Sen. Graham on French President's views on taxes, Iran deal

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," April 23, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Thank you, Bret, good evening. All right. So, we begin with a Fox News Alert. Mike Pompeo, President Trump's pick for Secretary of State barely avoiding a rare rebuke from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after some unexpected last-minute drama on both sides of the aisle. Senator Rand Paul reversed course and voted "yes" to recommend Pompeo for Secretary of State, but that left the vote with a 10-10 tie, which is essentially a fail. It was Democratic Senator Chris Coons who handed the Republicans a victory by changing his no vote to present, making the final tally, 11-9 -- that's how things work in the Senate committees. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul joins me now. Senator, good to have you with us tonight. You know, first question, what changed your mind when you met with Mike Pompeo?

SEN. RAND PAUL, R—KENTUCKY: You know, one of the things I've always like about President Trump was that he's unequivocally said the Iraq war was a mistake. What I've been concerned about with Director Pompeo is I wasn't sure if he shared the president's vision. Because, you know, the Iraq war and regime change led to a lot of chaos in the Middle East, same thing happened in Libya when we did regime change. And so, I want whoever is to secretary of state to understand where President Trump is coming from. And so, last week, the president asked me to meet with Director Pompeo, and I have respect for the president, I did meet with him. Then, we talked again today, I talked to the president several times, and the president reiterated in strong very terms that we've been at war in too many places for too long. And I think the president's going to surprise a lot of people by really, really trying hard to get us extricated from some of these wars.

MACCALLUM: Did he assure that he would leave Syria?

PAUL: I think it wasn't so much specific on timetables and places. But I would tell you that the president and I share a great deal when we talk about the desire to bring some of our troops home and to have our troops protecting our country and not spread out across the world. And so, you think you'd be surprised when you see and hear the conversation between the two of us. And really, I've always been an advocate -- I mean, Trump was probably the closest to me on foreign policy of any of the other 16 running. And so, I've always been advocate and a supporter of the president on this, and I want to make sure the people around him share his vision. And over time, I'm coming to believe that, and hopeful, you know, that Director Pompeo does share that vision. But the president told me one way or another, it's his vision and he's not going to be persuaded to start more land wars and have hundreds of thousands of troops in the Middle East.

MACCALLUM: We will see. You know, President Macron is there right now trying to convince him that he should not leave Syria and that he should not pull out of the Iran deal. But I want to ask you about this, because President Trump said the other day, Rand Paul is a good man, he never lets me down. And obviously, in your home state of Kentucky, it's a good move to support the president. Did either one of those things weigh on you?

PAUL: Not so much. I mean, what really weighs on me are the wars and all the young men and women who have been injured in our wars. My wife and I worked to try to help some of these severely injured veterans, and my heart goes out to them. And I just see that now, people are admitting, Pompeo and the president are admitting there's not a military solution in Afghanistan. I just can't send one more soldier. So, really, it's my voice and having that voice, and using that voice to try to end these wars that motivates me, not political considerations.

MACCALLUM: There were also critics who said that perhaps you didn't want to be the only member of the GOP to vote to approve John Kerry and not approve Mike Pompeo.

PAUL: I've been by myself before and I'm not afraid to be by myself when the cause is just and the cause is right. And I think in the cause of war, there aren't enough voices to say we've been at war for too long, and that we need to vote on it in Congress. So, I'm very proud of where I am on that. I haven't changed my position at all on that. I just -- discussing with president, I believe even more strongly that the president shares my vision that the wars have gone on too long.

MACCALLUM: So, it sounds like you would be very surprised if Emmanuel Macron could convince the president that he needs to keep a presence on the ground with our military in Syria longer term. That would surprise you?

PAUL: Well, I think if -- yes, if we're there five years from now with 50,000 troops, I'd be aghast and I couldn't believe that it would happen under President Trump. I think the president does want to draw down the troops. And it's a complicated dance to figure out how and when to do that, and how fast to do it? But I don't he accepts what the neoconservatives say. The neoconservatives say, if you ever leave, it's defeat; the other side will win, and we must stay everywhere forever. And that's just plain wrong; we can't afford to do it. The president shares with me that we need to build some things at home: we need to build some bridges, and some roads at home, and we can't keep spending $50 billion a year in Afghanistan.

MACCALLUM: Senator, thank you very much. Good to see you tonight.

