Clock is ticking on potential government shutdown

This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," December 19, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: Nice job Dan, fantastic show. I'm Laura Ingraham and this is “The Ingraham Angle” from Washington tonight. In moments, we'll be joined by Joe diGenova, Congressman Jim Jordan to discuss renegade judges. A shocking revelation inside the Jim Comey testimony and boy, do we have a lot more, also tonight.

I thought the Left wanted us out of foreign entanglements. Well, we'll tell you why Trump's decision to bring some of our troops home has official Washington up in arms plus Michelle Obama's book tour has turned now into a petty war against the Trump family.

Her comments later on in the show. And since it's Christmas, we have something very important for you. Raymond Arroyo takes us behind the scenes of a special holiday journey of joy and remembrance for hundreds of gold star families.

And he speaks to the catalyst behind it all, Actor Gary Sinise so stay tuned for that incredibly moving report. It's going to bring tears to your eyes, it did when I first saw but first, Black Robed resistance, that's the focus of tonight's ANGLE.

If you're like most Americans, you grew up with a special sense of reverence for judges. Watching films or reading books, regular folks have seen countless portrayals of judges as consummate professionals who set their own personal opinions aside and objectively weigh the merits of each case.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since there has been no previous violation of the statute, there's no precedent to guide the bench passing sentence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The witness will address this court as judge or your honor. I'm quite certain, I've earned it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since the United States government declares this man to be Santa Claus, this court will not dispute it. Case dismissed.

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INGRAHAM: I still get goose bumps every time I see that. Well but of course then there's the real world where certain judges act more like political pundits than impartial arbiters. Case in point. Yesterday's sentencing hearing of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Judge Emmet Sullivan most recently a Clinton appointee, used his moment in the spotlight to castigate Flynn with incendiary charges that weren't even brought by the Special Counsel. At one point, he told the decorated Lieutenant General, "arguably you sold your country out."

Well, then he decided Flynn failure to register as a foreign agent and the Judge actually used the word treason but with clever phrasing. He told the court, "I wasn't suggesting that he was committing treason. I was just curious if he could have been charged. Lots of conspiracy theories out there."

Since when do judges start invoking conspiracy theories as grounds for imposing additional jail time or any jail time at a defendant. The Special Counsel actually recommended no jail time. Nevertheless Judge Sullivan warned Flynn that even if he cooperated further with the Special Counsel, he could still serve time.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This has to be one of the most dramatic hearings that I have ever witnessed and I've been here in Washington nearly 20 years.

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INGRAHAM: It only got worse by the way. Naturally liberal pundits were quick to cheer their honorable comrade in arms' activism.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I will tell you this that today a Judge in Washington DC. stood up for our country. He spanked everybody in Washington.

SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The Judge can exhibit whatever type of temperament, the Judge would like to exhibit in the Judge's court.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None of them understood the basic moral outrage that judge Sullivan was going to bring to the proceedings.

MIMI ROCAH, FORMER ASST U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: I think that today was a really good day for the justice system and that this Judge really did his job.

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INGRAHAM: Totally, well, sure, they love the Judge's theatrics because he's part of the resistance. And today he might have earned himself a full time CNN contributor's contract, given the latest ruling.

A pre-Christmas permanent injunction Judge Sullivan, and believe it or not, I read all 170 tedious pages this afternoon, ruled that Trump's tightening guidelines for granting asylum is illegal. Remember back when - it's back in June when Jeff Sessions announced these new asylum rules.

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JEFF SESSIONS, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: Asylum is available for those who leave their home country because of persecution or fear on account of race, religion, nationality or membership in a particular social group or political opinion.

Asylum was never meant to alleviate all problems, even all serious problems that people face every day, all over the world.

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INGRAHAM: Common sense interpretation. No, well, the move was needed because asylum seekers were abusing the system aided by a lot of leftist NGOs, migrants began parroting lines about gang violence and domestic violence to establish this expanded credible fear category because they don't want to return to their homeland.

With Judge Sullivan's opinion, today, it's back to business as usual, pre- Trump the way it used to be. The judge not only by the way, demands that the administration revert to the old rules of asylum entry but further he instructed that, "the government return to the United States, the plaintiffs who were unlawfully deported and to provide them with new credible fear determinations consistent with the immigration laws."

Wouldn't you like a mint on your pillow too? In other words all those deported have to be brought back for new asylum hearings. Now I guess they can stay at Sullivan's house as they await trial. Who knows?

But from his activist judicial high horse, Sullivan apparently isn't bothered by the growing backlog of 800,000 now immigration court cases. 30 percent of those involved asylum requests, that's more than triple the number from 2009. Now we've been talking about the scourge of an elected judges substituting their own policy preferences for those of the American people's representatives since this show started back in October of last year.

The President ultimately won, remember on his travel ban at the Supreme Court but for every issue from transgender people serving in the military, to climate change, to the 2020 census, to the keystone pipeline, these activist judges have waged an assault on Trump's agenda and they've exceeded their constitutional authority in almost every instance.

