Comedians discuss comedy in a divided 'oversensitive' America

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This is a rush transcript from "The Story," November 14, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, ANCHOR: Hey there, Bret. All right, we look forward too, bright and early on impeachment day too.

Good evening, everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum in New York and this is “The Story.” So, tonight, we're doing something different. We're starting the show with a sneak peek at what happens at the end of the show.

So, as we head into day two, as I just said, of what looks like about four more days, at least, of impeachment hearings, we will turn to Denis Leary for a reminder of how America can stay sane through all of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DENIS LEARY: But I think people laugh if it's funny. You know, I mean, so, if it's funny, they laugh. And the political stuff is that's whenever territory you want to fall down, and I've always been telling it from both sides.

All my Democratic friends have completely lost their sense of humor, complaining about Trump and want him to get him impeached. My Republican friends have lost their sense of humor arguing with them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Do you feel like that sometimes? Either side those seems ready at this point or willing, at least, at this point to start to lighten up on this whole thing, at least, not right now.

Our elected officials in Washington are laser-focused on impeachment. Everything else appears to be dead in the water for the moment, despite this claim when the whole thing began.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., HOUSE SPEAKER: What he is doing is an assault on the Constitution of the United States. We can walk and chew gum at the same time, I hope he can too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Before the public hearings began, 57 percent of Americans said that they were against impeaching the president and that nothing would change their minds. 34 percent were open to watching these hearings, taking in the new evidence, and seeing what they think.

But The New York Times reported this today of the hearing so far that there were, "No immediate signs that the hearing penetrated the general public. While major television networks broke into regular programming and carried it live. There was little sense of a riveted country putting everything aside to watch a la Watergate."

So, is Nancy Pelosi perhaps wishing that she stuck with her initial instincts of not going this impeachment route? Tonight, two of the questioners for tomorrow's hearing are rising stars on Capitol Hill. Democrat Val Demings was the first female police chief of Orlando Police Department before she was elected to Congress, and Republican Elise Stefanik was just named to The Time 100 next list.

Also here, Hogan Gidley from the White House, Juan Williams, and General Jack Keane, all joining us tonight. But first up, Intelligence Committee member Val Demings.

Congresswoman, thank you so much for being with us tonight. It's good to have you on THE STORY.

REP. VAL DEMINGS, D-FLA.: Hi, Martha. It's great to be with you.

MACCALLUM: Thank you very much. So, you heard that the intro about -- you know, sort of the lack of enthusiasm, I guess, in some parts of the country for these proceedings. Does that concern you at all?

DEMINGS: Well, Martha, let me say this. As you've already indicated, I spent 27 years at the Orlando Police Department, had the honor of serving as the chief of police. And look, some days were more exciting, if you will, are more entertaining than others.

But we're involved in a very serious process right now. It's not a joking matter, it's not a laughing matter. I take this impeachment inquiry that we were involved in very, very seriously, just as I did the work that I did as a law enforcement officer. And I think our obligation now during the public hearings is to make sure that the American people have access to the information. Because I believe we all want to get to the truth.

MACCALLUM: Yes, I think that's absolutely true. Ambassador Yovanovitch is up tomorrow. You had a line of questioning yesterday that was about her. Tell me what you wanted -- what you want to know from her? What your line of questioning, a little preview of that if you -- if you can.

DEMINGS: Well, Ambassador Yovanovitch, a career foreign service officer who has served this country extremely well. And we all know that there are some questions around her reassignment.

Now, let me make this quite clear because I know this -- as a former chief of police, the president of the United States has the right to assign ambassadors or reassign them.

MACCALLUM: True.

DEMINGS: You serve at his pleasure. But the question still remains, we have an ambassador who was pretty aggressive in terms of an anti-corruption initiative. And I think that Ambassador Yovanovitch was the victim, if you will, of a smear campaign. And so, we really need to try to understand why this ambassador who was, as I said, pretty aggressive in terms of anti -- or being anti-corruption was reassigned?

MACCALLUM: Yes. It's a very good question.

DEMINGS: Suddenly, in the way that she was.

MACCALLUM: Yes, it's good question. Today, we heard from Ukraine's foreign minister who said that Ambassador Sondland, and we heard yesterday from Bill Taylor a new information about a July 26th phone call during which he testified that he had heard from one of his aides that the president indicated that he was more -- it was Sondland's takeaway that he was more interested in the investigations than in Ukraine..

And the foreign minister said, "Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me about the connection between the assistance and the investigations. You should ask him."

