Published September 19, 2018
This is a rush transcript from "The Story," September 18, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS HOST: So, tonight on "The Story," both sides agree that what is at stake in these next stages of the Judge Kavanagh situation is going to speak volumes about who we are and what we are willing to do in the name of MeToo and the cause of justice and of fairness in this country.
This is a one person story versus another person's story. We've been down this road many times in the past couple of years, and many lives have been damaged along the way. An editorial in The Wall Street Journal, today says this. "A story this old and unprovable cannot be allowed to delay a Supreme Court confirmation vote."
They call it a calculated political ambush. Then, there is this from a commentator who says that "Whether or not an attack actually happened is not what matters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANA MARIE COX, POLITICAL COLUMNIST: We need to judge Brett Kavanaugh not just on what he may or may not have done but how he treats a woman's pain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Huh? More on that incredible statement in a moment. And she is not alone, many have already made up their minds before any testimony. And before any of this, you had advocacy groups for Planned Parenthood and others separate from all of this who have had their target on Brett Kavanaugh, prior to his selection because he was on the list.
In a moment, Senate Judiciary Committee member Lindsey Graham, here to shave with his take. But first, we begin tonight with Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry, who joins us from the North Lawn at the White House with today's late-breaking developments in this story. Hi, Ed.
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Martha, great to see you. Breaking tonight, this Senate hearing next Monday is very much up in the air. Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court hanging in the balance since his female accuser has not yet confirmed that she will appear before the Senate and his male friend who may be the only eyewitness who says this never happened has already told the Senate he's not going to appear.
Kavanaugh spent his second straight day right here prepping for sworn testimony where he will deny there was a sexual assault. Practicing here at the White House, where President Trump said his nominee and his family simply do not deserve these attacks.
Kavanaugh's friend, Mark Judge, said again today, he has no memory of the alleged incident but has RSVP'd no to the Senate because he does not want to speak publicly other than saying, "I never saw Brett act in the manner that dr. Ford describes."
Now, Dr. Ford has not yet responded to the panel. As I noted, her attorney Debra Katz revealed today, they claim they've claimed there is at least one other girl at the party in question but they have not said it's not up to Dr. Ford to corroborate her own story. Listen.
DEBRA KATZ, ATTORNEY FOR KAVANAUGH ACCUSER, CHRISTINE FORD: That's not her job to do that. If this is going to be investigated, it should be done by investigators.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., SENATE MINORITY LEADER: The FBI should be given time to reopen its background check investigation into Judge Kavanaugh.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-K.Y., SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Judge Kavanaugh has been through six FBI investigations.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, D-CONN.: They have no interest in the truth or justice.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We want to go through a process. We want to hear both sides.
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, D-N.Y., SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: And what the Republicans are doing to her today is exactly why so many survivors do not come forward.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN, R-TEXAS, SENATE MAJORITY WHIP: We certainly hope that she takes advantage of this opportunity if she still would like to.
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO, D-HAWAII, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I just want to say to the men in this country, just shut up and step up.
TRUMP: You don't wait until the hearing is over. And then, all of a sudden bring it up. When Senator Feinstein sat with Judge Kavanaugh for a long period of time, a long, long meeting. She had this letter, why didn't she bring it up?
HENRY: Now, in her defense, Senator Feinstein, today said initially, Dr. Ford wanted to remain anonymous. She also claimed that all of this is out of her control. That's up to the Republicans to deal with the allegation. Even though remember, she received an anonymous letter back in July to not speak up until last week.
Feinstein added she believes Dr. Ford was profoundly impacted by this incident. But Feinstein said she's not sure that everything that has been claimed is truthful. So, try to figure all of that out.
Meanwhile, you heard Democrat Chuck Schumer, saying he wants the FBI to investigate this before there is any public testimony. Republican's saying, that's nonsense and it's just an attempt to delay this beyond the midterms. Martha?
MACCALLUM: All right, Ed. Thank you very much. Here now, Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the 11 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Set to do the questioning in next week. Senator, good evening. Good to have you here as always.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C., SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So, will there be a hearing on Monday and is that the only opportunity? Is that sort of speak now or forever hold your peace moment?
GRAHAM: Well, here's the plan is to allow Miss Ford if she chooses to come before the committee next Monday.
GRAHAM: Publicly or privately. I want her to be heard. I don't want her to be shut out. And if she wants to do it privately, that's fine with me. Judge Kavanaugh will be given a chance to respond. We'll listen to what they have to say. Compare everything in the record against a single allegation. And we'll make our decision, Wednesday.
This is going to go forward, Monday. I think this is eminently fair and what's happened to Judge Kavanaugh in my view throughout the entire process has been pretty disgusting.
