Facebook gave companies 'intrusive' access to private messages and personal data

This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," December 19, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Good evening, and welcome to Tucker Carlson Tonight. We begin this show with some shocking news. Lying has been detected here in Washington. Mendacity, deceit, duplicitousness (ph), saying things that aren't true that here my arms is going up just telling you about this. But it happened. And we can prove it.

Now, to be clear, news anchors didn't do it. News anchors don't lie. They're good people. Neither do professional cable news commentators, the one making millions on the side as lobbyists for foreign governments or big multinational corporations. Commentators always tell the truth. And that's why they, and their scrupulously honest news anchor friends are so utterly disgusted tonight, horrified really by what retired General Michael Flynn has done. Watch their stunned reactions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON LEMON, ANCHOR, CNN: Michael Flynn lied to the FBI. Flynn lied again and again and again to FBI agents. Just lied. Lies, lies, and more lies.

UNKNOWN: Hold on for just a minute about who is significant and who is not. Flynn lied. The tone should be when you speak to a prosecutor, you speak to the truth. Everybody lied.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, ANCHOR, MSNBC: Michael Flynn was betraying his country. Michael Flynn was betraying his office.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: "He lied," says Don Lemon and his news anchors friend. Lied, lied, lied. He's a very bad man, a lying kind of man. The worst kind. He could never work in television. For his crime of lying, Michael Flynn, the liar, may soon be locked away in a cell. That would keep the rest of us safe from his perfidious lies. That day can't come fast enough say the news anchors. Cuff him. America longs to breathe free once more.

Michael Flynn will be 60 years old next week. The Washington Post calculates he faces five years in prison. And let that be a warning to all of us. That's what happens to people who lie in Washington. Or does it?

From a golf course somewhere in Dubai, you can almost hear Bill Clinton chuckling softly. Lied under oath, still making $300,000 a speech; not everyone faces the same penalties for lying it turns out.

Mark Zuckerberg came to Washington last spring to talk about Facebook that's the sole destroying social media company that has made him a multibillionaire. While in town, Zuckerberg stopped by the Congress where - and you might want to ask the kids to leave the room for this - he lied. Yep. Don't tell Don Lemon. But Mark Zuckerberg is a liar. Watch him do it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: This is the most important principle for Facebook. Every piece of content that you share on Facebook, you own and you have complete control over who sees it and how you share it. And you can remove it at any time.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY, R-LA.: Are you willing to give me more control over my data?

ZUCKERBERG: Senator, as somebody who uses Facebook, I believe that you should have complete control over your data.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CARLSON: Yes. You have complete control over your data. You control who sees it. You own it. That's really the most important principle at Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg says so with a completely straight face.

The only problem, it was a lie. Sorry, kids. According to a piece in the New York Times, Facebook does not actually allow you or anyone else to control your data. Not at all. In fact, they secretly hand over your data, personal data, to other big tech companies. Now, that decision has made Mark Zuckerberg even richer, adding on to the house in Hawaii probably. Unfortunately, he's had to lie in the process, including to Congress, and that's a crime.

As Robespierre once famously noted, "You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs." In this case, the eggs are your privacy. Apparently, Facebook allowed Microsoft search engine, Bing, to see the names of your Facebook friends without telling you about it. Facebook also allowed Netflix and Spotify to read your private messages without telling you.

Now, there's no evidence so far as of tonight that Facebook has a video camera hidden in your shower, but close enough. That's what Mark Zuckerberg lied about. Not a small lie, really.

What did Mike Flynn lie about? Well, according to the FBI, Flynn lied about conversations he had had with the Russian Ambassador Kislyak. You remember him. Flynn said that he and Kislyak had never talked about expelling Russian diplomats or about Russia voting in the U.N. on symbolic resolutions. And in fact, they had talked about both of those things. The feds already knew that because they were listening in, secretly.

There was nothing improper about the conversations that Flynn and Kislyak had. The crime was the lie. It's always the crime. Except when it's Mark Zuckerberg. Mark Zuckerberg can lie about something that affects hundreds of millions of Americans, but it's not really a big deal. Zuckerberg is not looking at five years in prison. Zuckerberg will not be sanctioned by Congress ever.

So what's the difference? Well, unlike Mike Flynn, Mark Zuckerberg is a hero to the American news media. He is who they want to be. He is richer than God. He went to Harvard. He wears T-shirts at work for real. He's for open borders. All the cool people like Mark Zuckerberg, even foreign countries.

For example, when the fascist government of China was looking for new tools to oppress its own population, you think they went to Mike Flynn for help? Yes, OK. I don't think so. Flynn is tough on china, old fashioned as he is. But Mark Zuckerberg, by contrast, was happy to help.

As they say at McKenzie, Mark Zuckerberg gets it.

Boy, what has Mike Flynn ever done for anyone? 33 years in uniform? That's not very innovative. Two lies told by two high-profile Americans. One is going to prison in late middle age. The other will be available for like 40 years for commencement addresses and awards dinners held in his honor. That's the tale of Mike Flynn and Mark Zuckerberg. It tells you everything.

Joining us now to break down what's happening to Mike Flynn is Harvard Law Professor Emeritus, Alan Dershowitz. He is the case of the book - the author, rather, of the book The Case Against Impeaching Trump.

Professor, thanks very much for coming on. So I read in The Washington Post this morning--

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR EMERITUS: Well, thank you so much.

