This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," December 16, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
Tucker Carlson: Good evening and welcome to Tucker Carlson tonight. For two long years Jim Comey has played the role of America's moral martyr and for two years it's basically worked for him. In the closing days of 2016, you'll remember, Comey was likely the most hated man on the American left. That bizarre press conference he held in July of that year in which he described Hillary Clinton as legally innocent but morally guilty may in the end have cost Democrats the election. It's possible. And they hated him for it. Less than a year later, though, Donald Trump fired Jim Comey as FBI director and whatever Trump dislikes liberals love and so Comey was back in their good graces once again. He's done his best ever since to remain there. Comey titled his book, "A Higher Loyalty," meaning that he, unlike you, is a man of principle, accountable only to his God and conscience in contrast to your grubby little political concerns. Jim Comey is the last honest man in America. He makes that point every time he appears in public. And as a man of integrity. Jim Comey would like you to know that despite the fact he's got no actual evidence to support the claim, he's pretty certain Vladimir Putin has been blackmailing Donald Trump since day one.
[begin video clip]
James Comey: I honestly never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don't know whether the current President of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013. It's possible, but I don't know.
[end video clip]
Tucker Carlson: Yeah, it's possible. He's not sure, just -- but it's possible. Because when you run the FBI, you deal on things that are just possible. Well, even after the DOJ inspector general's report came out, essentially destroying Jim Comey's credibility and many of the claims that he's forwarded over the years, he persisted. He published a smug op-ed in The Washington Post claiming to have been vindicated of all wrongdoing. Why would Jim Comey do that? It's almost like he didn't think you had the internet and couldn't read the report for yourself. Maybe he was so used to being treated as untouchable that he started to believe that he actually was. But, in the end, as always happens, reality intruded. The IG report didn't actually vindicate Jim Comey. Instead, it revealed frightful abuses of power by the FBI -- the FBI that he ran -- abuses that ought to terrify Americans, left, right, and center. Inspector General Michael Horowitz summed it up on Capitol Hill. Watch.
[begin video clip]
Michael Horowitz: We identified significant inaccuracies and omissions in each of the four applications, seven in the first application and a total of 17 by the final renewal application.
[end video clip]
Tucker Carlson: One admission could be a mistake; it happens. Seventeen of them? That's not a mistake. That's either malice, or it's gross incompetence, or a combination of both. Either way, not reassuring. In the end, even someone as beloved by the news media as Jim Comey had to answer for the 17 omissions. So, over the weekend, Comey appeared on Fox and he said this about the IG report. [begin video clip]
James Comey: He's right. I was wrong. I was overconfident in the procedures that the FBI and Justice had built over 20 years. I thought they were robust enough. It's incredibly hard to get a FISA. I was overconfident in those. Because he's right, there was real sloppiness: 17 things that either should have been in the applications or, at least, discussed and characterized differently. It was not acceptable. And so, he's right. I was wrong.
[end video clip]
Tucker Carlson: "It's incredibly hard to get a FISA." Really? How incredibly hard is it, Jim Comey? Specifically, how many have been turned down in the past 15 years? Oh, you don't have those numbers, do you? "Not many" is the real answer. But that wasn't even the most damning part of the interview with that liar you just saw. At one point, Jim Comey was asked whether lying to a FISA court in order to spy on an American citizen might merit some professional consequences. Here's how he responded.
[begin video clip]
Chris Wallace: If you were still there, and all of this came out, and it turned out it happened on your watch, would you resign?
Jim Comey: No, I don't think so. There were mistakes I consider more consequential than this, during my tenure, and the important thing is to be transparent about it.
[end video clip]
Tucker Carlson: [laughs] Think about that. There were worse mistakes than knowingly using partisan lies to spy on an American citizen. But Jim Comey won't tell you what they are because he believes in transparency [laughs]. Did you catch all that? That was all in one sentence, by the way, a sentence that contradicts itself. Did anyone notice? No one seemed to. Maybe we need a new inspector general's investigation to find out what the hell he's talking about. In the meantime, how worried should we be? Can we trust the FBI is no longer being used as a political tool by the left? Andy McCarthy is a former chief assistant U.S. attorney, author of the book, "A Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency." He joins us tonight. Andy, thanks so much for coming on. Any idea what former Director Comey meant when he said, "I've seen worse mistakes happen under my watch, but I can't tell you what they are?" What do you think there now?
Andrew McCarthy: No, if that's so, Tucker, it's frightening. But I thought it was part of a pattern of, basically, distancing himself from the investigation, that, up until now, we had every reason to think he was pretty intimately involved in.
Tucker Carlson: So, why would we revise our view of that? How could he not have been intimately involved in it?
