DNC vice chair on Kavanaugh as a potential SCOTUS justice
This is a rush transcript from "The Story," July 10, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: So, the heat is on as the disruptor president takes the show on the road tonight. Giving our allies a heads up on the way.
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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: NATO has not treated as fairly but I think we'll work something out. We pay far too much and they pay far too little.
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MACCALLUM: Good evening everybody. I'm Martha McCallum. Tonight, we tell the now unfolding story of a president who has promised to put America first and to shake up business practices here and abroad. He is now on the ground in Brussels where they have been girding for his arrival.
DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COUNCIL: Dear America, appreciate your allies. After all, you don't have that many.
MACCALLUM: So there's that. President Trump sent many of these leaders' letters advising them that he believes they need to carry their financial weight and that he will deliver that message personally now. He has been especially icy about his expectations for Germany, a country that he believes can afford to do their fair share, and that they have let in the past the U.S. bear their burden.
And what about Prime Minister May, who may not be minister for long.
TRUMP: Boris Johnson's a friend of mine has been very, very nice to me, very supportive. And I -- maybe we'll speak to them when I get over there. I like Boris Johnson, I've always liked him.
MACCALLUM: Well, that's going to be interesting. Right back at home, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, delivering a warning tonight to President Trump about his pre-NATO Twitter storm. Watch.
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SEN. BOB CORKER, R-TENN., CHAIRMAN, SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: He's been pretty aggressive in his tweets just in the last short amount of time. But I hope that he will affirm that relationship and partnership.
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MACCALLUM: So, Greg Palkot is live in Brussels where the summit is set to begin in just a few short hours. Good evening, Greg.
GREG PALKOT, FOX NEWS SENIOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Martha. That's right, the president is on the ground here in Brussels. And the folks over at NATO headquarters are already getting ready for some possible fireworks later on Wednesday.
The president has made very clear that he doesn't feel that most of the other NATO members are pulling their fair share financially. And he sounds like he's going to be bringing it up.
He often cites a stated goal that NATO has for each country to spend two percent of their GDP on defense. The U.S. pays in over 3 1/2 percent. Most in their defense, say they're moving towards that goal.
Yes, one of the underachievers is Chancellor Angela Merkel's Germany. And that seems to especially get the president's goat as it's also Europe's biggest economy, and does very well trade wise against the United States.
Several of the leaders President Trump could be jousting with are also dealing with their own domestic headaches, maybe none bigger than British Prime Minister Theresa May. The president will be visiting her later this week. Boris Johnson and others have just left her government over differences with the U.K.'s plan Brexit from the European Union.
And just about everybody at the NATO summit will be looking ahead to another meeting, the session the president is having with Russian President Putin, next Monday in Helsinki.
At a time when Russia is challenging several NATO countries in various ways, many here are a bit worried that Mr. Trump might get a little too friendly with the Russian bear. Martha, that's going to be a very interesting next several days here on this side of the pond. Back to you.
MACCALLUM: No doubt about it. We'll be there starting tomorrow. Joining me now, Ari Fleischer, former George W. Bush press secretary at the White House, and a Fox News contributor. And Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group. Great to have both of you with us tonight.
Our Ari, let me start with you. For a long time, presidents have said, yes -- you know the United States pays more than its fair share. And our allies pay not enough. But nobody's been able to get them to actually fork over the money.
ARI FLEISCHER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You know, Martha, I've sat in a lot of the meetings. The summit meetings between President Bush and European leaders where he could cajole them in private to increase their spending. And the reaction almost all the time was the same.
You get this sense of gravitas, you get this sense of, "We very much would like to do that." And then, they explain why they can't, or why the domestic pressures on them, and the other needs to spend money are more important than reaching that two percent target. Or you get some futuristic target gate then in 10 years from now, they'll make an increase of one quarter, of one percentage in their spending on defense, and they don't even follow up on that.
So, I'm very much a supporter of the NATO alliance. It is essential to our security and to Europe security. But think of how much stronger that alliance would be if each of the 28 nations, instead of just four indeed did what they said they would do, and spent two percent of their GDP on defense. That's the best way to strengthen the alliance.
MACCALLUM: Yes. So, that's interesting. You know, and given what we have seen in, in prior administrations. Perhaps, you know, dangling a little bit stronger rhetoric and even potentially, who we might have to back out - - you know, some of our commitment. We might have to lower some of our troop levels if everybody isn't on board, maybe that might work.
IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT, EURASIA GROUP: There's no question that Trump's willingness to push hard in the same way that it got the Chinese to toughen up sanctions against the North Koreans facilitating the eventual engagement diplomatically, could well play in his favor here with NATO. And its one reason why they're doing more, they're also doing more economically because the Russians are more of a threat, a lot of them decided to step up their spending after the Russian annexation of Crimea, the invasion of Southeast Ukraine.
And they're paying more because their economies are doing better. But let's be clear, Europe is incredibly divided right now. Trump is going over this, not just talking to one country, not just one organization, all of them have to decide individually. And their economies aren't likely to performing that well going forward over future years.
So, they're going to be a very challenged, and Merkel in particular, much weaker than she's been a year ago, five years ago. Going to be really hard for Trump to get the execution even if constitutionally, they want to do the kind of things that I always been talking about.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, ultimately, Ari, it sounds like the president's goal is to strengthen NATO. To make sure that the funding is increased across the board, and to show that, that alliance needs to have the fortification of the input of all of those nations. Now that's not a message that Vladimir Putin is going to be particularly enthusiastic about. It was created to thwart the threat that comes from Russia.
I mean, so everybody is concerned that he's going to be too kind, too easygoing, too nice, perhaps, with Vladimir Putin, but the lead-up to this is going to be -- you know, let's toughen up this military alliance against Russia.
FLEISCHER: And the greatest beneficiaries of that will be the nations in the Baltic states, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia, all of which border Russia, and where Russia has menaced them in many ways. So absolutely, strengthening NATO is standing up to Vladimir Putin.
But you know, one of NATO's biggest problems is first, it's a military alliance, it has to fight. NATO can barely transport any tanks weapons or personnel, any length of distance, any great distance, we have to do it almost all for them.
This is a function of spending. They'll spend on some military, they'll spend on salaries, but when it comes to actual nuts and bolts functioning of how does a military deploy, and then, actually dig in and fight? NATO fall short, and it falls short because nations aren't spending.
And so, if you want NATO to be a serious military deterrent to aggressors, you have to spend more. So, it's very frustrating for Americans to see that we spent 3 1/2 percent of our GDP on national defense. We do bite the bullet and pay for it, but the European nations as Ian said, will say their economies are too weak, they can't. They want to be in NATO, but please just don't make a spend what we're supposed to spend to being NATO. They want it both ways, Donald Trump stands up to them.
MACCALLUM: Yes, and you look at the attitude of the E.U. president, Ian, who said, "Oh, you know you better be nice because you don't really have that many friends." I mean, come on.
BREMMER: Well, that was -- that was a very overstated reaction to the kind of heated rhetoric that we've also seen from Trump. I think a lot of people said things that we all three of us wouldn't like to see them say. America does have a lot of friends around the world, but those alliances are getting a little weaker. And let's be clear that a lot of Trump's messages, not just on NATO have not been welcomed by any of our European allies.
The decision to pull out unilaterally of the Iran deal was not welcomed by a single European ally. The decision to pull out the Paris Climate Accord was not welcomed by a single European ally decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem in Israel, not a single American ally.
So, the fact that his personal relations are actually quite poor with almost all of these European allies makes it harder -- you know, they say you catch more bugs with a -- with a honey than you do with vinegar.
You know, Trump, absolutely wants to be a tough guy, and he should be tough in telling them we want more money or else. But that doesn't mean that you beat up the Allies on every single other issue. And when you talk to these allies privately, they will tell you that they don't feel like Trump is in it for them on pretty much anything.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, you know, I think, he's made it pretty clear that he's in it for his own country, first, Ari --
FLEISCHER: But you know, the problem is that -- can I jump in on that?
MACCALLUM: And you know, but when you look at on -- look at on Angela Merkel, for example, who during -- you know, some recent military exercise over the past year or two, that you're using brooms tricks -- broomsticks, instead of rifles. You know, they obviously, do not have the capability that they need to fight, to face an increasingly aggressive Soviet Union.
I mean, this is just the reality of what these nations need to do to defend themselves and they are so overextended in their social benefits, and what they are offering people who are residents, as well as people who are immigrants.
MACCALLUM: I mean, there's -- you know, there is an end to how much you can put out before you have to think about guns more than butter.
