This is a rush transcript from "The Story," October 1, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, ANCHOR: That is for sure. Thank you, Bret. Good evening, everybody. So, tonight, as Americans watch the news from home, what are they thinking about all of this, an effort to remove the president of the United States from the White House?
It will be all-consuming, at least, for the next several months. So, what about the economy? How to keep it going strong? What about the threat from China, where they just celebrated the 70th anniversary by rolling out a missile that they claim can hit us in 30 minutes.
In the long run, will the people of this country thank their politicians in Washington for this fight? Later tonight, we will turn to young voters who never been down this road before and we will ask them what they think about all of this?
But first, to the late-breaking news on what is undoubtedly THE STORY, again, tonight. President Trump and his attorney general, they are moving fast amid this new scrutiny on the promise that they will find out exactly who was behind the early steps in the Russia probe.
It has been going on for some time and quite out in the open. There are signs that the I.G. report is on the way and Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham have traveled all over to gather evidence on who was really involved, and on whose behalf they were operating?
As Mr. Barr said, if anything like that happened in terms of spying on a political campaign, they would need to know. Then, there is Rudy Giuliani's role said to be at odds with A.G. Barr.
The president's private attorney whose political role as his personal attorney and the work that he has done in all of this are clearly under the microscope.
Meanwhile, Democrats are still pushing to impeach the president for what they say is worse than what they saw in the whole 2016 Russia situation. A blatant attempt, they say, to enlist a foreign leader to aid in his election.
The president's supporters say that the whistleblower is just the latest version of Christopher Steele, a person motivated to bring the president down. Operating on secondhand information that they believe will not bear out.
Then, there are the Bidens this new picture that surfaced and the complicated story of Hunter Biden. We turn tonight to Peter Schweizer, for the Joe and Hunter Biden's side of the story. He's written a lot about it and has been held and challenged for some of it. So, we'll go through some of that tonight.
But first, we start with Karl Rove with his take on what some are saying is a White House in crisis mode tonight. Karl, good to see you this evening.
KARL ROVE, CONTRIBUTOR: Good to see you.
MACCALLUM: At least, one person who works there, quoted as saying it's a Cat five. They are very concerned about Mr. Giuliani's role in all of this. What do you see going on in the place that you worked for so long?
ROVE: Yes. Well, first of all, look, the attorney general of the United States in May announced that he was going to deputize the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, John Durham to undertake an investigation of the origins of the counterintelligence probe that began in 2016.
Well, this is old news. And he, in my opinion, has acted appropriately ever since. The inspector general of the Department of Justice is constrained in who he can talk to. He can only compel testimony from current members of the staff and look at documents that are in the possession of the department.
He can't -- the attorney -- the inspector general can't -- and talked to our intelligence friends in Australia or the United Kingdom or Italy. And so, appropriately, the attorney general has said, this is in Durham's territory, and I will make the introductions and ask my counterparts in these countries to provide cooperation, coordination with him.
So, the Democrats, who once wanted to know everything about the 2016 election, now want to apparently know nothing. I mean, for example, in Ukraine, one of the, the president in his telephone conversation, the first thing he brings up is, can we have access to the -- a server through which the Russians apparently gained access to Hillary Clinton's e-mails, which they then dumped on the -- on the world?
ROVE: So, wouldn't we like to know more about that?
MACCALLUM: Yes, absolutely.
ROVE: So, it's just amazing to me how this thing is playing out. The attorney general is acting appropriately. John Durham is nobody's fool, nobody's puppet. He is going to do exactly what he thinks is right. It's what he did when he was the U.S. attorney under George W. Bush.
ROVE: And put the Republican governor of Connecticut in jail. I mean, he's a straight arrow.
MACCALLUM: There are -- there are reports that they have been listening in Italy, to some recordings of Professor Joseph Mifsud, and there's a lot of questions about, you know, who hired him? Whose side was he on?
MACCALLUM: Who was he actually working for? So, those are legitimate questions. Eric Holder sees something untoward here. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: The whole thing that the attorney general is involved in it is highly unusual. And then, to see how the president is now involved in trying to help the attorney general in that effort gives me pause.
You have to not only be substantively neutral. You have to appear to be neutral when you are the attorney general of the United States. And I fear that he has crossed the apolitical line.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Quick thought on that, Karl.
