This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," June 19, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Nobody voted for Anthony Fauci, but somehow he wound up in control of the country. All of that power has gone to his head. Now, he is trying to cancel the NFL. Barstool's Dave Portnoy joins us straight ahead to assess that.
Also, the stepmother of former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe was fired from her job for being his stepmother. You first heard about it on this show last night. New developments on that story. We'll bring them to you in just a moment.
But first tonight, good evening and welcome to TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT.
You can be forgiven if the events of the last month caught you by surprise. You didn't expect them. You'd become used to dismissing the American left out of hand as a joke because they are. Since the day Donald Trump was inaugurated, the Democratic Party has been helplessly disorganized and totally ineffective as a political party.
They wasted years chasing invisible Russian agents and then making weird and unintelligible sounds about something called Ukraine. It's still not clear what they meant by that.
Their entire political strategy was bizarre, and in the end, it was counterproductive. It hurt them with voters. They went down in the polls.
Only buffoons do that in politics. These people couldn't organize your kid's birthday party. They didn't make their beds this morning. And yet suddenly, out of nowhere, they roared back and took over the country.
They did it in less time than it takes most people to go on spring vacation. What happened? How did they do that? Well, it's simple. Nobody stopped them. There was no opposition to their power grab.
The other side surrendered on day one without a fight. The rest of us watched all of this with our jaws hanging open in shock. It was the opposite of what we expected.
Millions of people regularly vote for the Republican Party, precisely because they would like someone to protect this country from the crazed ideologues who seek to destroy. There are many of them, we are watching them on television now.
There's not really another reason to vote Republican, unless you happen to be one of those rare people who wants more pointless foreign wars and enjoys sucking up to banks. Most people don't.
You vote for Republicans to protect you from this, but when the moment of crisis came, Republicans ran away. Major American cities were looted and burned on television. Citizens were beaten and murdered. Works of public art were destroyed by the score. America's history, those shared experiences that bind us together as a nation was plundered and completely rewritten by illiterate vandals.
Everywhere as they watched, Americans were afraid -- afraid not simply for their safety, but afraid for their jobs, their reputations, afraid for their families.
Many Americans were fired abruptly in the middle of a severe recession, doomed to ruin for nothing: for saying the wrong thing, looking the wrong way, liking the wrong tweet. That happened. It's happening now.
Some of the accused were so terrified they denounced their own families -- wife, brother, daughter. In the end, they were destroyed anyway, because that's what happens in purges. You're destroyed anyway.
Most Americans assume they would never live to see a moment like this. But they have, it's still going on, and the question that hangs in the air is, where are our protectors?
At the height of the riots, the President of the Heritage Foundation, that's the nation's single largest conservative think tank, it has consumed billions of donor dollars. The President of Heritage wrote an op-ed accusing America of being irredeemably racist.
Her name is Kay Coles James, you've probably have sent her money. As American burned, Kay Coles, President of the Heritage Foundation piled on, and she wasn't alone in that. So many on the right did exactly the same thing.
Meanwhile, they did nothing. They didn't lift a finger to help the people they had promised, they had pledged to protect -- their voters and their donors. Instead, they did everything possible to accommodate the demands of the people tormenting them, the rioters and the people who back the rioters.
Congressional Republicans decided to make reining in law enforcement their top legislative priority. They blamed the cops. They didn't blame the rioters, they blamed the cops.
Then Republicans bragged about springing more criminals from jail. The last thing we needed.
In the State of Iowa, the Republican Governor announced that she was giving felons the vote by Executive Order, not even waiting for the election, just doing it, signing it.
Meanwhile, almost everywhere, ordinary Americans came under attack for the color of their skin, acts of actual racism where people are being hurt for their race, something they can't control, something they were born with.
And yet, no Republicans rose to defend them. Republicans refused even to defend the principle of equality under the law, the foundation of this country, the most important thing we have -- not defended.
Really in the end, the only people who gained anything in the revolution were the ones waging it. Our leaders very much including our Republican leader, shamefully were focused on meeting their demands.
So, what should we conclude from what we just saw? The message unfortunately, could not be clearer. Voting is for fools. You vote, you put these people into office with your votes, and in return, they patronize you. And when it matters, they abandon you. They have contempt for you. You know they do, you can smell it, it's obvious.