So, that -- you know, adds up to a number of Ukrainian officials including the president of Ukraine, who have all indicated that they did not feel pressure in this situation to do any investigation. What do you say to that?

DEMINGS: Well, next week, Martha, Ambassador Sondland will have yet another opportunity to come in and give testimony. We look forward to that. But when we talk about whether the Ukrainian president, President Zelensky felt pressured, it's a little difficult to assume that he did not because he said he did not.

As you know, Ukraine is very dependent on critical assistance from the United States to protect themselves against Russia aggression. The military aid that we have been given them now for, at least, the last five years is critical to their survival.

But we also understand that Ukraine is a strategic partner for the United States in terms of our national security. And so, you know, as we talk about whether the president felt pressured or not, what we do know when we look at the readout that was released by the White House, when President Zelensky mentions he's just about ready to purchase new javelins, President Trump says, I need you to do me a favor though.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: Yes. And that --

DEMINGS: I would think that -- yes, I would think that president --

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: I mean, what's indicated in the call that, that favor was to look into corruption. And one of the things that's been pointed out is the question of the president's motivation and whether it was personal.

(CROSSTALK)

DEMINGS: Yes, yes. Yes, but --

MACCALLUM: Which some people indicated in the hearing or whether it was policy-oriented in terms of the larger picture of corruption named before that money would be released.

(CROSSTALK)

DEMINGS: That's absolute -- that's absolutely correct. The president talks about -- after he says I need you to do me a favor though, not once, Martha, and I would invite you, and I know you've read the readout and all of your viewers not once does President Trump mentioned the word, corruption.

He talks about investigations and specifically mentions the Biden. So I know we all want to get to the truth. We have that obligation to the American people, they deserve to. And as a former law enforcement officer, I am committed to doing that.

MACCALLUM: Well, we look forward to your questions tomorrow, Congresswoman Demings. Thank you very much. Good to have you here tonight.

DEMINGS: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, also joining me now is Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. Congressman, good to have you with us today.

REP. ELISE STEFANIK, R-N.Y.: Good to be with you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: You know, the criticism of Republicans in this -- in this process is that you're leaning on process that you see the things that Congresswoman Demings just talked about in terms of the phone call and the things that -- you know, simply have raised a lot of questions. And that you continually go back to the fact that the whole process is unfair, and therefore, you can't possibly impeach the president. What do you say to that?

STEFANIK: Well, that's incorrect, Martha. As you know, we're leading on substance and we're focused on the facts. As we saw earlier this week, the Democrats' two-star witnesses had no direct knowledge. They were giving instances of hearsay. Sometimes third, fourth, and fifth-hand hearsay.

MACCALLUM: That's true.

STEFANIK: I think this is a very serious process and I think the American public was watching riveted, waiting for a silver bullet, and they didn't have that. I do not believe the president has committed impeachable offenses and the Democrats have not shown that the president has committed impeachable offenses. We are leading on substance and the facts.

MACCALLUM: Let's take a look at a little bit of yesterday. Because you were praised by some for your performance in there going back and forth with Chairman's Schiff. Let's watch a moment of that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEFANIK: Mr. Chairman, will you be prohibiting witnesses from answering member's questions as you have in the closed-door depositions?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF.: The only times I prevented witnesses from answering questions along with their counsel was when it was apparent that members were seeking to out the whistleblower.

STEFANIK: Mr. Chairman, only one member and their staff on this committee has direct knowledge of the identity of the whistleblower.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIFF: Gentlewoman will suspend.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Were you surprised that he said that he had never -- he's never met the whistleblower? Because everybody seems to think that he's in cahoots with the whistleblower and that it was all orchestrated through his office, which may or may not be true, we don't know yet.

STEFANIK: Well, Martha, we know that the whistleblower reached out to Adam Schiff's staff members and coordinated the whistleblower complaint. They help this individual file the whistleblower complaint.

You know, I think it's very interesting that initially, Adam Schiff was adamant about the whistleblower testifying. It only became after it was clear that there was coordination that he no longer wants to hear from the whistleblower.

And I just think it's important for your viewers to know, even after I asked that question of Adam Schiff, within 20 minutes of Republican's questions, Adam Schiff interrupted us. It was not a question about the whistleblower, it was just a question that Adam Schiff did not like.

So, again, we see this continued in closed-door and open hearings that Adam Schiff does not want to have this be a fair process where Republicans are able to ask questions of the witnesses.

MACCALLUM: What's your most important point that you want to get to with Ambassador Yovanovitch tomorrow -- Yovanovitch.

