This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," December 12, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: Welcome to "The Ingraham Angle" from Washington. An electoral earthquake in Alabama and a potentially pivotal night in American politics. It's still too early for the Fox News decision desk to project a winner, but we should have a call any moment now so stay right here with us. You don't want to miss a minute.
While we wait, let's bring in Fox's Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum at our election desk to break down the significance of what we are seeing as these numbers trickle in. Guys, take it away.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Laura, so what we are seeing from our decision desk is that the raw numbers you see on the screen has Roy Moore up over Doug Jones, but you add in the existing counties that are still out and the analysis, the Fox News voter analysis that we have looking at the questions that we ask voters today and over the past couple of days.
And right now, Doug Jones, the Democrat is leading in this Alabama race. Now, it's too close to call as you just mentioned, but we are seeing kind of a shift that way in the past hour or so.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: We watched it shift back and forth over the course of the night essentially and as Bret says, we have a raw vote in there, but literally it is a toss-up. And if you look at all the different parameters that we are covering, it's close to toss-up territory or leaning slightly towards Jones in a lot of the feedback we are getting, but our numbers show that Roy Moore is up by a slight amount as we wait for these totals to come in from some of these outstanding counties.
BAIER: I will say there are a few companies were Moore underperformed where Donald Trump performed. Remember, Donald Trump won Alabama by 28 points over Hillary Clinton and there are a few key counties where Moore significantly underperformed.
In fact, a couple of them were Doug Jones won the county. So that is not a good sign for the GOP. But there are still some Democrat counties that are existing, that are out that you don't know how Jones is going to perform and if the numbers don't add up in the raw vote total then that's why it's so close and we can't make the call as of yet.
INGRAHAM: I think it's incredible that there was only 1 percent of write in votes so far it looks like. You would have thought that with all the publicity for people who didn't like either choice her mother would have been for write ins but not.
People want for either Moore or they decided to go for Jones despite the fact that a good chunk of people said the allegations, they did find them disturbing, 51 percent according to some of those exit polls said it didn't really affect them at all. I would have expected Mickey Mouse to be written in.
MACCALLUM: I would agree, Laura. They got absolutely no direction on that, right. Senator Shelby, who said I'm not going to vote for Roy Moore. I'm going to write in someone, a man of great integrity. There was never any concerted effort, which could have been the way to go when these allegations first came out.
There could have been a directed effort to write in Luther Strange. None of that ever transpired and it sort of sat back and let things lie as they did and then the president came over and supported Roy Moore.
I mean, that's going to be one of the things they analyze closely if Roy Moore does lose, whether or not they should have when that -- all of that hit the fan, so to speak, recalibrated and come up with a new plan.
BAIER: Just to point out that this is -- if Jones pulls this out, and again, we are leaning that way, he is leading at this moment. It's 25 years since the Democrat has won a Senate race in Alabama and it's a two- year seat, it would be up again in 2020, but this would be earth shattering when it comes to Alabama politics.
INGRAHAM: Well, think about Supreme Court nominations that might be coming up. All these judgeships that Trump wants to fill, obviously, tax reform, the DACA fix or some kind of deal for the DREAMers. We have Murkowski, Collins, Flake and McCain still in there.
It's not like they have a real kind of working, reliable majority as it is, one less vote, that could be curtains for much of the Trump agenda if this doesn't turn out well for the Republicans. And there will be hell to pay I think --
BAIER: If Doug Jones gets reelected one would think that he wouldn't be the traditional Democrat in a number of voting stances he takes. If he wants to get reelected in Alabama, one would think you would be more like a mansion or hide to camp. They haven't moved yet, but there will have to be issues where they kind of change their colors if they are going to appeal to those states.
INGRAHAM: If you think about that, Republican voters have been elated that they finally have the White House, the Senate and House of Representatives. Now they have an Alabama Senate seat that they could potentially lose, which puts a lot of that agenda in jeopardy, and that's what President Trump was talking about when he supported Roy Moore.
He never said I really like this guy, I think it's fantastic. He said we need to have him in there if we want to get my agenda through. If this happens, and we need to stress that we don't know yet. I don't it sounds like -- our indications are sort of a crosswise.
Because you have the popular vote which everybody is looking at on the screen, which is showing Moore slightly ahead and then you have some of the other indicators that show it is leaning closer to Jones. But if Jones wins this, I mean, there will be a lot of soul-searching on the Republican side.
BAIER: The tax reform vote will happen. If the government doesn't shutdown and taxes move forward in the next week or two. This senator, whoever it is, Jones or Moore is not going to be sworn in until January. The secretary of state of Alabama as of now, December 26 would be the day that everything gets certified.
