This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," March 26, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Good evening and welcome to “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” For two years we have sat on this set and listened to Democrats tell us that the Mueller report will reveal the final truth about Russian collusion. Just wait for it. Well, on Sunday, the report delivered that truth. There was no collusion. Now, the left is telling us that that verdict itself is part of a larger conspiracy. More on that just ahead.
But first tonight, just hours ago, prosecutors in Chicago dropped all charges against actor Jussie Smollett. Smollett, you'll remember was facing 16 felony counts for faking an elaborate hate crime against himself back in January. Police say Smollett hired two Nigerian body builders to hang a noose on his neck, pour bleach on him and screamed, "This is MAGA country." Because that kind of thing happens a lot in downtown Chicago during the winter months. Smollett then told credulous reporters he had been assaulted by two white racist Trump supporters.
Well, as of tonight, police still believe that Smollett was lying all of that, so do prosecutors. They think he concocted the hoax and they said so, yet again today. And yet the state of Illinois is somehow for some reason, dumping the case anyway. In exchange for the $100,000.00 he has already paid in bond, Smollett will walk free. His record will be expunged. Everything will be return to normal like it never happened.
Smollett described his decision as a victory, not just for him but for the broader cause of Civil Rights.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSSIE SMOLLETT, AMERICAN ACTOR: I've been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother's son if I was capable of one drop of what I had been accused of. This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly, one of the worst of my entire life. But I am a man of faith and I am a man that has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives or the movement through a fire like this. I just wouldn't.
Now, I would like nothing more than to just get back to work and move on with my life, but make no mistakes, I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality and betterment of marginalized people everywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Uh-huh. Okay, a couple of pretty obvious questions here. What is this movement Smollett refers to? Is he in contact with other perpetrators of fake hate crimes? Have they formed a union? Will they hold a convention? There are enough of them, they could. And how exactly has Smollett who last we checked was an actor on a TV show, fought for the quote, "justice, equality and betterment of marginalized people everywhere?" Was pouring bleach on himself part of that fight? How did the noose and the Nigerian body builders figure into Smollett's struggle for justice and equality? And by the way, why aren't the rest of us laughing at this? It is just too absurd.
CNN doesn't think it is funny. They are taking Jussie Smollett very seriously as they always have. Jeff Zucker's tiny spokesman emerged this afternoon to declare the whole thing, an unfathomable mystery of faith, like the Shroud of Turin, we may never know.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN STELTER, CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The narrative has once again changed from victim to villain and then back to victim. It has been very confusing as Ryan was saying, people don't know what to believe and we may never really know what happened on the street that night in Chicago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: "We may never really know." So it looks like we are just going to have to agree to disagree on this whole Jussie Smollett thing. But wait, does anyone know any news reporters? They should have some free time these days, post-Russia hysteria. Maybe they could find out more about this.
For example, why isn't Jussie Smollett concerned about the two white racists he says attacked him? Shouldn't you be leading the charge to lock these villains up? According to Smollett, they are still on the loose. They are free to assault other hapless biracial TV actors who are just looking to get a Subway sandwich at 2:00 a.m. in the morning on the streets of Chicago, and we need to stop them before they do.
What about the Chicago Police Department? It is led by an African-American Chief, but that doesn't mean it is not part of the wider racist conspiracy. It must be. Chicago cops just framed Jussie Smollett as a liar and destroyed his reputation. And yet, for some reason, Smollett does not seem to care about that. He says he just wants to quote, "move on." That's odd. And what about the Nigerian brothers?
Last month, both CNN and the "Chicago Tribune" reported the man had told police they had rehearsed the attack on Jussie Smollett. Was that a lie? Will Smollett sue them now for defamation? Other news outlets reported that police discovered rope, bleach and masks in the brother's apartment. Apparently, Smollett's records show he was talking to the brothers immediately before and immediately after the attack he alleged. What was that all about? Well, we could go on and on. But why bother? You know exactly what is happening here.
Smollett isn't getting off because he is innocent. He is not an innocent. He is something better than innocent. He is famous. The charges against him were dropped because someone in power called someone else in power and said, "Let him go." None of this had anything to do with justice, it's the opposite of justice.
Even in famously corrupt Chicago, what was happening was just too obvious. The mayor and the Chief of Police pretended to be very shocked by it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDDIE JOHNSON, CHICAGO POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: If you want to say you are innocent of a situation, then you take your day in court. I would never if someone falsely accused me, I would never hide behind a broker deal in secrecy. Period.
RAHM EMANUEL, CHICAGO MAYOR: Where's the accountability in the system? You cannot have because of a person's position, one set of rules apply to them and another set of rules apply to everybody else. In another way you are seeing this play out in the universities where people pay extra to get their kids a special position in universities. This is a whitewash of justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: A whitewash of justice. So did the State's Attorney who dropped these charges answer that? Well, she issued a statement explaining that the charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped in part because of his quote, "volunteer service in the community." Okay, what was that service?
Well, according to a news account tonight, Smollett spent a total of 18 hours over two days at Jesse Jackson's lobbying organization, the Rainbow Push Coalition. While he was there, Smollett spent his time and this is a direct quote, "stuffing membership envelopes, working in the group's bookstore to sell merchandise and critiquing its Saturday broadcast." He also quote, "Worked with the music director on a plan to build the choir." Apparently the community was greatly enriched by all of this.
