Graham hails Trump's stance on North Korea, trade and Russia

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

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: They'll both going to have to beat Villanova. Thank you, Bret. Good to see you tonight. So, questions this evening about whether the reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have made a secret trip to China ahead of his planned talks with President Trump. The South China Post and other reports site this 'mysterious armored train' rolled out of Beijing on Tuesday, apparently bound for Pyongyang. The 21-car train got yellow stripes which reportedly was noticed because it looks a lot like the one that Kim Jong Un's father took when he went to China from Pyongyang back in 2011. So, if President Trump and Kim meets, it would be the first between the United States president and the so-called dear leader of the hermit nation. Representatives from North and South Korea and the United States met last week in Finland to discuss the parameters of this possible would-be historic summit.

This as we watch the markets roller coaster on a looming trade war with China and rally in recent sessions on the possibility that China might be coming to the table to potentially renegotiate some of their deals. Today, the president was on the phone with Prime Minister Angela Merkel of Germany and President Macron of France. He was urging these two allies to join forces in pressing China for better terms and to halt the theft of intellectual property. All of this as Russia continues to react, somewhat mutedly to the largest expulsion of intelligence operatives in the U.S. and around the globe in history. All of that with a back drop, the president's approval numbers have been inching upward to their highest approval numbers in months. The latest Fox News poll finds 45 percent of voters approve, that is up two points since February. A new CNN poll shows 42 percent approve. That's the highest it's been since his 100th day in office. Joining me now is Senator Lindsey Graham South Carolina Republican Senator. Good evening, Senator Graham, good to see you tonight.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SOUTH CAROLINA: Good. Lots to talk about.

MACCALUM: There is a lot to talk about, isn't there? First of all, your thoughts on the possible meeting that happened in China and what might've provoked the dear leader to take that train, to spend a little time with the leadership in Beijing.

GRAHAM: Donald J. Trump, for the last 30 years, we've had kind of an appeasement mentality with North Korea. The president told North Korean regime, I don't want a war but will stop you from building an ICBM with a nuclear missile or nuclear weapon on top to hit the American homeland. If I have to go to war to stop you, I will. I think he has got North Korea's attention. He's convinced China that he's serious. And he's gotten them to the table, no nobody else was able to do it. Jimmy Carter is upset with Jim Bolton. We've tried it the Jimmy Carter way for about 30 years. Let's try it the Donald Trump and John Bolton way. I'm very excited about what could happen.

MACCALLUM: You know, and it is interesting to hear about these phone conversations between Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron --


MACCALLUM: You know, because whenever President Trump even raised these notions, there was this, you know, sort of hysterical backlash. You can't do that! Nobody does that. You can't possibly do that. It's going to end up with such a terrible impact on your own country's economy. But this is sort of classic, you know, if you read the, you know, 30-year-old book 'Art of the Deal'. You know, it's throw out that sort of dramatic first marker and then kind of work your way back from there and something is better than nothing.

GRAHAM: Well, fire and fury worked when it came to North Korea. We've got the best chance in the last 30 years to end the North Korean nuclear program and maybe sign a peace treaty with North Korea, China, and South Korea to end the Korean War. If I were President Trump, I would think big. In terms of pushing bank against China's cheating, they still own an intellectual property. Now, what do we mean by that? If you open up a business in China, they require you to have a Chinese business partner. Once you get up running, about two years later, all your intellectual property is used by somebody across the street, fully owned Chinese company to steal everything you bring to China. They manipulate the currency. They dump steel below market value into the world economy. And Trump said during the campaign he was going to push back, he has. And if the French and the Germans were smart, they would join President Trump to change Chinese business practices.

MACCALLUM: All right. So, what about the push back against Russia, the expulsion of all of these diplomats, you have several other countries that came onboard with this move today. The president has been accused since he was elected of being too soft on Russia. What do you make of this move?

GRAHAM: I think when the president decided to expel the Russian spies and diplomats, the world followed. It shows what happens when America leads from the front, the rest of the world follows. I've never seen so many nations pushing back against Russia. I just went to a national security conference in Munich. NATO is alive and well again because Putin is just creating so much havoc throughout the world. So, I think what President Trump did, the rest of the world followed. And it's going to make a difference. But clearly, we haven't done enough to change Russia's behavior. They're still very brazen, very emboldened, but what President Trump did with expelling these people, I think, is going to pay dividends overtime.

