Former Clinton adviser slams collusion investigation

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

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: I am, I am. We are looking forward to that. Bret, thank you so much. So, there are some stunning scenes that we are all absorbing. Look at this. Talk about a love week, right? Kim Jong-un and President Moon hopping over the concrete divider. Brand new details on President Trump's plans now for the next move in this high- stakes game of global chess.

But, first tonight, breaking here, the Mueller probe draws ire from a prominent Democrat. Mark Penn, a long-time Clinton advisor and supporter writes this: "the best way to end all this, is not to fire Mueller or Rosenstein or wait for them to wrap it up, but to challenge this entire process in court as irretrievably tainted." Penn would find agreement from the House Intel Committee and the president.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We were honored. It was a great report. No collusion, which I knew anyway. No coordination. No nothing. It's a witch-hunt. As I have said many times before, I've always said there was no collusion. But I've also said there has been nobody tougher on Russia than me.


MACCALLUM: So, in moments, we will hear from Mark Penn on this fascinating editorial that he wrote. But first, Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry live in Washington with the very latest on all of this from there tonight. Hi, Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Martha, great to see you. President Trump wrapping his arms around this Republican finding to again declare today that all of these Russia investigations are a hoax. In his words, he wants them to end. Though, there are no signs that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe is wrapping up any time soon. Nonetheless, the president feels ahead of steam as you heard there. Because this report, of over more than 250 pages, by Chairman Devin Nunes and other Republicans on the House Intel panel asserts they "found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated or conspired with the Russian government. Though the panel did "find poor judgment and ill-considered actions by the Trump and Clinton campaigns."

On that point, about Hillary Clinton, it was her campaign and the DNC that used intermediaries to hide their roles in paying for the anti-Trump opposition research from Russian sources that became the Steele dossier. None of those facts though stopped Democrat Adam Schiff today from insisting there has been a panel of what he called deception from Team Trump about their contacts with Russians that, in his words, suggest, "wrongfulness, if not, illegality". The type of broad attack that has led Republicans like Trey Gowdy to call out Schiff for not delivering on alleged collusion. Watch.


REP. TREY GOWDY, R-SOUTH CAROLINA: I think Adam Schiff in March of 2017 said, he had evidence, more than circumstantial but not direct and, oh, by the way, there is no body of evidence that's more than circumstantial but not direct. But he said he had it of collusion. And we've been waiting for over a year now for him to actually produce that evidence.

TRUMP: It was totally conclusive, strong, powerful. Many things said that nobody knew about and said in a very strong way. They were very forceful in saying that the Clinton campaign actually did contribute to Russia.


TRUMP: Now, Republicans also suggesting former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had a role in leaking the anti-Trump dossier, declaring that Clapper, now a paid CNN Contributor provided "inconsistent testimony to the Intel Committee about his contacts with the media, including CNN." And that a news conference with the German chancellor today, the president offered a new line of attack on the Russia probe saying he called Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson today, told him he's an American hero for exposing how nasty the swamp can be with anonymous allegations that, in his case, sunk the cabinet post. The president saying the same things happened to him with what he called the Russian collusion hoax. Martha?

MACCALLUM: Ed, thank you very much. Joining me now, Mark Penn, former Advisor to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Mark, good to see you this evening. Thank you for being here. You heard from Adam Schiff, Democrats clearly believe that there is a major issue here with Russia. But you feel, based on what you've seen so far, that these are what you call in your piece fruits of a poisonous tree. Explain.

MARK PENN, FORMER ADVISOR TO BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON: Well, look, I spent a year fighting Ken Starr and I think any reasonable person looking at what happened here says this investigation had no foundation and whatever foundation it had was not only wrong but corrupt. I think Christopher Steele was part of the FBI when he leaked, lied, and then was fired. Page and Strzok are clearly biased. The head of the FBI was clearly biased. The head of the CIA appeared to be doing illegal leaks as well. This whole thing was corrupt. There is a doctrine called the fruits of the poisonous tree, that says when investigations get started like this, when searches and seizures are done on this basis, they should be thrown out. I think that's probably the best way to stop this thing because, otherwise, we're going all the way to the end and I don't think we should waste another year here.

