Larry Kudlow calls to 'put socialism on trial' during CPAC

This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," March 1, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: Well, he was all upset, I understand. I just -- I was just getting ready CPAC and my speech and eating breakfast, then I hear he's all upset because only you and the Chinese and the Russians got a question. And then I'm reading -- wait a second, didn't like Forbes or -- or NPR, and a number of other outlets got questions, but not poor Jim Acosta. So we need to get a care package or something to him. Bring the good seaweed, you know that dried seaweed you can get in Vietnam? Let's bring that, we'll send that to him, some elixirs maybe. I think he's having a hard time.

HANNITY: You know Laura, we don't -- we're talk show hosts. We do news, we do straight reporting, investigative reporting. Even sports and cultural issues and opinion. There's folks...

INGRAHAM: And horoscopes. I do horoscopes too.

HANNITY: Maybe on your radio show. Good for you. I heard you gave a great speech at CPAC. Is that true?

INGRAHAM: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. We had a -- we had a good time. You have to tell jokes and get out. That's my view, tell -- tell a few jokes, get a few digs in, talk about how much you love America and get off the stage. If can do that, then that's always a good speech., Hannity. But you did a great job with the president. We watched and great job.

HANNITY: Thank you.

INGRAHAM: Get home safely.

Hannity: Thank you. We will. So, we're not leaving for another 20 hours and then it's another 26 hours, but we'll be there eventually.

INGRAHAM: No, Hannity, I can't wait to see your scooter ride home the whole way.

HANNITY: Wow, that's...

INGRAHAM: The scooter.

HANNITY: Well, listen, there might be a high-speed train built within ten years.

INGRAHAM: All right, Hannity, thanks so much. I'm Laura Ingraham and this is the Ingraham Angle from Washington tonight. Are the president's critics rooting for America's failure? My angle will answer that question in moments. Plus, she spent the last 24 hours being demeaned for her mere presence at Michael Cohen's hearing yesterday. Tonight, Trump family friend Lynne Patton will be here responding, to being told she's nothing more than a prop for the president.

Former Governor Chris Christie is here. What are his take-aways from what happened yesterday in North Korea -- I mean in Vietnam, with the summit and at the Cohen hearing. He'll tell us. And Raymond Arroyo will highlight Hollywood's complete blind spot when it comes to Jussie Smollett. You'll not believe what they're saying tonight in Hollywood about Smollett.

But first, Trump haters root against America. That's the focus of tonight's angle.

You know the phrase "always wrong, but never in doubt"? Well that pretty much sums up the partisan reporters, the Democrats turned socialists and the never-Trumpers who just sit around talking to themselves. Do you remember the predictions back when the president was calling Kim "Little Rocket Man" and setting up his first North Korean summit?


BOB CORKER, R-TENN., FORMER SENATOR: He has to realize that, you know, that we could be heading toward World War III with those (ph) comments that he's making.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're probably closer to an outright war with North Korea than we have been in a very, very long time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a coming war most likely, possibly a full blown war with an emerging nuclear power.


INGRAHAM: Of course none of that happened; in fact the region arguably more peaceful and more stable since Trump's engagement. And Kim Jong-un has stopped testing warheads and is no longer making random threats to his neighbors. Yet, even as the president embarked on his second North Korean summit, traveling halfway across the globe, his motives at home were being impugned.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you worried that he -- because of what's happening back (ph) here, that he may try to distract, or make a bad decision with Kim Jong-un because he's trying to distract from Cohen's testimony?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Its-- it is inconceivable to me that this is not going to be a huge distraction for him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The need to come up with something spectacular out of this meeting in order to overshadow what we're going to hear on Capitol Hill today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he tempted to give too much? Is he tempted to claim too much, in order to obscure what's going on here in Congress?


INGRAHAM: Remember, those are the "experts." Clearly again, none of that happened. The president walked away from the deal with Kim because he was unwilling to back off sanctions in exchange for only kind of partial denuclearization. In other words, it would have been a bad deal for you and me, for the whole region.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn't give up all the sanctions for that. So we continue to work it and we'll see, but we had to walk away from that particular suggestion. We had to walk away from that.


INGRAHAM: Now you would think that the president would be praised by the media, even maybe some Democrats if they were fair. Pragmatic response. Right? Of course not. Well look, he defied (ph) their expectations, he acted in the best interest of the country. But as expected, many of those pundits masquerading as journalists just sat gloated and spun away.


JIM ACOSTA: The president staked a lot of his presidency on something that is just much more difficult than reality TV. This is not something that can be wrapped up in a season of the Apprentice.


