This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," February 22, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: Hey, everybody. I'm Laura Ingraham. This is “The Ingraham Angle” from Washington tonight. Some Jussie Smollett apologists are now excusing his bad behavior. You knew that was going to happen. Now, I guess, facts don't matter as long as you are morally right. I mean, Left.
All right. More than that this moment, plus we count down the most outrageous moments from the media this week, Mollie Hemingway and Jeff Lord are here. They're going to dissect it all for us. And individual ICE agents are being sued by illegal aliens and liberal advocacy groups, you cannot make this up, just for doing their jobs. And a former agent is here to sound off -- and is he mad.
But first rage versus results, and the great Democrat freak out, that's the focus of tonight's “Angle”.
Being a liberal means never having to say you're sorry. An overstatement? Well, maybe. But given some of the more recent politically inspired acts of vandalism and violence and of defamation and libel, it's closer to the truth than not.
10 years ago, even five years ago, it would have been unthinkable that major political and media figures would bend over backwards to excuse criminal behavior, because they agreed with the perpetrators' political motivation. Yet in this age of rage, this happens all too frequently.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Didn't Jussie Smollett conflate the two? Didn't he in fact attempt to paint the MAGA supporters as these racist and homophobic people. I think that if the story is true--
TIFFANY CROSS, CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGING EDITOR, THE BEAT DC: I have to disagree there. Well, but Nischelle, I have to respectfully disagree. I think MAGA supporters have painted themselves as that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: OK. Well, the Jussie Smollett case is all at once depressing and enlightening. What's depressing, because so many seem positively giddy, they were thrilled that a hate crime like that would have happened.
Finally, they could draw a direct line from the support for Trump to support for almost a lynching. You had a noose, you had a racial and anti- gay slur, it was a politically perfect storyline that pushed all the right anti-Trump buttons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A Hollywood star who's black and gay and now the victim of a heinous crime.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The idea that racial slurs and maybe even some of the homophobic slurs being used toward him, you can see how serious this crime is right now.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Absolutely despicable. This is America in 2019.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: So now even when it seems like the entire thing was a sick shred (ph), the race hustlers remain undaunted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
D.L. HUGHLEY, RADIO TALKER AND COMEDIAN: --interesting when you use hatred and bigotry and lying for your own selfish end, and you are a young gay black kid, you get indicted. If you do it when you're an old white guy, you become President.
And I think there are enough monsters out there for real that we don't have to make any up. And I think that White Supremacy is never -- at a historical high.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Now focus on that last line for just a moment. White Supremacy in 2019 is worse than it was let's say in 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama? When water cannons and dogs were released on civil rights marchers, when children were blown up in churches? Trump hating comedians undeterred by actual facts are suddenly aggressively unfunny.
Comedian Billy Eichner saying, "If it turns out the attack was staged, that is disgusting. But don't give me any BS about MAGA supporters being the victim here. A bunch of white supremacists falsely accused of inspiring a crime are still a bunch of white supremacist. They poison the soul of our country and of the world and their crimes against humanity will be felt long after we've forgotten about Jussie Smollett".
Crimes against humanity, OK. Billy like what? Policies that grow the economy and spur wage and job growth across the board, including for African-Americans, that crime against um humanity or the crime against humanity of creating, what, Opportunity Zones in some of our most debilitated communities? Or is it the crime of criminal justice reform, that's a crime against humanity?
You see what I'm saying? It's patently ridiculous. But this is all very enlightening, is it not? Because here's what's really happening, Trump's policies are actually working. We see it all around us.
The Mueller report, it looks like it's going to be a dud and liberal heroes are self-combusting before our very eyes, so the Democrat Protectorate are in total freak-out mode.
Let's look back. The Kavanaugh accuser Blasey Ford flamed out. Their indigenous 2020 hopeful, Elizabeth Warren, was knocked off her high horse. Virginia's Democrat leaders are tangled up in blackface and MeToo scandals. And now with Smollett their dream of the perfect Trump inspired hate crime has also fizzled.
So now we're back to Donald Trump being Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin all rolled into one, that's the best they have. And while they mild the requisite, "If Jussie did it" -- and this is wrong -- well, they quickly then revert to their tired old narrative that today minorities should live in fear.
Comedian Hari Kondabolu tweeting, "What Jussie Smollett is accused of is despicable. However, don't forget that we believed he was the victim of such horrendous hate crime, because it's the type of thing that happens way too often, especially in the Trump era. He may have taken advantage of a very realistic fear".
