This is a rush transcript from "The Story," January 4, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: Breaking tonight, so jobs were expected to go up by about 177,000 in December. So, this morning, this eye-popping number took the screen. 312,000 jobs at it. Manufacturing jobs posted their biggest gain in 20 years in the United States of America. So, the Dow love that, of course, up 746 points after a very rocky December.

Kimberly Strassel, with the Wall Street Journal, is going to join me in just a moment with her take on what people are ignoring in the realities of the U.S. economy. That is coming up a bit later.

But first tonight, the president continuing to do battle to fulfill his promise on the wall. He came out today from his meeting at the White House with GOP and Democrat leaders to say in part that successes now make the -- make -- that the successes of now make the whole impeachment argument -- he would say, a difficult one.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It's very hard to impeach somebody who's done a great job, that's number one. And we even talked about that today. I said, why don't you use this for impeachment? And Nancy said, "We're not looking to impeach you." I said, "That's good, Nancy. That's good." But you know what, you don't impeach people when they're doing a good job.


MACCALLUM: So, more on that in a moment. But to -- while the shutdown and discussions appear to be at an impasse, for now. The president was also asked about a new member of Congress who does want him out. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said this on her first day.


REP. RASHIDA TLAIB, D-MICH.: People love you and you win. And when your son looks at you and says mama, look, you won. Bullies don't win. And I said, baby, they don't because we're going go in there, we're going to impeach --


MACCALLUM: Lovely, right? It's a similar sentiment, different language though, we heard from the now new chair of the powerful House Intel Committee Adam Schiff.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF.: I presume it ends with Donald Trump being voted out of office. But, Bob Mueller will have a lot to say about that.


MACCALLUM: So, and it's not going to happen soon, it doesn't seem. Because today, a grand jury that has already been impaneled by Bob Mueller for 18 months will now be extended and we believe that extension is going to be for another six months.

Here now on manners, and the showdown that is underway on a number of fronts. Former Arkansas governor and Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee. And former CIA officer and Democrat Bryan Dean Wright. And former candidate for chairperson of the DNC and Fox News contributor Jehmu Green. Welcome, all of you.

We had a lot in there. The economy is doing very well. Obviously, the job's number was extremely strong. Then you've got that juxtaposed to this showdown over the shutdown. And then, you have this looming investigation that continues to go on.

So, the question of impeachment against that backdrop, Governor Huckabee, let me start with you. Was greeted with some pretty strong language by one of the newest members of Congress. Let's start there.

MIKE HUCKABEE, CONTRIBUTOR: Well, let's be fair. Not all the Democrats are that vicious. They don't use that kind of language. And I think it would be unfair to paint all the Democrats with a broad brush. But, but it's disturbing that someone would say that. It's profane, it's vulgar, it's unnecessary, and frankly, it's nonsense.

First of all, a lot of Americans don't seem to understand that, they don't care she does either that impeachment isn't removal from office. And as long as the Republicans have 53 members in the Senate, it would take all of the Democrats in 20 Republicans to get to a supermajority in order to remove the president.

So, this talk about impeachment is utter nonsense. I only quite frankly would hope that they would pursue it, and push it, and go all the way with it. Because I think it would be the best way Trump would be reelected and the Republicans would get control of the House again back in 2020.

MACCALLUM: Just one more question on the impeachment front before we move on to the other things. Jehmu, let me get you to address it. What would you say to her about that comment?

JEHMU GREEN, CONTRIBUTOR: So, for full disclosure, I am a Rashida Tlaib fangirl. She was trained by an organization vote run lead that I served as board chair of, and we train women to run as you are. We train them to be unapologetic, and that is what we are seeing from her. As far as impeachment goes, Martha --


MACCALLUM: But what would you say about that comment? It's totally separate from what you just said.

GREEN: To the impeachment process, we are two years into this administration. And nearly every entity that President Trump has ever led is under investigation.


MACCALLUM: Jehmu, I just -- can you just back up and answer my question. I'm just curious what you would say to her. You said your friend, and you support her. Do you support her using that, that language which I wouldn't even -- you know, characterized on my show about the president of the United States?

GREEN: Look, I would not have used it. But the reality is and I think Governor Huckabee probably knows this and anyone who's ever watched the television show beep, politicians curse, and they curse all the time. We're just not used to seeing it as so -- you know, up close and personal.


MACCALLUM: Not generally in front of cameras and intentionally in front of cameras.