PAUL: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Also, breaking tonight, a win for the White House in the middle of a crucial visit with French President Emmanuel Macron. He has agreed to something that the president has been really pushing for since the campaign. Fair share payments by France into the NATO coffers. The president has come down hard on NATO member countries like France in the past for their failures to meet their financial commitments, as he puts it, to the alliance. And in moments, Senator Lindsey Graham will join us with his exclusive reaction to that, and to the big issues that are at hand with this visit. There seems to be of a surprisingly warm relationship where it had once been quite frosty with President Macron. So, we'll get Lindsey Graham's thoughts on that. But first, Kristin Fisher, live at the White House with the late breaking details tonight. Hi, Kristin.

KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL REPORTER: Hey, Martha. Well, as you said, we're already seeing some big developments come out of this visit by the French president. The White House says, President Trump has just secured from France a commitment to increase their defense spending and meet their NATO obligation over the next eight years. That, of course, is prompting that President Trump has been pushing for since the very early days of his presidency, and now it appears that he's walking away with the win here. Right now, Presidents Trump and Macron, and their first ladies are having dinner just across the river in Virginia at Mount Vernon -- that's the old home of George Washington. And you know, these two leaders have really a remarkable relationship. On paper, they're at odds on almost every issue, and yet in person they've formed a real friendship and they put that alliance to test with those recent strikes in Syria. Ahead of his visit, President Macron explained to our Chris Wallace just how important this alliance is to the French people. Listen here.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: During the First World War, during the Second World War, when we were attacked, when our liberty was attacked, some of your young people came here and died here for my country. That's a story of our relationship. And, and, President Trump and myself are -- whatever happens in the line of this to serve.


FISHER: Now, in addition to the conflict in Syria, the two leaders are also going to be talking about North Korea, transatlantic trade and tariffs, climate change, and at the very top of the list: the Iran nuclear deal. President Trump has said repeatedly that he wants out, or at the least, he wants some major changes. Macron said that he wants the U.S. to stay in, they have, of course, a May 12th deadline looming. But today, the White House press secretary said that she's sure the U.S. is going to come out on top.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I'm so very confident that we have the best negotiator at the table.


FISHER: Now, tonight's dinner is really just a warm up. Tomorrow, of course, is the big day, the first official state dinner of Mr. Trump's presidency. It will all start tomorrow morning with a big 30-minute long welcome ceremony on the south lawn at the White House, then back-to-back bilateral meetings, and joint press conference in the rose garden. If the weather holds up, and then, of course, the big state dinner starts tomorrow evening at 7:00. Just in time for your show, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Exactly. That's why I couldn't go. Thank you, Kristin, good to see you tonight.


MACCALLUM: They didn't invite any media, actually -- or any Democrats for that matter. Here now with more: South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. I bet he's going. Are you going to the state dinner tomorrow night, Lindsey Graham?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R—S.C: No, I'm not. I'm going to Chick-Fil-A.


MACCALLUM: All right. So, Macron as a globalist. And he and President Trump had that sort of, you know, arm-wrestled handshake in the beginning. I remember President Obama called him with his warm phone call welcoming him to the, you know, global leadership. So, now, he's sounding in many ways, a lot more like President Trump, and it seems like they get along great? What happened?

GRAHAM: The reality of the world. I think President Macron knows if you leave Syria too soon, ISIS will come back. He understands that we need troops in Afghanistan to protect us against another 9/11. I disagree with the president of France on the Iran deal. President Trump is right. It's a weak, bad deal that insures a nuclear arms race. But he's been a good ally. Michelin is in South Carolina. We love the French. And I think the reality of being president of a major nation during tough times has changed everybody a bit.

MACCALLUM: Interesting interview over the weekend with the foreign minister of Iran, Zarif. Let's play that; I want to get your thoughts on it, senator.



MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, FOREIGN MINISTER OF IRAN: Both options are ready, including options that would involve resuming at the much greater speed our nuclear activities and those are all embedded within the deal and those options are ready to be implemented.


MACCALLUM: So, pull out of the deal and we will, you know, fire up those - - all of the engines of our nuclear weapons facility.

