Ann Coulter on the politicized Oscars

This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," March 5, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: Hi, everybody. Good evening from Washington. I am Laura Ingraham and this is "The Ingraham Angle." What a fantastic show we have for you tonight. If I said a really lame show but you have to watch. It will be a great show. Ann Coulter and the 'Angle' on the watershed moment in Hollywood, the worst rated Oscars in history. Do you think the political talk from celebrities had anything to do with that? Plus, the reporter joins us with an exclusive new report on the Russian investigation and what the FBI has been hiding. Plus, we will examine the rush to take guns from people seems a threat or unfit. Dan Bongino debates a Democrat on whether this is the first step on a very slippery slope. Also, nervous Republicans warn President Trump not to start a trade war with tariffs, but he has a bigger warning if other countries don't stop cheating. And Dolly Parton, you don't want to miss this, with some advice for stars, celebrities, and athletes who insist on getting political.

Speaking that, the humorless out of touch American left. That's the focus of tonight's 'Angle'. Over the weekend, CNN obtained, released and then went apoplectic over comments President Trump made to a group of donors on a Saturday event at Maralago. Now Trump noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping was now going to essentially be president for life and Trump added, I think it's great. Maybe we'll want to give that a shot someday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: China's great and Xi is a great gentleman. He is now a president for life. That's great. Maybe we'll have to give that a shot someday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: I can't do Trump as good as Trump can do Trump. It's obvious this was something called a joke. It's obvious to everyone except America's resistance media which has lost touch with reality.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a consolidation of power not just un-American. It's impractical and counter-productive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump is crazy. He's been compared to Mao.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it good for me and my image?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Feels good to say it right now -- more visceral.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is something the people in the room probably were laughing nervously at? I don't know. I wasn't there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Totally. No morning jokesters there. CNN's Chris Cilizza saw something even more sinister. Under the headline, this may be the scariest thing Donald Trump has said as president. He wrote, 'Trump has demonstrated his governing theory is largely centered on taking as much as you can until someone stops you. That worldview is what makes Trump's thought on Xi all the more chilling.'

Well, it was no more chilling than what he said on Saturday night at the Gridiron dinner. It was a fun, comedic event for the D.C. and business power players. Again, this is humor. The president jokingly referenced possible talks with North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un saying, 'As far as the risk of dealing with a madman is concerned, that's his problem, not mine.'

In other words, Trump is a madman. Trying to make fun of himself. So, you know why the left is so agitated by these jokes? Because the president is vexing them at their own game. In the process, he is endearing himself to the public.

I have a question, why should the left be the only group allowed to engage in a little sarcasm, a little comedy and self-deprecating humor? The left doesn't mind at all dishing it out, but the moment the president or any conservative ribs them or themselves, there is immediate blowback.

Movie stars, sports celebrities, television actors, they shoot their mouths off on politics and public affairs all the time. It's like reflective. They can't help themselves and we are supposed to react as if Plato had come back to opine on contemporary issues.

Thank you for your commentary. It's so well informed. Look, everybody has the right to speak his or her mind. They are welcome to come on this show any time. But just because you are a celebrity or getting paid million dollars to play a game doesn't mean you get a free pass to offer illogical arguments, avoiding substance and engaging in drive by media attacks.

If you do that, you should not be taken seriously. In case you have not heard, I wrote a best-selling book 15 years ago called 'Shut Up and Sing.' I went after leftists such as Barbara Streisand, the Dixie Chicks and a bunch of other celebrities.I routinely call out these elites who feel like they are celebrity in one arena gives them political authority and heightened credibility to speak on all these complex issues of the day.

Last week, we at "The Ingraham Angle" caught Barbara Streisand in a little bitty lie. She claimed that the presidential election was rigged and she spoke to, quote, 'senators from Wisconsin and Michigan,' close quote. Well, no one bothered to call up the four senators from those two states, but our producers did. We called both the Wisconsin senators who told us they did not speak to Streisand and said nothing about election fraud. Oops.

