Sen. Daines on what will get him to a 'yes' on tax reform

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," November 28, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, "THE STORY" HOST: As the president invited cameras in for this visual presentation of the empty chairs of the Democrat leaders who refused to show up to deal with funding the government.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They've been all talk, and there'd been no action. And now, it's even worse; now it's not even talk.

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I just think it's very regrettable that our democratic colleagues in leadership chose to not participate because we have to negotiate these bills to get this work done.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: I've been in this position under a couple of previous presidents, I can't recall ever turning down an opportunity to go down to the White House.


MACCALLUM: More on all that as the tax battle progress also comes in tonight. But in the middle of this hugely important and busy legislative day today, North Korea got everyone's attention. They launched their third intercontinental ballistic missile. It was airborne for some 50 minutes.
The mood in that room that you just saw from the secretary of defense who spoke next was resolute but sobering.


JAMES MATTIS, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile. It went higher, frankly than any previous shots they've taken. The research and development effort on their part to continue to building ballistic missiles that can threaten everywhere in the world.


MACCALLUM: General Mattis at the White House. Trace Gallagher now, in our West Coast Newsroom who explains this story, the trajectory, and what happened today? Hi, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANCHOR: Hi, Martha. The intercontinental ballistic missile was fired from just outside of Pyongyang and landed in the Sea of Japan, 600 miles away. The missile also landed inside Japan's exclusive economic zone -- meaning, it violated United Nations' resolutions, put ships in danger and infuriated the Japanese prime minister. But aside from that, this story is not about distance, it's about trajectory. South Korea intelligence says the ICBM flew 2800 miles up in space, that is 10-times higher than the international space station; it flew for 50 minutes.

And experts say, if it was fired on a normal flat-line trajectory, it could have traveled nearly 8000 miles hitting anywhere on the mainland U.S. The question now is whether North Korea also has the technology to attach a nuclear warhead to the missile and allow to survive re-entry into the Earth atmosphere. South Korea says the North does not yet have a heat shield able to protect the warhead. Earlier this month during his trip to Asia, President Trump warned North Korea "not to try us." And today he said this, watch.


TRUMP: A missile was launched a little while ago from North Korea. I will only tell you that we will take care of it.


GALLAGHER: Now, for the first time since the Cold War, Hawaii is resuming monthly testing of its nuclear warning sirens. Beginning this Friday, the sirens will sound for 60 seconds for more than 400 locations across the islands. The decision to restart the sirens was made before today's ICBM launch, but North Korea has always been the motivating factor. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the elephant in the room. So, when people say that we should prepare for this, it's not true. We should prepare for this unlikely -- I'll emphasize that -- unlikely for many, many, many reasons, but we should be prepared.


GALLAGHER: Finally, I want to show you a dramatic new video of what happened when a North Korea soldier defected to South Korea earlier this month. It shows the soldier speeding across the border in the jeep, getting out, being shot five times, and then being dragged to safety by South Korea soldiers. South Koreans are now using a loudspeaker with messages about the defector to taunt North Koreans. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Fascinating story. He was gravely wounded and have survived. Trace, thank you very much. So, here now: Marc Thiessen, an American Enterprise Institute Scholar and Fox News contributor. He recently wrote that President Trump should declare North Korea a ballistic no-fly zone -- meaning that any attempt by the rogue regime will be met by a military strike. So, will that happen?

Also, joining us, Harry Kazianis, the Director of Defense Studies for the Center for National Interest, and Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, a CIA Trained Intel Operative and Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research. So, gentlemen, thank you. Great to have all of you with us tonight. Let me go straight across the line here and start with you, Marc. You believe that the president should respond to this militarily?

MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE SCHOLAR: Sure. Well, I mean, here we -- as Trace just reported, the North Koreans now has a missile that could reach Washington, D.C., potentially. So, this is getting real right now. If they are able to put a miniaturized nuclear warhead on that, then they have the capability of holding Americans-- every American citizen their own nuclear hostage.

So, we have to decide, as a country: are we OK with Kim Jong-un being able to hold all of our children hostages to nuclear blackmail? And if we're not OK with that, then we have figure out something to do about it. My proposal is simply that the president of the United States should stop the North's nuclear and ballistic missile testing by declaring that, henceforth, the United States is going to enforce a ballistic missile no- fly zone over North Korea and a nuclear no-test zone.

And that anytime the North Koreans attempted to launch a ballistic missile, we're going to take it out. We might take it out with our missile defenses, we might take it out on the ground. If they try to take a nuclear test, we're going to take out. And he should give them assurances that it'll be a limited strike just like the strike in Syria was when these Syrians violated the Obama red line and used chemical weapons. He just took out the base, but he didn't overthrow them. And give then that assurance that if they don't retaliate, that will be it. But we can stop their testing, and I doubt that they would respond.

