Pressure mounts to unmask Capitol Hill harassers

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," November 24, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

TRISH REGAN, FOX NEWS HOST: Breaking tonight, the pressure is on to name names. A number of lawmakers are now pushing to unmask members of Congress who have secretly settled sexual harassment lawsuits on Capitol Hill. Good evening, everyone.

I am Trish Regan in for Martha McCallum. The new push includes a ban on using taxpayer money to flip the bill for these lawsuits. A practice that one lawmaker calls "subsidizing predatory behavior on the backs of the American people." All this as we are hearing for the first time from one of the women accusing in Democratic Congressman John Conyers of harassment. Melanie Sloan worked for Conyers as a House Judiciary Committee staffer in the late 1990s. In a new interview, Sloan details disturbing instances of verbal abuse and "sexual discrimination" and she makes this troubling claim about the culture in Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELANIE SLOAN, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS: People shrug off members misconduct on Capitol Hill. The kind of abuse I suffered at Congressman Conyers' hands was awful but I won't say that it's unique.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REGAN: And just a short time ago, House Members announcing a brand new effort to make anti-harassment training mandatory on Capitol Hill. A move some say is long overdue. Meanwhile, Minnesota Senator Al Franken is apologizing again for his bad behavior now that four women are accusing him of sexual misconduct. But he is not denying the allegations. We have a whole lot to unravel tonight and we're to begin with Kristin Fisher in Washington.

KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Trish, Senator Franken is expected to speak publicly about these allegations for the very first time on Sunday. You know, you know, so far he's been walking this very fine line of apologizing without actually admitting to the things that these women are accusing him of. Well, two more women came forward this week. They claim he touched them inappropriately during campaign events in 2007 and 2008 to which Senator Franken responded in part, "I'm a warm person. I hug people. I have learned from recent stories that in some of those encounters I crossed the line for some women and I know that any number is too many. I feel terribly that I have made some women feel badly and for that, I am so sorry." He is now facing an ethics investigation on Capitol Hill. And so is Democratic Congressman John Conyers. He's denied that he sexually harassed a female aid leading to a reported five-figure payout funded by taxpayers. Well, the Congressional Office of Compliance says 17 million taxpayer dollars have been used to settle more than 200 claims over 20 years, though not all for sexual harassment.

So now, pressure is mounting on Congressional leaders to release the names of lawmakers who have secretly settled sexual harassment claims at taxpayers' expense. Even President Trump said this week that he believes Congress should disclose those settlements. Republican Congressman Ron Desantis proposed a bill last week that would require the public disclosure of all sexual harassment settlements settlement. It would also ban Congress from footing the bill in the future. So there's a lot of momentum building to unmask any other sexual harassers and that's making some folks on Capitol Hill very nervous, Trish.

REGAN: I would imagine so. Thank you, Kristin. Here now, Tammy Bruce, Washington Times columnist and regular talk show host. She is also a Fox News Contributor. And Dr. Wendy Osefo, political commentator, and professor at John Hopkins University. Good to see you both. Tammy, I will start with you. How is it that you and me and Wendy and everybody else in America tonight are paying for the lousy behavior of a few on Capitol Hill?

TAMMY BRUCE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, this is the government, this is where you've got a lot of powerful, of course, a lot of influence and a lot of money. Congress always, all they spend is money that's not their own. Why would they decide to spend their own money in this regard? But -- so, you -- we see this as the kind of, of course, whether they waste our money or in this kind of a case protect themselves using it. But I do find it rather amusing that suddenly everyone in Congress or a few at least are really outraged about the fact that this has been going on.

This has been going on since at least 1995. So they know that this is how-- it's been 20 years. What was suddenly wrong with paying -- using taxpayer money versus, you know, 10, 20 years ago when they knew it was happening? All of this though is I think is a little bit of foe outrage. Congress we know of course does not take its responsibility seriously. Let alone when it comes to their own misbehavior, it's always about pushing it off for ignoring it whether it's ethics committees. Things that will never really occur because they don't see themselves as being under the same umbrella of law and order and responsibility as the rest of us would.

REGAN: Well, this is just bizarre. I mean, you're talking about $17 million, Wendy, that has gotten paid out to settle these sexual harassment claims and they're settled and the American taxpayer knows nothing about it. It kind of feels like a free pass for these guys.

