'The Story' Ladies Night panel breaks down the defining political moments of 2018

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," December 28, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, HOST: One week. Hard to believe. Thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. And every night in 2018, we look forward to a great 2019 ahead. That's it for this "Special Report." Fair, balanced, and still unafraid. Happy New Year. "The Story", hosted by Ed Henry, starts right now. Hi, Ed.

ED HENRY, HOST: Bret, Happy New Year, a little bit early. Look forward to seeing you in 2019.

Breaking tonight, the devastated family of California police officer Ron Singh, shot and killed by a suspect here in the U.S. illegally is now officially what's known as an Angel Family. The term President Trump has used many times to describe the relatives left behind when an illegal immigrant kills an American, a relative like his brother.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REGGIE SINGH, BROTHER OF RONIL SINGH: Yes, he's not coming back. But there's a lot of people out there that (INAUDIBLE). And a lot of law enforcement people that I don't know, who worked days and nights to make this happen. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart to make this happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: So difficult to watch. I've interviewed some of these heartbroken relatives of other Angel Families. They've told me they want the public to know this is an example of families being separated forever, compared to the temporary family separation at the border that the left has attacked the president about again and again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry for those who are being affected. But look at my family and thousands of other Angel Families. There are permanently separated and permanently affected by the lack of keeping sovereignty of our nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: Good evening, everybody. I'm Ed Henry, in again for Martha MacCallum. Here's what we know about the man accused of gunning down Officer Singh on Christmas night during what should have been a routine DUI stop.

33-year-old Gustavo Perez Arriaga is from Mexico, in the U.S. illegally. He was arrested twice before, and yes, has known gang affiliations often using different aliases.

Authorities say he was trying to flee to Mexico after the shooting. And we've learned his brother and the co-worker have also been arrested for attempting to mislead the authorities.

Arriaga stunning rap sheet has infuriated officials like the sheriff leading the investigation now this shooting death. Tonight, Sheriff Adam Christianson is bluntly pointing the finger at California's sanctuary laws, which limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

Sanctuary policies again that the president has repeatedly railed against. The sheriff tonight demanding answers and flatly declaring if this illegal immigrant had been deported for previous DUI arrest, Officer Singh, a legal immigrant would still be alive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADAM CHRISTIANSON, SHERIFF, STANISLAUS COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: This is a criminal illegal alien with prior criminal activity that should have been reported to ICE. We were prohibited -- law enforcement was prohibited because of sanctuary laws and that led to the encounter with Officer Singh.

But let's go back to Ron. An immigrant. Immigrated here lawfully and legally to pursue his American dream. He achieved that goal, and his dream was taken from him. No, we shouldn't politicize it, but we have to have a conversation about restrictive legislation that puts our communities at risk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: We could hear his brother sobbing right there. Here now, attorney and conservative commentator David Wohl, a supporter of the President. And immigration attorney Francisco Hernandez. Good evening, gentlemen.

DAVID WOHL, LEGAL ANALYST: Hi, Ed.

FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ, ATTORNEY ON IMMIGRATION: Hi, Mr. Henry. Thank you for having me.

HENRY: Good -- thanks for being here. David when you see the brother there sobbing, and the sheriff saying flatly. He -- this officer should still be alive. What goes through your mind?

WOHL: Well, I mean, you know, Mr. Arriaga came from Mexico to Arizona. But, of course, he came to California in the end, because California is a sanctuary state. He comes here and public officials not from -- and the local level in Sacramento tell him, basically, we're going to protect you from deportation. Not only do you not have to worry about being deported, but we are going to protect you from that.

(CROSSTALK)

HERNANDEZ: No, no, it did not.

WOHL: The L.A. County Sheriff himself came out the other day and said, he is going to forcefully remove ICE from L.A. County Jail. What more do you need to hear and for us to support from California --

(CROSSTALK)

HENRY: So let Francisco jump in. Francisco, how do you defend that?

WOHL: Oh, hold on -- hold on, don't interrupt.

HENRY: OK, that was my fault. Quickly, David.

WOHL: To support from California politicians for this criminal aliens is through the roof, and it's got to stop. I have a client whose fiance was killed by a guy who was deported five times, arrested for five felonies. He came back.

HENRY: OK.

WOHL: Drunk draw -- he got drunk driving, smashed into this beautiful young woman and killed her. He was just -- there's a hung juries being retrial in January for murder. He's got to be convicted, this has got to stop.

(CROSSTALK)

HENRY: Horrible tragedies one after the other. Francisco, what's your response?

HERNANDEZ: OK. Bottom line, no one can oppose the Federal government or Immigration Customs Enforcement, or DHS. They could have picked them up anytime. Have you seen this guy's rap sheet?

(CROSSTALK)

WOHL: They don't honor the detainers, they don't honor them.

HERNANDEZ: Now, you're interrupting. Thank you.

HENRY: OK, let Francisco go.

HERNANDEZ: For can I say something?

HENRY: Go ahead.

