This is a rush transcript from "The Story," April 10, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Hello there, Bret, good to see you. Breaking tonight, are guess is that -- what we are watching today could be the beginning of the end for Facebook, and that the wild west of the social media technology is about to run into a buzz saw that was set in motion by Congress, and that Congress has long turned a blind eye. Today, Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Durbin cut to the chase on the hot issue of censoring political thought on Facebook. And also, how much is too much sharing?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ, R—TEXAS: There are a great many Americans who I think are deeply concerned that Facebook and other tech companies are engaged in a pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship. There have been numerous instances where Facebook, in May of 2016, Gizmodo reported that Facebook had purposely and routinely suppressed conservative stories from trending news, including stories about SEA-PAC, including stories about Mitt Romney, and including stories about the lowest learner IRS scandal, including stories about Glenn Beck. In addition to that, Facebook has initially shut down the Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day page, has blocked the posts of Fox News reporter, has blocked over two dozen catholic pages, and most recently, blocked Trump supporters' diamond and silks page with 1.2 million Facebook followers after determining their content and brand were "unsafe to the community." To a great many Americans, that appears to be a pervasive pattern of political bias, do you agree with that statement?
MARK ZUCKERBERG, FOUNDER, FACEBOOK: Senator, let me say a few things about this. First, I understand where that concern is coming from because Facebook and the tech industry are located in Silicon Valley, which is an extreme a left-leaning place. And this is actually a concern that I have and I try to root out in the company, is making sure that we don't have any bias in the work that we do and I think it is a fair concern that people would wonder about it.
CRUZ: But let me ask this: are you aware of any ad or page that has been taken down from planned parenthood?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, I'm not, but let me just --
CRUZ: How about moveon.org?
CRUZ: How about moveon.org.
ZUCKERBERG: I'm not specifically aware.
CRUZ: How about any Democratic candidate?
ZUCKERBERG: I'm not specifically aware. I mean, I'm not sure.
SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: Would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?
DURBIN: If you've messaged anybody this week, would you share with us the names of the people you've messaged?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, no, I would probably not choose to do that publicly here.
DURBIN: I think that might be what this is all about -- your right to privacy, the limits of your right to privacy, and how much you give away in modern America in the name of "connecting people around the world." The question basically of what information Facebook is collecting, who they're sending it to, and whether they've ever ask me in advance my permission to do that? Is that a fair thing for a user of Facebook to expect?
ZUCKERBERG: Yes, senator. I think everyone should have control over how their information is used.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Wow, and it is still going on tonight. Leading that hearing today: Senate Judiciary Chairman, Charles Grassley, he will join us in just a minute. Also, doing the questioning, Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democratic Senator Chris Coons and David Kirkpatrick, who literally wrote the book on the Facebook effect, he has been studying this for over a decade. We begin tonight with the Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley. Senator, good to have you here tonight. Tell me, you know, what really stood out to you today? What was accomplished today, do you think, in this hearing?
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY, R—IOWA, SENATE JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN: Well, I wouldn't say this as accomplishment, what's been accomplished. But I would say that it's pretty clear that Facebook does not have any sort of record or a total amount of information that's been transferred. They don't seem to audit -- have an audit of what's going on or at least it hasn't been audited to this point. And they don't know how much of that information has been shared with third parties, and then the third parties, what they have done with it. And it seems to me that this is pretty essential for not only Facebook, but other platforms to get this under control in order to establish or reduce the skepticism and cynicism people have about these platforms in the privacy and for the protection of privacy.
MACCALLUM: But, I mean, there's some discussion that Facebook knows that some regulation is obviously coming for them. And that it's probably long overdue, that they're already trying to figure ways to work around it. I mean, you know, do you have -- does it -- are you concerned, I guess, that their ability to continue to collect data will outpace the Congress' ability to do anything about it?
GRASSLEY: There's some legislation in on this and I would never try to tell you or anybody else that's passing a bill is going to solve all problems you want to or give the proper protection of the people. And so, there's two things to go in different directions. One is this organization can do the things that they need to do to police it properly and make sure people's privacy is protected, and of course, people are cynical about whether any corporation would do that, but it's possible. And the other one would be whatever laws or regulations we can pass, but we know FTC is operated in this area of regulation and agreement with them back in, I think, 2011 or 2012 and they didn't even follow that.
