Gowdy on questioning the FBI chief of staff and Lewandowski

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," January 17, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: Thank you very much, Bret. Breaking tonight, James Comey's deputy is up next on Capitol Hill. He's to answer questions about the FBI role in the Clinton investigation and in the Trump-Russia probe during the 2016 campaign. Trey Gowdy is here and he leads that committee. All day today, he was with Corey Lewandowski in front of the House Intel Committee. He has some pointed questions, though, for Mr. Rybicki tomorrow about the changes that were made to the memo that exonerated Hillary Clinton prior to her questioning. Tammy Bruce and Michael Starr Hopkins weigh in in a moment.

And good evening, everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum, and this is the other big story breaking tonight. A huge announcement from Apple. 2,500, in bonuses to employees, and bringing back some $38 billion back to the United States thanks to the new tax law. Apple will add 20,000 jobs -- something that President Obama tried in vain to get Steve Jobs to do. That, in a moment. It led to this, though, another rocket-fueled day for the Dow as it soared over 26,000. More on that in a moment as well. But first, let's go back to the earlier this evening when I spoke to Congressman Trey Gowdy, of House Intel Committee, and asked him exactly what he hopes to get out of Jim Rybicki. The FBI chief of staff and former number 2 to James Comey, during the time of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.


REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C.: A couple of things. Number one, we already know this case was handled differently from any other case that the FBI agents could remember. Now, part of that is that you're dealing with a presidential candidate, and we want to make sure that that was the only reason that it was done differently. Those in exoneration memo drafted in May of 2016, that -- as a former prosecutor, I just found stunning, I find stunning that a law enforcement officer would draft it two months before you have interviewed the target of the investigation, and before you've interviewed almost two dozen witnesses. So, we need to know what role, if any, Special Agent Rybicki had in that. We need to know whether or not there was also a prosecution memo. We've seen the non-prosecution memo, was there a memo laying out the case if they had decided to prosecute, and if not, why not?

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, that's a great question. Because their argument is that it's normal to write up preliminary documents for either side of the equation. But as you point out, we've never heard, if they did that, in the same way for an argument that there was a prosecution in the works.

GOWDY: Well, I can tell you having done it for 16 years, it is usual for the prosecutor to write a prosecution memo. It is not usual, at all, for the FBI agent to write either a prosecution memo or a non-prosecution memo. But that begs another difference. The head of the FBI made the charging decision in that famous July 5th press conference. That's unprecedented. He also wrote two letters in the fall of 2016, that lots of Democrats thought were inappropriate to send. So, there are lots of questions we have for the FBI; and Chairman Goodlatte on the judiciary and I are kinds of teaming up to take a look at those decisions in 2016.

MACCALLUM: To what happened today, Corey Lewandowski was in there, Former Advisor to President Trump, was the -- an original campaign manager. The word tonight is that it got into territory that he didn't feel prepared to answer questions about. What can you tell me about that?

GOWDY: Yes, that's more on his lawyer than it is on the witness. The witness, at all times today, Corey represented that he wanted to answer all of our questions, but his lawyer did not believe questions after Corey left the campaign were going to be asked. So, you know, that's on the lawyers, not on the witness. Corey is going to come back and answer every question that anyone has. Today, we just focus, as you said, he was the campaign manager. He was there from the very beginning. So, all of my questions are about collusion, coordination, conspiracy, what evidence of any of that did he see. He's an important witness. It is not his fault that his lawyer didn't prep him to answer all of the questions today. So, this isn't like Steve Bannon yesterday. Corey is coming back and he's going to finish the job.

MACCALLUM: Just to put a bow on the Corey Lewandowski part of the story. He has said all along that there was absolutely no collusion, that he has nothing to hide. Was there anything in today's testimony that changed that?

GOWDY: Nothing. There is no evidence of collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians, between the Trump campaign and the Russians, even between, frankly, between hangers-on and want-to-bes on the campaign. Now, we're not through interviewing a witness, but the only person who says that he has seen evidence of collusion is Adam Schiff. And somehow, he saw it before we even began somehow. Other than that, no one can cite any evidence of collusion which is why they're now pivoting more to the obstruction of justice claim and away from collusion.

MACCALLUM: Should Adam Schiff find anything to be concerned with, with Lewandowski today?

GOWDY: Adam can always find something to be concerned with, even if he has to manufacture it. His biggest problem is that, that he got out in front of his skis earlier this year, early last year, and said that he had evidence of collusion that was more than circumstantial and there isn't none.

