This is a rush transcript from "The Story," October 23, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: So, the president's poll numbers have been rising in recent days as he goes all in to try to save his party's majority in the House, and perhaps, build it in the Senate.
Good evening, everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum, and "The Story" tonight, can he pull it off? 13 days to go, the president laser-focused on themes that he believes can win. One of them is clearly the throngs of migrants heading for the border right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I figured about everything, including the military. Not just the National Guard, the military is what I'm thinking about. We can't have people coming into our country illegally. It's not fair for a lot of reasons. Not fair to the people that are here, not fair the people that want to come here, the people that have worked so hard to become a citizen of this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Mr. Trump bowing to send as many U.S. troops as necessary to prevent them from crossing into the United States. Tonight, we will speak with Laura Trump, on the president's own emerging 2020 campaign and the themes there.
Also, chairman of the Homeland Security, Mike McCaul, on this plan to deploy U.S. troops to the border. And Fox News correspondent at-large Geraldo Rivera. Close personal friend of the president, he has very strong feelings about this caravan as critics accuse the president of waging a campaign of fear ahead of the midterms.
But first, Fox News correspondent William La Jeunesse, who is live in Southern Mexico, with members of this caravan tonight. William.
WILLIAM LA JEUNESSE, FOX NEWS NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martha, I can tell you that this is where the caravan made camp about 7,000 last night. They're staying again tonight. Basically, because their feet were just chewed up, they were exhausted. Yesterday was very hot. They made about 25 miles. Tomorrow morning they are leaving at 5:00 a.m. Going to try to make 43 miles. That's a lot with the women and children.
We'll show you around a little bit. Basically, the tarps are here because the Sun was so intense. But also, it's rainy season. And so, they're worried about that tonight. In fact, we are expecting showers shortly.
Now, in terms of some of the things the president said, all I can tell you is what I had seen and heard. When it comes to Middle Easterners, yes, maybe it's possible, but nothing is obvious. Unless possibly they are trained to fit in.
As for the gangs and the so-called bad guys, well, yes, they are likely here. But that is also too of most of the large groups that the Border Patrol's apprehending right now from California to the Rio Grande Valley.
Now, as to -- you know, what I'm seeing, generally these -- the composition, the demographics of who these people are is no different than anything you'd see in any detention facility.
Again, from McAllen to San Diego, basically, people looking for a better life. You see the women, the children, the single adults, the guys, hoping to get in and get a job.
But what is remarkable is out of the dozen women I talked to today is how few are informed about where they're going or precisely what they're going to say when they get there.
Now, unlike the Tijuana camp, people knew exactly what to say. (INAUDIBLE) trained, if you will, by the American lawyers. These women are naive, and yet somehow, optimistic.
LA JEUNESSE: And when you get to the border, what do you say
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I have no idea. Only that I'm going there because I'm going to work to get ahead.
LA JEUNESSE: Do you ask for asylum or do you just ask for sympathy? How do you -- what do you say?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I think, most mothers here ask for help because we really need it. We really need it. We come from a country where there's a lot of violence and want a safe place for our children.
LA JEUNESSE: So, basically timing. Where they're going to go? Well, we are led to believe they are going to go to Tijuana. But here is the dilemma for people, Martha, OK. So, there's a train it's called The Beast. It's a cargo train, it goes very fast, people get to entered, there's a lot of criminals there.
They don't want to go on that because they're going to be victimized. They also don't want to go on the buses because that's where Mexico has a lot of immigration agents, and they're afraid if they go there, they're going to be deported. As a consequence, they say they're going to walk. That could be three to four months. I'm not sure half of these people can make it, but, that's the plan. Back to you.
MACCALLUM: Incredible. William, thank you very much. Joining me now, Congressman Mike McCaul of Texas. Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Chairman, good to have you with us this evening.
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, R-TEXAS, CHAIRMAN, HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: Thanks, Martha.
MACCALLUM: What's your reaction -- you know, when you listen to William's report and you listen to those women, what goes through your mind?
MCCAUL: Well, you know, from my home state of Texas, we're very concerned about up to 7,000 people crossing illegally into the United States. I think, most of them are women and children. But over the last several years, we've stopped 450 known or suspected terrorists from getting into this country, and that's through I says is a good work.
