This is a rush transcript from "The Story," July 11, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, “THE STORY” HOST: Good evening, everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum and this is THE STORY. Does a meeting with a Russian attorney under the promise of negative information about Hillary Clinton equal collusion with Russia to influence the presidential election? In moments, we will speak with Sean Hannity, who sat down with the man at the center of all this, Donald Trump Jr. He will tell us about their conversation. The White House pushing back hard tonight on this saying that there is nothing to this story; you will hear from Trey Gowdy as well on this, Charles Krauthammer, and Jason Chaffetz, all weighing in on a very big night. So, let's get right to it, here is the sum of the interview that will air in its entirety on Sean's show at 10:00.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP JR., SON OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Honestly, my take away, when all this was going on is that someone has information on our opponent. You know, things are going a million miles an hour; he knows what it's like to be on a campaign. We just won Indiana, but we're talking about a contested convention, things are going a million miles an hour again. And hey, wait a minute, I've heard about all these things, but maybe this is something; I should hear him out.
I've been reading about scandals that people were probably under-reporting for a long time. So, maybe it was something that had to do with one of those things. I mean, this was her, perhaps, involvement with the Russian government. So, you know, I didn't know if there was any credibility. I didn't know if there's something behind it. I can't vouch for the information. Someone sent me an e-mail. I can't help what someone sends me. You know, I read it, I responded accordingly, and if there was something there, I think it is pretty common.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Sean Hannity joins me now. Hey, Sean!
SEAN HANNITY, “HANNITY” HOST: It's good to see you. Congrats on this new show. You never invited me --
MACCALLUM: No, you can come anytime, anytime. As soon as I saw that you're doing this, I reached out; and thank you for coming over to talk about it. You guys just finish this moments ago. So, we saw the introduction. How is he doing with all of this? That's one of my first questions.
HANNITY: I though he's very measured, very desirous to just get it, you know, on the table. Every e-mail was released and freely talked about it all. I asked all questions, any follow-up, any background, and any other information that'll come out, and really didn't have anything else to add to it. It was a 20-minute meeting; never talked to the woman again. And you know I've got my own strong opinions about this. There's such a double standard that exists, and I actually dress it in the start of my show. I mean, if influencing elections are so bad, then why did Obama try to influence the Israeli election and defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu? If they're so bad, what about the British Intel guy that came up with this ridiculous, you know, a document that had so much false information, and who paid him? Was it Fusion GPS? Who were they associated with?
MACCALLUM: Big question. We need to know more about GPS Fusion.
HANNITY: Yes, we do.
MACCALLUM: They're involved in a lot of things here, and that is a big question here. I mean, which goes to the deeper issue of the fact that opposition research, unfortunately, in the world we live in, is an integral part of every one of these campaigns. So, he gets this e-mail -- you know, in terms of his thoughts on how -- whether or not he got kind of took by falling for this. Because he shows up, and then she says, well, I don't have any of that kind of information, so what happened there?
HANNITY: But he has, in retrospect, twice he addresses in retrospect, on the show. I don't want to give the whole thing away.
MACCALLUM: I think we have one more, one more little sound bite.
HANNITY: You stole that one.
MACCALLUM: I took everything. Let's play a little bit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: In retrospect, I thought I would've done things a little differently. Again, this is before the Russia mania, this is before they were building it up in the press. For me, this opposition research, they had something, you know, maybe concrete evidence to all of the stories I've been hearing about, but they were probably underreported for years not just during the campaign. So, I think I wanted to hear it out. But really, it went nowhere, and it was apparent that that wasn't what the meeting was actually about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, what about him taking this meeting, and the rest of the White House staff? Did he run it by anybody? Did he say, is this a good idea or a bad idea?
HANNITY: I asked the hypothetical question: what if the information, perhaps, seems shady or illegal? We'll get into that. Here is my big picture as a conservative. I mentioned the dossier; I mentioned BB and Victory 15, the campaign against Prime Minister Netanyahu. There's also this big Ukraine issue, and that is involving the Hillary Clinton campaign, involving the DNC. There was a meeting, it did take place at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington, information was sought and was gotten and it did have an impact on the campaign resulting in Paul Manafort getting out.