MACCALLUM: You know, when you look at the Russian reaction, you know, they're sort of scoffing about it. The representative, you know, it's no big deal. But you know, in terms of their intelligence, their ability to gather information around the world, has that been curtailed dramatically by this move?

GRAHAM: They're beginning to be isolated. They have an economy, the size of Italy. If the president could rally the world to push back against Russian aggression, and really hit them economically, have sanctions that hit really hard, then Putin is basically going to gas station masquerading as a country. People are going to get tired of him stealing them blind within Russia itself. So, we've got a magic moment in time here to get North Korea to the table, to do something no other president has been able to do, which is to give up their nuclear program. If President Trump will pour on the pressure to Russia, I think we can Change their behavior, because they're basically a very weak economy.

MACCALLUM: The president is also going to meet with leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. That's also something that's going to get Putin's attention, and he's probably not going to be too happy about it.

GRAHAM: Well, so we're putting American troops in the Baltic. These are the frontline states on the border of Russia, who are NATO members, who are all democracies. The countries you just named -- we're going to send troops over there to help train their military. We're going to fly the NATO- American flag right in Putin's face. So, the more we can do to push back on Russia, the better the dividends because Putin will never respond to weakness; he will only respond to strength. And the one thing I can tell the American people after eight years of weakness and appeasement by Obama, I am really pleased to see a president leading from the front, John Bolton is going to be a great National Security Advisor. And the only reason North Korea is talking to us is because they're afraid of Donald Trump. And I think the way you change Russia's behavior is just poured on.

MACCALLUM: Yes. We're going to talk to Gordon Chang in a moment. So, more on North Korea and China. But I want to get your thoughts on a couple of domestic issues before I let you go tonight, senator. The first is this, you know, sort of buzz that the president is going to try to find a way to use the Pentagon budget, the defense budget to pay for the wall; that there are certain, you know, old rules that might allow him to kind of divert some of that domestic money and get it to help pay for the wall. Is that true?

GRAHAM: I don't know. But I wouldn't advise that. We need that $650 billion to repair the damage done during the Obama administration to our military. Going into the North Korea negotiations, rebuilding our military is going to make North Korea look differently at Donald Trump. Russia is looking differently to us as we build up our military. The best way to get the wall money is to do the deal the president talked about. The $25 billion for the wall in return will do a deal for the DACA recipients. That's the deal to be done. And if he would announce that any time soon, the Democrats would be in a box. Because I want them to say no to the DACA recipients because they don't want to fund the wall that America needs.

MACCALLUM: Didn't they essentially do that with this last spending bill.

GRAHAM: Not really, because it was wrapped up into the spending bill. There's a lot of issues going on at the same time. If President Trump came out tomorrow and said listen, I want my wall money because we need to protect America, we need a wall. I will be more than fair to the DACA recipients, Democrats would be in a terrible box politically.

MACCALLUM: I know you were sorry about the way that went the last time around. And we'll see if they can get somewhere with it this time around. Last question for you: interesting editorial this morning from a former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stephens. He said that, we really should just do away with the second amendment. We're going to take about this more with the panel coming up, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on it tonight, senator.

GRAHAM: Don't run for Senate in South Carolina. I'm up here to defend the second amendment rights of my citizens. My constituents, not take them away. I hope every Democrat will be asked what you asked me, is it a good idea to repeal the second amendment? Because I want every Democrat to answer that question. This is a very bad idea. I'm glad he's retired. He has a right to his opinion like every other American. But I'm up here to protect the second amendment and not repeal it, and I can't wait to hear what Nancy Pelosi says and every other liberal Democrat. See if they will stand with Justice Stephens or they'll stand with the constitution. I'm dying to know.

MACCALLUM: We'll see. They'll be asked. Senator, great to see you. Thank you very much for being here tonight.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, here with more perspective on all of this: Gordon Chang, an Asian Analyst with expertise on both North Korea and China, and the author of the book 'Coming Collapse of China.' Gordon, always good to see you. Thanks for coming on 'The Story' tonight. First of all, your thoughts on this train that looks very similar to the one that carried Kim Jong Un's father on his visit to Beijing. Do you think that's what happened here?

GORDON CHANG, ASIAN ANALYST WITH EXPERTISE ON BOTH NORTH KOREA AND CHINA AND AUTHOR: Yes, I certainly think so. I think what Xi Jinping, the Chinese ruler did was he told Kim Jong Un, the North Korea ruler, you got to come to Beijing. Because I think the Chinese were feeling that Trump had cut actually out China from the denuclearization process. And the Chinese wanted to make themselves relevant again. We got to remember that Kim, his first foreign trip was going to be to South Korea. His second foreign trip was to meet President Trump. The Chinese felt that the first foreign trip from North Korea should be to China. Because the Chinese look at the North Koreans as vassals. And they don't want their vassals dealing with South Korea or the United States.