GREEN: But they do. They have -- they have sailor mouths, and I think anyone who's worked inside the beltway understands that. The public just doesn't usually say that.

But for impeachment, there is a serious conversation to be had when every entity that this president hasn't -- has led is under investigation. And he has surrounded himself -- the administration is filled with family members, associates, advisors, who are under investigation for a long list of influence peddling and money laundering. And I mean, the list is so long.

So, if the founding fathers put an impeachment clause in the Constitution, is there any other situation that has been more tailor-made to, at least, have this profession?

MACCALLUM: I don't know. It sounds a lot of these accusations that you just mentioned sounds pretty familiar from prior administration. So, I don't know. Bryan, let me -- let me get you to weigh in on here as we're sort of look at this whole issue of the wall, the battle over the wall, your thoughts on, on where we stand with this showdown.

BRYAN DEAN WRIGHT, CIA OFFICER: Well, what a mess. Let's start with the immigration piece first. There is nobody in this country who looks at this thoughtfully and says, "Hey, you know what, we got 3,000 people coming across a border every day. It's not a problem." Of course, it's a problem.

Democrats are playing games. My party is absolutely on the losing end of this issue. We have handled it ridiculously. Representative Bustos, today, in fact, said that she would be open, and the party would be open to a partial wall.

So, let's just dispense with this ridiculousness about the wall and why would this government shutdown. And let me address secondly, this whole garbage of cursing, all right? Well, I'm not concerned about a Representative cursing. What I'm concerned about is the Democratic Party spending two years telling themselves in this country that there is evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia and there is not.

So, what else do we expect? We have set the brush fire alive in this country that the president is guilty without evidence. That is the issue that your friend -- this -- the divided colleague -- the speaking just before me is avoiding when you asked her a tough question.

There is no evidence, there are allegations. Let's wait until the evidence comes in. But let's not pretend the Democratic Party hasn't been lit on fire by all these ridiculous allegations that have yet to be proven, one shred of evidence.

GREEN: Clearly, Martha, you just --

MACCALLUM: Go ahead, you want to respond? Go ahead. Then, I got to get touch, Mike Huckabee.

GREEN: You just laid out how the grand jury has been impaneled for an additional six months. That would not happen if this process was not moving through a high number of indictments, a high number of guilty pleas, there is progress being made. And to say that this is not an important conversation, investigations that we have. We --


MACCALLUM: We don't know what -- we don't -- we haven't seen the end of the investigation.

WRIGHT: And you are innocent until proven guilty.

MACCALLUM: Look, hold on. We haven't seen the end of the investigation. When we do, we'll see what's in it. Governor Huckabee, I want to just get one last thought from you on the wall. I thought it was very interesting.

You know, Nancy Pelosi was calling the wall immoral which just leaves me to wonder if she would -- and I mean this in a serious way. Does she believe that we should dismantle the existing parts of the fence and wall that, that are there now? Are those also immoral? Because they do attempt to block people from entering the country.

HUCKABEE: That is the fairest question of all. Because if it's immoral, if it's really immoral issue to protect our borders, then we shouldn't have any protection, and the 650 miles that we currently have, the Democrats should introduce legislation that would dismantle it.

And we also should call out the Pope for having a wall around the Vatican. We should call out every major institution including our prisons for having walls if they're really immoral.

I think that's a ridiculous statement and it's an indefensible one. There's surely a way that we can bring this. I'd love to see us resolve DACA, get the border secure, this ought to be a bipartisan issue, it shouldn't be politicized, and it shouldn't be one of the things that it's thrown in, in this ridiculous discussion of impeachment because it's simply not going to happen. And I think American people are looking for people to lead, govern, and resolve issues. Not just to standoff in corners and scream at each other.

MACCALLUM: I think it touch on something that maybe the answer that may be the answer that we end up with here, which is a DACA-border security trade- off. I think most Americans would have been favorable towards that. So hopefully, cooler heads can prevail and we'll see where we go. Thank you all for being here tonight. Good to see you. Have a good weekend.

Coming up next, a decorated Navy SEAL is accused of murdering an ISIS prisoner. He has pled not guilty in a California courtroom today. We will speak exclusively with his brother, Sean, who says the elite Special Forces officer was stripped of due process in his own country. That is next.


MACCALLUM: Breaking tonight, an elite Navy SEAL and two-time bronze star recipient is facing charges of premeditated murder in the death of a detained ISIS prisoner of war.

