This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," November 23, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
TAMMY BRUCE, GUEST HOST: Good evening everybody and welcome to a special Inside The Issues edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight."
I'm Tammy Bruce, filling in for Tucker this evening. But do not worry. You're still going to see plenty of Tucker tonight as he confronts issues from big tech's domination of American life to China's role in the heroin epidemic.
But first, the showdown at the border continues. For weeks, media outlets explained that the migrant Caravan was a hoax, designed to boost GOP midterm turnout.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They're telling you, the - the existential threat to America is a bunch of poor refugees a 1,000 miles away.
This group of folks, we don't even know where they are and they're way down there.
ERROL LOUIS, NEW YORK CITY JOURNALIST, INSIDE CITY HALL HOST, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They've been running on an imaginary Caravan.
BILL MAHER, REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER HOST, HBO: This stupid (BEEP) Caravan--
You know, it's a lie that this Caravan is a - is a problem of that magnitude.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
SAM STEIN, THE DAILY BEAST POLITICS EDITOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Programming on the Caravan was propaganda.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE: But now, that supposedly made-up Caravan has indeed appeared. And the Government of Tijuana is begging for help and is calling it a humanitarian crisis.
President Trump's own efforts to secure the border are running into obstacles. The President recently blasted the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for blocking his attempt at alterations to American asylum policy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a terrible thing when Judges take over your protective services, when they tell you how to protect your border. It's a disgrace.
Essentially, they're legislating. They're saying what to do. Some judge sitting in some location very far away is telling our incredible military and law enforcement what to do, and it's not right.
I know that Chief Justice Roberts, John Roberts, has been speaking a little bit about it. And I think we've, and I have a lot of respect for him, I like him, and I respect him, but I think we have to use some common sense.
This nice - Ninth Circuit, everybody knows it, it's totally out of control.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE: All righty, well President Trump is also warning that he may have to shut down the entire U.S.-Mexico border.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If we find that it's uncontrollable, Josh, if we find that it's - it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or where our people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Including the entire border between (ph)--
TRUMP: The whole border. I mean the whole border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE: All righty, well Chris Hahn is a progressive radio host and former aide to Senator Chuck Schumer. He joins us now. Hey, how you're doing dear?
CHRISTOPHER HAHN, AMERICAN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, DEMOCRATIC PARTY ACTIVIST, RADIO SHOW HOST: I - I'm doing good. Happy Thanksgiving, Tammy.
BRUCE: Same to you. Same to you. So - so look, obviously, we both have very divergent opinions here on what was going on there. But you'd have to admit, I think--
BRUCE: --that the Mayor of Tijuana, this is a town, by the way, that has dealt with immigration a great deal, including with Haitians who they had--
BRUCE: --said, you know, got jobs there and assimilated very easily. But they're concerned about the violence and they consider it a humanitarian crisis. Clearly, that's happening in Mexico.
BRUCE: What do you say to the--
BRUCE: --Mayor of Tijuana when it comes to his attitude? Is he being racist about this or is this a real genuine problem?
HAHN: Well, no. He hit the nail on the head. It's a humanitarian crisis is what - what I've been saying and other progressives have been saying for the last three months. The President has been painting it as an existential threat to our sovereignty as the United States, as if we were being invaded by a foreign country.
And if I was a member of the Border Patrol, I would be insulted that the President of the United States did not think that I was capable of doing my job of protecting the border. They faced these kinds of caravans since the 90s, and this is not new.
The President exploited this humanitarian crisis, which it is, for political gain. And I think sometimes he believes his own talking points when he talks about this stuff. And - and the judge in the Ninth Circuit that we - that he was alluding to, he wasn't making up the law.
The President was trying to take a pen to a law that Congress passed and a former President signed.
BRUCE: Well it is--
HAHN: And presidents are not allowed to do that. The judges--
BRUCE: --there's a - there's--
HAHN: --should enforce (ph) the law.
BRUCE: --there's already a - a disagreement on that, of course. The President is - they're going to appeal. He'll certainly prevail here. But--
HAHN: He'll lose.
BRUCE: --in fact, we haven't seen this kind of Caravan dynamic. And what we saw, of course, at the Mexico-Guatemala border, Chris, is very indicative of the difference here. The complaint with Tijuana is the violence here, the kind of - the nature of what's been going on--
BRUCE: --with this particular Caravan. And also the Caravans have not experienced a real commitment at the American border to stop them. So, this is inherently different. There are thousands more individuals involved.
Now, many have taken Mexico up on their ability to get jobs and to have some healthcare and - and--
BRUCE: --and settle in, which is - which is great news. But at this point, you're looking at--
BRUCE: --individuals from, we - we know there's at least 500 criminals. We - we know that we've got to be able to at least assess them properly in getting in here. What - do you think they should just be--
BRUCE: --allowed to come in? Or do you think that there should be an orderly--
BRUCE: --framework here?
HAHN: I think there should be an orderly framework here. And from what I understand, the people in this Caravan are going to seek asylum, which is legally the way you can come here, and one of the ways you can come here legally.