GRAHAM: Right. Well, President Trump, I believe, will pull out the deal unless made better. What's bad about the deal? In 15 years, the deal collapses when it comes to monitoring the Iran nuclear program. They can enrich and reprocess without any limitation 15 years from now. The Arabs assuming that Iranians will get a nuclear weapon. They took the $150 billion that they're going to get from sanctions relief, built up their military. They dismembered Syria, now in Yemen, they're trying to make Israel's life holy hell. The guy you just heard is not a moderate. Their -- Iranians are all over Syria and Lebanon pulling rockets at Israel. So, I hope President Trump will withdraw on this deal unless it's made better.

MACCALLUM: Well, Macron we know is arguing for just the opposite. But when it comes to Syria, President Macron very much wants us to stay engaged, and here's what he said about that.


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Have you persuaded him to stay to help stabilize the situation there?

MACRON: If we leave, definitely and totally, even from a political point of view, will we leave the floor to the Iranian regime? The U.S., France, and our allies (INAUDIBLE), even Russia and Turkey will have a very important role to play in order to create this new Syria and ensure Syrian people to decide for the future.


MACCALLUM: Fascinating he's talking about building a coalition, you know, including the Arab countries, what do you think?

GRAHAM: I think he's dead right. I mean, we have 2200 in Eastern Syrian, the home of ISIS, to make sure they don't come back. Arabs need to pay more, they need to show up in larger numbers, but the president would make a huge mistake to leave without conditions being right. Listen to the French president. But the French president should listen to Donald Trump about the Iran nuclear deal. The Iran nuclear deal needs to be renegotiated or we should walk away from it. But when it comes to Syria, we need to stay to protect America. You know, you may be tired to fighting the radical Islam, but they're not tired to fighting you. I'd rather fight them in their backyard than ours, and that's your choices.

MACCALLUM: He made a very interesting statement about the French economy and the protest that happened in the streets there. They have enormous entitlements in France way more than we do even, if that's possible. And he said, you know, would you ever back out of that your tough stance about changing these entitlement programs. Watch this.


WALLACE: You have had these two-day a week strikes: one demonstration, 2000 people took to the street. Any chance that you will back down?

MACRON: No chance. The classical way to proceed in France was to say, we have an issue, we will put new public money in order to solve this issue, which is not the right way to fix the situation.


MACCALLUM: Sounds like an American conservative there, senator?

GRAHAM: If you live long enough, anything is possible. Here's my advice to every American politician: be as tough as the French and you'll never go wrong.

MACCALLUM: Senator Lindsey Graham, always a pleasure to see you. Thank you very much. Enjoy your Chick-Fil-A tomorrow night. We'll be having the same.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, still ahead tonight, a power struggle in Tennessee between outgoing Senator Bob Corker and his heir apparent who many feel he should be helping out: Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn. The congresswoman is here to respond to what Senator Corker said or maybe didn't say this weekend. And up next, the case against Michael Cohen may tell us a lot about Robert Mueller's special counsel and may mean that President Trump should perhaps be less worried? We'll get a take on that from Tammy Bruce, and the other take on that from Judge Andrew Napolitano, coming up next.


SANDERS: The president has been clear that he's not done anything wrong. I think we've stated that about a thousand times. Beyond that, I don't have going to add.



MACRON: People of the United States voted for President Trump and elected him.

WALLACE: Do you ever wonder whether he will serve his full term?

MACRON: I never wonder that.


MACCALLUM: Very interesting. French President Emmanuel Macron throwing a little bit of cold water on the Trump-Russia probe and saying that in reality it has little impact on how he interacts with foreign leaders and recent developments in the case, especially the criminal investigation and the raids of Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, suggest to some that there may be a shift away from President Trump. Of course, people differ on that. Joining me now, Tammy Bruce, the President of Independent Women's Voice and Washington Times Columnist, and a Fox News Contributor. Tammy, good evening. Good to have you with us tonight.


MACCALLUM: I also want to play a sound bite first from Susan Collins who has been privy to a lot of this investigation. Listen very closely to what she said on the Sunday shows.


CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: What's your sense of Michael Cohen's connection to this Russia probe?

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, R—MAINE: That's a very difficult question to answer. There's been one interview of Michael Cohen, it has not released to the public, and I'm not at liberty to say what he said. But let me just say that I don't see him as being a central figure in this.


MACCALLUM: Interesting. Tammy, what did you make of that?

