Senate Democrats warn Supreme Court: 'Heal' or face 'restructuring'

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," August 14, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, ANCHOR: Thank you very much, Bret. Good to see you tonight.

Busy night, as Bret has said. And there is a Fox News "ALERT" as an active and ongoing shooting situation is unfolding at this moment in Philadelphia. Police say that several officers have been shot. Six is the number that we have at the hospital right now. This is what the scene looks like.

There has been a massive police presence in the nice town area of the city where there been reports from witnesses that over 100 gunshots were heard. And police say, the suspect is still in the house, this is a narcotics bust. And that I believe two officers are in the house and that the suspect is continuing to shoot.

They are barricaded we're going to get more details in just a moment. Now, the White House tells us that the president has been briefed as you would expect, is monitoring the situation -- very fluid moving situation at this hour 7:00 on the East Coast in Philadelphia.

Breaking news correspondent Trace Gallagher joins me now. He has the very latest details in this case tonight. Good evening, Trace. Good evening, Martha. Moments ago, Philadelphia police were still pushing reporters and others away from the scene. So, clearly, there appears to be a huge continued sense of urgency though people on scene have not heard gunshots for several minutes.

But you can see that SWAT units are still holding their positions on rooftops and behind buildings. At one point, the scanner traffic was all about identifying the location of the various officers behind the cars, behind the buildings, on top of the roof, so there wouldn't be any chance of any friendly fire incidents.

Now, some local news reports say, there is at least one officer still trapped inside. You mentioned earlier there were two, we know there were two. There was some word that one of the officers got out that has not yet been confirmed by Philadelphia police.

So, we know, at least, one officer is still trapped inside this building. It could be as many as two. And that the shooter was shooting through the ceiling and the walls of this multi-unit family trying to attack the various officers.

Now, we know this whole thing started out as a narcotic warrant being served in a multi-family unit building that's when a suspect -- possibly suspects opened fire. And as you said, Martha, at least 100 rounds were fired, it could have been more than that.

During the playback of dispatch audio when police were literally calling for all units to respond, all hands on deck, you could hear in the background, dozens of gunshots being fired.

Right now, authorities say, six officers were shot. None of the injuries is life-threatening, and additional officers are being treated for non- shooting injuries including one officer who was involved in an automobile accident.

At least 90 minutes, the shooting was off and on, and this all went down just blocks from Temple University Medical Center. And now, there are reports the suspect is live streaming the entire shooting on Facebook.

Police are now in the process of trying to shut down that live stream. You can see the still very heavy police presence there. Anybody in and around this area which if you don't know, Philadelphia -- you know, North Philly, one of the busiest parts of the entire city.

The whole entire area surrounding this has been shut down. We're talking about mass transit, we're talking about automobiles. Anybody walking in and around the area. They are having trouble getting some people out of their homes who might still be in some danger. But as far as we know, Martha, at least, one officer possibly two still inside this building along with somebody with a weapon who is now live streaming this while police try and shut down that live stream. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Which is just unbelievable. Trace, thank you very much. Good to have you standing by on all of this tonight. As Trace just reported, the shooter is live streaming online. The shooting as its taking place this evening.

We have been told all reporters have been pushed back. They do not want to have on television a view of the front of this building, which is 15th street in Erie, according to the reports that we've received.

So, they don't want anyone to be able to watch on television and be able to see the position of the police outside. So, that's the reason for that. Juan Williams knows all of this too well. He was a police beat reporter back in the 70s in Philadelphia, knows this neighborhood well, and joins me now.

Juan, it's always good to have you with us.


MACCALLUM: What do you think as you watch this?

WILLIAMS: Well, one, you got to remember, this is right around Temple University in the Temple University Medical Center, Martha. And so, this is an area that has lots of activity.

Not far from Broad Street, one of the main avenues in the city of Philadelphia. So, when they say they're shutting it down, and you understand this kind of shootings taking place, it is a threat to the whole area, to the city.

I mean, this is like a main artery in the city of Philadelphia right there on Erie. The second thing to say is you have to understand how the drug issue has been changing in this country. A record was set at the port of Philadelphia in the month of April for the amount of cocaine busted. It was a record.

And guess what? Just three months later, in June, another record set. This time, 16 tons worth more than a billion dollars of cocaine busted at the port of Philadelphia. You also have now as people are paying more attention to opioids, and trying to make some inroads into prescription drugs.

An increased amount of sales of methamphetamines, particularly, stuff that comes with fentanyl attached to it. And so, do you have these people who are selling, you know, what is -- you know, what seemed to be sort of minor drugs a minute ago, now we have a new kind of drug issue on the streets and it pumps up a lot of these smaller cartels and gangs.

