IG report confirms Steele dossier used to justify spying on Carter Page

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This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," December 11, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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

Here in cable news we really try not to over-promise at the outset of show, but we've got to be clear with you this evening. There's a lot going on at this very moment. The House of Representatives is doing a markup of its impeachment resolution. Opening statements were held a short time ago. We're monitoring that will bring you highlights as they happen later in the hour. Plus, all of the top moments from the DOJ inspector general's testimony to the Senate. That's also ahead. But first tonight, thanks to the Department of Justice IG report the one released yesterday, we now know for certain what was -- for those paying attention -- fairly obvious for a long time, in fact, from the beginning. We now know the Steele dossier played a central role in the genesis of the beginning of the Russia hoax. The dossier was used to justify extensive spying on an innocent American citizen: that would be former naval officer and Annapolis graduate, Carter Page. The top two leaders at the FBI were closely involved in the decision to do this. Other powerful people, including a former director of the CIA, knew it was happening and then lied to cover it up later.

All of that was confirmed yesterday by the IG's report. The report was a disaster for the credibility of our bureaucratic class in Washington. But it's also a big, big problem for the American news media. They were exposed as liars and know-nothings, as well. We could you a million examples of this, but we're going to give you just a few because they paint the picture. Here's one. In early 2018, Washington Post intelligence and national security correspondent, Shane Harris, lectured Kim Strassel of The Wall Street Journal -- someone who's frequently on this show -- about how little she knew about the story. "Yes," she wrote condescendingly, "I am telling you the dossier was not used as the basis for a FISA warrant on Carter Page," -- end quote. Now, you may wonder how we could have known that since the FISA warrant was classified. He's never explained. But it doesn't matter. It was false. And now we know it's false. But here's the key: Harris has not apologized or even acknowledged his role in repeating falsehoods. "Democracy dies in darkness," right? No. His motives remain shrouded in darkness.

Or take NBC news' so-called intelligence correspondent, Ken Dilanian, a consistent shill for the intel agencies. In the summer of 2018, Dilanian and -- smugly tweeted this -- quote -- "Trump is wrong about Carter Page, and the dossier, and the FISA warrant," -- end quote. Except it looks like Trump was right about Carter Page, and the dossier, and the FISA warrant, and Ken Dilanian and his sources in the Intel community were completely wrong. CNN "Newsroom" anchor and chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto, meanwhile, actually did admit that the Steele dossier might have been used for the FISA warrant. But don't be impressed. Sciutto lectured readers that -- quote -- "The FBI would corroborate information in the dossier, on its own, before using such intel to justify the FISA war." In other words, "You can believe your government, ladies and gentlemen, and anyone who doubts that is a bad person." Of course, that was a lie, too. It didn't happen. In fact, just the opposite happened. We now know, thanks to the IG report, that the FBI hid information showing the dossier was false. They didn't confirm the information. They pretended it was real when they knew it wasn't. And they continued to use it to re-up the FISA warrant. Totally dishonest behavior. Sciutto was wrong, at best. Did he issue a correction? Of course, he didn't. He was too busy tweeting a Nancy Pelosi quote about how solemn impeachment was. What a shill. But it does seem a little unfair to focus on Jim Sciutto, buffoonish as he is. He was merely following the lead of almost everybody else at CNN, all of whom are frantically trying to convince you that the dossier was totally irrelevant to the FISA warrant. Right.

[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

Male Speaker: You know, a lot of people will focus on the dossier. A lot of people will focus on a FISA of Carter Page, and they'll say, "They were spying on a campaign." But, at the beginning, this is all about what Russia was doing.

Male Speaker: And, now, Republicans were trying to claim that the dossier was key to getting the FISA, this surveillance warrant for Carter Page. But the Democrats' memo clearly shows that that it wasn't the key, that there was more to the information that they had.

Male Speaker: Even the earlier version of the redacted FISA authorization, to me, had enough information in it to indicate that the dossier was certainly not used as the primary source.

[END VIDEO CLIP]

Tucker Carlson: Ouch. That hasn't weathered well, has it? Everything you just saw turned out to be false, if not outright lying. There's no debate about it. We know now it was wrong. Has [unintelligible] retracted it or apologized? I'm sorry. That's a rhetorical question. Apologies require introspection and decency; integrity, even. At CNN, they are, by contrast, doubling down. Watch Don Lemon explain that, by definition, everything CNN reported was true. [BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

Male Speaker: So, how is the White House and the Republican party dealing with the articles of impeachment and an inspector general report that debunks their conspiracy theories? Gaslighting.

Don Lemon: By the way, there was no spying, of course. The FBI obtained proper warrants. You should read the report. Facts first: none of that is true. The report found that the launch of the Russia investigation was legally-sound, unbiased, and that no spying occurred. That is the God's honest truth. Read the report if you don't believe me.