HERNANDEZ: Deporting him would not have done anything. He would have been backed because he's (INAUDIBLE) for decades. The question is, why is that -- why is in -- he -- in --

(CROSSTALK)

HENRY: Wait a second. I have to interrupt there. She deporting wouldn't have done anything? Hang on, Francisco, I will let you respond.

HERNANDEZ: OK, cannot finish my --

HENRY: I'll let you respond but you just said, deporting him would have done nothing. The sheriff who knows better than you and I said this.

HERNANDEZ: No!

HENRY: And then I let -- hang on. I'll going to let you react. But let's listen to the sheriff.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIANSON: It could have been preventable. And under S.P. 54 in California, based on two arrests for DUI, and some other active warrants that this criminal has out there, law enforcement would have been prevented, prohibited, from sharing any information with ICE about this criminal gang member.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not how you protect the community.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: Francisco, I want you to answer him directly, please.

HERNANDEZ: Yes. That is an absolute lie.

HENRY: Come on.

HERNANDEZ: When you book somebody into the jail, the fingerprints go through the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A city, a County, a State, cannot block the Federal Government. This guy should be serving a life sentence in federal prison.

What do you mean the sanctuary city? It didn't matter this -- you are correct, this tragedy should not have occurred. But even if you build a wall right now, it would have kept him in. It would not kept him out.

HENRY: So, even by your logic, how was he -- wow was he not supported then? If you're saying, oh, we can still -- why wasn't he deported, number one.

(CROSSTALK)

HERNANDEZ: Yes, that is the question.

HENRY: And number two, I do have to say, how dare you, call the sheriff a liar. He's -- in this community -- you called him a liar.

HERNANDEZ: Because, because he is lying. He is lying that immigration couldn't have picked him up. Homeland security picked him up, the federal authority should have picked him up.

(CROSSTALK)

WOHL: Ed, this is not true.

HENRY: Ok, finish --

HERNANDEZ: Have you seen his rap sheet, his convictions? He should have been serving a life sentence in prison already.

WOHL: They're not honoring the detainers.

HENRY: OK, let David jump in. Go ahead.

WOHL: Ed, yes, they're not honoring the immigration detainer orders. They're releasing these guys without telling INS and ICE. They're freeing him to the community.

The Sacramento politicians don't want guys like Mr. Arriaga jailed or deported, they want their votes. That's why this is happening.

(CROSSTALK)

HERNANDEZ: The federal --

WOHL: That's why it's happening on the national level. And you know it, Francisco. And God knows it, and I knows it, it's all about power. And easily get or honored the detainers and let INS pick this guy (INAUDIBLE).

(CROSSTALK)

HERNANDEZ: Mr. Henry.

HENRY: David, OK. David made your point, Francisco, please.

HERNANDEZ: The federal government -- Mr. Henry, the federal government does not need a city or a state to honor their detainer. They can go pick him up anytime they want.

The detainer -- it is a courtesy, it is committee to the state and the cities. We're not going to pick him up until you let them out.

HENRY: Francisco, I've heard you make this case, and maybe it's some legal theory, but in practice, what I'm trying to get at with you is that the sheriff --

(CROSSTALK)

HERNANDEZ: It's not a legal theory. It's life.

HENRY: The sheriff on the ground who is dealing with a murdered police officer is saying you are wrong.

(CROSSTALK)

HERNANDEZ: OK. So, the sheriff let him out of his jail?

HENRY: This is not Ed Henry, this is the sheriff. Are you telling me that the sheriff who's dealing with an officer, by the way, left behind a widow and a 5-month-old son, that, that sheriff is a liar?

HERNANDEZ: So, why did the sheriff let him out in the first place? Why did the sheriff let him out in the first place? He has a duty to uphold the constitution of the United States.

(CROSSTALK)

WOHL: That's not what happened to the hall.

HERNANDEZ: Enables the sheriff to let him out apparently from --

(CROSSTALK)

WOHL: What happen is he was convicted of one DUI -- hold on Francisco.

HERNANDEZ: Yes.

WOHL: Hold on. He was convicted of one DUI, he wasn't --

HERNADEZ: From 10 different criminal bookings and the sheriff let him out.

HENRY: Please don't talk over each other. David, one last time, and then, Francisco.

WOHL: He was convicted of one DUI, he wasn't deported. He was convicted of another DUI, he wasn't deported. He was suspected of committing another DUI, he was being chased, and he didn't want to get caught from the third DUI. I think he might get deported this time, so he shot and killed the officer. That was his solution.

He came to America, not for a better life, not to work hard for his family like a lot of immigrants do, but to live a life of crime and kill cops.

HENRY: Francisco, final point.

HERNANDEZ: You're right. You're right about that, he should have been in federal prison already, absolutely. Why did -- why did the sheriff let him out in the first place?

HENRY: But why do you keep saying -- how do you know that this sheriff let him out? How do you know this sheriff let him out?

(CROSSTALK)

HERNANDEZ: Why is he (INAUDIBLE) about this? Maybe he failed to do his job and honor the constitution?