Voting doesn't work. But when you riot, and you burn things, and you hurt people, you get a very different response. When you do those things, our leaders snap to attention. They tiptoe around your feelings as Republicans are. They give you what you want, as Republicans are. Rioting works.
That's the message they're sending. Think about that. It is the most dangerous possible message you can send, because it guarantees more violence.
You've got to wonder how all of this would have played out if Barack Obama was still President. Let's say it was the summer of 2011, right before Obama's reelection campaign started in earnest.
Imagine if at that politically critical moment, violent mobs of Mitt Romney supporters began looting and burning major American cities, screaming racist slogans as they did. Hard to imagine, but try.
Imagine if the Romney mob then defaced and tore down statues of Martin Luther King in public parks. Imagine if every street sign in America, identifying a Martin Luther King Boulevard was suddenly ripped to the ground and defaced with graffiti.
Most Americans would find that appalling and disgusting. We certainly would.
But let's say the mob kept doing it because nobody stopped them. Imagine if the people who planned to vote for Barack Obama in the fall knew they couldn't admit that in public. If citizens wearing Obama hats were physically assaulted, punched in the face, thrown to the sidewalk and kicked.
Imagine if anyone who spoke out against the mobs or showed support for Obama's campaign was censored or deplatformed by tech monopolies that operated at the pleasure of Federal regulators. Imagine if those same monopolies censored President Obama himself.
So ask yourself, sincerely, if all of that happened, how do you think Barack Obama would have responded? By tweeting angry things? By effectively apologizing to the mob and meeting their demands for quote, "reform" and then declaring a new national holiday at their request? Probably not.
It's hard to imagine Barack Obama doing that. It's hard to imagine complaining that as President of the United States he didn't have the power to stop political violence or preserve the integrity of an election or protect free speech or public art or the nation's history itself. No, that would not happen.
Instead, within about 10 minutes, you would see the Obama Justice Department indict every single person involved on Federal conspiracy and Civil Rights charges. You would watch his SEAL Team 6 reclaimed downtown Seattle. You'd see airborne units drop from the sky into Atlanta, Minneapolis and Portland. You would see whatever it took to stop the chaos. That revolution would not last long.
Say what you will about Barack Obama and we do, but he never doubted he had the constitutional authority to act and he did act. Obama knew a threat when he saw one.
Our Republican leaders don't believe they have the authority. They don't believe they're legitimate. They don't see the threat. They don't want to see the threat because they know they can't face the mob. They know they're too weak, and so they offer trinkets and hope the mob will go away, but it won't. Mobs can't be sated.
We thought Republicans understood that. That's why we supported them. But crisis has revealed the truth. Now we know who they are. It could not be clearer and now it's time to find new leaders.
Ned Ryun is the founder and CEO of American Majority and author of the book, "Restoring Our Republic." He joins us tonight. Ned, I've got to say, it physically pains me to write those paragraphs about Barack Obama. I only did because I think it's true. I think Obama was the worst President in American history.
But I can't imagine how the Republican Party can reward rioting, which is what they are doing -- the Democrats, needless to say inspired the rioting. I'm not letting them off the hook, but the Republican Party should be defending us isn't rewarding it. What are we watching?
NED RYUN, FOUNDER AND CEO, AMERICAN MAJORITY: We're watching the fact that it's really becoming clear that the base -- the priorities of the base and the Constitution really aren't the priority of the Republican leaders of Conservative Inc.
I tell people, actions authenticate a belief system and think about it, you've got Black Lives Matter. They are avowed Marxists. They want to destroy capitalism. They want to destroy the western nuclear family.
For them, politics is a religion. They want to perfect humanity through their belief system through politics, and they are validating their beliefs by their current actions right now.
Republicans and conservatives go to D.C. because they want to have a good career and get a check.
And I tell people that what you're seeing right now is you cannot defeat basically religious zealots hell bent on the destruction of the American Republic with a bunch of careers looking for the next paycheck. And to make my point even further, Tucker, the actions of Mitch McConnell, of Kay James validate my point. They slander us. They sell us out, and they are doing it because they seek money and power.
