Former Conyers staffer speaks out about unwanted advances

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," November 29, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: Hi, there. Good evening, Bret. Thank you very much. Good evening, everybody. We pick up the story from here, in New York tonight, where we are now learning brand new breaking details in the Matt Lauer case, and questions about who knew and for how long about all of these at NBC. And also very importantly, where is all of this heading next?

So this is the Matt Lauer that America welcomed into their homes for decades.


MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, "TODAY": What is the exact nature of the relationship between your husband and Monica Lewinsky? When you were introduced to America, it was hockey mom. It was the woman who was going to appeal to the blue collar folks in this country.

LAUER: By the time you gave the order to start military operations in Iraq, did you personally have any doubt?

LAUER: I'm here in the Blue Room at the White House with the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

LAUER: Thank you so much for joining us in this joyful celebration of one of America's most cherished holidays. And now, on behalf of NBC and Macy's, we wish you and your family, a very happy Thanksgiving.


MACCALLUM: He was the king of the NBC's "Today" Show franchise, the highest paid news anchor on television, fired late last night in a phone call from his friend and boss, Andy Lack, the President of NBC, for sexual improprieties. Reportedly, Lauer accepted the decision and expressed remorse.

But tonight, we are learning brand new breaking details, a picture of a pervasive and known behavior at NBC that went unaddressed for years. The details are not good. Alleged sexual assault of an NBC employee while covering the Olympics in Sochi, and new breaking details just moments ago, about the possibility of sexting that may be part of that, also report that he exposed himself to an employee in his office and then taunted her, sex toys given as gifts to colleagues and a button under his desk that automatically locked his office door.

This quote from the blockbuster Variety piece says that he long feared the tabloids were on his tail so he stayed within NBC. Here's the quote, "He couldn't sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people because he is Matt Lauer and he's married. So he'd to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn't ever complain.

Trace Gallagher, live in our West Coast news room tonight, with the some latest breaking news on the Matt Lauer story. Hi, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, Martha. The reason Matt Lauer was reportedly fired from NBC is because an employee filed a detailed complaint about inappropriate sexual conduct from Lauer that began during a trip to the Sochi Olympics in 2014 and continued for several months. And now, our corporate cousin, page six, from the New York Post, is reporting that that employee apparently gave her bosses inconvertible photos as well as messages, sexting messages that she saved from that trip with Matt Lauer.

NBC News Chairman Andy Lack called it the first complaint about Matt Lauer's behavior in more than 20 years in the network, but Lack added this, and I'm quoting, "We were also presented with reasons to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."

And after a two-month investigation into Lauer's behavior, the publication, Variety, interviewed dozens of current and former NBC staffers including three women who claimed they were sexually harassed by Lauer. Two of those alleged victims say Lauer had a button under his desk to lock his office so he could initiate inappropriate contact knowing nobody could walk in on him.

And the New York Times is reporting that NBC has now received at least two more complaints about Lauer, including a former employee who says in 2001, Lauer summoned her to his office and had sex with her. She claimed she felt helpless because she did not want to lose her job. But in a new statement, NBC says, quoting again, "We can say unequivocally that prior to Monday night, current NBC News management was never made aware of any complaints about Matt Lauer's conduct." Today, Lauer's co-anchors, Savannah Guthrie, broke the news to viewers saying this, watch.


SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, CO-HOST, "TODAY": I will tell you right now, we don't know more than what I've just shared with you. But we will be covering the story, as reporters, as journalists, I'm sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come.


GALLAGHER: Yet numerous sources told Variety that Lauer's behaviour was not a secret among employees that today, with one saying, quote, "Management sucks there. They protected the blank out of Matt Lauer." Employees also said Lauer's private interactions led to awkward moments on television, including this questioning of former Fox News host, Bill O'Reilly, who was a meshed in his own sexual misconduct accusations. Watch.


LAUER: Think about those five women and what they did. They came forward and filed complaints against the biggest star at the network they worked at. Think of how intimidating that must have been. How nerve-wracking that must have been. Doesn't it tell you how strongly they felt about the way they were treated by you?