MACCALLUM: So, one of the things that many points to when they say that, you know, they look at the origins of this. If they don't see it in the Carter Page category, they see it in the discussion that Papadopoulos had, and you feel like that's a pretty tenuous limb to hang this fruit on, so to speak?

PENN: Well, look, Devin Nunes says there was no official intelligence, and he's now looking at the State Department. That suggests what happens here is that one of Hillary's aides, who I know well, but I'm not going to mention this, passed this onto the State Department from an Australian diplomat who helped fund the 25-million-dollar contribution to the Clinton foundation. Who is reporting a conversation that he had about a conversation that someone else had, who had (INAUDIBLE) professor who then had it supposedly with Russian agents which showed no collusion in the first place. Now, what nonsense is it to start the world's most significant investigation with all the resources of the government and the country on the basis, it's ludicrous.

MACCALLUM: So, you clearly think it's valid and it's the underpinning of this question. Bret Baier asked this last night to James Comey. You know, were you interested in knowing who was funding this research, this oppo research? And he said, you know, not really. I mean, did that strike you as odd, Mark?

PENN: Well, considering in a previous interview, he said that he -- I thought he said that he did not tell the president that it was funded by the DNC and Hillary. Implying, when he answered that question, that he knew it. I think when he got to the Bret Baier interview he was giving really, I think, a really ducking the questions in giving finances. Oh, he didn't know who it was paid for to this day. That just was not true. And if it was true, how could he have used this information to launch this investigation it's preposterous. And here is he out making million dollars of dollars off a book, for a few meetings -- I met with the Clintons over 400 times. I never wrote a kiss-and-tell book like this. It's ludicrous, it's profiteering. Who knows the validity of these stories?

MACCALLUM: So, you have an interesting tactic that you think the White House should initiate. And that is to say that this investigation is tainted and to take that to court.

PENN: Yes, look, I think they're on pure defense and they need some offense. And they can't fire Mueller. 70 percent -- nearly 70 percent of the people on the left Harvard CAPS Harris Poll say don't fire them. But they do believe there was bias. I think they should go prove say there is bias. This investigation has to be thrown out and they should get discovery of all of these things. They need an offense, not just defense.

MACCALLUM: Fascinating. Mark Penn, thank you very much. Great to have you here tonight.

PENN: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, dueling editorials this evening. My next guest is issuing a warning to President Trump over how he's handling this probe. In a new piece in the Wall Street Journal, Kim Strassel writes this: "Trump can define the terms of this debate and defend the executive branch and he can enlighten the country. But is time for doing so productively is growing very short. Wall Street Journal Columnist, Kim Strassel, joins me now. Kim, good to see you tonight. Thanks for being with us.


MACCALLUM: Hi, there. You know, so you basically say that they have to approach this from a constitutional perspective. Explain.

STRASSEL: Well, we were just talking about how there seems to be no there, there on the collusion question. The House report is now out. By all reporting, Mr. Mueller has not found anything there either. And so, the reports now say he's moving to the question of obstruction of justice. That requires an entirely new legal approach, one that goes right at that constitutional question. Because you talk to any constitutional lawyer, they will say that a president cannot be construed to obstructed justice while he was in the process of engaging in core constitutional powers, and that includes firing subordinates and directing law enforcement like Mr. Comey.

MACCALLUM: You know, one of the things I find interesting we haven't heard directly, obviously, from Robert Mueller on this, but one of his spokes people said something to the effect of, you know, when you read about what we're doing, don't necessarily believe everything that you read, because we're not leaking about what we're doing in this special counsel investigation. And, you know, and they also said that they will issue at the end of it, a report. You know, that's what this is leading up to. This is not leading up to some sort of indictment. It's leading up to Mueller releasing a report. Probably, along the lines of what we heard James Comey do back in July before the election. To say here's what I looked at. This kind of looks like it could be obstruction of justice. This looks like it could be whatever. You know, nobody knows what he's going to say. But what's the process there? I mean, what do you expect to come out of that report once it hits the air?

