This is a rush transcript from "The Story," August 10, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS HOST: So, breaking tonight from yes (ph), it's great to be here - breaking tonight, one of nation's oldest and best-known newspapers, spearheading a coordinated nationwide attack on President Trump and what they call, his dirty war on the free press.
Good, everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum, live in Washington tonight. More on that for you in moments. But first, high drama in the courtroom. All part of this wild week in the trial of Paul Manafort that was capped off with an unexplained and uncharacteristic five-hour delay in the courtroom that is fueling a lot of speculation about the biggest test yet, for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Now, the trial of his former campaign chair comes to a screeching halt at one point today, fronting speculation of a possible issue with one of the jurors.
All the way from that possibility to a potential guilty plea from Manafort. So, which is it or is it either of those. Judge T.S. Ellis has scolded the Mueller team repeatedly. And now, they're suggesting that they may be confusing the jury. Peter Doocy, watching all of this dramatic action from the courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia. Good evening, Peter.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS: Good evening, Martha. The last thing Judge T.S. Ellis told the Mueller team for they broke for the week while the Mueller team was trying to figure out exactly how much time they're going to have next week for closing arguments is.
That it's no accident most T.V. shows are only 30 minutes. So, they went back and forth eventually. They settle on two hours for closing arguments next week. And then, the judge said, that if the Mueller team thinks they can hold a jurors attention for two-hour straight, they live on a different planet than he does.
This is a judge who continues to try to speed up this trial that he almost didn't allow to advance a few months ago because he told the Mueller team in May, he thought they were just using these fraud charges against Paul Manafort to try to get evidence on President Trump that could result in impeachment.
But, this judge, T.S. Ellis, who later ruled that the trial could proceed has been very critical of the government's team throughout. And they are now filing motions complaining that he is prejudicing, or misleading, or confusing the jury with his quips.
So far, they've gotten him to admit he was wrong once in open court. Today, though, he ignored their complaint, the judge does constantly ask them how long individual segments of the trial are going to take him, wants them to go as fast as possible. But, it was the judge today who delayed the start time by five hours.
The jury was reminded very quickly this morning how important it is that they don't talk to anybody including each other about the details on this case. But beyond that, we have no idea why a 9:45 a.m. start time got pushed back to 2:30 p.m.? And we're not going to find out immediately, and it's going to be tough to find out because the transcripts of bench conferences during this delay have now been sealed from public view. Martha.
MACCALLUM: Extraordinary. Peter, thank you very much. Here now, Jon Summers, Democratic strategist and former communications director for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Guy Benson, co-host of "Benson & Harf", and a Fox News contributor. And Byron York, chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, also a Fox News contributor. Gentlemen, welcome to all of you.
Byron, let me start with you. You've been watching this case very closely. What did you make of this huge delay today and what about the Mueller team's complaint that Ellis is coming after them unfairly?
BYRON YORK, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I don't know what the delay is about. But the Mueller team has taken some hits this week.
YORK: There's no doubt about. It -- their big star witness, Rick Gates, really got beaten up a little bit. And we learned the Mueller team new at a time that we didn't, we learned that he had been stealing from Paul Manafort. Either hundreds of thousands of dollars by his testament or $3 million by Manafort's testament.
We learned that he was using some of the money they'd - he was stealing to finance on a fare in London. All of this didn't help his credibility and to the degree that the jurors begin to think of this as kind of one grift reverse as another grifter, maybe they are more sympathetic to Manafort than the sense at why is this guy being charged for something that could send him to jail for 200 years and the other guy got off.
MACCALLUM: Yes, and a sort of that -- this, not of this is whether or not there's any connection to this. Because what we keep hearing is this is a separate thing, it happened years, and years ago, they're looking into his financial situation, what might have motivated him to promise -- you know, that he would have access to the president or he could offer that access to other people. Perhaps, they were payoffs involved in all of that.
So, Jon, as you look at this, you know, the role of Rick Gates moving forward is there any -- anything that we've learned this week that would indicate that there is anything more to it than financial dealings from a long time ago?
JON SUMMERS, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID: Well, I think, we'll just have to see it, right? This is all part of Mueller scope, right? So, we're all familiar with the collusion piece of his scope. But, remember, the other part of that is anything else that happens to come up in the course of that investigation and that's what led us to where we are at today.
So, you know, as far as Gates, I mean, look, there's no honor among thieves, right? You don't know who to believe, you don't know if you can believe President Trump, you don't know if you can believe Rick Gates, Paul Manafort, Stone.
