Kellyanne Conway reacts to anonymous 'resistance' NYT op-ed

This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," September 5, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: It's all the time we have left. Let not your heart be troubled. The news continues. Laura, too much news. I don't want to talk tonight.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: All right, Hannity. I'm not going to steal your time, you're not going to steal mine. I hear you were like stealing Tucker's time or something.

HANNITY: Steal? Steal?

INGRAHAM: Yes, you take other people's time like mine.

HANNITY: You see, I told mine, I say go and look what you do, you start yapping.

INGRAHAM: I have to tease you. People are looking forward to that every night. You had a great show as always, Hannity.

HANNITY: Have a great show.

INGRAHAM: All right, talk to you soon. Welcome to 'The Ingraham Angle,' I'm Laura Ingraham. It is a very busy Wednesday night in the nation's capital. Treason, that's what the president's response was to an anonymous op-ed written by a senior administration official who claims there is a resistance movement inside the White House.

Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway will be here in moments to react. But first, journalism, R.I.P., that's the focus of tonight's angle.

This is what it's come to. The once revered in "New York Times," the paper of record has now become the paper of rumor. As part of its unrelenting vendetta against President Trump, "The Times" today published a column by someone whom they do not identify.

The senior Trump staffer under the cloak of anonymity spends a wildly unflattering tale of a president supposedly unhinged from reality making impulsive decisions that supposedly blindside and frustrate top officials and perpetual damage control. Of course, almost on cue, the press went wild.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN: In a stunning new op-ed in "The New York Times," an unnamed top Trump administration official excoriates the president and reveals the resistance locked within the Trump team trying to protect the country from the commander-in-chief.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is an extraordinary piece in "The New York Times" that really backs up Bob Woodward's book.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The column in "The New York Times" is extraordinary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've never seen anything like this in modern presidential history.

BRAIN STELTER, CNN HOST: This is incredibly unusual, almost unprecedented.


INGRAHAM: OK, I'm sorry, I just watched them and I howled. It's like the roadrunner and the coyote all over again. The gist of the piece, by the way is that you, the people, are lucky that Trump is checked by a noble band of staffers, the writer included of course. They refer to themselves as part of the resistance. The column further alleges that the root of the problem is the president's amorality. He is not moored to any discernible first principles.

Well, America first is either too difficult a concept for the columnist to understand or he just disagrees with altogether. The president's agenda was clearly laid out in the campaign and pursued aggressively in his first 20 months in office. Lower taxes, less regulation, stronger border enforcement, less military interventionism and fairer trade deals. Oh, and let's not forget his pledge to appoint judges who are faithful to their Article III duties under the constitution.

Brett Kavanaugh comes to mind. If Mr. or Ms. Anonymous loathes the Trump agenda so much, well he or she has no business being in the White House. This is not a loyal public servant. This is a disgruntled employee part of the failed GOP establishment that lost power and now want it back by any means necessary. Anonymous is a mole and a fraud.

You know, this has the feel of the flimflam array of the Steele dossier, doesn't it? Constructed in advance by Trump's vicious political opponents. And as with the dossier, the American people have no way of judging the veracity of its outlandish and defamatory claims. So we are supposed to just take the word of Trump's adversaries, no questions asked. How convenient.

The column is rife with all these dramatic flourishes intended to titillate and feed the media beast, like this line, "the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic." How about his actions? Policies that have improved the lives of millions of Americans, including African-Americans, Latino-Americans, women, small business owners, et cetera, et cetera. Is all that detrimental to the republic?

Anonymous claims he wants the president to be successful and does admit some of these accomplishments, but he insists that these successes have come despite, not because of, the president's leadership style which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective. OK, sure, you know, Trump can be impatient and loses his cool, you know, and he can be frustrated as all of us are with the pace of Washington. And of course also with the media. Big whoop.

And if I had to guess, and I'm just guessing here, I would say that somewhere along the line Mr. No-name probably had his little feelings hurt by the president. Two words. Man up. If you think so highly of yourself and really stand by your claims, step forward and identify yourself.

The kicker in this piece is when anonymous claims that the cabinet officials, so distraught by the president even toyed with the idea of invoking the 25th Amendment. This blared across all of cable news.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It lays out the path for removal of the president in cases of "inability" and that's the term that has never been defined or tested.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The idea that the 25th Amendment whatever be used is really hard to contemplate that we are at that point.

NICOLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: Why won't Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell today convene a hearing on the 25th Amendment? I would call up political appointees from every agency and ask who talked about invoking the 25th Amendment and what did you see?


INGRAHAM: Thank you, William O'Douglas. Well, make no mistake, this is part of a persistent drumbeat. It started in the wake of the election, the deep state with its faceless nameless sources launched their own internal campaign against Trump. Then, the beat was taken up by everyone from Michael Wolfe to even the esteemed Bob Woodward.

The president should be judged by his policies and the results that he delivers for the American people, not by the embittered tales of a would-be whistle-blower hiding behind the skirts of the great lady. And that's the angle.

Joining me now for reaction, White House counselor to the president, excuse me, my friend of too many years, Kellyanne Conway. All right, Kellyanne, this is wild. I mean, I have never seen this and I've been in this town for 30 years. You escaped to New York for a while but I've been in this town a long time.