We should note that Jesse Jackson who runs it, is one of the most politically powerful people in the City of Chicago. It helps to have friends like that, and if you don't believe it, just go ahead and try it yourself. Go ahead and stage a fake hate crime in which you slander an entire group of people on the basis of their skin color and political beliefs, then head over to "Good Morning, America" and conduct a tearful interview with the sympathetic Robin Roberts.
Describe yourself as a victim of systemic racism in this country and then get caught doing it. Tell us how you do? Then let us know when the visiting hours are. We will come see you in prison.
Smollett is not going to prison. He was smarter than that. He knew he would never be punished. He knows Jesse Jackson. He is friends with Kamala Harris and Barack and Michelle Obama. Don Lemon at CNN text Jussie all the time on his cellphone and brags about it.
Jussie Smollett may claim to fight for marginalized people, but he is not one of them. In fact, he occupies the highest rank a privilege and our society. He is above the law. Increasingly, there seem to be quite a few people like that and this country. You will recognize them because they are the ones always lecturing you about help bigoted and unfair America is. What they don't understand is that they are proving that point.
Kevin Graham heads the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police and he joins us now. Mr. Graham, thanks very much for coming on. This seems like a travesty. Am I missing something?
KEVIN GRAHAM, PRESIDENT, CHICAGO FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE: You are not missing a thing. There was no justice that happened today and it is a disgrace to the police officers that worked so hard, these detectives knocked their socks off. They worked that case and all they got for their hard work was told, "No, we are going to let him go."
CARLSON: So if I'm understanding this, he spent 18 hours volunteering for Jesse Jackson and forfeited a $10,000.00 -- not a $100,000.00 as I said -- $10,000.00 bond and that is the sum total of the punishment?
GRAHAM: That is my understanding. We are hoping at the FOP that the Federal government, we asked for an investigation last week. We sent a letter to the Attorney General with the Northern District of Illinois asking for an investigation on Kim Foxx about the entire Smollett case and I think we were right on the money and we are doubling down.
I made sure that they had the letter today. I hand-delivered it to the Federal building here in Chicago.
CARLSON: So cops in Chicago, the FOP which you run have complained for quite some time about the behavior of the State's Attorney, Kim Foxx. Why do you think she is doing an inadequate job?
GRAHAM: Well, first of all, she is not prosecuting the people that need to be prosecuted and it is not just in the Jussie Smollett case. It is low- level offenders. It's getting people out on bond who should be sitting in jail. It is people that should have been sitting in jail and unfortunately, shooting up a car over the weekend costing the life of a fine person. One of our members who was killed in a sitting car by a person that should have been sitting in jail. Instead, they decided to give them a little bond and he was out.
This is a travesty of justice all the way around. Our detectives are mad. Our members are angry and they want justice. And I hope that the Attorney General for the Northern District of Illinois responds to this because there were still letters that Jussie Smollett claimed that were sent to him and if that's proved to be also a hoax, then Federal charges can be brought.
CARLSON: So it looks to us from outside Chicago looking in like this was just a pure political deal. Somebody called somebody else. Everybody here is connected. Smollett knows people. He knows the Obama's, he knows Kamala Harris, and he somehow pulled strings to get out from underneath these charges. You think that's right?
GRAHAM: I think you've hit the nail right on the head and it stinks. It was stinking from the beginning and it smells even worse now.
CARLSON: Why in a city like Chicago, which so famously has an astronomically high rate of shootings and of murders, would you ever let violent criminals out early?
GRAHAM: You know, I have no idea what goes on at that State's Attorney's Office. We've had our complaints for over a year. We have we have written about it our blog and we have made sure that people know that we are not happy with the State's Attorney.
When I talked to Police Chiefs around the county, they are furious that we're not getting the prosecution that we need. And the cases always, "Oh, well, we don't have enough prosecutors and money." Well, they did before and they need to find it now.
CARLSON: You guys have a really tough job, especially where you are. And so God bless. Thank you for coming on. I appreciate it.
GRAHAM: Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: Chadwick Moore is an independent journalist, and we are always happy to have him on the show. Chadwick, thanks a lot for coming on. So you're looking at this unfold and you're drawing lessons about America 2019. What are those lessons?
CHADWICK MOORE, INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST: Well, he may have -- Jussie Smollett may have spent 18 hours stuffing envelopes, but I believe his true community service was getting all the attention off of the Russia probe today.
What seems to be actually happening, this is the corrupt Democrat city in action. This is the literal swamp that produced the Obama's. And here we have the perfect stitch up of the Democratic Party, the entertainment industry and the media all in one. So what does Jussie Smollett do, as soon as it begins to be clear that his lie is unfolding, he hires Harvey Weinstein's crisis control people and then he hires Mark Geragos, whatever his name is, the attorney who works for CNN, who was Michael Jackson's attorney, who is Chris Brown's attorney, a man who makes a career getting pedophiles and wife beaters off the hook.