So, my view is that -- you know, we tried to fix this, Martha. Chairman Goodlatte and I had a bill that would have closed illegal loopholes. I had the border wall funding in my bill, and we had a DACA fix, and every Democrat voted against that bill. And that's, that's a sad situation because this bill would have stopped this from happening, provided a deterrence. And yet, every Democrat voted against it.
So, as I look and go back home in the political landscape, this is part of the national debate going into the midterms.
MACCALLUM: Yes, it absolutely is. And you heard the president, he said we're not going to let them in. We're going to stop them at the border, I'm going to bring -- you know, reserves down there, I'm going to bring National Guard down there, we're going to bring military, and basically line them up on the border.
Here is what Chris Cuomo on CNN, said that says to him. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CUOMO, ANCHOR, CNN: If you put military down there, we know what the God forbid is in this situation. And then, how does it play? How is that good for anybody if -- because you know, isn't -- you're not going to turn or weigh thousands and thousands of people even if people start getting shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Are people going to get shot if this is what it comes to?
MCCAUL: I don't think that's a result we want to see. However, we need to stop this caravan from entering the United States. Because our laws treat them differently from those coming from Mexico, they are given political asylum rights. We need to close the legal loopholes, but in the short term, I think what the president is very frustrated that Congress has failed to act on this, and he wants to do something to stop it.
My recommendation would be posse comitatus to prevent the military and domestic in the United States from acting and under Title 10 authorities. So, basically, my advice would be a coordinated effort between the Mexican government and the United States government to stop this caravan by any means necessary from setting foot in the United States.
MACCALLUM: Yes. Well, we know that the Senate Judiciary Committee tonight asked Kirstjen Nielsen, the Homeland Security Secretary, and Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State to force asylum seekers to register in Mexico first.
They're making the case that this will help without perhaps anyone who is dangerous in this pack. You know, but so far, what we've seen is Mexican authorities just sort of saying there's not much we can do. I mean, we got to let these people go through. In fact, they are feeding them and helping them get on their way.
MCCAUL: We really haven't seen a lot of cooperation from the Mexican government, and that's unfortunate. I think Secretary Pompeo who I served with can put pressure. I think the president of the United States can put pressure on the Mexican government because Martha, again, once they set foot in the United States, they're given all this protection by our some laws.
MACCALLUM: Right. Well, that's what they want, obviously. And you can understand individually why that is what they want. But it's just completely out of control, there's no way to process it. And that as you point out legislatively, is the mess that we find ourselves in.
MCCAUL: Well, after we get back, after the midterm elections this will be the highest priority in the Congress, certainly in the House to provide the funding for the border wall. Close these legal loopholes. Provide a deterrent so they don't come up again. Because they're going to keep coming as long as they can stay in the United States.
And again, once they touch foot here, they will be able to stay. And I think -- I think we have to get creative with the Mexican government working with Homeland Security and our Department of Defense to stop them from ever coming into the United States. MACCALLUM: Yes. Chairman, thank you very much. Good to see you tonight.
Here now, Geraldo Rivera, Fox News correspondent-at-large. Geraldo, you know -- you know, I mean, there are thousands of people who are heading for the border. And you hear them, you listen to that -- you know, I -- as I say. You can understand why they want to come here.
But there is literally no process. The plan is to try to rush in between the border agents, and hope that you get through and once you get your hand -- you know, in the United States of America, you're going to have everything taken care of.
GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT-AT-LARGE: It's absolutely true. I just sit if I may, Martha. Just comment on something Chairman McCaul in his otherwise excellent appearance, said that was deeply distressing to me. He said they're going to stop this Caravan by any means necessary.
MACCALLUM: Yes, he did.
RIVERA: And you've heard the president -- you've heard the president invoke the military. "I'll use the military." You know, we can't, statutorily and constitutionally, you cannot use the United States military, you can't use the United States Army to enforce immigration law.
Maybe they can carry water bottles for the Border Patrol or something like that. But this whole specter of the military facing this ominous tidal wave of poor brown people coming from Honduras is deeply distressing to me.
You mentioned my friendship with the president. I love the president, but I think that by stressing this Middle Eastern connection, I've covered that border -- probably, more than anybody working now. I was the ABC correspondent --
MACCALLUM: Yes, understood, Geraldo. But we all know how the president -- you know, speaks about these things sometimes. And I think the bigger message is that there could be people who are dangerous, who are getting through because they're joining this caravan.
Do you -- do you see that point that there could be people who slip in who are dangerous, and that's why they want them to go to the asylum process in Mexico. This is a mess. You can't just allow 7,000 people to cross the border.
