Southwest passenger recounts ordeal after engine explodes; Dana Perino on passing of Barbara Bush

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," April 17, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: Thanks a lot, Bret, good to see you tonight. So, wow, breaking tonight, we've got some brand-new details that have just come through on a harrowing moment. 30,000 feet up today that led to the first step on a U.S. aircraft in nearly ten years. Good evening, everybody, I'm Martha MacCallum and this is "The Story." An engine explodes midair on Southwest flight 1380 sending shrapnel through the window. The pressure of that nearly pulling a passenger out of the plane in midair. Passengers on-board live streaming on Facebook as all of this happened. One sharing this footage with us a long with a post that read: "Something is wrong with our plane. It appears we are going down." Another passenger, Joe Marcus, tweeting: "What a flight. Made it. Still here. Joe joins me on set in just a moment. But first, let's go to Trace Gallagher in our West Coast Newsroom with the breaking details tonight on the pilot and the rest of this amazing story. Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Martha, Southwest 1380 was about 30 minutes into a flight from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Love Field in Dallas. At 30,000 feet, the left engine broke apart, the engine casings are designed to prevent any metal from flying out, but in this case, the failure was uncontained and debris damaged the fuselage and pierced the windows of row 17. The plane immediately lost pressure and the oxygen masks were deployed. A woman who reportedly was sitting near the window of row 17 was struck by metal and passengers say her body was partially sucked toward the opening. She was pulled back by those sitting near her, but witnesses say her injuries were simply he too extensive and she later died. Listen to one of the pilots explaining the engine failure to air traffic control.


PILOT: Engine has some severe damage, engine failure, and it's got tons of fuel. There is a part of the aircraft missing too. We're going to need to slow down a bit. Could you have the medical meet as there on the run way as well? We've got injured passengers. No, it's not on fire but part of it is missing.


GALLAGHER: We should note that female pilot, her name is Tammie Jo Shults and she is now being hailed as a hero and it's notable that she was one of the first female fighter pilots in the military. Radar goes on to show the plane went from 30,000 feet to under 10,000 feet in five minutes, that's mostly because oxygen is no longer required under 10,000 feet, but passengers say at felt like the plane was free falling, saying the cabin was in chaos and even some flight attendants were crying. One soon-to-be father thought this was it. Watch.


PASSENGER: I have -- my wife is on her third trimester with our first child. I wanted to articulate what I wanted my words to be to my unborn child, to my wife, to my parents.


GALLAGHER: Those on boards of the plane made a very hard landing, but overall, the crew did a phenomenal job. The captain has been with Southwest Airlines for 24 years. The engine in question was made jointly by General Electric and a French manufacturer. And in 2016, the same left engine on the same type of Southwest 737 also broke apart in flight and the damage appears to be almost identical. You see there. In the 2016 case, investigators say a fan blade snapped because of mental fatigue and the FAA at the time issued a directive for airlines to check those types of engines, which is 6500 737s worldwide. And Martha, you mentioned, this is the first death in nine years on a U.S. airline, it is also the first death ever aboard a Southwest Airlines plane.

MACCALLUM: Trace, thank you very much. Joining me now here on set with his first-hand account, a passenger, from Southwest flight 1380, Joe Marcus. Joe, how are you doing?

JOE MARCUS, SURVIVOR OF SOUTHWEST FLIGHT 1380: I'm doing good, hanging in there. A crazy day.

MACCALLUM: I mean, I guarantee you, when you woke up this morning, you did not think that you were going to be sitting here tonight after this. And it is -- it's tragic, this woman lost her life on this flight, seven people are injured, describe for us what it was like for you, where were you sitting? Were you traveling alone?

MARCUS: I was traveling alone to Dallas to visit my sister who's out there and I got a pretty good seat right by the window. And kind of, midflight, I hear a big boom, I looked to my left, the engine totally just black, people screaming.

MACCALLUM: So, you could see the engine from where you were sitting?

MARCUS: Yes, right from where my seat was because I got a nice window seat.

MACCALLUM: Did you see this woman who was partially sucked out of the --

MARCUS: No, I heard a lot of the explosion behind me; it was a couple of rows back. I was trying, you know, to keep everyone calm in my section and just really, you know, just listen to the instructions. You know, the oxygen masks came down, everyone was kind of freaking out a little bit.

MACCALLUM: What did you hear around you? Discussions, people praying? What were you hearing?

MARCUS: A lot of people trying to call their family. The woman next to me asked if I wanted to text anyone. I was already on my phone trying to get the word out to my family. And yes, I mean, there was a lot of, you know, chaos happening during that moment.

MACCALLUM: Did you think that you were going to die?

MARCUS: No, I tried to stay positive towards the whole thing.

MACCALLUM: Good for you. I'm not that person on the plane. So, I'm hoping that I'm sitting next to you because -- so, what are you saying to people to try to reassure them?