FLEISCHER: And Donald Trump's manner really is not the cause of this. Donald Trump is brusque. Donald Trump is the rude diplomat. Donald Trump is pulling the China shop. That's not what's causing these problems. It has nothing to do with the Iran deal or anything else.
Barack Obama tried to control them and to increase in spending, they wouldn't do it. George Bush did they wouldn't do it. George Bush's father did, that's how far back this goes, they wouldn't do it.
MACCALLUM: Yes, it doesn't work.
FLEISCHER: The ultimate diplomat and internationalists. So, it really doesn't matter if you're polite or if you're rude. It comes down to whether or not the Europeans want to go along. And often they don't because when it comes to guns and butter, they want slabs of butter, and they want distribution this policies, and they've been getting away with it because the United States pays the bill.
MACCALLUM: And you know what? You --
FLEISCHER: We put the military, we put up the shield, and we protect them. Donald Trump comes along and says, "I don't think I'm going to do it that way anymore. And, of course, they squawk. Donald Trump's approaching it the right way.
MACCALLUM: So, it used to be that covering NATO meetings and G7 meetings was kind of boring, frankly. It is -- it is so not boring anymore and it will not be boring this week.
BREMMER: That's right.
MACCALLUM: So, gentlemen, thank you very much. Good to see you both tonight. Thanks for being here. So starting tomorrow night, we'll be covering all of this as it unfolds live from London. Some of the biggest names in Britain will join us live on set as we break down the high stakes NATO summit.
The meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is fighting to hold on to her position as prime minister. The president will also uphold a tradition that every U.S. president has taken part in meeting Queen Elizabeth. That will happen on Friday afternoon and we'll also be setting the stage for the meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki Finland, come Monday. So, stay tuned for that. All of that coming up over the course of this week.
And up next right here tonight, Democrat opposition to President Trump's Supreme Court nominee has reached a fever pitch.
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SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, D-N.Y., SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: What's at stake is freedom for LGBTQ Americans. For equal rights, for civil rights, for voting rights.
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MACCALLUM: Michael Blake, vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, joins us on his party's strategy with all of this. And constitutional law attorney Jonathan Turley, on the impact that Judge Kavanagh could have on our lives if this becomes a conservative court for decades, what does it look like in this country?
Plus, the first American to set foot on Mars might be this Louisiana teenager. She is17, her story coming up.
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TRUMP: I've directed the Pentagon to begin the process of creating a six branch of the United States Armed Forces called the Space Force -- the Space Force.
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MACCALLUM: Brand new polls show that Democrats may have an uphill battle in their hopes to take the Senate but they are putting their money behind a huge attack on Judge Kavanaugh saying that a future under a conservative Court would be a disaster.
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SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Now is the time to demand a justice who will protect our health care not strike it down.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, D-CALIF.: If you are a young woman in America or you care about a young woman in America, pay attention to this because it will forever change your life.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, D-CONN.: Here is a memo to the Parklands students, Judge Kavanaugh is your worst nightmare.
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MACCALLUM: Here now Michael Blake, Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Michael, good to have you here. You know, the women's March group put out a letter with you know xxx rather than a name. They didn't even put the name in because they were going to be opposed to this person whoever it was. I mean how is that the way that this process is supposed to work?
MICHAEL BLAKE, VICE CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Well I think that would be the case any time, Martha, whether it be Democrat or Republican people are just preparing. So I think that's less of the critical issue. What we should be focused on is Judge Kavanaugh's record. You know, this is someone who has conveyed that a president essentially above the law. In the insistent we look at 2012 clearly conveyed a dissent in saying you know what, a future president can determine not to uphold the Affordable Care Act. You know, those are things we should be concerned about.
MACCALLUM: It's sufficient they're sort of split on Obama care actually. So -- in fact, that's something that some conservatives are not sure how he will actually -- how he would actually decide on because of the two different decisions that he made on that front. But I guess what would has bothers him to a lot of people is that you know, the election -- of course, this president was going to pick someone who he believes will be a strict constitutionalist because that's what Republicans want to see on the court. So, I mean all of this hysteria feels a little misplaced doesn't it? I mean, who do they think he was going to pick?
BLAKE: Absolutely, it's not misplaced at all when you think about how 67 percent of Americans don't want to see Roe v Wade overturned. We're having a conversation at what the Republicans want right now would be criminalizing a woman's right to choose and what to do with our own body. People don't want that. When you see that ninety-one percent of Americans say that we want to make sure we protect pre-existing conditions, it's not hysteria at all.