You know Martha, we are now living in the midst, I think, of the informational crisis in the country, and that is that we have media; they don't seem to care about mishandling, destruction of e-mails with Hillary Clinton. They don't seem to care about Hillary signing off on the Uranium one deal: up to 20 percent of America's Uranium going to Vladimir Putin; it sounds like a Russia conspiracy, and over $100 million kickback to her foundation. They don't seem to care, Comey, classified information, violation of the Espionage Records Act. They don't seem to care about 125 deep state leaks in 126 days. They don't seem to care about a meeting with Loretta Lynch on the Tarmac.
And my point is this: the media has lost all perspective in the country right now, and while they are focused on Russia, and one issue and they ignore Ukraine, and they ignored victory 15, and they ignore the dossier, you know, talking about hookers, and urinating in beds -- I'm not trying to be crude -- and they ignore real felonies and crimes committed. They've have done a disservice to the American people, their effort now is to delegitimize this president, prevent him from doing the job that what I call the forgotten men and women of America wanted him to do.
MACCALLUM: Well, there you go. And there are people watching this show tonight and all of the shows, who are probably at home going, I don't care about this. I don't care about this story, and I want to know about the things that affect my life. However it --
HANNITY: Martha, I never ran out of questions. I ran out of questions tonight. I'm a talk show host, I never shut up.
MACCALLUM: In terms of what else -- you know where this might go? Because here's the issue that gives people who really have made this their mission in life, something to hang onto here. So, they look at this situation, and they say, OK, so what we've heard from the administration is that there were no contacts with Russia, that there were no meetings. OK. Donald Trump Jr. himself said I never had any meetings, any substantial meetings with anybody with regard to Russia. So now, that turns out to not be true. So now, the pull -- the string is there to keep pulling on.
Who else said they didn't have meetings and what meetings were there, what was the nature of those? And then you have the sanctions issue here because if the Russian government looked at the Trump campaign and said, you know what, if we meet with them, they seem amenable to talking to us. Maybe we can convince them that if we, you know, we give them some stuff on Hillary Clinton they will lift these sanctions. And, in truth, President Trump has indicated that he's open to doing that. In fact, he's trying to do that to some extent, to a great extent at this point to fight against Congress. That's what all adds up and looks very bad.
HANNITY: Well, I think the bigger bad here is, if you understand these other issues involving the influencing of elections. There was testimony very early on that the Russians try to influence previous elections, this election, and they'll do it in future elections.
MACCALLUM: That's a problem --
HANNITY: That's a problem.
MACCALLUM: that everyone should care about.
HANNITY: Well, I also think it's a problem that in Hillary Clinton's email server, and a mom-and-pop shop bathroom closet, five foreign Intelligence services got the information.
MACCALLUM: And your point is well taken that if the media is going to care about this story, they need to care about that story about the Ukrainian influence on the Democratic side is a very valid story that should've been followed.
HANNITY: I would argue that anybody that watches anyone else in the media, they don't know about this Ukrainian story, Clinton operatives, DNC operative's meeting with Ukrainian officials in the same election. And that to me shows that this information crisis is real.
MACCALLUM: I hear what you're saying, but are you concerned that the Russians felt that there was, you know, sort of tender ground for them in the Trump campaign, and a sympathetic ear on the sanctions issue?
HANNITY: You know, maybe, but it wasn't indicated, at least in this with Donald Trump Jr. saying, and I believe him, and what the e-mails show is that it was a bait and switch in a lot of ways. And all of the sudden he's hearing about, you know, a particular adoption issue that --
MACCALLUM: And now he certainly didn't get what he thought he was going to get out of that meeting, that's for sure.
HANNITY: Well, let me just get this side note that he put out in a statement today is, Goldstone, who arranged the meeting, Rob Goldstone, apologized after the meeting and said, I'm so sorry, that had nothing to do with what this lady said. So, she misrepresented herself. And interestingly, she confirms everything that Donald Trump says --
MACCALLUM: She says it's nonsense, I'm in shock; I'm an ordinary person. And we don't know enough about whether or not we can trust her 100 percent, but that's what she's saying today. Sean, thank you very much. I can't wait to see the rest of the interview at 10:00 tonight.
HANNITY: Martha, great to see you. Congratulations on the success of the show. You bet.
MACCALLUM: Thank you. Good to see you, sir.
HANNITY: Good to see you.
MACCALLUM: So, here now with more: Congressman Trey Gowdy, the Chair of the House Oversight Committee. Good to see you tonight, Congressman. Welcome.