You don't know that you can believe any of them. Omarosa today coming out with her new book. So, you know, this is one of those things where we have to trust the jury system and see what comes out of it.
MACCALLUM: Fortunately, Omarosa is not involved in this particular trial. But that as I said (INAUDIBLE).
GUY BENSON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, yes.
MACCALLUM: Yes, exactly, there may be and it's like, life is stranger than fiction, right? Guy, what do you make of it?
BENSON: This is why the media love this story because there might be a Trump angle that could be damaging to him. But this are still people within his orbit. So, they're happy to cover it. And the trial is sort to has everything.
Some of this elation salacious stuff and Byron just mentioned, a mysterious recess today, what's that about. The judges scolding Mueller's team. At one point, telling one of the prosecutors asking are you crying, are you tearing up? And then --
MACCALLUM: Yes. He said, "No Judge, I am not tearing up. These are not tears in my eyes, they all -- they just look watery."
BENSON: Yes, yes.
MACCALLUM: I mean, it's quite entertaining. How's that?
BENSON: They like sort of -- sort of personal there, right? And then, the judge sort of got slapped a little bit, he had to apologize. So, it is very dramatic and makes for great T.V. But the question is in terms of -- you know, this city, is this going to tieback in any meaningful way to the president? And if not, it's just a fleeting drama.
MACCALLUM: Yes, and that's the Perry Mason moment that the president has said is not coming. We'll see what happens with that. You know, in terms of the president and the campaign, we've watched him in the races that we saw this weekend. And we're learning a little bit more about how they're targeting exactly where he goes.
Byron, your thoughts on what Brad Parscale, who's the head of the 2020 campaign. Says we're looking at RNC numbers. So, when we go into the states, we're doing it in a very targeted specific way.
YORK: The Trump campaign was much more sophisticated in its use of data than most people thought in 2016. They're going to be at least that good now. And the fact that when he went to Ohio, the president went to Delaware County, and not to some other county in the Ohio 12th district. It wasn't an accident at all.
And we know the president's approval ratings, we know they are generally about in the 40s. And he wants to target those people who are well disposed toward him, who voted for him and get them back out. Because the biggest thing they are worried about is this -- is this intensity gap that Democrats are going to come to the polls.
The president does tend to turn out to people on both sides when he goes anywhere. They've got to get their side out and getting closer to them is a way to do that.
MACCALLUM: Yes, and one of the groups that they have to work on our suburban voters who went for Trump didn't want Hillary Clinton last time around, Guy. And now they need to shore up that group because some of those people particularly women have drifted away and they're trying to get them back.
In terms of their machine and how well it works, how confident do you think they should be based on what you know?
BENSON: Oh, I know the RNC has put in a lot of time and resources to really step up their data game, it's much more sophisticated than it was a few years ago. So, Byron is right, they are doing the smart thing. They are figuring out where the president will be an asset, he is in many places. He's also not in many places.
So, there will be definitely Senate races where the Republican candidates say, "Please, West Virginia, come on down. North Dakota, come on down." There will be other races were the Republican candidates say, "Thanks, but no thanks, maybe a tweet would be fine but why don't you go elsewhere?"
And this is politics 101.
BENSON: Barack Obama put out a list of people that he was campaigning for or, at least, endorsing in this race in 2018. And there were a number of notable absences or missions from the list, probably from Democrats who would not have benefited from that stamp of approval from Barack Obama.
MACCALLUM: You know, I think (INAUDIBLE) but Brad Parscale -- you know, looks at the whole Russia thing and says, it's ridiculous based on the amount of what they bought in terms of their social media presence. He says, you know, we were so much bigger and so much better at data. And targeting voters that to think they had any influence is in his mind.
You know, and he thinks that Democrats are been a little bit intimidated by their -- by their get out the vote game. What do you say?
SUMMERS: I think that's an interesting tactic to put out there and try to scare people. But I don't think that's the actually the reality. I mean, as these guys have already pointed out, there's a big difference between having President Trump come out in a primary situation where -- you know,
88-90 percent of his base actually supports him.
It's a completely different thing when it comes time to the general. Then you have to own that. And you know, as Byron said, his approval rating is right around 42 percent. His disapproval rating is just below 53 percent. So, it's a big thing to overcome.
I frankly think he could do a lot more good for his party. Not that I'm here to give him advice, but -- you know, he often gets in the way of Republican candidates and himself by stepping on opportunities to really amplify some of his own good news. And objectively, he has had some good news. But instead, he tweets about Russia. And so, then that's what people are talking about.
MACCALLUM: He's in told that alike, not only that's going to change anytime soon. The Boston Globe, a coordinated editorial attack on the president is what they are trying to arrange, Byron?
