Andrew Pollack on fighting to stop mass shootings after losing his daughter in the Parkland school shooting

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 13, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: All right, thank you, Shepard, very, very much here.

You're watching "Your World."

As you might have heard a thing or two over the last hour and, of course, with a good deal of attention to Hollywood." "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman has been sentenced to 14 days in prison for paying $15,000 to rig her daughter's SAT scores, make them higher here, in a college admissions scandal that ultimately eclipsed dozens of key celebrities and boldface notable names, all of whom have been watching this case very, very closely.

We are waiting for Felicity Huffman get outside that courthouse. She will be probably with her husband, William H. Macy. And she has already accepted the punishment meted out by the judge in this case.

Molly Line is outside the Boston courthouse where all of this is going down.

Molly, where is she? Do we know?


Just getting a few more details out of the courthouse, our producer Andrew Fone (ph) has been inside. He says that Huffman is just now leaving the courtroom. She's holding hands with her husband, of course, another famous actor, William Macy.

He says she appears stunned. Still a smattering of media inside. It's unclear actually coming straight to the door, if there's some paperwork that will potentially need to be done inside, very common following major proceedings like these.

As you mentioned, 14 days in prison was the sentence that was handed down in this case. Now, Felicity Huffman, very early in all of this, confessed to her crime, apologized profusely, and worked out this plea agreement.

Of course, the judge can look at all of the facts as they come and make their own determination. And, ultimately, this judge, Indira Talwani, decided that two weeks was the right thing to do.

Felicity Huffman in court today, apologizing openly and tearfully before that judge, saying that she was deeply ashamed of what she had done, that she had done more damage than she could ever imagine. "And I realized now, with my mothering, that love and truth go hand in hand."

The "Desperate Housewives" star, as you mentioned, confessed to paying $15,000 through the mastermind of this scheme to ultimately facilitate cheating on her daughter's SAT exam, now, of course, convicted felon heading from prison.

Now, we're told that she won't have to report until late October, so not an unusual way to end these proceedings. This is not uncommon. A self-report is what essentially is expected to happen.

Prosecutors didn't take it easy on her today in court. They came down very hard on her and argued that her efforts and mothering were not excuse for what happened, saying: "We all want the best, to give them an edge. Most parents have a moral compass, do not step over the line. The defendant didn't."

Her lawyers had argued for probation and 250 hours of community service. They didn't get what they want. She will in fact spend some time behind bars.

Judge Indira Talwani determined that prison time was warranted. And we are just getting word now that it appears that potentially Felicity Huffman is stepping out of the courthouse. It appears going -- moving quickly into a vehicle, heading out to leave.

It doesn't look like she will be stepping up in front of the cameras to make a big statement following this. As you can see, we see a dark car on the corner, most likely will shortly be making a swift exit as the media begins to back away, these big cameras stepping further and further back as folks gets into the car.

CAVUTO: All right, Molly, thank you. Thank you, Molly.

Indeed, that is what she's doing. She did go out a back entrance, and she's already driving off right now with her husband, William H. Macy.

For those of you just tuning in right now, Felicity Huffman, the "Desperate Housewives" star, is going to be serving a 14-day prison sentence probably in another six weeks or so for paying $15,000 to help boost her daughter's SAT scores in that college admissions scandal that grew to include some 34 parents of varying degree and fame and boldface name status that became known simply as the college admissions scandal.

The cameras were set up outside this courthouse, in the front of the courthouse she chose to leave behind without making a statement to reporters. She apologized profusely, and in a statement saying that: "I can only say that I am so sorry. I was frightened. I was stupid. I was wrong. I'm deeply ashamed of what I have done."

The attorney -- the assistant U.S. attorney, Eric Rosen, in arguing for some president time, limited though it might have been, was that, "With all due respect to the defendant, welcome to parenthood," going on to say that: "Parenthood is terrifying, exhausting and stressful, but that is what every parent goes through. What parenthood doesn't include, it doesn't make you a felon. It doesn't make you cheat. In fact, it makes you want to serve as a positive role model for your children."

And with that in mind, the judge agreeing that some prison time, albeit limited as it was and is, was warranted here, in this case, 14 days, as I think Judge Andrew Napolitano was telling Shepard Smith, a very unusual and, in fact, ridiculously low amount of federal prison time.

But it is what it is.

Attorney Mercedes Colwin on all of this.

What do you make of that 14-day sentence? I guess it could have been up to 30 days, but what do you make of it?


I mean, certainly, it's a loud message for all those others that have been implicated in the same scandal, Neil. They're looking, they're waiting, they're seeing. Felicity Huffman was the sacrificial lamb that step forward, took the plea, which, frankly, it was the right call, acknowledged that she had done the wrong thing.