CARLSON: --I read Mike Flynn described as a double agent in The Washington Post. And then I saw the Judge Sullivan yesterday describe him as someone who had committed treason. Is that the crime for which he is facing prison?

DERSHOWITZ: No, not at all. And I'll get to that in a second. But Tucker, I just want to make one point. I hope you don't mind me making it.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: --you will.

DERSHOWITZ: I hate boycotts and attempts - I hope - I hate boycotts and attempts to censor free speech. I'm in favor of complete dialogue. But as such, I feel impelled to tell you that I, with due respect, disagree with the way you categorize mass immigration. That's all. I just want to say that. And--

CARLSON: Well, that's OK. And by the way--

DERSHOWITZ: Now--

CARLSON: I would expect that you would. We differ probably on a lot of issues. But the one issue that we--

DERSHOWITZ: Right.

CARLSON: --agree on and that--

DERSHOWITZ: Yes.

CARLSON: --I respect you for is your willingness to say what you think in public to defend your views, to have a conversation and to let others decide which side is right. And that's something that I wish we were able to do a lot more of. But you're one of the only liberals who will come on this show.

DERSHOWITZ: I completely agree.

CARLSON: Amen. So thank you very much for saying that.

DERSHOWITZ: Well, I agree. And I come on this show because I also have the right to say what I think and when I disagree with you, you'll allow me to say I disagree with you. And I do. I wish you hadn't used that language. Language like that was used to describe my grandparents and great grandparents and probably some of yours. So let's move on. But--

CARLSON: Well, actually, just in point of--

DERSHOWITZ: --I would hope you--

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: --just in point of fact since you brought it up, as noted on Monday--

DERSHOWITZ: Yes.

CARLSON: That was in the context of a conversation with an elected official in Tijuana about the filth--

DERSHOWITZ: Right.

CARLSON: --of his city and he was complaining about how dirty it had become, which was a byproduct of the policy decisions pushed by the American left and I noted.

DERSHOWITZ: I understand that.

CARLSON: There's a lesson there perhaps for us. So I'm not - and I would never describe people as inherently dirty. I don't think that they are and pro-people. That's one of the reasons I'm against abortion, strongly. But anyway, whatever. The point is, I wish we were able--

DERSHOWITZ: Yes - no. I'm glad you - I'm glad you cleared that up. Yes.

CARLSON: Yes. Well, I mean, I think it was clear and I think that the people who are mischaracterizing it are always welcome on the show to talk it through and to hear my side and I will hear their side because, again, this is one of the last forums in America for open conversation.

Anyway - but tell me that--

DERSHOWITZ: That's very fair. Let's--

CARLSON: Yes. Well, I mean, that-- DERSHOWITZ: --turn to Flynn. Yes. OK.

CARLSON: --that's how I feel. I'm not afraid to defend what I think, obviously.

DERSHOWITZ: No, I - look, I agree. Neither am I. On the Flynn issue, look, there's a big issue. I've been teaching this for 50 years. Should it really ever be a crime to lie when you're not under oath?

I think you can make a very, very strong case that before you can be convicted of a crime for lying, you should have to raise your hand, put it on a Bible, look to your God or look to your ethics, have a solemn moment where you look the person in the face and swear to him that you are going to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

That's so different from when two guys evade the usual procedures, come in to try to hang out with you and be chummy, say you don't need a lawyer, we just want to ask you a couple of questions--

CARLSON: Right.

DERSHOWITZ: --and then trap him by asking him questions that they already knew the answer to and had videotapes and audiotapes that could make it clear that they are only asking him the question in order to give him an opportunity to lie.

So I really do think that we have kind of three criteria. Just lying politically. It's done too often. I hate it. But it's done too often. It's not a crime. Second, lying only to government officials, which is a crime but probably shouldn't be a crime, or if it is, it should be a misdemeanor, not a serious felony akin to raising your right arm and swearing under oath that you will tell the truth.

There's too much lying in Washington and there are too many, as you point out correctly, double standards about who is prosecuted for lying. In civil cases, people lie in depositions all the time. And they're never prosecuted. I tried to bring a case recently against people who lied. Prosecutors laugh at you. Lying in a deposition? That's like gambling in Casablanca. It's just done all the time, and it's tragic that it's done.

I testified in front of Congress about this. When they were going after Bill Clinton and trying to - and impeaching him for his lies. I had a whole session where I talked about how many lies are told in how many different places and how selective they are in going after people. That's one of the problems of not requiring an oath. It gives you the opportunity to selectively pick people to prosecute for lying not under oath.

CARLSON: We're almost out of time, but - it is a lie to - I mean - rather, it is a crime to lie to federal investigators, but it's not a crime for them to lie to you. Why?

DERSHOWITZ: No, not only that. The Supreme Court has said it's perfectly OK for police and FBI agents to lie to you, and that happens every day. You'll have two people who they suspect of a crime. They'll bring one person in and say, oh, by the way, your buddy just ratted you out, just turned you in, you're going to get executed unless you tell us that he did it too. And of course, it was a total lie. They say the same thing to the other person. And the Supreme Court has said, lying by FBI agents, lying by federal officials is permissible and (inaudible) it's done all the time.

CARLSON: Right.