Andrew McCarthy: I'm not revising my view of it. I don't think it's possible for an FBI director not to be involved in an investigation like this. The magnitude of this one -- common sense tells us -- you would want to be involved. We know that he was involved in meetings with the incumbent president and the president-elect, where he was going to be asked about the investigation. So, any head of the FBI would want to be brought up-to-speed, if he wasn't already up-to-speed. We know that when he went to see Trump at Trump Tower on January 6th, the FBI actually treated that as an investigative opportunity in the Russia investigation, where he was acting almost as if he were a case agent and was going to write a report for the investigation, as he sped his way away from the from the meeting with Trump. So, you know, a lot of reason there to understand that he was involved. Plus, under FISA law, he had to certify that the surveillance that they were looking for was for foreign investigative purposes and that there weren't any lesser intrusive means to get the same information they were looking for. So, the law doesn't let them off the hook, either.
Tucker Carlson: So, as you noted, he's running the FBI. He's going to speak directly to the president-elect of the United States. Unbeknownst to that president-elect, the meeting is actually part of an investigation. And Comey's claiming he wasn't really involved in that investigation. I mean, that just seems like it can't be anything but a lie, can it?
Andrew McCarthy: Well, not only that, Tucker, but six days after that, they went back to the FISA court to get the first renewal application of the FISA surveillance, which it seems to me they clearly did because they wanted to get that buttoned down and done before Trump took office, when he could have been in a position to shut the investigation down. So, all of this looks to me like it's pretty strategic all along the way.
Tucker Carlson: So, very quick, we're almost out of time, but I can't resist. Do you believe -- do you sincerely believe that they sincerely believed that Donald Trump might have been a Russian agent?
Andrew McCarthy: Yes. Yeah, I don't think -- I think, Tucker, that with the Steele dossier, Steele was pushing on an open door. I think they were predisposed to think the worst of Trump. And I don't believe they would have had a situation where they would swear under oath that the Trump campaign might be in a cyber-espionage conspiracy with the Kremlin unless they believed that there was a good chance that that was true.
Tucker Carlson: Boy, they're -- I mean, to believe, maybe, Trump had a weird personal life or wasn't good at managing casinos –
Andrew McCarthy: Yeah.
Tucker Carlson: -- okay. But he was working for the -- I mean, they're idiots, obviously, I would argue. Andy, great to see --
Andrew McCarthy: Well, there was --
Tucker Carlson: -- you tonight.
Andrew McCarthy: -- no evidence to support that.
Tucker Carlson: Right. Well, exactly. What a weird — so weird? Thanks for that. I appreciate it.
Andrew McCarthy: My pleasure.
Tucker Carlson: Terry Turchie's a former deputy assistant director of counterterrorism at the FBI, and he joins us tonight. Terry, thanks so much for coming on. So, I know that you have been concerned over the last couple of years about what Jim Comey's public appearances are doing to people's perception of the FBI, to the bureau's credibility. Do you think this interview he did over the weekend helps or hurts?
Terry Turchie: Well, no, it doesn't help at all. But I think, probably, everybody's glad he's gone. Jim Comey has told so many stories, and has kind of painted his own storybook land, if you want to call it that, Tucker, over the last couple years. And he kind of walks around and lets us all know the facts of what's going on in that little land of his. But two reports from the IG, and the Mueller report. And now know that you just didn't have the facts right. And I think, all along, though, the gnawing suspicion that many of us have had, especially former agents and people who used to work on the seventh floor, is that there was just a major, major breakdown of discipline inside the FBI at the highest level. This isn't so much about case agents. In fact, in the IG report, there's a great example of the case agent asking a very germane question. And then he was, essentially, lied to by a high level official. So, those are the kind of things that are not going to go away. We still really -- with all this paper, and all this reporting, we still don't know why that occurred. But we can --
Tucker Carlson: Right.
Terry Turchie: -- I think, have some pretty good ideas.
Tucker Carlson: How distressing is it to you to watch the former director of the FBI, the most powerful law enforcement official in the United States, in the world, likely, lie? He's clearly lying. He's clearly not telling the truth. I mean, how damaging is that to the bureau?
Terry Turchie: It's terribly damaging, especially when you're standing in front of a seal that says, "Fidelity, bravery, and integrity." And especially since we preach that from the minute an agent comes into the academy, or any FBI employee, not just FBI agents, FBI and support employees. And I don't think we're going to recover from that easily. I'm spoiled. I worked for many years with Louis Freeh as the FBI director.
Tucker Carlson: Yes.
Terry Turchie: And those words meant something, Tucker. With Comey, they've been minimized. And there's going to be a lot of work that needs to be done to bring them back to life.
Tucker Carlson: Man, what a shame it all is. Terry Turchie, thank -- you've been here since the beginning and we appreciate it. Thanks very much.
Terry Turchie: You're welcome, Tucker. Thank you.
