This is a rush transcript from "The Story," August 23, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, ANCHOR: Hey there, Bret. Good evening to you.
All right everybody. Fox News "ALERT" breaking right now. Bombshell new allegations about the deep state investigation aimed directly at Peter Strzok, the FBI, and a notorious alleged Russian spy. You recognize this woman that you see there.
Good evening, everybody. I'm Martha McCallum. This is going to be a very big story tonight. We have a special guest, Patrick Byrne, one of the most well-connected CEOs in the world of business.
Built Overstock.com 20 years ago, and today, he resigned from his company. He says it's because of what he knows about the investigation and about the deep state. This is a quote from his statement today. "The bottom line is, it's a big cover-up. Political espionage conducted against Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump. I was part of it. I thought I was doing law enforcement. Sorry."
Patrick Byrne, joins me live exclusively in moments. But first, breaking news correspondent Trace Gallagher gives us a bit of the backstory here tonight. And then, we'll talk to Patrick himself. Trace?
TRACE GALLAGHER, CORRESPONDENT: Martha, when Patrick Byrne went public 10 days ago with claims that he was involved with the FBI and the Trump-Russia investigation, and the Hillary Clinton investigation, Overstock.com reportedly lost 36 percent of its stock value in just two days.
Today, after resigning from Overstock, Byrne released a statement saying in part, "While I believe that I did what was necessary for the good of the country, for the good of the firm, I am in the sad position of having to sever ties with Overstock."
When he says, "for the good of the country," Byrne is referring to his claim that he provided documents to John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut who at the request of Attorney General Bill Barr is now looking into the origins of the Mueller Report.
Patrick Byrne, later told Fox Business that, "I have all the answers. Going on to say that Attorney General Barr is about to sneak up and ram the deep state submarine. Byrne also claims that between 2015 and 2018, he had a relationship with Maria Butina, the woman who pleaded guilty to being an unregistered Russian agent.
Butina is currently serving 18 months in jail. But Maria Butina's lawyer accuses Byrne of starting a manipulative romantic relationship with her at the direction of the U.S. government.
Meantime, Patrick Byrne, says it was upon the advice of Warren Buffett, who he calls his Omaha rabbi that he decided to go public.
After Byrne resigned, we should note shares of Overstock.com went up more than 10 percent. Martha.
MACCALLUM: Trace, thank you very much.
So, here now as we said in a story exclusive tonight is Patrick Byrne, the now-former CEO of Overstock.com. Patrick, thank you very much for being with us tonight to talk about your story.
PATRICK BYRNE, FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, OVERSTOCK.COM: Martha, it's an honor to be on. There was some confusion wrapped up, and I believe you just heard for (INAUDIBLE).
MACCALLUM: OK. All right, we have -- we'll unscramble it to be sure. So, you know, first of all, I know that you obviously you left your company today. It's a company that you built through your own -- you know, sweat and grit over all of those years, very successful business. Your thoughts quickly about the company.
BYRNE: Company is in a great position. We have two sides to it. We have the retail business, we're also have a network of blockchain companies that I think can change the world.
And for example, with something called if you're in the blockchain, there is like a killer app called security tokens. We are the company called tZERO that is leading that.
BYRNE: We have all of these great blockchain companies and our retail business return the positive in the black if it down in the second quarter. So, everything is in a great situation.
BYRNE: I have to get away from the retail company based on what I think is going on.
MACCALLUM: OK. So, obviously, you stepped away from your company. You say for the good of the company, and the good of the country.
MACCALLUM: You say that you got tangled up in the deep state investigation into President Trump. Tell me how, how did all of this start?
BYRNE: Let me give you the bottom line upfront. So, listen. I'm a -- I'm a hippie. I'm -- I have nothing to do with the feds. On my flag-waving hippie, for twice in my life I had the honor of helping them.
A friend of mine named Brian Williams was murdered. 17 years ago, I helped them bring the murderer to justice, and I help them fight Wall Street about 12 years ago. I was kind of a one-man occupy Wall Street. In '05-'06, the feds showed up and it was my honor to help them take down a couple of hundred people on Wall Street.
MACCALLUM: All right.
BRYNE: So, that's that.
And let me jump to the bottom line, and this I've learned is the quickest way to explain it. In 2015-2016, they got back in touch with me the third time. And it was -- I was giving some fishy orders, and I carried them out thinking I -- in 2015-2016, thinking I was conducting law enforcement. Let me emphasize, don't say the FBI. The FBI was barely involved in this. It's all the top.
The men in black, as I called them, showed up and asked for this third favor. And I -- and well, anyway, I'm not going to go into the details right now. But, I didn't know who sent the orders, but I did them -- they seemed fishy last summer watching television. And here is the punch line - - here's the punch line people, last summer watching television and some congressional hearings, I figured out where those orders came from.