STRASSEL: Well, we have no idea because they have been relatively quiet on exactly what that report will look like. But this is why it's so important for the Trump Team, Trump lawyers to go to a federal court get a declaratory judgment from that court that does make the point that presidents cannot be held for obstruction when exercising core functions. You put the special counsel on notice that that is not an area that his report should go because it's not a constitutional question, and you could also potentially shut down this discussion is now, you know, just everywhere in the press and among Democrats as well, too. Because it's beginning to impede on other presidential abilities like impeachment -- I'm sorry, like pardons. He came out and pardoned Scooter Libby, and you have all these Democrats saying, well, that's obstruction. He gives an order to his attorney general. They say it's obstruction. So, this is an issue that just needs to be clarified one way or the other.

MACCALLUM: All right. So, you know, folks who are very concerned that there was some serious wrongdoing here are pointing mostly to the Michael Cohen part of the investigation. That these recordings that are on his several cell phones that he had are likely to lead down some road they believe that will entrap the president in some wrongdoing. The other issue that seems to be very much in the forefront is this meeting at Trump Tower. You know, when you look at what you've learned about those situations, how does that play into how you see the larger picture here or does it?

STRASSEL: Well, the meeting at Trump Tower, if you look through this house intelligence report that just came out today, everybody involved in that was investigated, questioned, and the finding was that they essentially had this meeting. They thought it was going to be about something else beside it was. There was no collusion in the end. Again, this is why we supposedly had the special counsel was questions of collusion. And they seem to have been exonerated on that point by this House Intel report.

The Michael Cohen thing, I'm not sure where that goes in any direction, because it's just not clear where exactly special counsel is looking. Is this a question of a campaign finance violation? Is there some suggestion that there was extortion that the president was aware of this? We just tonight know. But what I will say is that we do seem to be very far afield from the original orders that the special counsel was given by Rosenstein.

MACCALLUM: Thank you very much, Kim. Good to see you tonight. Coming up, Bret Baier and I will host the West Virginia Senate GOP Primary debate, coming up on this Tuesday night. But tonight, we're going to give you a little preview when the West Virginia native, known to some as the dark lord of coal and other names, joins us in a moment. Plus, a hop over the curb that could be the beginning of the end. What is behind the dear leader's smile in South Korea. General Jack Keane joins me next.


TRUMP: This is beyond the United States. This is a world problem. And it's something that I hope I'm able to do for the world.




TRUMP: Now, I want to congratulate the Republic of Korea on its historic summit with North Korea. We're encouraged by President Moon and Kim Jong Un's expressed goal of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.


MACCALLUM: So, is President Trump praising the outcome of the historic meeting between the South Korean President Moon and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un. Today, this: look at these pictures. I just can't get over it. It's really an amazing moment. What will come of it nobody really knows? But today, they signed this joint declaration to end the seven-decade war and to pursue what they are calling complete denuclearization of the peninsula. The landmark peace deal giving the United States hope that President Trump can find the same success in his summit with the rogue regime when they meet next month.


TRUMP: We get a kick every once in a while, out of the fact that I'll be watching people that fail so badly over the last 25 years explaining to me how to make a deal with North Korea. I get a big, big kick out of that. But, we are doing very well. I think that, something very dramatic could happen.


MACCALLUM: Interesting. Today from the president, now General Jack Keane Chairman for the Institute for the Study of War and a Fox News Senior Strategic Analyst. Good to see you, general, as always.


MACCALLUM: You have remarked quite a bit on the unprecedented nature of what we have seen over the last month and a half. I'm wondering what went through your mind when you just saw those images that we just had on the screen.

KEANE: Yes, it's really quite stunning. I mean, we have talked on your show going all the way back when Trump announced his new policy about why we can't trust them and et cetera. And we've articulated that in-depth. But what has taken place in front of us, this incredible sense of urgency that Kim Jong-un has displayed going back to the Olympics when it started with South Korea and he invited himself to the present. It is extraordinary and somewhat unprecedented. It reminds me of the sudden unexpected collapse of the Soviet Union when the wall in Berlin went down. That's the pace of what this is moving at; and it's hard to process all of it, to be frank.

And the next logical step, just dealing with the summit with Moon, that's taking place today and finishing up tomorrow, I think, is this: after they sign a peace treaty, North Korea, South Korea, China, United States, the next logical step would be to pull those very large armies that have been standing off against each other for one of the longest standoffs in history. Pull them away from each other because they're both on the border-- the majority of those armies. And that would be a major historic step forward as well.