And, really, frankly, we're all pretty stunned that she has any jail time. She has no criminal record. She was well-represented. She took a very, I think, contrite attitude towards the whole controversy. She managed this controversy and scandal very, very well.

Pretty shocking that she had any days in jail time. Frankly, the 250 hours of community service was more than enough time for lesson learned.

But, really, this is about keep making sure that this message is sent to the others that are waiting in the wings for their day in court. Many -- we know that it's up to 40 to 50 of these others that have been in this scandal as well. Most of them have pled not guilty.

We know Lori -- obviously, Lori Loughlin comes -- the first person that comes to mind that she pled not guilty. This is a pretty loud message that prosecutors are not granting any mercy, even if you do manage the scandal as well as Felicity Huffman did and acknowledge wrongdoing at the very get- go.

CAVUTO: Mercedes, can a judge, once imposing a sentence, unimpose it, in other words, to change his mind?

COLWIN: Right.

CAVUTO: He reads her final statement, which is that I got what I deserved. I'm paraphrasing here. I'm very, very sorry. She put herself at the mercy of the court. The court decided she didn't have a privileged position. She seemed genuinely remorseful, all the things that I know prosecutors look at, judges reflect on.

So I guess what I'm asking, back to that point, is whether a judge can say, you know, I thought better of it and no.

COLWIN: There really isn't a mechanism.

At this point, she's going to come back to the courthouse. I mean, it's a great question. The mechanism will be, she will come back and she will then serve her time, the 14 days. But there isn't a mechanism by which the court can reverse itself.

It could -- it would have happened at that very point when the arguments were made for jail time and without.

CAVUTO: You know, I know you don't -- a crime is a crime is a crime...

COLWIN: Right.

CAVUTO: ... whether it involves $15,000 to help your child's SAT scores, goose them up, look better, vs. a half-a-million dollars and some of these other large payments that were made on behalf of Hollywood celebrities' children, on the behalf of their parents pushing for that.

But does that surprise you, in and of itself, that for -- I'm not trying to minimize the crime, but, in comparison, it seems relatively minor. But it's very clear to me that the judge may be taking the cue from the prosecutors, chose this route.

COLWIN: I think you're exactly right.

I really do think that because Felicity is the first of the many that are going to come forward that we're going to see as to what the disposition of the criminal charges are going to be. It's pretty shocking, truthfully, to see that there was any jail time imposed.

And it really goes back to that message that's been sent to the others. Frankly, there's always back-channel communications between defense attorneys and the prosecutors to see if they can negotiate some sort of deal.

What's weird about this particular scandal is that they got the big fish first. Usually, the best way to get a negotiated plea for your client is that they're going to -- they're going to negotiate, they're going to give you information, it'll lead to the center, nucleus of the scandal.

That's not how this happened. We got -- they got the nucleus. And now everybody else gets implicated based on the big fish in the entire scandal.

So it really is going to be depending on the prosecutor. And given what they what they said in the courtroom, where it was a continued lashing against Felicity Huffman, and I'm sure the continued messaging is, you didn't have a moral compass, you shouldn't have gone down this path. Lots of people in this country are parents, under stress. They don't act accordingly like you do.

CAVUTO: Mercedes, thank you very, very much. Incredible.

COLWIN: My pleasure.

CAVUTO: All right.

So, Felicity Huffman, it's going to be 14 days in prison, likely to commence about five or six weeks from now, we're told. She's also been given a $30,000 fine, 250 hours of community service, and a year of supervised release, all because she was trying to goose her daughter's SAT scores, a move she probably regrets about now, and so many others who are caught up in this same case.

We will have more after this.


CAVUTO: All right, we were touching record territory earlier at the corner Wall and Broad. It didn't end up getting there, but we did see our eighth straight day of gains in the Dow.

And a lot of it had to do with progress or perceived progress on the trade front.

Blake Burman right now at the White House with the latest that is causing it -- Blake.


President Trump gave some breathing room to this idea that there could potentially be an interim trade deal between the U.S. and China at some point. But the White House is also noting how, when the president was asked about that yesterday late afternoon here at the White House, he also added -- quote -- "I guess."

When talking about this as well, the president also said that he prefers a full deal.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: Well, it's something that people talk about. I would rather get the whole deal done. But there's no easy or hard. There's a deal or there's not a deal.

But it's something we would consider, I guess.


BURMAN: Now there are some within the U.S. trade apparatus who feel the tariffs beyond the $250 billion mark went too far.

The White House is saying that whatever deal might be struck with China would need to include enforcement and protection mechanisms.

The president's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, was asked this afternoon if he would favor a short-term deal that involved that $250 billion number. Kudlow wouldn't get into specifics. Instead, he noted the changing environment of the negotiations.


LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: The really good part about this is that there's some relaxation in the air with China exempting some tariffs.

We have returned the favor. And the negotiations are moving along nicely. Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Mnuchin are hard at it. And I have learned never to predict. And, as the president said yesterday, we're always available for a good deal.


BURMAN: Neil, so you heard Kudlow there say that there is some relaxation in the air.

On the sudden de-escalation front today, China also announced that it would exempt soybeans, pork and other ag products from its most recent items that were placed on the tariffs list -- Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, thank you, my friend, Blake Burman, at the White House.

Well, this has been sort of one of these things that has been up in the air for a lot of businesses, one of the excuses, we're told, some may be valid reasons, to hold back on hiring or expansion plans.

If this is closer to getting resolved, then what?

We have got FOX Business Network's Charlie Gasparino, market watchers Gary B. Smith, Rebecca Walser.

Gary B., what do you think of that, that you get this settled, or at least it looks like it's going in that direction, some of the imponderables are out of the way, and away we go?

GARY B. SMITH, CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, absolutely.

I think this is the cloud. Whether it deserves to be or not remains to be seen. I think the effect is a little bit overblown. That said, it's really the only cloud out there hanging over the market. The rest of the economy is in pretty good shape.

I think if we see and what I feel is a steady erosion in the acrimony between the two countries, I think we kind of drift back to where we were before this all started, I think the market really skyrockets.

CAVUTO: All right.

We were looking, Rebecca, at a lot of the companies, the sectors that would benefit from a surer posture on trade, especially those that are exposed to that neck of the woods. And we're going to be going through some of them, Boeing first and foremost, I assume the 737 MAX plane notwithstanding.

But what do you make of that, that for those who do business in that neck of the woods and vice versa, these are promising signs?


I think any -- it's like Gary said. Any relaxation of tensions is considered a good sign, because we have had such a back and forth since May.

But I do think that it is an overblown reaction, because it's just a two- week delay as a sign of good faith for their 70th anniversary, as the president has said.

And I think a bigger news story on the China front this week is them trying to separate the actual national security issues from trade, which I think are not separable. I think that is President Trump's leverage. So I don't see that happening. So, it's a good gesture.

CAVUTO: But he seemed open to that.

Rebecca, he seemed open to that. Now, we got some mixed signals out of the White House. First, he was open to an interim agreement that might include addressing some of those more thorny issues down the road, the low-hanging fruit issues, like them buying more stuff from us, et cetera, like right now.

WALSER: Right.

CAVUTO: Is he in a box if he does a 180 on that?

WALSER: I mean, I just can't see it, Neil. I don't know what everyone else thinks, but I will just tell you that this has been his leverage.

And the only reason that they're negotiating with us is because of the fact that we are -- these tariffs are having an impact. And they absolutely have no -- the whole deal fell apart in May because we couldn't make them stick to what their agreement was, which was national security.

So I just cannot see the two separate tracks.

CHARLIE GASPARINO, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: I don't think he has much leverage. I mean, I will be honest with you, Neil.

I don't see the Chinese giving that much to the president. It's an election year. He needs the markets to go up. He knows that and already signaling that he's basically going to agree to some marginal deal, and then walk away.

This is -- there's not going to be a major deal with China.

CAVUTO: Well, he hasn't outright said that.

GASPARINO: He's signaling.

CAVUTO: But if he does that route, Charlie, and let's say, then what?


CAVUTO: What would the fallout -- the markets would like it just resolved, right?


GASPARINO: Now, this one issue would be off the table, this one issue.

But where I think Gary is wrong in predicting the markets skyrocket is that we have a globe. There's more than just China out there. I mean, the world -- there's a global slowdown, economic slowdown. We trade with everybody.

There's a lot more going on in the world than just China, even though China's an issue. And if you're going to be predicting massive stock market rallies, you better also be predicting the rest of the world does a 180 on their economies as well, because our economy cannot just take us through Dow 35000.

CAVUTO: Well, I see what you're saying.

But the reason I buy Gary more than you, I like him more.


CAVUTO: But the other issue -- I'm kidding. I'm kidding.


CAVUTO: But, Gary, I think what you were trying to get at is that if you remove the uncertainty and businesses can resume what their expansion plans were, I get that.

But I also get a little bit of what Charlie is saying. That kind of needs the rest of the world to be going along. And it's not.


No, I -- look, Charlie makes good points. Rebecca does also.

And to Charlie's points, I think the market just feels to me like it wants to go up right now. It is looking for any excuse. Even as Rebecca pointed out this kind of temporary cease-fire, you saw the markets start to rally.

CAVUTO: All right.

SMITH: As to Rebecca's point, I think she's absolutely right. You can't separate the two.

But Charlie made the good point. I think Trump is going to try to finesse this. He's going to say -- he's thinking in his mind...