And the queen of racial fear-mongering, mad Maxine Waters, she freely admits. She believed Jussie's ridiculous story because his views checked all the liberal boxes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MAXINE WATERS, D-CALIF: He's a friend. He was at my office. We marched in the Pride Parade together, he introduced me at "Black Girls Rock", and so, I believed him, when I heard about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Well, if Congresswoman Waters wanted to learn something, she might try to engage with black American who see this all very differently. They aren't looking to blame Trump for conservatives for all of their woes past or present. What they're looking for are real solutions and real hope.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: Every citizen alive today and generations yet unborn are forever in debt of the brave souls who stared down injustice and championed the eternal cause of civil rights. And by the way, as you've been hearing me say, African-American unemployment is at an all-time low -- historic low.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Well the scene last night at the White House is part of what inspires the ongoing Democrat freak-out. The real possibility that President Trump at the Black History Month celebration -- it was oversubscribed, have more than 300 people. People couldn't even get in. That maybe -- just maybe Donald Trump could peel off 5 percent maybe even 10 percent more of the black vote in 2020, that's unnerving to the Left.
But there's a new movement emerging.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY DAVIS, CONSERVATIVE URBAN PROJECT INC.: I really don't even understand why so many people hate black people -- people that look like me and him. Hate this President, because this man has done more than any other President has done for people that look like me and him.
BRUCE LEVELL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL DIVERSITY COALITION FOR TRUMP: I always said don't get caught up in the emotions --
INGRAHAM: But what about the S hole country's comment and what about -- well, you know it's always--
LEVELL: That's emotional. That don't pay bills. That don't build--
LEVELL: That doesn't do anything except keep this junk going--
DAVIS: Yes, yes--
LEVELL: That has no substance in black America--
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Well the Democrats race-baiting the fear-mongering, it's only going to go so far. But if they keep it up, emotionally worn out African- American voters may do what Democrats fear most, tune them out, and focus on Trump's record of accomplishment in their communities, and that's THE ANGLE.
Joining me now with reaction two men who were at the White House event with President Trump last night, Pastor Mark Burns and Pastor Darrell Scott along with Ari Fleischer, Former White House Press Secretary and a Fox News Contributor.
Pastor Burns, I'm going to start with you. The narrative in the wake of the Smollett case is already set, right? It's, he may have lied, but Trump is still a racist. So your reaction to the event just the past week and the fact that the President got virtually no coverage of, what by all accounts, was an amazing event last night.
PASTOR MARK BURNS, CEO, THE NOW TELEVISION NETWORK: Yes. It was absolutely an amazing event yesterday. The Left has already created the narrative of racism and division, and they're going to stay there. Listen, I said it on Twitter, I'm a saying it here on your show.
Its people like Jussie Smollett is the reason why -- one of the reasons why our nation is still so racially divided. What the President has that -- who has done more for black Americans than any other President in the history of the presidency. People like Jussie Smollett and the Left -- because that's the only thing that they can sell, is to keep black people on their side, is to keep using fear, racism and division.
And then they trying to make Jussie the victim, when a reality -- he belongs in jail. He's the reason why blacks are hating whites, and white to hating blacks. When a reality, we have a sitting President just like you saw yesterday at the White House that is doing way more for black Americans and people of color in the history of the presidency of the United States of America.
It is foolish, it is preposterous and it's got to quit. And matter of fact, black people are getting tired of hearing the same old racists story--
INGRAHAM: Well, it's a nightmare for them --
BURNS: that Donald Trump is dumb is--
INGRAHAM: I want to go to Pastor Scott, because I got to get you all in here. I think they are freaking out -- the Democrats, because look around you, these policies are working. People might not look like every Tweet or might be upset about this comment or that comment over the past two and a half, three years. But the policies, Pastor, are working. And it's stunning. And it's like people don't want to take yes for an answer, because of politics, Pastor.
PASTOR DARRELL SCOTT, NATIONAL DIVERSITY COALITION FOR TRUMP: Yes, I think this country is more politically divided than it is racially divided. But that the political divide is hiding behind -- the Left is hiding behind race to feel this political divide.
And the truth of the matter is, the Left hasn't had anything to be outraged over in a long time. And so they're you know they can't get outraged over criminal justice reform. They can't get outraged over prison reform. They can't get outraged over low unemployment and historic levels of unemployment for African-Americans. They can't get outraged over the Opportunity Zone Act and an urban revitalization.
So they have to either dig up something old or try to manufacture something new, because they need this outrage to fuel their base so they can try to unseat this President. They're even outraged over a Mueller report now that hasn't even come out yet. They're mad about it. They're ready to sit new -- they're ready they indict Mueller now, because Mueller is not siding with them. It's crazy, it's ridiculous.
INGRAHAM: That's funny. That's a good line. All right, Ari, what can the White House do to get this message out to a wider public? Because I was watching this thing -- the raw feed last night of this event, and it was oversubscribed.
