This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," February 19, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
KATIE PAVLICH, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Thank you, see you later in the week.
HANNITY: I will see my friends in CPAC this week.
PAVLICH: See you there down in D.C. Welcome to THE INGRAHAM ANGLE from New York. I'm Katie Pavlich in tonight for Laura, who is off for the holiday.
We have a terrific show for you this evening, and the pressure is mounting on the FBI to explain how it failed to prevent last week's Florida school massacre.
President Trump lays into former President Obama for failing to stop Russian election meddling.
Plus, political hackery meets presidential history. So-called experts in "The New York Times" say Trump isn't just bad, he's the worst president ever.
But first, the fallout from the shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school on Wednesday that killed 17 people is turning into a student led massive movement against guns.
Now President Trump is signaling he may favor gun control legislation. Students are involved in the planning at least in four major upcoming protest, including a march on Washington next month. Parkland, Florida, students who survived last week's shooting are taking to the airwaves to promote the new campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMERON KASKY, JUNIOR AT STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: The tragedy at Stoneman Douglas was not because of Stoneman Douglas, it was because of people like Nikolas Cruz were able to buy these weapons. We are not going to let the 17 bullets we just took take us down. If anything, we are going to keep running and leave them a nest of the nation behind us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAVLICH: Meanwhile, President Trump reportedly was moved by the sight of the Parkland victims during a visit to the hospital on Friday and discussed gun-control options with friends over the weekend.
This morning, the White House announced the president supports legislation to strengthen the federal background check system. While the measure is relatively modest and not yet opposed by the NRA, it could be a sign of more ambitious gun-control efforts to come.
Let's discuss this with former House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, and Democratic strategist, Antuan Seawright. Jason, Congressman, you were in Congress for a long time, not too long, but long enough. What can you do, if anything, to make sure this doesn't happen again?
JASON CHAFFETZ, R, FORMER UTAH CONGRESSMAN: I wish there was one thing we could do to make sure it never, ever happens again, but I do like this idea about fixing the national background system. If you go to the website of fixnics.org, you will see that the Shooting Sports Foundation and others support this.
I supported it when I was in Congress. It's passed out of the House, I believe, and it has bipartisan support. It makes sense. There are some people who can't distinguish between right and wrong, and they shouldn't be able to acquire a gun.
I have a gun, I have five guns, I have a concealed carry permit. I am a member of the NRA, but people who can't make these types of decisions shouldn't be able to access a gun, and when this guy gets kicked out of school, obviously has problems, the police come to his house 30 times, there's a problem in him accessing a gun.
PAVLICH: Just to give the viewers and the audience a little more context on what you are discussing with the program. Currently, it is not required by federal law that states input mental health records into the background check system and mentally adjudicated or committed individuals cannot at this point fire, purchase a gun. It is prohibited.
There is a question about it on the background check form when you purchase the gun. This legislation requires that states do that. There's not like that in the system. But Antoine, you have a different take.
You are going after the firearms rather than necessarily a state inputting mental health records. Why do you think we are in this position and is blaming the NRA and accusing them of being on the side of murderers really forwarding this conversation?
ANTUAN SEAWRIGHT, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Let me tell you where I am. I am on the side of common sense gun reform measures being implemented in the country. I have zero confidence in the Washington, D.C.,'s dysfunctional city to get this done.
I think we have to lean heavily on local legislative bodies and even local governments like here in Columbia, South Carolina, where I'm from, where the mayor and the city council and a very unified way banned the selling of bump stocks.
Here's what I think. Keep in mind it was this president who signed an executive order to reverse a decision that implemented by the Obama administration to take guns out of the hands of those who have mental issues.
PAVLICH: I'm really glad you brought that up because it's actually not true. What President Trump did was resend an executive order by President Obama that said that Social Security recipients and veterans who wanted someone to help them with their finances were then deemed mentally unfit and therefore unable to past background checks and their Second Amendment rights were taken away with due process.
To say that he took something back that now enables mentally ill people to get a gun just isn't true. Jason, I want to go back to you.
SEAWRIGHT: It was a measure.
PAVLICH: We heard a whole lot about new gun-control measures and people saying that this is an issue of making sure we take certain kinds of firearms off of the streets. There's also the other side of the argument that we haven't heard as much about. There are students in that school who don't like being sitting ducks.
