Report: Four deputies took cover during Florida shooting

This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," February 23, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

LAURA INGRAHAM, "THE INGRAHAM ANGLE" HOST: Good evening from Washington. I'm Laura Ingraham and this is "The Ingraham Angle". We have big news for you tonight, this Friday night. The Angle is coming up later in the show. You're not going to want to miss.

And then Brexit champion, Nigel Farage, is going to tell us, how to keep this populist conservative movement going strong especially amidst all the pushback from the left.

But first, breaking revelations tonight, it's amazing, about the Florida school shooting. As gun control advocates are targeting the NRA, we're going to be finding out more about what actually happened on the ground during that Parkland massacre and how maybe some common-sense policing could have made all the difference.

Apparently, it wasn't just one deputy on the scene who didn't engaged the shooter. According to a new report, there were four total sheriff deputies on the scene who did not enter the building during the shooting.

Police say it's too early to make definitive conclusions, but yesterday, the Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said just one person, it was Scott Peterson, who stayed outside instead of trying to stop the suspect.

A union rep says that Peterson, who has since resigned, believes he did a good job. Now let's get to the bottom of all of this with Jeff Bell. He is the president of Broward Sheriff's Office Deputy's Association who is also a sheriff's deputy himself. It's good to see you, sir. Thank you so much for joining us tonight.

These new reports that came out now have a total of four sheriff deputies who did not enter that school building as the shooting was taking place. What do you know about this tonight?

JEFF BELL, PRESIDENT, BROWARD SHERIFF'S UNION: I've heard rumors about that report myself, but I have nothing to substantiate that any of those claims are factual at this time.

INGRAHAM: Well, Scott Peterson, let's start with him because he has resigned. He was apparently behind a police vehicle with his gun drawn at the time that other officials showed up at the scene. Can you walk us through what the protocol is for this type of active shooter situation, Jeff?

BELL: Well, for the active shooter, Deputy Peterson being the first officer on the scene, he did what he's trained to do at the beginning, the first minute, responded directly to the area where shots were being fired. He called out the location, called in other support units arriving for backup.

But at that point, he stopped there of what he needed to do. As law enforcement officials, we know that every day when we go to work, that there's a chance that we may not come home to our family members, and we accept that responsibility.

And when we hear an active shooter, I don't care if it's within a school, a mall, a house or an office building, when you are the first person there on scene, every second that you delay going into that building and every single gunfire that you hear from inside that building, that means that there's another innocent life being lost and it's unacceptable not to go inside that building.

We know that risk when we put the uniform on every single day and we have to live up to that oath that we take.

INGRAHAM: Now do you know Officer Peterson?

BELL: No, I do not. I've only had one conversation with him.

INGRAHAM: What occurred in that conversation?

BELL: Just to brief him about what was about to transpire within the next hour in terms of the administrative moves that were going to happen, in terms of being suspended without pay and an internal affairs investigation would start.

INGRAHAM: Now the Coral Springs Police are apparently the ones who are talking and that's why we got this new report about the three Broward deputies who showed up and also didn't enter the building. So, why would the Coral Springs officers express their frustration if they had entered the building or if this hadn't occurred?

Given the fact that we have 17 dead and we have more than a week has transpired, we still don't have the clear tick tock on what happened? That seems a little much, don't you think, given the public outcry here?

BELL: Given the public outcry, I can say that there was a lot of chaos on the scene that night. I don't doubt the actions of some of the Coral Springs police officers that were there that day.

However, I don't know enough information to comment if those are the first officers on scene or if those officers that went into the building first from Coral Springs came out and saw additional deputies. I don't have enough information to comment about that at this time.

INGRAHAM: Sheriff Israel basically echoed what you said about how -- this guy should have -- Peterson should have engaged the shooter. You're there, shots are ringing out. You don't stand outside, you go in. That's like the firefighters at 9/11. They went up in the building when everyone else is leaving. That's your job. That's what you do. That's the danger of being a police officer.

