This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," December 13, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: All right, we'll see you later. I am Laura Ingraham. This is “The Ingraham Angle” from Washington tonight. Did Trump actually let the border wall slipped through his fingers? White House advisor Stephen Miller, one of those rare public appearances for him, he is here tonight to respond to that, and new rumors about who might be the next chief of staff.

Plus, liberal judges want to stop ICE from arresting illegals at courthouses. And there is a risk that could present to you, that's coming up. And later, Melania Trump hits back at the media opportunists out there. Wait until you hear what some of today's vile attacks against her. Howard Kurtz is going to weigh in on that.

Plus, polling guru, Frank Luntz, is here to break down how the Democrats are stepping on their own message. We're going to bring you the tape. But first, Trump's successes in black and white. That is the focus of tonight's “Angle.”

Now, this was a scene you likely did not see on one of your local or national newscasts. The White House announcing a bold plan to change the lives in America of some of our poorest citizens, those who live in the most distressed and sometimes the most dangerous neighborhoods.

Flanked by Senator Tim Scott and BET founder Bob Johnson with Van Jones looking on, you see him there. The president signed an executive order creating something called the Opportunity and Revitalization Council. Now, if you think this is just kind of another brick in the bureaucracy here in D.C. signifying nothing, think again.

Led by HUD Secretary Ben Carson, it will coordinate efforts across the entire federal government to deliver jobs, investment, and growth in underprivileged areas. By the way, it includes rural areas too. Now this means more private-sector money will flow into some of these high-risk areas or low development areas. And what will that do? In turn, that will deliver jobs.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Isn't it a great thing?


Thank you, everybody.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, your reaction to Michael Cohen.



INGRAHAM: Of course you heard that. The few reporters were actually on hand there. They weren't interested in the substance of this undertaking. All they are interested in is shouting questions out about Cohen. And unlike most White House events starring Trump, it was not broadcast on cable or on C-Span or any of the networks. I wonder why.

I will tell you why. Because Trump is delivering results for those who Democrats thought that they had forever co-opted politically. It all smashes the press' relentless drumbeats about how the president just doesn't like black people.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What more do we need to say or hear from this racist man?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here we have a president who has once again said racist and despicable words about African-Americans, people of color.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the policy that he's put forward has been anti- people of color. He has continued policies that I believe are racist in nature.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The president of these United States is racist. All of us already knew that. 
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The president seems to harbor racist feelings about people of color.


INGRAHAM: That's just despicable. Every time I watch those, I am like, I don't even want to play them anymore. Media mogul Bob Johnson, one of the most prominent and most successful African-Americans probably on the planet, obviously begged to disagree with that montage. He was on hand to recognize the administration's drive and commitment to help low income Americans.


BOB JOHNSON, BET CO-FOUNDER: Just recently, your Department of Labor signed a historic document that created something called auto portability. Auto portability is designed to reduce retirement leakage among low income 401(k) account holders who tend to cash out.

And Mr. President, you should know this, 60 percent of African-American and Hispanic-Americans cash out of their 401(k) accounts. This program will put close to $800 billion back in the retirement pockets of minority Americans. So I just want to applaud you for that.


INGRAHAM: No coverage. I had to play that just because no one saw it. Now, you see, there are a lot of politicians out there who traffic in bromides shining with a veneer of real compassion.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: Hope is the insistence that no matter how tough our circumstances, there are better days ahead. If we persist, despite all of our individual failings and all of our inadequacies, together we can overcome.


INGRAHAM: That's nice. I guess that's Nobel Prize material. But the problem is talking about hope is beautiful but it won't bring business into your community. People who can get jobs tend to have more hope. Despair and crime in places like Chicago and Baltimore spiraled out of control during much of Obama's eight years.

But I know what you're going to say. But Laura, Obama and the Democrats care more than Donald Trump. Look, you can see it. You can feel it. They care. Then they're going to bring up Charlottesville and the s-hole comment Trump made to them drive their point's home. OK, even for the sake of argument I concede those points, the tonality, the wording, maybe wouldn't have done it that way, fine.

But I ask the following, who cares more about America in particularly the working poor? The guy who delivers results, record low unemployment, opportunity zones and decent chance for criminal justice reform or a party that is all talk and no action? I will take the former any day.

Oh, and by the way, the press did find one angle on the opportunity zone that they, well, they thought this part of the story was worth covering. Jared and Trump himself are only pushing these inner-city investment incentives because they will make money off their own real estate holdings. Please. Secretary Ben Carson came on my radio show yesterday, and he swatted this whole thing away.


BEN CARSON, HUD SECRETARY: These zones were picked by the governors. So they were not picked by Jared Kushner. There are all kinds of people in the country who already have real estate in those zones. Will they benefit? Probably. Why shouldn't they benefit? Why shouldn't everybody benefit? Why shouldn't we create win-win situations?


INGRAHAM: I want to see more of Ben Carson out there, by the way. I loved what he had to say. And once again, the media proves itself to be absolutely incapable of covering virtually anything about the work the president does to try to restore our country. Not even an inkling of objectivity.

