Published July 26, 2018
This is a rush transcript from "The Story," July 25, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS HOST: It making me misty at the start of my show. Thank you, Bret. Thank you so much.
So breaking tonight. So on the heels of the leaked Michael Cohen tape, President Trump today called a hastily convened Rose Garden news conference with the head of the E.U. after saying this about the E.U. just yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The European Union is doing to us is incredible, how bad. They made $151 billion last year, our trade deficit. And I said you have to change. They didn't want to change, I said, OK, good we're going to tariff your cars.
They said, when can we show up? When can we be there? Would tomorrow be OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: And tomorrow was. They showed up today, and all that happened during the grilling of Secretary Mike Pompeo. Democrats asking incredulously how the president could possibly meet alone with Vladimir Putin, despite the fact that is Rand Paul pointed out, Putin has met one- on-one with the last three U.S. presidents.
Ben Shapiro here on all of the day's big headlines tonight. But we begin with Trace Gallagher on the latest fallout from those bombshell Michael Cohen recordings. Hi, Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Martha. Let's begin with what we know, the recorded conversation between then-candidate Donald Trump and his attorney Michael Cohen is about buying the rights to the story of an alleged affair between Trump and Playboy model Karen McDougal.
At the time, the story belonged to American media which owns the National Enquirer. Here are the last nine seconds of the tape. Listen closely.
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER ATTORNEY TO DONALD TRUMP: When it comes time for the financing, which will be --
TRUMP: Wait a second, what financing?
COHEN: We'll have to pay him something?
TRUMP: Pay with cash?
COHEN: No, no, no, no, no. I got it, no, no, no.
TRUMP: Pay with check?
GALLAGHER: We normally put the words on the screen, but the tape is garbled and impossible to verbal. And that's the primary issue, exactly what did Donald Trump say?
The House and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani maintained Mr. Trump said, quote, "Don't pay with cash." Michael Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, who gave the tape to CNN indicates that Trump wanted to pay with cash.
Davis even went on to say that only drug dealers and mobsters pay with cash. But the Washington Post, ABC, and NBC, not exactly Trump loving media outlets, all agree the exact wording on the tape is unintelligible.
Today, the president tweeted, quote, "What kind of lawyer would tape a client? So sad. Is this a first, never heard of it before? Why was the tape so abruptly terminated, cut, while I was presumably saying positive things? I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped. Can this be so? Too bad."
Politico, then ran a story saying the president was suggesting the audio had been edited or doctored. Except the president suggested no such thing. He simply asked why the tape was abruptly terminated, and there is a big difference between doctoring a tape and not playing the whole thing.
And as to the president's question about why a lawyer would tape his client? Lanny Davis was asked about that on Good Morning America. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LANNY DAVIS, ATTORNEY TO MICHAEL COHEN: Michael Cohen has an answer to why he taped conversations. And I think, he'll have to give that answer himself. I can't reveal that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: But Davis did reveal there are more tapes, and they apparently will be released very soon. And regardless of what was said on this tape, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz and the publication Law & Order both agree Mr. Trump did nothing illegal.
And we should note, the transaction to buy the Playboy model story from American media never happened. Martha.
MACCALLUM: Fascinating. Trace, thank you very much. All right, to talk about this and all of it really that happened this afternoon in a head- spinning day, Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire, joins me with a look at all of it. Ben, good to see you tonight. Thank you very much for being with us.
I want to get to the trade issue which I think was fascinating, it was a very hard pivot from the White House. And a hastily convened news conference as we just said, and very big news. So I want to get to that in just a moment.
But let's start with the tape from last night, Alan Dershowitz, as Trace just pointed out, said that setting up a corporation for payment is fine, it happens all the time, and he pointed out that the payment was never actually made.
But Judge Napolitano, said this morning on our air that what they are discussing is a civil fraud and could be problematic for the president. How do you see it?
BEN SHAPIRO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE DAILY WIRE: Well, the possibility of a campaign finance violation is really the serious question here. Did President Trump hand catch to Michael Cohen to pay off the publishers of the National Enquirer in order to help his campaign?
That's really the basic question and there are a lot of dots there that still have to be connected. We haven't seen any money pass hands, we don't know exactly if the money did pass hands, how it passed hands? We don't know even if Trump paid off the National Enquirer, whether it has to do with the election or not because that's really a matter of opinion.
And so, is any of this really going to damage President Trump? I think not. I think this is all baked into the cake for President Trump. More than that, I think, it's very difficult to actually criminally prosecute these types of cases.
John Edwards, of course, the Democratic presidential contender in 2008, he had a very similar issue. He was actually tried, and there was a hung jury, the charges ended up falling apart. It's difficult to think that this is going to be the thing that Democrats hope it is which is of, course, the killer shot with regards to the presidency.