MACCALLUM: I mean, you know, that's a good question. I mean, the FCC was -- shouldn't they have been protecting America's privacy? I mean, I think that that's their motto. What were they doing about this for the last ten years?
GRASSLEY: Well, that's something we haven't had an oversight hearing on yet and that may be born in the jurisdiction of the Commerce Committee under Thune than it is under me, but it's something I'm very interested in because you make laws. And one of the things we have in the legislative branch of government is oversight, constitutional oversight to make sure that the laws are carried out the way Congress intended them.
MACCALLUM: Yes. All right. Chairman Chuck Grassley, great to see you tonight. Thank you very much. I know you have to get back in there. Thanks for making time for us tonight.
GRASSLEY: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Joining me now, Delaware Democratic Senator Chris Coons, Senate Judiciary Committee Member, who also got to question Mark Zuckerberg tonight. Good to have a with us, Senator Coons. You know, I want to play this sound bite for you on competition because this is another area that Congress perhaps could have some impact on Facebook and social media. Here's Lindsey Graham.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SOUTH CAROLINA: Is there an alternative to Facebook in the private sectors?
ZUCKERBERG: Yes, senator. The average American uses eight different apps to communicate with their friends and stay in touch with people -- ranging from texting apps to emails.
LINDSEY: Which is any service you provide?
ZUCKERBERG: Well, we provide a number of different services.
LIDNSEY: Is Twitter the same as what you do?
ZUCKERBERG: It overlaps to the portion of what we do.
LINDSEY: You don't think you have a monopoly?
ZUCKERBERG: It certainly doesn't feel like that to me.
MACCALLUM: Interesting answer from Mark Zuckerberg. Your take on that, senator. You know, what can really -- what can you take away from today and what can be accomplished?
SEN. CHRIS COONS, D—DELAWARE, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MEMBER: Well, today was I hope the first of several hearings where we can make sure that average Americans understand the ways in which they're personally identifying data is being collected and gathered, monetized, and used. Because Americans should know how their data is being used and it should be used with their knowledge and with their consent. One of the ways in which I think Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg is getting into some trouble here, is practices which when caught or brought to light, Zuckerberg apologizes for, promises that they will make their best efforts to address, but then several years later, have not yet been resolved. One of the things I question today was a way to add targeting on Facebook makes it possible to be racially exclusionary in how you put out ads about housing availability. One of the other issues that I asked of Mr. Zuckerberg was you make your money by targeting advertising. Would you allow a diet co manufacturer to use your data to target teens anxious about their weight? Or to allow a casino to target those with gambling problems? I think these are questions worth exploring.
MACCALLUM: Here's Ben Sasse and Mark Zuckerberg on a broader issue that relates in some ways to that. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BEN SASSE, R—NEBRASKA: Can you imagine a world where you might decide that pro-lifers are prohibited from speaking about their abortion views on concept, on your platform?
ZUCKERBERG: I certainly would not want that to be the case.
SASSE: But it might be really unsettling to people who've had an abortion to have an open debate about that, wouldn't it?
ZUCKERBERG: It might be but I don't think that that would fit any of the definitions of what we have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, senator, at one point, Mark Zuckerberg said they're going to use A.I., artificial intelligence, to govern and scan for hate speech. Does that concern you? I mean, could that get into some pretty tricky territory here?
COONS: Absolutely. I think that's one of the reasons were going to need to have a robust and debate about what kind of tools and what kind of standards Facebook is going to apply. I applaud the fact that Facebook has been very active in identifying and taking down materials that are posted on Facebook by Jihadists groups that are advocating terrorism or violence, but one person's hate speech in the context that the Senator Sasse was just talking about is another person's firmly held political or personal or religious beliefs.
COONS: And we need to make sure first that we don't infringe on the free- speech rights, and second, that we don't so over regulate social media that we restricted it or constrain it because it is exactly the free and open environment we provide here in the United States that has led to such innovations as the creation of most of big tech leaders in the world.
