Sen. Kennedy on impeachment trial: Discussion of witnesses is premature

This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," January 15, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Good evening and welcome to "Tucker Carlson Tonight."

This election is coming up fast, faster than you may realize. How fast? Well, six months from tomorrow, the leadership of the Democratic Party will gather on the floor of a basketball arena in Milwaukee and formally nominate their presidential candidate.

Now at this point, as of right now, there's a strong chance that nominee will be Bernie Sanders. If that happens, if Sanders becomes the official leader of the Democratic Party, there will be chaos.

The party's funders on Wall Street will recoil in terror at what's to come. They'll be joined in that terror by the establishment class in New York and Los Angeles, as well as by the entire Intel and foreign policy bureaucracies in Washington, and all of them, all of these people demand to know one thing. How did this happen? How did Bernie Sanders become the Democratic nominee? And that's a good question. Here's part of the answer.

It all started last night at the Democratic debate in Des Moines when CNN President, Jeff Zucker decided to destroy the Sanders for President Campaign. Now, Zucker poses as a television executive, but he operates like a political consultant. His latest client is the Democratic establishment which has dispatched him to crush Bernie Sanders before he can take control of the party.

So just before last night's debate, CNN ran a story claiming without any proof at all, that Bernie Sanders had once told Elizabeth Warren, that a woman could not be President. Sanders denied that charge vigorously, but the message was unmistakable and crystal clear. He is a sexist, don't vote for him.

CNN relentlessly hyped the allegations on air, and then once again, during the debate. Watch how Zucker's hand selected moderator framed the story.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Senator Sanders, I do want to be clear here. You're saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election.


PHILLIP: Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?




CARLSON: Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election? Which he clearly did because he is old and hates women and also lies a lot. Just more journalism from our friends on cable news.

Suddenly, in weed scented apartments around Brooklyn and the Bay Area, legions of Bernie supporters understood for the very first time why Donald Trump is always attacking CNN. Why? Because CNN deserves it. And thousands of them reached for their credit cards in response.

By this morning, the Sanders campaign was reporting its best ever fundraising on a debate day with more than a hundred thousand individual donations. So it turns out, it's possible to level attacks that are so stupid and so unfair, that they wind up helping the person you're trying to hurt. That's the lesson CNN has repeatedly failed to learn in the Trump era. And they were no smarter this time.

From within Jeff Zucker's dark and airless bubble, everything seemed to be going precisely according to plan.


CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Sanders, look, a lot of it is personal preference. I didn't think his answer vis-a-vis Elizabeth Warren and what was said in that conversation was particularly good. He was largely dismissively. Well, I didn't say it. Everyone knows I didn't say it, we don't need to talk about it.

JESS MCINTOSH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And I think what Bernie forgot was that this isn't a he-said-she-said, story. This is a reported out story that CNN was part of breaking. So to have him just flat out say no, I think wasn't nearly enough to address that for the women watching.

JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And I can't imagine any woman watching last night and saying, I believe Bernie. I think people believed Elizabeth.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This was Elizabeth Warren's night. She needed to do something, and there was a banana peel sitting out there for Bernie to step on when it came to his comments about women. I think Bernie stepped on and slid around. She knocked that moment out of the park.


CARLSON: Oh, CNN. It's a world where buffoonish old Joe Lockhart, mustard stains uninsured is suddenly a renowned expert on what women really want. Hilarious. Ask his first wife.

But no one in Zuckerland thought it was funny at all. They had their orders, they proceeded to carry them out with grim determination, onward to battle, Bernie must be stopped. It almost seemed personal, and in some ways it was personal.

Just four days ago, CNN settled a lawsuit with its unionized employees for a record $76 million dollars. It was the single largest payout ever collected in the 84-year history of the National Labor Relations Board. When that deal was announced, Bernie Sanders issued a statement celebrating the win for CNN's oppressed and miserable workforce and they are, trust me, "Congratulations to the Communication Workers of America for this victory. This is the result of the Union fighting for years to get these workers the justice they deserve."

Jeff Zucker was not amused by that. He readied his troops for battle. But in the end, it didn't work. And by the way, it won't work. Americans may dislike politicians, but they hate the media more. If forced to choose between Bernie Sanders and CNN, most people will go with Bernie.

Chris Plante spent many years working at CNN. Thankfully, he is gone now and hosts "The Chris Plante Show," which is excellent. He joins us tonight. So I can't imagine if you're at CNN and you're putting on this show that you think other people aren't going to notice that it's a hit on Bernie Sanders?

CHRIS PLANTE, HOST, THE CHRIS PLANTE SHOW: Well, you know, and I know that all of these people live in this incredibly well-insulated bubble and they don't really know what's going on outside of the newsroom, outside of the building, and outside of their social circles. And really, I honestly think they're unaware.