Today, Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher came face to face with a judge to plead his case. In moments, we'll hear exclusively from his attorney and his brother Sean.

But first, Trace Gallagher has the backstory tonight. Hi, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Martha, by all accounts, 39- year-old Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher is an elite warrior and modern day war hero. His combat resume is long and impressive. But Navy prosecutors paint a picture of highly trained fighter who during his eighth deployment went off the rails.

A man used drugs, indiscriminately fired at Iraqi -civilians and fatally stabbed the captured Islamic State fighter who was thought to be about 15.

Prosecutor say, Gallagher then took photos of himself holding a knife and the boy's body. Later, sending the picture to a fellow Navy SEAL, with the caption "I got him with my hunting knife."

More damning is the prosecutors built their case on the testimony of Gallagher's fellow Navy SEALs, a military Brotherhood like no other. And investigators say when some of those seals first tried to report Gallagher's misdeeds, he threatened to kill them. But Eddie Gallagher also has numerous supporters including top Iraqi military leaders who claim to be eyewitnesses saying the 15-year-old Isis fighter died from enemy gunshot wounds and that Eddie Gallagher and others healed medics were trying to save the boy so they could eventually interrogate him.

And there are also accusations stating that the Navy SEALs who accused Gallagher of killing the boy were malcontents who Gallagher reprimanded for not wanting to engage in combat. Today in court a number of Eddie Gallagher's fellow seals spoke on his behalf saying they would trust him with their lives even under these allegations. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can stand by my friend and know that he's a good man. He's had 19-1/2 years of deployment and service for our country. And in all his years of deployment he's been number one chief, number one platoon operator. He's been nothing but a valiant guy.

T. GALLAGHER: And now a gold star father of a Navy SEAL killed in combat has opened his house for Eddie Gallagher to stay in when he's released from prison. Today a judge ruled that Gallagher would go on trial sometime between February 19th and March 1st, and Gallagher has a reed to a trial before a military jury one-third of whom will be enlisted personnel. Martha?

MACCALLUM: Trace, thank you very much. Here now exclusively Edward Gallagher's attorney Philip Stackhouse and his brother Sean Gallagher. Welcome to both of you. Good to have you here tonight.

Sean, let me start with you. You know, Trace laid it out on both sides, his supporters and his detractors, and you say that his detractors are telling lies. Explain.

SEAN GALLAGHER, BROTHER OF EDDIE GALLAGHER: Every single statement that was just said, every accusation made, every slanderous comment, all boils down to this bottom line. My brother reprimanded a couple guys in combat who buckled under his leadership because they were new and inexperienced and because they put men's lives in danger by not wanting to take the fight to the enemy.

My brother called them out on this, he reprimanded them, and when they got back, only months later they spun up these stories. And so every allegation you just heard stems from a couple of malcontents who even admitted to tampering with my brother's rifle so that he couldn't fire at the enemy in combat. This is how reckless they were.

And so this entire investigation, I want to make it clear, crystal-clear, is based upon lies. It's based upon the testimony of these malcontents who were so concerned about their own reputation that they spun stories to paint my brother as a villain so they could escape criticism.

MACCALLUM: So this jury Mr. Stackhouse is going to hear both sides of this story and I would imagine they're going to see the evidence of these photographs of him holding the body and the knife as well.

PHILLIP STACKHOUSE, ATTORNEY FOR EDDIE GALLAGHER: Well, I can't discuss what's contained in those pictures because there's a protective order that's been issued by the convening authority in the case. But I can tell you that any pictures that are available I would expect that will be shown during the trial, and that's fine. I mean, I will tell you now we will be showing those pictures as well and they show exculpatory evidence for our case.

MACCALLUM: Sean, you know, there were nine members of Navy SEAL team seven who have testified against your brother. So you're saying that these are the couple of individuals who he reprimanded, nine of them?

S. GALLAGHER: No. So it's not exactly that way. There's only a couple who actually make these damning statements. There are nine that prosecutors claimed to be on their side but have actually just lawyered up and don't want to talk to them because they're afraid they're going to be gone after the same way my brother's then gone after.

So you have to look at this case it's just an overzealous out-of-control prosecution that's trying to make a career out of taking down a Navy SEAL which should make every American's blood boil because of the premise. The premise of this thing is that my brother killed an already dying Isis fighter in combat. That's brass tacks. He denies all of it. We have mounds of evidence that exonerate him.

