Is the White House meeting their goals for the Asia trip?

This is a rush transcript from "Journal Editorial Report," November 11, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We'll not have lasting prosperity if we don't confront grave threats to security, sovereignty and stability facing our world today. Earlier this week, I addressed the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, and urged every responsible nation to stand united in declaring that every single step the North Korean regime takes towards more weapons, is a step it takes into greater and greater danger. The future of this region and its beautiful people must not be held hostage to a dictator's twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail.


PAUL GIGOT, HOST: Welcome to the "Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.

That was President Trump on his 12-day trip to Asia, with stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. The White House has outlined many goals for the trip, which includes promoting the denuclearization of North Korea, a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and expanding American economic and trade interests in the Pacific.

Joining me now is Fox News contributor and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton.

Welcome, Ambassador Bolton.


So you have seen, followed the president's speech on this trip. What I was struck with, and particularly in China, was the kind of the grandeur of it, the mutual flattery, the bonhomie, what wonderful people, you are great man, no, you are a great man. And it's good feeling, all right, great. But what do we see substantively out of this U.S./ China deal?

BOLTON: I don't think that we have really seen anything. I think that Xi Jinping, at the height of his power, compared now to Mao Tse Tung at the height of his power, wanted to give what the media at least has dubbed Trump a state visit-plus, and I think he accomplished that. It doesn't necessarily surprise me that we haven't really heard anything public on the critical issue of the Xi/Trump meetings. I think --


BOLTON: -- the North Korea program. I think it's entirely possible that they have made some progress, but they don't want to state it publicly. It's also possible they did not make any progress at all. But the point Trump had to make to Xi was that we can either solve the problem together now or we, in the United States, will be faced with the difficult decision of solving it on our own, quite possibly militarily.

GIGOT: And you believe that's the message that the president sent?

BOLTON: I think it should have been. I think they're quite successful in keeping the substance of the talk silent. But there's not much time here. I think the president needed to impress that on the Chinese. We have had 25 years of on-again and off-again negotiations, North Korean commitments, North Korean violations of their commitments. Mike Pompeo, the director of the CIA, said a few weeks ago that North Korea might be within months of having the capability of dropping thermonuclear weapons on any target in the continental United States. We are at a point very close to a go/no-go decision on the use of military force. Otherwise, we'll face North Korea with nuclear weapons as far as the eye can see.

GIGOT: So Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, gave a press briefing after the sessions in China, and what he said was there's no difference between the United States and China on North Korea in terms of goals. And yet, if you looked at South Korea before the visit, the new president of South Korea, the new government, which is left-leaning, basically agreed with China not to deploy new THAAD antimissile batteries in the peninsula in the future, which was a Chinese demand. So you see evidence that our core ally there, the ally we're protecting, has been moving towards China's position on what you can deploy militarily on the peninsula.

BOLTON: I think the best news about South Korea is that it's politically very divided. In fact, just before the trip, the leader of the South Korean opposition called on the United States to deploy tactical nuclear weapons for the first time in several decades. I thought --


GIGOT: On the South Korean peninsula, you mean?

BOLTON: On the peninsula, yes. I think President Trump really threaded the needle with his speech to the South Korea National Assembly. I thought it was a great speech. To make it clear, he was going to do what he needed to do to protect America, but he wanted the South Koreans to stand with us. I think it's very important going forward. He has strong support from Japanese Prime Minister Abe. But clearly, the main event regarding North Korea on this trip was the visit in Beijing.

GIGOT: On that speech on South Korea, what I liked about it was he spoke about the contrast between North and South in moral terms. He basically drew a line at the Demilitarized Zone and said that the depravity in the North, everyone, humanity needs to stand up and oppose that. And contrast that with the prosperity and progress in the South. Most of the presidents have shied away from that kind of distinction.

BOLTON: It was a very Reagan-esque speech in that regard. Absolutely, right. I think it was, I though, a subtle appeal to the South Korean people to disregard what they have been taught at their schools for many years, which is life in the North is pretty much what life in the South is like. And it's to draw the distinction that we are just not going to put up with this bizarre regime in Pyongyang with nuclear weapons. The president said in his U.N. un speech, denuclearization is the only way forward. He continued to maintain that. I'm sure that's what he said to China. We'll have to see now what happens.