MACCALLUM: I mean, you know, when a Republican president is elected and someone leaves the court, I mean it just seems ridiculous to assume that he's not going to pick someone who he thinks he's going to look at the Constitution in a very strict manner. So I guess I'm confused about then - - you know Kamala Harris and the reaction is like they're shocked like they can't believe it and they were going to say the same thing no matter who was chosen. How is this constructive? Justice Kennedy who was a swing vote was approved 97 to zero. Justice Kavanagh got four Democrat votes back in 2007 when he was approved. So it's you know is this a constructive way to live in America given the outcome of the election?
BLAKE: Well 2007 is very different from 2018 when you have a narrative of Donald Trump in the in the stances he's taken.
MACCALLUM: Absolutely it is.
BLAKE: I think there's not -- it's not about ridiculous, this is about what's happening in the country. People are afraid --
MACCALLUM: But why not listen to the hearing and listen to what he says and then those senators can hear him out and ask him questions. I mean, doesn't it feel a bit like jumping the gun.
BLAKE: It's not jumping a gun when you think about how 800,000 people in West Virginia are wondering right now, will they be able to keep their pre- existing conditions, you're not jumping the gun. Why is this so critical? Because when you listen to what Judge Kavanaugh has said in this past, when you look into positions that he's taken, they have been clearly concerning. Now, of course you would expect to have someone that would have Republican and conservative leaning. However, he is extremely conservative. Just because someone smiles doesn't mean everything they're saying is good for you.
MACCALLUM: So obviously, this is being used as a major fundraising effort. We've already seen that effort rolled out. And I'm sure you're absolutely right. I mean if the shoe is on the other foot, Republicans would be fundraising off of this pick too. But I guess what -- you know, the question is when you look at some of these Democrat Senators, Chuck Schumer, he's indicated already that he's not necessarily -- Joe Manchin said last night he has not told us we have to vote in a block on this because some of those Senators in Trump states may indeed have to support this judge if they want to be in step with the people of their -- of their state and get re-elected to the Senate.
BLAKE: Well, I don't agree with that. Just because you can disagree on this issue doesn't mean you're not in step with your people. Again, I go back to 800,000 people in West Virginia don't want to see this occur. But we've been hearing from a lot of Republican operatives recently in the last 24 hours is well if these senators don't vote for judge Kavanaugh, that's against what's going on in their communities because of the support that happened in 2016 for Donald Trump. Well, by a 37 percent margin, Trump won Oklahoma in 2016. However, we have four legislative flips. There's a difference what's happening right now so people want to know what are you going to do when it comes to Roe v Wade.
MACCALLUM: Do you want to know? Because it feels like you've already decided.
BLAKE: Well people -- it's very clear Judge Kavanaugh has not indicated at all. And Vice President Pence was very clear earlier today in a T.V. interview conveying that litmus test was what would you do when it comes to Roe v Wade. We absolutely do not believe and disagree with the premise that you should be criminalizing a woman's choice to do with her body.
MACCALLUM: Well, the previous decision, his colleague, some of his Republican colleagues -- Republicans were disappointed because he did not say that abortion was unconstitutional. So I think we've seen so many Republicans be appointed to these courts and not turn out to be the way that Republicans wanted them to be so I think it's a bit interesting to watch the questioning during these hearings. Michael, thank you.
BLAKE: Good to see you.
MACCALLUM: Always good to have you with us.
BLAKE: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So Axios put together a graphic that actually gives a picture of exactly how conservative Judge Kavanaugh would be compared to the other justices. He is according to their assessment the second-most right- leaning member of the court if he is confirmed behind Clarence Thomas. But how long does it take for the ideology of the court to change? Here now Jonathan Turley, Constitutional Law Attorney and George Washington University Law Professor. Jonathan, always good to have you. Thanks for being with us tonight. I mean this is one of the things that helped to get President Trump elected. A lot of Republicans and conservatives across the country saw this opportunity to -- for the first time in a very long time swing the court to a conservative-leaning Court. How do -- you know, when you look big-picture at this as a Constitutional Law Professor and Attorney, what do you think the impact on America is going to be?
