This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," December 26, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

TAMMY BRUCE, CONTRIBUTOR: Good evening everybody and welcome to the "Tucker Carlson Tonight" program. I'm Tammy Bruce filling in for Tucker this evening.

President Trump surprised U.S. troops in Iraq with a holiday visit today, his first visit to the United States troops serving in a combat zone. While there, the President briefly touched on domestic politics, saying a government shutdown will only end with money for a Border wall.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long do you think the shutdown will last, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: Whatever it takes. I mean we're going to have a wall. We're going to have safety. We need safety for our country.


BRUCE: All righty, Mike Emanuel is in Washington with more. Mike?

MIKE EMANUEL, CORRESPONDENT: Tammy, good evening. President Trump went to see the troops in a combat zone at a time when he's made significant decisions about American foreign policy. And there's also a shake-up of some of his senior leadership.

The President and First Lady left late Christmas night under tight security to visit American forces serving in Iraq at Christmastime.

Some of his message was clearly to wish those men and women a Merry Christmas, and to thank them for their dedicated service. While the President has announced plans to withdraw troops from nearby Syria, he says he plans to keep them in Iraq where they could still launch strikes against ISIS.


TRUMP: When I became President, they were a very dominant group. They were very dominant. Today, they're not so dominant anymore.


TRUMP: Great job.


EMANUEL: The President had taken some heat from the media noting he was the first Commander-in-Chief to not visit the troops in 15 years. Then he landed in Al Asad Airbase in Iraq today, likely neutralizing that attack.

The Commander-in-Chief's first visit to a combat zone was with the First Lady and gave him a chance to hear directly from commanders on the ground. And the President noted the remarkable job U.S. forces have done, taking the fight to the Islamic State terror group.


TRUMP: For the near-elimination of the ISIS Territorial Caliphate in Iraq and in Syria.


EMANUEL: The timing of the trip comes as the Secretary of Defense and the Special Envoy for the Coalition to defeat ISIS have both resigned.

Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, is out at the end of the year after being critical of the President's foreign policy. And Brett McGurk was planning to leave in early 2019, but turned in his resignation in protest of the President's plan to pull U.S. forces out of Syria.

The President invited the Iraqi Prime Minister to the White House next year, and we're told he accepted the invitation. I should note Air Force One has touched down in Germany for a refueling stop, where the Commander- in-Chief is meeting with more U.S. military personnel.


BRUCE: Great, Mike. Thank you. And you'd - I think you'd agree with the sound of that crowd out there that having a visit from the Commander-in- Chief sure is a - a lifter of morale. It seems like it went very well.

EMANUEL: No doubt about it. At Christmastime, it's great to hear from the boss.

BRUCE: Indeed. All right, Mike, thank you very much.

EMANUEL: Thanks, Tammy.

BRUCE: When the President returns to Washington, he'll be coming back to a city still sharply divided over his proposed Border wall. The government remains in partial shutdown as Trump says he will not sign funding legislation until he receives money to begin the wall on the Mexican border.

Democrats continue to howl with rage against the President.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., SENATE MINORITY LEADER: No Democrat has called for shutting the government down. We are all working to avoid it. The President seems to relish it.


We better face the reality. This is a - this is a dangerous time. This is not just another government shutdown.

CHARLES JOSEPH SCARBOROUGH, MORNING JOE CO-HOST, MSNBC: Donald Trump is on track to be the worst president in modern times, and perhaps ever.

The days of waiting for this President to change how he operates and the days of hoping that he can somehow achieve more and do better, those days are behind us.

DONNA LEASE BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL STRATEGIST: But let me just say this - the President, he's unravel. Things are unraveling.

CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J., FORMER GOVERNOR: --where Trump will fall apart. Listen--

BRAZILE: Would you prefer a chaos? It's chaotic.

CHRISTOPHER CHARLES CUOMO, NEWS ANCHOR, CNN: This shutdown is on the President because he has caused such division, he can't even broker a deal on a side issue like this.


BRUCE: All righty. Trump, meanwhile, says the shutdown is squarely the fault of Democrats and their refusal to ever secure the border with Mexico.


TRUMP: I can't tell you when the government's going to be open. I can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall or fence, whatever they'd like to call it. I'll call it whatever they want.

The people of this country want border security. You know, it's not a question of me. And I'd rather not be doing shutdowns.

These federal workers want the wall. The only one that doesn't want the wall are the Democrats because they don't mind open borders.

The only time they went against it, there was only one time, when Donald Trump said we want to build the wall. As soon as I said I want to build the wall, they were all against it.


BRUCE: All righty, well, Dan Bongino is a secret - a former Secret Service Agent and the Author of Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump. Robin Biro is a - a former Regional Campaign Director for Barack Obama. They both join us now. Welcome aboard you guys. Thanks for joining me.



BRUCE: So - so, look, you know, Dan, I've got to say to you that this is funny to watch, of course, the Democrats, the doom and gloom. I mean we've just moved through the Christmas holiday. It's the sky is falling. We're looking for grubs and - and puddle water to - to eat and drink, you know, through the shutdown.

Do you think that this kind of complaint is really changing the point of view of the American people about what's really happening in Washington and what matters when it comes to national security versus a negotiation to get what we need for that Border wall?

BONGINO: No. I don't - I don't think the media is changing one mind out there, Tammy, but for a very specific reason. Listen, chaos is not a brand, OK? It's not a brand you want to run. Even Richard Nixon figured that out, running on a law-and-order platform of all people, right? Nixon figured that out.

Chaos is not a brand. Well I say that because the Democrats haven't offered anything of substance outside of cheap rhetoric about actually supporting border security.