GIGOT: So briefly, Ambassador, if China doesn't cooperate in the coming months on North Korea, what option does the president have to lean on China, to say that you're going to pay a price if they did not help us?

BOLTON: I'm afraid that's not a very good option because I think it would be very hard to convince American business people to take the kinds of steps to sanction China that would be necessary, because it would require us to feel some pain, too.

GIGOT: Right.

BOLTON: I think that either we persuade China to act together in our own respective national self-interest. Plan "A" is reuniting the peninsula. Plan "B" is overthrowing the Kim Jong-Un dictatorship. Or else we come to a point where the fundamental choices, as Susan Rice, Barack Obama's national security adviser, advocated, accept North Korea with nuclear weapons or use military force to stop it. Neither is a good option. I would go with using military force because I don't want to live under North Korean extortion.

GIGOT: All right, thank you, Ambassador.

When we return, the Senate and the House squaring off as both tax plans take center stage. Can lawmakers get on the same page and past tax reform? And what does it mean for taxpayers?



REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Yes, the Senate bill will be different than the House bill, because that is the legislative process. But what is encouraging in all of this is, just as we discussed at the front end of the process, we have a framework that we established with the White House and the Senate and these bills are being written inside the framework. But the House will pass the bill, the Senate will pass this bill, and then we'll get together and reconcile the differences, which is legislative process. That is how this process will continue.


GIGOT: That was Speaker Paul Ryan addressing the differences between the House tax plan released last month and the new Senate tax bill released Thursday. The Senate bill calling for a total repeal of the state and local tax deduction, as opposed to the limited repeal offered by the House. This only scratches the surface on what could be a long process to pass and reconcile both bills. So how different is the Senate bill compared to the House plan and can lawmakers get on the same page?

Let's ask Wall Street Journal assistant editorial page editor, James Freeman, editorial board member, Mary Kissel, and columnists, Mary Anastasia O'Grady and Kim Strassel.

So, Brother Freeman?


GIGOT: Senate bill is out? What do you make of the bill?

FREEMAN: I think you're seeing both houses move forward with pro-growth changes, cutting about $1.5 trillion in taxes. It's kind of tastes great versus less filling.


I think both are very good for job creation. I would say I like the House a little better in that they go for the corporate tax rate cut immediately.

GIGOT: You don't like the one-year delay --

FREEMAN: That's right.

GIGOT: -- in the corporate tax cut?

FREEMAN: It's not because --

GIGOT: Why not?

FREEMAN: And it's not just because you want the incentives for growth and job creation to start immediately. I think also Republicans need to understand they have a political imperative to deliver growth in the first half of next year if they want to hold the House.

GIGOT: Here's what I hear from a lot of economists that I've consulted, James, which is that the expensing provision, which is 100 percent immediate expensing, that would take place right away. That actually is more important against a higher top tax rate, the 35 percent rate. So that will give incentive for immediate investment that will overwhelm the delay of one year.

FREEMAN: The expensing is great. It goes to a big problem of the Obama years, which is corporations did not want to invest. The concern there is unlike a rate cut, some businesses use more capital than others. You can think of services companies that don't do a lot of capital expenditure. So the provisional will be less valuable to them. That's why I would like to see that low rate for everyone right away.

GIGOT: Mary, if they know they're going to get it in 2019 and it will be permanent, the 20 percent rate, still pretty big incentive.

MARY KISSEL, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER: It's good, but I agree with James, I wish we had it immediately. I also wish that the Senate would get rid of the estate tax. So you get taxed just because you die. I mean, this --


GIGOT: The House bill gets rid of that, the Senate doesn't.

KISSEL: The Senate doesn't. That's right. That is something I hope they can agree on in reconciliation.

GIGOT: I think you will probably be disappointed because there are some Senators who think it's too much of a tax cut for the rich, Mary.

MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY, COLUMNIST: I think the bottom line here is how you're going to pay for it. That is the continual question. And there's an election next year. There's an election for Congress. And most of those congressmen, the ones in blue states, are going to have to think about what piece of the pie they are taking away from constituents and their states. And I think the issue of state and local deductions will be a big problem in the House.

GIGOT: But you are in favor of the deduction, as a matter of -- removing the deduction as a matter of economic policy?

O'GRADY: Yes, but if you listen to some of these Republican congressman, who are complaining about it, they're saying, well, you're creating winners and losers. And of course, you are. You have -- they are talking about finding ways to pay for this big corporate tax cut. And I think that is the biggest problem with the way they have approached this. They keep talking about finding ways to pay for it, instead of talking about the growth effects of actually lessening the burden.

GIGOT: Kim, I think Mary has got her finger on the key political difference between the House and the Senate on that state and local tax deduction. The House includes a provision that gives a deduction for $10,000 maximum on property tax relief. Which in states of New Jersey and Illinois, for example, it's a very big deal for Republicans from those states. I think the Senate will probably have to give that back to the House in conference.

KIM STRASSEL, WASHINGTON COLUMNIST: The Senate had a giveaway here because the problem is for the House, they have all these members from those states. There's not a single SALT member state in the Republican caucus in the Senate.

GIGOT: In the Senate.

STRASSEL: So they didn't have to worry about that as a political issue. But it's a big concern for the House Republicans. And so probably what you see as a compromise, something along the lines of where the House was heading anyway.

GIGOT: OK. But is the big picture here, Kim, that this is the members of both Houses now really on board to pass something? That this is not the same kind of dysfunction we have seen, at least so far, in health care and then this has real momentum behind it?

STRASSEL: Yes. The stories that came out this week showing the differences between the two bills, they matter. But the big story was the remarkable progress that was made. The House Ways and Means Committee passed this bill out, the Senate released its details. There many more big-picture points that are in line with each other than differences. And moreover, there's a sense of momentum among the Republicans that this has to get done. And they maybe they will get done before Christmas as they promise.

GIGOT: With momentum, are any Democrats going to play? Chuck Schumer is lamenting the state and local tax deduction going away, but if you want to get rid of it, how about negotiating over some votes? You know --


KISSEL: You do have some Democrats in states that Donald Trump won. But I think that you would have to get the real unity among the Republican caucus in the Senate for Democrats to come over.

GIGOT: You think --


FREEMAN: Maybe a Heidi Heitkamp. But in terms of the blue state/Chuck Schumer types, they lost their opportunity. And I think with the state and local tax deduction, even House members are seeing, for most of the constituents, even in a blue state, it's a tax cut.

GIGOT: All right, Thank you all.

When we come back, a Democratic sweep in the New Jersey and Virginia governors' races. Karl Rove tells us what it means for the GOP and the president, next.



RALPH NORTHAM, D-VA. GOVERNOR-ELECT: We need to close the divide and bring unity to Virginia. Whether you voted for me or not, we are all Virginians. And I hope --


NORTHAM: I hope to earn your confidence and support as we move forward.

PHIL MURPHY, D-N.J. GOVERNOR-ELECT: Tonight, we declare the days of division are over. We'll move forward together. This is exactly what we are, New Jersey. We have each other's backs. To believe in each of us, is to believe in all of us.


GIGOT: Democrats Ralph Northam and Phil Murphy, the governors-elect of Virginia and New Jersey, preaching unity after their big win earlier this week. Some pundits say the GOP wipeout was a result of growing anti-Trump sentiment, and proves that Trumpism could be fatal for Republican candidates.

President Trump tweeted his thoughts on the Virginia race, "Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for. Don't forget Republicans won four of four House seats. And with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win even bigger than before," end quote.

So is the president right or were the voters taking a stand against Trumpism?

Let's asked FOX news contributor and "Wall Street Journal" columnist, Karl Rove.

So, Karl, welcome.


GIGOT: You heard the president say Ed Gillespie's problem was he was not for Trump enough. Do you agree?