MACCALLUM: So, why would they hide it then? Why wouldn't they publicize it?

CHANG: Well, it's traditional that the Chinese do not publicize that a North Korean leader has been in Beijing until that North Korean leader has returned to the north. And the reason is, the North Koreans are very, very concerned about, you know, the generals in North Korea, back in North Korea, you know, launching a coup if they think that Kim is out of the country.

MACCALLUM: I mean, it's fascinating. He's never been to China, according to reports since he became leader in 2011, which makes me wonder, well, we're never ever been out of the country. It's not unlikely, right?

CHANG: Well, as leader he has not been out of the country, and we're pretty sure about that. Because people do track his movements and there is no indication he has left the country before Monday.

MACCALLUM: Let me take a look -- let me show you this and put this up on the screen, this tweet from President Trump back on March the 2nd. He said when a country, USA is losing many billions of dollars of trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good and easy to win. Example, when we're down 100 billion with a certain country, I can insert China into that, and they get cute, don't trade anymore. We win big. It's easy. Your thoughts on that, Gordon?

CHANG: Yes, economists are going to be horrified but Trump is actually right. You know, we can win this trade war. Last year, 88.8 percent of China's overall merchandise trade surplus, related to sales to the United States. That was up from 2016. So, the Chinese are really dependents on the U.S. And you know, we as Americans know that trade surplus countries are vulnerable because in the last great trade war, which was the great depression, we got hurt the most because we were the trade surplus country. For other countries around the world, the great depression was not so great.

MACCALLUM: What about the input from Merkel today and Macron in those conversations? How powerful would it be if we could get some of our largest allies to join us in this effort?

CHANG: Yes, I think that's extremely powerful and we should congratulate the president on this. You know, I think that the Germans and the French and everybody else are going to be joining the United States in this. You know, Trump is the one to act first. The problem is that there is now a trade outlaw at the center of global commerce, that's China. We got to do something, and President Trump moved first. We are going to see the French and Germans, and everyone around them also join the United States in this because they have no choice. The Chinese are giving everybody else no choice.

MACCALLUM: I mean, there are big tectonic plates moving around here in all of this, are there not? Is that an overestimation of what's happening?

CHANG: It's not an overestimation because what we've had for four decades, really, has been the United States trying to get China to join the international system. We have seen it to be in our interest to support the Communist Party of China up until now. And now, we're starting to understand the dimensions of the mistake that we made for those decades and we're trying to reverse it. This is the fight of our lives, Martha.

MACCALLUM: I want to play this sound from President Trump on intellectual property because I think it's a discussion and a topic that, you know, sometimes gets lost in the shuffle and I want you to help us understand what's really at stake here. Here's President Trump.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets, and intellectual properties, I will apply countervailing duties until China ceases and desist. The theft of intellectual property by foreign countries costs our nation millions of jobs and billions and billions of dollars each and every year.


MACCALLUM: How are they stealing all of this from us, Gordon?

CHANG: Well, they're doing it in a way that Senator Graham mentioned. There's also just cyberattacks. If you want to do business in China, you've got a joint venture with the Chinese company and you lose your intellectual property. And now, they have what they call national security laws and regulations that require U.S. tech companies to divulge all sorts of secrets like source code, and this is absolutely critical because innovation is the heart of the American economy right now. And if President Trump doesn't defend it, there's no more economy left. So, he's doing what he has to do to protect the United States.

MACCALLUM: It's going to be really interesting to watch how this plays out in the coming weeks and months. Gordon, great to see you. Thank you so much for coming on tonight.

CHANG: Thanks, Martha.

MACCALLUM: You bet. So, coming up, the first American to escape Al Qaeda, breaks his silence. Why he says the FBI failed him, specifically Mueller and Comey? We're going to talk about that. We have a statement from the FBI that we're going to read tonight with regard to that as well. Matt Schrier here exclusively this hour. And should the 2020 census ask if you're a citizen? And, if it does, which party stands to benefit from the outcome? Marc Thiessen and Juan Williams debate when they join us in just a moment. And those rumors that the president might borrow from the massive defense budget to build his big beautiful wall, we get their thoughts on that too when we comeback.