MACCALLUM: Harry, you think that's a big mistake?

HARRY KAZIANIS, DIRECTOR OF DEFENSE STUDIES FOR THE CENTER FOR NATIONAL INTEREST: Martha, I think that's a huge mistake, and let me tell you why. I think it's an innovative approach. I give Marc a lot of credit, and read a lot of the stuff, and I, you know, agree with a lot of the many things but not this. The reason being is -- let me pose a scenario: let's say the North Korea decide, for whatever reason, to test a nuclear weapon. And, you know, they test the weapon, it goes off and then we fire a Tomahawk missile into that testing range.

You know what can happen? That testing range could implode and we could end up having radioactive fallout going through Seoul or Tokyo. We're talking about 25 million people in Seoul, another 35 million in Tokyo. So, you know what I'd advocate? Let's keep the Trump approach going on North Korea. Let's continue containment, let's ratchet the sanctions up, and let's push North Korea to economic collapse but let's not start opening up what could be the ultimate beehive. You know, I just don't think that's the right way to go in this scenario.

MACCALLUM: Well, you know, it's pretty clear, and General Mattis touched on this in terms of the research and development that we're witnessing from North Korea, Tony, that they want to be able to have a thermo-nuclear warhead that could reach the United States. And once they have that, really, nobody's going to be able to bother them in any way. So, that's clearly their goal, right?

LT. COL. TONY SHAFFER, CIA TRAINED INTEL OPERATIVE AND SENIOR FELLOW AT THE LONDON CENTER FOR POLICY RESEARCH: Right. Well, good. Yes, I agree. I don't agree with both of you completely, but let me tell you, kind of, why I don't. First, the ballistic missile technology that they need is already there. I don't buy what Trace said about them nothing having re-entry -- look, it's a ceramic for God's sake. Ceramic isn't that difficult, so I think we have to assume that they can mount something on a rocket.

With that said, I disagree that hitting one of these in orbit is going to cause all sorts of radioactive fallout; it's going to be minimal especially when you consider re-entry. So -- but, we're not there yet technically. So, Marc -- what Marc's saying may have merit, but we can't do it. We've got to make sure that if we decide to go down that path, we have to do something called "brilliant pebbles", which I've talked to a number of members of Congress about -- both Democrat and Republican.

And by the way, Hawaii is not simply preparing doing response drills, they're actually putting more things in place. I don't want to get into great detail, but there are things being done to protect Hawaii and our coast. But we've got to be very clear on this. If we decide to take the policy like Marc is saying, we have to be able to back it up. There has to be a clear and concise penalty that we can enforce. So, I don't believe it would be as catastrophic, but then again, I don't think we can do it at this point. So, we are left with working with the Trump policy.

MACCALLUM: All right. So, it's holding. So, the president just got back from Asia not that long ago. And sort of, the take away was that this envoy was being sent from North Korea from China. They said they had already planned to do that. But anyway, that was sort of one of the, you know, boxes that were checked. So, I'm guessing based on what we saw today that the envoy did not do too well in North Korea, Marc?

THIESSEN: That's exactly right. I mean, this was a finger in the eye to both Beijing and to the United States, because just almost as soon as the door hit this guy in the rear end on the way out of North Korea, they've launched a ballistic missile. So, what's clear here is that diplomacy is not going to work. So, we need some sort of -- some sort of coercion to get them to do it. I agree with Col. Shaffer that our ballistic missile technology isn't where it ought to be because, for the last three decades, the Democrat is busy gutting ballistic defense --

SHAFFER: Right. Very good.


MACCALLUM: All right. Harry, quickly, and then Tony.

THIESSEN: -- North Korea should be looking at themselves.


KAZIANIS: You know, Martha, I just --

THIESSEN: I'm just saying that you don't have to hit it in the air, you can take out a sight on the ground.

KAZIANIS: Well, you know what, I want to take the long view here that no matter what policy you want, whether you want a military option, whether you want containment. Know this, the North Koreans are going to continue to test missiles. And come February, when we have the Olympics in South Korea, 60 miles from the North Korean border, we need to really have our game prepared because this is only going to get worse.

MACCALLUM: All right. Quick thought from Tony.

