Trump considers using US military to fund the wall

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," March 28, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Thank you so much, Bret, great story. So, breaking tonight, President Trump making some big moves at the White House as his doctor, a navy admiral, takes over the V.A. The two have worked in pretty close proximity at the White House.


RONNIE JACKSON, VETERAN AFFAIRS SECRETARY: I see him every day. I see him one, two, sometimes three times a day, because of the location of my office. We have conversations about many things, most don't revolve around medical issues at all.


MACCALLUM: Remember that, there's more of that where that came from tonight. And also, this evening, the issue of potential creative financing for the border wall as the pressure is on to find a way to keep this promise.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will have Mexico pay for that wall, mark my words. We will build a great mall. And yes, Mexico will pay for the wall. Who's going to pay for the wall?


TRUMP: Who's going to pay for the wall?



MACCALLUM: But now, it looks like the White House is working on a potential plan to get the Defense Department to foot the bill, at least in part in the name of national security. Fox News Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry live on the lawn at the White House to explain both of these big stories tonight. Hi, Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY: Great to see you, Martha. A lot of shake-ups continuing here at the White House. As you note, Navy Rear Admiral Ronnie Jackson now in as Veterans Affairs Secretary. You mentioned his proximity to the president, David Shulkin, now out. The reason why Ronnie Jackson had so much credibility when he came out in January and gave the president of clean bill of health is that he also served under then President Barack Obama seen as bipartisan, as Shulkin was seen as well -- he was an Obama holdover, but didn't quite work out that way.

Lindsey Graham tweeting tonight: 'If there ever was a home run pick, Admiral Jackson fits the bill. Combat surgeon, career military officer who loves his country and will provide the highest quality health care and services to our wonderful veterans.' Now, interesting, I mentioned that bipartisan note, it didn't work out for Shulkin. He took his wife to Wimbledon on a taxpayer dime. A scathing report about that, blew up in his face because of the taxpayer dollars used, lost the confidence of the president. So, this is important now for the president to get his team in place. Shulkin now has the distinction like Rex Tillerson of being fired by tweet.

The president, obviously, very active on Twitter. And also, not just on personnel moves, but policy pronouncements. You mentioned this issue of immigration, based on the Constitution, it would be hard for the president to shift money from the Pentagon that was in that omnibus spending bill, and all of a sudden, shifted over to pay for the wall. But do not underestimate the sheer will of this president to try and make it happen. This stem, of course, from two flash points with his political base that came together with that omnibus bill that he said he was reluctantly signing into law last Friday.

One, he is under great pressure to deliver on that promise, to build call what he called 'a big, beautiful wall'. And two, he tried to justify signing that bill by saying he was holding his nose over the sharp increases in money for liberal programs in exchange for a big boost in defense money. So, the president started laying the groundwork for a merger of these priorities Sunday, tweeting: 'Because of the $700 and $716 billion gotten to rebuild our military, many jobs are created, military is again rich. Building a great border wall with drugs, poison, and enemy combatants pouring into our country, is all about national defense. Build wall through 'M' -- apparently, Mexico.

Now, the president had floated to speak with Paul Ryan in private, that one way to get around Democrats like Nancy Pelosi on the wall is by sliding money from the Defense Department over to building the wall by calling it 'national defense.' It's highly unlikely, though, the speaker would give up Congress' power of the purse, you would need a separate vote to approve moving the money. Though, Sarah Sanders today suggested at the White House podium they're not quite taking no for an answer yet.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I can't get into the specifics of that at this point, but I can tell you that the continuation of building the wall is ongoing and we're going to continue moving forward in that process.


HENRY: And on that earlier this month, the president took his first trip to California since taking office, got an up-close look at those border wall prototypes. And in fact, last month, the customs of border protection began building part of a border wall replacement near downtown Calexico, near the Mexican border. They took about two miles of a tiny barrier that was built in the 1990s, and then now replacing it with a 30-foot high bollard. So, technically, it's not the wall the president promised in the campaign, but a piece by piece, they find a dollar here, a dollar there and keep fortifying that barrier. It's going to turn out to be a wall in the end, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Free the financing. Thank you so much, Ed, good to see you tonight. So, here to weigh in on all of the big news this evening: Charlie Hurt, Political Columnist at the Washington Times and a Fox News Contributor; and Adrienne Elrod, Strategic Communications Director for the Hillary Clinton Campaign and a Democratic Strategist. So, Charlie, let me start with you. He's got to build a wall, he promised it up and down, he has some supporters, you know, who are no longer supporters because they are very frustrated with the recent omnibus bill and also the wall. How's he going to do it?