And yet even in spite of all of this, prosecutors try against these nine guys and against other guys of Eddie's teammates to try and intimidate them. And by saying I'm going to go after your career, I'm going to end your Navy SEAL career if you don't start lying about Eddie Gallagher. And this is the kind of treatment that we've you know, experienced horrendously over the past four to five months.

MACCALLUM: Gentleman, thank you. It's obviously a very emotional issue for your family. He has three children. He served eight tours of duty. The last one in Mosul Iraq trying to clear Isis from there. Gentlemen, we'll be watching and we thank you very much for being here tonight to tell your story. Thank you.

S. GALLAGHER: Thank you for your time.

MACCALLUM: You bet. So still ahead tonight, one of the most used arguments to reopen the government.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Don't hold millions of Americans, hundreds of thousands of workers hostage.


MACCALLUM: But who's really impacted by this shutdown? The President said he would be willing to let it go on for years. He doesn't want that but he says that could be. Chris Stirewalt with the real story next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He also said you said in the meeting this is him quoting you. I just want to check that the shutdown could go on for months or even a year or longer. Did you say that --

TRUMP: I did. I did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that your --

TRUMP: Absolutely I said that.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what is the safety net for federal workers? You're saying months and possibly a year for this shutdown. Do you have in mind a safety net for those who need their checks?

TRUMP: Well, the safety net is going to be having a strong border because we're going to be safe. I'm not talking about economically but ultimately economically. I really believe that these people many of the people that we're talking about, many of the people you're discussing, I really believe that they agree with what we're doing.


MACCALLUM: That was President Trump today admitting that the government shutdown could continue for months, even years. They are going to meet this weekend hoping to resolve it. But as of right now, you've got 14 days into this. 800,000 government workers affected who have not yet nobody as of right now this minute has missed a paycheck. Their official payday is not -- the period ends on Monday, they wouldn't get paid until next Friday. So if they resolve it between now and then, nobody will have missed a payment.

Employees still on the job include more than 41,000 federal law enforcement and correctional officers, 54,000 Customs and Border Protection agents, and 42,000 Coast Guard employees. Those told not to report to work, 21,000 people at the Commerce Department, nearly all of NASA, 10,000 State Department employees, and 45,000 people who work at the IRS so maybe we'll get a little extra time on the taxes. Here to help separate fact from fiction, Chris Stirewalt Fox News Politics Editor.

You know, Chris, I look through you know, some of the -- I mean obviously nobody wants anyone who lives paycheck to paycheck to be put in a dire situation. But just listening to politicians and looking at some of the examples that have crossed so far, it does not appear that anyone at least as of right now has entered that dire situation since the paycheck wouldn't even be here till next Friday.

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLITICS EDITOR: So there are government contractors who have not been paid and they probably won't. Those things don't get rectified at the end and our government relies on a lot of contractors so there are some people who have not -- who in fact have missed paychecks. But for the bulk of these more than 800,000 workers that you're talking about, one week from today is D-day.

That's when they miss a paycheck because they're on the -- I think the 22nd of December, they're on a long pay cycle and they're due next Friday. And for a lot of families, of course, that would be consequential. But you're right, to this point, this isn't missed paychecks for full-time government employees.

MACCALLUM: Yes. You know, one of the stories that -- one of the new congresswomen told on the floor yesterday in terms of how dire the situation is, is that someone fell down in a national park and the people who were supposed to be there working weren't there, but that someone else carried him down and he was fine in the end.

There's another story floating around out there about a death in Yosemite which is obviously tragic, a man fell and fell into a river and died of a head injury. And -- but the headline says death in Yosemite as man falls during government shutdown.

STIREWALT: Well, if they close the parks, it wouldn't have happened. Now, look, I have no idea whether this guy would have gone on to his reward. Had the Rangers have been there and have things been operating under normal circumstance, but the park was open so that wouldn't have normally been the case under past shutdowns.

MACCALLUM: The point is you know, in the 10 seconds that we have left. You know, how dire is this situation and do you think it'll be open before next Friday?

STIREWALT: The government -- the President says will go for months, for years, that won't happen because the people will quit and the Republicans in the Senate will break. If they don't have this done by next Friday, the consequences mount and the pressure on the President to come to an agreement will be enormous.

MACCALLUM: We will see what happens. Chris, thank you very much. Chris Stirewalt weighing in from D.C. tonight. The Wall Street Journal's Kimberly Strassel is up next.



PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: 312,000 jobs was a tremendous number. And obviously having a big impact on the stock market today. I don't think there is one Wall Street genius of which I know many of them but they are not geniuses, there is not one that predicted anywhere close to these job numbers.


MACCALLUM: So President Trump touting a blockbuster jobs report that came out today. The United States added 312,000 jobs in December, blowing away expectations as the President was just saying. Dow was up nearly 800 points. It is up 8% since Christmas eve. It's been a rocky December but a good start to the year.

So in the jobs number, a trend that we have been seeing for months is the recovery is strongest among less educated workers who are now being hired in some jobs that they might not have been hired in, in the past. So why is that? What is all of these really signal underneath all of the noise?

Joining me now is Kimberley Strassel, Wall Street Journal columnist and member of the editorial board. Kimberly, good to have you with us tonight, good to see you. I guess first of all, your sort of -- your top-line reaction to this number today?

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL, WALL STREET JOURNAL COLUMNIST: Well, look, this is a reminder, a very vivid reminder that the fundamentals of the U.S. economy are strong and people have been scratching their heads looking at the stock market. This is a reminder that when it comes to growth, when it comes to the jobs, hiring, all of those numbers and indicators, they're fine.

What's driving the stock market is uncertainty about things like trade, for instance what the Fed is going to do next, that's a legitimate concern. But if you're just looking at the U.S. economy, we're in great shape in part because of the tax cuts and deregulation.

MACCALLUM: And that's what drove Larry Kudlow, the President's economic advisor to say this earlier today.


LARRY KUDLOW, PRESIDENT'S ECONOMIC ADVISOR: There is no recession coming. There is no recession in site. Consumers are strong. Jobs are rising. Wages are rising.


MACCALLUM: I want to put up a chart of the -- came out this morning that shows the increase in less skilled, less educated workers. It's kind of hard to see on this because it shows such a long period of time but if you look towards the very end of it, you see uptick and it's a 5.6% increase for the people without a high school education.

The other two categories of education are also elevating over recent months but that group is elevating the most. Why do you think that is Kimberley?

STRASSEL: Well, it's a great but underreported aspect of the economic growth that we are seeing is that the deregulation in particular and the tax cuts have re-inspired the whole sectors of the economy. In particular, we're talking about places like manufacturing that do rely more on the low- skilled workers.

I think it also doesn't get enough attention. This is an administration earlier this year or earlier last year, I should say, in 2018 was making a big push for more vocational education. Back in the summer, the President signed an overhaul of a career in technical education bill.

All again designed, making sure that we're looking at those parts of the economy that too often get neglected. We spent so much time talking about college education which is important but it takes all type of workers to make an economy go. And what we have is a situation where the jobs are there and we have people who can fill them.

MACCALLUM: You know you look back to the campaign and you think about the President talking about the forgotten men and women. You look at suicide rates among men primarily, white men in their 30s and 40s in this country that have really skyrocketed at a very alarming way. Is what we're seeing here a positive on that front do you think or is that, you know, too big a leap?

STRASSEL: No, absolutely. Look, we all know people take pride and joy and comfort in knowing that they have good jobs that they can provide for the families. And again, we have a lot of focus, especially among our upper echelons in Washington and different parts of the society focused entirely on a college education.

And what that forgets is that there are millions of jobs out there that are very well paying, that are trade-based, skills-based, vocational-based. And again, we are seeing an uptick in the areas that want those kind of jobs.

Anytime by the way too Martha that an economy is growing, you're putting in more infrastructure, utilities, grid, if you need pipefitters, you need electricians, these are all well-paying good jobs and we're seeing a resurgence in that.

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


MACCALLUM: You, too. So coming up next an incredibly story of faith and hope and love, how one special couple forever change the lives of two young children who were horribly abused in one of Texas's most horrific child abuse cases. That family joins us tonight.


MACCALLUM: Call it an incredible act of faith. San Antonio couple, Lakenya and Allen Shaw had been married for 17 years but they have struggled to have a child of their own. When a foster parent in Lakenya's church choir group was moved to step in, she was taking care of two young children, Josiah then 4 and his sister Naomi then 3, who had been rescued from a horrific situation of abuse.

They had in fact been found bound by their ankles and wrists with leashes and chains. The foster mom introduced the Shaws to the little boy and girl. And as Lakenya tells it, it was simply meant to be.

Here now, the parents Lakenya and Allen Shaw now with their two children, Josiah and Naomi. Welcome to all of you. It's great to have you with us. Happy New Year.



