This is a rush transcript from "The Story," December 4, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: Good evening, everybody. And breaking tonight, Senator Lindsey Graham will join me. An outspoken advocate of the president at times. And in this STORY, an outspoken critic.
He is just out of the CIA briefing on the Khashoggi killing and he is fired up tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: Our Secretary Pompeo and Mattis are following the lead of the president. There is not a smoking gun, there's a smoking soul.
You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people, and under the command of MBS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Graham and a handful of Senators were briefed by CIA director Gina Haspel who was not in the prior briefing for some reason. The highly- anticipated meeting seems to have increased tensions over how the killing should impact U.S. policy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICHARD SHELBY, R-ALA., CHAIRMAN, SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE: Somebody should be punished. Now, the question is, how do you separate the Saudi Crown Prince and his group from the nation itself?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The message of them is, "Look, this is something that we can get away with. The greatest country on earth and its later has said its OK for us to get away with this, we're going to continue doing --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, will the president act in the face of this mounting pressure from within his own party. He has yet to condemn the Saudi Crown Prince, and his administration says there is no smoking gun here. A stance that Graham feels could make the world "a more dangerous place".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: There are other people in the region who will see this as the green light if we look the other way. We have relationships with many countries throughout the world. If they believe the relationship is more important than our values, then they're going to get the wrong message in the world becomes a more dangerous place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Senator Graham joins me now. Senator, thanks for being here.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Good to see you tonight in Washington. So, as you said there, the president and secretary of state Pompeo have sort of carved out a space where they say, well, you know, looking at the evidence is not exactly clear that there was a direct link between MBS and this act.
GRAHAM: Yes. And it's crystal clear. Beyond any doubt, this could not have happened without the crown prince knowing about it. We have a ton of intelligence that the people in charge of killing Mr. Khashoggi work directly for the crown prince.
His number one go-to guy orchestrated the move. And the president's right about this. It is in our interest to have a relationship with Saudi Arabia. They've been a strategic ally for since World War II.
It's not in our interest to give the crown prince who's 33, 34 years old, a pass for the murder of American resident with three American children, because, then you're going to have open season on Americans everywhere.
So, I'm going to come down hard like a ton of bricks on the Crown Prince and try to salvage the relationship with Saudi Arabia.
MACCALLUM: Have you talked to the president?
MACCALLUM: Since the briefing today?
GRAHAM: No, no.
MACCALLUM: And is he changing his mind on any of this?
GRAHAM: I don't know. The president is in the different spot, you know. He is the President of the United States. Congress has an independent obligation to look at these things. You know, every now and then, Congress goes its own way.
We did this for Bush on the Detainee Treatment Act. You know, Obama did not want to put sanctions on Iran and the Congress said, "Yes, we should."
This is a situation where Congress will probably take a different view of it. We have to have a long view of things. Presidents come and go. And what I want to make sure of is if you're going to ally with the United States -- if you're going to be our ally, you want to have access to our economy and borrow weapons, there's a certain price to be paid, you can't chop up a guy in a consulate, particularly, whose American resident, who is an opinion journalist for the Washington Post, and expect us to do nothing about it.
So, it's pretty simple for Saudi Arabia, if you want to keep this relationship, you disrespected it, you need to repair it. The damage is being done by their crown prince, not by the United States. And if you want to fix it, you should do something about it.
MACCALLUM: So, you got a couple of issues here. You have the arms sales.
GRAHAM: Yes, right.
MACCALLUM: Which the president has been very transparent. This is the most important thing to him in this relationship. And then, you've got what's going on in Yemen, and our support of Saudi Arabia there. What can the Senate do to block the President on those two things?
GRAHAM: Well, number one, I'll take a back seat to no one when it comes to supporting Saudi Arabia in the past. I have stood up on the floor of the Senate time and time again advocating for the arms sales. Now, I'm going to say, we should suspend the arms sales until those responsible for Mr. Khashoggi's murder are held to account.
This is a big change for me, why? If we don't stop it now, it gets worse later. It's just not the killing of Mr. Khashoggi. The crown prince put an embargo on Qatar, an ally of the United States where we had 14,000 troops, and never told us about it. He put the prime minister of Lebanon under house arrest and got him to resign. He's put half his family in jail. He's been wrecking ball when it comes to the Mideast in general.
And I've had enough, and if we don't stop him now, it gets worse later. So, I'm not going to support arms sales to somebody this unstable. What makes you believe he wouldn't take an American weapons system and give it to the Chinese? This guy is nuts.
