This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," December 9, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Tucker Carlson, host: Good evening and welcome to "Tucker Carlson Tonight."

Russia is back in the news, all of a sudden. We want to apologize to our friends over at CNN. We took a break. There was a moment when we weren't talking about Russia every day. But for tonight, we're going to readdress the question of Russia collusion. Now, keep in mind that the premise of the now-discredited two-year-long Russia investigation was that it was entirely plausible, indeed, it was likely that Donald Trump, a former casino owner who spent 14 seasons starring on an NBC reality show, was, in fact, despite all outward appearances to the contrary, a secret Russian agent, someone who was working against American interests to serve Vladimir Putin in Moscow. That was the claim that many of the non-geniuses in our media establishment clearly believed it was true. Like endlessly barking dogs, they repeated that allegation every single day for more than two years because that's what they do best. But the much more interesting and, in fact, important question has always been this: what did senior law enforcement officials think of the story? Did they really believe it was possible that Donald Trump was working for Russia? And if so, what evidence did they have? And if they had no evidence, why did they open the investigation and why do they continue it for years? Every American, regardless of party, has an interest in knowing the answer to those questions. And so, for more than a year, the inspector general's office of the Department of Justice has worked to find the answer. Today, the report finally became public. And, yet, even before it did, some of the mouth-breathers on television were happy to guess its conclusion. They proclaimed the FBI completely innocent of all wrongdoing because in 2019, being a progressive means taking the side of bureaucrats with guns, no matter what the evidence is. Watch.


Nicole Wallace: The headline will be whether you are a Trump supporter or a Trump skeptic, that the FBI is exonerated today from the oft-repeated smear that there was some sort of conspiracy to harm Donald Trump's campaign. It's a big deal. It's good news, no matter where you stand on the political spectrum in 2019.


Tucker Carlson: Now, keep in mind that when she uttered those words, "The FBI is exonerated today," she hadn't even read the IG report. This is what happens when you put former flacks, former spokeswoman, on television and call them journalists. Their job titles might change, but they keep lying. In fact, the actual report was something of a disaster for the FBI. That was obvious to anyone who actually read it, even people who work at MSNBC.


Male Speaker: What it says is the FBI basically repeatedly screwed up at every level, failing to pay enough attention to potential problems with Steele, failing to tell the Justice Department. The inspector general report says the FISA application was, in many ways, inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported. It says, for example, that the FBI failed to look at some of -- problems in Steele's past work, that that was never sufficiently addressed.


Tucker Carlson: "The FBI failed to look at some of the problems in Steele's past work." Well, there's the understatement of the week. In fact, Steele's so-called dossier was absurd, and that was obvious from day one. No legitimate news outlet would run it. It was so clearly false that even the reckless Washington Post kept a distance. It was left to BuzzFeed to print it, a cat blog. And, yet, the Obama administration used the same document -- the one that no one would print, because it was so obviously false -- they used that as a pretext to spy on the Trump campaign. The dossier claimed that Trump aide, Carter Page, had been promised a 19 percent stake in a Russian energy company, a bribe worth $10 billion. And keep in mind, when you're lying, the more specific the lie is, the more likely it is to be believed.

So, the lie in the dossier was he was offered 19 percent, not 18, not 20, 19 percent interest in this energy company if he could persuade Donald Trump to lift sanctions against Moscow. Now, the claim was wrong, it was made up, it was false, it was a lie. Page actually was a former naval officer, an Annapolis grad, and had done nothing wrong. And, yet, the FBI targeted him anyway. Prominent figures on the left accused him of betraying his country. Carter paid. His life was destroyed. Worst of all -- and this is what we learned today -- the FBI knew exactly what was happening and they kept doing it. The FISA warrant against Page -- the one that allowed the Obama administration to spy on him -- had to be renewed multiple times. And, according to the ISG report, the FBI repeatedly lied and excluded exculpatory information in order to keep that FISA warrant alive, even after FBI officials obtained information showing the dossier was almost certainly unreliable -- again, something that was obvious to everyone who read it -- they continued to treat Page as a criminal and Steele as a trusted source. Meanwhile, on television, the usual morons, half-wits, and partisans continued to accuse Carter Page of crimes he'd never committed.


Female Speaker: There was a very clear belief that Carter Page was conspiring with Russia to -- in ways that that were nefarious.

Male Speaker: There was overwhelming evidence to have probable cause to do surveillance and Carter Page. It would have been a dereliction of duty for our FBI not to have sought a surveillance warrant.

Female Speaker: As you say, it makes a compelling case that there is probable cause to believe that Carter Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power.


Tucker Carlson: Imagine if that was you. Imagine if some idiot former U.S. attorney, Barbara McQuade, was on television day after day, in effect, accusing you of treason. And then congressmen and TV reporters all nodded in agreement, "Oh, yeah, that sounds right." The FBI knew you didn't do it, but instead of lift the burden of suspicion from your shoulders, instead, lied in order to hide your innocence. That was Carter Page's life for years. It's hard to believe it could happen in this country, but it did happen. Let's hope Carter Page spends the rest of his life suing every one of these people into bankruptcy. And that list should include malicious liars like former CIA head and CNN contributor, John Brennan. Watch Brennan, with a straight face, say something that we now know was absolutely false.


The Press: Do you know who commissioned the Steele dossier?