WENDY OSEFO, PROFESSOR, JOHN HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: Absolutely, it does feel like a free pass. Well, what we're looking at here is a systemic issue of power and privilege within our society. Whether we're looking at Conyers, we're looking at Franklin, we're looking at Moore or George H.W. Bush. These are men who have been accused of sexual misconduct. But this is what's really important here. The chambers has continued to look at their harassment policy. And we as taxpayers should say we need to put in checks and balances in that harassment policy that speaks to issues like this. Because what can no longer happen is taxpayers can no longer continue to bankroll sexually predatory behavior by officials which we elected. That has to stop today.

REGAN: Well, you know, look, they're talking about putting in classes. It seems to me kind of amazing that anybody needs a class on this stuff but that's where we are today. And you know what? We have corporations all over the United States of America, Tammy, that have these classes and they have this kind of training so that they hopefully don't have stuff like this happen. But we know it happens.

BRUCE: Yes.

REGAN: Will the classes make a difference on Capitol Hill?

BRUCE: You know, it only happens when there is a desire systemically to make a difference. Look, these are the people in Congress, remember, are some of the richest people in America. They have done other kinds of work. $300 million, one member is worth. These are not newbies in life. They know what the rules are, classes don't tell you the difference between right and wrong. You have a sense of integrity or -- and dignity. And you know how to treat women. That becomes the issue. Why is it and it is systemic. I agree with my sister here on the other side that this is a cultural dynamic.

And you notice when there is unlimited power and money, like in Hollywood, like in journalism, and, of course, in Congress, it's interesting, isn't it? When you have billions of dollars and extraordinary power but it's also in other industries at different kinds of levels. But as a society, this conversation has to happen, so that other women know that you are not alone and so that men who have thought because it has been normal for so long that maybe this is just normal life. I think a lot of men are getting an education that it's not normal any longer.

REGAN: Important that that happens. It's important for every woman in America. It's important for every man in America. And any father of daughters. I've got two little girls myself and I think, I want to make sure that they -- when they go into the workforce don't have to experience any of that that I keep hearing about. Let me ask you about this one. Al Franken, Wendy, he is not going to resign. He's not going anywhere. In fact, he wants to convince everyone in Minnesota that he should be elected again, despite -- can we show the photo again? I mean, this is -- this is-- this is so disgusting what he did to a woman who is sound asleep. You see it there. I don't want to describe it. You see it. Wendy, why won't he back off now? Why won't he say yes, you know, I did some really bad stuff and I'm going to resign?

BRUCE: Well, this goes to that behavior, again, this sense of entitlement. He is not going to resign. And I actually heard a report that said, well, he resigns than other people who have been accused should resign. It's going back to this like, you know, elementary school behavior whereas like no, you do it, no, you do it. And quite frankly this is a bigger issue. This is about misconduct. This is about women. But let me say something here that's really important. Even though, you know, so far he's had some two women who have given back the money that he's helped them raised within their campaign, history has shown us that when men who are in these positions of power do something, it doesn't necessarily take their career.

Bill Clinton had an approval rating between 34 and 62 percent before his impeachment proceedings. After the hearing, his approval rating went up to 74 percent. It was historical high. So, I mean, Al Franken is not just one person who's done this. We've seen this time and time again. But we have to, again, start putting in checks and balances to say that once this behavior is done, you have no option. It's not up to you whether you resign.

OSEFO: If I can add to it. On the Clinton, point is that the fact that he was lauded and embraced after that and that the media and the Democratic Party raised him up and saying this is no real big deal, it's private behavior, this is the chickens coming home to roost. It sent that message over the last generation that this -- if you -- if you put out enough messages about the feminist agenda or women's rights, you can then do whatever you want effectively ruining individual women's lives in the name of the collective. And I think most of us now are rejecting that notion.

REGAN: Well, it's such a shame. I never understood it at the time. I consider myself a feminist. And have always been proud of that.

BRUCE: I do too, Trish.

REGAN: But they have taken that term and they turned it into something else. And the idea that so-called feminists would come to Bill Clinton's defense and allow that young woman to be tarred and feathered the way she was, that's just wrong. Anyway, good to see both of you tonight. Thank you very much. Very important discussion indeed. Up next, everyone. It's quiet now but it's going to get kind of busy on Capitol Hill next week. The president planning a trip there to speak directly to Republican Senators about tax reform. A live report on that and the other big items on the agenda. Plus, the president spent a lot of time this Thanksgiving with members of our military. But one retired general says his message to them was insulting. Lieutenant Colonel Michael Waltz, he doesn't agree at all and he is here on that. Plus, Collin Kaepernick taking on a new con this Thanksgiving. And once again disrespecting everything our country stands for.