So, I don't think they're climbing the wall. I don't think we needed to send troops to Southern Texas--
BRUCE: Well they're climbing the wall right there--
HAHN: --when the Caravan's actually coming to Tijuana--
BRUCE: --they - they are climbing the wall, as a matter of fact--
HAHN: --you know, I don't--
BRUCE: --but - but we - we - let's move on--
HAHN: --but (ph) there is--
BRUCE: --I - I - we - we do know--
HAHN: --there is no wall.
BRUCE: --yes, they're - they're--
BRUCE: --climbing the fences that exist now. And, of course, the President is going to make this difficult because we do have to have some order there.
BRUCE: And I'm glad you agree that--
BRUCE: --we do have to have some order. Now, look, another thing--
HAHN: --Tammy, nobody - nobody thinks--
BRUCE: --I know - I know you want to talk about this, Chris.
HAHN: --nobody thinks (ph) people should be able to climb--
HAHN: --nobody thinks (ph) people should climb the fence.
HAHN: Well that's - that's not what we want.
BRUCE: All right, well, but they're also not going to rush, you know, barriers at any rate (ph). Hillary Clinton ran on continuing high immigration into the U.S. But in an interview with The Guardian, I'm sure you've seen, Hillary suggested it's time for Europe to curb immigration in order to stop the rise of Right-wing political parties.
She said, "I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame. I think it is fair to say Europe has done its part, and must send a very clear message. We are not going to be able to continue to provide refuge and support, because if we don't deal with migration, the migration issue, it will continue to roil the body politic."
Chris, how is this not just trans-national - transactional politics and throwing immigrants under the bus?
HAHN: Yes. I mean Hillary missed the point there. What's happening in Europe right now is far-Right parties are scapegoating these immigrants because they can't figure out a way to deal with the stagnant economy that has hit most of Europe, especially people who are low-skilled workers in Europe.
And I think that the - I think that former Secretary Hillary Clinton missed the point completely there, where she is giving aid and comfort to that thought that--
BRUCE: Well she knows--
HAHN: --far-Right parties are crushing (ph) Europe--
BRUCE: --she knows this issue better than--
HAHN: --so I completely disagree with her.
BRUCE: But she - well wait Chris--
HAHN: And I'll - I'll agree with you.
BRUCE: --Chris, many people--
HAHN: I think it is transactional--
HAHN: --and it's bad.
BRUCE: But this is the issue is that many people are shocked at this. This is all she's done. She has been a transactional politician from the beginning.
BRUCE: There's no other way that you can explain the Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask Don't Tell, the two worst cases of violating gay American civil rights in the history of this country, when you actually in the 20th Century decide to shred them because it was transactional. It was going to get them something.
Both the Clintons operate this way. This is no different. This is why she lost in part--
BRUCE: --because she stands for nothing. The Democrats--
HAHN: --you know what, she just--
BRUCE: --stand really for nothing--
BRUCE: --at this stage.
HAHN: --here's - here's the thing though, Tammy. She's just making a speech and - and blowing hot air. The President of the United States, when he talks about these things, he's the President of the United States, and his words need to be taken very seriously. I don't like what she said.
But I also don't like what's being said by some far-Right politicians who hold office in this country, who need to tamper down their talk about immigration. Immigration made this country--
BRUCE: Yes, like--
HAHN: --great. And it will continue to--
BRUCE: --you know, it's interesting--
HAHN: --make this country great.
BRUCE: --because that far-Right ideas included, apparently, for President Trump, getting a DACA deal for Congress, which, of course, the Democrats--
BRUCE: --declined. So, is that - those the kind of far-Right--
BRUCE: --ideas that you've got or - or a historically low unemployment for- -
BRUCE: --every group in the country.
HAHN: --Tammy - Tammy - Tammy, the President of the United States was offered DACA for the Wall. He accepted it until the far-Right politicians in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, especially--
BRUCE: Mitch McConnell, far-Right--
HAHN: --pushed back against it and--
HAHN: --General Kelly had to call Chuck Schumer and tell him--
HAHN: --that the deal was off.
BRUCE: --this audience--
HAHN: So, let's be clear--
BRUCE: --this audience is going to laugh at--
HAHN: --I think that this President will make a deal--
HAHN: --DACA-for-the-wall before this.
BRUCE: --Chris, this audience--
BRUCE: --is going to laugh at the idea of Mitch McConnell being a far-Right politician. That's very funny. This is the bureaucracy. We both know it well. And it's all - it is all transactional.
That's what a - both Democrats and Republicans are reacting to. You had some interesting people elected during the midterms because they're tired of the transactional relationship.
HAHN: We did.
BRUCE: Oh - oh, I think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would suggest that she's unusual and interesting. Chris--
BRUCE: --thanks for joining us.
HAHN: --I think that there's a lot of interesting people--
BRUCE: Thanks for this.
HAHN: --with great voices.
BRUCE: All right.