The first year it was a little harder to get a huge -- but now it's oversubscribed, because people are seeing the fruits of what Trump's economic policies are actually accomplishing for all Americans, especially the most underprivileged and that blue-collar middle class. So what can the White House do?
ARI FLEISHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, the White House is already doing it and doing it right. When the President repeatedly says African-American unemployment historic low, Hispanic unemployment historic low, they are delivering the message that people want to hear, because it's relevant in their lives.
And the more he surrounds himself with black audiences, talks to people and invites people in, is inclusive, the more he has a chance of having that message really reverberate.
INGRAHAM: But the media don't want to say it, Ari. The media do not report that. This was a huge crowd he had last night.
FLEISHER: We always know that about the media. The word will get around. There's another way around the media today. And then you nailed it, when you said that, Democrats worse fear is he does better with blacks. Republicans typically lose the black vote 90 to 10.
If Republicans -- Donald Trump loses it 85/15 or even 80 to 20, do you realize that will likely shut the Democrats out of the White House permanently if Republicans can make those kind of inroads into their historical overwhelmingly Democratic black community? Huge inroads and because of the strength of the economy, Trump can do it. More events, more events, more events.
INGRAHAM: Yes. More outreach, going to areas even if they're threatened against going into those areas like in Chicago during the campaign. All right, Pastor Burns and all of you, because no one else has played this.
I want to play more from what happened at last night's Black History Month celebration at the White House, especially some of the more -- there are poignant moments, powerful moments that came from the African-American supporters of what President Trump's policies are doing. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to thank the President and everybody that work so hard Jared for working so hard on this prison reform, First Step Act, because if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be standing before you all today with my with my daughter and my granddaughter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to thank God and also President Trump for turning the tables over in the temples and attacking the status quo that is hostile to the interests of poor people, and to giving low-income people an opportunity to help themselves, that's all they want. They want an opportunity to achieve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Pastor Burns, I was watching this, Pastor Scott was there as well. And I got teared up. I mean it was it was beautiful. And I know people going to say, "Oh, you just like Trump, that's why you're saying".
No, no, that was a beautiful moment in -- at a time where race relations -- we'll put up the graphic -- race relations are going in the wrong direction here. I want to show everybody this. Blacks and whites, do you think race relations are very good or somewhat good?
In 2013 black said 66% thought they were very good, OK? By 2016, the end of Obama's term, they were -- it was down to 49%. In 2018, it's down to 40%. He's doing better among whites with race relations -- question. But who's to blame for this Pastor Burns?
BURNS: Well, it's clearly not President Trump. But the fact of the matter is President Trump has done absolutely amazing by people of color African- Americans in this nation. President Trump has helped the HBCUs. President Trump has created Opportunity Zones.
President Trump is putting money in the most geographical urban areas that is helping create jobs for black people in this country. Presidents has created the First Step Act. President Trump is overly -- overly showing that he is going to be -- and is the most supportive President of black Americans in this country.
He said it from day one, back in 2015, that he was going to be the most supportive, most active, most for black Americans in this nation.
INGRAHAM: He said, what he have to lose.
BURNS: --and he is proving just that.
INGRAHAM: Yes. Remember that, what he's got to lose.
BURNS: Exactly. That in the brain what he said to me. He looked at me, he said, "What do you think about" -- he said, "what do you think".
INGRAHAM: That was a great line too.
BURNS: What the H he had to lose? Well, you know, me being the Pastor -- I'd say, well, Mr. Trump, I want to say H, but I will see what you got right lose.
INGRAHAM: All right. Pastor Scott, I want to read something from the Chicago Tribune, because as this Smollett story collapsed, and so there's so many hate crimes that are originally thought to be true then they turn out not to be true. Not that there aren't hate crimes, because there are, and they should be prosecuted.
But when the Jussie Smollett case kind of starts collapsing, this is what columnist for the Chicago Tribune are writing. This is Dahleen Glanton. "Just because one person lied about a racist and homophobic incident, does not let all bigots off the hook. There are real victims here. These angry Trump supporters contend.
Although they helped put so-called "bigot-in-chief" in the White House, they insist they are being unfairly blamed for forcing America down this treacherous and agonizing road of intolerance". So it's kind of like heads they win, tails we lose.
SCOTT: Yes. You know what, we're where did this angry Trump supporter --
INGRAHAM: I'm not great mode.
SCOTT: --narrative come from? It seems like the Trump supporters -- we're not angry, we're glad. Our man won the election. We're having rallies that were putting tens of thousands in. It's a good time for Trump supporters.