COLIN KAEPERNICK, AMERICAN FOOTBALL QUARTERBACK: We are all fighting for our justice, for our freedom. And realizing that we're in this fight together makes us all the more powerful.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REGAN: Breaking tonight, just moments ago, an unprecedented move by Arizona State University. As its Walter Cronkite School of journalism is stripping a prestigious honor from disgraced broadcaster Charlie Rose. For the first time in his 33-year tradition, the school is revoking its excellence in journalism award in the wake of sexual harassment allegations leveled against the veteran journalists last week. The university says Rose's behavior is "egregious." The school's dean issuing this statement just a short time ago. And I quote, "The damage caused by Mr. Rose's actions extends far beyond the news organizations for which he worked. The actions victimized young women enter workplaces where they do not have to fear for their safety or dignity." In a statement earlier this week, Rose apologized for his actions and said he was, "deeply embarrassed".

Developing tonight, President Trump is spending the weekend at the Winter White House in Florida. But a jam-packed legislative agenda awaits him when he returns to Washington next week. The president planning some major meetings on the Hill as the White House looks at potential showdowns over tax reform and, of course, government funding. Phil Keating is live with the president in West Palm Beach tonight and he has our story. Hi, Phil.

PHIL KEATING, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Trish. A busy Black Friday for the president, although no shopping that we know of. Now, one way to work off that huge Thanksgiving turkey meal, playing a round of golf with some of the greatest, which President Trump did. And he also made some international very important foreign policy phone calls from Mar-a-Lago at the Winter White House today. The most recent one 3:00 p.m., a phone call to the president of Egypt, where President Trump offered the United States' condolences and perhaps some strategy advice or talks regarding that deadly and massive terrorist attack today. The first call of the day around 9:00 a.m. went to Turkish president Erdogan. Turkish media says that conversation hit on three key points, recent and ongoing developments in Syria, bilateral ties between the two NATO members, and a summit in Russia's Sochi.

Looking ahead to next week on Tuesday President Trump will -- for the very first time join the weekly GOP policy lunch. On the menu, big tax cuts and getting the Senate tax cut bill passed, which GOP leaders have said could happen next week. The tax cut plan crafted by Republican leaders and Trump calls for a big cuts to corporate taxes, potentially individuals as well. Shrink the number of tax brackets from seven to three or four and repeal inheritance taxes on multimillion-dollar at stakes. Also on Tuesday as we reported the other day, President Trump will host the big four Congressional leadership at the White House. That is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

That meeting will also likely talk tax cuts. But the bigger topic for them will be avoiding a Federal government shutdown next month. At least a short-term budget extension is a must by December 8th. And White House is calling this a "working vacation." So today President Trump did incorporate some of that vacation part that was playing a round of golf about 30 minutes north of here in Jupiter with Tiger Woods, also Dustin Johnson, the current number one golfer in the world and PGA pro-Brad Faxon.
Quite the four, some quite --

(CROSSTALK)

REGAN: Not a bad crowd.

KEATING: Unfortunately Trish, number one, the White House will not let media take any video. So we don't know who got the lowest score. Number two, they would not let me drive the golf cart.

REGAN: Darn. Pretty good stuff. All right. Phil, thank you so much. Phil Keating, everyone. All right. Here with more, David Wohl, he's an attorney and conservative commentator, Michael Starr Hopkins is a Democratic strategist who served on both the Obama and Clinton campaigns. Good to see you both. Big busy week coming up. And, of course, the lead is tax reform. David, is it going to happen? Are they going to get this thing done before the end of the year?

DAVID WOHL, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Trish, as you know, we have the king of all dealmakers in the White House right now. And President Trump has tremendous leverage right now. He has well over a million jobs created since he took office. The stock market is up more than 25 percent. Jobs are coming back to America. Consumer confidence at an all-time -- highest since 2000, 2001. So he's got tremendous leverage. He may -- look, he's going to do whatever it takes. He may end up tossing DACA into the mix. If that's what it takes because the Democrats -- Achilles' heel in their obstructionism is DACA. And if he tosses that in, he might do it because he wants to get this passed, he wants to -- the tax bill to become law because the -- what will -- the effect it will have on business is extraordinary. The job-creating effect. The momentum, he wants it to happen. So, whatever it takes, he'll do it.