JONATHAN TURLEY, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: Well, there's no question that the center of gravity is going to move to the right if Kavanaugh was put on the court. He is more conservative on some issues than Kennedy before him. But that was expected, indeed, that was promised by President Trump. Ironically the person he most resembles in not just his resume but his writing style and his interpretive approach is John Roberts who the president referred to as a disaster on the court. So you know, I expect that we're going to see some movement in these predictions as to where he ends up. Will he end up to the right of Kennedy? I think you could pretty much guess that. But he is not as much of a known item as some of the other people on that list. Where I think you'll see some very clear changes are in areas where he's already written. I don't think he's going to adopt the same approach on the death penalty as Kennedy or on race-based admissions and colleges. I think he's going to be more conservative on detainee rights. Those things I think are already fairly baked in given his jurisprudential views.
MACCALLUM: Yes, one of the aspects in terms of his support that he's demonstrated for the executive branch clearly he feels that there's more constitutional support for an expansion or a broad understanding of executive powers and less so for the powers of agencies which took on a lot of more powerful roles under the Obama administration. Now some are looking at this pic and saying oh you know the President and Don McGahn, his attorney see Kavanagh as someone who will be supportive in in the Mueller investigation for him. How -- what's your read on that?
TURLEY: Well, if they're doing that, then they're quite foolish because the most likely issue to go to the Supreme Court if any issue goes a Supreme Court would be over a subpoena in compelling the President to appear. There's no reason to assume that Kavanaugh would vote with the White House. He is highly deferential to presidential power more so than Kennedy but some things have been reported incorrectly and unfairly. He has a Minnesota law review article that people including senators have been citing to suggest that he doesn't believe a sitting president should be under investigation criminally or civilly. That is true in terms of his personal view but that article was not saying that there's a constitutional immunity that a president can use but rather we're suggesting Congress should enact protections along those lines.
MACCALLUM: Very interesting these hearings are going to be fascinating. Jonathan Turley, I hope you're going be here to guide us through them. Thank you very much.
TURKEY: Thanks, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Good to see you tonight. Coming up next, the hits just keep on coming.
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SCHUMER: He chose the candidate who he thought would best protect him from the Mueller investigation.
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MACCALLUM: So that is one of the lines of attack against Judge Kavanaugh. We will see if it holds up. Senator Lindsey Graham is here. He would give us a message that he has for his colleagues coming up next. And we know the London mayor is no fan of President Trump but the question now, is he trying to sabotage this week's trip? We'll talk about it coming up.
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TRUMP: Well, I have NATO, I have the U.K. which is in somewhat turmoil, and I have Putin. Frankly Putin may be the easiest of them all. Who would think? Who would think?
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MACCALLUM: Who would think? President Trump this morning, he has been ramping up the rhetoric against our European allies demanding that they pay their fair share in defense spending. And when they all get in a room together in a few hours, things could turn ugly. Remember this infamous picture from last month's G7 summit. The president says that it was misrepresenting the tenor in that room, but it was an intense stare down between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the president after tough talk on tariffs.
So what can we expect tomorrow and throughout this very busy week? Here now South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham sits on both the Senate armed services and the judiciary committee. Senator, great to see you tonight. What did you think of the president's assessment of what lies ahead for him this week and who might be easier?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: Well, Putin is trying to break NATO and Trumpet is trying to make it stronger. He's got to push our NATO allies to give more, but when you sat down with Putin, I hope you understand that you are sitting down with an enemy of the United States, an enemy of democracy and don't be confused, Mr. President, Putin is not your friend.
MACCALLUM: Do you think he is confused about that?
GRAHAM: No, not really. I think he's trying to have a good relationship, but a good relationship has to be defined by behavior. Putin is not doing anything good in Syria. He's not doing anything good in the Ukraine. He certainly not a friend of the United States by meddling in our election. So I hope the president will not accept Putin's denial that he had nothing to do with interfering in 2016 election because they are still doing it. They are trying to influence the 2018 election.
So be tough on Putin, be tough in our European allies, but remember this, NATO is your friend and Putin is your enemy.
MACCALLUM: Yes. There has been some suggestion that the president has floated the idea of lowering our troop numbers in Europe and tying all of this to trade issues.
MACCALLUM: Do you think that's the way to go or do you think that's dangerous? Senator John McCain basically said today in a tweet that he thinks that's a really bad idea.
GRAHAM: I think we need more troops in the Baltic regions, the border countries next to Russia who have been intimidated by Russia. I think we need to keep our presence in Europe. It's been stabilizing since World War II. But we need to reduce trade barriers between us and the Europeans.
