This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," December 3, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Good evening, and welcome to Tucker Carlson Tonight. We have momentous news this evening from the world of Democratic politics. Senator Kamala Harris of California has ended her presidential campaign. "What does this mean for America?" you ask. "Where do we go from here? Who will lead this nation forward through darkness into light?" All good and fair questions. In time, once passions have cooled and despair is congealed into a kind of sorrowful wisdom, we will know the answers. But for now, it's enough to pause and celebrate what was, for a brief but electric moment, the single most profound and transformative -- if entirely scripted and corporate -- political moment in the history of this country. Here -- so you can relive the blessed moment -- is how the wise men of our press corps heralded the arrival of our new messiah, Kamala D. Harris.
MALE SPEAKER: The person she sounds like the most is Barack Obama.
FEMALE SPEAKER: She wants to speak truth and to defend the America she says she knows and believes in.
MALE SPEAKER: Kamala Harris is now running for president, and she is one of the top-tier candidates.
MALE SPEAKER: There's a new challenger to Trump, and she's drawing huge crowds. Senator Kamala Harris from California kicked off her campaign this week and surrounded by -- look at that crowd. Trump must be envious as hell.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Boo-hoo, they're not enough white guys. I think it's about time. I think it's great that it's diverse, and that we have two African Americans in this race.
MALE SPEAKER: What struck me was her word choice -- how she kept on saying, "we," "we," "we."
MALE SPEAKER: I think she's going to be top tier right out of the gate.
CARLSON: [laughs] Hear that? Top tier! Right out of the gate! [laughs] People are so stupid. It's almost unbelievable. And yet, it is a measure of the media's ability -- at least in the short-term -- to sell almost anything, even something as synthetic -- as totally synthetic -- as the Kamala Harris for president campaign. And they did, because for a while, Harris looked like a real candidate. At one point, she even seemed to dominate a debate. Remember this attack?
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to now direct this at Vice President Biden. I do not believe you are a racist, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. And you know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me.
CARLSON: You know, they used to say you could leave a Twinkie outside forever and it would never get rigid because it was that fake. That was Kamala Harris. But what you just saw turned out to be the apogee of her campaign -- her one big moment. But soon, it evaporated. Voters realized that making Joe Biden look bad isn't actually much of an accomplishment. It's not that hard. And then, Harris had to admit that, actually, she didn't really herself support mandatory school busing because voters of all colors hate it because it's actually insane. Pretty soon Tulsi Gabbard was attacking Harris too for her past as a prosecutor, and then it was all over. Harris was mired in the single digits. She never got out of them. Her fundraising was shot. The campaign was doomed. Obvious to everyone. By October, Harris knew that she was done. So, she started making preemptive excuses for failing to preserve her chances of getting picked as someone else's vice president. The problem, she explained, was how racist and sexist America is.
HARRIS: What I describe and what I believe to be the elephant in the room about my campaign.
MARGARET TALEV: What is that?
TALEV: What do you mean?
HARRIS: Electability. You know, essentially, is America ready for a woman and a woman of color to be president of the United States?
TALEV: America was ready for a black man to be president of the United States.
HARRIS: And this conversation happened for him. There is a lack of ability or difficult, a difficulty in imagining that someone who we have never seen can do a job that has been done, you know, 45 times by someone who is not that person.
CARLSON: Hmm, yeah, ok. It makes a lot of sense. It's a good point, Kamala Harris. But wait a second. Joe Biden, who's white, is getting far more support from black voters than Kamala Harris ever did. So, that means that America is racist? How exactly does that work? Never mind. Stop asking questions. Logic is bigotry. Listen instead to MSNBC explain how the failure of some silly dilettante’s campaign means that America itself is bad.
FEMALE SPEAKER: The narrative around the Democratic primary seems to be very bullish toward white male candidates and lukewarm on women and minorities.
FEMALE SPEAKER: For some reason, the media seems fixated on issues about her campaign and her electability that we don't see with other men. And there's no other reason that you can explain it, I believe, other than sexism.
MALE SPEAKER: I think this is sort of silly journalism. But underlying that is this deep level of sexism that's out there. More of it on the Republican side.
FEMALE SPEAKER: There's a very serious problem, and I believe that it has everything to do with the fact that she is a woman and she is a black woman and she's a black woman of mixed heritage being Indian as well. It just seems so difficult for people to get past the fact that she is not a white male.
CARLSON: Yeah, it was very difficult for people to get past that fact. And that was the thing that people really hated, really hated about Kamala Harris that she wasn't a white male. Black voters hated it especially. They were enraged by it. And that's why they backed Joe Biden as a form of protest. Keep going, MSNBC. Tell us more about how the civil rights thing works. Wait a second. CNN wants to jump in on this, too, OK? Go ahead. Jeff Zucker channel. What exactly is Kamala Harris' failure mean to you?
MALE SPEAKER: We're going to be ending the year with a lot of older candidates, several white candidates. So, this is something that certainly the field is not ending in as much of a diverse fashion as it started in.