REP. TREY GOWDY, R-SC, CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: Yes, ma'am. Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So, with regard to oversight and your role, and there's already discussion about wanting to talk to Donald Trump Jr. about this meeting on the Hill. Is it illegal to speak to a foreign national who you believe is going to turn over opposition research on a candidate?
GOWDY: I haven't been a real lawyer in seven years, Martha, so I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer the legality of it. The goodness for news for us, we have a guy named Robert Mueller, who's a former United States Attorney and the head of the FBI. And if you look at the document that empowers them with jurisdiction, the very first entry links coordination between the Russian government and members of the Trump campaign. So, I'm going to let Bob Mueller sort out all the criminality; that is not the job of members of Congress, and it's not the job of The New York Times.
MACCALLUM: All right. So, in terms of this Donald Jr. story that's out there today, are you troubled by any of it?
GOWDY: Yes, I'm troubled on three levels. One, the legal level, but I think that is Bob Mueller's lane. The political level, Martha, here we are beginning another week, this one in July, with a new revelation about Russia. And then the third, which is more of a medical issue, is the amnesia of people that are in the Trump orbit. Someone close to the president needs to get everyone connected with that campaign in a room and say, from the time you saw Dr. Zhivago until the moment you drank vodka with a guy named Boris, you list every single one of those. And we're going to turn them over to the Special Counsel, because, drip, drip, drip, is undermining the credibility of this administration.
MACCALLUM: Well, you may be right about that. In terms this Magnitsky Act, which basically is a U.S. Act that went through Congress that limits friends of Vladimir Putin, close associates, from doing things they like to do, like traveling to the United States, traveling, you know, throughout other areas of the world, because it's a slap on the wrist for human right violence, and it's selective in terms of who it impacts. So, their punishment, the Russian government's punishment, was to say, we're going to end all of these adoptions that are happening to the United States, and a few other things that they did. Are you concerned that there was an effort to influence this campaign with regard to changing that or to find a, you know, sort of a sympathetic ear on that?
GOWDY: I'm not nearly as concerned with that. I've had members of my own church impacted by the inability to adopt children from Russia. I'm much more concerned about the purported reason for the meeting as opposed to the real reason. The purported reason was for an agent of a foreign power to try to influence our election. That concerns me more than someone trying to sit down with a member of, perhaps, an incoming administration to lobby for a policy change. I'm more concerned with the actual words in the e- mail than the real reason she wanted to meet.
MACCALLUM: Which words in the e-mail disturb you?
GOWDY: Russian government's efforts to help the Trump campaign, official documents, those are the kind of words that for months and months, Republicans have been saying, there is no evidence of collusion between Trump, the Trump campaign, or even hangers-on. And here we have this meeting that may amount to nothing, but here we are on a Tuesday on a weekly ought to be discussing infrastructure and tax reform, and we're still talking about Russia. And frankly, with some good reason, because this e-mail -- we should've known about it before yesterday.
MACCALLUM: All right. We're going to talk more about that in a moment. But you know, in terms of the other story, Jim Comey and the leaking of the supposedly some classified information when he took those notes after his meeting with the president, is that do those notes become a government document, and do you want to hear more from him on this?
GOWDY: I do. You mentioned oversight; I'm also on House Intel, I'm also on Judiciary. Those two committees are probably the more appropriate committees to have a conversation with Director Comey. The memos are available. The FBI has made them available, and I'm going to look at them this week. I do not want to prejudge. I don't think it's fair to do it to Republicans, I think it's fair to do it to Comey to think that's because someone reported something that it's necessarily true. I don't know whether there's classified information in these memos are not. I'm going to read them this week. I'll have a better idea. That's probably going to be a House Intel issue as opposed to oversight.
MACCALLUM: All right. We look forward to hearing more from you on that as you move forward with it. Congressman Trey Gowdy, always a pleasure. Thank you very much.
GOWDY: Yes, ma'am. Yes, ma'am. Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So, we are going to have more in just a moment from Sean Hannity's exclusive sit down with Donald Trump Jr. just ahead. And Charles Krauthammer is here with his bottom line on those claiming that today's revelations prove collusion. Also, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, says that the Senators will shorten their August break, which is generally a month long; it's now going to be two weeks long because he wants them to get health care reform done. Make no mistake, the pressure is on.
