Laura Ingraham: My commentary was about keeping America safe

This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," August 9, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: Good evening. Welcome to Washington. I am Laura Ingraham and this is "The Ingraham Angle." I want to start tonight by addressing my commentary at the top of last night's show. A message to those who are distorting my views including all white nationalists and especially one racist freak whose name I will not even mention.

You do not have my support. You don't represent my views and you are antithetical to the beliefs I hold dear. The purpose of last night's Angle was to point out that the rule of law, meaning secure borders, is something that used to bind our country together. And despite what some may be contending, I made explicitly clear that my commentary had nothing to do with race or ethnicity, but rather a shared goal of keeping America safe and her citizens safe and prosperous.

Furthermore, as I have said repeatedly on the show, merit-based immigration does wonders for our country's economy, our way of life, and how we define our country. I even said that in my opening thoughts last night.

I want to make it really clear that my concern will continue to remain with the families who have suffered the tragic results of illegal immigration. The children put in dangerous and unfair situations at the border, and all those border agents around the country who work to keep our country safe.

And now could the expert class be possibly wrong again? That is the focus of tonight's Angle.

All right, the prevailing wisdom among the professional political prognosticators is that it's all gloom and doom for Republicans come the November midterms.


JOHN KING, CNN HOST: We're 89 days away from midterm elections. It is already a steeper than steep hill for the Republican Party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the best that they can do here is basically a tie, a slight win, that is not good news at all for Republicans come the fall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The turnout lessens the money, lessens -- all still suggest that this is going to be a good election for Democrats. That's not a debate. I think the debate is how big does the wave get?


INGRAHAM: That debate's over. Well -- and they are already busy writing the president's political obit for 2020.


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: We are going to tell you about unlucky seven. That's the average number of false, misleading statements President Trump has made per day since inauguration. It's also how much he's losing to a certain democrat in a 2020 match --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel very good about the prospects of both taking back the House and Senate in the midterms. Feel very good about the prospects of taking the White House.


INGRAHAM: And while it is true that Republicans have an uphill climb in the House, let's not forget that those same experts who are gleefully forecasting the GOP's demise, are the same ones who had egg on their faces on election night.

First, in its latest iteration, the RealClearPolitics average of polls about the country's direction finds that more Americans, 41.3 percent, find that Trump is setting us on the right track than at any other moment since December 2012. That's the right track, wrong track. Second, to the idea that Trump's base is shrinking, there is ample evidence to refute that.

A brand-new Pew Research poll finds that for most Trump voters, the warm feelings for him -- I love that -- the warm feelings for him over the past couple of years have endured. Furthermore, Trump has many more converts, people who voted for him but didn't like him who have since warmed than those who liked him in 2016 and have "cooled" -- I love the warm cooled.

And despite the near daily barrage of negative coverage about Mueller, tariffs, immigration, his approval ratings have remain pretty consistent. And they have even improved with his rural base despite the stories were told about the farmers who would turn on him over his aggressive trade policies.


KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNBC HOST: In 19 farm states surveyed by Morning Consults exclusively for CNBC, 10 states saw President Trump's rural approval rating improved between May and the end of July. Seven saw it stayed the same in that period and just one, Idaho, saw a decline.

ERIC NELSON, FARMER: I'm a big believer. If you are in a bad deal, be it a lease, be it an agreement with a business partner, you owe it to yourself to step up and try to make it better for both parties and negotiate it. But for sure, it needs to be better for yourself and I think simply that's what this administration is attempting to do.

MIKE BEARD, FARM OWNER: We are going to trust that the president will have at least some success in negotiating a trade deal that will support corn, soybeans, and actually everything that the U.S. exports.


INGRAHAM: Now, despite all the positive trends for the president, there are a few real areas of concern. First, polling trouble spots. A recent NPR?PBS NewsHour/Marist poll reveals that not only do most female voters prefer Democrats this fall, but nearly six in 10 suburban women strongly disapprove of Trump.

And that same Pew poll mentioned above also found that women with a college degree are the most likely Trump voters to have soured on him since the election. And finally, a recent Wall Street Journal-NBC poll found that just 36 percent of independents approve of Trump's job, down seven points from just one month earlier. And also distractions. The president must -- let's face it -- keep his eyes on the prize. Check out the complaint of this former Trump supporter.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My issue with this president who I voted for is the fact that he has something negative to say about every other leader. But you try saying one little comment that's negative about Trump himself, he jumps into a fit and he has a twitter tirade.


INGRAHAM: But don't women think men have thin skins anyway. I mean, come on. Most of us do. No more the president, I think veers off his message. I said this on Monday and waste time reacting to every distraction, whether it's Russia or Stormy Daniels, all and any of these other things, Michael Cohen, Avenatti. The more he risks losing I t think more voters like Mary.

The economy is good. It's a period of peace and prosperity. So, women like Trump the protector, the strong guy. They like that. But for the swing voters, he might not seem as charming when it seems like he's fighting everyone at once. They want things to calm down a little. For President Trump, the message is simple. Be the happy warrior we see at a lot of these rallies.