SHAFFER: Look, look, nothing happened while the president was in the Pacific. I think that tells that they're taking his presence and our position very seriously. This didn't happen while he was there. The North Korean's did this when the Chinese left to poke them in the eye, that's the key. We need to leverage China in such a way to make them accountable because we're here -- not only because of the bad policies of the past two White Houses of not developing counter technology but because the North Koreans have been allowed to do this by the Chinese. I would argue, Martha, we got to go after the Chinese and threaten their most favorite nation trade status as something that they must be afraid that will enforce and, you know, they can do it.

MACCALLUM: Good ideas to be on the table. Thank you very much, gentlemen. Good to see all of you tonight.

SHAFFER: Thank you.

KAZIANIS: Thanks for having us.

THIESSEN: Thanks, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So, President Trump, as you remember, promised big, beautiful tax cuts for Christmas, right? And tonight, there is some late-breaking movement on that. Up next, is a senator who was a "no," now is he moving to "yes"? And breaking tonight, the so-called mastermind behind the Benghazi attacks was convicted today in the United States on terrorism charges but he was cleared of murder. Ty Wood's father is outraged. He joins me in a moment.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk when they decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?


MACCALLUM: President Trump's dream of a big, beautiful tax cuts, it is one step closer to reality tonight. The bill passing the Budget Committee today on a party-line vote, 12-11. So, that clears the way for a potentially vote-o-drama that could happen over the next two days. The markets liked it a lot: up 254 points for the Dow Jones Industrial today. In moments, we're going to talk to one of the senators who could make or break this deal, Montana Senator Steve Daines. Is he still a "no"? We're going to ask him in just a moment. But first, Chief National Correspondent, Ed Henry, reporting live tonight from the White House. Hi, Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Martha, good to see you. Despite all of the naysayers, President Trump is inching towards a major victory on tax cuts after putting his own personal deal-making skills to the test. The president on Capitol Hill today going behind closed doors for lunch with Senate Republicans.

Senator Ron Johnson, for example, telling his own Neil (INAUDIBLE) that it was the president's personal attention that got him to "yes". Significant, because Johnson was one of 12 Republicans who voted to move the bill out of the Senate Budget Committee along party lines. He -- this Wisconsin Republican had warned: he was leaning towards "no" unless taxes get lowered on so-called "pass-through businesses."

The president promised him he'll fix that. On the hill, the president also met with Lindsey Graham, Lamar Alexander, and Susan Collins. That appears now to be moving Collins toward "yes" on tax cuts because the president personal agreed to support controversial subsidies on Obamacare that could help stabilize help premiums if this tax bill repeals the individual mandate.

Major progress on the day that started on a sour note as the president tweeted: "Meeting with Chuck and Nancy today about keeping the government open and working. The problem is, they want illegal immigrants flooding into our country on the check and weak on crime, and want to substantially race taxes. I don't see a deal."

Well, that lead Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to boycott the White House meeting charging that the president is pushing the country toward a government shutdown. The president fired back by holding the White House meeting anyway. And the seats next to him -- normally filled by Republican leaders -- this time, left empty with signs making clear they were the seats left open by the Democrats who were not amused.


TRUMP: They should be calling immediately and say we want to see you, but probably they won't because nothing to them is important other than raising taxes. That's the only thing they like doing is raising taxes.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-NY, SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER: Today's meeting is nothing but a photo-op. These issues are far too serious for these kinds of games. Mr. President, it's time to stop tweeting and start leading.


HENRY: A short time ago, Pelosi jumped in with a tweet: "@realdonaldtrump now knows that his verbal abuse will no longer be tolerated. His empty chair photo-op showed he's more interested in stunts than in addressing the needs of the American people. Paul Ryan and McConnell, negated, were relegated to props. Sad!" That reference to one of the president's favorite words on Twitter, of course: sad. A punch from Pelosi that shows through the president is closer to tax cuts, he is far away from keeping the government open. Martha.

MACCALLUM: I liked it better when tweets were shorter; they fit better on the screen. Thank you, Ed.

HENRY: Good to see you.

MACCALLUM: So, now, the second Republican to came out against the Senate tax bill, the Montana Senator, Steve Daines. Good evening, senator, good to have you with us.

SEN. STEVE DAINES, R-MONTANA: Glad to be here.

MACCALLUM: Talk to me a little bit about what would get you to a "yes." You just heard from Ron Johnson, who basically said, well, the president sort of promised to me that he's going to fix this in terms of pass- throughs and getting the rate pass-through small businesses in this country that they deserve. Would you be on board if that's the case?

DAINES: Well, I think we can't forget the historical perspective that needs to be brought to this discussion. 31 years ago, was the last time when President Reagan led the charge for historic tax reform and tax cuts. This is a once in a generation opportunity. This is a chance for us to get the economy growing. We already got consumer confidence at a 17-year high last month. And we're seeing the stock markets continue to see records are setting records in anticipation, in a great part of what we're going to do here in Capitol Hill as it relates to tax cuts. It's been a productive day.