MACCALLUM: And Ted Cruz pointed out some pretty interesting examples of some of the things that have been combed out of Facebook for just those reasons. And most of them, you know, had to do with conservative political thoughts. So, we'll see. Senator, thank you very much, good to see you tonight.
COONS: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So, when we come back, the man who literally wrote the book on "The Facebook Effect", David Kirkpatrick takes us behind the scenes of the social media empire and what he thinks really happened in there today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY, R—LOUISIANA, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MEMBER: Let's start with the user agreement. Here's what everybody's been trying to tell you and I say this gently -- your user agreement sucks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Breaking tonight as this continues to unfold on Capitol Hill, Mark Zuckerberg saying that artificial intelligence is going to lead the way to determine what you can and cannot see on Facebook. So, imagine wrapping your head around that technology when Congress is still trying to wrap their arms around what's been going on for the past decade. So, that led to a few uncomfortable moments when it came to Facebook's functionality and how exactly all this works. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ORRIN HATCH, R-UTAH, PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE: How do you sustain a business model in which users don't pay for your service?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, we run ads.
HATCH: I see. So, you don't have bundled permissions for how I can agree to what devices I may use that you may have contact with? Do you bundle that permission?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many data categories do restore, does Facebook store on the categories that you collect?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, can you clarify what you mean?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many does Facebook store out of that? Do you store any?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, I'm not actually sure what that is referring to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Those are some uncomfortable moments out there today. Let's bring in somebody who wrote a book on the subject. Here now: David Kirkpatrick, author of 'The Facebook Effect.' David, good to have you with us today. You know, there are times -- and it's not surprising -- I mean, if I were sitting there questioning him, I probably have a hard time with some of the technology involved as well, but it looks like they were all talking right past each other. Do you think that?
DAVID KIRKPATRICK, AUTHOR OF THE FACEBOOK EFFECT: I think some more than others. I mean, a lot of the technologies that play and tools and product design are quite complicated, especially for interactions that were four minutes each with each senator. So, I think, frankly, our senate, in general, like all of our legislator is generally not technologically literate enough. But I think this was a little bit more of a show trial than anything. And I don't really blame them for their questions. I think he did a pretty good job answering on balance.
MACCALLUM: In terms that -- you have said that you think that Facebook could signal the end of global democracy as we know it. And that these hearings are the beginning of a real sea change in the relationship between the government and technology. Explain.
KIRKPATRICK: Well, I don't -- that's not exactly what I believe. I believe that there's a threat to democracy if these systems are not properly over seen and overregulated. I mean, that's been proven in many, many countries where Facebook has been egregiously manipulated by people who are using it illegally or dishonestly and Facebook has not properly regulated that. So, there is a threat. Is democracy at risk right now? No, I don't think so. Although, in countries like for example, Myanmar, where democracy is very shaky to begin with, Facebook has had a very, very dangerous effect. The main point is, this is a global company operating in 190 countries. In every single one, politics happens on its service. And we're relying on this commercial company to effectively regulate the public square including politics. That's just wrong.
MACCALLUM: In terms of how it changes. You know, in terms of the regulation and how -- what the impact is on social media, because once you open this can of worms, and maybe it should've been opened a long time ago, it's going to change these companies and the future of them.
KIRKPATRICK: Well, I think that's healthy and one of the things I was quite impressed by and even a little surprised by with Zuckerberg today, and I do know him fairly well, is he was really showing tremendous openness to regulation. At one point, he said -- promised one senator -- he would submit a list of regulations that he thought should apply to Facebook. He at one another point said, that he thought the European approach had some merits and that's a big confession that you never hear from American tech CEOs. So, he was taking major steps in this direction.
MACCALLUM: But he knows he's going to get regulation. I mean, so, this was his moment to try to craft that conversation a little bit.
KIRKPATRICK: I agree. I think that's fair. My own opinion is, all of those things -- your privacy regulation is definitely are going to come out of this, that's a healthy thing. But the real issue is bigger. It's how does society at a global level deal with a global company that has all this power and is, up to now, being complete unregulated. But even with the privacy laws here and there, it's not going to really change the macro relationship. We need a system that gives them more consultancy, more interaction. Otherwise, I don't think Facebook is stable for society.