John Brennan: I don't.

The Press: Did the CIA rely on it?

John Brennan: No.

The Press: Why not?

John Brennan: Because we didn't. It wasn't part of the corpus of intelligence information that we had. It was not, in any way, used as a basis for the Intel's Committee's assessment that was done.


Tucker Carlson: Yeah, "It wasn't in any way?" Well, of course, it was the basis of that assessment. And Carter Page wasn't the only innocent American caught up in this witch hunt. And witch hunt is not an overstatement. According to the reports that the FBI repeatedly employed confidential informants and undercover agents to collect intelligence on members of the Trump campaign. Meanwhile, the bureau itself used a so-called defensive briefing to monitor what the campaign was doing. Now, defensive briefings are designed for the good of the country. The bureau shares intelligence with leading presidential candidates or presidents-elect so that, at some point, they'll have a grounding on what's going on in the world when they take control. In this case, however, the FBI used that briefing to spy on Trump staff and to build criminal cases against them. Can you imagine? The IG report claims that none of these abuses were politically motivated.

Now, that's a subjective judgment; it's hard to know. But it's also hard to swallow that claim. Only a partisan could believe something as absurd as the Steele dossier. But let's say the AJC report is right and none of these abuses were politically motivated? Okay, fine. We'll grant you that. Does that reassure you? The facts remain: the FBI used flimsy excuses to spy on an American citizen and monitor a rival presidential campaign. It repeatedly engaged in abusive behavior to ensure that that spying continued illegitimately. So, it almost doesn't matter what the motive for all of that was. The facts alone ought to scare you.

This afternoon, former FBI Director Jim Comey released an op-ed responding to the report, which he'd likely seen before the rest of us, of course. Think about that for a minute. At this point, given what we know, Comey ought to be groveling for forgiveness from the rest of us. He ought to be relocating to Paraguay in shame, actually. But, of course, he's not. Comey isn't embarrassed at all. In fact, he's more self-righteous than ever. Jim Comey's a good person. Unfortunately, you're not when he gets to have -- and he'll intercede on your behalf -- but, you know, there's only so much you can do. The FISA surveillance was approved by a federal judge, Comey tells us. He omits the fact that the FBI lied to the judge. "The FBI didn't insert spies into Trump's campaign," Comey claims. No, they just used spies to monitor the campaign staff. Right, okay, and so on. Like, you'll never know the difference?

Jim Comey doesn't think you have Google, apparently, or, more likely, doesn't care if you have Google. He doesn't care what you know. Because they could issue 100 IG reports, every one of them exposing Jim Comey as the sinister fraud he, so clearly is. And he knows that none of it matters because he knows he will never be punished. That's part of what we learned today. What else did we learn? Well, for that, we are joined -- and we're always happy to be joined -- by Federalist senior editor, Mollie Hemingway. Mollie, thanks a lot for coming on.

Mollie Hemingway: Great to be here with you.

Tucker Carlson: What's your takeaway from -- as someone who's followed this from day one, what's your takeaway from this report?

Mollie Hemingway: This was a report looking into whether there was abuse of the FISA process. And there is no question that the IG found rampant abuse of the FISA process, literally dozens of instances of the FBI engaging in bad behavior as it sought to spy on a member of the Trump campaign. So, the spin that you were showing from other people shows that people weren't actually reading the report. It's even worse than what -- one of the things that you were talking about, which is, in one case, you had an FBI lawyer doctor evidence to make it seem like a different federal agency had said something opposite of what it had said. That other federal agency had said that Carter Page was a helpful asset to them, and he doctored that evidence to make it seem like the opposite was the case.

Tucker Carlson: But let me ask you to pause there and ask the obvious which is why isn't that FBI lawyer in prison?

Mollie Hemingway: Well, that FBI lawyer was one of the only people who was referred for any type of accountability. That is one of the things that is frustrating. You -- this IG outlines hundreds of examples of bad behavior from the people that were engaged in this campaign to target the Trump campaign and yet not very many people will ultimately be held accountable by the inspector general. It is interesting to note --

Tucker Carlson: Roger Stone is facing life in prison for not remembering who he spoke to one day.

Mollie Hemingway: Right. The kindest possible explanation is given for every one of these behaviors done by these FBI agents and others at the Department of Justice. Even though they all did show political bias, or many of them showed political bias, that's explained away. It is interesting to note that the attorney general and the federal prosecutor looking into this disagreed with some parts of the IG report in a way that's not -- that shows that it's even worse. They say they disagree that the flimsy predicate used to start the investigation was sufficient, among other things.

Tucker Carlson: Amazing. Amazing. But it's not a big deal, Mollie. Don't you worry.

Mollie Hemingway: It's really important that people do note that Carter Page was in fact exonerated here, that his claims that he was not a Russian asset are shown to be true by this inspector general report, that the claims that he was a Russian asset were shown to be false and that the willful manipulation of that information to make --

Tucker Carlson: I hope he sues the other cable channels, and I mean that. He has a suit. They destroyed his life. They owe him. Mollie, thank you so much.

Mollie Hemingway: Thank you.

Tucker Carlson: U.S. attorney John Durham is conducting his own investigation into the origins of the Russia probe. After today's IG report came out Durham took a rare step of issuing a statement saying, as Mollie just suggested, that he disagrees with several of the report's findings, in particular about why the Russia investigation began. Stephanie Grisham is of course the press secretary at the White House, and she joins us tonight. Stephanie, thanks so much for coming on.