They came from a guy named Peter Strzok. And real through staff, Carlin, McCabe, Comey. That was who sent the orders. And that is one thing --
MACCALLUM: Well, you're naming a bunch of FBI people there.
BYRNE: Well, the Peter Strzok. And has been confirmed to me that my instructions came from Peter Strzok. That the people who carried me orders were coming and taking on behalf. That's thanked your time. So it's a risk --
MACCALLUM: OK. So, you had helped -- you had helped the government a couple of times, they reached out to you. What did they ask you to do?
BYRNE: I don't want to go into the nitty-gritty right now. Well, the nitty-gritty, I can tell you the main event, and I feel terrible. I've been watching for three years and our country is coming apart, and people are killing each other. And I finally went to see Buffett. And Buffett -- my Buffett and I -- Buffett is kind of my rabbi, I call him.
And he says -- and he said, "Patrick, you have to come forward." And I said, "You know, it's got to make some feds fear, furious at me. Their heads are going to explode. And he said, "You look, feds do their job, you're a citizen, you got your job, you're coming to the public."
Here is what it is. This was all political espionage conducted against Hillary Clinton, Rubio, Cruz, and Trump. This is not a theory of mine. Some political theory, I was in the room when it happened in away. I mean it not in a way, I was part of it.
I didn't know -- I knew I had some of the pieces. I thought I had the pieces of something much bigger. Last summer, as stuff, bubbled into the news thanks to good journalists such as yourself. I started realizing I had these very important missing pieces.
I actually started coming -- trying to help then. But I had to wait until there was a return to rule of law in our country. And I've lived in places where they (INAUDIBLE) and that took waiting until Bill Barr got -- it got installed.
And then, I (INAUDIBLE) I don't know the guy. That I never shaken hand or anything. But only then did I trust things enough. And I went to the Department of Justice and started to explain the way I now.
MACCALLUM: And you told them what you know. Yes, you know, its -- and it's, it's my understanding that you know, I should just point this out because some people might be listening and saying, you know, well, how credible is this? And you know, we did some asking around, and you know, we have basically had the indications that you know, that there's every reason to believe that what you -- that your story is indeed credible. So --
BYRNE: I'm not in the -- I'm not in the convincing business, I'm in the business of -- I'm opening the door and letting the world open they want to know. Sara caught me out there.
MACCALLUM: Yes, no I hear you, and obviously. But let me go back to the - - to the basic. Because this is what everybody is saying at home -- this is what everyone saying at home. What did they tell you to do? What did they ask you to do, Patrick?
BYRNE: There was -- well, some of it involved this young lady Maria Butina. Who came here -- so, some of it involved her.
BYRNE: Some of it involves selling up Hillary Clinton for what looked like in a -- looked like law enforcement was actually setting her up to be blackmailed. I helped set them set up Hillary Clinton to be blackmailed.
MACCALLUM: What was the name -- blackmail?
BYRNE: Can't go into it. And so, I've already -- I'm sure there was a bunch of people in Washington are going to rip me apart. And I've actually been warned. I was warned last October. If I -- from a friendly person, "Patrick, if you come forward, this entire town at Washington is going to destroy you. It's going to turn you into dust.
MACCALLUM: Yes. Well, and you know, I give you a lot of credit because I know that you said that you did some soul-searching over the summer. And you, you know, talked to good friends. And you mentioned one of them a moment ago.
What was the -- what was the nature of your relationship with Maria Butina? Did she reach out to you, or did you reach out to her? And how involved were you? Did you have an affair with her for three years or what was the nature of your relationship?
BYRNE: She -- have you seen the video -- I bet you've played it where candidate Trump is at a conference and this young lady who stands up and ask a question.
MACCALLUM: Yes, ask a question. Sure.
BYRNE: If you go and look up that conference, which was a 2015 conference in Las Vegas, and I'm a small-L libertarian, a small-R Republican. I don't even identify as a Republican. I'm a small -- I -- but as I get asked to speak, it's sort of freedom-oriented conferences like that, and I did.
And I was at that conference. And after I spoke, she actually came up to me and talked about guns. Well, and some gun rights thing in Florida, and the first time I pressed her off, I'm not into guns. I -- you know, I'm not -- everybody should have one, but I -- I'm not into them, and I don't fetishize them or anything like Republicans, but I often do.
But then she came up the next day and said, listen, I'm really here -- look, "I'm really here, I've been sent from Russia to make contact with you. There's some people in Russia who want to talk to you, they know about you and your relationship with Milton Friedman. Believe it or not, there are people like this in Russia, there are liberals."