But you made comments about the school board in Broward County and lay some blame frankly on them for what happened. Explain that to us.

BELL: Yes, I do. I think that's the one entity in this whole conversation that has not been brought up. Some of the fault of put on the Broward County school board. For years they know that the schools have been soft targets.

They claim that they want to have better police presence inside the schools and they want tougher security, but yet they do not want to cough up the money to pay for that better security and fortify their schools and have better designs, they don't want that.

And then when they are fortunate enough to have a school resource deputy on scene, an armed police presence, a lot of the liberal-thinking principals on campus there don't want the police officers making arrests on campus and don't want the drugs to be found on campus and don't want the warrants to be served on campus because it looks like bad stats at the school.

So, I place a lot of the blame on the school board with that and some of the programs that they've initiated with the state attorney and the sheriff's office in the years past. For example, the promise program, nobody wants to fill the jails with juveniles. Every police officer will agree on that.

So, the promise program is an intervention program where we can stop filling the jails with kids and get them into some alternative programs. But the problem is when that program started, we took all discretion away from the law enforcement officers to affect an arrest if we choose to.

Now there's a lot of parents out there screaming for help in terms of mental health services and family intervention for services.

INGRAHAM: Well, we had 23 calls go into the Broward Sheriff's Office about this family. Some were about Nikolas Cruz's brother, others were about Cruz, and still including calls regarding his potential for violence.

Again, you're the expert here. You represent the union here, but 23 calls to one house and you add that with the FBI tips that they got in 2016 and as early as in November and apparently another one in February, this is just -- this is wild stuff. I mean, red flag after red flag after red flag.

BELL: It is. They are looking into that right now with those calls, but I can tell you, it's not an uncommon thing where we spend two, three, four, five times a week that we respond to the same house for the same problem over and over again.

INGRAHAM: And so, your limitations are what? You could sit down with Nikolas Cruz, correct? I mean, I imagine -- he didn't seem too bright. I imagine you could sit down and ask him questions. Can I look around? Do you have any guns? Can I see where they are? Can I see where they're stored? That conversation, do you have any idea whether that took place?

BELL: I do not have any of that information --

INGRAHAM: That's a pretty important question.

BELL: It is, but I'm not privileged to comment on that because it's an ongoing investigation. I would be violating state statute by commenting on that.

INGRAHAM: The NRA demonization that's going on right now is unlike anything I've ever seen. They're trying to basically take them off television, kill off all the businesses that -- you know, take their ads and so forth, give discounts to NRA members. What's your sense on that?

BELL: I firmly believe this is not a gun issue. I've said this from day one and I'll hold that belief until the day I die. It's not the gun that's the problem. It's the person behind the gun that is the problem.

And the problem that we face here today is not going to be a central fix and I'm afraid to say that I don't even think that there's going to be an outcome that will fix this problem.

Because until we can link the mental health records into the criminal background checks that we do to purchase a firearm, we won't see if a person has a mental health issue. So, that has to be resolved with the medical association and HIPAA law violations to release that information --

INGRAHAM: Sheriff Israel yesterday or today said, what I think we need to do in America is something different, have less guns on our streets, not more guns. He's taking a different view from you and that's a sheriff. He wants to go for the gun.

BELL: Correct. He is my boss and my sheriff and does sign my paychecks, but that doesn't mean that I have to have the same opinions as the sheriff does. I think we need to intervene with the people that hold the gun, not the gun itself. Until we address the real problem, which is the mental health issue and the attitude of the state attorney's office of releasing these people on the street, nothing is going to change.

INGRAHAM: Deputy Sheriff Bell, thank you so much for joining us tonight. We'll be following every aspect of this ongoing investigation.

Stay right there, everybody because we have Michelle Malkin, Colonel Allen West, they are going to join us to analyze all these latest developments, the plot to undermine and I think ultimately, if they could, take down the NRA, and one that seems to be for the moment having some effect. Don't go away.