MACCALLUM: So, what I'm hearing is, is it is. It speaks then, or forever hold your peace kind of moment on Monday, is that true?
GRAHAM: Yes, I want her to be heard. But we're not going to turn the committee over to Democrats. I don't know anything about Miss Ford. I know it's a 36-year-old allegation. We can't tell us when it happened and where it happened.
I know a lot about Judge Kavanaugh that speaks that he is not the kind of guy to do this. But she deserves to be heard, and she will be challenged. Kavanaugh deserves to be heard and be able to defend himself. But if she does not want to come Monday, publicly or privately, we're going to move on and vote Wednesday.
Well, let me ask you this, do you feel that adequate outreach has been done? We -- Senator Grassley, said four e-mails were given to her then there's some backlash on that saying -- you know, her lawyer needs to get a phone call, she needs to get a phone call. Has it been adequate outreach?
GRAHAM: Yes, right. It's been more than -- what's been inadequate is the fact that the Democrats knew about this allegation July the 6th, the Democratic congresswoman received the anonymous letter July the 30th. Senator Feinstein had the information. She claims that this -- that was credible and went to the character of the nominee. She never chose to confront Judge Kavanaugh until Thursday before -- Thursday of last week.
She had plenty of chances to bring it up, she did not. We're not going to play this game anymore. We won't Miss Ford to be heard but clearly to me, in August, she hired a lawyer who's a very activist lawyer, who does not like President Trump and paid for a polygraph. So, they were thinking about coming forward.
Why would you hire a lawyer and take a polygraph in August if you had no desire to come forward? Miss Ford may be the victim of circumstance here, but we're going to go forward. We're going to hear her out if she chooses, we're going to vote on Wednesday.
MACCALLUM: Let me ask you this because you raised a question the other night I believe with Sean Hannity.
MACCALLUM: About who paid for the polygraph and who's paying for the lawyer? Do you think -- do you see advocacy lobbyists that work here and is this part of the demand justice organization? What do you know about that?
GRAHAM: We don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure some of this out. The Democrats knew about this for weeks, July, they never raised it in that timely fashion they said on it. They never confronted Judge Kavanaugh. So, that says a lot about their tactics.
Miss Ford hired a lawyer in August and took a polygraph in August. So, it makes it pretty hard for me to believe they never intended for this to come out. Whether Miss Ford intended to come out or not, I don't know but the people she hired very much intended for it to come out. They are the people who want to sink Kavanaugh and get Trump.
So, you don't have to be that, that sharp to figure out there's something going on here. She'll have her day, Monday if she chooses to come.
MACCALLUM: Let me ask you this because I want to play the rest of the sound bite that I played which was from a commentator on another network. But it raises I think a really important issue here. Because she says, whether or not it actually happened, is not the primary concern. It's his reaction to her pain. Let's play this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COX: We need to judge Brett Kavanaugh not just on what he may or may not have done but how he treats a woman's pain. And that is something I'm in paying attention to on Monday. How does he respond to what is happening, whether or not he agrees that this happened with her? Does he take her pain seriously?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: I think that's shocking because I'm watching this whole thing very closely, I think it matters whether or not it happened. I mean, I can't really imagine anything more important than whether or not it happened to both of these individuals.
GRAHAM: Well, let's step back a bit and look at the evidence so that we have about Judge Kavanaugh and women. It's pretty impressive record of hiring women, of having a lot of women step forward that he worked with, that he's mentored, that he went to school with, that he dated coming forward saying this is a good man.
The allegations that I've heard about here recently did not fit the man that I know. But, you got to realize this, what about Judge Kavanaugh, this is trying to ruin his life here. He's been accused of a horrible thing. There is no dating, no date for him to go by, there is no place for him to remember. It's just a general accusation 36 years old.
And what about his pain? So, I want Miss forward to come forward and tell us what she knows. I'm all for that. Judge Kavanaugh has got a lot of support from women throughout the legal community and everybody he's interacted with all of his life, they say he's a good man. I'm going to consider that.
MACCALLUM: Well, and as you say, you want to give her an opportunity on Monday, to come speak her mind and speak her piece. You know, she also has all these people signing letters for her.
MACCALLUM: And vouching for her credibility and her authenticity, as well.
MACCALLUM: So, we'll see where that goes. Well, in terms of the calls for an FBI investigation, is the FBI in the business of opening investigations into things that are so far in the past that there's no way that they would be able to proceed towards charges on that issue?
GRAHAM: Well, again you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out what's going on here. If you think this was serious enough for the FBI to get involved, why didn't you raise it July the 30th when you first heard about it?
Why did you set on it for weeks over a month and do nothing about it? Why now do you want an FBI investigation to delay this past the midterms? It gets really was it --
MACCALLUM: But wait, let me -- let me just jump in because my question is, the statute of limitations on this is long past. Is that not true?