Former congressman Jason Chaffetz, joins me; he's been tough on his colleagues on this. He's here to tell us what has to happen and by when. Also this, a controversial Muslim activist says she knows white people are upset now with her call for Jihad against President Trump. They're all bigots, really? They're all lashing. (INAUDIBLE), joins us, they've been battling on Twitter about this, they will battle here as well coming up right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDA SARSOUR, ACTIVIST: A word of truce, truth in front a tyrant ruler or leader. That is the best form of Jihad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Did you tell your father anything about this?
TRUMP: No. It was such a nothing. There was nothing to tell. I wouldn't have even remembered it until you started scouring through stuff. It was literally just a waste of 20 minutes, which was a shame.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: That was some more of Donald Trump Jr.'s sit down with Sean Hannity, which will air in its entirety at 10:00 tonight. So, were Trump Jr. denied that his father had any proper knowledge of the sit-down, any prior knowledge, rather, with the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya. Earlier, the White House weighed in offering this statement of support for Donald Trump Jr. from his father, the president. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: I have a quick statement that I'll read from the president. "My son is a high-quality person, and I applaud his transparency. And beyond that, I'm going to have to refer everything on this matter to Don Jr.'s counsel and outside counsel."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, here now: Charles Krauthammer is Syndicated Columnist and Fox News Contributor. Of course, Charles, good to see you this evening, good evening to you.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: My pleasure.
MACCALLUM: So, one of the things that were said in these e-mails is, from Donald Trump Jr., is he says to Rob, who is setting up this meeting, if it's what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer. Meaning if you can get the information and it comes at a crucial time, I love it. That's great. What do you make of all this?
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I love it, every single word. And the defense of the Trump administration for the last six months, which I supported, was there doesn't appear to be a there, there. Just as I was saying, this is a cover-up in search of a crime. There wasn't any evidence of collusion. There were lots of coincidences, lots of meetings, lots of nondisclosures, but that's all circumstantial. There was nothing to show that the Trump administration was aware of, or supporting the Russian interference in our elections.
And this just showed up today in black and white, released by Don Jr. himself. This is not released in the, you know, the anti-Trump media, so you see it in black and white. This is not to say that collusion is a crime. It never was. But it is to say that the denial of collusion is very weak right now because it looks as if -- I don't know if there's any other explanation -- Don Jr. was receptive to receiving information.
MACCALLUM: OK. But that's different. You're saying he was receptive, and he said that himself in an interview with Sean; we played the sound bite. He said, you know, there's all this stuff going around, and you know, I get an e-mail from this guy that I know, who says, you know, we have something you should see. Every campaign is looking for dirt on the opposition, every single one, right?
So, he goes to the meeting, and, you know, as per his claim, you know, nothing came out of it. He said it was a complete waste of time. So, you know, you've got the suggestion that, well, if you know something that would be helpful to us, I'd like to hear it. Is that in and of itself, you know, collusion when there was absolutely no fruit from the actual meeting? There's nothing there after the meeting is over?
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I'd say, hell of a defense to say that their collusion was incompetent. And that it didn't work out. The fact is that this is not just opposition research. This is not somebody coming out of the woodwork in Indiana, where the story about the Clintons; this is a foreign power and not just any foreign power, an adversary from power. A foreign power that invades our allies in Georgia, in Ukraine, buzzes our airplanes. Just last week in the U.N., it mixed any attempt to get sanctions increased on North Korea. That supports a genocidal regime in Syria.
This is our most serious adversary one can argue in the world. And to receive information from them -- but here's the deal: they denied they did this. They agreed with the critics, today critics, that this is a bad thing to do, and they were saying for six months, we didn't do it, there is no evidence that we did it, how can you imagine that we did it? Now, they're saying, oh, yes, we did it but it wasn't so bad, and we were incompetent at it. That's not a very good defense.
MACCALLUM: But I do think when they go through this they're going to investigate, obviously, they are going to figure out whether or not there was any information that changed hands. And if no information changed hands, I think it's going to be tough to say that it was more than, you know, the sort of intention or the hope that he was going to get some information. But that the information never was -- there was no transaction, there was nothing communicated. And as you say -- I mean, there could be more. And we talked about this earlier, this creates a string to pull on, and there certainly could be more. That, in my mind, is what we don't know yet.
KRAUTHAMMER: If you got to call to go to a certain place in the middle of the night to pick up stolen goods, and it turns out the stolen goods don't show up, but the cops show up, I think you're going to have a very weak story saying, well, I got swindled here. Look, this is incompetence. They got swindled. And he admits, if I had known, I wouldn't have done this. But to say, I love it to be informed that the Russians are working on their behalf, contradicts six months of stories.
