This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," May 1, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: Good evening from Washington. I am Laura Ingraham. This is "The Ingraham Angle." The burning question in Washington, who leaked that list of Mueller questions for Trump? We look at who stands to gain the most. And a wild story out in California, Kanye West gets a very public threat, physical threat, for supporting Donald Trump. The group behind the intimidation efforts will shock you. Plus, NRA officials are also getting peppered with vile death threats. That's nice. How sweet? We debate an under reported story, why the anti-gun crowd is so prone to threaten violence.
But first, corruption, collusion, cash, and the caravan, that's the focus of tonight's "Angle." You have seen these photos. Well, the current situation at our southern border, is completely out of hand. That caravan of Central American migrants that started at a thousand strong, is now down to about 200 people or so, and many of them are camped out at just a stone's throw from the U.S. Customs check point at San Isidro. Now, as we have been reporting, the aliens are being coached in some cases, by American lawyers, traveling to the caravan, and telling them how to qualify for asylum. This undoubtedly infuriates many of you, who would also love free legal advice. Wouldn't that be nice?
The president as well is totally fed up. He tweeted this week that the migrant caravan that is openly defying our border shows how weak and ineffective U.S. immigration laws are. I'll say. Well, yesterday, U.S. Customs officials allowed eight members of the caravan into the country to process their asylum claims. Today, another 17 were allowed in. The acting director of Immigration Customs Enforcement, Tom Holman, described the situation on "Fox and Friends" this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS HOMAN, ACTING ICE DIRECTOR: I think it's an attack on the sovereignty of this nation. Look, do I think some of these people have a criminal fear case -- do some of these folks, are they escaping fear and persecution, yes, some are, but I also know that many are. Many are taking advantage of a system with loopholes in it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: He's absolutely right. Many of these people are being taught to game the system, but what are the forces fueling the migrant rush to the borders? Let's start with the facts. It's really important we all understand what is really playing out here. This mini-surge of humanity, 200 or so, playing out on the television screens every day is just a drop in the bucket compared to the massive influx of entire U.S. family units and unaccompanied minors who crossed the border between October 2017 and March of this year. Look at those numbers. Now the number of migrants also from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, those numbers have climbed significantly in recent years even as Mexican migration had declined. So, Mexico has gone down, and that part is going up. Now, immigrants both legal and illegal, originally from El Salvador and Guata and Honduras often called the northern triangle, went up from 25 percent in 2007 to 2015.
Again, even as the figure dropped by 6 percent for Mexican immigrants. Now, of the 3 million northern triangle immigrants living here as of 2015, a whopping 55 percent were illegal according to the Pew Research Center. Now, by comparison, only 24 percent of all other immigrants in the united states were unauthorized. So, more than double the figure for the northern triangle countries. Now, there are many facilitators and supporters and magnets for this migration scheme both inside and outside of America.
Now here at home the force respect powerful to encourage this crush at the border, the Chamber of Commerce, they want more workers. Agricultural interests, obvious reasons. Sanctuary cities and states, they see future voters and maybe even taxpayers. Well, MS-13 and other gangs looking for new recruits, human traffickers love the situation at the border, and of course, the drug cartels. But, political interests in Central America are also driving the poorest of the poor northward.
These governments want the poor, and of course, their criminals, to leave the country. It seems counter intuitive for we as Americans, a country wanting its own people to leave, doesn't make sense. Well, meet the Honduran ambassador to Mexico, Alden Rivera Montes. He marched with the caravan, I kid you not. He went and marched with the caravan in mid-April, and here's what he told "El Universal" about his participation. He said, "I have been ordered by my government to support the Honduran migrants traveling with the caravan. There are about 200 who we will help out with paper work and whatever is necessary."
Ordered by his government to do whatever is necessary? One might expect that the constant drain, right, from the populations of the northern triangle would debilitate the economies. You have a drain of people. That's not the case. In fact, the money called remittances sent by migrant laborers to the United States back to Guatemala and Honduras and El Salvador is massive and growing. Look at what is going from the U.S. to Guatemala alone. In 2009, Guatemalans here in the United States, sent nearly $4 billion back home. This past year reached $8.192 billion, that figure, so double, and they're up 4 percent in the first quarter of this year so it's up, up.
And Honduras, remittances are up to more than as well, $4 billion a year. They've actually risen 18 percent the first month of 2018, this makes them up nearly 17 percent, listen to this, this is 17 percent of the GDP of Honduras. So, the remittances, just so you understand, are 17 percent of the economy
of the whole country of Honduras. No wonder they want them to keep coming. El Salvador, it's nearly 16 percent of their GDP. So, the remittances are a huge economic boon to these poor countries. So,
why would any third world nation focus on solving problems at home when it's so much easier to export the neediest to the United States and at the same time, for those poor countries to benefit from their remittances when they send the money back home.
