This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," July 19, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: This is a Fox News Alert. Tensions are flaring up once again in the Persian Gulf tonight. Iran has seized a British oil tanker that was passing through the Straits of Hormuz. This comes one day after the United States shot down an Iranian drone.
The President, to his credit has avoided starting another Middle Eastern war so far. He came close last month when Iran destroyed an American drone, but then pulled back. Every few weeks seems to bring another incident. How should the President react to this incident? And is there a way to achieve long-term stability in that region?
We begin our show with that question. Gil Barndollar is a former Marine captain and a senior fellow with Defense Priorities, he joins us tonight. Gil, thanks very much for coming on. How close to conflict are we right now, would you say?
GIL BARNDOLLAR, FORMER MARINE CORPS CAPTAIN: I'd say Tucker, if you'll forgive the pun, we are in dangerous waters. Things are escalating. The seizure of the British tanker is the latest step. We've got -- as far as I can tell, we've got really hawks on both sides driving the process.
We've got some of the most hardline people both in Iran and here in the U.S. and we are headed for a collision if we don't pull back.
CARLSON: So, what would be the advantage to the United States, do you believe, in conflict with Iran? What would we get out of such a war?
BARNDOLLAR: Oh, we don't get anything out of it. I think it's -- we're past the point of stupidity and verging on insanity in our policy towards Iran. The United States should be pulling back from Persian Gulf, not reinvesting further. We have got far bigger problems at home and abroad than dealing with the Middle East's problems.
CARLSON: So, let's just boil it right now, how would you assess the threat of Iran to the United States?
BARNDOLLAR: The threat to the United States is negligible. I mean, this is a third rate country. Our defense budget is bigger than Iran's entire economy. The threat to U.S. forces in the region and to oil markets and to some of our allies is a different matter. But the direct threat to Americans and to what I would term, and I think most sane people would term vital national U.S. interest is next to nothing.
CARLSON: And yet, there is an enormously powerful kind of bipartisan push toward a conflict with Iran, cranking up the severity of the sanctions and then people pushing for outright conflict. Why is that?
BARNDOLLAR: Well, you know, this is the foreign policy establishment you've had in D.C., right? These are the people that have been you know, driving this country to a ditch for 30 years since the end of the Cold War.
I mean, we've gone through -- we have seen a war in Iraq and Afghanistan and a war with Iran as much as you hear this rhetoric of limited war and limited strikes and you get the Brett Stevens of the world saying "Sink the Iranian Navy," as though that's just a minor thing to do.
We don't control that process, you know, once a war starts, it escalates and goes from there. We have no idea how that will turn out.
CARLSON: And progressives are fully on board, not all of them, we're going to speak to Tulsi Gabberd in a minute who is an honorable exception, but many liberals are on board, Brett Stevens, you just named. There are many others. Bill Kristol. I read the other day, this show is criticized as racist for opposing a war in Iran. What is the thinking there would you say?
BARNDOLLAR: Well, you tell me. How are they figuring you racist? It is the canard being tossed around. I am not familiar with that one.
CARLSON: I am not -- I wasn't either, except it was another illustration of the consensus on the left which is that it's okay to start a war with Iran. There seems to be no real counterbalance to the neo-cons anymore. Why?
BARNDOLLAR: Well, I think the one -- the one encouraging thing, the President seems pretty clear that he doesn't want a war. He has said that and he has taken some steps to make that -- to make that seem to be a reality, you know, pulling back on the drone shoot down and not going overboard and doing something crazy when that happened.
The only encouraging news this week has been that the news that Rand Paul has been appointed as essentially kind of an unofficial emissary to the Iranians and maybe in New York right now, for all I know, talking to Zarif and some of the Iranian leadership, that's encouraging. And I think that's what we've got to kind of pin our hopes on. The President has a sense not to drag us into another quagmire in the Middle East that would probably be an order of magnitude of wars than anything we have done so far.
CARLSON: That's right, and I think it's pretty clear the President doesn't want that, he said that repeatedly both in public and in private to a lot of different people. So, I think he understands the threat there.
But it's also clear that John Bolton who still is the National Security adviser is agitating for a war. He wants one desperately. He said that, too. Why is he still there? Do you have any idea?
BARNDOLLAR: I don't know why he is still there. I can't play the kind of criminology of you know, White House politics these days. That's not my specialty, but I would tell you that we should be -- these are the last people we should trust to prosecute a war.
I mean, you've got John Bolton, the last guy in America that thinks Iraq was a good idea. You've got a Secretary of State who seems to have some real confusion about what vital U.S. national interests are. You've got a Defense Secretary who hasn't even been confirmed yet. You know, we haven't have a real Defense Secretary in seven months.
And these people, you know, they can't even execute a competent coup in a collapsing South American state and you trust them to fight a war? I think that's crazy.