There are a number of teachers who are members the NRA. There are a number of NRA members who have children who go to these schools who believe that they are soft targets and that things need to be changed.
What do you say about school districts around the country who decided to allow teachers to be armed inside of their classrooms?
CHAFFETZ: No, look. You've got some teachers that can't negotiate a Bunsen burner, so it's not for everybody, but I think these are soft targets. You have to be able to make sure that individuals can't get into that school in the first place.
One of the reports we heard out of Florida is they had some bulletproof glass or some hardened glass, so he couldn't actually shoot out the window and shoot at the students that were fleeing.
But you are going to have to have a resource officer, maybe it's a police officer who was on duty or off duty who knows how to wield a gun and I do believe that certain teachers in certain places should and can be equipped.
They do it in Colorado, they do it in other places and I think it's a good idea for a lot of places. By the way, Baltimore, Chicago and Washington, D.C. --
SEAWRIGHT: Here we go, Jason.
CHAFFETZ: It's true. They have some of the biggest problems with guns.
PAVLICH: Antuan, do you want to respond to that? Is that an irrelevant point? Is that not a relevant point to bring up and the fact that Chicago has had hundreds of murders in 2017 and yet it's not in the headlines every day?
SEAWRIGHT: It's the go to Republican pivot talking point --
PAVLICH: Is it not true? Is it not true?
SEAWRIGHT: It's true. It's the go to Republican pivot point. Let me tell you what reasonable people want. They want to not have AK-47s on the street, a 19-year-old who can't rent a car or buy wine should never be able to purchase an AK-47. Reasonable people want to close the loophole.
My friend was killed in a church here in Charleston, South Carolina, so that will not happen again. Reasonable people want to ban bump stocks.
Reasonable things that people want to do instead of the traditional pivot to talk about Walter Moore and Chicago. The red meat talking points.
PAVLICH: You talk about it being unreasonable. Is it unreasonable to think that places like Chicago and Baltimore that have all the gun-control legislation you could possibly ask for would not be the examples that we should follow considering their murder rates?
SEAWRIGHT: Sure. Here's what I will tell you, I'm not saying gun control is the all-out final answer, but I think it will be part of the solution to the problem in this country to prevent another Charleston, to prevent another Newtown, to prevent another Parkland, Florida.
PAVLICH: Something that hasn't worked, but Jason, last word to you.
CHAFFETZ: I would get rid of bump stocks as well. There was a lot of education that needs to go on. I own guns. I have a constitutional right to own guns.
SEAWRIGHT: Me too, Jason.
CHAFFETZ: If there are people who are mentally unfit -- they should be able to purchase them and if they run into trouble than they should take those guns away. This kid should have never had it and they have to tie those lips together.
PAVLICH: Right. Jason, Antuan, thank you.
SEAWRIGHT: So, we agreed that we do not need AK-47s on the street, right?
PAVLICH: I think that's an overstatement of the situation. But thank you both for coming on a show tonight.
CBS is reporting that Florida Department of Children and Families investigated Nikolas Cruz in 2016 and found he suffered from depression, ADHD, and autism, and even warranted plan to buy a gun, but the agency reportedly closed the investigation after finding no evidence he was being mistreated.
Meanwhile, Friday's apology from the FBI isn't good enough for Florida Governor Rick Scott. He's now demanding the bureau release all details on why it ignored two warnings about Cruz.
Let's talk about that's with retired FBI special agent, John. Thank you so much for coming on the show, sir. We appreciate it.
JOHN: Thank you.
PAVLICH: So, the big question here is how does the FBI keep missing these issues? We mentioned in the previous segment the Charleston church massacre, also an FBI loophole that was missed. How was it this keeps happening and in terms of the protocols that they talk about that weren't followed, could you give us from insight on what those things might mean?
JOHN IANNARELLI, RETIRED FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Certainly. First of all, it's tragic, it's inexcusable and it's a terrible thing to have occurred to draw the distinction in the Charleston case, there was information that was not reported to the FBI, hence the FBI did not have it available to go back to the gun store and deny a permit.
In this case, something broke down at the call center, whether it's a technical issue or someone dropped the ball, but Director Wray publicly not only in apologizing, but recognizing we need to figure out what went wrong so it never happens again.