Look, this is just madness and there are some definitive steps we can take in the meantime to remove these incentives. Why should illegal immigrants, living in the United States, be able to send cash home to families with zero government tax from the United States government? Why not slap, I don't know, a 25 percent levy on each remittance that leaves America. That wall, and a lot more could be funded really fast, ditto for foreign aid. What am I talking about, 2017, we sent Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras combined total of $587 million in foreign aid.
Well, until especially the northern triangle countries get their acts together, root out their own corruption, start improving the lives of their own people, we should consider at least withholding some, some people are saying all, foreign aid. Sounds harsh but something has to change here, folks.
This border-busting and asylum fraud is an insult to every American taxpayer, every legal immigrant, our rule of law, and as Tom Holman said on "Fox and Friends," our sovereignty, and it is time for us to stop subsidizing the lawlessness. If you ask me, it's the American people who need asylum these days, asylum from the politicians, who got us into this mess in the first place, and those in Congress over on Capitol Hill, who refuse to do what is necessary to secure the homeland. And that's "The Angle." Joining us now with reaction is Anastasia Tonello from the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Anastasia, I'm sure you disagree with a lot of what I said there. I'll just let you comment.
ANASTASIA TONELLO, AMERICAN IMMIGRATION LAWYERS ASSOCIATION: Well, as I explained earlier a lot of the comments are on the political climate on economics, I'll limit my comments to the immigration laws, and happy to discuss the policies and how those are --
INGRAHAM: So, you're telling us what you won't talk about, but let's talk about why there's been, and I think we have a graphic to illustrate this, a 10-fold increase in the claims for asylum coming out of these northern triangle countries, especially Honduras. Asylum requests increased 10-fold between 2009 and 2016. Why do you think that is?
TONELLO: Again, I mean there are issues in those countries, there's a lot of political unrest. There have been -- just traditionally, there were -- as a result of deportations a lot of the prisoners that were in gangs in L.A. and were deported have taken advantage of political chaos in the countries and were able to take advantage of systems, which leads to violence. We see a lot of these asylum seekers are women, children, so --
INGRAHAM: A lot of them aren't. I mean, a lot of them are women and children and they are obviously incredibly sympathetic, and we want nothing but good things to happen to all people who want a better life for their families. But the question is, under our current law, and you're an expert as an immigration lawyer, I actually did one immigration case when I was a defense attorney, believe it or not, but the asylum laws require an incredible fear of persecution. Yet in the surveys that have done, of these migrants, in transit or when they're being deported back home, they overwhelmingly state that their concern is an economic one, and you can't blame them. It's hard to make a life in Guatemala or El Salvador. I spent a lot of time in both countries.
They're beautiful countries with rotten governments, but right now, we have a situation where we have hundreds of thousands of cases backlogged in our immigration courts. And frankly, we're all out of personnel and money as far as processing this. So, how would you balance those concerns of the United States, with our own homeless problem, our own veterans on the street problems, opioid crisis, schools are being overcrowded with the desires of foreigners to come here for a better life.
TONELLO: I mean, I think earlier you were talking about the corruption in Honduras and these demands put on these officials, and I think that what is incredibly important in all of this, is the rule of law, is due process where America, the Constitution is very strong. We have very clear guidance and rules on what we are expected, what we expect to give as far as legal process and procedure. So, that is something that I don't think we should compromise on, and I don't think we should pick and choose who gets due process. The fundamental part of our Constitution.
INGRAHAM: Right, well it's a fundamental concern for Americans that we have borders that are actually enforced, and laws that are not gamed by attorneys, who go down to Mexico or Central America and literally coach people as to how to make their case and make their claim. It goes from representation to advocacy for policy change or entrance into the United States despite the fact a lot of the lawyers don't know much if anything about the background of these migrants. I want to play a soundbite for you from our Homeland Security secretary about who else is trying to gain access to America. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, DHS SECRETARY: Border security is national security. What we see the Department of Homeland Security, we see 15 terrorists either planning to travel or actually traveling to the United States each day, known as suspected terrorists. That means they're coming through our legal land ports and air.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Are you concerned about that? That in these caravans, I mean, again, that's a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands upon thousands of people who have been processed into our country since last October, but it's the visual image I think that gets a lot of people. But are you concerned that in the mix of people both crossing illegally and presenting themselves to border officials that terrorists will take advantage of this massive humanity?
