This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," November 27, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: It's a good evening from Washington. We begin with some breaking news. Check this out, according to "Politico," rabid open borders zealot, Congressman Luis Gutierrez will not run for re-election from Illinois.
Now the reason for his decision is not immediately clear. It's odd. Surprises me if it's true. We'll update you if we learn more later on. The last time I saw him, he was arrested at the White House back in August representing illegal immigrants. His community, the illegal immigrants that he says he represents. That's great news.
But first in another story, another shocker, racializing the royals. That is the focus of tonight's Angle. Harry and Meghan, Princess Diana's youngest son and American atress, Meghan Markle, blew Brexit off the front pages by announcing their engagement after 15 months of dating. They traveled to Africa and found true love.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE HARRY: Usually refreshing to be able to get to know someone who isn't necessarily in your circle, doesn't know much about me, I know much about her. So, the start afresh from the beginning, getting to know each other and taking the huge leap of two dates and getting together in the middle of nowhere and sharing a tent. It was fantastic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: How sweet. When Buckingham Palace formally announced the Harry-Markle engagement, Prince Charles and the royals couldn't be more pleased.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE CHARLES: They're very happy indeed. That's all I can say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: I feel like I need a translator. He was happy. He's expecting a proud father. It was the reaction on social media. I read this on the way in to work. I was screaming, laughing and scribing. It was a shocker.
Moments after the engagement was announced, the social media was awash in racial overtones. This is all because Meghan Markle's father is white and her mother is black. So, tweets and Facebook posts were harping on her racial identity.
Now warning, you have to forgive me here, a lack of basic grammar and punctuation as in many tweets. Here we go. "Some folks in England are about to lose their minds. Meghan Markle is biracial (black mom). She's older than she is and she's an American actress. #blackroyalty."
Another one, "Good time to remind everyone that Meghan Markle is black. Since I know you'll try and whitewash the -- out of her." Another, "Meghan Markle's mother (Prince Harry's now future mother in law) is a black African American woman, social worker from L.A. with sista locs. Man look, if that's blank, don't make you smile big. Congrats to the royal fam bam. You couldn't be more lucky to get both."
Another one, "Meghan Markle is white passing. She looks white. She's not someone that likes Jasmine Sanders who has light eyes and very light skin, but you can tell is black biracial. I straight up thought that was a tanned white woman."
Another, "How much black is Meghan Markle? I just want to know so I know how much blackness to expect from the wedding. Is she black enough for the cupid shuffle waddle? #royalengagement."
Another to torch you with, "Ya'll, Meghan Markle is a mixed race. We have a black princess #MeghanMarkle." Actually, Meghan Markle will not be a princess. She'll be a duchess. I know we're fascinated by royalty, but must we transfer our racial hang ups on this young happy couple?
Can't we just celebrate and be happy for their engagement and leave it at that? As for the racially obsessed and point of fact, Markle will not be the first black royal in Europe.
That would be this woman, the beautiful princess, Angela Lickenstein, who married Prince Maxilian (ph) back in 2000. Meghan Markle's race is probably the least interesting part of this story. Why am I saying that?
Because it turns out the queen is permitting Harry to wed not only a divorcee, but a woman that was raised Catholic. So, let's forget about the race and how she identifies. We've had a biracial president of the United States about now to have a biracial part of the English royal family.
But not every moment has to be about race. Let's get back to my Cyber Monday shopping. A royal wedding medallion and a plate that I can order. It's apparently 75 percent off. I don't care about the color of the plate. That's the Angle.
Joining us now to analyze, Horace Cooper. He is the co-chair of Project 21, and from New York, Clay Cane, he is a Sirius XM radio host and Democratic strategist. All right. Horace, let me start with you.
Like the morning, going to work, going to do my radio show. I start seeing -- there were some tweets that were so profane as is Twitter want to be, that were so over the top like get ready, bees. This is our bee who will be in Buckingham Palace. Getting things wrong about that. Why does everything have to be about race here? Why is it relevant to this?
HORACE COOPER, CO-CHAIRMAN, PROJECT 21: It's not relevant. It's actually pretty sad and pitiful. Here's the thing. If this were 1955 and I saw some of these kind of comments, I'd go, which segregationist racist said this today?
