Former FBI official: Comey let politics creep into process

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This is a rush transcript from "The Story," December 15, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, "THE STORY" HOST: Breaking tonight, the heat continues on the FBI and the Mueller investigation, and there are indications that it may get worse next week. The president blasted the bureau first this morning with this


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to rebuild the FBI, and it's very sad when you look at those documents, and how they've done that is really, really disgraceful and you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it.


MACCALLUM: And then, at this morning's FBI graduation he attended, he spoke to the new agents to thank them and to encourage them to be part of the rebuilding process. Watch.


TRUMP: You represent the best of America and you leave us with a debt we can never hope to repay.


MACCALLUM: So, in moments, we will hear from Danny Colson, Former Deputy Assistant to the FBI, who says that in his time there, agents were nonpolitical. He points out that agents who voted for Richard Nixon, then uncovered his criminal behavior. But says that all of that changed with Jim Comey. Byron York and Adrienne Elrod are here as well in moments, but we start with the latest tonight from Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry. Good evening, Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Martha, great to see you. The revelations keeping on coming for the FBI. From anti-Trump text messages to questionable changes to Jim Comey's remarks that help ensured Hillary Clinton would not face criminal charges. That led President Trump, as you know today, to charge, but the system was rigged.

Yet, Democrats today focused their fury on the mechanics of how those text messages from FBI Agent Peter Strzok leaked out, not the substance of what he said and what it means for an independent FBI. Jerrold Nadler, Senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, fired off a letter to the Trump Justice Department, demanding the names of which officials share those text messages. A spokeswoman for Attorney General Jeff Sessions made clear, they turn the texts over to key members of the judiciary panel first on Tuesday night before the media got it.

As the president tried to keep the focus on what FBI agents actually have done with both the Clinton and Trump investigations. A study in contrast, as we saw the president, as you noted, throw some punches at the agency in that morning session with reporters, then tried to be a little more diplomatic.


TRUMP: It's a shame what's happened with the FBI. The level of anger at what they've been witnessing with respect to the FBI is certainly very sad.

The president of the United States has your back 100 percent. I will fight for you, and I will never, ever let you down ever.


HENRY: We are expecting more revelations early next week on Monday. The Senate Intelligence Committee, hears testimony behind closed doors from Bruce Ohr. Remember, he was just demoted at the Justice Department after it was revealed he had meeting with Fusion GPS officials. His wife, Nelly, worked at Fusion GPS, which dug up that dirt for the Trump dossier of unverified information. And he met with the former British spy at the center of that whole mess.

Then, on Tuesday, Andrew McCabe, controversial Deputy Director at the FBI is supposed to face questioning from the House Intelligence Committee. But remember, he's gotten out of that before citing scheduling conflicts. The real question now is when will we hear from Peter Strzok? Were those texts just an honest expression of personal views, or did this infect his investigation of Hillary Clinton. So much so, that he deliberately changed all that material we talked about last night in James Comey exoneration statement to shut down any potential criminal charges against Clinton. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Ed, thank you very much. So, here now with more insight on morale inside the bureau, Former Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI Danny Coulson. Danny, great to have you with us this evening. Thank you for joining us.


MACCALLUM: You have said that Jim Comey set the tone where his high-level officials, the kind of people that Ed Henry was just reporting on, felt free to take a political position and from what we now know acted upon it. Serious stuff.

COULSON: It's very serious stuff. And I think what you have to do, Martha, is to put it in context over the text messages and what happened after that. The people that were involved in the text messaging actually ran the investigation of Hillary Clinton, and they acquiesced to not having a grand jury, they acquiesced to not investigating the Clinton Foundation, and it raises all kinds of obstruction of justice questions about people who had a stake in the fight, who took action to ensure that this investigation was not fair and equal. And that, to me is outrageous.

I know it makes the agents in the field, they're outrageous. They are perplexed of how this ever happened. How that amass many questions? Did these guys not go to our academy? They don't have the same mindset, we do. They don't have the same dedication to finding out the truth. They don't seem to care about our image of being not partisan. And then, they're just as upset as President Trump is. But I think what we have to remember is the FBI does not need to a redo. What the FBI needs to do is be sure that at the very top levels of our agency, that they are uncorrupted by the Department of Justice or anybody else with political agenda, and I think that's what we're talking about here.

MACCALLUM: So, what did you think when you watched Christopher Wray, the new Director, the other day, who defended the agents, defended the agency, defended the ongoing investigation, which is now in the special counsel's bailiwick? Did you -- do you agree with him or would you rather see the director of the FBI say, look, we have problems, we have issues from the prior administration and we need to clean house in some respects? Should Andrew McCabe still be there, for example?