MARCUS: Well, the lady next to me was just crying hysterically and I just said don't worry, it's going to work out. And as the plane was just going down, we literally just felt like we were falling from the sky. I looked to my left and the engine was just totally done. And yes, I'm the one by the window seat, so the passenger next to me kept saying, what's going on out there? And as soon as I saw the runway, because I didn't know if you were going to land in a field, you know, we know there we're going to land. So, as soon as I saw the runway, I turned to the pastor next to me and said we are good, don't worry.

MACCALLUM: You're a tough guy. You are a tough guy. So, this engine pulled apart, and the debris flew behind you, right? And went through this hole in the back of the plane. And we're hearing stories that people were trying to help that woman, that they were trying to help people that were here, you know, can you tell us anything about the way people were acting behind you, around that part of the plane?

MARCUS: Sure. Yes, during -- while the plane was falling, you know, towards the back of the plane, a lot of people were yelling: does anyone have any medical training or anything? We need help back here. So, I turned over my shoulder and looked down and there's a few people, kind of, trying to attend there to the person. And the flight attendants were very professional, they tried to keep everyone calm. And yes, they were -- I mean, the pilot was unbelievable how she turned it around.

MACCALLUM: Was she talking to you all during?

MARCUS: No, I didn't hear her at all. As soon as it started -- as soon as the oxygen masks came down, I didn't hear her at all. They were just --

MACCALLUM: All right. I mean, we're learning a little bit about her as you just -- as you just heard. And I just want to pull up her name again; I have it here on my phone: Tammie Jo Shults, a former Navy fighter pilot and one of the first women to fly an F-15 -- it's an extra ordinary story. When you got off; when the plane landed, what happened on that plane?

MARCUS: Man, when that landed -- when hit the ground, I felt like it hit the lottery. It was an unbelievable feeling.

MACCALLUM: Who did you call?

MARCUS: I was texting my mom.

MACCALLUM: She's here in New York?

MARCUS: Yes, she's here. I was texting her as, you know, we're going down, you know.

MACCALLUM: Were you able to get a text message there?

MARCUS: Yes, as we were falling with the service kept coming back, and I was trying to kind of pay for the Wi-Fi on phone to, and that wasn't working. So, I just tried to get a message out there.

MACCALLUM: Thank goodness you're OK.

MARCUS: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: I'm sure you're going to have a nice reunion with you family, and you'll get to see your sister in Dallas soon, I hope. And would you be nervous about getting back on a plane?

MARCUS: Things never happened, so.

MACCALLUM: You are amazing. Joe, thank you very much. It's great to have you with us tonight. Thank you. So, here now with more: Mike Boyd of Boyd Group International, Aviation Analyst. Mike, Joe's story and the rest of the passengers had a good outcome tonight, but we did lose in this country, the first person who's been killed in any aviation crash, commercial aviation crash in almost ten years.

MIKE BOYD, AVIATION ANALYST, BOYD GROUP INTERNATIONAL: It's certainly the very good safety record in the U.S. Remember, this is machinery, and there's over 13,000 of these engines, right, today turning and burning. And this is an event that, it just happened and I don't think it's indicative of safety at the airline industry, it's an indicative of machinery.

MACCALLUM: So, what do you happened? As Trace Gallagher showed us in his piece moments ago, there was a similar sort of breaking apart of an engine the same kind of plane a couple of years ago.

BOYD: I think that's coincidental. I mean there was another one, an airplane going into Hawaii last several months ago, and the same kind of thing, it wasn't uncontained like this one. But anything in that airplane, whether it's the shaft or a blade, even if you magna flux them all the time, you can miss things, and that's just probably what happened here.

MACCALLUM: Apparently, the plane was inspected yesterday or the day before, I think, what does that tell us about that process?

BOYD: Well, that process wouldn't have looked into the internals of the engine like that. That's a very, very complex process to do. But you know, Southwest has the best maintenance on the planet. Southwest is an extremely professional and safe airline. It's one of those things were machinery sometimes happens, but it took both people in that cockpit, the lady and the captain who got that airplane down, and they need to get a lot of kudos.

MACCALLUM: Yes, that's my next and last question for you: how does it compromise your job to land the plane when you have one engine at 30,000 feet that has been destroyed?

BOYD: It really -- with the training that these pilots have and all U.S. carriers, this is what they're trained to do. This was not a big surprise of what we do now. They knew exactly what to do, how to do it, and it shows because we had a safe landing.

MACCALLUM: What's your message in terms of aviation safety? Because, you know, it does feel like these things used to happen on a fairly regular basis, you know, when all of us were growing up, and now it does feel that they are so, thank God, few and far between and were grateful that most of these people were safe, and our thoughts are with those who are injured and this poor family who lost this woman.

BOYD: The airline industry is much safer than it was 20 years ago. It's going to be much safer in the future, but we're progressing. And if you want to travel, don't take the car, buy a ticket.

MACCALLUM: Good advice. Mike Boyd, thank you so much, great to have you here tonight.