And ever said this holster. I don't want to get it into here, I'll put it up on a web site called, Deep Capture, which is where I used to write to the world. But, I'll go into although -- I don't want to go into where -- and the (INAUDIBLE), did you touch her stuff?
We had -- we had an intellectual relationship. I was given a green light to meet her again. She turned that into a physical relationship. I don't mean to book, you know not that I'm unwitting, but or unwell, but so, we dated for about six months.
I was trying to enter her into some senior foreign policy thinkers. Because of some things I used to do, involving law enforcement, taking on Wall Street, I have -- I used to have a very low-level security clearance.
And when you get that, a signed a piece of paper that says, when a gal comes up here from Russia, and says, "Listen, I've been sent here to make contact with you, and we want to take you to Moscow, and want you to speak on Bitcoin, and speak on liberalism at the Central Bank, and then, we want another people -- you have to report that.
I reported that. And so, that my clearance authority. And which is kind of good -- you know, I talked about once it'd be three years or something like that happened. And before I know it, the men in black are back in, in my life. And I was trying to encourage her to have a relationship. And she wanted to be a back-channel for peace.
And I could have opened some doors. But I didn't want to do that until I had -- until I has a green light. And after a couple of months, I'm -- I don't I was given the green light that turned romantic. I was bothered. I'll tell you something that -- I mean, I'll tell you some really deep stuff.
I was by -- I was two-thirds judging and there's an opportunity for something good. Something to move the ball of peace down the field a bit. One-third of it was a risk. As those -- no, she -- I know she was dating or living some Republican bigwigs and stuff. So, my idea, I just said, I'm a 56-year-old bachelor. I said, you just -- every six weeks or so, when you want to see someplace, give me a call and we'll meet there.
But I was trying to get to her in and maybe something peaceful could happen. But I had sort of a third -- maybe two-thirds I was positive. One third, this is quite a risk. And especially, over those from July of 2015 to March of 2016, as I -- as she clearly was swanking around more and more in big shot Republican circles, including people like Don Junior.
I was telling her that the men in black about all those meetings before she had them. They knew about her the day she landed, they knew about every one of these meetings she had, they knew that at one point, she was going to have -- to have a meeting with Don Junior.
I don't know. They -- and listen, I didn't vote for Trump. I'm not a never Trumper, I have this -- he won -- he won fair and square, and that's -- but so --
MACCALLUM: So, do you think that she was set up by the men in black to approach people in the Trump administration? Is that a possibility?
BYRNE: It was all at 100 percent. They knew that she was trying to approach, and her instructions were to approach -- she had to build a contact with anyone in the Hillary campaign, Rubio, Cruz, or Trump.
And they knew that because she told me, and I let them know. They let it all happen. I could have told you in December of 2015, I had a suspicion forming in my mind. It was really quite strange because she hadn't initially checked off. She doesn't like -- she's a Democrat. She's much more of a Republican or much more of a small-L liberal.
She's a Milton Friedman fan. I'm a Milton Friedman guy. So, once she had checked off, having met somebody in Clinton's circle, I don't know who. And she told -- she was telling me all this. She was just going to focus on Cruz, Rubio, or Trump.
At that point, the interest of -- and the United States government and doing anything about this went to zero. It became like this even to the point I was telling them things like. Look, she's telling me that a matter of weeks, she's going to be at some conference of conservatives and Donald Trump is going to be taken down, and out the backdoor of his hotel, and we take in to meet her, and this and that. What do you want me to do? Can I -- let me take her off for a trip and whisk her away to the Bahamas away.
BYRNE: And they said, "No we're going to let it all happen?" 100 percent. 100 percent, they knew about --
MACCALLUM: So, do you believe that -- do you believe that they -- that she was working for them, for the -- for these men in suits in the United States? Or that she was working for the Russian government or some combination?
BYRNE: No, no, no, I'm not going into that. I'm not going into that. It's not she wasn't working for the men in suits here. Listen, here is the other main event. It's horrible to even say the initials, FBI involved in this. It wasn't the FBI. The FBI got hijacked from the top. It's the top. It's entitled the top.
MACCALLUM: Well, you talked about Comey, you talked about Brennan, Clapper. So, you're talking about the CIA?
MACCALLUM: So it's possible we may not see a scene like that anytime soon although the president has worked hard to carve out trade as an area that could be negotiated with China and aim to preserve the good personal relations that he had with President Xi.
These Trump tweets from just over an hour ago seem to be telling a bit of a different story tonight starting on October 1, the $250 billion of goods and products from China currently at taxed at 25 percent are going to go to 30 percent.