GRAHAM: This could not be prosecuted in any court in the land.
MACCALLUM: All right. So, is the FBI ever in the business of investigating something that can never see its day in court?
GRAHAM: They don't investigate state crimes, they don't investigate things that you can't prosecute. They do background checks. This information came forward last Thursday.
MACCALLUM: So, it would follow under that category then, potentially.
GRAHAM: Right. So, here is the point. If they really wanted the FBI involved, if they really wanted to find all this information, how they would have told us in July when they had the information? Why are they doing it now to delay the hearing? It's pretty obvious to me that when they first heard about this, the FBI was the last thing on their mind.
Now, they're asking for the FBI to investigate to delay the hearing. If you can't figure that out, you probably shouldn't be driving.
MACCALLUM: All right. I want to switch subjects with you for just a moment because I watched with great interest is that the bilateral news conference today at the President and the President of Poland. And the issue came up of the potential for a U.S. base in Poland right across the border from Russia.
MACCALLUM: And here is what was said. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDRZEJ DUDA, PRESIDENT OF POLAND (through translator): I said that I would very much like for us to set up at permanent American bases in Poland which we would call for Fort Trump, and I firmly believe that this is possible.
TRUMP: And I think that it should be pointed out that the president also said and he said it publicly that he would pay the United States. Meaning, Poland would be paying billions of dollars for a base, and we're looking at that more and more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Well, you know, beyond the Fort Trump, but chuckle that everybody had there, and the amount that the President sees it as a good potential financial deal for the United States. How do you think Russia perceives that conversation?
GRAHAM: I hope they -- I hope they are worried about it. The Polish people are so smart. What a great deal, for America to have a military presence in Poland to protect the good ally and have Poland pay for it. And what a good deal to have it named Fort Trump, and I hope this drives Putin crazy.
If it -- if it does, then we're doing the right thing.
MACCALLUM: All right. It -- obviously, you are from the Carolinas, a lot of damage has been done in North Carolina, parts of South Carolina, as well.
MACCALLUM: Are you going to be going to the area tomorrow with the president?
GRAHAM: Yes, I intend to. I don't know exactly that itinerary our friends in North Carolina got hit really hard. A lot of flooding in South Carolina, the president is been terrific, his whole team has and if he goes to South Carolina, I'll go with him and I just want to thank them and everybody, all the volunteers for helping us so much. He's been on top of this from day one.
MACCALLUM: Thank you very much, Senator. Good to see you tonight.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Just a follow-up, I'm also told that the committee reached out to the attorney of Dr. Ford several times by voicemail, no response as of yet.
Up next, President Trump asked if there is more to come.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you willing to declassify other items regarding the Russia investigation?
TRUMP: Well, we're going to see. We want transparency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Andy McCarthy is up next. Plus, the State Department confirms that this person, at least, did work for them -- works for them, apparently. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STUART KARAFFA, EMPLOYEE, DEPARTMENT OF STATE: Resist everything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything.
KARAFFA: Every level. -- shut up. I have nothing to lose. It's impossible to fire federal employees, I don't know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It's a terrible witch hunt and it's hurt our country. And the things that have been found over the last couple of weeks about text messages back and forth are a disgrace to our nation. And I want transparency and so does everybody else.
As you know, congressional committees came to me and they wanted this, and I did it based on their request. But I think it's a good thing because we should open it up for people to see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, it's not going to happen overnight, is what we're hearing, but it is going to be probably pretty interesting when the never-revealed e-mails and text messages of the early stages of the Russia probe are in the process of being declassified and released.
Intelligence officials are scrambling right now to comply with the sweeping order that includes the FISA warrants and the unredacted text messages from Former FBI Director James Comey, Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the FBI couple, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, plus all the interviews, known as the 302s that were conducted with Bruce Ohr when he answered all those questions for the FBI.
A tall order that will likely answer a lot of questions about the origins of the investigation, but critics including many Democrats, claim that releasing these documents could jeopardize National Security.
Here now, Andrew McCarthy, a Former Federal Prosecutor and Fox News Contributor, Andy, good evening, good to see you tonight. You say that you are shocked at the pushback on this, because we often hear about greater transparency, and we know that a lot of these things that the economy has already looked at, minus these text messages, so why the pushback?
ANDREW MCCARTHY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's because it's all political. I mean, if you think back, Martha, on the, say, the CIA interrogations program, where a lot of people in the intelligence community said we need to keep these under wraps, because we don't want to teach terrorists how we do interrogations, whether it's enhanced techniques or not.
And some of the same people who are now worried about National Security, back then, told us the truth had to come out, everything had to be laid bare.
