This is a rush transcript from "The Story with Martha MacCallum," September 23, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HARRIS FAULKNER, FOX NEWS: Breaking tonight, as we speak, about a mile from the studio here in New York City, at a hotel right across from the United Nations, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani is said to be meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The situation between the United States and Iran is escalating by the minute. And the French president is trying to mediate. But a short time ago, President Trump, said, no, thank you.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We don't need a mediator.

Iran wants to do something. And I don't think we need a mediator. He's a friend of mine, but we're not looking for any mediators. They know who to call.


FAULKNER: Thanks for joining us. I'm Harris Faulkner in primetime tonight for Martha MacCallum. And you are watching "The Story."

President Trump has not ruled out a meeting with the Iranians at the United Nations General Assembly this week. He told reporters, he never rules anything out. Iran has not said the same. Their message, no talks until the U.S. lift sanctions and reenters the Iran deal.

So, tonight, as hopes of potential talk secure bleak, and the world awaits action in the wake of those attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil fields earlier this month, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is offering this dire assessment.


MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER, IRAN: I'm not confident that we can avoid a war. We -- I'm confident that we will not start one.

But I'm confident that whoever starts one will not be the one who finishes it.


FAULKNER: That sounds like a threat. Fox News correspondent-at-large Geraldo Rivera with me now. He met with Zarif just over the weekend.

Geraldo, you have an interesting take on this. I follow you on Twitter.


FAULKNER: And I want to ask you jut --


RIVERA: I follow you on television.

FAULKNER: And you do. OK, thank you. You seem to be from your tweets things like citing Zarif's children who grew up in the United States.

RIVERA: Born here.

FAULKNER: And having some space to give him to relieve sanctions. Why are you so pro-Iran?

RIVERA: What I am is pro-fairness. And I think that the United States citizenry have been sold a bill of goods, making Saudi Arabia the good guy somehow. The killers of Adnan Khashoggi, 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers, the financers of every radical Madras religious school in the Muslim world.

Saudi Arabia is not a friend of the United States. The fact is that Iran has been made the boogeyman, Iran did a terrible thing back in 1980 when they occupied the U.S. --

FAULKNER: Did you just say that Iran made itself?

RIVERA: Iran is --

FAULKNER: That we made Iran, rather the bogeyman?

RIVERA: We have. We have, definitely.

FAULKNER: They held American citizens and diplomats for 444 days inside the Iranian -- or rather the American embassy.

RIVERA: We shot down their civilian aircraft and killed well over 150 civilians, including children. Harris, this is a -- it's a hard cruel world, and we are not giving Iran any fairness in terms of our deliberations.

We opted to side with the Saudis regardless of what they've done. And they have done horrible.

FAULKNER: So, wait a minute. Are you saying, then, from your perspective that Iran was legitimate if it did, in fact, hit the Saudi oil fields?

RIVERA: I'm saying that war is war. Saudi Arabia has been hitting Yemen, supported by Iran for 4-1/2 years. For 4-1/2 years, Saudi Arabia using American bombers -- American jets, had been killing Yemeni civilians, they've been hitting funerals, weddings, they have been absolutely committing war crimes against --


FAULKNER: Is no one hitting the Saudis?

RIVERA: They -- the Houthis, the Yemeni faction that the Saudis are fighting.


RIVERA: I've tried with their drones and it could very well -- they say, the Iranians are vehement in their denial that they did this attack on the Saudi oil fields.


RIVERA: It is not really a credible denial, because to think that the Yemenis could mount that attack themselves seems far-fetched. It seems almost nonsensical. But they are saying that war hits both ways in this.

It was Saudi Arabia's territory that was hit by Iran, maybe. That's between Iran and Saudi Arabia. It's not between the United States.

FAULKNER: All right. Let's just slow down for a second. You know they took out our RQ-4A Global Hawk drone, a reconnaissance.

RIVERA: Right. They claim it was over their territory.

FAULKNER: And we say the Strait of Hormuz. That thing was the size of 737. The president held back. He has held back time and time again. They had --


RIVERA: And I appreciate that he did.

FAULKNER: And now we have deployed troops to the region. And that deployment -- not anything on their soil, not anything a direct threat.

That has brought then, a more direct threat toward the United States. And we know how they feel about Israel, Iran.

RIVERA: But I don't think that bringing Israel into this is -- it is complicated.