Additionally, the remaining 300 billion of goods and products with China that were taxed from September one at ten percent will now go to 15 percent. You get the idea. I mean you've been lashing out at China basically all day long. And that was after President Trump ordered U.S. companies to stop doing business with China.
Earlier in the day, he said find other supply chains a demand that was not lost on the U.S. markets down about 600 points in a very rough Friday for them this all as a background. You've got tensions mounting in Hong Kong. The airport is you know, bracing for more protests there.
And then you have this story this week about the estimates that China's military might exceed ours in the Pacific. All this makes it pretty tough to find a balance of trust and to work on a trade deal. Joining me now, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Lindsey Graham. Chairman Graham, good to see you tonight as always sir. So what do you make of the president's tactics here on China today?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: I like it. The goal is to get China to stop cheating the United States out of market share to play by the rules that everybody else in the world plays by. We almost had a deal several months ago then they backed out of it. When it comes to a trade war we've got more bullets than they do so I think the president is determined to get China to change their behavior and I'm 100 percent with him.
MACCALLUM: So I mean obviously, you know, if you're playing that game this is the tough part right. I mean this is the start where you need to dig in. Everybody has said from the get-go that this is you know, a fight that should happen at some point. It's happening now. But you know, when you look at the market today, obviously some fluctuations that are a little bit queasy inducing for a lot of folks out there. What do you say to Americans who say you know what, this is going to hurt a little more than we thought?
GRAHAM: Don't trust Wall Street to take care of China. If there were a deal tomorrow with China even though it would be a terrible deal, the stock market would go up 1,000 points. In ten years from now, we would reap the benefits, we would reap the consequences of that terrible deal. The stock market doesn't impress me at all when it comes to China.
What impresses me is the President's determination to get them to change their behavior. They sell us a lot more than we buy from them. We can put tariffs on a lot more products coming out of China than they can put tariffs of products going into China from the United States.
Will we feel this as consumers? Yes. But pay now or pay later when it comes to China. Mr. President, keep it up. You're the only guy in my lifetime has ever taken on China and you got a good hand here, play it out.
MACCALLUM: I mean, do you think that there's ever going to be a trust factor here? I mean, when you look at all the other things in the equation, right. So I mean, how do you make a deal with someone who has already pulled back from earlier agreements as you said and you know, they promise things. You know, I look at the fentanyl issue which the president tweeted about today and it appeared that there had been perhaps a moment between the two of them where he had an agreement.
I mean, the President said he told me that he was going to make sure that these fentanyl shipments were stopped. Obviously, that never happened so you know, at some point you have to say, how are we going to come to any sort of agreement on trade? There's no trust at all.
GRAHAM: Well, it's not a matter of trust, it's a matter verifying. You can say OK, let's say we go up to 30 percent on a certain group of goods coming out of China. Well, how do we take the tariffs off? When they change their behavior, you got to have had metrics, you got to have transparency, you got to have benchmarks.
We're not going to relieve tariffs hoping they will do better. We're going to tie their behavior to what we do. So there's plenty of ways that Lighthizer and Mnuchin can construct a verifiable system that if we take tariffs off, their behavior has changed.
Getting them in the WTO as a developed nation is a whole new set of rules compared to what they live under the day. So I think -- I think we can do this and here's what I would tell the American people. If Donald Trump doesn't do it, who else will, and if you don't do it, you're going to lose the world -- the world to China.
MACCALLUM: All right, so the other thing that the markets were not happy about was the comments about the Fed Chairman Powell, the president said -- my only question is who's our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman XI? what do you make of that?
GRAHAM: Well, Trump is a street fighter. You know, I mean, we have an independent Federal Reserve so we don't play politics with interest rates. If you reduce interest rates it will help some, but there's no getting around this.
The world economy is going to be affected as we get in a fight with China. They're going to hurt more than we will and other people who depend on China are going to feel the pain. It's going to affect the world, it's going to affect Walmart and other places. But again, pay now or you're going to pay later. And the one thing I would say for --
MACCALLUM: Go ahead.
GRAHAM: One thing I would say is very important. The longer this goes, the more people begin to move out of China and create supply chains outside of China. So the tariffs make it more cost-effective for you to do business --
MACCALLUM: I think that's already happening. They're already moving those supply chains--
GRAHAM: That's China's worst nightmare.
MACCALLUM: -- of all of this. I'm going to ask you a quick question about Afghanistan. You know, do you see a deal coming together with the Taliban and the Afghan government and you know, in terms of our rule in it. I know that is something that you are very a look at Seattle home of course of the richest man in the trepidatious about.
GRAHAM: Well, I hope we can get a deal between the Afghan people and Taliban so that the Taliban will act like civilized people that we don't go back to the days where the Taliban ran the country and kill women for sport. 80 percent of the Afghan people reject Taliban rule. But maybe you can end that part of the war. The one think I know for sure is I do not trust the Taliban to take care of American interest at home or abroad.