RIVERA: It is a mess. It is a mess.
MACCALLUM: You can't do it.
RIVERA: You can't. But, you saw on William La Jeunesse's report who these people are.
RIVERA: You know how this whole thing started? On the 12th of October a gadfly ex-Honduran lawmen Bartolo Fuentes took out a Facebook posting. And he said he's going to have a "caminata del Migrante, come on and joined me, everybody."
It is a sign in San Pedro Sula, one of the most dangerous cities in Honduras. He said, come on folks join me and the thousands of them in their desperation gathered and started walking. They walk through Honduras, they walk through Guatemala, now, they walking through Mexico.
MACCALLUM: And do you think that -- do you think there's something -- I hear you. But you know, and Vice President Pence, today said that he spoke to President Hernandez of Honduras. He says this been organized by leftist organizations and financed by Venezuela according to the vice president.
But don't you think there's something cruel about that? Did you hear what William La Jeunesse said? He said you can get on the bus and you might get -- you know, assaulted if you're in certain groups, at certain places in this border. This is an extremely dangerous position to put your family in, to try to go through this process.
RIVERA: And I would -- were I the president, I would contemplate whatever legal means necessary. Whatever -- I use the law to go after this Honduran lawman to put him on an embargo list. To tow the conspirators who encouraged these innocent civilians to start walking 1500, 1700 miles, 2,000 miles. They'll never make it to Tijuana. They can't walk in those flip-flops.
They make 20 miles a day. If they're lucky, they're exhausted, they missed today's march because they were so heat stricken, and exhaust -- I mean, we have to -- here's the problem. We are the world's richest country, we exist shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the world's poorest people.
Those poor people want what we have. That's just -- it's just like the Syrians in Europe.
MACCALLUM: Because we've conditioned -- we've conditioned them to believe that if you can get across the border, we're going to take care of everything for you.
RIVERA: That may be true.
MACCALLUM: So, why wouldn't they to do? But the problem is as the president said it isn't fair to the rest of the world, either. It's not fair to people who want to come in from Eastern Europe. It's not fair to be --
MACCALLUM: Who are going through the process, who are waiting their turn, who are having the visa -- you know, organizing their visa process. How is it fair to those people who wait for years and years if you can come across the southern border, and just step your foot on the ground, and your family is going to be taken care of.
RIVERA: You know, if the Congress of the United States would get off their respective asses, and work with the President of the United States to have immigration reform.
MACCALLUM: Yes, I meant to that.
RIVERA: And alter some of these statutes. I mean, the asylum law is the law. If they come and they touch the United States, then they get a hearing by a judge. So, one of the things we can do --
MACCALLUM: But, let -- understood.
RIVERA: Wait, here's a suggestion.
MACCALLUM: Yes, go ahead.
RIVERA: One of the things we can do, and the president has asked this. "Let's have a lot more immigration judges." So rather than a six month or eight-month wait for the hearing, during which they are caught and released. Let's have instead of 100 judges, have 1,000 judges. Why not? Let's -- that's one way to fix the problem.
The other way is to -- is to do this compromise where you fund the wall, and you cut a slack to the DREAMers who've been here for many, many years.
MACCALLUM: Now, they track that -- you know, the president proposed that, and it got shot down.
RIVERA: Ample compromised, the president has to be for compromised.
MACCALLUM: Now, what do you make of this -- you know, this idea that there is -- that fear is being pushed as part of an electoral plan. I want to play a little bit of sound for you from some others in the media. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALISYN CAMEROTA, ANCHOR, CNN: President Trump is waging a fact-free campaign of fear ahead of the midterm elections that are now two weeks from today.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we are two weeks to the election. And we're officially it appears in a fact free zone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really do believe, people get that this is fear- mongering at its best, and they are determined to turn out, and say, no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Yes. But you know, there's a lot of people who look at what's happening --
RIVERA: I think that's very --
MACCALLUM: Go ahead. And look at what's happening, and say, "There's a huge problem with this. This system is completely broken and it doesn't work.
RIVERA: The system is completely broken and it doesn't work, but that analysis, you just played those clips are very simplistic. I've been here at Fox News for almost 18 years. There is no issue that I've ever talked about with which I was more less in tune with the Fox News viewers than I am on this one.
