This is a rush transcript from "The Story," November 20, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: So, breaking tonight, after years of anemic growth, the U.S. economy is set to boom in the new year. Goldman Sachs has just announced that they see growth that was in the 1.5 percent range jumping to four percent in the new year. This is a big deal. So, where have I heard this before?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Believe it, we're saying 3, but I say four.
MACCALLUM: Four by one?
TRUMP: And I say, over the next few years. And I say there's no reason we shouldn't be able to get at some point into the future to five and above.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, that was the president when interviewed him on day 100 back at the end of April at the White House. So, now, Wall Street seems to agree, Federal Reserve, at least a couple of the chiefs out there seem to agree. Good evening, everybody, I'm Martha MacCallum and "The Story" begins with that stunning forecast tonight.
While harassment cases and Russia entry continue to propel the buzz fear out there. In politics, ultimately, nothing tends to upstage the wallet, folks. So, will that hold true as we go forward? So, much of this upswing has come from businesses, and America feeling that the regulatory burden on them has been lifted under this administration? And also hopes for those tax cuts, something that the president hinted at today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Senate, and if they approve it, the House in the Senate will get together. I'll be there right in the middle of it and we will come up with a bill that will be spectacular for growth and spectacular for the people in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, will it happen? David Bossie is the former deputy campaign manager for President Trump, president of Citizens United and a Fox News contributor; and Gerri Willis is with us, anchor and business correspondent for the Fox Business Network. Great to see both of you.
DAVID BOSSIE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thanks for having us.
MACCALLUM: So, you know, David, let me start with you. If the news has been so good on the economy, why isn't it better for President Trump's approval ratings?
BOSSIE: Well, you know, I think that the economy is one of the latter things that shows up -- it lags in the polling. It always has. But this president has said since his campaign days that the new normal, the new Obama normal of one percent stagnation, 1.5 percent anemic growth was going to be over when he became president of the United States, and we're now into our second quarter of three percent growth, strictly from the power of the president's hope growth and opportunity ideas, as well as his deregulatory, you know, pen that he's put to work. Now, if we can get tax reform done, and it looks like we're well on our way, the economy is going to boom and he is going to be rewarded for it.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, it is pretty astonishing, Gerri, when you look at what's happening in the market, and you do see that business optimism that is out there, clearly. But the Goldman Sachs report also said that they bet that it's about 80 percent that tax cuts get done, OK? So, that leaves 20 percent that they don't get done and let me just play this Jeff Flake over the weekend, you know. He and the president are very good buddies, and here's what he had to say that got picked up on an open mic. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JEFF FLAKE, R-ARIZ.: If we become the party of Roy Moore and Donald Trump, we are toast.
JOHN GILES, MAYOR OF ARIZONA: But you're the guy that could just for fun, think how much fun it could be to be the foil, you know. And to point out what an idiot this guy is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Think how much fun that would be? And then, here's what the president said in his Twitter this morning: "Senator Jeff Flake(y)," in y- parenthesis, "who was unelectable in the great state of Arizona -- quit race, anemic polls -- was caught purposely on mike saying bad things about your favorite president. He'll be a "no" on tax cuts because his political career anyway is toast," using his word. Gerri, it's definitely going to stand in the way of tax reform, and how important is it to the economy?
GERRI WILLIS, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's very important to the economy. The Goldman Sachs, people say that unless you pass that tax reform you're going not going to four percent, right? So, it's very important.
But it's not just Flake standing in the way, it's also Susan Collins, it's Senator Johnson. There are more two or three people now saying, I'm not sure that I like this plan and you know how tight it is in the Senate to get this thing through. It's very hard. So, there are hurdles here.
But I have to say, I do agree that the economy is doing very well right now -- that three percent growth is fabulous. We've had a 14 percent gain on the S&P 500 this year. Unemployment is like a 17-year low. Things are moving in the right direction but it's all predicated on getting tax cuts.
MACCALLUM: Yes. So, you know, you look at California, David. You look at some of these places where you've got a lot of representatives who are saying "no" to this, and there is the possibility that they could put the majority in the House at risk because of this tax bill.
