Report: Nunes prepping report on 'corruption' at the FBI

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," December 26, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

TRISH REGAN, GUEST HOST: Breaking tonight, several big new developments in the anti-Trump bias that the Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation into alleged Russia collusion in the 2016 the election.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Trish Regan in for Martha MacCallum.

A bombshell report tonight from The Washington Post, revealing House Intel Committee Chair Devin Nunes has damaging information "the conduct of FBI officials in the course of the Russia investigation". This comes in the wake of a series of revelations casting doubt on the fairness of Mueller's probe, including those anti-Trump texts sent by one of Mueller's former top investigators. And news that senior DOJ official and his wife has ties to Fusion GPS, the firm behind the anti-Trump dossier.

Meanwhile, Trump's legal team insisting the probe into the president is winding down. Fox's Ellison Barber is live in Washington to get us up to speed here with our top story. Ellison.

ELLISON BARBER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Trish. The Washington Post says a small group of Republicans, including Representative Devin Nunes of the House Intelligence Committee, are talking about writing a report in the new year, highlighting alleged corruption at the FBI, and focusing on the conduct of FBI officials during the Russian investigation. Politico is reporting something similar that a group of the House Republicans, led by Nunes, has been secretly meeting for months, trying to build a case that shows senior officials that the FBI and Department of Justice improperly, maybe criminally, handled the now notorious dossier.

Fox News has not independently confirmed the report, but all of this comes as President Trump continues to attack the FBI. Sources tell Fox News acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe is eligible for retirement in March. Three days ago, a number of outlets reported that McCabe would retire in the new year and almost immediately. President Trump took to Twitter repeatedly attacking McCabe on Tuesday. The president took to Twitter again seemingly quoting something "Fox & Friends". He wrote that the dossier is bogus and the FBI is tainted. He then added, "they use this crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump campaign." McCabe testified on Capitol Hill for over 14 hours behind closed doors just last week. The Democrats say Republicans are trying to discredit the special counsel's Russia investigation. Republicans disagree. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ, D-ILL.: It's not a search for the truth, it's a search to undermine the legitimacy of Mueller's investigation.

SEN. BEN CARDIN, D-MD.: I think it's critically important that we respect the independence of the Department of Justice and the FBI. No one is above the law.

REP. MATT GAETZ, R-FLA.: We have to have clean eyes. We have to have an outcome we can rely on. And currently, with the FBI and the Department of Justice, there's far too much bias, far too much evidence of coordination with President Trump's enemies, and we can't trust them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARBER: The president's outside lawyer, Jay Sekulow, seemingly suggested to The Wall Street Journal that part of the Russia investigation is about to wrap up. The special counsel would not comment. Experts tell Fox News that is probably a bit optimistic at this point. So far, four former Trump campaign advisors have been charged in the special counsel's investigation. Trish.

REGAN: All right. Thank you so much, Ellison Barber. Here now, Jason Chaffetz, he's the former Oversight Committee Chairman; and Doug Schoen, former Advisor to President Bill Clinton, both are Fox News Contributors. Good to see you both. Representative, I'll start with you. Do you think that this is starting to wind down, the Mueller investigation, first of all?

JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: Well, for, you know, the better part of the year, they've been doing a host of interviews and transcribed interviews within the House Intelligence Committee -- you've had some in the public. You have the Senate going on. And at some point, you run out of witnesses to talk to, and you have to actually write a report. So, you know, led by Devin Nunes, but Mike Conaway out of Texas, there you have Tom Rooney of Florida and Trey Gowdy of South Carolina. They're the main ones charged, and I do think they'll write report wherever those facts take them.

REGAN: Doug, I wonder if this is going to backfire at all on the Democrats, only because it seems -- well, we all know that Russia had some kind of interference in our election. But as this all starts to add up, what we're finding is that this so-called dossier, which was largely discredited by everyone, was somehow treated potentially as a reason for looking into the Trump campaign in the first place. If they find that, Doug, I just wonder if it's going to land the Democrats and Hillary Clinton's team in a whole lot more trouble than anyone anticipated.

DOUG SCHOEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Well, first, it's not Hillary Clinton's team anymore. Second, that's a very big "if", Trish, and we don't know for certain what, if anything, the dossier was used in terms of the FISA court. And third, as you've reported, four people have pled guilty including General Flynn, and we need to let the investigation run its course. That is not to say that there are not abuses in the FBI. The Republicans are right, we're seeing more and more of those every day, but you can do both. You finish the investigation, you can see where, as Jason Chaffetz said, where the facts go, and you can also investigate the FBI because what we are learning is very, very troubling. More so on a daily basis.