And then we realized that not only did Smollett grow up in a communist household with ties to the Black Panthers, but he also works with Kamala Harris. Kamala Harris was one of the first Democrats to jump on this hoax, this obvious hoax to use it to advance their own political agenda. And then also on the other side of the political spectrum, you have Kim Foxx, so you have Kim Foxx, who Kamala Harris was her mentor, Kim Foxx's his campaign was funded by George Soros, we know this now. And all it takes was a phone call from the Obama's, for her to drop this prosecution.
This is the reason why President Trump won. And this is the reason why President Trump will win again. It's not because Russians are, you know, hiding in your cereal bowl, and it's not because there's Nazis running around and white supremacists, it's this level of corruption. It's this evil level of corruption on the Democratic Party that everyone sees. And you know, people may be dismayed by this. But I don't think there will be dismayed on November -- in November 2020.
CARLSON: What do you think would happen to you if you did something like this? Or by the way, if you lied about weapons of mass destruction or a Russia conspiracy, or if you tank the housing market and profited from it? Do you think you'd get off scot-free?
MOORE: Of course, I wouldn't. I' probably be in prison for the rest of my life. I mean, all I have to do is say, "I like President Trump as a gay man," and I will never work in mainstream media again. This man has every privilege afforded. Jussie, can I have some of your privilege? I would love that kind of privilege.
You know, meanwhile, you know, there's -- look at all the damage he caused, right? Look at all the money wasted, all the man hours wasted from the Chicago Police Department who did a terrific job and he gets off scot-free. He nearly caused a race war. And, and what? Meanwhile, you've got black men who don't have privilege like Jussie Smollett who are rotting in jail because of bags of marijuana.
So who has privilege? And meanwhile, he's the first one to try to insult people like me or people who like that the President and all of us is the worst names in the book.
CARLSON: No of course, you're written off as a non-person. So really, like I'm just wondering what you make of the press take on this. And we heard it from Jeff Zucker's, spokesman over on CNN who said, "Well, we don't really know. There's no way to know who's telling the truth, who's lying. We're kind of agnostic on it. It's just one of the great mysteries." It's the Yeti. What do you think of that?
MOORE: Yes. Isn't that interesting? Because after the charges were filed against him from a grand jury who only heard a sliver of the evidence and decided to file 16 charges against him. The media and the Democrats who are no longer saying he didn't do this, everyone knew -- they knew he did it. They were trying to cover for him. They're trying to cover for their terrible reporting. Now that that's been reversed, they've gone back and saying, "Well, I guess we just don't know."
CARLSON: Just don't know.
MOORE: It's just a mystery.
CARLSON: Just waiting for some evidence, I guess.
MOORE: Just waiting, but we'll never know.
CARLSON: We really can't pass judgment. That's right.
MOORE: We'll never know.
CARLSON: We're newsman here.
MOORE: It's like Roswell. It's like the aliens.
CARLSON: Right, we can't jump to conclusions.
MOORE: Yes, we'll just never know.
CARLSON: It's hilarious. Chadwick Moore, thank you very much. Good to see you.
MOORE: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: Well, the Mueller report came out, but it didn't dispel the conspiracies on the left. They have grown in magnitude and complexity, they will boggle your mind. Get your tin foil hat. We're coming back after the break.
CARLSON: Well, for two years they told you that Robert Mueller was a moral hero; questioning any part of his investigation amounted to a betrayal of this country. Firing him would be treason. The only real question about Robert Mueller was where in the National Mall to put his statue. Everyone agreed it should be at least as big as Lincoln's.
And then on Sunday, Muller dashed their dreams. After conducting the most thorough investigation in recent American history, he concluded that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the government of Russia.
For the left, this was disastrous news. It was the political equivalent of a stock market crash, literally. Ratings on CNN and MSNBC plummeted immediately, in some cases by more than 50%. They promised her audience a conspiracy, when the conspiracy evaporated so did their viewers.
Democratic office holders faced a similar problem. What do you say to the mob on Twitter that secretly believes that Trump speaks Russian? Tough questions. They decided to say nothing, just pretend that nothing has changed.
Watch Senator Cory Booker explained that indeed, the conspiracy continues complex and diabolical as ever, only now the newly installed Attorney General is part of the conspiracy, too.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARI MELBER, ANCHOR, MSNBC: Bob Mueller did not find a chargeable collusion conspiracy. Here's what how you described it as recently as, as 2017.
SEN. CORY BOOKER, D-N.J., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There continues to seem to be smoke that might result in an actual fire. In other words, real collusion going on between us and the Soviet Union.
MELBER: Real collusion going on, you said? Do you now have to revise that to say not chargeable collusion?
BOOKER: Again, when I have an Attorney General who in my opinion, is suspect filtering a report that I have not seen, I'm not willing to conclude anything yet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Yes, they don't trust Barr. Congressman Eric Swalwell is less creative than that. Swalwell doesn't have a clever new theory about Russia or really about anything. He likes his old theories just fine. They've worked for him. He doesn't want to hear about any of your evidence or facts. He likes the world as it was last week. Don't bother arguing with him, if you don't like it, you can go ahead and sue.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. ERIC SWALWELL, D-CALIF.: I stand by what I have said about seeing evidence of collusion and he has a problem with that, he can sue me. And I promise you, I would in court.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Go ahead and sue. Over on CNN, there was near panic at the news. Let's say you had spent decades claiming to be the most trusted name in news. And then it turned out you were way less reliable than Alex Jones, who by the way, you had single handedly forced off the air hilariously on the grounds he was to inaccurate to be heard by the American public.