So, you know, a lot of people retreat to their partisan corners when this kind of stuff comes out. I must say, with the country having been royaled by this for two years, it really surprises me that there hasn't been more push for more information.
The whole point of having a special counsel is because when the government gets investigated, nobody gets to be the judge and jury of their own -- of their own cause. You have to have an independent investigation. And here, we're talking about the FBI and the justice department, which by the way, are not in the constitution.
They're creatures of Congress, they're creatures of statute. Congress has a right and duty to do oversight on them. And there's going to be a fine opportunity for people in the intelligence community to pick out and seal things that would actually compromise methods and sources of intelligence.
MACCALLUM: That's exactly the point. I spoke to someone on the committee today, who said exactly that. You know, that people should not be panicked about this, because we are going to learn probably a whole lot about the communications between these individuals in terms of why they started the Russia investigation and what their motivation was.
But if there are National Security issues in there, that they are going to be withheld and you just confirmed that.
MACCALLUM: So, let me --
MCCARTHY: And how many times --
MACCALLUM: Go ahead.
MCCARTHY: -- Martha, are we going to go through the same thing? This has happened already. You know, they've said before, methods and sources, methods and sources, we're going to blow all of this important confidential information. And it turned out what they were trying to cover up, were things they didn't want us to see.
MACCALLUM: Well, you don't hear about the deep state. And there was a video released today by Veritas, and, you know, obviously, you can take it with a grain of salt, they say they're starting this investigation.
And that they're looking into individuals at different agencies who are basically not doing what they're supposed to be doing or who are resisting the government while they work for the government. And they released this video today. We were able to verify that this individual does indeed work for the State Department.
So, just take a look at this and let me know what you think.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARAFFA: Resist everything.
KARAFFA: Every level (bleep) up. I work for the state department. I mean, I'm a civil servant. So, I'm a union member and all that good stuff. Now, I'm just straight like, 8:30 to 5:00. So it gives me so much more time and, like, emotional baggage to do all of this stuff.
JOURNALIST: So it's like (bleep) that I'm going to do DSA work at work?
KARAFFA: Yes, pretty much. And on the contracting form, I put all of my office positions on it, and somebody just rubber stamps it and it goes forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, he's saying he works for the Democrats Socialists of America and then he does a lot of his work while he's at work at the State Department, and it's pretty easy to pull it off, because, you know, even though he filled out all the ethics forms, people just rubber stamp them anyway. And he just hates his job but he just basically punches in from 8:30 to 5:00. It's unbelievable.
MCCARTHY: Well, yes, you know, there are two million people who work for the executive branch. So, you know, you have to -- the thing you have to wonder, is this guy emblematic of something widespread or most people going about their jobs --
MACCALLUM: Do you think he is?
MCCARTHY: -- a few bad apples. And I guess, we'll have to see.
MACCALLUM: Well, what do you think?
MCCARTHY: Well, you know, look, I think -- I think that President Obama was president for eight years. They did a lot of ideological hiring, a lot of people who are threaded through the government are not fans of President Trump.
And it wouldn't stun me to learn that they were, you know, pushing against the tide. At the same time, I worked in the government long enough to believe that most people go to work every day and do their jobs.
MACCALLUM: That's great. You know what I'm --
MCCARTHY: I'm interested to see how this all comes out.
MACCALLUM: You know, I am, too. You know, we'll watch. I think it's so disheartening, so I'm really glad to hear you say that you do not think that this is indicative of the people who work in the agencies, two million federal employees, as you point out, because that's a really depressing picture, if that is wider than just that guy. So, we will see. Andy, thank you, good to see you tonight.
MCCARTHY: Thanks, Martha.
MACCALLUM: You bet. Coming up, it's being called one of the nastiest campaign ads of this cycle. But watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES BRYCE, BROTHER OF WISCONSIN DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE RANDY BRYCE: When people refer to police officers as terrorists, that hits a little close to home. I don't think people want to be represented by someone who's shown contempt for those in law enforcement. That's one of the many reasons why I'm voting for Bryan Steil for Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: That's why he's voting against his own brother. Also this, a brand new poll, gives Senator Ted Cruz a boost, going into the final weeks before the midterms, Lisa Boothe and Juan Williams, here on studio, on those political stories of the night, when we come back.
MACCALLUM: You will be hearing that music seven weeks from tonight, when the midterm elections will take place. Latest Quinnipiac poll shows this race, in Texas, getting really interesting, tight race of Beto O'Rourke and Ted Cruz. This is a new number from Quinnipiac, has Cruz ahead by nine, that's going to make his camp happy, because this has been very, very tight.