INGRAHAM: Send me a memo when the Apprentice analogies are retired. Getting old, isn't it, Jim? Of course, and then the House speaker was delighted to pile on.


SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF.: I guess it took -- took two meetings for him to realize that Kim Jong-un is not on the level. He was a big winner, Kim Jong-un, in getting to sit face to face with the most powerful person in the world, the president of the United States.


INGRAHAM: So the president is damned if he does, if he does make a deal, because it would have all have been just a distraction from Cohen, right? And he's damned if he doesn't, because well he claims to be a deal-maker but he didn't bring home a deal. These critiques are unserious, unsurprising and in a sad way, unpatriotic. These people are actually hoping for America's failure on the world stage, because then they can say see, we told you so.

Making progress with a communist regime, a brutal dictatorship, isn't going to happen overnight. It's extremely difficult. But it really is good news that America is talking to Kim and the North Koreans. And it's certainly better than being on the brink of war. But the amazing thing about liberals is their capacity to flame out and quickly pivot because they said Trump would destroy the economy and right? We'd have the -- and we today the healthiest economy in the G7. They said manufacturing would not come back.

Well, the U.S. economy added 284,000 manufacturing jobs in 2018, the most in 21 years. So, of course, hearing that, the media just yawns or ignores it altogether or they'll claim Obama deserves the credit. Yeah, right. Have no fear, the liberals have a new narrative. When the news is too good or their prognostication fail to materialize, they simply write a new narrative. So now they're putting all their hopes in the great Trump slayer, Michael Cohen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This (inaudible) will be the opening act. And what you saw today -- and I still think Russia is going to be a sidebar to this, as a peek inside the criminal enterprise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is just the beginning of what I think is a very serious and probably impeachable offense.

CHUCK TODD: This is the first unofficial hearing of the impeachment process. Whether you want to call it that or not, that's what -- history is going show this.


INGRAHAM: You see the glow that Chuck Todd had when he said that? I mean, this group is so regularly wrong on so many issues, regularly failing to read the history of this administration, the policies and the goals. Or even worse, they foresee it's coming altogether. Why should we listen to any of them now? Particularly when the president is making a positive difference, historically for America and security frankly of the globe where North Korea is concerned?

They refuse to acknowledge it for a reason, because acknowledging Trump's successes would mean acknowledging their own failures. And rooting against America is always the wrong strategy. And that's the angle.

All right, joining me now for reaction, syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin. We never have her in studio, great to see her, former DNC communications director Luis Miranda, and East Asia expert, Gordon Chang. Michelle, I want to start with you. You would think folks would be happy in this case, because they were predicting doom and gloom, nuclear war. Trump says no, this deal is not good and walks away, but he's blamed for that, too.

MICHELLE MALKIN: Yeah, it doesn't matter whether it's trade or the environment or nukes. You -- you said it in the opening, Trump is damned if he -- he deals and he's damned if he doesn't. And I think it says a lot about the -- in particular the beltway press, because 24 hours ago when he was boarding the plane, they thought he was going to give away the store, and when he walks away, why didn't you give away the store? Right?

You -- you -- you cannot understand and appreciate the beltway press unless you understand first that these people don't perceive themselves as American citizens, first. They're citizening of the world. So any deal that actually benefits America is something they're going to be against. We live in the bizarre-o world. If he's too soft -- if they consider him too soft, they will yell. If he acts aggressively, they will yell as well. You can never satisfy these people, and that's what, you know walking away is the best thing that he could have done here.

INGRAHAM: Gordon, you have interesting insight. I want everyone to understand about how this was good for our relationship with China and how it puts them in a box. Why?

GORDON CHANG: It certainly takes Xi Jinping, the Chinese ruler and unnerves (ph) him. He needs a trade deal with the United States for a number of reasons. His economy is probably contracting, he's being blamed for the, quote/unquote, "trade war." And now Trump has shown him, look, he might walk away. I think the Chinese really felt that Trump was going to make concessions, that he was under a lot of domestic pressure from the financial services industry and others to give in to China. And now Trump is showing them, look, I don't care what you think. I'm not bullied, I can walk away. I think the Chinese are now in a panic.

INGRAHAM: Luis, when we think about how difficult the situation is, Madeleine Albright tried, Hillary went over there in -- in 2000, I think -- or 2010. Many administrations have tried to make progress. None of them have, really. We at least are talking to North Korea. Why from the Democrat perspective, they're all for peace, we want love and peace, and we don't want war, so why wouldn't the Democrats be happy with that?