When you mentioned illegal immigrants, or illegal aliens, or undocumented immigrants, there is a visceral response that is so impassioned, it is so angry, so frustrated, it's very difficult to get your arms around exactly why it generates so intense response.
The President as a politician is absolutely right. This is the way to kill the blue wave. This is a way to motivate the base. Whether it furthers -- you know, brings a solution to this damn problem is problematic. I don't think that the harsh language does. But if the Democrats could -- if the - - if the Republicans can hold and then tell the Democrats listen, how much longer do you want to this crisis to continue? How many more migrant caravans do you want launched against Texas, or New Mexico, or Arizona, or California?
I mean, let's get together or otherwise you, it's you, Chuck Schumer who is irresponsible, it's you the commentators at the liberal networks who are irresponsible. Let's fix this problem. Let's work together. These people though, these 7,000, you saw them just now in Williams piece, the vast majority of them are not Isis, they're not al Qaeda. I've never seen any mid-easterner trying to penetrate illegally from the southern border. What they are were desperately for people with no hope, who are trying to go to the beacon of hope, and I understand that we don't want to give them our welfare and our --
MACCALLUM: Yes. And their countries -- their countries have let them down enormously. Their countries have let them down enormously.
RIVERA: Yes, they are dysfunctional, failed state.
MACCALLUM: Absolutely. You know, but you know, I'll go back -- I'll say it again. That's not to say that there are not people who will embed themselves with these groups and try to get through. Both things can absolutely be true. We know also that there's a new caravan apparently that's forming in El Salvador right now so the idea that there could be a steady stream that continues and continues and continues, there's something like 57 million people who would like to come to the United States but unfortunately there has to be some kind of process. It can't just be that simple, unfortunately.
RIVERA: I agree. I agree.
MACCALLUM: Geraldo, thanks. Always good to see you. Thanks for being here.
RIVERA: Thanks to you, Martha. Yes, you too.
MACCALLUM: So Thursday here on the story I will be live on the Arizona border with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. We're going to talk about this issue as this Caravan moves closer to our border and the president talks about assembling a military along the border we will be there and get a first-hand look at exactly what is going on. We look forward to our discussion with her.
And 2020 is going to start coming into focus fast and furiously with certain Democrats like Kamala Harris already receiving a warm welcome in Iowa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's really gotten kind of a rock star reception at the end of that event. They were just like moving toward her in a human crush, so a lot of love for her here in Iowa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: A lot of love in Iowa but President Trump is pushing his own campaign forward in a big way too. His campaign advisor, daughter-in-law Lara Trump joins me next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
D. TRUMP: Nobody ever had the condition of having produced the greatest economy in the history of our country, right? Nobody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: President Trump confident in the booming economy and that it will help convince voters to vote Republican in 2018 and perhaps in 2020 as well. But his predecessor President Obama was quick to jump back into the fray this week and say not so fast.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: When you hear all his talk about economic miracles right now, remember who started it. Remember who started it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Remember who started it said, President Obama. Here now Laura Trump, Campaign Advisor to President Trump and also his daughter-in-law. Lara, good to have you here. I know you've been campaigning hard in Michigan today, but President Obama, former President Obama very much back on the scene and he's trying to convince everybody that this economy is something really that he started.
LARA TRUMP, CAMPAIGN ADVISER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: It must be pretty hard to be President Obama to have been in there Martha for eight years had an opportunity to do so much and to tell the people of this country that the best they could expect is two percent growth, that that was the new normal. And then to see Donald Trump come in less than two years and have over four percent growth in our economy, and to see the way that the stock market has hit record highs, that unemployment is at record lows, that must be a lot to swallow for him.
It's pretty funny to see him try and take credit since they always try and distance themselves Democrats so much from Republicans in this president but I think we all know the economy turned around in this country, started finally heading in the right direction under President Donald Trump.
MACCALLUM: Well, I know you've been out doing a lot of campaigning and I know from 2016 that you always felt that you had a feel for what was going on out there. Now, when you look at the Midterm numbers, right now the latest -- the latest sort of feel for it is that Democrats are plus four in these races when you travel around. President Obama did not have as big a crowd as President Trump in the rally last evening. It was pointed out in several places on the internet this morning that there were some empty seats there and I know President Trump doesn't like to brag about the crowd ever so well mention it.
But you know, what do you see out there? What's your feel for this Midterm race? And do you think and does the President think that Republicans can actually hold the House potentially?