TONELLO: I believe that we should -- we should have borders that, applications should be processed, that we'll should have their cases reviewed when they are presenting themselves for entry into the United States but also believe in smart borders. I believe a lot of this information is intelligence based. That we have access to inform on who is traveling, and how they're coming in, and so I think that --
INGRAHAM: Well, it takes only one person, right, one person to gain access to our country and we already know about all of the stories, now some Somalis I guess tried to gain access to the caravan, maybe exploit people in it which is also heartbreaking, and so, we know they gamed the system. They gamed it on 9-11. They have gamed it before trying to come into our country in planes, with shoes that explode and if it's a border with crushes of people coming at one time, that's a logical place to enter.
And I know you're not a policy maker, but when we have lawyers rushing down to Mexico, to make the case for asylum for people, again -- you can't check the background on most of the people. Most people are like poor people. What are you going to go to the local town hall in Honduras and do a background check on every client, you're not going to be able to do that, are you?
TONELLO: There are background checks and we do have very smart intelligence capabilities so if there are people on the watch list that we're concerned about --
INGRAHAM: Not everyone is on a watch list, yes, well not everyone is on the list, but I understand your point. Lawyers are there to argue the case for the clients and these happen to be pro bono clients for all these migrants that are trying to cross the border. Anastasia, we really appreciate you are coming on to explain your case and perspective here. A lot of the lawyers down in Mexico are frankly not interested in coming on to explain themselves and you really advanced it. Thank you so much.
America has a proud history, by the way, of granting asylum to refugees, but the wording of the law is so vague it is susceptible to abuse. Under Title VIII of the Federal Code, "A person is eligible for asylum if, quote, "He or she has suffered past persecution or because he or she has a well-founded fear of future persecution. And the definition of persecution seems wide open to interpretation. Here to help us understand the administration's asylum policy with this new development with the caravan is the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration, Francis Cissna. Francis, good to have you on. This is really infuriating to a lot of Americans. They're very compassionate and caring people, very generous. They donate to their churches and organizations that help people in their home countries. But this is a protest that happens every year and it's meant to tug at the heartstrings of Americans and force the U.S. government to open its doors regardless of the merit of the claims.
FRANCIS CISSNA, USCIS DIRECTOR: I think you are right. I think what this is, what the caravan represents, is an organized, intentional, and I would say cynical attempt to tax and exploit an overburdened immigration system by people who know the inadequacies of the system, and who -- and Vice President Pence said yesterday, are treating these people, who are already victims in their own country, victimizing them again by turning them into puppets of their cause.
INGRAHAM: And you see the NGOs that are rushing in there, reporters imbedded for weeks, almost marching with them. You see the Honduran ambassador to Mexico marching with the migrants, saying my government ordered me to be here to facilitate the paper work. What?
CISSNA: I know. It's --
INGRAHAM: This administration should get on the phone, I'm sure the president is, I'm not telling him what to do but hey, El Presidente let's talk because this is not tenable. It's not good for your country either, believe it or not, to have your people fleeing.
CISSNA: No. I think the other victim is this whole situation is immigration system itself. The system which was created back in the 1990's to handle these types of cases at the border was never intended to handle a surge of people like this with prepared packaged claims, the system was intended to work expeditiously and quickly, and with this type of actions, that's not going to work.
INGRAHAM: Why is do think -- look, you do every day. We have had a 41 percent increase in the unaccompanied minors between February and March of this year and a 49 percent increase of entire what's called family units crossing the border. And if you compare it to March of 2017, Trump first comes in, I'm not going to try to cross the border. The increase is 203 percent overall for people crushing across the border. Why is that?
CISSNA: I think one of the reasons surely is that people have figured out how to game the system. There are ways to do it. People know how to do it. If you're going to come here and claim asylum people know that the first step is to straight the credible fear you're being persecuted in your own country. The standard is intentionally low. Congress made it low on purpose. People know that. They know that all you have to do is express a story, tell a story --
INGRAHAM: How do you verify the story?
CISSNA: Well --
INGRAHAM: Witnesses, call witnesses -- fly them in from Honduras?
CISSNA: Credible fear stage, all you have to show is a story that qualifies you for asylum and is done credibly.
INGRAHAM: Unbelievable. Thank you for the insights. We'll have you back. By the way, was it the special counsel's office or a member of the Trump team that leaked that big list of questions for the president. Two top legal minds weigh in, next.