INGRAHAM: I think right now there will be a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking. McConnell's role in all of this. He jumped in big for Luther Strange. A lot of the Alabama people like Mo Brooks and others. A lot of people were knocked out in that special election runoff.
There will be a lot of people asking a lot of tough questions all the way around. And we appreciate both, Bret and of course, Martha's continued analysis and reporting.
For more analysis, let's bring in Fox News contributor, Byron York here in Washington. The former chair of the Alabama GOP, Marty Connors in Birmingham, and the chair of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Ralph Reed in Atlanta.
Ralph, I want to go to you because your group and others like it try to really mobilize the Evangelical vote in Alabama tonight for Roy Moore. But we don't know yet, but it's looking like it's going to be tougher for Roy Moore than a lot of people thought. He might lose the seat. If that happens, what you take away from this?
RALPH REED, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN OF THE FAITH AND FREEDOM COALITON: If you look at the exit polls, it indicates that about 44 percent of the vote is conservative Evangelical, and they voted 81 percent for Roy Moore and only about mid-teens for Doug Jones.
So, that vote came in for him. I would have frankly expected him to hit a little bit higher, maybe mid-80s, maybe even high 80s, but 81 percent is enough. What really is going to decide the outcome of this race is two things.
Number one, how bad is the bleeding in Jefferson County and Birmingham in those more moderate and centrist suburban Republican precincts? The 63 percent of that vote is in right now and it's overwhelmingly Jones.
INGRAHAM: Yes, it's brutal. Both counties look brutal. I can tell you that right now.
INGRAHAM: It's a suburban, a lot of women. We have to get Byron in here and Marty. Byron, a lot of women turning out, suburban women. Birmingham area, a very upscale, a lot of them couldn't hold their nose and vote for Moore.
BYRON YORK, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: I was in (inaudible) a few weeks ago. I saw a lot of Jones signs, saw zero Roy Moore signs. I think this is going to come down to whether this ended up being an election about Roy Moore. Remember, Roy Moore was elected in 2012 in the Supreme Court election with 51.76 of the votes.
This guy does not get landslides in Alabama or was it going to be Republicans voting strategically saying we have to keep 52 votes in the Senate and it looks now like it's more of a referendum on Roy Moore himself.
INGRAHAM: Marty, your state spent two decades plus since a Democrat won a Senate seat there. Tell us about what is happening. Why is it turning out the way it is in the reddest of red states we thought?
MARTY CONNORS, FORMER ALABAMA GOP CHAIRMAN: Well, I think the main reason I have to kind of agree with Ralph in a different way. It's that suburban Republican voters either stayed at home or decided to do something significantly different. So, this is ultimately -- it's not a referendum on the Republican Party. It's a referendum on some accusations.
I think that's what it may come down to. I think it's 1.3 that is now a write-in vote with a projected two-point win by Jones and so, you know, the write in also had an impact as well.
INGRAHAM: Byron, I want to go back to you about the McConnell involvement early on. They poured a lot of money in for Luther Strange and early on people are saying it might not have been the best idea. It kind of pushed people to the more, you know, right wing side of the equation with Moore versus a more of a mainstream conservative like the guy I endorsed, which is Mo Brooks.
YORK: The majority leader was hugely unpopular in Alabama. After the primary when there were these postmortems going on to see what were Luther Strange's biggest problems, his biggest problem was how he received the Senate seat from the governor, Robert Bentley, the former governor who resigned in scandal. But his second biggest problem Mitch McConnell, extremely unpopular with Alabama Republicans.
INGRAHAM: I wonder, Marty, your take on this. The establishment GOP in Washington, did they tilt this in a way that gave this wide running room to someone like a Roy Moore and then the Democrats went in there, and these women came out and then it was kind of off to the races again. It's too close to call. It's basically dead even right now, but the turnout in some of these key counties looks like it's going to be fairly negative to Roy Moore at this point.
CONNORS: Well, you're right. If you go to any watering hole and let's say suburban Alabama or Rural Alabama, everybody there is very, very angry at Washington. They are blaming the Republicans, which is the rise of Roy Moore in this race.
Let's had tax reform been passed two months ago, this would not have been an issue. Had Obamacare been repealed or replaced this would not have been an issue. I think the lack of action is also created the success of Roy Moore.
So, what I'm watching for now is in the final minutes, hours of this race, Alabama is very similar to Georgia in the sense. Birmingham will give Jones a 40-plus thousand margin just like Atlanta does. The rest of Alabama has to catch up with that margin.
The question is can they. Underperforming in counties where Roy should do better, suburbs of Huntsville, Fairhope down in Baldwin County, right now it doesn't look like a trending that way.