Touting the economic resurgence, you can pat yourself on the back a little. The media is not going to do it. The renaissance in manufacturing and talk about how you want the economy to benefit all people -- forgotten Americans of all backgrounds, races, ethnicities like you did this afternoon.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: One of the single most important things we are doing is to help former inmates in creating jobs. We are creating so many jobs for former inmates for the first time or are really getting a shot at it.

Our unemployment rate is so low, historically low, 50 years. Now, our economy is booming. Businesses are hiring and recruiting workers that were previously overlooked. They are being hired. It's a great feeling. It's a great thing that we have all accomplished.


INGRAHAM: By the way, prison reform, jobs training, that is vital. It's a vital issue to this country, recidivism. We want to decrease it if we can. And it's an issue that the president is desperately trying to get to yes on, and it might also have the added benefit of helping with some of those discontented voters who are on the fence as well.

Finally, Mr. President, don't ignore that right track reading we mentioned at the top. As the "Washington Post" wrote ahead of the 2016 election, "the nation's mood is intrinsically important, providing a basic gauge of how Americans think the country is doing and whether people are more optimistic or pessimistic than in the past. Presidents can succeed or fail regardless of the public's mood, but the public's overall outlook sets the stage for political debate."

Sets the stage for political debate -- that final line is most important for Trump and Republicans. Use that data point. Draft off that economic success. Be positive about America's current economic standings. It's a great time to be an American. We have problems but my goodness, other than the early years of Reagan, I can't think of a better economy.

Set the terms of the debate yourself. Do not be defined by others. We are already on the right track, Mr. President. All you need to do now is not let the wrong track get you sidetracked. And that is "The Angle."

Joining us now with the reaction is Garland Nixon, a radio talk show host, Matt Schlapp, American Conservative Union chair, and Candace Owens, of Turning Point USA. Garland, your reaction.

GARLAND NIXON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Initially, I still -- and I was the person who predicted Trump would win. Here's what I would say, I think the Republicans will have some losses. They will definitely have losses in the midterm because it is kind of like Yelp reviews.

The people that are happy tend to kind of mellow out and the people that are really angry are the most motivated and those are the ones that are going to show up and the Democrats are definitely going to have an advantage as far as people who show up at the polls. The question is how much.

INGRAHAM: Matt, some of the trends in this last election, in the 12th district of Ohio, yeah, you pull out a victory may be barely by the skin of his teeth, but the turnout for Democrats was very strong.


INGRAHAM: It was stronger I believe than the presidential turnout in the same district where Trump won big. Now, Trump's approval on that district is quite high, so you can say the candidate made some pretty big mistakes.

SCHLAPP: He did.

INGRAHAM: A couple of verbal gaffes that was really unfortunate. But does that portend other problems? They are jacked up. You know, blame the Democrats. We were excited in 2010. They are excited now.

SCHLAPP: I think that right track, wrong track is very important, but let's take a step away from that and look at what happened in the special election and you are exactly right. In the last week or 10 days of that race, his lead collapsed. He said some stupid things. He might need to go to candidate training school which a lot of candidates need to do.

But it also shows the motivation and the energy is definitely on the left. And for Trump supporters out there in the country, what they have to understand is the House is very losable and they can't be cavalier about this idea that I am for Trump, but I'll take a skip of the midterm, because if they do, the House could be lost. And if the House is lost, so much of the Trump agenda stops.

INGRAHAM: Candace, you know, the president addressed the issue of Chicago today and he talked about how it is so important that we have good leadership, deliver results for the people on the ground. Should he go to Chicago?


INGRAHAM: Yes, tell us what your thoughts are because there are some Republicans that say oh, it will be a disaster. Remember he was going to go during the campaign and they had to call it off because of protests. But could he go, listen to the people on the ground in Chicago, hear what they have to say?

OWENS: Now is absolutely the time for him to make an appearance in Chicago. And first and foremost, Laura, I want to thank you for this coverage of last weekend. You did so much coverage on Chicago. I didn't see it across all the networks by I did see it on your show.

INGRAHAM: Thank you.

OWENS: It is such an important issue that is facing the black community that is not spoken enough about. He should send the National Guard to Chicago. I mean it's unbelievable. It's incomprehensible to think that 71 people were shot over the weekend and they haven't even caught anybody for these crimes.

It's the perfect time. His polling is up in the black community. The Rasmussen poll that was released two weeks ago shows that his support has doubled since this time last year, which means that black people are paying attention to the results of this administration, not so much the rhetoric of the left, accusing him of racism and sexism at every single turn. Now is the time for him to appear in Chicago. President, please do it.

INGRAHAM: I mean, we had Obama do his my brother's keeper initiative. We had Al Sharpton moved there temporarily. But there weren't that, you know, you have a murder rate declined but that's only after the really high average of the last few years. Something has to be done in Chicago.

I completely agree with Candace. Let's talk about what the Democrats are facing. The Republicans have headwinds. It's not all peachy over in the Democrat side either. This was the new it girl for socialism, the poster child for socialism, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said this yesterday when she was asked by Chris Cuomo about whether Nancy Pelosi is really the leader of the party or will be. Let's watch.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN "CUOMO PRIME TIME" HOST: Do you recognize her as the leader?

