Former target of Putin reacts to UK nerve agent attack

Published March 14, 2018

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," March 14, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Good evening, Bret, thank you so much. Good to see you. So, tonight, on THE STORY, we will take you to Austin, Texas, where our investigation into the tragic and bizarre package bombs has a stunning new development. Good evening, everybody, I'm Martha MacCallum. But, up first tonight, a new book reveals that the coordination between the Clinton campaign and Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on the Trump campaign got its origins back in 2012 when the Obama campaign funneled payments to fusion through the law firm Perkins Coie to dig up dirt back on
Mitt Romney in those days.

This is a quote from the book: 'In 2012, Fusion GPS, was hired to do opposition research on Mitt Romney for Barack Obama's re-election campaign that had become standard practice in the shadowy world of oppo research. The Obama campaign's payment to Fusion were never publicly disclosed.' That and other revelations on President Trump, James Comey, and Vladimir Putin are all in the new book. It is called: 'Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and Donald Trump's Election,' by Michael Isikoff and David Corn. Michael Isikoff joins me now. Michael, thank you for being here tonight.

MICHAEL ISIKOFF, CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT, YAHOO! NEWS: Good to be with you.

MACCALLUM: You know, what's interesting to look back at that sort of circle of payment that existed in the Obama campaign to dig up stuff on Mitt Romney. So, it looks like it was pretty much the same circle that they re-visited when it came time for the Clinton campaign to get involved.

ISIKOFF: Yes. Well, look, I think as the quote on the book makes clear, this is kind of standard practice in American politics. You have both parties who you -- have an army of oppo researchers, who dig up dirt on the other side. And it's been a longstanding practice and one that a lot of people have criticized that the payments to those oppo research firms are disguised usually as payments to law firms or other outside consultants. So, you know, we shed a little light on it in the case of Fusion GPS here, but they're not unusual. Let's make that clear: both sides do this, both sides are not forthcoming about the money they pay for this activity.

MACCALLUM: Let me ask you this then in light of that, when Glenn Simpson approached you and said, you know, to speak to Christopher Steele, did you say to him, well, who's paying Christopher Steele for this research?

ISIKOFF: Glenn and I are old friends. And I know he's a long-standing, he's a great investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal, I knew the business he was in. And I did ask him questions about that, but it was pretty clear that he was not going to be fully transparent about that, oppo researchers are not. What I was interested in was hearing what Christopher Steele had to say. I knew there was a political dimension to this. That was clear from the beginning.

MACCALLUM: But would it be helpful to know who the client is?

ISIKOFF: Of course. Of course, but I was equally interested, because I get pitched as I'm sure you do as well by oppo people all the time. And what you want to know is, OK, I know where you're coming from, I want to know what you got. What do you have --

MACCALLUM: We're you aware -- let me ask you this: were you aware, you know, was there ever -- did you -- were aware of the role of Perkins Coie in terms of paying.

ISIKOFF: I knew that Perkins Coie was the law firm for the Clinton campaign as it had been for the law firm.

MACCALLUM: Did you know that they were paying Fusion?

ISIKOFF: No, I didn't know that.

MACCALLUM: So, never had any meeting with Perkins Coie. Nothing -- you never sat down with the three of them -- Steele? None of those guys?

ISIKOFF: Nope.

MACCALLUM: So, when you started, you know, divulging that there was an investigation into the Trump campaign, and that Carter Page was the person being investigated. You got that information?

ISIKOFF: Yes.

MACCALLUM: What did you do to figure out if that information about page that Steele had dug up was accurate?

ISIKOFF: Well, what was of interest to me first and foremost, and why this was historic was not been because of anything Glenn Simpson or Christopher Steele had to say. I had sources in the U.S. government and the U.S. Intelligence Community, who told me they were investigating these matters. And you know what, that was absolutely the case, as we have subsequently learned. Now, these were allegations...

MACCALLUM: You know, there's a suggestion in the dossier -- you know this dossier, which we're all aware -- is that there was sort of circular information tornado that was all sort of feeding -- you've got the dossier, which even Christopher Steele said he couldn't really verify that it was true. So, you're getting information on Carter Page from that where there have these huge suggestions that Carter Page was offered this big chunk of gross net, that, you know, which has turned out to be not true. So, you have information from the dossier and you're saying that you verified that by checking it with the FBI?

ISIKOFF: No, no, no. What I said was I verified that the FBI was taking this seriously.

MACCALLUM: Right.

ISIKOFF: They knew about Christopher Steele; they had a track record with Christopher Steele. He had been a trusted source for them on other matters. As he had been for the State Department on other matters. He was a serious guy. This is not a political guy. This was --

MACCALLUM: Absolutely. And I think even Christopher Steele at this point is dismayed that his information, which he said he couldn't really verify was used by the Clinton campaign to, you know, present it as substantial information that was truthful. He's saying, I did all this, I dug all this stuff, I gave it to you guys.

ISIKOFF: He got up, he had heard reports that were disturbing to him not just about Carter Page but a lot of aspects of the connections between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. A lot of which have now been confirmed by Robert Mueller as the special counsel. He's brought criminal cases against Mr. Papadopoulos, a member of the foreign policy advisory team against Michael Flynn, against Paul Manafort and others. So --

MACCALLUM: None of which directly tie the campaign to collusion, though. Are you arguing in this book that that link was found?

