Rove: 'Very strong likelihood' Nancy Pelosi won't be speaker

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," October 29, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: So, tonight, we've got some very fresh new polls to take a look at it just came out moments ago. We're going to show this to you. We've got six days to go until election night. And tonight, President Trump's on his way to Florida, where he is expected to take that stage in just a couple of minutes.

The polls show that the president, at least, is popular in the Senate race states.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It seems that the campaign is going very well. Looks like we're doing very, very well in the Senate.  A lot of seats that were not really being thought of in terms of victories a year ago. Now, are look like they could very well be victories.


MACCALLUM: But there are reports tonight that say the president is not so happy with what is going on in terms of momentum in the House races. And that he's going all-in on border security and a crackdown on illegal immigration, betting that those are arguments that work for the country and for the election.

While some say, 5,000 troops, that the border is overkill, he now says he may send 10,000. And as critics claim that he can't overturn the birthright rule, he says he can. And he says the days of getting caught at the border and then being released until a court date that almost no one shows up for, those were over.


TRUMP: We're not doing any releases anymore. We're not going to release and let them never come back to trial.


MACCALLUM: So, the president also saying that he believes this message will resonate with women voters across this country.


TRUMP: We're doing very well with the women's vote, because they want security, they want safety. They don't want these people pouring into our country totally unchecked.


MACCALLUM: Now, but one woman is not buying it. Nancy Pelosi is warming up her gavel.




MACCALLUM: And she says that she will be back in her old job soon.


PELOSI: Up until today, I would have said if the election were held today, we would win.

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT," CBS: What happened today that changed that?

PELOSI: But at now I'm saying is we will win. We will win.


MACCALLUM: A little confusing, but you get the idea. Joining me now, Karl Rove, Fox News contributor with a look at the brand new data tonight.  Karl, good to see you this evening.


MACCALLUM: You know, just going through these numbers, or so some interesting trends as we said. It looks like the president's popularity is increasing in the Senate states where there are a lot of tight races. And basically, we've seen upward movement for the Republican candidate in Arizona, in both the Senate and governor's race. Missouri, Tennessee, North Dakota -- North Dakota House race and Senate race.

Indiana is the only one that sort of breaks that trend. Which ones are you most focused on when you look at these new numbers tonight, Karl?

ROVE: Well, I'm involved in a super PAC focused on the Senate. So, I'm focused on every state with a Senate race. You're right, the president's popularity matters a lot. The president's fav-unfav in approve-disapprove in North Dakota is 61-36.

The closest to the states that you mentioned is Arizona where it's 52 percent approved, 46 percent disapprove. And that says significantly above his national average. So, where the president is doing well, 58-39 fave on fave, prove-disapprove in Tennessee. Our Republican candidates are doing well there as well.

MACCALLUM: What do you think about the Arizona race just to focus in on that when you look at Sinema and McSally, this is razor tight?

ROVE: Absolutely.

MACCALLUM: And this may be the one that we're up late for.

ROVE: Yes. And look, I've been watching -- I've written about this tomorrow of my Wall Street Journal column. I've been looking at the early vote numbers. In Arizona, there 465,000 Republicans who've cast early ballots. 356,000 Democrats. 253,000 Independents.

If you compare that to four years ago, the Republicans between the Republican's doing better than they did two years ago, excuse me. And Democrats doing worse than they did two years ago, the Republicans have a swing of 5.4 percent.

Now, remember, they won one Arizona by about 3 1/2 percent last time around. So, if you've now suddenly got a five percent better Republican vote out of the early vote, that points to good -- to goodnight for Governor Ducey, and potentially for Martha McSally.

Her issue is that she's doing extremely well among the base, she's got some soft Republicans who are sitting and out there trying to figure out should they vote for her, or send a protest vote. She -- and in once a strong campaign a message, but it's going to be along night, I think in Arizona.

MACCALLUM: Yes. So, you know, until we said that there is some reporting tonight that the president is -- you know, really not happy with what he sees in terms of the momentum in the House races and he feels like some of these awful stories that we've had over the last week has hurt some of that momentum from a purely political perspective.

So he's really focused on these themes of immigration, the caravan, the border, the 14th Amendment. Do you think that's a wise move politically for some of these races that are on the fence?

ROVE: Yes. I think -- I think, it is better than what we have been talking about, which is the IEDs in Pittsburgh. Both of those did not help the president. The caravan and immigration do help him, but he's got to be careful. Because, remember that the people that we're talking about here in a lot of these House districts are nominal Republicans, college-educated women.

These are districts that were largely carried by Hillary Clinton that are at risk. They'd like to vote for a Republican, but he's got to be careful in pushing them away by going overboard on this. They are -- they are concerned. I looked at a poll in one of the battleground Senate states of Tennessee, where Bredesen has been dismissive of the caravan. By march of 6,227 people in his state are concerned about the caravan.