L. TRUMP: Well, you're exactly right. I had a feel for the country in 2016 and it was very different by the way than what all of the mainstream media was reporting, all the people that gave the president a one percent chance of actually winning the election. I knew there was something happening in this country. Everybody during the campaign who was out in the country talking to people understood that. It's the same thing now, Martha.
You're exactly right. We had 100,000 people RSVP for the President's rally last night in Houston. That's unprecedented. We've been doing these rallies for almost three years now and we have not seen that many people ever RSVP for a rally. It's really incredible. I think the people of this country are very motivated on the Republican end now.
And I know the Democrats like to talk about it, the media likes to hype them up a lot, but the reality is people understand that if they don't get out and vote for Republicans in this Midterm Election, all the forward progress that we've seen under President Donald Trump will stop. The Democrats, if they take control of the House and Senate, will try and impeach this President. I think people are taking it very seriously. Everywhere I've gone people are really excited to vote and vote Republican. A lot of people out there knocking doors making phone calls and volunteering.
MACCALLUM: We'll see some of the early voting numbers show some momentum that way but those can be tricky as well. I want to -- you know one of the people that President Trump may end up running against. There's quite a few of them who are possibly in that group 20 by some estimates. But Kamala Harris is in Iowa right now and she's getting a lot of positive response. She was meeting with some voters. Let's show the video of her talking to voters on the sidewalk for a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, D-CALIF.: So there you go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never seem early right?
HARRIS: It's how it starts. I'll see you later, all right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: That's the obligatory you know, campaigner with baby video. But here's the reporter who was covering it for CNN. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's really gotten kind of a rock star reception last night in Des Moines. You could really feel that electricity among about 500 people who showed up to see her. At the end of that event they were just like moving toward her in a human crush, so a lot of love for her here in Iowa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: What do you think about that coverage, Lara?
L. TRUMP: Well, it's CNN, Martha. What else are they going to say? Of course, they're going to think that she's the most wonderful thing to ever happen. What we have Martha is a results president. This is a president who is delivering for the people of this country and I think even people that did not vote for President Donald Trump in 2016 are going to vote for him in 2020 because their lives are changing for the better. They have more money in their pockets.
They have -- their 401ks going up. They see that they can finally send their kids to college or do something better for their family, take a family vacation for the first time in years. This is what people in this country want to feel. They want to know that this country is safer. Under President Donald Trump, all of that is true. And I would love to know who is going to run on the Democrat end in 2020 but I think it's going to be incredibly hard to defeat President Donald Trump.
MACCALLUM: Well, I know your campaign has brought in $100 million at this point so there's a lot of enthusiasm and it's going to be fascinating to watch all of it. Lara, thank you very much. Good to see you tonight.
L. TRUMP: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So we have heard a lot of talk about a big blue wave as we were just discussing coming to Capitol Hill. But according to the numbers, the political winds might be shifting a little bit. Marc Thiessen, Adrienne Elrod here to examine them because we all know well that nobody knows what's going to happen on November 6th. But we're going to take a look at some of these brand-new numbers when we come back.
MACCALLUM: So, turn on the TV, or read a newspaper, or check your favorite web site, chances are you have been inundated with talk of a big blue wave believed to be coming. But if you look closely at some of the latest polling, some of that is tightening up and some of that is shifting a little bit.
But here now, Marc Thiessen, American Enterprise Institute scholar and Fox News contributor, Adrienne Elrod, strategic communications director from Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.
You know, I think 2016 sort of taught us a lot of lessons about looking at these polls, about anticipating. Because you know, as much as I heard about the big blue wave, I'm now hearing that it's shifting.
But then when I look at some of the cold hard numbers, for instance, from the Cook Political Report, they rate 72 GOP seats and only five for Democrats are at risk. You've got a lot of numbers that look like Democrats will pretty handily take over the House. Marc, what's your assessment as you sort of weigh in 12 days ago?
MARC THIESSEN, SCHOLAR, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: Yes. Well, like you and everyone else I've a lot of humility after 2016. So, I'm not in the prediction business.
But what I will say is at this point, the talk of the blue wave has sort of receding, shall we say. And we're talking more. Most of the predictions are now saying that the Democrats will probably take back the House by the average prediction is about 25 seats. One, they need 23.
So, if one or two of those races go against the Democrats, it could keep the House in Republican hands. And what's happening is, in those tight races where they have a structural advantage the races are tightening significantly.