ISIKOFF: Well, I think you should take a look at what the book said.

MACCALLUM: I have. I read as much as I could, I just got it today.

ISIKOFF: Because it's a book of reportage.

MACCALLUM: Right.

ISIKOFF: And we've read it out. What I think is --

MACCALLUM: Not to give away the ending, but do you make a compelling argument in this book that you put those pieces together? Because we all know what Papadopoulos is charged with -- lying to the FBI.

ISIKOFF: About his contacts with Russia.

MACCALLUM: Manafort is dealing with a lot of tax implications and financial deals that happened before the campaign.

ISIKOFF: That grew out of his business, working for the Russian political party in the Ukraine, yes.

MACCALLUM: So, what I'm asking you, you're saying is you're connecting all the dots in this book. So, when you connected those dots, did you find that smoking gun of collusion?

ISIKOFF: No, no, there is no smoking gun here. There is no grand conspiracy, but what you do see when you connect all these dots, and we have a lot of new dots that you haven't heard about before is you see there really was a concerted effort by the Kremlin, not just to meddle in the election, not just to hack e-mails and them dump them to sow discord and create chaos in American electorate, but to penetrate the Trump campaign. You have these repeated efforts. How does Carter Page end up in Moscow? He gets invited by the Kremlin after to give a speech, after he's named to Trump's foreign policy advisory board.

MACCALLUM: They don't even question Carter Page. Carter Page didn't turn out to be a big nothing.

ISIKOFF: Well, I think the jury is out on a lot of this because.

MACCALLUM: He's not even being investigated. They haven't called him to hearing at this point.

ISIKOFF: They had a FISA warrant on him.

MACCALLUM: They did. And they listened three times, right?

ISIKOFF: It was renewed three times and, you know, the full story has yet to be told. You read the Democratic memo, right?

MACCALLUM: Right. Absolutely.

ISIKOFF: In which they said that they developed information in that FISA that corroborated -- some of which was in the Steele dossier. You're going to ask, well, which part? Good question. You know, I'd like to know that too. We do know that Carter Page did had contacts with Kremlin officials.

MACCALLUM: A lot of people have contacts with people in Russia. If you're going to do business with anyone in Russia, that person has going to have a contact with the Kremlin.

ISIKOFF: Yes.

MACCALLUM: That's all the business folks do now. Everybody knows that.

ISIKOFF: Right, but his contacts came about because he had just been named to the Trump --

MACCALLUM: Yes. No, I mean, it's been clear that they were hoping that he was going to be --

(CROSSTALK)

ISIKOFF: As was the case -- as was the case with Papadopoulos. How does Papadopoulos suddenly have all of these contacts in London who are trying to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin? Who introduced him to a woman who they describe as Putin's --

MACCALLUM: He was the young guy who was drunk in a bar in Australia, you know, his mouthed off about (INAUDIBLE).

ISIKOFF: Right, right, right. But he was --

MACCALLUM: Maybe somebody felt this might be a fertile ground for us as well.

ISIKOFF: So, you agree that they were trying to cultivate members of the Trump campaign?

MACCALLUM: They're always -- I assume they're always trying to cultivate members of any political people that they can get in touch with.

ISIKOFF: Right, right, right.

MACCALLUM: Whether or not that actually happened is not the only question.

ISIKOFF: Wait, what do you mean what actually happened? We know that the cultivation happened.

MACCALLUM: Whether or not there was a connection to.

ISIKOFF: We know that, right?

MACCALLUM: I would assume that's happening all the time with multiple campaigns. I'm assuming that happens.

ISIKOFF: But you can see. You can see, Martha, if you're the FBI counterintelligence division, and you see all of this activity going on. You see these efforts by the Kremlin to get their hooks in with the Trump campaign, you're going to be concerned about that. You're going to want to understand what's going on, you're going to want to understand these connections, right? And that really explains how we got where we are today.

MACCALLUM: So, let me ask you about this, because, you know, Jim Jordan was on earlier today, he claims that the James Clapper leaked information about the dossier to CNN. So, you talk in the book about when James Comey, you know, has his private moment with President Trump on January 6th. And he says, look, we got a two-page thing. Pretty rough stuff, I want you to be aware of it; he shows it to him. And the way that part is written in the book, President Trump afterwards was very angry, right? Describe what --

ISIKOFF: He called it a shakedown. He called it a shakedown. He thought he was being blackmailed by Comey, the FBI Director. That Comey was trying -- and the FBI was trying to send him a message: they had something on him. Now, from Comey's perspective, what he's testified to, he wanted to give Trump a head's up to let him know what was circulating out there because members of the media.

MACCALLUM: OK. So, when James Clapper the head, the Director of National Intelligence, is leaking the dossier to CNN, was President Trump, maybe a little bit right on that point?

ISIKOFF: How do you know James Clapper leaked the dossier to CNN?

MACCALLUM: Well, I'm only conveying to you that Jim Jordan said that the
House Intel.

ISIKOFF: Well, I think Jim Jordan has said a lot of stuff that hasn't necessarily checked out. But, you know, well, let's see -- let's see the evidence. You just made a very serious allegation of actually a potentially criminal act by the former director of DNI. You don't have any actual evidence of it.