GALLAGHER: That was September. Now, two months later, that question, word for word, could be asked to Matt Lauer. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Trace, thank you very much. So as Matt Lauer joins Charlie Rose and Harvey Weinstein and Mark Halperin and others who are out of a job, Congressman John Conyers, still has his. Just a short time ago, the Congressional Black Caucus Leadership didn't have much to say as they were leaving. They also basically admitted that they have a double standard when it comes to their own, and to the rest of America. Listen to this.


REPORTER: Other men in other industries have faced similar accusations and gotten out of the way, resigned, stepped down far faster than he has, right?

REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND, D-LA., CHAIRMAN OF THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS: I think you would have to give me some examples.

REPORTER: Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer.



MACCALLUM: Who elected them? Democratic Congresswoman Kathleen Rice was appalled at what happened on Capitol Hill today.


REP. KATHLEEN RICE, D-N.Y.: I think that we show no moral authority whatsoever as a body. This is why only six percent of Americans think that Congress is doing a good job. You see the actions that CBS, NBC take when there are allegations against very well-known men in positions of power, and we don't do the same, and it think it's a disgrace.


MACCALLUM: Congressman John Conyers is facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. The latest, coming from Deanna Maher, who worked on Conyers' staff from 1997 to 2005, she says that during that time, the Congressman created a toxic sexually suggested culture in his office. And then he made several unwanted advances towards her, including showing up in her hotel room and taking his clothes off. Here now, in an exclusive story edition, Deanna Maher, at her reaction to what we just heard in the halls of Congress this afternoon.

DEANNA MAHER, FORMER STAFF OF CONGRESSMAN JOHN CONYERS: I am so grateful as I've already said to Representative Jackie Spears and I don't think any of this would happen, all of this, as far as Congress is concerned, without her input. She was really the steady force. So I believe that she is the hero. But I am awe-struck by Kathleen Rice, hallelujah to her, did she name it? Didn't she?

MACCALLUM: Yes, she certainly did.

MAHER: She's right on target.

MACCALLUM: You know, explain to everybody at home, you know, as uncomfortable as I know it is, and I've read through your statements, what did he do to you when you worked there?

MAHER: Well, the first couple of years, he was just, he was more subtle, and trying to hit on me. You have to know when I was hired, I was 57. I was a mother with four children and grandchildren. I was not any young chicken. I was not anything like these young girls coming through, who are so vulnerable.

And I'm really trying to stand up for them because they are vulnerable. They come in to Capitol Hill with their eyes just fresh as interns and fellows and hiring on to staff. And it's very exciting and glamorous to be part of Capitol Hill, the Congressional hearings. And this is where they are -- they are just shooting ducks and they hit on them.

MACCALLUM: You know, explain to them. You know, because you are offering a lesson from your own life. What happened to you and, you know, also, you believe that his actions are illegal. That he broke the law and that he should face the consequences.

MAHER: OK. I didn't -- I didn't report it when he made his advances on me in 1997, 1998 and 1999. I think I was appalled. I was shocked. I was devastated when I was sexually, violently assaulted in the Congressional office. And that is in the Federal building with the U.S. Marshals, with security downstairs, and the U.S. Attorney's office across the street. Kitty corner from us, we've shared the parking lot with the -- with the FBI and their headquarters.

Do you think as a federal employee, I should have been safe? I think so. And then, with the assault, and it was violent, in my mind, no, it wasn't rape, but for some guy to grab you who was a staffer, one of top staffers, for him to grab you and force you, force you against the wall and stuck his tongue down my throat at my age, which I was 61 at the time. That was pretty devastating. I can't tell you how ashamed I felt, dirty. And then nothing, I couldn't get any help.

I got no protection afterwards because Conyers, Congressman Conyers, covered that whole thing up. So I knew then, that was in 2001, I had nowhere to go. So to speak, I was on my own. He has been a powerful member of the Judiciary Committee as ranking member and at certain times, he was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. And that the Judiciary Committee has oversight and also funding. They allow the funding for the entire Justice Department. Do you realize it's all the jobs and the budgets? And that's what he controlled.


MAHER: So, all he has to do is pick up a phone call and destroy someone's life.

MACCALLUM: Deanna, thank you very much.