ROVE: No, I don't. The president's popularity in the state was 40 percent. His disapproval was 57 percent. Those that strongly approved of the president's performance were one out of every five Virginians, 20 percent. And those who strongly disapproved of him were 47 percent. And among that 47 percent who strongly disapproved of the president's performance, 95 percent of them voted for Ralph Northam for governor. That is better than almost 2.5 to one ratio between those that strongly disapprove versus those who strongly approve.

GIGOT: The striking thing to me, Karl, about Virginia was that record turnout by Democrats. I mean, Ed Gillespie, just take Loudon County, Ed Gillespie won that narrowly. It's a northern Virginia county that is a kind of a bellwether county. He won that in his Senate race in 2014 narrowly, 400 and some votes. He lost it by 23,000 this time.

ROVE: Yes.

GIGOT: Democrats poured out there. They were motivated by something. And in your view, it was just sending a message to the president?

ROVE: Sure. Statewide, the turnout was up 16 percent over four years ago. Over the very highly contested gubernatorial contest in 2013. Loudon County was up 31 percent. Look at the rest of northern Virginia. Alexandria City, up 26 percent. Fairfax County, the biggest voting jurisdiction in the state, up 23 percent. Arlington, up 26 percent. But Loudon County, 31 percent. A third more voters voted in that county this year than four years ago. If you look at the Republican parts of the state, turnout compared to four years ago was either up a little bit or down.

GIGOT: All right. So there's a contention among some of the Steve Bannon types, Donald Trump supporters, that if Gillespie had somehow wrapped himself around the president's agenda, for example, if he came out strong for a wall on the Mexican border, if he hit hard on illegal immigration, somehow that would have driven up that Republican turnout. Does that sound plausible to you?

ROVE: No, it doesn't. Ed Gillespie ran almost six points ahead of the average of Donald Trump's favorability in the state. That says something about Gillespie's message, which was about big chunks of it, here's what I'm going to do grow the state, here's what I'm going to do to cut the taxes and make us more competitive, here's how I'm going to increase innovation, here's what I'm going to on education, public safety. He had a very substantive campaign and that allowed him to escape some of the gravitational pull of the president in the state, but not all of it. Look, Washington, D.C., suburbs, which cast over a third of the vote in the state, they pay a lot of attention to what goes across the river there in Potomac. A lot of government employees and they pay close attention to the president and what he's doing, and they sent a resounding "no" message this year.

GIGOT: The point about Washington, does that mean that, in fact, this is -- Virginia is a unique state. Obviously, Hillary Clinton won it by five points. I think Gillespie lost it by nine. So it's a bigger margin. But is this somehow a unique state, because this is what I saw. In other races around the country, Washington State, Manchester, New Jersey, it wasn't a lot of good news for Republicans anywhere.

ROVE: No. No. There's a short-term issue for Virginia and a long-term issue. The long-term issue is that Virginia is no longer the northernmost southern state. It is now the southernmost northeastern state. So there are changes inside the state that, over the long haul, which have been bad for Republicans. But in this election, this was all about President Trump. The Democrats made it about President Trump and then Ed Gillespie had to parry that. And he ran ahead of Trumps favorability rating in the state. But the rating was too low to allow him to escape the gravitational dark hole, if you will, black hole of the president's unpopularity.

GIGOT: So what's the signal? What's the signal for the Republicans running in 2018? I know from talking to them, most of them are saying, wow, I'm worried.

ROVE: Yes.

GIGOT: What do they have to do to bridge the wings of the party, the Gillespie wing and the Trump wing?

ROVE: There's one good piece of good news out of this, which is that most Democratic candidates next year are not going to be like Ralph Northam. Ralph Northam is a - voted for George W. Bush for president twice, contemplated running as a Republican candidate when he entered politics, represented a relatively conservative part of the state, a Republican part of the state, the Tidewater, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. He was not the kind of left-wing lunatic that the Democrats seem to insist upon nominating for office.

But having said that, what this say is, if your state or district is like Virginia Hillary Clinton won it by five points, you better batten down the hatches and get prepared and be able to share with the people what it is that you need to achieve, what it is you want to do, who you are. And you want to cover that district in the state like the morning dew in order to make people know who you are and don't confuse you for being Donald Trump.