ROVE: Really? Isn't this a guy who came in and said, I am Barack Obama's wingman? Isn't this the guy -- he is -- he is concerned about the appearance of propriety? Wasn't this the guy who came in and one of his first acts was to dismiss a complaint against the Black Panther Party for harassing voters at Philadelphia precinct places in 2008, at the election in which Barack Obama was elected? And they had him on videotape, harassing white voters as they approached the polls.
And this guy is going to lecture us on impartiality? Most attorney generals -- every attorney general I can remember, when they left the office, except for Robert Kennedy, sort of melded back into the legal community. What is this guy doing? This guy is leading a nationwide effort to attack Republican state legislators and Republican redistricting plans in order to elect more Democrats to the Congress.
ROVE: This guy has no right whatsoever to lecture us about impartiality, particularly, on the part of an attorney general.
MACCALLUM: All right. What are your thoughts on Rudy Giuliani in his role? Because, you know, one line of thinking -- because, if he hadn't been mentioned in that phone call at all that this would not be an issue.
MACCALLUM: And if he went off on his own and decided to, you know, find out some things for his client about what's going on in the Ukraine, and the president never mentioned him, only mentioned Bill Barr in that phone conversation, there would really be no issue here.
ROVE: Yes. Well, with do -- with all due respect to the mayor whom I have enormous respect and affection for, he should be the president's lawyer and let this be in the hands of the attorney general and John Durham. They are the officials of the government, he is the private attorney of the president handling ostensibly the president's private matters. Those private matters do not include the question of Joe Biden and what he did or didn't do.
And look, with all due respect to Joe Biden, as well, this is an enormous problem that was evident to the American people. In December of 2015, there was an article in the front page of the New York Times and an article in The Wall Street Journal, when Joe Biden began to be engaged in the Ukraine on behalf of the western interest in having the Ukraine attack corruption in that country, which said, hey, wait a minute, we're quit -- they quoted people in Ukraine and in Europe, saying, wait a minute, the vice president's son is on the board of a company that's stinky. Why is he -- doesn't he get the appearance of impropriety here?
So, even before he goes back in April of 2016, and says, you better get rid of that prosecutor or within the next six hours.
ROVE: Or I'm going to keep you from getting a billion dollars for the loan agreements. Already, it was a matter of public concern. So, better to leave this in the hands of the -- of John Durham, and better to leave it in the Department of Justice.
With all due respect to Rudy, he should -- he should attend to the personal and private legal needs of his client and not being involved in.
MACCALLUM: All right. Before I let you go, quick question. $125 million raised for the Trump campaign in Q3. I'm hearing that about 20 of that came since this news about the impeachment. Thought on that.
ROVE: Well, it's a sign. You know, this is sort of the new environment in which we find ourselves in the world of Internet fundraising, and apps, and quick response to events. We saw this in Kavanaugh, where the Democrats overreached and the response was that the poll numbers began to change in Senate races and money began to pour out of people's pockets into Republican campaign coffers.
Obviously, we don't know how much money the DNC is raised, I don't suspect much. We don't know how much money has been raised by Democratic presidential candidates, it could be considerable.
ROVE: But it's divided among a bunch of people. On the other hand, the president's got the presidents and the RNC have gotten an awesome number that they're reporting. And I suspect it's an indication how wired out the Republican base is.
MACCALLUM: Yes, I suspect you're right. It's double from where the Obama campaign was in 2011 according to the numbers. Karl, thank you. Always good to see you.
ROVE: You bet.
MACCALLUM: Thanks for being here.
ROVE: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: My next guest has been investigating Hunter Biden's business dealings in China and Ukraine for years. Peter Schweitzer, president of the Government Accountability Institute and author of the book, Secret Empires.
Peter, thank you very much for being here. Your book is at the center of so much of this discussion. One headline from the Atlantic, calls everything that you outline and everything about the Biden -- Hunter Biden and Joe Biden story, perfectly legal socially acceptable corruption. What do you say to that?
PETER SCHWEIZER, PRESIDENT, GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY INSTITUTE: Well, I would agree with the corruption phrase. The question of legality is an open one and that's why I've called for an investigation. We simply don't know.
What we know, Martha is that Vice President Joe Biden was appointed by Barack Obama as vice president, to be point person on U.S. policy in two countries, China and Ukraine.
And in both instances, his son got very lucrative deals where he had no qualifications. He was being paid $83,000 a month by a Ukrainian energy company. No background in Ukraine, no background in energy, and he got involved in this private equity deal to the tune of $1.5 billion. Even though he had no background in China and really no background in private equity.
So, the question is what was he being paid to do? He was not being paid for his expertise, he was being paid for something and that's what I think we have to get to the bottom of.