Stephanie Grisham: Thank you.

Tucker Carlson: So, as you assessed this report, what jumped out at you?

Stephanie Grisham: Well, people need to be held accountable. This was a government trying to overthrow a president by falsifying documents and by lying and by ruining the lives of many, many people.

Tucker Carlson: So, I think for a lot of people watching and you hate to have people become more cynical the more news they ingest, but it's hard not to have that happen. People are wondering like, you know, no one's going to be indicted? When law enforcement agencies destroy American citizens on the basis of no evidence for political reasons and they get away with it? How does that happen?

Stephanie Grisham: I don't know. I mean, it's been a chilling effect to read the report and to see everything today has been chilling and with Durham he's going to look into it more and we'll see what happens there. People who are supposed to be enforcing the law took the law into their own hands and that's really scary and there needs to be people held accountable, not just the one FBI attorney who falsified documents against Carter Page who was working with another agency.

Tucker Carlson: Yes.

Stephanie Grisham: Absolutely people need to be held accountable.

Tucker Carlson: What's so troubling about all of this is that even if as the report claims politics were not behind these screw ups and it was just purely apolitical series of dishonest steps, you know, the FBI remains the FBI with awesome power. People are still getting investigated by the FBI. Can we trust that the FBI is on the level? I guess that's the most important question.

Stephanie Grisham: Well, as the president has always said there are great people working in the FBI, hard-working people, but people at top levels need to be looked at and they need to be looked at all the time. They have great power as you just said and so it's very, very important that we really look into this, we find who is responsible and there are absolute -- there's something that happens to people.

Tucker Carlson: Right. Consequences.

Stephanie Grisham: Yes.

Tucker Carlson: Do you believe it's likely that the attorney general, Mr. Barr, will be firing some people?

Stephanie Grisham: I hope so. I can't get ahead of him. I'm not going to speculate on what --

Tucker Carlson: Yes.

Stephanie Grisham: But I certainly hope so. This is -- again, this is a chilling effect and the American people need to believe that the FBI, the CIA, all of the intelligence organizations in this country are to be trusted and the fact that for years now there has been an effort to overthrow this president it's scary and it shouldn't happen to any president I don't care what party you're in.

Tucker Carlson: Yeah. And that a lot of the media is cheering them on.

Stephanie Grisham: Cheering them on constantly.

Tucker Carlson: Stephanie, great to see you tonight.

Stephanie Grisham: Thank you so much.

Tucker Carlson: Thank you so much. Well, for decades America's press took credit for defeating McCarthyism and preventing its return to American life. It's a lie they tell themselves. Nobody supports McCarthyism more than the media. For weeks they've been accusing anybody who dissents from their storyline of being a Russian age -- in effect a traitor.


Male Speaker: The whole Ukraine conspiracy theory line that the president can't quit that Senator John Kennedy keeps returning to is utter nonsense. It's vapor. It's distraction. It's deflection. It's a Kremlin talking point.

Female Speaker: The Putin talking point that the GOP just can't quit.

Male Speaker: They're using the talking points that come right out of Vladimir Putin's propaganda shops.

Male Speaker: Repeating Kremlin talking point, repeating Russian talking points.


Chris Matthews: Parroting Russian talking points.

Male Speaker: Using the Russian talking points.

Male Speaker: Pushing Russian talking points.

Male Speaker: Frankly it's a Kremlin talking point.

Brian Williams: Not just Russian talking points but Putin talking points. What's going on here?


Tucker Carlson: It's honestly hard to believe that's real but it is real and it's unfolding right before us. For example, when Ted Cruz appeared on "Meet the Press," which is a show of longstanding on Sundays dwindling audience and suggested there was evidence that Ukraine meddled during 2016 NBC's Chuck Todd, an open partisan, acted like Cruz was mentally ill.


Chuck Todd: You believe Ukraine meddled in the American election in 2016?

Ted Cruz: I do and I think there's considerable evidence.

Chuck Todd: You do? You do?

Ted Cruz: Yes, and Chuck, let me say –

Chuck Todd: I -- this is -- you know, senator, this sort of strikes me as odd.


Tucker Carlson: Chuck Todd, who's wholly ignorant of everything. Oh, I can't believe you think that. You must be working for Putin. Buck Sexton is not working for Putin. We checked. Instead he hosts the "Buck Sexton Show." He joins us tonight. Buck, what's the cost of living in a world where media figures who don't speak Russia and who know nothing -- who don't know anything about anything are recklessly throwing out the allegation that people they disagree with politically are somehow working for a hostile foreign power? Like what does this do to our country going forward?