They noticed in the 1940s and the 1950s every single aspect about anybody's race as their primary attribute. It wasn't, is this person going to pay their bill, is this person going to buy this house and be a good neighbor?
It was what color was their grandmother? That kind of weird fixation. And we got away from it, but all of a sudden, progressives have brought it back. Too many times I don't hear anybody on the left saying stop that. Don't do that.
They condemn a lot of white Americans and many Republicans who weren't even around actively holding office in the south for their silence while this misbehavior was taking place. We're here now. People are around. Why aren't we seeing condemnations? Some of the things you said, I just think that was outrageous. Not just bad, outrageous.
INGRAHAM: Cay, let's go to you on this because the future duchess actually has said before when she was dating Harry, she said she found it disheartening and discriminatory that some in the media were focusing on her racial identity and not just on their relationship because it centered on her racial background.
Why the obsession with her race when it's just a happy couple? Aren't we supposed to be about the content of our character, not the color of our skin? Aren't we there yet?
CLAY CANE, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: What you're talking about is a comment she made to the British press because they were calling her like an L.A. gangster, straight out of Compton. That she's from South Central. The British press made her race an issue. Prince Harry said stop doing that.
Listen, I feel like Horace is acting like we're post racial. That race doesn't exist. For a lot of black mixed-race people in Britain, this is something to be celebrated.
I can find tweets that are calling Meghan horrible names. It's a good thing. It's to be celebrated. If you know the history of the royal family, this is a bit of history like when you have somebody breaking ground, you can celebrate that.
Pulling out random silly tweets off Twitter from somebody, whoever they are, is ridiculous. Horace always acts like racism is over. It doesn't exist. It does exist. It's actually celebrating progress.
INGRAHAM: What does -- this has nothing to do with racism. That's the point here, this has something to do with racism at all. It's a happy couple. So, you say your breaking ground. She wasn't elected. She fell in love with someone. Why is that breaking ground?
CANE: If you know the history of the royal family, you don't see many black or mixed-race people in the royal family. Again, you're --
INGRAHAM: But that's not why Harry is marrying her.
CANE: It's still symbolic, Laura.
INGRAHAM: No, it's not.
CANE: It's important. If you don't think it's important, you're not a black or mixed-race person from Britain --
INGRAHAM: OK. I have to ask both of you a question. I want to be fair and balanced here. Horace, there is a sentiment here that certain black people aren't authentically black. I've seen it directed at my old boss, Justice Thomas, Tom Sole, other African-Americans that don't think a certain way about race or act a certain way. Is there something about being authentically black? Is she not authentically black? I saw that all over social media today.
COOPER: I think that is the nasty idea that race is who we are and not simply an attribute of who we are. The truth of the matter is, if there were some tweets that happen to say we like the fact that this wonderful woman has this background and we have read that, we might have said --
CANE: There were several tweets like that, Horace.
COOPER: But my point is, there's been no condemnation of the kinds of comments that have no basis in reality and show a fixation on race. We're never going to get to the point where people are human beings as long as we revel in this fixation.
INGRAHAM: Clay, I'll give you the last word.
CANE: OK. Acting like race doesn't exist is not going to make race go away. It's not going to make racism go away. We have to be able to see color and accept it. See color and talk about it. Acknowledging that she's a black mixed-race woman is not a bad thing.
I don't why that threatens you or makes you uncomfortable or scares you. It's a good thing to be celebrated. It's progress in the royal family. For a lot of mixed race people in Britain, it's a good thing. It's a good thing and maybe you can't understand that or relate to that.
COOPER: I can't understand a racial fixation and that's what we are seeing --
CANE: Celebration is not fixation, Horace. No, it's not. Saying she's a black mixed-race woman in the royal family is not fixation and you can't compare it to 1950 --
COOPER: It drove segregation by saying the primary thing about --
INGRAHAM: I don't think that's what she wants.
CANE: I don't think she wants that either.
INGRAHAM: She's a young woman who is getting married. Why are we -- why is so much -- a lot of this came out of America --
CANE: And the British presses, too, Laura.
INGRAHAM: A lot of these people are in the Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson mindset.
CANE: Al Sharpton didn't say anything.
INGRAHAM: Why are we placing their hang ups on this happy couple? They are happy because they are in love. I imagine Prince Harry is in love with her, doesn't have to do with her skin color. He fell in love with her.