MACCALLUM: It -- something that was floated late today that the White House wants Ways and Means to talk about a 10 percent tax cut for the middle class, and they're calling for swift action on that in the new Congress. What do you make of that?

ROVE: Well, tax bills are always tough to pass, and a lot of groundwork, and a lot of -- a lot of preparation needs to be put into it. And frankly, it's way too late this close to the election. I think the president would be better to be talking about what he would like to do without sentences -- without saying I want the Ways and Means Committee to do this.


ROVE: And that point to the next steps, but don't -- but don't ask for immediate action like he did a few days ago where he said we're going to vote on it before the November election. It could never happen.

MACCALLUM: You know, I mean, obviously there's so many numbers out there.  So many pollsters that are sort of taking a look at all of this. The Cook Report is estimating between 25 and 40 House seats go to Democrats. They need 23 to take over control. How does that number sound to you based on the numbers that you're seeing?

ROVE: Well, I think that's the most likely outcome. But it may not be the only outcome. And, there's an interesting story embedded, and let's assume for a moment, the Cook is right, you open the program by talking about Nancy Pelosi becoming speaker again. 46 Democratic candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives have said they will not support her.

11 members -- sitting members, current members of the Democratic caucus who are likely to comeback have said they will not support her for speaker. 40 Democratic candidates for Congress are on record, saying, "I don't want to talk about it right now."

So, if they get a 25 seat margin, I mean, (INAUDIBLE) they win 25 seats, so they got 220 votes, had -- and they need 218 to elect the speaker. What happens when you got 11 sitting Democrats who say, "I'm not voting for."  And how many of those 46 Democrats who say I won't vote for if I get elected. How many of them get elected? I think it is highly, I think there's a very strong likelihood that Nancy Pelosi is not Speaker of the House if even if the Democrats take control of the House.

MACCALLUM: All right, well, quickly, Indiana. Tell me why you think that the numbers that you're seeing there don't necessarily reflect what you're -- what you're looking at.

ROVE: Well, our Fox News poll has a substantial lead for Donnelly. That's not what the rest of the public polls say, they say that this is a horse race and a majority of the recent polls have brought ahead. And then, I'm looking at the data from American Crossroads Senate Leadership Fund.

And I, I think Braun is been improving his position and is slightly ahead today, and I think he's going to win.

MACCALLUM: We will see. Karl, thanks. We'll see you soon.

ROVE: You bet. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Big night coming up. So, joining me now, Marc Thiessen, American Enterprise Institute scholar, and Fox News contributor. And Michael Blake, Democratic National Committee vice-chair. Welcome to both of you. Good to have both of you here today.



MACCALLUM: Michael, let me start with you. I just want to get your reaction to what Karl Rove was saying about whether or not Nancy Pelosi -- if Democrats do win the House, whether or not she'll be the speaker again?

BLAKE: Well, when we think about what's happening, clearly, momentum is on the Democratic side. Pretty much the only thing I agree with what Karl said is that it is likely that Democrats will take the House in this manner.

It was quite ironic and comical that when they talked about how Republicans were doing well in the Fox polls, then they were great polls. But you look at the Indiana poll, all of a sudden that one can't be accurate in that manner. So, let's break down the numbers itself.

MACCALLUM: That's why we had both sides.

BLAKE: It's always, you know, yes. Happy Halloween, right? So, you know, we need 23 net pickups, there are 25 districts that Secretary Clinton defeated. Donald Trump has a Republican in it. There are 119 districts that are more competitive than the Khan Alam seat that we won before.

The number one issue around the country is on health care and Medicaid expansion. So, we are very confident and what quite frankly, Martha, when we see what's happening with Donald Trump, all that we're seeing is a racist discriminatory distraction when talking about a caravan.

I come from a military family background, my brother has -- Marc, you can shake your head all you want. My brother served to this country for 29 years. The notion of talking about 15,000 troops going down for a caravan, I won't be here for months, it's purely a deploy, and a stunt, into the distraction is disrespectful to all of those served in this country.

MACCALLUM: Well, General Mattis was asked about that today. He said, "We don't do stunts at the Department of Defense." I want to get back to you, so you answer my question about Nancy Pelosi. But first, I want to get Marc's reaction to what you just said. Go ahead, Marc.

THIESSEN: Yes. Well, I was on the teams -- led the team of speechwriters who were the first ones to write the word, "Madam Speaker" in a State of the Union Address. So, I've been through -- I've been to this rodeo before. But I don't think she should be setting off the fireworks.

Just yet, that's a very confident statement. That was just made, but the reality is this there are -- there are -- to the Republicans do have an uphill battle in the in the House.

There are 29 swing districts that are going to decide this election that control the House one way, other and 28 of those are Republicans who are -- who are -- who are fighting to keep their seats.