HAHN: I can't wait to see them grow (ph).
BRUCE: Thank you, Chris. Well, it'll be interesting. You can see what happened to the Women's March when it comes to that. Chris, thanks for the - for - for being here.
How's this now for irony, you guys?
Yesterday, fired FBI Director James Comey tweeted, "Happy Thanksgiving. Got a subpoena from House Republicans. I'm still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions. But I will resist a "closed door" thing because I've seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion." It's like he's talking in the mirror, right? "Let's have a hearing and invite everyone to see."
Twitter users quickly reminded Comey that he too engaged in plenty of selective leaking and private conversations. Dan Bongino is a former Secret Service Agent, an NRATV contributor, and you know him well. He's also the author of Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump. He joins us now.
Dan, welcome to the program.
DANIEL JOHN BONGINO, FORMER AGENT OF THE UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, FORMER NYPD OFFICER, NRATV CONTRIBUTOR, SPYGATE AUTHOR: Good to be here with you, Tammy.
BRUCE: Look, obviously, a lots going on. I think that James Comey beclowned himself with those comments, a little bit of projection on his part. What's your take on what he's trying to accomplish here? The Republicans have done something at the last minute. I would have liked to have seen this six months or a year ago.
BRUCE: And now, of course, why not resist, right, because it's not like you're going to actually end up in front of any committee at this stage.
BONGINO: Yes. Let me hat tip you there for the absolutely perfect use of the word, beclown. That is exactly what Jim Comey did here. Tammy, let's point out an irony of Jim Comey's tweet, asking for an open hearing up on the Hill.
He wants transparency now? You do realize that he hid the investigation Crossfire Hurricane, the investigation into the Trump team. He hid it from Congressional Oversight for eight months. This is a fact. This is not in dispute.
In March of 2017, when questioned by Congressional Oversight, Elise Stefanik from New York, specifically, and asked why he hid it for eight months, he gave the most absurd answer, I've ever heard (ph). He made a fool of himself.
He said, "Well, because the investigation was sensitive." Tammy--
BRUCE: Right. Right.
BONGINO: --the very reason they brief Congress quarterly, not every eight months, but quarterly on these types of investigations is because they're sensitive.
BONGINO: Comey really needs to dial down the Twitter.
BRUCE: Well, but look, he's gotten away with all of this. This is what's so frustrating. You know, you see this, all right they're - they're subpoenaing him, and they're going to get in, and Comey says, "No. I'm not going to go." And he knows he's going to fight it legally and it'll - look, the - the - the new session starts on January 3rd.
We're getting into the Christmas holiday. He knows that he's going to get away with this. This is in a way it's - it is just like a dog and pony show.
Are you concerned now that the Democrats will control the House, the Senate still has this - the Republicans still have the Senate, are you concerned that, in fact, Donald Trump remains the only man of action, the only individual, genuinely interested in clearing this muck up, because at this point it's been more of the same for the last two years from the Republicans?
BONGINO: I am concerned. But I.G. Horowitz, Michael Horowitz, the Inspector General gave us an opening in the report on the Hillary email scandal, and the horrible handling of it by the DoJ and the FBI that has largely escaped Liberal media, purposefully, by the way.
At the end of the report, he clearly states that you could not eliminate political bias as a reason for the FBI transitioning so quickly from the Hillary email investigation into the Trump Crossfire Hurricane investigation.
What am I saying here? Once this Spygate - Crossfire Hurricane I.G. report comes out on that, which isn't done yet--
BONGINO: --I think Jim Comey's in a world of trouble. And he's going to have to answer why they cut out of that July 5th speech he gave--
BONGINO: --the fact that Hillary emailed Barack Obama on that private email.
BRUCE: Right. And look, while this - while the House investigations will - will end because it'll be the Democrats, there's still the Senate. We still have Inspectors General--
BRUCE: --so there's a lot of ways we can go. And, of course, the - the FBI documents and classified documents that the President can de-classify, so Americans can see what's going on. Dan--
BRUCE: --thank you so much for joining us tonight. I appreciate it. Great job.
BONGINO: Thanks, Tammy. No problem.
BRUCE: Thank you. All right, well we have a lot of Tucker just ahead, as our Inside The Issues special continues. Middle America turned out big for Donald Trump in 2016, but many of them stayed home or changed their votes in 2018. Tucker will investigate why, coming up next.
BRUCE: You are watching a live special edition of TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT where we go Inside The Issues. We now go to Tucker as he tackles America's struggling middle class and why some 2016 Trump voters turned on the GOP in the midterms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST, TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT: Donald Trump became President two years ago, thanks largely to a huge surge of support from the American middle class. They supported him because they are dying. As a group, the American middle class is shrinking in absolute terms and, in many cases, dying younger, so they reached out to the President to help.
But in 2018, in the midterms we just had last week, a lot of those voters seem to have drifted back away from the Republicans. The House went Democratic. Republicans lost a bunch of Senate races in states that President Trump won two years ago.