There's just a terrific segment, which Steve Miller on another network confronting a media figure about this specifically. What have the Democrats done to secure the border? And - and you know what the answer is? Let's go to the next segment, because they just don't have anything.

BRUCE: Well Dan, I see Robin's head nodding over there. But - but - but really--

BIRO: Yes, you know it.

BRUCE: --there's the - the - the - the Democrats argue that there is border security and then there is the Border wall. And yet, we know Robin that where there are wall sections, the illegal traffic goes down over 90 percent.

So historically, we know this works. We know it works in this country. We - look, I think we all three of us can agree we want this - this chaos to end. It's not good for the country.

BIRO: Yes.

BRUCE: It's not good for the migrants. It's not good for the American citizens. So, what exactly is going on that the Democrats think is working so well considering the chaos that's occurring right now?

BIRO: We've got several problems. And let's call out the hypocrisy from my own party, because in 2006 we did support the Secure Fence Act, which erected more than 700 miles of border on our Southeast border. So, we've got to own that.

And I think the President would be very wise to pitch this not as a wall but as expanding what we already agreed to on a bipartisan measure when Senators, at the time, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, both voted for this. I think that would be a great way for him to pitch this as a fence as you've heard his language changing--

BRUCE: Yes, he said he would - he would call it--

BIRO: --recently. I think that--

BRUCE: --whatever - whatever they want him to call it.

BIRO: Yes.

BRUCE: And Robin, though - isn't that though some - kind of somewhat juvenile that you want to change the name of something and, yet, the action would be the same, because you're right. The - the Secure Fences Act, the - the construction that already occurred is the thing that is helping us. Why are they suddenly against it now? Is it - is it really just politics and because it's campaigning? Is that what it is?

BIRO: I'm not going to - I'm not going to give you any BS. The reason that they're doing this is because of optics. Each side - you're smart, and you know that each side has got to find a way to save face with their base.

So, right now, by pitching this as a fence that allows my party the chance to save face and say, hey, we can't give you a fortified concrete wall but we can give you a funding for a fence as long as - now--

BRUCE: That's true (ph).

BIRO: --Dick Durbin made a great point on the networks on Sunday by saying that only one out of every five vehicles coming across the border are being screened right now. So, what he'd like to see--

BRUCE: Well--

BIRO: --is more funding for that in addition to funding for a fence.


BIRO: I think that we've got some inroads here. I think we'd - I honestly do believe there is a way ahead. It's just got--

BRUCE: Well that becomes--

BIRO: --to be a way that we both can pitch it to our fence - to our--

BRUCE: Yes that--

BIRO: --to our bases.

BRUCE: --that - that becomes, Dan, the question is how far does the President go?


BRUCE: Does he never sign a bill until he get - look, he's compromising. They're already talking about $2.5 billion. The President is a master negotiator. He knows that they're going to find someplace in the middle, unless the Democrats just genuinely don't care. How far does the President take this, Dan?

BONGINO: Well the President's a deal-maker. He's - he's built buildings in New York where I grew up, the toughest place on earth to do business.

And I got to tell you, it's rare that I'm on debating a - a Democrat on the network, but Robin's right. There's going to have to be some face-saving measures on both sides. We'd be - both of us would be naive, all three of us to say that.

I think if you want to call it a fence, if you want to call it a wall, as long as it's an obstacle that will prevent the illegal flow - illegal flow of people across our border, I think the American people will be fine with that.

One more thing, Tammy, the Border Patrol people, I talked to as well, don't seem to mind the idea of slats because they can see through it on the other side.

BRUCE: Sure.

BONGINO: It's a deterrent. It's an obstacle. The American people want border security if it allows Democrats to save some kind of face but stops illegal immigration not in its tracks--

BRUCE: Well--

BONGINO: --and nothing's going to stop it completely, but puts an obstacle in front of it, then I think that's fine.

BRUCE: We - we know--

BONGINO: And I think everybody walks away happy.

BRUCE: --we know the Democrats understand that because before - the preface before ever - always saying they don't want the wall is that (ph) they care about border security. So, Democrats, Americans who happen to be Democrats, they care about their families as well. They care about the nature of what's happening--

BIRO: Yes.

BRUCE: --at the border now. Democrats, none of us want to hear stories about children dying in the midst of a trek that should never have happened in the first place. These are the things that unite us. And - and I think that this is where we can have a good conversation.

The President knows it. And, hopefully, these games will end. But the President's position is based, of course, in a national security framework for all of these individuals, not just American citizens, Robin, you would agree, but for the individuals making these 1,000-mile treks with their children.

BIRO: Yes.

BRUCE: No - no one should be accepting this environment as being acceptable or something that should be encouraged. We really need to have a system that stops that. Would - you would agree?

BIRO: Absolutely. And we need comprehensive immigration reform. And I want to clearly say that my party can absolutely not afford to be labeled as the party that embraces open borders, which is why we're trying to say there are other things that we need in addition to at least at the minimum--

BRUCE: Robin, no (ph)--

BIRO: --a stronger fence.

BRUCE: --Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, all they've been saying is he's never going to get the wall. He's never going to get it. They seem to be doubling down--

BIRO: Wall.

BRUCE: --on an argument that this is the problem--

BIRO: Yes.

BRUCE: --with Liberals often. Perhaps, not you, but Liberals a great deal that they don't know when to stop. They misjudge the Kavanaugh dynamic. They're misjudging this, I contend.

BIRO: Oh, yes.

BRUCE: And - and we need - the American people want solutions. This is what they're looking for. President Trump--

BIRO: Yes, definitely.

BRUCE: --is a man of action. He's been consistent in his positions. You started this segment talking about how Democrats had voted for the Secure Fences Act. They have not been consistent. Why should we trust what the Democrats do once they take over the House of Representatives as being either believable or truthful?