MACCALLUM: You know, everybody thought he was a reformer.
GRAHAM: Yes, I did too.
MACCALLUM: He had a good relationship with Jared Kushner, the president made his very first trip to Saudi Arabia. So, why do you think you are? -- And you know, everybody knows that you know, there's a lot of bad actors and bad actions in the world.
GRAHAM: Oh, totally, I get that.
MACCALLUM: I mean you look at right after Tiananmen Square, Brent Scowcroft was -- you know, cheers in champagne with the leadership in China.
GRAHAM: Sure. Totally, totally. Yes.
MACCALLUM: So, we overlook a lot of bad stuff in the world, because we need to sometimes.
GRAHAM: Yes, that's true. But, but when --
MACCALLUM: Why is this so different real?
GRAHAM: That is good. OK, everybody in the world's watching, by the way. And when you sell weapons to somebody, and when you let them have access to your economy, and you treat them as a real ally, that's different than having a relationship with China, Iran, or Russia. They're not our allies, they are foes, and sometimes you can only do so much.
But when you get in America's orbit, and when you want to associate yourself with America in a direct way, we can't ignore this. Because other people will see this as a green light to do -- for about another journalist? What about people saying, "I don't like my government."
And if you're an ally of the United States, and we let somebody gets chopped up in a consulate, then we're abandoning our values. So, I'm a pretty practical guy. I introduce India six months ago in town as being the hope of the Mideast.
Boy, was I wrong. So, here is what the way I feel about it. I was played, I was used.
MACCALLUM: Did you tell the president that you think he's been played on this?
GRAHAM: Yes. Here's what I told the --
MACCALLUM: So what did he say about that?
GRAHAM: Well, here's what I told the president. "Name one president the United States has done more to reach out to Saudi Arabia? The first trip you took was to Saudi Arabia. You have created a relationship this special, and this is the way you get repaid?
Clearly, they don't respect you, they don't respect us. They feel like they can do anything and get away with it. Now is the time to come down hard. Now it's the time to be the leader of the world and not accept this as just the way things are."
I'm going to cut them off. I'm going from being this guy's biggest champion to be in his biggest nightmare. And I would advise the president, the people are sizing you up. The Iranians are looking at you, the Russians are looking at you.
And this guy has basically disrespected us, you, and the nation, all of our values.
MACCALLUM: But you don't think that that's would just getting through.
GRAHAM: If you let him get away with it -- if you let him get away with this, Mr. President, then you're sending a signal that you're just -- you're just about transactions, you're not somebody special. And the President of the United States needs to be somebody special.
MACCALLUM: Is there any indication that he is at this point that you're trying to make is getting through to the president in any way?
GRAHAM: I like the president. He's done a great job with ISIS, he stood up to Iran. I like the fact that he opened the door to Saudi Arabia so we'd have a bulwark against Iran. But what I would caution the president is that Obama was weak in the eyes of our friends, and our enemies, and in the Mideast.
If you give this guy a pass after he disrespected you, you'll look weak, and you don't want to look weak. Right now, you've got to be strong. Everybody's watching.
MACCALLUM: So, before you know it, we're going to be deep into 2020.
MACCALLUM: And Joe Biden, the former vice president was talking about how strongly positioned he believes he is for the next election, and here's what he had to say, "I think I'm the most qualified person in the country to be president. The issues that we face as a country today are the issues that I've worked on my whole life. The plight of the middle class and foreign policy."
You've known him a very long time. You've been in Washington a long time.
MACCALLUM: Is he the most formidable of the potential Democratic candidate?
GRAHAM: I think, he would be a tough opponent. But I think President Trump will win because if you like what Biden has to offer, Clinton wouldn't have gotten beat. Because she was an extension of that kind of way of doing business.
If you like looking weak throughout the world as Obama and Biden looked, if you like a stagnant economy, whereas, the command and control economy and the wages are not growing, then, go back that way.
I'm not underestimating Joe Biden. I personally like him, but he's been wrong about every major foreign policy event. He was the biggest champion of the Iranian agreement, where we gave $150 billion to the Ayatollah.
So, I like Trump's chances, but don't take anything for granted. But I will say with this without any doubt. The candidates on the Democratic side range from sort of crazy to just let me tell you how much I hate Trump, he's the one guy with actually some experience.