The second thing is the president had better work on getting his numbers up. Otherwise, on Election Day 2018, he is going to turn around and there will be a lot of people who got defeated, who should have won, and who have an "R" behind their name, and he will be blamed for it.

GIGOT: All right. Thank you, Karl Rove. Good counsel.

Still ahead, we're looking at 2018 and 2020. Were the New Jersey and Virginia results a preview of what is to come. And how the revelations from former DNC Chief Donna Brazile's book may affect the Democratic Party.



SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: I think the antidote to our programs is success legislatively. If we can cut taxes for people in the way that they feel, if we can repair a broken health care system that does a better job taking care of people, then we will get rewarded. My problem is our base is pretty unenthusiastic. We have done things with Neil Gorsuch and regulatory reform but, legislatively, we haven't cut taxes and we haven't reformed health care, and I think that showed up last night.


GIGOT: South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham the day after the Democrats swept the Virginia and New Jersey governor's races on what Republicans need to do to win back voters. But can the GOP get things done in time for the 2018 midterms? And will the wave of anti-Trump voting continue?

We are back with James Freeman, Mary Kissel, Mary O'Grady and Kim Strassel.

So, Mary Kissel, Mary K., what do you say to Karl Rove saying that this was a big anti-Trump vote? Any disagreement with that?

MARY KISSEL, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER: No, no disagreement with that. And I think Senator Lindsey Graham gave some very reasonable pragmatic advice. In other words, get off of your seats and let's get some legislative accomplishments on the board, sooner rather than later. Clearly, there was a big government vote in Virginia, Paul. I think one thing that Karl did not address was also the effect of Trump rhetoric in the Charlottesville event.

GIGOT: In Virginia.

KISSEL: -- in Virginia. You know, Trump has had achievements here, regulatory reform, nominating good judges. There are achievements to talk about. They need more of them. And I think they need to step away from the rhetoric of Trump.

GIGOT: Mary?

MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY, COLUMNIST: I think it will be very tough. The reason is because regulatory reform is kind of a diffused factor. Donald Trump is a lightning rod. He is really polarizing. And --


GIGOT: Trump is the issue in American politics.

O'GRADY: Yes. And if you look at, for example, Westchester County, outside of New York City, where the country executive, Rob Astorino, lost to George Latimer, a Democrat, with a really not very impressive resume and a lot of personal baggage.

GIGOT: Right.

O'GRADY: But women in Westchester County -- and I know because I know some people there -- were really mobilized against Donald Trump. He really got a lot of enthusiasm around the idea of voting in a Democrat as a metaphor for how they felt about Donald Trump. I think that will continue into 2018.

GIGOT: James, do you have a more optimistic take on this --


GIGOT: -- for our reviewers?

JAMES FREEMAN, ASSISTANT EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR: I think it's related to what we've been talking about. If you look at the problems in Virginia the Republican Party had with single woman and moderate men, that may go to this issue of Donald Trump in his presentation. But I think Republicans have to understand that they're not popular either. There may be a temptation to blame everything on Donald Trump. In some polls, the Republican Party is actually less popular than he is. So --


GIGOT: -- outperformed in some places.

FREEMAN: Right. I think to get -- they can't necessarily make regulation a kitchen-table issue for everybody, but I think it's getting that good economic growth. And that goes to -- we talked about the urgency of passing tax reform earlier. This is a political necessity for them if they want to avoid a sweep in the House and Trump's impeachment.

O'GRADY: But I think there's another factor here. You think about Ronald Reagan. The secret to Ronald Reagan was he united conservatives and you might call Libertarians, a very pro-market people. Those two groups came together and that was the support of Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump has divided those two groups and that is another reason. It's not just that Democrats are energized against him, but also that the Republican Party is divided because Donald Trump sort of abandoned the free-market rhetoric.

GIGOT: Kim, I think it's Mary hits on a key point about the Republican coalition. It's divided, and in some way, respects, may be getting more so under Donald Trump. I wonder if -- you wrote a column about Ed Gillespie trying to manage this divide and you wrote -- you know, he was probably doing the best he could, as opposed to going full Never Trump, which had blown up, for example, Jeff Flake, in Arizona. He's not even running for reelection, the incumbent Senator. Is there a strategy, Gillespie-like strategy that other Republicans can pursue here?