We're reminded of how important it is that Trump gets his judicial nominees confirmed as quickly as possible. Mitch McConnell's done a pretty good job but we need this done faster, more expeditiously and like yesterday. And - and if this means staying in session for an extra few days every month or even maybe into the Christmas holiday, well, guess what?

The country depends on it, the constitution depends on it. And shame on Congress for not doing its job in the first place and passing urgently needed asylum reform at any point in the last two years.

They have the House and the Senate, they should have addressed this issue, they should have done a lot of immigration including pass that funding for the wall, they didn't. Shame on them, shame on these judicial activists and that's THE ANGLE.

All right, joining me now with reaction is Joe Digeneva, former U.S. attorney and Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan and Al Mottur, Attorney and Democratic strategist. Joe, what can we do about these activist judges, they're fighting Trump tooth and nail, let's talk about Judge Emmet Sullivan.

This was stem-winder of an opinion by the way. A107 pages, Immigration Law is pretty tedious stuff but I practiced a little Immigration Law back in the day at my old law firm so I know it fairly well. What is your take?

JOE DIGENOVA, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: We have a rule, if it takes 107 pages to explain, it's probably wrong. It's pretty clear that the Judge substituted his legislative and political judgment for that of the President of the United States. What the President did here was a perfectly reasonable rewrite of Obama's asylum roles.

They are subject to a presumption of regularity, the President's rules. He denied him that but more importantly, he used a weird standard. He said that the plaintiffs had a moral right to make certain arguments, that is ludicrous, that's juvenile, that's first year law school nonsense.

So when all is said and done, this is judicial anarchy, it's a shame and after yesterday's performance.

INGRAHAM: I'd say 1-2 punch for this judge.

DIGENOVA: After yesterday's embarrassing performance by this Judge, I must say, one of the worst judicial performances I have ever seen in the court room. This coming after that is really a double whammy of embarrassment.

INGRAHAM: Al, bringing up - let's go to Flynn for a moment, bringing up the word, treason. This was not an issue for the Special Counsel. Special Counsel didn't use the word, treason. An unelected Judge on the District Court in DC brought up the word, treason. He's like, oh, I know it's conspiracy theory. I'm going to warn you though, even if you keep cooperating, we can add jail time. What was that sentence of his?

ALFRED MOTTUR, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, Laura, I mean you're a lawyer, I'm a lawyer, I served as a clerk for a federal judge and judges are obligated to tell defendants even if you cooperate, you can still serve jail time. He needs to let him know what his punishment is -

INGRAHAM: That was right after the treason-not treason line.

MOTTUR: That's separate. Maybe that's a little bit excessive but the point of it is, he might still serve jail time and there's nothing biased about that and we need to stop bringing down our legitimate institutions like the Judiciary.

INGRAHAM: You think judges are beyond criticism, we shouldn't ever criticize a judge because he has a black robe on.

MOTTUR: I don't.

INGRAHAM: Oh, she has a black robe on, she gets life tenure, is that really because I see what we're seeing is a subversion of the American people's will.

MOTTUR: But what's happening here is, it's not the judges who are activists, it's activists going to the judges because as you point out, the Congress hasn't done its job.

INGRAHAM: Jim Jordan, it is true, Congress hasn't done its job on this particular issue. I think the not funding the wall is going to go down as one of the worst, worst thing to have happened to this administration, forget Mueller, the wall-the wall- the wall has to be built and this was a scandal that it hasn't been built but we'll get to that.

But on this judicial tyranny stuff, these nationwide injunctions, Joe, you and I've talked about it before. One District Court Judge can rewrite national policy when Obama is the one who rewrote it with his immigration appeals judge.

REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OH: No, it's wrong and look, we should change the law so we have an amendment we're going to offer tomorrow which actually would reform our asylum laws. 85 percent of the folks who come into this country --

INGRAHAM: Amendment to what?

JORDAN: Amendment to the Spending Bill, we're going to offer it to the freedom caucus, take to the rules committee, its two amendments, one is to build the wall, the other one is to reform our asylum laws because if you want to address the caravan issue which we've been watching unfold for the last several months, the only way to do it, the only way to do it, build the border security wall, reform our asylum laws because 85 percent of people who show up at the border and claim asylum aren't legitimate asylum seekers.

And what did this judge say, those who were sent back or are legitimate you now have to pay for them to come here.

INGRAHAM: Bring them back, United First Class from the Hondura.

JORDAN: You got to be kidding me.

INGRAHAM: I want to - this is right Rush Limbaugh said today about this no wall getting built.

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RUSH LIMBAUGH, TALK SHOW HOST: That was what Trump was going to do to get the wall built under the premise that the President can take whatever action necessary, he deems necessary for national security. So I know this looks like read my lips, no new taxes and caving on it.

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INGRAHAM: Well but he says, he's going to figure out a way to get it done. Joe diGenova.