FAULKNER: Well, then, why are you bringing the Saudis into this?

RIVERA: Because the Saudis and the Iranians are the two major powers in the Persian Gulf.

FAULKNER: I get that, but you're --


RIVERA: They control this vast oil reservoir. They hate each other. One is the prime Shiite country, the other is the prime Sunni country.

FAULKNER: All right. I get that.

RIVERA: They've been at each other's -- you know, throats for decades.

FAULKNER: I want to --

RIVERA: It's not our fight. That's --


FAULKNER: I want to bring in the president real quickly responding to reports of attacks near a Baghdad American embassy tonight. And we don't know all the details on this, but he was just asked about it at the U.N.

We know that the French president is trying to meet with Rouhani of Iran.

Can we watch that real quickly?


TRUMP: I don't know anything about it. You just told me it's breaking news, so I'll have to see it. You know, right now, I'm here, I haven't heard it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But this is not the first time?

TRUMP: When did this happen?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just now, but this is not the first time. Many rockets landed before.

TRUMP: No, that is not the first time. Nope. We'll look into it.


FAULKNER: Look, we don't want to --


RIVERA: They could have been ISIS, it could have been al-Qaeda.

FAULKNER: We -- let me finish. We don't want to connect dots here, but I'm saying that while these meetings are going on at the U.N. General Assembly and everybody is focused in on Iran, you're defending Iran.

There's a lot breaking off in the world. What do you think about the French president trying to mediate?

RIVERA: I think it's great. But I also think that having spoken with Foreign Minister Zarif for the third time, and an extensive conversation.

He says that President Rouhani, his boss, the Iranian president, will not meet with the American president outside the four corners of the JCPOA, the nuclear agreement that President Trump withdrew from.

They have a meeting scheduled for Wednesday at the General Assembly. If Rouhani were to come to that meeting, and President Trump is at that meeting, it is very possible that they can talk. And then, the president - -


FAULKNER: Yes. Well, you know who said they won't talk their side? The president says, he never rules anything out.

RIVERA: But, I -- when I speaking with Zarif, speaking with the foreign minister. He definitely left the door open that if the president, our president was to go to that meeting on Wednesday, that Rouhani and Trump could speak, and maybe take the conversation out into the hallway as the president, our president does.

I think you've got to talk to these people. You've got to negotiate with these people. You've got to be -- you know, more fair-minded. Our --


FAULKNER: Yes. Everybody wants to avoid war. Everybody is on that page.


RIVERA: Well, Iran is --

FAULKNER: But I've got to bring in a senator now.


FAULKNER: He welcomes to sit by.


FAULKNER: My next guest has a much different take than Geraldo Rivera.

And a new piece for, Republican Senator Rick Scott, says, "Iran's leaders have sent a message that if they can't sell oil, then no one can. That is essentially a declaration of war."

Florida Senator Rick Scott now sits on the Armed Services Committee and joins me.

So, I think you probably could hear Geraldo Rivera. And I say, he is somewhat defending Iran. I want to get your reaction.

SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): Well, first off, I just got back from Israel a couple of weeks ago. And I went to the Lebanese border. But Iran supporting Hezbollah. I went to the Gaza Strip, their supporting Hamas.

Hamas is shooting rockets off and putting up helium balloons with explosives to hurt children in Israel.

And so, and clearly, Iran is as they're constantly saying, they want to annihilate Israel. And then, we know that the missile that hit the facilities in Saudi was came from Iran -- there's no question about that.

I think their goal is, is to dramatically impact the oil markets. Now, who's going to get hurt? It's actually not going to be the United States, it's going to be Europe, it's going to be China.

But if Iran actually wanted to be part of the world community, stop being - - stop giving to all of these -- giving weapons to all these horrible individuals or groups that are trying to annihilate Israel and caused all this unrest in the Middle East.

Be -- try to be part of the world market. I mean, it's crazy what they're doing. So, we were just talking about -- and I -- again, I've got Geraldo Rivera sitting by as we've kind of been drawing it one another over the fact that he seems to support Iran in this process.

Senator, you're saying that you're fairly certain now that Iran did this.

Have you seen intelligence that maybe you can share anything about?

Because Democrats are saying, well, we have to wait and see.

SCOTT: Well, look, it's always good to do everything you can to make sure -- if there's no way offends up butts about it. But every bit of intelligence that I've been told about is that it came from Iran. I mean, they did this.