A perfect example of that is the third congressional district in New Jersey, where Congressman Tom MacArthur is facing a really tough challenge from Andy Kim who was a former Obama administration official.
This is a district that Republican plus two, it went for Obama twice. Then it switched to Trump in 2016. So, it's exactly the kind of district that Democrats really need to win--
THIESSEN: -- if they are going to take back the House. They were up by 10 points before the Kavanaugh hearings, right now the latest poll has MacArthur up by two. So that's not -- that's not -- it doesn't mean the Republicans have pulled away, it's a tough race. But it has tightened a lot. If that district and districts like it stay Republican that means the blue wave has hit a red wall.
MACCALLUM: Adrienne, you may have heard I was interviewing Laura Trump a little while ago. She is obviously campaigning for Republicans around the country. She was working on the 2020 Trump campaign as well. And she said, you know, that she feels something out there that is not being reflected in these polls.
You look at that Kavanaugh, you look at the caravan, which the president likes to put those things together. It's like real issues that are going to turn out Republicans they believe in bigger numbers. Did that concern you?
ADRIENNE ELROD, FORMER HILLARY CLINTON'S COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: No, it doesn't concern me at all, Martha. And here's why. First of all, health care and the economy are the two issues that are driving this election. We've seen it in the special elections that have taken place since 2016, and we are seeing it in some of the polling leading up to the midterm election.
Americans are concerned, and by the way, a lot of these people are Trump supporters. They are concerned that a Republican majority is going to take away their health care. They are concerned that Obamacare is going to be repealed. It was not overwhelmingly popular when it was passed but now it is.
And that is what people have been taking to the polls during the midterms or during the special elections. And they are taking this concern to the polls in the midterms.
You know, as for the caravan, this is just something that Donald Trump and frankly a lot of Republicans do, which is they tried to deploy scare tactics at the stage of the game to make people nervous. That's why you see Donald Trump going on the campaign trail, delivering red meat to his base. Trying to get them excited. And you know, to an extent it might work.
But ultimately, I think when people go to the polls and you're seeing this with independents, you're seeing this with a lot of moderate Republicans who are leaning towards Democrats in the cycle. They are going to vote on kitchen table issues that matter most to their families and that is health care and the economy.
MACCALLUM: All right. We will watch. Thanks to you, guys. Good to see you both tonight.
ELROD: Thanks, Martha.
THIESSEN: Thanks, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So late this evening, the Trump administration appears to be toughening its stance on the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: We are making it very clear that the United States does not support this ruthless action, to silence Mr. Khashoggi, a journalist through violence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Very big developments today from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on what is going to be done in retaliation. So, what is the administration, what do they -- what's their play here? How is it going to work? General Jack Keane here to walk us through what happens next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The cover-up was horrible. The execution was horrible. But they shouldn't have never been at an execution or a cover up. Because it should never happen. We're all meeting tomorrow afternoon. Everybody is going to have a lot of information. We've gained a lot of information. And we'll know pretty much everything there is to know I believe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: That was President Trump moments ago dialing his criticism of Saudi Arabia after brand-new reports have emerged suggesting that body parts of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi may have been located in a backyard garden near the Saudi consul general's home in Istanbul. That is also still to be confirmed.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered a similar very strong message earlier today about what comes next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POMPEO: We are taking appropriate actions which include revoking visas, entering visa lookouts, and other measures. We are also working with the Treasury Department to review the applicability of a global Magnitsky sanctions to those individuals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Interesting. All right. Here now, General Jack Keane, Fox News senior strategic analyst and chairman for the Institute of the Study of Work. Good to have you here, general. What did you take away from what Mike Pompeo said there?
JACK KEANE, FOX NEWS SENIOR STRATEGIC ANALYST: Well, first of all, they truly are going to hold everybody that participated in this accountable to a certain point. But you know, the administration policy makers, they are very frustrated here. Because they are mindful of the importance and criticality of this relationship with Saudi Arabia based on U.S. National interest.
KEANE: That means security of the American people and the well-being. But, it's a breakdown of trust and values that is so damaged this relationship. And that false narrative that the Saudis have put out, a fistfight leading to Jamal's death. And then absolving themselves completely of any culpability in this operation. Despite the fact that it was done by high security officials under the authority of the intelligence directorate. Deploy to a foreign country to silence a critic of the administration.