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, SOCIALIST: I think absolutely right now, you know, she --

CUOMO: Go ahead please.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: -- she is the leader of -- no, no, no, she -- I mean, speaker or rather Leader Pelosi hopefully, you know, we'll see she's the current leader of the party and I think that the party absolutely does have its leadership in the House. We have our leadership in the Senate as well.


INGRAHAM: Garland, I think she was more favorable to capitalism the other day in her comments than to Nancy Pelosi. What's going on with this revulsion toward Nancy Pelosi?

NIXON: Two things, number one, let's face it, the Democrats have been losing like a bloody heck for the last eight years and it is certainly not unreasonable to question the people who have lead them, you know, to little big horn, but that also --

INGRAHAM: She also got a lot done as speaker. They did Obamacare. They push the big stimulus under Pelosi.

NIXON: Well here's the other issue with her, and that is the Democratic Party has understand that their millennial base, which will be the largest voting bloc in 2018 and 2020, have a different concept. They weren't around for the Soviet Union. The word socialism and things like that, that doesn't mean --

INGRAHAM: So they think everything is --

NIXON: It doesn't mean anything to them words. They're listening to policies and listen -- and the Democratic Party needs to understand that because if they get the millennial vote out, they are in really good shape. And if they continue doing what they are doing, and they don't engage that millennial vote and understand them and they just like beat them up and say --

SCHLAPP: Look, the midterm isn't about millennials. The fact is the Republicans have faults, of course. The best thing Republicans have going for them is when people see their dead center heart and soul of the Democratic Party and its radical and it's left and it's socialist --

INGRAHAM: Anti-ICE, they're going to shutdown ICE. We're going to shutdown deportation --

SCHLAPP: Yes. It's our best thing.

INGRAHAM: I mean, Candace, this was tonight, Anderson Cooper with Soike Lee. Let's watch.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN "ANDERSON COOPER 360" HOST: Would you want to sit down with Donald Trump?


COOPER: And have a conversation?

LEE: I don't -- I don't use his name either. He's Agent Orange.

COOPER: Do you consider him your president?

LEE: No. Might be Putin.


INGRAHAM: Candace.

OWENS: Here's what I will say about that network altogether. What they do all the time is that they employ black athletes and black stars. We saw this with LeBron James the other week to try to -- it's a mechanism of controls of the black community.

They say, hey look, I found some of your idols. I've found people that are prominent in your community and they are saying that they hate Trump and they are hoping they're going to be able to drum up that heat. But it hasn't been successful. This isn't working. They need to switch strategies altogether.

As I said, it's not going to matter if they keep doing this. They can bring out any black person that they want that's going to speak out against Trump. The black community cares at this moment about results and we are getting the results that we have finally -- we've been begging for these results.

We are finally seeing them. Black unemployment at an all-time low. There are jobs. So look. Spike Lee, CNN, it makes sense but it's not coming down I'm really too concerned about. It's not going to impact the black vote for Trump in 2020.

INGRAHAM: Yes, I mean, I can't imagine what would, I don't know. I can't imagine what the left would do, what Democrats would say if someone said something akin to what he just said about President Trump. He calls him Agent Orange. He won't use his name. I mean, they went after --

SCHLAPP: He's not his president.

INGRAHAM: -- they went after that Joe Wilson for screaming "You Lie" during the State Of The Union, right. They crucified that Joe Wilson.

NIXON: -- we heard that stuff --

INGRAHAM: Agent Orange? An athlete went on television and called him, agent -- something akin to that he's not my president? I don't (inaudible) not treated like that. At least should be a follow-up. You'd be followed-up with, OK, what about unemployment? What about the fact that a lot of these Democrat-led cities are crumbling with crime and gang violence?

What, you know, about the fact that his numbers among black people have gone up? I mean, did hit him with all these things if the other shoe was on the other foot, Garland. I mean, you don't speak like that. I know you wouldn't speak like that.

NIXON: No, but we -- but I understand because you know what, for eight years, I heard that. There was like a big "not my president" kind of movement.

INGRAHAM: Never would I -- I'd never say that.

NIXON: (Inaudible).

SCHLAPP: He was my president.

INGRAHAM: I would never say that.

NIXON: You didn't.

INGRAHAM: Someone as prominent as Spike Lee who is such a talented filmmaker. His wife was in my class at UVA Law School.

NIXON: But I don't --

INGRAHAM: She's a lovely person, but, you know, I just --

NIXON: I don't think it's new but I think what it does reflects, unfortunately, again, this is not good for the Democratic Party. I can sense (ph) the Democratic Party --

SCHLAPP: It is not good.

INGRAHAM: Disrespectful.

NIXON: -- one angle is to get your people so angry to try to get them to show up.

INGRAHAM: But what are they angry about?

NIXON: But I think the other part --

INGRAHAM: What are the Democrats angry about except Pelosi?

NIXON: What they need to do is they need to develop a platform that is attractive to the working class and that's what they're not -- they are making an error, and they may have some success in 2018 with what they are doing simply because people are upset, but 2020 is a whole different story and if they don't get a platform together then, then they are toast.

