Democrats give AG Barr deadline for release of Mueller report

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," March 27, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: We want to stick around to see and learn how to wobble, John.

All right. Good evening, everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum. And a story exclusive tonight. Reaction to the Mueller findings from the man in charge of President Trump's 2020 re-election campaign, Brad Parscale.

He said this when the letter came out and the news came in that there would be no new indictments. "Today marks the day that President Trump has been completely and fully vindicated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Exposing the Russia collusion conspiracy theory for the sham that it always was and catching Democrats in an elaborate web of lies and deceit," he said.

And last night here on “The Story,” Congressman Eric Swalwell made it clear that his opinion was not impacted whatsoever by the findings or the two- year investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ERIC SWALWELL, D-CALIF.: Just because he is not been criminally indicted for collusion doesn't mean he has conducted colluding types of behavior with the Russians.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Meanwhile, Democrats are getting ready to call for 10 years of Trump financial records and they say that Mueller's no decision on obstruction is worrisome to them.

Brad, welcome back to “The Story.” Thanks for coming in tonight. Good to having you here.

BRAD PARSCALE, RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR DONALD TRUMP: Thanks for having me on here, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So, let's go through some of those points. First of all, Eric Swalwell, you saw on the show last night. Clearly, you know, basically, it was as if we were talking prior to the -- to the Mueller report coming out.

PARSCALE: Well, I think they just -- they want to stay with that and dig into there of all those lies. I mean, they had played it so hard for two years, and we're so convinced they had so much information. But suddenly, just came that being nothing. That it just was a complete talking point from people who just couldn't take on the president for his own agenda. You know, and they needed to come up with something and there, they're still trying to dig in.

MACCALLUM: So, it's going to come out a few weeks is what we're hearing. And the other -- you know, sort of point to discuss here on this report is the lack of a finding with regard to obstruction.

Because when the report does come out, everybody's going to comb through the whole thing and there's -- you know, going to pull out and look at different points, and say well, you know, look at this -- look at that.

PARSCALE: Yes. I mean, look, it's clearly a 100 percent exoneration for the president, for the campaign, and for all the people that were associated with it. It's very unfortunate. I mean, so many families, so many people, so many staff of mine had to go through so much. I mean from being vilified to legal fees, they weaponized this system it's too poor way. And they create so many lies to do this.

This friends and families all across this country, they can't even sit at dinner with their friends because people believe this false narrative. And I think that's a cloud not taken off of us.

MACCALLUM: But you know, in terms of this new call that was reported today, for 10 years of financial records. You know, and you've got this the Southern District of New York investigation is still going on. How much do you as at the campaign and the president worry about these remaining investigations?

PARSCALE: First of all, I've always been actually somebody to telling the president not to worry about this. I think the American people see through what they're doing. I think that this -- well, actually -- the release of the Mueller findings will actually help our polling numbers.

I think it's going to continue to help at independents and people who maybe believe that false narrative, and now go wait, I've been lied to. I think you see that on some of the T.V. shows and the new ratings coming out. People are already going, "Hey, this isn't right. We were -- we were lied to."

I think that overall if the president keeps doing his agenda, he keeps fighting for the American people, and he's going to be in a great place for 2020. I continue to say that -- you know, there are a lot of the national poll numbers are skewed in some ways and where it matters --

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: The approvals at about 43 percent in most of the poll. And you just mentioned independence which has dipped over the past several months.

PARSCALE: Approval versus generic ballot in like a national election are two different things. If you ask the question in different ways, do you approve of the president's agenda versus other things? Number skew all over the place.

It's one thing to say, "Oh, I just -- I just don't approve of everything he's done, you know, but well, what I still vote for him? Yes." I think the president's in a clear path right now for victory for 2020.

MACCALLUM: I want to get into the data and all of the campaign's stuff in just a moment. Lindsey Graham said this about President Trump. You spent some time with him the other day. And I know that you have also spent time with him recently and see him a lot.

Graham said, "He's amazingly calm. I think it's literally driving people crazy that he's got a little discipline. I told him if you really want to screw over your enemies, just be quiet for a while and be happy."

What can you say about the president's mood and how it may or may not change the kind of things he tweets about with this off of his back?

PARSCALE: Well, I spent a lot of time with the president obviously, he spent time on the phone. I will tell you the last few days, it has been a giddy situation for the most part. I mean, I mean, think about for two years, just be attacked or something that you had nothing to do with.

And then, all this time, he completely 100 percent exonerated. I mean that's a -- that's a good feeling. And, by the way, it's a good feeling for this president because now we can talk about the things he's done.

I think he -- and I agree with Senator Graham that I -- he's calm person. This narrative that he is somehow out of control all the time, it's hilarious. I've sat at the White House with him.

