DiGenova: Nothing Trump said on that call constitutes a crime

This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," September 25, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Good evening, and welcome to “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” One of the most bewildering facts of our current moment is how quickly everything moves.

For example, remember the latest "New York Times" hit piece on Brett Kavanaugh? The one where they found a brand new accusation of sexual misconduct, but then later had to admit it was all a sham. When did that happen? It feels like about a year ago, but actually, no, it was just last week. That's the Trump era news cycle for you. Scandals that used to go on for months now seem to end in hours. Nothing illustrates that better than this bizarre Ukraine story that we're all living through.

So we could go no one had even heard of it. Last night, we were on the brink of impeachment because of it. And now, it seems to be over already. Just to bring you back and remind you what just happened.

The same angry news anchors who brought you Stormy Daniels and the Russia hoax now wanted you to know that Big Orange's days in the White House were finally over. Why? Because Trump they said threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine. And it's essential that we said military aid Ukraine for some reason, but Trump was going to withhold it unless they did something bad to Joe Biden in his family.

Basically, it was an extortion plot against Ukraine, and that's a crime, the news anchors shouted. A crime. Trump was finished.

Well, this morning, they turned out to be wrong. Actual evidence emerged. And it contradicted what they told us yesterday. The administration released a transcript of the President's phone call with Ukrainian head of state, and it shows none of the things that news anchors claimed it would show. Read it for yourself, don't trust us. It's right online.

Try to find the extortion in there. There isn't any. Trump never even mentions military aid. Well, yes, they're saying now, but he asked a foreign government to investigate an American citizen and that is immoral. Okay. Was it immoral when three Democratic senators wrote a letter to Ukraine just last year, demanding investigations into Trump? No answer on that question. Well, we will tell you if we hear back.

Instead now, they're telling us that the transcript of the phone call can't be real. It must be doctored. Watch Chuck Schumer and Adam Schiff spin their conspiracy theory last night.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Do you trust the White House enough to take that transcript and believe that that is an actual representation of what transpired?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF.: Well, you know, I think sadly, it is the case as you described that we cannot trust the administration with respect to anything that it produces.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y.: Simply to release the transcript is not going to come close to ending the need of the American public and the Congress to see what actually happened.


CARLSON: So again, that was last night before the transcript was publicly available. Now that it is publicly available for Adam Schiff's conspiracy addled brain, it has lurched into a different direction. Now, he is telling us that the transcript, the one that he has already denounced as fake, is in fact real. But it doesn't show what it should show, which is to say it doesn't show the President doing any of the things that supposedly justify impeachment. Why?

Well, Adam Schiff explains because the President, like a Navajo Code Talker, is speaking in secret code.


SCHIFF: This is how a mafia boss talks. What have you done for us? We've done so much for you. But there's not much reciprocity. I have a favor I want to ask you. And what is that favor? Of course, the favor is to investigate his political rival.

A classic mafia, like shakedown a foreign leader.


CARLSON: So, you know, we're not psychiatrists here, but honestly, Adam Schiff is a nut case. It's true. It's hard to believe he is in Congress. Poor people of Anaheim, or wherever he is from -- Southern California, the Valley somewhere.

It's hard to believe he is in actually in Congress. He is actually a committee chairman. Believe it or not. Too bad the 25th Amendment doesn't apply to Members of Congress.

But to be fair, most Democrats are not anywhere near as crazy as Adam Schiff, not even the same ballpark. They're just very cynical -- extremely cynical -- more cynical you've ever thought of being.

For example, watch Congressman Al Green, who is not stupid or crazy explain what's actually driving impeachment. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you concerned that impeachment talk may actually help the President's reelection?

REP. AL GREEN, D-TX: I'm concerned that if we don't impeach this president, he will get reelected.


CARLSON: I'm concerned if we don't impeach, he will get reelected. I'm concerned that democracy could happen. We've got to stop that. It's about power. Duh. You knew that. That's what it's always about. Power. Nobody pushing for impeachment actually cares about secret deals with foreign leaders. Oh, please, much less justice or the truth.

Again, these are the most cynical people in the United States of America. What they care about, and you knew this already was winning the 2020 presidential election. That's all they care about. Getting their mitts on the levers of power and exercising power for its own sake. That's what drives them. That's why they get up in the morning.

Democratic leaders have decided that impeaching Trump is essential if they're going to win next year. So they're staking everything on this bizarre, flimsy scandal that the rest of us can barely even understand. Will it work? Probably not.

If personal attacks on Trump are effective, if calling him a racist or a traitor actually worked, then Hillary Clinton to be running for reelection right about now? That not going to work. This never works.