GASPARINO: Although I will say this, Gary.

SMITH: He's thinking in his mind, I can't separate the two.


SMITH: I know that now. This whole trade war as leverage isn't working. I'm going to try to get back, so at least I'm not fighting China on an economic front.


CAVUTO: Real quick Charlie.

GASPARINO: Here's why you might be right. I don't know if you will be right.

There's a lot of money in the sidelines. And often that money looks for reasons to invest.

SMITH: Right.

CAVUTO: All right.

GASPARINO: So, this -- if we get this out of the way, it might just flood the market.


CAVUTO: You never know. You never know.

GASPARINO: It's hard to know. It's hard to know.

CAVUTO: All right, guys, I want to thank you all very, very much.

You already heard about the 145 CEOs who are urging Congress, the president to act on guns, and now.

When we come back, the man knows firsthand what that's like to lose a child to something like that, but it's more than guns, a lot more -- after this.


CAVUTO: A hundred and forty-five CEOs writing letters to Congress urging lawmakers to pass new gun control measures.

Andrew Pollack has it his life's mission, after losing his beautiful daughter Meadow during the Parkland shooting last February. He's not sure Congress is looking at the right solutions, but some of the more obvious ones right before our eyes.

Andrew Pollack is author of the new book "Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created the Parkland Shooter and Endanger America's Students."

I dare you to read this incredible book without a box of tissues. It is stunning. It is raw. And it's hard to take. But could you imagine being the dad? Can you imagine being Andrew Pollack, who lost his beautiful daughter Meadow that day?

Andrew, very good to have you.


CAVUTO: You know, what's so powerful about this, Andrew, is that the senselessness of it, that when you dug into this and wanted to know what was Nikolas Cruz up to, the assailant, there were alarm bells going off for years with this kid.

And they were just sort of glossed over.

POLLACK: And the school knew about it all, Neil.


POLLACK: That's what -- and it kills me.

I'm looking at that book. It makes my blood boil. I have been talking about it all week. It's not easy for me.

But I put my daughter into a school, but that I didn't know what was going on there. And I take blame for that, for not knowing.

CAVUTO: But how could you have? No one was passing it along.

POLLACK: No one would know.

So that's my point, Neil. This book now that I have out, I actually call -- it's like a manual or a guide for parents and grandparents to read it and actually look at what happened in Parkland and compare. These policies are throughout the whole -- the whole country.

CAVUTO: In other words, these policies where you have a kid who has a number of problems and issues, they try to get him mainstreamed, they try not to kick him out, they try to deal with it.

But there were a lot of warning signs, violent outbursts, torturing and skinning animals, jumping out scaring people, bursting into maniacal laughter time and again, scaring teachers, students alike, violent outbursts, sexual accounts, on and on and on.

And what was interesting is, you got documentation from people who just spelled it all out over the years at this...

POLLACK: And what's crazy, Neil, those records that you're reading about was when he was in middle school.

CAVUTO: Middle school.

POLLACK: In middle school. So they take a year to get him out of the middle school.

The teacher took all those notes that we got from her notes. Nothing's hearsay. And...

CAVUTO: How did you get them?

POLLACK: We worked with different people, lawyers on the defense team that gave us these records, because they wanted to expose the failures, just like I am.

For me, there's nothing more that I want than accountability. I'm going to hold everyone accountable that let my daughter get murdered in the school.


CAVUTO: And you included the superintendent of Broward County, this Robert Runcie.

POLLACK: Robert Runcie.

CAVUTO: Now, he has said that a lot of the stuff that you're bringing up and blaming this on the disciplinary leniency policies, I think he claimed that was fake news.

POLLACK: Fake news.

And what bothers me, my wife went to one of the school board meetings, and she never gets upset about anything. And she came home so upset that night when this Robert Runcie called it fake news when the parents called for accountability.

He said it to the parents grieving -- grieving their children that were murdered. And they wanted accountability. He called it fake news. And he knew. I got the records. You're telling me you're the superintendent? You don't know this kid shouts: "I want to kill. I'm a bad kid"?

CAVUTO: But how is it -- Andrew, you could help me with this.

I was remembering at the time the shootings took place that, right afterwards, when a lot of fingers pointed to Nikolas Cruz, a few kids were surprised. Oh, yes, that makes sense. Oh, yes.

POLLACK: Well, that's what really got me focused on this, putting this book together.

Instead of looking at all the -- the mainstream media was saying, it was the guns, let's ban guns. But every day, my phone, I'm getting calls from students: "This kid was a threat. We knew he was going to kill. We reported him."

They reported him.


CAVUTO: The school system's argument for keeping him, that you want to work with kids who weren't pushed out of the system, you want to assimilate them.

