Gingrich: Elites passionately avoiding the Trump reality

This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," January 4, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: Welcome everybody to "The Ingraham Angle" live from Washington. Trump versus the smart set. That's the focus of tonight's Angle.

Media drum beat continued today and in to the night about all the salacious tidbits in the new White House tell all by Michael Wolff. Among the most off repeated tropes in the book that President Trump is not smart, he doesn't read, he is not curious. He is a village idiot type.

According to Wolff's book and many of this has been push back on by the way. Former Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh thought the White House was incompetently run. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus believe Trump to be an idiot.

Gary Cohn, the president's top economic advisor regards Trump as, quote, "dumb" and the president's top national security advisor, H.R. McMaster considers him, according to this book to be, quote, "a dope." Well, of course all of this thrilled the lefty cable nitwits and bitter never Trumpers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of the more salacious entries, the fact that Donald Trump doesn't read. Well, you know, we told you that a year and a half ago. The assessment is all consistent of the closest to the president working with him as being essentially a child.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a child. He has got no attention span. He reads nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's even worse than it seems. This is an idiot surrounded by clowns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The behavior, the disposition of the president. They say he is acting like a child.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The horrible choice you have to make is do I stay here and work with this child who behaves like an arrogant fool, behaves like a baby.


INGRAHAM: Pot, kettle, black, Joe. Well, of course, they are all enjoying this moment where Team Trump seems to be piling on the president because they all think it validates their own views that Donald Trump is this (inaudible) who lucked out by winning the presidency and by the way, he eats a lot of bad food.

OK, I'm going to hand it to them. I think they are right about this, Trump isn't to artisanal cheeses. He doesn't munch down on kale and down coconut water, but most of the rest of this stuff is just goofy.

First, do these perpetual grouses realize that when you are call him an imbecile, you are in effect saying the same of his supporters? I'm not a political soothsayer, but I don't that's a great political strategy for expanding your own movement.

By the way, I still remember what the intellectuals of the late 1970s and the '80s frequently said about my old boss, Ronald Reagan. Remember, he was unintelligent. He slept in the afternoons. He went to a second-rate college, just an actor, shallow.

Well, look, Trump isn't Reagan. No one ever will be. Reagan was a man for his own time. He was the former two-term governor of California who wrote and thought a lot about conservatism. But, like Reagan, Trump is extremely sharp, and he has the pulse of the people, and I know because I have seen it.

He has uncanny ability to connect with their hopes and their desires, and like Reagan, he reminds Americans that what makes us special is our people. It's our freedom. It's not our government.

And as for the so-called smart educated people who are now criticizing Trump, I have a few questions. Was it smart to enact policies that ended up enriching the repressive regime in China at the expense of American workers, American companies and American security?

And was it smart to leave our borders open like Swiss cheese allowing illegals to stream into the United States, taking American jobs, saddling taxpayers with the cost of educating them, housing them, providing them with healthcare?

Was it smart to get into some wars that ended up draining our country of trillions of dollars, took the lives of so many of our finest men and women? Was it smart to explode our foreign population not through a smart merit based immigration system, but through the ludicrous policy of chain migration?

Was it smart to borrow trillions from other countries only to send hundreds of billions to countries who hate us? Is it smart to create a government mandated healthcare system that drove so many doctors out of their practices, jacked up premiums and out of pocket costs and led to cancelled policies? I don't think so.

Trump friend and political operative, Roger Stone, put it this way on my radio show today.


ROGER STONE, TRUMP FRIEND AND POLITICAL OPERATIVE (via telephone): Donald Trump is his own chief strategist. He is also his own speech writer, his own phrase maker, his own press secretary in many senses, and he is obviously very good at it. Yes, Donald Trump is an eccentric. Yes, he does things his way.

Yes, he is not like every other president that you can think of who was packaged, who was fabricated, who was being handed, you know, polling and focus groups and discussions of how to say things that would make you popular against enormous odds by taking on the two-party duopoly the elites of both parties who have, let's face it, run the country into the ground. He is a genius.


INGRAHAM: Maybe Donald Trump doesn't pull over the latest biography or have Plato's book on his table, big deal. He had great schooling, but he never pretended to be an academic. Not many people are. What did he do?

He exposed and named the pretenders, those elites in politics, media and business, who helped drive America in to a ditch and by the way, no matter how badly their policies and ideas failed the people. Those fraudsters are almost never held accountable.

So, tired of seeing America lose, Trump revealed their agendas, he named them, and he made us see them to be the fraud that they are. And by the way, they have been vengeful ever since, furious?