FEMALE SPEAKER: I thought that was a really interesting point there at the end Jeff made. This becomes an older and whiter field for the top tier candidates.
FEMALE SPEAKER: It certainly does. The field is looking a lot whiter and a lot older.
MALE SPEAKER: Ooo whiter. Day by day, the progressive brain is shrinking like an apple left in the sun. For the left, there are now only three possible explanations for why things on earth happen: racism, sexism, or Russia. If a phenomenon cannot be attributed to one of these three things, the left is baffled like a dog staring into a mirror. Got it? Racism, sexism, Putin! Nothing else is real.
Well it's a limited world view to put it mildly. In fact, there could be other reasons that Kamala Harris failed. Just the other day, for example, The New York Times profiled her campaign as it went through its death rattles. The piece had some revealing details like this one and we're quoting. "Extensive polling led Harris to believe there was great value in the word," excuse me, ii the word truth. So, she titled her 2019 memoir, 'The Truths We Hold.'" No word on whether she actually read the memoir. Continuing the quote, "and made a similar phrase the centerpiece of her early stump speech. 'Let's speak truth.'" Well, for once, The New York Times was not exaggerating. That's what she did. Watch this.
HARRIS: One of the most important values that I think we must fight for is is to speak truth. To speak truth.
HARRIS: We have to speak truth about it.
We speak truth. And we are loyal.
That we speak truth.
Let's speak truth.
Let's speak another truth.
Let's speak truth.
We must all speak truth.
So, let's speak some truth.
And we need to speak that truth so we can deal with it.
Let's speak another truth.
Let's speak truth about our economy.
And let's speak the biggest truth. The biggest truth of all.
CARLSON: So, here's a little quiz for those of you at home thinking maybe someday about running for president. Is it enough if you want to be president simply to repeat the same word over and over and over again like a magic talisman? Will that get you elected president? Probably not. More detail for The New York Times piece. We're quoting now, "She dropped the saying about truth out of a belief that voters wanted something less gauzy. Today, her aides are given to gallows humor about just how many slogans and one liners she has cycled through, with one recalling how Speak Truth Spring gave way to 3:00 a.m. Summer before the current Trump focused Justice Winter."
[laughing] [UNINTELLIGIBLE] It's pretty hilarious, but it would be unfair to blame the failure of her campaign just on messaging. The substance was off too. Harris campaigned -- you remember, or maybe you don't -- on a teacher pay raise and a middle-class tax cut, but then found out to her surprise that those policies didn't seem to be resonating with Democratic primary voters. So, soon she was actively downplaying her own ideas and desperately trying to find a new persona for herself. In other words, and this is the problem, Kamala Harris is a 55-year-old woman who still has no freaking clue who she is or what she actually cares about. That's why she lost, and thank God, she did. Quentin James is founder of Collective Pack. He joins us tonight. Quentin, thanks so much for coming on. Explain, if you would, how Kamala Harris losing to Joe Biden among black voters is evidence that America is racist.
QUENTIN JAMES, COLLECTIVE PACK: Tucker, thanks for having me on. First of all, man, that entire monologue was extremely disrespectful, and let me tell you why.
CARLSON: [laughing] I meant it to be. [laughing] She's a politician. I get to disrespect her if I want.
JAMES: Ha. Ha. Ha. Unfortunately, as a person of color in this country, we have to work twice as hard, get twice as many credentials, only to be able to be given, maybe be given an opportunity to work or play on a field where the goalposts are move [sic] But if you're rich and white in this country, you can buy things when you don't have credentials.
CARLSON: Right. No. I went to college. I heard the lecture.
Maybe you can answer a really simple question, which is why black voters are supporting Joe Biden over Kamala Harris.
JAMES: I'm getting to your question. Tucker hold on. I'm getting to your question.
CARLSON: Well, spare me the academic crap. Everyone's bored of it.
JAMES: The fact that many black voters in South Carolina are considering the issue of voting for Joe Biden versus Kamala Harris or Cory Booker or other black candidates, the same when they considered voting for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama, is racism. It is the fact that black voters would rather put the question mark of what will white voters do? Will white voters be okay with the black candidate? Maybe not. Maybe it's only safe to vote for the white guy, and that is the country we live in. And that is why Kamala Harris was forced out of this campaign because of institutional racism, the white supremacy we hear on your show just about every week, Tucker.
CARLSON: Wait, hold on. I'm totally. I'm sorry. When you're on my set, you're going to have to at least make points that logical people can understand.
CARLSON: And I'm going to ask you to explain them. So far, you haven't managed to do that.
JAMES: You asked me a question about black voters, and I gave you an answer.
CARLSON: How is it the fault of conservatives that African American Democrats supported Joe Biden over Kamala Harris?
JAMES: I didn't say conservatives. I didn't say conservatives. I said black voters in South Carolina are concerned about what will white voters think at the polls.
