Marc Thiessen on decertifying the Iran nuclear agreement

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," April 24, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Looks pretty nice. Thank you, Bret, as you say. Breaking tonight, a big first is about to happen live at the White House in just a moment. The president and the First Lady Melania Trump will welcome President and Mrs. Macron to the White House state dinner. Everybody lined up and ready to go. We expect this to get underway, literally, any moment. The very first state dinner hosted by the Trumps today. We watch in real time, historic foreign policy maneuvering between France and the United States, as President Trump appears to have succeed in cracking open the Iran deal that he has railed against. Here's what the French president said that got everybody's attention on that. Watch.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): We therefore wish from now on to work on a new deal. I therefore would like us to commit to that effect in the weeks or months to come.


MACCALLUM: Saying he would work on a "new deal." The president gave a bit on his part in pulling our troops out of Syria. Here's a look at his past and present on this issue. Listen carefully here.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're knocking the hell out of ISIS. We'll be coming out of Syria like very soon. Let the other people take care of it now. We'll see what happens. But we're going to be coming home relatively soon.


MACCALLUM: Note the new phrase there, "relatively soon." What does that mean exactly? General Jack Keane, Marc Theissen, and former Obama State Department Diplomat Y.J. Fischer here on that in a moment. But first, while so many are mired in cabinet politics and investigation, it is hard to imagine anything that is more pressing than the nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea, and the instilled instability in Syria which puts the U.S. at odds with Russia in the Middle East. That is what our two countries, France and the United States, are discussing here at the White House over the past couple of days. The stakes are enormous. Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry live at the White House to break it all down tonight. Hi, Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Martha, good to see you. You're right, the stakes cannot be any higher for these two leaders because you have the fact that Iran's foreign minister warned on Sunday: if the U.S. pulls out of the nuclear deal, Iran will speed up its nuclear activities. But what President Trump's critics don't seem to realize is that there appears to be sort of an emerging pattern here with this negotiating strategy that may actually be working. Remember, when the president amped up the rhetoric on North Korea and warned on "fire and fury", his critics charged he was bringing America to the brink of nuclear war. Yet, Kim Jong Un is now coming to the table announcing he's freezing nuclear and missile testing.

Now, there may also, as you suggested, be the makings of a breakthrough on Iran from today's talks. The president, again, talking tough, declaring the 2015 nuclear deal is insane and he wants to scrap it. Adding, if Iran restarts its nuclear program "you can mark it down, they'll have bigger problems than they've ever had before." Well, French President Emmanuel Macron still supports the original deal; he unveiled what seems like a compromise today as President Trump faces his May 12th deadline on whether to again waive sanctions against Iran or just get out of the deal altogether. Macron saying, he wants to address his counterparts concerns by building on the 2015 agreement instead of throwing it out. Listen.


TRUMP: This is a deal with decayed foundations. It's a bad deal, it's a bad structure, it's falling down. If Iran threatens us in anyway, they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's about building a stable framework that will contribute to the stability. It's not about securing a policy agreement and have nothing, but it's about building something new that will cover all of our concerns.


HENRY: Now, these two men have built some rapport after working together, of course on the recent airstrikes in Syria. But there's also a split that we can't pave over about how long the U.S. will keep troops there. Trump saying, he wants to make big decisions in a very short period of time, while Mr. Macron wants that stretched out. Remember, though, on Iran, the president's critics have suggested there's only two options: either keep the Obama deal or scrap it altogether. The significance today, Macron seems to be opening the door to a third way, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely. Ed, thank you very much. We're watching as you see the red carpet rolled out at the White House. So, as we watch all of this, we're going to go back and forth here with the live events unfolding at the White House. I want to bring in General Jack Keane, Fox News Senior Strategic Analyst and Chairman of the Institute for the Study of War. General, good to see you tonight. Obviously, as we mentioned in the opening of the show, the stakes are huge here and these are two of the most important players in the future of the nuclear status of North Korea and Iran.

GEN. JACK KEANE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL SENIOR STRATEGIC ANALYST: Yes, most definitely. Let me just go back over what I think is really, really happening here when it comes to the Iran nuclear deal. Macron and the president both do not like the deal. Both of them are wanting to fix it with a supplemental -- that'd be the three European countries and the United States. And they both make the assumption if they were able to do that, the Iranians would stay in the deal, mostly for economic reasons. However, if they couldn't get the supplemental, Macron wants to stay in the deal anyway despite its imperfections. The president will mix it and he would no longer waive sanctions come May 12 or some other day if he drags it out a little bit longer. What they've been working on for weeks now is the fact that the United States diplomat and Europeans have been working on this supplemental.