BIRO: Great question. And, you know, I will just point out that on both sides there are calm heads, there are also crazy people on both sides of the aisle. Those are the ones that get the most air time in the media, unfortunately.

But there are smart people like Dick Durbin who get it--

BRUCE: Oh, now--

BIRO: --who say that there are a multilateral approaches that we can take to this--

BRUCE: --I was really - Robin, you were so good, you were so good until you said Dick Durbin and the word smart in the same sentence. I--


BRUCE: --I - I just got a headache. All right you guys. It's a great conversation. Dan, Robin, terrific.

BIRO: Yes.

BRUCE: I really appreciate it.

BONGINO: Yes. Bye.

BRUCE: Thanks. Have a great night. Merry Christmas.

BIRO: Absolutely.

BRUCE: Look, for several days now, ICE has been releasing hundreds of migrant asylum-seekers into a public park in El Paso, Texas, with apparently no plan for taking care of them.

Fox Chief Correspondent, Jonathan Hunt, joins us now with more.

JONATHAN HUNT, CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Tammy. In all, several hundred migrants were released in El Paso, Texas from the weekend to Christmas Day without ICE apparently giving the usual advance notice to shelters and other groups that offer help to the migrants.

Democratic Congressman, Beto O'Rourke, was among those greeting the migrants as they mold (ph) their next move on Christmas Day.


REP. BETO O'ROURKE, D-TX: ICE admitted that they dropped the ball - that they made a mistake yesterday by not giving the community any kind of heads-up on releasing 214 migrants at the Greyhound bus station last night and early this morning.


HUNT: And activists who usually coordinate with ICE were also caught unawares.


DYLAN CORBETT, DIRECTOR, HOPE BORDER INSTITUTE: We're a little perplexed because this is not something that ICE typically does.


HUNT: In a statement, ICE blamed, quote, decades of inaction by Congress for limiting its ability to detain and promptly remove families in the United States illegally, and went on, "To mitigate the risk of holding family units past the timeframe allotted to the government, ICE has curtailed reviews of post-release plans from families apprehended along the Southwest border."

That statement, obviously, doesn't directly address the situation in El Paso over the last couple of days. But it did also say, "ICE is redoubling its efforts to work with local and state officials and NGO partners in the area, so they are prepared to provide assistance with transportation or other services."

Now, Tammy, it's not clear whether the lack of communication between ICE and the shelter organizations is being affected by the government shutdown. But it is worth noting that many ICE staffed deemed non-essential are not working right now.


BRUCE: Yes, well Jonathan, thank you. At the same time, wouldn't you agree though that the - certainly the Customs and Border Patrol is swamped and that ICE is swamped?

We've got, you know, they're releasing hundreds right now into El Paso, but we're dealing with thousands of people who, clearly, they're releasing them based on the Family Separation Act that they just they - they are just overwhelmed at this point regardless of--

HUNT: Yes. You're - yes, you're absolutely right, Tammy. You talk to any agents who work the border area and that is exactly the kind of word that they would use that they are overwhelmed.

One other point that I think is interesting, it's not at all clear that all of these who've been released in El Paso were asylum-seekers. Some of them may simply have been illegal immigrants.

BRUCE: Right.

HUNT: That points to catch and release--


HUNT: --taking place. That, of course, is something that President Trump says it doesn't happen anymore. Tammy.

BRUCE: Yes. So, obviously, more work to do. Great. Thank you, Jonathan. Thank you for that report.

HUNT: Thank you (ph).

BRUCE: Now, Kris Kobach is the Kansas Secretary of State. He joins us now. Kris, you are a man. You know of - of - you've been working on this for quite some time for years. You know what the situation is. This is not unfamiliar to you, either.

Can you give us a sense, really, as people might want to blame the - the shutdown, but this is really chaos that is unfolding and an overwhelmed Customs and Border Protection Force, overwhelmed ICE, perhaps, because they're contained, if you will, by certain court decisions about what they can and cannot do.

What do you think is going on in El Paso now? And should the people there be concerned about what's happening?

KRIS WILLIAM KOBACH, SECRETARY OF STATE, KANSAS: Well, first of all, you're - you're correct when you suggest this is not because of the government shutdown. Enforcement and removal operations of ICE, that's the division that handles this type of duty, they're essential employees. They're working at full steam regardless of the shutdown.

There might be some--

BRUCE: Right.

KOBACH: --Public Affairs officers who normally, you know, contact the press and things like that who might not be working, but it's not caused by the shutdown.

Secondly, although the numbers this week in El Paso are large, and larger than normal, people should be aware that there are - if you look nationally, you know, thousands of people being released into the United States who are asylum-seekers, not necessarily worthy of asylum but claiming that they are, every month.

And so, this is a big problem. Here - this - this number should shock you. In the last five years, the number of asylum claims in the United States system has gone up 2,000 percent. There are almost 800,000 asylum cases--


KOBACH: --pending at our immigration courts. And the vast majority of those are not legitimate. It's estimated that these Central American claims, well over 90 percent, are going to be denied. They're - they're not even close to being a legitimate claim of asylum.

Asylum requires that your government back home is persecuting you, and you have a well-founded fear of being hurt because of your membership in a particular social group whereas--

BRUCE: Right.

KOBACH: --these people are coming and saying, "Well I've got gangs in my neighborhood." And so, the - the - this - this asylum loophole has become a massive loophole that is causing a huge problem for the whole system.

BRUCE: Right. And--

KOBACH: So, it is a big problem. This is just a symptom.

BRUCE: --and we're letting these people out, of course, presuming they'll come back. This is the old game to get their--

KOBACH: Right.