Now even former NBA star, Kobe Bryant, a phenomenal basketball player for the Lakers, somehow won an Academy Award at the 'Me Too' Oscars for a small animated film about basketball. That's kind of fun. There is now an online petition with over 16,000 signatures and counting to rescind Bryant's Oscar owing to a rape accusation in 2003. They did not bring chargers. They settled the civil case with her. Kobe was just one of the many awkward Oscar moments that were kind of far from funny. Even repellant to the American public. Host Jimmy Kimmel in his opening monologue referenced this film, 'Call Me By Your Name,' a best picture nominee. The film was about a 24-year-old man who has intimate relations with a 17-year-old boy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY KIMMEL: They don't make films like this for money. We make them to upset Mike Pence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: OK. You might not thrill the American people either who saw a few of the Art House films celebrated last night. Jimmy Kimmel's Oscars fell to a 9-year viewership low last year in 2017. This year, I've got to say, Jimmy, you outdid yourself. He presided over the lowest rated Oscars ever. Nothing says happy 90th Oscar like a 20 percent drop in the lousy ratings from last year. Three cheers. Let's face it. These people are fanatics, so they don't care.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dreams are the foundation of America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And to all the DREAMers out there, we stand with you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marginalized people deserve to feel like they belong. Representation matters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Who are more marginalized in Hollywood than consecutives? Christian conservatives. Complete phonies. Hollywood and sports figures, all of these people have one job? That's why they get paid a lot of money and good on them if they do get paid a lot of money, they are good at it. They entertain us. But instead as we saw last night, they give us like a bizarre political story lines or characters that most Americans can't relate to. Then meanwhile Hollywood ends up attacking a lot of values and ideas that millions upon millions of Americans hold dear.

And then when they are criticized, they cry like infants being weaned, which makes sense, since many of the celebrities are used to feeding off their staff and media enablers. They are not used to criticism. All of this is a big turn off to the audience. They have a lot of options to choose from, don't they? If you want to know why these celebrities are so nasty to the president and so upset when he or any conservative dares to crack a joke, well, I have an answer.

For all of their vitriol, (inaudible) conservatives and the president, you know what he keeps doing? Putting it in a language that everybody understands, he keeps putting points on the board for America, the American worker. Our audience is growing while the Oscar's audience is tanking. Now, that's what I call funny. That's the "Angle."

Joining us for reaction in West Palm Beach, Florida is best-selling author, Ann Coulter, and in New York, Cathy Areu, a publisher of Catalina magazine. It's great to have two smart women on this show. Cathy, I am sure you disagree with some of the things I said.

CATHY AREU, PUBLISHER OF CATALINA MAGAZINE: Not a word. You said it's usually a love fest. This year it wasn't. It was beyond the lip service and the patting on the back and Hollywood got real. They were as real as what was happening outside. So, for 90 years, they left everything uncomfortable on the outside of the theater. This year they brought it in. If a little bit of America was uncomfortable, so be it. That's the way movements start and how things change. I consider it progress. Good for Hollywood. They got real.

INGRAHAM: It's the all-time low in viewership for the Oscars. Do we watch films and Oscars for them to opine on politics? There are really smart people out there. I think most people want a relief from the nasty left- right. I think people want entertainment to escape some of it at least. I think when these actors and celebrities just marinate themselves in politics, you can watch us or other networks for that. Ann, I know you were glued to your television set last night. I have to say, I didn't watch one second of the Oscars. I have a kid with the flu and went to bed early.

ANN COULTER, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Fantastic. We have the perfect panel to discuss the Oscars. I didn't know they were on and didn't watch them. However, I did have a friend from the industry calling in like every half-hour to give me the political updates. I looked up videos later. I am an expert now. One thing that was funny, this was supposed to be the big 'Me Too' Oscars, but it very quickly went off the rails. All of these women who were raped and pawed and had their careers destroyed like (inaudible). She's a real hero. That was pushed aside so we can talk about transgenders and illegals and immigrants. We got inter-sexuality in there. You are giving most celebrities fantastic advice. They can take it from people like us. I had a famous actor made fun at me.

