Hillary Clinton: 2020 women have to avoid looking angry

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," March 1, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: Thank you, Shannon. So, tonight, in a story exclusive, Congressman Matt Gaetz in his first national television interview since the tweet that set up a firestorm ahead of the Michael Cohen hearing.

Here is the tweet, it is now deleted which led to an investigation by the Florida Bar Association, and may lead to a House ethics inquiry, as well. "Hey, Michael Cohen, do your wife and father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for a chat. I wonder if she'll remain faithful when you're in prison. She's about to learn a lot."

Here on THE STORY, the former chair of the House Oversight Committee, said this about Gaetz's tweet about Cohen when asked if that was a mistake.


TREY GOWDY, CONTRIBUTOR: It was more than an error. It's indefensible. It's not persuasive -- you know, the president has a lot of really provocative allies, like Matt. He could stay to have a few more persuasive allies.

People like John Radcliffe, Elise Stefanik, people who can actually make the case. But threatening a witness, then I'm going to leave the criminality to others. But threatening a witness like that in a tweet, you're not helping the person you're trying to help. You actually look guilty as hell when you do things like that. So, I'm glad he put took it down, but he never should put it up.


MACCALLUM: Strong words from Trey Gowdy. And Congressman Gaetz will respond to that in moments. But first, chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel with the back story tonight. Mike.

MIKE EMANUEL, CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Martha, good evening. First, it was that controversial tweet, and then, Congressman Matt Gaetz continued his attack on the House floor.


REP. MATT GAETZ, R-FLA.: I guess tomorrow, we will find out if there is anyone that Michael Cohen hasn't lied to. Does he lie to his own family? Does he lie to his financiers? Do he -- does he lie to his financiers who are members of his family?


EMANUEL: The congressman did not stop there. The attack continued in an interview with Fox.


GAETZ: We have got to find out who Michael Cohen lies to, and if there's anyone Michael Cohen tells the truth to. He lied to the IRS, he lied to three different banks, he lied to Congress, and now he's going to jail for lying. My objective is to figure out whether or not he lied to the people closest to him, and I think that says a lot about his veracity and his character.


EMANUEL: Hours later, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fired a warning shot on Twitter. Writing, "I encourage all Members to be mindful that comments made on social media or in the press can adversely affect the ability of House Committees to obtain the truthful and complete information necessary to fulfill their duties."

Then late night, Gaetz apologized. "Speaker, I want to get to the truth too. While it is important to create context around the testimony of liars like Michael Cohen, it was not my intent to threaten as some believe I did. I'm deleting the tweet, and I should have chosen words that better show my intent. I'm sorry."

Gaetz face bipartisan criticism from fellow lawmakers.


SEN. RICK SCOTT, R-FLA: It's wrong. I think it's disgusting. I'm glad he -- I'm glad he apologized.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF.: You know, in addition to just being appalled at what looks like a blatant effort to intimidate this witness --


EMANUEL: Despite the apology, the very public attack could lead to more headaches for Congressman Gaetz. Martha?

MACCALLUM: Mike, thank you very much. So, joining me now exclusively to answer some of these questions is Congressman Matt Gaetz. Congressman, thank you for being here tonight to face some of this criticism. We thank you for coming in.

So, let's start with the tweet itself. What was your motivation? What did you hope to accomplish by tweeting that about Michael Cohen, and girlfriends, and his wife, and his father-in-law?

GAETZ: Well, I think the clips you've showed from my statements on the floor and another interviews reflected the context, but that doesn't excuse what I did that was wrong. And that's invoking someone's family.

And so, I want to say publicly, what I've said privately to Michael Cohen and to his family that I'm sorry. If it is entirely appropriate to test the truthfulness of a witness, but that could have been done in a way that did invoke someone's family, and I shouldn't have done it.

MACCALLUM: What -- did you have -- what information did you have that caused you to write that tweet? Did you do know something about him that, that other people don't know?

I mean, obviously, you know, he's had his credibility issues, there's no doubt about it. But why, why the girlfriends? I mean, did you -- was that your idea or you know, some people have even suggested that President Trump wanted you to write all that stuff.

GAETZ: Yes, I mean, to get into all of that would be to continue to reference someone's family, and I'm just not going to go there, Martha.


GAETZ: But you are -- but you are right that Isaac Dovere of The Atlantic reported that I was on the phone outside the Longworth office building talking to President Trump. And someone did at that time overhear me say the words, "I was happy to do it for you and you just keep killing it."


GAETZ: The problem Martha is, I wasn't talking to Donald Trump. At 8:37 p.m., I was -- I got a phone call from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Ron de Santis and I spoke for 13 minutes. And he was calling to thank me not about Michael Cohen or payoffs to porn stars, but because I had made a recommendation to him for someone to serve on the Orlando Airport board. A friend of mine named, Randall Hunt.

