Democrats target SCOTUS candidate Amy Coney Barrett

This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," July 5, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


PETE HEGSETH, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Jason you're a natural, you should have given up this Congress thing a long time ago.

CHAFFETZ: I know, I know they tell me, believe me and I love it.

HEGSETH: Nicely done sir, appreciate it.

CHAFFETZ: Thank you.

HEGSETH: All right, well good evening from New York City. Welcome to 'The Ingraham Angle' I'm Pete Hegseth in tonight for Laura. There's lots of news to jump into tonight. President Trump just wrapped up a big rally in Montana a short time ago making waves, as you can imagine, with everything from immigration to Maxine Waters to his favorite nickname for his favorite senator in Massachusetts. We've got it all covered for you this evening plus three candidates are said to remain for President Trump's Supreme Court pick, that's what Fox News is reporting tonight. We've got new details on the Democratic onslaught against whoever the finalist is, no matter who he or she may be. And why we could be seeing the Democratic Party self-destruct before our eyes. News alert to you this is not your daddy's Democratic Party, more evidence tonight.

But first, the battle over ICE and illegal immigration. It burst into new levels of intensity, and you might say, insanity over the July Fourth holiday with Democrat backed protests taking place across the country on Independence Day. I don't know about you but when I think Independence Day, I think protesting law enforcement. And we shouldn't be surprised after abolish ICE has become the new rallying cry for many, and not just the hard left, just the straight up left, listen.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, D—VT.: I think that this this disastrous immigration policy should be abolished. I happen to have voted against the formation of ICE back in 2002.


REP. TED LIEU, D—CALIF.: Congress needs to change the policies of ICE so they don't terrorize communities.


HEGSETH: And now those on the ground apparently, not just apparently, they have resorted to stunt tactics. One protester climbed New York statue of Liberty yesterday to wave the abolish ICE banner leading to the evacuation of Liberty Island and of course plenty of American citizens and others didn't get access to Lady Liberty yesterday. After hours the protester was finally pulled down and arrested, rightfully so, by law enforcement but she could barely wait to speak out to the public following her release, listen.


THERESE PATRICIA OKOUMOU: Michelle Obama, our beloved first lady that I care so much about, said when they go low, we go high and I went as high as I could.


HEGSETH: Yeah risking the lives of law enforcement in the process. But naturally President Trump was game to take her on tonight in his Montana rally, listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We saw that clown yesterday on the statue of Liberty. You see the guys that went up there, I wouldn't have done it. I would have said let's get some nets, let's wait till she comes down. Just get some nets, really. You see those guys, the bravery of doing that? Lada group.


HEGSETH: Clown is right. The president also fired a new shot over the bough of his immigration critics.


TRUMP: The new platform of the Democrat Party is to abolish ICE, in other words they want to abolish immigration enforcement entirely. That's what they want to do. They want everybody coming in and you know the beauty with ICE, they so tough. When you have these MS-13 thugs come in, ICE goes in and wipes them out like nothing, because they're much tougher. We will not stand for these vile Democrat spears against our law enforcement.


HEGSETH: Strong stuff. Well joining us now with reaction tonight from Irvine California former ICE agent, Claude Arnold, we've got immigration attorney Allen Orr, joins us live from Washington DC and with us in studio, former INS agent Michael Cutler. Thank you gentlemen all for joining us this morning. Michael I'll start with you here in studio. You were with the INS which is the precursor to ICE. After 911 ICE was formed but yet you say even this iteration after 911 of ICE is not enough.

MICHAEL CUTLER, RETIRED INS SENIOR SPECIAL AGENT: No it's not. We've got about 6,000 ICE agents for the entire country. More than half of them aren't even doing immigration enforcement. The 911 commission to which I provided--

HEGSETH: 6,000 and only half so 3,000 loyal ICE agents enforcing the law.

CUTLER: If we're lucky. Correct the immigration laws from the interior and if we look at the 911 Commission Report and I provided testimony to the commission, multiple failures of the immigration system, particularly a lack of meaningful interior enforcement, immigration fraud, visa fraud, made it possible for the terrorists, not only in 911, but they looked at other terrorists and almost all of them exploited vulnerabilities in the immigration system. So no we've got 3,000 ICE agents enforcing immigration law versus 20,000 border patrol agents, 45,000 TSA employees and 37,000 police officers just for the city of New York. ICE is almost non-existent anyway, why in the world would you get rid of it?

HEGSETH: Once they get through, they're outmatched as far as size and number of agents at this point.

CUTLER: And it's not just about arresting illegal aliens, it's about going after the fraud, it's about going after the employees who hire these folks. It's about going after the gangs and working on the taskforces.

HEGSETH: Going after the drugs and everything like that. Claude, let me go to you as an ICE agent who's has been on the ground, are there enough of you? I know you're retired but what do the folks still there believe and feel?

CLIVE ARNOLD, FORMER ICE AGENT: So as a point of correction, I too was with the INS before ICE was created. But as a point of correction, there's the enforcement removal operation division has about 6,000 officers and agents itself and all they do is civil immigration enforcement, the interior enforcement. Then Homeland Security investigations, the special agents, half of their duty is immigration enforcement, they have 6,000 agents. So if you wanted to say they spend half their time investigation immigration crimes, then I guess you could say 3,000 of them are getting on with that.