And not -- he didn't do this, by the way, to benefit just a few of his pals or the people who voted for him, but he is doing this to try to benefit those who have been served so poorly by politicians of both parties for decades.

But I'm telling you despite everything that is swirling around him the Democrat's obsession with impeachment, the indictments, et cetera, et cetera, the president continues to do work that other presidents wouldn't do. And poor working class Americans will be better for it. And that's THE ANGLE.

Joining me now with reaction, Pastor Darrell Scott. He was at the signing of the Opportunity Zones Executive Order and he's also the CEO of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump. And with me is Niger Innis from the Congress for Racial Equality and Chris Edwards from the Cato Institute. Great to have you all here tonight.

Pastor, you were at this event yesterday. Now, what's your reaction to some of that sound you heard from my ANGLE that President Trump not only doesn't care about minorities, he doesn't deliver anything for minorities, but that he is an actual racist despite everything that's been laid out.

DARRELL SCOTT, CEO, TRUMP NATIONAL DIVERSITY COALITION: Well, I can sum all of that up in one word. And that word is hogwash. I can think of a stronger word but I can't say it on television. Listen, I have been involved in this with the president and with this administration as far as this Opportunity Zone Act and urban revitalization plans for over a year, year and a half.

It's something that they've been working very, very hard on. And yesterday saw the fruition of a lot of planning and a lot of time and labor intensive activity working towards it. And this is going to enhance this entire country.

It's going to cause developers and builders, it's going to provide incentive for them to redevelop and revitalize these blighted areas in America. And it's going to be a shining symbol of Trump's vision for making America great again.

INGRAHAM: But Chris Edwards from the Cato Institute disagrees. Chris, you think this is going to be just a big boondoggle for the developers and the business folks. Not going to trickle down at all to --

CHRIS EDWARDS, CATO INDUSTRIES: I think it's a very well-meaning proposal or law now and, you know, it's a big thing, there's no doubt about it. I think it's very misguided. What these are, there is 8,000 zones across the country now. Politicians across the country sat down that map and literally drew lines down streets in America.

On one side of the street, you get this giant capital gains tax break. On the other side of the street, you don't get anything. So what has happened is immediately landowners, and Ben Carson touched on this, landowners inside the zone immediately had these giant appreciations in the value of their property for doing nothing. That's just how economics works. On the other side --

INGRAHAM: Yes, but how do people across the board not benefit though? Of course there's always going to be --

EDWARDS: Because people left right outside the zones are losers. The new investments won't go outside the zones new investment will go inside the zone so it creates inequality between Americans.

INGRAHAM: Look, you are loud. You're loud. I love your voice but it's very booming.

SOTT: He doesn't know what he's talking about. He doesn't know what he's talking about, Laura. He doesn't know what he's talking about.

INGRAHAM: All right, I want to get Niger respond and then you can respond then I have something to say about how the zones actually work, Niger

NIGER INNIS, CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY: Yes. Look, with just a few short years ago during the Obama administration that you had a record number of blacks and Hispanics a part of a growing dependency society, even working- class whites. You know, for the first time, health indicators for white men, working class white men, was catching up negatively to those of black and Hispanic men because there was a sense of hopelessness, a sense of eternal dependency on big government.

That has changed. Small businesses for the first time in our history, small businesses, more small businesses were closing than opening. What the president is doing with these opportunity zones and I want to applaud my friend, Pastor Scott. I want to applaud the president.

What they are doing is they are making a bet and investment not on big government but on capitalism and I think my friend from Cato would agree that capitalism has done more to free and liberate people from poverty, not just in our country but around the world, than any other system in history. And that's what the Trump administration is investing in.

INGRAHAM: I always say, what's the alternative here? What's the alternative? We spent, what, $7 trillion on the war on poverty. We got more poverty. We guys spend a lot of money on the war on poverty, correct, pastor, if I'm right? It is about? Cato has a figure. I think it's about $7 trillion. So what is the alternative? What is Cato -- last time I checked, Cato is for open borders, more trade deals than the TPP, correct?

EDWARDS: We are for trade and I agree with everything the other guests mentioned about capitalism. I am all for opportunity everywhere in the country, equal treatment. These zones only touch about one quarter of low income neighborhoods in America. So the three quarters of the neighborhoods left out of these zones are going to be losers because the investments all going to go to these winning zones.

Trump's new counsel that he announced yesterday or today is going to put more spending subsidies just in these zones, leaving out the other areas. So I like equal treatment especially at the federal level, not special deals for special groups of people.

INGRAHAM: So do you think Donald Trump, hold on -- do you think Donald Trump concocted this whole thing to benefit his son-in-law?

EDWARDS: No, no, no, it's a very well-meaning thing.

INGRAHAM: OK, so you are not part of that crowd.

EDWARDS: No, absolutely. Mr. Kushner does sounds like he owns some of the land in opportunity zones coincidentally.