Now, is Geraldo right that we -- you know, we should be disgusted with Saudis did with Khashoggi. They -- that was absolutely the wrong thing.

But, rather than pecking Saudi Arabia, let's make sure let's hold Iran accountable.

Why are they doing what they're doing with Hezbollah? Why are they doing what they're doing with Hamas? Why do they call -- you know, they clearly have said, they want to annihilate Israel, our partner, our ally.

FAULKNER: So, Senator, you know, we have -- we have sold them weapons.

Saudi Arabia, can they not defend themselves? I mean, I think it's a legit --


RIVERA: Over $85 billion.

FAULKNER: OK, hold on. I think it's a legitimate question to be able to, at least, ask about what they can do for themselves.

SCOTT: Absolutely. I mean, here is what you should be impressed with.

Israel defends itself. While we sell them weapons, and we get -- and we provided a lot of resources to Israel, they're willing to defend their own freedom. And which so, you really have to admire their -- admire the Israeli defense force. You should expect that. We should expect that for all of our allies.

So, my focus though is Iran has got to change. If we -- I mean, you want somebody to have a nuclear weapon that says they want to annihilate your ally? And you can't do that. I mean, it's just --


FAULKNER: Well, they say, death to America, too.

SCOTT: I mean, I understand what Geraldo is saying. Why they chant, death to America? They want to annihilate Israel. They want to wipe them off the face of the earth. What do they say, there's not going to be enough gravesites or -- for all the people they're going to kill in Israel? I mean, come on.


RIVERA: It's an act of war.

SCOTT: That's not -- that's not somebody you want to do business with.

RIVERA: Senator, I loved you as a governor, I love you a senator, but if there was an act of war to attack the Saudi oil, then why isn't it an act of war to choke Iran, so they can't sell their oil? Isn't it the same thing? Shouldn't it be fairness?

I mean, they -- the president unilaterally said he wants to renegotiate the nuclear deal. So, let's renegotiate the nuclear deal.

FAULKNER: OK. Geraldo, you got to step in.

RIVERA: OK, thank you.

FAULKNER: Senator, you would like to respond.

SCOTT: Geraldo, Geraldo, I agree with you. You -- we ought to -- the first thing we ought to try to do, is sit down with people. But it's very difficult when somebody is saying, death to America, and they're saying they want -- they want a nuclear weapon to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.


FAULKNER: do you think that we might see that? If there is a place that may be outside the official UNGA, General Assembly meetings that the French president or anybody can facilitate that. President Trump, says he didn't need anybody's help because he's open to sitting down with anyone.

SCOTT: Well, President Trump, he doesn't -- his -- he doesn't want to go to war. He want -- he -- look, he talks to everybody. But, they've got -- they've got to be part of this.

I mean, what has Iran done to say they want to have a legitimate conversation?

FAULKNER: They haven't. They just want back on that deal. And, of course, Europe has got to be feeling conflicted too because --


SCOTT: Yes, and which is a bad deal. It didn't stop them -- from support them.

FAULKNER: More and more the coalition will have to come along. But they're still in that deal. Boy, it's complicated.

Senator Rick Scott of the great state of Florida, thank you for joining me tonight. And being patient as Geraldo's mike is still hot.

SCOTT: Nice seeing you.

FAULKNER: Good to see you.

Fox News has confirmed the whistleblower who filed a complaint against President Trump, did not have first-hand knowledge of that July phone conversation with Ukraine's president.

What this bombshell piece of information means for Democrats? Thirsty for impeachment, next.


TRUMP: If a Republican ever did what Joe Biden did, if a Republican ever said what Joe Biden said, they'd be getting the electric chair by right now.



FAULKNER: A surprising new development in the case of a whistleblower who's complaint about President Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian president has set off a political firestorm.

A source now has told Fox News, that whistleblower did not have "first-hand knowledge of the conversation" and that "typically multiple U.S. officials are on such calls with the president but this would indicate the whistleblower was not one of those people."

Senate Democrats are now employing their Republican colleagues to issue a subpoena for the complaint. House Democrats also want their hands on a copy when Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testifies in front of the House Intel Committee this Thursday.

I want to bring in now Karl Rove former Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush and Mo Elleithee executor director -- Executive Director of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service, both are Fox News Contributors. Great to see you this evening.

Let's start if we can with the startling development today about not first- hand and what that dumps into the political conversation. Karl?