A. SHAW: Hello, thank you.

MACCALLUM: What a beautiful family. Hi!

L. SHAW: You can say him ma'am.

MACCALLUM: Lakenya, let me start -- hi, let me start with you Lakenya.

L. SHAW: You said hi.

MACCALLUM: Tell me a little bit about, you were at a retreat and you were kind of in a down moment in life. And what did you tell the group that you thought that you were with there that day?

L. SHAW: Well, I had just recently lost a child. I had a miscarriage and I wasn't really prepared to talk about that with the ladies but the Lord impressed on my heart to get up and share that to encourage the ladies to not give up and to just continue to stay strong and believe God is faithful.

And right after I got through talking to them, I actually -- right after I said that, I actually made a very bold statement that you would see me next year with a baby on my hip or on my side and are big and pregnant next year. And behold, God done that.

MACCALLUM: You may not have imagined that it would happen just the way that it did. Allen, tell me about the person who came in to your lives and brought these two beautiful children in to your home.

A. SHAW: This has been amazing. An awesome journey with them and just loving on them and nurturing them. Even through the process, you know, it's just, I'm just overjoyed with all the help that we have gotten from our church family, from the Nealy families, the Velazquez family.

I mean we have gotten a lot of help so far as them, just loving on the kids, too. And just loving us as a whole, you know, as a great community.

MACCALLUM: Lakenya, you have said that Ms. Nealy, who stepped in, she looked at you and she didn't know you. But she knew that these children, that she felt that God wanted these children with you, to change your life.

L. SHAW: The amazing thing about it is exactly that, is that me and Theresa Nealy didn't have any relationship other than we went to the same church. And yes, when she reached out to us and said that God had pointed us out as the parents of these children.

She didn't know she was answering a prayer, a long awaited prayer to be answered when she did. So yes,we had no relationship prior. So, it was all God.

MACCALLUM: So Lakenya tell me a little about the children and how they are doing today. Because, we described a little bit in the intro, about how tough the early years of their lives were.

L. SHAW: Could you say that one more time?

MACCALLUM: How are they doing now? I described a little bit prior to bringing you on, the situation that they were in when they were very young. How are they doing? They seem to be doing great. How has the transition been?

L. SHAW: They are doing fabulous. Of course there are still some challenges and some healing that needs to manifest itself but they are doing like wonderful. They are not the same children they were when they came into the system.

They are full of life and they are full of joy. They are lovers of people. They love people. So that's -- they're really doing wonderful, considering where they came from, that horrific thing.

A. SHAW: Yes.

MACCALLUM: And you have another child now as well, right? Tell me a little about your youngest.

L. SHAW: Matthew, Baby Matthew, he's 2 years old. He is actually Naomi and Josiah's biological little brother and he is fantastic. He is doing great. He is thriving, he's very, very in control. Who knew that a 2-year-old could actually run so much?

A. SHAW: Oh yes.

MACCALLUM: You know Lakenya, you have taken on a lot, both of you, and you seem so happy and full of joy you know. How -- some parents feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of three young ones. To what do you attribute that?

L. SHAW: Well, it's all God. He has given us the grace to deal with these babies and to help them through their healing process. So, that comes from God and doing his will and his purpose in our lives, so yes, it is challenging sometimes. But you know, we took three at once, so that was quite a lot but like Allen said, we have had lots of support.

Theresa Nealy was there with us side by side, helping us and teaching us, my mom, my church family members. I mean there has been a lot of people supporting us through this journey, so it's been -- it's been wonderful. So, I can't say it's hard -- hard at all but it has its challenges.

But you know when we sit down at the end of the day and we see these beautiful kids in the floor rolling around with tons of energy with each other, we are like this is work but it's a beautiful work that god has called us to.

And it's worth seeing them actually together. It's worth seeing them together and living a life, that they are just full of love and joy as well. You can't really tell right now because they're a little restless but yes they are.

MACCALLUM: Believe me I understand that. I have three kids of my own. And I know you said when you saw them you felt that God would say into you, these are your babies. And you had been trying so hard to have babies of your own and now you do and we wish you all the best.

I know you won't mention this, so I will. There is a GoFundMe page to help you. I know you said that you have a lot of help from your church and obviously if the two of you raising these kids.

So, we just want to let people know about that too. So Lakenya and Allen, great to see you both, and Josh -- and Josiah and Naomi. Thank you very much for being with us.