INGRAHAM: I bet a lot of the donors to Cato own a lot of that land too, that's my guess.

EDWARDS: And they have all experienced bigger capital appreciation for doing nothing actually and for not --

INGRAHAM: I don't think it's doing nothing. Ii think you are taking a risk, Pastor. You are taking a risk by putting investment in an area that has oftentimes been dangerous, very difficult to grow a company or in the rural zones, just kind of desolate, and no investment at all.

SCOTT: Listen. First of all, I think you have given the Cato hater too much time because he is promoting negativism and not wanting to talk about positive attributes of this. First of all, when you elevate the value of these depressed areas, the areas adjacent to the depressed areas automatically elevate their value as well. Real estate 101 is when you look at property value, you look at the comps, comparables. And that's how you determine the value.

So, if an area is depressed, it's bringing down the value of the surrounding areas. If that area increases their value, the areas around it automatically increase as well. He's trying to level the playing field and provide incentives for those to invest in areas that previously will not invested in.

INGRAHAM: Yes. I want you guys --

SCOTT: Now also, we have a very aggressive urban revitalization program. It's not going to simply be investing in real estate probably. They are going to be investing in the people in those areas today, providing vocational training, educational opportunities, there is going to be a lot to it to revitalize the people. They can be transformed by the renewing of their minds so that the increase in value is total not just physical, it's also spiritual.

INGRAHAM: Yes. I want to move to something, guys, I want to move something that -- it grows beyond just the economics of this. To how the left has tried to poison the well among minorities against this president, despite the economic news, despite in issues like this, Niger, criminal justice reform which is coming down the pipe.

And this is just 24 hours before this council that Cato Institute thinks is not going to work and, you know, I certainly hope they are wrong. I'm actually very optimistic about this, very optimistic about it. But Niger, 24 hours before this, this is what we were seeing on CNN. Let's watch.


LEMON: West (ph), do you think the president takes hate and white nationalism seriously?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, he has very often employed the language that mirrors their own language that, you know, there's that line that Andrew Gillum used back in the Florida race about his then opponent or he said, I'm not saying you're a racist but the racist think you are a racist.


INGRAHAM: That old trope. That is repeat the same lines over and over again. It's every day the same thing. To this whole panel, we are actually debating whether this will work substantively and maybe America doesn't want to hear that. I don't know. Maybe they just want to hear people yell all day.

I think it's interesting that Cato has a point of view about the economics of this. I like to hear from what the folks at Cato have to say or Chamber of Commerce. It's interesting. They are not offering a solution for the inner-city. They are offering the following: Trump is a racist. That's all they will say, or white nationalist. That's it.

That's what they are offering black America in the era of Trump, that Trump is a racist. That's it. Niger, I got to tell you, it's infuriating to people who have seen the good work that they are doing or trying to do.

INNIS: Well, certainly the far left wing will do that on a regular basis because they have nothing to offer. Our friends at Cato probably have a substantive policy disagreement with the president on this, right or wrong. But I doubt that Chris is going to give into that racial demagoguery.

But the reason the far left wing does it because they have controlled inner-city America for 50 years or longer and they have delivered nothing, nothing for the black community. Nothing for the Hispanic community. Nothing for working-class, poor whites for years, so what do they do?

Every two years for every four years or every three years for local election, they will drag out the racism card, which is nonsense and say that, well, you've got to keep me in power. Maxine -- Mad Maxine Waters has been in power for decades in Los Angeles. And what has she delivered for her community other than saying that that guy over there or that woman over there if they are Republican and they are white, they are racist.

It's nonsense and the black community, Hispanic community is tired of it. And what they are afraid of on the far left is not that these opportunity zones are going to be a failure, but that they are going to be a success.

INGRAHAM: Well, I have a question. Why is the president's popularity among African-Americans, it was at 36 in August according to one poll, now it is back down below 20. Why is that? Why is it going in the wrong direction, pastor? I mean, we know Kanye West kind of came and went. We don't have enough Pastor Burns and Niger Innis' out there.

SCOTT: It's going to go back up especially after this and the prison reform bill. You know, one thing I agree with my brother Niger, you know what, it's insulting to the intelligence of black America. It is the fact that the left does not give us one intellectual reason to not vote for President Trump or not support him.

They give us emotional reasons. He hates you. He hates blacks. Don't vote for him. He hates blacks. Well, he's creating opportunity zones. But he hates you. Well, he's into prison reform, but he hates you and insulting our intelligence by speaking to us like that when the proof is on the pudding.

This man, and I said it. He could be the most proactive president for black America in my lifetime, and he's proving me to be a prophet in that respect. He's doing things -- if President Obama had done this, there would be a parade down the street right now. They'd be --


Obama, he's the savior of the black community. He's prisoner reform. Oh, Obama. And so you know, these guys like Cato in them, they are going to find some reason to say something bad.

INGRAHAM: OK. Well, was Cato also against prison reform or are you for that?

EDWARDS: No, we are absolutely for it.