MACCALLUM: David Kirkpatrick, good to see you tonight. Thank you, sir.
KIRKPATRICK: Thanks for having me.
MACCALLUM: Coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everybody is going to pay a price. He will, everybody will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Tough talk from President Trump aimed at Bashar al-Assad and Syria and his ally, Vladimir Putin. Is the United States about to unleash retribution as early as tonight? Ed Henry, Marie Harf, and General Jack Keane with analysis as the president warns strongmen in Syria and Russia. Next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can't tolerate a war criminal, we can't tolerate someone who could more than hurt many of his own people, and this matter should end immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, we could get an announcement really at any moment from the president regarding U.S. military action in Syria in response to the weekend's horrific suspected chemical attack. The president cancelled his trip to South America, so that he can remain at the White House as all of this develops. This is not sitting well with Russia tonight, now threatening 'grave repercussions if the United States takes actions against Syria's Bashar Al Assad'. Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry joins me now live from the White House as we wait. Ed?
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Martha, good to see you there. Keeping their cards very close to the vest here. Remember dating back to the campaign, President Trump vowed that he was going to change the practice of tipping off any kind of U.S. military action, any kind of troop movements, but tonight they are sending strong signals that he is inching towards military action. Today, the president spoke by phone with key ally, British Prime Minister Theresa May, sent strong hints of action coming by the fact that White House officials said both leaders condemned what they called the Syrian President Assad 'vicious disregard for human life. The president and prime minister agreed not to allow the use of chemical weapons to continue.'
More tea leaves to read into that trip that you mentioned that was cancelled. Vice President Mike Pence is now being sent to Peru for the summit of Americas this weekend because the president has canceled his planned trip to Peru and Colombia. Likewise, the Defense Secretary James Mattis has now pulled out of a weekend trip to Nevada and California. He has public said the U.S. is not ruling out military action. Pentagon officials, meanwhile, are calling out the Russian military for jamming U.S. drones flying near Syria. The pentagon says they are using sufficient countermeasures to protect our manned and unmanned aircraft as those drones scout out possible U.S. strikes against the Assad regime. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president has been clear, we're working with our partners and allies and national security team to look at all options. And as we've said, all options are on the table, but I'm not going to get ahead of anything the president may or may not do in response to what's taking place in Syria.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, D—CONNECTICUT: The response has to have a military component against Bashar al-Assad. We also have to send a message to his enablers -- Syria is enabled by Iran and Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY: And tomorrow, the USS Harry Truman is headed to the Mediterranean on a preschedule deployment, but that will now put at least seven warships with hundreds of cruise missiles in the region. Remember last year, the U.S. Navy launched 59 tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria after another chemical weapons attack. That shows that right now, there is even more firepower in the region, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Ed, thank you very much. So, we know of at least three suspected chemical attacks in Syria this year alone and scores of others in the past few years, prompting a lot of questions about what the the Obama administration did and did not do to stop the Assad regime. Remember, they insisted that Syria did not have any more chemical weapons. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIE HARF, FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANALYST AND FORMER SPOKESPERSON FOR THE OBAMA STATE DEPARTMENT: The secretary release a statement on the remaining removal of chemical weapons in Syria. All of the declared chemical weapons now are out of Syria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: And that would've been good news, if this turns up to not be the case. Marie Harf joins me now, she's the former State Department spokesperson -- you saw her back then, and now, a Fox News analyst. So, Marie, you know, when you watch what has happened over the last several years, your thoughts on the assumption at that point that those chemical weapons have been cleared out of Syria.
HARF: Well, looking that clip you just a played, there was one word that was a very key there and it's the word 'declared.' The 1,300 metric tons of chemical weapons that Syrian government declared were removed. And I would note that's more chemical weapons that we went to war over in Iraq. Those are weapons that if hadn't got them out of the county, very likely would have fallen into the hands of ISIS. But, and I say this honestly and openly, clearly the Assad regime either kept some weapons and they didn't declare them or they kept the ability to produce more. So, clearly, not everything was out and now we're facing a situation where because of that 2013 agreement, we were able to get a huge portion of the weapons out, but not all of them. And President Trump has a very serious decision to make in the next coming days.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, we all remember the red line and President Obama clearly stating that if that red line was crossed, and he saw, as he put it, I believe, a bunch of chemical weapons moving around, they would take action. But then, the action that you discussed at the podium there was the substitute for actual military action. The belief that those are chemical weapons have been cleared out. I mean, you know, obviously, we always have to assume that someone like Assad is not necessarily going to declare everything that has and that leaving them in power. President Obama said time and time again, he must go. Hillary Clinton said, he must go. So, trusting his word that he got them all may have been a mistake.