BOSSIE: Well, you know, these representatives from these high tax states, you know, have to really go back and talk to their mayors and their governors to try to lower their tax burden on their populations, but we need tax reform. We must have tax reform. It's been 35 years since the last time we've had it. The American people deserve it. President Trump has promised it and is going to keep that promise to the American people.
And these members that Gerri was just talking about, these senators, you know, some of them have good points. And Senator Johnson, I believe, raised a very important issue about small businesses, and LLCs, and sub- chapters, and those pastors that he wanted to see fixed. And I think that that is a good fix, and then Senator Johnson I hope will get to "yes".
There's a difference between wanting to get to "yes", and Senators Flake and others on prior issues who had no interest in doing what is right for the American people and tax reform. Senator Flake has to look at the state of Arizona and his constituents. Tax reform is something they sent him there to do, and it is something they're going to demand, so I hope that he's going to listen.
MACCALLUM: I mean, it raises a real question with Corker, with Flake, with Senator McCain, Gerri, and I want you to weigh in on this too, David. I mean, is this going to be a spite vote? I mean, you know, are they going to listen to the folks at home, or are they going to vote with perhaps some emotion involved in this?
WILLIS: Well, that's a very good question. I think if they could have a long-term look at this, you know, for the people were going to be around in the Senate, who plan to stay, their incentive is to say yes to tax reform at some level. But I have to tell you, it is a bitter pill for many of these representatives in blue states where people have high incomes.
They're going to take a hit, absolutely. The benefits are mostly towards corporations and businesses, because, A. at the end of the day, those of the folks who employ people and who can really get this economy moving.
MACCALLUM: Yes. David, are those states being punished, you know, for liberal leadership, essentially? And basically, Republicans are saying we really don't care that much about those states because we never win them anyway?
BOSSIE: Well, I think probably all three of us live in states that are just like that. So, I don't think it's punishment, I think it is that this president has prioritized getting down the individual rates and cutting corporate America's taxes and whether it's small-business or a medium-size business or a large business. And I think this president is dedicated to it. I don't think there is -- with that in mind, he wants the American economy to grow, which will raise all votes. That's the time he's trying to lift.
MACCALLUM: Some of these are pretty happy with the regulations lifted, you know --
MACCALLUM: -- even before they get the tax cut. So, thanks so much, you guys, great to see you both tonight. Thanks, David. Thanks, Gerri.
BOSSIE: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So, still ahead tonight, she says the Obama administration ruined her life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY GERRITSON, PRESIDENT, WETUMPKA TEA PARTY: I'm a born free American woman, wife, mother, and citizen, and I'm telling my government that you've forgotten your place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: But now, former IRS chief Lois Lerner says if her testimony about the Tea Party is released it could ruin her life. Should she be protected? And was this Border Patrol agent stoned to death by illegal immigrants? Rogelio Martinez was just 36 years old, he was engaged to be married.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMDY CRAWFORD, LIFELONG FRIEND OF ROGELIO MARTINEZ: All he wanted to do is just help people and help the world, and try to make a difference. He's going to be missed by a lot of people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: A Trump administration will also secure and defend the borders of the United States.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: And, yes, we will build a great wall. And yes, Mexico will pay for the wall. They're going to pay for the wall
(END VIDEO CLIP).
MACCALLUM: President Trump's campaign promise, back in the spotlight as we get some brand-new details today on the vicious killing that happened on the southern border. Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was killed. His partner, seriously injured when they were reportedly bashed with rocks by illegal immigrants according to the reports on this from the Border Patrol. Friends of the 36-year-old, said he was selfless and wanted to serve his country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRAWFORD: He would be the type of guy to give the shirt off his back and wouldn't ask anything in response. All he wanted to do was just help people and help the world, and try to make a difference. I just wish him the best. We wish him peace. I love him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Fox News' Casey Stegall, live in Dallas with what we're learning tonight about the investigation to find the killer or killers. Casey.
CASEY STEGALL, FOX NEWS CHANNEL REPORTER: Yes, Martha, good evening. You know, the U.S. Border Patrol Union is the group that has come out and said it is likely rocks were used with this particular attack, though, I've got to say, the FBI will not confirm that information at all. Frankly, there are varying accounts depending on who you talk to what exactly happened out there over the weekend.