The Left is the angry crowd. The Left the ones that are rioting. They rioted throughout the 2016 campaign. They're the ones of resistance and opposition, and Maxine Waters -- mad Maxine is angry and everybody's so angry. They need to take a chill pill, sit back and enjoy this ride, because this President is not only--
Listen, as far as black history is concerned, he's not simply celebrating black history; President Trump is making black history. He's doing historic things in the black community that no other President has ever done. I've lived through 12 Presidents. I was born doing Eisenhower's administration.
I said it before, I repeat it again. He's the most Pro black in the sense of being proactive rather than reactive. He's the most pro black President, proactive president towards the black community in my lifetime.
INGRAHAM: I hope every young--
SCOTT: I've said it and I repeat.
INGRAHAM: Yes. I hope every young African-American in this country -- or it doesn't matter if you're young, I guess, hears what we're talking about tonight. And Ari, this makes me so happy. I mean, I said this last night, the Democrats seem to have a very dark and ominous pessimistic view of the world right now.
The country is a racist country, it's hot, it's anti-Semitic, it's anti- immigrant. It's all very negative. I think Trump's like -- I'm impatient for results. I want this to get better and better and better. So I find the optimism is on his side and the pessimism is on the other side. Is that is that accurate? Do you agree, and I have to ask you something about Mueller. But just quickly on that.
FLEISHER: 100 percent and if you want proof of it look at what Joe Biden said in the 2012 race when he said Republicans want to put y'all back in chains, he said to a African-American group. Think about that, desperate to win, the Democrats will paint who anybody disagrees with their ideology as being pro-slavery, that's what a sitting Vice President did.
And remember, Laura, they accused George W. Bush of being a racist and ran ads against him, they accused McCain, Romney, Trump and whoever follows Trump. It's their formula. It's their playbook, even if there are no facts behind it.
INGRAHAM: Mueller report not out next week, Ari news broke late today maybe the week after advice to the administration. They're going over to Vietnam, obviously a big summit. What should they say, if anything?
FLEISHER: Well, frankly, I'm surprised everybody is trying to say that this is going to show that there's no collusion. That it's better for Trump than people thought. I've never seen going into something like this where you play up your expectations, and that's what they're doing.
I don't think anybody knows what's going to be in that report, so my advice is keep your mouth shut and your powder dry and just be ready.
INGRAHAM: Gentlemen, thank you so much, fantastic conversation, as always. And up next, who are the biggest media offenders over the past few days -- long list. Hemingway and Lord react to the biggest lowlights of the week. It's going to be fun.
INGRAHAM: The dominant liberal media really says some wacky things, we all know that. But this week they've taken it to a whole new low level, and we're going to play you some of the more outrageous examples, just because it's Friday.
Joining me now is Jeffrey Lord, Former CNN commentator, and Contributing Editor for the American Spectator, and author of the forthcoming book, "Swamp Wars"; along with Mollie Hemingway, Senior Editor at The Federalist and a Fox News Contributor.
All right. Let's begin guys with the reaction to the biggest story the week, of course, it was the Smollett saga. Here is Zerlina Maxwell, from MSNBC patting herself on the back for believing Jussie.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZERLINA MAXWELL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: The point that folks are saying that you should be feel stupid for believing him or somehow you jumped to a conclusion, which is not what was happening. I feel bad for the people who did not default to that empathy, who think that this is a game, who are gloating today. Those people have something fundamentally wrong with them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: OK. So I just want to point out Mollie that this is after he was charged.
MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, CONTRIBUTOR, SENIOR EDITOR, THE FEDERALIST: Yes, I mean, the -- you absolutely should be empathetic toward actual victims of crimes.
HEMINGWAY: Reporters have an obligation to be skeptical. They should always be checking things out. That's the old adage if your mother says she loves, you check it out. In this case, there were many reasons why this story shouldn't have been believed from the outset, and there was no evidence to support it. So this is just -- that's just a journalist--
INGRAHAM: Now, Jeff, were you amazed at how quickly the response became, "yes if what they say he did he did. It's despicable. But Trump's people are all racist anyways". Were you surprised at how quickly they reverted back to trashing the Trump supporters or no?
JEFFREY LORD, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, AMERICAN SPECTATOR: Not in the least. And, frankly, I think that's one of the reasons behind what happened in the first place. I mean, if you're going to do a phony crime, you could have picked any number of people who attacked you, specifically Trump supporters were picked.
And I would suggest that they were picked because he knew the reaction from the media would be exactly what it was. They would believe him instantaneously and blamed the President himself and blamed his supporters. And I think, there are a lot of people out there that are just utterly sick of this after this, after the Covington situation, after the BuzzFeed story.
I mean, over and over and over, it's the same old thing. And boy I can tell you, people out there, I gave a talk last night, I mentioned this lawsuit from the Covington attorney there for Nick Sandmann. And all of a sudden, I said, they've sued The Washington Post for $250 million, the entire audience spontaneously burst into a thunderous applause.