PAVLICH: I want to walk through the time again so the viewers understand the tip line and when they came in. The first tip came on September 24th, 2017. The FBI responded by saying there wasn't enough information, the person they were discussing wasn't identifiable, so they couldn't follow up on that lead.
The second one came in on January 5th where the man was identified. He said he had desired to kill people, erratic behavior was reported and his social media report. He specifically said he wanted to conduct a school shooting.
This is the second tip that the FBI is admitting that the protocol was not followed through. I think people really have a question about -- it's one thing to miss the first one that there's not enough information, but how is it when someone specifically reports to the FBI that someone has said they want to be a professional school shooter, how that person is not at least paid a visit by the bureau?
IANNARELLI: You are absolutely right and that's the reason it needs to be looked at to see why. But let's remember too, agents would have received this lead in Miami if it had been passed to them. They would have gone out to talk to this individual.
Up until the time he actually fired shots, no crime had been committed. The best the FBI agents could have done was to speak with him. But it's his First Amendment right to say things until he makes a very specific threat that is actionable, and you can take him into custody.
PAVLICH: Can you detail how specific the threat needs to be, though? Because when he is reported as saying I want to be a professional school shooter, they know that he was expelled from a specific high school that the police had gone to his home 36 times. That seems pretty specific. How specific does it have to get before the FBI can do something?
IANNARELLI: Whether law enforcement on the local or federal level, the threat has to be something to the effect of 'I want to go to school on this day and kill somebody, or I'm planning to do it on this day, I want to kill a specific person.'
The general statements of 'I want to be a school shooter,' believe it or not, is your First Amendment right. Now if the laws are wrong, let the Congress, the legislature get in there and change those laws, giving law enforcement more power.
But until they do, agents are hamstrung to do nothing more than knock on the door and if he says, I don't want to talk to you, they have to leave.
PAVLICH: But do you believe that a knock on the door may have at least been some kind of deterrent? It seems like this kid didn't think anyone was paying attention to him. He was very brazen about the things he was saying on social media. To those FBI house calls actually make a difference when it comes to deterring those kinds of crimes?
IANNARELLI: Knock and talks as they are called in law enforcement are done by all police agencies, including the FBI. I've done hundreds of them in my career and agents do them every day across the country. Sometimes those people I spoke with went ahead and committed the crime anyway.
Sometimes they didn't. We will never know, but it's important that that mistake doesn't happen again, and Director Christopher Wray has assured he will find out why it happened and fix the problem.
PAVLICH: One final note, Governor Rick Scott has called for Director Wray to resign. Many have said that such a step too far. He also said, quote, "People in Washington tend to want to investigate, hold hearings, and put off what truly needs to be done." He said someone needs to be held accountable. Do you think any kind of accountability is going to come out of this?
IANNARELLI: Absolutely. There was a lapse somewhere. Whether it was a technical lapse, whoever maintains the system, that's an issue or if it's a physical lapse in an actual person, but that's the whole point. The FBI is not interested in having hearings. They are interested in action. Fix that problem so that it does never happen again.
PAVLICH: OK. John Iannarelli, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate it.
IANNARELLI: Thank you.
PAVLICH: It may not be surprising that President Trump is blaming President Obama for not stopping Russian campaign meddling, but this is a surprise, one of the top Democrats investigating Trump actually agrees. Corey Lewandowski joins us to figure out what happens next.
PAVLICH: President Trump is stepping up his attacks on President Obama following the indictment of 13 Russians and three companies for interfering in the 2016 election. Trump tweeted today, 'Obama was president up to and beyond the 2016 election. So, why didn't he do something about Russian meddling.'
Top House Intelligence Democrat Adam Schiff actually agreed acknowledging the Obama administration should have done more when it learned of Russian meddling in 2014. But Schiff disagree with Trump's assertion that the indictments clear him of collusion with Russians. Rush Limbaugh says there is collusion but not by Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This is all politics, and it hasn't changed from the get-go. It is about protecting Hillary and Obama. Obama is the primary person being protected because all of this spying and all of his collusion to destroy Trump happened with his knowledge and probably encouragement. The reason Hillary isn't charged is that that would mean Obama would have to be exposed as participating.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAVLICH: Let's debate that with former Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and Attorney Scott Bolden. We'll start with the points of agreement. Adam Schiff agreeing with President Trump that Obama should have done more. Corey, your thoughts on that?