The Democrats need to win 23 in order to pick it up. So, the Republicans really have to sweep those swing -- those swing states that are -- that are battlegrounds. But that doesn't mean they can't do it because those are Republican-leaning district, where the Republicans should have the advantage.


THIESSEN: And the fact that Donald Trump's poll numbers are going up in a lot of these areas is certainly helpful to them.

MACCALLUM: All right, you know, you talk about the issue of race. And, you know, this is always the season in campaigns where a slip-up is problematic, and we've been, you know, covering these, of course, across the course of the last few weeks.

This one is from Joe Donnelly in Indiana, the race that we were just talking about. And I just want to play this Michael, we'll get your reaction, and then -- and then, Marc.


SEN. JOE DONNELLY. D-SENATORIAL CANDIDATE, INDIANA: Our state director is Indian-American, but he does an amazing job. Our director of all constituent services, she's African-American, but she doesn't even more incredible job than you could ever imagine.


MACCALLUM: Michael, what but? But, but, she still does a good job?

BLAKE: Well, again, let's must make sure we don't put it out of context.  He's saying but to convey the point that usually you're hearing on the Republican side, something that happens with people of color you all have said are not qualified and capable. You look at that in Georgia where I was down there.

THIESSEN: Who has puts Republican said that?

BLAKE: Hold on a second.

THIESSEN: That's, that's ridiculous.

BLAKE: Hold, hold a second. Again, it's always amazing when you come on these shows, and Republicans want to jump in on your talking points in your comment. So, think about in Georgia, the reality in that -- in that instance, when you see that Brian Kemp is denying the opportunity for African-Americans to go get to registered to vote, it's conveying a notion and a narrative that when it comes to people of color, there is always apparently something wrong with us.

So, for Donnelly to your example in question, Martha, when saying but, he's making the point very clearly. Yes, this is a person of color. Yes, there's obviously capable and excellence that happens in that manner in that way.

I was in Indiana. I was out there to support and campaign for Joe Donnelly in that manner. And what I would hope that would be happening on the other side is to stop the noise and the nonsense about this foolish argument that being conveyed around a caravan.

Stop talking about it, and obviously, it is race baiting and intentionally trying to divide us.


THIESSEN: Number one, he meant, "and". And if he had just said, "and", everything would have been fine.

MACCALLUM: Yes it is a weird comment. I don't know how he sliced it, but it was a weird comment.

THIESSEN: But, we'll say, it was -- I don't know why you can't just to acknowledge that he misspoke, instead of just accusing everybody of racism.  And I hope --


BLAKE: I'm not accusing everyone of racism.

THIESSEN: I was sure you are. Yes, you're saying anyone who's concerned about the caravan is a racist.


BLAKE: Actually I didn't. And again, stop with means that just happen right there.

THIESSEN: I hope they put you -- I hope you on the air a lot between now and Tuesday.

MACCALLUM: Time for you, let Marc talk now. Go ahead.

THIESSEN: I hope you on the air a lot between now and Tuesday accusing everybody in America's concerned about the caravan of racism.


BLAKE: I didn't. But I also be on air because I'm in when Democrats take backouts.

THIESSEN: Because a lot of people are of concern -- a lot of people who -- a lot of people who -- now, you're to interrupting. A lot of people who are before a welcoming immigration policy also honor enforcers that border security and don't want to see a caravan of people coming over our border.

So, this is -- so there's nothing racist about being concerned about border security. In fact, Democrats, as we saw Harry Reid used to be concerned about border security and people coming in here and having -- and having children to become a citizen to anchor them in, as well. So, you know --


MACCALLUM: Yes, I mean, that is interesting. You know, border security, and when you go back to the Harry Reid statement from 1993, which he's now -- you know, tripping over himself to say that I never meant that. You know, it used to be a very bipartisan issue.


MACCALLUM: It's a shame that both sides have not been able to put it together to provide security. And to create a process where people can come into this country and go through the process.

But Michael, just to go back to that for just a minute, or, so are you suggesting that anyone who does not think that the caravan should be able to come across the border is that that's coming from a racist place?

BLAKE: I'm not saying anyone, but I'm saying for Donald Trump. And let's be very clear about this. Six days before the election, they're not talking about the tax cut, they're not talking about health care.  Republican's did not talking about education, they're not talking about anything of substance.

They're talking about sending up to 15,000 troops, men and women in uniform down to a border where everything is conveyed, individuals. If they get here, won't be here for months. And so, when we think about the rhetoric, and what's been happening from Donald Trump in particular, someone who as we have seen many times, bought a full-page ad years ago to go against the death penalty -- to promote the death penalty against Central Park Five.

Someone who is in initial speech talked about how Mexicans were rapists.  There's a clear consistency of racism and discrimination from Donald Trump.  And when we talk about the caravan, the fact that there is nothing else he can actually describe --

MACCALLUM: Right. A lot of people would think that what you're saying is very unfair. I'm going to let Marc say -- respond to that and then we got to go.