CHARLES HURT, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND POLITICAL COLUMNIST AT THE WASHINGTON TIMES: Well, first of all, you know, this idea of getting the military to pay for the wall is great politics for the president, as usual. He's got very good instincts on this. It's a way for him to highlight the fact that here was the centralized campaign promise, by all accounts got him elected president. And he comes to Washington and Democrats, Republicans, the swamp, the establishment, everybody is opposed to this thing and he is pushing for it. And obviously, he comes up with the most creative, imaginative ways to try to figure out how do it. The problem is, of course, getting the military -- you know, trying to redirect money out of the DOD to building the wall, means that you're going to have to get a vote from Congress, Ed is exactly right. You can't just do that because the money that's directed to go to the Pentagon by Congress is supposed to pay for specific things. So, it's difficult, but in the meantime, while he's trying to get his way, it's a great argument to be making.

MACCALLUM: Yes. Obviously, you have a huge defense budget as the president pointed out, big jumps in defense. That has to go, Adrienne, to the kind of things that the president has been talking about. C-130s that, you know, come in on their nose because they don't have landing gear that works -- excuse me, that has to be the priority. But he got $1.6 billion in omnibus bill. Then, there'll be another bill that starts in October 1st. If it's going to take 20-something billion to build a small, it looks like the president is going to try to do it in bits and pieces, and just keep adding onto that budget.

ADRIENNE ELROD, STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR THE HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN AND DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes. Look, Charlie calls this great politics; I call this ludicrous. I mean, the bottom line: he absolutely cannot get the spending for the wall in the current Pentagon budget because Congress did not appropriate that funding -- that is the law, that is the way the system works. So, if he actually wants to get some sort of funding for the wall in the military budget, he's got to go back to Congress, he's got to make the request and Congress has to pass it. So, you know, we can talk about this all day, we can talk -- call it great politics, we can try to, you know, show that maybe Trump is still fighting for this wall that the swamp and many, you know, majority of Americans, and the majority - and people in Washington don't want. But ultimately, he's got to go about it a different way.

MACCALLUM: But the fascinating thing about that we watched President Trump works so far is that he throws out some sort of big idea and then he gets a little piece of it. And so, you know, it's likely that that may be what we see happen this time. Charlie, put them in, I want get you on the V.A.

HURT: The president always comes to things with a completely fresh way of looking at it and comes up with very imaginative ways of doing things. And people around here can't believe it because nobody's thought like that in this town --

ELROD: Because it's not the way the systems works and it's not legal. It's not -- you have to get through an appropriation process.

MACCALLUM: She's not happy with the system. All right. Let's talk about the new director of the V.A., who is the president's doctor as well and Navy rear admiral. Here's the really memorable news conference that he gave after he examined the president spoke to an incredulous press that, you know, just some felling that they just weren't getting the whole story. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you accept the mental fitness?

JACKSON: I had absolutely no concerns about his cognitive ability.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell me how a guy who eats McDonald's and all those diet cokes and never exercises is in as good a shape as you say he's in?

JACKSON: It's called genetics, I don't know.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Is there anything you're keeping from us for privacy reasons?

JACKSON: I can promise you, there's absolutely nothing that I'm withholding from you. I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old, I don't know.


MACCALLUM: No doubt, this person was endeared to the president after that news conference, and as he said, they work in close proximity. They might have a good relationship, how's he going to be running the V.A., though, Charlie?

HURT: Well, obviously that's a big question because running an organization like the V.A., especially when it is as screwed up as the V.A. is, is a very tall order and doesn't necessarily require the exact same credentials. But without a doubt, I don't think anybody can question this guy's qualifications and his integrity and his commitment to the country into doing the right thing.