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I never thought I would say it, I agree with Adam Schiff. He is correct.
PAVLICH: Any expansion with the president should have done, meaning President Obama, in terms of knowing about this in 2014?
LEWANDOWSKI: Well, look, what we've seen from this recent indictment is that the government was aware in 2014, 14, 16 months before Donald Trump ever got into the race, and the CIA director, the director of National Intelligence, the president of the United States and the former head of the FBI seem to have done nothing about it.
And so, there should be accountability on their part because anybody who messed with the U.S. election system should be accountable, and that administration did nothing it seems like to stop the Russians from potentially meddling in our election system.
SCOTT BOLDEN, ATTORNEY: We do not know what they did or did not do.
PAVLICH: Sure, but let's go back to the basics about why the special counsel was appointed in the first place. The initial goal was to look and investigate whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to sway an election.
So far despite the 13 indictments we saw last week and the previous indictments of Paul Manafort and his business partner, we have seen no evidence of that collusion. Where do we go now with this narrative that Democrats and the media have pushed to tear the country apart over the past year on this Russian narrative?
BOLDEN: Well, first of all, the special counsel -- let me correct your premise, to investigate Russians meddling in the election. One part of it was possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia because the failure to disclose and the other lies that were being told by those who were on the Trump campaign was problematic, and then you had the conflict and now you got the special prosecutor.
Secondly, the Republicans are the ones who are investigating Donald Trump and Russian meddling. They control the House, the Senate and the White House. The head of the agencies, the head of DOJ, the FBI, who Donald Trump is highly critical of, are all pushing this investigation, and they are all Republicans.
It's incontrovertible as McMaster says that the Russians meddled in this election. As we continue to get their prosecutions and investigations, we are going to find out what, if anything, Donald Trump or the people around him and that campaign did to collude.
PAVLICH: If ever.
PAVLICH: So, I'm just wondering where the evidence is.
BOLDEN: It doesn't mean the investigation is over.
PAVLICH: Where's the evidence on this collusion issue? Corey, you were there on the ground. You say it was not something that was happening. The evidence doesn't bear it out that it was happening. Can't we just move on with the business of the country?
LEWANDOWSKI: It's very clear. I was there before Donald Trump ever came down the escalator. We never colluded with Russians. There was one campaign and only one campaign that has admitted to taking $5 million of their campaign money, going in hiring a British spy to go and put a false dossier, and it's the Clinton campaign.
There should be an investigation to Russian collusion and if the Clinton campaign and the Podesta team who took $5 million of campaign money and went out and put together a false dossier, which we now know was used to put together a FISA warrant. There was collusion by the Clinton campaign.
PAVLICH: It is true. Why is it not true?
BOLDEN: That is just not true! I will tell you. If they spent $5 million, I don't know what they spent, -- hold on, let me finish. They spent money on the dossier for sure. That was turned over to the Department of Justice.
And here's where the GOP and Cory and others want to jump into conjecture, and that is that it was the basis of this FISA warrant, they lied to the judge, and therefore that's why we got this investigation. That is completely false. You are jumping from one --
PAVLICH: I don't want to tread over old ground. I want to focus on this new indictment that came out last week on the 13 Russians moving forward. Go ahead, Corey.
LEWANDOWSKI: It's very simple. The Clinton campaign has admitted to going out to Russia and trying to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. They are the only campaign that took $5 million of campaign money into this. We never colluded with anybody, we never coordinated or contacted anybody.
The Clinton campaign can't say the same thing. Those are the facts and what we know is the document to put together was if not the basis for, at least part of the application for the FISA warrant, and that is illegal.
BOLDEN: It's not illegal.
PAVLICH: Hold on. Hold on. I want to go back to this indictment that came out on Friday of the 13 Russians and the three companies and what that actually means. If you look at the effectiveness of this, Democrats have been focusing for a very long time on the fact that Russians were pushing out this propaganda and that possibly it would have changed an election.
It would have changed boats, it would have changed people's minds in terms of what they were doing. If I want to point to this 'Weekly Standard' piece that was out today, and they point out that it Trump rally regularly attracted 15,000 Floridians, or as a Russian organized Trump rally attracted only 15.