REGAN: Michael, he may be a great, great dealmaker. He may be willing to do whatever it takes. But let's not forget there are some Republicans there in the way of all of this as well as Democrats, right?

MICHAEL STARR HOPKINS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, absolutely. I mean, Senator John McCain has said that he won't support any legislation that's going to repeal Obamacare without it going through full hearing. Susan Collins has said she won't support it. Listen, Democrats don't have to really participate in this discussion right now because Republicans don't have their own house in order. And for a president who has built his reputation on making a deal, he hasn't been able to repeal and replace Obamacare. He hasn't been able to get tax reform done.

REGAN: But do you blame him for that or blame Mitch McConnell and the Republicans? I mean, you know, he tried. He wanted a lot more. And when it comes to tax reform I think either more than any piece of policy this is a president that cares deeply about lowering corporate taxes and understands the significance of that, Michael.

HOPKINS: Well, I think that the president is the one who at the end of the day is going to be held accountable. He is the head of not only the Republican Party but the head of the country. And so I think he sets the tone. I think moving forward it's going to be really difficult to get this done within a year of his presidency because under the bird rule, you know, it's going to have to go to the Senate and come back to the House.

REGAN: Well, that said, he's got four years, David, you know, some other members there, they only have until 2018. If they do not get this done, do you see a change in the party? I mean, does the house go to the Dems? Given that Americans -- since Republicans there, let's not forget for a reason and that's to do something.

WOHL: Yes. Well, guys like McCain and Corker and McConnell, those guys could be in trouble. They are seen as obstructionists. So Mr. Trump has made it very clear that he will cross the aisle to get this done. And if it takes getting more Democrats on board by bringing DACA into the picture, I mean, he's going to do that. There is no question about it. He's also got other issues as we know. Welfare reform. Getting people off of generational welfare independence. That's going to be a key issue. He may take that up next month. There may be something in the mix for the Democrats on that as well. But the reality is keeping up the economic momentum.

(CROSSTALK)

REGAN: I don't know if the Democrats are going to embrace that one.
Welfare reform.

WOHL: If we can get people off welfare and actually get them working, that benefits everyone. So --

(CROSSTALK)

REGAN: And let's not forget Bill Clinton as much as we were criticizing him earlier he did have some success when it came to welfare reform. Michael (INAUDIBLE) we need to be thinking about this and I'm asking in part for investors too because he got the markets closing at all-time highs here. And the expectation is it's because tax reform is going to happen.

HOPKINS: Yes. I mean, I think voters are going to really punish Republicans if they can't manage to get tax reform done. Because the numbers I think are baked in moving into 2018. And so I think we will start to see in January or February if we don't going to get a deal done, you know, the market starts to really plummet.

REGAN: Thank you so much, guys. It's good to see you. Still to come everyone.

(CROSSTALK)

HOPKINS: Happy holidays.

REGAN: Happy holidays to you too. Hillary can't seem let it go and appears that anyway, that neither can Bernie. Wait until you hear his (INAUDIBLE) Senator's bitter thanksgiving messages to his supporters. Plus, President Trump spent this holiday congratulating our troops for winning the war on terror. But one retired general says it was insulting what he said. Lieutenant Colonel Michael Waltz doesn't agree one singling bit. You're going to hear his response right after this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're not fighting anymore to just walk around. We're fighting to win. And you people are really -- you've turned it around over the last three to four months like nobody has seen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REGAN: Breaking tonight, President Trump spoke with the Egyptian president today to offer condolences after the country's deadliest terror attack in modern history. The Egyptian military is on the hunt for the suspects behind the mosque bombing that killed at least 235 people and injured more than 100 others. The militants were waiting outside the doors and opened fire as survivors tried to run away. The gunmen then turned their weapons on first responders before fleeing. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Developing tonight, President Trump spent part of the holiday thanking the men and women serving our country. But not everybody was so thrilled with his message. Take a listen here and decide for yourself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We're really winning. We know how to win. But we have to let you win, they weren't letting you win before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been winning. You are talking to soldiers and military personnel around the world who have been in this fight for 17 years and to suddenly be told that they're winning now when they weren't winning before is somewhat insulting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REGAN: Here now, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Waltz, he is a former Green Beret Commander and a Fox News Contributor. Good to see you, sir. Were you offended at all in any way, shape, or form by what the president said?