DIGENOVA: Well, it's very sad, we needed the wall, the wall was a key issue, it's important wherever walls are built, 95 percent of a illegal crossings are cut out, it's an amazingly effective tool and the notion that has been made this devilish fiendish thing, oh my goodness, a wall, perhaps they would prefer the tear gassing and perhaps bullets as opposed to a wall.

The people who oppose the wall are inviting violence, they're inviting disruption and they are inviting further illegal immigration into the United States. I hope that when this thing runs out, when it's - in February the President says that's it, no more, a wall or I'm shutting it down.

INGRAHAM: Should be - it's Christmas right now.

DIGENOVA: No, I agree with you.

INGRAHAM: All we is kick it - and the President said last spring, I'm never doing it again.

DIGENOVA: I agree, I agree.

INGRAHAM: We are not doing omnibus, we are not going to polarize it, we're going to have a big fight about the wall, Paul Ryan -

DIGENOVA: You got to live with that promise.

INGRAHAM: Paul Ryan, I want to see like release a five part miniseries on his own life in Congress. Did you see that? I mean, God bless him, he's a nice person, it was embarrassing.

That's an embarrassing thing he did.

JORDAN: There's an old line, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. We got to change it, we got to change it. Fool the American people four times, shame on Congress because that's what we've done. Four times we promised them that we would build the wall and put it on the Spending Bill and now we're saying, oh, no, we're going to kick it to February when Pelosi's going to be speaker, it'll never happen, we got to do it now.

INGRAHAM: But I got to tell you the Republicans also can with in good conscience say, the Democrats had the chance to work with the President on this and refused to do so. They refuses to do so.

MOTTUR: This is a bipartisan problem that's been going on for decades. Okay? Everybody in America wants compromise but if the Republicans double down on the wall only and restricting asylum, you're going to have a situation where a lot more moderate Republicans lose like the 40 who just lost in this last election.

And it maybe in the interest of your constituents and I think you represent them well and able because they believe what you say but I don't think that's what suburban voters believe or well-educated voters-

INGRAHAM: Do you think that suburban voters see this thing at the bottom, like ooh, let's loose some asylum laws? Or more, let's oh, three cheers for the judge?

MOTTUR: I think all voters are for security but they also want -

INGRAHAM: So everyone is - everyone who was subjected to gang violence, any gang violence, that's a lot of chunk of the world and domestic violence, you make a credible - credible claim, then you're in, right? Is that it? You put that up at referend of the American people, they'll kill it every time, that is a - by the way the Senate just passed a continuing resolution.

Get the champagne flutes, the market, the futures are going up right now. Senate just passed, House, not going to pass, yes? Yes.

JORDAN: We're going to offer our amendments, we're taking them to the rules committee, we're not going to vote for it unless the border wall funding $5 billion is on the Bill.

INGRAHAM: All right, I want to move on to this telling exchange revealed in the former FBI director Jim Comey's testimony released yesterday. Trey Gowdy asked about remarks made by former President Obama in October of 2015.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think, this is not that big a deal?

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: What I think is that it is important for her to answer these questions to the satisfaction of American public and they can make their own judgment. I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America's national security was endangered.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Okay so Gowdy followed up asking Comey if he had ever spoken with President Obama about the Clinton email investigation to which the Ex - FBI Chief replied, no. He said he never directed anyone at the bureau to do so either. So Joe, let me get this straight, Comey's FBI never briefed President Obama on an ongoing investigation about the Democrats Nominee for the presidency.

So how could Obama be so confident there was no national security risk?

DIGENOVA: Well, what's really interesting is what the President - what President Obama did was command influence. By publicly telling the FBI and the department of justice that she didn't break the law, he told them the result he wanted and James Comey delivered.

He exonerated her illegally, she broke the law, there isn't any question about it she broke the law and he, the President was communicating with her under a pseudo name to her private email account so what you saw was a lie. He knew she was using a private server. He knew it because he sent her emails using a pseudo name and you know what, that's the kind of thing that makes people sick of politics.

There's Obama lying through his teeth, he knew that she had a private server, he knew there was classified information because when you communicate with the President, that is classified automatically. A communication with the President of the United States, how disgusting.

Command influence? Right, he told the FBI what he wanted done, drop the case.

INGRAHAM: That's all right, we can't criticize him because they showed up at the children's hospital with a bag of gifts. I kept thinking that big picture of him with the bag of gifts, that was nice, all the kids got the gifts, maybe the emails were in there. I'm like maybe that's where the emails are.

It wasn't the first time that President Obama did that. Remember in the IRS investigation before it's closed out, he said there was no corruption there, not even a smidgen so he did the exact same thing where when the investigation is going on, he's doing a big time interview and he pre- judges the outcome there as well so it's not the first time.

MOTTUR: I'll agree that he shouldn't have said it probably that way because there is a bit command performance there but the bottom line is this and most Americans know this, it wasn't as big a deal as was alleged then, call me exonerated or not legally, fairly. In fact if anyone was hurt by Jim Comey, it was Hillary Clinton 10 days before the election.