Sneering at me because people come up to me on the street, and you know, saying mean things to me and I said everybody says nice things to you. They are talking about your character. At least when people love me, it's really me they love. All three of us -- I don't know you, Cathy but you are in politics. If you are in politics, half of the country will hate you. There's nothing you can do about it. But if you are a skater like someone I used to love Lindsey Vonn, I was so happy when she lost. You know, these actors and actresses -- you can have the whole world loves you, wouldn't that be great? Why take a political position and ticking off the half of the country?

AREU: It's admirable. They are choosing to do so, which is admirable. They are no longer just giving like I said the lip service. We can't criticize them anymore for just hiding behind their characters. They are showing we are intelligent. We are not just these characters we play. We are intelligent women. We can be cinematographers, directors. Look at all these roles, look at what we can do, and they have the women stand up and they explained each role that women played behind the cameras. Most Americans are not aware of that.

INGRAHAM: Cathy, do you think most Americans care about the gender or the race or the ethnicity of the cinematographer? Don't they care about whoever is great at it? Aren't we supposed to not care about gender? I am really confused because I thought we were supposed to get away from gender and race and sexual -- Everyone is the same and now everybody is not the same. We have to bean count in every profession. Heaven forbid if you are a white male and you are a cinematographer because you must have screwed someone over to get your job. I'm sorry to be harsh. I think if you're a white male in Hollywood, you probably have a target on your back. Given the atmosphere out there which I think sometimes doesn't give due process to people. Poor Ryan Seacrest. He was the persona non-grata last night after he was cleared, as far as I can tell, of any wrongdoing in any case, but now nobody will go up to him like he's a leopard? What is that all about?

AREU: But that's how movements start. I mean, the other Oscars are so 80, nine Oscars ago. I mean, this is the 90th. This is a new time. The next 90 years we are going to care more about genders. We are going to care about these things. That's a whole point. This is a turning point --

INGRAHAM: Wait a second.

AREU: They are telling us we have to care.

INGRAHAM: Hold on. I want to play one sound bite I think that is positive. Gary Oldham who won for 'The Darkest Hour' playing Churchill. This is what he said when he won the award.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARY OLDHAM, ACTOR: I owe this and so much more to so many. I have lived in America for the longest time. I am deeply grateful to her for the loves and friendships I have made and the many wonderful gifts it has given me, my home, my livelihood, my family and now Oscar.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: And he was drudged at this big thing up all day that he was thrashed on social media because past allegations against him. You see all of these people sitting in the audience who new Harvey Weinstein was an abuser and knew he was accused and sitting there because they have a ribbon on or gave a speech, the two to three decades that Harvey Weinstein was destroying people's lives is all somehow washed away.

COULTER: I don't want to move on from this point. This is the year of 'Me Too.' I mean, a lot of very important people. Some certain heroes like Brad Pitt who stood up to Weinstein on behalf of Paltrow. And again, Sorveino had her career destroyed. It's very strange they just go off into all the politically correct stuff. I thought that was a lovely acceptance speech. I like to contrast it with Del Toro's talking about having a borderless world. He didn't mention that the reason he didn't go back to Mexico for 15 years because his father was kidnapped and held for ransom for several years until he got someone to provide $1 million. He better hoped that wall gets built. He won't go back to Mexico now. Moved his whole family here. Truth in advertising.

INGRAHAM: We are out of time. Both of you are smart women and accomplished in your own right. We really appreciate you joining us tonight.

Could a judge take away your gun rights even if you have not been convicted of a crime? Dan Bongina here next to debate it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

INGRAHAM: At least 24 states are considering laws that would allow courts to temporarily take guns from people deemed mentally unfit. Five states already have these so-called red flag laws. Here is a red flag, are they unconstitutional? Let's debate some of the questionable aspects of red-flag laws with Democratic strategist and radio host, Chris Hahn, and former Secret Service agent and NRA television contributor, Dan Bongino.

All right, Gentlemen, let's look at this constitutionality of all of this. It sounds good to have these red flags. When you hear red flag, Nikolas Cruz. He was an individual who should have never been allowed to buy a gun. He came to school with bullets in his backpack and making threats against individuals, but nevertheless he slipped through the cracks to buy these guns. Dan, what is wrong with a so-called red flag law or initiative?