And -- you know, Governor DeSantis said, "Well, you know, I appreciate you doing that for me." I said, "Hey Governor, I was happy to do it for you. You just keep killing it."

And what's crazy is that even though Governor DeSantis told The Atlantic that he and I were on the phone, that we had that discussion, they still haven't issued a retraction or taken down their allegation. And it continues to be repeated across the mainstream media, in the Washington Examiner, in the Miami Herald.

And so, look, what -- I made a mistake. I should not have invoked someone's family. And I am here to take responsibility and to say that I'm sorry. But when the media goes after President Trump when they tell lies about me, about when they repeat the lies that Jussie Smollett showed, like it really enrages a lot of forgotten men and women in this country who are tired of the media's all-out attack in the absence of facts, and we saw that again today.

So, I hope that Isaac Dovere in The Atlantic will retract something that Governor De Santis has already told them was false.

MACCALLUM: So, you have proof that, that phone call at that time was between you and Governor DeSantis of Florida?

GAETZ: Yes. Absolutely.

MACCALLUM: So then, we would expect that there should be a retraction.


GAETZ: They reporting even, even confirms that.

MACCALLUM: They -- we would expect that there should be a retraction.

GAETZ: There should be.

MACCALLUM: And we'll see if you get it. Did you ever -- Did it any time did the president ever -- you know, encourage you to -- you know, he was out of the country, and obviously, the White House has said that they were very unhappy that, that hearing happened, simultaneous simultaneously with the North Korea meeting.


MACCALLUM: Did he ever encourage you to mix it up a little bit on the Michael Cohen issue, or to show up at the oversight hearing which you also tried to do?

GAETZ: Absolutely, not. I spoke to the president before he left for Hanoi. We talked about completely unrelated matters. And I never spoke to the president when he was in Vietnam or the way back. Now, I'm not going to get in the business of talking to the media about every time I chat with my friend, the president or every time we discuss advice or an issue before the country.

But I certainly could tell you that there is false reporting about me, there is -- there is no proof like we live in a world now, Martha, where the media can report something that I was on the phone with the president. They can have no source, no witness, no identifiable person.

And then, in the echo chamber of the media, they just continue to report it despite the fact that it is a lie. It did not happen, and we ought to have better journalistic integrity than that.

MACCALLUM: All right. Let's talk about the investigations. Because I know that you, you know, you took down the tweet, you apologized for -- you spoke to Michael Cohen about it. Correct?

GAETZ: I did.

MACCALLUM: And what was that conversation like?

GAETZ: Look, I felt that in addition to apologizing publicly for invoking Michael Cohen's family that I needed to apologize to him personally. And so, I reached out to him. I told him I was sorry. He sent back a very gracious message to me. And I am grateful that he accepted my apology and the spirit that it was intended in a raucous political discourse, and an investigations.

We can disagree about substance, we can look for ways to expose inconsistent statements, but we can do that with -- without invoking family. And look, Martha, the reason your network has me on a lot is because I'm one of the leading voices defending the president.

This was an error on my part, but my errors are not errors of omission, they're errors of commission where I do a little too much, fight a little too hard, and this time I cross the line and I hope that it's a better sign of valor that I'm willing to admit that.

MACCALLUM: Well, you know, I think everybody can, can appreciate that. And I think it's right that you reached out to Michael Cohen, doesn't really matter what I think about it. But -- you know, I think that -- you know, what most people would say that that's the right thing to do.

What about the Florida Bar Association, they say that if the rules were violated because obviously, you are well aware of the rules of witness intimidation and how it works in the law. They say they will vigorously pursue discipline against you if their investigation shows that you were trying to intimidate a witness.

GAETZ: I have not heard from the Florida Bar. If I do, I will respond. But I think it's a real problem for state bar associations to be second- guessing the legislative conduct of members of Congress.

I mean, like when Kamala Harris was saying terrible things about Brett Kavanaugh, both inside and outside the halls of Congress, like should the California Bar investigate her for conduct that brings disfavor or puts the profession of the practice of law in a bad light?

They didn't do that, they shouldn't do that. And so, look, I'll deal with the Florida Bar if they -- if they send me a notification. But like just the fact that they are responding to allegations against me, it doesn't mean that there's any violation of the rules.


MACCALLUM: Well, we'll see where they take it.

GAETZ: If any person makes any -- makes any allegation, they're obligated to look into it.

MACCALLUM: And the House Ethics Committee is also considering looking into it as well. But we appreciate you coming here and answering the questions tonight, Congressman Gaetz.

