This is a rush transcript from "The Story," September 5, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: Good evening, everybody. Fox News alert here tonight. They applaud the President on the economy and on security, but they still think that they are the ones who are saving America from him.
So tonight, new clues in the writing about who may be behind the anonymous op-ed that has this town buzzing tonight. And here's the headline that broke late today on the Opinion pages of the New York Times. "I am part of the resistance inside the Trump administration."
The author cited only as a senior administration official goes onto write, "Many of the senior officials in Trump's own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations. I know, I would know, I am one of them. We will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until, one way or another, it's over."
Brit Hume joins us in just a moment with his take on all of this. But first, Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry, here to take us through the details and the president's response later today. Hi, Ed.
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're great to see the president lashing out. The New York Times says it's taking this extremely rare step to run an anonymous op-ed because they're trying to protect this anonymous official's job. But they also say they believe it's in the public's interest to peel back the curtain and show what they claim is really happening inside the Trump administration.
As you noted, a lot of speculation tonight in a tweet. The Times appeared to narrow the list of suspect by saying the official is a male. Declaring, he and his colleagues are trying to frustrate what they call the president's misguided impulses.
But insist, they are not part of the liberal resistance. Instead, this official insists he and others want the administration to succeed or encouraged by policies that have made America safer and are now putting country first, they say from within by stopping erratic decisions.
The official writing, "This is not the work of the so-called deep state, it's the work of the steady state. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they've gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful. It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room.
Now, the interesting timing here is that, of course, this comes shortly after we started getting details from Bob Woodward's latest book where he asserts top officials like Defense Secretary James Mattis as privately expressed frustration about the commander-in-chief's intellect and been appalled by some presidential policy suggestions such as ordering the Pentagon to assassinate the Syrian president.
Now, that book claims Mattis has stayed on because he wants to help prevent the start of a World War III. But the secretary put out a blistering statement declaring that the idea he expressed contempt for the commander- in-chief is a product of someone's rich imagination.
The president today thanked Mattis, lashed out of the book calling it fiction. And now, is lashing out at The Times. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: If the failing New York Times has an anonymous editorial -- can you believe it, anonymous. Meaning, gutless. A gutless editorial. We're doing a great job, the poll numbers are through the roof, our poll numbers are great, and guess what, nobody is going to come close to beating me in 2020 because of what we've done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY: And there is even some controversy within the New York Times. It's T.V. critics suggesting if this is really a moment of conscience, the authors should go on the record, tweeting, "I can't wait to read the event eventual book, I too was secretly dismayed the whole time. Also, a memoir of service."
Now, there's a particularly remarkable part of the op-ed where you have this anonymous official quoting another anonymous official inside the White House talking about an anonymous policy. They don't spell it out that was allegedly changed when the president changed his mind at the last minute.
The other interesting part is that this doesn't say The Times that it's a White House official. Says the senior Trump administration official could be somebody at the Energy Department, the EPA, there are literally dozens of agencies where this person could work.
MACCALLUM: Yes. So, it narrows it down to dozens. Potentially, even hundreds, right?
HENRY: Or make it hundreds, yes.
MACCALLUM: Ed, thank you very much. Great to see you tonight. So, joining me now, Brit Hume, Fox News senior political analyst. Brit, what is your -- what do you make of all this?
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, my first thought is I'm surprised that this article was written -- this anonymous article. But I'm not really very surprised to hear this sort of thing is going on. I think we've all kind of known for quite a long time that advisers around the presidents often have to encourage him not to do the things that he and his most volcanic moments is decides he wants to do.
We've also known that he changes his mind sometimes several times before he makes a decision. So -- you know, I don't find it reassuring that this got written this way because it seems so flagrantly disloyal.
On the other hand, you know, if you're worried about Mr. Trump in whether he's going to do the right things, you might be comforted to know there are people around him who are seems successfully able to restrain him when he's about to do something that might not work out well at all.
And you know, the author here points out that there are a lot of good things have happened.
HUME: And he says, that we shouldn't attribute them to Mr. Trump that they've occurred in spite of him, not because of him. But one thing is unmistakably true, Martha. None of those things would have happened if he hadn't won the general election.
MACCALLUM: Well, exactly. And you tweet it as much in terms of what you just said that perhaps -- you know people who are concerned about the president should be comforted that there are people around him who are trying to perhaps contain him in some ways.
However, this is such a -- when I went back and read this again, there's so much arrogance in this op-ed.
HUME: Oh, yes. Well, and desire to take the credit.