You know, Tucker, you mentioned the question also, the Abby Phillip question, and you've played a part of it, the longer version of that. Abby Phillip, actually, in the setup to the question says that Elizabeth Warren confirmed. That's the word that she used, confirmed the other day that you said this.

Now CNN broke the story, right? Which means it was fed to CNN by someone in Elizabeth Warren's camp or possibly Elizabeth Warren herself. And then Abby, Phillip had the temerity to say, and Elizabeth Warren confirmed the story for us. I mean, that's once again, we've seen a lot of this in the last couple years, circular reporting, and you have the same source and you pretend they're two different sources.

You've got the original source, Elizabeth Warren's camp, and then the confirmation source is Elizabeth Warren. It's so appalling from start to finish, and clearly, Tucker, CNN is sticking it to Bernie. I think they see a division taking place on the leftwing of the Democratic Party, and their chosen one is Elizabeth Warren.

I mean, look Bernie has, you know, kind of bad. He's got food stuck between his teeth. He's always spitting. You know, he's not the ideal candidate, and you're right, Jeff Zucker, like cooker, as he likes to say, looks like he has chosen his horse and it is Elizabeth Warren. Everybody on CNN last night, the panel afterward, oh, great night for Elizabeth Warren.

I didn't see the same movie they were watching, I guess.

CARLSON: It's just -- it's remarkable the kind of Stalinist unity they managed to pull off. I mean, on a normal TV channel like this one, there's a whole diversity of views. People have different opinions about things.

Over in CNN, it's just so obvious that Jeff Zucker and maybe speaking through his eunuch or whatever, has issued the order, we're against Bernie, we're going to take him out. He's bad news for our party, the Democratic Party. Let's do it. He doesn't see how that could be counterproductive in the end.

PLANTE: Well, I mean, I've got to tell you, the Bernie Bros also are on fire. We saw -- and then you were playing it last night from the Project Veritas, one of the Bernie Bros talking about burning Milwaukee where they're having the Democratic Convention this year if Bernie is once again denied, and look, he was robbed, we learned from the hacked Russian, the D.N.C. e-mails.

CARLSON: That's right.

PLANTE: That the D.N.C., Debbie Wasserman Schultz, then D.N.C. Chair and others really sabotaged Bernie and stole it from him, whether he was going to win or not, but he didn't have a chance after they got done with him, and they're crooked.

And now, the D.N.C. kind of, I think has to take a step back because they know that Bernie people are furious, and they already got caught once. So Zucker and CNN and others in the media are apparently picking up the slack and kind of taking the baton, too many metaphors here, but they're moving this process for where Bernie has to go out, and if they're going to have one person representing the leftwing of the Democratic Party, it's going to be Elizabeth Warren.

CARLSON: If you want to calm the country down, you have to convince people the system is not rigged, that it's fair. And CNN has just done a lot to make everybody particularly in the left, the hard left, a lot more angry and paranoid. It really doesn't help America at all, I would say to be as dishonest as Jeff Zucker.

PLANTE: I mean, look, if at this late stage of the game, you're still depending on CNN and other mainstream media to provide you with square and honest truth, it's your fault.

CARLSON: True point.

PLANTE: You know, at this point, it's your fault. Wake up.

CARLSON: That is a fair point. Chris Plante, great to see you, always.

PLANTE: Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON: Joe Biden has got a lot of baggage as a presidential candidate. He has been in politics a long time. He backed the Iraq War. He ignored or defended China as they looted America. He's essentially a paid vassal of America's credit card companies. Imagine, a more sinister group than that. We could go on and on and on.

But at last night's debate, Biden portrayed himself as America -- no, in fact, Planet Earth's savior. Watch this.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I led the effort, as you know, Wolf against surging tens of thousands of troops in Afghanistan.

I have overwhelming support from the African-American community, overwhelming, more than everybody else in this operation.

I was part of that deal to get the nuclear agreement with Iran.

I was asked to bring 156,000 troops home from that war, which I did. I led that effort.

I met with Xi Jinping more than anyone else.

I introduced the first Climate Change Bill and check PolitiFact, they said it was a game changer.

African-Americans, brown, black, women, men, gay, straight.

I am the one who has the broadest coalition of anyone running up here in this race.

I was part of the coalition to put together 68 countries to deal with stateless terror.

I have great support. I have support across the board.


CARLSON: People love me, they really do. Joe Biden, he is like Superman crossed with those hip replacement commercials. Of course, he bragged about trying to bring our troops home from Iraq. But back in the day when it actually mattered, Biden was one of the reasons they were sent to that quagmire in the first place.