DERSHOWITZ: But if you lie back to them, then it's a crime. It's even a crime, the Supreme Court has said, to deny that you did something. If somebody asks you, "Did you do something, a crime?" --

CARLSON: Yes.

DERSHOWITZ: --and you say, "No," and you did, you've doubled your punishment by now lying about whether you committed a crime. The irony about Flynn is he wasn't lying about committing a crime. He did nothing wrong. What he did was perfectly legal. I'm still scratching my head and trying to figure out why he lied. What was his motive?

CARLSON: I was thinking - I saw a little--

(CROSSTALK)

DERSHOWITZ: Is it possible he misremembered?

CARLSON: I mean - and by the way--

DERSHOWITZ: Yes. Now, he did say the court--

CARLSON: --why were the feds spying on the incoming national security advisor? Is that normal? I don't know. Professor, thank you very much.

DERSHOWITZ: No. Comey told us. Comey said, look, I could get away with it, Comey said.

CARLSON: Yes. I don't know. I don't think you should be spying on members of your own executive branch unless there's a good reason to do that. But anyway, thank you very much. Good to see you.

DERSHOWITZ: Right. Thank you.

CARLSON: Well, yesterday, the President accused the Mueller investigation of intentionally and illegally deleting 19,000 text messages, those are between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The DOJ claims the text messages were not erased intentionally, but they were lost due to technical errors.

Speaking of lying, is that a lie or is it true? Tom Fitton, the President of Judicial Watch, joins us tonight. Really simple. It's hard to believe that the Department of Justice would lie about something like that. Are they? Are they not?

TOM FITTON, PRESIDENT, JUDICIAL WATCH: Well, we don't know the truth. We've got these two categories of text messages. These are the text messages the DOJ had or the FBI had back when Page and Strzok were not members of the Mueller special counsel team. And there was a gap in terms of capturing those text messages. And there were about 19,000--

CARLSON: Right.

FITTON: --that were subsequently recovered supposedly by the IG. And then they go work for Mueller's operation. They get removed because of these text messages that they were sending around, talking about insurance policies against Trump and being pro-Hillary. And IG asked for their phone because he wants to look at more of these text messages. And their phones have been wiped, have been reset. Unrecoverable.

We don't know how many text messages were erased by the Mueller special counsel operation. They remove him for - Page - removed Strzok specifically for misconduct and bias that was found in his text messages, but no one looks at his text messages from the time he was in the Mueller special counsel operation, the most sensitive investigation the Justice Department has been involved in in decades. Unbelievable.

CARLSON: Investigations are, by definition, supposed to be preserving evidence. So - I mean, do you think it's plausible that the Mueller people might have been implicated in erasing evidence? I mean, that - that just seems like shocking.

FITTON: Well, you know what? Manafort was accused of withholding evidence. You know what they did. They didn't know for sure whether he was. They issued a search warrant and they raided his home with guns drawn and no warning.

CARLSON: Yes, I noticed.

FITTON: That's not what happens when the government erases evidence on purpose or accidentally. And it's so bad, the special counsel. You see in the Flynn investigation questions about how that investigation was handled? Now we have these missing text messages and the Strzok--

CARLSON: It really makes you wish we had elected officials in this country who could protect the rest of from us these abuses. I wonder where they are.

FITTON: We need a special counsel for the special counsel.

CARLSON: Yes. How about just someone who'd like (ph) to do something? Thank you very much.

FITTON: You're welcome.

CARLSON: Mark Zuckerberg hid the truth from Congress. He lied. So lawmakers planning to do anything about his lies? We'll ask an incoming senator about that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: So Mark Zuckerberg just got caught lying in front of Congress about selling the deeply private data of more than 200 million Americans, probably your data by the way, is one of the more flagrant abuses big tech has committed recently. There's a long list of those. But it's hardly the only abuse. All the major tech platforms have colluded to silence opinions they don't like and to destroy the people who express those opinions. They've done this in the open. We've watched it happen.

Google employees secretly, meanwhile, discussed hiding conservative websites and search results because they're just not legitimate. Facebook's founding president Sean Parker admitted that his company created an intentionally addictive product, like cigarettes, that could destroy children's brains, which is exactly, of course, what it's done.

It all adds up to a terrifying picture, a serious menace to this country, to a democracy, to our mental health - check the numbers on that sometime - to our cohesion as a nation. It's a real threat, obviously. And everybody knows it. How is Congress doing protecting us from any of these threats? Good question. They're not. And they're not even trying.

And if you're wondering why they're not trying, the answer might be, in part anyway, the outgoing Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. Ryan didn't seem interested in reigning in the tech companies in any way, when he was the third most powerful man in America. In part, he was too busy preventing a wall from being built on our southern border to get to the tech question.

But there might have been other reasons we're just speculating now. Now that he is leaving the Congress and moving to the private sector, will Paul Ryan be taking any money from any of the big tech firms like Facebook or Google or Twitter? Seemed like an interesting question. Obvious, but then no one has asked. So we called Paul Ryan's office today and we asked that question. We haven't got an answer yet. And it's 8:20 p.m. Eastern. We're going to keep checking and get back to you when they respond.

So the leadership of the House, of course, is changing. Democrats are taking over. But the Republicans still hold the Senate. Is there any interest, will there be, in reigning in tech at all?

Josh Hawley was just elected Senator. He's a Republican from Missouri, and he joins us tonight.