HENRY: This sheriff says that he was blocked essentially. How do you know more?

HERNANDEZ: He was block. Who blocked him? He's the top gun in the county. Who's going to block the sheriff, the top gun in the county? Who blocked him? A city councilmember? Seriously? Come on, guys. He's covering his butt because he didn't turn them over to federal authorities. It's on him.

WOHL: Covering his butt.

HERNANDEZ: Yes.

WOHL: He didn't have anything to do with not notifying the federal authorities at all.

HENRY: He can do nothing to do with that.

HERNANDEZ: You can notify the federal authorities. You can notify the federal authorities. It's the federal government, they don't have to listen to the cities.

HENRY: Last point.

WOHL: But, when the jailers don't do it, the guys don't get picked up and they go free.

HERNANDEZ: They're his employees.

HENRY: OK.

HERNANDEZ: They're his employees.

HENRY: Gentlemen, we're not going to solve it tonight.

HERNANDEZ: They swear to uphold the constitution.

HENRY: But this is a big problem in this country, and we are trying to get at it. We appreciate it, Francisco, David, thanks for coming in. Let's now go to Congressman Daryl

HERNANDEZ: Thank you, nice being here.

WOHL: Thank you, Ed.

HENRY: He's a Republican who represents the state of California where this is playing out. All of it unfolding tonight. He joins us from Washington, where obviously we will don't want to lose sight of the fact. Obviously, Congressman, you know better than I, there's still a battle going out -- going on between the President and Democrats on the Hill about funding for the wall.

First of all, let's start simply. How do you solve this problem when you have some people in this country as you just heard saying that the sheriff who says that the sanctuary policies are to blame is a liar.

REP. DARRELL ISSA, R-CALIF.: Well, Francisco, I don't know if he's a liar. I know that he's saying things that aren't true. The fact is that when I came to office 18 years ago, the County of Orange, you know, North of San Diego, already had a program and this was under Bill Clinton.

Had a program where they formally not only honored these detainers, but they also allowed ICE to come in and evaluate people to find out whether they were unlawfully in the country. Because that's a federal determination so that they then could be held. And they could be held even if they were only in for a DUI.

Since that time, my state has systematically stopped that kind of activity every chance they get. That's what sanctuary means is, that you do not ask if they were illegal, and you do not cooperate.

And so, these sheriff's hands are tied by California state law in almost every case and it's been a fight -- and it's a fight that quite frankly, citizens are losing.

HENRY: Sure. Congressmen, we're going to get to the Democrats in a minute, but I don't want to let the president off the hook here. He tweeted some more today. If you follow his positioning in this with the government shutdown, and the campaign, obviously, he talked bluntly about a big beautiful wall. More recent -- and that was going to be paid for by Mexico.

Now recently, he's talking about a $5 million down payment that's paid for by the taxpayers, obviously, a hard-working men and women. On top of that, then he says well maybe it will be a fence, not a wall.

And then today, it was tweeting no it has to be a wall or I'm shutting down the border. When he keeps shifting like that, how do the Republicans actually negotiate with the Democrats?

ISSA: Well, we negotiate from history. The fact is that in San Diego, almost 20 years ago, then-Duncan Hunter -- Congressman Hunter began building a fence. He was building it with military reserve personnel and he were welding up pieces of metal. That made our border the safest border -- not only the busiest border but the safest border with Mexico, period.

It is a proven system, and whether you use a metal fence or you use a wall, as long as it gives the Border Patrol, the ability to safely navigate and to get to an area without being swarmed -- you know, swarmed to overpower, it works.

So, fence or wall, the president's right, you can use either term. What you need is you need a barrier, it is what the Border Patrol. The men and women who stand at the border, who drive, at the border, who die at the border, have been begging for, for years.

HENRY: Yes.

ISSA: And, you know, you can have people on that will -- that will talk all kinds of both sides. Have the Border Patrol, have those men and women who actually stay on the ground and they will tell you what they need is that concrete barrier.

(CROSSTALK)

HENRY: They're on the ground (INAUDIBLE). Right. Quickly, I want to get to the California Democrats I mentioned. Dianne Feinstein, for example. So, these officers gunned down on Christmas night.

On Wednesday, she sends out a tweet saying, I'm writing to voice my strong concern about the recent deaths and illnesses of children detained in Border Patrol custody, to request a full accounting -- " She will -- and what not.

Then, on Thursday, another tweet, "Read my letter calling for a hearing on the deaths of two young children in Border Patrol custody this month. We must know more about the care and treatment of these kids." Absolutely, we must know more about that, but she has tweeted absolutely nothing about this officer being gunned down by an illegal immigrant in your state, in her state.

And then, quickly, Ted Lieu, a Democratic congressman, one of your colleagues, as you know, he had a whole series of tweets today attacking the president about the wall. Saying he doesn't -- you know, know what he's doing.