BRUCE: --court hearing and then they just never show up. But we also learned a couple weeks ago--


BRUCE: --from Secretary Nielsen of Department of Homeland Security that we have an arrangement with Mexico now that they would hold people who are looking for asylum and - until we can adjudicate them.

Do you think that's really going to happen? Or do you think that we're still having - is the President still going to have to go and try to get this done through the courts, which clearly seem to be resistant to him being able to control the border?

KOBACH: Well, a little of both. So, I think that what Secretary Nielsen announced last week is a big first - it's not a first step. It's a - it's a big step in the right (ph) direction--


KOBACH: --for those people who haven't yet crossed into the United States. But most of the people we're talking about here in El Paso, they were already in the United States when they were apprehended.

BRUCE: Right.

KOBACH: Many of them, anyway.

BRUCE: Right.

KOBACH: And for those people, what DHS needs to do right away is to finalize a proposed regulation that they promulgated back in September and that regulation will override what's called the Flores Settlement--

BRUCE: Right.

KOBACH: --which is why we're releasing all these people and allow the detention--

BRUCE: That's key.

KOBACH: --of complete family units together until their case is--

BRUCE: That's key.

KOBACH: --adjudicated finally.

BRUCE: Kris.

KOBACH: And we got to get that done (ph) right away.

BRUCE: Great point.

KOBACH: And there's no time to waste.

BRUCE: Yes, because that's - that's a question. What - what do we do next? And that's a great point. Thank you, sir, for joining us. I appreciate it. Have a great night.

KOBACH: My pleasure.

BRUCE: Now, in the meantime--

KOBACH: You too.

BRUCE: --Defense Secretary, Mattis, is leaving the Administration early. Washington elites are panicking. But could his departure be a good thing? That's next.


BRUCE: After resigning last week, Defense Secretary, James Mattis, was supposed to stay on the job through February. But, on Sunday, President Trump announced that he's removing Mattis early and will replace him with Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, beginning January 1st. That's coming right up.

Mattis' impending departure has Washington fixtures, like Bob Woodward, in a panic.


WOODWARD: It's a governing crisis. You have the exit of Mattis, which is a tragedy for the country, a tragedy for President Trump. Mattis was able to thread the needle and try to make his points and, quite frankly, educate President Trump on some of these issues. And so, the departure of him is something that is, I think, going down in the history books.


BRUCE: Well Christian Whiton is a former Secretary - former State Department Senior Adviser to Trump and George W. Bush administrations. He joins us now. Christian, I really don't recall Woodward saying that when Barack Obama fired Mattis that that was a tragedy. I don't - did I miss that part? And I didn't--


BRUCE: --miss that. Did I?

WHITON: The pearl clutching really has gotten out of control. I mean Mattis did what he was supposed to do, which is kill ISIS. That was the urgent crisis. That's what needed to be done.

That's what Donald Trump promised to do. And he did it. He did masterful job. He helped unlock the power of our forces in Syria, get the lawyers out of the way, and let our soldiers do their job.

But Mattis was opposed to Trump on most other things. He wanted to stay in the Paris Climate boondoggle. He opposed moving the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. He opposed getting out of the Iran Deal. He didn't want to send troops to the border.

So, what President Trump deserves and what he ought to get is someone who actually is on board with the Trump agenda. And that's what Bob Woodward doesn't like.

BRUCE: Yes. You've got a great piece at It's gone kind of viral about why him leaving is a good thing. There are - are many things you lay out in your piece.

At the same time, I was - I was struck with the - the pettiness of his resignation letter, if you will, that - that he would still be the Secretary of Defense that that he's still talking about the Commander-in- Chief.

And yet, he - he - he messages that that he doesn't like what the Commander-in-Chief is doing. You know, I'm not surprised that the President asked him to leave early because why would you do that?

It would have a morale effect on the troops, on the other people in the Pentagon when how do you - I mean, how could he justify that considering his position and that he's talking, you know, say whatever you want once you're out of office.

But that seemed to be, at least to me, surprising. Did it surprise you? Or - or, was this something that he's known for, for being a little - little problematic like that?

WHITON: You know, no. It did strike me as odd. It strike me as odd he led with sort of complaints that we were not being kind enough to our NATO allies. That's another thing Mattis was against what the President has done, which is to insist that NATO fulfill the pledges it has made to spend a measly 2 percent, they're not even close.

Germany is at 1.3 percent. And our friends up in Canada at 1 percent of GDP, that's all they spend. So, we get the privilege of defending them. They screw us on trade. They are - you know, Germany generating fake news, anti-American propaganda against us and we have to defend them.

What Donald Trump did was say, "Hey, you got to spend your fair share." Mattis was opposed to that.

BRUCE: Well--

WHITON: And his - in his - his resignation letter said, oh, he sort of re- brought this back up again.

BRUCE: Well, look, at the same time, it's a signal of respect that you want your allies and your friends to be able to support themselves if something happened.

You know, there could be nothing worse in the world that if - if our friends and allies are unprepared for something to happen when - when we might not be able to manage the entire world, if there was a Black Swan of some major nuclear event.

You know, it's - it's - it's something that you would want your friends and your family to say, which is, you've got to help us, you've got to be able to stand on your own two feet to some degree in order for this to be able to work out.

And that seems to be, of course, the President's approach. At the same time now, who do you think should replace him? Because that's got to be, obviously, a question everybody's asking. Who's next?

WHITON: You know, I think it should be someone political, not that the - the Secretary of Defense should get into partisan political spats, but someone who can implement what Trump wants to do. He's drawn down in Syria.

There's talk of drawing down in Afghanistan, which makes a lot of sense to me. I don't know what we're going to accomplish in another year or two that we haven't accomplished in 17 years.

And if you add Afghanistan to Iraq and Syria, that's $60 billion a year. That's real money you could either save or you could spend rebuilding our Air Force and Navy and missiles in space for us--

BRUCE: Well yes.