BRUCE: Well, I think she's right. She's trying to be very careful. But let's look at this, it's almost like inside baseball, I think, to some degree. But the left has realized they're not really going to be able to hurt the president. The fantasy narrative of Russia collusion has really, obviously, collapsed. And in this case now, you're looking at a subsidiary effort trying to harm the president's support team. And it's not just, you know, the political supporters but a lot of what you see is also attacking and aimed at Mrs. Trump as well, like the Stormy Daniel stuff. Americans, we know through polls, don't care about it. But I think that there's this drumbeat where they want to just wear them down. That said, you've also, though, got, as an activist, and as a former left-wing community organizer, I look at the narratives are going to be versus what the facts of the matter is -- are.

And Mr. Cohen, we've already heard from either the attorney's office and other analyst that it's it about his business dealing, and that he's been looked at for months prior to the very dramatic raid, and that it has nothing to do with President Trump. But the Fusion GPS founders a couple of weeks ago had an opinion piece in the New York Times laying out what they want the narrative to be which is -- and they admitted it that they have no evidence for this. But they're now pushing this notion that maybe there are -- with Mr. Cohen, a relationship with Mr. Trump and real estate dealings internationally where there is money laundering and where there's assisting of criminal elements. And even in the piece, they admit that there's, again, no evidence to this. But it's very similar to the dossier gossip, and rumor, and the maneuver and pushing of that. So, it's almost as though the Cohen investigation provides another opportunity for the left to make things up, to run a narrative through the media, to continue to try to hammer it at the Trumps regardless of its veracity.

MACCALLUM: Yes. Now, there's an obsession all over most channels with whether or not Michael Cohen, is going to flip. And we're going to continue to talk about that. Tammy, thank you very much. Good to see you tonight.

BRUCE: Sure.

MACCALLUM: So, here now to weigh in with his opinion on all of this, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst and New York Times' best-selling author. Judge, good to see you tonight.


MACCALLUM: So, you believe that this investigation to Michael Cohen, you've said all along, is very dangerous for the president.

NAPOLITANO: Yes, and here's why: after the FBI raid, Mr. Cohen hired lawyers to bring an application in federal court for the return of everything that was seized, saying these are legal records, and they really belong to my clients. So, in the alternative, to appoint a special master to segregate what belongs to the clients and what belongs to him. And the government had a very interesting response; the response about a third of which was redacted, so he couldn't read it. Said, look, Michael Cohen has been under investigation for a while, and we believe that much of what he's been doing is not been as a lawyer, it's been as a fixer, and Michael Cohen has some sort of a relationship with Donald Trump which leads us to believe that "the crime, fraud exception to attorney/client privilege will apply".

So, what the heck is that? That means, the federal government told a federal judge that President Trump was involved in a crime or a fraud and was communicating to Michael Cohen about it. And therefore, those communications were not privileged. Yet, when you want to look at what they actually said happened, that's the part of the brief that they didn't reveal to the public and it was, it was redacted. She said, the federal judge, why do you know this? Where are you getting it from? Tammy just alluded to it. Well, the feds told her another federal judge signed another search warrant, this was a surveillance warrant, which enabled us to have Mr. Cohen under surveillance. We've been listening to his phone calls for the past three months. Who does he talk to almost every day? The president of the United States. I believe that this is screaming Trump --

MACCALLUM: So, those phone calls are from while the president was in office or prior to that?

NAPOLITANO: While the president was in office.

MACCALLUM: What do you think about that?

NAPOLITANO: I think it is an outrageous violation. Donald Trump believed he was talking to his lawyer. All of the sudden, we find out retroactively, if the lawyer was subject of a criminal investigation and federal government prosecutors have their hands on those conversations and they believe those conversations are going to lead them to the president, that is just not the way --

MACCALLUM: So, the Mueller team got them to sign off on the warrant to listen to the president's phone conversations is what you're saying?

NAPOLITANO: I don't know the answer to that.

MACCALLUM: Someone had to present the judge with that.


MACCALLUM: With that desire. That warrant.

NAPOLITANO: And it sounds as though, Mueller picked up something in D.C. and did the right thing with it; he sent it up to New York. The U.S. Attorney in New York, a Trump appointee, recused himself and the next level of career civil service prosecutors took the ball and ran with it. Whatever Mueller sent caused the judge, whose name we don't know yet, to authorize the surveillance. Whatever came out of the surveillance, caused them to go to a judge, whose name we don't know yet, and to conduct the raids. Whatever the food of the raids was is being kept on ice by the Judge Kimba Wood until she can decide whether it's attorney-client privilege or not. If Michael Cohen is charged with a crime, having nothing to with Donald Trump and having to the do with Russian, I believe they will squeeze him the way they did with Rick Gates, who is charged along with Manafort in a crime that had nothing to do with Donald Trump and nothing to do --

MACCALLUM: But the president said there's nothing flip on? Flip on what? There's nothing to flip.