INGRAHAM: If we want to know who leak the special counsel's long list of questions to the president, we need to ask who stands the most to gain? The former assistant to Bob Mueller blamed President Trump for the leak, but Trump blasted the leak himself in a tweet earlier today. A report in "The Washington Post" tonight, though, suggests that the leaked list maybe a series of questions compiled by Trump Attorney Jay Sekulow. It may have actually been a list of questions that the president's legal
team believed Trump would be asked, kind of a moot court situation. Let's ask two top legal minds why they think the list was leaked. Former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Joe Digenova, and former Whitewater deputy independent counsel, Sol Wisenberg. Joe, let's start with you. I mean, the intrigue about who leaked what and who has motive. I mean, it's like Columbo here, Joe but --
JOE DIGENOVA, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: I actually don't care who leaked it. I think what is important is these are clearly the type of questions that have discussed between the president's team and Mr. Mueller, and the question is, what do these questions say? They say the investigation is now lurching into territory protected by the constitutional privileges of the president of the United States, and that if Mueller -- let's assume these questions are accurate that. That this is what Mueller wants to ask. If they are, and if he insists on answers, and will not accept a written answer and demands an interview, which the president rejects, and then Mueller insists on a subpoena, we are headed to a constitutional crisis because the president is not going to answer these questions under any set of circumstances.
INGRAHAM: Sol, when I saw tonight this report in the "Washington Post" about the presidential subpoena, you know it takes kind of a lot to shock me these days in Washington, but I took a couple extra breaths there. Your reaction.
SOL WISENBERG, FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF COUNSEL, WHITEWATER: I'm not sure. I saw "The Post" -- is it already issued?
INGRAHAM: No, apparently, Mueller raised the possibility with the Trump legal team reportedly.
WISENBERG: Well, I think Joe is absolutely right. If -- if President Trump decides not to sit in for the interview and answer the questions, and these are very broad questions that definitely raise issues of both executive privilege and separation of powers. If he declines to answer and Mueller issues a subpoena, you know, it's not just a question of does Trump invoke the Fifth Amendment or go to the grand jury, he's going to go and litigate this issue and here is something that is very interesting that I don't believe anybody has talked about. Remember, in the Watergate years, you had U.S. versus Nixon where the Supreme Court rejected President Nixon's blanket claims of executive privilege, but in that decision, they pointed out that Leon Jaworski, the special counsel, had been explicitly granted the power to contest executive privilege. I'm not sure Bob Mueller has the power under his appointment from Rosenstein or the regulation to go in and challenge the executive privilege, so there's a possible third way for the president to bottle this up in court on the executive privilege issue.
INGRAHAM: Very interesting. I love that. Joe, that's fascinating and in particular questions in this lengthy list jumped out at you and why?
DIGENOVA: Yes, the questions -- the punitively posts by Mueller about what were you thinking when you fired Comey? What were you thinking when you fired Flynn? The notion that a special counsel can intrude on the thinking process of a sitting president, while he was president, firing a person that you have ultimate authority, unfettered, unreview able authority to fire under the Constitution tells me one thing about Mueller. He has gone goofy. The question should not be answered under any set of circumstances and I tell you something, I would litigate this to the fair thee well. These questions are sophomoric.
INGRAHAM: Sol, any particular questions that you have in mind that would be especially problematic for this president to answer. I mean, I wouldn't -- as a lawyer I would not recommend that he do this interview under any circumstances. I didn't think so before and I certainly don't think so now. Maybe some written answers like, but -- maybe a poetry or high coup I'd send back to Mueller, but I wouldn't be engaging with that group.
WISENBERG: I agree with you. I didn't think he should go in before. You could pick any number, two that struck me as particularly outrageous or almost humorous, one, why do you continue to criticize Jim Comey and Andrew McCabe? I mean, give me a break. You need to ask that? That's rather obvious. And the other one was, why did you hold, you know, Jeff Sessions, Attorney General Sessions' resignation in abeyance until I think May 31st, and who did you discuss it with? As Joe points out this goes to the heart of executive decision making, but it also shows something else. These questions show a couple things. The Mueller people are outraged and livid at the president's criticisms with them and they have a very dangerously broad view of obstruction of justice.
INGRAHAM: Joe and Sol, I want to play for you now a sound bite from Rod Rosenstein today, he was today reacting what he heard and been reported with the Freedom Caucus potentially drawing up articles of impeachment against Rosenstein. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: They can't even resist leaking their own drafts. I just don't have anything to say about documents like that, that nobody has the courage to put their name on and they leak in that way, but I can tell you, the different people who have been making threats, privately and publicly against me for quite some time, and I think they should understand by now that the Department of Justice won't be extorted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DIGENOVA: Well, I think Mr. Rosenstein has just shown his ignorance of the Constitution. Congress has demanded access to documents that it is entitled to under the Constitution pursuant to the oversight function. His refusal and obstructionism to turn over those documents has led to the confrontation, which is why they're considering his impeachment. If he thinks that's extortion, I suggest that he resign from office because he's clearly a legal incompetent.