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's a big news item. It obscures some bigger issues that are live behind it. But look, here's somebody who obviously saw some kind of written or summary or written report on the President's conversation, was not privy to it, may not have seen the entire transcript but filed a whistleblower complaint.

And you know, what we know is that, first of all, the president has a right, any president to have confidential conversations with foreign leaders. He is, after all, under the Constitution charged with the direction of America's foreign policy.

And the idea that every conversation of the President on States would be subject to the call of the United States Congress upon whim would be an utter unmitigated disaster for the conduct of U.S. foreign policy.

FAULKNER: Yes. And you know, the other part of it, Mo, really has to do with the anticipation of the foreign leaders who also expect for those calls to be kept confidential.

MO ELLEITHEE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Sure. But you know, this whistleblower passed this information along to the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community. The Inspector General found it to be urgent and credible enough to submit it to the Director of National Intelligence.

Now, inspectors general don't tend to go off willy-nilly and just take hearsay at face value. They look into it and then if they find it urgent incredible they'll pass it on and that's the case here. The easiest way to come to the bottom of this is look at the transcript.

FAULKNER: Well, and you know, that DNA -- DNI letter is said not to meet the right requirements -- go ahead.

ROVE: Yes, look, I was just going to say, that was what the Inspector General said. His boss the Acting Director of National Intelligence referred the issue to the Department of Justice and the Office of Legal Counsel came back and said the statute cited by the Inspector General doesn't apply to the president and the President's communications.

There is no authority to do this. And again, I repeat, yes, let's -- look, let's -- we want out -- we want all the conversations that President Obama had. We wanted all the conversations that President Bush had. We want the conversations --

FAULKNER: It's a slippery slope.

ROVE: What Congress -- what Congress would stand for that -- I mean, what president would stand for that if Congress made those demands? None of them would.

FAULKNER: Real quickly, we put together some calls for impeachment based on all of this even with these facts that are burst. Let's take a look and then I'll get a quick reaction from each of you.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He has solicited another foreign government to attack our election system. It is time for us to call out this illegal behavior and start impeachment proceedings right now.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need to absolutely right away begin impeachment proceedings. He's got to go.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): That may be the only remedy that is co-equal to the evil that that conduct represents.


FAULKNER: Mo, that thirst is real in your party.

ELLEITHEE: Yes, sure it is. But look, I've always been a voice that says let's not go too fast on the impeachment front, let's get all the information. I think there is a -- there is a situation here that could resolve this issue in a very measured way, and that's give the transcript to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has a record of working in a very bipartisan way with Burr, the chair, and Senator Warner, the vice-chair, in trying to get to the bottom of issues. They haven't gone sort of full- throttle throughout the Trump presidency the way the House has. So give the transcript to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Let them look at it.

FAULKNER: Look, I ask them to press this prior to the release of the Bob Mueller or the Mueller Report, and they said, well, you know, if it shows that the president didn't actually commit a crime, if there's nothing there-there, if there's you know no smoking gun so to speak, we'll move on.

I would ask the same thing now because Democrats have to be very careful with this. Quick last word, Karl.

ROVE: Yes, they have to be. Elizabeth Warren is sitting there saying nobody should invite foreign countries into our political campaign. How tone-deaf is she? Hillary Clinton in 2016 funneled money through a law firm, to an opposition research firm that hired an ex British secret service agent, foreign service agent who then called up his friends and the Russian intelligence community of Moscow and said do you have any dirt on Donald Trump.

If we're talking about people who should be impeached because of what the President supposedly did, what about Hillary Clinton? Was Elizabeth Warren upset when she found out that Hillary Clinton was inviting -- her campaign was inviting the people in the Russian intelligence community to dump dirt on Donald Trump? Really?

FAULKNER: All right, we got to run.

ELLEITHEE: I get -- I get why folks do this on that side of the aisle, but this is a serious allegation. Let's look into it.

FAULKNER: Mo, Karl, thank you both.


FAULKNER: Still ahead, a special investigation you don't want to miss. We hit the road with Secretary Ben Carson to get THE STORY of California's homelessness crisis from those affected on the ground. Stay close.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some like Chris are on the road to recovery.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drug addiction from gangs and stuff like that, I ended up living in my car about almost a year, about a year. I've been here for about 14 months. I got lots of counseling, lots of therapy, one-on-one weekly basis with our chaplains and all that stuff.