And it's getting ugly between family members in Wisconsin, this is a seat of outgoing speaker, Paul Ryan. James Royce is a veteran cop, his brother, Randy, wants to be a congressman. Problem is, Randy has been arrested nine times. And here's the GOP super PAC ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRYCE: My name is James Bryce. I've been a cop for over 23 years. FBI statistics show that assaults against law enforcement have gone up in the last few years. From my perspective, this is motivated in-part by cop- hating rhetoric. I've been to three cops' funerals in the last two years. Two were shot while trying to protect people from violent criminals.
When people refer to police officers as terrorists, that hits a little close to home. I don't think people want to be represented by someone who's shown contempt for those in law enforcement. That's one of the many reasons why I'm voting for Bryan Steil for Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: I'm guessing they're not having Thanksgiving there together, probably. It's going to get awkward. Joining me now, Lisa Boothe, Fox News Contributor, and Juan Williams, co-host of "The Five," and a Fox News Political Analyst.
Let's put up the two side by side pictures of them because I think they might actually be the same person. James Bryce on the one side, I think, that wall over there. James Bryce on the one side and Randy Bryce, it's like, like he's got a mushroom, I mean, a mustache, pasted on his face.
LISA BOOTHE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You just got to add the (INAUDIBLE)
MACCALLUM: So, Lisa, this (INAUDIBLE) Republicans, what do you think?
BOOTHE: Oh, I think Bryan Steil is going to end up on top here. There was a recent New York Times in Siena College poll showing that Bryan Steil was up by six. I actually know Bryan, I worked with him when I was on the Tommy Thompson race, met him in Wisconsin there, good guy.
He's a manufacturing sector employee. Also served on the Wisconsin board of regents, well known in the district, he used to work with Paul Ryan, Paul Ryan endorsed him. I assume he's also using that network both for fundraising and also to help him with getting the vote out.
So, I think he's going to end up winning this. Also, pretty brutal to have your brother --
MACCALLUM: Brutal, oh my --
BOOTHE: It's not going to help things.
MACCALLUM: And he was arrested, you know -- he has --
BOOTHE: Nine times.
MACCALLUM: DUI, pot, theft, a couple of them got dropped. (Inaudible) But what do you think, Juan?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CO-HOST & POLITICAL ANALYST: I think you got it wrong. I think in fact, the fact of that ad--
MACCALLUM: I love it when he said that.
WILLIAMS: -- is an example of the fact that the Republicans right now, think, hey, wait a second, this guy is doing pretty well. And I'll back it up with this, Martha, the congressional leadership fund, which is attached to Paul Ryan--
WILLIAMS: -- just put $1.5 million into that race. Political strategists don't waste money--
MACCALLUM: They worry.
WILLIAMS: -- if they think Republicans have this locked up and done. The thing about this race, is that Randy's effort is based on his history as a union organizer in that first district. And he has had a lot of success and people feel especially I think with growing income inequality that they're looking for somebody like that. So, to me--
BOOTHE: He was arrested nine times?
WILLIAMS: That's why I say they're going after him on this.
BOOTHE: It's his brother, he was not an actor.
WILLIAMS: I didn't say it was an actor. In fact, I'm struck--
MACCALLUM: I think it's him with a moustache.
WILLIAMS: And I think, you know, it's like guys in their room at night, and they're throwing pillows and everything else. You guys come in and say, boys, you're going to stop it. This is politics. And it's just furious and nasty. I just think to have it as a family feud.
MACCALLUM: All right. Let's take a look at Texas. Because this is the first poll that is of likely voters. So this is when you start to maybe get a little bit better sense of what's out there.
This is Beto O'Rourke, congressman in Texas, very popular candidate. Ted Cruz is up by nine in this particular poll. But they have been a lot tighter in the ones that we've seen up until this, Lisa.
BOOTHE: Well, he's largely popular because the media wants him to be popular. And he gets -- I mean, there's a growing national profile, it seems like, every week about him. But this puts a dagger in the hearts of Democrats because they not only have to keep 10 Senate seats that President Trump -- in states President Trump won. Five of which he won by double digits.
But they're trying to also pick up two additional Senate seats. And that's a tough map ahead of them. So this is a dagger in their hearts because Texas is a state that they were hopeful to maybe even have some semblance of a possibility here. So this is not good for Democrats in their hopes to try to take back the Senate.
MACCALLUM: Last word from Juan.
WILLIAMS: I don't think anybody thought this was going to be a race, they thought this was all in the Republican hands. I mean, it's a red state, it's Ted Cruz, and the idea was this is going to be a cakewalk, who is this guy Beto O'Rourke? We haven't heard of this guy.
And all of a sudden it's not just the Quinnipiac poll but several polls have been like within five points of each other. And then suddenly the Republicans decided not only are we going to send President Trump and we're going to send the money in, we're going to send in the reinforcements, because it's clear now that Cruz needs it.