POLLACK: They don't want to arrest. They wanted to end the school-to- prison pipeline.

And what happens when they bring those policies, it creates a whole culture of leniency throughout the whole school district that makes an unsafe environment for the teachers. You don't help the teachers. They have got to spend 10 minutes of class with these...


CAVUTO: Yes, they dread it. They dread it.

POLLACK: Yes, they don't.

CAVUTO: Has any of this practice changed?

I know you got some things changed in Florida. But this practice of shielding kids like this, does that continue?

POLLACK: In Broward, where you have a superintendent as incompetent as Robert Runcie, they're still in place. But there are counties that are learning from the MSD Commission that we put in, the findings.

CAVUTO: Right.

POLLACK: And they're making changes.

And if you could believe it now, so these policies led to my daughter getting murdered in Broward.

CAVUTO: By the way, did she know Nikolas?


CAVUTO: She didn't?

POLLACK: She didn't know him.

But now -- so that policy ended up as a major factor, Neil, in getting my daughter murdered. And now California, Gavin Newsom, the governor, just signed into law this week -- it's a law -- it's against the law for a school to suspend a disruptive child in the school.

And that's what's going on. And that's why my message is to parents, you can't count on politicians, Neil, because I met with them. They're -- the ones I met are great guys. If they could make a snap and make every school safe, they would.

But it boils down to the local level of your school district. They could do whatever they want. So that's -- this book is a guideline for parents. It has to be a parent and a grandparent that has to get involved at a local level.

CAVUTO: But you don't mention guns. You don't mention that as much as anything.


POLLACK: I can tell you, because by looking into all these things, if they would have -- Democrats, they go to sleep at night, all they say is gun control or universal background checks, but they refuse to look at, if you don't arrest these kids when they threaten lives, they have no background.

CAVUTO: And he's legally had access to those guns, right?

POLLACK: Yes, he bought the gun legally.

CAVUTO: Right.

POLLACK: But if we would have had him arrested for threatening to kill, right, off of trespassing at the school after he threatened to shoot the school up, or threatening to rape kids, he wouldn't have been able to...


CAVUTO: He even had drawings going back to middle school of killing people.

POLLACK: It's all on record.

CAVUTO: No, it's amazing.

POLLACK: But that's why that, with the background checks, it doesn't make sense to me. If Democrats don't want to arrest juveniles when they commit crimes, background checks don't work.

CAVUTO: The privacy advocates say, hey, you got to be careful with this. You say?

POLLACK: Well, that's why it's up to parents and grandparents to know what's going on in the school. Don't make the mistake I did and not know.

They have no excuse now. They should go out and purchase my book, "Why Meadow Died," and see what happened.

CAVUTO: It's stunning and the painful events.

Did Nikolas Cruz know his victims?

Did -- you said Meadow didn't know him. But she was one of 17 killed. I think 17 were injured. Did he know any? Did he target them?

POLLACK: He was just a psychopath, sick kid from nursery school. He actually got kicked out of nursery school for biting kids and scratching. They had to tie him down in a bus just to send him to school.

CAVUTO: But your daughter, Andrew, she was trying to help others.

POLLACK: My daughter was a fighter to the end, Neil.

She was on the third floor. She was shot. This teacher she had let her out into the hallway into gunfire. She was shot four times.


POLLACK: And then she covered a freshman, Neil. She was fighting until the end.

And at the end, she was shot another five times. And they both got killed while that deputy waited outside. It all happened. And my life will never be the same.

CAVUTO: I cannot believe it.

"Why Meadow Died," the book is a stunning recreation of events that should never have happened. No dad, no mom should have to live through this, no beautiful girl. And Meadow was a beautiful girl.

I think she's looking down at you and saying, thanks, dad.

POLLACK: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: We will have more after this.


CAVUTO: All right, he survived. That's how they're looking at Joe Biden's performance at the big debate last night.

But he did a lot more than that. He divided the far-flung opposition.

We will explore that after this.


CAVUTO: All right, the big debate over how Joe Biden performed in the debate. He survived, of course. There were moments where he referred to things like a record player and all that stuff, as if.

But the bottom line is, he came through it kind of OK. And he was able to deal with some of those challengers of his who were, he argued, advocating positions that were too far left.

Anyway, FOX's Peter Doocy in Houston with sort of a wrap-up of the fallout from all of this.

Hey, Peter.

PETER DOOCY, CORRESPONDENT: Neil, Joe Biden just came back to the campus that hosted last night's debate to tell reporters that he does plan to release his medical records before any primaries or caucuses occur this cycle.

And this announcement that was in response to a reporter question comes the day after his answer to a question about race had some people scratching their heads, because it included talk about a record player.


JOSEPH BIDEN, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bring social workers in to homes, the parents, to help them deal with how to raise their children.