COULSON: Well, I think that he has to find out what happened here. There are a lot of things that are coming out that I'm sure he doesn't even know about, and I will guarantee you the next week or so, you're going to have more agents who are tangentially involved in this investigation. They're going to come forward with some things that I think would curl our hair. I think, we'll see. The jury is out. He shouldn't go out and make a presumptuous statement about we need to clean house when he doesn't know the facts. Do we need to clean house? Probably, yes. We probably do. But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater here. The FBI is a strong investigative agency, there incorruptible. I did (INAUDIBLE), I voted for Ronald Reagan, I went after him hammer and thong. We are supposed to be apolitical and dedicated to truth and justice. That's sound kind of corny, but that's what we do. And at that, we have to find out what happened.

MACCALLUM: Yes. What did you think of the president's comments the today? And you know, you're pointing out something that I think is so important for people not understand. And I do think that that was one of the points that was brought forward by Christopher Wray, and also by the head of the -- you know, Rod Rosenstein, who is the Deputy Attorney General. That there are a lot of hardworking people in the agency and who are frankly disgusted with what they've seen happen, and they deserve to be separated from all of this but we also have to get answers, which you seem to be hinting at, that you feel that we're going to hear a lot more information, as you say from 10 gentle people who are affiliated with his best investigation. What makes you say that?

COULSON: Well, I know the FBI, I know the FBI culture, and I know how they feel about, about the integrity of what they do. That's who they are. We are not FBI agents just for a title. There's a culture among us -- the ones that have left and the ones that are still there. And we want to be viewed as somebody who's not corruptible. And I think leadership, under Comey, basically let us down. His formers agents and his current agents -- he let us down, he let politics creep into the process, and it leashed a (INAUDIBLE) here. And how that happened? I do not know. But I will tell you one thing, we do not need another independent counsel. I've been one. I've worked for one. And I will tell you, let's let the I.G. at the DOJ get to the bottom of this. Remember, he's the one that found the text and brought it forward. Let's trust that process. Hope the attorney general bucks up and supports this guy, and say, let's know what happened no matter -- and let's let the chips fall where they may.

MACCALLUM: And what about the -- what about on the Hill? They're so frustrated that they're not getting answers from the FBI on this. You know, how do they get around that? How does that change?

COULSON: I don't think -- I think they should get the facts from the FBI and the Department of Justice. There's always the temptation not to show yourself in a bad light as an agency. That's got to go. The only way to cleanse this thing is have a total cleansing. Tell everything that happened, let's get to the bottom of it. Let the I.G. do his best. And probably, can be in a grand jury to find out exactly what happened.

MACCALLUM: Yes. And then, in the end, whatever they have in terms of their findings will be respected if everybody feels like that process has been what it should be in terms of being upfront about what really went on. Danny Colson, thank you so much for being here tonight, sir. Good to see you.

COULSON: Thank you. I always enjoy working with you. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: And I with you. Thank you very much, Danny. So, joining me now, Byron York, Chief Political Columnist at the Washington Times and a Fox News Contributor; Adrienne Elrod, with the Strategic Communications Director for Hillary Clinton's Campaign. Adrienne, let me start with you, because there doesn't seem to be a lot of concern on the Democratic side -- you know, how did these text messages get out there in the first place, and all of that. And you look back at some of the statements by Brian Fallon and Roby Mook and others, they were very supportive of looking into having this investigated by the inspector general. They wanted to uncover what could be found out about the Hillary Clinton investigation. But now, it seems like they're not too happy with what they found.

ADRIENNE ELROD, STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR HILLARY CLINTON'S CAMPAIGN: Well, look, first of all, I think going forward during the campaign, all of us wanted to see a very concerted independent investigation that look at this, you know, whatever the FBI was looking into in Secretary Clinton e-mails. We wanted it to be as unbiased as possible. But look, in this particular situation in terms of the text messages, first of all, the text messages are appalling.

I'll be the first to say that. They're not ideal. It's never an ideal situation when you see two FBI agents were working on an investigating that's set to be nonpartisan, and set to try to get to the bottom of whether or not Donald Trump and his campaign colluded with the Russians to influence election process.

It's never ideal to see these two individuals with their biased viewpoints against Donald Trump during the campaign, exchanging text messages. But ultimately, we've got to keep in mind that Robert Mueller dismissed these two agents when he found this out, and that the I.G., at the Department of Justice is doing his job by looking into this and trying to keep the investigation -- the integrity of the investigation in check. So, I think that's we've got to keep in mind here.