LUIS MIRANDA: Well, I think the Democrats have rooting for him to succeed, as every American should, because we all want a denuclearized Korean peninsula. So there's no disagreement there. There was progress in the Clinton administration but it true that in the last 16 years, we have North Korea go from zero to something like 30...

INGRAHAM: There (ph) haven't been (ph) any tests though, Luis. They haven't been testing, they're talking, haven't come to an agreement. But it's better than being on the brink of thermonuclear war, which is what Joe Scarborough and the crowd was saying a year ago.

MIRANDA: Well that's certainly true. I think what's concerning though, and Robert has made this case before is, that since last April, they've been flouting the sanctions and actively just basically poking fun at the United States.

INGRAHAM: What are we supposed to do? I mean, we can only do our sanctions, right?

MIRANDA: ... because they're not -- the sanctions aren't being enforced. So the reality is, that we're rooting for him to succeed here, but he's put himself in a difficult situation, when he stands next to a dictator -- and the Otto Warmbier question for example, gives in to him, defers to him in the same way he did to the Saudis on Khashoggi, in the same way...

INGRAHAM: Yes, so that's what -- I'm glad you brought that up. And Michelle, I want to talk about this. Because I don't know why the president felt the need to -- to react the way he did on Otto Warmbier. I do think -- this happened under Obama, remember. Warmbier was taken hostage under Obama.

But he didn't -- I don't know if it's that he didn't want to -- he wanted a deal, he didn't want to insult them at the moment, I don't know, but that was kind of a -- again, they seize on that, so it's Otto Warmbier, Otto Warmbier. I mean, I understand it's important, and of course it's horrific. But what does that really have to do with the larger question here about whether we can ever get to a peaceful situation?

MALKIN: Yes, I can't get into his mind. But the plain fact is, that this happened under Obama and it was Trump that helped bring Otto Warmbier back. And it was the left that mocked Otto Warmbier because they had the idea that since he was some goofy jock from America, that the whole thing was a joke, and people forget that context.

I think the -- the bottom line here is, though, as you were saying, that these sanctions have been cheated for so long, and that's what he walked away. Because what did North Korea want, right? They wanted to -- us to lift the sanctions before, right? And this is so much like, you know, kind of like amnesty before enforcement, right? It's the same -- it's the same rod (ph).

INGRAHAM: And I think that they -- this Cohen on the other side split screen of North Korea. That -- that was kind of lame, to tell you the truth. I mean, they didn't have to do that. The president reacted to that tonight with Sean Hannity. Let's watch.


TRUMP: It's the fact that they held it today, where I'm working on something that is very, very important for the world, not only our country, for the world, was really inappropriate. The Democrats, the hatred is so incredible. They couldn't help themselves, and that's the way it is.


INGRAHAM: We had other networks last night as Kim and -- and Trump came out to start their conversation, weren't covering it. We had Kim actually answering a question from the press, only Fox news was covering this. They weren't even running with it on the -- on the other networks.

CHANG: It's worse than inappropriate. Politics should stop at the water's edge, and clearly when you have the president there on a really critical mission for all Americans, you know, they should have held that hearing next week, because they could have delayed it a couple of days. Instead what they did was, I think that they undercut President Trump's bargaining position with Kim Jong-un, because Kim is looking at that saying look this president is wounded.

INGRAHAM: He thought wrong, though? Kim thought that Trump maybe was weakened because of the Cohen -- maybe, who knows? But president was not weakened. The president said, we're not doing this deal.

CHANG: Right, and that's important. You know, what this has done, it's told the North Koreans that their narrative about Trump is wrong, and as I mentioned, it's also the same with the Chinese. Now I'm sure they're rethinking the way they look at the president of the United States.

INGRAHAM: China has been manipulating this, too, right? We had Kim making four trips to China. We have no idea what the -- you know, the undercurrent of china is in the negotiations with North Korea as well.

CHANG: Also you've got Kim probably seeing Xi Jinping on the way back to Pyongyang as the reporting has been. This is really bad for -- because the Chinese are now on the other side.

INGRAHAM: No, of course. Now Joe Biden -- hold on one second, Joe Biden spoke out today. We want to get to this and have you react. Let's watch.


JOE BIDEN: We coddle dictators. You cannot think of anyone who has thrown their arms around or chosen the word of dictators and thugs over even our own intelligence communities. The love affair, love letters with Kim Jong- un. Our national reputation is being tarnished.


INGRAHAM: Of course, Obama's apology tour, Michelle and Hillary is getting the translation button wrong with Sergei Lavrov, wanting to do the reset. All of it failed. Reactions to that?

MALKIN: The cereal genuflections to every last thug and dictator on the planet from the Obama administration. That's a lot of chutzpah from Joe Biden.