Tucker Carlson: Well, according to Joe Biden -- and he said this in public, you can pull up the tape -- President Obama would absolutely endorse him. I mean, he wants to. He's really kind of chomping at the bit to do so. Except Biden wanted the 2020 race to be a fair fight, so he asked for President Obama not to endorse. Here it is.
[begin video clip]
Reporter Question: Why hasn’t President Obama endorsed you? You guys served together for eight years. Joe Biden: Because I have to earn -- I want to earn this on my own.
Reporter Question: Did he offer to endorse you? Joe Biden: No, we didn’t even get there. I asked him not to. He said, “Okay.” I think it’s better -- I think he thinks it’s better for me.
[end video clip]
Tucker Carlson: Sad. I mean, you could jump on Joe Biden with all four paws. “You’re lying.” But it’s much more poignant than that. It’s clear the only reason Obama isn’t saying anything about Biden is to avoid embarrassing Biden. But indirectly, he is saying it, actually. At an event in Singapore, Obama said, “The problems the world are due to “old people, usually old men not getting out of the way.” [laughs] Not clear who he’s referring to. In fact, Obama said that women are categorically better leaders than men purely on the basis of their sex. That’s from biologist in chief, Barack Obama. Richard Goodstein is an attorney and a former advisor to the other Democratic dynasty, Bill and Hillary Clinton. And he joins us tonight. Richard, thanks so much for coming on.
Richard Goodstein: Of course.
Tucker Carlson: So, it’s just sort of -- I mean, many levels here. But for Barack Obama to tell us that women really should be in charge, I mean, I’m old enough to remember when we learned that the Obama White House was paying women 88 cents to every dollar they were paying men. I mean, that’s not speculation, that’s actually true. So, why didn’t Obama govern according to this precept if he believed it?
Richard Goodstein: It’s kind of interesting. First of all, he’s not going to go to a private meeting in Singapore --
Tucker Carlson: [affirmative]
Richard Goodstein: -- for which there’s no audio or video to deliver a political message about our presidential campaign. And remember, Ronald Reagan --
Tucker Carlson: Wait, wait, wait. But we heard it -- I mean, didn’t we?
Richard Goodstein: Ronald Reagan didn’t endorse George H.W. Bush until May of 1988. That would be next May relative to now, okay? So, this notion that somehow or other, “What’s Obama doing? Clearly, he doesn’t like Biden.” That’s nutty.
Tucker Carlson: Wait a second. Wait a second. If I could just say, Ronald Reagan was the sitting U.S. president at the time. So, it’s a little bit different.
Richard Goodstein: Barely.
Tucker Carlson: Okay --
Richard Goodstein: I mean, Obama’s our most recent Democrat president.
Tucker Carlson: Okay. But look, he’s sending a clear message. You know as well as I, if he wanted to endorse Biden, he could have. This whole thing would have been over with. He isn’t. And now he’s saying that women should really be in charge. SO, this makes me -- and this is the man who’s paying 88 cents on the dollar to women. Pretty good deal for him, I guess. Why aren’t Democrats on the cusp of nominating a female if they’re so progressive? Seriously.
Richard Goodstein: So, again, remember his Supreme Court nominees were not the 88-cent on the dollar types, right, that Obama put on the Supreme Court. This is not somebody --
Tucker Carlson: He put some really mediocre people on the court.
Richard Goodstein: -- who shirked away from basically advancing women. He certainly didn’t harass them personally, right? So --
Tucker Carlson: But why didn’t he pay them as much as men?
Richard Goodstein: Well, I think the fact of the matter is that women we know, historically, are underpaid. And it’s a shame.
Tucker Carlson: But why would Obama under pay them? I mean if he cares about women --
Richard Goodstein: Because I think it’s a function of where they were relative to their position in the White House staff.
Tucker Carlson: Oh, but that’s not the measurement we used when it comes to pay fairness, like the Lily Ledbetter Act. People are always jumping around saying, “They’re giving you the same numbers --“
Richard Goodstein: Right.
Tucker Carlson: -- so, but you're using the dodge the conservatives use.
Richard Goodstein: So, somehow or other, if you -- I don’t know if you’re representing the Republican Party. I think not, on this.
Tucker Carlson: What? Definitely not. [cross talk]
Richard Goodstein: But only you are outraged by his comments. Democrats who have far more females in the Senate, the House, governorships, mayoral seats, they’re not outraged by what Obama said.
Tucker Carlson: I’m not outraged by what he said. I’m just wondering if he’s going to posture --
Richard Goodstein: Nor are they enraged about the 88 cents on the dollar. Tucker Carlson: -- and jump up and down as some sort of fake feminist, then he should be paying women as much as men, but he didn’t.
Richard Goodstein: Yeah.
Tucker Carlson: So, I’m the only person who’s going to point that out, but that’s my job.
Richard Goodstein: Well --
Tucker Carlson: But really quick, why aren’t Democrats, if they’re as woke as they claim to be, as woke as Obama says he is, why are they even bothering with someone like Bernie or Biden? I’m serious.