MACCALLUM: Exactly. It's like don't worry we got it under control and taken me, you weren't elected, you know.
MACCALLUM: But this person was -- you know, for better or worse and they say, "There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture."
MACCALLUM: "Effective deregulation, historic tax reform, more robust military, and more. But these successes come despite not because of the president's leadership style." It seems to me it's pretty difficult to wholly separate those things.
HUME: No, I think that's right. And I also think this is in some respects of a piece with what the juicy parts of the Bob Woodward book that came out yesterday indicate that you have these members of the administration that surround the president grumbling about his ways.
I have no doubt, Martha, that this is an exceedingly complicated and difficult president to work for.
MACCALLUM: No doubt.
HUME: And that he, from time to time has ideas. I mean, tonight putting out the tweet suggesting treason. I'm sorry, this may have been disloyal. But writing this op-ed piece, in no way meets the definition of treason. It would be nice if somebody could restrain you from that. On the other hand, it's just a damn tweet, right?
MACCALLUM: Which we've come to learn, right? I mean, you think about some of the things that used to get people excited in the past I do think that we've all come to sort of this different level of tolerance were.
HUME: And every week it seems, there's some new explosive development that's going to mean the beginning of the end. And yet, the administration moves on, the news cycle is faster and more intense than it ever was. I suspect that this will all blow over before very long. There'll be something else to be excited about.
MACCALLUM: You know what, reading it again, you look for the sort of tea leaves of where this person is coming from and who it could be just because it's sort of an intricate parlor game to try to figure it out. And they go on about Senator McCain at the end.
And we all know that President Trump was no big fan of Senator McCain he made that pretty clear. But it talks about -- you know, "following his example, a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them."
HUME: Well, yes, he can revere all honorable men he want, but how honorable but was it to write this op-ed?
HUME: That's the question I have.
MACCALLUM: It is a question.
HUME: He wants to alert the country and say that Mr. Trump is unfit and too volatile to hold the office. Then he ought to stand up and say so. He or she ought to stand up and say so. And let people see who it is and well find out how senior the person is.
MACCALLUM: And quit. Probably, right?
HUME: I got to say this. Republican administrations that I've covered for a long time, I've always had a bit of trouble getting control of the government around them because look the government, particularly, the career government officials who constitute nearly all of them tend to be Democrats that's why they're working in the government.
And there are a lot of once that it could be described as senior. So, I don't know that we'll ever find out who this.
MACCALLUM: Carl Bernstein spoke out about the Bob Woodward book, and here's what he said. Let's watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: General Kelly in the interest of the country needs to resign and with a statement that says the presidency can no longer be entrusted to this man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUME: The trouble of that argument is that it suggests that the administration in the country would somehow be better off without the calming influence and the advice given by people of the caliber of John Kelly. My view is that that's exactly wrong, for this thing.
Look, and you see people in the never Trump right advances. You point it all the time that you should not serve this administration because this president's beyond the pale. It seems to me if you think that, you would want the best possible people you could find around him.
And Kelly it seems to me and, at least, in the eyes of great many people, fits that description.
HUME: The last thing he should do is resign.
MACCALLUM: I mean, they have written reports in the past that there was sort of an unspoken pact. I think they shot it down but that Mattis and Kelly had said, look, you know what, we're going to stay in here because we're here for the country. And we're going to make sure that we got this president in the absolute best way that we can.
HUME: Exactly, right.
MACCALLUM: I guess, some of these folks would like everyone to abandon him and just to leave him alone in the White House with perhaps some family members.
HUME: And they want this administration to fail.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I want you and I watched all of the hearings play out today for Brett Kavanaugh. And you know, we were all struck I think by the circus environment that, that seemed to be outside.
I just want to play some of this and it's not all sound but some of it is just a video of these -- the handmaids outside. And then, let's let this play out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY, R-IOWA, SENATE BUDGET COMMITTEE: I could say, well I got about 40, a 48 percent of what we ought to have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Oh, yes. So, the last shot there is Chuck Grassley speaking but the woman behind him is Zina Bash who was said to be throwing some kind of -- you know, white supremacist signal on her arm which we --
HUME: You know what that one? It's the old OK signal. We've all seen it a million times from nearly every public figure of athletes so you see it all the time, it's ridiculous.
MACCALLUM: It is ridiculous.
HUME: Utterly ridiculous, but this circus atmosphere I think in a peculiar way may have helped Judge Kavanaugh. Yes, there it is that's the old OK signal.