THIESSEN: The president said in a rally the other day, we want the people of the caravan to come to this country, we just want them to come legally.  So you know, you just keep going with the race-baiting and attend -- calling people who disagree racist and you're just -- you're doing a great job of winning over those people in Middle America who voted twice for Barack Obama, those racist, rude people who voted for twice for Barack Obama and then ended up voting for Donald Trump in 2016.

MACCALLUM: We got to go, guys.

THIESSEN: That's where the Democrats are not going to -- are not going to win back the White House until they win those people back and that's not the way to do it.

BLAKE: Those people. Thank you, Marc, for saying who you convey.

MACCALLUM: Thank you both for being here.

THIESSEN: I meant the voters.

MACCALLUM: Yes, obviously. That was an obvious reference to the voters who voted last time for President Obama and this time for Trump, just to be clear.

BLAKE: I did not call all people racist. I did not call all people racist. Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: All right.

THIESSEN: Unbelievable.

MACCALLUM: So moving right along, you heard President Trump vowing to stop the Central American migrants from entering the U.S. illegally deploying the military. Now, the U.N. wants to get involved ordering the President to open the gates. Can they do that? Is that in their jurisdiction?  Judge Andrew Napolitano on who Trump's (INAUDIBLE).


TRUMP: Nobody's coming in. We're not allowing people to come in.



MACCALLUM: So President Trump now says as we have pointed out that he's considering as many as 15,000 troops at some points at the border if they're needed. That would be triple the amount that is already in process in response to the thousands of approaching migrants in the caravan who probably won't be here for quite some time as has been pointed out. And according to the U.N. they have a right to be let in. An agency spokesperson said this. "Those entering the United States need to be provided access to the American asylum system. Here to sort out the legal ramifications Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst. A lot to say about this, Judge. Good evening. Good to have you here.


MACCALLUM: Just in terms of jurisdiction, can the U.N. tell the United States who they can and cannot allow into the country?

NAPOLITANO: No. Certainly not the U.N. Refugee Agency which is a branch of the U.N. that is designed to help refugees get from the place of repression to the place -- to the place of salvation. The only entity of the U.N. that would have any authority would be the Security Council where the United States has a permanent seat and it has a veto. So this is simply not going to happen. This is just an opinion of some U.N. bureaucrats. It is essentially a correct opinion and it's even an opinion with which the president has agreed. You stand on line and when we get to you, you make your asylum claim.

I don't think the President is going to stop that. If he did he'd be violating the law. What he wants to stop as people not standing on line and coming through areas were where there is no line sort of jumping over the border. That's what he's concerned.

MACCALLUM: Yes, I mean, something like 80 percent of those who are seeking asylum do not have a credible fear issue so their reason for coming and we've heard a lot of the people in the caravan and you can't blame them, they're looking for a better life. They say they want to you know, improve the lives of their children. All of that is understandable reason to want to come to the United States, however, it does not fall under the definition of asylum.

But the interesting thing to me, Judge, is the President is saying now is when they come over, we are going to hold them in tents, we're going to hold them in shelters, and totally go through the process because once you release them they don't show up.

NAPOLITANO: Well, in the Obama administration, once they came over and they made the asylum application which consists of an interview and filling out a paperwork, they were let to go into the United States and many of course --

MACCALLUM: That still happens today.

NAPOLITANO: Correct. Many of course didn't come back and some did. When I say come back, the hearing before a U.S. immigration judge is at the border. The Trump Administration is saying we're going to detain you until the time of your hearing if you're entitled to one of --

MACCALLUM: Catch and release.

NAPOLITANO: Correct. And we're going to separate you from your children.  The separation is not lawful, every judge that's looked at said you can't do it. But the detention is lawful under federal law. It's expensive but it's lawful.

MACCALLUM; Well, they can keep them together for 20 days and they're trying to expand that to 40 days to give them a chance to go through the process while they're being held in these tent cities that are --

NAPOLITANO: Theirs two process as they go through. One, is to make the application. If it's frivolous, they're going to --

MACCALLUM: Which they can also do in Mexico.

NAPOLITANO: Correct. They're going to go back to Mexico. If it's not frivolous, then they wait six to eight months before their case reaches a judge because there's so many people --

MACCALLUM: Which is why they want to speed up that process dramatically.

NAPOLITANO: That six to eight-month period, they're detained at the border in a tent facility. They're not free to go into the mainland of the U.S.  If they do and they go more than 200 miles in, they can go wherever they want, then you need an arrest warrant to arrest them.

MACCALLUM: Yes, like I always say, I mean no one blames any of these individuals for wanting to be in America. It's a great place.

NAPOLITANO: Of course not.