And I say again, I defended them because up until today, there was no "there" there. Well, now, there is a there. And now to say, as some are saying, well, collusion, we all do it. We did it in Israel. The Ukrainians are colluding. Come on. That is pathetic. The fact is, the Russians are an adversary, probably are most dangerous in the world. And when you get information that the Russians want to dig dirt on your opponent and give it to you, and support you in your election, you go to the FBI. You don't go to the meeting.
MACCALLUM: I mean, at the very least, it appears to be naive. And he said that in retrospect, he would've handled the whole thing very differently. So, we'll see where it goes. Charles, thank you.
KRAUTHAMMER: I agree with you -- naive, but also wrong. It may not be criminal, but pretty wrong, pretty bad.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Charles. Always good to see you, sir.
KRAUTHAMMER: My pleasure.
MACCALLUM: So, chilling new details tonight on the story of an American soldier in deeper with ISIS than anyone knew. This active-duty sergeant had been threatening fellow service members for years, that story still ahead. Plus, Senators and their staffers, receiving some tough news today: two fewer weeks of vacation in August as Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, says stay here, get the work done, and then go on vacation. Jason Chaffetz says it is too little too late; his message to his former colleagues coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-NEW YORK: It's a gambit. They're struggling with health care, they don't want to go home and face their constituents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER REPRESENTATIVE FOR UTAH: Members of Congress, Houses, and the Senate, they do not want to go back into the August work period, where they're going to be out for four or five weeks. They can't just hide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, perhaps those words last week with former Representative, Jason Chaffetz, reverberated a little bit on Capitol Hill, as lawmakers try to avoid frustration from home at a stalled agenda. Earlier today, Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, announcing the delay to the Senate's August recess, sending a chilling message to everybody on the Hill, and to Democrats in the process. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Due to this unprecedented level of obstruction that we've been experiencing, we will be in session the first two weeks of August.
SCHUMER: If I were them, I wouldn't want to go home and face the voters either.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Joining me now: Fox News contributor and former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, back with us again, Jason Chaffetz. Good to see you. Welcome.
JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks for having me.
MACCALLUM: So now I can call you Jason. I don't have to call you congressman anymore, right?
MACCALLUM: All right, Jason.
CHAFFETZ: Call me your friend. I'll be even happier, yeah.
MACCALLUM: All right. We talked about this last night. It's ridiculous to not be able to work under a deadline, right?
CHAFFETZ: Well, it's human nature. You've got to gravitate to a deadline, and congress is notorious because there's never a deadline. They just keep bunting it and bunting it. And I'm worried that July 11th they're already talking about, hey, we're going to need to be here in August, but what's that all about. It doesn't make sense.
MACCALLUM: What is that all about? Because people give them excuses time and time again. And they get themselves really good excuses for why they can't sit down and sort of hammer it out. Do you think they're going to get health care done? I mean, supposedly, the senate is going to have.
CHAFFETZ: I hope so.
MACCALLUM: Something to look at this week.
CHAFFETZ: Yeah. I think they did raise the bar of expectations by saying they will introduce a bill, which would suggest in the two weeks after that that they would actually pass it. Then they can get it over at the house and perhaps get that done by August. Then -- look, if it spills another week or two, it spills another week or two. But I think we're driving the American people crazy. It drove me crazy as a member of Congress. Vote. You know it's so easy for them to say, well, you know, we've got to think about this and we're going to have to -- why didn't they actually vote on the house bill that we passed? I mean, think about all the gyrations we went through. They had a big White House ceremony.
MACCALLUM: They're all terrified. They're terrified they're going to vote, and they're going to get backlash, and they might lose their election. Everybody is just walking around on tender feet, scared to death that they might get to come back for a few more years.
CHAFFETZ: think about -- they had a big White House ceremony, big all to do, and then the senate didn't even bring it up for a vote. And so, I guess the senate is going to come up with their own gyration of this, and they're going to want the house to just swallow it whole, but do it. I think the imperative to get it done is there, but its July 11th. This was supposed to be on the president's desk when he got sworn in on January 20th. That's what we were told in the November-December time frame. So it's that late.
MACCALLUM: What was everybody doing back then?
CHAFFETZ: I don't know. I think I heard Senator Toomey say I think the best piece of truth, which is we never thought that Donald Trump would win. But, look, for 50 times, more than 50 times, I voted to repeal ObamaCare, and then guess what, now we have the presidency did they ever bring up that bill? No, because they were afraid that it was for real.