It's not want they don't want to help. They don't -- they don't know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television -- excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the -- the -- make sure that kids hear words.

A kid coming from a very poor school, have a very poor background, will hear four million words fewer spoken by the time they get there.


DOOCY: Biden also told us a few minutes ago here on campus that he thinks questions about his age are fair.

And that really is what last night's big moment was all wrapped up in, Julian Castro challenging Biden and essentially accusing him of forgetting positions that he expressed on stage only two minutes earlier.

The Biden campaign just blasted out an e-mail to supporters, calling that a low blow. They corrected Castro on some of his information. And despite the Biden campaign being so forward with that, Biden himself doesn't seem too eager to address Castro and what he said.

And Biden even went so far as to tell us he thinks that, in last night's debate, personal attacks were down -- Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, Peter, thank you very, very much.

So, the gaffes, the piling on, what to make of it with Kristen Hawn, Democratic strategist. We have also got FOX News political analyst Gianno Caldwell.

The closer I get to this age group, Gianno, I'm going to make a big deal of people having an old moment.


CAVUTO: So, leaving that aside, the fact that these moments do keep popping up, they get more scrutiny than they probably deserve, because everyone's waiting for them. And, voila, they appear.

So I guess what I'm asking you is, do Republicans risk overplaying that?

GIANNO CALDWELL, POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm sorry, Neil. There was a record player going...



CAVUTO: I knew you would do something like that.


CALDWELL: So here's the thing.

I don't think it's more so Republicans that are playing these hands as it is Democrats. We look at the debate last night, and they're talking about Joe Biden and his memory.

And truth be told, Joe Biden has been a gaffe machine his entire career. You think about when he was running with Obama during the time, how they had to make him sit out, I think it was around the second term, because he was making continuous gaffes. They didn't put him before reporters, they didn't put him before the cameras.

So that's -- that's interesting to me that people are acting like it's something new.

But the interesting part here for Democrats is, they're looking for a candidate that's almost perfect. They don't see his gaffes as baked into the cake, like Donald Trump. He has gaffes at times, but people see it as baked into the cake. And he's done a pretty good job with the economy and from a policy perspective. So it's kind of dismissed.

But, for Democrats, I think they're their own worst enemy in this case when it comes to Joe Biden.

CAVUTO: Well, the Democrats were the ones who were certainly last night, Kristen, beginning to pick him apart on his consistencies or inconsistencies and try to bring it out maybe the angry old man in him.

And I don't know how that's working. I do know that he's holding up reasonably well in the polls. He has high likability marks. So I'm wondering whether he weathers the storm or he just gets deeper into it.

KRISTEN HAWN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don't think it's so much of a storm.

And I -- there's always the element when you have a primary, a robust primary, you know, a little bit of a circular firing squad.

I do think that we're -- our candidates are certainly held -- I agree that they're held to a different standard than Donald Trump.

But what I do think is being overlooked a little bit -- and it has been reported -- that he did bring -- he held Senator Warren and Senator Sanders to task over their support for Medicare for all. They continue to not be able to answer the question about whether that policy would bring about increases in middle-class tax cuts, and they still weren't able to do that. And he was successful.

CAVUTO: No, I think you're quite right about that.

It was the first time a more moderate message got through.

HAWN: Yes.

CAVUTO: And I'm wondering whether others learn from that, because others picked up on it, Senator Klobuchar and others, but that that might be shifting the debate a little.

HAWN: Yes. I hope so.

CALDWELL: Well, Senator Sanders -- Senator Sanders actually did talk about that in an interview before. He said that everybody's taxes were going to be raised.

And this is the Democratic message. So instead of talking about the economy, as we recognize that none of the economy was brought up, because it's flaming hot right now, they have to have a message that is going to resonate with Americans all over the country, and they don't have that.

Cohesively, as a unit, the Democratic Party doesn't have a message that's going to resonate with Americans and make their lives better. And that's why it's problematic. And that's why, when it comes to these gaffes, maybe it's fine in the Democratic primary.

But when Trump is on a debate stage with Joe Biden, if Joe Biden gets through, Trump is going to make Joe Biden look like a fool. And I say that respectfully.

CAVUTO: But I think you will even say, Gianno, that this president has made more than a few gaffes of his own.

CALDWELL: Well, he has. It's baked in the cake now.

CAVUTO: So in the gaffe area, you don't want to be calling from a glass house, right?

HAWN: Yes, I don't know about that.

CALDWELL: Well, but the truth of the matter is, no one's expecting President -- and I'm sorry.

No one's expecting President Trump to be perfect. The Democrats hold up this picture perfection when it comes to their candidates, and they don't allow any room for there to be errors. That's why you talk about progressives like Elizabeth Warren.