And that's why -- I think, when the police went in here, I don't think they understood how much these folks had not only in terms of potential the amount of drugs, but guns. That they have enough guns that this guy can be shooting now for how many hours? It's unbelievable.

They have captured some of these members of this drug operation. The others are trapped in the building as you've heard on stories above. It's almost like an Elmore Leonard novel to me. Because we don't know who that guy shooting at.

Is he shooting at the cops? Does he think someone ratted him out who was a fellow drug dealer? We don't know. It's an incredible story, but an incredible moment. Again, the front in terms of drugs in this country big drug bust-up here in New York, Westchester County. Tremendous big drug bust in Baltimore, and now what we see is Philadelphia being a real center in as I said, April, a record drug cocaine bust. And just subsequently in June, over a billion dollars and coke busted at the Philadelphia port.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, you know, what comes to my mind is when you look at this situation, and you look at the discussion that we had about Baltimore, the president, you know, said things that got people very upset about Baltimore.

But you think about the carnage that he referred to in the State of the Union address. And he mentioned, you know, directly with that phrase, drugs on our streets. And you have a very strong economy, you've got a lot of people who are working now, who were not working over the past several years. And yet, you still have, you know, that this enormous drug trade.

And you know, I'm curious what you think about sort of the larger infrastructure of the drug dealing that happens in Philadelphia. And know who was behind it in the 70s, who might be behind it now. You look at mob connections, all of that. What's your feel for that?

WILLIAMS: Well, this is so different. It's a great and terrific question, because if you look back in the 70s, what you had were big drug dealers, you know, guys who were kind of on the street and known for -- you know, selling drugs.

Now, those it's not the big drug dealers, it's no longer like mafia or mob oriented, organized in that way. Now, it's a lot of local people who are popping up in reaction to the fact that we've seen an increase in the amount of cocaine sales in this country.

Again, it was at a low point in about '06. Now, we're seeing it back at record levels. It's the highest it's been since then. And that's all around the country. But again, it fits in with opioids, and of course, we know the opioid situation is oftentimes in rural America. And oftentimes, it impacts a population of people who are again low-income people who are struggling.

In big cities like Philadelphia, what you see again is cowboys pop up, who decide they can make some quick money, and it's oftentimes young boys, teenagers, kids who are, you know, kind of delinquent, maybe have a record, maybe learn how their trade in prison and they come in. And I think that's what we've got going on.

I don't think these are pros, I think this is a scattershot operation. The only mistake here made by the police was not understanding what they were getting into. How well armed and how big this operation was.

I don't think they understood, and that's why the shooter has the opportunity to initially shoot police. Because otherwise, the police should have overwhelmed him.

MACCALLUM: Yes, I mean, you know, as you say, we don't -- we don't know what they understood or didn't understand going in there. But it's obvious that this situation exploded into something that they did not anticipate.

WILLIAMS: Correct.

MACCALLUM: And you've got -- you know, the streets lined now with police officers because six of their own have been shot. And I believe Trace said that only one is now believed to be still in that building. I mean, imagine how terrifying this is for this police officer as the shooting continues.

And one of the shooters is shooting through the floor just trying to sort of -- you know, see if he can nail whoever happens to be up there in his way. And this is a guy who knows that he is not probably leaving the situation alive unless they can take him in and interrogate him.

So, this is a very desperate situation for anybody who's in that building right now. It's --


WILLIAMS: Yes, so that's exactly right. So, in other words, if you're watching at home, you're thinking, well, why don't they just throw a concussion grenade in there? Why do they throw like something, you know, phosphorous that would blind this guy or smoke him out? But the thing is it's a residential building.


WILLIAMS: And you've got a policeman in the building with a suspect.


WILLIAMS: So, you can't just go in and kind of destroy this.

MACCALLUM: So, essentially, they're treating this police officer as a hostage. Even though it doesn't -- we don't know whether or not he's actually being held. It sounds one of the reports was that he was -- you know, holed up in in a bathroom or a small room in the building. All these details are going to -- you know, be confirmed at some point.

But the word is that the sergeant on the scene is communicating now with the shooter as they try to basically offer him some kind of reason to come out, and to talk to them, and you know, likely saying things along the lines of -- you know, like this is only going to get worse, you know, come on out, you know, save yourself at this point.


MACCALLUM: And try to get him to -- you know, it's always fascinating to me the dialogue that goes on in these situations because you have experts at hostage rescue who are going to speak to this individual, and try to convince him that the best move at this point for him would be to come out and to let this police officer go.