HEGSETH: Fair point but 3,000 or 6,000 is still not a lot compared to other agencies as well. But talk to me about your work on the ground every day. You're accused of being a terrorist, you're accused of being a thug, you're accused of being inhumane. Talk to me about the job of an ICE agent.

ARNOLD: That obviously is ludicrous because ICE was born out of 911 and one of its primary responsibilities is counter terrorism and national security. They have the second largest presence on the federal joint terrorism task force of any other federal agency. They not only investigate immigration crimes related to national security threats but they also investigate customs violations related to the same thing. So export violations, export of technology that are going to bad actor countries like North Korea, potentially China. And of course the immigration stuff, disrupting and dismantling the organizations that smuggle people, goods into the US to threaten our national security.

HEGSETH: Groups like MS-13 that the President has talked about quite a bit. Allen let me go to you, you're an immigration attorney, you probably take a bit of a different view in this. You talked, at least I what I've read, about structural reforms to ICE as opposed to abolish ICE. But the rhetoric on the left is abolish, what's the difference in your mind?

ALLEN ORR, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: There a huge difference. I mean the show guests tonight really show the issue I want to put forward. Before there was ICE there was INS and INS doesn't exist anymore and now ICE does exist and we still protect our borders. So this conversation about abolish ICE really is a little bit of a political fringe on both ends of the parties. So we sort of think about this for a minute, it's not about a political conversation right now--

HEGSETH: What the political fringe on the right? I don't mean to interrupt you but what's the right when you refer?

ORR: The Libertarians also saying what is ICE's purpose? What is ICE purpose?

HEGSETH: They're not climbing the statue of Liberty. They're not putting their whole platform as a party on abolishing ICE.

ORR: And neither are we. We are putting our platform on human rights and humanitarian rights because in your montage what was missing were the women separated from their children and this delay of 3,000 kids or maybe more that we don't know about so this conversation about ICE really isn't so much about ICE but really about this humanitarian problem we have at our border and this blown out consideration of saying, "Oh, ICE isn't doing enough" when in fact your first guest said CBP really is at the border, there are enough people there. We have officers in New York City so what is this great concern about what ICE is really doing?

HEGSETH: Good and it's a fair point, you talked about, Allen, about securing the border. Michael I know INS and ICE are internal enforcement but if you had the border secured, then need for ICE at the border wouldn't exist.

CUTLER: We have 50 Border States, the notion that everything happens on the Mexican border is wrong. None of the 911 hijackers ran the Mexican border, go back to the 911 report. We have 50 Border States. Any state that lies on the northern and southern borders or has international airports or has access to our 95,000 miles of coast line are borders states.

HEGSETH: Do you have a little bit of an agreement with Allen though? You're saying you don't think ICE is structured properly right now, but you're argument is ICE isn't ICE enough, there aren't enough ICE agents.

CUTLER: Well I'll tell you who would agree with that also is the former chairman if the House Immigration Subcommittee, a Republican by the name John Hostettler. I was at a hearing with 44 months after 911, he complained that the way DHS was put together deemphasized border security and immigration enforcement. And it's remarkable 44 months after 911, that's how long it took us to win the Second World War, at that hearing we were told that they were still working on a mission statement for immigration.

ORR: Exactly, even today I mean I think part of the issue that we should look at is that they really haven't had a clear mission as your guest said. They're doing this and this and this and this so what is that clear mission that they need to be doing?

HEGSETH: But then is the answer to abolish or is the answer to refine or refine down the core mission to the fact that we don't have our arms around who's coming into the country. The President had the made the point about mare faced immigration, we don't have that right now. So until we do, would we want ICE out there aggressively enforcing our laws?

ORR: Listen, we all want our laws--

ARNOLD: I'd like to jump in here.

HEGSETH: Yeah sure. We'll get you in one second, absolutely.

ORR: We are a country of laws and I don't think the problem here is the characterization of the issue. People applying for asylum at the southern ports is not illegal immigration, they have a right to apply for asylum, the numbers are but the problem.

HEGSETH: Of course, but what's the problem with arresting the folks that don't go in at a port of entry?

ORR: We validate people that come through port of entries every day and don't have an issue with them at ports--

CUTLER: I have to make one point about that.

HEGSETH: Hold on let me get to Claude. Claude first as a former ICE agent please.

ARNOLD: So it's absolutely right, ICE is essential and they are not uSed to their full effectiveness. You know, both on the left and the right there has been an ignorance oF interior enforcement. So when they passed the Immigration Control Act of 1986 the idea was, "Okay give amnesty to people and now we're going to secure the borders and we're going to do interior enforcement. We're going to make sure that only people who are authorized to work can work" but as long as the border is not secure, the magnet for people to come here is employment. When not enforcing that--

HEGSETH: Michael before I get to you. Absolutely what's the moral of an agent right now who hears the impugning of their motives, that they're horrible people. Does it affect the way that they do their job?

ARNOLD: I think they're used to it. I mean when you do this, Mr. Cutler can attest to this, it's very political. As the political winds shift, we just adjust, we're very resilient and so those agents are very resilient. Immigration enforcement is a politically charged topic and they know depending on who's in the White House, who's in the Congress the political winds will change and they--

HEGSETH: I know when I was in the military, the last thing I wanted was politics infecting my daily job.