MAHER: And that's what I --

MACCALLUM: I appreciate it.


MACCALLUM: And thank you for sharing your story with us, Deanna Maher, who was in John Conyers' office. And you tell your story in a very -- you know, I mean, it's incredible. And unfortunately, it is not singular. It is the experience of many young women as you point out on Capitol Hill, and as we're learning more about every day, Deanna, thank you very much for being here, good to talk to you tonight.

MAHER: My pleasure.

MACCALLUM: Thanks to her for being on this evening. So, you know, big picture, as careers crash and cases are adjudicated in the corporation arena, or in the public court of opinion in many cases, how do you deal with that part of the story? Some of these people are admitting blame, taking punishment, others feel falsely accused.

What role does due process and the rule of law play, as we move through the muck of these cases? Because this is not ending anytime soon, folks. Shannon Bream, host of Fox News at Night, and Jonathan Turley George Washington University Law Professor, joining me now. So good to have both of you with us, you know.

When you wake up this morning and you see the Matt Lauer news, right, and you just -- it's touched so many industries. And you know what? There are more to come, right? I mean, there are many that are still out there in terms of the stories as we know.

But, you know, Shannon, the question that we are raising about how to -- how to be fair in these cases, how to give people their due process. Is it possible with some of these situations that are years and years ago?

SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: It's really tricky. I mean, Martha, I spent years as a sexual harassment attorney and I've seen claims that are legitimate, I've seen claims that are false and were made with very ulterior motives in mind. So, I know the cases exist all across the spectrum. I think what's happening now instead of due process as we understand it under our constitution and our court system, it's not happening now because these are being tried in the court of public opinion.

But what's important is that when you have an election looming or something going on, people want to fast track and you skip the legal side of it. But when you escape going through due process or going through the court system, some of these people, if they are innocent, they'll never get their good name back.

And for others, this drags the victims through a very public spectacle where their very integrity is questioned. But it's really difficult, we've moved into a place where it isn't about letting the court settle this questions, it's more about the media argument and the public attack.

MACCALLUM: Yes, and credibility and who makes the best case, you know. You wrote, Jonathan Turley, about this woman at Teen Vogue, who wrote that she was, quote, "Not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs." Basically, that if, you know, some innocent guys lose their jobs, and I think of, you know, the due case, I think of some of the University cases that I've covered, where sometimes that does happen. You know, what's your response to her, sort of, saying, that's OK, if some of them get lost in the shuffle?

JONATHAN TURLEY; LAW PROFESSOR AT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: Well, it's very troubling, obviously, when you just dismiss the potential that someone might be innocent. There is often a reliance on statistics that only three percent of claims are found to be fraudulent. I've had trouble finding the source for that.

There is one study that shows a six percent rate in criminal cases. Those are different in nature than civil accusations. But we have to be very careful, people are entitled to present their side of this and we shouldn't make assumptions. It's not immediately true just because someone makes the allegation, and having said that, politicians need to understand that the voters will look at the credibility of the allegations.

How many women have come forward, what the details are, whether there is corroboration, and they will have to reach a conclusion. So, in the Roy Moore case to say, well, you know, I haven't been found guilty. There has been no proof or a process by which I would be adjudicated, that is really not the test. I mean, you have to look at how credible the allegations are. I find some of the allegations to be quite credible. But every voter has to make that decision.

MACCALLUM: You know, when you look at it, there's another piece by Jonah Goldberg today, because everyone, sort of, looking at this as a societal question. And he talks about the fact that, you know, when these allegations happened at Fox News, there was a lot of, sort of, finger pointing. And, you know, tribalism, is the way that he put it.

Oh, well, it wasn't surprising. Not shocking that, you know, there is some sort of conservative connection to that behavior. So then, when it expands all over Hollywood, all over Capitol Hill, the suggestions, oh, there must be a problem with society. I mean, it is interesting to watch, Shannon, as you have and I have, and, you know, Jonathan's really from the outside, how all of this has played out. What do you think about that tribalist, sort of, propensity that has existed in this conversation?