So, I sent a tweet to him saying, "Congressman, doing a story on reaction from lawmakers in California to the killing of police officer Ron Singh. Have you sent any tweets or full statements on the police officer killed in your home state?"

If he response later, but it's been hours, sir. He hasn't responded to me, he hasn't put out a tweet. Why are Democrats in your state not even saying, we're sorry that this officer was killed by illegal immigrants?

ISSA: They've made a decision that open borders and the policy of it works for them politically. What's really sad is the fact that you have to be compassionate on both sides. Supporting law enforcement, having an orderly immigration system, having a barrier with proper openings in it for people to immigrate. That all is how you save lives on both sides.

The fact is for decades, anywhere we have better border security, we save lives not just Border Patrol agents and ICE. We save lives of those immigrants, and that's important. And I think anyone that doesn't do both is missing the point that you -- to be compassionate is to have security and an immigration policy that allows people to come here legally.

HENRY: Congressman Darrell Issa, we appreciate you coming in. Happy New Year a little bit early.

ISSA: Happy New Year. Thanks, Ed.

HENRY: All right, at least one branch of the military backs up President Trump against CNN's claims there was something wrong with the Commander-in- Chief signing MAGA hats for U.S. troops that he visited in Iraq. So why are some Democrats still accusing him of politicizing his visit with the troops? We'll ask one top Democrat next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HENRY: Well, the attacks on President Trump's visit to Iraq continuing tonight after that impromptu signing of memorabilia, some MAGA hats with Troops. The Air Force says, "there's no rule against airmen bringing personal items to be signed by the President." But some Democrats are still not backing down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was entirely inappropriate for the President to visit our troops and talk about a highly controversial issue, and blaming Democrats for shut down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: Joining me now is Democratic Congressman John Garamendi. He is a California Democrat, Senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee. Good to see you, sir.

REP. JOHN GARAMENDI, D-CALIF.: Good to be with you.

HENRY: So NBC News kicked some of this off. I want to show you the first headline that they had. Tuesday on Christmas Day, Trump becomes the first president since 2002 not to visit troops at Christmas time. Poorly timed, since he was basically almost in the air at that point on the way to Iraq. They have since clarified sort of to say now Trump becomes a first president since 2002 not to visit troops on or before Christmas. Congressman, are some critics of the President just splitting here because of Trump derangement syndrome?

GARAMENDI: I don't know about the syndrome. I haven't heard about that before. But I'm glad that the President did go. Whether he should have gone sooner or later isn't material. The fact that he did go is important. Presidents have traditionally done that, at least the recent presidents. That's all good. And hopefully, that will provide some moral support for the troops that are there.

HENRY: But when you say you haven't heard about syndrome, I mean you had folks at CNN raising questions about why in the world was the President signing MAGA hats, that somehow this might be a violation of a military rule. And then of course, we and others all found. You've seen him the pictures of Barack Obama in 2008. He wasn't president yet but he was a senator. He was on the campaign. He was on the campaign trail and then visited the troops, and he was signing autographs. It was a nice thing to do for Barack Obama. Donald Trump does it in somehow it's the end of the world.

GARAMENDI: Well, it's not the end of my world, not the end of Donald's world, not the end of the troops' world. Sure, go ahead and sign the memorabilia. That's fine. There's no problem with that. There are some questions I think legitimately raised about the attack that he made to the Troops about Democrats. I think that was inappropriate. Certainly, supporting the troops we all do Democrats and Republicans, but that's a that's another issue. Signing hats, signing memorabilia, signing plaques, have at it.

HENRY: Last point on this -- but your question about the politics and talking about the wall in front of the troops. Did you raise similar objections in December 2016 then President Obama is on the way out of office, he talks to troops in sort of a farewell address and attacks president-elect Trump about the travel ban and a whole host of other issues. Why was it okay for Barack Obama but somehow again Donald Trump does it says -- and you're saying it's political?

GARAMENDI: Well, if it's political for Donald to do it, and for Donald Trump to do it, it's political for Barack Obama to do it in either case. I don't think it's particularly appropriate particularly on these Christmas or holiday visits that are standard or should be standard for the president to go into the war zone during that particular time of the year. They shouldn't make it political. Either way whether Obama did it or Trump did it, either way I would say not a good thing to do.

HENRY: Congressman, let's talk immigration.

GARAMENDI: Sure.

HENRY: A big issue you're confronting now and will be confronting at the beginning of the new Congress in January. One of your Democratic colleagues Luis Gutierrez is saying look, "for my friends on the left, remember, there's going to be a ransom that is going to be required. Pay it. It's the right thing to do because we're never going to be able to overcome the 60 votes in the Senate. His point being the president wants some money for the wall. Why won't you and other Democrats negotiate with him? Give him at least some of that money and then you'll get something like a permanent fix on DACA.