REGAN: Indeed. You know, Doug, I'm glad you said that. It's something the president has been pointing to, and I can share some of the tweets with you, he certainly went after Andrew McCabe over the weekend saying that FBI's Andrew McCabe in addition to his wife getting all the money from Clinton puppet, he was using, allegedly, his FBI official e-mail account to promote her campaign -- you obviously cannot do that. He went on to say: "FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefit, 90 days to go."

Representative, are you concerned that McCabe had a real conflict of interest there, even if it wasn't real? Just the perception of conflict of interest, really, for many people makes it quite real, and might that have sacrificed his ability to look aggressively into the Clinton campaign e- mail?

CHAFFETZ: Mr. McCabe has served this country for a long time, but I will tell you that when I was the chairman and we were investigating what Mr. McCabe had done. When his wife started to run for the assembly there in Virginia, he decided to recuse himself of everything that was involved in Virginia, but it was only later and I believe. And I have to check my notes, but after he got a promotion, he rescinded that and said OK, I will oversee that, even though it involved Hillary Clinton, the e-mail scandal. Hillary Clinton had come to Virginia, had done raiser more than half a million dollars, ended up in his wife's campaign account. I mean, that is but just one of the factors that you have to look at and say what in the world is going on? And why would you recuse yourself, and then pull that back when you still have oversight responsibility within the FBI?

REGAN: It's a good question, Doug. I mean, does this compromise him? Does it compromise other -- I mean, between this, the tax texts that we saw, there are a lot of reasons to doubt the FBI's inability, I should say, to be impartial in the whole investigation.

SCHOEN: Well, if that's the case, let's have Mr. Papadopoulos and General Flynn come forward and say that they didn't lie to the FBI, something they pled guilty to. If they, for some reason, were coerced to plead guilty or didn't lie as they have acknowledged they did, fine. But I think, that part of the investigation has to go forward. No, we're talking about the credibility of the FBI. I'm speaking to it in terms of two guilty plays. The same issue that Trish Regan raised.

REGAN: So, but let's get back to what they have done along the way. I mean, the concern here, right, is that it's a kind of witch hunt. And Alan Dershowitz has said to me, look, once you get a special prosecutor in there, there's no telling what they're going to come up with. And his concern, his fear is that they're going to go after a guy like General Flynn who has a few skeletons in his closet and clearly has lied before, including to our own vice president.

SCHOEN: He's pled guilty to -- he's pled guilty to lying. He was fired.

REGAN: So, the concern is, what is he offering up? Is he even doing so legitimately? In other words, how do you trust a source that has lied on other occasions, Doug?

SCHOEN: Well, I think, frankly, he had the highest defense intelligence post in the United States. He is a respected man who's made some very serious mistakes. I think you cannot just throw out anything he would say willy-nilly. Let's hear what he has to say. Obviously, he got a sweetheart deal, there's a reason for that. We have to know why and for what reason he got that agreement. But I agree with Representative Chaffetz, we need an investigation of the FBI, but the two, I believe, go on different tracks.

REGAN: So, the inspector general had turned up with some things that so far aren't looking very good on the FBI's part, Jason Chaffetz. I guess, the question is, and then there was an interesting op-ed in "USA Today" about this very issue, how much longer until we really know what's going on at the FBI? And as the clock, in fact, ticking on the FBI if more things, like the texts, we saw turn out?

CHAFFETZ: Look, I give a lot of weight to what Michael Horowitz and his team, the Inspectors General, there at the Department of Justice are doing. They have 450 employees, they have tens of millions of dollars at their disposal, they've embedded already within the bowels of the Department of Justice. You don't have, you know, a starting factor where they have to go and familiarize themselves with this.

Michael Horowitz and his team have been looking at this the better part of nine or ten months. I do anticipate that they'll be ready to go at the end of March. They've been silent, you haven't heard any leaks. They did go back and informed Mr. Mueller that there were some nearly 10,000 texts between somebody who is supposed to be in-charged, having an affair supposedly with somebody, exchanging 10,000 texts that showed not only bias but maybe flat-out collusion, making that aware of them.

Again, the inspector general, I think, will have the most definitive report and it will be soup to nuts, everything from Director Comey, the tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton and the attorney general, all the way through to the firing of Mr. Comey. And then, it'll segue into what was going on or not going on with this Russian investigation. I think it's a very important part of the investigation.

REGAN: Do you think there is an effort to undermine the president, Doug Schoen?

SCHOEN: I think there's an effort to investigate the president. Clearly, these facts about how the FBI has operated are very troubling. But let's - - as the representative suggests, let's wait for the inspector general report to be done. Let's wait for a former Director Mueller's investigation to be concluded, then we can answer those questions.

REGAN: OK. Fair point, thank you so much, good to see you both.

SCHOEN: Thank you so much.