CAVUTO: Well, they were coming out of the woodwork last night to do just that.

I mean, I guess looking at Joe Biden, I mean, they're leaping at it right, Kristen? I guess what I think, if he were the nominee, the playback of some of their comments are going to come back to bite him.

HAWN: I mean, I think so.

He has a long record, and that's something that the campaign is fully prepared for. I do think, by and large, that he has the -- if you look at where he is on the policies and building on the record, the Obama-Biden record, that he's our strongest chance of beating Trump.

CAVUTO: All right, you said record. I say eight-track tape, but let's just split the difference.


CAVUTO: Guys, thank you all very, very much.

CALDWELL: Thank you.

HAWN: Thank you.

CAVUTO: We have a lot more after this, including, guess what? The Bahamas, they could be facing another storm.


CAVUTO: All right, we are just getting word the attorney general, Bill Barr, has received the draft -- I stress -- the draft report on allegations of FISA abuses from the Department of Justice inspector general, Michael Horowitz, enough in that report for the attorney general to review, maybe pass along the findings of that.

It's too early to tell, but the draft at least is in the attorney general's hands. We will keep you posted.

In the meantime, keeping you posted on the Bahamas preparing for what could be yet another storm, even as they're still trying to get themselves out of the incredible damage, Category 5 damage, from Dorian.

Steve Harrigan in Nassau with the latest -- Steve.

STEVE HARRIGAN, CORRESPONDENT: Neil, we could be looking at potentially tropical-storm-force winds and up to five inches of rain over the next 48 hours.

The problem is where it could hit, the exact islands that were pretty much crushed by Hurricane Dorian less than two weeks ago, that storm moving in Friday into Saturday.

And, really, when you look at the situation those northern islands, some of them entire destruction of neighborhoods, tens of thousands of houses gone, and people really just struggling at this point to try to get a foot back on the ground.

You see people with no electricity trying to use hammers and nail tarps over gaping holes in their homes. You see people are washing clothes outside, hanging them up on trees. So, really, the last thing they need is another five inches of rain in those conditions.

We will watch it closely -- Neil, back to you.

CAVUTO: All right, thank you, my friend, very, very much, Steve Harrigan in the middle of all that.

And now they're facing still more problems.

Meanwhile, this college admissions scandal back in court, just as kids are applying to go to college.

The fallout on them -- after this.


CAVUTO: You know, she did the crime. And a lot of people said that it didn't look like it was serious enough for her to do the time. But it is.

The college admissions scandal making headlines again, as actress Felicity Huffman gets 14 days in prison for paying 15,000 bucks to boost her daughter's SAT scores. It didn't work.

And now she, at least six weeks from now, is going to be spending 14 days in the big house.

All right, young people are getting ready to apply to college in the middle of all of this. So, obviously, it comes at a time of mixed feelings and all of that.

We have got "Your World" audio technician and bestselling author Dion Baia, Internet radio sensation Mike Gunzelman, and last, but not least, Fox News contributor, the host of "Sincerely Kat" on FOX Nation, Kat Timpf.

Welcome to all.

I guess the big surprise, Dion, was that she's doing time.

DION BAIA, AUDIO TECHNICIAN: Yes, I mean, I think she did the right thing, because she didn't -- she automatically said, OK, I'm guilty, I'm culpable, I'm ready to make a deal, and admitted her guilt, and was ready to accept the punishment.

CAVUTO: And even after that. That's when I think it really registers, if after your -- the punishment is meted out, and you deny -- she said, I got what I deserve.

BAIA: Yes.

MIKE GUNZELMAN, INTERNET RADIO HOST: I have a different take. I think that she didn't get enough time.

I think, once again, it pays to be a celebrity and have money, because 14 days is literally nothing.


CAVUTO: Well, I think the statute is a 30-day, regardless if you're...


GUNZELMAN: Right, but I think it's just here we have something that she blatantly did something wrong.

I mean, even Martha Stewart, she got five months. Mike "The Situation" from "Jersey Shore" got eight months for tax evasion.

Like, this is something, you literally took somebody else's, perhaps their dream, their goal, and took it from them. And, like, we have a crime here, and it was proven. And 14 days is nothing for this person.

KATHERINE TIMPF, CONTRIBUTOR: She's lucky. I think she's so lucky that she gets to go to prison for 14 days.

Like, I mean, if you go to prison, you get a little bit of street cred. You can maybe write a book about it. But 14 days, that's manageable. I'm kind of interested in this business model. Like, what can I do to go to prison, but only for 14 days?

I'm worried I might miscalculate, and then I'm locked up forever.

CAVUTO: Can't someone be genuinely apologetic and feel remorse? And can't any of you just move on?

GUNZELMAN: Well, no, you know she doesn't believe that. She's really not.