HUME: Three fingers, and a circle with your thumb and forefinger. It's absurd if this behavior is so out of out of bounds, so over-the-top, so outrageous and so circus-like, that I think that the Democrats on the committee who were loaded for bear and prepared to pull out all the stops in attacking this nominee.
After seeing that, I'm thinking, I don't want to be associated with that because these were people were all anti-Kavanaugh, obviously. So, it may have had ended up having a civilizing effect on at least on the members, if not on the general atmosphere in Washington.
MACCALLUM: Brit, good to see you. Good to be with you in the past few days.
HUME: Thanks, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Thanks for being here tonight.
HUME: You bet.
MACCALLUM: So, while all of this is going on, the hearing to confirm the Supreme Court -- future Supreme Court justice, he hopes Brett Kavanaugh is still underway. We're nine hours and counting into this.
Democrats did try to block this nomination, and one of them joins me after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHRIS COONS, D-DEL., SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I think there's legitimate cause for concern about your views on presidential power and whether it's possible, President Trump chose you so you would protect him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So you are looking live at hour nine. If you can believe it. So put yourself in Brett Kavanaugh's shoes right now as the grilling continues on Capitol Hill. He's making his case of course to sit on the highest court in the land. Democrats came out swinging on day two of the confirmation hearings. Issue such as gun control, abortion, healthcare.
But the Republicans including the President himself did not really seem concerned about the battle. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The other side is grasping at straws. And really the other side should embrace him because you're never going to find better in terms of talent or intellect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Joining me now, Democratic Senator Chris Coons. Fresh up his questioning of Judge Kavanaugh and he tells us that there is another couple of hours to go in there tonight. Senator, thank you very much for stepping out and making some time for us.
COONS: Thank you, Martha. It's always good to be on with you. MACCALLUM: Good -- it's great to have you as always. So you heard the President there, he says the Democrats are grasping at straws at this point. Is he right?
COONS: Well, I disagree. I asked as, you know, a whole series of questions of Judge Kavanaugh about opinions that he's written, speeches he's given, law review articles he's authored that show I think a disconcerting tendency to embrace a very strong view of the Presidential power. And I'm looking forward to another round of questioning with Judge Kavanaugh tomorrow where we'll follow up on the exchange we had today.
MACCALLUM: Well, one of the significant exchanges about that was when he explained that he was in favor of the Nixon versus the United States decision which subpoenaed President Nixon's tapes and forced him to turn them over. So, you were not satisfied that that sort of gave at least some indication of how he would judge something in a similar -- in a similar case?
COONS: That's one of the things we'll be talking about tomorrow. The specific case we focus on today was Morrison V. Olson which is a 30-year- old case. It's good settled law. And just earlier this year in Judge Kavanaugh own circuit, the D.C. Circuit, the majority in a decision said it is good and settled law and that his dissent flew in the face of Morrison. As you may have seen, we had a very vigorous back and forth.
Look, Judge Kavanaugh is very smart and very well-grounded in his view of the law. I just think we have a different view about whether or not a president should be able to fire special prosecutor at will. And I think it's something where we have a real difference of opinion. And I hope the American people will pay attention to this because I believe it's an important issue.
MACCALLUM: You know, it did feel as though, you know, some of the enthusiasm that we saw in the move to try to suspend these hearings kind of weakened a little bit today. In terms of its passion and the enthusiasm. So, I guess, you know, one of the questions is when you look around and you look at some of your colleagues, some of your Democratic colleagues on the committee, who've already said that they were nos.
In fact, some of them, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, they were nos within an hour of this nominee being named. So, what's -- I guess, what's the point becomes a question here if the questioning isn't going to have any -- give them any more discernment on their decision?
COONS: Well, Martha, I think the point here is that Judge Kavanaugh is before us as a nominee for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. And whoever succeeds Justice Kennedy will have a role in making historic decisions that will have an impact on a whole range of fundamental rights and issues over decades. So there are at least a dozen members of the Senate, both Republican and Democrat who haven't yet decided.
Who haven't yet made public what they intend to do. And that's the point of a confirmation hearing. Judge Kavanaugh has shown a remarkable stamina today as you said in your opening that he's gone through so many rounds of vigorous questioning. I certainly respect the fact that he gave as good as he took with me in terms of the back and forth. I'm going to watch our exchange tonight and prepare for tomorrow.