INGRAHAM: Not to mention, Cuba.

MALKIN: Right, and of course, the people that brought us the pallets of cash in the Iran nuke deal.

MIRANDA: I'm glad you brought up the Iran nuke deal, because this is one of the problems with the actual negotiations that were taking place is that, Trump's negotiators were willing --now that it has been reported -- they were willing to give North Korea a pass on full transparency.

INGRAHAM: That was totally wrong. The White House came out yesterday and said the report by NBC, we reported this last night at 9:12, I believe, that was completely false. Another example of fake news. And demonstrated that -- Luis, stop the nonsense. It's wrong because the president walked away -- Luis, talking over me. We talked about this last night. The ground is tilled, we put it to bed. The White House said it was false and NBC reported a false narrative yesterday. That's why the president walked away from the table. Don't repeat falsehoods on the show.

MIRANDA: North Koreans came out and said something different...

INGRAHAM: So now you are...


MIRANDA: You don't know why we know who is telling the truth? Because Donald trump has told more 8,000 lies in the time he's...

INGRAHAM: Is that what you -- the DNC send you that tonight? Are you still at the DNC there, Luis? I love it. Panel, great to have you on. But by the way, she was told her appearance at the Cohen hearing yesterday looked like she was a, quote "slave" on the auction block. Trump family friend Lynne Patton will respond to that vitriol.

Plus, Congressman Mark Meadows who brought her there is also facing some really nasty criticism. They will both join us next.


INGRAHAM: It was the moment from yesterday's hearing that revealed a lot about today's Democratic Party. To rebut Michael Cohen's continued and fraudulent claims of racism against President Trump, Congressman Mark Meadows invited family friend Lynne Patton to the hearing. Here is how it went down.


REP. MARK MEADOWS, R-N.C.: Do you know Lynne Patton?

MICHAEL COHEN: Yes, I do. I'm responsible for Lynne Patton joining the Trump organization and the job she currently holds.

MEADOWS: Well, that's -- I'm glad you acknowledge that because you made some very demeaning comments about the president that Ms. Patton doesn't agree with. In fact, it has to do with your claim of racism. She says that as a daughter of a man born in Birmingham, Alabama, that there is no way that she would work for -- for -- for an individual who was racist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To make a note, Mr. Chairman, just because someone has a person of color, a black person working for them does not mean they aren't racist. The fact that someone would actually use a prop, a black woman in this chamber, in this committee, is alone racist in itself.

MEADOWS: Mr. Chairman, I ask that her words be taken down...

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB, D-MICH.: Donald Trump is setting a precedent -- I reclaim my time...

MEADOWS: Mr. Chairman.

TLAIB: Donald Trump is setting a precedent...

MEADOWS: Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN CUMMINGS: Excuse me. Would you like to rephrase that statement?

TLAIB: Just because someone has a person of color, black person does not mean they aren't racist.

CUMMINGS: Ms. Tlaib, I want to make sure that I understand. You did not - - you are not intending to call Mr. Meadows a racist, is that right?

TLAIB: No, Mr. Chairman, I do not call Mr. Meadows a racist.


INGRAHAM: Wow. Well, joining us now is Lynne Patton who didn't get a chance to respond yesterday but does tonight.

LYNNE PATTON: Thank you, Laura.

INGRAHAM: Lynne, first of all, it's great to see you.

PATTON: Always great to be here.

INGRAHAM: How did that moment feel to you?

PATTON: Well, you know, Laura, for me, the only prop in that room as Sean Hannity just said, was Michael Cohen for the Democratic Party. I was never there to represent my entire race. I was there to represent one man. One man who by the way, has done more for the black community than the last, probably, three presidents combined.

I mean, not only has he just created urban council that's funneling $100 million of capital through opportunity zones into urban and the rural communities, but he's given more money to the historically black colleges and the universities than the last administration, he's given more money for public housing than the last administration. He has given -- he just passed the most comprehensive prison reform bill in three decades.

INGRAHAM: None of it matters, Lynne. None of it matters to the left.

PATTON: None of it matters.

INGRAHAM: Because actual facts and evidence and progress and success counter narrative to them; because their narrative is, Trump's a terrible, awful, rotten person and he's going to tank the economy and start World War III. None of that's happened, so all they have racism, racism, racism, Mueller, Cohen, racism, Southern District of New York. That's like their whole thing. They summed it up and that's their whole thing. Lynne, I want you to react to a few comments that were made about your appearance yesterday. This first one or MSNBC. Let's watch.