MACCALLUM: All right. So, Byron, you wrote a piece today, and you drove down on one of the phrases that was in one of those text messages about the insurance policy should Donald Trump win. We essentially need to have some way to make sure that they can discredit or to get him out, that's the suggestion of this and we don't know whether or not it was acted on specifically.

BYRON YORK, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTIR AND CHIEF POLITICAL COLUMNIST AT THE WASHINGTON TIMES: Well, the insurance policy is a text that stands out from the others. Because the insurance policy seems to be the two FBI officials contemplating some sort of action and reaction to the threat that they felt Donald Trump posed. You could argue that the other texts are private expressions of political opinions, and perhaps they wouldn't really affect the work that these two FBI officials were doing. But what we have to know more about what the so-called insurance policy was. I mean, it could be meaningless, it could have some benign meeting, or it could be that they were contemplating some sort of action based on their opinion of the kind of president, Donald Trump would be -- in which case that would be a big problem for the FBI.

MACCALLUM: Which is exactly why we need to hear from Peter Strzok, we need to hear it from --

YORK: Exactly.

MACCALLUM: -- Mr. Ohr, and we expect that we are going to start to get a lot more details. And Danny Coulson suggested as much, that the other agents who were involved in this would like to have their feelings known.
Let's put up these tweets from Jim Comey, which are very interesting. He keeps tweeting out these, sort of, cryptic quote, sort of, pieces. This one says, "'The citizen's safety lies in the prosecutor who serves the law and not factional purposes,' Robert H. Jackson," He quoted there. And then, go back to December 1, "But just as rolled down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream," that's Amos 5:24. So, these are the sort of, you know, interesting quotes that Jim Comey is putting out there, Adrienne. He's watching all of this as, you know, people who are affiliated with the FBI, affiliated with this investigation are under increasing scrutiny. So, what do you think the message he's getting at here, and why don't he just say it?

ELROD: Yes. Well, first of all, I don't know why James Comey is tweeting in the first place about this. You know, this is somebody who would (INAUDIBLE), which we all know by Donald Trump from running the FBI. But ultimately, why he's weighing in and providing any sort of commentary on his social media account, his private social media account, is beyond me. So, I don't really know what he's getting at here, but I think he -- it probably would be best if he stayed out of this, commentating on this especially on Twitter.

MACCALLUM: Last stop from Byron. Byron?

YORK: Well, absolutely. But the important thing is to find out what was going on here. The inspector general, we should say, in the FBI Justice Department is looking into this, and most people in Congress seem to have confidence in Michael Horowitz, Inspector General. So, but on the other hand, Congress itself is going to have to find out what went on with this. They're going to have to see all of those text messages and make a decision for themselves.

MACCALLUM: They got 375 and there are 10,000. So, here we go again.

YORK: Yes.

MACCALLUM: With sort of the partial release of something, and then the effort to try to get the whole big bonanza. Thanks, you guys. Great to see you both tonight. Thank you.

YORK: Thank you.

ELROD: Thanks, Martha. You, too.

MACCALLUM: So, coming up tonight on "The Story," something most Americans did not know about a story that rocked the political landscape this week. Our Resident Historian, James Rosen, takes a look back through the lens of history to explain what happened the last time the Democrats celebrated a victory in Alabama, and are there lessons for today from James?

Plus, an ominous new threat from ISIS, out of revenge against President Trump's decision on Jerusalem. Are they targeting churches in the United States at Christmas? Scary stuff, coming up.

Also, Marco Rubio's play, where did it come from and why so late in the game? And other concerns tonight that could put the tax cut bill at risk. Karl Rove, Mollie Hemingway, and Chris Stirewalt, great Friday panel team up to give us an eye on what to look for this weekend next.


TRUMP: Oh, I think we'll be good. He's been a great guy, very supportive. Senator Rubio will be there, for sure.




SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLORIDA: We'll see how it plays out. I want to support tax reform; it's important for the country. I don't think my decision --


MACCALLUM: So, word is now that he is a "yes," but Senator Rubio was playing some last-minute hardball on the tax bill, almost putting the whole thing in jeopardy. The Florida Republican demanded an increase in the refundable child tax credit for his vote, and it looks like party leaders went along with this.