LORD: I mean, they have had it to the max.
INGRAHAM: Yes, litigation doesn't die in the darkness apparently. All right, here's the next example guys, let's check out what Zach Stafford. Now, he's the Editor in Chief of The Advocate, it's a gay publication. Yesterday, suggesting that Smollett didn't make this all up, it's the police who framed him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZACH STAFFORD, EDITOR IN CHIEF, THE ADVOCATE: To have a police department that hasn't been as cooperative as they have been this round, do not openly give information. Do openly lie and mishold information in cases. And then to know that they are openly -- have openly supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election, a lot of activists on the ground are saying, "Wait what's going on here".
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: A lot of activists. Some say, like -- Jeff and Mollie it's like some say, so Donald Trump apparently is pulling all the strings.
HEMINGWAY: Well -- and the thing is, funny, how they go back and forth on whether to trust cops or not. It actually is true that he's only been charged and you have to make--
INGRAHAM: Due process.
HEMINGWAY: --and that's an important thing. This is something that you don't see any skepticism when it's actually about the FBI investigating anyone who had anything to do with the Trump campaign. There's no -- there's just complete fealty to the FBI in that case, but.
INGRAHAM: Jeff, I'm watching this and thinking, do they actually understand how -- just to be charitable, silly they look. I mean, look just silly. The guy had to Nigerian brothers buying rope and buying red hats and buying gloves on camera. OK. There's apparently checks -- written checks -- that's brilliant, writing a check.
I mean, this is -- and they were still questioning -- it's the cops who would force them to buy the stuff at the local hardware store? It's craziness.
LORD: Well, that's right, it is crazy. I mean, I've long since come to the conclusion there are a lot of crazy people on the American Left. But one of the serious things here, Laura, the -- perhaps the most angriest voice about all of this yesterday was the Police Commissioner --Police Superintendent in Chicago, Eddie Johnson, who was an African-American. He was really angry.
And then now going to try and say that what, he is trying to cover something up or he's a secret Trump supporter? I mean, this is nonsense. This is nonsense on stilts. And I thought frankly the Police Superintendent gave a superb statement just in general about all this kind of thing and how damaging it has been.
INGRAHAM: Well, real victims of crime and the focus should be on the real victims of crime, not on fake crimes which are completely choreographed for political purposes or career purposes.
All right, let's move on to Late Night, Stephen Colbert, finally -- finally called out Smollett just last night, let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW": This story involves race, sexuality, politics and violence, so I need to tread very lightly here and simply say, "What a (BEEP)". Smollett cash himself as a fake national symbol for our real racial and political divide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: But Mollie, somehow, he failed to address his guest. Actress Ellen Page's comment earlier this month accusing Trump and Vice President Pence of inciting violence against gay people.
HEMINGWAY: It is so interesting to me that when this story broke--
INGRAHAM: Where is Ellen Page by the way? Has she even spoken out?
HEMINGWAY: She needs to address it. What she said was horrible, even --
INGRAHAM: Disgusting, speaking of disgusting.
HEMINGWAY: This story ran because of who we were told were the aggressors.
INGRAHAM: MAGA-hatted guys who were targeting him because he was black and gay. That's the trifecta for the left.
HEMINGWAY: When the story falls apart all of sudden, we don't have those details. We do think through what that significance was of him saying that this was who attacked him. And it is a very important part of the story. It's why the story was such a big deal in addition to him being a celebrity. And now to ignore that part of the story, as Colbert does here, is inappropriate.
INGRAHAM: And Jeffrey, really quick, the idea of a noose around someone's neck, boy, that takes us right back to the pre civil rights south and horrific acts of violence being committed against black Americans. You're a young kid and you see a celebrity has a noose around his neck, what does that make you feel? Think about what that does to the minds of young people in this country. That struck me last night especially.
JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Exactly. It is terribly ugly. And as someone who is old enough to remember this in real time and remember the civil rights and the firehoses and the police dogs, this was a terrible, terrible thing. And the symbolism of that was just disgusting. And it ought to make people furious. Stephen Colbert ought to have Ellen Page back on his show and she ought to apologize. But I don't think that will happen.
INGRAHAM: Jeff, she is vitriolically anti-Trump, and I don't think she is going to apologize. I would be shocked if she did. Jeff, Mollie, thanks so much.
Up next, at least one illegal alien with the help of advocacy groups has filed a lawsuit against individual federal immigration officers for treatment during a worksite raid, poor baby. Were the agents just doing their job? A retired ICE special agent has something to say. Don't miss it.
ANITA VOGEL, CORRESPONDENT: Live from America's News Headquarters, I'm Anita Vogel.