And there's three things that they're dealing with -- two of which they agree on: one is prohibition on ballistic missile testing; two is access to the secret military sites for full inspections. Both of those are not in the deal presently. We have agreement on those two. What we don't have agreement in, is on the sunset clauses which permits Iran in ten years, 2015 -- I mean, excuse me, 2025 to get to a nuclear threshold and then five years later, a pathway to a nuclear weapon. The three European countries do not agree with us that we want to extend that clause indefinitely. We want to remove the sunset nature of that clause. So, that's kind of where we stand right now. I'm hoping that Director Pompeo gets confirmed quickly and he can put his weight into these negotiations with our three European allies to see if we can fix it. If not, for sure, then we're heading for a termination.

MACCALLUM: Jack, we're turning to North Korea for a moment. Here's President Trump on the issue of denuclearization. Watch from today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe in complete denuclearization? What does that mean exactly?

TRUMP: It means they get rid of their nukes. Very simple. They get rid of their nukes and nobody else would say.


MACCALLUM: The presidents of today, General Keane, that basically we have made no concessions so far in advance of this meeting and that the North Koreans have made many. What's your take?

KEANE: Well, I think he's absolutely right. First of all, this does feel a little different to me because of the number of concessions that the North Koreans have made, and the sort of diplomatic blitz that they've been on ever since the Olympics in setting up the talk with the Moon and setting up the talk with President Trump. All that said, they have always used these negotiations to take advantage of their position and to manipulate us, and primarily to ease up concession. Certainly, he's going to up -- easing up on concessions on the table. I know for a fact that the Trump team will not buy that unless they have absolute commitment and evidence that they're dismantling their nuclear program. So, we have a pretty firm position, certainly we will throttle back a little bit on that if that evidence is there. And also, we want our Americans out of North Korea, but that will not get us a deal. That's just sort of like step one in good faith in terms of negotiations.

MACCALLUM: All right. Well, we'll see. I know you feel strongly that Mike Pompeo should be approved and able to get to work on it. Thank you so much, general. Good to see you tonight.

KEANE: Yes, good talking to you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So, on the right-hand hand side of your screen, for the folks at home, the red carpet rolled out, we are waiting for the French president and his wife to arrive at the White House for the very first Trump state dinner. We saw some of the guests arriving earlier: Henry Kissinger, John Bolton, and their wives arrived. Ivanka Trump, we also saw walking in. We're going to keep you posted on some of those arrivals, which you can see in the bottom right hand corner of your screen there.

But while we're watching all of this pomp and circumstance, let's bring in Marc Thiessen, American Enterprise Institute Scholar and former Chief Speechwriter for President George W. Bush, also a Fox Contributor; and Y.J. Fischer, former State Department Policy Advisor to Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, and she helped implement the Iran deal. Y.J., let me start with you because during the course of the campaign, one of the things that Hillary Clinton was arguing was that President Trump wanted to rip up this Iran deal and she thought that was a huge mistake. And you're one of the people who helped do all of the lead up negotiations to make this deal happen and yet, you feel -- it sounds to me like you now agree with President Trump that he's right to want to make changes.

Y.J. FISCHER, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT POLICY ADVISOR TO HILLARY CLINTON AND JOHN KERRY: Well, I think it's really important to start by saying that the deal is working, right? The IIEA inspectors have said that multiple times. So, there's good reason to make sure that we preserve this deal because it's working. And I actually want to know one thing that General Keane was saying, I think it's also really important to understand what the deal actually covers, right? This issue about IIEA inspectors having access to military sites, they already do, right? The additional protocol already allows them to have access to all sites declared and undeclared, civilian or military. So, for those reasons, absolutely, we want to keep this deal, but, of course, it's always better to get more concessions from the Iranians. I absolutely would love to see the Iranians curtail their ballistic missiles program and I think that there is bigger deal to be had where they could curtail their ballistic missile weapons program in exchange for the U.S. relaxing its remaining sanctions.

MACCALLUM: Marc, you always hear the president talk about the billions that went over on the plane as part of this deal and he believes that they have continued their, you know, their leaning state-sponsored terrorism, that they have used that money that we gave them to keep doing that. He thinks this is a bad deal. What do you think on what we saw today and heard from the French president and President Trump?

MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE SCHOLAR: I think he's made some breakthroughs with the French president and it would be good if we can get French and Europeans on board to closing up some of the loopholes in this deal. You know, this deal is actually worse than the deal that Bill Clinton cut with the North Koreans in 1984, because back then, the North Koreans had to cheat on the deal in order to develop nuclear weapons. Here, the Iranians don't have to cheat because the deal it doesn't shut down any of their nuclear sites; it allows them to continue to do R and D on centrifuges and other end, and modernize their reactors, and it has no restrictions on ballistic missiles.

So, they just have to -- and it has the sunset clause in 10 to 15 years. So, they just have to keep chugging along as they are to develop their ballistic missiles. In 10 or 15 years, and they can break out as a nuclear power with missiles that can hit Israel and other places. But the other big flaw of the deal, Martha, is that this was supposed to be heralding a new era in our relations with Iran, it was supposed to change Iran's behavior. Look at Iran behavior around the world: they're funding terrorists across the world, they're continuing to hold American hostages, they just sent drones from Syria over Israeli territory, they're testing ballistic missiles that can reach Israel, they're funding Hezbollah army in Syria that is going to cause terror across the world, they're funding rebels in Yemen. I mean, if that's success, I don't know what failure is.

MACCALLUM: Yes, it's a great point. Y.J., what you think?

FISCHER: I think what's really interesting is that President Trump's fixation on tearing up the nuclear deal has actually distracted him from pushing back against Iran in the region, right? If President Trump and National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo actually wanted to push back on Iran. There is a set of steps that they would be taking, right? They would be cutting off Iran's air, sea, and land access to its proxies, which they used to send material and personal to their proxy. They'd be keeping Iranians from building up a presence on Israel's border. They would be reducing the IRGC's grip on the Iranian economy, which is a really important source of funding for IRGC. And yet, we don't see the administration doing any of that because they're solely fixated on ripping up the nuclear deal.

MACCALLUM: Mark, you're laughing, why?

THIESSEN: You just described -- yes, because you just described the Obama policy. Obama was so fixated on reaching this deal with the Iranians that he completely took his foot off the gas on all those things that she just described. They were bending over backwards in order to get this deal and turn a blind eye to the point that they sent over $150 billion in unmarked bills on a plane to Iran. So, the idea that Trump is distracted by the Iran deal, that's the Obama Iran policy described in a nutshell.

MACCALLUM: But I mean, you're both pointing out something that's wrong with the deal which is that it didn't have any impact on behavior, it allowed them to still act as a proxy in Yemen and in Syria. It didn't -- it was very isolated in terms of what it addressed, Y.J, and that's part of the problem that the president sees. You know, and Mark's saying that the deal that you helped constructed is exactly why we're in this box.

FISCHER: I think it's definitely true that this is a deal that only addresses the nuclear program, right? I'm not saying the Obama administration complemented it with an aggressive regional approach, and it's the regional approach that were missing from the Trump administration. I think one things that the Obama administration definitely recognize about the potential for the nuclear deal is that it had the ability to weaken the hardliner's grip within the country, right? And so, ripping up the deal would actually make Iran -- would actually embolden Iran quite significantly. But regardless, it absolutely needs to be complemented by a strong, regional approach and that's something we should all be asking the Trump administration to put forward.

MACCALLUM: Yes. Marc, I want to change gears for just a moment as we wait and watch this. It's about 14 minutes after the hour and the White House is going to get started with the dinner at 7:00. They're usually fairly punctual, but we're watching, maybe somebody is having a tough time getting ready for the evening. But I want to ask you about this Ronnie Jackson issue. The White House -- the president spoke with his personal doctor who he has proposed to head the V.A., which is really one of the most important, you know, fundamental things that he wanted to fix in his presidency. He talked so much on the campaign trail, about doing better by our veterans. So, he proposed Ronny Jackson -- Admiral Ronny Jackson for this position. Then, there was a lot of pushback today, they met in the oval office and the president came out of it essentially, the message came out that the he was going to stand by him. What do you think is going on behind all this?