REGAN: Coming up next everyone, now that tax reform is a done deal, President Trump is already focusing on his next big agenda item and that is healthcare reform. Karl Rove is here. He's going to tell us what it's going to take to get it done this time around. Plus, more proof tonight that the president is making good on his promise to make the economy great again. We're going to show you what a record holiday stocking season is going to be for your bank accounts. Plus, the one reason former NFL Star, Terrell Owens says he and Colin Kaepernick are not on the field this season.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, what's stopping you from being in the NFL right now, like, you know?

TERREL OWENS, FORMER NFL STAR: I'm stopping Colin Kaepernick to in my league. Owners, general managers, it's all about an opportunity.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: So, when this bill, not only do we have massive tax cuts and tax reform, we have essentially repealed Obamacare and we'll come up with something that will be much better.

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REGAN: President Trump, promising last week that repealing the Obamacare mandate isn't enough to overhaul the health care system, Congress needs to do more. And it looks like it's going to be a top priority in 2018. Fox's Rich Edson is in West Palm Beach with the president tonight and he has that story.

RICH EDSON, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Trish, another task for Congress: President Trump urging Republicans and Democrats to overhaul the healthcare system. The president tweeting out this morning, "Based on the fact that the very unfair and unpopular individual mandate has been terminated as part of our tax cut bill, which essentially repeals over time Obamacare, and Democrats and Republicans will eventually come together and develop a great new health care plan."

Then, the president played golf with Republican Senator David Perdue of Georgia along with PGA Tour Player, Bryson DeChambeau, and former PGA Golfer, Dana Quigley. High-level congressional negotiations begin the first weekend in January -- that's when the White House says the president has invited the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan to Camp David to discuss next year's congressional agenda. Atop that list, infrastructure.

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TRUMP: Infrastructure is the easiest of all. We're very well on our way. People want it. Republicans and Democrats -- we're going to have tremendous Democrat support on infrastructures, you know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been very clear from the beginning that I'll work with Donald Trump at anything that helps the working men and women of my district. So, yes, I'll work with him on infrastructure if he'll work with us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

EDSON: President Trump has been pushing for infrastructure spending since the campaign. The Democrats say they are willing to participate in this, but the outlines of the president's proposal are still unclear including how much this is going to cost, and where the money is going to come from. All of this part of a very aggressive 2018 congressional agenda -- a midterm election year. Trish.

REGAN: Right. Thanks so much, Rich Edson. Where's the money coming from? Here now, Karl Rove, he's a former Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush and Fox News Contributor. So, good to see you, Karl. It's an ambitious agenda, right? Very, very ambitious -- from infrastructure to healthcare reform. Can they get this done? Will both sides come together on this one?

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, it's going to be very difficult to get them to come together. There are a couple others that the House Republicans are talking about, welfare reform, an entitlement reform, and then there's a general effort to step up military spending and reform our national security apparatus. So, at least five big topics that people are going to be pushing next year. And as Rich said in his report from Mar-a- Lago, the administration has had a year and has it to come up with an infrastructure plan, and is not because they haven't tried, it's because it's very difficult to do.

Let's roll the tape back. 2009, Barack Obama said we're going to pass an $800 billion stimulus bill with shovel-ready projects -- didn't give is economic growth. President Trump during the campaign talked about spending a trillion dollars on infrastructure, the same fundamental problem is there: how do you do this in a way that stimulates the economy and provides long-term economic growth for the country without adding to the deficit? And it's hard to square that circle.

REGAN: Well, you've to get private companies involved. He has talked about that, and that would be a differentiating, you know, play if you would.

ROVE: That's right. But you have to -- the federal government -- the internal discussions as I understand it led the administration to conclude that in order to have private partnerships, the private capital would be invested, but you had to have some public capital to attract it, and they couldn't find a way to do that at the federal level and they wanted to basically say we will make it, we will basically try and get states and local governments to come up with the money --

REGAN: But if you talk about this, Karl, it sounds like -- you know, you're telling me is sort of the traditional conservative approach to this. So, you've got to have some -- money has got to come from somewhere, right? And so, this might be something that the Freedom Caucus embraces. I mean, people within his own party are going to be maybe not so enthusiastic about this. But the Democrats, Karl, I mean, this should be music to their ears. They're going to spend money.

ROVE: Well, that's right. But again, there's, there's, you know, the devil is in the details, are you going to get -- as Republicans in the House and the Senate to vote for anything that adds dramatic amounts of money to the deficit. Are you going to -- the question of, are you going to pay people who work on these infrastructure projects union wages? Or you're going to -- which is called prevailing wage? Or you're going to allow it to be set without those kinds of -- it's called Davis-Bacon a lot of provisions?