L. SHAW: You said hi.

A. SHAW: Thank you all.

L. SHAW: Thank you all for having us.

A. SHAW: Thank you all so much. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Bye. Thank you guys.

L. SHAW: Bye.

A. SHAW: Bye, bye.

MACCALLUM: Well, you know, I mean if that doesn't make your day, I don't know what does. All right coming up, the ladies will be with us. Still ahead how Ellen's intervention in Kevin Hart's Oscar controversy backfired at least on one front and where the Academy goes from here. News on this, this evening, Ladies Night coming up next.


ELLEN DEGENERES, TV HOST: I called the Academy today because I really want you to host the Oscars. I think that -- I was so excited when I heard that they asked you. I thought it was an amazing thing.



MACCALLUM: News speculation tonight that Kevin Hart's Oscar gig could be back on after the comedian stepped away from what was once called opportunity of a lifetime, after homophobic tweets from several years prior resurfaced.

Hart now speaking out for the first time in an interview with Ellen who said that as a member of the LGBTQ community she would like to see Hart decide once again to take the Oscars stage.


DEGENERES: There are so many haters out there. Whatever is going on in the internet, don't pay attention to them. That is a small group of people being very, very loud. We are a huge group of people who love you and want to see you host the Oscars.


MACCALLUM: So, here now for Ladies Night, Lisa Boothe, Caroline Polisi, and Jessica Tarlov. Caroline, let me start with you. You know, she got some backlash for that.

I mean, you know, I think that Ellen is a person who speaks from a place that most people would listen to on this. But those haters that she talked about started, you know, pushing back at her for even suggesting that he should be let off the hook.

CAROLINE POLISI, ATTORNEY: Yes, she did get a lot of backlash. I don't know if the issue is whether or not he should be let off the hook. I think, look, it's how he approached the issue when it first came to the front.

And I will say that as a mother of a 5-year-old boy, I was a little offended by that tweet that he did 10 years ago saying if he found his son playing with a dollhouse he would bang it over his head or something. That's not OK, I think we all agree that is not OK.

But if he truly was remorseful at the time, why didn't he just come out and say, look, I apologize for it then and I'm going to apologize for it now. And I don't know why Ellen DeGeneres somehow, you know, has the ability, it's like the high priestess of everything gay to say I've absolved you of all this guilt. I just -- I don't buy it.

MACCALLUM: To me it's all about forgiveness which I think is an element of society that we appear to be losing. I mean the man came forward and this was tweeted 10 years ago.

JESSICA TARLOV, CONTRIBUTOR: And apologized for it.

MACCALLUM: He obviously is a comedian, he's pushing the envelope, he apologized for it. What more do people want? I don't understand.

TARLOV: In the interview I thought it was great to hear from him in a long form way where he explained that the reason he turned down the gig in the end was not about having to apologize again. He said I've done this over and over in the past, it was that I knew that if I took the stage on Oscar night it would be about Kevin Hart and it wouldn't be about the awardees.

And I thought that was a really salient point. He said I -- this was on my bucket list, right at the top there. There are only four African-Americans who have come before me who have hosted the Oscars and this felt so important to me that I didn't want to possibly jeopardize this opportunity with bringing my own stuff to the forefront.

MACCALLUM: But I think the people in this situation like him need to push back and say we need to live in a world where it's OK to apologize. Before this interview even aired on Ellen, people were already pushing back saying no. We have been the court of opinion. We have decided, these haters that she talks about on Twitter, and you're done.

LISA BOOTHE, CONTRIBUTOR: Well and Martha to that point if we were to hold every comedian to the Kevin Hart standard who would be left in comedy? And to his friend, Nick Cannon's point, he tweeted out after all this broke, what about Sarah Silverman, Chelsea Handler, Amy Schumer who all said similar things to that, would not face the same backlash.

And I applaud Ellen DeGeneres for sitting down with them because I think the two things we're missing from society is forgiveness and also dialogue. And she allowed forgiveness to him and also had a dialogue with him.

And she tweeted out I believe in forgiveness. I believe in second chances and what a novel concept. I think that's something that more Americans should embrace in this mob mentality these days.

POLISI: I'm all for forgiveness. I'm all for forgiveness. I think the issue was --

MACCALLUM: It doesn't sound like you are though.

POLISI: No, the issue was how he handled it. If he were truly remorseful, why wouldn't he have said I've apologized for this before and I'm apologizing --

TARLOV: But he did.