GAETZ: Yes, the House Ethics Committee, they've got a bad record of sort of going after a lot of the president's defenders. They opened up an investigation into Devin Nunez. That turned out to be bogus charges. They've opened an investigation into Mark Meadows that turned out to be something that wasn't his fault.

And so, it seems as though the people who defend the president most vigorously do spend their time in the barrel at the ethics committee. So, I guess it's my turn.

MACCALLUM: All right. Thank you very much, Congressman Gaetz, good to see you tonight.

GAETZ: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Thank you, sir. Coming up next. Breaking news on the defamation suit filed by the family of a Covington Catholic High School student against the Washington Post. Stick around. That is next.


MACCALLUM: "Fox News Alert" tonight. The Washington Post, the outlet at the center of a defamation lawsuit that was filed by the family of Nicholas Sandman -- that young man. Just posted what it is calling an editor's note in response to their coverage of that story. David Spunt has the breaking details tonight from Washington. David?

DAVID SPUNT, CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Martha. Good evening. The post just dropped this news within the last hour. Certainly, starting to make the headlines here in Washington and around the country. This was a big deal when it happened here in January. Nick Sandman, a Kentucky high school -- Catholic High School student, turns out he was taunted by a group called the Black Israelites.

Now, he was vilified in the media for allegedly taunting a Native American man you can see right there. The Washington Post reported extensively on this. Sandman's attorney announced they would actually sue the Post for defamation for $250 million.

But as you say, the Washington Post, they have issued this editor's note, they say "Subsequent reporting, a student statement and additional video allow for a more complete assessment of what occurred either contradicting or failing to confirm accounts provided in that story."

Now we do know that the Washington Post says including that Native American activist Nathan Phillips was prevented by one student from moving on and that his group has been taunted by the students in the lead-up to the encounter nd the students were trying to investigate a conflict.

Now, that is coming from the Washington Post tonight, a rare editor's note from them. We also have a response Martha from Sandman's attorney who says, "too little too late." The Washington Post's doing this tonight. We'll continue to follow this story, Martha.

MACCALLUM: No doubt the lawyer is working overtime on this Friday night trying to navigate that situation which is not going away anytime soon it appears for the Washington Post. David, thank you very much.

SPUNT: You bet.

MACCALLUM: Coming up next tonight, Speaker Pelosi with this very strong message for the President.


REP. NANCY PELOSI, R-CALIF., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Do the country favor. Don't run.


MACCALLUM: The debate over whether that is appropriate from the Speaker of the House, next.


MACCALLUM: Women who are Democrats in the House of Representatives giving the rock star treatment in a new rolling stone interview including Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Castillo Cortez, and others who have this message for President Trump.

REP. JAHANA HAYES, D-CONN.: If I were talking to President Trump, I would remind him that you are my president as well.

REP. ILHAN OMAR, D-MINN.: The people of the United States are looking for a leader that unites.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, D-N.Y.: If I had to say something to Trump, I probably wouldn't say anything because I don't think that it's worth the extra attention.

PELOSI: Mr. President, do the country favor don't run.


MACCALLUM: Here now, Kayleigh McEnany, the National Press Secretary for President Trump's 2020 Campaign and Rochelle Ritchie a Democratic Strategist and former Congressional Press Secretary for the House Democrats. Greats people to have with us tonight. So Kayleigh, Nancy is just scolding the President. She says you know, do us all a favor, do not run. Is there any chance of that happening.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S 2020 CAMPAIGN: No, there's zero chance of that happening. I can tell you the President is excited for this campaign. He's geared up. He's ready. And I'm sure Nancy Pelosi does not want him to run because how can you argue against results, a soaring economy, wages growing at the fastest pace in ten years, remedying our trade imbalances across the world. You can't argue against success. So that's a pretty pathetic message from Nancy Pelosi.

She should spend less time palling around with a socialist and a congresswoman with anti-Semitic remarks and spend more time focusing on working with the president.

MACCALLUM: Rochelle, you know, is there anything that's inappropriate anymore these days? I mean, is that is -- that a professional comment to say about the President of the United States, you know, just do everyone a favor and don't run?

ROCHELLE RITCHIE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, look, I think that she was being very sarcastic. And as you said, I think this is just something that we're starting to see in our politics. I mean, the President is not innocent in some of the remarks that he's made about those on the left either.

But what I will say about Pelosi is that maybe is she thinking that the president shouldn't run considering that he's imploded the deficit. It's risen by 40 percent. He used the paychecks of federal workers as a hostage because he didn't get his wall. So yes, he's had some accomplishments but at the same times he's had a lot of failures.