INGRAHAM: This is Rashida Tlaib who is one of the two socialists approved candidates who Ocasio-Cortez endorsed, who won the other night, a Michigan congressional candidate. Let's watch.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: When you are elected formally in November, you will have a vote as part of the Democratic caucus as to who will be the next Democratic leader, whether it be the minority leader or Speaker of the House. Will you vote for Nancy Pelosi?


BERMAN: Probably not.

TLAIB: That's my answer. No, probably not.


INGRAHAM: Well, so the party moves kind of hard left. I mean, Nancy Pelosi is no conservative Democrat.

SCHLAPP: And she's almost 80-years-old, isn't she.


SCHLAPP: If they pick up a lot of seats, there is no question that she's going to have competition. But think about this, Nancy Pelosi is one of the most unpopular politicians we've seen in the modern age. It could be Nancy Pelosi or worse.

INGRAHAM: Republicans cleaned house. I mean, Republicans got tired of John Boehner, right, Candace.

OWENS: Right.

INGRAHAM: The Republicans got tired of Boehner. They were tired of him, god bless him. He is now lobbying for pot. So, they got tired of him and he's gone. So what if the Democrats want to get rid of Pelosi? I mean, that's probably smart in a way. Maybe it's smart.


CANDACE: It definitely is smart, but what I think is actually happening here is we are seeing a split in the Democratic Party. We're seeing the people like Nancy Pelosi, the Maxine Waters, they are just driven by hate and animosity for this president. People like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, I don't necessarily think she is driven by hate. I think she actually believes that this platform could work, that socialism could work.

So the hard left, they are driven by lack of understanding for mathematics and the utopian concept for how the world might work. And unfortunately, this is going to be problematic for them if they can't figure out and get this party together, just the people that hate Trump versus the people that don't understand math. It's going to be extremely problematic for them heading into the midterms. So I'm interested to see what's going to take place.

INGRAHAM: Candace, have you been attacked at breakfast lately? What were you eating? What were you eating Candace that had them all upset? Was it pancake or --

OWENS: You know, I had chicken and waffles. It was a really good meal. What's really funny is the manager said -- it was he said, "I thought for a moment that outside there were vegan protests to my chicken and waffles.

INGRAHAM: Oh my gosh.

OWENS: They were not vegans.

INGRAHAM: Candace, I think by the looks of those -- most of those protesters, god bless them, you could have taken most of them anyway. No problem.

OWENS: I think we could have.

INGRAHAM: You're pretty tough. All right, great panel, guys. I love having you all on. Now, it sounds like common sense. Permanently deploy more police -- we're talking about Chicago -- and its most ravaged areas. But that new push sparking a huge uproar in the Windy City. Details after this.


INGRAHAM: As violence flares in Chicago, city officials and residents are yet again locking horns over a solution about how to stop it. One Chicago alderman, Anthony Beale from the far south side is leading the charge on what sounds like a kind of common sense solution. Permanently re-assigning officers to the city's most gang ravaged areas. But the proposal is generating huge blowback. Why?

Over fears that it could generate a surge in crime in some of the safer districts of Chicago. But is this just another excuse to avoid badly needed radical solutions to stop this carnage? Joining us now to analyze this Horace Cooper, the co-chair of Project 21, along with Anthony Tall, a criminal defense attorney.

Now, neither of you are with me in the studio so, we're going to have to deal with that. I wish you were here with me. But let's start with you, Anthony because something has to be done in Chicago. The residents are crying out for solutions. This is one resident, we will play her first. This is -- excuse me, this is a young man. This is one resident today talking with Charlie Kirk. Let's watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got to take good care of certain parts of town as we should. They take care of downtown. They take care of the north side. South and west sides are left.


INGRAHAM: He was young to me, but he says look, you take care of these, basically, these rich areas, but our areas aren't getting the help. So we have a lot of police being reassigned today through the weekend to these bad areas, but what about that idea of permanently reassigning officers to the worst of the worst areas? Why is that controversial? Either of you can answer.

ANTHONY TALL, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think it's controversial when --

INGHRAHAM: Yes, go ahead.

TALL: Yes, well I think it's controversial, Laura, just because what we have in a lot of high policed areas or areas that are policed particularly communities of African-American and Hispanics, is we have over policing where a lot of the innocent people end up getting tagged or pulled aside or stopped unconstitutionally against their Fourth Amendment right.

Remember, I have represented gang members in L.A. I've represented gang members who -- and they have the whole community afraid of them. So what we don't need is police coming in doubling the fear if it's not going to be strategically placed and constitutional provisions are not going to be there.

There is nothing wrong with permanent policing, but it needs to be constitutional provisions to protect the 98 percent of the community that is not causing the trouble. And that two to three percent that are repeat offenders.

INGRAHAM: Yes, the problem is that a small percentage of people are turning those areas upside down. And the carnage over the weekend was just unacceptable. Horace, you know, there is great concern in the black community about aggressive policing that turns innocent people into feeling like criminals and these comments are heartfelt. They are made. You hear them over and over and over again.

