Calls increase for Rep. John Conyers' resignation

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," November 22, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MELISSA FRANCIS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Thank you, you as well. And "The Story" begins now. Several breaking developments tonight, and Congressman John Conyers' sexual conduct allegations: a high-profile attorney that specializes in Congressional ethics is now accusing the powerful judiciary committee ranking member of inappropriate behavior. I'm Melissa Francis in tonight for Martha MacCallum.

The woman who worked for the Michigan Democrat in the 90s, and says the Congressman did not sexually harass her but was verbally abusive. And when she reported it, she was ignored. Also, late this evening, Congresswoman Kathleen Rice of New York becoming the first House Democrat to publicly call for him to immediately resign from Congress. Two other members of the party, including one from the Congressional Black Caucus, not going as far as right but hinting that Conyers needs to take a step back.


REP. MIKE QUIGLEY, D-ILLINOIS: My colleague, Mr. Conyers used his own resources within his office to make this some sort of settlement, instead of going through the official process. This concerns me greatly. I think the Congressman needs to look at himself, and, frankly, if I was in his place, I would leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really think that, probably, the appropriate thing right now is he should step down as the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee.


FRANCIS: Even Conyers' hometown paper is calling on him to resign. The Detroit Free Press editorial board, saying in part: "It is a tragic end to his public career. But it's the appropriate consequence for this stunning subterfuge his office has indulged here, and a needed warning to other members of Congress that this can never be tolerated." Chief Congressional Correspondent, Mike Emanuel, is live in Washington tonight with the late- breaking details. Mike?

MIKE EMANUEL, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Melissa, good evening. An attorney tells The Washington Post tonight, Congressman John Conyers harassed and verbally abused her when she worked for him on Capitol Hill back in the 1990s. Melanie Sloan says, there was nothing she could do to stop it and she lost her job.

She is the first former Conyers staff member to speak on the record about the 88-year-old Congressman. Sloan telling The Post, "There was nothing I could do to stop it, not going to leadership, not going to my boss, not going to a women's group, not going to a reporter. I was dismissed and told I must be mentally unstable."

Also, tonight, in a surprise move, Conyers' hometown newspaper, The Detroit Free Press is calling on him to resign in wake of the sexual misconduct allegations, writing in part: "He should resign his position and allow the investigation into his behavior to unfold without the threat that it would render him and the people he now represents effectively voiceless. There's also pressure from colleagues: New York Congresswoman Kathleen Rice is calling on him to resign. Raul Grijalva and Gregory Meeks, both Democrats, are saying, John Conyers should at least step down as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary, and the House Ethics Committee is expected to launch what one member calls a serious probe.


REP. LEONARD LANCE, R-NEW JERSEY: I never discussed the details of the Ethics Committee, but I want to assure to your viewers that it's completely bipartisan -- five Republicans and five Democrats. We have a nonpartisan staff. And we investigate situations all of the time.


EMANUEL: The process for a staffer filing a complaint is complicated. 180 days after an alleged incident, there must be written a notice to the office of compliance. Then there's a counseling process that typically lasts another 30 days, basically being advised of their rights. Then it's on to mediation for roughly another 30 days. That's when the staffer's office gets notified. The allegation in the case remains confidential in almost all cases. A sexual harassment attorney who has worked on these kinds of cases involving Congressional staffers says, the system protects its own.


ALEXIS RONICKHER, SEXUAL HARASSMENT ATTORNEY: Complications are intentional hurdles there to protect the institution. It's different than under private or other federal processes, so Congress has a special system that they put in place for themselves.


EMANUEL: Fox News has learned the Congressional Black Caucus has scheduled a two-hour sexual harassment training its members next Thursday -- Conyers is the group's most senior member. Melissa.

FRANCIS: All right. Thank you for that. Here now is Kayleigh McEnany, she is Republican National Committee Spokesperson; and Juan Williams, Fox News Political Analyst and Co-Host of "The Five". Juan, I'll let go first. I mean, there is a new detail coming forth, it seems like every hour here.
What's your take?

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST AND HOST: Well, the key thing is: was the money, hush money, Melissa? Because if, in fact, what happens here is that the Congressman John Conyers of Michigan used public funds, essentially to shut this woman up, to avoid going through the ethics process, avoid any kind of public disclosure about her complaint.