MACCALLUM: I'm report to you what Jim Jordan -- and I could play the soundbite but we don't need to. Jim Jordan said it to me.

ISIKOFF: Well, Jim, just like Adam Schiff, says a lot of things.

MACCALLUM: OK. He may be wrong, but that's what he is saying.

ISIKOFF: Right.

MACCALLUM: And I'm asking you if that your --

ISIKOFF: No, I have no evidence.

MACCALLUM: All right. So, we'll keep thinking on that one. You know, in terms of your role, did you ever feel like you were, you were kind of used by the Clinton campaign to push this stuff out?

ISIKOFF: No.

MACCALLUM: When you were meeting with Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson and they were saying, gee, we really want you to report this, Michael. You never once said to them: who's paying for all of this investigation?

ISIKOFF: No, I knew that this was coming a political motivation.

MACCALLUM: Who else could be it?

ISIKOFF: It could be wealthy Democratic donors who wanted to expose Donald Trump's ties to the Kremlin or it could wealth Republican never-Trumpers, who actually first hired Fusion GPS. Remember, it starts with a Republican organization or a conservative organization.

MACCALLUM: That's right. But the dossier came after the Clinton --

ISIKOFF: The dossier absolutely came after Clinton campaign.

MACCALLUM: And they never said they would compensate you in any way or incentivize you in any way?

ISIKOFF: Compensate me? Are you kidding? Is that a serious question?

MACCALLUM: In any way incentivize you to push this information?

ISIKOFF: No, I don't need incentive to do stories that I think are of the public interest. And no, of course, not, that's nonsense. But look, as I -- I can't emphasize this enough: it wasn't what they had to say that caused me to write the first story about a U.S. intelligence investigation into a member of the Trump advisory team. It was sources in the U.S. government who told me, accurately, that they were doing such an investigation. And that's what made me this story --

MACCALLUM: And Carter Page said specifically what that was about?

ISIKOFF: Relating to Carter Page, yes.

MACCALLUM: Which turned out, ultimately, to --

ISIKOFF: The jury is still out about the full picture.

MACCALLUM: He's a free man. He's not -- you know, Manafort has ankle bracelets on both ankles. Carter Page is, like, you know, coming around and talking to everybody. He says --

ISIKOFF: Yes, yes. He's always told contradictory stories as you know, and, you know, he first denied any contacts with people relating, and he sent emails after his meetings about the insights he had got from senior Kremlin officials. Emails to the top officials of the Trump campaign telling them he wants to alert them to what the Russians are telling him. So, that's, you know, something that the kind of thing.

MACCALLUM: He wanted to appear useful at the very least?

ISIKOFF: That's the kind of thing that would get the FBI interested.

MACCALLUM: All right. Fascinating. Thank you very much.

ISIKOFF: OK. Thank you. And please read the rest of the book.

MACCALLUM: I absolutely will. Thanks, Michael.

ISIKOFF: OK. Sure enough.

MACCALLUM: Good to see you tonight.

ISIKOFF: Thanks.

MACCALLUM: So, joining me now: Karl Rove, Former Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush and a Fox News Contributor; and Michael Blake, Vice Chairman of the DNC. Gentlemen, welcome. Good to see both of you here tonight. A lot to get to in the political arena this evening. But first, you know, your thoughts so far Karl Rove on what you've hearing from Michael Isikoff tonight?

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, what's interesting to me is that, remember, we're talking about Russians and they're trying to meddle in the American elections. Do you think that a British -- former British intelligence agent who reaches out to his contacts in Moscow, to get dirt that they might know about on Donald Trump is somehow not seen by the Russian intelligence services? I would suspect that a lot of what's in the dossier is fed to Steele by people who are suspect, if not, clearly under the control of the Russian FSB. So, the Russians were meddling here. They were trying to get Papadopoulos and Page inside the Trump campaign. But they had a direct line into Steele who was hired by Fusion GPS who was in turn paid for by the DNC and the Clinton Campaign. Nobody's going to walk away from this without having their fingerprints all over something that's Russian.

MACCALLUM: Michael Blake, what do you think about the take away from the book tonight?

MICHAEL BLAKE, VICE CHAIRMAN, DNC: Well, first and foremost, before we keep going now, we want to make sure we keep positive prayers for the F-18 pilots that went down off the key west of Florida. Now, as it relates to -- the question at hand, we want others to be mindful of this: all intelligence agencies are conveying that clearly meddling happened. It is clear for whatever reason that the House Republicans and so many Republican allies want to ignore what is actually happening, and the truth of the matter that Putin and the Russians were clearly trying to benefit President Trump. And for anyone who has any confusion about this, Trey Gowdy himself conveyed, very clearly, there's enough evidence to demonstrate that Putin and the Russians are trying to help Trump win this election. So, we think about what's happening, we will continue, obviously, to let Bob Mueller move forward with the case. But we can't ignore the reality what's happening -- they were trying to benefit Trump, plain and simple.

MACCALLUM: All right. Let's take a look at another big story tonight that the president may be facing a battle to get the new CIA Director confirmed. He tweeted today about his overall frustration with the very slow pace of the confirmation that they've been able to put through, saying: 'Hundreds of good people, including very important ambassadors and judges are being blocked or slow walked by the Democrats in the Senate. Many important positions in government are unfilled because of this obstruction. Worst in U.S. history.' And it seems that the president may have a point. Of his 639 nominations, nearly half of them are still waiting for confirmation more than a year later. So, Michael, you know, to the extent that there is responsibility on the Democrats side, how do you respond to that?