How did that happen? What should Republicans be doing to change it and what should be their positions moving forward? No one has watched more carefully than J. D. Vance. He wrote the famous book, Hillbilly Elegy. He joins us tonight.
J. D., thanks a lot for coming on. So, I know it's only been--
J. D. VANCE, HILLBILLY ELEGY AUTHOR, VENTURE CAPITALIST: Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: --a week and it takes a while to sort these things out. But, you know, eight days later, what are the obvious lessons for Republicans from the midterm elections?
VANCE: So, there are two things I'd point to. The first is if you look at the 100 wealthiest House districts, 55 of those were Democratic after the 2016 election, 73 of them were Democratic after the 2018 election.
VANCE: So, one of the takeaways is that Republicans are continuing to become the middle and working class party, and Democrats are more and more popular among wealthy Suburbanites.
The second takeaway is that the single most unpopular piece of Republican legislation in the past couple of years wasn't Donald Trump's brainchild, and if you trust the media reports, Donald Trump wasn't even a huge fan of it, and that was the healthcare bill that came out of the House Republican leadership.
And in - in poll after poll and person after person that I've talked to, you know, I'm good friends with Mike DeWine who luckily eked out a win in the Ohio Governor's race, the - the consistent theme is that that Republican healthcare bill actually put a little bit of a millstone around Republicans running in the industrial Midwest.
It was not a popular piece of legislation. And, in some ways, I think it's almost better that it didn't pass and that it didn't go into effect causing even more damage down the road.
CARLSON: So, it sounds like what you're saying is that Republicans, as a party, need to understand who their constituency is. It's different from what it was a generation ago. It really is a middle-class party. Maybe they should have middle-class economic solutions to offer.
VANCE: Yes. That - that's absolutely right, Tucker. I think that a lot of folks, especially, the Wall Street wing of the Republican Party don't like to admit, and don't like to appreciate the fact that the party has definitely shifted in this direction.
You've got more and more working-class voters voting for Republicans, like I said, more and more wealthy Suburbanites voting for Democrats. And - and to me, what - what's ultimately causing that is that those voters are incredibly socially progressive, meaning those wealthy Suburbanites are socially progressive.
And what you hear consistently from Republican elites is that we need to moderate on the social issues and - and chart a really libertarian course on the economic issues. And if you actually listen to Republican voters, what they're saying is something like the opposite. They're socially conservative.
VANCE: They like the President's views on immigration, they like the President's views on abortion. What they want us to do is stop hemorrhaging jobs to folks overseas. They want us to win trade wars against Mexico and, especially, the Chinese.
And that agenda is ultimately, I think, where Republican success in the future lies. But, like you said, Republican elites have to accept that fact. And - and I think, you know, we should be proud of the coalition that we have and try to build on it as opposed to being ashamed of that fact.
CARLSON: But I mean how do you have a party run by people with the mirror image views of their own voters? So, the people who run the party are socially liberal and economically libertarian, the voters are economic nationalists, and social conservatives, I mean how can they be in the same party?
VANCE: Well, I - I think the - the long-term answer may be that they - they may not be in the same party. But at the end of the day, the voters have the power. We saw that in the 2016 election.
Tucker, I'm sure you remember after a few of the Republican primary debates, there were a lot of professional conservatives, a lot of establishment Republicans who would go on TV and say this or that thing that Donald Trump said would eliminate his chances. He blew himself out of the water. He'll never be--
VANCE: --the Republican nominee.
But after each time he said something that he wasn't supposed to say, he actually got more popular among the Republican base. So, to me, the question is not how do these two groups coexist? The question is do the voters ultimately have the power in the Republican Party?
VANCE: I think the answer is obviously - obviously yes. It just may take a little while for that to unfold.
CARLSON: Is it a democracy or not? You're right. That is - that is the deepest question always. J. D. Vance, so smart, thank you.
VANCE: Thanks, Tucker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE: We have lots more from Tucker tonight. We'll look at the threat from big tech and China's role in the Fentanyl market at - as our Inside The Issues special continues, just ahead.
BRUCE: Hey, everybody. Welcome back. You're watching a live special edition of TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT, Inside The Issues. We now go back to Tucker as he investigates the frightening power of big tech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: The man behind the book and the film, Clinton Cash, who has (ph) exposed the Clinton Foundation's pay-for-play relationship with many foreign governments has a new film out. This time, the target is big tech. Here's a preview of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They can suppress certain types of results based on what they think you should be seeing, based on what your followers are presenting.
PETER FRANZ SCHWEIZER, AMERICAN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST, NOVELIST, AUTHOR, POLITICAL CONSULTANT, THE CREEPY LINE PRODUCER: It's what Google and Facebook are doing on regular basis by suppressing stories like steering us towards other stories rather than the stories we're actually seeking.
ROBERT EPSTEIN, SENIOR RESEARCH PSYCHOLOGIST, AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR BEHAVIORAL RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY: It will always favor one online music service over another and one candidate over another.