WILLIAMS: So, another question is, is this where he lives? In other words, is his mother in that building? Because his mother could be used by a hostage negotiator to try to talk her son out of it. Is it the case that there are neighbors who could talk to this person? Can the police offer any kind of opportunity for him to save face?

But at this juncture, it doesn't look which is what you said. It doesn't look like he gets out of this alive, does it? Because he has put himself in a position where he is still a threat.

He still has ammunition, he's still shooting. So, the police have no alternative but -- you know, within limits in terms of restraint to fire back to protect themselves. It may be, you know, kind of police assisted suicide at some point.

MACCALLUM: Well, we will see if they can give him some kind of incentive just to stay alive, and to walk out, and to let this thing end at this point. That is clearly the best outcome at this moment.

And obviously, they want to protect the life of that police officer whose still in there, and the early reports and I stressed that or that the six officers who were shot are likely to recover from their injuries. And we certainly hope that, that continues to be the case as they are at the hospital -- the temple hospital nearby.

So, Juan, thank you very much for being here tonight.

WILLIAMS: You're welcome, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Obviously, as we get new developments throughout the course of THE STORY tonight, we're going to bring those to you as they become available.

Coming up next, Jennifer Araoz, says that Jeffrey Epstein raped her when she was a teenager on a massage table. Now it's time for his enablers who recruited all of these young women to be held responsible.

A story exclusive you do not want to miss, next.


JENNIFER ARAOZ, ACCUSER OF JEFFREY EPSTEIN: Yes, you know, very forcefully, kind of brought me into the table. I just did what I was -- what they told me to do. I was really scared and I was telling him to stop.



MACCALLUM: Tonight, the saga of the sleeping prison guards. Not since Lady Macbeth drug to the guards have sleeping watchmen drawn so much intrigue. Did they fall asleep and then fix the logs to show otherwise? Did the Department of Justice get a look at that video and prove them liars? That is the ongoing investigation at the MCC federal prison in Manhattan.

Now, Epstein's victims are hopeful that perhaps his property will be divided up and that they will get a piece of that perhaps as restitution, and they hope to charge the women who they say worked as his recruiters, supplying him typically with three young girls every day. Which raises the question, where is Ghislaine Maxwell, girlfriend and they say accused groomer?

Word was that she was holed up at her tech CEOs boyfriend's house in Massachusetts. But reached today, he says he is in Europe and there's no one at his home except his cat, that she is not there. So where is the British born socialite? All of these are questions tonight.

Judith Miller writes that Epstein's death in jail is "unfathomable, outrageous and should trouble every American." Noting in a new Op-Ed, "It's next to impossible to kill oneself in jail. I know because I've been there."

In 2005, when Judith Miller was with the New York Times, she voluntarily spent three months at Alexandria detention center rather than identify her sources. She is now a Fox News Contributor. Judith, great to see you this evening. What are your thoughts on --

JUDITH MILLER, CONTRIBUTOR: Nice to see you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: What are your thoughts on this story? You know, now that you've had a little bit of time to digest this and the ball keeps moving forward with these now apparently sleeping guards?

MILLER: Exactly. This is the latest report that two of the guards who are supposed to look in on Mr. Epstein every 30 minutes did not do so that is an unconfirmed report. The Justice Department is not commenting on it, but it is one of the many troubling aspects of Epstein's death. It's now being looked at and investigated.

You know, there are so many troubling questions about what happened here, but there's also a lot of misinformation about what people are being told. I know that being a prison guard is very hard work and they are underpaid. But the MCC, the Metropolitan Correctional Center was not severely understaffed. It was operating, according to my sources at about 84 percent staffing capacity and the guards were not worked down to the bone according to the latest figures that we have.

About six out of the 21 guards who were on duty between 4:00 pm and midnight had volunteered to do some overtime. And then from midnight to 8:00, and that's the crucial period, when Epstein died, at that point, you had roughly ten of the 18 guards who were responsible for him doing overtime, but they were volunteers.

There was only one guard, I'm told, a woman who was doing a mandatory double shift, but she hadn't worked a double shift for at least five days. So whatever happened there is probably very troubling and very bad and the Justice Department is trying to get to the bottom of it, along with the Bureau of Prisons and other people.

MACCALLUM: All right, here's Bill de Blasio talking about this whole thing. I want to get quick reaction from you on this before I let you go.


MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, D-NYC, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is way too convenient. This makes no sense. He is one of the most prominent prisoners in America at that point. He had either attempted suicide previously or been assaulted. Either way, it's the same reality. He needed to be watched 24 hours a day.