BREAM: Well, to me, it is interesting because we talked about the issue of due process. And it's funny because some people will stay yes, it is available to certain people, if they are elite or if they're educated or these are people that have done good things for our side or the other side. We are going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

They need full due process, where others are immediately thrown into this. We -- you know, guilty until proven innocent. So you have to have some, kind of, fairness. But when we are tribalist about this kind of thing, we're not being fair to legitimate victims, because if you did count people, who may have a legitimate claim, you are hurting others who also have legitimate claims and tribalism doesn't help anybody across the spectrum. These claims shouldn't be about politics or ideology, it should just be about right or wrong.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely.

BREAM: And a lot of people don't want to think that we have absolutes in our system and in our society. They say -- they don't want to legislate morality. We have laws against rape, and murder, and sex harassment and assaults, and all these other things so, there is a right and wrong. And when we try to strip that out of society, we end up being hypocrites if we are not willing to call balls and strikes regardless of party.

MACCALLUM: So true. I got to thank you both for being here. We're going to go. Thank you very much, Jonathan, good to see you tonight, Shannon, many thanks. So, still to come, an Ivy League University now says its students in their application process, can check the person of color box even if they don't fit the definition. Some say Elizabeth Warren did that, years before it was allowed, the backlash, on a crazy story, coming up.

And the first time Americans are looking at the map and really understanding the threat of a nuclear strike on our homeland is now very real, General Jack Keane, in studio, to tell us if technology can protect us. And on Capitol Hill tax cuts, are looking within reach tonight. There is one wild card, though, what will John McCain do? I think that's not John McCain, but what will John McCain do? We got some signals on that tonight from the senator who gave Obamacare, remember the thumbs down? What is he going to do now? We'll be right back.


MACCALLUM: So breaking tonight, our Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski is now saying she is a yes on the Republican Tax Reform Bill. That is thanks to an added provision. Everybody, sort of, has their things that they want to get out of this, right? And for her, it was to open up a small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy production.

So, that takes her name off the list of the so-called wild cards, but the big question remains, what will Senator John McCain do this round? Will he be for this or will he bring down the tax cuts? The Arizona senator telling reporters today, keeping them hanging, "stay tuned."

Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry, live at the White House tonight with his take on all of this and his report. Hi, Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Martha, great to see you. The president may be on the verge of a major victory here, between his visit to Capitol Hill yesterday and that speech he delivered in Missouri on the heartland today, he is leaning in to selling this tax cut much more than he ever did on healthcare, which, of course, Republicans could not repeal and replace.

And in fact, I'm picking up information tonight from senior Republicans that John McCain may now be leaning toward a yes on the tax cut. But he is still not quite there yet and may be the deciding vote. This is significant, because we go back to 2001 and 2003, John McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts. He said he was concerned it was too skewed to the rich.

He said he was concerned about adding to the debt and how that may hurt the ability to spend on the defense of the United States, and interesting, because John McCain has also had a bit of a personal feud with the President. Remember, going back to the campaign, when in fact, then candidate, Donald Trump, said that he prefers heroes who were not captured. That was obviously something that angered McCain. He has said he's not going to make this personal.

But remember in the summer, shortly after brain cancer surgery, McCain gave that dramatic thumbs' down on the Senate floor to a bill that would have repealed and replaced Obamacare. You see it there, shortly after the President lobbied him by phone. And new tonight, a Senior Republican source tells me that an aide to McCain has indicated to Republican leaders that they think he is going to vote yes on this tax bill. He hasn't announced that publicly, yet.

But if in fact, McCain is going to vote yes on the bill, they cleared a hurdle tonight, a procedural vote, yes on the debate to move forward on debating the tax bill. McCain and other senators still have to vote yes or no on the actual bill. If he votes yes on this, it could be a big victory for the President, Martha.

MACCALLUM: It would be a big deal. Ed, thank you very much so, joining me now here on set, Former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, Fox News Political Contributor, good to see you. John McCain, I mean, has been the wild card, he's always been called the Maverick. We saw the thumbs down on healthcare. Do you think that he may say yes?

NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think he might. I think -- first of all, I think he recognizes this is a different tax bill. It's much, much better for middle class Americans than the Bush tax cuts. I think he also recognizes that his party has a real life and death interest in passing this. And I don't think John is a capricious person.