[END VIDEO CLIP]

Tucker Carlson: [LAUGHTER] "Read the report," says Don Lemon, wearily, "just read it, just read it." "Facts first," says Don Lemon. That's kind of Don Lemon's motto, wizened old newsman that he is, "facts, facts and still more facts." Don Lemon can't get enough facts. In fact, when it comes to facts, Don Lemon's like a fat kid at the concession stand: he wants the biggest helping of facts he can get. He just gobbles them on down. And Don Lemon's real facts are delicious, mere opinion has no place. Governor Cuomo's brother agrees with that. Unlike you, he went to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, admitted purely by pluck, and cleverness, and hard work. So, he's smart enough to know lying when he sees it and nonpartisan enough to report it without fear or favor. Watch.

[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

Chris Cuomo: Trump is the victim. All right. That was what was promised from this IG's report. Four hundred seventy-six pages: no Trump as victim. Trump even says that that's what this says. It doesn't. He's lying to you about the report. Please, do yourself a favor, do the homework. He's lying to you.

[END VIDEO CLIP]

Tucker Carlson: Yeah. "Do the homework," demands Chris Cuomo, "Do the homework. Read the IG report." But you got to wonder -- let's be honest here -- is Chris Cuomo really living up to his own standards? Has Chris Cuomo actually read the IG report? Come on now, be honest. Or is it possible that Chris Cuomo's assistant promised to read the IG report, give him a summary, but then got stuck in a super-long holiday season line at Starbucks and forgot to do it? And then, maybe, in a last-minute panic, which is understandable -- we're not judging here -- but, you know, under the circumstances, maybe he told a few white lies to Chris Cuomo about what the report actually said. Maybe that happened. We're not sure that's what happened, obviously. We're not going to judge if it did. But it's certainly one possible explanation. We do know this. Unless he is a pathological liar, Chris Cuomo didn't actually read the IG report. He couldn't have. Otherwise, he would not be able to sit in a television studio, stare into the camera, and pretend at the Justice Department's inspector general just confirmed what CNN has been telling you for three years. He couldn't have said that because it's absolutely not what happened yesterday, not even close. Charlie Hurt is opinion editor at The Washington Times, author of the book, "Still Winning: Why America Went All In on Donald Trump and Why We Must Do It Again," and, critically to this story, a longtime newspaper reporter of Decades. He joins us tonight. Charlie, thanks so much for coming on.

Charlie Hurt: Great to be with you, Tucker.

Tucker Carlson: So, you, unlike a lot of people commenting on the news, have been just kind of an ordinary reporter, bounced around, you know, to a bunch of different papers. And so, you know the -- you know the business well, you know the people who are in the business. You look around at the landscape now, assess what you just saw, and tell me where are we in this media world?

Charlie Hurt: Well, you know, it's amazing. You know, when I got into the business, when you got into this business, you know that this sort of media is -- kind of has a leftward tilt --

Tucker Carlson: Yeah.

Charlie Hurt: -- a sort of reverence for the institutions and things like that. And you accept it, and you sort of work around the edges, and you get your stories in, and people try to pursue the truth in, and maybe there are little biases that sneak in here and there. But, by and large, you know, something comes out that's truthful. This is something entirely different. And I would say that this --

Tucker Carlson: Right.

Charlie Hurt: -- Steele dossier coverage is the darkest moment in American journalism history. It is devastating. These are people who are not pursuing the truth. They're pursuing an agenda. They have gone from being useful, even willing idiots, to being part of the machine that is trying to prop-up a massive, ungovernable system that is the government. The reason all those people were so sure that they knew that that the Steele dossier wasn't the basis for the FISA reports is because they're being told by people -- they're being told by people that were their sources, their government sources.

Tucker Carlson: Yes.

Charlie Hurt: And those are more important to them than challenging any of them. They would never challenge what those people tell them. And, my goodness, if -- I -- when I got into this business, if you went to an editor and hadn't challenged your sources on every story, you were going to get your butt kicked. None of this --

Tucker Carlson: Exactly.

Charlie Hurt: -- happens anymore. It's all different now. They're throne-sniffers and they get a -- the proximity to power, and the more powerful these powerful people are, the more reverence they have for them. And they will do anything they can to prop them up and destroy anybody that gets in their path that undermines or threatens that power that they have reached some proximity to. And it's terrifying.

Tucker Carlson: And that's, clearly, true. I mean, the -- look, I have a perspective. I have opinions I based a whole show on basically show on --

Charlie Hurt: Yeah.

Tucker Carlson: -- and I'm really clear about what my opinions are. But I'd like to think -- and I think I'm speaking with sincerity -- if we screwed up, and we certainly have before, we admit it.

Charlie Hurt: And you're always searching for the truth. And that's the difference.

Tucker Carlson: We're trying to, for sure.

Charlie Hurt: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And you're not going to say something is blue when it's clearly red. But these people -- you'll never get an apology out of any of these people for the mistakes because they don't care. It is beyond that.

Tucker Carlson: Yeah.

Charlie Hurt: And the reason this is so terrifying is that a free republic is dependent upon an informed electorate.