I also want to play the sound bite from mainstream media outlets covering these fake rallies that were put on by Russians.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right now -- lots of different groups of people who have come together with no necessarily official leader. That's been some of the criticism.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just enormous. I actually have been texting with a person, a 20-year-old college student here in New York City organized this protest. I've been texting with him and I said are you impressed with the size? And he says it's amazing what the collective voices can spread in this protest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAVLICH: Now Corey, the interesting thing about that rally is that actually it happened after the election. If you look at what Facebook was doing and the ads that were purchased by the Russians, the majority of them were purchased after the election, which goes to show, really, they were interested in tearing the country apart rather than promoting one or the other candidate. Final word.
LEWANDOWSKI: The Russian ads were about $46,000. They were disproportionately targeted to the District of Columbia, which is 95 percent Democrat, and a state of Maryland, which is not exactly a competitive state. Either they were completely incompetent, or they were working with the Clinton campaign to turn her own voters in the District of Columbia and Maryland. So, I'm not sure which one it was, but it's probably one of those two.
PAVLICH: All right. Well, thank you both. We are out of time for the segment. Thank you, Scott and Corey. We appreciate it. Thank you so much.
Congress has put DREAMers into a legislative limbo after four immigration bills failed, but the administration doubles down on its vow to build the wall no matter what. We will analyze the prospects up next.
PAVLICH: Congress is putting the DREAMers on hold, but Vice President Pence told Fox News the president will keep his top promise on border security.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Trump made a commitment to the American people that we are going to build a wall. That means we are going to have a physical barrier. Once that funding is provided we will make the decisions and I guarantee you this builder turned president will get that wall built faster than you could possibly imagine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAVLICH: That comment which aired on 'Fox and Friends' this morning was made during Pence's survey of the border with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Ted Cruz on Friday. Today Speaker Paul Ryan indicated the House won't look at legislation until next month. DACA protections expire on March 5th but Ryan seems in no hurry after the Senate rejected four immigration plans last week.
Let's discuss where we go from here with conservative political analyst Carrie Sheffield and Democratic strategist Robin Biro. Carrie, lay out where we are. Four bills down, how many to go?
CARRIE SHEFFIELD, FOUNDER, BOLD GLOBAL: Who knows the number? But basically what we have right now is an obstructionist Congress. We have shut down Schumer who was more interested in putting the interests of foreigners ahead of the American sovereign people, ahead of people, the forgotten men and women of this country who put this president in the White House. It doesn't matter if you didn't vote for President Trump. The reality is the reason he won the White House is because of immigration.
That was his signature issue. And so if Democrats want to continue to play obstructionist by blocking bill after bill after bill they will reap what they sow come 2018 this November.
PAVLICH: So Robin, we've been through this before. My question for Democrats at this point is the president put a pretty generous offer on the table with 1.8 million DACA recipients, or those who would qualify for DACA, not only to be able to gain legal status but also become citizens in return for the wall, which, by the way, Chuck Schumer voted for it in 2006, the end of the visa lottery program and the end to chain migration. Why is that not a fair trade, and now here we are down to the wire and the dreamers are in the middle?
ROBIN BIRO, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It's interesting because you've got two different stories. I paid careful attention to what Chuck Schumer said on the floor of the Senate the day after the shutdown, and he told us that he had a meeting with President Trump and he proposed a budget that included the wall and -- with the dollar figure that Donald Trump gave him, and Donald Trump shut it out and he shut that down and he didn't do that. My point here is that we are willing to give him the wall. We just want to make sure that the taxpayers money is being spent wisely and that we are good stewards of that money.
PAVLICH: But what about the end to the visa lottery program, which we have seen has emboldened terrorists who have committed terrorist acts in the United States? Why that can't be part of the process, why Democrats aren't into that?
BIRO: I wish I knew. I don't. I think that should be a part of the process. We've got work to do.
SHEFFIELD: You are far too reasonable, Robin. And what about chain migration? That's the other issue here, too. Why should the taxpayers, why should American taxpayers, the middle class families, the forgotten men and women of this country, be subsidizing -- the National Academy of Sciences found that 58 percent of immigrants who have children are taking welfare. Why should middle Americans be forced to subsidize foreigners who feel entitled for us to pay their tax money?
Robin, I'm sure you lock your doors at night, I'm sure you do, and it's not because you are a heteronormative patriarchal, white supremacist racist.
Until the left learns to stop using this hateful rhetoric that dehumanizes people who have legitimate economic concerns you're going to keep losing.