It's one of the premier federal facilities in the country. It belongs to the Justice Department. This is -- come on. How are on earth did they miss this?


MACCALLUM: A lot of people pointing fingers at the Justice Department. A legal analyst on MSNBC went so far as to say that it was you know, basically Bill Barr's fault that this happened. What do you say about that?

MILLER: I don't -- I don't think that's fair. I mean, the Attorney General has a lot of these facilities to worry about. He was told when Jeffrey Epstein was actually taken off suicide watch that the prison was going to watch him and monitor him every 30 minutes, that he was going to have a cellmate who was conveniently or inconveniently transferred out on the day before the night that he died.

There were many, many irregularities that I'm told have actually shocked an outrage the attorney general who had -- I shared his reaction as someone who's been there and knows how hard it is to control anything in jail. This is just mystifying and infuriating and we've got to get to the bottom of it. I think that's what the Justice Department and Bill Barr are trying to do.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely. And no doubt they have, you know, more information than any of us do at this point and they're going to keep digging.

MILLER: Right.

MACCALLUM: Judy, thank you so much. Good to see you tonight.

MILLER: Thank you so much, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Now, to a story exclusive with the attorney of Jeffrey Epstein accuser, Jennifer Araoz, who alleges that she was lured to Epstein's New York mansion when she was just a teenager. There she says, he sexually assaulted and raped her. Here she is telling her story publicly last month.


ARAOZ: And he, you know, very forcefully kind of brought me into the table. I just did what I was -- what he told me to do. I was really scared and I was telling him to stop. Please stop.


ARAOZ: No, he did not stop.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did Jeffrey Epstein rape you?

ARAOZ: Yes, I know he raped me. He forcefully raped me, know exactly what he was doing. And I don't think he cared.


MACCALLUM: Today, Araoz filed a lawsuit against the Epstein estate, saying, "Jeffrey Epstein and his network of enablers stole from me. They robbed me of my youth, my identity, my innocence, my self-worth. For too long they escaped accountability. I am here today because I intend to change that.

Here now, Jennifer Araoz's attorney, Dan Kaiser. Dan, thank you very much for being with us. What was Jennifer's reaction when she got the news that Epstein was dead?

DAN KAISER, ATTORNEY OFR JENNIFER ARAOZ: Well, initially, she was angry, a little frustrated. I mean, she was hoping that Mr. Epstein would face justice in a criminal courtroom, that she would be able to stand up to him, see him, face a judge that would ultimately lead to his jail -- leads him going to jail.

But you know, she's committed now to move forward. I mean, that was a disappointment from that perspective, but justice begins now for her. That's why she filed the lawsuit today. She is fully intended to see this through to the end and ultimately, make people understand that it wasn't just Jeffrey Epstein that victimized her, that there were -- there was a network of enablers as you heard her remark in her statement around and that permitted this to occur.

And they are going to be held accountable, hopefully criminally. And we have confidence that the Southern District is looking at that angle. But she intends to do her part to hold those enablers or the ones that she can identify accountable in her --

MACCALLUM: Well, we have -- we have pictures of some of the people who have been in that circle who worked for Jeffrey Epstein. We're going to put those up on the screen now. But she has not been able to identify these individuals, correct. And she, as far as I understand, never met Ghislaine Maxwell. Is that true?

KAISER: That's correct. So she hasn't yet been able to identify the recruiter that actually interacted with her. The secretary -- this is a long time ago. She was 14 years old, when it happened. But we continue those efforts to try to have that -- have that occur. But her interacting with Ghislaine Maxwell is not the factual basis, the factual predicate for her claim against Miss Maxwell.

Miss Maxwell was one of the principal conspirators in the sex trafficking, human sex trafficking ring. Because of her efforts, because of her perpetuation of this ring through her -- through her administratively handling this operation by maintaining the pipeline of girls to Mr. Epstein, by recruiting the recruiters, by engaging in efforts to intimidate witnesses --

MACCALLUM: And she denies all of that, of course. But what do you think about the fact that nobody seems to know where she is right now?

KAISER: Yes, we are undertaking our own efforts to try to find out who -- where she is. We haven't yet been able to identify her location. When we can, obviously we'll serve her with these papers because we think that --

MACCALLUM: Do you think she's still in the country?

KAISER: We don't know. She may or may not be, we don't know. We're undertaking an investigation now to try to find out where she is, as is lots of other lawyers, and I believe probably the federal government.

MACCALLUM: Dan Kaiser, thank you. Keep us posted.


MACCALLUM All right, thank you very much.