There are lots of complicating factors, and we know how difficult it is because we've already seen it once with infrastructure. The president came out forcefully in favor of reforming the way that we fund our air traffic control system. We are unusual in the world. Most major industrialized countries, what has happened is the government has given the responsibility of air traffic control over consortium run by the airlines and the airports and paid for by the airlines. It's taken out of the books; private capital pays for it. And the president came out forcefully for using this approach in the United States. It's past the house, but it's not gone anywhere in the Senate. That's one way in which you could get private money into this by basically saying we're going to move this --

REGAN: I live that idea.

ROVE: -- and make it the responsibility of the private sector.

REGAN: Well, yes, if you get the private sector involved, I think you have much more opportunity for growth, potentially, and hopefully less of a burden on taxpayers. Let me ask you about, though, that the politics of all this, because as I said, the Democrats should love it, right? They should love it because they've always been pushing for infrastructure. But, you know, politics makes strange bedfellow -- and suddenly, we got Bernie Sanders out there talking like he actually likes tax cuts. Let's roll the tape. I want to get your reaction to this one.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to the tax policy center, next year, 91 percent of middle-income Americans will receive a tax cut, isn't that a good thing?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT.: Yes, it is a very good thing. And that's why we should've made the tax rates for the middle-class permanent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

REGAN: Bernie Sanders wants tax cuts for anyone?

ROVE: Well, look, the Democrats are -- he at least faces the reality. The reality is that the Republican tax reform bill passed without a single Democratic vote, does three things: It gives most of the benefit to the middle-class, it gives the benefit to the people who make between $40,000 to $200,000 a year. The Joint Committee on Taxation, you and I are probably the only two Americans -- the only two people in the country besides Dr. Larry Lindsey who read the report. But Dr. Lindsey was a colleague in the White House looked at it and had a very interesting analysis.

The bottom 50 percent of all filers pay two percent of the tax burden and they get 4.5 percent of the benefit of the tax cut bill -- when you look at the individual taxes only. The 45 percent of filers who are between 40,000 and 200,000 income, basically the middle-class, they pay about 38 percent of the taxes today. They get 52 percent of the tax cut. So, most of the tax cut flows to them. And at the top, the top five percent who pays 60 percent of the tax burden, 59.5 percent today, they get 44 percent of the tax cut. So, this is geared more to the middle-class. The people in the middle-class get two times the benefit of the top five percent and three times the benefit of the top one percent. So, this more at the middle- class.

REGAN: Well, and by the way, this, this was one of my concerns about the whole thing, because, to me --

ROVE: I know.

REGAN: -- the people that are paying the taxes, they ought to be getting the tax breaks. So, you're right, this is a middle-class tax cut. I wish the left would get its talking points straight on this one because they don't like to admit that. You and I have talked about it before and we can save this for another day, but there was a bit of a giveaway to the private equity industry, and I do worry that the Democrats are going to pound that one and it could prove challenging politically in the future. But you are absolutely right, sir, it is a tax cut to the middle-class and that should help them a little bit.

ROVE: That's right. Now, look, the reason that the middle-class tax cuts end in 10 years and the corporate tax cuts are made permanent is because of the so-called bird rule. The rule in the Senate that says if you pass a tax bill, you can't allow a negative impact on the deficit after ten years. And the object is, is that just as what the 2001 and the 2003 bush Tax cuts, if they're middle-class tax cuts, like this one is; if they're made - - if they go for only ten years, what's going to happen at the end of ten years is Congress is going to make it permanent just like they did with the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts of the Bush administration.

REGAN: All right. Well, look, it's already showing up as good news in retail sales numbers and obviously the market liked it as well.

ROVE: You bet.

REGAN: Karl Rove, thank you so much.

ROVE: Happy New Year!

REGAN: Happy New Year! Still to come, everyone, almost a dozen countries are now considering following President Trump's lead and moving their embassies to Jerusalem as well. General Jack Keane is here on why this is a significant accomplishment for the United States. Plus, another big win for the White House as Americans feeling more optimistic about the economy -- go out there and spend more on holiday shopping more than ever before. Why many say this is just the beginning of more good things to come, next.

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TRUMP: Consumer confidence is at a 17-year high.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: It was not like that in your last administration.

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TRUMP: Today, the entire world can see that America is coming back, and America is coming back rapidly and strongly. They see that with what's going on economically.

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REGAN: That was President Trump just last week touting the amazing rebounds of the U.S. economy since he took office. And a holiday shopping is any indication, well, we are in store for more good news in 2018. According to a new report, from November 1 through Christmas Eve, retail sale jumped 4.9 percent, and that is the biggest surge we have seen since 2011. Fox News Correspondent, Anita Vogel, is in our West Coast Newsroom with the story.

