Rep. King talks Hope Hicks' testimony to House investigators

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," February 27, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM: We can all use one of those hugs from that little girl. Thank you, Bret, good to see you tonight. Breaking tonight on THE STORY, so in the midst of a flurry of news out of the White House tonight, are strong signals that they do not fear the collusion wrap as these investigations continue. In a moment, Congressman Peter King will join us; he is fresh off of the Hope Hicks testimony. The first indicator investigative pushback on the heels of presidential tweets urging action. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announcing today he is investigating allegations of FISA abuse under the Obama administration now.


JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We believe that the Department of Justice must adhere to that high standards in the FISA courts and, yes, it will be investigated.


MACCALLUM: And with Hicks on Capitol Hill, the president pulled the spotlight with a bold and early announcement, his intention to run again in 2020. Another sign that they are not concerned about collusion accusations, perhaps, Brad Parscale, who worked with Facebook, Twitter, and Google to target voters in places like Michigan and Wisconsin, and who was investigated himself by the Mueller probe about a possible connection between his data machine and Russia's, will now lead the Trump 2020 team.
In moments, Former Deputy Campaign Manager David Bossie joins me on that.
Plus, Jonathan Turley on the illegal potential implications here. But first, one of the men at the center of today's House Intel hearing interviewing Hope Hicks, one of the Top Advisors to President Trump, Congressman Peter King. Good to see you tonight, congressman.

REP. PETER KING, R--NEW YORK: Thank you, Martha. Thank you very much.

MACCALLUM: So, tell us the scope of what Hope Hicks has been willing to answer questions about today, so far?

KING: Yes, first of all, my understanding was that Hope Hicks would be willing to answer everything, but the White House asked her only to answer questions up to the end of the campaign, because that was really the scope of the hearing. And then they said no questions after inauguration because then, she would've been an employee in the White House, and later there was a negotiation, and understanding with the White House that she would answer very key questions about the transition period, specifically regarding General Flynn, Ambassador Kislyak, anything that was at all pertinent to Russia.

And my understanding is, you know, she answered. And I have to say that, her testimony I thought was exceptional. She answered in excruciating detail every question about the campaign, every allegation at all of anything involving Papadopoulos or Carter Page or any about Russian influence or Russian collusion or any type of cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russia as far as I was concerned in any rational observer.
She debunked all of that. I thought she did an exceptional job, and she was still going a few minutes ago; she should be over by now. She was there for nine hours. That's nine hours of questions, and many of them tedious, many of them repetitive.

MACCALLUM: Let me ask you something, Congressman King. We've sort of got the indication that one of the focuses that Robert Mueller is looking at with regard to Advisor Hope Hicks is, after the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting that Don Jr., Donald Trump Jr. had with some with the Natalia Veselnitskaya and others, that after that, when that story broke, that there was an effort on Air Force One between the president, and some of his advisors, and Hope Hicks was there, to craft a response to that. That's Mueller is very interested in that, that he thinks there might be some obstruction in that particular meeting. Did she answer any questions on that?

KING: No, that's in the period after the inauguration. And I believe what this is -- the White House intends, to claim executive privilege in the future and they wanted to preserve the record. This is something that many presidents do, the whole idea of executive privilege. So, if she has any questions at all about her service in the White House after January 20th of last year --

MACCALLUM: And is it your -- is it your understanding, congressman, that that was also the case when she testified in front of the Senate and also the case when she testified to the Mueller committee?

KING: As far as the Mueller investigation, she wouldn't talk about that at all, which is the right thing. You should not be talking about, any conversation she had with the criminal investigation. As far as the Senate, my understanding is that she only spoke about the period during the transition, she did not go beyond January 20th. And that why today, she did testify to us similar as how she did before the Senate, she did answer all questions that we asked her. Actually, these are questions that were agreed by the White House that she wanted to answer them, involving General Flynn, involving the Russian ambassador, involving conversations at Mar-a-Lago, and all that leaning --

MACCALLUM: What did you learn about General -- about General Flynn? Because his story has been sort of back in the news now.

KING: You know, basically, she was just giving it from her perspective. And that basically -- I can't go into all the detail, but basically that when she was questioned about General Flynn, she basically told him to speak with a reporter, and what happened after that, she really was not familiar. What she knew is if she passed on, she got the inquiry from the media, she passed on to General Flynn.