CANE: It's a celebration, it's not fixation.
INGRAHAM: All right. Both of you great to have you on. We'll have another conversation about this, I'm sure.
Coming up, Democrats are mostly staying quiet about John Conyers' sexual harassment scandal. What is that about? That debate ahead.
INGRAHAM: Welcome back to "The Ingraham Angle." As the John Conyers harassment scandal engulfed the Democratic Party, Nancy Pelosi is trying to put out the PR fire with just a little touch of gasoline.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., MINORITY LEADER: We are strengthened by due process. Just because someone is accused, is it one accusation, is it two, I think there has to be. John Conyers is an icon in our country. He's done a great deal to protect women. He will do the right thing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the right thing what? Resign?
PELOSI: He will do the right thing in terms of what he knows about his situation. That he's entitled to due process, but women are entitled to due process as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: I can't even diagram those sentences. I try every day, but it never works. Pelosi's comments are creating the obvious blow-backs not only from Republicans, but even also from some progressives.
Democrats are fearing that the leader's comments reveal a party more concerned maybe with politics than protecting women. Let's face it. For all their war on women talk, the Democrats' message is always talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: As the president declared in a state of the union address when women succeed, America succeeds. That's not just a phrase. It's a statement, a fact. House Democrats agree.
When women succeed, America succeeds. That's our agenda. We know one thing for sure. When women succeed, America succeeds. When women succeed as my colleague said, the world succeeds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: That's nice. Now Pelosi has put out a statement late today trying to walk some of those other comments on "Meet The Press" back. The question is, do the Democrats stand behind women or only when it's politically convenient?
Joining us now to discuss is Scott Bolden, former chairman of the Washington, D.C. Democratic Party, and Congressman Steve Russell, a Republican from Oklahoma. Even Gregory Meeks thought has said that he thinks John Conyers should step down as ranking member.
I got to go to you, Scott, on this, Nancy Pelosi, I couldn't follow what she was saying in that apparent "Meet The Press." Republicans have trouble on some of these Sunday shows as well, but she said and we cut this out of the sound bite, she said she's not really familiar with the cases.
She gets really familiar really fast with allegations against Republicans, this is John Conyers who has been in Congress for 52 years. Yet Nancy says he needs due process, all due process. Nice to hear that men get due process.
A. SCOTT BOLDEN, FORMER CHAIRMAN, D.C. DEMOCRATIC PARTY: The Republicans and the Democrats on the Hill believe that as well. Not just due process, but the Ethics Committee should go there. I think what Nancy Pelosi in her in artful way was trying to say is that he can be both of those things.
He can be an icon, he can fight for women, and he can have these sexual allegations. None of it is good, none of it is appropriate. I also think that behind the scenes before the deal was cut, she was really -- she knew that he was going to step down, which he did the next day.
If she is walking back, it's only because she was inartful about it. But the fact of the matter is she supports Congresswoman Speier's bill. She supports any resources to the Ethics investigators and supports nondisclosures going away and supports the public funds should not go to settle some of these lawsuits. That's the important things.
INGRAHAM: Congressman, Nancy Pelosi never talked about this shush fund as we called it her, the settlement for all these bad actors. Don't know who these people are still and so now it's getting traction. We talked about it first on cable and now it's everywhere.
But John Conyers has been in there 52 years. This is like a lifetime appointment in Congress. That's a separate issue, obviously, but Nancy Pelosi is willing to give iconic status to him.
So, if you're an icon, you can get away with this stuff and resign away your ranking position on a committee? It didn't matter much with Justice Thomas.
REPRESENTATIVE STEVE RUSSELL, R-OKLA.: I'm glad to see that we have Miss Pelosi, that cares about due process now rather than just statements. That's very important to establish. Look, where the American public is outraged, there's allegedly $16 million of government taxpayer money that is going to hide --
INGRAHAM: Did you know about this, Congressman?
RUSSELL: Absolutely not.
INGRAHAM: It's only $17 million.
RUSSELL: Even if that money were set aside, you can't use your MRA office funds to pay off somebody for some allegations. This has to be --
INGRAHAM: My question is, why aren't -- if he's admitted these settlements already, Al Franken admitted his conduct --
RUSSELL: Well, the photos kind of --
INGRAHAM: Yes. But why -- if there's such a concern about women, we're always concern about women in general, women's reproductive rights, we're for women. Violence against women. Here we have sexual harassment against women. Why aren't both parties getting together and saying, guys, you admitted to this conduct. That's it.