Rubio tweeted this afternoon, "increasing the refundability of the child tax credit from 55 percent to 70 percent is a solid step towards broader reforms, which are both pro-growth and pro-worker. And he is not the only wild card that Republicans were concerned about, there are new ones as well tonight.

Here now, our power panel: Karl Rove, Former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush and Fox News contributor; Chris Stirewalt, Fox News politics editor; Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at the Federalist and a Fox News contributor as well. Welcome to all of you on this Friday evening.


MACCALLUM: Howdy there. It has been a rocky path. You know, there was a lot of talk about Marco Rubio, sort of an acerbic piece that was quoted -- quoting Grover Norquist, slamming him saying, why was he so late to the table? You've got to do your homework on time. Ted Cruz used to behave like this when he was younger, he said. Thoughts on that, Karl.

KARL ROVE, FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: That's a tough good criticism, don't you think?


ROVE: Look, Rubio had leverage and he used it. He has been the leading exponent of increasing the child tax credit, and that language, that strong language of 55-70 percent refundability. What that means is that lots of people who do not have tax -- who do not have a tax burden, will now escape having to pay, not only any tax burden, but they'll give money back to help with their child care expenses.

MACCALLUM: You know, and that is, you know, good probably policy overall for Republicans, Mollie, right?

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND SENIOR EDITOR AT THE FEDERALIST: Well, you can have a genuine disagreement about whether refundable tax credits are a good idea or whether you should use the tax policy for social engineering. But it's not -- this refundable tax credit does go to working people. So, it's not that they don't pay income taxes, they don't, but they do pay payroll taxes. So, it's not a complete welfare gift here. And this is something that not just Rubio, but Senator Mike Lee have really put a lot of effort into for years. They really believe that this is a family- friendly policy that will encourage more people to have children. And whether you think that tax code should be used to encourage that or not, everyone should be having more children, so that's a good more all around.

MACCALLUM: Everyone should be adding more children, Chris Stirewalt.

STIREWALT: Hard pass. Hard Pass.


MACCALLUM: So, in terms of what's going to happen here. Because it seems like every time this thing feels like it's put together, there are some we need out there. Jeff Flake is still, sort of, on still on the fence; Collins, still on the fence; Mike Lee, for reasons that Mollie just mentioned partially, still the fence. So, how is this looking?

STIREWALT: And John McCain's in Arizona, and Thad Cochran's in Mississippi. Look this gets close and it gets tight. I definitely agree that for Republicans putting a more worker-friendly -- look, a party that was driven by a populist revolt, responding to with its first major piece of legislation being a corporate tax cut isn't exactly you belong, right? So, doing something that looks like it is more worker-oriented or for lower wage earners, probably, is optically good for Republicans. But the question now is, Rubio having -- Rubio and Lee, having succeeded in extracting this from leadership, what other hands go up around the room before the vote can take place? They want to go on Tuesday. Who else -- well, if he gets that, I want this now and do other deals hold, and does anybody else who's been on the fence think about jumping?


ROVE: Yes. Well, last night, I was talking with some members or the senator involved with this process, and I think Rubio is the last in their minds, the last big obstacle. Susan Collins has been working to protect certain provisions that she's gotten -- she had three amendments that she got in. She's been working on some other issues that have popped up in the conference committee. I think she's in a good place. Flake was just, sort of, observing this all, and wanted to make certain that if things went south, he would be in a place where he could hopefully keep them from going further worse.

You do have McCain, I think, he's a (INAUDIBLE). You do have Cochran whose suffering from a Urinary Tract Infection, and he's going to come and vote next week -- he announced just a few minutes ago he was going to be there. So, but it is a lot of moving pieces. When you got 52, 49, and one of your 52 is gone, and you can't afford to lose two, every person is a king or queen who wants to jump in this process. However, all the conferees have signed, and normally what that means is that you wouldn't have all the conferees signed unless all the issues have been resolved.

MACCALLUM: I just want to say, we do -- we wish Senator McCain well. He's a suffering from some complications from his treatment and we wish him well. We did hear that he hopes and plans to be back next week for this vote, and we certainly hope that that's the case. Michael Gerson said this, with reflection on the Alabama race this week. He said, "the only way that elected Republicans will abandon Trump is if they see it in their own self-interest, and the only way they will believe it as in their self- interest is to watch a considerable number of their fellow Republicans lose." Mollie?

HEMINGWAY: Well, and that it seems to be a theme for Gerson and other people who are part of the never-Trump movement. They to see -- they want to have more people to see failure that they join that. But I think for a lot of people, what they're seeing in the real world, with the real voters, is that people are generally happy with the policies of Donald Trump. They might not like the tweeting, they might not like the behavior, might not have liked that for many decades, but when it comes to getting judicial appointees through, which, you know, Donald Trump just had a record with that issue.