Clearly, Kim Jong-un is setting the framework because the meeting with moon came first and now the meeting with Trump. Clearly to put on the table denuclearization in his terms. And I think he probably would like to denuclearize, if he's serious, and we won't know until the president gets in the meeting. If he's serious, he would like to drag that out over a period of time and start making concessions almost immediately. The president won't let him get away with that. He's going to want to do it as rapidly as we possibly can with complete verification.

If he is not serious at all, I take the president at his word is going to get up and leave. This much, I believe. I think the president has inside information here that he's not sharing us about what's going on with Kim Jong-un. And I think he got that from Director Pompeo in his discussions with him, because he keeps talking about something dramatic. But if it doesn't happen, I'm going to leave. But we got a major event coming. And if it doesn't work out, we're going to leave. He has information he's not telling us.

MACCALLUM: Fascinating. You know, when you look back at it and I think that analogy of the Berlin Wall and Gorbachev is really fascinating. But, when you kind of peal back that moment, you ask yourself, you point to history, what was the straw that sort of began to break the camel's back? And I think of the talks that President Trump and President Xi had, and the increase in sanctions and the pressure. There is evidence that the pressure economically on North Korea has been much more dramatic than it has been in the past. And that there are some elements of North Korean society. There is this small upper echelon that is connected to the leadership there, is not happy with the way things that are going -- the way things are going in North Korea. And perhaps, those initial meetings with President Xi set this ball in motion?

KEANE: Oh, yes, I absolutely believe it. I mean, remember, the Soviet Union collapsed largely for economic reasons. They just couldn't keep up with the cold war anymore. And there was so much large disenchantment inside the country that the elitists said we've got to change. I think the economic pressure absolutely -- you're right on the mark with that. I also think and China's pivotal here as you indicate. But I also think there's absolute belief in China and North Korea, and South Korea, and with the Japanese that the president is dead serious about the use of military force if this comes down to no other option.

I think if they are convinced that the United States has a plan to take out their nuclear systems and take out their ballistic systems as much as their artillery as possible. And they have seen the president take action with limited military force. And I think he's got credibility when he makes that statement, that I'm prepared to use military force if you leave me no other option. So, you put China together the economic pressure, President Trump's military option, but mostly the reason why we are goings through this, and we've got to give him the credit for it is because of President Trump. That's the reality of it.

MACCALLUM: Interesting to watch to be sure. General Jack Keane, thank you, sir, always great to see you. Thanks for being here tonight.

KEANE: Good talk --

MACCALLUM: So, coming up, Senate Candidate Don Blankenship says that he was basically Trump before Trump was Trump and that his time in prison is a "badge of honor." He is here to explain. Plus, the fixer-upper stars under fire for saying that they're family first and successful. Can you be both? Somebody says no. We'll talk about it, with Rachel Campos-Duffy when we come back.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My life is just crazy, it's spontaneous, it's fun, it's filled with a lot of different tasks.



MACCALLUM: So, we are gearing up to host the big debate on Tuesday night, live from West Virginia, ahead of the Republican Senate Primary there which is a really interesting race -- very competitive. The winner of that will take on Democratic Senator Joe Manchin in November. A seat that Republicans would love to pick up. The three candidates polling at 10 percent or higher will be participating. And we have invited them to appear here on THE STORY as well. We'll be joined by businessman Don Blankenship in just a moment. But first, Correspondent Peter Doocy on why this West Virginia race is being so closely watched around the nation. Hi, Peter.

PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Martha, the reason the stakes are so high in coal country is that the Republican who wins the West Virginia Senate Primary gets on a ballot against the Democratic Incumbent Senator Joe Manchin in a state where President Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 42 points. That makes it one of the Republicans' best opportunities to flip a seat.

A Fox News poll finds the top three are Congressman Evan Jenkins, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and a former Colberan Don Blankenship. But a quarter of likely voters are undecided and 41 percent might change their minds. There is a fight between Jenkins, the Congressman; and Morrisey, the A.G., over who has been the most helpful to President Trump.

Jenkins brags that he was the only one to endorse Trump in the presidential primaries and he only one in D.C. right now casting votes to advance the Trump agenda. While Morrisey argues he's been doing more to help Trump by filing lawsuits to undo unfair Obama-era energy regulations seen as coal killers and some lawsuits that are reigning in the opioid epidemic.