I mean, that's it. That's it. You admit it. That's it. Both parties should -- this is the part of bipartisanship that should be obvious at this point, shouldn't it? I'll let you go on this.
BOLDEN: I certainly think --
INGRAHAM: That's the context of this iconic status.
BOLDEN: But Laura, the fact that he's iconic status, he can be iconic and be a sexual abuser --
INGRAHAM: Clarence Thomas is the only second black Supreme Court justice. Another time, another place, he never got --
RUSSELL: He just not got into the African-American --
INGRAHAM: He's got no context, he got --
BOLDEN: Another time, another place. Let's be transparent about it, right? All Democrats, all Republicans, sent it to the Ethics Committee or not. Let's start with Donald Trump, why aren't they investigating --
INGRAHAM: He denied his misconduct.
BOLDEN: He admitted it on the air.
BOLDEN: Exactly -- so why has he not been investigated --
INGRAHAM: It's not going to happen. Let's talk in the world of reality --
BOLDEN: Democrats be investigated and Republicans like Joe Barton --
RUSSELL: We can take a typical play out of the communist playbook that says admit nothing, deny everything, make counter accusations --
BOLDEN: Democrats or Republicans?
RUSSELL: Here we have a situation where you've got Senator Franken who has photographs --
BOLDEN: Before he was elected --
RUSSELL: OK. Now we're going to use a double standard with other people that are seeking election that are allegations. Wrong is wrong. We're in violent agreement there. But here's the thing, you cannot use taxpayer funds to hush people up.
INGRAHAM: We've established that. I think there's a raging double standard.
RUSSELL: There is.
INGRAHAM: A lot of congresswomen and congressmen who claimed to be all pro women. I hear the old war against women. When there's individual women that have been in situations where they feel powerless and they feel like they can't act on -- they're stuck, who- they have no voice except through this ridiculous panel that was set up.
Congressman, you didn't know about it. I'm not blaming you. We didn't know about it. It's insane. Makes people wonder watching who are watching Fox, what else doesn't Congress know about? It's crazy. It's insane.
RUSSELL: It needs to be investigated and we need to get to the bottom of it.
BOLDEN: Democrats and Republicans have to have credibility and that starts with both of them being investigated, including Donald Trump.
INGRAHAM: You want Trump investigated?
BOLDEN: I do. He has 19 sexual accusations against him and admitted it on the air. No what he's going to do but what he's done to women already?
INGRAHAM: We're out of time. The press likes to say the president's ratings are low, but they're not as low as the mainstream media. We'll tell you about that when we come back.
INGRAHAM: The press has no trouble attacking the first lady or the president. They're good at that. When he fights back, suddenly the First Amendment is in peril. Are Trump's attacks on the press really an attack on our Democratic norms? Daily Beast editor-in-chief and CNN political analyst, John Avlon, seems to think so.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We shouldn't normalize the spectacle because it is a serious constant attack at our democratic norms. Going after the press, going after individual entities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Joining me now, Fox News senior political analyst, Brit Hume. His first time on "The Ingraham Angle." Hi, Brit? How are you?
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Hi, Laura. You got me here past my bedtime.
INGRAHAM: It's great to see you. Thank you for joining us. So, is our First Amendment in peril because Donald Trump sent out the tweet about CNN International and his comments about fake news?
HUME: Well, certainly not because of that tweet. And I would say broadly speaking that Trump's criticisms of the media, which have been pretty consistent, pretty frequent, still haven't added up to anything that would threaten our First Amendment freedoms.
We in the media in this country enjoy a level of freedom and protection that is rarely available almost nowhere else on earth. And we're pretty invulnerable to government officials and politicians. There's not much they can do to us. The Supreme Court is there to safeguard our rights and has consistently done so to the point where, for example, if someone was to sue for libel, they have to prove that the offending party has committed either a reckless or a willful act of falsehood. That's pretty hard to prove.
In my own career, Laura, I've been spied on by the CIA, I've been sued for libel, I've been criticized by name. And here I am after all these years. And that's because we're protected in this country. There's just not much Donald Trump can do to the media.