MACCALLUM: Nobody blames them for it but really I think Democrats and Republicans are to blame for not getting together and creating a process that actually works so that we can help these people get here legally and with a process that is less dangerous and all of that.

NAPOLITANO: I wish that there had been a compromise because I don't know and you'd start to Karl Rove about this that there's going to be a Republican House in two months so I don't know that they'll ever be a compromise during his first term.

MACCALLUM: I want to play this sound bite because a lot of people have talked about the 15,000 number that the president wants to put potentially at the border and as you heard from Michael Blake, he said he thinks this is all just election politics. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this a political stunt as critics allege?

JAMES MATTIS, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We don't do stunts in this department.



NAPOLITANO: That is really the wrong person to ask about stunts and you saw his very stern reaction. That, of course, is the Secretary of Defense.  They cannot enforce the law and they can't use weapons but they can provide support to the Border Patrol. Their very image of 15,000 uniformed men and women locking arms across that border is the image the President wants to convey.

MACCALLUM: That's right. He just wants to make essentially a human wall.

NAPOLITANO: Correct. Thou shalt not cross but if you want to cross, here's a portal. There is a portal. Don't try and come anywhere but at those portals.

MACCALLUM: Right. Because that's what you know, they -- the migrants say you know, we're going to look for an open spot and if we see the open spot --

NAPOLITANO: If they are -- if they are patient and if the government follows the law, every one of them will get an interview at a -- at a legitimate lawful portal.

MACCALLUM: Judge, thank you.

NAPOLITANO: You're welcome.

MACCALLUM: Always good to see you.


MACCALLUM: So she is back just in time for the Midterms. Oprah Winfrey is set to hit the campaign trail and we'll tell you where she's headed and maybe why when Jesse joins us for Wednesday's with Waters coming up.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not going to do that. November 6th, please vote.




MACCALLUM: Tonight police are working to get to the bottom of a brutal and tragic mystery here in New York City after two sisters from Saudi Arabia were found dead last week. They were duct-taped together and washed up on the bank of the Hudson River. Trace Gallagher with the latest for us tonight. Good evening, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANCHOR: Good evening, Martha. 16-year- old Tala Farea was reported missing in Virginia in late August, in late October her body along with the body of her 22-year-old sister Rotana were found along the banks of the Hudson, both fully dressed in black leggings and black jackets, both duct-taped together at the waist and ankles.

Police originally thought they had followed through on a suicide pact and jumped off the George Washington Bridge. Bodies of previous jumpers have also washed up along that part of the Hudson.

But the sisters' bodies were not decomposed, meaning, they hadn't been in the water very long, and showed no signs of the obvious injuries that would have resulted from a jump that high. We know that Rotan and Tala Farea moved with their mother from Saudi Arabia to Fairfax, Virginia in 2015, and the sisters had a history of running away.

In fact, the mother reported they're missing last December but went police located them, they asked for protection and were placed in a shelter. This time, the mother had apparently been in contact with her daughters in early October and knew they were in New York City, but the day before their bodies were found, the Associated Press says the mother told New York police detective that she got a call from the Saudi embassy in D.C. requesting the family leave the U.S. because the daughters had applied for asylum.

But the Saudi embassy denies making that request and the New Yrk police denied the mother ever told them anything about asylum. NYPD was then asked about a possible double homicide. Watch.


DERMOT SHEA, CHIEF OF DETECTIVES, NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT: We owe it to the victims in any case to do our due diligence and follow the facts. I think the detectives are doing exactly that here, and I'm confident that when a complete investigation is done, we'll have a good idea of what exactly transpired. And we will update you accordingly as facts come in.


GALLAGHER: As of today, the medical examiner had not determined the cause of death but police had bene retracing the sisters' movements over the past couple of months and say they are getting a much better idea of what was going on in their lives. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Awful mystery. Trace, thank you very much.

So, you remember President Obama's arrangement to bring Bowe Bergdahl home. We traded, the United States did, five terrorists. So where are they now? Lieutenant Colonel Michael Waltz who led the search for Bergdahl reacts to the stunning news today that they have returned to battle.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: Is there the possibility of some of them trying to return to activities that are detrimental to us? Absolutely.




OBAMA: This morning, I called Bob and Jani Bergdahl and told them that after nearly five years in captivity, their son, Bowe is coming home.

As part of this effort, the United States is transferring five detainees from the prison in Guantanamo bay to Qatar. The Qatari government has given us assurances that they will put in place measures to protect our national security.


MACCALLUM: So, the serving update on the highly controversial prisoner swamp -- swap that was negotiated under President Obama as you saw in 2014 when five high risk Taliban members were released in exchange for former Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.

Bergdahl had wandered off his base in Afghanistan back in 2009 and he was captured by the terror group. For years, Americans searched for him. During that time, six soldiers were killed in the process.