An anonymous staffer strikes of some relationship with "The New York Times" and now they are convinced to pen this op-ed. What are your thoughts?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: I'm not sure it matters. There are op-eds like that in "The New York Times" every day. It's just a different byline or I guess a non-byline here. I just have to correct the record. It's not clear to us in any way that it somebody in the White House.

And they are saying senior administration official, that could be many people. There are I think thousands of political appointees, hundreds of folks who would qualify under that title alone. But to your point, presidents aren't judged by the noise or even the silence that is occurring at any one moment or any one week, but the usual critics and naysayers.

They are judged by the metrics. And when I hear people on cable news, even today in your montage, I confess, I hadn't seen any of it before now. They say words like historic, unprecedented and stunning. That's exactly the way we describe the economy. It's exactly the way we describe the way he's chopped on all the uber burdensome (inaudible) of an unnecessary regulation.

This is a historically and unprecedented economic boom time and the Democrats would take that away. And he knows that because you saw the president today respond the way many of us who have the privilege of working in the White House see him respond all the time, not fuming, not infuriated, not isolated.

He took it right to what was already a planned event with the sheriffs, who are lined up there to thank this president for being pro-law enforcement, to making sure they have the resources and respect they deserve, and he took it out of his pocket and he read his statement and he pushed back on this op-ed.


INGRAHAM: Any of these things that are in this op-ed ring true at all in the slightest?

CONWAY: What rings true to me, is that people are trying to have it both ways. They want to serve in the government and they are pretending that they are somehow protecting the country from Donald Trump. You see that all throughout the Woodward book --

INGRAHAM: But is this a fault of staffing. We have a very small presidential personnel office compared to Obama, like half the staffers last time I checked.


CONWAY: It really depends who it is though. It really depends who it is. It depends who it is.

INGRAHAM: But we've always been concerned from the beginning that there were people in this administration who did not buy into the Trump agenda. Look down upon it, we could thwart the agenda whether it's the wall, and they were kind of laughing at the agenda. And I was worried about it. A lot of likeminded people who were with Trump from the very beginning who were very worried -- I'm still worried about it.

CONWAY: I hear you.

INGRAHAM: We got an op-ed in "The New York Times."

CONWAY: Yes, indeed. And it really depends who it is, but I also think that's not particularly relevant, meaning like, who it is? But what I want to say is --

INGRAHAM: It could be someone in the West Wing.

CONWAY: It just -- it could be.

INGRAHAM: And that's a problem.

CONWAY: Here's what I want to say about all of that. That would be a problem. And here's what I want to say about all that. The president said, I mean, today I thought really rang true. He said "The New York Times" had apologized to its readers because they got the election story wrong.

He's got a good point, which is it's still not clear that many who cover him every day and criticize (inaudible), understand how he got here and what he's done since he got here and what it all means to people. And that's incredibly important because look at the histrionics on Capitol Hill yesterday, look at that difference between people trying to protest and disrupt.

INGRAHAM: Well, we're getting into that --

CONWAY: A hearing -- no, a hearing for a qualified individual who today basically schooled some of the senators who is on the Constitution.

INGRAHAM: That was embarrassing.

CONWAY: And the point I'm making to you is who put him there? That is a product of Donald Trump --

INGRAHAM: That's an angle? That's an agenda.

CONAWAY: -- decision-making processes. And so -- and speaking of Speakers Ryan and Leader McConnell, they were at the White House today and you know what came of it? You know what came of these meetings? That they are going to -- the house is going to vote on making permanent the individual tax cuts. So the people are saying, oh, they should invoke this amendment -- they are actually continuing with the president's agenda. They know it's working.

INGRAHAM: But this drumbeat, and it's with Woodward who has won, you know, every journalistic awards, well-respected. By the way, did you see this like you're mentioned in this Woodward deal? Like this is the goofiest -- I don't know if you guys --

CONWAY: Yes, I'm thrilled.

INGRAHAM: This is one of the goofiest, goofiest things I have ever seen. This is a transcript of a call that says nothing. Were the president is actually, I think really cool with Woodward saying, well, I'm not going to (inaudible) going to be a lousy book. I'm not really the -- he's like Kellyanne and like there's a part where -- and he talks about Kellyanne -- it's likes so idiotic, like who cares.

I got to play for you something that John Kerry, former Secretary of State, Democrat obviously, Obama, said tonight on CNN. Let's watch.


JOHN KERRY, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: This is a genuine constitutional crisis. This is a moment where it's a crisis of conscience for people in the United States Senate on the other side of the aisle where they have been willing to be more protective of their chairmanships, of their party, of their president than they have of the constitution and the institutions themselves.


INGRAHAM: Constitutional crisis, but you see this building, from whether it's goofy Omarosa or Woodward to this, Michael Wolfe, it goes on and on.

CONWAY: Look, there are rumors that John Kerry wants to run and lose again for president, that's his right. It's a free country. He can do that. He's over the age of 35, go for it. Joe Biden wants to do the same thing. You saw a lot of the 2020 aspirants yesterday trying to embarrass Brett Kavanaugh, but they really embarrassed themselves and the people who were there protesting on their behalf.