INGRAHAM: Ralph, I want you to touch on that and also what Brent was talking about earlier. If indeed Jones pulls out the big, big victory tonight, if he does, would he have all this pressure on him to be kind of a Centrist Democrat and maybe even support Donald Trump on some issues or is he going to say I will take two years, I will not get reelected anyway probably, I will take two years and do all of the more liberal stuff that my party wants me to do?
REED: I think they will be counter pressures and I think he's going to be -- if he were to win tonight he would be sort of a southern fried version of a Joe Manchin in West Virginia. He will throw a vote every now and again like he did for Neil Gorsuch, but not much.
On Obamacare he voted with Schumer. On the tax cut he voted with Schumer. And look, we don't know what's going to happen tonight. This is a very, very close race. It is on a nice edge, but if Roy Moore is able to pull it out, it will be because on these issues, taxes, Obamacare, judicial nominations, the life issue, that Doug Jones was not a centrist.
He was not a Sam None, Zell Miller or that kind of Democrat. He was a hard-core liberal Democrat and even with all these accusations and everything swirling around Moore, voters of faith and other conservatives and pro-lifers were torn over the overall dynamics, but on the issues Moore was with them.
YORK: Well, actually, I think Ralph is actually right because Doug Jones is not just going to become an old-fashioned centrist Democrat like in the 1970s.
INGRAHAM: Those days are over. It's just not going to happen.
YORK: The problems with trying to rule the Senate with 51 votes is going to be really, really tough for Mitch McConnell.
INGRAHAM: Guys, great analysis. By the way, when the Democrats can't win at the ballot box, they will use any means necessary to gain power and now they're trying to unseat Trump, exactly as I told you they would do last week. Stay here, loads of details up next.
INGRAHAM: The sexual allegation circus and the plot to take down the president, that's the focus of tonight's ANGLE.
I hate to say see, I told you so, but I told you so. It's all unfolding exactly as I said it would. On December 6th, when Senate Democrats were giving Al Franken the bum's rush based on allegations of impropriety, he almost entirely tonight, what did I say?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Now before you join the march to the castle to capture the monster, I have a word of caution. They have come down with a sudden case of feverish morality but what it really is, is nothing more than a political calculation by the Dems.
They have two paths to destroy the president. The first is the Mueller investigation. The second way they will try to destroy the Trump presidency is the war on women. That old song. They have now determined that it's worth sacrificing Franken just like they did John Conyers.
Throw him overboard to save the political titanic that is their party. What does this do? It sets the precedent for the Democrats to try to drive Roy Moore from office should he win the Alabama Senate race. And two, this is the next step in the quest to impeach President Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: And let me tell you, bingo. Like clockwork, it was a coordinated re-airing of the grievances that began just yesterday. Complaints by the same Trump accusers that voters had already heard from before they elected our 45th president.
Then with impeccable timing a quartet of Democratic senators called on the president to resign. Never mind that the president has long denied the charges. One 30 years old and that there was nothing new in any of them.
In a dangerous climate we have today that the liberals have created, allegations are enough to strip anyone, especially any man of his career. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is the de facto leader now of the "Get Trump" crusade.
Do you remember her voicing such concern for Bill Clinton's accusers when he was appearing at her fundraisers? Neither do I. And more troubling, women who were part of the Trump administration seem to be kind of hedging their bets.
On Sunday, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley had the perfect opportunity to stand up for the president, really strongly, and call out this politically motivated hysteria. Instead, she kind of took a pass.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Women who accuse anyone should be heard. They should be heard and they should be dealt with, and I think we heard from them prior to the election, and I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: And women who see themselves as presidential materials need to be heard most of all. Today, NBC's Megyn Kelly in what seems to be a new daily feature showcased another of the old Trump accusers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I demand that he is subjected to an investigation by the Ethics Committee. I think it's important that we hold this man to the highest standards and if 16 women have come forward, then why hasn't anything been done? Where is our investigation?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: It's curious, don't you think, how this accuser issued a call for an investigation just as 59 House Democrats released a letter demanding a congressional investigation into these allegations against the president.
I'm sure it's all just a total coincidence. Here's the reality. Congressional Democrats know that time is not on their side. While Roy Moore was still in the headlines and the #metoo-itus would steal all the rage, the liberals had to make their move now.
You got the booming economy, consumer confidence rising. Trade deals being renegotiated. You have Trump judges getting confirmed. Things are looking up for the president. So, the Democrats needed a new story line and this is it.
But my friends, do not be fooled. For the party of Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton, the sexual misconduct crusade has never been about protecting women. It's about taking back power by any means necessary.