BIDEN: Some of my own party have said that it was a mistake to go to Iraq in the first place.

The cost of not acting against Saddam, I think would have been much greater, and so is the cost and so will be the cost of not finishing this job.


CARLSON: Mollie Hemingway is senior editor at "The Federalist" and she joins us tonight. Mollie, thanks for coming on. If you've been in politics for 50 years -- 50 years -- as Joe Biden has, and you need to spend the majority of your time in the debate stage telling people of the great things you've done and what a great person you are, something is wrong.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, SENIOR EDITOR, THE FEDERALIST: Also, I'm not sure about his stories. He was the hero of each one of these stories. He's almost like the Walter Mitty of the Democratic primary. He has this secret political life where he is not the ineffectual politician that we sort of know him to be, that he has these secret adventures that we didn't learn about until now.

But yes, he is telling us that he's the hero, but what we do know from his actual track record is that he's been remarkably consistent in his foreign policy. And by that, I mean, he's been on the wrong side of most major foreign policy decisions, going back for a very long time.

He has been able to pick out the wrong thing, particularly on the issue that you raise of whether it's important to send troops into harm's way for regime change, and whether to think through whether that's in good order.

CARLSON: This strikes me, and not to play shrink, but as a sign of weakness. I mean, if you're constantly up there talking about how you know spanked corn pop or whatever, it suggests that you really know that you're operating from a position of weakness.

HEMINGWAY: I think it worked for him really well though, throughout his very lengthy career. He is a good retail politician. He tells good stories that might not be true, but they are, you know, kind of fun to listen to.

The problem is that, he has been doing it for so long and people kind of are aware of that track record that it's posing serious problems for him. And again, it's this -- just his actual instincts on foreign policy tend to be wrong.

He wants to use force when we shouldn't be using force and then when you should do it like taking out a bad guy who is responsible for ending the lives of you know, thousands of Americans, then he pulls back at just that moment. It's really remarkable how he can be so consistent in being wrong.

CARLSON: So we're looking right now in America at the highest levels, some of the highest levels of personal debt ever recorded, most of it being of course, credit card debt, these are companies charging close to 20 percent interest and really crushing people. So if you're their paid shill and Joe Biden has spent his career as their paid shill, are Democrats really going to vote for you in a primary? That's such a profound disconnect, it seems to me.

HEMINGWAY: I think that's why you're seeing such -- you know, he obviously is doing very well in the primary and he has been much stronger than I actually thought he would be. But you see this unrest from younger voters in particular. There's these, you know, viral messages about, please don't make me have to vote for this person. I want to vote for a Democrat, but I don't want to vote for Joe Biden.

He is someone who reminds you of like the getting decisions wrong, whether it's corporate bailouts or alliances with China or whatnot. He is really operating in the 10 to 20 years ago mold and many people in the party, that's why they're not excited.

He does have a majority or he has a plurality of support there, but he doesn't have the excitement that you need in your coalition to take on someone like President Trump. And I think that's why you heard some people sound the alarm today about whether he can actually get it done and whether people just want to go with this guy just because the other ones aren't taking steam.

If you really want to take out President Trump, you need excitement, and that's the one thing that very few people have in this party.

CARLSON: Yes. And if you're, you know, 28 and you can't buy a car, much less get married or buy a house because some creepy credit card company hooked you on debt in college and you signed up for student loans you couldn't afford, et cetera, et cetera. The guy who's been living large on bribes from the credit card industry is your candidate? I don't believe it. But you know, what do I know about it?

Mollie, great to see you. Thank you.

HEMINGWAY: Great seeing you.

CARLSON: After weeks of inaction, Nancy Pelosi finally says she is prepared to move impeachment over to the Senate. Question is, did she do it prayerfully? That story is next.

Plus, CNN's favorite presidential candidate of 2018 is not on the debate stage, no. He is in a jail cell in Santa Ana, California. An update on the downfall of the creepy porn lawyer, just ahead.


CARLSON: Well, the House voted to impeach the President almost a month ago. Democrats at the time argued that impeachment was a matter of national security. They were trying to protect this nation.

And yet, really, they haven't really done much about it since then, and finally today, Nancy Pelosi announced the appointment of seven so-called Impeachment Managers who will prosecute the President during a trial in the Senate.

As she made the announcement, Pelosi delivered a very odd speech, which you should watch online, comparing impeachment to the American Revolution. Here's part of it.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Even our poet, Longfellow, remember, "Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, on the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five, hardly a man is now alive who remembers that famous day and year."

It's always about marking history using time.