You'd be pretty worried all of a sudden. You wouldn't want to apologize because that would be the same as acknowledging your fraud. So you just keep lying. Watch the governor's brother do just that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, COUNSEL TO DONALD TRUMP: You guys, on this network ...
CHRIS CUOMO, ANCHOR, CNN: Yes. What have I done?
GIULIANI: ... have tortured this man for two years with collusion and nobody has apologized for it. But before we talk about obstruction, apologize for the overreaction of collusion.
CUOMO: Not a chance. Not a chance.
GIULIANI: Well, of course you're not.
CUOMO: Not a chance and I'll tell you why.
GIULIANI: Of course because you're not being fair.
CUOMO: Never. Here is my case --
CUOMO: Never. I didn't do anything wrong. These questions are real. They needed to be regarded as such.
CARLSON: Apologize? Apologizing never even occurred to Don Lemon. Mr. Lemon is a very busy man. He didn't have time to read the entire summary of the Mueller report. He's got people for that. But from the back of his Maybach, heading home from dinner, he glanced at his device and saw a line from it posted on Instagram. That was enough. Don Lemon knows what he knows.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON LEMON, ANCHOR, CNN: Barr quotes him saying while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. It also does not exonerate him.
And it also does not exonerate him.
And it also does not exonerate him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: It also does not exonerate him. Well, it may be true, but this point, Donald Trump isn't really the one who needs to be exonerated. John Kiriakou, was a former CIA officer, and he joins us tonight. John, thanks very much for coming on.
JOHN KIRIAKOU, FORMER CIA OFFICER: Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: So you worked at CIA for a long time under John Brennan, who ultimately backed your prosecution for in which you were sent to prison for a crime that I don't think would be considered a crime today. So tell me with that perspective, your reaction to watching John Brennan trotted out before the cameras daily almost for the last two years as an expert on the Russia conspiracy.
KIRIAKOU: An expert. I think this was scandalous for a number of reasons, the most important of which is that John Brennan has repeatedly used the word "treason," the word "traitor" when describing the President. Treason is a death penalty charge. Is he seriously saying or has he been saying that the President ought to be executed for something having to do with a scandal that really never existed?
To me, John Brennan just simply is not a serious person. He shouldn't be taken seriously by us or by anybody else. And I'm going to get a little bit personal here, too. I worked with John Brennan for many, many years. I always thought that he was in over his head intellectually. And I think he's proven that repeatedly in his responses and reactions to the news coming out of this investigation.
CARLSON: You know, it's funny you said that, I think the default assumption for most people including me is that the director of the CIA is a very smart man.
KIRIAKOU: You have the best and the brightest.
CARLSON: It's a very complex job.
KIRIAKOU: It is.
CARLSON: I've watched him closely in his public performances over the past couple years, and I've concluded that he's not very bright. I'm not attacking him.
KIRIAKOU: No, no.
CARLSON: It's okay.
KIRIAKOU: It's an observation.
CARLSON: But it's clearly the case. How does a guy like that run the CIA? How do you get that job?
KIRIAKOU: You get that job by latching on to George Tenet before George Tenet even entered the CIA. John Brennan in the 1990s was George Tenet's briefer when George was at the National Security Council as the Director of Intelligence Programs. And so when George became the Deputy Director of the CIA, he took John over with him and then just promoted him through the ranks until he was practically Cabinet level. I mean, that's how senior he became.
CARLSON: So just pure cronyism is what you're saying.
KIRIAKOU: That's all it wasn't and it took less than a decade. He was on a rocket ride to the top of his career track at the CIA.
CARLSON: So now I guess the results of all of this stuff that we've watched for a couple of years is that the ordinary person me, everyone else knows that these agencies are run by people who are much less impressive than we thought with political agendas. And in some cases are ruthless and cruel.
You're one of the people who felt the sting of that. You went to prison.
KIRIAKOU: I did. Thanks to John Brennan.
CARLSON: Guys like Roger Stone are headed to prison because of that. Where are the pardons here? I mean, is it time for the Executive Branch to send a really clear message we're going to stop the destruction of innocent people by completely out of control bureaucrats?
KIRIAKOU: I think it is the time for pardons. I heard Senator Lindsey Graham say earlier today that pardons probably would not be met very well right now in the United States Senate. I think he's wrong. I think that the American people understand that the people have been wronged.
Look at Mike Flynn, what that poor guy has gone through. Look at the look at the Roger Stone. You know, these are all process felonies, Tucker. We talked about this once before. These are felonies that really didn't exist until these people were thrown into this investigations.
CARLSON: Exactly. That's exactly right.
KIRIAKOU: They are crimes that would never have been committed, otherwise. Since the investigation has come to naught, I think it's time to wipe the slate.
CARLSON: And by the way, it doesn't make sense not to pardon people. I think this is a scam and a hoax and the people in charge ...