EDWARDS: Cato is against Trump.

EDWARDS: I am for lower taxes on investment. I am for equal treatment though. We should have lower taxes on investment across the board. The reason why cities like Detroit are poor is because of bad policy, high regulations. Detroit has some of the highest property taxes in the nation. If Detroit lowered its property taxes, it would get more business investment. You don't need the federal government for it.

INGRAHAM: All right, great panel guys. Thanks so much. An actual substance discussed. All right. Liberals are always talking about safe spaces, now some left-wing judges want to provide them to dangerous illegal immigrants who are walking out of the courthouse. I'm going to explain all this next, plus Melania called the media opportunists out, and wouldn't you know, they proved her right. Howie Kurtz is here to tell us how. Stay there.



TRUMP: Since I took the oath of office, ICE agents have arrested over 235,000 aliens with criminal records including those charged or convicted of more than 100,000 assaults and nearly 4,000 killings. Think of that, 4,000 killings and they want to abolish ICE. No thank you.


INGRAHAM: Now, remember over the summer when the Democrats wanted to do just that, what the president said, abolish ICE? Well now, nearly 70 former state and federal judges want ICE banned from courthouses. In a letter to the acting ICE Director, they wrote "Judges simply cannot do their jobs and our justice system cannot function effectively if victims, defendants, witnesses and family members do not feel secure in accessing the courthouse."

Well, the group wants courthouses to be added to the so-called sensitive locations list where immigration officers generally do not enter to make arrests. Here now, former assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly who prosecuted immigration cases in the border county of San Diego. Eileen Blessinger is also with us, an immigration attorney.

Brian, let me start with you. How bad of an idea is this to ban ICE from operating outside of a court room where lot of these detainees who are obviously illegal immigrants are released or coming and going as part of another case?

BRIAN KELLY, FORMER ASSISTANT US ATTORNEY: Well, it's a terrible idea, Laura and it's obviously political. This is not a new practice. These arrest at courthouses, they are not very common, but they've been going on since the Obama administration. And I don't recall any of these judges complaining when it was happening under the Obama administration.

INGRAHAM: Well, one of the things that they -- that ICE said to us tonight and Eileen, I want you to react to this, they wrote the following to us so they gave a statement. "Arrest in courthouses are routine practice for law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Because many jurisdictions no longer allow ICE to take custody of aliens inside of jails, courthouses are the next safest option.

As the judges acknowledged in their letter, ICE updated its courthouse policy in coordination with the Association of Chief Justices and Court Administrators to clarify that the agency target specific aliens, appearing most often as a defendant in criminal matters and not those appearing in court as victims or witnesses."

Isn't that the case that this is being thrown out in a very emotional manner, again, to try to paint the Trump administration as well, you are going after like victims of domestic violence in a courthouse. That's really not the case.

EILEEN BLESSINGER, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: It may not be that they are specifically targeting the victims, but the impact is the same. The effect is the same. If people are hearing that they are going after illegal immigrants within the court system, then the actual witnesses, the victims, they all think that they are even play even if that's not what's happening in practice.

INGRAHAM: Well, there is an updated policy that came out also. There is also something called -- I can't remember the name of the visa, but it's a visa for victims of crime, correct Ryan, that you can apply for if you are a victim. And if these courthouses, these judges or these lawyers for the illegal immigrants aren't aware of this, when their clients are going into the courthouse, well, I just don't know what to say about that. I mean, they are here in the country illegally. We all forget that.

KELLY: It's never been the case that illegal aliens were eager to hang out at federal and state courthouses, right. The policy now in place that ICE is implementing targets only certain criminal aliens, members of gangs, national security risks, that sort of thing. They are not just arresting willy-nilly crime victims and things like that.

They are in fact trying to do their job in this opposition to them at every turn and is making a dangerous job even harder. It's much safer for them to be making arrests in a courthouse than out on the streets where, you know, anything can happen.

INGRAHAM: Where people get killed, including the agents. I mean, we do have to preserve, you know, their safety as well. I've got to say, a lot of the reason, and we heard this from ICE tonight as well, they are doing this, Eileen, because there are sanctuary cities in jurisdictions that do not allow them to go into jails to assess the conditions, the status of particular inmates, nor are they alerted to the fact that certain inmates are released.

We just had a case in New Jersey in early November where an individual, it was released and then goes on to murder three people in Missouri, from New Jersey, which is a sanctuary state. So ICE is trying to keep us safe out there and I don't understand for the life of me why people who claim to care about women and children, a lot of Democrats, are in the middle of these defending criminals from being detained by or caught up by ICE. That's going to protect women and children in the United States, and men.

BLESSINGER: Well, I mean, I think the important thing here is that the ICE officers are trying to protect them but so are the police officers that are making the cases against these defendants. If the victims don't feel safe going to court, then all of the work that the police officers, the prosecutors have done have fallen apart.

When we talk about the U visas, a lot of times the prosecutors don't feel comfortable telling the witnesses about that, the existence of a U visa for fear of it becoming biased later when they are testifying and use against them.