Then, I think the Detroit Free Press is right in saying this is a basic violation of the public trust and he should resign. I don't think we've reached quite to that point of asserting that. Now, Conyers office is saying that other offices have used the same procedure. I don't know that, I'm interested to find out if this is common. But even if it is common, it still constitutes what strikes me as hush money.

FRANCIS: Yes. Kayleigh, I mean, on top of that, there is the subterfuge, there is what is ostensibly going on elsewhere in Congress. I mean, as we hear about more and more people coming out, you also look at the fact in some of these complaints, you know, one of the women said that she was hired in part because of his age and failing mental capacity.

In the (INAUDIBLE) said, she was hired to keep track of his whereabouts and call him to wake him up every morning and also to deliver his medication. Is it possible that some of the qualms people are having that he's 88- years-old on top of all of this and he is abusing people who are there too, I don't know, you know, remind him where he is and wake him up and give him his medication?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, SPOKESPERSON, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Yes. Every single one of these needs to look -- be looked at with the utmost of seriousness. There needs to be a broad sped -- broad spread investigation from Conyers on down. Every single one of these complaints should be vetted. And we need to question: why we have a system where when someone makes an accusation they are forced to go into training and counseling and mediation rather than being ferreted out and forced into secrecy and keeping the identity of the accused secret and paying out hush money? Why do we have a system like that in Congress? It's really inexcusable. And as President Trump said, let's reveal the names of these individuals. Let's find out who the accused are.

FRANCIS: Juan, I think what's interesting about this case, and especially when you look at the comments from the women, it's not that they couldn't go -- you know, they were afraid to go tell someone because they thought they would be fired. They said they spoke up, they were shut down. You couldn't go work somewhere else because you were right there. I mean, all the normal paths, they're not saying they were afraid to do something about it, they're saying they tried and they were completely shut down. And this is our government.

WILLIAMS: Well, this is not peculiar to Congressman Conyers. Capitol Hill has tremendous difficulty in dealing with allegations of sexual misbehavior and outright sexual harassment. By the way, in this case, part of the settlement was for the woman to have a no-show job. How can you say that's legit or proper? That's clearly, to me, a misuse of government funds.

And it almost is a matter of fraud because you have situations like that in the private sector, but when you have public funds involved, I think it crosses the line. So, the woman, as you point out, Melissa, did, in fact, make an effort to say something. But in the structure, that exists in Congress now, as you listed on the screen, it takes time, leads to frustration. And I don't think it's designed to deliver justice. It's designed to protect Congress and the Congress members.

FRANCIS: Kelly, another astonishing thing I found out during interviews today was that there is no mandatory sexual harassment training in Congress. I mean, I have never worked somewhere where you didn't have to do that. I mean, all companies have that today whether it works or not can be debated. But the idea that they don't even have a structure at this point and it's voluntary, that seems astonishing to me, does it shock you?

KAYLEIGH: Melissa, it's absolutely astonishing. You're right. You know, it's as if congressmen are treated as a different level, they all operate in their own little principalities, their systems, you now. They're not representatives of the people. And when Donald Trump spoke about draining the swamp, everyone had this feeling that Congress operated under a different set of rules.

We certainly saw a lot of that during the Obama administration. But then, to find out about this hush fund, to find out about how accusers are silenced and forced into counseling, and Congressman gets off scot-free without their names being revealed. No sexual harassment training. This is a swamp that Donald Trump spoke of.

WILLIAMS: Well, wait a second. I mean, you got to -- it's not a totally partisan issue. I mean, even today we had a Texas Congressman humiliated.

FRANCIS: Absolutely.

WILLIAMS: And I think Donald Trump has his own issues. But, Kayleigh, I agree, I think that congressman's basically like, you know, from long ago an antiquated boys club.

FRANCIS: Although, so one thing is we are seeing this across all kinds of industries, obviously. We've seen it in Hollywood, we've seen it in news, we're seeing it in Washington, and I wonder as these stories pour out, do we begin to be less shocked? I mean, is there a danger that we get sort of numb to them because there is such an avalanche and don't give them the individual attention they deserve? Juan, what do you think?

WILLIAMS: I hope we don't get to that point. Because what we're talking about here, especially with young people, is they're ambitious. And you know what, that's a good thing. You want ambitious young people. You want them to get going. And for people to be trying to take advantage of them and it could be my daughter, yours, Kayleigh.


WILLIAMS: I mean, it's just wrong, and we should be able to look something in the eye. Especially, my gosh, down in Alabama, 14 -- the guys allegedly messing around with a 14-year-old girl. I think we got to get beyond the partisanship and stay in this case with this cultural moment in America, this is wrong.