MACCALLUM: In terms of Steve Bannon, the word is that he flipped up early on in the question and answer yesterday and went into the territory after the president was elected. And saying that he spoke with Reince Priebus and that he spoke with Sean Spicer about the June meeting at Trump Tower, and then pulled back, and said, oh, wait, I'm not allowed to talk about anything after the campaign. Is that an accurate depiction?

GOWDY: I would take exception to the phrase slipped up. I think he did exactly what he was supposed to do, which is answer all of the questions. Where he really slipped up is when he cited a privilege that doesn't exist. That was the slip-up. Initially, when he answered the questions during all relevant time periods, that's what you're supposed to do. It was only when he got this notion that, hey, I'm going to create a privilege that no one's heard of before that doesn't exist in the law, and I'm going to kind of compartmentalize what I will and will not answer, that was the slip up to me.

MACCALLUM: All right. So, the characterization of Steve Bannon is that he has flipped, that he's saving everything he knows for his conversation with Robert Mueller, which is now not in front of a grand jury anymore. And that he is, "the most dangerous man for the Trump administration". Do you agree with that?

GOWDY: Whether or not he's dangerous, I don't know. I just met him yesterday. I think the only thing dangerous for President Trump for his campaign is credible evidence. This is the same witness that said that there was a zero percent chance that the Russian lawyer wasn't walked up to Trump. And when he was asked what that evidence was, he came up with nothing. This the same witness that said that members of the president's family committed acts of treason. So, he's a got a credibility issue. If they're hinging the entire case on Steve Bannon's credibility, good luck to the prosecution.

MACCALLUM: Trey Gowdy, always good to see you. Thank you very much, sir.

GOWDY: Yes, ma'am. Yes, ma'am. Thank you.



MACCALLUM: Joining me now, Tammy Bruce, The Washington Times Columnist and Fox News contributor; and Michael Starr Hopkins, the Democratic Strategist who served on both the Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns. So, you heard what Trey Gowdy said. He says, so far, the discussions, Michael, have not changed their read on what happened today, haven't found any collusion that was brought forth by these conversations with Lewandowski.

MICHAEL STARR HOPKINS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think that's exactly why we have an investigation going on in the house, that's why we have Bob Mueller investigating through the special prosecutors, and we're going to get to the end of this either one way or another. We'll find out what happened. And I think that's what 68 percent of Americans in the recent poll said that they want to do. I think that's what we should all support.

MACCALLUM: So, tomorrow, as I said, he will talk to Jim Rybicki. What are you watching for there, Tammy?

TAMMY BRUCE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND COLUMNIST FOR THE WASHINGTON TIMES: Look, I think that this is what came out about his involvement, is kind of shocking. Not only in the fact that his involvement about what Comey ultimately said, but even Comey's statement alone. You know, normally, it's the attorney general's decision if someone is going to be prosecuted. And yet, Comey made the point of taking that stand, of sinking his flag at that point, which is also not the director of the FBI's job.

So, from the beginning, this looked like it was to protect a particular individual, to move them out of harm's way. This is classically what Congress should be looking at. But also, what people must remember is that Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, has said now they are also looking in, he's asked investigators to look at this aspect as well. The Uranium One, this, the server, et cetera, to see if maybe there should be, there could be a second special counsel.

So what Congress is doing could be important in that the material they gather could end up going to the Department of Justice if it's requested. So, it's almost like a secondary investigation. So, the problem that Mr. Rybicki has, is two-fold. It's the attorney's general office and as well as committees that generally don't have much of an impact, right? Even with Benghazi, it didn't. But I think that he's going to have to probably, a little bit of difficult problem, explaining why he was involved at that level.

MACCALLUM: I mean, these are serious, Michael. And the reason that this goes to the House Oversight Committee is that they're doing oversight of the FBI. And you know, reading a piece in the journal yesterday about James Calstrom, who's the Former Deputy Director of the FBI. He said this is not the organization that I have so much of my life to. He is appalled at what he sees as a biased, and what has become a bias within some members -- and he said this is the leadership, it's not the rank and file, it's the leadership, and it needs to be discovered. We need to figure out what happened here. How important is that to you?