So, in compared Elizabeth Warren, he's the most qualified. But if you're looking for a president who is going to take the country in a new direction, he is absolutely your worst choice because he'll take us backward.
MACCALLUM: All right, quick reminder before I let you go of the last round of elections and the animosity that grew between now-President Trump and the Bush family.
MACCALLUM: That seems to be on pause as we all remember the 41st president of the United States. And I just want to show you an interesting moment that happened just a short time ago and get your reaction to this.
Handshakes all around and a nice moment for this two couples. What do you think?
GRAHAM: I love Laura and W. He's a good man. I'm tried to help President Trump, I really like him. From my point of view, this is a -- this is -- this is a touching moment. The Republican Party needs to come together, and Kavanaugh brought us together.
Kavanaugh was a Bush guy picked by Trump to be on the Supreme Court and they tried to destroy him. And I hope Republicans remember, they just don't hate Trump, they hate us all. The hate conservatism on the far-left.
And to see these two families to shake hands to make amends is not only makes me feel good as an American but particularly as a Republican. If we can come together and understand we have far more in common than we have indifferences, President Trump is going to win big in 2020.
MACCALLUM: Senator Graham, thank you. Always a pleasure to have you with us. Thanks for being here tonight.
And breaking tonight. Any minute, we expect that we will get the release of the documents from the Special Counsel Robert Mueller that could determine the fate a former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Ken Starr, former independent counsel in the Clinton impeachment case, here on that breaking news tonight, next.
MACCALLUM: So, any moment now, we expect big news from the man we have heard next to nothing from, the special counsel himself. Robert Mueller is about to release his sentencing memo on President Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. That was about one year ago this month when Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. That plea, though, has raised a lot more questions than it ever answered. Mainly, did Flynn cut a deal to cooperate with the special counsel?
And if he did, what information did he have? The severity of the sentence that is recommended tonight when it comes in by Robert Mueller will certainly begin to shed some light on Mueller's case. Joining me now Judge Ken Starr, Former Independent Counsel under President Clinton and author of the book "Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation." Thank you very much, Judge Starr, for being here tonight. What do you expect will be revealed when we get a look at this sentencing document?
KEN STARR, FORMER INDEPENDENT COUNSEL UNDER PRESIDENT CLINTON: Right. Martha, thank you for having me on.
MACCALLUM: Thank you.
STARR: We're going to slowly get the story of the Russian connection. The general pled guilty to lying to the FBI, that is a very unfortunate and tragic thing for the general. There have been issues and you have focused on those issues, was he coerced? We will see. That's all the more reason that I think we're all eagerly anticipating this particular sentencing memorandum.
This memorandum will tell the story of General Flynn's relationship with the Russian ambassador and perhaps others. It's part of the narrative. And one thing I should quickly say, Martha, is everyone is looking ahead to the Bob Mueller report. These are portions of the report that are coming in incrementally as we get the sentencing memoranda.
MACCALLUM: Right. You know, I mean, you always try to get to heart of the issue here. I think when you follow, you know, Watergate or Whitewater or the Clinton case, you know, it gets lost. These investigations go on and on and on. This has been going on for a year and a half. And as you well know, they can go on for a long time.
But at the heart of this is whether or not Michael Flynn or Michael Cohen or Paul Manafort, did they discuss anything with the Russians? Did they, you know, arrange for hackers to leak these e-mails? Was the president aware of any of that? And so far, we don't have any -- we're not privy to any actual evidence or connection that draws those things together.
But two other people, Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi, are suggested by this story to have had some link to WikiLeaks, to Julian Assange. They both say that that never happened. They don't know the man, never had any interaction with him. And tonight, Roger Stone refused to speak to Dianne Feinstein, Senator Feinstein's committee about this. What do you make of their resistance? What does it tell you, Judge Starr?
STARR: There is a brokenness in the relationships. Believe it or not, the special counselor or the special prosecutor has a relationship. This is a human process. And are you on the same team or are you not?
And so, I think one of the challenges that the Mueller team is now having is getting people on the team. They say they're going to join the team and then they don't. Or they're on the team and then they're saying we're off. There is a brokenness in the relationship that is, frankly, an impediment to us bringing the investigation to a conclusion.
But you're absolutely right, there thus far has been no public evidence of any kind of collusion with Russian interests and the Trump campaign. So, we keep finding new areas, right? Such as, well, what about the Michael Cohen plea, et cetera, with respect to business relationships and Russia carrying on into the presidential campaign?