BLAKE: It's pretty ridiculous that President Trump is trying to make this argument. Let's look at other agencies that have had repeated delays such as the secretary of state, the State Department itself, the multiple undersecretaries, and secretary vacancies that are existing there. So, for him to make the argument that the reason why we're not moving forward despite having the Senate despite the having the House is because of Democrats. It's just a smoke screen and it's not all showing efficiency or responsibility in government. We think about what happened last night with the Conor Lamb election is another reminder that people are not listening or believing what Trump is saying about his leadership, and the non-existing leadership that he's possessing right now.

MACCALLUM: Let me give, Karl, a chance to weigh in both on what's called slow walking by the Democrats and it's a procedural method that's, you know, sort of, gumming up the works here and also the Conor Lamb decision which came out just a while ago?

ROVE: Part of the problem is that the administration moved slowly on making appointment, but you put your finger on what's really important. Of the six -- nearly 700 that they have sent forward, half of them have not been moved after a year and a half. The Democrats are slow walking these using every procedural trick in the book in order to keep the government from coming together, and shame on them for doing so. Let me mention one other thing. I want to make one point about the Russians. Mr. Blake said, everybody knew that the Russians were meddling in the election on behalf of Trump. Well, if everybody knew, then it makes it even more problematic that President Obama did nothing when our intelligence agencies knew that the Russians were trying to meddle in our elections --

BLAKE: You mean the sanctions that he put forth, Karl? You mean the sanctions that the president forward on that.

ROVE: After the election!

(CROSSTALK)

ROVE: Those sanctions are still in place. Mr. Blake, those sanctions are still in place. And what the president did was --

(CROSSTALK)

ROVE: Let me finish, Mr. Blake. I didn't interrupt you. No need to interrupt me. I know you don't want to speak the truth. So, I'm going to speak it anyway. President Obama did nothing --

BLAKE: That's fine.

MACCALLUM: Michael, hold on a bit -- one second.

ROVE: Except it speaks sharply to Putin at a meeting, the sanctions were done after the election and they're still in place today. The government of the United States whether it's Republican or Democrat ought to move everything it can do to stop the Russians from meddling in our elections whether it's Trump now in the 2018 elections or Obama in the 2016 elections.

BLAKE: Yes, which is why it's even more ridiculous that the House Republicans are deciding to shut down their investigation on this despite the unanimous findings of the intelligence agencies and specifically a House Republican Trey Gowdy conveying that meddling is occurring. So, yes, Karl, everyone should be focused on.

MACCALLUM: I think everyone has agreed that there were efforts to meddle. There's no doubt about that. That collusion question is the question that puts them in on this investigation.

(CROSSTALK)

ROVE: I'd recommend to Mr. Blake too that he read the Republican report, because their point was that they disagreed with some of the intelligence community's finding on how specific and how clear it was that they were trying to interfere in the election on behalf of President Trump. For example, they spent more money, the Russians did, after the elections when Trump won than they did before the election. So, then, you know, they're trying to make a mess of the whole thing.

MACCALLUM: True. All right. Guys, I got to leave it there, gentlemen.

BLAKE: Thank you, Karl. I've been reading it before. I came prepared. But I appreciate it, Karl.

MACCALLUM: Thank you both.

ROVE: Well, then next time, next time, reflect it.

MACCALLUM: Karl Rove, thank you very much. All right. So, there is some breaking news tonight that we're going to tell you about. We've covered this story very closely in Austin. The deadly Austin package bombings. And sources are now telling Fox News on the ground there that the 17-year-old and the 39-year-old victims may have been specifically targeted. James Fitzgerald, the FBI agent, that caught the Unabomber, on what it is going to take to catch this suspect.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: Breaking tonight, the two victims in the Austin package bombings may have been specifically targeted. There are new reports tonight that one of the survivors may have picked up an explosives package that was addressed to someone else. We know that the two people who were killed in these bombings: a 17-year-old, Dreland Mason; and 39-year-old, Anthony House, do have a connection through their families. And the local NAACP branch says this is not a coincidence. Joining me now is Nelson Linder, the President of the Austin NAACP. Mr. Linder, thank you very much for being here and our sympathies to your community because I know that you are grieving tonight over the loss of these two individuals. What is the family connection between them, sir?

NELSON LINDER, PRESIDENT, AUSTIN NAACP: Well, actually, the first victim, Anthony House, his stepfather is Dr. Freddie Dickerson. And the second family, the doctor, Dr. Mason, he and him, Freddie Dickerson, were friends. So, the families know each other way back -- from the business standpoint and a civil right standpoint in this community. They were very prominent people. So, Dreland Mason, the kid who was killed, those families know each other very well and that's a primary connection -- they know each other, they live in East Austin, they worked in East Austin. So, they're very important people in our community.

MACCALLUM: And belonged to the same historic church there, I believe, which has been there for generation?

LINDER: Exactly. Wesley United Methodist Church, exactly.

MACCALLUM: So, tell me why you believe that the package that blew up at Esperanza Herrera's home was not intended for her. You think it was intended for another member of this family?