TRUMP: We have $1.6 billion for the wall that will start immediately. This is a short-term funding but it's immediate, starts immediately.




SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The purpose is to determine individuals that are here. It also helps to comply with the Voting Rights Act. Without that information, it's hard to make determinations, and that information needs to be gathered and it has been part of the United States census every time we've had a census since 1965 with the one exception of the 2010 census.


MACCALLUM: So, the Trump administration is sparking some outrage today over a proposal to include a question on the 2020 census, asking participants: are you a legal United States citizen? Democratic attorney general in several states fired back almost immediately, Javier Becerra in California, also the New York attorney general has now joined in that saying that they will sue the administration to prevent that question from being asked arguing that it could lead to serious undercounts that could hurt Democrats' chances of getting re-elected. So, are they right? And how does all of this play out. Here now, Marc Thiessen, American Enterprise Institute Scholar and Fox News contributor; and Juan Williams, co-host of 'The Five' and a Fox News political analyst. Gentlemen, thank you for being here tonight. So, Marc, you know, in history, up until about 1950, this question was routinely included on this census. So, why would it be wrong, illegal, potentially unconstitutional to include it now?

MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE SCHOLAR: It's a ridiculous charge by the California attorney general. It's not illegal. It was asked for 130 years. It was asked as part of the long form which is the question that goes out to about one sixth of census people. It was asked until Obama took it off in 2010 and it's still asked as part of the annual survey the census bureau does. So, why are the Democrats so upset about this? And the answer is two things: money and power. They are afraid that illegal immigrants, if they are asked this question, will not participate in the survey and that will reduce their population numbers, because illegal immigrants are concentrated in about 20 metropolitan areas that are predominantly democratic. So, why would they be upset about that is because the census numbers are used to apportion money, the $675 billion that goes out in federal funds to these cities. And, two, they are used to decide how many seats each state gets in Congress. So, you know --

MACCALLUM: But that representation, Marc, is based on citizens, right?

THIESSEN: Yes. Well, it's supposed to be.

MACCALLUM: Right. So, what -- I mean, the numbers, the representation numbers are based on representing American citizens in congress, because as a citizen, you have the right to have your voice be heard in the capital and the congress and in the Senate, Juan. So why, I mean, I can understanding politically, Juan, why this is a sensitive issue in terms of numbers, but isn't it a pretty tough argument to argue against?

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL POLITICAL ANALYST AND HOST: No. In fact, James Madison, when he wrote the federalist papers said we need an accurate census in order to properly apportion not only members to the House of Representatives, to the Congress, but we also need it because it impacts an allocation of federal funds, spending on programs, federal programs for people. So, that if you are a citizen of this country, Martha, but you live in New York or D.C., or any of the big cities, your services will be impacted if there is an undercount. And what we know right now is that this will depress the count of people who are intimidated -- legal immigrants who are intimidated from participating. And we also know quite clearly that six former people who ran the census, six former directors have said this is a bad idea Wilbur Ross, the current Commerce Secretary, don't do it. It will, in fact, discourage people from participating and all of America, not only the politicians but the businesses rely on an accurate count of how many people are in the country. That's what this is about.

MACCALLUM: I mean, it's pretty crafty political move. It's also something that's pretty easy to back up based on the fact that it was until 1950, Marc.

THIESSEN: Well, yes. No, absolutely. It's been done -- it was done for 130 years, and it still was done until Obama stopped it. So, if Juan wants an accurate count, then let's get an accurate count, let's get an accurate count of citizens and noncitizens. I mean, Juan, you agree with me that illegal immigrants shouldn't be counted in deciding how many congressional districts a state gets, right? You agree with that don't you?

WILLIAMS: No, I disagree with you, because --

THIESSEN: You think they can't vote, how can they -- why should they have any say in how many congressional districts the state of New York or the State of California have?

WILLIAMS: Well, remember, Marc, there was a time in our country's history slaves were counted as three-fifths for this purpose.

THIESSEN: Oh, come on, you're not comparing illegal immigrants with slaves.

WILLIAMS: No, what I'm saying to you is, shouldn't we have counted slaves at that time because --

THIESSEN: Of course, we should have.

WILLIAMS: -- the southern states wanted the slaves included because it pumped up their numbers in terms --

THIESSEN: That has nothing to do with slavery, Juan, that's ridiculous.


THIESSEN: Noncitizens can't vote. So, why should noncitizens be counted in deciding congressional districts?

WILLIAMS: Well, let me respond to your question? Let me respond to you.