Tucker Carlson: Yeah.

Charlie Hurt: And in this environment, you cannot have an informed electorate. The democracy will fail --

Tucker Carlson: That's right.

Charlie Hurt: -- when you have a media like this. And it is 100 percent the fault of these people in the media, in particular the political media in Washington. And it's a terrifying future.

Tucker Carlson: This is the darkest moment. You're absolutely right. I wish you weren't, but I think you are. Charlie Hurt, thank you for that perspective.

Charlie Hurt: You bet.

Tucker Carlson: Well, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz appeared on Capitol Hill today to testify about -- to the Senate about his report on the Russia investigation. During that testimony, Horowitz plainly stated that prior to the Steele dossier, the FBI decided against spying on Carter Page. Watch.

[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

Michael Horowitz: When the Crossfire Hurricane team first proposed seeking a FISA order targeting Carter Page in mid-August 2016, FBI attorneys assisting the investigation considered it a "close call." And the FISA order was not requested at the time.

[END VIDEO CLIP]

Tucker Carlson: Huh, but then once the dossier appeared. And again, this is the opposite of what they were telling you on CNN. Once it appeared, everything changed. Watch.

[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

Michael Horowitz: In September 2016, immediately after the Crossfire Hurricane team received reporting from Christopher Steele concerning Page's alleged recent activities with Russian officials, FBI attorneys advised the department that it was ready to move forward with a request to obtain FISA authority to surveil Page. FBI and department officials told us the Steele reporting, "pushed the FISA proposal over the line, "in terms of establishing probable cause. And we concluded that the Steele reporting played a central and essential role in the decision to seek a FISA order.

[END VIDEO CLIP]

Tucker Carlson: Now, at the heart of Horowitz's IG report yesterday was a subjective claim. And that report says that the Russia investigation wasn't begun for partisan political reasons. That's Horowitz's opinion. You're hearing that repeated a lot on the channels today. But also in the report, and today, Horowitz admitted that Steele himself, the author of the dossier, is, in fact, a partisan operative and that the FBI concealed that fact. Watch.

[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

Male Speaker: Christopher Steele, is it fair to say that he had a political bias against Donald Trump?

Michael Horowitz: Given who he was paid for, there was a bias that needed to be disclosed to the court.

Male Speaker: Does it seem that he personally had a bias, not just because he's on the payroll of the Democratic Party but he --

Michael Horowitz: Well, we found in the course of this and heard from Mr. Ore about his comment to him that he was desperate to prevent Mr. Trump's election.

[END VIDEO CLIP]

Tucker Carlson: Now, the press may tell you that the IG report showed nothing of note, but Senator Lindsay Graham, of all people, capably summed up what it actually revealed. Watch this.

[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

Sen. Lindsey Graham: What has been described as a few irregularities becomes a massive criminal conspiracy over time to defraud the FISA court, to illegally surveil an American citizen, and keep an operation open against a sitting president of the United States, violating every norm known to the rule of law. People at the highest level of our government took the law in their own hands.

[END VIDEO CLIP]

Tucker Carlson: Congressman Devin Nunes is on the House Intelligence Committee, famously was the chairman of it when Republicans were in charge. He joins us tonight. Congressman, thanks so much for coming on.

Devin Nunes: Great to be here.

Tucker Carlson: So, so much of this IG report bears directly on things that you have been saying for the last couple of years, in some cases, bleakly, because you're -- you can't reveal all you know, obviously, because of what you do for a living. But do you feel vindicated by it?

Devin Nunes: Well, I think I felt more than vindicated because actually I give Horowitz a lot of credit because they were actually able to find things that we didn't know. Like, we didn't know that they had actually found the -- talked to Steele's Russian sources. And I think that's a critical key here because now you have to bring into question everything that happened with Mueller. Because remember, I used to say that by the time Mueller was appointed and he walked into the room and said, "Okay, where are the Russians?" And he had to know day one there weren't any Russians. And the one Russia they knew of lied, wasn't even true. He, like, heard something at a bar.

Tucker Carlson: Right.

Devin Nunes: So, you know, everything that myself and our team did has been true, whether it was Trump transition people being unmasked by Obama-era officials, whether it was the whole Russia thing was a hoax and there were no Russians, and the fact that they had frauded the FISA court. I mean, that is why, if you remember, back, we made a criminal referral back at the beginning of the year on criminal conspiracy to fraud the FISA court, which is exactly what Lindsay Graham said there today.

Tucker Carlson: So, do you perceive the irony here? For two years Democrats told us that Russia was influencing our political system. But while they were telling us that, they were quoting anonymous Russian sources whose information wound up in the Steele dossier.

Devin Nunes: Wow.

Tucker Carlson: So, actually, it was the Democrats who were using Russian intel against their opponents.

Devin Nunes: I mean, look, I've got a lot of places that I could go with this. But let's just go with my favorite one. So, the very thing they accuse us of doing, they do. Number one --

Tucker Carlson: Always.