If you want to impeach Trump, make a case on the issues. He won on the issues. Make a counter case. The geniuses can't figure that out.

In the end, really the loser here in this impeachment nonsense is likely to be Joe Biden. Biden, you'll recall is the front runner, supposedly. He is supposed to be the safe choice, the guy who is going to energize the Obama coalition and win back the White House.

And yet now Democrats have in effect demanded that we spend the next six months talking about Biden and his son's alleged corruption, because that's at the core of this Ukraine story.

If we're talking about Ukraine and impeachment, we're talking about Joe Biden's corruption -- alleged corruption. That can't help us campaign for President. In fact, it's likely to tank it. It looks like sabotage, really. They must have gamed this out. They must know. Is it sabotage? Well, honestly, we don't know. We're not in the room. Maybe it is.

Or maybe Democrats and just become so obsessed with destroying Donald Trump, that they're destroying themselves accidentally. Kim Strassel is, of course a member of "The Wall Street Journal" editorial board, one of the smartest people at that newspaper. She joins us tonight.

So, Kim, this is not really central. But I can't help but ask you, Joe Biden would seem to be the big loser here. How does this help Joe Biden?

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Yes, well, you just put your finger on the question that those of us who study politics have been really mystified by this week. We've watched the Democrats for almost three years now run through a complete litany of things that they have wanted to try to impeach Donald Trump on, everything. Russia hoax, obstruction of justice, Stormy Daniels, taxes, financials -- none of it has stuck.

But at least in each of those, they could keep it focused or claim to keep it focused on Trump's behavior. And instead, they have now pulled the trigger on the one issue out there that implicates the leader of their front runner of their own nomination process and is likely to do the most damage to their moderate Democrats because of the flimsiest -- of the flimsiness of these charges.

CARLSON: Yes, we'll see. I think that's exactly right. And by the way, you know, I think the impeachment really ought to be reserved for, you know, extreme violations of the law, because you're short circuiting democracy.

But you know, I would support impeachment of this or any other President if one of those violations came to light. I mean, I would. I think most people would.

But this is so far from that. It's so weird. And just -- there's nothing to it. So you really -- I'm not a conspiracy nut, but you've got to think that may be hurting Biden is the point. Do you think it could be?

STRASSEL: Well, I mean, I don't necessarily think it is that. I think it's mostly driven by extreme hatred for this President, and also timing. Look, the pressure had been building up for Nancy Pelosi to act. They had what they thought might be a good scandal on their hands, and so they pulled the trigger.

I think they moved too soon. Look, it's embarrassing now, given that the transcript has come out. But I think you also make a good point that there are plenty of Democrats, especially the radical left, and those are the ones who most dislike this President, who would be perfectly fine if this took Joe Biden out of the race and cleared the field for a more progressive nominee.

He has got the support of certain quarters of the party, but those are not part of the party that has got most of the power and the attention at the moment.

CARLSON: If you're looking for a scandal, Trump campaigned against the carried interest loophole. Some of the richest liberals in America are paying half the taxes you and I are paying. That's still in place. Why isn't someone trying to impeach over that? Do you know what I mean? Like why is it so hard to find a real scandal?

STRASSEL: Well, I mean, look, I think the reality is here, it is what we're saying is that, you know, Democrats are casting about and this is what the problem is you just put your finger on with impeachment. Americans expect impeachment to be used in a serious and sober fashion.

Now, look, let's be honest, Congress has the right, they can impeach the President for laughing the wrong way, okay.

CARLSON: That's right.

STRASSEL: They can impeach for anything they want. But the American people expect more of that, and I think that what we're seeing now is, as they roll through these litany of things, and from one to the other to the other, and nothing, they're looking for a crime, right?

They want something and people then begin to think that this is not -- this is not about accountability or the Constitution that we've heard so much about. This is about redoing the last election, and that is not something most Americans agree with.

CARLSON: No, it's -- and I'm not saying this is some kind of blind Trump partisan. I think that's a threat to our system, our constitutional system, and I think it's bad. I know you -- I know you agree with that. Kim, great to see you tonight. Thank you for explaining all of that.

Well, Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Nadler are in charge of impeachment this week, but they had pretty different opinions on the subjects just not that long ago, a few decades ago. One Democrat currently in Congress is about to tell us why he disagrees with impeachment today.

But first, Trace Gallagher has to look back at Pelosi and Nadler's view on this suddenly very relevant topic. Hey, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, CHIEF BREAKING NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Tucker, and what makes this so rich is that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that no one is above the law. Most legal analysts even on liberal media outlets acknowledge it would be very difficult to make a case that President Trump broke the law.