MACCALLUM: Adrienne, you know, there's call for a big shake-up, that the entire system of the way the V.A. is run doesn't work. That it's two government run and it needs to be -- have some sort of private mix. Is the possibility, does it exist that we might see some real actual reform here?

ELROD: Well, we'll see and I certainly hope so. I mean, the V.A. has had so many issues for so long, and this somewhat irrelevant of who the current president happens to be and what party affiliation he is. It is simply the fact that the V.A. has a lot of cleaning up to do. So, I hope this guy can actually get in there and set things straight.

MACCALLUM: Everybody can agree on that. Thanks, you guys, good to see you.

HURT: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, after 20 years -- gosh, is it that long? Roseanne is back and now she is a Trump supporter, hoping to show America that the political divide in her house might look a little familiar to what you see in your house.

Governor Mike Huckabee on the 18 million people who tuned in for the show last night and what they are trying to tell Hollywood.

Plus, American Statesman, James Baker, President Reagan's Chief of Staff, speaks out in a rare interview and he speaks his mind about President Trump, his answers may surprise you. General Jack Keane joins me next.


ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC: You've got a president who fires his secretary of state, notifies him on Twitter, and calls Kim Jong Un rocket man, and in the next minute, he's talking about --




MACCALLUM: Developing tonight, James Baker, American Statesman and Veteran White House Advisor to Presidents Reagan and Bush in a rare interview talked frankly about Russia, North Korea, and President Trump.


MITCHELL: The president on one hand a week ago congratulates Vladimir Putin on a sham election in contradiction to his own advice being written in big, bold, capital letters, and doesn't bring up the fact that the Kremlin tried to kill a former Russian spy and his daughter on English soil with a nerve agent that is a banned chemical weapon, even though he's been told to do that. And then a week later, we are expelling more spies that any time since the Cold War.

BAKER: That's right. Well, I think it's important to -- having message discipline is really important in running a campaign or in running the White House. I think there could be an improvement in this White House's message and discipline needless to say. On the other hand, I would remind you that Ronald Reagan for whom I worked for eight years, told the bureaucrats at one point when they told him, don't say Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall, it's terrible. You're going to create a terrible problem. He said, look, I'm president and this is what I'm going to say and he wrote it back in the speech. So, that turned out all right.


MACCALLUM: Fascinating. Joining me now Retired Four-Star General Jack Keane, a Former U.S. Army Vice Chief of Staff and now Fox News Military Analyst. General, good to see you.


MACCALLUM: Always interesting to hear Jim Baker's thoughts. We haven't heard from him in quite some time. And I thought that it was refreshing to hear his take on Russia and how the president is handling it.

KEANE: Yes, I think he pretty much gets the Trump strategy, which is unfortunate that a lot of people don't seem to. You know, President Trump's administration has confronted Russia more than his predecessors have, that's an established fact now. But at the same time, President Trump has not singled out Putin, and that's by design. I think what's happening here, Trump knows that, full well, that Putin is a thug, that he's a bully, that he's manipulated world leaders, he manipulated Trump's predecessors quite successfully. I think he's itching, Martha, to be getting into a room with this guy and confront him and try to work out a relationship that could have some mutual benefit to both of our countries despite the enormous challenges that separate us from a policy perspective. And I think that's why Putin has not singled him out because he doesn't want to forfeit the opportunity by personally attacking Putin that was having -- establishing a good relationship with him when he needs him. Trump knows that evicting 60 spies or diplomats is not going to deter Putin, but he would like to see if he can work something out with him, and I think that's commendable.

MACCALLUM: Which is precisely why he didn't call him out in that phone call and then, he took very strong action with a lot of allies afterwards. In terms of the really enormous moves that we're seeing with North Korea and with China, and of course the outcome of them remains to be seen. But this is a tweet that the president put out this morning: 'Received message last night from Xi Jinping of China that his meeting with Kim Jong Un went very well, and that Kim looks forward to his meeting with me. In the meantime, and unfortunately, maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained at all cost.' Your thoughts?