MICHAEL WALTZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. You know, look, with full respect for the general's service, I couldn't disagree more. I think morale has soared within the military under President Trump because frankly they're now being allowed to do their job and they know the president is behind them and fighting for the resources they need to fight this global war against Islamic extremism. But Trish, let's take a moment and compare with the last eight years where I think the morale was terrible. And folks were offended. Let's look at under President Obama constant talk of withdrawal from Iraq and actual withdrawal from Iraq and talk withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Ignoring the genocide in Syria while Americans were being beheaded on international television. Trading the top five Taliban commanders in Guantanamo Bay for a deserter. You know, these things were not good for morale and what also wasn't good for morale was being micromanaged from Susan Rice's desk when they're out there trying to fight a war. So, you know, I think we couldn't see a bigger contrast now to the president of the United States and President Trump saying you're out there to win. I'm going to give you a strategy and the resources to win. And we're going to defeat Islamic extremism around the world and our near-peer adversaries like China, Russia and others that are -- that trying to encroach on American leadership worldwide.

REGAN: Colonel, it sounds like what you're saying though is that many members in the military would have felt exactly that what he was saying was in fact, just the reality of the situation. In other words, for the last eight years, they were hindered. They weren't able to win. They weren't given the tools. They weren't given the support. And now they have.

WALTZ: They're fighting with their -- they're fighting with their hand behind their backs. They were literally fighting with their hands tied and, you know, they had to go back, you know, all the way back to Washington to ask permission to be able to do their job whether it was pilots looking to drop bombs or commanders on the ground having to worry about over restrictive rules of engagement.

Look, we even had three defense secretary under President Obama complain about the mistrust of the military. Again, let's contrast that now where you have President Trump who surrounded himself with some of the military's most respected generals in Kelly and Mattis and McMaster and said you know what? I'm going to provide the vision. You guys do your job like I know you're trained to do. That itself is a massive morale boost for the military going forward.

REAGAN: It's what a good manager does. It's what a good CEO does. You empower your people. You put good people around you.

WALTZ: That's right.

REAGAN: You trust them to do the right thing. But we're also looking at a fundamental shift a fundamental difference in the approach to our military, aren't we, colonel? In other words, this is a president who is saying, look, if we're going to go in somewhere, we better be prepared. We better have what we need, and we better do what we're gonna do.

WALTZ: That's right. Well, let's just take what we're doing now in Afghanistan, right? So, you know, we heard year after year after year, I was a combat commander on the ground of Special Forces. And when you hear on the ground withdrawal, withdrawal, withdrawal, your enemies wait you out and no one works with you. And instead, in the president's Afghanistan strategy now, it's we're going to stay until the job is done. And oh, by the way, we're taking our gloves off, you know, the military is taking the gloves off. So enemies, you better be on notice. Same thing with Iran. Same thing with North Korea, you know. And then, more broadly, he's accused of kind of being somewhat of a warmonger or exacerbating the situation. Diplomacy must have the credible threat of military force to work. Otherwise, people won't come to the table to talk. So I think, again, he's surrounded himself with a great team, he's setting the strategy. Now he's fighting with congress to get the resources our military needs.


REAGAN: Colonel, good to see you, thank you so much.

WALTZ: All right, thanks so much.

REAGAN: The door is blown wide open on a secretive Democratic donor conference, featuring the likes of Mr. George Soros, and a reporter from a very well-known publication that's supposed to be not biased. Why some believe this is proof of the mainstream media coordinating with the far left. Plus, the man who started the NFL national anthem protest, he's back in the headlines. Wait until you hear how Colin Kaepernick spent his thanksgiving. Lawrence Jones and Cathy Areu are here and they are next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REAGAN: The NFL and the players are starting to get the message, Americans do not want them disrespecting our flag. Only one player took a knee during the national anthem on Thanksgiving, but that was enough for President Trump who tweeted this. Can you believe that the disrespect for our country, our flag, our anthem continues without penalty to the players? The commissioner has lost control of the hemorrhaging league. Players are the boss. Meanwhile, the man who started the protest movement, he's making headlines of his own tonight, Colin Kaepernick attended an annual un- Thanksgiving protest by native American activist on Alcatraz, where he said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Our fight is the same fight. We're all fighting for our justice, for our freedom. And realizing that we're in this fight together makes us all the more powerful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REAGAN: Lawrence Jones is the host of "The Blaze" and a conservative commentator, Cathy Areu is a liberal analyst and Catalina Magazine founding publisher. It is good to see you both. Lawrence, I'm starting with you. For goodness sake, we're not supposed to celebrate Thanksgiving anymore?
First it starts with kneeling during the anthem, and now you can't have Thanksgiving? You get to celebrate an un-thanksgiving instead?