HARF: Well, it wasn't trust. I mean, we did destroy, again, 1,300 tons of chemical weapons is nothing -- is no small feat, particularly in the middle of an ongoing war. That is true. But I think what we've seen from military action -- and look, I supported President Trump last year when he took that military action after the last attack. That also didn't stop President Assad from continuing to use the chemical weapons he had left. So, there are no good answers here. I wish there were. These are all tough choices. We took the choice of getting out a huge amount of chemical weapons, particularly because a number of Republicans in Congress would not give President Obama the authority to strike militarily. We asked them and they said no. Now, they're singing a different tune. But again, it's taking military action, stop the use of chemical weapons, this latest attack wouldn't have happened. So, President Trump had put down a lot of rhetoric, which I think is appropriate.
Now, it's a question of what would he do? And military action, which I think is appropriate, has to be match with an ongoing diplomatic, strategic plan to address this and not pull out before we're ready in Syria because the Russians, the Iranians will fill that vacuum and it will get even worse, Martha.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, THE STORY HOST: Understood. Marie, thank you very much.
HARF: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Here now, General Jack Keane, Fox News senior strategic analyst and chairman of the institute for the study of war. It has been said, general, 24 to 48 hours we're likely to see some action. The president said he doesn't like to telegraph exactly when that will be. What do you think?
JACK KEANE, FOX NEWS SENIOR STRATEGIC ANALYST: Certainly, I think, that's probably likely. It's a question of moving the assets into place and getting it all ready to go. Look, what happened a year ago, we had a measured proportionate response, took down the airfield and the equipment on it that had delivered the strike. The intent was to deter Assad, that didn't work. It failed, actually. He used chemical weapons again. So, what we shouldn't do is another measured proportionate response, yet larger, because that would deter. This guy has made up his mind. He's going to use chemical weapons for military purposes with get desired effect he wants. What we have to do is stop the use of chemical weapons.
And by that, I mean, we have to destroy all his capabilities that deliver those weapons. So, we're talking about rotary and fixed wing aircraft. We're talking about airfield, aviation fuels those airfields, aviation maintenance, aviation ammunitions. If he still has artillery delivered chemical weapons, which he used to have and some people think he does, our intel guys probably know for sure. Then we should take down his artillery as well. We have a complication. The Russians have strategically placed technicians at all of these airfields with the thought that that would discourage the United States from conducting another attack on these airfields. They did it after the last attack a year ago. If we have until the Russians already, we should tell them something like this. Every single military base that Syria owns in Syria is vulnerable to a potential attack.
MACCALLUM: So, get out.
KEANE: And we're not going to be responsible for what happens to your people if you don't safeguard them. So, yes, an attack is imminent. The other thing is, listen, Iran, Russia, and Syria, they're pariahs in international community. We have got to go after them in a very public way, condemnation, sanctions, and drag them in to international criminal court. I mean, it will make no difference to Assad, and no difference to Iranians, but it will make a difference to Putin. His public image is very important to him, particularly at home. We've got to really go after these guys in a public way.
MACCALLUM: The president, last time he approved air strikes to punish Syria, he received a lot of support from the American people on that. Sixty seven percent approving that move, and we all remember the dramatic video that followed of what happened in terms of the tomahawk missiles that were sent in. The feeling now, if I have it correctly, that this would be a much larger -- much larger operation, do you agree? And, of course, then the question becomes what happens the next day and the week after that?