MACCALLUM: OK. I do want to ask you also about the NSA Director Mike Rogers who spoke at a hearing today and he talked about the issue of Russian meddling and whether or not the White House has been aggressive enough in asking him to pursue it, to add resources to making sure it doesn't happen again when we get to the midterms. Here he is -- and I want to get your thoughts on this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you been directed to do so given the strategic threat that face the United States?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wouldn't you agree with me that the president himself is aware of these attacks and should give you that additional authority?

ROGERS: I think the president -- sir, I'm not going to tell the president what he should or should not do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And paid no price for meddling in 2016 election?

ROGERS: If they haven't paid a price, at least it's sufficient to get them to change their behavior.


MACCALLUM: What do you make of that?

KING: Well, first of all, I don't think the president has to tell Mike Rogers what he has to do. I would assume, the NSA, the part of their ordinary job is to try to intercept to try to stop and to try to report back to Congress. I have not heard any Republican Congress saying that they need more authority or they need more direction. I do know that, for instance, the Department of Homeland Security, you know, and other government agencies are working with state and local governments as far as any type of interference with the ballot boxes or the election machines in the states.
And as far as other than that, you know, not everything that gets done, is spoken about, not everything that would be done by intelligence personnel is spoken about. I think the United States is going to do all it can and tends to do all it can, it's already begun, to make sure that whatever the Russians did in 2016, they're not going to do again.

MACCALLUM: Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushed back and said that they have added $44 million to the budget to work on cyber issues and, you know, indicated that they feel that they are doing a lot in that regard. So, we'll see. Congressman, thank you very much. A busy day for you, and we appreciate you being here as always.

NAME: And I'm going to emphasize, Hope Hicks answered every question in an exceptional way.

MACCALLUM: Let me ask you one last question. Any talk of a subpoena for her for the information that she was not willing to talk about?

KING: Well, the democrats are talking about it. I don't think it's going to go very far.

MACCALLUM: All right. Pete King. Congressman, thank you, sir. Good to see you.

KING: Thank you, Martha. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, my next guest, Jonathan Turley, has been throwing cold water on the collusion narrative throughout this morning. He was on T.V. on another network and he got some pushback on that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE, MSNBC: I will point out respectfully one potential logical hole in the case that the professor makes, which is, well, if Bob Mueller hasn't said something, does that mean it hadn't happened? And so, there's a lot of questions to hear about the event, what's been charged, and what ultimately will be determined.


MACCALLUM: Jonathan Turley joins me now, he's a Constitutional Law Attorney and Professor at George Washington University Law School, and a friend and frequent visitor on THE STORY. Jonathan, good to see you tonight. First of all, that back and forth, do you feel like that was a fair joust at you?

JONATHAN TURLEY, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW ATTORNEY AND PROFESSOR AT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: Well, I didn't take it personally. His point is a good one, that there can be evidence that comes out later. But I actually stated that more evidence could come forward. I was speaking of the evidence that's available at this time. He was referring to a tweet that the president had sent out that quoted me, saying that I was skeptical about collusion based on the evidence that we know. And so, it was somewhat ironic to hear -- you know, this doesn't mean that if Mueller doesn't have something else.

Well, of course it doesn't. But, you know, the lack of knowing that hasn't stopped many people from arguing that there is a lead pipe cinch of a case of collusion or that there's bombshell evidence out there establishing collusion. I don't see that. I have a column out today in The Hill where I go through all of the alleged evidence of collusion, and it just doesn't hold together very well. This is not particularly compelling evidence, and it is, indeed, quite implausible. When you look at the dates and look at what the meetings were at the Trump Tower, a meeting in a pub involving Papadopoulos, these don't really fit a very convincing narrative of collusion. Now, yes, Mueller might have, you know, pictures of a shirtless Putin in the Oval Office -- you like Saturday Night Live -- but he might not.

MACCALLUM: And picking up little objects on the shelf and talking into them?

TURLEY: That's right.


MACCALLUM: Let me ask you, because, as you point out, the collusion narrative has been hinged primarily on the two meetings. The June 2016 meeting that I just referenced a moment ago with Congressman King between Donald Trump Jr. and some people who had promised, you know, well, we might have some dirt on Hillary, is that collusion?