I think, in the end, he concluded it wasn't the right procedure on Obamacare. He can be very stubborn once he's made his mind up. But I just have a feeling he might come along. I also think, frankly, the President has done a tremendous job of reaching out and listening, working with Senator McConnell, Senator Collins who had been a no on Obamacare. They apparently have met her concerns.

MACCALLUM: Are they changing their minds because they feel what you just hinted at which is that this is -- not everybody loves this. You know, it has pretty low approval numbers, when you look at the -- on Quinnipiac Polls on this tax bill, it's like, 30-40 percent, think they like it, 25 in some polls. But they seemed to feel that getting to yes, is more important for them as members of the GOP right now because they haven't been able to pass anything yet.

GINGRICH: All right. They do think they need that. But let me take the example of Collins. Collins had very specific real concerns. And instead of us blowing her off, they sat down, they listened to her, they said, we could add two additional bills that she will introduce. Bring them up on the floor and pass them.

And therefore, we're going to literally meet your concern about these two provisions. And she said, you know, that changes my view. And so they have been much better at actually legislating that even Murkowski, for example, Murkowski said a very particular real interest that all Alaskans have. She is getting that interest met.

MACCALLUM: That's the way the sausage is made, right? That's the way the sausage is made. What did you think yesterday when there were empty chairs on either side of President Trump? He had even the name tags went out, oh, this is where Mitch McConnell -- excuse me -- this is where Nancy Pelosi should be sitting and Chuck Schumer, but it's pretty lonely there in that room.

GINGRICH: Whoever was in charge of the camera, if you come all the way back, you see McConnell. They see it here. You see McConnell and ---

MACCALLUM: Very sad and lonely.

GINGRICH: I don't know why the Democrats would give Trump a cheap, easy win to sit there and say, I'm trying to solve this problem. I don't know why they won't even talk about it. I mean, it just struck me as one of the dumbest things -- I mean, Schumer is a smart guy. And this is one of the dumbest things that I've ever seen.

MACCALLUM: Well, they realized that they had been, you know, set up for that pretty negative photo op on their part and they called it a stunt. But, you know, just quickly, Newt, in the big picture, are they going to -- are they going to push this spending, this funding bill, are they going to push to a showdown that might close the government for a while?

GINGRICH: Nobody wants to talk about it yet but I'm going to go out on a limb. McConnell could come in and say, we're going to apply the same rule to spending bills that we apply to the Supreme Court justices. The only power that Schumer has, is the requirement for 60 votes.


GINGRICH: That's purely a Senate rule, that's not a law. And the Senate - -

MACCALLUM: So vote on nuclear on every funding bill.

GINGRICH: They could say that if you want to find a way to negotiate and we'll get the eight Democrats, fine. You want to be totally obstructionists. We're going to change the rules to 50.

MACCALLUM: There seems to be a party line vote. There's no other way to get it done these days. Newt, thank you very much.

GINGRICH: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Good to see you. Have a great trip back to Italy.


MACCALLUM: Living at the Vatican, near the Vatican. All right, so coming up next tonight, should the man behind the plot at Benghazi, had been at Gitmo all along? Abu Khattala, convicted on terror charges but cleared of the murder of four Americans in a U.S. court. And it's time to take Kim Jong-un and the North Korea missile crisis, quite seriously. Senator Lindsey Graham joins me in a moment and General Jack Keane, coming up next on the story.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Little rocket man, rocket fuel for the American economy. He is a sick puppy.




UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: If war does come, it will be because of continued acts of aggression like we witnessed yesterday. And if war comes, make no mistake the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.


MACCALLUM: Very strong words today from U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley at the United Nations just a short time ago as the threat of a North Korean missile hitting the United States comes much closer to reality. The rogue regime's latest intercontinental ballistic missile puts, really, the entire country within the target. Take a look at this map. You've got 33 minutes to Los Angeles, 37 to 38 to Chicago, 38 to 39 minutes from launch time to hitting New York City. So joining me now Senator Lindsey Graham who sits on the senate armed services committee. Senator, good to have you with us tonight. Always a pleasure to hear from you.