MACCALLUM: An embarrassment to say we've spent the last six years and we have a lot of time on our hands, and we couldn't get together in a room and say, you want this, OK, fine, I'll give you a little bit of that, you give me a little bit of this, and you have to be able to come up with something because that's what you're sent there to do. And the American people expect you to vote on as you say. I want to play something from your friend, Trey Gowdy, who we've spoke to a few moments ago, and get your reactions to this. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. I've covered all three levels. One, the legal level, but I think that's Bob Mueller's lane. The political level (TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY) third, which is more of a medical issue is the amnesia of people that are in the Trump orbit. So from the time you saw Dr. Zhivago until the moment you drank vodka with a guy named Boris, you list every single one of those.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHAFFETZ: That's classic Trey Gowdy. A full disclosure, Trey is like one of my best friends in the world. He's like that all the time.
CHAFFETZ: He comes up with these things. He does make a good point though. I think this was naive in taking this meeting. I think it was ill-advised. Was it illegal? That would be, I think, a real, real stretch.
MACCALLUM: Is it illegal to talk to someone from a foreign country, as Charles Krauthammer just pointed out, from Russia of all places, and receive opposition research from them?
CHAFFETZ: Again, it starts to go the wrong direction, Ill-advised. One of the questions is, why is he taking advice on meetings to take from a music producer, you know, music publicist. I don't understand that. Nevertheless, these 20 minutes does happen. If something else became of it, I think it would be an issue, but the fact that he came in and listen and people left the room.
MACCALLUM: Whosever leaking the emails that they read to the New York Times is probably going to keep doing that if there is more, no doubt it will come out. Jason, thank you.
CHAFFETZ: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Nice to see you as always. Thanks for being here. So still ahead tonight, controversial Muslim activist Linda Sarsour called for a, quote, jihad, against the Trump White House, and now she is calling critics who disagree with her racists. That works, right? Dana Loesch is here to sound- off on that. Plus, new questions tonight on the growing debate inside the Trump administration Afghanistan strategy. Could we really see an army made up entirely of private contractors from two companies, essentially, inside the country of Afghanistan? Answers straight ahead.
MACCALLUM: A story of terror at home. Tonight, we are learning chilling details about the decorated U.S. soldier arrested and accused of supporting ISIS. The FBI says that 34-year-old Ikaika Kang pledged allegiance to the Islamic state, and that was just the beginning. Adam Housley in our west coast newsroom with more tonight.
ADAM HOUSELEY, FOX NEWS: Martha, the federal criminal complaint filed in Hawaii, alleges 34-year-old Ikaika Kang not only attempted to provide material support to aid ISIS and offered to train an undercover agent to help fight for the Islamic state, but according to the FBI, Kang bought a drone for ISIS to use against U.S. forces, and said he wanted to use his rifle to, quote, kill a bunch of people. The army sergeant assigned 25th infantry Ottawa, who was trained as an air traffic controller and a combatant, and documents show the army reprimanded the soldier several times for threatening other service members and for arguing pro-ISIS views. An FBI forensic review of his computer also found classified military documents and hundreds of items referencing ISIS and violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Kang pledge -- that is -- he made a loyalty pledge to ISIS. Kang was arrested by FBI SWAT based on probable cause that he committed material support to terrorism.
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HOUSLEY: His father said the family is in shock, and Kang was introverted but a great kid growing up. He and the court appointed defense attorney believe the decorated sergeant, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, may suffer from service-related mental health issues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I was quite concerned when he came back on a tour of Afghanistan, one tour of Iraq, if he had PTSD. But he's never, ever talked about ISIS or anything like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOUSLEY: It has been reported that the military is investigating as many as 100 possible terror cases. In this one, the army reported Kang to the FBI in 2016. And after a more than a year-long investigation, the FBI says it believes Kang was acting alone and that no classified materials or information ever actually ended up in the hands of the ISIS terrorists. Martha, he next appears in federal court on Thursday. Martha?
MACCALLUM: Thanks to Adam Housley. And these disturbing developments come amid a growing debate inside the Trump administration over the next steps in the war on terror, the president putting power very much in the hands of the Pentagon, which now controls our troop levels in Afghanistan. But at the same time, White House insiders like Steve Bannon are reportedly pitching options such as using a private army in Afghanistan. Here with more, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Waltz, former Green Beret commander, and a Fox News contributor. Michael, good evening. Always good to see you. Great to have you here tonight.