So there was no bias toward her there and it was not for her, it was against her.

INGRAHAM: This is Congressman John Ratcliffe on with Martha about what Ratcliff's excuse be on what went down, let's watch.

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REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE, D-TX: He's turned out to be every bit as duplicitous and sanctimonious as folks told me that he was. I don't mind if Jim Comey is a partisan but don't pretend to be a fair and impartial umpire saying that out of one side of your mouth, while out of the other side of your mouth, you're telling people to use their last breath to stop Donald Trump and Republicans and to vote Democrat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: John Ratcliffe I mean, for Comey to have said, guys, that he deserves no blame and has no responsibility for the tarnished reputation of the FBI and that's Donald Trump's done it. Did Donald Trump sign the FISA warrant based on the dossier?

DIGENOVA: Comey is delusional, he's a dirty cop, he's smarmy, he's self- indulgent, he's a loon. I mean, it's almost like he doesn't see himself. You watch him and you see a man whose emotionally disturbed. He's one of the weirdest guys in history, he ruined the FBI.

Let's remember, he is a fired, disgraced FBI director, you can't say that about anybody else. It's amazing. What he did to the bureau is, he destroyed federal law enforcement for a generation by usurping the functions of the Attorney General and she apparently didn't care.

INGRAHAM: Was there any point in time in which he really thought that stupid dossier, that all these lurid charges were true? But has he ever answered that? Was there any point in time where you thought any of this might be true? They made it as lurid as possible in order to get everybody's attention, correct? That's how it went down.

JORDAN: Even the first guy who wrote about it and the guy who was cited in the FISA application is a cop, said it was a false document just two days ago.

INGRAHAM: Well, with that, Merry Christmas everyone and coming up, are Democrats now for endless war all over the globe. While their reaction to an announcement from the President today about Syria reveals their astonishing interventionist streak, stay there.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES: Our boys, our young women, our men, they're all coming back and they're coming back now. We won.

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TRUMP: We've been trying to rebuild the world and police the world. It's now time to rebuild the United States and to properly police the United States and that's what we're going to do.

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INGRAHAM: Promises made and perhaps the beginning of promises kept on the international front, President Trump making the surprise announcement today that he's going to pull American troops out of Syria.

Now remember Donald Trump ran on a non-interventionist platform and just this past March, he signaled that this is what he wanted.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: By the way we're knocking the hell out of ISIS, we'll be coming out of Syria like very soon. Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon, very soon, we're coming out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: But the bipartisan interventionist Cabal in Washington are still acting like we're in a post 9/11 mindset. Well, it's worth remembering, Obama ran against the Iraq war as a repudiation of the Bush doctrine, remember?

So why our military and Intel leaders who worked or supported Obama saying this.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, this is very typical of the Trump administration that is policy by tweet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He looks for short term wins not the transformational approach of how do you make organizations better, how do you go for the long term?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You pull those advisors out, that's sustainable security lapses and then you have ungoverned spaces again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have right now essentially the President in almost a sort of a rogue operation making impulsive, unilateral and frequently bad judgment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Joining me now are two men on opposite sides of this move, Jim Carafano, retired Army Colonel and Vice President of the Heritage Foundation and Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis, Senior Fellow at the Defense Priorities who received a bronze star for his service in Afghanistan.

All right Jim, you think this was a strategic error for pulling out now so my question is what does - what does America received as far as a tangible benefit from remaining behind in Syria?

JIM CARAFANO, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Look, I don't know if we're on the opposite sides on this debate because first of all, I don't know what side he is.

INGRAHAM: Then leave this studio now.

CARAFANO: I don't know what side -

INGRAHAM: I mean, what are we doing here?

CARAFANO: Well, that's right. I don't know what -

INGRAHAM: Lie TV. Okay, no, I'm just kidding, I've known Jim for a long time.

CARAFANO: I don't know side I'm on. You know what this is like? This is like somebody - said D-day, what do you think, right? What's the plan? You know well how are we going to protect our interests? We don't know any of that. This might be a really smart thing. I've never been for a permanent base in Syria. I've always thought that was stupid. I thought we should do what we need to do to protect our interests.

So when the President says, we're coming out, what I read is, everybody's response is exactly what their politics were the second before he said it. There's no analysis of what is the President actually going to do. So it's unfair at this point to go out and say, well, he's wrong, I mean, I think that's ridiculous. Well Lindsey Graham said I think, it's just completely irresponsible.

INGRAHAM: But you think it's improved, correct?

CARAFANO: I don't know, I don't know if it's improved because I don't know is what's our plan to protect our U.S. interest, how are we coming out because we do have concerns, right? We don't for example, right? We probably wouldn't like Israel and Iran to have a war, okay, that will probably be bad.

We probably wouldn't want Jordan and Iraq destabilize.

INGRAHAM: Does that mean we always have to stay?