WHITON: --to deter China. And that's the type of Secretary of Defense he needs.

BRUCE: Well, it's a political position. It really is. I mean, now - understanding the military, understanding what's going on, on the ground is key. So, having a General is fabulous. But ultimately, it really is about being a negotiator, being a - a politician, understanding what needs to be accomplished. And I think, obviously, the President is finding that out.

Christian, great piece at And thanks for joining us tonight.

WHITON: Thanks, Tammy. Appreciate it.

BRUCE: Thank you.

Well the Women's March movement is falling apart over accusations of anti- Semitism and ties to Louis Farrakhan. We'll talk about that next.


BRUCE: The Dow Jones average surged more than a 1,000 points today. That's the biggest single-day increase ever, you guys, and offset some steep drops the market just saw just before the holiday.

Meanwhile, the White House assured that Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, and Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin's, jobs are safe, despite a recent tweet where President Trump complained about the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates, a - a legitimate complaint, according to many people.

Heather Zumarraga is a Financial Analyst. In the midst of all of this, she joins us. Thanks for joining us, Heather.


BRUCE: All right, look, it's been for - for somebody who does what you do, other than people who, you know, a lot of people I hear from on Twitter and social media saying they just can't look at their 401-k or their Roth statement--


BRUCE: --they're just aren't going to look at it for a while, this really has got to be exciting in a certain sense of getting a sense of what this really means. What's your take on this kind of volatility and why it's happening right now?

ZUMARRAGA: Well this is (ph) - is very unnerving if you're an average investor in the marketplace right now. A 1,000-point advance and the Dow has never been seen in history.

BRUCE: Whee!

ZUMARRAGA: And yes, this is coming on the back so (ph) of the largest decline on Christmas Eve that we've ever seen. We had over 600-point decline on the Dow. And for Christmas Eve, we haven't ever seen that before. That's - that's not (ph) a way to rein in the New Year and for Santa to come in bearing gifts.

But, look, the markets are up for a few reasons. We have certainty over Fed Chair, J Powell's job. Kevin Hassett--

BRUCE: Right.

ZUMARRAGA: --came out today and he said Fed Chair J Powell's job is secure, as Head of the U.S. Central Bank. And that's really important, Tammy, because the markets want stability. So, we--

BRUCE: Right.

ZUMARRAGA: --need to make sure Fed Chair J Powell and Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, will keep their jobs. And I think they will.

BRUCE: Well, look, and I think it's interesting in that for eight years of Barack Obama, we were pretty much at zero at - at a rate. It was almost like keeping the economy on life support in a sense. There was no real action.

Now we've got Donald Trump where there is activity, right? It's like you've come out of a coma and things can be a little unnerving and a little surprising sometimes. But that's what happens with action.

At the same time, he had been talking about tariffs, dealing with China, dealing with trade issues that had been something he talked about during the campaign, so lot of people felt that was baked into the market with the extraordinary surge that we had starting with his - well with January of 2017.

In fact, this can happen or, at least, can withstand some volatility because of the strength that the market is in. The fundamentals are strong, right? We've seen this incredible retail surge with purchasing over the holiday.

Wouldn't you say that, in fact, this is just kind of a sign of activity and - and well the nation coming back to life economically?

ZUMARRAGA: It really is, Tammy. Look, the fundamentals are still strong. Unemployment at 50-year lows. Retail sales data that we're getting today is showing that the consumer is out and full stride. That's two-thirds of the economy.

And even if GDP is slowing down a little bit, we're still growing at 3.4 percent GDP--


ZUMARRAGA: --growth in the economy. And that's far better than under President Barack Obama's eight-year tenure averaging 1.8 percent, Tammy.

BRUCE: Yes. Well we've all got our hands full. The President clearly is working very hard and we'll - we'll see where things go next. But it looks good so far was a - was a great day. Thanks for joining us, Heather.

ZUMARRAGA: You got it (ph).

BRUCE: I appreciate it.


BRUCE: All right, you guys, the Women's March movement was supposed to bring down the President, the Trump Administration. Instead, it may not survive to the second anniversary of his inauguration.

Leaders of the group are facing growing accusations of anti-Semitism and attacks for their ties to Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan. Activist, Linda Sarsour, recently denied ever having met Farrakhan although she spoke alongside him at an event in 2015. Cracks are showing today that Chicago branch of the Women's March said it will not be holding a rally this January.

Allie Beth Stuckey is a podcast host. She joins us now. Allie, how are you? Thanks for coming on.


BRUCE: Look, this is we've been hearing about this for a while. It's been very, very public. We know that one of the founders, a woman who lives in Hawaii, who started this movement with a Facebook post, was the first one to come out and say, look, this is not what we stand for. There needs to be a change in leadership because in a way she's argued (ph)--


BRUCE: --it's been hijacked. And now we see this continuing. There's supposed to be a big event in January. Where do you think all of this is heading at this point?

STUCKEY: Well, look, Perez, Sarsour, and Mallory, three of the - the organization's founders have been running away from these accusations of anti-Semitism really since the beginning of the founding of the Women's March, and they are unable to escape them.

And the reason for that is because of their association with Louis Farrakhan who, as we know, speaks of the Jewish people in subhuman terms, talks about how Jews are satanic, they're really the enemy of the people. Mallory, in particular, has been a very big and public fan of Louis Farrakhan.

And also the Tablet - the Tablet expose that just came out that cited some of the very troubling anti-Semitic comments that they made when the organization was founded talking about the Jewish people's role in White supremacy and oppression of the Black people.

And so, going forward, with more of this information coming out, women of color, and other people in the organization saying, "Hey, this is not OK," I'm just not sure that the Women's March can survive."