Devin Nunes: -- it was the Democrats and Adam Schiff that were using Congressional resources to try to get nude pictures of Trump.

Tucker Carlson: [LAUGHTER]

Devin Nunes: Okay?

Tucker Carlson: I'm sorry. I have to laugh. It's just so unbelievable.

Devin Nunes: That's what they're impeaching the president for. They're claiming that the president was over trying to get dirt --

Tucker Carlson: [affirmative]

Devin Nunes: -- on Biden. No, no, no. And using government resources to do it. They used Congressional resources, taxpayer resources to try to get nude pictures of the president. It's true.

Tucker Carlson: Who would want those pictures anyway? I mean, it's kind of creepy, no?

Devin Nunes: [LAUGHTER] I don't know. I don't know who would want them. I don't know. That's a good question. Maybe Adam Schiff would come back on your show someday.

Tucker Carlson: Yeah, maybe he'll explain.

Devin Nunes: Yeah.

Tucker Carlson: That's an irony that too few point out. And I finally just have to ask you this because it's something I can't get past. We now know that when John Brennan publicly stated that the Steele dossier had nothing to do with the FISA warrant, he was lying. And in fact, he said so under oath. So, that's perjury.

Devin Nunes: That's correct.

Tucker Carlson: Why is he not being held to account for that?

Devin Nunes: So, you may also remember we talked about one of the criminal referrals we made. We also made a criminal referral on criminal conspiracy on manipulation of intelligence.

Tucker Carlson: Right.

Devin Nunes: And it has to do with exactly that, is how did certain things end up in the ICA? Remember what happened. Trump wins. A couple weeks later, they decide that they're going to --

Tucker Carlson: Yep.

Devin Nunes: -- have this ICA produced within a month. And that all happens. And that thing is totally in question because of what -- not only what was put it in like the dossier, but what was also not put in it.

Tucker Carlson: Well, I hope there's closure on that story. Congressman, thanks so much --

Devin Nunes: Thank you.

Tucker Carlson: -- for joining us tonight for that.

Devin Nunes: Thank you.

Tucker Carlson: Appreciate it. Joe Biden's presidential campaign appears to be losing a little steam. Could the promise to serve just one term revive it? Apparently, the campaign is thinking about doing that. We'll tell you what it means. And then the House's ongoing impeachment hearing expected to last deep into tonight. We'll watch it so you don't have to. Highlights just ahead.

[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

Female Speaker: Then they'll shout, "Coup. Hoax," and demonstrate their 150 percent loyalty to the president while off the record --

[END VIDEO CLIP]

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Tucker Carlson: At this point, there literally is no turning back for Democrats. They are committed to impeachment and stopping the process now, if they could, would just humiliate them while enraging their base. But if they could take it back, would they? Was it all a mistake over the weekend Virginia Democratic Congress woman Abigail Spanberger found herself taking heat from a voter over impeachment. Watch.

[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

Abigail Spanberger: Allegations are incredibly serious.

Male Speaker: Incredibly yea, incredible bull**** its crap it's a lie.

It's all a lie.

[END VIDEO CLIP]

Tucker Carlson: That voter probably isn't alone. Polls seem to show falling support for removing the president from office while the president's reelection process prospects appear to be improving in key swing states. What's going on here? Alex Castellanos has been observing and working in politics for much longer than he will admit. He is co-founder of Purple Strategies. He joins us tonight. So, Alex, I think of you you're Republican, but I think you've got perspective on this. I don't know that you're emotionally engaged, I think are trustworthy. What do you think the truth is? Is this how is this helping Democrats or hurting them?

Alex Castellanos: You remember Wrong Way Jim Marshall, the football player, defensive end, who picked up the fumble in 1964 and ran it in for a touchdown, but he ran it into the wrong end zone. He ran it in for the other team. Well, wrongly, Nancy Pelosi has done the same thing here. It is among independent voters they were supporting impeachment at rates of 60 percent, especially in the swing states back in October.

Tucker Carlson: Yeah.

Alex Castellanos: But after this persuasive Democratic campaign to unite America behind impeachment, that support is now at 40 percent. And there's a reason for that. Americans have figured out that, gee, the Democrats have been doing this for two years and we're going to impeach the president and we'll find a reason why later. Maybe it's political and has nothing at all to do with me.

Tucker Carlson: So, I mean, who would have guessed? It's not like this happened twenty-one years ago with similar results. So, I guess the question is, since Pelosi, I don't think was ever for impeachment, having lived through Clinton's impeachment and learned the lessons of it, why did they end up doing this?

Alex Castellanos: I think they did it for a couple of reasons. One is Pelosi figured out that either she had to lead the parade, or the parade would run over her.

Tucker Carlson: Yes.