CARLSON: How do you know that?
JAMES: And that in -- case what we saw in 2008 --
CARLSON: How do you know that? Wait? Slow down. Slow down. You're making the claim. Where's that? Where's that? Do you have evidence of this?
JAMES: What we saw in 2008, when white voters said, "You know what? We think this Barack Obama guy is serious," black voters overnight switched their support from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama.
CARLSON: Hold on. Is there polling --
Look, I covered the 2008 campaign. I don't think you did.
Hold on, I'm asking for some actual -- you want to be treated like a rational adult who understands what he's talking about. I'm doing that.
CARLSON: And I'm asking you for evidence to back up what you just said.
JAMES: I just gave you an example.
CARLSON: White voters are afraid to support Kamala Harris because racism. Where's the evidence for that?
JAMES: I'm sorry. What? White voters are? What I'm saying is --
CARLSON: Black voters, you claim, are afraid to support Kamala Harris. Where's the evidence?
JAMES: Why are black voters not supporting Kamala Harris or Cory Booker in this moment? Number one, they haven't voted yet. Right? That's number one. But two, what we're seeing is right now with the racists in the White House, the white supremacists in the White House, folks are really concerned about how are white voters going to vote. Right? And if I want to cast a ballot for somebody, I've got to take into consideration what the country is going to do.
CARLSON: But how do you know this?
I get that this is your little pet theory, but I'm asking, do you have actual evidence? Do you have polling data, for example --
CARLSON: -- to show that it's true. Where is it?
JAMES: I just gave you an example of what happened in 2008.
CARLSON: No, 2008 was almost twelve years ago. So, let me ask you now --
JAMES: It's the last time we've had a competitive Democratic primary with black voters.
CARLSON: You have no evidence. There's no evidence in 2008 that that happened.
JAMES: I just gave you an example.
CARLSON: No, there's not. I covered it. You didn't. There's no evidence of that. And I'm just --
JAMES: I was on the on the campaign. I've seen it happen in live.
CARLSON: Are you going to seriously grapple with what happened today, not 12 years ago, that Kamala Harris dropped out --
[CROSSTALK] It's the racism of white voters? Huh?
JAMES: Here's another fact, Tucker. In 2008 we saw the most diverse Congress elected in U.S. history. What we also saw is that black women congressional candidates on average raised a million dollars less than a white woman running for Congress. Why is that? Why does a candidate's race still impact how much money they raise?
CARLSON: Well, I don't know. You have to ask Democratic donors in Hollywood. You know, your analysis is so shallow and dumb.
JAMES: But Tucker --
CARLSON: It's hard to believe that you go on TV as an expert on this stuff.
JAMES: Let's look at the Republican Party. Why are there no black women --
CARLSON: No, no. It's actually --
JAMES: --- elected in Congress who are Republicans?
CARLSON: --- too insulting and like I don't want to have a conversation about your super shallow racial views.
JAMES: Okay. Sure.
CARLSON: I want to ask like real questions about politics. You don't have answers. I'm afraid this is boring and not getting us anywhere. Thank you, Quentin.
JAMES: Okay. I'm sorry, Tucker.
CARLSON: For coming on tonight. I appreciate it. Dave Rubin hosts the Rubin Report on YouTube and he joins us tonight. So, Dave, there is a very serious question here. I almost never lose patience with guests but at certain point living in this country you're like you know maybe there's another explanation other than racism, sexism, and Russia. It's just too limited a world view for me. I can't -- I'm bored. So, what's the actual explanation? Why did Kamala Harris lose?
DAVE RUBIN, THE RUBIN REPORT: Well, Tucker, let's speak truth here, right? Let's speak truth. The reason that Kamala Harris is out is because she was a horrible candidate.
RUBIN: She is an authoritarian and that was very obvious even to the progressives who were pretty authoritarian. The irony of everything that you’ve said in the lead in here is that for all of the people on MSNBC and CNN and all the blue check Twitterati and all the lefties and progressives who are now polling everyone racist and sexist, do they realize this was a democratic primary? So, they're calling the Democrats racist. It's one thing, you know, they usually just call the conservatives racist and the Trump supporters racist and the rest of it. They're actually calling themselves racist now. They're calling themselves sexist now. Kamala, there's many reasons she wasn't a good candidate. You know, there is the moment, first off Tulsi really took her out.
RUBIN: In one of the debates.
CARLSON: I noticed.
RUBIN: That was one of the real moments and I don't think she ever recovered from that. But the moment for me was when they were talking about banning assault rifles as an executive action and Joe Biden said the correct answer, which is that if you're going to do something it has to be constitutional and she smugly smiled and joked, "Oh, Joe, can't we just say yes we can?" And it's like well, no you can't. We still do have the Constitution here and while I often wonder if the progressives care about the Constitution at all, I think a lot of people saw that moment and said whoa. This woman wants to do things that have nothing to do with the prescribed powers of the executive branch.