CARLSON: They can't execute a competent coup in a collapsing South American state, and they're going to start a new war in the Middle East. I'm stealing that line. Gil, thank you very much for talking to me.
BARNDOLLAR: Sure. Good talking to you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Good to see you tonight. Jim Antle is an editor at the "American Conservative" which is a great site and he joins us tonight. Jim, thanks a lot for coming on. So you do notice as you go through the list of people who are pushing us towards war that it's the same list of people who pushed us toward previous wars which wound up in a disaster. Why is it that no one in Washington is every punished for the worst ideas?
JIM ANTLE, EDITOR, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE: It seems like the rule in Washington is that if you are wrong in a crowd, there is no consequences for that. The only time you face any professional or political consequence is if you go out on a limb, say something or do something that no one else is saying or doing and then you turn out to be wrong and they can isolate you and they can marginalize you.
But if everybody else in Washington thought it was a good idea to invade Iraq, if it turns out to be wrong and we waste trillions of dollars and thousands of people die, oops.
CARLSON: But why should the rest of us sit there and listen to people whose judgment has been thoroughly discredited? Why should I pick up the newspaper in the morning and read a column from Brett Stevens for example, or Max Boot or see John Bolton on television?
These are all people who helped destroy our military and weaken our country. Why are they still taken seriously by anyone?
ANTLE: Well, part of the problem is when you look on television and when you open up your newspaper and look at the op-ed page, those are the people who are there talking and writing. And so, the American people don't even have the option in a lot of cases at looking at alternative viewpoints.
Certainly, the internet helps proliferating new media enterprises certainly help, but a lot of the legacy media still goes to the same old people pushing the same old views regardless of the outcome of some of their proposals have been and it is something that needs to change, quite frankly.
CARLSON: So, I think there are a lot of reasons that the usual suspects, the dumb people in charge, the permanent class in Washington, why they are for war particularly in the Middle East and particularly with Iran.
But one of the reasons, I think it makes them feel powerful. I mean, so if you're Max Booth, right, or if you're Bill Kristol, killing other people or calling for the killing of other people, regardless of whether it helps the United States or not, they don't care, that makes you feel powerful.
ANTLE: You know, maybe they could get into video games or something instead that would sort of let them act out these fantasies in a less harmful and dangerous way to other people. But it definitely seems to be a real problem and when people voted for Donald Trump, I think the hope was because he rejected a lot of this conventional Washington mindset, that he would do things differently, and he seems in many cases to be trying to do things differently.
But he has brought in some of the same old people, and you really can't pursue an America first foreign policy if you're going to bring in the George W. Bush B-team and just roll with all of those people all over again.
CARLSON: May I ask you one final question? I just want to make sure I am not lost in here. Is it the same people who are telling us that we need a brand new war with an even more powerful country in the Middle East, Iran, those are exactly the same people who are saying it was unconstitutional, immoral and racist to send American troops to protect our own borders? Like just the other day. Am I imagining that or -- that happened, right?
ANTLE: That did in fact happen. They are very much the same people and the same people who will object if the President tries to stop a war in a place like Syria where Congress has never even authorized one in the first place.
They will say that the President should mind his own business and leave these wars in place.
CARLSON: But we should under no circumstances defend our own country? It's just an interesting dichotomy there. It tells you a lot.
ANTLE: Protect the borders over there, don't protect borders over here. Yes.
CARLSON: That's exactly right. That's their view. Jim Antle, great to see you tonight. Thank you very much.
ANTLE: Good to see you. Thanks.
CARLSON: In just a minute, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii will be here to respond to the latest developments with Iran. Also ahead tonight, Democratic presidential candidates are very certain that we live in a sinful nation, only they have the power to save. But some of them don't seem very good at following their own moral teachings. We have examples for you tonight on our "Special Inside Issues" edition. We'll be right back.
CARLSON: This is a Fox News Alert. Tensions are flaring again tonight in the Middle East after Iran seized control of a British ship, apparently, an oil tanker passing into the Persian Gulf through the Straits of Hormuz.
We are joined tonight by Congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. She is in Puerto Rico tonight. You can hear protesting behind her in the background.
In a moment, we will get to why she is there, but first, we want to get back to the breaking news involving Iran. Congresswoman, thanks very much for coming on. What should be America's response to the news today?
REP. TULSI GABBARD, D-HI, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, first of all, let's just recognize that what's happening right now is very precarious as we move closer and closer to the brink of war with Iran.
Look, this has got to be above politics. This is not about politics. I love our country, I love our people and I am very concerned with the direction that we are taking and the failed strategy that Trump has.
I think Trump needs to recognize at this moment, he needs to open up back channels with Iran, get back into the Iran nuclear deal with the provision that we need to work towards a demilitarization and de-escalations of tensions both with Iran, but also Iran's arch enemies across the Middle East. Countries like Saudi Arabia.