If you don't believe me, think about the process and how this works. Republican seek to raise money from their corporate cronies to get reelected to make them happy. They do all kinds of policy issues to get the next reelection check.
Heritage raises money to get the next building, to get the next marble bathroom and you realize what they're doing is building even more sinecures for ineffective people.
The whole point for them was money and power not to advance the base and not to advance our priorities.
CARLSON: It leaves the rest of us in a very tough spot, because obviously you're not going to support what we're watching on television, which really is a political action sponsored by the Democratic Party. Let's not lie about it. This is an election strategy. It's political violence and the democrats are behind it.
So, you're not going to vote for that. So the Republicans are ineffective because they know they can be because if you're a normal person, you have no choice.
RYUN: Well, that's the point. They've been blackmailing us. I mean, it really does feel like blackmail. What are you going to do? Vote for them. Well, you have to vote for us and you have to actually fall in line with us.
Of course, we're going to sell you out. We're going to abuse you. We're going to slander you. But this is the whole point why Donald Trump was elected, Tucker. He was elected as an outsider to come represent the American people, to represent Americanism, not republicanism, not corporatism, and we elected him to punch back, to counterpunch, to punch even harder.
And I would tell him, you were elected for a reason you were elected as a reaction to what we're seeing playing out. Don't hold your punches. Don't listen to those voices that are telling you to moderate your views, punch even harder.
Because I'm convinced, Tucker, nothing less than the American Republic is at stake. This is a tipping point for us and the fight is very real. If we don't win -- if we don't win this fall, I don't know what the future looks like for us.
CARLSON: I think a lot of people feel that way. Ned Ryun, thanks so much for your honesty. I appreciate that.
RYUN: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: So, as we've said many times because it's the truest thing we've ever said, if you want more riots and more violence, then reward them as our leaders are.
In Portland, Oregon last night, rioters wrapped an American flag around the George Washington statue, then lift the flag on fire and pulled the statue to the ground. They destroyed it. George Washington, the founder of the country.
Today, officials in Portland announced that the statue which has stood there for nearly a century will not go back up.
In Seattle, Antifa demonstrators drove the police from a precinct building and created their own autonomous area. Consequences so far. Zero.
Jason Rantz has been tracking developments in downtown Seattle for us. He has been our CHOP correspondent all week. We're happy to have him back on tonight. Jason, what's the latest?
JASON RANTZ, SEATTLE RADIO SHOW HOST: The latest is the mood on the ground has changed considerably. It does seem like it's gotten a lot more dangerous since this new leadership started to take hold and a woman who has spoken up saying that they will have their demands met by any means necessary.
We had in the last 24 hours or so a man with a machete wandering around Cal Anderson Park, which by the way, is now restricted between the time of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. to black Seattleites only. So they will not allow anybody else on the on the grounds until after 8:00 p.m.
The tents that have been set up behind us --
CARLSON: I'm sorry, may I pause you there? So, in downtown Seattle there is a racially segregated park. Is the City of Seattle allowing this?
RANTZ: The City of Seattle is allowing everything right now that's happening. Right now, this entire zone, no matter what the SPD is telling you and the Chief of Police is claiming that there's no such thing as a no cops zone. That is a hundred percent incorrect and the people who actually live, the people who live and pay rent in this area, they are now starting to speak up, some of them anonymously, some of them putting their name to it.
Because they're saying, look, what you guys don't seem to understand is after hours, things get very dangerous.
There was a local security company out here, Iconic Global that ended up finding an AK-47 and fully loaded magazine stashed in some shrubs very close to CHOP, and right now, the media is kind of getting pushed out certainly in certain spots in the back again of this -- of the tense of Cal Anderson Park. People are being told you can't film here. We're not allowing it. It's no longer a public park, and they are forcing people to actually erase any video or photographs that they're taking.
CARLSON: That's shocking. Does the city have -- does the most ineffective mayor in America, Jenny Durkan, a narcissist -- have any plans on shutting this down before there's bloodshed?
RANTZ: As of right now, there are no plans that anyone is aware of. They tried to open some of lanes for traffic, and that right now is kind of tenuous, but it's hanging out there.
But unfortunately, there's no plans that seems right now to repopulate the East Precinct, this police station with a number of staff members who can actually adequately police this very large neighborhood of Seattle.