PAVLICH: But Robin, on the point of the DACA recipients. They are not just mad at Republicans. In fact they have put their fire towards people like Nancy Pelosi when she got surrounded at that town hall last year in San Francisco, by people demanding that they do something. They're pretty angry that Obama administration didn't do this when they were in the majority. So what about the electoral prospects for Democrats when it comes to this issue considering there have been offers on the table from Republicans to give amnesty to these recipients?
BIRO: And Democrats.
PAVLICH: But from a Republican president and a Republican House.
SHEFFIELD: Yes, I understand. But I want to point out, like I said this points to fiscal conservancy. I know that sounds crazy coming from a Democrat but the CBO has already issued a statement saying that for the cost of maintaining this border wall we could replace the entire thing every seven years. What we are alleging is that this is from a cost- benefit analysis not the smartest way to secure our borders. It should be done with technology, with drones, with sensory devices, with increased personnel. I know this was a signature piece, and I know that we are going to have to concede on it, but it's --
PAVLICH: They want $30 billion, which includes all the wall and all the things you just discussed. We will switch gears here to politics on a different note. We have our Utah resident, or former Utah resident here in studio. Mitt Romney is running for the Senate. Donald Trump, President Donald Trump has officially endorsed him tonight on Twitter. What you have to say about that?
SHEFFIELD: Thank goodness, I love to see the civil war ending because I love Mitt Romney. I used to work for Edward Conard who was a former partner at Bain Capital with Mitt Romney, a major donor for him when Mitt ran. So I'm totally in the bag for him. I love Mitt, and I'm so glad to see the civil war, knock on wood, ending. And I was glad to see that Mitt responded to the president's tweet.
I have to say I think this was part of the condition to see Orrin Hatch retiring that he would say, OK, look, let's just call a truce here to say there might be some legitimate policy disagreements here, but let's stop with the name calling on all fronts here, and I think that's the problem.
PAVLICH: Speaking of name-calling, Robin, Democrats are already attacking Mitt Romney despite him being more of a middle-of-the-road moderate, in fact, some would say liberal on the issues of health care. Why is that?
BIRO: That's a tough one. I want to say this. I really want to say that I just hate how partisan the politics are becoming right now. I really don't like this us versus them. Mitt is a good candidate and I'm glad to see that they were able to set aside their political differences. And I just wish that we could have more of that.
SHEFFIELD: Robin, then why don't you talk to the Democratic National Committee or the DSCC which put out a press release --
BIRO: I'm on national TV.
PAVLICH: I think we will end on the positive note of you both saying you are happy to see the civil war end. Robin is happy to see the U.S. versus them end. So we will end on that note of unity and happiness. So moving along, thank you both for being here, appreciate it.
The economy is roaring back to life, ISIS is militarily defeated in Syria, and the Trump administration is just getting started. So guess where a 'New York Times' poll of so-called experts ranks Trump among all presidents? Up next we will explore their alternative universe. Stick around, you will love this, or hate it.
PAVLICH: The 'New York Times' apparently wants you to know that Donald Trump is the worst president ever, as if they haven't tried to make that clear already, even though he's only been in office 13 months. 'The Times' surveyed what it called presidential political experts, 170 members of something called the American Political Science Association, a.k.a. college professors. And they ranked Trump dead last. Let's ask a presidential historian just what's going on here. Doug Wead is also a 'New York Times' bestselling author whose latest work is 'Game of Thorns, The Inside Story of Hillary Clinton's Failed Campaign and Donald Trump's Winning Strategy.' Doug, thank you so much for being here tonight. We appreciate it.
So we're 13 months in to the presidency of President Donald Trump. Is it too soon to be saying he's the worst ever considering the history of this country?
DOUG WEAD, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Yes, it is. Those professors would flunk one of their students if they tried to stunt like this. You can't make a judgment on the first year, and if you did, this is one of the most impactful presidents since FDR. JFK's first year was a disaster. He changed on the Bay of Pigs and it turned out poorly. He did a poor job of preparation for Vienna and Nikita Khrushchev misunderstood it, the showed weakness. That led to a nuclear confrontation.
Reagan is one of America's greatest presidents. His first year he was shot and the only thing he got passed was price supports. He got a tax deduction. But the big tax reform, that came five years later. So Donald Trump, what he's done in one year, wiped ISIS off the maps of the Middle East, turn this economy around that is shooting off like a rocket. It's a remarkable first year.