And the one thing I don't see in the Woodward book which I think is very fascinating is Russia collusion. Oh, Kellyanne, why is that relevant? He didn't say he was out. The media spent more time on that story than any --


CONWAY: But is it in there? In other words, if you are a journalist who took down Richard Nixon, if you are deeply respected in many corners in Washington, D.C., wouldn't somebody who had evidence of that come to you? Wouldn't it leak out when somebody say --

INGRAHAM: -- there's no Russia collusion. This is why they're going --


CONWAY: But that's important. That's actually important because they are going to say why did she talk about that? We're talking about -- because they pivot. When they have nothing to say they move to the next --

INGRAHAM: You did an interview with Woodward, yes?

CONWAY: I did, early on when he came to the White House and very early on when we got there.

INGRAHAM: And what did you --

CONWAY: And then a year and a half later or so I went to have lunch with him to find out about the book and what else and so -- but I am of course aboveboard about that.



CONWAY: I actually told the president directly above board.


INGRAHAM: I don't like people who go to their car and write memos to the file like Comey. I don't like people who write anonymous op-eds because it's a loserville. It's people who are afraid to put their names. If you're a whistleblower, you step forward and you actually use your name.

CONWAY: But that's why so much of the book is not new because it's the fourth consecutive book that I can see where certain people are trying to feed their own emotions and egos about how brilliant they were on the campaign --


CONWAY: And it's just that -- so that's a little tired, but what I wanted to tell you, too, is I think that call is important because Woodward said that he tried through six or at seven different people to get an interview with the president and so I said would you please give the president all the names because the only one he know is mine and I don't think that's been revealed yet because of course there are sources in the book --

Look, many of the accounts are almost a first person account of some former colleague and I think that's very disappointing. It's very disappointing that some people went on the record and they have -- General Jones in Obama's White House, he left after the Woodward book came out about -- called "Obama's Wars" because he was the NSA. He was the National Security --

INGRAHAM: -- from the first week of the administration -- we're out of time, but first week of the administration, there started to be leaks. Before -- actually two weeks before the inauguration leak, leak, leak --

CONWAY: Well the leaks aren't difficult --

INGRAHAM: From the beginning of the administration there were leakers.

CONWAY: -- leakers fall into two big categories. People who say they never talk to the media, hate the media, oh, I'm so afraid to go on "The Ingraham Angle," Kellyanne, how do you do it. I can never talk. They talk to media all day long. The other category is people who never get bad press so, obviously that one be you or me. But people never get bad press, the leakers.

INGRAHAM: Kellyanne, thank you so much for coming in. I thought it was just a fascinating conversation with Bob Woodward. They gave him a page of this ridiculous --

CONWAY: You and I are not anonymous.

INGRAHAM: Yes, exactly All right, there were fireworks a today at Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing with protesters still spouting off while Democrats simply attempted to make a name for themselves.



SEN. DICK DURBIN, D—ILL.: I am prepared to suggest to the committee and ask the committee humbly please withhold further hearings until you disclosed everything. Why won't you do that?


DURBIN: What we have heard is the noise of democracy. This is what happens in a free country when people can stand up and speak and not be jailed, imprisoned, tortured or killed because of it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no place in democracy for all of you who support this, for all of you who support this, it is un-American.

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, D—CONN.: It is unprecedented for a Supreme Court nominee to be named by a president who is an unindicted coconspirator.


INGRAHAM: Oh, my gosh. Joining me now for reaction one of the senators who had a chance to questions Judge Kavanaugh today, Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina. I think the news cycle took over the confirmation for the most part today. But the tactics continued, the interruptions continued. I was on the radio this morning hosting my show and it was this one after the other. Were the gallery was finally cleared? You had to clear the gallery. I would have cleared it yesterday.

SEN. LINDSAY GRAHAM, R—S.C.: Talking about books, somebody should write a book on how not to handle opposition to a person who is being confirmed for the Supreme Court. The shouting says all you need to know. If you got something to say you normally don't need to shout. Personality and processes is what we are talking about here tonight regarding President Trump.

We are not talking about the results he has achieved for the American people. We are not talking about Kavanaugh because he's one of the most qualified people of this generation. You are a lawyer, this guy is brilliant. At the end of the day the vote won't matter in 2020. The article won't matter in 2020, but Kavanaugh will because people will look and see what happens if you get a conservative president. You get a well-qualified limited judicial activist judge.

INGRAHAM: More than eight of the federal benches now have been appointed by Donald Trump. Eat your hearts out.

GRAHAM: Yes, and Mitch McConnell has done a good job with this.

INGRAHAM: Yes, he's been phenomenal.

GRAHAM: We really had Mitch.

INGRAHAM: So, this -- Brett is going to get confirmed. He's going to be on the court for the first --

GRAHAM: Fifty-four to 56 or 57.

INGRAHAM: So he's going to get confirmed. This is all an exercise in futility and I can't wait to see him on the bench.


INGRAHAM: So let's talk though about what happened with "The New York Times." I saw you on another network earlier. The allegations in this column -- I don't even want to call it a column, it's a self-serving narrative. So easy to write a positive piece about yourself and paint yourself in the best possible light, that's the easy thing to do.