INGRAHAM: I was sued for libel when I was 19 at Dartmouth, a professor sued me. I learned a lot about the First Amendment, but ultimately unsuccessful. But you're right. I was thinking about Obama, President Obama, and he had a seemingly very chummy relationship with the mainstream press oftentimes. But then we had the James Rosen controversy, Sharyl Attkisson, the journalist said her computer was actually hacked into. His comments about Fox News. Other supporters' comments about talk radio, routinely belittling Fox and conservative internet websites and so forth. So I could make the argument that maybe in a sophisticated way, or not so sophisticated in some ways, the Obama administration was much more hostile to an unfriendly, critical press.
HUME: I would agree with that, Laura. I think what was done in the case of James Rosen was grossly improper. It should not have happened. It was an abuse. And yet in the end, James Rosen is still working at FOX News and doing better than ever. And Sharyl Attkisson is certainly out there still. We are just in too well protected a position to be knocked off by or thrown off of our work by government. It's not just that we have these protections, but we in the media also have power. So we're pretty safe.
INGRAHAM: They don't like to be -- sorry, Brit. A lot of people in the media, especially CNN, MSNBC, they don't want to be criticized. The idea that anybody is going to call their wisdom into question or their prognostication abilities into question, they don't like that. They never liked it. They never wanted to be called out, not by other media outlets, media research center, whether it's a website or it's a talk radio, they don't like that. They want to be the invulnerable, invincible folks. I'm talking about some of our friends on other networks. We don't always get it right. But you're not immune to criticism either. You can dish it but you can't take it.
I want to talk a little bit about President Trump's comment today at that code talker's ceremony, and play this sound bite. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You were here long before any of us were here, although we have the representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas. But you know what? I like you, because you are special.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Brit, I'm not sure why the president had to bring up Elizabeth Warren. We're not in a campaign, not in 2020 yet. Maybe it was on his mind because of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issue. I don't know. We're going to handle that later in the show. But what about that moment? They're going crazy, the left is going crazy about that.
HUME: I agree with you, Laura. I don't think it was a very gracious thing for him to do, and he does a lot of ungracious things. Grace is not his strength. He's ungenerous to people. He's constantly carping about people who are much smaller than he is. I'm not sure what that accomplishes. But I don't think it's a threat and I don't think it's racist.
Your earlier segment brought this to light as well. That term is flunk around with abandon today and it is a tragedy because the great achievement of the civil rights movement, greater even than the important laws that were passed, were the consensus that it brought about that racism is wrong and not to be tolerated. And an overwhelming prohibitive majority of Americans feel that way. And for that term to be flung around with abandon is an abuse. And there's been much too much of it.
And I think that for Elizabeth Warren to call it a racist slur is unfair. It's wrong. She's a big girl. What he said is essentially harmless, if crude. My view of that is just move on.
INGRAHAM: All right, Brit. We appreciate it. It's kind of funny, but it's probably not necessary. I have seen President Trump be incredibly gracious towards people. He is very gracious and he can turn on the charm when he wants to. But there he had to hit the dig into -- at least he didn't call her Focahontas, Brit, look at it that way. It could have been even more perhaps ungracious. I appreciate it. Thanks so much.
And straight ahead, absolute chaos at a powerful federal agency, one you might not know a lot about, that claims to be independent and nonpartisan, and yet it seems to be the exact opposite. It also claims to work for the American consumers, but did it ever really do that? A full report when we return.
INGRAHAM: Don't you think it's hard to find ways to attack first lady Melania Trump? She's poised, she's dignified, incredibly gracious. And attacking her shoes, well, they tried that. That didn't work. So the media's latest tact is to insinuate that the first lady is like Eva Gabor in "Green Acres." This latest hit piece on FLOTUS, Vanity Fair writer Sarah Ellison claims that a source told her that Mrs. Trump never wanted to be first lady because of the intense exposure, as though she were some wilting wallflower or something. Then Ellison kind of jumps the shark by leaping to this conclusion. "There may never have been a first lady less prepared for or suited for the role. This isn't something she wanted and it isn't something he ever thought he would win, one long-time friend of the Trumps told me. She didn't want this come hell or high water. I don't think she that it was going to happen."