But back in 1998, President Clinton actually did violate the law and when House Republicans voted to impeach, Pelosi said it was based solely on hatred. Watch.


REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF.: Today, the Republican majority is not judging the President with fairness, but impeaching him with a vengeance. In the investigation of the President, fundamental principles which Americans hold dear, privacy, fairness, checks and balances have been seriously violated.

And why? Because we are here -- we are here today, because the Republicans in the House are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton, and until the Republicans free themselves of this hatred, our country will suffer.


GALLAGHER: Also, back in 1998, Pelosi went on to say that President Clinton was not impeached for one single thing, but for all of the GOP grievances against him.

And speaking of selective political memory, in '98, New York Congressman Jerry never said impeachment was quote, "bad for the country." Watch.


REP. JERROLD NADLER, D-N.Y.: An impeachment of a President is an undoing of a national election, and one of the reasons we all feel so angry about what they are doing is that they are ripping from us, they are ripping us under our votes. They are telling us that our votes don't count.


GALLAGHER: So for the record, in 1998, Nadler said impeachment was bad for the country. In 2019, he says it vindicates the Constitution -- Tucker.

CARLSON: Amazing. That just made my night. Trace Gallagher, thank you for that.

Well, until just the other day, Democrats appeared to be divided on the question of impeaching the President. This week, they appear to be nearly unanimous. But if you hold out, we're warning that an impeachment push is a mistake, bad for the country and possibly kind of productive politically. One of them is Congressman Jeff Van Drew. He represents New Jersey. He is one of those holdouts, he joins us tonight. Congressman, thanks so much for coming on.

REP. JEFF VAN DREW, D-N.J.: It's my pleasure to be with you.

CARLSON: You're a Democrat, I will say conservative Democrat, but you're a Democrat. And the easy thing would be to go along with your party's leadership on this question. But you're not. Why?

VAN DREW: I've never been good at that to begin with. You know, just you know, very briefly, people say, you know, your job is to be a good Democrat or a good Republican, and I keep emphasizing your responsibility in the job is to be a good American.

So I go what I believe my heart is right and in my brain. And it seems to me at this point in time, we really do want to accomplish some goals. Infrastructure needs to be dealt with.

CARLSON: That's right.

VAN DREW: Healthcare needs to be dealt with. Prescription drugs need to be dealt with. You know, election -- you know, elections need to be dealt with as far as making sure that they're secure. I can give you a whole long list, Tucker.

The point is, I really believe the more that we delve into this, the more time we spend on it, especially at a macro level, the more we're not going to be able to spend time on these other issues that are important. And it's not because we can't walk and chew gum at the same time because somebody brought that up. We can walk and chew gum at the same time.

The problem is when we're this divided, when we're this split, these two political parties, and this is all going on, people aren't going to work together. So the President is not going to be signing bills. The Senate bills aren't going to be going through the House. The House bills aren't going to be going through the Senate.

And at the end of the day, I'm afraid that all we're going to have is a failed impeachment because folks need to understand. I mean, maybe there are those that want to punish the President or make a point and I understand that, but the bottom line is, he is still going to be the President of the United States.


VAN DREW: And the bottom line is, he is still going to be the candidate for the Republican Party. So why don't we let the people do the impeachment by voting in the electoral process the way that we usually do.

CARLSON: Oh, you mean democracy? Okay.

VAN DREW: Yes, absolutely. I love it.

CARLSON: Not a popular concept in Washington. So, but I mean, I guess the political question, of course, I agree with everything that you've said, and I commend you for caring about those issues, because I think they are bipartisan fundamentally.

But everything you said is pretty obvious. I mean, no offense to either one of us. But you know, anyone can figure it out, including the smart people who run your party. So they know they're not going to get a conviction, this isn't going to work. There's no chance of it working. So why are they doing it?

VAN DREW: I'm not sure I can answer that. I think part of it is they believe that the President should be held accountable for some things that he has done. And, you know, by all accounts, nobody ever pretended that he is perfect or there aren't some issues.

But you know, I always use the example even during the Clinton administration, and when that impeachment, by the way, I was also not for that, and we saw that it didn't really bear any fruit. It wasted a lot of time and money.

CARLSON: No, it didn't.

VAN DREW: But it was -- he had some serious issues there, and he even lost his ability to practice law. He was disbarred. But with all of that happening, it still wasn't nearly enough for impeachment to go through.

Here is what folks have to understand. Impeachment is a very, very serious, serious move to take by any political party or political entity. You know, we have to realize that when you impeach somebody, it has to be for really strong reasons, because you are also, you know, removing the power of the people, you're disenfranchising their vote.