INGRAHAM: Yes. Meadows is suggesting that basically today, Sol, that -- I mean, this whole extortion --
WISENBERG: That's ridiculous.
INGRAHAM: This extortion line. As the deputy attorney general to throw around the word "extortion" when you're already, sorry, under a cloud of concern at the very least because of some of the makeup of this, of the prosecutors, what's happened with the text messages, the failure to turn over documents.
WISENBERG: He didn't the prosecutors.
WISENBERG: He didn't pick the prosecutors.
INGRAHAM: I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about over the investigation. And in a prickly, it was like a Comey-sequel, priggish, prickly manner to go, well, I can't believe it. It just looked undignified, very undignified.
DIGENOVA: What you see is a man --
WISENBERG: Please don't defame Rod by comparing him to Comey.
WISENBERG: You've had these fights, but you think it's OK for Trump to claim executive privilege vis-a-vis Mueller but it's not OK for Rosenstein to resist Congress? That's been going on since Hector was a pup, and you know it. It's a --
DIGENOVA: I don't have a problem with that. He can resist Congress but cannot refuse to turn over documents that Congress has a right to see. But here's the point. That use of the word "extortion" today was an absolute outrage on the part of a constitutional officer who is the deputy attorney general of the United States. That is unbecoming and it's a fire-able offense. He's not going to be fired, because the president shouldn't do it.
WISENBERG: No, it isn't. Joe, you think everything is an outrage. Everything outrages you.
DIGENOVA: Actually that's not true, Sol. And in fact when the deputy attorney general of the United States uses the word "extortion" for Congress-seeking documents it's entitled to under oversight, that is outrageous.
INGRAHAM: Sol, all I'll say is, look, the only reason they --.
WISENBERG: Grow up.
INGRAHAM: The only reason they ever turned over the documents is because they were about to be slapped with contempt of Congress. They had to go to that to get the documents that they're entitled to get under their normal constitutional oversight obligation. It's their obligation.
WISENBERG: You know what, Laura, Laura, Laura. You know what, you know what? The president, the president actually is higher-up than Rod Rosenstein. It's an amazing thing in our system of government. Any time in the last six months the president could have picked up the phone and told Rod Rosenstein --
INGRAHAM: Yes, we get it, we get it. He could have fired him.
WISENBERG: -- instead of tweeting -- no, no, not fired him. He could have said Rod, turn that stuff over, and then Rod --
INGRAHAM: Yes, that would've worked, Sol. Sol, come on. That's ridiculous.
DIGENOVA: The president has been told he cannot communicate with the Justice Department by Don McGahn, the White House --
INGRAHAM: We're out of time. We're going to run to black. We're going to run to black.
DIGENOVA: I don't care what Don McGahn does. He's obviously not helping the president.
INGRAHAM: All right, guys, thank you both. You're right. He would have been creamed politically and PR wise by the press and so forth and he was advised not to do that. And by the way, when we come back, a rapper tied to Snoop Dogg issued a blood curdling warning for Kanye West. Stay there.
INGRAHAM: I had really hoped that Kanye West's outspokenness would spark a real national dialogue. Big country, big opinion, and one in which the African-American community would question whether reflexive allegiance to the left and the Democrats has really always served them well. Kanye West in recent days has been really vocal in his support of President Trump and free thought. But some on the left, they just cannot tolerate dissent, and now Kanye is facing a very public threat, threat to his safety, from a rapper tied to Snoop Dogg.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yo, national alert. All the Crips out there, you all -- Kanye up. I better never see you in concert. I better never see you around California. Stay in Calabasas. You hear me? Because we have got a Crip alert for Kanye. All the Crips up there, you see that -- bang on his --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: That's the work of L.A. rapper Daz Dillinger calling on the notorious Crips gang to bang on Kanye, meaning shoot him. Let's discuss with attorney Michael Starr Hopkins, a contributor to The Hill, and radio talk show host and FOX News contributor Kevin Jackson. All right, gentlemen, this is wild. We're going to get into what happened on TMZ today as well, which was incredible to watch. But let's start on this physical threat. Now we have a situation, Michael, where when you disagree you are so low on the totem pole, if you can even say that anymore, maybe you can't, but you're so low because you have the wrong views that you must be not just ridiculed on social media or any of that, but you must be destroyed. Not just rhetorically, but apparently physically.
MICHAEL STARR HOPKINS, ATTORNEY: Yes, there's no place for violence in the political discussion. I don't care whether you're Kanye West or any other celebrity or average American. I don't think the Crips or the Bloods represent the left just like I don't think white nationalists or neo-Nazis represent the right. And I think we should be focusing here is what role Republicans are going to play in the African-American community. Tim Scott, Colin Powell, those are both black Republicans who on policy I disagree with but I think they have a right to believe whatever they want to believe. Kanye West is playing a different game.