CUTLER: I agree but it does. But here's what's been left out of interior enforcement, it's not just making arrests, it's going after immigration fraud. Goodness, we've given citizenship to terrorists, not only overstays. The Tsarnaev family got political asylum claiming credible fear, "We can't go home", they went home as soon as they got asylum. One of the brothers was a naturalized citizen, Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber, a naturalized citizen. We are processing applications for citizenship, giving the keys to the kingdom to aliens without doing the investigations that are necessary to properly vet them. That's the problem.

HEGSETH: That strikes me as a good idea. Allen you talked about ports of entry. Why wouldn't the emphasis just be, if you're coming here seeking asylum, you have a legitimate issue, go to a port of entry. But as the president has pointed out, if you're going to sprint across that border knowing what you're doing is illegal, why are you given and afforded all the rights of a citizen?

ORR: I don't think they're sprinting across the border as we always claim. There's a little bit of zero tolerance about people who enter between ports of entry. People are coming here to file for asylum which is a natural American law and I think if we did revamp the-

HEGSETH: But you could do that at a port of entry.

ORR: If we revamp the immigration system so that it did work for the people that are here who are undocumented are people who needed to be here to work as we have already seen an increase in H2B Visas that meet the need of this market, then we wouldn't have this problem. It's about sort of reforming the system and making it work instead of backlogging the immigration than it already is, the 6,000 cases for asylum that are waiting in the courts. A huge backlog of Indian nationals and Chinese nationals waiting for legal immigration processes is not the answer. Instead of shutting down the United States and saying everybody needs to have this extreme vetting. What is this extreme vetting, I'm waiting on that memorandum to see what it is.

CUTLER: I'll tell you what it is.

HEGSETH: Ten seconds, go.

CUTLER: Okay. It's doing investigations in the field to determine who's actually in the country. By the way, we keep displacing American workers with foreign workers, it drives down wages because immigration's become a delivery system for an unlimited supply of cheap labor. And immigration clients for members of Congress who happen to be immigration attorneys also.

HEGSETH: Well at the very least, we want to know who's coming here. We want them having skills added this country and not displace American workers.

CUTLER: And not displace American workers and not pose a threat to our safety.

ORR: And unemployment is at the lowest rate possible right? Unemployment's at the lowest rate possible so let's not--

ARNOLD: You have to know who you're letting in the country.

HEGSETH: Of course, at least we all agree on one thing. We're going to leave it right there, I appreciate that. I'll tell you this.

ORR: If you said you didn't know now that before, do you honestly think we are letting in thousands of people a day without knowing who they are?

HEGSETH: At least we all agree on one thing as you have said Allen that--

ARNOLD: If you grant amnesty to bunch of people you don't know who they are, then you're absolutely doing it.

HEGSETH: Gentlemen thank you for service all of you, we appreciate it. You got it. And then there were three, so has been reported. President Trump makes his short list of Supreme Court candidates. We've got new details on how Democrats will try to stop the final pick, no matter who it is, coming up next.

Welcome back. Well the interviews? They're over at the White House and a short list of three people, we're being told, remain as potential Supreme Court picks by President Trump. He's set to announce the final decision at 9 pm Eastern, this upcoming Monday night. And Democrats, of course, are doing everything in their power to whip up their base no matter who choice is. The resistance, it must continue. Joining us now with the latest is Fox News correspondent Kristin Fisher. Kristin, good evening.

KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey Pete. Well President Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One tonight that his short list has shrunk to four and he thinks that he's narrowed it down to two or three finalist. Now our sources tell Fox News that those finalists are three Appellate Court Judges, all of whom are widely regarded to be constitutional Conservatives. They are Brett Kavanaugh from the DC Circuit, the Sixth Circuit's Raymond Kethledge and Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit. Now Kavanaugh is kind of the steady Washington insider, the 53 year old sits on the same powerful court that served as stepping stone for three current Supreme Court Justices as well as the late Anthony Scalia. He clerked for retiring Justice Kennedy and he had deep ties to his former boss President George W. Bush.

Another former Kennedy clerk, Judge Raymond Kethledge. The 51 year old who's known for being a bit of a loner. He's less high profile and has less of a judicial record than Kavanaugh but he's also a lot less controversial which could help him get confirmed, help him get through this Senate. And then there's Amy Coney Barrett, the only female finalist, we believe. She has seven children, she clerked for the late Justice Anthony Scalia and she's a devout Catholic. But her writings on overturning judicial precedent have raised a red flag with a very critical Republican Senator Susan Collins who fears that she might overturn Rowe versus Wade. Now President Trump says he hopes to have have made his decision by Sunday. Then on Monday, a big prime time announcement at the White House, something he made official during that rally tonight in Montana, listen here.


TRUMP: If you tune in Monday at 9 o'clock I think you're going to be extremely happy with the selection. I want to thank Justice Kennedy for his lifetime of truly distinguished service and he had confidence in me. He left because he said, "You're going to pick somebody great".


FISHER: But Democrats say no one on the president's list id great. They're now putting the pressure on two keen Republican senators, Lisa McClowsky and Susan Collins. One liberal group is planning to spend millions, millions of dollars on advertising and activism in the senators' home states, Alaska and Maine which is the exact same strategy which they used to help defeat the Republican effort to repeal Obamacare last year. But, of course, Pete this is going to be a much more difficult fight for the Democrats to win, Pete.