FRANCIS: Yes. Kayleigh, do you think it is the cultural moment in America?

MCENANY: It absolutely is a cultural moment, and it's one that Donald Trump said should be celebrated that these accusations are coming out, that they are finally being heard. And I agree with Juan. Look, this isn't a political issue. We've seen it on both sides of the aisle. That is certainly true. But why I bring up Donald Trump and the swamp, and why I think this is important is because these men who are doing this are powerful men, be it in Hollywood, be it in media, be it in the halls of Congress. There is a power structure that is set up against the hard- working forgotten man and woman, that is what the president struck the chord of the everyday American because they've known for some time.

FRANCIS: Kayleigh, do you struggle to say that when the presidency has had his own accusers? I mean, that's the problem is. When he goes out and he talks about that, and you bring it up, it brings to mind his own accusers. How do you respond that to that?

MCENANY: Right. Well, several -- many of those accusers, if not all of them, have been debunked. President Trump denied it. He never settled a lawsuit with any of these accusers the way that, let's say, Harvey Weinstein did. And I would just say, I personally saw one of those accusers very teary-eyed on air and a moment later asked for a copy of that clip for her reel with a very excited look on her face. So, we've got to look at everything in isolation, the president did nothing wrong in all of those instances.

FRANCIS: Well, we will see. Thanks to both of you. Happy Thanksgiving.

WILLIAMS: Happy Thanksgiving, guys.

FRANCIS: Breaking tonight, the desperate search for three U.S. sailors missing at sea after a Navy jet went down off the coast to Japan, a live report straight ahead.

And we just learned that President Trump is scheduled to meet with the big four at the White House next week as the Senate GOP inches closer to a victory on tax reform with a key holdout signaling she might be on board with the plan.

Plus, Donna Brazile drops a surprising new bombshell, this time taking on former President Obama. Wait until you hear her answer to this question coming up.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You say that he and others have basically stripped the party bear. You say he didn't pay enough attention. He didn't raise enough money for the party. Was he good or bad for the country?



FRANCIS: This, just in, the U.S. Border Patrol agent injured in an incident Sunday that left a fellow incident dead has been discharged from a Texas hospital. 36-year-old, Rogelio Martinez was killed. Investigators say the surviving agent doesn't remember anything. But both were badly injured and suffered several broken bones. There is a $25,000 reward for any information about the case.

Also breaking tonight, we just learned that there is a big meeting at the White House next week. President Trump is now scheduled to meet with the big four Tuesday in the oval office. There they are. The big four. This comes as we've learned the Senate GOP might be one vote closer to approving its version of tax reform. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski now says, she supports the controversial addition of repealing the ObamaCare individual mandate but isn't sure about the entire bill. Fox's Ellison Barber is live in Capitol Hill tonight with the story. Ellison?

ELLISON BARBER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: President Trump at the White House says that President Trump is going to meet with those big four congressional leaders to discuss end of the year legislative issues. Two sources familiar with this meeting tell Fox News that it will take place in the oval office Tuesday afternoon. Again, as you said, it's going to be a meeting that only includes four people: Ryan, Pelosi, McConnell, and Schumer here on Capitol Hill. The big issue is, of course, tax reform. McConnell says the Senate will start debating and evaluating their version next week when everybody comes back from Thanksgiving. The question is will McConnell actually have the votes to pass something? A sticking point may be, the Obamacare provision that repeals the individual mandate.


REP. SUSAN COLLINS, R-MAINE: The biggest mistake was putting in provision from the Affordable Care Act. I hope that will be dropped.

STEVE MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: This is all about getting this passed in the Senate. That's the objective. But we're going to work with the Senate as we go through this.


BARBER: There are a handful of Senate Republicans considered to be wild card votes. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski hasn't said definitively whether or not she supports the bill. But in a new opinion piece in a local paper, Murkowski wrote about the individual mandate and she said she supports repealing it.

Senator Susan Collins, who you just heard from there, she said she's worried about Obamacare provisions. But Rand Paul tweeted last week, tax reform needs to do away with the individual mandate. One Republican Senator, Wisconsin's Ron Johnson, already said he will not support the bill in its current form.

No word on how John McCain will vote. Bob Corker, John Lankford, and Jeff Flake have expressed concern over what the bill might do to the national debt. President Trump has said that he wants tax reform legislation on his desk to come Christmas. But in order for that to happen, the House and Senate need to agree on legislation.