The president did a great job today coming to the Hill. It's just nice to have a president who comes here regularly, often. The vice president comes often as well direct engagement with the executive branch to talk about what is going to take here to get the United States Senate on board and to pass these tax cut. We moved a long way today. In active discussions with the finance committee, with our leadership, with the White House. And I can tell you, I think there's a lot of optimism right now. We're going to be able to put together a package here that's going to get enough votes to pass.

MACCALLUM: You don't sound to me like someone who wants to vote "no". You sound like you want to vote "yes".

DAINES: We've made a lot of progress today. My concern was we need to make sure we fight for the mainstream businesses. The corporation --

MACCALLUM: Did you get the assurance that you need today from the president? That he's going to do that? I mean, he's a business guy, and, you know, clearly, he understands that the majority of the employers across this whole country are in the category that you're talking about.

DAINES: It is. Well, that's the point. 55 percent of the private sector jobs are these main street businesses. Four to five manufacturing companies in American today are these main street businesses; two-thirds of the job growth has come from these main street businesses, also called pass-throughs. So, the president understands that. He's supporting we're trying to take this. Now, we've gotten the details this afternoon, and tonight I think we're getting close -- offering closest deal tomorrow.

MACCALLUM: Would you say you're leaning "yes"?

DAINES: Based on what I heard tonight, the ball is moving in the right direction. I was a "no" here yesterday and this morning, but I had good discussions. We don't have this deal close yet, but it's getting awfully close. And again, fighting on behalf of these main street businesses, that's the voice that hasn't been heard loud enough here on Capitol Hill, I was supposed to bring it in here.

MACCALLUM: Well, you've been speaking out for them, for sure.

DAINES: Well, I think we're getting -- we're making progress.

MACCALLUM: Senator, thank you very much. Great to have you on tonight.

DAINES: Thank you. Thanks for having me on.

MACCALLUM: So, here with reaction to all of this: Kayleigh McEnany is the RNC Spokeswoman, and Robert Zimmerman is the DNC Committee Member and Democratic Strategist as you know well. Good to see you both tonight.


MACCALLUM: Robert, how about the empty chairs? What's the big deal? Why can't Pelosi and Schumer show up and come to the meeting and sit up the table and talk?

ZIMMERMAN: Well, first of all, they emptied the chairs because the president used this morning's tweet to basically lie about Pelosi and Schumer's record, and tell them there was no --

MACCALLUM: So, why not show up and call him on it?

ZIMMERMAN: And say that there was no deal to be had. They were not going to go there and be props. And you look at that scene today at the White House, it looked like the set on the "Apprentice."

MACCALLUM: Isn't that being childish to you all around?

ZIMMERMAN: Only Donald Trump was behaving like the "Apprentice".

MACCALLUM: It did look like the "Apprentice", kind of, except there were a lot of missing chairs. Kayleigh, what do you think?

ZIMMERMAN: And lack of leadership.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, SPOKESWOMAN FOR THE RNC: Yes. Well, Robert wants to say the president lied about Nancy and Chuck. No, he exposed their factual record of failure, the open borders, the crime we've seen go up across the American cities, the fact that they raised taxes on the American people with Obamacare. They were upset that he exposed them, and they told the American people all they needed to know today. They will not show up for the American people. Instead, they'll duck out to cater to their far-left friends. The empty chair has told you everything you needed to know. No show Nancy and duck and Chuck are not going to show up because --

ZIMMERMAN: But what you're not making clear, Kayleigh, and what we all know is that Donald Trump and Republican Congress run the government. They run every branch of government.

MACCALLUM: So, then the Democrat should just go home them, Robert?

ZIMMERMAN: No, actually not. What Donald Trump did today was, in fact, increased the Democratic Party's hands, and Chuck and Nancy's leverage because you have -- because in less than 10 days, the government is the government is going to face a shutdown. You need 60 votes in the Senate to keep the government open, and you'll need Democratic votes in the House because the Freedom Caucus, the Tea Party members will vote for a government shutdown.

MCENANY: Robert --

ZIMMERMAN: And what Donald Trump did today -- what Donald Trump did today was put both McConnell and Ryan in a very bad spot. Because right now you need to bring the parties together, not try to insult the opposition.

MACCALLUM: Kayleigh?

MCENANY: Robert, if you care so much about not shutting down the government, which by the way, Nancy Pelosi said would take away veteran benefits --

ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely right.