Google crosses the creepy line every day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Peter Schweizer is one of the people behind this new documentary. It's called Creepy - The Creepy Line, and it premiered this week. He joins us on set. Peter, thank you very much--
SCHWEIZER: Great to be here.
CARLSON: --for coming on. So, why should we care what Google, a private company, is doing?
SCHWEIZER: Because they have an amazing amount of influence on the consumption of information and news in this country. 80 to 90 percent of searches are done through Google.
And Google not only collects information on us, which threatens our privacy, but they use that information to manipulate us, to steer us in directions we don't want to go. It's affecting the voting that's taking place in this country. And some people are arguing it's determining the outcome of elections.
CARLSON: Well, so, how could you have a meaningful democracy where the people rule in the face of corporate power this concentrated?
SCHWEIZER: Well, look, the ma - mantra has always been you've got to have an informed electorate, right?
SCHWEIZER: The electorate needs to--
SCHWEIZER: --know what's going on.
Well, the problem is, if you have voters, who are not high information voters, but they - they want to vote, and they're going to go to Google to guide them in the week before an election, and those results are skewed.
And there's overwhelming academic evidence that they manipulate search results. You're going to have an electorate that is strongly influenced by the result. That undermines democracy.
The fundamental problem is - is that people don't recognize that. They don't understand they're being manipulated. And unless something is done about it, the future of the Republic is - is under threat.
CARLSON: Yes. You can't have a democracy under those circumstances.
CARLSON: But just to back up, you said there's overwhelming academic evidence that Google--
CARLSON: --manipulates its search results. They deny that.
SCHWEIZER: Yes. They do. And here's the interesting thing, Tucker. They've denied this before.
You remember 10 years ago or so, Yelp and some of these other companies, TripAdvisors were accusing Google of manipulating the algorithm to suppress them in search results and who push Google-related companies. And Google said, "Absolutely not. These results are organic."
We now know the Federal Trade Commission, the European Union, and Academics at Harvard said, "That's wrong. You were manipulating the algorithm."
Their defense now is the same when it comes to political speech. The problem is that there's been numerous peer-reviewed studies done by Robert Epstein and others that clearly demonstrates they are suppressing news stories.
And, in fact, in the 2016 election, they found in all 10 search results from one through 10, Google was suppressing negative stories about Hillary Clinton and pushing positive stories about and - and - and pushing negative stories about Donald Trump.
This, by a researcher, by the way, who was a Hillary Clinton supporter, not a Trump supporter.
CARLSON: This seems like the story of the century.
SCHWEIZER: Yes. Huge story. Huge story. And overlooked, because it's confusing, it's difficult to understand, and it's happening behind the curtain. It's the Wizard of Oz behind the iron curtain. We were used to thinking about, you know, Dan Rather, media bias.
He makes a snarky comment. He makes a comment about George Bush. That's visible for everyone to see. This kind of bias is hidden. We don't know what we don't know, and that's what makes it so frightening.
CARLSON: It's a remarkable story and a remarkable documentary. Thank you, Peter Schweizer. I appreciate it.
SCHWEIZER: Thanks, Tucker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE: Well, more great stuff from Tucker there, obviously. Tucker also recently sat down with a U.S. Senator to investigate the deadly threat of synthetic drugs from China.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: More than 70,000 Americans died of drug ODs last year. Nearly half of those overdosed on synthetic opioids like Fentanyl. President Trump has signed legislation that should make it harder to ship drugs like Fentanyl through the mail. Will that be enough?
The number one manufacture of Fentanyl is China. They seem uninterested in stemming the flow of illegal drugs into our country. So, the question is if China killed 30,000 Americans through bombing campaigns or by invading, of course, we might respond differently.
Senator Rob Portman is one of the few who's been on this topic for a while. He's just introduced legislation, the President just signed it, and he joins us tonight. Senator, thanks very much for--
ROBERT JONES PORTMAN, JUNIOR UNITED STATES SENATOR, OHIO, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE OF THE 14TH UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE, FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: Tucker--
CARLSON: --coming on.
PORTMAN: --thanks for having me.
CARLSON: Appreciate it. So, it is, I think, a fair question. 3,000 Americans died in 9/11, we're at war for 17 years. 30,000 died just last year because of this and it seems to be all but unnoticed here in Washington.
PORTMAN: I agree. It's the underreported story out there. And it's not that people don't care about it. They do. When I'm home, I hear about it all the time--
CARLSON: I bet.
PORTMAN: --whenever I attend (ph) Townhall meetings every month, I ask a question, how many of you have been directly affected? It's always more than half of the callers. This is, you know, 10,000, 20,000 callers. So, it's a huge issue. Sadly, Ohio's one of the states that's been hardest - hardest hit.
PORTMAN: Number one killer, Fentanyl. Two-thirds of our overdose deaths last year were from Fentanyl. It's a synthetic form of opioids. And we know where it's coming from, China. And we know where it's coming in through, and that's the United States Postal Service, the government agency.