Mr. Senator Elect, thanks very much for coming on. Now, I'm not going to force you to join me in pointing fingers as to why this hasn't been done up to this point. But I will ask the question, do you think the Congress, maybe on a bipartisan basis going forward, will recognize that maybe there's some tweaking that needs to be done in the government's relationship with these companies?

JOSH HAWLEY, R-MO., SENATOR-ELECT: Tucker, thanks for having me on. And I certainly hope so. I mean, it's time that Congress got serious about protecting the privacy, the data, the personal confidential information of hundreds of millions of Americans.

And to see this report today that Facebook has allowed these big tech companies, Amazon, Microsoft, Spotify, Netflix to have access to the personal information of users, after Facebook said that it would not allow, it would not give away users' personal data is really extraordinary. And look, it's time Congress did something about it. It's time the FTC did something about it.

CARLSON: So you often hear people say, well, Congress can't actually act to regulate these companies because its members are too old and they don't understand technology. I'll freely admit I don't understand technology at all. I try not to participate in it at any level. And yet the abuses are so obvious to me. That doesn't really seem like a very good excuse.

HAWLEY: Well, listen, I mean, what needs to happen here is, number one, Facebook promised the FTC in 2011 in a binding consent decree. They said that they would not share personal, private confidential data of users without the users' consent. Well, Tucker, it looks like that's exactly what Facebook is doing though that they are sharing that data in order to make a profit, as you pointed out, without users' consent.

So, number one, FTC needs to enforce the consent decree, they need to investigate right now, whether or not Facebook has violated it. Number two, Congress needs to investigate and Congress needs to take steps to protect the privacy of Americans. They need to make sure that Americans own their own data and can protect it.

CARLSON: So this is a little bit out of left field. But I think that maybe there is a connection. The CDC just came out with the suicide numbers. And suicide is one of the leading causes of death in this country. Its incidences dramatically increased. And all of this in middle age, people tragically have killed themselves recently. There is a lot of speculation and some evidence that there's a connection between increased use of tech products and this tragic epidemic of suicide.

Is anyone, do you think, at the federal level going to look a little more closely into this? It seems like something worth investigating.

HAWLEY: I think it is worth studying. And I think that - look, it's time that we asked about the role of big tech in our lives. I mean, we've--

CARLSON: Yes.

HAWLEY: --you've talked a lot about the sweetheart deals big tech gets from government. I think it's time we took a hard look at those. I think it's time we looked at the effect big tech is having on our personal lives, on our families, on our schools, on our society. These are major companies. Many of them monopolies. They make billions of dollars a year. There've never been more powerful companies in the history of the world, and they need to be held accountable.

CARLSON: Man! I wish I was in Missouri, so I could vote for you again. I just - I - it's so nice to hear an elected official say that. I'm sorry to suck up. I couldn't control myself.

Mr. Hawley, thank you very much.

HAWLEY: Thank you.

CARLSON: Well, we're just hours away right now from a potential government shutdown. The debate is over funding for the border wall. Will there be a border wall or has that dream died? Details ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Insulin is one of the basic human hormones. Everyone needs insulin to live. Diabetics, though, can't properly produce insulin. And that's a big question in this country. In America right now, about 6 million people are dependent on daily injections of insulin just to survive. It's a great thing that they can do that.

Almost a century ago, scientists discovered how to produce synthetic insulin. The scientists who did that sold the patents to a university for $1. Their goal was to help humanity. That's why they did that. It turned out to be one of the great health advances in human history.

Diabetes went from almost a certain death sentence to a manageable illness, as it is today or was. Cheaply available insulin has extended the lives of tens of millions of people. But in this country, that seems to be changing.

For the last 20 years or so, the price of insulin has been rising very quickly, even relative to other healthcare costs. When top insulin drug, NovoLog, rose in price 353 percent in just 14 years. It isn't exceptional, and the growth has shown no signs of stopping.

Thanks to these price hikes, millions of diabetics have started rationing their insulin, gambling with their health and likely shortening their lives to save money. They have no choice. A cheap medicine that your parents took for granted increasingly is inaccessible to poor Americans though, already the group most likely to suffer from diabetes in the first place, as you probably know.

Now, there are a lot of reasons this is happening. One is the drug companies keep slightly tweaking their formulas so their drugs never leave patent and generic competitors can't enter the market to compete with them.

Another reason is rigid FDA regulations, which make it costly and time- consuming to put a new insulin drug in the market. Pharmaceutical companies use legal challenges to deter competition too. Of course, most companies do do that. And of course, greed plays a role, too. That's a word that we don't use very often, but it's still real. One of the deadly sins for good reason.

But whatever the reasons for the spike in prices of insulin, it's a huge problem. And you would think it's something that Congress and the administration would consider taking action on. There are some things they could do. Maybe they should streamline an FDA approval process or adjust patent law. Maybe they should subsidize the creation of a generic insulin brand.

After all, we spend billions subsidizing solar panels and electric cars that only rich people can afford. So before you give us a lecture about the market, remind us we already do that, we're not sure what the best solution is, we're not scientists or economists. What we can say, this is a real problem that Congress appears to be ignoring.

In October, the President pitched a plan to lower drug prices across the board by tying Medicare reimbursement to drug prices in other countries. Republicans in Congress and on K Street hate that idea. Pharma's bottom line is important to them and it's not an unimportant factor. On the other hand, Americans are dying from easily treated illnesses. That's a factor too.