MCENANY: -- it would deprive children of school lunches or nutritional diet. So, if you care so much about that? Today was the day to show up. You talk about bipartisanship. The DNC talks about it, Nancy Pelosi. Today was the day to have bipartisanship, but instead what we saw was weak, (INAUDIBLE), obstructionism and no leadership.

ZIMMERMAN: But Kayleigh, bipartisanly begins with leadership. And when the president's going to lie about --

MCCALLUM: Democratic leaders.

ZIMMERMAN: -- doesn't bring them together -- doesn't bring the country together.

MACCALLUM: You know what, I think people at home look at this and they go we've seen this charade in times, right? You know, they go right down to the wire, everybody pretends like they're going to stand off, and, you know, God forbid they'd cut any spending. They're going to sign the next funding bill and it's going to happen.

ZIMMERMAN: But the problem, Martha, is it's not a charade. We faced a government shutdown in the past because of this kind of incompetence that President Trump is demonstrating.

MACCALLUM: People needs to show up and do their job. Thank you, guys.

MCENANY: Thank you, Martha.

ZIMMERMAN: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, coming up tonight. First, it was Congressman John Conyers, now a second House Democrat has been accused of a different kind of misbehavior at work and paying off his accuser with your money. In fact, he says, it's not really a big deal, it happens all the time. Dana Loesch and Emily Tisch Sussman on the latest from the swamp. And the war on Christmas. Here we go again. This poster advertising the perfect gift. Apparently, some folks find it offensive. So, should it be taken down?


TRUMP: They don't use the word Christmas because it's not politically correct. Well, guess what, we're saying Merry Christmas again.


MACCALLUM: So, we are waiting for some breaking news tonight from Capitol Hill. We are told that the Congressional Black Caucus has been meeting this evening, not clear whether that meeting is ongoing or whether it is over at this point. But a matter of discussion there is the future of embattled Congressman John Conyers. So, all of this, as we're learning that just a short time ago, that meeting has been underway and they're discussing, you know, whether or not he will be going to resign, excuse me, and whether, you know, obviously, that would be a stunning blow to his legacy and the enormous time he has spent on Capitol Hill.

So, all of this as a backdrop as we have learned perhaps more than ever that we wanted to know about the way that things actually work in Congress when it is as its worst. It appears to be a place where some manage to work forever and to have their messes cleaned up by taxpayers. A point illustrated by the Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva. He is from Arizona. He's been embroiled in a settlement controversy of his own. He says that Conyers must go, but he says that settlements with employees that are paid by taxpayer dollars, that is simply something that happens all the time. Listen.


REP. RAUL GRIJALVA, D-ARIZONA: As agonizing as it might be for all of us, the ranking member needs to step down at the minimum. Settlements occur in Congress all the time. I can't think of any member that -- few members that have not gone through. But when the borders and approaches the issue of sexual harassment, that's a serious issue that inevitably could lead to more punitive issues. We've all have gone through that. It's very painful with employees and people that you work with.
Settlements, many times are made for the benefits of both.


MACCALLUM: Interesting, right? Kristin Fisher live in Washington with more of these staggering payouts that just keep coming and the fact that it's coming out of your pocket. Hi, Kristin.

KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL REPORTER: Hey, Martha. Well, let's start with the latest payout that we're learning about. Nearly $50,000 to settle a hostile work environment lawsuit. And you know, just to be clear here, this has nothing to do with sexual harassment, but it is yet one more example of how taxpayer dollars are perhaps being used to hide bad behavior right here on Capitol Hill.

Now the Washington Times broke this latest story. They're saying that back in 2015, a staffer for Congressman Raul Grijalva threatened a lawsuit claiming that the Arizona Democrat was frequently drunk on the job creating a hostile work environment.

Grijalva is acknowledging the payment but said that he did nothing wrong and is now demanding an apology from the paper. He claims that quote, the severance fund came out of my committee operating budget. Every step of the process was handled ethically and appropriately.

But the fact remains that there was a $48,000 settlement paid for by taxpayer dollars. And this is of course the second House Democrat in what-- less than a week to be outed in this growing scandal over Congress' secret system for settling work place misconduct complaints.

The other, of course Congressman John Conyers and we now know that he paid about $27,000 to settle a sexual harassment complaint. And a second -- second accuser came forward just today.

And there are mounting calls for him to resign including from members of his own Congressional Black Caucus. There is also growing pressure for Congress to amass the members responsible for more than $17 million in payouts over the last 20 years by the Congressional Office of Compliance.

Now there have been bills that have been introduced that would do just that. They have a long way to go. But, Martha, make no mistake, those bill are making some members of Congress very nervous.