BRUCE: Well, when I was on the Left, we were - we're always aware of people on the far-Left or people who did not mean our movement well were trying to hijack certain things we were doing.

And if you had experience, you would know what to watch for. Clearly something happened here that while, of course, all issues are women's issues, what - what we don't do and what we don't embrace, certainly, I don't think any American of decency embraces racism or Jew-hatred, I don't know how difficult--

STUCKEY: Of course.

BRUCE: --is it to disavow Louis Farrakhan, which they have not been able to do. You know - you know, this sends a message that really has nothing to do with - with women's rights or women's lives or the welfare of women at all.

And it really does kind of damage that many women were - were - were looking to this March or to this movement to speak for them. But - but, Allie, we also saw some division when the March refused to embrace or allow pro-life women to join them in that March.


BRUCE: So, it was really very political from the beginning when it comes to liberalism or Left-wing politics versus women's welfare.

STUCKEY: Right. And while I disagree with much of the politics, if not all of the politics of the Women's March, I do stand by their right to peacefully protest behind leaders that they can trust and actually tout the organization's values.

And while, like I said, I don't agree with them, they do say--

BRUCE: Sure.

STUCKEY: --that they're for tolerance. They are for inclusion. They are for, like you said, women's empowerment and women's rights. But--

BRUCE: Right.

STUCKEY: --I don't see how it is actually for those things if they don't include pro-life women, if they don't include Jewish women or they don't treat Jewish women the same. But this is the insanity of intersectionality. This oppression Olympics--

BRUCE: And identity politics.

STUCKEY: --that we're seeing from the far-Left. Exactly and it's--

BRUCE: You know, it is - it's - it's the issue of identity politics--

STUCKEY: --damaging to even the Left.

BRUCE: --yes. You know, and this is where it - it gets off-center here.

I'm the President of Independent Women's Voice. There's also though at this March in Washington there's going to be a number of different counter protests, if you will, including from the IW (ph) groups really making it clear that all women matter, right?

Whether you're Jewish or not or Christian, it transcends religion, it transcends race, it transcends ethnicity--


BRUCE: --economics. This is what makes us sisters. And yet, we don't even still have that conversation when this movement, as it was, was being seen- -


BRUCE: --or described as being the epitome of a movement. So, we'll find out. This is an important thing to discuss. And American people are going to be able to make their - their decision.

Thank you, Allie, for joining us tonight. I appreciate it.

STUCKEY: Thank you, Tammy.

BRUCE: All right, this is a Fox News Alert. President Trump is now in Germany visiting U.S. troops at Ramstein Air Force Base. The President is on his way back from Iraq, as you know, where he met with our troops there earlier today. Great - looking great right there.

And next, is socialism coming back in America? Tucker returns, after the break, to investigate that question, coming up next.


BRUCE: Unlike large parts of the world, America has never implemented socialism. But could that be on the brink of changing? Tucker recently had a conversation on that topic. Here's what happened.


TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: America's economic system is in trouble and has been for more than a decade. It never fully recovered from the financial collapse. And that's been true regardless of who has been in the White House. The middle class is declining. That trend doesn't seem to be slowing down. The question is what will replace our middle class?

Joel Kotkin just wrote a fascinating piece for the Orange County Register. He predicts that America is headed for a regime of oligarchical socialism, where super-rich business leaders like Mark Zuckerberg buy off the masses with programs like a guaranteed minimum income.

Joel Kotkin joins us tonight. Joel, that was, I thought, a fascinating piece, a dystopian piece, a terrifying piece. I hope you're wrong in every detail. But - but what if you're not? Tell us what this is going to look like.

JOEL KOTKIN, CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY URBAN STUDIES FELLOW: Well I - I usually don't think I'm wrong. The--


KOTKIN: --I think what - what - what - what's basically happening is we have a very small number of people who have unprecedented wealth and parts of the economy and control over media like we haven't seen before. And their business models are not unionized.

They generally hire - a lot of these firms hire a lot of part-time workers. They hire a lot of people from overseas and Silicon Valley, as much as 40 percent of the tech workforce.

What they don't want to do is pay the benefits and the pensions that the evil companies like oil companies and manufacturing companies do to their employees. So, what's the solution? Well, if I want to be in the Democratic Party, what I do is I - I - I talk all the good talk on gender and race and - and climate and all that.

And I - I put off the Bernie people by saying, "Oh yes, we'll have free this, free that, free one other thing, you know, free education and a guaranteed income and rent subsidies." And, by the way, how are we going to pay for it? "Oh, we're not going to take, you know, a $100 billion from Jeff Bezos, so he'd only be stuck with $50 billion. We're going to - we're going to take it from your average, you know, upper-middle class household owner."

And that's what they've done in California. And I think that's what they want to do nationally. They're not going to attack the oligarchs. They're going to attack the - the upper-middle class, which is where the money is.

CARLSON: But I guess I don't understand why Congress has sat passively by and allowed this to happen?

I mean on the Left, you'd think there would be concern about the rights of middle-class workers. And on the Right, there would be concern about, I don't know, monopolies or concentrations of power that are unprecedented in American history.

But no one ever says anything that you just said. Why?

KOTKIN: Well, first of all, take a look at our two parties. Republicans are basically a bunch of (EXPLETIVE), let's be honest about it. You know, you - you just put a few dollars up and they'll follow it. So, you know, these guys have lots of money, so they can buy them off.

The - the - the Left has a more complex situation because whereas there are some principle people on the Left who will take these - these oligarchs on, like Bernie Sanders, for instance, a lot of them are allied.

That's where they get their money. They get their money from Wall Street. They get their money from - from the tech oligarchs. You'll take a look at where the campaign contributions are going.