And, again, people are getting more and more concerned with their personal safety. Some of them have said they're just moving into hotels for the time being.
CARLSON: Unbelievable. Be careful. Jason Rantz, good to see you.
RANTZ: Good to see you.
CARLSON: So much bad news. Here's the good news. Sports. Sports are apolitical. They're meritocratic. We've got football coming up in the fall. Oh, but wait, Dr. Fauci who appears to believe he is in charge of the country says we can't have football this fall.
How should we respond? Dave Portnoy joins us after the break.
CARLSON: Probably no single American in history has accumulated more power without being elected than Dr. Tony Fauci. Most people have never heard of him four months ago, now, he runs the country. How has he used that power?
Well, often to promote wild speculation, some of it untrue, that is nevertheless taken as gospel by millions of fearful Americans.
At one point, Fauci told us that coronavirus was so deadly we should never shake hands again. Oops. There goes one of the oldest traditions known to man, but Fauci also endorsed breaking lockdowns to have sex with strangers you meet online. Okay.
This week, Dr. Fauci warned that coronavirus is so dangerous that the entire NFL season may have to be canceled. Dave Portnoy did not vote for Anthony Fauci. He did, however, found Barstool Sports, and we're happy to have him on tonight to assess the reign of President Fauci.
Dave, do you think that our unelected monarch, Tony Fauci is making the right decision by destroying America's most popular sport?
DAVE PORTNOY, FOUNDER, BARSTOOL SPORTS: Well, the good news is, I don't think he has any actual influence on it, and in a rare situation, the only man who thinks he was elected without being elected by the American people more than him, Roger Goodell.
I think he would infect his own family with corona before canceling the NFL season. You know, I don't -- they're going to play the NFL. Why Fauci feels like he has the right to say they're not. He can certainly say, you know, maybe dangerous, but the way he phrased it, it was like he was the end all be all on that.
I would actually be very curious to see if he tried to, you know, absolutely install that regime -- whereas the Roger Goodell regime is --and you know, all hell would break loose in that case.
CARLSON: So I didn't hear a single thing that you said after you complimented Roger Goodell because I never thought I would live to hear that. Was it hard for those words to form on your tongue?
PORTNOY: Well, it wasn't exactly a compliment. I did say he would infect his own family with corona if it meant, you know, they get to play the NFL season, so they're going to play the NFL. Roger Goodell does not care about safety or anything like that. This could be, you know, the greatest pandemic of all time, he is playing.
Again why Fauci thought he had the right to act like he was the decision maker? I have no idea.
CARLSON: What is this going to do to attendance at the games?
PORTNOY: You know, I think we're seeing right now, the American people clearly have COVID fatigue, whether that's right or wrong, people are showing up in droves to casinos, to bars.
If you let people go to the game, they're going to go. The American people -- humans in general -- are social creatures. So, they'll show up. The only way they won't is that we physically are told we can't go, not allowed in. But if you let people go, they're willing to risk it. And by the way, I think that should be each individual's choice,
CARLSON: Of course. So, we're hearing yesterday that it is possible, stadiums will take the temperature, or somehow test every person with a ticket trying to get in. What would that look like, do you think?
PORTNOY: Those would probably be the longest lines in the history of lines. I mean, imagine getting in a bar when you have a slow bouncer with your ID. Imagine them actually taking every single person's test.
I went to Michigan, it takes an hour and a half to get into that stadium anyways. So impracticality, it sounds, all right, if you can do it. How you can actually make this work? I mean, you're going to have to get to the game nine hours early. You're going to have more problems with people congregating waiting to get in than actually being in.
CARLSON: So one of the effects of the COVID-19 lockdowns, the quarantines is that people look very different from the way they did four months ago.
A lot of people have gained weight. You haven't obviously, but you have grown a very, very bushy beard. Are you going to keep it?
PORTNOY: Well, Tucker, I haven't had a haircut in three and a half months. The results are very mixed. I'm having some of the gentle nature, the females -- some say they like the curls, some don't.
My barbershop has not opened yet. So I'm very in between. I may let the public decide, and again, I say public, I only care about the female gender and let them tell me what they think about it.