THIESSEN: I think it's good that the president is standing behind Ronny Jackson. I've worked with Ronny Jackson in the White House. I know him. He's a good man and he's exactly the kind of person that we need at the V.A. right now. I mean, one of the problems we have -- everyone is going around saying, well, he doesn't have management experience. Well, you know what, the last two V.A. secretaries were managers. Shulkin was a hospital administrator, his predecessor was the CEO of Proctor and Gamble, and look at all the problems that the V.A. had under their leadership. Ronny Jackson -- what Ronny Jackson brings to the table is leadership. He's a Navy rear admiral who was a combat medic on the ground.

He was the guy who when the helicopter landed, with the guy who just been blown by IED, Rony Jackson is the guy who stuck his hands in his body and got blood all over his hands trying to save a guy's life and stabilize him. He understands the plight of our veterans in a way that no V.A. nominee ever has. And so, I think having Ronny Jackson, somebody there at the top, he can surround himself with all sorts of management expert, but you need a veteran who understands, who has seen the trauma that these people have experience on the battlefield who has treated these people, who has literally felt their blood on his hands in order to save their lives. That's the kind of leadership you need at the V.A., and I'm glad that Ronny -- according to the news reports, he's sticking in it, because he's exactly the right person to lead the Veterans Administration.

MACCALLUM: All right. The White House senior officials saying this: "he has never even been the subject of an inspector general review and he will certainly not be railroaded by a bitter ex-colleague who was removed from his job." It seems people are so quick sometimes to decide that someone has to go because something has come up in the process of vetting them. And we saw today, I think, you know, sort of an egregious example of people immediately piling on before there was even clarity on what these issues were. And Ronny Jackson himself said, he hadn't even seen the details behind some of the things that were being said about him. So, sometimes it is a good idea to pause and take a moment and consider a man who has had a very stellar career and probably deserves a very good, clear look and assessment.

THIESSEN: And he put his life on the line of our country.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely. Marc Thiessen, Y.G. Fischer, thank you very much. Good to see both of you tonight.

THIESSEN: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: All right. So, as we watch the red carpet this evening at the White House, I am joined now by the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker. Senator, good to have you with us this evening.


MACCALLUM: Thank you for being here as always. You know, your thoughts on -- you've been, obviously, you know, I mean, everyone says this when they talk to you, but it's fact, you've been critical of the president, you guys have had your ups and downs. When you look at what has been, at least appears to be opened up today: redoing the Iran deal, you're talking about sitting down with the leadership in North Korea. You know, you basically call this president rash and immature at times, but it looks like he is, you know, checking a lot of boxes in terms of foreign policy. You're the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. What do you think?

CORKER: Well, I talked to the president this morning right before he was getting ready to meet with Macron, and we talked about the hearing last night for Mike Pompeo. Look, I'm glad we're meeting with North Korea and I'm glad that Pompeo is the person to go over and meet. That's always been our back channel, is there are intelligence agency. So, I'm hopeful that something is going to come out of that. I don't know what the details were today about the Iran discussions. I know the big issue to the French, German, and U.K. leadership has been this whole sunset issue, which the president rightly has asked for, and that is to end the sunset provision.

So, they're not in the breakout place after 10 years. So, we'll see where it goes. I know that Merkel is coming in a little bit in just a few days. And so, between the two of them, we have shared with them that the president will leave the agreement on May 12th if a new framework agreement is not put in place. I believe that he will leave it and I'm hopeful that these leaders will understand that and come around with a framework agreement, that'll be a better situation for our country.

MACCALLUM: You know, the president sort of gestured over to President Macron today and said, you know, I know what I'm going to do, and he has a good idea of what I'm going to do. Do you think they were talking about leaving the deal?

CORKER: Sure. I mean, he's been very transparent about that. I met with him multiple times on this issue. He feels the same way about he did when he was campaigning. We've been working together over the last year, us and the National Security Council to try to figure out a way to overcome some of the deficiencies. But I really do believe that if the Europeans, the three countries don't come along with a better framework agreement, I believe he's going to leave the deal.

MACCALLUM: Yes, your thoughts on what happened last night? Your committee was doing the process of approving Mike Pompeo for his next position if he's approved by the full Senate as a secretary of state, and it looked pretty rocky. And some people, you know, questioned how you were running the whole thing. What do you have to say about that?

CORKER: Questioned how I was running the committee?

MACCALLUM: Yes, that it shouldn't been as difficult as it was perhaps. What's your response to that?