Ellison also claims, get this, "One told me that it is old news that she and her husband live essentially separate lives." So not only does "Vanity Fair" suggest the first lady is miserable, ill-suited for the job, but also that her marriage is on the rocks. In a statement today, the first lady's office slammed the story as salacious and filled with false assertions. And as far as not liking the role, Melania looked pretty perfect today greeting children at the White House. Just listen to what one child said to her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You look like an angel.
MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You really look like an angel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Well, Vanity Fair probably won't cover that. She really looks like an angel. She looks like she's really hating that job. I don't think so.
It's a rank partisan agency masquerading as a protector of American consumers some are saying. This barely known agency operates in near independence of your elected officials. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, I know it's a mouthful, tonight has two bosses. And it all got started on Friday when the CFPB director, Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee, announced his resignation and said his chief of staff Leandra English would temporarily replace him. But President Trump had other plans and named his budget director Mick Mulvaney to fill the post until a permanent replacement could be named. But Ms. English is not going quietly, filing a lawsuit that claims the job is still hers. So there are currently two people claiming to be the rightful leader of this big consumer financial protection bureau. It's unbelievable.
So what exactly is the CFPB? It was created by the infamous 2010 Dodd- Frank bill and the agency targets financial companies engaged in what they believe is unfair and predatory, deceptive, abusive practices. Here's what Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren said about the CFPB way back in 2013.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, D-MASS.: What we know for sure is now this agency is here to stay. No more clouds over what it legally is entitled to do. No more attacks that say maybe we're going to be able to undercut it in this way or weaken it in that way. We have a full-fledged watch dog, the one we fought for, and he's going to be there to fight for us. I love it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: I have two watch dogs. I love watch dogs. But the employees of the CFPB aren't just a bunch of fair-minded, nonpartisan group of bureaucrats. According to stats dug up by The Washington Examiner, since its founding the CFPB employees have given money to Democrats 593 times and only once to a Republican.
Joining us now for reaction from Wisconsin, Republican Congressman Sean Duffy. He sits on the Finance Committee, right? And here in Washington, Robert Weissman, president of the advocacy group Public Citizens. Congressman, let's start with you. It's a watch dog that has returned all this money, billions and billions, what $14 billion to the consumers. So, you know, why all the chaos over there and why do Republicans think it's just up to no good?
REP. SEAN DUFFY, R-WIS.: First up, we're shining a light on the CFPB, but those of us on the Financial Services Committee, we've been dealing with this for the last seven years. Mick Mulvaney used to be on that committee with us. And Laura, you have an agency that can draw $600 million from the Federal Reserve. They don't get money from Congress. You have one very powerful director, and as you mentioned in your intro, you have an agency of thousands of little Elizabeth Warrens that are just as radical and just as progressive as she is, and they're wreaking havoc on the free enterprise system all across America.
And this is an agency that has to keep under control, and all Americans believe in consumer protection, but when you have an agency that's promoting a progressive agenda and not protecting consumers, that's where we all have issue.
INGRAHAM: Robert, that's a big difference, 593 donations to Democrats, one to a Republican. I don't care what party you're from. How can you with a straight face say that is a nonpartisan independent agency that's just a watchdog?
ROBERT WEISSMAN, PRESIDENT OF PUBLIC CITIZEN: I think you have to look at what the agency has been doing. And what it's been doing is what it is supposed to do. It's protecting consumers. It's issued more than $12 billion in fines in charges that have been paid back to consumers. Also 30 million Americans have directly benefitted from exposure of rip-offs and cheating by big banks and other financial institutions. It's deterred billions more in rip-offs. It's doing exactly what it's supposed to do.
The banks have tons of their own regulatory agencies. You have Goldman Sachs running the Treasury Department, Goldman Sachs running the SEC. They've got Goldman Sachs and One West is the comptroller of the currency. This is the one agency that's supposed to work for consumers and it's been doing the job.
INGRAHAM: So there's a guy that used to be head of enforcement, one of the enforcement attorneys, Ron Rubin, who talked to us today and he said that he was actually in meetings where he would hear some of the top people at the CFPB talking about appointees they might bring in and new hires. One guy was like he was a good liberal. Oh, I was just kidding. There's a gatekeeper there about the type of people you're going to hire and the type of people you're going to bring in. And they might not have it written down but it sure seems like a political litmus test that is unspoken for you to get through the door at the CFPB now. Maybe not in the early days, but certainly now.