KIRIAKOU: That's right, wipe the slate clean.
CARLSON: ... are illegitimate, then you have an obligation to make it right by targeting the people who are wrong. And I hope you're on that list.
KIRIAKOU: Thank you so much.
CARLSON: Great to see you tonight. Thank you.
KIRIAKOU: Pleasure is always mine.
CARLSON: Thank you. Sean Davis is co-founder of "The Federalist" which you should read if you don't and he just wrote a great piece to "The Wall Street Journal" describing the collusion debacle as, quote, "a catastrophic media failure." And even that may be an understatement. We're happy to have him join us tonight.
Sean, as you wrote this piece, you obviously collected what you've been watching and thinking about for the past couple of years. How big was your conclusion? What is the magnitude of the screw up here?
SEAN DAVIS, CO-FOUNDER, THE FEDERALIST: I think, this is probably the biggest, most consequential screw up of the last 25 to 50 years. It is difficult to really comprehend or overstate the damage that the media did to the country, to their own reputation to the Constitution. This was an absolute catastrophe.
CARLSON: I don't know any -- and I know liberals who feel that way. But I don't know anybody running a media organization on the left who's willing to admit it. I mean, just today, there was a piece in which Dean Baquet of the "New York Times" and the editor of "The Washington Post" and Jeff Zucker of CNN all bragged about what a great job they did. How could they say that?
DAVIS: Well, why wouldn't they? They were given Pulitzers. They were showered with adulation by their peers. They were able to pat each other on the back and tell them that they were heroes, that they were going to bring down the next President and hold him accountable.
There is no incentive in the mainstream media for them to have gotten this right. All the incentives were in the wrong direction, whether it was traffic or viewership or just ideology. There was no reason at all for them to get this right.
CARLSON: So the Mueller report summary comes out Sunday afternoon, and the next day shows on CNN and MSNBC dropped by as much as 50% in viewership just on the news. Doesn't that kind of tell you everything about their incentive to pretend that there is collusion and that there is a conspiracy? Their audience goes away without it absolutely.
DAVIS: Absolutely. And we saw the reaction was like children finding out the tooth fairy isn't real. Their bread and butter in the age of Trump is to ratchet up the hysteria to get people completely freaked out, so they feel like they have to watch the news every day and every minute to figure out what's going on. They did a huge disservice to their audience and to the country with their antics and their conspiracy spreading over the last two years.
CARLSON: I mean, it's hard to know what comes next, certainly in this environment. But I mean, when the smoke clears, and Trump is gone, or what, you know, whatever happens in the next 10 years, where do you go for news? Will anyone ever believe CNN assuming it still exists or the "Washington Post" or the "New York Times" ever again? How could you?
DAVIS: Right and that's their problem, is they didn't just destroy their own reputations. For all the talk about how Donald Trump has eroded and damaged our vital norms and institutions, it's the media themselves who ended credence to his charge. They were the fake news media. It's the media themselves who broadcast to everyone, "You don't need to trust us. We're not trustworthy."
I don't know how they come back from this.
CARLSON: It's totally right. If you don't want to be called the liar, stop lying. I guess, would be my advice. Sean Davis, it is great to see you. Thank you for that. Terrific to be with you tonight.
DAVIS: Good to see you. Thank you.
CARLSON: Robert Mueller isn't the only fallen Democratic hero tonight, the creepy porn lawyer, long planned to bring down the President, even become President himself. Now, it looks like he could be headed to prison and there are dramatic new amazing developments in his case. More on operation karma after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL AVENATTI, LAWYER: When's the last time you saw porn?
CARLSON: Oh, you busted me. Actually, maybe humiliation porn that's why I watch you on CNN.
AVENATTI: No, but when was the last time you viewed porn?
CARLSON: You're a little creepier even than I realized.
AVENATTI: Do you have a problem with it? Do you have a problem with porn?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: I don't know who put that in the rundown. You know, months later, makes the hair on your arm stand up. It was not that long ago that the creepy porn lawyer was a daily fixture on CNN. He was on more than some of their anchors. Just six months ago, CNN was hyping his bid to become the creepy porn president. Now his creepy porn empire has crumbled to dust. He's been hit with a long list of felony charges. Those include extortion, embezzlement and wire fraud, among others. Trace Gallagher has details tonight -- Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, CORRESPONDENT: Tucker, the alleged misdeeds of Stormy Daniels' former attorney are numerous, but for the sake of time we chose five beginning with him allegedly keeping his clients' settlement money.
Court record show Daniels' former attorney presented his client Gregory Barela with a phony documents saying that a $1.6 million settlement check would arrive in March of last year when it actually arrived in January of last year. Prosecutors say he had the money transferred from a client trust account into his own account to pay his personal expenses.
Then there's the allegation by a former Financial Officer for Stormys' attorneys Tully's Coffee Shops. The employee says even though he directed her not to pay the company's payroll taxes, he was funneling coffee shop money into license fees and sponsorships for his car racing team and separately when the IRS contacted him about unpaid taxes for his coffee company, prosecutors say he changed the company's name shifted bank accounts, sold off assets and pocketed the money.