RUBIN: So, she was a terrible candidate and for anyone calling the rest of the Democrats racist and sexist right now, you might be right but you might want to look in the mirror.
CARLSON: Yeah, and not for this -- I mean, she was a totally shallow person who had no idea who she was or why she wanted to be president. She was Ted Kennedy 1980. It was a waste of all of our times, and if it weren't for the press, we would've taken her seriously in the first place. Thank you for crystalizing that for us. Dave Rubin, a speaker of truth on this topic. Thank you. Good to see you.
RUBIN: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: A new report says that Bill and Hillary Clinton repeatedly traveled to the Jeffrey Epstein sex ranch, a place where he kept his sex ring. You can't make this stuff up. Trace Gallagher has details on these bizarre new developments. Stay tuned for that.
CARLSON: Bill Clinton spent an awful lot of time with Jeffrey Epstein [UNINTELLIGIBLE] around the world on his private plane but then told us he had no idea that Jeffrey Epstein was a sexual predator. Just had no idea. Well, that wasn't very plausible but now a new report indicates their relationship was even closer than anyone knew before. Chief breaking news correspondent Trace Gallagher has all the details for us tonight. Hey, Trace.
GALLAGHER: Hey, Tucker. Jeffrey Epstein's 10,000 acre New Mexico ranch has been compared to the HBO series "West World" because it has an elaborate cowboy themed village. It's also been dubbed baby making ranch because The New York Times reported that Epstein once said he wanted to simultaneously impregnate 20 girls at the ranch to improve the human race. Former President Bill Clinton has said repeatedly the only Epstein property he ever stayed in was his New York City townhome, but a security expert brought in to set up surveillance systems at the ranch tells The Daily Mail that Bill Clinton frequently visited there and that Hillary and Chelsea Clinton also visited on a number of occasions, but the security guy says the former first family stayed at a guest house in the cowboy village, not the main house.
The security expert also reportedly says the former president was Epstein's closest "celebrity mate." And Virginia Roberts, the woman who claims Prince Andrew had sex with her multiple times while she was 17, also says she saw Bill Clinton on Jeffrey Epstein's private island for a dinner held in Clinton's honor. Clinton and his spokesperson denied that though Bill Clinton says he only flew on Epstein's private plane four times even though flight logs show that he took 26 flights on the so-called Lolita Express. Bill Clinton's office maintains he did not know anything about Epstein's crimes. The security expert, by the way, also said that on some parts of the ranch surveillance cameras were not allowed. Tucker.
CARLSON: Thanks, Trace. Great to see you tonight. On some parts of the ranch surveillance cameras were not allowed. Tammy Bruce hosts Get Tammy Bruce on Fox Nation which is reason enough to subscribe and she joins us tonight. Tammy, on some parts of the Epstein ranch surveillance cameras were not allowed.
TAMMY BRUCE, FOX NATION HOST: I bet.
CARLSON: What do you make of all this? It's so creepy I can barely stand it.
BRUCE: Yeah, I mean, we're both laughing because it's that creepy.
CARLSON: Yes, exactly.
BRUCE: This is the creepy dark laugh that it's --
BRUCE: --- inexplicable. But here's what is fascinating to me -- and understandably, you know, the focus has been on Bill Clinton and the flights that he's taking -- this story clearly places Hillary Clinton in that same realm. But it's not just that dynamic here. Now, we've got Hillary Clinton with a link to Jeffrey Epstein. We clearly know of a strong link with her and Harvey Weinstein. Ronan Farrow just with this week came out with an admission that not only, of course, we know through his book that she tried to have an associate push him off of the Weinstein story. But now he's saying that their relationship changed after he investigated Weinstein.
So, this is not a woman who's caught up in some kind of a circle and is shocked by what's going on. She tried to punish Ronan Farrow for doing his investigation. And now, while she's never talked about Epstein, she's been there as well, to say nothing of her husband's history. So, all three men clearly credibly accused of rape, for the other two, also sex trafficking. How does that work that Hillary Clinton is in the link with all of those men, while Ghislaine Maxwell, the associate of Epstein, is effectively a fugitive? Her life is over. Prince Andrew's life is over and ruined, his daughter's lives. They'll [sic] probably won't be royals, and they won't have the same future they expected. But Hillary Clinton is still being encouraged to run for president. And she's the only one with links to all three of those men.
CARLSON: So, if she runs, do you think it'd be fair to ask her? This ranch apparently had an eight-person, quote, "party shower." I would ask if I were covering the campaign, "What do you know about that? Did you ever see the eight-person party shower? What do you suppose went on there? What were you doing there?"
BRUCE: I mean, these are very basic questions like what is she? Is it a coincidence that these are the men in her life? You know what?
CARLSON: It's a great point.
BRUCE: What is it about these men that she thought was fine? But then we find out that two of them at least were perhaps two of the most prolific abusers of women and rapists in the last half a century.