MICHAEL WALTZ, FORMER GREEN BERET COMMANDER: Hey, Martha, thanks.
MACCALLUM: So the story is very interesting, and it comes as word is that there's only be 3,900 additional U.S. military to be involved in the push in Afghanistan. And you have to wonder, given what we're learning about what Steve Bannon has in mind, if they're not talking about making tens of thousands of other people on the ground with people from Blackwater and DynCorp and some of these private military contractors. What do you think of it?
WALTZ: Well, look, on this contractor issue, Martha, go into any modern military command today and you're going to see three types of people, you're going to see uniforms, you're going to see government civilians, and then you're going to see contracted civilians. Why? Because the contractors typically fill a very niche role that the commander needs like, say, anthropologist that speaks Pashto and studied the tribe. You don't find that very easily in the military or government. Or they do jobs that we don't want our trigger-polar doing. That we want to dedicate our trigger- polar to do other things, like, you know, they'll do logistics, or they'll do cooks, or those types of pieces. So they have a role, but I do not support, do not support, arm contractors taking the place of our military.
You know, Martha, I think what this is showing here in this debate is that people are exhausted with Afghanistan, you hear a lot about how hard it is, we've been there 15 years, it's cost us billions of dollars. Is the war winnable? But my argument, and folks who serve their, tell me that they fully agree, we don't have a choice at this point. ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other groups will rise in the wake of Taliban gains. Right now, we are slowly losing. We're essentially treading time and treading water. We really don't have a choice but to stay engaged for the long haul.
And keep in mind, these troops that we're talking about sending over that the generals out there have requested, they're not guys shooting bad guys and kicking in doors. They're advisors that are helping the Afghan army fight the war. And the strategy there is to build the Afghan army up. It's going to take a long time, just like it took a long time to build the South Korean army up. And then, to eventually wear the Taliban down so that they'll come to the negotiating table. But we cannot just quit like we did in Iraq, and that cost ISIS to create the Islamic State.
MACCALLUM: I just have a few seconds, but Al-Baghdadi potentially taken out. We hear these stories quite often. Do you think he was taken out by the Russians, how much does it matter?
WALTZ: Well, the commander there is saying that he hasn't had any proof. We haven't heard from him for quite some time. I think, you know, Al-Baghdadi would want to show that he's alive, to show his followers and his recruits, so I'm trying to be a little bit optimistic. I do think it will hurt the Islamic state after losing Raqqa and Mosul. But, the Islamic State is not done as a movement, Islamic extremists is not done as a moment. So we still need that broader strategy to undermine the ideology as we keep taking out their leaders, just like we took out Osama Bin Laden.
MACCALLUM: Michael Waltz, thank you so much, always good to talk to you.
WALTZ: All right. Thanks, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So still ahead tonight, New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, faces an angry radio caller over his controversial day at the beach. And the Trump team welcomes a new regulatory czar. And mourners gathered today to honor the life and work of slain New York City police officer Miosotis Familia, those stories coming up straight ahead. Plus, Muslim activist, Linda Sarsour, fighting back after catching heat over her use of the word Jihad against the Trump White House. Dana Loesch and Qasim Rashid next.
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UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Governor, next time you want to sit on a beach that is closed to the entire world except you.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: You put your fat (BLEEP) in a car and go to one that's open to all you constituents. Not just you and yours.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Interesting, Mike.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: What's that? What's that, gov?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: You know, Mike, I love getting calls from communists in Montclair.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Communists in Montclair. You're a bully, governor, and I don't like bullies.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: You know what, Mike, I'm not the guy who came on the air, swore on the air.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Who swore?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: You did.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Get the heck out of here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Governor Chris Christie confronting a critic, that's just one of the stories that we have for you tonight on the side. The New Jersey governor appearing on a local radio call-in show, he was slammed for his recent trip to a close to New Jersey beach, the caller a self-described Democrat. Mr. Christie may be eyeing a radio job once his term ends in January. And we'll see if that works well. So the U.S. has a new regulatory czar, and this is a big job in the Trump administration. The senate confirming Neomi Rao, she will be tapped in implementing the president effort to roll back regulation. It's a big part of draining the swamp. She's got bipartisan support, how about that.