And they -- those people who were on that operation, Martha, they believe firmly that they were doing that in concert with Saudi policy and in concert with Saudi culture and handling a dissident.
KEANE: And to think that they could walk away from that and say, we have no culpability is an absurdity. And that's what is so frustrating this administration.
MACCALLUM: I want to ask you something else about the dynamic in the Middle East, because some were saying that Turkey is sort of using this as much as they can to their advantage.
Today, while the Saudis were holding this big financial conference that not as many people showed up to as they would have liked in, everybody was, you know, praising and a standing ovation for MBS, the crown prince at this thing. At the same time, Turkey is putting out all of these new details. Body parts found in a garden back. What are they trying to get at this, the Turks?
KEANE: Well, they are rivalries in the region there. And Erdogan certainly has become a much more challenging, quote, "ally" of ours.
KEANE: Given his dictatorial policies that he has taken and he's moving it to an Islamic state. They obviously have an authoritarian rule. And a conflict we have with them over Syria. So, he is actually using this as leverage against the Saudis.
And you know, what is fact and what is fiction? That's why the administration sent the director of the CIA to Turkey. Because we don't know when the Turks are lying or when they are telling the truth.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, Gina Haspel was sent. And as you say, you know, there was all this talk about this audiotape and the details that came up in audiotape. And Pompeo said, they never saw any audiotape.
KEANE: If there was an audiotape, that would be out because it would be so damaging. That would have been out in the full public view.
MACCALLUM: We got to be very careful about both sides on all of this. Thank you very much, general.
MACCALLUM: Good to see you.
KEANE: Good seeing you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So, if Nancy Pelosi picks up the gavel in November, what are her plans for the results of the Mueller investigation? Would she pick up that investigation as well? Republican Jim Jordan up next.
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REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., MINORITY LEADER: I am a great legislator (Inaudible). And one of the reasons I am is because I recognize the contributions of others. I was committee chairs and all the rest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: The subpoena is interesting. To use it or not to use it. It's a great power to have in your quiver in terms of negotiating on other subjects. But getting back to what we will do. What we will do is exercise oversight which is the responsibility of the Congress of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: That's Nancy Pelosi hinting at her possible plans should voters give her that gavel in a couple of weeks. Eyeing Democrats Jerry Nadler and Elijah Cummings perhaps would probably be the leadership and judiciary and on oversight, respectively.
Joining me now is House Republican at Jim Jordan, a member of the oversight and judiciary committees. Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks for being here.
REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OHIO: Good to be with you.
MACCALLUM: First of all, what's your reaction to what Nancy Pelosi said there about subpoena? Because you have often wielded subpoena power--
MACCALLUM: -- and wanted to use that. So, I guess you have to expect that if the she was on the other foot, as it may be in a couple of weeks, that the opposite will happen as well.
JORDAN: Yes. It's a legitimate power and if they need to subpoena something I am sure they are going do it. I think if they power we know from a policy standpoint what they are going to try to do. They are going to try to raise your taxes. They are going to try to abolish ICE and they are going to continue to try to socialized medicine.
And the from an investigative standpoint, I think they are going to try to impeach the president. They are going to try to get his tax return, they are going to investigate all of his business dealings and we will spend a lot of time on that.
But probably, in my mind, Martha, more important than the investigation is that Democrats will start if they get control of Congress is the one that they'll stop. And that is the FBI investigation. Because that to me is where the FBI did what they did as wrong as that was, taking one party's opposition research documents, dressing it all up and making it look like it was legitimate intelligence and taking it to a circuit court to get a warrant to spy on the other party's campaign, presidential campaign.
That's as wrong as it gets. I think they will stop that. So, to me, that's what is at stake here. But the bottom line is, I don't think they are going to win. I think we're going to keep the majority and we're going to continue to investigate the FBI and get to the bottom of it.
MACCALLUM: We will see. Here is a Fox News poll that shows what issues are important to the vote for the people who were surveyed in this poll. We'll put up on the screen. You can see, at the very, very bottom 30 percent is the Mueller investigation.
Now that of course is sort of the newer image of the investigation that you're talking about of the FBI. But we understand that Mueller is likely to wrap this up or likely to come forward with perhaps with his report after the midterm election.
MACCALLUM: If he has done with it, is there any doubt in your mind that it will be picked up by the oversight committee and continued probably throughout the rest of the course of the Trump presidency?