GARAMENDI: Well, I'm all for compromise. And particularly if there's a permanent fix for DACA, all to the better. One thing about the $5 billion is on the Armed Services Committee as I am, and also on the transportation infrastructure, we really require the government agencies to tell us precisely what they want the money for, not just generally for a road or for an airport but rather exactly whether it's going to be, how it's going to be spent. And I think the President owes that to the Congress. If he has $5 billion for border security, fences, or walls, tell us exactly where it is or where it's going to be built. And that's I think appropriate for any president to do.

HENRY: Last question. You have a reasonable approach there. But your Leader Nancy Pelosi according to the incoming White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, he told Fox today that Chuck Schumer seems to want to cut a deal but Nancy Pelosi doesn't want to cut a deal with the president along the lines that you just said. Why won't your leaders in the House say to the President, OK, give us something and we'll give you. Maybe you're not going to get $5 billion but we're going to give you some of the wall.

GARAMENDI: Well, I asked Pelosi staff about this and the word I got back was the White House has not communicated anything with her since that meeting in the Oval Office that went viral. So yes there needs to be discussions and my standing is that Pelosi in fact I know, I got the memo today offered three different ways to solve this problem. Anyone of those three ways she was willing to do. They did include money for border security, and one of the ways the other was simply to pass the existing appropriation bills with the exception of Homeland Security of leaving that for additional debate.

HENRY: OK, Congressman, we'll see if they'll finally come together. I appreciate you coming in.

GARAMENDI: We have to.

HENRY: Happy New Year.

GARAMENDI: And to you, and happy New Year to you viewers.

HENRY: All right, still ahead, former President Barack Obama revealing his favorite books, movies, and songs in 2018i. Let's just say some of the picks got a little interesting. Tammy Bruce and Richard Fowler here to break it down, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HENRY: President Barack Obama closing out the year with an annual list of his top movies, books, and songs of 2018. His favorite music picks range from jazz classics to Prince hits, love those. There are also some eye- popping choices perhaps including I Like It from rapper Cardi B and a song from Beyonce and husband Jay-Z, the titled of which we can't actually say on this show. Here now with their take, Tammy Bruce, President of Independent Women's Voice and Richard Fowler, who's a national syndicated talks show host, both Fox News Contributors. Good to have you both here.

TAMMY BRUCE, CONTRIBUTOR: Hey there. Hi guys!

RICHARD FOWLER, CONTRIBUTOR: Good to be here, Ed.

HENRY: Now, I'm going to -- in the interest of full disclosure, as Richard knows, he and I have talked about this off the air. I love hip hop so there are going to be plenty of songs that I like that probably I shouldn't talk about. And I should note -- and to be fair, that on the favorite books of 2018, the President has a lot of wonderful choices, Long Walk of Freedom by Nelson Mandela, a classic. Something everybody should read, "Why Liberalism Failed, a kind of an interesting choice, How Democracies Die," when you look at that list of choices as well.

The president doing some -- former president doing some deep thoughts. What stuck out for you, Tammy?

BRUCE: Well, I think that -- and he has made a tradition of this. So, he's done this every year really and I think for a lot of people these lists can be virtues signaling. It's like, look at what I'm doing or more. It's a look at what you should be reading of course, and a lot of the people on the list, some of them certainly, especially with the music are friends of the Obama's, so you can't blame him for that, I suppose.

But I think that when I grew up, a favorite teacher of mine said that while it's great to read for pleasure and important to do so and to read to reinforce or to expand your understanding of your own point of view, it's particularly important to read things that you know you will disagree with so that you hear other arguments that also can refine your own point of view, but we'll see how many people pick up on his --

HENRY: Well, maybe -- maybe on that, Richard, Ben Rhodes, his former national security aide, his book is on the list. I noticed Tucker Carlson's book is not on the list.

BRUCE: Shocker.

FOWLER: I'm not shocked by that at all. But here's the thing. I mean, you know, Ed, we talk about music all the time in the green room here at the WDC bureau and I like it like -- it's such a good song and Barack Obama is not alone in his like for the song.

This song, and I wrote it down to make sure I got it right, was the sixth most streamed song on Apple music globally. So, around the world, people love Cardi B. and they like the song because it just makes your head bob because everybody likes it like that, right?

BRUCE: And it confirms that Barack Obama is hip, so we have that established right there.

HENRY: He wanted to throw that out there. I also thought it was interesting and appropriate that at the top of his list of books you must read was of course, Michelle Obama, the former first lady, her book which has been a runaway success.

But that brings me to the next little list, which is Gallup does this thing every year at the end of the year. Who is most admired? And it was interesting that Michelle Obama tops the list of women. You see that she knocked Hillary Clinton out of the top spot.

Now, it's very divided. It's only at 15 percent. Oprah Winfrey at five percent, Hillary Clinton at four and Melania Trump who is relatively new as first lady, at four percent. Tammy, what stuck out for you?

BRUCE: Well, this list every year, what's interesting, since Hillary held the top spot for 17 years. It's more of a popularity of the media list at the time. It's a random phone call to I think over about a thousand people. You can choose whomever you want. And generally what you are going to get are people who have been positively portrayed in the media and are in the media a lot.