CARLSON: You've got to wonder why the other networks don't put more unedited footage of Nancy Pelosi on the air. It's pretty unbelievable. She also paused to remind everyone that impeachment definitely is not an election year stunt. It's not political at all. It's serious. It's prayerful. It's like a Pope's funeral really.


PELOSI: This is a very serious matter and we take it to heart in a really solemn way. He has been held accountable, he has been impeached. He has been impeached forever. They can never erase that.


CARLSON: Oh. It's eternal. The President's soul has been marked for all time. His complaint about Hunter Biden's corrupt sweetheart job will be brought up on the Day of Judgment before he is cast inevitably into a lake of fire for eternity. That's how serious this is, according to Nancy Pelosi.

Senator John Kennedy is a Republican representing the State of Louisiana. He joins us tonight. Senator, thanks so much for coming on.


CARLSON: The President will be marked for all time. This is indelible, this mark of impeachment, the mark of the beast. What's your assessment of that claim?

KENNEDY: Well, I think the Senate is going to have something to say about this. You don't have to be mensa material, Tucker, to see that Speaker Pelosi is swollen with partisan rage, and the whole process in the House was rigged. We're going to do it differently in the Senate. We're going to treat both sides fairly.

As I said the other day, when we're done, I don't want the American people to look at the Senate's work and say, well, we just got run over by the same truck twice. It was unfair in the House and it was unfair in the Senate.

I want people to walk away and say, look, the Senate was fair. They did it right. They gave equal time to both sides, and we understand the allegations and the Senate voted and that's what we're going to try to do.

CARLSON: It is probably unknowable at this stage, but what do you expect the timeline roughly to be with this?

KENNEDY: I think there will be a presentation first by the prosecution, and there's been a lot of talk about witnesses. I realized that that commonsense is illegal in Washington, but commonsense would tell you, the discussion of witnesses is premature.

We don't know, the senators, anyway -- we don't know the details of the prosecution's case. We don't know the details of President Trump's defense because Speaker Pelosi didn't allow him to have one and in terms of the prosecution's case, if you ask nine out of 10 senators, they'll tell you they haven't read the transcripts of the House and the 10th as lying.

All they have done is looked at the news articles, and they're reading the media reports. And as we know, after the reporting on the Steele dossier, you have to be careful what you read.

So we need to get -- we need to hear the prosecution, and then we need to hear the defense. I think that will take probably four days together. Then the senators can ask questions. That'll take a couple of days. I learned a lot from listening to the questions and I learn a lot from listening to the answers.

And then after we actually, maybe, possibly, know what we're talking about, we can make a decision about witnesses.

Now, I want to be fair about the witnesses. If we end up calling Chuck Schumer's witnesses or Speaker Pelosi's witnesses, I think the Speaker and Senator Schumer together on it. I want to treat the defense fairly. The President gets to call witnesses, too.


KENNEDY: Everybody gets some level playing field and we could end up in a very odd circumstance where Senator Schumer, he caught the car. I mean, he asked for his witnesses, they're all White House aides. The President claims executive privilege. In fairness, the President gives his witnesses. So we end up hearing from Hunter Biden and Joe Biden, whoever else is on the witness list.


KENNEDY: Chairman -- any of the chairmen that were involved, and the prosecution doesn't get to hear its witnesses because of executive privilege.

CARLSON: Well, that -- I mean, that sounds fair to me. We will see. Senator, thanks so much. Now, you got me excited for it.

KENNEDY: You bet. You bet.

CARLSON: I appreciate it. And a scenario like the one you just heard is being openly discussed and considered by Senator Mitch McConnell. He has considered dismissing President Trump's impeachment without calling any witnesses at all, but some Republicans think the public hearings could have merit.

Today, Senator Ted Cruz floated the idea of witness reciprocity, each party gets to call the same number of witnesses. McConnell suddenly seems open to that idea. Watch.


QUESTION: Would you support calling Hunter Biden?

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Well, I think we'll be dealing with a witness issue at the appropriate time into the trial. And I think it's certainly appropriate to point out that both sides would want to call witnesses that they wanted to hear from.

So when you get to that issue, I can't imagine that only the witnesses that our Democratic colleagues would want to call would be called.


CARLSON: Seems fair. Congressman Mike Johnson represents Louisiana, and he joins us tonight. Congressman, thanks so much for coming on.

REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA): Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON: Do you think that's fair, and will it happen?

JOHNSON: Of course, it's fair. I agree with what Senator John Kennedy just said that, that just makes good commonsense. And if you're going to call witnesses, if that becomes necessary, you have to allow it for both sides.

So the reciprocity principles should be applied, and I can tell you, who we'd like to hear from I mean, I would put first on the list, Adam Schiff. He doesn't need to be a manager, he needs to be a witness in this thing, because he engineered the whole process.