To bring a black woman out and have her stand there like she was on auction block, she couldn't talk, she couldn't speak, you couldn't swear her in. And there is this visual, Exhibit A, American people, there's a black person here, and we have a black person who can't tell you what she thinks, we'll tell you how she feels, and that will prove Donald Trump's not a racist.


INGRAHAM: You are a slave on the auction block, Lynne? Really?

PATTON: You know Laura, it's really actually kind of sad and pathetic. I was so fired up this morning. The only race card was played in the room were the folks on the House Democrat committee that basically are taking the word of a self-confessed perjurer and criminally convicted white man over the testimony, basically, and experience of a highly educated black woman who rose up through the ranks of one of the most competitive real estate companies in the world, to speak before 25 million people in front of the Republican National Convention., and now works for one of the most successful administrations in history. You know, these people put -- you know, tout me too, they tout women now, they tout all these things, and yet a black woman stood there and said Donald Trump is not racist, in fact he's empowered more women at the Trump organization.

INGRAHAM: But you're a threat to them. Lynne, you're a threat -- your very presence at that hearing -- and I think it's great that Congressman Meadows brought you. And that's why it bugs them because they took them off the narrative and they hate when it happens. By the way, CNN also came in and they basically -- you went from being a slave on the auction box to being a Lynne, wedding planner. Let's watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're going to pick someone like Lynne Patton who was basically the wedding planner for Eric Trump, with no experience whatsoever working at HUD. And that's who you're going to trot out? Someone who's like the personal assistant of the family to say, well he's not racist?


INGRAHAM: Your response?

PATTON: You know, first of all, Laura, it's unfortunate, you're a real journalist. There are so many glorified bloggers posing as journalists these days. If they took the time to not be lazy and Google Eric Trump's real wedding planner, they would see 2014 article, long before the president even won, that was an interview with the real wedding planner in People magazine.

So you know, these are just people that are just internet parrots. And quite frankly, if I cared what overpaid pundits and internet trolls said, I would have stopped getting out of bed three years ago. You know, their opinion means nothing, basically. You know, like the president, we're moving forward. You know, again...

INGRAHAM: Lynne -- Lynne, the great thing is that you're just -- I had a chance meet you once I think a long time ago at Trump Tower. But you're just someone whose not - you're not going to be silenced, you're not going to be cowed, you're not intimidated. And I say the same thing, if you're a conservative woman, and you support conservative ideas, you support Trump, you're not real woman in their eyes.

PATTON: No, there's no march...

INGRAHAM: And it is unacceptable.

PATTON: There's no march for us, Laura.

INGRAHAM: Unacceptable.

PATTON: Unacceptable.

INGRAHAM: Lynne, thank you for joining us tonight, we really appreciate it.

PATTON: Thank you so much.

INGRAHAM: It wasn't just Lynne Patton, of course, who came under fire yesterday -- absolutely -- for her appearance yesterday.


DON LEMON, CNN: Republican Congressman Mark Meadows, he brought a special guest, Lynne Patton, who's a Trump administration official, as if she were a live prop, trotting her out in an attempt to prove that this president couldn't possibly be a racist. I have a black friend, prop. A black employee, prop. Come on, y'all.


INGRAHAM: Come on, y'all.

REP. MARK MEADOWS, R-N.C.: Well, I mean, listen, we can talk about this all night long. And certainly there's been a lot of headlines today. I think the bottom line is this, is in Congress what we need to do is seek the truth. And the truth is, is that Michael Cohen was given a 30-minute opening statement by the Democrats that I don't remember -- I've been on the Oversight Committee for over six years now. There has never been an opening testimony of 30 minutes. And then a closing of another ten minutes.

And so, you know, it's really --

INGRAHAM: Do you think someone helped him with his -- with his testimony? Democrats (INAUDIBLE).

MEADOWS: Well, I think Lanny Davis wrote the testimony when you look at it.


MEADOWS: It was really a combination of some of Michael Cohen's personal knowledge and then a whole lot of things that have been reported pulled into that, really designed to try to just damage this president.


MEADOWS: And we've seen that over and over again.

But here's the -- here's the interesting thing. Jim Jordan and I have put forth a letter today citing six ways that Michael Cohen has contradicted himself and perhaps committed perjury. And so we've -- we committed that and sent that to the new attorney general for a criminal referral to have them look at it.

INGRAHAM: What specifically?

MEADOWS: Well, you know, when you -- when you look at I -- John Solomon's (ph) already done some reporting on this. Just the one claim that he never wanted to work at the White House, it's -- it's been refuted over and over. I was refuted while well were in the hearing. And now I think John Solomon has between nine and a dozen people --

INGRAHAM: Yes. But he also refuted collusion, right? So he said a lot of things that were actually, I think, very positive to the president.