KAISER: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: You bet. So Fox News alert now. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has just arrived at Temple University Hospital to visit with the injured officers there, as we continue to monitor the situation still ongoing at this hour, as the gunman is holed up in a residence in Philadelphia, as is one police officer, very tense situation. We're going to keep on top of it.

Also, is a global recession on the horizon? Did you see what happened today to the Dow Jones Industrial? Susan Lee on the ground in Hong Kong with what to make of the Dow's 800 point drop. Plus, Democrats deliver an ominous warning to the Supreme Court, move to the left, or else.


MACCALLUM: Boy, tough day for the Dow, down more than 800 points. Worst in -- worst day of 2019, for sure, and halfway across the globe. And Hong Kong protests are putting investors further on edge.

And that's where Susan Li has stayed up late or gotten up early, been up all night for us to report THE STORY tonight from there. Hi, Susan.

SUSAN LI, FOX BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Martha. So, a new dawn, a new day here in Hong Kong where investors in the city and around the rest of the world are trying to figure out what to do after the worst day on Wall Street.

And what investors are concerned about is this so-called yield curve inversion. I know it sounds wonky and it's technical, but it's really important because it's preceded virtually every recession since the 1960s.

And what is a yield curve inversion? That's when the interest that you get on a two-year treasury note is actually higher than what you get on a 10- year treasury note and that is indicative of slowing growth in the future, not a good sign.

Now we had President Trump tweeting about this today and he started off talking about China first of all. Let me get this up for you. It says "We are winning big time against China. Companies and jobs are fleeing, prices to the U.S. have not gone up, and in some cases have come down. China is not our problem, though Hong Kong is not helping. Our problem is with the Fed. It raised too much and too fast. Now too slow to cut."

Here in Hong Kong, though, we did have protests hitting the streets once again after a court injunction virtually banned them from the Hong Kong airport, so hundreds of protesters are amassing in the rural part of the Kowloon district just across the harbor here and they are met with Hong Kong police.

We had teargas being lobbed once again after what they call provocation by the protesters who were beaming laser beams directly at the Hong Kong police.

Now we also just got a tweet minutes ago from President Trump about the situation in Hong Kong and negotiations with China. Trump saying "I know President Xi of China is doing very well. He's a great leader who very much has the respect of his people. He is also a good man in a tough business."

And at the end, this is the important part. "Personal meeting?" Question mark. Martha, there are concerning satellite images being circulated right now showing a paramilitary buildup of troops and tanks and artillery just across the waterway here, just a few kilometers from Hong Kong borders. Back to you.

MACCALLUM: Wow. Susan Li, thank you so much, Susan. Great to have you with us tonight from Hong Kong live.

Also, tonight in the U.S. Supreme Court, is it ill, the court, and is it in need of healing? That is the view of some Senate Democrats urging the high court to stay out of a gun case that was brought against an NRA back group against New York State.

In a legal brief the senators warned the conservative majority court, quote, "Perhaps the court can heal itself before the public demands it be, quote, "restructured" in order to reduce the influence of politics. Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it, the Supreme Court, to heal."

It comes as a number of 2020 presidential candidates signal an openness to expand the number of judges on the court should they win back the White House.

Here now, Mollie Hemingway, co-author of "Justice on Trial" and senior editor of The Federalist, and Jessica Tarlov, senior director of research at, both are Fox News contributors. Jess, let me start with you, is the court ill, and is the court in need of healing or sort of forced restructuring?

JESSICA TARLOV, CONTRIBUTOR: I take those as two separate issues. I do believe the court to be ill. A majority of Americans do in that they say that it is motivated purely by partisanship, 55 percent of Americans say that.

In need of restructuring? No, I'm going to sign -- side with RBG here who said nine is plenty. That is the right number of justices.

As far as what the Democratic hopefuls are doing, it showed a few people who are open to this, whether that's expanding the number to 15 or having kind of rotating set of justices coming in from the appellate court.

That feels like a dangerous precedent to set here. I think Joe Biden is right on this to stick with let's work with what we have. But there is no doubt that partisanship has completely infected the court.

MACCALLUM: Mollie, what to think about that? Has partisanship completely infected the court?

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, CONTRIBUTOR: I do think the court has actually for many decades now made too many political decisions. The court as the founders intended was to just determine whether legislation is constitutional or not. Not to act as a legislature of its own that changes laws or comes up with new rights or annihilates other rights because they feel like it personally.

And so, the legitimacy of the court is tied somewhat to that ability to just understand a fairly modest role, determining whether a given law is constitutional or not.

Now they think this particular threat from these Democrats is because this is actually dealing with a New York case about gun rights that even people who support the New York law understand is probably unconstitutional and the court is likely to overturn it.