STEFANIK: Well, I think the two most important points for the American public is one: Ukraine received the aid, and number two: there was no investigation into the Bidens under the Trump administration. That's what I focused on in my questions, and I think we're going to see those two facts tomorrow with Ambassador Yovanovitch's testimony.

MACCALLUM: I want to just put something up which is kind of a sidebar, but an ABC analyst Matthew Dowd went after you on Twitter. And I understand that he apologized and I'd like you to fill in the blanks about what happened after this. But, he said, "Elise Stefanik is a perfect example of why just electing someone because they are a woman or a millennial doesn't necessarily get you the leaders that we need."

What did you think when you saw that?

STEFANIK: It's outrageous, it's sexist, and it's inexcusable. And ABC News needs to condemn that statement. This is why more young women don't run for office. And I accepted the apology, but it -- he certainly should have never made that statement.

MACCALLUM: Yes, I mean, it seems odd to go after you based on your sex or your age. If he has a problem with what you were saying, that seems to be fair game, right?

STEFANIK: That's all right. Talk about the substance, talk about the policy issues. Don't attack the fact that I happen to be a young woman. And I think and I'm proudly an articulate young woman who is searching for the facts and asked substantive questions.

So, you know, Matt Dowd, for a second, I had to ask myself who is that? But I accepted his apology, he apologized pretty quickly as there was -- you know, thousands of people condemning his statement on Twitter.

MACCALLUM: Yes. All right, just interested in what your reaction to that was. Elise Stefanik, Congresswoman, thank you very much. We'll all be watching tomorrow, live coverage throughout the day. Thank you for being here tonight.

STEFANIK: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, what were President Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr, and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone discussing at the White House today that ran longer than expected, and kind of cost the president to be a little bit later than they thought, leaving for Louisiana tonight. We've got the official White House response to that. And more with Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley. Coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: President Trump about to take the stage at 8:00 tonight in Louisiana for his first major rally since the public impeachment hearings began. No doubt he will have some shout outs about what he's been watching.

But before he left for Washington, the president was spotted late into the afternoon engaged in conversation at the White House with Attorney General Bill Barr and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, which delayed by a little bit about 45 minutes to an hour the departure for Louisiana tonight.

On that and more, White House principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley. Hogan, good to see you. Thank you for being here tonight. Can you shed any light on what that meeting was about in there this evening?

HOGAN GIDLEY, WHITE HOUSE PRINCIPAL DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Sadly, not really. All I can tell you is we were on the outside of the door, waiting to go in to talk to the president before he left for Louisiana. And when the door opened, we all kind of started laughing together when we told the Attorney General, you're all over the news, simply because you're visiting with the president of the United States and White House Counsel.

I can report though that all the gentlemen had diet cokes in the room. That's very serious and I think that you should know that.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: She -- thanks, that's a big scoop. You know, I mean, obviously, everybody wants to know when the Horowitz report is coming out and whether or not, you know, there's any consultation on the impeachment case. Are they working together on those things at this point?

GIDLEY: Look, the president is trying to stay out of all things that Attorney General Barr doing as it relates to investigating the investigators. When they have an announcement, they'll let you know, that's a question for them.

But look, the president's obviously paying attention to the sham impeachment inquiry. He didn't watch any of it. He wouldn't watching, he was working.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: He commented on it though, he tweeted about it.

GIDLEY: Well, of course, because he's seen tidbits of it.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

GIDLEY: I mean, you can't avoid it, it's all over the news. It's all anyone in D.C. is talking about. We're giving no questions from a local media about it, but D.C. is eaten up with it, we understand that.

MACCALLUM: Now that -- that's for sure. Let me play a little bit of Nancy Pelosi because she made some very strong statements here. Watch this.

GIDLEY: Sure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PELOSI: The devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery, uncovered in the inquiry and that the president abused power, and violated his oath. If the president has something that is exculpatory -- Mr. President, that means you have anything that shows your innocence -- then he should make that known and that's part of the inquiry. And so far, we haven't seen that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So, she says already, on day one, there's corroboration of evidence of bribery, and abuse of power, and a violation of the presidential oath. What do you say?

GIDLEY: We have evidence that prove that the president is innocent. It's the transcript itself -- read it. The president has done nothing wrong. But I have to say, this is a weird moment in politics because the Speaker of the House, an elected Democrat, while they continue to push communism and socialism on the American people, whether it be with health care or taking away your paycheck and giving it to other people, they literally want to upturn and get rid of the justice system in this country,

So, let me get this straight, in America you're innocent until proven guilty? What she's saying is no, you are now guilty, you have to prove your innocence. This is a watershed moment when the leader of a party wants to overturn the judicial system in this country.