I mean, he costs millions of people off of -- off of health care alone, prescription drugs were supposed to go down under this president. That hasn't happened. Instead he's given tax cuts to pharmaceutical companies. So maybe that's the reason why she's saying he shouldn't run. And Plus let's look at what's happening with his base which isn't really supporting him that much either.

MACCALLUM: Well, Kayleigh?

MCENANY: That's just -- that's just incredibly untruthful all that you just said.

RITCHIE: It's not? Oh, OK, that's not true.

MCENANY: In fact, he's cleaned up -- he's cleaned up the disaster that is ObamaCare. In fact, it's under this president that --

RITCHIE: By taking millions of people off of healthcare.

MCENENY: Let me finish. Let me finish. I let you finish and share your litany of falsehoods. So for the first time --

RITCHIE: Well, that's why I'm not letting you finish because I'm telling you the truth.

MACCALLUM: Say everything you wanted to say. Go ahead, Kayleigh.

RITCHIE: Exactly. He's expanded choice and the health care market, no doubt about that. And you want to talk about his base. 93 percent support for this president far higher than the support Obama had among Democrats or Clinton had among Democrats. So you can -- you're entitled to your own opinion, you're not entitled to your own facts.

MACCALLUM: All right, I want to play another piece of this. You know, of course, they don't do these kinds of like you know, rock and roll tribute kind of pieces that to your party Kayleigh, but they do them a lot for free for Democrats. So let's play a little bit more of this. It's kind of interesting. Watch.


CORTEZ: My advice for young women and I think just all women is that we don't have to hem ourselves in, we don't have to make ourselves seem acceptable.

OMAR: Never wait for an invitation or ask permission to step into your power.

HAYES: Be fearless and unapologetic about being your best you.

PELOSI: What you bring is very unique. Don't let anybody try to minimize the importance of what your experience is.


MACCALLUM: Kayleigh, let me start with you on this one and then we'll go to Rochelle. What do you think about that message for women?

MCENANY: Well, look, I think we can be us, to be bold, to be unabashed. I agree with that. But that being said, you know, there's such an effort here to court the female vote. But again, you can't argue with the president historic low and unemployment for females across this country empowering them. Ivanka, a champion for paid family leave. If they want to empower females, come over at White House and work with Ivanka and make that a reality. So that's my message to Nancy Pelosi.

MACCALLUM: Rochelle?

RITCHIE: You know, I think it's a great message. And I think that regardless of where you fall on the left or the right, it's a great message for all women. I think that you know, Ivanka would support a message like that. Pelosi obviously supports a message like that. So I don't think this is an issue where we need to make it a partisan thing about Ivanka and come to the White House. That's just ridiculous.

MACCALLUM: You know --

MCENANY: If want a paid family leave, you have an option now. I haven't heard your party coming to the table on it, on that or infrastructure or anything else you guys have asked for.

RITCHIE: Well, your president right now has imploded the deficit some $40 billion so maybe that's why there's --

MCENANY: Nowhere near Obama. So if you want to talk --

RITCHIE: Obama is not running Kayleigh. You guys keep talking about Obama, he's not running.

MACCALLUM: No president has a good record on the deficit over the last you know, four to five presidential presidencies so I think that's a pretty tough argument for anybody to make on behalf of any president at this point. So ladies, we're going to leave it there. Thank you very much. Good to have both of you with us tonight.

MCENENY: Thank you, Martha.

RITCHIE: Thanks, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So coming up next, the recent comments from President Obama that has some saying he's starting to sound kind of like a Conservative.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: Let me say this. If you are really confident about your financial situation, you probably are not going to be wearing an eight pound chain around your neck.



MACCALLUM: Former President Barack Obama recently giving young men advice at an event for my Brother's Keeper.


OBAMA: Let's face it, a lot of hip hop and rap music is built around me showing how I got more money than you, I can disrespect you and you can't do nothing about it.

If you are really confident about your financial situation, you probably are not going to be wearing an 8-pound chain around your neck. If you are very confident about your sexuality, you don't have to have eight women around you twerking.


MACCALLUM: So, my next guest says that remarks like those make the former president sound like conservative. He writes, quote, "Years of thinking of myself as a powerless victim of an unjust world went by before I had people in my life speak to me in the way Obama spoke to those young men in Oakland as an iconic class knocking down false idols."

But, a New York Post -- I mean, a New York Times, I should say, op-ed, says the former president is now part of problematic practices. Writing this, "Programs like my Brother's Keeper insist on making better versions of Trayvon Martin, the black victim, instead of asking how to stop creating people like George Zimmerman, the racist vigilante. Rather than encouraging them to dismantle the systems that deepen wealth inequality, Mr. Obama tells black boys to tuck their chains."