MACCALLUM: Yes, I mean, here is a quick montage of some of the reaction to this news that Michael Cohen was flipping as they put it. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the president's fixer. He knows everything and if he flips, forget about it.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE, CNN: Michael Cohen has now flipped on Donald Trump.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, HOST, MSNBC: He could flip and be of value to the feds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Glee, glee, glee all across the board. You know, and what difference does it make in the end in your opinion, Ben?
SHAPIRO: Well, it's a lot of wishful thinking. We're not going to know what Michael Cohen has until he actually shows what he has. I think, at this point, he sort of signaling to prosecutors that he has a lot, simply, because he would like to get off the hook. And the only way they cut a deal with him is if he has a lot here.
But I'm not actually sure that he has very much. Again, the fact that the president has probably paid off a number of these types of cases before actually helps the president when it comes to the legal case.
MACCALLUM: All right. In terms of what we saw this afternoon, because as I said, it was sort of a rush this afternoon, a call for all of the reporters to come to the Rose Garden, they set up the two podiums, they were not expecting a bi-lat with the head of the E.U. Jean-Claude Juncker, who looked -- you know, mildly happy I guess to be there.
But the president has said that -- you know, that they're giving us such a raw deal. Do you think that it sounds like the president got a good deal here?
SHAPIRO: Well, it sounds like trade were averted. The fact is that the best thing that the economy can hope for is no trade war. It sounds right now like the Europeans are making some relatively moderate to minor concessions and that the United States is going to back off its weapons with regard to tariffs, although, it's not clear.
Maybe the president wants to keep in place these steel tariffs and aluminum tariffs. It's un -- frankly, I just don't know at this point until we actually see the formal wording of the details, and until we see that we're going to not know whether the president made a good deal here or a bad deal here.
It is pretty clear though that the direction that everybody wants to move is in the direction of free trade, and not toward more tariffs, and that in of itself is a good signal, I think, that's why the market jumped.
MACCALLUM: One of the things that I find interesting is that -- you know, we have the globalists at the White House who were fretting so deeply over the potential for a trade war. Which I -- you know, I guess may indeed still happen, and as you say we sort of need to see how all of this works out.
But when you hear that -- you know, the E.U. is now going to be buying more soybeans -- you know, that obviously is a hope to keep the farmers happy here in the United States that there aren't going to be any escalations in auto tariffs, at least not right now.
I mean it seems that this is the way the President does everything. He lays down this huge marker, sort of scares everybody that he's going to -- you know, be so dramatic with these tariffs that it's going to cause a colossal trade war.
And now, as he says, you've got the E.U. like, OK we can go to the White House tomorrow, actually. And they're going to buy an enormous amount of liquefied natural gas which is terrible news for Russia.
SHAPIRO: Yes, I mean, the fact is that -- you know, the most plausible possible read of the president's behavior is that this is all planned out. It's also possible that he just has a lot of stuff about tariffs and the other side gets scared, and then, they make a deal.
However, it works out. Whoever you want to give credit to the bottom line is if the deal is good, the president gets credit for the deal once we find out what's in the deal. He's going to get neither full credit nor full blame for whatever ends up happening.
MACCALLUM: All right, in terms of Russia, the meeting now moved to next year at the earliest. And as I said, you know, this -- the moves on the missile front on liquefied natural gas, all of this is not good news for Russia.
So, all of these things almost feel in some ways like the president is really bending over backwards now to prove that he will not do anything that would look as if he is kowtowing to Russia in any way.
SHAPIRO: The fact is there is always been a disconnect between presidents Trump's specific personal rhetoric with regard to Russia, and his administration's policy with regard to Russia. And that sort of reared attend again this week when the president was very complimentary of Vladimir Putin over the last week and a half.
And his administration continue to strengthen various sanctions against the Russians. They continue to provide deadly weaponry to the Ukrainians. The administration said they are not going to recognize the Russian seizure of Crimea as legitimate.
So, all of this suggests either that the president is sort of playing both sides and he's carrying a big city, he's speaking loudly, and then -- and then, he is -- you know essentially doing the opposite in order to promulgate a particular policy.
Or that the president says stuff and then, the administration cleans it up for him, either way, the outcome is basically the same.
MACCALLUM: All right. Another topic I want to ask you about is this story today about shadow banning. And whether or not, certain conservatives are having their Twitter feed, shadowbanned.
Now, you know, this is an idea that's been around for a while. But first of all, why don't you explain to everybody what shadow banning is, and how it works?
SHAPIRO: So, shadow banning is can be done a couple of different ways on Twitter, at least, the allegations go. One on the allegations is that if you tweet something that it just doesn't show up in people's feed.
That even if they're following you, it doesn't show up in their feed because Twitter has essentially downgraded the content that you're tweeting about.