MACCALLUM: What do you think? You know, the president had said that he will take care of it. Those are the words that he used when he saw this missile launch. What do you think he means by that?

GRAHAM: He's telling China and the world at large if you don't stop North Korea, I will. What would trigger a war? Today, the president believes that the North Koreans have the capability to launch an ICBM with a nuclear weapon on top that can actually hit America. He's never going to let that day happen. So his policy is to deny the North Korean regime the ability to hit America with a nuclear weapon, and we'll go to war to stop that. So what he's telling China is if you don't change North Korea's behavior regarding their missile program and their nuclear program, I will preemptively attack North Korea and destroy their regime. You see all these graphs about our backyard. Somebody needs to give a graph to China about what happens in their backyard if we attack North Korea.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. I mean, they're aware of that, right? They know that they would have a huge refugee problem flooding across their borders. It's clearly something they don't want. You don't think what?

GRAHAM: I don't think they believe it because there's one of two things going on. North Korea is not paying attention to what China is saying, or China is not saying what they need to be saying. All I know is that China is the key to this. All the oil that North Korea uses to run their economy comes from China. They could bring the North Korean economy to their knees tomorrow if they choose to. Trump has got to convince to China he's deadly serious about a preemptive attack against North Korea, that we're not go live our lives as Americans under a nuclear threat from a crazy man in North Korea. And if there is going to be a war to stop this threat it's going to be in China's backyard not America's backyard. And he needs to deliver the message to the Chinese without any equivocation and I think he has.

MACCALLUM: Senator Lindsey Graham, thank you very much, sir. Good to talk to you tonight. So what are our military options? Here now General Jack Keene, the chairman of the institute for the study of war and a Fox News military analyst. We talk, general, about the technology that we would have to shoot a missile down if they were to send it. Do we have that?

JACK KEANE, FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, most definitely. We have capabilities to shoot a missile down in a prelaunch phase, in the boost phase, and most of all, our missile defense systems at sea. And also a THAAD missile defense system that's in South Korea, and the other mid-range systems that we have in Alaska and in California. We shoot missiles down in a terminal phase as they're about to hit the ground. But that's just part of the military option. What would we really have to do to stop North Korea is we would have to take down all of their launch capability, their nuclear sites as well that are underground sites. We have to penetrate and destroy those sites. And we would have to take out as much of their artillery and rockets as we possibly can. This is what war looks like, and it is horrific.

MACCALLUM: How likely do you think that is of happening?

KEANE: I think the president is absolutely dead serious that he's not going to permit this leader to hold the American people at risk like this. And I agree with Senator Graham. The president of the United States has been working on this issue with President Xi since he took office, and they have a good relationship. And I think Xi agrees with the president that the goal is to denuclearize North Korea and their ICBM program. So they're in sync on that. I think at the end of the day, though, President Xi is not convinced that President Trump would go to war on the peninsula that would result in the death of hundreds of thousands of people. So he may not be going all out to actually denuclearize North Korea in the way that we want him to.

You know, this test, I find it pretty disappointing but I'm not surprised by the test that they did. It comes after a two-month self-imposed testing halt, but it particularly comes after the Chinese envoy was over there. What I was hoping to get out of that visit is the envoy would work with the United States and say, look, he's agreed to continue his self-opposed testing halt, and we can begin a negotiated process here. He's not going to go right away to denuclearization and say I'm stopping everything. I'm not going to build these weapons. He wants something in return for that. I'm talking about Kim Jong-un.

MACCALLUM: What does he want?

KEANE: He wants an absolute certainty that the United States is not going to do a regime change on him like we did on Gaddafi in Libya after they gave up their WMD, and he's not convinced that we would. So what he has put on the table is I'll stop all my programs, but you have to stop doing training exercises with South Korea. That's been unacceptable to us because that drives a wedge between us and South Korea. And what that leads to is the United States getting off the peninsula. That's what they want. So we're at a lager head. But because he offered that tells you there's something there. There's something there that we may able to work out.

MACCALLUM: Some kind of dialogue. Very dangerous game. Thank you very much. Good to see you, general.