You would have to call Hunter Biden because his information of being on Burisma, this terribly corrupt company in Ukraine, his direct knowledge of all that is directly applicable to what the President's frame of reference was, the context about the corruption in Ukraine.

And, you know, Joe Biden might have something to say about that as well. How did his son get on that Board in the first place? And then you've got Devon Archer, who is a friend of Hunter Biden, who also served on the Board.

I mean, this is important information that goes right to the heart of the case. So if we're going to go down that road, yes, I think you've got to have those witnesses as well.

CARLSON: Well, then everything you said not only seems right, it's hard to know what the counter argument would be. And so given that, I'm confused by why the Senate controlled by Republicans, because as the left always says, elections have consequences, why they're not just demanding this and making it happen. Why is there any question at all that Hunter Biden would testify at this trial. I mean, of course, he should.

JOHNSON: Well, the first question is whether you need witnesses or not. And I think if this case is put on, I think the Managers that they've sent over, they really don't have much to work with.

I mean, I've litigated cases in Federal courts for 20 years. They don't have the facts or the law on their side, Tucker, and so that's a real problem for them.

I think once they're done presenting that case, I think everyone in the Senate is going to recognize once they do hear the details, as Senator Kennedy just said, they'll realize there's nothing there. It's a vapid case. So there may not be a need. I don't think there'll be a need for witnesses because it'll be so clear to everyone and that will dispense with the whole question.

CARLSON: Yes, I think that sounds like sounds like -- it sounds like it's right. Congressman, thanks a lot for that. Appreciate it.

JOHNSON: Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON: We've got a Fox News alert for you now. It was obvious to everyone watching last night that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were having a chilly conversation after the debate.

Earlier, we told you about CNN's Jeff Zucker and his role in all of this trying to destroy Bernie Sanders. Now CNN has released the audio of what the two were saying. Here it is.


WARREN: I think you called me a liar on national TV.


WARREN: I think you called me a liar on national TV.

SANDERS: Let's not do it right now. You want to have that discussion, we'll have that discussion.

WARREN: Anytime.

SANDERS: You called me a liar. You told me -- all right, let's not do it now.

TOM STEYER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't want to get in the middle, I just wanted to say hi, Bernie.

SANDERS: Yes, good. Okay.


CARLSON: Wow, that's a lot of fun. What a group. You like to have dinner with them? Amazing.

Speaking of someone you're not likely to have dinner with -- ever -- the creepy porn lawyer, he has been in a downward spiral all year. Has he finally hit rock bottom? Evidence suggests oh, yes. The latest CPL news and our special invitation to him, in just a minute.

Then Democrats in Virginia are pushing a bill that would ban private gun ranges in the state, just to make absolutely certain you're not capable of defending yourself when things fall apart. Our investigation into that, next.



JOY BEHAR, ABC HOST: A survey posted in "Psychology Today" wanted to find out why people fantasize about sex. So Michael, do you have these fantasies or not?

MICHAEL AVENATTI, LAWYER: All of my sexual fantasies involve handcuffs.


CARLSON: That turned out to be true. Tough times for the creepy porn lawyer. He may now be familiar with handcuffs, but it seems like only yesterday that he was making near daily appearances over on CNN to hear that network's Chief eunich flatter him his presidential material.


BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Looking ahead to 2020, one reason why I'm taking you seriously as a contender is because of your presence on cable news.

AVENATTI: I've got 20 years of experience at a very high level. As an attorney I understand how governmental regulations are passed, how laws are passed, how the Supreme Court works. I have extreme depth of knowledge --


CARLSON: Oh, it's also 2018, and of course we can still remember like it was yesterday, when over at MSNBC, they gushed about the creepy porn lawyer is a dynamo of political, physical and dare we say it, sexual energy.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a beast. He keeps popping Donald Trump and all of his folks in the mouth.

Jon Meacham says he may be the savior of the Republic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I owe Michael Avenatti and apology. For the last couple of weeks, I've been saying enough already, Michael. I've seen you everywhere. What do you like to say? I was wrong, brother.


CARLSON: You couldn't make it up. Times have changed a lot for CPL, he is no longer haunting your television screen or lurking in the space underneath your bed. Instead, he's haunting a jail cell.

While attending a disbarment meeting that could force him to drop the term lawyer from his name, CPL was arrested by Federal agents who said he continue to break the law even after his first arrest last March.

For details in this, we go as we always do to chief breaking news correspondent, Trace Gallagher. Hey, Trace.