BOYD: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, also breaking this evening, a major California city joining more than a dozen others in a fight against the state sanctuary law California becomes more deeply divided and there is momentum that is building on the side of being against these sanctuary cities. So, we're going to talk about that. Plus, the DOJ says that it cannot release the leaked James Comey memos on his meeting with President Trump even though everybody feels like they've been out there, they will not release the actual text of these because they might contain some classified information. So, does that cause a problem for James Comey? House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy joins us next.


JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I gave the unclassified memo to my friend and asked him to give it to a reporter. That is entirely appropriate.



MACCALLUM: Sad news to report, we now know a little bit more about the passenger who was killed in the emergency landing of that Southwest flight. Her name was Jennifer Reardon, mother of two, a Wells Fargo bank executive. The news was shared by her children's school, saying the family needs all the prayers that we can offer. She was a vice president of community relations for the Wells Fargo bank in Albuquerque. And obviously, our thoughts are with them. What an awful, rough day for that family.

And also, this news, which is good news. The IRS giving you one extra day to file your taxes because they had a computer system outage, so if you have trouble getting them in, you've got a 24-hour reprieve to get that going.

Also, tonight, Congress will have a little bit longer to get their hands on James Comey's full memos about his meetings with President Trump. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein asking for a little bit more time to finally turn them over to Chairman Nunes, Goodlatte, and Gowdy. You remember on Sunday, James Comey tried to explain why he had leaked the memos to a friend in the media rather than going through the proper channels.


COMEY: I gave that unclassified memo to my friend and asked him to give it to a reporter. At the end of my driveway was a horde of media and my thought was if I give it to one reporter, then what's my answer to all the others about why I won't their questions?


MACCALLUM: Interesting. So, James Comey continues his book publicity tour and he's hitting back at President Trump who has lashed out at him for all of this. Watch.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS HOST: The president says not only should he have been fired, but you leaked classified information, lied to Congress under oath; for both of those infractions, he says, you should go to jail.

COMEY: That is not normal, that is not OK. First of all, he's just making stuff up. But most importantly, the president of the United States is calling for the imprisonment of a private citizen as he's done for a whole lot of people who criticize him, that is not acceptable in this country.


MACCALLUM: Moments ago, I spoke exclusively to House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy who was fighting to get his hands on those memos and release them.


MACCALLUM: You have been trying, obviously, to get these memos, as we have said. And the letter that Rod Rosenstein brought back to you about why he can't turn them over quite yet is here. Let's put it up on the screen for folks at home to see. He said, "One or more of the memos", he's referring to the letters that James Comey wrote, "Maybe related to our ongoing investigation. It may contain classified information and may report confidential presidential communications, so we have a legal duty to evaluate the consequences of providing access to them." What do you think about that given the fact that James Comey said there was nothing classified in those memos?

REP. TREY GOWDY, R-SOUTH CAROLINA: I wish you had shared that advice with Jim Comey before he went on national television and recalled every conversation he's ever had with President Trump. So, I don't want the drama, I want the documents. I've actually read them, Martha. I've read then months ago, which is why I think it's really important that you get to see them, and your viewers get to see them. Look, Comey is talking about them. He included it in his Senate testimony. He's talking a lot about them. Well, everyone should know what exactly he memorialized after his conversations with the president.

MACCALLUM: And as you say, you're one of the few people who has actually read these memos. So, is there anything classified in there? Is there anything top-secret in there?

GOWDY: I can think of two sentences in all the memos I read that would be a properly redacted. But having said that, the DOJ can redact whatever they want. If they think it's part of an ongoing probe or somehow is classified, what I most interested in, which is what Comey is talking about, there's no need for to be classified. So, Comey gets to talk about it, but no one else does, and that's just not fair to your viewers and it's fair to the president, frankly.

MACCALLUM: All right. So, when you take a look at some of what he has been saying with regard to all of this. Let's play the sound bite from the interview where he gives his reasoning for why he did not convene a grand jury in the Hillary Clinton case.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And to those who say you should've brought Hillary Clinton before a grand jury?

COMEY: We would prefer with the subject of an investigation to do an informal interview, a lot more flexibility there. They're still required to tell the truth.

MACCALLUM: Your thoughts?

GOWDY: He's right, you can't lie, but that would come as really interesting legal counsel to all of the people who have been hauled in front of grand jury's that the FBI really prefers to do it another way.

MACCALLUM: I'm sure they'd all prefer a more flexible venue that Hillary Clinton got.

GOWDY: Well, I'll tell you what they'd like. They'd love to have Sheryl Mills and all the other potential fact witnesses sitting in there while you're being interviewed. I have never heard of that before. So, when he means more flexibility, I think the right word is unprecedented. It's never been done before.

MACCALLUM: Yes, I mean, I would love for him to be pressed on that question of what exactly he means by flexibility and why it would get the FBI to their ends of determining whether or not there was any wrongdoing done in that case. I want to draw your attention to something else that came out on Friday in the inspector general's report with regard to Andrew McCabe and it goes to the question of whether or not James Comey is in any sort of trouble for leaking to his reporter friend, which he mentioned in the introduction here, and here is what it says in the I.G. report with regard to Andrew McCabe. It says, "McCabe argues that Comey 'would have every incentive to distance himself from this disclosure.'" It goes on to say, "due to McCabe's belief that the OIG, the inspector general, is reviewing Comey's disclosure of other information to the media." So, Andrew McCabe apparently is under the impression that Comey is part of the inspector general's investigation.