Here now Jamil Jivani, the author of "Why Young Men: The Dangerous Allure of Violent Movements and What We Can Do About It" set to publish in May, and Richard Fowler, senior fellow for New Leader's Council and a Fox News contributor.

Gentlemen, welcome. Thank you very much for being here tonight.


RICHARD FOWLER, CONTRIBUTOR: Good to see you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So, if that message, Jamil, is conservative, if that makes you think that former President Obama sounds like a conservative, what does that say about where Democrats are right now?

JAMIL JIVANI, AUTHOR, WHY YOUNG MEN: Well, what President Obama is doing is reminding young men that would believe in them and we high expectations of them. And just because they encounter unfairness in the world doesn't mean they have to lower their own expectations of themselves and their own behavior.

The Democratic Party, their leaders today are not creating space for that kind of conversation. It's all about what's being done to people and in this case two young men of color. And it's about clinging on to narratives where young men of color are not the moral agents that we're focused on.

We are focused on when they are victims like in the hoax case of Jussie Smollett but not focused on situations where they are both victims and perpetrators. Where they are the moral agents determining what the outcomes are for their families, for their communities, for their neighborhoods, their cities and that's why there is no space for that conversation in the Democratic Party today as I see it.

So, when President Obama is reminding young men, we expect big things from you. We don't expect to you lower yourself because of what other people think of you or do to you, that is a message that doesn't seem to have a home in the Democratic Party today.

MACCALLUM: But that is amazing to me, Richard. Do you agree with that?

FOWLER: I disagree with that and here is why. We do expect greatness. Acts of greatness from all of my cousins from, from my friends, from everybody who I know in my community. With that being said, when the odds are stacked against them, when you have you public schools that are falling apart, when you have teachers that aren't properly funded, when you have lack of opportunity in their community, it's hard for you to overcome all of those things, right?

And I think that is the debate that we really need to be having in this country. How do we create a system where no matter what zip code you live in you have access to a high-quality public education? And if we could fix that problem where Democrats and Republicans could work together on that, then maybe, just maybe, we could have a conversation to ensure that black men can achieve at the same rate that white men do.

MACCALLUM: You know, I mean, I hear what you are saying, I think there is a lot of discussion that can be had around that. But I think the message from President Obama is a little bit different than that. You know, I do think back to what he said before he was president which really put him on the political map in 2004 and I think made him really stand out. Watch this.


OBAMA: There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America. There is the United States of America.


MACCALLUM: You know, Jamil, that could be seen as a conservative message today. You know, to suggest that there is not a black America and a white America is now a controversial thing to say.

JIVANI: That is exactly right. I mean, the idea of colorblindness, right?


JIVANI: The ideas that morals are universal and they apply to all of us and what it means to be a good person is the same no matter how much money is in your pocket or what you look like. That's what we are fighting for. That's why when President Obama said that I was excited because I think that's a message that we need to be reminded of.


MACCALLUM: I think we all were. I think that was such a galvanizing message.

JIVANI: Absolutely.

MACCALLUM: But I think a lot of people, Richard, wondered where that message went over the course of President Obama's presidency. And Richard, what does it say that that statement would now be considered very controversial?

FOWLER: I don't think that statement is controversial at all. I think that's a --


MACCALLUM: But Howard Schultz just said the other day that he was color blind as a child that he played with black children and white children and Hispanic children and that it blew up extremely controversial.

FOWLER: Well, I think the reason why Howard Schultz's comments blew up extremely controversial is because he is the head of Starbucks the company that shut down for a day to deal with racial insensitivity, when in one of their stores in Philadelphia, two men were arrested for showing up for a meeting because they happened to be African-American. That's why he was condemned.

MACCALLUM: I understand. Yes, but the conversation went there for good reason, I guess. But the larger conversation, I think is true. Do you think that comment what President Obama said back in 2004 wouldn't get a lot of controversy today?

FOWLER: I will say that comment I don't think would get any controversy. I think the larger argument here, right, the underlying theory of the case is this. There is just one America. But when you peal back that onion what you find is that in some people are getting all the benefits and some people aren't. And what you have created is an unbalanced play -- of level -- you've created unleveled playing field.

And what we have got to do if we really believe in one America and I believe in it, we've got to fight to ensure that we have a balanced playing field for everybody. And this goes beyond race. This also deals with zip code when I use zip code specifically because rural America has a different reality than urban America.

MACCALLUM: That's right.

FOWLER: Suburbs -- suburban America has a different reality than --


MACCALLUM: People of all colors have challenges in their lives that they have to deal with.

FOWLER: Absolutely. Here's what we have got to do as a country is in the places where everybody gets the same amount of funding, in the things that we do as a country we all believe that children should have a great K-12 education.