The other way that it shows up is you go to search for somebody's account online, and it doesn't automatically fill in the rest of the accounts in the top of the Twitter search bar that's actually been well-substantiated device news which is not a right-wing outlet.
Says that this is happening on a routine basis to a lot of folks on the right side of the aisle, but almost never to people on the left side of the aisle. People have a right to be suspicious about the Twitter trends, and how Twitter operates its business. They are not transparent when it comes to their logarithms.
And because of that, because they're not transparent with regards to the algorithms, it means that any sort of perceived bias is going to be exacerbated tenfold. And even Jack, Jack Dorsey, had his Twitter, he's acknowledged as much.
He says like, "I understand why you guys don't trust me, we're going to have to do better." Well, the only way they're going to do better is if they come fully clean with the American people, and how exactly they operate.
MACCALLUM: Questions have been raised about Ronna McDaniel's account, ahead of the RNC. Donald Trump Junior -- I saw Sara Carter, the reporter suggesting today that -- you know some of what she was sending out there was not being seen.
And it's so -- I mean, if this is true, it's so surreptitious that the idea that you could be tweeting something, and thinking that you're putting it out there, but they're blocking it so that you don't know that it's not out there. But no one is seeing it.
So, they're trying to basically quench your voice over time and beat you down so that nobody is seeing what you're putting out there anymore and then, they end up they don't listen to you anymore ultimately.
SHAPIRO: Well, this is one of the serious problems with social media, generally, is that there's just no transparency from the user end. I mean, into sometimes they'll change how exactly the information is access, and they don't notify you about it.
It's not like they say, "OK, well, now we've downgraded particular content, you just don't see it anymore. That sort of control from above ought to scare anyone who's engaging in social media.
MACCALLUM: Ben Shapiro, always good to see you. Thank you very much.
SHAPIRO: You, too.
MACCALLUM: Have a good night. More popping this evening, Fox News alert just moments ago. Articles of impeachment have now been filed against Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein. Jason Chaffetz, joins me with the breaking news and where this goes from here, and how quickly?
Also tonight, Secretary of State Pompeo, grilled on why the president would risk one-on-one time with Vladimir Putin? Did they ask the same of President Obama or President Bush who brought Putin to Kennebunkport for a visit? Why the double standard in Congress? General Jack Keane, live here next at the desk.
MACCALLUM: Fox News Alert for you, a live look at this wildfire that is burning about 90 miles east of Los Angeles right now. Look at that near Hemet, California. It has prompted mandatory evacuations in that area began around noon, already has spread 200 acres. So far no injuries or deaths have been reported. We're going to keep on top of that situation. We'll bring you updates as we get them throughout tonight.
In the meantime Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Capitol Hill today. He was there to find out what happened in Helsinki, that was what the members of Congress wanted to know. And here's what it looked like if you missed it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BOB CORKER, R—TENN.: Is there a strategy of this or is it -- what is it that causes the President purposely, purposely create distrust in these institutions and what we're doing.
SEN. BOB MENENDEZ, D—N.J.: Did the President tell you that he discussed we're relaxing Russian sanctions or not? Yes or no.
MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: Senator, the President are excited to have private meetings.
Senator, I'm telling you what he had conversation with Vladimir Putin about and I'm telling you what U.S. policy is today. I understand -- senator, I understand the game that you're playing --
MENENDEZ: No, no, no, you know Mr. Secretary, with all due respect, I don't appreciate you characterizing my questions.
SEN. ED MARKEY, D—MASS.: I am afraid that at this point the United States, the Trump administration is being taken for a ride.
POMPEO: Fear not, Senator. Fear not. We have not been taken for a ride, senator. I hope you can sleep a little bit better tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: A little bit better tonight. General Jack Keane, Chairman of the Institute for the Study of War and a Fox News senior strategic analyst. Jack, good to have you here as always.
GEN. JACK KEANE, RET., FOX NEWS SENIOR STRATEGIC ANALYST: Good to be here.
MACCALLUM: So, General, you know, they really pressed him on this issue. They're convinced that something secretive happened in those two hours in the meeting with Vladimir Putin. But as Rand Paul pointed out tonight, the last three presidents have had extensive one-on-one meetings with Vladimir Putin and I don't remember this kind of outrage.
KEANE: Yes, I think it comes down to the Democrats just don't trust the President. And Trump is within his right to have one-on-one meetings. And I think it's his personal style. He wants to establish that personal relationship to lead to another meeting and also maybe get something done. You know, just think of our adversaries, China, North Korea, and Russia. He's praised all three of those leaders even though we have fundamental disagreements so he wants the personal relationship right so maybe we can make some improvements on the fundamental disagreements. In some cases it'll work, in some cases, it won't but we're not going to change him. That's his style.