GOWDY: I wouldn't be surprised if he were. I mean, Michael Horowitz is looking at all of what happened in 2016 and there were lots of leaks. I mean, Comey gave one of his memos to a law professor. So, I think Horowitz is looking at everything in 2016, and anyone at the bureau who made an unauthorized leak should take note of what happened to Andy McCabe.

MACCALLUM: So, is that potentially perilous for James Comey, who as you pointed out is telling his story. I think he's got 11 interviews coming up in the next 10 or 12 days.

GOWDY: I think what's most perilous for Jim Comey, quite frankly, Martha, is he's written a book about morality, and ethics, and truth. And he's engaged to the more relativism, I think, than any book author I had seen in a long time. But keep in mind, he says, President Trump lied. He's therefore, unfit for office. But he's really proud of the fact that his wife and daughter supported the other candidate, who also has trouble with the truth. And then, when it comes to Andy McCabe, he's a victim. So, all three engaged in the same conduct: one is unfit to be president, one he hopes is the president, and the other is his friend and a victim. That's relativism. So, that is apathetical to ethics.

MACCALLUM: And he makes it very clear from the get go that all of his decisions were made with the assumption that Hillary would win, that he framed his decisions in that pattern, which I can understand why that was relevant to any of the work that he would've been doing, and it begs the question how would he have done things differently if he thought the other outcome of President Trump was going to be the case -- none of which should have any bearing on what he's doing. I want to ask you about a memo that Mark Meadows has sent to you asking to clarify whether or not some of the newer revelations in these Strzok-Page text messages point to greater coordination and has been admitted between the FBI in the DOJ on what they were going to find with regard to Hillary Clinton.

GOWDY: Yes, Mark has done great work, and so as Johnny Ratcliffe and others. I've read Mark's letter, he shared it with me before it went public, which I appreciate him doing. I'm going to send it to the inspector general and I'm going to send it to the Department of the FBI. To the extent that there is an allegation that false testimony was given, Congress is not the entity to investigate that. I think it fits most neatly within what Horowitz is doing now which is looking at how, just how unprecedented this investigation was in 2016.

MACCALLUM: Congressman Trey Gowdy, thank you very much. Always good to see you, sir. Have a good night.

GOWDY: Yes, ma'am. You too.


MACCALLUM: Our thanks to him and now these live pictures of the prime minister of Japan and his wife, and President Trump and his wife. Let's listen in.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But we have had talks of the highest level, and it's going very well, but we'll see what happens. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Thank you, everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Let's go. Thank you very much. Let's go. Let's go. Make your way out.


MACCALLUM: At Mar-a-Lago as the meetings and now the dinner continues for the prime minister and his wife of Japan, as I said, and the first lady and the president of United States. Big crowd at Mar-a-Lago around the dinner table. We're going to continue to bring the headlines out of that meeting as we get them. And still to come here tonight, U.N. inspectors are still trying to get to the site of the April 7th chemical attacks in Syria. Karen Pierce is the relatively new U.K. Ambassador to the United Nations. She's working very closely with Nikki Haley and is talking tough about next moves against Syria and Russia. She joins me next.

And breaking news tonight from California, Justice Neil Gorsuch's role in a controversial new Supreme Court decision that may not actually be the way it's been portrayed today. And the major California city that has voted tonight against the sanctuary city law, San Diego. A huge vote there tonight. We'll be right back with that.


GOV. GARY BROWN, D-CALIFORNIA: It's time to just chill, recognize the fact that they're here. Now, if Trump wants to round them up, you know, like (INAUDIBLE) and ship them out, say that.



MACCALLUM: Breaking tonight, the second largest county in California is now going to join a growing list of communities that are supporting the Trump administration lawsuit against the state, challenging the state's so-called sanctuary laws. The board of supervisor in San Diego County, a county that's home to three million Californians and shares a border with Mexico has now voted to challenge their own state law that limits cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. Fox News chief national correspondent, Ed Henry, live in Washington tonight with the latest. Good evening, Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Martha, great to see you. Could be a seismic shift because San Diego I just one of several jurisdictions in California now saying enough is enough to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, who was here in Washington today, facing pressure about the laws he sign limiting the federal government role in cracking down on illegal immigration, a big win today for President Trump. Breaking tonight, as you know, the San Diego board of supervisors voted 3 to 1 to support the president's lawsuit against California over several state laws that blocked the feds from doing more to enforce existing laws, leaders in San Diego joining at least nine cities in Orange County that have either voted to join the administration lawsuits or pass resolution than now sanctuary policy. More remarkable, this follows a tiny city, Los Alamitos, becoming the first to pass an actual ordinance to declare itself legally exempt from the state laws on the grounds that they are unconstitutional. That was approved by a 4 to 1 vote by the city council there after a peaceful, but as you can see, noisy protest late Monday night. That put the governor on defense as the San Diego County supervisors says they're ready to file -- make this brief ASAP to support the president.