CARLSON: Yes. Do you have any sense from your informal polling on the question what the reaction is?
PORTNOY: I think is about 60 for the light Corona day. I've got a brilliant tan. I look like I just got washed into shore Tom Hanks' style from "Castaway."
It's a tough vote right now. I'm not going to lie. It can go either way, depending on who you talk to.
CARLSON: Dave Portnoy talking to his soccer ball. Great to see you tonight, Dave.
PORTNOY: Take care.
CARLSON: Thank you.
CARLSON: Big Tech has finally decided to censor the President directly. So of course you're not going to feel any restraint with other targets. In fact, Twitter and YouTube are taking aim at this show. Yes, details ahead.
CARLSON: Well, a week ago, our producers whipped up a mock tourism ad for CHOP, then still known as CHAZ, the newest nation in the world in Seattle. You might remember it, here's a portion of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: It's the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone located within beautiful downtown Seattle. It's the anarchist utopia you never knew you needed.
Not wild about cops. Good news because there are none.
Mask men with guns will keep you safe and sound throughout your stay.
Check out these state of the art Porta-Potties.
We'll see you soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: I want to apologize if you found what you just saw hateful, disgusting, if you were traumatized by watching it. Twitter is very concerned you might be.
When we posted that fake ad on Twitter, Twitter flagged it as quote, "potentially sensitive content." And then they hid it from view. What were they saying? They were saying beware. Keep your kids from watching this.
What's the justification for warning people of that? We have no idea. Probably that it's edited video, of course, they've never flagged a clip from "The Onion" or "The Daily Show," obviously, you know why.
Meanwhile, our half hour long response to nationwide Black Lives Matter riots has a warning now on YouTube. It says this, quote, "The following content has been identified by the YouTube community (whatever that is) as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences."
By offensive they mean that the left doesn't like it and that is the new standard and there's only one response under that standard. Silence the person who disagrees with you.
That's why censorship is now everywhere. It's where the tech companies started censoring the President. That's why they're getting more and more aggressive in silencing you.
Today it's an offensive content label, soon you know what's going to happen. It'll be erased. It's digital. It's not hard to erase it. We will never give in, obviously, but the left's goal is to make dissent visible and therefore irrelevant.
Meanwhile, these same tech companies make it very easy to for 12-year-olds to watch hardcore pornography. They have no problem with that at all.
But political views they disagree with no. "Gone with the Wind" too scary. It tells you everything about what they care about and who they are.
All of us understands with no government at all, the strong prey on the weak with impunity. Laws exist to protect the weak, and that ultimately is why we pay taxes, to allow the government to protect the weak from those who might harm them.
So what happens when government decides to stop protecting its citizens? In the past month, many have had to confront that question. On May 30th, riots ripped through downtown Charleston, South Carolina. And to their horror, many citizens there discovered, no one came to help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just called it earlier, but it's gotten worse. The rioters, they broke -- they broke into the restaurant and they're killing all the money, the alcohol, removing all of the -- and 30 employees are stuck in the courtyard and they're barricading the doors and they're trying to break in.
I've called 15 minutes ago and there's still no cops and these 30 people that are in danger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay, and say there are people throwing stuff at the windows?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are people out screaming. They are throwing things through windows. They're assaulting people, like, where are the freaking police?
Why are they not stopping them?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Where are the freaking police? Yes, imagine if you had to ask that question to a 911 dispatcher.
Ken Schneider owns a wine bar in Charleston. It was attacked. He called police repeatedly and received no assistance. Meanwhile, his business was destroyed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's the name of the business?
KEN SCHNEIDER, BUSINESS OWNER, CHARLESTON: Uncork Charleston. My staff and guests were running for their lives while the police cowered at King and Calhoun and still haven't moved and left the entire city unattended. People in harm's way. Businesses destroyed.
Are you guys ever going to show up tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay, sir, we do have calls in for this. The Charleston Police Department has officers that are responding, okay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Ken Schneider joins us now. Ken, thanks so much for coming out. There is something about your call that made me emotional as I listened to it. It was -- it was primal. I think every person who heard it could picture themselves in your position. What was it like?
SCHNEIDER: Well, thanks for having me. I will also say that the first caller from -- I believe she was from the Macintosh. It was the first 911 call.