Alex Castellanos: This is driven by her caucus. And even if the parade now goes over the cliff, she's got to stick with the parade. But I think also they had no choice in a way, because they don't really understand what Donald Trump is. They don't understand that Donald Trump is a rejection of them. Donald Trump is a rejection of the elite Washington establishment that knows everything and knows so much better than we do about everything and gosh, he's got to be removed from office, because if they don't if Donald Trump is right about anything, then they've been wrong about everything. So, you poor American people out there who are so dumb, you elected Donald Trump, once. You might even reelect him but thank heavens we're here to protect you from yourselves. That's what impeachment is about.

Tucker Carlson: Yeah, that's even hearing you describe it infuriated me.

Alex Castellanos: Me too me too.

Tucker Carlson: Alex Castellanos, thank you for that for that able description. Really interesting. Good to see you.

Alex Castellanos: Good to see you.

Tucker Carlson: Well, when the 2020 race started, Joe Biden looked like a very safe pick. And of course, he was the consensus pick in permanent Washington. Now it's not as clear and Biden in some polls look strong in other ways. He looks maybe weaker than expected. According to reports, though, the Biden campaign is considering a new and bold strategy. What if Biden promised to serve only one term if elected? Would that work or would it serve only to emphasize his advanced age? Dana Perino, host of the Daily Briefing with Dana Perino, and she joins us now. So, Dana I mean, so Joe, Joe Biden is younger, actually, than Bernie Sanders. So, for him to say I'll serve only one term appears to be conceding that maybe it's not a good idea for someone this old to be president.

Dana Perino: Well, I think it's super interesting where it's all coming from as well. So, Ryan Lizza of Politico got this scoop and apparently there is a debate amongst former Vice President Biden's top advisers and some of his prominent consultants, and they're throwing this out there, right. A little chum in the water to see what would people think about this or a trial balloon might be another way to put it. And in one way, it emphasizes one of your weaknesses, right?

Tucker Carlson: That's right.

Dana Perino: The president says you're sleepy to all. You don't have the energy. You're not out there on the campaign. You can't fight for this country. The other hand, there are some people who say what Americans are saying they want is an end to the chaos. They just want to pause for a moment.

Tucker Carlson: Right.

Dana Perino: But I have a few big problems with the idea of running for president and saying you're only going to run for one term. One you don't have any political muscle to get anything through. So, you're just basically going to pause for four years. You don't want to do anything else. Also, if you're the Democrats, how do you rebuild the Democratic National Committee with a lame duck president on his first day and you will have a primary that will continue to imagine a five year Democratic primary totally, which is where we may get the consultants would make so much money.

Tucker Carlson: Spoken like someone who understands the system.

Dana Perino: No, of course, I'm not going to do that, but I do that is an issue. And it also makes him seem like he's not up for the challenge of the job, as if he knew, as Alex Castellanos was saying, he needs to come in, calm everything down, save the country from going into crisis and just be the stopgap measure until a Democratic savior can emerge.

Tucker Carlson: And it would put huge emphasis in the vice presidential pick because you while you'd be voting not just for the V.P., but in effect for the nominee four years from now.

Dana Perino: Right. And also, because, you know, identity politics does play a role, especially in the Democratic Party. Right. So now they're going to like who would be best? There's somebody who actually says maybe Stacey Abrams of Georgia. Of course, she's all right. Saying she won the governor's election down there in Georgia.

Tucker Carlson: So, she's saying.

Dana Perino: But would that be vibrant enough, but let's say that he'd pick Stacey Abrams immediately. She thinks she's the front runner to run in 2024 as the Democratic nominee, because why wouldn't she think that? But they would be surrounded by people who want to take her out.

Tucker Carlson: Yes, So, you've just explained in about two and a half minutes why this is the worst idea anybody's ever come up with.

Dana Perino: Maybe I don't know if ever, but also, they, just the thing is, they throw this stuff out there and Biden he still is doing very well nationally in the polls.

Tucker Carlson: Amazing?

Dana Perino: Isn't that amazing.

Tucker Carlson: It is amazing.

Dana Perino: Maybe you just have to start from Teflon Joe.

Tucker Carlson: You know, you predicted from the beginning he will be the nominee.

Dana Perino: I did, wait, did I predict that.

Tucker Carlson: I'm putting words in your mouth.

Dana Perino: Okay? I was going to say I have another prediction but if it does come true I'm going to hold on to that.

Tucker Carlson: I'm going to give you credit for repressions, because I guess the U.S. did it. Pretty great to see you, too.

Dana Perino: Thank you.

Tucker Carlson: Thank you. Democrats are taking full control of the levers of politics in Virginia, and they're promising to usher in an era of radical new gun laws. But some citizens, even some sheriffs, are ready to push back on that. That's next. Plus, the highlights of today's impeachment resolution markup. Considering there could be highlights or something like that. But if there we'll show you just ahead.

[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

Female Speaker: How no fact witnesses were called before us and how staff questioning staff to get the truth was bizarre, no matter what.