HEGSETH: You're right. Some precedent there. Kristin thank you very much, I appreciate it. As we mentioned, Democrats are throwing the kitchen sink at President Trump's Supreme Court candidates. None more than at Judge Amy Coney Barrett. You can't put it any other way, an incredibly qualified US Court of Appeals judge who is a devout Catholic and a mother of seven children. The left's hypocrisy on her is so thick you could choke on it. Joining us now for reaction is Carrie Severino, policy director of the Conservative Judicial Crisis Network and a former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas along with attorney and radio talk show host Leo Terrell. Thank you both for joining us this morning. Carrie let me start with you, so the criticism of Amy Barrett and knowing how accomplished she is, is that maybe she is just too devout of a Catholic. Yet the left usually sees a qualified female candidate, and especially somebody who's already been confirmed with 55 votes, as someone who would be, yet again, breaking the glass ceiling. Why the resistance to Amy?

CARRIE SEVERINO, FORMER CLERK FOR JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS: Well this is really ridiculous because under our Constitution there is no religious test for office and that's what they're trying to do here. What I think is happening here is you're seeing people like Senator Feinstein who are very threatened by an accomplished, articulate but conservative woman because that really puts the lie to they're identity politics. She does not to their line and they're feminist idea of what a woman should be and she understands how to defend her position. So I think that's someone are very threatened by her, that's why we saw the hard attack on her during her confirmation hearings with that famous but so strange line, "The dogmas lives loudly within her". You know that will go down in history and now it might go down in history as a Supreme Court Justice's career.

HEGSETH: And yet she was confirmed with 55 votes. Leo before I go to you, we're going to let Barrett speak for herself. She spoke to a group in Jacksonville, Florida. This is what she said about interpreting the Constitution, listen.


AMY CONEY BARRETT, US SEVENTH CIECUIT COURT OF APPEALS: To say I want to appoint someone who's prolife or I want to appoint someone who's primary focus is protecting minority rights, those candidates are talking to their bases and talking to the electorate and saying, "Signal, I'm going to put people on the court who share your preferences". As I was saying before I think that's not the right qualification for a justice, I mean we shouldn't be putting people on the court that share our policy preferences. We should be putting people on the court that want to apply the constitution.


HEGSETH: Applying the constitution Leo, what do you take issue with there?

LEO TERRELL, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: We shouldn't put people on there who believe in the same policy. Let me tell you, have you read about this woman? I've read her before I came onto your show. This woman does not believe in stare decisis. Kerry you what that means? She doesn't believe in established law. She is telling people that she has no problem overturning- -

HEGSETH: There has been some established laws in this country that are pretty bad.

TERREL: Now excuse me, with all due respect, I don't believe Rowe versus Wade is a bad law. It's been on the books for about 45 years but this if you want to be honest she is talking about overturning established law. That's scares me as a lawyer. And Kerry, you'd admit to that, she also said in a speech that lawyers should have a higher calling to God. God has nothing to do with the law, this woman is scary, very scary because she's a threat to overturning established law. Kerry and Pete I hope you talk about those items because that's dangerous.

HEGSETH: Okay, as I'm sure you did and many Americans who have been looking at the Declaration of Independence yesterday. Of course our founders believed in God, believed in nature's God and you would acknowledge Leo, that there have been plenty of law in this country that were on the books for 45 years that should have never been on the books in the first place. So take Roe v. Wade as an exam Kerry, there a lot of folks who look at jurisprudence on the left and the right and say that the right found there in Roe v. Wade, they really had to bend over backwards to find that right to privacy within the Constitution. I believe it was Penumbras formed by emanations on Roe v. Wade. Carrie can you honor the constitution without being ideological?

SEVERINO: Absolutely and that's what Amy Coney Barrett was talking about. It's not about finding someone who's will give you a laundry list of preferences you want achieved. Every justice on the Supreme Court agrees that there are times when you have to overturn a law or a ruling that was incorrectly decided. If we didn't have that then we'd still have the horrible Dredge Scott case here finding that black Americans could be slaves. It is correct to overturn precedents that are incorrect.

TERREL: Don't use that, don't play games with that. Don't play games with that. That's a red herring.

HEGSETH: Why is that a red herring?

TERREL: Let me just ask you point blank, okay, Roe v. Wade, tell me right now on national television, bad decision? Tell me right now. Tell all the prochoice Republicans, tell me right now on national television if Roe v. Wade was a bad law?

HEGSETH: A lot of people think it was a bad decision, a lot of people all say here, go ahead I'll let you answer it yourself, Carrie.

SEVERINO: Lawrence Tribe, President Obama's legal adviser, a Harvard Law professor, constitutional law ties, textbook author, he thinks that it is not a precedent that is a good quality precedent.

TERREL: I want your opinion.

SEVERINO: But the question here is very different. I don't think this justice here is going to be the vote to overturn Rowe versus Wade because the middle justice, the swing vote is now Chief Justice John Roberts. I think he is much harder to predict and I have no idea what he will do in this case. This is really a distraction from--

TERREL: Pete, did she answer my question? Did she answer my question Pete?

HEGSETH: Leo, a lot of people believe that Roe v. Wade is terrible and abortion is a sin on this country. There's a lot of people that legitimately hold that policy view. There's also a lot people including my professor at Princeton University, Rob P. George who pointed out many times that the decision of Roe v. Wade, whether you're pro-life or pro-choice, was judicial activism at its finest.