What's the point of being smart if you never learn. Trump was smart enough to see that someone needed to step up to be the voice of the forgotten men and women. He beat all those supposedly savvy and experienced campaigners with their focus group talking points and slick ad campaigns.

It's smart to put Americans and their interests first. Donald Trump is still out there listening to the people who count, you.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP,: I was in New York at a big event recently, and I take a lot of pictures with police and with firemen and with the military and one of the policemen came up, an officer and he said, Sir, I want to thank you, my 401(k) is through the roof. My wife thinks I'm a brilliant investor. I have never seen anything like this. My wife is so happy. My family is so happy.


INGRAHAM: Dumb? I don't think so. He is telling the stories that people want to hear, personalizing, sterile statistics, charts and graphs. Real anecdotes and though, you know, I have got to say thinking about dumb, I would feel pretty dumb if I had been one of those GOP donors snickered into writing a million-dollar check into Jeb Bush's super PAC or if maybe in late October 2016, I put down a payment on a house in Georgetown because I was sure that Hillary Clinton would win, and I would be working in her administration.

There is a brilliance in Trump's political strategy. Perhaps its greatest instinct was a simple message that resonated most with his core supporters, build the wall that promise was sacrosanct and helped him get elected. The best thing Trump can do is stick to his core campaign promises, especially that one.

He is not going to fall, I don't think, for what the failed elites might be trying to sell him. They may have more political experience and a lot of them do, but he has better instincts than most of them and most Americans will see that his thinking is exactly the type of unconventional thinking that at times is disruptive that we need right now. And that's the Angle.

Joining me now for reaction is Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House, and a Fox News contributor. Newt, it's so good to have you back from Rome. How are you? Are you perpetually jet lagged? That's my question to you.


INGRAHAM: Let's talk about what they are trying to do, the usual suspect, you know all of them. You saw that tedious montage. Trump is not smart. He is dumb. He doesn't read, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. What's going on here?

GINGRICH: Well, I mean, the same people who have been passionately avoiding reality for three years are now entering a new year passionately avoiding reality. You know, there is a whole series of these things where I'm working on a book right now called "Trump's America."

There is a whole chapter of how wrong they are. Whether it's somebody saying he couldn't possibly be elected, a number of people who said the stock market is going to crash the minute he is sworn. You go back, and you pick these people up, I have a standard rule.

If I look at the Sunday morning shows and all of the wonderful elite Washington figures have agreed that the sky is going to be blue. My assumption immediately is it's not because they are wrong so often.

Let's take a case of the current and by the way, the news media loves smoothing in the Kardashian age. There is no story too small. No semi- scandal too stupid for them to not spend a day or two just frothing about it.

You have the same experience. Trump is actually he is smart enough to beat 16 other Republicans, who is smart enough to beat Hillary Clinton, who is smart enough to help Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan pass the largest tax cut in modern times.

He's been smart enough to begin to put -- get federal judges in who are solidly conservative. He is smart enough to have the largest deregulation larger than right now, largest deregulation in history in the first year. So, somewhere in all of that you think, maybe he's actually smart.

INGRAHAM: Do dumb people get elected president of the United States? I mean, truly dumb people? I mean, if you are the academic, give the dumb person who was ever elected president.

GINGRICH: Oren G. Harvey, Buchanan --

INGRAHAM: You have to go back away.


INGRAHAM: They are trying to setup a narrative, Newt, of Trump as unstable, mentally deficient, can't be trusted with a nuclear button. You're seeing pieces not just in places like CNN. Brian Stelter has a piece today about how -- the salacious details of that Wolff book aren't important. More important is this -- that the book suggested Trump is unstable and raises alarms about his fitness for office. You're heard this building really -- we heard it from Corker, people all the way back to last January frankly.

GINGRICH: The bomb started falling on Moscow in 10 minutes. That was not Donald Trump. That was Ronald Reagan. During a test --

INGRAHAM: Was it 5 minutes or 10 minutes?

GINGRICH: I thought it was 10. Neither events --


GINGRICH: Can you imagine how the current media would have dealt with that?

INGRAHAM: That was like Reagan's best lines.

GINGRICH: It was a throw-away ballooning line and he knew it and so did the Russians.

INGRAHAM: But what did Reagan do that Trump doesn't -- Reagan let it all kind of slide off his back. He did not engage -- it's a different time.

GINGRICH: I think you said it well earlier. I actually do think -- and I've known nine presidents. I think these are the two best. I think Reagan and Trump --

INGRAHAM: I completely agree with you -- not even close.