HOPKINS: I think it's extremely important. We need to have faith in our institutions. And we saw, during the Clinton election that there were questions about whether Rudy Guiliani was having inappropriate conversations. And then, there were questions about whether James Comey was having conversations. You know, I think that we need to be able to have faith that the FBI is doing their job. I think, for the most part, I have faith that he is responsible in doing their job. But we don't want to see politics come into play. I think on both sides --

MACCALLUM: But what about Adam Schiff, who seems to have decided before this thing -- even started? He said, oh, yes, there's a big smoking gun; we have evidence. What is it?

HOPKINS: Adam Schiff has seen things that aren't privy to yet.

MACCALLUM: Well, what are we waiting for?

HOPKINS: I think that he doesn't want to get ahead of the Mueller investigation. We don't want leaks on either side. And I think that what we've seen is Papadopoulos has been indicted, we've seen Gates, we've seen Manafort. Now, we're seeing Bannon do a private meeting with Mueller rather than the grand jury.

MACCALLUM: Well, Bannon has now, sort of, you know, he's a man without a country, and that can be -- that can be dangerous, as someone said for the Trump administration, potentially. What do you think about that?

BRUCE: Well, look, let's remember, Bannon said some things that originally, we thought he was attributing to Don Jr. in the Michael Wolff book. This is suddenly why there's no love lost between Bannon and Manafort. This -- we don't want to do a Brian Ross where you think that, oh, he's going to turn on Donald Trump. This is about Manafort. He said - - he came out and said, look, my talk about treason was about Manafort. And so, and this, I think, goes to Gowdy's comment earlier also about, you know, it's time to talk about -- you know, to book authors, but, you know, not us. But I do think that the committee, why would they be surprised that he is trying to claim executive privilege?

Some of these things they want to know, perhaps, involve conversations with the president, when, in fact, the issue still does seem to remain -- Paul Manafort and not the president of the United States. He has a right to defend himself. Trey Gowdy should've had his committee figure out what was going to happen ahead of time. But it does -- we need to make sure that while a lot of this is only politics, that we actually do get answers that the American people deserve. It never comes out of a congressional committee. Though I have to say, it has to come out of Jeff Sessions office. And somebody like Bannon, if he is going to be throwing -- it's not even throwing Manafort under the bus, it's just about I saw something he alleges that I found to be very troubling. But none of these things have to do with the president, just like his health report on Tuesday. Everyone is going to be very disappointed because it's going to not be about Trump.

HOPKINS: With the grand jury -- with Bannon being called into the grand jury, would I expect more indictments. Because the grand jury --

MACCALLUM: There's no grand jury though.

HOPKINS: Well, there's not an open grand jury, but Bannon was subpoenaed for the grand jury.

MACCALLUM: He's probably in the negotiating room. So, now, we've got a private meeting with Robert Mueller. We'll see where it goes. Thanks, you guys. Great to see you both.

HOPKINS: Absolutely. Thanks.

MACCALLUM: Coming up next.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY., SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: A lot of people on both sides of the aisle trying to get an outcome.


MACCALLUM: So, late tonight, we are hearing that Republicans don't have the votes to avert a government shut down next Friday -- this Friday, rather. Ed Henry is live at the White House with the very latest what's happening behind the scenes there tonight on this. Stick around for that.

And any moment, President Trump's expected to announce his fake news awards. Stand by for that, folks. We'll tell you when that happens.

And 20 years ago, today, this is the headline that shocked the nation. A flashback Wednesday for a change, coming up.


BILL CLINTON, 42ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not have sexual relations with that woman -- Ms. Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time, never. These allegations are false.



MACCALLUM: A government shutdown and can they bring together the votes for DACA and border security. Some brand-new names on Senator Graham's list towards that effort. Chief National Correspondent, Ed Henry, live at the White House with what is happening behind him there tonight. Hi, Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Martha. Here and on the Senate floor as well, Lindsey Graham saying just a few moments ago, he now has about half dozen senators in both parties onboard for his bipartisan deal on immigration. But let's not forget those details we broke on this program last night about the immigration talks and the fact that the White House is frustrated with Lindsey Graham, and not really appearing to deal with him right now. So, it doesn't necessarily mean that there's momentum behind that plan. And in fact, it was summed up perhaps best to where we are right now, by Senator Joe Manchin. The moderate Democrat from West Virginia saying today that the fact that over 300 million people in this country may be punished with a government shutdown because of Washington dysfunction is simply terrible.