She is coming off of her book tour so it's not that surprising. But it's not, as you noted, it's like a 15 percent. She won with 15 percent. So it's not kind of a deep analysis of who the majority of Americans admire. But it does tell you who they have been portraying positively up until this point, which was Hillary, which means for some reason Hillary is not at the top spot because the media is not portraying her in the same fashion.

FOWLER: I'm not sure if this is about Hillary and this is more about Michelle Obama. And let's talk about the book for just a minute. "Becoming" is the number one selling book of the year and remember, the book came out in less than a month and in less than a month, this book has already sold 15 million copies.

And Michelle Obama on this book tour is not selling out small bookshops or Starbucks coffee shops. She's selling out arenas. And it's because the book really talks about what everyday women go through. Infertility, marriage counseling, dealing with children. All the things that every day American women go through and Michelle Obama talks about in a real way in this book.

HENRY: So Richard --

BRUCE: Yes.

HENRY: Richard, that leads to the natural question, when you talk about filling up arenas, the Clintons tried to do that themselves, had a hard time, they were going to Groupon to sell tickets. Michelle Obama didn't need to do that. -- runaway best seller. She keeps saying she will never run for political office, but now she is the most admired woman according to Gallup. Could she run for office?

FOWLER: I don't think she's going to run for office. I think Michelle Obama really -- when she was in it -- when she was first lady, her number one mission was, what can we do to impact the lives of women and girls. This book is about the same thing, what we can do to impact the lives of women and girls, and I think for the rest of her life, she will commit to how we can impact women and girls not only in the United States but globally and I think that is her mission and that's what --

BRUCE: I also don't -- I don't know if the Obamas even -- I think they are enjoying their life now. I think they are probably enjoying it more now than they did when they were in the White House. Mrs. Obama expressed on a few occasions how she did not like that environment.

So why would she want to go back into an environment when they have tremendous influence right now in most mediums and she can have an influence and continue to do what she wants to do in the popular framework without having to deal with the swamp.

FOWLER: I think Tammy is right. And I think there's one part of the book where she actually talks about that. The part where she talks about the day that the Supreme Court had to legalize marriage and how she saw the excitement, the jubilation outside of the White House and all she wanted to do was be a part of it.

And so she snuck out of the back door, her and Malia, so they could be with the people and nobody saw them, but they were outside as the White House was lit up with a rainbow which speaks to who she is as a person and why this book is the number one selling book in the country this year.

HENRY: Legalizing same-sex marriage, absolutely, yes.

FOWLER: Yes, that's what I meant, same-sex marriage.

HENRY: Richard, Tammy, I would like to get your list as well. So please submit those by the end of the year.

FOWLER: Thanks, Ed.

HENRY: Thanks for coming. Up next, Congress is recruiting lawyers (inaudible) it's a sign that Democrats are prepping to go all in on investigating President Trump when they assume power in the House next week. Texas congressman Louie Gohmert is here on that, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: They've been giving us this investigation fatigue. It's been a long time. I have nothing, zero. You know why? Because there is nothing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HENRY: Tonight, Democrats say they are hiring, and it could signal where we are heading when the party takes control of the House next week. Congressional job postings suggest Democrats are recruiting lawyers with experience in "administrative law, oversight work, and even more bluntly, executive branch of investigative counsel."

So, will it be investigations or legislation? Joining me now, Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert, a member of the House Judiciary Committee. Good to see you, congressman.

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT, R-TX: It's great to be with you, Ed. Thank you.

HENRY: A couple of nights ago we had the former DNC chair, Ed Rendell on. He insisted to me, look, his advice to his own party is, legislate, don't just investigate. Do you buy that?

GOHMERT: Yes. Well, I buy that he said that, but you know, it's kind of like Jim Carrey or somebody who say, "somebody stop me." They are not going to be able to be stopped. They are coming after every aspect, every decision and, you know, you had my friend, John Garamendi on before me, and he is my friend. I hope that didn't kill his political career.

But he was saying, you know, if Trump would just tell us exactly where he wants the wall and what he wants, I seem to recall that the Obama administration had billions of dollars to build a wall, a virtual wall, and Janet Napolitano just stopped and said, you know what, we are not going to use it for that.

We don't know where that money went, Ed. We don't know what they did with it. We need to protect the country and we lost the majority. I told our conference repeatedly in September, if we don't put money out there for a wall before the election, we may not be back in the majority. That happened, but a note of encouragement, Ed, we took a stand.

Unfortunately, it was after we lost the majority, but I think it bodes well and it's inconsistent with Boehner's (ph) opposition of just keep feeding the Democrats rope and they will hang themselves, and that's a poor metaphor.

But the fact is, as I told Boehner once, look, you said feed him rope, now they've used it to hog-tie us. It's time to stand up and we never did. Here, we're taking a stand and I think that bodes well for the future.

HENRY: They have said, the Democrats, that they are going to legislate and they are not going to focus. There will be some investigations, but when Axios and others talk about a cannon of subpoenas, 85 different areas that they want to go after the president on. Do you think this is going to be all about the Democrats on the attack?