TURLEY: Well, actually the interesting thing about the Trump Tower meetings, I never understood why people like Adam Schiff who pointed that as potential evidence of collusion. If anything, it seems to me to run against that narrative, the Russians used an acquaintance of music promoter, to get a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. on the promise of giving a legal evidence -- of illegal contributions to the Clinton Foundation. They didn't limit the meeting. They held it at Trump Tower where there was an army of reporter downstairs. Does that sound like a Russian intel operation? Because it's not very convincing. It's not very convincing that the Russians have this top secret, you know, conspiracy. But they're going to reveal it to Donald Jr. in Trump Tower meeting.

MACCALLUM: And we know that they were part of a lobbying effort to get rid of the Magnitsky Act.

TURLEY: That's right.

MACCALLUM: And it seems pretty clear from the way that it played out that they said, oh, we might have some dirt for you, and he said, all right, let's hear what you got. And then, they, you know, went in hard with the Magnitsky Act issue. It's pretty hard to figure out where the collusion actually comes into play in that. What about this letter that was drafted -- the statement that was drafted on Air Force One, that they obviously wanted to know more about from Hope Hicks today. And clearly, something that Robert Mueller is interested in. Would helping to craft the response to what happened in the June 26 meeting? Would that constitute obstruction of justice in any way?

TURLEY: I think it'd be a pretty weak evidence without more. Now, obviously, acts likes that can be evidence as part of a mosaic that shows obstruction. But it also can be the most obvious thing which is an effort to spin a controversy. Presidents often take an active role in trying to shape the narrative. These are usually type A personalities that, you know, try to direct events. So, could it be obstruction or part of that?
Sure. But it also could be the most obvious explanation, which is, Trump was trying to control the controversy and control the narrative. Should he have done it? No. But that doesn't make it obstruction.

MACCALLUM: Jonathan Turley, always interesting to hear your take. Thank you very much. Good to see you tonight.

TURLEY: Thank you. Thanks.

MACCALLUM: So, what the Trump 2020 announcement tells us about how concerned the White House really is about all of this. David Bossie was the Trump 2016 Campaign Manager -- Deputy Campaign Manager, and he has some exclusive insight on the choice that are now being made for 2020 next.


BRAD PARSCALE, DIGITAL MEDIA AND POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Got a lot to do in the building still, and we got a re-election in four years, right?



MACCALLUM: Things were just wrapping up. This is Hope Hicks, Senior Advisor to President Trump, and head of his communications team leaving after her testimony today, with the House Intelligence Committee. It was about seven or eight hours long. So, a grueling day of questioning there, and she is done for the day -- Hope Hicks -- as she left the building just moments ago.


PARSCALE: We had a data team on staff to help analyze that data, and determine the right content to go to the right people. That's part of the strategy. No different than corporate world or things to sell the right cars to the right people. We want to make sure that people in America saw the parts, and the things that they would love about Donald Trump to make sure they had voted him, and know that he'd be a great president for this country.


MACCALLUM: So, that was Brad Parscale on this show, not too long ago. The social media expert who helped Team Trump target voters in states like Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Today, President Trump named him campaign manager for the 2020 re-election campaign. So, what is Team Trump trying to tell us with that move among other things? Here now, David Bossie, Trump's 2016 Deputy Campaign Manager and a Fox News Contributor. David, good to see you.


MACCALLUM: Did you want the job?


BOSSIE: Not even a little bit.

MACCALLUM: You don't want to go back in there?

BOSSIE: Look, I'm happy, very happy helping the president right now, and I'm glad that Brad is leading the team now.

MACCALLUM: So, what is the pick of Brad tell you about the way the president is approaching 2020?

BOSSIE: You know, I think that it is with a very serious mind, that Brad was part of the winning team that was the 2016 election, and the president is going to count on Brad to put together a tremendous operation and lead us not just into 2020 but this year. The midterms of 2018 are going to play a pivotal role leading into 2020. And I think that's why the president made this decision and announced it today, to say there is going to be another player, meaning the Trump re-elect, on the table. And that we're going to be bringing all of these elements to bear to the 2018 re-elect.