YORK: You know, first of all, I think the president using the phrase enemy of the people to describe the press is a bad thing to do because of its Soviet origins. I just don't like it.
MACCALLUM: He seems to be the only person I think, it's a good idea.
YORK: He loves it, but I don't think he'll do it. On the other hand, the fact that so many in the press are biased again. It's against him, that there's so much coverage that just bias that you might think that instead of this collective action against the president, they might look inside a little bit to see, are we too oppositional? Are we too easily distracted? Do we spend more time with Michael Avenatti than some other important issues?
MACCALLUM: He's running for president (INAUDIBLE)
YORK: He's running for, well, it's a big deal now.
YORK: So, do you know, are there things that we could do? Have we changed the way we do business because of this unique presidency and is that a good thing? So, I think maybe more introspection would be a better idea.
MACCALLUM: I think that might be wishful thinking. But, we will see, guys.
SUMMERS: Yes. I mean that -- sorry, I don't know about that. I think, you know, the media made this president. So as much as he wants to -- you know, moan and complain about the media. The reality is the media made this president. And look, what's worse?
MACCALLUM: I don't know about that.
SUMMERS: Yes, absolutely did.
BENSON: He used -- (INAUDIBLE). He used them right to has it been a very smart way. Absolutely.
MACCALLUM: So, are they just playing right into his hand in this kind of thing?
SUMMERS: So, what's worse? Organizing a day where you recognize the importance of a free press that's protected by the Constitution?
MACCALLUM: How is the press not free? That's trying to understand in on.
SUMMERS: Or preparing for a week and the protest promoting white supremacy.
MACCALLUM: Name any press institution that is weaker now than it was when the president came into office.
SUMMERS: Name -- I'm sorry, what's that?
MACCALLUM: Any press institution that's weaker now during the Trump presidency?
SUMMERS: No, It's all right.
MACCALLUM: They're stronger by most assists. So, the idea that this has weakened them, and that -- you know, it's really I think difficult to argue.
SUMMERS: Well, OK. So, in terms of public perception, I think it obviously has weakened him because he's got the biggest microphone in the country and arguably in the world. So, and we've seen approval ratings and media outlets actually dropping. So that does impact their way --
MACCALLUM: People are reading them and watching them more than ever. Guy, click up before we wrap here.
BENSON: I think the press has every right to push back against some of the excesses from the president for he goes too far.
MACCALLUM: Absolutely, they do.
BENSON: I do think, ganging up that's how he's going to call it. He's going to be like, "Hey, vindication, this is what I tell you that they're doing, they're ganging up against me, and people are going to just dig their heels in deeper on both sides."
MACCALLUM: All right, But Byron's rooting for a -- an introspective press moment that will go all real core.
BENSON: Good luck.
MACCALLUM: We'll see if that happens. Gentlemen, thank you.
YORK: Thank you.
BENSON: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Great to see all of you tonight. All right, coming up here, Fox News confirms tonight that Iran has test-fired a ballistic missile and mobilized ships in the Strait of Hormuz. General Kean, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will be working with our allies to find a really comprehensive and lasting solution to the Iranian nuclear threat. This will include efforts to eliminate the threat of Iran's ballistic missile program.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, it is August and it's plenty hot up here on the roof and President Trump is at his summer home in New Jersey but he's hardly kicking back. Tonight, he is upping the ante against Turkey and Russia and Iran, a triumvirate that is bonding over mutual and despised U.S. sanctions against all of them. The president announcing that he will double steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey. Earlier this week the president issued what he called the most biting sanctions ever imposed against Iran and now Fox News has confirmed that Iran has test-fired a ballistic missile or short-range ship missile for the first time this year.
Meanwhile, President Trump imposed sanctions against Russia over the chemical weapons attack in London on a spy and his daughter. Those new sanctions met with fury from Prime Minister Medvedev who issued this threat today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DMITRY MEDVEDEV, PRIME MINISTER, RUSSIA: If something like a ban on bank operations or currency use follows it will amount to a declaration of economic war and it will warrant their response with economic means, political means, and if necessary other means. Our American friends should understand that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: If necessary other means, he says. Here now to break all this down for us General Jack Keane, Chairman of the Institute for the Study of war and Fox News Strategic -- Senior Strategic Analyst. General, always good to see you. Thank you for being here.
GEN. JACK KEANE (RET.), FOX NEWS SENIOR STRATEGIC ANALYST: Yes, good to see you, Martha. Welcome to Washington.