MACCALLUM: Kristin, thank you very much. So here now with more, Dana Loesch, nationally syndicated radio host and Emily Tisch Sussman, democratic strategist and campaign director at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, so good to have both of you here tonight. First of all, we are waiting for news on John Conyers' future. So, Emily, let me start with you. Do you believe that he needs to go?

EMILY TISCH SUSSMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I'm not sure exactly which one you are referring to.

MACCALLUM: John Conyers.

SUSSMAN: With John Conyers? Look, I think it's complicated. I think we don't know all of the facts yet. I think if he actually did engaged in sexual misconduct, then he should. I think we need to draw the line. I think we need to believe the accusers. I think it's about changing the culture.

Women are now just starting to feel comfortable coming forward in a way they never have before. And we need to encourage that. This is not a partisan issue. We need to hold the same standards across the board.

MACCALLUM: So what about Roy Moore, did you believe that if he is elected, that should he be removed?

SUSSMAN: I do. I think that--

MACCALLUM: Why is that?

SUSSMAN: The things he was accused of -- I think the things he was accused of are so egregious and he will never be tried in a court of law because this is happening a long time ago.

But everything that we see from everything, from the people around him to the parents of the women that he tried to date when they were teenagers, it's not like he tried to denied any of this.

And if -- we're in a place where we're deciding what kind of leaders we're willing to elect. And if we're willing to overlook that fact that he was regularly up and close dating teenagers--


MACCALLUM: And not -- and not sticking up for anything that he's been charged off but the point is that we don't know. And that's a problem. And we start sort of adjudicating these cases just you know to the media, that's a -- that's a bit of a problem.

But you know, when you talk about the fact that one of the women in the affidavit with John Conyers, said that her duties were to keep a list of women -- this is an affidavit. That I assume that he was having affairs with and call, and has requested if necessary to have him flown in using Congressional resources. So this is the tricky territory that we're in, Dana.

DANA LOESCH, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: It is, Martha. But it's -- usually believe all women but terms and continues apply. And those terms and conditions, Martha, are if the accused is a Democrat because what John


MACCALLUM: Let, Dana, finish.

LOESCH: Yes, I'm going to finish. Thank you, Martha. Taxpayer dollars -- taxpayer checks cleared for John Conyers. John Conyers was accused of firing women because they didn't give into his sexual demands and taxpayer funds were used to hide this with Congressman Raul Grijalva, had $48,000 -- over $48,000 of taxpayer funds that were used to shush up these victims.

And taxpayers who are a party to this entire process are told to keep our noses put of it. So yes, John Conyers needs to go. Congressman Grijalva needs to go. These individuals are supposed to be trusted with the power of the purse. We need the people invest our trust in them.

And they have proven to be unworthy of that responsibility and that trust. And the same standard should apply. And here we have a money trail. So yes, the same standard applies if they got to go.

They have to go. And I would love to see the same people who are saying all of this stuff about Roy Moore applies these exact same principles, Martha, to Grijalva, to Conyers and everywhere else. You know, if Roy Moore had driven a woman and left her to drown in a pond, he would be hailed as the lion of the Senate.


SUSSMAN: Yes. I mean I would like to respond to that reaction. That's exactly the opposite of what I said. We should -- the more we make this a partisan issue, the less it becomes about believing the people who are coming forward.

We need to create a culture where women are comfortable coming forward and Congress has very bad rule around sexual staff because they made their own rules.

LOESCH: Because do you know why this is a partisan issue? I've got to interject her -- do you know why this is a partisan issue because--


LOESCH: -- these people have called Conyers an icon. Do you know why women have trouble coming forward because Nancy Pelosi, your party's minority leader called this man an icon, because your party circles the wagons around this perv NATO that is happening is in your party--


LOESCH: Is your party leadership wrong? She called him an icon?

MACCALLUM: Your response. Emily, your response. Emily go ahead.

SUSSMAN: Look I -- look I don't think she should have gone that far, to be honest with you. But I think it's -- I think there has been a very strong reaction over the last year culturally when the country was willing to say, look we see there are 17 accusers of sexual assault against a presidential candidate and we are willing to elect him anyway.

A lot of people had very strong reactions to that and it did change things culturally. We have to remember that most of the victims of work place sexual assault, they're not going to get in front of a camera. They are not going to get national attention. They are low wage workers doing a massive power imbalance--


LOESCH: And I say this every time we talk about this. This is the party that defended Bill Clinton, Bob Filner, Anthony Weiner and John Conyers.