So, what we have done over the past three years, we've researched it. We've investigated it. We put together legislation. It took us too long to get it done because there was some pushback, particularly from the post office. In fact, there still is.
But all we're asking them to do is to screen packages so that our law enforcement can at least stop some of this poison coming into our communities and raise the price of this incredibly powerful deadly drug on the streets of our cities, of our communities, and also reduce the cost.
CARLSON: Well, good for you, and bless you for raising it, and making noise about it consistently. What can the U.S. do to change its posture toward China to put some pressure on the Chinese government to clamp down within their country, do you think?
PORTMAN: Well, it's a good question. I met with the Chinese Ambassador here. I've met with the Chinese leadership there. I've raised it consistently. What they have said is two things.
One, that they have made some of the precursors, in other words, the chemicals that go into making Fentanyl illegal. They have, in effect, scheduled them under, you know, the way we would do it here.
And that they've begun, they say, secondly, to crack down on some of these chemical companies that are producing it. But what they have done is not been effective. I mean it continues to come in.
Our investigation indicated that if you send something by the Postal Service from China that it's guaranteed delivery. If you send it through one of the other carriers, say, FedEx or UPS or DHL, a private carrier, it's not guaranteed.
Why? Because after 9/11, we required all the private carriers to provide advanced electronic data to law enforcement to be able to identify suspect packages and to be able to stop this stuff coming in. We didn't do it for the Post Office. We said you ought to study it, come back to us with the report, they never have.
CARLSON: Blue Ribbon Commission (ph). When we've talked about this guest after guest on this show, the response I get almost every time is, "Well, it's America's fault," because it's our users who are consuming these drugs and dying after becoming addicted to them. Do you think it's America's fault that 30,000 people are dying of synthetic opioid ODs?
PORTMAN: It's both. We have, obviously, a demand issue here. We have--
PORTMAN: --we have a demand for drug that's insatiable seemingly. But we also have this incredibly inexpensive poison coming on to our streets and our communities mostly from China, mostly through the Postal Service.
So, by reducing that supply, we can impact this. I believe, Tucker, that over the last two (ph) years we have done a lot, some with Congressional legislation, some at the local level, to push back on the opioid crisis.
And we would be seeing some progress already but for Fentanyl. In other words, it has overwhelmed the system.
PORTMAN: 4,000 percent increase in Fentanyl overdose deaths in Ohio in the last five years. When I first got started on this a few years ago, you know, Fentanyl was not a big deal. Now it is.
And I think it has, in effect, kept us from making the progress we otherwise would have made with prevention, education, with more treatment, better recovery programs, more first responders having Narcan to save lives--
PORTMAN: --that miracle drug that reverses the effects in overdose. So, I think we're going to begin to see some progress if we can stem this flow of Fentanyl.
CARLSON: And, very quick, as a matter of public consciousness, how different do you think this would be if this drug were coming from Russia rather than China?
PORTMAN: I mean I - I think coming from anywhere, it should be something we care a lot about.
CARLSON: I agree with you completely.
PORTMAN: Yes. And I - and I think - I think we should be tougher. And I think we should actually be saying to the Chinese, in this case, you know, you've got to crackdown in your own country, both for our purposes.
And if you don't, as I have told Premier Li, in person, who is the second ranking leader over in - in China, it's going be in your communities too. I mean this stuff is so deadly, and it is so addictive that it's something that you should care about as well.
CARLSON: Senator, thank you very much.
PORTMAN: Thanks, Tucker. Thanks for following this. And thanks for, you know, raising the awareness on this issue.
CARLSON: Yes. 70,000 people die, it's worth paying attention to--
PORTMAN: Yes. Surely (ph).
CARLSON: --I think (ph). Thank you.
PORTMAN: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE: Well we have a lot more of Tucker just ahead as our Inside The Issues special continues. Up next, he'll dig into the threat that concussions pose to the NFL. Plus, we'll look at how corporations are imposing their own brand of gun control on America. You don't want to miss that. Stay right there.
BRUCE: All righty, everybody. Welcome back to our special Inside The Issues edition of TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT.
Now, tens of millions of Americans watched NFL games yesterday, as part of the holiday festivities. But that long tradition could be in danger, thanks to concussions. Horrible.
In 2015, the NFL reached a settlement with former players who said concussions left them with long-term disabilities. Tucker recently sat down with a lawyer for those former players, who says the NFL is fighting tooth and nail to avoid paying out the settlements it agreed to. Here's what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Patrick Tighe, thanks very much for joining us. I appreciate it.
So, I know from watching the National Anthem controversy that the NFL, as an organization has a deep social conscience. And yet, I'm finding that hard to square with, I think, your allegation that they're refusing to pay players who were injured during service in the NFL. Am I mischaracterizing that?
PATRICK TIGHE, ATTORNEY REPRESENTING FORMER NFL PLAYERS: Only in the sense that - no, I think you're characterizing it correctly. I don't think the NFL is in favor of the kneeling. You think they are?
CARLSON: No, I'm just - I'm just mocking because we've seen--
TIGHE: Oh, I got you, all right.