KIM STRASSEL, WASHINGTON COLUMNIST: I think if there's one in the unifying theme between the party, it's economic growth. And "Real Clear Politics" had a fascinating piece where they dug into some of the Virginia results. They talked about Nelson County, which is actually one that Gillespie won, in the southern part of the state. And what defines Nelson County is it's one of those pivot counties. It had gone for Obama twice and then for Donald Trump. What also defines these counties is that they have been subject to great economic distress. They've lost more jobs than they've gained over the past eight or nine years. And these are the folks that wanted Trump. They were willing to overlook some of his problems because of his promise of free-market growth reviving the American economy. I think that is a message that Gillespie pushed, and it did help him with many types of voters in the state. And I think it's a way that, if Republicans are going to use it, they will have to do it by building on some legislative accomplishments, like tax reform. That is why it's so crucial what happens in Washington.

GIGOT: All right. Let's pivot quickly here to Donna Brazile, the former Democratic national chairwoman, with a book saying the nomination was rigged, Mary. What kind of a big smoke bomb has that dropped in the middle of Democratic joy?

KISSEL: A pretty big smoke bomb, Paul. For all the talk about the community and the Republican Party, there's equal unity on the Democratic side. There's evidence the DNC nomination was rigged and in flavor of Hillary Clinton. Now Democrats are discovering this as Donna Brazile pushes sales of her new book. I think it's deeply discomforting. And I think it's a boost to the far-left side of the campaign, Bernie Sanders.

GIGOT: And you know, in Virginia and New Jersey, they sense victory here. So maybe -- will they really have this type of a brawl in 2018 in the primary?

FREEMAN: You look at this week's results, and it looks like a pretty unified party. Even within establishment, moderate guy like Ralph Northam doing very well. This is maybe bad news for the Republican Party, good news for America, that this, especially in Virginia, this was a big setback for Bernie Sanders' effort to take over a party that he still doesn't belong to.


KISSEL: What about the New Jersey governor's race?


KISSEL: There's no moderates.

FREEMAN: I think this is Chris Christie. But you know, with Phil Murphy, given a Goldman Sachs transition, you get the impression he doesn't really mean it when he sounds like Bernie Sanders.


GIGOT: All right, thank you all.

Still ahead, more questions than answers when it comes to this Steele dossier and the Russia investigation. But some new developments may start to shed some light on this mystery, next.


GIGOT: Congress and Fusion GPS cofounder, Glenn Simpson, striking a deal to allow him to testify behind closed doors on a document now known as this Steele dossier. The document has caused a swirl of speculation and questions on Capitol Hill about its contents, leading lawmakers to issue subpoenas in order to determine if the Russians did, in fact, meddle in the 2016 election, as some claim. Several allegations in the document have been proven false, while others continue to spark debate. Two executives from the company previously invoked the Fifth Amendment right to avoid incriminating themselves.

We're back with James Freeman, Mary Anastasia O'Grady, Mary Kissel and Kim Strassel.

Kim, you are the global expert on the Steele dossier, really digging into the story.

STRASSEL: I don't know if that is true!

GIGOT: But let's back up, big picture here. Why should we care about this document and how it came about?

STRASSEL: OK, we should care about this document because the narrative all along the last year has been, was there Trump collision with the Russians in the elections? It's not been proven yet. It's possible. We don't know, but there's no evidence so far.

But here what we have on the other side is some pretty tangible evidence that the Democratic National Committee, the Hillary Clinton campaign paid an opposition research firm to put together a dossier based on anonymous Russian sources that may have inspired the FBI to investigate the Trump campaign, that may be behind a lot of these arguments of collision that are out there, and that the Russians might have known about this project and, therefore, influenced its content.

GIGOT: So the Democrats paid Fusion, who hired Christopher Steele, the former British spy, who produced the dossier that then made its hands into the FBI, which then sought a FISA court warrant to investigate a member, someone, Carter Page, who was associated with the Trump campaign. All that is pretty solid evidence. We know those things are true.