So, now that Mueller's impeachment report is at least somewhat tainted, and the president is scoring some big wins, Dems needed chum in the water. This is it. I say they let them eat their own if they wish.
But they cannot be allowed to kill off the political adversaries with unproven allegations and female politicians and activists should also be really careful when they take this.
Because someday, maybe, that men might decide to turn the tables on them and start launching their own, maybe it's called #mentoo movement with wild decades old complaints against women in positions of power. If you don't think it could happen? Just watch.
Then who's going to be left to call for some modicum of due process or fairness before lives are destroyed? And that's The Angle.
Let's go right to Brett and Martha as we have breaking news. What do we know?
MACCALLUM: Indeed we do, Laura. We can now call the race in Alabama. Fox News is now projecting that Doug Jones will defeat Republican Roy Moore to become the first Alabama Democrat in a quarter-century to be elected to the United States Senate.
BAIER: This is a dramatic Democratic upset in deep-red Alabama and it cuts the GOP Senate majority from 52 to 51. Further dimming Republican hopes of enacting major legislation backed by President Trump. But as we pointed out, it's likely that tax reform is going to be voted on in the Conference Committee prior to the seating of this senator.
MACCALLUM: There was a lot of discussion about whether or not a Roy Moore win would be a win, really, for the GOP and there are some questions tonight about whether or not there is some silver lining perhaps for Republicans tonight.
A victory by Moore, who is embroiled in a sex scandal might have made it more difficult for the GOP to gain control of the Senate in next year's midterm election. And we have watched as Democrats have made that a major talking point in recent weeks.
BAIER: Looking live now --
MACCALLUM: Pointing the finger at sort of a war on women too with regard to this.
BAIER: Looking live at the Moore headquarters in Montgomery and the Jones headquarters in Birmingham. This were just getting out as we are making this race. Joining us tonight to breakdown the race, Chris Wallace, Brit Hume, Dana Perino and Juan Williams. Chris, we haven't heard from you yet, let's start with you on this election result.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Look, this is a big win for the Democrats. They went all in, they had a major get out the vote effort when you started seeing people like Deval Patrick and Cory Booker going down there this last weekend to try and mobilize the African-American vote.
When President Obama, former Vice President Biden made robocalls over the weekend. They were really going all in, they were really going all in. They realized they had a once in a generation chance to win a Senate seat in Alabama and they went for it. And it is significant, obviously. A two- vote majority has been pretty tough to govern with in the Senate, now it's going to be a one-vote majority, 51-49.
On the other hand, I've got to tell you, I talked to some top officials even in the Trump administration who weren't sure -- yes, they wanted the vote. They wanted Moore to win, but they also fear the burden that he would put on the party.
They looked back at Todd Akin, who made the comments about legitimate rape aa Republican candidate for the Senate in Missouri in 2012. That was kind of a poster boy for Republicans running in that election.
They worried about Roy Moore and that it would just be a constant burden. Albatross that they would have to deal with that every time a senator walked down the corridor, what do you think about Roy Moore? What's going to happen in the ethics investigation? Are you going to vote to expel him?
So, on the one hand, yes, they would have rather won than lost, but on the other hand they also thought that Roy Moore in the Senate was going to be a real burden for them and what promises to be a tough midterm election in 2018.
MACCALLUM: Let's bring in Brit Hume. Brit, do you agree that perhaps a Roy Moore victory would not have been worth it for the GOP?
HUME: That's what I've been saying all along, Martha, that there were two bullets aimed at the Senate Republicans tonight, and the question is which one would hit them. The one that hit them is the one that cost them a seat.
But as Chris has ably suggested, a Moore win would have been no better roses either. I totally agree with that assessment and I would add one more thought for everyone, and that is what does this mean for the great Steve Bannon, a man who have been given to believe is a master political strategist.
He would like everyone to think that he's the man whose wisdom got Donald Trump elected, although, Donald Trump obviously doesn't like to hear that. But he went down and did go all in for Roy Moore.
This is a state where it's very hard for Republicans to lose and his man lost, and he lost as the result of a fact that enough people in Alabama thought enough of what those women said about Roy Moore that they didn't want him as their senator and that is the result tonight.
So, it remains to be seen how this will affect the standing of Steve Bannon who we thought was a pretty big player outside the White House.
BAIER: Brit, quickly, you covered the last Democrat, Howell Heflin, to win in Alabama. It's been a long time.
HUME: Yes, it's been quite a long time. I remember Howell Heflin well. Of course, Howell Heflin he was a Democrat was of a Democratic breed that no longer really exists. He was pretty conservative on a lot of issues and he wasn't somebody that the Democratic leadership could always count on.