CARLSON: --statements about how, you know, they - they - they care a lot about people. And yet, if what you're saying is right, it sounds like they're trying to stiff people with grave physical injuries. Is that right?
TIGHE: Yes. They want to look good. They want to look good but not be good, absolutely.
CARLSON: So, I mean, tell us, give us the overview of what you think is happening here.
TIGHE: So, in the - in this concussion settlement case, I could talk about (ph) my players. I have 90 clients. And 95 percent of my players are African-American, 5 percent are White. None of them have been paid.
I've submitted 41 claims. And 38 of them are in audit for fraud. Over 99 percent of the players that are in audit for fraud are African-American. And I just believe that if this were a group of retired White golfers, they would have been paid already. But since they're (ph)--
CARLSON: So, let's - let's - let's take - I mean, those are claims that are pretty hard to verify, unless you have something in writing. I assume you don't. Let's get to the - the physical facts of it. Did - are - are these players demonstrably injured?
CARLSON: OK. Did the NFL know that what they were doing posed a physical risk to them for CTE?
TIGHE: Well, the - the allegation, the complaint was that they and Riddell helmet maker knew the damages that they were causing to brains since the 1960s.
TIGHE: They settled this case because they didn't want to be subjected to any discovery, which would prove that out.
CARLSON: Interesting. Why do you - why do you think that since the National Anthem story has received so much coverage, and so many at ESPN, for example, have taken the side of the players that so few sports commentators have raised this issue with the kind of vehemence they brought to the National Anthem controversy? I'm a little confused.
TIGHE: Well the NFL is very powerful. And they're very intimidating to sports broadcasters. They would pull their credentials if they didn't do exactly what the NFL wanted.
And it's our contention that the NFL likes this controversy. It's - it's - it's a patriotic controversy. It gets - it shifts the blame from the NFL to the players. And it shifts the focus from the trouble with football, which is the causing of these brain injuries and the ruining of men to rich players kneeling in protest that--
TIGHE: --it gets the - it gets the public to be mad at the players and not mad at the NFL.
CARLSON: Well is there science on this question? What percentage of NFL players who played, you know, for a year or more, who've really engaged with the League, what percentage sustained brain - permanent brain injury?
TIGHE: Well, a - a single concussion is a traumatic brain injury, which would be permanent. So, I would save between 99 and a 100 percent of them. Ann McKee, up at Boston University, who did the CTE neuropathological study, also says that the statistic's in the high 90 percentile.
CARLSON: And what percentage of those see their lives affected negatively by those injuries?
TIGHE: Well, I have players that range in age from 31 all the way up till 70. And they are all affected by it. And they all come in and have the same symptoms, the same complaints, and the same problems. It's just where they are on the spectrum, how bad it has gotten.
CARLSON: And is there any way to stop the progression of this impairment?
TIGHE: Well there are some studies going on. Jupiter Medical Center down here in Palm Beach County has a Hyperbaric Chamber program with Joe Namath that seems to be promising that it might work.
CARLSON: Yes. Boy, it's a sad story. Thanks very much for sharing with us. I appreciate it.
TIGHE: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE: Well, important stuff about what's really going on there when we're all distracted by something else, right?
Well, our Inside The Issues special continues just ahead with a look at how major retailers are going beyond the law and implementing their own versions of gun control. That's coming up next. Stay there.
BRUCE: Welcome back everyone to our Inside The Issues special edition of TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT.
The shooting in Parkland, Florida produced a wave of anti-gun activism across the country. And it has not been limited to Democratic lawmakers. Ordinary retailers are getting involved, as well, and imposing their own form of gun control where the law doesn't even require it.
Fox's Hillary Vaughn went to investigate this new trend. Here's what she found.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY VAUGHN, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: This is Washington D.C., the day thousands of anti-gun protesters flooded the Capital streets.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ho, ho, guns got to go (ph).
VAUGHN: Students joining the March For Our Lives movement demanding new gun control laws after the mass shooting at Stoneman (ph) Douglas High School in Florida.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is far too much, the fact that we have had all of these mass shootings and that we haven't done anything about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, I just would like to see this government do something.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do think change is coming.
VAUGHN: But when Congress failed to act, activists found a workaround.
VAUGHN: Wall Street.
ROBIN BIRO, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: In all honesty, it probably is a workaround because Congress isn't getting much done.
VAUGHN: The idea that Wall Street could enforce gun control took off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Business is sort of in this odd place where it has leverage. Clearly, the banks have leverage. The retail organizations have leverage. They showed this (ph) in the case of Parkland. People expect them to use that leverage.
VAUGHN: Within days, companies acted. Citigroup proclaiming that all of its retail clients would be prohibited from selling firearms to buyers under age 21, and pledging to cut off business with customers who sell bump stocks or high-capacity magazines.
Bank of America was next, announcing they would no longer offer loans to manufacturers that make assault rifles, the movement sparking controversy from some in Congress, like Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, who argues big banks going rogue and creating their own gun control policy actually violates federal law.