What do you think of the overall point that, oh, Donald Trump is so impulsive, everyone is in their checking what he's doing. Thank god there are all these noble people inside.

GRAHAM: So, this person says that there was an effort to invoke the 25th Amendment. That's B.S. I know everybody in this administration.

INGRAHAM: A whisper. He said whisper.

GRAHAM: Can Trump be a handful? Yes. Is that why he won? Yes.

INGRAHAM: I'm a handful. Everyone's a handful.

GRAHAM: Yes, Laura, that's why you're on TV and you have your own show. So, the bottom line is this person says Trump is not serving the republic well. Where I live in South Carolina, people are extremely pleased. He doesn't adhere to conservative principles. Everybody I know in South Carolina likes the judges, likes the military, like the tax cut, likes the deregulation. They like what he's doing. So this person's view of the president he is serving or she is serving is out of sync with the people who elected him.

INGRAHAM: The president in a tweet tonight said that this could be a national security issue, the person should be named, and that was kind of dismissed out of hand but that's actually an interesting question. Is it not?

GRAHAM: Well, you know, remember back in, you know, the Watergate stuff, you know, the Pentagon papers. This is mostly opinion. Mr. President if you are watching here tonight, if I were you I would ignore the article, I will ignore the book and I would tell the American people what I've done and what I'm going to do.

You got an incredible story for less than two years of being president and I think the best is yet to come, just stay on track. He will not be affected by this book or this article. What you will be affected is by the choices you make and when you pick a Kavanaugh or a Gorsuch, it's going to help you.

When you rebuild the military as broken, you're going to get credit for that. When you take a fight to the enemies, unlike Obama, you make us safer.

INGRAHAM: So, just stop tweeting. How long


INGRAHAM: I told him that for two years. He's watching. He's watching.

GRAHAM: Listen, hey, tweet all you want. Well, tweet all you want to but on occasion, talk about you've done. What you have done blows my mind. OK, we've been in this thing less than two years. We got two of the greatest picks of the generation --


GRAHAM: We have an economy nobody dreamed of. We got a military --

INGRAHAM: It's Obama's economy, that's what the left says. It's a tweet -- thank you Obama. This is the refrain, but no 25th Amendment whispers - -

GRAHAM: It's all B.S., complete B.S. I would know that.

INGRAHAM: You would, well, given your history, given your understanding, given your position.

GRAHAM: That's all B.S.

INGRAHAM: Senator Graham, thank you so much for coming on tonight.

GRAHGAM: Thank you.

INGRAHAM: And big news out of Capitol Hill today, the heads of tech companies allegedly discriminating against conservatives, well they face the music. Majority leader Kevin McCarthy here, next.


INGRAHAM: Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey were on Capitol Hill today were lawmakers grilled them about allegations of bias against conservatives. Here is Dorsey trying to explain Twitter's practices.


JACK DORSEY, CEO, TWITTER: We don't consider political viewpoints, perspectives or party affiliation in any of our policies or enforcement decisions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The allegation that we make, the Republicans, is that you are discriminatory against us, against the Republicans.

DORSEY: We agree that the result was not impartial and that is why we corrected and we fixed it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you do agree that there were more Republicans than Democrats?

DORSEY: I didn't say that, but I do --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you can't have it both ways, sir.


INGRAHAM: Didn't Jack seem really bored with the whole hearing. He's like, OK, I'll be here. Joining me now for reaction, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. You're the reason he showed up into town, but there's no problem here. Look, the same thing. It's just an algorithm, I mean, there is no problem.

KEVIN MCCARTHY, HOUSE MAJORY LEADER: They say there's no problem when we pointed out. You know what happened a couple of days before the hearing, then they admit that there was some problems. Then if you just watch --

INGRAHAM: They said no Republican -- no bias.

MCCARTHY: No, no. They did agree that the algorithm created shadow banning. It just so happens it was just conservative.

INGRAHAM: Explain shadow banning for our audience.

MCCARTHY: What happens with shadow banning, you put something up and nobody sees it. You have all these followers, nobody sees it and you don't know it.

INGRAHAM: It's kind of like watching CNN, I mean, it's up there but nobody sees it.

MCCARTHY: Or MSNBC. There is more letters than viewers. But the one thing you had find it, the reason these conservatives like Devin Nunes got shadow banned, it wasn't something they did, it was who follow them. It wasn't anything but because of who followed, the algorithm pick this. And remember what Jack said during this time, lots of times he said, well I want to create a standard of fairness.

But who determines the fairness? They have this Twitter trust and safety council made up of 48 groups. There's only one of those groups that leans partly towards the middle, the rest are liberal.

INGRAHAM: So, they are setting the standards.

MCCARTHY: Exactly. And this algorithm, I pointed out to you. I follow you on Twitter, you talked about conservatives in Sweden because of --

INGRAHAM: Oh, the election is coming up --


INGRAHAM: It's the sweet and Democrat Party which is anti-migrant invasion is going to win.

MCCARTHY: The algorithm said that was sensitive, because I have the sensitive mark. Why would an algorithm pick something about immigration?