INGRAHAM: Companies targeted by that left-wing website, Think Progress are rapidly dropping ties with the National Rifle Association. The list of companies ending discounts for NRA members already includes Metlife, Hertz, Enterprise, Alama, Symantec, and First National Bank of Omaha.

Well, this comes after more than a week of liberals and students blaming the NRA for school shootings.


CAMERON KASKY, MARJORY STONEMAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: Any politician on either side, who is taking money from the NRA is responsible for events like this.

THOMAS FRIEDMAN, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: The NRA does not win in the chat room. It wins in the room of state legislature and the national government. Unless we get bags of money and votes to pull these people the other way, we're going to lose. We've got to take on the NRA.


INGRAHAM: Let's discuss this with conservative review television host, Michelle Malkin in Colorado Springs, and Fox News contributor, Colonel Allen West in New York.

Great to see you both of you. Michelle, you are in CRTV, and you and I have dealt with this issue for years, where the left loses the debate on substance and goes for the banning speech, and now they are doing this with the NRA. What say to you?

MICHELLE MALKIN, CRTV HOST: That's right. And this tactic has been used successfully by leftist speech squelchers. They have targeted conservative talk radio hosts, other conservative figures and Republicans and conservative businesses, and it really is time for law-abiding gun owners to push back, to draw the line.

Because these people who are responsible for these witch hunts are inciting hatred and violence. And you know, the thing is that so many conservatives always act in good faith and they don't want to engage in these kinds of tactics.

INGRAHAM: They're afraid.

MALKIN: They are afraid, and I understand that, but enough is enough.

INGRAHAM: Colonel West, you saw that student. He was obviously very upset. You saw that play out at that CNN forum, the town hall forum about guns where the students were -- you know, Marco Rubio, I see your face down the barrel of a gun -- I mean, it was over and over and over, and blood money.

It was all the classic lines against the NRA we've heard many times. But at this point, it seems different. It seems like the organization is very tight here. What do conservatives do to respond? They could respond in kind with their own boycotts, which I'm not really for. So, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

COLONEL ALLEN WEST, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's good to be with you, Laura, first and foremost, everyone needs to know I am a sitting board member for the National Rifle Association. When I think about what they progressed here just a week ago saying that the NRA gave $10,000 to train Nikolas Cruz in firearms instruction, that was a false story.

The New York Daily News repeated it. The NRA stands for supporting these shooting sports and the high school (inaudible) team there at Stoneman Douglas High School, which it was in the district that I represented.

It was to support their shooting sports team, their marksmanship team, who used Kevlar mats to shield a lot of those students, some of those cadets did. And when I think about Enterprise and some of these other companies, we don't see anyone going out and attacking beer wholesalers or alcohol distributors when we have deaths due to dui or things of this nature.

And for that student that assaulted -- well, you know, verbally assaulted Senator Marco Rubio, what about Planned Parenthood? The $568.7 million that they get as an abortion provider and that's blood money.

But what incenses me more than anything else, no one remembers in the United States of America remembers the name Steven Wiliford. Steven Wiliford is an NRA member. He is also an NRA-trained firearms instructor and he was the one that ran to the sound of the guns in Sutherland Springs, Texas at the First Baptist Church.

And he was the one that took down that assailant and no one is talking about that. But yet we have the Broward County officers that did not run to the sound of the gun. So, I don't think the NRA should be demonized.

INGRAHAM: It's unbelievable what we learned tonight about the four Coral Springs officers, they arrived. The Broward deputies, again, to these reports, we'll see what ultimately is concluded were behind their vehicles and told the Coral Springs police, "you go in." and so they did go in.

But there was red flag -- it seems like there was mistakes made on the ground. The guy was obviously -- it was tipped that he was going to shoot up a school, at least a few tips that he was going to shoot up the school. Nothing.