KEANE: Well, first of all, I think it should be. Now, whether -- I'm sure there are those, like the last time, there were many who wanted to take down all the airfields the last time, a year ago, which I think was much more appropriate and people pushed back on that. So, I don't know what decisions the president has made. But, yes, it would be a larger scale operation. We would be using standoff cruise missiles and other bombs, with -- from surface, sub-surface ships, also from airplanes. If you want to take airfields out, we're probably running on stealth bombers to do that because cruise missiles aren't good taking out airfields. Yes, a larger mission to be sure. I think what's coming out of the mouth of the Iranians and the Russians is pure bluster.
MACCALLUM: Well, they're all saying that they have nothing to do with it. Russia and Assad say these were not their chemical weapons. We have the video, and I know you say that we have very good tracking of the delivery system for these and we know exactly where they're coming from. You know, your response to those who suggest that perhaps this isn't what it looks like.
KEANE: That's rubbish and it's ignorance speaking. We track every single aircraft that takes off from any airfield in Syria. We track where it goes. We track it when it's executing its bombing run. We know what airplane that is. We have eyewitness accounts of that airplane dropping bombs on a building where chemical weapons impacted the people. Those are verifiable things. And then, we do data analysis of the horrible photos we've seen, match up the symptoms of those people with people who have had that in the past. Our intelligence agencies on Monday verified that Assad has used, from helicopter attack again, a nerve agent and also chlorine gas.
MACCALLUM: General Jack Keane, thank you, always good to see you.
KEANE: Good talking to you.
MACCALLUM: You too. So still ahead tonight, how China is signaling that it may waive the white flag, at least to some extent, when it comes to these tariffs. Fascinating, shifting of the plate in this issue. What does it really mean here? Also, the president's longtime lawyer now reportedly under investigation for the $130,000 payment -- $150,000 payment to the Trump Foundation from a Ukrainian oligarch, but many are remembering that that same oligarch received payment from the Clinton Foundation, and that investigation seem to go nowhere. Victor Pinchuk is this person's name. He gave tens of millions of dollars, in fact, to the Clinton Foundation. Marc Thiessen and Zac Petkanas weighs in, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This is the most biased group of people. These people have the biggest conflicts of interest I've ever seen. They're not looking at the other side, they're not looking at the Hillary Clinton horrible things that she did and all of the crimes that were committed. They're not looking at all of the things that happened that everybody is very angry about. I can tell you from the Republican side, and I think even the independent side. They only keep looking at us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: President Trump lashing out at Special Counsel Robert Mueller, saying that he is ignoring the Clinton scandals among other things. And now, Mueller's reported looking into a September of 2015, $150,000 donation to the Trump Foundation from a Ukrainian oligarch. But what's not being reported by many is that very same oligarch, the largest individual contributor to the Clinton Foundation. Trace Gallagher live in our west coast newsroom with the back story tonight. Hi, Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Martha. The man in question is 57-year-old Ukrainian steel magnate, Victor Pinchuk, whose father-in-law was the president of Ukraine from 1994 to 2005. Pinchuk's $150,000 donation to the now defunct Trump Foundation was in exchange for Donald Trump speaking via video linked to a 2015 business conference in Kiev. The donation was uncovered when the Robert Mueller investigation subpoenaed the Trump organization. The legal experts are having trouble finding the bombshell in this revelations because, one, the speaking fee appears to be both legal and common. And, two, it also runs counter to any Russian collusion argument considering Victor Pinchuk is hostile to Vladimir Putin. And yet, the time of the payment, Donald Trump was still considered a long shot to win the GOP nomination, much less the presidency.
Then, there's the fact that Pinchuk considers himself a friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, and has given the Clinton Foundation up to $25 million, including $8.6 million while Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state. The New York Times also reports that Pinchuk allowed the Clintons used of his private jet. And the payment from Pinchuk to Trump was solicited by former Clinton advisor and Fox News contributor, Doug Schoen, who you may recall pulled his report from Hillary Clinton in 2016 saying her presidency would be hobbled with scandals like the email scandal, which, speaking of double standards, the American spectator draws this parallel to the FBI's raid on Trump attorney Michael Cohen. Quoting here, Hillary Clinton and her chief minion, Cheryl Mills, claims attorney-client privilege when Mills herself was under investigation for obstruction. And then, classified emails showed up on Hillary's assistance husbands, Anthony Weiner's computer, who is in prison for pornographic interaction with a minor online. Has the Clinton Foundation, or Huma Abedin's home, or Hillary's bathroom been known not rated yet? No. And as for the $150,000 payment from the Ukrainian oligarch to Trump, Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, calls it a fake story. Martha.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Trace. Here with more, Marc Thiessen, American Enterprise's chief scholar and a Fox News contributor, and Zac Petkanas, a former senior DNC adviser who worked on the Clinton campaign. Gentlemen, when you look at these two scenarios, what is very -- what is abundantly clear is that these two situations have been treated completely differently. That Hillary Clinton was treated with kid gloves, and the investigation into Donald Trump is, you know, a door breaking down environment, Marc, and then Zac.
MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely. I mean, look, I will say at the outset that I don't think either the Trump Foundation or the Clinton Foundation should be taking money from oligarchs or from foreign businessmen because it creates a conflict of interest adherently, so I don't think they should be taking this money. But you have to put this into perspective. Donald Trump took $150,000 for a speech to the Yalta security conference, which is a conference that this oligarch put on. The Clinton Foundation took up to $25 million from the same oligarch. He flew Bill and Hillary Clinton around the world on his private jet. He invited Bill Clinton to a French ski resort for his 50th birthday. And, by the way, he paid Bill and Hillary Clinton to speak at the exact same conference as Donald Trump. So, how can it be a conflict for Donald Trump to have taken this money to speak at this conference when Bill and Hillary were paid to speak at the exact same conference?
MACCALLUM: Why, Zac -- why are these two investigations treated so very differently?
ZAC PETKANAS, FORMER SENIOR DNC ADVISOR: So, first off, I think you guys got to pick your story here. I mean, the original story from the White House was they fired FBI Director James Comey because the FBI was too hard on Hillary Clinton. Now, you guys are saying that Hillary Clinton was treated with kid gloves. You guys can't have it both ways. You've got to pick one. She was either roasted over the coals, which is why FBI Director James Comey was fired, or she was -- that is the official reason from the White House about why FBI Director James Comey was fired.
MACCALLUM: No, it was an overall mishandling.
MACCALLUM: Outline by Rod Rosenstein of a mishandling of the investigation.
PETKANAS: It's not just mishandling, it was the fact -- for example, the new I.G. report that's going to come out that shows that they were very, very hard.
PETKANAS: I'm very much looking forward to it. Because, for example, it shows.
PETKANAS: It shows that the FBI was very, very hard on Hillary Clinton. That's the only thing that's been leaked out in the I.G. report. And so, I don't understand this. But in term of this particular, you know, case, there're key differences between these donations. The ones to the Trump Foundation, for example, was secret. The ones in the Clinton Foundation was completely transparent. There was a press release sent out -- it was listed on the website. The actual dollar amount was earmarked to go to Ukraine to fight HIV/AIDS that was there.
MACCALLUM: You know I hear what you're saying. And as Marc points out, perhaps neither one of these entities should have taken any money at all. $25 million for the Clinton Foundation, $150,000 for Trump, maybe neither one should -- but the point with where we're living right now.
MACCALLUM: In this month, Marc, is that this shows that there is a straying from this investigation into areas that just makes you wonder what is Robert Mueller interested in in that transaction, do you think?
THIESSEN: I don't know, but we'll find out eventually. I mean, look, this is what happens when investigation started. They start following trails and they see where they lead, and there may be nothing to this or there maybe something. But let's keep in mind also that there is an active FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation right now. It's not getting a lot of press attention. But it was restarted last year by the FBI because the Clinton justice department turned down request by the FBI in 2016 to accelerate the investigation. And only after the election where they're allowed to do it. So, there is a very serious investigation into corruption and pay-to-play by the Clinton Foundation.
And keep in mind that this oligarch when he was giving money to the Clinton Foundation, it was while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. He had, according to the New York Times, he had more than a dozen meetings with senior Clinton state department officials, and we know -- thanks to Citizens United who released her emails that they were reporting back to her on their meetings with him in those emails. He had dinner with her at her home and she lied about it. She said she never saw him once when she was secretary of state, but then the emails came out that shows that he was on the guest list for a dinner at her home. And this is also while this guy was selling -- doing trade with Iran at the time when the United States was under sanction, and he was in trouble with the commerce department for steel dumping in the United States. So, there is a lot more serious things going on here with the Clinton Foundation than there's anything with a $150,000.