MACCALLUM: Yes, I mean it is interesting. I think any impartial observer can listen to what's being said about this situation and say that there have been assumptions that have been made at the gate, right?

Everyone said talked about how serious and sober this process had to be because of how important it is. And yet, you know, we've heard time and time again on this show and many other people who are involved in it say that they pretty much think the whole thing is over already.

GIDLEY: Right.

MACCALLUM: What about this July 26th phone call in the restaurant? Because we're going to hear more testimony about that tomorrow. Now, there's someone who corroborates that the E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland was on the phone -- cell phone with the president in a restaurant in Ukraine.

GIDLEY: Right.

MACCALLUM: And that when he was done, that they -- other people heard the president on the phone call, and then, afterwards, Sondland said that the president cared more about his personal investigations that he was interested than he does about Ukraine.

GIDLEY: This is absolutely ridiculous and it's more hearsay. I mean, this is all we heard today from the people testifying. When the questions were asked, it was yes, I heard this from my fathers, brothers, nephews, cousins, former roommate. This is the information we're getting. But --

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: Yes, but Hogan, the president said yesterday in a news conference that he said, I don't -- that call didn't happen. I didn't make that call. Did he make that call or not?

(CROSSTALK)

GIDLEY: I'm not --

MACCALLUM: Did he have that conversation with Ambassador Sondland?

GIDLEY: I'm not aware if he had that conversation with Ambassador Sondland or not, but I can tell you if you're trying to eavesdrop on a conversation with someone on a phone, and you're in a crowded restaurant, good luck. There is no chance of doing that whatsoever. But there's nothing --

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: Unless they're speaking pretty loud that they all heard it.

GIDLEY: Listen, Martha, right. But listen, what do you expect? You have a sitting Democrat who is an attorney, who says hearsay is more important than real evidence? This is what you're up against with these Democrats who continue to go down this political power grab road. They don't care about getting to the truth, they wanted collusion so bad.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: Let me ask you this, if --

GIDLEY: They wanted Kavanaugh so bad, they wanted to cover up. They have none of it, and they're continuing to play politics instead of working to the American people.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: All right. So, you're talking about how everything is secondhand, third-hand, and you know, Nancy Pelosi is saying, you know, if there's exoneration, let's hear it. A lot of folks say, you know, those people would be John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff.

So, if the president -- if there's no concern about what happened and everything is perfect, why not put them out there and have them vouch for the president?

GDLEY: But that's just it. You don't have to prove your innocence in this country, they have to prove guilt, and they can't do it. That's the bottom line. We released the transcript, the president did nothing wrong. And they're continuing to put this sham illegitimate impeachment hoax in front of the American people. They deserve better.

We are not talking about USMCA, which could get 500,000 jobs, we're not talking about guns, we're not talking about health care, reducing drug prices, we're not talking about securing the southern border. They continue down this road and it's not hurting Donald Trump, it's hurting the American people.

We release the aid to Ukraine, which is more than I can say for Barack Obama. Ukraine didn't know that aid was withheld when he was on the phone with President Trump.

MACCALLUM: Yes, nope, that's clear.

GIDLEY: This stuff proves his innocence time and time again, but Democrats cannot understand if he is -- hasn't done anything wrong. They want to try and push this lie on the American people and we're not going to stand for it.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: But tomorrow -- tomorrow's another day. And we're going to have, I think, five more of them, at least, at this pace and how it goes. So, Hogan Gidley, thank you very much. Always good to have you on this program. Thanks for answering the questions.

GIDLEY: Thanks so much of the time, Martha.

MACCALLUM: We'll see you next time.

All right. So, could Mitch McConnell drag-out impeachment forcing 2020 Dem candidates who are senators to come to work instead of go out on the campaign trail?

Juan Williams on what has become a very real concern for these six potential jurors and the opportunity that it might present for this ever- growing list of potential Democrats.

Plus, a story exclusive with comedians Denis Leary and Michael J. Fox on being funny in an age of outrage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEARY: When the election happened in 2016, I was making fun at Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I find them all ridiculous. I'm a -- I'm a pessimistic optimist, right? I expect the worst to happen and I can't wait for it to happen because then I can make fun of them.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEVAL PATRICK, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is felt to me watching the race unfold that we're getting -- beginning to break into a sort of camps of nostalgia on the one hand and big ideas sort of my way or no way on the other.