ANITA VOGEL, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: What's behind all the big spending this year? A number of big factors that all seem to add up for retailers. According to the National Retail Federation, there are three key things. Number one was good shopping weather is a cross country. Second, was low employment. And third, was consumer confidence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like stores. I always like to -- I prefer buying in stores because I can see it, and touch it, and feel it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just felt more excited about shopping, you know. And I usually don't go out and shop. No, never, I usually don't go out and shop. But this year, I just felt more positive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VOGEL: According to the National Retail Federation, seven years ago, sales were at $528 billion. In 2017, the estimate for this holiday season, 682 billion. A spokesperson from Mastercard says, overall, this was a big win for retail this year with a lot of the boost coming from online shopping. But it's not the wealthiest picture for the brick and mortar stores. Chains like Macy's, Sears, K-Mart, and many others, are shuttering dozens of store locations. The former administrator of the small business administration says all the retail stores will have to adapt.

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HECTOR BARRETO, ADMINISTRATOR, U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: I think any business, whether you're small or large, needs to be very efficient and cost-effective, and those models are not working as well anymore. Bricks and mortar, all the employees that you need for that, and so you're seeing a lot of their businesses go online. But for small business, a lot of that has been happening already for some time.

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VOGEL: But there is a silver lining for the brick and mortar stores. According to Fortune Magazine, the average shopper who spends online and in stores spends an average of $82 more in the store. And experts say, another thing, all businesses can look forward to is the corporate tax cut coming next year. Trish.

REGAN: Thank you so much, Anita Vogel. And just a short time ago, the president tweeted this and I quote, all signs are that business is looking really good for next year, only to be helped further by our tax cut bill. Will be a great year for companies and jobs. Stock market is poised for another year of success. Here now to weigh in, Marc Lotter, former special assistant to President Trump, and Adam Johnson, founder and author of Bullseye Brief, he's also hosted a number of business programs. Good to see both of you here. Adam, you've been calling for Dow 25,000 for months now, and you say it could even surpass that. You are very optimistic. You share the president's view on the economy right now, why?

ADAM JOHNSON, FOUNDER AND AUTHOR OF BULLSEYE BRIEF: I do. The tax reform bill, Trish, is rocket fuel for market. It's already powered by what I call the two ease of earnings and employment. We've been talking about this for months. Think about it. We have the highest percentage of Americans working ever, making the highest growth adjusted income ever, and they're out there and they're spending money. That's actually good for corporate earnings. It's a very powerful combination. You add to that tax reform, Trish, that becomes rocket fuel. And I don't want to get over excited, but the fact is it's a very powerful combination.

REAGAN: All right. You've mentioned tax reform. Mr. Lotter, I want to get your reaction to this because not everyone is sold on tax reform. We've heard from Rosie O'Donnell who basically thinks that Paul Ryan is heading straight to H-E-L-L as a result of tax reform. And then, Charles Barkley the basketball player has this to say, watch.

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UNINDENTIFIED MALE: We should get our tax break.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Not down that road again.

(CROSSTALK)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: We've heard it the other night.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I keep waiting for this to trickle down.

(LAUGHTER)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: We're waiting for like 1,200 years (INAUDIBLE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REAGAN: OK. Mr. Lotter, he doesn't like the idea of what people refer to as trickle-down economics. What do you say?

MARC LOTTER, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, when you look at all the economic signs, the unemployment rate, you know, all of the great economic news we have, consumer confidence, business confidence, the stock markets, I mean, if this is Nancy Pelosi's apocalypse, were doing quite well and tax cuts have just been passed. This is proven in the past to increase per capita income. We're seeing jobs exploding across the marketplace. We've got companies coming back now. It's going to be a great year for the American economy and even better in the years ahead.

REAGAN: What do you say, Adam, to critics who say this is just going to help corporate America, it's not going to do a thing for the individual, how do you counter that?

JOHNSON: Well, I'll tell you what, corporations are made up of people. And, you know, you look at the number of corporations around the country from Comcast, to Boeing, to AT&T, to on and on and on, several of the banks that are actually giving their people special one-time bonuses because of tax reform. You know, the Democrats didn't want to have us believe that there was an opportunity here to make the country better through tax reform, but the fact is, the reason the Democrats unilaterally voted against tax reform is they know it's going to increase GDP above 4 percent. It's going to be very hard for them to get elected.

REAGAN: You think it was that malicious? I mean, Mr. Lotter, over to you. Did Democrats not want the economy to do well?

LOTTER: You have to wonder. Obviously, they would do better politically with a bad economy which is a really sad state of our politics fi we have to root against our country in order to win an election. When the average American family of four is going to see $2,000 more in their paycheck next year, starting in February, when you think of low income people, the first $24,000 of their income is now tax free and they've doubled the child tax credit. These are wins for middle America, for low income people, and it's very hard to see how they're going to win an election on a Democratic side rooting against America, or telling people that they didn't support having more money in their pocket book.

REAGAN: So good things to come for the economy, Adam?

JOHNSON: Yes.