I think looking at Roy Moore's record, he will be pretty much a down the line vote for things -- Doug Jones, I'm sorry, of course. This is not somebody that the Republicans will be easily able to win over. On the other hand, it seems fair to say that from day one he will be among the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate the next time around.
MACCALLUM: Dana, what does it say about sexual harassment charges. Roy Moore was one of the few that was seen in recent weeks to actually try to fight it, who said that they are not true, these allegations are false, and he lost.
DANA PERINO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: So, I think that based on what we've heard from our voter analysis and also from the outcome is that his denials were not credible enough, but also, I think that we are in an era of political disruption. Nobody thought that from good win at the beginning in that June of 2015. He's our president.
A Democrat hasn't been elected in Alabama in 25 years. This is also I think just a very specific circumstance. Without these allegations, I think Roy Moore would definitely be the senator from Alabama instead of Jones.
I think that one thing to look at is the turnout pattern similar to that in Virginia, gubernatorial race happened just last month, in which Ed Gillespie the Republican lost big time in Virginia.
One of those things to look at is that President Trump in Virginia won married women by ten points. Ed Gillespie only won it by one point and he lost so big there.
That said, the 2018 map for the Republicans in the Senate is very, very good. I think that they will retain the majority. They also think that they have a possible couple of pick up opportunities like in Missouri and Indiana. They are worried a little bit about Nevada. Tennessee, they are pretty sure about Tennessee but they have a strong candidate, the Democrats do, in Phil Bredesen.
One thing we know for sure, while McConnell's position had been to always support the incumbent, there's going to be a focus on candidate recruitment, the quality of candidates going forward, and you can bet that 2018 will be a very expensive race.
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: To me this is a red state, and everybody is going to talk about Jones on the appeal to the Democrats, even Charles Barkley the basketball superstar who went to Auburn who was in there last night campaigning for Jones. But what strikes me is picking up on what Dana was talking about, which is suburban Republicans, especially women, who, according to all that we can see tonight, outside of Birmingham, even outside of Montgomery, were quick to decide either to stay home or to vote for Jones. This is a surprise.
And this suggests that this argument, some call it a civil war within the Republican ranks, is really at a boiling point. And that's why Steve Bannon is such an important player here. Remember Steve Bannon persuaded the president to back Roy Moore. The president had backed Luther Strange, and it was Steve Bannon who was taking on the Senate majority leader of the Republican Party, Mitch McConnell, and I believe just recently said there was a special place in hell for people who are Republicans did not back Roy Moore.
So what we have here now going into 18 is, yes, it is a good landscape for Republicans because they have more seats they are holding while Democrats have more seats that are open, but to my mind what you're looking at is Democrats anticipating a wave in the midterms of 2018, and thinking that this is more evidence that Donald Trump and Steve Bannon are hurting the Republican Party. Not anything the Democrats are doing, because I don't think Democrats have a strong message or even strong candidates in many places. It's what's going on within the Republican Party and how Republicans, especially Republican women, feel about the party.
BAIER: But Juan, you acknowledge that this race was unique in the sense that it had to do a lot with these allegations? It didn't have to do with the Trump agenda. If you would put the Trump agenda up in an election Alabama it would be an overwhelming win.
WILLIAMS: Right, but here's the thing. So if Trump backed Luther Strange, Luther Strange should have won over Roy Moore. Instead, Steve Bannon backed Roy Moore and Roy Moore beat the Trump candidate. Then Steve Bannon is calling the Oval Office and saying to the president you made a mistake. Jared Kushner misled you. You should be back in Roy Moore. He's a populist and you are a populist president. This is, to quote Martha, the guy who's going to discombobulated, shake up the establishment. And look what happened tonight.
BAIER: It's going to be interesting to see the fallout here. We are going to toss it back to Laura. But Laura, to your point on your angle, I think that this is going to embolden Democrats to use this issue specifically against this president. You are already seeing it, as you predicted last week. But it's only intensifying in recent days.
INGRAHAM: I would like to hear from the panel about this, Bret. Maybe Brit Hume can weigh in on this. If they are able to take out a Senate candidate in Alabama with these allegations, as lurid as they were, what does this mean for the umpteen number of Democrats who will inevitably come forward to urge the president to resign? The constantly re-airings of the old allegations that were aired last October, October, 2016, and putting this pressure, Brit, all the way to 2018 midterm elections, the war on women redux. I think we see this all the way through 2018.
HUME: We may, Laura, but there's one thing that is clear here, and that is that whether you believe the women are not, nothing new really has emerged about Donald Trump. What we are hearing is a re-airing of allegations that were made before the election. And the voters had a chance to judge them and judge him accordingly, and they decided, whether you like it or not, that he should be the president.