You can do two things at once. You can have a strong military alliance and fight like hell over trade and I think we should do both. Have a strong military alliance, which means NATO members need to pay more. The president is right about that, they are not paying enough.
MACCALLUM: So in terms of the other big news that happened last night, I know you are very happy about Judge Kavanaugh.
MACCALLUM: And the Women's March, folks put out a press release and perhaps, you know, they need a better fact-checker because this is the press release. It says, "In response to President Trump's nomination of xx to the Supreme Court of the United States the Women's March is released on the fallen states."
It goes on to, you know, basically say this person is a horrible person and that he's going to change the way that we see life here in America. I mean, pretty incredible, just blanket disapproval before they even knew who it was.
GRAHAM: Well, President Trump could nominate George Washington and they would all be up in arms. It seems to be that if you are running for president on the Democratic side in 2020 or thinking about it, you have to prove you are the most insane person when it comes to Trump nominees.
It's sad to see my colleagues think so low. This is a well-qualified nominee. He's lived an incredible life. He's one of the greatest conservative minds of his generation. He's every bit as qualified as Sotomayor and Kagan. Every president deserves a chance to pick nominees that are highly qualified.
And Brett Kavanaugh is one of the smartest most qualified people any president could choose as a Republican. What they are saying is elections matter only when Democrats win. We're going to fight back in the judiciary committee. We are going to protect this man's good name and he's going to get confirmed and I predict Democrats will come on board, because you can't go to these red states and justify a no vote. He's just too well-qualified.
MACCALLUM: What to say to those who express concern about the Russia investigation and that Judge Kavanaugh's history in protecting executive powers makes them believe that this was sort of a preventative move, that they feel that they are going to have a friend on the court if it ever comes to a question of impeachment for this president?
GRAHAM: I think that's a red herring argument. He wrote in 2009, long before Donald Trump even thought about running for president that a sitting president needs to be able to focus on their job and if they do something really out-of-bounds, impeachment is probably the best tool available.
There's been a debate for decades about whether or not you can indict a sitting president.
GRAHAM: So he said nothing out of the ordinary. They are trying to make it something extraordinary when it's not. They're looking for every reason in the world to take this guy down. It's not going to work. He is just too well-qualified and not only what I want him to be on the Supreme Court, I'd like this guy to be my neighbor. What a life he has left.
MACCALLUM: All right. I've got to leave it there but you believe he will pass in the Senate and that Murkowski and Collins will be on board?
GRAHAM: They are two very serious senators. I think they're going to look at him and say he's highly qualified. Yes, I believe not only will he pass with all Republicans, he's going to get a handful of Democrats and it's sad that he doesn't get 95 or 100 votes. It used to be not this way and I'm so sad to see the judiciary be beaten up like this, but he's going to get through.
MACCALLUM: Justice Kennedy was approved 97 to zero. Senator Graham, always a pleasure to have you here. Thank you, sir. We'll see you soon.
GRAHAM: Thank you. Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So still to come tonight.
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TRUMP: At the Air Force, you will have the space for us.
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MACCALLUM: And this Louisiana teen could be one of the first members. Meet the 17-year-old whose life mission is to go to Mars for NASA.
Plus, protests and blimps await President Trump when he arrives in London, so why isn't London's mayor doing anything to stop it?
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PIERS MORGAN, BRITISH JOURNALIST: If this president was Barack Obama and they wanted to fly a giant 20-foot black baby of Obama topless in a nappy would you endorse that? Well, give me yes or no.
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: Well, if it's peaceful I'd say yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
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KHAN: My message to Donald Trump and his team is that your views of Islam are ignorant.
You know, I don't think we should be rolling out the carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for.
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MACCALLUM: The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, no fan of President Donald Trump, already stirring the pot ahead of the president's first visit as president to the United Kingdom this week, defending his decision to allow protesters there to fly this giant cartoon balloon depicting the president outside the British parliament.
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MORGAN: Did you personally approve this blimp of the president of the United States in a topless in a nappy to fly at parliament? Did you personally approve it?
KHAN: No, but I support the GLA decision they took--
MORGAN: Your responsibility at issue.
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MACCALLUM: Joining me now, Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner commentary writer and host of the McLaughlin Group. Tom, great to have you with us this morning.