In third place, it is the former Colberan Don Blankenship, known best at the contender who just did a year in jail on misdemeanor conviction of conspiring to violate mine safety laws after 29 miners were killed in an explosion at his company's upper big branch mine. That had some race watcher comparing Blankenship to Roy Moore who disappeared from the campaign trail in Alabama when allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.

But Blankenship tells me there's a big difference because Moore's accusers were women and his accusers were Obama allies with the suggestion being that he was punished by an administration with an unfavorable view of coal. Now some nervous Republican-linked Super PACs are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars against the Republican Blankenship to try to keep him off the ballot. But he is spending millions of his own. Martha?

MACCALLUM: Peter, thank you very much. A Washington Post columnist recently summed up the West Virginia primary saying this: "If the 2018 midterm election were a season of 'the Apprentice', we would already have a front runner to beat out everyone else. Don Blankenship fresh out of prison who stands a decent chance of going becoming West Virginia's next Republican nominee for the Senate. So, here now, Don Blankenship West Virginia Senate GOP Candidate and former Massey Coal CEO. Sir, thank you very much. Good to have you with us tonight.


MACCALLUM: So, why do you think, at this point, that you are behind in the polls and do you think that it's because you did recently spend time in prison?

BLANKENSHIP: Well, I think, I'm behind in the polls, because Senator McConnell has a Super PAC that is running, I think, $1.5 million worth of ads against me. But, you know, we were even before that. And before Election Day we will be even or ahead.

MACCALLUM: Speaking of Senator McConnell you made a comment over the course of this week that got quite a bit of attention. Let's play that and then you can talk about your relationship with him.


BLANKENSHIP: I have an issue when the father-in-law is, you know, is a wealthy kind of person and has a lot of connections to some of the bras if you will in China. I don't have anything against his wife. I mean, I'm saying it's her father that is well connected in China.


MACCALLUM: So, I spoke with Senator McConnell on other topics the other night. But we wanted to get his reaction to that, he basically did not respond directly to what he said, but here is what he said. Who do you support there?

BLANKENSHIP: I'm not in that race. But I hope they nominate somebody who can actually win the general election.

MACCALLUM: All right. That kind of breaks down into two questions for you sir. So the first one is about the China person comment. What are you suggesting by that?

BLANKENSHIP: Well, I think President Trump is considering tariffs and we all know that the trading relationship with China is the biggest trading relationship we have. And we need to make sure that decisions on that trade agreement are done in America's best interest and no personal best interest. It's no different than any corporation or any business entity. You want to make sure you don't have conflicts of interest in those decisions. There is no accusation there. It's just that it's important that everybody be doing what's best for the country.

MACCALLUM: So, that you said that there is no accusation, but you pointed out that Mr. McConnell's wife is the daughter of a prominent former Chinese businessman. So that suggestion -- sounds like you are suggesting that he has a conflict of interest because of that, is that what you were suggesting?

BLANKENSHIP: Well, yes. I mean, I'm not suggesting there is a conflict of interest in any business world that would be a conflict of interest. It's just a matter of whether you know it would impact his decision making or his position on these issues. He has in the past taken some strange positions.

For example, after Tiananmen Square he was one of the Senators that I was in favor of letting trade continue with China despite our human rights violations and voted in that manner. So he has had votes and so forth relative to China that one could question. But the base issue here is that businesses are always concerned about conflict of interest when they are negotiating deals. In this case we just need to be aware of them.

MACCALLUM: I understand. Understood. I want to just ask you about West Virginia, before I let you go, because we are going to run out of time. In terms of, you know, they are last in business, according to Forbes and first in opioid use. Why are you the best person to turn your state around?

BLANKENSHIP: Well, one thing is I have not been given a chance to turn it around and my two opponents have. And one had lobbied for drug companies and the other one is representing and has represented for 20 years the city that is worst in the nation per capita in opioid drug deaths. So, it is not easy to tell the difference. I have not had that opportunity. The company I ran we were drug-free. We were very tough on drugs. This country needs to be very tough on drugs and that is what I will be.

MACCALLUM: All right. We have more chance to talk to you next Tuesday night. I thank you very much for being here, sir. We will see you Tuesday, Don Blankenship, many thanks for your time.