CARLSON: Can I just ask, and I know you're not a mathematician. I don't want to put you on the spot. But what do you think the odds of that are?
BRUCE: You know, I think I would probably in one day be struck by lightning and win the lottery. Those odds are higher than I -- then this. These choices -- who you associate with is a choice. And she's made remarkable choices.
BRUCE: And interestingly, these two men also relied on an unique kind of protection that we still don't understand perfectly about. How did they get away with what they did for so long?
CARLSON: Yes. Well, it's a great question.
BRUCE: And they have, and they've got a common thread. And that common thread is named Hillary. And yet we keep focusing on Bill. I would say that these kinds of questions. This is just the surface, I'm sure. We need to ask those questions. And she should be asked them, and she should answer them because we've never heard.
CARLSON: We don't even know where the money came from. How did Jeffrey Epstein get so rich? How did he afford an eight-person party shower in New Mexico and Molestation Island in a plane? So, I thought we had a press corps in this country. Like, if you can't answer that question, you know. I know it has nothing to do with Ukraine.
BRUCE: If we're willing to ruin lives, if we're willing to ruin various lives of people who are associated with him, why is a woman who seems now to be associated with him not facing the same scrutiny as other, and yet she is --
CARLSON: It's a great question.
BRUCE: -- a more complicated web than Maxwell or Prince Andrew. We just want some fairness across the board.
CARLSON: Amen. The great Tammy Bruce. Thank you for that.
BRUCE: Thank you.
CARLSON: Well, the modern American economy has made people in the finance world very rich, richer than ever before. How's it working out for everyone else? We'll investigate and tell you what hedge funds did to one small town in Nebraska. We went there with cameras. That's after the break.
CARLSON: If you spend any time driving around America recently, you may have noticed that an awful lot of the country seems to have shriveled up and died. Take a trip en route to in Maine some time and count the boarded-up paper mills in abandoned houses you see, or head down route 23 in Michigan or Ohio and consider the empty factories ringed with barbed wire. You'll see a lot of them. Outside the coastal cities, scenes like this are everywhere. This is your country now: shuttered car dealerships next to defunct restaurants across street from thrift stores and methadone clinics. That's America. Community after community, desiccated, empty husks with nothing left. Huge swaths of the United States look like that now.
So, what happened? Well, a lot of things happened. Some of them are complicated and hard to change. But one of the big factors in the slow-moving disaster is the utter transformation of the way our leaders think about the American economy. During the last Gilded Age, 125 years ago, America's ruling class may have been ostentatiously rich, and they were. Go to Newport, Rhode Island, for proof, if you like. But it was still a recognizably American class. Tycoons accumulated fortunes, but they also felt some obligation to the country around them. Steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie famously built stone libraries around the country for the edification of people beneath him. John D. Rockefeller and many other so-called robber barons set aside huge portions of their wealth, and in some cases their property, to make this country better. Yellowstone, Acadia National Park, et cetera. Maybe most significantly, in January of 1914, Henry Ford more than doubled the prevailing factory to a then remarkable $5 for an eight-hour day. Ford didn't have to do that. But his company was succeeding, and he thought he should.
Some historians trace the creation of the American middle class to that decision. Either way, it is nearly impossible to imagine a big company doing anything like that today. Attitudes are just too different. Your average finance mogul looks at workers merely as costs to be reduced or eliminated entirely. Private equity isn't building a lot of public libraries these days. Instead, the model is ruthless economic efficiency. Buy a distressed company, outsource the jobs, liquidate the valuable assets, fire middle management, and once the smoke is cleared dump what remains to the highest bidder, often in Asia. It's happened around the country. It has made a small number of people phenomenally rich.
One of them is a New-York-based hedge fund manager called Paul Singer who according to Forbes has amassed a personal fortune of more than $3 billion. How has Singer made that money? Well, he made a lot of it by purchasing sovereign debt from financially distressed countries, countries that were in trouble, usually at a massive discount. Once a country's economy regains some stability Singer would bombard its government with lawsuits of a massive public relations campaign originating here in Washington sometimes until he made his money back with interest. The practice is called vulture capitalism feeding off the carcass of a dying nation.
In some ways it's not so different from what Singer and his firm, Elliott Management, have done in this country and to this country. Over the past couple of decades Elliott Management has made billions by buying large stakes in American companies then firing workers driving up short-term share prices and, in some cases, taking government bailouts, insult to injury. Bloomberg News once described Singer as "the world's most feared investor." And that tells you a lot. No one's even pretending Paul Singer's tactics are good for anyone but Paul Singer and his fund.