GINGRICH: In terms of actual effectiveness, these are the two best presidents I've known starting back with Nixon. It's totally different. Brian Kilmey (ph) has a new book as you know on the battle of New Orleans and Andrew Jackson.

And I keep telling everybody, if you read Kilmey's book, if you look at Andrew Jackson, you begin to understand Trump. Reagan is this stunningly sophisticated person, who had been a Hollywood star.

He really understood himself. He really understood media and he had a totally different style than Trump. Trump is a rough and tumble businessman, who never acquired any of Reagan's, you know, style, but who understand I want to get that gun.

INGRAHAM: That story about that police officer, the firefighter with a 401(K), he gets in with the people. I always love seeing him on the factory floor, putting his arm around someone. That's the Trump I think we need to see more of.

I like his tweet. I think his tweets are almost always effective. I like his tweets, but getting -- that Bannon says this, Trump says this or friends or not friends. I got to have you weigh in on Bannon and what's going on there. I can't figure it out. I don't know who's --

GINGRICH: Bannon is a person -- and we both work for Steve -- he was a very smart, very interesting student of what's going on in America. He read his own headlines, many of which he planted.

He wasn't the chief strategist. Donald Trump was already the nominee before Bannon showed up and Bannon had a marginal impact in the fall campaign. He -- at some levels, he's almost irrational. You go into the Trump White House and you think, I guess, I'll pick a fight with Jared and Ivanka, and now I'll take a fight with Don Jr.

This is suicidal. These are kind of things where you have to say, you know, are you just crazy?

INGRAHAM: Are you saying Steve Bannon is insane?

GINGRICH: Well, the president said, I think that he had lost his mind, and that maybe a more appropriate to put it. He's insane has certain, you know, psychological pre-conditions. What I do think is that Bannon thought -- somebody once said to me, the Tiger Woods caddie actually thought he made the putts and forgot that in fact it was helpful to have Tiger Woods - -

INGRAHAM: As long as he didn't drive the car in Alaska. It's the problem Tiger had.

GINGRICH: If you think about it, Bannon thought that he had the skills that Trump has.

INGRAHAM: He might run for president. I mean, the reports that he could be running for president.

GINGRICH: That will be fine. He will get, you know, 3 percent, and be part of the continuation. I think actually this experience probably eliminates most of his support financially.

INGRAHAM: John Cornyn, senator from Texas, said the falling out with Bannon may be a good thing for the Republican Party. What I'm worried is the ricochet thing. Bannon is a conservative populist. I agree with him on almost every issue frankly. He is very smart. He is a student of history.

I don't know what's behind these quotes. You know, I'm not going to get into that, but I don't want Trump to take the Bannon problem and take the lesson from that being I'm not going to do these issues that, you know that we agreed on together.

Because I think they are -- they were good together. I'm not saying Bannon was Trump. Trump is Trump. They were good together.

GINGRICH: First of all, I think Steve Miller --

INGRAHAM: I'm trying to mend fences here for people.

GINGRICH: Good luck.

INGRAHAM: Well, what can I do? I'm trying.

GINGRICH: First of all, Steven Miller is the heart of.

INGRAHAM: Love him.

GINGRICH: Right. And he has all of Bannon's upside and none of his downside.


GINGRICH: Right. He is there doing his job every single day. I think he probably channels Trump better than anybody in the country. Second, I actually have -- this is like Reagan. I remember as early as the summer of '82 conservatives going to lunch at Heritage going, oh, my God, Reagan is selling us out.

I have enormous faith Reagan was actually Reagan. I have enormous faith that Trump is actually Trump. Trump actually believes in this stuff. He believes in deregulation and cutting taxes. I don't worry about Bannon leaving as long as Trump stays.

INGRAHAM: Sessions, a couple congressmen, Meadows and Jordan says that Sessions should probably step aside. Might be time for him to step aside. What do you think about that?

GINGRICH: I think that Attorney General Sessions ought to have a very serious review of what he is doing because he has a department that has enormous problems. He can't recuse himself from all those problems and he ought to be -- if he were still in the senate, he would be really angry at him as attorney general and I like Jeff a lot and --


GINGRICH: And I hope that he will decide that he is going to clean house and get the job done.

INGRAHAM: They are opening up a couple new investigations. We will see. Newt Gingrich love having you on. Give my best to your -- do you call her ambassador or ambassadress.

GINGRICH: She prefers you call her Calista.