They've running for president as a Hail Mary under any circumstances. This is like a Hail Mary from two stadiums over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: All right. Let's break that down. Former Massachusetts governor and Bain Capital director Deval Patrick, admitting that he's a bit of a long shot, he says, in announcing his run for the White House today. But there's one major issue that could play to his advantage, impeachment.

There is a very real concern that a drawn-out trial in the Senate courtesy of Mitch McConnell perhaps, could sideline six senators who are currently running for the office including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren.

Joining me now is Juan Williams to talk about all this -- Fox News political analyst. So, Mitch McConnell could kind of -- you know, play with the timetable a little bit here. How much might that damage some of these candidates? And what do you think about Deval Patrick?

JUAN WILLIAMS, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, let's go with Mitch McConnell first.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

WILLIAMS: Because, I think, it's interesting, he's on a line. You can say, hey listen, I don't think anything in this impeachment hearing. Most Republicans don't think anything of it. We're going to do this as quickly as possible and get it out of here.

But, on the other hand, let's draw it out politically and Mitch McConnell is the master of American politics. Well draw it out and we'll keep these Democrats off the campaign trail. I would say that's a little more problematic and I expect that Senator McConnell is going to pull back on that one because guess what? Most Democrats favor impeachment.

And Martha, that would mean that they wouldn't take any points away from a Senator Warren or a Senator Sanders or a Senator Klobuchar.

MACCALLUM: That's right.

WILLIAMS: They would say you're doing good work, we appreciate what you're doing out there. So, I think that might change a little bit. But when it comes to Deval Patrick, your faithful political analyst is at a loss, Martha.

I don't know what to say. I don't understand what he's doing. Somebody said to me yesterday, well, do you think Barack Obama -- and they're friendly, has told him to go for it?

MACCALLUM: That's what I was wondering.

WILLIAMS: Right. And to my mind, I haven't heard from anybody close to Obama, but it's possible that he said, you know, I have no objection to you doing it. I just would be very surprised -- unless Obama was going to come out and endorsed him like within the next few hours, because that's the kind of rocket boost that he would need to get from where he is, which is ground zero.

MACCALLUM: Yes, which obviously would just upset Joe Biden off his rocker, I would imagine, is that were to happen.

WILLIAMS: Right.

MACCALLUM: But you do have to wonder, somebody has to be sending Deval Patrick a message that this is something that could be feasible. Or maybe he just wants to get back in the game and be part of the process. And you know, we'll see what happens.

But, you know, in terms of the African-American vote in America, one of the things that interest me, obviously, who President Obama will decide to endorse. Sure. I mean, you have Cory Booker is already in game, so as Kamala Harris. But Joe Biden is ahead in South Carolina.

But I want to look at the question of Kanye West because we've been talking about what he's been up to lately. And you know, I wonder if he might have any influence on this, if he decides to be more openly supportive of President Trump. Listen to what he has been saying lately.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KANYE WEST, RAPPER: Four black people, I just say, don't just be a demographic. Only your power. Your power is not just to vote Democrat for the rest of our lives.

JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: Do you feel born again, Kanye? Do you feel that would you consider yourself to be a Christian music artist now?

WEST: I'm just a Christian everything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: What do you think about that?

WILLIAMS: Well, I think Kanye West is quite a large personality of the American - it's a cultural figure. I don't think he is going to influence anyone's vote. I do think he could make some people more comfortable with President Trump, especially in racial terms. Well, you know, Kanye is there, it can't be that bad, right?

But I don't think that he is going to change anybody's mind, especially if you're talking about black voters.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: But he could potentially bring some people, you know, out to vote, or sort of inspire them to maybe make a different choice than they have made all of their lives, when he's talking about, you shouldn't always feel obligated to vote as a Democrat, you should vote as an individual.

WILLIAMS: Well, I think that's the way people feel generally. But yes, you are saying the black community there may be sort of a reinforcement that if you don't vote this way, you are not a good back person, something like that.

I don't think he has the power to shift that vote. It's interesting to me that if you look at people like, for instance, Jim Brown, the famous football player.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

WILLIAMS: He's been close to President Trump, working on various issues. President Trump has done the criminal justice reform issue. But again, none of those things have shifted black support for the president.

MACCALLUM: Well, he got more support than Mitt Romney did.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: You mean in 2016.

MACCALLUM: And he talks all the time. In 2016. And he talks all the time about the unemployment numbers among minorities. So, I think that part of the whole story could develop interestingly.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

MACCALLUM: Juan, good to see you tonight.