On the left, well, they don't care at all, at least not right now. Their top priority is impeaching Trump, not collaborating with Trump on healthcare. And just like on tech and other issues, they're easily distracted by superficial political signaling.

Sanofi is one of the companies now driving up insulin prices, but that company won some degree of credibility from the left last summer and is now insulated from criticism. Why? Well, because when Roseanne Barr blamed Ambien for the ill-advised tweets that got her show cancelled, that company tweeted that racism is not a side effect of its medications. And the left roared with laughter. Go, big pharma. If only they'd roar about that company extorting poor Americans with life-saving drugs!

But just like on immigration or trade or automation or global warming, it doesn't matter when America's most vulnerable are hurt. It's actual most vulnerable people no one in D.C. and particularly no one on the left seems to care. Not their constituency.

So the debate over the wall on our southern border continues. Not a single person in Washington, D.C. is in favor of building a wall on our southern border. They are terrified, not because they think it won't work but because they believe that it might work and it might clamp down on a source, a ready source of cheap labor. And that's why they're willing to risk a government shutdown rather than give a mere $5 million to start the wall.

So what is going to happen? Is the wall over? Will the administration surrender on this? And what will the voters on either side think of the outcome?

Dana Perino hosts The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino, of course, the most popular person here on Fox, and she joins us tonight.

DANA PERINO, HOST, “THE DAILY BRIEFING”: All right.

CARLSON: So, Dana, super simple question. Are the people who want the wall more inflamed than the people who don't want the wall? Which is the more, in the end, when it's all over, a more powerful, politically powerful constituency?

PERINO: I don't think that President Trump has fair weather fans. OK?

CARLSON: Right.

PERINO: I think that he has strong supporters who understand that he came in strong. Right? He said the wall is going to get built. Mexico is going to pay for it. Like, I never actually really took that seriously in terms of Mexico paying for it.

CARLSON: Right.

PERINO: I do think that--

CARLSON: It's hard to see.

PERINO: --he has not done a good enough job persuading people as to the merits why we need border security even though - look, he's tried, but I do think that an Oval Office address on immigration security would actually be very helpful. He could even use visual aids. There's clearly plenty to show.

And I think that there might just be a way for him to have a nod to reality, that he's not going to get this wall funding before the end of the year. I think they're going to try to figure out a way just to punt this for a little bit. Now he's going to have a different Congress to work with.

A lot of those members of Congress had already voted for border security, which included fencing, which some people might call a wall. But Democrats, many of them who are running for President, right, they're already in Congress, they - it's like they can't say the "W" word. They can't say wall. They can call it all sorts of other things, not a wall. I think that there might be some room for compromise here in the New Year on the merits.

On the politics of it, well, the Democrats continue to push back against him, maybe say, oh ha ha, we proved you wrong. Mexico didn't pay for it. You didn't get your wall. Maybe. But there is a political cost to that as well. People understand that our borders need to be secure and that we can be a welcoming, opening, compassionate people at the same time.

CARLSON: So, for whatever reason, and I do think it's a little more complicated just Democrats opposing it. I think a lot of Republicans in the current Congress aren't fully (inaudible) with the wall either. But whatever reason, hard - impossible to get this through the Congress. What if the President said he just announced we're pulling our troops out of Syria? What if he were to say I'm going to take the cost savings from that and apply it to border security?

PERINO: Well, he could say that, but it's just not how the system works, right? There is money that's programmed for certain places. Now, the President has said to his cabinet, look for any money that we could put towards this virtual wall, border security, wall, whatever you're going to call it.

The Democrats are going to fuss about that because of just technical reasons of reprogramming money is not that easy to do. But the President has two opportunities coming up in the next six weeks. He'll have the State of the Union. That's a big moment. Right? That's all eyes on the President.

CARLSON: Right.

PERINO: And then he has about a week later or two weeks later, he introduces his budget proposal. A budget proposal is a prioritizing document, and the President could say this is what I agree with. I just feel like, if his fans are concerned that there's not going to be a wall, just give him a minute. OK? Give him a chance. This is not a sprint. Right? He's in a marathon.

CARLSON: And so you think it is - and you know the system very well. You think it is at least possible that in the next two years some kind of wall like structure appears on the southern border?

PERINO: Well, I just feel like - will there be - is it - this is what I think is possible. It is possible to get border security funding and for construction to start. Will that look like a steel wall all across the border? Probably not. But no matter what President Trump gets in terms of border security, he is going to call that a wall. He's a good communicator. He'll figure that out. And no matter what, the Democrats will say, see, we told you he wasn't going to get that steel wall all across the border.

But border security, I think, it's a real possibility. I think there're some new members of Congress that are going to be willing. And remember this. For Republicans and Democrats, there's a lot more veterans that just got elected to Congress. They're used to working with the other side. There are responsible people who care deeply about the national security of the United States.

The President ought to invite all of them, Democrats, Republicans, bring that coalition together. I think that's a really exciting group. And that America has a lot to be proud of that these veterans have come back and are still willing to serve their country just in a different way.

CARLSON: Interesting idea. Thank you.

PERINO: I know I'm too optimistic for you--

CARLSON: No--

PERINO: --a little bit, but--

CARLSON: No, I don't know - look, I've - trust me. This week, I'm looking for all optimism possible and you are an ever-flowing well-spring of optimism.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: OK. I'm glad I could be here.