INGRAHAM: Kevin, look, Kanye West is someone who trashed George W. Bush, he didn't care about black people. He's an interesting guy on a lot of fronts, but this was kind of surprising to a lot of people when he comes out, has this big rollout of a couple new tracks and has I guess a new album coming out soon. Is this opportunism on his part, or does he really like Trump and this is cool for him, a cool moment?
KEVIN JACKSON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: He's all over the political spectrum. He's already proven that he's been anti-Bush. He happens to like Donald Trump. And the problem with what Michael said, and I believe Michael is being sincere, but the problem that people on his side of the aisle don't face is that black conservatives get ridiculed all the time. You have to have skin thicker than a rhinoceros and a pair the size of Alaska if you're a black conservative, and Kanye is about to find this out. Rarely do you ever heard the other side, I've never heard it, but I'm going use rarely so I don't speak in absolutes, have I ever heard somebody come to the defense of people like myself who want nothing but the best for blacks but get called uncle toms, coon-butt negros, and I cleaned that up for you, step and fetch it and awhole host of other names.
INGRAHAM: Those are the nice names you've been called.
JACKSON: Those are the nice names. Yes.
INGRAHAM: I have seen the tweets. Yes. I have seen the tweets.
Now, guys, I want to play for you an exchange that happened on TMZ today where a staffer at TMZ, we'll start with him, made a comment about Kanye as he was leaving his interview. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIGENOVA: While you are making music and being an artist and living the life that you earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives. We have to deal with the marginalization that's come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice. Frankly, I'm disappointed, I'm appalled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Well, your reaction Michael. We're going to play what Kanye actually said, but --
HOPKINS: Yes. I was going to I feel like --
INGRAHAM: Let's play it now. Let's play it now so people get -- we did this in reverse order, but let's play it now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KANYE WEST, SONGWRITER: You hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years, that sounds like a choice. Like you was there for 400 years and it's all of you all? You know like, it's like we're mentally in prison. I like the word "prison" because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks. Prison is something that unites us as one race, blacks and whites being one race, that we're with the human race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Now Michael, do you actually think -- he's been slaughtered on social media, Kanye --
HOPKINS: As he should be.
INGRAHAM: For the last couple hours, slaughtered. But do you actually think he meant in this casual conversation on TMZ that the horrific act of slavery was a choice that people were making. Do you think that is what he actually was trying to convey? Honestly.
HOPKINS: I have to be honest. I don't know what Kanye meant to convey in that, but the words that he said, the fact that he would say slavery was a choice in such a flippant way, I think that's the problem that Kevin is talking about when he talks about African-Americans being criticized as conservatives, because when Kanye does things like that he makes it harder for then African-Americans to talk about conservatism, because Kanye's playing everyone, and by using language like that it not only inflames --
African-Americans jumped off slave ships so they didn't have to be slaves.
They ran away. They were lynched. Millions of Americans were murdered
INGRAHAM: Yes, horrific. And Kevin, do you think that's what Kanye West was trying -- I think I know what he was saying. I think he was saying people get imprisoned in the past and they let that define themselves. I have no idea.
INGRAHAM: But I imagine that's what he was trying to say.
JACKSON: It's tough to say what exactly he meant because to Michael's point, you don't know what in Kanye's head. However I do believe that what Kanye is saying is that we, there came a point where there was some, a choice. For example, once we got out of slavery during reconstruction there were many blacks who did want to stay in that environment because they had been conditioned for that. I would say to you today, we have more blacks enslaved than ever in the 1860s.
HOPKINS: See that right there, using that kind of language, they're not enslaved. They're not enslaved.
JACKSON: I don't care, I don't care what you --
HOPKINS: No, no, no, no, but as a black man, you don't get to say --
JACKSON: I don't really care what you think about what I say.
HOPKINS: Then think about your father, what your grandfather, the people who got you here --
INGRAHAM: One at a time, guys.
JACKSON: What I care about is that today we have young blacks who are taught slavery is such a bad thing.
HOPKINS: It is a bad thing.
JACKSON: Let me finish, Michael. They have been taught the lack of civil rights, by the way, all things done by the party that Michael supports and votes for are such bad --
HOPKINS: Come on, dude. Now you're being full of crap because you know that the Republicans and Democrats flipped.
JACKSON: The Republicans and Democrats --
HOPKINS: Lincoln was a Republican under a different banner.
INGRAHAM: Guys, we're not going to solve Lincoln. Guys, we're not going to solve Lincoln.
INGRAHAM: You've got to wrap it up in like 10 seconds, Kevin.