The good news I think for the country, because the country should want the president to succeed is there's no indication that the president has been in any way misleading or just not telling the truth to the investigators, to the Mueller team. So, hopefully, this is winding down with the sentencing memoranda coming to light that I think will shed light on these relationships with Russian interest.
MACCALLUM: Well, let me ask about the brokenness. Because Manafort and Stone and Corsi, all claim that the reason that that relationship with the prosecutors and the special counsel is broken is because they were asked to admit to things that they say they didn't do. And they were not comfortable doing that, which is understandable if they're telling the truth.
STARR: That is the if. That's an extremely serious charge. There is no question. Prosecutorial power can be abused. I was accused of abusing that power. I don't think I did. I think we were vindicated. But if there is a charge, especially by more than one individual that he, she, they are being coerced, then that has to be taken very seriously because that goes to the morality of the investigation. So, hopefully, this brokenness will be healed so we can all find out the truth, which is what we've been waiting for since May of last year when Bob Mueller was appointed.
MACCALLUM: Before I let you go and I want to ask you about President Bush also. But very quickly, you know, people say that this looks like the ends are starting to tie up and then there are loose ends that look like they could go on for a long time. You've been in this position, what is your take?
STARR: Given all the indications, I think that it is coming to an end. But the unexpected does happen, which could, in fact, be a fly in the ointment. So, let's stay tuned, follow it day-by-day. Let's don't try to get ahead of the story. And then, see, especially again -- I want to emphasize the filings and the sentencing memoranda and also then in the indictments that the Mueller team has already filed against the Russian nationals and the Russian organizations is telling us a lot. And thus far what it's telling us is, the Russians were really bad actors; no engagement by the Trump campaign as far as we know with these very bad people from Russia.
MACCALLUM: All right. Before I let you go, obviously, we are all pausing over these few days to mourn the passing of President Bush 41. And you knew him for a very long time, your thoughts on him before I let you go tonight?
STARR: Well, thank you for sharing that. Obviously, the outpouring of love and affection and admiration for President Bush 41 is very appropriate, it's fitting, it proper to live his great life. And yes, at a very personal level, I came to know him when he was a member of congress from my native state of Texas and I was working my way through undergrad school. And he was always unfailingly kind and gracious, just the kind of person who we have seen. He appointed me as the solicitor general of the United States. That was his one big mistake. But other than that, he had just a great, great career. And so, we miss him. I'd loved both Barbara and the president.
MACCALLUM: Special people. And great Americans and it's fitting that we remember them. We thank you for sharing your story with us, Judge Starr. Always good to have you with us. Come back. We're going to get a lot of news here, so stick around. Thank you, sir.
STARR: Yes. Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So, coming up next, new information tonight on the disappearance of the controversial Chinese scientist who claimed that he created gene edited babies. Where is he?
MACCALLUM: Tonight, there are reports of another mysterious disappearance in China. This time, it is the controversial Chinese scientist who set off international outcry after claiming to have created the world's first gene- edited babies. The scientist was in Hong Kong last week and he has not been seen since. It follows reports of another disappearance that we told you about on the story last week of an award-winning photo journalist known for capturing controversial images of China's dark side. Trace Gallagher has the latest from our West Coast newsroom.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Martha, He Jiankui is the lead researcher of the project that claimed to have altered the DNA of the twin girls to make them resistant to the virus that causes aids. The claim has not been independently confirmed or peer reviewed in scientific journals and many mainstream scientists have condemned the experiment, calling Dr. He, the Chinese Frankenstein. Last week, He Jiankui presented his finding at the International Human Genome Editing Conference in Hong Kong. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HE JIANKUI, CHINESE BIOPHYSICS RESEARCHER: For this specific case, I feel proud, actually. I feel proudest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: But since the conference, He Jiankui has not been seen or heard from. Some Chinese media outlets have been reporting that Dr. He was taken back to the campus of his former employer -- China Southern University of Science and Technology and is being held there under house arrest. The university denies the reports but also says it is unable to answer any further questions. We should note the gene editing experiment was conducted outside the university and Dr. He, who was a formal post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University, is now under investigation by the Chinese National Health Commission. Though, there is no indication that the commission has detained or questioned the scientist.