PAVLICH: This actually reminds me, remember when President Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize before he even came into office? This is like that but in the complete reverse. Can you give us a more context, though, on how presidents are judged not in the time necessarily that they are in office broadly but historically how things change, the context of our times, the results of the actions that they take in office and their long- term implication?
WEAD: First of all, I have to tell you that they have some refined metrics on judging these presidents. They want to know do they have soaring rhetoric. They want to know have they scrambled the executive branch, created new offices in the executive branch or move the cabinet offices around. They want to know have they presided over a popular war and won it. They have all of these metrics, but I want to tell you this, Katie, they cheat.
PAVLICH: Oh, do they?
WEAD: They cheat, because George W. Bush can sign off every one of their little boxes and they rate him as a horrible president. Those metrics just don't hold up. They just don't work. If you want to see a top ten presidents, go to YouTube and look 'Top Ten Presidents, Doug Wead,' I just put one out and worked two years on it.
PAVLICH: You have written 30 books as well, so that's very impressive.
One final note, though. This survey obviously comes at a very partisan time in our country, which is probably a reflection of the results. But what can you say to those that are looking at this in terms of having some patients with the process and judging history not just in 13 months of time but in the broader aspect of the country?
WEAD: History will grind up all of this bitterness and meanness.
PAVLICH: Thank goodness!
WEAD: Trump will stand on what he has accomplished. And if it's good it will be good and all the people that love Trump and rejoice. If it's bad then all the people that love Trump will be sad. But history won't be fooled.
PAVLICH: I love the line, history will grind up all of the bitterness. So thank you, Doug Wead, we really appreciate your time.
WEAD: Thank you, Katie.
PAVLICH: Have a good one, thanks.
Donald Trump throws down the gauntlet on Oprah over a '60 Minutes' report. What it could mean for a 2020 showdown next.
PAVLICH: Oprah Winfrey denies she is running for president, but she almost seems to be doing opposition research in her current gig as correspondent for "60 Minutes." Oprah grilled a panel of 14 voters in Grand Rapids, Michigan, about the president's performance on the broadcast last night.
See if you can spot any anti-Trump biased questions.
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OPRAH WINFREY: Who here believes that he made the comment about the, quote, -whole countries?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you made the comment. I think all president have made a comment behind closed doors.
WINFREY: You think all president used the term -hole?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I do.
WINFREY: So polls are showing that respect for the United States is eroding around the world. Do you care what the world thinks of the United States?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel safer now than I ever did the last eight years of Obama.
WINFREY: How do you feel safer? Tell me how you feel safer.
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PAVLICH: He was quick to respond, tweeting 'Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey who at one point I knew very well interview a panel of people in '60 Minutes.' The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others.'
Let's discussed this with Monica Crowley at the London Center for Policy Research, and liberal analyst Julie Alvin. Thank you, ladies, for coming and joining me tonight. Monica, she says she's not running, but she's in Michigan.
MONICA CROWLEY, LONDON CENTER FOR POLICY RESEARCH: She does have this huge platform on '60 Minutes,' and she is Oprah Winfrey. I watched the entire segment, Katie, and what I saw was that she was putting the Trump voters on the defensive, almost trying to prompt them to say that they regretted their vote. And she didn't do that with people who had voted for Mrs.
That aside, I think Oprah Winfrey has a beautiful life and I don't think in the end she is going to make a run for this. She also has a more important problem. Oprah Winfrey's entire image is built on forgiveness and supposed spirituality and living your best life. Those things are not exactly congruent with being a political figure, having to take really hard positions on very difficult, controversial issues. And I don't think she wants to end up muddying her brand by entering the political fray.
PAVLICH: Julie, Oprah has said that running for office is not in her DNA, probably for all of the reasons that Monica just laid out, but you think actually her running wouldn't be such a bad idea?
JULIE ALVIN, LIBERAL ANALYST: I'm sort of torn on this issue because I kind of would like to move the presidency out of the realm of celebrity, honestly. I think that my ideal candidate for 2020 would be somebody who has experience in governing and legislation and getting things done in Washington, something that our current president has not had experience with.