So, the problem is how do you have a Democratic Party that is basically made up with the richest people in society? And how do you serve the middle class and serve those people at the same time?

Well the way you do it is you change the nature of the middle class. The middle class no longer owns a home, probably has a family, is a renter for life living in the little apartment and, by the way, will vote reliably Democratic and because basically they're going to be completely dependent on the government for their lifestyle and for their retirement.

CARLSON: It makes my heart beat faster. Well it's (ph) makes me so mad. We need a Teddy Roosevelt, the Flaming Sword of Justice, to restore the American middle class. Joel, thank you. It's totally terrifying.

KOTKIN: My pleasure.

CARLSON: Again, I pray that you're wrong, but I suspect you're not. Thanks.

KOTKIN: Well, thank you.


BRUCE: All right, good conversation there. Now, the Democratic Party could have 20 candidates for president next year, but it has no clear leader. What is the party's future? That's coming up next.


BRUCE: With the 2020 presidential race about to begin, the Democratic Party is still trying to find a leader and a core ideology. In a recent interview, defeated Democratic Senator, Claire McCaskill, confessed she does not understand the popularity of new Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez.


SEN. CLAIRE CONNER MCCASKILL, D-MO.: I don't know her. I'm - I'm a little confused why she's the thing. But it's a good example of what I'm talking about, a bright and shiny new object, came out of nowhere and surprised people when she beat a very experienced Congressman.

And so, she's now talked about a lot. I'm not sure what she's done yet to generate that - that kind of enthusiasm, but I - I wish her well. I hope she hangs the moon.

The rhetoric is cheap. Getting results is a lot harder. I mean everybody knows they're not going to get 60 votes for free college for everybody in the United States Senate anytime the next three cycles. That's not going to happen. So, that's great to talk about in the campaign. But all that does is make people more cynical that believe in you and you don't get it done.


BRUCE: Wow! But Hillary Clinton may not be ready to hand over control of the party peacefully. Last week, she tweeted cryptically about her finalizing her plans for 2019 on Christmas. She tweeted a photo of her family from their White House days.

Bryan Dean Wright is a Democrat and a former CIA Operative. He joins us now. Hey Bryan, welcome aboard.


BRUCE: Yes. I'm a Democrat as well. And - and, look, I think these issues now are so crazy, it just it's transcending politics and the parties, right? And - and wouldn't you say Claire McCaskill sounded almost jealous there or at least was revealing why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got elected?

Because of this enclosed little bubble of politics in Washington that both parties have experienced that for Claire McCaskill not to understand the appeal, even though I do think that young woman's going to have some trouble, but it really sounds like there's a huge disconnect there.

WRIGHT: Look, she represents everything that the Democratic Party is promising America that it ought to be, right? It fits that identity politics that we have come to embrace. She's young. She's female. She's - she's vibrant in the way that she delivers the message. That's what's important to this party now.

What is frightening, though, about that is what is in her mind, and what she is saying, and what she, in fact, she believes, right? She embraces socialism. Her - her whole goal is to push the party to the point where we start nationalizing the economy.

And the path to get there, of course, is promising free stuff. So, it's even alarming that someone like Claire McCaskill, who's a very smart individual would say that, you know, I - I hope she does well and hope she hangs the moon successful.

I don't--

BRUCE: She didn't sound - I don't - that didn't sound serious or sincere--

WRIGHT: Well, fair enough.

BRUCE: --to - to you?

WRIGHT: Yes, fair enough.

BRUCE: Yes, but - because, look, I mean this is what I think all Americans are concerned about. And what Ocasio-Cortez represents, which is the potential of something new and better. This is in part why President Trump is elected, right, that there has to be a better way because Americans are engaged.

For the Democrats, we've got all those people, I think everybody should run who want - look, it happened with the Republicans in '16. You had 17 people on the stage. Who do you think really is going to be the leader? Who is going to articulate what the vision has to be for the Democrats?

WRIGHT: So, the party has divided itself really into two different camps. One is the Biden camp. These are the people who are very pragmatic and you see them pushing his candidacy forward in places like Iowa. He's polling very well there. They basically just want to beat Trump. We just want to win.

And then there's this other group of folks who - who are a - a bit more idealistic, and they're looking for somebody like the - the Cory Bookers or the Kamala Harris' or - or even someone like Bernie Sanders, right, that they inspires them (ph) at some level, not necessarily because they believe something that's good or important for the country. But it makes them feel good.

BRUCE: Right.

WRIGHT: So, I think that that's what you're going to see as the - the - the primary starts up, the - all these debates kicking off starting next June, you're going to see that tension between various wings of the party. And - and, personally, I hope that the - the - the moderate folks win.

BRUCE: Well, look, why Trump won is because he had ideas. I think that's what separated him out from the rest of the Republicans, which was about the bureaucracy, the status quo. Americans are tired of the status quo but we also want experience. We got that with Donald Trump, right?

His (ph) business experience, he - we know that he was a master negotiator and that he had some background as an older man and knowing how to make things happen as a man of action.

With the Democrats, I mean Bernie - you know, Joe Biden really pragmatic, it seems like that's more of going to the past and when it (ph) comes going to the future is it Spartacus, right, is what - who's going to draw this line about who's - who's going to define what the ideology is.

Do you have a sense even of what the Dem - what it means to be a Democrat these days? I don't even think the party actually exists in a certain sense.

WRIGHT: Look, I - I'd - I completely agree with you. I mean think about this. The - the party is embracing people like Ocasio-Cortez, avowed socialist, and you compare that to places where I come from, perhaps, where you come from that - that embrace a Jack Kennedy, you know, a man who--

BRUCE: Right.

WRIGHT: --stood up against communism and against socialism. And - so, it's amazing to see how far the party has changed.