Coming up on Monday West Virginia Republican Senate candidate, Patrick Morrisey and Evan Jenkins who are running against Mr. Blankenship and who will be with us on Tuesday night, we will be here to share their story. Chris Stirewalt, joins me now with his thoughts on all of this. He knows all of politics really well, but West Virginia politics particularly well. Your thoughts on what we are looking at here, Chris?

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DECISION DESK CORRESPONDENT: A goat roping and a good one. Fascinating one. I love this race. We are seeing the same narrative play out in West Virginia that we are in Indiana and elsewhere around the country. As candidates try to position themselves as the Trumpiest, who can out Trump, Trump? And in this race all of them have tried, but the reason that is still competitive for Blankenship is that he has made a pretty convincing case for Republican voters in West Virginia. He is a businessman? You talk about outsider. That is outside. And all of that stuff. And that is why these folks are still sticking with him. That is why this is still anybody's race.

MACCALLUM: Yes, when you look at the polls, Chris, how reflective do you think they are at this point? I know it's always tough to do in a primary race. In early stage of the game. But, you know, what's your sense of West Virginia?

STIREWALT: Well, it's the best state, but other than, my sense is that you are going to have about 100,000, or 110,000 people that is it, voting in this. It is going to be a low turnout. Relatively low turnout. Primary election among Republicans in a state that was historically Democratic.

What matters here, these are the most intense voters. These are the people-- these are the activists. This is the core issue set folks. And they are going to be listening to the answers from Blankenship and Morrisey and Jenkins to the questions that you and Bret put to them next week very carefully. Words will matter, positions will matter. And if these folks detect any whiff of squishiness or back down the tube or anything like that. They will be unforgiven. They want to have a champion, a Trumpian champion in the United States senate.

MACCALLUM: All right. Don Blankenship makes a good point in that, you know, two of his opponents including Joe Manchin, if he gets the opportunity to run against him. Have been working on west Virginia politics for a really long time and things, you know, in terms of the numbers have not been going all that well. As an outsider he may have a good pitch.

STIREWALT: Well, West Virginia has been poor for a long time. And we are rich in spirit. We are rich in culture. We are rich in many things. But we have been a poor state for a very long time. I would submit that the previous Senator the person who Joe Manchin replaced in the United States senate served there for 54 years throughout all of which West Virginia was a poor state.

So, I would just point out that Manchin is well liked in this state. He is in the wrong party? But is he going to be a very, very tough out, because he is well-known. He is well-liked. And people in West Virginia are comfortable with sort of dynastic politics where you have multiple generations or your people who are in office for a long time. It is a high comfort level and Manchin is going to have to be counting on those old ties and allegiances to weather the Trump storm.

MACCALLUM: Well, we have a high comfort level with you and we are glad that you are going to be with us in West Virginia. We are looking forward to it. Thank you so much Chris, goo to see you.

STIREWALT: Can't wait.

MACCALLUM: West Virginia GOP Senate debate Tuesday night on Fox News channel. It is really the kickoff of the whole midterm season. We are going to do several of these across the country with me yours truly and Bret Baier moderating these. We will be live in Morgantown on May 1, at 6:30 Eastern Time, do not miss it.

So, Tim Piazza, was killed in a hazing incident at Penn State last year. But his legacy lives on. And we will speak to a boy who has received a gift from Tim that was life-saving.

Plus, can Chip and Joanna Gaines really have it all? A USA Today op-ed says nope. Rachel Campos Duffy is a mother of eight and no stranger to reality TV. She has something to say about that, next.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Watch out. Fall off the wall.

We are Chip and Joanna Gaines.

Look how strong he is.

We have made those out-of-reach neighborhoods reachable.


MACCALLUM: Chip and Joanna Gaines of the TV hit "Fixer-Upper" have a huge business from the show to books, to renovations, to real estate. Now they even have restaurants and somehow they do it all with four kids and another one on the way. But a new op-ed in USA Today says don't believe it, the writer says they can't possibly be doing all of that and putting family first.

Darrell Austin of Utah writes this, "Chip and Joanna Gaines did not get where they are by putting family first. You cannot do all they've done or even a fraction of it and still have any real-time left over for family. There are a lot of people who wish they could be the next Chip and Joanna Gaines, but they are kidding themselves if they think they can achieve that kind of success and still give their children the time and attention they deserve."