And it's ironic, let me just say, Martha, because remember, this is the U.S. senator that was called lying Ted by President Trump. And the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is furious with Cruz over the 2013 shutdown that he prompted. So, all of a sudden people who really aren't so happy are rallying around him.
MACCALLUM: He's not the most popular guy in the Senate.
WILLIAMS: No, no.
MACCALLUM: We'll see what happens there. Thanks to you, guys. Great to see you.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
BOOTHE: Thank you, Martha.
WILLIAMS: My pleasure.
MACCALLUM: So coming up next, how exactly did George Papadopoulos get caught up in the Mueller probe? Fascinating question with a interesting answer. The former Trump campaign ad says Americans deserve to know the truth, and he wants to explain it, moments away, after this.
MACCALLUM: George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign aide who was sentenced to 14 days in prison after caught up in the Mueller probe now out with a cryptic tweet, saying simply "there is a lot to come." He joins me exclusively in moments to explain what he means by that.
But first, we got to Trace Gallagher with his back story. Hi, trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Martha. Long before Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel, George Papadopoulos who was a central figure in the Russia investigation. In fact, memos now declassified from both House Democrats and Republicans show that Papadopoulos foreign contacts are what triggered the investigation in the first place.
April 16, 2016 in the U.K., George Papadopoulos claims he was told by a professor with extensive ties to Russia that the Russians had obtained thousands of Hillary Clinton e-mails. Keep in mind this was several months before hacked Democratic Party e-mails were released and hacked e-mails from Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta were posted on WikiLeaks.
Then in August of 2016 over drinks in a London bar, Papadopoulos told Australian diplomat Alexander Downer that the Russians had derogatory information on Hillary Clinton. Downer reportedly passed that information along to western intelligence sparking the investigation.
Papadopoulos has been asked repeatedly if he ever told other members of the Trump campaign about the Russians having Clinton e-mails. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Did you tell anyone on the campaign?
GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN AIDE: As far as I remember, I absolutely did not.
TAPPER: You didn't tell Corey Lewandowski?
PAPADOPOULOS: As far as I remember I absolutely did not. I share this information with anyone on the campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: And now Papadopoulos is going on the offensive, suggesting that his run-in with Alexander Downer in the London bar may have been a setup by western intelligence officials, and that the professor who initially told him about the hacked Hillary Clinton e-mails may have been a plant.
Papadopoulos said he is willing to testify before the House and Senate intel committees, quoting, "I think both committees deserve to know the truth about this suspicious Downer meeting and all the players involved leading to it."
Papadopoulos' wife, Simona, also believes her husband was set up and has already testified to Democrats on the House intel committee. Papadopoulos cryptic tweet you saw at the tope there saying there's more to come is fascinating, because as for his exact role in the two-year investigation, there's a lot more to learn. Martha?
MACCALLUM: That's for sure. Trace, thank you very. So, joining us exclusively, George Papadopoulos. George, good evening. Good to have you with us this evening.
MACCALLUM: We have heard your story about the meetings with these different individuals, you were on the Trump campaign, and suddenly all of these people want to talk to you, they want to take you to Rome, they want to take to you London, they want to drop information in your lap about the e-mails. And now you say that there is more to come. There's more that we need to know. What is it?
PAPADOPOULOS: Well, I, like everyone else in this country, probably around the world, understood that the origin of this investigation started with my meeting with Alexander Downer in a bar in London.
Now because, apparently that's the reason this investigation started. And me, and that I am the only one who actually met with Downer in this bar. I retraced my steps of what actually led up to that meeting with Downer.
And the environment and the people I was meeting that led to that meeting with Downer were incredibly suspicious. And it was clear that this meeting was completely controlled and it was not a random attempt by Alexander Downer to invite me for a drink.
MACCALLUM: So, who was behind it?
PAPADOPOULOS: Now here's the back story, because I'm not sure if this has ever been reported. But I've certainly been tweeting about it, because I truly believe that the American public deserves to know and especially Congress.
There was an Israeli diplomat named Christian Cantor, who absolutely detested Trump, who one day in London decided to introduce me to his so- called girlfriend, a girl named Erica Thompson, who just also happened to be an intel officer from Australia, and a senior advisor to Alexander Downer.
Now this was in April of 2016. I learned about the dirt from Joseph Mifsud in late April, 2016. Now why was an Australian intelligence officer meeting with me, probing me about my ties to the energy business in Israel, why were they -- why was she probing me about what the campaign was up to regarding Russia in April before Joseph Mifsud even told me about the dirt.