That said, were I have to pick between Oprah Winfrey and Donald Trump I would certainly pick Oprah Winfrey for a variety reasons. She's a brilliant businesswoman who has achieved a net worth that rivals Donald Trump's and at times has surpassed it without the concurrent lawsuits and bankruptcy filings.
PAVLICH: I'm glad to see now that the left is endorsing wealth rather than downplaying it and thinking it's a bad thing.
ALVIN: I don't think wealth is a bad thing.
PAVLICH: The left certainly does, right, Monica?
CROWLEY: And this is something that Donald Trump really embraced unlike Mitt Romney when he made his run in 2012 and sort of ran away from his personal wealth. Donald Trump said we are in aspirational society, and this is the message that Oprah has had too. And he really embraced his wealth, and that has served him well.
I don't think in the end that Oprah is going to go ahead and do this. I think she likes having people want to court her. I think she likes having the attention placed on her in the different kind of context because she has achieved so much else in the entertainment world. But you really have to have a hunger for this. Donald Trump really did, and that set him apart from others who sort of toyed with this idea.
PAVLICH: But Julie, do you think President Trump, especially daring Oprah Winfrey to get in the race, will maybe encourage her to do so, issue somewhat of a challenge? She's already achieved so much, why not run for president?
ALVIN: I don't think so. I think Oprah Winfrey does so much for good in her life as a philanthropist and as a host. I thought that was something that was really important what about that interview was that she showed a lot of diplomacy. She brought a lot of people together who were vigorously opposed to people's views and they found community, they created group chats Facebook groups because of it. She has raised millions of dollars for education in schools and helping people in underserved communities. So I would prefer that she focus on that. I think that's what she would prefer to focus on.
CROWLEY: The only interesting dynamic here that could change the calculus for Oprah and throw this into play is the #MeToo movement. So I think that has changed a lot of people's thinking, and I think that the Democrats going into 2020 are going to think seriously about nominating a woman, whether it's whether it's Kamala Harris, whether it's Michelle Obama, whether it's Oprah Winfrey. That, given her speech at the Golden Globes, that might be a motivating factor for her. Again, I don't think in the end she's going to do it because it's impossible to be both Jesus and Caesar, and I think she likes having this exalted position in American pop culture.
PAVLICH: But Julie, we've seen her endorse political candidates before. She was a big player in President Obama's election. So do you think she can be more effective outside of the official political office then she would be inside of it?
ALVIN: I do. Again, this interview was sort of an example of her being able to reach across the aisle, bring people together, build a consensus. So I do believe she would be more effective outside of the presidency, especially if that's what she herself has said that's the position she likes to play. And I think she has enormous power and enormous experience in working for good and for policies and now charities that help women and children. And so I would love -- if I were running for president I would love to have her on my side.
CROWLEY: And remember she endorsed Barack Obama in 2008 and changed the dynamic away from Hillary Clinton.
PAVLICH: Exactly. That did not help Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump, that's for sure.
Thank you both for coming in. Monica, Julie, appreciate it.
All right, you have to see what we have coming up next, video from the ocean liner cruise that took a very long turn. What's happening to those responsible to the trip to hell right after this.
PAVLICH: Carnival Cruise Line's slogan is "Fun for All, All for Fun." But this is why some passengers are calling the trip down under the cruise from hell.
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PAVLICH: So how did this 10 day South Pacific cruise go so wrong? One interviewed passenger blamed what she called a big Italian family of spending days targeting and attacking Australians on the ship. But that passenger also criticized the captain for allegedly saying after the brawl, what do you want me to do, throw them overboard? And eventually police arrested six men and three teenage boys.
But Carnival also blamed its own employees, issuing a statement that said "The actions seen on the video by our own security team are not in line with our values and policies." The cruise line said today it's launching an investigation and offered a 25 percent discount on future cruises to those passengers who want to risk another trip. I'm sure they just can't wait for that. They are just dying to go on another one.
That's all the time we have tonight. I'm Katie Pavlich in for Laura Ingraham. Next time you go on a cruise and they say do you want a gift card for another cruise after you got the norovirus or do you want 25 percent off after you got involved in a brawl and this big family ruined your vacation, just say no. There are other vacations available.
We hope you've had a wonderful evening. I'm Katie Pavlich in for Laura Ingraham. And now Mike Emanuel is filling in for Shannon Bream on Fox News @ Night. Mike, over to you.
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