MACCALLUM: I got to ask you about Jared Kushner, because he was brought onto the campaign by Jared Kushner. Kushner had a bit of a rough day. His security clearance was lowered and now there is a story tonight in The Washington Post, which claims that several countries have said that they feel that he is somewhat compromised, that they questioned his ability to carry out the duties that he's carrying out for the White House. What do you make of all that, David?

BOSSIE: Well, first of all, yes, Jared brought Brad in, if that's what you are asking. But Jared is a tremendous patriot, he's a tremendous American who has been serving this president for the last year or more now in the White House. And certainly, you know, there's going to be this issue with the security clearance, but I don't see that as a long-term problem. I think Jared is going through the process just like anyone else. But what he's doing on Middle East peace, what he's doing on innovation in America -- you know what, Jared is a great person to have in there. He's an incredibly smart, incredibly dedicated person to this president. And I think that this president counts on Jared for his leadership on these issues.

MACCALLUM: So, you don't think there's a schism within the White House that, you know, people are leaking information that makes him look bad, you don't buy into that?

BOSSIE: We've had this issue now for over a year in this White House.
We've had it in previous White Houses. You know, I can't speak to where this information comes from. I can just speak to who Jared Kushner is, and he's a great person that is working with General Kelly every day to make President Trump's agenda succeed and make America great again.

MACCALLUM: All right. David Bossie, always good to see you. Thank you very much.

BOSSIE: Thanks, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So, here now, Katrina Pierson, Spokesperson for America First Action and a Former Spokesperson for the Trump 2016 Campaign; and Zac Petkanas, Former DNC Trump War Room Director and Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign. So, you guys were up against each other in 2016.
And now, we're talking 2020 because the president has already announced that he absolutely will run. First of all, Katrina, did you ever doubt that the president would run? Because, you know, you look even at Steve Bannon, who said, oh, you know, there's 30 percent chance the president will run again in 2020.

KATRINA PIERSON, SPOKESPERSON FOR AMERICA FIRST ACTION AND FORMER SPOKESPERSON FOR THE TRUMP 2016 CAMPAIGN: No, Martha, there has never been a doubt in my mind. The president is committed to making America great again, and he knows you can't get this done in one term. So, I'm thrilled that Brad Parscale is going to be the campaign manager. I am very close with Brad. We became very good friends during the primary. We were on Team Trump before so many other people were. He is absolutely the best man for the job. So, in 2020, when you have President Trump out front and Brad Parscale in the back, it's going to be promises made, promises kept.

MACCALLUM: You know, it's fascinating to look at the possible landscape for this, Zac. You know, when you go through people, Nate Silver -- so is Nick -- also saying that they can easily see, for all of the grief that has been thrown at this president, they can easily see a scenario where he could win again.

ZAC PETKANAS, FORMER DNC TRUMP WAR ROOM DIRECTOR AND HILLARY CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Absolutely, I think that's especially true given that we know that the Russians are once again engaged in the campaign.

MACCALLUM: So, you think it will be the Russians -- if he wins again, it'll just be because Russians are involved again.

PETKANAS: I think the Russians played a significant role in electing him in 2016, and they're going to play a significant role in this campaign in 2020, which is why I think that Brad Parscale is such an interesting choice for this. I mean, he put together a digital campaign that was copied by the Russians. I mean, he did basically the exact same thing, it went and targeted the same battleground states, it went and did targeted to suppress minority voters, who ran an ad campaign that reached 126 million Americans.
It was a huge multi-million-dollar operation, and attracts very similar --

MACCALLUM: I mean, that is why made the point earlier, Katrina, that Brad Parscale was interviewed by the investigation because some of what he was doing seemed so close to what we were hearing, they were doing. Although it appears that he did it better and, in fact, did it quite well. I think it's really interesting that the Trump campaign at this early stage says, yep, he's our guy. To me, that says they're not worried at all about any, you know, potential connection that he may have had with the campaign may have had to that.

PIERSON: Oh, absolutely not, Martha. Anyone with an Internet connection can set up a Facebook account and can tweet. That's simply all that this is. Brad Parscale is a digital genius. He has a marketing background, he has his own company, he's been doing this for a very long time. And in fact, if that's the case, Zac, the DNC should be in pretty good shape considering they were the ones actually working with Christopher Steele and writing up fake dossiers, but actually working with the Russians. So, you guys are in pretty good shape.