INGRAHAM: Tell her I said hi.

By the way, the suddenly intense feud between Bannon and the president we just talked about took another surprising turn today. We will talk to someone who has not spoken out on this issue in an exclusive. Stay right here. You do not want to miss it.


INGRAHAM: Speculation is swirling that Steve Bannon could soon be out at Breitbart after President Trump said his former top aide had, quote, "lost his mind." That followed the prelease excerpt from a book that claimed Bannon had called a June 2016 meeting between Trump and campaign staff and some Russians, the Russian lawyer as treasonous and unpatriotic.

Many people quoted in the book "Fire and Fury" by Michael Wolff are denying making critical comments about the president or his staff. Bannon has not. So, let's turn to someone who was there. Bannon's, you know, deputy during the presidential campaign, New York Times bestselling co-author of "Let Trump Be Trump," congratulations to Dave Bossie. Great to see you. How are you doing, man.

DAVID BOSSIE, CO-AUTHOR, "LET TRUMP BE TRUMP": I'm great. Thank you for having me.

INGRAHAM: Happy you are not in the White House.

BOSSIE: I am happy that our book is doing well.

INGRAHAM: So happy for you. Let's talk about what's going on here because the left is treating this like manna from heaven. These Bannon comments are released. Book is now out tomorrow. They have sped up the publication. This is like a PR -- this is a PR dream for every writer. The White House attacks the book shouldn't come out. Threatening to sue. What's happened?

BOSSIE: This book seems to be "National Enquirer" on steroids.

INGRAHAM: None of it is true.

BOSSIE: It's sensational journalism. It's not journalism. I'm concerned about what is true and what isn't true. This author has a history of taking liberties with things. I'm deeply concerned about what my friend, Steve Bannon, has said to this person. I don't believe for a minute that - -

INGRAHAM: He wasn't even at the campaign when this meeting took place.

BOSSIE: And the thing that meeting was unpatriotic, fairly standard meeting anybody who is involved in a campaign.

INGRAHAM: First of all, the word treasonous has legal implications and a prerequisite so --

BOSSIE: Don Jr. is a very patriotic man. I have spent a lot of time with him. He is the furthest thing from that. I take great umbrage.

INGRAHAM: He has not denied the comments, but he also today said that like nothing is going to come between the Trump agenda and me or Breitbart. Setting him aside though, why would the White House think it was a good idea to allow Michael Wolff to park himself in the west wing lobby many times so forth, waiting for interviews.

And then basically he was given cart blanche to talk to top aides. I know that because they have told me that. They were told by one individual who was, I guess, speaking for the president, talked to x,y, z and all talked. He has tapes.

BOSSIE: It's -- well, he says he has tapes. We haven't seen or heard --

INGRAHAM: The president said he had tapes too. That just came to mind.

BOSSIE: Wolff is somebody who did have access.

INGRAHAM: Why think Michael Wolff is going to do anything to help advance the Trump agenda or even frankly be fair.

BOSSIE: He was never going to be.

INGRAHAM: I don't know why they did that?

BOSSIE: It's one of the biggest mistakes. Now we are off the agenda. We are not talking about the successful tax reform.

INGRAHAM: We're getting into DACA next segment.

BOSSIE: I hope so. The president just has the momentum coming out of his tax reform package and the great bill and the economy is steaming along and then we get a distraction.

INGRAHAM: Steve Bannon lost his mind. Look Steve has his own views. I did the whole INGRAHAM ANGLE about the smarts of Donald Trump how he outfoxed everyone. Great political instincts.

BOSSIE: Best political instincts I have ever seen.

INGRAHAM: Don't keep the news cycle going on a topic that's not helping you. I get it you want to defend yourself, I understand that. I get that.

BOSSIE: He is the best counter puncher we have ever seen.

INGRAHAM: Also don't punch down.

BOSSIE: You don't. But when this book, these people, the mainstream media want to use everything at their disposal, the other cable networks are just salivating over it.

INGRAHAM: They are just selling more books now.

BOSSIE: That's all they are doing. That's what the game is about. Make no about it. It's to fill Michael Wolff's pockets.

INGRAHAM: I didn't speak to Michael Wolff. I didn't speak to him. You didn't see a quote from me there. I don't talk to those people.

BOSSIE: I didn't see the book yet.

INGRAHAM: I know I'm not quoted. Let's talk about the elite's criticism of Donald Trump as disengaged as uninformed as now they are making the argument that he could have neurological problems. These articles are actually not appearing just in left-wing web sites either.