Why do I think this is important? Because I think it's important to the American people to know what sorts of values and ideas, what sort of record Judge Kavanaugh would bring to his service on the court. And I do think there are number of members of the House -- excuse me, of the Senate both Republican and Democrat who have not yet made up their mind on this nomination. MACCALLUM: Yes. Well, you raised a great point, and that's why this whole process happens. And, you know, it is something I think that people who make their decision right out of the gate should probably consider in terms of whether or not they want to do that next time around. Do you think that the process was hamstrung by Harry Reid when he decided to allow the nuclear option for lower court judges making it 51 in terms of the vote that needed to happen to put them into office?
And that ended up leading to where we are today. Was that a mistake?
COONS: Look, Martha, there has been a 40-year -- almost 40-year process whereby the confirmation first for the Supreme Court justices then for circuit judges and then district court judges became more and more contentious, more partisan, more divided. Obviously I think it was regrettable that the Republican majority changed that role on the Supreme Court filibuster.
And I think that we should not have gotten to a place where we felt compelled to do that when Harry Reid was the Democratic majority leader because of years of obstruction of President Obama's nominees. But if you listen to the old balls of this committee who have been on opposite sides for decades, there is a lot of history even before that. I think we would all be better served, Martha, if we went back to the way this was a number of years ago.
Where any nominee had to get 60 votes. That would force any future president of either party to nominate folks who are readily confirmable and more centrist.
MACCALLUM: Yes. Do you that would lead to the kind of votes that we used to see where people got 80, 90, even if the person was from the other part, you do?
COONS: I do. I'm hopeful. Let me put it this way. When Justice Scalia passed away, I called the White House and said to the President Obama's White House counsel, please, have him -- have him nominate someone who is a centrist, who's confirmable. Who is a seasoned senior jurist and he nominated chief judge of the D.C. Circuit, Merrick Garland who I really think should have been that confirmable centrist.
It's unfortunate, it's really tragic that he never got a hearing, never got a vote. And I think had that happened, we'd be in a very different place today.
MACCALLUM: So, a lot of bad feelings where that was concerned. Senator, thank you very much. Senator Coons, good to see you, sir.
COONS: Thank you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: You bet. So coming up next, Steve Hilton on the other hearing that got really heated today. Not only inside the chambers but at one point spilled right out into the hallway.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX JONES, DIRECTOR, INFOWARDS: Little frat boy here. All right. Yes.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: Who are you? I swear to god I don't know who you are man.
MACCALLUM: So, there was clearly another big hearing today on Capitol Hill. Two top tech CEOs, Sheryl Sandberg and Jack Dorsey of Twitter were grilled today by lawmakers about social media's influence in the elections. And alleged bias on their platforms in how they choose what to put on and what not to put on. Joining me now, Steve Hilton, the host of "THE NEXT REVOLUTION."
And author of the new book Positive Populism: Revolutionary Ideas to Rebuild Economic Security, Family, and Community in America. A Steve, always good to see you. Thank you very much for being here. You know, it feels like America has just in recent months woken up to the fact they have given up so much of their privacy and also they are being fed certain line of news and certain channels of information with, you know, either intentionally or because of the things they shop for or look for. And that brought us to this hearing today, right?
STEVE HILTON, FOX NEWS HOST: Yes. You're exactly right, Martha. And there is more of it to come. Just before we get in to, I should do full disclosure for our viewers. My wife is at Facebook. She was at -- she involved in preparing for the hearings today. But, you know, I've got my own views as everyone knows and I'll tell you what they are. I think that there are two big issues for these tech companies.
One of them is transparency and the other is dominance. On the transparently front, exactly as you said. You know, they're very unclear about what they take down, what they leave up, what's acceptable and so on. It's the question of judgment that they've got all these policies that they published but they're really broad. I mean, they can say we don't accept hate speech and for some examples it's pretty clear that something is hateful.
But for most of the difficult ones, it's a matter of individual judgment. Hate is in the eye of the beholder. So we need to know who is the beholder? If it's people who work for these companies, we know that they're overwhelmingly on the left and that's a concern. They need to work on the transparency. But the real point is the dominance point because none of this would matter so much if they weren't controlling so much of the conversation, of the information that we see every day.
And the real problem is that they have this kind of practically monopoly situation where you got one basic social network, one basic search engine. If you had 10, 20, 100 Googles and Facebooks, just like you have hundreds of media outlets, then it wouldn't be such a problem.
MACCALLUM: You know, it's interesting. Some of the people in there we're talking about how, you know, President Trump they think should be pulled off of some of these platform because of the things that he says that are unkind about this person or that person from time to time. Alex Jones is the info war guy, you know, probably many of our viewers know, some may not.