This Obamacare provision is something they did not have in the House. But, Melissa, remember, 13 House Republicans voted against their version and they had entirely different concerns. A lot of those members were from high tax states and they were worried about how deductions, federal deductions for state and local taxes were handled. So, a whole lot of gaps that still need to be closed up before they take this to the floor. Melissa?

FRANCIS: Everybody has a different thing they want. All right. Thank you for that report. Here now is Gianno Caldwell, he is the Founder of Caldwell Strategic Consulting and a Fox News Political Analyst. We also have Jessica Deloach, she's a Democratic Strategist. So, the big four. They're going to get in that room together and you know that President Trump is going to play let's make a deal. Jessica, I'll go to you first. If you were Chuck Schumer, what would you ask for?


FRANCIS: Hang on, what would you ask for?

DELOACH: Well, one of the things that I would definitely work on doing is protecting the individual mandate right now. We saw how much the Republican Party struggled with their attempts at repealing the Affordable Care Act. I think that putting the -- appealing the individual mandate in this package is the wrong move. It's asking for too much too soon. I think that the Republicans could revisit health care reform later down the road. But right now, this could be the very thing that blows up the tax package that they stand to pass. And I think doing too much on the front end is to their detriment. They need this victory in order to do well in the 2018 midterm election.

FRANCIS: No. There is no doubt that they need this victory, and I think as result, it is everybody's best chance to ask for what they really want. I mean, Gianno, if you were trying to put this together to get the most votes, what would you tinker with right now? Would you take away that repeal of the individual mandate? I mean, it might bring some, I don't know, moderates or Democrats on board, but then you might lose somebody like Lisa Murkowski.

GIANNO CALDWELL, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST AND FOUNDER OF CALDWELL STRATEGIC CONSULTING: I don't think Democrats are coming on at all. I think that they don't want to participate -- they want to resist America's prosperity. So, I find it difficult to believe that they would want to jump on board with this. I think that the individual --

FRANCIS: So, what would you do? What would do to the bill?

CALDWELL: No, absolutely. It's going to be a Republican fix only. Republicans are the only ones that are going to participate in it is what it seems. Repealing the individual mandate, I think, is a good thing. If you look at the surveys when the individual mandate was applied, you saw a lot of young people just pay the tax penalty.

FRANCIS: OK. So, Gianno --

CALDWELL: So, with that being the case, it makes sense.

FRANCIS: -- but let me stop you. The question is: what would you do to tinker with this to make it more likely to get through. If you were trying to get anyone on board, one more vote, what change would you make?

CALDWELL: I would look at those four tax states: California, New York, New Jersey and Maryland, who obviously are going to be impacted the most from this tax reform bill. For example, being New York State, which pays in about $41 billion more than they receive in services. You guys right over there in New York City and New York State, that would be something that I would be looking at because folks are concerned about being able to deduct their local taxes that are paid as well as their property tax. So, those are major considerations that were in the House of Representatives, and as we know it passed there. But those considerations still exist in this current bill over in the Senate.

FRANCIS: Jessica, it seems like there is a tremendous opportunity for someone here, some Democrat. Even if you look at Lisa Murkowski, if you look at the history recently, she did get a ruling on ANWR that she was going to be able to have drilling up there in Alaska, which is what they wanted. It's hard to believe that that wasn't somehow connected to getting her on board with tax reform. If you are a Democrat out there, is there something you could be given that would get you on board -- knowing Democrats have so much strength right now to make this work?

DELOACH: Sure. Well, I think that Democrats have to be very, very careful about any negotiations they enter into. Because, the individual mandate, I keep going back to that because the Democrats have suffered pretty significant losses within the party when it came to overhauling the healthcare structure in this country. We know they didn't get everything right. But one of the things we know is that now is not the time to turn back on the people that they fought so hard for. They need to continue fighting for the individual mandate. And allowing the Republicans to do what they need to do to put together a better tax reform package, because it has 28 percent approval rating right now throughout the country.

FRANCIS: I know there's a lot of opportunities when you're the president, and who wants to make a deal. We'll see if anyone wants takes advantage of it. Thanks to both of you. Have a great holiday.

All right. Still to come, four new women come forward and accused Veteran Journalist, Charlie Rose, of sexual misconduct. Howards Kurtz is here on how the media is covering one of its own. And Donna Brazile is not done taking on the Dems. Her new target: President Obama. David Wohl and Michael Starr Hopkins are here on that, next.