BOSSIE: But it's a joke. The president is incredibly well-educated, well- read and very smart guy. You don't get to be president of the United States if you are not.

INGRAHAM: Dave Bossie, congratulations on the book. So proud of you. It was a page turner. I gave a couple copies for Christmas by the way. I still got to get to you sign them. Thanks so much. And --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are the dreamers. This must be done now. There is an urgent need.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama couldn't do it. Bush couldn't do it. I think you can do it. There is a deal to be had. You want it bad enough, we will get it.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We need a physical border wall. We are going to have a wall, remember that. We are going to have a wall.


INGRAHAM: As can you here jousting continues over creating a DACA compromise. The president is determined to have a border wall and real enforcement. To give you a sense of what's at stake in the high cost of illegal immigration let's go to Don Rosenberg in Calabasas, California.

His son, Drew, was killed in a 2010 car crash by an illegal immigrant. He entered the country illegally. He was from Honduras. He ultimately given legal status because of that hurricane. When he came in, he came in illegally. Now you don't have your son.

Don, it's always good to see you. But my heart always breaks for you anew every time I do see you because I know when you start hearing Republicans obsess over amnesty for 800,000 people brought here when they were young, it's got to just wear on you.

DON ROSENBERG, FATHER OF CHILD KILLED BY IMMIGRANT: Well, Laura, thanks for having me. It certainly does. It's hard to believe that Americans are willing to sacrifice other Americans both jobs, lives, in deference to people ha are in the country illegally. And certainly, it's all the Democrats and now got a lot of Republicans coming on board, too. It's absolutely outrageous and the public shouldn't stand for it.

INGRAHAM: You know, when I speak with families who have been so brutally affected by the scourge of illegal immigration, they have repeatedly said from California to Nevada to Texas, no one even bothered to ask us questions before Donald Trump. They didn't talk to us. They didn't sit down with us. They didn't give us a hug, didn't hear from President Obama, didn't hear from George W. Bush. Trump was it for them. Finally, they had a voice.

ROSENBERG: Well, yes. You couldn't be more accurate than that. I can tell from you so many of the people that I'm now friends with, because we have lost somebody, you know, back in the Obama days we wrote to him. I wrote to him twice. I had the letter delivered by someone in Jeh Johnson's staff, never even a condolence response back.

I have written to many senators and congressmen, no response. They just ignore us, which is incredible. Same thing with a lot of the media, L.A. Times, New York Times" Chicago Tribune, or any of the Tribune publications. They will run story after story. Heart breaking story that some illegal alien being deported and all they did was embezzling money and then somebody gets killed. You will find it nowhere in the paper.

INGRAHAM: I call those immigration sob stories. I do them regularly on the radio. Every illegal immigrant is a valedictorian or has rescued a cat from a tree. There is never an illegal immigrant and most of these news accounts that's ever so much as jay walked. OK.

So, your stories, you know, the robberies, you know, and so when Donald Trump originally made that point, you know, talked about rape and so forth, they didn't like the way he phrased it, but what he was getting at is you're not receiving the full story on this. I'm going to tell the story of those men and women and their families who have been so horrifically affected because these politicians haven't done their job.

And I got to say, Republicans, Democrats watching this, your solemn duty is to the American people, the American people, not to the people of other countries who came here illegally but to legal immigrants and to American citizens. Donald Trump understands that. I don't think he is going to sell out people on immigration. If he does, he is over anyway. So he is going to be done. If he sells us out on immigration, Donald Trump will not be reelected president of the United States, I can tell you that right now. And I come as someone who is a great supporter of his. And you can close it out.

ROSENBERG: I hope not. The problem is that the public doesn't really know what's going on because they are not being told. Kate Steinle was killed and half the country thinks she is the first person ever killed by illegal alien, and the other half of the country never heard of her. The reality is we are talking over 50,000 deaths since the last immigration reform, and now what are we going to do? And now they want to do the same thing. It's outrageous.

INGRAHAM: No, no, no. It can't be the promise of enforcement and immediate amnesty. That never works. It didn't work before and it's not going to work now.

And by the way, you don't want to miss this next segment. It's a little noticed story that could turn into huge news, and what FOX News can now confirm about the reopening of, you got it, the Hillary Clinton email investigation, next.


INGRAHAM: Breaking news for you tonight. Fox News can now confirm that Justice Department is taking another look at Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state. Investigators are examining how classified material ended up on her unsecured server, how much was sent, who sent it, and which of the original federal investigators knew about all of this.