Consider the case of Delphi, the automotive parts supplier. During the last financial crisis, a consortium of hedge funds, including Singer's Elliott Management, purchased Delphi. With Singer and the other funds at the helm, the company took billions of dollars in government bailouts paid for by you. Obama's auto czar compared those tactics to extortion, but they continued anyway. Once they had the bailout money the funds moved most of Delphi's jobs overseas and then either cut retiree pensions entirely or shifted the cost to taxpayers with later financial commitments at home and cheap factories abroad Delphi's stock soared. According to investigative reporter Greg Palast, of the 29 Delphi plants in operation when the hedge fund started buying Delphi's debt, only four were still operating in the United States by 2012. That means tens of thousands of unionized and white-collar workers lost their jobs. Paul Singer's hedge fund cashed out for more than a billion dollars. See how that works?
Well, some countries, including the United Kingdom, have banned this kind of behavior. It bears no resemblance whatsoever to the capitalism we were promised in school. It creates nothing. It destroys entire cities. It couldn't be uglier or more destructive. So, why is it still allowed in the United States? The short answer: because people like Paul Singer have tremendous influence over our political process. Singer himself was the second largest donor to the Republican Party in 2016. He's given millions to a SuperPAC that supports Republican senators. You may never have heard of Paul Singer, which tells you a lot in itself, but in Washington he is rockstar famous and that may be why he's almost certainly paying a lower effective tax rate than your average fireman, just in case you're still wondering if our system is rigged. Oh, yeah, it is.
Tonight, we want to tell you a little more about how Paul Singer does business. The story begins in a small town called Sidney, Nebraska, population 6,282. Two hours outside Denver, Sidney is the long-time home of a sporting goods retailer Cabela's, which sells fishing and hunting gear. In October of 2015 Singer's hedge fund disclosed an 11 percent stake in Cabela's and set about pushing the board to sell the company. Cabela's management apparently fearing a long and costly fight with Singer announced it would look for a buyer. Now at the time Cabela's was a relatively healthy company. It was posting nearly $2 billion a year in gross profits off $4 billion in revenue. There didn't seem to be any immediate need to sell but Cabela's sold anyway after being pushed. So, one year after Singer entered the equation Bass Pro Shops announced the purchase of Cabela's. The company's stock price surged. Within a week literally a week Paul Singer cashed out. He bought the stock for $38 a share. He sold it for $63 a share. His hedge fund made at least $90 million up front and likely more over time. But in Sidney, Nebraska, it was a very different story. The residents of Sidney did not get rich. Oh no. Just the opposite. Their community was devastated, destroyed. The town lost nearly 2,000 jobs; a heartbreakingly familiar cascade began. People left. Property values collapsed and then people couldn't leave. They were trapped there. One of the last thriving small towns in this country went under. We recently sent two producers to Sidney, Nebraska to survey the wreckage there and to consider what happened. Our producers talked to more than a dozen former Cabela's employees. Almost all of them refused to speak to us on camera fearful of legal retribution from the famously vicious Paul Singer, but off camera they told us their story. Here it is.
MALE SPEAKER: Sidney is -- it's a great place to be.
CARLSON: This is Sidney, Nebraska, a small town two hours outside of Denver. For decades the sporting good retailer Cabela's kept its headquarters in Sidney. As the company grew more prosperous so did the town.
MALE SPEAKER: Cabela's was the keystone employer. Our motto forever was small town values big time opportunities.
CARLSON: But that motto was turned on its head when Elliott Management Corporation, that's a New York-based hedge fund managed by billionaire Paul Singer, took an ownership stake in Cabela's.
FEMALE SPEAKER: When we got the news this company is coming in from New York City and buying a huge stake in Cabela's, that shakes things up.
CARLSON: At the time Cabela's was making more than a billion dollars a year but Paul Singer's firm sensed it could make a quick buck by driving up the stock price by forcing a merger. A once thriving town of Sidney lost everything.
FEMALE SPEAKER: I cried as soon as I got the phone call. I couldn't help it. I balled.
CARLSON: That's how a long-time Cabela's employee reacted to news that she was losing her job.
FEMALE SPEAKER: I had something good going. That was my future. And now I really don't know what my future is.
MALE SPEAKER: Probably looking at around 2,000 jobs.
MALE SPEAKER: 2,000 jobs gone?
MALE SPEAKER: Yeah.
CARLSON: Sidney was devastated.
MALE SPEAKER: He ruined it. A good American town. And just destroyed it.
CARLSON: Tim O'Connell runs the town's lumber yard. Before the merger business was great.
TIM O’CONNELL, BUSINESSMAN: We were just buried, you know, with business.
CARLSON: Now his customer base has collapsed.
MALE SPEAKER: How many new homes have been built since Cabela's and Bass Pro merged?
Tim O’Connell: In the city limits here there have been one last year.
MALE SPEAKER: One house?
O’CONNELL: One house.
CARLSON: Before Paul Singer's hedge fund put Cabela's in its sights, Sidney was experiencing a building boom.
FEMALE SPEAKER: We were going to build a new housing subdivision to meet housing needs, all these great things were happening and instead we are working our tails off to try to figure out a way to survive.
CARLSON: For the people of Sidney, it's been a disaster. Those who want to leave Sidney can't go. Housing values have collapsed tethering them there. For those who want to stay, it's almost impossible to find a job.