[END VIDEO CLIP]

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Tucker Carlson: Earlier this year, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam was exposed, more spectacularly than most, as a sneering hypocrite. Northam, you'll remember, won office in 2017, in part, by suggesting his opponent's supporters were racist bigots who wanted to murder children, literally. Meanwhile, Northam, himself, hid the fact that as a medical student he either donned blackface or dressed up as a Klansman. He can't really remember which it was. It's so hard to remember. Was it blackface or a Klan robe? Northam, though, didn't resign in the middle of that scandal, you remember. Instead, he explained that his personal sins illustrated just how evil the state of Virginia is, if you're following, he did the crime but it's your fault. And the only proper penance for his wicked citizens would be to take away their rights. Well, this year he's getting his chance. Democrats -- you remember, during the midterms -- took total control of Virginia's state government for the first time in 25 years. A few decades of mass immigration from Central America and Harvard Law School will do that, and did. 1994 is only a quarter century ago, but the Democrats of 2019 are very different from the Democrats of 1994, particularly in the Commonwealth of Virginia. They're more power hungry, for one thing, more radical, and far more willing to destroy centuries-old constitutional principles.

Their chief target, they have announced, is the Second Amendment. When the Virginia legislature convenes next month, Democrats are planning a wave of aggressive new gun-control measures. Among other things, they plan to ban the purchase of so-called assault weapons. Now, what's an assault weapon? Well, Governor Northern couldn't tell you, of course. He couldn't define it with any precision at all. But one expected provision is a ban on -- quote -- "high-capacity magazines." Needless to say, that ban won't apply to Northam's own bodyguards.

No, his life and life of his family members are too important to him to do that. But regular people will be affected and, of course, they'll be punished if they break that law. Democrats also plan to pass a so-called red flag law that would allow police to seize the guns of people who haven't even been charged with a crime.

Does that sound like something that violates due process? They don't care. And there's more. Until this week, Democrats were planning to make their assault weapons' ban absolute. In other words, if you already owned an assault weapon, so-called, you'd have to turn into the government, or they'd send you to prison. They're also considering a law banning so-called paramilitary activity. That bill would ban teaching people how to use firearms. or even how to do martial arts, if the government decides teaching, that is -- quote -- "in furtherance of civil disorder," whatever that means. It would also ban citizens from marching or protesting in public with guns if the state decrees that the purpose is to -- quote -- "intimidate someone." Awfully subjective and, of course, that's the point.

The point of these laws is not to make Virginians safer. In fact, Democrats are simultaneously promising leniency to criminals in the name of criminal justice reform. So, safety is definitely not the point. There's no big city in America run by the left right now that's safer than it was. They're all getting more dangerous. And that's on purpose. The point of these laws is to make citizens in Virginia -- law-abiding ones -- weaker, to disempower them, demoralize them, and make them dependent upon the state, dependent on buffoons like Ralph Northam. Fortunately, some people are pushing back over. While Virginia may have gone blue at the state level, the local level is different. Hundreds of communities have very different values. And some of them are willing to use the weapons of the left against them. Seventy-nine counties in Virginia have declared themselves "Second Amendment sanctuaries." One sheriff in the Commonwealth of Virginia is promising to swear-in citizens, en masse, as deputies to protect their firearm rights.

[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

Male Speaker: I'm not going to stand and say that I won't enforce duly enacted laws by our legislature. I took an oath, and I take it seriously. But when it comes to constitutionality and things, I look at that opportunity to swear-in deputy sheriffs as a way that, legally, I can push back –

Male Speaker: [affirmative]

Male Speaker: -- on that right for my citizens to defend themselves and bear arms.

[END VIDEO CLIP]

Tucker Carlson: Kelly McCann knows a lot about firearms. She's a former Marine special operations officer, CEO of the Combatives Group, and a martial arts' instructor. He joins us. And, Kelly, thanks so much for coming on. Will this suite of laws --

Kelly McCann: Hey, Tucker.

Tucker Carlson: -- make Virginia safer, do you think?

Kelly McCann: Of course not. The biggest quote here should be elections have consequences, right? Just a newly-blue state and we're already inundated with this kind of thing. I don't think anybody is concerned as much about their personal safety as Virginians. I mean, obviously, you know, we're -- we have metropolitan areas and we have rural areas. But some of these are such an overreach, they do anything but make people safer, Tucker.

Tucker Carlson: So, one of the proposed laws would require anybody who has a certain sort of rifle -- I think the most common kind of rifle sold in Virginia -- would have to register it or that person would be, in effect, committing a felony. That seems like --

Kelly McCann: Right, they're --

Tucker Carlson: -- sticking your finger in the eye of law-abiding people. What's the effect of doing something like that?

Kelly McCann: Well, first, think about what rifle it is, right? The AR family of rifles. So, two of the restrictions are anything that has a threaded barrel or has a pistol grip that can -- hangs conspicuously underneath the action of the rifle. That includes all AR families of weapons, which is one of the most popular rifles, if not the most popular rifle in the state and, obviously, in the country. So, this is this is a big, significant issue, less important probably in metropolitan areas where people are unlikely to have rifles, but significantly important in all of the rural areas, which makes up the majority of Virginia.