DAN BONGINO, NRA TV CONTRIBUTOR: Laura, I'm glad you said that. First, let's say every reasonable person me included agrees that anyone who is a danger to themselves or others, a lot of these laws are already in place, by the way, should be nowhere near a fire arm. Also, if you are already a prohibited possessed or if you've been mentally adjudicated to be unfit or if you've been committed involuntarily. The problem here is what do you do with a guy who has, you know, say maybe obsessive-compulsive disorder, maybe he has some kind of an irrational phobia or maybe he has a mood disorder and he is a little depressed.

But an otherwise law-abiding citizen who's done nothing wrong, what do you do with that person? Are his constitutional rights now open for debate? One last thing on this, Laura. You know, I get it. There is a lot of emotion as there should be wrapped up in this horrific tragedy in Parkland. But let's be clear on this, a very small portion of people who are mentally ill become violent later on. I think it's very unfair to a very sick portion of the population who has done nothing wrong to have their constitutional rights thrown out the window.

INGRAHAM: Let's remind everyone what President Trump said just last week on this issue which kind of sent the whole debate into some tumult. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I like taking the guns early like in this crazy man's case in Florida. To go to court would take a long time, but take the guns first and then go through due process.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Chris, that must have been music to your ears like take the guns first and go to judge later. In some ways that's very -- that sounds really good, but you can see depending on where the authorities are politically, it could be -- Janet Napolitano said in 2009 returning veterans could be a problem. Single issue voters could be a problem. I know it sounds like a slippery slope argument, but you could see why the ACLU even has a problem with expanding the definition of red flag.

CHRIS HAHN, SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: Well, look, I believe in due process for everybody, but I do believe we have other systems in place similar to red flags like orders of protection where you go into court. You have a judicial oversight of the order. The person can come back and challenge it within a certain period of time. I think that might go a long way to solving the problem with people like the shooter in Parkland. There were warning signs. People were complaining and if they had a process by which they could participate and take that gun away from him, that probably would have saved lives. If he was not deemed by a court to warrant the guns being taken away, he could petition and get those guns back.

INGRAHAM: Dan, when you think about what California was trying to do with their red flag -- they already have a provision on the books. They were trying to expand it to include co-workers and neighbors who could call authorities and say this. It's OK with someone like Nikolas Cruz, but what if a neighbor just doesn't like you? The leaves blew on your side of the property and you were ticked off. That's why the ACLU and other civil libertarians have a problem.

BONGINO: Yes, absolutely. We saw this with the Obama administration's edict on social security recipients who felt like they could not handle their financial affairs. The Obama administration said put that information in and you can't defend yourself with a fire arm either. I get it when people say, it could be a slippery slope. One thing the Obama administration and Clintons taught us is the slippery slope is really slippery. It's really steep and you always wind up falling down it. Who thought they would spy on innocent Americans with Metadata --

HAHN: You have post-Obama stress disorder, my friend. Let me tell you something, there is a judicial review process here, right? You are not just taking the guns because somebody said something to somebody. A judge would have to sign off on this order in most of these cases.

INGRAHAM: They never get it wrong.

HAHN: I would never support a red flag law that did not have a judicial review to it. So, when there is a judicial review, the courts have held you are not denying due process in that situation if the person can go back to court and challenge the decision. We have an option here.

INGRAHAM: But Chris and Dan, in this case we didn't need a red flag law. We have the FBI told that this guy was threatening to shoot up a school and they did nothing. We could have like five of these red flag laws and he still should have been prevented from getting a gun and they still should have visited his house and then dealt with it from there, but I think the red flag, you didn't even need that in this case. The guy was a total nut bag nor have had a gun.

HAHN: Laura, the state of Florida visited his home, knew that he had a gun, knew that he wanted to buy a gun, and did not see any need to remove any ability for him to get that gun.

INGRAHAM: The FBI had a warning in January that he wanted to blow up a school.