DONNA BRAZILE, FORMER CHAIR, DNC: This happened under his watch. It is the responsibility of the president when he's a Democrat to help the Democratic Party.



FRANCIS: Developing tonight, Donna Brazile is not done. The former DNC chair, now speaking out about what really happened during the 2016 campaign, and she has made it very clear that the Clintons and her party played a big role in their defeat. Her new target for the Democrats' demise: Former President Barack Obama. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was he good or bad for the country and was he good for the African-American community?

BRAZILE: He was fantastic for the country. That's another reason why I stepped up to become chair of the Democratic Party. But, Judy, when you lose 900 legislative seats, I'm not blaming him for all 932 legislative seats, all 60-some House and Senate seats, 11 gubernatorial races, but this happened under his watch. It is the responsibility of the president when he a Democrat to help the Democratic Party. And President Obama, Michelle Obamacare, we all missed him in the White House, but we have to rebuild the Democratic Party. And that's what I hope to do as well.


FRANCIS: She's torturing everybody. Here now, David Wohl, he is an Attorney and Conservative Commentator; Michael Starr Hopkins is the Democratic Strategist who served on both the Obama and the Clinton Campaign. Thanks to both of you for joining us. Michael --


FRANCIS: -- I'll start with you. Is she right?

HOPKINS: Yes. I mean, absolutely. The president was a great president and great for America, and he also --


HOPKINS: But he also, you know, he didn't grow the Democratic apparatus. And that was a choice that he made. He ran as an outsider when he ran for president. He had first, Obama for America. And then, he shifted for organizing for America, and that's how he ran. He was successful in doing it. So, now, we have to rebuild the party.

FRANCIS: David, that's not exactly what she said though. I mean --


FRANCIS: I mean, what she said is, when you're a very popular president and you're out there, but then everyone else in your party gets torched and loses their seat in historic numbers during your reign, there is something going on. If it happens on your watch, it is at least partially your fault.

WOHL: Yes, and bravo, Melissa, to Donna Brazile she was in the eye of a corrupt political hurricane. And she had the tremendous courage to report, via her book, what she experienced. And yes, Barack Obama did tremendous damage to the party, from his favoring the coastal elites over middle America for his disdain for law enforcement, for his funding the world's foremost sponsor of global terror -- Iran. His damaging the relationship with Israel, on and on and on. And he did this damage, and the Democratic Party's response to the damage that he's done is to lurch further to the left. It makes no sense to anyone. I have liberal friends, they can't figure it out.


WOHL: But the reality is.


WOHL: . Mr. Trump benefited from this, big time.

HOPKINS: So, and also, you know, he managed to take 10 percent unemployment and take it to 4 percent. The great recession.

FRANCIS: Well, let's not debate Barack Obama because that's not what we're here for. What we're talking about.

HOPKINS: In response to that comment.

FRANCIS: I hear you. But we're talking about Donna Brazile and the fire that she's lighting underneath the Democratic Party. And when you look at it, it could be very dangerous for Republicans because what she's saying is resonating. People hear it and believe it to be true. She also seems to be taking a page from Donald Trump's book where she's shaking up the establishment and she's saying all the things that seem to be true but Democrats are like, how could you go out and say these things? But they seem to be true. She's doing a lot of good for the party.

HOPKINS: Yeah. I don't think this is a bad thing for the party. Listen, Democrats are a big tent party. And after losing in 2016, I think we need to take a step back and regroup and figure out how to expand the base, how to better reach the middle class. You know, I worked on the Hillary campaign. And I think one of the things that we didn't do very well was have a tight message. So I think now Democrats moving forward need to have a better message to the middle class about, you know, just meat and potato topics. How we're going to provide jobs, how we're going to build a better bridge.

FRANCIS: Well, David, my discussion here is that, you know, they talk about she's torching the Democratic Party. She goes on shows and they say, boy, you're making a lot of enemies in your own tent. I almost think this is like a burning down of the woods to have new growth. That she's doing a favor and she knows it. You know, they want to be rid of the Clintons at this point, and the hold they've had on the party since it hasn't worked. I mean, maybe she's doing the DNC's work for them intentionally and they know it, what do you think?