The president himself today was on Capitol Hill to help give Former Senator Bob Dole the Congressional gold medal to celebrate his legacy of compromise. Well, both sides right now seemed deadlocked. The president bluntly telling Reuters in an interview, the bipartisan immigration plan that we just mentioned is horrible and the opposite of what he campaigned on in 2016 in terms of cracking down on illegal immigration. Still the White House signals; it's trying to compromise. Chief of Staff John Kelly, reaching out, meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, huddling with bipartisan leaders like Democrat Dick Durbin who's been attacking the president over that tense meeting here last week.

In just a few moments ago, John Kelly had an exclusive interview with our own Bret Baier, and that what they want is about $20 billion in funding for the wall, and maybe about 700 more miles of wall/fencing, not 2000 miles that's been talked about. So, maybe a compromise there. But Durbin and other top Democrats made clear today they have no plans to meet the president in the middle with some of those measures like funding for the wall, ending the visa lottery program. Instead, they're threatening to vote "no" on a budget deal to keep the government open unless it deals with DACA cleanly. That prompted Republicans to charge any disruption to the military readiness with threats from North Korea, to Iran, and all around the globe will be Democrats' fault.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER: We want to do everything we can to avoid a shutdown. But we, Democrats, believe that if there is one, it will fall on the Republicans' backs.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: And the president certainly doesn't want a shutdown, and if one happens, I think you only have one place to look, and that's to the Democrats who are holding our military and our national security hostage.


HENRY: Speaker Paul Ryan declaring this is the most basic responsibility of Congress -- the common defense. So, he's pushing a four-week deal to keep the government open and also gives Democrats nothing on DACA for now but an extension of a popular children's health insurance program -- daring Democrats to oppose it. But the truth is, a shutdown is not really a full shutdown of the government. In fact, all critical functions will stay open, such as border patrol, military troops in the field will stay at their posts. Though, they may see disruption to their paychecks. The reason why, in part, we know that the government doesn't completely shut down, there was a businessman in 2013 who tweeted that fact, his name was Donald Trump. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Ed, thank you very. Here now, General Anthony Tata who has more than three decades of public service as a military officer and as the author of the new book "Direct Fire". General, good to see you tonight. Welcome.


MACCALLUM: You know, what goes through your mind as someone who has made the military most of your life, when you hear about the possibility that the government could shut down. What's the impact on defense?

TATA: Well, you've got the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, living paycheck to pay them, and they're in their foxholes doing their job. So, why can't Congress do its job? That's what goes through my mind. And so, Congress just needs to lock the door, slide some pizzas under there, get some diet coke, and stay up 24/7 until they get those things done. Because the unpredictability for the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines on the ground and the DOD civilians that are going to be furloughed that support all of our deployed men and women around the globe is -- you know, this unpredictability is absolutely something that creates havoc with the budgets, with how you can support troops on the ground. And Congress needs to understand that because it is a big deal. And it not only impacts the troops on the ground in deployed areas, but all the support systems throughout the United States and around the world that support our soldiers, and sailors, airmen, and marines.

MACCALLUM: Yes, and if there's another continuing resolution, which is the discussion now, another four weeks, that also impact defense spending. Maybe even more so than a temporary government shutdown. And I know that's very much on the minds of everyone tonight as well. I do want to ask you a question about the North Korea-South Korea delegation combining for the Olympics. And I couldn't help but imagine that moment when you watch all of the teams walking out, and everybody is watching the countries as they come through. Describe for me the significance of the fact that North and South Korea are combing their teams for the Olympics.

TATA: Martha, if you think six months ago, people were talking about whether or not we were going to have the Olympics because of the tensions on the peninsula. And now, because of the firm stance of the Trump administration and the diplomatic information, military and economic elements of national power, being leveraged appropriately, we've got North Korea and South Korea actually talking in the demilitarized zone, in coming to, at least, a symbolic, if not very real substantial agreement on athletic teams. They're going to have a women's ice hockey team, and then they're going to march on together.

There's going to be a North Korean dance troupe part of it -- a cultural deal coming into South Korea. Some big deal. They've boycotted the 1988 Olympics in Korea, and they also blew up a Korean airline -- North Korea did -- plane so. I mean, it's a very different tone today than what we saw even six months ago. So, it's big deal. And it means that if they're talking today, that means they were talking three, four months ago, the last time you and I talked about this, Martha, behind the scenes. So, that's, that's a really good sign that diplomacy may be working here.