Dr. He's disappearance comes exactly one month after famed photo journalist, Lu Guang, went missing in a remote province of Xinjiang, an area of China known for series of internment camps used to "re-educate Muslims (INAUDIBLE) and other ethnic groups," some call them indoctrination camps. Lu Guang has used his camera to shed light on the China darker side and human rights groups worry he's been detained in an effort to suppress his work. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing has called on the Chinese government to allow journalists to do their job without interference. And the Foreign Correspondent Club of Hong Kong is asking the Chinese government to at least confirm that Lu is safe. Martha.
MACCALLUM: Trace, thank you very much. Joining me now: Marc Thiessen, an American Enterprise Institute Scholar and Fox News Contributor. I know, this is, you know, an issue -- this whole concept of editing genes and then creating babies from them, your reaction to this? And also, I know that you point out that part of this process has been done in the United States.
MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It has been. So I mean, what the scientific community is up in arms about is not that he took -- that he created children in a Petri dish and changed their genetic structure because that's been in the United States. In 2017, it was done in a university in Oregon. The difference is -- what they're upset with him about is that he actually implanted them in a woman and brought them to term whereas these American scientists just killed their children that they have created.
So, this is happening all the time. This research is just the difference is that he had the audacity to actually bring these children into the world.
It's very important to distinguish between what genetic engineering and gene therapy. So, gene therapy is a very promising kind of medicine where if you have a genetic disease or if you have cancer or some other things they can actually go in and repair your DNA in order to fight that disease. And when they do that the genetic changes stay inside of you.
We're talking about with genetic engineering, is they go and they create a child in a Petri dish and change its genetic code in a way its intended to stop disease. But in a way that those genetic changes are passed on through generations. Every cell in that child's body is changed.
And so, what we are doing literally is we're opening a Pandora's box. We're playing with the genetic code of humanity. And we really ought to be very careful if we are going to be playing God that way.
MACCALLUM: And the question is who stops it? Who controls it? Who oversees? Who says this is great for curing cancer but we are not going to create babies that will never, you know, have that gene?
MACCALLUM: You know, how do you do it?
THIESSEN: Well, I mean, again, gene therapy is an area that we should be putting a lot of research money into it because it's a very promising way. I'm not sure that we should be doing this at all. Because for one thing we don't know the -- scientifically, we don't know if there are consequences. We don't know what kind of changes into the human genome that could unleash that would go through generations and be uncontrollable as the children have children have children.
You can change the human genetic code of humanity. But socially it's also very concerning because if you can change genetic code to cure disease you can also change the genetic code to enhance human beings. So, the same genetic change that could be address--
MACCALLUM: Make them more muscular or--
THIESSEN: Yes. So, if you can get--
MACCALLUM: -- blue eyed or whatever you want.
THIESSEN: Exactly. So, if you can cure -- if you can change genes to fight muscular dystrophy, well, maybe those same technologies can be choose to enhance muscle and speed and strength. If you can do genetic changes to cure dementia you could also improve cognition.
And that has remarkable social consequences because only the wealthy will be able to afford this. So, if you are concerned about inequality, you are going to have a genetically enhanced elite that has access to this and an unenhanced poor. And then all sort of changes will happen in society that are really, really troubling.
MACCALLUM: Unleash something that you have no idea what the ramifications are--
MACCALLUM: -- of the so-called perfect people.
MACCALLUM: Which would likely not be. Marc, thank you very much.
THIESSEN: Thank you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Good to see you as always.
So, a live look this evening at the U.S. Capitol rotunda where President George H.W. Bush lies in state this everything. Not too far from here. My next guest calls the late president the greatest boss he's ever known. Bill Bennett here with untold stories tonight. He is the guy on the right. About Bush 41 in the White House. Coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: Now, the Congress has authorized creation of a White House Office of National Drug Control policy at cabinet level. And I'm especially pleased to announce my intention to nominate my friend Bill Bennett, former secretary, William Bennett, to head that office as its director.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Quite a moment today. Long-time Republican Senator and Congressman Bob Dole, 95 years old, stood up from his wheelchair to salute the late President George H.W. Bush. Clearly, he was moved by the moment. You could see it on his face.
The late president 41 body lie in state at the United States capitol. People still lined up two and a half hour waits in the lines that are wrapping around the capitol to pay their respects this evening. Ahead of the funeral which will be tomorrow morning at the Washington National Cathedral.
Bret Baier and I will take you through that starting at 9 o'clock in the morning.
President Bush -- so they are taking steps in this, what we are hearing about this funeral plan tomorrow to kind of ensure that it doesn't turn into an opportunity to take swipes at the current president who met today with President George W. Bush and his wife Laura.