Whoa. Here now, Rachel Campos-Duffy is reality TV veteran and mother of eight and a Fox News contributor. Rachel, great to see you tonight.


MACCALLUM: What do you think of this?

CAMPOS-DUFFY: Well, first of all I'm a huge fan of the show so I was very interested in this article. It doesn't surprise me that Chip and Joanna are being criticized, because this is a very openly out there Christian couple and so they are taking some of the attacks, I think partially, because of that.

But, look, the guy brings up a point like how do they do it all? Some people are more talented than others. In the case of Chip and Joanna it seem everything they touch seems to turn to gold. And I think that they, first of all, aren't doing it all by themselves. These businesses are being run by a lot of people in their town. They are employing a lot of people. They work hard. They are entrepreneurs. So, I don't think that, you know, in Spanish we have a saying it says. (SPEAKING SPANISH), which means every family and marriage is their own world. And how does this guy.

MACCALLUM: I love that -- say that again?

CAMPOS-DUFFY: (SPEAKING SPANISH), which means they are their own world. How does this guy purport to know --


CAMPOS-DUFFY: -- what is going on in the Gaines' house. I mean, they figured out how to balance caring for their family. Supporting their family and finding time for their family and they're making it work. And it's a constantly -- constant recalibration. I'm sure they are working hard at finding that right balance just as you do. Just as I do.

MACCALLUM: That is what struck me. And that phrase which I love nails it right on the head. Because the fact of the matter is that some people can handle a lot and some people prefer to live life in a more pared down simple way.


MACCALLUM: Some people can handle a lot of chaos. They can balance it. And you know what? We all know when we try to handle a lot of things, which I do and you do, some weeks work better than others. You know? I mean it's certainly not a perfect plan by any stretch of the imagination. But, to criticize them and to say something must be up. Now, who knows? I mean, maybe they are -- maybe it will all explode. You know, maybe it is not what it appears to be. Sometimes that happens. But I don't know who this guy is, you know, telling them from afar he has decided that they're not putting their family first.

CAMPOS-DUFFY: Absolutely. And remember this is a couple that works together. So they, as a couple work together. They don't live in New York City. They live in rural small town rural America which logistically I know from having a big family and living in small town America, it's just easier. I come to New York with all my kids and I would go -- I can't do it here. It's a little different. There is all kinds of stuff. They have extended family that helps them.

And again, they're employing a lot of people in their town. They are making their town better. Instead of tearing this particular family down, I think America should look at them and say wow, this is -- these people are hard-working.

MACCALLUM: Good for you. Go for it. You had your expression, mine is god only gives you what can you handle. Right? If you can handle a smaller scale situation, perfect. You know. If you can take on what they're taking on and if you can do it in a loving way and raise your family, you know, more power to them.

CAMPOS-DUFFY: More power to them and I think that there is, you know, there is lots of HGTV shows about people fixing up their houses. There is only one Chip and Joanna show. And I think, the authenticity and the love that they have is real. You can't fake that, they have been very open about they put faith, their marriage and then their kids in that order.

MACCALLUM: And this guy said, they wanted to expand his business and decided he didn't want to do that, because he wanted to have more time with his family. Good for you, sir. That is your choice. And more power to you. Rachel, thank you very much.

CAMPOS-DUFFY: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Good to see you as always.

CAMPOS-DUFFY: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: For up next this evening. Timothy Piazza's parents making sure that his dreams still come true despite his tragic death at Penn State. Creating a foundation in his name. They have dedicated it to those who need prosthetics and can't afford them. This precious picture, this child from New Jersey is the first recipients, Lamont and his mom join me with their story of the gift that Tim Piazza gave this little boy, next.



MACCALLUM: I know that you have a foundation that you are trying to -- what do you want to do with that foundation?

EVELYN PIAZZA, TIMOTHY PIAZZA'S MOTHER: Well, we have dedicated some of it for high school scholarships at Tim's high school and the bulk of it is pretty much dedicated to funding prosthetics for people who can't afford it, especially children and potentially soldiers, because that is what Tim really wanted to do with his mechanical engineering degree.


MACCALLUM: That was Evelyn Piazza here on the story back in February. She was talking about the Timothy J. Piazza Memorial Foundation that was set up in memory of her son, who died in February of 2017, after a night of hazing at a Penn State Fraternity.