SEVERINO: You know this should be--

TERREL: When Carrie uses Dredge Scott as an analogy, she insults the intelligence of every viewer. Now you know Pete, since 1973 all the current administration Republicans or Democrats has acknowledged Roe v. Wade and this judge is bent on overturning Roe v. Wade, she should not be nominated.

HEGSETH: No you're making it a single issue. I think the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, religious liberty, government overreached the Second Amendment.

TERREL: It's a big issue, a woman's right to choose?

HEGSETH: Of course it's a big issue and it's one of the things that could come before the court. Are you saying it's not a legitimate policy position to believe that maybe it could be decided at the state level?

SEVERINO: You know, I think that all of this-

TERREL: I'm telling you that this judge should believe in stare decisis. Don't you believe that Carrie? Just say yes or no, it's very simple. Yes or no?

SEVERINO: I absolutely believe in stare decisis but no place in stare decisis does it say that every case once decided it never gets overturned. Zero justice is in the Supreme Court, believe that. This is all a distraction, these are scare tactics used against Justice O'Connor, Justice Kennedy, Justice Suitor. They were saying they would be the vote to overturn Rowe versus Wade. Those were the three votes that upheld Roe v. Wade in the Planned Parenthood case. It's a distraction from the real principles we're talking about here which is, is this someone who's going to look at the law, first and foremost? Look at the constitution, first and foremost, Amy Barrett unlike many people had written clearly that she believes her religion to be separate than that.

TERREL: One more comment. I read one of her speeches and she said, I didn't understand this a lawyer, she told a group of lawyers that we as lawyers have a higher calling to God. Can you explain that for me? Why is she injecting religion? I don't know what that means, as a lawyer I don't know what that means.

HEGSETH: I think a lot of us have a higher calling to God.

SEVERINO: I think that's in the Declaration of Independence and I think our framers may have said that too.

TERREL: Oh, here we go again.

HEGSETH: Here we go again back to our founding principles.

SEVERINO: She has written that and she has said specifically if her moral belief conflicted with her role as a judge, she said she would recuse herself. What else can you ask? She said specifically, "I'm not going to substitute my moral beliefs for the law, the law comes first".

HEGSETH: Kerry I think this is indicative of the fact these are going to be some confirmation hearings, no matter who is chosen, it will be must see TV. Good debate Kerry, Leo thank you for your time tonight, appreciate it.

TERREL: Thank you. My pleasure.


HEGSETH: Well is the Democratic Party sowing the seeds of its own destruction? We'll explain right after this brief commercial break.


HEGSETH: Welcome back. We're going to ask a simple question in this segment. It is a Democratic Party killing itself before our eyes and in real time? That's the argument laid out by writer Ian Henderson in a new piece on the conservative website "America Greatness." He writes in part, and I quote, "Increasingly so more whites are realizing that the economically center left and socially, culturally conservative part of FDR and JFK no longer exist. The old Democratic Party was a pro-labor, pro- union party. Today the Democratic Party is the party of open borders, multiculturalism, and environmentalism, positions that reduce wages, divide communities, and undermine economic prosperity. The traditional base of white working class Democrats either cannot relate to or are opposed to these policies and as a result have been leaving the Democratic Party in droves."

Joining us now to debate is Garland Nixon, a radio talk show host and Democratic strategist, along with actor and current Republican Congressional candidate in California, Antonio Sabato Jr. Thank you both for joining us this morning. Garland, I'm going to start with you. As a member of that party, do you feel like a party of yesteryear is no longer the party today, and as a result we you are losing crucial blocks of support?

GARLAND NIXON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Yes, but I do feel that the party is moving in the direction, and not necessarily willingly. I think that there are a number of people who have been associated with the Democratic Party for many years who have left because they were angry at the direction that party was going.

HEGSETH: So you are agreeing with the thesis of the piece?

NIXON: Yes, but for totally different reasons, because I think the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezes and the Ben Jealouses of the world, and the Bernie Sanders are moving in a right direction, which is a populist movement, which is based on policy and not on identity politics, and that is why they are having success. And they're going to get their base to the polls. And you win by getting your base to the polls, not by running to Republicans.

HEGSETH: But part of what you're acknowledging, and I'll go to you, Antonio, is that identity politics isn't what worked. Part of what isn't mentioned in the piece is socialism which you see candidates being elected with that label as well. Antonio, is socialism, identify politics, open borders, and environmentalism a winning formula?

ANTONIO SABATO, ACTOR AND CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: No, it's a negative formula for everyone in this country. They're not the Democratic Party. They are the socialist party. I love presidents like JFK. That was the last guy for me as far as the Democratic Party. But after that and what we've seen in the last few years, especially under this new administration and the attacks that we receive every day, violence. I've never seen that before and I'm fighting against it. I think it's a sign of bullying. And I think people are walking away from the Democratic Party, and they know the Republicans are there to support America and our flag and our constitution. And that's what we're here to do, to bring prosperity and peace. That's what we want. And we want to protect our country. What's more important than that?

HEGSETH: Good point. Garland, a great example of the impossible choice that is the modern Democratic Party is traditionally the party of unions, the working man. Yet at the same time very much beholden to environmental interests who have a different priority and have sunk industries that President Trump has said I want to bring back because I want clean water and I want clean air, but I don't want ridiculous environmental regulations that undercut entire industries. Garland, how do you square that circle?