MACCALLUM: You know, I mean you have to wonder though if it put him in a more difficult position that news conference and that was all we saw was the news conference because now he's saying that the meeting with Putin is going to be delayed. It won't happen until after the witch-hunt as he put it investigation is over. That could be for some time and then this trade deal today is a real finger in the eye for Russia with this liquefied natural gas deal with the E.U. because their whole economy is based on energy.
KEANE: Well, the press conference, I think I take it. You got to redo, they do it and decide what are the outcomes we want here, what's the tone in this thing that's going to be and they just didn't prepare for that I think the way they should the way they prepared for the summit. But listen, when you line up all the things that this administration has done against Russia, we haven't had a president that stood up to Russia except to this degree comparable to Ronald Reagan. And to include the Reagan defense build-up and the Trump defense build-up.
MACCALLUM: There were questions about Crimea and Secretary Pompeo really laid out very clearly what our policy is on Crimea if there was any vagueness that was left open in the presidency.
KEANE: Yes, I think -- I think they had to clear up the fact that the President more than once had said, when somebody asked him a question about Crimea, he would say well it didn't happen on my watch, that happened to Obama. You know, it wouldn't have happened if I was president. Well, people, I think misinterpreted that we would concede the annexation of Crimea to Russia so now we've got a formal declaration that we're not going to do that. And Pompeo did say we agreed to disagree with them on the Ukraine but there have been some positive things that came out admittedly they're not major, major agreements.
You know, business exchanges, we're going to work on counte0rterrorism together, they're going to work on a humanitarian issue inside Syria and try to reduce the violence. Those are not real concrete policies they're going to have far-reaching impact but nonetheless there is some agreement and they didn't get any place on the New START treaty which expires in 21 and also the fact that Russia is violating the intermediate nuclear force treaty or the INF treaty and we intend to violate it ourselves because they've developed a capability that's not permitted. I think eventually we'll make some progress on that.
MACCALLUM: Well, there's no doubt that Secretary Pompeo, you know, stood his ground and said that the President knows exactly what he's talking about. He said I briefed him myself so I know that he understands what's going on with all this because there was you know, the attitude on the part of some of those members of Congress was that they were just bewildered and they couldn't figure out what had been going on there. But I do want to ask you one other thing about this comment by Vice Admiral MaGuire who talked about something that we don't hear all that much about right now but maybe we need to pay more attention to. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH MAGUIRE, RETIRED VICE ADMIRAL, UNITED STATES NAVY: You face more threats originating for more places and more individuals than we have had had in the last 17 years. Bullets and drone strikes alone are not sufficient to counter violent extremist organizations. To ultimately win this fight we must address the causes and conditions that inspire men and women to join terrorist organizations and radicalized of violence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: It feels like there's been a quiet on that front in some ways. Is that inaccurate?
KEANE: No, there has been a quiet but you know I just did expand into 30 other affiliates around the world. Despite killing Usama bin Laden in a previous administration claiming and Al Qaeda is somewhat dead they are a thriving organization and the most significant one is that -- is the organization in Syria and then the other one is in Yemen. But we've had some and the reason why it has come kind of quiet, we have finally penetrated into the virtual Caliphate particularly that ISIS has.
We took that physical caliphate not totally away but mostly away but we've had -- we've made some real progress and a lot of our media folks, social media folks have taken down tens of thousands of sites that they have and they've been cooperating with us and we've also learned a lot you know through the years dealing with ISIS because they were so sophisticated and how they use the internet. I mean, they've recruited from 400 to 500 people to 30,000 plus in 18 months largely on the internet. I mean, that is absolutely stunning.
MACCALLUM: I mean, it's really encouraging to hear that you feel like we're battling that front well because that is their beacon and their way to reach people so that's encouraging.
KEANE: The Admiral is right, though. We can't shoot our way out of this by itself and we have to hold this behavior accountable. So pull triggers against it when we can but we've really got to get these young people to reach out for an alternative to this radicalism.
MACCALLUM: General Jack Keane, always good to see you, sir. Thank you very much.
KEANE: Yes, good talking to you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: You too. So Fox News Alert, moments ago articles of impeachment have now been filed against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He's been accused of stonewalling Congress and its investigation into how the FBI handled the Trump-Russia investigation so this is big news. Jason Chaffetz breaks it down for us here next. And also Congresswoman Diane Black is known for her handling of the tax cuts and tax reform and for being a big supporter of President Trump. But tonight she is speaking out on the story about the threat on her life and the man who is police believe is behind it.
MACCALLUM: Back with this Fox News alert. Just a few moments ago, Republican lawmakers announced that they will file articles of impeachment against Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein. Joining me now with what this means, how all this is going to play out, former Congressman Jason Chaffetz, author of the new book 'The Deep State.' Good to see you tonight, congressman. Good to have you with us.
JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks for having me.
MACCALLUM: What does it mean?