PETKANAS: That's been debunked about 1,000 times. But what is true is that the Russians --

PIERSON: Oh, no, not yet, Zac. Not yet, Zac.

PETKANAS: -- helped to elect Donald Trump, and they're going to help him.
I mean --


MACCALLUM: I want to ask about one more topic, because Judge Curiel back in the news today, and essentially made a ruling against the environmental complaints against the wall, paving the way for the wall -- this is someone who had a little bit of a dustup with President Trump back in May of 2016.
Watch this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He's a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel. And he is not doing the right thing. They ought to look into Judge Curiel, because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace.


MACCALLUM: So, Katrina, what do you think President Trump thinks about Judge Curiel tonight?

PIERSON: Well, I think there are two very different circumstances. But in this case, Judge Curiel is absolutely right. He even cited Section 102, which gives -- Congress to give the executive branch the authority to build these types of fences, and he cite it with the Constitution. So, I applaud him tonight.


PETKANAS: Look, I mean, Donald Trump said that Judge Curiel was not qualified to rule because he is of Mexican heritage, and now this just proves that Donald Trump's a racist.

PIERSON: Absolutely not, Zac. Like I said, what I first said, this is two separate things. This was a personal case with Donald Trump. This is a constitutional one.

PETKANAS: He clearly can judge correctly.


MACCALLUM: In a decision -- in the decision, Judge Curiel said that my fellow jurors from Indiana, so clearly Judge Curiel is from the Midwest which is --

PIERSON: Constitution matters.

PETKANAS: So, apparently Mexican Americans can judge correctly.

PIERSON: When the constitution is at stake, absolutely.

PETKANAS: That goes against Donald Trump.

MACCALLUM: Thanks, guys. Thank you, guys, good to see you. Coming up tonight, a new college class that is called 'Trump: Impeachment, Removal, or Conviction.' Are those the only choices? And the sly move by President Xi of China that has the U.S. asking if this is a far bigger threat to us than Russia?


TRUMP: It's like take the New England Patriots and Tom Brady, and have them play your high school football team. That's the difference between China's leaders and our leaders.



MACCALLUM: President Xi's powers is increasingly concerning to some in China and to those watching here at home. As Chinese Communist Party scraps presidential term limits -- it's a move that the New York Times says puts Xi among of new global group of so-called strong men; authoritarian figures like Russia's Putin, Egypt's el-Sisi, and Turkey's Erdogan, while the whole world is watching what is developing here with some trepidation.
Trace Gallagher joins us now from our west coast newsroom with the back story tonight. Hi, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPPONDENT: Hi, Martha. It's not like China was actually moving towards being a genuine democracy even with presidential term limits. China is still a one-party state that exerts an enormous control over political dissent, public opinion and the economy.
And even with term limits, President Xi Jinping was referred to as the chairman of everything because he's not just the head of state, he's also general secretary of the communist party and heads up numerous committees and leadership groups. The concern now is the communist party has elevated Xi to the same status as Chairman Mao. Remember, Mao Zedong was credited in turning China into a world power. He was also condemned for mass repression and the wide dismantling of religious and cultural artifacts. Mao died in 1976. His successor, Deng Xiaoping, implemented 5-year term limits in 1982.

Now, inside China, it's unclear how much opposition there is to scrapping term limits because the country's internet censors are reportedly deleting critical comments. But a well-known Chinese journalist and former editor of a Chinese state-run newspaper has penned an open letter saying this proposal will sow the seeds of chaos, quoting here, as a Chinese citizen, I have to fulfill my responsibility until the delegates my opinion. I don't care what these delegates will do. It's not like the whole country agrees with the amendment, but everyone has been silenced. The reaction from world leaders has been more muted, and experts say that's likely because the world does not want to promote instability in a nation that contains one fifth of the world's population. But Admiral Harry Harris who heads up the U.S. pacific command says that by taking control of small islands in the South China Sea, China's intent is clear. Watch.


ADMIRAL HARRY HARRIS, US PACIFIC COMMANDER: China is attempting to assert defective sovereignty over disputed maritime features by further militarizing its man-made bases to this very day. China's impressive military buildup could soon challenge the United States across almost every domain.