And it's the NRA's fault? I've got to go to the CNN forum and Michelle, I want to react to this. We had Andrew Klein on our show last night. He is the father of daughter, Ariana Klein. She is a survivor of the shooting. She was at the White House the other day. He was called by CNN shortly after the shooting. This is how he described it. Let's listen.


ANDREW KLEIN, FATHER OF STONEMAN DOUGLAS STUDENT: I actually spoke to a CNN producer on Thursday, the day after the shooting, and the producer insinuated to me that they were looking for people who are willing to espouse a certain narrative, which was taking the tragedy and turning it into a policy debate.


INGRAHAM: And by the way, Jake Tapper, tweeted in response from CNN, "This is so dishonest. The student said her question was for Dana. That's why I was talking about that kid -- nothing was scripted, but people submit questions. We go in expecting they'll ask the questions they submitted, which they're holding."

So, that was his tweet. Michelle, your reaction to this. I know you've written columns about CNN's games that they played in years past.

MALKIN: I have. And I've been a long-time chronicler of how CNN has used these so-called citizen town halls to forge Democratic talking points and these are not journalistic exercises. These are partisan political ones.

In the past, they have tried to pass off as, quote/unquote, "undecided voters," people who are working for various Democratic political campaigns or Democratic office holders. It is no surprise.

And I think it's interesting because on the one hand, the left is always saying, believe the children. Listen to the children. But when certain children and their parents are telling the truth about the manipulation of this fake news, all of the sudden, they are subject to this kind of criticism from the likes of Jake Tapper, who really is a disgrace.

He abdicated his journalistic responsibility and now we are finding out more and more what did this Sheriff Israel know when he was sitting on the stage mauling Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch like lions in the den.

You know, it is the collusion, I believe, between the social justice administrators of that school district who adopted radical liberal alternative conflict resolution policies all for the cause of political correctness and eradicating the fact that there were percentages of minority students. So, rather than adjudicate any one, they adjudicated no one and that's how Nikolas Cruz got away with it.

INGRAHAM: All right. Guys, the Manafort-Gates -- we have Rick Gates plead guilty today. The Mueller investigation, this big pressure is going to be put on Paul Manafort to also plead guilty squeezes on. Colonel West, we've got about 20 seconds. Your reaction to that?

WEST: Well, first of all, I want to say that Sheriff Scott Israel should step down. There was no way he did not know what happened reviewing that surveillance video last week Wednesday. Now getting to the Manafort-Gates issue, this is Robert Mueller acting way outside the boundaries and the scope. The only collusion has been with Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS, the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC. That's where he should be looking.

INGRAHAM: All right. Guys, great panel as always.

Up next in the angle: I'm going to describe how a group of unelected judges actually could pose one of the biggest obstacles to enacting the Trump agenda. You're not going to want to miss a minute.

And Brexit hero, Nigel Farage is with us. He's great advice on how to keep the momentum of the Trump agenda going, the populist movement here and across the globe. Don't go away.


INGRAHAM: Runaway judges versus the Trump agenda. That's the focus on tonight's angle. Today at CPAC, the president rallied the conservative faithful and urged them not to let up as the midterm elections approached.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don't be complacent, because if they get in, they will repeal your tax cuts, they will put judges in that you wouldn't believe, they'll take away your Second Amendment, which we will never allow to happen.


INGRAHAM: Judges matter. Let's take gun legislation. Now, even if the president and the Republican Congress are successful in pressing his agenda, judges with radical outlooks can undo it all. That applies to a whole host of issues.

This is why it's so critical for President Trump to nominate and seek confirmed as many judges as possible on both the district and appellate courts. Since Trump took office, check this out, major initiatives have been stalled or stopped altogether by the courts, including his travel ban on some majority Muslim countries, his plans to withhold funds from those sanctuary cities, his plan to rescind the DACA program, and just yesterday, his plan to end Obama-era oil and gas emission regs.

And let's not forget the ban on transgender people serving in the military. So just his first nine in months in office, cities or states filed 24 lawsuits against the president. According to Reuters, Obama was not subjected to similar lawsuits during the same time period.