MALE SPEAKER: How long did it take you to find a new job?
FEMALE SPEAKER: It took me just shy of five months.
MALE SPEAKER: And is it as good as your old job?
FEMALE SPEAKER: No. Not even close.
CARLSON: As Sidney collapsed Wall Street cashed in. Paul Singer's hedge fund sold out before the merger was even complete. The fund made nearly $100 million.
FEMALE SPEAKER: They don't care. They don't care about rural Nebraska, small town.
MALE SPEAKER: I hope Paul Singer is proud of what he did. If money is that big of a God to him he's a pretty sick human being.
CARLSON: Well, as we were doing that story, we were warned repeatedly by people around Washington don't criticize Paul Singer. That's not a good idea, and as that package played, I got the following text from a very well-known person in Washington: "Holy smokes, I can't believe you're doing this. I'm afraid of Paul Singer." We’ll see what happens.
Meanwhile, Ben Sasse, this may point to the point the texter was making. Ben Sasse is a U.S. senator who represents the state of Nebraska. Sidney, of course, isn't that large but you might think the death of a town in his state would be of concern to Ben Sasse. Again, U.S. senator from Nebraska. But so far it doesn’t seem like he's ever commented on what's happened to Sidney. We looked hard. Then we called Sasse' office to see if they could point to a time where he commented on the destruction of Sidney or simply supply a statement to us about what happened there, but Ben Sasse' office didn't even respond to our producers. Huh. That's odd. But then here's one possible explanation for that. During his Senate run, Ben Sasse received the largest possible donation from Paul Singer. Well, the least impressive people in American media all agree on one thing, people who disagree with them can't be trusted. In fact, they must be working for Russia. We’ll explore the ongoing rebirth of McCarthyism in this country, next.
CARLSON: Kind of an amazing moment on Sunday over an NBC on one of the Sunday shows that people used to pay attention to but no longer do. U.S. Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana was on there with Chuck Todd, who is the host, and he made an argument that Chuck Todd didn't like. Todd didn't rebut the argument, not capable of that. So instead, he did what so many do now. He accused Senator Kennedy of being an agent of Russia.
CHUCK TODD: Senator Kennedy, you now have a president of Ukraine saying he actively worked for the Democratic nominee for president. I mean, now come on. I mean, I've got to put up. You realize the only other person selling this argument outside the United States is this man, Vladimir Putin.
CARLSON: So, in a normal time, we'd all recognize that for what it was: an embarrassing and low moment. Accusing people without evidence, under the cover of journalism, of acting on behalf of a foreign government, there's a name for that actually, it's called McCarthyism. We went through a period where that happened. We learned nothing, apparently, or the left didn't. That's literally what it is. McCarthyism. But after calling people racist, it's the press's new favorite baseless allegation to throw around. More evidence of that: yesterday on MSNBC, one of their anchors and one of her guests agreed that Senator Kennedy must be working for Moscow. Just must be. Watch this.
NICOLE WALLACE: In defiance of facts, intelligence assessments, reason, Senator John Kennedy was out peddling Vladimir Putin's talking points.
MALE SPEAKER: I mean, look, he's a guy who has a degree from Oxford. He's not an unintelligent man, yet he comes off as an addled Russian asset on television.
FEMALE SPEAKER: I don't understand the proactive work on behalf of Vladimir Putin's Kremlin.
FEMALE SPEAKER: No, I don't understand it either.
CARLSON: Yeah, you must be disloyal. Aaron Maté is a journalist with The Gray Zone and The Nation, and he joins us tonight. Aaron, thanks so much for coming on. So, what do you, what do you make of it? I mean, this [UNINTELLIGIBLE] seems to have escalated over the past three years to the point where formerly mainstream journalists are just looking right at the camera saying, "Yeah, I don't agree with him. He must be a traitor to the country." What do you make of that?
AARON MATE, JOURNALIST: What is so funny about the indignation about Senator Kennedy's comments is that he was pointing out a documented fact. There was Ukrainian meddling in 2016, and it's no secret. Ukrainian officials, they leaked information that exposed some apparent corruption by Paul Manafort, and it was consequential. It led to Paul Manafort's resignation from the Trump campaign. And the stated intent of Ukrainian officials was to weaken the Trump campaign because they wanted to help elect Hillary Clinton. And, you know, it's strange to see pundits pretending that that didn't happen. And what they're trying to do is conflate that with a different theory by Ukrainian meddling, which is not proven. It's true. And that is the one that Trump tried to put forward in this phone call with Zelensky, where he appears to be saying that it wasn't Russia that was behind the hacking of the DNC and that it might have been Ukraine. It's true there's no evidence for that theory. And though it's fair enough to point out that. But what's also ironic here is that the people who are indignant about that claim by Trump are accepting the claim that Russia hacked the DNC, even though there's been no evidence yet. There have been claims by intelligence officials, but those same intelligence officials gave us the whole scam that was the Trump Russia collusion [UNINTELLIGIBLE].