GOV. JERRY BROWN, D-CALIFORNIA: This is a carefully drawn statute that was radically changed from its original introduction, but no law is perfect. In some ways, these lawsuits will help clarify. I tried to carve a path down the middle to respect our immigrants, to respect our borders and to respect our law.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to show you the number of people who have weight in, this thin stack, that support Governor Brown's actions on sanctuary state. Now, I'm going to share with you something quite interesting, the number of people that have communicated with me in San Diego County, the people who do not support moving forward with Governor Brown's sanctuary state. This is really quite remarkable.


HENRY: The president suffered a loss today when the Supreme Court decided a provision of the law that makes it easier to deport immigrants convicted of a violent crime is too vague to be enforced. The president tweeted today court decision means, congress must close loopholes that block the removal of dangerous criminal aliens, including aggravated felons. This is a public safety crisis that can only be fixed by congress. The House and Senate must quickly pass a legislative fix to ensure violent criminal aliens can be removed from our society. Keep America safe. Awkward, because Justice Neil Gorsuch, nominated by the president to replace the late Anthony Scalia, sided for four liberal justices to tip the balance. Now, some of the left are claiming Gorsuch might not be a turncoat, but Gorsuch would actually following the conservative Scalia's philosophy that vagueness is a good reason to deem a law unconstitutional. By the way, Kristin Gaspar, that supervisor in San Diego, she's going to join me tonight for a first post interview when I fill in for Shannon at 11 PM, Martha

MACCALLUM: Great. We look for to that, thank you, Ed.

HENRY: Good to see you.

MACCALLUM: You too. So, joining me now, Tammy Bruce, president of Independent Women's Voice and Fox News contributor, and Jose Aristimuno, former national deputy press secretary for the Democratic National Committee and founder of Now Strategies LLC. So, first to the Gorsuch decision because everybody jump all over this today and said, you know, he's a turncoat, he's not backing up the president's feelings about the way things should be done in California. But, Tammy, he is a textualist. And scholars -- Supreme Court scholars look at this situation and say, you know, Anthony Scalia probably would had said the same thing, he goes by the letter of the law.

TAMMY BRUCE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yeah, exactly. And this is not about idea. Look, when you've got legislation that is too vague, it's a good idea when it got a very specific reason to be there to make it specific. It's an easy fix. In fact, even Justice Gorsuch suggested in his decision how that can be done. Even just specifying that the felonies that is done is -- maybe requires a certain number of years that the person is sentence to is the reason why you can deport someone. But, remember, also, this is about legal immigrants.


BRUCE: These are legal residence. It's not the criminal illegal aliens that the president is dealing with. Also, there's a belief that other laws can help facilitate this, but the removal of these individuals as well if need be. But there's no reason why congress can't fix this quickly and do it properly. The law will be better for it as well.

MACCALLUM: Jose, you know, what do you make -- we've just watched that women -- stack in San Diego of people that are against this sanctuary cities law. It's obvious when you've watched Jerry Brown answering these questions that he realizes that there is a movement that is externally powerful in California to build a wall, to remove illegal immigrants from your state.

JOSE ARISTIMUNO, NOW STRATEGIES LCC FOUNDER: Well, look, I can tell you this, a majority of Americans oppose a wall, first and foremost. A majority of immigrants, actually law-abiding citizens. In terms of your question of sanctuary cities, I think sanctuary cities actually make -- or cities safer, because they allow the undocumented community to speak with law enforcement to actually grab the real criminals. And, by the way, you know, we know on the constitution, you know, law -- you know, policeman should not be acting as immigration officials. So, we need sanctuary cities.

MACCALLUM: But these people, Jose -- these people are saying that if you're here illegally, and that's a very important distinction, you just talked about immigrants, we're not talking about immigrants, we're talking about illegal immigrants that are in your state. What you're seeing -- and this isn't me, this is people all across your state who are saying that they're fed up, that they've had enough, and that they want to get control back of their state.

ARISTIMUNO: No, and I totally understand that. But the real solution to this, and we wouldn't even be debating sanctuaries cities, if President Trump took a leadership to pass comprehensive immigration reform, because if we pass comprehensive immigration reform we can actually legalize a majority of undocumented immigrant who are.


BRUCE: If I may just add, the people who were victimized first by gangs like MS-13 are the legal immigrant communities and noncriminal illegal immigrants as well. Those are the people.


BRUCE: Just remember that you're still putting -- you're victimizing the people you're reportedly supposed to be supporting.

ARISTIMUNO: No, no, less than 10 percent.


MACCALLUM: Sorry, guys, but I've got to go. We'll pick up the conversation another time. Thank you very much.

ARISTIMUNO: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, new reports that U.N. inspectors are being blocked from accessing the site of last week chemical attacks in Syria. U.K. ambassador to the U.N., Karen Pierce, says Russia must respond. She joins me, next, live.