Hey, Tucker, you talk about a tangled web. While he was at the hearing before the California Bar Association accused of scamming his clients out of millions of dollars, Stormy Daniels' former attorney was arrested by IRS agents who accused him of violating his bail by laundering money and committing wire fraud.

It turns out, Stormy's former lawyer recently got a million dollar settlement from a former client, but instead of using the money to pay one of his ex-wives or some of the $2.5 million he owes her or paying part of the $8 million he owes to a litany of other creditors, Stormy's former attorney rented a luxury apartment in Los Angeles, bought a Mercedes, hired a chauffeur and took a series of lavish vacations.

The IRS says he was able to hide the money from creditors by shifting it through multiple bank accounts and using cashier's checks made out to himself to spend it.

Aside laundering money, prosecutors point out, he also has an Italian passport and could have hidden assets in Europe. Today, they asked a judge to revoke his bail and the judge agreed. Watch.


THOM MROZEK, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE SPOKESPERSON: The judge in this case, today made findings that he posted economic danger that there were no terms of release that would ensure that he didn't continue to engage in this conduct.


GALLAGHER: So he's in a California jail right now, but will likely be transferred soon to a New York jail where he is being tried sometime in the next few weeks for allegedly extorting Nike out of $20 million -- Tucker.

CARLSON: Trace Gallagher, thank you. Well, we should note that we're in Los Angeles this week. We are mere minutes from where CPL is spending his time. We've obviously criticized him quite a bit on the show, but it's a news program. We'd like to hear his side of the case.

We put in a request just hours ago to visit him for a jailhouse interview in Santa Ana where he is being held indefinitely. We hope that comes through. And if it does, of course we'll bring it to you here.

Well, in the name of public safety, Virginia Democrats newly ascendant are trying to erase the Second Amendment in the Commonwealth of Virginia. They don't just want to make you less free, they want to destroy thing simply because you enjoy them and because they might make you safer and more self- reliant.

A bill now pending in the State Legislature would ban many private indoor shooting ranges statewide. Taking away ranges won't stop shootings, of course, there is no evidence of that at all. It will make nobody safer, just the opposite in fact.

The purpose is simple. They want to take away gun ranges, because gun owners like them, and they hate gun owners.

Larry Keane is General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. We're happy to have him on tonight. Larry, thanks so much for coming on.


CARLSON: Now, I dismissed the law's intent out of hand saying it won't make us safer and there's no evidence, but I just want to check with you to be absolutely certain since you are a knowledge expert on the subject. Is there any evidence that closing gun ranges will make anyone safer?

KEANE: Look, actually, the evidence would be quite to the contrary, it actually will make people in Virginia less safe because there won't be a place for them to go to train, to learn how to handle firearms in a safe and responsible manner, to be educated about how to use firearms. So it actually would make us less safe in Virginia, not more safe.

CARLSON: So what is the rationale behind this? I mean, how would this -- clearly, it's punitive. Clearly, they're trying to disarm the population for whatever dark motive they might have. But what are they saying they're trying to achieve with this?

KEANE: Well, he has admitted, the delegate who introduced this bill that it's aimed at trying to shut down the NRA's indoor range at their facility in Fairfax. He claims it is to prevent workplace violence. Although I don't understand how he arrives at that conclusion.

It's really to shut down the Second Amendment in Virginia by saying you can't have an indoor range, and it's going to cause harm to businesses in Virginia. There are about 114 indoor ranges in the state, several of them will be shut down by this if it becomes law.

And you know, these are places where, for example, Elite Shooting Center in Manassas, 14,000 people go there a month to use the range, to enjoy the target shooting and to train; 5,000 people go through that place to be trained on how to use firearms safely, half of them women to be concealed carry permit holders.

So this punitive and, you know, if you violate this law, you could be fined -- are you ready for this, Tucker, up to $100,000.00 for a single violation of this new law, if it is passed and signed into law.

CARLSON: Yes. And it's also true, I know for a fact that law enforcement and our troops, the military use these ranges for training. So I guess my question is a really simple one. The left just took control of your state, they're deciding to erase the Second Amendment, a constitutional right ratified again and again by the Supreme Court. Are people going to go along with this and just sit back and let a constitutional right evaporate? Or is there going to be some pushback?

KEANE: Well, I think there's significant pushback, and you're seeing that all across the State of Virginia where counties and cities are declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuary counties and cities to push back on these proposed laws that the Democrats' enrichment are putting forward to ban essentially a Second Amendment to confiscate law abiding citizens' lawfully owned firearms.

And there's a big rally coming up on January 20th in Richmond, where it's going to be probably the most well-attended event that's ever taken place, where people are going to come to stand up and support their Second Amendment rights, and make sure the legislature understands that they're not going to stand by and let their rights be stripped away from them, you know, by things like shutting down indoor shooting ranges, which will make us less safe, not more safe.