MACCALLUM: All right. This sound bite from a moment between the vice -- former vice president and Peter Doocy on this issue. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've never spoken to my son about his overseas business.
PETER DOOCY, GENERAL ASSIGNMENT REPORTER: And so, how you know -- how do you know?
BIDEN: Can I start about here's what I know. I know Trump deserves to be investigated. He is violating every basic norm of a president. You should be asking him the question, why is he on the phone with a foreign leader, trying to intimidate a foreign leader?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Peter, what goes to your mind when you watch that?
SCHWEIZER: Well, it's a pretty absolute statement, Martha. And the problem is it's not true. We know it's not true because his own son, Hunter Biden, admitted to the New Yorker that he talked to his dad about Burisma. We also have this photograph that is emerged that shows the vice --
MACCALLUM: Yes, we're having that photograph -- put that up. Go ahead, Peter.
SCHWEIZER: Yes. That the vice president -- that's OK. The vice president golfing with his son and also with his business partner, Devon Archer, who is also involved with Burisma.
And then we have the curious case of China, where Joe Biden says there is no discussion, there is no involvement between his son's business and him as vice president. Chinese executives admitted to reporters that when father and son flew on Air Force Two to Beijing China, they were actually introduced to the vice president by Hunter Biden.
So, you know, this was a huge mistake by Joe Biden to make this absolute statement. It's not accurate, it's not true, and it's another reason why this needs to be looked at.
MACCALLUM: All right.
SCHWEIZER: Because clearly, they have not been honest about this.
MACCALLUM: Let me ask you about the other side of the equation. This sound bite from Mr. Leshchenko, former Ukrainian lawmaker who alleges that it was a known fact that President Trump wanted compromising information on Joe Biden. He said this on CBS News. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERHIY LESHCHENKO, MEMBER, VERKHOVNA RADA COMMITTEE ON CORRUPTION PREVENTION AND COUNTERACTION: I'm sure that issue of Biden was forever on the -- on the -- on the table between Zelensky and Trump. Of course, he wanted political privileges, favors, for his reelection from Ukraine.
ROXANA SABERI, CORRESPONDENT, CBS NEWS: In return for military aid?
LESHCHENKO: I would say, yes.
SABERI: Do you have any evidence of that?
LESHCHENKO: It was like, well-known fact in Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Quick thought on that, Peter. Then we're going to go to the judge who -- who's been -- you know, you've been hearing on the sidelines here. Go ahead, Peter.
SCHWEIZER: Yes, I think, part of the problem is, in Ukraine, you're hearing all sorts of contradictory things. The prosecutor who was looking at Hunter Biden, says he was investing in Hunter Biden when he was fired.
I think the best solution here is our state department -- sorry, our Justice Department needs to engage with Ukrainian prosecutors to get to the bottom of exactly what was done, why Hunter Biden was being paid, and what if any was the connection between this prosecutor, Joe Biden's actions, and the money that the son was making? These are very simple basic questions that's how they're going to get answered.
MACCALLUM: All right, Peter Schweizer, thank you very much. Good to have you here tonight.
SCHWEIZER: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: And with that, we turn to Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano. Judge, let's start on that question based on that sound bite that says that -- you know, it was sort of widely known that the president wanted to investigate Joe Biden and his activities in Ukraine, what's wrong with that?
ANDREW NAPOLITANO, SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: Well, the Federal election statute prohibits the solicitation of aid to a campaign from a foreign national or a foreign government.
So, if the president was asking for information on Joe Biden so that the DOJ could commence a criminal investigation that would be acceptable. But if the president was asking for information on Joe Biden so that the Trump campaign could use it against him, thinking he is likely to be the Democratic nominee. That would be a violation of federal law.
MACCALLUM: All right. So, how do you know it's not the former?
NAPOLITANO: We don't. We don't. That's the -- that's the task of the House Judiciary Committee if they're going to bring articles of impeachment. And they have to interpret the president's intent.
President doesn't say what his intent is, so, you infer intent from other things that the president has done. This is the task of Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler, or whoever's going to be in charge of this once it gets to the next step if it gets there.
MACCALLUM: What about Rudy Giuliani's role in all of this?
NAPOLITANO: Well, I agree fully with Karl Rove. I think it was a mistake. And then, this is not criticism of Giuliani, who is a superb lawyer and very combative, as we all know, and a fierce defender of the President. I think it was a mistake to dispatch him on some kind of a diplomatic mission.