FOX can also confirm that the Justice Department is now investigating whether the Clinton Foundation engaged in any pay-to-play schemes while Hillary was secretary of state, two big developments.

So let's discuss all of this with Peter Schweizer, who is author of the New York Times best seller "Clinton Cash" who is in Tallahassee, Florida. And here with me in studio is Philippe Reines who is the former deputy assistant secretary of state to Hillary Clinton. It's great to see both of you. Philippe, let's start with you. The Justice Department and the FBI are taking another look, no matter how you phrase it. It looks like they are investigating this anew. What's your take? Let's first start with the email server.

PHILIPPE REINES, FORMER SENIOR HILLARY CLINTON ADVISER: Listening to that it's amazing that the Department of Justice has any time to do anything else. I would say two things. First, I think there's a problem with the Department of Justice and the FBI looking at something over and over again because there are people who don't like the outcome. This has been investigated and concluded.

But I'll say this rather than fight it. Have at it. If they want to look at it, if we didn't do anything wrong, we have nothing to fear. People who ho are innocent don't fire the FBI director.

The second thing that I would add if they are going to do this, expand it. It's been six to nine years. Let's see what's happened since. Let's see about email practice. Let's see about the system. There are people now, we have Jared and Ivanka who were caught using private email last year in the White House. I haven't heard anything about that. Let's put them on that, too. Let's have Rudy Giuliani and the New York field office. Let's take a look at that.

INGRAHAM: You are a really smart guy.

REINES: Thank you.

INGRAHAM: I bet you didn't send emails to a Yahoo! account, or did you? Did you ever send government emails to another account that included any confidential or classified information like Huma Abedin did? Did you ever do that?

REINES: Not to a personal account, but it's funny you ask. This is an email that I sent that has been classified. It's been redacted so I'm not holding anything. This is an email that I sent to the secretary who doesn't reply. I don't say anything. But take a look at where it comes from. This has one of the most senior members of the White House as part of the sending group. Why aren't we looking at this? We should be, because this is a systemic problem. This is on the Internet. This was FOIA-ed by Judicial Watch.

INGRAHAM: So your view is that there was deletion of emails, none of that at the Department of State, when she was there, none of that was in any way problematic? I mean Comey thought it was problematic.

REINES: She has said it was dumb.

INGRAHAM: Comey originally said it was --

REINES: I think he was prejudging it. I know you think he watered it down. I think he was --

INGRAHAM: Let's go to Peter Schweizer who wrote a book in part about this. Peter, you heard what Philippe said about this. If you want to do it, broaden the investigation into general email practices, and then we will talk about the Clinton Foundation.

PETER SCHWEIZER, "CLINTON CASH" AUTHOR: Yes, I mean I think that's a good idea. But I think there is a fundamental difference. There's a difference when Colin Paul as secretary of state was using an AOL account occasionally for correspondence and setting up your own private server. Why do you set up a private server? If you have the AOL account you can delete it on your laptop, but it's on a server back at AOL. The reason you set up a server, I believe the reason the Clintons did, is precisely because of what they did. They deleted 33,000 emails and turned only 30,000 over to the State Department. And the FBI, by the way, concluded that all of those deleted were personal emails, that they deleted those that were business related as well.

So I appreciate the spirit with which he is saying broaden the investigation. I would agree with that, but I do think there is a fundamental difference between having a server and a private email account and just having a private email account.

REINES: We don't know that Jared and Ivanka Trump don't have a server in their apartment.


REINES: I think they can afford it.

INGRAHAM: I'm sure they would be happy to answer that question. But let's move on to the Clinton Foundation, Philippe. Now it looks like that's going to be examined again. And we know for a fact that people who are donors to the Clinton Foundation did seek to get access to Mrs. Clinton and in some cases did get access to Mrs. Clinton. Just the appearance of that, I mean, are you a lawyer? I think you're a lawyer.

SCHWEIZER: No, I'm not.

INGRAHAM: Thank God. Well, the mere appearance of that is not good. Having people who work both for the Foundation and their consulting to their State Department at the same time while they are trying to shepherd people through to meetings with Mrs. Clinton, setting aside politics and all of that, I think appearance issues plague all politicians. But that one opens up so many questions and always did.

REINES: It was a tough situation. You had never had a former president with a significant Foundation doing good around the world married to a secretary of state.

INGRAHAM: But why would all those millions donated and then the whole thing dries up after she doesn't become president? Why?