MACCALLUM: Huge numbers, yes.

HEMINGWAY: -- in addition to Gorsuch which was a huge thing. Getting out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and just in general, the deregulatory path. And even, you know, with this national security strategy that's coming out on Monday, a focus on actual national security threats, instead of stuff like climate change which is what we saw under Obama. So, this idea that everyone's going to share this, sort of, extreme revulsion to Trump that some people in never-Trump is hat, I think is an unwise approach.

MACCALLUM: Fascinating. All right. We'll be back with all of this. Stick around. Thank you very much. So, they will around. And Mollie just mentioned this, the future of the world living in fear of a number of things including a nuclear North Korea. Rex Tillerson takes a page out of his boss' playbook on this, extending an offer to Kim Jong-un.

Then, the White House under fire for its plan to end the opioid crisis. Critics say that they are not doing enough yet. A father who lost his son to an overdose on the progress that is being made so far in this effort, where do we go from here? Coming up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can get through to you because I've been exactly where you've been. As one addict helping another addict.



TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Live from America's News Headquarters, I'm Trace Gallagher. A rare occurrence at the United Nations today. North Korea's ambassador addressing the Security Council, Ambassador Ja Song-nam giving no indication the north will budge on its nuclear ambitions. The ambassador telling the council his country's nuclear weapons are "a self-defense measure to protect the north against the nuclear threat and blackmail of the U.S., allies, and enemies of the north." They all joined forces Friday in opposition to the north's determination to be recognized as a nuclear weapon state.

And another first from SpaceX at Cape Canaveral today, it launched a recycled rocket with a recycled capsule. The unmanned capsule being sent into space on what's being called a grocery run. Supplies are being sent to the International Space Station. The SpaceX craft should reach there by Sunday. I'm Trace Gallagher. If news breaks out, we'll break in. Now, back to "The Story".

MACCALLUM: Ten days till Christmas and there is this ominous warning from ISIS tonight, soon on your holidays, soon, very soon. The terror groups supporters promising attacks on churches over the course of the Christmas season and it comes just days after the failed suicide bombing in New York City in the subway system. Chief intelligent correspondent Catherine Herridge joins us now with the latest on the credibility of these threats. Good evening, Catherine.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHIEF INTELLIGENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, thank you, Martha. An Islamic state supporter posted this graphic showing an ISIS fighter looking at Washington's national cathedral which is in flames. Like previous propaganda includes a cryptic message suggesting and even threatening an attack time for the holidays. For some context, this was not published by the ISIS news agency, but rather one of its followers. Analysis also tell Fox News there's been a subtle shift, a recent addition of the ISIS on-line magazine laid out the steps to actually que this vehicles attacks like the one we saw in October in New York City where 8 were killed and several others were injured.

ISIS is now encouraging followers to flee the scene and survive. The loss of the so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria. One analysis suggests the group is facing a shortage of recruits who are willing to die for the cause. Also, here's some contact who does work for the U.S. government tells Fox he believes ISIS has not been more aggressive taking responsibility for the 27-year-old suspect in Monday's New York City subway attack because the terror group is scattered having lost its base in Iraq and Syria, and key decision maker who ran their external operation and propaganda are dead. Analysists are also telling us to watch Hamza bin Laden, this is the son of al-Qaeda's Osama bin Laden. He's believed to be in his late 20s. The senior analysis say Hamza maybe able to bring together al-Qaeda and the remnants of ISIS because he's young, doesn't have the baggage of the current al Qaeda leadership, and Hamza bin Laden for obvious reasons has a name recognition, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Certainly does. Catherine, thank you very much.

HERRIDGE: You're welcome.

MACCALLUM: Joining me once again, Karl Rove, Chris Stirewalt and Mollie Hemingway. It is chilling to look at that -- all of those images and also the picture of Hamza bin Laden, because one thing we have learned over the years about al Qaeda and about ISIS is they're patient, they create goals, scenario that they want to carry out, and if it takes months or years, that's what they do. But it is, I guess, in some ways, heartening to hear in Catherine's report that at this moment, they're somewhat scattered, and it is of interest that they did not choose to claim these two New York attackers as their own, although they were ISIS inspired. So, how prepared, politically, you know, in terms of the Trump administration what's being done, Mollie, are we? How strong is our posture right now on this front?