Yet residents of the south and west sides of Chicago, on camera over the last several days, saying we need help. So there is two competing views here. Where is your -- where do you come down?

HORACE COOPER, CO-CHAIR, PROJECT 21: Look, these people are living literally in war zones. It is unbelievable that the conversation is being held that grandma can't go and get her prescription filled, that her granddaughter can't get to school without a drive-by shooting, that jobs won't locate in those communities, perpetuating poverty because investors will not go where there is this elevated level of crime.

What you need is a common sense idea. The same thing that happens when you are on the interstate, when the officer puts his car prominently on the side of the road, all of a sudden, everybody slows down. Even people who are law-abiding take notice.

What we need to do is have an elevated presence of law enforcement in these communities. And it doesn't need to be for a weekend. It doesn't need to be for a few weeks. It needs to be a year, two or three if necessary. That's the way that you can make it safer, and that's the way that this war zone mentality can go away.

INGRAHAM: This is what Donald Trump --

TALL: Let me ask you --

INGRAHAM: Hold on. We are going to play a sound bite from President Trump and then you can react on the other side. This was today addressing issues such as prison reform. They even touched on sentencing reform and he touched on Chicago. Let's watch.


TRUMP: We must strengthen community bonds with law enforcement including cities like Chicago that have been an absolute and total disaster -- 63 incidents last weekend and 12 deaths. That's bad stuff happening and probably, I guess you have to take from the leadership. It's called bad leadership. There is no reason in a million years that something like that should be happening in Chicago.


INGRAHAM: Anthony, he is obviously dinging Rahm Emanuel's leadership in Chicago. Given your background and counsel representing these former gang bangers and so forth, do you think Rahm Emanuel has done a good job?

TALL: No, I don't. I think Rahm Emanuel has done a horrible job, but that's not really the point. The point is -- I want to ask Horace, does he really think that with the statistics that we have, where African-Americans are pulled over more without reasonable cause or without probable cause or where they are arrested more often or where they are sentenced harsher.

With all of these harsh statistics, do you really want a permanent police force there that's not strategic and that's not following Fourth Amendment rules? And what are you going to do to make sure that those rules are set? That Fourth Amendment reasonable standard that the founders put in there is being followed? I think that's very important.

COOOPER: You can hide behind the Fourth Amendment all you want. Here's the fact. Black Americans, particularly in Chicago, are dying as a result of the failure of law enforcement to be welcomed in and to let them play the role that they are capable of doing.

Here's what needs to happen. What the mayor needs to do, what the governor of the state needs to do, is create a joint task force where they immediately allow for the state law-enforcement officers to come in. They also need to work with the Department of Justice and they allow for new prosecution teams to come in. You absolutely are going to have to start sweeps.


INGRAHAM: I mean the goal. The goal guys, yes, hold on. The goal --

TALL: Here's the problem with that.

INGRAHAM: Go ahead real quick and then we have to close.

TALL: Here's the problem with that. There's white people dying in Appalachia, in Kentucky. Why aren't you so concerned about them? They are dying by numbers. I will tell you why. Because when the police come there, they are not going to be over policed as much as African-American and as much as Hispanics.

INGRAHAM: Anthony. Anthony. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on.

COOPER: That is so false. That is so false.

INGRAHAM: Hold on. Hold on. Anthony.

TALL: That is not false at all.

INGRAHAM: Anthony.

TALL: Why aren't you concerned about them, Horace? Why aren't you concerned about them?

INGRAHAM: Anthony, Anthony, Anthony, hold on. Anthony, we are concerned about all people here on this show. But the Chicago murder rate is still unacceptably high.

TALL: I know you are, Laura.

INGRAHAM: It's higher than New York. It's higher than Los Angeles. It has to change. I think we all want that. We differ on how to get there, but we all want it to change. We don't want people pulled over unnecessarily. We don't want people's constitutional rights violated. Sometimes the police will probably pull someone over and it won't be fair. I understand that happens, and that's terrible. But if you can save lives this weekend and every weekend in the summer and beyond with smarter policing, with smarter community involvement, maybe President Trump can offer some solutions with other faith-based leaders, that's a good thing.

And I think we all have to get out of our corners and come together and get back to basics in all parts of the country where we are having problems. Whether it's opioids, Chicago, Burlington, Vermont where they have a huge drug trade. We have got to get together as a country and solve it, because otherwise we're just going to keep losing Americans unnecessarily. Anthony.

TALL: Yes, I agree with all of that. I don't want the environment of police being there to create more criminals, incarcerate more people, and those people go back into the community and create more crime. That's what I want to safeguard against. There's nothing wrong with that.

HORACE COOPER, CO-CHAIR, PROJECT 21: Those talking points are killing people. There is a small number of people in these communities that are creating a nightmarish existence.


COOPER: These people need to be pulled out of the circle.

INGRAHAM: They've got to be taken out of the community, they've got to be incarcerated. And if not, we are going to see kids on bicycles killed again as we did last weekend. All right, guys, great segment. Thanks so much.

And Jeff Sessions is taking on one of conservative speech's biggest enemies. We will tell you what it is when we come back.