The Taliban cannot be trusted to police al-Qaeda and ISIS. They don't have the desire nor do they have the capability. But when it comes to protecting America from ISIS and al-Qaeda that are live and well in Afghanistan, you need American forces, American intel capability.
MACCALLUM: Do you have any assurances from the people working in this deal that any kind of you know, metric or bar is going to be met in that deal, that they have to give us any proof that they are -- that they're playing by the rules that you're talking about?
GRAHAM: Well, number one, I don't trust the Taliban to play by the rules but even if they wanted to play by the rules, they cannot police it. They don't have drones. They do not have an intelligence apparatus like we do. They would be very dangerous for us to give up the counterterrorism platform and the intel capability.
We have an Afghanistan to monitor al-Qaeda and ISIS. ISIS is not going to surrender. They're not going to do a peace deal, neither will al-Qaeda. So when it comes to trusting the Taliban to take care of America, I don't. The only people I trusted take care of America is American soldiers and American intelligence communities. Another 9/11 would eventually come about if we pulled the plug on Afghanistan.
MACCALLUM: Senator Graham, always good to see you, sir. Thank you very much.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Coming up next, “The Story” investigation, our cities putting the needs of the homeless ahead of the needs of the businesses in their communities, and how is that playing out on the streets?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I work at the building across the street and you know, they're shootings, I see people as I walk between the buildings dealing drugs in the middle of the day. Police standing right next to him not doing anything.
MACCALLUM: Tonight, the decays of cities on the West Coast this evening. A look at Seattle, home of course of the richest man in the country but also a place where homelessness has skyrocketed over the past ten years. Thanks really in part to a toxic mixture many are falling victim to, skyrocketing housing prices, rampant drug use, and the relaxation of the criminal justice system.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are no places for the mentally ill to go anymore so what are they go? They are on the streets. I see it every day walking and up down here while I'm working.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I work on the building across the street and there are shootings.
I see people as I walk between buildings dealing drugs during the middle of the day, police standing right next to them, not doing anything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I literally saw a woman smoking crack in her wheelchair right by my bus stop. I've also seen this same woman selling drugs. That's her life and it makes me really sad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We see too much crime. We see too many folks using and dealing drugs on the sidewalk. We see folks with untreated mental illness not connected to services.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Tough scene. Earlier this week we took a look at San Francisco where a very similar trend unfortunately is at play.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did the police let it go on right in front of them? Is it because of that bill that they passed that made everything a misdemeanor?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are now finding that homelessness is increasing, drug addiction is increasing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Policies that the government is enforcing and promoting is the problem with homelessness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, my next guest is a business owner in California. He says retailers are hurting because shoppers frankly feel uncomfortable going into the big city. Don Sedgwick is also the Mayor of Laguna Hills and a Republican who is now running for Congress in the 45th district there. Seat that is currently occupied by a freshman Democrat, Katie Porter. Good to see you this evening, sir. Thank you for coming in. Tell me about your experiences as a business owner in this area?
DON SEDGWICK, CALIFORNIA BUSINESS OWNER: Well, I'm in the jewelry industry and so one of the biggest hubs of homelessness in Southern California is right there by the jewelry district of Downtown Los Angeles. So, I see it quite often and then my heart goes out to these merchants who are already fighting against e-retailers like Amazon and others who are -- make it so easy, you're just sitting in your La-Z-Boy recliner and make your purchases and they want people to come to their brick-and-mortar stores.
But I've got to tell you, I have two daughters, both were married the last two years and to send even them, and I'm familiar with the area, to send them up there alone into that environment, I was very hesitant to do so and I wouldn't -- I wouldn't do so. And so they're fighting against that, to go up there and to fight against being harassed by maybe a mentally challenged homeless person, to navigate through fecal matter in the sidewalks.
I mean who wants to go into that type of environment? You see these hardworking merchants who had been there for years, who are really suffering the consequences of very liberal Democratic policies.
MACCALLUM: So, I mean obviously every city wants to encourage business. I mean most cities are looking for incentives and ways to bring businesses into their city. What is the city doing about the problem that these companies are having because I mean I can't imagine that they're going to stick around much longer?
SEDGWICK: Well but you know the cities are going about it all wrong. In Los Angeles, they spent $600 million last year on homelessness and the problem is they are focusing on just a handout and not a hand up. And the most compassionate thing we can do for these home -- because the -- it breaks your heart not only to see the merchants but also to see the homeless themselves. I mean each one of these homeless people is someone's daughter or someone's son.
MACCALLUM: Of course.