Richard Goodstein: Yeah.
Tucker Carlson: Elderly white guys who they say they hate every day --
Richard Goodstein: Right. Tucker Carlson: -- but they’re on the cusp of nominating one. What is that?
Richard Goodstein: So, Democratic voters tend to skew older, right, in primaries. Bernie has his supporters from 2016. And I think -- if you had Barack Obama when he was saying, “yes, Joe Biden is older than I’d like, but so is Donald Trump.” And I think Donald Trump poses a threat to the long-term viability of the United States as we know it. And if it takes Joe Biden to beat him, God willing, listen to him.
Tucker Carlson: Why wouldn’t -- why wouldn’t -- why don’t they nominate Stacey Abrams? I just -- this feels sexist to me.
Richard Goodstein: Well, she didn’t get into the race. I mean, the fact of the matter is --
Tucker Carlson: Oh, blame the victim [laughs].
Richard Goodstein: -- that the women into the race [laughs]. Right now, Joe --
Tucker Carlson: I can’t believe -- I can’t believe you’re blaming Stacey Abrams.
Richard Goodstein: People talked about Joe Biden being a dead man walking on this and other networks months ago, and he’s now, even if anything, expanding his lead among --
Tucker Carlson: No, you’re right.
Richard Goodstein: -- other Democrats, so.
Tucker Carlson: You’re right about that.
Richard Goodstein: Go figure. Tucker Carlson: I mean, look, you’re --
Richard Goodstein: Yeah.
Tucker Carlson: That’s true.
Richard Goodstein: Well.
Tucker Carlson: Richard, we’ll see.
Richard Goodstein: We’ll see.
Tucker Carlson: Hard to believe, but you're right. Good to see you occasionally. The impeachment saga has taught America a lot about how Hunter Biden used his father’s name to get rich in Ukraine. But there’s another way the Biden family enriched itself, by shilling for credit card companies. True. We’ve got the details. Way more interesting than anything that happened in Ukraine. Our eye-opening report is after the break. [commercial break]
Tucker Carlson: Well, thanks to the impeachment proceedings now in progress, we now know a lot more than we ever thought we would about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine. We know Biden apparently received millions from a foreign company to do work he wasn't even theoretically qualified to do. The purpose of paying him all that money, of course, was to influence his father who at the time was the vice president of the United States and in charge of overseeing reforms in wait for it, Ukraine. It was a payoff. It was the definition of a corrupt arrangement obviously. Don't let the liars in Washington, the ones eager to protect their own corruption, tell you it wasn't. It was. But that's not the only scandal that Hunter Biden participated in. In fact, it's not even the worst scandal. Here's a far bigger one, one that nobody in Washington wants to talk about in part because it implicates them. Here it is. Immediately after graduating from law school Biden took a lucrative management track job at MBNA, the Delaware-based credit card company. Now, Hunter Biden worked at MBNA for almost three years and even after he left the company the checks kept coming. From 2001 to 2005 MBNA sent Hunter Biden more than $100,000 a year for doing, well, it's not exactly clear what he did, if anything. So, how do you get a job like that, you may be wondering, one where you get more than twice what the average American family makes a year but for no work. Well, it's not easy to get a job like that. It helps to have a father in the U.S. Senate, one who's doing the bidding of credit card companies, and Hunter Biden definitely met that requirement. For decades Joe Biden was one of the country's most enthusiastic servants of the consumer debt industry. Biden was so shameless about it he was often referred to as the senator from MBNA. Time and again he carried that company's water on Capitol Hill. For example, in the 1990s the cost of education and health care skyrocketed for most people and many middle-class Americans turned to high interest debt to stay afloat. It was a potentially lucrative period for lenders, but credit card companies worried that too many people might try to escape their debt through bankruptcy. So, they turned to the Congress to make that more difficult and in turn to protect their business, one of the world's sleeziest and most destructive businesses. Joe Biden was eager to help them. Middle class Joe was an eager backer of a law designed to hurt the middle class because everything in Washington is irony. The law was called the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. Like so many bills that Congress passes everything about that title was a lie. There was no epidemic of bankruptcy abuse in America at the time. The bill did nothing meaningful to protect consumers. No. Instead, the beneficiaries of the law were credit card companies, and that's why they spent $100 million to get it through the Congress. Before the bill was passed, judges in this country determined whether a bankruptcy filing was abusive and should be dismissed but thanks to lobbying from high interest lenders the standard was changed to a rigid means test of a filer's income. This gave judges less leeway to consider the facts of a particular case. The new law also imposed a burdensome new paperwork requirement and put additional liability on bankruptcy attorneys. The result was exactly what the credit card companies had intended. Filing for bankruptcy took longer and cost more and therefore, and this of course was the real point, fewer people could afford to do it. Some of the bill's provisions