BRUCE: But dude--


BRUCE: --dude, Hillary--

WRIGHT: --yes.

BRUCE: --is going - seems to still be going nowhere.


BRUCE: 70 percent, a new poll, 70 percent of people, the Democrats, do not want her to run. Clearly, the Democrats are at least awake enough to know that that would be bad.

What is - what is driving her that this tour that she and her husband were doing did horribly? They ended up selling tickets on like Groupon to try to get people in for like a buck 50, what is going on with them? And why is she doing this?

WRIGHT: Oh, goody. That's the big question, isn't it (ph)? Yes, here (ph)--

BRUCE: You have the answer, right? Right.

WRIGHT: --a couple Democrats trying to figure this out. We actually can agree - the entire party can agree on something. We don't like her. So, let's celebrate that.


WRIGHT: We'll try to move out of the future of Hillary (ph).

BRUCE: All right, here's - here's (ph) you know what that's going to result in. It's going to result in Donald Trump in 2020. It's going to result in Donald Trump, the robot in 2024. It's going to result in Barron Trump as President in probably about 16 years. So, there we go. It is a pleasure speaking with you, sir. Thanks for joining me tonight.

WRIGHT: Take care now.

BRUCE: All righty.

2018 is almost over. It was widely speculated that the Mueller probe would finish by the year's end. But it still shows no sign of doing so, sort of like a zombie. Dan Bongino rejoins us. Hi, Dan.

BONGINO: Good to be back. Thanks for having me here.

BRUCE: Look, is this just - just - is this as - a zombie walking through our system? Is that - what do we - what can we expect? Because, obviously, we had no real Attorney General with Jeff Sessions. Mr. Rosenstein--


BRUCE: --obviously was not putting any parameters on Mr. Mueller. Mr. Whitaker, the Acting Attorney General, there - there are many things you can do to rein in someone to indicate that it's time to find, you know, the - the end result here. What do you think is going to happen here? When would this end?

BONGINO: Yes. I - I think a really common sense basic question needs to be asked to the Mueller probe, him and his pit bulls, Weissmann and the rest of them. Are you going to produce evidence of collusion or not at some point?

Tammy, it's been two years now. Think about this. There are key witness in the case, Michael Cohen, Trump's personal attorney at one point. Michael Cohen was a central component of this entire case and the dossier, supposedly, according to the dossier having gone to Prague to set up this he - email hacking scandal, right?

BRUCE: Right.

BONGINO: Cohen's the key witness. Cohen has never - has - has repeatedly said over and over, I have never been to Prague. This is Mueller's key guy.


BONGINO: I mean at what point do you just say, you know, listen, where's the beef man? Do you have anything, Mueller or not? And if you don't, for the sake of the Republic, it's time to wrap this witch-hunt up.

BRUCE: Look, I've - I've mentioned that from the start. All of these kinds of investigations are political and that Bob Mueller--


BRUCE: --would know that it's political. And that anyone accepting the job to be the Special Counsel knew that it was going to be a political position. And, at the same time, as it became apparent that the FISA warrants that the dossier was fake, you think that he would have some--


BRUCE: --second thoughts about his trajectory. And - and if he was at all serious, what his job really was, if his position was created effectively by some degree of fraud.

Do you see him as being - he's got, you know, people say he's an - an honest guy and he's an honorable guy. I don't know what - are we seeing signs of that? Wouldn't he just decide when enough is enough if - if he really was an - an honorable man at this point?

BONGINO: Listen, I don't know Bob Mueller. But I can tell you what. This is not an honorable investigation. Listen, I worked as a Federal Agent for 11 years, investigating very high-profile cases. I'm not patting myself on the back. The taxpayers paid for it. It was a great job. I loved it.

But, Tammy, here's how it works. People walk into the Secret Service Office I was in with evidence of a crime, counterfeit or whatever, and you go and investigate subjects and suspects.

BRUCE: Right.

BONGINO: You don't walk into the Secret Service Office or an FBI Office with a suspect but no crime.


BONGINO: You don't walk in and say, "Hey listen, Mr. Mueller, I need you to investigate Donald Trump." "For what?" "I don't know, something. Maybe he ripped the mattress tag off sometime."

This is what's happening. This investigation, the act of the Bob Mueller investigation has produced crimes later on. Process crimes, false statements, but there has never been a scintilla of evidence that the purpose of this thing, and I use air quotes because it has no purpose anymore--


BONGINO: --collusion actually exists. That's the problem.

BRUCE: Yes, look, the American people, clearly, this needs to conclude naturally. We need to have answers for the American people. It needs to - nobody needs to be fired. There are ways that the Attorney General can make this end.

Dan, thanks for joining us again. I appreciate it.

All right, this is on--

BONGINO: Thanks, Tammy.

BRUCE: --on Christmas Eve. You might recall President Trump surprised kids calling the NORAD Santa Tracker by having a few calls re-routed to the White House. The President had one amusing exchange with seven-year-old girl, Collman Lloyd, over whether she still believed in Santa.


TRUMP: Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at 7 it's marginal, right? Well, you just enjoy yourself.


BRUCE: All right, well critics took the opportunity to accuse Trump of ruining the magic of Christmas for the little girl. They effectively accused him of being the Grinch, trying to cancel Christmas.

But afterwards, the seven-year-old told a newspaper that she doesn't even know what the word marginal means and that she still believes in Santa. Her parents loved the phone call. We hope she never stops believing in Santa. I haven't.

That's about it for now. Thank you so much for joining us tonight. Tune in each night at 8:00 to the show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and groupthink. Also, don't forget to DVR the show if you haven't set that up already.

Good night from New York. "Hannity" is next with Jason Chaffetz sitting in. Have a great evening.

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