HAHN: They have the most permissive gun laws in the country. That could change now.

DAN BONGINO, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Chris, listen, you are a big government advocate, which is odd. You are citing government failures as you are simultaneously a big government liberal. And you see no irony in that.

HAHN: I'm citing the failed government of a failed governor.

BONGINO: There is literally a 911 call on tape with one of the people who took him in saying that he put the gun to the head of someone else. Nothing happens and you want more government to fix the government.

(CROSSTALK)

INGRAHAM: All right, guys.

HAHN: And that's horrible. And that's why we need the courts involved.

BONGINO: No more government here.

INGRAHAM: Great segment, Dan and Chris. Love to have you back. And new details next on the bombshell connection -- this is unbelievable. The Clinton Foundation and the man who triggered the entire Russian investigation. Stay there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

INGRAHAM: This is fun. Republican investigators in Congress have a new and slightly troubling question for the FBI. Why didn't the bureau tell them that the guy who triggered the Russian investigation actually had a multi-million dollars connection to the Clinton Foundation? Reporter Alison Spann has been investigating Australian diplomat Alexander Downer. She now joins us to discuss her article just published in The Hill tonight. Alison, great to see you.

ALISON SPANN: Thank you so much for having me.

INGRAHAM: OK, so now this is like a cast of characters. This is like a mystery novel. Tell us about Alexander Downer and his connection to all of this, this Papadopoulos character?

SPANN: So if you remember, in the summer of 2016 Alexander Downer was the one who came out with his evidence about George Papadopoulos. He said he had a drink with him in a London bar and Papadopoulos revealed to him that he knew that Russia had some dirt on Hillary or might have some damaging emails to her. So he's the one who actually gave that information to his government, gave it to the U.S. government and that launched the whole Russian probe into Trump's Russian collusion. Now we found out that Alexander Downer has a tie to the Clinton Foundation.

INGRAHAM: A tie? He is in a bar in London. He runs into Papadopoulos. The circumstances around how he ran into him are interesting. You address that slightly in your piece. Fast forward two months after he sees him in that bar, Australia brings this to the FBI. It took two months. That's kind of interesting. But then you find out that Downer's connection to the Clinton Foundation is?

SPANN: He secured them a grant for $25 million from the Australian government funded by taxpayer dollars to go toward AIDS prevention and treatment in Asia.

INGRAHAM: That's great. AIDS prevention, what could be wrong with that. So $25 million foreign money from Australia goes to the Clinton Foundation. Now, is there any question about how that money was used or whether it was fraudulently attained?

SPANN: So there was an audit that was conducted three years later and it just wanted to basically go through and see what that project had achieved. They did achieve some great things as far as getting those children the anti-retroviral drugs they needed and might not otherwise have been given a chance to get. But there were some questions about the money in that case and whether it was handled properly. And in fact the report goes on to say that it was so mishandled it was actually detrimental to the project, and they were given a score of two out of six for handling the money.

INGRAHAM: Two out of six, great. That's typical Clintons, two out of six. That's actually a high mark for them in handling finances or ethics. I just want to read this. This is from the Clinton Foundation audit. Some management weaknesses were noted with human resource management, the absence of readily available and useful budget information showing exactly how funds were spent and project monitoring. So that's not a resounding plus. But the more important this is why was wasn't this revealed? That's a big grant that's a connection to the opposition candidate to Donald Trump. He happens to be in this bar. He happens to meet this Papadopoulos guy, he happens to funnel the information. And he is not a minor figure. He is a well-known liberal politician in Australia who is buddies with the Clintons.

SPANN: And I think that's what a lot of members of Congress are asking now. We talked to Jim Jordan for a story and he was shocked when he heard this information.

INGRAHAM: So you brought it to Jordan?

SPANN: We brought it to the congressional committees.

INGRAHAM: They didn't even know.

SPANN: No, they didn't know. So we actually brought this information to these Congressional committees who are investigating this case. They had no idea. The FBI did not disclose this information to them. So they're shocked.

INGRAHAM: That's unbelievable.

SPANN: They want this to be investigated. And in fact Jordan said he wants a second special counsel because, as he said, the FBI cannot investigate themselves.