CORKER: It's an outstanding outcome, Martha. All week-long, people have been saying that he was going to move up the negative recommendation. And we ended up having a logistical issue with Johnny Isakson needing to be in Atlanta for a funeral where he gave the eulogy for his best friend, and we were able to get a Democrat to come over and vote present. So, there are some rules where you have to -- the people have to be there in person when they're the deciding vote. And so, I've heard nothing but just the opposite, so I don't know who you've been talking to. But it was an outstanding outcome.

MACCALLUM: Up until the final vote, it looked like it wasn't going to pass. And you know, I'm just, you know, looking at it from your perspectives as the leadership on the committee, you know, do you feel like it wasn't going to pass until Coons said, OK, I'll vote present? It sounds like there was, you know, a lot of last-minute wrangling.

CORKER: Well, there was, but were always going to vote him out. The question was: was he going to get a positive recommendation or a negative recommendation? We were able to work it in matter where it worked out very favorably.

MACCALLUM: Hold on for one second, we're just going to watch this for one second.




MACCALLUM: So, there you have it. A great presidential tradition in the first state dinner of the Trump White House, everybody looking elegant heading into the east room for about 150 people. Often, they will include members of the other party, members of the media. This is not doing that this evening. We saw some of the dignitaries walking in earlier this evening, but it's generally a smart group and the whole thing has been helmed and overseen by First Lady Melania Trump. So, we watch as the military stand guard after the president and Mrs. Trump and the President of France and his wife walk in and the doors are about to close as they get underway for dinner.

So, Senator Bob Corker has been watching this with us this evening. And Senator Corker, as we take a look at this, I do want to ask you one more question because I had your fellow friend Marsha Blackburn on -- Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn on last night, and I know you guys have had a little bit of an awkward back-and-forth over support. I know you say you support her, you've given the maximum amount to the campaign, but your answer was less than enthusiastic on Sunday. You didn't even say her name when you talked about her. And here's what she said when I asked if she really would love to have your support.


REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN, R—TENN.: I have not talked with the senator and I am focused on making certain that we win this election in November. I would love to have Senator Corker's support and the support of every Tennessean.


MACCALLUM: But senator, what do you have to say to her tonight?

CORKER: Well, she knows -- Marsha knows she has my support and we've actually had a conversation about it, and you know, I sent the maximum contribution some time ago. I told people I plan to vote for her. All I've said is that the person running against her, the governor, is a friend and I don't plan to campaign against him, but I certainly plan to support her and I have supported her. And I don't know why this is even made a big deal. I mean, this is what is happening in Florida, Pennsylvania, and races all across our country where people have served together. They're supporting the person of their party as I am with Marsha Blackburn. But they're saying nice things about the other person.

And last night, you saw a Democratic senator stepped across the aisle and do something that was great for our country and called Mike Pompeo an outstanding nominee. To not have the light on his name of coming into the senate possibly with a negative recommendation, but a positive recommendation, and part of that is because of the way I deal with people on the committee, how I deal with people all across our state, trying to bring out the best in them. But I am supporting Marsha Blackburn, you know that, everyone else knows that, and I just continue to not understand why it's such a partisan atmosphere that if I were to say something nice about somebody I've worked with for 23 years, a Democratic governor who is a mayor who I've worked with for all this time, for me to say something nice about that person while at the same time saying I'm fully supporting Marsha Blackburn, somehow or another in this world, that is problematic. I don't get it.

MACCALLUM: I'm glad we give you a chance to clear that up, and I'm sure she'll be happy to hear your full support for her tonight. Senator, thank you very much. It's good to see you as always, thank you.

CORKER: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Fox News Alert, remember the caravan that is headed through Mexico, we are watching the progression at this hour because they have arrived. But the president and DHS is saying they will not be allowed across the border. The coming showdown, next.


MACCALLUM: This Fox News alert, moments ago, the caravan of Central American migrants has reached the United States border. It's been on the move really over the course of the last month, but tonight, it has arrived and that is sparking a lot of controversy as hundreds of people from Tijuana reportedly planning to seek asylum in the United States. It is happening despite President Trump's promise to deny them at the border.

The president and his team has been pushing back hard. The president tweeting in part, I have instructed secretary of Homeland Security, not to let these large caravans of people into our country. It is a disgrace, we are the only country in the world so naive wall.

His DHS chief, Kirsten Nielsen, writing quote, "If you enter the United States illegally, let me be clear, you have broken the law and we will enforce the law through prosecution of illegal border crossers." And that Attorney General Jeff Sessions did in quote, "This individuals and their smugglers ignored the willingness of a Mexican government to allow them to stay in Mexico."