WOHL: Well, I don't think they get it because their response, as I said, is to move further to the left. But she has taken a page right out of Donald Trump's playbook, and that she has grabbed political correctness by the scruff of the neck and body slammed it. They don't like this honesty. They don't like her talking about the corruption. The email corruption. The corruption of obstruction of justice regarding what the FBI was seeking. The server inside her home that ended up having 33,000 emails deleted. It doesn't seem like they're responding. Donna Brazile is doing them a tremendous favor. She's rolling out the red carpet, but they're just not taking it.

FRANCIS: I'm sure the Clintons don't like it. I'm not sure about the new part of the party, Michael. I mean, this is the kind of talk that would inspire those Bernie Sanders followers. She's also selling a book, and she's making it very enticing by throwing out all this dirty laundry that people suspected and now she's confirming it. I mean, do you think it's all about the book?

HOPKINS: You know, I think it's a little bit of both. I think, you know, obviously, Donna has a book to sell and so, you know, she's going to throw red meat out there. But there are conversations we have to have about how we're going to hone that message and how the Democratic Party is going to resonate with all of America. And so, you know, when you have Republicans lecturing Democrats on corruption, while the president is selling hats from Trump Inc. on governmental websites, it becomes ironic.

WOHL: In the end, Melissa.

FRANCIS: We've got to go.

WOHL: you know what, she's confirming everything Mr. Trump argued over the last two years, and of Trump's surrogates argued it's all confirmed now.

FRANCIS: We've got to go. It's very interesting to watch. Thanks to both of you. Still to come, caught on camera, a North Korean soldier's dramatic escape from the rogue nation. But first, four new women accusing Charlie Rose of sexual misconduct. Is the media coverage fair? Howard Kurtz is here on that.


UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: One claims he groped her rear. The other says he grabbed her inappropriately and whispered a sexual innuendo in her ear.




FRANCIS: Breaking tonight, two more women coming forward tonight accusing Senator Al Franken of sexual misconduct. The Huffington Post reports that one woman was groped during a photo op in 2007 at a political event. The second woman says Franken cup her buttocks at 2008 DNC fundraiser. There is a sentence you want to read a lot. This now brings the total number of accusers against Franken to four. Franken told the Huffington Post, quote, it's difficult to respond to anonymous accusers and I don't remember those campaign events.


UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gordon says when she went to Rose's apartment to deliver mail in 2002, he showed her a graphic sex scene from a movie.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: He asked me how does this make you feel? I did not run but I just like, oh, OK, well, I guess some people are really in to this and I'm not.


FRANCIS: That was Sarah Gordon. She is one of four new women to come forward in the last 24 hours accusing veteran journalist Charlie Rose of sexual misconduct. Three CBS employees now also say Rose made unwanted sexual advances towards them. And during his time at CBS News, that's more recent than the initial report that sparked his firing on Monday from CBS and PBS, when at least eight women told the Washington Post that Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, and groping them. And unlike Harvey Weinstein, he's not getting a break from the late night hosts. Watch.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: CBS just fired Charlie Rose after allegations of sexual harassment. They told him to clear out his desk, put on his pants and leave. That's what they did. Just do it and get out.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Good lord, usually when someone that old is walking around naked, a couple of male nurse's leads him right back to his room.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: It's a harrowing and terrible abuse of power. And what happened to these women and their careers is horrifying. Although, I will say I'm not surprised. I mean, have you ever listened to the lyrics of the Charlie Rose theme song? Here comes Charlie. Oh no, he's getting naked, open room. He's a creep.


FRANCIS: Wow. Here now is Howard Kurtz host of Media Buzz Sundays on FNC. Did you think that would be the song in your introduction at any point in your career.



KURTZ: Took me by surprise with that one.

FRANCIS: Yeah. This is an astonishing situation, and the allegations and the people coming forward just keep building and building. And I guess one of the big questions as it always is with all of these things is what people around him knew what was going on. I mean, that's one of the things that I think about as a woman in the industry, and you're seeing these young women come forward. What do you think about that, Howard?

KURTZ: It was hard to believe this remains an open secret, at least in Charlie Rose's circle, and yet never got out until now. And I think the crucial thing is these three unnamed women at CBS News coming forward. As you say, these are much more recent allegations. But more than that, it shows these are not -- this is not just things that happen at his sort of private island of a PBS talk know. It happened at the very network that was employing him as a morning co-host, as a 60 Minutes correspondent. And I would have to say I think the media coverage has been fair, I think it's been very aggressive. Including, CBS which reported those allegations from the network employees on the CBS evening news.