Interesting moment that we witnessed outside of Blair House today. Display of unity, shaking hands, smiling for the cameras. My next guest has fond memories of the entire Bush family dating back to his time as the member of Bush 41's cabinet. He served as the country's first ever drug czar.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: I have chosen Bill, Bill Bennett, to be the commanding general in the drug war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Here now Bill Bennett, also a Fox News contributor. Bill, good to see you tonight.
BILL BENNETT, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you. At the press conference, the first question was, Mr. Bennett, are you still smoking? And the president interrupted my answer and said, Bill, do you smoke? I said, not anymore. That's for sure.
MACCALLUM: The drug czar can't smoke.
BENNETT: No drug czar can smoke. But great, a great job he did for me. I did the best I could for him. No president has done more on the issue than George Herbert Walker Bush. He backed me up. He went where I am, ask him to go. And we got the drug use down by 50 percent in this country. Thanks to his efforts. Efforts of the rest of the government and a lot of work in the private sector. He did that job well.
MACCALLUM: And that was the period where crack cocaine was rampant.
BENNETT: That's right.
MACCALLUM: Across the country.
BENNETT: That's right.
MACCALLUM: It's not something that you hear that much about in subsequent years, obviously. We have a whole new problem on our hand.
BENNETT: A whole new and then we could do well to do what he did.
MACCALLUM: Talk to me a little bit about what you say is the -- we watch President Trump and the first lady greeting the Bush's outside of Blair House as we just showed.
MACCALLUM: And you say that there is a Trump side of Bush 41.
BENNETT: Yes, I know. What do they say, de mortuis nihil nisi bonum. You know, your mother a Notre Dame graduate.
MACCALLUM: Of course.
BENNETT: You know our student, you know Latin. Do not speak ill of the dead. Now I'm not going to speak ill. But there's a little bit of Bush's, always wonderful always perfect person. Well, he was a wonderful person and a great human being and a model human being. But he had a tough side, you know.
He just tended to out-sourced his, if you will, Trump side. Lee Atwater ran about a tough a campaign as you can. Roger Ailes and Lee Atwater. In the cabinet I got two calls a week from John Sununu yelling at me. Larry Eagleburger was a tough son of a gun. Dick Darman, the butcher of the OMB.
So, you know, there is a tough side. There has to be to govern and to govern well. There has to be. But he always who he was. He had the gift of always being himself, a gracious and decent man. And I spent a lot of time with him. As I said he never turned me down. He was wonderful to my family. I am looking forward to getting a chance to say goodbye to him.
MACCALLUM: To remember him tomorrow. And I know you are going to join us tomorrow. And it's interesting that the report is that there's been an effort on part of the family to keep--
MACCALLUM: -- the swipes out of the service. That this is about 41 tomorrow. And they want everyone to stay on that page which is of course understandable.
BENNETT: Yes. We are not going to see what we saw the last time at the national cathedral, regrettably at the John McCain funeral, there were two -- there were a couple of things that shouldn't have happened. And I have to congratulate the Bush family and the Trump family. They've handled this beautifully.
I mean, the Trumps have been over backwards I think to be gracious to the Bushes and the Bushes have returned it. But that's the way they are. That's the way the Bushes were raised. You expected that. But it's a good moment for Donald Trump to have said what he said to have gone over to the Blair House. And I think tomorrow will be without any incident like that. It's just time, you know, there is a time to take glory and give respect to a man who deserves, very much deserves it. So, I think it will be a great day.
MACCALLUM: Lindsey Graham was here a while ago tonight. And he looked at video of the two couples outside. And he said, I hope that that continues. I'd like, he said, I'd like to see the party come together. And the time for kind of swiping at each other is over. Can that happen?
BENNETT: Yes. But it depends. Times change. I mean, I worked for Ronald Reagan. And that was a great experience. I worked for George Bush and that was a great experience. And I don't work for Donald Trump but I like him and I admire him.
But, you know, I said years ago, sometimes you need Mother Theresa and sometimes you need Dirty Garry. I mean, it depends on the issue and it depends on the times.
MACCALLUM: So, which is President Trump?
BENNETT: Well, well, he has never been called kinder and gentler.
MACCALLUM: I know who's Dirty Harry.
BENNETT: He could use a little more kindler and gentler which he is doing this week and which he is usually when he goes abroad. And I think it suits him well and it's very good for him politically. And I believe it's genuine.