Sessions went on to call it a quote, deliberate attempt to undermine our laws and overwhelm our systems. But that strong push is not settling so well with some. Mexico's former president said to Fox, load an editorial in Newsweek today, headline this, "The American dream is dead and Donald Trump killed it."

Here now, Enrique Acevedo, is an Univision News anchor. Enrique it is good to have you here this evening. What do you think will happen when there is a showdown potentially at the border? You've heard how serious all of the Trump administration is about not letting these 600 people roughly cross.

ENRIQUE ACEVEDO, UNIVISION NEWS ANCHOR: Thank you for having me, Martha. As you pointed out, the caravan was never going to cross into the U.S. from the beginning, the plan was to reach the border and request asylum and that is perfectly legal. Suggesting that this group of immigrants was going to drive across the border in mad max style. As the President did is simply not true. We're not facing a national security crisis. We are facing a humanitarian crisis.

MACCALLUM: I mean, one of the questions is why question is why, you know, why does Mexico allow all of these people to come through Central America to their country? And in some cases encourage them to keep going and cross the border. Instructing them about the best ways to seek asylum, does not seem right, you given the fact that Mexico turns back tens of thousands of people and has a very strict border laws?

ACEVEDO: Like you say, Mexico is working on enforcing its immigration law on the south portion of its border. But I think, they are probably bobbly curing the United States and it needs to recognize that the largest factor driving undocumented immigrants into the country, it's not a week, unprotected border. These immigrants are very aware of the dangers they face and still, they choose to risk their lives to provide a better future for their families. We used to call that the American dream and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions call said, an even intense overwhelm legal system.

MACCALLUM: So you're confident that none of these people are going to try to cross the border?

ACEVEDO: Well, they said that their intention is to reach the border and then request asylum. They are mostly women and young children, they are fleeing violence in their home countries, violence through in large part by drug consumption here in the U.S.

MACCALLUM: I think the Americans are very sympathetic to their plight, it's a question of legal immigration and illegal immigration.

ACEVEDO: Of course.

MACCALLUM: I want to put a former quote by Vicente Fox who said in 2000, they were over 1.6 million arrest and in 2107 only 300,000. See Donald, fewer and fewer Mexicans and Latinos want to go to your country. The American dream is dead, you have killed it. And yet, you know, I guess, the question is why isn't Mexico more welcoming? Why is it Mexico providing an economy and a safe environment that these people who come across your southern border wouldn't want to go there and stay there?

ACEVEDO: Well, we're trying to use Mexico as a point of reference to what we should do in the U.S. I think we are using the wrong example. I don't think we want to compare any of our, you know, decisions to why it is taking place in Mexico, because Mexico treats those immigrants in the most horrible way. And we have criticize that and we pointed that out through history. I think we have to look at our own history on the way we treated immigrants in the past, Martha. And this is not consistent with that. If we turn our backs on these people and we keep using them as scapegoats, we are abandoning the physicals that make this country great.

MACCALLUM: But there are people from -- there were people from all over the world, there are people from Eastern Europe, there are people who want to come to this country and they have to go through a process in order to do it. And they are very upset that they have to go through the process and yet, coming across the southern border is supposed to be a different set of rules. What would you say to them?

ACEVEDO: Well, I went through that process, so I'm part of that group of people who died in line and requested to come into this country legally. And these are also people who are trying to do that. Like, I said in the beginning, they are trying to reach the border and request asylum and that is perfectly legal.

MACCALLUM: Enrique, thank you very much.

ACEVEDO: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Good to have you here tonight. We'll watch what happens in this border situation which could be heating up. Good to see you tonight.

So there are new reports that Nancy Pelosi's leadership position may be in jeopardy. No matter the results of the upcoming midterms, but that did not stop her from going after Republicans during an event today at Georgetown University which we watched very closely. Mo Elleithee, is the host of it and he is here next.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: I say to my colleagues, you pray in church on Sunday and then you pray on people the rest of the week. What is this?


MACCALLUM: So Nancy Pelosi's political future could be in jeopardy as Congressman Jim Clyburn warns that if Democrats are not able to win the House in November, he basically said the entire old guard of leadership must go. At a town hall event today at Georgetown University, she ran into some skeptical college students including one who challenged her now infamous comment about crumbs from the GOP tax cuts.


PELOSI: In terms of the bonus that corporate America received versus the crumbs that they are giving to workers to kind of schmooze on is so pathetic. It's so pathetic.