NAPOLITANO: I hope the president for his sake, and for the country's sake, is correct.

MACCALLUM: Judge Napolitano, good to see you tonight.


MACCALLUM: Very interesting. All right. So, after President Trump's endorsement, conservatives cringe over Senator Bob Corker's tepid endorsement of Republican Marsha Blackburn in the race to elect his own Republican replacement.


DANA BASH, CNN: Senator, that's not a ringing endorsement of Marsha Blackburn.

SEN. BOB CORKER, R—TENN.: I've worked with the nominee for some time, and I don't know what else to say.


MACCALLUM: Marsha Blackburn responds next. And as even more details emerge about Larry Nassar, Marta Karolyi is sidestepping her responsibility, she ran the ranch where Larry Nassar was examining all of these girls. U.S. Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber is here to share her story.


MARTA KAROLYI, GYMNASTICS COACH: Training camps that's organized by USA Gymnastic, it's not organized by Belo or Marta Karolyi.



MACCALLUM: Just days after the funeral of former First Lady Barbara Bush. Tonight, President George H.W. Bush has been admitted to a Houston area hospital, we're learning. A spokesman saying this: President Bush was admitted to the Houston Methodist Hospital yesterday morning after contracting an infection that spread to his blood. He is responding to treatment and appears to be recovering. We will use additional updates as events warrant." This announcement comes just two days after this photo was taken at funeral for Barbara Bush with all of the assembled prior presidents and their spouses, and Melania Trump, the First Lady of the United States. We will update you as we get more information on the 41st president.

Also developing tonight, some trouble in Tennessee where the race to replace retiring Senator Bob Corker has taken another turn. Corker, who decided not to run for reelection went back-and-forth at one point, but then decided not to do it, not have a great relationship with President Trump who once suggested this about Corker: "he couldn't get elected dog catcher in Tennessee." From that tweet, this week the president endorsed Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn to take Corker's place saying this: "Blackburn is a wonderful woman who has always been there when we have needed here. Great on the military, border security and crime, loves and works hard for the people of Tennessee, she had my full endorsement and I will be there to campaign with her!" But Corker in an interview on Sunday, hesitated to mention even his Republican colleague that he said he supports by name.


BASH: The endorsement of Marsha Blackburn to say that, she should be elected just because she is going to vote for Mitch McConnell.

CORKER: Well, now, I am supporting the nominee. I've worked with the nominee for some time and I don't know what else to say.


MACCALLUM: Tennessee Congresswoman, Marsha Blackburn responded to that with me a short time ago.


MACCALLUM: What's that about?

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN, R—TENN.: Oh, you know, everybody is going to have opinion and I am focused on November beating my opponent and making certain that I do the job of representing the good people of Tennessee and the U.S. Senate and voting for what they want. More tax cuts, securing the southern border and conservative judges on the Supreme Court and on the Federal Bench. People are tired of judges that legislate from the bench.

MACCALLUM: I understand, but why is it so hard for your, you know, fellow Tennessean, Senator Bob Corker who says that he supports your nominee -- your run for the senate to say that he wholeheartedly supports you. What is it that you don't agree on?

BLACKBURN: I have not talked with the senator and I am focused on making certain that we win this election in November.

MACCALLUM: I understand that. It has got a lot of attention and I am sure that you would love to have his whole hearted support. You certainly have the president, in the recent polls your about 10 points a part. What is your read on what is going on in your state when you look at that number?

BLACKBURN: What is happening in our state, is that people are going to begin to focus in on this race. They are going to pay attention to how the next Senator is going to vote and we were so pleased to get the President's endorsement today. Earlier the Vice-President's endorsement came out. And we are thrilled with that, I had the opportunity to work closely with him when I was in the house and he was in the house.