And a final farewell to the NYPD's Miosotis Familia, officers lined the streets today to pay tribute to this woman of three, who was shot sitting in her patrol car. The flag on her coffin was presented to her young son. New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, spoke at the funeral. He's been criticized for jetting off to Germany to protest President Trump just days after this awful murder in his city. Reportedly hundreds of officers turned their backs to him in protest.
So as you remember last week, comments from Muslim activists, Linda Sarsour, spark controversy over her use of the word jihad in terms of what she thought should happen against the Trump White House. Sarsour is now fighting back to her critics, calling them Islamophobic, writing, quote, ugly threats comes from people who also spout anti-Muslim, xenophobic, and white supremacist beliefs. She goes on to say the reasons I'm suggesting to such particularly public vitriol are simple. I'm a Palestinian-American woman in a hijab. Now here, Dana Loesch, host of Dana on the Blaze TV, and Qasim Rashid, national spokesperson for the Muslim community in the United States. Good to have both of you here tonight.
DANA LOESCH, HOST OF DANA ON BLAZE TV: Good to be with you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So Dana, she says that she's being picked on, that jihad -- she meant and use the word jihad in a different context. That she was talking about the struggle, and that's the true meaning of the word.
LOESCH: Well, Martha, if that were all it was, I wouldn't see, maybe, perhaps, a problem with it. But we have to look at the context of the situation. She was speaking at a conference for an organization that has before featured as a keynote speaker, Anwar al-Awlaki. She began her remarks by crediting and giving praise to her mentor, Siraj Wahhaj, who was there and who she had described as her mentor, one of the unindicted co- conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. And I say all this because the hadith that she cited as the defense and definition of truth was also the same hadith that was used during the blind sheik's trial. Of course, everyone remembered that, in which Siraj Wahhaj, her mentor, was called as a witness for defense. And it was that same hadith that he used to actually justify physical force for jihad.
Now, it's important to note that the same organization, Martha, have actually endorsed the duality of the definition as presented in the English translations, the reliance of the traveler, which mentions that as a struggle, spiritual and physical, but with the ultimate goal of Islamic jurisprudence in place of any other legal system which, by the basic definition in our country, would qualify as sedition, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So, Qasim, you heard Dana's argument. And Sarsour did go on to talk about the fact that we're not here to assimilate or to please any other people in authority. She says if you're Muslim and you're standing on the sidelines, you're aiding and abetting oppressors in the United States. And much of what she says suggests that you don't really have to put yourself as a person in this country, sort of the law of the land does not necessarily apply to you if it's against the oppressor. So it makes it pretty tough to argue that jihad just means a personal struggle in the way that she frames her argument.
QASIM RASHID, AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY U.S.: Well, I didn't get any of that from what she said. What I can tell you as a spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, the nation's oldest Muslim organization, founded by a man name, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a messiah, who wrote a book at 1902 called, the British government and jihad, explaining that the true meaning of jihad is a jihad of the pen, it's of education, it's speaking truth to power. And I think this is the context that Linda was very clear about, that we cannot sit on the sidelines when we see in the United States, for example, record high levels of anti-Muslim violence and discrimination. What we want to do is, rather than engage in these attacks on one another, we want the truth.
MACCALLUM: But she's the one attacking. She said they were fascists and white supremacist and Islamophobic, reining as if he is a king in the White House.
RASHID: Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion. My point is this. Rather than find ways to attack one another further, let's look at how we can find ways to work together. We all agree we don't want terrorism. We all agree we don't want violence. I mean, today, it happens to be the anniversary of -- genocide, where Christian terrorist killed 8,000 Muslims. We don't blame all Christians for that. What we need to do is find the proper understanding of jihad, and that happens through education.
MACCALLUM: Well, you can talk about that, but it's backed up the language the she used surrounding it. I'm so sorry, guys. We have a lot of breaking news, and we have to leave it there. Thank you, please come back. When we return, we will remember the lives of sixteen lost in a military plane crash.
MACCALLUM: Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the 15 marines and one navy corpsman who tragically lost their lives when their U.S. military plane spiraled out of the sky and into a Mississippi field on Monday. We thank them and their families for their service and we owe them all a debt of gratitude for their sacrifice. Our quote tonight is the officer's oath, I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. That I take this obligation freely without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I'm about to enter, so help me God. May God continue to bless them and their loved ones. That is our story tonight. We'll see you tomorrow night. Tucker Carlson in Washington is up next.
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