MACCALLUM: Correspondent, Kristin Fisher, live in Washington with the latest on the leadership crisis that Democrats may be facing. Hi, Kristin, good evening.

KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Martha. Well, today Congresswoman, Nancy Pelosi said, that if Democrats, win the House this November, their top priority will be preventing gun violence, improving infrastructure and protecting dreamers. But one undocumented student told her that that is not soon enough.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many more letters we have to write, how many more phone calls we have to make, how many more dreamers have to come to D.C. to visit members of Congress?

PELOSI: On Easter Sunday, no more DACA. Why would he do as the President of United States on an Easter Sunday, no more DACA? What is that about? It's about people, human beings. All god's children. They go to church on Sunday, a lot of these people who are so anti and I say to them, I say to my colleagues who pray in church on Sunday and then you pray on people the rest of the week. What is this?


FISHER: Another student confronted the House Minority Leader over her infamous crumbs comment which she referred to the GOP tax cuts as crumbs for the middle class.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Specifically referring to the effects on average Americans as crumbs, as a small business owner, I know that it's helped my parents hire more employees, help us pay off our mortgage, help with me through college. Would you still refer to the effects of this tax plan on average Americans as crumbs?

PELOSI: Yes there are some benefits that some deal in a particular way with the tax bill. My question -- my statement was really a fuller statement that said while they provide a banquet for the top 1 percent, they are getting some crumbs to other people.


FISHER: Now the reaction to the congresswoman on campus was unsurprisingly mixed. The young Democrats in the room mostly support her answer while the young Republicans walked away underwhelmed.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My initial reaction to leader Pelosi's speaking was, she kind of continued to exclude young Republicans in every way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The truth is thousands of dollars are only crumbs to a person like speaker Pelosi, may be folks in her San Francisco district, but as a small business owner and working families all across the country, and those who are being hired by small business owners, they're not crumbs. They are the whole loaf of bread, what you take home and feed your family with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have never been more sure that I was a Republican until after I heard her speak.


FISHER: One thing that the congresswoman was not asked about was something her number two, Congressman Jim Clyburn said his comments last weekend, when he said, pointblank that all of us have to go, meaning all of the Democratic leadership has to go including Pelosi, if Democrats do not regain control of the House this November, but even if they do win, she still may not be speaker. She is facing mounting opposition from Democrats saying she is been in charge for too long for 15 years and it is time for change, Martha?

MACCALLUM: Really interesting, Kristin, thank you so much. Joining me now with more of the host of today's Georgetown town hall event, with leader Pelosi, Mo Elleithee, good to see you tonight. You know it is interesting that the crumbs issue and the tax cut, because it does cross a lot of party line. Do you think that Democrats feel that maybe they made a mistake and not making that a more bipartisan effort?

MO ELLEITHEE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF POLITICS: Look, I think, you know, if you go back and listen to the whole answer that she gave today, I think she actually kind of went out of her way to say there are some people and there are some ways that this thing helped, but the predominance of the benefits is going to the top 1 percent, that is not to say other people aren't getting some benefits, but the macro level is helping the top more than the bottom and it was interesting. Look, what we tried to get out of this today was, what is the Democratic Party's value? What is the message to young people?

MACCALLUM: And what was it? What you say?

ELLEITHEE: It is interesting, we asked Speaker Ryan the same question when he came to a similar event with us. They both went to opportunity, but they went out form different ways. Speaker Ryan, and the Republicans went toward individual freedom as a means toward opportunity.

Or as today, leader Pelosi kept coming back and back to the same issue of justice and economic security. So, to me, that is a really interesting juxtaposition that actually makes for a fascinating debate heading into a midterm year, if we can get past all the other stuff that seems to be crowding that debate out of the picture.

MACCALLUM: No, it is fascinating and I love that there was a diversity of thought among the students at this today and to hear both sides of what they thought, I think if everyone went to college with a real understanding of the difference between, what it means to be a conservative and what it means to be a liberal and what both sides represent, that is a good education. Well, thank you -- yes.

ELLEITHEE: One last thing, such a respectful dialogue even between the students who disagreed with her, such a respectful dialogue.

MACCALLUM: It is great to see and you know what, kudos to you Mo, for fostering that at Georgetown with these events, so thank you very much.