This is so important. We have to put the interest of our country and our people at forefront ahead of everything else to make sure that we are preventing war and having a safer country for our people and for the world.
CARLSON: So, there is -- amen, by the way-- and I wish you weren't in such a small group of people saying that on both sides right now. We thank you for saying it.
There is also news that American troops are going to Saudi Arabia. Do you think that that's a move that will escalate or de-escalate tensions with Iran?
GABBARD: You know, this is deeply concerning in such a personal way. These are my brothers and sisters in uniform who are leaving their loved ones and their families behind as they are being sent out to these countries across the Middle East really for the sole purpose of this administration further escalating tensions with Iran.
We are in this situation today because of Trump's failed policy and strategy really influenced by people like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley and others where first tearing up the Iran nuclear deal, escalating crippling sanctions and sending more and more U.S. troops, they are pushing us closer and closer to the brink of war, which is not good for the American people, not good for our troops. It will make us less safe.
To speak of the devastation, the damage and the cost both human cost as well as the cost on taxpayers that a war with Iran would entail. This is why it is so important for the President to do the right thing right now and to put our country first.
CARLSON: I think that's the thing that he wants to do and I hope that he will do it.
Now, tell us about the shouting in the background. You are in Puerto Rico. I am embarrassed to say I don't even have context for this, what are you doing there and who is yelling?
GABBARD: Now, all week, Puerto Ricans from across Puerto Rico have been gathering by the thousands calling for the resignation of Governor Rossello, so the chanting you're hearing in the background is literally calling for him to resign. "Ricky, resign."
I am here in Puerto Rico to stand in solidarity with my fellow Americans here who really have been struggling and suffering, living under a corrupt government for far too long.
You know, we've been hearing across the headlines about these leaked chats that came from the Governor with homophobic slurs and threats and other things, but really, what is driving thousands of people from all walks of life across Puerto Rico to gather as they are here tonight is something much bigger than what was in those chats.
It speaks to the deep-seated corruption that exists that has put the interest of the rich and powerful and the elite at the forefront rather than actually serving the needs of the Puerto Rican people.
CARLSON: For some reason, no one in Washington is willing to admit that, so thank you for saying it out loud. Clearly, everyone in Puerto Rico knows it's true. Tulsi Gabbard, it's great to see you tonight. And thank you for coming on. I appreciate it.
GABBARD: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: Well, there are more than 20 Democrats campaigning to be the next President of the United States and with so many options, you'd think the Democratic voters would have a lot of choices, but really, they don't have a lot of choices. They only control the cosmetic appearance of their next candidate. They decide whether their nominee will be running to be the first Hispanic President or the first female President or the first gay President.
But on everything that actually matters, in other words, what they believe, they are pretty much the same. All of them will be running on a platform of open borders, open prisons and free healthcare for illegals et cetera. And all of them have the same tone of their campaign. They all spend the election campaign asserting their superiority to the country.
They deserve to be President not simply because they are better than Donald Trump but because morally, they are better than you, too.
On the campaign trail, Bernie Sanders has been zealously demanding that other people and other businesses increase their minimum wage to $15.00 an hour.
For example, he has accused Walmart of paying its employees quote, "starvation wages." He has also celebrated workers who have protested and gone on strike to demand the pay increase right now. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to applaud the thousands and thousands of workers from coast to coast -- people who work in McDonald's, people who work at Burger King, people who work all over this country -- who stood up over the years and demanded that the Federal minimum wage be raised to a living wage, 15 bucks an hour.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Okay, well, he couldn't have been clearer about that, so you would expect in a way that he lives, Sanders would set a good example for the rest of the country. But it turns out, and you may have guessed this, Bernie is so confident that he is a deeply good person and his cause is just, but he is just not shackled to the same rules that he wants everyone else to follow.
For example, right now, Sanders's campaign is battling its own campaign workers. They say they're being paid the same starvation wages that Walmart employees get, less than 13 bucks an hour.
Sanders hasn't budged though. If they aren't happy, they can go work on another campaign or they can quit. That's his position. If his presidential campaign doesn't work out, maybe he should manage a Walmart, he probably would be pretty good at it based on his management style.
Bernie isn't the only candidate who can't match his own rhetoric about staffer pay, though there are many. Kamala Harris, for example, is also running on a platform of being morally superior to everyone else, and particularly to you, you're immoral. She says America itself is sexist. And then her administration is going to punish American businesses for being sexist. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, D-CALIF., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to shift the responsibility to the big corporations to require them to prove they're paying people equally for equal work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Harris promises that when she is President of the United States, and don't kid yourself, she could be -- when that happens, companies will be hit with big fines for having a pay gap of even one percent between men and women, if her administration decides that that gap is unjustified.