KAREN PIERCE, U.K. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: I think it's worth remembering that Russia helped pass the resolution that demanded that Syria give up its chemical weapons. So, she now needs to deliver.



MACCALLUM: This evening, Barbara Bush has passed away, beloved first lady, wife of George H.W. Bush, and mother of George W. Bush. She held a unique distinction of being the wife and the mother of two American presidents. She was just like a grandmother to the entire country of the United States. Matriarch of a huge clan of lovely family members. There're some images of Barbara Bush. This evening we reported to you, earlier this week, that she had made the determination that she wanted to stop treatment and that she would receive comfort care. Here's a look back at the life of Barbara Bush.


BRET BAIER, "SPECIAL REPORT" HOST: Barbara Pierce Bush developed a love for language early in her life. As the daughter of a career magazine publisher, her mother and father read to her beginning the day she was born. On June 8th, 1925, in Queens, New York. She met George Herbert Walker Bush at a Christmas dance when she was 16.

BARBARA BUSH, FORMER U.S. FIRST LADY: I don't know anyone funnier than he is.

BAIER: They were engaged within a year and a half and married in 1945, when George returned home from the war. The couple moved more than two dozen times during their marriage. They settled in midland Texas in 1950, where George built a business in the oil industry. Barbara raised their five children, George, Jeb, Neil, Marvin and Dorothy. Little Robin died from leukemia just before her fourth birthday.

BUSH: If you have five children, all five are very, very different. But, in our case, all five are very close. Very close. I mean, it's wonderful. And it makes George and me, my husband and I, feel just great that they love each other so much.

BAIER: The family moved to Houston in 1959, and five years later, Barbara began the first of a lifetime of political campaigns. George lost his Senate bid then, but was elected to congress in 1966. He was named ambassador to the United Nations in 1971, then served as chairman of the Republican National Committee, chief liaison to China, and director of the CIA by 1976. Her return to Washington during this time was said to be very difficult, and Barbara suffered from depression. George was elected vice president, serving under Ronald Reagan in 1980. Neil's diagnosis as dyslexic many years before had renewed Barbara's interest in language and reading skills, and she made it her platform as second lady to confront both child and adult literacy.

BUSH: I decided that I wanted to do something that would help George, that would help the most Americans possible without costing the government huge amounts of money.

BAIER: She becomes the first candidate spouse to address the national convention when her husband was nominated for president in 1988. Barbara was a key asset to the campaign. Appearing in ads emphasizing her domestic and motherly roles, she had a reputation for being outspoken and was said to be actively involved in campaign strategy. But, for the most part, she kept out of political discussions and controversies. As first lady, Barbara remained committed to bettering the literacy rate what she called the most important issue America had and founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for family literacy. She also made countless appearances on national radio programs, stressing the importance of reading aloud to children, and wrote a few children's books. She was a strong advocate of volunteerism and work to eradicate homelessness and the spread of aids. Some say, she took the loss of her husband's 1992 reelection bid to Bill Clinton, personally. But, she dove back into public service, supporting the leukemia society, the boys & girls club, the Ronald McDonald House, and many more.

BUSH: I loved reliving the most exciting life you've ever known. I mean, it really is.

BAIER: Barbara Bush saw two of her sons, Jeb and George W., become two-term governors of Florida and Texas. And George W. became the first president since John Quincy Adams to follow his father to the White House. Barbara got to see her son's presidential library and museum opened in Dallas in 2013. A historic moment with all five living presidents and first ladies sharing one stage. Around that time, there were rumors of her son Jeb making a run at president, and his mom famously said in the press, we've had enough Bushes in the White House. She later switched her position saying while she was initially hesitant of the idea, she changed her mind because, quote, our problems are so profound that America needs a leader who can renew the promise of this great nation. With his mom's blessing, Jeb announced as candidacy for president in 2015. In her later years, Mrs. Bush suffered from a handful of health problems and hospitalizations. Looking back at her extraordinary life, few first ladies have been embraced by the American people like Barbara Pierce Bush, the matriarch of a modern day political dynasty.

BUSH: George Bush has really brought to my life the most exciting time. George has made my life sing.

BAIER: It is that love story that many will remember them for. George and Barbara were devoted to each other in marriage for over 73 years.

BUSH: He actually kissed me in public, it wasn't even dramatic citing, but I almost fainted. I was so excited.

BAIER: And that was it.

BUSH: That was it for me.

BAIER: That's the guy?

BUSH: And still. I just can't tell you how much I love him.

BAIER: In Washington, Bret Baier, Fox News.


MACCALLUM: Barbara Pierce Bush, and we will pause now for our Fox affiliates around the country to join us in just a moment. Standby.

Breaking news from Fox News headquarters in New York, Barbara Pierce Bush, the first lady of the United States, wife to President George H.W. Bush, and mother to President George W. Bush, has passed away at the age of 92. She was a beloved first lady who was a champion of literacy, she was a fierce advocate for her huge clan, political, and otherwise, that has extended into so many areas of American life. She was announced just a couple of days ago, that she would forgo further treatment and that she wished to receive comfort care in her home surrounded by her family and her loved ones, and that is exactly what she did. She and her beloved husband have been married for 73 years. They are one of the great American political love stories of our time. She said he was the only man she ever kissed, and that she married him -- fell in love with him and married him shortly thereafter.