MACCALLUM: Thank you. Great to be here. Let's kind of go around the horn here on what's going. First of all with Iran, with the firing of this missile and the mobilization in exercises that they say they moved up to the summer timeframe because of these sanctions, they usually do it in the fall. What do you -- what do you take away from that?
KEANE: Well, clearly Iran is trying to send a message to the Trump team here based on the sanctions they're imposing. They fired a missile two to three weeks after the inauguration, testified ballistic missiles. Trump came right out sanction them and said malign behavior again is going to be worse coming from the United States. We're not going to put up with this and they haven't done anything like that since. They're doing it now because they're pretty much under a booth when it comes to the sanctions were imposing on them.
They are significant in terms of taking them out of the dollar financial market implication, it may spread to the international market as well and then shutting down gold precious metals, aluminum, steel, graphite, coal, automobiles, a long list of things. And next coming November is when we go after oil and the energy sector and that is going to be very imposing on the Iranians. Their economy is already in the tank. It is struggling severely and the Rial is their currency, it is almost close to being valueless and black market is the way of doing business in Iran. So the pressure is on them and come November it will be on them like it's never been before.
MACCALLUM: So if they're backed into a corner and you look at the Strait of Hormuz is that an option for them to block that?
KEANE: If they block the Strait of Hormuz, we will take out literally all that military on the Strait of Hormuz. That's an act of war if they pull a stunt like that and they know what the results of that will be. And that will push the United States in the -- Iran does not want conflict with the United States. Remember, 38 years of conflict all using proxies avoiding direct confrontation with their own military. That is one thing. Despite the fact that they harass our ships, they fire missiles here and there, they do not want that kind of conflict.
MACCALLUM: All right, what about Turkey. Obviously, it roiled the markets today. Their economy is under tremendous pressure and Erdogan lashing out making phone calls to Putin. We know the Secretary Pompeo also spoke to his counterpart in Russia today, a lot of tensions there.
KEANE: Yes. Turkey is facing a political on a financial crisis. The political crisis really goes back to the coup of 2016 when Erdogan nearly was toppled and not a single NATO nation to include the United States provided any moral support. Nobody spoke in his favor because he's moving that regime to an authoritarian regime moving away from democracy. And as a result of that, he came out and he said I want the leader who was the catalyst for this coup who resides in the United States, the guy by the name of Fethullah Gulen to be removed. He lives in Pennsylvania. We said no. He arrested a U.S. citizen who resides in Turkey and that's now the famous Pastor Bronson, tragic that he is in prison. He's in now on the house arrest.
And this dispute has really boiled over and that is why the tariffs on aluminum, steel are being issued by the Trump administration at a time when Turkey is in a financial crisis with the Lira their currency being significantly devalued against the dollar and inflation is spiraling up out of control.
MACCALLUM: So they could significantly defuse this situation if they sent Pastor Bronson back.
MACCALLUM: Do you think they will?
KEANE: This political dispute eases dramatically. I think this these sanctions that they're imposing on Turkey are going to hurt them at a time when they're in financial crisis and they've got banks that are affected in Turkey because they've been loaning money to Turkey for years and it tied up in this so it's going to impact in Europe as well. There'll be a little bit of a contagion here, not a massive one like what happened in Greece. So it's got implications more pressure beyond Erdogan. The most of the pressure I think is going to come from as people to be frank about it because they're there every single day is getting worse.
MACCALLUM: Absolutely. And Iran may be the same situation and perhaps that's what we are not inciting but sort of creating an environment that that puts the pressure and the encouragement to some -- in some regard on the people of Turkey and the people of Iran. But what about the connection between Turkey and Russia and you know, did they see an alliance there that's potentially -- could potentially be dangerous for us?
KEANE: Yes, we're frustrated with them over -- this is over Syria. And the reality is the Turks argument is that we are supporting the Syrian Kurds who are the main ground force guided by special operations forces from the United States to defeat ISIS in the caliphate in eastern Turkey. They look at Syrian Kurds as terrorists in their mind. They're tied to -- they are connected to a terrorist organization that is trying to topple the regime and carve out a Kurdis town inside of Turkey and Syria but they're loosely tied to them. The reality is also we resent as you just mentioned a relationship that turkey has with Russia and also with Iran that are actually operating against our interests in Syria.
So that frustration is there and there is --it actually goes back to ISIS. ISIS would never have moved from 600 Iraqi fighters to 14,000 in six months and then in 18 months 30,000 if Erdogan didn't have his border open. Even though we were saying shut it down, even though he said I got to shut it down, he let it happen because he strategically made a serious mistake. He thought ISIS would go against the regime and take it down. He didn't understand. ISIS was interested in its own geography which was east in Iraq and the south in Saudi Arabia.