All the FBI office in El Paso will say is that the Border Patrol agents were not shot and that they did not come under fire, but they won't elaborate further. Right now, the feds say they're simply focused on trying to piece together a timeline of events and actively search for suspects or witnesses. Agent Rogelio Martinez was out on patrol in an area known as the Big Bend Sector along the southern border with Mexico here in Texas.
Officials will only say that Martinez and his partner responded to "activity", that's all they say, "activity" near interstate ten in Vanhorn, Texas. Moments later, the partner called for help on the radio saying that they were both hurt. The agents were transported to an area hospital where agent Martinez passed away. His partner remains in serious condition tonight. Now, in light of this news, President Trump today touted once again why he believes it's important to secure the U.S. border with Mexico, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: But we have to stop the massive drug flow from pouring in and my respect to the families that were so badly hurt yesterday because they were devastated. Those two families were devastated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEGALL: Martinez was 36 years old and had been a Border Patrol agent for the last four years or so, according to customs and border protection. He makes the 39th agent killed in the line of duty, Martha, since 2003. Our hearts and prayers certainly go out to both families tonight.
MACCALLUM: Casey, thank you very much. Casey Stegall, reporting there. So, David Wohl joins me now, an Attorney and Conservative Commentator; and Matt Bennett, Co-Founder of Third Way and a Former Deputy Assistant to President Clinton. Thank you, both for being here today. I just want to play one more sound bite that was a reaction from the president today on the issue of this border agent on the wall, watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We talk about the wall, we're going to have the wall. It's part of what we're doing, we needed. That's rough territory. That's where the drugs are coming in. A lot of things are happening along the border, the southern border, and we're going straighten it out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: David, would a wall have stopped this incident?
DAVID WOHL, ATTORNEY AND CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, it looks like it would've. These desolate areas along the border are typically where these agents get ambushed. And, you know, now, you realize that the wall was far more than a campaign gimmick by President Trump, it was a critically important part of what got him elected.
And right now, you know, the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security just approved $10 billion for that wall last month, including five billion for more agents and improvements in the legal ports of entry. That needs to get passed by the Senate. Perhaps something needs to get tied to DACA, the deferred entry program for the 800,000 potential recipients of that.
Because guess what, Martha, this has got to be passed. How many more of these tragic murders need to take place before the Democrats get on board? It needs to happen and it needs to happen quickly.
MACCALLUM: So, Matt, I mean, that's the potential deal that's on the table, to do -- you know, to accept DACA, to allow DACA to continue, children who were brought here not on their own volition, by their parents under the age of 16. And that they would be able to stay in return for some of these serious measures towards building a wall.
MATT BENNET, CO-FOUNDER OF THIRD WAY AND A FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT CLINTON: Look, I think we need serious measures, there's no doubt. Let me be clear though, they don't know who killed these guys. This was a horrible, tragic event but we have no idea exactly what happened. What we do know though, is that most Republicans from border regions, the ones who represent New Mexico and Arizona, 800 miles of the Texas border represented by Will Hurd, those Republicans think a wall is a bad idea.
That say -- Congressman Hurd has said it's a third-century solution for a 21st-century problem. We need to take further measures to ensure that people aren't crossing the border, but we have all kinds of technology, drones and other technology that can work just as well in regions where a wall, which would cost upwards of $100 billion just makes no sense at all.
MACCALLUM: You know, it seems to me that the issue of the wall, that, you know, it's a case where the words are so powerful. You know, for some people, the word "wall" is something that they want very much. For other people, they want security, but they really don't want it to be called a wall, and it's something that has sort of a technological barrier and ramps up Border Agents along there, they are probably OK with that. So, how does the president seek a middle ground here David?
WOHL: Well, for one thing, ironically, you know, the 800,000 DACA recipients will be among those protected by the wall. You know, you can call it what you will. Israel has one that protects Israelis from terrorists coming into their country.
They actually exist all over the world. But when America decides to put one up, we've got political issues that seem to trump the issue, if you will. Look, the reality is: this isn't an issue between Mexico and Americans or between Hispanics and White folks; this is an issue of national security.
And I can't tell you how many Hispanic, Latino friends who are in favor of the wall because they're critically concerned about their family's safety. Again, the DACA recipients will be among those protected and it's got to take place. The political problems with calling it the wall are completely secondary to national security issues that right now are critically important.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, guys. Good to see you both. Thanks a lot.