THIESSEN: And why should sanctuary cities be rewarded with more federal funds because they turn themselves into magnets for illegal immigrants? Because that's what you're basically arguing. They should be able to get more money, they're going to lose money because illegal immigrants won't participate in the census, that means they should get more money because they packed it with illegal immigrants.

MACCALLUM: But Juan is also saying that he feels bad for all the people in New York and California because they happen to live in a state where there are so many illegal people in those state, that they might lose some of their own services.

WILLIAMS: Correct. It impacts all of us as American citizens. But it impacts the way that we live in this country. We have 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants in the country. And the question is should you as an American citizen be punished if you live in a community that has a high percentage of illegal immigrants?


WILLIAMS: This has become politicized to the point that the Trump re-election campaign has directed its fundraisers to raise this and say, isn't this good news? Let's cheer this on!

MACCALLUM: I mean, that's the politically cynical take on it, and there may be some merit to it. But, Marc, so is that being done to balance out the gerrymandering issues around the country that look like they're going to benefit Democrat districts.

THIESSEN: I think it's being done to get an accurate census.

WILLIAMS: No, this would not be accurate.

THIESSEN: Juan, if you're an American citizen, you're not getting punished because you have the illegal immigrants. Because they shouldn't be counted towards how much money your state gets anyway.

WILLIAMS: Why is that?

THIESSEN: I mean, you're not being punished, you're getting an accurate count.

WILLIAMS: Remember, the founding fathers, Marc, wanted an accurate count. They wanted an accurate account. That's what James Madison spoke about.

THIESSEN: Hold on. My turn, Juan.

MACCALLUM: Last thought.

THIESSEN: Do you believe that these should be counted and rewarded for making themselves the magnets for illegal immigrants.

WILLIAMS: No, you're politicizing by saying magnets.


MACCALLUM: Sanctuary city, you're a magnet for illegal residents.

WILLIAMS: No, I think that you have a different attitude towards how illegals are treated because you care about them communicating with law enforcement. It's not necessarily it.

MACCALLUM: Well, established that you both have different attitudes when it comes to this.


MACCALLUM: Juan and Marc, thank you guys. Great to see you.

MACCALLUM: So, still ahead tonight, we started this story last night. He escaped al-Qaeda only to be betrayed, he believes, by his own government. Matt Schrier in an exclusive interview on set with me next. And a former Supreme Court justice says students marching in the street are not going far enough. What they should be demanding, he says, is the total repeal of the Second Amendment. Mollie Hemingway and Mark Glaze debate next.


KATY TUR, MSNBC: So, I have a question today is can you protect the Second Amendment while still protecting innocent lives?




DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: They'll take away your Second Amendment, which we will never allow to happen. They'll take away your Second Amendment.



MARTHA MACCALLUM, THE STORY HOST: President Trump has long made the prediction, and now with a push from the Parkland survivors and others across the country for a 21 for gun law, tighten background checks and an assault ban -- a rifle ban. A former Supreme Court justice says the problem with the movement today is that it doesn't go far enough. In a New York Times' op-ed, Justice John Paul Stephens says he believes the second amendment was written during a time when militias were needed, and that he has always been against it. He says, quote, the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the second amendment. Here now, Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at the Federalist and a Fox News contributor, and Mark Glaze, gun control advocate and co-founder of Guns Down. Good to see both of you tonight. Just first your reaction to Justice Stephens' editorial today, Mark. Are you in favor of banning the Second Amendment?

MARK GLAZE, GIN CONTROL ADVOCATE: I actually think it's an interesting argument and it's one the country ought to have. I don't think we need to repeal the Second Amendment to do all the regulation we need to do and here's why. The Heller decision interpreted the Second Amendment to mean these rights to have a gun in the home for self-defense. But Justice Scalia said there's plenty that we can and should do to regulate guns as long as we leave that right intact. And under that ruling, states have done a number of things including going as far as banning assault rifles, and some pretty conservative courts of appeal have upheld those regulations.

MACCALLUM: I want to talk about how difficult that would be to do. But, Mollie, first, I want to get your reaction to the editorial from Justice Stephens this morning.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, it's absolutely chilling to see that people who advocate gun control are opposing the Constitution and the foundational right to keep and bear arms that defines who we are as a people. It's also good that they're being honest about what their end game is that it's not just something that maybe a lot of people can agree with, but they're actually taking their attack directly to the Constitution and its Bill of Rights and even beyond that. I mean, this is something that is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. That's how foundational it is, our understanding of who we are as a people and our right to have redress against a government that might become despotic.