KEANE: Yeah, good talking to you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So still ahead tonight, college students allowed to check what box they want in terms of identifying themselves on their admissions form. Even if the box they check actually doesn't apply to them. The story and the debate on that still to come. But first tonight, should terror suspects be charged in the United States or at Gitmo? The new debate after the so-called mastermind of the Benghazi attacks is found not guilty of the most serious crimes that happened that night. Jason Chaffetz and Marie Harf sound off next.



UNINDENTIFIED MALE: The other thing that really bothered me about this case from the very beginning was the previous administration granted this foreign terrorist American constitutional rights, and that should not have happened.


MACCALLUM: That was Charles Woods last night, the father of Ty Woods, one of the four Americans killed in Benghazi on that September 11th. Reacting now to the news of the so-called mastermind of the attack and the fact that he wasn't even found guilty of the murders of those four individuals. So that decision has renewed debate over something that Ty Woods' father feels very strongly about, and that is whether or not suspected terrorists belong in U.S. court rooms in the first place. Here now, former House Oversight Committee Chairman, Jason Chaffetz, and Marie Harf a former State Department spokesperson. Both are Fox News contributors. Marie, let me start with you. Mr. Woods is quite clear, he felt the administration that you worked for should never have allowed him to be tried in the U.S. court. He should have gone to Gitmo given the fact that he was on foreign soil and he was behind the terrorist attack.

MARIE HARF, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, prosecutors in the U.S., including in New York, actually have a better track record of getting convictions that the people that have been at Gitmo, some of them have been there since 2001, many of them have never faced trial, and many of them will never be able to for a variety of legal reasons. So from a legal perspective we can and we should try terror suspect.

MACCALLUM: Do you think justice was done in this case?

HARF: Well, you know what? I've heard a lot of legal expert talks about this case. Some of them, including Judge Napolitano on our network, feel that the prosecutors overreached with the murder charge that with these terrorism cases where there isn't a lot of evidence, where the situation on the ground is very murky that it is just quite frankly hard sometimes to prove murder. But, he will rot in a U.S. prison. He's not being released. He's not going back on the streets. He will be sitting in prison for the rest of his life.

JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I hope so. I think justice in this would be a bullet in the back of the head, quite frankly. But he should have never been brought to the United States. He should have been brought to Guantanamo Bay. And the reason they didn't have the evidence is because when Susan Rice went on national television right after the president of Libya and said, hey, it was a video. Guess what? They didn't let our the FBI in there for 18 days to gather evidence. You had networks and people talking and going to Benghazi, but our own FBI didn't get there for 18 days. Then they complain.

MACCALLUM: You remember the media reporters walking around.


MACCALLUM: . through the embassy, there's stuff everywhere. Evidence everywhere. You believe that there was a lot of evidence that was not treated properly, and that, really, the video became a distraction from the whole thing.

CHAFFETZ: Well, it did. Because when you actually go to the court and actually look at the court documents, the government argued something totally different than Susan Rice, and Hillary Clinton, and President Obama and Leon Panetta. That whole idea that there was a video was fiction. And then they went to court to try to prosecute this person, and that was absolutely wrong. I called Charles Woods yesterday, I apologized again and I said -- because I think their country has let them down. And I talk to Kris Paranto who was there defending people, saving lives. And they just feel dismayed that their government has treated this so wrong. And don't kid anybody, this guy was not the mastermind. He's some mid-level guy. The true terrorist mastermind is out there. And there are members in congress in the intelligence committee that know the name of that person, and it's not this guy who is now in D.C. in jail.

MACCALLUM: What about that charge, Marie? You know, the prior administration dropped the ball in the investigation that trying to create this narrative about the video which we've talked so much about here. You know, distracted everybody from an actual investigation that should have been happening at that same moment?

HARF: Well, I think that the administration I worked for took Benghazi incredibly seriously, took the investigation incredibly seriously. I know people have views on that.

MACCALLUM: What wasn't the FBI sent in? How could that be serious?

HARF: Look, everything I heard, everyone I talked to, all of my experience in that administration, I understand that it's a very hotly debated topic. We took it seriously. Nobody wanted this to happen. And everybody wanted to get to the bottom of it. To accuse us of otherwise I feel like isn't fair. Now look, let's talk about Gitmo. Most people at Gitmo are never going to get trials because there are serious legal problems with being prosecuted there. So if we want prosecution and justice, by far the better way to do that is through the U.S. criminal justice system.