were obviously cruel. For example, the new law prevented young people from discharging student loan debt through bankruptcy. Even unwise and unfair loans taken from private lenders. Bankruptcy could not erase them. That meant that 18-year-olds who had been pressured to taking on life-destroying amounts of student loan debt could never get rid of that debt. They were stuck with it forever. Think about that for a moment. America's middle class was beginning to crumble in the face of rising education costs. In the end it did crumble, as you know. So, what did Congress do? Congress rushed in to side with the creditors and make that crisis far worse for normal people. Joe Biden was part of the problem. He did far more than most to make it happen. Why would Biden do that? Because he and his family had been thoroughly bribed by big finance, by the credit card companies. And to be fair, they weren't alone in that. We're not going to lie to you. In 2005 every single Republican in Congress voted for the bankruptcy bill. George W. Bush, the president at the time, signed it into law. What did voters think of that? Well, they were not impressed, and why would they be impressed? Republicans were crushed in the next two elections. In 2008, they lost to Barack Obama, who voted against the bankruptcy bill. So, what's the lesson of all of this? Well, the lesson should be very clear to both parties, but for some reason never is clear. So, write this down. It's the iron law of modern politics. When you take the side of finance over voters, you lose. And by the way, you deserve to lose. Does that make sense? Of course, it makes sense. Politicians are literally the only ones who don't understand it. Well, impeachment has not been a good thing for the mental well-being of people appearing on MSNBC. Over the weekend that channel suffered a spasm of hallucinations worthy of the Salem Witch trials. Actually, it's hilarious. You'll see it and then Mark Steyn will respond. Next.
Trace Gallagher: Live from America's news headquarters, I'm Trace Gallagher in Los Angeles. House Democrats are laying out their impeachment case against President Trump, preparing to set the rules for Wednesday's expected landmark vote. Today's report by Democrats on a House committee accuses the president of abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting the U.S. election, and then trying to cover up his misconduct by blocking the investigation. Meantime, over in the Senate, Republican and Democratic leaders are getting ready to negotiate the rules for next month's likely trial in that chamber. The House is expected to vote tomorrow on a spending bill to provide $25 million for government research on gun safety. The bipartisan deal marks the first time in two decades that federal money would be used on gun-related issues. Gun control advocates say it's a major breakthrough. News breaks out. We'll break in. I'm Trace Gallagher. Now back to Tucker Carlson.
Tucker Carlson: You think MSNBC is far-out during the week? You should see the weekends. It's pretty -- what's the word -- effervescent. On a Sunday panel over there on MSNBC. Joy Reid and her colleagues conjured up a vision: what if -- and follow the logic now -- President Trump is impeached, convicted, and then simply refuses to leave office?
[begin video clip]
Joy Reid: What happens -- in all seriousness, what happens if Donald Trump, if he just says, "You know what? If I leave this office, I might get prosecuted in New York. I ain't leaving."
Male Speaker: So –
Joy Reid: And what would happen?
Male Speaker: Well –
Joy Reid: Because he keeps joking about it.
Male Speaker: Yeah.
Joy Reid: But, you know, dictatorships happen all over the world when the person who jokes about not leaving doesn't leave.
Male Speaker: Yeah.
Joy Reid: When he talks about himself, he says that everyone who speaks to him says, "Sir." They always address him as "Sir." He speaks sort of, like, Mussolini.
[end video clip]
[begin video clip]
Male Speaker: If Donald Trump were to go out in the country and campaign, "I deserve a third term, " he will get support of in his base. This should scare everyone who believes in our republic.
[end video clip]
[begin video clip]
Female Speaker: They'll just go into the street and they'll say, "Yes, you are supposed to have your third term."
[end video clip]
[begin video clip]
Male Speaker: When he thinks I'm pardoning war criminals., so, if I have to overstay my presidential term, I'm going to call on the military, and they're going to rise up to help me.
[end video clip]
[begin video clip]
Female Speaker: So, there's a slide toward a belief in authoritarianism, in wanting and preferring a king.
[end video clip]
Tucker Carlson: [laughs] It's just too awesome. By the way, here's a rule of thumb: if you ever get a call from a booker or the Joy Reid MSNBC weekend show, take it as the insult it's meant to be. It's really the lowest level. So, just to be clear, as a factual matter, though, since this is a news channel, Trump has never threatened to refuse to leave office if he's convicted in an impeachment trial, which, of course, he won't be. He definitely has not threatened to launch a military coup. This is all part of the elaborate fantasy currently under way in Joy Reid's head, the one where the FBI is investigating a plot where her computer was hacked [laughs], or whatever. In any case, it's a fantasy that others are eager to join. But it got weirder, even, than what we showed you. Joy Reid then went on to speculate about what would happen if Trump won reelection by having Russia rig the votes in Vermont.