And so, we are looking forward to having their support and having them in the state to campaign with us and making certain that we earn every single vote and that we win this race in November.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I know Mitch McConnell, according to a report in the Washington Post, had a little chat with Senator Corker on the floor and basically said, look, if you hadn't vacated your seat we would not even have this issue in Tennessee. Encouraging him to get behind you, does it matter, do you not need his support?

BLACKBURN: I would love to have Senator Corker support and the support of every Tennessean. And we had been so fortunate with our State Senate and State House members to have a majority of the support there. And we just cherish that.

You know, Martha, to have people say that they stand with you and they are willing to fight with you and work with you, and we thank Senator Corker for his service to the state and of course, like everyone else, we would love to have the opportunity to earn their vote and talk about the good things that we are going to do, representing them in the way they want to be represented.

MACCALLUM: One of your staffers, somebody who works in your campaign said, you know, anyone who doesn't think that Marsha Blackburn can win is a cold playing sexist pig. Do you agree with that? Sexism -- at play here?

BLACKBURN: No, No, no, no. I don't agree with that and certainly I understand frustration and many times that women -- that women face. But I don't agree with that and there again. You know, this is about the most qualified person to do the job. To work with Tennesseans and to represent Tennesseans in Washington D.C. To make certain that their voice is being heard and they are being represented well to the Federal Government.

And as I said, more tax cut, securing the southern border, supporting our military, having good conservative constitutional judges, those are at the top of the list for Tennesseans and they know that they can count on me to support President Trump and his agenda and to make certain that Tennessean and what they want is being passed through the senate and making its way to the President's desk.

MACCALLUM: Well, it is it going to be fascinating and we are going to be watching all of this races as we get closer. Congresswoman Blackburn, we thank you very much for being here.

BLACKBURN: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Obviously, you got the President in your corner and he said he is going to there, campaigning for you. So that will be interesting to watch.

BLACKBURN: Absolutely.

MACCALLUM: Good to see you.

BLACKBURN: Thank you. Bye-bye.


MACCALLUM: All right. Thank you Marsha Blackburn. And coming up Kanye West saying that freedom of though is under fire. After he praise a conservative activist. Also the fame U.S. gymnastic coaches, the Karolyi is finally answering questions about their responsibility for the abuses that took place on their watch. Olympic gold medalist and survivor of Nassar's abused, Jordyn Wieber, joins me next.


JORDYN WIEBER, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: Even though I am a victim, I do not and will not live my life as thorn. I am an Olympian.




MARTA KAROLYI, GYMNASTICS COACH: I don't feel responsible but I feel extremely (inaudible) that this things happened and it happened everywhere that happens here also.


MACCALLUM: Bombshell, new interview that is shedding a lot of light, but also raising a lot of the new questions about the Larry Nassar abuse scandal. As legendary gymnastic coaches, Bella and Martha Karolyi, finally speak out about what was going on at their ranch. An Olympic Gold medalist McKayla Maroney reveals shocking and disturbing new details about what was happening with Dr. Nassar. And moments, we are going to hear from one of Maroney's 2012 Olympics teammates. Jordan Weaver, her take on all of this, but we start with Trace Gallagher in our West Coast Newsroom with the details of this bombshell story, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Martha the Karolyi's first made a name for themselves as the Romanian gymnastics coaches in 1976 Olympics where 98 scored 7 perfect 10's. The Karolyi's later defected to the U.S. and built an even bigger gymnastic powerhouse and winning 97 world championships and Olympic medals. Bella and Martha Karolyi have credited their success to strict routine and exacting standards, but now the couples is facing two lawsuits filed by a number of their former gymnast of accusing them among other things of hitting and scratching athlete, with holding food and water and making comments about their weight. The Karolyi's deny the physical abuse but admit there is a price to pay for perfection. Watch.


MARTHA KAROLYI, FAME USA GYMNASTICS COORDINATOR: That body, definitely not abuses. Emotionally, it depends on the person. You have to be a strong person to able to handle the pressure. Maybe you say you a little overweight, but in order to be a good gymnast you have to have the right ratio and strength and weight.


GALLAGHER: But the former gymnast said the Karolyi's didn't just create an environment of intense competition, they enabled the abused of Dr. Larry Nassar by building the culture that allowed Nassar to prey on young gymnast. They say Nassar, acted like their friend and brought them food, candy and coffee. And the girls say at the time, they didn't know these were grooming techniques. McKayla Maroney who won gold as part of the fierce five in the 2012 London games, said Nassar molested her hundreds of times, starting when she was 13. She also described to NBC News the time when the doctor assaulted her in a Tokyo hotel room. Watch.