Tucker Carlson: So. what you're saying is that a gun that accounts for a tiny percentage of the crimes would, in effect, be banned or people would be felons if they don't register them. Why would you go after a gun that's not used in many crimes? I'm confused.

Kelly McCann: Because it's scary. It looks scary. It's the black stick rifle, right? It's the paramilitary or the military rifle, despite the fact that many people hunt with these rifles, and there's a whole sporting, you know, sport shooting around the AR family of weapons: three-gun competitions and things like that. It's another example of people in metropolitan areas trying to make laws about things that they have nothing to do with. I mean, the majority of gun owners and gun users, clearly, are in rural areas.

Tucker Carlson: Yes.

Kelly McCann: This is a very big deal when a sheriff says he's going to deputize his whole county.

Tucker Carlson: It sounds to me like the left is trying to pick a fight, like a real fight, with rural Virginia. Why -- is that a wise -- why are they doing that? It seems like they're intentionally driving the state apart. They're looking for conflict.

Kelly McCann: Because it's a lightning rod issue, right? I mean, and it tail ends with handguns. There's a handgun bill also before the Senate and also a paramilitary, whatever that is, training thing before the military -- so -- before the Senate. So, I don't understand what the premise of this all is other than to make it a lightning rod issue, and maybe as a template for other states to follow.

Tucker Carlson: Right.

Kelly McCann: You know, one thing that the sheriff is doing here, obviously, is he's protecting his men. That sheriff that said he's, you know, probably flippantly, that he was going to deputize the whole county, what he doesn't want is to put his deputies in direct violent confrontation with otherwise law-abiding --

Tucker Carlson: Exactly.

Kelly McCann: -- gun owners by sending them out there to try to take their weapons. This is a very, very important thing. And I would compel everybody to take a look at these laws before they -- or these proposals before they go into effect.

Tucker Carlson: What you just said is the nightmare scenario, and that's what Bloomberg and others are pushing. And we should be very worried about it. I hope you'll come back as this story continues to build. Kelly McCann, thank you so much.

Kelly McCann: Thanks, Tucker.

Tucker Carlson: Well, in the end, the revolution always eats itself. And we're watching that happen in real time on the left. Yesterday's liberal in good standing, yesterday's racist, sexist, bigot -- there's cannibalism going on the left wing of the spectrum. Victor Davis Hanson explains what exactly we're watching. Plus, highlights from today's marathon impeachment markup on Capitol Hill. Matt Gaetz speaking right now. We'll be right back.

[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

Matt Gaetz: People hate this. It's making some of them hate us. This is nothing more than these sloppy, straight to DVD Ukrainian sequel to the failed Russia hoax. If it seems like you've seen this movie before, it's because you have. And we know how the cycle goes. Last night's CNN --

[END VIDEO CLIP]

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Tucker Carlson: You may have noticed a trend recently that on its face seems confusing. The left increasingly appears to despise itself. How? Why? Well, the party has moved so far left so fast that party members are constantly denouncing each other, sometimes even themselves, for ideological offenses. It's like 1938 in Moscow. Kamala Harris calls Joe Biden a "racist" for opposing school bussing, which, by the way, she herself opposes. Elizabeth Warren trashes private schools only to be exposed for sending her own son to one -- an expensive one, too. When Democratic voters of all races don't back Kamala Harris, the press collectively calls them "racist" and "sexist." What the hell are we watching? Victor Davis Hanson is a history professor, a classical history professor and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is perfectly situated to evaluate what we're watching. He just wrote a piece called, "The Cannibalistic Ideology of the Left." He joins us tonight. Professor, thanks so much for coming on. What are we watching?

Victor Davis Hanson: Thank you. Well, I think we're watching -- we've seen it in the classical world, in China, Russia, and especially in the French Revolution where everybody's afraid that yesterday they were social justice warrior; and then they're going to wake up and they're going to be a counter revolutionary today; and tomorrow they're going to be an enemy of the people. And you see that, Tucker, with this crazy agenda. They want to abolish everything. They want to abolish borders. They want to abolish the Electoral College, student debt. They want to abolish ICE. And that would have been incomprehensible as late as 2008, much less when Obama won in 2012. And it begs the question, why are they doing this? Why are socialists now like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders the leading candidates? And I think there's a terrible disappointment. They thought they had 16 years of Obama/Hillary Clinton to fundamentally complete the transformation of the country. And then Donald Trump being Donald Trump disrupted that. He didn't fail. He's been successful. Every time they try to abort his presidency, emoluments clause, 25th Amendment, Logan Act, Robert Mueller, it fails. And rather than take a deep breath of introspection, they say, "It failed because we weren't zealous enough. We weren't revolutionarily pure enough."

Tucker Carlson: Exactly.