GOHMERT: I'm telling you, Ed, they're not going to be able to help themselves -- judiciary -- the Democrats once were big on privacy rights and when they saw how important it was for Google and some of these internet providers to support the Democrats, they don't want to do anything to make them mad. It's amazing how they backed off some of the things they used to believe being anti-Orwellian.

They are not anymore, but they are going to do the investigations. I know you are aware, they are out there hiring like crazy -- lawyers that can come in and help with subpoenas. So, it is going to happen. They're going to be investigating everything.

And it is healthy to have oversight investigations. I think Republicans didn't do enough of them, but you don't need a colonoscopy after every minor decision that the administration made and I think that's where they are headed.

HENRY: The president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has been under the microscope and has flipped on the president, essentially, this whole question of whether or not --

GOHMERT: Well, he needed a colonoscopy.

HENRY: OK, we'll leave that for another for program I suppose, but real quick, McClatchy had a news report in the last 24 or 48 hours suggesting maybe his cellphone signal was picked up in the area of Prague in the campaign in 2016, which he has vehemently denied. A McClatchy reporter went on MSNBC and said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did your sources see the interceptions for themselves or are they passing along information from other people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The sources have -- some of the sources have government sources and some of the sources are people who have told us that they have trusted intelligence type sources that they get information from.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you seen the intercepts?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, is there anything that you were able to actually physically see for yourself that corroborated what these sources were telling you? Anything that looked that the intercepts that would give you some further evidence beyond their words?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wish we had.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: So, I wish we had. They do this major story and it now appears that sources were second or third hand.

GOHMERT: Well, and we now know that dossier prepared by Steele, he hadn't been to Russia in years. So Ed, we don't know how third hand, fourth hand, fifth hand hearsay it was that he was utilizing. It was if did it come -- the information he had -- did it come from Russian players?

And I can tell you, this is one of the big dangers of an Orwellian government that just -- they were tracking people in the Trump administration. I've been in Prague. I spoke at the -- it was an honor to be at the Ukrainian Prayer Breakfast and speak on behalf of Congress. But if they were following everything I did, that starts out, oh, my gosh --

HENRY: Sure. And after all this investigation, I think the point is there hasn't been evidence of collusion. We'll see what 2019 brings.

GOHMERT: That is exactly.

HENRY: Congressman Louie Gohmert --

GOHMERT: Exactly. Exactly.

HENRY: We appreciate you coming in.

GOHMERT: We're doing great. Thank you.

HENRY: Thank sir.

GOHMERT: Pleasure to be with you.

HENRY: Good to have you. From Kavanaugh to the Kim's, we take a look back at the defining political moments of 2018, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRETT KAVANAUGH, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT: I've never had any sexual or physical activity with Dr. Ford. I have never sexually assaulted anyone in high school or otherwise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: As we look ahead to 2019, we also reflect on the political highs and lows of the past year. From historical summits with foreign leaders to celeb sightings at the White House and of course, Trump, Trump, and more Trump. Here to break down the defining moments of 2018, our chief correspondent, Jonathan Hunt. Good to see you, Jonathan.

JONATHAN HUNT, CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Ed. It's been a year to remember and a year to forget. It's been fascinating to put it my way, and it has left us perhaps more politically divided than ever. So with that in mind, let's start with the moment that while desperately sad actually united the country. The farewell to our 41st president, George H.W. Bush.

President Bush died at the age of 94 just seven months after the death of his wife, Barbara Bush, and 65 years after his 3-year-old daughter, Robin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE BUSH, FORMER PRESDIENT: The best father, a son or daughter could have. And in our grief, let us smile knowing that dad is hugging Robin, and holding mom's hand again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HUNT: President Bush, lauded for his ideals of cross party cooperation left behind a political world he likely would have had little time for.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You shut it down --

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y.: No, no, no.

TRUMP: -- and then you open it up very quickly --

SCHUMER: Twenty times -- twenty times --

TRUMP: and I don't want to do what you did.

SCHUMER: Twenty times you would call for I will shut down the government if I don't get my wall. None of us have said it.

TRUMP: You want to know something?

SCHUMER: You've said it. You've said it.

TRUMP: I'll take it.

SCHUMER: OK, good.

TRUMP: You know what I will say, yes. If we don't get what we want one way or the other, whether it's through you, through a military, though anything you want to call, I will shut down the government.

SCHUMER: OK, fair enough. We disagree. We disagree.

TRUMP: And I'll tell you what. I am proud to shut down the government for border security.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HUNT: That awkward Oval Office showdown coming in the wake of Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections while Republicans held onto the Senate. A divided government will likely have a major impact on another huge political story of 2018. The probe into the possible collusion between President Trump's election campaign and Russia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I did nothing wrong and there was no collusion with Russia.

You know I call it a witch hunt, and it is a witch hunt.

But we have a lot of phony stuff like the Russian witch hunt garbage.