MACCALLUM: And as Secretary Tillerson said, he knows where he can be reached if Kim Jong-un wants to talk. They're certainly open to that possibility. It looks like diplomacy, as you say, based on all these changing dynamics could be working in this equation which is huge. General Tata, always good to have you here, sir, thank you very much.

TATA: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So, still to come tonight, Apple made it a great day for the president with a huge announcement. Our power panel: Chris Stirewalt, Katie Pavlich, and Juan Williams, up next. And 20 years ago, today, that story broke. Do you remember? I do. Howie Kurtz do too. He's up next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Mr. Jordan during that meeting make an inquiry about the nature of the relationship between you and the president?

MONICA LEWINSKY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE INTERN: I think they were, something like, did you have sex with the president or did he ask for it, something like that.



MACCALLUM: Ding, ding, ding! The Dow hitting a new record high today, up more than 300 points, now over 26,000 for the first time ever. And it isn't the only story that is breaking tonight, and a lot of the reason for that today was that Apple just announced that they're going to bring home nearly $250 billion from overseas tax havens, paying a $38 billion repatriation tax -- the largest payment ever made of this kind. The rest of the money going to a new Apple campus that will be built here in the United States and 20,000 new jobs.

President Trump tweeting moments ago: "I promised that my policies would allow companies like Apple to bring massive amounts of money back to the United States. Great to see Apple follow through as a result of tax cuts. Huge win for American workers in the USA." Here now on that and all the hot political news of the day: Christ Stirewalt, Fox News Politics Editor; Katie Pavlich, Townhall.com New Editor and a Fox News Contributor; and Juan Williams, Co-Host of "THE FIVE" and Fox News Political Analyst. Mr. Stirewalt, let me start you. This is a big deal.

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS CHANNEL POLITICS EDITOR: Oh, yes. This is why Barack Obama wanted a corporate tax cut. That's why, for years, people have wanted these corporate tax cuts, because you get the money, you hope to get the money back on shore, and this is the first proof positive -- not the first, but the best proof positive so far that that thesis was correct.

MACCALLUM: But it's not just a tax cut. And we have a quote from the New York Times back when President Obama was meeting with Steve Jobs and practically begging him to -- what do we need to do to bring Apple manufacturing back to the United States? It says, "Not long ago, Apple boasted that its products were made in America. Today, few are. Almost all of the 70 million iPhones, 30 million iPads, 9 million other products that Apple sold last year were manufactured overseas. Why can't that work come home, Mr. Obama asked." And the answer from Steve Jobs, those jobs are not coming back. Juan?

JUAN WILLIAMS, "THE FIVE" CO-HOST: Well, I mean, obviously, that now they are coming back, and so it's good news for us all. I just don't see that there's any issue here. I think the bigger issue is, of course, the tax cut, is it directly related to the tax cut. I leave that to others who know economics better than I know it. But I will say this that even today, most Americans, I think it's two-thirds of Americans continue to see this as a gift to the rich rather than something that was going to inspire more jobs.


MACCALLUM: I don't know how you say that. You've got 51 companies that are giving people cash bonuses. It's very clear that in corporate America they want to send the message, Katie, we like this, we like the lifting regulations -- it's not just even about the tax cuts. I mean, the regulations alone have changed the business environment dramatically in the country, Katie.

KATIE PAVLICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, millions of people now are getting bonuses from all of these companies, a 130-plus companies giving them out. Let goes back to before this tax package was passed and what the criticism from the left was. It was that trickle-down economics don't work. These corporations are going to get this cut and they're not going to bring jobs back from overseas, they're just going to stash that money. There's no way they're going to pass this money down to their workers. Well, we've seen the opposite of that. We've seen minimum wage increase in companies across the country. We've seen bonuses handed out. Walmart is doing things like giving $5,000 to families who choose to adopt a child. Something they don't have to do but they're accrediting it directly to the tax cut bill. And it just proves that when the government takes less, companies have more and they're willing to invest back in their people in order to keep things moving in America.

MACCALLUM: I mean, you can pay for a wall with $38 billion if they wanted to.


MACCALLUM: So, let go to Wisconsin where there was a special election that did not go the way that Republicans wanted it to go. And it begs the question, Chris, about whether or not the things that are happening in the economy are translating into positives for Republicans.