CARLSON: And, you know, I kind of get a little emotional and teary eyed because I lived it. Not only did I live it, my son was literally the last line of defense. He had just dragged two customers off the street to protect them and the first brick came through the window and shattered shards of glass on him.
I left about an hour before it started because the street, King Street was reasonably quiet, because a lot of people stayed away because they knew there were protests going on in Marion Square, which is our Central Park.
And I got home and my staff started calling. It first started with the doorman who said, Ken, I heard from the -- you know, on the street that there might be an 11 o'clock curfew.
So, I call the nonemergency line first, to which they said yes, there is. And I said, well, what does that mean? Do I have to have my guests leave? Do I have to have my staff leave? Does it mean at 11 o'clock, they have to leave and their quote was, "We don't know."
So I thank them and I hung up, and I go up to my office and I start watching the cameras, and I start watching the scene unfold and it's hard to think about now because again, my son was there. My staff was there, the guests were there.
And you know, I'm getting staff members calling me, telling me to call 911. Nothing. Then there's gunshots out on the street. And this is Charleston, this is not a town where this stuff ever happens.
I mean, we made it through the Scott murder. We made it through Mother Emanuel, which yesterday was the Fifth Anniversary. And the people of Charleston have always come together and when this happened, it was frightening. It was devastating.
You know, my business is being rebuilt. But the bottom line was, you know, we had guests and employees basically scared for their lives and they should have been because what was going on -- and nobody came.
You know, I'm 55 years old, in my life, I never would have thought no one came and I'm going to say Tucker, that I don't hold anything against the police because they were following orders. I hold it against the leadership of the city, against Mayor Tecklenburg. Total lack of leadership, lack of planning, lack of communication. No one had any warning.
You know, no one said no one is not going to come. It was almost as if when you call 911 the final time, I felt like I was calling a restaurant for a reservation. Is there anything else you'd like to tell us? Would you like a window seat?
You know, it was so nonchalant and it's just a terrible feeling to know that you know, you live in a place where when you know what hits the fan if no one is going to show up to help you. And I'm sorry, go ahead.
CARLSON: No, I'm listening mesmerized. Just Charleston is such a wonderful place. It's just hard to believe that your city would allow this, that your mayor would be this negligent, would care so little that the city would allow this.
SCHNEIDER: Yes, I mean, the lack of leadership, creativity, planning -- all of it. It just goes into it. I started sending him e-mails and I have his e-mail address that I know he responds to because he has in the past -- e- mails to him on Saturday night, the 30th of May when this happened, saying, how can you let this go on? Your lack of leadership is appalling. And you know nothing.
Even to this day, the outreach to the community hasn't been there. We've been boarded up. We're getting close to opening. I begged and borrowed and really pulled a lot of cards to have people help rebuild my place because, you know, we survived COVID. I'm not going to let this take us down, but --
CARLSON: And you didn't even do anything wrong. It's not like you assaulted anyone. You're a completely innocent bystander.
CARLSON: Ken Schneider. I really am rooting for you. I know our viewers are, too. I'm sorry about that. And I and I hope you get new leadership soon. Great to see you tonight.
SCHNEIDER: Thank you. Thanks for your time.
CARLSON: Well, in some cities as in Charleston, South Carolina, the police don't show up so the criminals run wild. In other cities like Atlanta, police officers are being persecuted, facing a death penalty offense for doing their job -- trying to protect the public.
We will talk to the lawyer for Atlanta policeman Garrett Rolfe, who as we said is facing the death penalty tonight. That's next.
CARLSON: Well repeatedly over the past decade in this country, criminal suspects have grabbed Tasers from police officers off of their belts or out of their hands and then whipped around and tried to shoot the cops with them.
For doing that, suspects repeatedly have been shot; in some cases shot to death. Repeatedly, the officers who shot them have been cleared for obvious reasons. Tasers are potentially deadly weapons. We allow police officers to defend themselves in the public when criminals try to kill them.
But all of that changed this week because the mob descended on Atlanta and ordered the authorities there to change the rules and to take a scalp. Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe is facing the death penalty for murder after he shot and killed a man called Rayshard Brooks. Why did he do that? Because Rayshard Brooks grabbed his Taser during a routine DUI arrest after knocking him to the ground and tried to shoot him with it.