Another 1,000 U.S. troops headed to our southern border according to two senior defense officials. This group of troops will join the 5,000 active- duty troops already sent to the border. They're set to arrive March 1st. The Pentagon also wants to use military construction funds to build the president's border wall on the border. Officials saying that reallocating that money would not require Congressional approval.
Musician R. Kelly is in legal trouble once again. A grand jury indictment was unsealed today charging him with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. And three of the four victims were underage when the alleged crimes took place. Kelly will be tried in the same Chicago courthouse where he beat accusations of child pornography 11 years ago. If convicted, he could face up to 70 years in prison.
I'm Anita Vogel. Now back to “The Ingraham Angle.”
INGRAHAM: Immigration advocacy groups have filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of more than 100 workers detained during a raid at a Tennessee meat packing plant last year. At least one of the plaintiffs is illegal, but many others are suspected to be as well. The suit names nine federal officials, and, get this, 30 unnamed ICE agents, claiming the workers were targeted, saying in part, quote, "The officers' goal that day was far more extensive than what the search warrant authorized. They planned to detain and arrest every worker in the plant who was or appeared to be Latino.
Joining me now is Claude Arnold, a retired special agent in ICE. Claude, explain for the audience, who might find this disturbing, these allegations, why in your view this raid was not outside standard operating procedures?
CLAUDE ARNOLD, FORMER ICE SPECIAL AGENT: But factually it wasn't. This is another tactic from the left to resist the immigration enforcement of the Trump administration. This is a frivolous lawsuit the purpose of which is to deter any individual ICE agents from doing their jobs. And I say that because you will notice they are being sued in their individual capacities. The government isn't being sued. They are being sued in their individual capacities. And there were things that were done very unorthodox in relation to this lawsuit, like researching the agents home addresses and serving them with their lawsuits at their home addresses. These are all intimidation tactics. Normally when an agent gets sued it's served upon government counsel at a government office. It's things like this --
INGRAHAM: Claude, so I understand this, you think it is intimidating people from becoming ICE agents in the first place?
ARNOLD: Perhaps, or actual ICE agents from doing their jobs for arresting illegal aliens. That the bottom line.
INGRAHAM: They'll think, what's the point? They make $60,000 a year, about, $60,000, something like that. That is not nothing, it's OK. But they're putting their lives at risk. And now they are calling racist, sexist, you're being unfair. I think a lot of people would be thinking to themselves I'll do something else.
ARNOLD: Right, exactly. And here is the other part. So the affiant on the search warrant wasn't even an ICE agent. It was an IRS special agent. The investigation was predicated upon suspicious activity reports. It was a financial investigation.
Now, the motivation, or part of the financial scheme involved the employment of illegal aliens, so of course, ICE HSI is involved. And of course, they anticipated the possibility that they would encounter illegal aliens at the plant which is why ICE was involved. And of course, their suspicions were proven correct.
But they were executing a federal criminal search warrant, signed by a federal judge, and I don't care if you are doing a search warrant for drugs, for financial violations, whatever, you secure the location. You detain all occupants of that location, and you interview them.
INGRAHAM: That's just how it works.
ARNOLD: And in doing so they determine, guess what, these people are here illegally. And so they arrested them. Of course. It's standard procedure.
INGRAHAM: Obama never did any of this, by the way. Obama's ICE did any of this. Come on.
ARNOLD: These kinds of investigation were done under the Obama administration with the exception that we at ICE were given specific instructions to try not to arrest as many illegal aliens as possible, or to arrest as few illegal aliens as possible.
INGRAHAM: You people are, mean -- mean, mean, mean. Claude, thanks for the analysis there.
Attorneys say it is the first lawsuit filed against a largescale worksite that was conducted by the Trump administration, but I don't remember, again, anger by these same advocacy groups for many of the Obama era raid. When Obama took office, ICE workplace raids from 503 in 2008 to more than 8,000 in 2009. You tell me that these lawsuits aren't politically motivated?
Here now, Art Arthur of the Center for Immigration Studies, and immigration attorney Gunther Sanabria. Gunther, as Claude just explained, this was not an illegal immigration raid. This was authorized according to the facts that they had, mostly it looks like it was financial crimes involved. This kind of part and part of what you do. You see problems on site, you have to detain individuals and find out what's going on.
GUNTHER SANABRIA, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: Correct, but the problem is how they did it. There were Latinos in there, there were immigrants in there. There were illegal immigrants in there. There were people with papers in there. And why were they not considered victims? If this was a raid and the owner of this business had been charged with poor conditions, abuses, maybe labor law violations, why were there not agents there that spoke Spanish and asked these people if they were victims of any kind of abuse? That's not what happened. They raided the place. They put them in handcuffs. They push them, they shove them, they insult them. And there was even racial slurs thrown in there. So why do we do it this way? That's a problem.