INGRAHAM: In an important speech that garnered very little attention, Attorney General Jeff Sessions condemned one of the biggest foes of conservative speech, the Southern Poverty Law Center. The far left organization is notorious for labeling those not aligned with its radical agenda as a hate group. And in a very, very important address to the Alliance Defending Freedom Organization yesterday, the attorney general did not mince words.


JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: When I spoke to ADF last year, I learned the Southern Poverty Law Center had classified ADF as a hate group. Many in the media simply parroted that is a fact. They've used this designation as a weapon, and they have wielded it against conservative organizations, others than ADF, that refuse to accept their orthodoxy and choose instead to speak for their conscience.

I wanted to come back here tonight partially because I wanted to say this. You are not a hate group.


INGRAHAM: Joining us now with reaction, Harmeet Dhillon, an attorney and RNC committeewoman for California, does a lot of civil-rights representation, along with Joe Alioto Veronese. He's a civil rights attorney himself. Great to see both of you. Joe, let's start with you. The Southern Poverty Law Center, cited by the mainstream media as an unbiased organization that's a national treasure because it points out the bad people. And there are a lot of bad people. White nationalist, Nazi groups, that type of person.

But then they also label with the hate label people like Ben Carson who was put on an extremist watch list. The Israeli ambassador dinner with Frank Gaffney, they urged the Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, not to attend a dinner hosted by this guy Frank Gaffney who has views on Islamism and so forth. Center for Immigration Studies done enormous research on immigration. And of course the Alliance Defending Freedom, a group I have spoken to before, that litigated cases. Most recently I think the wedding cake case at the Supreme Court involving the baker in the gay couple. What's going on here? If you disagree with the Southern Poverty Law Center, you are suddenly a hater?

JOE ALIOTO VERONESE: First of all, I wouldn't agree with the fact that they are unbiased. Of course they are biased to their own position, but that's what's so great about the First Amendment is that they are allowed to do that. The problem here is that the attorney general is using the office of the attorney general to suppress First Amendment rights of these organizations in the name of religious freedom, which is yet another constitutional right.

So that's a real problem because people look at the attorney general as an office that should instill confidence in the government's allowing you to enjoy your constitutional rights. And in here he's using one constitutional right against the other and basically starting political wildfires.

INGRAHAM: I think it is the opposite. I think he is actually saying religious freedom, which is defended by the Alliance Defending Freedom, is a sacrosanct right. And just for defending religious freedom, labeling someone as a hater and a hate group, Harmeet, that probably hurts their fundraising. It probably hurts any corporate association they have. The label is meant to demonetize individuals, corporations, pulling back, and associations. You see it on big tech, what they are doing with the suppression of conservative speech. And this is a different way to do it. Harmeet?

HARMEET DHILLON, ATTORNEY: Absolutely. I like my friend Joe, but he's upside down. What has been happening in the government is that the government has been using and partnering with Southern Poverty Law Center's list to suppress speech and target groups. So it's only recently that the attorney general called it out, but the FBI is continuing to partner with the National Organization of Women, Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP, and other groups. And SPLC is about as objective as Antifa. They are a far left organization, and it's a disgrace that the government is using their imprimatur to silence speech.

The real effects of this, Laura, are, for example, earlier, a couple years ago the Family Research Council was actually shot up in D.C. by an attacker trying to kill people there because that group was on the SPLC list.

INGRAHAM: That's right. I forgot that.

DHILLON: And in Silicon Valley, like you mentioned, the effect of this is that matching programs and corporations where corporations will say if you give money to a charity like Alliance Defending Freedom, an outstanding Christian First Amendment law firm, they will not match it if the organization is on that list. And on top of that, Amazon will not match contributions in their Smile program if the SPLC has put it on their hate list.

So who made these people, the Soros funded and the far left organization the arbiter of what is correct speech in America and not. So it's fine for them, Joe, to have their viewpoint, but it's also fine for us to fight back. It's not fine for the government to use their false list as a weapon to attack citizens.

INGRAHAM: They have a half-a-billion dollar budget. They get a lot of money from a lot of rich people. Joe, my point is they would rather label people haters then have a debate about the underlying subject. I live that every day. People don't want to debate you because they lose on the facts, so they want to label you things. That's not American. Have the debate. Have the debate vigorously. Don't label people haters accept the ones who should be labeled haters like the white nationalists and the Nazis.

VERONESE: But labeling people haters is part of their First Amendment right. And there are far right groups who have a have-a-billion dollars as well. The real problem here is that the attorney general is using his office to pit one constitutional right against the other. And where does that end, right? You could look at a lot of religions and make the claim that they have some sort of hate speech. We shouldn't be doing this. The attorney general should be uniting people here in the United States. But the reality is, he's a darling of the confederacy.

INGRAHAM: What does that mean?

DHILLON: That is not fair.

INGRAHAM: I think that is poisonous. Joe.

VERONESE: If you look to his voting record, there are views there that are anti-LGBT, that are anti-immigrant. Of course there are. This is known stuff.

INGRAHAM: Once again, if you believe in border enforcement and legal immigration reforms, you are anti-immigrant.