How long is this witch hunt going on?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HUNT: Now, Democrat-controlled committees in the House will almost certainly begin their own investigations while special counsel Robert Mueller seemed close to wrapping up his, having already indicted several of the presidents associates with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort now in jail and the president's former first lawyer Michael Cohen scheduled to begin a three-year sentence in March.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Judge Kavanaugh, do you swear that the testimony you are about to give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Judge Kavanaugh, do you swear that the testimony you are about to give before this committee will be --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HUNT: The political divide was also on full display during a contentious second hearing for President Trump Supreme Court nominee, then judge, now justice, Brett Kavanaugh, accused by Professor Christine Blasey Ford of sexually assaulting her at a party in the early 1980s.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DICK DURBIN, D-ILL.: Dr. Ford, with what degree of certainty do you believe Brett Kavanaugh assaulted you?

CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD, ACCUSER OF BRETT KAVANAUGH: One hundred percent.

KAVANAUGH: I've never sexually assaulted anyone. Not in high school, not in college, not ever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HUNT: On the international stage, the biggest moment of the year came perhaps in Singapore, a much wanted meeting between President Trump and North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, a meeting which according to the president, will lead to the complete denuclearization of North Korea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: People thought this could never take place. It is now taking place. It's a very great day. It's a very great moment in the history of the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HUNT: As we enter 2019, North Korea remains a nuclear nation. But let's end on a high note as it were, and the joy that Kanye's White House visit brought a very grateful nation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KANYE WEST, RAPPER: If he don't look good, we don't look good. This is our president. He has to be the freshest, the flyest planes, the best factories and we have to make our core be in power.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HUNT: Well, perhaps Charles Dickens was previewing Kanye's White House visit when he wrote in "A Tale of Two Cities," "it was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness." But that, Ed, was 2018 in a nutshell.

HENRY: It was the freshest, the flyest correspondent. Jonathan Hunt, thank you. Up next, a special edition of "Ladies' Night," our panel standing by to break down their picks for the most notable moments of 2018.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HENRY: As promised, a very special year-end edition of "Ladies Night." Kelsey Harkness, Jenna Ellis, Rochelle Ritchie. Good to have you all here. I want to let everyone just free for all, jump in on what your biggest moment was but I want to start this conversation and maybe focus it on Kavanaugh because you heard Jonathan, I mean, that really was a defining moment this year. Kelsey, what stood out for you?

KELSEY HARKNESS, THE DAILY SIGNAL: This was a defining moment, specifically for women because we were already in the middle of this MeToo conversation, and the Kavanaugh effect only divided women more aware.

We now have two camps of women, one who want to standup for due process and the rights of those accused and another who wants to #believeallwomen. Sadly, I think in 2018, all women lost because sexual assault and sexual harassment is an issue that all women should be able to unite around and now we are divided.

HENRY: Rochelle? I suspect you have a different view.

ROCHELLE RITCHIE, FORMER HOUSE DEMOCRATS PRESS SECRETARY: Well, you know, I do sort of have a different view. I think that it was amazing to watch. I mean, this was like reality T.V. on Capitol Hill, whether it was Senator Graham. You know, we remember how much he went off and then Kavanaugh and then Kamala Harris.

Sop, I mean, it was reality T.V. I mean, people were sitting at home with their popcorn waiting to watch to confirmation hearings --

HENRY: What's going to happen next.

RITCHIE: -- what's going to happen next. But I think that there is a good thing about this. I think people were educated about how serious sexual assault is. I think it also exposed that sexual assault does not just mean rape. It does mean, you know, someone touching you inappropriately.

It does involve alcohol sometimes. So I think that we learned more about sexual assault and we also learned a lot about how confirmation hearings worked because I don't think a lot of people, you know, used to watch a Supreme Court justice get confirmed. But now, when you have so much controversy around it, I think a lot more people are aware of the process.

HENRY: Jenna, what stood out for you?

JENNA ELLIS, JAMES DOBSON FAMILY INSTITUTE: Yes. Well, I think that there are true victims and there area false accusations. And so the winner that came out in this is the focus and emphasis on due process. And I think while we emphasized a lot about women, I think that really the main winner was Susan Collins who stood up for due process as a woman and said, you know, this could happen to our brothers, our sons, and to men.

Women standing up for men in 2018 I think was a very big moment to say that this isn't just about women. This is about men as well and this is about making sure that true equality is treating everyone with due process and constitutional fundamental fairness.

HENRY: Yes. Good points -- Susan Collins was on the show with Martha just in the last week or so and she is still has been getting threats and still has people attacking her. It has been a difficult year. Hopefully, we have a wonderful 2019 to all of you. I appreciate you coming over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Happy New Year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Happy New Year.

HENRY: Thanks for coming in. And that is "The Story" on this Friday night. Have a wonderful weekend. Stay tuned for Tucker coming up. I'll be back on "Fox & Friends" all weekend, bright and early starting Saturday, 6:00 a.m. eastern. See you then.

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