So, I think this is sort of a last-ditch effort, even though this is a growing movement on the left to call for court packing, I think this is just an effort to see what they can get on a case that they are likely to lose.

MACCALLUM: Yes, it's interesting to me, because, you know, there are people on the more liberal side of the country who believe that the court is too conservative and then there are people on the more conservative side who believe that the court is to liberal, that even some of the justices that are conservatives, they feel --


TARLOV: Are not conservative enough.

MACCALLUM: -- are not -- are not textualist enough for them.

This is a quote from Mike Davis of A.P. 3, which is a conservative group which tries to get as many conservative justices on the court as they can. He says "The Senate Democrats' latest court filing is yet another blatant partisan assault on judicial independence and the Supreme Court should consider contempt proceedings against Senator Whitehouse, the counsel of record, for his not-so-veiled threats. These Senate Democrats can start their proposed healing by accepting the fact that the American people hired President Trump, not Hillary Clinton, to pick judges." Jess?

TARLOV: If that situation were reversed, we would have a statement from a liberal saying exactly the same thing. This is what happens and actually I'm glad that we are talking about this because I thought it was a real missed opportunity in the second debate that there were no questions whatsoever about the Supreme Court, and frankly, about judges across this country.

President Trump has gone through 59, I believe, nominee so far. He is going to be well outpacing President Obama even just if he gets the four years, let alone eight years in office. It's incredibly important, this last far longer than any presidency. These justices are getting -- put in --


MACCALLUM: But that's the way it works.

TARLOV: It is the way that it works, absolutely but for a Republican or some on the conservative side, to say this is a problem with liberals, I think it's completely dishonest. The reverse would be true. And that's how we've gone about this. There are --


MACCALLUM: OK. Mollie, I mean, you know, these people, no one is going to approve of them 100 percent but the fact is that they are put in for life appointments and that they are to be nominated by the party in power at that point. And that the Senate's job is to approve or disapprove. Final thoughts?

HEMINGWAY: That is absolutely how it should happen. But I think what people are frustrated by is seeing some inappropriate behavior when it comes to nominations of Supreme Court justices. You have this threat to pack the court which is brazenly political. It's literally if you don't roll the way we like, we might -- we might do a court packing scheme.

That is something that has been tried in the past. FDR famously lost his effort to do it. But you saw with the Kavanaugh confirmation where people came up with meritless accusations, with no evidence in support of them to defame someone because they knew they were losing a court seat.


HEMINGWAY: Or recent impeachment efforts against Kavanaugh or efforts to dig into him. These types of -- this type of behavior I think is well beyond what is appropriate. The Senate should advice and consent on all these nominations. That's an important role but there is a limit to what is appropriate.

MACCALLUM: All right.

TARLOV: Can I just add quickly that part of the frustration --


MACCALLUM: Very quick.

TARLOV: -- obviously stems back to the fact that Mitch McConnell would not even hear from Merrick Garland who is President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court.

MACCALLUM: That definitely sticks in our craw --


MACCALLUM: -- and will try the end of time. No doubt.

TARLOV: Right in my craw.

MACCALLUM: There were six Supreme Court justices originally, now there are nine but the Constitution doesn't dictate the number.


MACCALLUM: And that's why this remains historically an open question. Ladies, thank you. Great to see you tonight.

TARLOV: Thanks, Martha.

MOLINGWAY: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Another update out of Philadelphia. Police now saying that officers are continuing to attempt to communicate with the suspect, but the suspect is still firing. They are urging the public to stay a good distance away from this scene.

Also, tonight, coming up, it was the bombshell documentary that featured two men who said they were sexually abused by the king of pop, Michael Jackson. But newly uncovered depositions from one of these accusers is casting doubt on his story. We are going to show you what he said in this new video. Geraldo Rivera who considered Michael Jackson a friend, is next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He told that if they ever found out what we were doing, he and I would go to jail for the rest of our lives.




WADE ROBSON, MICHAEL JACKSON ACCUSER: He was one of the kindest, most gentle, loving, caring people I knew. And he also sexually abused me. For seven years.


MACCALLUM: That's Michael Jackson accuser Wade Robson telling his story of abuse by Michael Jackson in an exclusive HBO documentary that was released earlier this year, but now his story is coming under scrutiny in light of a newly released video deposition from 2016.

Here again, chief breaking news correspondent Trace Gallagher. Hi, Trace.


That video is lies of "Leaving Neverland," it runs about 30 minutes and it points out several things that critics have been saying since "Leaving Neverland" first aired on HBO, like why was the Jackson family not given the opportunity to respond to the damaging claims about Michael Jackson, and why was actor Macaulay Culkin not contacted to speak about Jackson?