WEISSMAN: I think you have an agency that's doing its job.
INGRAHAM: But only with Democrats. Mostly Democrats. They're doing their job but mostly Democrats.
WEISSMAN: I have no idea.
INGRAHAM: Democrats the only gate keepers?
WEISSMAN: I have no idea about this.
INGRAHAM: You're protecting them, you should know.
WEISSMAN: I do know Mick Mulvaney says he wants to destroy the agency. He thinks the agency is a sick joke, and he's going to turn it over effectively to Wall Street.
INGRAHAM: Congressman, is it a sick joke, this agency? Can you defund it in Congress? Trump can't shut it down. He can't drain the swamp totally here?
DUFFY: Laura, the next director can actually request not $600 million but $10 million. So they can actually force Democrats to the table to reform this agency.
But we have a bill that would have absolutely restructured the way the CFPB works. And the largest banks were opposed to that bill and the small community banks and the credit unions that serve the community where I live, they are the ones who supported this reform of the CFPB.
What they have done is they've increased the cost of credit, whether you get a mortgage or an auto loan. They have caused small community banks and credit unions to go out of business or consolidate that hurts the most rural parts of America.
Here they say we want to be isolated from the Congress and the American people. Well, if you're doing the good work of the American people, Laura, you shouldn't have to be isolated. The American people will applaud you. But if you have a progressive liberal agenda, you have to then be protected from the American people because they are going to shut you down. And that's why Elizabeth Warren had to separate them from Congress and the Congress's ability to fund them because they knew it had a radical agenda.
INGRAHAM: So Robert, you think there should be any reform to this at all?
WEISSMAN: Any reforms to the agency? I think -- you know what you should do, Laura. I think you and the viewers should go look at the website of the CFPB.
INGRAHAM: We'll run to that tonight I'm sure.
WEISSMAN: It's a website that doesn't look like other governmental agencies. It's actually clear.
INGRAHAM: The Federal Reserve paid for this, right? They kind of insulate themselves because the Federal Reserve pays for it.
WEISSMAN: They're funding it, absolutely. But they're doing their job. And they explain what they're doing. They're incredibly transparent about what's going on. I think if people go there and see the plain English explanations, they're going to like it.
INGRAHAM: You don't think small community banks, what the Congressman said, he's been studying this, they don't have problems with this. They're not being hurt. The credit is not being squeezed on --
WEISSMAN: No. Actually big banks are at record profits and small banks are doing pretty well. The CFPB doesn't have primary jurisdiction over banks --
INGRAHAM: Real quick, Sean.
DUFFY: It's a small banks' biggest complaint is the CFPB. The rules and regulations passed to them, and big banks can deal with a lot of rules and regulations and small banks cannot. And that's why they have to consolidate or go out of business. And that's why you hurt rural America and that's why rural America came on to support Donald Trump.
INGRAHAM: We made some progress understanding a really complex federal agency. It's an independent agency, and a lot of people don't know it exists, frankly. So thanks to both of you.
And speaking of free speech, concern is growing that China may actually be silencing Chinese students at American universities, pouring billions of dollars into education in this country. So is this a Chinese Trojan Horse infiltrating American higher education? It's a stunning story. And an uplifting NFL story, at least it happened at a game. That too when we return.
INGRAHAM: All right, now this is a story you haven't heard much about. I'm going to ask a question. You have to think about it. Is China hindering free speech on American soil? How can that be? Wayne Dan, who is a former leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and founder of an independent think tank that promotes Democratic reforms in China says the Chinese Communist Party is extending its surveillance of critics abroad, reaching into western academic communities and silencing visiting Chinese students here. Through a campaign of fear and intimidation, Beijing is hindering free speech in the United States and in other western countries on college campuses.
We have enough problems with free speech on college campuses. Now we have it from China. Joining us now for analysis from Florida, Steven Mosher, a China expert and author of "Bully of Asia," and here with me in Washington, Sherkhan Ali Khan who is a graduate student at Catholic University and a spokesperson for persecuted Chinese civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng.
Let's start with you, Steve. You've been covering China for years. I know none of this is surprising to you. I think a lot of Americans, however, are shocked to know that red China -- and yes, I still call them that -- red China has such a long arm into the U.S. academic community. Tell us how they're intimidating speech on campus.