REAGAN: Yeah?

JOHNSON: Absolutely.

REAGAN: The president would love to see 3 percent, 4 percent GDP growth, we might be there.

JOHNSON: Think about it, Trish, we're already at 3.2 percent on GDP growth. And all of a sudden, you add tax reform where, again, we just heard you get an extra $2,000 in your pocket of average Americans. Two- thirds of our economy is actually consumer driven. This is huge, Trish. It's a great deal. I know its imperfect. There are things that you and I would probably.

REAGAN: I do have. We can talk about private equity later because that does need to get corrected. The president is still good, by the way, quite possibly. But, Marc Lotter, what does it mean for 2018? If the economy is doing well, if people are employed, if they're making more money, and if the stock market is way up, how does that affect ‘18?

LOTTER: I think it puts Republicans in a very good position, especially when you know that Republicans aren't done yet. This president is not waiting around. He wants to push ahead on infrastructure. He wants to push ahead on immigration. We'll see if Democrats want to actually come and partner with us. But right now, there's a lot of momentum for Republicans, wind in our sails. The economy is doing very well. And it's a good position to be in heading into 2018. If you're a Democrat having to run by saying I want to take money out of your pocket and put it in Uncle Sam's.

REAGAN: I've covered business news. Adam knows well. Since the year 2000, and I've got to tell you, I have been hearing forever how retailers are going straight down the drain, and today I spoke to two retail analysts who have been telling this for decades and they said things are looking up, and I haven't heard that and a long time. So I am encouraged as well. So good to see you both. Adam, thank you so much. Mark Lotter, thank you. Still to come everyone, former NFL star Terrell Owens says there's one thing keeping him and Colin Kaepernick out of the game. Wait until you hear who he blames. Plus, Putin, reportedly, wants to play peace keeper as North Korea calls the latest U.N. sanctions an act of war, could he? Would it work? General Jack Keane will tell us. He's here, next.

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UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Their arrogance and hostility to anything productive has set their country on a destructive path.

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UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: America will put our embassy in Jerusalem. That is what the American people want us to do. And it is the right thing to do.

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REAGAN: U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, standing firmly behind President Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, despite pushback within the U.N. to the announcement. It now looks like up to a dozen more countries may be considering a similar move. Fox's Doug McKelway has the story tonight from Washington.

DOUG MCKELWAY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Trish, according to Israel foreign minister, at least ten countries have expressed an interest in following the United States lead in moving their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Guatemala president, Jimmy Morales, has already announced his intention to do so on Facebook, quote, I have given instructions to the former ministry that it start the necessary respected coordination to make this happen. That announcement was met with praise from the Israeli foreign ministry which has long appreciated Guatemala. They were one of the first country's to support the creation of a Jewish state in 1947.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Israel say thank you very much to Guatemala. We believe that this is a just and correct decision. And it reflects also the deep friendship between our two countries.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCKELWAY: That decision was immediately condemned by the Palestinians. One member of the Palestinians legislature noting the U.S. was badly outnumbered in voting against the U.N. resolution.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: The decision of the president of Guatemala to move the embassy to Jerusalem means he's participating and violating international law which prohibits the annexation of occupied territories. The majority of the world is on our side, and the decision of one country like Guatemala will not change that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCKELWAY: But, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is putting her money where her mouth is after last week U.N. vote. She said, quoting, the United States will remember this day when we are called upon to once again make the world's largest contribution. Then, on Sunday night, she announced the U.S. is cutting $285 million of its contribution to the U.N.'s 2018-2019 budget. The Israeli foreign ministry has not yet said which other countries are contemplate moving their embassies to Jerusalem, but some media report suggest that Honduras may be next. Trish, back to you.

REAGAN: Thank you so much, Doug. Here now with reaction, General Jack Keane, Fox News senior strategic analyst, so good to see you, sir. General, I want to start with this $285 million because she's basically, you know, taking a big chunk out of the money that we put towards the U.N., and it's sending a message loud and clear. Do you think the U.N. is going to hear it?

JACK KEANE, FOX NEWS SENIOR STRATEGIC ANALYST: I absolutely think that's the right approach. You know, President Trump -- met with the secretary general a number of months ago, we all watched it, and they had a meeting about U.N. reform. And we know the U.N., fundamentally, almost throws money away. And the fact that we're going to come in here, cut our budget with them, and I think we should use that as leverage to get the kind of reform that we want out of the U.N. We should actually put on the table additional potential cuts and make them conditions based, based on the fact that the U.N. is going to make some progress here to improve its effectiveness.

REAGAN: You know people had always been so frustrated with the U.N. because they really don't -- in many people, do much of anything. They talk of a game, but when it comes to effectiveness, they're very, very limited. I mean, think about your military career, and General, how much of an advantage would have it been for you to have a U.N. that actually had some power that could stand up to things the way you needed them or wanted them too.