KEANE: Well, first of all, I think the meeting, in terms of what the Chinese media are reporting that President Xi and Kim Jong Un both made statements to each other that they intend to denuclearize North Korea -- or the peninsula is the word that they used. If you would've told me that 14 months ago, when Trump became president, that these two leaders would make that statement and have it recorded publicly for all the world to hear, I would be telling you that I just don't see how that could ever happen, but it is happening. Now, all that said, let's not go too far with optimism here because when Trump gets with Kim Jong Un, it's going to be about the conditions, they're going to say we want all the troops out of South Korea- U.S. troops, and will be nuclearized. We're going to say no, then they're going to come back and say stop the exercises with South Korea, we'll going to say no, but we probably be willing to negotiate frequency and scale. So, it's going to get down to that, but I'll tell you, we're in a remarkable position heading towards the summit that South Korean president is going to have and also that President Trump is going to have. We got to be cautious about it but it is remarkable.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely. You have to be cautiously optimistic, I guess, would be the way to look at it. There were reports today about a nuclear plant expansion in North Korea. They say, of course, that it's power based. You know, obviously, the proof is going to be in these structures and whether or not they're continuing to expand on them as we speak.

KEANE: Yes. Well, they're strengthening their negotiating hand, yes. Like water reactor experimental is being tested, another nuclear reactor is being brought online. We're beginning exercises with South Koreans that we delayed for the Olympics. We're continuing all of our economic sanctions. We got Navy ships into (INAUDIBLE) ships going in to North Korean ports. Yes, all of that is about getting strengthen in our hands heading in towards the negotiations.

MACCALLUM: Fascinating. Boy, the next couple of months are going to be something to watch. General, good to see you tonight. Thank you so much.

KEANE: You're welcome, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So, last night. We brought you Matthew Schrier's story of his hare-racing escape from an al-Qaeda prison. He says, the FBI only prolonged his agony. Now, the wife of an American imprisoned in Iran is pleading for his release.


HUA QU, WIFE OF STUDENT IMPRISONED IN IRAN: This is a crisis, this hostage crisis, I hope that can be evaluated on the same level with other security issues.


MACCALLUM: There are so many of these cases. So, tonight we sit down with the mother of James Foley, the first American who was killed by ISIS. She said, she was appalled by the way her son and his case were treated by the United States government. She wants to make sure that changes. And it is one of the hottest races to watch, Claire McCaskill, fighting to hold on to her Senate seat. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, has plans to take it away and had to do D.C. himself; he is here to make his case next. And Chris Stirewalt tells us how that race might shape up when we come back.


SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL, D—MISSOURI: For those of us that are in states that Trump won, we would really appreciate if she would be more careful and show respect to every American voter and not just the ones who voted for her.



MACCALLUM: So, President Obama is heading to Hollywood to fund raise for Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill. Steven Spielberg, and Jeffrey Katzenberg will be there too. McCaskill is in the fight of her life, her political life in her state. President Trump won the State of Missouri in 2016 by 19 points in that election. McCaskill's a long-time Hillary Clinton supporter and now is attempting to distance herself from Clinton to appeal to those more moderate voters in her home state. Watch this evolution.


MCCASKILL: We're going to call Hillary Clinton in January of 2016, one, two, three, madam president! All right. She is going to be who she is, which is one on one, warm, engaging, and is relatable as you could possibly imagine.

For those of us that are in states that Trump won, we would appreciate if she would be more careful and show respect to every American voter and not just the ones who voted for her.

MACCALLUM: Here now, a candidate who's running against her, Missouri's Attorney General, Josh Hawley. Good to see you, sir. Thank you very much for being here tonight. So, you've seen --


MACCALLUM: -- how she is defining herself at this point. She is also trying to define you as someone who is out of touch, someone who has spent more time on the coast than you have in Missouri, that you graduated from Stanford and Yale. She says, you're Mitch McConnell's guy and that you're just not a hometown Missouri guy. What do you say to that?