GALLAGHER: And President Xi has made it clear that he wants his country to develop a world-class military. Xi is 64-years-old and could be in power for decades. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Trace, thank you very much. Here now with more, General Anthony Tata, who has more than three decades of public service as a military officer, also the author of Direct Force. Good to see you tonight, Anthony. Thank you for being here, general.

ANTHONY TATA, U.S. ARMY: Great to be with you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So this is -- you know, first the issue that there is a growing number of authoritarian leaders in various countries around the world. Is that -- does that put us in a pre-World War II environment?

TATA: You know, I think it might, Martha. I think what we really have to look at is the past nine years. So starting about nine years ago when President Obama got elected, you know, he had graduated from the Jeremiah Wright School of foreign policy, a weaker America makes for a stronger world. And so, he dealt with our adversaries in that fashion in such a way that we were no longer, in my opinion, Reagan's shining city on the hill and a beacon of freedom and democracy for others to view and aspire to be.
And so what President Obama, and really a feckless national security staff did was level the playing field so that there were no hills. And a good example is, dealing directly with Iran on nuclear weapons, who weren't supposed to have nuclear weapons. We just dealt with them as if they were a peer. And so, you've got now China, North Korea, Russia, Iran, Hungary, Egypt, all of these regimes now taking on more authoritarian terms because, under the Obama administration, we created a power vacuum because we gave away our superpower abilities. And now what you've seen with President Trump is reasserting American hegemony and dominance, and that very well could be the catalyst for what happened in China.

MACCALLUM: Let me ask you, as Trace pointed out, it's problematic. There's not that much that you can do about the growing hegemonic desires of China. I mean, you look at their expansion in the South China Sea, there's a billion people, as Trace pointed out, you don't necessarily want to destabilize that government. And I think about the person who expressed their dissent to his decision to be an endless authoritarian figure in China. I don't know what's going to happen to that person. I mean, it's not an environment where there is much that the United States can do to counter this, is there?

TATA: Well, you know, there's always that give and take. Their economy, Martha, relies a lot on our economy and vice versa. And there's that interdependence there. And so, we have to deal with China, we will deal with China. President Trump -- in preparation for this segment, I reread the national security strategy that the president's team put out in December, and it very clearly identifies China and Russia as peer competitors that are trying to take on more totalitarian roles with their people to fight of free people, free information, and free markets, and to suppress their people, and grow their military so they can be more peer competitors. And it's in the wake of this very weak American foreign policy in the past. And so, what we need to do now is stand up to these countries, such as China, and make sure they understand that we are here and in the South China Sea. You know, we've been skirmishing with them for a long time in the South China Sea.

MACCALLUM: Well, there's no doubt they want to be the superpower of the world and they want to replace us. They say as much. So that is very clear. General Tata, always good to see you, sir. Thank you very much for your time tonight.

TATA: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So after calling Vice President Pence, quote, mentally-ill for his Christian beliefs, Joy Behar is at it again, the outrageous claim that she's making about folks who attended the conservative political action conference. So are there going to be ramifications for her at her network?
Plus, as the nation debates how more gun laws will stop school shootings, one governor says nothing is being done to address the violent nature of the culture that we live in. Kentucky governor, Matt Bevin, spoke eloquently about this at the White House. He joins us live to expand on his ideas, next.


MATT BEVIN, R, KENTUCKY GOVERNOR: This culture of death is becoming pervasive, and if it's not addressed by all the imperfect people in this room with a sense of purpose and a sense of aspiration, I think we're going to see a continued trajectory that's not good.




RICK SCOTT, R, FLORIDA GOVERNOR: We need to pass reforms to make it virtually impossible for anyone who has a mental illness or danger to themselves ever to use a gun. We need to increase the collaboration between our local sheriffs, police departments, our schools. We got to invest in metal detectors. We got to invest in bulletproof glass.

ANDREW POLLACK, FATHER OF VICTIM KILLED IN PARKLAND SHOOTING: We're not the Democratic Party. We're not the Republican Party. We're the human party. We all need to come together and discuss school safety.