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Right. Well, one thing to remember is that ISIS tends not to take credit for people who commit terror attacks unless they are killed in the terror attack. And both of those New York attackers are still alive, and that might be part of why ISIS isn't taking credit. I mean, sometimes people are flying ISIS flags, they have the notes, they claim inspiration, and ISIS still doesn't take credit. That's why -- again, I'm really interested in this national security strategy document that's coming out on Monday. H.R. McMaster gave us a bit of a preview to it. During the Obama administration, it was focused a lot on cybersecurity and climate change, and this document I believe is going to be focus more like a laser on North Korea, jihadist terrorism, things that actually are security threat that the national security apparatus should be engage in. And you're already seeing that the Trump administration has focused on ISIS and had some pretty strong success with that. But, of course, Islamic terrorism is something that would be ongoing. There is no way to utterly defeat it. Religiously motivated ideology, which is why they are thinking about focusing on Christians. And Christians should be prepared for that. That's just part of the story.

MACCALLUM: I mean, we've certainly seen what they've done in the Middle East, Chris. And churches are one of their favorite targets. And as Mollie rightly points out it is a religious based extremism that wants to attack Christianity, and it wants to attack members of the Jewish faith as well. And even, you know, infidels in their own faith, which we've seen carried out to great extents as well. President Trump on this issue, you know, how prepared is he, Chris? You can never know what's coming next, but the fear is something is.

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLICTS EDITOR: Well, it always could be, but are you scared? I'm not. I certainly take Mollie's point that everybody -- especially, Christians -- especially everybody has to be prepared for the fact -- yeah, there are people in the world who want to do the United States harm and wants to harm its citizens. That's a fact of life. That's been the fact of life for quite a while now, and that's something we have learned to live with. But these guys suck. They are terrible. We have destroyed them. The United States air force rained hell down on the -- one of the remaining garrisons of ISIS in Syria. We have destroyed these people. We have reddened them.


MACCALLUM: But, you know, from an intuitional perspective, perhaps. But, you know, living in New York City, when I go down west side drive and I look over at where those 8 tourists from South America were killed, when I go to the subway system I think about that guy, yeah, I'm scared. I am scared. And I'm scared in the holidays when I walk up and down the street outside my window right here on sixth avenue where there are throngs of tourists, through Rockefeller Center where the big Christmas tree is, packed people, and all it takes is one little backpack and a guy who is not an idiot who figures out how to blow this thing up. I mean, yes, I'm scared. I think a lot of people are.

STIREWALT: When I drive by the Pentagon and when I think about all of the things that could happen when you go around Washington, D.C., or New York, or any of these places, yes, certainly an attack is always possible. But here's why I'm not scared because number one, there's nothing I can do about it. It's going to happen. If it's going to happens, it's in God's hands, not mine, number one. Number two, we're really good at this. Anything could always happen, but our record since 2001 of preventing large-scale attacks here in the United States is pretty damn good.

MACCALLUM: Australia, you know, I have brothers tell a different story, and all of those people who are lost in that. And for every one of those people, Karl, who lost somebody, it only takes one person in your life as gone to take this really seriously.

ROVE: Yeah. And look, we have been largely effective since 9/11, and that's because we've adopted as a country a strategy of fighting then over there, so we don't have to fight them as much here at home. But we have to be 100 percent perfect all the time. And as we saw with the case, recent case here in New York, we're having to deal with remote inspiration. And I think part of these messages are first of all to say, hey, we're still around, that was the first one. But the second one was to say if you're out there and you agree with this, please try to do something during this holiday season.

MACCALLUM: Good point to all. Thanks, you guys. Great to have you with us today.


MACCALLUM: All right. So big week in the state of Alabama as it elected a Democrat to serve alongside Republican senator Richard Shelby, but there is an interesting historical twist because we always like to put things in big context and we're going to start doing that on a regular basis here on Friday nights. Republicans may want to stick around to watch this and Democrats too, for a slice of history with James Rosen to explain. Plus, a father's heart break after he loses his son to an overdose. Now this father is tackling the opioid epidemic head on after battling a heroin addiction of his own.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I overdosed on heroin and hit two cars and almost killed four people. I'm the guy to gets them into treatment.


MACCALLUM: Role that he believes the government should play, can play in combating this crisis when The Story continues after this.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: My administration is officially declaring the opioid crisis a national public health emergency under federal law.