So, he introduced a bill blocking banks that blacklist the lawful (ph) industries from receiving government contracts.
JOHN NEELY KENNEDY, JUNIOR UNITED STATES SENATOR, LOUISIANA: If they got in trouble tomorrow, I guarantee you, they would both come to the United States Congress, whining for a bailout, asking for taxpayer money, and they wouldn't say, "Oh, we only want taxpayer money from people who agree with our - our gun control." They'd take everybody's taxpayer money.
VAUGHN: Gun control advocates also won major victories at some of the nation's largest retailers. DICK'S Sporting Goods announcing they were cutting AR-15s from their inventory at their Field & Stream stores and stop selling firearms to people under the age of 21 at all 845 of its stores.
Some businesses started targeting the NRA. National Car Rental, Enterprise Car Rental, even YETI Coolers, nixing discounts for NRA members.
(GUN SHOOTING SOUND)
VAUGHN: The NRA says this blacklisting campaign against them has threatened their day-to-day operations.
(GAVEL BANGING SOUND)
VAUGHN: Filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York after they lost insurance coverage saying the push to ban the gun group has cost them millions of dollars in damages.
But joining the trend has also cost some companies millions. In Georgia, Delta Airlines lost a $38 million tax cut after Delta ditched their NRA discount. In Louisiana, the Bond Commission voted to block Citigroup and Bank of America from financing a $600 million highway construction project, after they placed restrictions on gun purchases.
LAWRENCE KEANE, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, ASSISTANT SECRETARY AND GENERAL COUNSEL TO THE NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION: And they should be making sound business decisions that, you know, for their shareholders, not trying to be on the right side of what's popular politically.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE: Well Hillary Vaughn joins us now. Great job. You know, this is - with everything going on in the world, in the elections and everything, this kind of stuff continues more kind of under the radar.
But when it comes to the banks, they've historically used, sometimes, their power to effect, really to implement discriminatory policies, when it comes to lending. The government has stepped in to stop that kind of dynamic.
And yet, now, there are even Republicans suggesting that it's the free market that is causing this. With your investigation, do you agree that this is a normal free market event that's occurring?
VAUGHN: Well what I can tell you is that Congress is weighing a crackdown on companies that are going beyond what they see to be someone's constitutional rights or beyond the scope of federal law.
So, when you see these companies taking their own policy or making their own policy, that runs counter to federal law, that's probably going to get them in a little bit of trouble. And we're seeing Congress take up that issue.
But what's interesting is you have to look at what's driving this. So, there was a study done by Global Strategy Group that says 81 percent of Americans expect corporations to take action on political issues within 24 hours. That's not a lot of time.
You also have to look at what Millennials and the factor they play in this in social media. There are tons of viral social media campaigns with hashtags, urging companies to take a stand on issues, blacklisting companies if they don't.
So, 46 percent of Millennials actively research what political stances companies have before they decide to give them their business. But there are critics who look at this and say, "Where are we headed? Is this a sustainable thing to do?"
VAUGHN: So, that's something that, of course, Congress is going to have to look at, as well.
BRUCE: Well, look, private business is one thing. But then you're dealing with the banks, as you've noted in your piece, that get taxpayer dollars that are propped up, especially after the - the mini (ph) crash in 2007 and 2008, as they're going against a civil right, right, against the - a constitutionally protected right, is an entirely different dynamic - dynamic.
If you don't like the Second Amendment, you know, engage politically, right? This is something very different and, yes, is extremely worrisome. Great job. And thanks for reminding everyone of all the other kinds of things that are going on out there that we need to keep an eye on. Yes.
VAUGHN: Thanks, Tammy.
BRUCE: All right, well, again, that is Hillary Vaughn from Fox Business.
Today is Black Friday. Speaking of retailing and business, when we return, we'll show you the worst cases of shopping frenzy from across the country.
BRUCE: Today is the most famous shopping day in America, Black Friday. But instead of getting into the spirit of Christmas, some shoppers are being consumed with the spirit of greed across the country. The race to get the best deals, occasionally, turned into outright violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey. Hey, hey--
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey guys (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --relax. Don't dump your stuff (ph). Hey, hey (ph)-- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (BEEP).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you like that (ph)? Your face is in the floor (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to give him space (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, he'll do (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, relax--
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's enough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me--
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's enough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: While he's a relative (ph)--
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE: Well, look, deals are great. Shopping is a fabulous American tradition. But it is not worth fighting over, especially in this economy. There's going to be deals everywhere all the time. Let's just be nice to one another.
And then, again, on Monday, you've got Cyber Monday, so that's going to be fabulous as well. So, good luck out there and be kind to each other because we can be. We're Americans.
That's it tonight, you guys, for our Inside the Issues special of "Tucker Carlson Tonight." The regular show resumes on Monday, and Tucker will be back. Tune in each night at 8:00 to the show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and groupthink.
Also, don't forget to DVR the show if you haven't already set that up. Have a great weekend. Hannity is next.
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