MACCALLUM: Let me ask (ph) this way (ph), who is truly -- I mean the man said that he apologized for what happened. The point is that as he pointed out he felt like he was under attack.

When you get something in life, you know, I think of like Donte DiVincenzo, who is a Villanova basketball player, you look at Kyler Murray, the Heisman Trophy winner, someone who gets success is instantly open to this army of people who start trolling through things they tweeted a million years ago and say huh-uh, you're not going to succeed. I got something that can knock you down, that's wrong.

POLISI: I agree with you -- I agree with you that the trolling is wrong. Again, it's -- I don't think any of us would dispute that the underlying content that he's apologized for, I'm all for forgiveness.

MACCALLUM: Who hasn't -- who are these people are so perfect who never said a stupid, insensitive thing, that they get to decide that's he's done? That's not right.

BOOTHE: What are the standards too? Because, there's not a cohesive standard across the board on how these are being applied. Because again back to the point, Sarah Silverman, Chelsea Handler, there are plenty of people who have tweeted out some -- Joy Reid, Melissa Javid (ph), MSNBC, there are plenty of people who have said things similar. Yet, they still have their jobs. They're not --

TARLOV: Facing backlash.

BOOTHE: There's not - it's not wholly (ph) applied across the board by any means.

TARLOV: But you (ph) make this about politics but so many of our beloved politicians have had evolving positions on issues that matter, especially on gay marriage. I mean we had people who were just for civil unions and now they are liberal icons like a Bernie Sanders for instance.

And I believe in redemption and change and forgiveness. And the reason that it does apply here is because he did apologize.

MACCALLUM: An evolution of your thought process. I mean we all are constantly evolving. I want to take look one other piece with you which was something that really caught my interest today. Why 2020 could be different for women? And it basically points out that there could be four women running for President.

And let's pull up some of the quotes from this piece. It says with more women in the race you are less likely to become a caricature of ambition and more likely to have your qualities come to the fore and be examined. Here's another quote from it. "It's going to allow a really serious conversation about the extent to which Americans are sexist."

That one was from Jennifer Lalas (ph), a politics professor at the University of Virginia. The suggestion in this piece is well if four women run and don't -- none of them win, then that will be obvious that we live in a sexist nation.

BOOTHE: Well and a lot of this centers around the conversation about Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. And to say that the two of them are inauthentic and unlikable is not sexist, it is pointing out the obvious. And I find it ridiculous to try to apply sexism to pointing out what is simply obvious.

Also, who cares if a woman runs or man runs, I would rather just have the best candidate. And I think the focus on gender is ridiculous. Isn't equality removing that and just nominating and voting (ph) for their best candidate?

MACCALLUM: I mean, you know, look at like Martin O'Malley and even Bob Dole and Mitt Romney, who after has everyone said, you know what? They weren't great candidates. No one said, oh it's because they are a man.

BOOTHE: Right. Think of the things that Trump gets called.

POLISI: No, I agree. There is a bit of an institutional lag behind this. I think that we're maybe a little bit more forward-thinking as a society than we are in sort of the institution. So, I do think that there is -- I think it's indisputable that there is sexism when it comes to a lot (ph).

MACCALLUM: I don't agree.

POLISI: Look at the coverage of Amy Coney Barrett. Remember when she was up, like you couldn't read the first sentence --

MACCALLUM: That was religious (ph). She was still ahead --

POLISI: No about having a woman on the court.

MACCALLUM: I never felt discriminated.

TARLOV: But I will say -- I do think that this important to highlight because the only person that Elizabeth Warren can be compared to is Hillary Clinton because she is the only one who has run. And no, they are not very similar, Lisa. We finally (ph) disagree (ph) there. Whereas Beto O'Rourke is being called the next Obama, Elizabeth Warren is calling the next Hillary Clinton.

MACCALLUM: They have totally different personalities.

TARLOV: But Beto O'Rourke and President Obama --

MACCALLUM: He is more like Obama and she -- I mean that -- it's not people --

TARLOV: And also --

BOOTHE: As well if it makes you feel better.

TARLOV: No -- nothing you said, the segment has made me feel better actually, well certainly about the politics part (ph).

MACCALLUM: I got to go. I'm sorry.

TARLOV: OK, fine.

MACCALLUM: We'll leave it there. We'll pick it up in the break. Thanks you guys. Good to have you all here tonight. So, that is THE STORY on this Friday night. Have a wonderful weekend, everybody. We'll see you back here on Monday at 7:00. Tucker is up next.

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