So one thing that a new story requires like this is news. And endless repetition of the same all charges I don't think really moves the ball very much, and I'm not sure how long this latest spate of repeated accusations can last. I could be wrong about this, but my sense about this is that absent something new and something more recent, these are likely to die down.
INGRAHAM: And Chris Wallace, we have the ongoing Mueller investigation at the same time, the other cudgel to hit this president with as time goes on in the next year. It may wrap up soon, may go on another couple of years, we don't know. But that's the other boiling point here in Washington, D.C.
WALLACE: Yes. I want to go back to something, though, that Dana said, Laura, and that is that the map, and just in terms of the schedule. Because 2018, it's all the people who won in 2012 when Obama was reelected, Democrats have to defend 25 seats, Republicans only have to defend 10 seats. So the Republicans are going to be playing offense, Democrats are going to be playing defense.
And I find it hard to think that somebody is going to lose in a state, a Republican candidate who's got no charges of sexual harassment against him, or frankly anything to do with the Russian collusion because of people's feelings about Trump, that may be on the issues they might vote against him, but if you are running as a Republican incumbent in some state -- in a red state this time, I find it hard to think that if you don't have -- we had a perfect storm in Alabama. Yes, there were allegations against Donald Trump, but there were also very serious new, fresh allegations against Roy Moore. If you don't have that kind of baggage, and you certainly are going to have any baggage in terms of Russian collusion, I just don't know how that carries over into Senate races.
INGRAHAM: And Dana, on the issue of substance that Juan brought up, saying that this is kind of a referendum on Trump-ism, I would take issue with that obviously in Alabama, as Bret said, but going forward with the immigration, trade deals, deregulatory efforts, judges, where does this leave the Republican party when you have a Flake, Murkowski, Collins, and McCain who are obviously on many issues really on the opposite side of Donald Trump?
PERINO: I think in many ways actually the president is in pretty good shape on that. As Bret has been saying all night, the tax reform bill is going to get voted on most likely before Jones is ever set. And I'm not convinced he wouldn't have voted for it anyway. But let's say they get tax from done. Then the president has said he wants to move on and do border security, immigration, and an infrastructure bill. Democrats want to work on an infrastructure bill. There's nothing here that would change the past judges. And on trade I think that the president can actually do a lot just administratively.
So actually the president has I think a decent case to make that the end of his first year he is accomplished a lot, people feel good about the economy and consumer confidence is high. Stock market is high, unemployment is low. Everything is sort of going his way economically, so I think that it's very hard to disrupt that right now.
And the Democrats, they are going to have to defend all of those seats that Chris Wallace was talking about. They might be able to pick up a couple of places. I think the thing to really think about is the candidate recruitment. In some of these places, talking about the House side for a second, you have up to 17, 18, 19 people running in some of these Democratic primaries. That's going to pull a lot of those Democrats way to the left, but we saw in the presidential election in 2016, that's not where the country is.
I think Alabama is definitely an outlier. Do think voting patterns are interesting to maybe compare to Virginia governor's race, but ultimately Roy Moore, these are the allegations he could not overcome. This is specific to him, he's the one who lost the race.
INGRAHAM: And Juan, remember that first interview he did with Sean Hannity? That has to have been one of the worst interviews. We were on radio and TV and oh, my gosh, he's further incriminated himself. He said, well, I always ask the mother's permission. I don't know what he called them.
PERINO: Generally I don't date teenagers.
WILLIAMS: He is not helping himself.
INGRAHAM: That was a terrible answer. That began I think his downfall gradually. That interview was terrible for him.
WILLIAMS: It was. In fact I thought he made a comeback from it. At certain points it looked like the people were putting it in the past. And then the context here is so important because you had the Harvey Weinstein stuff, but then it really accelerated and you had Democrats and a lot of the Hollywood elites get involved, and it was easy to play into a narrative that said we in Alabama don't believe the elitist "Washington Post" and all the Washington establishment that's out the tell us what to do and looks down on us.
But Roy Moore, it seems to me, never was able to stir the idea of a big turnout among the voters he needed to win tonight. There's going to be a lot of talk about this turnout issue because if you look at the numbers, it comes back about 25 percent of Alabama voters, of the electorate turned out for this very high profile, much attention special election. And guess what? About 28 percent of the state's voters are African-Americans, mostly in the southern tier. But you're going to see an increased turnout there.
This takes me back again to the whole notion about what the Democrats see tonight. Do they have hope or do they see this as just peculiar and based on Roy Moore and based on the charges against him, of sexual improprieties? And what I'm seeing right now is the people are saying look at Virginia, look at what happened there.