MACCALLUM: And Anthony Weiner just, you know, had his due process in court. And that is something that we need to keep in mind with these cases. They are not all the same. You can't group them all in one bog group and sweep them with a broad brush. And we do have to be wary of that part of this story in terms of the men who are accused as well.

SUSSMAN: I totally agree.

MACCALLUM: Thank you very much.

LOESCH: Absolutely.

MACCALLUM: Emily and Dana, great to see you both tonight. Thanks a lot.

SUSSMAN: Thank you, Martha.

LOESCH: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So shocking decision tonight, the so-called mastermind behind the Benghazi attack was found not guilty of murder. Charles Woods' son, Tyron was one of those killed. And he joins me with his reaction next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We fought and bled for a government that we swore to protect. And now they are -- they are calling us liars. We continue to feel betrayed and shunned by our own government that we swore to -- we swore to defend.



MACCALLUM: The so-called mastermind behind the Benghazi attacks was convicted today on terror charges but he was cleared of murder charges in a U.S. court. Ty Woods' father is outraged. And he joins us in moments with his reaction to this but first, chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge with the details on this decision. Catherine.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Well thanks, Martha. Three years ago the Obama administration described the Benghazi suspect as a central player in the 2012 terrorists attacks, but late today after a week of deliberations a federal jury in Washington disagreed. Here's President Obama from 2014.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our Special Forces showing incredible courage and precision whether it would capture an individual Abu Khatallah who was -- who was alleged to have been one of masterminds of the attack. When Americans are attacked, no matter how long it takes, we will find those responsible.


HERRIDGE: The 46-year-old Libyan Abu Khatallah was found guilty of supporting and participating in the 2012 attacks. At the State Department and Benghazi compound in the nearby CIA post. Khatallah was also convicted on weapons charges and the destruction of U.S. government property but he was found not guilty on the most serious crime, the murder of four Americans.

The defense argued Khatallah was a peripheral player and that he arrived at the scene after the attack -- a claim that seemed to be backed up by security camera video evidence. The defense highlighted the government's reliance on a paid informant who received a $7 million reward for tracking down the suspect and providing testimony against him.

In a message to the CIA workforce director Mike Pompeo called the verdict a small measure of justice for the terror Khatallah inflicted upon the patriotic men and women stationed in Benghazi. And he met no term in prison while bringing back our people.

Khatallah is not eligible for the death penalty but could get length sentence, even life in prison for a prosecutor say the case shows the challenges of bringing terrorism cases in the federal courts. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Catherine, thank you very much.

HERRIDGE: You're welcome.

MACCALLUM: CIA Officer Tyrone Woods was one of the four men who was killed in Benghazi that night. The agency under Mike Pompeo's captain just pointed out -- issued a statement earlier today and here's a bit more of that.

Mike Pompeo said this, we lost two of our own that night, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods who ran to the sound of the guns and bravely fought to protect Americans, and the two U.S. facilities that were attacked. His father Charles Woods joins me now via Skype. Mr. Woods, thank you very much for joining us on this story tonight. You reaction today when you heard this news?

CHARLES WOODS, FATHER OF TYRONE WOODS (via Skype): Well, first of all, this is a total miscarriage of justice. And the accessory to murder is also guilty of murder. Speaking as a retired attorney, if you have a bank robber who is driving the get away car, he is just as responsible for murder as his accomplice that goes into the bank and pulls the trigger. For that reason, Khatallah should have been convicted of murder as well as being an accessory.

MACCALLUM: Yes, I mean, it's amazing when you hear the efforts that went in to bring him in to gathering evidence on him, the reward that was given, and you hear President Obama mentioned his name clearly in the statement that he made about what happened that night. Were you surprised at the outcome today?

WOODS: Yes, I am. Like I say, an accessory to a murder is guilty of murder legally just as much as the person who pulls the trigger. And for that reason, you know, this definitely should be appealed.

The other thing that really bothered me about this case from the beginning was the previous administration granted this foreign terrorist, American Constitutional Rights and that should not have happened.

The previous administration, they were known for taking away from American citizens our Constitutional Rights, our due process rights, First Amendment Rights, Second Amendment Rights, yet they was willing to give Constitutional Rights to terrorists who committed murder of American citizens outside of the United States, give it them -- tried and convicted in the military process--

MACCALLUM: Going back to when we first learned about this, and of course at that point you were going through obviously so much grief at the loss of your son. He left behind his wife who also served the country and his child as well. This is Susan Rice explaining what happened that day.


SUSAN RICE, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: This was not pre-planned, premeditated attack but what happened initially, it was -- it was a spontaneous reaction to what has just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video.