KEANE: Well, that's true. I mean, we have huge problems -- their enforcement forces when they put them out there to protect people when there's conflict going on, they called them peacekeeping forces, in many cases, they're not very effective. They call out the United States routinely from the U.N. as being a human rights abusers because there's an undercurrent of anti-American bias in the U.N. There is a significant anti-Israeli bias been there ever since the state was form in 1948. But these are major, major issues that are frustrated Americans for a long time. This is the first president that ever stood up and said I'm going to do something about this.

REAGAN: I'm going to take away some of that money. And by the way, I'm going to move our embassy to Jerusalem. General, so many president have talked about doing this. Nobody has had the guts to do it. Now we're seeing more countries following suit. What does this signal to the world? What does it signal to anti-American sentiment among many players there at the U.N.?

KEANE: Well, I think, President Trump and his security team, I give them a lot of credit. I really applaud there national security strategy that they put out because they look at the world the way it really is. And therefore, let's design strategies to deal with that, that real world is out there. They look at this peace process 22 years, the congress mandated the move of our embassy to Israel, and they're asking themselves, what do we've got to show for that? And the answer is allowed nothing. So, he's taking a totally different approach.

And listen, they're recognizing -- the reality is that the Middle East today has fundamentally changed. The Middle East peace process is no longer the number one security in the Middle East. It hasn't been for a number of years. What are the security issues? In fact, it's not even in the top three, Trish. The first one is Iranian aggression and maligned behavior. The second one is the Syrian civil war and the war in Yemen, and the third one is radical Islam which is in every country in the Middle East trying to undermine the governments in the Middle East. Those are the top three security issues.

(CROSSTALK)

REAGAN: And he's making progress on so many of them, including radical Islamic terror. I mean, here he is talking about ISIS most recently. Here we go.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We made tremendous strides, obviously, in Syria with ISIS. We've taken back virtually all of the caliphate, all of the land, same thing with Iraq, and we're making tremendous strides. It's sort of the unwritten story right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REAGAN: General, we're making these strides. Fast forward a couple of years from me -- I mean, if we continue this progress, if we continue at this pace, are we going to be able to reduce ISIS's footprint in the world significantly in a way that we can all feel much safer?

KEANE: We should have crushed ISIS very early on when they showed their ugly head in 2014, 30,000 stronghold. Obama did not do that. It was not a major priority, and he didn't want to risk some kind of military escalation. Huge strategic error. They became the largest and most iconic world terrorist organization ever created. We all saw their barbarism. Trump comes in with the national security team and crushes them in a matter of months. That should have been done two years ago and that's a sad situation.

REAGAN: You've mentioned crushed them. We just saw the map, general. And when you look at where they were just a year ago versus today, it's pretty significant reduction to your point crushing them. Continue your thoughts.

KEANE: Yeah. He took out -- virtually out half of the territory in a number of months that Obama was doing over the course of close to three years. That's how dramatic the turnaround actually has been.

REAGAN: What does that take?

KEANE: The administration has got to follow through here, and they have a plan to. We have to undermine this ideology. And whenever they form a safe haven like they did in Syria, whenever that pops up, we have to crush it and we have to go after it immediately because from that safe haven is the recruitment, becomes the internet caliphate that they've established. That we're now for the first time also, by the way, Trish, having some success at taking down these messages and all of their transnational information that they put on that internet and have been so hugely successful at. We've got to stay on top of this, guys.

REAGAN: General, always good to see you, thank you very much for your insight tonight.

KEANE: Yeah. It's good talking to you, Trish, as always.

REAGAN: OK. Coming up next, everyone, a brand-new NFL controversy. Former NFL player Terrell Owens, known for his antics, now claims he and Colin Kaepernick are off the field for the same reason. Lawrence Jones and Wendy Osefo are here. They're going to talk about it with us, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: So what's stopping you from being in the NFL right now?

TERRELL OWENS, FORMER NFL PLAYER: What's stopping Colin Kaepernick from being in the league?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REAGAN: Former NFL star Terrell Owens hasn't played in the league since 2010. But apparently, he thinks the reason he's not playing now is because he has been blackballed. Mr. Owens who was once one of the best player in the NFL says he and Colin Kaepernick who started the kneeling, you recall, of course, during the anthem, they are being treated the same. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: What's stopping you from being in the NFL right now?

OWENS: What's stopping Colin Kaepernick from being in the league? Owners, general managers, it's all about opportunity. That's it. It's the same thing with Colin. You're trying to tell me he can't play in the league right now? Really?

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: That's the question.