You know, there is something called the attorney-client privilege if Rudy Giuliani was representing the president in a legal matter, then their communications are privileged. But just because a lawyer is working for you, doesn't mean the privilege exists if the work he's doing is not legal.
So if Rudy was acting as a diplomat, there's no privilege in his communications meaning the House Judiciary Committee can compel him --
MACCALLUM: He's modeled these lines. He said the State Department asked me to do this, right, then he says, I'm his attorney, he's my client. So which is it?
NAPOLITANO: Well, we don't know.
MACCALLUM: And you can't -- those things cannot all be bundled together.
NAPOLITANO: But I suspect -- I suspect we're going to start to hear less from Rudy, because he now has a lawyer, a very fine, well-expressed lawyer --
MACCALLUM: Jon Sale.
NAPOLITANO: Jon Sale whom I've known for years and a lot of us have who basically will say, Mr. Mayor, zip it, because every time you talk, you're giving me more agita and more things to worry about.
But as the President's freelance emissary, he has incurred the wrath of the Attorney General, he has probably incurred the wrath of the -- of the Secretary of State, he doesn't have a government job, he doesn't have a national security clearance, he can be sued for any harm that he caused.
He doesn't have government immunity. And unless he was actually practicing law, which doesn't appear that he was -- he was doing, he can be compelled to explain to the Judiciary Committee what he was doing.
MACCALLUM: So if in -- as I said earlier, if in that conversation, the President has said, I would like you to speak to my Attorney General Bill Barr. He's investigating a lot about the 2016 election and I'd also like him to figure out what happened with the Biden -- with the Biden's in Ukraine.
NAPOLITANO: That is a perfectly legitimate thing for the President to say.
NAPOLITANO: And some of us have been saying, as you know, for years that there was foreign influence in the beginning of the investigation of the Trump campaign, and if Attorney General Barr is in Italy -- I think he's in Italy undercover. I mean, I think he's meeting with people other than Italians there, Italian intelligence there, in order to say what do you guys know about what was happening in 2015? That's a legitimate role for the Attorney General. It's not a legitimate role for Rudy Giuliani.
MACCALLUM: Judge Napolitano, thank you very much.
NAPOLITANO: You're welcome.
MACCALLUM: Good to see you as always, sir.
NAPOLITANO: Pleasure, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Thanks for being here tonight. So when we come back, a breaking story at the State Department tonight. We're learning that some current and former officials will now appear on Capitol Hill after a defiant Secretary of State accused Democrats of attempting to bully them. That the full story when we come back.
MACCALLUM: There is breaking news tonight out of the State Department. We are learning to officials, one former and one current, will, in fact, appear for questioning on Capitol Hill in compliance with subpoenas from House committees.
This just after -- hours after I should say Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused House Democrats of trying to intimidate and bully the people who work in his department saying that their appearances would not be "feasible." Correspondent Rich Edson has a story for us tonight from the State Department. Hi, Rich.
RICH EDSON, CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Martha. And these congressional committees, three of them, want to speak with five State Department officials both current and former. Two of them, according to sources, will appear before these Congressional inquiries. It is unclear if the other three will.
The two -- well, the first is Ambassador Kurt Volker. He's the former U.S. envoy to Ukraine. He's confirmed an appearance for Thursday. The former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will do so October 11th.
In a letter to the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman this morning, Secretary Pompeo writes, "I'm concerned with aspects of the committee's request that can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the State Department including several career Foreign Service officers.
The Secretary arrived in Italy this morning. He also writes the five officials may not attend an interview or deposition without lawyers from the executive branch present. The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight Committees have since responded. They said Secretary Pompeo should immediately stop intimidating these witnesses and that, "Any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from talking with Congress, including State Department employees, is illegal and will constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry."
This Chairman also say they have the authority to do this through their committee assignments and because of the State Department or because of the impeachment inquiry. Back to you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: All right, that's going to be interesting. Rich, thank you very much. So coming up next, college students turned out in record numbers in the 2018 midterms. Now with top of impeachment revving up basis on both sides of the aisle, will young voters be propelled to the polls in 2020? And what do they think about impeachment, something they've never lived through before?
MACCALLUM: So tonight, could Millennials and Gen Z voters write “The Story” of the coming election? Back in '08, the 18 to 29-year-olds made up 18 percent of the vote. In 2016, they made up 19 percent of the electorate. You can see how they voted.
Now heading into 2020, they will account for about 27 percent of eligible voters, but many of them are living through perhaps an impeachment battle for the very first time which could trigger some additional activity perhaps at the polls among young people.