LINDER: Well, let me just say this, the first two bombings -- I mean, in my opinion -- they targeted African-Americans, we're very sure about that, who had a connection. And these terrorist, whatever they are, these bombers seem to have a lot of information about the family connections. The third bombing, a Hispanic female, it seems like that was not part of their pattern. And we've heard a lot of statements that I can't confirm publicly, sources who called us, who seem to think there somehow that this bomb was misplaced and therefore had unintended consequences. And there are things out there that I think that indicate that might be the case.

MACCALLUM: Is there another member of the house, or Mason family who lives right near that woman?

LINDER: That has not been confirmed yet. We've addressed the address, but we can't confirm that another member lives there. That has not been confirmed yet, and I can't really say that. But I'm saying, there are questions there that will be resolved later because it seemed to be too suspicious at this point based on what people are saying.

MACCALLUM: Before I let you go, sir, can you think of any reason why anybody would want to hurt the members of these family?

LINDER: You know, we don't know the motive. And that's why I think the ATF and the FBI are very important. There are, right now, possible motivations. My point is that as a community, we have to be more aware of these situations. Had we known about the first bombing, we could tell our community don't pick up any mail packages, that would've been helpful, we didn't know that. So, I think now we've learned, somewhat, how to protect ourselves. But until we know the motive, and the motivations, we can't fully protect ourselves. We do know that these bombers are very sophisticated, obviously, very well-trained, and that was very angry, and they targeted select victims. That's what we believe is happening in Austin, Texas.

MACCALLUM: Mr. Linder, thank you very much for being here tonight. We appreciate it.

LINDER: Thank you. Thanks for the time, OK.

MACCALLUM: So, many experts say that there are parallels as you were just hearing, between this and potentially the Unabomber case, Ted Kaczynski's bombs killed three and injured 23 others over a span of nearly of 20 years. He was finally caught in 1996 by my next guest. James Fitzgerald, Retired FBI Profiler and Forensic Linguist who is the subject of Discovery Channel series 'Manhunt Unabomber.' In addition to the Unabomber case, he worked on the job in the Ramsey case as well. So, you have a ton of experience with this sort of thing, sir. This person is apparently pretty adept at what they're doing. They did it in a short period of time. They've already killed two people and injured two others.

JAMES FITZGERALD, RETIRED FBI PROFILER AND FORENSIC LINGUIST: Bombers who aren't adept, Martha, they blow themselves up before-hand. So, this guy, obviously, has done some practicing. He's done some -- he's went out into the field and into the woods, somewhere, and he's worked on these devices before. This didn't happen overnight when he got mad. You know, two weeks ago, and made a couple of bombs, and he's done with. This took a while to put these things together. The anger and frustration was there for a while. And I know that's what the investigators are looking after right now.

MACCALLUM: How would you work to solve this case, Jim?

FITZGERALD: The first thing I would do is look at the victimology. Obviously, the crime scene is important. They have to go over every single piece of evidence found there. Then, they have to look at the victims, and that's what your previous guest was just saying. Every aspect of them -- you need to get a Venn Diagram, computerized scheme of some sort, or every aspect of these person's personal, professional and business lives is brought about -- e-mails connections, Facebook types of post. Everything has to be looked at. Then, perhaps, there's somebody in there that will come to the surface. But also, with the Unabomber, he never bombed people he knew, they were representational targets, they were people that bothered him because of their existence or what company or what ideology they represented.

MACCALLUM: You know, usually in these kind of situations, there's writing, some sort of manifesto, correct?

FITZGERAL: Well, not a manifesto. At least a letter or two claiming responsibility, saying why the person did it. And that's unusual in this case so far. Bombers, you may not like them for killing people or whatever, but they can be proud people and they have messages they want to get across. And I'm not condoning at all what he did, just I like I did with Ted Kaczynski. But you think at some point a letter would be written saying here's why I did it, maybe it's philosophical or illogical reason. Maybe it is personal. But if the person puts that out there, they'll certainly get any message he's trying to tell across to the public and, maybe, it will make some sense. Although, the taking of life never, of course, makes sense.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, THE STORY HOST: Yeah. In terms of what you would tell the police and the investigators at this point, anything that you're, sort of, taking away here?

FITZGERALD: Well, it was a team effort that caught the Unabomber. It's going to be a team effort that catches this guy. There're obviously some patterns developing. It's sort of an I-35 Carter, when the east side of the interstate there it's going from north to south, and there's all kinds of, you know, potential geographic issues in there. Interesting, serial bombers tend to usually be white males, and murders are usually committed intra-racially. So we have some sort of conflicting statistics here which may, you know, make this case a little more difficult to resolve.

MACCALLUM: You'll come back, Jim.

FITZGERALD: OK, Martha.

MACCALLUM: And try to solve this case. Thank you very much. Good to have you here tonight.

FITZGERALD: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So still ahead this evening, there are fears tonight about how Russia will respond to British Prime Minister Theresa May's dramatic decision to sever ties with the Kremlin. And as congress took an important step toward keeping students in America safe, tens of thousands walked out of their schools in protest for the Parkland shooting. What about the teens who believe in the second amendment? Ben Shapiro has a message for them, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't want my teacher to have a gun. I don't want to have guns in my school. I go to school to learn. I don't go to school to fight for my life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: So exactly one month after the Parkland shooting, today, the House passed a bill to fund more security at schools and provide more training resources, as students across the country walked out of their schools calling for action with a largely singular message.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you can speak, speak. If you can march, march.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: I asked our Republican lawmakers, is the right to have a gun more important than our right to life?