Victor Davis Hanson: "We're going to double down with Ukraine." And that's where they are. And it's not me or you saying it, Tucker. It's Michael Bloomberg sees this. And now all of a sudden, Joe Biden is old Joe Biden from Scranton again. He came out and reinvented himself. And Mayor Pete's back as a Midwestern mayor again because they all know that if the go to '72, those three, if they go '72 McGovern, that's where their heart in this party is, they're going to lose. And they want to go '92 Clinton and be reasonable or moderate or at least act as they are. And that's the war that's going on. But when you get in these cycles, the heart or the emotions reign. And as you see with that debate -- the debate fiasco and this impeachment farce, they're going over the cliff. And the only thing that's going to stop it is cannibalistic suicide. That's the limit of where this goes to. That's the trajectory they're on. And I don't think Bloomberg or Biden is going to be able to stop them.

Tucker Carlson: So, this topic really deserves a book. And we have about 30 seconds. I hope you will write that book, by the way, explaining what this revolution was about.

Victor Davis Hanson: Okay [LAUGHTER].

Tucker Carlson: But if you could trace --

Victor Davis Hanson: I hope so, but I think --

Tucker Carlson: -- this revolution to its roots, when did this start? When did the left start going insane?

Victor Davis Hanson: Yeah, I think Barack Obama's presidency made a fundamental calculation. He said that we're your superficial appearance determines how you're going to vote and the demography has changed.

Tucker Carlson: That's right.

Victor Davis Hanson: And he didn't realize that we're humans first and superficially black or minority second. And then he thought that all the power on the two coasts, universities, media, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, that's the United States. That's the that's the water that these peoples, these fish swim in and it's not the country. There's another country out there and it's roaring back and saying, you know what? It's not it's not Facebook. It's not Harvard. It's not Wall Street. There's we are we count, too and they didn't they didn't listen to them. They don't listen to them. So they're in this echo chamber, coastal echo chamber.

Tucker Carlson: Amazing sad story, really. It's hurt a lot of people and it's destroyed a lot of things. Professor, thanks so much for that explanation.

Victor Davis Hanson: It has.

Tucker Carlson: Good to see you tonight.

Victor Davis Hanson: Thank you.

Tucker Carlson: Members of the House have spent this evening. This is why you're glad you're not a member of Congress marking up in something there's a word popped up and I don't know means. Marking up articles of impeachment. It's awful. We had to watch it. We've got the highlights next. Just be glad you weren't there. We'll be right back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Tucker Carlson: Members of the House started marking up articles of impeachment this evening. It sounds significant, but in real life it's pretty boring because we're not partisan chimps we didn't feel obligated to waste the whole hour obsessing over it like some other channels we could name like Jeff Zucker, but we did watch and we collected the highlights so you wouldn't have to. And here they are:

[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

Male Speaker: Democrats aren't clarifying that no one's above the law. They're just clarifying that none of them are above partisanship in politics. This is the quickest, thinnest, weakest, most partisan impeachment in all of American presidential history. And for all the radical left attacks on the president's honesty, it's their lives that continue to fuel this scorched earth strategy of impeachment. When a member of this committee said that President Trump was an agent of the Russian government engaged in a criminal conspiracy with the Russians, he lied.

Male Speaker: I find it amazing at best. Hilarious I guess at worst that we come to quote a solemn and amazing moment. We've been on this path since November 2016. This is not new. We've been trying this for almost three years if you're a majority member of this party. The only thing that has changed is the opportunity from last November when you became the majority. The only thing that changed in your desire to impeach this president was that you became the majority. And we have spent all year in this committee trying to impeach the president. We have occasionally had markups on bills, most of which so partisan they cannot even go forward in the Senate. Most of which that do not address any issue that we've talked about. But it is amazing to me that we're taking it now is such a solemn oath that we've made up something to now come to this point to say this is very solemn, like you jumped up and snuck up on. It's about like the holiday season. It doesn't jump up and sneak up on you when you've been expecting it the whole time.

Male Speaker: What are the consequences for our national security, for the integrity of our elections and for our country? If we fail to act.

Male Speaker: This is about one basic fact. The Democrats have never accepted the will of the American people. Three weeks ago, Nancy Pelosi called the president of the United States an impostor. And the attacks on the president started before the election. How about Peter Struck, the guy who ran the Clinton investigation, the guy who ran the Trump Russia investigation the deputy head of counterintelligence who was fired when he said this went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I can smell the Trump's support they don't like us. That's what this is about. They don't like the president. They don't like the president's supporters. And they dislike us so much they're willing to weaponize the government. Few years ago, was the IRS. More recently was the FBI. And now it's the impeachment power of Congress going after 63 million people. And the guy we put the White House. Think about what chairmanship did last week. He released the phone records of the president's personal lawyer. He released the phone records of a member of the press. And he released the phone records of a Republican member of Congress. This is scary stuff. This is scary stuff. What they're doing and frankly, it is dangerous for our country. It is not healthy for our country.

Tucker Carlson: Holy smokes. Out of time. Here's Sean.

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