MACCALLUM: Well, it's interesting.

PARSCALE: With a -- with a -- I've sat at the White House, literally, looked at my phone and with a reporter announcing that the president's pissed off or yelling. And I look at the president, he's like laughing at me drinking a diet coke going, and I tell him he's like I haven't done anything today.

MACCALLUM: Well, a lot of people have left the White House, you know, we've had a lot of friends, and some people who leave say that it's a chaotic place to work and I know that you and others who have been there all the way through say that that's just simply not true.

But, do you think -- you know, what changes now in terms of his ability to deal with an agenda. He's coming out with health care. I just want to play this sound bite of the President and Nancy Pelosi talking about something that may be top of the agenda now.

PARSCALE: Yes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: Obamacare is a disaster. It's too expensive by far.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The GOP will never stop trying to destroy the affordable health care of America's families.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PARSCALE: Look, I think the president cares about having affordable and good health care for America. And really, the big thing is do you really want -- and I think, do moms across this country want to lose their private health care? Do they want to lose that billion and have government bureaucrats choosing what's best for their children?

Look, I think the president is worried about the future of healthcare. He wants it to be better. I think the only reason Obamacare didn't crash into the sea is because what HHS and Alex Azar has done over there to save a sinking ship. And what the president has done with the administration to say, "We got to make sure we got a right side of the ship."

MACCALLUM: Well, reports are that Republicans were caught off guard by what he said. And that Azar also was not in the loop on this plan to take on health care again.

PARSCALE: Look, I don't know exactly how it went down the White House. I'm not sitting there all day with him. I will tell you this president, it's a promise he made, a promise he's going to keep. And I think he's fighting with the American people. And I think this fight is a fight that he -- that he promised to give. He said he wanted to do this. And I think it's about getting the best health care for the American people.

And if he says the Republican Party is going to be about getting great health care for the American people, one thing I know that he will do it.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: How would you put as that? When you look at your polls because I know that you pull all these individual items with people.

PARSCALE: Yes.

MACCALLUM: And individuals rather than large demographic groups in where they live and all of that.

PARSCALE: Yes.

MACCALLUM: Yes, how you can make healthcare work for your candidate?

PARSCALE: Well, healthcare is important. So, I think the argument is health care has to be broken down to a lot of things. People say you care about health care. Yes, it's a high strong item.

Now, when you poll and you say, do you want government bureaucrats around your health care? We're on the right side of this issue significantly. Meaning, they don't want that. They don't want to stand in lines.

I mean, look at the -- look at what happened to V.A. I mean the V.A. was being government run. Is that what you want? No, it was when Trump -- President Trump brought back in -- you know, private healthcare and made a choice did it start to improve? And I think those are important issues. And I think the president cares about health care and he doesn't want to see the skyrocketing cost.

And I -- and I believe HSS has done a great job of preventing those when we -- when the president took over his administration. They were on a one-way down -- you know to the bottom. And you know and high prices, you know. I mean, but crashing the health care system. And I think that it done great.

MACCALLUM: But if the president puts himself out there and says, "We're going to fix this problem." And they don't fix it by the time the election rolls around and people feel Republicans and conservatives feel like they got the rug pulled out from under them again, that's going to be problematic.

PARSCAE: I think -- I think the president is going to do anything he can to fight for the healthcare system. And for the health and welfare of these American people. And I think that's what he's going to do and he's going to keep his promise.

And look, I've always said, he's the captain this ship. And if he's the best at fight, and that's where he wants to go on with 100 percent.

MACCALLUM: So, with regard to data, you know, that there was a feeling throughout the course of this investigation. I know they talked to you that somehow, your ability to understand who was out there and to pin it down was exactly what the Russians needed and that they wanted to figure out how to do that too. Here's a sound bite by Hillary Clinton, suggesting that the Trump campaign was connected with the Russians on this. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Russians could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided. And here is what -- here is what I --

(CROSSTALK)

WALT MOSSBERG, CO-FOUNDER OF RECODE: Guided by Americans.

CLINTON: Guided by Americans.

KARA SWISHER, CO-FOUNDER OF RECODE: But you're leaning Trump.

CLINTON: Yes.

SWISHER: OK.

CLINTON: Yes, I'm leading Trump. I think -- I think it's pretty hard not to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: She's got to be talking about you.

PARSCALE: Yes, I think Hillary is looking for any excuse she could understand why she was -- you know, completely -- you know, annihilated by the Trump candidacy in the presidency.

Obviously, the Mueller report found nothing of this. Not one single instance of anything. I think also, I have never seen as good proof. I've never seen one media outlet that said they have proof. I've never seen one of these congressmen to get on and say they have so much proof ever show us something. There's never been anything. And I can tell you the truth is.