Joining me now, five young voters from across the political spectrum. Olivia Ingrassia, Zeb Harshberger, Graciela Paredes, Ari Saffran, and Bradley Stein. Welcome to all of you. Great to have you here.
So I'm very curious because you know, some of us have lived through an impatient process before and know what it feels like. Does it feel -- does it feel scary to you that there's a possibility that the vote from last time might be -- might be overturned, that the will of the people last time around might be taken away?
BRADLEY STEIN, REPUBLICAN: You know, I really don't think it does. If you look at this entire impeachment proceeding from beginning to start this far that Nancy Pelosi introduced, it honestly, it's making the Democrats look embarrassingly stupid at this point, because if you take a look at what began this whole impeachment proceedings, it's a transcript that if you read it essentially exonerates the President from the very thing that he's being accused of there.
And I really think, you know, going into 2020, Nancy Pelosi made a tactical error there by starting this impeachment proceeding.
STEIN: That's only going to galvanize Trump's base. I mean, if you look at what the RNC is doing right now they raise $15 million in the first 48 hours post the impeachment announcement.
MACCALLUM: Yes. It's definitely it got some turnout going. Zeb, do you agree?
ZEB HARSHBERGER, REPUBLICAN: I do agree that this is a kind of like a goof by the Democrats. I mean, look, all the Democrats are doing is just shooting themselves in the foot at this point. They're going to be handing Donald Trump the election if they are doing this.
If you look at how Donald Trump did in 2016 as you said he won 36 percent of the electorate while being outspent by Hillary Clinton four to one and you look at him now, he's out -- he's raising much more money than any of the Democrat counterparts including another 13 million since the impeachment inquiry, so my best guess is that if this goes on the Democrats are going to lose.
MACCALLUM: So, you guys are looking at it from, you know, what's the political outcome potential. How do you feel about it? I mean, you know, the idea that there might be an impeachment of a sitting president. So, you think that that is what happens and would you be OK with that?
GRACIELA PAREDES, DEMOCRAT: I think I'd be OK with that because if people are unhappy and unhappy with what Trump is doing, then an impeachment, I think is fair.
MACCALLUM: What do you think, Ari?
ARI SAFFRAN, SOCIALIST: It's interesting that you mentioned the will of the people before because the election results were not the will of the people. Trump lost the popular vote in the election. So, the story is very --
MACCALLUM: But we have an electoral system in the country.
SAFFRAN: Yes. Of course, this is --
MACCALLUM: I mean, that's happened before.
MACCALLUM: That is a system that we have.
SAFFRAN: But about the impeachment, I mean, of course, I think that's beside the point, but it's not surprising that this is happening because there is a crisis in the society in the economy in the legitimacy of the system and both of the parties that represent the ruling class of the society now don't want to do about it. It's a distraction.
OLIVIA INGRASSIA, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think this whole impeachment inquiry shows that there are forces working within the deep state, even within the White House trying to take down this duly elected president of the United States. They are not going forth with the will of the people in 2016. They're still seething at the fact that Trump won and the voters agreed with his wonderful agenda that he put forth and spearheaded in 2016. I think it's a disgrace that it's Mueller 2.0, I believe this Ukraine whole impeachment inquiry is going to turn out to be.
MACCALLUM: So, you know, in terms of the actual -- you know, because if they vote to impeach they have to make the case for what the specific charges, what did the president do that is, in this case most likely the definition would be an abuse of power as they are presenting.
So, to get on the phone with a foreign leader and to talk to that foreign leader about corruption and to suggest and they are different interpretations of this, that he would like them to look into Joe Biden and his son's business dealings in particular in the Ukraine.
Some people say, OK, not a good move. Doesn't rise to the level of impeachable offense. What do you say to that?
STEIN: It really doesn't. You know, if you look at what you were just saying a second ago, Olivia, about the will of the people as well as what you said, Graciela, it's not about the will of the people, it's really not. It's about whether or not the president broke and violated the rule of law, whether this rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors and the fact is that it doesn't.
If you review that very transcript, let's be very clear about a couple of things here, there is no mention of a quid pro quo. There is no mention of the $400 million in military aid, there is no exchange of something of value and there is no mention there again of bribery or anything like that.
MACCALLUM: All right. Let me get your feedback from Ari and then Graciela. Go ahead, Ari.
SAFFRAN: Yes. I think a lot of the stuff that Trump is being accused of, you can say that all parts of the political establishment have been doing and I think that's also -- that's part of the reason the Democrats have waited so long to do this when they said from the very beginning that they wanted to impeach Trump.