MEADOWS: Oh, yes. I mean --

INGRAHAM: Against the narrative of the left. I didn't see him collude, the whole phone call with Donnie Jr., all of this stuff --

MEADOWS: The timing of that phone call, too, if you look at it --

INGRAHAM: So I think the Republicans are a bit of -- it's a bit of a pickle with Cohen, because some things he said, you want to say see, he said this. On other occasions, he's lying about that.

MEADOWS: And we can. But here's the other thing is you know that yesterday was his greatest attempt to do as much damage as he possibly could.

INGRAHAM: This is by a payback.

MEADOWS: It really was.

INGRAHAM: Big-time payback to Trump.

MEADOWS: But here's the thing is he came in and said I'm a new man and all of that. He ought to tell the Southern District of New York that because they asked him to cooperate and he refused to do that. And when you look at that, if you read --

INGRAHAM: Aren't they still working with him?

MEADOWS: But they put in there, it was very, very strong wording that he is just not cooperating.

INGRAHAM: Were you hugging the Congresswoman Tlaib on the floor of the House?

MEADOWS: I went down today -- listen, we are all about being civil. She offered and apology.

INGRAHAM: She was an outrage. I know you are being kind. Her comments to you were outrageous.

MEADOWS: Well, but at the same time, listen, we are in a civil society. That's what separates us from all other nations is a civil society. And I just felt compelled to go down and offer a hand of friendship and say, listen, if there was anything that I did that personally offended you, it didn't come from my heart. She hugged me, and certainly we looked at moving forward to hopefully work --

INGRAHAM: That is good, because the word "racist" is thrown around way too casually.

MEADOWS: Fortunately for me I know that I'm not a racist. If you --

INGRAHAM: But even that, that is so defensive. When they call you a racist, you're the racist for bringing up race here. The president's record should stand on his own. Don't go back to I was driving in Chicago and he said something -- I find that all --

MEADOWS: We all say hurtful things. And so it's more important that we reconcile.

INGRAHAM: Congressman, I'm glad you had the hug, a kumbaya moment. Good for you. You are the bigger man. Thank you so much for joining us.

And Michael Cohen did create that stir on Capitol Hill yesterday. We have more on that with Chris Christie when we come back.



MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: I did not want to go the White House. I was offered jobs.

I have not been asked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you were asked --

COHEN: You know I don't lie. There is absolutely a chance he's going to ask me. I certainly hope so.


COHEN: A hundred percent.


INGRAHAM: Well, that was just one of the little white lies Michael Cohen told in yesterday's hearing. But does that discredit his entire testimony? As I said earlier, some of the things he said about no collusion, that was actually helpful to Trump. So where does this leave us all at this point? Michael Cohen testifying behind closed doors today on Capitol Hill.

Joining me now with answers, Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey, author of the new book "Let Me Finish, Trump, The Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and The Power of In Your Face Politics." Governor, thanks for being here. In your opinion, what is the most important takeaway for President Trump from yesterday's hearing? Then we're going to move to this North Korea deal.

CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J., FORMER GOVERNOR: I don't know if there's any just one, Laura. I think the fact that Michael Cohen said that there were multiple reasons for the payments to Stormy Daniels, that support's the president view that he just had one reason, and that was to protect his wife from that. And Michael Cohen saying the story about lying to the first lady seems to back that up. And I think there's no way any responsible prosecutor would make a case on that.

Secondly, him saying that the president didn't direct him to lie, that somehow he understood some type of code words or signals. No one is going to believe somebody who is a perjurer and a thief and convict someone based upon his read of code words. And I think the fact that Cohen said there was no collusion.

My frustration yesterday, Laura, was that nobody on the Republican side defended on the president on the merits, on the substance. After two or three congresspeople on our side said Michael Cohen is a liar and thief. I get it. OK, he's a liar and a thief. Now let's get to the stuff you were talking about, which was there was good part of his testimony that we should be trumpeting and hitting back on to get into the record more clearly for the American people. And I think the Congress failed miserably on that yesterday.

INGRAHAM: You know what I always say? In these high-stakes hearing it would be better if the Congressmen had more humility, maybe. It would be better if they brought in a professional prosecutor, someone who does it every day, or former prosecutor, every single day. And that is how you run these things, because Trey Gowdy, I love them all, but unless you do it every day all the time you get a little rusty.

CHRISTIE: No doubt.

INGRAHAM: And politics get in the way. I think they missed opportunities on that.