WARREN: It's time in America for wealth tax. This is a tax on fortunes above $50 million. Your first $50 million is free and clear, but your $50 million and first dollar, you got to pitch in $0.2 and $.02 for every dollar after that.


FAULKNER: Elizabeth Warren in Iowa this weekend where she's surging into first place for the first time among Democratic caucus-goers in the new Des Moines Register poll. And if she continues that rise, it could lead to more divorces at least according to one Harvard economist.

A new analysis suggests her proposed wealth tax may create an incentive for rich couples to get a divorce. Here's why. If a couple is worth $100 million, they would pay a two percent tax on anything over $50 million -- she was just explaining that, meaning, a $1 million wealth tax. But if they get divorced and split their fortune in half to begin with, each worth $50 million, they would avoid that tax entirely.

Here now Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show, and author of What Really Happened. You should tell Hillary Clinton that. I understand you can scroll the list of why she lost. No, I literally did it on "OUTNUMBERED OVERTIME." Look, with this, I know it's maybe a little tongue-in-cheek, but what's wrong with this tax plan?

HOWIE CARR, HOST, HOWIE CARR SHOW: Well, you know, she sits in the seat, Harris, that was once held in the U.S. Senate by John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

And when he was president, he famously said proposing a tax decrease, a tax cut, a rising tide lifts all boats and she obviously didn't get the memo.

I mean, this tax has been tried in various European countries and it hasn't worked. I mean, there's ten countries in Europe including some of the largest ones have had this tax and it failed. France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and Sweden among others, it leads to people moving out.

In France, it was estimated that they were losing twice as much money as they were raising with it. People were just moving out to Belgium. And you know, the problem is that they're going to be these exempted assets. And so, so like, how do you judge really -- realistically how much a farm land is worth that's been known by generations -- for generations or vacation property.

There's now a -- this is going to be a boon for lawyers and accountants and assessors, but it's going to be -- there's going to be all kinds of fraud here obviously.

FAULKNER: So, Howie, before I have to let you go, is this popular? In particular in Iowa, where she's rising? I mean, she's selling this plan right now.

CARR: Well, I can't imagine that the farmers think about this. They are going to go for it, but then she's going to say well, I'm going to exempt agricultural land.

Well, what that would mean is that the rich people so-called, would start buying agricultural land and that would distort the values. It's like the millionaires' tax, Harris, you know how it works in the eastern seaboard. Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, they try to institute a millionaires' tax, and guess what, the supply of millionaires fails and they have to go lower and lower.

Her economists are already talking about dropping this down --


FAULKNER: People just knew about this.

CARR: Yes, they are already talking about dropping it down to $25 million to beat the, beat people getting divorces. That's -- it's the same thing with the millionaires' tax. They keep dropping it down, you know. It was only for millionaires, then it's only for people -- then it's only for people making 500,000, then 250,000.

FAULKNER: It can -- right, it easily slides south of there. Howie Carr, great radio show. Everybody, tune in. Thank you for being on the program.

CARR: Thank you, Harris.

FAULKNER: One-on-one with Secretary Ben Carson after a three-day tour across America to investigate the homelessness crisis.


MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: As we walk to the streets and toward housing facilities and shelters with Secretary Carson, he revealed that the administration has a plan to turn things around.

BEN CARSON, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: I think we're going to be helping them certainly within a matter of weeks. We are not talking months and years.




DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Nearly half of all the homeless people living in the streets in happen to live in the State of California. What they are doing to our beautiful California is a disgrace to our country.


MACCALLUM: President Trump calling out the crisis in California where homelessness has reached record levels. In a booming economy with record low on unemployment, California is a land of extremes. They've got the wealthiest of the wealthy on one block and tent cities racked by filth and violence on the next.

We took an exclusive trip to Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco with HUD Secretary Ben Carson.

MACCALLUM: Los Angeles is home to more than 36,000 homeless. In San Francisco, 8,000. And in San Diego, 5,000. Now more than ever, residents are paying the price. Gil, a store owner in San Francisco, was bitten on the arm by a homeless man trying to steal from his store.


GIL DESAULNIERS, GROCERY STORE OWNER: We've been held up by gunpoint. Number one. A taxi cab went through this door. And then last night our store got broken into.

Just yesterday, a cashier got pepper sprayed. I've been bit twice. I found people in the bathroom who have needles in their legs who are blue.