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: We will not sit in classrooms with armed teachers. Together, we will get gun reform, because it is the right thing to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: But not all students are on board with that message. One high school writing a message to conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, today, quote, I am in favor of walking to honor the victims, but not in favor of promoting gun reform. I feel like I have to choose between going against my political values or looking like a bad person. I need help. Here now, Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of dailywire.com. Ben, good to see you tonight. You've received several messages like that, right? What did you tell them?

BEN SHAPIRO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF DAILYWIRE.COM: I've been getting legitimately dozens scores messages, probably a hundred since yesterday of students who are disappointed at the way they feel that they've been bullied into joining the school walk out. What I suggested is walk out with your friends and hold up signs that say things like, standing with children, standing with second amendment, or protect our lives, armed law-abiding people. I mean, the media has put forward this message and they've been doing this for years, but it's really -- I think accelerated in the last few months and, particularly, in the last few weeks. In putting forward this message that if you disagree with them on gun control, then this means you don't care enough about the kids. And now they're activating these kids and putting them out on the frontlines and putting them on photo-op, so they can -- essentially use them as political human shields. Now, listen, the kids can say whatever they want, that's their prerogative, obviously.

MACCALLUM: Yeah.

SHAPIRO: But it is the media that are choosing to elevate these kids' moral authorities, even though tragedy and age don't confirm any sort of expertise on a given issue.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. You know, we spoke to a gun store owner last night in Florida, who refused to sell a gun to the Parkland shooter. He said I don't sell guns -- he was a former Israeli -- in the military in Israel.
He said I don't sell guns to people under 21. That's my practice. That's what I do. Is there any room for some of these measures that some of these kids would be in favor of?

SHAPIRO: Well, you know, it depends on the measure. And the question is, what's the level of public support? Whenever they take a poll and say there are tons and tons of people who are in favor of gun control. That's a really big statement. It's like poll that shows that Americans are in favor of cutting the side of government. Well, that sounds great until you get down to the brass tax and say what do you want to cut? When people say they're in favor of gun control, usually they think that means do you think we should take measures to prevent mass shootings? And the answer, of course, is yes. But that doesn't necessarily boil down into law that anybody likes.

So there's still some pretty significant controversy, for example, over raising the age limit for buying rifles. I mean, if you can serve in the military at 18, and you can vote at 18, then what is the problem, exactly, with buying guns. And at the same time, there's a certain weird, kind of, argument that's being made that kids who are 17 shouldn't be making all of the public policies, but kids who are 17 are also not capable of buying a weapon. So what is exactly the age of adulthood?

And these are arguments that we can have, and I'm perfectly happy to have them. But what I'm not happy to do, and what I think a lot of these students who are writing me are not happy about is this attitude that if you disagree with people on politics, that this means that you can't even be part of the conversation. The only people we will talk to are people we agree with on gun control measures. That's actually a form of nastiness. It's a form of political cajoling, not that I think is really counterproductive.

MACCALLUM: It pervades so many schools and so many universities. There's only one way of thinking that's acceptable in protests. And that clearly has been demonstrated today. There've got to be room for people to have district voices in the country, and exercise their free speech, and for people to respect the argument on both sides. I want to shook up a completely different topic, because the discussion that Hillary Clinton had in India, earlier this week, has gotten a lot of attention. She is still explaining the reasons for why she lost, and she enumerates it this way. Let's listen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: His whole campaign, make America great again, was looking backwards. You know, you didn't like black people getting rights. You don't like women, you know, getting jobs. You don't want it. You know, see that Indian-Americans succeeding more than you are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Remarkable.

SHAPIRO: And she's a delight. I mean, she's absolutely delighted. I mean, the wonderful thing about Hillary Clinton that she is, number one, the worst candidate in American history, bar none, and she demonstrates that every day. She's blaming everybody but herself for an election loss that was entirely her fault. I mean, this is the most winnable election for all time for Democrats, and somehow they blow it because Hillary Clinton is doing exactly this, where she's blaming half of the American population suggesting they're -- who have to still go to bathrooms in the outhouse, and that they hate brown people. By the way, there're only two states in the United States that had Indian-American governors, and both of those states are red states that voted for Donald Trump.

MACCALLUM: A great point.

SHAPIRO: Sacramento and Louisiana, right? Nikki Haley is sitting in the U.N. right now as ambassador from the United States, an Indian-American woman in the Trump administration. So, I'm waiting to hear her actual argument, again, as oppose to everybody who voted for me -- voted against me is terrible, and everybody who voted for me is therefore virtuous. By the way, that was in Moore's argument, she made the worst argument she made is that white women whose married voted against her because their husbands were going to bully them or bring home the whooping stick and tell -- that you better get out there and vote for Trump.

(LAUGHTER)

SHAPIRO: That was the most ridiculous argument.