Whether we like it or not, whether we like who won or not, you're disenfranchising their vote. And it has to be serious to do that.

CARLSON: That's right.

VAN DREW: So my worries are getting stuff done. I really want to do good things, and I want to do it in a bipartisan way. I really want to see the country move forward. I really know that you know, this -- and abroad, I think that people could look at this and think that our country is disorganized and in turmoil and that we're split apart. And I think it'll split people in society apart.

I think folks in literally, in the United States of America are even going to get angrier at each other. I don't believe it's going to bring people together. And that's what we need to do.

And then we have the election. And the other issue, by the way is these are the midterm elections that are going to be going on now. And then we're rolling right into the full elections for President and Congress, et cetera and I don't know that we need to have all of this going on at the same time.

CARLSON: I have to agree with that. And again, as you just pointed out, voters get to render a judgment a little over a year, you know, we are going to have that.

VAN DREW: They sure do. They sure do.

CARLSON: Congressman, thanks so much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.

VAN DREW: It was great to be here. Thank you.

CARLSON: Thank you. Is asking a foreign leader to investigate corruption a crime? Some of our angriest, most partisan news anchors are claiming, of course, if Trump did it, it must be a crime. But in legal world, the experts are divided. In fact, there's been a debate about it right here on this channel. We will sort through it after the break.


CARLSON: So this Ukraine story seem to come out of nowhere, and there's certainly no consensus on what major parts of it mean. For example, legal experts appear to be split even tonight about whether the President's phone call with the Ukrainian President was illegal. So we wanted to get to the bottom of that, obviously.

So last night, we asked Joe DiGenova on the show. He is a former U.S. Attorney and we put that question to him. He said, no, there's no evidence it is illegal at all.

Well, that statement, and some accompanying statements caused quite a firestorm, and so we've asked Joe DiGenova to come back tonight for an update.

Joe, thanks so much for coming on tonight. So I want for our viewers who are not familiar with what exactly happened to know. So here's a quick update. So yesterday, Judge Andrew Napolitano, who is a legal analyst at Fox and a very nice guy, I will say, I've always liked him, went on one of our daytime shows, and declared that the President's phone call with the head of Ukraine was a crime. Here's what he said.


ANDREW NAPOLITANO, LEGAL ANALYST: It is a crime for the President to solicit aid for his campaign from a foreign government.

SHEPARD SMITH, CHANNEL HOST: So that would be with what -- that to which the President has admitted is in and of itself a crime.



CARLSON: So that definitely got our attention. Of course, it's crime. And so I asked you because you prosecuted a lot of crimes. And for our viewers who didn't see it, here's what you said.


JOE DIGENOVA, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, I think Judge Napolitano is a fool, and I think what he said today is foolish. No, it is not a crime.

Let me underscore emphatically that nothing that the President said on that call, or what we think he said on that call constitutes a crime. And even if he had said, you're not going to get the money, it would not be a crime.


CARLSON: Well, apparently, our daytime host, who hosted Judge Napolitano was watching last night and was outraged by what you said and quite ironically, called you partisan. Here is what he said.


SMITH: A partisan guest who supports President Trump was asked about Judge Napolitano's legal assessment. And when he was asked, he said, unchallenged, Judge Napolitano is a fool. Attacking our colleague, who is here to offer legal assessments on our air, in our work home is repugnant.


CARLSON: Repugnant. Not clear if that was you or me, but someone is repugnant. And here's what finally -- last soundbite -- here is how Judge Napolitano responded.


NAPOLITANO: A lot of legal authority and I join it on the other side, and the other side basically says anything that helps to the campaign, whether it's cash or e-mails or smearing your opponent is a thing of value --

SMITH: And therefore, requesting it is a crime.



CARLSON: Now, unlike maybe someday-side host, I'm not very partisan, and it was a sincere question. Is it a crime or not? So given everything that's happened in the last 24 hours, I just want to throw it to you again. Was it a crime or not?

DIGENOVA: Absolutely not. Now, let me sort of educate Judge Napolitano. The President of the United States is the Executive Branch under Article 2. He is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. He can ask anyone, a citizen, a foreign leader a question; he can make a suggestion about an investigation because he runs them.

And by the way, in the latest set to with the whistleblower, the Office of Legal Counsel has said that requesting information from a foreign government is not a thing of value. It is not a foreign contribution.

I really -- I must say this, I've been a U.S. Attorney, an Independent Counsel, an Investigative Counsel on Capitol Hill in the House and the Senate. Judge Napolitano has never been a U.S. Attorney. He has never been a Federal prosecutor. He has never conducted a Federal grand jury. I have done all of those things.