VERONESE: No. I don't believe that either.

INGRAHAM: People rejected that in 2016. They don't like being called that, because when you say that, that means the Trump voters are anti- immigrant, and they are not. They're good people. They're always bad elements in groups, but they're overwhelming good people.

So guys, we're out of time. Great segment, as always.

And by the way, an Atlanta school is facing an uproar after trying to ditch the Pledge of Allegiance. We have some breaking news on this story. Stay there.



CROWD: -- to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


INGRAHAM: Well, well, an Atlanta charter school is reeling tonight after having announced it was going to ditch the Pledge of Allegiance from their morning agenda. According to the Atlanta neighborhood charter school, it made its decision due to the more and more students and staff choosing not to recite or stand during the pledge in recent years.

The announcement sparked a storm of controversy, as you can imagine, and tonight the school announced it is backtracking on its decision. But could be seen more schools across the country trying the same move? Joining us now with reaction, University of Maryland professor Jason Nichols, back by popular demand, along with writer and clinical analyst Carrie Sheffield.

Jason, they are backtracking and saying that you can see that pledge or say the school cheer or something like that. but what does it say about us that this is a controversy? I am almost wanting to treat this as something hilarious because I think those kids reciting the pledge is so cute and I remember doing it as a kid. It wasn't controversial. It was what you did. Why are we here?

DR. JASON NICHOLS, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: I think it's controversial because they want to unify the kids at the beginning of the morning, and they feel that the pledge, there are many kids that opt out. I can remember when I was a kid, there were kids that were Jehovah's Witnesses and they didn't recite the pledge. Sometimes they would go to a separate room. And they really want to build community, and they think this is getting in the way of that.

Of course I have to throw my dig in there and say that if you are against this and if you have a problem with this, then you probably have a problem with Betsy DeVos and our secretary of education who is trying to move more towards charter schools who get to take public funding but make their own rules.

INGRAHAM: This is a charter school.

NICHOLS: This is a charter school.

INGRAHAM: So you find saying the pledge, requiring that, your view is that that's divisive?

NICHOLS: I'm not saying that's divisive, but I do think there are many people who opt out. That is their First Amendment rights.

INGRAHAM: They can do that. But they can say one nation, and they don't have to say under God. A lot of people don't say under God and they go on. I don't remember this being a controversy. They just say one nation. Indivisible with liberty and justice. Apparently people do still do believe in liberty and justice or is that also controversial?

NICHOLS: Because some people just feel it's better if they're not a part of it. And that's their First Amendment right.

CARRIE SHEFFIELD, NATIONAL EDITOR, ACCURACY IN MEDIA: I have got to take issue with what you just said about charter schools, because if anything that shows how responsive charter schools are, because imagine if a public school sector, public union backed teachers, when they try to make changes and there's public accountability, public outcry, nothing happens. So this is actually a case in point, showing the agility of charters. And so I applaud that.

And yes, I am very pro-charter, and it upsets me to see something that something that was a charter school was antifreedom, because charters to me equals freedom. So I am glad that they have done the right thing.

But look, Laura, I think this speaks to the broader issue of trying to turn people against each other, trying to tear at our social fabric against things that represent the United States of America. And no one, including Martin Luther King Jr., would sit here and tell you if he were alive today, but he knew that we were working toward a more perfect union. And when you try to shut down the Pledge of a Allegiance, that's opposite of building a union.

INGRAHAM: I think we should just do jumping jacks instead, push-ups. Can we say just drop and give me 50. Wouldn't that be better? Michelle Obama is about let's move. I am all for that. I would like to use the exercise of the beginning of the day.

I also wanted your thoughts on this. This is something, I have teachers in my family, private school, and just recently retired public school. And should cell phones be allowed or banned from school classrooms? Countries like France are putting government mandated bans on cell phones for elementary and middle school students on their campuses. But more U.S. cities like Boise, Idaho, are doing the exact opposite and lifting cell phone bans from their students. Jason?

NICHOLS: This was a tough one for me.

INGRAHAM: Come on, professor. Do you want them to be on their phone? It's annoying.

NICHOLS: I definitely don't, I definitely don't'. It is totally annoying, and I know that it can be disruptive sometimes. But at the same time, as we have seen with some of the school shootings and things that have been going on, cell phones have really helped in those situations to call the police in an emergency. So I understand why they would want to have those cell phones there. But also cell phones have encouraged a lot of bullying and fights and things like that. Nobody --

INGRAHAM: How about cheating? Have you caught anybody cheating using a cell phone?

NICHOLS: I haven't. I haven't. Maybe I'm just bad at catching people.

INGRAHAM: You haven't caught anybody? How many times during average class do you see student looking down at her phone, checking Facebook, how many times?

NICHOLS: I can't even count.

INGRAHAM: They could be listening to your lecture, following, taking notes. Instead, they are on their phone. It's not good for learning. It's fun, you can play games, but during the class, focus on the professor.

NICHOLS: I agree. During class, they shouldn't have it.

INGRAHAM: Have it in your locker. Have it in your locker.

NICHOLS: Have it in your bag.