MACCALLUM: General Jack Keane, always good to talk to you, sir. Thank you very much.
KEANE: Yes, good talking to you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So coming up tonight, a Wake Forest basketball coach, a Florida man and Uber, and now a case of murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONNA KENT, MOTHER OF SANDOR SZABO: Sandor was a person that you just hope that you have one chance in a lifetime to meet because he was so rare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: -- later from his injuries. Now his mother shared her heartbreak on Fox News earlier today. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENT: When we went to see Sandor and saw what had happened to his face, this wasn't just a punch, this was a punch so hard that resulted in my son's teeth going through his lip. For him to just have an assault charge was just shocking to us and disappointing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Trace Gallagher picks up THE STORY live from our West Coast Newsroom tonight. Hi Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Hi Martha. This happened in the New York borough of Queens at 1:15 Sunday morning. Sandor Szabo who was visiting from Boca Raton, Florida was looking for an Uber ride after his stepsister's wedding. A person familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press that Szabo may have been drunkenly banging on car windows and when he banged on the window of 35-year-old Jamill Jones, the Wake Forest coach apparently got out of his car followed Szabo to the sidewalk, punched him and drove off.
Investigators say Sabo hit the concrete and never regained consciousness and was taken off life support Tuesday afternoon. Jamill Jones accompanied by his attorney turned himself into police on Thursday afternoon. He was arraigned, pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance. There is surveillance video of Jamill Jones standing by his car but he's alone. We don't know if there's video of Jones and Szabo or if the actual punch was on video. But if there is, police have yet to release it. So we don't know if Jones was defending himself or if he was the aggressor.
But his family released a statement saying, I'm quoting, "The Jones family stands by Jamill and his legal right to be presumed innocent in what is ultimately a tragic incident." As you can imagine Sandor Szab's mom has a much different take, here again she is on Sheppard Smith reporting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONNA KENT, SANDOR SZABO'S MOTHER: When you're responsible for somebody's death, you hit them so hard, you leave, don't show up again for five days and you think an assault is what you should be charged with, that's just wrong and he knows it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: The mom went on to say the police immediately treated this as a homicide. Investigators have not yet confirmed that. The Wake Forest athletic department has also released a statement saying Jamill Jones has been placed on leave pending the outcome of the case.
And the university also send condolences to the family of Sandor Szabo. The next court date for Jamill Jones is October 2nd. Martha?
MACCALLUM: Trace, thank you very much. That's a tough story. Joining me now attorney Emily Compagno, and attorney Seth Berenzweig, he specializes in sports. We want to welcome both of you. Good to have you here tonight.
Seth, let me start with you. The New York medical examiner ruled this a homicide. Is there an opportunity then for when this is charged to become more than assault?
SETH BERENZWEIG, SPORTS LAW ATTORNEY: Well, there's certainly an opportunity for that, but when the coroner or even the police department enter a finding, that's not binding on the district attorney's office, and the coroner's office is in charge of the cause of death but that's not directly connected to the responsibility for that death.
I think the bottom line on this case is that, unfortunately, the law indicates there are times where you end up with a very shocking result.
Our heart goes out to the mother and we understand her wondering why this would never go beyond a simple misdemeanor assault. But the problem is that New York criminal law has some unique aspects that make it difficult to charge someone for murder or homicide in the absence of an intention to cause either death or serious disfigurement.
BERENZWEIG: That's not here, so we end up with a very difficult gray area in a very tragic case.
MACCALLUM: Well, Emily, how much comes down to the power behind the punch? As the mother is discussing there and does that go to intent? The other factor here, is there are some suggestion that he was drunk.
So, you know, his own ability to respond to that punch or to maybe not be able to stand if indeed that was the case would definitely be determined in an autopsy I would imagine.
EMILY COMPAGNO, ATTORNEY: Right. Well, there's actually -- there's a few salient points here that viewers need to understand. Now first the one punch killing as they're known at, they're really that rare.
In fact, multiple states have passed legislation dealing with them and because the victim is oftentimes drunk that actually has a higher propensity for death. It rather severs a back artery in the brain or if they are knocked out and they hit their skull of the pavement, then that's a huge hemorrhage or a skull fracture.
So, in that the state of New York passed in 2015 a Senate bill that accounted for what was then a one-punch killing of a 59-year-old man in the Bronx by a 17-year-old, they were so aghast at the fact that this does happen actually. And so, it empowers prosecutors to prosecute a felony charge for it would be a second degree manslaughter for this kind of case.