And last year, Bergdahl pled guilty to desertion, and after that many, including President Trump, said that they believed that he was a traitor. Now those five terrorists have joined the Taliban's political office in Qatar.

So, joining me now, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Waltz, a former Green Beret commander who led the search missions for Bergdahl, and he is now running for Congress in Florida. Colonel Waltz, good to have you here tonight.


MACCALLUM: So, you know, first of all, what goes through your mind as somebody who search for him when you see that these individuals are now reengaged with the Taliban?

WALTZ: Well, Martha, this just continues to be an outrage to every soldier who sacrificed, who fought over there, who participated in that search. Private Bergdahl stacked up his gear, left his weapons behind, send e-mails denouncing America and defected to the enemy and now he is walking free, Private Bergdahl is walking free somewhere.

And now the five most senior what were essentially the Taliban's war cabinet, that Americans also sacrifice to capture and put in Guantanamo are also free.

It's also, Martha, it's important to point out it's also a slap in the face to the Afghan people. These five senior Taliban were murderers and had massacred thousands of Afghan minorities, and they were never, the Afghan government was never offered an opportunity to bring them to justice before the Obama administration set them free. So, it's just one amongst a list of bad deals that the Obama administration is responsible for.

MACCALLUM: I mean, what do you think they are going to do now? You know, I mean, now they are part of the political operation in Qatar.


MACCALLUM: What does that mean?

WALTZ: So, you know, a lot of analysts are debating whether this means that the Taliban are serious about may be negotiating. Others are saying that no, this is return to the old hardliners. Either way, Martha, you know, talks are going to take some time. And I guarantee you these guys are not sitting around singing kumbaya and "God bless America."

They are recruiting, they are fund-raising. Any terrorist who was held in Guantanamo is essentially a celebrity in Jihadist world, they're inspiring more attacks. And for the tens of thousands of Americans that are in 60 to 70 countries including Afghanistan as we speak keeping us safe, I think this is just awful all around.

And you know, Martha, if I can make another point, we have hostages, American citizens, journalists, aid workers, held by terrorists and rogue regimes all over the world and this deal violated decades of precedent that America doesn't negotiate with terrorists.

Ans so, guess what? Whether they are ISIS or the Iran regime or you name it, they now want their deal like President Obama gave the Taliban, and it just make -- it's making it harder. This is a terrible deal for everyone and I just think it's outrageous that they are now free.

MACCALLUM: You know, before I let you go I just want to ask you one quick question about all of these troops being sent to the border.


MACCALLUM: And potentially even 15,000, because you heard, you know, one of our previous guests perhaps saying, you know, it is all just a stunt and it's ridiculous to send that many troops to the border. What do you think?

WALTZ: Well, I think what's important here and that President Trump knows it's a message that it sends. That I understand that these people, and I sympathize, that are leaving a terrible life and they want a better life in America, but we are a nation of borders, we are a nation of laws.

I sponsored an Afghan soldier who fought with us to come over here. He waited five years to get that special immigrant visa. And he is now here. He started his own business with his family. But his cousins and his cousin's entire family were executed for fighting with us.

There is over 50,000 of them on a waiting list that deserve to be here. Not through a lottery system or not through somebody who just walks over our border, and you won't find anyone that's more outraged about illegal immigration than immigrants who did it legally. We have to uphold those laws.

MACCALLUM: great point. All right. Colonel, thank you very much. Good to see you tonight, Colonel Michael Waltz.

WALTZ: All right. Thanks so much.

MACCALLUM: So, the issue of birthright citizenship has ignited a brand-new feud between President Trump and former foe, Paul Ryan. They also got along a lot over the course of their time working together, but this happens right before the midterms. Guy Benson and Marie Harf in their radio studio coming up next on "The Story."


TRUMP: Speaker Paul Ryan, I've really come to -- no, I've come to appreciate him. He is like a fine wine. Every day goes by, I get to appreciate his genius more and more. Now if he ever goes against me, I'm not going to say that.




REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS.: You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order.


MACCALLUM: So, President Trump going into a bit of attack mode after those comments from Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House. So, he said that the speaker knows nothing about the issue of birthright citizenship and that he should keep his sights set on Republicans retaining their power in Congress.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to blame Paul Ryan -- are you going to blame Paul Ryan if Republicans don't hold the House?

TRUMP: No, I'm not going to blame anybody, it's a lot of people, I campaigned for a lot of candidates that were down a little bit and now they are up.


MACCALLUM: Here now the hosts of Benson and Harf on Fox News radio, Guy Benson and Marie Harf. It's a good name for your show. Good to see you guys.




MACCALLUM: Great to have you here tonight. Guy, let start with you. You know, what about the blaming Paul Ryan issue?

BENSON: I mean, he said he wouldn't blame Paul Ryan if Republicans lose the House, so we should keep that tape and see if we end up having to replay it at some point down the line here.