The sophomore wanted to be an engineer and he wanted to develop prosthetics for those who could not afford them. Now, his parents are keeping his dream alive. Through their foundation, the Piazza's were able to pay for a prosthetic leg for 7-year-old boy who lost the lower part of his leg in a tragic school bus accident.

Lamont Hanna received this cool batman prosthesis two months ago and his mom says is he already back to being a kid again. Here now Lamont Hanna and his mother Wykeya Williams, good to see both of you. Thank you so much for being with us tonight. Hello Lamont and hello Wykeya. Wykeya, let me start with you, tell us a little bit of what happened and what Lamont's reaction was and how worried you all were about what his future was going to be like.

WYKEYA WILLIAMS, MOTHER OF LAMONT: Well, he was exiting off his bus and another bus hit him and during the accident, he lost his bottom part of the leg at the scene.

LAMONT HANNAH, RECEIVED FUNDING FOR PROSTHETIC: Mom, mom, mom. I didn't lost my leg.

WILLIAMS: You didn't lose your leg. Well, he lost his foot. He wants me to correct. He lost his foot on the scene and through that. The Piazza family, the foundation reached out to us and they rewarded Lamont with a very cool batman leg. But, before the accident, we weren't sure was he able to walk again. Will he be able to walk again? That was my biggest worry would he be able to walk again, because to lose a foot, that is the main part of walking. So we were --

HANNAH: Hello, mom? Hello? Hello, hello.

MACCALLUM: You can hear your mom and you can hear me. So, Lamont, this question is for you. OK? All right. How did you feel when you found out that you were going to get this batman prosthetic that would help you to walk again?

HANNAH: Excited.

MACCALLUM: You were excited about it?

WILLIAMS: He was very happy.

MACCALLUM: Was it hard to learn how to walk with it? Tell me a little bit about that.

HANNAH: I ran pretty good. I used to run, I used to run.

WILLIAMS: Now you can't run as fast.

HANNAH: I can't ran as fast as my friends.

WILLIAMS: Oh. Now you can't run as fast as your friends? But, it's OK.
But now you have a leg, right?

HANNAH: Right?

WILLIAMS: But what did you like about it the most? What did you like about your leg the most?

HANNAH: Batman.

WILLIAMS: The batman?


MACCALLUM: Tell me a little bit, Wykeya, about meeting the Piazza family and how you all were connected.

WILLIAMS: I was -- I was excited and I was elated to meet her just the fact that she would do take time out to come and meet us. And I should take this time put forth a foundation to help people that she doesn't even know. So I was -- I actually googled her before she came here. I google her -- so I was just like so excited to meet her. And I was so thankful. Just like really honestly thankful. Because, without her, my son wouldn't have the opportunity to walk again. And I can never repay her for that. Like never. That is like --

MACCALLUM: The fact that, you know, they had such a tragedy that happened in their lives and that they are using it to make someone else's life, your little boy Lamont's life better.

WILLIAMS: I actually said a miracle. I said using their tragedy to give miracles. Because it's a miracle to be able to give someone the opportunity to be able to walk again, we take for granted to where now it's a necessity to be able to where -- I have to carry him around. You understand? If he wasn't -- we would have to carry him around. You know, so, it's a blessing.

MACCALLUM: He is a blessing. Lamont.

WILLIAMS: Yes, is he.

MACCALLUM: Lamont is an adorable boy and I thank you so much. I bet you will be able to run and keep up with your friends before you know it OK, buddy? Thank you so much, Wykeya and Lamont.

WILLIAMS: Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having us. Thank you so much.

MACCALLUM: Thank you. All the best to you.

WILLIAMS: Thank you. You too. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Up next, this little guy now has a name and it is quite a long history behind it. The back story on Louie next.


MACCALLUM: Finally tonight we leave you with this little bit of history. We now know the name of the new royal baby, Kensington Palace announcing that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had named their son, Louis Arthur Charles. The name pays tribute to Lord Mount Baton, the great uncle of Prince Charles who was assassinated on his yacht by the IRA in 1979. Charles was devastated by his death and little Louis is a tribute to his memory. And that is the story on that. We will see you back here on Monday night at 7:00. Tucker Carlson is up next.


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