SHEFFIELD: I am inclined, whatever the French say to do, we should do the opposite.

INGRAHAM: Come on.

SHEFFIELD: For that fact alone, I say embrace the cell phone. And also in cases of emergency, absolutely. And Laura, you said take notes. I take notes on my cell phone.

INGRAHAM: OK, Carrie, you are a young woman. But do you remember or not being 14 and you've got the boys in the first row. They are texting each other. In high school and junior high, do you remember?

NICHOLS: I am a little older.

INGRAHAM: Do you remember?

SHEFFIELD: Laura, isn't the difference that it's just updated, because you would send paper notes.

INGRAHAM: I think it's less distracting. Do you like me, check box one.

SHEFFIELD: I think it's more distracting.

INGRAHAM: It's like, yes, no, I will think about it.

NICHOLS: If you have your laptop out, you probably don't need your cell phone as well to take notes.

INGRAHAM: Guys, fantastic conversation. But I think it happens more than you are even admitting in your classes. They are all on their phones.

NICHOLS: Definitely. I agree.

INGRAHAM: Do tell them ever to put them down?

NICHOLS: It says in the syllabus to silence your phone, keep it in your bag.

INGRAHAM: They are on their laps. You are making important point. It's like in the movies. You're watching a really important, and then the glow. Put them away.

SHEFFIELD: That's what I'm more worried about. I'm more worried about teachers not enforcing it, teachers trying to be buddy-buddy with their students rather than enforcing the discipline. That's what I'm more worried about.

INGRAHAM: OK, guys, thanks so much.

And the media and liberals attempt to understand Trump supporters, it kind of failed a lot. And one professor may have finally discovered why. He joins us next. A lot of professors next, with details.


INGRAHAM: No matter how hard they try, liberals and their media brethren still just can't seem to figure out Trump supporters and their loyalty to the president. But Musa Al-Gharbi, a sociology professor at Columbia University, may have figured out why they keep getting it so wrong. He was on radio this morning, and now he joins us with more. Professor, good to see you. Thanks for being on in the morning and at night. You're doing double duty, really appreciate it. So what is going on here with some of the polling and some of the research that you've been able to cull through?

PROF. MUSA AL-GHARBI, SOCIOLOGIST, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: So there is a few things that we see in a lot of the studies that are intended to understand the 2016 election. The main problems seem to be things like prejudicial study design. So a survey will ask a question like, what motivated Trump voters? Is it that their more racist or sexist or ignorant rather than any kind of balanced or positive attributes that could have possibly motivated to vote for who they did. And of course there is no surveys about why would someone vote for Hillary Clinton? Is it because they are anti- American? So there's this sort of prejudicial study design is a big problem.

And then there are sometimes just glaring errors, like inferential errors, statistical errors that somehow get through by people who know better and by editors who know better. And they are cited by other people who know better. Not on purpose. I don't think it's a cynical thing. I think for the most part it's just an issue where the studies are confirming something, a view of the world, that they strongly believe and want to believe. And so these kinds of errors can creep in and get unnoticed.

INGRAHAM: And then once one study is published or one poll, it just gets repeated, paraphrased in another website and another and another and another.

I want to show for our viewers what we are talking about specifically. One particular question illustrates your point. And you're not a fan of the president, we should say. You're not a rah-rah Trump supporter. In fact, the opposite.

Question, this is a CNN/SSRS poll. Question, which of the following do you think is more important? Imposing tariffs on imports from foreign countries to protect certain U.S. industries, 25 percent, maintaining good relations with countries that have been close allies of the U.S. for many years? Of course people are going to say that 63 percent. Both equally, no opinion. So that's a problem because, professor?

AL-GHARBI: Yes, absolutely. That result you got there was probably the result of what we call a framing effect. For instance, if they rephrased the question something like do you support -- like maintaining, like protecting the U.S. economy or U.S., critical service, critical U.S. manufacturing.

INGRAHAM: It's a phrasing issue. This is just classic prejudicial framing issue. When you say maintaining good relations countries that have been close, that's just a biased way to frame it. It's so obvious when you read it.

Also something we want to get to, just really quickly, the pairing of Donald Trump with racism on the Google searches. Donald Trump-white supremacy, Donald Trump-xenophobia, 10,000 results, 2,300 results, 3,000 results. Why is that a problem in 15 seconds, professor?

AL-GHARBI: What's astonishing is it takes a long time to publish anything in an academic journal. Half a year, a year. So the fact that just since 2016 there were these tens of thousands of studies that were published, all of them having the same -- if you survey the abstracts and titles of these works, they all tell the same story. Trump voters were racist, motivated by --


INGRAHAM: Tomorrow night, we have a fantastic show. The U.S. attorney in Philadelphia will join us, to tell us why the city's sanctuary policies are so dangerous and what he says is also un-American. So you don't want to miss that.

Thanks for watching tonight, as always, our loyal viewers. Catch me on the radio tomorrow morning. Until tomorrow night, stay safe. Be sure to check me out on Twitter and Facebook. I always love reading your comments. Shannon Bream and the "Fox News @ Night" team are coming up. Shannon?

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