Meanwhile, Rolfe's stepmother was just fired from her job at a place -- get a pen -- called Equity Prime Mortgage. She was told quote, "We have to terminate a relationship with you." Why? Because she was the stepmother of someone who was unpopular.
Lance Lorusso is Officer Rolfe's attorney and he joins us tonight. We're happy to have him on. Mr. Lorusso, thank you so much for coming on. So first, I want to get to the story of Melissa Rolfe, the stepmother who was not involved in any kind of cheating, who was a private citizen. She was an HR Director at this mortgage brokerage.
And she was -- tell me if I'm getting this right, she was assured by her employer who I think his name is Eddie Perez, that she can -- that the company supported her. Everything was totally fine. And then they whipped around and fired her. Why?
LANCE LORUSSO, ATTORNEY FOR GARRETT ROLFE: That is my understanding. All we've heard is that there was some social media post they were concerned about, we've not seen the post and obviously, we're vigorously looking into this to try to find out what changed number one, and what was the basis for her termination.
CARLSON: What do you mean social media? So, they issued a statement suggesting that she had written something racist. I mean, that was the suggestion. They attacked her as a bigot.
My understanding is that the post was defending her son and other police officers. Do you know differently?
LORUSSO: We have not seen what the post is and it is amazing to me and unconscionable that she would be terminated and not be told why.
And especially in an environment like this where her and her family are going through so much, you would think there would at least be the courtesy and decency of an explanation if there was such a post that was offensive.
CARLSON: Yes, I disagree. There's nothing courteous or decent about firing someone for something she didn't do. They fired her because her stepson got arrested and it's disgusting. And I hope that -- I hope that our viewers understand that.
Let me ask you, it seems clear that the DA in the case, in the Rolfe case, has a lot of motive to overcharge. So, he is being investigated for corruption. He is up for reelection. Can he remain the prosecutor in this case, do you think?
LORUSSA: You know that's going to have to be determined by court to see if he can still remain impartial and whether his office can remain impartial. Georgia does have a procedure and it happens all the time where there's an issue raised or a prosecutor voluntarily seeks a -- conflict prosecutor is what it's called from the DA office.
So that is what his criminal defense counsel we'll be working on, on a regular basis going forward. Obviously, there's a great deal in this case that has to be looked at. But I think anytime you have a rush to judgment, people get concerned.
When you have an investigation that takes place while a third party, the G.B.I. has been asked to come in by the Atlanta Police, and their investigation is only days old, and charges are announced that should cause everybody some pause.
Nothing ever benefited from a quick investigation.
CARLSON: Well, you're quite the master of understatement, aren't you? We should be concerned. I'll just be blunt. I'm outraged. It's really clear that this is a violation of recent precedent.
I mean, the prosecutor himself just said that using a Taser against a cop is considered a deadly weapon, it is deadly force. So, by that standard, this whole prosecution is like -- is insane or am I missing something?
LORUSSO: No, you're not missing anything, and the other problem with a Taser is, it is an incapacitating weapon. So when an officer uses a Taser in the course of a lawful arrest, then it could incapacitate the person for a period of five seconds so they can put the handcuffs on. They're taught target areas. They're taught no target areas. They're taught how to care for a person afterwards.
A Taser in the hands of somebody, first of all, who is untrained or using it against a law enforcement officer can incapacitate the officer, can shoot them in the face, can blind them and then incapacitate them taking their weapon.
So, that is the reason why it is so serious when somebody takes a weapon who is untrained and uses it against a law enforcement officer.
CARLSON: Right. No, it all makes sense. One last quick factual question. Stacy Abrams claimed the other day -- the demagogue who may be Joe Biden's Vice President -- claimed that the officer, Officer Rolfe knew the suspect did not have a firearm. Is that true?
LORUSSO: You know, there has been so much that has been said about that. We have people misquoting exactly what's in the video and you can see it. The amount of time something took place, people's relationships to each other and as far as I know, I've seen that video several times, and I don't remember seeing Stacy Abrams there.
CARLSON: Yes. I know. Good point. Thanks so much for joining us tonight.
