of the committee. So it went through unanimous consent. It was not put on a floor vote. So that's what happened.

MACCALLUM: All right. You know, in terms of what happens now. Tom Marino is a Republican from Pennsylvania. The president came out today, he said, you know, he was an early supporter of mine, but we're going to look into this. We're going to take a look at it. You were calling for the offer to him to be the drug czar for the United States to be rescinded, right?

MANCHIN: Absolutely. I would think that Congressman Marino, I would hope that he would consider even taking his own name and removing it because the president I know is committed to fighting the drugs. He knows how hard the state of West Virginia, which supported him overwhelmingly, how hard they've been hit. The families that have been destroyed, the lives that have been lost, and it's just overwhelming. You look at 9 million pills being sent to Kermit, West Virginia, less than a thousand people. Something is wrong.

MACCALLUM: It's unbelievable, 11 million pills sent to Mingo County that has 25,800 residents in it?

MANCHIN: Kermit is in Mingo County. One town.

MACCALLUM: It's mind boggling. So if there's a way to prevent these distributers. You know, these DEA agents as you saw in the piece they felt strongly that they were on the right track. They were cracking down on these weird little pain clinics that were cropping up all over the place, which clearly were just dispensaries for people who are addicted to these drugs and they wanted to crack down on them.

MANCHIN: This has been a business model from the pharmaceutical industry that are producing opiates and inundating. These are a lot of good pharmaceutical companies that makes a lot of products that save a lot of lives. This is one that destroys a lot of people's lives when it's given in the wrong dosage, if you will, or to the wrong purpose. We've never tried -- let me tell you how they wrote the bill. Ensuring patient access and effective drug enforcement act of 2016. They wanted -- there was none of us trying to take drugs away or opiates away for end of life, severe cancer treatment. Things where there's just chronic pain. We're not wanting to eliminate or remove that from the market for these people that truly need it. But when you're putting out Vicodin and Lortab under a schedule 3 when I first came in 2010. We got it changed to schedule 2, took millions of pills off the market because it was ridiculous. They were giving them out like M&M's.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. And some of the doctors who are approved for these drugs, to dispense these drugs have no reason to be dispensing these drugs to their patients. So we're going to keep digging on this. Senator Manchin, thank you so much for your leadership here.

MANCHIN: Thank you, Martha. Don't quit. Don't give up. We've got to repeal the bill, too. We've got to repeal it.

MACCALLUM: Clair McCaskill has put a bill forward. We'll stay on it thank you so much, senator.

MANCHIN: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: All right. Coming up next, this.


TRUMP: The people of our country are very angry at the NFL. All you have to do is look at their ratings and look at their stadiums. It is highly disrespectful. They shouldn't do it.


MACCALLUM: That was President Trump in a heated back and forth about the NFL protests earlier today. Tonight, the Green Beret who first suggested to Colin Kaepernick that it would be better to kneel than to sit on the bench during the anthem out of deference to our troops is now trying to do something new. He's heartbroken with what he sees. Saying, quote, returning home to a country that is so divided, so judgmental, so hateful of one another is almost as difficult to deal with as burying a fallen comrade. The veteran behind that powerful message, Nate Boyer, joins me on The Story next.



TRUMP: It is very disrespectful to our country when they take a knee during our national anthem. The people of our country are very angry at the NFL. All you have to do is look at their rings and look at their stadiums. You see empty seats where you've never saw them before. A lot of people are very angry at it. It is highly disrespectful. They shouldn't do it.


MACCALLUM: So that was President Trump earlier today renewing his call for the NFL players to respect the flag, and it comes one day after 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick filed a grievance claiming the league was colluding against him. Now a former Green Beret and ex-NFL player is speaking out about the anthem feud in a powerful open letter to America. Saying, quote, Colin Kaepernick and President Trump should be the ones uniting our country together. Nate Boyer, U.S. army veteran and founder of the nonprofit MVP joins me now. Nate, good to have you with us tonight. Welcome to the program. I want to start by going back to the beginning of this story for you. How is it that you came to be the person who suggested or gave advice to Colin Kaepernick that rather than sit on the bench during the anthem it would be better if he knelt?

NATE BOYER, GREEN BERET: Yeah. A little over a year ago, I wrote an open letter when he was sitting and I was upset by it. You know, it really frustrates me to go fight for what the flag and the anthem represent in our country, those freedoms and then come back and have someone, in my view, disrespect that. But instead of just shouting and attacking him, you know, I tried to come at it with an open mind. So I wrote an open letter about explaining my situation, my life, why that flag and anthem means so much to me and many of the men and women I fought alongside. But also, you know, just saying, look, I don't know what it's like to be you. I hope we can figure this thing out. And he reached out. We ended up, you know, meeting before the last preseason game last year. And he'd been sitting and I told him, I just thought that looked like he didn't care. You're just pissed at America. Through our conversation, I mean, I wanted him to stand. I always wanted him to stand. I want everybody to stand with the same pride and those feelings that I have. But through that conversation he said he wouldn't stand but he agreed he would take a knee alongside his teammates instead.

MACCALLUM: So why do you say that he and President Trump need to come together?

BOYER: Well, I just think it'd be a powerful notion just to see two people that are obviously, you know, on the opposite ends of the spectrum, you know, during this whole situation just as an example for our country, you know. We need to listen to each other more, whether you agree with others or not, and just have these conversations. You know, everybody -- since the cell phone era, that's all we do anymore. We're on those things. We're on social media. We don't have conversations. And we don't try to work things out together. That's what we do in the military. We don't all agree on things. When we go overseas, we don't agree with a lot of the people we're working with. We don't even understand the customs and cultures, but we have to listen and find a way to work together and solve problems together. So, I just would think it would be a powerful notion, something I would love to see and, you know, maybe can calm down some of the hate that's going on right now amongst our fellow citizens.

MACCALLUM: Good message, Nate. I hope it gets out to them. And I hope we help to do that a little bit tonight. Good to see you. Thank you so much.

BOYER: Hey, thank you very much. I appreciate that, Martha.

MACCALLUM: We'll do a quick break. More story after this.


MACCALLUM: That is our story for tonight. We'd love to hear yours. Tweet me at Martha MacCallum #thestory. And we will see you right back here tomorrow night at 7:00. Tucker Carlson is up next.

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