So, that raises the obvious question, what's the pay structure like at Kamala Harris's own office? Well, it turns out that Harris is paying women only $0.94 cents for every dollar men earn? Huh. It isn't just pay where Democrats aren't measuring up the demands they impose on everyone else, however, there are many measures by which they are not measuring up.
Kirsten Gillibrand has hopped on every single leftwing fad over the past five years. There isn't one she hasn't embraced wholeheartedly. Two years ago, that meant that she led the push to force out Al Franken, remember poor Al Franken, the hapless senator from Minnesota.
He had to leave office thanks to Kristen Gillibrand, but there was no proof he had done absolutely anything really seriously wrong. He was a jerk and he acted like one, but he wasn't a rapist. We would never know the way that she acted. Afterwards, Gillibrand looked back and justify herself. She said she wasn't leading a lynch mob, she was just protecting the weak. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAN JONES, CNN HOST: Looking back, how do you evaluate your role in Franken deciding to resign?
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, D-N.Y., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, sometimes you just have to do what's right, even if it's painful, even if it's hard, even if it's someone you like, or love. And the truth was, there were eight credible allegations and the last person was a congressional staffer.
And having worked in the space for five years, if I can't protect the women in my workspace. If I can't not only stand up for women who feel abused or feel harassed in our workplace, then I'm not doing my job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: "If I can't protect women in my workplace, I'm not doing my job." That's Kristen Gillibrand's position. Well, in real life back here in reality, it turns out that Gillibrand was perfectly happy not to do her job as soon as there were no political points to be scored.
Last summer, just last summer, not in 1985, like the other day, one of Gillibrand's aides resigned over sexual harassment from one of her superiors. The aide said that although she complained about the harassment in Kirsten Gillibrand's office, the internal investigation was brief and her concerns were quickly dismissed. Just a girl complaining. That's how Kirsten Gillibrand actually lives.
Harris, Sanders and Gillibrand shall look at the bright side, though, they're not even close to being the worst hypocrites in the field of candidates running for President. That price, you know exactly who goes to, Bill de Blasio, the most incompetent mayor in the history of New York. We assure you though, we've never met a single de Blasio supporter in the wild. There aren't anybody, but he is still running for President.
He has built his campaign around the environment. He is concerned about the environment. He loves Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal so much that he stole the idea for his city. And he says he is going to lead by example, right until he hops into his gas guzzling SUV to head to another political event.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, D-NYC, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are here in New York City, to show how it needs to be done, to show how it must be done. Today, we announced the New York City Green New Deal. We have skin in the game, the city government, we're going to lead by example.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: A year from now, de Blasio's presidential campaign will be mercifully over, but he will live on because his attitude now defines the entire Democratic Party. Do what I tell you to do, just don't expect me to do the same.
Robert Patillo is an attorney. He joins us tonight. Mr. Patillo, thanks very much for coming on. So, why should -- if Bernie Sanders is calling for a $15.00 an hour minimum wage, and you can make a case for that, but I am not dismissing that out of hand at all. How outrageous is it that he is not even paying his own staff 15 bucks an hour? What's the justification for that?
ROBERT PATILLO, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, Tucker, I think you have to understand the point. You said there's no difference between the Democratic candidates. I don't think you can put Bernie Sanders and Congressman Gabberd in this same category.
CARLSON: You're right. You're absolutely right.
PATILLO: We have a lot of diversity within the base of the Democratic Party.
CARLSON: That is a fair point. Hold on, let me just pause and say I agree with you there, and I am sorry. You're right. I overstated that. Tulsi Gabberd and Bernie Sanders are not the same person and I'm sorry to suggest otherwise.
PATILLO: But the point is, I think Bernie Sanders and many of the fringe candidates -- I still consider Bernie Sanders to be a fringe candidate -- are going to realize that rhetoric and macroeconomics are going to connect at some point.
You cannot minimum wage your way out of a recession. You can't minimum wage your way outside of an economic prosperity. We've had three straight Presidents that have concentrated on Keynesian macroeconomics of injecting capital into the markets, which has given us the economic boom we have right now.
But ultimately, that is like pouring rocket fuel on the fire. It runs out at some point and we have to work on cutting the deficit, cutting spending, and putting in common sense programs that can actually bring down the cost of living so that we don't have to continuously raise the minimum wage. That's what Bernie Sanders is running into.
So it's not so much hypocrisy for Bernie Sanders, I just don't think because he's never run a small business, he has never been outside of the Washington bubble, except for when he was mayor of Vermont, he does not understand these issues and now he is running smack dab into that.
CARLSON: Okay, I actually think you make some solid points about his lack of economic grounding. But you don't need to be John Maynard Keynes to see that if you're calling for other people to pay 15 bucks an hour and you're paying 13, then you're a freaking hypocrite.