INGRAHAM: All right, we're going to talk about this deal with the anonymous column. Lots of allegations, very self-serving. The anonymous guy looks like he's just awesome superman and the rest of us need to be saved.

MCCARTHY: This man is a coward. If it's a man or woman or is it really someone? But the idea that this person has a taxpayers job --

INGRAHAM: Somewhere in the government, could be anywhere.

MCCARTHY: -- in the government, supposed to be serving the president who the taxpayers elected but he thinks he is such an elitist that they know better than the voters, that they are protecting the voters in some way? I agree with the president, I think it is a real problem, that they should come forward and say who this person is.

INGRAHAM: I asked Lindsey Graham about this and he kind of brushed it aside. The president said this is a national security concern. He said in the op-ed -- and I think it's a he -- but he said in the op-ed that he is working and others are working to thwart the president's agenda and he calls Trump anti-democratic? That's anti-democratic.

MCCARTHY: That goes against the Constitution.


MCCARTHY: -- where you're about to serve. That's why this person is a coward. If this person --

INGRAHAM: But could be a traitorous. Kind of -- it's maybe a little stretch, but it is --

MCCARTHY: It is traitorous that you are serving in administration. You're saying you're at a senior level and all you are doing is undermining the person that the American people elected to be president. I think (inaudible) this president has been able to achieve, but this person sits there and does this.

INGRAHAM: Could it be -- maybe it's not a political appointee, maybe it's a civil servant. It could be just one of the thousands of civil servants in senior position. When I worked in --

MCCARTHYT: Yes, but this person tries to write like they are in a really place of power and the things that they…

INGRAHAM: Who believes that? I mean, I don't believe any of this. Any rumblings of a 25th Amendment invocation, have you ever heard anything like that from anyone in positions of power over there?

MCCARTHY: No. And I work with that cabinet almost every single day. I was with the president today. This is the thing I love about this man, he could have all these false things said about him, he does not lose track of what needs to get done. He's focused. Let's secure the border. Let's get tax 2.0 done. Let's make sure that we are securing social security. I mean, he is focused and he --

INGRAHAM: But he is impatient because there's a lot of you know what going on in Washington. It's slow roll in his agenda sometimes and he gets ticked off and I don't blame him. But what I really don't like is when we have staffers close to the president who don't like his agenda, who aren't pushing his agenda and are whispering to "The New York Times" or writing op-eds. That's the problem. I don't care, everyone -- that's the problem. It's been a problem from the beginning.

MCCARTHY: And they were never there to help him. They were never there to help him.

INGRAHAM: Yes, they were. They were there to undermine him from the beginning and now the GOP establishment still trying to get back power. Love the hearing today and I think --

MCCARTHY: Is this the first. And why wasn't Google -- Google didn't show up.

INGRAHAM: They're too busy in China.

MCCARTHY: But I got to give credit to Twitter, to Jack and to Facebook for showing up. And Google didn't need to show.

INGRAHAM: We will call Sergey's office see if the current CEO can stop by. Congressman, thank you so much.

And let's get reaction to all today's news from Monica Crowley, senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research and Jon Summers, former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. All right Monica, let's start with you. We go from the Woodward book basically indicating to, you know, the MSNBC crowd that Donald Trump doesn't have his mental faculties, to this, today, in "The New York Times," your reaction?

MONICA CROWLEY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Sara Carter reported earlier today, Laura, that the president is actually perhaps poised to declassify about that 20 FISA warrant documents. So, it's no wonder now that we are getting this fierce new flurry of anti-Trump attacks because it's all about deflection from their original conspiracy, trying to project this on to the president of the United States. So keep a close eye on that.

But Laura, what we see in this "New York Times" column is confirmation of everything that we have been saying for the last two plus years, which is that there is this covert rolling coup against the president that there is this unelected shadowy group some in the administration, some without, the establishment, the media, all targeting Donald Trump because he represents an existential threat to all of them, therefore he must be destroyed. We were laughed at. We were mocked, Laura, for saying this for all this time that there is this soft coup against Donald Trump, and now we actually have a piece of evidence from somebody resisting, leading this case.

INGRAHAM: They're just like the left in one way, they still can't believe he won, and that he actually doing the stuff. He hasn't gotten the wall built, but hope some of that happens, but he's done a lot of what he pledged, and more and more and more.

But Jon, I want your perspective on this. The left is like, this is like feeding candy to a baby. The left is thrilled, we got Trump now. It's like Wile E. Coyote is going to get the roadrunner. What are your thoughts?

JON SUMMERS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It's hard to hear over the sound of the black helicopters flying all around us between accusations against tech and then this thing coming out. The one thing I do agree on is there wasn't anything new in this op-ed. As a former reporter myself and someone who served on the Hill, I've never been a fan of single-sourced, anonymous pieces like that. I just don't like them.

But that said, there was no real news in this op-ed. What it was, was a confirmation of what we have been hearing about the White House for, as you said, the last two years. And I think that's the part that got to be of concern. That's probably the part that made "The Times" comfortable in printing it from an anonymous source is the fact that it's consistent with what we've been hearing from the White House for more than two years.