[begin video clip]
Joy Reid: Let's say, on election night, it's announced that Donald Trump won Vermont. And everyone knows that's not possible. But somehow, because we have outside influences that get involved in an election, that is the way that he claims that he won the election. What can the public do about it if they believe that the election is not -- was not legitimate?
[end video clip]
Tucker Carlson: Look, is peyote legal in some parts of the southwestern United States? Apparently. Do you have to eat the buttons before hosting a show? No, you shouldn't. You just shouldn't. It's just wrong. Author and columnist, Mark Steyn, joins us tonight. Having watched what you just saw, Mark, what do you make of that?
Mark Steyn: Well, you know, I laughed it off, but I gather that 37 town clerks in small Vermont towns below -- with populations below 500, 37 Vermont town clerks have recently acquired dachas in Russia. So, Putin may already have --
Tucker Carlson: [laughs]
Mark Steyn: -- this sewn-up. You know, Joy Reid has finally figured it out. While the Democrats have been distracted investigating Trump for stealing the 2016 election, he's already stolen the 2024 election. That's how smart he is.
Tucker Carlson: [laughs]
Mark Steyn: You know, and you think that --
Tucker Carlson: Wait. So, it's like a hopscotch step. He's jumping over the –
Mark Steyn: Yeah, yeah.
Tucker Carlson: -- the current election to steal the next one.
Mark Steyn: Yeah, yeah, and they just haven't -- they just haven't figured it out. You said -- you said that this was like the Salem witch trials, before the break. It's actually like the medieval ducking stool, where --
Tucker Carlson: Yeah.
Mark Steyn: -- if the woman went under the water and came up breathing, that proved she was a witch. If the woman drowned, that proves she was innocent. But she was already dead, so it's no great shakes. The only evidence that Trump stole the election is that he won the election -- and the Democrats. And so, the Democrats -- for the Democrats, the only way that Trump can prove he's innocent, on the ducking stool, is actually to lose an election. These guys have already baked-in the fact that he's going to win again. And then they're already lost in paranoid fevers of him staying in power. You know, you said something, that basically they could just put up as a title card for the whole hour. You said something a couple of weeks ago, "The left always accuses the right of what they're doing."
Tucker Carlson: Exactly.
Mark Steyn: And that's exact -- when Joy Reid talks about not accepting the results of the 2024 election, that's her eight years' on.
Tucker Carlson: [laughs] It's really -- I do wonder how that FBI investigation into her hacked computer is going. I have a note on my desk to follow-up, but I –
Mark Steyn: No, no --
Tucker Carlson: -- you know, you get busy.
Mark Steyn: -- don't worry. Comey will really get it in the next report.
Tucker Carlson: [laughs] I –
Mark Steyn: Don't worry.
Tucker Carlson: -- hope so. I hope so.
Mark Steyn: [affirmative]
Tucker Carlson: The great Marc Steyn. Great to see you tonight.
Mark Steyn: Thanks, Tucker.
Tucker Carlson: Well, in California, 2014's Proposition 47 made it basically impossible for prosecutors to do anything about shoplifting, even big-time shoplifting. So, not surprisingly, the state of California has seen a surge in theft, a lot of it brazen. But the trend is not confined to California. Across the country, the so-called criminal justice reform and left-wing prosecutors -- a trend among rich people in case you haven't noticed -- are effectively unleashing a wave of property crime. It's gotten so bad that it's affecting very large companies in their bottom line. In a recent call, for example, with investors, Home Depot said the opioid epidemic had caused a spike in theft so profound that it's undercutting that company's revenue, its stock price. The National Retail Federation says that in the past year, two-thirds of retail businesses have seen a rise in theft by organized shoplifting rings. How'd this happen? Larry Elder's a radio host. He joins us tonight. So, Larry, the line you get from the left on shoplifting is, you know, people are hungry, they take things they need, you know, Pampers and milk. Is that what –
Larry Elder: Right.
Tucker Carlson: -- is going on here?
Larry Elder: No, that's not what's going on here. This whole thing started, Tucker, because of prison overcrowding. And there was a Supreme Court case that ruled that California's prisons were so overcrowded that it was tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment. So, there was a lot of pressure to either build more prisons, use more private prisons. And nobody out here in California wanted to build more prisons or use private prisoners. So, the voters went to the to the ballot box. They passed Proposition 47 about five years ago and, now, basically reduced six categories that used to be felonies to misdemeanors, allowing prisoners who are in prison, who would now be convicted only of misdemeanors, to have their sentences reexamined. A lot of people were -- who were let out. And they also raised the amount of money you can steal and not be prosecuted for felony. So, if you steal less than $950.00, you are a misdemeanor criminal. And, a lot of times, these stores don't even bother calling the cops because the cops are not going to prosecute them. There are stores who say that people come in there with calculators, Tucker, stealing stuff, so that the amount that they steal does not exceed 950, so, in the event that they get busted, they won't they won't be going to prison for longer than a year.