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLITICS EDITOR: Well, if they would quit stepping on their own lines they probably would do better in this regard. It's hard for them to focus on positive news because of unforced errors. And in fact, when we look, there's a lot of new polling out this week and today that basically say this, voters are aware that the economy is good. Voters are aware that it has been getting better for some time and they're now optimistic about the future. That has been true and it remains true. And yet, the president has these rock bottom approval ratings, they dislike the Republicans in congress, and there's a strong sentiment for change this fall. Those two things remain true, and that's the biggest problem for the GOP.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. Juan, you agree?

WILLIAMS: Yeah. I think Chris is on target. We're looking at a situation in Wisconsin where you have a Democrat come back and win by 10 points in a district that Trump carried by 17. So that's a huge swing. And by the way, not isolated, you have other special elections in state senate races in Wisconsin, again, Democrats outperforming. So, what we've seen since the '16 election is in all of the special elections that have been held, Democrats outperforming the past records, outperforming where they were before. Republicans is not doing as well. And we've seen a record number of resignations now in Congress. And that's why Republicans are a little fearful of what's coming in the fall of '18.

PAVLICH: Well, I said this before, but Democrats are the bottom of the barrel here when it comes to winning races. They've lost a thousand seats at all levels over the past couple of years. So, that being said, however, Republicans need to make sure that they don't take advantage or for granted any kind of feat, any kind of voter. Governor Scott Walker immediately responded to these results by saying people clearly don't know what's going on in Wisconsin, and we have an obligation to get out there and let them know what we are doing for them. And they have to make sure that they're getting turnout out and that they're enthusiastic about these races because the resistance, certainly, is enthused, and they're ready to go for 2018.

MACCALLUM: And they probably benefit from the president and Republicans getting out there and articulating this message better as Chris has said. Before I let you guys go, this is the Quinnipiac Poll because I know you want to know how Oprah is doing. Everybody wants to know all of a sudden, right?


MACCALLUM: So, let's take a look at the numbers. Chris, what do you make of this, she's doing very well.

STIREWALT: Well, she does well in the head-to-head against Trump. But, also, we know that voters -- there's not a lot of appetite to continue the trend of celebrity candidates. I think that if Democrats fall for this, if they basically say, well, they have a celebrity, we should have a celebrity do this, I think they will be making a mistake and I think they will be handing Trump a too easy of a win. I think they need to get serious, to need to be on policy, they need to look like they're good stewards, not being silly.

WILLIAMS: Well, it's funny, the woman who ran in Wisconsin said she's a member of the bear hunters association. That's a different model for Democrats. I'm skeptical.


WILLIAMS: I must say, Oprah Winfrey has the money and the name I.D. and she would be in this environment where everybody wants outsiders, they don't want political experience, Oprah Winfrey might be the champ.


PAVLICH: After 2016, I'm not ruling anything out.


PAVLICH: I'm not bringing a prediction. She could do it. I don't know. I'm not even going to go there. It's a long way away.

MACCALLUM: Katie, you're safe. Thank you, guys. Great to see you all. So coming up next, you remember this, right?


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: More allegations of sex in the White House, taped conversations and obstruction of justice surfaced today in the ever growing controversy around this president's sexual behavior.


MACCALLUM: Great, right? See that video of Sean? It was 20 years ago, today, that we first learned of a woman named Monica Lewinsky. And tonight she's speaking out. Howie Kurtz on that and why he says that that story changed politics forever. Plus, do you see anything wrong with this picture? It's hard to see. I know. But look at the title. It's the pyramid of white supremacy, and it is a chart that is being taught at a public university. We'll tell you where, and the college's explanation tonight because they did get back to us, next.



CLINTON: I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time, never. These allegations are false.


MACCALLUM: A lot of us remember where we were when President Clinton told that infamous lie to a stunned American public. It's just one of the many surreal events that forever changed politics, the media and the presidency in many ways. In fact, it was 20 years ago, today, that that story first broke with the headline on Drudge Report, a place nobody even really heard of at the time, Newsweek kills story on White House intern. Blockbuster report, 23-year-old former White House intern, sex relationship with the president. The media frenzy ensued, and it became one of the first breaking bombshells that this network ever covered. Take a listen.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Could President Clinton have had an affair with an intern and then tried to cover it up?

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: A Clinton bombshell, the president faces a new scandal that is rocking the White House.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whitewater independent counsel, Ken Starr, is reported to have a number of audio tapes in which a former White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, told fellow staffer Linda Tripp that she was sexually involved with the president.