Prosecutors also say Daniels' former attorney used phony tax returns to gain millions of dollars in bank loans and now the Feds say not only did he receive nearly $4 million in loans, he never actually filed those tax returns and never actually paid any taxes, but they say he was spending money for example, he paid nearly a million dollars to an ex-wife for child support and alimony, $176,000.00 to a private vacation club. $69,000.00 on luxury watches $82,000.00 on a Porsche and he also shelled out millions for homes in Laguna Beach and Newport Beach which are right next to each other, you think he'd just pick one -- Tucker.
CARLSON: Creepy porn lawyer, living large. Trace Gallagher thanks for that summary. I appreciate it.
CARLSON: Well, things have changed a lot since last August. Members of the press are suggesting then that the creepy porn lawyer was the best presidential candidate the Democrats could nominate. He could crush Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILIP RUCKER, WHIE HOUSE BUREAU CHIEF, THE WASHINGTON POST: If you look at the field of Democrats right now and Avenatti is the one who stands out. He gives the base what they're looking for. It shows that he can go toe- to-toe with Trump, he'd have a chance.
JASON JOHNSON; CONTRIBUTOR, MSNBC And whoever they think can win regardless of what his or her background might be, that person could be ahead and if Avenatti can give a good speech, why not?
NICOLE WALLACE, ANCHOR, MSNBC: What do Democrats value most? If they decide they value a fighter most, people would be foolish to underestimate Michael Avenatti.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Yes, speaking foolish. Tammy Bruce, President of Independent Women's Voice. She is not foolish at all, and she joins us tonight. So occasionally, Tammy, as you know, we like to just -- things are moving so fast here in Washington. It's good to just pause and remember what the world looked like six months ago.
TAMMY BRUCE, PRESIDENT, INDEPENDENT WOMEN'S VOICE: Yes.
CARLSON: People were touting this man as the women's candidate.
BRUCE: Oh, boy.
BRUCE: The only thing missing from Mr. Avanetti's line up there is that he hasn't eaten dirt yet. Maybe he can add that in. Steal a little bit of that from Robert Francis. He's got some time.
Look, what I really enjoyed and what was very important about your initial coverage of this fool, was the fact that he appeared to be exploiting one of his clients, Stormy Daniels, right, is that he was making money from her and she was reduced to doing tours of strip clubs in the process of him representing her, and that's what it spoke to. It spoke to issue of his character.
CARLSON: But if I can just pause here, he did -- and I said that to him, and I've always felt sorry for her. I've never doubted most of her story, just for the record. I'm not embarrassed to say that right. And I feel bad for her. And I said that to him and he said that her stripping in some sad club in Richmond, Virginia was an act of female empowerment. He actually said that.
BRUCE: Yes. Well, obviously not. You know, when you're seven years old, yes, when you show me a seven-year-old who says, "When I grow up, I want to be stripping at some club on a rural road and in Virginia." No girl says that. That's not what we aspire to.
Miss Daniels has an opportunity to remake herself. She's had problems with him as well. And look, if all of the charges against him are true, this guy is like the Zelig of criminals. I mean, he's like trying -- he is trying to adjust or would seem to be involved in so many different kinds of behaviors and crime, but it could be explained by a comment he made to "The View" that they asked him inexplicably somehow moved into what his sexual fantasies were and he said they all involved handcuffs. So now it looks like he's gotten one part of his dream fulfilled.
CARLSON: We always get what we want in the end, don't we?
BRUCE: Apparently. You do, you just watch out for what you wish for because you just might get it.
CARLSON: The Zelig of criminals.
BRUCE: You know, Zelig, he widely adapted to everything around him. And this fellow seems to be in competition with somebody, but look, for all of us, I just wish that this would -- maybe he would have been the perfect Democratic candidate, only if all of this then came out in the spring of 2020, it would have been even better.
CARLSON: It would be -- it would be unbelievable. I'm stealing that line, Tammy.
BRUCE: All right.
CARLSON: Great to see you tonight. Thank you very much.
BRUCE: Thank you, sir. Great to be here.
CARLSON: Well, a group in Congress is pushing to lower the voting age to 16. They're all Democrats in support of one Republican and he is brave enough to come on tonight and explain why that's his position. We will talk to him right after the break.
CARLSON: Well, after losing in 2016, the Democratic Party didn't pause for a moment to consider whether its policies were unpopular with voters, instead they decided they didn't like voters, hence, they went looking for new ones. In the last two years they fought to give both illegal immigrants and convicted felons the right to vote, and they want to expand the pool.
A group of Democrats in Congress has led a campaign to lower the voting age nationwide to 16, Nancy Pelosi endorsed it. One republican who's not crazy, by the way conservative, Republican Michael Burgess of Texas has joined them to support lowering the voting age to 16 years old and he was brave enough and gracious enough to come on our show tonight and explain it and we're grateful for that. Congressman, thank you very much.
REP. MICHAEL BURGESS, R-TX: Well, thanks so much for having me on. I really appreciate it.
CARLSON: So you have children, I've had four 16 year olds, you've had a number of them yourself. I'd give my life for them. They shouldn't be voting. You must know that, you've been a physician. You've delivered a lot of babies. Sixteen-year-olds aren't really ready to vote are they?