JORDAN: Probably so. But they are going to investigate all kinds of things if they get power. I mean, they've taken some of the most extreme positions I've ever seen the Democrat Party taken American history. So, yes, they are going to continue the investigation. I think that just underscores why it's so important that in 14 days Republicans keep the majority.
I mean, think about their overall. I said this the other day. They applaud Kaepernick when he disrespects the flag, they cheer on Governor Cuomo when he says America was never that great. And they embrace Maxine Waters when she says go out and harass anyone who supports the president. That's the vision they offer the country?
And by the way, two years of investigations if they win versus the amazing record under 21 months of leadership by the president, where taxes regulations cut, the economy is growing at 4.2 percent. Lowest unemployment in 40 years. And on and on we go. So that's how this election shapes up. So hopefully we'll be able to win. And then continue the investigation in the FBI.
MACCALLUM: We will see. Congressman Jordan, thank you very much. Good to see you tonight.
JORDAN: You bet, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So, coming up next, what might be the second most controversial issue of the week as the Trump administration tries to put a definition on gender.
MACCALLUM: White House taking some heat this week, not just on immigration, but also on its official policy on gender. A series of decisions under the Obama administration loosened the legal definition of gender, and that, of course, sparked nationwide debate, as you remember, over bathrooms, college dorms, sports leagues, it all boils down to a demand for quality.
A fight in which my next guest says, activists are approaching it all wrong. Here now, Camille Paglia, author of the new book "Provocations," which is a sensational collection of so much of her work, she is provocative from the beginning. Camille, good to have you with us tonight, thanks for being here.
CAMILLE PAGLIA, AUTHOR, PROVOCATIONS: Hi, Martha. Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So talk to me about your reaction to this, because the administration really hasn't laid out exactly what they mean by this change, but basically, they are saying that they could go to a position where they consider a person's sex to be the genitalia that they were born with and gender to be something that maybe disconnected from that.
PAGLIA: Well, I think there's an awful a lot of sort of campus fantasy around the notion of gender right now. I identify as transgender, but I totally acknowledge that there are two biological sexes, and that you cannot change your sex. Your sex is coded in the DNA in every single cell of your body except for the blood.
MACCALLUM: So, do you see any problems with this concept of going back to the initial, sort of, recognition of that? What impact do you think it might have on things like bathrooms and sports?
PAGLIA: Well, I think it is quite unfair, actually, as a feminist that girls are being deprived of first prizes and athletic competitions across the world because you have either a male to female transgender person, or a girl who was in the process of changing gender, who is taking testosterone for medical reasons, and is permitted to do that after many athletic guidelines.
MACCALLUM: So, you know, when you take a look, obviously, a lot at this Me Too movement that has been going on, and we watch what happened with Brett Kavanaugh. You say I'm astonished after the victory of the pro-sex swing that we are back to feminist puritism -- puritism again. And you talk about women sort of not being -- not being victimized in this, and that feels like where a lot of this conversation goes.
PAGLIA: Well, my pro-sex wing of feminism finally struggled into feminism in the 1990s, thanks to Madonna, and we basically won against the insanity of the Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin period of the 1970s, which was really a kind of resurgent of the Salem witch -- impuritism, as far as I'm concerned.
Now we're back to victims of feminism, I think that this is not helping women to define them as weak and vulnerable, vis-a-vis, men.
MACCALLUM: What do you, how do you describe victim feminism?
PAGLIA: Well, I am an equity feminist. I demand equality of opportunity in the professional and political realms. But, unfortunately, victim feminism is all about the defining women as eternally vulnerable, requiring special protections, and this kind of feminism is shot through with anti-male bias and even hatred.
I think it is neurotic, bordering on psychotic, sometimes. My feminism is based on admiring men, requiring of them honorable behavior, of course, but I can acknowledge all the tremendous achievements of men in history. There is no such thing as patriarchy, except in certain key periods in history, such as the Victorian period or Rome.
MACCALLUM: Thank you very much, Camille Paglia. It's very good to have you with us tonight. Thanks for being here.
PAGLIA: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: You, too.
PAGLIA: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: It's always fascinating. That is our story for tonight, thanks for being with us. On Thursday and actually tomorrow, as well, tomorrow night we are going to be in Arizona. Thursday we'll be live on the border with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for an exclusive interview, and we'll see first-hand the situation there as the massive migrant caravan inches closer to our southern border.
Good night, everybody. Thanks for being with us. Tucker is up next.
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