KELLY: Well, look --

INGRAHAM: Yes. I think people -- hold on a second Brian. Yes, they are not targeting these people. This is a complete red herring. They are not targeting women or children or people who have been brutalized. That's just not how it works.

Just so people understand this case I referenced, Luis Rodrigo Perez, we have a photo. Put it up on the screen, please. Twenty-three years old, charged with killing three people in Missouri, and should have faced deportation proceedings after he was arrested last year in New Jersey for domestic violence. Instead, New Jersey released him, and now we've got three people dead. That's one.

We have Juan Ramon Vasquez, another individual previously deported from Honduras who raped a child after Philadelphia officials ignored an ICE detainer. Isn't that lovely.

KELLY: That's right. That's right, and there's no reason --

INGRAHAM: And it goes on and on and on. And I put this at the feet of the open borders crowd who cares more about the rights of illegal immigrants than the safety of the American people. It's not fearmongering. These are real lives that have been affected. Brian?

KELLY: That's right. And it makes no sense to treat this particular crime different from any others. For instance, if it was an American citizen who was a defendant in, say, a tax case, and there's an IRS agent in the courtroom, no one would complain about that. Or if there is an FBI agent in the courtroom with a warrant on somebody, no one would complain.

INGRAHAM: This is a special crime, special status, special protection, illegal immigrants. You can't ever deport them according to most people on the left today. If you really twisted their arms they say I guess most murderers should be deported, but a lot of the other crimes, they should be able to stay here and live out their lives.

All right, panel, fantastic job, as always.

Last night First Lady Melania Trump spoke with FOX's own Sean Hannity, and she didn't hold back when she was talking about the media.


SEAN HANNITY, HOST: What's been the hardest thing that you have to deal with?

MELANIA TRUMP, U.S. FIRST LADY: I would say the opportunists who are using my name or my family name to advance themselves, from comedians to journalists to journalists to performers, book writers.

HANNITY: Does it hurt?

MELANIA TRUMP: It doesn't hurt. The problem is they are writing the history, and it's not correct.


INGRAHAM: Apparently offended by the truth, CNN proved the first lady's point less than 24 hours later.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: The first lady's poll numbers plummet with her favorable rating falling by double digits. And in a new interview, she calls the hardest part of her job opportunists who use her name, including journalists.


INGRAHAM: Joining me now, Howie Kurtz, host of FOX News' "Media Buzz." Howie, I found the Wolf Blitzer little intro there interesting. I don't recall their constant monitoring of other first lady's numbers. Maybe Hillary when she was doing Hillary-care back in the early '90s. But that seemed to kind of prove Melania's point.

HOWARD KURTZ, MEDIA ANALYST: I'm less upset at reporting of polls showing her numbers are down. More people still like her.

INGRAHAM: Is she a political figure?

KURTZ: I guess all first ladies are by definition. By Melania is subjected to a particularly brutal kind of treatment and mockery, whether it's Jimmy Kimmel making fun of her accent to all of this media chatter about, well, why didn't she go on this trip with her husband? And did she swat his hand away?

INGRAHAM: Is she even living at the White House? Remember that, she's not even living there?

KURTZ: Yes, all of which is designed to insinuate, imply, intimate the marriage is horrible.

INGRAHAM: Free Melania, the bumper sticker. That's sweet.

KURTZ: Right. And she has got a thick skin, but no honor modern first lady has been treated like this.

INGRAHAM: Maria Cardona over at CNN actually said this. Let's watch.


MARIA CARDONA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: She has now adopted this woe is me attitude. She says she believes she is the most bullied person that is out there. They don't believe that she has done everything that she can to focus on what's positive out of these huge, negative administration.


INGRAHAM: What's negative? The press, the administration? Who adds to the negativity here?

KURTZ: When Melania does things in her public role as first lady, she is subject to criticism, I think we can agree on that. But she's a pretty private person. She devotes a lot of time to being a mom. And I am just continually stunned, any other first lady -- she's a former professional model, would be on the covers of women's magazines, but of course she is not for ideological reasons, and that bothers me. But I do think she should do more interviews, because she's actually very good at it.

INGRAHAM: I agree. I think she should do more.

KURTZ: It is a vacuum.

INGRAHAM: I don't want to jump on the criticism, but I'm not criticizing. I'm criticizing because we want to see more of her.

KURTZ: Right.

INGRAHAM: And she's an incredibly gracious, warm, kind person. And I think people, they don't know her. And so they will jump to thinking something --

KURTZ: There is an air of mystery about her.

INGRAHAM: Maybe that's it. And again, Michelle Obama could do no wrong. No matter what Michelle did, if it was the school lunches being thrown away. It must not have been very -- it's OK. She's beautiful. Some of it's fine, but I just think --

KURTZ: I think there is some underlying resentment in the media that she doesn't do more public things because we want her as fodder. You know what, it's up to her how much she wants to do publicly and how much she wants to stay behind --

INGRAHAM: I don't think she will be talking to Larry O'Donnell any time soon. Here's his tweet, "The only thing you need to know about Melania is she is a Trump. A Trump by choice."