STEVEN MOSHER, AUTHOR, "BULLY OF ASIA": Well, Laura, it has a long arm into the U.S. academic community and the arm is getting longer all the time. I'm the poster child for the persecution by China of American academics and American students who criticize the Chinese regime for human rights. You recall we talked before about my reporting on forced abortions in China which lead the Chinese government to demand of Stanford, demand, not ask, that I be expelled from the university and Stanford complied. That was a long time ago. China is larger and more powerful today than it was then.
INGRAHAM: More money.
MOSHER: It is much more active in suppressing speech.
INGRAHAM: Yes, and more money. They have a lot more money. And Sherkhan, specifically, what is happening on the college campuses?
SHERKHAN ALI KHAN, PHD CANDIDATE FOR INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AT CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY: So college students, most of them come from the white collar class in China. And most of those people are employed by the Chinese state, state-owned enterprises. And those students feel pressure when they're here in the states to self-censor. They know that their social media is monitored. And that has a very strong chilling effect.
INGRAHAM: So I was looking at a chart, I think the Wall Street Journal did it, of the number of Chinese students in 2000 that come to the United States in 2000, versus today. I believe the number today was over 500,000 in the United States. That sounds right to you?
KHAN: Yes. I've seen --
INGRAHAM: The chart goes like this. Thank you. So there we go. That's where we are essentially today. A lot of Chinese students here, more surveillance through social media, more pressure on the upper class, especially Chinese, to abide by the communist dictates. Does this happen in pressure on their families at home? Does this happen in subsidies being removed, educational subsidies? How does it spill over into the other parts of campus?
KHAN: It's a very sophisticated strategy where they monitor social media and they know that they have -- they up the pressure where the students know that they might get a call from their parents saying someone from the government came to visit us, or their parents might be employed by a bank which is also owned by the government. Or if they really step out of line, the government would actually imprison their family --
INGRAHAM: How do we allow this? Steven, I've got to go back to you. This is shocking to most people because we are a free country. We hear about Russia collusion, Russia's attempt to supposed collusion with Trump, which is ridiculous, and the attempt to influence our election. I'm sure they probably did. But what about this? This is China's attempt through setting up all these Confucian institutes, Chinese studies at university, some of them are cool, I imagine. But boy, they have a lot of power and money operating right now in the United States for a purpose. They have a purpose. What is behind that purpose?
MOSHER: Well, behind that purpose is the idea of controlling all discussion, all debate about China. And they have set up hundreds and hundreds of Confucian institutes around the country. And they go to a college or university, offer them millions of dollars in return for room on campus, so the institutes are on campus. They're named of course after Confucius and not, say, Chairman Mao Tse-tung who is one of the great mass murderers of human history, having murdered 65 million people.
But there are certain things that are not allowed to be talked about at the Confucian institute. You can't talk about the three t's, they're called. You can't talk about Taiwan, you can't talk about Tibet, you can't talk about Tiananmen.
INGRAHAM: They shut it down. They do the same thing in Hollywood. Certain movies won't be made. Google, Facebook, all shut out. We're going to do a lot more on this. Thank you both for joining us.
And finally tonight, a feel-good story amidst a storm of bad one in one particular sports league. The old joke used to go the NFL stands for the no fun league. And that's been especially true this year. Players on their knees, you see the empty stadiums? That continues 12 weeks into this. Falling revenues. And Roger Goodell, the commission, who wanted $49 million a year salary and healthcare for life for his family.
But there was one really redeeming image on Sunday. Check this out, 98- year-old Pearl Harbor survivor Mickey Ganitch was ready to take the field, age be damned. A well-known local figure, a diehard Raiders fan, Ganitch was honored in the pregame ceremony during the Raiders salute to service. They're doing a lot of salute to service now because of the blowback they're getting. Ganich was 22, stationed at Pearl Harbor, getting ready to play some football with his pals from the Battleship Pennsylvania when the Japanese attacked and changed the course of history.
And of course this honor represents the latest in the long line of these last-ditch efforts from the league to save face in the wake of all of this Colin Kaepernick controversy. That's the kind of kneeling that we love to see. I loved it. It was an amazing image. God bless him. He's the best of what this country represents, and the league is suffering as they should for what they allowed to happen for all this time.
That's all the time we have left tonight. Shannon Bream is up next. Ms. Shannon, take it away.
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