FRANCIS: One thing that strikes me as different about the reporting in this particular case is that he had a female executive producer who these women claim they went to and talked about the problems they were having, and she herself admits that women came to her and that she didn't really do anything about it. That she said oh, you know, this is just Charlie. This is the way he is. Do you think -- I mean, do you think that she was afraid for her job? In our industry, does someone at that level who is an executive producer for someone who is so powerful, do you feel like she had other options or what's your take on that?

KURTZ: Well, you know, Charlie Rose owned that PBS show. She worked for him. Obviously, her job might have been in jeopardy. On the other hand, she says she failed. And it's sort of disheartening that a woman in that position wasn't able to do anything about some of these egregious complaints. You know, when I read the Washington Post story, extraordinarily well documented, quoting 8 women, three of them on the record. I said, wow, Charlie Rose is toast. And in fact, it took only 24 hours, Melissa, from the publication of that story to CBS, PBS, and Bloomberg all cutting ties with Charlie Rose.

FRANCIS: Right. I mean, to their credit, once the accusations came out everybody moved very swiftly. But we all know in the ramp up to these stories coming out, there's a long time when these news outlets are calling and saying here are the charges. Here's what is going on. So they had a chance to examine. I mean, will we wonder if they did enough?

KURTZ: It's hard to know what CBS did or didn't do while this story was being prepared by the Washington Post. Sometimes you don't know the details until they are actually published at the same time. Look, Charlie Rose is a one man media franchise. I mean, he had that PBS show for 25 years. He was partially responsible for the success of the CBS morning show which came up in the ratings. And yet, I watched as Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King his co-host, obviously pained talking about their friend saying this was terrible and it was horrible and it was unacceptable conduct. I think in this new environment started by Harvey Weinstein and so forth, those allegations that this is the way it's been covered.

FRANCIS: Howard Kurtz, thank you so much. Up next, new information in the search for three U.S. sailors missing at sea after yet another naval accident. A live report on the new developments. Then, Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer is here on why this accident and others should be a major concern for the military.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: We are killing more of our own people in training than our enemies are in combat.



FRANCIS: Developing tonight, a relentless search is underway at this hour for three American sailors missing at sea after a naval plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean near Okinawa, 8 other crew members have been rescued. Lucas Tomlinson is live at the Pentagon with the story. Lucas?

LUCAS TOMLINSON, FOX NEWS: Melissa, it's now Thursday morning in Japan where the U.S. and Japanese navy hope that daylight will help in the desperate search for the three missing American sailors in the Western Pacific. Eight other sailors were recovered when their C-2 Greyhound crashed about 600 miles southeast of Okinawa, Japan, about 19 hours ago. The navy says the eight are in good condition back on board the aircraft carrier. Eleven sailors were in route from Japan to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. Defense officials tell Fox News early indications point to an engine failure as the cause of the crash. The C-2 Greyhound is a cargo plane that delivers passengers and supplies, including the mail to aircraft carriers at sea. It first entered service in the late `60s, and it's scheduled to be replaced by the B-22 Osprey in the next few years.

The navy place crash comes two days after an air force training jet crashed killing one pilot and injuring another in Texas. U.S. military plane crashes are up 38 percent this year compared to this point a year ago. In April, the navy grounded its entire fleet of training jets, some 200 in all, following a Fox News report saying pilots refused to fly them. Citing poison in the plane's oxygen system. The head of naval aviation told congress earlier this month, only half of the navy's 542 F-15 Super Hornet jets can fly right now pointing to a crisis in its force. Over the summer, two separate collisions at sea killed 17 sailors on board the destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain. And just this last weekend, there was another mishap in the 7th fleet near Japan when a U.S. destroyer hit a Japanese tug boat causing minor damage to both vessels when that Japanese tug lost power. Thankfully, nobody was hurt. Melissa?

FRANCIS: All right. Thank you for that report. Here now with more is Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer, who is a CIA trained intel operative and a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research. Thank you for joining us.


FRANCIS: The notes in there and the numbers are staggering, up 38 percent. I mean, you say these are no small matters.

SHAFFER: Well, no, these are not small. We have to consider the fact there's kind of two vectors that are at play here. First, the vector of malaise. I mean, we've had systematic malaise over the past 8 years. The military has been at war and everything has not been replenished. I think some of this is just gear wearing out. This aircraft may have lost an engine. We don't know yet. But the other thing is essentially a neurosis that I would say is a lack of leadership. The navy did an investigation of those two incidents, Melissa, that were talked about regarding the collisions where 17 sailors in total were killed. The navy did a very honest assessment saying this was a leadership issue.