FOWLER: That should be the same no matter what states you live in --


MACCALLUM: Well, we have --

FOWLER: -- no matter where you live --


FOWLER: -- no matter your zip code no matter your race --

MACCALLUM: I got to go.

FOWLER: -- and no matter your orientation. That's the battle.

MACCALLUM: Jamil, give me just a 10 second closing thought, Jamil before we go.

JIVANI: Well, where Richard and I might depart is that I think all of that is true but before all those things happen that doesn't mean we get to make excuses about hurting each other or hurting ourselves. We still have to be the best person we can be and we don't need to wait for all those big picture things to change in order for that to be the case.

FOWLER: If you can't read --


MACCALLUM: Gentlemen, we'll continue the conversation.

FOWLER: -- you have a big problem.

MACCALLUM: Thank you very much to you both.

FOWLER: Good to see you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Coming up next, the hash tag Me Too catches up to Michael Jackson. Two of his alleged victims say his day of reckoning has finally come.

Geraldo Rivera who called himself one of Jackson's friends joins me next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no thoughts of this is wrong or anything like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He told me if they ever found out what we were doing, he and I would go to jail for the rest of our lives.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was seven years old, Michael asked do you and the family want to come to Neverland?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We drive in and forget about all your problems. You were in Neverland. It was a fantasy.


MACCALLUM: The upcoming HBO documentary leaving Neverland shining new light on sexual abuse allegations against the man known as the king of pop.

Two men who accuse Michael Jackson of abusing them when they were just young boys. They are now speaking out 10 years after his death and it has some rethinking the place of the musical icon in an era of Me Too.

Trace Gallagher live in our West Coast newsroom with the back story tonight. Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, CORRESPONDENT: Martha, this documentary has very graphic allegations of abuse and the accusations made by Wade Robson who is now 36 and James Safechuck, 41, are quite similar. Both were befriended by Jackson when they were young boys and both were brought to his Neverland ranch where they claim the abuse began first with light touching, then with kissing and then with Jackson performing oral sex on them and vice versa.

Wade Robson claims his abuse went on for seven years. But the men now say they were never frightened because Michael Jackson convinced them what they were doing was in the context of a close, loving relationship. Robson says he eventually pushed the memories away until he imagined Michael Jackson abusing his own son. Watch.


WADE ROBSON, MICHAE JACKSON ACCUSER: If I never had a son, I might still be in silence.


ROBSON: I think it was a really good chance. I had become so disconnected from myself as a little boy over the years and through the process of kind of pushing all of this down that I had no -- I had no relationship with little Wade.


GALLAGHER: The men go on to say, quote, "a machine of people helped cover up the abuse." But it's notable that in 1993 when another young boy named Jordan Chandler accused Michael Jackson of abusing him. Both Robson and Safechuck denied that they had been molested.

In fact, during Michael Jackson's 2005 criminal trial for sexual abuse which I covered gavel to gavel, the testimony given by Wade Robson denying abuse was largely credited for Michael Jackson's acquittal. The Jackson family now says neither Robson or Safechuck can be trusted. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is all about money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's always been about money. I hate to say it when it's my uncle it's almost like they see a blank check.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an old argument that they have used and they say it's just about the money. For me the lawsuit was about fighting back for little James. Nobody fought for me as a kid but I'm old enough now to fight for myself.


GALLAGHER: And Oprah Winfrey is now supporting and interviewing the accusers for her own special that was taped this week in New York before an audience of sexual abuse victims. That special will air on HB and the own network after the documentary airs on Monday night.

Remember, Oprah interviewed Michael Jackson live back in 1993. He told her the reason he surrounded himself with children is because he never had his own childhood. She didn't press him on it. He was accused of molesting other children just a few months later. Martha?

MACCALLUM: Trace, thank you very much. Here now Geraldo Rivera, Fox News correspondent at large and author of the Geraldo Show. Geraldo, good to have you with us tonight. You listened to those two young men --


MACCALLUM: -- not young men anymore but recounting some horrific experiences that they say they had at Neverland.

RIVERA: You know, Martha, this is the era where we have to believe the victims of abuse when they come forward but I have to say the thing about Wade Robson specifically as Trace Gallagher accurately reported there is that during the trial, he was adamant that Michael Jackson, despite the many hours they spent together had never, not one time molested him.

So, is he lying now or was he lying then? I cannot credit this and I have to recall also the judge and his 2005 case which I also covered remarking how all of these victims, you know, told their stories to the tabloids rather than to investigators.

So, to me, there is nothing new it is graphic, the detail is very vivid, but it would also seem to me to be in their best interest to tell the most dramatic story possible. I would like to know the financial arrangements between these two young men and HBO, Martha.