REINES: I don't know that that's true. But I'll tell you what the problem is, a lot of the accusations made against the Clinton Foundation including by Mr. Schweizer in "Clinton Cash" have been proven wrong. His -- in fact, ironically, he sat on this set with Chris Wallace when he wrote the book, and Chris, I brought it because it's unbelievable, Chris wrote that Clinton took no direction action was involved in any way in proving nine agencies of the company. Peter had to admit he overreached when he said that Secretary Clinton was able to veto it. That's not true. It's a nine person agency. It's not her decision.

INGRAHAM: Why wouldn't Mrs. Clinton have said, if you are involved in giving money to the Clinton Foundation, that's great, but that doesn't look good. Why would millions of dollars --

REINES: Because when you --

INGRAHAM: -- be funneled to the Clinton Foundation when there were pending matters before the State Department and important matters with the government? We can go through all of them. They are well-known. Why would they do that? Why?

REINES: Well, I think a couple things. First of all, nothing was funneled. Things were donated and made public. They made every penny public.

INGRAHAM: Peter has to respond to what you just said about the book. But Peter, go ahead what Philippe had charged.

SCHWEIZER: It's not true with all due respect. A $2.35 million donation from the chairman of Uranium One as the deal was being approved was not disclosed by the Clinton Foundation. And the Clinton Foundation had to admit that even though you signed an agreement with President Obama saying you were going to disclose every penny. And, you know, call me unfair, but I don't know how you misplace a $2.35 million donation from the chairman of the uranium company has approval sale to Russia is being considered at that very time.

REINES: But Peter you wrote that Secretary Clinton had veto power over the deal and you had to take that back.

SCHWEIZER: No I did not. Read the book.

REINES: You had to admit that you overreached.

SCHWEIZER: No, I did not. What I said in the book was that there were nine government agencies that approved the deal. If any of those agencies, including the State Department, don't agree with the deal, the deal gets halted and kicked up to the president for review. And by the way three -- go ahead.

INGRAHAM: The committee on foreign -- we can't re-litigate that, but this is going to be going on for some time. I want to have you both back. It's great to have you on Philippe. Sorry I botched your name twice.

REINES: It happens all the time.

INGRAHAM: It's live TV.

And by the way, in a moment we are going to tell you what the attorney general did today that could signal the beginning of the end, oh, for legal marijuana, that's wishful thinking. Don't go away.


INGRAHAM: Attorney General Jeff Sessions has set the stage for what could turn into a crackdown on legalized marijuana. He issued a memo today reversing several Obama era directives that discourage enforcement of federal anti-marijuana laws in states that have legalized its use and possession.

Joining me now to debate all this is attorney Jon Talcott. He's chairman of Smart Approaches to marijuana, along with Don Murphy of the Marijuana Policy Project. Cory Gardner in Colorado, senator, said that A.G. Jeff Sessions' decision to rescind marijuana policy has trampled on the will of the Colorado voters. Wow. Jon Talcott, what do you think about that Republican Cory Gardner? They got a lot of money, tax money from the legalized marijuana?

JON TALCOTT, SMART APPROACHES TO MARIJUANA: I was very sorry to hear about Cory Gardner taking that position. I think he has actually said even worse than that. He said he is not going to support any person who has been appointed by Attorney General Sessions in the next few months until this is all straightened out. I think he is actually, you know, making more of a big deal of this than he should because ultimately we're just going back to enforcing the law like it used to be enforced.

INGRAHAM: And the current federal law.

TALCOTT: And the current federal law prohibits the use, distribution, sale of marijuana. And he is making it almost like a states right issue when it's actually a public health issue. And if you look at all of the various things that marijuana has been doing to his state, I'm actually kind of surprised that he would be taking that position. I mean, we have seen a doubling in the number of people who have been killed in drug driving accidents. We have seen, you know, emergency rooms overwhelmed by people reporting that they are suffering from psychosis. We have seen skyrocketing youth use. We have seen pot shops being put in all the minority areas.

INGRAHAM: And Don, you are an advocate the legalized marijuana. Billions of dollars are on the line, big celebrity money, big weed money. And this is initiative that is being pushed and pushed and pushed I think without regard to public health. But, on the issue of state versus federal authority here, it is currently federal law, as Jon said, to prohibit recreational use of marijuana, possession, or distribution. If you want to change the law, change the law. So demonizing Jeff Sessions as some of these people are doing today, these growers, they want to make money off the destruction of our development of young brains and so forth. I guess they can do that, but it's federal law right now until they change it.