MACCALLUM: I've got to go. Two words, do you think Gitmo should be reopened?

CHAFFETZ: Absolutely. Enemy combatants, this is exactly what it's there for. It should have been Gitmo.

MACCALLUM: Thank you, guys. Great to see you both.

CHAFFETZ: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So Senator Elizabeth Warren has faced some sharp criticism for suggesting that she is native American without any proof. Now a prominent university is facing questions about their efforts to diversify and to allow people to check the people of color box even if they actually are not. The Story, next.


MACCALLUM: Brown University is under some fire tonight. Amid plans that the graduate school is changing their application to allow people to self- identify as a person of color. The news raising all sorts of questions about what that would mean for the applicants, and if the school would take steps to verify if that information is accurate. We reached out to Brown for clarification on this, and we're told in part, quote, there's been no policy change, and the statement about the application is inaccurate. However, the Brown associate dean on the policy change says that the graduate school will change its application for the upcoming admission cycle to allow students to self-identify as students of color. So it sounds like they have a bit of confusion there in the process.

Joining me now, Katie Pavlich, Town Hall news editor and Fox News contributor, and Wendy Osefo, political commentator and professor. Ladies, thank you for being here. With all the discussion this week about Elizabeth Warren and the president calling her Pocahontas, and the backlash after that where she's the one who is sort of protected as having -- should have the ability to check the native American box because she feels like that's part of her background. Brown University is setting up a situation where they may be essentially doing the same thing, Wendy. If you feel like you're a person of color you may be able to check that box.

WENDY OSEFO, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, actually, this is not necessarily about being a person of color. This speaks directly to underrepresented individuals, and the people who are looking to make this augmentation are individuals who consider themselves to be Asian-Americans. And this has nothing to do with diversity. We can't kid ourselves here. What this has to do with is the Department of Justice looking at Harvard University, another ivy league, which they say nefariously impacts Asian- American students. So Brown is trying to get ahead of the curve to preclude themselves basically from getting a lawsuit from their Asian- American population. And that's what we're seeing here.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. The Asian-Americans students feel like they should be able to check the box of person of color because they feel that they're underrepresented at the university, and they're getting this backlash. I don't know if they are underrepresented at the university. It seems that Asian-Americans are very well-represented at ivy league universities. I don't know the exact numbers. But Katie, you know, I mean, why should you be able to check a box if it doesn't apply to you?

KATIE PAVLICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, my understanding is that the reason they're saying you can self-identify in this instance is because Asian-Americans and foreign Asian students are not on the list of boxes to check, and so the university is reconciling that by allowing people to self-identify in the upcoming admissions process. It's not clear whether this is permanent or not, but it goes to the issue of verification. Anybody can now walk in during the admission process going forward and say that they identify as a minority. And that is just wrong.


MACCALLUM: My question is why do we need these boxes at all at this point, Wendy?

OSEFO: Well, that's a good question.

MACCALLUM: Why do we need boxes?

OSEFO: Well, to be quite honest as a university professor, you do need these boxes because at the end of the day you have to look at people from a holistic manner. What does your application look like? If we take away issues of race, color and creed. And quite frankly.

MACCALLUM: But you're not taking them away. You're putting the boxes in. If you really want to take them away you should have no boxes.

OSEFO: No, that's not true because that's not how applications are looked at. And I'm telling you that as someone who has look at applications. We don't look at it like that, and that is the truth that no one wants to admit. And again, I'm saying this as both someone who's been a graduate student and.

MACCALLUM: Katie, last word. Go ahead.

PAVLICH: Look, if you can self-identify because a box doesn't exist it seems like the boxes are irrelevant, and therefore they should be eliminated.

MACCALLUM: All right. We've got to go. Thank you, guys. Good to see tonight. Quick break. We'll be right back.


MACCALLUM: That is our story for tonight. Thanks for being part of it. We will see you back here tomorrow night, 7:00 PM Eastern. Coming up next, Tucker Carlson. Have a good night, everybody.

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