WILLIAMS: My pleasure.

MACCALLUM: Thank you very much.

WILLIAMS: Thank you, Martha

MACCALLUM: So live now in Louisiana where President Trump is minutes away from speaking at his first rally since this impeachment hearings got under way. Don't go away. We'll see what he has to say.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: An American teacher, Patricia Ann Anton, was found brutally murdered at her home in the Dominican Republic. We'll talk exclusively with her cousin in just moments, but first, new developments in the search for suspects.

Chief breaking news correspondent Trace Gallagher joins us with the latest. Hi, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, ANCHOR: Hi, Martha.

Authorities say 63-year-old Patricia Anton who went by Patty had only been living in her apartment for three days when her body was found in her bed, tied, gagged, and apparently tortured. The cause of death appears to be strangulation. They believe it was a burglary because Anton's phone, laptop, and plasma TV were missing. Her drawers and cabinets had also been searched.

So far, eight people have been arrested as part of the investigation, one subject is a male Haitian national who is a maintenance worker at the apartment complex where Anton was found. It's unclear if the suspects all know each other, but since there was no forced entry, investigators believed Anton knew at least some of them.

Patty Anton came to the Dominican Republic 15 years ago and for several years has been teaching English at a Montessori school in the Cabarete area, one of the poorest parts of the island. The school's main goal is to rescue young girls off the streets and give them the skills to stop being exploited.

Those who knew Patty Anton, say it was common for her to share her own money with students and the less fortunate. But a former neighbor of Anton's did say he remembers her having a loud argument with a German man over plans to expand the school.

Police have made no link between that argument and Anton's death. Patty Anton has two adult children living in Michigan and Illinois, and Anton was once a legislative aide at the Michigan State Capitol. Police in the D.R. are now reviewing security camera footage in and around the apartment complex where Patty Anton lived. Martha?

MACCALLUM: Trace, thank you very much. Joining me exclusively is Patricia Ann Anton's cousin, Adrianne Machina. Adrianne, I'm so sorry for what happened to your cousin. She seems like just a wonderful person who loved teaching in the Dominican Republic. You know, what are your thoughts on what happened to her?

ADRIANNE MACHINA, PATRICIA ANTON'S COUSIN: Well, obviously, we are all very devastated by her loss. She was one of the kindest souls you could ever imagine. She was a champion of the underdog. And she really believed in changing lives through Montessori education, which is about embracing children's curiosity and teaching self-reliance.

MACCALLUM: She had just moved to this place a few days ago, where you ever worried about her safety there?

MACHINA: I've been down to visit Patty. She is a citizen of the world. Her father was U.S. military. She was very savvy and smart and sweet and sensitive, but she knew her way around. She could hold her own in any situation. She felt safe. The Dominican Republic was really her happy place. She loved it there.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, you know, the circumstances of her -- it's brutal. I mean, it's just an awful -- I can't imagine. How do you deal with that as a family? I know you are obviously trying to be very positive about her life, which I completely understand, but you know, it must be so shocking.

MACHINA: Well, many of those rumors are unsubstantiated, and I don't even want to focus on the crime itself, because her life is so much bigger than whatever happened to her that one day.

I can tell you Patty was much more afraid of not living then of dying. She really gave her heart and soul to those children. She loved the Cabarete community, and all of the Dominican Republic. And we are so sorry for her loss.

MACCALLUM: I know you said she lived a quiet but purposeful life, which is something I think all of us would like to be able to say about ourselves. I thank you very much for being with us, Adrianne. Thank you so much for coming in tonight. We are thinking about your family.

MACHINA: Thank you. Thank you for allowing me to share her story. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely. Coming up next, a bizarre and unexpected moment in the Oval Office between President Trump and the president of Turkey, President Erdogan. General Jack Keane has an interesting in-depth take of what happened in this meeting, and he is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: Things got pretty tense behind the scenes at a White House meeting with Turkey's president on Wednesday. The president invited five GOP senators to attend the meeting in the Oval Office, all of whom are big critics of Turkey's Syria invasion and attacks on the Kurds, who have been of course, fighting side-by-side with America in the battle against ISIS.

But the Turkish President Erdogan came in and made quite a bold gesture. He gave back the letter that President Trump had sent him last month, which got a lot of attention.

This letter warned of the Turkish leader history will look up on you favorably if you get this done in a right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen. Don't be a tough guy, don't be a fool. And it ended with I will call upon you later.