Now a few weeks ago, New York District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis (ph), a Clinton appointee blocked President Trump's decision to end Obama's DACA program. He's the second federal judge to do so.

Now, Judge Nick Garaufis is an interesting character. When the DACA case landed on his bench last year, he reacted like an MSNBC pundit. He claimed that the president's ending the DACA program was, quote, "arbitrary and capricious."

Gracias, Judge Luis Gutierrez. This judge has a history of editorializing from the bench and it ends up being like legislating from the bench. Americans didn't elect Judge Garaufis to change our immigration policy.

Certainly not the authority of the executive to enact sensible immigration regulation. He was appointed to be a check on other branches of government, not a replacement for them. So, if he wants to get into legislating, he should take off his long black robe, pound the pavement, and then run for office.

And by the way, this isn't the first time that that judge crossed the line from impartial jurist to policymaker. In 2012, he imposed racial quotas on the New York City Fire Department as a way to address the complaints from minorities who failed the department's entrance exams.

Now, declaring the fire department a, quote, "bastion of white male privilege," Judge Garaufis required the department to hire two black firefighters and one Hispanic for every five hired.

Now, parts of his ruling were later vacated by the appeals court that questioned his impartiality. They barred him from presiding over future trials relating to the case. That's how bad it was. Sadly, no one barred him from ruling on the DACA program. Frankly, he should have recused himself because his liberal bias was that obvious.

Garaufis sat on the bench and repeatedly slammed the president for his, quote, "recurring redundant drumbeat of anti-Latino commentary," "recurring redundant drumbeat," isn't that whole thing redundant. Oh, my gosh, just bad writing.

Now, come on, Judge Garaufis was blatant in his disdain for the president and his policies. Then the chief judge of the fourth circuit court of appeals, Roger Gregory, wrote the majority opinion blocking the president's travel ban. Now, that's a different circuit. It's the second time the fourth circuit has pulled this routine. This time Judge Gregory, a George W. Bush appointee believe it or not, claims that the president's travel restriction on six largely Muslim countries is unconstitutionally tainted with an animus toward Islam.

For 285 unbelievably twisted pages the ruling tries to turn Trump's campaign rhetoric into a legal argument. Gregory writes that the travel ban drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination. It sounds like he's talking about his own opinion. They say the ban is an attempt to establish a national religion that excludes Muslims. That's what the fourth circuit ruled.

We're going to see how that reasoning holds up at the Supreme Court, which by the way has just announced that it's going to review these travel ban decisions on April 25th. Political grandstanding by jurists, the type that we just talked about, whether from the bench or public forums, we saw what Justice Ginsburg said the other day about the bullying during the election, Hillary and the sexism, all of that ends up undermining confidence in the courts and it certainly compromises our view of an impartial judiciary. And that goes, as I said, for the notorious RBG, Ginsburg, as well.

The left wants to do through the courts what they couldn't achieve at the ballot box. It's so transparent to me. Obama certainly knew this game. He was able to stack the federal bench with 334 judges. Clinton appointed 387 judges. And President Trump, well, he understands the threat posed by an activist judiciary. The president has had to deal with activist judges working against him ever since he took office.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'll be criticized by them for speaking harshly about our courts. This new order was tailored to the dictates of the ninth circuit's, in my opinion, flawed ruling.


TRUMP: This is, in the opinion of many, an unprecedented judicial overreach.


INGRAHAM: Now, there are currently 147 vacancies on the federal courts, 122 in the district courts, and 17 at that important appellate level. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did a fantastic job in 2017 getting Trump nominees confirmed, a record 12 appeals court judges. Obama only got three in his first year, so that's really good.

Nevertheless, a lot of work remains to be done. The only way to counter the excesses of life tenured judges like Garaufis is for Trump to fill the bench with his own jurists, men and women who stay within their constitutional boundaries. Meanwhile, we'll continue on this show to expose the arbitrary and capricious rulings of judges who frustrate the public will and exceed their article three authority.