DON MURPHY, MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT: Jeff Sessions is doing what Jeff Sessions is supposed to do. He is the attorney general and he is supposed to prosecute these sort of things. He is supposed to say he is going to enforce federal law. That's what Loretta Lynch said in her confirmation hearings and that's what Jeff Sessions said in his.

Whether you want to talk about billions of dollars, public health, or anything else, I think this is a constitutional amendment. It's a 10th Amendment issue. And with respect to health issues, I think more and more people are finding that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. And whether or not you want to debate that, that's a whole different topic. I actually think that the states are capable of enforcing their own law. In what realm is --

INGRAHAM: They're averting federal law right now.

MURPHY: In what realm is federal law --

INGRAHAM: What other laws should be willy-nilly ignored.

MURPHY: I actually think the states are capable of handling their own state laws. And the voters have passed these laws and the legislatures have passed these laws. I don't think the Trump administration should get in the middle of this. This is not necessarily about billions of dollars. In my opinion it's about very sick people who by his own admission, the president has said he knows people who use marijuana, and he --

INGRAHAM: Sick people like people who are starting on marijuana and moving to other drugs? Nine percent are addicted -- nine percent end up getting addicted. Daily use they get up to 17 percent. That's American Academy of Pediatricians.

MURPHY: Let's start off with opioids and heroin because they get a prescription.

TALCOTT: The vast majority of people who get addicted to opioids and die from that addiction have started off with pot. Let's just be clear.


TALCOTT: Secondly let's make it clear. You are from the Marijuana Policy Project. You get paid to be here. I'm here for Smart Approaches to Marijuana. We are trying to come up with a middle road. We are not talking prohibition versus legalization. We are talking about decriminalization and trying to deal with some of the problems that have been identified while also making some progress in dealing with the drug policy issues that some which are legitimate you guys raise.

But when it comes right down to it, this is a bad day for the Marijuana Policy Project for one simple reason. Most of the board has invested in the marijuana industry. All those people are trying to make a ton of money off of our kids, getting them addicted.

MURPHY: I actually thought we would be here to talk about the issue and not personal attacks.

INGRAHAM: That's not a personal attack.

MURPHY: I'm a little disappointed in that.

INGRAHAM: Wrap it up.

MURPHY: There are very sick people benefiting from this and I don't think the president should be --

INGRAHAM: All right, we are out of time, guys. We'll have you back for sure. Great debate.

By the way, up next, something bizarre. You are not going to want to miss it. Bomb cyclones, reptiles? Stay with us.


INGRAHAM: And now let's go to our own Ingraham Angle Doppler radar that tracks weather hyperbole and oddities. As you know it's cold here on the East Coast, believe it or not, and it's winter time. And it's cold in most of the United States. Shocking. And the effects of the dreaded bomb cyclone have reached even the reptile set in Florida.

When temps dip to below 40 degrees in the sunshine state today, something odd started happening. Iguanas started dropping from trees. Yum, a frozen treat for the Good Humor man. Imagine that. The fate of this cute green fellow was chronicled today by the Associated Press. But, look, before you weep over his limp leathery figure, you should know just because they go belly up, those little green guys aren't necessarily dead. They are just chilling. So bad. Literally.

Iguanas are one thing, but what about those pesky, invasive species of Burmese pythons that now populate the Florida everglades? Sorry, kids. Snake haters, well, even the current cold snap will not stem their slithery ranks. They survive. And by the way, I was reminded of this because my son held a python in Florida last week at a reptile show and I almost had a heart attack. I almost melted down when I saw him. He is the one in the orange. Yes, he thought it was cool and he demanded to hold the alligator at the exhibit as well, Niko. He is not afraid of anything. I had to run.

By the way, we'll be right back with some breaking reaction from the president on Michael Wolff's book, coming up.


INGRAHAM: Before we go, the president reacting just minutes ago to the latest revelations from Michael Wolff's book, specifically what we talked about just a few minutes ago, the idea that Wolff had unfettered access to the president's staff. Trump tweeting, "I authorized zero access to White House actually turned him down many times for author of phony book. I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations, and sources that don't exist. Look at this guy's past and watch what happens to him and sloppy Steve."

Well, "Sloppy Steve," let me just say, he did according to multiple reports and Wolff himself, he sat in the West Wing on that couch as people walked back and forth and was given access, as has been reported by I think Hope Hicks, she said gave the green light for various people at the White House to speak with him. And that's the information that we have. The president did not give him an interview, that is correct, but he was cleared into the White House, checked into the Hay-Adams Hotel and spent some time there.

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