Remember, the accusers say Culkin was also sexually abused by Jackson, but the actor strongly denies that saying Jackson was one of his best friends. And it's important to note that one accuser, Wade Robson, testified during Michael Jackson's 2005 molestation trial, which I covered gavel to gavel, and at the time Robson swore Jackson never molested him. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On line 21 you're asked, Mr. Robson, did Michael Jackson ever touch you in a sexual way and you responded never, no, correct?

ROBSON: Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that was a lie, correct?

ROBSON: That was what I had rehearsed with Michael.


GALLAGHER: He now claims that he testified Jackson didn't sexually abused him to save the singer's life, but his 2005 testimony was so compelling, many legal experts say it is the reason Jackson was acquitted. And there are numerous other holes in Robson's new story, one major point of contention is where he says the abuse began.

He alleges that it started during a trip to the Grand Canyon, and watch where he talks in "Leaving Neverland" about being left alone with Michael Jackson.


ROBSON: I was ecstatic about this. Michael was ecstatic about this, so my whole family left.


GALLAGHER: But in his 2016 deposition, Robson contradicts that statement, clearly indicating that his family was still with him at the Grand Canyon when he claims the abuse began. Watch this.


ROBSON: Then whenever it was bedtime, she went upstairs, Michael and I stayed in the bed downstairs and I believe at some point that night the abuse started.


GALLAGHER: She being his sister. Then there are abuse allegations by James Safechuck, claiming Jackson molested him on the children's train at Neverland in 1988 or '89, except the train in Neverland wasn't built until years later, most documents say 1993.

We are not saying the accusers are lying, but there are clearly conflicting accounts, contradictions, and changing stories that would never be allowed to stand at face value during a trial. The Michael Jackson estate has filed $100 million lawsuit against HBO, which of course aired "Leaving Neverland." Martha.

MACCALLUM: Thank you, Trace. Here with more, Geraldo Rivera, Fox News correspondent-at-large, who called himself one of Michael Jackson's friends. Geraldo, good to see you tonight. What's your reaction to this, you know --



MACCALLUM: -- sort of rebuttal documentary that has now been released?

RIVERA: I think that it was long overdue. It's confirming what I've been saying since 2005. You know, Jackson and I were close between 2003 until the trial in 2005. He was a perfect family man, at least in front of me.

We knew that Robson was going to testify on his behalf. He testified very compellingly that Jackson never touched him inappropriately. Safechuck claiming that he was molested at the Neverland railroad station not yet built.

This is fake news, Martha. This is what we've been saying. Michael Jackson, I don't know, maybe he was a freak in his private life at some point, but these two witnesses, these assailants, they are assailants of the truth. What they were trying to do is cash in on Jackson's estate once he passed. You know, it is shameful. They are absolute liars --


MACCALLUM: All right. Geraldo, let me --

RIVERA: Trace is more reticent than I am, I think they're just plain liars.

MACCALLUM: Let me push back a little bit. Here's what some people who are watching this, you know, who watch that whole thing, which is a sickening documentary, you know, and hearing their very detailed accounts of exactly -- you know, of the grooming, as they described it.

They're out there saying, look, they were young boys. This guy messed with minds and convinced them to defend him and then years later they have kids of their own and they're not going to do it anymore. What do you say to that argument?

RIVERA: I think it's B.S., Martha. And Robson's case particularly. The guy is a choreographer. He wanted very much to be in Cirque du Soleil, the Michael Jackson show. He put all in -- invested all his emotional ammo in getting that part, getting that gig. He did not get it.

In bitterness, seeking money, he then changed his story. He is a mercenary. Safechuck is as well. These people from the very beginning were in it to get a piece of Jackson's -- what they thought enormous estate. You know, I just think that this man's reputation, the king of pop has been unfairly assailed. You know, he lived unconventionally. Let's face it, he's a weirdo in many ways.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely.

RIVERA: And I say that in love and kindness, but these two people are liars.

MACCALLUM: All right. We'll pick it up later.


MACCALLUM: Geraldo, thank you.

RIVERA: HBO should be ashamed. HBO should be ashamed of themselves for not doing a fair documentary. Never seeking any comment from the Jackson family. They could have come to me --


MACCALLUM: All right. We got to go.

RIVERA: -- or a million other people that knew Jackson. They did not.

MACCALLUM: Geraldo, I'm going to get cut off. Thank you very much, we'll have you back.

We're back with the situation in Philly after this.