And that's the Angle.

Joining us now for reaction, just outside the Washington D.C., he's at CPAC, Nigel Farage, Fox News contributor and former UK Independence Party leader. All right, Nigel, you're there at CPAC with all those judges. The president talked about the judges today in his speech and how if we don't keep this momentum going, we won't get judges on the court and a lot of his agenda can be undone. What was your sense from the president's speech?

NIGEL FARAGE, FORMER U.K. INDEPENDENCE PARTY LEADER: Of course, it's all about the midterms isn't it, really. He's achieved amazing things. He said today that he kept more promises than he actually made during the election campaign, which was a great line. But he's doing his stuff. He got tax reforms through just before Christmas. Very, very important. But he needs to make sure that he keeps majority of both of those houses in the midterms.

So how does he keep the Trump revolution rolling? I tell you something, I shared a platform with his in Mississippi back in the presidential campaign. He went around the country speaking to big audiences. He's a wonderful motivator. But what I saw today was a president in a different gear, a president who was using humor, a president who was light, a president who even told a joke against himself about his own bald patch. And I think if Trump goes around the country in the run-up to these midterms and performs anything like he did today at CPAC, he will keep his momentum going and that'll lead through to everything he needs to do.

INGRAHAM: Yes, Nigel, you and I ran into each other this morning and you were nice enough to agree to come on the show tonight. It's so awesome. But it was right before the president spoke. I spoke at around 9:00. And I was trying to -- and I know you said this as well. You had such a great speech. That we need to be happy warriors. We're winning on all these big issues. The left is resistant. This whole dour conservative hangdog approach, it's tedious. Nobody wants to be on that ride.

FARAGE: Look, career politicians are as dull as dishwater. Why? They're always being safe. They don't want to take a risk. All they care about is getting reelected. They're not doing this out of passion, belief in country, patriotism, caring about ordinary people. They are dull, they are humorless, they are without any real personality.

And what sparkled today from the president was him being him. And I was very, very privileged, Laura, to meet you this morning, but I was also very privileged to meet the president just after he came onstage. And I saw a man there absolutely at the top of his game. I get the feeling that this president is now really enjoying what he's doing. You're seeing his real personality coming out. And I have to say, my view -- and I've watched this and I've followed this and been part of this, even though I'm a foreigner, but my view is with Trump, the best is yet to come.

INGRAHAM: Yes. He referred to the next seven years, clearly putting to rest these ideas he's not going to run for reelection. I want to play for you the media's reaction to the President's hour-plus-long speech. Let's watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This morning at CPAC he covered at least 31 different topics in an hour and 15 minute speech. But it took almost 40 minutes before the president began his conversation on the Parkland school shooting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump made time in his CPAC today to address his bald spot, yet nothing on Russian election meddling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Both at CPAC and at his news conference he conveniently avoided talk of his new tougher position on guns.


INGRAHAM: Nigel, I mean, the president was self-deprecating, which the media had complained he never was. I howled. We were watching it in our hotel room. We were all screaming. It was so funny, and it lightened the mood. But they literally can never say anything positive. It doesn't matter what he does. Even if he pushes the gun control measures, they say it's not enough. It's unbelievable.

FARAGE: No, of course they don't. And you remember with Ronald Reagan, it was exactly the same. They never ever forgave Reagan for winning once and then twice, and they kept at him all the way through his presidency. But you know what, he goes down in history as one of the great presidents.

And I don't think it matters anymore what CNN say or The New York Times writes. It doesn't matter. The world has changed. People out there, ordinary, decent ordinary people who live their lives, do their jobs, pay their taxes, obey the laws, bring up their families, they don't care anymore what mainstream media is telling them. You know what, they make up their own minds.

INGRAHAM: I think you're right. The progress has left them behind. And it's almost not worth engaging with them or getting demoralized or distracted by what they're saying or the constant resistance. Move the ball down the field, get great legislation passed, do the stuff he's already done and then some.