INGRAHAM: It's a totally different state, Juan, totally different state.
WILLIAMS: It's a totally different state, but look, Laura, at exactly where you saw increases in turnout and where you saw people stay home for it. You saw it in having to run on the immigration issue.
INGRAHAM: But here's the problem, Gillespie is a Bush Republican who late in the game tried to move to Trump's position. That wasn't believable from the outset.
WILLIAMS: You in Virginia, but he tried to play populist Republican Party politics. It wasn't him. I think he is a Bush Republican, but he tried to be a Trump Republican.
INGRAHAM: But he was from New Jersey.
WILLIAMS: You are a tough customer.
INGRAHAM: We've got red Alabama and we've got basically blue Virginia. It has changed demographically, immigration, the beltway is all big government, voters, they want bigger and bigger government. So I think that comparison is a little wobbly. But great analysis from the panel. Bret and Martha, thank you so much.
Let's get to Fox's Doug McKelway who is in Birmingham with the supporters of Doug Jones. Peter Doocy is in Montgomery with Republican Roy Moore's campaign. Doug, let's first start with you. Tell us what you know there.
DOUG MCKELWAY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is as excited a crowd as I have seen in a long time where the projection was announced here. And by the way, I should say that, as you know, a totally overwhelmingly Democratic crowd, so both of the giant monitors in this room are tuned to CNN. Their projection of victory for Doug Jones came about 10 minutes after Fox News' projection. So they were unaware of the Fox News projection, but it had happened on CNN. A thunderous round, ebullient crowd here, people hugging each other, kissing each other, toasting each other, chugging beers and chugging champagne, and it continues to this point.
We don't know when Doug Jones is going to make an appearance here. But at this time I am reminded of the words as well, Mitch McConnell, some weeks ago said that we tried the ultraconservative candidates of the past, made mention on the 2010 Tea Party candidates Sharron Angle hair in Nevada and Christine O'Donnell in Delaware who were not ready for primetime. They proved that and that may as well be the case here with Judge Moore as well.
Coming out on that horse today to go vote reminded me of the fact that Alabama is not the perceived backwater that so many of the coastal elites say it is. This is a state which has been progressively moving forward. It is home to the Marshall Space Flight Center. Four or five international automobile manufacturers have made their homes in Alabama. A lot of high- tech manufacturing going on here. People here want to move forward and they didn't sense that in the Judge Moore campaign. They did sense it in the Doug Jones campaign.
And he is every bit as much the law and order kind of a candidate as Judge Moore was, although with more bona fides, you might say. He was born and raised in the state. His father was a steelworker at the U.S. steel plant here in Birmingham. U.S. attorney, served senator Heflin, Howell, and many other credentials, perhaps most important in terms of his appeal to African-American voters, he tried two Ku Klux Klansmen who were responsible three decades ago for the bombing of the Baptist church here in Birmingham which resulted in the deaths of four little African-American girls.
So this is, bottom-line, a really, really excited crowd. We don't know when Doug Jones is going to come out, but I suspect that the applause round will be as thunderous as any we've heard tonight when he does.
INGRAHAM: All right, Doug, let's go to Peter Doocy who is in Montgomery, a much more somber crowd. Peter, we are reminded, a friend of mine who is in Birmingham just messaged me and said remember that Roy Moore ran twice for governor and lost. And this is not Mitch McConnell's fault, he said. Moore would have had a hard time winning the nomination in a full primary. We forget all those facts, but there you have it.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: But this is not over here at the Moore campaign election night headquarters, Laura. Something extraordinary happened about two minutes before you guys came to me. And emcee went up to the stage and said to a very somber crowd, I know that some of the networks have started to call the race for Doug Jones, but we are not ready to call it. And the emcee then left the stage. They are playing some poppy music right now trying to get the crowd going.
You can see they've still got The New York Times projection that shows the red counties and the blue counties. That went away for a little while because they switched over to the local news that still hadn't called it, but as soon as the race was called, the local affiliate took a shot of Jones headquarters where people were standing behind Doug McKelway celebrating, cheering, drinking beer. And that quickly was taken off of the screen.
It is a much different scene here right now. There was a lot of confidence at the beginning of the night. They were calling it the mix and mingle time before Roy Moore got here. But a lot of folks have left, some who were standing are now sitting. Still haven't seen Roy Moore on the stage, but he is on the premises. And we do expect at some point if they do concede, which all the networks say at some point is going to be the result, including FOX, we expect to see a big finger pointed at Mitch McConnell.
My understanding talking to folks here and talking to the folks who really, really were trying to help Roy Moore win, if he won it was going to be next to President Trump and all of his supporters. There was the rally in Pensacola nearby, there was the robo-call that was out and even was turned into a radio ad that we are driving from Birmingham to Montgomery today.