INGRAHAM: It's a meat processing plant, so some of the concern, Art, would be that there are a lot sharp pieces of metal around. This is an active factory processing center, lots and lots of knives and other implements. I'm sure if they are worried about all this stuff. I don't carry out these raids, but you don't give someone a subscription to a magazine and say here, can I help you? What else would you like? Would you like a blanket? That's not how it works. It's the real world.
ART ARTHUR, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: But this is the situation where I think the facts are very much in dispute. I was the sanctions counselor in San Francisco, I had jurisdiction over two-thirds of the state of California. This is completely from what has been alleged, completely the opposite of the way that these audits are carried out. You need reasonable suspicion to stop somebody. You actually need to get a confession or have strong evidence to actually make an arrest of illegal alienage in the United States. So quite frankly, I find the facts of this to be a little bit concerning. I don't necessarily believe the facts. It will come out in court.
But the other thing is, there is plainly an officer security issue for the reasons that you stated. This is a meatpacking plant that actually got cited for a number of violations, I believe, thereafter. So quite frankly, anything could have happened. They had to control the situation and they had to do their jobs.
INGRAHAM: What do you do in a situation like this? You do have a lot of Latino workers. You probably have some non-Latino workers. What do you do? You can see on the surface, are you just pulling -- you're just questioning Latino guys over here, or gals, or whatever they may be, or are you questioning all people, are you stopping all people? That will be key to this case because otherwise it will look like, what, profiling, you're illegal because you are Latino, which is not cool. That is not a cool thing.
SANABRIA: I agree with that. Why not just come in like normal people? Every time they raid a place where there are Latinos has to be a valid situation. Why can't you come in, ask a person, ask everybody for their names or documents or identification. There was never a case where they raid a place where there are Latinos and you find guns. The Latinos go out the door, guns blazing. That doesn't happen. There is always a peaceful situation, a peaceful arrest. But every time ICE agents come in, in a violent way.
INGRAHAM: I hear what you are saying, but I think it is also the case that we want everything to be this perfect deal, a perfect situation where everybody is going to be a good actor and there's going to be no problems. But if you are one of those offers going into one of these plants, you've probably seen a lot in your day, I imagine. I'm trying to put myself in their shoes. I think we should blame the employers, frankly, here. E- Verify should be the law of the land, and if you violate E-Verify, the sanctions should be so onerous on you that you either have shut down for a while or you are shut down, period. That is where it should be. The workers, you have got to deal with the workers, but the owners of these business are unscrupulous completely.
ARTHUR: And none of these audits, these raids, if you want to call them that, would be necessary if we had E-Verify. E-Verify is an electronic based web system that in almost real time can identify the employment --.
INGRAHAM: Why don't we want it, Art? When I say "we," why doesn't the Chamber of Commerce want E-Verify?
ARTHUR: Because they want the workers. They want the --
INGRAHAM: They want cheap workers.
ARTHUR: They want cheap workers.
INGRAHAM: They want to put downward pressure on wages. They don't want to see rising wages for Americans. They love the glut of workers. And they are all worried, by the way, that wages are going up. I've never seen anything like it. Wages are going up, we have got to do something about it. What? Don't we want to be in an economy where wages are able to rise for people at the lower and middle class workers? That is what I grew up in. And the wages and blue-collar people are so important.
ARTHUR: We do. And that is a critical point to make.
INGRAHAM: It's ridiculous. Whether this raid happened or not, the wages should be going up.
ARTHUR: It's just for that reason. They exist to protect the --
INGRAHAM: Gunther, can you believe you and I kind of agreed on something? That's going to crash the ratings here on “The Ingraham Angle.” All right, great conversation.
Coming up, what the powerful do not want you to know about marijuana legalization? That debate, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They say you oppose legalizing it.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, D-CALIF., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's not true.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know.
HARRIS: I joke about it, half joking, my family is from Jamaica, are you kidding me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever smoked?
HARRIS: I have. And I inhaled. I did inhale.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: There is that laugh again. Well, that was 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Kamala Harris. She was citing her Jamaican roots when she was asked about legalizing marijuana and why she smoked marijuana in the past. But her Jamaican born dad, Donald Harris, he is not laughing. He is saying, quote, "My dear departed grandmothers as well as my deceased parents must be turning in their grave right now to see their families name, reputation, and proud Jamaican identity being connected in any way, jokingly or not, with the fraudulent stereotype of the pot smoking joy-seeker, and in the pursuit of identity politics." Awkward.
Family squabble aside, Kamala is tapping into the wide acceptance of marijuana in the country, and she thinks she's going to get political juice from embracing it. And more states and more politicians look to line their pockets with the revenue from marijuana legalization.