Here now, General Jack Keane, chairman for the Institute for the Study of War and Fox News senior strategic analyst. General Keane, strange meeting. What did you make of it?

JACK KEANE, SENIOR STRATEGIC ANALYST: Yes. Well, very different in the sense that those five senators were there, really to represent the United States position. And I think the president had in mind he wanted Erdogan to feel the U.S. congressional pressure and how determined it was the kind of pressure he's getting himself as president in terms of his own policy decisions as it pertains to Syria and Turkey, but also let Erdogan feel it, also.

And I think, you know, Erdogan is testing the waters here a little bit. There's a couple of issues he's got. One is, he bought the S-400 missile defense from the Russians. The Congress wants to impose sanctions on him for that. And the United -- the president hasn't made a decision on that yet.

Also, Erdogan has got a huge problem and hasn't been covered in the media much. And he hasn't been talked -- certainly talking about it because of this visit. But the YPG, who was supposed to pull out of the safe zone, which is 20 miles in depth and about 300 miles in width, overwhelmingly the majority of them haven't pulled out.

So, Erdogan is going to have a choice here. Is he going to go back and resort to military force again, which the United States would be fundamentally opposed to, which could possibly bring those sanctions back into play that Erdogan objected to vehemently when he saw how comprehensive they were and how detailed they were in terms of impacting his economy?

So, I think that's part of what he's doing here, is testing this resolve. I think the president is on to him, and that's why he brought these five senators in, who have strong feelings, led by, certainly, Lindsey Graham, who put his gloves on in that meeting to deal with Erdogan.

MACCALLUM: Let's actually listen to what Lindsey Graham said about the meeting. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: President Erdogan said that Turkey bore the brunt of the battle of the (Inaudible), that really infuriated me, because it was the Kurds and the SDF forces that lost 10,000 wounded and killed in action to destroy ISIS. We lost eight American soldiers in the last four years, God blessed the eight, but if it weren't for the SDF, the YPG types on the ground in Syria, we would've lost hundreds.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: What is your respond to that?

KEANE: Yes. he's absolutely right about that. The senator has conveyed, as did the president, you know, the conviction that we are siding with the Syrian Kurds or the so-called YPG, you call them terrorists. Some of them may have been, but this is what they have done for us. Senator Graham alluded to exactly what that meaning, that significance is.

So, they have conveyed to him, if you take arms up against him again, we are not going to stand for that. And I think he walked out of there with that understanding. But he does have that problem. They have not left, how was he going to change it?

Here's one way I think he may do it. He's conducting operations against the Russians and the Assad regime in the west in Syria and Idlib province. He could cut a deal with the Russians when he sees Putin in the next couple of days. I'll back off on that operation in the west if you help me move out the YPG or Syrian Kurds from the safe zone. That is -- that is a possibility.

MACCALLUM: I mean, that would be awful, obviously, because them staying there, which is their home, it's understandable that they haven't left there, but it's obviously attempting, you know, some sort of confrontation either way. And you know, we'll see if he chooses to do that kind of alliance with Russia, or if it's more important to him to remain a U.S. ally. It looks like that's the decision that he's got to make.

KEANE: Yes. And you are absolutely right. I mean, we talk about 20 miles like this is something easy to do, but we are talking about 30,000 fighters and hundreds of thousands of family members who have homes and have jobs and a way of life, and just can't get up and move.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

KEANE: Where you moving to? There is no place to move to. It becomes an absolute humanitarian crisis, doing something like that, on that scale, would actually take months, if you tried to do it properly.

MACCALLUM: Yes. General, thank you, as always. Great to see you tonight.

(CROSSTALK)

KEANE: Great talking to you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Coming up next, some of the most famous comedians in America, on whether they should tone down their art in the age of outrage and cancellations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL J. FOX, COMEDIAN: He's use some (Inaudible). And it's weird over. It's weird all over. There's no country has a copyright on weirdness right now (Inaudible).

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OH: I want you to look at point number two, bullet point number two, second sentence.

Ambassador Taylor recalls that Mr. Morrison told Ambassador Taylor that I told Mr. Morrison that I conveyed this message to Mr. Yermak on September 1, 2019, in connection with Vice President Pence's visit to Warsaw and a meeting with President Zelensky.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what I sound like when I explain the Kardashians to my dad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: I love that. The comedians having a field day with the impeachment hearings. You got to laugh at least once in a while. Right? No doubt Saturday Night Live is going to have a field day with it, as well, with Schiff and Jordan Paredes, perhaps. We'll see.