She, obviously, well, the family received a large outpouring of affection and prayers and thoughts that have been with the family throughout the last several days. And now, tonight, the sad news that she has indeed passed away. I am joined here by the Ambassador to the United Kingdom, who is joining me for other reasons this evening. We now, of course, turn our attention to the death of the former first lady. U.K. Ambassador Karen Pierce, good to have you with us tonight. You've said that you met Barbara Bush.

KAREN PIERCE, U.K. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Yes, I had the very great pleasure of meeting her in Washington with President Bush, as they have been neighbors of the British embassy when he was vice-president. He was a great friend to Britain. I hope we were very good friends to them. We really enjoyed meeting them. We've spoked about the affection for her. She was a wonderful lady. I think that affection was shared in Britain and by the British people. And, if I may say so, on behalf of the British government, and the British people, we send our condolences to our American friends and to Barbara Bush's family at this time.

MACCALLUM: It's quite extraordinary -- obviously, you think about the relationship of the United States and the United Kingdom have, the closest of allies, and this is a family that has produced two American presidents that have had close relationships with the United Kingdom. We saw and some of the images a moment ago, Barbara Bush with Princess Diana, obviously, many, many visits both business, and diplomatic, and otherwise, to your country.

PIERCE: I think that's absolutely right. And we've always been very pleased to see them, President Bush, Mrs. Bush, got on very well with successive British leaders. I remember that sense of humor, particularly. They once came to a play performed at the British Embassy, a family event, which was very nice to see them, and President Bush was actually makes his own telephone calls. He would ring the British Embassy and answer Mrs. Thatcher by name. He'd say Margaret. A lot of us took a long time to realize who exactly it was.

MACCALLUM: It's wonderful to have you here tonight. I hope you'll come back.

PIERCE: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So we can discuss world issues further. And tonight, we have, obviously, turned our attention to Barbara Bush. And joining me now, Chris Wallace, host of "Fox News Sunday." Chris, good evening to you. Obviously, sad news. Everyone just registering this loss.

CHRIS WALLACE, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY" HOST: It is very sad news, and good evening, Martha. First of all, you have to put Barbara Bush in historical context because she shared something with Abigail Adams, which was she was the only other woman who was both the first lady, the wife of the president, and the mother of a president. Pretty -- company, Barbara Bush and Abigail Adams. And then, also, the extraordinary love affair between George H.W., Bush 41, and Barbara Bush. She met him when she was 16 years old, she was in boarding school. They've waited. He went off to war. They married, I guess, you can look at the age, she was 20 years old at the time. They were married for 72 years. He had just come back from World War II, where I think he was the youngest navy pilot to enlist in the navy during World War II, and they have this extraordinary relationship, the longest marriage of any first couple in American history. And to give you a sense of her flavor, I was with her a number of times, the family called her the silver fox. They called her the enforcer. She was tough. She ran the family, and I think that Bush 41 would acknowledge that because he was off pursuing his career, first in the oil business, and then in national politics, but she ran the family and was the enforcer in terms of discipline and what was allowed and what wasn't allowed. And it went not only for her children, but also for her grandchildren. You didn't mess with Barbara Bush.


WALLACE: There was even this story, I remember when the president was president, Bush 41 was president, and he announced defiantly that he didn't like broccoli and he wasn't going to eat broccoli, and that was it he's now the president and he's not going to put up with it anymore. And it was, of course, a huge outcry from the broccoli growers of America. And Barbara Bush agreed to have a huge truck of broccoli driven up to the White House where she greeted it to say, well, maybe the president wasn't going to eat broccoli, but she was an All-Americans should eat broccoli.

MACCALLUM: We're just looking at pictures from one of the conventions. And I remember covering the convention here in New York for George W. Bush, and seeing Barbara Bush and President Bush 41 there, you know, just beaming, ear to ear. They were so proud of their son. And as Bret reported in the piece that we've just showed, when President Bush 41 lost to Bill Clinton for that second term, he didn't want to be a one termer, as we all remember, that she took that loss hard. And then, to see her son, the former governor of Texas, take on that role, obviously, you know, it was just an enormous source of pride for the two of them. And I just remember so clearly looking at their face, I was standing right near them, and just thinking about what an amazing historical moment that was, Chris.

WALLACE: Absolutely. And, of course, Bush 43 did get reelected, was a two-term president, and I think there was some feeling of vindication inside the Bush family. Now, look, you mentioned earlier, maybe it was Bret that did, that when there was talk early on in this last campaign about Jeb Bush, George Bush 43's younger brother running for president, she said, you know, I think there's been enough Bushes.


WALLACE: But when the Bush family decided, and Jeb decided, no, I want to run, of course, she was out there. Well, I'm thinking it was two years ago, she's probably 90 years old, and she was out campaigning for him in the primaries as a beautiful mother would, because it was very deeply loyal to her son.