KURTZ: That captures the entire media mindset.

INGRAHAM: Do you know what it is? It's despicable. And it's not kind and it's not nice, and it's just plain rude. For all their commentary that Trump is rude, and Trump can get a little hot on Twitter. We all can. He can back off the Twitter a little bit and it would probably be better. But to say that about the first lady -- I thought we were all for women choosing they want to do. Love who you want. Love is love. What happened to that? What happened to that, love is love? You always hear that, but when someone chooses to love someone they don't lie, then they're a horrible person.

KURTZ: It's a woman who is not consumed by political ambition, and yet, well, she's married to him, so she must be a terrible person. That's really pretty awful.

INGRAHAM: Anyone associated with Trump by extension for the left are terrible people. Howie Kurtz, thank you so much. Great to see you.

And how does Stephen Miller react to the suggestion that the White House let a proposal for the wall slip through its fingertips? The senior policy advisor to President Trump here to tell us why those criticisms are wrong. And some breaking news on the chief of staff search.



REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Chuck and I are not in a negotiation. We are not going for the $5 billion for the wall. We simply are not.


INGRAHAM: Now that Democrats have won control of the House, did President Trump's last best chance of getting that wall already slip through his fingers? Earlier this year he came out swinging against a bipartisan immigration bill that would have funded the wall and provided a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, calling it a catastrophe and a giant amnesty. The bill failed, and the wall, well, still not built.

Joining me now is Stephen Miller, senior policy advisor to President Trump. Stephen, does the president feel like this is like the sand in the hourglass that slipped through that little tiny hole?

STEPHEN MILLER, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR POLICY ADVISER: Not at all. First of all, the bill that you mentioned in the lead-in would have in fact been a total catastrophe and guided interior enforcement permanently forever. We've already built or have underway over 100 miles of the wall. And this stand that we are taking right now with the entire nation watching and, frankly, the whole world watching is a stand that we think we are going to win.

INGRAHAM: The fact-checkers say your border wall claim, the president said a lot of it is already built, was not true.

MILLER: The fact-checkers -- fact-checkers -- typically are wrong about these things, and they certainly are in this case.

INGRAHAM: So is there the new wall? The super-duper new wall?

MILLER: There's beautiful 30-foot rock solid bollard steel in the ground. You can go down and look at it.

INGRAHAM: But is it up high?

MILLER: Thirty feet tall. So unlike the old, you have it in El Centro, for example, you have it in the San Diego area and Calexico, and many other areas, too. But that 30-foot barrier --

INGRAHAM: I'm going there. I'm going to go just do a show from the wall. Maybe I'll sit on the wall when I do it.

MILLER: You see the old shorter barrier that predated this administration. You see people climbing over it and throwing human beings over it. You need that 30-foot height.

But I just want to say I want to get to the real issue at hand. The Democrats are fighting for illegal aliens. Donald Trump is fighting for American citizens. That's what this whole thing is about. You have covered this better than probably anybody for years. You understand this is about sovereignty. It's about working men and women. It's about safe communities. It's about wages, living conditions, quality of life. This is the battle right now right before our very eyes. We are going to win because Donald Trump is not backing down.

INGRAHAM: Jeff Flake outgoing, you'd be surprised to know, Stephen, he disagrees with you. Let's watch.


SEN. JEFF FLAKE, R-ARIZ.: The notion that Democrats have prevented any fix, the last real vote we had on substantial immigration reform was the bipartisan bill that we did in 2013. Every Democrat in the Senate voted for that bill. This notion that is all the Democrats' fault is just wrong.


INGRAHAM: Is that true? Do Republicans deserve some blame here? We have a lot of Chamber of Commerce type Republicans. I just had a guy from Cato on. He's a nice guy, but they don't want any border. They don't want any enforcement down there. They want the cheap labor. They want a glut of workers so that wages stay down. Now we have a dearth of blue-collar workers and wages are going up.

MILLER: If you zoom out, 30,000-foot view, last few decades of American history, there's no question that both parties in America have contributed to unwise foreign policy, unwise trade policy, and unwise immigration policy. Donald Trump came into office and has turned that all around. Getting tough on China on trade, renegotiating NAFTA, cracking down on illegal immigration, dealing with unskilled low-wage migration, reorienting our foreign policy -- all these issues, Laura, that have been affected working people in our country for decades he's turning them around. But the Democrat Party of today, not the Democratic Party of years pass, not the Democratic Party of Bill Clinton in the 90s, the Democrat Party of today is for open borders.

INGRAHAM: We know that. They're all for it. But how are you going to get the wall built? How are you guys -- he campaigned on the wall. Mexico is going to pay for it. Mexico is not going to pay for it unless you're going to tell me something tonight I don't know. But --

MILLER: Just the savings from trade alone will fund it. But I'm actually glad you're bringing up funding issues, because just the cost of heroin, just the cost of heroin in our country a year is $230 billion. Just the cost of public benefits for illegal immigrants every year is over $100 billion.