LAWRENCE JONES, COSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: It is nearly, it is songs, it is getting rid of statues. Look, I think Colin Kaepernick is all over the place. I think this is mainly because he doesn't have a job. And so now he's becoming this social justice warrior. But I think this is a part of larger problem with liberals today is that they want to erase everything. Have they forgot the true message about thanksgiving?

REAGAN: To give thanks. To give thanks. Thank you very much, right? I mean, really and truly. And that is if you look back at what the pilgrims were originally doing, Cathy. They took this opportunity to have this feast to indeed give thanks because we're all very lucky to be here and have the opportunities we do.

CATHY AREU, LIBERAL ANALYST: Right.

REAGAN: Apparently, Mr. Kaepernick doesn't get that.

AREU: No. But many Native Americans aren't getting it either. They're trying to say that this is a holiday that is an un-thanksgiving. Remember their story and their plight. And thanksgiving is not necessarily wonderful for indigenous people in this country. So Colin Kaepernick lent his voice to this amazing cause in Alcatraz, and everyone is paying attention now. So he's become like the counter culture leader.

REAGAN: Are we supposed to be sorry, Cathy, for being in this country? Are we supposed to be sorry for that? Is that what this is?

AREU: No, this is a country that allows you to have freedom of speech. So Colin Kaepernick has allowed people now to open up in ways that they wouldn't have before. He's starting a movement. He's the counter culture leader now.

REAGAN: One good thing about it all at least he's doing it on his own time, and he's not doing it on the team's time.

Lawrence: Exactly. I was getting ready to say that he has plenty of time to do it. I think this is part of a larger problem, Trish. A lot of people are complaining, but not doing the actual work to make the country better. There's a loft things that I disagree with in the country. There's a lot of things I'm upset with Washington, and a lot of policy changes that I want to see happen. But I rolled my sleeves up and I'm thankful for God that I live in a place where I can have freedom of speech and go out there and do the work as well. It's not just about talking about the issues and the problem. I'm sure we can all identify with a lot of things that we don't like. But put in the work to do it.

REAGAN: So I will say that. I mean, I don't agree with what Colin Kaepernick is doing. I think Thanksgiving is a very important holiday. And it is an opportunity for us to all remember how good we have it, and how lucky we are, and how thankful we should be. That said, going back to what the president said, about how the players have become the boss. Cathy, what's happened when something just a form of entertainment, and our national anthem is played and something that you should want to respect and honor.

AREU: Right.

REAGAN: . it's turned into a political punching bag with, you know, an increasing number -- fortunately, decreasing number now, I should say, because I think the players are getting the message to a certain extent. But players feel like they need to protest, what?

AREU: But -- well, this is in the memory of Martin Luther King. They're using their voices. They're speaking up. They're being Americans. They're using the freedom of speech. So I think it's quite beautiful that we are in a country.

JONES: You don't have that on the football field.

AREU: Why not? We do have it on the football field thanks to Colin Kaepernick. It is happening on a football field. So it's wonderful.

JONES: It's a private organization. It's a private organization.

AREU: But they're bringing awareness.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: It doesn't matter. You don't have freedom of speech there. You don't go on someone else -- on somebody else's dime and get to determine that you have freedom of speech. I'm sorry.

AREU: It's a great stage and they're using it well.

REAGAN: Well, it is indeed a great stage. And perhaps they are using it well as far as they're concerned, but I think the reality for those team owners and for the commissioner is that they've got a real problem on their hands and, you know, people aren't going to tune in. We're seeing that with the ratings.

JONES: And Trish, that doesn't mean that these owners don't support justice issues. They just don't think it's the appropriate time. Gerald Jones turned 140-million-dollar investment to $5 billion. He does not want to risk that by kneeling during the national anthem.

REAGAN: Hey, it's good to see you guys. Thank you very much, Lawrence and Cathy.

JONES: Thanks, Trish.