JACKSON: Let me just say the issue is we have got to get out of this mentality that everything in America is anti-black relating back to something that is 150 years old. It's ridiculous.
INGRAHAM: All right.
HOPKINS: Loving versus Virginia was in my parents' lifetime. My grandparents were the first integrated class. That's not a long time ago, so don't pretend.
JACKSON: What about you, Michael? What about the people of today?
HOPKINS: I was only black kid in AP classes. I have been pulled over multiple times. We all have stories.
JACKSON: Was it because they didn't allow blacks, Michael? Was it because they didn't allow blacks?
HOPKINS: Drink whatever Kool-Aid you want, champ.
INGRAHAM: Guys, we have to have a conversation, an honest conversation and try to be as civil as possible and allow each other to make their points. I think you both made your points, and we're going to continue on this. This is -- it's really important. You guys both have a really powerful voice and we appreciate you both coming on. And why are gun control advocates, this is another issue, so willing to use the threat of violence? Is that really happening? We'll debate it next.
INGRAHAM: A young woman in Florida wants to join the NRA's lawsuit against a new state law banning the sale of guns to anyone under the age of 21. But she's so afraid for her safety that she's asked a federal court to keep her identity secret. Backing that woman in court filings the NRA cited their top Florida lobbyist, Marion Hammer. The 79 year-old great grandmother said she's received scores of vile and vulgar phone calls including death threats. This on the heels of NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch
and Washington NRA lobbyist Chris Cox, saying they and their families have been harassed at their homes.
Let's debate these tactics with radio talk show host Chris Hahn, a former aide to Senator Chuck Schumer, and Grant Stinchfield, who is the host of "Stinchfield" on NRATV. Gentlemen, it's great to see you. Grant, let's start with you. I know you're familiar with some of these tactics. And look, I have to say both sides on this issue can be really bad. Social media is devolved into the worst. People take things the wrong way or people say things they'd never say in person, so both sides do these things. It is ironic, however, that the group that claims to be for love, peace, and harmony does seem to inspire some of the vilest of the threats, and you have experienced them yourself.
GRANT STINCHFIELD, HOST "STINCHFIELD" ON NRATV: You know, I have, Laura. I get death threats almost on a daily basis. I believe most are keyboard cowards and I don't put much stock in it, but it only takes one nutjob. And certainly you see what happens to leadership at the NRA, but it's not just leadership there and people I work with. These are conservatives. Anybody that has a loud voice in this nation is being targeted, and I believe they're being targeted because the left has no other message out there. They don't have things. They don't have policy. So what do they do? They turn to violence and they take it to people to silence their voice. Look, Laura, they call us child murderers, they call us terrorists. What are they doing that for? To dehumanize us and then somehow make it OK for supporters to come out and threaten us. I promise you it is not going to work. Threats won't work. We're going to keep with the voice and be strong.
INGRAHAM: Chris, I'm for more speech, not less speech. I just want you to respond, but I just think we need more speech. I don't like limiting people's speech. I don't like taking out recriminations against people because they disagree. I think a robust exchange of ideas is great in our country and we should encourage it. I do believe there is, and especially on, what, a 79 year-old great grandmother, I'm going to read some of the things that are written about her. It is, it's the lowest of the low. I think we all agree on that. But Chris, go ahead. You were shaking your head when --
CHRIS HAHN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I agree 100 percent that the First Amendment is important and free speech is important, especially political speech which we have learned is the highest form of protected speech in this country. Where I disagree with the fellow panelist here is when he says it's the left doing this. People who make these kinds of threats are crazy, whether they are on the right wing crazy or the left wing crazy. They are not part of any mainstream movement. They are not part of any political party or any real ideology. They are mentally disturbed, and of course many of them are keyboard cowards. Look, I get horrible things said to me all the time. We talked about this last week, Laura. But that doesn't stop me from talking. It shouldn't stop Marion Hammer from talking, even though I disagree with much of what she stands for. And it shouldn't have stopped her from going to the hearing. I understand that she didn't go to a hearing on a bill because of some of these threats, and I think that might have also had something to do with the fact the bill, you know --
INGRAHAM: I got it.
HAHN: It is what it is.
INGRAHAM: Right. But my question is, why do we hear such precious little in the American media about those types of threats against individuals who are real strong advocates of the Second Amendment? And again, I say -- let me just read some so people understand what I'm talking about. A lot of people aren't on social media. This is a tweet April 22nd. "It's not very Christian of me to say this but I hope Marion Hammer falls down a flight of stairs and breaks a hip. It would be good for humanity." "I can't wait till the day I flip on the news and see your mourning a gunshot victim. You're disgusting and exactly what's wrong with people today. I seriously hope karma comes around for you soon." Grant, I get this kind of stuff pretty much on a daily basis as well. Unless it's about children or the elderly I think a lot of this can be discounted. But the media really, they don't report on this stuff fairly. They really don't. It's always a one-sided deal.