CHAFFETZ: I'm glad Congress has finally standing up for itself because how many times you have to have duly issued subpoenas? They're just totally ignored by the Department of Justice. If you had done this you'd be in jail. But the only way to enforce the subpoena is to get the Department of Justice to do it and Rod Rosenstein has been more than cavalier and saying no I'm not going to comply with that. They've redacted things that s shouldn't have been redacted and they're not providing the documents to Congress.
So that's one part of it, the non-compliance the duly issued subpoenas, the second part is this FISA application. It has Rod Rosenstein's name on it. He is central to an investigation being done by Congress, the Inspector General and perhaps others. And so here you have somebody that should have recused himself. He's signing off on investigation, he's overseeing an investigation of which he's a central figure.
MACCALLUM: All right, so what do you think the likely outcome is and Meadows and Jordan are going to be on with Laura Ingraham later this evening to talk about it. But you know, is this to force their hands so that they're more forthcoming with the documents or is it real? Do they really want to impeach Rod Rosenstein?
CHAFFETZ: They should and we had House counsel look at this. We tried to impeach Lois Lerner something a lot of people don't know.
MACCALLUM: That went really well.
CHAFFETZ: Well, what they said was under advice and consent in the Constitution. House Counsel came back and said if you're confirmed by the United States Senate, then yes you can do that. But very few members are willing to pull that trigger and you know, you have people like Jordan and Meadows and I hope a host of others that will start to understand it is one of the constitutional levers that is given to the power of Congress to stand up for itself because right now they're totally impotent. They aren't able to do anything and the Department of Justice just gives -- you know, the thumbs their nose and puts the stiff arm up and consequently Congress can't do its job.
MACCALLUM: But I think people feel like they see you know, folks on the Oversight Committee just you know threw up their hands and you know rant and rave about not getting what they want and you can understand the argument that technically they should be turning over these documents but you get stonewalled all the time and you're never able to actually push it through and push the envelope and make them give you what you want.
CHAFFETZ: One of the turning points is when Jim Comey tweeted out that he wants people to vote for the Democrats and the reason why that they want to do that is these same people are under investigation. What do they think is going to happen when the Democrats get in charge? All these investigations -- that's why the deep state -- that's why I wrote a book about this stuff, that's what they want to do is they go after these people. The only way to get their attention is to ratchet it up. But that's -- think about it. The entire top echelon of the FBI has been decimated. People have resigned, people have been demoted, somebody's been fired.
If you have a 560-page inspector general report. The imperative to Congress to fix this and fast is there. And when Rod Rosenstein stands in the way of all of that by not allowing Congress to do its job, then we should get rid of them. The only way to do that is through impeachment.
MACCALLUM: And anyone who brings it up is disrespectful to the intelligence agency. That's the line that comes back.
CHAFFETZ: Yes, that's so wrong.
MACCALLUM: A couple of things here. You know, you just mentioned if Democrats get control, it looks like that's increasingly likely. I mean, the latest Quinnipiac poll has Democrats up by 12. That's a generic question. You know, would you rather see a Democrat or Republican in your district. Fifty-one percent say they would rather see a Democrat. So it looks at least--
CHAFFETZ: I don't know. And these are the same polls that said that Hillary Clinton was going to be the next president of the United States and by about 8 p.m. on election night they're exploding it up.
MACCALLUM: How confident are you in disbelieving those polls?
CHAFFETZ: I'm willing to bet a Chick-fil-A on it. I mean, come on. I just, look, what are the Democrats offering? They have no new leadership, Pelosi and Schumer. What is their message, we are going to raise your taxes. All they are is obstructionist. The resist movement just says no to everything.
You had Ron Wyden, the senator out of Oregon saying that because President Trump wants to take away security clearances of former employees, that we should impeach them. They way overplayed their hand.
So Republicans I think have been the adults in the room. The economy is doing well. And look at the announcement tonight where the president played a tough hand. It looks like he's going to win and being able to reduce the tariffs. That's huge.
MACCALLUM: That's a big story.
CHAFFETZ: It's a huge deal.
MACCALLUM: The market is a big story. Here's Paul Ryan talking about how much time they have left and how much they can get done. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AINSLEY EARHARDT, FOX NEWS HOST: So you only have nine more full days. Jason Chaffetz was on with us earlier, they're saying only nine more full days until the midterm elections. That's crazy. Right around the corner.
PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We have a lot to do.
EARHARDT: What did you say?
RYAN: Yes, right. We have a lot to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: We have a lot to do. How is it that they have nine more working days between now and November?
CHAFFETZ: Come on, it's Congress.
MACCALLUM: Come on. You guys to be kidding me.
CHAFFETZ: This job with a recess to--
MACCALLUM: Nine days between now and November!
CHAFFETZ: You can't give up recess. Come on!