CHRISTIE: You got it both right, Laura. They not only missed opportunities because they don't have the muscle memory of doing it every day, but also the politics gets in the way and they all want to get the bite that they think is going to get on the news of them raising their voices or yelling or screaming. In the end I thought some of the better points that were made yesterday were made quietly and thoughtfully. And I think we would have been much better off if we had people on our side who are doing more of that. We had to do some of the Cohen bashing stuff, of course. He deserves it, he's earned it. But we didn't do as much as we did. We should have got on to the substance.

INGRAHAM: Did you know Michael Cohen? I only met him a few times. I remember I ran into him a few times. I didn't really know much about him. Did you ever have any interactions with him?

CHRISTIE: Very briefly. I think I had something similar to you, Laura. I would see him in Trump Tower when I was there, we'd say hello to each other. But I don't think I was ever in a meeting with Michael Cohen.

INGRAHAM: It always also goes back to the people you hire. It's very important to get the hires right. And I think we have all done that, we've all hired people, like, that was a mistake. In the end, it was a bad hire. In the end, Jeff Sessions not the right person to be attorney general.


INGRAHAM: You know I was hoping for you to be attorney general.

CHRISTIE: Listen, I know. Listen, he was a bad hire. Tom Price was a bad hire. There was a number of bad hires early on in this administration. And that is what we talked about in the book that just crippled the president's ability to be even more effective than he has been. To me that is the thing he has got -- that he started to turn around in second half of the second term, but needs to do even more of it.

INGRAHAM: And, Governor, we're going to get into the southern district of New York, some of your comments about where those landmines might be for the administration and a lot more, including the wanton use of the race card against this president and his administration. You have known the president for a long time. Chris Christie is going to stay with us over the break. Don't go away.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any other wrongdoing or illegal act that you are aware of regarding Donald Trump that we haven't yet discussed today?

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: Yes. And, again, those are part of the investigation that is currently being looked at by the Southern District of New York.


INGRAHAM: Back with us now, Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey. Governor, you said the SDNY is going to try to indict the president when he leaves office. On what grounds?

CHRISTIE: No. What I said was that that's the investigation he should be most concerned about both for him and for the people around him because they have no limit to what they can look at, Laura. The SDNY is not like Bob Mueller who is restricted to just looking at Russia and Russia-related items. The SDNY can look at anything they want to look at. They have two tour guides. What I said is, they can't indict the president until he leaves office because there is a clear Justice Department ruling that says sitting presidents cannot be indicted. And I don't think there could be any way that the U.S. attorney in the southern district would try to violate that rule. And if they did, I think Bill Barr would stop them.

INGRAHAM: I think Ken Delaney of NBC was trying to characterize your comments.

I want to move on to a story that just broke tonight about Jared Kushner's security clearance, Governor Christie. There was a report we will put up on the screen. Again, this is "New York Times" Maggie Haberman, "President Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner a top secret security clearance last year, overruling concerns flagged by intel officials and the White House's top lawyer according to four people briefed on the matter. The disclose of the memo contradicts statements by the president who told the "New York Times" that he had no role in his son-in-law receiving clearance."

Kushner's legal team responded, saying "In 2018 the White House and the security clearance officials affirmed that Mr. Kushner's security clearance was handled in the regular process with no pressure from anyone. That was conveyed to the media at the time," et cetera. Your reaction to this?

CHRISTIE: Listen, if true, it's bad. And it's bad in this respect. This is what I write about in the book, Laura. Having family in the administration is a very tough thing to deal with because now when Jared Kushner was not getting his security clearance, it's much more difficult for a president who is also a father-in-law to be objective about his son- in-law and his daughter.

And so here's the problem. The president had the absolute right to give a security clearance to whoever he wanted to. But just say that is what you did. Don't say you had nothing to do with it. And Ivanka went on television and said that her father played no role in her security clearance or her husband's. Now, if this "Times" report is correct --

INGRAHAM: She might not have knowledge of any of this. She doesn't necessarily have to know about it.

CHRISTIE: Then just say you don't know. Just say you don't know. Don't affirmatively say he had no role.

And the fact is that the problem here is that if in fact these memos exist as was reported in the story, from John Kelly and Don McGahn, this make what is the president said not true and what Ivanka said not true, when they didn't have to. Just say, listen, I decide who gets security clearance because I'm the president. I trust him. I need him. I want him. I'm giving it to them. End of discussion.

INGRAHAM: Yes. We all commit unforced errors in our lives. And it's unforced error.

CHRISTIE: Right, that is my point.