HAWLEY: I'd say that that's a lot of hot air coming from somebody who's about to fly right over the state of Missouri in her private plane to do a Beverly Hills fundraiser with Barack Obama. You know, I'm proud of the fact, whatever Hillary and Senator McCaskill say about the middle part of this country, I'm proud to be from Missouri, I'm proud to be from a small town in Missouri. I'm proud to stand up for the middle class in our state and for -- and to speak for those who were suffering. I mean, the truth is we have a crisis, Martha, of the middle class in our country, we've got a crisis in the state of Missouri. Claire McCaskill has done nothing to help the workers in my state, to help families in my state, she has been with the elite in D.C., and Hollywood, and Wall Street and her actions show it.

MACCALLUM: What do you think she's most vulnerable on in terms of policy? The vote on tax reform, you know, all of these areas, she wants to know where you stand on DACA. I mean, these are the issues is going to come down to if, indeed, you win your primary.

HAWLEY: Yes, indeed. Well, I mean, the tax relief bill is a great example. Senator McCaskill has voted to raise taxes on working Missourians over 200 times, yet she couldn't find it to vote one time for tax relief for working families. She voted to sack the courts with left-wing ideologues, she voted no on just as Neil Gorsuch, she voted no on rolling back regulations that are choking our family farms and family businesses in Missouri like the waters of the United States rule. So, here's the scorecard on Claire McCaskill. She is with the Democrats and the party lines every time, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So, you know, just going through some of the Missouri papers and editorials, one of the biggest issues that is going to be, perhaps, tricky for you is your connection to the Governor Greitens, who obviously has had a scandal that has been besieging him, he is going to trial in May for that scandal. As attorney general, you investigated a couple of the elements of that and you continue to investigate a couple more. What about the, you know, suggestions that you need to distance herself more from him and that you may have soft peddled as some say the early part of that investigation?

HAWLEY: Look, I've soft peddled nothing, I take my responsibilities as Missouri's chief law enforcement officer very seriously. We do have an active investigation underway as you allude to. This is bad for the state, Martha, there's no way around it. But look, Claire McCaskill is going to have no success in changing the subject to anything other than her atrocious record which has abandoned the people of Missouri and the workers of Missouri.

MACCALLUM: Well, let me just as you a quick question because I'm almost out of time, but have you subpoenaed the governor? I know you've put up 15 subpoenas. Is he individually subpoenaed in that?

HAWLEY: Well, I better not say, Martha, exactly who we have subpoenaed other than this. That we will subpoena any one of everyone who is relevant to this investigation, and we will not stop until we get all of the facts. And we will not be put off by any invocation of executive privilege or anything else. We will get the facts.

MACCALLUM: Do you think he should step down?

HAWLEY: Well, you know look, I think this is a tough situation for the state. I think the gravity of this is very, very plain. I don't want to say anything that would compromise in any way my investigation, which is ongoing or the other law enforcement activities, but the situation is very grave.

MACCALLUM: All right, very nice to talk to you, Attorney General Hawley from Missouri. It is going to be a very interesting race to watch. Thank you, sir. Thanks for making time for The Story tonight.

HAWLEY: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Also, we should mention that Senator McCaskill has an open invitation to come on and talk about her side of this campaign, and we hope that she'll joins us here to do just that. But we did also invite Chris Stirewalt.


CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLITICAL EDITOR: I am not running. You will not lasso me into this.

MACCALLUM: Chris, good to see you tonight. You know your thoughts on what we just said out here, and this is a race that everybody is going to watching in this country.

STIREWALT: It would be tough to say today whether Senator Joe Donnelly in Indiana or Claire McCaskill was the most vulnerable in the Democrats in the United States Senate, but boy, she is sure of the running. It is a very tough position she finds herself in. This is a state that has only gotten more Republican since she has been in office.

She caught an enormously lucky break the last time with a garbage candidate that the Republicans put up against her.


STIREWALT: Double woof. So she caught this huge break last time. Hawley is not -- he is learning as he goes to a certain degree, you can see that he is trying to figure out -- he's a very conservative Republican, and he's trying to figure out how to be more populous Republican in the Trump era. But maybe the best thing he has going for him is that he has a united party behind him, that the President is behind him.