OWENS: But it's not like its politics. It is what it is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REAGAN: Here now, Lawrence Jones, a conservative commentator and host of The Blaze, and Wendy Osefo, a political commentator and professor as well. Good to see you, guys. Well, let me start with Lawrence here, because, you know, I'm no athlete, but I'm guessing like if you haven't played in six years, it might be kind of difficult to go and suit up and do it again.

LAWRENCE JONES, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Right, your time is up. And T.O. had multiple issues in the NFL. He was a great wide receiver at one point at time in his career, but he's old now. And the combination of his problems off the field as well as his performance going down as he got older was part of the reason why they didn't renew his contract. So essentially, that's the same thing that happened to Colin Kaepernick. It wasn't just that he kneeled. It was a risk-reward ratio where he's kneeling brought negative attention to the league as well as his performance decrease until they sever ties with him.

REAGAN: In other words, in your view, it just wasn't worth the pain of having to deal with a player like Kaepernick. Wendy, what do you think?

WENDY OSEFO, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I think that Terrell Owens right now, he's just suffering from being passed up twice in a row for the hall of fame. Quite frankly, he's a great wide receiver. He has the second most touchdowns, second-most passes and yards. But at the end of the day, you know, the facts of the facts, off the field, he did not do well and that's not good. But when we've talked about Colin Kaepernick that's a whole another argument. We have seen a litany of quarterbacks be injured, and he hasn't even been given a tryout. Right now, the Texans, yesterday, played their fourth string quarterback and, you know, Colin Kaepernick could have done that and better. So, I think that it's two different issues. Terrell Owens, his time has definitely passed, but Colin Kaepernick he's in his prime, you know. We have Aron Rodgers.

(CROSSTALK)

REAGAN: But Lawrence, if you're running a team and you have the option of having Colin Kaepernick, you have to weigh those off, right? Because you're going to attract all kind of attention that maybe you don't want.

JONES: Well, here's the deal, when it comes to football, it's just not about your performance on the field. You know I love my Dallas Cowboys, but we're not worth $4 billion because of our performance on the field. It's about the brand. And when you have someone that brings negative attention to the brand, whether you agree with the kneeling protest or not, it has brought negative attention to the NFL and the ratings are suffering. So businesses are making that based on that decision.

OSEFO: That would make sense if everyone in the NFL was squeaky clean. The NFL has had a history of people with domestic violence issues, with drug issues. You're trying to tell me that Colin Kaepernick who's fighting for social justice, he is the black sheep? No. If they used a complete same standards for everyone then that would make sense.

JONES: They do. Wendy, so let me give you this, Marshawn Lynch, he's currently kneeling and, oh, he's still in the league, correct?

OSEFO: Yes.

JONES: OK. That's my point. If you're good and as well as you take a stand, then the league may have some flexibility with you, but his performance didn't also matches his activism. And so, the teams says it's not worth the risk.

OSEFO: That's not true. So, a fourth string Texas quarterback is better than Colin Kaepernick? Is that what you're saying, Lawrence?

JONES: What I'm telling you that's the business.

OSEFO: Answer the question, Lawrence.

(CROSSTALK)

OSEFO: No, a forth string quarterback is not as good as Colin Kaepernick.

JONES: Listen, Wendy, you're comparing him to a fourth string, that should tell you enough.

OSEFO: Exactly, he should be in the league, Lawrence.

REAGAN: Well, You know, Wendy, I agree with you. They make a lot of bad decisions there at the NFL. OSEFO: They do.

REAGAN: They shouldn't allow these people that have had all these domestic violence accusation.

JONES: Totally agree.

REAGAN: We have seen on tape, you'll recall that elevator where one of them went after his wife, horrible, horrible stuff. They should not be allowed on for sure. You know, Lawrence, you got a point. This is business at the end of the day and you have to think about the risk. So good to see you both. Thanks so much. Coming up next, everyone, an NFL player with a positive message this holiday season for Arizona senator John McCain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REAGAN: Finally tonight, an NFL player pens a touching letter to Arizona Senator John McCain for Christmas. Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, writing a tribute and thank you to the 81-year-old who is battling brain cancer. Fitzgerald writes that while he's not a political guy, he's developed so much admiration for McCain over the years. It's our quote of the night.

"When I think about Christmas, and I think about Senator McCain, I think of giving. The sacrifices John McCain has made for our country and especially the men and women he's served with in the military are incredible. As a prisoner of war in Vietnam he missed six Christmases with his family back home and suffered unbelievable hardship. Today, my friend, Senator John McCain, again, finds himself in a battle, this time it's with cancer. And the treatment he is undergoing is exhausting. I wish him a Merry Christmas today, and I pray he lives another 20 years."

Senator McCain is expected back in Washington after the holidays. Beautiful quote, indeed.

All right. We'll see you back here tomorrow night at 7 p.m., and you can catch me every weekday at 2 on "The Intelligence Report" on the Fox Business Network. Have a terrific night.


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