I don't think they got anywhere close to what we did. I don't think they did anything even remotely close.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

PARSCALE: And I think what it is, is a narrative to know why her campaign got beat and why she got beat. And I think they had to make something up because they just couldn't say that President Trump ran a better campaign and had it ran on policies that actually are better for America.

MACCALLUM: In the last couple of minutes, I want to talk about that data, and you know, your approach as you go into 2020. You say you're going to have 1.6 million volunteers on the ground in a data-driven ground game.

PARSCALE: Oh, yes.

MACCALLUM: You had 700,000 in the last campaign.

PARSCALE: Yes.

MACCALLUM: What are all those people going to be doing exactly?

PARSCALE: Well, we're revolutionizing the way campaigns work for the ground. And you should be, how many offices did you have? How much of this you have? And now, we're putting a data center effort on that.

Now look, there are certain things that need to be door knocks instead of said an ad. You can't teach the first step before (INAUDIBLE) that the great policies that Jared Kushner has passed for reform -- you know, a prison reform and getting people back into the system. That can't be done in a two-second ad. That has to be a knock on the door, it's playing, "Hey, let me tell you what the president's done to break this cycle of prison, you know, and what's happened in getting people back out there."

So, there are a lot of ways and a lot of things that the president needs to go out and talk to people. Volunteers, if we have one volunteer for every 13 people I need to win, that means only one person needs to go talk to 13 people and convince a good portion of them you know to come vote for the president. And I think those are numbers that no one's ever seen before in this country.

And if we have data and app development technology helping them do that, I think that's a great way to help the president won the re-election.

MACCALLUM: We're going to talk a lot more about that as we go forward throughout the campaign. Before I let you go, I think the president will decide to take a victory lap at the White House Correspondents Dinner this year?

PARSCALE: I have no idea that thing, you have to ask him about the dinner, I do not take its dinner plans. That's not in my realm of duties for a day. I will tell you, I think the president will take a long victory lap. Because he deserves it. Because not only-- no president deserves this, no president has ever deserved, and no person deserves what happened the last few years.

MACCALLUM: Was it raised for the White House to send out a letter saying, you know, these guests all lied about the Russian collusion story.

PARSCALE: Yes.

MACCALLUM: And if you have along with the press --

(CROSSTALK)

PARSCALE: That was actually the campaign that did that.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

PARSCALE: And I think -- I think it is right. I think these people got a free pass on T.V. for coming up in line. I think they still do and I think last night you tried to put that in place and say, these are lies. I loved you, are you serious comment? It was -- I -- that was a great moment.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: I always mixed it up playing with there, Swalwell, and that we hope -- we hope he'll come back and mixed it up again.

PARSCALE: Welcome back.

MACCALLUM: Good, we love having you two, as well. Brad, thank you very much.

PARSCALE: Thank you very much.

MACCALLUM: Good to see you tonight.

PARSCALE: Good to be with you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So, coming up. Congressman Adam Schiff says that he is still not buying into Mueller's conclusion on Russian collusion. Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw and Ken Starr are next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF.: Our investigation has always focused on counterintelligence issues that is, is the president or anyone around him compromised in some way. That work has to go on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: Adam Schiff doubling down insisting that there is collusion that should be uncovered between President Trump's campaign and Russia despite the report that found the contrary in terms of that claim. So the House Intelligence Chairman telling the Washington Post "undoubtedly there is collusion. We will continue to investigate the counterintelligence issues that is if the President or the people around him compromised in any way by a hostile foreign power. It doesn't appear that was any part of Mueller's report.

Here now Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw of Texas joins us. Good to see you this evening, Congressman. What's your reaction to what Adam Schiff had to say there?

REP. DAN CRENSHAW, R-TX: Well, I think Representatives Schiff missed the part in the Mueller probe -- in the part of the Mueller report that we do know about which did say that that Russian affiliated individuals tried to collude with the Trump campaign and yet they still refused.

It's pretty obvious at this point what the truth is and Adam Schiff really needs to recognize that. The problem is that he's really doubling down off of two years of lies and two years of really building up his Twitter account and he just can't stop. And it's a real shame because he has actual work to do as head of the Intel Committee. That's an important committee and he needs to actually do his job.

MACCALLUM: I mean, it seems like it would make sense to just say well, we've got this letter, we're waiting for the report to come out, and we'll comment further when the report comes out. But as you say, you know, I think that for some of these folks, they have been churning so hard at it for so long that maybe it's hard to stop.

Here's a couple of different opinions from some of your other colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES, D-N.Y.: We didn't run on impeachment. We didn't win the House of Representatives on impeachment. We're not focused on impeachment.