He does not have the problem that other Republican front runners in other states have, where he's facing some sort of a savage primary. He's got a clear shot at this. Republicans are going to pour money in, and you know why not? If there is one race in the country that Republicans can look to as their hope for holding onto the Senate, they can flip that one. They stand a much better chance.

MACCALLUM: She's clearly vulnerable on tax reform. It is an idea that Democrats told across the country is going to be horrible for them, and so far, it hasn't turned out that way.

STIREWALT: I would say this. Her greatest -- it is not a coincidence that Republicans are pushing so hard on her support for Hillary Clinton. Her greatest vulnerability in the tax cut, it is probably the fact that she was a rah-rah sis kumbah cheerleader for Hillary Clinton, not just in the last go around, but in 2008. She's on tape, on the record big, big, big.

MACCALLUM: Not anymore though, Chris. You heard her. Just be nicer to the Trump voters in her state. Good to see you, pleasure as always. Thank you, Chris. Good to see you tonight.

So tonight, a devastating setback for the parents of Tim Piazza in the Penn State hazing case, plus this week, we brought you the dramatic story of Matthew Schreier's escape from Al Qaeda, now the wife of another American being held in Iran is appealing to the Trump administration for their help. They are just two of hundreds of Americans that you never hear about who are taken hostage every year.

Tonight, in a 'Story' exclusive, we will hear from a mom who has made it her personal mission to help people like them after her son Jim was murdered by ISIS terrorists, Diane Foley joins me next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe the front lines are important. Without these photos, videos, and personal experience, you can't really tell the world how bad it might be.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Piazza's believe that punishment is important, but deterrence is more important.


MACCALLUM: The Piazza family attorney who you've seen here on 'The Story' remains hopeful, despite a judge's decision today to dismiss the most serious charges against the Penn State fraternity brothers charged in their son's death, 19-year-old Timothy died in February 2017 after a brutal night of hazing and heavy drinking.

He fell several times down the stairs and received a little help in terms of anyone calling for help. His brothers at the fraternity spent hours doing nothing essentially. So now some of the former Beta Phi fraternity members are still going to face charges. Conspiracy to commit hazing, alcohol violations, but the most serious, involuntary manslaughter is now off the table.

And tonight, an urgent appeal for help from a wife whose husband is being held in Iran, Xiyue Wang was arrested in August of 2016. He was doing research for his doctorates degree. Iran claimed he was spying. His wife is pushing for his release to be part of any renegotiations of the Iran nuclear deal.


QU HUA, WIFE OF XIYUE WANG: I fear more and more for his safety, and I would like to ask for help from Mr. President. Mr. President, please help us, please save our family.


MACCALLUM: Our next guest knows all too well the pain that that woman is going through when you have a loved one who is being held far away from home. In 2012, her son, journalist Jim Foley was kidnapped in Syria. Nearly two years later, he was murdered by ISIS terrorists. His death broadcast for the world to see. In the years since, his family has turned that personal tragedy into a mission to help others like him.

Diane Foley, it is great to have you here. There is a picture of your beautiful family, who I know have stuck together in such an important way throughout the course of this. But you know it is amazing, there are hundreds of Americans who are in these situations, right.

DIANE FOLEY, JAMES FOLEY'S MOTHER: And in addition, there are hundreds, perhaps even more detainees who are held by recognized governments. The hostages are more considered taken by non-state actors, like terrorist groups, piracy.

MACCALLUM: What's harder to get help with, detainees or hostages?

FOLEY: Oh, believe me. They're all very difficult, very complex, very complicated. We were very challenged when we were in that situation, Martha. So my heart goes out to the Wang family, to the many others, Austin Twist, Levinson. There are many families who have been waiting a long time.

MACCALLUM: You know looking back at your words when Jim was being held and you were turning to the government for some kind of help, you said, I think our efforts to get Jim freed were an annoyance to the United States government. It didn't seem to be in U.S. strategic interests at all.

FOLEY: Well, that was true. I think part of the problem was there was no one whose job it was to help us. You know we were -- our case was on everybody's list, but it was no one's mission to help. So after six Americans were killed in 2014 and 2015, the National Counterterrorism Center was charged with doing a review about how our country handles hostages. So I am happy to report that now, things have improved, at least for a certain group of hostages, those that are taken by terrorists or pirate groups or have non state actors.