REAGAN: Also tonight, a Washington Post reporter is facing sharp criticism for speaking at a secretive gathering of progressives like George Soros. Janel Ross' employers denying previous knowledge of her appearance telling the Washington Free Beacon, quote, the Washington Post policy discourages participation in any activity that could be perceive as partisan, saying she has been reminded of that. Cabot Phillips is the media director for campus reform. I'm sorry, the Washington Post, they pride themselves on being such a great journalist organization without biased reporters and, yet, you've got a reporter, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised, partaking in a very liberal event. What's going on, Cabot?

CABOT PHILIPPS, CAMPUS REFORM MEDIA DIRECTOR: I think a lot of Americans feel as if it's time for the Washington Post to go ahead and register with the FEC as a Super PAC for the left, because they're doing what the American people have known they've been doing for some time now, which is using their position of power, using their privilege to not report the facts but to use their time and efforts to try to push this liberal leftist agenda throughout society, and people are getting fed up with it. And now, Ross, the reporter in question is coming out saying this isn't a big deal for me to be speaking at this event. Let's remember, the speaker list was kept a secret because she knew it was wrong for her to be at this event. Using her status as a reporter to try to rally leftist activists at a George Soros funded event. And let's remember the Washington Post slogan is democracy dies in darkness. I think the only thing dying in darkness right now is their readership rate because they continue to allow their reporters to do actions like this. This is a big problem for the Washington Post and the mainstream media.

REAGAN: They did not know that she was doing this. She did not tell her employer that she was doing this. You know, how many -- I mean, when you look at the community of journalists, and I certainly know it well, why is it that they are so typically in the mainstream media beholden to the left? Why is it that their values are so much on the left as opposed to as they try to promise you down the middle?

PHILLIPS: Well, we give the Washington Post credit for not knowing about this. Let's be honest. They created a culture where this type of thing is encouraged, where reporters know there will not be any ramifications for them going to events like this. If a reporter had gone to an event like this funded by the Koch brothers instead of George Soros, and they were rallying conservative activists on how to spread the conservative message, and how to get votes moving forward, which is what this event was for the left. They wouldn't have a job for a week. They would be fired. It's hypocrisy to the highest degree where these reporters know there is a double standard because many times the media is, A, funded by the left, and B, it's the media elites, it's the elites of society that are controlling the media and they're pushing an agenda now where they're not concerned with the facts.

REAGAN: Cabot, thank you very much. Good to see tonight. All right. Coming up, everyone, Black Friday loses some instore shine as consumers go out and they shop online. But the bargains are still red hot this year. We have a live report for you next. Plus, Bernie Sanders is kind of bitter this Thanksgiving season. Why isn't he and Hillary just cannot let the 2016 and the election go. Brad Blakeman and Chuck Rocha, they're here. They're going to take it on next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REAGAN: Developing tonight, there is just a few hours left to scoop up some of those Black Friday bargains, but unlike years past which traditionally meant long lines, packed crowds and even chaos in finding. This year it seems like more shoppers are skipping the stores, opting for the ease of an online experience instead. I don't blame them. Matt Finn is live in Chicago tonight with that story. Hi, Matt.

MATT FINN, FOX NEWS: Trish, we are in the middle of a holiday shopping revolution. You know, for years now, the trend has been people ditching the chaotic lines in department stores and staying home and shopping from the comfort of their home. But now more than ever, people are doing a large portion of their holiday shopping on cell phones. In fact, last year shoppers generate a whopping $1 billion in sales on their cell phones according to adobe analytics. And now, more than ever, it seems the traditional Black Friday shopping and brick and mortar stores may be a thing of the past. We talked to some shoppers today. Here is what they had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: There's traffic. There's crowds. There's waiting in lines. I can get it done in about 30 seconds online. It's just easier. I can do it at 11:00 at night sitting in my bed.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I'll probably be shopping online at least 90 percent this year. Ten percent in store.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FINN: And Trish, the holiday shopping season is off to a very strong start. We got some interrupters so I'll just throw it back to you. But people spent $640 million online by 10:00 this morning according to adobe analytics. Back to you.