Tucker Carlson: So, I mean, the point of laws, of course, is –
Larry Elder: [laughs] Right.
Tucker Carlson: -- is to keep the rest of us safe. But it's also to send a message about what we believe in and what we value. So, a normal –
Larry Elder: Right.
Tucker Carlson: -- person believes that theft is wrong. What does it tell you that the professional left doesn't believe that theft is wrong?
Larry Elder: Well, who saw this coming? What they believe is that bad guys are bad guys because of the environment, and you can't be too hard on them, so we're going to let them out. And, not too surprisingly, crime has gone up, especially in places like L.A. and in San Francisco. The number one responsibility for government, as far as I'm concerned, is to protect people and property.
Tucker Carlson: Yeah, that's right.
Larry Elder: And that's not what happening here in California. We have enough money to build a bullet train. We have enough money to spend $25 billion a year on illegal aliens. But we don't have enough money to put bad guys behind bars for the entirety of their sentences. It's outrageous.
Tucker Carlson: Thank you for reminding -- you have a way of boiling it down to what actually matters. The first job of government is to protect people and property. And you're absolutely right --
Larry Elder: Right.
Tucker Carlson: -- it's not to solve global warming or raise our self-esteem.
Larry Elder: Right, or ban plastic straws [laughs].
Tucker Carlson: Exactly. Larry Elder, great to see you tonight. Thank you so much.
Larry Elder: You too, Tucker.
Tucker Carlson: So, the left has refused to learn any lessons from 2016, from Brexit in the U.K. ,or from Donald Trump's election here. Now, the international effort has suffered a massive defeat, their biggest in many generations. Are they ready to start listening to voters? Don't bet on it. We'll tell you how we know that, next.
Tucker Carlson: The polls didn’t predict it. But in the end, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party got absolutely creamed in last week’s British elections. Parts of the country that had reliably voted Labour for generations suddenly went for Boris Johnson’s Conservatives. It was Labour’s worst defeat, the left’s worst defeat, since the elections of 1935 more than 80 years ago. Stinging doesn’t begin to describe Britain’s rejection of the left. As writer Sumantra Maitra put it, imagine the overwhelmingly Republican state of Kentucky voting for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the next presidential election. That’s how shocking and unexpected the British election just was. So, what exactly do the results mean for the rest of us? Well, strikingly, almost nobody on the left seems interested in finding out what it means. In a long analysis for the New Yorker, for example, British writer John Cassidy concludes that Labour lost the election because Jeremy Corbyn just wasn’t a very talented politician. That’s his explanation. And yet, in the very same piece, Cassidy cites a series of polls showing that Labour’s economic program remains popular. But wait a second, that’s confusing. If voters preferred Labour’s policies on pocketbook issues, and apparently they did, why did they refuse to vote for Labour on Election Day? American liberals don’t want to ponder that question or consider its implications for them and the 2020 election. Time Magazine spoke for many on the left when it ran a piece entitled, “Does the U.K. election hold lessons for the Democrats? Not exactly, experts say.” In other words, say the experts, “Stop thinking so much. Everything is fine.” And by the way, anyone who disagrees with that is a racist. Okay. But before we move on to the next topic, let’s hear from someone who might know the answer, a lifelong Labour voter who decided to reject the Labour Party this year. His name is Paul Embery. He’s a fireman from London and a longtime union activist. Embery just wrote a fascinating article explaining why Labour lost, his party, why he didn’t vote for them this time. As you listen to these quotes, ask yourself if any of this sounds familiar to you as an American. Embery begins by pointing out that last week’s election results may have shocked the media, but they, “Come as no surprise to anyone who was paying attention and wasn’t blinded by ideology or fanaticism. Some of us had long warned that working-class voters across post-industrial and small-time Britain were becoming increasingly alienated from the party. But we were banging our heads against a brick wall. The woke liberals who now dominate the party didn’t listen to us. They believed that constantly hammering on about economic inequality would be enough to get Labour over the line. In doing so, they made a major miscalculation. They failed to grasp that working-class voters desire something more than just economic security. They want cultural security too. They want politicians to respect their way of life and their sense of place and belonging. To elevate real-world concepts such work, family, and community over nebulous constructs like diversity, equality, and inclusivity. By immersing itself in the destructive creative identity politics and championing such policies such as open borders, Labour’s placed itself on a completely different wavelength to millions across provincial Britain, without whose support it simply could not win power. In the end, Labour was losing a cultural war that it didn’t even realize it was fighting.” Embery could be writing about the United States. Replace “Labour” with “Democratic Party,” and you’d never know he was referring to a foreign country. It sounds exactly like what’s happening here. Embery goes on about what must be done to fix his party. “If Labour is to again be the party of the working class, it must undergo radical surgery. It must somehow rediscover the spirit of early Labour tradition that spoke to worker’s patriotic and communitarian instincts and offered them a natural home. It must exploit that sweet spot in British politics that marries demands for economic justice with those for cultural stability. It must move heaven and earth to reconnect with voters in Britain’s