MACCALLUM: Tell me how does this feel different from the Obama administration to the Trump administration, because you started this journey in the Obama administration? How has it changed?

FOLEY: Well, the Trump administration is -- seems to consider this much more of a priority. So I am incredibly hopeful about that. This administration is more willing to actually hear our voice. They've continued all that was established in 2015 after that review. So we now have an interagency fusion style that helps strategize and engage with families so they don't feel totally alone.

We have a special envoy office. Unfortunately, the envoy's position is still vacant, but it still exists, which is important for the diplomatic efforts. So I applaud the Trump administration.

MACCALLUM: When you heard that Jim was taken, did you think oh well, a SEAL Team is going to sweep and someone was going to get him out of there.

FOLEY: Well, we realized that was not going to happen pretty quickly, you know. Yeah, but I was surprised that it was so low a priority. That was the part that was so appalling, really, and I just couldn't believe it. However, the good thing is after our experience, there was a realization that we have to do better, and I am so grateful for that.

MACCALLUM: You've spoken out so forcefully and I think you have become such a source of strength to so many people who are going through this. And you talked about Jim's faith and the fact that while he was being held, when most people think would lose their faith, his increased.

FOLEY: I am so grateful for that, Martha, because that gave him the strength to endure, and to know that he could make it through, and he had to remember he was loved and remember we were doing all we could do. So I am incredibly grateful for that that.

MACCALLUM: And what's your message to families who may not have reached out to anyone, but who are in the shadows of these hundreds of people.

FOLEY: Well, the Foley Foundation is doing confidential review. We are inviting any former hostages or detainees or families thereof to contact the Foley Foundation and let us hear their voice. Everything will be kept totally confidential. We just want to see how the Foley Foundation can help more, but also to inform the government of what they're doing right and what other needs there still are, Martha.

MACCALLUM: It's hard to imagine how frustrating, so much anguish you all endured and people are enduring out there who are going through these things. And I give you so much credit for being such a strong beacon.

FOLEY: It's a silent crisis, Martha. So thank you for hearing it.

MACCALLUM: Thank you so much, all the best to your family.

FOLEY: Thank you for your time.

MACCALLUM: We'll be right back with more of The Story.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't mean to imply that you're some right-wing jackass. I should have tried to understand why you voted the crazy the way that you did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I should have understood that you want the government to give everybody free healthcare because you're a good-hearted person who can't do simple math.


MACCALLUM: Does that sound familiar to anybody? Roseanne Barr is back, injecting her real-life support for President Trump in the ABC's Roseanne reboot. And the results are record-breaking actually. Last night's premiere drew a whopping 18.2 million viewers with a staggering 5.1 in the key 18 to 49 demo. Those numbers almost doubled the Will and Grace Reboot in September, a show known for giving President Trump a really hard time.

All this makes the Roseanne's premiere at the highest rated comedy episode on any network in almost four years. Trace Gallagher is live in our west coast newsroom with more on the return of Roseanne, hi, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Martha. Not since Archie Bunker's ardent support of Richard E. Nixon, his words not mine, has a sitcom character so fully embraced the GOP President, and it is no surprise that Roseanne Barr's support of Donald Trump would show up in the voice of her TV alter ego, Roseanne Connor. Barr made it clear that even after a 20 year hiatus, her show would strive for a realistic portrait of working- class America.

And the central theme of the first episode was that Roseanne and Aunt Jackie, played by Laurie Metcalf hadn't spoken since the 2016 election. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How could you have voted for him, Roseanne?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He talked about jobs, Jackie. He said he would shake things up. I mean this might come as a complete shock to you, but we almost lost our house the way things are going.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you looked at the news because now things are worse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not on the real news.



GALLAGHER: In real life, Roseanne Barr's political views over the years have been hard to pin down. She once sought the Green Party's nomination for the presidency and has been an equal opportunity basher of the Clintons, President Bush, and President Obama. Here she is last week on Jimmy Kimmel.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were a very liberal socially person in general.