WOHL: Thanks a lot.
MACCALLUM: So, breaking just moments ago, shocking allegations of unwanted sexual contact by CBS News-Star, Charlie Rose. He has now been suspended from three different networks. And moments ago, he is speaking out. Also, Lois Lerner was the face of the IRS scandal. Now, she wants to make sure that her testimony about targeting the Tea Party never sees the light of day. Will she get what she wants?
And President Trump gets into it with the father of a basketball player who refuses to say thanks for bringing his son home from a Chinese prison, potentially. So, he's taking a lot of heat in the media, but Burgess Owens says do not blame the president, blame the bad parent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The father of one of the Americans really seemed to have a problem with it. Frankly, it didn't seem like the father wanted the president to intervene, which I think would have been a sad thing if he hadn't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, breaking tonight, Charlie Rose, longtime T.V. Host at CBS, PBS, and Bloomberg T.V. has now been suspended tonight by all three networks in the wake of a new report in The Washington Post, alleging unwanted sexual advances by at least eight different women. Those advances include groping, lewd phone calls, walking around naked during several encounters dating back to the 1990s, according to some of these accounts and one as recently as 2011.
Rose did release a statement just moments ago admitting to some of that behavior saying this: "I have behaved insensitively at times and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings even though I now realize I was mistaken. " That's the latest shoe to drop, more to come on that.
And also, this evening, in a skirmish between the president and LaVar Ball has raised some big questions about lessons that we teach our children. So, here's what happened: the president got into it this weekend with LaVar Ball, the dad of one of the three basketball players arrested in China who was later released after President Trump intercedes on their behalf. Here's what Mr. Ball said to ESPN: "Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out. I'm from L.A., I've seen a lot worse thing happen than a guy taking some glasses," he's talking about the theft of sunglasses from the Louis Vuitton store in China.
So, here's what Mr. Trump said in response: "Now that the basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of Liangelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should've left them in jail," the president said. So, it's worth mentioning that LaVar Ball is sort of the Chris Kardashian of basketball. He is the dad of three UCLA basketball players.
He and the sons star in a Facebook reality T.V. show. He has said that Lonzo, his oldest son, could beat Michael Jordan in a one on one. Jordan shot back that he could beat Lonzo on one leg. Dad also hawks $700 sneakers under the family brand, The Big Baller brand as it's known. Now, while the president has gotten some heat over the weekend for even getting into this with Mr. Ball, Byron York said this morning that he sees it as a win for Mr. Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BYRON YORK, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST FOR THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: This is a feud where the president wins, just like an NFL protest. It's a classic Trump counterattack, and in this case, it will have the support not only of his base but most Americans who oppose shoplifting. So, this is just one of those feuds, if not a big deal, but the president wins.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: A pretty big section of America that opposes shoplifting. It was not seen that way by others, watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is really happening where the president of the United States is saying he should've left them in jail because one of those guys, the dad, wasn't sufficiently grateful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's unbelievable.
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, Donald Trump, what he did was outrageous, was disgusting as the president of United States and should've never happened.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: There are racist overtures here where the Black man was not appreciative of the White man did for him.
MIKE BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC HOST: Yes, and I actually think that racism --
SCARBOROUGH: And it's a dog whistle.
BRZEZINSKI: Is a real --
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MACCALLUM: Wow! A lot to unpack there, right? So, here now, Burgess Owens, former Super Bowl Champion and author of "Liberalism or How to Turn Good Men into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps" as he puts it. Burgess Owens, thank you very much for being here tonight. And so, you think the president was right to jump in on this or not?
BURGESS OWENS, FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER AND AUTHOR: Well, I tell you, Martha, what concerns me is another missed opportunity to give a message to kids who really need to hear this message. The 70 percent of Black boys who do not have a dad in the household; if you look at the juvenile system, 85 percent of those kids don't have dads. So, when you have a dad, you want him to stand up and do the right thing.
In this case here, which he needs to be thankful, number one; and to apologize, they'd make mistakes. And the very last thing, we make enough mistakes as it is, just try to do the right thing and you still make mistakes. The last thing we need to teach our kids is no big deal to steal, lie and cheat. So, if you want to see accountability, something will turn sour down the road, allow these young men, no matter how wealthy they are, to continue to lie, steal and cheat, and all they see is there's going to be accountability process at some point.