And so the intent is simply an appreciation and then a disregard of this kind of circumstance, which is basically an unjustifiable substantial and significant outcome. So here it falls squarely within that. And again, it's much more common than we think and that's why the law in New York has accounted for it.
MACCALLUM: All right. So, Seth, in terms of the fact that as we heard the mother say, that he left the scene.
MACCALLUM: And did not, they didn't hear from him for several days afterwards, what's the impact of that?
BERENZWEIG: Well, I think that certainly if it was a vehicular incident, then that would relate to a more traditional definition under the law of hit and run. But in a situation like this I don't think that it really necessarily changes the analysis with respect to whether this is a situation where he'll be held responsible for murder or homicide.
It's true that the New York legislature has looked at changes in the law like this. One comparable change that was considered in 2016 actually it didn't pass for a change in the legislature.
Another tragic aspect to also keep in mind here, is that from a civil liability standpoint, there is no indication that Wake Forest would be on the hook for any kind of liability to the family because this was an attack that happened outside of the scope of his employment. And even if there was a judgment against this coach, he would probably be able to discharge it in bankruptcy. So tragically other than--
MACCALLUM: How much time could he potentially do here, Seth?
BERENZWEIG: Well, if it is charged as a misdemeanor in this class, it would be within one year. And absent charging above that not a day longer.
MACCALLUM: All right. Emily and Seth, thank you very much, good to have both of you with us tonight.
So, football is back and so are the national anthem protests. And President Trump is tweeting up a storm about it today.
Also separately here, clip on man buns. Seriously. Clip on man buns. Katie Pavlich and Wendy Osefo join me next.
MACCALLUM: So it is August you know what that means. The NFL is back. Last night the preseason games in bright lights, the newly drafted players but the protests were also back too. Eleven players did some sort of demonstration during the national anthem including kneeling, someone went into the tunnel and that kind of thing.
President Trump was back at it tweeting this, this morning. "Be happy, be cool! Exclamation point. "A football games that fans are paying so much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest." He says. "Most of that money goes to the players anyway, find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your national anthem or be suspended without pay."
Joining me now is Wendy Osefo, political commentator and professor, and Katie Pavlich, news editor at Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor. Great to have both of you with us today.
I'm watching some of the games last night. You know, the president thinks this is a winning issue for him. But you know, in reality, the revenue has been rising, ratings are down but revenue is up, so is it really a winning issue for him, Katie?
KATIE PAVLICH, EDITOR, TOWNHALL.COM NEWS: I think it's a winning issue for him politically when it comes to patriotism and standing up for the national anthem and the flag. And as the president of the United States, you know, there are very few things with the nation that keep the entire country together.
The national anthem thus far has been one of those things. So it does help him politically. When it comes to the NFL, revenue may be up but ratings are down. And I think it's to these player's detriment to be continuing to behave this way when the league is trying to put in rules where they can go in the locker room to avoid this kind of disrespectful behavior on the field.
You know, ESPN did a survey last year asking people why they tuned out of games and the number one reason was because of these protests. So, they can argue all they want, that they have the right to do it in the workplace, fine, but the viewers and fans also have a right to tune out.
MACCALLUM: And the president tweeted, Wendy, about, you know, some of them don't even know what they're protesting and that got criticism. What do you think about that?
WENDY OSEFO, DEMOCRAT STRATEGIST: Yes. I think that that's completely flawed. Because what we do know is that we have had countless players who have written about this. We have Eric Reed from the 49ers who wrote a New York Times op-ed, we have Malcolm Jenkins from the Eagles who also wrote a Washington Post op-ed.
And these are just op-eds but we have people who have had interviews and have said the reason why they are protesting because of racial injustice.
Furthermore, what I find really interesting is that the president said that he doesn't know why they are kneeling. But on June 8th he gave an interview and he said, since they're kneeling for criminal justice reform, let me know who has been, you know, a recipient of this and I will see if I should pardon them.
So, again, I think this is just red meat for his base. We all know why these people are kneeling, they said it countless times. But, again, the president just using this.
MACCALLUM: You know when they've talked about it last night they were vague, you know, the players said, I respect views. I love the military. I'm not really trying to get into it. It's just something I believe in. As the man I've got to stand for something.
And I feel like if they were more specific, and you know, there was a meeting yesterday in Bedminster that the president held about prison reform. I mean, obviously that's an issue that he cares about.
It feels like they ought to be able to come together. Do you think players would go to the White House and sit down and try to get somewhere on this subject?
OSEFO: No, I don't so.
MACCALLUM: Why not?