Now, fast forward to the beginning of May. All of a sudden I give an interview to the Times of London in which I essentially humiliate, by accident I guess, the U.K. prime minister, by asking him to apologize or detract his derogatory statements about candidate Trump about his idea of a Muslim ban, which I thought, you know, David Cameron should have never been calling Donald Trump stupid or idiotic for those comments.
And it doesn't matter if the U.K. is an ally or not, their prime minister shouldn't have intervened in the democratic process in this country.
Now a couple of days after that interview, all of a sudden I'm approached by two officials from what I think are the defense intelligence agency of the U.S. embassy in London who decide to meet with me.
PAPADOPOULOS: And basically probe me about what's happening. And then a day or so after that, Alexander Downer wants to meet me in a bar along with his assistant who was an Australian intelligence officer.
Now, I do not remember at all talking about e-mails with Alexander Downer. He himself has contradicted himself at least three times in subsequent interviews he has given about the encounter.
PAPADOPOULOS: What I remember about this encounter with Alexander Downer was he was incredibly belligerent, he despised Trump, he was very--
MACCALLUM: Understood. So let me just, basically, you're saying that once were you on the campaign, suddenly all of these people are giving you information. And now that you look back on it, you think that you may have been set up.
You have another tweet out there, that basically says that there was spying on an American -- that the British, the Australians, they knew that there was spying happening on an American citizen and that Obama, Brennan, and Clapper also knew. Because that is the question here.
You're suggesting that these individuals were setting you up to create a pretense to start investigating the Trump campaign for meddling with Russia. But in order to proof that, you got to prove that there were people involved in our intelligence agencies who were also in on it. Can you prove that?
PAPADOPOULOS: All can I say at this moment, and I'm sure Congress will probably discover more after my testimony is, when Stefan Halper lured me to London, it is unfathomable that the British government did not realize or have information of what was going on between myself, Stefan Halper, and his Turkish assistant who lured me to London to spy on me from what all public records have demonstrated.
Now, the same day, this is where things get incredibly weird, the same day after looking back in my notes, that Stefan Halper met with me in London the British ministry of foreign affairs invited me to their offices to meet with their diplomats.
And the British, and I tweeted about this, I have never knowingly met a Russian official in my life. However, while I was on the campaign I had incredible amount of interaction with British diplomats to the extent that they personally delivered Theresa May's letter to me, about Trump, when he was elected president.
Now, I'm not sure why they were around me as much as they were.
PAPADOPOULOS: I have no idea why Stefan Halper lured me to London for the meeting.
MACCALLUM: Well, it's intriguing.
PAPADOPOULOS: But it's impossible that the British had no idea what was going on.
MACCALLUM: It's very interesting. And I thank you for laying out some of it and I hope we're going to talk further about this. Thank you, George. Good to see you tonight.
PAPADOPOULOS: Absolutely. Thank you so much, Martha. I appreciate it.
MACCALLUM: You bet. Coming up tonight, the flooding from Florence is getting worse by the day, entire towns are cut off, and what we are seeing now is so much worse than we thought.
Leland Vittert is live on the ground to show us what residents and rescuers are facing tonight.
MACCALLUM: So we understand that President Trump will travel to the Carolinas tomorrow, he'll get a firsthand look at this disaster.
Florence is now to blame for at least 33 deaths across three states. Water still rising in some of these areas.
Leland Vittert, live in one of those places, Elizabeth town, North Carolina tonight, about 85 miles inland from Wilmington. Hi, Leland.
LELAND VITTERT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Martha. The water continues to rise by the hour. We have had to keep moving to higher ground here. Not only as obviously overwhelmed so many houses, it's overwhelming rescuers.
And therefore, there are teams from New Jersey to California that have converged here with their boats to head out into the deepest of waters where there's many houses that are now islands. And they are delivering a grim message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today's mission is we're going out checking to make sure that the residents who have decided to stay understand that these rivers are going to crest tonight and tomorrow morning. And we're going out to let them know that this is our last shot out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VITTERT: This pile of logs mixed with trash, mixed with debris from the flood has lodged itself against one of the main bridges in North Carolina over the Cape Fear River. So bad they have had to close the lanes of the bridge now so they can begin to try and break this up before the waters rise so high it begins throwing logs into the town.
Already that debris in the rivers is incredibly dangerous for rescuers as they continue to work with the rising water. The water moves even faster. That's the bad news.
Now for the good news, last night we introduced you to two dogs that we rescued out while we were out with some volunteer firefighters, they have been left for dead, they swam to a porch. And here they are today. Florence is the mom and her puppy, we have named chink-a-pup. They're at a vet now just north of here. And pretty soon they are headed all the way up to Washington, D.C. Thanks to Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.
Martha, get this, so far $9,700 raised, we can keep going on that one to try and help the pets of Florence including Florence and chink-a-pup.