CAVUTO: You don't know that.

GUNZELMAN: She will get a book deal. She will get a reality show out of this. I mean, come on now.


BAIA: I think the real victims here are the people who did lose out on the scholarships.

In the other case with Lori Loughlin...

CAVUTO: But you liken it to those with a wink and a nod are going to give school money and all that?

BAIA: Well, I feel really bad for the people who are culpable who are taking fake pictures, rowing photos.

CAVUTO: Well, that's a different one.

BAIA: I know, but it's still lumped into this whole...

CAVUTO: I just wonder. In this season, when the kids are going back -- or applying to these colleges, whether everyone is going to be doubly aware of not looking like their crossing a line.

GUNZELMAN: And if there's anything -- you know, parents are so protective of their children. I mean, the parents go nuts about cheerleading squads and athletics in high school.

Be like, oh, this is my -- this is my kid. They deserve this. They deserve this.

CAVUTO: Well, my son is going to through this right now. And I told him, I said, I am not going to pay your way to a community college. It's not happening.


BAIA: The big issue here was -- too, was that the parents -- I don't know about Huffman, but wasn't it that they didn't think that they did anything wrong?

With Lori Loughlin, she was like, I didn't -- I was doing what any parent would do.

CAVUTO: What anyone...


CAVUTO: Yes. And now they know. Now they know.


CAVUTO: In the meantime, the crackdown on vaping, is it justified to go after all of these products because they're deemed a threat to kids?

What do you guys think?

TIMPF: Well, everybody knows what I think.

I think it's awful. I...

CAVUTO: What is awful?

TIMPF: It's awful. Well, vaping is awful. And I know because I can't stop doing it.

But I have the freedom to ruin my own life in a free country.

CAVUTO: So, you don't want anyone in the government taking products away because they're a danger to you or could be?

TIMPF: Absolutely, especially because a lot of this has been hysteria, with all these headlines saying vaping illnesses, deaths from vaping.

They do not specifically say that 83 percent of these people admitted that they were also vaping black market THC products, not these legal nicotine products.

So I think that that's really missing the point. And cigarettes are still legal. And we know those are bad.

BAIA: I think that people are really worried about, how 60 years ago, the tobacco industry -- if you go and look on YouTube, you have like the "Flintstones" commercials, "Like, hey, Fred, you smoking a Winston Light?"

It's like, "Yeah, Barney."


CAVUTO: But wasn't vaping supposed to be a way to cut down...

GUNZELMAN: And it does.

People do lean off of cigarettes by vaping. But I don't think the government...

CAVUTO: So, if we take them all off the market, then you could be exposing these people to the dangers of...

GUNZELMAN: Of the black market ones or even the bootleg ones.

But I don't think the government should -- should regulate and ban vaping and e-cigs.


GUNZELMAN: Like, what is that? That's a way overstretch. Maybe inform children more, but don't ban it.

BAIA: And don't have them go after kids with their marketing, like, oh, here's a watermelon, here's a raspberry.

TIMPF: No, that watermelon is delicious, actually.

BAIA: Yes. Yes.


CAVUTO: A lot of issues.


CAVUTO: Kat Timpf, our vaping editor.


BAIA: Vaping editor.

CAVUTO: All right, guys, thank you very much. Sorry things were truncated a little bit.

We're trying to find out a little bit more about this I.G. report that is in the attorney general's hot little hands right now. What are we talking about, and when is it going to come out?

After this.


CAVUTO: All right, Attorney General Barr has apparently received this draft report of allegations of FISA abuses from the Department of Justice inspector general, Michael Horowitz, in other words, what triggered the investigations of the team Trump and well beyond.

Anyway, Catherine Herridge in Washington with the latest on all of this.

What do we know, Catherine?

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Neil, we are officially in the endgame when it comes to the inspector general's FISA report.

We obtained this two-page letter that went from the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, to the congressional Oversight Committees late today. And it confirms that draft findings are now with the Justice Department and the FBI.

Now they face the hard process of classification. I have been told that's one of the lingering stumbling blocks here. How much of it will be public, how much of it will be blacked out or redacted?

Republicans want as much public as possible. What we also learned from the letter is that Horowitz has reviewed over a million records and interviewed more than 100 witnesses.

So it's extensive. But the big question is the timeline. My contacts anticipate there will be a declassification of records prior to the release of the FISA report. That will allow as much of that report to be as public as possible, maybe late September, early October, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, Catherine, thank you very, very much.

HERRIDGE: You're welcome.

CAVUTO: We're going to be pursuing this and following up on this on my live show tomorrow with the Senate Judiciary Committee member John Kennedy, also Joni Ernst of Iowa.

It's a big show coming up then. We will follow it for you.

Here comes "The Five."

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