MACCALLUM: So, you sort of see an underlying message here between, you know, the NFL situation with kneeling on the field, and this situation with the president is saying, no, that's not what I would do, you know, essentially as a parent. This is what you need to teach in terms of respect and accountability. Do you think that the president as a positive message here for young -- these young African-American men, or is it racist, as you just heard, charged?
OWENS: No, what's racist is to think that this is the way Black people should think and the way the Black people should respond. I'm thankful the president is drawing lines across the boards, because (INAUDIBLE) need homes. We need to respect our flag, we need to respect our women, we need to respect the laws, all those things that right now there are problems in the Black community were not being taught because men are not standing up and doing their jobs.
So, at the end of the day -- let's have this conversation, and at the end of the season, let's go back and we need to get American people in these communities in giving the right message to these young people about service and love of country, because they're not getting it from the Marxists and Socialists that are running these communities as we speak today.
MACCALLUM: So, how would you compare the message that President Trump is putting out with the message that President Obama put out there?
OWENS: Well, Obama -- President Obama had a message of division. It was always -- it was not bringing together and helping out kids to understand their laws that we need to stay focused on. I'll tell you what I'm learning, what I'm seeing right now, when I grew up, to do something like this would not happen. I would not want to disrespect my family's name, I would not want to embarrass my mom and dad. This is what we're not being taught in the communities. And across the board, black or white, it's a message that all of us need to be teaching our kids because we want them to be successful and happy. Unfortunately, in the black community, we are expecting thuggery as almost a natural way that we think and react. It is not the way it should be. That is true racism, to have so low expectations for our kids.
MACCALLUM: All right. Burgess, thank you, very much good to have you here tonight, sir.
OWENS: Thank you, Martha. I appreciate it.
MACCALLUM: All right. So here with more, Lawrence Jones, a conservative commentator and host of the Blaze, and Michael Starr Hopkins the Democratic strategist who served on both the Obama and Clinton campaign. Michael, let me start with you. You're shaking your head at the end of that interview, why?
MICHAEL STARR HOPKINS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yeah. I mean, to hear Mr. Burgess used words like thuggery, I just -- that's a loaded term, I think it's unnecessary. Look, the Ball son apologized. And I think the president was punching down by going after LaVar Ball. LaVar Ball is a character, but he's a civilian. And so, for the president to even engage LaVar Ball I thought was foolish. It demeans the office. And to be honest, when we look at the president, we want the president to show leadership. Children are supposed to look to the president, not to LaVar Ball, not to his son, to the president. And I think he's showing a poor example.
MACCALLUM: Lawrence, what do you think about that? Because, initially, when I watched this back and forth over the weekend I kind of had the same reaction, you know, why is he going there? What he's doing? Why would he do this? But then, the more I looked at it and thought about it, I thought, you know, everything is about, sort of, you know, figuring out a message to young people, and he clearly felt that the message that was going out from LaVar Ball, the father of these basketball players, was the wrong message, and he wanted to make very clear that he felt differently. What do you think?
LAWRENCE JONES, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Yeah. I agree. I think it's important to note that LaVar is a Donald Trump-like figure. He says what's on his mind. But the problem with his message regarding his son is counterproductive to what he's always taught his kids if you know LaVar Ball, about being self-made, to go against the grain, even when it came to the NBA, but he didn't teach them to steal. So I was really surprised that LaVar kind of condone the behavior and wasn't thankful to the president for essentially putting political capital on the line to get his son back.
MACCALLUM: Yeah. I mean, it's pretty hard to imagine not being grateful. If it were my son, you know, I would have quite a few choice words for him, and I would either kiss the ground that you got back into this country because there are so many -- I remember the kid who got put in prison for chewing gum in the wrong country. So, I mean, you've got to be so careful when you are out there. So I think that the president appears to have been pretty shocked at the response from his father. But on the larger question, Michael, let me ask you about this, because, you know, obviously, President Obama was the first African-American president in this country. President Trump gets called a racist by Joe Scarborough this morning. At the bottom of that is who is doing a better job to lift all people, including African-Americans in this country? With the policies that they're actually putting out there that underlie all of this haze.