MACCALLUM: President Trump making the nation's opioid crisis a top priority for his administration. Last year alone, at least a 64,000 Americans died as a result of an overdose. And while the administration and congress have laid out big goals to stop the epidemic, some are suggesting that they would like to see the wheels turning faster on this in order to save lives. So while we wait for more action from Washington, what can American families do? What can local communities do? My next guest has dedicated his life to that. He knows the dangers of addiction all too well. Tim Ryan got clean and sober behind bars only to see his son die from a heroin dose months after that. His story was featured in the A&E docu-series, Dope Man. Here's a quick clip.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I overdosed on heroin, hit two cars and almost killed four people. I'm the guy to gets them into treatment. You want to get better or you could end up dead.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: He's a heroin addict.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: You're a relapsing, you make excuses. It's time to man up.


MACCALLUM: Tim is also advisor to Tim, good to have you here.


MACCALLUM: Powerful message in the documentary. You lost your son and you went through it yourself. What makes a difference between people who can get clean and people who can't?

RYAN: There's a lot of variables, but the willingness to want to change. A lot of the families are classic enablers. They try to enable their children to get better, you've got to take your emotions out of it and you have to let the professionals do what the professionals do and follow the guidance and directions.

MACCALLUM: So what are the earliest signs because, you know, I have a friend who lost his son, I have a friend who lost a nephew. What should we all be looking for at home?

RYAN: First thing you need to do is to get into their technology. That's where the kids are doing everything today. Cell phone monitoring, software, computer monitoring, software, if there's an issue drug test them, but have the resources. You know, their hygiene, their friends are changing, monies disappearing, they don't have money, they're sleeping a lot, they've -- pupils they're absolutely doing opioids.

MACCALLUM: What happened with your son?

RYAN: Unfortunately, Nick followed in my footsteps. I wasn't a father to Nick, I was a friend. I let him smoke weed and drink beer. When I have the overdose and hit these cars and almost killed four people and was fighting my case, I was really dope sick one day and Nick came in and basically gave me two bags of heroin, and I said what are you doing? He said don't worry dad, I'm just selling it. And I said Nick you need to shut this down. You know what this drug has done to me. And he looked to me and said, well, your successful drug addict. So in Nick's delusional mind because I function, I worked, he thought it was successful.

Ultimately, three months later, we started doing heroin together. I was sentenced to prison, I did 13 and a half months. My wife divorced me. We lost our house in foreclosure. Displace my wife and four kids. When I got out, I set up my foundation, I started working in the treatments space, and on my 21 month sobriety my son Nicholas succumb to an opioid overdose. Worst day of my life. I help killed my own son, even though he died on my 21 month sobriety date. I have to live with that, but I can take that negative and turn it into a positive and that's what I'm doing today. I'm sick and tired of burying people.

MACCALLUM: Do you think the White House is doing everything they can or what would be your number one piece of advice for them in the minute we have left?

RYAN: The president should contact me directly. He needs people like me involved. We need so much more money, we need longer term treatment. That's why people don't know where to go for treatment. You know, I worked for a treatment center out of Florida at transformations. I'm an advisor to People can go to this portal and find treatment based on what state they live in, and they're not owned by a treatment center to where it's redirected, but you need to pick up the phone, you need to ask for help. But you need to do your due diligence. The government needs to be allocating so much more funding. We need longer term treatment, more than 30 days, 90 days, we need a lot more sober living community.

MACCALLUM: That's the key, 30 days is not enough.

RYAN: It's not enough.

MACCALLUM: Ninety days.


MACCALLUM: Everybody needs to get that message because it's great to feel like 30 days' work and everything is over and you're better now, it doesn't work, right?

RYAN: Not at all. Not at all.

MACCALLUM: All right. Tim, good luck to you.

RYAN: Thank you so much.

MACCALLUM: Thank you very much for sharing your story. We wish you well in your pursuit. Thank you very much. So coming up tonight, a look at this week's big political shake-up in deep red Alabama, the state electing a Democrat for the first time since the 1990s, and the last Democrat they elected went on to become a Republican. Her perspective, will take a time machine ride, and who better to do that than with than our good friend James Rosen, in our brand-new Friday flashback segment, next.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I thought there was wound in the Democratic Party, where a conservative southern Democrat such as myself, but I can tell you there's not.