MACCALLUM: Howie Kurtz, Fox News media analyst and host of "MediaBuzz," was there then and he joins me now. Howie, it's hard to believe that this was 20 years ago in some ways. And in some ways, honestly, it seems like a whole lot longer though than that. How do you think it changed the media, how did it change the presidency?

HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS MEDIA ANALYST: It was such a different culture. I mean, just pointing to the Drudge Report, kind of a third tier site that most journalist didn't follow or trust. I knew about it because I'd done an early story of Matt Drudge. So, the mainstream media gate keepers didn't really follow that up about Newsweek spiking the story. It wasn't about days later the Washington Post independently reported on Ken Starr's investigation and the whole thing exploded. As far as politics, I mean, it showed that a politician, even a president, could survive the grossest kind of sexual, graphics allegations about a young woman, and it also led to the repeal of the special prosecutor law because Ken Starr was originally investigating the Whitewater land deal in Arkansas. In a way, it paved the way for Hillary Clinton's political career as well.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. I mean, it's amazing to think that the investigation was going on for 18 months before President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky ever met. And that's what the special counsel ended up, you know, hanging their case on, something that didn't even exist in the beginning when they started digging into the Whitewater matter. I think it brings to mind the way people look at the special counsel now and how wide-ranging those investigations can be. Ken Starr himself has had misgivings about the way that whole thing went, Howie.

KURTZ: Right. But also, if you look at the way the media handled it, because it was like today with Trump, you know, who's 24/7, every single day, cable, front pages, for more than a year as the president was ultimately impeached and, of course, acquitted by the senate, the public, majority of the public, didn't care as much about this 24/7 sex scandal as the press did. The leading Washington pundits went on the air and said Bill Clinton was going to resign. Certainly, the public was disgusted by what Bill Clinton did, especially as the details finally came out. But more people cared about the booming economy and their own lives than the fact that he lied about the sexual encounter.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. I mean there are fascinating parallels even with the burying of the story, you think about NBC having the Harvey Weinstein story and not publishing it, and the way that that story ultimately came out. I do want to ask before I let you go, we've been sort of waiting to if these fake news awards are going to happen. It's been postpone a couple of times. And apparently, there's some debate within the White House about whether or not this whole thing is a very good idea given the climate. What do you think, Howie?

KURTZ: These elusive awards. Well, I think the president has already accomplished his goal, which is gotten all of to us talk about it and he's put the spot light on what he calls fake news. I think some people -- some news organizations may want to get these awards, they can use it a as badge of honor. Look, I think he's trolling the press here whether he does the awards, doesn't do the awards, will there be popcorn. Who is the decider, is it just Trump, does he have a staff, a team. I think he's made his point. But he may not be able to resist. Maybe, I think, the staff saying not such a good idea we can just move on to the next crisis.

MACCALLUM: Senators, Flake and McCain, have both spoken out very forcefully about what they see as the danger of injuring the credibility of the media. Do you agree?

KURTZ: I think that some of them make good points, but I think that Jeff Flake, in particular, undermined his argument when he compared President Trump to Stalin in his treatment of the press. The president is entitled to attack the press when he thinks he's been treated unfairly or he thinks that the press is wrong without being compared to a guy who was a Soviet mass murder. I think that was a real mistake on Senator Flake's part.

MACCALLUM: Thank you, Howie, great to see you tonight.

KURTZ: Same here.

MACCALLUM: So, this Sunday at 8:00 PM, Fox News debut a new 7 part documentary on that political drama that enveloped Washington and captivated the world during the '90s. Here's a sneak peek.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Mainstream news organizations were digging in to Bill Clinton's records and his past. And the Clinton camp was very much on the defensive.

CLINTON: I think that the matter is closed.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: They did not want embarrassing stories that would get in the way of their march to the White House.


MACCALLUM: Scandalous premiers this Sunday at 8:00, right here on the Fox News Channel. Coming up here next on The Story, some students at a public university required to take a diversity course on white supremacy. That school is now defending it. We'll to talk to a recent grad who took the class and is speaking out on The Story. Plus, a year after the hazing death of Timothy Piazza at Penn State, there's yet another family suffering the same pain tonight, sadly. This time it is a Florida State fraternity pledge. The charges just filed against his former brothers.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: We know it's happened. We know it's happened at other universities. It's obviously not just a problem for Florida State. It's problem for just about every major university.