CARLSON: May I stop you there, since I do think you're one of the more credible voices on this, and I should state that I don't think we agree on politics. But you've really followed this carefully. At this moment., December 3, 2013, we still don't have actual evidence that the Russian government hacked the DNC?
MATE: We've had claims from a intelligence process that was managed by John Brennan, who has a very sketchy history, including being caught lying to the Senate when the Senate was investigating the CIA torture program. And we have an indictment from Robert Mueller, but that indictment, as I've written about real clear investigations, has serious holes. So, you know, Trump raises this theory in this phone call with Zelensky that it might have been Ukraine. What I think Trump should do and what I think all journalists should be calling for is let the public see for ourselves what the underlying evidence is. We've been told by discredited intelligence officials that it was Russia. That intelligence should be released so everybody can judge for themselves.
CARLSON: Well, but I don't think you understand the rules, Aaron Maté. If you don't take at face value the claims of American intel officials present or retired, then you're working for Russia.
MATE: Well, you know. Yeah. And the irony here. Tucker, you know --.
CARLSON: We're almost out of time, so sum it up for me.
MATE: Well, just on this point right now, there is a huge scandal that you've highlighted on your show, which everyone else is ignoring, where intelligence officials told us that Syria carried out a chemical weapons attack. Now, we have whistleblowers at there at the OPCW raising a question about that. Yet, nobody on either side is talking about that. And that's a scandal.
CARLSON: You know what? Shame on me for not doing that story every night, and thank you for reminding me because you're absolutely right. That is a scandal -- an actual one. Aaron Maté, thank you so much.
MATE: Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: Well, George Soros-funded prosecutors focused on emptying the prisons in city after city. Things are getting sketchy. People are committing crimes in public and getting away with it. It's not making anybody happier or anybody safer, especially poor people, by the way. We'll tell you what's happening and why after the break.
CARLSON: Newly elected D.A.'s in some of America's biggest cities, many backed by George Soros, have made it clear what they really care about, emptying prisons and shackling law enforcement and there's no downside for them on either count. They can shield themselves with taxpayer-funded bodyguards, but normal people aren't so lucky. U.S. cities are being plagued by a surge, for example, of mob-based crime, big crowds of people who work together to loot stores or target vulnerable individuals. Here in Washington attacks like this are up 50 percent over the past year. A local television station recently chronicled the problem. Watch this.
FEMALE SPEAKER: He hit me three or four times on the side of my head, broke open my lip. So, I was bleeding quite a lot.
MALE SPEAKER: I was trying to fend off like one guy. He knocked me on the ground and then he took my wallet.
MALE SPEAKER: These are the stories of victims of largely random attacks on the streets of the district. The one thing in common, the suspects were large groups of teens. Video shows teens throwing a man onto Metro tracks back in September. And take a look at this video. Up to 14 teens stomping and punching, even spitting on two men outside a DuPont Circle hotel in July.
CARLSON: Chadwick Moore is a New York journalist. He joins us now. How did this ever happen, Chadwick? I'm confused.
CHADWICK MOORE, JOURNALIST: Well, I think it might have to do something with this progressive insurgency that's infected our nation's largest cities and make no mistake, this is not -- this is very planned. You know, we see in the same problem spreading from our once great cities which are increasingly becoming more third world and dystopian flowing from one city to the next. So you see the same problems, the same violence, the same crime, the same homelessness, addiction, spreading from New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and it -- we -- you can trace it back to essentially what's being established as this sort of progressive collection of city states that instead of their leaders, their mayors, their municipal leaders caring about the places they've been elected to manage, they are looking outward. They're ideologues. They're not city managers. They care about climate change and social justice and their ambitions are global. They're not even national or local. They're not the 21st Century CEOs that our dying cities desperately need. They are -- they behave more like smarmy televangelists and aloof 17th Century monarchs. And look what's happening. Our cities are falling into chaos because they don't know how to manage these places and criminal justice is only one area and you were right to bring up police -- law enforcement being castrated effectively.
MOORE: Mayors who don't support them and freeing criminals on the street and basically look at Seattle, 48 percent of police reports aren't even investigated in Seattle. And that's not because the police -- that's not the police force's fault. That's the fault of the people higher up in the police force how no longer want to process civility crimes. They no longer want to process crimes that they think might be deemed looking racist or persecuting a certain bunch.
CARLSON: Your -- it's a very deep point you make. They're not managing at all. They're --
MOORE: Absolutely not.
CARLSON: They're making airy statements to the globe and even as their own cities degrade as ours is unfortunately. Chadwick Moore. Thanks for that. Great to see you tonight.
MOORE: Thank you. You, too.
CARLSON: Out of time sadly. The hour has passed fast. Back tomorrow night. 8:00 p.m. The show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and group think. Good night from Washington. Guess who's next? You're right. Sean Hannity from New York.
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