MACCALLUM: Tonight, there's a bombshell new report on The Hill claiming that attorney Lisa Bloom may have tried to set up paydays for women accusing President Trump of sexual misconduct. Bloom, who you probably know well, she's a well-known women's rights lawyer. She allegedly offered to sell victims stories to TV outlets, and then in the contract she would work for them for free, but then pocket some of the commission if the TV outlets were willing to pay her clients to go on with them. She also reportedly arranged for donor to pay off one of Trump's accuser mortgage and tried for another to get a reported $750,000 payout. So, just background information you need to know as you're looking all these stories, right? So as this week draws to a close, it's time for a new feature on The Story it is called Flashback Frida, and for it we look back at one of the week's big events and sort of take up context to look at it in the course of history. Today's edition is the Alabama election, and who better to guide us through our flashback, because he had frequently himself, chief Washington correspondent James Rosen who joins me now. Our resident historian, my friend James. Good evening. So what do you got, James?

JAMES ROSEN, FOX NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Martha, good evening to you. One of the week's biggest political stories, undeniably, was the triumph of Democrat Doug Jones over Republican Roy Moore in that fiercely contested special senate election and in Alabama, Tuesday night. Ordinarily, the sexual misconduct allegation confronting Judge Moore would spell certain doom for just about any congressional candidate in any setting. But Alabama is such a staunchly red state that Doug Jones' margin of victory was only about one and a half percentage points, fewer than 22,000 votes. And many wondered whether a Democrat could win a senate seat in the yellow hammer state under any circumstances. As it happens, the last time it happened was a quarter century ago. And even then, there's a catch.

In 1992, incumbent Democratic senator Richard Shelby defeated his largely unknown Republican rival Richard Sellars, a business consultant from Montgomery by more than 30 points. Shelby was about as conservative a Democrat as could be. He campaigned in part on his success in keeping Fort McClellan open during a round of base closing. And he was rated as one of the most consistent supporters in the senate of the incumbent president, Republican George H.W. Bush, who carried Alabama but lost the oval office to Democrat Bill Clinton. But, within two years following a Republican revolution, Shelby switch parties, and he remains in the senate today as a Republican, although one who said he would support a ride-in candidate rather than to vote for Roy Moore.

By the way, the entire cost of that 1992 senate race was under $4 million, as contrasted with the Jones-Moore battle which saw the two sides, plus outside group spent an estimated $25 million. Now, just for good measure to give you a sense of then and now, the average price of a gallon of gas on Election Day 1992, which was November 3rd, was $1.12. The number one single on billboard that week was end of the road by Boys to Men, and the top grossing film at the box office the preceding weekend was Under Siege starring Steven Seagal. And that last celluloid factoid right there, Martha, should signal to our viewers as we begin this new segment that not every flashback you'll see on Flashback Fridays will create a sense of nostalgia.

MACCALLUM: I was going to say, it was a terrible year for movies and music. But there was one movie that is interesting to note, especially in the context of your political flashback here, take a look at this little clip from 1992.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me, where's the lobby?

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Down the hall and to the left.



MACCALLUM: That's what President Trump was doing back in 1992, he was giving Macaulay Culkin directions at the plaza, James.

ROSEN: Well, and being the leader of the free world, one senses he could probably still give Macaulay Culkin some direction.

MACCALLUM: That's for sure. Where were you in 1992, by the way, my friend?

ROSEN: You really know how to hurt a man, Martha. I was in New York City and I just published my first article anywhere which was a national review, and I've just started my work on a book about Watergate which only took me another 16 years to finish and publish.

MACCALLUM: It was worth it. It's a good book. It was worth it. I was falling in love with my husband in 1992.

ROSEN: That's so sweet.

MACCALLUM: In New York City. Yes, I was.

ROSEN: Did you guys go see Under Siege?

MACCALLUM: No. We've actually went to see Godfather III though.


MACCALLUM: Which wasn't nearly as good as I and II, as you well know. James, thank you, that was fun. We'll see you soon for another round of Flashback Friday. Have a good weekend. Thanks, James.

ROSEN: You, too.

MACCALLUM: So, there is a battle underway. This weekend, football fans before Sunday big showdown between the Patriots and the Steelers, I bring you our quote of the night next.


MACCALLUM: This weekend's must-see NFL matchup is Tom Brady versus Ben Roethlisberger. They have a storied rivalry. If you're a football fan, you know that. The Pats go into it of a stinging of a loss in Miami on Monday night. Followers of Brady in Instagram got a peak into how he gets back into the game with a bit of poetry. The man who never had to toil to gain and farm his patch of soil, who never had to win his share of sun and sky and light and air, never became a manly man, but lived and died as he began. Living, right? That is how the goat gets back in the game. We will see if it works. Have a great weekend, everybody. Tucker Carlson coming up next. Have a good night, everybody.


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