It turns out Marco Rubio apparently didn't have any idea who he was. But he got knocked off in some of these platforms and they let him back on because they said that he was spewing hate speeches, a real, you know, sort of freedom of the speech issue. Watch this interesting exchange between these two in the hall today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: Who are you? I swear to god, I don't know who you are man.
JONES: (INAUDIBLE) platforming. Change of blanks of views.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Infowars.
JONES: He knows who Infowars is. He is playing his joke over here. That's why -- and his platform didn't work.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here's the question.
RUBIO: Don't touch me again. I'm asking you not to touch me.
JONES: Well, sure, I'm patting you nicely.
RUBIO: I know. But I don't want to be -- I don't --
JONES: You don't want to get arrested?
RUBIO: I'm not going to arrest you, man.
JONES: Oh, you'll beat me up?
RUBIO: I didn't say that.
JONES: You're not going to silence me. You're not going to silence America. You are literally like little gangster thug.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: A little gangster. I mean, unbelievable. There is hate speech right in the hallway today, Steve.
HILTON: Right. I mean, what an exchange. To be honest, Marco think Rubio I think will get a lot of extra fans from that exchange. He handled it pretty well. The issue is that people are worried that if you clamp down over here you're going to end up clamping down elsewhere. And it all gets really political and the real concern as I said is that you got such a small -- you got such a concentration of power in the hands of so few people that are running such big aspects of our society.
MACCALLUM: All right. You know, let's take a look at this few research which I find really interesting today. I read that one in four people closed their Facebook account. And this shows the slowdown of people who are either taking a break or deleting the app from their phone. And, you know, this is a real wakeup call for these companies because not only are people getting concerned but they're acting on it, Steve.
HILTON: Yes. And this is the big thing that's really starting to change and I think it's an exciting development frankly because it's good for all industries if you have consumer power, if you have competition as I was saying. And that's what really forces companies to change. That business argument.
And for so long, they have had it all their own way.
HILTON: It seemed to make no difference what they did. They just going to rack up the users and rack up the money that comes with that. And so this is a really important signal. I think consumers in the end do hold the key.
But we also have to act in a regulatory way to make sure that these companies can't continue their dominance. And there are specific ways I talk about that in my book.
HILTON: Because I think it's one of the biggest issues of our time.
MACCALLUM: Steve, thank you. Always great to get you to weigh in. Good to see you tonight.
HILTON: As you, Martha. See you soon.
MACCALLUM: So coming up next tonight, a story that didn't get too much attention this week. Nancy Pelosi is plotting her plan for what she will do and what her party should do if and when they win the House back in November.
MACCALLUM: So Nancy Pelosi feeling optimistic about the Democrat chances to win back the House come November. She is feeling so good that she is reportedly planning out her 2018 agenda and it includes raising taxes.
Here now, Will Jawando, he used to work for Leader Pelosi and is now a Democratic strategist and has a long history of working for a lot of very high-ranking officials including President Obama I think at one point. Right?
WILL JAWANDO, FORMER NANCY PELOSI STAFFER: Yes.
MACCALLUM: Well, good to have you with us today.
JAWANDO: Good to be here. Thanks.
MACCALLUM: So she -- here's what she said in May about the tax cuts. Let's watch that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have a new ad that they put out after you said you thought you're going to win the majority. It said that you would like to institute single-payer healthcare program and cancel, raise taxes. I think they mean roll back the tax cuts that they passed this year. Is that, what do you think of that?
Well, the second part there is accurate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So roll back the tax cuts.
MACCALLUM: Which essentially means raising people's taxes. That seems to be one of the things that is the most popular in President Trump's agenda. So how is that going to go over in the midterms?
JAWANDO: Well, I would take issue rolling back the unpaid for almost $2 trillion worth of taxes for mostly wealthy and corporations.
MACCALLUM: But people are seeing them. They are seeing them in their paychecks.
JAWANDO: You know, I think you seeing some, a small boost now for some people but it's still not paid for. Those taxes are set to rise again in 2025. I know we are talking about a round two tax increase. But it was irresponsible. The Republicans used to be the party of fiscal responsibility.
MACCALLUM: So that is the plan, though, the plan is to roll them back?
JAWANDO: Well, the plan is, yes, to make sure that you reduce the deficit. I mean, it's not to be, you can't pay for it if you don't roll them back. And they were not smart. We're on the edge of another financial crisis.
MACCALLUM: Republican -- this is an equal opportunity criticism.
MACCALLUM: When is anybody in the building behind us ever really cared about cutting spending?