CARLSON: You are loved. Thank you. Dana Perino--

PERINO: Thank you.

CARLSON: --great to see you.

Well, American forces are withdrawing from Syria. Is that good for the world? And more important, is it good for the United States? We will unpack its effects after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: The war on Christmas doesn't exist. Obviously, you know that. You'd have to be a moron or some kind of Fox News viewer to think there is a war on Christmas. And nowhere does the war on Christmas exist less than in China. And that's why the city officials of Langfang, China, have issued a total ban on the public celebration of Christmas.

That means no Santa, no lights, and obviously no nativity scenes. The ban is part of a wider religious crackdown in China, which has seen churches shut down and believers thrown in prison, a story that hasn't gotten a ton of ink here among our elites who are getting rich in China.

In Russia, by contrast, and even in Assad's Syria, millions of Christians will happily celebrate Christmas without any oppression. Just take a guess which countries are despised and which ones they suck up to? And maybe that's why they love China's government so much. Beijing does what Washington wishes it could do, with efficiency too.

I want to bring you a major development tonight in America's involvement in Syria despite heavy pressure from Saudi Arabia and thousands of foreign policy experts. The United States has managed to avoid a full intervention into the Syrian civil war, praise God. Now we're finally pulling out the forces we do have there. Trace Gallagher has more on that.

Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, CORRESPONDENT: Tucker, the decision to remove the entire U.S. force from Syria, more than 2,000 troops, surprised virtually everyone, and it officially marked the end of an extended ground campaign against ISIS. Moments ago, the President released this video statement. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I've been President for almost two years and we've really stepped it up. And we have won against ISIS. We've beaten them and we've beaten them badly. We have taken back the land. And now it's time for our troops to come back home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said this does not end the global campaign against ISIS, quoting, "The United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interest whenever necessary." But Trump ally and frequent advisor Senator Lindsey Graham does not like it. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: ISIS is more likely to come back because I don't agree with the President that they're defeated in Syria and Iraq.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: Florida Senator Marco Rubio called the decision a major blunder. Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Advisor John Bolton have both argued that a precipitous withdrawal in Syria would embolden ISIS to make a comeback. But Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul applauded the move and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the U.S. pull-out will not impede his country's ability to defend itself against regional threats.

Tucker?

CARLSON: Trace Gallagher, great to see you tonight. Thank you for that.

David Tafuri is an attorney. He is the former Obama campaign advisor, and he joins us tonight.

David, thanks so much for coming on. So, moments like this are so instructive because they really do divide the world into very clear sectors. You sort of know who's on whose side. And I find this interesting because the rationale has changed. So people are saying we need to fight ISIS. But that's not really the point. The point is to counterbalance Russia and Iran. And I'm wondering, is that, A, our goal; B, achievable with 2,000 troops in Syria? Like, what actually is the goal? I'm losing track.

DAVID TAFURI, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Well, there are a couple of goals. It's to fight ISIS. It's also to push back on Iran and on Russia. So what's stunning about this development is all of President Trump's foreign policy advisors and top military advisors were against this decision. And he reversed them today, suddenly, in a rash decision.

Now, the reason why we should stay in Syria--

CARLSON: But that's the same people who think we should stay in Afghanistan, right? So how much--

TAFURI: Some of them are the same, but--

CARLSON: How much credible--

TAFURI: --the reasons are different.

CARLSON: --ones you say that you have?

TAFURI: The reasons are different.

CARLSON: OK.

TAFURI: Look, Trump's top policy advisor said we are going to stay in Syria until we have, one, rolled back Iran. That has not happened. Two, defeated ISIS. We have made major progress in fighting ISIS, but we haven't fully defeated them. I was in Iraq in October. Nobody on the ground in Iraq tells me we defeated ISIS there. And ISIS is even stronger in Syria, still. Moreover, all of Trump's policy advisors have said we should stay in Syria until there's a political solution in Syria. None of those three things have happened. Wouldn't it be a wrong thing if the most--

CARLSON: Wait, wait, wait. Can I just--

TAFURI: Go ahead.

CARLSON: --stress maybe another option? So there wasn't actually ISIS in Syria when the Assad government controlled the whole country. Christians and other religious minorities, a lot of them, lived in relative peace. Now they're hunted down and murdered. Why wouldn't it just be the simplest, most elegant best solution for everyone involved if Assad managed his entire country again?

TAFURI: Because you are ignoring the history and the development of the revolution in Syria. The revolution in Syria happened--

CARLSON: It just happened a few years ago.

TAFURI: It happened organically. It began in 2011. It happened organically. Right? And so Syria was an authoritarian state before that with tons of oppression. Maybe Christians were OK there.

CARLSON: Is there a non-authoritarian--

TAFURI: But - but people were not - people were--

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Is there a non-authoritarian state in that region other than Israel?

TAFURI: There are - there are less authoritarian states--

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Oh. But they're all authoritarian--

TAFURI: --much less authoritarian--

CARLSON: --there. I mean, Jordan is an authoritarian state. Criticize the king and see what happens. So, like, that's the rule in the region.

TAFURI: You cannot compare Jordan to Syria.

CARLSON: I'm not attacking--

TAFURI: You can't even compare Syria to Iraq--

CARLSON: I'm not attacking Jordan.

TAFURI: --which has a fledgling democracy.