REP. JIM CLYBURN, D-S.C.: I believe that the Mueller report has been done. This administration opened a new chapter when it moved to completely invalidate the Affordable Care Act.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So I mean, they're in the move on crowd. And Adam Schiff is in the dig in and keep investigating crowd. Which side do you think is going to win?

CRENSHAW: Well, I think it's clear what the momentum of the Democratic Party is. You know they started this whole charade because they have a deep hatred for the president, and they're going to continue that. And when the head of the Intelligence Committee is the one leading the charge, it's hard to see how these more reasonable Democratic voices gain any traction and that's a shame.

The reality is we're seeing Dear Colleague letters circulate around the House, OK, in favor of impeaching Trump. You have Maxine Waters saying she's going to impeach Trump. You have Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez saying that you can't take impeachment off the table. There's very clear momentum. And we know that those are the Democrats getting all the attention.

I appreciate those Democrat colleagues who are saying the right things in attempting to govern but they're not the ones leading the party.

MACCALLUM: Do any of those more moderate Democrats that you -- that you interact with want to try to remove Adam Schiff from his position because there's been some discussion of that. He said over and over and over that he had evidence. He's the head of the Intelligence Committee so I think people you know, felt that he was basing that on something and some feel that he was misleading them.

CRENSHAW: Yes. And they should feel that way. He's misled the in the entire country on this because from his position, he gave us all the impression that he had access to information, classified information that the rest of us couldn't see. So they should be having that conversation. I personally have not heard it, but they should be.

But here's the reality. If the Democrat leadership won't even remove Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee, it's hard to see how they'll actually remove Adam Schiff from Intel.

MACCALLUM: And what about health care? You heard a James Clyburn. The Congressman is speaking a little bit about that. And now the President has said that he wants there to be a Republican fix for health care.

CRENSHAW: Yes. Well, the President is absolutely right. He's noting a big problem in our country. The Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare has failed miserably, OK. Over the last few years we're seeing our premium premiums rise. We have less choice. We're seeing insurance companies get out of certain markets. Some counties only have one insurance company at all. We need a Republican approach to this.

And that means more local control, it means more freedom of choice. It means that me as a 35-year-old doesn't have to buy a health care plan just as a 60-year-old would, OK. The American Way is more choice, more innovation, and more freedom. That's the direction we have to go and we're going to have a plan to do that.

MACCALLUM: Dan Crenshaw, thank you very much, Congressman. Good to see you tonight.

CRENSHAW: Thanks. Great to have -- great to be with you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: You bet. So also here this evening is Ken Starr, former independent counsel under President Bill Clinton, a Fox News Contributor and the author of Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation. Mr. Starr, good to see you tonight. Thank you very much for being here.

KEN STARR, CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So the latest from the chairman of the Judiciary Committee Jerold Nadler is he is giving Bill Barr a firm date. He said that absolutely the rest of the full report must be turned over by April 2nd. And there are other reports today that say that Mr. Barr, the Attorney General is not sure that he's going to be able to turn over the entire report. What are your thoughts?

STARR: Right. My thoughts are Bill Barr is obligated as the attorney general to follow the law, not a request or even a demand from the House Judiciary Committee Chairman. And the law has been clear forever and a day that grand jury information must be protected. It's confidential. It's secret. And it's potentially a crime for Bill Barr simply to turn over information that may very well be and likely is grand jury information.

So there's a process. So everyone should just allow the process to work. Bill Barr has reassured everyone that he wants as much transparency as possible consistent with the law and I think that's what's going to happen.

MACCALLUM: You ran an independent investigation. What do you think about the fact that in terms of obstruction of justice, Robert Mueller was -- said he was not able to come to a conclusion and he left that up to Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein who I understand also played a very big role in that decision. Was that a mistake on Mueller's part?

STARR: I disagree with that judgment because, Martha, we hired so to speak Bob Mueller to do exactly that, to make the decision. He had that responsibility and he decided not to live up to that responsibility.

There are competing theories as to the why, but the bottom line is he kicked it upstairs so to speak to main justice, to the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General and so -- from everything that I know especially so we're talking about things that were in the public domain, the president was not guilty in any respect of obstructing justice. He could fire James Comey but --

MACCALLUM: With regards to that -- I'm sorry to interrupt. I just want to play James Comey in this because we have some sound I want you to hear and get your thoughts on it. Let's play that.

STARR: OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LESTER HOLT, HOST, NBC NEWS: I sit down with Presidents Trump. He says, when I decided to just do it, talking about firing you, I said to myself -- I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. What did you think when you heard that?