MCKAYLA MARONEY, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: He went overboard that night and I was bawling, naked on a bed, him on top of me and I thought I was going to die.


GALLAGHER: The next day Maroney say, she told her teammates and her coach what Nassar had done, but still no action was taken and the Karolyi's still maintain they didn't know.


KAROLYI: I heard during the testimony that some of the people in therapy room with their own child. And also that was before me, this -- how couldn't I see? How could I see?


GALLAGHER: Maroney respond saying, Martha Karolyi controlled what she wore, what she said and even what she ate and how could she not know about Nassar? Martha.

MACCALLUM: Trace, thank you. Here now Jordyn Wieber, Olympic gold medalist and survivor of Larry Nassar abuse. You said in the -- the courtroom, you are a victim but you are an Olympian first and foremost. And we congratulate you on that Jordyn, you are an amazing person and all of are for standing up and talking about this. Thank for being here tonight. So when you that and listen to Marta and Bella Karolyi. And said, you know, crosses her arms over herself and said, how could I have known? Even the parents didn't know. What do you think?

WIEBER: It is very disheartening that they can't see the environment they created and the training style that they continued to enforce on all of the club coaches and the gymnast. They can't even see that that is part of the problem. They created this intense environment that allowed someone like Larry to come in and easily, easily abuse young girls. And even if they didn't see with their own two eyes or hear with their ears. They weren't making sure that it wasn't happening. This is happening on their property. They allowed him to be alone in the room with us and treat us any way he like and --

MACCALLUM: What about he allowed them to be alone in a hotel room, does he ever in a hotel room with you? Did he ever treat you in a hotel room?

WIEBER: Any time we went to an international competition, or even the Olympics in the World Championships, he was allowed to treat us where ever he designated that treatment room to be in USA gymnastics did not look over him, they didn't supervise him what so ever.

MACCALLUM: You know, McKayla Maroney said that she -- after that moment that she speaks about so emotionally in that interview, she said that the next day she spoke about it openly in a car and the coach, John Getter was in that car, were you in that car?

WIEBER: I was in the car. And I remember McKayla describing what happened to her and I know that there was another adult in the car and whether they heard or did not hear it, I mean, it would had been very difficult to not to hear that. It is just that it is disappointing that an adult would hear that and not say anything or do anything about it.

MACCALLUM: And I want to show a tweet that Ally (inaudible) sent out. She was very upset, she was part of this NBC piece on dateline and this is what she said today. Our prime time for investigating piece and no interview scrutiny of current, recent executives of USA G, the organization responsible for the sport and left you this mess. Why? I named someone. Currently in power at USA G that I reported Nassar to and it was omitted why? Still many unanswered questions. So, she is saying that someone who she went to and explained that she was being abused is still in power at USA G. Do you know who that is?

WIEBER: I have my suspicions. I don't know a 100 percent, but I do know that even though the board of director that USA Gymnastics has resign, the people in power that have the most interaction with the athletes, on day to day on the training camp, at the competition, they are still the same people there. And so I have a feeling it is one of those people and I think that as long as they are still in power. USA Gymnastics will never really going to understand what truly the problem is and how to accept accountability for what they have enabled an abuser to do and the culture that they have created.

MACCALLUM: Do you think that USA Gymnastics that there should be hearings that they should be investigated.

WIEBER: Yes, I obviously think so. I think that there should be a hearing where USA gymnastics has to be there and they are asked questions and they are ask why are there no medical records of our treatment at the ranch --

MACCALLUM: That is a great question.

WIEBER: -- and thought among many other things.

MACCALLUM: That is a great question Jordyn. I hope you will come back. Good to see you tonight. Take care. OK?

WIEBER: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So coming up, something different. Kanye West infuriating his fans by announcing his support for an African-American conservative. Will he apologize? Or is he going to stand his ground here? Jonah Goldberg on that and the bigger picture surrounding it next.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kanye, no comment about your meeting with the president-elect? This is the President elect of the United States. Nothing to say?

KANYE WEST, SINGER: I just wanted to take a picture right now.



MACCALLUM: Kanye West stirring the pot this weekend for showing support for an African American conservative, Candace Owens. Writing on Twitter quote, I love the way Candace Owen thinks. He is what may had led to that reaction from him, watch.