If he wants to have an opinion, that's fine. I am not a paid Fox contributor. I am a guest the Fox Network. I come on when they ask me. So -- and I am told, please, whatever you do, tell the truth. Don't make things up. Don't cover.

So what I say I believe, of course, as a matter of law, I know what I'm talking about in the law. I try to be truthful. I was very truthful last night.

CARLSON: Well, so that's kind of the crux of it for me. I mean, I'm not a lawyer at all, I mean, I am as far from scholarly as you.

DIGENOVA: Lucky you.

CARLSON: And for me -- and that's why -- well, that's why I solicited your opinion. But I also know that some things are subjective and people of goodwill have differing views.


CARLSON: And so that's why it doesn't seem honest to me when a host, any host on any channel, including this one, pretends that the answer is obvious. There is an ironclad consensus about what the answer is, when there in fact, isn't. When it's a subjective question, that's not news, is it? That's opinion.

DIGENOVA: No, no, it isn't at all. And you were asking me my legal opinion. And I gave it.


DIGENOVA: Judge Napolitano gave his legal opinion and he is entitled to it. But I can tell you, I can tell you as a former United States Attorney, I'm right.

CARLSON: It's so interesting. Why do we find ourselves in a situation where people aren't willing to admit that their passions are guiding their news coverage? You know, just say -- would it better if like, if we just said out loud, you know, this is what I think just.

And I'll just say, for example, you'll never hear me criticize Rachel Maddow. I don't agree with anything she says. But she is very straightforward. It is her opinion.


CARLSON: Why wouldn't it be better if we all were that transparent about what's driving our shows and our coverage?

DIGENOVA: Tucker, I couldn't agree with you more. And that's why when I come on Fox, I say what I believe and what I know.


DIGENOVA: I never make things up. I never try to cover up for people. I am -- I am blatantly obvious about the fact that I support the President of the United States. I believe he has been framed. I believe he is an innocent man. I will defend him to the death.

And you know, Judge Napolitano just doesn't like the President of the United States. That's fine. He is entitled to that.

CARLSON: That's all right.

DIGENOVA: He is entitled to feel that way. He is a disappointed office seeker. He didn't get the seat on the Supreme Court that he desperately wanted and he has been mad about it ever since, and he showed it yesterday. And he showed it so many times over the last year. It's pretty embarrassing actually for me, but you know, I love the guy. God bless him.

CARLSON: Well, I do, too. We invited him on tonight by the way I would say, I agree with you. It makes people cynical when you dress up news coverage, when you dress up rather partisanship as news coverage and pretend that you know you're angry political opinions are news, you know people tune out.

DIGENOVA: They do.

CARLSON: They know dishonesty when they see it. Joe, great to see you tonight. Thanks so much.

DIGENOVA: Thank you. Good to see you.

CARLSON: Pretty amazing. Well, Democratic lawmakers claim the White House could easily fabricate the transcripts of calls with foreign leaders. Is that true? An expert in the process of presidential phone calls. There is such a person and we know her. She joins us after the break to investigate.


CARLSON: Well, the ongoing meltdown over Ukraine is shining the light on a practice that's pretty common in Washington, but almost never discussed -- presidential phone calls. How many people are listening to these calls? Authorized and unauthorized? And how are transcripts assembled? Who puts them together? Who is allowed to read them?

Gillian Turner actually knows the answer to these questions. She has direct experience. She served on the National Security Council for both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations and she joins us tonight. Hey Gillian.

GILLIAN TURNER, CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Tucker. So as someone who read and edited probably literally hundreds of these types of transcripts at the White House during the Bush and Obama administrations, I can tell you this is as close to a verbatim read out of this call as exists.

Now critics of the President are slamming the transcripts the White House released. They're calling it incomplete and fake, even branding it on Twitter as #NotATranscript. But sources who actually know how presidential phone calls work, say this document reflects very standard procedure. It's how every administration for decades now has documented calls with foreign leaders.

They also tell Fox News, they are confident it's accurate. So it's essentially a compilation of what two Situation Room officers wrote down while listening in on the call in real-time. This is what they're trained to do.

This document you're looking at now, it was declassified Tuesday by the President. As you can see there, it's marked. It also indicates this call itself took place on July 25th.

Now, one source familiar with the White House Situation Room staff today claims the two transcribers who listened in on this call are likely C.I.A. employees detailed to the White House from the agency on an assignment.

After the Watergate scandal, Tucker, the White House kind of stopped doing audio recordings of the President's call. So this document is as close to the ground truth as you or I are ever really going to get.