But George Bush had his tough side. You know, what really bothers me some of the journalists, the people who trash George Herbert Walker Bush every day. They now say--
MACCALLUM: And now they are just, he's the greatest guy ever. Don't you love that?
BENNETT: The man from Olympus, you know.
MACCALLUM: So, I just want to pull up this running, jogging picture, again.
MACCALLUM: Handsome Bill Bennett on the right.
MACCALLUM: Give me a quick thought on this picture before we go.
BENNETT: Well, we jog. He liked to jog with me. He said fill me in on this drug war while we jog. I said you got a choice. I can fill you in on the drug war or we can jog. I probably can't do both if we're going at your pace. He said I'll slow down.
So, this man 21 years my senior would slow down from me and I'd fill him in. And we had a lot of good conversations. Real quick, in Portland, Oregon, dedicating a police memorial. We couldn't jog because somebody was burning a flag outside and there were a lot of protesters.
The president looked at the window and said, that gets me. If those people knew what people had done to keep that flag safe and held high, he said, it just really gets me. I will never forget that moment with the president. Genuine heartfelt. This was no whim. This was a man.
MACCALLUM: He wrote you this nice note on the bottom of that one and that one said, "Bill, keep running. You are doing great."
BENNETT: There's a little bit of (Inaudible).
MACCALLUM: Thanks, Bill. Good to see you tonight.
BENNETT: Thank you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: We'll see you tomorrow.
BENNETT: Yes, we will.
MACCALLUM: We look forward to it. So, coming up next, a Senate Democrat who is now on her way out of office admits the serious mistakes that her party made she says in the handling of allegations against then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL, D-MO.: No matter how I vote, I get myself in trouble with a wide swath of voters. So, it kind of freeze me up to do the right thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRETT KAVANAUGH, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT: I'm here. I wanted to be here. I wanted to be the next day. It's an outrage that I was not allowed to come immediately and defend my name, and say, I didn't do this and give you all this evidence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh defending his name in front of Congress. Who can forget those moments? The dramatic he said/she said that played out for the entire nation to see.
And now one outgoing Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri admits that her party could have done better to prevent that spectacle. She told NPR this. "There were mistakes made by my party in terms of how that was handled. I don't think that communication to the judiciary committee should have been kept private as long as it was."
Joining me now is Ashe Schow, senior editor of the Daily Wire who writes about this issue a lot, wrote this story about McCaskill. Ashe, good to have you here. You say this is a big deal because this is policy that McCaskill has supported for a long time that came back to bite her. What do you mean?
ASHE SCHOW, SENIOR EDITOR, THE DAILY WIRE: Absolutely. So, McCaskill and Senator Gillibrand of New York have been pushing policies on campuses for colleges and in military for years, that basically say you have to believe all women. Due process is the enemy to justice.
And we saw it play out with Kavanaugh. We saw immediately an allegation, Chrstine Blasey Ford was immediately called a victim. We couldn't question her story even though nobody could corroborate it. There was no evidence to back it up. It was from 36 years ago. And yet, Kavanaugh had his name dragged through the mud. And McCaskill is now blaming Democrats for that when it was her policy that led them to do that? That's absurd.
MACCALLUM: So that policy, which you mention it was an Obama Civil Rights office policy which basically instituted all of this sort of little courts that were -- by professors across the campuses. Is that changing. Does the Kavanaugh, did that experience change anything in this country do you think?
SCHOW: I think it didn't. And I think it's going to be bad for Democrats. Because there were people who weren't really aware of what was going on on campus or in the military who saw this play out in the court of the public opinion and it kind of stood up and were like, wait, what? What is going on? Like, where was the due process where was the presumption of the innocence?
And I think it might hurt Democrats in the future because I think they are going to -- people are going to see this and think, wait, do I want to vote for a Democrat whose openly advocating for to take away my fifth and sixth amendment rights? I mean, we see it on campus with free speech as well and the second amendment. But now fifth and sixth?
MACCALLUM: So, what do you think the ultimate impact is? And what, you said that you think it will be worse for Democrats because of this. But really, I mean, everybody needs to kind of wake up to how the process plays out in these cases.
SCHOW: Absolutely. I mean, it's been going on for years. People need to pay attention. Gillibrand has -- she's a -- Gillibrand is the main issue on this right now, the main speaker. McCaskill is on the way out. But we have the secretary of education Betsy DeVos who is working to instill some due process but you still have the Gillibrand's of the world, the Patty Murray's of the world going out there.