JAWANDO: Well, I think when you, Democrats when in control you saw that she has talked, she's also talked about PayCo, Leader Pelosi.
MACCALLUM: Right. She talked about it recently.
MACCALLUM: And let me just roll this is a sound bite from 2007 since you brought it up.
MACCALLUM: Let's play 2007.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard. Pay as you go. No new deficit spending.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JAWANDO: Right. And look, I think we have to be careful there as well. Because some things are worth paying for. Infrastructure structure investment is worth paying for. Healthcare is worth paying for.
The problem we are seeing with these latest set of tax cuts, is that they weren't paid for, they increase our chance for financial crisis. And I think when you hear her talk about looking to do pay as you go, I'm a little concerned as Democrat because I think we too often try to be too Republican like.
The Republicans back when I was working on the Hill used to care about the deficit. Now they don't.
MACCALLUM: Yes, they don't. You are right.
JAWANDO: And so, I think where Democrats and you are seeing this across the country, we need to be talking about the things that we want to pay for. We want to reduce the taxes on the middle income.
MACCALLUM: But here's the issue.
JAWANDO: Not corporations and not the wealthy.
MACCALLUM: I mean, you have the tremendous economic engine right now.
JAWANDO: Well, I don't know.
MACCALLUM: I mean, I think the market is doing really well. The business consumer index confidence is really high. Consumer confidence is high. Retail sales are really high. Aren't you concerned that some of these things are going to cool that off because most of that is based on lowering regulations for businesses and lowering taxes.
JAWANDO: Well, I would say all those things were happening in the Obama economy. When I was working in the White House, when we were--
MACCALLUM: But they have accelerated.
JAWANDO: Yes. I don't think the tax cuts are responsible for that.
MACCALLUM: So you think that if you do if they roll back the tax cuts--
JAWANDO: I think consumer confidence.
MACCALLUM: -- and you know, some of the things that Democrats are talking about--
JAWANDO: On the wealthy and all the corporations.
MACCALLUM: -- is, you know, expanding, expanding, Medicaid expanding nd healthcare.
MACCALLUM: Fifteen dollar an hour minimum wages.
MACCALLUM: I mean, how are you going to pay for all of that?
JAWANDO: Well, you're seeing people can't afford healthcare now. I mean, people -- and so if you raise taxes on the wealthy and bring the corporate tax rate on par with where it used to be you'll be able to pay for something.
MACCALLUM: So raise taxes on the wealthy to pay free college tuition, is that something that you are in favor of?
JAWANDO: You know, you've already seen it happened in a lot of states. I'm in Maryland and we have done it at the community college level. I think that's something that -- take for example. In the 1800s, there was a radical idea to make K-12 education free and available to non-white male landowners, OK?
Now most of the developed world has made higher education subsidized in the large part at least community college level in the knowledge economy, we have to do that. So that creates--
MACCALLUM: You are going to run the deficit up then.
MACCALLUM: There is no way.
JAWANDO: No, no, no. If you have economic growth and you have people getting jobs they are going--
MACCALLUM: We have economic growth. Yes. All right. We will see. It's going to be fascinating to watch. I hope you'll come back.
MACCALLUM: It's great to see you.
JAWANDO: Yes, yes, yes.
MACCALLUM: Thank you very much. Great having you on the show.
Coming up next, a prominent conservative named in a Democratic report on Russian collusion says that it is part of a secret smear campaign. And she intends to expose what has happened to her. Coming up next.
MACCALLUM: Conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell once a central figure in fighting the IRS targeting scandal has now become a target in the Russia investigation. She believes that it is part of a smear campaign against her. In a moment, she will explain who she believes is behind it and why.
But first, Trace Gallagher live in our west coast newsroom with the back story tonight. Hi, Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Martha. It was in this report released by the Democrats in the House intelligence committee that GOP lawyer Cleta Mitchell's name first surfaced in the connection to the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.
The report issued back in March listed Mitchell as someone who was, quote, "involved in or may have knowledge of third-party political outreach from the Kremlin to the Trump campaign."
Cleta Mitchell who you may recall helped to expose the IRS targeting conservative groups says her name went public before anyone on the intel committee ever contacted her. But then it gets worse.
Two days later, McClatchy Newspapers write a story citing two unnamed sources claiming Congress was investigating Mitchell because of her concerns about the NRA', quote, "possible involvement in channeling Russian funds in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump."
Mitchell calls the article a complete fabrication saying she hasn't worked for the NRA in a decade and had no contact with the group in 2016. She also said, quoting, "I have no knowledge of anything like this. And zero concerns whatsoever about anyone Russian or otherwise who funneled funds to/ through NRA." McClatchy ran the story anyway.