Buck Sexton: Well, I think Trump derangement has led to Russia derangement. I mean, this really does approach the pathological. I mean, the way they all bleed in unison about Kremlin talking points. It's like they're the barnyard creatures from Animal Farm just shouting down anybody that wants to have a discussion about what is really going on not just with Ukraine and Russia but broader geopolitics. You hear this all the time that Trump is Putin's puppet and then when you actually look at the facts you find out that Trump, for example, was the commander in chief when we killed 200 Russian paramilitaries in the Syrian dessert and gave the Ukrainian military javelin anti-tank missiles that Obama was too scared to give because it would've upset the Kremlin. But they still say he's Putin's puppet. They still say that anybody who points out that the New York Times, Politico, and other news outlets reported on Ukrainian government officials trying to tip the balance of the 2016 election in some way toward Hillary Clinton. These are news stories that have not been retracted that are still out there. But I do have a suspicion, Tucker, that this is now something that very dishonest people say to audiences they think aren't very smart because otherwise they would have to accept that they've been wrong and/or lying about what's gone on with Trump, with Putin, with Ukraine, with Russia for over three years now and that would mean that maybe they're not very smart.

Tucker Carlson: Well, I mean, that -- and that's certainly applies to Chuck Todd, I would say, just to be specific about it, a 20-watt bulb. But I watch him, and I get the sense that he really believes what he's saying. He really thinks that people who disagree with him must be working for Vladimir Putin. There's just no other explanation, no possible explanation.

Buck Sexton: One of the most fascinating components of this, Tucker, is that it's not like they found a couple of Kremlin assets working in the Trump campaign. It's not like there's been some collusion of talking points.

Tucker Carlson: Exactly.

Buck Sexton: They just keep saying this and now we have people coming out. You pointed out rightly. I mean, Carter Page is owed an apology from a lot of people, including the United States government.

Tucker Carlson: That's for sure.

Buck Sexton: Among others. And they're never able to actually point to anyone who is a Kremlin asset, who is using Kremlin talking points. By the way, these people know nothing that are saying this about Russia, about geopolitics, about Putin. They just hear other pundits saying the same thing but they know this, if you tag somebody with Russia then all of the sudden nothing else they say matters. It actually reminds me of how there were some of us who, like me, knew something about counterterrorism during the Obama administration and any time you would say ISIS is a problem, Obama doesn't know what he's doing, he's not taking the right approach in the Middle East. They would say you're doing the terrorist's bidding or you're doing bin Laden's bidding. It's the same game all over again except this time it's Kremlin talking points. It's just nonsense. But again, I don't know, I think they're just --

Tucker Carlson: They don't care.

Buck Sexton: --- honestly not very smart.

Tucker Carlson: And the left is always willing to destroy an individual, Carter Page, Roger Stone, in order to achieve political power. Period. That's what distinguishes them from the right, I would say. Buck Sexton, great to see you.

Buck Sexton: Thanks, Tucker.

Tucker Carlson: As always. Even more impeachment hearings were held on Capitol Hill today. Impeachment. Ukraine. We'll show the best moments. Air quotes are on best. Next. Plus, the Saudi government was apparently tied to both 9/11 and a recent attack on a naval base in Pensacola. And yet the U.S. government stands by our so-called ally in Saudi Arabia without thinking because really Iran is the great threat. What is going on? Is anybody seeing things clearly? That's just ahead.


Tucker Carlson: Well, there was an awful lot of news today in Washington, along with the drama over the IG report, newly released. Today also brought another round of impeachment hearings in the House Judiciary Committee. During those hearings, Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida got into it with the chairman, Jerry Nadler of New York, over Nadler's refusal to make Congressman Adam Schiff testify before the committee. Here's how it went.


Matt Gaetz: The implication is we want Schiff in that chair, not you. The implication is the person that wrote the report is the person that should come and present it. And you weren't elected by anybody, and you're here giving this --

Jerry Nadler: The gentleman does not have [unintelligible] --

Matt Gaetz: -- testimony in place of the chairman.

Jerry Nadler: The gentleman does not have the time.

Matt Gaetz: I hope that clears up the implication.

Jerry Nadler: The gentleman does not have the time and the gentleman has been warned before. He cannot simply yell out and disrupt the committee.


Tucker Carlson: Yeah. Not allowed to make rational points on the Hill. Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida joins us in the studio tonight. So, it looks like you cleared up that implication.

Matt Gaetz: I may not be on Jerry Nadler's Christmas card list --

Tucker Carlson: No.

Matt Gaetz: -- anymore. And, you know, where I'm from, you stand behind your work. If Adam Schiff really believes the president should be impeached as a result of this conduct, he ought to show up and take our questions based on his bias, his contact with the whistleblower, and anything he was doing outside the bounds of the law. Instead, it was take your donor to work day in the House Judiciary Committee, where some of the left's big donors were able to come in and literally ask each other questions. I mean, it was this dystopian reality where I'm watching one Democrat donor ask questions of another Democrat donor about issues that we could all read about, but they just want to give their hot takes.

Tucker Carlson: [laughs] So, such a nice description. The whistleblower, are we ever going to have public confirmation of this person's identity, and does it matter?

Matt Gaetz: Well, it just depends on the day. You know, originally, it was Adam Schiff who said the only way to resolve this dispute was to hear from the whistleblower. And then later, when the whistleblower's potential connections to members of Adam Schiff's committee or potential connections to presidential campaigns started to leak out in public reporting, well then all of a sudden, nobody wanted to hear from the whistleblower anymore. So, who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Tucker Carlson: Without using his name, are you satisfied that the person who's been identified as the whistleblower is indeed, the whistleblower?

Matt Gaetz: Look, I don't know who the whistleblower is. The only member of Congress who knows who the whistleblower is, is Adam Schiff.