OSEFO: A lot of the players would want to go to the White House.
PAVLICH: Why not?
OSEFO: Because they feel as though the president has continuously attacked people of color. If they want someone--
MACCALLUM: What do they want in their protests if they won't try to--
OSEFO: They want to bring -- they want to bring attention to the issue.
PAVLICH: The president just held a meeting this week talking directly about prison reform. He's shown with the pardon of Alice Johnson. He's willing to discuss this issue to open the doors to players and other groups in Chicago, for example, to talk about, you know, the allegations that the justice system is racially biased towards the African-American community.
And also, I do want to point out that there are a number of NFL players who are also saying we don't want to protest the national anthem. Dak Prescott from the Cowboys saying I would never protest in that way. I wish we're standing for the national anthem. Jim Jones has also said that by saying, look, this is the most inappropriate place you could choose to protest these types of issues.
MACCALLUM: Well, they could--
PAVLICH: It is. So I just want to say the majority of the players are not protesting.
MACCALLUM: I just think they should, you know, put their money where their mouth is and agree to -- you know, if they should bring that up to the president and say we want to talk to you. You know, be the change that you-- that you seek.
MACCALLUM: I think that's a really powerful message and I think it would actually probably go a lot longer way than what they're doing now which seems to be a mixed message and a lot of people feel is not, you know, clearly presented necessarily.
I want to ask you about another topic that happened this week. Melania, the first lady's parents became citizens. It's a, you know, obviously a personal moment for them of great meaning, but when the lawyer was questioned do they come under chain migration, and he said essentially yes, which is something the president is clearly against, Katie. So how do you square that?
PAVLICH: You know, look, that is the system we have now. Congress see that's Congress to change that system. However, it's not necessarily apples and oranges or apples versus when it comes to the way that they did this.
Melania became a citizen in 2006. Chain migration typically as an entire family is coming after one person comes within a year. They try to bring the whole family over and then they go through the process and they don't always become citizens.
And so, the other part of this too, is that Melania's parents are from Slovenia, it's not a terrorist haven as the president has discussed as we've seen in the last couple of years. We've had a number of people from countries that have terrorist ties with chain migration and their families are not vetted.
And so there's been a 12-year gap between when Melania became a citizen when her parents decided to go through the process. She did sponsor them. But let's look at the details of why we're--
MACCALLUM: Wendy, you're rolling your eyes.
OSEFO: No. I think we're trying to piece in parcel of this. Right now this is hypocrisy. This is hypocrisy at its finest. We're talking about chain migration and it is what it is. Melania brought over her parents and they got their citizenship. We should applaud that.
But however, we can't stay here and condemn individuals who do the same thing. Furthermore, if we take away chain migration that really incentivizes people to come here illegally.
As someone who is from one of those s-hole countries, Nigeria, there's a lot of Nigerians who come to this country and they bring their family members over. We can't say that one country is better than another, that's not fair. So you can't say that.
PAVLICH: But, no, but one country is better than the other when it comes to the economy the economy--
PAVLICH: -- their ties to terrorism--
OSEFO: No. Nigerians are the number ethnic group in the United States.
PAVLICH: I'm not comparing Nigeria.
OSEFO: You just said that. You just said one country is better than another.
PAVLICH: I did not say Nigeria.
OSEFO: You said one country is better than another.
PAVLICH: I said -- I said -- let me finish my point, I said that countries are different from each other and that is a fact. Nigeria is better than a lot of other African countries. Nigeria is better than Yemen, for example. You have to vet countries based on what they have to offer, what's the vetting system of their governments are.
PAVLICH: And whether they could protect Americans coming here because we have to make sure that the people coming are--
MACCALLUM: So there has to be a process. They have to analyze whether or not, the person--
PAVLICH: Different countries have different values doing different ways of government.
MACCALLUM: OK. I guess we are out of time and we didn't get to the man -- so we can end on the light note here. Because we've been (Inaudible) topic.
MACCALLUM: So now there's man buns, give me the picture, guys. That clip on to their head.
PAVLICH: My gosh.
MACCALLUM: It's not about -- it's a terrible match. This is the point. And the advertising is hilarious, it's like you can switch up your hairstyle anytime you want and you can put them as -- I think there's another picture too. So what you guys think?
PAVLICH: You know, guys usually have better hair, anyway.
PAVLICH: So when they have the, like have a fake one, like they can usually grow it out on their own and just do it.
PAVLICH: But I'm not a fan of man buns. I think Greg Gutfeld would be very (Inaudible) with this, like he's going to have a heart attack.