CARAFANO: No, no, absolutely it doesn't mean. I was never the guy that said the answer is-

INGRAHAM: We're finished but every time and Dan, you got to help me because every time we get into a situation in one of these place in the Middle East, we're told, if we pull out, chaos will ensue.

DANIEL DAVIS, SENIOR FELLOW, DEFENSE PRIORITIES: Right.

INGRAHAM: Which means you can never pretty much leave you have to stay because it's a situation that's very - it's kind of is unstable, that's the nature of the game there. 17 years in Afghanistan, 15 years in Iraq.

DAVIS: Right.

INGRAHAM: 15 years, Obama was elected to get us out of Iraq and Trump was elected in part by being the anti-Bush.

DAVIS: Right and the fact of the matter is the Middle East was chaotic before we got there, the Middle East is chaotic today.

INGRAHAM: It's worse.

DAVIS: And it is going to be chaotic after we leave.

INGRAHAM: It's worse.

CARAFANO: I disagree there. Trump has made the Middle East better.

INGRAHAM: Oh, Trump has, yes, I'm just saying -

CARAFANO: Absolutely wouldn't argue that.

INGRAHAM: 9/11 to let's say 2008 and ISIS comes, ISIS is born out of the instability in Iraq, we're still having insider attacks, I even hate calling them that but our men are being murdered in Afghanistan, another American soldier, marine, reservist murdered in Iraq - or Afghanistan, excuse me, for what?

CARAFANO: But when Trump came in -

DAVIS: I'll tell you, our troops there do not keep it safe over here. We have many ways to keep us safe here otherwise you will never be able to - ever.

INGRAHAM: Never leave.

CARAFANO: Bur when Trump came into office - when Trump came in office, ISIS was still running a ruck in the Middle East.

INGRAHAM: Well, he did that.

CARAFANO: When Trump came into office, there were over a million refugees had poured into western Europe, none of that's happening today and that's all due to Trump.

INGRAHAM: Well, that's due to smart, smart use of our military power, not we're going to fix this here, we're going to jump over here, we're - I mean, when we have the situation, we were just talking about the border deal.

You both know a lot about the border chaos right now. People at home, I think sit and watch and they're just going, wait a second, we love this - but the Christians in Syria have been brutalized during this period of U.S. intervention is in there. And like we can't even police are own border and we're trying to police the borders of these countries that have been at war with each other for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years.

It's very confusing to people.

CARAFANO: Right, so when people say - when people reflectively attack him to say, I'm pulling out, let's just wait and see what his plan is before -

DAVIS: But here's the thing, you have to keep into consideration. Those troops were sent there, number one, by Obama administration against the constitution because he did not get all congressional authorization for them.

He was using initially unvetted people that many of which were against their own interest and even if you say the best of that, it was to get rid of ISIS in Iraq.

INGRAHAM: Mission accomplished.

DAVIS: Mission was accomplished in 2017, they need to pull out.

INGRAHAM: But we got the neo conservatives who don't realize still that Trump won, okay? And they've been good at some issues but they were up in arms in a lot of defense contracts, just probably weren't happy today either, let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This decision by the President was against our military advise. He did it himself which he has every right to do but he needs to own it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A grave error that's going to have significant repercussions in the years and months to come.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honestly, this makes what Obama did in Iraq, it's replicating that but in many ways, it's even worse I've never seen a decision like this since I've been here in 12 years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Oh, my God, do you believe it. OK, you guys are just kicking the can down the road. Another CR you voted on tonight and you're saying it's the worst thing ever. Not $20 trillion in debt. How much money did we spend in Iraq and Afghanistan, do you guys know, combined?

DAVIS: It's $45 billion just this year in Afghanistan alone. So --

INGRAHAM: So $6 trillion total if you add it all up.

DAVIS: Oh, it's trillions of dollars, absolutely.

INGRAHAM: How much has China spent in Iraq and Afghanistan?

DAVIS: A $1.50, something like that. Obviously not very much at all.

INGRAHAM: They're watching us, we are going here, there, and everywhere.

DAVIS: They love it when we pour money out there that does nothing for interest. And here's the thing, we can keep ourselves safe. We don't need ground troops in Syria, because here's the thing. I can tell you from having served in Afghanistan and Iraq in similar missions like this, those small number of troops, the most things they do is actually defend themselves. They have very little ability to do anything even on a tactical level, but certainly nothing on a strategic level. Our security will not be put in any threat by withdrawing those troops because our security is not --

INGRAHAM: We're ceding Syria to Russia and Assad, though.

DAVIS: They already were there. They have been there before and there afterwards.

CARAFANO: And we agree on this. That's irrelevant. Syria has been America's enemy in the Middle East since forever. It's never bothered us. It's not about Syria. It's keeping the problems in Syria for making everything worse. And as long as the president is planning to do that, we should all be fine with it.