SEDGWICK: And it just breaks your heart to see them in this -- in this condition and when they're just given food and shelter, it's not solving the problem. In fact, the problem has escalated despite the $600 million.
MACCALLUM: But we -- we talked to Ben Carson about it.
SEDGWICK: We need to help them become self-reliant.
MACCALLUM: I'm sorry. We talked to Ben Carson about it and he said these problems are so fixable. You need to have housing that is clean and appropriate where people can live and stay. He said -- he said they are doing projects all over the country, so why is it so difficult in the Northwest and in California to get your arms around this? They are trying to be compassionate and yet this is not good for these people obviously who have to live on the streets in these horrible conditions.
SEDGWICK: The most compassionate thing we can do for them is to help them to become self-reliant. So, we need to provide job coaching, we need job training but that won't work until they are prepared for it. And many of them need mental health services first to prepare them to be able to respond to that job training and sometimes the mental health services can't work until we can cut off the drugs.
And this is another argument in favor of securing the southern border because drugs are pouring through that and destroying our communities. And since marijuana in California has legally -- been introduced legally, methamphetamines is the new drug du jour and it's really cheap. So, it really invades our homeless community because you can get a hit for $10 a hit.
And so we got to cut off the flow of drugs across our southern border, so that we can provide the mental health services that they'll respond to and then move them into job training and job coaching. And we can reverse the trend of homelessness and it doesn't necessarily need to cost more money. We just need to focus those efforts on the things that really matter, the things that can really help them to become self-sufficient.
MACCALLUM: Big problem. It's heartbreaking on all levels. Don Sedgwick, thank you very much. Good to have you here tonight.
SEDGWICK: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So instead of buying property, the new socialist monopoly lets players give their money to society. Are Americans and American companies warming up to the idea in all different aspects of our lives of just what socialism is like? That story coming up next.
MACCALLUM: Has brought out with a new take on the classic board game Monopoly, it's the socialist edition. It is a parody product which bears the slogan winning is for capitalist where instead of buying properties, players are forced to give the money back to society. Here's one card that a player might draw, time to plant some trees downtown, pay the bank from the community fund.
Another says, you catch your neighbor using a plastic straw, remove another player's chip from any project card and return it to them. Senator Ted Cruz, for one, says he loves the idea. He tweeted this, we could also do the university edition. You imagine a magic money tree, you give everything free to everybody, anybody who wants it, nobody works, studies or (ph) innovates and everybody gets an A. That's from Ted Cruz.
All joking aside, what does this say about this conversation going on about socialism right now in our society as more politicians promised a lot of stuff and companies appear to be putting corporate citizenship ahead of profits. Who better to talk to about this than Liz Peek, former partner of Wall Street firm, Wertheim & Company and now a Fox News Contributor. Liz, good evening. Good to see you tonight.
LIZ PEEK, FORMER PARTNER, WERTHEIM & COMPANY: Thanks for having me on, Martha.
MACCALLUM: I just think these cards are so funny. I'm going to show you everybody at home and you, two more of them. This one is, minimum wage increase, play this card immediately, let's put that one up. Minimum wage increase, sucks to be a small business owner. Pay the bank $100 from the community fund.
And the next one is if you are gathering too many chips, this is what happens, you seem to be doing too well for yourself, that is not how socialism works. As a community, choose one player to take back five of their chips. What do you think of this game?
PEEK: I think it's terrific. Look, we are not educating people, young people in our schools and universities about what socialism really means. If it takes mockery of the kind that we're seeing in this game, I say all for it and it should be required reading or playing or engagement in every high school in America because all these cards are funny but they --
MACCALLUM: That's not going to happen. You know, the schools aren't going to buy this game, Liz.
PEEK: I know, I know but they raised real issues, right? I mean minimum wage, we know it really does hurt small businesses and all these things we can talk and talk and talk but the country is so divided on almost every issue. Nobody is listening, so you know maybe humor will get the message across.
MACCALLUM: So, we had a couple of other things that I think go to this issue this week. One of them is a piece in The Economist that is entitled, What are Companies For? And the other which is related to that is that the business roundtable came out, 180 of the top CEOs in the country including J.P. Morgan and Walmart, said that companies should put social responsibility above profit. Now it's always been the exact opposite. What is going on out there?
PEEK: Well look, I think this is big companies are under attack by the left, by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren. The language that these two are using to describe business leaders is really kind of reprehensible. But, this is an argument that's going on for decades. Who is better at allocating the nation's resources and organizing our economy, big business or big government?
The reason that Democrats are so dug into socialism and vilifying big business, even though, by the way, over half of American workers work for big corporations, is because they are a source of power, they're source of money historically has come from labor unions. Organized labor began to lose ground in America with globalization, when we began shipping jobs overseas.