JAMES COMEY, FORMER DIRECTOR, FBI: I thought that's potentially obstruction of justice and I hope somebody is going to look at that. Again, the President appears to be saying -- what he appears to be saying is I got rid of this guy to shut down an investigation that threatened me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: What's your reaction to that Ken?

STARR: My reaction is it is so ill-conceived that one could think that firing James Comey somehow ended the investigation. It launched the investigation. And what we now know -- I'll be very quick about this. The investigation was not in any way interfered with. We know is extremely lavish, 19 lawyers, 40 FBI agents, and specialists, and there is no suggestion at all.

In fact, we have contrary suggestions to the effect that Bob Mueller was able to carry out this investigation without any kind of obstacle or impeding from the Justice Department. So I really think that that approach of Mr. Comey with all respect is just absolutely wrong.

MACCALLUM: So with the question you know, with regard to whether or not the report needs to be released, you did release the report and a professor at -- I believe it's USC Orin Kerr came out with this tweet. He said imagine if the Starr report had been provided only to President Clinton's Attorney General Janet Reno who then read it privately and published a four-page letter based on her private reading stating her conclusion that President Clinton committed no crimes and Monica Lewinsky had a reaction to that that we have to kind of cover up part of but she can get the idea. It says, if blank only. What's your reaction to that?

STARR: Apples and oranges. As you know, Martha, I was appointed under a statute that required us to report to Congress. Under the regulations of which Bob Mueller was appointed, he is to provide and has provided a confidential report to Bill Barr.

Now, everyone should just stay tuned because Bill Barr is going to make the report as transparently available as he possibly can. So this is phase one. That's contemplated under the regulations. And Martha, you likewise know these regulations have been in effect for 20 years so people suddenly have awakened to the fact that the process that the regulations contemplate is exactly the process that Bill Barr is faithfully carrying out.

MACCALLUM: So you maintain that you had no choice other than to turn over the complete transcript, the complete investigation.

STARR: Absolutely. Yes. The statute required me to report, our investigation to report to the House of Representatives. We did not make it public. We sent the report to Capitol Hill and it was the House of Representatives that voted wisely or unwisely to make the full report available to the American people on the then brand-new internet without any review whatsoever, no redactions.

And I think what we have now is a much more appropriate process that for one thing protects grand jury information.

MACCALLUM: Ken Starr, as always, thank you very much. Good to see you tonight.

STARR: Good to see you, Martha. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: You bet. Coming up, Jussie Smollett's legal team claims that the actor is a victim in his case. And now they are threatening to sue the city of Chicago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSSIE SMOLLETT, ACTOR: Now, I'd like nothing more than to just get back to work and move on with my life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: Chicago police very much on the offensive today, one day after Jussie Smollett was cleared of all charges, the department released a 61- page report into the alleged hate crime hoax laying out how detectives try to unravel this bizarre case, investigating every detail of Smollett's story. This after the actor's attorney took a swipe at the police threatening to sue them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, CHIEF ANCHOR, ABC NEWS: You have said clearly you think the police are not telling the truth about Jussie, are you going to sue?

TINA GLANDIAN, JUSSIE SMOLLETT'S ATTORNEY: We are weighing our options now for Jussie. What's really important is he really just wants his career and his life back. Again, he did not ask for any of this, he was a victim of a crime. This has completely spiraled out of control.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Joining me now, Garry McCarthy, the former superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Garry, welcome back, good to see you tonight.

GARRY MCCARTHY, FORMER SUPERINTENDENT, CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Hi, Martha. Good to see. Thanks --

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: What's your reaction to what the lawyer said there?

MCCARTHY: It's absurd, you know, the police have an obligation to investigate every complaint and when you investigate a complaint to its finality, you can prove it positive or prove it false most of the times.

This investigation was overseen by the state's attorney. The state's attorney charged in this case which means they approved it and then they indicted.

So, you know, the fact, and you can't talk about the versions and consider that something that you can compare to this because these charges were dropped. It's absurd. I've never heard of anything like this in my police career.

MACCALLUM: Really. Because this is what Kim Foxx just said, she said this happens all the time. Let's play this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIM FOXX, CHICAGO STATE'S ATTORNEY: But every single day on cases that law enforcement partners work diligently on, there are people who get similar arrangements. People who get diversions, people who get sentences that are probably not what some people would want.

Every single day. And I don't believe it is in the interests of the people of Cook County to engage in a narrative that is anything other than all of us working collectively for the public safety of the people of Cook County.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: That was an interview she did with the local ABC network. What's your reaction to that, Garry?

MCCARTHY: So, well, the question becomes why didn't they indict a 16-count indictment in this case? What if it had caused a race riot here in the city of Chicago.