INGRAHAM: This is what "National Review" wrote today. "The American military intervention in Syria represents one of the most successful cost- effective military operations post 9/11 era at a minimal cost to American lives. The ISIS caliphate has been reduced to rubble, Russian and Iranian ambitions in Syria have been tracked, and the U.S. has gained valuable territorial leverage in negotiations for a permanent peace. But there's work left to be done."

CARAFANO: That's the one part I have issue with. This notion is we have to have -- and where I completely disagree. We have to own land on the ground so we can help negotiate the political future of Syria. We don't give a damn about the political future of Syria. That is a misreading of U.S. national interest. We have to prevent Syria from becoming a bigger problem for us. And if the president has got a plan to do that, we should support that.

And we should start with where we are, which is look at what's done the last two years. He has made the Middle East a better price. He's made Syria less of a problem.

INGRAHAM: Gets no credit for that.

CARAFANO: He gets no credit for that. That's fair.

INGRAHAM: He gets zero credit for that. But Adam Kinzinger is really unhappy so we should change it. I'm sorry, the interventionist thing brought us in part Barack Obama. I'm never going to forget that. Guys, thank you so much. No one else will have this conversation on TV tonight, no one.

Up next, something very special, an important reminder about the cost of our freedoms, what we were just talking about. Raymond Arroyo takes us behind the scenes of an incredible holiday trip for Gold Star families called the Snowball Express. He's going to talk to the families and the man behind it all, actor Gary Sinise, next.

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INGRAHAM: The holidays can be really difficult for those who've lost a loved one, especially the children of our fallen servicemembers. FOX News contributor Raymond Arroyo is here with me now for a lot more.

RAYMOND ARROYO, CONTRIBUTOR: Laura, every year the Gary Sinise Foundation hosts a special trip that captures the spirit of Christmas. Last week, I joined these Gold Star families, Gary, and the Snowball Express to Disney World for an unforgettable five-day experience, one that holds lessons for all Americans.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARROYO: You may have seen this video that went viral last week. The Nashville airport came to a standstill when travelers paused to sing the national anthem in the concourse.

(SINGING)

ARROYO: They were honoring children of fallen servicemen and women who were boarding a very special flight. This year, as it has for the last 13, the Snowball Express, sponsored by the Gary Sinise Foundation and American Airlines, has taken more than 1,000 children of the fallen from 87 cities on a Christmas trip filled with joy, family, and remembrance. Their destination was Disney World.

GARY SINISE, FOUNDER, THE GARY SINISE FOUNDATION: Every one of these children have lost a parent in military service. We want to focus on these kids. We want to bring them together in this healing environment, and also allow them to have a lot of fun when they are doing it.

ELLIE AULT RICCI, GOLD STAR CHILD: It's been really fun. And I like how we got to go on all the rides at Disney World, and because this is my first time at Disney World.

STEPHANIE COLLIER, GOLD STAR MOTHER: Lot of gratitude. It was just amazing at Disney. And it was super special.

ARROYO: Stephanie Collier, herself a war veteran, lost her husband to PTSD once he returned home. She and her three children join the Snowball Express annually.

They had to deal with a lot of a young age. And she was only two months old when her father passed. So it was hard. It's been a huge change in them, too, the smiling faces.

ARROYO: For a moment, grief has been replaced with talk of a favorite ride.

EMILY GRANVILLE, GOLD STAR CHILD: The dino ride we went on.

ARROYO: The dinosaur ride.

GRANVILLE: I love that ride.

ARROYO: Me, too. What's your favorite?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everest.

ARROYO: Melissa's Ault Ricci's husband died a month after their daughter Ellie was born. Melissa sees this experience as an important one for her daughter and all the kids here to --

MELISSA AULT RICCI, GOLD STAR MOTHER: -- just have fun and just like let go and have fun and enjoy themselves, which is really nice because they all have quite a burden emotionally to bear throughout life. Sorry. So I just think it's really special to give them this moment.

ARROYO: I know holidays can be a rough time.

RICCI: It can be, especially when someone is always missing.

ARROYO: There was one special area at the resort set aside to remember the absent dads and moms who have brought them together.

ARROYO: In between the fun and all the mirth to be had here, these families take a moment for remembrance. These 650 flags represent the men and women who have fallen in the line of duty or when they returned home. And these families take a moment in this room of remembrance to mourn them.

MARY ELLEN BANCROFT, GOLD STAR MOTHER: When I walked in, I was speechless. It's amazing when you look at these flags and you realize that it represents the parent of every child that is here, and also that this is just a small bit because there are so many others that have lost a family member. And it's just overwhelming. You're speechless. It's very emotional.

My daughter did not know her father. He was the first Marine casualty after the start -- post 9/11. So she was only eight months old when he died. And just going through life without knowing your father, just hearing stories, but then becoming a part of Snowball, it makes you realize and it makes her realize, wow, there are a lot of children here without a father, and you don't feel alone.

ARROYO: The shared experience bonds these Gold Star kids and allows them to establish close ties.