MACCALLUM: It's so hard to reconcile, Geraldo. These stories are so disturbing. You look back at Michael Jackson's life. And you know, he was always surrounding himself with children everywhere he went. And when you look at the way that people who do abuse children, and you know, I'm just observing all of this as we watch this documentary and I listen to you, you know, it was like grooming on steroids at Neverland.

Candy, free candy, animals, your birthday party. The sleepover parties. He, you know, I mean, it is so hard to not -- to discount their stories given everything that we've all seen over the years.

RIVERA: Amen to everything you just said, Martha. But I have spent quite a bit, I did spend quite a bit of time with Michael Jackson in Neverland and also when he was in exile in the days leading up to that trial. He was frightened. He was paranoid he didn't know who to trust. He had just been burned by Martin Bashir, the British journalist who ingratiated himself with Michael for eight months and devastated him with an expose that I thought was grotesquely unfair, you know.

Just because Michael Jackson is weird and just because Neverland was this creation, this Disneyland-like creation doesn't make him a molester. I don't know. All I know is that Robson told a very vivid story in 2005 very convincing, it was because of his exculpatory testimony I think that Michael Jackson beat the 2005 rap --


MACCALLUM: Yes, I think you're right.

RIVERA: -- which I also think was a fabricated evidence. And now he is changing the story. He tried to get a job.


MACCALLUM: I mean, there is a similar --

RIVERA: This is an important point he tried to get a job.

MACCALLUM: I'm sorry, we're -- I think there is a little bit of a delay. You know, there are so many Me Too stories along the same lines where people said that nothing happened and then years later, they come forward and say that now they have the strength to tell their story.

I've got to leave it there but we're going to talk more about this because this is airing over the course of this weekend.


MACCALLUM: And there is a huge musical about Michael Jackson that's coming to New York City next year. So, this story is not going anywhere. Thank you very much. Good to see you tonight, Geraldo.

RIVERA: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: You bet. So, coming up next, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle might ditch conventional norms when it comes to raising the next royal baby with a more fluid approach to gender according to reports. So, what exactly does that mean? Ladies night coming up next.


MACCALLUM: So, Hillary Clinton says it's not fair that what women have to go through when they jump into the presidential race. Watch this.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: How does a woman stand up for herself on the biggest stage in the world without, number one, looking aggressive, maybe a little bit angry. How do you get on this kind of goldilocks path where you are not too strong and you are not too weak and you are not too aggressive and you are not too passive? This is still a problem for women on the public stage.


MACCALLUM: So, what do you think about that. Let's bring in Deirdre Bolton, Fox Business anchor and host of Women and Money, Lisa Boothe, Fox News contributor, and Jessica Tarlov, senior director of research at Bustle.com and a Fox News contributor. Let me start with you, Deirdre, is she right about that?

DEIRDRE BOLTON, ANCHOR: I don't know that her comments are relevant to the 2020 candidates. I think a lot of the anger that went towards Hillary Clinton was because a lot of people didn't like the Clintons. And that's why President Trump got so much wind in his sails with drain the swamp. I think for a lot of people the Clintons are a good example of the swamp. So, I'm not sure that her experience is going to be completely applicable to the next set of candidates.

MACCALLUM: Jessica, let me go to you next on this. You know, is it difficult do you think for women to find the right balance in all of this?

JESSICA TARLOV, CONTRIBUTOR: I think that it is difficult. Even if you go down to something -- and I certainly don't want to reduce any of these women's presidential aspirations to picking out an outfit. But there are so much commentary about pants suits versus dresses and striking what kind of colors pop.

We think about this kind of stuff all the time being on television, you know, a visual medium when you go to the debates. And to Deirdre, to your point about people not liking the Clintons, that's absolutely correct. But Hillary Clinton was bearing the brunt of a lot of damage that her husband did. Think about having to be in the presidential debate and to have the women that your husband allegedly sexually assaulted sitting in the front row.


BOLTON: Yes. She had a lot of baggage.

TARLOV: Exactly. But I do like that you pointed out that it will be easier for this next round of candidates because there are more of them. It's a lot harder to pick on people when they are in a pack than it is when it's just one.

LISA BOOTHE, CONTRIBUTOR: But see, this is something that frustrates me and Jess, you know I love you. But this is something that frustrates me about progressive women. They keep saying they want equality what they're really advocating is for special treatment. That somehow, they should be protected or insulated from criticism. And you look at some of the stuff that President Trump gets called narcissist. He's been fat shamed over his, you know, doctor reviews.

MACCALLUM: All kinds of attacks on his hair.


MACCALLUM: Every day, you know.