MACCALLUM: Well, they had a two-year investigation into the Mueller investigation.
MACCALLUM: So, it's not like they sat back and did nothing.
SAFFRAN: Yes. It sets a dangerous precedent though for the -- to remove somebody who was elected through the system and yes, I feel like they don't -- they don't want to deal with the results of that precedent either. The effect that's going to have on the masses of people who are --
MACCALLUM: It's a big deal. You know, I mean, impeachment is a very big move in a democracy. No matter what side of the political spectrum you're on. It is a very, very big move and not to be minimized I think in terms of what the undertaking is. Graciela, what do you think?
PAREDES: I think if President Trump is wrong in what he did then it's fair to impeach him just because there are rules and I feel like if it were any other president it would have happened as well because the people are unhappy, the people see that not only in the country is he doing not what he should be. The people --
STEIN: But again, that's the will of the people.
STEIN: What specific law did the president violate? You can point to one. That's just a fact right now. And if you want to talk --
PAREDES: Right. But if it was some other president it would have been looked at and probably dealt with a long time ago.
MACCALLUM: Well, we have, you know, we've been down this road before with Bill Clinton and we've been down this road with Richard Nixon. Quick thought from you guys before we leave?
HARSHBERGER: Yes. I was about to say that just like with the 1990s Republicans wanted to impeach bill Clinton during that time, this is in my opinion the same exact thing. I mean, Donald Trump hasn't really done anything lawfully wrong, so why is it that he should be impeached is my question?
INGRASSIA: The Democrats have been wanting to impeach the president since day one that he took office. And the fact of the matter this Ukrainian inquiry started based on the third hand -- thirdhand account from a whistleblower who receive the information from some conspirator within the deep state and within the administration.
STEIN: He wasn't the (Inaudible).
INGRASSIA: Right. They started and it turned out to be the whistleblower's account was wrong. There weren't eight mentioning of Joe Biden, there are only three. No quid pro quo. So, I think it's ludicrous. And I think the American people are going to wake up and they are going to realize that this is just absurd.
MACCALLUM: All right. We'll see. Thank you. Great to have all of you with us. You're all obviously very bright young people and all following what's going on in the world around you closely. So, I hope you'll come back and continue to share your thoughts with us. Thank you. Thanks everybody for being here tonight.
That was fun. They were great. All right. Coming up next, Andy Puzder on the wealth tax Warren and Sanders want and what's taking a big bite out of deep pockets like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs would actually have done to the United States economy over the recent years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, D-MASS., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But all we're saying, is when you make it big, when you make it really big, when you make it so big that you are in the top one-tenth of 1 percent, pitch in two cents so everybody else gets a chance to make it in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What we need is to tackle a grossly unfair economy and that is why I have recently introduced the strongest tax on wealth at any presidential candidate has ever introduced.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Yay, you hear the crowd. Twenty-twenty candidate Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both have unveiled very aggressive wealth tax plans, a deep dive by the New York Times reveals the big shift in tax policy and how it would redistribute wealth in this country and chip away, they say, at the economic power of the superrich.
Fundamentally reshaping ultimately, the United States economy. Warren would apply to those worth more than $50 million including all of their assets, Bernie's would apply to those over 32 million and while, obviously that impacts a very minuscule number of Americans, it could have a ripple effect on the rest of the economy.
For example, if Elizabeth Warren's plan had been in place back 1982, the net worth of the 15 richest Americans today would be cut in half. If Bernie Sanders were implemented to do his plan back then they would be even worse off eroding their net worth by nearly 80 percent.
Some Americans might say great, that's exactly what should happen, but what's the effect on jobs and productivity across the economic spectrum of that?
Joining me now, Andy Puzder, author of "The Capitalist Comeback" and former CEO of CKE Restaurants. Andy, great to have you here.
ANDY PUZDER, FORMER CEO, CKE RESTAURANTS: Great to be here.
MACCALLUM: So, who cares if, you know, they make 80 percent less. They probably don't even notice they have so much money. So, so what?
PUZDER: Well, look, in a capitalist economy you make more to the extent to which you benefit other people. If you benefit other people tremendously you get tremendous benefits. So, people are willing to take risks that they might not otherwise take for these tremendous benefits.
You know, you look at whether Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos, they didn't a ton of money because they stole from us. Bernie Sanders in that clip said this was an unfair economy. Well they didn't cheat anybody. They gave tremendous benefits to the American people and therefore they benefited tremendously.