MACCALLUM: What goes through your mind when you hear that once again in light of the news today, sir?

WOODS: Well, when the bodies came into the Andrew's Air Force Base, I had the privilege of meeting Hillary. And she mentioned at that time the same thing that we are going to arrest the video maker who is responsible for the death of your son.

And this was totally contrary to what she told her daughter just a few hours before that and also what she told the prime minister of Egypt who -- she said this was a terrorist attack but had nothing to do with the videos. So this was inconsistencies as what pops through my mind. Well as American citizens, we need to know the truth, so that when we vote, we can make intelligent choices.

MACCALLUM: Thank you very much, Mr. Woods. I wish you had, you know, more justice today to talk about tonight and we want to thank you for the sacrifice that your family made and your son's sacrifice for this country as well. Thank you very much, sir.

WOODS: Thank you very much.

MACCALLUM: All right. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.



REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND, D-CHAIRMAN, CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS: We urge the congressman to cooperate with the Ethics Committee investigation because we do need someone to fact check everything and make a decision on whether these allegations are true because if they are true, they are disturbing.


MACCALLUM: All about the future of John Conyers -- Congressman John Conyers. That was Cedric Richmond of Louisiana. They just walked out of this meeting of the CBC. They're deciding his future. They did not though-- we can tell you, ask him to step down or resign at this point. So more on that as we get it.

There is a new religious freedom brewing. The Catholic Church in D.C. just sued the D.C. metro system by rejecting their advertisement which they paid for and wasted to put on the sides of buses. It features men under a starry night and a simple slogan, find the perfect gift, the post it to a website.

A transit authority spokesperson said the ad in question was declined because it is prohibited by the transit folks and their current advertising guidelines. So is that a valid argument? Here now and here we go again, George Washington University Law Professor, Jonathan Turley. You know, it's always interesting to look at the arguments needed in these cases. It's really freedom of speech versus freedom of religion essentially, right?

JONATHAN TURLEY, PROFESSOR, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW: It is. And the transit has a long and checkered history with regard to censoring certain messages. You know they adopted what they say was a content neutral system of rules, in 2015 after losing a series of cases where they picked and choose between different messages. This is a little better.

There are no guidelines showing how they choose between these. They talk about barring viewpoints on which there are differing opinions. There are different opinions between one percent and two percent milk.

I mean it's hard to, you know, have that as a standard, and so you have to serve in people and groups. So in the Catholic Church, conservative Ianopolis, they took his book advertisement and just showed his picture and a book. But they sell other books. And someone is sitting there at transit like Caesar is saying, you know, crucifixion freedom. And it's not working.

MACCALLUM: It's interesting because the church's argument -- if put the picture back up again, guys, so people can see it at home -- are saying, you know, it's not an overly religious Catholic message. It's just sort of a spiritual message. You know, find the perfect gift.

And they make the comparison to a yoga ad, you know, that promises you a higher form of spirituality. And I think about the atheists' billboards that I go by in my way into New York every Christmas time which basically like, Christmas is a hoax, you know.

TURLEY: Right.

MACCALLUM: You know, where do you draw the line?

TURLEY: Well, I am in favor of banning yoga. My wife has been trying to get me to do that for years. So that should be banned. But the one solution is not to draw a line. You know, I am an old free speech nut. And my view the solution to bad speech is more speech.

This whole problem started because people could not tolerate opposing views. You had pro-Israel ads and pro-Palestine ads. And both group said, we wanted the other group taken down. One approach is to say, we're going to let viewpoints be spoken and be heard.

And we're not going to choose between them. But it instead they did is they said look, we really want people that are saying things for a commercial purpose. So if you say something and you are selling something, it's OK. If you something because you want to help the public, you are banned.

MACCALLUM: Well, I am a free speech nut. It's a good t-shirt to wear to yoga class. Jonathan Turley, thank you very much.

TURLEY: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Quote of the Night, coming up next.


MACCALLUM: Quote of the night. Today quoted by Senator Barrasso in their meeting to bring some historical context to the battle over spending and taxes. Ben Franklin to the constitutional convention, encourage his colleagues to sign it into law saying this.


MACCALLUM: For when you assemble a number of men to have their advantage of the joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests and their selfish views from such an assembly, can be a perfect production expected.

It therefore astonishes me, sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does and I think it will astonish out enemies who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the builders of Babel.

And that our states are on the point of separation, only to meet here after for the purpose of cutting one another's throats. Thus, I consent, sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better and because I am not sure that it is not the best.


MACCALLUM: That is our story for tonight. We'll see you back here tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Tucker Carlson has his story coming up next.


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