MACCALLUM: I mean, you think about the great political dynasties in American history, and you think about the Kennedy's, you think about the Bushes, you know, they just have such extending tentacles. George P. is in office. Hold a state office in Texas. And to have a son who's also -- was the governor of Florida, as you point out. Jeb Bush who also ran for president, it's an extraordinary, extraordinary legacy. Chris, if you could stand by, I'm going to bring in Dana Perino, host of "The Daily Briefing," and former White House press secretary. Dana, I know you're a very close to the family, and that this is deeply felt for you, I'm sure.

DANA PERINO, "THE DAILY BRIEFING HOST": It is. Thank you for having me on, Martha. And, of course, all that you've said so far has been in such tribute to her. And George W. Bush has just released a statement as well about the passing of his mother, and one of the things he said is that Barbara Bush was a fabulous first lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. And, to us, she was so much more.

MACCALLUM: All right. I'm sorry. I couldn't hear the last thing that you were just saying, Dana. We're just getting a lot of different communications coming in here, and these images of the Jeb Bush campaign as they walked through the crowd there. You know, she really -- she was just an amazing -- she's a ball of energy, Dana.

PERINO: Absolutely. And, President George W. Bush said she certainly kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. She really lived a life that was of such great consequence, but she didn't plan any of it. And, to whom much is given, much is required. I remember, Martha, at a mentoring event that invited her to, she said, well, why would you want me? I've never worked a day in my life. And the truth is that she never earned a paycheck. Everything she did, she did for charity and in honor for public service, which is really remarkable and something she passed on to her entire family.

MACCALLUM: And, Dana, I just -- we've just received a statement from President George W. Bush on the passing of his mother, and I'll read it now. My dear mother has passed on at age 92. Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I, are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was. Barbara Bush was a fabulous first lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I'm a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes. Dana.

PERINO: Well, it is interesting to think about her not only as the wife of a president, but the mother who helped raised two well-known leaders in George W. Bush and in Jeb Bush. But that feeling of public service, that commitment and dedication to helping others was something that she required of all of her family. And, one of the things I think people can imagine is behind the scenes, when the family was just together and there were no cameras rolling, they were really like all families. Making fun of each other. But, I will tell you one thing about Barbara Bush, you did not want to disappoint her. And that was true of us as staffers as well, and I think that's true of 41 White House, but certainly when we were working for George W. Bush, you always wanted to make her proud. And that's a quite -- wonderful leadership quality to have and to pass on to others as well.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely is. And I think it's one of the strongest things that any parent seeks to have that quality where, you know, your children don't want to disappoint you, but they love you. She had that wonderful combination of love and strength and expectation for her family which they lived up to in enormous way. Dana, thank you so much for being with us this evening. As we watched Barbara Bush and her husband, the president, in a scene, in a moment when they were boarding Marine One. We all remember Barbara Pierce Bush this evening, dead at the age of 92. Stay tuned for continuing Fox News coverage of this story throughout the evening. Now, I am rejoined back here on Fox News Channel by Bret Baier, who narrated that lovely piece that we just watched on Barbara Bush, the host, of course, of "Special Report." Bret, good evening to you. Your thoughts.

BRET BAIER, "SPECIAL REPORT" HOST: Well, you know, it's a sad day and, obviously, one that the family saw coming, but you see from the statements coming out, the warmth and wit that exuded from Barbara Bush and really everything. And she was all about family. And in her final moments, to be surrounded by family, talking and being at home had to be an amazing thing for that expanded family. You know, she was always someone who connected, especially women connected with Barbara Bush. When she came into the White House in 1989, Martha, she openly joked about the contrast with her thinner predecessor, Nancy Reagan, and more fashionable, she would say. Saying, quote, my male tells me that a lot of fat white haired wrinkled ladies are tickled pink. And, you know, she just had that wit about her that was, kind of, exuded this sunshine that wherever she went. I last talked to her about a year ago up in Maine, and she was just the matriarch and everybody flocked to her.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. And I always -- it's such a special story that her hair turned gray when she was a young woman, when she lost her daughter, Robin, and she never colored it. She left it that way. As almost as a memory, tribute, perhaps, to her child. And she was just an enormously strong woman. We have in the statement that was just put out by President Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton as well, Barbara Bush was a remarkable woman. She had grit and grace, brains and beauty, she was fierce and feisty, and supportive of her family and friends, her country and her causes. She showed us what an honest and vibrant full life looks like. Hillary and I mourn her passing and we bless her memory. Goes to say, we will never forget the courtesy and kindness that she and President Bush showed us starting when I was governor in 1983. I'll always treasure my summer visits to Kennebunkport. Barbara joked that George and I spent so much time together, I almost became a member of the family. The black sheep that had gone astray.

So, obviously, Bret, as we continue to get all of these statements coming in from leaders around the world, I mean, obviously, she's a person who was on the world stage for so many years, and we watch and reminisce these beautiful pictures. But, thank you very much for being with us tonight.


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