And you don't have to believe it, but it is worth questioning, is there some truth to this? Is it worth looking into? Clearly, there are problems in this White House. So I don't think anyone on the left is dancing around and happy about it, because what we want is a functional, intelligent, pragmatic president of the United States, and it's clear we don't have that right now.

INGRAHAM: We want 4.2 percent GDP, and the last I checked didn't Obama say we had 59 states, and people spoke Austrian.

SUMMERS: And Obama exceeded that GDP once in his presidency as well. And 4.2 in one quarter does not make a trend. Hopefully it will, though.

INGRAHAM: We'll see. Go ahead.

CROWLEY: All of this salacious gossip, people are fascinated by the personality, but it's all a giant distraction from, number one, the actual conspiracy to at target Donald Trump, and a number two, delivering a booming economy.

SUMMERS: But it's not just -- no, no, no. It's not just gossip when you're talking about the security of the United States. It's not gossip when you're talking about the security of the United States. Nice try.

INGRAHAM: All right, Monica, John, thank you so much.

I had Raymond Arroyo on the powerful life lessons of a working actor, believe it or not, and an addictive video game taking our kids, the world, by storm. "Seen and Unseen" next.


INGRAHAM: It's time for our "Seen and Unseen" segment where we explore some of the big cultural stories of the day.

Let's bring in Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo who has a special announcement, which we'll get to in a moment. Raymond, over the weekend, pictures surfaced of former "Cosby Show" star Geoffrey Owens working at a grocery store. What's going on?

RAYMOND ARROYO, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: This broke everywhere. Someone liked pictures of Geoffrey Owens, who was on "The Cosby Show" years ago, he was working at Trader Joe's bagging groceries. There he is. This became a viral story, and it was really people trying to job shame him. He's a working actor. In between jobs he's making ends meet. For 15 months he worked at Trader Joe's. People tried to shame him with this, and he took it like a man. And he had great pride in the job he was doing. He turned to Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" and had this to say about his job and the support he got unexpectedly, watch.


GEOFFREY OWENS, ACTOR: There is no job that's better than another job. It may pay better. It might have better benefits. It might look better on a resume and on paper, but actually it's not better. Every job is worthwhile and valuable. And if we have kind of a rethinking about that because of what has happened to me, that would be great. But no one should feel sorry for me.


ARROYO: The dignity of work.

INGRAHAM: I said that at my convention speech. My mother told me that, waiting tables. She said you better wait tables, and if you're cheap I'm going to call you out. She waiting tables until she was 74.

ARROYO: No honest job should be demeaned. This is the cruelty of social media. And a happy ending to the story. Tyler Perry, himself somebody who made his own way, pulled himself up by the bootstraps, has offered Geoffrey a job.

INGRAHAM: Fantastic. I loved how he put it right back in their faces and said, it's a job, there is dignity in every job. You know what he's not doing? He's not sitting down, woe is me, complaining, the world is so unfair, you're mean to me. He's not doing that.

And there is a new -- well, it's not new. It's a video game, parents, you know about it, captivated imaginations and apparently the schedules of a lot of young people and young adults.

ARROYO: It's called "Fortnite Battle Royale."

INGRAHAM: I'm just learning about this. How long has that been on, like a year-and-a-half?

ARROYO: It's gaining prominence, and here is the danger -- 125 million users around the world. It's free on multiple platforms. It's basically "Hunger Games" in a cartoon format. People have to kill each other. The island they're on shrinks, and you have to be the last man standing when it's over. I know kids in colleges playing this, in middle school.

INGRAHAM: Looks fun. I'm going to start playing tonight.

ARROYO: Here's the problem. Kids are addicted to this now. "60 Minutes" on Australia just did a piece on a little boy, Logan Ford. He's 14 years old. He has not left the house in two years. He has bitten his mother, given her a concussion, and popped her in the face when she tried to take the game console from him. Here he is being interviewed. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By day, Logan can be found in the same spot playing the same game over and over again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it was my choice, I'd totally be playing about 14 hours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "Fortnite" and similar video games have been Logan's sole obsession for the past two years, at the expense of almost everything else.

Why did you last read a book?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to play.


ARROYO: This kind of gaming, this player, this type of play, the World Health Organization describes it as a gamer addiction. It leads to aggressive behavior, bad relationships with those around you including your parents. And you see it there.

You heard the bit about the book. They've done some research about the social media replacing books. We'll put this on the screen. In the 1970s, 60 percent of high scores were reading books. Today, 16 percent or less. You know I have devoted a big part of my life to literacy, writing for kids. I have a big announcement. I want kids to read, I love that they are reading my books. I'm thrilled tonight to reveal for the first time the cover of the third installment of my "Will Wilder" series for kids of all ages. It's called "Will Wilder, The Amulet of Power." It premieres this February from Random House. It's available for preorder now at and all retailers.

INGRAHAM: I didn't charge you for the sketch. I really got that --

ARROYO: You did a lovely job. The purple --

INGRAHAM: I tried to make it like the Cowardly Lion in "The Wizard of Oz" but I didn't quite capture that.

ARROYO: I'm going to try not to write you in as the villain of this book.

INGRAHAM: Oh, thanks a lot.