REAGAN: Amazon likes that. All right. Thanks so much, Matt. Good to see you. You know, politics is usually something people try to avoid at Thanksgiving dinner, but apparently Bernie Sanders didn't get that memo. And, he took the opportunity to prove he is still not over the 2016 election. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERNIE SANDERS, U.S. SENATOR: I don't have to tell anybody that from a political point of view, this has been a horrendous year. It appears that almost every day there is something coming out of the White House that is embarrassing, that is destructive, that is horrific. Our job now is we enjoy this holiday with our family and our friends. It's not only to take on Trump's divisive actions, his desire to divide us up based on the color of our skin, or our sexual orientation, or where we were born, or our religion or whatever. Not only do we have to take him on, we have to do something else. And that is move this country forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REAGAN: All right. Here now, Brad Blakeman, former deputy assistant to President George W. Bush, and Chuck Rocha, a Democratic strategist and president of Solidarity Strategies. Good to see you both. Brad, first over to you. Yeah, he's clearly not over it, but why should he be over it. You know, it's politically expedient for him to use this and try and present this president as divisive because that helps Bernie and that helps the Dems.

BRAD BLAKEMAN, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, if you're Bernie it's been a horrific year because Trump won and he won decisively if you take a look at the electoral map. For Democrats, look, they can't get over the fact that Trump is the president. They're resistance. That's what they call themselves. And the fact of the matter is, capitalism is alive and well under Donald Trump. Donald Trump leads in the power of the individual. Bernie Sanders believes in the power of the public sector. It's two competing interests that are against at all odds the power of generating jobs and income, and Bernie can't stand it because we're not sending money for him to spend. So sorry, Bernie. And as we like to call him in the political realm here in Washington, especially Republicans, scrooge.

REAGAN: Well, you know what, I'll tell you one thing, Chuck Rocha, there's no way the market would be doing as well. It has been doing again new highs today. You wouldn't see that. Trust me. Under a -- well, daring to say, a President Sanders. I mean, socialism -- it's been proven again and again, we don't need to get into that conversation, but it doesn't work. Capitalism does. And our economy is improving dramatically. Isn't that something to be thankful for, sir?

CHUCK ROCHA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, you know, we created 11 million new jobs under Barack Obama and doubled the stock market, but weren't talking about that, that American wasn't great enough back then. Trish, you probably know I was a senior advisor for Bernie Sanders. Yesterday was thanksgiving. And if you got a new puppy, and you named it Donald J., or MAGA, he wasn't talking to you. He's talking to 68 percent of Americans who give this president an unfavorable rating. He's talking to 75 percent of Americans who are independent, saying here is some -- alternative person for you to think about because guess what? There is going to be another election in a year and a half. This is Bernie's job to be out there talking about holding our government accountable. This is where we're at Thanksgiving.

REAGAN: As I've said, Chuck, in other words, politically expedient for him to do this. This is what he needs to do. He needs to rally the base, I get that. With that in mind, how serious should people be thinking about Bernie Sanders, and how seriously should they be thinking about him and sort of his shaping of the Democratic Party? Because I think the Democratic Party both with Hillary Clinton and with Bernie Sanders really took a big left turn away from its root.

ROCHA: Well, I would say this, getting to work for Bernie for 13 months and being on the road, I saw him energize a whole new group, a whole new generation of Americans who showed up, who wanted to get involved. In Texas, where we had 160,000 people sign up on our website, we found out that 38 percent of those people had never been involved in politics. That's why I do this job. I want to see more people letting their voice be heard and holding their government accountable.

REAGAN: Well, Brad, maybe that's good for the Republicans, they're on your side, because if you're running against socialists that should be pretty easy ultimately to beat.

BLAKEMAN: Yeah. At the end of the day, Bernie Sanders is the Democrat. He ran as a Democrat. He used it. He was a wolf in sheep's clothing, and then he loses and what does he do? He turns back to being independent. If anything he's an irritant to Democrats. For Republicans it's the best thing ever that happened to us because right now the DNC is leaderless and their fundraising is in the tank. So more power to Bernie, get out there, the more you downgrade.

REAGAN: Brad is all for it.

(CROSSTALK)

REAGAN: Indeed. Well, he's gonna stay. He's not going anywhere as that Thanksgiving message proved, right, Chuck?

ROCHA: Thank you. We need it. Us consultants are barely making it over here.

(LAUGHTER)

REAGAN: Good to see you guys. Happy Thanksgiving. We'll be right back.

BLAKEMAN: Happy Thanksgiving.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REAGAN: Thank you so much for being parts of "The Story" tonight. You know you can you catch me every weekday at 2:00 PM eastern on "The Intelligence Report" on the Fox Business Network. And I'm going to be back tomorrow. It's a busy couple days for me. I'll see you at 11:30 AM on "Cashin' In" for the cost of freedom block. Have a terrific weekend, everyone. Brian Kilmeade is in for Tucker and he is next.


END

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