MACCALLUM: Please. You've got to be kidding me. And basically they have been, you know, they've basically been sitting back since the tax reform passed.
CHAFFETZ: They have to pass -- they have to pass the continued resolution on omnibus but they will probably do a short term that everybody will go along with it. They might do something with taxes in the House but in the Senate it's all about Judge Kavanaugh and getting him to the Supreme Court and getting other judicial nominees.
Think about it, Mitch McConnell promised we are going to work through August except they are taking the first week off.
MACCALLUM: Right. But he says that when he makes those threats he does get some movement. They get more judges, you know, approved.
CHAFFETZ: No, they don't.
MACCALLUM: They do. They get ore judges.
CHAFFETZ: They all know it's a bluff!
MACCALLUM: But you really have to mean it, right? It's like parenting, like if you're going to promise you better follow through.
CHAFFETZ: If you're going to look at August don't take the first week of August off. That's right. Don't take the first week of August off.
MACCALLUM: They're going to work on August except for the first week.
MACCALLUM: And then we'll be back.
CHAFFETZ: They do it all the time.
MACCALLUM: The deep state. Quick quote for the book.
CHAFFETZ: I didn't know what it was when I started in Congress but I'm telling you there are an army of bureaucrats who push back and they want to take down the Trump agenda. I lived it, I saw it, my real life stories it will be on the bookshelves in September, but you can order it now.
MACCALLUM: Good to see you as always, Jason Chaffetz, thank you.
CHAFFETZ: Thanks, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Former congressman, good to see you, good luck with the book.
All right, so coming up next, Congresswoman Diane Black is speaking out for the first time about the threats against her life for standing behind the president. She joins us exclusively tonight. And remember this guy?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN KEMP, R, GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, GEORGIA: I've got a big truck just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take them home myself. Yes, I just said that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: I just said that and I just won the Republican nomination in Georgia for the governor's seat, so we're going to talk about that. Chris Stirewalt coming up next.
MACCALLUM: Developing tonight, a Tennessee federal grand jury has indicted a man for threatening to kill Congresswoman Diane Black. Prosecutors say the suspect threatened to assault and murder the Tennessee Republican. The threats allegedly coming after she introduced the Border Wall Trust Fund Act which supports the president's plan.
Now here exclusively with her story for the first time tonight, Congresswoman Diane Black, Tennessee gubernatorial candidate. Good to see you this evening. I imagine you are resting somewhat easier knowing that this person is behind bars, but what exactly did he do and say to you?
REP. DIANE BLACK, R—TENN.: I can't talk about the details, Martha, except to say that they were threats and they were serious enough threats that the grand jury did take action. And I will tell you this is not the first time and it probably won't be the last time that when people get angry and they do and say things that are threatening.
But I believe in what the president wants to do in protecting our border. I believe in building the wall and I believe in holding people accountable that come to our country illegally and I'm never going to back down on that.
You know, this is something that we as legislators know when we're in the business, as I say this is not the first time. This can happen and yet I love what I do and so I'm willing to be there when I have to be there to say the tough things.
MACCALLUM: Do you know if he was ever at events that you are speaking at? Was he publicly in your space ever?
BLACK: Not that I'm aware of. I know that most of this was done through various means of communication, but not that I'm aware of.
MACCALLUM: He left voice mails?
BLACK: Yes, he left me voice mails.
MACCALLUM: Can you give us some indication of the nature of the voice mails?
BLACK: I can't except I can tell you that they were very serious and they were threatening enough that they concern the police. And listen, thank goodness that we have police officers who were there to investigate and the grand jury listening to what those tapes said and felt that it was serious enough to arrest him and he has been apprehended. And that makes my family feel better.
MACCALLUM: I'm sure it does.
BLACK: You know, for me, I know, and I have been through this before, it's what as we're public servants, it is what we face and many times people don't talk about it, but we are in these situations. But you never know when it is going to be serious, as it was with Gabby Giffords and also with Steve Scalise.
MACCALLUM: Steve Scalise, absolutely. And you know--
BLACK: Very scary for our families.
MACCALLUM: -- just looking at this afternoon, in 2016 there were 902 threatening incidents against members of Congress. In 2017, there were 2,000.
Do you -- I mean, do you attribute -- you say that part of it was because of your strong support for the president, is that why we are seeing an escalation, because politics are so dramatically divisive now?
BLACK: Yes. I think sometimes the rhetoric just gets people so stirred up and there are people who are very radical in what they say. Not just that they disagree with what you say, and we all can be disagreed with what we say, but when there are these radical statements made and insinuations that would be physical, I think it does gin people up and it's unfortunate because that is not what our dialogue should be about.
We can disagree with one another but when you have things that are said that are so difficult that are going to cost people to get so angry, then these kinds of things do happen unfortunately.
MACCALLUM: Well, Jason Chaffetz wrote the segment coming up and he said he had similar experiences.