I mean, it's just kind of that simple. You don't really need to know anything about macroeconomics to know that if you're not doing the very thing you're demanding that other people do or if you're Kamala Harris, and you're saying, I'm going to fine you if you don't pay women the same as men, and you're not paying women the same as men, like you're a hypocrite, or is there another name for that?
PATILLO: Hold on, on the Harris point, we're talking about less than a six cent on the dollar difference between male and female staffers. And we have to understand that the pipeline for male and female staffers going into high level senior positions has not always been the same and equal.
When women are starting from a deficit going in, then, of course, the male staffers are going to be paid more at this level.
CARLSON: But wait a second. Wait a second, but that's not -- okay, I get it. Look, I get it.
PATILLO: Look, that's going to have to happen as we head to a lot of places going forward.
CARLSON: You've made a good point. But hold on, she doesn't allow for that reality, that's the point. No, you're saying something that's true, and I agree with you actually.
There are a lot of factors here. This is not simple, however, that's not her telling of it. She said any corporation where it's not one to one equal, there's no excuse. I'm going to fine you. And then she doesn't pay her staff equally.
So, like maybe she should give other people the same benefit of the doubt you're giving her?
PATILLO: Oh, I think what you have to do is listen to what the role of the Federal government has always been to put handrails there to force corporate action, you have to be the referee, you have to put the rules into the game. You have to make sure everybody is playing by the same rules in order to create that level playing field going forward.
So, what she is stating is an aspirational idea which we have to work towards not that it can be implemented right now at this moment.
CARLSON: She should live it. Robert Patillo, thank you very much. Good to see you tonight.
PATILLO: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: Kamala Harris doesn't simply lecture America about the pay gap, she's a lecturer -- boy is she ever. She also loudly criticized the plea deal that former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta gave to billionaire molester Jeffrey Epstein, but it turns out, Harris has her own history of handling sex crimes leniently, especially when there are political elements to it. Listen to this.
Kamala Harris negotiated a deal with San Diego's Democratic Mayor Bob Filner who really wasn't creep after he was exposed for repeated sexual harassment. Filner spent no time in prison and did not have to register as a sex offender even though he pleaded guilty to offenses against three separate women.
Francey Hakes is a former Federal prosecutor. She has some perspective on these cases and she joins us tonight. Francey, thanks a lot for coming on. So, of course you remember the Filner case very well. People who follow the news remember it very well. He was the creepy Mayor of San Diego. You would think just based on her rhetoric, the way that she talks, Kamala Harris, would have been very tough on Bob Filner, but it turns out she wasn't. So what conclusions do we draw from that?
FRANCEY HAKES, FORMER D.O.J. OFFICIAL: Well, Tucker, it's hard to draw good conclusions without knowing all the facts. But it seems to me that he harassed multiple women. He pled guilty to false imprisonment and battery for groping multiple women. So what that means is, her office, she did not insist that he would plead guilty to a sexual offense.
Battery could be anything. You could slap someone and that's battery. So she didn't require him to plead to a sexual offense. And so he didn't have to register as a sex offender. That means he is not labeled as a sex offender. Why she did it is probably why prosecutors, some prosecutors, all over this country do things like that. They do not take these kinds of cases seriously. That's the bottom line.
CARLSON: Right. I mean, I think you're exactly right. So, had she charged him with a sex-related offense, this would be an entirely different category, and really a different magnitude of penalty, obviously, and someone who takes that category of crime seriously would have done that is what you're saying.
HAKES: That's right. He should have pled guilty to sexual battery at a minimum for the conduct that was described in all the news accounts, and then he would have had to register as a sex offender, and other women would have known that he was a sex offender. He would have been on the registry. You could put in his address, and you would know that there's a sex offender living in your neighborhood, and now no one does.
CARLSON: So, how do you feel being lectured by Kamala Harris about how deeply she cares about the victims of sexual abuse?
HAKES: Well, as a prosecutor, I actually care deeply for the victims of sexual abuse and sex abusers that I prosecuted went to prison. And so I don't need anybody to lecture me, especially when they're treating sex abusers so lightly.
CARLSON: Yes, who happened to be fellow Democratic politicians. Surprising. Francey Hakes, great to see you tonight. Thank you very much.
HAKES: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: Well, an ISIS sniper was able to enter this country and gained citizenship. Why? How did that happen? Because our leaders thought he would enhance our diversity. That's a real story. We are "Inside the Issues" Special takes on immigration, after the break.
CARLSON: Welcome back to our "Inside the Issue" Special. Just a couple of days ago, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey unveiled a highly aggressive criminal justice bill, he hopes will ignite his dying and pathetic presidential campaign.
The bill -- Booker's bill -- would allow any prisoner who has been in prison for 10 years or more to petition for release. If they're over 50 years old, the burden of proof would be on the government to keep them behind bars.