OSEFO: I like man buns. I don't like--
MACCALLUM: You like the real deal.
OSEFO: It's like the real deal. My 3-year-old has the real--
MACCALLUM: And it's usually smaller than that. (Inaudible)
PAVLICH: Yes. Fair enough. But as long as he washes the bun.
MACCALLUM: There you go. There you go. Good to see you both. Thank you very much.
PAVLICH: Thank you.
OSEFO: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Thanks, ladies. All right. Tonight, still ahead, the remarkable story of one dog tag recovered from the Korean War this week and handed over to the two sons who lost their father in that war so many decades ago. It's an incredible story, they are here with me live, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES MCDANIEL, JR., SON OF MISSING KOREAN WAR VETERAN: We were contacted by the department of the army and said we found one dog tag and it's your father's.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: A touching moment. Charles Jr. and Larry McDaniel were given the dog tag that belonged to their father who vanished during the Korean War.
Army Master Sergeant Charles McDaniel was an army medic with a wife and two young boys at home when he was lost in action. His dog tag was found among the 55 boxes that were handed over by North Korea late last month.
Here now we are honored to have his sons, Charles Jr. and Larry McDaniel. Gentlemen, thank you so much for being here. Charles, let me start with you, what was it like when you got that phone call?
MCDANIEL, JR.: I was sitting and reading, my wife actually picked up the phone and she said it's for you. And as an army survivor, we always look at our phone there and the call, the caseworker said I have amazing news for you. He asked me if I had seen the 55 boxes and I had.
There are around 7,700 MIAs still. And so you think 55 boxes there are pretty remote possibility of being your father but you know, you think possibly it could be so. And he said yes, I've seen that and he said well, we found one dog tag. And he said it's your father's.
It's amazing, I do this, I've done this about 10 times now with people and I can't get keep it like, and that's what happened. I had to stop and pause and reflect a little bit. I met Paul at the conference we just had face to face and thanked him several times profusely. But what they do is amazing and we don't ever know that's going on until it happens.
MACCALLUM: Show us the dog tag.
MCDANIEL, JR.: Sure.
MACCALLUM: You know, it's so remarkable. Larry, what goes through your mind when you look at that and you think about it being on your father's chest?
LARRY MCDANIEL, JR., SON OF MISSING KOREAN WAR VETERAN: Well, I was surprised like everyone else. Because in all reality, we had assumed that he was deceased for all of these years. So that part wasn't a surprise. I honestly didn't ever expect to have anything relating directly to him.
MACCALLUM: What happens next, Charles? You know, I mean, there are, as you say 55 boxes of remains and we expect that more will come. Do you think that you will get a call that says that they have found his remains?
MCDANIEL, JR.: Well, the dog tag is the only identifiable thing -- I just do a little sigh. It was amazing, I just went to Larry and I just went to a conference, it was an updating that they do every year for Korean War MIA's, there were 700 people there related in some way for the most part.
And I felt really a little guilty because we were the only ones that had some certitude but just because there's a dog tag there doesn't mean that his remains are there. So there's still an untold story.
And there's several issues about this, the way the army issues this, you know, if you're a military person you'll know, there's a long chain with a dog tag and there's a short chain with a dog tag. This is the short chain.
What this often is, if there's a deceased comrade, one of their buddies takes off the short chain. So, I don't know if this is the one that one of his friends took off and then later he was killed and this became removed from the body--
MACCALLUM: And he kept it with him.
MCDANIEL, JR.: Or whether this is one that was still with the body.
MCDANIEL, JR.: So there's still a lot of uncertainties. But of all of those people, we have some certitude about my father.
MACCALLUM: We're glad that that is the case for you. We've talked to other families who are waiting for some kind of something.
L. MCDANIEL: Yes.
MACCALLUM: And I know that it's the kind that stays with your family all through your life.
L. MCDANIEL: Yes.
MACCALLUM: It's something that you just carry with you and we thank you very much for sharing it with us and we're glad that you have your father's dog tag now.
MCDANIEL, JR.: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: All the best to you both. Thank you, gentlemen.
MCDANIEL, JR.: I think that America too by the way that they take seriously this.
MCDANIEL, JR.: After 68 years.
MACCALLUM: They at 24/7. Thank you so much, gentlemen. Good to have you with us.
L. MCDANIEL: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Quick break. We'll be right back with more.
MACCALLUM: So be sure to tune in this Sunday, I'm filling in for Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday." I will speak exclusively with Senators Lindsey Graham and Jack Reed of the arms services committee.
Have a great weekend, everybody. We'll see you on Sunday. Tucker is up next.
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