LORUSSO: Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: If family ever deserved punishment, you would think, punishment that might sap their considerable fortunes, the Sackler family, their painkiller, OxyContin kicked off the opioid epidemic which has killed so many Americans -- whole communities.
Now the family is using Bankruptcy Court to avoid paying up. Not enough has been written about this. We will shine some light on it after the break.
CARLSON: Add to the long and growing list of real issues our leaders seem to care nothing about, the opioid epidemic over the last 20 years has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans, hundreds of thousands. It has killed far more than the coronavirus has or will, thanks to this year's lockdowns, 2020, could be the deadliest year yet for drug ODs in America. Many people who die are young people with promising futures.
Nobody deserves more blame for all of this than the Sackler family, they're the owners of a company called Purdue Pharma.
For years, the Sacklers made billions promoting the painkiller, OxyContin. They knew how addictive it was, they hid that fact. They lied.
The family could lose its fortune, an estimated $14 billion, but instead, they appear to be exploiting American Bankruptcy Courts to save almost all of it.
Gerald Posner is maybe the best known and most thorough investigative journalist in this country. There aren't many left. He's author of the book "Pharma" and we're happy to have him tonight.
Joe, thanks so much for coming on. So --
GERALD POSNER, AUTHOR: Great to be with you.
CARLSON: First of all, thank you for writing this book. It is a subject that has been basically ignored by the press, and so I'm glad that you didn't ignore it.
The Sacklers, we know from documents, we're aware to some extent of what was going on, how can they escape punishment? How could this be happening?
POSNER: It's absolutely infuriating, Tucker. As a matter of fact, you know, the Sacklers and Purdue, the company responsible for their blockbuster OxyContin, they already pleaded guilty, the company did back in 2007 to felonies for misbranding the drug and three of their executives also pled guilty and what did they do? What happens every time in the pharmaceutical business, they pay big fines, $600 million. It's the cost of doing business.
OxyContin content brought in $35 billion in revenue from the time it went on sale in 1996, and after they pled guilty in 2007, the company went on with the same behavior except on steroids and that's why as you said in your lead in, in 2015, "Forbes" made them -- put them on as one of the richest families in America at $14 billion.
This is a company that normally takes a high profile. They've got their names in six foot granted letters, as you know, on Columbia and Yale and Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian. And yet now, they're very low key, because they may be able to get away with a great miscarriage of justice in the Bankruptcy Court.
And you think, bankruptcy? How is it possible that a company with $14 billion, a family is in bankruptcy? Well, they aren't. Their company is.
Purdue filed last September, and they did a very clever thing. They went to the Bankruptcy Judge and said, oh, by the way, we have over 2,000 lawsuits against us as individual directors, eight family members and Purdue is sued. Why don't you give a stay of all the litigation against us right here and we'll cooperate in court and come up with a settlement.
They've offered $3 billion and you know what? They might be able to pull it off because no one is paying attention to it. And if they do, they will be able to leave with billions of dollars of their OxyContin profits. The victims will be badly served. There will be no justice in this case, no final report, no account of responsibility from the Sacklers, and that's why what we need is an independent examiner to be appointed in the bankruptcy case, but I don't see any movement for it.
CARLSON: Very quickly. Can the State Attorneys General do anything about this?
POSNER: Their hands are tied by the Bankruptcy Court, which is remarkable. They had sued the Sacklers and here they are, all of a sudden, being told to go through the bankruptcy system, which is about reaching settlements for big companies not about reaching justice, unfortunately.
And remember, this is a family, as I discovered in the book, they were members of the Communist Party. The three brothers who bought Purdue in 1952, card carrying members of the Communist Party in the 40s and 50s.
Today, they're the ultimate example of capitalism gone awry with $14 billion of money earned off of one single drug, which, as you said, has killed hundreds of thousands of people. They're the poster child for the opioid epidemic, and how is it possible that they may be able to pull up this miscarriage of justice, it's a shame to the Justice Department and to what's happening in this country.
CARLSON: Thank you for caring enough to write this book. Too few have. Mr. Posner --
POSNER: Thank you for being the only host to talk about this subject. Thank you.
CARLSON: No, it's awful. It's absolutely awful. But we hope you have a great weekend nevertheless. We will see you Monday. Sean Hannity right now.
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