Tucker Carlson: Adam Schiff. All right, in a few minutes we'll be speaking with Ken Starr about today's impeachment hearings. But first, we want to get to this. We want to ask the congressman about the terror attack at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. Now, the shooting was in your district. It was committed by a Saudi Air Force officer. And several other Saudi Air Force officers are being investigated this hour as collaborators. The question, the obvious one, is it time for us, on the basis of this and other facts, to reevaluate our relationship with Saudi Arabia?

Matt Gaetz: The first thing we need to do is join Governor DeSantis's call for the Kingdom to step up for the victims. The second thing we need to do is what Senator Graham and I will be calling for, and that is an immediate suspension of the program wherein we bring Saudis here to the United States without sufficient vetting to stop something like this. And then we put ourselves at risk. And then absolutely, we need to support the FBI's investigation and not allow anything to impair it. But at some point, we've got to look at this relationship more broadly, Tucker, and wonder, “How much from Saudi Arabia are we willing to take?”

Tucker Carlson: Well, especially since we don't even have a definitive answer about the Saudi government's role in 9/11. I mean --

Matt Gaetz: You don't think it's definitive? I think it's pretty definitive that members of the Saudi government were involved in supporting the U.S.-based activities of some of those hijackers.

Tucker Carlson: I stand corrected. That is exactly right. I think some of the details remain hidden from us, at least from public view, by the U.S. government. What's baffling to me is how there is resilient bipartisan support for maintaining this relationship with one of the creepiest, most repressive nations on earth when we're energy independent. Why are we doing this?

Matt Gaetz: Well, because they trade in the U.S. They trade oil in the U.S. dollar. I mean, if you really want to have a little truth talk about Saudi Arabia --

Tucker Carlson: Yes.

Matt Gaetz: -- it's that we need them selling oil in the U.S. dollar in order to maintain the dominance of the dollar and to be able to make our sanctions effective elsewhere in the world, especially among oil-producing nations. But that is not a reason to turn a blind eye to Saudi potential involvement in 9/11, in the shooting in Pensacola, in -- look, when we look at this war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia's engaged in all kind of terrible, atrocious activities. And we continue to sell them arms.

Tucker Carlson: If the people who committed those murders were -- colluded on 9/11 were Iranians, we'd have troops in Tehran right now. And I'd probably support it, actually.

Matt Gaetz: Yeah, well I think there's a good amount of Washington that would like to have troops in Tehran by lunchtime tomorrow --

Tucker Carlson: Yeah.

Matt Gaetz: -- but that's just the thirst for regime change wars that I'm glad you and I stand against.

Tucker Carlson: Congressman Matt Gaetz, great to see you tonight. Thank you very much. Fox's Pete Hegseth was booted off Twitter for sharing a portion of the Pensacola attacker's manifesto in which he cited radical Islam as his motive. Twitter has defended suspending Hegseth. Apparently, suspension was for “violating company rules against threatening or promoting terrorists.” Did Pete Hegseth promote terrorism? He joins us now to explain.

Pete Hegseth: [laughs]

Tucker Carlson: Hey, Pete. So, this seems like --

Pete Hegseth: Hey, Tucker.

Tucker Carlson: -- and -- I don't understand this explanation, actually.

Pete Hegseth: Well, neither do I. I simply posted the words of the terrorist who killed three Americans in a terrorist attack. Yet I'm violating the Twitter policy on terrorism, and therefore I am banned. Listen, if we live in a country where we can't know why the people who attack us and why they do us -- why they did it, why are we here?

Tucker Carlson: Yes.

Pete Hegseth: Why do we have --

Tucker Carlson: That's right.

Pete Hegseth: -- a First Amendment?

Tucker Carlson: Exactly.

Pete Hegseth: And I'm hosting a news program posting this information. Listen, I don't play the veteran card, Tucker, I really don't. But I served in Iraq and Afghanistan. I guarded these guys at Guantanamo Bay. I know what they want to do to us. And if we can't share that with the American people, their true motivations, hatred for America, hatred for Israel, Guantanamo Bay's a gulag, then we're going to get the false narrative of the PC folks from Silicon Valley every single day of the week. And they banned me. If they'll ban me, they'll ban anybody.

Tucker Carlson: Well, that's exactly right. And think of the people they are banning who don't have access to a platform like this one. So, are you banned now?

Pete Hegseth: Yes.

Tucker Carlson: What is the status as of right now?

Pete Hegseth: So, they want me -- they've told me if I delete my -- if I delete the tweet, then I can go back on the platform. But if I don't, then I'm gone. Of course, I'm not going to delete the tweet. The tweet was simply sharing the manifesto and exposing the motives of this terrorist. And if I don't do that, then I don't get to tweet anymore. And you're so right, Tucker. It's not the people who have a profile. It's the thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of Americans who share stuff about radical Islam --

Tucker Carlson: Yes.

Pete Hegseth: -- which is taboo, who are blocked every single day. I mean, Silicon Valley is in bed with defending, under the guise of defending against Islamophobia, anyone who exposes the things that radical Islam is doing, that's what I ran up against here. That's it.

Tucker Carlson: Meanwhile, there's literally no limit to the things you can say about Christianity or Christians and remain on the platform.

Pete Hegseth: Endless.

Tucker Carlson: Endless.

Pete Hegseth: The double standard, everyone knows it. It's there. It's blatant.