BOOTHE: There's an article about him being angry and I think if Hillary Clinton, I mean, this is what she does. She plays the victim. Remember from 2016 --


BOOTHE: -- how many things does she blame for the loss? The DNC, the media, Comey, Putin, I mean, the list goes on and on. I think stop playing the victim. Stop asking for special treatment. If you want equality, suck it up, take it on the gin and be like everyone else. Politics is a tough industry.


MACCALLUM: I don't think that the likability thing it's a little bit of a tired argument. I mean, you know, every politician tries to come across as someone that people want to, can relate to. And I think that's true for men and I think it's true for women. I don't necessarily think that it's something that is different.

BOLTON: No. Listen, I've even heard from AOC and I mean, she is not, she has not thrown her hat in the presidential. But she is ca charismatic.


MACCALLUM: Absolutely, she is. Every time she does something you want to watch her. It's an overall quality that makes people want to know more about you, makes someone to listen to your argument.


BOLTON: Whether or not you agree.

MACCALLUM: And I think it's true whether it's a man or woman. But you know, in terms of the whole women issue, look at this headline from the Washington Post." Motherhood was once a campaign liability. The 2020 female candidates are making it an asset," which brings us to this golden oldy from 1992 and the aforementioned Hillary Clinton. Watch this.


CLINTON: I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had tea. But what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life.


MACCALLUM: I liked that Hillary Clinton. I actually, you know, you listen to her, you know what? This is who I am. I think that, I think people relate -- I mean, at the time she got a tremendous amount of heat for it.


MACCALLUM: But she was just being honest.

BOLTON: No. She was just being honest. And I think sometimes if you speak to working mothers a lot of them will say yes, I'm actually more efficient. I have to do it right the first time because I have to get home and I have a bunch of other people to take care of. So, I'm actually glad. I mean, we have a record number of women in Congress. I see progress.

MACCALLUM: Yes. But now everybody is trying to soften up their image and talk about their kids and talk about what it's like to be a mom. And it's, you know, I don't know. Men don't do that so why should women do that, Jess.


BOLTON: Although Paul Ryan when he resigns, he didn't say I want to spend more time with my family?

MACCALLUM: Yes. And that's true. I think he's becoming a more open topic for men, too.

TARLOV: Well, it certainly. And I think these women are talking about it because it's an important part of everyday Americans lives that's why they're pushing for family leave, parental leaf, to make sure that we have day care, universal pre-K.


TARLOV: These are bread and butter issues to Americans. We should see more men talking about it because they are equal partners on this or are supposed to, but for Democrats specifically having elected a record number of women to congress this year. I think --


BOOTHE: It is very smart to be talking it.

MACCALLUM: It's about reaching out to those suburban moms and everybody knows that they are an important voting bloc.

Speaking of moms. Meghan Markle --

BOOTHE: Right.

MACCALLUM: -- says that she and Harry, this is according to reports because, of course, the royal never say anything about this themselves, that they are going to raise their child with gender fluidity, and that the room apparently is going to be gray and white and not pink or blue? Deirdre?

BOLTON: You know, gray and white room? Why not? I mean, buy Legos for everyone. Buy stuffed animals for everyone. I think this is sort of much to do about nothing. I think kids have amazing imaginations and creativity.


BOLTON: You know.


BOOTHE: So, I actually think it might be somewhat of a P.R. strategy because Meghan Markle --


BOOTHE: Because she struggled with talking about the likability factor. There's all these stories about her being this terrible person to work for, a lot of staff that have left.


BOLTONL: That she sends e-mails thoroughly.

BOOTHE: Right. No. But there is plenty of news stories basically indicating that she is not that great of person to be around. So, she embraces progressivism and puts herself out there like that she will be insulated and protected by the media who subscribes to the view point --


TARLOV: Meghan Markle has --

BOOTHE: -- and also a large portion of society who think that's cool.

MACCALLUM: Real quick, Jess.

TARLOV: She has been an activist actually since her teen years.


TARLOV: She doesn't actually need to earn any cred that way. I think that she is speaking to an important movement that we've seen. Major toy companies, Walmart, Target, and now the Toy Isle are gender neutral. Mattel has an amazing close the dream act campaign right now that everyone should check out.

MACCALLUM: I think neutral, neutral and I'm not talking about anything sexual, in terms of sexuality. Just neutral can be a little boring. I like a little look color.

TARLOV: But yellow and green are great colors.

BOOTHE: Pink has always been my favorite color.


MACCALLUM: Yellow and green are great colors. I have got to go. Thank you, guys. Have a great weekend, ladies. That is “The Story” on this Friday night. We are going to see you back here on Monday night at 7:00. "Tucker" is up next.

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