But it appears the person spreading the misinformation might be Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, you know, the company behind the infamous Steele dossier. Congressional documents provided to our corporate cousin the Wall Street Journal show that Simpson was feeding information to Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.
And Mr. Ohr has reportedly confirmed to members of Congress that he has known Glenn Simpson for a long time and passed some of his information along to the FBI.
Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intel committee denies that Glenn Simpson named Cleta Mitchell, though Congressman Schiff won't say who did. Cleta Mitchell believes it was Glenn Simpson who made up the story and that he should be prosecuted for lying to a federal agent. Martha?
MACCALLUM: Trace, thank you very much. So here now with more is Cleta Mitchell, a Republican campaign finance attorney. Cleta, thank you. Good to have you back on the program tonight.
CLETA MITCHELL, GOP ATTORNEY: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So this is quite a tale. And your name, what we have been documenting very extensively here are all of the sort of, elements that have gone new to what looks like creating a pretense some would say, in order to investigate the Trump campaign. How did your name become part of that whole machine?
MITCHELL: Well, that's a very good question, Martha. And I would really like to know. But we know, we suspected, I suspected back in March when McClatchy first ran the story that, and talking with, I immediately went to Chairman Devin Nunes at the House intelligence committee to tell him there is nothing to this. There is not a kernel, there's not a microbe of truth to the story. And I wanted him to know that.
The his staff and I talked and they told me that they surmised that it was Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS who, remember, he, as Trace said, he is the one -- they are the ones who put together that famous dossier that started all of this nonsense, the fake dossier.
And I wasn't, we weren't sure, but we thought that was right. And of those these two McClatchy reporters, Peter Stone and Greg Gordon have just been mouthpieces for Adam Schiff, as well as for Glenn Simpson.
And we weren't sure but we more or less figured out that maybe that's where it was coming from. Until early August when the House judiciary committee finally obtained Bruce Ohr's notes of his interviews and discussion with Glenn Simpson and with Christopher Steele. And there it is. That's where the story came from.
The name is there listed as the NRA lawyer. Saying I have these concerns about what is essentially illegally committed by the NRA which is completely false. All of it is a complete lie.
MACCALLUM: So, did the Mueller investigation ever contact you or ever want to talk to you about the possibility that you had some awareness of funneling of funds from Russians through the NRA?
MITCHELL: No. They never have contacted me and I've been curious however about how it was that somehow this Russian woman who was hanging around the NRA meetings--
MITCHELL: -- I wonder how they found her and I've wondered if that could be--
MACCALLUM: Maria Butina you are referring to?
MITCHELL: Who they thought I knew this person and I can't even remember her name. I've never heard of her until she was indicted.
But I've wondered if Glenn Simpson was responsible for starting all of that. And I am very serious. Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos are both being charged with lying to a federal investigator. That is a federal crime. Now I want to know why Glenn Simpson who has clearly lied about this why he is he not being prosecuted for spinning lies to Bruce Ohr and other federal investigators. I think that is something that I want Rod Rosenstein to answer that question for me. Why are they not prosecuting him?
MACCALLUM: Yes. It's a good question. And you are not alone. Because there are a lot of people who want to understand why the rest of the side of this collusion story isn't being looked into by the special counsel since they seem to be, you know, opposite part of a piece in many ways but they seem to be ignored.
MITCHELL: Well, it just doesn't make sense to me that the Fusion GPS and everything that I've read about this dossier is that it's basically gossip. Gossip and fact free. And yet, they go -- we've been put through this long national nightmare and we still don't have any evidence of a crime or even an allegation of a crime committed by the Trump campaign.
MACCALLUM: Cleda, thank you very much.
MITCHELL: But now they are accusing me of knowing of a crime. So, thank you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Yes. Thank you. Well, we want to see where it goes. So keep us posted. Good to see you tonight.
MACCALLUM: Thanks for coming back on the show.
MITCHELL: OK. Thank you. Thank you.
MACCALLUM: All right. This Fox News alert for you. Brand new reaction from the White House just in on the anonymous op-ed, slamming President Trump from inside his own administration.
Jesse Watters here to weigh in on that and much more on Wednesday with Watters when we come back.
MACCALLUM: All right. Breaking news moments ago not too far from here. President trump is tweeting again tonight about that bombshell in the New York Times, the op-ed from an anonymous official within the administration saying, quote, "Does the so-called senior administration official really exist? Or is it just the failing New York Times with another phony source? If the gutless anonymous person does indeed exist the Times must for national security purposes turn him or her over to the government at once."