In essence, criminals would have to be retried over and over and over again. Now, Booker named this bill in honor of a man he believes is unjustly imprisoned, the man called William Underwood. So who is William Underwood exactly?
Well, recently over at MSNBC, a reporter called Leigh Ann Caldwell ran a profile of Mr. Underwood, and she suggested he really deserves to be the face of criminal justice reform.
In Caldwell's telling, Underwood is he kindly man who simply made a minor mistake and America's vicious criminal justice system destroyed him for life because it's racist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEIGH ANN CALDWELL, MSNBC REPORTER: William Underwood, now 65 years old, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for a nonviolent drug related crime. It was his first felony. But in the middle of a tough on crime era, the judge showed no leniency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, it's every cliche you can imagine packed into a single paragraph. Let's unpack them a little bit. A nonviolent drug related crime. Well, Caldwell knows exactly what she is doing. When you say nonviolent drug offense, most people think about their friend who got caught with a joint in college and went to jail for it. Obviously, nobody wants that. That's absurd.
Leigh Ann Caldwell and Cory Booker want to make it clear, William Underwood is one of those and he belongs back on the streets because "Hey, man, he didn't really do anything wrong." The fact that he isn't suggest that America is malicious or of course racist. Probably both, actually, of course. There's a problem though. Nobody in America is actually given a life sentence for a single minor nonviolent drug offense. It just doesn't happen.
Our prisons are too crowded to waste time on things like that, and people like that and it would be wrong, so we don't do it. Underwood is no exception. Columnist Ann Coulter actually took the time to find out what Underwood was convicted of, something that apparently nobody else in Washington thought to do.
And it turns out, it was far worse than having a couple joints at a party. In fact, Underwood was not a petty criminal. He was a deadly criminal. As many contemporary news reports make clear, the nonviolent drug offense Underwood was convicted of was running the Vigilantes that was one of New York's deadliest drug gangs in the late 1970s until 1988, which was really the height of a crack epidemic. If you've lived through it, you know, it was not a small thing. It was horrifying.
According to authorities, Underwood's gang killed as many as 23 people, Mr. Nonviolent Drug Offense, and Underwood himself allegedly ordered murder of Bobby Edmonds, a witness who was going to testify against a member of the gang. Underwood's gang publicly declared that it would murder anybody, no questions asked, if they were given a gun, a photograph and $10,000.00.
Underwood himself according to one former gang member, instructed those under him to read about famous gangsters and murderers from history and try to imitate them.
When Underwood was finally brought down, he was convicted after listen to this, the testimony of more than 50 witnesses, including several former members of the Vigilantes, Mr. Nonviolent Drug Offense. So yes, William Underwood was never convicted of a violent crime. Neither was Al Capone. That doesn't matter. He committed vicious crimes apparently and got others to commit them on his behalf. He deserves to be in prison for what he did.
But NBC and Cory Booker don't see a problem with any of this. They lied by omission about Underwood's crimes for the sake of getting him and others like him out of prison. Here's how Cory Booker summed up Underwood's life. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CALDWELL: Would you offer clemency to someone like William Underwood?
SEN. CORY BOOKER, D-N.J., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hell, yes. Hell, yes. I told you, it should disturb all of us that there are people like Mr. Underwood in prison. He would be one of the thousands of people that there's just no argument to make about why we're spending billions of dollars incarcerating them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Oh, they're such liars. Gang leaders who smuggle heroin and killed dozens of people. Booker and NBC News want people like him, many thousands of them back on the streets and it's no mystery why. They'll never blame deadly criminals for being deadly criminals. They blame America for being an evil racist country. They play me you.
Cory Booker says Americas prisons are the new Jim Crow, the most demagogic thing you could say. What a total lie that is. In other words, the problem isn't William Underwood who sold drugs and ordered other people's murders. The problem is you. You're racist for wanting to be protected from people like William Underwood. Yes, you get it. Kind of flipping it around a little bit.
Well, our flimsy immigration system is another way that dangerous people are allowed to hurt the rest of us. Now a man accused of being an ISIS sniper has been exposed as someone who entered this country through the diversity lottery.
Chief breaking news correspondent Trace Gallagher, the single best summarizer of news in television, no exaggeration, has more for us on this Friday night. Great to see you, Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, CORRESPONDENT: Tucker, you too. In a Federal courtroom today, prosecutors said 42-year-old, Ruslan Maratovich Asainov who was born in Kazakhstan and lived in Brooklyn was a top ISIS sniper who trained other ISIS fighters, meaning he was an ISIS emir, a leader who teaches other ISIS members how to use weapons.
U.S. Customs and Immigration tells “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that Asainov is a naturalized American citizen who entered the U.S. through the diversity visa program often called the visa lottery because it focuses on immigrants from countries with historically low rates of immigration.