But I just don't think politically, it's terribly helpful for the Republican Party to have a Republican president and a Republican speaker sort of sniping at each other publicly in a disagreement over an issue that just came up from a reporter's question two days ago in the final week of an election.

So, I understand the arguments on both sides of the birthright citizenship question, I actually think they are reasonable questions about whether or not we ought to change our policy as a country, I do agree with the speaker that cannot be accomplished by a mere executive order.

I think a lot of us have a lot to say about the abuse of executive power under the previous president, and this I think is well beyond that scope, but for now, I just don't think it is terribly edifying for Republicans who are trying to come together and win some really important elections to be engaged in this sort of back and forth.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, I would also just point out, it was interesting, you know, the president made the comment about, you know, he should be working on focusing on Republicans, the congressional leadership fund has raised an enormous amount of money--


BENSON: Yes. Ryan has raised a lot of money.

MACCALLUM: It's driven by Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy, and it was there, you know, keep the house fund. He has also campaigned for 55 candidates over the course of this campaign.


MACCALLUM: Hasn't been highly visible out there, but you know, I think when it comes to all of the races, he has certainly been a presence.

HARF: Yes.

MACCALLUM: But when it comes to, you know, clearly, on Paul Ryan's side, Marie, he feels like this was sort of a distraction issue that was brought up, and he is trying to sort of knock it down and say let's move back to the more important issues.

HARF: That's right and what you see here is Donald Trump trying to do a closing argument a week out from the midterms that focuses on issues his base loves and that's immigration, that's taken a hardline on these kinds of issues, and he's doing that I think to help the Senate and to help some of the other candidates.

But Paul Ryan is focused on a House map where they need to win in his swing districts, they need to hold onto some seats where there are a lot of independents and there are a lot of people that don't like this hardcore, hardline immigration talking point from the president.

So, Paul Ryan is like, hey, man, first of all, it's not legal and I don't think that's how we should do it, but we really need to be talking about healthcare and the economy.


BENSON: The economy!

HARF: Good economic numbers today.


HARF: And it's on with this closing argument. I think Donald Trump is trying to shore up the base but there is a question about whether what works for him in 2016 will work for him when he's not on the ballot in 2018, and they need to win in a lot of these swing districts, Martha.

MACCALLUM: We will see. And I think you're absolutely right about assessing Paul Ryan's focus on some of those suburban races and feeling like this. But you know, I mean, the president has brought this issue up before. And what I find interesting is that, you know, it's seen now is so hardline, and yet we know that Harry Reid supported it back in 1993.

We also, you know, there been investigative pieces that have gone on about this birth tourism, I mean, this used to be something that was OK for both sides to have a concession about--

HARF: Yes.

MACCALLUM: -- as evidenced by this NBC piece which I remembered, and we dug up the piece on that. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Federal agents come in unannounced, searching some 20 locations in Southern California advertised on this Chinese web site with a cartoon that translates in any language, a pregnant woman coming into America and leaving with an American baby.


MACCALLUM: You know, I mean, Guy, this is not something that is a toxic conversation. It's what -- you can have a conversation about it without being a vile human being on either side.

BENSON: Yes, of course. Harry Reid, as you mentioned, said no sane country would do what we are doing and what we've done for a long time. And I think we are one of only two countries, this is a fact, we are only two countries in the world, advanced nations, us and Canada, have this custom where if people are born on our soil, they automatically are granted citizenship regardless of who their parents are or how they got here or anything along those lines.

I don't think it is out-of-bounds whatsoever to talk about whether or not that is a sensible--


MACCALLUM: Yes, it's not.

BENSON: -- rational policy for our country.

HARF: But that's not -- what the president is not talking about it from a rational policy perspective. He's using it politically as part of an overall hardline immigration message.


MACCALLUM: Well, that's your assessment.

HARF: So that's how it's heard by people.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, yes.


HARF: That's how it's heard by a lot of voters.

MACCALLUM: But, no, I mean, a lot of times an idea like this is brought up by the president, as he gets vilified just because he is the president--


BENSON: Right. That's what it sounds.

MACCALLUM: -- and it turns out that, you know, rational people have been talking about it for a long time, so there shouldn't be any reason why you can't touch it with a 10-foot pole and have a conversation about it just because the president brings it up. Anyway, we are going to leave it there, but we'll see you guys soon.

BENSON: Sounds good.

HARF: Sounds good.

MACCALLUM: Bye, Guy. Bye, Marie.

HARF: Bye.

BENSON: Thanks.

MACCALLUM: So, guess who's coming up, it's that time of the week. Kanye West. He's not coming up. But he's welcome anytime. He is distancing himself from politics. So, what does that mean about this scene in the Oval Office? We are going to hammer that out and tell you the truth of the situation. It is Wednesday, so Jesse Watters is on deck to weigh-in next.