I want to show a poll onscreen, U.S. satisfaction with world standings hit 13-year high, 45 percent positive rating. 2017 it was 32 percent. 2005 it was 48 percent. That's the Gallup poll. So Nigel, my question to you is, how are we being viewed, do you sense, internationally? Americans are happy with how they think we're being viewed by the rest of the world under Trump, at least it's gone up. It's still not a majority, but that's good news considering where they predicted he was going to take us.

FARAGE: Let's be fair, Obama was a disaster. America's standing in the world went down considerably during the eight-year period. And everyone said that Trump on the world stage would be an embarrassment, he'd be a dummy, he wouldn't know how to behave. And you know what, right from that Riyadh speech, his first speech, through to Davos where he delivered the line, "America first but America not alone," did it beautifully and people understood it. All the way through, he has behaved on the international stage with huge dignity, with great confidence. In fact, when he was in Beijing walking around, I thought he was about to put a bid in to buy the place.

INGRAHAM: That would be nice. We need that to happen. We don't even have time to get into the China thing. But he's actually the first president to address the China threat in a substantive way or trade and not afraid to say so, Nigel, which is fantastic. Nigel, thank you so much for joining us. We've got to roll. But have a great time. It was great to see you today and fantastic speech.

And by the way, a lot of watching have asked this questions of yourselves. Could you be fired from your job for merely expressing your political views? Up next we're going to talk to someone who worked for one of the top tech companies in the world here in the United States, and he says that happened to him. Don't go away.


INGRAHAM: San Francisco attorney and my friend Harmeet Dhillon recently decided to represent a man who said he was unlawfully fired by Google for expressing his conservative views. Former Google software engineer James Damore was fired in August after he wrote a memo criticizing the company's diversity requirements. And he also suggested biology might account for the dearth of women in the tech industry. They both join us now to discuss the latest with the case. Great to see both of you. James, great to see you. Thanks for being here.

So Harmeet, what happened? I know you took the case to the NLRB, the National Labor Relations Board. But you took the case there. What happened?

HARMEET DHILLON, ATTORNEY FOR JAMES DAMORE: So James filed a case with the NLRB the day he was fired. So it happened before he got counsel. And the National Labor Relations Act which is implemented by the board protects the rights of workers to discuss their working conditions. And so the memo that James wrote falls into that category of discussing some of the illegal quotas and other practices that they do at Google they complained about.

INGRAHAM: So you're saying that's protected under the NLRB?

DHILLON: Correct.

INGRAHAM: That kind of makes sense. Go on.

DHILLON: And so we also got geared up to file a lawsuit that would cover employment claims under California law. So the National Labor Relations Board has a number of regional offices and the regional office that governs our region decided that James had a case.

INGRAHAM: Good. Good news.

DHILLON: Now, when somebody's fired, they're supposed to act quickly within weeks to try to have a hearing and get them returned to their job. So we were waiting and waiting and waiting, and then finally we realized something's going on. It turns that what happened was Google went and lobbied the Washington office of the NLRB.

INGRAHAM: That's called an ex parte contact, which is supposed to be a no-no.

DHILLON: In courts it is.

INGRAHAM: The big heavy push from Google on the NLRB. And this is a Trump appointee.

DHILLON: Yes, so let's talk about that. The president appoints the general counsel, the deputy general counsel and other people like that. But Obama holdovers at the NLRB decided to overrule the regional office of career professionals.

INGRAHAM: Does that happen often?

DHILLON: It doesn't happen often. And what really doesn't happen often is they don't issue a memo about it where James had already withdrawn his case.

INGRAHAM: OK. So, James, how are you doing? This has been quite a rollercoaster for you? You're now this conservative folk hero which I'm sure that's not what you ever envisioned. You loved your job. You lost your job. So how are you feeling and how are you doing throughout this?

JAMES DAMORE: It's a little exhausting to be honest.