MACCALLUM: So true. That was a plea to put politics aside from the father of Meadow Pollack, one of the 17 victims of the Parkland School shooting as Florida governor, Rick Scott, laid out his $500 million plan that he says he will work on every single day that he is in office to make the schools in Florida safe. My next guest says these safety measures are certainly worth discussing, but they're not getting to the heart of the problem or, perhaps, they are in addition to the problem. He laid out directly for President Trump, when the governors all gathered yesterday at the White House. Watch this.


BEVIN: When we mock and ridicule the very foundational principles that this nation was built upon, where you treat people the way you want to be treated, where you respect human life, where you respect the dignity of women and of children and of people who we have increasingly degraded in our society. This culture of death is becoming pervasive, and if it's not addressed by all the imperfect people in this room with a sense of purpose and a sense of aspiration, I think we're going to see a continued trajectory that's not good.


MACCALLUM: Florida shooting hitting particularly close to home for the Kentucky governor, just last month in his state a 15-year-old walked into a high school and killed two of his classmates. Republican governor, Matt Bevin, from Kentucky, welcome back to The Story, sir, good to see you tonight.


MACCALLUM: You believe that in order to get to the heart of this matter, there's a lot of discussion about gun-control, about mental health, that we need to really regroup and where we are headed as a society as a whole. How do you do that?

BEVIN: It's not easily done. And I'll tell you, there is no easy fix. That's the most difficult thing. It's why so many people are quick to ridicule and disregard this conversation. But how do you do it? You do with one person at a time. This is literally a call out to every single parent in America, to every teacher in America, to every coach, to every Sunday school, to every civic organization, to every single scout leader. I'm asking every adult in America to look for the young people in your life, and if you're not doing enough to protect them, to protect their physical security, their emotional security, to protect their innocence, and then I'm asking you to step up and do more because, societally, it is the responsibility of the adults, those among us who are in a position to do so, to protect our young people, we're not doing a good job of it.

MACCALLUM: You talk about the fact that there have always been guns in America, but there haven't always been these horrific, vicious, impossible to understand killings by children of other children. So what changed?

BEVIN: I think what is change is we've become rudderless as a society. Again, you take the culture of life or death, however you want to look at it, do we celebrate life or do we celebrate death in this culture? And again, this is a heavy, heavy topic. But you look at musical lyrics, you look at the video games, you look at the television programming and the movies and how increasingly violent and how increasingly realistic, they are desensitizing our young people and our adults, for that matter, to the value and the sanctity of human life. And again, without going off on topic that will get people's hair on end, we in this society, for the last 40 year years, have told people it's OK to kill a child if it's not yet born. Fifty plus million children have been killed. In multiple states, we allow doctors to assist people, medically. Doctors who have taken a Hippocratic Oath to help people take their lives, assisted suicide by doctors.

That, coupled with the fact that so many people in America, including our youth, are on psychotropic drugs which literally are altering their mental state. The side effect of which -- on so many is depression and suicidal thoughts. You mix all that together, you look at the studies that have been done one after the next that talked about the impact of a personal phone and a device and the screen time and what that does to the psyche.
All these things are crushing the spirit and the psyche of our young people. And parents turn the TV off. You don't need your children to have cell phones. Pour into your children. America has got to wake up. And governors and presidents and everybody in political office and those of you who have the power of the media to wake up and protect our young people, because we are reaping what we've sown.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. I think you make excellent points about phones and social media and the impact. I don't think we've even begun to understand the impact of that. When you look at this kid, he had four Instagram accounts and he was putting pictures of his guns, at which I see is a cry for help. I mean, he wanted somebody to stop him. He even called 911 and said, I lost my mother recently and I'm in trouble. And the fact that -- we've talked too much about all the signs that were there. It's just mind- blowing.

BEVIN: It's always easy, and you know this. And when we look in the rearview mirror, it's always easy to have found a path we might have taken.
What we are not doing is looking out the windshield at the problem right before us with our young people. The Atlantic published an article, recently, addressing this very issue and the impact of this screen time on our children, and people would be well served to look at it.

MACCALLUM: Agreed. Governor Bevin, thank you very much, sir. Good to see you.

BEVIN: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Thanks for being on The Story tonight. We'll be right back.