MACCALLUM: It hits the hardest in downtown Los Angeles, where thousands of Americans are without a job, a bed, or the assistance they need.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was infected. The 29th -- the 22nd I was certain, the 29th they kicked me out, my birthday was May 28th. Mackey's (Ph) manager they don't want to hear. They don't want to -- it's about the money. Put some money for me. I know I played loud hard enough. They are going to come up and they are going to hear me for my story. And finally.


MACCALLUM: It's gotten so bad that public toilets once overrun with needles and prostitution are now monitored around the clock, an enormous cost to the city.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People would just go up in there and use it for hotel, motel, holiday in. It was like the wild, wild west.


MACCALLUM: So how did this happen to so many people?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm in a shelter, I can't believe this. I received a lawsuit that said that because of code violations I could no longer live in my house. I have a master's degree. I taught at UCLA.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I worked in sales for many, many years. Prior to that I was in law for a couple of decades. I have a degree in theater from UCLA and I raised two kids.


MACCALLUM: President Trump has his theory on how California failed.


TRUMP: The left-wing agenda of total government domination, crushing regulation, crippling taxes, unrestricted migration.

Even the cities like Los Angeles, look at what's happening. It's like look at what's happening. San Francisco. Take a look at what's going on, and we are going to have to step in and do something about it.

These are all great American cities and they are an embarrassment. What the Democrats have let happen.


MACCALLUM: As we walked to the streets and toward housing facilities and shelters with Secretary Carson, he revealed that the administration has a plan to turn things around.


CARSON: I think we are going to be helping them certainly within a matter of weeks. We are not talking months and years. Certainly, people from HUD will be coming and some of the other agencies as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does that include you?

CARSON: It may.


MACCALLUM: This plan could involve public-private partnership.


ANDY BALES, CEO, UNION RESCUE MISSION: Thirty-three hundred meals a day and --

CARSON: It's almost like Jesus feeding a 5,000.

BALES: Yes, it is.

MACCALLUM: Reverend Andy Bales, CEO of Union Rescue Mission contracted a flesh-eating bacterium and lost his leg while tending to the homeless in 2016.


BALES: And we are not treating it like the urgent situation. I mean, it is a FEMA-like, Red Cross-like, National Guard-like disaster, which I have been crying out for and praying for.


MACCALLUM: Some, like Chris, are on the road to recovery.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drug addiction from gang, stuff like that. I ended up getting my car for about almost a year. For about a year. I've been here for about 14 months. I got lots of counseling. Lots of therapy. One-on-one weekly basis with our chaplains and all of that is helping me. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, brother.


MACCALLUM: And in San Diego, the veteran's village help the vets in need.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was in the navy for 11 years and got sexually assaulted. Handled it all wrong with drugs and alcohol and then I knew I had a problem. I knew that I needed help.


MACCALLUM: But folks on the ground are not convinced the administration can solve their problems.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't have a lot of faith in the Trump administration to do anything. I would prefer a stronger response to people biting our store owners and our residents. I just think there should be very small tolerance for that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been with Trump since 1977, when we still have black hair. I wish if he does, then that's good.


MACCALLUM: We reach out to the governor's office and all three mayor's offices but only one would go on the record with us.


MAYOR KEVIN FAULCONER (R), SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: We stood up bridge shelters. Again, with one goal, how do you get folks off the street and into a safe, clean, and supportive environment? Allowing somebody to live and attend on the sidewalk, it's not compassionate.


MACCALLUM: These leaders have yet to get in a room together and come up with a coherent plan. Until then, the crisis worsens and the beat goes on.

FAULKNER: Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development joining me now. The first time that we both got to see that full report. I first want to get your reaction in terms of the need there.

CARSON: Well, the need is overwhelming and a country like ours, which has so many resources and so much wealth, it really is abominable, particularly when you walk amongst the people there on the street and you look into their faces.

You realize a lot of these people have mental health issues. A lot of them have drug addiction. Some of them simply have fallen on hard times and don't know how to deal with it.

But as a compassionate society, it is something that we have to do something about. We can't just talk about it. Should it be the responsibility of the federal government? No.

These are local problems and the things that work best are when the local authorities take appropriate attention to these problems and then the federal government can help them, the state government can help them. That's what has to be done, that's what is done in places that are working successfully.