MACCALLUM: That was a Doocy. In fact, you know, I want to show one -- you've been getting a lot of messages. I'm been getting a lot of messages about that one because we've played that last night. Jennifer Curst tweeted this, I've voted for him because I believe in him. I knew he was our country last best hope. I have three children and I knew we were headed in the wrong direction. My husband lost faith in him before the election and didn't believe he could win. I'm the one who said watch, and I was right. I have, you know, probably, 50 messages like that in my Twitter account.

SHAPIRO: Again, for all of the feminists out there who say that women are fully capable of making autonomous decision, I ask you, why are you not condemning Hillary Clinton today for suggesting that married women are not capable of making those autonomous decisions? By the way, statically speaking, none of these makes sense. The reality is -- the reason why married people tend to vote Republican more often than non-married people is because married people are a self-selective group who tend to be more conservative and tend to be more religious, number one.

And number two, marriage does change you because now you have to start thinking about kids. You have to start thinking about how much money you want to save on taxes. You have to start thinking about where you send your kids to school. And it is true, that marriage changes voting for both sexes. In fact, in 2016 election cycle, what you see is that unmarried men voted by plurality for Hillary Clinton. It was married men who voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump.

And the same thing is true for unmarried women, they voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. And married women, not just white married women, married women, overall, voted much more close to parity in terms of Trump and Hillary. They've got a 14 point shift on marriage, you know, between Democrat and Republican for women, and about an 11 point shift after marriage for men.

MACCALLUM: Fascinating.

SHAPIRO: So it holds true for both sexist.

MACCALLUM: Ben, thank you, always good to see you. Ben Shapiro, thanks for being here.

SHAPIRO: Thanks a lot.

MACCALLUM: So coming up next, fears of retaliation tonight, after -- from Moscow, after Britain takes dramatic action against Russia for the poisoning of a former spy and his daughter. Bill Browder knows first-hand how dangerous the Kremlin can be. He's been personally targeted by them. His unique take after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THERESA MAY, UNITED KINGDOM PRIME MINISTER: The United Kingdom will now expel 23 Russian diplomats who have been identified as undeclared intelligence officers. They have just one week to leave.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: That was British Prime Minister Theresa May taking harsh action against Russia following a nerve agent attack, military grade nerve action attack, in a park after these two people left a restaurant. An ex-spy and his daughter are now in -- hanging on for their lives in a hospital in London. The U.S. is standing by our allies in this. Here is U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, with some very strong discussion just a short time ago. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: The Russian complained recently that we criticize them too much. If the Russian government stopped using chemical weapons to assassinate its enemies, we would stop taking about them. If we don't take immediate concrete measures to address this now, Salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used. They could be used here in New York, or in cities of any country that sits on this council.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Joining me now, Bill Browder, who knows personally how dangerous the Kremlin can be. He has been a target for many years. He's a fierce critic of Putin. He's also the CEO of Hermitage Capital Management. Bill, good to see you tonight. Just to remind people, your attorney and friend, Mr. Magnitsky, was tortured and killed in a Russian prison. And your efforts to punish Russia, I guess, for that, turned into sanctions that were put against them. A large effort has been launched to try to lift those sanctions by Glenn Simpson and others. So now, what do you make of this nerve agent attack in London?

BILL BROWDER, HERMITAGE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT CEO: I think it's the most shocking thing imaginable. Here you have a state sponsored terrorist attacks using military grade chemical weapons in the heart of England, organized by Vladimir Putin. I mean, it can't get any more serious than that. That is absolutely.

MACCALLUM: This is outrage, he said we -- there's no evidence that we had anything to do with this.

BROWDER: And Putin said there was no evidence that they went into Crimea. He said there's no evidence that they shot down MH-17. They said there's no evidence that they killed Sergei Magnitsky. Basically, Putin lies at every step of the way. He, for sure, did it, and he's got to bear responsibility, and we have to create consequences for him.

MACCALLUM: And this is just a long list of these people. You have (INAUDIBLE) several years ago. You have -- just this week, Nikolai Glushkov, who was killed -- short time before that, Boris Berezovski, all people who had left the Soviet Union, living in London, who they, obviously, still have a bone with to pick with.

BROWDER: And there's one other big problem is that the British government doesn't investigate most of these things as murders. On the Litvinenko case they concluded that that radioactive material had been used to kill him in the heart of London, and the British government did nothing. These other cases, they didn't investigate as murders. There's another guy name, Perepilichny, who helped us with the Magnitsky, he died at the age of 44, jogging in front of his house outside of London, no investigation.

MACCALLUM: What do you think Theresa May should do? Because you, clearly, don't think she's doing enough.

BROWDER: Well, so she laid out -- she said we're going to kick out 23 Russian diplomats, and then she laid out a whole list of things they're gonna do. And so, they're gonna do stuff is what matters. And some of those things are like freezing assets and going after spies and other things. If they freeze assets of Vladimir Putin, that would get his attention. But just kicking out spies, they've got thousands of spies.

MACCALLUM: They're going, basically, no diplomatic dialogue at this point.

BROWDER: No diplomatic dialogue is not a response to a chemical weapons attack on your soil.

MACCALLUM: Bill Browder, You know, I mean, where do you think this is going? Are they just keeps doing this? Or you must feel like you're in danger.

BROWDER: Well, they're going to keep doing it until there's a firm boundary put around them. Putin understands boundaries very well, and he pokes around to see where there's weakness. And he spots weakness here in this situation.