And Asainov is not the first suspected terrorist to win our visa lottery. Prosecutors say in 2013, Asainov bought a one-way ticket to Turkey, crossed the border into Syria and fought with ISIS for five years. Last year, he was detained by Syrian forces loyal to the U.S. and turned over to the F.B.I. We also learned today that Asainov tried to recruit at least one other person to fight for ISIS.
Meantime, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala who has already been deported twice has now been charged with fatally shooting an Iowa woman and her two children. An unidentified witness says 31-year-old Marvin Escobar-Orellana was living at the family's home in Des Moines, but did not have a personal relationship with them.
After some type of argument, he allegedly shot the mom, walked inside the house and shot the children. He called 911 on himself and is being held on a $3 million bond -- Tucker.
CARLSON: What a sad story that is. Trace Gallagher for us. Happy weekend, Trace.
GALLAGHER: You, too.
CARLSON: Elizabeth Warren just cleared up a glaring question about her personal background. No, it's not about her race. We've talked about that a lot. It's about her gender. She's told us what it is. Thank heaven. That's next as our "Inside the Issues" Special continues.
CARLSON: Welcome back to our special edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight: Inside the Issues.” There's been a lot of debate over Elizabeth Warren's background over the years. Is she white as she appears to be and all evidence suggests she is? Or is she member of a Native American tribe based on a single unknown ancestor from hundreds or thousands of years ago? That's the debate.
Here's a question that has not been up for the debate, though, in fact that no one has ever asked in the history of the English language. What sex is Elizabeth Warren? Well, she decided to answer the question anyway, without being asked.
Warren's Twitter biography was just updated to list her pronouns, as you would expect, they are -- brace yourself -- she and her. So, if you run into Elizabeth Warren, or you're speaking about her, she and her are her preferred pronouns. Thank heaven's someone cleared that up.
Chadwick Moore was confused until we just told him this. He is a New York based journalist. He joins us tonight. So Chadwick, you had no idea what pronouns to use for Elizabeth Warren you were saying?
CHADWICK MOORE, JOURNALIST: No, because I'm not a bigot, why would I assume what her pronouns are? At least, now, I suppose maybe she's one 1,024th transgender? Is that what I'm getting from this? But no, anyone who assumed that is a very hateful, bigoted person and I and I can't believe that you did. I expected more out of you.
CARLSON: You know, I'm just trapped -- I'm 50. You know, I'm just trapped in an earlier time, when the obvious was considered true. So, who's the -- I mean, this strikes me -- this whole story, the broader story of transgender politics that's distinct from transgender people. I think most people are not mad about transgender people. I don't think. I'm not.
But transgender politics is a separate thing. All of a sudden, it's the serious force, a potent force Elizabeth Warren, maybe the front runner in the race has to clarify her pronouns. Where are we headed here?
MOORE: Well, you see what happened in Berkeley recently as they passed this resolution to get rid of manhole and brother and sister and manpower and all these other terms from the official language. You know, I didn't know -- I guess any preschooler in Berkeley knows that these are hateful, violent, misogynistic terms.
I'm not really sure where this stops. Are they going to go after any other noun that we have now, like, I'm down here in Florida. I've seen manatees. I've seen mangrove trees. I was in the mall the other day at a clothing store and what do you call those plastic figures that model clothing? Well, they're call mannequins. I would personally like to see them called people-quins, it would be far more inclusive.
But this language just keeps going on and on. And you know, I'm in this clothing store and I'm looking at these people-quins. And I'm thinking, I bet half of these people-quins are actually depicting men who menstruate or should I say people-struate and it just seems very non-inclusive.
Thank goodness for people like Elizabeth Warren leading the way to really clear up issues about gender and pronoun, so that -- you know just announce it so everyone is on the same page. We can avoid so many hurt feelings and non-inclusivity if everyone would just announce it.
CARLSON: But it's upsetting. I mean, I think one of the saddest parts of woke America is finding out these new villains like I always thought a manatee was kind of a cheerful tubby aquatic mammal. And now I realize they're bigots.
MOORE: Yes, you're wrong and look at our geography. We've got Manhattan, Manila in the Philippines. Do you know, there is a place called the Isle of Man? What goes on there? KKK rallies?
CARLSON: Yes, I did.
MOORE: Well, and then there's the Isle of White. There's a place called Whitehaven in New York. I mean they -- we really have a long way to go. Berkeley -- it's a good start. But they have a huge hill to climb with this. And thank goodness for our progressive leaders, such as in New York City, for example.
You know, while we have the -- New York City has the nation's highest and most expensive and devastating homeless problem, Mayor de Blasio made it a top priority to change all the subway announcements from "Attention, ladies and gentlemen," to "Attention, everybody."
You see, because it was -- a lot of people were feeling very hurt and left out in California, yes, here in California, the lovely magical, clean place where there aren't medieval era diseases exploding and massive homeless camps. They've made sure that there's gender inclusive options on driver's license, on birth certificates, so you're no longer -- if you don't feel -- you can no longer have to be just a man or a woman. You can be anything you'd like.