CARLSON: That's interesting. Ha. So in other words, it would take -- it would a pretty vast conspiracy to subvert this document. I mean, to put out a false one.

TURNER: Yes, I mean, it goes through multiple layers of proofing, of editing. Several people review it to ensure the classification is correct. So it's not like one person could tamper with it when they put it out.

CARLSON: Right. It's not like Corey Lewandowski bangs out of his iPad.

TURNER: Well, also one quick important point, you take a whole lot of people that aren't even political appointees in this administration. It would take career people doing this doctoring it on behalf of the President, which doesn't make any sense.

CARLSON: Yes, it's really hard to imagine that. Gillian Turner, so nice to have you explain that to us and to do so from direct personal experience. Thanks a lot.

Great to see you.

CARLSON: Great to see you. Congressman Devin Nunes represents the State of California, the proud Central Valley. He is Ranking Member, former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and he joins us tonight. Congressman, thanks so much for coming on.

REP. DEVIN NUNES, R-CALIF.: Great to be here.

CARLSON: So I don't want to put you in an awkward situation. But you serve on this committee with Adam Schiff. And, so again, if this is awkward for you, I hope you'll just say so.

NUNES: I'm used to being on your show. It's always awkward with you.

CARLSON: Good. Well, let me make it worse. Adam Schiff has said a couple of things in the last 24 hours that give, I think, sober people pause and raise concerns about his mental fitness.

I mean, he suggested that the President was for example, doctoring this transcript, and then subsequently suggested that he was speaking in some sort of secret code. What do you make of that?

NUNES: Well, like many things that Adam Schiff and the Democrats have been saying over the last three years, it's been nearly three years of this Russia hoax. Now, it's transformed in the Ukrainian hoax. They say a lot of things that always have one thing in common, they end up being false.

And they always -- they're very clever because they use the things, you can see the doors right there, right? It says restricted. So they'll come out of those doors. And they'll say, well, we've seen some really secret stuff. We can't tell you about it. But just trust us, this is really going to be the time that we're going to catch President Trump with his hands in the cookie jar.

CARLSON: That's lying, isn't it?

NUNES: Well, one person's lie is another man's, you know, just trying to get to the truth is what they would always say. And look, we're going to see more of it tomorrow.

Tomorrow, we have the Director of National Intelligence, the acting Director coming in to testify, 9:00 a.m. Everybody's going to be watching. There's going to be hundreds of media people there. Every station is going to be covering it live. And look, this is not what the Intelligence Committee should be doing.

If we want to take a whistleblower seriously, we should be doing it behind closed doors, so that we actually can talk classified information to try to determine whether or not there's actual real -- that there's really something to this complaint or not.

CARLSON: I mean, have you spoken to -- I mean, you've been in the House for a while and you were Committee Chairman, I mean, you know, everybody. Are Democrats fully on board? I mean, off the record, are they saying to you, boy, you know, we're going to impeach this guy and get a conviction in the Senate. Do they believe this is going to work?

NUNES: You know, that's a very good question. So the way I would say it, it's about like this. You've got 30 or 40 or so, maybe a few more that that have been around a while that know what they're doing is wrong, but they're being challenged by the left.

Now, what you also have though is you have people who have lied so much, you know, it's the old saying, if you tell a lie enough, eventually it becomes the truth. You have so many that have done that. It's like an everyday they're pouring gasoline on themselves, they're pouring gasoline on the American people. They continue to light these fires out there. Why?

One for donors. They are igniting their base to give -- you know, have donors give them money.


NUNES: And that's how they've gotten themselves into this impeachment trap, which is totally irresponsible.

CARLSON: Well, they really don't like it when you take power away from them, I have noticed. Congressman, thanks so much for coming on.

NUNES: No, they don't.

CARLSON: I know, they really don't.

NUNES: Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON: Good to see you.

NUNES: Thanks.

CARLSON: A young man in Iowa raised a million dollars to help sick children. In response to this, a phony journalist decided to destroy his life over tweets he sent in high school. It is a nauseating story. We've got the details on it, next.


CARLSON: Well, football fans heartwarming charitable gesture could soon become something even more important and we're praying for this. It could become a turning point in the 2019 cancel culture plague that is wrecking our country. That's not an overstatement by the way.

It all started on Saturday when Iowa State Cyclones' fan Carson King appeared in the background of ESPN's College Game Day Show. King held up a sign with a joke. He asked for donations to fund his Busch Light supply.

Well, the moment it went viral online, and soon, King was receiving thousands of actual dollars in actual donations. Pretty cool. But rather than take the money for himself, he did something awesome.