MACCALLUM: Is the Trump response strong enough?

BROWDER: Well, Nikki Haley's response was absolutely strong enough. Rex Tillerson's response was strong enough.

MACCALLUM: Thank you. Good to see you tonight, Bill. Bill Browder, we'll see you next time. So President Trump is reportedly pushing to take a dramatically harder stance against China. He's had this in mind for quite some time. This may be where the next big conversation is happening with trade. Andy Puzder is here with his take, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: So President Trump is reportedly looking to take a harder stance against China, hitting them with some stiff tariffs. His new economic advisor, as of today, Larry Kudlow, is already on board with that plan. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KUDLOW, PRESIDENT TRUMP ECONOMIC ADVISOR: I must say, as someone who doesn't like tariffs, I think China has earned a tough response, not only from the United States. I mean, I thought that I have is if the United States could lead a coalition of large trading partners and allies against China, or to let China know that they are breaking the rules left and right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: We're going to hear what's coming. Andy Puzder is policy advisor for America First Policy. Good to see you, again, Andy.

ANDY PUZDER, AMERICA FIRST POLICY: Great to be here, Martha.

MACCALLUM: You said, you know, that this idea -- because the president asked his trade representative, Mr. Lighthizer, for a package of tariffs against China. They came back with a $30 billion package. He said, no, that's not enough. I want a bigger package, and he wants to cut the trade deficit by $100 billion with China. He's had this mind, I think, for about 25 years.

PUZDER: Well, he has. Look, the Chinese are finally talking to us, we've got a decade of America's trading partners beating up on us by subsidizing companies to put our companies out of business, using trade and nontrade barriers, stealing our intellectual property. Now you've got a president -- he's got to come back with something strong. Other presidents have said you shouldn't take our intellectual property, you shouldn't subsidize.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

PUZDER: Nothing happened. This guy came in with a hammer -- not only is China negotiating with us, but in the green room while I'm watching across the bottom of the TV, watching your show, it's a Merkel, Chancellor Merkel has now said the E.U. should negotiate with the United States about these affairs before it takes retaliatory action. Well, of course, they should.

(CROSSTALK)

PUZDER: We're the world's largest customer. Who do you not want to offend? You're largest customer.

MACCALLUM: He said this is the kind of thing that scares the hell out of academia and politicians, but business people go, yeah, this is a good opening -- opening salvo, right?

PUZDER: Look, if you were in a negotiation with Donald Trump, you expect something like this at the beginning. I think it scares people that they grew up in politics, and write great articles about economics, I think it scares them. But, look, if you're a business person, you know what this guy is doing. And he's going to come out -- look, even NAFTA, when we've given exception to Canada and Mexico, while we renegotiate NAFTA. Now, do you think that puts us in a better position as negotiator or worse?

MACCALLUM: Absolutely

PUZDER: Obviously, better. This is all very smart.

MACCALLUM: All right. So what do you think about the selection of Larry Kudlow who has -- you know, obviously, was in the Reagan administration, been around a long time. He was not on board with the tariffs question. He seems to be on board with what the president wants to do in China now. Is there going to be, sort of, a good give-and-take and tensions on economic policy between President Trump and Larry Kudlow?

PUZDER: Larry Kudlow is a great guy, first of all. He's just a really, really good guy. And I think the president wants people who will do what he directs them to do, but before he gives the direction, he wants to hear both sides. And I think Larry is going to speak up. I think Larry will do his job, but he won't hold back from telling the president what he thinks.

I was involved early in the campaign, Steve Moore, and Larry Kudlow, Art Laffer, were all helping the president with tax policy, which turn out great. And I think that's why -- maybe why he went to Larry. That was such a successful program for Republicans and for the president.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. Well, some of the discussion is that he's trying to surround himself with yes-men.

PUZDER: Larry Kudlow is not a yes-man. You know, even a week ago, he was saying, you know, I like trade, I don't like tariffs. Now, obviously, he had discussions with the president, maybe now he has a better understanding of what the president intends to do.

MACCALLUM: It served a business and negotiation tactic.

PUZDER: Yes. And even -- it's only a tactic if the other side knows you'll do it. So I think Trump will do it if he's pushed, but they don't want to push that. We have half a trillion dollar trade deficit with --
we're the last country anybody wants to offend, particularly, Germany or China. They're not going to do that.

MACCALLUM: A piece today in Bloomberg, talking about how Amazon bottomless appetite became corporate America's nightmare, that it is flat-out the most terrifying company in the world with the breadth of what they are involved in now. Are you terrified of Amazon?

PUZDER: Not at all. I think Amazon is great. I love what they're doing to other companies. They're really forcing them to innovate. You can compete with Amazon to innovate and create. Look what they're doing to Walmart. Walmart has much greater retail, but Walmart is changing the way it does business because of Amazon.

If the government comes in and tries to regulate Amazon, it will restrict that innovation, that creativity. You're not going to have the same kind of drive in the market. They do need to be careful about trust laws, particularly, vertical. They're talking about replacing FedEx and UPS. They've got to be careful.

MACCALLUM: Andy Puzder, always good to see you.

PUZDER: Great to see you.

MACCALLUM: Good to see you tonight. So that is our story for tonight. We will be back here tomorrow night at seven. Let's go to D.C. where our good friend Tucker Carlson in standing by.

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