HOPKINS: Yeah. I mean, I don't even think that's a question. I think President Obama used his office to allow more students to go to college through student loan expansion. Better access to health care. You know, I think, President Obama his original message was this isn't a red state or blue state, this is the United States.
MACCALLUM: Well, some people say that happened in the Democratic convention and it didn't happen much after that. Lawrence?
JONES: Yeah. Martha, I'm concerned about my community. I'm concerned about the entire country, but specifically to my community. Under President Obama, the unemployment rate for black Americans were doubled the national average. Right now under Donald Trump is at a 20 year low almost. That's 17-years low, to be specific. When it -- no, it's actually a fact. When it comes to school choice and education reform, President Trump has invested -- President Obama was against school choice, and voucher system that can improve the life of black Americans in the education system where they didn't have to go to a failing school just because they were in that zip code where they lived. So the numbers are out, and right now we have one year with Donald Trump, I can say economically we're doing pretty good.
MACCALLUM: I have to give Michael a very quick response. Go quickly.
HOPKINS: I would just say with black on employment rate, President Obama started because of the failures of the Bush administration and the market collapse. And asked black Americans whether they feel comfortable after Charlottesville.
HOPKINS: I don't know which black people you're talking to, but it's not the same ones that I am.
MACCALLUM: All right. President Trump got a very small amount in terms of the black vote, but more than Romney or McCain got when they ran. So it will be interesting to see what happens the next time around. Thank you, guys. Great to talk to you both.
JONES: Thanks, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So still ahead tonight, they targeted tea party groups, went after them at home, left them waiting for years for answers from the IRS. Now those behind that whole thing say they fear for their lives. Governor Huckabee says that those claims are outrageous. He will tell you why coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to protect and preserve the America that I grew up in. The America that people cross oceans and risk their lives to become a part of. And I'm terrified it is slipping away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So you remember Lois Lerner. She said now that she needs protection because she could receive death threats and harassment. She and her colleague, Holly Paz, say the public must never know what they said in their testimony behind closed doors about the program of illegal targeting of conservative groups when they were working for the IRS during the Obama administration. They were the center of that 2013 scandal, as you probably well remember. This latest move is an effort to forever hide that testimony from the public and has many asking tonight, what could possibly be so damaging in terms of what they said on those deposition tapes? Trace Gallagher live in our west coast newsroom with the latest tonight on that. Hey, Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS: Hey, Martha. These are disposition that former IRS executive Lois Lerner and her deputy Holly Paz gave for lawsuits that were filed by the tea party in the nation's capital and in Ohio. Remember, Lerner was in the Cincinnati office. Now Lerner is asking a federal court to keep the testimonies private forever. Her lawyers argued that releasing them publicly would put her and her family at risk, quoting, returning Ms. Lerner and Paz to the media's spotlight places them at risk regardless of what they actually said in those depositions. Lois Lerner singled out tea party leader Mark Meckler for stoking the threats against her by referring to IRS agents as, quote, criminal thugs. Meckler respondent, quoting again, four years of harassing innocent American citizens for their political beliefs, and she's scared of a guy in a cowboy hat talking to a bunch of little old ladies at a tea party event? Meckler went on to say, quote, the reality is because she knows she is guilty as the day is long and she doesn't want people to know what she actually did.
When Lois Lerner was brought before congress to testify in 2013, she refused by asserting her Fifth Amendment right. The Justice Department under President Obama chose not to prosecute the case, saying Lerner was correct to assert the fifth, and went on to call her a bright spot who tried to curtail the IRS targeting of conservative groups. But last month, the DOJ under Trump agreed to a multimillion dollar settlement with tea party groups who were targeted, quote, based solely on viewpoints or ideology. And the government now says that Lois Lerner did not stop the targeting of tea party groups and, in fact, hid the behavior from her superiors. We should note the Cincinnati Inquirer is also fighting along with many others to get those depositions of Lois Lerner, Holly Paz, unsealed and find out what they said.
MACCALLUM: Wow. All right. Trace, thank you very much. Governor Mike Huckabee a former presidential candidate and a Fox News contributor, is here tonight to weigh in on this. They think that they need some protection. They really do not want anybody to see what they said in those depositions, governor.
MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yeah. I've got a great idea for a safe place it's called a federal prison. Look, what these guys did was incredibly illegal, and the fact that the taxpayers of America, you and me, we had to spend $3.5 million settling a claim says there was a claim to be settled. Martha, I am seething with rage that somebody thinks that they can abuse the public office that they hold, abuse the taxpayers they work for, basically use the power of government to trample people's constitutional rights, and then act like please protect me. Look, I don't want anyone to get hurt, but if you think there's a threat, call the cops. But in the meantime, we need to have the cops on you, you being Lois Lerner and Holly Paz. This is outrageous. And we need to know what is in those records. They're public records that missed doing by public officials.
MACCALLUM: That decision is going to be up to the Justice Department at this point. These cases have been settled, they've been paid out. So now is the point where this kind of thing would be released for the public to take a look at, and they have every right to take a look at it, as you say. They paid for the investigation. So they're going to have to convince the Justice Department that they have a case here, right?
HUCKABEE: Well, it shouldn't be that hard to convince the Justice Department. How could they not prosecute? Martha, if you don't pay your taxes, do you think you'll get away with it? If you lie to the IRS, will you get away with it?
HUCKABEE: Why can the IRS then lied to us, trample over us? And let's remember something about the IRS. It's the only government agency that can launch the investigation, conduct the investigation, conclude what the investigation showed, and then adjudicated by punishing somebody. It's a one-stop shop. And I think, frankly, somebody ought to file a lawsuit that the IRS is unconstitutional because nowhere else in government can one entity completely ignore checks and balances and have some other branch of government looking over their shoulder. This is one agency run amok. We need to put them out of business, and the people who had abuse their power, they need to do more than go out of business. Honestly, and I'm not just saying this, some of these folks should be in prison because the rest of us would be had we done something like that. It's just outrageous.
MACCALLUM: I think you'll get a lot of people behind you if you ran for president with that idea. I think a lot of people do not like the IRS, and they would probably love to see that happen. Do you see any sign that there is ever going to be any accountability in this case, governor?
HUCKABEE: It doesn't look like it, Martha. It's the same thing with the payouts, over $15 million in payouts for sexual harassment claims and say we've got to protect the people on this records. No, we don't.
MACCALLUM: That's a great point.
HUCKABEE: No, we don't. We shouldn't be protecting them. I'll tell you, the women need to be protected, keep their names out of it, but if you've got, right now, sitting congressman and senators who have done this are, frankly, passed. We, the taxpayers, shouldn't be paying that money out. The pervs and the predators who did these things should be paying out. I shouldn't have to pay out of my paycheck or you yours to cover the sins of some congressmen who couldn't keep his hands to himself.
MACCALLUM: It is unbelievable. I mean, you know, do you think we are ever going to see the sort of records of those slush fund, as it's called, in terms of who these payouts were for?
HUCKABEE: I would like to believe that at some point, maybe it's the Justice Department, maybe is the president who pushes it, maybe it's just enough outrage from people. This has nothing to do, by the way, with Democrats and Republicans. Equal outrage I think on everybody's part. If you are a taxpayer, this ought to make you some kind of ticked off.
MACCALLUM: Absolutely. I mean, we're not talking about a private company, we're talking about a private settlement, we're talking about government money to settle these cases. It's a completely different story. Two for one. Governor Huckabee, thank you so much, sir. Good to see you tonight.
HUCKABEE: Thank you. Thanks.
MACCALLUM: So as one of President Obama's strongest arguments for second term in office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: Al-Qaeda is on the run, and Osama bin Laden is no more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: But tonight, there is a bombshell report in the New York Times claiming the one thing missing from that statement was the actual truth. Lieutenant Colonel Michael Waltz with the other side of that story not revealed until now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Also tonight, a top foreign correspondent for the New York Times is now claiming that the Obama administration misled the American public and downplayed the threat of al-Qaeda and related groups leading up to the 2012 election. So this is even as al-Qaeda was ramping up in Africa at that time. Here's a look back at some of what then-president said. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Slowly and systematically, we have been able to decimate the ranks of Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Usama bin Laden is dead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: G.M. is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead. Remember all that? Here now, Michael Waltz, former Green Beret commander and counterterrorism advisor to Vice President Cheney, he's also a Fox News contributor. Colonel, welcome. Good to see you tonight.