Here is the simple fact, Martha. I think we are looking at the wrong end of this. We have to realize that Toni Preckwinkle controls the criminal justice system here in Cook County. Kim Foxx is simply a puppet for Toni Preckwinkle. Toni Preckwinkle is trying --

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: He's in the mayor's race right now for people who don't know.

MCCARTHY: -- to beat Lori Lightfoot -- right. Trying to beat Lori Lightfoot in a runoff for the mayor's office. And she thinks that she's going to get some sort of political capital out of dropping the charges against Jussie Smollett.

It's simply unconscionable. They didn't follow the law. Kim Foxx said that she would recuse herself, but she didn't do it according to the law. She didn't petition a judge.

If she recuses herself her entire office must recuse themselves because they are agents of her. This is simply unbelievable. Look, we need help here in Chicago, somebody has got to step in and take control of what's happening here because we are going south, and we're going south really fast.

MACCALLUM: What did you think of Rahm Emanuel? I mean, you ran for mayor unsuccessfully, and I know you've had, you know, issues with his leadership in the past but he was very passionate about this on behalf of the police department yesterday.

MCCARTHY: Well, you know, this is a guy who covered up the Laquan McDonald video, gave away $5 million of taxpayer money to steal the last election. So, I mean, look, you know, you have to take it from where it comes from, these folks unfortunately are all about themselves.

Toni Preckwinkle is about herself. Rahm Emanuel is about himself. Kim Foxx is about Toni Preckwinkle. So, look, the simple fact is there is no integrity here. You know, the lack of integrity is overwhelming in government here and politics.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: But what do you make of the -- I just have a couple seconds left. Tina Tchen who was an Obama administration aide sent an e-mail to Kim Foxx, saying "I sent an e-mail to your work address and I think as well. I wanted to give you a call on behalf of Jussie Smollett and his family who I know, they have concerns about the investigation." What do you pick up in that?

MCCARTHY: I pick up somebody trying to cover this whole thing up and that's what they got in the end. People have to be held accountable. Accountability is not just for the police, it's for public officials also.

The overwhelming political corruption in this city is really starting to just really turn this place into a cesspool. It's a great city, it suffering because of a lack of leadership, it's suffering because of political corruption. It couldn't be more obvious what's happening here in this case.

MACCALLUM: Garry McCarthy, thank you very much. Good to have you here, sir.

MCCARTHY: Thanks, Martha. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Son coming up, the Bronx Republican who is getting into politics for the specific purpose of taking on AOC in her home district.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: So, one of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's constituents in the Bronx has had enough and now she is leaving her old life behind to try to replace her in Congress.

My next guest is Bronx Republican who was taken the necessary steps to get into the race against her in 2020. It was AOC's part in getting Amazon to back out of the new headquarters that may have broken the camel's back for her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, D-N.Y.: There was no guarantee that those jobs were for New Yorkers that were here, we were looking at a deal that was not primarily putting the community first.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Here now exclusively tonight, Ruth Papazian, GOP hopeful for New York's 14th congressional district. So, what tick you off so much that you wanted to run against her?

RUTH PAPAZIAN, CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, R-N.Y.: Well, just looking at the Amazon situation, she parachuted into a congressional district that she doesn't even represent and lead the parade of grandstanding politicians to tank the deal.

Now, instead of fighting to keep Amazon out of Queens, she should have been fighting to bring Amazon to the Bronx, where housing is one of our major industries here and Amazon needs warehouses. She could have been fighting to bring warehousing jobs to the Bronx.

And what about all those construction jobs that went bye-bye? It's not the whole part of it, she wants to defund ICE, she wants to open the borders, to all comers as it is. Unionized Americans have to compete with illegal aliens for construction jobs.

So, if we have unlimited immigration, what's going to happen to them? Now, how is this good for the C.D. 14th?

MACCALLUM: Here's what she said in Congress about the Green Deal, I want to get your thoughts on this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. SEAN DUFFY, R-WIS.: If you are a rich liberal from maybe New York or California, it sounds great because you can afford to retrofit your home or build a new home that has zero omissions.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: You want to tell people that their concern and their desire for clean air and clean water is elitist? Tell that to the kids in the South Bronx who are suffering from the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: What's your reaction?

PAPAZIAN: My reaction is that the kids in the South Bronx need to have at least have one working parent and the Green New Deal is a jobs killer.

Basically, a lot of the problems kids have been the South Bronx whether it's poor education, health issues, et cetera, a lot of that can be ameliorated with a higher level of income coming into the family and a higher standard of living that would result from that.

MACCALLUM: Yes. Do you think that your message is going to resonate? Joe Crowley who she beat was there since 1999, a Democratic district, I mean, do you have backing? You know, do you have any hope of winning, of giving her any competition?