NIXON: By disagreeing with you because I don't think industries have been sunk by environmental regulations. I think industries have been sunk by poor decisions and deregulated environments. These two things are not the same. Just because we have a clean environment, we don't have to poison ourselves just to have a strong economy.

HEGSETH: So are we poisoning ourselves by releasing an energy renaissance so now we will be the world's largest producer of oil? Is that poisoning ourselves or is that giving jobs to Americans.

NIXON: That's poisoning ourselves. A true energy renaissance is clean energy which means we wouldn't we have to pay for some of the infrastructure in the long term and it will be cleaner. Why wouldn't we want to lead the world with a clean energy industry?

HEGSETH: So Antonio, to you, part of getting that clean energy future of course is subsidizing certain forms of energy that are not tenable on the private market. How long do you do that? And that looks a lot like picking winners and losers and back to socialism.

SABATO: Listen, They run this country in a socialist way. My farmers in Ventura County are paying the price by being overregulated. They want to talk about the environment. Why don't we talk about the people of the United States and taking care of them? Why don't we talk about the homelessness in California, why don't we take care of them? We are always talking about everything else but the American people.

And that's why I'm running because I want Ventura County to be on top again, to be number one, and that's what I'm there to support and represent in November. And the Republican Party is there for the American people. We're here to make sure not only that the country is clean but is actually going to the next level and being great again at so many levels. So what we've seen in the last year and a half is great. What we've seen in taxes, our military, our border, everything is going smooth. But they want to fight it. They want to fight everything that this president is doing every day, and the Republican Party.

HEGSETH: I forgot that. The resistance is the other core tenet of the Democratic Party. But Garland, I was interested in one thing you said earlier, that identity politics is not the future. The whole hyphenated future as opposed to believing we are all Americans regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation. This piece argues that the Democratic Party is based in identity politics fundamentally, and that will be its undoing. How do you undo viewing people as a subgroup as opposed to a set of principles?

NIXON: That's easy because we already have the formula for that. We watched Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders was a 74 year old Jewish guy that had a lot of success doing that. We see now a 28-year-old Latina woman who is having success with that.

HEGSETH: Both of which are socialists.

NIXON: Right. So the bottom line is this -- it's about policy. Right now if you look at the polls, I don't care what you are called, if you go with legalizing marijuana, 64 percent of Americans are in favor. If you go with bringing our troops home from foreign wars you're getting close to 70 percent. So I don't care if you call yourself the Whigs, socialist, or whatever. If you are running for policies that most Americans agree with according to the polls, you're probably going to get more people to the polls and you're going to win.

HEGSETH: I appreciate the fact that he is trying to talk about policy, but when I turn on other networks, when I'm forced to, say, at the airport, I see nothing but resistance and Trump hate and talk of Russia collusion, and very little talk of what comes next. And when the answer becomes Medicare for all and legalize marijuana, which is a legitimate policy position, that's fine, and socialism, that doesn't in America strike me as someone that will work.

SABATO: Socialism --

HEGSETH: Socialism never worked.

SABATO: Socialism has never worked in any country. My family escaped it. No country under socialism has ever worked and will ever work, and especially in the United States of America has no place in this country whatsoever.

But it would be great if the Democratic Party would actually work with this president, because at the end of the day, we are trying to make America great, keeping it great, doing what's best for the American people, not what's best for your party, not what is best for the leaders of your party but what's best for Americans. And Americans are waking up and they are saying we don't want to go for this anymore. This is a false lie. We are going to vote Republican because at the end of the day the Republican Party cares for the American people. That is the most important thing for me, elect people who actually care and love this country.

HEGSETH: It's just, Garland, feels like maybe it's the educational system, maybe it's our media, maybe it's Hollywood, but latching onto socialism, identity politics, open borders, environmentalism, it just doesn't strike me in America, maybe Europe, but not here as a long-term winning strategy. That's what the piece argues. Thank you both. Great debate, appreciate your time.

NIXON: Thank you.

SABATO: Thank you.

HEGSETH: The Trump administration reverses Obama era rules pushing race in college admissions. The left predictably, they are furious about it. But a prominent former professor says this is a victory for many students of many shades. He joins us next to explain.


HEGSETH: Good evening and welcome back to the "The Ingraham Angle." Last time I said good morning. Someone has been doing too much of the morning show. Thanks for being with us. President Trump is hitting an angry nerve with the left. The administration is officially withdrawing Obama era rules promoting the use of race in college admissions. Instead local colleges and universities will not be encouraged to adopt race blind admissions. Since news of the decision many of Trump's critics, they have been apoplectic.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a serious mistake and it sends a deeply dangerous signal to all of our school communities that this administration does not believe in, is not here to support diversity and inclusion in our school communities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is yet just again an example of an effort to turn back the hands of time, to retrogress when it comes to civil rights. This is a repeal of seven Obama era guidances. It's consistent with what the Justice and Education Departments have done. We must resist this because it is inconsistent with American values.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This administration has a great disdain for diversity.


HEGSETH: Disdain for diversity, but not everyone in the world of higher education sees it that way. Some in fact say that Trump's reversal is a win for students. One of them is Dr. Carol Swain, author and former professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University as well as Princeton University. She joins us now along with Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright. Thank you both for joining us this evening. Carol, let me start with you. If you would, please explain what this does and why you believe this change by the Trump administration is a good thing.