Obviously Sadiq Khan has said all along that he doesn't think that the president should essentially even be allowed to visit the United Kingdom, he thought that to be discouraged and now he is allowing this blimp to fly over the city during the visit, what do you think?
TOM ROGAN, COMMENTARY WRITER, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Good to be with you, Martha.
I think the first thing to take away here is Sadiq Khan is a member of the Labour Party, he has a vested interest in trying to delegitimize, to weaken Theresa May, the British prime minister who was obviously a close ally of the president personally and professionally.
But secondly, I think what you see here in terms of Sadiq Khan's semantics, if you will, is in some sense a difference to free speech. I personally think it's fine to have the balloon there.
But more than that an example of his leadership in a sense that this is not someone who was really a serious leader in terms of, you know, taking one of the world's greatest cities onto the world stage in a way that reflects it positively, because the underpinning notion is Sadiq Khan talks about values but the underpinning notion of the American-U.K. special relationship is one of shared sacrifice in war and peace.
And for him to sort it suggests that that's peripheral and that, you know, to play these games I think speaks much more to his character than it does to the president.
MACCALLUM: Interesting. You know, I mean, obviously there's a long history of this sort of thing in the world, of sort of pictures and ridiculous images of leaders when they visit.
But this apparently requires some sort of sanctioning from the mayor of London and in the prior exchange, Piers Morgan asked him if he would have allowed it if there was a protest against President Obama and he suggested that he would, you know. He said if that's what the people wanted he would have allowed it.
I mean, we can't really get inside his head, but I think conventional wisdom sort of suggests that that would be very unlikely.
ROGAN: I think you're correct, it would be very unlikely. I would even go so far as to say it would be, you know, near impossible for him to be seen doing that. But again, I think the ultimate point here is that actually the United States wins through the notion -- Sadiq Khan, and I've written about this, has come out quite strongly in terms of saying that Twitter should ban what he regards as hate speech.
Well, the American tradition of free speech, which in some way Trump triumphed from having the silly balloon fly across London, because it shows the United States the world's most powerful nation is willing to put up with that.
But the broader point though, I think is that when it comes to the question of interest, investment in London, security in London with the FBI and CIA liaison offices there who do an incredible amount of work to support the British counterterrorism effort, no London mayor who seriously values the service of his city or her city, or the country, would come out with these flippant lines against the president.
Because even if you didn't like the president it would be undiplomatic and it wouldn't serve those interests because the real tangible measure of those interests is defined by a closer relationship with the United States rather than a relationship built on adversarial content.
MACCALLUM: Excellent point. You know, you talked a moment ago about the friendship between the Prime Minister Theresa May and President Trump and obviously there's a long-standing friendship between the leaders of these two countries.
However, this morning on his way out the door essentially the president said I like Boris Johnson, there's a chance I might meet with him, and Theresa May is under a lot of pressure right now and she could potentially lose her prime ministership.
ROGAN: Well, I mean, that's true, but I think the president now, you know, in terms of the trans group that the question was responding to this challenge of would you defer to British democracy in terms of, you know, whoever would be the leader of the conservative party or the prime minister. I think he said that.
But I think ultimately, you know, you saw the president say it is up to the British people and I think this will be a constructive visit. And again, the tangibles of this visit, that's what I come down to, is that he has a major dinner, Churchill's birthplace, you know, house with major business leaders. That helps the U.S. and U.K. economy, high-value economies, right.
So there's no loss of jobs in terms of, you know, what the president would say about NAFTA but also that security arrangement, which is so critical. Today, the hundredth anniversary of the Royal air force is here, F-35 is flying over London. That's really American technology that helps British security, also helps the United States.
MACCALLUM: Yes, you make a great point. I mean, it went all the noise is said and done and the blimps have flown, this is a very special relationship and its mutual security compact that is essential to the future of the free world.
Tom, we look forward to talking with you as we move forward this week. We will be heading to London tonight to cover the president's visit and look forward to weighing in on that as well as we move forward this week. Thanks, Tom.
ROGAN: Thank you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: You bet.
So, coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Very soon we are going to Mars. You wouldn't have been going to Mars if my opponent won. And that I can tell you. You wouldn't even be thinking about it. You wouldn't be thinking about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: That was in San Diego on March 13th, and my next guest is only 17 and she has been thinking about going to the red planet for years, almost her whole life. Her amazing story and how she plans to get to space next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Once more, we will launch intrepid souls blazing through the sky and soaring into the heavens. Once more, we will summon the American spirit to tame the next great American frontier, and once more we will probably lead humanity, and that's what it is. It's humanity. Beyond the earth and into those forbidden skies, but they will not be forbidden for long.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: President Trump recently making history with his creation of the space force to explore what he calls the next generation frontier. He also signed legislation to get an American to Mars by 2033, and it is a mission that my next guest is already training for.
This is 17-year-old Alyssa Carson. Since the age of three, thanks to a cartoon about space, Alyssa has been training for the trip to Mars and she is going to every official NASA space camp in the world. She's the only person who's done that.
She builds her own rockets and robotics and though she still too young to apply to be an astronaut, the experts say that she is lightyears ahead of hopefuls twice her age. Alyssa Carson joins us now. Alyssa, it's great to see you, thank you so much for being with us tonight.
ALYSSA CARSON, TEEN TRAINING FOR MARS 2033 MISSION: Yes, super excited to be here.
MACCALLUM: So tell me, why do you want to go to Mars?
CARSON: I think that when I first got interested I mainly wanted to go to Mars because of the curiosity of it and kind of wanting to know what was there and as I've gotten older I've kind of started to learn more about the importance of going and how important it is to kind of show all of us humans that we have the ability and we have the technology that we can actually explore further than just earth.
And going to Mars is actually a possibility that has actually become a reality of having people go there, stay there, do research and come back safely.
MACCALLUM: It's 34 million miles away, does it make you a little nervous to be that far from home?
CARSON: I think that kind of growing up and going to visitor centers and meeting people who work at NASA and just kind of the environment that you are put around, you kind of see how important safety is to everyone around. So I think that even though Mars is super far away, I definitely think that seeing everything that's going in, it kind of reassures you that it's going to go as planned.
MACCALLUM: We need young scientists like you to push us into that amazing future that we just heard President Trump talking about and they are talking about potentially building a habitat on Mars. Could you imagine yourself living there for a while?
CARSON: Yes, definitely. I mean, the idea of us going and studying and doing research on Mars would be to send a bunch of habitats and all the kind of heavy weight materials that we're going to be using beforehand, as in before the humans would go, that way that stuff would be set up there and then for our mission the humans would go, they would kind of rejoin with all the materials that are sent and we kind of set up a base and set up our experiments.
And that's kind of what I've worked towards. Always wanting to be a part of that mission and kind of always wanting to be able to contribute to the science that will hopefully go on the planet.
MACCALLUM: You are very inspirational, Alyssa. You are 17. You have to be 18 to officially apply to be an astronaut. So what's your education plan when you turn 18? Would you go directly into that program or would you go to college first? What do you want to do?
CARSON: Yes. I mean, for me, I'm not necessarily looking to apply into the selection program right when I turn 18. I'm looking to go through college, study astrobiology. It's really what I want to go into and so I'm looking at going all the way into getting my PhD, so going through schooling like that.
Also, after getting my PhD I also want to get a career in astrobiology. So that's about probably when I would start applying for the astronaut selection program. It actually start looking towards becoming a real astronaut candidate, but that would be after college and I would probably start applying during while I'm working.
But I definitely don't think I will necessarily get on the first try, but you know, it's always about what NASA is looking for at the time. So I will constantly be applying and hopefully get selected.
MACCALLUM: You are a remarkable young lady, and a real credit to teenagers across the country. I'm so impressed by you and we hope that you will keep in touch and let us know what your plans are as you progress through all of this. Best of luck to you, Alyssa.
CARSON: Thank you so much!
MACCALLUM: You bet. Wow! More on The Story when we come back.
MACCALLUM: And finally tonight there were rumors that when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went to North Korea last week to meet with Kim Jong-un. He took a special gift with him. Today, President Trump set the record straight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They didn't give it. I have it for him. They didn't give it, but it will be given at a certain period. I actually do -- I actually do have a little gift for him. But you'll find out what that gift is when I give it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: There you have it. There is talk that the two would meet here in New York City potentially this fall. So stay tuned for future gift giving.
That is our story for tonight. Tune in tomorrow. We will be live from London ahead of President Trump's visit. He will meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May which will be very interesting given what's going on there, and also Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. We understand he would be talking to some of the big news makers in London, as well.
Thanks for being here tonight. Tucker Carlson is up next.
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