MACCALLUM: And as you points out, the investigation has been reopened. Zac, final thoughts goes to you.
PETKANAS: I mean, look, I think that people need to get a new hobby. You guys beat Hillary Clinton, you know. I mean, it's time to move on, go for a walk, go get a massage, you know, do whatever you've got to do to fill the void in your souls. But I understand why you're focused on Hillary Clinton because you cannot defend Donald Trump. But seriously, guys, it's getting a little sad.
MACCALLUM: So, Zac, do you think it's fair for the attorney's door to be knocked down at four places where he lives? Do you think that's a fair carrying out of this investigation?
PETKANAS: I mean, he's being accused of some fairly serious criminal activity, and so, yes, I believe that criminals should have their doors knocked down if there is evidence that they're going to destroy evidence, which is what the case here. So, yes, I mean, these guys are criminals.
MACCALLUM: Case closed. Case closed. All right, Zac, thank you very much. Good to see you, Marc. Good to have you both. All right, coming up next, is Chinese President Xi responding to President Trump's actions on trade in a significant way that we haven't seen in a long time? And how the so-called trade war could hit some of the president's biggest supporters, perhaps, the hardest. A longtime soybean farmer gives us his take on how he feels about all of this. It's fascinating and it is next.
MACCALLUM: Chinese President Xi announcing a pretty big move. He says he will significantly cut his country's automobile import tariff, which is something President Trump has been wanting very much. The news comes just hours after President Trump ramped up the rhetoric in the trade fight tweeting this, quote, when a car is sent to the United States from China, the tariff to be paid of 2.5 percent. When a car is sent from China -- to China from the United States the tariff is 25 percent. Does that sound like free or fair trade? No, he writes, it sounds like stupid trade and it's been going on for years. Late this afternoon, President Trump tweeting that he's happy with the progress that is being made so far with China. So, who stands to lose the most in the trade war between the United States and China? Some say it is American farmers, specifically, soybean farmers who reside largely in parts of the country that voted for President Trump in 2016. That is an intentional move on the put of the Chinese. What many Americans don't know is how much their livelihood depends of these soybean farmers who produce most of the feed used to raise chicken, pork, beef, fish, and other foods that we eat every day. Here now, David Rodibaugh, for a longtime soybean farmer who served as director of the Indiana Soybean Alliance. It is good to have you with us tonight, David, thank you very much. So, as this stands now, what is the impact on you and farmers like you?
DAVID RODIBAUGH, DIRECTOR INDIANA SOYBEAN ALLIANCE: Martha, I might say, first of all, I do live in northwestern Indiana, and we farm with our -- my three brothers and our families, we appreciate the chance to be with you this evening. Trade is really a big deal for us as farmers. We have the ability to raise abundant crops and good infrastructure to get these crops to market, and our organizations have worked very diligently to get the needs assessed of our customers around the world. And so, we can produce and be a reliable supplier.
MACCALLUM: Sure. What's the impact of these tariffs on you? Tell us how would you be hurt by them do you believe?
RODIBAUGH: There is a potential that we would lose a great deal of our market. We do export a third of our beans to China, and so it's an extremely big deal for us.
MACCALLUM: Understood. Let me ask you one more question, does it change how you feel about President Trump?
RODIBAUGH: I think we're taking a wait and see attitude on that. We have a great amount of confidence in our secretary of agriculture, Sonny Purdue, and there's -- trade is a difficult thing. There are many hurdles across. We have a lot of confidence in our government officials who are charged with doing that.
MACCALLUM: All right. David, we've got to go, but thank you so much and we appreciate you being here tonight. We hope you'll come back as this moves along and tell us what you're thinking down the road. Thank you, sir. All the best to you.
RODIBAUGH: Thank you very much.
MACCALLUM: Quick break and we'll be right back with more of The Story.
MACCALLUM: That is our story for tonight. We are headed down to D.C. We'll be there for day two of the Zuckerberg hearing. Stick around, we'll see you tomorrow night from D.C. Tucker Carlson, coming up next.
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