CARLSON: Yes, there's no reason to be passive in a democracy.

KEANE: Oh, no, absolutely not.

CARLSON: Larry, thanks so much.

KEANE: Great to be with you. Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON: Well, a hundred billion pain pills, opioid tablets, flooded America's pharmacies in less than a decade. What happened? More than half a million people died. So is anyone going to be punished for that? Half a million Americans died. Who's punished? Basic question. We'll ask that after the break.


CARLSON: It's been nearly, believe it or not, 25 years since the F.D.A. approved Purdue Pharma's OxyContin for use by the general public. Funny how some of history's pivotal events go almost unnoticed when they first happen.

Since then America as you know, has been drowning in a tsunami of opioid pills. But how many is the question, just how many of these pills were in circulation?

Well, government may have no idea how many illegal aliens for example live here, but they do have a number for this it turns out. We just got it.

According to data from the D.E.A., from 2006 to 2014 -- brace yourself -- a total of a hundred billion doses of oxycodone and hydrocodone were shipped to pharmacies across the country and from there, into household. That's more than 11 billion doses a year. It's about 35 opioid pills for every living American. What happens when you do that? Not hard to guess. They cause an opioid epidemic and then the slaughter that followed.

From 1999 through 2018, a total of 770,000 Americans died of drug ODs -- 770,000. That's more deaths that took place during the entire American Civil War, our costliest war, or in all of America's other wars, World War I, II, Korea, Vietnam -- all the rest combined.

In raw death toll, the opioid crisis is the single greatest human catastrophe ever to afflict this country, and here's the remarkable part. Nobody, almost nobody has been punished for it.

The Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma made $13 billion selling painkillers. They're still rich. None of them have gone to prison, nor have many other executives who profited off the destruction of entire American communities.

You may have noticed a theme here in this country. Nobody is ever punished for the real crimes, the ones that really hurt people. The invasion of Iraq, the subprime mortgage disaster, the plundering of this nation by the Chinese government.

In Washington, all of those are minor. They're forgivable if you know and pay off the right people, which they invariably do. If only the Sackler family had fibbed about some e-mails that didn't matter or had a phone call with a Russian Ambassador, maybe Washington would finally care.

Well for all the public statements in support of feminism and gender equality, the left has developed a weird passion recently, an inconsistent one, destroying girls' sports by making girls compete with biological men.

Florida Republican Congressman Greg Steube has introduced to bill into the House that would bar schools from using Title 9 Federal funds to support women's sports if biological men are allowed to compete in them.

It makes sense. It's not a woman's sport if men are competing, right? And as recently as 15 years ago, that idea would have been too obvious to require a Federal law, but today it has no chance of passing, thanks to Democrats who control the House.

Congressman Steube joins us tonight. Congressman, thanks so much for coming on.

REP. GREG STEUBE (R-FL): Yes, thanks so much for having me.


... Commonsense Award for sponsoring legislation that you think we wouldn't need. What is the argument against this?

STEUBE: The argument against this is you're discriminating against people who identify as a woman that day and want the ability to compete. It's just fascinating that we're at this place in our country where you have to file bills to make it clear that women are actually going to be competing with women in women's sports.

CARLSON: What's so striking is that this is one of those phenomena where there is an identifiable group of victims and it's the girls, it's the people Title 9 was passed to protect, and they are suffering. They say they're suffering and it's not speculation.

Rare feminists have been brave enough to stand up and say this. How can people who pretend they're feminists, that they're carrying the torch for women support something that hurts girls?

STEUBE: I don't know and what's fascinating is even people who certainly aren't conservative like Martina Navratilova, who is a great tennis great, she supports this legislation. And it was against the bill that the Democrats pushed, the ERA Bill because it redefined women's sports and allowed men to compete in women's sports.

And so you even have people on the other side of the aisle, they're going hold on a second, this doesn't make sense. We are completely eroding what women's sports are if we're going to allow biological men to compete with women in women's collegiate activities.

CARLSON: None of this is an attack on anyone, on transgender people or anything like that. It's merely saying that girls are hurt when we allow this to happen. Were there any -- and it's obvious and everyone knows it -- and it's only because of the bullying from lunatics online that no one is brave enough to say it out loud. Are there any Democrats, do you believe who would support the legislation you're sponsoring?

STEUBE: Well, I filed pretty much what my Bill is as an amendment on the ERA legislation that went through the Judiciary Committee and not a single Democrat voted for it.

We did it as a motion to recommit on the floor of the House on similar legislation and I believe there was only one or two Democrats that voted for it. That's the sad state of affairs that we are in today. Where you're destroying women's sports and Democrats aren't willing to stand for women in women's sports.