INGRAHAM: Were you a code writer? OK. So I imagine you could get hired by someone else at this point. Are you working for someone else?

DAMORE: I'm still looking.

INGRAHAM: You're still looking. This hurt him.

DHILLON: What happened was, the thing in Silicon Valley, you have to understand Google is the 800-pound gorilla and so people are afraid of irritating Google. I'm giving a euphemism here. But smaller companies don't want to hire somebody because the want to get acquired by Google. We were here at CPAC this weekend. Google is sponsor. Google is ubiquitous. So it is a real problem.

INGRAHAM: So what's next with you case, because the NLRB, that's not going anywhere. It's back and forth.

DHILLON: So Laura, we withdrew the NLRB charge when we realized they were just going to sit on it and not take it seriously. So we then filed a lawsuit in state court which is a class action on behalf of James and a number of other workers at the company. We're waiting for our first day in court, which will be in May.

INGRAHAM: What does this say to other people in the workplace, whether you're a conservative working in a liberal place or whether you're a liberal working in a more conservative environment, which are not that many as the big corporation are all pretty --

DHILLON: So Laura, you and I went to law school together. And in court you have a supposedly neutral judge. You talked about that a little bit on you show. But a judge hears both sides and then there's some evidence taken and then there's a decision made based on that. And agencies, which is a lot of what we have here going on in the swamp in D.C., a lot of faceless bureaucrats make very critical decisions about the future of companies and policies. And so what Google employees may not know is that Google has an army of lawyers who are actively lobbying the National Labor Relations Board to cut back rights for workers, not just in James' case but in cases involving them discussing the working conditions of these jobs.

INGRAHAM: That's a big deal. I have not heard that before. And Google is big, but you still have to follow the law. We're out of time. But a survey of Silicon Valley employees finds that if you're very conservative, 89 percent of you say you're hesitant of being themselves at work. Conservatives, 74 percent of conservatives in Silicon Valley say they're hesitant to be themselves at work. Liberals, 36 percent. Very liberal, only 30 percent feel hesitant about being themselves. This is fascinating. We're going to follow every aspect of this. Thank you, guys, for both being here.

And up next, an Ingraham poetry slam, courtesy of the president. And why it's so important.


INGRAHAM: Well, I had a blast addressing CPAC today. But I think somebody else may have had an even better time, the president. It drove the left crazy today that Trump actually showed himself to be pretty self-deprecating.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What a nice picture that is. Look at that. I would love to watch that guy speak. I try like hell to hide that bald spot, folks. I work hard at it.


TRUMP: It doesn't look bad. We're hanging in. We're hanging in. We're hanging in there. Together we're hanging in.


INGRAHAM: Trump also went off script and he delivered one of his greatest hits, the snake. It's a poem he frequently recited on the campaign trail that I guess is an allegory for illegal immigration. It kind of sounded like a poetry jam to us. So we put it to a little beat. It tells a tale of a kind woman who gives shelter to a half-frozen snake and then suffers for it.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She stroked his pretty skin again and kissed and held him tight. But instead of saying "thank you," that snake gave her a vicious bite. Said the reptile with a grin, "you knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in."


INGRAHAM: I think he should release it as an LP. Oh my gosh. Well, I told the folks at CPAC today it's important for conservatives to have a good time, enjoy the moment. You're winning. It's not going to get any better than this. You're winning. It's like the '80s. They're going to fight you at every step but you're winning. That's why they're fighting you. That's why they're resisting you. Keep moving the ball down the field. Keep chalking up victories.

And what did the left do today? Well, they're just singing the blues. Stay with us. We'll close it out.


INGRAHAM: All right, that's all the time we have tonight. But remember this -- keep it positive. Keep the agenda moving forward. Don't let the haters and detractors get you down, no point. This is a good time. The best is yet to come, but today is pretty good. Tweet me @TheIngrahamAngle. Shannon Bream up next. Goodnight from Washington.


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