PAPAZIAN: Well, a lot of people don't understand C.D. 14th. The district is there are moderate reporters -- I'm sorry -- moderate voters in both parties in that district. Sure, there is a huge numerical advantage that the Democrats have. But what we have low turnout elections.

So, a lot of those Democrats stay home, and what the district includes is some Reagan Democrats and then some secret Republicans who are registered as Democrats but they vote Republican in the general election. The votes that President Trump got in the Bronx were --

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: Were near to those districts.

PAPAZIAN: -- were most in C.D. 14th.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: All right. We are going to follow your story, Ruth. Thank you very much. Good to see you tonight. Thanks for coming in.

PAPAZIAN: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Coming up next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL AVENATTI, ATTORNEY: I am nervous. I am concerned, I'm scared.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: Jesse Watters joins me on Michael Avenatti's latest legal woes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: Attorney Michael Avenatti is out on bail after his arrest earlier this week on federal fraud and corruption charges. The former attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels who denies that he tried to extort Nike out of millions of dollars, now fears what may come.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JERICKA DUNCAN, CORRESPONDENT, CBS: You're facing, if convicted on all of these charges, up to the rest of your life in prison. Are you nervous?

AVENATTI: Well, of course I'm nervous.

DUNCAN: Are you --

AVENATTI: I mean --

DUNCAN: Are you scared? Are you concerned? I mean, tell us, I guess, as someone who, again, has a history of representing people and now you're on the other side facing some serious charges.

AVENATTI: I am nervous. I'm concerned. I'm scared.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: It's a different Michael Avenatti that we are seeing there. Here now Wednesdays with Watters, Jesse Watters. Hi, Jesse. How are you doing?

JESSE WATTERS, HOST: I'm very good, how are you?

MACCALLUM: Good. I mean, obviously, he knows he's in a jam.

WATTERS: Yes, big jam. He won't do well in prison, Martha. You can just tell by looking at him. It's not going to go well for him. He has not paid taxes in about 10 years; the IRS has been after him for about a decade.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: What is that about? I mean, you have to pay your taxes.

WATTERS: He made $56 million personally and his law firm in the last 10 years and paid zero to the IRS. He has filed bankruptcy protection two times and his lavish lifestyle, he lives like Paul Manafort spending on Porches and Ferrari leases. He's got a home in Newport Beach, $100,000 a month.

MACCALLUM: Well, he's obviously very good at spending money.

WATTERS: Yes.

MACCALLUM: Because he made all that money and didn't pay any taxes, and still manage to spend most of it, because he's been - he's been trying to get out of debt. Right?

WATTERS: Right. So classic huckster moved, almost like a Ponzi scheme and now the cards are crashing down. CNN and these other networks they linked their wagon to this guy and he's a scam artist. And they did it because he was the tip of the spear, he drew blood against the president and now they have just discarded him like they don't even know him and people get used like that.

MACCALLUM: He was on T.V. 108 times, I think.

WATTERS: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: On cable networks.

WATTERS: A $175 million in free media.

MACCALLUM: Incredible. During that whole Stormy Daniels. And his bigger problem right now is that, you know, he talks about Nike and he's talking about how they were, basically paying high school athletes to get them to go to Nike colleges so that then they could get them when they went to the NBA.

Now all of that could possibly be something that's worth looking into. But because of his record, the Stormy Daniels lawsuits fell flat.

WATTERS: Right.

MACCALLUM: Then he had Julie Swetnick with Kavanaugh.

WATTERS: Yes.

MACCALLUM: And every single time like he did like he's doing now with Nike, he says this is a solid case.

WATTERS: Right.

MACCALLUM: But he's like the boy who cried wolf personified.

WATTERS: Exactly. And remember, he's not that great of a lawyer because Stormy Daniels she owes Donald Trump money. Think about that.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

WATTERS: Remember she owes him legal fees.

MACCALLUM: Yes. That's how that worked out.

WATTERS: Yes, not so good.

MACCALLUM: All right. Now to something completely different, the man who we believe may be running for the Democratic nomination, Joe Biden, the former Vice President of the United States appears to be kind of trying to get an issue out of the way before he decides for good whether or not he's going to run here.

And it has to do with Anita Hill, who he was the lead Senate judiciary interrogator when she came before them, when Clarence Thomas was wanting to be confirmed as a Supreme Court. And it was brutal, I remember it. It was a long time ago but I do remember it. And it was very much like what we saw with Kavanaugh hearings.

Here is Joe Biden talking about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: I realize I get a little too passionate about it sometimes. But we all have an obligation to do nothing less than change the culture in this country. A white man's culture. It's got to change, it's got to change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: It's got to change, Jesse.