INGRAHAM: If the reporting is accurate. I would also say that Kushner, I know for a fact he had an incredible role in the Mexico trade deal. He is trying to do something extraordinary in the Middle East, very difficult obviously. And she is trying to do something extraordinary in expanding women's opportunities. Family members, not family members, I think people need to be judged on their results. But it does put people in difficult positions at different points in time.

CHRISTIE: It just makes it hard, Laura, and that's why we haven't had family members in positions. Now what is going to happen -- one of the things from Cohen yesterday, now the House is going to subpoena them. And quite frankly for a House Overnight Committee, given that they have jobs in the administration, they are subject to the subpoenas, where Eric thought he would not be.

INGRAHAM: Yes, they are going to salivating at that opportunity, no doubt about it.


INGRAHAM: Governor Christie, thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it.

And up next, why is Hollywood still defending Jussie Smollett? Raymond Arroyo is here with up to the minute details on what is happening. Don't go away.


INGRAHAM: Wait till you hear how the Hollywood reporter is attempting tonight to excuse Jussie Smollett's conduct in Chicago. Joining us now with all the details, Raymond Arroyo, FOX News contributor, "New York Times" the new and bestselling book, "Will Wilder, The Amulet of Power." Raymond, what is "The Hollywood Reporters'" rationale for defending Smollett?

RAYMOND ARROYO, CONTRIBUTOR: Laura, look, under the headline "I'm about to break, Jussie Smollett and the pressure of Hollywood fame," "The Hollywood Reporter" dug up a 2018 Billboard interview with Smollett where he says this. "I admit that I'm jealous, I admit that I'm insecure and that I'm not good at certain things." Then in a comment that didn't get much attention at the time, Smollett suggested that these pressures might be catching up to him. Quote, "I'm in my 30s and I'm trying my best to learn that I can't bend anymore. I'm about to break." The upshot here is the pressures of fames got the best of this guy and he snapped and then he faked or possibly faked this attack. Now some Hollywood heavyweights are defending Smollett, including Ellen Page.

INGRAHAM: She was the worst of all.

ARROYO: She is still saying in an op-ed I had no reason to doubt Jussie. She said it has raised the issue --

INGRAHAM: Raymond, she blamed Mike Pence. She was saying Mike Pence said something to inspire the attack. Shameful.

ARROYO: And now Tyler Perry is weighing in. Watch this.

INGRAHAM: That's sad.


TYLER PERRY, ACTOR: He is adamant that he is telling the truth. Everybody that knows him that I know that I know, they all say he is not the type of person to ever do that. He is so convincing in his story that I'm just hoping and standing with him, hoping that it turns out in his favor.


ARROYO: Why is he hoping that this actor has endured a racist, homophobic attack? You know I love me some Tyler Perry. I love him. and the reason, he brings hope to people and lifts people and brings them together.

INGRAHAM: I like him, too. That is really disappointing.

ARROYO: But to hear that is so disappointing. Remember also, it was the police superintendent, Eddie Johnson in Chicago, who said, quote, Smollett took advantage of the pain and the anger of racism to promote his career. This is not --

INGRAHAM: We don't want racial attacks, hoaxes, racial attacks. But Tyler Perry, he's out there, he said it's the last Madea, right? He's retiring Madea from --

ARROYO: And the latest we are getting from Rafer Weigel, the Nigerian brothers, they are trying to pin it on them, saying they actually attacked Smollett and he mistook them for two white, MAGA-hatted assailants.

INGRAHAM: And then he wrote the $3,500 for the five workout sessions?

ARROYO: Workout sessions.

INGRAHAM: Those must be some good workout sessions.

ARROYO: I don't want any kind of workouts like that. You'll find me at the "Madea's Family Funeral."

INGRAHAM: Is that what it is called, "Madea's Family Funeral"?

ARROYO: "Madea's Family Funeral." Maybe Smollett should have been at "Madea's Family Funeral."

INGRAHAM: The left doesn't like Madea because they think it promotes bad stereotypes.

ARROYO: That's what I mean. Spike Lee attacked Tyler Perry, saying that that this is racial stereotyping. Now they are going after "Green Book" for the same rationale. They don't like to bringing people together. And that is wrong. We need a narrative of brotherhood and unity.

INGRAHAM: Stay there. My special guest at CPAC is tonight's Last Bite.



INGRAHAM: This is my daughter, Maria.


INGRAHAM: This is the future, my friends.

Our next generation is going to be better than we are. And I want the best for her.


INGRAHAM: That was my daughter, Maria. I just had to bring her out on stage, a last-minute thought, and we did it. She enjoyed it, right, Raymond? Loved it. What a great moment.

That's all the time we have tonight.

Shannon Bream and the Fox News@Night Team take it from here.

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