FAULKNER: But apparently that's not happening fast enough and as a doctor, I mean, this looks -- and I'm a layperson, like an incredible epic health crisis just ready to burst. I mean, when you hear about the defecation --


FAULKNER: -- and all of the hypodermic needles and all of the things that can carry contagion. It's quite frightening. So, the president looks at this and he says no, the federal government can help. You heard from some of the people in Martha's reporting that well, they don't believe you can. So, what are the next steps?

CARSON: Well, actually, the president is extremely concerned about this because of the epidemic that could occur. So, we are looking at both short- term and long-term. We have to actually get the people out of there. We'll put them --


FAULKNER: Will they go?

CARSON: We'll put them in a clean place. I think a lot of them will. And I think that the ones who are reluctant to go, once they see what's happening with the ones who have gone, will be much less reluctant to to go. But then --


FAULKNER: So that's the first step.

CARSON: Right. Then the second step is, you know, we have to find a more permanent solution for them. There are some public buildings in the area that can be repurposed for housing.

So, but in the process of doing that, we are also looking at wraparound services so that we can get these people out of dependency. This has been a chronic problem in our country. We just say let's house these people, we've done our job. That's not sufficient, because the problem will continue to multiply unless we give people a way out.

FAULKNER: Secretary Carson, this isn't just playing out in Los Angeles. The numbers are actually bigger in New York city. If we could pop up that graphic there. Over 60,000. Seattle, King County, over 11,000. District of Columbia, 6,500, 6,200 in Boston.

I understand why for the president and anybody in an election year California is politically juicy, but it goes beyond that. If the president can really help in California, would he be looking at other places?

CARSON: Well, we would hope rather than everybody saying please come and get us out of this situation, that maybe they would look at some examples, you know.

You take a place like San Diego, which is in California, so they can't say this is a unique California situation, but you know, San Diego and the mayor there has recognized that one of the big problems is affordable housing.

And so, they are removing all of those barriers, reducing the fees, you know, looking at the regulatory things about height and density in wetlands and all of these kinds of things and actually doing things that make sense, and it works, and it works in other parts of the country as well.

Best practices, but you know, this is an emergency situation and that's why the federal government is going to have to step in if the local government doesn't do anything. Are we willing to work with him? Absolutely. Are they anxious to work with us? It doesn't seem so, but, you know, the door is quite open.

FAULKNER: All right. Secretary Carson, we'll have to go on the road with you again to go maybe to some of those places where it's actually working and getting better. Thank you for your time.

CARSON: Absolutely, thank you.

FAULKNER: Next, they call it meatless Monday. The new cure for climate change? The debate you don't want to miss. Hi, guys.


FAULKNER: Dozens of people arrested in D.C. today after so-called climate rebels swarmed the streets in an effort to bring about a, quote, "gridlock standstill."

The shutdown D.C. movement part of a global strike in more than 150 countries to push governments into action on climate change and for individuals who want to help save the planet.

A Bloomberg editorial suggests meatless Mondays. Quote, "Cattle are responsible for vastly more emissions than chickens and pigs, in part because their digestive systems produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas." End quote.

Michael Knowles, host of the Michael Knowles show at the Daily Wire, and Chris Hahn is former aide to Senator Chuck Schumer and a syndicated radio host. Michael, I will start with you for just quick reaction.

MICHAEL KNOWLES, HOST, DAILY WIRE: Ironically, there was a study that came out of Carnegie Mellon University in 2015 which showed that meatless diets are actually far worse for the environment than the regular meat-filled diets.

They increase emissions, they increased energy use, they increase water use, but none of that matters because the climate hysteria movement is not about science. If it were about science it would be led by scientists rather than by politicians and a mentally ill Swedish child who is being exploited by her parents and by the international left.


KNOWLES: So, what you're seeing here is a political movement and a religious movement and its fulfilling at religious and political goals of the left but it isn't doing very much for science.

FAULKNER: Chris, you had a visceral reaction to that, go ahead.

HAHN: Yes, I mean, you're a grown man and you're attacking a child. Shame on you. She's trying to do --


KNOWLES: I'm not attacking --

HAHN: She's trying to do what (Inaudible) And by the way -- no, relax, skinny boy. I got this. OK? You're attacking a child, you're a grown man. Have some --


KNOWLES: I'm not. I'm attacking the left who exploited a mentally ill child.

HAHN: OK. Maybe on your podcast you can get away and say whatever you want because nobody is listening. You're on national television, be a grown up when you're talking about children.