Actually, King announced that he would donate the money to a local Children's Hospital and he did. Eventually he raised more than a million bucks. Anheuser Busch watched and then announced it would be making a matching donation. Pretty neat. King became a minor celebrity and even appeared right here on "Fox and Friends."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You raised how much total money?

CARSON KING, IOWA STATE FAN: So right now with match contributions, we are over $822,000.00. They came in from just people watching College Game Day. We shared some social media posts with my intentions, which were to donate everything of the cost to cover one case of Busch Light to the University of Iowa State Family Children's Hospital.

People caught wind of that. They started donating. Then Busch and Venmo caught wind of it. They're going to match whatever contributions we make.

In Children's Hospitals, they do so much for everyone around the country. Obviously, you know, anything you can do to help the kids you have to do.


CARLSON: Pretty great story, but maybe he shouldn't have gone on Fox News because that clearly caught the attention of the journalistic community. A reporter of the "Des Moines Register" decided to basically wreck this kid's life. And so he did.

He went digging for an excuse to destroy King. "The Des Moines Register" found that excuse in two tweets that King made seven years ago -- tweeted seven years ago when he was 16 years old, in high school.

The tweets contain racially offensive humor. The kind that edgy teenagers traffic the world over. I am not defending it, but that's how they talk sometimes. But it didn't matter. "The Des Moines Register" decided that this kid had to be destroyed.

So they dispatched a reporter called Aaron Calvin and he published a profile of King that highlighted the two ancient tweets. Then he went to Anheuser Busch to tattle on King. Well, immediately the beer company announced it would drop all association with Carson King.

And by the way, the offensive tweets were simply jokes taken from the television show "Tosh.0" which airs on Comedy Central to this day. Here's the irony. Anheuser Busch is a major advertiser on Comedy Central. So other words, this huge company is happy to crush you for quoting products they fund the creation of.

If that doesn't make your head spin, then nothing will. In a bizarre statement posted to Twitter, meanwhile, "The Des Moines Register's" Executive Editor, a woman called Carol Hunter, said the paper's behavior was part of -- and we're quoting, "A routine background check." As if some guy raising money for a children's hospital in a viral video needed a background check from a failing stupid newspaper staff by failing losers, which are the people who work there, by the way.

But this is common now. Reporters trolling a person's entire life history for excuses to destroy him. That is standard practice. The paper said that it debated extensively whether to publish the tweets -- right? Ultimately they decided they had no choice, but to do it because of journalism.

So they destroyed an ordinary person for doing a good deed. It wasn't journalism. It was an act of cruelty and casual malice. One of many, by the way, but we figured we'd highlight this one because it's just completely over the top.

And by the way, irony of ironies, the very reporter who tried to destroy Carson King's life, turns out to have his own offensive tweeting history. Now he is under investigation by his own paper, which never conducted a background check. The whole thing, of course, it's originally deserved irony, mutual assured cancellation.

But really that shouldn't be happening at all. We don't root for anybody's cancellation for hurting someone because of something he said in high school. Nobody should have his reputation wrecked for dumb jokes made a decade or whatever ago.

Cancel culture is a national plague, and the only people it helps are bullies who use powerful platforms to defame and crush those they dislike, often with the help of major multinational corporations.

Thankfully, some people are starting to realize that. More than a hundred thousand have signed a petition calling for "The Des Moines Register" to apologize to Carson King, and hopefully they will immediately. You should drop your subscription to that paper immediately if they don't. For real. Hopefully, it'll be the last time we need a petition like this here.

Kira Davis is editor-at-large at "Red State." We're happy to have her tonight. Kira, thanks a lot for coming on.

KIRA DAVIS, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, RED STATE: Hi, Tucker. Thanks for having me.

CARLSON: So, you know, I've been in journalism for 28 years or something at this point. I'm not proud to say that. I don't see how checking this kid's tweets from high school and then running them in a profile is journalism, but maybe I'm missing something. You tell me.

DAVIS: No, it is pure insanity. I never would have -- that would never have made it to publication if it had been one of my writers. I mean, I've been doing this job for almost a decade.

Tucker, think about how many stories "The Des Moines Register" does every day on people? Are we to believe that they do thorough background checks into the tweets of every person they report on every single day? What a bizarre and pathetic excuse.

I honestly think Carol Hunter should be fired. I don't think she should work in this industry again. They should be utterly ashamed of what they've done. There's nothing journalistic about this -- nothing.

CARLSON: Well, what it really is, and it's not even political most of the time, it is an exercise in power. It's an abuse of power. I mean, these are people who work in a failing industry for low wages, and they have no respect because everyone hates them, and justifiably and so the one way they can feel powerful is by hurting other people, and so they do.