But if Moore lost, it would be squarely at McConnell's fault. And so at some point, again no update on the timing, whether we are going to hear from Moore soon or any of his surrogates soon, but we do expect a singular focus, at least based on what we were hearing before the election was called. They are really mad at the establishment as they have been, especially Mitch McConnell, and they think this is his fault.
INGRAHAM: Peter, my same source in Alabama says Jones is a lame duck from day one. He has zero chance of winning in 2020. This state loves Trump. This is not an anti-Trump result. We will see how that goes.
DOOCY: What's interesting, RSC chairman Cory Gardner, is already saying that he hopes Doug Jones will do the right thing and just start voting with the Republicans in the Senate. We have no indication that that would actually happen, but he's trying.
INGRAHAM: That's funny. Peter, thanks so much.
And FOX News has obtained the anti-Trump texts by Peter Strzok that led to his ouster from the Bob Mueller special council team. Two heavy hitters weigh in on that. We are going to talk to Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr. Stay with us.
INGRAHAM: OK, is it time for an investigation of the investigation? Bob Mueller's team is looking pretty tainted amid all these revelations about Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Peter Peter Strzok, Fusion GPS, the FBI, the DOJ. And Trump outside counsel Jay Sekulow tells FOX News a new separate special prosecutor should be appointed to look into all of it.
And tonight, Fox News has obtained the anti-Trump texts, these are fun, by FBI agent Peter Strzok that led ultimately to his removal from Bob Mueller's special council team. One of them written on March 4th, 2016, is between Strzok and his gal pal back then, Lisa Page. Strzok texts, quote "Would he be a worse president than Ted Cruz?" This is how liberals text each other. It's hilarious." Page responds "Trump? Yes, I think so." Strzok replies, "I'm not sure. OMG, he's an idiot."
Joining us now with reaction is our law school professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz. We just call you Dersh, by the way, professor. Is that OK. That's like your nickname. That's our production nickname.
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR EMERITUS: My students have called me that for years.
INGRAHAM: Ok, we are just copying the students then. You're the author of the new book "Trumped Up, How Criminalization of Political Difference Endangers Democracy." He joins us from San Francisco. And in Dallas, the man who investigated President Bill Clinton, former independent counsel and judge, Ken Starr. Let's start with you, Judge Starr. We're going to get into these texts in just a moment, but a quick reaction from both of you, from what we saw tonight in Alabama, looks like a 0.1 percent victory, but nonetheless a victory, for a Democrat Doug Jones. Judge Starr, is this a rejection, a repudiation in any way of the Trump agenda, or is this sui generis to keep it in the legalistic terms?
KEN STARR, FORMER INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: I love that. Sui generis, exactly, it is a one off. All politics are local, but this was especially a local election just given the issues that popped up. So yes, it's a one-time election. And I love the suggestion that the senator-elect, if he holds on to the victory, we heard that report, is already a lame duck. Alabama is a heavily Republican state, and Judge Moore was just viewed obviously as a severely flawed candidate, and look at the turnout. The turnout was suppressed.
INGRAHAM: Let's go to Professor Dershowitz on this. Professor, people were saying it was impossible for a Democrat to win. These allegations were raised against, of course, Roy Moore. He didn't really have a great reputation, and the one major interview he did with Sean Hannity, then you had Richard Shelby, the respected Republican mainstream senator, come out yesterday hitting Moore. Friends of mine in Alabama said that did a lot to suppress voter turnout in the Republican party for Moore and a lot of people just stayed home.
DERSHOWITZ: This was not a win for the Democrats. It was a loss for Judge Moore. It was very, very personal. It was a referendum on Harvey Weinstein, on all the allegations that are now swirling around so many people in the world. And Moore could not survive the accusations that were leveled against him. This tells us nothing that would allow us to predict other elections in other states. It is a completely one-off, I completely agree with my friend, Ken Starr, on this one.
INGRAHAM: We are going to hear from Doug Jones in just a moment and we are going to have to go to that when he speaks. But let's go to you, Judge Starr, on these texts from Peter Strzok. Do they change her mind about the special counsel's investigation? Mueller's team, more tainted after reading these are less?
STARR: Of course. It's outrageous, and it really does go to Bob Mueller's judgment. You need to assemble a team when you are talking about investigating the president of the United States that really is above reproach. These books have their First Amendment rights, so let them say what they want to say.
INGRAHAM: Guys, I'm sorry to interrupt you. We have to go right to Doug Jones in Alabama and his victory speech. Pardon the interruption. Let's listen.
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