CARLSON: I'm just saying authoritarian justifies nothing. They're all authoritarians, OK?

TAFURI: OK. But the point is that this was an organic revolution. The U.S. didn't start this revolution. It's started by the Syrian people, majority of whom are Sunni Arabs. They stood up against Assad. He chose - rather than to reconcile with them, he chose to mow them down and slaughter tens of thousands of innocent, peaceful protesters.

CARLSON: No--

TAFURI: That's how the revolution began.

CARLSON: I'm sure Assad's - OK. But I'm not defending Assad's character. I'm merely saying--

TAFURI: Good.

CARLSON: --from the perspective--

TAFURI: You shouldn't.

CARLSON: Why would I?

TAFURI: Yes.

CARLSON: I'm not Syrian. I don't work for Assad. I'm an American. And I want to know what's best for us. And if you're worried about the chaos and the huge refugee problems caused by this civil war and by the emergence of ISIS, again, abetted by the civil war, then why wouldn't you long for the days where Christians could live unmolested in Syria under this authoritarian Assad? I'm totally missing it. What am I missing?

TAFURI: Because that's not - this is actually going to cause more refugees. OK? Northern - northeastern Syria right now is secure. The reason it's secure is because of the great work by our U.S. Special Forces working with the SDF, the local Syrian and moderate Sunni forces on the ground. They've secured it. And actually, there are less refugees coming from that area. The people can say they're peaceful.

CARLSON: How did the--

TAFURI: They're not getting bombed by Assad.

CARLSON: How do the Christians - how do the Christians do?

TAFURI: And when we pull out - when we pull out, it's going to cause a massive wave of Syrian refugees again because forces are going to go in and slaughter the forces--

CARLSON: Forces.

TAFURI: --that we've been working with on the ground.

CARLSON: Yes.

TAFURI: Assad's forces, Iranian, Shia militia forces, and possibly even Russian forces.

CARLSON: OK. And so we're responsible for that?

TAFURI: Well--

CARLSON: Because - so this is halfway around the world. We have crises like Venezuela's collapses right there. Mexico has probably as many murders as Syria - I mean, not close. Right? So, like, I'm just saying there are a lot of things going on. But we have a moral obligation to keep 2,000 American troops in this country around the world because why - I'm honest - I'm confused.

TAFURI: Well, first of all, we are there already, and it's successful. So why pull out? We also do have some obligations of forces on the ground--

CARLSON: It's successful in what way?

TAFURI: --who fought - who fought bravely alongside us. Moreover, this is going to impact us because ISIS will come back. And if we don't have forces on the ground to monitor ISIS and to continue to combat ISIS, ISIS will come back. ISIS are sworn enemies of the U.S. they want to kill Americans.

CARLSON: Right.

TAFURI: And when they become stronger in Syria, they'll strike out against America again.

CARLSON: So by this--

TAFURI: So your viewers should worry about their own security because of this decision.

CARLSON: Well, there are a lot of reasons to worry about our own security. A lot.

TAFURI: Sure.

CARLSON: Many. And our mental health and our economy and our healthcare system. A lot of things to worry about. But by the standards that you've just articulated, like we're never going to leave there or Afghanistan or any place that we've been for more than eight months. So--

TAFURI: I wouldn't say we're never going to leave there. But we have to see progress on the ground. We have to see full defeat of ISIS.

CARLSON: OK.

TAFURI: We have to see political progress--

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: --why shouldn't--

TAFURI: --towards a peaceful revolution in Syria, and there ought to be a democracy in Syria.

CARLSON: Why shouldn't--

TAFURI: And then we can leave.

CARLSON: Who cares about - who cares about that? The question--

TAFURI: Who care about democracy?

CARLSON: --that I care about - I'll tell you what I care about is what's happening to the Christians there? Like, nobody cares. I don't understand. We invade Iraq. There's a huge Christian community. They'll leave.

TAFURI: Well, who are killing the Christians in Iraq?

CARLSON: I'm not--

TAFURI: ISIS.

CARLSON: Look--

TAFURI: ISIS.

CARLSON: Of course--

TAFURI: And--

CARLSON: --but I'm just saying why don't we make it an explicit--

(CROSSTALK)

TAFURI: Islamic militants are killing Christians in Iraq.

CARLSON: I'm not defending ISIS. I'm just saying, why don't we make it an explicit concern of the United States to protect the Christians? But we don't.

TAFURI: It is an explicit--

CARLSON: No, it's not--

TAFURI: --concern.

CARLSON: --actually. We don't let in the end.

TAFURI: It's an explicit concern of the U.S. to protect all minorities in Syria and Iraq, of which the Christian minorities are important part of.

CARLSON: They don't seem that important to anyone here.

Anyway, I hope they are. They're important to me. I'm glad they're important to you. David, thank you.

TAFURI: Yes. Thank you.

CARLSON: Democrats claim to care about sexual harassment so very much because they're good people. Are they prepared to expose the congressman who paid your tax dollars in hush money to accusers? It's a pretty simple question. We'll see if we can get an answer after the break.

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CARLSON: Well, a couple weeks ago, we invited on this program a New York Senator named Kevin Parker. He's a Democrat. He wants to force all citizens in the State of New York to turn over their social media password so their accounts can be inspected by the thought-police before they buy guns. If they say something naughty or threatening, no gun.