CANDACE OWENS, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: The truth is that the left want to strap black people to this idea that they are victims. They like black people to be government dependent, they don't like to see black people that are free thinkers nor independent.


MACCALLUM: Such after coming under fire some on the left. The rapper is now firing back, tweeting this, quote, "The thought police want to suppress freedom of thought."

Here now, Jonah Goldberg, National Review senior editor, Fox News contributor and author of a brand new book, "Suicide of the west, how the rebirth of tribalism, populism, nationalism and identity politics is destroying American democracy." So you can see why we wanted to talk to him about Kanye. And we have also have a great talent for weaving pop culture in to helping us understand what is going on the world. Hi Jonah.


MACCALLUM: Great to see you tonight. So, and what do you think about the kerfuffle between those two.

GOLDBERG: You know, when I first heard about -- when I first heard about it, I was like, feeling as if, never had been so torn about an issue that matters so little. When you actually you look into it, I think, Candace own makes a really solid point. I am not in the position of automatically assuming that Kanye West is doing any of this stuff for the most high- minded reason.

He is a brilliant marketer and he is brilliant about generating controversy, but at defense of this guy, you know, who said some terrible things about George W. Bush. When George W. Bush was president and he hasn't actually defended Candace Owen's arguments, he just say he likes the way she thinks and likes that she is an independent thinker. That is good enough, you know, but I think Owen's makes a very good point that there are people on the left. People of identity [politics generally. Wanted to reduce all sorts of vast loss of American people down to the color of their skin or a single grievance and that is a big problem on our culture.

MACCALLUM: And that, I mean you see on this, Shania Twain stories as well, she, I guess has the ball to say that she is Canadian, but that if she was an American, she would have voted for President Trump and she basically tripped all over herself to say that she was sorry that she ever suggested that. I mean, it demonstrate to me that we live in a moment where you simply cannot disagree -- you cannot say anything politically connected without getting lambasted by the other side.

GOLDBERG: No, I think, that is right. The Shania Twain thing kind of reminded me the scene form anchorman where (inaudible) jumps into the bare pit. And immediately, I immediately regret my decision. You know, she just should have just stayed quiet.

MACCALLUM: I was going to play that clip.

GOLDBERG: But no, one of the -- one of the arguments I make in the book is that, increasingly we are viewing pot where we are retreating in to our homes and retreating from our communities that we lived in and we are watching politics like it is it a form of entertainment, were we root for certain villains and we root for certain heroes and you have to pick a team, one way or the other, sort of like HANKS: way we talked about sports, we are now talking about politics. Like the same way, where we happened to be on the team and it is treason to say something against your team.

MACCALLUM: I want to challenge on you on that a little bit, because you talked about how the miracle of democracy that America was really built on the idea of persuasion and that if someone had a legitimate argument. You could be persuaded and I would suggest, what about the people in Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania, who had been Democrats their whole life. Who were persuaded by the argument of President Trump?

GOLDBERG: Yes. I think some of them were persuaded by the argument of President Trump, I think a lot of them are also persuaded by the failures of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. And I am not someone who wants s sort of reduce vast swaths of people to say that they all think this way or they all think that way. But, I think, one of the things we are losing on our culture on both sides is the importance of persuasions, of making argument. The whole idea that reason and facts and logic can convince someone to switch their position or be open minded. We lived in a deliberate of democracy. And if no one can change their positions on anything, what is the point of having a deliberate of democracy and I think, there is s sort for bipartisan problem on both sides and it has to do with things that are way upstream of Washington.

MACCALLUM: Case in point. The Pompeo vote tonight, right? Definitely there is (inaudible) in there. All right. I'm pressing, I'm pressing. I am the president. Thank you, Jonah.

GOLDBERG: Great to be here.

MACCALLUM: And congratulations on the book. Good to see you.

GOLDBERG: I appreciate it.

MACCALLUM: Break, we will be right back.


MACCALLUM: Program note. Over the weekend, Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump told CNN that Fox News doesn't seem to want him on our shows. That is not actually the case. In fact, Mr. Avenatti was scheduled to appear on this show tomorrow night, but this morning he abruptly cancelled the interview, despite his pledge to appear on Fox News this week. So there you go. That is our true story on that. We will see back here tomorrow night at 7:00, Tucker is up next.

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