Tucker Carlson: Thank you for pointing it out, once again. Pete Hegseth. Keep us updated. I hope you will.

Pete Hegseth: We'll keep fighting. You've got it, Tucker. Thank you.

Tucker Carlson: Well, you just heard Pete say he served in Afghanistan. That war in that country has now dragged on for 18 years. New documents show the Pentagon, under the last administration, lied to us extensively about what was happening there. Details ahead.


Tucker Carlson: You want to feel old? It's been 18 years since the U.S. military overthrew the Taliban. Since then, hundreds of thousands of American troops have passed through Afghanistan, 2,300 of them died there. Over and over, government and military leaders told us the war in Afghanistan was making progress and we just needed to stay the course, we couldn't pull out.

. Now, newly released documents show they were lying repeatedly, officials distorted statistics in order to conceal from the public what was happening, which was, in effect, a disaster. Hundreds of billions of dollars were spent. How much did we spend? We spent more than the entire Marshall Plan after inflation. And it was all wasted trying to modernize Afghanistan's tribal society. "Medieval" doesn't even describe it. Military leaders didn't know what their objective was. They didn't know the enemy was a lot of the time. They would admit that to each other, but they never admitted it in public, to the people who were paying for the war, or dying, fighting in it.

So, what happened to the people who did this, who prosecuted this disaster and misled you about it? Now, if you did that, if you orchestrated an orgy of waste and incompetence on this scale, you'd be in jail. You certainly wouldn't have a paying job. The people behind this debacle, they're still running the show at the Pentagon or they're being richly rewarded as lobbyists, or running thinktanks, or they're defense contractors because no one is every punished. "Margin of Victory" author and retired U.S. Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor has been warning the public about the futility of what's happening in Afghanistan for a decade. And we have video proof right here all the way from 2010. Watch this.


The Press: Before I let you go, what -- should we be spending $1 trillion in the Islamic world to import democracy?

Douglas Macgregor: No, absolutely not. It's a dead end. It's a hopeless endeavor.

The Press: Hopeless endeavor?

Douglas Macgregor: Absolutely. This is a bottomless pit for our resources. Nothing good is going to come out of it.

The Press: And so –

[end of video clip]

Tucker Carlson: If only we'd listened, but we didn't. Douglas Macgregor: MacGregor joins us tonight. Colonel, thanks so much for coming on.

Douglas Macgregor: Sure.

Tucker Carlson: So, what we learned is what we kind of suspected, that the people in charge were lying to us. That happens a lot. What I'm amazed by is how no one's ever punched -- so, the people who lied to us about this disaster, where they now?

Douglas Macgregor: Well, first, before we go over some ugly things, which we're going to have to do this segment, I want to say, "Go Army, beat Navy."

Tucker Carlson: Yes?

Douglas Macgregor: One hundred and twentieth game on Saturday. I'm a West Point graduate. I want to see the Army win.

Tucker Carlson: I think that's important.

Douglas Macgregor: That's right. Now, set that aside. First of all, we learned that very little has changed in the senior ranks of the U.S. Army and, probably, of the Marines since the Vietnam period. We're dealing with the same sort of people who set aside the truth in favor of pleasant fiction and, at the time, were rewarded with promotion for doing so. That's the first thing. Secondly, we need to remember that President Trump, in July of 2017, gathered his cabinet, brought in all of his advisers, and said, "I want to leave Afghanistan immediately. I want out."

And everyone who had any service in the military, uniformed or otherwise, all closed ranks and said, "You can't leave. If you leave, the world, as we know it, will end. And we're making progress. No, we need to send more troops. We need to double down," in other words, the same routine that went on with President Obama. Ultimately, we know the rest of the story. There was no one who could walk in, who had any military background or experience until the president the truth: "You're right, Mr. President. We need to cut our losses, as any good businessman knows, and get out before more good soldiers, sergeants, lieutenants, captains, colonels, warrant officers are killed." It didn't happen.

Now, what about the generals that brought us this tragedy? Where are they? Well, some of them are now retired. In fact, I noted just before I came in here that David Petraeus is pushing back, and says, "I stand by everything I said." So, either he's lying about what happened at the time or he's just delusional. Because we know from the report that others who were there on the ground, who were not generals, were saying, "Look, this is a disaster. It's not working." President Trump has an opportunity right now to drain the military swamp, go after the senior officers who are on active duty right now who played a role in this. And, interestingly enough, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Milley, is prominently featured in these papers. He's one of those who kept saying, "No, our police, the police, the Army, the Afghan forces, they're doing a great job. We're making progress," when that was absolutely untrue. I think if he was invited to retire, that would send a very positive --

Tucker Carlson: Yes.

Douglas Macgregor: -- message to the rest of the force. Lying doesn't pay any more.

Tucker Carlson: If you raised your children the way that Washington treats its policy makers, where there's no penalty whatsoever for dishonesty, you raise sociopaths.

Douglas Macgregor: Yes.

Tucker Carlson: Yeah, and that's what we're doing. Colonel, thank you so much, as always for your clarity. I appreciate it.

Douglas Macgregor: Okay.

Tucker Carlson: So, people are incredibly angry about a lot of things in America, but especially about an advertisement for an exercise bike. They're so mad that the company that makes that bike saw its stock price decline by $1 billion, because the ad was really that bad. Maybe the people complaining about it were that bad. Mark Steyn will sort it out for us. Also, Ken Starr reacts to today's impeachment hearings. Straight ahead.