So the combination of gear and material that is wearing down, not adequate for the mission, and a lack of real leadership have resulted in what we're seeing now. And, remember, most of what we're talking about here, at least for the pacific is the 7th fleet. We've had several commanding officers relieved over this. And again, it's something that we cannot neglect by the fact that we have to have a military that is not only effective but one that the enemy does recognize is going to be effective in going after, should it be necessary to employ it.

FRANCIS: No, it's terrifying and unacceptable. I mean, these are our people who are risking their lives.


FRANCIS: In order to secure our freedom. Do you think that at this point now with this number of accidents, with the investigation, that enough is being done?

SHAFFER: I think -- look, I have every confidence in the current leadership of the Pentagon, General Joe Dunford, the chairman of the joint chiefs, no man better. And the secretary of defense, mad dog Mattis, General Mattis, I think they're on top this. But, again, we're fighting 8 years of neglect. It's going to take some time to get into it to change, to fix the leadership issues, and get the equipment up to speed.

FRANCIS: Let me ask you about one of the most astonishing stories of the week. And this is that 24-year-old soldier who ran over the -- who drove and then was shot from the border, across the border, into South Korea. I mean, barreling out in a car when he ran into a ditch, jumping out, I mean he was shot at close range.


FRANCIS: You know, the North Korean soldiers that were following him crossed the border into South Korea realized it and turned around, and then later when it was dark, his body was dragged over to the South Korean side. He survived, and then they found parasites in his body that were huge and shocking.

SHAFFER: The size of rattlesnakes.

FRANCIS: Yes, it's the size of a -- how is that possible? I mean, the whole story is so shocking. What's the most appalling part to you or shocking part?

SHAFFER: Well, look, this guy had to have amazing bravery. He knew he would be shot. I mean, there was no doubt that the end that happened he knew. And the other thing, he overcame decades of propaganda. His entire life he's been told that while it's bad here, it's worse in South Korea. So, the fact that they would shoot him, I'm not surprised. But I think the bravery, the fact that the South Koreans went out there and risked their lives to retrieve this guy speaks well of our allies. And this is emblematic of the whole situation in North Korea. They are a nation of essentially prisoners. And by the way, this guy was one of the best nourished by the fact he was a soldier assigned to the joint security area. And by the way, these guys -- these soldiers are used as slave labor during harvest. And so, just imagine this guy being at the top of the food chain with all these health problems, everything goes down from there. And that's why we're talking about 2 million people having died under the horrible conditions under Un in North Korea by malnourishment and famine.

FRANCIS: This may be one of the things that people out there don't necessarily understand as well. I mean, when they say that he has parasites the size of a snake inside him. It's hard to imagine how that's possible. The doctors saying they've never seen anything like that.

SHAFFER: Precisely.

FRANCIS: It's astonishing.

SHAFFER: Right. And so we have to recognize the North Koreans are paper dragon. They're not as mighty as they want to be. But, with that said, they've got nuclear weapons and they've got a mad man in charge. He's mad, but not crazy. So this is what we have to deal with in trying to deal with trying to get them to conform to what we need them to do for the community.

FRANCIS: Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer, thank you so much for coming on tonight. Happy thanksgiving.

SHAFFER: Thank you for having me. Thank you.

FRANCIS: Still to come, giving thanks to our nation's heroes. One soldier shares amazing story of survival with Vice President Mike Pence when we come back.


FRANCIS: And finally tonight, a thank you to the tens of thousands of members of our U.S. military who are fighting for our freedom this holiday season. Today, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen visited with some of the heroes spending their Thanksgiving at Walter Reed Medical Center. Pence handed out commemorative coins to the troops, and the second lady gave each service member a bracelet. They also met a brave hero David Mathis.




PENCE: Good. So when did this happen?


PENCE: This year?


PENCE: A month and a half ago.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Man, you look great.


PENCE: Where were you?


PENCE: Thanksgiving and we're thankful for our heroes and you're one of them. God bless you.


FRANCIS: Doctors say Mathis has a long road to recovery, but the soldier is optimistic he'll exceed expectations and be home by this time next year. And we hope his wish comes true. Martha is back tomorrow with a special thanksgiving show. Have a wonderful holiday, everyone. Thanksgiving is my favorite of the year. Mark Steyn is in for Tucker next.


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