CAROL SWAIN, FORMER VANDERBILT PROFESSOR: First of all I say that I have been a professor for 28 years, and affirmative action, race-based affirmative action has been around all of those 28 years. So it is not something that Obama initiated. But Obama became far more aggressive with it, and it seemed as if his administration believed that everyone belonged in college. And this has done a disservice for many students who were not prepared for the colleges that they have been able to gain admission. And so for black students, it results in situations where only about 38 percent graduate in six years. Many students incur debt, and they leave school, they have the debt, they don't have a college degree. They could have been successful at a lesser school or one that was more appropriate for that qualification, or maybe they were someone that could have gone into trade school.

HEGSETH: Antjuan, the doctor has been on these campuses. Your response?

ANTJUAN SEAWRIGHT: With all due respect I think this is par for the course for this administration. This is really not about affirmative action. This is really not about anything that the professor may be referring to. This is just Trump's effort to take this country full steam backwards. The president campaigned on the fact that he wanted to undo and redo any Obama era policy because he simply wanted to make Barack Obama his political boogey person for whatever reason.

HEGSETH: So there couldn't be a legitimate policy disagreement that maybe racial preferences aren't totally healthy to admissions.

SEAWRIGHT: Pete, these policies and measures were put in place to ensure that African-Americans and the minorities in this country have a seat at the table because for far too long we have been on the menu and never had our rightful place at the table. If these policies were not in place, perhaps people like me would have never had opportunities to get into certain colleges and universities in this country. And so the bottom line is I think this is needed. I think it's necessary. And I think this is just Donald Trump's way of feeding his base a red meat issue.

HEGSETH: Carol, your response?

SWAIN: I disagree. Even before affirmative action became the law of the land, schools that did not discriminate against blacks had blacks on their student body. The Ivy League schools, they had black students.

SEAWRIGHT: It is not about them having black students.

HEGSETH: Let her finish, Anjuan, let her finish.

SWAIN: But the thing that concerns me, and I've always seen this, there have been many minority students that I have encountered that had been struggling. There are some that are well-qualified. They are at the top of their class.

SEAWRIGHT: That has nothing to do with --

SWAIN: They are failing. They would have been successful if they had gone to a state university or community college or a trade school. They leave school with a lot of debt. And I firmly believe that one reason we have so much unrest on college campuses today, so much anger and bitterness, and the students want to segregate, is because many of them are not prepared for the institutions they been allowed to matriculate at.

HEGSETH: Antjuan, you talk about racial differences. There is a case at Harvard right now pending in the courts where Asian-American students are claiming reverse discrimination, that their numbers are being reduced because they are overqualified. Doesn't that strike you as unfair for them?

SEAWRIGHT: Pete, if you don't think that my opinion is in line with reality, ask the National Educational Association. Ask the National Education Council. These groups have pushed back religiously on the undoing of this policy by this president.

This policy is not about whether kids do well on college campuses. This policy is making sure that we have a pool of people that are able to get into colleges and universities around the country. Right here in South Carolina, our flagship university has had issues with African-American students, same GPA, same test scores as people who do not look like them could not get into the school. So I know what that feels like. I know what it's like to be in that situation.

So for this policy to be rolled back, this is simply a political move. And the timing is ironic considering that Trump is considering his Supreme Court nomination and these type of cases have made it to the high court.

HEGSETH: Carol, last word, briefly.

SWAIN: I totally disagree because demographically the nation --

SEAWRIGHT: Of course you do.

SWAIN: -- has changed in significant ways. And what I see is that a lot of black students that could have been successful someplace else or at institutions where they are going to fail. They leave with lots of debt. They are angry, they're better.

SEAWRIGHT: This is to make sure they get their chance.

SWAIN: It is unfair against Asians as well as other non-minorities who are better qualified. And it's also the country is not the same as it was 50 or 60 years ago.

HEGSETH: We've got to leave it right there. Good debate. Appreciate you both this evening. Thank you.

If you thought never-Trump conservatives couldn't debase themselves any further, think again. Their absurd new solution to stop President Trump, right after this.


HEGSETH: Welcome back to "The Ingraham Angle." Never Trump conservatives are becoming to marginalized they're resorting to utterly desperate tactics to avoid irrelevancy. Case in point, take a listen to author and columnist Max Boot, who I will say I've known for years and found before to be a thoughtful guy. He claims to still be principled conservative, but listen.


MAX BOOT, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: I devoutly hope that every single Republican running for election loses because we cannot count on this Republican Party to hold the Donald Trumps of the world accountable. They have just shown that they have no willingness to uphold the Constitution and their oaths of office. So the only way we're going to get accountability in Washington is by electing Democrats.


HEGSETH: Whoa. These never-Trumpers may be even more hysterical than Democrats now. Joining us now to analyze is Howard Kurtz, the host of "Media Buzz" airing Sundays at 11:00 a.m. eastern right here on the Fox News Channel. Howard, thanks for being here. What do you make of the increasing rhetoric, anti-Trump rhetoric, from never-Trumpers.

HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS MEDIA ANALYST: I get that Max Boot and Steve Schmidt, and George Will, who I've respected for years, are upset because they think that President Trump has ruined their vision of the GOP. But it is bit hard to grasp how they are now openly rooting for Democrats given that they have spent their whole careers opposing them as the party of big government, big spending, weak foreign policy. And it's hard not to notice, I'm not saying this is their motivation, but it's hard not to notice that these defections bring them favorable publicity, MSNBC contracts, and new respect from the left.