If they didn't have the benefits at the end of the road would they have taken the risks? You know, Jeff Bezos, you could have bought Amazon stock for like 10 bucks back in 2005. The guy almost went broke. You know, would he have taken that risk if there wasn't this tremendous benefit at the end of the road? The answer is no.
MACCALLUM: And you got all these, you know, facilities across the country, you've got drones being built, you've got all the trucks that are being driven across the country, enormous number of jobs and you could argue that some other jobs disappeared on the other side but that's another conversation.
PUZDER: We have it in this country. We don't have in these other socialist countries and there's a reason for that.
PUZDER: Because you get benefit -- you get a benefit from taking a risk.
MACCALLUM: So, what do you think of this? Bernie Sanders has a plan because he talks a lot about income inequality and the multiple that CEOs make which is a lot larger than it used to be in the United States of America. He thinks this should be around 30 times, sometimes it's 500 times what the average worker makes.
So, he is proposing that the government increased corporate tax rates if the CEO earns more than 50 times with the average worker gets. And it only applies to companies that are 100 million or more in revenue. So, the government would be telling companies how much they can pay their CEO.
PUZDER: You know, a lot -- the New York Times article that you referenced earlier and Bernie Sanders used -- there were two census bureau's studies that came out in September. One found that income inequality had increased. That was the study that looks at local and regional economic issues.
The one that looks at national economic issues found that income inequality last year decreased and it decreased statistically significantly. So, and these studies both look at pretax income, so they don't even contemplate the equivalency you get from this progressive tax system that taxes the rich and doesn't tax the poor.
With pretax you could tax everybody 100 percent and it wouldn't change income inequality at all if you use the standard that he is using to say that the economy is unfair and incomes are unequal.
When it comes to CEOs, why shouldn't you be able to pay a CEO what he is worth? If you've got a CEO who is going to make billions of dollars for your company, wouldn't you want to offer him a lot to come in, create jobs, grow the company, you know, out compete your competitors? People should get paid what they're worth, not what Bernie Sanders thinks they're worth.
This is what he can't get over. The government -- when the government runs things, when this elite group of government officials runs the country, whatever country it is, the country ends up in bankruptcy. He wants us to give the government all the power, they can decide who makes what, when they make it, where they make it and then put him in charge.
MACCALLUM: If they get that, you know, if the government has more power to tell companies how much to pay CEOs and if people who are worth $32 million or more and that's their total assets the company they own everything gets into that mixes and not an income number, which we should point out, what's the impact on businesses? How did they change what -- how they're looking at the economy?
PUZDER: They will get every attorney and every economist they possibly can and every lobbyist to try and figure out how to work around that.
You know, there were -- there were 12 countries in Europe that had a wealth tax. Something like this back in 1990. There's now three. And the reasons are because one, rich people leave. They take their wealth on the go to other countries. Number two, it's very difficult and expensive to enforce these taxes, and number three, they didn't raise any money.
So, you're really promoting something that isn't going to be productive for the American people.
MACCALLUM: Because people figured out legal ways, I assume.
PUZDER: They're talking around it.
MACCALLUM: And illegal in some cases probably, to move their money offshore or to do tax avoidance.
PUZDER: It all -- the same thing like remember when we had that high corporate tax and companies were leaving the country?
PUZDER: Well, other companies -- other countries figure out that if they have lower rates, they'll attract these businesses.
PUZDER: While other countries will figure out if they have lower tax rates, they'll attract the wealthy people.
MACCALLUM: Like people like companies moving from California to Texas.
PUZDER: Exact -- or Tennessee.
MACCALLUM: Same idea.
PUZDER: This isn't rocket science.
MACCALLUM: Or Tennessee, exactly.
MACCALLUM: All right. Andy, always good to see you. Thank you very much.
PUZDER: Great to be here, Martha. Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Thanks for coming in tonight. So, coming up next, THE STORY exclusive with the California Democrat who is calling for a state of emergency to deal with that problem that you see of people living on the streets in California. When we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Los Angeles is home to more than 36,000 homeless. It's hit the hardest in downtown Los Angeles where thousands of Americans are without a job, a bed, or the assistance they need.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm in a shelter I can't believe this. I received a lawsuit that said that because of code violations I could no longer live in my house. I have a master's degree. I taught at UCLA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Incredible, right? So recently “The Story” went on the road with Secretary Ben Carson to investigate what was going on in California and since then the situation at least in L.A. has gotten so bad. The city officials are now demanding that Governor Newsom declare a state of emergency to deal with this crisis.