Tucker Carlson: Well, it's the most vicious hateful, deceitful, loathsome attempt to sell a product ever attempted in English. That's what they're saying on Twitter about this ad for the Peloton exercise bike. Watch.


Male Speaker: Oh, are you ready?

Female Speaker: Yes.

Male Speaker: Now.

Female Speaker: A Peloton?

Female Speaker: Give it up. Our first-time rider.

Female Speaker: First ride. I'm a little nervous but excited. Let's do this. Five days in a row. Are you surprised? I am. 6:00 a.m. yay.

Male Speaker: Rising with the sun.

Female Speaker: That was totally worth it.

Female Speaker: Let's go Grace in Boston. Fifty rides.

Female Speaker: She just said my name. A year ago, I didn't realize how much this would change me. Thank you.


Tucker Carlson: So, were you offended? Don't you think they seem like kind of a nice couple and he gave her something she wanted and that seems fine? No. You're not woke then. You should be as mad as Twitter is. You should recognize what you're watching is toxic masculinity meeting the patriarchy to oppress women with exercise bikes. The response has been so negative to that ad that the market cap for Peloton dropped by almost a billion dollars after the ad was released. Now, why is an exercise bike company worth billions of dollars? That's another question. But Elizabeth Wagmeister senior correspondent at Variety joins us to examine the first question which is why exactly is this sexist? Nice to see you, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Wagmeister: So, here's the thing. I personally do not think that this is sexist. I think, as you said, maybe this woman wanted a Peloton bike. I mean, they are worth over $2,000. If my boyfriend got me a Peloton bike, I personally would be pretty excited.

Tucker Carlson: Well, yeah.

Elizabeth Wagmeister: But, but you know, if people are offended then okay we can take that into account but I want to bring up this point. Maybe it's actually sexist to assume that the husband got her the bike and asked her to work out because maybe she said I want the bike and it's good for my health and, you know, wellness. A lot of people are saying this man just wants her to get skinnier and --

Tucker Carlson: Really?

Elizabeth Wagmeister: --- he wants her to work out.

Tucker Carlson: Who's more judgmental about women's weight? Men or women? And let's be honest, if we can.

Elizabeth Wagmeister: I mean, are you asking me that question? I don't know if I can answer.

Tucker Carlson: I think you know the answer.

Elizabeth Wagmeister: You know, I'm not going to get into --

Tucker Carlson: By a margin, by a wide margin, it's women.

Elizabeth Wagmeister: Yes, but you know --

Tucker Carlson: I've met with a lot of women. I know this and so does every other human being so why are we pretending otherwise?

Elizabeth Wagmeister: But you know, here's what's interesting. So, I took a poll on my Twitter today because I knew I was coming on, and I was actually very interested because I have a lot of young women who follow me and I was actually surprised most of my followers said I do not think this is sexist. Only one of them said that they did. So, I think that this is also a case of Twitter blowing up. It's now become, you know, a viral moment. SNL spoofed it this past weekend. I mean, it's funny. I have to say when I first saw the commercial and I saw it before it blew up, I thought this was over the top and this was kind of a weird commercial, they're making, you know, the Peloton into this grand thing, the song and everything. I knew it would get attention, but I do have to say that I am surprised it got this much of a negative backlash for being called sexist. I think that's making some assumptions and I think that we should let the woman choose what she wants. In this case, maybe she wanted a Peloton.

Tucker Carlson: So, you're pro-choice on the Peloton question. You know I am, too.

Elizabeth Wagmeister: There you go.

Tucker Carlson: Elizabeth, great to see you tonight. Thank you very much.

Elizabeth Wagmeister: Thank you.

Tucker Carlson: Let's take another look at that sexist ad. Watch.


Female Speaker: Your coffee, sir.

Male Speaker: Thanks, beautiful.

Female Speaker: You're welcome.

Male Speaker: How can such a pretty wife make such bad coffee?

Female Speaker: I heard that.


Tucker Carlson: Oh, sorry. That wasn't the Peloton ad. That was a Folgers coffee ad from the 1960s. Author and columnist Mark Steyn joins us tonight to assess just how sexist that Peloton ad was. Hey, Mark.

Mark Steyn:

Yeah. Well, I had no knowledge of this. My friend Tal Bachman, his song is used in that, "She's So High," and that's a song about how this women is high above the singer. She's so -- she's on a different level and clearly the people who created this ad are like woke Madison Avenue types. They do Ben and Jerry's and they do Uber. They're plugged into the zeitgeist and they're also as is the way of Madison Avenue wealthier than most Americans so they think that his poor woman who looks fabulous, she's so high, she's high above you, she's -- but she's ballooned up to 103 pounds and maybe if we buy her a $2,500 exercise bike she will be able to look more cadaverous and emaciated on principle that you can never be too rich and too -- I can't relate to any of this, least of all the bit where she's so -- this guy he's in the ad for five seconds and his career's over. He's been talked about, this little pajama boy who's there for five seconds, he's a combination of Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, and Charlie Rose. That's his reputation on Twitter. The actress has made a response ad in which her girlfriends talk about the safe space she needs.