BURGESS: Well, they certainly not ready to vote right after delivery.
CARLSON: But, right, no at 16.
BURGESS: Let's be clear about a couple of things. First off, this was an amendment that failed. It is never going to become law. So let's not frighten people that this is a structural change in our society. However, I'm on the Rules Committee, and part of my job on the Rules Committee is to evaluate ideas that come before the Rules Committee as amendments and when this representative from Massachusetts came forward and said, here's my idea and I want it consider by the Rules Committee, and my first thought was, "Oh, no, that's not a good idea."
But as I thought about it, you see things through the lens of your own experience. When I was 16, did I pay taxes? Yes, I worked. I paid taxes. I paid payroll taxes, maybe not income taxes. And then here's the other thing that really after the sort of the 24 hours between the Rules Committee and the time the amendment came on the floor, what about this structural debt we are leaving to 16 year olds? The national debt?
This generation of adolescents is going to inherit more debt than any other generation. And I think I've heard you talk on this, not just the structural debt, there is the acquired debt, there's the student loan debt that they are picking up.
CARLSON: For sure.
BURGESS: Colleges are encouraging it. They are facilitating it and this is debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
CARLSON: I couldn't agree more and I hope the Congress will fix that right away because it's wrong in my view, but 16 year olds, if allowed to run the government would accrue a lot more debt that's why you don't give them credit cards because they spend too much.
BURGESS: Do they not have credit cards?
CARLSON: Because --
BURGESS: I actually think you know --
CARLSON: I don't think any wise parent will give a 16 year old an unsupervised credit card, do you?
BURGESS: I won't say that it doesn't happen, but look they are participating in our society, but here's the biggest thing to me. What are we afraid of? I mean 16 year olds are going to be 18 year olds in the next election cycle. This is a midterm election in 2018 -- 2020 ...
CARLSON: Well, I'm afraid of bad government.
BURGESS: Look, they're not going to be in charge of the government any more than an 18 year old is in charge today.
CARLSON: But there are millions. I mean there are more 16 year olds I think in the margin in a lot of states between presidential candidates, it could make a big difference.
BURGESS: If what we're afraid of is they will vote Democratic, then that's on us. We need to -- we need to talk. Well, we have better ideas. We are the party of emancipation.
CARLSON: So let me ask you -- okay, so then why not 12 year olds?
BURGESS: Well, and again, you -- are you going to draw the line somewhere?
CARLSON: I don't know.
BURGESS: Sixteen to be in -- look, when the information was presented to me at Rules Committee and I thought about it again, you see things through the lens of your own experience, and at age 16, there was not a brighter bulb in the firmament than yours truly.
CARLSON: I believe you --
BURGESS: With time, I've tempered that a little bit. But if we are not willing to engage and talk to people in late adolescence, certainly adolescence, we're going to lose sight --
CARLSON: I think you're right, allowing them to vote is a different question. And if we allow them to vote on the pretext that they pay taxes then two questions that mean foreigners who pay taxes should be allowed to vote, too.
BURGESS: No, no, of course not.
CARLSON: And does it mean that people who don't pay taxes shouldn't be allowed to vote?
BURGESS: You know that wouldn't that wouldn't ever occur.
CARLSON: Okay, well, then --
BURGESS: And let's do backup and stress, the amendment didn't pass. It was brought to the floor of the House; 25% of the house thought it was a good idea, 75% did not. So this is not something that is going to happen. But I thought it was an idea worthy of consideration because I willing to vote for it to be included in the package we brought to the floor.
CARLSON: Sir, I love your open mindedness and a lot of ideas that people think are insane or not insane. I happen to think this one is insane, but I love open mindedness. Last question, why do you think Democrats are in favor of this?
BURGESS: I think they're making the assumption that these individuals are going to vote Democratic. And again, this is where I think we need to work. We've got to be talking to people, if we do not engage that age demographic. Guess what? I promise you, Beto O'Rourke was in my district, night and day when he was running for Senator in Texas and he made a lot of equity, made with people who couldn't vote in that election, but they will be with him in the next election.
CARLSON: No, I think you're right. I think -- I think that part is absolutely true. Congressman Michael C. Burgess, MD.
CARLSON: Thanks very much.
BURGESS; Thanks very much for having me on.
CARLSON: We will have more just ahead on the biggest story today. There are so many, but we're going to isolate one. The charges have been dropped in Chicago against Jussie Smollett. How was he able to beat the rap? A live report on the new developments, plus a defender of Jussie Smollett here to state his case, straight ahead.
CARLSON: Well the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel and the Superintendent of Chicago Police both seem stunned today after learning that prosecutors were dropping all charges -- all 16 felony counts -- against actor Jussie Smollett. Those charges stemmed, of course, from his bogus hate crime in January. What exactly happened to make those charges go away? We're still getting information on that, but Fox's Matt Finn matte finish been tracking it from the beginning, he was in the courtroom today and joins us with an update from Chicago -- Matt.