My next guest is one of those individuals. Here now exclusively is Joe Buscaino who is a Los Angeles City councilman. Sir, thank you very much for being here tonight. What do you -- what's going on --
JOE BUSCAINO, D, L.A.-CITY COUNCILMAN: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: -- in your state, and why are you speaking out so loudly to tell everyone this is an emergency?
BUSCAINO: I was a police officer for LAPD for 15 years, Martha, and I was used to going to emergencies rolling code free lights and sirens when nearly a quarter of the homeless population resides in California, almost 130,000 souls homeless in the State of California.
We need to lead with urgency and move and this is why I'm calling on the governor, myself and six others of my colleagues on the L.A. City council to move on a statewide declaration of a state of emergency. Because what we are doing today, the bureaucracy is just killing us.
We have to check so many boxes. The city of Los Angeles is leading this effort. We have approved nearly 2,500 temporary emergency beds and 7,000 supportive housing units. And in my case, my temporary emergency shelter, once they're all done it will take two years to complete, Martha. What part of temporary emergency shelter are we missing? The emergency part.
MACCALLUM: You know, I mean, there are people in other states in the country who are listening this and they're saying, gee, shocking that California is drowning in bureaucracy and cannot get their arms around what is such an obvious problem on their sidewalks.
And you're it's red tape, it's -- you know, things are standing in the way of what is staring everybody in the face and it needs to be stopped. I mean, you know, --
MACCALLUM: are you frustrated with your own state and the way things function there?
BUSCAINO: It's frustrating when I have to get approval from the state and the federal government to move on an emergency shelter that has taken two damn years to build, Martha. And again, this is -- if we have a declaration state of emergency, we would be able to jump through those hoops, that red tape that's bogging us down and moving on these units and be relentless and get this thing done.
BUSCAINO: It's been very frustrating and this is why we have to -- you know, we are tired of checking the boxes as it relates to moving on supportive housing units in addition to the housing crisis.
MACCALLUM: So, what, I mean, does the governor -- you know, he doesn't share your urgency apparently? Why do you think that is? I mean, he has to see what's going on in the streets and your hearts go out to all these people. Nobody should be living on the street and as you pointed out, rightly so.
MACCALLUM: These are not, you know, vagrants, these are human beings, they're people who, you know, find themselves living on the streets.
MACCALLUM: But, I mean, you know, California doesn't --
MACCALLUM: -- they shouldn't be happening.
BUSCAINO: Local leaders across the country are tired of managing homelessness in their respective cities. We are -- we want to solve homelessness. The governor has made it clear that he is moving on -- he just signed a bill that will actually allow us to on the SEQA -- exemption -- exempting on environment compliance on homeless housing.
He too has started this task force on homelessness, but we are tired of task forces. We cannot afford to move on more task force and studies.
MACCALLUM: I hear you.
BUSCAINO: We lost almost a thousand souls on our streets in the county of Los Angeles, Martha. This is real and I'm tired. What we're doing, we're stopping at every red light and as a police officer again, I was illegally immune from stopping at stop signs and red lights and this is what we are doing.
In fact, you know, when we are building these temporary shelters, we're permitting them as if we are building hotel for Los Angeles.
MACCALLUM: Yes. Well, the president -- President Trump has talked about an emergency declaration in California over this problem. It sounds like you are on the same page, you and the president on this.
BUSCAINO: So, you know, we welcome all help at all levels of government, let me be clear. In fact, we toured Jordan Down development with my -- with the administration. They were very impressed on what we are doing in watch at Jordan Downs. It's known as one of the most violent communities --
BUSCAINO: -- housing projects in the country.
MACCALLUM: All right. Joe, we got to leave it there.
BUSCAINO: We are changing that culture. So, it's been -- it's been --
MACCALLUM: Joe, Joe Buscaino, thank you, sir.
BUSCAINO: -- amazing work.
MACCALLUM: I hope you will come back. I'm sorry, we're out of time. But very good to talk to you.
BUSCAINO: No. Thanks for having me.
MACCALLUM: More of THE STORY coming up next You bet. Thank you.
BUSCAINO: Thanks for having me.
MACCALLUM: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So that is “The Story” of Tuesday, October the first already, 2019. But as you know, “The Story” goes on. So we will see you back here tomorrow night. Thanks for being with us tonight, everybody. Have a great night. Stick around for Tucker Carlson, coming up next.
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