INGRAHAM: This is one more example. First you had the dossier being funded by Hillary Clinton and the DNC. That was not revealed to the FISA judge. And now you have this.

SPANN: And there are actually four pieces of information that it revealed. The dossier was funded by the DNC and Clinton. Sydney Blumenthal who was a close Clinton supporter was funneling information to Christopher Steele through the State Department. And then you had the 'Yahoo!' article that was quoted and the FISA application was written by Michael Isikoff who got his information from Christopher Steele. And then now we have this connection between Alexander Downer and the Clintons.

INGRAHAM: Now say that backwards really fast.

SPANN: I know the Russia investigation is very complicated. But yes, we have four instances now where a piece of information came from at least through the Clintons.

INGRAHAM: Just for fun, this guy Sam Nunberg. We're totally out of time, but Sam Nunberg worked for the Trump campaign for five seconds. Anyway, he is refusing to speak to Mueller. He was on CNN earlier tonight. And I am sorry, this is too funny not to play to you. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So Sam, I have to ask you one other thing.

SAM NUNBERG: Yes, ma'am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it's awkward question to ask. You are sitting very close to me. We talked about what people in the White House were saying about you, whether you were drinking or on drugs, or whatever had happened. Talking to you, I have smelled alcohol on your breath.

NUNBERG: I have not had a drink.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You haven't had a drink.

NUNBERG: No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because it is the talk out. Again, I know it's awkward. Let me just give you the question so you can categorically --

NUNBERG: My answer is no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Thoughts?

SPANN: That was painful to watch. I don't know how I would react in a situation like that.

INGRAHAM: But he's not testifying. I don't know him at all. He was hired, fired, hired, fired,. But he is not testifying, talking to Mueller.

SPANN: it sounds like he could possibly be facing some jail time if he refuses to show up in court and doesn't provide those documents. So just another piece of the puzzle.

INGRAHAM: Maybe he just has really bad halitosis or something or he chews gin and tonic gum. It could be anything. Alison, I hate to drag you in on that mess.

SPANN: I am not drunk.

(LAUGHTER)

INGRAHAM: Alison Spann of 'The Hill,' 'I'm not drunk,' that is the quote. I'm just kidding. Great reporting. You and Solomon.

SPANN: Thank you.

INGRAHAM: Fantastic. And by the way, Alison, and President Trump slaps down Republican criticisms and explains he is not trying to start a trade war. He is trying to end one. Don't miss it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

INGRAHAM: President Trump is not backing down. He's defending his plan to raise tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, even as he takes heavy flak from his own party. A spokesperson for House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement we are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and we're urging the White House to not advance with this plan. He didn't say it in that tone, but I did.

Trump responded by telling reporters, not backing down. Joining us now with reaction is Bryan Riley. He's the director of the Free Trade Initiative at the National Taxpayers Union, and Gordon Chang who has written extensively on foreign affairs including trade. It's great to see both of you.

I want to play just to reset things for a moment. I want to play a flashback from just a few years ago from some of the so-called experts on what trade would do to free up and maybe improve things in China. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Bringing China into the WTO is a win- win decision. It will protect our prosperity and it will promote the right kind of change in China.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Let's be frank. If China emerges as a stronger economic power but with a more liberalized political system that will be very, very good for the world.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: A country that trades with the rest of the world is a country more likely to embrace freedom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: How has that worked out for us, Bryan?

BRYAN RILEY, NATIONAL TAXPAYERS UNION: The thing is, Laura, this is not about China. This is about Canada. This is about Europe. This is about our main trading partners. And this is about whether Americans should have the freedom to decide how to spend their own money. Should the government decide well, no, you have to pay a 25 percent tax, that's all a tariff is is a tax. So if you are making aluminum boats, if you're making air- conditioners, if you're making cars, if you're making aircraft, this is a tax on you. It's going to get passed along to the American consumers and it will cost us billions.

INGRAHAM: Is there a national security implication at all in a world where China is a predominant steel maker? Is there any national security concerns that you have given what we use steel for?