The question that is on everybody's mind who wrote it? Who wrote it and why?
Joining me now for Wednesdays with Watters is with his theory on the author, Jesse Watters. So, Jesse, good to see you.
JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS HOST: You, too, Martha.
MACCALLUM: You know, I watched you guys talking about this a little bit early on The Five tonight. You know, I mean, this is a bombshell when it came out. And Brit just spoke about it as well. In terms of this person's motives and who they might be and now the president is sort of saying that he needs to be turned over for some sort of, I don't know, some sort of punishment or admonition I guess at the very least. What do you make of it off?
WATTERS: I don't think the failing New York Times is going to turn over the senior administration official, number one.
MACCALLUM: Probably not.
WATTERS: Number two, I disagree with Juan Williams. I don't think it's bearing Trump. If not bearing we can cross the--
MACCALLUM: Did he say that?
WATTERS: Yes, he did. I do think it's probably a moderate level administration official or someone trying to boost their credentials. That they believe they are responsible for all the good things that have happened in this administration.
Remember, this is not a Bernie bro. This is not a left wing resister like reality winner. This is a so-called Republican who believes it's their duty to protect the country from Trump's impulses.
They weren't elected and they're not accountable to the American people. Trump was. He was elected to be the commander-in-chief, he was elected to be the chief executive and to deliver orders and have those orders be faithfully executed by his staff. If they are not faithfully executed someone is interfering in our democracy and that's a serious issue.
MACCALLUM: Do you think, you know, from what we are hearing there's only two or three people who know who it is. At least according to the New York Times and the process they say, it was given to them by an intermediary but that they know who it is. Do you think we're going to find out who it is?
WATTERS: No. But I hope we do. I mean, I think Trump would probably ask Sessions to bring him up on treason charges and you know that's the ultimate penalty but I don't think Sessions is going to do anything because Sessions hasn't done anything. So there's no chance, we're all speculating- -
MACCALLUM: And that seems like a bit of a stretch. I mean, you are allowed to write an editorial.
MACCALLUM: There's, you know, I mean, I think the treason thing is a bit of stretch. I think we're going to find out who it is. I kind of do. I think that's going to happen and I think it might happen shortly, so.
WATTERS: We're going to find out who it is and then MSNBC is going to give them a job.
MACCALLUM: That could very well happen. I want to talk to you a little bit about Colin Kaepernick. Nike just released this ad there. You know, all-in on Colin Kaepernick being the face of Just Do It. And here's is part of the ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLIN KAEPERNICK, FORMER NFL PLAYER: So don't ask if your dreams are crazy. Ask if they're crazy enough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: And as I ask you this question we're going to show people the rest of this ad. Because that's just the Colin Kaepernick part. But the rest of it are all these inspiring stories about the people who have overcome great things in order to succeed. What do you think of this ad?
WATTERS: I don't know what Kaepernick has overcome. I mean, he was a highly paid professional athlete who started kneeling because he was going to get cut. That's the big secret. It wasn't the other way around.
Remember, he got benched then they brought him back and he went 1 in 11. So he was going to get cut and he had one year contract, each year was performance based. Terrible deal because the 9'ners knew he wasn't any good.
He was a one-trick pony and the other defenses figured him out. He couldn't throw the ball or couldn't read a defense. He was all legs. And he wanted to try to reinvent himself and have a second career.
And so he is no martyr. He didn't make any sacrifices. The cops that he mocked with the pig socks they are the ones that make the sacrifices every day to protect our freedoms.
Now Nike they know how to make billions of dollars. I don't. You know, if I did I'd be on vacation. So I don't know what they are doing. The stock was down yesterday and up a little bit today. They are thinking for the long term this may sell overseas.
They do a lot of business overseas with countries that don't like America and then probably think Colin Kaepernick is a real hero because he is kneeling. But you know, I'll leave the finances to FBN, Martha. I have no clue.
MACCALLUM: All right. Jesse, thank you. Thank you very much. Good to see you. We'll see you back in New York for next week's Wednesday edition.
WATTERS: Go Eagles.
MACCALLUM: Go Patriots. Football season starts tomorrow night. All right. So that is your story for this Wednesday night. We're going to be heading back to New York. We'll see you back there tomorrow night at 7 o'clock. My good friend Tucker Carlson is downstairs. He is ready to go, so stay tuned. Tucker Carlson is straight ahead. Good night, everybody.
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