MACCALLUM: Mark, do you disagree with that? I mean, it is foundational in terms of who we are. It's a freedom that is enjoyed and exercised by millions of Americans across this country, who feels that they have a right to protect themselves, and feel that they're safer, especially, in this current environment if they have the ability to protect themselves.

GLAZE: Well, I think the question we have to ask ourselves is whether the people who wrote the constitution intended for the Second Amendment to be a suicide pact, which is a way that many folks on the other side are basically treating it today. You know, every day in this country, a hundred Americans are killed at the barrel of a gun. And, yet, gun right advocates like Mollie continue to say there's nothing we should be doing beyond what we're now doing to solve this problem. What we're doing now isn't working. So let's have a robust debate.

MACCALLUM: But is that true, Mollie? Is there nothing that we could do to make the country safer?

HEMINGWAY: Take, for example, why we're talking about this now, which relates to the Parkland shooting, where you had massive governmental failure at the federal, state and local level of citizens trying to have their government help protect against a person that they've identified as a dangerous individual. And you had nobody taking these citizens up on their arguments. The Second Amendment is not just a guarantor of liberty. It's also -- I mean, it doesn't just protect our right to keep arms. It's also a guarantor of liberty in the case of catastrophic governmental failure, which what we saw in Florida.

MACCALLUM: Where is the outrage, Mark, about the FBI? Where's the outrage about Sheriff Israel? Where's the outrage about the 27 times that this man's house was visited by officers? You know, it's really something that we did not hear at these marches at all. And it is, perhaps, the one thing that actually might have stopped this tragedy.

GLAZE: Well, you know, Mollie is reciting from NRA talking points that are about making the fact that the Broward County sheriff's department fell down on the job, somehow mean that gun regulation doesn't work. The fact is, we know from a lot of different data that states that have stricter gun control laws actually have fewer people who die or as shot as a result of gun.

MACCALLUM: What about Chicago? What about Washington, D.C.? What about places that have very strict gun laws where you see rampant killings in the street with guns?

GLAZE: Let me tell you what the problem with Chicago is. Chicago, actually, does have a quite tight gun laws, but the jurisdiction surrounding it including places like Indiana, do not. So people who want guns in Chicago just go to Indiana to get them. That's why we need federal laws.

MACCALLUM: Mollie. Last thought, Mollie.

HEMINGWAY: It's good to see that progressives are being more open about how oppositional they are to the Constitution and our freedoms as acceded in the bill of rights.

MACCALLUM: Thanks, guys. Good to see you tonight.

GLAZE: Thanks, Martha.

MACCALLUM: All right. So, for seven months he was held captive by some of the world's most evil men. But when he returned home, his troubles were far from over. Matthew Schrier says the American government turned its back on him when he needed their help the most. He is here live with his exclusive interview, next.


MATTHEW SCHRIER, HELD HOSTAGE IN SYRIA: They caught me trying to escape. And they flip you over, so your feet is in the air, and you're handcuffed. And they take a cable, about this thick, as thick as a nightstick, and they whack your feet.



MACCALLUM: So last night on 'The Story,' we brought you the exclusive story of Matthew Schrier, an American held hostage by Al Qaeda affiliate for more than seven months before he made an incredible escape. He came home to little fanfare. In fact, he alleges that the treatment he got from his own government was dreadful, suggesting that the FBI not only lied to his family, but essentially used him as a pawn in a sick terrorist game of chess.


CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You're saying the FBI sacrificed your safety in order to track Al Qaeda?


HERRIDGE: Former intelligence officials told Fox, Schrier's theory is more than plausible.

HERRIDGE: It's a big allegation to make.

SCHRIER: I can prove it.


MACCALLUM: Now he's ready to tell his story in a new book, 'The Dawn Prayer,' as using what he learned to help our men and women in uniform. Matthew Schrier, welcome. Good to see you tonight.

SCHRIER: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: You know there're so many different angles to this story. But, first of all, can you just explain to everybody how you got out? You're locked in a cell with walls as high as you can see with another guy, another American, and your first thought is, I'm going to get out of here.

SCHRIER: I saw that the window was flawed. Once upon a time, somebody clipped the wires. They're very thick wires cemented into the foundation of the building. Somebody clipped them and then they welded them on, but they didn't do a good job. So, I tried pulling them off. I tried praying them off. It didn't work. So I studied them, and I realized that they were welded on on one side and held together by tension, so if I unweave the verticals I can bend back the horizontals on the side where they weren't wielded and create the opening.