MACCALLUM: So, we are continuing to cover the breaking news tonight which is still an active shooting scene 15 minutes ago in Philadelphia. There were shots fired. Loud bangs according to people who are watching all of this as it unfolds.

And the 2020 candidates are responding to this situation. Julian Castro tweeting this. "Devastating that so many families are suffering or losing the people they love while the wait to make the substantial gun reform we need to keep people in our country safe. Our hearts are with the people of Philadelphia tonight."

Kirsten Gillibrand also weighing in. "We must take legislative action to stop gun violence but we also need to understand the corruption that makes politicians protecting NRA over American lives and how right-wing judges in our courts enable it. We need to change that." She says.

Here now Jesse Watters who grew up in Philadelphia. Jess, your thoughts on what we are watching tonight?

JESSE WATTERS, HOST: Well, usually when there is a terrorist attack in this country, the Democrats like to say hey, hey, hey, let's not rush to judgment, let's wait to the facts come in before we start assigning blame or motivation or anything like that.

But literally as the shooting is unfolding, as there are hostages, as there's wounded officers are being taken for medical care the Democrats running for president are politicizing it.

There's no evidence that any sort of gun control would stop this violence. From what we hear on police scanners he had a few handguns and an A.R. We don't know if those were legally purchased. They probably weren't.

But again, you deny good guys weapons the bad guys are still going to get them. And these guys are highly armed because they are trading in a lot of very expensive profitable narcotics and they are supplied by the Mexicans and the cartels from South America. So, they have to protect the product, protect the profit.

And it looks like the agents that were there to interrupt this deal didn't know they were going to be that out-gunned.

MACCALLUM: Yes. You know, it is really, I think in bad taste to start commenting on these kinds of issues while people are still literally being shot at. That the shots, most recent shots were 15 minutes ago. It would, I think be much more appropriate for anyone running for president to say that, you know, we are monitoring this situation and that we thank the law enforcement on the ground.

We have reports that four women say that the police officers in Philadelphia saved their lives. They went into this building where this shoot-out was happening and they manage to escort these four women out of the building. So, they feel like they owe their lives to the Philadelphia police.

You know, that's the kind of thing that's appropriate at this moment. Not necessarily a discussion about, you know, an obvious police action situation where gun -- where drug dealers no doubt, have guns -- they got probably -- and who knows how they got them at this point.


MACCALLUM: But it's not the most prevalent issue that this is a very different situation than what we have seen in schools or in the recent shootings that we saw.

WATTERS: And it seems like the drugs are -- the guns are the result of the problem. The real problem is the drugs. It's the opioid, it's the heroin, it's the crack cocaine that's being smuggled in through the cartels to place like Baltimore and North Philadelphia. And then they are being used as the distribution hub throughout the east coast of the United States.

This neighborhood in North Philadelphia is the worst neighborhood in all of Philadelphia. It's got the worst crime. It's got the highest poverty level and it's very hard to police. Because you have row home after row home with -- you know, and each block is controlled by each gang. And you don't know who is who. And it's very easy to hole up in a complex like this and stay there for a very long time. And that's what the police are dealing with.

And to your point, you basically just have to wait until things settle down and tip your hat to law enforcement who is doing an amazing job right now containing the violence.

MACCALLUM: Yes, I mean, as I said to Juan, you know, this is the carnage that the president talked about in his state of the union address, I mean, rather, in his inaugural address.


MACCALLUM: About the drug violence that we see on the streets. Well, let's talk about drugs, let's talk about these issues that we have in our inner cities that are keeping young people from getting the education that they need and these families from raising their children in a safe environment.


MACCALLUM: That's the political issue that we are watching unfold here right now. And I also just want to say that this is being live streamed on Facebook. And a lot of people are outraged by the fact that that is allowed to happen as well.

WATTERS: Right. Well, before we get to Facebook. The reason that the drugs are so prevalent in neighborhoods like this is because the manufacturing jobs which used to be there in North Philadelphia, they had -- they had steel, they had auto, they had shipping, they had things like that back in the '50s and the 60s. Those jobs left.

We have de-industrialized this country. There is no way to make money anymore so people are turning to drugs in order to feed themselves and feed their family.

And the Facebook live stream, they actually had to shut down the Wi-Fi and all the signals because the guy was getting situational intelligence from the internet. And once they got that shut that down, I think the situation is going to resolve itself pretty quickly hopefully.

MACCALLUM: Jess, thank you so much. Good to have you here tonight.

WATTERS: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: That is “The Story” of Wednesday, August 14, 2019. But as always, “The Story” goes on so we will see you back here tomorrow night at 7 o'clock for more of “The Story.” Tucker Carlson takes over live from Washington, D.C.

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