HEGSETH: Laura has said part of the motivation is sort of this elitist, snobbish sense that they know what the Republican Party ought be, and now they don't have a seat at the table so they are turning the table over. And again, as I said, I have known Max Boot, smart, thoughtful guy on a lot of foreign policy stuff. But to say vote for Democrats, that's just a -- I can't add it up.

KURTZ: I understand from their point of view. They're saying they still feel they're conservative and President Trump is taking the party in a different direction. That's fine. But what troubles me in saying root for Democrats, what troubles me is some of the overheated rhetoric. For example in a column just the other day Max Boot wrote that the GOP has become a white nationalist party with a conservative fringe. He has also compared it to postwar Germany and Japan. It needs to be destroyed to it can be rebuilt. And I think that betrays how much they hate this president. But also the columns aren't having much of an impact on actual voters, because you look at the numbers and Trump is enjoying a record 90 percent approval among Republican voters, and they are in something of an echo chamber I would say.

HEGSETH: I've got to get your comment on a big develop here today. Scott Pruitt out at the EPA. He resigned. A lot of heat on him. How much to you think his decision to resign was driven by the media hysteria. He's made his own mistakes, but the media really went after him relentlessly. Was the media playing an oversized hand here?

KURTZ: There is no question that Scott Pruitt made a lot of mistakes at EPA. Also no question most in the mainstream media didn't like his policies at the EPA of pruning and changing the direction of regulations and all that.

But a lot of these stories really did reach a point where anybody else would have been gone from the cabinet months and months and months ago. Asking aides to find a job for his wife and that sort of thing. Laura Ingraham tweeting just the other day that he is the swamp and needed to go. I think even Republicans realize, some of them, at least, that he was becoming a political liability for the president who accepted the resignation today.

HEGSETH: Did I hear what you say that the mainstream media has policy positions?

KURTZ: Well, not overtly.


KURTZ: But let's just say there is not a lot of tears being shed for Scott Pruitt's departure in many newsrooms.

HEGSETH: You are probably right in Manhattan and Hollywood as well. Howard Kurtz, thanks for your time, appreciate it.

KURTZ: Good to see you.

HEGSETH: An Iraqi hero who fought alongside American troops prepares for one of our nation's highest honors. That man and his family, an incredible story coming up next.


HEGSETH: We end with a story near and dear to my hearts. When I served in Iraq 12 years ago, my unit partnered with Bakr Ali and his family, his very brave family. They were our Iraqi allies who fought alongside us against Al Qaeda terrorists. They fought alongside U.S. troops, putting their lives on the line every single day. They were targeted by name by Al Qaeda. Bakr and his family, Bakr is here. His family is coming here as legal immigrants and soon as citizens. They fought for many years to make sure they could get here.

As we celebrated our nation's independence yesterday and freedoms this week, I got the chance to take Bakr around New York City for the first time. He'd always wanted to see it. He came and visited with me. Watch.


HEGSETH: Right now we are headed to the airport to meet Bakr. Twelve years ago we were in Iraq together fighting Al Qaeda shoulder to shoulder. Then I fought for years for him to come here through the special immigration visa program. He is here. He lives in Houston with his family but he has never been to New York City. We are going to get some right now.

What is up brother? What is the thing you want to see in New York City the most?


HEGSETH: You are a new immigrant here, because you fought with the troops in America and put your life on the line. Thankfully, it took us a lot of time, but we got you here through the process. What does it feel like to be in America from where we were?

ALI: For my family, they are so pleased to be here. They can now employ themselves, get their education, and they have the rights which we don't have.

HEGSETH: When you look at the Statue of Liberty that welcomes so many immigrants to this country for so long, does that feel like home?

ALI: You feel like you are a part of this country or you are part of this community and you get involved faster.

HEGSETH: You said one of the things you noticed coming to America are all the flags. What does that say to you?

ALI: These people are proud to be in this country. You fell you are a part of the people who love the country and want to protect it. And here's where I want to be.

HEGSETH: Bakr, this is your first time to New York. Obviously as a result your first time to where the towers used to stand here in Manhattan. That day on 9/11 obviously affected the lives of Americas. Our paths hadn't crossed then. Why did you know America was the right thing to partner with?

ALI: We have some principles to defend these people. They were fighting here for freedom, and against terrorists. I drew to be here.

HEGSETH: What's it like to be right here? Have you watched the New Year's?

ALI: Every year almost. I saw it and then see people are happy, celebrating. And I think the next year I will be here.

HEGSETH: Next year you will be here.

ALI: I think so.

HEGSETH: That's not a bad idea. It's America so you can do whatever you want, wherever you want.

ALI: Exactly, it's a free country.

HEGSETH: A free man in a free country. That's what I'm talking about. That's what we fought for.


HEGSETH: It was a great day. Juxtapose our day seeing the Statue of Liberty with what happened the next day with those protests, just seeing someone who came here the right way, legal immigration, so grateful to be in this country and has such strong allegiance to the U.S., putting his kids, all speak English, all five of them down in Houston. They are an amazing family. Welcome to America, Bakr. We are so happy to have you here.

And that is all the time we have tonight. I am Pete Hegseth in for Laura Ingraham. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and @PeteHegseth. I will be back in this seat for better or for worse tomorrow evening, not morning. Until then, Ed Henry is filling in for Shannon Bream tonight. Ed, we've done a few mornings together.

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