MACCALLUM: How did you stay OK? You know, I said to you before we sat down, you know, you were tortured, right?


MACCALLUM: You're beaten.


MACCALLUM: You're dragged?


MACCALLUM: Mistreated?


MACCALLUM: And you say, you know, few days after you got back, you bounced back.

SCHRIER: Yeah. I mean, you got to stay as positive as possible. I know it sounds crazy, but I tried to keep my sense of humor, I tried to keep my mind clear. And as a Jewish guy in Al Qaeda prison, the way I thought of things are, you know, the only thing worse than -- the only thing almost as bad as getting your head cut off and saying and waiting for it to happen, so I didn't do that. I just used the time to my advantage by trying to figure out a way out of there, and other exercises.

MACCALLUM: It worked. I want to talk to you about the FBI. How do you believe that they wronged you?

SCHRIER: I know that they've wronged me. At first, I thought it was incompetence, but after I started really investigating everything and looking at the financial records and the documentation between my mother and the agent, Lindsey Perotti, who is on the case.

MACCALLUM: So your parents were trying to get you back.

SCHRIER: Well, actually, my mother was. The FBI never told my father that I was kidnapped. And they've convinced my mother I was OK, so that she wouldn't tell him, because my father would have probably demanded answers a lot more, so it was easier for them to not have him involved. So once I started really investigating everything, I realized that she was lying about a lot of things. Like in an email after I came home, I said, you know, they've drained my bank accounts. You told me that you froze them with $8,000 left. And she says, yeah, I did freeze them in an email and they must have called with your security questions. Meanwhile, Citibank sends me an email saying they never froze your bank account, we froze them because of an overdraft in your personal savings, and then they moved on to your business account.

MACCALLUM: Because they were using your computer to keep tracking these guys.

SCHRIER: No, no, no. They were using my money. They took all my financial information and they were hacking into my accounts and buying computers with that money. And the FBI was monitoring all of my finances. We know this, beyond a reasonable doubt, that they were monitoring my finances before they ever spoke to my mother. And this is because the agent told me she thought I joined Al Qaeda, because they paid off my Discover Card. That's what it takes to fool the FBI. So, because they thought I joined, and I was basically judged guilty until proven innocent, they started monitoring everything and they saw they were buying laptops, ten at once, tablets on eBay. And you got to think, this is a dream come true. We intercept the laptops. We get the I.P. addresses, maybe put some GPS's, microphones in, and we deliver them right into the hands of Al Qaeda. And they spy. And me, well, I'm not coming home anyway, so, no harm, no foul. As long as you're not me.

MACCALLUM: Essentially, as Catherine said in the piece that we just saw. This is a statement from the FBI that they put out today. They knew we were going to be speaking with you and they sent it here. It says, 'the FBI fully supports the work of agents and victim specialists who have remained consummate professionals in working with Mr. Schrier. It goes on to say, since his returned home, we have work with our partners in the U.S. government to provide Mr. Schrier with a full range of services and guidance to help him rebuild his life. We do this for all victims. However, it is at the discretion of the victim to accept and implement these resources.' So they're suggesting that they've offered you help and to work with you and that you haven't taken it.

SCHRIER: They gave me health benefits that were the same things given to illegal aliens. And when I went to this doctor, he refused to prescribe me something to help me sleep because he said it was narcotic and he doesn't believe in it. FDA approved drug. That's why I stopped seeing him. They gave me a shrink who cancelled five appointments my first two months home. Within 10 minutes of my first appointment, she tried to put me on lithium. They won't give me a new social security number even though Al Qaeda stole my identity, they have my social security number. They can do whatever they want with it.

MACCALLUM: The United States government denies you a social security number.

SCHRIER: Right. Agent Perotti would be like, I can't help you with that. I can't do it. What is the Witness Protection Program for? Only the criminals?

MACCALLUM: And you believe that you gave them a wealth of information that they could use?

SCHRIER: I gave them a ton of information. I gave them two Skype names. One of them had 287 contacts on it. That's 287 terrorists and all of their contacts, and all of their contacts. I memorized serial numbers on brand new windows in the cells. So that they can hack into the company's account, figured out who paid for them and is funding them. Where they were delivered. Who they were delivered to. I kept track of the dates, every date -- every significant event that happened when I met Bin Laden's commander, the top guy, --, I know what day it was. I gave them everything. They didn't even know that the rebel groups were fighting each other. For months it was going on and they were like, they're fighting? I'm like, yeah, right outside my window. Right outside the car when we were being transferred. I mean, they thought it was like one big happy family out there and they were shocked when they heard the truth. And now, excuse me, it's protocol. It's like everyone knows that ISIS fights Al Qaeda.