MACCALLUM: Are they pushing back against the DeVos changes?
MACCALLUM: Or have they not really woken up to that yet?
SCHOW: No. They are absolutely pushing back saying this is going to set back survivors. This is harmful. This is, you know, going to keep people from coming forward. It's providing due process rights to people who were accused of a heinous crime. We have to allow them to defend themselves.
MACCALLUM: Ashe Schow, out in front on this issue from the beginning. Thank you very much. Good to see you again, Ashe.
So, coming up next tonight, Harvard punishes students if they insist on being in fraternities and sororities, saying that they will not allow them to lead any other campus clubs or be captains of any teams if they belong. Up next.
MACCALLUM: So, legal battle brewing on the campus of Harvard University where multiple fraternities and the sororities are now suing the school over a policy that they just adopted last year. It discourages students from joining single gender social clubs which Harvard says can lead to misogynistic aggression.
Fraternities in the federal suit say, quote, "Harvard's males -- Harvard's view that all male organizations cause sexual assault because they are all male and that there is no value to all female or all female organizations are sexist in the extreme."
Here now Christopher Colby, senior at Harvard University and a Campus Reform correspondent and member of one of the off-campus fraternities. Christopher, good to have you here tonight. So, you are suing Harvard based on what exactly?
CHRISTOPHER COLBY, STUDENT, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Absolutely, Martha. You mentioned -- thank you so much for having me by the way.
You mentioned that this lawsuit aims to target the students who are working or in these fraternities. It doesn't mean to discourage them. It actually means to bar them from entering them at all.
Sadly, Harvard believes that it's able to take their views on what's right and wrong for their students and how they should associate and put them directly into almost a law. I mean, they don't want people to hold the athletic captaincy if they are in fraternities or sororities, they don't want them to make friends with people who are in them. And it's very clear that their view of this, their strong view of this is present in the sanctions right now.
MACCALLUM: Yes, even if you want to apply to be a Rhodes scholar, or to achieve something of that level, they will not write you a letter of recommendation if they find out that you're in one of this all-male or all- female groups. Is that right?
COLBY: Yes, absolutely. And it's not just that either. Because Harvard manages to sneak a lot of different things and the sanction package. There is more than the big scholarships too.
You know, imagine if you want to go study abroad in Ireland for a semester and you submit your application, and then you know, the university in Ireland checks with Harvard and says is this student a good student? And for some reason you being a fraternity, being in a fraternity or being in a sorority is the reason why that's not the case.
It's kind of incredible that they think they can make this assertion but that's exactly what the sanction does and it's what the lawsuit aims to avoid.
MACCALLUM: You know, it's interesting because there are groups at Harvard that are ethnically based, you know, other groups that -- those groups exclude people who are not of that ethnicity?
COLBY: Yes. I mean, to a certain extent there are groups like, for instance, the Latin American Student Association or the black men's forum. These students exist on campus. And Harvard is actually very supportive of them. Harvard also, you know, as the leadership and student in Campus Reform reports they are also supportive of things like the black congregation at the end of the year where they have a graduation ceremony for these minority groups.
They are very supportive of these and they like that these students get together and associate as they do. Really it makes you realize that Harvard wants some students who associate in certain ways. And if they don't go along with how they associate then the consequences to them are a reservation against the scholarships.
And perhaps more importantly, a kind of overarching moral mandate that says, you are not doing things right you're on the Harvard campus if you are in a fraternity or in a sorority. You're doing things poorly if you want to make great connection with the fellow women in a sorority. Or if you're in a fraternity the only thing you want to do is go have this raucous misogynist parties.
There is no way you could be in this fraternity because you like the idea of brotherhood and of service. Harvard seems to think that these are things that no matter what are denigrating to the Harvard campus and academic life in the pursuit of knowledge. And they think that these other minority groups are just perfectly fine.
It's a fine line. And students if they don't go against the sanction and if this lawsuit isn't successful it becomes the sort of deciding factor in pretty much every part of the student life wherever Harvard sees fit.
MACCALLUM: It's a very interesting battle. Christopher Colby, thank you very much for coming on tonight. Good to have you with us.
COLBY: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.
MACCALLUM: And that is our story for this evening. I will see you again at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning alongside Bret Baier for our live coverage of the funeral services for President George H.W. Bush. Tucker's up next.
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