ROSEANNE BARR, ACTRESS: I am still the same, you all moved. You all went so [bleep] far out. You lost everything.


GALLAGHER: Of course, late night host Jimmy Kimmel, who is prominently anti-Trump is part of the reason ABC and its parent company Disney have often been criticized for being too liberal and ignoring conservative viewpoints. But analysts say 18 million plus viewers are proof that politics from both sides of the aisle can be profitable. Watch again.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Jackie thinks girls should grow up and be president, even if they're are a liar, liar pantsuit on fire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we know who's a liar and who is on fire, Roseanne.


GALLAGHER: And of course, the White House has weighed in, Director of Social Media Dan Scavino tweeted his congratulations to Roseanne and the crew, saying, 'so awesome.' Martha.

MACCALLUM: Fascinating. Trace, thank you. So here now, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, also a Fox News Contributor, Governor, good to see you tonight. Interesting, right, what you make of all of this?

MIKE HUCKABEE, FBN CONTRIBUTOR: First of all, it is a nice start. I mean they at least have somebody on network television that actually voted for Donald Trump and who has -- carries the star of the show status. If they really, really want to go for diversity, let them do a show in which the real Trump voters are also portrayed. I am talking about evangelical voters, people who are pro-life, people who are pro-biblical marriage, people who are very family oriented.

But this was refreshing, just to see that there was at least somebody who wasn't portrayed as a complete nutcase who was sick and tired of getting run over by (Inaudible) leads. And it ought to be a wake-up call to the entertainment industry, but I doubt they'll still get it. We see so many signs, like the movie 'I Can Only Imagine' that busted all the box office at the time when other movies were not doing so well. Let's hope this is a trend. Who knows?

MACCALLUM: It is good business for one thing. You know it reminds me, because it pokes fun a little bit of both sides and leaves a little room for gentility in between. And do think it reminds a lot of families around America of the debates that they with their family and friends, and it reminded me of family. Watch this clip.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your country is sick.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, like the people who control it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, when you control some of it, I'll listen to your views. In the meantime, you can mail your opinions back to the cram room.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought they were supposed to fix everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is fixing me good. It is about time some politician spoke up for the little fellows. I also got a headache, meathead, and I don't need you.


MACCALLUM: Classic. It just makes you sit back and realize that so many shows hit you over the head with one ideology, and if you feel alienated by that, you're supposed to feel like you're the outcast.

HUCKABEE: But the greatest gift, and you and I were both laughing out loud when we're seeing that clip of 'All in the Family,' the greatest gift of the Roseanne's show is this, it is funny. The point is so many people today lack a sense of humor, and that's what we need so much in our culture our today so we can communicate and not be angry and mad at people all the time. That would go a long way.

MACCALLUM: You know people in Hollywood who speak out about this kind of thing and you know want to give people across the country a voice, they get shut down a lot. Here's Ashton Kutcher, though, talking about his show, the Ranch.


ASHTON KUTCHER, THE RANCH, ACTOR: I was looking on TV and there was nothing that represented the way that I grew up in the middle of the country, slightly conservative values, hard work, dust, and shaken up. And so we built the show around that idea that there is a misunderstanding of what the middle of America represents and what those values actually are.


MACCALLUM: When someone like him stands up on Good Morning America and says that, do you think this can get any traction?

HUCKABEE: I hope so. I mean we miss the shows like Little House on the Prairie and Touched by An Angel, who portrayed things like faith and family in a positive light where people who are true people of faith were not considered just nut cases.

MACCALLUM: We have Melissa Francis here so we got a little piece of Little House on the Prairie on Fox. Thank you, good to see you tonight, Governor.

Quick break here on The Story and we will be right back. Thanks to Governor Huckabee.


MACCALLUM: So the quote of the night from Roseanne, the woman who also brought you a Star-Spangled Banner that will go down in history, but she says remember this, you can always get better. Nobody can stop you from getting better, and nobody can stop you from trying to make something right. That's our story for tonight. We'll see back here tomorrow night. Tucker Carlson up next.

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