INGRAHAM: We did it last night, $18 billion just for health care a year for illegal immigrants. That's paying for most of the wall right there.

This is what Chuck Schumer said about the NAFTA payment. Let's watch.


CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., SENATE MINORITY LEADER: The president repeatedly promised that Mexico would pay for his unnecessary and ineffective border wall. Well, Mr. President, if you say Mexico is going to pay for the wall through NAFTA, which it certainly won't, then I guess we don't have to.



MILLER: First of all, Chuck Schumer was for the wall when he voted for the Secure Fence Act in 2006. And now that the Democrat Party has become the party of open borders and Donald Trump is president, he's against it.

Secondly, if chuck Schumer wants to pass legislation saying that we can spend all of our trade savings on border security, that would be great. In the meantime, the savings for the trade deal will offset the cost of the wall, and more importantly than all of that, there wall is going to save American lives. It's going to save American jobs. And it's going to save in the long-term hundreds of billions of dollars.

INGRAHAM: You need the asylum reform, right? You need the asylum reform. You've written about this in the past. I've certainly written about it. Without that reform, for people who cross the border with a child or someone who they say as a child that is not a child, then they are still being released, are they not? They're still being released. You can't detain and house everybody because there are too many people. So they are effectively being released by the Trump administration now because we don't have reforms in place. How do we do that with a Democrat House?

MILLER: This is going to be one of the defining issues of the next two years heading into 2020. If the Democratic Party follows the path of open borders, then the Democratic Party is going to engage in self-immolation. Donald Trump is fighting for working people and he's fighting to restore the borders around this country that are the essential ingredient for national sovereignty and national success in a way that nobody has who has held that office not only in my lifetime but, frankly, in the history of this country.

INGRAHAM: Do you feel like you can go out in public and restaurants in Washington, and do you?

MILLER: I have no concerns.

INGRAHAM: You don't. So you eat, you're fine. What was that Broadway show going on outside your house yesterday? Do we have a video of it? Raymond said it was -- who was it looking like, Raymond? Was it La Cage aux Folles, or was it -- I don't know. Who is paying these people? And you weren't even there. But you don't have walls, do you, outside your house, really? There's no.


INGRAHAM: Those are the tech people that have walls outside --

MILLER: Ironically, they would have better chance getting jobs if we can implement some of immigration reforms that we've been talking about.

INGRAHAM: Very, very, very fun. OK, what is going on with the chief of staff search? Everybody is saying it's a nightmare. I've heard this endlessly, it's a nightmare in the White House. This spirit is bad. Everyone is depressed. They said that a year ago. They said that almost two years ago. Number one, what is the spirit in the White House?

MILLER: The spirit is wonderful. Not only the wonderful spirit of this sacred Christmas season, but also the wonderful spirit of getting to work for a leader who is fighting for every day, ordinary citizens, just regular families in every part of the country. You did your segment on opportunity zones earlier. African-American, Hispanic-American, people who don't have powerful lobbies, powerful special interest, who don't have representation in big interview organizations or on boards of corporate companies and large multinational businesses. Just everyday people in this country now have a champion in the White House. And getting to work for a president who fights every day for just normal, everyday citizens is a privilege beyond words. And all the people I work with feel the same way.

INGRAHAM: They are going to focus on the seven-year-old who, this horrific story, a migrant girl who died from dehydration after being brought into the country, or her parent brought her. She died. You know the left will focus on that as if that's Republicans' fault for our believing in a border. They play the emotion game, and oftentimes we play the fact game. Facts are very antiseptic. Emotional stories sell the case.

MILLER: Immigration is an emotional issue. And it ought to be an emotional issue because it affects people's lives. And if you want to stop the horrors on the northward trek, the rape that occurs, the abuse that occurs, the physical assault --

INGRAHAM: The death.

MILLER: And the death that occurs, then for the love of God, fund the border wall.

INGRAHAM: Stephen, Chris Christie, chief of staff, that's what we are hearing tonight, could be him. Any comments?

MILLER: I'm not going to make any news on the chief of staff announcement. But whoever the president chooses is going to be somebody who shares his vision, who is going to work hard to implement it, and who is going to be a great selection.

INGRAHAM: Stephen, thanks for being with us.

MILLER: Thank you.

INGRAHAM: Have a great holiday season, merry Christmas, whatever the heck you celebrate. Thanks for being with us.

All right, you've heard the term "death by 1,000 cuts." Could the Democrats suffered death by 1,000 candidates? Messaging guru Frank Luntz joins us to go through the best and, well, the not so good aspirations for 2020, next.



REP. DAVID CICILLINE, D-R.I.: We'll have 30 or 40 probably great candidates running for president.


CICILLINE: Because everyone recognizes how urgent this moment is in the history of our country.