MACCALLUM: And as you point out, and you have less protection when you go home to your home district then you do at the capital--
BLACK: That's right.
MACCALLUM: -- although they have made some efforts to increase your protection. They can't do it all. Thank you, Diane.
BLACK: You're welcome.
MACCALLUM: Very good to see you tonight. Thanks for being here tonight.
BLACK: Thank you for having me.
MACCALLUM: Congresswoman Black. All right. Chris Stirewalt joins me now, a Fox News politics editor. Chris, good to have you with us tonight. I want to switch gears here and talk a little bit about this Georgia race. Here is a little sample of Brian Kemp and his advertising campaign that appears to have worked.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEMP: Donald Trump is right, we must secure the border and end sanctuary cities. Two things if you are going to date one of my daughters, respect and?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A healthy appreciation for the Second Amendment, sir.
KEMP: We are going to get along just fine.
I've got a big truck just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take them home myself. Yes, I just said that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Yes, I just said that. Chris Stirewalt, you just say things like that a lot of times too, you know.
CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR: You know.
MACCALLUM: Maybe not just like that.
STIREWALT: I have never held a firearm on another living human so I'm at a disadvantage in that way.
MACCALLUM: That's because your children aren't dating age yet.
STIREWALT: That's true. That's true. And I was blessed not to have daughters in that way.
Look, those ads did not -- did not work for Kemp. He was losing considerably to Casey Cagle. What lost this race for Casey Cagle, you interviewed him, he's the lieutenant governor, he was consistently ahead. Then one of his former rivals from the first round of the primary, and a lot of the southern states they do a two round with a runoff.
STIREWALT: So in the first round this guy went in and Cagle ask him for his endorsement. This guy has flipped his iPhone in his pocket, turned the record on and when Casey Cagle said things that are true but the politicians shouldn't say in public and then this guy released the audio and it blew the bottom out of Casey Cagle. I mean roasted him.
And then at the end, so he gets the dirty -- he gets the dirty tricks and just as he's trying to scrape back from the bottom, the White House weighs in. The president tweets and then Pence comes down for a visit because one of the big things that Kemp has going for him, he's a political ally of the man who is now our agriculture secretary and that good work for him, worked in the White House, worked with the administration, got him the help and let him to a 39-point dug on point win. That's a lot of points.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I looked at the map, there's like one tiny little section for Casey Cagle in the middle of the state and that was all she wrote.
Chris, thank you.
STIREWALT: You bet.
MACCALLUM: I just said that. Thank you very much. I'm going to say that all the time now. I like saying that.
STIREWALT: I just said that.
MACCALLUM: Bye. I just said that. Bye, Chris. So, coming up next, the war on straws, part two, folks, and now jail time. I kid you not for waiters and waitresses who dare to give someone a plastic straw in some places.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN STOSSEL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Is one more pointless environmental zealotry. We are going to band straws because there's a lot of plastic in the ocean. Banning these straws is going to make no difference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: We try to every kind of straw we could find. Is John Stossel right, and what's behind these laws that could throw some plastic straw offenders -- be careful -- in jail. Jackie Nunez, the self-proclaimed straw lady is here to explain next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you listening?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir. I am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Plastics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: A lot happening tonight, and late this evening the White House is now responding to a growing controversy after a CNN reporter claims that she was banned from a press event today for shouting questions at President Trump about the Michael Cohen case and Vladimir Putin.
Trace Gallagher joins us again with the very latest on this evening from our newsroom in the west coast. Hi, Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: CNN Hey, Martha. Yes, a CNN White House correspondent Kaitlin Collins is who we are talking about here. She was banned from today's Rose Garden event for asking the president questions during an earlier Oval Office photo op with President Trump and the president of the European Union.
Collins was later asked to come to the office of deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine and then Bill Shine and press secretary Sarah Sanders told her that her questions were inappropriate. I want to play you a part of what Kaitlin Collins asked. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Did Michael Cohen betray you, Mr. President?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, everybody.
COLINS: Mr. President, did Michael Cohen betray you?
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Yes. Others in attendance pointed out that Collins wasn't the only one lobbying questions. CNN has now issued a statement saying her questions were not inappropriate just because it made the White House uncomfortable.
The White House press corps has now filed a complaint and just now Fox News president Jay Wallace released this statement, quoting here again. "We stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press."
And Sarah Sanders has also now issued a statement and I'm paraphrasing here. She is saying look, the bottom line is we asked her to leave, she refused to leave and therefore we set her questions were inappropriate and she was later banned from the Rose Garden news conference. Sarah Sanders went on to say we do support a free press, but this particular case was inappropriate. The White House getting a lot of pushback on this. Martha?
MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, we all remember when President Obama try to push back on members of Fox News at different times. Disputes over sitting in the front row in the briefing room, but she is a member of the White House pool and should be treated as such and not isolated. It didn't, you know, at least on the face of it, that question appears to be very similar to the one that was shouted by a number of organizations there.
So we'll see where it goes. Trace, thank you very much. Good to see you tonight.
MACCALLUM: On a lighter note, sort of, the war on straws is spreading across the nation, which we talked about last night. Tonight you've got 15 cities that have approved bands on plastic straws and many others are considering joining the starless societies.
But Santa Barbara, California, is going one step further. In the city may even jail repeat offenders. I kid you not. So what are the facts behind these laws?
Joining me now, Jackie Nunez, who calls herself the straw lady and is the founder of the Last Plastic Straw. Jackie, good to have you here. I want to jump right in because we don't have that much time.
I guess my question is, you know, it's fine to want to cut back on plastics, I think everybody understands the need for that. If we don't want our oceans flooded with plastic even though the U.S. is a smaller contributor than Asia and Africa, which constitute most of it.
But if I want to have a plastic straw, isn't it my right to be able to have one, or should the government have the right to ban my freedom on that?
JACKIE NUNEZ, FOUNDER, LAST PLASTIC STRAW: First of all, I'm not for straw bands, I never have been. I'm for source reduction of single use plastics, so I am all for, you know, our landfills are overflowing. There is a lot of plastic everywhere where it doesn't belong. We can't, we don't have a handle on it, so you can point fingers to other countries, but we don't even handle it well in our own country.
MACCALLUM: But you are saying you are for a forced band?
NUNEZ: It's not a forced band, it's a, I think every community can say what and what cannot be acceptable in their way streams. We are all taxed, our landfills are overflowing. If there's better alternatives out there that they can handle--
MACCALLUM: Yes, but you know, then they gave you the paper straw, which collapses and doesn't work, and they put it in a huge plastic covered cup, I'm not sure that that's getting us anywhere, is it?
NUNEZ: It's a start. And as far as a collapsible paper straw, it all depends on what kind of straw -- what kind of company you get it from. There's a lot of cheap ones coming out of China that had some bad chemicals in it and I wouldn't use it anyways.
We do have a good company out of the U.S. that actually makes a straw, a paper straw that last in your drink for three hours. So there are alternatives. The great thing is that it's bringing a lot of innovation and great design things. You know, a cupcake--
MACCALLUM: I hear you and I think there's nothing wrong with encouraging people to do something differently, right? It's America, you can encourage people to do whatever you want but if I'm a waiter or a waitress and I, you know, twice get caught giving someone a plastic straw because the customer that I'm waiting on has requested it, I could go to jail in Santa Barbara, are you OK with that?
NUNEZ: There's exemptions for people who need straws. What--
MACCALLUM: Yes, what about people who want straws? Just people who want them.
MACCALLUM: The plastic straws.
NUNEZ: You know, I think what the core of it is not really about necessarily distraught, it's about the plastic for single use. And what I--
MACCALLUM: No, I get it. I get that. And I get what you are encouraging, but the ban and the law and the jail time takes away my freedom, if I choose to use that plastic. Shouldn't I be allowed in the United States of America to use it if that's my choice, even if I understand all the options on the problems with it potentially?
NUNEZ: No, I think there's room for regulation. I think it's top-down, bottom-up. There are a lot of people that are demanding this change and I think there's a lot of businesses stepping up and doing it automatically.
MACCALLUM: But they are demanding it because they have been told things, you know, that people drink 500 million straws a day, which is impossible, there's only 325 million people in the country.
And you know, they have been looking at the total video, which is, you know, a sad thing, I watched it today, but to me it's all about the band and about forcefully telling people what they can and cannot use with their own money and their own time.
NUNEZ: Listen, our communities, we are taxed by this burden. The true cost of plastic is beyond just--
MACCALLUM: It's more expensive to make paper straws than it is to make plastic straws.
NUNEZ: No. It's really actually the burden that -- I mean, the plastic straw is a gross polluter in every state of its existence. You know, from the extraction to productions, to manufacturing to shipping. There's a lot of burden on it on our environment and it's also taxing our way streams. It's clogging up our drains. It's ending up in the oceans.
MACCALLUM: I got to go, Jackie. I hear you, I think you made your point. And you know--
NUNEZ: We're just thankful that we're using it for single use. It never was and never will be disposable.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Jackie. Jackie Nunez. We'll be right back with more of 'The Story' right after this.
MACCALLUM: So after what was seen as a big win for the E.U. and for the United States today, this is what President Trump quoted, tweeted just moments ago. "This picture was obviously the European Union as represented by Juncker, E.U., and the United States is represented by yours truly. We love each other." Now they are loving each other with a big kiss and a big hug.
So that is our 'Story' for tonight. Thanks for being with us, everybody.
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