ELLEITHEE: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Good to see you tonight. Speaking of all that, Bernie Sanders has a new plan to slow down unemployment. He wants to guarantee every single American a job working for the government. So what would that cost and what it actually work to get us to zero unemployment? Charlie Hurt and Adrienne Elrod debate next.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, D—VERMONT: We need to rebuild our prominently infrastructure and when we do that, under my plan, we create 13 million decent paying jobs.



MACCALLUM: About Senator Bernie Sanders promised millions of new jobs on the campaign trail, now he wants to use our tax dollars to make the Federal Government guarantee a job paying $15 an hour plus health benefits to any American who wants one. But one small problem, he can't say how much that would cost. Senator joins a wave of Democrats pushing guaranteed jobs and universal basic income.

So is this the future or perhaps is it a Democratic pipedream? I guess we will find out in the election. Joining me now, Charlie Hurt, political columnist of "The Washington Times" and Fox News contributor and Adrianne Elrod, a Democratic strategist and former strategic communications director for Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign.

So, Charlie, let me start with you. I guess, you know, Bernie Sanders is essentially a socialist, so it's not all that surprising that he believes that we should use people's tax dollars or increase their taxes to make sure that the government can pay everybody to work.

CHARLIE HURT, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It really is amazing, Martha and when you read the reports of this plan, we haven't seen the actual plan, but when you read it, it almost -- I thought it was from the onion or something, it's so comical, because of course -- these sorts of things have been tried and they failed. You know, these are more false promises from politicians who had been in Washington far too long.

Bernie -- as you say, Bernie Sanders has been here for nearly 30 years pushing this socialist agenda. And he is absolutely failed at all of it. And the idea -- one of the few accomplishments he can refer to is the reform of the Veteran Affairs Administration, and that was five years ago.

And anybody in America who thinks that the Veteran Affairs Administration is working well, can get behind Bernie on this. But the notion that somehow, you fail at all of this and you are going to get -- you want more money and more power to do more harm, it's just preposterous.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I remember Adrienne, when I was in college, I went on a tour in the Soviet Union and the tour guide told us that everyone had a job and that everyone had a job. I figured out how that worked, because we stayed in a hotel and on every floor of the hotel, there were two hall ladies, they were called and they sat in a chair, literally and just watched people go by. Is that what Bernie Sanders is suggesting here?

ADRIENNE ELROD, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Here's what I think, I think I smell a Democratic primary going into 2020 on the horizon. You have Bernie Sanders that -- who presented this bill, you've got presidential candidate for President Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, others who are supporting their own job plan. So, you know, I think, I don't think anybody really thinks this type of plan is going to pass.

MACCALLUM: But we are at 4 percent, we are at 4 percent unemployment. You know, economist say that full employment is 5 percent, so we are already below that. Is this really, you know, what they want to tackle?

ELROD: Well, look again, this is Bernie Sanders who presented this plan, I don't think it is something that is universally supported by the full Democratic Party, but I think, as we get closer to 2020, as we get closer to the primary season pass the midterm, going into the Presidential election, you will see more and more Democrats, they are looking to fight for that progressive piece of the pie in the primaries.

MACCALLUM: Well, you know, here's what the Gallup Poll says, Charlie, on basic income, do you support or not support, 52 percent so they don't support it, then they asked people the more important question, perhaps, are you willing to pay higher taxes? So that everybody gets the basic income. 54 percent said no, absolutely not.

HURT: Exactly, you know, I think that is wonderful that Bernie Sanders is in now support of work, I think that is a good thing. But if he supports work, why doesn't he support lowering the income tax on people who currently work for a living? That would be a great step in the right direction. But going back to your time in the Soviet Union, can you imagine the quality of life that those hall monitors had in the Soviet Union? It was dreadful.

MACCALLUM: Not great. Not great. Thank you guys, great to see you both.

ELROD: Thanks Martha.

MACCALLUM: You too. Quick break, more Story, when we come right back.


MACCALLUM: President George H.W. Bush remains hospitalized in Houston, Texas, tonight. But a family spokesman says the 93-year-old is responding to treatment and appears to be recovering. He was admitted to the hospital Sunday for a blood infection that was one day after the funeral for his wife Barbara, his partner in life for 73 years. The former President once said that marriage is the process of two people becoming one. As they surely were.

A spokesman for Mr. Bush says he wants to go to Maine this summer and he is the most goal oriented person on the planet, so we are not counting him out. We expect to see him in Maine over the summer. We will see back here tomorrow night. Tucker Carlson is up next.

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