STRASSEL: Well, we are not entirely sure yet, for instance, if it was the dossier that provoked the FISA warrant.

GIGOT: OK, that's a question.

STRASSEL: And that is the question that needs to be answered. Right.

GIGOT: It may have provoked it. And "The Washington Post" has reported that it actually did. I believe, that is correct.

STRASSEL: There has been a lot of allegations, yes. And what is important is the House Intelligence Committee has also come to an agreement with the FBI, finally, to get to see the FBI's dossier file, which should provide some more information about how big a role the document played.


This is really, I think -- granted, we want to investigate and find out if there was any Trump/Russia occlusion. But this is the other side of the story. Shouldn't we want to know the full story, particularly when it comes to a U.S. criminal and intelligence service like the FBI?

KISSEL: There something more, which Kim has covered in her column, which is that this opposition research was also being fed to major news organizations in the United States during the campaign. And it was being delivered to the public as if it was some kind of official information. And so that was also very misleading during the campaign. And now, Hillary Clinton continues to say, no, this did not matter at all, this is just things we did in the background. That is not true. They fed it to the press.

O'GRADY: There was another development this week. We found out through some good reporting that Glenn Simpson, one of the principals at Fusion GPS, met with the Russian lawyer, who then went on to meet with Don Jr, another meeting which has drawn scrutiny. It's unclear if they were discussing the upcoming meeting with Don Jr or and if they were --

GIGOT: Donald Trump Jr.

O'GRADY: Yes, Donald Trump Jr. Or if they were discussing other business that Fusion also had about the same Russian attorney. So more questions here, Paul.


And is this being investigated, in your view, to your satisfaction, by Robert Mueller, the special counsel?

FREEMAN: We will see. I would say, certainly, there's a great lack of curiosity among the American media. We remember, during the Bush years, how controversial it was that the United States was looking at telephone metadata for non-Americans overseas. We now have, in the 2016 campaign, the government using its surveillance powers against the party out of power. And this is the question, to what extent did that Steele dossier, this opposition research, drive the use of surveillance powers against political opponents by the party in power?

GIGOT: Is the key here the Intelligence Committees on Capitol Hill, Kim, briefly? Will we get anything on this from Mueller?

STRASSEL: Everything that we've got, so far, has been from the committees, and everything we're going to get is from them. I do not have any confidence that Mueller has an interest in this.

GIGOT: All right. Thank you all very much.

When we come back, this week marks 100 years of Communism. We will look at what happened over the last century and lessons we have learned, hard lessons, after the break.


GIGOT: A century ago this week, the deadliest political system in human history took root in Russia, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew Russia's provincial government and established the world's first Socialist state. Communism was born. The promises made of equality and freedom from oppression were soon replaced with torture and murder. All told, the past 100 years have seen nearly 100 million deaths as a result of Communist regimes.

The White House issued a statement commemorating the national day for the victims of Communism, which read, in part, "The Bolshevik revolution gave rise to the Soviet Union and its dark decades of oppressive Communism, a political philosophy incompatible with liberty, prosperity, and the dignity of human life."

We are back with James Freeman, Mary Kissel, Mary O'Grady and Kim Strassel.

Mary, giving away our ages. We grew up with this Communism as a defining struggle in our lifetimes. It went away with the collapse - substantially, with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union years later. But remind us of what it left.

O'GRADY: Paul, the centerpiece of Communism was that they had to destroy private property. Everything was going to be collective. And destroying private property is much easier said than done because human beings basically hold private property as a center of who they are. They strive to create, and the fruits of their labor become part of who they are. To destroy property, you actually have to break the human spirit, which is what they try to do.

GIGOT: They break human beings physically, as well.

O'GRADY: Through mass deportations, executions, and basically state terror, which is characterized with the Soviet Union and China.

The other thing I think that is worth really paying attention to in this day and age is that although Communism has these high numbers of murders and so forth in the 20th century, they have -- states have learned how to sort of repress people, but refine their tactics so they do not have to kill as many people in order to hold onto power. And you are seeing that in places like Cuba and Venezuela.

GIGOT: Cuba and North Korea are probably the last really pure forms of Communism.

O'GRADY: Right.