Well, given that, we are fascinated to see the news yesterday. Parker grew angry with the Republican spokeswoman and tweeted her this. "Kill yourself." Well, the irony, obviously, pretty obvious. So Parker apologized. He said he was making a donation to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. We applaud that.

Has he learned the lesson embedded in his own actions though? The anti-gun bill he sponsored is still pending in the New York State legislature. We've asked Senator Parker to come back on this show, so he can explain once again why he ought to have the power to police thought-crime on Twitter. And by the way, should he, given his record, be allowed to own a gun? So far, his office has not responded, but we'll keep asking him. Great guest. Happy to have him again.

Well, yesterday in Capitol Hill, the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sharply attacked a proposal to give the President an immigration enforcement slush fund, as he called it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER, D-N.Y., SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Leader McConnell proposed the bipartisan Senate DHS bill, which has $1.6 billion for border security plus a $1 billion slush fund for the President to use for his radical immigration agenda. I called Leader McConnell and told him we would not accept their $1 billion slush fund and that our offers to fund the government remain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: Now, don't take those words the wrong way. The problem Democrats have is with border enforcement. They don't have a problem with slush funds. Congress loves slush funds. That's why, for years, Congress has maintained a slush fund at your expense, taxpayer funded, to pay off people who accuse members of Congress of sexual harassment.

The Democrats will control the House in just a couple of weeks, of course. Are they going to end the slush fund, and more to the point, will they tell us who has been protected by it? What are the names?

Penny Nance is President of Concerned Women for America, and she joins us tonight.

Penny, thanks so much for coming on. This seems like a very simple ask. Why shouldn't the public know who got paid with our money to settle these claims?

PENNY NANCE, PRESIDENT, CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA: That's a very good question. And by the way, Concerned Women for America members sent thousands of petitions asking Congress to tell us. Over 20 years, 264 cases, $15 million of our money was paid out to hide what members of Congress did. And these weren't little allegations. These were big things.

We have the case of Blake Farenthold, who sexually harassed his communications director, shared his sexual fantasies about her. And when she dared to complain, he fired her. And you remember Eric Massa and his groping of young men, and then he called it tickle fights. He had to pay out $100,000--

CARLSON: And that was--

NANCE: --of our money.

CARLSON: --taxpayer money.

NANCE: Taxpayer money. And we were never paid back. Now, Congress did just pass a piece of compromise legislation, but it doesn't do anything about what we just talked about. It doesn't pay back at all the slush fund that the taxpayers paid out to cover up the wrongdoing by members of Congress.

CARLSON: Now, do we know the identities of the people on whose behalf these payments were made?

NANCE: No. And we have tried - and by the way, FOIA doesn't apply to Congress. Isn't that interesting?

CARLSON: So - I mean, so Nancy Pelosi, who obviously is America's chief defender of women--

NANCE: Right.

CARLSON: --I mean, she's told us that many times, and a deeply good person. She's told us that too. She'll be in charge of this.

NANCE: Yes.

CARLSON: So she can release these names if she wanted to. Will she want to? Will she?

NANCE: We have called on her to do that, but she so far has chosen to shield her colleagues. She even went as far as to say that John Conyers was a hero and a great American. Remember John Conyers was hosting meetings with his staff in his underwear and was caught on film - caught on video on a airline flight on the taxpayer dollars watching porn. This is the guy, by the way, who used to be the Judiciary Committee Chairman who had oversight over pornography. So you can't make this stuff up.

The new bill does make some improvements and, going forward, requires restitution. But it's not clear whether or not even then we'll know for sure, going forward, who actually is the perpetrator. Because in the new legislation, you just disclose the office. It could be the Chief of Staff, it could be the legislative director, it could be the Press Secretary, and like they're going to write off their boss. So--

CARLSON: Or it could be the member.

NANCE: It could be the member. And that's the point. We've got to have more transparency. And we're not going to let this go.

CARLSON: You will keep pushing?

NANCE: I will keep pushing. I promise.

CARLSON: Penny Nance, it seems like a simple ask.

NANCE: It does.

CARLSON: I hope you get it.

NANCE: Thank you.

CARLSON: Thanks very much.

NANCE: Thank you.

CARLSON: Well, as you've seen tonight, permanent Washington cares a great deal about protecting the way things are, the status quo. It's great for them. They get richer and they can believe, and many do believe that they are morally superior to you. And that's why they destroy anyone who threatens the status quo.

Mike Flynn, for example, is being destroyed. Mark Zuckerberg lied as well. He's being protected because he's on the side of the people who make those decisions. That's also why the establishment has become so obsessed with crushing free speech. It's getting harder and harder for them to win arguments on the merits.

The best option then is to keep the arguments from being made at all. When you can tar your opponent as immoral, as a bigot, you don't have to defend you own position, you can just do what you want. You can also ruin the lives of anyone who gets in your way and feel good about it.

How do we get to this place? So that entire story is in a new book called Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution. Christmas is coming. This tells a story that might rattle you, but it's still worth knowing. You can find it on our website, tuckercarlson.com.

That's about it for us tonight. We'll be back tomorrow night, 8:00 p.m., the show that is the sworn enemy - and we mean it - of lying, pomposity, smugness and groupthink; the show that says what we think is true, whether they like it or not.

Good night from Washington. Sean Hannity is next. Dan Bongino is sitting in--

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