But, they want to blame big business for doing those things and for engendering what they considered to be a real losing card for labor. I mean it's really -- it's an old argument. What we know is that the United States is the most prosperous nation on earth because we have been better at allowing big business to be creative, to be innovative, and to create wealth for Americans of all kinds and work for Americans of all kinds.
I'm not dogmatic on this but it's really annoying that there are all kinds of examples in Europe, you don't have to go to Venezuela, look at Europe where it just can't grow and where businesses are, you know, basically --
MACCALLUM: That's true.
PEEK: -- entrapped in all kinds of regulations and rules. People are not doing well there. People really need to sort of begin to look around us and see what works and see what doesn't work.
MACCALLUM: Liz, thank you. Great insight, good to see you tonight. Thank you very much.
PEEK: My pleasure.
MACCALLUM: Play some Monopoly over there. All right, so what happens when you ask Bernie Sanders to live up to one of his own policies? One student found out the answer to this in an interesting way. Ladies Night, coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT: Martha, why don't you give. You make more money than I do. Why don't you give --
MACCALLUM: Well, I didn't -- I didn't suggest the wealth tax.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And she's not running for President.
SANDERS: All right though, we have enough --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So if there's one issue that you would imagine that most Democrats would be in agreement on, it might be perhaps climate change. But when it came to a vote at the DNC Summer Meeting on whether to dedicate it, one of their debates, a whole debate evening to the climate crisis, didn't exactly go as planned. The idea was rejected 17 to 8 leading to this minor revolt by some of the activists who are in favor of it in the crowd.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone one in (ph), everybody knew (ph) the right to be here. This is the public -- don't touch me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you're not going --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) hands off me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which side are you on now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which side are you on now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which side are you on?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which side are you on?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which side are you on now? Which side are you on?
MACCALLUM: I like that. We have our Ladies Night. Tammy Bruce, Rochelle Ritchie and Jessica Tarlov, welcome ladies. Good to see you all. Jess, let me start with you. You know, I mean why not dedicate a night? This is one of the -- the most important security issues that faces the country in the world.
JESSICA TARLOV, CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, well Jay Inslee's campaign which was all based on climate change, his main point of advocacy, and did a couple of nights ago, he didn't manage to break out of the 1% club on it. That doesn't mean it's not an important issue to Democrats but I think when Tom Perez is looking at the difficult road ahead here in coordinating, we now still (ph) have 20 candidates left and so many issues that are important.
He's looking at this and saying, I'm not sure that we can have a debate on all of the important issues and you need the gun control debate and you're going to need an immigration specific debate. And I think that there are some issue about the distinction of a debate versus a forum and they are not stopping them from doing an event on the issue elsewhere like CNN is having a climate change town hall or forum. I'm not sure what they're calling it but it seems just like very perilous territory to make a decision.
MACCALLUM: Well, I mean the real question is politically would it be beneficial, right, for them to spend the night discussing this topic? Rochelle and then Tammy.
ROCHELLE RITCHIE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: You know, I absolutely disagree with the DNC on this and this is why. I think that the problem is that climate change is a singular issue, right? If you read the Green New Deal, it impacts jobs, it impacts farmers, it impacts marginalized communities of color.
So, I think that the problem is they're just taking this climate change in thinking of it as greenhouse gases and fossil fuels, and politicians making money off of big corporations. Instead of trying to find a way to take climate change and make it a singular issue that impacts all of those things that they're actually already talking about such as healthcare.
TAMMY BRUCE, CONTRIBUTOR: Unless they know from the start that this was actually just a manipulative tool to get everybody all excited. Something very vague and very broad and very large and then what you have are young people who listen to this rhetoric, believe that it is an existential issue and don't understand why everyone is not moving appropriately.
One major piece, well it's not even legislation yet, but the Green New Deal is the thing that's supposed to define them and they won't even have a debate about it? So, I think what Democrats are seeing is, yes, is that it's dangerous to talk about, that they don't quite know how to talk about it, that maybe they don't because they know Americans are nervous about getting rid of all fossil fuels. And so I think that this is a highlight of some level of hypocrisy and of manipulation of their own pace (ph).
MACCALLUM: Yes but -- I mean it would be -- it would be virtually impossible to spend an entire debate talking about it and not get to the issue of how do you pay for these things.
BRUCE: Yes, exactly.
MACCALLUM: And some of the basic brass tacks issues that come underneath it.
TARLOV: I'm not sure that is the issue. I don't think Democrats are running from talking about climate change as an issue and I think that it is very real, that if we don't do something about it we're going to have a problem (ph). Every candidate has rolled out their own plans, very extensive from going back into the Paris accords to building on what we did under President Obama. So, I didn't think that's it (ph).