GIGOT: Mary, I have an idea, which is that every American college should have a Communist term abroad. Give them three months, a semester, a quarter, send them to Cuba, send them to North Korea and say, just feel what it's like, so you can learn what that kind of a system is like. I bet you the vote for Socialism goes down in the future.

OK, I am going to be serious. But, there's a serious point, which is the dream never dies. We still have people who think and look at Cuba and say, oh, that is a great system. Health care is wonderful.

KISSEL: Including the previous presidential administration.

But let's set that aside. Paul, I think you put your finger on the real problem here, which is that it's easy to forget history. And in our high schools and in our universities here in the United States, they're not teaching the history and the horror that Mary so artfully outlined.

There was a study done by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation recently, a great organization. They found that 44 percent of Millennial's prefer to live under Socialism than under Capitalism. And 7 percent -- that sounds like a small number, it's single digits -- but it should be zero. But 7 percent say they would rather live in a --


GIGOT: Is that because they are living under Socialism, which means their parent help?

KISSEL: No, I think it's that they don't know history and they do not know any better.

GIGOT: All right, Kim, why does the dream -- why do you think the dream never dies, the Communist dream?

STRASSEL: Look, people -- it's probably because of the media that demonizes the rich and success and all of the things that come with private property and success. And this is a very idealistic idea, that we are all living in peace and harmony. And of course, and the problem, too, is history and that no one has taught it anymore. So, too many of these students and young Americans have no idea of some of the things that we are talking about here today and the legacy of Communism.

GIGOT: All right. Thank you very much.

We have to take one more break. When we come back, "Hits & Misses" of the week.


GIGOT: Time now for "Hits & Misses" of the week -- James?

FREEMAN: Paul, this is another miss to America media for their coverage of Senator Rand Paul. As many viewers know, he was viciously attacked recently by a neighbor, ran up from behind him and tackled the Senator, resulting in no fewer than six broken ribs, bruised lungs, facial injuries.


FREEMAN: But the story for many of our colleagues in the press has been, did the Senator do something with his leaf raking or perhaps composting or growing pumpkins in his yard to cause

GIGOT: To cause the assault.

FREEMAN: Right! So let's -- whatever kind of neighbor he was, he did not deserve this. By the way, we are now hearing from a lot of neighbors who said he does a great job taking care of his lawn, so.

GIGOT: All right.

Mary O.?

O'GRADY: Paul, this is a hit for Tiffany's which has found a way to capitalize on the Fed's easy money policy by offering a line of ordinary household items in sterling silver. So you can buy a $9000 ball of yarn in sterling silver.

GIGOT: Nice.

O'GRADY: A $1000 soup can in sterling silver.

GIGOT: Every house must have one.

O'GRADY: Should know they've come up with a $2000 boomerang. If you'd like to buy that.


If this isn't peak Q.E., I don't know what is.

GIGOT: All right.


STRASSEL: Paul, a miss to Twitter, which has now official gone live with its new 280-character limit. For those of us that already hate the fact that so much of our civic discourse happens in a form where everything that comes into someone's head immediately goes online in 140 characters --


-- the idea that this can be expanded is just terrifying. But if Twitter is unconvinced by that, I just want it to close his eyes and imagine Donald Trump with 280 characters at his beck and call, and please, reconsider.


GIGOT: All right.


KISSEL: I'm giving a miss to the Transportation Security Administration. Not the best agency in the U.S. government. Undercover Homeland Security investigators found TSA screeners at airports missed mock knives, guns and explosives more than 70 percent of the time. Granted, this an improvement over two years ago where they missed more than 90 percent of the time. Paul, maybe it's time that we rethink having big government have us take our shoes and our belts off and our jackets off if they're missing the big stuff.

GIGOT: All right.

James, why do you think people are so skeptical of Rand Paul on this front? I mean, it's not like he assaulted that guy.

FREEMAN: Could it possibly be that he is skeptical of big government?


No! I don't know. Maybe that has something to do with his treatment.

GIGOT: That's it for this week's show. Thanks to my panel. Thanks to you for watching. I'm Paul Gigot. We hope to see you right here next week.

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