RILEY: The Defense Department said we have plenty of steel, we have plenty of aluminum. We have suppliers among our allies including Canada. I think the real national security question is if we drive up the price of steel and drive up the price of aluminum, we are hurting ourselves. We are creating tension with our allies unnecessarily. That puts us in a worst situation with respect to China, not a better situation.

INGRAHAM: Gordon Chang, your reaction?

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR OF 'NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN': First of all, these tariffs are imposed under the section 232 of the trade expansion act of 1962. This is a national security provision. And the reason why the tariffs are set at the levels that President Trump announced is so that these industries can become self-sustaining. So if we are in a war of any duration, we will be able to make steel, we will be able to make aluminum. And by the way, this is not just some theoretical concern because that this point the United States doesn't make certain types of steel and aluminum that go into our weapons. So although there are a lot of trade concerns that Bryan is talking about, I can understand that, but this is a national security issue.

INGRAHAM: Guys, I think it was 15 years ago we had 18 of the top 25 steel makers in the world. Today I looked at the list compiled in 2016, mind you, two years old now, but I believe we have two of the top 25. China has 10. China in 2000 produced about 11 percent to 15 percent of steel. Now they produce 46.8 percent of steel in the world. It's a communist country.
They repress people. They suppress human rights. They cheat, they steal, they take our intellectual property. They really try and will effort domination not only of their hemisphere but of our hemisphere.

And I think back on the experts, Bryan, and what they've said about China in the years past, the same people we are supposed to listen to today.
Here are some of the headlines in the last month. 'Foreign Affairs,' 'The China Reckoning, How Beijing Defied American Expectations. 'Washington Post,' We Got China Wrong. Now what?' 'The Economist,' 'How the West Got China Wrong.' All the experts.

RILEY: I think you are exactly right, Laura, but I don't think we want to be more like China as a result. You look around the world, the countries that are most prosperous are those that have the most economic freedom. We need more freedom, not less freedom. This is a backtrack on what President Trump has done to make us more competitive.

INGRAHAM: All right, guys, great segment. And by the way, after the worst rated Oscars, I hope Bryan and Gordon were watching them last night with the popcorn, celebrities might want to take a cue from our next featured segment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

INGRAHAM: In tonight's 'Angle,' we'll repost it, by the way, I discussed how celebrities alienate audiences and lost fans by engaging in divisive politics. But every now and then, you come across a celebrity who really gets it. Country legend Dolly Parton discussed her hit song and film '9 to 5' on 'Nightline' last week, and anchor David Wright could not resist trying to goad Dolly into talking politics. It did not go so well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOLLY PARTON, COUNTRY MUSIC SINGER: I'm not being political. I don't do politics. I'm not getting into any of that because I have a lot of fans and I don't want to offend anybody. And besides I just don't get into that. And so if you are maybe deciding you may want to ask me something more serious, don't, because I'm not going to speak to it.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fair warning. I might still ask.

PARTON: You can ask, but I might still tell you where to put it.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Wright is having a good time, but he couldn't help himself. He tried to get her to compare President Trump of course to the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot boss in '9 to 5,' and Dolly was having none of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a president of the United States who said those things on that bus.

PARTON: I'm not addressing that. I do not get into that. Of course I have my opinion about everybody and everything. But I learned a long time ago, keep your damn mouth shut if you want to stay in show business. I'm not in politics. I am an entertainer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And yes, you are also a role model.

PARTON: Yes, I am. That's why I don't talk about people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Dolly is the living embodiment of the shut up and sing victim I have long preached since I wrote the book 15 years ago. That is how you maintain your celebrity with class and dignity and you are much more unifying. One hopes Dolly will be a role model not only to her audience but to her fellow celebrities.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

INGRAHAM: Before we go, this former Trump campaign aide you've never heard of, Sam Nunberg, is now telling the Associated Press the contrary what he said, he said five seconds ago, he will likely cooperate with the Mueller probe. This after going on TV all day long saying he was not going to appear before the grand jury. I don't know what he had in his drink, but CNN, that performance was awesome.

END

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