TANNER LOUNG, GOLD STAR CHILD: It's been awesome experience for me over the years. I don't get to act like how I do now due to the fact that people would make fun of me.

ARROYO: What will you take with you back to Arizona?

LOUNG: Probably just spending a bunch of time with our family and friends. The best thing about here is meeting new people and just making friends.

YASMEEN NIXON, GOLD STAR MOTHER: They would feel like they are not alone. And it's children who lost parents. And just to know there's so many of them that's going through the same thing that they are experiencing at such a young age, this helps them cope.

GRANVILLE: I made a lot of friends, and I think it's super special that they do this for us. And I love it here. Every year, we come. We just make new, more and more friends as we come. And it's beautiful.

ARROYO: These two girls met at the airport in California and stuck together for the entire five days.

SARAH KHOURY, GOLD STAR CHILD: I just saw her at the airport and she looked like she was my age. So I was like --

ARROYO: I hear she was filling something out.

KHOURY: She was doing college apps. And I was like, she is a senior like me.

For us as moms, it gives us an opportunity to bond, and then to talk about what we're doing to help out child to grieve. And it's a really good support system for us as well.

COLLIER: This year, I met a new family. It's their first year, and she didn't know much about things that will help her through her grief. And I helped her through this whole time. She's been with us this whole time, and her daughter. And she told me, she told me that her daughter really hasn't talked about what has happened with her father with any other children. So to come here and watch them hold hands and go through the park together, that's the stuff that you really -- nobody else on the outside really gets to see. They see kids who lost a dad, they don't see what they are feeling. And this is a family that sees, they know what we're all going through no matter what it is. And being in the military, life is hard, and then losing somebody in it is very hard.

ARROYO: Every Snowball Express ends with a special concert by Gary Sinise and his Lieutenant Dan Band. This year was no exception.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I want a rousing applause for Gary Sinise and the Lieutenant Dan Band.

(MUSIC)

ARROYO: Gary Sinise and the band to been playing for Snowball Express families since 2007, eventually taking the entire program under the wing of his foundation.

(MUSIC)

ARROYO: What do you think as you watch these families recreating and forgetting about their loss for a little bit and finding that camaraderie with one another?

SINISE: It's wonderful to see them smile. That's the whole thing for me is just to make these kids happy, to let them know they are loved and appreciated.

They get a lot of love, a lot of support, and it's emotional for them, too, because they are all thinking about the reason that they are here. That's why we do it in December. It is a tough time for children that have lost a parent.

(MUSIC)

SINISE: We show them that we are not forgetting. We remember. We don't forget. That can carry them into the next year with a new sense that, hey, I'm important. What I'm going through is appreciated. It's not being forgotten. And that there are others. I'm not alone in what I'm going through. It's a beautiful event. I'm so proud that we can support it.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

INGRAHAM: OK, that's the best thing on television tonight. Great job on that. Thank you for doing that. I was crying. Makeup, makeup.

ARROYO: The Gary Sinise foundation really should be congratulated for this. And this was an incredible gift. I did not ask like to hear the stories or to witness this.

INGRAHAM: You see the children's eyes. And every time I see one of these children in pain or a spouse in pain, I think of how we are so blessed to live in this country.

ARROYO: You bet.

INGRAHAM: And I am also righteously angry at people who don't appreciate and who put on masks and insult marines in public or worse and don't appreciate all the wonderful things in our country.

ARROYO: These families and these kids who are carrying on, these are heroes despite the loss. And it is a heavy burden they carry. It's also a reminder of the high costs of our freedoms, Laura, that I think we forget.

And I was surprised to learn from Gary and the families there the high number of servicemen and women who are plagued by PTSD once they come home. And the 20 members of our active and veteran members of the military commit suicide. So we need to stand with them, particular this time of year, these families. God bless them. These kids were incredible. And the Gary Sinise Foundation, I have such respect.

INGRAHAM: Are there other celebrities who help him and do events with him?

ARROYO: The members of his band, but I don't see too many others lining up, and they should. They should.

INGRAHAM: I wish I could play an instrument. I would go.

ARROYO: We're going to go on tour.

INGRAHAM: No, I'm not. But it would be nice. We have all these, Rihanna, and all these wonderful -- and I know they do stuff, they do terrible things, so that's great. But they all have such huge followings. It would be nice if they see other people may be occasionally gone help on this.

ARROYO: Important story.

INGRAHAM: Fantastic.

And from the sublime to the utterly ridiculous -- is Michelle Obama obsessed with the Trumps? No. Wait until you hear this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

INGRAHAM: What was billed as a book tour has instead turned into a revenge tour? Michelle Obama once again sniping at the Trump family, this time on Jimmy Fallon. Here to debate is syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin and radio host and civil rights lawyer Leo Terrell. All right, you two, Mrs. Obama took two shots of the first family. Let's start with her thoughts on what happened on January 20, 2017.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY FALLON, LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST: This is you after the Trump inauguration just waving from Air Force One. Can you walk me through?

MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY: Bye, Felicia.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Boy, I wish I was that cool. Michelle Obama is really hip. Malkin, can you remember a former first lady -- it's a snipe. I've got to say I guess I'm not really that surprised about it. But what about that? And explain what "Bye, Felicia" -- for everyone watching who doesn't know what "Bye, Felicia" means, or what it conveys, tell the audience.

MICHELLE MALKIN, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It's an insult, and clearly it is snark that is aimed at the incoming successors to the White House, and I think particularly to Melania Trump. And I'm not surprised. I called Michelle Obama Obama's bitter half. And the comments she made going all the way back to her Princeton thesis about her worldview, it's just -- she's just exercising it all over again. And she's back with a vengeance, and saltier than ever, and showing none of those grace and class that past first ladies have had and the kind of collegiality that you're supposed to --

INGRAHAM: Michelle, she gets along with George W. Bush. They pass each other little mints. They are buddies. The Bushs in the Obamas are buddies.

MALKIN: Sure, sure, after the Bushs left office. It's much easier to show that kind of comity afterwards once they have ascended and transcended. But there is something else going on here to. I diagnosed it several months ago, the particular hatred that the left has for Melania Trump. This is an incredibly accomplished, polished woman. And yes, they like to throw her past in her face when every leftist is always saying that we should be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them, et cetera, et cetera. This is a woman who speaks multiple languages, whose is an incredible mother.

INGRAHAM: They can't stand her.

MALKIN: No, they can't.

INGRAHAM: Leo, your reaction to that. Bye, Felicia, it's kind of a blow- off to say the least. I don't know. I don't picture you saying by, Felicia, to anyone. That's not Leo. I don't think so.

LEO TERRELL: Thank you, Laura. You said it correctly. It's a snipe. I listened to Michelle, and it's like the worst of all things, disaster, hatred, vengeance. If we just used the Trump standard of how he has constantly attacked the Clintons, Obama, throughout the last 12 years -- if you look at his tweets. You look at his insults. And Michelle Malkin is going to come on your program and call this hatred, vengeance. And then she spins off typically and talks about the left.

And we are taking "Bye, Felicia," and I submit to you, Laura, that look at all the Trump insults, and I will accept your reference. It's a snipe. She's on a comedy show, an entertainment show. But if you listen to Michelle, it's the end of the world. It's the worst thing ever said by a former first lady. Shame on you, Michelle.

MALKIN: You are the one being hyperbolic, Leo. You are the one being hyperbolic.

TERRELL: You sure I am?

MALKIN: I am putting it in the proper context. Let's not compare Michelle Obama to Donald Trump. Let's compare Michelle Obama to Michelle Obama, the woman who said when they, meaning us, conservatives, go low, we go high. What is high about "Bye, Felicia" except for the hand wave? Hi, bye, Felicia. Where is the going high? Compared her to turn her own standards.

TERRELL: Shame on you, Michelle. Shame on you.

MALKIN: You have no answer.

INGRAHAM: Let's keep shame out of it and let's just go on to the next moment.

TERRELL: OK.

INGRAHAM: There was another moment about what happened when Melania, she received a gift from Melania, kind of a departing gift to the first lady. Note how dismissive the former first lady as of that kindness.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY: That was a day. Right before that, you know, my daughter's friends decided they need a sleepover for the last day. I was like, are you guys getting me? We're leaving. You've got to take all your stuff, pick it up, the blankets, the bears. They are all crying. It was like, get out. We've got to go.

(LAUGHTER)

MICHELLE OBAMA: So there was that, then the Tiffany's box. It was just all a lot.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: The Tiffany's box. By the way, she would have to pay me a lot of 25-cent pieces, quarters, because my kids, every time they say "like," I make them give me a quarter.

MALKIN: She's just being relatable.

INGRAHAM: She would give me a lot of quarters. But it's a fun show and she's having a good time. Leo, what about serving -- was that a little nasty dig about the gift in the Tiffany's box?

TERRELL: I will use your words, Laura, little nasty -- a little jab. A little jab. What is so dramatic about this that we're going to do a character assassination by Michelle of Michelle Obama. It's ridiculous. And again, we are looking at these isolated two incidents that you have aired, and you look at the totality of the president and all his insults, and were going to give him a pass? Why the different treatment?

INGRAHAM: OK, thank you so much.

MALKIN: She --

INGRAHAM: We are out of time, but Merry Christmas. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

INGRAHAM: I want to thank Christian Gabala (ph) for doing an unbelievable job in editing that incredible piece for Raymond and all of you on the Snowball Express, great job.

And tomorrow is my last day on regular radio after 17-and-a-half years. It's been quite a ride. I'm getting pretty emotional. And on my last show, we're going to talk to Mike Pompeo. What does he do again? Oh, he's the secretary of state. We're going to talk to him and all sorts of other surprises. So tune into the radio tomorrow. Shannon Bream and the “Fox News @ Night” team, next. Shannon?

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