Joining me now is Alex Berenson. I had Alex on the podcast a couple weeks ago. I got a huge reaction. He's a former "New York Times" reporter. Get this, he's the author of a new book, you've got to read this. It's called "Tell Your Children, The Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence." Alex, people think "New York Times" reporter, former current, doesn't matter, why would he write a book about the dangers of marijuana. So here's the question. Why the heck did you?
ALEX BERENSON, FORMER "NEW YORK TIMES" REPORTER: It was really my wife who encouraged me to write the book. She is a psychiatrist. She deals with the criminally mentally ill. And she would tell me, she'd come home from her job at a forensic hospital which is really where they send the criminally insane, and she would tell me about case after case where people had committed horrible crimes under the in fact or who had become schizophrenic after years of using.
And, in my grand knowledge, I would say to her, that sounds like "Reefer Madness." That is not true. That can't be real. And she is the one who trained at Harvard and Columbia. She's the one who sees these people every day. She said to me, you know what, maybe you should look at the studies yourself. And when I did, I was shocked at the strength of the science showing that marijuana is linked to mental illness. It is linked to psychosis, and then psychosis, which is a break from reality, is linked to crime.
INGRAHAM: Alex, I'm thinking of someone like John Boehner who was former Speaker of the House. Now, he was staunchly against marijuana legalization. And then I see him talking about a year or so ago, suddenly it's the big switcheroo from Boehner. Let's watch what he says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOEHNER, R-FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: It's time for the federal government to take another look at this. And I think de-scheduling this drug, allowing for the research, would be very helpful to the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: What is also helpful is that he's a pot advisory board member on one of these big marijuana companies. And I imagine he's getting paid. I don't know for a fact, but I can't imagine he's out there switching his position for nothing.
BERENSON: He is also a smoker. So you know what, here's the thing. If we are going to legalize this drug, and we're going to say, you know what, this is a dangerous recreational intoxicant. Cigarettes are legal, alcohol is legal, people can go gamble their houses away, we think marijuana fits in that category. We're going to warn people about it and let them make their own choices, so be it. I don't think that is the right choice, but so be it.
But let's not pretend that this is medically necessary for people. And let's really not pretend that this is a good idea for teenagers, that this is a good idea for people whose brains are still developing, that this is a good idea for people who have psychiatric conditions who have anxiety or depression. Let's be honest about what the risks here are.
And the is called "Tell Your Children" because I want people to be able to have those conversations with their kids. I want people who are in their 20s who might be using and seeing psychiatric side effects that they didn't expect who are feeling weirdly more depressed or are having weird thoughts, to have some idea that, you know what, this is not -- this is not benign drug. And there is a low to this high.
INGRAHAM: Well, and I would also remind everybody that, just because alcohol is bad and other drugs are bad, it doesn't mean this is good.
BERENSON: That is absolutely right.
INGRAHAM: Alcohol is bad. Well, yes, so we need another thing that screws up young people. I've got to say, I find, it's so absurd, there is no medical, peer-reviewed research, just very quickly, Alex, that demonstrates a medical benefit to pot. Am I right about that?
BERENSON: There are very narrow conditions where it's been shown to do some good, and CBT, which is the non-intoxicating chemical, there are some narrow conditions where it's been proven to do some good, but for the most part you're right. The left has done a fantastic job of confusing people about this issue. Cannabis advocates have done a fantastic job. And frankly, my old boss, my old employer, "The New York Times," "The Washington Post," these places have not pushed back on this. And it's a real failure of journalism.
INGRAHAM: Alex, we're going to keep on this. Thank you for joining us and writing this book.
BERENSON: Thanks for having me.
INGRAHAM: And up next, the Last Bite. You don't want to miss it.
INGRAHAM: Well, it's Friday, and it's time for the Last Bite.
All right, legendary NBA star Charles Barkley trying to find the humor in the Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES BARKLEY, FORMER NBA PLAYER: America, let me just tell you something, do not commit crimes with checks.
BARKLEY: You cannot -- if you are going to break the law, do not write a check.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you write a check, then what?
BARKLEY: And never used an ATM. Now, I heard you can only get $200 out of it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charles, Charles, stop, literally.
BARKLEY: You have to make a lot of stops at the ATM. You know what you should have did? Just go out to Liam Neeson's neighborhood. You could have solved all your problems.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: What is in that coffee cup, that's my question.
That's all the time we have tonight. Don't forget my podcast, all the episodes, you can get them at PodcastOne.com. So make sure you go online. Check it out. You're going to love it. You'll get all my impersonations I can't do on TV. They don't let me. Or you go to iTunes.
Shannon Bream and the "Fox News @ Night" team take it from here.
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