INGRAHAM: The concept of quality over quantity may be lost on the Democrats with the prospect of dozens of Democratic presidential contenders ahead of 2020. Does that dilute their overall messaging?

Here now, ad guru and GOP pollster Frank Luntz to break down the emerging Democratic power struggle. All right, Frank, I want to begin with what I like to call the long shots to the longish shots. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you running?

REP. TULSI GABBARD, D-HI: I am seriously considering it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would stop you?

GABBARD: I'm concerned about the direction of our country.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL, D-CALIF: I actually do see a path. I am considering it.

JULIAN CASTRO: Americans are ready to climb out of this darkness. That's why I am exploring a candidacy for president of the United States in 2020.



INGRAHAM: Are we back? Swalwell, Gabbard, and Castro, are they doing this because they see a path, or a path to vice presidency, speaking fees, a book deal? What they heck are they saying here.

FRANK LUNTZ, POLLSTER: I hadn't seen that video. The first thing I would tell them is do not announce in front of a brick wall. You are not a comedian. This is not that comedy store. That's number one. Number two is get the lighting correct. It looked like he was a hostage somewhere.

INGRAHAM: What was that Castro bite?

LUNTZ: He should know better. He's been in politics long enough to know that you don't do that.

I think the reason they want to do it is you can write books. Your speaker fee doubles for at least the first six months. And look at that list right there. You can't --

INGRAHAM: It makes me dizzy.

LUNTZ: There is no frontrunner there. There are twice as many candidates they may run for the Democrats this time as ran for the Republicans two years ago.

INGRAHAM: Now, let's move on to another potential battle brewing, this one between Bernie Sanders and Beto O'Rourke. Bernie was asked about his process for another run along with his thoughts on Beto. Note the slight dig.


BRET BAIER, HOST: Can a Texas Congressman who lost his Senate bid win your party's nomination for president?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT: I think it's a little bit premature.

BAIER: When do we get your decision, whether you're going to do it again?

SANDERS: Before I decide that I want to run, I've got to make sure there is that grassroots support. And that's what we're ascertaining. If there is, I'll run. If there isn't, I won't.


INGRAHAM: So what are your thoughts?

LUNTZ: I think you are missing to the most likely person at this point, which is Elizabeth Warren. I know that may frighten you. I know that may frighten a bunch of viewers.

INGRAHAM: Oh, dear, it's fine.

LUNTZ: I tell them take a look at her takedown of the CEO of Wells Fargo several years ago. It's a seven-minute video on YouTube. I've never seen a committee chairman tear someone apart. He had no idea that he was done. She's an awesome debater. She has more grassroots support than Bernie Sanders does. And even though she's Hillary Clinton's age, she's got a lot more energy, and she's willing to mix it up with --

INGRAHAM: But Beto won that poll, which is the true grassroots. They are calling him the white Obama. He is handsome. He moves the stage. He's kind of fun, he's energetic. I guess he is smart.

LUNTZ: He is Bobby Kennedy. He looks like Bobby Kennedy.

INGRAHAM: He does look like him.

LUNTZ: And he does the same thing that Kennedy does. He walks onto a basketball court, starts shooting hoops. I think Beto is an absolute frontrunner, one of the frontrunners for the Democrats.

INGRAHAM: And finally, now to Joe Biden, someone who many think is the clear favorite, who now I think is no doubt worried about these young upstarts, Frank. He apparently thinks it doesn't matter who the Democrats put up. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I ask you why you are the most qualified person to take on President Trump?

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: No one should run for president unless they think they are qualified.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And why do you think you can beat President Trump? Why is this your time?

BIDEN: I think anybody could beat him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anybody, anybody on the Democratic side?

BIDEN: Any Democrat could beat him.


INGRAHAM: I just like the gaffe-o-matic that he is. You just pull the string and a series of gaffes come up. OK, Biden?

LUNTZ: The Democrats want someone who wants to run. I'm not convinced that Joe Biden wants to run. He's got to show that passion, that commitment. It's a wait and see for him.

INGRAHAM: He's a little old to be running.

LUNTZ: So is Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders is so old, it takes him an hour and half to watch "60 Minutes."


INGRAHAM: I think Sanders is more fun personally than Biden. But Biden is kind of a nostalgic candidate.

Coming up, comedian Jerry Seinfeld weighs in on the Kevin Hart Oscars next.


INGRAHAM: It's time for the Last Bite.

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is speaking out about Kevin Hart being pulled into dropping out of the Oscars.


JERRY SEINFELD, COMEDIAN: When you look at that situation, who got screwed in that deal? I think Kevin is going to be fine. But how many -- find another Kevin Hart, that's not so easy. He is a brilliant guy with a movie career, you know?.


INGRAHAM: Seinfeld has long called out what he sees as a troubling trend of the PC culture creeping into comedy.

And a reminder, there hasn't been a replacement named yet, for Hart. Who want it, at this point?

That's all the time we have. Shannon Bream and the Fox News@Night. Take it from here, Shannon.

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