This is very important progressive stuff. They have really good politics to make sure that everyone feels welcome and that feelings are hurt, while the places that they manage are dying and swimming in filth and disease.
CARLSON: And I know that millions of grateful citizens tip their hats to those politicians. I for one, am going to feel a lot better next time I hit a manatee with an outboard knowing they deserve it. Chadwick, great to see you tonight. Thank you.
MOORE: Thanks. Same to you.
CARLSON: It's Friday, you know that means. It's time for the "Dan Bongino News Explosion." Step back, ladies and gentlemen, our favorite New York City cop will be here to wrap up the week. We'll be right back.
CARLSON: It's Friday and the one thing we're not going to do going into the weekend is not have a "Dan Bongino News Explosion." How's that for double negative? Our favorite former Secret Service agent and New York City cop is here to go with "Inside the Issues" with this week's top stories. Dan Bongino, great to see you.
DAN BONGINO, CONTRIBUTOR: Tucker, it is always good to be back with you, especially on a Friday. Let's close out the week with my three biggest stories of the week. Starting with story number three, the immigration crisis explodes up on Capitol Hill.
Now, what happened here, Tucker, is entirely predictable. Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan goes up to Capitol Hill, right, to answer some questions on immigration and what happens? Elijah Cummings and other Democrats, they must have seen the cameras back there. Are those cameras turned on? C-Span? Hold on. Okay. Let me scream a little bit yell a little bit at Kevin McAleenan.
But you know what I take away from this, Tucker, the biggest part of this immigration story? Isn't it wonderful to be a Democrat, right? You've done everything you can to contribute to the immigration crisis, nothing to solve it, blamed everything on Republicans with a compliant media and then you get to go up the Capitol Hill, and scream and yell at the DHS Secretary and you get your viral YouTube moment and your extra donations. What a life, right? Ain't it fantastic?
CARLSON: ‘You create a crisis and then you profit from complaining about it. It's perfect actually. They got it in both directions.
BONGINO: I know. It's sad. You'd think the media would eventually call them out? Not going to happen. All right, moving on. Story number two. Joe Biden doubles down, if you like your plan, you can keep it.
Now, this is one of those things, right, where you're sitting there and you're thinking, what focus group could have possibly told Joe Biden, a well-funded serious presidential candidate on the Democratic side, what were they possibly thinking saying, "Joe, I think you need to roll out the old Obama if you love your plan, you can keep your plan line."
Tucker, knowing this thing was declared the lie of the year by what? The left-leaning? Was it "Washington Post" or PolitiFact or one of those sites? I mean, whose idea was this?
You know, there's a penalty flag. Penalty flag on the fifth. There's laundry on the field. So, 15 yards holding, Democrats, repeat first down. What were they thinking? You didn't don't repeat the line if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.
CARLSON: But if you were -- if you repeat a lie, often enough, it does become true after a while, no?
BONGINO: Well, Tucker, the essence of gas-lighting is to repeat a lie confidently over and over, but to isolate people from the truth. That's where they failed. Everybody now knows that you can't effectively gaslight if people already know the truth. That's not how the Hitchcock movie worked.
So, I see your point. But they can't isolate people from the truth anymore. People know they can't keep their plan because they've got a memo in the mail that said, "Your plan is canceled after Obamacare."
So you like that? You like how I did that little curveball in there with the gas-lighting?
BONGINO: I'm always sharp on Friday nights. All right. Well, my mother always told me self-praise. Thanks. You should never -- sorry, mom. Okay, story number one. Of course the biggest story of the week. Donald Trump versus the squad. Man, did this thing explode on Sunday.
I want to focus on the media angle of this quickly. Listen, we already know the story. We saw the tweet, argue about the wording of it; probably should have worded the tweet a little differently.
But what's amazing, Tucker, is the media's automatic impulse to conclusively judge that a man who throughout his entire life was never once accused of being credibly a racist or anything was piled around with a lot of liberals up in New York, they had no problem with him. Now of course, they jumped the gun and called him a racist at the drop of a hat no matter what.
And yet, when it comes to people like Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, with openly anti-Semitic tweets accusing people of dual loyalty, the media all of a sudden disappears and doesn't want to do his homework. Again, it's just another example of the media losing their minds and not willing to cover these candidates fairly.
CARLSON: It's beyond belief. I don't think it's getting better moving into a presidential race, but I hope I'm wrong. Dan Bongino, great to see you. Have the best weekened.
BONGINO: You, too, buddy.
CARLSON: That's it for us, tonight's special edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight: Inside the Issues.” Like sands to an hourglass, it is over. But we'll be back Monday. The show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, and smugness and groupthink. Above all, have a great weekend with the ones you love.
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