MACCALLUM: They're so cute. And we hope they are going to find some nice forever homes up in the D.C. area. Leland, well done. Thank you very much.
So when we come back, with more of "The Story" tonight, the Emmy Awards, apparently, according to the numbers, continued to turn off viewers last night with stuff like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, THE EMMY AWARDS/NBC)
MICHAEL CHE, CO-HOST: The only white people that thank Jesus are Republicans and ex-crack heads.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: There you go. So, Kat Timpf and Tom Shillue here with their take right after the break.
MACCALLUM: TV's biggest night hitting an all-time low in the ratings. Last night's prime time Emmy Awards show losing more viewers than ever, perhaps thanks to jokes like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only white people that thank Jesus are Republicans and ex-crack heads. So.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Chuckle, chuckle. Here now Tm Shillue and Kat Timpf both are Fox News contributors. Tom, what did you think?
TOM SHILLUE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: That was -- you got to have the set up in there. The set up was, my mother doesn't watch this show.
MACCALLUM: That is correct.
SHILLUE: His mother likes to see people thank Jesus.
SHILLUE: Instead of (Inaudible) he said the only white people who thank Jesus are Republicans and ex-crackheads. And that's what he's saying. He's making -- that's a joke making fun of liberal elitists. Do you see?
SHILLUE: So it's not a bad joke.
KAT TIMPF, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I completely agree, he was making fun of the liberal elitist Hollywood people who would not--
MACCALLUM: I think you're right. I think you're right.
TIMPF: And plus he said ex-crackheads, not crackheads. And I think that ex-crackheads are very strong amazing people. Because, I don't know a lot about crack but I do know that it's very hard to quit.
TIMPF: And I personally -- like I can't even quit French fries myself so I do not look down on ex-crackheads, I admire you all.
MACCALLUM: Yes. And as mom, I get it. Right? His mom is like, nobody ever thinks Jesus on that show, why should I watch it.
SHILLUE: He was poking on Dems.
MACCALLUM: Agree. So "Sesame Street," the guy who's been writing the Bert and Ernie characters since 1984 but they've been around since like, I don't know, 1970 or something when the show first came out. He now says that Bert and Ernie are gay that he wrote them that way and he always thought about his partner when he was writing the characters.
But "Sesame Street" begs to differ. They say we, as we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with people who are very different from themselves even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics, they remain puppets, and they do not have a sexual orientation.
SHILLUE: Wow. I mean, leave it to Sesame Street to come up with some common sense there. Frank Oz said the same thing.
SHILLUE: He said I created Bird and of course not, they are just roommates. I knew, I'm from the Sesame Street generation who I grew up with Bert and Erie, but no, they're just roommates. And who's next, Waldorf and Statler? Gonzo? I mean, who are they going to try to--
MACCALLUM: I don't think you could just midstream as a writer suddenly take over the characters and decide that they are gay, especially when someone from Sesame Street pointed out, they don't exist from the waist down which make--
TIMPF: Right. That seems like it would be a pretty important thing. Although personally I'm having a really hard time carrying whether or not they are gay because when it comes to real people, I don't care whether or not they are gay. Live your best life and be you. I don't care.
So if I don't care if real people are gay, I'm finding a really hard time caring whether or not people who are like not people--
TIMPF: -- if they are gay or not.
MACCALLUM: Being step up over puppet.
TIMPF: So I spent believe that this is their puppets. I've spent approximately zero percent of my life thinking about puppet sex life. Not to brag. I've got other stuff going on.
SHILLUE: Elf, you're talking "Elf."
TIMPF: I do think about "Elf" a lot but not in a sex way. No.
MACCALLUM: Well, you know, I grew up on "Sesame Street," too. And like to think of, you know, that the characters as puppets, as well. They are puppets after all, one of them lives in a garbage can. That's not easy.
SHILLUE: That's a--
MACCALLUM: You can't pull that up, it's in the--
TIMPF: Ask for the grab (Ph).
MACCALLUM: Exactly. Ask for the grab. So you know, I think -- I think--
SHILLUE: It's New York too, get the rent. The rent are very high in New York so they needed to split the money, that's why they are roommates.
MACCALLUM: I thought they were like the odd couple, I was thought on them like the puppet version of the odd couple. Felix and Oscar.
SHILLUE: Yes. Maybe they were divorced gentlemen.
TIMPF: Yes. To me, I have yet to meet an adult man without a roommate in the city.
MACCALLUM: Kat, Tom, always good to see you, thank you very much you guys. So that is our story on this Tuesday night. What do you think about that? Send me a tweet at Martha MacCallum. We'll be back tomorrow night at 7 o'clock. Tucker Carlson is warming up and getting ready for his big show which is coming up just about six seconds away. We'll see you tomorrow.
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