CARLSON: Yes, so after like a million years, we're redefining gender out of existence. That can't have bad consequences. We will be judged for this because this is too nuts actually, I think. Congressman, great to see you.

STEUBE: Great to see you.

CARLSON: The Pentagon has spent millions of dollars investigating UFOs. Now, they're telling us that their findings are too dangerous to show the public. What does that mean exactly? What could the findings be?

One of the few people who might know joins us after the break.


CARLSON: Well, for about 70 years, the U.S. government avoided saying anything at all about UFOs, like they didn't exist. And then last year for the first time ever, the Defense Department admitted that three separate tapes recorded in 2004 and 2015 were genuine footage of unknown flying objects.

Now the Navy is refusing to declassify reports on the 2004 incident, saying they would imperil national security -- severely imperil. What does that mean exactly? What kind of information could those reports contain?

Luis Elizondo headed the Pentagon's UFO Research Program, and now, he is Director of Government Programs and Services at the To The Stars Academy. He joins us tonight. Luis, thanks a lot coming on.


CARLSON: The language here is so striking, the U.S. government typically has understated press releases. This one said it would cause severe damage to the U.S. national security if we release this. What does that mean?

ELIZONDO: Well, typically in the three categories of classified information, you have top secret, secret and confidential. Top secret is generally categorized as that information that if it got released, could provide grave damage to the national security of our country.

CARLSON: But in what way could knowing more about those tapes of the unidentified objects damage this country's national security? I'm totally confused.

ELIZONDO: Well, frankly, I agree with you. I really don't know. Typically, when you classify data information, or in this case video, you're doing it to protect sources and methods, locational data, perhaps call signs or certain aspects of technology that we're testing.

In this particular case, there are methods, there's means to sanitize video. You can clear up the metadata for example, and you can of course, sanitize the video so you don't reveal those sources and methods.

So to me it's a little peculiar when the Pentagon is saying, well, we can't release the video, perhaps the raw data, the raw video, sure, but there are ways to get around that.

CARLSON: Well, of course. So my hunch is they don't know what these objects are. They're behaving in ways that seem to defy Physics. And they don't want to release more information because it'll terrify the public.

ELIZONDO: Well, or that is absolutely a possibility; and other possibilities too that they don't know what it is, and quite frankly, to be in that type of position where you are the Department of Defense and you don't have answers that can be a very uncomfortable position to be in and this is exactly why I think we need to have a conversation as a people, as American citizens.

CARLSON: So I'm struck that this kind of information has been known for an awfully long time. There are many political figures who've been read-in on these reports. I know some of them and none of them have ever really described in public what they have heard in these briefings. Why do you think that is?

ELIZONDO: Well, I think because there's a lot we still need to know. Certainly my time in AATIP, we came across a lot of information that, frankly, from a conventional perspective just simply doesn't make sense.

These are vehicles able to perform in ways that, frankly, defy our understanding of Physics. Now, that doesn't mean they're defying Physics, it just simply means that we don't yet understand the science behind how these things are moving.

And quite frankly, if this was an adversarial technology, you can imagine that this could be a significant game changer for our country.

CARLSON: If something is moving at 100 knots underwater, yes, it's -- very, very quickly, do you think that officials at the Pentagon are unnerved by this? Does it scare people who know more about this information?

ELIZONDO: I do. My concern is that not enough people in the Pentagon are aware of this program. And that was kind of the frustration I had when I was in the program and there are still elements right now in the Pentagon that really don't want this information to become public.

CARLSON: Yes, well, at this stage, it seems very unlikely they're going to be able to keep that information secret. Luis, thanks so much for that. It's always great to see you. Appreciate it.

ELIZONDO: Yes, sir. Thank you for having me. Always my pleasure.

CARLSON: We're out of time tonight. We'll be back of course, 8:00 p.m. tomorrow and every week night, the show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and groupthink.

Good night from Los Angeles. We'll see you tomorrow. Sean Hannity up at a minute.

Earlier this hour, though, and on the way out, we broke secret audio tape from CNN of a remarkable exchange last night between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Why is CNN releasing this footage? We don't know. But we think it's worth seeing again because it's amazing. Enjoy.


WARREN: I think you called me a liar on national TV.


WARREN: I think you called me a liar on national TV.

SANDERS: Let's not do it right now. You want to have that discussion, we'll have that discussion.

WARREN: Anytime.

SANDERS: You called me a liar. You told me -- all right, let's not do it now.

TOM STEYER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't want to get in the middle, I just wanted to say hi, Bernie.

SANDERS: Yes, good. OK.


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