DAVIS: But I do think it must have something to do with politics, because obviously, I mean, Aaron Calvin, that reporter had his own terrible tweets in his timeline, but nobody went investigating those until he turned up as a hypocrite, and then a bunch of people on the right went and dug in to his timeline.

So I don't -- I disagree, Tucker, I do think that it has got to be politically motivated in some way. Because it seems like people who identify as liberal left, don't ever get to be the victims of this. Or people who identify as liberal and are doing this cancel culture stuff, don't even seem to think that it matters what's in their timelines, which tells me they're exercising a type of privilege -- liberal privilege.

CARLSON: I think you're right. I think when politics becomes your religion, you know, there are no limits. And by the way, to all those who thought we'd have a better country when Christianity died, you know, this is the country we've got. Thanks. Kira, great to see you tonight.


CARLSON: Thank you.

DAVIS: Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON: Well, the press went all in on the latest impeachment story and got embarrassed once again. Why do they keep making the same mistakes over and over and over again? At least for that question, and not for the first time. After the break.


CARLSON: Well, the press rally to support Democrats after they launched yesterday's impeachment push -- a sort of impeachment push whatever they're doing, pretending to impeach. So the press cowardly backed down today when the transcript showed the entire scandal was fake. Actually, the transcript really did show the President committing crimes, well, maybe it didn't show that -- the press couldn't really agree on what it said. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is worse than I think people expected.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This kind of conversation to when, you know, a godfather would say, you know, I want you to do something.

HAYES: We also don't know if we can trust any document produced by the White House, frankly. I mean, it's terrible to say that, but true.


CARLSON: So the media are very confident that wanting corruption investigated is a high crime worthy of impeachment. But they're even more confident about something else. They're confident there was absolutely nothing wrong -- nothing at all wrong with Joe Biden's nerduell son getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by a Ukrainian energy company to sit on a Board he wasn't qualified to sit on. That's totally fine.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Let's just be clear, there is no evidence of Joe Biden doing anything wrong. This is something that has been locked into.

CHRIS TODD, MSNBC HOST: A lot of people have attempted to look into this and they haven't found the there, there to look into it. I mean, myself, we've looked into it. "The New York Times" has looked into it.

If what Hunter Biden did was wrong, then, boy, there are a lot of people with the last name of Trump that has some answering to do about their foreign work.


CARLSON: Chuck Todd wants you to know what Hunter Biden did was totally fine and you should just shut up. Okay, just shut up. By the way, "The New York Times" looked into it and they can be trusted. They got a Pulitzer for covering the Russian collusion, the spying that Trump did for Vladimir Putin.

Howie Carr remembers all of this. He is a radio host and author of the book, "What Really Happened." He joins us tonight. So Chuck Todd does not want you to show any concern about Hunter Biden did for the Ukrainian energy company, just so you know, Howie Carr.

HOWIE CARR, RADIO SHOW HOST AND AUTHOR: Right. Chuck Todd who used to work for a guy who lied about his combat record in Vietnam and you have Jake Tapper -- he is also very concerned about doctored documents. He worked for Chelsea Clinton's mother-in-law who was married to a guy who went to prison for bank fraud, which is also known as doctoring documents.

I mean, this is ridiculous, you know, and they're telling us that we -- they told us it was a smoking gun two days ago. Now we have to read between the lines, right? I mean, so they're telling us basically, you know, what the transcript says, don't worry about that Trump -- Trump didn't -- Trump meant something he needed to say, but on the other hand, you have the video tape of Biden saying something, but he really didn't mean it.

If you noticed the two, Tucker, they are always saying the same thing. You know, first you have Adam Schiff saying it's a mob shakedown. Then you have Blumenthal tweeting out it's a gangster shakedown. Then you have Hillary Clinton's favorite journalist, Andrea Mitchell, saying, you know, it reminds me of the "Godfather."

Is there an echo in here or something? And how about Stephanopoulos -- George Stephanopoulos breaks in on the press conference and says, well, you know, this is an unrepentant President. Maybe because he didn't do anything and then he says, and he is also somewhat untruthful.

Talk about a guy who should know something about untruthful Presidents. Bill Clinton, he worked for, you know, lost his law license and was impeached, lied under oath. I mean, this is really ridiculous.

And how about Ilhan Omar and Hillary Clinton telling us no one is above the law. I thought their whole careers proved they are above the law. And Nancy Pelosi --

CARLSON: Especially Ilhan Omar. Howie Carr, we are out of time. We could go on. It's great to see you. Thank you.

We'll be back tomorrow, 8:00 p.m. Sean Hannity right now.

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