The weirdest thing about this is that after she's been on the exercise bike for a couple of weeks they decide to sit down on the sofa and watch the video. She takes videos of herself all the time exercising on the bike. Now there's nights when, you know, there's nothing on TV. People say do you want to watch Tucker. Oh, God no there's some lousy guest host. Well, should we watch a video of you sitting on the exercise bike? What are they going to do the next night? Watch a video of themselves sitting on the sofa. I can't relate to any of this. So, the only big takeaway from this --

Tucker Carlson: [laughs]

Mark Steyn: -- is that actually, for all people talk about celebrating diversity, what we're actually celebrating these days is conformity.

Tucker Carlson: Yes.

Mark Steyn: If you don't buy into a received perspective, even for a niche product, if you don't buy into all the pieties, you have to be hunted down and destroyed.

Tucker Carlson: That is totally true.

Mark Steyn: We have stereotypes for a reason. That Folgers ad about the beautiful wife who makes horrible coffee, there are women like that. There are also horrible wives who make beautiful coffee.

Tucker Carlson: [laughs]

Mark Steyn: It's a crapshoot. It's part of life's rich tapestry. The stereotype that applied there -- now, your coffee is made by a 29-year-old pajama boy with a six-figure sum in college debt. Things change. But it's this urge to enforce conformity that is so disturbing.

Tucker Carlson: It really --

Mark Steyn: And actually totalitarian.

Tucker Carlson: It is. And artists ought to be fighting against it. And instead, they're embracing it. We're finding out who the actual artists are. And I would put you at the very top of the list. And I mean that. Mark Steyn.

Mark Steyn: [laughs]

Tucker Carlson: I mean it. Thank you for coming on tonight --

Mark Steyn: Thanks a lot, Tucker.

Tucker Carlson: -- as always.

Mark Steyn: Thank you.

Tucker Carlson: Coming up, we'll have even more on today's impeachment hearings. Hard to believe we can spend another segment on something so vacuous, but we have former Special Counsel Ken Starr joining us to react next.


Tucker Carlson: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made it pretty clear last week that the president is going to be impeached no matter what. But the House is continuing to hold hearings as if it's an open question. Ken Starr knows a lot about impeachment. He was special counsel in the Whitewater investigation under Bill Clinton. Today on Fox, he accused Democrats of steadily lowering the bar for what merits impeachment. Ken Starr joins us tonight. Mr. Starr, thanks so much for coming on. So, what --

Ken Starr: Oh, my pleasure, Tucker.

Tucker Carlson: This is a subject you've thought about maybe more than any living American. What qualifies as a high crime or misdemeanor sufficient to impeach? How would you rate the charges against the president now?

Ken Starr: I would rate the current charges as not meeting -- not even coming near the term “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Those terms are tied to treason and bribery, and then other high crimes, not low crimes, not low misdemeanors, something profoundly serious. And also, something -- I think history's a great teacher here, Tucker. Read the Nixon impeachment articles. They are so powerful. You read those articles, and you understand why 400 members of the House of Representatives said, “We've got to go through with impeachment here.” Read the Clinton articles, much more divisive, to be sure. When you read those articles, “This is serious stuff.” We don't know what the articles are going to say. But what we do know is there will be no Republican support whatsoever. There will be some Democratic slippage as well. And so, this will be unprecedented in American history, the most partisan approach in the history of the republic.

Tucker Carlson: So, you've never had a party-led impeachment or anything even approaching it. What'll be the effect, do you expect, on the country of something like that?

Ken Starr: A deeper division and an increasing utilization, which is what we've seen, of impeachment as simply a political tool.

Tucker Carlson: Yeah.

Ken Starr: Reasonable minds can differ about the phone call. I don't see why reasonable minds, given all that we know about the facts, all the testimony that we have had, would say, “That was a crime,” or “That was such an abuse of power,” which is the current nomenclature, that the president must be removed because he's a clear and present danger to the American polity. It's just extravagant, in my view. And so, I think we've weaponized impeachment, unfortunately.

Tucker Carlson: And so, I mean, going forward, will there -- I mean, can you expect that every president will have to expect an impeachment bum rush?

Ken Starr: We've -- that's the fear that we've become impeachment-happy. And we shouldn't. Impeachment should be the last resort. And now it's simply a political tool. Famously, we now know The Washington Post said 18 minutes after the president was sworn in, “The impeachment effort has begun.” That is profoundly wrong and a great disservice to the American republic.

Tucker Carlson: Very quick, just in 15 seconds, do you know what this is about? I mean, what is it about Trump that makes people --

Ken Starr: [laughs]

Tucker Carlson: -- feel as threatened as they do, apparently?

Ken Starr: He is so unorthodox. He does not play by the traditional rules.

Tucker Carlson: Yeah.

Ken Starr: And so, he clearly upset the career foreign service. That's for starters.

Tucker Carlson: Yeah. They can't control him, so they want to destroy him. It's amazing to watch. Ken Starr, thanks so much for your perspective on that. There's really no one who knows more about it. Appreciate it.

Ken Starr: Thank you, Tucker.

Tucker Carlson: We're out of time tonight, unfortunately. Could go on forever and would love to. But as it is, we'll be back tomorrow night at 8 p.m. Eastern, the show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and groupthink, all of which are in high abundance here in Washington. Good night from your capital city, the one you pay for every year.

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