MACCALLUM: Nine men are now facing charges in connection to the hazing death of a Florida State fraternity pledge. Twenty-year-old Andrew Coffey died in November after drinking too much at a party. His blood alcohol level was reportedly more than five times the legal limit to drive. The school has suspended all fraternities and sororities, and FSU's president calls the charges a first step in seeking justice. And now to this story exclusive, required class now -- campus reform is reporting that there's a required class at a public university in Maryland, Salisbury University, that's raising some eyebrows. A professor at Salisbury teaching a diversity course that is required of students who are studying education, to be educators, they use the, quote, pyramid of white supremacy chart. It is required of these education majors. Keep in mind this is a public university that receives tax dollars. Joining us now, Shekinah Hollingsworth, a recent Salisbury grad and a correspondent with Campus Reform who broke this story. Shekinah, Welcome. Good to have you here.

So, you graduated from Salisbury last year, you didn't take this class, this is a new class. But when you look at this pyramid, now I want the folks to take a look at it. Maybe we can get a tight shot of what's on here. One of the egregious behaviors that lead to genocide, according to this supremacy pyramid is minimization, and that would be things that white people might say such as we live in a post racial society or we all belong to the human race. Those are considered phrases that could potentially be very dangerous. Your thoughts?

SHEKINAH HOLLINGSWORTH, CAMPUS REFORM CORRESPONDENT: Well, while that is very disappointing to hear something like that being taught at Salisbury University, it's something that's not new in least. And I think -- it's funny that they call this a diversity course when they focus on the most arbitrary things that divide us, like race. And growing up bi-racial in America, growing up as an African-American, I do not see things in the prism of color, nor do I think that the cards were stacked against me because of some white supremacy.

MACCALLUM: So, this is a required course as we said, for the students who are studying to be elementary education teachers. This is a statement from the university when we asked them, why this was OK, why they think this is part of the education. They say the white supremacy pyramid is just one of the tools of Dr. Stutelberg. Said she used to teach her students to think critical about race, class and gender. Per University academic freedom policies, faculty is free to decimate to their students information even when controversial so long as it's educationally relevant. The teacher said that she has never received complaints from students about the pyramid when teaching the course. Would it be an environment where someone would feel comfortable to complain, Shekinah?

HOLLINGSWORTH: Well, on the contrary, being -- I felt -- I have felt more ostracized being conservative rather than any of the other tick marks that I qualify for, such as being a woman and being an African-American. I've had personal experiences on Salisbury University's campus that have made me feel ostracized for being a conservative. And if they want to set the precedent that race or gender is more important than the diversity of thought, that's something that we have to watch out for. And Campus Reform does a great job in doing these investigative journalism to be able to expose that kind of dangerous rhetoric on college campuses.

MACCALLUM: There was an incident in 2016, can you describe what happened then, with the racial slur that was on the side of a building -- of a wall there?

HOLLINGSWORTH: Yes. So, back in 2016, there were a couple of students who took it upon themselves to write a racial slur on one of the library's white boards. And it depicted a hanging man and the N-word being explicitly used. This was done by two African-American students. And the university declined to detail what happened to these students, if there was any kind of, if there was any kind of punishment involved. And I can't imagine that if these were white students what would happen.

MACCALLUM: Shekinah, thank you. I've got to leave it there, thank you so much for being here tonight. We appreciate you bring this story.

HOLLINGSWORTH: Thank you for having me.

MACCALLUM: Shekinah Hollingsworth, good to see you. So coming up next, the one event that managed to bring all of Washington together today. Not an easy trick.


MACCALLUM: Today, lawmakers honored a great American, former senator, Bob Dole, with the congressional gold medal. He was wounded in World War II, never regained use of his right arm. In recent years he's often seen visiting with veterans at the World War II Memorial. He served 35 years in Congress, and was the 1996 Republican presidential nominee, made a lot of friends along the way. Listen.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y.: And though I've never served with him in the Senate, I am, unfortunately, familiar with his trademark wit. Senator Dole is responsible for certain quotation that hounded me for many years. Apparently, the most dangerous place in Washington is between Chuck Schumer and a camera.



Senator Dole, I bear you no ill will. After all, you were the one who brought C-Span to the Senate. I never would have found as many TV cameras without you.



MACCALLUM: Bipartisan fun there today. My first internship in college was in Bob Dole's office and I'm grateful to him for the opportunity. He is a good man. Thanks for being here tonight. Tucker is up next.

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