MICHAEL WALTZ, FORMER GREEN BERET COMMANDER: Thanks, Martha.
MACCALLUM: You know your mind goes back to the political moment then, and that was very much the narrative that the Obama administration wanted everyone to believe, that al-Qaeda was on the run, bin Laden was dead, and it was over, basically. There was nothing to fear out there. So this new report from the New York Times points out, among other things, that there were 470,000 files that were released by the Trump administration that were coming from the bin Laden compound. Those were sat on by the Obama administration. They only released a few hundred.
MACCALLUM: Why was that, and what did she find in their?
WALTZ: Well, everyone, Martha, everybody, whether you're fighting this in the field, or analyst back here in the United States, or following terrorism closely, knew that the Obama administration was downplaying the intel, actively downplaying the intel. The agenda here, you know, essentially, was that the Obama administration wanted to pull the United States back from overseas and focus on its domestic agenda and its priorities. So that became, that translated -- particularly after the death of Usama bin Laden, that translated to pulling out of Iraq, pulling out of Afghanistan, pulling the United States back. Wishing away the problems in Syria, and the narrative was that you dare not challenge, particularly in analyst ranks, the narrative was Osama bin Laden is dead, Al Qaeda is defeated. As you just played, they're on the run, we've won, and we don't need to worry about this anymore. And any analyst that dared to challenge that, it was not good for their career. And that's why, if you recall, we saw the scandal down in the United States central command were analysts were saying, whoa, wait a minute, let's look at Benghazi, let's look at the takeover of Molly, let's look at the transformation from Al Qaeda into ISIS. Let's look at a resurgent into Afghanistan. We're losing our gains there. And that reporting was suppressed because the leadership knew that if they push that at the White House it wouldn't be welcomed.
MACCALLUM: Yeah. I mean, it's terrifying, because when you think about -- you know, something is not over just because you wanted to be. I mean, the war in Iraq wasn't won just because you said we will leave at a certain time and we see the ramifications of that. She talks about in her reporting that she was told by Obama administration officials that there was no link between AQIM, for example, and the sort of headquarters of al- Qaeda.
MACCALLUM: That they weren't connected. And we all remember the J.V. comment about ISIS, downplay, downplay, downplay. There's nothing to be afraid of. And during that time there's such tremendous expansion.
WALTZ: And what we knew, what the Obama administration knew, because it was in the documents seized from Osama bin Laden's compound, was that this was being centrally run. Osama bin Laden was still in charge. He was actively in touch through his surrogate with Boko Haram, with al-Qaeda, with the Taliban, and with the growing movement in Iraq and Syria. So he was still running the show, but that didn't fit in the administrations we've won this narrative. So what did they do? They cherry picked 17 documents out of the hundreds of thousands that fit the narrative and said, well, we released them. And thank God, you know, our own Steve Hayes Foundation for defense of democracy and others have been pushing for the declassification of these documents so that we can see that al-Qaeda is alive and well. We have to keep up this fight, and that we are in a global war against Islamic extremism.
MACCALLUM: As you point out they knew, because they saw in those documents. They just didn't release them. I've got to leave it there. Colonel Michael Waltz, always great to have you with us. Thank you very much.
WALTZ: Thanks, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So coming up next, here we go, a little Christmas time at the White House and something else, the quote of the night when we come back.
MACCALLUM: So finally tonight, first lady Melania Trump and son Baron took part in the annual tradition that kicks off the holiday season in the nation's capital. Late today, the White House Christmas tree arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It came by a horse drawn carriage, a nineteen and a half foot Balsam fir from the Chapman family in Wisconsin. Thank you to the Chapmans. It will be on the Blue Room at the White House. But hold on, before we get into Christmas, here's a thanksgiving proclamation from 1901, and the quote of the night from Teddy Roosevelt. He says, let us remember that as much as been given us, not much will be expected from us people, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips and it shows itself in deeds.
Right, he is. So what do you think will pour this evening -- this Thanksgiving I should say? Send me a tweet, let me know @marthamaccallum, using the #thestory. We are thankful that you'll be back here tomorrow night, we hope, at 7:00 PM. We look forward to seeing you then. Tucker Carlson, thankful for him to, he's 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.