ARROYO: I won't do that. I won't do that.

INGRAHAM: By the way, I think there's a problem when you bite your mother. When biting or throwing of objects is involved at your parents, you have a problem.

ARROYO: None of my "Will Wilder" readers hit their mothers.

INGRAHAM: Do you want to know why my kids don't play video games, because they don't have computers with screens? Because of that.

ARROYO: Your imaginations are stunted. Read a book. It's a much better way, and it's a way to bring the family together.

INGRAHAM: I have a problem with my phone.

ARROYO: I know.

INGRAHAM: You know that, I'm on it too much. But guess what, I don't have my phone with me tonight. Raymond, thanks so much.

Police groups are hitting back hard against Nike's decision to make Colin Kaepernick the face of its latest Nike campaign. Dan Bongino weighs in next.


INGRAHAM: Despite big time backlash, Nike is standing by its decision to make Anthem kneeler Colin Kaepernick the face of its latest marketing campaign, releasing its first commercial online today with plans to put it on TV during the first NFL game of the season tomorrow. The commercials tagline is, "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything."

That's not sitting well, though, with National Fraternal Order of Police who announced the commercial and pointed out the 381 police officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice since 2016.

Joining me now for reaction are Jason Nichols, a lecturer at the University of Maryland, and former NYPD officer Dan Bongino. Dan, Kaepernick got booted from the NFL because of his play, I think. I don't think it was because of the kneeling. People disagree, but I follow football as much as anybody. He was fine but I don't think he was one of the best of the best. But Nike thinks this is our audience. What's the big deal?

DAN BONGINO, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Because the ad campaign in and of itself, Laura, is ridiculous. Believe in something? What does Colin Kaepernick believe in? Even Kaepernick seems confused about this. Keep in mind, Kaepernick is the same guy who wore a pair of socks depicting police officers, some of the finest among us, as pigs. Kaepernick also defended the Castro regime. You know, the Castro regime, the one that imprisons its political opposition, and when it doesn't present them, it kills them? Yes, that regime. Believe in something, what exactly does he believe in?

And by the way, sacrifice everything? What exactly, Laura, has Kaepernick sacrificed? He just got a multimillion dollar contract from Nike and he played a game for a living for millions of dollars. So please, hard pass on the Nike campaign, I don't think so. This was one of the worst business decisions in American history.


JASON NICHOLS, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: I would disagree that it was a bad business decision. We have seen that Nike realizes what they are doing. They do market research, they understand these things. Number one, even though there was a slight drop in their stock, I think it was about three percent, they are up 50 percent. And they also realize that the majority of their growth and revenue is coming from places like Latin America and China.

INGRAHAM: Don't you think China would put up with any of this stuff?

NICHOLS: I don't think that China is concerned --

INGRAHAM: China is making all the Nike sneakers. They are producing the Nike. I don't think they care about Colin Kaepernick one way or another.

NICHOLS: And as far as what he stands for -- he stands for justice and equality and equity for all citizens. That's what he has been standing for from the very beginning, or kneeling for.

INGRAHAM: Can I ask you guys a question that's unrelated? Do you think he was really cut from the NFL because of the kneeling?

NICHOLS: Absolutely. I don't think there's any question.

INGRAHAM: So you think he's one of the top NFL quarterbacks?

NICHOLS: No, but I'll tell you this much --

INGRAHAM: I'm setting aside the kneeling. I totally am. I actually -- in football, I don't see the great passer. I don't see the great runner. I'm sorry. Go ahead, Danny.

BONGINO: Wasn't he on a team that was one and 11?

INGRAHAM: Yes, but that's not a reason.

BONGINO: I couldn't tell you if the kneeling factored in or not. I know Colin Kaepernick in his early days, he went to the Super Bowl, was a dynamic runner and passer. I know a lot of those skills passed him by. And to Jason's point, he stands for justice, justice, you mean like the wall in Cuba where they lined people up and shoot them and kill them, that kind of justice? Because you know he's on tape defending the Castro regime, the literacy rate in Cuba, and they're wonderful health care.

And then he said something absolutely tragic. He said Cuba spends more money on education than they do on prisons. Jason, you know why that is? They don't need a lot of prisons. They kill a lot of these people and then they throw them in a dungeon. That doesn't require a lot of maintenance. Kaepernick may want to look into that.

INGRAHAM: God bless him. I'm sure if you hang out with him he's a nice guy, but the Cuba stuff is not attached to reality. This is the ad. I think we should show the ad, because this is running tomorrow and it is going to still be a big viewership tomorrow night on the NFL. Let's watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you are born a refugee, don't let it stop you from playing soccer for the national team at age 16. Don't become the best basketball player on the planet. Be bigger than basketball. Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. So don't ask if your dreams are crazy, ask if they are crazy enough.


NICHOLS: I don't see how anyone could be against what the message was in that ad. To me that sounds like a good ad. And the other thing I would say, number one, in terms of football, just to go into a little bit of sports, Nathan Peterman, and no disrespect to Nathan Peterman, but he is the starting quarterback in the NFL. He threw five interceptions in one half. Colin Kaepernick threw four all season along with 16 touchdowns. So I think he is very much capable. Whether he starts or not that should be a decision up to the team.