WATTERS: Well, I think his political antenna is broken, because he's the guy that supposed to be able to beat Donald Trump in 2020 with the white male vote. Remember he is the savior of the white working class. And he's now alienating white males in America.

So, he's got it all backwards and he's getting controlled by his base. He should be leading the base. The base is now leading him and the apology tour has to stop. It's embarrassing now, it's longer than Obama's apology tour, first it's I'm sorry I said Mike Pence was a nice guy, now criminal justice reform, now he's apologizing for being a white male. I don't know what's next.

MACCALLUM: He's right though that this issue is going to come up for him, because the other candidates will bring it up.

WATTERS: Right.

MACCALLUM: To try to knock him out. So, he's kind of got to deal with this issue firs and figure whether or not it's going to hang around. His neck has seemed moves forward in this.

All right. So, sad news for you, I know.

WATTERS: For me.

MACCALLUM: As a Philadelphia Eagles fan and certainly for me as a New England Patriots fan, Rob Gronkowski has decided that it's time to hang up his cleats. He came out with this statement. "Now here I am about to turn 30, it's getting pretty old."

WATTERS: Right.

MACCALLUM: "In a few months with the decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me while drafting my silliness back in 2010."

And he's pretty silly. We're going to put out some of the video of Rob Gronkowski. Let's just play this little, the little sound that we have first.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROB GRONKOWSKI, FOOTBALL PLAYER: I can't ever say my own name right, I can't speak. I'm Rob Gronkowski, right? I can never say my name right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: I can never say my name right.

WATTERS: What a lovable guy, we're going to miss him, but the dynasty is over, Martha. I'm sorry, he was the key cog in that offense.

MACCALLUM: You think so?

WATTERS: Yes.

MACCALLUM: But he injured like, a third of the time.

WATTERS: He took a beating, because you know, he's like what 6'6", 260.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

WATTERS: The guy is an absolute beast. But you know, he went out on top, and I'm not sad to see him go. I'm going to miss his antics.

MACCALLUM: I don't think those --

(CROSSTALK)

WATTERS: Legendary antics, yes, some of them you can't say on T.V.

MACCALLUM: This, I love this. He is practicing his ballet.

WATTERS: So graceful, you know.

MACCALLUM: He's very graceful. And we have the -- I think they are tied commercial. Watch this. Watch him take this guy.

WATTERS: He could do WWE, he could do Fox News. I mean, Trump to tap him for V.P.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: He's going to be in movies.

WATTERS: Yes, he's going to do everything.

MACCALLUM: I know. Rob is not gone. And a lot of people think he is not actually going to retire that he might change his mind.

WATTERS: Really?

MACCALLUM: So, we will see.

WATTERS: All right.

MACCALLUM: We will see. Jesse, thank you.

WATTERS: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Always a pleasure. Always happy on Wednesday.

WATTERS: Me too.

MACCALLUM: Thank you, Jesse.

WATTERS: Just for this.

MACCALLUM: Wednesdays with Watters. Thanks, Jesse.

So more of The Story coming up tonight including my trip to Iwo Jima with some of the greatest generation. Stick around, that's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: So, last week, as you might have noticed, I was gone for a few days. And I had the opportunity to travel to Iwo Jima and Guam as part of the Reunion of Honor.

Only one United Airlines flight per year brings veterans and historians and friends back to the island of the pivotal devastating battle of World War II, where this famous photo of United States Marines raising the flag on Mount Suribachi. It became an inspiration to so many during the final grueling months of the war.

I was there to do some research for a book that I am writing about the road from Pearl Harbor to Iwo Jima and it was inspired by my uncle Harry Gray who was killed there on March the 13th just days before the island became secure.

I had the privilege of traveling to Iwo Jima with veterans who fought in there in Pacific battles. Rondo (Ph) who we just saw with glasses, he was 16 years old when he drove a Hagan's boat onto the beach at Iwo.

Most of these are heroes in their 90s, like Dean Ladd, and they are full of energy and great stories. It was an honor and heck of a lot of fun to be with all of them on this emotional journey for everybody.

One of the striking things about this experience is that Iwo Jima where nearly 7,000 U.S. Marines were killed in less than four weeks is now fully back in Japanese control.

In fact, at the top of Suribachi now flies a huge Japanese flag where the stars and stripes once flew, which is the spot that I'm standing in right there. And they only allow Americans, as I said back onto the island once every year.

So, my thanks to the Stephen Ambrose military history tours and Ron Dres (Ph) for making it possible for me to go there. More to come when the book and the documentary come out and the 75th anniversary of V.J. Day in 2020. That's "The Story" on this Wednesday night. I will see you back here tomorrow night at 7:00. Tucker Carlson is up next.

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