But tonight, we take you to Boston where famous comedians are performing and talking about their work in a divided America and often hypersensitive country and how they can bring people together with a few laughs.

From impeachment, heated rhetoric, outrage culture, and ugliness online to super-charge political correctness. For comedians trying to tell jokes, now it can feel like walking on egg shells or worse.

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TIMOTHY MCKLASKY, COMEDIAN: Now is like a minefield, you know, unless you are talking about toaster airplane food, it's like, nobody can handle it.

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MACCALLUM: Yet, actor Denis Leary, well known for his quick irreverent comedy, now says he is determined to make America laugh again.

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DENIS LEARY, ACTOR & COMEDIAN: Listen, I think people laugh if it's funny. You know, so if it's funny, they laugh. And political stuff is -- that's whatever territory you want to fall down on, I've always been telling it from both sides. When the election happened in 2016, I was making fun of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

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MACCALLUM: Leary's latest book urges Americans to stop being so partisan and warns that we are becoming a nation of political crybabies.

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LEARY: All of my Democratic friends have completely lost their sense of humor, complaining about Trump and wanting get impeached. My Republican friends have lost their sense of humor arguing with him. All this racism and sexism, all this stuff that was brought up in the during the election and since. I wanted to, first of all, make America laugh again about it.

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MACCALLUM: Leary gathers comics annually in his native Boston for an event called comics come home raising big money via sellout crowds at Boston T.D. Garden for hockey great Cam Neely's Foundation for cancer care.

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LEARY: In my house where I was brought up, if you couldn't laugh at the kitchen table or laugh at yourself, you didn't along very well.

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MACCALLUM: But while the show dust off are proof that people still love to laugh, backstage, the events headliners admit challenges.

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LENNY CLARKE, COMEDIAN: It's so divisive. And you know, I've got problems of my own.

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MACCALLUM: Some say they just try to steer clear of politics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLARKE: So, I keep my thoughts to myself, and I wish the best -- I was on the Kimmel show with Kamala Harris, and she said, do you have your vote? I go, I'm a convicted felon, I can't vote. I'm not convicted, but the point is, you know, take some pressure off.

PETE HOLMES, COMEDIAN: They've always like bringing up silly things, and that sort of keeps me out of the political arena.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've always wanted to open a Christian buffet called God helps those that help themselves.

HOLMES: So instead of thinking about like, do these people necessarily agree with me on every issue or whatever, I just think about what every human being has in common.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: But others like comedian Bill Burr like to push the envelope.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIL BURR, COMEDIAN: The Me Too movement white male privilege hipsters. I'm a male feminist. By the way, this is going to be my last show, ever.

Well, Trump, is he going to make it happen? I don't know. He's one of those guys. It's like watching a guy almost hit a tree in a car. He's going to die, now he's got it, he's got to die, no, he's got it. It's very compelling.

No means no, that's another one. No means now, it's like, no, it doesn't, all right? Look, look, no means no. No. That means no. All right? But, no, stop it, what are you doing? Let's try.

(APPLAUSE)

BURR: You're being bad. Stupid. That means I want to do it, but I'm afraid you are going to judge me.

It's just a little longer people looking around when you first come on stage, and then they gradually loosen up and they are fine. So, there's sort of this chicken little time that we are living in, where everyone is asking like the sky is falling, and it isn't.

JOHN MULANEY, COMEDIAN: No, this is nothing compared to reconstruction of the Vietnam War. This is child's play compared to how divided it was then.

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MACCALLUM: Meanwhile, John Mulaney of SNL fame does admit he's had success staying away from the political material.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MULANEY: When I was a kid, used to watch America's most wanted, you know how kids do. And I would always think to myself, how could another person kill someone? And then I got cheated on, and I was like, OK.

If you try to think of a topic everyone will like, you won't. If you say something very specific about your own life and it's funny, more people relate than you can understand.

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MACCALLUM: And just in case you are feeling pessimistic, iconic actor Michael J. Fox wants you to know he remains optimistic about America's future.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FOX: I believe in American people. They will figure it out. You know, you always appreciate what the nice guy is going through in the United States. You spend less time judging people and more time empathizing with what they're going through and figuring out what we can do to help.

LEARY: I'm always optimistic. I'm a pessimistic optimist, right? I expect the worst to happen, and I can't wait for it to happen because then I can make fun of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Talk about optimistic. Michael J. Fox had surgery on his legs, had to relearn walking again. He is just such an uplifting human being. So, we thank them for talking to us.

That's “The Story” on Thursday, November 14th. We'll see you back here tomorrow.

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