INGRAHAM: Play Canadian football.


INGRAHAM: Go up there and play Canadian football.

Dan whether or not it's good or not for the NFL, it's the message, or it's the messenger. I think for police, they feel like they put their lives on the line, and they are not getting a fair shake here. It feels like people are painting with a broad brush even though there have been tragic things happening to African-Americans in the inner-city, no doubt about it. But it feels like it's antipolice into a lot of the people in law enforcement. Dan, close it out.

BONGINO: Well, it is, Laura. He wore socks with cops depicted as pigs. And I think you just addressed the saddest part of this whole thing. There is a very real conversation to be had about the treatment of minority communities in this country. That is a genuine conversation. You don't start the conversation by putting on a pair of socks depicting cops as pigs. Sorry about that, but it's not going to happen.

INGRAHAM: I think, again, people are going to be kneeling, and I don't think kneeling is going to save a single life.

NICHOLS: But the reason we're having this conversation is because he --

INGRAHAM: Good conversation guys, thanks so much.

When we come back, Steve Bannon disinvited from a fancy "New Yorker" event. Why is the media so afraid of Bannon? Mike Huckabee will be here to analyze. Stay there.


INGRAHAM: Time now for the latest installment of our "Defending the First" series where we expose the enemies to the First Amendment, free expression, and free thought.

The latest profile in courage for a leftwing journalist has got to be going to "New Yorker" editor David Remnick, who invited former Trump strategist Steve Bannon to a "New Yorker" festival of ideas event, but when celebrity participants started to bail in protest, David Remnick canceled the Bannon appearance.

Joining me now with reaction about this and the absurd anonymous column in "The New York Times," former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Governor Huckabee, first "The New Yorker" disinvites Bannon. What does that tell you?

MIKE HUCKABEE, (R) FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: They are afraid to hear voices that don't agree with the ones that are already in the room. That's the great tragedy. It's not about Steve Bannon. It's about if there is someone who has an opinion or a voice that is different than the echo chamber of the left, their way to deal with it is not to present their arguments in the presence of the arguments to the right and win. Their argument is, just don't even let the other guys in the room. It shows to me they just have very little confidence in their own point of view.

INGRAHAM: It has happened on college campuses, it's happened in public life. There are certain things people are afraid to say that five years ago, it was mainstream thought. And if you say them you are vilified, or you're called this-ist or that-ist, and you are driven out of public life or they try to drive you out of public life. You lose a promotion, you won't get a certain job at a certain company, and that's outrageous, governor. That is antidemocratic. They say Trump is antidemocratic, that's antidemocratic.

HUCKABEE: It's not only antidemocratic, but it's anti-intellectual. I find of the greatest moments I have is going to a college campus, particularly a liberal college campus, an Ivy League school, and speaking there. And the reason I enjoy it is because I get traction from the attempt by the students to say here is this a dumb southern hick, he's a conservative, he's a Christian, we'll eat him alive.

And I just enjoy the heck out of being there and answering their questions with questions and finding out they are not quite as smart as they always think they are. But how do they know that if they don't ever have a point of view that doesn't agree with theirs?

INGRAHAM: Speaking of cowards, governor, I want to get to this anonymous column in "The New York Times," conveniently dropping all these little bomblets, it's a lot of rehash of stuff we've heard before. But both what it says about American journalism today and what it could tell us -- again, we don't know where this person resides, or if it's a career appointee or if it's an actual political -- we don't know, which is why you can't publish anonymous pieces. But what does that tell you about vulnerabilities in the White House and of the press?

HUCKABEE: It doesn't tell us a lot about the White House because they are accomplishing a lot of things that we elected Donald Trump to get done. So, whatever people can say, you are ultimately look at the record and say, by gosh, this man is achieving what he said, he's keeping his promises.

Here's what it says about journalism -- there's very little of it going on. It's one thing to quote an anonymous source. I find that objectionable most of the time. But having an anonymous op-ed from someone who is saying the most outrageous thing, first of all, this guy is a gutless coward, or girl, whoever it is. And secondly, it's just bordering on treasonous to say I take a paycheck for a person that I'm trying to undermine. That shows a complete lack of integrity, a lack of honor. It shows something that I think it's revealed this person to be despicably dishonest. And why a "New York Times" editor would ever want to herald this as some great revelation is frankly beyond me.

INGRAHAM: It's because they are part of the resistance. Governor Huckabee, as always, love having you on, thank you so much tonight.

And up next, my photos. You want to stay around for this. Don't go away


INGRAHAM: It always hits me right here the first day of school. I remember going back to school for the first time. And this is a photo of my sons, third grade and fifth grade at a new school this morning. Mommy dropped them off. Can I stay with you? No. Then I let them go and they're off.

And prayers tonight, Raymond to Beth Holtz.

ARROYO: Beth Holtz, coach Lou Holtz's wife who is very ill. We met with the coach over the weekend, an incredible victory. It was a great thing.

INGRAHAM: And our prayers to Beth and Lou Holtz, thank you and everyone and Notre Dame. We really appreciate it.

That's all the time we have tonight.

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