She's trying to save the planet because your president doesn't believe in climate change. And kids need to take to the streets to worry about their future. You are despicable for talking to her - about her like that and you should apologize on national television right now.

KNOWLES: I think the international left and her parents, who are exploiting a girl with many mental illnesses and her parents wrote about these mental illnesses in a book --


HAHN: You called her mentally ill. Take it back now.

KNOWLES: She is mentally ill.

HAHN: Take it back now.

KNOWLES: She is mentally ill. She has autism, she has obsessive-compulsive disorder. She has selective autism.


HAHN: You are -- you are despicable. You are despicable.

KNOWLES: She had depression. Her mother wrote about this in a book. You can inveigh all you want, but unfortunately, you don't have many facts on your side --


HAHN: You're despicable. You are despicable. You're a grown up, be a grown up.

FAULKNER: All right. Let's change gears a little bit here. Andrew Yang, one of the 2020 Democratic candidates on the emissions tax earlier today.


ANDREW YANG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you project forward on what we need to do to reduce emissions, you would want to modify Americans diets. You want those cattle producers to have to internalize the cost of missions.

What that would naturally do, and some people are going to hate this, but it will probably make those products more expensive, and that is appropriate.


FAULKNER: Meanwhile, Andrew Yang was seen grilling steaks this weekend, and he said this in a tweet. "That steak made me angry." Michael?

KNOWLES: Well, of course, we see this hypocrisy all the time. Prince Harry in the United Kingdom said that climate change was the most important issue of the month, then he flew on a private jet four times in 11 days.

This is not about protecting the environment. We saw in NBC News put out a climate confessional over the weekend. Now we have meatless Mondays. These are religious literals. I'm a Catholic, so I don't eat meat on Fridays. If I was a leftist, I guess I wouldn't eat meat on Mondays.

HAHN: Right.

KNOWLES: If we really want to help the environment, President Trump has done a good job on this, he's done a lot better than all the signatories of the Paris climate accord, so I think we should keep on keeping on and leave all of the stance and hysterics off to the side for the left to continue to put on.

FAULKNER: Your rebuttal, Chris?

HAHN: You know, meatless Fridays was good enough for the pope and the Catholic church, I think meatless Mondays would be OK.

And by the way, I've been all over America, some of us could use to take a day off from eating meat, it wouldn't kill us.

FAULKNER: My goodness.

HAHN: And if it helps the environment, great.

FAULKNER: You are obsessed with people's weight.

KNOWLES: But you told me I'm too skinny.

FAULKNER: Exactly.

HAHN: Well, maybe you need a little bit more meat, sorry.

FAULKNER: You know what, let's talk about this, though, just widely is the Democratic talking point as you enter into 2020, do you think a whole lot of voters are focused on this sort of thing, Chris?

HAHN: I think -- I think it's a big issue among Democratic primary voters because I think climate is a real issue, it's a real concern. That's why you're seeing a lot of young people take to the streets the last couple of days to urge action on climate change.

We have a president right now was a climate change denier. In fact, all the countries in the world -- there's only one party -- one major party in all the countries of the world that denies climate change and that's the Republican Party, which is in control of the White House right now. That has to change.

FAULKNER: All right.

HAHN: The president needs to face reality and understand that this is a real threat to our society. We've seen bigger storms, worse storms, we've seen heat waves.

FAULKNER: All right.

HAHN: It's affecting farmers in the Midwest. It's affecting people on the coast. It's a big problem for this country and it's a big problem for our future.

FAULKNER: Chris Hahn, Michael Knowles, I don't know what you guys are normally like outside of television, but wow, thank you.

More of THE STORY next.


FAULKNER: Spirited hour. Did you catch that last block on meatless Mondays?

Meanwhile, a new episode of the Untold Story podcast is up now. It features Martha's interview with Rachael Denhollander, a former gymnast who was the first to sound the alarm on Larry Nassar's abuse, paving the way for more than 150 other survivors to come forward.

You can -- you can subscribe to the Untold Story podcast at or wherever you like to listen.

That's it on this Monday, September 23rd. A little bit later tonight, Sean Hannity interviews the vice president. And of course, Tucker is next. As always, "The Story" goes on. I'll see you on "Outnumbered" at noon tomorrow and "Outnumbered Overtime" at 1 p.m. Have a good one.

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