MACCALLUM: OK, take a look at Bernie Sanders. He got -- confronted by a student at a town hall. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: It is no secret that we must transition away from fossil fuel period, end of discussion. There ain't no middle grounds here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What ways would you take to practice what you preach if you're to become President? Because, I know it's stressful when you travel a lot, you have to use fossil fuels.
SANDERS: No, I'm not going to walk to California. No, I understand that, you know, we do the best we can (ph) as an example but I'm not going to sit here and tell you that we're not going to use fossil fuels.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RITCHIE: You know, it's one of -- it's one thing to say that you have a plan but when people keep asking, how are we going to pay for it, how are we going to do it, what is your plan? And there's never an answer and I think that's why you continue to see so people frustrated when we're talking about greenhouse gases and fossil fuels because it's a really great idea.
Like Jessica said this is an issue, it's a serious issue and we're all going to be impacted by it. But when you don't have a plan, how can we really trust that you are going to do something about it?
MACCALLUM: Yes, but Bernie Sanders, it seems like when he's asked to personally discuss what impact it would have on his life, he gets a little testy. Here he is with me at the town hall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: You can volunteer, you can send it that (ph).
SANDERS: You could volunteer too. We have a --
MACCALLUM: But you suggested -- suggested that's what everybody in your bracket should do.
SANDERS: And Martha, why don't you give? You make more money than I do.
MACCALLUM: Well, I didn't -- I didn't suggest a wealth tax.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And she's not running for President.
MACCALLUM: And I'm not running for President.
SANDERS: All right though, we're going to find --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: He said over and over and over again if you're a millionaire, billionaire, you should pay more. So the question, which I should set up better, was now that we know you made over a million dollars last year, are you going to carve out more of your income to give to the government? And he scoffed at the idea.
BRUCE: Well the better question is, are you going to run for President because perhaps you should.
MACCALLUM: No, (Inaudible).
BRUCE: I mean that's -- that's it but you know and he was --this is another issue with another -- maybe it was even the same town hall from before and this other issue with that young man was about the cost of his Medicare for All proposal. And he said, I don't have that in my pocket. Nobody does and that -- and he effectively -- and you have to give him credit for being serious and for being truthful, he has no idea.
So when it comes down to the issue of the cost but you see you could get to the cost if you look at the details. And all of this is, again, it's broad, issues that everyone figures we should do something about but not too specific, so you don't get into any danger zone. Those days are over. Young people want answers just like Harry and Megan, right, the royal couple.
MACCALLUM: People are very angry at them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Flying around all over the place.
BRUCE: It's almost like for you but not for us.
MACCALLUM: All right, very quick thought on Dancing with the Stars because it's very important obviously. Sean Spicer is doing it and the - ABC's Grey's Anatomy executive producer, Krista Vernoff, tweeted this, I deeply abhor this decision by the company I work for and truly love. The man lied daily to our faces and made a mockery of our country. This is not a cause for celebration or celebrity, not too late to change this plan. She's a powerful person at ABC, very successful show. Rochelle?
RITCHIE: People still watch Dancing with the Stars? Because, I don't watch it at all. I don't care. I mean I really don't care. Sean Spicer, I highly doubt he's going to win and probably -- he'll probably get booed by the crowd. They'll probably -- they'll probably have him on and vote him off. I mean who cares?
MACCALLUM: Should they make a Jess?
TARLOV: I don't know. The most compelling argument against having Sean Spicer came from the host, who released that public statement that said, this is supposed to be a politics free zone. And I understand that things have escalated in the age of Trump but Sean Spicer is a deeply political figure, whatever you think about it.
MACCALLUM: But do you think he'll say something political on the show?
TARLOV: No, no but people look at him. I mean I think of Melissa McCarthy now.
MACCALLUM: I don't think he can dance. He should have a little (ph) (INAUDIBLE).
BRUCE: But remember nobody complain when he actually went on Saturday Night Live, right? I mean this -- they mocked him on that and he's --
TARLOV: But that's super political show, yes.
BRUCE: But still and this is the other argument, the reverse of s Bergeron's argument is that if you really want to have things not be political, recognize that everybody is more complicated than one issue.
MACCALLUM: Then what issue?
BRUCE: One thing that have him on but that's what the liberals are worried about. They'll get to know Sean Spicer.
MACCALLUM: They might like him.
BRUCE: Dreaded conservatives and --
TARLOV: (Inaudible) Sean.
MACCALLUM: Ladies, thank you very much. More on The Story coming up next.
MACCALLUM: That is The Story of Friday, August 23, 2019. But as always as you know story goes on and on. So, we'll see you back here Monday night at 7:00. Have a great weekend everybody.
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