KANYE WEST, RAPPER: I love this guy right here, love me give this guy a hug right here. I love this guy right here.

TRUMP: That's really nice.

WEST: Yes.

TRUMP: And that's from the heart.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vote, vote, vote.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not going to do that. November 6th. Please vote.


MACCALLUM: Yes, you get the idea. Oprah Winfrey testing the political waters again. She's heading to Georgia for two town hall events with Democratic candidate for governor Stacey Abrams. A lot of people want to know is this a warm-up perhaps for 2020.

Here now for Wednesdays with Watters. Jesse Watters, co-host of The Five and host of Watters' World. So, Jesse, welcome. What do you think is Oprah up to here?

JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, I'm excited talking about Oprah. I feel like can I win something. So, I can feel it, Martha.


MACCALLUM: There might be something under your chair.

WATTERS: Yes. No. I feel like Abrams if she wins will be the first back female governor ever in U.S. history.

MACCALLUM: That's right.

WATTERS: And Oprah if going to try to help her make history. Hillary could have made history and Oprah didn't lift a finger, remember? She sat on the sidelines. So, I think she feels a little bit guilty about that. But this woman, Stacey Abrams is pretty radical, burned a flag, pro-caravan.


MACCALLUM: Even in college when she was talking about the Confederate symbol.

WATTERS: OK, I never burned an American flag.

MACCALLUM: I know, I'm just--

WATTERS: I never did.


MACCALLUM: In college -- it was a state flag.

WATTERS: I did I a lot of other things in college.

MACCALLUM: A state flag when she was -- because they were having the battle over the Confederate symbol on the flag.

WATTERS: OK. I will give her a pass on that. She does say she wants to seize guns and she's for open borders. that's not too good in Georgia. But Democrats are always trying to change Georgia to purple.


WATTERS: So, it could happen.

MACCALLUM: We will see. Kanye West tweeting yesterday that he was used and that he's distancing himself from politics and everybody instantly thought. I instantly thought when I saw this, you know, he loves Donald Trump--


WATTERS: So, did I.

MACCALLUM: -- a couple weeks ago. And now he decided that he doesn't like him. You know, he's very material to say the least.

WATTERS: Right. It's an understatement.


MACCALLUM: So, it's to be expected. But he says, "My eyes are now open. I realized I've been used to spread messages I don't believe in. I'm distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative." Triple exclamation points. But then he went on to say that it was all about this t-shirt.


MACCALLUM: And blexit.

WATTERS: Right. So, Candace Owens, as you know, she's been here, is pushing this blexit movement, black exit from the Democratic Party, and I believed had used Kanye's name to push merchandise and push the movement.

Now Kanye saying I still love Donald Trump. I just don't want to be told -- I don't want to be told what to think or what to feel. And I don't want to feel used by other people and I don't want to tell other people what to think and feel. And if someone with dragon blood also, Martha, I completely understand Kanye's journey here.

MACCALLUM: That's very yeeha of you. He, and then, TMZ, you know, because everybody said, he is abandoning Trump. And so, they had to do a correction. Kanye contacted after this to make it clear that he did not mention Donald Trump in his tweets and he's getting out of politics all together. So, that is the latest from Kanye. More to come.

Also, it is Halloween and everybody is out trick or treating. But if you are over 12 and you're in certain places in Virginia in Chesapeake, Virginia and other places, if you are over 12 you could get fined anywhere from $25 to a $100 if you're over 12 out there trick or treating. They say they've never actually fined anybody. But they are sending a message, Jesse. What do you think?

WATTERS: I support this. I don't want teens trick or treating. I think if you vote you show your I.D. If you trick or treat you should show your I.D. I've had people come to the house. They're not even dressed up as anything.


MACCALLUM: I hate that.

WATTERS: They're 18, they have a baseball bat.

MACCALLUM: Yes, that's not nice.

WATTERS: I say, what are you? They say, I'm a baseball player. You know, I slam the door. Let the kids have all the candy. If you are a teenager, then you are there to cause mischief anyway.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I am 100 percent with you on this.


WATTERS: Well, I didn't think that's going to happen.

MACCALLUM: When they show up at the door and they are standing there and they're like six feet tall.


MACCALLUM: And they are like, my husband is like, what are you?


MACCALLUM: And they just go, no, I'm not really anything. I just want to collect free candy.

WATTERS: Right. Exactly. Like steal your younger brother's candy and they had a beard, and it's not a fake beard, it's a real beard. Come on, you're too old for that.

MACCALLUM: Happy trick-or-treating everybody--

WATTERS: That's right.

MACCALLUM: -- under 12. Thanks, Jesse. Good to see you.

WATTERS: Happy Halloween.

MACCALLUM: You, too. So that's our story on this Wednesday night. We wish you a safe and happy Halloween tonight. We will be back here tomorrow night at 7 p.m.
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