MACCALLUM: So a public university in California is offering a new course focused on removing President Trump from office. Starting next month, criminal justice students at San Diego State University can take a class called a Trump, impeachment, removal or conviction. The university insists that this is a weekend course, not sure whether it makes a difference, and that it is not funded by public tax dollars, which is of interest. Here now, Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist and a Fox News contributor, and Wendy Osefo, a professor and political commentator.
Welcome to both of you this evening. So those are the three choices, Mollie, that you get if you enroll in that class.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Not surprising. I'm wonder for these college students, is this really worth going into debt over, is this the type of thing that's going to prepare you to enter the real world? We have problems with a lot of the kids not being able to get jobs straight out of college and this is the type of course that you're seeing. If you look at catalogs, we kind of replacing of learning which is naked politics.
Adults used to spend college time teaching students what they needed to know to become good members of society. And now it just seems that they're pandering to whatever kids are goofing off about, whether it's televisions studies, or video games theory or whatever is happening in the resistance at the moment.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. Wendy, what do you think?

WENDY OSEFO, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, as a professor, our job is not just to educate students about what it is they want to learn, but also what may pique their curiosity. Educators, there's been courses for, you know, history that talk about presidents and talk about things that are intrinsically woven with the presidency. So during Obama's presidency there were lots of courses that examine Obama, and hip-hop Obama and the urban community. And now with Trump, all you hear on TV and the media is Trump and impeachment. So again, this does not mean that the university believes.

MACCALLUM: But why is the university giving into all they hear on TV? Why aren't they offering an option? Why is there no class, you know, Trump, you know, why he won, the forgotten men and women of America, something like that would also be interesting.

OSEFO: Yeah, that's American history 101. In universities, our job is to make that whatever is going on we have a course that discusses this, so students are able to learn from it. This does not indoctrinate them in anyway. It just talks about the tentacles that have to deal with impeachment. That's the core of this course.

MACCALLUM: Mollie, do you agree?

HEMINGWAY: I mean, it's also about helping students cope with reality.
And a lot of what we experience in the media for the last year is people unable to deal with the reality that Donald Trump won election. They talk about impeachment. They talked a lot about the 25th amendment, this idea that they can somehow take care of what wasn't taken care of by the voters.
And that's actually the entire problem with people's inability to come to terms with Trump winning is that people were getting kind of sick of the elites telling other people what they needed to believe or what they needed to do. And the voters do have a say in how this country is run. And students should learn to understand that better, rather than be led by the moment.

MACCALLUM: What about Mollie's initial claim, Wendy, that, you know, we're not educating our students in a way that is going to be truly useful to them when they leave?

OSEFO: Well, I reject that premise. We are educating all students. Al students are graduating at higher rates and all students are entering the workforce, actually, more prepared than any other group of students. So it's not just because of your political view that you can say of course it's useful to you or not. The courses can speak to Democrats, it can speak to Republicans, and it's an elective course, it's not a required course, so we have to underscore that. Students take wrestling, student take dance, student can take anything they want to. So this is educating all students if they want to learn about the impeachment process and about our government and our political systems.

MACCALLUM: Mollie, final thought?

HEMINGWAY: Universities have had this credibility that wasn't viewed upon them by previous generations of educating students, and they're losing that credibility and it's becoming a serious problem. They say, this course isn't taxpayer-funded, but a lot of universities are taxpayer-funded, and it is a problem.

MACCALLUM: Yeah, most are. Wendy and Mollie, thank you. Good to see you both. Thanks for coming. All right, so former President Bill Clinton paid tribute to the late-Reverend Billy Graham. We'll show you what he had to say, very interesting, next.


MACCALLUM: So tomorrow, the late-Reverend Billy Graham will become the fourth private citizen in our nations history to lie in honor in the Rotunda of the U.S. capital, other includes Rosa Parks, and the Capitol police officer who was killed on the line of duty. Today, mourners including former President Bill Clinton paid their respects as Graham rested in his birthplace of Charlotte, North Carolina, where Clinton offered this assessment of religion's role in politics. It's our quote of the night.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: We have a saying, you know, if you're a preacher, you've got to be careful of getting to close to politicians. I agree with that. Don't forget, those of us who are Christians believe in a God of second chances, and the politicians need that more than anybody else.


MACCALLUM: We will be back here tomorrow night with more of The Story at 7:00. That's our story for tonight. Tucker Carlson, coming up next.

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