MACCALLUM: You gave them the information that you gave them.

SCHRIER: Absolutely.

MACCALLUM: Matt, thank you. It's a fascinating story and it's called, 'The Dawn Prayer,' because that was the time of day that you determined after they went to prayer in the morning that they would take a nap, that was your window and, literally, your window.


MACCALLUM: To get out and to run for your life and to be released. It's an amazing story, Matt, thank you very much.

SCHRIER: Thank you so much for having me.

MACCALLUM: Good to see you tonight.

SCHRIER: Thanks.

MACCALLUM: So you have likely heard from skeptics that the world is basically in free fall. Progress is moving backward. But we're going to talk to a Harvard psychologist who argues that actually what's going on in the world is the opposite. Steven Pinker here to explain why now is actually the best time to be alive.


MACCALLUM: So from the massacres in Parkland and Las Vegas, to the protests against the president and the Second Amendment, sometimes it seems like we live in a very contentious and bitter and divided time. But my next guest says once you push the doom and gloom headlines aside and you actually look at the data, you begin to realize that now is actually a pretty great time to be alive. Here now to make his case, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker, the author of Enlightenment Now, the case for reason, science, humanism, and progress. Dr. Pinker, great to have you with us tonight. I was fascinated when I first started to look at these charts a little while back, that backed up your new book. So when I jump right in, you say -- you know, despite the fact there's so much talk about divisiveness, we're actually less prejudiced as a people now than we were in the past. True?

STEVEN PINKER, HARVARD PSYCHOLOGIST: That's right. I think it's easier for racists and other bigots to find each other. But if you look at surveys, number of people who have bigoted opinions has been steadily falling. If you ask would you be upset if an African-American family moved in next door? The proportion is going down. Do you think someone should be fired from their job because they're gay? The percentage is going down. Do you think women should return to their traditional roles in the kitchen? Proportion is going down. So you might say, and I worried about this, well, maybe people still have bigoted opinions, but they know that it's kind of socially unacceptable so you don't blurt it out to a pollster over the phone. But even if you look at more subtle measures like how often do people search on Google for racist jokes, that's been going down, and no one is watching, so it's just a private guilty pleasure.

MACCALLUM: Except Facebook, I guess, because they're watching everything apparently. But what about are we safer, are we safer as a society?

PINKER: We're safer in just about every way. We're about 95 percent less likely to die in a car accident, a plane accident, to be killed on the sidewalk by a motorist. We're less likely to drown. We're less likely to burn to death. Everything except dying by opioids, that's going up. Everything else has gone down.


MACCALLUM: I want to point out to everybody that the one piece that they see going up there is death by poison, as you point out. And it is the tragic result of the increase of deaths in the country by opioids.

PINKER: That's right. But the homicide rate is down, the rate of domestic violence, the rate of bullying of children, the rate of rape and sexual assault, all of them have declined from statistics we've first kept in the 1970's,.

MACCALLUM: You know, in terms of being freer, let's put up those numbers just in terms of spreading democracy around the world. This fascinated me because you say of all the people living in the 60 nondemocratic countries that are left today, 4/5ths of them reside in China?

PINKER: That's right. And there're definitely is back sliding from democracy in countries like Russia and Venezuela and Turkey. But, still, the overall trend is towards democracy. And even when I was a student in the 1970's, there were maybe 31 democracies, now there are more than 100.


PINKER: And countries like Spain and Portugal were fascist dictatorships. Greece was ruled by the military colonels. Latin America, South Korea, Taiwan, all of the military dictatorships, now they're all democratic.

MACCALLUM: It's a big picture to look at, very interesting. Thank you so much, Dr. Pinker. I hope we'll have you back because there's a lot more to talk about and we're short on time, but it's really good to see you tonight. Thank you so much.

PINKER: Thanks for having me on.

MACCALLUM: Quick break. More story when we come back.


MACCALLUM: So, going back to where we started tonight, we can now confirm that North Korean state media is saying that Kim Jong Un, indeed, was in Beijing for a meeting with President Xi. That is our story for tonight. We'll see you back here tomorrow night at seven. Let's go to D.C., check in with Tucker Carlson, coming up next.

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