STINCHFIELD: Laura, if I called the police every time I had a death threat leveled against me the cops would be at my house almost every day. The problem is these are all great stories.
HAHN: Me, too.
STINCHFIELD: The real problem is the left's violence. The left has shown, I mean you look at Trump's inauguration, you look at people getting beat up for wearing a Trump hat. You look at women --
HAHN: That is just -- you're so wrong. You are absolutely, look, you're wrong here.
STINCHFIELD: How am I wrong.
HAHN: Sir, sir, sir. Excuse me, excuse me, sir. OK. You're wrong. It's not a particular ideology. It is crazy people. Anybody who engages in that behavior --
INGRAHAM: Going back to the free speech issue.
HAHN: -- labeled crazy and nothing else.
INGRAHAM: Let's go back to the free speech issue. We'll end with that, guys, and we're out of time. But I will say, what we have seen at Berkeley, what we've seen at colleges in shutting down speech has been violent and it's been overwhelming on the left mostly. More speech --
HAHN: I don't know if you remember the Tea Party in 2010 but they shut down a lot of free speech.
INGRAHAM: Stay right there. A lot to get to.
INGRAHAM: We're doing a lot of defending of the First Amendment these days, but this is the latest official installment of our series "Defending the First" where we expose the enemies of the First Amendment, free speech, free thought. And tonight we talk to former Syracuse professor Stuart Card who says he was fired for defending free speech on campus. Card says he was fired after he privately disagreed with the school's expulsion of students for their crude skits at a fraternity roast.
Let's find out exactly what happened from the professor himself. Stuart Card, welcome to "The Angle." Professor, look, my producer watched the video, the fraternity video. I guess it was an internal video. It wasn't posted on social media. And it was gross. I don't know why people make these videos. It was gross and it was profane and so forth. They say it was satire, actually ridiculing a conservative who apparently was a bad person, even racist, and so forth.
You wrote a statement, an email to the administration, and you said the following, "I strongly believe that reinforcing the current myth that individuals are likely to be damaged by exposure to expressions that they find offensive and thus require pampering is a disservice to our students and our profession. I know my view on this is out of sync with current opinion. I was toughened as a youth not just by emotional bullying but by physical beatings by much older, larger students. I survived. I got stronger." And then you're separated from the university for that?
STUART CARD, SYRACUSE ADJUNCT PROFESSOR: Well, I have to say, this isn't really about Syracuse university. I love Syracuse University and the good people there who are doing what they assume and feel is right. This is really about ideas, not specific institutions or individuals. It's about the ideas of free speech and reason versus some dangerous, irrational myths that have swept the campuses around the country. I don't know whether I was really fired or I quit. We might say that the university and I reached a mutual agreement that the beliefs and values of the university are no longer the beliefs and values --
INGRAHAM: hold on, professor. That's cute. You don't know if you cute or you were fired. Was there some type of release they made you sign?
INGRAHAM: No, they didn't. OK.
CARD: When I sent that email, I concluded it with if my position on this is so objectionable as to render me disqualified from further service to our students, then put me on a list of don't use me as an adjunct anymore. And the answer come back, yes, indeed you're valued --
INGRAHAM: You were fired. Come on, professor, this is a little obtuse. Don't be obtuse. You were fired because you wrote that email saying I'm concerned that we're coddling students, coddling them and trying to protect them from all these offensive ideas is not going to help anyone, it's not going to advance the cause of learning. And that was the thing that they ultimately said, yes, you're right. We don't want someone like you at our university. I know you're protective of Syracuse. That's nice. But the atmosphere on college campuses today on a scale of one to 10, one being the most pro free speech and10 being the least pro free speech, where do you rate it?
CARD: I give it an eight, but I'm shooting from the hip because I hadn't thought about that number before. Another one of these myths that I'm talking about is this myth that really prevalent not just on the SU campus but on other campuses that I've been to that all educated, intelligent, good people think pretty much the same on certain key issues where the correct answer is obvious. And obviously that's a myth. And I'm guessing it's that myth --
INGRAHAM: Excellent point. We're going to have you on radio tomorrow. Great point as always. Stay with us.
INGRAHAM: Before we go, let's take a look at a tweet we received during the show. John tweets, "This is a slap in the face to all of the millions of legal immigrants like myself who entered the process, paid, and waited years to have the honor to be U.S. citizens." I second that emotion. Great point. Shannon Bream is up next.
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