hard-pressed, post-industrial, and coastal towns, who looked on bewildered as their communities were subjected to intense economic and cultural change.” Sound familiar? “And felt that Labour was indifferent to their plight. It must rekindle a politics of belonging, built around shared values and common cultural bonds. And crucially, it must be unremittingly post-liberal in perspective and policy development. But to achieve any of that, Labour must stop treating the traditional working class as though they were some kind of embarrassing elderly relative. They must learn to respect those who, for example, voted for Brexit, those who opposed large-scale immigration, those who want to see a tough and effective justice system, those who feel proud to be British, those who support the re-assertion of the role of the family at the center of society, those who prefer a welfare system to be based around reciprocity, something for something rather than universal entitlement. Those who believe in the nation state and do not obsess about multiculturalism or trans rights, such people were once welcomed by the Labour Party and felt entirely comfortable voting for it. But now, so many of the party’s activists look upon these voters as if they were a different species altogether. And the price has been paid in millions of lost votes.” So, there you have it. Patriotic, practical, tolerant, but skeptical of change for its own sake, that’s how Embery describes traditional Labour voters. He could be writing about the middle class in virtually any country in the world. Normal people are pretty much the same wherever you go. They believe in laws, and borders, and traditions, and families. They think men and women are different. They consider heroin more dangerous than carbon emissions. They believe in God. At the same time, they're not Libertarian on economic matters. They tend to be distrustful of finance, for example. They know the downside of debt. They're the ones making the interest payments. They're not eager to cut entitlements either. They very often rely on those entitlements. When the costs of gasoline and health care and education go up, they are the first to feel the pain. These aren't people who are going to lecture you about the glories of entrepreneurship or lobby for capital gains tax cuts. These are people who work for wages, not dividends. As a group the middle class is culturally conservative and economically populist. They're the mirror image of the people in charge around the world. And a politician who bothered to learn that, who cared enough to represent their views, would be elected in a landslide in America as in Great Britain and yet both parties in both countries consistently refuse to learn this lesson or even acknowledge it. Why is that? Theology, really. Every society has a state religion, whether it's acknowledged or not. In our country our state religion is woke politics and to the left it's really all that matters. When Jeremy Corbyn began giving his preferred pronouns in campaign ads, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez promptly endorsed him. The two live on different continents but they speak the same language of the elite progressive left. It's a frivolous and silly language, one that offers nothing to the voters who get them elected and that's why those voters are abandoning the elite left in Britain and here. You just saw it happen with the Labor Party and at this rate you will see it happen in our country come November. We've told you about shoplifting this hour and a corrupt FBI and the collapse of the middle class. How about we end with some positive news? We have a special announcement to make right after the break.
Tucker Carlson: New developments tonight in the varsity blues college admission scandal. Actress Lori Loughlin says the federal government is hiding key evidence. Now we know that sort of operation Jim Comey was running can we actually dismiss that as silly? Trace Gallagher has the answer and the details tonight.
Trace Gallagher: Hey, Tucker. The allegations are significant. The question is why are they just being released now? Lori Loughlin and her husband fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, have now filed court documents asking a Boston federal judge for some "urgently needed help." The couple is accusing federal prosecutors of concealing exculpatory evidence they believe would exonerate them and here's why. The documents say the defendants believed all the payments made to Rick Singer, the mastermind of the cheating scandal, and to the University of Southern California were "for legitimate university-approved purposes or to other legitimate charitable causes." The documents go on to say, "If, for example, USC new of Singer's operation and accepted donations to the university from Singer's clients as legitimate, then not only was there no bribery at USC, but also no fraud conspiracy at all." The bottom line here is the couple wants the feds to turn over all witness statements and interviews concerning Rick Singer and the payments he made to USC and right now federal prosecutors have not yet responded. Tucker.
Tucker Carlson: We'll be following that. Trace Gallagher, thanks so much for that. I want to close tonight with a happy announcement. We are strongly pro-family here on the show and that means above all we will always celebrate and raise our glass when one of our own starts a new family. So tonight, we want to congratulate the new Mr. and Mrs. Alex Pfeiffer. The show's investigative producer Alex Pfeiffer, our friend, married his fiancé Joely Friedman in Jamaica this Saturday. They were surrounded by more than 70 close family and friends, including some friends from this show. My wife Susie had the honor of officiating the wedding. All of us here at this show send our love and our congratulations to Alexa and Joely Pfeiffer. May their life together be blessed. We know it will be. That's it for us tonight. We'll be back tomorrow night 8:00 p.m., the show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and group think. Sean Hannity takes over from here. See you tomorrow.
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