MATT FINN, CORRESPONDENT: Tucker, Chicago's Police Superintendent and this city's Mayor are slamming prosecutors who are dropping charges today against actor, Jussie Smollett. Chicago's top cop says justice has not been served and the actor owes this city an apology and Chicago's mayor says that granted jury indictment of 16 charges against actor Jussie Smollett could not have been any clearer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMANUEL: Mr. Smollett it is still saying that he is innocent, still running down the Chicago Police Department. How dare him? How dare him?
JOHNSON: At the end of the day, it's Mr. Smollett who committed this hoax. Period. If he wanted to clear his name, the way to do that was in a court of law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FINN: Smollett was scheduled to be back in court April 7th for those 16 felony charges of lying to police, but then suddenly, in an emergency hearing today, prosecutors filed a nolle prosequi motion which means to stop prosecuting and the Judge granted that motion.
The Cook County State's Attorney's office as it did not exonerate Smollett and that it stands by police. The charges were dropped in exchange for community service and forfeiting that $10,000.00 bond. In a statement, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office wrote quote, "After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett's volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the city of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case."
And here is Smollett after today stunning ruling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMOLLETT: I've been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother's son if I was capable of one drop of what I've been accused of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FINN: Jussie Smollett attorney says that they have nothing to say to police in response to all of the man hours and resources Chicago Police poured into this investigation other than not to try the case in the media -- Tucker.
CARLSON: Matt Finn, thanks very much. We want to get a quick correction of by the way on the air. You just saw tape of the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, and he repeated twice the phrase, "How dare him? How dare him?" And we just want to let you know what should be "How dare he? How dare he?" Just want to make that clear before we proceed.
Okay, joining us now is Jason Nichols. He's a professor of African- American Studies in the University of Maryland. And we're always happy to have him. So this seems to me Professor, I mean, really, nobody disputes the guilt of -- nobody disputes that this was made up -- the police, the mayor, the prosecutors, even the State's Attorney, who let him off isn't saying it didn't happen. It does seem like a pretty clear example of a rich, famous guy with connections, getting a different standard of justice, getting away with something because he can.
JASON NICHOLS, PROFESSOR OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: Yes, so first of all, I think that Jussie Smollett deserves the presumption of innocence.
CARLSON: For sure.
NICHOLS: Because he hasn't -- it hasn't been proven that he is guilty of any kind of crime. The thing that was really disgusting to me was to hear Rahm Emanuel and the Superintendent of Police sit there and say that this has been a black eye on the city. He owes the city and apology.
I think if there's anyone who owes the city and apology, it should be Rahm Emanuel himself. It should be the Superintendent of Police, you know that they solve 5% of nonfatal shootings in Chicago. So that's basically you shoot someone, you have a 95% of getting away with it.
CARLSON: I literally couldn't agree with you more.
NICHOLS: Seventeen percent of murders.
CARLSON: I am nodding in absolute agreement. I think Rahm Emanuel has done a horrible job as mayor and I think the Police Superintendent should be ashamed the clearance rate on crime.
CARLSON: I totally agree.
NICHOLS: And that's not a black eye --
CARLSON: But Jussie Smollett made it worse. So because he is rich and famous and went on "GMA" and cried with Robin Roberts, he sucked up a huge percentage of the resources of the Chicago Police Department that should be going to solving shootings, but weren't.
NICHOLS: But they weren't going to solving shootings or at least they weren't actually working prior to Jussie Smollett, so the claim --
CARLSON: But he made it worse, don't you think?
NICHOLS: To claim that you know, the black eye on the city of Chicago comes from Jussie Smollett, I think is just preposterous. I mean --
CARLSON: Okay, but hold on, wait a second. I mean, how was Jussie Smollett --
NICHOLS: Laquan McDonald, they covered that up for a year.
CARLSON: I'm agreeing with you vehemently. It's a badly run city. It's a one party state, it's corrupt. And the people who can leave are leaving and it's really sad to watch it. I agree completely. But Jussie Smollett is not the victim here. Here's a rich guy who pretended to be the victim and because he has connections with the Obama's and Kamala Harris and Jesse Jackson, he's skating so, isn't that the wrong message?
NICHOLS: I mean, you know, the thing is, so much of this has been in secret, so much as this has been covered up and I watched some of your earliest segments. I think it's a little unfair to blame Kim Foxx because she recused herself. She wasn't a part of this. The guy who actually is saying, Magat, I believe his name is, you know, ironic name. But, you know, he is the person who has got 23 years' experience as a prosecutor, and he's the person who set up this deal that's not even a plea deal.
CARLSON: So we've only got 15 seconds, but honestly, if you're going to let the guy out early, and I'm not always against that. Shouldn't have least conceive what he did? Shouldn't he stop lying first? Or no?
NICHOLS: Yes, I mean, the thing is, at this point, we don't know what's going on. Like I'm waiting for the facts to come out just like you are.
CARLSON: All right. Well, hopefully they will. Professor, great to see you. Thank you.
NICHOLS: Absolutely. Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: We're out of time, sadly. We will be back tomorrow night faithfully and every weeknight. The show that as the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and groupthink. We'd encourage you to DVR it if you understood how they work. Good luck with that.
Good night from Washington. We have a special surprise for you, not really a guest on this show, but the man who's going to anchor the 9:00 p.m. show tonight.
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